April 18, 2013 / 3:55 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Verizon, Morgan Stanley, Overstock.com, Greenhill

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April 18 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:

NASDAQ BRIEFLY OFF 1 PCT, DATA WEIGHS

The Nasdaq Composite briefly fell more than 1 percent after data showed future economic activity fell in March for the first time in seven months and the pace of factory activity growth in the mid-Atlantic region unexpectedly slowed. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62.71 points, or 0.43 percent, to 14,555.88, the S&P 500 lost 7.88 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,544.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 22.67 points, or 0.71 percent, to 3,182.01.

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, $51.67, up 4.3 pct (1056 ET)

The telephone company reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit, driven by strength in its wireless business.

** MORGAN STANLEY, $20.78, down 3.2 pct (1057 ET)

The sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets said revenue from commodities trading fell sharply in the first quarter and it was working to dispose of nonessential commodity businesses.

** OVERSTOCK.COM INC, $14.30, up 25 pct (1002 ET)

The discount e-retailer reported a 19 percent jump in revenue helped by higher average order size. Gross profit in the quarter also improved due to a shift to higher margin home and garden products, and lower warehousing costs, in turn boosting profit.

** SINOVAC BIOTECH LTD, $3.84, down 7 pct (1047 ET)

The pharmaceutical company said fourth-quarter revenue fell to $19 million, from $21.1 million a year ago, as the company recorded no sales of its H1N1 flu vaccine in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

** NORTHWEST BIOTHERAPEUTICS INC, $3.76, down 3.6 pct (1057 ET)

The company entered into an agreement with a healthcare-dedicated institutional investor for a registered direct placement of $10 million of its common stock. Northwest also said it will issue warrant coverage of 40 percent to the investor to buy shares of common stock at an exercise price of $4.29 per share.

** PEPSICO INC, $82.61, up 5 pct (1059 ET)

The maker of Pepsi sodas, Tropicana juices, Frito-Lay snacks and Quaker oatmeal reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, as price increases helped margins.

** GREENHILL & CO INC, $46, down 11 percent (1000 ET)

The boutique investment bank reported first-quarter results on Wednesday that widely missed estimates due to an investment loss of $1.9 million compared to an investment gain of $9.4 million in the year-earlier quarter.

At least four brokerages cut their price target on the company’ stock.

** ASTORIA FINANCIAL CORP, $9.50, up 2 pct (1005 ET)

The bank reported quarterly results on Wednesday that grazed past estimates, helped by a decline in operating expense and lower provision for loan losses.

** EAST WEST BANCORP, $23.08, down 4 pt (1035 ET)

The bank reported quarterly results on Wednesday that beat estimates, but net interest margin declined due to reduced non-covered loan portfolio yields.

BMO Capital Markets cut its rating on the company’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” while Sterne Agee downgraded it to “neutral” from “buy” and lowered its price target to $25 from $26.

** SELECT COMFORT CORP, $18.68, up 6.37 pct (11.07 ET)

Specialty mattress maker Select Comfort said it would revert to its earlier marketing strategy after a shift in advertising reduced exposure of its products to already cautious customers and hit sales.

“While management clearly took their eye off the ball on the marketing, they are aggressively working to rectify the situation and are seeing improvements in the business as a result,” Joan Storms of Wedbush Securities wrote in a note.

** UNIVERSAL FOREST PRODUCTS INC, $37.03, up 8.6 pct (1101 ET)

The maker of wood and wood-alternative products reported its first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates with increased sales in each of its units due to 42.9 percent increase in the lumber market.

** COINSTAR INC, $54.95, down 3 (1055 ET)

Brokerage ITG Research lowered its revenue estimates for the operator of Redbox video rental kiosks, citing weak March sales trends, the flyonthewall.com reported.

** DANAHER CORP, $58.02, down 2.9 pct (1058 ET)

The industrial and healthcare conglomerate’s first-quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates as operating margin at its largest business, life sciences & diagnostics, fell about 60 basis points. The company also forecast second-quarter earnings below analysts’ estimates.

** NOBLE CORP, $36.52, up 4.5 pct (1132 ET)

The owner of the world’s third-largest offshore drilling fleet said Royal Dutch Shell Plc was in talks to extend its contract to use the Noble Discoverer beyond February 2014, underlining its long-term plans for the offshore Arctic.

