MS, EA, CRM, PCG, S & more

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:

Morgan Stanley – Morgan Stanley reported quarterly profit of 80 cents per share, missing the 89 cents a share consensus estimate. Revenue was also below forecasts, with CEO James Gorman saying the firm’s results were impacted by the volatile global market environment.

Electronic Arts – Jefferies downgraded the video game publisher’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” saying it sees a risk to earnings with a slate of unproven games coming to market in 2019. – The enterprise software company’s stock was rated “overweight” in new coverage at Stephens, which thinks Salesforce has a competitive advantage in a large and fast-growing market.

Becton Dickinson — The medical products maker reported adjusted preliminary first quarter profit of $2.70 per share, 9 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also topped forecasts, driven by better-than-expected performance across all three of its business units

Alcoa — Alcoa reported adjusted quarterly profit of 66 cents per share, beating forecasts by 16 cents a share. The aluminum producer’s revenue was essentially in line with forecasts. Alcoa also said it expects a supply surplus in 2019, driven by Chinese production.

CSX – CSX beat estimates by 2 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $1.01 per share. The railroad operator’s revenue was in line with Wall Street projections, however CSX shares fell after it forecast slower revenue growth for 2019. – announced it was reviewing various strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including a possible sale of the online auto marketplace operator.

Gannett – The USA Today publisher remains on watch after a late-day surge Wednesday, coming after a Wall Street Journal report that Tribune Publishing had recently tried to revive merger talks between the two. Sources told the Journal that Tribune remains interested and that Gannett may be more receptive in light of the recent takeover bid from MNG Enterprises.

PG&E — The debt rating of PG&E’s Pacific Gas & Electric unit was cut by Standard and Poor’s for the third time this month, after the utility missed interest payments on some of its debt.

Sprint — Sprint is the latest mobile network operator to say it will stop giving real-time location data on its customers to data middlemen. T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T and done the same earlier this month.

Apple – Apple plans to cut back on hiring for some divisions following a slowdown in iPhone sales, according to a Bloomberg report.

Goldman Sachs – Goldman removed “eight digits” worth of dollars from the bonus pool of its fixed income division in the last week of 2018, according to a Wall Street Journal report.