(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 fell on Wednesday as a pair of weaker-than-expected economic indicators raised concerns that Friday's impending jobs report could also point to worsening conditions.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.42 percent at 17,701.92, the S&P 500 was down 0.41 percent at 2,059.34 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.61 percent at 4,871.09.
** GODADDY INC, $26.18, +30.90 pct
The web hosting company’s shares rose as much as 34 percent in their debut, valuing the firm at about $5.48 billion, including debt. The company raised $460 million after its initial public offering of 23 million class A shares was priced at $20 per share, above the expected range of $17-$19.
** TAHOE RESOURCES INC, $11.82, +7.85 pct
Analysts at Raymond James upgraded the gold and silver producer’s Toronto-listed stock to ‘outperform’ from ‘market perform’ and raised their price target to C$20 from C$19 as they expect the company to benefit from its acquisition of smaller rival Rio Alto Mining.
** WILLBROS GROUP INC, $3, -9.37 pct
The engineering and construction company forecast 2015 revenue between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $1.8 billion as it expects first-quarter operating results to be lower than in the fourth-quarter due to inclement weather and lower revenue in its oil and gas business.
** E COMMERCE CHINA DANGDANG INC, $8.81, -7.75 pct
HSBC cuts its price target on the Chinese online book and media retailer’s stock to $14 from $16.
** NUCOR CORP, $46.23, -2.74 pct
** STEEL DYNAMICS INC, $19.75, -1.74 pct
Nomura Securities International cut its ratings and price targets on both steelmaker’s stocks, saying it expects flat rolled metal spreads to remain under significant pressure over the remainder of 2015.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $11.915, +8.71 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $2, +6.95 pct
** SEABRIDGE GOLD INC, $5.75, +4.74 pct
** AGNICO EAGLE MINES LTD, $29.91, +7.05 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $4.935, +7.52 pct
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $2.02, +6.32 pct
** RIO ALTO MINING LTD, $2.66, +7.69 pct
U.S.-listed shares of gold and silver miners rose on Wednesday as the dollar fell after a downbeat U.S. jobs report raised expectations that the Fed could be more cautious in tightening monetary policy. Spot gold was up 2.1 pct at $1,207.40 an ounce at 12:57 ET and silver was up 2.2 pct at $16.99 an ounce.
** CITIGROUP INC, $51.539, +0.04 pct
** PRIMERICA INC, $50.83, -0.14 pct
** REINSURANCE GROUP OF AMERICA INC, $93.24, +0.05 pct
Citi is planning to sell Prime Reinsurance Co, a unit created five years ago when the bank spun off its life insurance business, Primerica, Bloomberg reported. The unit, referred to as Prime Re, could draw interest from Reinsurance Group of America, Resolution Re and other companies that buy blocks of complex insurance contracts, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
** AXCELIS TECHNOLOGIES INC, $2.59, +8.82 pct
The chip equipment maker said it received an order for its Purion H equipment from a leading manufacturer of DRAM devices in Asian Pacific.
** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, $11.385, -5.99 pct
Goldman Sachs downgraded the power management chip maker’s stock to “sell” from “neutral” and cut its price target to $10.50 from $12.50. The appreciation of the dollar will drive ON’s European and Asian competitors to be more aggressive on pricing, and data shows that pricing declines intensify when the dollar strengthens, Goldman analysts wrote.
** TWITTER INC, $50.727, +1.29 pct
Jefferies & Co started coverage of the microblogging service provider’s stock with a “buy” rating and price target of $65. Twitter is “well positioned” to benefit from online video advertising and mobile tailwinds, Jefferies analysts said.
** PIER 1 IMPORTS INC, $13.4, -4.15 pct
Analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded the furniture retailer’s stock to “underweight” from “equal-weight” and cut their target price to $11 from $13, saying sales at Pier 1’s retail business are expected to decline in the low single digit percentage range, partly due to store volumes being cannibalized by e-commerce sales.
** HONG KONG TELEVISION NETWORK LTD, $7.47, -21.94 pct
The video production and distribution company said on Tuesday that it had not agreed on a possible transaction with Asia Television Ltd (ATV). Seeking Alpha, citing media reports, also said on Tuesday that Hong Kong TV’s Executive Chairman Wong Wai Kay was buying a controlling stake in nearly bankrupt rival ATV.
** ACHAOGEN INC, $7.83, -19.77 pct
The drug developer said it is planning an additional late-stage trial of its lead drug to treat complicated urinary tract infections, and the U.S. FDA agreed to change the trial protocol, which Achaogen believes will improve the slower-than-expected patient enrollment rate in the existing trial. Needham & Co analysts, however, said the changes will mean a more modest initial sales ramp and cut the target price on the stock by $6 to $15.
