Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Morgan Stanley – Morgan Stanley is buying Canada-based employee stock plan manager Solium Capital for $900 million in cash. The deal is Morgan Stanley’s largest since the financial crisis.
Restaurant Brands International – The parent of Tim Hortons, Popeyes, and Burger King reported adjusted quarterly profit of 68 cents per share, a penny a share above estimates. Revenue topped forecasts and comparable-store sales were better than expected, led by strength at Tim Hortons and Burger King.
Tesla – Tesla has cut 150 of 230 workers at a Las Vegas facility that delivers vehicles to North American customers, according to a Reuters report. Worker quoted in the report say it’s a sign that the company expects the pace of deliveries to slow significantly.
Walmart — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Walmart and six other retailers of extortion. The retailers had been sued by three plaintiffs accused of shoplifting, who maintained that there was a conspiracy to force accused shoplifters to pay up front or in installment to avoid prosecution.
Lockheed Martin – The defense contractor and others were sued by the government for alleged false claims and kickbacks. The case involves a multibillion-dollar contract to clean up a nuclear site. Lockheed denies the allegation and said it would defend the matter vigorously.
Apple – Apple saw a 19.9 percent drop in smartphone shipments in China during the fourth quarter, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
Avis Budget – The car rental firm’s stock was upgraded to “buy from “sell” at Goldman Sachs in a valuation call, with the price target increased to $35 per share from $30. Goldman feels headwinds facing the industry are already priced in, and that between Avis and publicly traded rival Hertz Global, Avis is the better operator.
Bed Bath & Beyond – The stock was downgraded to “sell” from “hold” at Loop Capital Markets, which said it does not expect the housewares retailer to achieve its current full year guidance.
Nvidia – Bernstein downgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” noting the company’s recent cut in earnings guidance and a view that the shares have little opportunity to beat out its peers.