Aug 14 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Wednesday:
U.S. stock index futures pointed to slight losses at the open as investors found few reasons to make big bets with equities near all-time highs and little clarity over Federal Reserve policy.
S&P 500 futures fell 2.1 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 20 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 3.75 points.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $489.57, up 1.4 pct premarket
Activist investor Carl Icahn said he has amassed a “large position” in the technology company and believes the stock could be worth as much as $700 if Chief Executive Tim Cook pushed for a larger stock buyback.
The surprise revelation from the billionaire activist caused a stir on Wall Street and pushed Apple’s stock almost 5 percent higher to close at a 7-month high of $489.57 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.
** FACEBOOK INC, Tuesday close $37.01
One out of three people in the United States - more than 128 million - visit Facebook daily, and about 24 million in the United Kingdom do the same, the company said on Tuesday, releasing regional data for the first time as a way of helping advertisers understand how people use the social network.
** DEERE & CO, Tuesday close $83.91, up 2 pct premarket
The world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment reported a much higher-than-expected quarterly profit as strong sales of its tractors and harvesters to farmers in the Americas offset the impact of weak demand for earth-moving equipment from the construction industry.
** MACY‘S INC, Tuesday close $48.50, down 3.2 pct premarket
The company reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and profit, citing consumers’ hesitation to spend on non-essentials, leading the department store chain to cut prices.
** STEINWAY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS INC, Tuesday close $38.27, up 4.4 pct premarket
The musical instruments maker, best known for its grand pianos, said it would be taken private by Paulson & Co Inc after the hedge fund firm raised its offer to $40 per share, valuing the 160-year old company at about $512 million.
** CREE INC, Tuesday close $75.76, down 16 pct premarket
The company forecast current-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates, saying sales of its high-margin light emitting diode products are expected to remain at similar levels to those in the fourth quarter.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Tuesday close $12.68
Now that activist investor Bill Ackman has stepped down after a week-long public spat with fellow board members at J.C. Penney, all eyes are back on whether the department store chain can avert a potentially disastrous sales decline this holiday season.
** JDS UNIPHASE CORP, Tuesday close $14.80, down 3 pct after market
The network testing company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday due to weak demand for optical components from telecom customers, and forecast current-quarter revenue well below analysts’ estimates.
** THE MEDICINES CO, Tuesday close $30.74, down 0.3 pct premarket
The drug developer said on Tuesday that it has priced its underwritten public offering of 5.79 million shares of its common stock at $30.25 per share.
The offering is expected to close on or around Aug. 19.
** SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC, Tuesday close $36.31, down 3.6 pct after market
SeaWorld reported a quarterly loss on Tuesday as attendance fell at its amusement parks.
** EXONE CO, Tuesday close $75.67, down 14.8 pct premarket
The 3-D printer maker reported second-quarter sales below analysts’ estimates on Tuesday and forecast 2013 revenue at the lower end of its guidance due to a weak yen.
** KANDI TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Tuesday close $4.80, up 4 pct pre market
The Chinese vehicle maker reported a 10 percent jump in second-quarter revenue as it sold more all-terrain vehicles and electric cars.
** SUNTRUST BANKS INC, Tuesday close $34.92, up 2.1 pct premarket
BMO Capital Markets raised its price target on the bank’s stock to $36 from $35 on Tuesday.
** SAVIENT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $0.71, down 1.4 pct premarket
The drugmaker reported a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss, with sales of its main product, the chronic gout drug Krystexxa, coming below analysts’ estimates.
** BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS INC, Tuesday close $6.90, up 13.5 pct after market
The network equipment maker reported third-quarter results above analysts’ estimates and said demand for its storage products was improving.
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, Tuesday close $13.55, up 12.4 pct premarket
The Chinese solar company swung to a profit after seven quarters of losses as it shipped more to newer solar markets.
** AEROPOSTALE INC, Tuesday close $13.15, down 2 pct premarket
KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded the teen apparel retailer’s stock to “underweight” from “hold”, saying the company’s move away from its logo business to a higher fashion but higher price point model would pressure profits in the near term.
** FIRST SOLAR INC, Tuesday close $38.88, up 1.5 pct premarket
China-based solar panel maker Trina Solar Ltd said it would supply 1.1 million solar panels to Sempra Energy’s 345-megawatt Copper Mountain Solar 3 project in Nevada, a contract that investors perceived as a loss to rival First Solar.
The parent of the largest U.S. provider of ambulance services, formerly known as Emergency Medical Services Corp, will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The initial public offering was priced at $23 per share.
** CHELSEA THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $2.79, up 6 pct premarket
The drugmaker said it has submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration some additional information on its hypotension drug Northera, addressing issues the regulator highlighted while denying marketing approval to the drug in March 2012.
** AMERICA MOVIL, Tuesday close $20.70
An independent foundation that has the power to block a takeover of Dutch telecoms group KPN has expressed its concern over the proposed 7.2 billion euros ($9.6 billion) offer by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil.
America Movil said on Friday it would make a public offer for the 70 percent of KPN that it does not already own.
