May 2, 2014 / 3:18 PM / in 3 years

MARKET PULSE-Spirit Aero, Skechers, Doral Financial, Casino stocks

(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 fell on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.10 percent at 16,542.18, the S&P 500 was down 0.01 percent at 1,883.51 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.03 percent at 4,128.761.

** SKECHERS USA INC, $40.2, -4.22 pct

Sport shoes maker Skechers USA said on Friday it would explore buying a stake in the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, whose owner is at the center of a controversy over alleged racist remarks.

** MERCK & CO INC, $58.41, -2.03 pct

** ENDOCYTE INC, $6.58, -62.14 pct

The companies said they had stopped a late-stage trial of their experimental ovarian cancer drug because it did not improve survival rates without the cancer worsening.

** WYNN RESORTS LTD, $219.55, +6.25 pct

** MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL, $26.03, +2.52 pct

** MELCO CROWN ENTERTAINMENT LTD, $36.42, +6.06 pct

** LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP, $80.23, +1.11 pct

** INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY, $12.72, +0.47 pct

U.S. casino stocks rose after Macau, the world’s casino capital, raked in 31.3 billion patacas ($3.92 billion) in gambling revenue in April, thanks to strong spending by Chinese visitors keen to place their bets in the country’s only legal casino hub. Gambling revenue growth in Macau, a special administrative region like neighboring Hong Kong, was up 10.6 percent in April, beating analyst estimates of 6-8 percent growth.

Wynn Resorts also reported a first-quarter profit beat analysts’ average estimate, due to increased business in Macau.

At least four brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock.

** LINKEDIN CORP, $152.15, -5.63 pct

The social networking company forecast 2014 revenue below Wall Street’s expectations on Thursday, underscoring concerns about its ability to sustain its rapid growth pace and leading a host of brokerages to cut their price targets on the stock.

** RXI PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $3.76, +18.61 pct

The biotechnology company said its experimental eye drug lowered levels of a certain protein associated with retinal scarring, when injected into the eyes of monkeys.

The company said it could possibly develop a topical form of the drug to combat corneal scarring, which occurs due to injury or infection in the eye and can lead to blindness.

** ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC, $11.23, +8.08 pct

The bank trebled its first-quarter profit, beating analysts’ expectations and handing a boost to new Chief Executive Ross McEwan as he looks to turn around the government-controlled lender’s fortunes. RBS benefited from improved cost controls and a fewer losses from bad loans.

** PARKERVISION INC, $5.11, +6.68 pct

The chipmaker said a U.S. District Court hearing the company’s patent infringement litigation against Qualcomm Inc denied Qualcomm’s request for a new trial on damages of $173 million that a jury awarded to PakerVision in October 2013.

The court also asked both parties to confer in order to determine if an agreement could be reached on an ongoing royalty rate.

** PMC-SIERRA INC, $7.09, +3.66 pct

The chipmaker reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Thursday, helped by higher demand from its storage and server maker customers.

** MERCER INTERNATIONAL INC, $9.18, +10.60 pct

At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the Canadian pulp maker’s stock after it reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, due to strong demand backed by increased production. Raymond James also raised its rating on Mercer to “outperform” from “market perform”.

** ESTEE LAUDER COS INC, $74.64, +3.39 pct

The company, known for its Clinique and MAC brands, raised its earnings forecast for the full year, driven by the launch of new skin care and makeup products.

** HUTCHINSON TECHNOLOGY INC, $2.47, -14.83 pct

The maker of suspension assemblies for disk drives reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, citing lower prices and weak demand from its business customers.

Hutchinson’s customers, Western Digital Corp and Seagate Technology plc, reported a fall in quarterly profit earlier this week due to lower sales to personal computer makers.

** HERCULES TECHNOLOGY GROWTH CAPITAL INC, $14.18, +4.65 pct

The financier, which lends to technology, biotech and energy companies, reported a first-quarter adjusted net investment income of 30 cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 28 cents per share, as net realized gain on investments and assets from operations grew.

** PFIZER INC, $30.74, -1.32 pct

AstraZeneca’s board said it had rejected an improved $106 billion takeover offer from the U.S. drug maker, saying the bid undervalued the firm.

** INVENSENSE INC, $19, -7.72 pct

The motion-sensor chip maker reported fourth-quarter adjusted profit below analysts’ average estimate, as it increased research and development spending.

The company also forecast a weak current quarter on a conference call with analysts, prompting at least four brokerages to lower their price targets on the stock.

** KEYW HOLDING CORP, $12.285, -6.01 pct

The maker of cyber-security products, which counts the National Security Agency among its customers, reported an 18 percent fall in first-quarter revenue that also missed analysts’ average estimate, hurt mainly by lower orders from the U.S. government.

** DORAL FINANCIAL CORP, $3.88, -60.49 pct

The lender said it was revising its capital plan, which could include a sale of assets and businesses, in an effort to meet regulatory requirements.

** MICROS SYSTEMS INC, $53.7, +3.37 pct

The maker of data management systems for retailers and hotel chains reported better-than-expected third-quarter results on Thursday, helped by a 22 percent rise in hardware sales.

