(Corrects Weatherford item to say William Conroy is an analyst with MVL & Co, not MVL Consulting)
April 8 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Monday:
U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Monday, following the S&P 500’s largest weekly decline this year, with defensive sectors weighing the most on the benchmark index.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.65 points or 0.16 percent, to 14,542.6, the S&P 500 lost 0.87 point or 0.06 percent, to 1,552.41 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.96 points or 0.12 percent, to 3,207.82.
** LUFKIN INDUSTRIES INC, $87.88, up 37.4 pct (0932 ET)
General Electric said it will buy oilfield services provider Lufkin Industries for about $2.98 billion to boost its presence in the energy business.
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL LTD, $12.59, up 4 pct (0958 ET)
Shares of the Lufkin rival were also up on Monday. MVL & Co analyst William Conroy said Lufkin and Weatherford are direct competitors in the artificial lift segment and together control about 95 percent of the market. “The share movement that we can see is the follow-on enthusiasm with the Lufkin announcement,” Conroy said.
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $2.10, up 24 pct
** SINOVAC BIOTECH LTD, $4.01, up 2 pct
** NOVAVAX INC, $2.47, up 2.5 pct (0932 ET)
Shares of BioCryst, which is developing an intravenous anti-viral agent to treat the influenza virus, surged on the rise in the number of people in China infected by the bird flu that is caused due to a new virus strain. As of Monday, the number of people infected rose to 24, with seven deaths.
China’s Food and Drug Administration on Saturday said it had given a fast-tracked approval for BioCryst’s intravenous anti-influenza drug Peramivir.
Shares of Sinovac and Novavax, which develop vaccines for a strain of bird flu, were also up.
** GOL LINHAS, $5.86, up 10 pct (0950 ET)
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes SA plans to raise up to 1.35 billion reais ($681 million) in the initial public offering of its Smiles SA customer loyalty unit, Brazil’s No. 2 airline said on Monday in a regulatory announcement in an effort to buttress the company as it faces several challenges.
** CENTRAL EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION CORP, $0.21, down 32 pct (0933 ET)
Poland’s Central European Distribution Corp has filed for a pre-packaged bankruptcy that will give Russian businessman Roustam Tariko full control of the vodka producer, a court filing showed.
** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, $0.61, down 14 pct (0933 ET)
National Bank and rival Eurobank confirmed their merger deal had been halted and they are unlikely to raise the private capital they need to stay out of state hands.
** OBAGI MEDICAL PRODUCTS INC, $23.92, down 6 pct (0934 ET)
Germany’s Merz Pharma Group withdrew its offer for the U.S. cosmetic products maker, after rival bidder Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc raised its offer last week.
** ANACOR PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.53, up 9 pct (0934 ET)
The biopharmaceutical company said it would get $17.7 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to discover drugs to treat tuberculosis, river blindness and elephantiasis. The foundation will also invest $5 million in Anacor’s common stock, as part of the research and development agreement with the company.
** ACELRX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $5.2, up 5 pct (0950 ET)
Jefferies on Friday initiated coverage on the drug developer’s stock with a “buy” rating and a price target of $8, on expectation that AcelRx’s ARX-01, a drug-device combination to manage pain, will be approved by U.S. health regulators in 2014. “We see a clear market opportunity for ARX-01 given the current standard of care for post-op pain control is fraught with drawbacks,” analyst Corey Davis wrote in a note to clients.
** GLU MOBILE INC, $2.98, up 5 pct (0930 ET)
The mobile games maker entered into a change of control severance agreement with its President of Studios Matthew Ricchetti, the company said in a filing on Friday. "It is expected that the company from time to time will consider the possibility of a change of control," the filing said. (link.reuters.com/syt27t)
The agreement hints the company could be acquired, a Seeking Alpha article said on Saturday. (link.reuters.com/tyt27t)
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $18.71, up 1 pct
The iron producer’s stock would more than double with improved execution at Bloom Lake mine, according to a story in Barron‘s. Barron’s quoted Michael Gambardella, an analyst at JPMorgan, as saying that he thinks the stock is already discounting a significant drop in the price of iron ore, and that the oversupply fears are overblown.
** BSD MEDICAL CORP, $1.66, up 17 pct (0935 ET)
The medical device maker said it entered into a deal with Terumo Europe NV to market BSD Medical’s heat utilizing cancer therapy system, MicroThermX, in Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa.
** AMARIN CORP, $7.33, up 2 pct (0935 ET)
The pharmaceutical company said additional data from a late-stage study of its approved heart drug, Vascepa, showed the drug reduced the levels of a protein which stopped the removal of triglycerides from blood. Triglycerides is a type of fat which hardens arteries and raises the chance of heart disease.
** DELCATH SYSTEMS INC, $1.70, down 4 pct (0936 ET)
The pharmaceutical and medical device company said the U.S. health regulator delayed the date of the final decision on its drug device combination product aimed to treat liver cancer. Delcath said the FDA requested certain information on March 18, which was provided by the company, following which the FDA pushed the review date to Sept. 13.
** RADIAN GROUP INC, Friday close $10.38, up 2 pct (0936 ET)
Macquarie Equities Research upgraded the mortgage insurer to “outperform” from “neutral,” according to the TheFlyOnTheWall.com.
** CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC, $48.72, up 2 pct (0938 ET)
Anheuser-Busch InBev and the U.S. Justice Department have reached an agreement for a framework to settle their long-running beer brawl, and asked a court to extend a stay in the court fight until April 23, the two sides said in a court filing on Friday.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Jan. 31 aimed at stopping AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer from buying the 50 percent of Grupo Modelo it does not already own for $20.1 billion, saying the deal could mean higher U.S. beer prices. AB InBev had then said it would sell its 50 percent share of Modelo’s U.S. distributor, Crown Imports, to Constellation Brands, the world’s largest branded wine company.
** FIRST NIAGARA FINANCIAL GROUP, $8.87, up 2 pct (0938 ET)
Brokerage KBW raised its rating on the lender’s stock to “outperform,” saying the recent management change was a long-term catalyst for the shares. Evercore Partners also upgraded the bank’s stock to “equalweight” from “underweight.”
First Niagara’s CEO John Koelmel resigned last month. The board formed a special committee to find a replacement. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)