Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:
Nike – Nike reported quarterly profit of 46 cents per share, beating estimates by 6 cents a share. The athletic footwear and apparel maker’s revenue also beat forecasts. Investors are also focusing on a drop in gross margins, a by-product of intense price competition.
Chubb – Chubb announced a $1 billion share repurchase program, replacing the insurance company’s current program set to expire at the end of this month.
Cintas – Cintas came in 4 cents a share ahead of estimates with adjusted fiscal second-quarter profit of $1.31 per share. The uniform company’s revenue came in slightly above forecasts and Cintas raised its full-year guidance.
Papa John’s – Company founder and CEO John Schnatter is stepping down as CEO of the pizza chain, to be succeeded by current chief operating officer and company chairman Steve Ritchie. Schnatter and the company saw a notable backlash after he criticized NFL leadership and said that the controversy surrounding the league had hurt the company’s business.
Alphabet – Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman of the Google parent. He’ll assume the role of technical adviser as of the next board meeting in January, and will remain a board member.
Ignyta – Ignyta agreed to be bought by Swiss drugmaker Roche for $1.7 billion or $27 per share, a 74 percent premium to its Thursday close. U.S.-based Ignyta specializes in cancer-related treatments.
Liberty Global – Liberty agreed to sell its Austria unit to Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile Austria for $2.25 billion. The cable operator will provide transitional services for up to four years after the deal closes.
MBIA – MBIA is an increasing target of short sellers, according to a Wall Street Journal article, due to the municipal bond insurer’s exposure to Puerto Rico’s financial problems. The paper also points out that some value investors have taken the long side, betting that MBIA will survive a difficult period.
Celgene – Celgene said a combination of two of its cancer drugs did not achieve the desired results in a study. The drugmaker had hoped the treatment would be more effective in treating a certain type of lymphoma than current standard treatments.
Dunkin’ Brands – The restaurant chain was upgraded to “hold” from “underperform” at Jefferies, saying it was now fairly valued and that risk/reward was balanced at current levels. At the same time, Jefferies said downside risk was not fully “baked in” at Shake Shack and Wingstop, and said those stocks have “overshot” growth prospects. Both of those stocks were downgraded to “underperform” from “hold”
UnitedHealth Group – The health insurer signed a $2.5 billion agreement to buy Empresas Banmedica, a health care provider and insurer that serves Chile, Colombia, and Peru.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical – The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of La Jolla’s drug Gapreza for use in treating dangerously low blood pressure.