, ConAgra, Darden, EMC, Pfizer: U.S. Equity Preview

Shares of the following companies may have unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 7:45 a.m. in New York.

Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE US) rallied 6.9 percent to $31.20. The top maker of graphic-design programs forecast fiscal first- quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates, bolstered by sales of the company’s desktop-publishing software.

Alliant Energy Corp. (LNT US): The Madison, Wisconsin-based utility company raised its 2011 expected dividend target to $1.70 a share from $1.58, according to a statement distributed by PR Newswire. Inc. (AMZN US) rose 0.6 percent to $184.40. The largest online retailer was rated “outperform” in new coverage at Macquarie Group Ltd. The share-price estimate is $205.

AOL Inc. (AOL US) dropped 0.3 percent to $23.89. The Internet company spun off from Time Warner Inc. said it agreed to buy Inc., a social identity site. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB US): The world’s largest maker of multiple sclerosis medicines said it has acquired a unit of Neurimmune Holding AG, which includes the worldwide rights to three preclinical immunotherapy programs.

ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG US): The maker of Banquet and Healthy Choice dinners reported second-quarter earnings excluding some items of 45 cents a share, trailing the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey by 1 cent.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI US) slumped 3.1 percent to $48.88. The owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse cut its 2011 sales forecast and reiterated a previous earnings estimate. Second-quarter profit from continuing operations matched the average analyst projection.

EMC Corp. (EMC US) rose 0.6 percent to $22.94. Morgan Stanley resumed coverage of the world’s biggest maker of storage computers with an “overweight” rating. The share-price estimate is $26.

Estee Lauder Cos. (EL US): The New York-based maker of Mac cosmetics and Clinique skin care was rated “buy” in new coverage at Jefferies & Co., which cited the prospects for operating margin expansion.

Finisar Corp. (FNSR US) declined 3.7 percent to $28.76. The maker of fiber-optic transmission gear said it plans to sell 3.6 million shares and may use some of the money to repay debt.

HCP Inc. (HCP US): The largest U.S. health-care real estate investment trust said it has completed its $1.472 billion public offering of 46 million shares and plans to use the proceeds for debt, cash on hand and to finance a previously announced $6.1 billion acquisition.

Incyte Corp. (INCY US) rallied 8.7 percent to $16.50. The drugmaker said its drug for the bone-marrow disorder myelofibrosis met goals in the third and final stage of studies generally required for approval.

Jabil Circuit Inc. (JBL US) jumped 7 percent to $18.89. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based electronics manufacturer forecast second-quarter earnings of at least 49 cents a share, exceeding the average of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

LaserCard Corp. (LCRD US) surged 39 percent to $6.20. The maker of secure identification cards agreed to be bought by Assa Abloy AB for $6.25 a share, or $80 million.

Martek Biosciences Corp. (MATK US) soared 34 percent to $31.31. The maker of nutritional oils for foods and baby formula agreed to be bought by Royal DSM NV (RDSMY US), for $1.09 billion. Martek shareholders will receive $31.50 a share in cash, DSM said in a statement today.

Netflix Inc. (NFLX US) added 1 percent to $179.88. The movie-rental service was recommended by CNBC’s Jim Cramer on the growth of movies “streamed” into homes and the company’s planned international expansion.

Paychex Inc. (PAYX US) rose 0.7 percent to $30.90. The company that manages payrolls accounting for companies that employ fewer than 100 workers said second-quarter earnings per share excluding some items beat the average analyst estimate by 5.7 percent.

Pepco Holdings Inc. (POM US): The Washington-based company named for its Potomac Electric Power Co. unit said 2011 capital expenditures will be $1.09 billion, and they will rise to $1.18 billion in 2012.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE US): The world’s largest drugmaker will recall about 19,000 bottles of Lipitor tablets distributed in the U.S. after a customer reported a musty odor from bottles in which the drug was packaged, the company said.

Safeway Inc. (SWY US) gained 1.3 percent to $22.01. The supermarket chain was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Northcoast Research. The 12-month share-price estimate is $29.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD US): Canada’s second-biggest bank agreed to buy Chrysler Financial Corp. from Cerberus Capital Management LP for $6.3 billion to add an auto-finance company. The transaction will be in cash, the bank said today in a statement. Toronto-Dominion doesn’t intend to issue stock for the purchase.

Verigy Ltd. (VRGY US) rose 4.3 percent to $13.50. The U.S. maker of testing equipment for semiconductor makers is in merger talks with Advantest Corp. (ATE US), the New York Post reported, citing two unidentified people close to the matter.

To contact the reporter for this story: Rita Nazareth in Sao Paulo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at

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