Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Lowe’s – The home improvement retailer is closing 20 U.S. and 31 Canadian stores as part of an ongoing strategic evaluation. Lowe’s said the stores involved are underperformers and most of the impacted U.S. stores are within 10 miles of another Lowe’s location. The company estimates the move will shave 28 to 34 cents per share off full year 2018 earnings.
Berkshire Hathaway – Berkshire beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines in its third-quarter earnings report, with operating profit nearly doubling on better-than-expected insurance results and lower taxes. Berkshire also bought back $928 million in stock during the quarter, its first buyback since 2012.
General Electric – GE will pay ousted CEO John Flannery $4.25 million in severance pay, and will keep his eligibility for equity awards that depend on the company’s long-term performance. Separately, British media reports say the U.K. is set to disallow $1 billion in tax deductions claimed by the company. And according to a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing, CEO Larry Culp has purchased 225,000 GE shares.
Amazon.com – Amazon will drop its minimum purchase amount for free shipping for the holiday season. The minimum for customers who are not members of the retailer’s Prime program is normally $25. The promotion will remain in place until the day that Amazon can no longer guarantee delivery in time for Christmas.
Apple — Demand for Apple’s iPhone XR appears to be disappointing, according to a report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. The paper quotes sources as saying Apple has told suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron to stop preparing additional production lines.
SeaWorld Entertainment – SeaWorld reported quarterly profit of $1.10 per share, 2 cents a share above estimates. The theme park operator’s revenue also topped forecasts on the strength of a 9.7 percent increase in park attendance.
Teva Pharmaceutical – Teva was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal-weight” at Morgan Stanley, which feels that the drugmaker’s financials will improve. Morgan Stanley also increased its price target for the stock to $27 per share from $20.
Fiat Chrysler – Fiat Chrysler was upgraded to “buy” from “sell” at Societe Generale, which points to the liquidity boost for the automaker from the sale of its Magneti Marelli parts unit.
Under Armour – Under Armour was upgraded to “overweight” from “neutral” at Piper Jaffray, which feels the athletic apparel maker’s sales opportunity is underappreciated by investors. It maintains that view even after the stock jumped following the company’s quarterly earnings.
Chevron – Chevron was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse, which calls the stock’s valuation and the energy giant’s free cash flow “compelling”. The firm said Chevron is continuing to execute on its “already superior growth outlook.”
Starbucks – Mizuho upgraded the coffee chain’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying sales momentum for Starbucks is gathering steam sooner than it had originally expected.