(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) The S&P 500 hit a fresh intraday record high on Friday after more jobs than expected were created in February and January's figure was revised higher, with traders keeping an eye on lingering tensions in Ukraine. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.39 percent at 16,485.22, the S&P 500 was up 0.17 percent at 1,880.16 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.22 percent at 4,342.486.
** COUPONS.COM INC, $30.29, +89.31 pct
Shares of the digital coupon company jumped in their trading debut on Friday, valuing the company at over $2 billion.
The 16-year-old company raised $168 million from its initial public offering after receiving strong investor interest for its extensive digital promotion platform.
** SKULLCANDY INC, $10.39, +39.84 pct
The headphones maker reported better-than-forecast fourth-quarter results on Thursday and said it expected net sales to grow in mid- to high-single digits in 2014.
Northland Securities raised its rating on the stock to “outperform” from “market perform”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** NOVATEL WIRELESS INC, $2.26, -20.70 pct
The company, which makes USB modems and wireless modem cards for PCs, on Thursday reported lower-than-expected revenue for the fourth quarter, hurt by fewer orders and contracts.
The company also forecast bigger-than-estimated loss for the current quarter.
** FREEPORT MCMORAN, $32.62, -3.58 pct
The mining company said on Friday power rationing in the Democratic Republic of Congo would not affect its operations in the short term but that future expansion plans would depend in part on a reliable energy supply.
** ALASKA COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS GROUP INC, $2.14, -16.08 pct
The telecommunications company said that wireless subscribers fell by 3,266 to 108,848 in the fourth quarter, and it forecast free cash flow of about $20 million this year, compared with $22 million last year.
** FUELCELL ENERGY INC, $3.159, +5.65 pct
The fuel cell maker said it would install a fuel cell power plant at its factory in Torrington, Connecticut, to generate hydrogen, electricity and heat. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of this year. The company estimates a potential market size of $1.6 billion for such power plants in the United States.
** H&R BLOCK INC, $30.34, -2.00 pct
The U.S. tax preparer reported a 57 percent drop in third-quarter revenue, hurt by a 10-day delay to the start of the U.S. tax filing season. The delay caused the company to shift $277 million in revenue related to tax returns prepared but not filed, to the fourth quarter.
The company, which also reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the third quarter on Thursday, said it expects a majority of its revenue and all of its fiscal 2014 earnings to occur in the current quarter.
** GT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES INC, $17.7, +4.24 pct
Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded the solar and LED equipment maker’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral” and raised their price target to $24 from $18, citing gains from improving polysilicon prices and the company’s agreement to make sapphire materials for Apple Inc’s electronics devices.
** BIG LOTS INC, $35.41, +21.06 pct
The close-out retailer reported a better-than-expected profit for the holiday quarter, sending its shares up as much as 13 percent in premarket trading.
** SAFEWAY INC, $38.4, -2.71 pct
The second-largest U.S. mainstream grocery store operator said private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management would acquire the company in a deal valued at about $9.4 billion.
** FOOT LOCKER INC, $45.64, +6.81 pct
The athletic footwear retailer reported fourth-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates, driven by a 5.3 percent rise in comparable-store sales.
** FIREEYE INC, $83.5, -6.76 pct
The network security company has priced the follow-on public offering of 14 million shares of its common stock at $82 per share, expecting to raise about $460 million.
** GAP INC, $42.16, -0.31 pct
The apparel retailer, known for its Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy chains, reported a 7 percent decline in comparable sales in February, and said 450 of its stores were closed at some point or other in the month when ice, cold and snow kept many shoppers at home. Analysts had expected a 0.9 percent increase, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $5.05, -7.85 pct
** WALTER ENERGY INC, $10.18, -6.95 pct
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, $16.95, -3.86 pct
Analysts at Goldman Sachs cut their rating on coal miner Alpha Natural’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”, citing “lackluster recovery” in prices of steelmaking coal, partly pressured by higher supply from Australia and a slowdown in demand from China, the largest producer and consumer of steel.
Shares of rivals Walter Energy and Peabody Energy also fell.
** TURQUOISE HILL RESOURCES LTD, $4.229, +2.15 pct
Miner Rio Tinto is planning to buy the remaining stake in Turquoise Hill for $8 per share, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter. (link.reuters.com/sav47v)
Rio Tinto owns 50.8 percent of Vancouver-based Turquoise Hill.
** GOGO INC, $24.7301, +1.81 pct
SAC Capital Advisors, the investment manager founded by Steven A. Cohen, said on Thursday it has taken a 5.4 percent stake in Gogo, a provider of in-flight Wi-Fi service.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $18.78, -1.68 pct
The iron ore producer said Casablanca Capital LP rejected an offer to settle a proxy fight, and the activist investor was seeking full control of the company’s board.
** COMTECH TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORP, $33.23, +1.96 pct
The communications equipment maker on Thursday reported better-than-expected second-quarter revenue, helped by higher sales in its telecommunication transmission and RF microwave amplifiers businesses.
** VIOLIN MEMORY INC, $4.33, -2.04 pct
The flash storage provider reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue on Thursday due to a 2 percent drop in product sales.
BofA Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the stock to “underperform” from “buy” on Friday, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** PROGRESS SPFTWARE CORP, $22.795, -10.19 pct
The enterprise software maker on Thursday estimated first-quarter results below analysts’ average estimate, hurt by lower license sales as some deals did not close in the quarter.
** PIEDMONT NATURAL GAS CO INC, $34, +1.28 pct
The natural gas distributor reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday due to increased demand during extreme winter conditions. The company raised its full-year profit outlook to $1.80-$1.90 per share from $1.73-$1.83.
The company also lifted its quarterly dividend by 3.2 percent to 32 cents per share, payable on April 15 to shareholders on record as of March 25.
** KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL, $28.34, +9.72 pct
The executive recruitment services company late on Thursday reported third-quarter results that beat analysts’ average estimates, and it forecast a fourth-quarter profit of 35-41 cents. Analysts on average were expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 37 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** EMERGENT BIOSOLUTIONS INC, $26.5, +3.64 pct
The specialty pharmaceutical company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by stronger sales of biodefense products.
Analysts at J.P. Morgan Securities raised their target price on the stock to $37 from $29. (Compiled By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Maju Samuel)