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U.S. stocks fell modestly on Friday, pressured by some disappointing results from major multinational companies which offset optimism triggered by the European Central Bank’s recent decision to buy bonds and boost euro zone growth. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.25 percent at 17,769.44, the S&P 500 was down 0.21 percent at 2,058.9 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.25 percent at 4,762.26.
** BOX INC, $23.73, +69.50 pct
The online data storage provider Offering raises $175 mln, up to $201 mln if full overallotment is exercised. Bookrunners Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan communicated to investors deal north of 20x subscribed, more than 500 accounts in order book, about half the shares allocated to top 10 accounts. Public filing discloses existing shareholder Coatue Management may purchase up to 1.25 mln shares, 10 pct of offering, at IPO price.
** LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES, $2.7, -30.77 pct
The educational tablet maker said late on Thursday it will not achieve full-year forecast as holiday sales were significantly below expectations.
“Given the disappointing launch of the LeapTV and continued declines in the LeapPad business, visibility into future growth is very limited,” Monness, Crespi, Hardt analyst Jim Chartier wrote in note, downgrading the stock to “neutral” from “buy”. CRT Capital cut price target to $3 from $5.
** ARRAY BIOPHARMA, $6.95, +37.62 pct
The drug developer reaches agreement with Novartis AG to buy worldwide rights to encorafenib, an experimental cancer drug in late-stage studies.
** INFINERA CORP, $16.98, +17.92 pct
The network gear maker reports Q4 profit and revenue above average analyst estimates. At least 4 brokerages raise price targets by as much as $5 to as high as $20. “We think the organization has a long-term opportunity to drive operating margins well beyond the 10 pct-11 pct currently contemplated by 2016 Street models,” Jefferies analysts write in note.
** EGALET CORP, $8.57, +40.26 pct
Drugmaker said its oral morphine formulation was found to have low potential to be abused compared with Purdue Pharma’s MS Contin. More than 128,000 shares changed hands by 10:58 a.m. ET on Friday, compared to 198,403 on Thursday, their busiest day since October.
** DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG INC, $19.305, -9.41 pct
Cowen and Co downgrades to “underperform” from “market perform”, cuts target to $14 from $21 after the animation studio said it plans to cut 500 jobs and produce two feature films a year, instead of three, under plan to restructure core feature animation business. Janney Capital Markets cuts to “sell” from “neutral”. “While this may be the best choice given the circumstances, we do not believe the changes are likely to arrest the decline in DreamWorks’s fundamentals,” Cowen & Co analysts write in a note.
** UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC, $103.06, -9.79 pct
The package delivery company estimated Q4 earnings below its forecast and analysts’ expectation, hurt by higher-than-expected costs in U.S. holiday shopping season. Company also said its 2015 earnings-per-share growth will be slightly below its long-term target of 9-13 percent.
** OCWEN FINANCIAL CORP, $5.77, -24.58 pct
** HOME LOAN SERVICING SOLUTIONS LTD, $13.17, -14.20 pct
Hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management said it held short position and put options against stocks of both the mortgage servicer and its affliate. BlueMountain gave default notice on the Series 2012-T2 and Series 2013-T3 Notes it owns. The Default notice issued in connection with HLSS Servicer Advance Receivables Trust and said "facts establishing these events of default are irrefutable". Hedge fund cites Ocwen's recent problems including penalties from the New York financial regulator in December and issues with the California's Department of Business Oversight, which is seeking to suspend its license to operate in the state. Says these events "materially increase the risk of loss on the Notes that are collateralized by receivables affected by Ocwen's standing as a servicer. (prn.to/1EByqMo)
** TRULIA INC, $47.99, +13.24 pct
** ZILLOW INC, $109.25, +11.60 pct
Merger of the real estate websites reportedly approved by Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Seeking Alpha reports. (bit.ly/1EanN5X). Zillow and Trulia had agreed with the FTC in Dec 2014 not to close their deal before Feb 15, 2015.
