Stocks in the news: Research in Motion, Sun Microsystems, Google
Sun Microsystems (JAVA) is reportedly willing to lower its sale price for a stronger commitment from International Business Machines (IBM). The deal could come as early as Friday. Sun cut its takeover price to between $9 and $10 a share, down from the previously discussed $10 to $11. A $9.50 a share price would yield a $7 billion overall value for the deal. JAVA shares gained over 2 percent before the bell.
Also on the tech front, Google (GOOG) is in late-stage talks to buy Twitter, according to two TechCrunch sources. Another source said the discussions are in early stages, but confirmed the talks. Without knowing the price, the blog assumes it's well above $250 million.
Micron Technology (MU) on Thursday reported a narrower quarterly loss but also a drop in sales, missing analyst estimates on both counts. Micron was affected by the supply glut in the memory chip-maker market. Shares declined 1.7 percent in pre-market trade.
Gilead Sciences (GILD) said a late-stage study showed its experimental high-blood pressure treatment darusentan helped to significantly lower blood pressure in groups resistant to treatment. GILD shares gained over 7 percent before the bell.
General Motors Corp. (GM), working on its new restructuring plan to give the government in less than 60 days, has prepared a new proposal for bondholders, and is working on a new concession package for the United Auto Workers, according to AP sources. Shares gained 1.4 percent in pre-market trade.
Blockbuster (BBI) -- as it faces changing consumer trends and stiff competition from Netflix (NFLX), Blockbuster says it has amended a revolving and term loan agreement, which gives it some breathing room on its finances. Lenders have also agreed to waive any default that comes from a "going concern" classification for fiscal 2008. BBI shares jumped over 18 percent before the bell.
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) is to publish advertisements in Australia newspapers to "correct" an earlier campaign that claimed its products did not contribute to tooth decay or obesity as well as an earlier message that its products are not over-caffeinated.
Whole Foods (WFMI) was downgraded by Jefferies & Co. from Buy to Hold. Shares declined 1.5 percent in pre-market trade.
Walt Disney (DIS) was downgraded by JP Morgan from Overweight to Neutral. Shares declined 2.2 percent before the bell.