(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 fell to session lows in afternoon trade on Monday, with the 10 S&P 500 industry groups posting losses in widespread selling. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.64 percent at 16,331.67, the S&P 500 was down 0.72 percent at 1,829.15 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.74 percent at 4143.85.
** ALNYLAM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $93.75, +41.59 pct
French drugmaker Sanofi will buy a 12 percent stake in Alnylam Pharmaceuticals for $700 million and deepen their partnership to develop drugs for rare genetic diseases.
** BEAM INC, $83.26, +24.32 pct
Suntory Holdings Ltd said it plans to buy Beam for $16 billion, including debt, making the Japanese company the world’s third-largest maker of distilled drinks. Beam’s brands include Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Sauza, Canadian Club and Courvoisier.
** SODASTREAM INTERNATIONAL LTD, $37.865, -24.10 pct
The Israeli company, which manufactures soda makers, estimated full-year revenue below analyst’s expectations, hurt by a challenging holiday season selling in the United States. The company said it expected 2013 revenue of about $562.0 million, compared with analysts’ estimates of $563.8 million.
** INTERCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $358.6, -19.57 pct
Patients treated with the company’s liver drug had increased total cholesterol and bad cholesterol, data from a trial showed on Sunday.
The stock had risen over six times since the company said on Thursday that the drug was found effective in a trial. It hit a life high of $497 on Friday.
Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos said it was already known from previous trials that the drug elevated “bad cholesterol” and there were drugs to control its levels. “The stock ran up so much so fast (last week) that anything that sounds negative will spook investors,” she said.
Citi analysts said the news would not affect potential sales of the drug, and raised their price target on the company’s stock to $600 from $400.
** CLICKSOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES LTD, $8.77, +20.63 pct
The George Soros-backed Israeli company, which provides workforce management software and services, raised its fourth-quarter revenue forecast to about $30.5 million from $26-$28 million, as it added 19 customers in the quarter. The company also said it expected revenue of about $103 million for the full year. Analysts were expecting $26 million for the fourth quarter and $98.5 million for the full year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ENPRO INDUSTRIES INC, $71.9, +21.43 pct
The maker of sealing products will not have to set aside more money than it had expected to meet current and future claims related to a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, according to a court ruling. A bankruptcy court in North Carolina said on Friday $125 million would be enough to meet the claims against the company.
KeyBanc Capital Markets on Monday raised the target price on the stock to $85 from $65.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $12.68, +28.34 pct
The Canadian biopharmaceutical company said it struck a deal with Monsanto Co, allowing the world’s largest seed company to use its technology for agricultural applications. Tekmira said the potential value of the deal could reach up to $86.2 million and expects to receive a near-term payment of $16.5 million.
** NII HOLDINGS, $2.77, +23.94 pct
The company, which provides telecom services under the Nextel brand in Latin America, said it would use Telefonica SA’s 3G wireless network to provide voice and data services. “This agreement will make this coverage seemingly all the greater to NIHD’s current (and future) 3G subscribers,” Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, $49.7575, -16.51 pct
The upscale yogawear retailer cut its forecast for the fourth quarter due to weak sales in January. The company expects net revenue to range between $513 million and $518 million for the quarter ending Feb. 2, down from $535 million to $540 million earlier.
** ROSETTA GENOMICS LTD, $3.94, +23.51 pct
The molecular diagnostics company said it signed a master service provider agreement with an undisclosed major global biopharmaceutical company to provide microRNA profiling and other services.
** CERAGON NETWORKS LTD, $3.65, +15.14 pct
The company, which provides wireless technology to cellular service providers for voice and data communications, said it had received “large orders” from two national operators in North America and India for their roll out of fourth-generation Long Term Evolution networks.
** ASCENA RETAIL GROUP INC, $20.4, -7.02 pct
The women’s apparel retailer cut its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to $1.10-$1.15 per share from $1.25 to $1.30, citing lower-than-expected sales and increased promotions during the holiday season.
** AARON‘S INC, $26.9, -7.15 pct
The furniture and electronics retailer cut its fourth-quarter sales and earnings forecast, citing weak demand from low- to middle-income consumers. The company said same-store sales and customer growth at company-operated stores fell about 1 percent in the quarter, and shipments of products to franchisees were fewer than a year earlier.
** NOVAVAX INC, $5.57, +7.53 pct
The company said a nonprofit organization would continue to support the mid-stage development of its vaccine to prevent a form of respiratory infection in developing countries. PATH, which partially funded the initial development stage, will give about $3.5 million to support the trial in women of child-bearing age and is expected to fund 50 percent of Novavax’s external clinical development costs.
There is no approved vaccine for the disease caused by the respiratory syncytial virus, one of the most common causes of lower respiratory tract infection among young children.
** MCKESSON CORP, $166.88, -4.88 pct
The U.S. drugs wholesaler group said it failed to win enough support for its $8.4 billion offer to acquire German drugs distributor Celesio.
The suitor last week raised its offer following pressure from hedge fund investor Elliott, which had become Celesio’s second-largest shareholder behind Franz Haniel & Cie GmbH.
** PLY GEM HOLDINGS INC, $14.05, -17.30 pct
The maker of residential exterior products said late on Saturday that it expects fourth-quarter revenue of $330 million to $335 million, lower than analysts’ average expectation of $343.60 million.
J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the company’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight” and cut its price target to $17 from $19. BB&T Capital Markets cut its price target to $20 from $23.
** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, $25.71, +9.22 pct
** F5 NETWORKS INC, $92.95, +5.00 pct
Juniper shareholder Elliott Management Corp urged the network equipment maker to buy back shares, streamline its product line and cut costs to boost shareholder value.
Shares of rival F5 Networks were also up.
** PROSENSA HOLDING NV, $4.55, -18.89 pct
The Dutch biotech firm will now hold all rights to an experimental drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy as GlaxoSmithKline has handed back the rights after the drug failed in a critical clinical trial. Hopes for the drug, drisapersen, slumped last September when it did not show a statistically significant improvement.
** GALENA BIOPHARMA, $7.32, +15.28 pct
The company said it bought Mills Pharmaceuticals, accessing the privately owned company’s experimental drug for the treatment of a disease of the bone marrow. Galena said it expected to begin mid-stage studies of the drug for the treatment for essential thrombocythemia in mid-2014.
Roth Capital Partners raised its price target on Galena’s stock to $11 from $7, saying it expects “a 2017-launch” for the drug, which would represent the second revenue generating product after its pain drug Abstral.
** DENDREON CORP, $3.225, +7.86 pct
The biotechnology company forecast fourth-quarter revenue above analyst estimates, driven by strong growth in its oncology business. Dendreon expects quarterly revenue at about $74.8 million, while analysts were expecting $72.9 million according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** THE WENDY‘S CO, $8.9764, +6.36 pct
The second-largest U.S. hamburger chain estimated adjusted quarterly earnings above analysts’ expectations, as expenses fell due to franchising many company-owned outlets.
** TWITTER INC, $58.94, +3.40 pct
Goldman Sachs raised its price target on the microblogging website’s stock to $65 from $46, citing a “significant acceleration in the pace of Twitter’s product innovation” that could help convert website traffic into revenue.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $8.375, -4.40 pct
Analysts at Oppenheimer downgraded the struggling Canadian smartphone maker’s stock to “underperform” from “perform”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, $28.49, +2.85 pct
Brokerage Atlantic Equities initiated coverage on the PC maker’s stock with “overweight” rating, according to TheFlyonthewall.com.
** QUALITY SYSTEMS INC, $19.07, -8.93 pct
Baird cut its price target on the stock to $24 from $28 after the healthcare IT company said it expects to report quarterly results below analysts’ estimates.
B Riley also cut its target price on the stock to $25.
** CHINA HYDROELECTRIC CORP, $3.36, +23.08 pct
The Chinese hydroelectric power company said it would be taken private in a $189.6 million deal. The $3.51 per American Depository Share offer from equity firm CPT Wyndham Holdings Ltd represents a 28 percent premium to China Hydroelectric’s Friday close.
** QIHOO 360 TECHNOLOGY CO LTD, $84.91, +4.78 pct
Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the stock of the antivirus maker and search engine provider, saying significant search monetization for the Chinese company could fuel strong revenue growth in 2014. “As Qihoo ramps its advertiser count, we believe revenue per advertiser could be diluted and decline temporarily to about $900. With that estimate and an estimated 100,000 advertisers, Qihoo’s search revenue in the third quarter could be $90 million, nicely above our $65 million estimate,” the brokerage said.
** DIXIE GROUP, $14, +10.76 pct
The maker of carpets and rugs estimated fourth-quarter sales of $95.8 million, above the average analyst expectation of $87.6 million, helped by recovery in the U.S. housing and commercial market. The company also estimated 2013 sales would rise 30 percent to $345 million, a regulatory filing showed on Monday. Analysts on average were expecting $336.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company will report fourth-quarter sales on Feb. 19.
** CELL THERAPEUTICS INC, $2.937, +10.41 pct
The company said it ended an agreement with Novartis that had given the Swiss company an option to buy developing rights to two of its cancer drugs. Cell Therapeutics’ Chief Executive James Bianco said the company now had the flexibility to manage the development of the drugs, Opaxio and Pixuvri.
** BON-TON STORES INC, $13.5, -12.90 pct
The department store operator said on Friday it could report a loss for the full year as extreme cold weather in parts of the United States led to a slowdown in sales in December.
** UBS AG, $20.72, +2.17 pct
UBS is not considering spinning off its investment bank, its chief executive Sergio Ermotti said on Monday, rebuffing speculation last week it may consider such a move to quieten demands for it to put aside more capital.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $39.94, -0.22 pct
The U.S. automaker’s chief financial officer said on Sunday that the company is close to reintroducing a common stock dividend, but declined to provide any details on timing. GM last paid a dividend on its common stock in May 2008.
** FOSTER WHEELER AG, $31.255, -0.65 pct
British engineering firm Amec said it had provisionally agreed to buy Foster Wheeler in a cash and share deal that values the Swiss-based engineer at 1.9 billion pounds ($3.13 billion).
** NANOSPHERE INC, $2.4999, +0.00 pct
Roth Capital Partners raised its target price on the molecular diagnostics company’s stock to $2.50 from $2.00, saying it was encouraged by the U.S. FDA’s approval for the company’s Verigene blood culture test. The company also submitted its pathogen test for gastrointestinal infections for regulatory approval.
** AVANIR PHARMACEUTICALS INC $3.54, +9.26 pct
The company said it expects total gross revenue of about $34.6 million in the first quarter, partly due to higher sales of its drug Nuedexta. Analysts were expecting $24.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** LEXICON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $1.9299, -3.51 pct
The drug maker said its Chief Executive would leave and it would cut its workforce by about 45 percent, as it moves its focus away from drug discovery to completing the studies of its drugs in late-stage development.
** MERCK & CO INC, $53.18, +6.62 pct
The drugmaker’s experimental blood clot-preventing drug vorapaxar should be approved, based on “robustly positive” clinical trial results, according to a preliminary review of the data by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company also said it is pursuing strategic options for its animal health and consumer businesses and expects to complete any action this year.
** SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE INC, $77.76, -5.18 pct
** DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC, $82.12, -2.26 pct
Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks abandoned talks for a merger last week, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. The discussions did not go beyond the early, exploratory stage and Discovery had not made a formal offer for Scripps, the newspaper reported.
** RED HAT INC, $57.85, +1.83 pct
Brokerage Morgan Stanley raised the stock of the world’s largest commercial distributor of the Linux operating system to “overweight” from “equal weight”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** SANMINA-SCI CORP, $15.39, -5.06 pct
Brokerage Raymond James downgraded the electronic components manufacturer’s stock to “underperform” from “market perform” as it believes the company’s March forecast could come in below consensus estimates.
** SYMANTEC CORP, $22.6, -3.71 pct
Brokerage Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the anti-virus software maker’s stock to “underweight” from “equal weight,” according to the website theflyonthewall.com
** JCPENNEY CO, $6.85, -6.68 pct
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, $36.091, -1.69 pct
** GAP INC, $38.33, -3.79 pct
A top retail trade group executive on Sunday called for tougher security standards that could mean more spending for the industry, its banks and business partners after a series of data breaches at major merchants.
** NOODLES & CO, $33.8701, -4.43 pct
The fast casual restaurant chain operator said it expects fourth-quarter revenue of $91.5 million, below average analysts’ estimates, hurt by lower customer traffic due to tough weather conditions. Analysts on average were expecting $92.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Compiled by Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore; Edited by Don Sebastian)