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U.S. stocks fell on Thursday following comments from a top Federal Reserve official that interest rate increases should come sooner rather than later. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.17 percent at 16,839, the S&P 500 was down 0.22 percent at 1,955.28 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 20.92 points, or 0.48 percent, to 4,358.84.
** ROYALE ENERGY INC, $3.2648, +8.47 pct
The oil and gas producer said a review found up to 325.3 million barrels of oil in two locations in Alaska’s North Slope region. The assessed regions were among company’s recent acquisition of Big Bend seismic survey.
** METHODE ELECTRONICS INC, $37.4, +13.26 pct
The electronic products maker forecast sales for year ending May 2015 above analysts’ estimates. Methode, whose products include touchscreens, sensors, remote controls and high-speed data cables, said it expects to launch new products in fiscal 2015. The company also reported better-than-expected revenue for fourth quarter, helped by higher sales in automotive, interconnect and power products segments.
** CONCERT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $9.815, +10.28 pct
Ladenburg Thalmann analysts initiated coverage on the drug developer’s stock with a “buy” rating. Analysts said they believe in the potential of the company’s strategy of developing medicines using deuterium, a naturally occurring relative of hydrogen that strengthens molecular bonds.
** NATURE’S SUNSHINE PRODUCTS INC, $17.73, +13.15 pct
The healthcare company said it entered into a joint venture with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co to market and distribute Nature’s Sunshine and Synergy products in China.
Fosun Pharma will also invest about $46.3 million in Nature’s Sunshine common stock in a private placement transaction.
** HARVARD BIOSCIENCE INC, $3.955, +6.03 pct
Janney Capital Markets started coverage of the scientific apparatus maker’s shares with a “buy” rating. Janney analysts said they expected the new management’s initiatives to translate into double-digit earnings per share growth over the next several years.
** OHR PHARMACEUTICAL INC, $9.74, +33.24 pct
Vista Partners raised the price target on the drug developer’s stock to $31 from $14, saying Ohr’s Squalamine eye drops has potential to change the way patients are treated for age-related macular degeneration.
** XEROX CORP, $12.35, -1.89 pct
Brokerage Argus Research cut rating on the company’s stock to “hold” from “buy”, according Streetinsider.com.
** GOPRO INC, $31.3101, +30.46 pct
Shares of GoPro, which makes wearable cameras, rose as much as 26 percent in their market debut. The stock’s high of $30.19 in early Nasdaq trading valued the company at $3.7 billion.
** BARCLAYS PLC, $14.69, -6.49 pct
** UBS AG, $18.43, -2.64 pct
** LAZARD LTD, $50.4, -2.87 pct
** CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG, $28.311, -3.47 pct
** DEUTSCHE BANK AG, $26, -2.38 pct
The New York State’s attorney general has filed a securities fraud lawsuit against Barclays, accusing the British bank of giving an unfair edge in the United States to high-frequency trading clients even as it claimed to be protecting other customers from such traders. Barclays could suffer a litigation cost of $163 million from the activities and Deutsche Bank and UBS could face similar costs from an industry-wide investigation, said analysts at Credit Suisse. They gave no estimate for their own bank.
** STEELCASE INC, $15.86, -10.19 pct
The office furniture maker forecast adjusted current-quarter profit of 22-26 cents per share, below the average analyst estimate of 28. The company reported lower-than-expected first quarter profit, citing weak growth in the Americas and higher costs associated with warranties and freight and distribution, some of which may impact results in current quarter
Steelcase shares were the biggest loser on the New York Stock Exchange.
** POWERSECURE INTERNATIONAL INC, $9.92, +3.33 pct
The utility and energy technology provider said it made changes to a contract with an unnamed utility customer, including adjustments to pricing. Lake Street Capital Markets raised rating on the company’s stock to “buy” from “hold”. Analysts said renegotiated utility contract gives them greater confidence in forward estimates for the company.
** SCHLUMBERGER NV, $116.19, +2.06 pct
Six brokerages raised price targets on the world’s largest oilfield services company’s stock to $127-$140 after it forecast 2017 earnings per share largely above analysts’ average estimate. Schlumberger’s margins can improve due to continued growth in the Gulf of Mexico, the introduction of new technologies, and increasing operational efficiencies, according to RBC Capital Markets.
