October 31, 2014 / 4:58 PM / 4 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. Stocks on the Move-Boston Beer, Audience, Japanese companies

(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) The Dow industrials hit a record high on Friday as stocks rallied on Wall Street after the Bank of Japan significantly ramped up its stimulus program, just days after the Federal Reserve wound down its own package of U.S. economic incentives. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.01 percent at 17,369.88, the S&P 500 was up 0.94 percent at 2,013.49 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.26 percent at 4,623.866.

** BOSTON BEER CO INC, $246.75, +6.64 pct

The Boston-based brewer posted better-than-expected third-quarter profit and sales on Thursday due to lower-than-expected operating costs per barrel and double-digit growth in shipments.

Third-quarter net revenue was helped also by demand for limited-release Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin and Samuel Adams Fat Jack beers.

RBC Capital Markets raised its price target on the stock to $252 from $244.

** REGIONAL MANAGEMENT CORP, $11.74, -34.74 pct

The specialty consumer finance company’s third-quarter earnings fell to $1.4 million, or 11 cents per share, from $7.2 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected an EPS of 48 cents per share. At least four brokerages cut their ratings on the stock, while KBW cut its price target to $13.50 from $23.

Provisions more than doubled to $22.5 million due to high delinquencies, the company said, adding that Chief Executive Thomas Fortin had resigned and Director Michael Dunn was appointed interim CEO.

** CEVA INC, $16.41, +15.73 pct

The Israeli mobile chip designer reported a sharp rise in quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by its strongest ever licensing period. Brokerage Wunderlich upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold” and raised its price target to $17 from $14.

Topeka Capital raised its price target to $18 to $16.

“It has been a long time coming, but long-term evolution (LTE) is starting to happen for CEVA royalties,” Wunderlich Securities analysts wrote in a note.

** AUDIENCE INC, $3.52, -40.14 pct

The supplier of audio chips to smartphone makers forecast current quarter revenue way below analysts’ average estimate and a bigger-than-expected loss. Third-quarter revenue also missed estimates.

“The hard reality is that Audience’s technology is quickly being replaced at OEMs. It happened first at Apple and now it is happening at Xiaomi... All Audience is left with as a meaningful customer is Samsung. And Samsung is likely going into defensive mode given their recent share losses,” Deutsche Bank Securities analysts said in a note.



** NOMURA HOLDINGS INC, $6.34, +9.31 pct

** SONY CORP, $19.76, +5.56 pct

** HONDA MOTOR CO, $32.08, +4.67 pct

** TOYOTA MOTOR CORP, $120.812, +4.27 pct

Shares of U.S.-listed Japanese companies rose after the Bank of Japan expanded its massive stimulus spending.

The timing sends a strong signal to investors, as six years of aggressive U.S. stimulus came to an end and as the euro zone inflation data kept pressure on the European Central Bank to further ease monetary policy.

The Yen fell to near seven-year low against the dollar.

“It’s easy money, so financials, banks and securities, and real estate stocks stand to benefit further,” said Masayuki Doshida, senior market analyst at Rakuten Securities.

** CIRCOR INTERNATIONAL INC, $74.85, +7.47 pct

The valve maker reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit, helped by higher orders in its energy business.

** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, $8.27, +3.25 pct

The power management chip maker said it was noticing a recovery in orders for shipment in the first half of 2015.

Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the stock to $8 from $7.50

“While business weakened at the end of September and into October, (ON Semiconductor) is encouraged by a recent uptick in orders,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in note.

The company reported lower-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue, and forecast fourth-quarter revenue below the average analyst estimate, hurt by slowdown in orders this year.

** MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY, $43.1, +4.33 pct

Three brokerages raised their price targets on the chipmaker’s stock by up to $4 to as high as $51. The median price target on the stock is $47.50.

The company, which three weeks ago forecast a broad downturn in semiconductor demand, said on Thursday that the worst was over and the dip would be minor.

“Semiconductor revenue is poised to eclipse $300bn for the first time in history,” Credit Suisse analysts said.

Microchip’s third-quarter earnings forecast matched the average analyst expectation.

** LINKEDIN CORP, $226, +11.38 pct

The corporate networking website company reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue as more businesses used its services to hire staff.

At least 11 brokerages raised their price targets on the stock by as much as $24. The highest price target is Jefferies’ $315, while the lowest is FBR’s $180.

“We are encouraged by LinkedIn’s success ... as revenue per customer per month growth remained high (4.9 pct year-over-year),” JP Morgan analysts wrote in a note.


The mattress maker cut its 2014 adjusted profit forecast, saying it expects costs to continue to squeeze margins in its international and Sealy businesses.

The company cut the top end of its forecast to $2.70 per share from $2.85, with the low end unchanged at $2.60.

At least three brokerages cut their price targets on the stock, by as much as $9 to as low as $56.

** STAAR SURGICAL CO, $9.45, -14.40 pct

The implantable contact lens maker posted a loss in the third-quarter, compared with a profit a year earlier.

The company said refractive surgeries fell more than 50 percent in South Korea during the quarter, and the refractive market was yet to rebound in Japan.

