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Early Movers: CMCSA, GE, DE & More

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell on Wednesday:

Comcast, General Electric - Comcast is buying the remaining 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal held by GE for $16.7 billion. Comcast also raised its dividend by 20 percent and said it would buy back an additional $2 billion in shares this year. GE said the deal gives it the opportunity to return more cash to shareholders, including an immediate raise in its stock buyback plan to $35 billion from $23 billion.

Deere - The farm equipment maker reported quarterly profit of $1.65 per share, well above estimates of $1.40, with revenue also beating consensus by a wide margin. The company also raised its 2013 earnings forecast.

Dean Foods - The company reported quarterly profit of $0.40 per share, excluding certain items, 10 cents above estimates, although revenue was short of analysts' forecasts. Dean has been impacted by higher prices for raw milk, but it has offset that in part by cost controls.


(Read More: See the Day's Top Percentage Winners & Losers)

Groupon - The daily deals company's stock has been upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Stern Agee.

Cliffs Natural Resources - Cliffs earned $0.62 per share, excluding certain items, for the fourth quarter, nine cents above estimates. But the iron ore and coal producer also slashed its dividend by 76 percent, as a sharp drop in iron ore prices impacts its business.

Buffalo Wild Wings - The company reported fourth-quarter profit of $0.89 per share, seven cents below estimates, though revenue came in above consensus. The restaurant chain did see upbeat sales trends, but analysts are concerned over high prices for chicken wings, which has forced the company to raise menu prices.

Rackspace - Rackspace reported fourth-quarter profit of $0.21 per share, matching estimates, but its revenue came in below consensus. The numbers are accelerating concern about slowing growth for the web hosting company and its competitors.

Netgear - Netgear earned $0.55 per share for the fourth quarter, one cent above estimates, with revenue also beating consensus. However, the network equipment maker forecast current-quarter revenue below what the Street is expecting, because of a cut in spending from Internet service providers.

Moody's - The rating agency has increased its stock buyback program by $1 billion dollars, in addition to the $677 million remaining from a prior authorization.

WellPoint Health - The health insurer has named Joseph Swedish as its new chief executive officer. Swedish had been chief executive of not-for-profit hospital group Trinity Health.

J.C. Penney - The retailer has boosted its borrowing capacity by $100 million to $1.85 billion, as well as expanding an option to borrow more in the future. The move is causing concern among some analysts about the company's turnaround plan.

Legg Mason - The investment firm has named interim chief executive Joseph Sullivan as its permanent CEO.

(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

Questions? Comments? Email us at marketinsider@cnbc.com


  • Patti Domm

    Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • CNBC's Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

  • JeeYeon Park is a writer for CNBC.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

  • Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.

  • Senior Producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.