April 9, 2013 / 5:34 PM / 5 years ago

MARKET PULSE- J.C. Penney, Skechers, Gain Capital, Mistras Group

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April 9 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Tuesday:


U.S. stocks were flat on Tuesday as cautious investors waited to see if earnings would keep the market rally alive, while the choice of chief executive at J.C. Penney sent the retail chain plunging.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 11.85 points, or 0.08 percent, at 14,625.33, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.42 point, or 0.03 percent, at 1,563.49 and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.56 point, or 0.02 percent, at 3,221.70.

** HERBALIFE LTD, $38.08, down 1 pct (1258 ET)

** SKECHERS USA INC, $21.97, up 2 pct (1303 ET)

California-based companies Herbalife and Skechers both said KPMG has resigned as their audit firm in connection with an alleged leak of information regarding nonpublic information.

The Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating alleged insider trading involving a former senior partner at audit firm KPMG, according to a source familiar with the situation.

** J.C. PENNEY, $14.18, down 11 pct (1257 ET)

The struggling department store chain parted ways with Chief Executive Ron Johnson, who failed to win over shoppers and investors with his everyday-low-price strategy, and on Monday rehired Johnson’s predecessor, former CEO Mike Ullman, to revive the company.

Ullman’s return to the helm at J.C. Penney unnerved investors on Tuesday, as analysts said his experience was welcome but was not a cure-all for the retailer’s sliding sales and dwindling cash.

More than 58 million shares had changed hands by noon, making it the busiest trading day in the company history.

** SYNERGY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $7.16, up 15 pct (1308 ET)

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Irina Rivkind raised the price target on the company’s stock to $15 from $12 saying the latest data of Synergy’s experimental constipation drug, plecanatide, showed an improved tolerance over competitor Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc’s Linzess.

“We think that these data should solidify Synergy’s attractiveness to potential partners or acquirers,” Rivkind said.

** AFFYMETRIX INC, $4.07, down 13 pct (1255 ET)

The pharmaceutical company said it expected revenue of about $78 million for the first quarter ended March 31. This was below analysts’ expectations of $83.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. “Our revenues for the first quarter were below expectations, primarily due to continued headwinds in our gene expression business across all regions, in particular Japan, where we came in significantly short of plan,” CEO Frank Witney said.

Affymetrix’s stock was one of the top percentage losers on the Nasdaq in morning trade.

** MISTRAS GROUP INC, $21.44, down 10 pct (1309 ET)

The engineering services company reported third-quarter profit below analysts’ expectations because of weakness in its services business, and lower product sales in its products and systems businesses. The Services business accounted for 93 percent of revenue in the quarter.

** TURQUOISE HILL RESOURCES LTD, $6.48, up 7 pct (1328 ET)

Shares of the miner, an affiliate of Rio Tinto Plc , rose on reports that Rio continues to have productive talks with the Mongolian government over the investment agreement for its Oyu Tolgoi project in the Central Asian nation.

Turquoise Hill, formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines, also holds a 66 percent stake in the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia.

** XERIUM TECHNOLOGIES INC, $6.10, up 10 pct (1253 ET)

The engineered fabrics maker reported a preliminary adjusted EBITDA growth of 55 percent for the first quarter compared to a year ago, helped by cost savings and strong order growth.

** GALENA BIOPHARMA INC, $2.22, up 7 pct (1249 ET)

Shares of the company, which is developing cancer vaccines, rose after a report on the SeekingAlpha website said the company’s experimental breast cancer vaccine NeuVax has tremendous market opportunity.

The report also said the company's March acquisition of an approved cancer pain treatment drug Abstral would create "selling synergies" for Galena as doctors would be able to prescribe NeuVax in combination with Abstral for patients with breast cancer. (link.reuters.com/quc37t)

** GAIN CAPITAL HOLDINGS INC, $5.44, up 27 percent (1256 ET)

** FXCM INC, $13.72, up 3 percent (1256 ET)

FXCM, a provider of online foreign exchange trading services, said on Monday it offered to buy rival Gain Capital for $210.4 million in stock to increase its presence in the online foreign exchange market.

Gain Capital on Tuesday said it would consider the proposal as well as a range of options to build shareholder value.

** FIRST SOLAR INC, $28.65, up 6 pct (1256 ET)

The U.S. solar company expects production costs of 63 cents to 66 cents per watt in 2013, Tymen De Jong, senior vice president of global operations said during an analyst day conference. First Solar reported production costs of 68 cents per watt in the fourth quarter. Cost would reduce to less than 40 cents per watt by 2017, said Jong.

** RENESOLA LTD, $1.47, up 4 pct (1255 ET)

The Chinese solar panel maker said it will supply modules for use in five 6.5-megawatt solar farms in North Carolina, being developed by Strata Solar LLC.

** A. SCHULMAN INC, $26.21, down 12 pct (1254 ET)

The chemical maker lowered its full-year forecast to a range of $2.08 to $2.13 per share, from $2.14 to $2.19 per share, citing weak global demand. The company also reported a second-quarter profit that missed Wall Street expectations.

** TELECOM ITALIA SPA, $6.81, up 6 pct (1254 ET)

Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa is in talks to buy up to 29.9 percent of Telecom Italia in a deal that would radically alter the power base at Italy’s leading phone company, two sources familiar with the negotiations said.

