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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

ConAgra—The food producer earned 39 cents per share for its first quarter, with revenue essentially in line. ConAgra said it is pleased with its start to fiscal 2015 and that cost-saving programs are having the desired effect.

Rite Aid–The drug store chain beat estimates by six cents with quarterly profit of 13 cents per share, but cut guidance for the rest of the year due to lower than anticipated pharmacy margins.

Kohl's–Citi upgraded the retailer to "buy" from "neutral", citing an improved product mix, the company's loyalty program, and other factors.


Pier 1 Imports —The retailer's quarterly earnings came in at 10 cents per share, three cents short of estimates. Revenue also fell short, with store traffic falling and profit margins shrinking.

Visa–Visa is exploring options for its investment in British mobile payment company Monitise. It currently holds a 5.5 percent stake.

Sears Holdings–A Credit Suisse report calls liquidation the best strategy for Sears shareholders, saying operating is taking away more than $10 a share in value each year.

Vivus–The FDA approved the company's new erectile dysfunction drug Stendra, which cuts in half the time patients need to take the pill before engaging in sexual activity.

United Natural Foods–The key supplier for Whole Foods beat estimates by two cents with fiscal fourth quarter profit of 67 cents per share, with revenue slightly above forecasts. The distributor of specialty foods was helped by a sales boost from recent acquisitions.

Agilent–The company said CEO Bill Sullivan will step down from that post in March, and remain as an adviser until October. Senior Vice President Mike McMullen will become CEO of the testing equipment maker in March.

Amazon.com–The Internet retailer has unveiled new versions of its Kindle e-reader, which will begin shipping next month.

AppleCEO Tim Cook posted a letter on the company's website saying it does not seek to monetize email and web browsing habits of users. Cook also said Apple has not and will not give any government agency access to its servers. Separately, Apple's iOS 8 rolled out without the HealthKit health and fitness application, because of a bug. Apple said it was working to fix the bug as quickly as possible.

Discovery Communications–Discovery wants to buy a controlling interest in the children's cable network The Hub" from partner Hasbro, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft—The Redmond-based tech giant will detail previously announced layoffs today, according to ZDNet. The company said in July that it would cut 18,000 jobs over the next year.

Target–The retailer will hire 70,000 seasonal workers for this year's holiday season, approximately the same number as a year ago.

By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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