(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) Wall Street was set to open lower on Wednesday amid caution ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting, even as investors brushed off weak housing data. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.23 percent at 16,070, S&P 500 futures were down 0.28 percent at 1,832.3 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.12 percent at 3,670.75.
** CHELSEA THERAPEUTICS INTERNATIONAL LTD, Tuesday close $4.95, +35.76 pct premarket
The company’s drug Northera, which treats a rare form of low blood pressure associated with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, has won U.S. approval, the Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday.
** SIGNET JEWELERS LTD, Tuesday close $79.27, +10.62 pct premarket
** ZALE CORP, Tuesday close $14.91, +40.24 pct premarket
Kay Jewelers parent Signet Jewelers agreed to buy smaller rival Zale Corp for about $690 million, cementing its position as the largest North American jewelry chain.
The offer of $21 per share represents a premium of about 41 percent to Zale’s close on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The stock traded as low as $3.76 in April.
** ELI LILLY AND CO, Tuesday close $55.25, +4.52 pct premarket
The company said its experimental lung cancer drug significantly improved patient survival rates compared to a placebo in a late-stage trial. The trial also showed that the drug, ramucirumab, improved survival rates without the cancer worsening.
** CARLYLE GROUP LP, Tuesday close $35.46, +6.57 pct premarket
The private equity firm reported a higher-than-expected 216 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings as the value of its funds jumped and the profits generated from the sales of assets soared.
** CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES LTD, Tuesday close $35.77, +1.20 pct premarket
** DEVON ENERGY CORP’S, Tuesday close $62.91
Canadian Natural Resources, Canada’s largest independent oil producer, said it would buy some of Devon Energy’s liquids-rich natural gas assets in Canada for C$3.13 billion ($2.86 billion).
Devon posted a fourth-quarter profit, compared to a loss a year earlier, as the company produced more oil, particularly from its wells in Texas’ Permian Basin.
** COLGATE-PALMOLIVE CO, Tuesday close $62.39
The world’s largest toothpaste maker said it expected a one-time loss of $180 million to $200 million in the current quarter after Venezuela devalued its foreign exchange rate.
** HECLA MINING CO, Tuesday close $3.61, +3.88 pct premarket
The precious metals miner reported a 41 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales, helped by higher silver and gold production due to addition of a gold mine in Quebec and return to full production of its Lucky Friday mine in northern Idaho.
** HERBALIFE LTD, Tuesday close $68.93, +1.77 pct premarket
The nutrition products company raised its forecast for the first quarter of 2014 on strong sales growth in China. The company’s China sales rose more than 120 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, the fastest of any region worldwide, prompting the firm to estimate adjusted profit of $1.25 to $1.29 per share in the first quarter this year. Herbalife, accused by billionaire investor William Ackman of being a pyramid scheme, had earlier forecast $1.24 to $1.28 per share.
** LA-Z-BOY INC, Tuesday close $27.11, -9 pct after market
The furniture maker reported a quarterly profit that missed market expectations as unseasonably cold weather in the United States, its biggest market, hurt sales.
** COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR CO, Tuesday close $78.67, +7 pct after market
The outdoor sportswear maker forecast a 15-17 percent jump in full-year sales after reporting quarterly results that blew past analysts’ estimates. The company also raised its quarterly dividend to 28 cents per share from 25 cents.
At least three brokerages raised their price targets on the stock. Janney Capital Markets raised its fair value on the stock to $70 from $65, while Canaccord Genuity increased its price target to $75 from $71. D.A. Davidson raised its price target to $87 from $83.
** MATTRESS FIRM HOLDING CORP, Tuesday close $41.26, -9.91 pct premarket
The specialty bedding retailer estimated fiscal 2013 earnings below analysts’ expectations on Tuesday, citing the weak U.S. consumer spending environment and the cold weather conditions in some of its primary markets.
The company said it expected adjusted earnings of $1.64-$1.66 per share for the year ended Jan. 28, down from $1.75-$1.83 it expected earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.77 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** GARMIN LTD, Tuesday close $47.17, +12.36 pct premarket
The navigation device maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong demand for aviation and fitness products. The company, which also forecast 2014 revenue above the average analyst estimate, has been looking to offset falling sales of its GPS devices that once dominated personal navigation.
** ULTRA CLEAN HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $11.94, +17.84 pct premarket
The company reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter and forecast first-quarter earnings above analysts’ estimates, citing higher orders from a new customer and a recovery in the medical business.
Ultra Clean makes gas, liquid, and catalytic steam generation delivery systems used primarily in the production of semiconductors.
The company said it expects first-quarter 2014 earnings per share of 25-28 cents on revenue of between $135 million and $140 million. Analysts on average were expecting earnings per share of 21 cents on revenue of $123 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** GOGO INC, Tuesday close $20, +3.20 pct premarket
Evercore Partners upgraded the digital entertainment and in-flight communication equipment maker’s stock to “overweight”, citing expectations of positive fourth-quarter results on growth at its business aviation unit and market share gains.
The brokerage, however, cut its price target to $26 from $27.
** POTBELLY CORP, Tuesday close $22.399, -4.91 pct premarket
The sandwich chain on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ average estimate, hurt by a 0.7 percent decline in company-operated comparable store sales.
The company’s total revenue rose 1.7 percent to $74.8 million in the quarter ended Dec. 29. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $76.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** OCEAN RIG UDW INC, Tuesday close $16.88, +6.64 pct premarket
** DRYSHIPS INC, Tuesday close $16.88
Offshore drilling contractor Ocean Rig, majority owned by dry bulk shipper DryShips, reported a better-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter, helped by higher revenue from contracts and lower costs. (r.reuters.com/xuf96v)
DryShips’s fleet also posted higher revenues in the quarter and the company said it expects a recovery in the industry in 2014 and beyond after years of oversupply.
