June 10, 2014 / 4:13 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Astea, Christopher & Banks, Coupons.com, Francesca's

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks fell modestly on Tuesday as investors found few reasons to keep buying with the Dow and S&P 500 coming off a string of record highs. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.12 percent at 16,922.74, the S&P 500 was down 0.21 percent at 1,947.09 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 3.98 points, or 0.09 percent, at 4,332.26.


The drugmaker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed it to resume the development of one of its hepatitis C drugs, lifting a clinical hold that was imposed nearly a year ago.

** RECEPTOS INC, $39.84, +36.44 pct

The biotechnology company said its experimental drug to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis met the main goal in a mid-stage trial.

** RADIOSHACK CORP, $1.39, -9.74 pct

The U.S. electronics retailer reported a much bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss as its turnaround efforts failed to bear fruit, raising doubts about the company’s long-term prospects.

** QIWI PLC, $44.25, -7.00 pct

The payment processor announced a secondary public offering of 8 million Class B shares, of which 2 million will be sold by the company and the rest will be offered by selling shareholders. The company quoted $43.99 per share as the indicative price, at 7.5 percent discount to the stock’s Monday close on the Nasdaq.


Susquehanna Financial Group cut its rating to “neutral” from “positive” on the technology services provider’s stock, saying healthcare - Cognizant’s second largest business - may be decelerating which could slow growth in the near term.

** TWITTER INC, $35.3, +2.41 pct

Brokerage Wells Fargo raised its rating on the micro-blogging website’s stock to “market perform” from “underperform” and maintained its $36-$39 valuation range, citing the company’s strong monetization ramp, new product introductions, and broad advertiser interest.

“We view Twitter as a transformative social platform with opportunity to expand its audience scale, consumer value proposition and advertising utility,” analyst Peter Stabler wrote in a note to clients.

** FRANCESCA’S HOLDINGS CORP, $13.21, -13.55 pct

The women’s apparel retailer cut its full-year forecast after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly profit and sales due to a harsh winter and increased discounts to clear off an inventory pile-up.

** ALLERGAN INC, $163.72, -0.26 pct


Botox maker Allergan rejected a sweetened $53 billion takeover offer from Valeant and activist investor William Ackman, reiterating that it undervalues the company and is too risky for shareholders.

** COVANTA HOLDING CORP, $20.03, +3.73 pct

The operator of energy-from-waste projects said on Monday it would cut costs to add about $30 million to 2015 adjusted core earnings. Covanta, which raised its quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share, also said it had restarted efforts to start construction of its Dublin Waste-to-Energy project following favorable rulings by the European Commission in response to legal challenges raised against Dublin City Council in the areas of European State Aid and Procurement law.


The oil and gas company said it intended to bid for Ambassador Oil and Gas Ltd, days after the Australian company agreed to be bought by Drillsearch Energy Ltd. The offer of one Magnum Hunter share for every 27.8 Ambassador shares, values Ambassador at 34 Australian cents per share and represents a 20 percent premium to the current implied value of the Drillsearch offer, Magnum Hunter said.


The oil and gas company said it had bought some oil and gas assets located in Oklahoma for about $5.9 million. Torchlight, which also received $1.65 million in cash as part of the deal, also reiterated its second-quarter production forecast of an exit rate of 500 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

** CHRISTOPHER & BANKS CORP, $7.36, +10.68 pct

The apparel retailer reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, helped by higher sales at its Missy, Petite, Women stores and said it expects same-store sales to increase at a low to mid-single digit percentage range in this quarter.

** MOLSON COORS BREWING CO, $71.03, +5.84 pct

The brewer's shares are surging as international sales and cost cuts boost profit growth above its peers while positive jobs data signals a possible pickup in U.S. sales, Bloomberg said. (link.reuters.com/ryh99v)

** TYSON FOODS INC, $35.74, -4.69 pct

Credit Suisse downgraded the largest U.S. meat processor’s stock to “underperform” and lowered its 12-month target price to $35 from $40 a day after the company won the bidding war for Hillshire Brands Co.

The brokerage said Tyson stock will be dead money, at best for the next 12 months, as it copes with the hangover of paying a big price for the buyout. “We certainly see how Tyson’s offer to acquire Hillshire Brands at a 70 premium can create value for investors if they have a seven, ten, or twenty-year investment horizon. Unfortunately, most investors don’t have the luxury of investing with such a long-term view,” analysts wrote in a note.

** ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $33.09, +6.36 pct

The drugmaker said it received a $15 million milestone payment associated with the initiation of an early-stage study for a prostate cancer drug it is developing in collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc.

** DENDREON CORP, $2.08, -3.26 pct

The biotechnology company said Chief Executive John Johnson plans to step down from his position, citing personal reasons.

Roth Capital analysts cut their target price on the stock to 50 cents from $1.

** PEP BOYS - MANNY, MOE & JACK, $11.18, +6.27 pct

The automotive aftermarket chain reported first-quarter results that missed estimates but the company said it expects tire sales trends to improve in the second half of the year.

