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Sept 17 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Tuesday:
U.S. stock index futures were little changed before the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting on Tuesday that could lay out plans to begin reducing its stimulus measures. S&P 500 futures were flat, Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 2 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.5 points.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Monday close $32.80, up 2 pct premarket
The software maker said it would buy back up to $40 billion of its shares and raise its quarterly dividend by 22 percent. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, replaces a $40 billion buyback program that was set to expire on Sept. 30.
** KYTHERA BIOPHARMACEUTICALS INC, Monday close $33.53, up 19.4 pct after market
The maker of aesthetic medicines said on Monday its ATX-101 experimental injectable drug met the main and secondary goals of a clinical study testing the product’s safety and efficacy in reducing double chin. Over 1,000 patients from the United States and Canada were enrolled in two late-stage studies for evaluating the drug against a placebo, Kythera said.
** AGENUS INC Monday close $2.74, up 24 pct premarket
The biotechnology company said a mid-stage study of its experimental brain cancer vaccine used in combination with standard treatments showed a 160 percent increase in progression free survival, compared to the standard treatment alone, in patients with an aggressive brain tumor.
** HUNTSMAN CORP, Monday close $19.14, up 7 pct premarket
** ROCKWOOD HOLDINGS INC, Monday close $66.61, up 1 pct premarket
Huntsman said it would combine its pigment business with Rockwood’s as part of a $1.1 billion deal and eventually take the business public.
** OUTERWALL INC, Monday close $55.97, down 20 pct after market
The operator of the Redbox video rental kiosks slashed its third-quarter and full-year earnings forecast as average transaction size fell below its expectations due to higher discounts, sending its shares down 20 percent.
** DENDREON CORP, Monday close $2.98, up 11.8 pct premarket
The biotechnology company said the the European Commission granted marketing approval to its prostate cancer vaccine, Provenge.
The company said the vaccine is approved in all 28 countries of the European Union as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
** CENVEO INC, Monday close $2.99, up 9 pct premarket
The company, which makes custom labels, specialty packaging and envelopes, said it would sell its custom envelope division to Ennis Inc, which manufactures printed business products and apparel, for about $47.25 million in cash and the assumption of certain trade liabilities.
** PANDORA MEDIA INC, Monday close $23.99, down 4.5 pct after market
The internet radio company warned on Monday that its business is slowing and proposed a follow-on offering of 10 million shares for capital expenditures, according to a regulatory filing.
** SOHU.COM INC, Monday close $69.61, up 2.1 pct premarket
Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the Chinese Internet portal’s stock to “conviction buy” from “neutral”, according to the website theflyonthewall.com.
** PERION NETWORK LTD, Monday close $11.74, up 2 pct premarket
Benchmark Co raised its price target on the Israeli consumer internet company’s stock to $19 from $16, a day after Perion said it would merge with privately held Conduit’s “client connect” business in an all-stock deal.
The brokerage said the deal was a “significant positive” for Perion. “Perion will continue to gain scale and efficiencies in the near-term, although Perion must continually invest in customer acquisition to maintain its user base and drive further revenue growth,” analyst Daniel Kurnos said in a note.
** WERNER ENTERPRISES, Monday close $24.41, down 5 pct premarket
The transportation company forecast a third-quarter profit below analysts’ expectations, citing lower gains on equipment sales and higher driver and maintenance costs. RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock to “sector perform” from “outperform” and KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded it to “hold” from “buy”, according to theflyonthewall.com.
** BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORP, Monday close $17, down 3 pct premarket
Brokerage Piper Jaffray cut its rating on the sports goods retailer’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight,” theflyonthewall reported.
** NOKIA , Monday close $6.24, down 1 pct premarket
Nokia has delayed the launch of a large-screen “phablet” device, originally planned for late September, following a deal to sell its handset business and license patents to Microsoft , a source said on Monday.
** AEROPOSTALE INC, Monday close $8.61, up 14 pct premarket
Sycamore Partners reported a 7.96 percent holding in the teen apparel retailer as of Sept. 9. (r.reuters.com/far23v)
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Monday close $6.52, up 3.5 pct premarket
The pharmaceutical company said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases granted it an initial $5 million in funding to support the development of its experimental drug to treat Marburg virus disease. Total funding could reach up to $22 million over five years, the company said.
The Marburg virus disease is a rare, often fatal type of hemorrhagic fever native to Africa, for which no drug has been approved.
** INVESCO MORTGAGE CAPITAL INC, Monday close $16.01, down 2 pct after market
The REIT declared a dividend of 48 cents on its 7.75 percent Series A preferred stock for the third quarter.
** MOSAIC CO, Monday close $45.59, down 2 pct after market
** POTASH CORP, Monday close $33, down 2 pct after market
** AGRIUM INC, Monday close $91.86 down 1 pct after market
Mosaic, a U.S. fertilizer company, cut its third-quarter outlook for the price and sales volume of potash and phosphate on Monday, saying crop nutrient markets had softened in the wake of the breakup of the Belarusian Potash Company.
The breakup of BPC in July and the decision by the main player Uralkali OAO to pursue a volume-first strategy weakened potash prices and caused some buyers to delay new purchases because of uncertainty. BPC was one of the world’s two biggest potash trading companies, along with North America’s Canpotex Ltd - owned by Mosaic, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc and Agrium Inc.
** CLEAN ENERGY FUELS CORP, Monday close $12.43, up 2 pct aftermarket
Chief Executive Andrew Littlefair notified the U.S. regulators on Monday that he had bought 127,000 Clean Energy shares at $12.69 per share.
** BROADCOM CORP, Monday close $26.91, up 1.5 pct premarket
Brokerage Susquehanna raised its rating on the chipmaker’s stock to “positive” from “neutral” and its price target to $35 from $33, citing a pickup in telecom spending and product cycle ramps at key mobile customers such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
** ALPHATEC HOLDINGS INC, Monday close $1.96
The medical device maker said its French affiliate Scient‘x S.A.S would lay off about 76 employees and reduce annual operating expenses by $2 million-$6 million. Alphatec will also amended its credit facility with MidCap Financial to have access to up to an aggregate maximum amount of $73 million.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, Monday close $128.46
The Netherlands will purchase 37 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, a decision that should end years of political wrangling over ballooning costs and delays. The decision is a boost for Lockheed Martin and Washington, which had urged the Netherlands in April not to turn to other suppliers because of fears of rising costs in a project that has been blighted by technical faults and delays.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Monday close $53.14
The financial services company is close to settling civil law investigations into its London Whale derivatives loss and expects to pay about $700 million, according to a source familiar with the matter.
** TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE INC, Monday close $17.35, up 2 pct premarket
The company's unit Rockstar Games launched its much-awaited title "Grand Theft Auto V" worldwide for Sony Corp's PlayStation3 and Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360 gaming consoles. GTA V will also be available for digital download from the PlayStationNetwork. (reut.rs/18j6RuL)
** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, Monday close $50.06, up 1.65 pct premarket
Credit Suisse initiated coverage on the 3D printer maker’s stock, saying the company is likely to achieve growth rates above the industry average as it offers the broadest range of technology and materials within the 3D printing sector. The brokerage set a target price of $62 on the stock. (Compiled by Varun Aggarwal)