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Stocks - Microsoft, AB Inbev, Booking All Take Virus Hit in Premarket

By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com -- Stocks in focus in premarket trade on Thursday, February 27th. Please refresh for updates.

9 AM ET: Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) stock fell 23% after the shale oil and gas driller forecast lower-than-expected free cash flow for the year, as low prices neutralize the benefits of tighter cost control.

The company also slashed its forecast for production growth this year to a range between 4% and 6%, less than half its medium-term target of 12.5%.

8:54 AM ET: Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) stock fell 3.4%, caught up in the general market malaise despite reporting fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that were better than expectations.

Chief financial officer Matt Bilunas said that the company expects a hit of some degree from the Covid-19 virus but added that he expects it to be temporary.

“We view this as a relatively short-term disruption that does not impact our long-term strategy and initiatives,” Bilunas said in a statement.

8:49 AM ET: Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) stock was up 5.0% at its highest in five months after the pharma company announced the start of two phase-3 tests for its anti-retroviral drug Remdesivir.

Last month, Chinese scientists announced that Remdesivir had helped treat patients with the Covid-19 virus, something that appears to have sped its route to market. The drug is still to receive authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

8:43 AM ET: Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) stock fell 17%, after losing 15.5% already on Tuesday, as market participants took a more sober view of its outlook in the context of the global rout.

The stock has now lost one-third of its value since peaking a week ago, but has still more than doubled since listing late last year.

8:37 AM ET: Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) stock rose 9.0% to its highest in over three months after the online marketplace for handicraft work reported a 35% increase in revenue in the fourth quarter and earnings per share that were over 50% above consensus forecasts at 25c.

Etsy also said it expects revenue to grow another 27%-30% this year.

8:28 AM ET: Anheuser Busch Inbev (BR:ABI) (NYSE:BUD) stock fell 8.5% to an eight-year low after the company reported disappointing earnings for the last three months of 2019.

The brewer of Budweiser and Michelob said net income dropped 75% to $114 million while revenue slid 1.3% to $13.33 billion, despite an increase in sales volumes. ABI also said it expected EBITDA to fall some 10% in the first quarter, after the Covid-19 virus hit its operations in China particularly hard.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) stock fell 4.1% after the software giant joined Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in saying that it would miss its first-quarter sales guidance.

The company said it expected weakness in its personal computing division, which covers Windows software and Xbox gaming consoles. That accounts for over one-third of group revenue.

Booking (NASDAQ:BKNG) stock fell 2.0% after the company warned of a “significant and negative impact” to earnings from the coronavirus, although its fourth-quarter results came in ahead of expectations.

The company said EBITDA in the first quarter would be around $575 million, some 20% below consensus forecasts.

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