April 28, 2014 / 3:08 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-BofA, OncoGenix, Pozen, Newmont, Athersys, Susser

(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 rose on Monday, rebounding from the previous session's decline, amid a flurry of merger and acquisition activities in the pharmaceutical sector. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.70 percent at 16,475.81, the S&P 500 was up 0.49 percent at 1,872.54 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.42 percent at 4,092.789.

** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $15.2, -4.70 pct

The bank said it would suspend its $4-billion stock buyback program and a planned increase in its quarterly dividend because it miscalculated the level of its capital after buying Merrill Lynch in 2009. The restatement means that the bank holds less capital than previously estimated.

** FOREST LABORATORIES INC, $90.27, +0.48 pct

** FURIEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $103.97, +29.72 pct

Forest Laboratories said it would buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals for up to $1.46 billion including milestone payments to access Furiex’s promising treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

** POZEN INC, $8.21, -10.08 pct

U.S. health regulators denied approval for the company’s experimental pain medication citing deficiencies at the manufacturing facility of an active ingredient supplier.

** AGENUS INC, $2.83, +10.55 pct

The biotechnology company said it signed a deal with Merck & Co Inc to discover and develop antibody-based treatments against cancer using Agenus technology. The company said it would discover antibodies against two molecular targets identified by Merck, which can be used by cancer cells as a defense against immune cells. Merck will develop and market the treatments under the agreement, Agenus said.

Agenus also said it was eligible to receive about $100 million in milestone payments from Merck, and receive royalty payments on worldwide product sales.

** GW PHARMACEUTICALS PLC, $65.84, +5.99 pct

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track status to the U.K.-based company’s cannabis-based spray, Sativex, being studied as a treatment for pain in patients with advanced cancer.

Sativex, which is being developed in the United States in collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, is currently in a late-stage trial for the cancer pain indication. .

A fast track designation by the U.S. FDA speeds up regulatory review of drugs that aim to treat serious diseases and fill unmet medical needs.

** MEDIA GENERAL INC, $15.51, +2.78 pct

The broadcasting company reported a 16 percent rise in first-quarter net operating revenue and said it had identified an additional $10 million of operating synergies as a result of its merger with New Young Broadcasting Holding Co Inc.

Media General also said it expected its $1.6 billion acquisition of LIN Media LLC to close in early 2015, subject to approvals.


The asset management company is under scrutiny from U.S. authorities over allegations that it helped finance controversial African oil and mining deals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing corporate documents. The company disclosed in a March filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department are investigating investments by some of its funds "in a number of companies in Africa" under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related laws. (r.reuters.com/wez78v)

** NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO INC, $78.34, -6.15 pct

The company’s first-quarter orders fell by about 23 percent and it said it expected demand for new offshore rigs to slow during the second half of the year.

** GALENA BIOPHARMA INC, $2.49, +8.73 pct

The drug developer said the U.S. Department of Defense would fund an investigator-sponsored study of the company’s experimental breast cancer drug as a treatment to prevent recurrence in high-risk patients with a form of the disease. Galena said it would support the study, which is expected to begin in the second half of the year, with funding and drug supplies.


The China-based private educational services provider forecast fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ average estimate after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly revenue.

** CHANGYOU.COM LTD, $26.29, -1.35 pct

The China-based game developer forecast a second-quarter adjusted loss as it spends more on marketing and promotion.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, $7.405, +1.72 pct

The Canadian smartphone maker said U.S. technology company Science Applications International Corporation had expanded its investment in BlackBerry’s upgraded mobility platform, Enterprise Service 10 (BES10).

The BES10 allows users to manage BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices from a single platform.

** AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO, $53.87, +0.92 pct

Analysts at several brokerages raised their price targets on the power company’s stock, citing its increased earnings forecast and capital expenditure for transmission projects for 2014. The company on Friday raised its 2014 earnings forecast to between $3.35 and $3.55 per share, from $3.20 to $3.40 per share.

** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $24.82, -6.16 pct

** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $17.61, -1.57 pct

Newmont Mining said it had terminated merger talks with Barrick Gold, slamming its suitor and stating bluntly that talks failed due to the lack of a constructive, mutually respectful dialogue.

** YOUKU TUDOU INC, $22.55, -6.59 pct

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and a private equity firm co-founded by its executive chairman Jack Ma have agreed to buy a $1.22 billion stake in Youku, as China’s ecommerce giant intensifies its focus on online video business.



Teva Pharmaceutical and OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals said their prostate cancer treatment failed to show improvement over standard chemotherapy in a late-stage trial.

** PRECISION DRILLING CORP, $12.67, +0.88 pct

Canada’s largest oil and gas drilling contractor raised its full-year capital spending plan for the second time in over a month, citing strong demand for its new rigs.

** ATHERSYS INC, $1.21, -55.68 pct

Athersys said its experimental stem-cell therapy for treating an inflammatory bowel disease failed to show any meaningful benefit in early results from a trial, sending its shares plunging before the bell.

** ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS LP, $55.01, -1.42 pct

** SUSSER HOLDINGS CORP, $78, +36.77 pct

The owner of gasoline retailer Sunoco Inc said it would buy Susser Holdings Corp in a deal valued at $1.8 billion to create a standalone retailing business.

** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, $139.3, +7.15 pct

The No. 4 U.S. cable company reported a 15 percent jump in first-quarter revenue due to a rise in the number of residential video subscribers.

** COMCAST CORP, $51.63, +1.29 pct

** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, $141.22, +1.30 pct

Comcast Corp offered to sell 1.4 million pay TV subscribers to Charter Communications Inc for $7.3 billion, as part of a wider transaction aimed at winning regulatory approval for its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable.

** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP, $22.03, -1.65 pct

Wall Street's self-funded regulator is investigating the discount brokerage firm's history of stock order executions, leading to suspicions of rigged markets and high-frequency front-running, the New York Post reported on Sunday, citing sources. The Financial Regulatory Authority (Finra) is looking into whether its clients received the best pricing on their purchases, the New York Post added. (link.reuters.com/gud88v)

** PFIZER INC, $32.2, +4.72 pct

** ASTRAZENECA PLC, $78.77, +14.72 pct

The U.S. drugmaker is working on its next move in a potential $100-billion-bid battle for Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc after having two bids rejected, as deal-making grips the healthcare industry.

** MERCK & CO INC, $57.75, +0.89 pct

The pharmaceutical giant is in the final stages of selling its consumer healthcare unit for close to $14 billion, with Bayer AG and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc among final contenders to clinch a deal as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.


Japan’s Orix Corp has agreed to buy Hartford Financial Services Group’s Japanese unit for $895 million as part of efforts to expand its life insurance business in the world’s third-largest economy.

** MYLAN INC, $50.45, -3.17 pct

Swedish drugmaker Meda has rejected an improved takeover offer from the U.S. generics firm, saying it was confident in its future as an independent company and its biggest shareholder did not support the bid.

** CORNING INC, $20.88, +0.68 pct

The specialty glass maker best known for its Gorilla glass used in smartphones and tablets said it expected LCD glass price declines to be “significantly less” in the current quarter compared with the first quarter. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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