** TREVENA INC, $7.675, +17.71 pct
Wedbush Securities started covering the drug developer’s stock with an “outperform” rating and a $15 price target. Analysts said the company’s drug for acute heart failure, which is being tested in mid-stage studies, is “set up for success”, and that Actavis Plc will exercise its option for the program if the study is successful.
** MICHAEL KORS HOLDINGS LTD, $64.44, -1.99 pct
Analysts at Piper Jaffray cut their rating on the luxury accessories retailer’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight” and cut their price target to $70 from $89, saying they were cautious about North American same-store sales growth over next 6-12 months. North America same-store sales growth slowed to 6 percent in the three months ended Dec. 27, falling below 10 pct for the first time.
** SOLAR3D INC, $5.2032, +4.06 pct
The solar cell developer reported a full-year adjusted profit, compared with a loss a year earlier.
** FORD MOTOR CO, $15.915, -1.39 pct
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $36.75, -2.00 pct
** FIAT CHRYSLER, $16.37, +0.37 pct
U.S. consumer demand for new vehicles began to thaw in March with Detroit automakers reporting mixed sales results. Ford Motor’s U.S. sales fell 3.4 percent, while General Motors reported a 2.4 percent fall, and Fiat Chrysler sales grew 2 percent.
** EURONAV NV, $12.52, +3.81 pct
The tanker company proposed a gross dividend of 25 cents per share in view of strong tanker markets. The company also plans to distribute at least 80 pct of its “annual net result” for future dividends as part of new dividend policy.
** EXCO RESOURCES INC, $1.995, +9.02 pct
The oil and gas producer named Chief Financial Officer Harold Hickey chief executive, and said Bluescape Resources Co LLC, an investment firm focused on the oil and gas industry, would buy $10 million of EXCO’s shares and an additional $40 million in shares on the open market within one year from closing. EXCO and Bluescape will work on executing restructuring commercial contracts and JVs, and increase focus on reducing costs.
** ENERGY RECOVERY INC, $2.92, +12.74 pct
The energy recovery devices maker said it had received its largest project to date in the oil and gas industry. Saudi Aramco’s gas processing plant will become the first to use Energy Recovery’s IsoGen system, a turbogenerator that recycles otherwise wasted pressure energy and converts it into electrical power.
** IMMUNE DESIGN CORP, $26.405, +25.08 pct
Analysts at Jefferies & Co upgraded the drug developer’s stock to “buy” after it reported positive data from early-stage studies of its experimental cancer compounds. Immune Design on Tuesday said results from three early studies showed that its two primary cancer drugs were safe and showed signs of efficacy.
** CAMPUS CREST COMMUNITIES INC, $6.45, -9.92 pct
The owner and manager of student housing properties said it does not anticipate declaring any dividend payments for 2015. The company also suspended the dividend payment on its series A cumulative redeemable preferred shares.
** NYMOX PHARMACEUTICAL CORP, $1.23, +46.43 pct
The drug developer said it would undertake further analyses of its failed pivotal U.S. late-stage studies, including new long-term data, of its drug, NX-1207. The company also said it expects to provide new pivotal late-stage study results in the second-quarter or early in the third-quarter.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, $80.71, -1.87 pct
The world’s largest retailer is looking at how it sources its products, especially considering falling commodity prices globally, in an effort to reduce its prices, the head of the retailer’s U.S. division said on Wednesday. Speaking at a briefing for analysts and investors, Greg Foran said the gap in pricing between Wal-Mart and its competitors in some markets was “too small”.
** COHERUS BIOSCIENCES INC, $27.73, -9.32 pct
The biotech company priced its offering of 4.1 million shares at $29 each, a 5 pct discount to stock’s Tuesday close. The upsized $120 million offering represents 12 percent of the company’s outstanding shares as of Feb. 28.
** AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC, $50.71, -3.92 pct
** DELTA AIR LINES INC, $43.43, -3.40 pct
** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, $64.69, -3.81 pct
Analysts at Deutsche Bank cut ratings on airlines’ stocks to “hold” from “buy”, saying they expect disappointing earnings growth from international markets. The combination of a strong US dollar, greater-than-expected capacity increases by non-US airlines, and decelerating global GDP growth are likely to further pressure Deutsche Bank’s forecast (from international markets) for 2015, analysts write in a note.
