April 11 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:
U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday as weakness in the technology sector offset gains spurred by an upbeat report on the labor market.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 4.18 points, or 0.03 percent, to 14,806.42. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.39 points, or 0.02 percent, to 1,588.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 4.85 points, or 0.15 percent, to 3,292.41.
** ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $11.44, up 44 pct (0931 ET)
The biopharmaceutical company said data from an initial late-stage trial would be sufficient to file for approval for its experimental Parkinson’s Disease drug, and that it would not need to conduct an additional trial as planned earlier.
** RITE-AID CORP, $1.97, up 10 pct (0932 ET)
The third largest U.S. drugstore chain posted its second consecutive quarterly profit on Thursday, as it filled more prescriptions and sold more generic drugs, which carry higher profit margins.
** AMYRIS INC, $3.13, up 9 pct (0932 ET)
French drugmaker Sanofi said it would begin large-scale industrial production of artemisinin, the most effective anti-malarial drug, using Amyris's technology that helps convert plant-sugars into artemisinin. (r.reuters.com/paq37t)
The drug will be combined in a pill form with another anti-malarial, and Sanofi indicated it plans to produce enough artemisinin in this way for up to 150 million by 2014, Amyris said in a separate statement on Wednesday.
** MICROSOFT CORP, $29.01, down 4 pct (0935 ET)
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, $21.0, down 6 percent
** DELL INC, $14.15, down 0.4 percent
** INTEL CORP, $21.64, down 2.7 percent
** SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY PLC, $36.07, down 4 percent (1053 ET)
** WESTERN DIGITAL CORP, $51.65, down 3 percent (1054 ET)
Personal computer sales plunged 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, as tablets continue to gain in popularity and buyers appear to be avoiding Microsoft new Windows 8 system, according to a leading tech tracking firm.
Microsoft is developing a new lineup of Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version expected to go into mass production later this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the company’s plans.
“While we have assessed several options that Microsoft could potentially consider to help offset headwinds from deteriorating PC shipment trends, and which are currently debated by investors, we do not expect a change to the status quo near term,” Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini wrote, downgrading the stock to “sell” from “neutral”. Atleast two other brokerages downgraded Microsoft’s stock.
Shares of the hard-disk drive makers also dropped on the news of falling PC sales.
** BOYD GAMING CORP, $9.03, up 10 pct (1028 ET)
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the casino operator’s stock to “overweight” from “equal weight”, citing expansion in US online gaming as a key driver. The brokerage said that once New Jersey or Nevada open up online gaming by late 2013 or early 2014 it will release a floodgate of investor interest in the online space and spur new states to open.
** BLACKBERRY , $13.88, down 5 pct (1023 ET)
LG Electronics Inc 066570.KS has become the world’s No.3 smartphone maker behind Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Samsung and Apple took a combined 71.4 percent of the market and the rest is split among firms such as LG, HTC, Sony Corp and BlackBerry , the data showed.
** AFFYMAX INC, $0.97, down 13 pct (0958 ET)
The biotechnology company, which has been struggling to cope with a recall from the market of its lead drug Omontys, said it amended its 2006 license deal with partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to transfer full control of Omontys and related regulatory responsibilities to Takeda. (r.reuters.com/deq37t)
** BIOLASE INC, $4.72, up 6 pct (0953 ET)
The medical laser devices maker said it received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use its soft tissue diode laser as a surgical instrument for over 80 different indications.
Biolase’s lasers are used in dentistry for a wide variety of surgical soft tissue procedures as an alternative to invasive and traumatic conventional devices, such as the high-speed drill or scalpel.
** GREEN DOT CORP, $16.01 down 4 pct (1004 ET)
The company, which issues prepaid debit cards, said Chief Financial Officer John Keatley will be leaving the company, effective Sept. 1.
** ROSS STORES INC, $64.14, up 6 pct (0959 ET)
The low-price apparel retailer reported a surprise 2 percent rise in March same-store sales, compared to analysts’ expectations of a fall of 1 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company also said it now expects first-quarter earnings to be slightly above the high-end of its forecast of $1.00 to $1.04 per share.
