April 8 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Monday:
U.S. stocks slipped as investors faced the prospect of a lackluster corporate earnings season, which could challenge the market’s recent record high, and an economy that could be hitting a slow patch.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 51.28 points, or 0.35 percent, to 14,513.97, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 1.50 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,551.78 and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2.75 points, or 0.09 percent, to 3,201.11.
** LUFKIN INDUSTRIES INC, $87.90, up 37.5 pct (1335 ET)
General Electric is buying oilfield pump maker Lufkin Industries for $2.98 billion, sharply increasing its presence in the fast-growing market to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock, the conglomerate said on Monday.
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL LTD, $12.49, up 4 pct (1334 ET)
Shares of the Lufkin rival were also up on Monday. MVL & Co analyst William Conroy said Lufkin and Weatherford are direct competitors in the artificial lift segment and together control about 95 percent of the market. “The share movement that we can see is the follow-on enthusiasm with the Lufkin announcement,” Conroy said.
** GLOBAL-TECH ADVANCED INNOVATIONS INC, $7.02, down 13.5 percent (1334 ET)
The maker of metal oxide semiconductor and camera modules reported a drop in profit and sales as customers chose to buy its low-cost camera modules rather than the high-margin ones.
Shares of the company were one of the top percentage losers on the Nasdaq on Monday.
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $3.73, up 4 pct (1333 ET)
** SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS CO LTD, $0.48, up 16 pct (1333 ET)
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $5.06, up 22 pct (1333 ET)
** FIRST SOLAR INC, $26.75, up 1.1 pct (1333 ET)
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $3.66, up 6 pct (1333 ET)
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $3.68, up 3 pct (1333 ET)
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO, $1.84, up 4 pct (1333 ET)
Chinese solar panel maker Trina Solar hopes it can snap out of losses from June, its chairman said on Saturday, as it banks on China’s rising demand for green energy and an easing in excess global supply. While the industry may face another turbulent year, Trina Chairman Gao Ji was optimistic as he looked to expanding Chinese demand.
Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said bullish comments from a company like Trina Solar, one of the five largest panel manufacturers, pushes stocks of its competitors higher.
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $1.94, up 14.7 pct (1331 ET)
** SINOVAC BIOTECH LTD, $3.70, down 5.8 pct (1331 ET)
Shares of BioCryst, which is developing an intravenous anti-viral agent to treat the influenza virus, surged on the rise in the number of people in China infected by the bird flu that is caused due to a new virus strain. As of Monday, the number of people infected rose to 24, with seven deaths.
China’s Food and Drug Administration on Saturday said it had given a fast-tracked approval for BioCryst’s intravenous anti-influenza drug Peramivir.
Shares of rival Sinovac, which develops vaccines for a strain of bird flu, fell 4 percent.
** PENN VIRGINIA CORP, $3.75, down 8 pct (1333 ET)
Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus cut the oil and gas producer’s stock to “hold” from “buy,” citing increase in leverage after the company acquired Eagle Ford shale field in Texas for $400 million from Magnum Hunter Resources.
** SKECHERS USA INC, $21.43, up 4 pct (1330 ET)
Susquehanna raised its first-quarter earnings estimates on the shoemaker to 20 cents from 18 cents and said momentum at the company continues to remain strong and broad based.
“Positive commentary from key retail accounts in addition to strong market share gains give us comfort in our first-quarter sales and earnings estimates,” analyst Christopher Svezia wrote in a note adding that international sales remain favorable, including growth across Europe.
** RUBICON TECHNOLOGY INC, $7.32, up 14 pct (1330 ET)
Sterne Agee upgraded the advanced electronic materials provider to “buy” from “neutral,” saying it believes industry fundamentals are about to improve on higher demand for sapphire substrates -- a key component used in manufacturing LEDs.
Analyst Andrew Huang said pricing has likely bottomed, with many suppliers now trying to raise price. “We expect pricing for both core and wafers to increase slightly Q/Q (quarter over quarter) for the June quarter and again for the September quarter.”
** UNIPIXEL INC, $28.00, up 3.7 pct (1330 ET)
The LCD film maker said it signed a multi-million deal with a “major touch-screen ecosystem partner” to produce touch screens with multi-touch sensor film.
** NOMURA HOLDINGS INC , $6.91, up 7 pct (1329 ET)
The yen slumped against the dollar and the euro on Monday as the Bank of Japan began its boldest economic boost yet. The dollar rallied to 99 yen, its highest since May 2009, and the euro touched a three-year peak against the Japanese currency after the BoJ conducted its first bond purchases since announcing the new monetary easing steps last week.
