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Stocks to Watch: Best Buy, Illumina (Update 2)

Stocks in this article: RIMM RHT ILMN BBY RLH

NEW YORK -- Best Buy (BBY), the electronics retailer, reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $2.47 a share, excluding items, on revenue of $16.73 billion..

Analysts were expecting profit of $2.16 a share on revenue of $17.2 billion.

Same-store sales dipped 2.4%; Wall Street was expecting a decline of 0.6%.

UBS kept a neutral rating on Best Buy ahead of the report on Wednesday but lifted its price target to $27 from $25, speaking of the company's cost reduction plans.

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Best Buy said it is planning $800 million in cost-cutting programs by fiscal 2015, including about $250 million in fiscal 2013. It will close 50 U.S. big-box stores in 2013. At the same time, the company will continue to accelerate key initiatives, including growing its business in China.

Shares were popping 5.9% to $28.19 in premarket trading Thursday.

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche increased its unsolicited offer for Illumina (ILMN) to $51 a share, valuing the U.S. diagnostics company at more than $6.5 billion.

Roche's previous offer of $44.50 a share was rejected by Illumina's board as being too low.

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Roche, in a statement Thursday, said "based on our discussions with Illumina shareholders we have seen interest to accelerate the takeover process."

Illumina told its shareholders to "take no action at this time."

Shares of Illumina were gaining 2.6% at $51.15 in premarket trading Thursday.

Research In Motion (RIMM), the troubled BlackBerry maker, is expected by analysts to report quarterly earnings of 82 cents a share, which is below the company's own expectation for earnings of 85 cents to 90 cents a share.

RIM is working toward the release of its next-generation handset, the BlackBerry 10, in the second half of this year.

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Shares of RIM have fallen 4% so far in 2012.

Red Hat (RHT), the open source software company, posted earnings in the February-ended quarter that topped analysts' estimates.

Red Hat reported a non-GAAP adjusted profit of $57.2 million, or 29 cents a share, on revenue of $297 million, up more than 20% from last year. Analysts were expecting earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $291.2 million.

The company also unveiled a $300 million buyback program.

Red Lion Hotels ( RLH ) announced plans to explore strategic options.

The company said its board has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynchto look at ways to "maximize shareholder value, including a potential sale of the company or a strategic combination with a third party." Red Lion has formed a strategic committee comprised of three independent directors to work with Bank of America on the review.

The company didn't put any time constraints on the evaluation period, and said it would not be disclosing any developments unless or until a final decision is made.

Companies scheduled to report earnings Thursday include Bluefly (BFLY), Cache (CACH), Discovery Laboratories (DSCO) and JoS. A Bank Clothiers (JOSB). TIBCO Software (TIBX) is slated to report after markets close.

TIBCO shares were rising 1.2% at $31.39. (TICKER)

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Andrea Tse

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse

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