** CALLON PETROLEUM CO, $3.78, up 6 pct (1011 ET)
The oil and gas producer’s Vice President Gary Newberry bought 27,300 shares at $3.65, above Wednesday’s closing price of $3.57, the company said in a regulatory filing. The company also said Chief Financial Officer Bobby Weatherly bought 11,019 shares at $3.63.
** NETFLIX INC, $170.64, up 2.8 pct (1013 ET)
Goldman Sachs raised its target price on the online video streaming company’s stock to $184 from $125, according to theflyonthewall.com.
** RTI INTERNATIONAL METALS INC $30.08, down 5 pct (1117 ET)
The titanium products maker raised its first-quarter operating income forecast to $14 million to $16 million, from less than $10 million earlier. The company also said it would offer $250 million of its shares in a public offering and use the proceeds to fund its working capital and general corporate purposes.
** SUNSHINE HEART INC, $5.22, down 13 pct (0948 ET)
The early-stage medical device company priced an offering of 2.5 million shares of its common stock at $5.25 per share to raise about $13 million in proceeds that it plans to use to fund its ongoing clinical studies.
** BIODEL INC, $2.90, up 4 pct (1005 ET)
The diabetes-focused drugmaker said it completed enrolling patients in a mid-stage study of its rapid-acting insuling candidate to treat diabetes, and is on track to report initial results from the study in the third calendar quarter of this year.
** GEVO INC. $2.24, up 3 pct (1003 ET)
A U.S. district court gave its final judgment in favor of the biofuel company, ruling that it does not infringe Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC’s patents. The two companies have been in a court battle over a patent for a method to commercially produce isobutanol.
** SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP INC, $22.54, up 3 percent (0938 ET)
** FISHER COMMUNICATIONS INC, $40.74, up 4.5 pct (1006)
TV station operator Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc said it will buy Fisher Communications Inc for about $373 million to expand its operations in western United States. The offer values Fisher at $41 per share, a premium of 5 percent to the stock’s Wednesday closing price.
** FIFTH STREET FINANCE CORP, $10.70, down 2.5 pct (0940 ET)
The investment company commenced a public offering of 13.5 million shares of its common stock. Fifth Street said it intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay debt outstanding under its credit facilities.
** BIODELIVERY SCIENCES INC, $4.74, up 6 pct (1039 ET)
Janney Capital Markets initiated coverage on the drugmaker’s stock with a “buy” rating and a price target of $10, saying it expects BioDelivery’s opioid dependence treatment to generate annual sales of about $100 million by 2015. “Well capitalized and on the cusp of turning from a drug development story into a drug launches story, we believe BDSI is at an inflection point,” Janney analyst Jim Molloy said.
** METTLER-TOLEDO INTERNATIONAL INC, $208.55, down 2 pct (1054 ET)
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the supplier of precision instruments to “neutral” from “buy”.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $38.78, down 0.2 percent (0941 ET)
The biotechnology company said it signed an exclusive, global licensing agreement with the University of Western Australia (UWA) to gain access to the university’s patent portfolio in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - a rare, genetic muscle-weakening disease for which Sarepta is developing a treatment.
** OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP, $83.82, up 3 percent (1030 ET)
Shareholders should not re-elect Chairman Ray Irani or lead director Aziz Syriani, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc advised, the Wall Street Journal reported. (link.reuters.com/cuq37t)
Occidental said in mid-February that it was seeking a replacement for Chief Executive Stephen Chazen, who had said he was not looking to leave. He is favored by shareholders, according to analysts.
** PIER 1 IMPORTS INC, $22.48, down 3.5 pct (0942 ET)
Pier 1 posted a lower-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter hurt by flat merchandise margins, and the home furnishings retailer forecast 2014 earnings below analysts’ estimates.
