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U.S. stocks inched up at the open on Wednesday, boosted by earnings from companies like Boeing, Pepsi and Microsoft, though conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip weighed on investor confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.17 percent at 17,083.83, the S&P 500 was up 0.07 percent at 1,984.91 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.28 pct at 4,468.46.
** BOEING CO, $126.577, -2.44 pct
The aircraft maker reported a 52 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped by a rise in commercial aircraft deliveries, and raised its full-year earnings forecast, but missed Wall Street’s revenue expectations.
** MICROSOFT CORP, $44.72, -0.25 pct
The world’s largest software company said it aims to get its loss-making Nokia phone unit to break even within two years, helping its stock rise in after-hours trade.
Microsoft reported a 7 percent dip in quarterly profit on Tuesday, chiefly due to incorporating Nokia’s struggling handset business.
** DOW CHEMICAL Co, $52.985, +1.31 pct
The company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as sales rose across its businesses and margins improved due to higher prices and a tight control on costs.
** PUMA BIOTECHNOLOGY INC, $227.67, +285.69 pct
The biopharmaceutical company’s experimental breast cancer drug, neratinib, met the main goal in a late-stage trial.
UBS called the result “an unexpected positive” and said it represented a much larger opportunity for the drug, while Cowen and Co expects peak neratinib sales of $6 billion in 2028. The company currently has no drug on the market. UBS adjusted its price target on the stock to $325 from $125. The analysts’ median price target on the stock was $125 as of Tuesday. Four of the five analysts covering the company have “buy” or higher ratings on the stock, while one rates it a “hold”.
** INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC, $442.77, +12.91 pct
Intuitive said on Tuesday that it sold more of its high-priced robot surgical systems in the second quarter than in its dismal first quarter, even as the once fast-growing company posted its fifth straight quarterly earnings decline.
Jefferies & Co raised its price target on the company’s stock to $500 from $465. Out of 22 analysts covering the stock, 12 have a “buy” or higher rating, 8 have “hold” and 2 have a “sell” or lower rating.
** DELTA AIR LINES, $38.82, +3.03 pct
The airline reported a higher second-quarter profit on Wednesday as it flew fuller planes and enjoyed higher passenger revenue in the United States and Europe.
The airline will extend its suspension of flights to Israel on Wednesday amid hostilities between Israel and the militant group Hamas, its chief executive said on CNBC.
** PEPSICO INC, $92.72, +3.98 pct
The company reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast, helped by strong sales of snacks such as Lays and Doritos chips in North America.
** FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC, $38.61, -0.28 pct
The U.S.-based copper, gold and oil producer reported second-quarter earnings on Wednesday that were little changed from a year earlier, and said it was “encouraged” by tax-related discussions with Indonesia.
** BIOGEN IDEC INC, $339.75, +11.88 pct
Biogen Idec reported sharply higher-than-expected quarterly revenue on surging sales of its new Tecfidera treatment for multiple sclerosis, and the company raised its full-year profit forecast.
** APPLE INC, $96.1701, +1.53 pct
The iPhone-maker posted a smaller-than-expected 6 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday, but revenue surged 28 percent in greater China despite stiff competition in its third-largest market.
The company’s iPad is losing steam just four years after its release, but an alliance with International Business Machines Corp could rejuvenate a flagging product by entering into the largely untapped corporate market.
** NATUS MEDICAL INC, $27.75, +4.84 pct
The medical device maker’s second-quarter profit surged 93 percent, beating analysts’ estimates for the eight straight quarter.
Sales rose in the company’s neurology and newborn care businesses. The company also raised its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to $1.20-$1.23 per share from $1.18 to $1.21. The company also raised revenue forecast to $347.5 million-$352.5 million from $345.0 million-$350.0 million.
** EMC CORP, $28.83, +1.09 pct
The world’s largest data storage equipment maker, under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management to boost shareholder returns, accelerated its share buyback plan and raised its current-year profit forecast.
** VMWARE INC, $97.82, +1.86 pct
The virtualization software maker’s second-quarter revenue rose a better-than-expected 17 percent as more customers signed up.
Brokerage CLSA raised its rating on the stock to “buy” from “outperform”, while two brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock. Twenty eight of 43 brokerages rated the stock “buy” or higher, while 13 had a “hold” rating and two rated the stock “sell” or lower.
