Early Movers: XOM, MMM, UPS & More
Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell on Thursday:
3M – The diversified products company reported first-quarter profit of $1.61 per share, four cents below estimates. The company also cut its outlook for the year on weaker demand for its wide variety of products.
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Stanley Black & Decker – The company earned $1.03 per share for the first quarter, seven cents above estimates. The consumer tool maker did see profits fall by a third from a year earlier and smaller profit margins.
Colgate-Palmolive – The consumer products maker earned $1.32 per share for the first quarter, in line with Street estimates, while revenue was slightly above consensus. Latin America is Colgate's biggest market, and Colgate's earnings were impacted by the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency in February.
Harley-Davidson – The motorcycle maker matched Street estimates with first-quarter earnings of $0.99 per share, and also kept its yearly shipment forecast intact.
Dow Chemical – Dow reported first-quarter profit of $0.69 per share, excluding certain items, eight cents above estimates, but sales were shy of analyst forecasts. The company did see an improvement in pricing and profit margins, but is planning for no significant economic improvement in the U.S. this year.
Hershey – The candy maker earned $1.09 per share for the first quarter, excluding certain items, five cents above estimates. Hershey was helped by growth at its core brands like Twizzlers, Reese's, and Kit Kat, as well as its flagship brand.
Southwest Airlines – The carrier reported first-quarter profit of $0.07 per share, excluding certain items, five cents above estimates. CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC, however, that revenue could be hurt for this month by the federal spending cuts that have resulted in significant airline delays.
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Qualcomm - The chipmaker reported in-line fiscal second quarter earnings of $1.17 per share. Qualcomm raised its full-year revenue forecast due to escalating smartphone demand, but its full-year earnings outlook is short of Street estimates.
Verizon Communications – Verizon is reportedly preparing a $100 billion bid to buy the 45 percent of Verizon Wireless that it doesn't already own, according to Reuters. Verizon has not yet put forth a formal proposal to minority owner Vodafone.
Chevron – The oil company raised its quarterly dividend by 11.1 percent to $1 per share. The higher dividend is payable on June 10 to shareholders of record as of May 17.
Zynga – Zynga earned $0.01 per share for the first quarter, compared to analyst forecasts of a $0.03 per share loss. Revenue also exceeded estimates, but the online gamemaker's second-quarter profit and revenue outlook is well below Street consensus. Sales of older games have slowed and its newer offerings have yet to catch on.
Intuit – The financial software company has cut its current-quarter and full-year outlook following what it terms a "tough" tax season for the maker of the Quicken and TurboTax software packages.
Cheesecake Factory – Cheesecake Factory earned $0.47 per share for the first quarter, five cents above estimates, with revenue also beating analysts' forecasts. Its outlook for the current quarter is short of Street projections, but so far, investors appear focused on the restaurant chain's solid performance even in the face of winter storms in the Northeast.
F5 Networks – F5 earned $1.07 per share for its second quarter, in line with Wall Street estimates, but the network equipment maker's current-quarter forecast is below consensus. F5 is seeing weaker demand from both its telecom customers and from the federal government.
Akamai Technologies - Akamai earned $0.51 per share for the first quarter, excluding certain items, five cents above estimates, with revenue also registering a beat. The Internet content delivery provider saw better-than-expected demand from companies like Facebook, Netflix, and Apple.
Western Digital – The company earned $2.10 per share for its third quarter, handily beating estimates of $1.77 a share. The hard disk drive maker benefited from higher demand for Internet storage.
Xilinx - Xilinx posted fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $0.47 per share, two cents above estimates, though the chipmaker's year-over-year revenue continues to decline.
Cliffs Natural Resources – Cliffs earned $0.60 per share for the first quarter, swamping estimates of $0.34 a share. The mining company did post revenue that was short of expectations, but it also raised its full-year sales forecast.
Newmont Mining - The gold mining company cut its quarterly dividend to $0.35 per share from $0.425 because of the ongoing drop in gold prices.
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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals – The drug maker will replace MetroPCS Communications in the S&P 500 following the close of trading on April 30. MetroPCS is in the process of merging with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA unit.
Skechers USA - Skechers has hired BDO as its auditor, replacing KPMG, which resigned after an ex-partner allegedly leaked inside information about the company. The casual shoemaker also projected current quarter net income that is short of Street estimates.
(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)
—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow
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