Early movers: COST, LB, SCTY, JCP, M, S, IBM & more
Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:
L Brands–The retailer cut its fourth quarter forecast after December sales came in on the disappointing side, due to increased promotional activity. L Brands now expects fourth quarter profit of $1.60 per share, compared to consensus estimates of $1.79.
Dish Network–The satellite TV operator is withdrawing its bid for bankrupt telecommunications firm LightSquared, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Pier 1–The home retailer reported December same-store sales increased 1.3 percent, below the StreetAccount consensus of a 5.0 percent increase. Pier 1 called its results "disappointing".
J.C. Penney–Piper Jaffray upgraded the retailer's stock to "overweight" from "neutral", following what it calls a negative overreaction to Wednesday's holiday season update from the company.
McDonald's–Morgan Stanley upgraded McDonald's to "overweight" from "equalweight", saying structural advantages should eventually benefit the fast food giant's sales.
McKesson–The drug distributor reached an agreement to boost its purchase price for Germany's Celesio, and also struck a pact with hedge fund Elliott Capital Advisors to acquire Celesio convertible bonds. Elliott controls about 25 percent of Celesio.
Macy's–Macy's will cut approximately 2,500 jobs as part of a cost-cutting plan, and as a result, the retailer has issued a 2014 profit outlook above consensus estimates. It also said holiday season same-store sales rose 4.3 percent, better than expected.
T-Mobile US–The wireless carrier added a better than expected 1.6 million customers during the fourth quarter, and also unveiled a plan to pay customers to switch from rivals like AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Sprint–Deutsche Bank downgraded Sprint to "hold" from "buy", saying the shares are now fairly valued based on Sprint's outlook.
Apple–The iPhone maker and Samsung have agreed to a mediation session in their ongoing fight over smartphone patents. The mediation session will be held on or before February 19, prior to a March court hearing.
Bed Bath & Beyond–The housewares retailer reported third quarter profit of $1.12 per share, missing estimates by three cents, and also lowered its current quarter profits below Street estimates. That comes amid weaker sales growth, higher expenses, and narrower profit margins.
Novartis–The drug maker is the target of a lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The suit involves an alleged kickback scheme revolving around its Exjade drug, used to treat iron overload. Separately, Bloomberg reports that Novartis and rival drug maker Merck are in talks to exchange business units. Novartis would reportedly trade its animal health and human vaccines business for Merck's over the counter health products unit.
IBM–IBM will create a new business unit centered around its "Watson" supercomputer, and will invest more than $1 billion to create that unit. The New York City-based unit will employ about 2,000 workers.
World Wrestling Entertainment–WWE plans to create an online video channel, to debut February 24. The company will charge $9.99 per month.
Zumiez– The seller of action sports apparel cut its fourth quarter outlook, after its saw weaker than expected holiday season sales.
Angie's List–Raymond James upgraded the online review site operator's stock to "strong buy" from "outperform".
—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow
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