PEP, MAT, VZ, MYL & more


Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell:

PespiCo — An executive for the soda maker said PepsiCo has reserved 100 of Tesla’s new Semi trucks, marking the largest pre-order of the vehicles to date.

Verizon Communications — The telecommunication giant’s stock was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Instinet. Instinet also raised its price target on the stock to $61 per share from $47 a share, representing a 17.7 percent upside. “Better visibility into subscriber growth, rising [average revenue per user], and cost control fuels our confidence EPS growth will resume in 2018,” it said.

Abbott Laboratories — BMO Capital Markets upgraded Abbott to “outperform” from “market perform,” noting the health-care company “faces easier 1H18 comps, a shifting FX environment, and its revenue and EPS growth rates are at the high end of its peers.” BMO also raised its price target on the stock to $65 per share from $58 a share, representing an 18.3 percent upside.

Mattel — The toy maker said it expects fourth-quarter gross sales to be hit by key partners tightening up inventory management and by underperforming brands. Mattel also said it expects a mid-to-high single-digit percentage drop for fiscal 2017 gross sales.

Mylan — Mylan shares were initiated with a “buy” rating at Guggenheim Securities and a price target of $59 a share. In a note to clients, Guggenheim says it gives Mylan’s generics and specialty segments a “premium multiple” given the company’s “risk/benefit profile, its diversification outside the U.S., and its pipeline containing biosimilars and hard-to-manufacture, complex products.”

Stitch Fix — The e-commerce company was initiated with an “outperform” rating and a $29-a-share price target at RBC Capital Markets. Analyst Mark Mahaney said in a note that Stitch Fix is “revolutionizing fashion through direct shipments of apparel that has been selected through the combination of data science and personal stylists.”

Activision Blizzard — Goldman Sachs upgraded the video game maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” noting Activision’s “discounted valuation relative to peers … ahead of accelerating earnings growth over the next 2-3 years.” Activision shares rose 2.5 percent in the premarket.

WestRock — Packaging manufacturer WestRock has agreed to acquire nearly all of Plymouth Packaging’s assets for an undisclosed amount.

Alphabet — Recode reported that Alphabet’s Google is once again sending more traffic to publishers than Facebook. For a time, Facebook had surpassed Google in web referral traffic. But Facebook sent 25 percent less traffic to publishers this year, while Google’s traffic rose by 17 percent, the report says.

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