** PARAMETRIC SOUND CORP, Tuesday close $15.3, +2.09 pct premarket
The audio equipment maker said it received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to market its HyperSound Audio System as a hearing improvement device.
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, Tuesday close $31.63
The Chinese solar panel maker said it would supply 49.41 kilowatts of panels to the Swiss embassy in Tokyo. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Tuesday close $9.46
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $545.99, -0.19 pct premarket
The Canadian smartphone maker’s patent claims related to an attachable keyboard accessory for Apple’s iPhones don’t comply with legal requirements for patentability, Typo Products LLC said in a court filing late on Tuesday.
BlackBerry sued Typo last month, saying its physical keyboard that can be attached to some of Apple’s iPhone models infringes patents.
** TEREX CORP, Tuesday close $43.94, -6.24 pct premarket
The construction equipment maker forecast 2014 results largely below analysts’ estimates.
** AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, Tuesday close $50.17, -0.26 pct premarket
American International Group is holding “hostage” an $8.5 billion deal to compensate investors who bought Bank of America Corp mortgage securities, supporters of the deal said in court filings ahead of a hearing on Wednesday.
** ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Tuesday close $56.74, +10.40 pct premarket
The printing device maker reported better-than-expected sales for the fourth quarter and forecast current-quarter sales way ahead of expectations.
The company said it recorded sales growth in all product and service categories in the fourth quarter and added that it sees an improved business pipeline.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Tuesday close $36.31, -0.85 pct premarket
General Motors is working towards a largely aluminum-bodied pickup truck by late 2018, under pressure from federal fuel efficiency standards, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
GM recently locked-in supply contracts with Alcoa Inc and Novelis Inc and both suppliers are now working to increase their aluminum sheet production to supply the next-generation GM pickup, according to the Journal.
** CF INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $226.19, +3.89 pct premarket
The U.S. fertilizer producer posted a lower fourth-quarter profit, but the fall from record-high earnings a year earlier was not as steep as analysts had expected.
** MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $34.19
The maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies sought on Tuesday to convince investors that it can increase profit margins in the coming years despite volatile emerging markets, days after a second activist investor disclosed a stake in the company. Mondelez reported a string of disappointing quarterly results since it was split from Kraft Foods Group in October 2012.
Jana Partners, a hedge fund known to push for corporate change, revealed on Feb. 14 that it held 4.6 million shares in Mondelez.
** TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LTD, Tuesday close $45.67
The U.S. units of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd and the New York Attorney General have settled claims that an agreement between the two drugmakers unlawfully restricted competition.
** NOVARTIS AG, Tuesday close $82.72, -0.74 pct premarket
Prosecutors in Tokyo raided the local unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis as part of an investigation into alleged use of manipulated data to promote its best-selling blood pressure drug Diovan, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.
** MEDTRONIC INC, Tuesday close $56.19
The world’s largest stand-alone medical device maker on Tuesday reported a lower quarterly net profit after it took charges for a blood pressure-lowering device that failed to prove effective in a major clinical study.
** MEDICINES CO, Tuesday close $30, +1.67 pct premarket
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted the marketing application for oritavancin, an experimental antibiotic made by the company, with a priority review status that will ensure a faster decision.
The FDA is expected to decide on whether to approve the drug by Aug. 6.
Separately, the company also posted a lower quarterly profit due to higher expenses.
** NEOGENOMICS INC Tuesday close $3.86, -0.26 pct premarket
The cancer diagnostics company said a new reimbursement guideline from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding its FISH cancer detection test could cause the company to stop offering the tests to Medicare beneficiaries.
Neogenomics said two or more probes used in the test would be billed as a single unit according to the rule, even though the cost of conducting the test would increase if multiple probes were used.
Neogenomics said if the CMS did not reconsider the guideline, the company could lose about $3 million in revenue and 4 cents per share of net income in 2014.
** CUMMINS INC, Tuesday close $143.1, -1.33 pct premarket
** FEDEX CORP, Tuesday close $132.79, -0.26 pct premarket
President Barack Obama on Tuesday directed federal agencies to develop higher fuel standards for medium-sized and heavy trucks, another step in his efforts to slash oil consumption and carbon emissions blamed for global warming.
Among the companies in the fuel efficiency group are engine-maker Cummins, parcel delivery company FedEx, transmission systems maker Eaton Corp, semi-trailer maker Wabash National Corp, Navistar International Corp and Waste Management Inc, which operates the largest U.S. fleet of garbage and waste trucks.
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, Tuesday close $37.09
The telecom operator said on Wednesday shareholders would receive 0.026 shares in Verizon Communications for each Vodafone share they own as part of their payout for the $130 billion sale of the group’s stake in Verizon Wireless.
** HEALTHSTREAM INC, Tuesday close $31.26, +5 pct after market
The company, which provides IT solutions to healthcare organizations, reported fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates, helped by higher subscriptions.
Healthstream also said consolidated revenues for 2014 would grow by 22-26 percent.
** HOST HOTELS & RESORTS INC, Tuesday close $18.86, +0.74 pct premarket
The lodging real estate investment trust reported fourth-quarter funds from operations above analysts’ expectations due to higher revenue per available room (RevPAR) - a key metric of hotel health arrived at by multiplying the average daily room rate with its occupancy.
** NOBLE ENERGY INC, Tuesday close $66.55
The U.S.-based energy company said it would supply natural gas from its Tamar field, offshore Israel, to Jordanian companies Arab Potash Co and Jordan Bromine.
Sales are expected to start in 2016 for an initial term of 15 years, Noble said. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)