** FORTINET INC, $18.05, down 17.3 pct (0943 ET)
** PALO ALTO NETWORKS, $53.90, down 1.4 pct (1042 ET)
** SOURCEFIRE INC, $52.44, down 3.6 pct (1042 ET)
The network security products maker estimated first-quarter results below analysts’ expectations on Wednesday, hurt by delays in closing service provider deals in the United States and cautious spending by customers.
Atleast three brokerages cut their price targets on the stock.
“Weak large deal contribution, specifically in the U.S. service provider vertical, was the more significant reason for the underperformance representing $6-$9mn of the about $12mn billings miss,” Jefferies & Co analyst Aaron Schwartz wrote in a note.
** BURGER KING WORLDWIDE INC, $19.04, up 3 pct (0944 ET)
The burger chain on Thursday said first-quarter comparable sales likely fell more than Wall Street expected, and laid out plans for a revamped leadership team as Chief Executive Bernardo Hees prepares to become the CEO of H.J. Heinz Co.
** AETERNA ZENTARIS INC, $2.02, up 7 pct (0945 ET)
The Canadian drugmaker said it entered into a development and cost-sharing agreement with Ergomed Clinical Research Ltd for its experimental endometrial cancer drug.
Under the terms of the deal, Ergomed will pay upto $10 million or 30 percent of the clinical and regulatory costs for the late-stage trial of AEZS-108, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
** QUEST DIAGNOSITCS INC, $59.24, up 3.6 pct (0945 ET)
Goldman Sachs upgraded the laboratory tests provider to “buy” from “neutral,” citing optimism in the company’s new management’s ability to drive up margins.
Quest last month said Chief Financial Officer Robert Hagemann would leave at the end of May as the company continues a restructuring aimed at returning to revenue growth. A CFO search is currently underway.
** SYNERGY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $5.41, down 10 pct (0946 ET)
Shares of the gastrointestinal drugs developer continued their slide that began on Wednesday after Synergy said it priced an offering of 16.4 million shares of its common stock to raise about $90 million in gross proceeds, which it plans to use to fund research and development.
** INFINITY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $41.21, down 3 pct (0946 ET)
The company said a public offering of its common stock by existing shareholders Beacon Co and Rosebay Medical Co was priced at $40 per share.
Infinity will not sell any shares or receive any proceeds from the offering, and the total number of its outstanding common shares will not change as a result of the offering.
** BED BATH & BEYOND INC, $65.50, up 2 pct
The U.S. home goods chain reported a 25 percent jump in quarterly sales that beat Wall Street forecasts, helped by recent acquisitions such as Linen Holdings and Cost Plus World Market. The company reported sales of $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts on average has expected sales of $3.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Brokerage Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the stock to $59 from $57, while Nomura Securities increased its price target to $72 from $65.50.
** ZUMIEZ INC, $24.90, up 9 percent
The teen-focused retailer said same-store sales rose 2.1 percent in March as customers shopped more at its juniors and hard goods divisions. Analysts had expected Zumiez to report a comparable-store sales fall of 7.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** INTEGRA LIFESCIENCES INC, $34.96, down 9 pct (0953 ET)
The medical device maker said it recalled some lots of its collagen product DuraGen Dural Graft Matrix manufactured in its Añasco, Puerto Rico facility, as the lots did not meet production process requirements.
The recall will hurt the company’s revenue and profit for first and second quarters of this year, Integra said, forecasting results for both those quarters below analysts’ expectations.
** J.C. PENNEY, $14.47, up 2 pct (0954 ET)
Three more top executives at the ailing retailer have left the company, the New York Post reported, following the ouster of Chief Executive Ron Johnson.
** APOGEE ENTERPRISES INC, $26.79, down 8 pct (0955 ET)
The architectural glass maker’s fourth-quarter earnings came in below analysts’ expectations, hurt by weakness in its large-scale optical technologies business. The company earned 15 cents per share on revenue of $179.7 million. Analysts on average expected earnings of 17 cents per share on revenue of $180 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)