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Stocks to Watch: September 21, 2016

Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

General Mills — The food producer earned an adjusted 78 cents per share for its fiscal first quarter, three cents a share above estimates. Revenue was essentially in line, however the company said its sales performance didn't meet its own expectations, owing to a challenging macroeconomic environment and other factors.

Quest Diagnostics — The medical lab operator unveiled a new antibody test service that helps medical professionals diagnose infection by the Zika virus. Quest is using a test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wells Fargo — JPMorgan Chase downgraded the bank to "neutral" from "overweight," saying that scrutiny of Wells Fargo is likely to ramp up after this week's Senate hearings into fraudulent sales practices.

Reynolds American — Jefferies began coverage on the tobacco producer with a "buy" rating, pointing to factors like cost savings and continuing development of vapor-based products.

Boston Beer — William Blair initiated coverage on the beer brewer with an "outperform" rating, due to its presence in the fast-growing craft beer segment.

Skechers — Morgan Stanley downgraded the footwear maker to "equal-weight" from "overweight," saying consumer tastes in athletic footwear are shifting towards more fashionable offerings and that an adjustment by Skechers in its offerings is leading to slower sales growth.

Microsoft — The software giant announced a dividend hike and a $40 billion stock buyback program. Microsoft raised its dividend to 39 cents per share from the prior 36 cents a share.

FedEx — FedEx reported adjusted quarterly profit of $2.90 per share, nine cents a share above estimates. Revenue was slightly ahead of forecasts for the delivery services company. FedEx also raised its full-year guidance on better-than-expected performance in all its units, following the $4.8 billion purchase of Europe's TNT Express in May.

Adobe Systems — Adobe came in three cents a share ahead of estimates, with adjusted quarterly profit of 75 cents per share. The software producer's revenue essentially in line. Adobe did give upbeat current-quarter guidance, as its Creative Cloud software package adds more subscribers.

KB Home — KB Home earned 42 cents per share for its latest quarter, three cents a share above estimates. The home builder's revenue was shy of forecasts. KB Home did see a 16 percent increase in net orders, and an 11 percent rise in deliveries compared to a year earlier.

Nu Skin Enterprises — Nu Skin reached a nearly $766,000 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the health care products company's operations in China and the nature of a 2013 charitable contribution. Nu Skin did not admit or deny guilt as part of the settlement.

Cooper Companies — Cooper will replace Starwood Hotels in the S&P 500 after the close of trading Thursday, when Marriott's acquisition of Starwood is expected to be completed. The medical device maker will be replaced in the S&P MidCap 400 by electricity and natural gas provider Northwestern Corp.

Apple — Apple's iPhone 7 is more expensive to produce than its predecessors, according to a teardown performed by IHS Markit. The teardown indicates that the iPhone 7 costs nearly $225 to produce, about $37 more than the iPhone 6S.

Tesla — The automaker rolled out a security patch for its cars after China-based researchers said they uncovered vulnerabilities that allowed a remote attack on a Tesla Model S sedan.

T-Mobile US — The wireless carrier could become a takeover target of NBCUniversal and CNBC parent Comcast, according to The Wall Street Journal's "Heard On The Street" column. The paper said such a move could be part of Comcast's plans to launch a wireless service by mid-2017.