** COUPONS.COM INC, $23.75, -14.66 pct

Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock of the digital coupon company to “sell” from “neutral”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES INC, $4.17, +2.46 pct

Brokerage Canaccord Genuity resumed coverage of the chipmaker’s stock with a “buy” rating and a $5 price target, citing potential for earnings recovery, helped by its diversification strategy.

“We believe AMD’s diversification strategy positions the company to drive solid topline growth and a return to sustained profitability despite PC market headwinds,” analyst Matthew Ramsay wrote in a note to clients on Monday.

Imperial Capital started coverage on the stock with an “outperform” rating and a price target of $5.

** ASTEA INTERNATIONAL INC, $2.6125, +55.69 pct

The company, which makes service management software for clients in a wide range of industries, said Six-Axe Consultants, its reseller and partner in France, has received a contract from a global IT services company to implement the Astea Alliance suite.

The stock was the top percentage gainer on Nasdaq in morning trading.

** VERINT SYSTEMS INC, $48.96, -5.57 pct

The business analytics provider said it will offer 5 million shares and $300 million of convertible senior notes due 2021. The company intends to use the proceeds of the offering to pay costs of convertible note hedge transactions and to repay debt.

** BURLINGTON STORES INC, $29.64, +5.22 pct

The off-price retailer reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit due to strong sales at its stores selling off-price branded clothing and accessories.

** SCIENTIFIC GAMES CORP, $10.4, +13.79 pct

The games and technology supplier appointed Gavin Isaacs as chief executive and president. He will succeed David Kennedy effective immediately. Isaacs most recently served as CEO of SHFL entertainment Inc from April 2011 through November 2013.

** EHEALTH INC, $33.99, -12.85 pct

Brokerage Jefferies & Co cut its rating to “hold” from “buy” and lowered its price target to $40 from $62 on the Internet-based health insurance agency’s stock.

“A key part of our Buy thesis was EHTH generating $100mm of revenue by 2017 from selling subsidized insurance plans,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a note. “Health Insurance Exchange Plan Management (HIX) connectivity is still challenged, putting EHTH 1-2 years behind its largest competitor, healthcare.gov, where it will be harder to pry away members.”

** PPL CORP, $34.81, +1.72 pct

PPL and Riverstone Holdings LLC said on Monday they would combine their merchant power generation businesses into a new stand-alone, publicly traded independent power producer. The new company, which will own and operate a diverse mix of 15,320 megawatts of generating capacity in key U.S. energy markets, will be called Talen Energy Corp and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

** SPRINT CORP, $8.81, +0.46 pct

Macquarie Equities Research raised its price target to $10.18 from $9.75 on the third-largest U.S. telecom carrier’s stock. Kevin Smithen, analyst at the brokerage, said in a note that Sprint’s offer to pay $40 a share to buy T-Mobile US Inc and a reverse breakup fee of more than $1 billion were a win for the company.

“We now think the chances of regulatory approval are ~70 percent based on our analysis of the Department of Justice (DOJ) complaint against AT&T Inc, and the emergence of Comcast Corp (WiFi) as a provider of mobile wireless telecom services,” Smithen said.


The drugmaker said its experimental treatment was found superior to a generic one in acute migraine patients, within 30 minutes of receiving the treatment, in a late-stage trial.

The U.S. health regulator is expected to decide on whether to approve the treatment, codenamed AVP-825, by Nov. 26.

** SIGNATURE BANK, $122.09, -1.99 pct

The bank announced a offering of 2.1 million shares of its common stock priced at $123.25 each - below the stock’s Monday close of $124.57 on the Nasdaq. Signature Bank had about 46.07 million shares outstanding according to Thomson Reuters data.

** BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC, $26.05, -6.16 pct

The oilfield services provider said on Monday it was offering 6 million shares for sale on behalf of shareholders DLJ Merchant Banking Partners III LP and some related funds.

** B/E AEROSPACE INC, $93.929, -5.01 pct

The aircraft seat maker and parts distributor, will split into two publicly traded companies, making it easier for the company to pursue a sale of its businesses.

** EBAY INC, $48.45, -2.28 pct

** FACEBOOK INC, $65.36, +3.94 pct

David Marcus, who has led eBay’s fast-growing payments unit PayPal for the past two years, will step down this month to run Facebook’s messaging products, the companies announced on Monday.

** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, $9.12, +1.56 pct

The maker of power-management chips, said it would buy Aptina Imaging for about $400 million in cash to accelerate its growth in the automotive and industrial markets.

** CHICO’S FAS INC, $16.78, +9.17 pct

The womenswear chain is exploring a sale to private equity and has discussed a deal with potential suitors that could lead to one of the largest take-private transactions so far this year, the Financial Times reported. The final asking price could not be ascertained but an industry source told the paper that Chico's would likely command a premium of about 30 per cent to its $2.36 billion market capitalization. (link.reuters.com/tug99v) (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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