(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. stock indexes were mostly flat on Wednesday as, for a third straight session, equities were unable to hold onto gains that took the S&P 500 near record levels. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.04 percent at 16,172.79, the S&P 500 was down 0.13 percent at 1,842.76 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.10 percent at 4292.01.
** ANIKA THERAPEUTICS INC, $46.8499, +35.92 pct
The drug maker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its drug to treat pain and improve joint mobility in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, more than four years after it first filed for approval.
** FOREST OIL CORP, $2.05, -36.53 pct
The oil and gas producer reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as costs rose and said it expected less-lucrative gas to make up a larger percentage of output in 2014. Oil would make up 21 percent of total production, lower than the 32 percent it had forecast in December, the company said.
At least two brokerages cut their price targets on the stock.
** LA JOLLA PHARMACEUTICAL CO, $8.2, +7.89 pct
Wedbush Pacgrow Lifesciences analyst Liana Moussatos initiated coverage of the company’s stock with an “outperform” rating, expecting positive results from the mid-stage trial testing the company’s lead drug for use in chronic kidney disease. “We project gross peak annual worldwide sales of (the drug) could reach about $1 billion,” she wrote in a note.
** NEWFIELD EXPLORATION CO, $27.7, +7.95 pct
The oil and gas producer reported a better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter, helped by lower costs, strong oil production and higher prices for natural gas and natural gas liquids.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $248.32, +0.13 pct
Panasonic Corp is considering investing in a U.S. car battery plant planned by Tesla Motors, sources familiar with the plan said on Wednesday, with total investment estimated by one source around 100 billion yen ($979 million). The facility, expected to go on-stream in 2017, is part of Tesla’s blueprint for a more affordable electric vehicle and would be the first major, integrated U.S. facility producing battery cells for electric cars.
** UTI WORLDWIDE INC, $11.24, -26.34 pct
The logistics company said it had breached some debt covenants and would report a loss for the fourth quarter due to a weak air freight market.
** EXAMWORKS GROUP INC, $35.79, +16.96 pct
The independent medical examinations provider reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and forecast first-quarter revenue above analyst estimates.
Needham raised its price target on ExamWorks’ stock to $39 from $33, citing strong execution and potential for faster revenue growth. Credit Suisse raised its price target to $37 from $32.
** DYNAMIC MATERIALS CORP, $21.22, -11.06 pct
The supplier of explosives and other equipment to the energy industry reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results late on Tuesday due to a decline in sales in its oilfield products business. The company also forecast first quarter and FY 2014 revenue below analysts’ estimates.
** CLEAN HARBORS INC, $46.42, -13.94 pct
The environmental clean-up company reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit due to adverse weather conditions. The company’s oil re-refining and recycling unit was hit by slowed purchases and the oil and gas field services unit was affected by program cancellations in the quarter ended Dec. 31. The company also lowered its full-year revenue outlook for 2014.
** BARNES & NOBLE INC, $18.01, +1.64 pct
The largest U.S. bookstore chain reported returned to profitability during the holiday quarter after it scaled back its money-losing Nook tablets business and its core bookselling business stabilized. Michael Huseby, who became chief executive officer in January, also said on Wednesday that Barnes & Noble was “still studying” the possibility of separating its businesses, which include superstores, college bookstores and Nook.
** JAKKS PACIFIC INC, $7.24, +22.71 pct
The retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by strong sales of toys such as Disney Princess dolls, Sofia the First role play toys and Disney Fairies dolls.
** PRANA BIOTECHNOLOGY LTD, $11.53, +23.18 pct
H.C. Wainwright & Co raised its price target on the company’s shares to $33 from $20.50, based on positive data from a mid-stage trial of Prana’s Huntington’s disease drug.
The experimental drug, PBT2, improved cognitive function in patients with Huntington’s disease in a mid-stage trial, the company reported earlier this month.
Huntington’s disease is characterized by a loss in coordination and cognitive decline due to a degeneration of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain.
** DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG INC, $30.85, -12.36 pct
The Hollywood studio’s fourth-quarter revenue fell a steeper-than-expected 23 percent due to the continued poor performance of animated movie “Turbo” and the lack of a major movie released in the United States in the period.
** SUNEDISON INC, $18.37, +8.19 pct
The solar panel maker said it received a loan from Deutsche Bank to build four utility-scale solar plants of 56 megawatt capacity, its first inroad into the UK market. These plants are expected to be fully functional by the end of March, after which Foresight Solar Fund Ltd, a British fund focused on solar power investments, will take possession of them.
