17 Min Read
(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday after the December payroll report came in much weaker than expected, raising new questions about both the strength of the economy and the aggressiveness of Federal Reserve stimulus. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.21 percent at 16,410.72, the S&P 500 was down 0.05 percent at 1,837.24 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.02 percent at 4155.18.
** CHELSEA THERAPEUTICS INTERNATIONAL LTD, $2.4803, -29.74 pct
U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewers said a treatment developed by Chelsea for a rare type of low blood pressure lack evidence that the drug's benefit is durable over a longer period of time, according to documents on the FDA's website.
** RETROPHIN INC, $11.1, +30.59 pct
The pharmaceutical company said it expects gross proceeds of $40 million from a share offering and use it to develop its nasal spray to aid milk ejection for breastfeeding mothers. It will also use the fund to start trials for some of its experimental drugs.
** FRANCESCA'S HOLDINGS CORP, $21.69, +19.97 pct
The women's clothing retailer raised the low end of its sales and earnings forecasts for the fourth quarter ending Feb. 1 based on strong sales during the holiday period.
"After a lackluster start to the holiday selling season beginning the week of Thanksgiving, we ended the season stronger. Our customers responded well to our offerings, particularly apparel, accessories, and gifts," Chief Executive Neill Davis said in a statement.
** YRC WORLDWIDE INC, $13.56, -13.47 pct
Workers at the trucking company represented by the Teamsters union rejected a contract extension that the company proposed, putting a plan to restructure its debt in jeopardy.
** INTERCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $471.77, +71.01 pct
** CONATUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $14.21, +45.00 pct
Intercept's shares nearly quadrupled to a life high of $305 on Thursday after the company's drug to treat liver disease caused by fat buildup was found effective in a trial, paving the way for it to become the first approved treatment for the chronic condition.
Citigroup, Needham and Oppenheimer raised their price targets on the stock on Friday. Shares of biotechnology company Conatus, which is focused on the treatment of liver disease, also jumped on the news.
** MANNKIND CORP, $6.081, -14.11 pct
The drugmaker said a U.S. advisory panel has tentatively set April 1 as the review date for its inhaled insulin product Afrezza, indicating that a decision on whistle-sized inhaler's approval is unlikely to come by April 15, the deadline for FDA to complete its review.
The FDA had rejected Afrezza, which delivers powdered insulin to adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, in 2011 and asked the company to conduct two clinical trials and the company resubmitted the approval application in October last year.
** AMERICAN PACIFIC CORP, $46.48, +18.81 pct
The specialty chemical maker said it would be taken private by Miami-based private investment firm HIG Capital Inc LLC for about $392 million. The $46.50 per share deal represents a premium of 19 percent to American Pacific's Thursday closing price.
** PACIFIC SUNWEAR OF CALIFORNIA INC, $2.9486, -14.04 pct
The clothing retailer estimated a wider loss for the fourth quarter as fewer customers shopped at its stores in December. The company also said late on Thursday comparable-store sales would be flat to 1 percent higher in the quarter. It had earlier forecast 1-5 percent growth.
Brokerage Janney Capital Markets cut its rating on the retailer's stock to "neutral" from "buy." The brokerage also cut its fair value on the stock to $3 from $5.
** BARRACUDA NETWORKS INC, $36, -7.69 pct
Brokerage BofA Merrill Lynch lowered its rating on the data storage and security company's stock to "neutral" from "buy."
** TARGET CORP, $62.77, -0.90 pct
The third-largest U.S. retailer said up to 70 million customers were hit by the theft of data over the holiday shopping season, a far more serious breach than previously disclosed.
** FIVE BELOW INC, $40.61, -6.84 pct
At least three brokerages lowered their price targets on the specialty value retailer's stock after the company cut its fourth-quarter forecast late on Thursday, blaming the weather for a fall in customer traffic.
Sterne Agee & Leach cut its price target on the stock to $45 from $56 and Jefferies & Co cut its price target to $48 from $51, late on Thursday. Guggenheim Securities cut its price target to $54 from $57 on Friday.
** FIFTH & PACIFIC COS INC, $31.27, -1.85 pct
The owner of the Kate Spade brand estimated full-year revenue below analysts' expectations and said Chief Executive William McComb would step down next month.
** IMMUNOMEDICS INC, $5.90, + 14 pct
The company said it had started a late-stage study of its pancreatic cancer drug, clivatuzumab tetraxetan, with the main goal of overall survival. The trial will study the safety and efficacy of the drug combined with another chemotherapy drug in about 440 patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who have received at least two previous therapies.
** BAZAARVOICE INC, $7.1, -13.94 pct
A federal court ruled against Bazaarvoice's $168.2 million acquisition of its main rival PowerReviews Inc, saying the deal could lead to one firm dominating the online product rating and review market, a court filing showed.
