March 25 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Monday:
U.S. stocks were set to edge higher at the open on Monday after negotiators reached a deal hours before a deadline to keep Cyprus afloat with a financial bailout and avert the country’s possible exit from the euro zone.
** MORGAN STANLEY, Friday close $22.18, up 1.3 pct premarket
** CITIGROUP INC, Friday close $45.23, up 1 pct premarket
Banking stocks rose after a deal between Cyprus and heads of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will spare the Mediterranean island a financial meltdown by winding down the largely state-owned Popular Bank of Cyprus and shifting deposits below 100,000 euros ($130,000) to the Bank of Cyprus to create a “good bank”.
** DELL INC, Friday close $14.14, up 3 percent premarket
** BLACKSTONE GROUP, Friday close $19.71
The PC-maker said it received alternative proposals from Blackstone Group LP and Carl Icahn that could be superior to the $24.4 billion offer from founder Michael Dell and private equity fund Silver Lake Partners last month.
** OTELCO INC, Friday close $1.62, down 25 pct premarket
The telecom services provider filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, court documents showed, three months after it lost a key revenue-generating contract from Time Warner Cable Inc.
** UNITED THERAPEUTICS CORP, Friday close $60.95, down 7 pct premarket
The biotechnology company said U.S. health regulators rejected its oral drug to treat hypertension for the second time. The drugmaker did not say if it would quit pursuing a marketing approval for the tablet.
The drug treprostinil diethanolamine is designed to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) - a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, burdening the heart.
** APOLLO GROUP, Friday close $17.04, up 12 percent premarket.
The owner of the University of Phoenix reported a better-than-expected profit, but said student sign-ups fell for the fourth straight quarter.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO, Friday close $4.15, down 5 percent premarket
The China-based solar equipment maker reported a seventh straight quarterly loss as prices for panels that convert sunlight into electricity remained low.
** DOLLAR GENERAL, Friday close $50.07, up 4 percent premarket
The discount chain said on Monday that its sales growth this year could surpass the strength it saw in 2012, as selling more food and other basics helps drive gains despite consumers’ concerns about the economy.
** BLACKBERRY, Friday close $14.91, down 6 percent premarket
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on shares of the smartphone maker, citing a disappointing U.S. launch for its new touch-screen device that went on sale in the United States on Friday.
The smartphone maker’s stock had dropped on Friday after reports of a flat response to the launch of its new Z10 smartphone in the vitally important U.S. market.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Friday close $12.56, up 2 percent premarket
Chief Executive Brian Moynihan will need to hold shares likely worth millions of dollars for at least a year after he retires, under a new compensation policy that the bank instituted following investor pressure.
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, Friday close $23.04, up 1.4 percent premarket
RBC Capital Markets raised its price target on the company’s stock to $23 from $21, saying HP would benefit from its low-power server-building initiative, “Project Moonshot”.
“We estimate this product could add nearly $13 billion in revenue and 36 cents in earnings per share by full-year 2015 on server hardware alone,” analyst Amit Daryanani wrote in a note.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Friday close $15.43, down 2 pct premarket
BMO Capital Markets downgraded the retailer to “underperform” from “marketperform,” saying the company could be forced into involuntary bankruptcy in 2014 if current trends continue.
The brokerage also said the idea that the company could unlock value through a REIT structure is unlikely due to its lease burden and unattractiveness of REIT credit.
** BEST BUY CO INC, Friday close $22.78, up 1.2 percent premarket
The electronics retailer said its founder Richard Schulze is coming back to the company as chairman emeritus.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, Friday close $46.44
U.S. regulators have delayed approval of an H5N1 bird flu vaccine from the Britain’s biggest drugmaker, designed to be used in a pandemic.
The vaccine had been backed by an expert panel in November but GSK said on Monday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had informed it that additional review time was needed before approval.
** TESSERA TECHNOLOGIES INC, Friday close $18.18
The technology patent firm’s chief executive, Robert Young, is stepping down, nearly three weeks after activist hedge fund Starboard Value called for the sacking of the CEO and an overhaul of the company’s board.
** FREEPORT MCMORAN COPPER AND GOLD, Friday close $33, up 2 percent premarket
London copper rose on Monday after Cyprus reached a last-ditch deal with international lenders for a 10 billion euro bailout, boosting appetite for risky assets and soothing concerns over the impact of a euro zone default on demand for metals, lifting shares of the copper miner.
