(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with each of the major indexes climbing more than 1 percent, building on the prior session's rally after the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement and oil prices that showed signs of steadying. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.75 percent, the S&P 500 were up 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq Composite were up 1.36 percent.
** FIRST MARBLEHEAD CORP, $5.01, +138.57 pct
The education loan provider said the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has informed the company that it would not challenge federal tax refunds the company received. IRS proposed in September 2013 to disallow a loss that resulted in the tax refunds of $176.6 million and $45.1 million.
** BELLICUM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $27.16, +42.95 pct
The biopharmaceutical company’s shares rose as much as 40 percent on its debut on Thursday. The company offerd 7.35 million shares at $19, above $15-$17 marketed range.
** OVASCIENCE INC, $47.35, +35.44 pct
Wedbush Securities raised its rating on the fertility treatment developer to “outperform” from “neutral” after company said it will launch 2 fertility products and gave update on the progress of third treatment.
** SILICON IMAGE INC, $4.98, -26.11 pct
The chipmaker said it expects revenue to fall 10 percent in 2015 due to fewer mobile design wins from one its largest customers.
** COMSTOCK RESOURCES INC, $5.93, -13.43 pct
The oil and gas producer said it plans to suspend oil drilling in Eagle Ford shale properties in south and east Texas and Tuscaloosa Marine shale in Mississippi as oil prices plunge.
** TETRAPHASE PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $38.2, +15.09 pct
The drug developer said its antibiotic to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections was as effective as Merck & Co Inc’s ertapenem in a late-stage study.
** DUNKIN’ BRANDS GROUP INC, $42.395, -8.28 pct
The Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant operator cut its 2015 forecast for same-store sales growth in the United States and operating income growth, citing slowing sales of packaged coffee in its restaurants.
** AGENUS INC, $3.836, +14.51 pct
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, $43.2, +2.76 pct
The biotechnology company said an experimental vaccine against shingles by its partner GlaxoSmithKline met its goal in a late-stage study. Agenus will get royalties on potential commercial sales of the vacine.
** ORACLE INC, $44.53, +8.19 pct
The software maker reported a 3.5 percent increase in quarterly revenue on Wednesday, beating Wall Street’s expectations, as sales at its closely watched cloud services business rose 45 percent.
** KIRBY CORP, $82.1, -7.49 pct
The tank bank operator lowered fourth-quarter earnings estimate to $1.10-$1.20 per share from $1.30-$1.40 per share. The company also lowered its full-year earnings estimate to $4.84 to $4.94 per share from $5.04-$5.14 per share.
** CEPHEID, $53.74, +7.93 pct
Analysts at BofA Merrill Lynch upgraded the biotechnology company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”. The analysts said Cepheid is poised to gain market share, citing a growing menu of diagnostic tests, improved execution with 7,500 placements of the company’s GeneXpert systems and slow response from its competitors.
** WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES INC, $21.85, -8.39 pct
The maker of motorhomes and camping trailers reported a lower-than-expected profit as a shortage of workers at a key plant in rural Iowa and trouble sourcing key components from suppliers stymied production of the company’s recreational vehicles.
** REAL GOODS SOLAR INC, $0.6689, +15.33 pct
The solar company said it won more than 80 contracts to install rooftop solar power systems on homes and small businesses. The company said the projects represent more than 600kW of solar power.
** ACCENTURE PLC, $89, +4.34 pct
The consulting and outsourcing company raised its revenue forecast for fiscal 2015 after contract wins helped the company post better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revenue. The company said it expects revenue growth of 5-8 percent for the year ending August on a local currency basis, up from the 4-7 percent growth it had estimated earlier.
** RITE AID CORP, $6.77, +11.72 pct
The U.S. drugstore chain raised its full-year earnings forecast after cutting it twice this year as higher sales of prescription drugs pushed up its profit and revenue in the third quarter.
** CONAGRA FOODS INC, $36.04, -2.86 pct
The Slim Jim Beef Jerky and Chef Boyardee pasta maker reported quarterly sales that missed estimates due to weak demand for branded foods and said recovery in its under-performing private-label business would take longer than expected.
** AK STEEL HOLDING CORP, $6.08, +9.35 pct
The steel maker said it expects fourth-quarter shipments to jump 37 percent compared with the third quarter, helped by acquisitions and strong demand from auto industry.
** THE PANTRY INC, $36.5567, +2.92 pct
Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc will buy smaller U.S. rival Pantry for about $861 million, a deal that positions it as one of the top convenience store operators in North America.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $10.0639, +0.84 pct
The Canadian mobile technology company launched its long-awaited Classic on Wednesday, a smartphone it hopes will help it win back market share and woo those still using older versions of its physical keyboard devices.
** ZAGG INC, $6.13, +15.01 pct
The mobile accessories maker raised its full-year net sales forecast to $250 million-$255 million from previous range of $225 million-$235 million. The forecast also beat analysts’ average estimate of $232.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, $90.32, +1.46 pct
** CHEVRON CORP, $108.07, +1.93 pct
** CONOCOPHILLIPS, $68.81, +2.79 pct
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $18.98, +1.61 pct
Oil company stocks rise after Brent crude jumps 3.3 percent to above $63/bbl, extending a rebound from 5-year lows this week as more energy firms cut investment in new production.
** HERTZ GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC, $22.75, +6.76 pct
Carl Icahn, the rental car company’s largest shareholder, raised stake in the company to 11.34 percent from 10.77 percent. Icahn revealed an 8.48 percent stake in Hertz in August; he has since ousted CEO Mark Frissora and won three board seats at the company.
** ALCATEL-LUCENT SA, $3.52, +6.02 pct
** NOKIA, $8.01, +1.91 pct
Two of Europe’s top three remaining telecommunications equipment companies, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, have revived talks on a possible merger, Germany’s Manager Magazin reported on Thursday, citing company sources.
** HERMAN MILLER INC, $29.52, -5.08 pct
The furniture maker forecast full-year profit and sales largely below analysts’ estimates. The company also reported second-quarter adjusted profit of 51 cents per share, below average analyst estimate of 52 cents.
** OCWEN FINANCIAL CORP, $20.69, -2.36 pct
The mortgage servicer is facing scrutiny from New York state and the federal government over whether the company improperly stalled short sales of property to collect more fees, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
** GENWORTH FINANCIAL INC, $7.83, -1.26 pct
The life and mortgage insurer said the review of long term care insurance active life margins is taking longer than expected. The company said it now expects to complete review on or before fourth quarter results in February.
** JABIL CIRCUIT INC, $20.73, +3.29 pct
The company, which makes phone casings for Apple Inc , forecasts second-quarter revenue above estimates, boosted by strong sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The company forecast second quarter core earnings of 39-50 cents per share, higher than analysts’ average estimate of profit of 38 cents per share.
** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, $1.945, -2.26 pct
The largest Greek bank’s U.S.-listed shares down after first-round presidential vote in Greece saw Prime Minister Antonis Samaras lose by larger-than-expected margin. (Compiled by Anannya Pramanick in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)