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U.S. stocks are modestly higher at the open on Tuesday as a cascade of earnings landed and inflation was tame, while hopes rose for an easing of tensions in Ukraine. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.44 percent at 17,126.05, the S&P 500 was up 0.60 percent at 1,985.46 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.82 percent at 4,461.10.
** CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC, $667.25, +13.11 pct
One of the top-performing U.S. restaurant operators on Monday reported a nearly 26 percent jump in quarterly profit after traffic to the burrito chain surged despite a menu price increase.
Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays and nine other brokerages raised their price targets on stock.
The stock was the top percentage gainer in morning trading on the new York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
** HERBALIFE LTD, $62.55, +15.79 pct
Herbalife shares rallied on Tuesday in heavy volume, although they only recovered about half of Monday’s steep decline. The move came as Bill Ackman, chief executive of Pershing Square Capital Management and a vocal short against the company, hurled fresh accusations against the nutrition company on Tuesday, claiming its recruiting methods violate U.S. labor laws by employing drinks makers and babysitters without pay.
** MCDONALD‘S CORP, $95.96, -1.63 pct
The fast-food chain reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as comparable sales in its struggling U.S. business fell for the third straight quarter and sales in Europe declined for the first time in four quarters.
** HEALTHSTREAM INC, $26.54, +19.28 pct
The company, which provides Internet-based learning and research software to healthcare providers, reported second-quarter revenue of $42.5 million, higher than the analysts’ average estimate of $41 million.
HealthStream also narrowed its full-year revenue growth forecast to 26 percent-29 percent from 25 percent-29 percent.
** ARM HOLDINGS PLC, $45.47, +6.81 pct
The seller of blueprints for chip designs posted a 9 percent rise in second-quarter profit as licensing of its processor technology compensated for a slowdown in high-end smartphone sales that decimated growth in royalties.
** COCA-COLA CO, $41.155, -2.94 pct
The maker of Sprite, Minute Maid and Powerade reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as sales in North America, its biggest market, failed to show growth for the second straight quarter.
** HARLEY-DAVIDSON INC, $63.14, -5.87 pct
The motorcycle maker cut its full-year forecast for motorcycle shipments on Tuesday, citing weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales and a delay in getting its newest bike into dealer showrooms.
** NEW ORIENTAL EDUCATION & TECH GROUP INC, $21.35, -11.78 pct
The Chinese for-profit education provider said it expected first-quarter revenue of $412.0 million-$427.5 million, far below the analysts’ average estimate of $463.3 million. But the company reported fourth-quarter revenue above the consensus estimate.
** ALLEGHENY TECHNOLOGIES INC, $44.03, -3.10 pct
The metal processor posted a surprise second-quarter loss, hurt by costs related to its Rowley titanium sponge facility in Utah. The company reported a loss of 3 cents per share compared with analysts’ average expectation of a profit of 1 cent.
The stock is the only loser on the Dow Jones U.S. Iron and Steel index.
** GALENA BIOPHARMA INC, $2.9051, +4.13 pct
The drug developer was granted U.S. rights for MonoSol Rx’s oral soluble film used to prevent nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy, radiotherapy or after surgery.
The agreement includes undisclosed upfront payment from Galena to the New Jersey-based company, as well as double-digit royalty payments from sales of the therapy, Zuplenz.
** POLARIS INDUSTRIES INC, $146.12, +9.72 pct
The snowmobile maker raised its full-year forecast after off-road vehicle sales increased 13 percent in the second quarter.
Polaris, one of the top percentage gainers on the NYSE, is not facing headwinds affecting rival Harley-Davidson Inc , which cut its full-year forecast for motorcycle shipments
** AMERICAN AXLE & MANUFACTURING HOLDINGS INC, $19.74, +3.08 pct
JPMorgan raised its rating on the auto parts maker’s stock to “neutral” from “underweight”, citing strong North American auto sales. Seven of 10 brokerages covering the stock have a “buy” or higher rating, one rates it “hold” and two have “sell” ratings. The analysts’ median price target on the stock is $22, unchanged for the past 90 days.
** TG THERAPEUTICS INC, $8.76, -8.65 pct
The drug developer reported late on Monday a bigger-than-expected loss in the quarter ended June 30.
The larger loss was primarily due to a $6.4 million increase in non-cash compensation expense related to equity incentive grants. The company’s loss of 36 cents per share was bigger than Wall Street’s average estimate of 26 cents.
** CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG, $28.55, -1.76 pct
The Swiss bank will quit commodities trading after chalking up its biggest loss since the financial crisis in 2008, the result of a 1.6 billion Swiss franc ($1.78 billion) fine from U.S. authorities for helping its clients evade taxes. ($1 = 0.9004 Swiss Francs)
** LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL INC, $48.13, +2.54 pct
The printer maker’s second-quarter profit and revenue beat the analysts’ average estimate.
Lexmark said it now expects full-year revenue to remain unchanged or fall up to 2 percent. It had earlier forecast a 2-4 percent decline. The company raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast to $3.95-$4.15 per share from $3.80-$4.00.
