U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch

By Dow Jones Business News, 

Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Friday's session are Lorillard Inc. (LO), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and Rent-A-Center Inc. (RCII).

U.S. tobacco company Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) is in talks to buy smaller rival Lorillard, both companies confirmed Friday, in a multibillion-dollar deal that would create a powerful new No. 2 to industry leader Altria Group Inc. (MO). Reynolds American shares rose 1.2% to $63.00 premarket, while Lorillard shares climbed 5% to $66.25.

Wells Fargo posted a 3.8% rise in net income as a continued slowdown in the bank's lucrative mortgage business was offset by stronger lending and lower provisions for loans that could sour. But shares edged down 0.6% to $51.49 premarket as a key measure of lending profitability declined.

Rent-A-Center warned its results for the second quarter will fall below expectations, pointing to macroeconomic pressures that are burdening its financially constrained customers. Shares fell 13% to $25.40 in premarket trading.

MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG) and Radian Group Inc. (RDN) criticized proposed standards for private-mortgage insurers seeking to do business with Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), claiming the level of liquid assets insurers would need to hold is excessive. MGIC shares slumped 13% to $8.00 premarket, while Radian shares fell 6.5% to $13.60.

J.P. Morgan initiated coverage of Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (HALO) with an overweight rating and a $13 price target, saying in a note to clients that the company's proprietary pipeline appears to be garnering increased attention. Halozyme shares climbed 5.2% to $9.77 premarket.

Kofax Ltd. (KFX, KFX.LN) said its fiscal 2014 earnings will be below expectations due to the delay in license revenue transactions. Shares slumped 18% to $6.64 premarket.

Fastenal Co. (FAST) said its second-quarter earnings rose nearly 8% as the company's revenue continued to improve, though margins weakened slightly. Still, shares fell 2.4% to $47.01 premarket as revenue came in below analysts' estimates.

Shopping-center owner AmREIT Inc. ( AMRE ) said it is evaluating a $433 million unsolicited takeover bid from Regency Centers Corp. (REG). AmREIT's Class B shares slipped 8.7% to $20.50 premarket after jumping some 17% in Thursday trading.

Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. (ISLE) said it had eliminated several senior positions in a move expected to save about $ 2.5 million, excluding severance payments, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Shares slipped 8.1% to $9.24 premarket.

Defense and security-products maker Arotech Corp. ( ARTX ) said it plans to offer an unspecified amount of its shares in a public offering. Arotech recently had about 21 million shares outstanding, according to FactSet. Shares fell 6.9% to $ 3.50 premarket.


Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. ( AHL ) said it expects second-quarter operating earnings above Wall Street projections, citing "the continued excellent performance across our businesses."

Chevron Corp. ( CVX ) said it expects its second-quarter production to decline slightly from the year-earlier period as lower output abroad offsets a modest increase domestically.

Cosi Inc. ( COSI ) named Yum Brands Inc. (YUM) veteran Scott Carlock as the chief financial officer of the struggling sandwich chain.

Cloud-based software provider E2open Inc.'s (EOPN) loss widened in its fiscal first quarter as operating expenses continued to rise.

NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL), which bought oil-storage company TransMontaigne Inc. from Morgan Stanley (MS) last week, said it is offering to buy the outstanding units of TransMontaigne Partners LP (TLP) in a one-for-one exchange of common units.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) named company veteran Todd A. Stevens as the future chief executive of the California oil-and-gas operations it plans to spin off into a separate, publicly traded company and William E. Albrecht as executive chairman.

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. (VSH) said that it has reached a deal to buy Taiwan's Capella Microsystems Inc. for about $205 million, as it looks to broaden its optical sensors business.

Write to Anna Prior at anna.prior@wsj.com and Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

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This article appears in: Energy , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AHL , AMRE , ARTX , COSI , CVX

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