Among the premarket stories for Thursday, March 19, from AP Financial News:

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of Oracle Corp. climbed in premarket trading Thursday after the business-software maker posted fiscal third-quarter profit and sales above Wall Street's expectations amid healthy contract signings despite the economic downturn.

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ American Apparel Inc.'s risk profile has significantly improved since the clothing maker secured an $80 million investment from a private equity firm, said an analyst on Thursday, who lifted the stock to a "Buy" rating.

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Analysts remained upbeat about Nike Inc.'s outlook early Thursday even after the athletic apparel and footwear maker reported weaker-than-expected orders.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ¿ An analyst cut his profit estimates for Cintas Corp. Thursday, a day after the corporate uniform supplier said its fiscal third-quarter profit fell 12 percent due to the slowing economy.

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Asbury Automotive Group Inc. has cut costs and shown itself to be profitable despite the weak automobile market, a Deutsche Bank analyst said in upgrading shares of the auto retailer.

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Shares of fluid control products maker Graco Inc. dropped in premarket trading Thursday a day after the company said it is cutting jobs as demand for its products shrinks.

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ An analyst lowered his expectations for Mattel Inc.'s fiscal 2009 results on Thursday due to the strengthening U.S. dollar and continuing weakness in retail toy sales, which has cut into demand for new shipments early this year.

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