(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) Wall Street was higher on Monday as data showed factory activity was beginning to stabilize in key countries and health care stocks rallied. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.59 percent at 17,767.36, the S&P 500 was up 0.78 percent at 2,095.56 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.04 percent at 5,106.422.
** DYAX CORP, $35.36, +28.44 pct
** SHIRE PLC, $224.55, -1.10 pct
** BAXALTA INC, $35, +1.57 pct
British drugmaker Shire agreed to buy U.S. rare disease specialist Dyax Corp for about $5.9 billion - and potentially up to $6.5 billion - while still pursuing a five times larger unsolicited bid for Baxalta Inc. The offer price of $37.30 per share represents a 35.5 percent premium to Dyax’s stock’s Friday closing.
** MEDASSETS INC, $30.8, +30.07 pct
The healthcare analytics provider agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management for about $1.86 billion. Pamplona’s offer of $31.35 per MedAssets share represents a premium of 32 percent to the stock’s closing pricing on Friday.
** ESTEE LAUDER COS INC, $86.5, +7.51 pct
The maker of M.A.C and Clinique beauty products reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by higher demand for brands such as Smashbox and Tom Ford. Sales in the make-up division rose nearly 14 percent to $1.16 billion.
** ENDURANCE INTERNATIONAL GROUP HOLDINGS INC, $10.81, -18.90 pct
** CONSTANT CONTACT INC, $31.86, +22.07 pct
Cloud-based software maker Endurance International said it would buy online marketer Constant Contact in a deal valued at about $1.1 billion. Endurance’s offer of $32 per Constant Contact share in cash represents a 22.6 percent premium to the stock’s close on Friday.
** CONAGRA FOODS INC, $40.89, +0.84 pct
** TREEHOUSE FOODS INC, $81.5, -4.83 pct
ConAgra Foods said it would sell its private brands unit to food company TreeHouse Foods for $2.7 billion, just two years after picking up the business. TreeHouse, which will take over as the No. 1 private-label food manufacturer in the United States, said it would fund the cash deal with $1.8 billion in new debt and about $1.0 billion in stock.
** GREEN BRICK PARTNERS INC, $8.36, -20.76 pct
The residential land developer cut its forecast for 2015 pre-tax income attributable to Green Brick to $22-$24 million from $29-$32 million, citing labor shortages and an extended building cycle pushing back closings in its core markets. Analysts at Credit Suisse cut their price target on the stock to $10 from $13.
** HP INC, $13.78, +12.58 pct
** HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE CO, $14.7, -0.14 pct
HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co started trading separately after Hewlett-Packard split its corporate hardware and services division from the computers and printers business. At least four brokerages started coverage of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise with a “neutral” or equivalent ratings, while one rated it “buy”. Two brokerages began coverage of HP Inc with a “buy” or higher rating.
** CONN’S INC, $22.37, +17.92 pct
The household goods and insurance service provider authorized an additional $100 million share buyback program. Conn’s intends to complete the buyback in the quarter ending Jan. 31, Chief Executive Norm Miller said.
** NOBLE ENERGY INC, $37.15, +3.66 pct
The U.S. oil and gas producer said on Monday it would make a final investment decision on two large gas fields in Israel in about a year’s time, a day after the country’s prime minister promised to fast-track the projects. The framework deal reached in August gives control of Israel’s largest gas field, Leviathan, to a consortium led by Noble and Israel’s Delek Group.
** CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC, $628.25, -1.87 pct
The fast casual restaurant chain said on Sunday it had closed all its restaurants in two West Coast markets due to a reported outbreak of E. coli bacteria that is being investigated by the company and health authorities. The company said the vast majority of its stores in the area had reported no problems.
** CARDINAL HEALTH INC, $85.81, +4.39 pct
The largest U.S. drug distribution company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results, helped primarily by robust performance in its pharmaceutical segment. Cardinal also raised its full-year 2016 adjusted profit forecast to $5.15-5.35 per share from $4.85-$5.05.
** VISA INC, $75, -3.33 pct
The credit and debit card issuer said it would acquire former subsidiary Visa Europe for 16.5 billion euros ($18.19 billion), with the potential for an additional payment of up to 4.7 billion euros.
** CLOROX CO, $125.26, +2.72 pct
The consumer products maker reported better-than-expected Q1 results, helped by higher sales in its U.S. businesses and lower expenses
** ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS, $39.71, +14.04 pct
The company says U.S. FDA grants priority review for its nuplazid for treatment of psychosis associated with Parkinson’s disease
** MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL, $23.821, +2.72 pct
** WYNN RESORTS LTD, $71.958, +2.87 pct
** LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP, $50.73, +2.46 pct
U.S. casino operators’ shares up after report that gambling revenue in the Chinese territory of Macau fell the slowest pace since February in October. Revenue down 28.4 pct from a year earlier, but data provides hope that 17th consecutive month of decline in Macau gambling revenue may finally start easing
** TRAVELPORT WORLDWIDE LTD, $14.86, +9.67 pct
The provider of booking and transaction platforms for the travel industry reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue, helped by higher demand in Europe and the Asia Pacific and strong sales at its travel commerce platform division. Travelport also raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast to $0.92-$0.95 per share from $0.72-$0.84
** HUTCHINSON TECHNOLOGY INC, $3.56, +103.43 pct
Tokyo-based TDK Corp said it would buy the disk drive suspension assembly maker for $3.62 per share with an additional consideration of up to 38 cents per share in cash, valuing company between $126 million and $140 million after the assumption of debt.
** KOSMOS ENERGY INC, $7.52, +10.26 pct
The oil and gas producer reported a better-than-expected third-quarter adjusted profit as expenses fell on lower equity-based derivatives compensation. Kosmos also said its Ghana oil project was on-track to deliver first oil in the third-quarter of 2016.
** NEOGENOMICS INC, $7.81, +10.78 pct
Craig Hallum says 2016 Medicare rates will raise, rather than lower, average reimbursement rates on tests performed by NeoGenomics and raised its price target on the stock by $2 to $10. Reimbursement rates issued by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under Physician Fee Schedule makes NeoGenomics’ 2016 forecast appear conservative, Craid Hallum said.
** CERES INC, $1.01, +4.12 pct
The agricultural biotech company said it entered into multi-year technology exchange to improve Forage Genetics International’s (FGI) alfalfa crop varieties with its traits. FGI expects to begin evaluating alfalfa varieties with Ceres’ traits next year; trial results will determine commercialization timeline.
** ABBVIE INC, $63, +5.79 pct
Credit Suisse analysts raised their price target on the drugmaker’s stock to $78 from $77, citing strong Q3 results and increased 2015 guidance. The real enthusiasm came from AbbVie’s long-term outlook, including bullish expectations around their flagship Humira franchise, analysts wrote.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS, $98.75, +5.31 pct
Short-seller Citron Research says is taking a back seat in investigating Valeant, but not backing down from earlier allegations (bit.ly/1Q1YY2b)
Up to Friday, Valeant’s stock had tumbled 36 percent since Oct. 21, when short-seller Citron Research said the company was using specialty pharmacies to inflate revenue.
** AMSURG CORP, $73.87, +5.39 pct
** TEAMHEALTH HOLDINGS INC, $56.54, -5.25 pct
Medical staffing company TeamHealth Holdings rejected AmSurg Corp’s revised buyout offer that, despite an increase in the cash component, was lower than AmSurg’s previous offer.
** SUNEDISON INC, $7.62, +4.38 pct
The U.S. solar company signed an agreement to power news and financial information provider Bloomberg’s data center at Rockland County in New York with 2.9 MW of solar energy. The solar power plant is expected to generate more than 5 pct of the data center’s electricity usage every year.
** NOBLE ENERGY INC, $37.15, +3.66 pct
The oil and gas producer, which acquired Rosetta Resources in a $2 billion deal earlier this year, raised its sales forecast for the current quarter, while cutting its 2015 capital budget by $100 million. The company raised its fourth-quarter sales volume forecast to 385,000-405,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from 375,000-400,000 boe/d.
** AVIS BUDGET GROUP INC, $52.01, +4.15 pct
Barron’s says the car rental company’s stock could double by late 2017 due to its strong management team and underestimated earnings potential
** DUPONT, $63.82, +0.66 pct
The chemicals and seed maker said it would consolidate some businesses within two units - one that makes nylon and polyster and another that makes materials such as Kevlar. DuPont said it would combine its protection technologies and building innovations businesses within its protection technologies division and merge its packaging & industrial polymers and performance polymers businesses in its performance materials unit.
** SORL AUTO PARTS INC, $2.4701, +6.01 pct
The Chinese auto parts maker said it received a preliminary non-binding proposal from CEO Xiaoping Zhang and directors Shuping Chi and Xiaofeng Zhang to buy the company’s outstanding shares for $2.84 per share. The offer represents a premium of about 22 pct to the stock’s Friday close of $2.33.
** FUELCELL ENERGY INC, $0.924, +4.47 pct
The fuel cell maker said it sold six fuel cell modules totaling 8.4 megawatts to Posco Energy Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Posco. The module sale is in addition to monthly fuel cell kit shipments under an existing multi-year 122 megawatt order. (Compiled by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)