Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
UnitedHealth – The health insurer reported adjusted quarterly profit of $3.04 per share, compared to a consensus estimate of $2.89 a share. Revenue also beat forecasts. Quarterly results were helped by strength across all the company’s businesses, as well as a lower percentage of premiums paid out for medical benefits. UnitedHealth also raised its full-year earnings outlook.
Johnson & Johnson – J&J came in 4 cents a share above estimates, with adjusted quarterly profit of $2.06 per share. Revenue also exceeded forecasts, helped by a nearly 20 percent increase in international sales.
Goldman Sachs – Goldman reported quarterly profit of $6.95 per share, easily beating the consensus estimate of $4.48 a share. Revenue was well above forecasts, and the investment bank also raised its quarterly dividend.
Netflix – Netflix reported in-line earnings of 64 cents per share for its latest quarter, with the video streaming service’s revenue very slightly above estimates. The stock, however, is getting a boost on stronger-than-expected current quarter guidance, and subscriber additions for the prior quarter that exceeded Street forecasts.
Roku — Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management has taken a 5.1 percent passive stake in the maker of video streaming devices. Roku also announced the addition of ESPN’s subscription service ESPN+ to the lineup of channels available on Roku devices.
Walt Disney – Disney was upgraded to “hold” from “sell” at Pivotal Research, saying Disney appears best-positioned among video-centric media companies although it continues to see weak fundamentals overall for the industry.
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo – Goldman Sachs swapped ratings for the two beverage giants, upgrading Coca-Cola to “neutral” from “sell” and doing the opposite for PepsiCo. Goldman based its move on an improving organic growth profile for Coke, as opposed to a softer outlook that it foresees for PepsiCo.
Celanese – Celanese reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter as well as giving strong current quarter guidance. The maker of technology and specialty materials was helped in part by stronger prices for acid and other materials, especially in the China market.
General Motors – GM’s financially strapped Korea unit may get financial help from state-run lender Korea Development Bank, according to the bank’s chairman.
Sanofi – Sanofi is in talks to sell its generic drugs unit to private equity firm Advent International for $2.4 billion. The French drugmaker said it expects the sale to be completed before the end of the year.
Facebook – Facebook must face a class action lawsuit surrounding its use of facial recognition technology on photos, according to a US District Court judge in San Francisco. Separately, asset management firm’s biggest stock fund – the Global Allocation Fund – bought more Facebook shares last month after privacy issues hit the stock’s price, according to Reuters.
Wynn Resorts – The hotel and casino operator announced that former CEO Steve Wynn and ex-wife Elaine Wynn have settled a long-running legal dispute. The Wall Street Journal reports that Steve Wynn paid Elaine Wynn an undisclosed amount of money, and both sides said they were pleased that the litigation was behind them.
USG — Germany’s Gebr. Knauf sent a letter to the USG board, saying it would go to court if the building materials maker did not respond to its request for information. Knauf, which owns 10.5 percent of USG, wants to buy USG for $5.9 billion – a bid that USG is resisting.
Twitter – Twitter was upgraded to “equal-weight” from “underweight” at Morgan Stanley, which points to several positive factors including improving user growth.
Dollar General – JPMorgan Chase upgraded the discount retailer’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral,” noting an ongoing increase in same-store sales and increasing square footage in a market that the firm feels is a decade away from saturation.