July 8 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Monday:
U.S. stocks mostly rose, extending gains after last week’s robust June payrolls report to push the S&P 500 closer to its all-time high set in May, just before the start of earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.46 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.42 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index unchanged on a percentage basis.
** DELL INC, $13.41, up 2.87 pct (1200 ET)
Shareholder advisory firm ISS recommended Dell shareholders vote in favor of a $24.4 billion buyout offer for the PC maker from founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell, increasing the odds that his bid will succeed. The Dell stock was second-most traded stock on the Nasdaq by midday.
** INTEL CORP, $23.44, down 3.57 pct (1200 ET)
Analysts at Evercore Partners downgraded the microprocessor company’s stock to “underweight” from “equal weight”, saying near-term PC trends continue to weaken and the company’s Atom chips could in fact accelerate the cannibalization of its core business, resulting in lower profitability.
Intel’s top executives said last month that the company would speed up development and roll-out of its Atom chips for mobile devices, as the computing world moves away from the traditional personal computer. The stock was the top mover on the exchange by 1230 ET.
** SPRINT NEXTEL CORP, $7.16, down 1.53 pct (1104 ET)
The majority of Sprint Nextel shares elected to receive cash when Japan’s SoftBank Corp takes control of the company. Sprint shareholders voted in favor of the $21.6 billion deal that will give SoftBank 78 percent ownership when the merger closes on July 10.
Separately, Standard & Poor’s cut SoftBank’s debt rating two notches to “junk” grade, citing financial risks from its purchase of Sprint Nextel and Sprint’s proposed buyout of Clearwire.
Shareholders in Clearwire voted on Monday to approve majority owner Sprint Nextel’s buyout of the rest of the company.
** ALCOA INC, $7.89, up 1 pct (1051 ET)
The world’s leading aluminum producer reports second-quarter earnings after market closes. Analysts on average are expecting adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $5.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company reported adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $6 billion a year earlier.
** LUNA INNOVATIONS INC, $2.00, up 40.76 pct (1201 ET)
The technology company said it would receive development milestones through 2015 from surgical robot maker Intuitive Surgical Inc after the companies amended their existing development and supply agreement.
Luna signed the agreement in 2007 to integrate its shape sensing technology, which tracks the position of an optical fiber along its entire length, into Intuitive’s surgical devices.
Over 1.3 million shares of Luna changed hands by 1017 ET, nearly two times their 10-day average moving volume.
** The National Bank of Greece, $3.13, up 13.63 pct (1202 ET)
Euro zone finance ministers will decide on Monday if Greece gets the cash it needs all at once or by drip feed after fresh promises to redouble reform efforts convinced the troika of international lenders - the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank - that the country is committed to rebuilding its economy.
** NATUS MEDICAL INC, $12.54, down 12.59 pct (1202 ET)
The company estimated lower-than-forecast revenue of $81 million to $82 million for the second quarter. It had earlier forecast revenue of $86 million to $90 million for the quarter ended June 30.
** CLICKSOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES LTD, $7.56, down 9.39 pct (1106 ET)
The maker of workforce management software cut its full-year revenue forecast to between $110 million and $115 million due to a faster-than-anticipated transition to subscription-based revenue from software as a service model and a slow ramp up of revenue from new regions. The Israeli company earlier expected revenue of $120 million to $125 million for the full year.
ClickSoftware also estimated a loss of 8 cents to 10 cents per share on revenue of about $24.5 million for the second quarter. Analysts on average were looking for a loss of 3 cents per share on revenue of $27.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** TURQUOISE HILL RESOURCES, $5.85, up 7.32 pct (1203 ET)
The copper-gold miner’s majority shareholder Rio Tinto said it will start exporting copper from the $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia on Tuesday.
Turquoise Hill Resources owns a 66 percent stake in the mine, with the Mongolian government holding the rest.
The unlocking of ore shipments is key for Rio and Turquoise Hill to secure a further $4 billion in project funding for the expansion of the mine.
** LINN ENERGY LLC, $26.22, up 13 pct (1053 ET)
** LINNCO LLC, $29.50, up $11 pct (1054 ET)
** BREITBURN ENERGY PARTNERS LP, $15.93, up 5.64 pct (1204 ET)
** ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP, $20.84, up 5.8 pct (1117 ET)
Analysts at Robert W. Baird & Co upgraded Breitburn and LinnCo, which are involved in buying oil and gas assets, to “outperform” from “neutral”. The upgrades come after Linn Energy and affiliate LinnCo shares suffered losses all of last week due to U.S. regulators inquiry on their financial activities and uncertainty surrounding their buyout of Berry Petroleum Co . Baird analysts said the current low stock prices is an opportunity for long-term investors to buy shares.
Baird analysts upgraded their rating on oil and gas producer Atlas Resource’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral,” while cutting their price target to $26 from $27
BofA Merrill Lynch raised its rating on oil and gas producer Linn Energy’s stock to “buy”.
** CAI INTERNATIONAL INC, $21.99, down 6 percent (1141 ET)
Wells Fargo Securities cut its rating on the equipment leasing company’s stock to ‘market perform’ from ‘outperform’.
** CYTOKINETICS INC, $11.99, down 2 pct (1204 ET)
The biotechnology company said 58 of the 450 patients enrolled in a mid-stage trial of its experimental drug for an autoimmune disease received placebo instead of the drug, Tirasemtiv, due to a programming error.
“This could end up costing them more money, but it’s not going to jeopardize them finishing the trial. They have the cash,” Needham & Co analyst Chad Messer told Reuters.
The error in the electronic data system controlling the assignment of the drug has been corrected and an independent data safety monitoring board said there were no concerns regarding safety of those patients, the company said.