** STAAR SURGICAL CO, $6.27, up 14 pct (1253 ET)

The implantable lens maker estimated first-quarter revenue above analysts’ expectations, as sales of its Visian ICL contact lenses rose about 24 percent. Staar estimated quarterly revenue of about $18 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $16 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Staar’s stock was one of the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq in morning trade.

** MEDLEY CAPITAL CORP, $14.70, down 2.5 pct (1248 ET)

The investment management company said it would offer 4 million shares of its common stock at $14.70 per share, below its Monday closing price of $15.08.

Almost 5 million shares, about 10 times its 10-day moving average, had changed hands by 1253 ET.

** COLLABRX INC, $3.59, up 4 pct (1247 ET)

The data analytics firm entered into a partnership with genetic diagnostics company Sengenics, under which the company will use CollabRx’s services for analyzing its molecular cancer diagnostics tests and reports.

** UNILIFE CORP, $2.29, up 15 pct (1247 ET)

The medical device maker said it entered into a marketing deal with a U.S. pharmaceutical company to supply its drug delivery syringe named EZMix. Unilife, which did not disclose the name of the company, said it expected up to $110 million in revenue during the 15-year agreement.

** ALUMINA LTD, $4.34, up 4 percent (1247 ET)

** ALCOA INC, $8.38, down 0.1 pct (1247 ET)

Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer reported a higher quarterly profit on Monday thanks in part to strength at its raw materials segment, but lower-than-expected revenue and an uncertain outlook dragged down the company’s share price.

Shares in Alumina rose after its joint venture partner Alcoa signaled that the aluminium industry had turned around, with a jump in profit.

** MAKO SURGICAL CORP, $11.04, up 5 pct (1246 ET)

Mizuho Securities upgraded the medical device maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying Mako could eventually double its share in the knee-surgery market, allowing for a sustained revenue growth at 20 percent or more over the next few years.

** MICROSOFT CORP, $29.43, up 3 pct (1246 ET)

** GOOGLE INC, $779.31, up 0.6 pct (1246 ET)

Companies including Microsoft and Nokia have stepped up pressure on EU antitrust regulators to take action against Google, accusing it of blocking competition in mobile telephony.

The complaint comes as Google attempts to resolve a two-year long investigation by the European Commission into its internet search practices and avert a possible fine that could hit $5 billion, or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue.

** STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC, $27.37, down 3 pct (1242 ET)

The company, owned by real estate mogul Barry Sternlicht, said it sold about 26.5 million common shares for about $723.5 million.

** MCEWEN MINING INC , $2.70, up 4 pct (1241 ET)

** YAMANA GOLD INC , $14.82, up 5 pct (1241 ET)

** GOLDCORP INC , $32.46, up 4 pct (1241 ET)

** KINROSS GOLD CORP ; $7.20, up 3 pct (1241 ET)

Gold prices steadied above $1,570 an ounce on Tuesday as renewed strength in stock markets and a weaker tone to the dollar lent support, but the metal struggled for traction after plumbing 10-month lows last week.

Spot gold prices were little changed at $1,573.86 an ounce at 1220 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 for June delivery were up 0.2 percent at $1,575.90.

** WAL-MART STORES INC, $77.96, up 1 pct (1240 ET)

The world’s largest retailer, is making its biggest push yet to try to improve conditions at factories that produce its clothing after a fire at a Bangladesh factory killed 112 people last year.


The prison and correctional facilities operator said it would pay a special dividend of $675 million, or about $6.63 per share, in connection with its plan to qualify as a real estate investment trust.

** GILEAD SCIENCES INC, $48.38, up 2.5 pct (1239 ET)

RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee raised his price target on the biotechnology company’s stock to $55 from $50, saying the company will continue to outperform in the next 1 to 3 years due to the growth of its hepatitis C franchise.

** KITE REALTY GROUP TRUST, $6.59, down 2 pct (1238 ET)

The real estate investment trust said its offering of 13.5 million shares was priced at $6.55 per share. The REIT, which owns and develops shopping centers, said it would use proceeds from the offering to pay down debt and for acquisitions.

** RADIAN GROUP INC, $11.04, up 3 pct (1238 ET)

The mortgage insurer said it wrote $3.63 billion in new insurance in March and expects it main unit to maintain a risk-to-capital ratio of 20:1 or lower for the forseeable future, below the maximum risk allowed.

** TETRA TECH INC, $26.49, down 7 pct (1237 ET)

The engineering and construction consulting company said it expects lower revenue in the second half of 2013 due to weakness in its Eastern Canada operations from reduced consumer spending and slowing government procurements. The company said operating income will come down by $20 million to $30 million in the second half.

** MGIC INVESTMENT CORP, $5.21, up 5 pct (1118 ET)

Macquarie Equities Research on Monday upgraded the mortgage insurer to “neutral” from “underperform,” saying the company was viable as a going concern following its capital raise.

** ADVANCED ENERGY INDUSTRIES INC, $18.06, down 0.5 pct (1234 ET)

The company, which makes equipments for semiconductors and solar panels, said it acquired commercial inverter maker REFUsol Holding GmbH for 59 million euros ($76.8 million) to add three-phase string inverters to its product line. Advanced Energy said the acquisition will extend its reach in India, Asia, Mediterranean countries and Eastern Europe. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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