October 4, 2013 / 4:55 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE- Potbelly, Discovery Labs, Tekmira Pharma, Idera Pharma

(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 rose on Friday after a week of losses driven by uncertainty surrounding the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.32 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.44 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.62 percent.

** POTBELLY CORP, $32.94, up 136 pct (11:51 a.m. ET)

Shares of the sandwich chain more than doubled in their debut as investors rushed to grab a piece of the sandwich maker whose low-priced menus have appealed to consumers in a tough economy. Shares of the company, which counts Starbucks Corp CEO Howard Schultz as its largest investor, opened at $28.66 and touched a high of $33.44 in early trading, valuing the restaurant chain at about $936 million.

** TWEETER HOME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, $0.047, up 623 pct (12:26 p.m.)

Shares of the long-dead electronics retailer rose after some investors on Friday mistook the nearly worthless stock to that of Twitter. The stock saw its most active day of trading in more than six years even though it has nothing to do with the social media site. Twitter Inc publicly filed its IPO documents on Thursday, setting the stage for one of the most-anticipated debuts in over a year.

** DISCOVERY LABS INC, $2.73, up 39 pct (11:51 a.m. ET)

The specialty biotechnology company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an updated product specification for its Surfaxin drug. The drug was approved by FDA in March last year to treat respiratory distress syndrome in newborns, but Discovery delayed its launch pending resolution of an issue with its quality test. The company is entitled to about $20 million in loans from Deerfield Management Co LP if it launches the drug this year.

Roth Capital analyst Scott Henry said though the drug is entering an entrenched market, it had unique attributes.

** RADIOSHACK CORP, $3.33, up 2.4 pct (11:52 a.m. ET)

The U.S. retailer has received several offers for new financing, including one from current lenders Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Securing a new financing deal could help RadioShack cut its borrowing costs and assure vendors and other key partners that it has enough cash to fund turnaround efforts led by CEO Joe Magnacca.

** IDERA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $2.91, up 19 pct (11:52 a.m. ET)

Two hedge funds reported passive stakes in Idera, making them among the top 5 shareholders in the clinical stage biotechnology company.

Broadfin Capital LLC reported a 7.68 stake, while HealthCor Management LP reported a 5.6 percent stake, as of Sept. 25. ( r.reuters.com/gag63v and link.reuters.com/pef63v )

Activist investor HealthCor last year installed three of its nominees to Allscripts Healthcare Solutions board after a bitter fight with the company’s then Chief Executive Glen Tullman.

** LANNETT COMPANY INC, $18.01, down 14 pct (11:52 a.m. ET)

The generic pharmaceutical company’s common stock offering of 5.9 million shares has been priced at $18.00 per share, a discount of 14 percent to the stock’s closing on Thursday.

Lannett expects to receive net proceeds of about $71.5 million by offering 4.3 million shares. The rest 1.6 million shares is being offered by certain selling stockholders.

** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $9.23, up 12 pct (11:53 a.m. ET)

The drugmaker said an early/mid-stage study of its experimental cancer drug stabilized the tumor in three of four patients, including one patient who saw a 19 percent reduction in the size of the tumor.

** NEOSTEM INC, $7.11, down 9 pct (11:53 a.m. ET)

The pharmaceutical company’s public offering of 5 million shares was priced at $7 per share, an 11 percent discount to its Thursday close.

** COMTECH TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORP, $25.94, up 8 pct (11:54 a.m. ET)

The communications equipment maker reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and forecast results above analysts expectations for the year ending July 2014.

The company also declared a quarterly cash dividend of about 28 cents per share, payable on Nov. 19.

** CHERRY HILL MORTGAGE INVESTMENT CORP, $18.53, down 7 pct (12:29 P.M.)

The mortgage real estate investment trust priced its initial public offering of 6.5 million shares at $20 per share, raising $130 million. Shares of the company opened at $18.50 and touched a low of $18.06.

** YPF SA, $21.51, up 6.5 pct (12:04 p.m. ET)

The Argentine state oil firm expects to reach a deal before the end of the year on compensating Spanish oil group Repsol for the YPF stake it lost in an expropriation, its chairman told a Spanish newspaper on Thursday. Repsol has sued Argentina for compensation after the government of the South American country seized its 51 percent stake in YPF last year.

** XYRATEX LTD, $11.20, down 6.6 pct (11:54 a.m. ET)

The network and storage equipment maker forecast fourth-quarter results largely below estimates on Thursday, saying $5 million in revenue was pulled into the third quarter from the current quarter.

** PENN VIRGINIA CORP, $7.15, up 6.7 pct (11:54 a.m. ET)

Howard Weil raised its price target on the oil and gas producer’s stock to $12 from $10 and maintained its “sector outperform” rating, saying the company’s properties in the oil-rich Eagle Ford shale in Texas should fuel production growth.

** LIN MEDIA LLC, $22.60, up 6.8 pct (11:55 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Wells Fargo Securities raised its price target on the multimedia company’s stock to $28-$30 from $20-$23 and said it expects the company’s digital business to drive revenue and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depriciation and Amortization) growth.

** FORTINET INC, $21.91, up 6.7 pct (11:56 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Oppenheimer and Co Inc raised its price target on the network security services provider’s stock to $26 from $24, citing rising demand from its customers in America and Europe.

** GROUP 1 AUTOMOTIVE INC, $73.23, down 2.5 pct (11:55 a.m. ET)

Stephens Inc downgraded the stock of the auto retailer to “equal weight” from “overweight”, according to Streetinsider.com

** AU Optronics Corp, $3.55, down 2 pct (11:55 a.m. ET)

** LG Display Co Ltd, $11.27, down 4 pct (11:55 a.m. ET)

The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to hear a dispute between states and electronics manufacturers, including AU Optronics , LG Display and LG Electronics Inc , over whether restitution claims based on alleged price-fixing in the market for liquid crystal display panels should be heard in state or federal court. The court begins a new term on Monday.

** QUANTUM FUEL SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGIES WORLDWIDE INC, $4.20, up 4 pct (12:04 p.m. ET)

Shares rallied for the third day after the company on Wednesday said it has received purchase orders of about $0.5 million from new customers for its compressed natural gas fuel storage tanks and other products.

** HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES INC, $11.07, up 2.7 pct (11:58 a.m. ET)

The Taiwanese chipmaker's shares rose after CNBC's Jim Cramer, who hosts "Mad Money", said the stock was a buy. He said the stock should be trading at $13 to $14. (link.reuters.com/kyf63v)

** IGATE CORP, $27.42, down 2 pct (11:56 a.m. ET)

Nomura downgraded the IT outsourcing company's shares to "neutral" from "buy", according to Benzinga. (link.reuters.com/dag63v)

** NORTHERN TIER ENERGY LP, $21.21, up 3.4 pct (11:52 a.m. ET)

Credit Suisse upgraded the oil transporter, refiner and retailer’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral”, citing benefits from company’s access to crude oil, particularly oil from Canada. “NTI’s unique location and access to advantaged crudes places it in a refining (relative) sweet spot,” analysts said in a note to clients.

** FORTINET INC, $21.90, up 6.6 pct (11:59 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Oppenheimer and Co Inc raised its price target on the network security services provider’s stock to $26 from $24, citing rising demand from its customers in America and Europe.

** F5 NETWORKS INC, $90.76, up 2.6 pct (12:02 p.m. ET)

CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer on Thursday said the network gear maker is poised for growth as it comes up with its biggest product line refresh in four years. (link.reuters.com/myf63v)

** FREEPORT-MCMORAN COPPER & GOLD INC, $33.88, up $2.6 pct (12:02 p.m. ET)

Freeport-McMoRan and its Indonesian union workers are expected to sign a new contract within two weeks after reaching an agreement over wages, a senior company official said. The deadline for a deal between workers and management at Freeport’s Grasberg mine in Papua, which is the world’s second- biggest copper mine, was supposed to be on Friday.

** TOP SHIPS INC, $3.76, up 1.3 pct (12:06 p.m. ET)

** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.75, up 1 pct

** STAR BULK CARRIERS CORP, $8.84, up 2.4 pct

** GENCO SHIPPING AND TRADING LTD, $3.59, up 2.57 pct

** BALTIC TRADING LTD, $5.36, up 1.32 pct

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, rose for a third straight day on Friday as earnings for both panamaxes and capesizes picked up.

** PETROLEO BRASILEIRO PETROBRAS SA, $15.53, down 1.2 pct (12:06 p.m. ET)

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt of Brazil’s state-run oil company on Thursday on concern that fuel subsidies and huge investment commitments will cause its debt to grow until at least 2015. Moody’s cut the rating on the long-term, foreign currency debt of Petrobras to “Baa1” from A3.

** OPENTABLE INC, $71.59, up 1.2 pct (11:59 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the online restaurant booking service provider’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** OCI PARTNERS LP, $17.76, down 1.3 pct (11:59 a.m. ET)

The company priced its IPO of 17.5 million units at $18 per unit, below the expected range of $19 to $21 per unit. The units opened 4 percent lower in their debut. OCI raised $315 million from the offering.

** AARON‘S INC, $27.15, down 1.8 pct (12:00 p.m. ET)

The consumer electronics and appliances retailer cut its earnings and revenue estimates for the three months ended September, citing a weak consumer spending environment and a charge of about $13 million related to a regulatory investigation into its leasing, marketing and privacy practices.

** HOLLYFRONTIER CORP, $41.32, down 1.1 pct (12:00 p.m. ET)

** TESORO CORP, $44.27, down 1 pct

** PHILLIPS 66, $58.98, down 0.9 pct

Analysts at Oppenheimer & Co downgraded the U.S. refiners to “perform” from “outperform” and cut earnings estimates for the third quarter, citing lower margins due to weaker difference between the prices of crude oil and the petroleum products extracted from it. The narrowing gap between the Brent and U.S. crude oil prices is also pushing up costs of acquiring oil for the refiners, the analysts said. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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