(Adds Mobile Telesystems, Frontline, Meru Networks, Sonic Corp, RPM International, Arena, Helmerich & Payne, Sanofi, Enphase, Knightsbridge, Kopin, FireEye, Dick's Sporting Goods) (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 bounced back on Wednesday after five sessions of losses, following strong private sector jobs data and as deflation concerns in the euro zone were seen pushing the bloc’s central bank into action. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.07 percent at 17,557.86, the S&P 500 was up 1.11 percent at 2,024.81, after five sessions of declines, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.86 percent at 4,632.11.
** MOBILE TELESYSTEMS OAO, $7.27, +4.91 pct
Citigroup upgraded the Russian mobile phone operator’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”. Oil prices are expected to rise in 2016, and economic sanctions against Russia may be revoked by June 2015, which may benefit the company, Citigroup analysts wrote.
** FRONTLINE LTD, $3.28, +3.80 pct
Clarkson Capital Markets upgraded the shipping company’s stock to “hold” from “sell”, citing expectations of improving tanker market and the company’s ability to generate positive cash flow.
** MERU NETWORKS INC, $3.01, -18.65 pct
The WiFi product maker estimated fourth-quarter revenue at $21 million-$22 million, below its previous forecast of $23 million-$27 million. The company said it expects to incur charges of about $1.5 million-$2.0 million in the first quarter, related to restructuring including job cuts.
** SONIC CORP, $29.535, +9.03 pct
At least six brokerages raised their price targets on the drive-in restaurant chain operator after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter sales.
Stephens Inc analysts said compelling core menu offerings, innovative new products and digital menu boards will help continue sales momentum, and raised target to $32 from $30.
** RPM INTERNATIONAL INC, $44.73, -8.86 pct
The specialty chemicals maker cut its profit forecast to $2.25-$2.30 per share from $2.38-$2.42 for its financial year ending May. The company also reported flat second-quarter net sales at $1.07 billion, below the average analyst expectation of $1.12 billion.
** ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $5.32, +60.24 pct
The drugmaker said its experimental drug to treat autoimmune diseases showed promise in early-stage trial. The drug, APD334, showed a dose-dependent effect on lymphocyte count recovery in blood.
** HELMERICH & PAYNE INC, $59.26, -6.91 pct
The onshore contract driller said the number of its idled rigs in the United States rose to 26 from 15 since Dec. 11; It expects the idling of 40-50 more rigs.
The company also said rates have tumbled 10 percent from the previous quarter and more softness is expected in next 30 days as oil prices fall. Howard Weil cut price target on the stock to $70 from $90, Credit Suisse cut to $65 from $96.
** SANOFI SA, $44.44, -1.49 pct
Citigroup downgraded the French drugmaker’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”, citing a flat outlook for the company’s diabetes drugs, and the absence of a Chief Executive. Sanofi sacked Chris Viehbacher, its CEO of six years, in October.
** ENPHASE ENERGY INC, $11.57, -10.59 pct
Goldman Sachs started coverage of the maker of microinverters for solar industry with a “sell” rating and a $11 price target. Enphase said it expected to lose market share due to “sole-sourced” relationship with top client Vivint Solar Inc and improving competing technologies, analysts wrote in note.
** KNIGHTSBRIDGE SHIPPING LTD, $4.24, -1.40 pct
Canaccord Genuity cut its price target on the dry bulk shipper’s stock to $6 from $13. “After a disappointing 2014, we believe the dry bulk market is suffering from significantly more overcapacity than we previously thought,” analysts wrote. They said dry bulk has the potential to get stuck in a “speed trap” as bunker fuel prices fall.
** KOPIN CORP, $3.85, +14.24 pct
The miniature flat panel maker estimated 2014 revenue of about $30 million - above its forecast of $24 million-$28 million - helped by higher demand for its wearable technology products.
** DICK‘S SPORTING GOODS INC, $54.02, +9.71 pct
The sporting goods retailer was holding early-stage conversations with a handful of buyout firms about going private, according to people familiar with the matter.
** FIREEYE INC, $30.55, +2.59 pct
The cybersecurity services provider is BofA Merrill Lynch’s “top security pick for 2015,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
“BofA Merrill believes FireEye shares are poised to recover in 2015 driven by reduced expectations, robust security spending trends, new product launches that should begin to contribute, and above industry organic revenue and billings growth,” analysts wrote in note, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** PEPSICO INC, $95.81, +3.00 pct
** CAMPBELL SOUP CO, $45.24, +5.11 pct
The World Street Journal reported that Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital Partners was considering bids for the companies. (on.wsj.com/1KkoEm2).
** PROCERA NETWORKS INC, $8.43, +18.90 pct
The network equipment maker expects fourth-quarter revenue of $23.5-$24.5 million, above analysts’ average estimate of $20.9 million. Procera said it expects to be profitable in the fourth quarter, on an adjusted basis. Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 1 cent per share.
** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.13, -3.69 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $6.16, -3.14 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC, $3.87, -1.28 pct
** PAN AMERICAN SILVER CORP, $10.15, -0.88 pct
** KINROSS GOLD CORP, $3.26, -2.10 pct
** YAMANA GOLD INC, $4.38, -2.23 pct
** GOLDCORP INC, $20.43, +0.59 pct
** SEABRIDGE GOLD INC, $8.94, +1.02 pct
Gold and silver miners’ U.S.-listed shares fell as a strong dollar pulled down gold prices after a three-day rise. Spot gold fell 0.5 pct to $1,212.16 an ounce. Spot silver was down 1.3 pct to $16.31 an ounce.
** GREENBRIER COS INC, $52.21, +5.88 pct
The railcar maker raised its full-year profit and revenue forecast after reporting a better-than-expected first-quarter profit. The company was to buy a 19.5 percent stake in Brazilian railcar manufacturer Amsted-Maxion Hortolandia for $15 million.
** CYAN INC, $3.22, +26.27 pct
The maker of software-defined network applications raised its fourth-quarter revenue forecast to $30 million-$31 million, from $24 million-$26 million.
** HERBALIFE LTD, $31.23, +2.66 pct
Activist investor Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management said the weight-loss and nutritional products maker's earnings will miss estimates and it will have to revise its forecast. (cnb.cx/1HMWfCZ)
Portfolio manager Paul Sohn, who led Soros Fund Management to invest in Herbalife, left Soros last year, CNBC reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
** BOEING CO, $129.64, +1.65 pct
The planemaker said it delivered 723 jetliners in 2014, hitting its own target, setting an industry record and retaining its title as the world’s biggest plane maker, besting rival Airbus Group.
** MONSANTO CO, $118.07, +2.00 pct
The world’s largest seed company reported a 34 percent drop in quarterly profit, in part because of lower planted corn acreage in South America and a shift in timing of some sales, but the decline was less steep than analysts expected.
** WET SEAL INC, $0.1289, +134.36 pct
The struggling apparel retailer said it laid off about 3,700 full- and part-time employees on Wednesday as it went ahead with the closure of 338 stores. The closures follow the failure to re-negotiate meaningful concessions from landlords, the company said.
** KALOBIOS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $0.5, -72.68 pct
The drug developer said it would discontinue development of its drug for lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients after it failed in a mid-stage study.
The company said the drug, codenamed KB001-A, was being developed to treat a powerful superbug that caused lung infections. Shares has fallen below $1 first time ever.
** NETLIST INC, $1.1, +30.56 pct
Needham & Co raised its rating on the memory products maker’s stock to “buy” from “hold”. Analyst Richard Kugele said Netlist has likely won a preliminary injunction on Jan. 6 over SanDisk Corp, preventing future shipments of the ULLtraDIMM.
Kugele says granting the injunction means court believes Netlist stands a “very high likelihood” of prevailing in the upcoming contract and trade secret case over the product.
** GALECTIN THERAPEUTICS INC, $3.97, +22.91 pct
The drug developer said final results of the early-stage trial of its GR-MD-02 in fatty liver disease, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with advanced fibrosis, demonstrated that the drug was safe and well tolerated after multiple doses.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $7.92, +20.73 pct
The department store operator said same-store sales rose 3.7 percent in November and December, boosting its shares and offering a glimpse of what is expected to be the best holiday season for retailers since.
** PORTUGAL TELECOM SGPS SA, $0.81, -14.74 pct
Shares in Portugal Telecom slumped 20 percent to all-time lows on Wednesday as investors dumped the stock after authorities searched its offices on suspicions of fraud.
** ZAFGEN INC, $37.365, +16.15 pct
The company said a mid-stage study showed its experimental drug reduced weight in patients obese due to damage to a part of the brain. The drug, beloranib, was tested against a placebo in 14 adults with obesity resulting from damage to the hypothalamus following surgery to remove a kind of brain tumor.
** KARYOPHARM THERAPEUTICS INC, $31.06, -7.20 pct
The drug developer priced its public offering of 3 million shares at $33 each, a discount of 1.4 percent to stock’s Tuesday closing. Offering represents about 9 percent of Karyopharm’s outstanding shares as of Jan. 6, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** ALKERMES PLC, $65.2, +7.01 pct
Alkermes said its experimental drug to treat schizophrenia met the main goal in a mid-stage trial. The drug, codenamed ALKS 3831, is a combination of samidorphan and the antipsychotic olanzapine.
** KEURIG GREEN MOUNTAIN INC, $133.7, +5.12 pct
** SNAPPLE GROUP INC, $72.38, +1.26 pct
The maker of the K-Cup single-serve coffee pod will sell Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s soda pods for its at-home cold beverage system, Keurig Cold, expected to be launched this year. (Compiled by Lehar Maan; Editing by Joyjeet Das)