Early Movers: DG, APOL, SFD & More
Some of the names on the move ahead of the open Monday:
Dollar General - The discount retailer earned $0.97 per share for its latest quarter, excluding certain items, 7 cents above estimates. Revenues were essentially in line, with the company benefiting from increased food sales.
Apollo Group - The for-profit education provider swamped estimates by 16 cents with fiscal second quarter profit of $0.34 per share, excluding certain items. Enrollment did drop for a fourth straight quarter, but Apollo says its business is being helped by an increase in workers who feel the need to acquire new skills.
Smithfield Foods - The nation's largest hog producer has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to weigh strategic options. Both Smithfield and Goldman Sachs declined comment on that Reuters report.
Dell - A Dell special committee has determined that takeover bids from both investor Carl Icahn and Blackstone Group are "likely to result in superior proposals" to the $13.65 per share deal now in place, led by CEO Michael Dell and partners. Dell will now negotiate with the two parties.
Microsoft - Microsoft has received a favorable ruling from an International Trade Commission judge, who says it did not violate a patent held by Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility in its Xbox video game system. The full commission will make a final ruling on the case in July.
Boeing - Boeing will lay off 800 machinists by the end of this year, according to CNBC's Phil LeBeau. The total number of positions eliminated will be between 2,000 and 2,300 but the majority will be done through attrition. Boeing says the reductions adjust its workforce needs on its newest jets, the 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8 jumbo jet.
Apple - Apple was forced to take down its "iForgot" password system over the weekend to deal with a security flaw. The flaw would allow the resetting of an Apple ID and iCloud password with only a person's email and birth date.
AstraZeneca - The drugmaker has settled a patent dispute involving its best-selling cholesterol drug Crestor. The settlement will allow generic drugmakers to begin selling a generic version in 2016.
Vodafone - Vodafone is examining the possibility of selling its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless to partner Verizon, according to London's Sunday Times. Such a deal could net Vodafone $135 billion.
BlackBerry - Goldman Sachs has removed the handset maker's stock from its "Americas Buy" list and cutting the rating to "neutral." Goldman calls the launch of the new BlackBerry Z-10 "disappointing" and also cites the stock's runup over the past few months.
Whole Foods - Piper Jafray has downgraded the grocer's stock to "neutral" from "overweight," citing slowing profit margin expansion as well as decelerating same-store sales trends.
JCPenney - BMO Capital has downgraded the retailer's shares to "underperform" from "market perform."
Airgas - Bank of America/Merrill Lynch has downgraded the industrial gas maker's shares to "underperform" from "neutral."
Best Buy - The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the electronics retailer will exit its venture capital unit, Best Buy Capital, to focus on more pressing issues like store operations.
Comcast - Goldman has reinstated coverage of Comcast with a "buy" rating. The firm points to a "superior fundamental business mix" and calls the NBCUniversal parent its top pick among cable/satellite peers.