Early Movers: S, CI, HOT & More
Senior Producer, CNBC
Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell on Thursday:
Sprint Nextel - Sprint reported a fourth-quarter loss of $0.44 per share, smaller than the $0.46 per share loss analysts were anticipating. Sprint did continue to lose subscribers as it winds down the legacy Nextel network.
Cigna - The insurance company earned $1.57 per share, excluding certain items, for its fourth quarter, nine cents above estimates. It also raised its forecast for the year, as it enjoys the benefits of cost controls and a strong increase in membership.
Starwood Hotels - The hotel operator earned $0.70 per share for the fourth quarter, excluding certain items, five cents above estimates, as revenue per available room registered an increase. Starwood benefited from an increase in business travel, among other factors.
Costco Wholesale - The warehouse retailer saw January same-store sales rise 4 percent, slightly above estimates of 3.9 percent.
Limited Brands - The clothing retailer more than doubled analyst estimates by registering a 9 percent increase in same-store sales for January.
Archer Daniels Midland - The food processor is increasing its quarterly dividend by 9 percent to $0.19 per share.
News Corp. - The company reported second-quarter profit of $0.44 per share, excluding certain items, one cent above estimates, with revenue beating consensus. However, the media company also cut its profit outlook as its Sky Italia, Fox Network, and Australian newspaper divisions weigh on overall results.
Visa - Visa earned $1.82 per share for its fiscal first quarter, three cents above estimates. It was the ninth straight quarter that Visa beat Street consensus, on the strength of payment volume growth. Visa also authorized a new $1.75 billion stock buyback program.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters - Green Mountain reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $0.76 per share, 11 cents above estimates, but it's forecasting current-quarter sales growth below analysts' estimates. The maker of the Keurig single-cup coffee system forecast sales will grow by 14 percent to 18 percent for the current quarter, somewhat below what the Street had expected.
Yelp - Yelp lost $0.08 per share for the fourth quarter, wider than the loss of $0.05 analysts had been forecasting. Investors have been worried about the online review website's prospects after Facebook introduced its new feature "Graph Search," which will compete with Yelp's offerings.
Allstate - Allstate earned $0.59 per share for the fourth quarter. While that's likely not directly comparable with analysts' estimates of a loss of $0.05 per share. Its revenue did beat estimates, and the insurer also announced an additional $1 billion stock buyback and a 14 percent dividend increase. Catastrophe losses did jump to $1.06 billion for the quarter from $66 million the prior year, thanks mostly to the impact of super storm Sandy.
Tesoro - Tesoro reported fourth quarter profit of $1.34 per share, three cents below estimates. The oil refiner did beat revenue estimates, and also raised its dividend by 33 percent to $0.20 per share.
Akamai Technologies - Akamai reported fourth-quarter profit of $0.54 per share, excluding certain items, four cents above estimates. However, the Internet services company's revenue came in below estimates, primarily due to weaker demand from e-commerce companies. Its current-quarter revenue outlook was also below Street consensus.
Alcatel-Lucent - CEO Ben Verwaayen is leaving the telecommunications equipment maker, after the company reported a $1.85 billion loss last year. He'll stay in the job until a successor is found.
Ark Restaurants - The restaurant operator is being bought by fellow restaurant chain Landry's for $22 per share or $71.3 million. The offer represents a 22 percent premium over yesterday's close for Ark shareholders.
U.S. Airways Group - The carrier and American Airlines parent AMR are close to a merger agreement that would create the world's largest airline, according to CNBC's Phil LeBeau. A deal could be announced as soon as next week.
(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)
—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow
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