Stocks to Watch: Costco, Molycorp, Joy Global (Update 1)

NEW YORK -- Costco Wholesale ( COST), the warehouse retailer, said Wednesday that fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 30% as sales and membership fees rose.

Costco earned $416 million, or 95 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $320 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales in the quarter rose 9.5% to $23.2 billion; same-store sales rose 7%.

Analysts were looking for first-quarter earnings of 93 cents a share on revenue of $23.7 billion.

Costco said first-quarter revenue from membership fees rose 14.3% to $511 million.

Costco shares rose 0.2% in premarket trading Wednesday to $98.50.

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Molycorp ( MCP), the rare-earth mining company, said Tuesday its president and CEO, Mark Smith, resigned.

Smith was named to lead the company in October 2008. Molycorp said it was beginning a search for a new CEO.

Molycorp was "at a natural inflection point as it transitions its focus from development to ongoing operations," said Ross Bhappu, chairman, in a statement.

Molycorp shares fell 7.6% in premarket trading Wednesday to $10.47.

Joy Global ( JOY) posted fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $2.05 a share on revenue of $1.6 billion; analysts were expecting earnings of $1.91 a share on revenue of $1.42 billion.

Joy Global said it expected lower volumes for 2013.

The stock rose 0.6% to $58.20.

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Facebook ( FB) is to replace Infosys ( INFY) on the Nasdaq-100 before trading opens Wednesday.

Facebook shares rose 0.8% to $28.20 in premarket trading.

Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) will sell most of its remaining midstream assets for $2.16 billion as it sells off assets to pay off a heavy debt load.

The buyer of the assets, which are located primarily in the Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara shale plays located throughout the continental U.S., is Access Midstream Partners L.P.

Chesapeake shares rose 1.5% to $17.34 in premarket trading Wednesday.

Sprint Nextel ( S) is in talks with Intel ( INTC) and Comcast ( CMCSA) to buy out their stakes in Clearwire ( CLWR), the U.S. wireless provider, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Sprint owns just more than 50% in Clearwire. It would still need buy out the rest of the minority shareholders in Clearwire to gain full ownership, Reuters reported.

Intel and Comcast own on a combined basis roughly 12.4% of Clearwire's total shares outstanding.

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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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