BB&T, Equity Residential, Gannett, GSV, MetLife: U.S. Equity Preview

Shares of the following companies may have unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parenthesis and prices are as of 8:05 a.m. in New York.

BB&T Corp. (BBT) : BB&T may rise as the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank’s asset quality improves and its earnings increase, Barron’s reported in its “The Trader” column.

Equity Residential (EQR) : Equity Residential, the largest publicly traded U.S. apartment landlord, said it will acquire a 26.5 percent stake in closely held Archstone for $1.33 billion in cash.

Gannett Co. (GCI) rose 0.8 percent to $12. The owner of 82 newspapers and 23 television stations was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Lazard Capital Markets.

GSV Capital Corp. (GSVC US) climbed 2.4 percent to $14.80. The U.S. investment Fund, which owns stakes in venture-based companies such as Zynga Inc. and Facebook Inc., may be attractive to investors who can tolerate some risk as more social media, green technology and education companies prepare to go public, Barron’s reported.

Guess? (GES US): The clothing retailer may be attractive after concern over a sales slowdown in Europe and the U.S. pushed the share price below $30, Barron’s reported in its “The Trader” column.

Intralinks Holdings Inc. (IL) : Discovery Group LLC reported a 5.8 percent stake in the software maker and may seek talks with management, the board and shareholders.

Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. (MRX) : The drug company that makes wrinkle treatments and acne medicine forecast 2011 profit of as much as $2.39 a share, compared with the average analysts’ estimate of $2.35.

MetLife Inc. (MET) increased 2.6 percent to $32.60. The largest U.S. life insurer, said 2012 earnings may reach $5.20 a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of $5.08 a share, daya compiled by Bloomberg show.

OfficeMax Inc. (OMX) : Moody’s Investors Service changed its outlook for the U.S. office-supplies retailer to stable from negative, citing expectation that the Naperville, Illinois-based company’s operating performance is likely to improve.

Staples Inc. (SPLS) rallied 3.2 percent to $14.80. The world’s largest office products company may rise to as high as $22 in the next year if the economy improves and companies spend more on office supplies, Barron’s reported.

SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG) New York’s biggest office landlord raised its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share from 10 cents a share, exceeding the Bloomberg estimate of 10 cents.

SuccessFactors Inc. (SFSF) surged 52 percent to $39.92. SAP AG agreed to buy SuccessFactors for $40 a share, or 52 percent more than the closing price on Dec. 2, to extend its reach in the market for cloud computing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney Kisling in New York at

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

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