(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 in a broad advance on Thursday as a reading on the labor market came in better than expected, raising hopes that Friday's payroll report would show similar strength. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.26 percent at 17,744.13, the S&P 500 was up 0.30 percent at 2,065.91 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.13 percent at 4,886.41.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $192, +2.35 pct
Credit Suisse analysts expect the carmaker to see strong demand from Europe, based on initial March volume data from some European countries for Tesla’s Model S sedan. Tesla sold about 9,500 cars in Europe in 2014, about 30 percent of its total sales last year.
** TRINITY BIOTECH PLC, $17.5, -9.14 pct
The diagnostic products maker priced an offering of $100 million of 4 percent exchangeable senior notes due 2045. Trinity expects about $96.4 million in net proceeds, which it plans to use for possible deals and general corporate purposes. The notes will mature on April 1, 2045, unless purchased, redeemed or exchanged earlier.
** SPORTSMAN’S WAREHOUSE HOLDINGS INC, $8.52, +6.90 pct
The outdoor sports goods retailer reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday and forecast full-year revenue and profit above analysts’ estimates. The company’s low-cost, no frills store concept has tremendous growth potential and is capable of delivering annual earnings growth of over 20 percent, D.A. Davidson & Co analysts said.
** JAMBA INC, $15.57, +3.94 pct
The Jamba Juice chain operator said on Wednesday that it had reached a deal with Vitaligent to refranchise 100 restaurants in San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego. Jamba, which is also looking to sell 14 additional locations in California, will get $36 million from the deal.
** TCP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LTD, $2.27, +24.04 pct
The lighting technologies maker said ongoing testing of its products for quality control affirm the quality and safety of its product line. TCP expects to complete safety and quality tests shortly for its remaining products.
** REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC, $73.06, +3.88 pct
** LORILLARD INC, $69.46, +3.07 pct
Deborah Feinstein, head of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, is in favor of approving Reynolds’ takeover of Lorillard, but with some divestitures, Bloomberg reported, citing MLex Market Intelligence. Feinstein’s view is in opposition to some staff members, who argue deal should be blocked, Bloomberg said.
** AKERS BIOSCIENCES INC, $4.6373, +9.37 pct
The medical device maker signed an 18-month distribution agreement to market its diagnostic tests to U.S. government agencies. Privately held ADS Inc will market the company’s testing devices for a type of allergic condition caused by the use of blood-thinner Heparin and for infectious diseases.
** OCERA THERAPEUTICS INC, $4.0985, -12.61 pct
The drug developer said a mid-stage study of its drug for acute hepatic encephalopathy would now finish in the second half of 2016 compared with the prior expected date of early 2015. The company said it would increase the number of patients being tested to about 230 from 140 after an interim analysis showed the study was “not futile” and no safety issues were observed.
** CARBONITE INC, $12.13, -14.76 pct
** J2 GLOBAL INC, $67.32, +1.31 pct
Carbonite said J2 Global intended to withdraw its nominees for election of directors at Carbonite’s upcoming annual meeting. J2 Global had signed a confidential agreement with Carbonite in March under which it withdrew its tender offer to buy the company and was allowed to nominate directors to Carbonite’s board.
** FOAMIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, $8.97, -3.65 pct
The dermatology products maker filed for an offering of common shares.
** NUVASIVE INC, $42.78, -6.18 pct
BofA Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the medical device maker’s stock to “underperform”, according to theflyonthewall.com. NuVasive said on Wednesday that its founder and Chief Executive of 16 years, Alex Lukianov, resigned after an independent investigation showed he had not complied with the medical device maker’s expense reimbursement and personnel policies.
** RETROPHIN INC, $24.4101, +3.39 pct
Leerink Partners LLC Research started coverage of the drug developer’s stock with an “outperform” rating and a $48 price target. Leerink analysts said they see a $950 million gross market opportunity for the company’s kidney drug, sparsentan, with a 65 percent probability of launch in 2018.
** TRUECAR INC, $15.5, -8.82 pct
B Riley & Co started coverage of the online car-shopping service provider’s with a “sell” rating and $10 price target, saying the company’s core business is slowing materially as it achieves peak dealer penetration and a slowdown in units sold per dealer.