** PGF ENERGY INC, $22.03, down 3 pct (1141 ET)
Morgan Stanley downgraded the independent refiner to “equal weight” from “overweight,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** COEUR MINING INC, $11.92, down 4 pct (1146 ET)
A preliminary assessment by the silver miner of its La Preciosa mine in Mexico conveyed that the project was not viable at current spot silver prices.
“Essentially, they put out a PEA (Preliminary Economic Assessment) that’s pointing out that they spent about $350 million earlier this year for nothing. That’s what it is,” said analyst Andrew Kaip of BMO Capital Markets-Canada.
Spot silver prices have fallen 38 percent this year to close at $18.81 per ounce on Friday.
** NOODLES & CO, $41.87, down 6.38 pct (1055 ET)
Wedbush Securities initiated coverage of the casual dining chain’s stock with a “neutral” rating and a $35 price target.
“We believe Noodles’ current 187 percent and 98 percent premiums on a P/E and EV/EBITDA basis, respectively, to the restaurant growth group are unwarranted given largely in-line metrics relative to the group,” analysts at Wedbush said.
Noodles’ shares have risen about 21 percent since it went public on June 28.
** SANTARUS INC, $23.45, up 7 pct (1206 ET)
JMP Securities analyst John Newman started coverage on the pharmaceutical company with a “market perform” rating. Newman said he expected strong, diversified growth for Santarus, supported by Uceris and Zegerid, the company’s gastrointestinal drugs, and Ruconest, its drug for a rare allergic disease.
** JONES GROUP INC, $15.91, up 8.7 pct (1340 ET)
The fashion company that owns retail chains Nine West and Jones New York has hired Citigroup to explore a potential sale of the company, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Jones Group, which has a market capitalization of $1.2 billion, is in the early stages of reaching out to private equity and industry players to gauge interest in buying the company as a whole or in pieces, the sources said.
** DOT HILL SYSTEMS CORP, $2.24, up 12 pct (1351 ET)
Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded the company's stock to a "strong buy" on Saturday, saying growing need for advanced storage solutions, product launches and expected growth in deal pipeline make the company an attractive investment opportunity. (link.reuters.com/guz49t)
The stock was one of the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq by 1353 ET.
** GP STRATEGIES CORP, $27.10, up 6 percent (1402 ET)
The education services company said HSBC selected it to provide learning services to the bank’s global employees. The company’s UK operations have provided learning services to HSBC for over 10 years. “When fully implemented following entry into additional agreements with HSBC affiliates, we anticipate that this will be the company’s largest customer,” Chief Executive Scott Greenberg said.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $8.26, up 2 pct (1055 ET)
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $12.41, up 1.2 pct (1056 ET)
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $11.28, down 4 pct (1207 ET)
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING, $3.90, up 2.3 pct (1057 ET)
** SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS CO, $1.06, up 2 pct (1207 ET)
Shares of Chinese solar companies continued their rally for the second day on Monday. They gained between 5 percent and 7 percent on Friday after officials from Europe and China said they were moving towards a deal to defuse a conflict over alleged dumping of Chinese solar panels in Europe.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive, accuses China of flooding Europe with billions of euros of cheap solar panels sold at below the cost of production, and has imposed duties that will jump up to punitive levels in August.
** CAMTEK LTD, $2.35, up 4 percent (1208 ET)
The maker of testing products said it received $2.5 million worth of orders from a number of leading chipmakers. The Israel-based company reported revenue of $84.5 million last year.
** AVANIR PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.37, down 1.2 pct (1059 ET)
The biotechnology company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $150 million through sale of shares of its common and preferred stock, debt and warrants over a period of time.
The company expects to use part of the proceeds to fund commercial activities of its lead drug Nuedexta, the first therapy approved by U.S. health regulators to treat Pseudobulbar Affect. The central nervous system condition is characterized by involuntary laughing, crying or emotional outbursts. [r.reuters.com/xes49t ]
** PRICELINE.COM INC $877.60, up 2.5 pct (1208 ET)
Morgan Stanley upgraded the online travel agency’s stock to “overweight” from “equal weight,” according to theflyonthewall.com.
** HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS INC, $38.96, up 2.66 pct (1100 ET)
Goldman Sachs analysts raised their rating on the payment processor’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** AOL INC, $37.28, up 1 percent (1100 ET)
The online media group raised its stock repurchase program by $150 million to $200 million.
** EBIX INC, $9.80, up 1 pct (1100 ET)
The insurance software provider said its unit, Ebix Latin America, signed an agreement with Syndicate of Insurance Brokers of the State of Sao Paulo to implement and deploy a Multi-Quote Exchange Solution for auto insurance in Brazil.
** AG MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST INC, $16.73, down 1.3 pct (1102 ET)
** WESTERN ASSET MORTGAGE CAPITAL CORP, $15.50, up 1 pct (0953 ET)
Analysts at brokerage Wunderlich Securities downgraded the stocks of six mortgage real estate investment trusts (REITs), including AG Mortgage and Western Asset Mortgage, to “hold” from “buy,” citing illiquid market and expected failure to meet margin requirements. The analysts expressed concerns about the ability of these REITs to sustain their dividend payout.
** VERIFONE SYSTEMS INC, $16.72, down 1.71 pct (0934 ET)
Analysts at Barclays Capital downgraded the credit card swipe machine maker’s stock to “equal weight” from “overweight” and said the company is facing market share pressure. The brokerage also cited the loss of Verifone’s Middle East business, and the overall uncertain growth prospects as reasons for the rating cut. (Compiled by Lehar Maan; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)