Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Walmart – The retailer earned an adjusted $1.41 per share for the fourth quarter, beating estimates by 8 cents a share. Revenue also beat Wall Street forecasts. U.S. comparable-store sales rose 4.2 percent, topping the Refinitiv consensus of a 3.2 percent increase. Walmart also increased its quarterly dividend by a penny a share to 53 cents per share.
McDonald’s – Stephens upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “equal-weight,” saying the restaurant chain’s core U.S. business is accelerating.
United Parcel Service – UPS increased its quarterly dividend by 5.5 percent to 96 cents per share.
Oracle – Oracle added $12 billion to its stock buyback plan, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the business software giant.
Advance Auto Parts – The auto parts retailer earned an adjusted $1.17 per share for its latest quarter, 4 cents a share above estimates. Revenue was in line with forecasts, but Advance Auto’s comparable-store sales increase of 3.4 percent was below the consensus estimate of a 3.6 percent rise.
Honda Motor – Honda plans to shut down its only British factory in 2021. The automaker said the decision was based on global market conditions and was unrelated to Brexit.
HSBC – HSBC posted a lower-than-expected annual profit due to higher costs and weaker results at its trading businesses, and said economic slowdowns in China and Britain may weigh on the bank’s results this year.
BHP Billiton – BHP said its first half profit was down by 8 percent, with weaker earnings in the mining company’s copper business weighing on its bottom line.
Southwest Airlines – The airline is being probed by the Federal Aviation Administration for widespread miscalculation of checked baggage loads, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said in some cases, jets were carrying more than 1,000 pounds in excess of what a flight’s paperwork indicated.
Raytheon – The defense contractor won a $1.55 billion contract from the United Arab Emirates to supply its air force with missile launching platform systems.
Navient – Navient rejected a $3.2 billion takeover bid from hedge fund Canyon Capital and private-equity firm Platinum Equity Advisors. The student loan servicing company said the $12.50 per share proposal undervalues the company, among other issues.
Bristol-Myers Squibb — Hedge fund Starboard Value is asking a proxy solicitor to investigate the level of support among shareholders for the drugmaker’s $74 billion deal to buy Celgene, according to Reuters. Starboard has reportedly not decided whether to support the deal.
Caesars Entertainment — Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has purchased 4.5 million shares in Caesars, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. Fertitta’s bid to merge his Landry’s restaurant chain with Caesars last year was rejected.
Papa John’s – Papa John’s was downgraded to “sell” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus, which points to sales declines at the pizza chain and the expectation that the company will need to continue to support its franchised operations.
Ulta, Lululemon – The stocks were both downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Nomura Instinet. The firm still believes that the cosmetics company and the yogawear maker are two of the best stories in retail, but that the share prices already reflect that upbeat outlook.