April 9, 2013 / 4:09 PM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE- Herbalife, J.C. Penney, First Solar, Gain Capital

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April 9 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Tuesday:

WALL ST FLAT AS EARNINGS SEASON STARTS

U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday as investors were wary of initiating large bets at the start of the earnings season, which is forecast to show only modest growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,636. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index edged down 0.15 point, or 0.01 percent, at 1,562.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.48 points, or 0.01 percent, to 3,222.73.

** HERBALIFE LTD, $37.96, down 1 pct (1141ET)

KPMG resigned as the auditor of Herbalife after one of its senior partners engaged in insider trading in Herbalife stock, the nutritional products company said on Tuesday.

Herbalife said in a statement that KPMG’s resignation had nothing to do with its accounting practices or the integrity of its management - issues called into question by the high-stakes drama between hedge fund titans Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn over the company.

** J.C. PENNEY, $14.00, down 12 pct (1018 ET)

The struggling department store chain parted ways with Chief Executive Ron Johnson, who failed to win over shoppers and investors with his everyday-low-price strategy, and on Monday rehired Johnson’s predecessor, former CEO Mike Ullman, to revive the company.

Ullman’s return to the helm at J.C. Penney unnerved investors on Tuesday, as analysts said his experience was welcome but was not a cure-all for the retailer’s sliding sales and dwindling cash.

More than 58 million shares had changed hands by noon, making it the busiest trading day in the company history.

** GAIN CAPITAL HOLDINGS INC, $5.37, up 26 percent (1110 ET)

** FXCM INC, $13.62, up 2 percent (1111 ET)

FXCM, a provider of online foreign exchange trading services, said on Monday it offered to buy rival Gain Capital for $210.4 million in stock to increase its presence in the online foreign exchange market.

Gain Capital on Tuesday said it would consider the proposal as well as a range of options to build shareholder value.

** FIRST SOLAR INC, $29.11, up 7 pct (1158 ET)

The U.S. solar company expects production costs of 63 cents to 66 cents per watt in 2013, Tymen De Jong, senior vice president of global operations said during an analyst day conference. First Solar reported production costs of 68 cents per watt in the fourth quarter. Cost would reduce to less than 40 cents per watt by 2017, said Jong.

** RENESOLA LTD, $1.51, up 7 pct (1111 ET)

The Chinese solar panel maker said it will supply modules for use in five 6.5-megawatt solar farms in North Carolina, being developed by Strata Solar LLC.

** AFFYMETRIX INC, $4.03, down 13.5 pct (1112 ET)

The pharmaceutical company said it expected revenue of about $78 million for the first quarter ended March 31. This was below analysts’ expectations of $83.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. “Our revenues for the first quarter were below expectations, primarily due to continued headwinds in our gene expression business across all regions, in particular Japan, where we came in significantly short of plan,” CEO Frank Witney said.

Affymetrix’s stock was one of the top percentage losers on the Nasdaq in morning trade.

** A. SCHULMAN INC, $26.34, down 11.5 pct (1112 ET)

The chemical maker lowered its full-year forecast to a range of $2.08 to $2.13 per share, from $2.14 to $2.19 per share, citing weak global demand. The company also reported a second-quarter profit that missed Wall Street expectations.

** TELECOM ITALIA SPA, $6.78, up 5.1 pct (1112 ET)

Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa is in talks to buy up to 29.9 percent of Telecom Italia in a deal that would radically alter the power base at Italy’s leading phone company, two sources familiar with the negotiations said.

** STAAR SURGICAL CO, $6.27, up 14 pct (1113 ET)

The implantable lens maker estimated first-quarter revenue above analysts’ expectations, as sales of its Visian ICL contact lenses rose about 24 percent. Staar estimated quarterly revenue of about $18 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $16 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Staar’s stock was one of the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq in morning trade.

** MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP, $14.70, down 2.5 pct (1113 ET)

The investment management company said it would offer 4 million shares of its common stock at $14.70 per share, below its Monday closing price of $15.08.

More than 1 million shares, about 8 times its 10-day moving average, had changed hands by 1000 ET.

** COLLABRX INC, $3.61, up 5 pct (1113 ET)

The data analytics firm entered into a partnership with genetic diagnostics company Sengenics, under which the company will use CollabRx’s services for analyzing its molecular cancer diagnostics tests and reports.

** UNILIFE CORP, $2.31, up 16.4 pct (1114 ET)

The medical device maker said it entered into a marketing deal with a U.S. pharmaceutical company to supply its drug delivery syringe named EZMix. Unilife, which did not disclose the name of the company, said it expected up to $110 million in revenue during the 15-year agreement.

