March 20 Some U.S. stocks on the move on
for the Morning News Call newsletter,)
WALL ST REBOUNDS AFTER A THREE-SESSION DECLINE; FED IN FOCUS
U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday after declining for
the past three sessions, with investors' focus on the Federal
Reserve's policy statement and news conference by Fed Chairman
Ben Bernanke later in the day.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 77.09 points,
or 0.53 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up
8.71 points, or 0.56 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index
was up 19.82 points, or 0.61 percent.
** FEDEX CORP, $101.95, down 4 pct (0949 ET)
The No. 2 U.S. package-delivery company reported a 31
percent drop in quarterly profit due to restructuring costs and
weakness in its air freight express business.
** MODEL N INC, $21.16, up 35 pct on IPO price
Shares of the revenue management software maker rose in
their trading debut after the company priced its enlarged
offering above its projected price range.
The Redwood City, California-based company had priced its
offering of 6.7 million shares at $15.50 each, raising $103.85
** DONEGAL GROUP INC, $27.81, up 32 percent (1014
The second largest shareholder at the property and casualty
insurer, Gregory Shepard, announced a tender offer for 962,636
Class B shares at $30 each, a 42 percent premium to their
closing price on Tuesday.
** BIOLINERX , $1.83, down 52 pct (1002
The Israeli biopharmaceutical firm said it would stop a
trial of its experimental schizophrenia drug after an interim
analysis of study data showed that the drug would not meet the
main goal of improving cognitive functions.
** BLACKBERRY, $15.87, up 5.5 pct (0949 ET)
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the smartphone maker's
stock to "overweight" from "underweight", according to
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC,
$73.04, up 2 pct (0948 ET)
** OBAGI MEDICAL PRODUCTS INC, $19.70, up 28 pct
Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it would buy
Obagi Medical Products for about $344 million to boost its
dermatology and aesthetics portfolio.
The deal, at $19.75 per share in cash, is at a 28 percent
premium to Obagi's Tuesday closing price.
** GEVO INC, $2.30, up 12 pct (0947 ET)
** BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP, $5.95, up 8 pct (1003 ET)
A U.S. district court's ruling strengthened the biofuel
company's case that it does not infringe Butamax Advanced
Biofuels LLC's patents, analysts at Robert W Baird & Co wrote in
a note. The two biofuel producers have been in a court battle
over a patent for a method to commercially produce isobutanol.
The U.S. District Court of Delaware gave Gevo partial
summary judgment on non-infringement on Tuesday. "The decision
by the court gives us increased confidence in Gevo's position,"
said the analysts. Shares of BioFuel Energy Corp, which
collaborates with Gevo to produce isobutanol, also rose on the
** ADOBE SYSTEMS INC, $42.19, up 3.5 pct (0947 ET)
The maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software raised its
full-year adjusted earnings forecast after reporting
first-quarter results above Wall Street estimates as more
customers chose its subscription-based model.
** POLYCOM INC, $10.96, up 3 pct (0946 ET)
Goldman Sachs upgraded the videoconferencing company to
"buy" from "neutral", according to streetinsider.com. ()
** WALTER INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CORP, $34.92, up 6
pct (0946 ET)
Sterne Agee raised its rating on the company's stock to
"buy" from "neutral", according to theflyonthewall.com.
** ZYNGA INC, $3.30, down 5 pct (0944 ET)
BofA Merril Lynch downgraded the online game maker's stock
to "neutral" from "buy", theflyonthewall.com reported.
** ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC, $3.24, down 7 pct (1013
The company, which develops drugs to treat kidney diseases,
entered into agreements to sell shares in a registered direct
offering for about $12.9 million.
On Monday, Rockwell reported a larger fourth-quarter loss,
hurt by an increase in clinical development expenses.
** ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP, $86.52, up 4 pct (0942
The U.S. oil and gas company said on Tuesday it has
discovered a large amount of oil at its Shenandoah-2 well in the
deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Anadarko has a large and active portfolio of deepwater oil
and gas prospects in places including the Gulf of Mexico and
** STAR SCIENTIFIC INC, $1.59, down 3 pct (0941 ET)
The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District
of Virginia sent subpoenas to Star Scientific, its directors and
others between this January and February, the maker of dietary
supplements disclosed in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. ()
The company, which stopped selling smokeless tobacco
products last year, said the subpoenas sought information on its
securities, including private placement and related transactions
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $33.88, up 2 pct (1013
William Blair analyst Tim Lugo initiated coverage on the
company with an "outperform" rating, saying that its
experimental drug eteplirsen to treat Duchenne muscular
dystrophy, a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive
muscle loss in boys, could be the best in its class.
"If the Food and Drug Administration accepts the eteplirsen
filing for an accelerated approval, an advisory committee would
have a difficult time voting against it, given the safety to
date, the devastating nature of the disease, efficacy..", Lugo
wrote in a note to clients. He added that there was a strong
possibility for the drug to be approved and launched in 2014.
** WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC, $48.78, up 8 pct (0941 ET)
The U.S. home goods chain reported a higher-than-expected
quarterly profit, aided by fewer discounts and strong online
sales in the holiday season.
** MAXWELL TECHNOLOGIES INC, $6.61, down 11 pct
The maker of energy storage devices said its independent
auditor McGladrey LLP resigned, citing "material weakness" in
the company's internal control over revenue recognition.
** COBALT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INC, $28.89, up 7 pct
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets raised the price target on
the oil explorer's stock to $36 from $34 based on the company's
successful exploration in West Africa and increased
opportunities in the North Platte discovery well and the
Shenandoah appraisal well in the Gulf of Mexico.
** FRESH MARKET INC, $42.85, up 5.72 pct (1029 ET)
Brokerage Raymond James initiated coverage on the stock with
a "strong buy," saying the company's small-store format and
differentiated grocery store concept is underpenetrated in the
U.S. and long-term demographic and consumer trends favor The
concept. The brokerage also set a $50 price target on the stock.
** GRAFTECH INTERNATIONAL LTD, $7.84, up 6 pct (1104
The graphite electrodes maker said late on Tuesday that some
of its officials, including Chief Executive Craig Shular, bought
additional GrafTech shares worth about $1 million.
** FRANCESCA'S HOLDINGS CORP, $26.98, up 4 pct
The women's clothing retailer reported quarterly results
that beat Wall Street estimates, helped by margin improvement
and strong demand for its affordable clothing and jewelry.
** NEW MOUNTAIN FINANCE CORP, $14.15, down 3.5 pct
The private equity firm estimated its quarterly investment
income per share largely below analysts' estimates. It said it
expected first-quarter net investment income of between 33 and
35 cents, while analysts were looking for 35 cents on average,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** CINTAS CORP, $43.68, down 5 pct (0939 ET)
The company posted a third-quarter profit that missed Wall
Street expectations as expenses rose, and the designer and
manufacturer of promotional items, first aid and safety and fire
protection products forecast full-year earnings below analysts
* AGCO CORP, $51.67, down 3 pct (1040 ET)
* DEERE & CO, $88.46, down 2 pct (1040 ET)
Wells Fargo Securities LLC cut its rating on the farm
equipment makers to "underperform" from "market perform", saying
a likely decrease in farmer cash flow could lead to reduced
demand for agricultural equipment.
"We expect (corn) commodity prices will decline during 2013
due to faster growth in supply relative to demand," analysts led
by Andrew Casey wrote in a client note.
Lower prices would mean a drop in total farm cash receipts -
a product of commodity prices, acreage planted, crop yields and
the amount and timing of government payments. Cash receipts are
the primary driver of U.S. farm equipment purchases.