March 20 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Wednesday:
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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 (0958 ET)
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 million.
** DONEGAL GROUP INC, $27.81, up 32 percent (1014 ET)
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 ET)
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 theflyonthewall.com.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $73.04, up 2 pct (0948 ET)
** OBAGI MEDICAL PRODUCTS INC, $19.70, up 28 pct (0948 ET)
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 news.
** 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 ET)
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 ET)
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 Africa.
** 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 since 2006.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $33.88, up 2 pct (1013 ET)
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 (0941 ET)
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 (0940 ET)
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 ET)
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 (0939 ET)
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 expectations.
* 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.