** ALUMINA LTD, $4.34, up 4 percent (1012 ET)

** ALCOA INC, $8.33, down 0.7 pct (1055 ET)

Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer reported a higher quarterly profit on Monday thanks in part to strength at its raw materials segment, but lower-than-expected revenue and an uncertain outlook dragged down the company’s share price.

Shares in Alumina rose after its joint venture partner Alcoa signaled that the aluminium industry had turned around, with a jump in profit.

** MAKO SURGICAL CORP, $11, up 4 pct (1114 ET)

Mizuho Securities upgraded the medical device maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying Mako could eventually double its share in the knee-surgery market, allowing for a sustained revenue growth at 20 percent or more over the next few years.

** MICROSOFT CORP, $29.12, up 2 pct (1101 ET)

** GOOGLE INC, $779.31, up 0.6 pct (1101 ET)

Companies including Microsoft and Nokia have stepped up pressure on EU antitrust regulators to take action against Google, accusing it of blocking competition in mobile telephony.

The complaint comes as Google attempts to resolve a two-year long investigation by the European Commission into its internet search practices and avert a possible fine that could hit $5 billion, or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue.

** CALAMOS ASSET MANAGEMENT, $10.94, down 3 pct (1115 ET)

Brokerage KBW cut the asset manager to “underperform” from “market perform,” saying Calamos has continued to see a high rate of outflows of client money. “Considering challenged investment performance on some key products, outflows may persist, contributing to continued pressure on AUM and revenues,” analyst Robert Lee wrote in a note.

** STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC, $27.37, down 3 pct (1115 ET)

The company, owned by real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht, said it sold about 26.5 million common shares for about $723.5 million.

** MCEWEN MINING INC , $2.63, up 2 pct

** YAMANA GOLD INC , $14.54, up 2 pct

** GOLDCORP INC , $31.90, up 2 pct (0951 ET)

** KINROSS GOLD CORP ; $1.72, up 1 pct

Gold prices steadied above $1,570 an ounce on Tuesday as renewed strength in stock markets and a weaker tone to the dollar lent support, but the metal struggled for traction after plumbing 10-month lows last week.

Spot gold prices were little changed at $1,573.86 an ounce at 1220 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 for June delivery were up 0.2 percent at $1,575.90.

** WAL-MART STORES INC, $77.91, up 0.8 pct (1137 ET)

The world’s largest retailer, is making its biggest push yet to try to improve conditions at factories that produce its clothing after a fire at a Bangladesh factory killed 112 people last year.

** CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, $38.86, up 2.4 pct (1115 ET)

The prison and correctional facilities operator said it would pay a special dividend of $675 million, or about $6.63 per share, in connection with its plan to qualify as a real estate investment trust.

** GILEAD SCIENCES INC, $48.38, up 2.5 pct (1116 ET)

RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee raised his price target on the biotechnology company’s stock to $55 from $50, saying the company will continue to outperform in the next 1 to 3 years due to the growth of its hepatitis C franchise.

** KITE REALTY GROUP TRUST, $6.65, down 1 pct (1116 ET)

The real estate investment trust said its offering of 13.5 million shares was priced at $6.55 per share. The REIT, which owns and develops shopping centers, said it would use proceeds from the offering to pay down debt and for acquisitions.

** RADIAN GROUP INC, $11.04, up 3 pct (1117 ET)

The mortgage insurer said it wrote $3.63 billion in new insurance in March and expects it main unit to maintain a risk-to-capital ratio of 20:1 or lower for the forseeable future, below the maximum risk allowed.

** TETRA TECH INC, $26.49, down 7 pct (1117 ET)

The engineering and construction consulting company said it expects lower revenue in the second half of 2013 due to weakness in its Eastern Canada operations from reduced consumer spending and slowing government procurements. The company said operating income will come down by $20 million to $30 million in the second half.

** MGIC INVESTMENT CORP, $5.21, up 5 pct (1118 ET)

Macquarie Equities Research on Monday upgraded the mortgage insurer to “neutral” from “underperform,” saying the company was viable as a going concern following its capital raise.

** ADVANCED ENERGY INDUSTRIES INC, $17.91, down 1.4 pct (1118 ET)

The company, which makes equipments for semiconductors and solar panels, said it acquired commercial inverter maker REFUsol Holding GmbH for 59 million euros ($76.8 million) to add three-phase string inverters to its product line. Advanced Energy said the acquisition will extend its reach in India, Asia, Mediterranean countries and Eastern Europe. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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