Early Movers: GPRO, MSFT, SHW, HOG, WMT, COST & more

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

GoPro (GPRO) – JPMorgan Chase upgraded the camera maker's stock to "overweight" from "neutral", on a valuation basis, noting a 24 percent drop since a mid-November secondary offering.

Microsoft (MSFT) – Piper Jaffray initiated coverage of Microsoft with an "overweight" rating, saying the company will benefit from increased corporate IT spending as well as momentum from Microsoft's cloud offerings.

Sherwin-Williams (SHW) – The paint maker is predicting 2015 earnings of $10.65 - $10.85, below the current consensus estimate of $10.88. The company plans to give more details on its 2015 outlook in a conference call scheduled for 11 a.m. ET.

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Harley-Davidson (HOG) – Wedbush initiated coverage of the motorcycle maker's stock with an "outperform" rating, citing a favorable cost structure, an iconic brand, and a robust new product pipeline.

Wal-Mart (WMT) – The retailer has cut prices on Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6 by $50 to $129 and the iPhone 6 Plus by $50 to $229, with a two-year contract.

Costco (COST) – Janney cut its rating on Costco to "neutral" from "buy", saying the tailwinds from gasoline are likely to become a headwind within a few months, and that a stronger dollar will also impact Costco's results.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) - The software maker reported adjusted quarterly profit of 36 cents per share, six cents above estimates. Revenue was also slightly above estimates as Adobe sold more subscriptions for its Creative Cloud suite. The company did issue current quarter guidance that falls somewhat below forecasts. Separately, Adobe announced the acquisition of stock photography company Fotolia for $800 million.

United Technologies (UTX) – United Technologies is predicting current quarter profit of $1.60 per share, eight cents below consensus estimates, and is also issuing guidance for 2015 that falls below analyst forecasts. The conglomerate points to an expected profit drop at its Pratt & Whitney unit.

Baidu (BIDU) – Baidu will invest in Uber, according to Reuters. The amount of the China-based internet company's investment in the ride-hailing service was not known, although Baidu is expected to make an announcement about the investment next week.


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Tesla (TSLA) – Tesla announced the departure of Veronica Wu, the head of its China-based business. Wu joined Tesla last December from Apple's China operation. Tesla did not give a reason for her departure.

Novartis (NVS) – The drug maker said its Cosentyx psoriasis drug performed well in a late-stage study, proving more effective than the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) treatment Stelara.

Coach (COH) – The luxury goods maker may become a takeover target of luxury retailer LVMH, according to trade industry publication Prime Retailer.

Actavis (ACT) – Actavis must keep selling its Alzheimer's drug Namenda, according to a judge's ruling. New York State had sued Actavis to stop it from discontinuing sales of Namenda, which will face generic competition starting next July. Actavis now has an extended release version of the drug which is taken less often, and said the ruling will have no effect on its plans to transition patients to the newer version.

SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) – SeaWorld said CEO Jim Atchison will leave that job on January 15, with chairman David D'Allesandro taking over on an interim basis. The theme park operator – which has faced controversy over its treatment of its signature killer whales – also unveiled a restructuring plan.

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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