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U.S. HOT STOCK FUTURES: HOT STOCKS TO WATCH

02/14/2013 | 09:13am US/Eastern
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Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Thursday's session are H.J. Heinz Co. (>> H.J. Heinz Company), Constellation Brands Inc. (>> Constellation Brands, Inc.) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (>> Whole Foods Market, Inc.).

Heinz agreed to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA, BRKB) and 3G Capital for more than $23 billion. Under the terms of the deal, which has been unanimously approved by Heinz's board, shareholders will receive $72.50 in cash for each share, a 20% premium to Wednesday's close. Shares of Heinz, which has been trading at all-time highs, were up 20% at $72.56 premarket.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (BUD, ABI.BT) and Constellation Brands agreed Thursday on revised terms for the Grupo Modelo SAB (GMODELO.MX) transaction. Anheuser-Busch agreed to give up key U.S. assets and beer licenses of Grupo Modelo worth $4.75 billion to fend off U.S. antitrust regulators and push through its $20.1 billion takeover of the Mexican brewer. Constellation Brands shares jumped 31% to $41.65 premarket, while Anheuser-Busch rose 5.5% to $93.12.

Whole Foods Market's fiscal first-quarter profit rose 24% as the supermarket chain's same-store sales continued to rise and margins grew. But shares dropped 6.6% premarket, to $90.50, as the company projected weaker sales and margins for the rest of 2013.

CenturyLink Inc. (>> CenturyLink, Inc.) announced a shift in its capital allocation that slashes its dividend and brings pressure on its debt ratings because of a higher risk of default. Shares of CenturyLink, the third-largest landline provider in the U.S., tumbled 17% to $34.48 premarket as firms that evaluate debt raised concerns that the company may spend more money on buybacks than it saves from cutting its dividend.

Angie's List Inc. (>> Angie's List Inc) swung to a surprise fourth-quarter profit as increases in the online review site's expenses moderated and revenue continued to climb. Shares rose 28% to $17.45 in premarket trading as the company also projected first-quarter revenue above expectations.

Itron Inc. (>> Itron, Inc.) swung to a fourth-quarter profit absent restructuring charges, though revenue declined. Shares fell 13% premarket to $41.75 as the company's revenue beat expectations, but adjusted earnings fell short. Itron also gave a weak full-year forecast.

J2 Global Inc.'s (>> J2 Global Inc) fourth-quarter profit edged up 1.3% as the cloud-based services provider's revenue jumped, offset in part by growing expenses. Shares rose 8.3% to $34.49 premarket as results beat Street expectations, and the company gave an optimistic full-year view.

Mondelez International Inc. (>> Mondelez International Inc) reported its second straight disappointing earnings report since spinning off its North American grocery business as fourth-quarter sales rose less than the company had forecast because it lowered coffee prices in Europe to keep up with the competition. Shares slipped 2.7% to $27 premarket.

Nanosphere Inc.'s (>> Nanosphere, Inc.) fourth-quarter loss narrowed, as the medical diagnostic-test developer reported stronger revenue. It also unveiled several leadership changes, including a new chief executive. Shares sank 20% to $2.10 premarket as the company's customer placements in the latest period missed its expectations and as it cut its first-quarter placement targets.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (>> Pioneer Natural Resources) swung to a fourth-quarter profit on higher revenue and lower impairment costs, although average prices of oil and natural gas declined. Shares slid 4.5% to $121 premarket as profit missed analysts' expectations and the company unveiled a stock offering.

Skechers USA Inc. (>> Skechers USA Inc) swung to a fourth-quarter profit as the company reported a broad jump in sales, with particular strength in women's shoes. Class A shares rose 9.6% in premarket trading to $21.45 as the results soared above Street expectations.

Weight Watchers International Inc.'s (>> Weight Watchers International, Inc.) fourth-quarter earnings fell 8.9% amid higher costs as revenue growth in the weight-management services company's online business was partly offset by declines in its North American and international meetings businesses. Shares fell 16% to $45.50 in premarket trading as the company projected 2013 well below expectations.

Zillow Inc.'s (Z) fourth-quarter earnings slipped 40% as the real-estate information provider logged an increase in expenses, masking revenue growth. Shares were up 8.6% to $42.30 premarket as results were better than expected.

Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (>> Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (USA)) said it has received two key U.S. patent allowances. Shares of the microRNA-based diagnostic products maker rose 13% to $5.38 premarket.

 
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Applied Materials Inc. (>> Applied Materials, Inc.), long whipsawed by the chip industry's business cycles, reported a 71% drop in first-quarter profit but pointed to signs of a rebound. The company said its orders in the fiscal quarter for such tools rose more 80% from the fourth period.

Armour Residential REIT Inc. (>> ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc.) has commenced an offering of 65 million shares as the real-estate investment trust looks to raise funds to acquire additional agency securities and for general corporate purposes. The company had 309 million shares outstanding as of Feb 12.

Avis Budget Group Inc.'s (>> Avis Budget Group Inc.) fourth-quarter loss narrowed as the car-rental company reported higher volume in North America and markets abroad, though the company issued a mixed outlook for the new year.

Blucora Inc.'s (>> Blucora Inc) fourth-quarter profit fell 83% as higher input costs offset revenue growth and as the year-earlier period benefited from a tax benefit. Still, results beat the company's estimates.

Cisco Systems Inc.'s (>> Cisco Systems, Inc.) fiscal second-quarter earnings jumped 44% as one-time tax benefits helped offset continued drag from weaker sales in Europe. The company's management continued to warn that economic weakness and uncertainty surrounding government spending could hurt its future performance.

EOG Resources Inc. (>> EOG Resources, Inc.) swung to a fourth-quarter loss as the natural-gas-and-oil producer posted significantly higher impairment charges, offsetting stronger revenue.

Ingram Micro Inc.'s (>> Ingram Micro Inc.) fourth-quarter earnings fell 3.4% as the information-technology company recorded acquisition costs, masking record revenue.

Kinross Gold Corp.'s (KGC, K.T) fourth-quarter loss widened as the Toronto-based gold miner booked a heavy impairment charge, masking a jump in revenue.

Liberty Global Inc.'s (LBTYA, LBTYB) fourth-quarter loss narrowed as the international cable operator was helped by its expansion in Europe.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (>> LyondellBasell Industries NV) said shareholders that are affiliated with Apollo Management Holdings L.P. are offering 25 million shares. The plastics and chemicals company had about 575.3 million shares outstanding as of Feb. 8.

MetLife Inc.'s (>> Metlife Inc) fourth-quarter net income fell 87% to $127 million as the company recorded substantial losses tied to its derivative portfolio, but operating results exceeded the guidance the company gave to investors two months ago.

NetApp Inc.'s (>> NetApp Inc.) fiscal third-quarter earnings jumped 32% as the data-storage firm's smaller software and services segments made up for a slight decline in product sales.

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (>> Nielsen Hldg NV) said certain shareholders have launched an offering of 35 million shares. The information and measurement company had about 362.7 million shares outstanding as of Dec. 31.

Nvidia Corp.'s (>> NVIDIA Corporation) fiscal fourth-quarter profit jumped a bigger-than-expected 50% as the company reported stronger sales of chips for mobile devices.

Prudential Financial Inc. (>> Prudential Financial Inc) has promoted Robert Falzon to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, succeeding the retiring Rich Carbone, effective March 4.

Taubman Centers Inc.'s (>> Taubman Centers, Inc.) fourth-quarter earnings slipped 81% as an accounting gain from debt extinguishment boosted the luxury-mall owner's year-ago results, though rents and tenant occupancy continued to improve in the latest period.

Universal Forest Products Inc.'s (>> Universal Forest Products, Inc.) fourth-quarter loss widened as the wood-products and construction materials company recorded higher input costs, masking improved sales across its segments.

The parent of American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. (>> US Airways Group, Inc.) on Thursday formally announced plans to merge and create the world's largest carrier. AMR Corp. (>> AMR Corporation) creditors would own 72% of the combined airline under the terms of the all-stock proposal, and US Airways shareholders the balance.

ValueClick Inc.'s (>> ValueClick Inc) fourth-quarter earnings rose 23% as the Internet advertising company's revenue and margins strengthened. Earnings topped the company's forecasts and the company issued first-quarter guidance mostly above analyst expectations.

Write to Anna Prior at anna.prior@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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