A declining U.S. trade deficit and upbeat German data enticed buyers back into stocks on Tuesday after three days of losses on the S&P 500. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.66 percent at 16,534.23, the S&P 500 was up 0.54 percent at 1,836.57 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.82 percent at 4,147.595.
** NETFLIX INC, $341.37, -5.06 pct
** AMAZON.COM INC, $397.27, +0.92 pct
Amazon is teaming up with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and major media corporations including Warner Bros and Lionsgate to popularize “4K” ultra high-definition television. The company did not outline specifics on the collaboration.
Netflix shares fell as the company competes with Amazon’s Instant Video service that serves up thousands of movies and TV programs. Brokerage Morgan Stanley on Tuesday downgraded Netflix to “underweight”, according to Benzinga.com.
Netflix also lost its cloud software engineer, Adrian Cockroft, to venture capital firm Battery Ventures, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report. Cockroft had helped Netflix to develop its down data centers to reduce its reliance on Amazon.com's cloud service. (r.reuters.com/rab85v)
Netflix shares have more than tripled in value to $350 over the last year.
** NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES INC, $17.91, +83.50 pct
Shares of the company rose after the company said its movement disorder drug met the main goal of reducing symptoms in a mid-stage study.
Results from the study, known as Kinect 2, revived investor expectations from the drug, which failed a mid-stage study in September.
Analysts at MKM Partners and Roth raised their price targets on Neurocrine’s stock.
** EPIZYME INC, $35.186, +71.64 pct
The biopharmaceutical company said it reached a proof-of-concept milestone while studying its EPZ-5676 drug, triggering a $25 million payment from partner Celgene Corp . The drug is currently being studied in an early-stage trial as a potential treatment for blood cancer.
Epizyme said it also achieved a development candidate milestone in its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Plc, earning a $4 million payment.
Epizyme now expects 2013 end-of-year cash and account receivables position of about $145 million, compared to its previous view of more than $115 million.
** LIVEDEAL INC, $8.42, +47.72 pct
The internet marketing company said its new platform, launched in San Diego, California in the fourth quarter of 2013, has captured about a 1,000 dining establishments, or 20 percent of the restaurants in the city. The platform, with geo-location, allows restaurants to instantly publish customized offers targeted especially at mobile users.
The stock, one of the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq, was trading more than three times its average 10-day volume.
** CYAN INC, $3.75, -27.47 pct
The maker of software-defined network applications and equipment cut its fourth-quarter revenue estimate to a range of $20 million to $21 million from between $30 million and $33 million as revenue from its largest customer fell by about 88 percent.
Brokerage Jefferies cut its price target on Cyan’s stock to $4 from $6.
** PLUG POWER INC, $4.05, +46.21 pct
The fuel cell maker said it would develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for 20 FedEx Express electric delivery trucks in a $3 million project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
** PHARMACYCLICS INC, $125.88, +19.82 pct
The company said its cancer drug, Imbruvica, met its main goal of increasing patients’ survival without their cancer worsening in a late-stage trial testing it for a rare blood disorder called chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
** CRAY INC, $30.67, +12.92 pct
The supercomputer maker said it expects to be profitable in 2013 after posting losses in the first, second and third quarters. Analysts are expecting the company to post a profit of 64 cents for the full year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Cray maintained its forecast for 2014.
** PROCERA NETWORKS INC $12.16, -18.33 pct
The maker of network management equipment said it expects fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ average estimate due to falling demand from the U.S. cable market.
** STEREOTAXIS INC, $4.7601, +19.00 pct
The company said it completed a clinical trial required for the U.S. regulatory approval of its medical device for use in echocardiography procedures.
The device, called Vdrive with V-Loop system, is used for remotely controlling the advancement, retraction, rotation, tip deflection and loop size of a compatible catheter.
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, $7.19, +10.11 pct
The Chinese solar panel manufacturer said it would construct solar projects of 500 megawatts across China in a joint venture with a unit of state-run nuclear company China National Nuclear Corp. Financial details of the deal, which Yingli said was inked several months ago, were not disclosed.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $39.19, +9.68 pct
The solar products maker said it would supply solar panels for four utility-scale solar projects totaling 25.3 megawatts in North Carolina.
