(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 declined on Tuesday in a retreat from the previous session's sharp rally, but major indexes remained on track for first-quarter gains and the S&P 500 was set for its ninth straight quarterly rise. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.54 percent at 17,878.52, the S&P 500 was down 0.41 percent at 2,077.75 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.45 percent at 4,925.
** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, $195.64, +6.68 pct
** LIBERTY BROADBAND CORP, $57.26, +6.63 pct
John Malone-backed Charter said it would buy Bright House Networks in a $10.4 billion deal as it expands its cable network after losing out to Comcast Corp in a fight for Time Warner Cable Inc. The deal will make Charter, in which Malone-controlled Liberty Broadband is the biggest shareholder, the No. 2 U.S. cable TV provider.
** CLEANTECH SOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL INC, $3.04, -11.88 pct
The Chinese solar components maker said its fourth-quarter revenue fell 9.9 percent due to lower sales of forged products to non-wind customers and dyeing and finishing equipment customers. The company also reported a loss compared with a profit a year earlier.
** SPHERE 3D CORP, $3.87, -11.44 pct
The cloud-based software maker said its fourth-quarter loss widened to 20 cents per share from 7 cents a year earlier, hurt by a $1.3 million cost related to the acquisition of Overland Storage, which it bought in December.
** PIONEER ENERGY SERVICES CORP, $5.38, +9.35 pct
Analysts at Wells Fargo Securities raised their rating on the land-based oil and gas driller’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform” and upgraded the land drilling sector to “overweight” from “market weight”, saying they expect a shallow North American market recovery in 2016, but expect offshore markets to remain under pressure.
** OCEAN BIO-CHEM INC, $4.14, -10.78 pct
The equipment maintenance product maker said 2015 had started off slower than it expected due to an unusually cold winter and a delayed boating season.
** RIGEL PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $3.71, +10.75 pct
Analysts at Jefferies & Co started covering the stock with a “buy” rating and $10 price target, saying positive Phase 2 data in relapsed chronic ITP offers optimism for the success of fostamatinib Phase 3 trials. Fostamatinib, developed by Rigel, is being evaluated for patients with several immune and blood-related disorders.
** CONTINENTAL BUILDING PRODUCTS INC, $22.65, +8.48 pct
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets upgraded the building product maker’s stock to “outperform” from “sector perform” and raised the price target to $25 from $20, saying increased construction activity and stronger financial performance represent potential catalysts for achieving the price target.
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, $4.92, -7.87 pct
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $4.7, -7.11 pct
** FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC, $18.98, -2.06 pct
** VALE SA, $5.57, -3.80 pct
** RIO TINTO PLC, $41.505, -2.04 pct
** BHP BILLITON LTD, $46.54, -1.36 pct
U.S.-listed shares of iron ore miners fell after Chinese iron futures hit record low as steel mills refrained from buying amid expectations of further declines in iron ore prices. Iron ore for immediate delivery to China .IO62-CNI=SI fell 2.2 percent to $52.90 per ton on Tuesday.
** GREEN BRICK PARTNERS INC, $8.08, +1.25 pct
The real estate company reported a 21 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue, as it sold more homes at higher prices. The company also said it expects strong home closing revenues and unit growth in 2015 to boost total gross margin dollars for the year.
** IMMUNOGEN INC, $9.12, +7.04 pct
Two brokerages raised price targets on the drug developer’s stock after it sold the royalty rights of its cancer drug, Kadcyla, to Immunity Royalty Holdings LP for $200 million on Monday. Cantor Fitzgerald analysts also upgraded the stock to “buy”, saying the sale should give ImmunoGen sufficient resources to continue development of its proprietary pipeline.
** ORTHOFIX INTERNATIONAL NV, $36.17, +15.52 pct
The medical device maker signed a deal that gives it an 18-month option to buy eNeura Inc, a maker of devices that treat migraines. Orthofix will also give eNeura a $15 million loan to support the marketing of SpringTMS, eNeura’s migraine treatment device, in the United States and Europe. If Orthofix decides to buy eNeura, it will pay the company $65 million and may also make additional milestone and royalty payments.
** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $1.92, -17.60 pct
The drug developer priced its offering of 22 million shares at $1.75 each, a 25 percent discount to the stock’s Monday’s close.
** VAALCO ENERGY INC, $2.35, -24.92 pct
The oil and gas producer said it is abandoning its first well drilled offshore Angola as it was found to be water-bearing.
** TECK RESOURCES LTD, $13.84, -9.36 pct
The Canadian miner and Antofagasta Plc denied that they were in talks about a merger after Bloomberg reported that the two mining companies were in early stage talks. Teck said in a statement that it was not in discussions with Antofagasta “in relation to any form of transaction.”
