Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell on Thursday:
Smithfield Foods - The largest pork processor reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $0.58 per share, and $0.69 when certain items are excluded, compared to estimates of $0.50 a share. A rise in sales of packaged meats helped offset a decline in sales of fresh pork.
Dell - Dell has responded to new shareholder Carl Icahn's demand for a leveraged recapitalization and a $9 a share special dividend if the current proposed buyout deal is voted down by shareholders. Dell said it is engaged in an active "go-shop" process for alternative proposals, and that it welcomes Icahn's involvement.
PetSmart - The company reported fourth-quarter profit of $1.24 per share, three cents a share above estimates, as sales and profit margins grew. However, the pet supplies retailer is forecasting 2013 profit of $3.76 to $3.92 per share, below estimates of $3.93 a share.
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Ciena - The networking equipment maker earned $0.12 per share for its fiscal first quarter, surprising analysts who had been expecting a loss. That performance came on the strength of stronger sales and higher profit margins.
Costco Wholesale - The warehouse retailer reported a February same-store sales increase of 6 percent, above the consensus Street estimate of 5.1 percent.
Limited Brands - The retailer saw a 3 percent increase in February same-store sales, beating estimates of a 2.6 percent increase.
Facebook - Facebook is adding University of California at San Francisco Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellman to its board of directors. Desmond-Hellman is a doctor and former executive at biotech firm Genentech. Separately, Facebook will be unveiling a new look for its new "newsfeed" today.
Time Warner - The company will separate its Time Inc. unit into a separate publicly traded company. Time Inc. is the publisher of such popular magazines as Time, Sports Illustrated, and People. The company had been in talks to combine some of its titles with those published by Meredith Corp., but those talks broke down.
TD Ameritrade - President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Tomczyk will sell up to 200,000 shares of the 2.5 million shares he currently holds. He will use the proceeds to fulfill liquidity needs and to satisfy charitable commitments.
(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)
—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow
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