** FEDERAL-MOGUL CORP, $21.28, +10.14 pct
** HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC, $90.57, +4.37 pct
Honeywell said it would sell its friction materials business that makes disc brake pads and braking system components to auto parts maker Federal-Mogul for about $155 million.
** AFFYMETRIX INC, $8.73, +10.51 pct
The genetic analysis products maker said it expects fourth-quarter revenue of $91 million, including a one-time licensing payment of $5.3 million. Analysts are expecting revenue of $82.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Affymetrix also said it expects to report full-year revenue of $329 million, ahead of analysts’ estimates of $320.3 million.
** IROBOT CORP, $36.43, +7.94 pct
The robot maker said late on Monday it was launching a new consumer robot that cleans floors. The iRobot Scooba 450 will be available in North America from Tuesday, the company said.
** SPLUNK INC, $74.57, +5.35 pct
UBS Investment Research raised its rating on the data analytics software maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying it expects the company’s revenue to beat analysts’ estimates in fiscal 2014. The brokerage cited Splunk’s transition to a multi-product company and the ease of using its products. The stock hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday.
** CONVERGYS CORP, $22.46, +7.67 pct
The customer management services provider said it would buy rival Stream Global Services Inc from its private equity owners for $820 million in cash in its largest ever deal to expand its client base and international presence.
** SONIC CORP, $20.15, +4.68 pct
The drive-in restaurant chain’s first-quarter income jumped 34 percent, beating Wall Street estimates, as it attracted more customers and lower costs helped margins.
** GALENA BIOPHARMA, $5.47, +5.19 pct
The company said it enrolled the first patient in a mid-stage trial for its experimental cancer immunotherapy.
The main goal of the trial, which is testing the drug in ovarian and endometrial cancer patients, is to measure patients’ immune response.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $122.89, +4.37 pct
Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Canada’s largest listed drugmaker, on Tuesday forecast 2014 adjusted earnings of $8.25 to $8.75 per share and revenue of $8.2 billion to $8.6 billion, both up about 40 percent from the previous year.
Analysts on average were expecting 2014 adjusted earnings per share of $8.71 and revenue of $8.279 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** PALO ALTO NETWORKS INC, $60.08, +3.87 pct
The security software maker on Monday said it would buy cybersecurity company Morta Security to add infrastructure protection and detection and prevention enhancing capabilities to its existing security products.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
** PBF ENERGY INC ; $28.18, -5.78 pct
The refiner announced late on Monday a secondary offering of 15 million Class A common stock by funds affiliated with First Reserve Management LP and Blackstone Group LP. The selling stockholders will receive all the proceeds.
** TEXTURA CORP, $30.57, -4.47 pct
Short-seller Citron Research issued another report on the software maker, saying Chief Executive Patrick Allin's "bio is highly material to all potential and actual Textura investors," and reaffirmed its $4 price target on the stock. (link.reuters.com/sab85v)
On Dec. 26, Textura’s shares fell after Citron accused the company of lying to the SEC about the involvement of Allin in a “pump-and-dump” scheme.
Perpetrators of a pump-and-dump scheme attempt to boost the price of a stock through recommendations based on false, misleading or greatly exaggerated statements. They then sell their positions after the hype has pushed up the share price.
** COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS INC, $43, +2.60 pct
The company, which awaits a shareholder vote this week on its proposed takeover of smaller hospital operator Health Management Associates Inc, said it expects the new U.S. healthcare law to provide a slight boost to 2014 earnings.
** A SCHULMAN INC, $35.81, +5.63 pct
The specialty chemical maker reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, helped by a recovery in the automotive market in Europe and greater demand for its custom color business in Asia and Europe.
The company also raised its 2014 adjusted earnings forecast to $2.13-2.18 per share from $2.08-$2.13.
** MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC, $21.48, +3.92 pct
The memory chipmaker, which reports first-quarter results on Tuesday, has benefited in recent quarters from a rebound in memory chip prices that has helped mask ongoing slow demand for DRAM used in PCs.
Analysts will be looking for signs of whether rising memory chip prices are likely to keep buoying the company’s profits.
** OCULUS INNOVATIVE SCIENCES INC, $3.84, +7.26 pct
The company launched two new wound-care products. The Wound & Skin Spray HydroGel and Wound & Skin Care products are part of the company’s Microcyn-based line, a formulation that helps in wound healing, reduces wound odor and in the physical removal of biofilm, a major deterrent to healing.