** IROBOT CORP, $35.079, -9.57 pct
The robot maker forecast earnings of 32 cents to 35 cents on revenue of $133 million to $136 million for third quarter ending Sept. 27 - below the analysts’ average expectation of a profit of 36 cents per share on revenue of $149.6 million.
The company also cut its full-year revenue forecast to $555 million-$565 million from $560 million-$570 million.
** WHIRLPOOL CORP, $137.11, -4.25 pct
The world’s largest maker of home appliances reported a lower quarterly profit as sales fell in every region except North America. The company also cut its full-year earnings outlook, citing expenses from two pending acquisitions.
** XILINX INC, $39.81, -17.32 pct
The chipmaker forecast disappointing revenue for the second quarter after reporting lower-than-anticipated first-quarter sales due to weak sales to telecom, aerospace and defense customers.
** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, $22.09, -11.00 pct
The network gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue and profit below analysts’ expectations, citing delays in closing the sale of its routing devices to some customers in North America.
BofA Merrill Lynch cut its rating on stock to “neutral” from “buy”, according to theflyonthewall.com. At least 11 brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock. BMO was the most bearish with a $24 target.
The median price target on the stock has fallen to $28 from $30 in the past 30 days, according to Thomson Reuters data. Fifteen of 40 brokerages rate the stock “buy” or higher, while 23 have a “hold” rating and two rate the stock “sell”.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, $50.36, -5.37 pct
The drugmaker’s second-quarter sales fell more than expected as its lung drugs struggled in the United States.
GSK expects its 2014 earnings per share to be “broadly similar to 2013.”
** GENERAL DYNAMICS CORP, $120.56, +1.70 pct
The maker of Gulfstream jets, tanks and U.S. Navy ships, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as lower operating costs boosted margins. The company said operating margins rose to 12.7 percent in the second quarter ended June 29, from 12.3 percent a year earlier.
** HAWAIIAN HOLDINGS INC, $14.08, +8.56 pct
The airline operator reported late on Tuesday second-quarter earnings of 35 cents per share, excluding items, higher than the 33 cents per share analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company said it would add six Airbus A330s to its fleet beginning 2019 at list price of $2.9 billion.
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, $3.55, +2.90 pct
The Chinese solar panel maker signed an agreement to supply 32 megawatts of solar modules to large-scale project in Okayama, Japan.
The project, which will be financed by GE Energy Financial Services, expects to generate 37 gigawatt/hour of solar power.
** THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC, $124.82, +1.43 pct
The world’s largest maker of scientific instruments reported a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit in its first full quarterly results to include its acquisition of genetic testing company Life Technologies Corp.
** XOOM CORP, $22.28, -4.54 pct
The money transfer company said it could post an adjusted loss in the third quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company expects net results to range between a loss of 1 cent per share and a profit of 2 cents per share on revenue of $39 million to $41 million.
** EAGLE PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $13.42, +2.68 pct
The drug developer said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its drug to treat an inherited life-threatening condition called malignant hyperthermia (MH).
** PRAXAIR INC, $129.645, -1.55 pct
The industrial gas supplier reported a 5 percent rise in quarterly profit, buoyed by increased prices and higher sales to the energy, chemicals and manufacturing industries.
** TALISMAN ENERGY INC, $10.62, +7.82 pct
Spanish oil company Repsol SA is considering a bid for Canada-based Talisman Energy, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Repsol identified Talisman as a top target and is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Bloomberg report said.
** AIR PRODUCTS AND CHEMICALS INC, $132, +1.28 pct
The industrial gas producer reported a 9 percent rise in quarterly profit, driven by higher sales by its merchant gases, and electronics and performance materials divisions.
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC, $4.3799, +5.54 pct
The fuel cell product maker got an order from New Flyer Industries for supply to a North American bus manufacturer, with deliveries planned for later this year.
** BROADCOM CORP, $39.935, +3.06 pct
The chipmaker said on Tuesday that it was winding down its money-losing cellular baseband chip business and cutting one-fifth of its total workforce, instead of selling the unit.
** LG DISPLAY CO LTD, $16.08, -1.53 pct
LG Display said its quarterly profit fell more than 50 percent for the second time in three quarters, pulled down by a stronger South Korean won and subdued demand for personal computers (PC) and tablet devices. (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)