Malaysia rolls out red carpet as Saudi king kicks off Asia tour
* King Salman arrives in Kuala Lumpur for start of rare Asian tour
(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, after disappointing manufacturing data in China and discouraging earnings reports from bellwether names such as McDonald's Corp. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.12 percent at 16,190.23, the S&P 500 was down 1.05 percent at 1,825.4 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.04 percent at 4,198.685.
** FUSION-IO INC, $10.88, +15.50 pct
The solid-state data storage maker reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter on Wednesday, helped by diversification in its customer base and greater traction with original equipment manufacturers.
Fusion reported an adjusted loss of 6 cents per share on revenue of $94.5 million. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 10 cents per share on revenue of $89.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** SILICOM LTD, $60.4693, +30.07 pct
The company, which makes computer networking equipment, reported a 52 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue.
** EBAY INC, $54.625, +0.40 pct
Carl Icahn has taken a stake in the e-commerce giant and is proposing a spin-off of the its fast-growing PayPal division, but eBay rebuffed the overture, setting the stage for a potential battle with the activist investor.
** NOBLE CORP, $33.3, -8.14 pct
The offshore drilling contractor's chief executive said he expected slack demand for rigs in the first part of this year. However, Noble posted a rise in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, in line with analysts' estimates, as the company successfully raised daily rates.
** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, $47.73, -2.95 pct
The airline forecast current-quarter revenue that disappointed some analysts. However, the company posted a quarterly profit that easily topped Wall Street expectations, helped by an increase in passenger travel, higher ticket prices and lower fuel costs.
** HERBALIFE LTD, $64.54, -12.23 pct
Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey is asking for more information about the business practices of the nutrition company, which has been accused of running a pyramid scheme by prominent hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.
Markey sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and to Herbalife itself to try an obtain more information, his office said in a news release on Thursday.
** SANTANDER CONSUMER USA HOLDING INC, $26.01, +8.38 pct
Shares of the consumer finance unit of Spanish bank Santander SA rose as much as 10 percent in their U.S. market debut. The Spanish lender said earlier on Thursday that it planned to increase the equity of its U.S. holding company by up to $2 billion to back growth plans.
** NETFLIX INC, $388.265, +16.34 pct
The company added more than 2.3 million U.S. customers in the fourth quarter and said it was testing different pricing plans for its monthly TV and movie streaming service.
** LOGITECH INTERNATIONAL SA, $15.985, +20.92 pct
The computer-mouse maker raised its forecast for the full year after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter results.
** POLYCOM INC, $11.92, +1.27 pct
The company reported better-than-expected quarterly results due to higher sales of its desktop video-conferencing devices, and said it would cut 6 percent of its workforce.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $7.29, +8.64 pct
At least three pharmaceutical companies, Eli Lilly and Co , Shire Plc and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, have approached Ariad's board to buy the company, and were prepared to pay up to $20 per share in cash, according to a report on the website of the Daily Mail newspaper. (link.reuters.com/ben36v)
** HILL-ROM HOLDINGS INC $38.06, -13.72 pct
The medical products and technologies provider reported weaker-than-expected results for the first quarter, hurt by falling sales in North America, the Middle East and Latin America.
The company also forecast full-year earnings below analysts' estimates and said it would cut 350 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs.
** MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC, $23.375, -1.16 pct
Hedge fund manager David Einhorn, whose Greenlight Capital ranked among last year's best performers, has taken new positions in Micron Technology and BP Plc, both of which he praised in a letter to investors for practices focused on returning cash to shareholders. Greenlight also added a position in Anadarko Petroleum Corp APC, Einhorn said in the letter, which was seen by Reuters.
** WESTERN DIGITAL CORP, $87.45, -0.72 pct
The world's No. 1 hard-disk drive maker forecast a tepid third quarter as it expects cautious spending and a decline in the PC market to hit sales.
** F5 NETWORKS INC, $104.325, +7.02 pct
The network gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates, helped by strong sales of its data traffic management products.
** SANDISK CORP, $70.74, -2.01 pct
The company posted higher fourth-quarter profits but gave a revenue outlook that fell short of some analysts' expectations and said memory chip prices would fall more this year than in 2013.
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $4.54, +5.09 pct
Analysts at BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on the Canadian silver miner's stock to C$5.50 from C$4.75, citing the company's forecast of higher silver output this year. Endeavour Silver said it expected to produce 10.4 million-11 million ounces of silver in 2014, higher than 6.8 million ounces it produced in 2013.
