Stocks in the News: UAUA, LCC, HOTT, FRXThe following is a round-up of news likely to affect stock prices today:

Hot Topic Inc. (HOTT) reported March same-store sales declined 7.5%, way ahead of estimates for a decline of 11.2%. The retailers also set a $1 special dividend and initiated a regular quarterly dividend as it looked to return some of its $100 million cash pile to shareholders. Shares shot up 20% in premarket trading.

Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX) shares fell some 9% in after-hours trading after late Wednesday the FDA rejected a lung drug proposed by Forest and Nycomed.

United Airlines (UAUA) and US Airways (LCC) appear to be in merger talks. A union would create the nation's second-biggest airline, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. The deal might be a straight stock swap. UAUA shares jumped nearly 9% and LCC soared over 18% in premarket trading.

More retailers are reporting same-store sales for March Thursday. Some include:
  • Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) comparable sale rose 10% in March, buoyed by strong growth overseas -- international same-store sales jumped 28% in March. This was above analyst estimates of 9.3%.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) same-store sales climbed 5%, below analyst expectations of an 8.4% rise. Shares fell 4.5% ahead of the bell.
  • Limited Brands Inc. (LTD) same-store sales rose 15%, beating the 6.8% average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Shares rose 1.2% in premarket.
Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR) swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit from a year-earlier loss on 1.7% higher total sales and 6.5% higher comparable-store sales. Shares dropped 1.5% before the bell.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reported late Wednesday its fiscal fourth-quarter net income jumped 60% to $226 million, or 86 cents a share, as sales rose 16.7% to $2.4 billion. Results exceeded expectations and forecast was strong. Shares were 3.6% higher in premarket.

Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc. (MDRX) said its third-quarter profit rose 62% to $18.5 million, or 12 cents a share, as revenue rose about 10% to $179.9 million. On an adjusted basis, results topped estimates. Shares rose some 3%.

Palm (PALM) shares are down some 3% in premarket trading after soaring 20% Wednesday on rumors computer maker Lenovo might be making a bid for the struggling phone maker.

Apple (AAPL) is set to host an event to show off the newest operating system software for its iPhone, as the company prepares for a widely expected launch of its next generation smart phone later this year.

Toyota Motor (TM) execs, according to the AP, debated in the days leading up to its massive recall in January, when they should inform the public about safety problems with accelerator pedals.

Peabody Energy (BTU) has filed a formal complaint with Australian regulators over Macarthur Coal Ltd. and its handling of Peabody's $3.3 billion sweetened takeover offer that Macarthur rejected this week, saying it didn't provide all the details to its shareholders.

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