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U.S. stocks were poised for a flat open on Wednesday after the S&P 500 climbed to its highest level of the year and ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers to discuss plans for Greece’s debt. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures were down 0.21 percent at 17,756, S&P 500 futures were down 0.15 percent at 2,059.25 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.02 percent at 4,277.
** PEPSICO INC, Tuesday close $97.99, +2.08 pct premarket
The beverage maker reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, driven by a 3 percent rise in revenue at its North American snack business.
** GENWORTH FINANCIAL INC, Tuesday close $7.81, +8.83 pct premarket
The U.S. life and mortgage insurer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as it took an after-tax charge of $478 million related to long-term care (LTC) policies it bought before 1996.
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC, Tuesday close $1.69, +43.20 pct premarket
The company signed an $80 million deal with Volkswagen Group to transfer fuel cell intellectual property. It also extended the long-term engineering services agreement signed in 2013 through March 2019.
** RITE AID CORP, Tuesday close $7.58, +7.78 pct premarket
The drugstore operator said it would buy pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRx for about $2 billion, to enter the business of administering drug benefits for employers.
** CARLYLE GROUP LP, Tuesday close $27.05, +6.10 pct premarket
The private equity firm’s fourth-quarter economic net income was 56 cents per adjusted unit, above the analyst estimate of 44 cents.
Results beat estimates due to strong cash generation from asset sales.
** TIME WARNER INC, Tuesday close $80.81, +0.30 pct premarket
The company reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher subscription fees for channels offered by Turner Broadcasting and HBO.
** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, Tuesday close $62.21, +4.29 pct premarket
The internet content delivery service provider reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue late on Tuesday as demand jumped for security products and its mainstay content delivery businesses.
** MOSAIC CO, Tuesday close $50.78, +1.32 pct premarket
The U.S. fertilizer company’s fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled, helped by strong demand for phosphates and potash.
** INTERXION HOLDING NV, Tuesday close $28, +11.82 pct premarket
British data center provider Telecity Group Plc has agreed a non-binding $2.2 billion all-share deal to buy New York-listed Interxion, looking to tap growing demand for “cloud” technology.
** ZOETIS INC, Tuesday close $43.91, +2.21 pct premarket
The animal health company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, which Jefferies & Co says was due to a lower-than-expected tax rate.
The company cut its 2015 revenue forecast, which now largely matches Wall Street estimates, to reflect the forex impact and completion of an acquisition.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, Tuesday close $0.47, +12.77 pct premarket
The Canadian biotech company said the U.S. FDA granted its lead drug, reolysin, orphan drug status for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
** BELLATRIX EXPLORATION LTD, Tuesday close $2.22, +15.32 pct premarket
Prominent hedge fund manager Seth Klarman bought 21.8 million shares of the company, representing an 11.4 percent stake, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday. (1.usa.gov/1ISluIa)
** CHICO’S FAS INC, Tuesday close $17.25, +6.96 pct premarket
Private equity firm Sycamore Partners is in talks to buy the women’s apparel retailer and is trying to secure debt financing of up to $3 billion, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** PIER 1 IMPORTS INC, Tuesday close $16.97, -32.00 pct premarket
The furniture retailer forecast 2015 profit below analysts’ expectations, citing weak sales in January and February and higher supply chain costs.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $11.475, -5.71 pct premarket
The biotech company said it would offer about 10 million shares of common stock, but did not disclose the expected price.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, Tuesday close $216.29, -1.87 pct premarket
Chief Executive Elon Musk is prepared to fire overseas executives, people with knowledge of the matter said, after weak Chinese sales of the company’s luxury electric cars cast doubt on his ambitious global expansion plans.
** ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, Tuesday close $66.08
The United Steelworkers union said lead oil company negotiator Royal Dutch Shell failed to bring experts and information as promised when talks ended last week. A Shell spokeswoman said on Tuesday night that the firm was working “in a good faith effort to collect the requested data”.
** COCA-COLA CO, Tuesday close $42.4, -0.05 pct premarket
The world’s largest beverage maker raised the overall prices it charges its retail customers in North America 4 percent in the latest quarter, the company said on Tuesday, a signal to industry watchers that soft-drink rival PepsiCo probably raised prices too.
** HALLIBURTON CO, Tuesday close $42.6, -1.15 pct premarket
** BAKER HUGHES INC, Tuesday close $62.06, -1.14 pct premarket
U.S. antitrust regulators have asked the oilfield services companies for more information related to their proposed $35 billion merger, the companies said on Tuesday.
** WESTERN UNION CO, Tuesday close $18.4, +2.72 pct premarket
The world’s largest money transfer company said it would cut prices for money transfers within the United States to help fend off fierce competition and would buy back up to $1.2 billion of shares.
** SANGAMO BIOSCIENCES INC, Tuesday close $12.67, +4.18 pct premarket
The biotechnology company’s fourth-quarter revenue was $15 million, compared with the average analyst estimate of $14.5 million, helped by payments from deals with companies such as Shire, Biogen Idec, Dow AgroSciences, and Sigma Aldrich.
** GILEAD SCIENCES INC, Tuesday close $98.32
The drugmaker said on Tuesday that it expects the number of hepatitis C patients treated in Europe with its Sovaldi drug to increase dramatically this year, and that approvals for the newer combination pill, Harvoni, could come quickly.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $122.02, +0.46 pct premarket
** FIRST SOLAR INC, Tuesday close $48.54, +1.17 pct premarket
The iPhone maker will buy about $850 million of power from a new California solar farm to cut its energy bill, it said on Tuesday as its stock market value closed above $700 billion for the first time.
The First Solar plant, with the capacity to power the equivalent of 60,000 homes, will be used to supply electricity for Apple’s new campus in Silicon Valley, and its other offices and 52 stores in the state, Chief Executive Tim Cook said at a Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco.
** DELTA AIR LINES INC, Tuesday close $45.32
** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $67.63
** AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC, Tuesday close $48.05
U.S. airlines have lost at least five percentage points of their share of flight bookings from the United States to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia since 2008, due to fierce competition from Gulf carriers, according to data seen by Reuters.
** SPRINT CORP, Tuesday close $4.92
With its surprise endorsement of a stricter U.S. regulatory regime for Internet service providers, Sprint wanted to show that tougher rules would not stop rival telecom players from investing, Chief Technology Officer Stephen Bye said in an interview.
** ANTHEM INC, Tuesday close $138.74
Ten U.S. states have sent a letter to the No. 2 U.S. health insurer, complaining that the company has been too slow in notifying consumers that they were victims of a massive data breach disclosed last week.
** MOLINA HEALTHCARE INC, Tuesday close $56.26
The company reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, helped by an increase in premiums.
** XOOM CORP, Tuesday close $15.14
The online money-transfer company said it expected first-quarter revenue of $42 million-$44 million, below the average analyst estimate of $44.4 million.
** RUCKUS WIRELESS INC, Tuesday close $10.51, -2.95 pct premarket
The Wifi products maker forecast first-quarter profit and revenue below the average analyst estimate. The company’s fourth-quarter revenue also lagged estimates, hurt by delays in education spending in North American.
** TARO PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES, Tuesday close $163.49
Taro’s margins increased by 70 basis points to a record of 81.4 percent, beating estimates.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $12.58
An experimental Ebola drug from Sarepta protected six of eight lab monkeys injected with the virus, scientists from the company and the U.S. Army reported on Tuesday.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $164.13
Canada-based Valeant will scoop up bankrupt cancer vaccine maker Dendreon Corp, after no additional qualified bids came forward by Tuesday’s deadline, Valeant said.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Tuesday close $184.56
New York’s financial regulator has sent subpoenas to Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale, expanding its probe into the possible rigging of foreign exchange rates through computer programs, people familiar with the matter said.
** INTUIT INC, Tuesday close $89.14
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining how fraudulent tax returns were filed in 19 states through tax-preparation software TurboTax, developed by Intuit, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. (Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)