(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)
** BOEING CO, Wednesday close $129.78
U.S. Air Force and Boeing officials on Wednesday expressed confidence that a $52 billion air refueling program would deliver its first 18 planes by August 2017 as scheduled, despite a Pentagon report warning that testing of the new aircraft could be delayed by at least six to 12 months.
** VISA INC, Wednesday close $217.12, +3.86 pct premarket
The world’s largest credit and debit card company, reported a 9 percent rise in quarterly profit as more people used its cards.
** ELI LILLY AND CO, Wednesday close $53.91
The company reported quarterly revenue well above Wall Street expectations.
** GOOGLE INC, Wednesday close $1,106.92, +2.72 pct premarket
Lenovo Group said on Wednesday it agreed to buy Google’s Motorola handset division for $2.91 billion, in what is China’s largest-ever tech deal as Lenovo buys its way into a heavily competitive U.S. handset market dominated by Apple Inc . It is Lenovo’s second major deal on U.S. soil in a week as the Chinese electronics company angles to get a foothold in major global computing markets. Lenovo last week said it would buy IBM’s low-end server business for $2.3 billion.
** FLEXTRONICS INTERNATIONAL LTD, Wednesday close $7.70, +9.87 pct premarket
The contract electronics maker forecast current-quarter revenue largely above Wall Street estimates and said it planned to reduce its workforce and undertake other cost cuts. China’s Lenovo Group Ltd, which is also a Flextronics customer, said on Wednesday it would acquire Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility smartphone business.
Citigroup raised its price target on the stock.
** WHIRLPOOL CORP, Wednesday close $141.63
The company’s quarterly profit jumped 48 percent due to strong sales gains in North and South America, and Whirlpool indicated its 2014 earnings would be broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts.
** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, Wednesday close $132.10
The second-largest U.S. cable operator which recently rejected a takeover offer from Charter Communications Inc , posted better-than-expected quarterly results as its high-speed data subscribers opted for expensive plans.
** THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC, Wednesday close $111.75, +3.79 pct premarket
The world’s largest laboratory equipment maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as sales rose across its businesses.
** VIACOM INC, Wednesday close $80.97
The company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue due to a 30 percent drop in sales from its film entertainment division, which includes the movie studio Paramount Pictures.
** PULTEGROUP INC, Wednesday close $19.43, +4.89 pct premarket
The No. 2 U.S. homebuilder, reported a 9 percent rise in revenue from home sales as low supply allowed the company to sell houses at higher prices.
** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $53.53, +16.40 pct premarket
The world’s largest social networking company delivered its strongest revenue growth in two years, beating Wall Street targets as mobile ad sales continued to accelerate.
At least 14 brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** TARGET CORP, Wednesday close $56.89
The company said on Wednesday that the theft of a vendor’s credentials helped cyber criminals pull off a massive theft of customer data during the holiday shopping season in late 2013.
** AVEO ONCOLOGY, Wednesday close $1.77
The company said it would end a mid-stage trial testing its lead drug as a treatment for breast cancer, as the company did not have enough patients enrolled in the study. Aveo, which was developing the drug with Japan’s Astellas Pharma Inc, said enrollment in the study had been slower than expected and did not improve despite efforts to recruit more patients.
** ORACLE CORP, Wednesday close $36.97
CEO Larry Ellison played down concerns on Wednesday about possible government snooping in his business customers’ private data.
** QUALCOMM INC, Wednesday close $71.12
The leading mobile chipmaker reported higher fiscal first-quarter revenue that slightly missed estimates as smartphone growth shifted to China, but it bumped up its full-year earnings outlook and said 2014 was playing out as expected. Qualcomm expects demand to grow later this year as leading mobile carrier China Mobile rolls out cellphone services using the advanced LTE technology Qualcomm dominates.
At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock to $86.
** STARBUCKS CORP, Wednesday close $71.56, -0.22 pct premarket
Chief Executive Howard Schultz on Wednesday said he was promoting CFO Troy Alstead to the new position of chief operating officer, allowing Schultz to focus on keeping the coffee shop chain ahead of the curve in retail technology including mobile payments.
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, Wednesday close $36.36
Struggling department store operator Sears Canada Inc said it would cut 624 jobs as it reorganizes its business. Sears Canada, controlled by Sears Holdings, had said earlier in January it would cut 7 percent of its workforce.
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Wednesday close $88.9, +1.74 pct premarket
The company has selected the Yale School of Medicine to review requests from investigators and physicians looking for access to clinical trial data involving the diversified healthcare company’s pharmaceuticals.
** DIAGEO, Wednesday close $127.08, -5.89 pct premarket
The world’s biggest distilled drinks company, reported a slowdown in sales growth in the last six months after demand in China and some other important emerging markets dropped sharply.
** NEUSTAR INC, Wednesday close $43.75, -24.57 pct premarket
The company which routes phone calls and manages databases used by North American telecom carriers, forecast a full-year adjusted profit below estimates.
** KALOBIOS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $4.65, -30.97 pct premarket
The company said it would stop developing asthma drug KB003 after it failed to bring about a clinically meaningful improvement in the pulmonary function of patients with severe asthma when tested against a placebo in 160 patients in a mid-stage study.
Needham & Co downgraded the stock while at least one brokerage cut its price target.
** SYMANTEC CORP, Wednesday close $24.15
The maker of Norton anti-virus software reported a 5 percent fall in quarterly revenue as a decline in sales of personal computers hurt demand for its security software.
** CITRIX SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $57.6, -7.12 pct premarket
The cloud-computing software maker forecast current-quarter and 2014 earnings far below analysts’ estimates, citing “uneven” closure of some contracts, and said its long-time CEO would retire next year.
At least five brokerages downgraded the stock while a few others cut their price targets.
** SERVICENOW INC, Wednesday close $57.60
The software company focused on IT infrastructure reported a 67 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue as it added more customers.
** W.R. GRACE & CO, Wednesday close $93.71
The chemical maker received approval to line up about $1.55 billion in bankruptcy exit financing, a court filing showed on Tuesday. Grace will use the money to pay all outstanding claims, including $1.1 billion to its lenders, removing the last obstacle to its emergence out of bankruptcy protection.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Wednesday close $95.11, +0.94 pct premarket
the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, is expected to report a drop in fourth-quarter profit amid slipping crude oil prices and sliding production. With many companies having abandoned the integrated model, Exxon has kept its disparate units under one roof and that has at times frustrated investors who want to see higher returns.