March 21 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:for the Morning News Call newsletter,)
WALL ST SLIPS ON ORACLE‘S MISS, EUROPEAN GROWTH WORRY
Technology and commodity-related stocks led Wall Street lower on Thursday after Oracle’s sharp miss on quarterly results and oil and metal prices fell on concern about growth in the euro zone. The Dow Jones industrial average were down 0.30 percent, the S&P 500 down 0.36 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.66 percent.
** FRONTLINE LTD, $76.73, up 8 pct (1300 ET)
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $3.70, up 18 pct (1300 ET)
** PARAGON SHIPPING INC, $4.94, up 12 pct (1300 ET)
** DRYSHIPS INC, $2.09, up 9 pct (1300 ET)
** NAVIOS MARITIME HOLDINGS INC, $4.55, up 5 pct (1305 ET)
** STAR BULK CARRIERS CORP, $6.59, up 5 pct (1305 ET)
** DIANA SHIPPING INC, $9.64, up 6 pct (1305 ET)
** GENCO SHIPPING & TRADING LTD, $3.13, up 12 pct (1310 ET)
Analysts attending the Capital Link shipping conference in New York said there was “a very positive talk” on product tankers. Demand for these ships, which transport oil from refineries to consuming markets, is expected to rise, an analyst said. This is lifting the shares of crude oil and dry bulk transporters, he said. Moreover, investors at the conference think rates might be near the bottom as fleet growth slows, another analyst said.
** SUPERVALU INC, $4.50, up 9.7 pct (1223 ET)
A Cerberus-led investor consortium said about 5.5 percent of the U.S. grocery store operator’s shares were validly tendered in an offer. As the number fell short of the 19.9 percent guaranteed by Supervalu, the company issued the consortium an additional 42.5 million shares, making it the largest shareholder.
Cantor Fitzgerald Equity Research analyst Ajay Jain, who maintained his “buy” rating on the stock, said he believed the proceeds from the share issue would be used for debt reduction, offseting any significant dilution to the stock.
** HERMAN MILLER INC, $27.51, up 8 pct (1203 ET)
The office furniture maker’s third-quarter profit beat Wall Street expectations on higher margins and it forecast current-quarter earnings largely above estimates.
Herman Miller said it expects fourth-quarter profit in the range of 34 cents to 38 cents per share, excluding one-time items. Analysts on average expected earnings of 35 cents per share, excluding items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company’s shares rose as much as 9 percent to a 20-month high in morning trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday.
** ORACLE CORP, $32.71, down 9 pct (0943 ET)
The world’s No. 3 software maker blamed its rapidly expanding salesforce for a severe miss in third-quarter software sales and warned that its ailing hardware business will lose more ground this quarter.
Separately, Blackstone Group LP, which is weighing an offer for Dell Inc, is making an aggressive push to recruit Oracle President Mark Hurd to be the chief executive of the world’s No. 3 PC maker, a person familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, $20.92, down 3 pct (1203 ET)
** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, $18.80, down 3 pct (1203 ET)
** RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY INC, $13.94, down 3 pct (1211 ET)
** FINISAR CORP, $13.93, down 3 pct (1206 ET)
** F5 NETWORKS, $89.81, down 1 pct (1206 ET)
** OCLARO INC, $1.30, down 4 pct (1207 ET)
** ARUBA NETWORKS, $25.30, down 2 pct (1207 ET)
** JDS UNIPHASE, $13.73, down 4 pct (1209 ET)
FBR downgraded its rating on stocks of Cisco and Juniper to “underperform” from “market perform” and cut its price target on Cisco’s stock by $5 to $17. The brokerage believes Cisco and Juniper will become increasingly more challenged to offset weaker-than-expected routing and switching demand. FBR also cut its price target on Juniper’s stock to $15 from $18.
Shares of other companies in the sector were also down on the analyst note.
** CIMATRON LTD, $5.43, down 15 pct (1014 ET)
The company, which provides software for the tooling industry, said a secondary public offering of 2.5 million shares was priced at $5.25 per share, an 18 percent discount over its Wednesday closing price of $6.39 on the Nasdaq.
** SCHOLASTIC CORP, $27.72, down 11 pct (0936 ET)
The children’s books publisher cut its full-year forecast for the second time as sales of its “Hunger Games” trilogy remained lower than last year’s and customers continued to delay spending on its educational products.
** ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, up 8 pct, $7.17 (0941 ET)
The drugmaker presented additional data from its late-stage study for treating Parkinson’s disease in the American Academy of Neurology, indicating highly significant improvements in all secondary efficacy measures.
** ANACOR PHARMACEUTICALS INC, up 8 pct, $7.21 (0942 ET)
The drugmaker said its mid-stage experimental ointment reduced skin lesions in adolescents with atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin disorder. The drug, codenamed AN2728, was tested in 86 patients between the age of 12 years to 17 years and partially or completely reduced 66 percent of the lesions when compared to a standard baseline.
** SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS CO LTD, $0.47, down 21 pct (1036 ET)
The local government in Suntech’s home town is seeking to bail out China’s biggest solar panel maker to stave off its collapse, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
** TRUE RELIGION APPAREL INC, $25.77, down 7 pct (0954 ET)
Three prospective bidders have dropped out of the auction to acquire the women’s jeans maker as they believe the shares have become too expensive, the New York Post reported, citing sources. ()
** CATO CORP, $24.24, down 6 pct (1204 ET)
The specialty retailer of low-price fashion reported a decline in quarterly profit, hurt by higher expenses. The company also said it expects the sales environment in 2013 to continue to be difficult as U.S. customers’ discretionary budgets are being squeezed by slow job growth, higher gasoline and food prices and increased payroll taxes.
** ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $18.89, up 6 pct (1021 ET)
The company said an early-stage study of its experimental drug to treat a rare genetic neuromuscular disease showed improvements in Hammersmith scores, a measure of muscle function, in a number of children. Children suffering from spinal muscular atrophy often never achieve the simplest motor milestones like walking, crawling, or sitting up.
** GEVO INC, $2.35, up 6 pct (1058 ET)
The biofuel producer won a patent war against Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC after Butamax acknowledged that Gevo does not infringe its patents for a method to commercially produce isobutanol.
Gevo is suing Butamax for patent infringement in a trial which will be heard in August.
** INTERMUNE INC, $9.50, up 6 pct (0955 ET)
The company said Britain’s health technology appraisal body, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, backed InterMune’s lung scarring drug Esbriet.
** GUESS INC, $25.25, down 6 pct (0941 ET)
** TILLY‘S INC, $12.44, down 10 pct (0941 ET)
** PACIFIC SUNWEAR OF CALIFORNIA INC, $2.24, down 8 pct (0941 ET)
The apparel retailers forecast first-quarter results significantly below analysts’ estimates as they battle flagging consumer demand due to a sluggish economy and higher payroll taxes.
** AIRGAS INC, $97.71, down 5 pct (0942 ET)
The industrial gas supplier said weaker-than-expected sales suggested that it may miss the lower end of its fourth-quarter earnings forecast by 4 percent.
** ASSURANT INC, $43.15, down 3.12 pct (1255 ET)
New York state regulators said they have reached a settlement with Assurant over “force-placed” insurance policies, with the insurer agreeing to pay $14 million in civil penalty, refund some home owners and modify certain business practices.
** HOMEAWAY INC, $31.93, up 5 pct (1003 ET)
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the shares of the company, which lists vacation properties online, to “overweight” from “equal weight”, benzinga.com reported. ()
** BURGER KING WORLDWIDE INC, $19.20, down 3.7 pct (1014 ET)
Brokerage Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded its rating on the third-largest U.S. hamburger chain to “underperform” from “neutral,” according to Benzinga.com.
** PERRY ELLIS INTERNATIONAL INC, $17.94, up 3 pct (0941 ET)
The apparel retailer’s fourth-quarter profit beat estimates, helped by sales growth and lower promotions in its Golf lifestyle apparel, Laundry by Shelli Segal and namesake brands.
** BMC SOFTWARE INC, $45.23, up 2.82 pct (1153 ET)
Private equity firms are joining forces in the auction of the company, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, making it more likely that the business software maker will be taken private in a deal that would top $6 billion.
** YAHOO INC, $22.60, up 2 pct (0943 ET)
Oppenheimer raised its rating on the company’s stock to “outperform” from “perform” and raised its price target by $5 to $27, partly on the assumption that Alibaba will complete its IPO within the next year, benefiting Yahoo, which has a 24 percent stake in the Chinese company.
** KB HOME, $22.15, up 2.69 pct (0958 ET)
The fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss and a jump in new home orders.
** ASTRAZENECA, $47.18, up 2.2 pct (0939 ET)
The company’s new chief executive announced another 2,300 job cuts in sales and administration on Thursday as he set out his stall for turning round the struggling drugmaker and returning it to growth.
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL LTD, $11.67, up 2 pct
Analysts at Raymond James raised the oilfield services company’s stock to ‘outperform’ from ‘underperform’, saying its recent capital expenditure forecast and improving capital efficiency could lead to positive free cash flow.
** NICHOLAS FINANCIAL INC, $14.80, up 12 pct (0936 ET)
The consumer finance company said on Wednesday that it had retained an independent financial advisor to assist in evaluating possible strategic alternatives. The company also said it had received an unsolicited offer from a potential third-party acquirer.
** TUMI HOLDINGS INC, $22.56, down 5 pct (0936 ET)
The luxury handbag maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by a 15 percent increase in costs related to online promotions and store expansions..
Citigroup trimmed its price target on the stock to $25 from $26.
** JABIL CIRCUIT INC, $18.94, down 3 pct (0938 ET)
The contract electronics maker forecast third-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street expectations as its largest customer Apple gets ready for product transitions.