** EPL OIL & GAS INC, $29.89, up 7.6 pct (1329 ET)
CapitalOne upgraded the oil and gas producer’s stock to “strong buy” from “add”, according to StreetInsider.com.
** CIA ENERGETICA DE MINAS GERAIS, $11.55, down 5 pct (1328 ET)
The Brazilian power company said on Friday that it its rates will increase 2.99 percent for the next four years, less than that suggested by the country's regulator. The increase, to be implemented from April 8, is well below the initial forecast adjustment of 6.36 percent. (link.reuters.com/kev27t)
** CERAGON NETWORKS , $3.88, down 8 pct (1327 ET)
The Israeli telecom equipment maker estimated first-quarter revenue between $89 million and $91 million, below its previous forecast, as it took longer to close certain deals.
** GOL LINHAS, $5.84, up 10 pct (1327 ET)
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes SA plans to raise up to 1.35 billion reais ($681 million) in the initial public offering of its Smiles SA customer loyalty unit, Brazil’s No. 2 airline said on Monday in a regulatory announcement in an effort to buttress the company as it faces several challenges.
** CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORP, $0.18, down 42 pct (1327 ET)
Poland’s Central European Distribution Corp has filed for a pre-packaged bankruptcy that will give Russian businessman Roustam Tariko full control of the vodka producer, a court filing showed.
** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, $0.64, down 11 pct (1326 ET)
National Bank and rival Eurobank confirmed their merger deal had been halted and they are unlikely to raise the private capital they need to stay out of state hands.
** BSD MEDICAL CORP, $1.66, up 18 pct (1326 ET)
The medical device maker said it entered into a deal with Terumo Europe NV to market BSD Medical’s heat utilizing cancer therapy system, MicroThermX, in Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa.
** EDAC TECHNOLOGIES CORP, $17.72, down 4 pct (1325 ET)
The aerospace components maker said MidOcean Partners and PSP Investments are withdrawing their unsolicited offer to acquire the company at $18.25 per share. EDAC said its board continues to recommend GB Aero Engine Merger Sub Inc’s offer of $17.75 per share.
** OBAGI MEDICAL PRODUCTS INC, $23.95, down 6 pct (1325 ET)
Germany’s Merz Pharma Group withdrew its offer for the U.S. cosmetic products maker, after rival bidder Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc raised its offer last week.
** ANACOR PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.51, up 8 pct (1325 ET)
The biopharmaceutical company said it would get $17.7 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discover drugs to treat tuberculosis, river blindness and elephantiasis. The foundation will also invest $5 million in Anacor’s common stock, as part of the research and development agreement with the company.
** EXAMWORKS GROUP INC, $17.94, up 5 pct (1324 ET)
Credit Suisse analyst Ralph Giacobbe raised his target price on the company’s stock to $21 from $18, saying that the independent medical examinations provider can meet its organic growth target on the strength of its three national contracts in the United States and the U.K.
** ACELRX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $5.24, up 4 pct (1324 ET)
Jefferies on Friday initiated coverage on the drug developer’s stock with a “buy” rating and a price target of $8, on expectation that AcelRx’s ARX-01, a drug-device combination to manage pain, will be approved by U.S. health regulators in 2014. “We see a clear market opportunity for ARX-01 given the current standard of care for post-op pain control is fraught with drawbacks,” analyst Corey Davis wrote in a note to clients.
** GLU MOBILE INC, $3.05, up 7 pct (1323 ET)
The mobile games maker entered into a change of control severance agreement with its President of Studios Matthew Ricchetti, the company said in a filing on Friday. "It is expected that the company from time to time will consider the possibility of a change of control," the filing said. (link.reuters.com/syt27t)
The agreement hints the company could be acquired, a Seeking Alpha article said on Saturday. (link.reuters.com/tyt27t)
** DELCATH SYSTEMS INC, $1.69, down 4 pct (1323 ET)
The pharmaceutical and medical device company said the U.S. health regulator delayed the date of the final decision on its drug device combination product aimed to treat liver cancer. Delcath said the FDA requested certain information on March 18, which was provided by the company, following which the FDA pushed the review date to Sept. 13.
** RADIAN GROUP INC, Friday close $10.55, up 4 pct (1322 ET)
Macquarie Equities Research upgraded the mortgage insurer to “outperform” from “neutral,” according to the TheFlyOnTheWall.com.
** FIRST NIAGARA FINANCIAL GROUP, $8.85, up 2 pct (1322 ET)
Brokerage KBW raised its rating on the lender’s stock to “outperform,” saying the recent management change was a long-term catalyst for the shares. Evercore Partners also upgraded the bank’s stock to “equalweight” from “underweight.”
First Niagara’s CEO John Koelmel resigned last month. The board formed a special committee to find a replacement. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)