February 17, 2015 / 3:08 PM / 3 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Celsus, VBL Therapeutics, Oncolytics, Magnegas

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U.S. stocks opened flat on Tuesday, the first trading session after the S&P 500 closed at a record high, although investors continued to watch the uncertainty over a Greek debt deal and a fragile Ukraine truce.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.18 percent at 17,987.75 at 10:03 ET, the S&P 500 was down 0.19 percent at 2,092.98 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.09 percent at 4,889.342.

** CELSUS THERAPEUTICS PLC, $1.19, -80.71 pct

The drug developer said a mid-stage study for a skin cream, the lead drug in company’s pipeline, did not meet the main goal.

** VBL THERAPEUTICS INC, $6.36, -54.93 pct

Israeli company said it would stop developing its experimental inflammatory drug to fight ulcerative colitis and psoriasis.

** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, $0.6396, +24.65 pct

The U.S. Food and drug Administration gave the Canadian biotech’s lead product, Reolysin, to treat pancreatic cancer was given orphan drug designation. The FDA grants the status to products that treat rare diseases, providing incentives to sponsors developing drugs or biologics.

** MAGNEGAS CORP, $0.8978, +24.68 pct

The company, which has a patented process to convert liquid waste into hydrogen-based fuels, said one of the five largest U.S. electric utilities has approved its MagneGas2 fuel to replace acetylene at their power and repair facilities. The product roll-out period will occur over the next several months.

** WALTER ENERGY INC, $0.9864, -9.50 pct

The U.S. coal miner reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as it sold less metallurgical coal after suspending mining operations in Canada.

** REAL GOODS SOLAR, $0.2838, -27.23 pct

The solar company estimated a Q4 net loss of $16 million compared with $3 million last year, hurt by an impairment charge of $11 million related to its Sunetric business, a solar company it acquired last May. The company said it would not meet the required standards to continue its listing on the Nasdaq in absence of positive net worth after recording the impairment charge.

**HELIX ENERGY SOLUTIONS GROUP INC, $16.01, -16.09 pct

The provider of rigs and services to offshore drillers’ earnings and revenue fell short of Wall Street’s estimates, due to mechanical problems on one of its vessels and early termination of work for another.

** ZILLOW INC, $110.83, +4.07 pct

** TRULIA INC, $49.25, +5.03 pct

Zillow, a real estate website operator, said it expects deal with rival Trulia to close as early as Feb. 17. Zillow’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 58.2 percent, driven by rise in average monthly unique users.

CRT Capital raised Zillow’s price target to $125 from $108.

** VIPSHOP HOLDINGS LTD, $24.08, +10.46 pct

The online discount retailer forecasts first-quarter revenue above analysts’ average estimate. Vipshop reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue as total orders and the number of active customers both doubled.

** CNOVA NV, $6.485, +9.92 pct

HSBC started coverage of Casino’s e-commerce retailer’s shares with an “overweight” rating.

** RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC, $41.28, +6.56 pct

The restaurant chain, formed out of Burger King’s takeover of Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons last year, posted higher quarterly sales growth at both brands, but posted a net loss due to one-time costs related to the merger.

** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE SA, $1.399, -13.11 pct

The Greek lender’s shares fell after talks between Greece and European partners over country’s debt crisis collapsed, raising doubts about Greece’s future in the currency bloc.

** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS, $14.15, +10.89 pct

Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its rating on the cell therapy developer’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, citing its increasing conviction in the U.S. approval of its experimental muscle disorder drug, eteplirsen. The brokerage raised probability of U.S. approval to 50 pct from 40 pct, and hikes price target to $21 from $19.

** CYREN LTD, $2.99, +5.65 pct

The Israeli cyber security software company said ALSO Deutschland GmbH agreed to distribute its cloud-based web security product. The CYREN WebSecurity product helps to protect devices and data regardless of type or location.

** VASCO DATA SECURITY INTERNATIONAL INC, $31.3842, +12.65 pct

The data security products and software maker reported fourth-quarter revenue, profit above analysts’ estimates, helped by higher demand for security products from the banking industry.

** INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS, $38.59, -4.34 pct

The company, one of the world’s largest hoteliers, posted broadly in-line full-year results, but analysts cited stretched valuations as the main catalyst for the stock’s fall.

** SOTHEBY‘S, $44.03, -1.92 pct

Cowen and company cut its rating on the auction house’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform”.

** CABLEVISION SYSTEMS CORP, $19.71, -4.32 pct

UBS cut its rating on the media company’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”.

** NOBLE ENERGY, $50.19, -1.18 pct

The company will supply Egypt with seven LNG cargoes under a two-year deal that begins in April, the oil ministry said on Tuesday.

** MEDTRONIC PLC, $76.92, +2.21 pct

The medical device maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped mainly by increased sales in its cardiac and vascular business, its largest.

** STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE INC, $81.27, +3.46 pct

The hotel operator said Chief Executive Frits van Paasschen had resigned by mutual agreement, a week after the hotel operator announced the spinoff of its timeshare business.

** VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES LLC, $17.135, -5.28 pct

The oil producer’s January cash distribution $0.1175/unit, down from last monthly payment of $0.2. The company expects 2015 capital budget of about $113.5 million, excluding potential future acquisitions.

** GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER CO, $26.89, +3.78 pct

The tire maker’s adjusted fourth-quarter profit beat the average analyst estimate as lower rubber costs offset weak sales in North America and Europe, the company’s biggest markets.

** WASTE MANAGEMENT INC, $53.01, +3.35 pct

The waste management firm reported a better-than-expected Q4 profit due to cost cuts and the company’s board authorized $1 bln in share buybacks for 2015. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)

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