MARKET PULSE-Suntech, Adobe, BlackBerry, Anadarko, Francesca's
March 20 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Wednesday:
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FUTURES EDGE UP AS FOCUS SHIFTS TO FED
U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday as the focus shifted from concerns about Cyprus's financial health to the statement from the Federal Reserve's policy committee and news conference by Chairman Ben Bernanke later in the day.
S&P 500 futures added 8 points. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 54 points and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 76 points.
** SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS, Tuesday close $0.58, down 40 pct premarket
The China-based solar panel maker said a group of eight Chinese banks had filed a petition for insolvency and restructuring of its principal operating unit in China, which makes solar cells and panels.
** BLACKBERRY, Tuesday close $15.03, up 5.5 pct premarket
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the smartphone maker's stock to "overweight" from "underweight", according to theflyonthewall.com.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $71.44
** OBAGI MEDICAL PRODUCTS INC, Tuesday close $15.39, up 28 pct premarket
Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it would buy Obagi Medical Products for about $344 million to boost its dermatology and aesthetics portfolio.
The deal, at $19.75 per share in cash, is at a 28 percent premium to Obagi's Tuesday closing price.
** GEVO INC, Tuesday close $2.06, up 19 pct premarket
A U.S. district court's ruling strengthened the biofuel company's case that it does not infringe Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC's patents, analysts at Robert W Baird & Co wrote in a note. The two biofuel producers have been in a court battle over a patent for a method to commercially produce isobutanol.
The U.S. District Court of Delaware gave Gevo partial summary judgment on non-infringement on Tuesday. "The decision by the court gives us increased confidence in Gevo's position," said the analysts.
** ADOBE SYSTEMS INC, Tuesday close $40.75, up 6 pct premarket
The maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast after reporting first-quarter results above Wall Street estimates as more customers chose its subscription-based model.
** POLYCOM INC, Tuesday close $10.65, up 6 pct premarket
Goldman Sachs upgraded the videoconferencing company to "buy" from "neutral", according to streetinsider.com. ()
** WALTER INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CORP, Tuesday close $32.98, up 4.5 pct premarket
Sterne Agee raised its rating on the company's stock to "buy" from "neutral", according to theflyonthewall.com.
** MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PARTNERS LP, Tuesday close $19.05, down 4 pct premarket
The oil and natural gas producer said on Tuesday it had started a public offering of 8.5 million common units and would use the proceeds to buy oil and natural gas assets.
** ZYNGA INC, Tuesday close $3.47, down 3 pct premarket
BofA Merril Lynch downgraded the online game maker's stock to "neutral" from "buy", theflyonthewall.com reported.
** AMERICAN REALTY CAPITAL PROPERTIES INC, Tuesday close $13.93, up 2 pct premarket
The real estate investment trust said it had offered to buy unlisted Cole Credit Property Trust III Inc for $5.7 billion in cash and stock to create the largest publicly traded REIT in the net lease sector.
The offer is valued at more than $9 billion including debt, American Realty Capital said in a statement on Wednesday.
** LENNAR CORP, Tuesday close $41.42, up 2 pct premarket
The No. 3 U.S. homebuilder reported a first-quarter profit well above market expectations as lower interest rates and rising rents drove home sales.
The company reported a 28 percent spike in home sale closings and a 13 percent rise in average sale prices, pushing up revenue by 37 percent to $989.9 million.
** FEDEX CORP, Tuesday close $106.46, down 3 pct premarket
The No. 2 U.S. package-delivery company reported a 31 percent drop in quarterly profit due to restructuring costs and weakness in its air freight express business.
** ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP, Tuesday close, up 2 pct premarket
The U.S. oil and gas company said on Tuesday it has discovered a large amount of oil at its Shenandoah-2 well in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Anadarko has a large and active portfolio of deepwater oil and gas prospects in places including the Gulf of Mexico and Africa.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, Tuesday close 21.04, down 1 pct premarket
A federal judge on Tuesday set a tentative trial date of April 23 for the natural gas company's dispute with investors and a bond trustee over its plan to redeem $1.3 billion in notes early.
The company filed a lawsuit in the U.S. district court in Manhattan, seeking to block bond trustee Bank of New York Mellon Corp from interfering with the proposed redemption of the debt at 100 cents on the dollar, or at par.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $49.20, up 1 pct premarket
The bank has reached a $546 million settlement with the trustee liquidating the failed broker-dealer unit of MF Global Holdings, a court filing showed, an amount that will help repay the brokerage's customers.
As part of a settlement reached with James Giddens, the trustee who is tasked with liquidating MF Global Inc, JPMorgan will pay $100 million that will be made available for distribution to former MF Global customers.
** STAR SCIENTIFIC INC, Tuesday close $1.64, down 17 pct after market
The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia sent subpoenas to Star Scientific, its directors and others between this January and February, the maker of dietary supplements disclosed in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. ()
The company, which stopped selling smokeless tobacco products last year, said the subpoenas sought information on its securities, including private placement and related transactions since 2006.
** WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC, Tuesday close $45.21, up 6 pct after market
The U.S. home goods chain reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, aided by fewer discounts and strong online sales in the holiday season.
** MAXWELL TECHNOLOGIES INC, Tuesday close $7.44, down 6 pct after market
The maker of energy storage devices said its independent auditor McGladrey LLP resigned, citing "material weakness" in the company's internal control over revenue recognition.
** FUEL TECH INC, Tuesday close $4.47, down 9 pct after market
The maker of air pollution control products posted a surprise quarterly loss, hurt by charges from an income tax settlement, impairment and reserves for bed debt.
** COBALT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INC, Tuesday close $25.79, up 5 pct after market
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets raised the price target on the oil explorer's stock to $36 from $34 based on the company's successful exploration in West Africa and increased opportunities in the North Platte discovery well and the Shenandoah appraisal well in the Gulf of Mexico.
** FRANCESCA'S HOLDINGS CORP, Tuesday close $26.98, up 4 pct after market
The women's clothing retailer reported quarterly results that beat Wall Street estimates, helped by margin improvement and strong demand for its affordable clothing and jewelry.
** NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP, Tuesday close $14.64, down 3.5 pct after market
The private equity firm estimated its quarterly investment income per share largely below analysts' estimates. It said it expected first-quarter net investment income of between 33 and 35 cents, while analysts were looking for 35 cents on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** CINTAS CORP, Tuesday close $45.93, down 2.5 pct after market
The company posted a third-quarter profit that missed Wall Street expectations as expenses rose, and the designer and manufacturer of promotional items, first aid and safety and fire protection products forecast full-year earnings below analysts expectations.
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