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, $36.78, -13.60 pct
The retailer on Thursday reported declines in comparable-store sales at its Kmart and U.S. namesake chain for the crucial holiday season that were even sharper than for the third quarter.
** PHARMERICA CORP, $25.06, +22.90 pct
The pharmacy services provider said it expected 2014 revenue of $1.67 billion to $1.72 billion, ahead of analysts' estimates of $1.52 billion. The company said its ongoing restructuring program would save $50 million annually, when it is fully implemented in the fourth quarter of 2014.
** PLUG POWER INC, $3.633, +9.43 pct
The fuel cell maker said it would offer 10 million shares in an underwritten offering and use the proceeds for working capital and other general corporate purposes including, capital expenses. The company's shares also rallied on Tuesday after the company said it would develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for 20 FedEx Express electric delivery trucks in a $3 million, U.S. Department of Energy-funded project.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $36.58, +10.15 pct
Janney Capital Markets upgraded the teen apparel retailer's stock to "buy" after the company raised its full-year earnings forecast on Thursday, citing higher-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter to date.
Janney Capital also lifted its price target to $49 from $34. Mizuho Securities USA raised its price target to $38 from $36, while Susqehanna Financial Group raised its price target to $46 from $43.
** GALECTIN THERAPEUTICS INC, $16.24, +20.38 pct
The company said it raised gross proceeds of $23.9 million through an offering of about 2.4 million shares that ended on Thursday. The company said it would use net proceeds of $23.2 million to fund the mid-stage trial of its fibrosis drug. The company said it has about $32.3 million in cash.
Shares of the company, which is developing a treatment for liver disease, soared on Thursday after Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc's drug to treat the same condition was found effective in a trial.
** PRICESMART INC, $100.5, -6.59 pct
The shopping warehouse club operator on Thursday reported first-quarter results that missed analysts' estimates.
** ROUNDY'S INC, $8.99, -5.86 pct
Jefferies & Co initiated coverage on the retail grocery company's stock with a "hold" rating and a $10.50 price target as it fears a slow turnaround in the company's core stores.
** IRONWOOD PHARMACEUTICALS INC $13.11, +5.81 pct
BMO Capital Markets analyst David Maris raised his rating on the stock to "outperform" from "market perform", saying Ironwood's shares would perform well in 2014 as the company addresses issues related to its underperformance last year.
The company's stock lost 12 percent in 2013.
Maris said that a fall in investors' peak sales expectations, a need for additional cash and fear of data from a competing product hurt the company last year.
** SHOE CARNIVAL INC, $26.14, -4.35 pct
The footwear retailer cut its fourth-quarter forecast, hurt by a double-digit decline in customer footfalls in December. The company, which expects comparable sales to decline, now sees sales in the range of $203-205 million in the quarter ending Feb. 1, down from its previous forecast of $215-219 million.
Shoe Carnival said it now expects earnings per share in the range of 3-6 cents, down from its earlier guidance of 18-22 cents.
Susquehanna Financial Group cuts its target price on the footwear retailer's stock to $30 from $32.
** ALCOA INC, $10.1, -5.52 pct
The company reported a massive quarterly loss on Thursday after recent declines in aluminum prices led to a $1.7 billion non-cash impairment charge on smelter acquisitions.
** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $6.34, +8.93 pct
The company said it has started three studies to test its experimental drug ganetespib for two forms of blood cancer. The trials are sponsored by Cardiff University in the UK.
** TIFFANY & CO, $90.19, -1.98 pct
** ZALE CORP, $15.942, +12.66 pct
U.S. jeweler Tiffany reported a 4 percent rise in sales through November and December, helped by strong demand in America and Asia. Comparable store sales rose 6 percent in the two months, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations. Lower-end peer Zale reported a 2 percent rise in comparable-store sales for the same period, driven by higher sales at its Zales Jewelers and Zales Outlet stores.
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $35.14, +1.04 pct
The Chinese solar company said it would operate the restructured factories of Topoint from Jan. 13, boosting its manufacturing capacity to 2 gigawatt (GW) from 1.5 GW. JinkoSolar plans to buy these assets once Topoint, based in China's southeastern coastal province of Zhejiang, completes its reorganization.
** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.78, -3.57 pct
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC $3.71, -3.64 pct
** DIANA SHIPPING INC $12.14, -1.94 pct
** NAVIOS MARITIME HOLDINGS INC $9.14, -5.68 pct
Shares of dry bulk shippers slid on Friday, as Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell more than 11 percent due to a decline in rates of bigger vessels such as capesize and panamax. The index gauges the cost of shipping dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer.
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS, $2.37, +13.94 pct
The Canadian fuel cell maker said on Thursday it had sold about 400 kilowatts of FCgen- 1300 fuel cell stack product to Taiwan-based M-Field Energy Ltd. FCgen- 1300 fuel cell is a low-cost product, designed specifically for stationary applications and is incorporated into systems developed for backup power.
** NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP, $17, -16.42 pct
The company, which owns interests in coal and oil and gas reserves, said it reduced its quarterly payout by 20 cents to 35 cents per share due to a fall in coal revenue. The company also forecast lower-than-expected 2014 results due to weak coal prices and lower production.
** AEGERION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $64.98, -11.89 pct
The company said the U.S. Department of Justice has requested documents related to the sale of the cholesterol drug Juxtapid, its only approved product. Aegerion also forecast net product sales of $190 million to $210 million in 2014. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $204 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Cowen & Co cut its price target on the stock to $95 from $105, while Jefferies & Co cut its target to $90 from $102.
** ACCELERON PHARMA INC, $45.13, -7.88 pct
The drug developer said it would offer about $100 million of its common shares. The company did not announce the price at which it would sell the shares.
** ATRICURE INC, $22.162, +16.58 pct
The medical device maker forecast 2013 and 2014 revenue above market estimates as it expects the accelerating growth of 2013 to continue.
** PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP, $23.48, -7.99 pct
The enterprise software maker reported fourth-quarter earnings below Wall Street expectations and forecast first-quarter results that fell short of analysts' estimates.
** INFOSYS LTD, $59.7, +6.32 pct
India's Infosys is chasing more big-ticket contracts from Europe and the United States this year and keeping a lid on costs as the outsourcing services giant powers ahead with a turnaround to regain market share. India's second largest software services exporter raised on Friday its revenue growth outlook for the 2014 financial year to between 11.5 and 12 percent from a previously forecast 9-10 percent, citing higher demand for its services.
Brokerage Jefferies & Co raised the target price on the stock to $66 from $61.
** KINDRED BIOSCIENCES, $12.24, +9.87 pct
Baupost Group, one of the world's biggest hedge funds run by Seth Klarman, reported a 17.93 percent passive stake in the clinical-stage animal biotech firm, according to a regulatory filing.
The holding as of Dec. 31 makes Baupost the second-largest shareholder of Kindred. (r.reuters.com/nyt85v)
** GAP INC, $39.69, +0.68 pct
The apparel retailer reported a lower-than-expected 1 percent increase in holiday season comparable sales, hurt by weak business at its Old Navy chain. Janney Capital Markets cut its fair value on the apparel retailer's stock to $46 from $48.
** MICROSOFT CORP, $35.8099, +0.79 pct
Barclays Capital raised its rating on the company's stock to "overweight" from "equal weight," saying it was better positioned than peers in the increasingly important cloud services market with its Windows Azure and Office 365 offerings. "With the market now pricing in a lower probability that an outside CEO is selected, we believe it appropriate to refocus on the strong fundamental drivers at the company," analysts at Barclays said in a note. Barclays also raised its price target on the stock to $42 from $35.
** STEMCELLS INC, $1.56, +8.33 pct
The company said it would complete enrollment of patients in a trial testing purified human stem cells as a treatment for chronic spinal cord injury. Stemcells, which said it transplanted the cells into its first patient in North America, said the expansion of its study would pave the way for a mid-stage study it plans to start by the middle of the year.
** GOLDCORP INC, $23.41, +4.46 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $10.55, +4.98 pct
** SILVER WHEATON, $21.33, +4.71 pct
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $18.277, +3.03 pct
** ROYAL GOLD INC, $50.79, +5.33 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD, $5.98, +4.00 pct
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $23.81, +2.63 pct
Gold rose around 1 percent on Friday after sharply weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data supported the view that the U.S. Federal Reserve will take a gradual approach to tapering its bond-buying program this year. Spot gold rose as much as 1.4 percent to a session high of $1,244.90 an ounce, and was up 1.3 percent to $1,243.40 by 1453 GMT. Silver extended its gains to reach $20.06 an ounce, up 2.7 percent.
** WISDOMTREE INVESTMENTS INC $16.92, -3.09 pct
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the asset manager's stock to "neutral" from "buy," according to Theflyonthewall.com
** PERCEPTRON INC, $16.57, +23.38 pct
The company, which makes non-contact 3D measurement tools, said late on Thursday it expected to begin shipping 45 inline gauging systems to a premium German automaker - the largest single-location deployment in the product's history. The company did not name the automaker.
** AMBARELLA INC, $29.0801, -9.60 pct
Brokerage Deutsche Bank downgraded the company, which makes chips used to capture, process and display high-definition video for cameras, to "hold" from "buy" on valuation grounds.
** CON-WAY INC, $42.8, +5.44 pct
Wells Fargo raised its rating on the logistics company to "outperform" from "market perform", according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** ACUITY BRANDS INC, $132.72, +7.47 pct
The lighting fixtures maker reported first-quarter results above analysts' expectations due to higher demand in North America.
At least three brokerages raised their price targets on Acuity's stock. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore; Edited by Don Sebastian)