November 4, 2013 / 8:23 PM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE-BlackBerry, GrafTech, Oxygen, World Acceptance

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter,; for the Morning Call newsletter , click U.S. stock indexes were little changed on Monday in below-average trading volume, while shares of Blackberry at a 10-year low after the company replaced its CEO. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.01 percent at 15,617.88, the S&P 500 up 0.19 percent at 1,764.99 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.18 percent at 3,928.91.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, $6.49, down 16 pct (12:38 p.m. ET)

The company is abandoning a plan to sell itself and instead will replace its chief executive officer and raise about $1 billion from institutional investors, including its largest shareholder. More than 42 million shares changed hands in the first half hour of trading.

** OXYGEN BIOTHERAPEUTICS INC, $5.13, up 59 pct (03:07 p.m. ET)

Oxygen’s stock continued to soar five days after the medical products and cosmetics maker said a Duke Clinical Research Institute analysis of data from 14 independent clinical trials on the use of its drug, levosimendan, showed the drug is associated with reduced mortality in patients undergoing heart surgery.

The experimental drug levosimendan, which is approved in various countries but not in U.S., is moving into late-stage trials as a treatment to prevent cardiac surgery patients from developing low cardiac output syndrome.

** GRAFTECH INTERNATIONAL LTD, $11.13, up 17 pct (3:11 p.m. ET)

Jefferies & Co raised upgraded the graphite electrodes maker’s stock to “buy” from “hold” and raised its price target on to $12 from $7.

GrafTech reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, and said it would close two high-cost plants in Brazil and South Africa and cut about 20 percent of jobs that would lead to annual cost savings of about $75 million.

** EXTREME NETWORKS INC, $6.37, up 18.5 pct (12:38 p.m. ET)

The network-gear maker reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter and said there would be no delays in fulfilling customer orders as it had resolved a shortage of key components.

** ANAREN INC, $27.74, up 11.4 pct (12:39 p.m. ET)

The telecom components maker said it would be bought by a fund run by private equity investor Veritas Capital for about $381 million in cash.

** TRI POINTE HOMES INC, $16.65, up 8.2 pct (12:42 p.m. ET)

Tri Pointe Homes is buying Weyerhaeuser Co’s homebuilding division in a $2.7 billion deal that will give it access to developed land in key markets such as California and Texas and make it one of the largest U.S. homebuilders.

** RYANAIR HOLDINGS PLC, $43.71, down 13 pct (12:43 p.m. ET)

The airline’s annual profit is set to fall for the first time in five years as intense competition in Europe pushes average fares down by around 10 percent over the winter months, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers said.

** UBS AG, $18.11, down 5.7 pct (12:43 p.m. ET)

** CREDIT SUISSE AG, $28.82 down 6.5 pct (12:43 p.m. ET)

The two brokerages would have to hold far more capital than international rivals if Swiss lawmakers push ahead with proposals to impose even tougher rules to curb borrowing on the country’s banks. The potential move is another attempt by lawmakers to force Swiss lenders to go beyond the global standards brought in to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, a gold-plated approach known in banking circles as the “Swiss finish”.

** WORLD ACCEPTANCE CORP, $90.08, down 11 pct (12:45 p.m. ET)

The consumer finance company said President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Roland had resigned for personal reasons, effective Friday.

** UTSTARCOM INC, $2.50, down 11.6 pct (12:45 p.m. ET)

The telecom equipment maker said the offer to take the company private, made by its director Hong Liang Lu and Shah Capital in March, had been withdrawn. Shah Capitals’ founder Himanshu Shah was named as a director to the company’s board.

** VELTI PLC, $0.08, down 70.8 pct (12:46 p.m. ET)

The Irish company said it would sell its mobile marketing business in the United States, the UK and India to Blackstone Group LP, and that it filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 for its remaining U.S. operations. [ID: nL3N0IP1VV]

** UNITED ONLINE INC, $14.37, up 10.7 pct (12:59 p.m. ET)

The online floral and gift service provider said on Friday it completed distributing to its shareholders the stock of its floral wire service FTD Cos Inc, which was listed on the Nasdaq last month.

** ZOGENIX INC, $2.52, down 14 pct (12:47 p.m. ET)

The pharmaceutical company reported a larger-than-expected loss in the third quarter hurt by a fall in net product revenue.

The company also said it would offer $60 million shares, saying it intended to use part of the net proceeds to market its recently approved painkiller Zohydro.

** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $2.71, up 7 pct (12:47 p.m. ET)

The company's largest shareholder, private equity firm RA Capital Management LLC, increased its stake to 16.4 percent as of Oct. 31, according to a regulatory filing. RA Capital previously held 14.96 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. (

Achillion on Saturday said it would present data supporting further development of its preclinical hepatitis C drug at a conference on liver disease. The company plans to start trials testing the drugs in humans during the first half of 2014.

** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $28.58, up 11.8 pct (1:04 p.m. ET)

** STR HOLDINGS INC, $2.13, up 8 pct

** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $16.73, up 9 pct

** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $10.99, up 9 pct

** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $25.66, up 9 pct

The Chinese solar panel maker said it expects to report a net profit for the third quarter due to strength in its power plants business. The company, which has reported a loss for eight consecutive quarters, expects to ship 460-480 megawatt (MW) in the third quarter, higher than its prior forecast of 410-430 MW. The company also raised its gross margin outlook to 18-20 percent from 10-12 percent.

** MORGANS HOTEL GROUP CO, $7.82, up 10.2 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

The owner of hotels such as Sanderson, Morgans and Shore Club said late on Friday it had received an unsolicited proposal from The Yucaipa Companies LLC to acquire the company for $8 per share.

** KELLOGG CO, $63.35, up 1.7 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

The world’s largest maker of breakfast cereals said it would cut about 7 percent of its workforce and slash capacity by 2017, after reporting another quarterly decline in sales in its cereals business.

** SOLARCITY CORP, $63.69, up 16.3 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

The solar panel installer said its unit SolarCity LMC Series I LLC will offer solar assest-backed notes worth $54.4 million in a private placement.

** LINN ENERGY LLC, $31.58, up 2.4 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

** BERRY PETROLEUM CO, $52.31, up 7.2 pct

The U.S. oil and gas producer Linn Energy agreed to raise its purchase price for Berry Petroleum by $600 million to $4.9 billion, the companies said in a statement.

** GENCO SHIPPING AND TRADING LTD, $3.15, up 0.9 pct (12:51 p.m. ET)

** PARAGON SHIPPING, $5.58, up 1.76 pct

** DRYSHIPS, $3.15, up 2.6 pct


The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, grain, coal and fertilizer, rose for a third day on Monday and was up 1.7 percent at 1,552 points in early morning trade.

** AK STEEL HOLDING CORP, $5.05, up 10 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

** UNITED STATES STEEL CORP, $26.89, up 4.3 pct

** STEEL DYNAMICS, $18.95, up 2.7 pct

Analysts at Goldman Sachs raised their ratings on the three steel makers’ stocks to buy, according to

** SUNPOWER CORP, $34.24, up 10.9 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

The solar panel market said it has acquired Greenbotics Inc, a company that offers panel cleaning products and services for large-scale solar power plants.

** MERCK & CO, $45.81, up 1.3 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

A combination of two oral hepatitis C treatments developed by Merck & Co MRK.N led to high cure rates in previously untreated patients, indicating the company is a contender in the race to find new treatments for the liver destroying virus.

** DAQO NEW ENERGY CORP, $34.90, up 11.2 pct (12:55 p.m. ET)

The Chinese polysilicon manufacturer said it expects to ship 1,200-1,275 metric tons (MT) of polysilicon in the third quarter, higher than its prior forecast of 1,000 MT. However, the company cut its wafer shipment to 7.4 million-7.5 million pieces from 8.9 million pieces, citing shipment delays.

** SUNTECH POWER, $1.50, up 13.6 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

China’s Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Ltd said late on Friday it had agreed to buy the main unit of Suntech for $492 million.

** HARVARD BIOSCIENCE INC, $4.54, up 7.9 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)

The company, which makes tools for life sciences research, said Chief Executive Jeffrey Duchemin would take up the roles of president and director, effective immediately.

Duchemin replaced President David Green, who is also the president of Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology , the regenerative medicine business that Harvard Bioscience spun off on Friday.

** SYSCO CORP, $34.01, up 4.4 pct (12:56 p.m. ET)

The food distributor reported a first-quarter profit that beat market estimates as it reduced expenses related to the expansion of technology to manage customer data. The company earned 56 cents per share, excluding items, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 48 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue of $11.7 billion also beat estimate of $11.6 billion.

** ZALICUS INC, $4.19, down 7.2 pct (12:56 p.m. ET)

The pharmaceutical company reported third-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates, due to lower revenue from the research and development services it provides using its drug delivery technology.

** REALOGY HOLDINGS CORP, $43.76, up 7.6 pct (12:58 p.m. ET)

The real estate services company posted third-quarter results that eased past Wall Street estimates, boosted by a 29 percent increase in homesale transaction volume, and said it expects the growth to continue into the current quarter. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.02 per share on revenue of $1.55 billion, for the third quarter. Analysts on average had expected Realogy to earn 85 cents per share on revenue of $1.48 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** CHATHAM LODGING TRUST, $20.41, up 8.7 pct (11:10 a.m. ET)

Bluemountain Capital Management proposed to buy all outstanding shares of the real estate investment trust at $21.50 per share, valuing the company at about $555 million. The offer price represents a 14.5 percent premium to Chatham Lodging stock’s Friday close. Bluemountain, which has about 5 percent stake in Chatham Lodging according to Monday’s regulatory filing, encouraged the company to consider an auction or seek other proposals to seek a higher price.

