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Pre-market Movers For March 21 (HIG, ASGN, ORCL, HPQ, BHI, GIS, ARIA)


Hartford Financial Services (HIG) is gaining more than 6 percent to $23.15. The company announced that it will stop new annuity sales effective April 27 and expects to take a related after-tax charge of $15 million to $20 million in the second quarter of 2012. The company also said it is pursuing sales or other strategic alternatives for Individual Life, Woodbury Financial Services and Retirement Plans.

On Assignment, Inc. (ASGN) is rising 26 percent to $17.24. The company has agreed to buy privately-held rival Apex Systems Inc. for $600 million. Excluding transaction-related costs, the company expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings per share basis in 2012 and beyond.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) is rising 2 percent to $30.75. The company's third quarter profit increased 18 percent from the previous year period. Both earnings per share, excluding items, and revenue were above Wall Street view.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) is gaining 0.46 percent to $24.09. The company announced that it is combining Imaging and Printing Group and its Personal Systems Group to create the Printing and Personal Systems Group.


Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) is falling over 4 percent to $45.69. The company said it expects operating profit before tax for the first quarter of 2012 to be lower sequentially due to rapidly changing market conditions in the Pressure Pumping product line in North America and seasonality in all international markets.

General Mills, Inc. (GIS) is down 0.67 percent to $38.50. The company's third quarter profit edged down from the year-ago quarter. Net sales for the quarter improved 13 percent. The company confirmed its fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings per share guidance.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA) is down 2 percent to $14.70. Ariad and Merck (MRK) announced that a FDA panel has decided not to recommend for approval oncology drug candidate ridaforolimus to treat soft tissue sarcoma, a rare but often deadly form of cancer.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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