** ROCKWELL COLLINS INC, $77.7, -3.39 pct
The avionics maker reported third-quarter revenue of $1.26 billion, lower than the $1.30 billion analysts on average had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Government systems sales fell 6 percent to $535 million, partly due to lower hardware deliveries.
** CYMABAY THERAPEUTICS INC, $5.51, -7.71 pct
The drug developer said it would offer 4 million shares at $5.50 each, representing 40 percent of the company’s outstanding shares as of April 30.
The offer price represents discount of about 8 percent to the stock’s Monday closing.
** ROYAL BANCSHARES OF PENNSYLVANIA INC, $2.2, +8.37 pct
The regional bank reported a net income of $1.4 million, or 4 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $803,000, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier. Net interest income increased 13 percent to $5.6 million.
** VALSPAR CORP, $79.07, +3.79 pct
Goldman Sachs said it expected the coating and paint maker to benefit from a recovery in the U.S. housing market and added it to ‘Americas Conviction List’. The brokerage also raised its rating on the stock to “buy” from “neutral.” Of the 15 brokerages covering Valspar, two have a “strong buy” rating, 5 have a “buy”, 7 have a “hold” and 1 a “sell.”
** APACHE CORP, $103.81, +5.33 pct
Activist investor Jana Partners LLC has built a stake worth more than $1 billion in Apache, the Wall Street Journal reported. (on.wsj.com/UkTOUB)
Jana Partners said it wants the company to drill exclusively on American soil and sell its international holdings. The investor wants Apache to free up cash flow by exiting two projects in Canada and Australia that aim to export natural gas.
** COMBIMATRIX CORP, $2.43, +8.00 pct
The molecular diagnostics company signed an agreement to join a network of directly managed preferred provider organizations maintained by Atlanta-based Stratose.
Patients pay less for care when they use the services of doctors, hospitals and pharmacies in preferred provider organization networks.
** CENTENE CORP, $80.72, +6.80 pct
The health insurer reported a 24 percent jump in quarterly profit, beating market estimates for the sixth straight quarter, as member signups surged 23 percent.
** MELA SCIENCES INC, $2.4699, -12.10 pct
The medical device maker offered a private placement of $27.3 million to fund clinical research and development. The company offered warrants to buy about 11.2 million shares at $2.45 per share, a discount of 12.8 percent to Monday’s close.
** KIMBERLY CLARK CORP, $109.63, -2.39 pct
The personal care and hygiene products maker lowered the high end of its full-year adjusted earnings forecast range. The company cut its forecast range to $6.00-$6.15 per share from $6.00-$6.20, citing a “difficult environment.”
The company’s quarterly profit missed the analysts’ average estimate by 1 cent, hurt by higher input costs and foreign currency exchange rates.
** BANCORPSOUTH INC, $21.66, -7.48 pct
The lender’s merger agreements with Ouachita Bancshares Corp and Central Community Corp were extended to June 30, 2015 to get regulatory approvals and satisfy closing conditions. Federal bank regulators identified concerns regarding the bank’s compliance programs, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was conducting a review of the company’s fair lending practices. BancorpSouth’s net income rose to $30.9 million, or 32 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $20.8 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.
** TREX CO INC, $28.73, +6.13 pct
Stifel Nicolaus raised its rating on the plastic composite product maker’s stock to “buy” from “hold”, citing the company’s growing market share. Of the five analysts covering Trex, three have a “strong buy” rating, one has a “buy” rating and two have a “hold” rating, according to Thomson Reuters data. The median price target on Trex’s shares is $40.
** ROWAN COMPANIES PLC, $31.26, +0.74 pct
U.S.-based investment firm Blue Harbor Group LP reported a 6.5 percent stake in the offshore drilling company.
** PRETIUM RESOURCES INC, $7.35, -6.84 pct
The Canada-based gold miner priced an offering of 8.3 million shares at $7.25 each - 8.1 percent below Monday’s close of $7.89.
The offering represents 7.6 percent of Pretium’s total outstanding shares. Pretium said it would use proceeds from the offering to fund its Brucejack Project in British Columbia.
** COMCAST CORP, $54.82, +1.86 pct
The largest U.S. cable operator reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit, helped by the highest subscriber additions in its high-speed internet business for six years and improved profitability at its NBC Universal unit.
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, $15.53, +1.37 pct
The coal miner reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by stronger price realizations in the United States and higher sales volumes in Australia.
** DEL FRIJOL‘S RESTAURANT GROUP INC, $22.4087, -11.18 pct
The company reported second-quarter revenue and profit below the analysts’ average expectation.
Del Frisco’s cut its 2014 profit forecast, citing delays in opening several restaurants and also lowered sales projections for Chicago Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, based on current sales, and for Palm Beach Del Frisco’s Grille, which has not yet received clearance to serve lunch, brunch or make use of patio seating.
