July 31, 2014 / 4:38 PM / 3 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. Stocks on the Move-eHealth, On Assignment, Avalanche Biotech

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U.S. stock indexes fell on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.31 percent at 16,658.57 and the S&P 500 was down 1.60 percent at 1,938.61.

** MCDONALD‘S CORP, $95.07, -0.92 pct

** YUM BRANDS INC, $69.17, -5.25 pct

A food safety scare in China is testing local consumers’ loyalty to foreign fast-food brands, including McDonald’s and Yum Brands, which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut chains.

** ON ASSIGNMENT INC, $26.67, -23.58 pct

The staffing company reported lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue and it forecast third-quarter earnings below the average analyst estimate. Revenue growth at On Assignment’s largest business Apex, which provides information technology staffing and service, was lower than expected due to slower growth from large accounts.

Robert W. Baird & Co cut its rating on the company’s stock to “neutral” from “outperform.” Two brokerages lowered their price targets on the stock.

** OPENTEXT CORP, $55.82, +15.24 pct

The Canadian business software maker reported better-than expected fourth-quarter revenue, helped by higher cloud services revenue. Four brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock.

** MANITOWOC CO, $25.98, -15.21 pct

The crane maker reported lower-than-expected second-quarter profit and cut its full-year outlook on crane revenue to “flat to slightly down”, from “modest” growth.

** A10 NETWORKS, $11.31, -12.53 pct

The network equipment maker reported lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue on weak demand in Japan.

JPMorgan Equity Research, RBC and Pacific Crest Securities lowered their price targets on the company’s stock.

** AVG TECHNOLOGIES NV, $16.77, -14.66 pct

The anti-virus software maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and said it expected full-year revenue at the low end of its forecast range of $365 million-$405 million.

Nomura and JMP Securities lowered their price targets on the company’s stock.

** KAPSTONE PAPER AND PACKAGING CORP, $30.44, -6.17 pct

The containerboard maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by higher expenses.

** AVALANCHE BIOTECHNOLOGIES INC, $27.455, +61.50 pct

The biotechnology company’s shares rose as much as 70 percent in their market debut, valuing the company at about $600 million. The company raised $102 million from the IPO.

** WALTER ENERGY INC, $5.65, -3.91 pct

The coal miner’s net loss rose four-fold in the second quarter, hurt by lower selling prices and a drop in output.

** GLU MOBILE INC, $5.64, -18.26 pct

The mobile game maker said it would buy Cie Games, a maker of racing games, for $100 million in its biggest deal so far.

“The racing genre is saturated in our view, a negative competitive profile that will likely challenge current and future products, with limited opportunities for lasting differentiation,” Benchmark Co analyst Mike Hickey said, lowered the company’s stock to “hold” from “buy”.

** EVERYWARE GLOBAL INC, $2.6199, +39.36 pct

The cutlery and dinnerware maker said private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners would invest $20 million for its preferred stock and for warrants to buy 4.4 million shares.

** TRANSOCEAN PARTNERS LLC, $23.85, +8.41 pct

Shares of the offshore drilling contractor, a limited liability company formed by Transocean Ltd, rose as much as 11 percent in their market debut. The IPO raised about $385 million. The company’s offering of 17.5 million units was priced at $22 each, above the expected range of $19-$21.

** GRIFOLS SA, $37.08, -12.15 pct

The Spanish healthcare firm’s first-half earnings disappointed investors, despite the company blaming the weakness on one-offs from the purchase of a diagnostics unit from Novartis.

** WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC, $37.92, -3.04 pct

The company cut its 2014 forecasts on Wednesday for the fourth time as it battles growing competition in the natural and organic grocery sector it dominates.

Brokerages SunTrust Robinson, JP Morgan and Jefferies cut their price targets on the company’s stock.

** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, $50.31, -10.27 pct

The company reported a 77 percent fall in its net income as its gross margins shrunk about 4 percentage points.

** APACHE CORP, $103.46, +2.14 pct

The U.S. oil and gas producer said it intends to completely exit Wheatstone LNG project in Australia and Kitimat LNG project in Canada to focus on North American onshore growth. The company is evaluating potential separation of some or all of its international assets.

** FUELCELL ENERGY INC, $2.499, +5.89 pct

The fuel cell maker said NRG Energy Inc invested $35 million in it. After the deal, NRG Energy owns about 17 million shares, or 6 percent, in FuelCell.

** CIGNA CORP, $89.98, -3.76 pct

Investors sold stocks of insurance companies this week on concerns that medical costs might be on the rise. “Medical claims were higher than expected from new individual customers who signed up through the exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s national healthcare reform law,” said Cigna CFO Thomas McCarthy.

** MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP, $83.14, +5.27 pct

The third-largest standalone U.S. refining company said its quarterly profit rose 44 percent, helped by higher crude refining margins on the Gulf of Mexico coast.

** L-3 COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS INC, $100.48, -16.01 pct

The company, which provides communication and electronic systems to the U.S. military, said it had fired four employees as part of an ongoing internal review that revealed overstatement of net sales and deferred cost overruns in the company’s aerospace business.

** EDAP, $1.91, -44.15 pct

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel voted against the approval of the French medical device maker’s marketing application for its ultrasound prostate cancer device, Ablatherm. The FDA typically follows recommendations of its advisory panels but is not obligated to do so. The device is already approved in Europe.

** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, $101, -1.27 pct

The company said on Wednesday it planned to ask doctors to return its power morcellators, a controversial surgical device that may inadvertently spread cancer in women being treated for uterine growths called fibroids.

** BBVA BANCO FRANCES, $12.88, -7.54 pct

** YPF SA, $35.49, -8.79 pct

** GRUPO FINANCIERO GALICIA, $15.61, -7.96 pct

U.S.-listed shares of the Argentina-based companies fell as Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after hopes for a midnight deal with holdout creditors were dashed, raising chances a recession could worsen this year.

** DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC, $85.25, +1.84 pct

The company reported a 10 percent rise in second-quarter revenue, helped by a 23 percent jump in advertising sales in its international networks.

** SYNCHRONY FINANCIAL, $11.15, -4.78 pct

General Electric Co’s credit card unit made a muted debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday as investors remained ambivalent about the chances of a consumer-led U.S. economic recovery. Synchrony, the largest provider of private label credit cards in the United States, raised $2.88 billion in the biggest U.S. initial public offering of the year so far.

** KELLOGG CO, $60.83, -4.55 pct

The world’s largest maker of breakfast cereals reported a 16 percent fall in quarterly profit as sales declined in North America, its biggest market.

** TARGET CORP, $60.2, -1.92 pct

The retailer appointed PepsiCo Inc executive Brian Cornell as CEO as it tries to regain customer confidence after a devastating data breach last holiday season.

** ALCATEL-LUCENT, $3.43, -10.68 pct

Progress in telecom equipment maker’s efforts to end years of losses was eclipsed on Thursday by concerns over weaker demand for the telecom equipment maker’s core networking products and a potential slowdown in its vital U.S. market.

The company posted quarterly sales largely in line with expectations. But its main listed competitors, Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia, both beat forecasts in the same period and forecast higher sales in the second half.

** EXXON MOBIL CORP, $100.56, -2.61 pct

The world’s largest publicly traded oil company posted better-than-expected quarterly profit but reported a fall in production. Production fell 6 percent to 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

** AVON PRODUCTS INC, $13.47, +3.70 pct

The direct seller of beauty products said its loss-making North American operations would turn profitable in 2015. Avon has been trying to stem a decline in sales and profit since Chief Executive Sheri McCoy took control in 2012.

** APPLE INC, $95.54, -2.66 pct

The company may be planning to launch the next version of its iPhone on Oct. 14, rather than its usual September launch, news blog MacRumors reported, citing sources. Analysts expect a staggered launch of new iPhones, with a 4.7-inch flagship launching in late September, followed by a 5.5-inch phablet around November.

** TETRA TECH INC, $24.13, -9.90 pct

The engineering and program management services provider reported a lower-than-expected third-quarter profit, hurt by weakness at its remediation and construction management business. The company forecast fourth-quarter earnings, below the average analyst estimate.

** TYSON FOODS INC, $37.49, -1.86 pct

The biggest U.S. meat processor priced its offering of 23.81 million Class A shares at $37.80 per share on Wednesday. The offering represents nearly 7 percent of the total outstanding shares.

** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, $147.86, -2.35 pct

The second-largest U.S. cable TV operator lost more video subscribers in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter. Time Warner Cable, which also reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, said it lost 152,000 net residential video customers in the April-June quarter.

** TIMKEN CO, $43.9, -5.59 pct

The company reported a 24 percent drop in quarterly profit, partly hurt by lower demand for its ball bearings and power transmission components from the automotive and mining industry.

** KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC, $54.6, -4.61 pct

The company said on Wednesday that its second-quarter revenue barely rose as price increases it implemented to cover rising commodity costs hurt consumer demand.

** YELP INC, $66.69, -11.79 pct

The operator of consumer review website Yelp.com reported its first quarterly profit, but its local business accounts growth came lower than analysts had expected.

“(Yelp’s local business accounts) increased about 5,900 sequentially, we were looking closer to about 7,700 merchant heads,” Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler said, lowering the stock to “market perform” from “outperform.”

** ALLSTATE CORP, $59.45, +4.50 pct

The largest publicly traded home and auto insurer in the United States reported a 49 percent jump in quarterly profit as costs fell and the company took in more premiums.

** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, $59.33, -2.31 pct

The company, which helps companies deliver internet content, reported a 26 percent rise in quarterly revenue, falling short of investor hopes that it would exceed its own forecast due to heavy World Cup traffic.

** LIVEPERSON INC, $11.91, +17.22 pct

The customer service software developer reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and it raised its current-quarter revenue forecast to above the average analyst estimate.

** VISTAPRINT NV, $48.27, +27.94 pct

The online designing and printing services company reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and it forecast its full-year 2015 revenue above analysts’ expectations.

** MOBILEIRON INC, $8.862, +4.26 pct

The mobile software maker reported higher-than-expected second-quarter revenue on Wednesday and it forecast its current-quarter revenue above expectations.

Deutsche Bank raised its price target on the company’s stock to $14 from $13.

** EHEALTH INC, $20.9, -33.97 pct

The health insurance exchange lowered its full-year revenue and adjusted net income forecasts.

Jefferies and Deutsche Bank cut their price targets on the stock.

** NQ MOBILE INC, $6.75, -9.27 pct

The Chinese mobile security software maker said it received a buyout offer from investment firm Bison Capital Holding Co for about $490 million.

** GOOGLE INC, $582.24, -2.22 pct

European regulators are preparing what could be a stern challenge to Google’s mobile software business in the coming months after a nearly four-year investigation into the company’s Web search practices left rivals and European politicians dissatisfied.

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, $50.57, -2.30 pct

The top U.S. telecommunications regulator said on Wednesday he is “deeply troubled” by Verizon’s plan to slow data downloads for some high-speed wireless customers remaining on the older unlimited data plans.

** METLIFE INC, $52.68, -3.23 pct

The insurer reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as the largest U.S. life insurer paid out more in claims. Policyholder claims and dividends paid out in the latest quarter rose nearly 9 percent to $9.96 billion, more than offsetting an 8 percent rise in premium revenue. (Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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