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Early Movers: TGT, LOW, MRK, SPLS & More

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

Target —The retailer reported first quarter profit of 77 cents per share on a GAAP basis, $1.05 excluding certain items, compared to estimates of 85 cents. It also lowered its earnings per share (EPS) forecast for the year, saying colder than normal weather got its spring season off to a slow start.

Lowe's —The home improvement retailer reported first quarter profit of 49 cents per share, two cents short of Street estimates. Revenues also came up short of analyst projections, with Lowe's citing cooler-than-normal temperatures, and more rain impacting the spring selling season.

Staples — Staples earned 26 cents per share for the first quarter, excluding certain items, one cent short of estimates. Revenue was also short of Street estimates, with factors such as store closures and foreign exchange weighing on sales.

Toll Brothers — The home builder reported quarterly profit of 14 cents per share, seven cents above estimates, as it saw an increase in orders and higher average selling prices.

Saks — The stock is getting a boost from a New York Post report saying the retailer has hired Goldman Sachs to assist with a possible sale of the company.

Intuit — The software producer reported fiscal third quarter profits of $2.97 per share, excluding certain items, four cents above estimates. However, Intuit's current quarter EPS guidance of 3 - 7 cents per share fell below Street estimates of 11 cents. The company behind the popular Quicken and TurboTax software called the latest tax season "lackluster".

Analog Devices — The company earned 52 cents per share for its second quarter, in line with estimates, but its current quarter outlook of 51 – 56 cents range fell short of the 57 cents per share consensus estimate. The designer of signal-processing technology has been hit by global economic concerns and weak customer demand through the industry.

NetApp — The company reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of 69 cents per share, beating estimates by a penny, with revenues in line. The data storage company does see current quarter earnings short of the 53 cent consensus estimates, citing a range of 45 - 50 cents as it deals with higher expenses and slower sales. NetApp has also initiated a quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share, and started a restructuring which will include cutting 900 jobs.

Merck — Merck announced a $5 billion accelerated share repurchase program. The drug maker will buy back nearly 100 million shares from Goldman Sachs at current market prices.

Sony —Sony has cut sales targets for digital cameras, smartphones, and tablet computers, although it does see "encouraging signs" for its electronics business. The company also plans to assess a proposal from investor Daniel Loeb, its biggest shareholder, that it spin off its entertainment business.

Ford —The automaker will shut down 21 of its North American factories for one week this summer, a shorter time than usual, to meet growing demand.

Dick's Sporting Goods — The stock has been removed from the "Top Picks Live" list at Citi, although the firm is maintaining a "buy" rating on the sporting goods retailer's stock.

SodaStream — JPMorgan Chase has downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "overweight".

Advanced Micro Devices — Jefferies repeated its "buy" rating on the chipmaker, saying Microsoft's newly announced XBox One, as well as Sony's PS4, will add $9 billion in new revenues. AMD's chips are used in both video game consoles.


(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 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.