Early Movers: P, M, JCP, SFD & More
Senior Producer, CNBC
Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell on Friday:
Macy's, J.C. Penney - The two retailers and Martha Stewart will go to mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute over where Stewart's products can be sold. The court case involving the three parties has been adjourned until April 8 to give the parties a chance to work out a resolution.
(Read More: JC Penney Puts Martha Stewart Goods on Hold)
Smithfield Foods - The pork processor is acknowledging it received a memorandum from shareholder Continental Grain and will consider it in due course. The letter urges Smithfield to consider splitting itself into three units and initiating a cash dividend.
(Read More: See the Day's Top Percentage Winners & Losers)
McDonald's - The restaurant chain reported a 1.5 percent drop in February same-store sales, a smaller drop than analysts were anticipating. U.S. and European sales were down less than expected, while the Asia Pacific/Middle East/Africa region was the only one to experience a larger-than-anticipated drop.
Texas Instruments - Texas Instruments has raised the lower end of its prior earnings forecast, now seeing first-quarter profit of $0.28 to $0.32 per share, compared to a previous lower end of $0.24 a share. Street analysts are currently at $0.31 a share. It's also forecasting revenue of $2.80 billion to $2.91 billion, compared to a previous lower end of $2.69 billion. The chipmaker cited improving demand from industrial customers, as well as upbeat wireless chip sales.
H&R Block - The company reported a fiscal third quarter loss of $0.06 per share, wider than $0.03 a share Wall Street had forecast. Revenue was also well below estimates, largely because of the delayed start to the U.S. tax filling season following the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. However, the nation's largest tax preparation service said cost cutting will boost its earnings for 2013.
Zimmer Holdings - The drugmaker has increased its quarterly dividend by 11 percent to $0.20 per share.
Foot Locker - The retailer of athletic footwear and apparel reported quarterly profit of $0.73 per share, excluding certain items, matching Street estimates. Revenue was slightly above consensus, with Foot Locker seeing higher comparable store sales and profit margins.
Cooper Companies - Cooper earned $1.23 per share, excluding certain items, for its fiscal first quarter, four cents above estimates, with revenue also exceeding consensus. Cooper — which makes contact lenses and medical instruments —saw particular improvement in its vision business.
JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America - The Federal Reserve said all but one of 18 bank holdings companies was sufficiently capitalized following its latest stress tests. The only exception was Ally Financial.
Skullcandy - Skullcandy said it will lose between $0.25 and $0.30 per share during the first quarter, on a 30 percent drop in sales. Analysts had expected the maker of headphones to report a profit of $0.05 per share for the quarter. Skullcandy said it failed to quickly deal with changing trends in the audio industry.
Herbalife - Investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in Herbalife to 15.55 percent from a prior 13.6 percent. The dietary supplements maker, of course, is at the center of a dispute between Icahn and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who has a large short position.
United Continental - The airline said its February passenger traffic fell 3.4 percent in February, with capacity dropping 8.4 percent. As a result, its so-called "load factor" rose by 4.1 percent compared to a year earlier.
Gardner Denver - Gardner Denver will be bought by KKR in a deal worth $76 per share, according to The Wall Street Journal. KKR had bid $75 per share for the industrial pumps maker several weeks ago, and the two have been talking since then to try to finalize a transaction.
Navistar - JPMorgan has upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral," following the naming of a new chief executive officer yesterday by the truck maker.
(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)
—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow
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