(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday, weighed by a disappointing outlook from Cisco Systems and weaker-than-expected data on consumer spending and the labor market. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.38 percent at 15,904.01, the S&P 500 was down 0.30 percent at 1,813.83 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.17 percent at 4,194.313.
** COMCAST CORP, $53.565, -3.03 pct
** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, $144.97, +7.14 pct
** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC $128.6, -6.52 pct
Comcast Corp said on Thursday that it would buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion in an all-stock deal that combines the two largest U.S. cable operators. The friendly takeover comes as a surprise after months of public pursuit of Time Warner by smaller rival Charter Communications.
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, $22.005, -3.70 pct
The network gear maker forecast on Wednesday a 6-8 percent revenue slide this quarter, underlining its struggle to rekindle demand in emerging markets like China, even as hardware spending sags globally.
** ORBITZ WORLDWIDE INC, $8.36, +20.98 pct
The online travel agency reported a quarterly profit on Thursday as it booked more hotel stays and vacation packages.
** SKECHERS USA INC, $35.13, +17.18 pct
The footwear maker reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results as its products across the men‘s, women’s and kid’s categories led more customers to its stores.
Brean Capital LLC raised its price target on the company’s stock to $50 from $39.
** APACHE CORP, $79.15, -2.62 pct
The oil and gas company on Thursday reported a 73 fall in quarterly profit as its output declined due to asset sales and a frigid winter in the United States.
** LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES INC, $6.35, -9.80 pct
The toy maker on Wednesday forecast current-quarter results far below the average analyst estimate, citing difficult retail conditions.
The company also reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, hurt by the tough holiday shopping season in 2013.
** AVON PRODUCTS INC, $15.23, +1.13 pct
The world’s largest direct seller of beauty products said on Thursday that it may cost as much as $132 million to settle a U.S. bribery investigation into its efforts to develop new markets overseas.
The company also reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, as business fell in emerging markets.
** ANGIE‘S LIST INC, $14.6, -14.62 pct
Brokerage Raymond James cut its rating on the company’s stock to “market perform” from “strong buy,” while at least five other brokerages cut their price targets on Angie’s stock, following its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.
The company, which operates a website that allows the public to review local businesses, forecast lower-than-expected revenue for the first quarter and said it expected marketing expenses to rise.
** TOWER SEMICONDUCTOR LTD, $7.395, +3.86 pct
The Israeli chip maker’s shares rose on Thursday on a report that India’s cabinet had approved the setting up of two semiconductor plants.
** GENERAC HOLDINGS INC, $55.91, +12.07 pct
The generator maker reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, as its acquisitions of Ottomotores, Tower Light and Baldor generators drove up the sales of its commercial and industrial products.
** WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC, $50.64, -8.69 pct
The largest U.S. organic and natural food retailer, on Wednesday, reported first-quarter results that missed the average analyst estimate and stunned investors by cutting its 2014 sales forecast for the second time in three months.
At least 9 brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock.
** ION GEOPHYSICAL CORP, $3.82, +21.27 pct
The seismic data processing company reported fourth-quarter revenue way ahead of the average analyst estimate, helped by data library sales that more than doubled year-on-year, rising particularly in areas offshore East and West Africa, East and West India, and the Gulf of Mexico.
** STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE INC, $74.24, -3.70 pct
The hotel chain reported fourth-quarter revenue below Wall Street’s expectations, partly due to lower occupancy and room rates in Asia, excluding China.
** SHIRE PLC, $158.45, +1.52 pct
The pharmaceutical group said its strong growth would continue this year after demand for its rare disease drugs helped it beat market expectations in the fourth quarter, sending its shares to a record high.
** B&G FOODS INC, $28.46, -7.27 pct
The private-label food manufacturer, on Wednesday, reported a fourth-quarter profit that missed the average analyst estimate, hurt by a lower gross margin due to a net price decrease, a sales mix shift to lower margin products, and a rise in distribution costs.
** BURGER KING WORLDWIDE INC, $26.04, +2.20 pct
The company, known for its Whopper hamburgers, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as new products, including the Big King sandwich and Satisfries french fries, drew customers in North America.
** NANOSPHERE INC, $2.49, +5.06 pct
The molecular diagnostics company reported fourth-quarter results and forecast 2014 revenue largely in line with the average analyst estimate.
At least two brokerages, including Roth Capital Partners, raised their price targets on the Nanosphere’s stock.
** AGNICO-EAGLE MINES LTD, $32.68, -0.61 pct
The Canadian miner slashed its quarterly dividend to 8 cents per share from 22 cents, saying the reduction reflects current market conditions as gold is trading about $100 per ounce lower than the company’s realized price in 2013.
** SUNPOWER CORP, $30.98, -2.02 pct
The U.S. solar company on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter profit that soared past Wall Street estimates on strong solar demand in the U.S. utility and residential markets, but its 2014 outlook disappointed as investors had hoped for more from the fast-growing company.
** CBS CORP $63.92, +3.35 pct
The media company on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected profit, announced an accelerated share buyback plan and raised its projection for revenue from pay television operators.
** NVIDIA CORP $17.1901, +2.14 pct
The graphics chipmaker, on Wednesday, posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, fueled by its PC gaming components, even as it grapples with an expansion beyond computers and into mobile devices. The company also said it has halted plans to build a flashy new campus.
** FOSTER WHEELER AG, $31.54, +1.48 pct
British engineering firm Amec said it had firmed up its $3 billion acquisition of rival Foster Wheeler, the first sizeable deal in the sector in years, which its chief executive said could trigger a wave of consolidation.
** ENCANA CORP, $18.8, +1.24 pct
Canada’s largest natural gas producer reported a smaller-than-expected fall in quarterly operating profit as the company ramped up production of liquids such as light oil and condensate.
** CENOVUS ENERGY INC, $26.06, -3.45 pct
The Canadian oil and gas producer’s fourth-quarter operating profit fell short of the average analyst estimate as production at its Foster Creek oil sands project in northern Alberta dropped 11 percent.
** RETROPHIN INC, $14.99, +40.36 pct
The drugmaker said it would buy privately held Manchester Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company that focuses on treatments for rare diseases, for $62.5 million.
Manchester markets two drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Chenodal, for use in patients suffering from gallstones, and Vecamyl, for managing hypertension and uncomplicated cases of malignant hypertension.
** ITRON INC, $32.52, -17.02 pct
The power meter maker’s fourth-quarter revenue missed the average analyst estimate due to the unfavorable impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates.
At least three brokerages cut their ratings on the Itron’s stock.
** PERCEPTRON INC, $13.315, -7.28 pct
The maker of non-contact measurement and inspection products to the automotive and manufacturing industries reported a second-quarter loss, as engineering, research and development costs rose while revenue declined.
** THE MEDICINES CO $28.62, -13.53 pct
An independent advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the drugmaker’s blood clot preventer should not be approved due to a lack of data to prove its efficacy.
** NEWPORT CORP, $19, +3.20 pct
The optical instruments and hardware supplier reported better-than-expected results on Wednesday, helped mostly by new design wins and increased activity levels with customers in the microelectronics end market.
Brokerage B Riley and Co raised its price target on the company’s stock To $25.50 from $22. (Compiled by Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)