Early Movers: HNZ, PEP, GM & More
Check out which companies are making headlines before the opening bell Thursday:
General Motors - The automaker earned $0.48 per share for the fourth quarter, excluding certain items, below estimates of $0.52 cents. However, revenue was better than expected. European losses widened, but GM has not changed its projection of breaking even in Europe by mid-decade.
U.S. Airways - U.S. Airways and American Airlines parent AMR are merging in a deal worth roughly $11 billion. The transaction will create the world's largest airline, with U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker taking that role at the combined company.
Weight Watchers - The weight loss program operator is forecasting full-year earnings below Wall Street expectations, saying its marketing strategy has not been effective in an increasingly competitive environment.
Cisco Systems - Cisco reported fiscal second-quarter profits of $0.51 per share,three cents above estimates. Revenue also came in slightly above Street expectations. CEO John Chambers said the company is seeing signs of improvement in its European business.
Coach - Coach CEO Lew Frankfort will step down next January, remaining as chairman. He'll be succeeded by newly appointed president Victor Luis, former CEO of French retailer Baccarat.
DirecTV - The satellite TV provider earned $1.55 per share for the fourth quarter, two cents above estimates, and also announced a new $4 billion share buyback.
Whole Foods Market – The company reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $0.78 per share, one cent above estimates, with revenue essentially in line with consensus. However, the grocery chain lowered its 2013 same-store sales growth outlook to 6.6 percent to 8.0 percent from the prior 6.5 percent to 8.5 percent.
Anheuser-Busch InBev – The beer brewer is revising the terms of its proposed $20.1 billion takeover of Mexico's Grupo Modelo, in hopes of winning U.S. government approval for the deal. The amendment includes the sale of the Piedras Negras brewery to Constellation Brands, and grants it perpetual rights to Corona and other Modelo brands within the U.S.
Applied Materials – Applied Materials reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $0.06 per share, excluding certain items, three cents above estimates. Orders were up from the prior quarter, but the maker of semiconductor manufacturing equipment said it continues to see weak demand from its industrial customers.
Mondelez International - The former Kraft Foods earned $0.36 per share for the fourth quarter, two cents below estimates, with revenue short of Street consensus. However, the snack maker did raise its 2013 earnings outlook to $1.52 to $1.57 per share. The shortfall came in part because of its lowering of coffee prices in Europe.
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MetLife – MetLife beat estimates by $0.07 with fourth-quarter profit of $1.25 per share. Revenue was also above analysts' estimates, though the insurer's overall profit was down 90 percent from a year earlier on derivative-related losses.
NetApp – The company reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $0.67 per share, 11 cents above estimates, and the maker of data storage equipment is also forecasting earnings for the current quarter above Street consensus. However, the company did say it still has concerns about Europe and that it needs to be mindful of a tough global economy.
Zillow – Zillow earned $0.02 per share for the fourth quarter, better than analysts' forecasts for a breakeven performance. The real estate website operator also forecast current quarter revenue above expectations as its average monthly unique user numbers grow substantially.
Nvidia – Nvidia saw its fourth quarter come in four cents above estimates with profit of $0.28 per share, but the chipmaker's current quarter revenue forecast is short of analysts' consensus. Nvidia is trying to shift its focus to the tablet market as PC demand softens, but it faces more difficult competition in that area.
TripAdvisor - The travel review website operator earned $0.29 per share for the fourth quarter, two cents above estimates, with revenue also beating consensus. But the company also says its costs will rise faster than revenue this year as it invests more in marketing.
Skechers – Skechers surprised analysts with a fourth-quarter profit of $0.08 per share, versus forecasts for a loss of $0.11 per share. Revenues of $396 million swamped estimates of $338 million on a sizable jump in sales for the company's casual and fitness shoes.
Barnes & Noble - The bookstore chain said its Nook e-reader business will perform more poorly for the current fiscal year than the company had previously forecast. The company is contending with slower sales of e-readers and books, as well as rising costs.
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—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow
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