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U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, with investors holding off on making bets ahead of a key jobs report that could indicate whether the market’s record levels are justified by the economy’s fundamentals. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.06 percent at 17,514, S&P 500 futures were up 0.02 percent at 2,028.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.17 percent at 4,170.
** WALT DISNEY CO, Thursday close $92, -1.79 pct premarket
The media and theme park giant posted a quarterly profit that fell in line with Wall Street expectations as it rode the blockbuster performance of its movie box office hits “Maleficent” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
But operating income at its sports behemoth ESPN fell due to higher contract rates for high-end National Football League and Major League Baseball games, which helped drag the company’s cable networks unit down by 1 percent to $1.3 billion.
The drop at cable networks, the company’s largest unit, likely drove Disney shares lower, said Gabelli & Company analyst Brett Harriss, who rates Disney a “hold.”
** TRANSOCEAN LTD, Thursday close $29.92, -8.05 pct premarket
The rig contractor expects to incur impairment charges of $2.76 billion in the third quarter as it grapples with an oversupplied offshore drilling market, and said it would delay its quarterly results.
** SALIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Thursday close $138.55, -34.86 pct premarket
The drugmaker slashed its full-year forecast on Thursday and said inventory for its key drugs piled up, an issue that people familiar with the matter said dissuaded Allergan Inc from acquiring it.
** ZYNGA INC, Thursday close $2.36, +8.90 pct premarket
The maker of “Farmville” reported better-than-expected third-quarter results as it set its mobile gaming push in motion with releases such as “New Words with Friends.”
** FIRST SOLAR INC, Thursday close $56.41, -5.89 pct premarket
The solar company’s third quarter profit fell to 87 cents per share from $1.94 a year earlier, hurt by lower sales and higher tax expenses. At least four brokerages cut price targets on the stock after First Solar said it would not spin off its solar power plants into separate, publicly traded entity called a “yield co”.
** OXIGENE INC, Thursday close $2.18, +1.83 pct premarket
MLV & Co started covering the drug developer’s stock with “buy” rating and a price target of $6.50.
Near-term catalyst for the stock is additional data from mid-stage study of its ovarian cancer drug, Zybrestat, to be presented on Sunday, analysts write in note.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Thursday close $17.36, -0.86 pct premarket
The bank’s third-quarter loss tripled to $232 million, due to a revision that added legal costs related to global investigations into foreign exchange trading at major banks.
** NVIDIA CORP, Thursday close $20.22, +3.02 pct premarket
The company posted fiscal third-quarter revenue above Wall Street’s expectations, fueled by its latest graphics chips for personal computers as well as processors for data centers and cars.
** KING DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PLC, Thursday close $13.19, +6.14 pct premarket
The social and mobile game company reported lower non-GAAP profit on Thursday as sales from its “Candy Crush Saga” title continued to shrink.
On a non-GAAP basis, it reported third-quarter adjusted income of 56 cents per share, which was less than 70 cents per share a year ago but more than analysts’ estimate of 47 cents per share.
** SKYWORKS SOLUTIONS INC, Thursday close $62.14, +2.51 pct premarket
The radio frequency chip supplier forecast better-than-expected revenue in the current quarter, helped by increased demand from smartphone makers, particularly Apple Inc .
** ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC, Thursday close $9.33, +18.97 pct premarket
The drugmaker said on Thursday that an FDA advisory committee voted 8-3 in favor of supporting use of its iron deficiency drug to maintain hemoglobin levels in certain kidney disease patients.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, Thursday close $15.76, +6.09 pct premarket
The U.S. Department of Defense has exercised an option with Canada’s Tekmira for the company to make 500 courses of its experimental treatment for Ebola, the company said on Thursday.
** HOME DEPOT INC, Thursday close $97.29
The world’s largest home improvement chain said hackers stole about 53 million email addresses in addition to customer data for 56 million payment cards previously disclosed by the retailer.
** MRC GLOBAL INC, Thursday close $20.21
The distributor of pipes and fittings to energy industry said third quarter revenue rose 23 percent, helped by higher sales in largest market the United States.
** UBIQUITI NETWORKS INC, Thursday close $34.62, -13.63 pct premarket
The wireless networking equipment provider forecast second quarter revenue and adjusted profit below analysts’ average expectations.
** INTERCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Thursday close $246.98, -8.35 pct premarket
More safety trials on the drug developer’s liver disease drug are needed as mid-stage trial data shows a rise in bad cholesterol in some patients taking the drug, according to a report in medical journal, the Lancet.
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, Thursday close $32.67, +23.20 pct premarket
The struggling retailer said it was exploring the conversion of 200-300 stores to a real estate investment trust (REIT) and would offer it to shareholders through a rights offering to raise cash.
** ARCELORMITTAL SA, Thursday close $12.38, +1.29 pct premarket
The world’s largest steelmaker pointed to rising demand in its key markets next year and confirmed its profit forecast for 2014 on Friday, as improvements in U.S. and European steel more than offset plunging iron ore prices.
** HUMANA INC, Thursday close $139.87
The U.S. health insurer on Friday reported a lower third-quarter profit that missed Wall Street estimates as it paid for costly hepatitis C treatments and invested in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges and state-based health contracts.
** YUME INC, Thursday close $4.95
The video advertising service provider forecast fourth quarter revenue of $54 million-$58 million, well below average analyst expectation of $62.9 million.
** ALLSCRIPTS HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS INC, Thursday close $13.55
The healthcare information technology provider reported third quarter profit of 6 cents per share, before special items against average estimates of 10 cents per share. (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)