** MACERICH CO, $79.29, -5.98 pct
** SIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC, $197.99, +1.20 pct
Simon Property Group scrapped its attempt to buy Macerich after the smaller shopping mall owner rejected its sweetened offer of $23.2 billion including debt. Macerich Chief Executive Arthur Coppola said the company’s board concluded that the offer did not reflect the full value of the company.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, $46.55, +0.87 pct
** MERCK & CO INC, $56.81, -1.17 pct
Cowen & Co analysts said the drugmaker’s vaccine to treat shingles may be more effective than Merck‘s. Glaxo’s vaccine HZ/su should be well positioned to capture market share from Merck’s Zostavax if final data from a late-stage study shows HZ/su has better efficacy while treating older patients, analysts said.
** NUVASIVE INC, $45.14, -1.85 pct
The medical device maker said its chief executive of 16 years Alex Lukianov had resigned after an independent investigation showed he had not complied with the medical device maker’s expense reimbursement and personnel policies. The amounts involved appeared immaterial to financial results, the company said. NuVasive has appointed board member Greg Lucier as interim CEO.
** EVERYWARE GLOBAL INC, $0.2102, -82.48 pct
The marketer of tabletop and food preparation products said it expects to file for prepackaged bankruptcy that will give its secured lenders control of the company after it emerges from the bankruptcy. EveryWare said it expects to file for a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and expects to emerge from bankruptcy within 60-75 days.
** DYAX CORP, $24.5801, +46.70 pct
The drug developer said its experimental drug, DX-2930, to prevent hereditary angioedema attacks, was found effective in an early stage study. The drug was also assigned fast-track status by the U.S. FDA. All seven analysts covering the stock raised price targets, saying the strong results show the drug could eclipse the current standard-of-care preventive treatment for HAE.
** UTI WORLDWIDE INC, $10.15, -17.48 pct
The logistics company reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, hurt by lower air and ocean freight forwarding yields and lower volumes in freight forwarding. The company also cuts its 2016 adjusted EBITDA forecast to $125 million-$150 million from $190 million-$210 million and said revenue would be hurt by the strengthening of the dollar. Morgan Stanley cuts price target by $2.50 to $10, now the lowest on Wall Street.
** SYNNEX CORP, $73.41, -4.97 pct
The hardware distributor forecast second-quarter revenue and adjusted profit below analysts’ average estimates, saying revenue is expected to be lowered by about $130 million due to the stronger dollar. The company on Tuesday also reported lower-than-expected first-quarter profit and revenue.
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, $41.849, +1.13 pct
The struggling retailer plans to raise more than $2.5 billion from shareholders by offering rights to buy shares in a real estate investment trust that will hold some of its stores. The REIT, Seritage Growth Properties, will buy and lease back about 254 Sears and Kmart stores, Sears said on Wednesday. Sears also said it would sell 12 stores to a joint venture it was forming with No.2 U.S. mall operator General Growth Properties Inc, in which the companies would hold 50 percent each.
** VOLTARI CORP, $2.33, +130.69 pct
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn raises his stake in the digital advertising company to 52.3 percent. Icahn bought about 4 million Voltari shares at $1.36 each via a rights offering.
** MYLAN NV, $58.35, -1.68 pct
** ABBOTT LABORATORIES, $45.7, -1.36 pct
The generic drug maker priced an offering of 35 million shares at $58.35 per share, a discount of about 2 percent to the stock’s Tuesday close. All shares in the offering are to be sold by Abbott Laboratories for net proceeds of about $1.99 billion.
** CARPENTER TECHNOLOGY CORP, $36.28, -6.69 pct
The alloys maker said on Tuesday that it will cut about 10 percent of its salaried workforce, or 200 jobs, to reduce costs amid weak oil and gas prices. The company said it would also cut about 60 outsourced positions, and expects a third-quarter loss of 5-9 cents per share, compared with a profit of 57 cents a year earlier.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $13.8601, +4.37 pct
The drug developer appointed Chief Medical Officer Edward Kaye as interim CEO, replacing Christopher Garabedian, who resigned. Sarepta is also expected to meet with the FDA over the coming weeks to finalize an application to market its lead drug, eteplirsen, which is designed to attack the underlying cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a progressive muscle wasting disorder.
** CYTOSORBENTS CORP, $9.3, -29.49 pct
The medical device maker said it expects first-quarter sales to be slightly lower than they were in the fourth-quarter as restructuring of its direct sales force created a significant gap in sales coverage and resulted in lower direct sales.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $14.475, +2.22 pct
The oil and gas producer’s Chairman Dunham Archie bought 1 million shares at $13.98 per share on March 27, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday. The purchase price represents a 1.3 percent discount to the stock’s Tuesday close. After the purchase, Archie holds 2.6 million shares of the company. (Compiled by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)