** AXIALL CORP, $45.43, -2.76 pct
UBS lowered its target price on the chemical product maker’s stock to $47 from $48, as it expects the company to post a first-quarter loss compared with its earlier estimate of a profit, mainly due to higher spot ethylene costs.
** CYTOSORBENTS CORP, $7.9, -12.42 pct
Analysts at H.C. Wainwright cut their price target on the drug developer’s stock to $11.50 from $12, after the company said on Wednesday it expected first-quarter sales to be lower than those in the preceding quarter.
** EHI CAR SERVICES LTD, $10, +5.93 pct
The Chinese car rental company said it expected full-year 2015 revenue to rise 64-76 percent. The company also reported a 57 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue, helped by an increase in average available fleet size and average daily rental rate.
** UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP, $117.18, +1.09 pct
The diversified manufacturer said it brought back Robert Leduc to be president of its Sikorsky helicopter unit, which it is planning to spin off. Leduc had retired from the company in 2014 after a 35-year stint.
** RITE AID CORP, $8.82, +2.92 pct
The drugstore operator reported a 4.3 percent rise in same-store sales for the month ended March 28. Total drugstore sales rose 4.1 percent to $2.02 billion, helped by higher prescription sales.
** SKULLCANDY INC, $11.585, +6.48 pct
Jefferies & Co raised its price target on the headphone maker’s stock to $17 from $14.
** ARC GROUP WORLDWIDE INC, $6.1, +22.00 pct
The 3D printing service provider priced an offering of 3 million shares at $5 per share. The company expects gross proceeds of $15 million from the offering.
** GLOBE SPECIALTY METALS INC, $21.31, +8.78 pct
BB&T Capital Markets raised its price target on the silicon producer’s shares to $26, citing the company’s merger with Spanish silicon producer Grupo FerroAtlantica SA. Globe Specialty, which mainly sells dollar-denominated commodities, will benefit from the FerroAtlantica merger as its costs are denominated in euro, which has fallen against dollar, BB&T analysts wrote in a note.
** AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS LTD, $27.845, -2.78 pct
The vehicle coatings provider priced its secondary offering of 40 million shares at $28 per share, a 2.2 percent discount to the stock’s Friday’s close of $28.64. The offering represents 15-17 percent of Axalta’s total outstanding shares.
** HERCULES OFFSHORE INC, $0.505, +11.53 pct
The rig contractor signed a five-year contract with a unit of Eni S.p.A for use of the Hercules 260 jackup rig in West Africa with a dayrate of a minimum of $75,000 per day to a maximum of $125,000 per day. Global Hunter Securities analysts said the contract has positive implications given the difficulties of securing term on any rig in the currently depressed offshore market.
** SEACHANGE INTERNATIONAL INC, $6.9, -13.75 pct
The video streaming products supplier forecast a surprise decrease in full-year revenue, as its customers shift to cloud-based services. The company’s transition to a subscription-based software licensing model is also expected to dent product revenue. SeaChange expects 2016 revenue to fall to about $105-$115 million from $115.4 million in the year ended January 2015.
** CONATUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.05, -11.16 pct
The liver-focused biotech priced its offering of about 3.5 million shares at $5.75 each, a discount of about 16 percent to the stock’s Wednesday close. The company expects gross proceeds of about $20 million, which it plans to use to fund the development of its lead drug, emricasan, which aims to interrupt the progression of liver disease.
** GARMIN LTD, $46.28, -1.68 pct
Goldman Sachs removed the GPS-based gadgets maker’s stock from its Americas “buy” list, cut its rating to “neutral” and slashed the price target, citing increased risks from competition and currency. The threat from Apple Watch and concerns around sustainability of revenue growth in Garmin’s fitness business have also put shares under pressure, Goldman analysts wrote.
** FEMALE HEALTH CO, $3.19, +11.54 pct
The women’s health company said it expected sales of its female condom FC2, its only product, to jump 187 percent to 20.8 million units in the second-quarter from 7.3 million a year earlier.
** LION BIOTECHNOLOGIES INC, $13.53, +7.81 pct
FBR started coverage of the drug developer’s stock with an “outperform” rating and $20 price target, citing the potential of the company’s ‘tumor infiltrating lymphocytes’ therapy. FBR analysts expect a late-stage trial on the therapy to start in the second half of 2016, and a marketing approval filing in late 2018.
** INFINERA CORP, $18.83, -2.59 pct
Goldman Sachs cut its rating of the networking equipment maker’s stock to “neutral”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** CNO FINANCIAL GROUP INC, $18.83, -2.59 pct
The insurer’s stock to join S&P MidCap 400 after close of trading on April 6, replacing Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, which was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday.
** ARISTA NETWORKS INC, $66.23, -4.87 pct
Kelyn Brannon, the cloud-based networking software maker’s CFO since July 2013, would leave the company for personal reasons. Brannon was instrumental in taking the company public in June 2014.
** CORONADO BIOSCIENCES INC, $4.0633, +3.66 pct
The drug developer said it had formed a subsidiary, DiaVax Biosciences, to develop immunotherapies for the prevention and treatment of a common type of virus called cytomegalovirus. These immunotherapies are developed in a laboratory at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. Under an agreement with City of Hope, DiaVax has secured worldwide rights to two immunotherapeutic vaccines for controlling the virus in patients undergoing blood cell or organ transplants.
** SEQUENTIAL BRANDS GROUP INC, $12.1312, +13.69 pct
The brand management and licensing company said it had acquired a majority stake in the Jessica Simpson brand. Sequential said it expected forward 12-month total royalty revenue of $88 million-$90 million upon closing the deal. The brand, which has 31 product categories including footwear, apparel and fragrance, has annual retail sales of about $1 billion.
** KORNIT DIGITAL LTD, $14.075, +40.75 pct
The Israel-based digital printing products maker raised $71 million after an IPO of 7.1 million shares priced at $10 per share, well below the expected range of $13-$15. The company’s shares rose as much as 30 percent to $13, valuing the company at about $373.3 million.
** NEWLINK GENETICS CORP, $52.32, -3.00 pct
Jefferies downgraded the biotech company’s stock to “hold” from “buy”, based on an expected data readout from a late-stage study testing NewLink’s lead drug, for which the brokerage sees a 30 percent chance of success. The risk associated with the data readout does not justify buying shares ahead of the event at NewLink’s current valuation, Jefferies analysts wrote.
** FRESHPET INC, $21.62, +6.50 pct
Three brokerages raised their price targets on the pet food maker’s stock after the company reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter sales on Tuesday. Freshpet has benefited from favorable trends in pet spending and its modestly higher-end, more healthy products, Stifel Nicolaus analysts wrote in a note.
** LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HOLDINGS INC, $33.58, +1.73 pct
The hardwood flooring retailer’s first-quarter sales rose 5.6 pct to top estimates, despite a nearly 18 percent drop in same-store sales in March after CBS’s “60 Minutes” show alleged that the company’s laminate flooring products contained excessive levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.
** REPROS THERAPEUTICS INC, $9.145, +7.72 pct
The drug developer said the U.S. FDA had accepted its New Drug Application for its lead product Androxal, which treats secondary hypogonadism in overweight men. Hypogonadism is a condition where the body fails to produce enough testosterone - the hormone that plays a key role in growth and development in men.
** FXCM INC, $2.19, +2.82 pct
The retail currency broker said it repaid the $54 million outstanding under its credit agreement with Leucadia National Corp. The payment was funded in part with proceeds from sale of FXCM Japan to Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten Inc’s foreign exchange brokerage. FXCM has now repaid $66 million under the credit agreement, and by paying more than $60 million before April 16, FXCM has avoided a contingent financing fee of $30 million.
** RECEPTOS INC, $167.2701, -3.56 pct
The drug developer is fielding takeover interest from potential buyers, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with matter. (bloom.bg/1EGgV14)
Receptos has been seeking a partner to develop its multiple sclerosis treatment, the report said.
** 500.COM LTD, $12.22, +17.27 pct
Online lottery sales in China are set to resume after inspection by the government, according to Chinese investment advisory firm aastocks.com, which cited Mainland Media. Some Chinese lottery centers had said in February they would temporarily suspend online sales.
** SIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC, $200.36, +1.20 pct
The largest U.S. shopping mall owner said it would buy back $2 billion in stock, less than 48 hours after scrapping an attempt to buy rival Macerich Co. Simon Property said on Thursday it could repurchase its shares over the next two years. (Compiled by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)