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EARLY MOVERS: Ford in focus as news of recall controversy swirls, while Broadcom shares advance

Also before the New York bell, Elon Musk news is getting hits, as is tech group Okta Inc..
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Ford and its trucks were piquing interest in pre-market

Several big company names were piquing interest on Friday morning, including motor giant Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).

Its shares nudged up 0.11% in pre-market deals to stand at US$9.44 despite the group being embroiled in a recall controversy, which is still headlining globally.

The historic auto group is recalling 2mln pickup trucks  - the famous F-150 models -  in the US and Canada over fire and smoke concerns relating to seat belt parts.

 

The manufacturer, based in Detroit, said some components could generate excessive sparks when used, which could lead to a fire risk.

Looking to Asia, shares of Toyota (NYSE:TM) fell 1.1% in Tokyo after the car maker said it would halt its production in Japan in the wake of the earthquake in Hokkaido, according to a Seeking Alpha report. 

The company's factory in Tomakomai, which produces its auto parts, still has no power, and the fall-out from the Hokkaido earthquake could reportedly hurt Toyota's supply chain for months. 

Elsewhere, entrepreneur and self-styled future gazer Elon Musk was also back in the frame and courting controversy as usual.

The  47-year-old  took a puff on a joint during a live podcast with comedian Joe Rogan, which was shown live on the internet.

"I’m not a regular smoker of weed,” the Tesla (NASDAQ:TESLA) boss said. The joint contained tobacco mixed with marijuana, which is legal in California.

Musk also revealed the challenges of living with a brain that has enabled him to build and run multiple tech companies simultaneously.

Elsewhere, Okta Inc (NASDAQ:OKTA)  shares shot up 14.7% in pre-market deals after the firm reported a narrower-than-expected adjusted quarterly loss and revenue, which beat estimates.

The cloud tech firm revealed that, adjusted for one-time items, it lost US$16.4mln, or US$0.15 a share, versus US$14.1mln, or US$0.15 per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 57% to US$94.6mln.

Analysts had expected an adjusted loss of US$0.15 per share on sales of US$85mln.

Meanwhile, Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) shares added over 8% in pre-market deals at US$234.06  after the group posted an earnings beat.

The fourth-quarter loss was US$2.3mln, or US$0.02 a share, on sales of US$658.1mln, up from US$509.1mln a year ago

After adjusting for, among others, stock-based compensation, the company claimed earnings of US$1.28 a share, up from  US$92 a share a year ago.

Consensus was for adjusted earnings of US$1.17 a share on revenue of US$634mln.

Broadcom Inc (NASDAQ:AVGO) shares added 4.41% to US$225.50 before the bell after it reported third-quarter profit that topped analysts' estimates.

It also predicts that current-quarter revenue will be largely above estimates on higher demand for components that power data centers.

-- updated with addition of Toyota news coming out of Tokyo --

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