** MANNKIND CORP, Tuesday close $6.86, up 21.6 pct premarket
The drugmaker said results of two late-stage studies showed that its experimental diabetes therapy was more effective than insulin and oral diabetes treatments. The therapy, called Afrezza, is designed to treat adult patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Tuesday close $10.93, up 2.5 pct premarket
BlackBerry is expected to draw preliminary interest from technology companies, buyout firms and Canadian pension funds, but its fate may ultimately rest in the hands of its largest shareholder, Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd .
** SONY CORP, Tuesday close $20.13
** COMCAST CORP, Tuesday close $44.85
** WALT DISNEY CO, Tuesday close $63.98
** LIONS GATE ENTERTAINMENT, Tuesday close $33.65
** TIME WARNER INC, Tuesday close $63.10
China has agreed to resume payments owed to the U.S. film industry after the two sides resolved a tax dispute, the Motion Picture Association of America, a trade group for Hollywood studios, said on Tuesday.
** AMERICAN CAPITAL, Tuesday close $13.12
American Capital Energy and Infrastructure, co-founded by AES Corp’s former CEO Paul Hanrahan, has hired Abhay Pande from Citigroup to head its Asia unit that will explore investment opportunities in energy and related infrastructure assets.
The firm is an affiliate of private equity firm and global asset manager American Capital.
** TEARLAB CORP, Tuesday close $13.48, down 8.6 pct premarket
The diagnostic products maker reported a bigger-than-expected loss in the second quarter as marketing expenses of its opthalmic diagnostic devices nearly tripled.
TearLab posted a loss of 41 cents per share in the quarter. Analysts were expecting a loss of 13 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** QKL STORES INC, Tuesday close $6.20, down 3 pct premarket
The Chinese regional supermarket chain reported a loss for the second quarter compared with a profit a year earlier as same-store sales fell 21 percent.
** TOWERS WATSON & CO, Tuesday close $87.07
The employee benefits consultancy firm reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results as some of its customers delayed the evaluation of their benefits packages from the previous quarter. Towers Watson said a bulk contract also drove revenue growth in the fourth quarter. The company’s benefits business, its largest, helps clients create and manage cost-effective benefits programs that help attract and retain talent.
** TEXTRON INC, Tuesday close $28.76
Textron Systems, a unit of Textron Inc, says strong demand from the Middle East and Asia for unmanned systems, ground vehicles and smart weapons will help expand foreign sales to about half of the division’s total revenues in coming years.
** ZYNGA INC, Tuesday close $2.91
The game publisher announced on Tuesday the departure of several senior executives, including Chief Operating Officer David Ko, as part of a management shake-up under new Chief Executive Don Mattrick.
** MERCK AND CO, Tuesday close $48.43
As questions about the health effects of Merck’s Zilmax feed additive intensified in the beef industry, the pharmaceuticals giant on Tuesday unveiled a program to retrain and certify beef producers in administering the weight-adding drug to cattle.
The news comes a week after Tyson Foods Inc said it would stop accepting beef from Zilmax-fed cattle after it observed animals arriving at its slaughter facilities with signs they were having difficulty walking or moving.
** HERBALIFE LTD, Tuesday close $64.62
A former employee of Herbalife has been subpoenaed by the New York State attorney general to produce documents regarding a 2011 safety concern about the company’s nutritional shakes, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $54.29
Lawyers for Javier Martin-Artajo, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co employee who is expected to face U.S. criminal charges for his role in a trading scandal that cost the bank $6.2 billion, said on Tuesday he expects to be cleared of wrongdoing and has cooperated with regulators.
** DOMINION RESOURCES INC, Tuesday close $60.25
Dominion Transmission Inc, a unit of Dominion Resources said on Tuesday that it would take the Hastings natural gas extraction plant in West Virginia out of service for planned maintenance from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $106.23
Japanese airline ANA Holdings said it had found an electrical wiring problem in the fire extinguishers of the engines of three of its Boeing Dreamliner jets. The problem was first discovered during pre-flight maintenance of a jet at Tokyo airport, an ANA spokeswoman said.
** WAL-MART STORES, Tuesday close $76.86
The company’s South African unit Massmart is in talks to take a majority stake in the Kenyan supermarket chain Naivas that would give the world’s largest retailer a foothold in east Africa’s biggest economy.
** BAIDU INC, Tuesday close $141.53
China’s Baidu said it has agreed to buy the app store of Hong Kong-listed Netdragon Websoft Inc for $1.85 billion in cash in what would be the biggest deal in China’s IT sector.
** MYRIAD GENETICS INC, Tuesday close $30.25
The molecular diagnostics company forecast full-year results ahead of market estimates after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher sales of its breast and ovarian cancer detection test.
** MECOX LANE LTD, Tuesday close $6.09, down 35 pct after market
The China-based online retailer reported a 44 percent fall in second-quarter revenue as slowdown in the Chinese economy squeezed demand for apparel and accessories.
** GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER CO, Tuesday close $19.21, up 1.5 pct after market
The tire manufacturer said on Tuesday that one of its largest investors Appaloosa Management LP raised stake in the company by 44 percent to 22 million shares. (r.reuters.com/xaf42v) (Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)