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Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

UnitedHealth Group—Jefferies downgraded the health insurer's stock to "hold" from "buy", based on valuation. Jefferies said the stock is now trading at a much higher than usual premium to its peers.

WD-40–The maker of the well-known lubricant reported quarterly profit of 66 cents per share, missing estimates by six cents. The company said a smaller-than-expected increase in sales was the result of promotional timing and some "unusual short term factors" in the Canadian market.

Family Dollar—The discount retailer reported third quarter profit of 85 cents per share, excluding certain items, missing estimates by four cents. That came despite sales that were slightly above forecasts, but Family Dollar said it's confident ongoing restructuring initiatives will result in improved financial performance over the long term.

Costco–The warehouse retailer reported a better than expected 6 percent increase in June same-store sales, helped by higher fuel costs.

Seventy Seven Energy—Investor Carl Icahn reported a 9.98 percent stake in Seventy Seven, acquiring the shares in connection with the company's spin-off from Chesapeake Energy and does not have any representatives on Seventy Seven Energy's board.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals—Regeneron and partner Sanofi reported positive results in a study of an experimental drug designed to treat a chronic form of eczema known as atopic dermatitis.

Zynga— Zynga named Google vice president Dr. Regina Dugan to its board of directors, putting it back in compliance with Nasdaq rules. The online game developer had fallen out of compliance when two of its independent directors resigned from the board.

Potbelly–The company said it would report weaker than expected sales for its second quarter. The sandwich chain's chief executive Aylwin Lewis said the quarter's performance is "disappointing" and that the company plans to test new marketing strategies and some menu changes.

Zumiez–The sports apparel retailer raised its second quarter earnings guidance, after reporting a better-than-expected 3.1 percent jump in June same-store sales.

United Continental—The airline reported a 3.5 percent increase in passenger revenue per available seat mile during the second quarter, more than it had previously forecast.

IBM–Big Blue will invest $3 billion over the next five years in semiconductor research and development, hoping to make chips that are smaller and more efficient.

Bank of America–The baking giant resubmitted its request to the Federal Reserve to pay a five cent per share dividend, according to Dow Jones. The bank had withdrawn a prior capital plan after finding it had calculated capital levels incorrectly.

Lumber Liquidators–The company cut its earnings outlook for the year on weaker than expected customer traffic during the second quarter. The flooring materials retailer said improvement that had been seen earlier in the year could not be sustained, and that the overall environment for home remodeling has been weak.

By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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