Equities

Lands’ End, AK Steel, UnitedHealth, Intel & more


Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:Lands’ End (LE) – The apparel retailer reported third-quarter earnings of 11 cents per share, 2 cents a share above estimates. Revenue came in below forecasts, but comparable-store sales posted an unexpected increase. Lands’ End also gave a better-than-expected current-quarter earnings outlook.AK Steel (AKS) – Mining company Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) is buying the steelmaker in a stock swap deal valued at $3.36 per share. AK Steel shareholders will receive 0.4 Cleveland-Cliffs shares for every share they now own.UnitedHealth (UNH) – UnitedHealth issued a 2020 adjusted earnings forecast of $16.25 to $16.55 per share, compared to a consensus estimate of $16.46 per share. The health insurer’s revenue forecast for 2020 does come in mostly above Street forecasts.Wells Fargo (WFC) – The bank appointed former Santander USA CEO Scott Powell as chief operating officer, effective Dec. 9. He will report directly to CEO Charles Scharf.Audentes Therapeutics (BOLD) – Audentes agreed to be bought by Japan’s Astellas Pharma for about $3 billion in cash or $60 per share. That’s a premium of more than 100% for the U.S.-based gene therapy company, whose stock closed Monday at $28.61 per share.Facebook (FB) – Facebook was rated “overweight” in new coverage at Piper Jaffray, which points to an easing of growth in expenses as well as evidence that neither users nor advertisers have moved away from the platform despite the controversy surrounding the social media giant.Alphabet (GOOGL) – The Google parent was rated “overweight” in new coverage at Piper Jaffray, citing a continued benefit of the shift of ad dollars from offline to online.Diageo (DEO) – Diageo was upgraded to “outperform” from “sector perform” at RBC Capital Markets, which cited revenue growth in the spirits maker’s higher-priced and higher-margin categories.Intel (INTC) – Intel is in talks to buy Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence chipmaker Habana Labs for more than $1 billion, according to Israeli financial publication Calcalist.Plug Power (PLUG) – The maker of fuel-cell technology commenced a 40 million share secondary stock offering.Ulta Beauty (ULTA) – Ulta was rated “buy” in resumed coverage at Deutsche Bank, which feels the cosmetics retailer is well-positioned to keep gaining share in what it calls a “favorable corner of retail.”The Buckle (BKE) – The accessories retailer increased its quarterly dividend by 20% to 30 cents per share, and also declared a $1.25 per share special dividend.

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