Market Insider

Early Movers: WMT, HRL, CHK & More

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

Wal-Mart Stores - The retail giant earned $1.67 per share for the fourth quarter, 10 cents above estimates, and also raised its dividend 18 percent. But its first-quarter projections for both sales and earnings were shy of analysts' forecasts.

Hormel - Hormel matched estimates with quarterly profit of $0.48 per share, and raised its earnings forecast for the year. The food maker did see lower turkey prices, which slowed its revenue growth.

Chesapeake Energy - The energy producer reported fourth-quarter profit of $0.26 per share, excluding certain items, well above estimates of $0.14. The company benefited from prior capital expenditures, as well as cost cuts.

(Read More: See the Day's Top Percentage Winners & Losers)

Cheesecake Factory - The company reported fourth-quarter profit of $0.51 per share, excluding certain items, one cent below estimates. Revenue was also short of consensus, and the company's projected first-quarter profit of $0.40 to $0.43 per share is largely below current estimates of $0.43 a share. Profits were hurt by a drop in sales at the Grand Lux Caf chain, as well as super storm Sandy.

Nike - Citi has upgraded Nike shares to "buy" from "neutral," citing stabilizing trends in China and improvement in Europe.

Crocs - The shoe retailer earned $0.04 per share for the fourth quarter, excluding certain items, above estimates for a breakeven quarter. Sales were also above analysts' projections, as prices increased and unit sales were at record highs.

Xerox - Xerox has increased its quarterly dividend by 35 percent, putting the payout at 5-3/4 cents per share.

Tesla Motors - Tesla lost $0.65 per share for the fourth quarter, wider than the $0.53 expected by analysts. But the automaker's revenue was above expectations, and it said it expects to make a profit during the current quarter.

Foot Locker - Foot Locker has raised its dividend by 11 percent to $0.20 per share, and the footwear and athletic apparel retailer also announced a $600 million share buyback program.

Boston Beer - The maker of Sam Adams beer earned $1.25 per share for the fourth quarter, matching Street estimates, with revenue in line, as well. The beer brewer did see a drop from the prior year as profit margins fell.

Synopsys - The company earned $0.67 per share for the fiscal first quarter, 12 cents above estimates. The maker of software that helps design semiconductors also raised its full-year earnings outlook as it signs more long-term licensing agreements.

Verifone Systems - Verifone is forecasting earnings for both the first and second quarters that are well below analysts' estimates. The maker of credit card swipe machines said customers are putting off major projects, and that weakness in Europe is hurting results, as well.

Halliburton - Halliburton is increasing its quarterly dividend by 39 percent, putting the oilfield services company's payout at 1-1/4 cents per share.

Constellation Brands - Constellation, Grupo Modelo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and the Justice Department agreed to put off all litigation relating to AB InBev's acquisition of the remaining stake in Grupo Modelo. AB InBev and Modelo both say their recently revised transaction resolves concerns raised in DOJ's original complaint. Constellation is acquiring assets from AB InBev as part of the deal.

(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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