February 3, 2014 / 2:53 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-AT&T, Herbalife, Pfizer, United Online, BioTelemetry

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks were down on Monday, as investors looked ahead to data on the manufacturing and housing sectors following the worst month for the Dow and S&P 500 indexes since May 2012. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.32 percent at 15,648.34, the S&P 500 was down 0.33 percent at 1,776.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.43 percent at 4,086.03.

** AT&T INC, $32.68, -1.92 pct

** T-MOBILE US INC, $30.56, -0.03 pct

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, $47.16, -1.79 pct

AT&T’s plan to cut prices on its large shared data plans is aimed at winning customers in an increasingly fierce competition with rivals such as T-Mobile US and could force larger rival Verizon to offer new discounts, analysts said.

** JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC, $54.08, -3.81 pct

** MEN‘S WEARHOUSE INC, $45.75, -4.77 pct

Jos. A. Bank rejected on Sunday yet another offer by rival Men’s Wearhouse, the latest in a prolonged acquisition battle between the two men’s clothing retailers.

** PFIZER INC, $31.28, +2.89 pct

The drugmaker’s experimental breast cancer drug significantly improved patient survival rates in a mid-stage trial without their condition worsening, maintaining the company’s lead in the race for a new treatment standard for the disease.

** BIOGEN IDEC INC, $312.5, -0.04 pct

The drugmaker’s high profile new multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera won European approval, the company said, opening the door for its launch in one of the world’s largest markets for MS treatments.

** POST HOLDINGS, $54.17, +1.20 pct

Food group Nestle is selling its sports nutrition business under the PowerBar and Musashi brands to U.S. group Post Holdings, the Swiss company said, in its drive to shed underperforming assets. The world’s biggest food company is reviewing its portfolio to identify brands to be improved or sold, having already offloaded the bulk of its Jenny Craig weight-loss business in November.


The Canada-based company agreed to acquire privately held PreCision Dermatology Inc for $475 million in cash to strengthen its skin products business.

** HERBALIFE LTD, $65.668, +2.02 pct

The nutrition and weight loss company estimated fourth-quarter profit above analysts’ expectations and announced a $1 billion debt offering.

** BIOTELEMETRY INC, $8.55, +17.28 pct

The wireless medical technology company said Mednet Healthcare Technologies and its units entered into a consent judgment stating that they infringed on five patents owned by BioTelemetry, which are all valid.

BioTelemetry said it bought all outstanding shares of Mednet, which makes cardiac monitoring devices, for $16 million. The purchase price comprises $5.5 million in cash, $800,000 of BioTelemetry’s common stock and the assumption of $9.7 million of debt.

** UNITED ONLINE INC, $11.17, -7.76 pct

The online floral and gift service provider said on Friday that it would discontinue paying cash dividends in order to provide financial flexibility to support its long-term growth initiatives.

** FIREEYE INC, $69.55, -4.71 pct

The cybersecurity provider and some of its shareholders plan to offer up to $700 million in common stock.

** CITIGROUP, $47.4, -0.06 pct

The bank said in a memo that it appointed one of its leading corporate bankers as head of its British operations, where he will manage the bank’s relationships with UK regulators and the government.

** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, $164.69, +0.35 pct

The investment bank is increasing its investment in an upscale chain of fitness clubs founded by a Russian former fencer, betting lifestyle spending will grow despite an economic slowdown and slide in the rouble currency. Goldman’s Special Situations Group (SSG) already owned 12.5 percent of the chain, called World Class. Under the latest deal, SSG and Russian bank VTB will buy out a stake owned by Alfa Capital Partners, an investment unit of billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group, and will jointly own 50 percent of the business.

** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, $137.94, +0.69 pct

** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, $135.04, +1.33 pct

Charter Communications is discussing raising its bid for Time Warner Cable as soon as in the next two weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could pressure its reluctant rival ahead of a proxy deadline.

** MEDIVATION INC, $76.11, -4.38 pct

At least two brokerages, including Needham & Co and Bernstein, cut their ratings on the drugmaker’s stock.

Needham & Co analyst Chad Messer downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy,” saying that the company could face hurdles during the development of its prostrate cancer drug, Xtandi, for wider use in patients who had not received chemotherapy.

Messer also said that Medivation’s drug could face competition from similar drugs being developed by Johnson & Johnson and privately-held companies including Tokai Pharmaceuticals and Viamet Pharmaceuticals Holdings LLC.

Bernstein downgraded the stock to “market-perform” from “outperform”, according to Streetinsider.com.

** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD, $71.88, +4.33 pct

The miner said it was looking to partner with smaller rivals weakened by lower gold prices and would continue to spend on exploration this year, as it posted record production for 2013.

** HARMONY GOLD MINING CO LTD, $2.83, -1.74 pct

The South African gold producer posted a second-quarter loss, hit by a lower bullion price and production problems at its key Khusalethu mine. The company said on Monday that it also recorded a loss on foreign exchange adjustments due to rand weakness on dollar-denominated loans and gold inventories.

** RYANAIR, $50.205, +6.25 pct

The Ireland-based company reported strong forward bookings and an easing of intense price competition among European airlines, raising hopes it can quickly regain height with a new customer-friendly image after a profit warning spooked markets last year.

** ARTHROCARE CORP, $48.83, +7.60 pct

Britain’s Smith & Nephew is to buy ArthroCare for an agreed $1.7 billion in cash to strengthen its treatments for sporting injuries, an area growing faster than its main replacement hips and knees business.

** LHC GROUP INC, $23.75, +3.53 pct

** BIOSCRIP INC, $8.745, +2.76 pct

Home healthcare and hospice services provider LHC Group said it would buy BioScrip’s home health business for $60 million in cash, expanding its business to 33 locations in five states.

LHC said the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter, would add $0.05-$0.10 per share to its earnings in 2014.

BioScrip said the deal would add to its earnings in 2014. (Compiled by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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