GOLD STOCKS

** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD, $70.06, up 4.7 pct (1005 ET)

** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $32.58, up 0.7 pct (1005 ET)

** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD, $17.80, up 1.4 pct (1005 ET)

** BARRICK GOLD CORP , $18.07, up 2.4 pct (1006 ET)

** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER INC, $11.28, up 2.8 pct (1006 ET)

** YAMANA GOLD INC, $11.34, up 2.2 pct (1008 ET)

** KINROSS GOLD CORP, $5.18, up 3.6 pct (1008 ET)

Gold rallied on Thursday in Europe after volatile Asian trade saw prices slide towards two-year lows hit earlier in the week, with strong physical buying set against exits from exchange-traded funds. The sharp drop in prices has triggered a spate of buying in gold bars, coins and nuggets in Asia, while U.S. gold coins have flown off dealers’ shelves.

** EXACT SCIENCES CORP, $7.32, down 26.6 pct (0953 ET)

The company said its molecular screening test for colorectal cancer met a late-stage trial goal of detecting the disease in more patients than other commonly used tests. But its results were not as robust as some were expecting.

** TRAVELZOO INC, $25.09, up 15.5 pct (0952 ET)

The online travel deals company reported a 7 percent rise in first-quarter revenue, with its Europe travel business growing 14 percent.

** THERAVANCE INC, $32.40, up 15.7 pct (1059 ET)

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended that the agency approve an experimental treatment for smoking-related lung damage made by Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Theravance.

** NOKIA OYJ , $3.19, down 10.9 pct (1058 ET)

A big fall in sales of the company’s basic phones overshadowed a stronger performance from its Lumia smartphones in the first quarter, and it said it expected operating margins to deteriorate.

Chief Executive Stephen Elop said tougher competition was the main reason behind the fall in sales of regular mobile phones.

** PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL INC, $91.01, down 3.2 pct (0950 ET)

The company, which sells Marlboro, reported first-quarter profit that missed estimates as cigarette shipment volumes declined 6.5 percent.

** PRIVATEBANCORP INC, $18.07, up 3.9 pct (0950 ET)

The lender reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by mortgage banking and syndication fee revenue. Non-interest income rose 11 percent to $30.5 million.

** UNIPIXEL INC, $34.40, down 10 pct (1100 ET)

The LCD film maker said its offering of 1.2 million shares was priced at $32 per share, a 16 percent discount to the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.

** PPG INDUSTRIES INC, $139.21, up 5 pct (1027 ET)

The protective and decorative coatings maker reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by a strong demand in North America and Asia, and said it expects the positive momentum in these geographies to continue in the second quarter.

PPG also approved its quarterly dividend to 61 cents per share from 59 cents per share.

** UNION PACIFIC CORP, $141.25, up 3.1 pct (0958 ET)

The No.1 U.S. railroad reported a strong first quarter as higher freight rates offset a decline in coal shipments, and the company said it expects to ship more of the commodity in the current quarter.

HEALTH INSURER STOCKS

** UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC, $59.85, down 3.5 pct (1016 ET)

** HUMANA INC, $71.40, down 4 pct (1016 ET)

** AETNA INC, $54.55, down 1 pct (1017 ET)

** WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS INC, $57.43, down 3 pct (1017 ET)

** COVENTRY HEALTH CARE INC, $48.57, down 1 pct (1018 ET)

** MOLINA HEALTHCARE INC, $32.65, down 2 pct (1019 ET)

** UNIVERSAL AMERICAN CORP, $8.80, down 2 pct (1019 ET)

** CENTENE CORP, $43.89, down 3 pct (1020 ET)

** WELLPOINT INC, $67.67, down 2 pct (1024 ET)

Shares of U.S. health insurers were down, a day after the largest U.S. health insurer UnitedHealth reported bleak first-quarter profit due to lower government payments for its private Medicare services and prescription plans for older Americans, and cut its 2013 revenue expectation.

** MILLENIAL MEDIA INC, $6.26, up 2.8 pct (0959 ET)

Northland Capital Markets started the mobile advertising firm’s shares with an “outperform” rating and a $12 price target. “Millennial’s expanding ‘local’ targeting and exchange capabilities will soon take shape opening partnership opportunities with leading social and e-commerce players looking to grow/defend their mobile turf against heavyweights such as Facebook and Google,” analyst Mark Zgutowicz wrote in a note.

** ALLISON TRANSMISSION HOLDINGS INC, $22.17, up 4.8 pct (1010 ET)

The maker of fully-automatic transmissions said late on Wednesday that investment funds affiliated with Carlyle Group LP and Onex Corp would not proceed with a secondary offering of Allison Transmission’s common stock due to market conditions.

** EBAY INC, $52.97, down 5.6 pct (1013 ET)

The e-commerce company gave a disappointing earnings forecast for the second quarter and said Europe was weak, pushing its shares lower in after-hours trade. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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