William Blair and Canaccord Genuity cut their price targets on the stock.

** SUNPOWER CORP, $31.71, +7.13 pct

The solar panel maker signed an agreement to a form a joint venture to develop at least 3 gigawatt of photovoltaic solar power plants in China. The company said it would invest up to $20 million for a 4.6 percent stake in joint venture, its second in China.


The drugmaker cut its full-year sales forecast for the third time since January, blaming higher patient dropout rates and lower U.S. prescription growth rates.

“We do not trust the ability of management to accurately forecast sales,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in note, adding that “management provided no updates as to what will be done differently aside from revising forecasts”.

At least four brokerages cut their ratings on the stock to “hold”, while BofA Merrill Lynch cut to “underperform”.

** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $11.98, -2.52 pct

** ELDORADO GOLD CORP,$5.72, -5.61 pct

** YAMANA GOLD INC, $4.115, -7.74 pct

** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $3.04, -3.49 pct

** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD,$8.34, -1.53 pct

Gold and silver slumped to their lowest since 2010 as the dollar and stock markets soared following a new round of quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan and U.S. data showing a robust economy.

Spot gold down 2.5 pct at $1,168.66 an ounce.

Spot silver fell nearly 3 pct to $15.94 an ounce.

** GROUPON INC, $7.2101, +20.37 pct

The online discount coupon provider posted higher-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue as billings grew, mainly due to the acquisition of South Korean e-commerce company, Ticket Monster.

RBC raised its price target on the stock to $7 from $6 and Credit Suisse to $6.50 from $6.29.

Revenue and gross profit growth, robust billings growth, overall improving metrics and continued share buybacks are the reasons for the price target raise, RBC analysts wrote in note.

** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $16.2065, +3.03 pct

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration responded to members of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) community regarding its guidance on Sarepta’s marketing application for its experimental DMD drug.

Earlier this week, the regulator requested additional data to support the marketing application for Sarepta’s drug, eteplirsen, due to concerns about the methods used to measure a key biomarker, dystrophin, for DMD.

** BOYD GAMING CORP, $11.81, +7.07 pct

The gaming company reported third-quarter revenue above the average analyst estimate due to higher revenue from its Las Vegas operations.

** WISDOMTREE INVESTMENTS INC, $14.37, +22.72 pct

The asset manager said it would buy up to $100 million of its common stock over three years.

** IMPERVA INC, $40.5, +24.69 pct

The data security provider posted its biggest intraday gain since June 2013 after at least five brokerages raised their price targets on the stock by as much as $15 to as high as $44.

The company reported higher-than-expected third-quarter revenue and a smaller-than-expected loss on Thursday and raised its full-year revenue forecast, helped by growth in subscription revenue.

Imperva also forecast full-year revenue above analysts’ average estimate and said it estimates a smaller loss than analysts were expecting.

Brokerage firm Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “neutral”.

** MYLAN INC, $53.77, +2.67 pct

The drugmaker’s third-quarter adjusted profit and revenue beat analysts’ average estimate. Mylan also raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to $3.54-$3.60 per share from $3.44-$3.54.

“We remain confident in MYL’s growth outlook based on a strong base business,” Goldman Sachs said.

** AVIV REIT INC, $34.16, +13.49 pct


Omega Healthcare said it would buy Aviv for $3 billion or $34.97 per share. Aviv owns skilled nursing facilities and healthcare properties. The stock has an intrinsic value of $33.77, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

** STARBUCKS CORP, $75.915, -1.82 pct

The world’s biggest coffee chain’s shares fell after it reported lower-than-expected same-store sales in the Americas region. Chief executive Howard Schultz blamed the rise of online and mobile shopping for fewer visits to malls and other retail areas. JP Morgan analysts said the chief executive’s reason was “not an illogical one”. The brokerage firm also cut its price target on the stock to $82 from $85.

** GOPRO INC, $78.6, +15.16 pct

The wearable camera maker forecast better-than-expected holiday-quarter sales and reported third-quarter results above analysts estimates.

“The company is executing well, the addressable market continues to expand with the evolution of the overall platform,” JP Morgan Securities wrote in a note titled “GoGo for GoPro.”

At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock to as much as $80.

** EXPEDIA INC, $84.72, +4.94 pct

The online travel company reported robust third-quarter earnings on Thursday and topped analyst estimates, as strong hotel bookings boosted its profit by more than 50 percent from the year-earlier quarter.


The world’s second-largest money transfer company said it would cut prices for transfers within the United States due to rising competition, and withdrew its forecast for the year.

The company slashed its forecast for the year in April due to impending competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s new money transfer service.

** MERCADOLIBRE INC, $137.9, +19.70 pct

The Latin American online retail company reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue. Items sold on its platform jumped 22.3 percent to 26.9 million.

** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $18.98, -6.64 pct

The largest U.S.-based gold miner reported lower third-quarter earnings on Thursday but beat market expectations and also reduced its forecast for gold production costs this year.

** WESTERN UNION CO, $17.15, +2.69 pct

The world’s largest money-transfer company, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it benefited from its digital money transfer services. (Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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