** ENDURANCE INTERNATIONAL GROUP HOLDINGS INC, $14.68, +5.84 pct
The internet domain names provider reported a 17 percent rise in quarterly revenue as the company added more subscribers.
** FIRST SOLAR INC, $52.3001, -9.87 pct
The U.S. solar company reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast weak first-quarter earnings, hurt by irregular revenue from its solar projects.
** LIGHT IN THE BOX HOLDINGS INC, $8.96, -12.84 pct
The Chinese online retailer forecast current-quarter revenue of $78 million-$80 million, below analysts average estimate of $84.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** PLUG POWER INC, $4.35, +11.54 pct
The fuel cells systems maker said it would supply its hydrogen fuel cells to Wal-Mart Stores Inc, boosting an already strong order book. The company did not disclose the value of the Wal-Mart order, but Cowen & Co analyst Robert Stone estimated it may be worth more than $50 million.
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC, $3.29, +12.29 pct
The Canadian fuel cell maker reported a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday as gross margins improved.
The company’s fuel cell stacks are used by Plug Power that received a purchase order from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
** SEACHANGE INTERNATIONAL LTD, $10.48, -13.32 pct
The company, which sells software to cable operators, said its profit and revenue would miss its own estimates in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31. The company, whose software enables video services on multiple screens, estimates adjusted fourth-quarter profit of 1-2 cents on revenue of $34.5 million-$35.5 million. It had earlier forecast 15-20 cents per share on revenue of $40 million-$45 million. Analysts were expecting a profit of 19 cents per share on revenue of $43.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Brokerage Brean Capital cut its price target on Seachange’s stock to $14 from $18 after the company said fourth-quarter revenue came in below its forecast as orders were delayed from customers in the Americas.
** CORELOGIC INC, $32.2, -6.12 pct
The real estate data analytics company reported a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by lower revenue from its technology and processing businesses, and forecast full-year earnings below analyst’ estimates. The company forecast full-year adjusted earnings of $1.55-$1.70 per share, below analyst’ estimates of $1.88, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** PHOENIX NEW MEDIA LTD, $11.16, -1.67 pct
The Chinese digital content provider said revenue jumped 32 percent in the fourth quarter, helped by higher advertising and service revenue.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $25.75, -4.42 pct
The No.2 U.S. natural gas producer said it planned to cut drilling and well-completion costs by nearly $900 million in 2014 after reporting quarterly results that missed analysts’ estimates.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $39.7, +10.31 pct
The teen apparel retailer said it would reduce prices this year to deal with intense competition, after the company reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue mainly due to discounting.
** ENDEAVOUR INTERNATIONAL CORP, $5.17, +5.51 pct
The oil and gas producer said production at Rochelle, a gas-condensate field located in the North Sea, is expected to begin in the next few days.
Endeavour, which has a 44 percent working interest in the Rochelle field, said earlier this month that harsh winter conditions were making it difficult to get the field back on production.
** NII HOLDINGS INC, $2.5725, -6.79 pct
Macquarie Equities Research cut its rating on the telecom service provider’s stock to “neutral,” saying that a delay in merger and acquisition activity among larger peers in Brazil and Mexico could delay any potential acquistion of NII Holdings. “A potential TV/TEF (Mexico’s Grupo Televisa/Spain’s Telefonica SA) merger and TIM (Telecom Italia) breakup could delay potential Brazil/Mexico asset sales for NIHD,” analyst Kevin Smithen wrote in a note.
** LOWE‘S COS INC, $50.43, +4.82 pct
** HOME DEPOT INC, $81.59, +0.75 pct
The No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer reported strong growth in quarterly sales, showing that the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer was narrowing the gap with market leader Home Depot.
** CHICAGO BRIDGE & IRON CO N. V,, $82.64, +3.92 pct
The engineering company reported on Tuesday a fourth-quarter profit that beat the average analyst estimate, due to rising demand for LNG and petrochemical infrastructure in North America.
At least three brokerages, including Stifel, raised their price targets on the company’s stock.
** EMBRAER SA, $35.26, +3.31 pct
The Brazilian planemaker’s fourth-quarter profit more than doubled to $265 million from a year earlier, beating the average analyst estimate of $213 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** QUESTCOR PHARMACEUTICALS, $74.81, -4.88 pct
The drugmaker reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue due to weak demand for its flagship drug Acthar to treat multiple sclerosis and infantile spasms.
