Stocks to Watch: HP, Rambus, Guess?
--Updated from 8 a.m. ET to include information on Hain Celestial, Safeway.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- These stocks were making headlines ahead of Thursday's opening bell:
Hain Celestial(HAIN) :
The Melville, N.Y.-based natural and organic foods company forecast earnings of $2.10 to $2.20 a share on sales of between $1.6 billion to $1.615 billion for fiscal 2013 and reported an above-consensus profit for its fiscal fourth quarter ended in June.
Hain Celestial, whose shares were up nearly 12% in pre-market action, also announced the acquisition of a number of food brands from U.K. company Premier Foods. The company said it expects the sale to close by the end of October and that it will add to earnings upon closing.
Citigroup lifted its price target on Hain's stock to $76 from $68 following the news, saying: "Sales in 4Q were $351mm vs. FC of $366mm though sales excl $28mm in discontinued ops. Consumption increased 10% vs. 9% in Mar ended Q. Encouragingly, mgmt implied momentum continues to be strong in August. We think category strength is being driven by higher end consumer spending, secular growth of organic food, and more at-home eating."
Shares of the grocery store operator were downgraded to hold from buy at Jefferies, which cited weakness in industry fundamentals.
"With the near-term catalysts seemingly gone, and no additional company-specific or macro drivers on the horizon, valuation remains a lone positive for the equity," the firm said.
Safeway shares closed Wednesday at $15.97, down 5% in the past year.
Shares of the no. 1 PC maker lost nearly 5% after Wednesday's closing bell after the Dow component missed on the top line with its fiscal third-quarter results and forecast non-GAAP earnings of $4.05 to $4.07 a share for the full year, a view that's at the low end of its prior guidance.
The current consensus estimate is for a profit of $4.07 a share in the fiscal year ending in October.
"HP is still in the early stages of a multi-year turnaround, and we're making decent progress despite the headwinds," said Meg Whitman, the company's president and CEO, in a statement. "During the quarter we took important steps to focus on strategic priorities, manage costs, drive needed organizational change, and improve the balance sheet. We continue to deliver on what we say we will do."