** RAMBUS INC, $8.98, +4.18 pct
Citigroup raised its rating on the technology licensing company's stock to "buy" from "neutral," according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC, $12.88, -9.99 pct
The company said its chief executive of two years, Robert Hanson, would leave the company in a surprising move at a time when U.S. teen apparel retailers are struggling to attract shoppers and boost sales.
** NOKIA, $7.03, -8.70 pct
The company reported a 22 percent fall in sales at its core NSN network equipment division, highlighting the problems facing management once it completes the sale of its former flagship phones business to Microsoft for 5.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion).
** COBALT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INC, $17.27, +2.55 pct
The U.S. oil and gas producer said on Wednesday it discovered oil at its Bicuar 1A well, offshore Angola. The well, drilled in partnership with Angola's national oil company Sonangol, reached its total depth in 59 days, about 63 days before schedule.
The Bicuar area may bring about $644.5 million, or $1.58 per share, for Cobalt, Global Hunter Securities analyst Curtis Trimble wrote in a note.
** BIOLINERX, $2.97, +1.37 pct
The drug developer said the U.S. health regulator granted an orphan drug status to its experimental drug candidate, BL-8040, as a stem cell therapy for certain cancer patients.
The orphan drug status is granted to drugs that aim to treat rare diseases affecting not more than 200,000 people in the United States and gives the drugmaker a seven-year marketing exclusivity.
BL-8040 mobilizes stem cells from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood in patients suffering from hematologic cancers, a type that affects blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes.
** CLEVELAND BIOLABS INC, $0.74, -34.51 pct
The biotechnology company said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services terminated negotiations related to the development of its anti-radiation treatment, citing a lack of funds.
** ACCELERON PHARMA INC, $52.35, -7.67 pct
The company priced on Wednesday a public offering of 2.4 million shares of its common stock at $50 per share. The price represents a 12 percent discount to the stock's closing price on Wednesday.
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $15.33, -7.37 pct
The Chinese solar panel maker said U.S. installer Cobalt Power Systems used its panels in a 113 kilowatt project in the San Francisco Bay Area.
** GLOBAL BRASS AND COPPER HOLDINGS INC, $17, -4.17 pct
The copper and brass products processor said an affiliate of its largest shareholder, KPS Capital Partners LP, would begin a public offering of Global Brass's 3.75 million common shares. Global Brass will not receive any proceeds from the offering, the company said on Wednesday.
** PRECISION CASTPARTS CORP, $263.84, -2.53 pct
The company, which makes forgings and fasteners for aerospace and industrial gas turbine applications, reported third-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates as customers postponed delivery schedules.
Precision Castparts books revenue only after the products have been delivered.
** UNION PACIFIC CORP, $174.28, +3.43 pct
The company posted a bigger quarterly profit as it raised prices and saw demand in overall shipments grow, Union Pacific said.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $176.31, -1.26 pct
The U.S. battery carmaker has unveiled what it describes as a "competitive" pricing strategy for China aimed at kick-starting sales in the world's biggest auto market, where demand for luxury cars has been booming.
** MCKESSON, $171.91, +1.31 pct
The majority shareholder behind German drugs distributor Celesio is in talks to buy the shares in Celesio held by hedge fund Elliott as part of a fresh attempt to sell the company to U.S. drugs wholesaler group McKesson, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.
** ABBOTT LABORATORIES INC, $37.31, -2.00 pct
The company reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, hurt by disappointing sales of its generic medicines and the lingering impact of an overseas recall of its baby formulas last summer.
** ROCKET FUEL INC, $67.0185, +1.14 pct
The digital advertising technology company estimated fourth-quarter revenue above analysts' expectations on Wednesday.
Evercore raised its price target on the company's stock on Thursday to $55 from $45.
** NOVARTIS AG, $81.62, +1.03 pct
The company plans to axe around 500 jobs in shutting a U.S. plant that makes its blood pressure pill Diovan, marking the second reorganization of its operations in as many days.
** ST JUDE MEDICAL INC, $64.34, -0.98 pct
The medical device maker reported a higher fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, as it had expected, and forecast growth in both earnings and revenue in 2014. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Kirti Pandey)
* King Salman arrives in Kuala Lumpur for start of rare Asian tour
* Berkshire hathaway says its lubrizol specialty chemicals unit took $365 million pretax loss related to q4 disposition of an underperforming business--annual report
NEW YORK, Feb 25 Billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Saturday attacked what he saw as tricks used by U.S. companies to boost earnings and stock prices, but he defended one oft-criticized practice: share buybacks.