** VIGGLE INC, $2.6, +14.04 pct
** SFX ENTERTAINMENT INC’S, $3.31, -11.97 pct
Robert Sillerman, the chairman and CEO of both companies, said the music event organizer will take over the 25-person revenue team of the entertainment services provider. SFX names Greg Consiglio president and chief operating officer; Consiglio to hold posts at both companies. SFX makes five other managerial changes in reshuffle.
** HUDBAY MINERALS INC SHARES, $9.02, -6.63 pct
** FIRST QUANTUM MINERALS LTD, $12.78, -9.68 pct
** TECK RESOURCES LTD, $15.47, -3.13 pct
** FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC, $19.39, -3.15 pct
** RIO TINTO PLC, $43.33, -3.50 pct
** BHP BILLITON LTD, $45.64, -3.53 pct
** VALE SA, $7.98, -8.17 pct
Copper on track for its sixth week of declines, weighed down by stronger dollar and concerns about the outlook for demand from top consumer China. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded 2 pct lower at $5,551 a tonne in official rings.
** LINKEDIN CORP, $233.98, +4.02 pct
Raymond James upgrades the professional social network’s stock to “strong buy” - Benzinga.Com. Nine out of the 39 brokerages covering stock rate it “hold”, rest “buy” or above.
** RESMED INC, $66.49, +7.48 pct
At least three brokerages raise price targets on the medical device maker’s stock after company posted better-than-expected second-quarter results on Thursday. Of the 15 analysts covering the stock, eight rate it “buy” or higher, six “hold” and one “sell”.
** STATE STREET CORP, $72.59, -5.84 pct
Custodial bank’s expenses rose about 7 pct to $1.88 bln in Q4 as employee benefits rose 3 pct to $962 million. Reported net interest revenue of $574 million during Q4, down about 2 pct. Fee revenue was “arguably weaker” compared with consensus, said Sanford C Bernstein & Co analyst Luke Montgomery.
** MAXIM INTEGRATED PRODUCTS INC, $33.76, +2.27 pc
At least 10 brokerages, including Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse raise price target on the chipmaker’s stock by as much as $8 to as high as $42, after reports Q2 profit and revenue above average analyst estimates on Thursday, mainly due to strong performance of its automotive business. Maxim says it is on track to achieve cost cut targets. Susquehanna analysts say they expect earnings to rise further in June quarter due to cost cuts.
** POLYCOM, $13.595, +8.46 pct
Video conferencing equipment maker Q4 profit, revenue beat average analyst estimate, helped by slight uptick in revenue from products and lower costs. Piper Jaffray raises price target to $11 from $10, but says competition from cloud-based video conferencing service providers to hurt Polycom’s rev in the long term.
** STARBUCKS CORP, $87.78, +6.09 pct
J.P. Morgan Securities and UBS raise price targets after the world’s biggest coffee chain on Thursday said that traffic to its Americas-region stores perked up during the holiday quarter, easing investor jitters about slower growth and boosting shares over 4 percent in after-hours trading. The company also announced that director Kevin Johnson would become the president and chief operating officer, effective March 1, replacing long-time executive Troy Alstead.
** AVON PRODUCTS , $7.76, -10.39 pct
Wells Fargo cuts the cosmetics maker stock to "market perform" from "outperform", saying buyout of entire company by private equity firm TPG Capital is "unlikely". The company holding talks with TPG Capital about potential deal, Dealreporter said on Thursday (bit.ly/1AUTwBX).
** KIMBERLY-CLARK CORP, $112.46, -5.48 pct
The company forecast a decline in net sales for 2015 due to a stronger dollar and weaker demand for its core products such as Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers in North America.
** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP’S, $24.58, +8.52 pct
The discount brokerage said it received regulatory approval to release excess capital from its banking unit and to separate broker dealer unit from bank.
Credit Suisse upgrades to “outperform” from “neutral” and raises price target to $28 from $24.
** HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC, $103.44, +4.07 pct
The maker of cockpit electronics and climate control systems reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as an improving U.S. economy helped boost sales at the company’s division that makes sensors, safety systems and airconditioning equipment. But total revenue fell 1.1 percent to $10.27 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 as sales in the company’s aerospace division fell 5.8 percent to $3.84 billion.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, $66.37, +4.09 pct
Analysts at J.P. Morgan Securities raise rating on the canadian yogawear chain’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral”; price target to $75 from $50. Say Lululemon well-positioned to take advantage of “scarcity of quality growth” across consumer sector. Analysts say CEO Laurent Potdevin “has stabilized the North American business” and company’s methodical multi-year roadmap is now in place.
** ALAMOS GOLD INC, $6.41, -8.95 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $5.76, -8.43 pct
** HARMONY GOLD MINING COMPANY LTD, $2.895, -5.08 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $2.85, -8.36 pct
Gold price shed part of previous day’s gains as markets digest mixed implications of European Central Bank plan to pump around 1 trillion euros to reflate economy.
Spot gold down 0.7 pct at 10:10 a.m. ET.
** MOLYCORP INC, $0.31, -18.55 pct
Rare earth miner hires law firm Jones Day to advice on debt restructuring, Bloomberg reports, citing a source (bloom.bg/1yRRUdY). Analysts at DA Davidson & Co cut Molycorp stock to "neutral" from "buy". Molycorp has about $1.6 billion of debt and would need production in the December quarter to reach or exceed 1,500 metric tons to gain confidence of investors, analysts say in a note. Company has failed to report a quarterly profit for more than two years.
** NEW YORK TIMES CO , $13, +0.46 pct
Michael Bloomberg is reportedly interested in buying the newspaper publisher company, New York Magazine reports on its website (nym.ag/1BkfGQx). New York Times advertising revenue has been falling and digital products have failed to meet expectations.
** HORSEHEAD HOLDINGS, $13.76, +3.30 pct
Zinc producer Prices public offering of 5 mln shares at $12.75 each. Company will likely use the fund from the offering to expands its EAF dust recycling business and potentially its nickel recycling business, Oppenheimer & Co Inc analyst Ian Zaffino said. “Horsehead is expecting really strong return on those potential investments. So it improves the longer term outlook of the company,” Zaffino said.
** COFFEE HOLDING CO INC , $5.71, +1.96 pct Wholesale coffee roaster and dealer reports profit for fiscal 2014, compared with loss a year earlier, helped by lower cost of sales. Cost of sales fall to 85.7 pct of net sales from 95.5 pct in 2013 on favorable inventory positions and rising coffee prices.
** NEOGENOMICS INC, $3.89, +8.66 pct Cancer diagnostics provider expects Q4 revenue of $25 million compared with previous forecast of $23-$24.5 million. “The beat was driven by continued volume growth from core business and potentially robust product synergies from its PathLabs acquisition,” say Roth Capital Partners analysts.
** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, $24.74, +1.89 pct
The U.S. conglomerate’s quarterly earnings topped Wall Street’s estimate on Friday as its business of selling power-generating turbines drove a 9 percent increase in industrial profit despite weak sales in its oil and gas unit. Revenue at the oil and gas division slumped 6 percent, although it was flat on an organic basis. Orders at the unit, which sells oil and gas equipment and services, fell 4 percent on an organic basis.
** VIVUS INC, $2.68, +3.88 pct
Analysts at RBC Capital Markets starts coverage of the drugmaker’s stock with “outperform” rating and price target of $6, citing the changing dynamics of obesity market. Of the 9 analysts covering the stock, one has “buy” rating and 5 a “hold”, while the rest rate it “sell” or lower.
** CACHE INC, $0.0486, -50.10 pct
The mall-based retailer is poised to become the latest U.S. apparel retailer to file for bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The bankruptcy filing could come as early as next week, the Bloomberg report said. (bloom.bg/1yTSifa).
** FXCM INC, $2.64, -14.84 pct
Terms of finaning by Leucadia National Corp mean significant equity dilution for FXCM as Leucadia could force sale of FXCM in three years and could get majority proceeds of a sale, say Keefe, Bruyette and Woods (KBW) analysts. Leucadia said last Friday it would loan the retail forex brkerage $300 million. (Compiled by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)