Icahn’s Herbalife Stake and Costco Gets Sued: Morning Buzzers
U.S. stock futures were pretty flat on Friday morning as the world turns its attention to the G20 meeting in Moscow, where currency tensions have stolen the spotlight.
Futures at 8:50 a.m.: DJIA: -0.02%, S&P 500: +0.01%, NASDAQ: +0.08%.
Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) surged as much as 22 percent in pre-market trading on Friday after Carl Icahn disclosed a 12.98 percent stake in the nutritional-supplement company that Bill Ackman has called a pyramid scheme. Comments Icahn made in an interview with Bloomberg suggest that his investment in the company is in no small part a personal jab at Ackman. Icahn said that he doesn’t “like” or “respect” the hedge fund manager. “You don’t go out and get a room full of people to badmouth the company,” Icahn said in the interview. “If you want to be in that business, why don’t you join the SEC.”
CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS) was off as much as 1.7 percent in pre-market trading after the mass media company reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results that missed analyst expectations. For the quarter, revenue increased 2 percent to $3.7 billion, missing estimates by about $300 million. Earnings growth of 14 percent to $0.64 per share missed estimates by about 6 cents.
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) is suing Costco (NASDAQ:COST) over its alleged sale of counterfeit diamond engagement rings under the Tiffany brand. Costco, which sells high-end jewelry under several other brands, is not authorized to use the Tiffany brand. Tiffany is seeking damages of up to $2 million per infringement, and believes that hundreds, if not thousands, of rings were illegally sold under their brand.
Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT) enjoyed a minor boost in pre-market trading after reporting that it is expecting fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of about $0.57 per share, ahead of analyst estimates for $0.23. However, revenue is still expected to fall over 10 percent to an estimated $4.75 billion. The company issued 2013 earnings guidance of about $2.75 per share.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating some trades made before the buyout of Heinz (NYSE:HNZ), which was announced yesterday. Trading in Heinz call options spiked on the day before the announcement, prompting an informal investigation by the regulatory body into possible insider trading.