** TCP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LTD, $10.44, -5.09 pct
The lamp maker’s shares fell as much as 7.36 pct to $10.19, valuing company at about $282.2 million. The IPO of 7.1 million common share, which were priced at $11 each, below expected range of $13-$15, raised about $78.6 million.
** SERVICEMASTER GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC, $17.7, +4.12 pct
Shares of ServiceMaster rose about 3.64 percent in their debut, valuing the owner of Terminix pest control and American Home Shield brands at about $2.25 billion.
The IPO raised about $610.3 million after its offering was priced at $17, slightly below its expected price range of $18-$21 per share.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $29.71, +4.21 pct
The solar panel maker’s unit signed a deal with Kingston Solar LP for the construction of a 140 megawatt DC Solar Farm in Ontario. The project is expected to be fully operational in the third quarter of 2015 and generate over C$300 million ($276 million) in revenue.
** GLU MOBILE INC, $4.41, +8.89 pct
The mobile game maker announced support for Google’s Android TV platform. Glu said gamers can now play its top games, Deer Hunter 2014 and Eternity Warriors 2, on a big screen in high definition. The company also integrated the new Google Play Game Services into several of its games.
** HB FULLER CO, $47.06, -6.35 pct
The adhesive provider’s second-quarter revenue and full-year earnings missed average analyst estimate, while gross profit margin fell 2 percentage points.
** UNIPIXEL INC, $7.54, +9.59 pct
The touchscreen sensor maker said it started pilot production of its new InTouch Sensors, overcoming technical challenges.
Cowen & Co raised price target on the company’s stock to $7.50 from $5.00. Analyst Robert Stone said a modest penetration of the touch device market could support strong sales growth.
** IRON MOUNTAIN INC, $35.75, +20.09 pct
The document storage company said its board has approved its conversion to a REIT for 2014 tax year after favorable IRS ruling.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $14.9, +3.76 pct
The coal miner issued an open letter to shareholders rejecting activist investor Casablanca Capital LP’s claims against the current management.
The hedge fund, which wants to replace Cliffs Natural’s chief executive, responded by asking shareholders to vote for its board nominees.
** ELIZABETH ARDEN INC, $22.13, -18.04 pct
South Korea’s LG Household & Health Care Ltd said it is no longer interested in acquiring Elizabeth Arden after the U.S. cosmetics firm announced this week it would embark on extensive restructuring due to mounting losses.
** AUXILIUM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $21.005, -1.06 pct
** QLT INC, $6.16, +14.08 pct
Drugmaker Auxilium said it would buy Canadian eye drug maker QLT in an all-stock deal to gain access to QLT’s experimental treatment for retinal diseases caused by gene mutations. For QLT shareholders, the transaction represents a 25 percent premium based on a calculation of the closing prices of Auxilium and QLT shares on the Nasdaq on June 25.
** AGENUS INC, $3.51, +2.33 pct
The biotechnology company reported promising data from mid-stage trial of its experimental vaccine for treating genital herpes. The company said more than half of those vaccinated developed a robust immune response.
** ALCOA INC, $14.94, +2.68 pct
The aluminum giant has agreed to acquire aircraft parts maker Firth Rixson from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners for $2.85 billion in cash and stock, the company said on Thursday. The deal will grow Alcoa’s aerospace segment, and boost the aluminum giant’s production of nickel and titanium goods.
** C&J ENERGY SERVICES INC, $32.51, -0.91 pct
** NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD, $29.09, +6.56 pct
Oilfield services provider Nabors will merge its well maintenance business with C&J Energy and receive $2.86 billion in cash and stock. After the deal, Nabors will own about 53 percent of the combined company, which will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as C&J Energy Services Ltd.
** BED BATH & BEYOND INC, $56.48, -7.58 pct
The home goods retailer reported weaker-than-expected results and forecast. The company said it expects second-quarter earnings of $1.08-$1.16 per share, lower than average analyst estimate of $1.20. Two brokerages cut price targets on the company’s stock, citing weak earnings.
** PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL INC, $86.48, -2.71 pct
The cigarette maker cut its earnings forecast for 2014 and said it is proving to be a “complex and truly atypical” year for the company. Philip Morris and its rivals are grappling with declining sales in a number of markets due to increasing government regulation and more health-aware consumers, as well as smuggling and an economic downturn. (Compiled by Amrutha Gayathri in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)