Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:
JPMorgan Chase–The bank reported fourth quarter profit of $1.30 per share on a GAAP basis, $1.40 per share on a non-GAAP basis, compared to estimates of $1.35. Revenue did beat estimates, and CEO Jamie Dimon said the company is making progress on its control, regulatory, and litigation agendas.
Time Warner Cable–The cable giant rejected a merger proposal received in a letter from Charter Communications. The price is reported to be $132.50 in cash and stock, though the cable operator said the letter from Charter only described it as being in the "low 130s". Time Warner Cable said Charter's proposal substantially undervalues the company.
Google–The search behemoth is buying Nest Labs in a $3.2 billion cash transaction. Nest is a maker of "smart" consumer products like thermostats and smoke alarms that communicate with their owners. Separately, Wells Fargo upgraded Google shares to "outperform" from "market perform".
Cliffs Natural Resources–Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold", saying the iron ore producer is well-positioned for long term growth, thanks in part to recent acquisitions.
Jabil Circuit–The contract electronics manufacturer's stock was upgraded to "conviction buy" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs. Goldman notes Jabil was affected by weaker sales in 2013 at key customers Apple and Cisco this morning, and that stocks like Jabil have historically bounced back the following year.
Apple–The technology giant lost a court bid to remove a lawyer appointed to monitor its compliance with a settlement involving electronic book prices.
Pfizer–The pharmaceutical big has at least three other drug makers interested in purchasing its branded generics business, according to Reuters. Valeant, Actavis, and Mylan are said to be among the interested parties, although no active discussions are going on at the current time.
Microsoft–Microsoft is said to be readying a successor operating system to Windows 8, according to the London Times. The paper said the new system is codenamed "Threshold" and will be unveiled at an event in April. Separately, Citi downgraded Microsoft shares to "neutral" from "buy", saying there are high expectations for the new CEO whenever he or she is named, and that the company will be relatively slow to implement changes.
General Mills–Morgan Stanley downgraded the food company's stock to "underweight" from "equalweight", saying General Mills' U.S. sales will continue to lag those of its peers.
Intel–JPMorgan upgraded Intel to "overweight" from "neutral", saying the PC market will stabilize this year and that the chip maker will focus on areas where it has an advantage.
Brocade Communications–JPMorgan upgraded the communications equipment maker's stock to "overweight" from "underweight".
—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow
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