Early Movers: IBM, FDO, DELL & More

Market Insider | What's Shaking | Earnings to Watch | Before the Bell

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

International Business Machines - UBS has upgraded IBM to "buy" from "neutral," saying IBM has the best strategy of its peers in what it terms the "IT as a service" industry.

Family Dollar - The discount retailer earned $1.21 per share for its second quarter, one cent below estimates, and its full-year outlook is also below consensus. Family Dollar said it was hurt at the beginning of the quarter by delayed tax refunds, but noted that sales trends have improved.

Dell - Blackstone Group is talking to several technology companies as possible partners to join its bid to buy Dell, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said the names of those companies are unknown.

(Read More: See the Day's Top Percentage Winners & Losers)

Bank of New York Mellon - The bank raised its quarterly dividend by 15 percent to $0.15 per share. It indicated last month that it would consider such a hike, following the release of bank stress test results.

Health Management Associates - HMA has cut its 2013 revenue and earnings outlook, with the hospital operator pointing to a drop in patient admissions during the current quarter.

Realogy - Realogy said its first-quarter revenue is likely to come in between $950 million and $960 million, short of Street estimates of $988 million. The operator of real estate agency brands such as Century 21 and Coldwell Banker is, however, seeing a year-over-year improvement as home sales rise.

Electronic Arts - EA has gained the dubious distinction of being named "Worst Company In America" by consumer advocacy website Consumerist. The videogame maker won that distinction for the second consecutive year, with voters unhappy with the quality of EA's games, as well as server failures following the recent SimCity release.

UnitedHealth Group - Subsidiaries Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health Services have been ordered to pay $500 million in punitive damages in a Las Vegas case involving an outbreak of hepatitis. Attorneys for the three plaintiffs had been seeking nearly $2.5 billion in the case.

Life Technologies - The company has reportedly received a binding takeover offer from Thermo Fisher Scientific. Reuters reported that a group of private-equity firms are also trying to finalize a bid for the laboratory equipment maker.

Yahoo, Apple - The two companies are said to be discussing a more prominent role for Yahoo on Apple's iPad and iPhone devices, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Agrium - Piper Jaffray has downgraded the fertilizer producer to "neutral" from "overweight," after it fended off major shareholder Jana Partners in a proxy battle. Jana had been seeking to break up the company.

Icahn Enterprises - Jefferies has initiated coverage on Icahn's firm with a "buy" rating, calling Icahn's approach to investments as "old school activism at its best."

Aeropostale - Goldman Sachs has downgraded the teen retailer's shares to "sell" from "neutral." The firm said Aeropostale is facing new challenges from a shift in the competitive landscape.

Netflix - Evercore Partners has initiated coverage of Netflix with an "underweight" rating, saying increasing competition will keep Netflix from raising prices too aggressively.

(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)

—By CNBC's Peter Schacknow

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