Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Netflix — Shares of online streaming service rallied more than 2.5 percent in premarket trading Friday after both UBS and Raymond James urged clients to buy the stock. UBS hiked its rating on the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” writing that after six months of underperformance, the investment bank thinks that the stock will rise as subscriber numbers grow. Raymond James upgraded the stock to “Strong Buy” and said the company is approaching a “profit inflection.”
Starbucks — Shares of the coffee giant fell more than 2.5 percent before the bell after Goldman Sachs predicted that the company would follow iPhone maker Apple in warning of weaker business in China. The firm downgraded the world’s largest coffee seller to “neutral” from “buy” on Friday, citing several signs of softness in the Chinese market despite plans to double the number of stores in the country in the next four years.
Activision Blizzard — The video game company was set for steep losses after it announced Thursday evening that it will transfer publishing rights for its Destiny franchise to Bungie. The company is also defending itself against claims from a former employee who says he was bullied while on the job. Activision lost its chief financial officer, Spencer Neumann, to Netflix earlier this year. Shares fell more than 6 percent before the bell.
PG&E — The California utility company fell more than 7 percent in premarket trading after another credit rating firm downgraded the company in the aftermath of historic wildfires that ravaged parts of the state last year. Moody’s joined S&P in cutting the company’s credit rating to junk Thursday evening, lowing its rating by five notches to B2. The two downgrades will likely force PG&E to offer collateral and evict it from the biggest investment-grade bond index.
Colgate-Palmolive — Shares of the consumer goods giant rallied before the bell after Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating on shares to “buy” from “neutral” and Evercore ISI initiated coverage on the company’s equity with a positive outlook. Goldman analyst Jason English wrote: “We believe Colgate-Palmolive’s organic sales have bottomed and the company is poised to see an inflection led by a recovery in Emerging Markets.” Shares were last seen up 0.6 percent.
Hanesbrands — The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based clothier fell more than 1 percent premarket after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock. Analyst Tiffany Kanaga wrote that “mounting global concerns pile onto existing domestic ones around retailer bankruptcies/closures and private label disintermediation.”
CME Group — Shares of CME Group fell more than 1 percent before the bell after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded its stock to “neutral” from “buy.” An “uncertain” macroeconomic backdrop as well as the 2019 outlook for the capital market sector and stocks made analyst Michael Carrier less bullish on shares. Bank of America cut its price target to $191 from $200.
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