(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)
Sept 19 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve surprised investors and economists by keeping its stimulus measures intact. S&P 500 futures rose 5 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 58 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 8.25 points.
** RITE AID CORP, Wednesday close $3.71, up 17 pct premarket
The third-largest U.S. drugstore chain raised its fiscal 2014 profit forecast after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results, boosted by sales of higher-margin generic drugs.
** TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE INC, Wednesday close $17.20, up 17 pct after market
Brokerage Macquarie Equities Research raised its price target on the stock to $25 from $23 after the video game publisher racked up $800 million in first-day sales of Grand Theft Auto V, the fifth installment of the lucrative franchise that went on sale across the globe on Tuesday.
Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter in the opening line of his note said “Bottom Line - Wow! (and that is an understatement).”
** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $45.23
The social networking company is expanding a service that lets a group of major marketers measure the effectiveness of their ads, in the company’s latest move to prove that advertising on the world’s largest social network leads to real world sales.
** ORACLE CORP, Wednesday close $33.87, down 2 pct premarket
The company forecast sales and profit for its second quarter that fell short of expectations as it continues to battle soft global IT demand and smaller rivals focused on providing software over the Internet.
** TRANSCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $3.59, up 9 pct after market
Drugmaker Retrophin Inc said it offered to buy the rest of Transcept Pharmaceuticals shares it does not already own for $4 per share, valuing Transcept at about $75 million. Retrophin’s offer represents an 11 percent premium to Transcept’s closing share price of $3.59 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.
** VODAFONE GROUP , Wednesday close $34.17, down 1.8 pct premarket
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to stick with its economic stimulus programme causes traders to move out of stocks seen as “defensive” plays, such as Vodafone, and into “riskier” plays such as miners.
** GROUPON INC, Wednesday close $11.55, up 4 pct premarket
Brokerage Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the online coupon company’s stock to “buy” from “hold” as it sees strength in Groupon’s core business in the U.S, and stability in key European markets. Analyst Rohan Jordan believes continued shift of usage toward app-based e-commerce should also work in the company’s favor.
** STEELCASE INC, down 5.5 pct after market
The office furniture maker reported second-quarter results below analysts’ expectations, mainly hurt by the economic crisis in Western Europe. The company said the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region underperformed even as the Americas region contributed a strong operating margin.
** ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS, $31.80, up 4 pct premarket
The drugmaker said follow-up preliminary data from an early-stage trial on its experimental drug to treat a rare genetic neuromuscular disease showed improvements in muscle function tests in children.
Children with spinal muscular atrophy who received the two highest doses of the drug (6 mg and 9 mg) continued to show improvements in muscle function tests up to 14 months after a single injection of the drug codenamed ISIS-SMNRx.
Children suffering from spinal muscular atrophy often never achieve the simplest motor milestones like walking, crawling, or sitting up.
** WALT DISNEY CO, Wednesday close $67.11, down 1.5 pct after market
A Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday denied a request by Walt Disney’s ABC unit to stop Dish Network Corp from selling devices that let viewers skip commercials when watching primetime broadcast shows.
** PACIFIC COAST OIL TRUST, Wednesday close $17.98, down 6 pct after market
The statutory trust formed by oil and gas producer Pacific Coast Energy Co LP (PCEC) said on Wednesday it would offer 13.5 million trust units in an underwritten public offering in PCEC’s bid to repay a portion of its debt.
** APOGEE ENTERPRISES INC, $29.49, down 5.7 pct after market
The maker of glass products reported second-quarter earnings lower than analysts’ estimates. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast to between 93 cents and $1 per share from 90 cents to $1 per share. Analysts on average expect earnings of 96 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT, Wednesday close $4.37, down 4 pct premarket
The real estate investment trust announced a monthly cash dividend of 5 cents per share for the October-December period, about 29 percent lower than the 7 cents per share it had announced for the July-September period.
** SS&C TECHNOLOGIES HOLDINGS INC, Wednesday close $39.45, down 3.7 pct after market
The company, which makes software for financial service providers, said on Wednesday that investment funds affiliated with The Carlyle Group made a public offering of about 7.5 million shares of SS&C’s common stock.
** FIFTH STREET FINANCE CORP, Wednesday close $10.52, down 2.7 pct after market
The investment company said that it had started a public offering of 15 million shares of its common stock. Net proceeds from the offering would be used to repay debt, Fifth Street said.
** JAVELIN MORTGAGE INVESTMENT CORP, Wednesday close $13.21, down 7 pct aftermarket
The mortgage company slashed its monthly cash dividend to 15 cents per share from 23 cents per share for the fourth quarter.
** GT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $7.55, up 4 pct premarket
Brokerage UBS Investment Research raised its rating on the solar and LED equipment maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, according to theflyonthewall.com.
** ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC, Wednesday close $17.15
A U.S. court has handed down a preliminary decision to halt the closing of Vivendi SA’s $8.2 billion deal to sell most of its stake in Activision Blizzard back to the U.S. company, the games publisher said on Wednesday.
Compiled by Varun Aggarwal