(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 held near the unchanged mark on Friday, putting major indexes on track to barely snap a four-session losing streak, ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that could create a volatile close on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.13 percent at 17,701.85 and the S&P 500 was up 0.17 percent at 2,059.71.
** OHR PHARMACEUTICAL INC, $2.89, -66.90 pct
The company said its experimental eye drug failed the main goal in a mid-stage study as a combination therapy, wiping out nearly two-thirds of the company’s market value on Friday.
** APPLIED DNA SCIENCES INC, $2.7, -14.01 pct
The company prices its combined offering of 3.82 million shares and warrants to buy 1.53 million shares at $3 per share.
** BIOMARIN PHARMACEUTICAL INC, $129.237, +11.85 pct
Deutsche Bank raises price target on the stock to $140 from $90. Deutsche analysts said they see a potential M&A take out of about $194-$271 per share in one year, assuming the company’s bone disorder drug, muscle weakness drug and blood clotting drug show positive results.
** MOL GLOBAL INC, $2.2901, -15.81 pct
The company reported a fourth-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier, hurt by higher expenses. “Along with our IPO last year came many new expenses ... relating to listing fees, employee stock compensation and compliance,” said CFO Ramesh Pathmanathan.
** OXFORD INDUSTRIES INC, $71.07, +19.43 pct
The apparel retailer raised its full-year earnings forecast and said it would pursue the sale of Ben Sherman business, its smallest revenue contributor.
** CARNIVAL CORP, $47.19, +6.24 pct
** ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD, $79.94, +6.59 pct
Carnival, the world’s largest cruise operator by revenue, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher onboard spending and lower fuel prices, and the company said bookings for Caribbean cruises, its biggest business, were strong for the rest of the year.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, $48.06, +3.49 pct
** OLIN CORP, $32.79, +20.60 pct
Dow Chemical will separate a portion of its century-old chlorine business and sell it to Olin in a tax-efficient deal worth $5 billion as part of efforts to shed low-margin assets.
** CHINACACHE INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LTD, $10.05, +15.25 pct
The China-based network services provider forecast 2015 revenue to grow 25-30 percent over a year earlier.
** CALITHERA BIOSCIENCES INC, $17.45, +9.89 pct
Analysts at Leerink Swann LLC raised their price target on the stock to $19 from $13, citing potential data from the company’s cancer drugs, to be presented at various conferences this year.
** RBC BEARINGS INC, $73.47, +17.78 pct
The company said on Thursday that it would buy the Sargent Aerospace and Defense business of Dover Corp for $500 million.
** FUTUREFUEL CORP, $10.86, -8.82 pct
Roth Capital Partners downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy” after Procter & Gamble Co ended a purchase agreement. The elimination of this revenue stream would present a material headwind to 2016 earnings, Roth Capital analysts said.
** CONATUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $7.66, +13.31 pct
Piper Jaffray raised its price target on the stock to $9 from $6. The median price target is $14.50.
Conatus on Thursday said that its experimental drug, emricasan, was found effective in treating patients with a type of liver disease in its mid-stage study.
** GEVO INC, $0.241, -10.41 pct
The renewable chemicals and biofuel producer reported fourth-quarter revenue of $9.5 million vs analysts’ average estimate of $10.6 million.
** KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC, $87.98, +4.25 pct
Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $96 from $70, while Goldman Sachs raised to $93 from $73 and called the company’s merger with H.J. Heinz Co a “story of the decade in staples”.
** CENTRAL PACIFIC FINANCIAL CORP, $22.74, -6.92 pct
The bank said selling stockholders’ offering of 7.6 million shares was priced. The offering represents about 22 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.
** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, $7.58, +4.55 pct
The drugmaker said on Thursday that the European Commission granted marketing authorization to the company’s obesity drug, Mysimba.
** LIVEDEAL INC, $3.26, +4.49 pct
Numerous products offered by the company and ModernEveryday are now available on Amazon.com, the internet marketing company said. Advantages include expanding exposure to more than 700 million Amazon users at no additional costs to the company, CEO Jon Isaac said.
** ESPERION THERAPEUTICS INC, $91.71, +3.63 pct
** JAZZ PHARMACEUTICALS PLC, $176.75, +1.94 pct
** NOVAVAX INC, $8.2452, +8.78 pct
** MEDICINES CO, $28.25, +1.25 pct
Citigroup starts coverage of Esperion, Jazz and Novavax with a “buy” rating, and Medicines Co with a “neutral” rating.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $9.48, +1.94 pct
The Canadian smartphone maker posted a surprise quarterly profit on Friday and said it is pushing to end a slide in its revenue in this fiscal year.
** REXX ENERGY CORP, $3.89, -7.60 pct
** MAGNUM HUNTER RESOURCES CORP, $2.64, -4.35 pct
** HALCON RESOURCES CORP, $1.69, -5.06 pct
** EXCO RESOURCES, $1.905, -2.81 pct
Shares of oil and gas producers were down after oil prices fell more than $1 per barrel on Friday as worries receded over threat of disruptions to Middle East supplies due to Saudi Arabia-led air strikes in Yemen.
** ARCELORMITTAL SA, $9.595, -4.05 pct
Citigroup downgrades the company’s Europe-listed stock from “neutral” to “sell”, which is now the lowest among 31 brokerages. Citi cut its 2015 EBITDA forecast for the company to $5.8 billion, which is 15 percent below analysts’ average estimate.
** YAHOO INC, $45.23, +1.71 pct
The company said its board approved an additional $2 billion share buyback plan, effective through March 31, 2018. $726 million is still available under the existing repurchase program, Yahoo said.
** BUILDERS FIRSTSOURCE INC, $6.54, +5.83 pct
The U.S. supplier of residential building products is in discussions to acquire peer ProBuild Holdings Inc for about $1.5 billion, including debt, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
** CNOOC LTD, $141.76, +5.16 pct
China’s top offshore oil producer said on Friday its 2014 net profit rose 6.5 percent, beating forecasts, as cost cuts and higher output helped it offset the slide in global oil prices.
** CONN’S INC, $29.61, +4.30 pct
Piper Jaffray upgrades the stock to “overweight” from “neutral” and raises price target to $38 from $20. The company’s insurance and debt portfolio appears to be stabilizing as a result of lower delinquency rates and gas prices, analyst Peter Keith wrote.
** SEMTECH CORP, $26.19, -3.04 pct
Raymond James downgraded the stock to “outperform” from “strong buy”, citing Semtech’s exposure to Chinese phone makers, whose sales have been hurt by Apple’s new iPhones.
Semtech delayed filing its annual report due to the lack of enough documentary evidence to establish its inventory reserves. The company said material weakness exists in its internal controls over financial reporting. (Compiled By Manya Venkatesh in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel)