Aug 29 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday on better-than-expected economic data, while a potential Western military strike on Syria appeared to be delayed for now.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 43.09 points, or 0.29 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 6.72 points, or 0.41 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 32.52 points, or 0.90 percent.
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, $31.69, up 7.75 pct (1:07 p.m. ET)
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, $48.16, up 3.4 pct
Vodafone said it was in talks with Verizon to sell its 45 percent stake in their U.S. joint venture Verizon Wireless for what a Bloomberg report said would be about $130 billion.
** FACEBOOK INC, $41.67, up 2.7 pct (1:09 p.m. ET)
Some of Mark Zuckerberg’s mutual fund backers delivered a tough message on compensation for the leaders of the company.
Fidelity Investments, led by its $98 billion Contrafund, was among those voting against the pay of the social media company’s top leaders in a non-binding contest at its annual meeting in June, its first since going public.
** GUESS INC, $30.75, up 12.6 pct (1:16 p.m. ET)
The company’s second-quarter results beat Wall Street estimates, helped by recovering sales in North America, and bucked a broader trend of falling sales for apparel retailers.
** US AIRWAYS, $16.14, up 5.2 pct (1:17 p.m. ET)
** AMERICAN AIRLINES, $3.28, up 7.54 pct
** UNITED CONTINENTAL, $28.88, up 3.4 pct
** DELTA AIR LINES, $19.92, up 4.12 pct
** REPUBLIC AIRWAYS HOLDINGS INC, $11.31, up 3.66 pct
A U.S. bankruptcy judge hinted he would approve AMR Corp’s bankruptcy exit plan despite the government’s challenge to its main component: AMR’s planned megamerger with US Airways Group.
** D.R. HORTON INC, $18.40, up 3.5 pct (3:05 p.m. ET)
** PULTEGROUP INC, $15.96, up 4 pct
** TOLL BROTHERS INC, $31.33, up 2 pct
** LENNAR CORP, $32.73, up 3.5 pct
** KB HOME, $16.43, up 2.5 pct
The U.S. economy accelerated sharply in the second quarter thanks to a surge in exports. Other economic data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, a potential sign of faster hiring in August.
** METHODE ELECTRONICS INC, $23.26, up 32 pct (1:25 p.m. ET)
The company, which makes touch screens and integrated centers stacks for automobiles, cables and power connectors, reported a 41 percent jump in first-quarter revenue due to higher sales in its automotive, interconnect and power products businesses. The company also raised its full-year sales forecast.
** PERCEPTRON INC, $10.67, up 24 pct (1:25 p.m. ET)
The company, which sells non-contact measurement and inspection products to the automotive and manufacturing industries, reported a 62 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue and said orders almost doubled, helped by higher demand from Europe.
** K12 INC, $35.29, up 10.4 pct (1:26 p.m. ET)
The online education services provider reported a 19 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue due to a jump in management services it provides to public schools. These services account for almost 90 percent of the company’s total revenue.
** SHILOH INDUSTRIES INC, $12.50, up 9.4 pct (1:27 p.m. ET)
The company, which provides noise- and vibration-reducing products to automotive and other industrial markets, reported a 17 percent jump in third-quarter revenue due to higher demand in North America.
** CIMATRON LTD, $6.15, down 6.8 pct (1:28 p.m. ET)
The company, which makes design software for the tooling industry, priced a public offering of 900,000 of its common shares at $6 apiece, a 9 percent discount to the stock’s closing on Wednesday.
** RETAILMENOT INC, $32.10, up 8.5 pct (1:27 p.m. ET)
According to the website slant.investorplace.com, investors should consider taking a stake in the company's stock as it opened higher than its IPO price during its debut on July 19. The website also mentioned that while another coupon company Groupon Inc struggles to break even, there are firm profit projections ahead for RetailMeNot stock. (r.reuters.com/hed72v)
** 1-800-FLOWERS.COM INC, $5.51, down 5 pct (12:03 p.m. ET)
The florist and gift shop reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ estimates as the shift of the Easter holiday into the company’s fiscal third quarter hurt sales in its gourmet food and gift baskets business.
* BOEING CO, $105.01, up 1.7 pct (1:28 p.m. ET)
Canada’s WestJet Airlines Ltd said it reached a preliminary agreement to purchase 65 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing. Boeing said the pending order is valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices.
** STEMLINE THERAPEUTICS INC, $36.44, up 7.5 pct (1:29 p.m. ET)
Jefferies & Co began its coverage on the drugmaker with a “buy” rating, citing the potential of its lead experimental cancer drug SL-401. The drug is entering a pivotal mid-stage trial next year. The brokerage also set a price target of $60 on the Stemline stock.
** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, $53.37, up 5.8 pct (1:26 p.m. ET)
The 3D printer maker could be a good buyout option for HP , given the PC maker's $13.2 billion cash reserve, its own imaging business and the recent drop in HP's share price, financial blog "The Slant" said. (link.reuters.com/kud72v)
Traditional printer makers such as Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark International Inc have been speculated as likely buyers of listed 3D printer makers.
** SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT, $31.12, up 4.7 pct (1:29 p.m. ET)
The amusement parks owner's stock recouped its 6 percent fall on Wednesday after Bloomberg reported that the company slashed ticket prices due to a fall in attendance. (link.reuters.com/cad72v)
However, Wells Fargo analyst Timothy Conder said on Thursday that the concerns about price cutting at SeaWorld’s Orlando park ignore the on-going industry shift to dynamic pricing to maximize revenue and that he would use “media related weakness” to build positions in the stock.