** IDENIX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $4.60, down 8 pct premarket
The company said on Friday that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a decision that Idenix was determined to have had a later filing date for a patent application than Gilead Sciences Inc.
The patent application relates to a compound useful for the treatment of hepatitis C.
** SAIC, Friday close $12.73, up 3 pct premarket
Shares of the government services provider could be set for gains, with a planned spinoff expected to help its value despite uncertainty over defense-spending cuts, according to Barron’s financial newspaper.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS, Friday close $32.77, up 4 pct premarket
Shares of the drugmaker could rise swiftly and hit $50 a share if it seeks accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for eteplirsen, a drug being tested for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, according to a report in Barron’s financial newspaper.
** SMITHFIELD FOODS INC, Friday close $26.22, up 3 percent premarket
The largest U.S. hog producer has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to help it weigh options after a key shareholder urged the company to break up, according to four people familiar with the matter.
** UBS AG, Friday close $15.60
The Swiss bank is in talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle allegations the bank defrauded investors in a mortgage bond deal that soured during the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** BIOGEN IDEC, Friday close $178.00
European regulators have recommended approval of the drugmaker’s multiple sclerosis pill, which is expected to become a major seller.
** CBS CORP, Friday close $45.98
The mass media company is nearing an agreement to purchase about half of TV Guide Network, according to various media reports on Friday.
** EDUCATION MANAGEMENT CORP, Friday close $3.65
The for-profit education company said it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requesting documents regarding its valuation of goodwill and bad debt allowance.
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, Friday close $20.75
The world’s largest manufacturer of networking equipment must pay $70 million in damages to patent licenser XpertUniverse Inc for fraudulently obtaining technology developed by the New York company, a jury found on Friday, according to court filings.
** APPLE INC Friday close $461.91, up 1 percent premarket
The iPhone-maker has acquired a Silicon Valley startup, WiFiSlam, which makes mapping applications for smart phones.
** TRIUS THERAPEUTICS INC, Friday close $6.99, up 1.5 pct premarket
The biopharmaceutical company said a late-stage trial of its experimental skin drug met the main goal of reducing lesions in patients with a type of bacterial skin infection.
** POLYONE CORP, Friday close $25.09
The chemical company said it would sell its base resin assets to Mexican plastic pipe and chemical maker Mexichem SAB de CV for $250 million in cash as it shifts its focus to specialty chemicals.
** SIRIUS XM, Friday close $3.01
The company struck a deal to carry a new channel produced by Glenn Beck’s media company ‘theBlaze’, featuring conservative talk shows and news programming that begins airing on Monday.
** VANDA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $3.95
The drugmaker said a meeting with the U.S. health regulator confirmed the company’s experimental sleep disorder drug showed enough safety and efficacy.
Vanda said it will now submit for approval of the drug, tasimelteon by mid 2013.
** ASHLAND INC, Friday close $76.34
The chemical maker said it expects its second-quarter profitability to be lower than previously anticipated due to weaker-than-expected results in its specialty ingredients and performance materials businesses. (link.reuters.com/tan86t)
** FACEBOOK INC, Friday close $25.73
** NASDAQ OMX GROUP INC, Friday close $32.36
U.S regulators approved on Monday a plan to compensate market makers who lost money in the social network’s botched public offering on the Nasdaq exchange.
** DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC, Friday close $49.62, up 1.87 pct premarket
Brokerage Susquehanna raised its price target on the owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains to $45 from $40 and said that March month-to-date trends indicate that same-stores have recovered sharply from February, primarily due to easier year-ago comparisons.
“(Darden) also appears committed to growing its dividend even if it means cutting capex further,” analyst Rachael Rothman wrote in a note to clients.
** COMCAST CORP, Friday close $41.22, up 1.2 pct premarket
Brokerage J.P. Morgan Securities added the stock of United States’ largest cable operator to its “analyst focus list” with a December 2013 price target of $49, citing the company’s ‘solid cable segment growth combined with steady improvements’ at its recently bought NBC Universal to make for a ‘strong and well diversified cash flow stream’ for the company.
** ZAZA ENERGY CORP, Friday close $1.65, up 21 pct premarket
The oil and gas company said it has signed an exploration and development deal with an undisclosed company to develop its Eaglebine assets in Texas. ($1 = 0.7694 euros) (Compiled by Jochelle Mendonca)