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U.S. stock index e-mini futures were little changed on Wednesday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.04 percent at 18,008, S&P 500 futures were down 0.02 percent at 2,095.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.06 percent at 4,384.5.
** FOSSIL GROUP INC, Tuesday close $99.32, -13.41 pct premarket
The fashion accessories retailer reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit due to a decline in watch and leather products sales in North America. The company also said net sales would decrease up to 7.5 percent in the first quarter and that 2015 profit would be significantly hurt by a strong dollar and restructuring charges.
At least five brokerages cut their price target on the stock, with Evercore ISI’s $50 cut to $100 being the biggest.
** SASOL, Tuesday close $41.25, -8.75 pct premarket
The South African petrochemicals group signalled it will cut its dividend to save cash in the face of falling oil prices.
** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, Tuesday close $49.87, -3.75 pct premarket
The web-hosting company forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectation, hurt by a strong dollar, after reporting fourth-quarter revenue that was slightly below Wall Street’s expectations.
But Pacific Crest raised its rating on the stock to “outperform” saying, “it appears that execution issues that beset the company are mostly behind it, and management has painted an achievable and sufficiently wide 2015 outlook range for revenue growth.”
Jana Partners LLC raised its sole share stake in the company by 14.2 percent to 8.0 million shares.
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, Tuesday close $14.84, +10.51 pct premarket
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Tuesday close $100.44
The medical device maker Boston Scientific on Tuesday said it has agreed to pay $600 million to Johnson & Johnson to settle a long-running lawsuit over Boston Scientific’s 2005 acquisition of rival Guidant.
** DENBURY RESOURCES INC, Tuesday close $9.07, -2.54 pct premarket
** SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC, Tuesday close $2.35
** RANGE RESOURCES CORP, Tuesday close $52.44, +0.02 pct premarket
** HALCON RESOURCES CORP, Tuesday close $2.23
** HALLIBURTON CO, Tuesday close $44.87, +1.40 pct
** CIMAREX ENERGY CO, Tuesday close $112.54
Hedge funds exited tumbling oil company shares during the fourth quarter, regulatory filings show.
Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors liquidated its entire 3.7 million share investment in Denbury. But at SandRidge, Cooperman cut only 29 percent of his position.
Meanwhile Point72 Asset Management, which invests Steven A. Cohen’s roughly $10 billion personal fortune, slashed its investment in Range Resources by 65 percent.
Rainier Investment Management liquidated its 2.5 million share-stake in Halcon and also sold its interest in Halliburton.
Regiment Capital made only a small adjustment by selling 50,085 shares of Halcon, cutting its stake by 2 percent.
Diamond Hill Capital Management increased its investment in Cimarex by 16 percent, but Senator Investment Group liquidated its investment, selling 1.9 million shares.
** ENI, Tuesday close $35.92, +2.90 pct premarket
The Italian oil company reassured investors with a small dividend increase on Wednesday and pledged to cut capital spending after lower oil prices depressed fourth quarter profit.
** POTBELLY CORP, Tuesday close $14.2, +14.08 pct premarket
The sandwich chain operator reported fourth-quarter adjusted profit that beat analysts average estimate, helped by 13 percent rise in revenue, and said it expects 2015 adjusted net income to rise at least 20 percent.
Piper Jaffray raised its price target on the stock to $16 from $14.
** YANDEX, Tuesday close $16.65, +4.50 pct premarket
The operator pf Russia’s biggest Internet search engine said it expected first-quarter revenues to grow by about 15 percent, year-on-year, after a 21 percent growth rate in the previous quarter.
** BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC, Tuesday close $223,300
** DEERE & CO, Tuesday close $89.92
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Tuesday close $93.05, -1.69 pct premarket
** TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC, Tuesday close $35.06
** RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $42.12
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a 5 percent stake in agricultural equipment maker Deere and said it shed a $3.74 billion investment in oil company Exxon Mobil as oil prices plunged. Berkshire also reported a new stake of 4.7 million shares in Twenty-First Century Fox and reported a new 8.4 million-share stake in Restaurant Brands, the parent of the Burger King and Tim Hortons restaurant chains.
** HERBALIFE LTD, Tuesday close $34.59
Three of the top 20 investors in Herbalife liquidated their positions during the fourth quarter when the nutrition and weight loss company missed Wall Street earnings estimates, but Soros Fund Management increased its holdings by roughly 80 percent, regulatory filings show.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $127.83, +0.13 pct premarket
Top U.S. hedge fund management firms, including David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management, reduced their stakes in Apple during the fourth quarter, ahead of the iPhone maker’s strong rally in 2015, according to regulatory filings.
** ACTAVIS PLC, Tuesday close $286.9, +2.83 pct premarket
The drugmaker posted a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit, helped by higher sales of its branded drugs in North America.
** HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $28.65, -4.33 pct premarket
The owner of Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotel brands reported a 7 percent rise in quarterly revenue, as increased business travel drove up occupancy at most of its properties.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $60.1
The bank bears the highest potential hazard to the financial system if it were to fail, a staff study released by a U.S. government research agency showed, providing a first-of-its-kind numerical risk ranking of U.S. banks.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, Tuesday close $21.26, -0.66 pct premarket
The company filed suit Tuesday alleging its founder and former chief executive, Aubrey K. McClendon, stole confidential company data during his last months on the job in order to launch his new oil and gas empire.
** CATERPILLAR INC, Tuesday close $85.38
The movement of cash among the heavy machinery maker’s U.S. and foreign subsidiaries is being investigated by U.S. authorities, Caterpillar said .
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Tuesday close $16.63, +0.06 pct premarket
The bank cut Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan’s pay by 7 percent in 2014, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, as its full-year profit fell 58 percent on higher legal settlements.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Tuesday close $86.85, +0.23 pct premarket
Several of the biggest hedge fund managers slashed or dissolved their stake in China’s Alibaba at the end of last year, taking a prescient bet ahead of the company’s surprise revenue miss last quarter that sent shares plunging in late January.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Tuesday close $190.02
The Bank of Portugal on Tuesday stuck to a decision to keep a loan linked to Goldman Sachs in a “bad bank” carved out after the rescue of Banco Espirito Santo (BES), putting the central bank and Goldman Sachs on course for a legal battle.
** BNY MELLON CORP, Tuesday close $39.46
The world’s No. 1 custody bank said it included an additional after-tax legal expense of $598 million to its reported fourth-quarter results, anticipating resolution of foreign exchange-related actions and other matters.
** CVS HEALTH, Tuesday close $103.55
The second-largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager warned on Tuesday that the costs of a potent new class of cholesterol treatments could eclipse those of other expensive medicines and overwhelm the U.S. healthcare system “if rigid cost control mechanisms are not put in place.”
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Tuesday close $37.24
A judge said on Tuesday that if General Motors is found to have violated car owners’ constitutional rights by hiding ignition-switch defects during its bankruptcy, he would consider narrowing the legal protections afforded the company under its 2009 bankruptcy sale.
** CHECK POINT SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES, Tuesday close $13.47
The Internet and network security provider plans to buy Israeli cyber-security start-up Hyperwise Security for $80 million, Israeli newspaper Calcalist reported .
** BLACKBERRY, Tuesday close $10.36
BlackBerry ratcheted up its fight with Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Products LLC, filing a new complaint that alleges that the company’s new keyboard case for the iPhone also infringes on its patents.
** SOLARCITY CORP, Tuesday close $58.12, -0.21 pct premarket
The top U.S. solar installer, backed by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, is scheduled to announce results for the fourth quarter after the bell on Wednesday. The company is growing rapidly due to strong state and federal support for solar power. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)