** EDUCATION MANAGEMENT CORP $13.73, down 5.6 pct (11:14 a.m. ET)

BMO Capital Markets downgraded the for-profit education company’s stock to “underperform,” reported.

** VIPSHOP HOLDINGS LTD, $76.0, up 7 pct (11:29 a.m. ET)

Citi Investment Research raised its price target on the Chinese online discount retailer's stock to $85 from $50 as the analysts expect higher revenue growth, improved operational efficiency, and relaxing warehouse constraints, according to (

** VULCAN MATERIALS CO $59.20, up 10.3 pct (11.31 a.m. ET)

The producer of sand, gravel and other construction aggregates said pricing continued to benefit from improving demand, after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Growth in residential construction, and its traditional follow-on impact on private nonresidential construction, continues to underpin our expectations for future volume growth and earnings improvement, the company said in a statement.

** GSE HOLDING INC $3.01, up 10 pct (11:36 a.m. ET)

The company, which makes synthetic polymeric lining material used in the mining industry, named its interim CEO Charles A. Sorenntino as its permanent chief executive. Daniel Storey, the company’s current chief accounting officer, will replace Michael Kirksey as CFO.

** BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION INC, $17.78, down 9 pct (11.42 a.m. ET)

Deutsche Bank cut its rating on the stock of the postsecondary education services provider to “sell” from “hold”, saying cost per credit at Ashford University, owned by Bridgepoint, was higher than the Apollo Group’s University of Phoenix and Strayer Education.

** TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA, $9.51, up 11.6 pct (11.41 a.m. ET)

The operator of travel centers along the U.S. interstate highway system reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts estimates as fuel sales volumes at their retail outlets rose.

** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $3.91, down 8 pct (12:23 p.m. ET)

The drugmaker posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss after operating expenses rose about 67 percent. Synta, which expects final overall survival results of its experimental cancer drug in 2014, said it has about $53.4 million in cash to fund operations in the second quarter.

** KT Corp, $16.18, down 2.76 pct (11:52 a.m. ET)

South Korea’s second-biggest mobile carrier, fell 2.3 percent after CEO Lee Suk-chae submitted his resignation facing a breach of trust investigation.

** GRANITE CONSTRUCTION INC, $30.43, down 6 pct (11.56 a.m. ET)

The construction materials maker reported a third-quarter profit below analysts’ average estimate due to cost overruns in a large highway project in the state of Washington.

** KERYX BIOPHARMACEUTICALS INC, $11.08, up 4.1 pct (13:04 p.m. ET)

JMP Securities analyst Michael King raised his price target on the drugmaker’s stock to $22 from $14, saying Keryx would sell more of its kidney drug Zerenex than he had expected. “In light of recent data released by KERX and its Japanese collaborator, JT Torii, we were compelled to revise our projections upward for Zerenex market penetration in end-stage renal disease,” King wrote in a note.

** TESCO CORP, $17.72, up 4 pct (13:05 p.m. ET)

The company, which delivers technology-based services to oil and gas companies, reported a higher-than-expect profit for the third quarter due to increased demand for its tubular services in the international market.

** ARCH COAL INC, $4.50, up 4.8 pct (13:05 p.m. ET)

** WALTER ENERGY INC, $19.06, up 10.5 pct

** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $28.82, up 5.4 pct

** JAMES RIVER COAL CO, $2.04, up 5.6 pct

** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $8.06, up 8.4 pct

Australian thermal coal prices rose during the past week, bolstered by a rally in European coal prices, which hit an eight-month high of $90 per tonne this month. Australia’s Newcastle weekly spot index rose to close at $84.56 per tonne on Friday, up from $83.86 a tonne a week earlier, data from online trading platform globalCOAL showed.

** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $38.56, up 4.4 pct (13:00 p.m. ET)

Suntrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded its rating on the teen apparel retailer’s stock to “buy” from “neutral” and raised its price target on the company’s stock to $45. “Trading at a discount to historical levels/peers, with growth internationally and cost-cutting domestically, and premium brand positioning, we think Abercrombie & Fitch should be insulated from significant downside while strategic review catalysts should provide upside,” the brokerage said.

** ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP $105.52, up 3.3 pct (12:41 p.m. ET)

The company controlled by Carl Icahn reported a higher quarterly profit, driven by gains from investments and lower expenses. Icahn Enterprises reported net gain from investment of $1.2 billion, compared with a loss of $81 million a year earlier. (Compiled by Natalie Grover; Editing by Don Sebastian and Joyjeet Das)

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