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Early movers: MS, UNH, VZ, CELG, AN & more

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

UnitedHealth Group — The health insurer earned $1.40 per share for its second quarter, 15 cents above estimates, helped by a jump in enrollment. The company also raised the lower end of its 2013 profit forecast.

Morgan Stanley — Morgan Stanley earned 45 cents per share, excluding certain items, for the second quarter, two cents above estimates, with revenues also beating forecasts. Results were helped by better results in its trading business. Morgan Stanley also announced a $500 million stock buyback.

Verizon — The telecom giant posted second quarter profit of 73 cemts per share, excluding certain items, one cent above estimates, with revenues in line. The company points to positive results from its investments in its wireless, FiOS, and global networks.

Celgene — Celgene is discontinuing a trial in which it treated elderly leukemia patients with its Revlimid drug, after observing what it calls "an imbalance" in the number of deaths in patience undergoing this treatment.

AutoNation —The car retailer matched estimates by reporting quarterly profit of 73 cents per share, with AutoNation seeing profit growth in all its business sectors compared to a year earlier.

BlackRock — The investment firm earned $4.15 per share, excluding items, for the second quarter, above estimates of $3.82. BlackRock's results were helped by an increase in assets under management and record fees.

PepsiCo —Several reports say PepsiCo is unlikely to follow through on ideas suggested by investor Nelson Peltz at yesterday's CNBC Delivering Alpha Conference. Peltz had said that Pepsi should buy Mondelez International. Pepsi told CNBC during yesterday's trading session that it's confident in its long-term growth strategy currently in place, and several later reports indicate that Pepsi is unlikely to follow through on those ideas.

Intel — The chipmaker reported second quarter profit of 39 cents per share, in line with estimates, but revenues were slightly shy. Intel also cut its 2013 revenue forecast, as well as capital spending plans to adjust to the significant contraction in the personal computer market.

American Express — American Express posted second quarter profit of $1.27 per share, five cents above estimates, with revenue essentially in line. Amex shares had taken a hit during Wednesday's session, along with other credit card issuers, on a European Commission plan to limit credit card processing fees.

IBM — IBM earned $3.91 per share, excluding certain items, for the second quarter, 14 cents above estimates, but revenue was short of consensus. However, IBM raised its full year outlook on lower costs.

eBay — The Internet auction site matched Street estimates by earning 63 cents per share and posting revenue of $3.88 billion, but its current quarter earnings and revenue outlook is short of analyst expectations. The outlook is being hurt by higher costs, as well as potentially slower growth from the PayPal business.

Xilinx — The company earned 56 cents per share for its first quarter, nine cents above estimates, with revenues strongly above consensus. The specialty chipmaker also forecast current quarter revenue above estimates due to strong sales to the telecom, aerospace, and defense industries.

SanDisk— SanDisk earned $1.21 per share, excluding certain items, for the second quarter, swamping estimates of 93 cents, with revenue also above estimates. The company was helped by a rebound in memory chip prices, stemming from increasing demand from mobile operators.

Select Comfort —The company posted second quarter profit of 18 cents per share, six cents below estimates, with revenues also posting a shortfall. The mattress maker was hurt by an increase in marketing and research costs.

Allstate —The insurer is selling life insurance unit Lincoln Benefit Life to Resolution Life Holdings For $600 million. Resolution is a British financial services firm.

Quest Diagnostics —The medical lab services provider missed estimates by three cents with quarterly earnings of $1.06 per share, ex-items. Quest was hurt by a cut in Medicare reimbursements.

Philip Morris International —The tobacco producer earned $1.30 per share ex-items for the second quarter, missing estimates by 11 cents. Revenue was also below estimates, with volume declines across all its regions.

(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 Senior Commodities Correspondent and 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.