** SEQUENOM INC, $2.99, +11.94 pct

The genetic tests provider reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss, helped by a 27 percent rise in revenue from its diagnostic services business. The company said about 75 percent of the $37.1 million in diagnostic services revenue was from payments collected for tests performed in prior periods.

** MANITOWOC CO INC, $29.77, -7.78 pct

The crane maker reported first-quarter results below analysts’ average estimate, partly due to project delays.

** EQUAL ENERGY LTD, $5.15, +16.25 pct

The oil and gas producer said on Thursday it would pay two dividends of 5 cents per common share each, as per an agreement signed with Petroflow Energy Corp. The company added that Petroflow had obtained financing commitments needed for the acquisition of Equal Energy.

** RUBICON TECHNOLOGY INC, $8.831, -13.25 pct

The maker of sapphire cores and wafers forecast a bigger-than-expected current-quarter loss due to gross margin weakness. At least two brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock.

** BLUCORA INC, $17.39, -10.50 pct

The online tax-preparation and web-search provider forecast current-quarter revenue well below analysts’ average expectation, as a technology shift in its search business is expected to depress results.

At least three brokerages cut their price targets on the stock.

** ACTUATE CORP, $3.555, -35.36 pct

The business management and analytics software maker reported a surprise first-quarter loss, as license revenue fell 60 percent due to a delay in orders by some customers.

** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $27.75, +1.46 pct

The Chinese solar company said it would supply 100 megawatt (MW) of modules for two solar projects in Chile’s Atacama Desert region.

** SKULLCANDY INC, $8.13, +4.90 pct

The headphones maker reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss helped by a 20 percent rise in sales outside the United States. It also forecast current-quarter sales to grow 5 to 7 percent from $50.8 million a year earlier.

** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, $8.9001, -5.12 pct

The maker of power-management chips reported first-quarter revenue below analysts’ average estimate, hurt mainly by lower prices for its products.

** VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $67.85, +1.51 pct

The drug maker on Thursday said a combination of its cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco and an experimental compound was shown to improve lung function in a mid-stage trial.

** VISTEON CORP, $89.04, +1.82 pct

The auto parts maker said it would sell most of its automotive interiors business to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP as it focuses on its fast-growing climate control and electronics operations.

** NEWS CORP, $17.2, -0.58 pct

News Corp said it would buy romance novel publisher Harlequin Enterprises Ltd from Canadian newspaper company Torstar Corp to boost its non-English book publishing.

** MARCHEX INC, $11.16, +14.81 pct

The provider of call-based advertising services reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Thursday as advertisers spent more on mobile advertising.

At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock on Friday.

** SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS HOLDINGS INC, $31.39, +3.15 pct

The aircraft components maker reported quarterly results way above analysts’ estimates as its customers, Boeing Co and Airbus Group NV, boosted production to meet surging demand for large planes.

** AMN HEALTHCARE SERVICES INC, $11.275, -10.52 pct

The healthcare staffing services provider on Thursday reported first-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ average estimate, hurt by lower revenue in its nurse and allied healthcare staffing business due to the impact of bad weather and cost pressures.

At least three brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock.

** SERVICESOURCE INTERNATIONAL INC, $4.25, -32.00 pct

The company, which helps manage service contract renewals mainly for technology companies, reported first-quarter revenue below analysts’ average estimate, hurt by slowing growth at its managed services business.

“ServiceSource missed its own internal bookings targets for the third quarter in a row,” JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens wrote in a research note. Walravens cut his price target on the stock to $9 from $15.

** INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC, $367.02, +2.20 pct

The medical device maker said it would buy back $1 billion of its common stock from Goldman Sachs. It expects to receive and retire a majority of the repurchased shares within two weeks. The remaining, if any, would be retired in early November, the company said.

** IMMUNOMEDICS INC, $3.24, -21.74 pct

The company said it planned to offer an undisclosed number of shares of its common stock to fund its late-stage pancreatic cancer trial and the ongoing mid-stage studies of its experimental compounds IMMU-132 and IMMU-130.

** ACORDA THERAPEUTICS INC, $32.25, -10.17 pct

Acorda said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected its nasal spray to treat epilepsy patients who experience repetitive seizures.

The drugmaker did not disclose the reason for the rejection, but said it planned to resubmit the application for the treatment.

** AGNICO-EAGLE MINES LTD, $32.12, +8.55 pct

The miner posted an increase in first-quarter earnings on Thursday despite weaker bullion prices, as it reported significantly higher gold production and lower production costs.

** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, $55.09, +1.03 pct

Akamai, which hosts content for companies on its servers, forecast current-quarter results above analysts’ estimates and it posted better-than-expected quarterly results as more people play games and watch videos online.

** SCIQUEST INC, $17.7599, -25.28 pct

The company, whose cloud-based software helps manage supply chains, cut its full-year profit and sales forecast as its enterprise customers delayed signing up for its services. (Compiled by Rohit T. K. in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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