** FBR & CO, $28.19, +11.42 pct
The investment bank said it would buy back up to 1 million shares at $28-$29 per share. The buyback represents 9.9 percent of the company’s total outstanding shares
** TRAVELERS COMPANIES INC, $91.1, -4.37 pct
The property and casualty insurer reported a steeper-than-expected fall in quarterly operating profit, hurt by bigger catastrophe losses and a slowing pace of premium rate increases.
Separately, a federal appeals court, on Tuesday, ordered Travelers to pay more than $500 million to satisfy asbestos-related claims stemming from the insurer’s coverage of insulation maker Johns-Manville Corp, a policyholder that spent six years in bankruptcy during the 1980s.
** CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS INC, $16.795, -4.03 pct
JPMorgan downgraded the electronics design software maker’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight”, as analysts expected hardware gross margin pressure throughout 2H14 to impact cash flow. On Monday, Cadence forecast third-quarter adjusted profit of 23-25 cents per share, below the analysts’ average estimate of 26 cents.
The company also forecast full-year adjusted profit of 90-98 cents per share, largely below the average estimate of 97 cents.
** OMNICOM GROUP INC, $72.23, +1.26 pct
The No.1 U.S. advertising company said it was sticking with its annual organic revenue growth target, showing little effect from its aborted $35 billion merger with France’s Publicis Groupe.
** UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP, $110.93, -1.81 pct
The Otis elevator maker said China orders at its Otis business were flat at the end of second quarter. Sales at Pratt & Whitney aerospace business were also down.
The company cut its 2014 profit forecast to $6.75-$6.85 per share, below the analysts’ average estimate of $6.86, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** CROCS INC, $16.584, +11.75 pct
The shoemaker said it would cut 183 jobs, close 75-100 retail stores and reduce direct investment in smaller markets to cut costs. The company also said it would explore strategic alternatives for non-core brands and eliminate non-core product development
Crocs also posted better-than-expected second-quarter profit and sales, and forecast that 2015 revenue would be hurt by store closures before revenue growth resumes in 2016 and beyond.
** FUELCELL ENERGY INC, $2.61, +18.10 pct
The fuel cell power plant maker said its affiliate won 5 million euros ($6.73 million) from the German government to support a three-year research and development project with JV partner Fraunhofer IKTS.
The project aims to improve the company’s power plants’ technology by increasing power density and operating life of fuel cells, leading to lower costs. ($1 = 0.7427 Euros)
** CROWN HOLDINGS INC, $48.58, -5.61 pct
The metal beverage and food can maker’s net income fell to 76 cents per share for the second quarter ended June 30 from 93 cents per share a year earlier.
The company’s cost rose to $1.96 billion from $1.82 billion, while restructuring expenses jumped to $31 million from $4 million.
** HELIX ENERGY SOLUTIONS, $26.21, +7.29 pct
The offshore drilling company’s second-quarter net income more than doubled to 55 cents per share, helped by 100 percent utilization of all three North Sea vessels.
The second quarter was the first full quarter when Helix’s 534 vessel was put to full use.
** CIT GROUP INC, $48.84, +11.13 pct
The U.S. small-business lender said it would buy California bank OneWest Bank NA for $3.4 billion in cash and stock, in a deal that will give CIT a more reliable source of funding.
** ULTRA CLEAN HOLDINGS INC, $9.03, -1.42 pct
The chip equipment maker’s second-quarter profit and sales missed the analysts’ average estimate as demand slowed.
Roth Capital raised its rating on the company’s stock to “buy”. All five analysts covering the stock have a “buy” or higher rating, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** INGERSOLL-RAND PLC, $64.53, +4.33 pct
The maker of Trane air conditioners and Thermo King refrigeration units raised its current-year profit forecast as it expects the construction and industrial markets to grow.
** NETFLIX INC, $426.59, -5.61 pct
The video-streaming company planned expansion in Europe will set it up for growth, but increase content and marketing expenses in the near term, analysts said.
** STEEL DYNAMICS INC, $21.761, +4.87 pct
The steelmaker’s second-quarter sales rose 14 percent to $2.1 billion, while profit rose 60 percent.
Cowen and Co and UBS raised their price targets on the company’s stock.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, $167.52, +2.79 pct
The Pentagon’s largest defense supplier reported a 3.5 percent rise in quarterly profit as higher interest rates lowered its pension liability.
** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $4.18, +2.70 pct
The drugmaker said its experimental cancer drug ganetespib advanced into a late-stage extension trial. The combination of ganetespib and chemotherapy will be studied in elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer, or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder.
** CELGENE CORP, $86.619, +1.53 pct
An anti-cancer drug made by the U.S. biotech firm Celgene can re-activate hidden HIV in patients so that it can be detected, bringing researchers closer to being able to treat it, Danish scientists said on Tuesday.
** YAHOO INC, $33.81, +1.59 pct
Yahoo will buy mobile analytics startup Flurry to beef up a fast-growing mobile advertising business that still lags Google Inc’s and Facebook Inc’s in scale.
Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings