BRIEF-Linn Energy reports qtrly loss per unit $2.36
* Linn Energy reports fourth quarter and full year 2016 results along with 2017 guidance
(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 Friday on the heels of a selloff in emerging market assets, hurt by growth concerns in China and as expectations grew that the Federal Reserve will trim its market-friendly stimulus measures further. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.17 percent at 16,008.45, the S&P 500 was down 1.25 percent at 1,805.66 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.44 percent at 4,158.071.
** MICROSOFT CORP, $37.195, +3.16 pct
The company posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, boosted by strong sales of its software and services for businesses, a solid holiday season for its new Xbox game console and Surface tablets, and a slightly lower tax bill.
** COVIDIEN PLC, $68.49, +2.50 pct
The medical devices maker posted a quarterly profit above analysts' estimates, helped by strong sales of its surgical products, especially vessel sealing and stapling devices.
** FIRST NIAGARA FINANCIAL GROUP INC, $9.28, -10.25 pct
The lender posted a higher quarterly profit as it earned more interest income, but the company also set aside more funds to cover bad loans. First Niagara earned $78 million, or 20 cents per share in the fourth quarter, up from $61.1 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.
First Niagara's provision for credit losses increased about 46 percent to $32 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
** WALTER ENERGY INC, $11.55, -7.60 pct
Wells Fargo analysts cut their price target on the coal producer's stock to "market perform" from "outperform," saying coal prices would remain challenging in 2014, with China potentially slowing again due to tightening credit. The analysts also cited Walter's high debt and weak earnings as a reason for the target cut.
** CARE.COM INC, $22.84, +34.35 pct
The family care website's shares rose as much as 35 percent in their U.S. market debut a day after the company priced its offering of 5.4 million shares at $17 per share.
The company had expected to price the offering between $14 and $16 per share.
** PROSPERITY BANCSHARES INC, $64.4, +4.04 pct
The Houston-based bank reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings as its loan book grew. Prosperity's net income rose to $62.3 million, or 98 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $48.3 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts had expected the company to earn 91 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** SVB FINANCIAL GROUP, $115.97, +5.18 pct
The bank reported a higher quarterly profit as it earned more net interest income.
Sandler O'Neill Partners raised the price target on company's stock by $12 to $116, maintaining a "hold" rating.
** PTC THERAPEUTICS INC, $25.5, -2.75 pct
The company said a committee of the European Medicines Agency recommended against a conditional approval to its drug for the treatment of a rare muscular disorder, sending its shares down nearly 30 percent in premarket trading.
** BIODELIVERY SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL INC, $8.28, +32.48 pct
The drugmaker said its experimental drug to treat chronic pain met its main goal in a late-stage trial.
At least two brokerages raised their price target on the drugmaker's stock on Friday.
** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, $80.21, -5.97 pct
Short-seller Citron Research said the 3D printer maker's stock was overvalued. Citron criticized 3D Systems for aggressively acquiring companies that it alleged do not control unique or transformative technology. The firm set a $56 price target on the stock and said this could go even lower in the long run.
"Many of these (acquired companies) synergize poorly, and most were bought for 2x revenues, while DDD is now selling for over 20x revenues," Citron said. (r.reuters.com/huw36v)
** XEROX CORP, $11.67, -0.77 pct
The company, best known as a maker of printers and copiers, reported weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue as growth in its services business stalled.
** GENERAC HOLDINGS INC, $47.06, -6.22 pct
BofA Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the generator maker's stock to "neutral" from "buy," according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** PARAGON SHIPPING INC, $6.66, -8.14 pct
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $3.79, -6.19 pct
** DIANA SHIPPING INC, $11.79, -6.06 pct
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Friday as capesize and panamax vessel rates dropped. The overall index slipped about 2 percent to 1,246 points.
** GENERAL MOTORS, $37.02, -3.64 pct
The company is seeking to cut shifts by half at one of its South Korean factories as it realigns global manufacturing in a move that could affect about 1,100 jobs, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.
** STARBUCKS CORP, $75.67, +3.11 pct
The world's biggest coffee chain's quarterly sales at established restaurants in its U.S.-dominated Americas region cooled more than analysts expected as online shopping kept more consumers at home and reduced their visits to its coffee bars.
However, the company boosted its fiscal 2014 earnings per share forecast to a range of $2.59 to $2.67, from $2.55 to $2.65 previously.
** INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC, $414.835, -5.50 pct
The company said on Thursday that it expected to sell fewer of its high-priced da Vinci surgical robot systems in 2014 than last year and diverged from past practice by not providing a revenue forecast for the year.
** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, $28, +7.65 pct
Jana Partners LLC has taken a large stake in the network gear maker, a move that comes at a time when Juniper is being urged by one of its prominent investors to increase shareholder returns.
** KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN, $102.17, -12.88 pct
The regional railroad operator missed fourth-quarter profit estimates on Friday amid weakness in its energy business, including lower coal shipments.
** SYNAPTICS INC, $60.28, +6.11 pct
The chipmaker reported better-than-expected second-quarter revenue on Thursday, helped by higher demand for its touchscreen and touch pad chips. The company, whose chips are used in mobile phones made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Nokia Oyj, also forecast third-quarter revenue largely above estimates.
At least four brokerages raised their price targets on the company's stock.
** ATOSSA GENETICS INC, $2.49, -22.19 pct
The company priced a public offering of about $5.8 million units at a price of $2.40 per unit.
Atossa said it expected about $14 million in gross proceeds from the offering. The company will use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, including the re-launch of its breast health device, which it said it would recall in October.
** BOEING CO, $137.51, -2.69 pct
The reliability of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is slowly improving but it is still not at a satisfactory level and the firm is working to improve the jet's performance, said Mike Fleming, Boeing's vice president for 787 support and services.
** UROPLASTY INC, $4.4, +25.71 pct
The medical devices maker posted a smaller-than-expected loss for the third quarter, helped by strong sales growth of its device for treating an overactive bladder. The company forecast a fourth-quarter revenue growth of 25-30 percent for the device in the United States.
Roth Capital Partners raised its price target on the stock to $5 from $4.50, citing the strong quarterly results and outlook.
** RESMED INC, $44, -6.14 pct
The medical devices maker reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results, hurt by declining sales in the U.S. market due to competitive bidding in the Medicare program and increased competition.
William Blair cut its rating on the company's stock to "market perform" from "outperform."
Jefferies cut its price target on the stock to $40 from $46, saying ResMed is experiencing a hit to both volume and pricing.
** PROCTER & GAMBLE CO, $80.36, +2.71 pct
** KIMBERLEY CLARK CORP, $108.24, +2.68 pct
Procter & Gamble, the world's largest household products maker, said it expected organic sales, which strip out the impact of currency changes as well as acquisitions and divestitures, to rise 3-4 percent, and core earnings to rise 5-7 percent in 2014. However, the company reported lower quarterly profit, hurt by unfavorable currency movements and lower gross profit margin.
Rival Kimberley Clark said its organic sales rose 5 percent, and forecast that they would rise 3-5 percent in 2014.
** CST BRANDS INC, $31.48, -3.76 pct
The gas station operator and convenience merchandise retailer said on Thursday that its fourth-quarter motor fuel volume in both the United States and Canada was expected to be close to the low-end of its previous estimate.
Motor fuel volume is expected to be 4,850-4,950 gallons per site per day in the United States and 3,300-3,400 gallons per site per day in Canada.
The company also said it expected North America merchandise sales in the quarter to be at the low end of its prior forecast.
** ANGIE'S LIST INC, $17.07, +4.85 pct
Brokerage B.Riley raised its rating on the online review company's stock to "buy" from "neutral".
** COMPUWARE CORP, $10.29, -2.46 pct
The business software maker reported lower-than-expected third-quarter revenue on Thursday, hurt by lower fee from its software license business coupled with stagnant maintenance activities fee and professional services revenue.
** QUALCOMM INC, $74.351, -2.00 pct
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, $28.74, -2.15 pct
Chipmaker Qualcomm acquired a patent portfolio from Hewlett-Packard, including those of its iPaq smartphone, for an undisclosed amount. The portfolio comprises about 1,400 granted patents and pending patent applications from the United States and about 1,000 granted patents and pending patent applications from other countries.
** ARCH COAL INC, $4.11, -3.07 pct
Analysts at Clarkson Capital Markets cut their rating on the coal producer's stock to "underperform" from "market-perform," saying they expected the company to generate a negative free cash flow in 2015.
Analysts also expressed concerns about declining productivity at Arch Coal's flagship steel-making metallurgical coal mine of Mountain Laurel, West Virginia.
** MCKESSON CORP, $175.24, +1.67 pct
The U.S. drugs distributor succeeded in its second attempt to win control of German peer Celesio in a deal with Celesio's two largest shareholders, German investment group Haniel and U.S. hedge fund Elliott.
** INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY, $15.37, -12.92 pct
The slot-machine maker warned that its full-year profit would more likely be towards the lower end of its previous forecast due to continued weakness in the North American gaming market.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $8.8083, -5.39 pct
** RENESOLA LTD, $3.52, -6.88 pct
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, $6.07, -4.86 pct
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $14.14, -6.36 pct
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $38.44, -6.43 pct
U.S. trade officials opened investigations on Thursday into imports of certain solar power products from China and Taiwan, following a complaint at the end of last year by the U.S. unit of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG.
The company at the time said it was seeking to close a loophole that enabled Chinese solar panel producers to evade U.S. import duties by using cells manufactured in other countries, mainly Taiwan.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, $148.73, -1.17 pct
A new U.S. Defense Department report warned that ongoing software, maintenance and reliability problems with Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter could delay the Marine Corps' plans to start using its F-35 jets by mid-2015.
The company forecast on Thursday higher earnings in 2014 after charges linked to U.S. defense budget cuts and workforce reductions depressed earnings in the fourth quarter.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $16.513, -2.06 pct
The lender is looking to win more advisory and stock underwriting business to offset an expected slowdown in the issuance of corporate bonds, a top executive said in an interview on Thursday.
** SYNGENTA AG, $74.8, -3.87 pct
Two leading U.S. grain groups have asked the world's largest crop chemicals company to suspend the commercial use in the United States of two genetically modified strains of corn not currently approved in China.
** DIGI INTERNATIONAL INC, $10.42, -13.81 pct
The networking device maker forecast current-quarter results below analysts' estimates, after reporting lower-than-expected results for the first quarter on Thursday due to a fall in revenue in its product business.
The company said its product revenue was hurt by a delay in orders from some customers.
** APPLIED MICRO CIRCUITS CORP, $11.1385, -1.86 pct
The chipmaker reported third-quarter revenue slightly below estimates on Thursday, prompting brokerage BMO Capital Markets to lower its price target on the company's stock to $12 from $14.
** DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES, $54.95, +4.87 pct
The credit card issuer reported a better-than-expected 11 percent rise in quarterly profit as more consumers used cards to make payments.
** OPENTEXT CORP, $100.1, +10.46 pct
The Canadian business software maker's second-quarter results beat analysts' estimates, driven by higher license sales and customer service revenue.
** PROGENICS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.28, -6.69 pct
The company filed a prospectus, called a shelf registration, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to raise up to $150 million through the potential sale of securities that could include stock, debt securities, or warrants.
** KKR & CO, $24.64, -4.38 pct
** BLACKROCK INC, $308.15, -2.35 pct
KKR & Co and BlackRock are among the investors in talks to buy a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd as the bad debt manager seeks to raise more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** NOVARTIS, $80.01, -2.18 pct
The European Medicine Agency recommended rejecting an application from the Swiss drugmaker to market its heart failure drug serelaxin.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, $168.91, -1.08 pct
The bank may stop traders from using certain chat messaging services to protect internal conversations that are lately being subjected to intense regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Kirti Pandey)
* Linn Energy reports fourth quarter and full year 2016 results along with 2017 guidance
JERUSALEM, March 23 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' plans to end unprofitable activities and freeze recruitment, but said Israeli media reports of up to 6,000 layoffs were incorrect.