Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Johnson & Johnson – Johnson & Johnson earned an adjusted $1.97 per share for the fourth quarter, 2 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also topped forecasts, helped by stronger sales of cancer and psoriasis treatments.
Travelers – The insurance company reported adjusted quarterly profit of $2.13 per share for the fourth quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.05 a share. Traveler’s net written premiums were below forecasts, although its full-year total for that metric was its most eve.
Stanley Black & Decker – The tool maker earned an adjusted $2.11 per share for the fourth quarter, a penny a share above estimates. Revenue also beat forecasts. The company predicted adjusted 2019 earnings of $8.45 to $8.65 per share versus consensus estimates of $8.80 a share, as it navigates through “multiple external headwinds.”
Apple – Apple supplier Foxconn said it trying to hire more than 50,000 people for the January through March quarter. That’s in contrast to reports that the contract manufacturer was in the midst of mass layoffs due to slowing iPhone sales. The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that Foxconn is considering producing iPhones in India to reduce its dependence on China for manufacturing and sales.
Nike – Cowen upgraded Nike to “outperform” from “market perform,” saying the athletic footwear and apparel maker will see multiyear increases in gross margins on a favorable product cycle.
Under Armour – Goldman Sachs upgraded the athletic apparel maker’s shares to “buy” from “neutral” and added the stock to its “Conviction Buy” list. Goldman said it believes a material expansion of gross margins is ahead thanks to Under Armour’s sales initiatives.
Anheuser-Busch InBev – RBC Capital upgraded the beer brewer to “top pick” from “outperform,” saying the dangers of the company’s debt levels have been overstated.
Take-Two Interactive – Deutsche Bank began coverage of the videogame maker with a “buy” rating, saying it foresees a higher growth rate for Take-Two than it does for rivals Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts.
Toyota – The automaker announced it would launch a joint venture with Panasonic in 2020 to make electric vehicle batteries. Toyota will own 51 percent of the joint venture.
Amazon.com – Amazon launched direct sales of merchandise in Brazil after months of delays as it worked around a variety of logistical issues.
Logitech – Logitech raised its full-year outlook, after the maker of computer mice and other peripherals beat analysts’ estimates with its latest quarterly earnings. The quarter was driven by strong sales of gaming-related products.
Tesla – Tesla’s Model 3 has been approved by European regulators, clearing the way for the expected European introduction of the electric vehicle next month.
FedEx – Fedex will take a charge of as much as $575 million for voluntary buyouts, as it trims its employee ranks to reduce expenses.
Alphabet – Alphabet’s Google unit was fined about $57 million, the biggest so far under a new European privacy law. Google was accused of not going far enough in gathering user consent for data use.
Apollo Global Management – The private-equity firm is close to a deal to acquire European packaging company RPC Group for more than $3.8 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.