Stocks to Watch: Darden, Ryder
Updated from 7:59 a.m. ET to include Harvest Natural Resources, updated premarket prices.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here's a list of stocks that should figure prominently in Friday's session:
Harvest Natural Resources(HNR) was a big mover ahead of the opening bell after the company reached a deal to sell its oil interests in Venezuela for $725 million in cash. The buyer is PT Pertamina, the national oil company of Indonesia. The company expects the transaction to yield net proceeds of $525 million after related costs and taxes.
The stock was last quoted at $8.77, up 80%, on volume of more than 180,000, according to Nasdaq.com.
Shares of Darden Restaurants(DRI) fell in pre-market action after the Orlando-based company posted in-line earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter but came in slightly short on the top line.
The company, which also announced a 16% increase in its quarterly dividend, attributed the sales shortfall to "same-restaurant sales declines at both Olive Garden and Red Lobster that reflected less effective than anticipated nationally advertised promotions." Darden also said it expects the business environment in fiscal 2013 to be "very similar" to what it experienced in fiscal 2012. The stock was last quoted at $48.89, down 3%, on volume of nearly 300,000, according to Nasdaq.com.
Darden forecast blended same-restaurant sales growth of 1-to-2% for fiscal 2013 from its Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse concepts, a projection that it said is "just below" its long-term target.
Arch Coal(ACI) said after Thursday's closing bell that it's laying off 750 employees, or roughly 10% of its workforce. The company said it plans to "idle several operations and to reduce production at other mining complexes in Appalachia due to the unprecedented downturn in demand for coal-based electricity. "
The stock closed Thursday at $6.20, down 3.1%. Year-to-date, the shares have lost more than 50% of their value, scraping a 52-week low of $5.62 on June 14.
Medtronic(MDT) said its board has approved a 7.2% increase in its regular quarterly cash dividend to 26 cents a share. The medical device company said the dividend is payable on July 27 to shareholders of record on July 6.
Based on Thursday's close at $37.80, the higher payout brings the forward annual dividend yield on the stock to 2.75%. Year-to-date, the shares are down 1.2%.