(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for more market insights, including options activity, ; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock indexes rose on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.54 percent at 17,249.81, the S&P 500 was up 0.46 percent at 2,010.75 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.55 percent at 4,587.292.
** APPLE INC, $102.07, +0.48 pct
The company’s iPhone 6 received regulatory approval in China for use on domestic frequencies, but still requires one more critical license before it may be sold in the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
Separately, Internet news website Daily Dot reported, citing sources, that Apple is set to launch two new iPads and release the next version of its Mac operating system at its next event on Oct. 21. Apple plans to unveil the sixth generation of its iPad and the third edition of the iPad mini, as well as its operating system OS X Yosemite, which has undergone a complete visual overhaul, the website said.
** MSCI INC, $48.66, +5.12 pct
The stock market indexes provider declared its first-ever quarterly dividend and more than doubled its stock repurchase program to $850 million from $300 million. The company said the buyback, which includes a $300 million accelerated share repurchase agreement with Goldman Sachs, and the dividend would return about $1 billion to shareholders by the end of 2016.
** MARCHEX INC, $4.29, -42.80 pct
The mobile advertising company cut its call-driven revenue forecast for fiscal 2014, hurt by a revision of fee model by its customer Allstate Corp, for the fourth quarter ending December. Marchex said that going forward, Allstate has decided to adopt fixed fee model instead of the current performance-based model. Marchex said it “does not believe it is in its best long-term interest to work under such an arrangement.”
** REPROS THERAPEUTICS, $9.7, -24.69 pct
** LIPOCINE INC, $6.39, -14.80 pct
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted to restrict the use of testosterone replacement therapies to people with medically related low testosterone, such as a genetic disorder or a tumor. If implemented, the restriction would prevent companies from marketing products for age-related low testosterone.
Repros and Lipocine’s lead drugs are being tested to treat low testosterone levels.
** FOAMIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, $6.98, +16.33 pct
Shares of the pharmaceutical company soared as much as 83 percent to $11 in their debut, valuing the company at about $218.8 million. The offering of 6.7 million shares raised about $40.2 million.
** PROQR PHARMACEUTICALS BV, $17.05, +31.15 pct
The company’s shares rose as much as 68 percent to $21.87 on their debut, valuing the company at about $458.5 million. The offering, which was priced at $13 per share, raised about $97.5 million.
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, $49.58, +0.75 pct
The company is open to divesting its network’s assets including its cell towers, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday. Verizon, which completed in February a $130 billion deal to buy Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless and get full ownership over the company, has previously announced plans to trim some aspects of its portfolio.
** VIVUS INC, $4.53, +16.75 pct
** AUXILIUM PHARMACEUTICALS, $30.92, -0.83 pct
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a faster-acting version of Vivus’ erectile dysfunction drug, Stendra. The drug, which was first approved in 2012, is sold by in the United States and Canada by Auxilium.
** SINOCOKING COAL & COKE CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES INC, $4.93, -19.44 pct
The coal processor and two other investors agreed to sell 2.8 million shares in an offering. The company said it expected aggregate gross proceeds from the sale of shares to be about $14.3 million. (1.usa.gov/1rf2MjU)
** SONY CORP, $18.02, -4.56 pct
The Japanese consumer electronics maker’s U.S.-listed shares are on track for their worst week since November 2013. The company cut on Wednesday its profit forecast for the sixth time on CEO Kazuo Hirai’s watch.
** EMCORE CORP, $5.42, +26.34 pct
The semiconductor-based products provider agreed to sell its space solar power business to an affiliate of private equity firm Veritas Capital for $150 million in cash.
Emcore said separately that its CEO, Hong Hou, had resigned in connection with the sale.
** PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD, $7.66, +9.27 pct
The Canadian oil producer reported a profit for the second quarter compared with a year-earlier loss. The company also said it was strengthening its accounting practices after a review uncovered irregularities that forced to company to restate some of its prior results.
** RITE AID CORP, $5.491, -17.30 pct
The third largest U.S. drugstore chain cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time this year as lower margins from its pharmacy business continue to eat into earnings.
** PIER 1 IMPORTS INC, $12.9, -16.99 pct
The home furnishings and decor products importer cut its full-year earnings forecast to $0.95-$1.05 per share from $1.14-$1.22. The company also reported a weaker-than-expected profit for the second quarter, hurt by a decline in merchandise margins and lower-than-expected sales. Pier 1 said investments in its omni-channel strategy, which integrates online sales within stores, were hurting its near-term financial performance.
** CONAGRA FOODS INC, $32.9, +2.78 pct
The maker of Hunt’s Ketchup and Chef’s Boyardee pastas reported a higher quarterly net income as sales increased in its commercial foods business.
** YELP INC, $76.74, +0.92 pct
The online review site and mobile app developer TinyCo have agreed to settle separate charges that they improperly collected children’s online information, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday. Under the terms of the settlements, Yelp will pay a $450,000 civil penalty, while privately held TinyCo will pay a $300,000 civil penalty.
** FLEXION THERAPEUTICS, $17.62, -9.08 pct
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a hold on patient enrollment and dosing on the company’s ongoing mid-stage trial on an experimental drug, codenamed FX006 - Flexion. The drug was being studied as a potential treatment for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The FDA indicated the clinical hold was due to single occurrence of infection in the injected knee joint of a patient.
** PDL BIOPHARMA INC, $7.8993, -6.85 pct
The company’s auditor Ernst & Young LLP said it would resign effective Sept. 11. PDL said it was surprised by the resignation as it did not have any disagreements with the auditor.
** ERICSSON, $13.21, +4.43 pct
The world’s top mobile network equipment market will stop developing modems, it said, shutting a loss-making unit it took on after joint venture partner STMicroelectronics pulled out a year ago.
** YAHOO INC, $41.83, -1.78 pct
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-BABA.N, in which Yahoo owns 23 percent stake, is set to sell some $22 billion of shares on Thursday, capping a two-week road show that drew frenzied interest from investors worldwide and may be the world’s largest ever initial public offering.
Yahoo’s stock was the most traded share on the Nasdaq on Thursday.
** DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC, $40.01, +2.76 pct
** HASBRO INC, $53.89, +0.22 pct
Discovery is seeking a controlling interest in The Hub, reducing partner and toymaker Hasbro’s share of the children’s cable TV network, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
** WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT INC, $14.85, +1.57 pct
The company and Fox Sports Latin America said on Thursday the two companies agreed to a five-year multi-channel agreement that will make WWE’s programming available in 56 million homes
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, $13.37, -5.78 pct
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the company’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”, becoming only the second among 20 brokerages to have a “sell” or lower rating on the stock.
Analysts cut their rating citing challenging prices and margins for thermal coal in the United States and for metallurgical coal in Australia.
** EPR PROPERTIES, $52.37, -4.14 pct
The real estate investment trust said it planned to sell 3.2 million common shares, but it did not disclose the share price. The company plans to use the proceeds from the offering to reduce debt and to fund acquisitions and real-estate projects.
** CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC, $71.13, -6.19 pct
The company boosted its 2014 capital budget on Wednesday, citing more-expensive oil well completion techniques in North Dakota’s Bakken shale and a new project in Oklahoma. The company now expects to spend $4.55 billion this year, up from a previous forecast of $4.05 billion.
** STEEL DYNAMICS INC, $25.13, +1.13 pct
The steelmaker forecast on Wednesday current-quarter profit of 34-38 cents per share, higher than the 25 cents per share it earned a year earlier, helped by higher demand from automotive, manufacturing and construction markets. Excluding items, the company expects to earn 42-46 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting Steel Dynamics to earn 37 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)