** CERUS CORP, $6.7201, -15.47 pct
The blood safety products maker forecast full-year revenue below analyst estimates, saying it expected a temporary sales impact during the first half due to planned changes to certain distributor relationships. Cerus forecast revenue of $38-40 million for the full year, below analysts’ estimate of $45.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** TARGET CORP, $60.32, +6.74 pct
The retailer warned that costs tied to a cyber attack that affected tens of millions of shoppers could hurt its results in the first quarter and beyond, but shares rose as its full-year outlook was better than some investors had feared.
** EXCO RESOURCES INC, $4.965, +3.87 pct
The oil and gas producer reported an adjusted fourth-quarter profit that missed the average analyst estimate, hurt by higher costs related to transporting natural gas from its fields at Eagle Ford shale in Texas.
** ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT INC, $11.145, +2.53 pct
The mortgage real estate investment trust reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as it earned higher net interest income. Net interest income rose 11 percent to $633.9 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.
** JAZZ PHARMACEUTICALS PLC, $163.05, -6.82 pct
The specialty pharmaceutical company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.72 per share on revenue of $235.8 million, below analysts’ average estimate of $1.78 per share on revenue of $238.1 million.
Jazz also said chief financial officer Kathryn Falberg had resigned, and would be replaced by Matthew Young.
** OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES INC, $15.7, +2.82 pct
The chipmaker, which pioneered imaging sensors that use both sides of a chip to deliver better quality in a smaller-sized camera, said on Tuesday it collaborated with Google Inc’s advanced technology and projects (ATAP)team to develop vision based mobile devices.
** DYAX CORP, $10.79, +6.41 pct
The company said its experimental drug to prevent hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks was found safe and was well tolerated in an early-stage trial. The treatment will be tested in another early-stage study in mid-2014, the company said on Tuesday.
Hereditary angioedema is a disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe swelling, most often in the individual’s limbs, face, intestinal tract, and airway.
At least four brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** DENISON MINES CORP, $1.64, +8.61 pct
The uranium producer said high-grade ore was discovered at its Phoenix deposit in the Athabasca Basin in Canada’s Saskatchewan province. Denison is the operator and holds a 60 percent interest in the project.
** RR DONNELLEY & SONS CO, $20.0107, +6.55 pct
The printing services company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Tuesday as demand from financial services, insurance and the telecommunication industries continued.
** SODASTREAM INTERNATIONAL LTD, $39.68, +1.54 pct
The soda systems maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher sales across all its regions.
** CABLEVISION SYSTEMS CORP, $17.3, +4.09 pct
The company lost fewer video subscribers than expected in the fourth quarter and said the company expects growth in cash flow in 2014, which sent shares of the cable operator higher on Wednesday.
** BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS INC, $15.17, -4.47 pct
The sports good retailer forecast a sharp drop in same-store sales in the first quarter, citing weak sales of firearms and a drop in customer traffic due to the severe winter in the United States. The company said it expects comparable-store sales to fall in the high-single digit range in the current quarter.
** ZYNGA INC, $5.24, +3.15 pct
The online gaming company has won the dismissal of a lawsuit in which shareholders accused the company of fraudulently misleading them about its financial and business prospects before and after its December 2011 initial public offering.
** IMRIS INC, $2.74, +1.48 pct
The company said it received marketing approval for its intra-operative CT scan machine, VISIUS iCT, in Australia. The machine received U.S. approval in July 2013.
** YANDEX, $37.8, +4.42 pct
Russia’s largest search engine said it has entered into a partnership with Google Inc that will allow their clients to tap into each others’ advertising inventory.
** OASIS PETROLEUM INC,$41.81, -3.75 pct
The oil and gas producer reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, hurt by higher operating and interest expenses. The company’s cost structure remains elevated as recently acquired assets have higher costs than legacy wells, analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co said in a note.
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL LTD, $16.09, +3.27 pct
The oilfield services provider said it would divest five businesses, exit another and lay off 6192 employees as it struggles with weak demand in North America.
** EBAY INC, $57.29, +2.03 pct
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn increased pressure on eBay to separate from its payments business PayPal on Wednesday and called corporate governance at the e-commerce giant “dysfunctional.”
** SONY CORP, $17.33, +0.29 pct
Sony Corp’s electronic unit said on Wednesday it is closing 20 retail stores in the United States and cutting 1,000 jobs, as the TV and game console maker tries to stem losses and regain market share. Sony has a total of 31 retail stores in the U.S.
** ENCANA CORP, $18.92, -0.94 pct
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $25.75, -4.42 pct
The two energy companies are negotiating civil settlements with the state of Michigan to try to end its criminal investigation into whether they colluded to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in the state. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)