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Early movers: TGT, SHLD, AET, RTN, YUM, ANF & more

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

TargetThe discount retail giant reported third quarter earnings of 54 cents per share on a GAAP basis, compared to estimates of 63 cents. Target said its earnings fell below expectations because of higher than expected dilution related to its Canadian segment.

Sears – The clothing and household items chain posted a quarterly loss of $3.13 per share, excluding certain items, smaller than the $3.39 per share loss expected by analysts. Revenue was shy of expectations, as same-store sales dropped four percent at Sears and 3.1 percent at Kmart.

Abercrombie & Fitch–The teen retailer posted third quarter profit of 52 cents per share, excluding certain items, seven cents above estimates, though revenue was slightly shy. The stock is being pressured, however, as Abercrombie predicted a "low double digit" same-store sales drop for the fourth quarter.

Hologic –Carl Icahn acquired a stake of 3.5 million common shares in the women's health care products maker, as well as purchasing call options and selling put options.

Green Mountain Coffee—Green Mountain posted fiscal fourth quarter profit of 89 cents per share, excluding certain items, 14 cents above estimates. Revenue also beat consensus, but Green Mountain did forecast current quarter profit below Street estimates. Additionally, the company announced a new $1 billion stock buyback program.

Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth–The three stocks were given "overweight" ratings in new coverage at Morgan Stanley. The firm gives the overall sector a neutral view, but favors companies with diversified earnings streams.

Qualcomm– Raymond James lowered its rating on the chipmaker to "outperform" from "strong buy", based both on new product announcements and Qualcomm's commitment to returning capital to shareholders.

Philip Morris–Goldman cut its rating on the tobacco producer to "neutral" from "conviction buy", based on the company's cut in earnings guidance earlier this week.

Yahoo–Yahoo saw strong demand for its convertible note offering, prompting it to increase that offering to $1.25 billion from the planned $1 billion.

Dillard's–The retailer added $250 million to an existing stock buyback program that had $40.4 million remaining.

Williams-Sonoma – The company beat estimates by three cents with third quarter profit of 58 cents per share. Though the housewares retailer's current quarter forecast falls largely below estimates, investors appear to be focusing on the most recent results, as well as a 16 percent increase in same-store sales.

Yum Brands–The restaurant operator is combining the international and U.S. operations of its KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell chains, and keep its China and India operations separate.

Jack In The Box–Jack In The Box reported fiscal fourth quarter profit of 45 cents per share, excluding certain items, six cents above estimates. The restaurant operator did see declining revenue, but profit rose as the company cut expenses.

Johnson Controls– Johnson Controls is increasing its stock buyback program by $3.65 billion, and the maker of automotive controls also raised its quarterly dividend by 16 percent to 22 cents per share.

Raytheon–The defense contractor increased its stock buyback program by an additional $2 billion.

Navigator Holdings– Navigator will debut today on the New York Stock Exchange after pricing its initial public offering at 19 dollars per share, at the high end of the expected range. The company is a liquefied natural gas carrier controlled by investor Wilbur Ross.

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

Questions? Comments? Email us at marketinsider@cnbc.com

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  • Patti Domm

    Patti Domm is CNBC Executive Editor, News, responsible for news coverage of the markets and economy.

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