** RALLY SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT CORP, $20.8, +7.11 pct
Stephens Inc initiated coverage on the cloud-based software development services provider’s stock with an “overweight” rating, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** DURECT CORP, $1.88, +5.62 pct
** IMPAX LABORATORIES INC, $24.77, -1.78 pct
The specialty pharmaceutical companies said they entered into an agreement that granted Impax worldwide rights to develop and market one of Durect’s pain patches.
Impax will pay Durect $2 million upfront and control and fund the development of the patch, which is intended to treat pain caused by postherpetic neuralgia, a complication of shingles.
Durect will be eligible for milestone payments of up to $61 million, as well as royalty from product sales, if the patch, named Eladur, is approved.
** HANWHA SOLARONE CO LTD,$3.43, +4.89 pct
The Chinese solar company said it would sell 50 megawatts of solar panels to privately held solar services provider OneRoof Energy.
* ROUSE PROPERTIES INC, $20.8, -4.06 pct
The real estate investment trust said late on Monday it planned to sell 7 million shares of its common stock. The company did not specify the offer price.
** COMMERCIAL METALS CO,$20.23, +2.28 pct
The steelmaker posted a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ expectations, helped by its Americas Mills and International Mills businesses. The company reported first-quarter profit of 39 cents per share. Analysts on average expected a profit of 24 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** NEW YORK MORTGAGE TRUST INC, $6.81, -3.27 pct
The real estate investment trust late on Monday announced a public offering of 10 million shares. The company said it intends to use the proceeds to acquire distressed residential loans and to invest in multi-family CMBS among other things.
** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, $5.515, -2.73 pct
The obesity drug maker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will announce its decision on the approval of Orexigen’s diet pill Contrave by June 10.
If approved, Orexigen expects its North American partner, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, to launch Contrave in the second half of 2014.
** PARKWAY PROPERTIES INC, $18.25, -3.74 pct
The real estate investment trust late on Monday announced a public offer of 10.5 million common shares. The company said it would use the proceeds to fund acquisitions.
** MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL, $24.56, +4.60 pct
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the casino resort operator to “overweight”, according to Benzinga.com.
** ANI PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $20.955, +10.29 pct
Roth Capital Partners started coverage of the specialty pharmaceuticals company’s stock with a “buy” rating and a $27 price target, citing continued earnings growth and the capacity for expansion.
** MICHAEL KORS HOLDINGS LTD, $79.32, -3.32 pct
Citi Investment Research downgraded the fashion company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” citing the stock’s strong run in 2013, strong comparable-store sales which will likely still exceed guidance but to a lesser extent, and accessory sector read-throughs that convey a possibility of lack of upside.
The brokerage also cut its price target on the company’s stock to $93 from $95.
** GULFPORT ENERGY CORP, $56.01, -5.40 pct
At least two brokerages cut their rating on the oil and gas producer’s stock after the company said it expected first-quarter production to be the same as its exit rate in 2013 due to scheduled downtime on producing wells.
** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.41, -2.29 pct
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $23.57, -2.12 pct
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $18.02, -1.80 pct
** COEUR MINING INC, $11.24, -1.40 pct
Gold fell, snapping five straight sessions of gains as the dollar and stock markets strengthened on global economic optimism. Spot gold, initially stable below a three-week peak of $1,248.30 hit in the previous session, fell 0.8 percent to $1,227.80 an ounce by 1456 GMT. Silver fell 2.4 percent to $19.67 an ounce, well below a four-week high of $20.33 in the previous session.
** KEY ENERGY SERVICES INC, $7.4, -5.49 pct
The oilfield services provider said there were fewer operating rigs in its international business during the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter, and that activity in Mexico remained depressed, with only 5 of 41 rigs operating in the region.
The company also said it will likely incur charges of $4 million to $5 million in the fourth quarter due to severance costs and an audit of the company’s billings with Mexico’s PEMEX
** SPLUNK INC, $74.57, +5.35 pct
UBS Investment Research raised its rating on the data analytics software maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying it expects the company’s revenue to beat analysts’ estimates in fiscal 2014. The brokerage cited Splunk’s transition to a multi-product company and the ease of using its products. The stock hit a 52-week high on Tuesday. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)