Darden, the nation's largest full-service restaurant company, also owns Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse.» Read More
SEATTLE, Jan 23- Microsoft Corp said on Thursday fiscal second-quarter profit rose 3 percent, as strong sales of its Office software to businesses offset another weak quarter for its flagship Windows system, which is suffering as consumers increasingly favor tablets over personal computers. Microsoft shares jumped almost 4 percent in after hours trading.
*Shares hit a high of $26.45, valuing company at $9.19 bln. Jan 23- Shares of Santander Consumer USA Holding Inc, the consumer finance unit of Spanish bank Santander SA, rose as much as 10 percent in their U.S. market debut. The shares opened at $25.75 on the New York Stock Exchange and touched a high of $26.45, valuing the company at $9.19 billion.
Jan 23- Asset manager Janus Capital Group Inc said on Thursday its fourth-quarter profit rose 23 percent on higher investment management fees, but outflows continued, sending its shares down in early trading. Total assets under management stood at $173.9 billion at December 31, up from $166.7 billion at September 30, Janus said.
Tesla Motors attempts to set itself apart from its rivals with a "fair" pricing of the Model S in China.
Jan 23- Netflix Inc's shares were set to open 18 percent higher on Thursday, after the world's largest video streaming company said it expected customer additions in the U.S. to remain strong, prompting at least six brokerages to raise their price targets on the stock by as much as $55.
Jan 23- U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines Co posted a better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter, aided by higher fares and lower costs for fuel and aircraft maintenance. Shares jumped 2.3 percent to $22.28 in premarketing trading. Net income rose to $212 million, or 30 cents a share, from $78 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.
*eBay rises after results, Icahn spin-off proposal. NEW YORK, Jan 23- U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday, ahead of data on the labor and housing markets, along with the latest round of corporate earnings results. *Netflix Inc shares surged 16.5 percent to $388.85 before the opening bell.
HONG KONG, Jan 23- China shares were knocked off two-week highs on Thursday, led by the financial sector after a private preliminary survey showed factory activity shrank slightly in the world's second-largest economy in January. Money rates crept higher on Thursday despite a second cash injection for the week by the People's Bank of China.
*Shanghai shares soften, Australian dollar takes a hit. "This implies softening growth momentum for manufacturing sectors, which has already weighed on employment growth," said HSBC's chief China economist Qu Hongbin. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also lost 0.9 percent, while Australia's main index dropped 0.5 percent.
LOS ANGELES, Jan 22- Netflix Inc added more than 2.3 million U.S. customers in the fourth quarter, sending its shares up 17 percent in after-hours trading, and said it was testing different pricing plans for its monthly TV and movie streaming service.
Jan 22- Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc said its chief executive of two years, Robert Hanson, would leave the company, effective immediately. American Eagle's shares fell 5 percent after the bell. The company named Chairman Jay Schottenstein as interim CEO.
WASHINGTON, Jan 22- General Dynamics Corp shares rose more than 5 percent on Wednesday after the maker of Gulfstream business jets and Navy ships posted higher-than-expected quarterly results, and pledged to buy back 11.4 million shares in the first quarter.
Weak PC sales, tough competition from Intel Corp and a drop in revenue from gaming consoles after a strong holiday season were responsible for the weak forecast, analysts said. Canaccord Genuity cut its price target to $5 from $6, while FBR Capital Markets lowered its by 50 cents to $5.50.
*IBM, Coach fall in premarket after earnings. *IBM shares lost 3.9 percent to $181.10 before the opening bell. *Coach Inc tumbled 7.6 percent to $48.55 in premarket trading after it said sales in North America fell further in the final quarter of 2013, as it lost share in the handbag business to fast-growing rivals such as Michael Kors Holdings Ltd and Kate Spade.
Jan 22- Shares of Chinese outdoor digital advertising company VisionChina Media Inc jumped 52 percent after the company said it signed a deal to promote Baidu Inc's online gaming unit in China. The company said it reaches bus networks in 88 cities in China and subway networks in 14 cities.
Shares of the company, whose processors are used in Microsoft Corp's and Sony Corp's latest game consoles, were down about 11 percent after the bell. AMD has long competed against larger rival Intel Corp to supply chips for PCs, but as consumers buy fewer laptops and desktops, the company is looking at gaming consoles to drive revenue growth.
Jan 21- International Business Machines Corp, the world's largest technology services company, reported its seventh straight quarterly decline in revenue that also fell short of estimates, hurt by lower demand for its services and hardware.
Jan 21- Healthcare company Johnson& Johnson cautioned Tuesday that prescription-drug sales would likely lose some momentum this year and forecast 2014 earnings at the lower end of Wall Street expectations, sending its shares down almost 2 percent.
Jan 21- Healthcare company Johnson& Johnson cautioned Tuesday that prescription-drug sales would likely lose some steam this year and forecast 2014 earnings at the lower end of Wall Street expectations, sending its shares down more than 2 percent in morning trading.
Jan 21- Skincare products maker Nu Skin Enterprises Inc said it would suspend promotional meetings in China where it recruits new distributors, days after Chinese regulators launched investigations into its business practices. Shares of Herbalife Ltd, which has a business model similar to Nu Skin, fell 10 percent the same day.