** RADA ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES LTD, $3.11, +20.08 pct
The Israel-based defense electronics contractor said its tactical ‘active electronically scanned array’ (AESA) radar technology will be available in North America through deal with DRS Technologies Inc. DRS will produce and support tactical AESA radars as part of its tactical radar portfolio.
** INTERCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $282.84, -4.42 pct
The drug developer priced its offering of 1.2 million shares at $282 per share, a 5 percent discount to the stock’s Monday close. The offering represents nearly 5 percent of company’s outstanding shares as of Feb. 15.
** CELLADON CORP, $19.5101, -9.97 pct
The drug developer reported a wider fourth-quarter operating loss due to higher costs.
** GREAT BASIN SCIENTIFIC INC, $3.86, +58.20 pct
The medical tests maker got a patent covering its method of enhancing its molecular diagnostic test for a superbug. The company said the patent will lower costs and speed up the process to detect the bacteria, Clostridium difficile.
** DELEK US HOLDINGS INC, $39.8, -0.28 pct
** ALON USA ENERGY INC, $16.85, +5.44 pct
Refiner Delek said it is in talks to buy some or all of Alon Israel Oil Co Ltd, the parent company of Alon USA, in a deal that could give it a stake in refineries and convenience stores in the United States and Israel.
** MOVADO GROUP INC, $28.43, +10.92 pct
The luxury watch designer reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by lower taxes. The company also said it would raise prices to offset the negative impact of foreign currency movements and that it would streamline “certain aspects” of its business.
** SORL AUTO PARTS INC, $3.727, +11.92 pct
The Chinese auto parts maker reported a 14 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue, helped by new contracts and market share gains.
** CORONADO BIOSCIENCES INC, $3.95, +11.58 pct
Analysts at MLV & Co raised their rating on the drug developer’s stock to “buy” from “hold”, and raised their price target by $5 to $7, saying Coronado’s opioid treatment, tramadol, could win approval as early as 2016 following a positive late-stage study. MLV estimated the drug would earn $80 million in annual sales by 2018.
** E-COMMERCE CHINA DANGDANG INC, $9.59, +14.44 pct
The Chinese online books and media retailer reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings per American depositary share, helped by higher orders from mobile phones.
** EVER-GLORY INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC, $6.1995, +7.63 pct
The China-based apparel retailer reported a 52.4 percent rise in 2014 profit and a 25 percent rise in sales helped by revenue gains in both its retail and wholesale businesses.
** INFINERA CORP, $19.7601, +1.80 pct
The network gear maker said Facebook Inc had deployed Infinera’s technology in its European terrestrial network.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, $46.22, -2.08 pct
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, $100.73, -0.81 pct
GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to settle a lawsuit by Johnson & Johnson accusing it of using false advertising at the start of the U.S. allergy season to grab market share.
** CBRE GROUP INC, $38.77, +6.48 pct
** JOHNSON CONTROLS INC, $50.74, +1.83 pct
Johnson Controls, the largest U.S. auto parts maker, said it would sell its business that helps corporations manage their real estate energy needs to real estate services firm CBRE Group for $1.48 billion in cash. CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, said it expects the deal to add to adjusted earnings in 2016.
** ENDURANCE SPECIALTY HOLDINGS LTD, $61.17, -4.87 pct
** MONTPELIER RE HOLDINGS LTD, $38.42, +0.71 pct
Property and casualty insurer Endurance will buy reinsurer Montpelier for about $1.83 billion in cash and stock, to expand into the Lloyd’s of London underwriting business. Montpelier shareholders will get 0.472 Endurance share and $9.89 in cash for each share held, the companies said on Tuesday. This represents $40.24 per share for Montpelier, a 5.5 percent premium to the stock’s closing on Monday.
** GW PHARMA PLC, $92.9299, +5.12 pct
The British maker of cannabis-based drugs said it has started the second leg of a mid-stage trial testing Epidiolex to treat Dravet syndrome, a rare, treatment-resistant form of childhood epilepsyelectronics. Data from the trial is expected at end of year and GW expects to submit a marketing application to the FDA in mid-2016. Epidiolex will also undergo late-stage testing to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
** J C PENNEY CO INC, $8.365, +6.83 pct
Analysts at Piper Jaffray raised their price target on the department store chain’s stock to $14, according to Seeking Alpha. The brokerage also raised its estimates for the company based on inventory channel checks, Seeking Alpha reported.
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $9.09, +6.07 pct
The drug developer said it won a U.S. government contract for the continued development of its potential treatment for viral diseases, including Ebola. The 18-month contract includes a base value of $12.1 million to support manufacturing, as well as $22.9 million in additional development options that can be exercised by the government. (Compiled by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)