The following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) said Thursday it's buying Ratiopharm in a deal valued at nearly $5 billion, or 3.625 billion euros. This concludes a months-long battle over Ratiopharm, with the largest generic drugmaker in the world winning over the largest pharmaceutical in the world -- Pfizer (PFE) -- which was also interested in the acquisition. TEVA shares rose 2.2% ahead of the bell.
Nike (NKE) said late Wednesday that stronger sales helped boost its third-quarter profit. Nike earned $496 million, or $1.01 per share, for the quarter, handily beating estimates of 89 cents per share. Revenue grew 7% to $4.7 billion, also above expectations, helped in part by foreign exchange rates. Shares jumped 3.7% in premarket trading.
FedEx (FDX) said Thursday it earned $239 million, or 76 cents per share, compared with $97 million, or 31 cents per share a year earlier. Revenue rose 7% to $8.70 billion. Results beat estimates, but even as it raised outlook, it took other measures that could dampen earnings growth and shares fell 2.7% before the bell.
Palm (PALM) is scheduled to report results for the fiscal third quarter after the close Thursday. Already, Palm has warned its revenue will be "well below" its previous forecast for the full year and sharply cut its revenue forecast for the quarter. Increasingly, investors wonder whether Palm is viable on its own.
Barnes & Noble (BKS) is moving the president of its website into the CEO position, replacing Steve Riggio. Shares sank over 8% before the bell.
GameStop (GME) and Cintas (CTAS) are also reporting results Thursday.
Viacom (VIA) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube secrets will become public soon as a federal judge prepares to release documents that will expose confidential information, including some of the evidence that Viacom and YouTube have collected to prove their respective points in their legal battles.
Google (GOOG) is also working with Intel (INTC) and Sony (SNE) to develop a new class of Internet-enabled televisions and set top boxes, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Google's Nexus One smart phone will soon be available on a second network -- Sprint Nextel (S).
Kraft Foods (KFT) said Wednesday that it will cut the salt in its products in North America by an average of 10% over the next two years to appeal to health-conscious consumers. About 1,000 products will be affected and 10 million pounds of salt cut. While this may sound like a lot, it may not be enough to make a big difference in consumers' salt intake.
Novartis (NVS) has relinquished U.S. rights to a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Advair. NVS shares declined 0.5%, while GSK's were 1.8% higher in premarket trading.
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) -- after a company warehouse was robbed of some $75 million in antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and other medications, Lilly warned consumers to beware of medications that could be stolen.
Guess (GES) reported its fourth-quarter net income rose 81% to $86.6 million. Excluding charges, the company would have earned $89.3 million, or 96 cents a share, on 14% higher revenue of $642 million. Results handily beat estimates on both counts. Guess also hiked its quarterly dividend 28% to 16 cents.