** MWI VETERINARY SUPPLY, $145.00, up 4.7 pct (1:29 p.m. ET)
The animal health products distributor said it agreed to acquire all the assets of privately held IVESCO Holdings LLC for an enterprise value of $67.5 million. The deal is expected to be slightly accretive to MWI in fiscal year 2014.
** NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES INC, $14.80, up 2.7 pct (1:30 p.m. ET)
Deutsche Bank analysts raised their price target on the company’s stock to $25 from $15, saying analysts are underestimating the potential of the company’s experimental drug, Elagolix, in treating uterine fibroids. The drug is already in a late-stage study as a therapy for endometriosis pain. Elagolix is also in mid-stage studies with patients having uterine fibroids.
Roth Capital analysts initiated coverage on Neurocrine’s stock with a “buy” rating and a price target of $14.40, citing similar reasons.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $7.56, down 5 pct (1:30 p.m. ET)
The China-based company’s muted forecast gave little hope of ending a string of quarterly losses, as it struggles to reduce its dependence on Europe.
** SEABRIDGE GOLD, $14.77, down 1.3 pct (1:31 p.m. ET)
** ROYAL GOLD, $59.10, down 1.5 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $6.18, down 0.3 pct
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $5.17, down 0.5 pct
** HECLA MINING CO, $3.49, down 0.56 pct
Gold prices fell on Thursday, following a five-day rally, as concerns abated that United States-led forces would soon launch a military strike on Syria, while investors awaited U.S. data for clues on the Federal Reserve’s next move.
Spot gold had gained nearly $70 an ounce in five sessions to a three-and-a-half month high of $1,433.31 on Wednesday. It dropped 0.5 percent to $1,411.06 an ounce by 1143 GMT on Thursday.
Silver prices retreated from a three-and-a-half month high of $25.08 an ounce hit on Wednesday, down 1 percent to $24.09.
** ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.41, down 4 pct (1:33 p.m. ET)
The company said a patient being treated with the company’s experimental lung drug experienced a heart rhythm disorder, raising concerns over the drug’s safety.
** SIGNET JEWELERS LTD, $66.63, down 4.5 pct (1:33 p.m. ET)
** ZALE CORP, $12.46, up 7.1 pct
Signet reported higher second-quarter sales on Thursday as shoppers spent more per visit at its Kay Jewelers and Jared stores in the United States, but business at its British stores slipped.
Rival Zale’s shares rose as much as 10 percent to a near five-year high.
** FRESH MARKET INC, $48.81, down 10.1 pct (1:35 p.m. ET)
The specialty grocer on Wednesday reported second-quarter sales below analysts’ estimates and lowered its fiscal 2013 profit forecast.
UBS on Thursday downgraded its rating on the company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” according to Theflyonthewall.com
** CAMPBELL SOUP CO, $43.43, down 2.8 pct (1:35 p.m. ET)
The world’s largest soup maker reported quarterly revenue that fell short of analysts’ expectations as sales in its core U.S. soup business slowed.
** EGAIN CORP, $12.94, up 19.32 pct (1:37 p.m. ET)
The call center software maker reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter on Wednesday, boosted by higher revenue across businesses.
The company’s revenue from its largest business - subscription and support - rose 42 percent to $8.9 million in the quarter. Brokerage Needham and Co raised its price target on the stock to $14 from $12.
** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE SA, $4.09, up 7.34 pct (1:39 p.m. ET)
Greece’s largest lender remained profitable in the first half, helped by strong earnings from its Turkish unit Finansbank , lower funding costs and reduced provisions for bad debt.
** CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS INC, $5.14, up 3.8 pct (1:37 p.m. ET)
The waste management company reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter due to higher waste volumes. The company also forecast full-year revenue largely above analysts’ estimates.
** CORINTHIAN COLLEGES INC, $2.41, down 7.6 pct (1:41 p.m. ET)
The for-profit education provider reported a 3 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue and said student sign-ups fell more than the company had expected, mainly due to fewer sign-ups for its online programs. Corinthian said it expected the slide in online new student enrollments to continue in the current quarter.
** GENESCO INC, $62.59, down 10 pct (1:42 p.m. ET)
The footwear retailer, known for its Journeys brand, slashed its adjusted profit outlook for the year as it battles a tough back-to-school season.
** SHANDA GAMES LTD, $4.23, down 6.92 pct (14:00 a.m. ET)
The online game developer reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter but forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.
Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stock to “equalweight” from “overweight”, according to Streetinsider.com.
The company forecast a sequential revenue increase of 3-4 percent for the third quarter, which implies revenue in the range of $180.9 million to $182.6 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $183.3 million.
** TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS INC, $2.70, up 6.3 pct (1:40 p.m. ET)
The wireless communication technology provider won a contract from the Defense Information Systems Agency to provide managed satellite services, terrestrial support and 24-hour support for the U.S. Marine Corps’ tactical satellite communications network. The initial funding for the contract is $12.8 million for the base 12-month period starting Aug. 1.
** CONOCOPHILLIPS, $66.26, down 1 pct (1:44 p.m. ET)
The global exploration and production company submitted the highest bid on a single tract on Wednesday for drilling rights in the western Gulf of Mexico lease sale, which attracted the second-lowest number of bids since 1983, regulators said. (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan)