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Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

Wal-Mart–The world's largest retailer earned $1.60 per share, excluding certain items, one cent above estimates, while revenue was short of consensus. Wal-Mart's 2014 earnings forecast also falls below estimates.

Facebook–The social media giant buying mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock.

PepsiCo–Investor Nelson Peltz is renewing his call for Pepsi to split its snack and beverage businesses, saying he's unsatisfied with recently announced moves by the company to return more cash to shareholders.


Hormel Foods–The food producer fell a penny short of estimates with fiscal fourth quarter profit of 57 cents per share, with revenue slightly short of consensus as well. Hormel said cold weather and higher fuel cost will continue to put upward pressure on its expenses.

Safeway–The grocery chain said it is in talks to possibly sell itself. CNBC's David Faber had reported this during the trading day Wednesday, and the company addressed the matter in an after-the-bell conference call. Safeway added that there is no guarantee a transaction will actually happen.

Tesla–The car maker reported fourth quarter profit of 33 cents per share, beating estimates by 12 cents, while revenue was also well above estimates. Tesla sold a record 6,892 Model S vehicles during the fourth quarter, and expects to deliver more than 35,000 this year.

Marriott–The hotel chain matched analyst forecasts by reporting fourth quarter profit of 49 cents per share, though revenue was slightly shy of consensus. Marriott added that part of its drop in sales compared to the prior year was the result of a shorter quarter.

Jack In The Box–The fast food chain earned 75 cents per share for its fiscal first quarter, nine cents above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. Jack benefited in part from a drop in expenses.

Allstate–Allstate increased its quarterly dividend by 12 percent to 28 cents per share, with the insurer also announcing a $2.5 billion stock buyback program.

Gap–The clothing retailer is raising its minimum hourly wage for U.S. employees to $9 per hour this year and $10 per hour in 2015.

Kronos–Kronos could be getting Blackstone and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC as minority stake holders. Reuters reports that the two are in talks to buy part of the resources management software maker.

Google–The search giant wants to expand its high-speed Google Fiber internet service in 34 more cities. The move is seen as another indication that Google wants to challenge cable and phone companies in the business of providing internet service.

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.