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U.S. stocks were modestly lower on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 ended above 2,100 for the first time, as investors looked ahead to comments from the Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.26 percent at 18,001.21, the S&P 500 was down 0.30 percent at 2,094.09 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.11 percent at 4,894.065.
** ANGIE‘S LIST INC, $7.24, +48.06 pct
The operator of website that allows users to review local businesses reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue above analysts’ average estimates as it earned more from service providers and advertising.
** EMERSON RADIO CORP, $1.35, +26.17 pct
The distributor of home and consumer electronic products reported a 9.8 percent rise in third-quarter revenue due to higher sales of houseware products such as microwave ovens. The company also posted a profit compared with a loss a year ago when it took a charge to settle a litigation. Lower costs and higher licensing revenue also boosted results.
** ROSETTA GENOMICS LTD, $3.83, -20.21 pct
The Israeli molecular diagnostic company plans to offer an unspecified number of shares to raise proceeds of up to $14.4 million. The company could offer about 4.5 million shares based on stock’s 20-day average price of $3.21.
** EAGLE PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $32.63, +25.02 pct
The drugmaker posted a rise in quarterly revenue as a rise in royalty income more than offset a fall in product sales, helping it post revenue and loss that beat market estimates.
William Blair said a license agreement with Teva, announced on Tuesday, for its leukemia drug removed a major overhang and would moves Eagle Pharma to profitability.
** VARONIS SYSTEMS INC, $29.21, -22.00 pct
The data protection and analysis software maker’s Q4 revenue was in line with and profit better than analysts estimates. But Barclays said the results are “somewhat surprising after multiple beat-and-raise quarters” and that “reinvestments continue to handcuff near-term profitability”. The brokerage was one of at least three to raise their price target on the stock.
** ZILLOW GROUP INC, $130.63, +19.69 pct
Zillow Inc said it completed its acquisition of Trulia Inc to form Zillow Group Inc, which houses a portfolio of U.S. real estate website. The combined company started trading on Wednesday on the Nasdaq and will inherit the trading history of Zillow Inc. The company said it eliminated about 280 positions and that another 70 would be eliminated as of the end of the second quarter.
** PENN VIRGINIA CORP, $6.27, -14.11 pct
The E&P company said that in 2015 its expects to spend about 57-63 percent less than it did in 2014, but despite that it forecast a 10-20 percent increase in production. The company also said it has “significant oil hedges in place”, allowing it to “protect cash flow below a $90 oil price on 80 pct to 90 pct of our expected oil production”.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, $0.7732, +7.39 pct
The Canadian biotech company said it completed enrollment for mid-stage study testing its lead drug, reolysin, in patients with colorectal cancer.
** POTBELLY CORP, $15.98, +12.54 pct
The sandwich chain operator reported fourth-quarter adjusted profit that beat analysts average estimate, helped by 13 percent rise in revenue, and said it expects 2015 adjusted net income to rise at least 20 percent.
Piper Jaffray raised its price target on the stock to $16 from $14.
** MEDASSETS INC, $17.5, -11.75 pct
The healthcare information technology and service provider said its founder John Bardis had retired as chairman and CEO for personal reasons, and would be immediately succeeded by board member Halsey Wise. The company also forecast 2015 adjusted EPS well below the average analyst estimate.
The new CEO’s lack of healthcare experience and limited public company leadership dampens our positive view, Citi analysts say, cutting their price target on stock to $19 from $26.
** FOSSIL GROUP INC, $80.8066, -18.64 pct
The fashion accessories retailer reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit due to a decline in watch and leather products sales in North America. The company also said net sales would decrease up to 7.5 percent in the first quarter and that 2015 profit would be significantly hurt by a strong dollar and restructuring charges.
At least eight brokerages cut price targets; KeyBanc Capital Markets to $75, the lowest; Evercore Partners by $50, the steepest.
** SONUS NETWORKS INC, $16.07, -11.22 pct
The network gear maker reported smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue, hurt by lower service revenue. The company forecast first-quarter profit below analysts’ average estimate.
** CINEMARK HOLDINGS INC, $41.16, +5.32 pct
The theater operator reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue, helped by higher sales at its snack kiosks. Stifel Nicolaus & Co raised its price target on stock to $46 from $42.
** FLOWSERVE CORP, $62.13, +4.28 pct
The maker of valves and pumps for oil and gas firms reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as bookings at its engineered product business and flow control business rose.
** OCWEN FINANCIAL CORP, $9.58, +1.81 pct
Mortgage servicer Ocwen affiliate Home Loan Servicing Solutions Ltd said mortgage bond trustee Deutsche Bank will not start judicial proceedings based on allegations of default raised by hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management LLC. BlueMountain delivered a notice of default last month on the notes it owns that were issued in connection an HLSS receivables trust.
** RETAIL PROPERTIES OF AMERICA INC, $16.41, -3.47 pct
The real estate investment trust expects 2015 funds from operations (FFO) of 97 cents-$1.01 per share, lower than analysts’ average estimate of $1.08. The company forecasts flat to 2 pct growth in same-store net operating income in 2015.
* CENOVUS ENERGY INC, $17.77, -5.63 pct
Canada’s No. 2 independent oil producer said it would sell 67.5 million shares for C$22.25 each as it seeks to raise about C$1.5 billion ($1.21 billion) for its 2015 capital spending budget as oil prices remain weak. The deal is expected to close in the first week of March.
** BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC, $222,800, -0.22 pct
** DEERE & CO, $91.83, +2.12 pct
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, $90.74, -2.48 pct
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a 5 percent stake in agricultural equipment maker Deere and said it shed a $3.74 billion investment in oil company Exxon Mobil as oil prices plunged.
** SIGNAL GENETICS INC, $2.7857, +6.32 pct
The cancer test maker’s shares bounce back on Wednesday after falling nearly 33 percent on Tuesday when the company’s offering of 3.2 million shares was priced at $2.80 apiece. The shares were at about $2.90 on Wednesday, nearer the offer price than Tuesday’s close of $2.62.
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, $16.48, +11.05 pct
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, $99.7, -0.74 pct
Medical device maker Boston Scientific agreed to pay $600 million to J&J to settle a long-running lawsuit over Boston Scientific’s 2005 acquisition of rival Guidant.
JP Morgan raised its price target on Boston Scientific stock to $18 from $17.50.
** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, $1.497, -8.16 pct
The Greek lender’s U.S.-listed shares fell after uncertainty surrounding Greece’s debt talks with its creditors continued.
** AMARIN CORP PLC, $1.33, +12.71 pct
Suntrust Robinson raised its rating on the Irish drugmaker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, according to theflyonthewall.com.
** QIHOO 360 TECHNOLOGY CO LTD, $55.14, -8.05 pct
Jefferies cut its rating on the U.S.-listed shares of the Chinese antivirus and mobile software maker stock to “hold” from “buy” and lowered price target by $23 to $67.
** VIRGIN AMERICA INC, $35.26, +3.04 pct
The low-cost airline reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, helped by a 3.7 percent increase in revenue per available seat mile (RASM).
** GARMIN LTD, $51.81, -8.80 pct
The maker of GPS-based gadgets said a stronger dollar would slow revenue growth and forecast a profit below market estimates for the full year.
** TRANSOCEAN, $17.81, -2.68 pct
The offshore driller said it idled two more of its rigs and it had amended contracts to delay delivery of 5 jackups by about 6 months.
BMO started coverage of the stock with “underperform”, while it started coverage of the U.S. oil services industry with “outperform”. RBC Capital Markets analysts cut its price target to $17 from $20, citing company’s trouble in finding work for rigs rolling off contracts.
** SASOL, $38.43, -6.84 pct
The South African petrochemicals group signalled it will cut its dividend to save cash in the face of falling oil prices.
** YANDEX, $17.31, +3.96 pct
The operator of Russia’s biggest Internet search engine said it expected first-quarter revenues to grow by about 15 percent, year-on-year.
** HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC, $28.49, -0.56 pct
The owner of Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotel brands forecast lower-than-expected earnings for the first quarter and full year as a strong dollar makes it more expensive for foreigners to travel to the United States.
** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, $50.72, +1.70 pct
Pacific Crest raised its rating on the web-hosting company’s stock to “outperform” saying, “it appears that execution issues that beset the company are mostly behind it, and management has painted an achievable and sufficiently wide 2015 outlook range for revenue growth.”
Analysts say despite foreign exchange headwinds in the current-quarter the company will stay profitable.
Jana Partners LLC raised its sole share stake in the company by 14.2 percent to 8.0 million shares.
** JACK IN THE BOX INC, $93.906, +6.52 pct
Barclays raised price target on the hamburger restaurant chain’s stock to $90 from $84 after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit and sales. The company raised full-year 2015 profit and same-store sales forecast, above analysts’ average estimates.
** PERRY ELLIS INTERNATIONAL INC, $21.97, -8.19 pct
The apparel manufacturer and retailer forecast fourth-quarter and full year 2015 profit and revenue below analysts’ expectations as shipment delays caused by labor issues at West Coast ports hurts sales. Wunderlich Securities cut its price target to $29 from $30.
** ENPHASE ENERGY INC, $14.19, +1.94 pct
The maker of microinverters for solar industry reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue, mainly driven by 48 percent jump in revenue and stronger gross margins.
** PLURISTEM THERAPEUTICS INC, $3.14, +2.95 pct
The company’s drug for treating bone marrow, damaged by exposure to high levels of radiation, succeeded in study conducted by National Institutes of Health.
** LA-Z-BOY INC, $25.04, -9.11 pct
The furniture maker reported a lower-than-expected third-quarter profit on Tuesday as it spent more on technology upgrades and replacement of its e-commerce platform.
** DENBURY RESOURCES INC, $8.52, -6.06 pct
** HALCON RESOURCES CORP, $2.155, -3.36 pct
** SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC, $2.4, +2.13 pct
** RANGE RESOURCES CORP, $52.05, -0.74 pct
** HALLIBURTON CO, $44.34, -1.18 pct
** CIMAREX ENERGY CO, $111.33, -1.08 pct
Hedge funds exited tumbling oil company shares during the fourth quarter, regulatory filings show.
Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors liquidated its entire 3.7 million share investment in Denbury. But at SandRidge, Cooperman cut only 29 percent of his position.
Meanwhile Point72 Asset Management, which invests Steven A. Cohen’s roughly $10 billion personal fortune, slashed its investment in Range Resources by 65 percent.
Rainier Investment Management liquidated its 2.5 million share-stake in Halcon and also sold its interest in Halliburton.
Regiment Capital made only a small adjustment by selling 50,085 shares of Halcon, cutting its stake by 2 percent.
Diamond Hill Capital Management increased its investment in Cimarex by 16 percent, but Senator Investment Group liquidated its investment, selling 1.9 million shares.
** ENI, $36.83, +2.53 pct
The Italian oil company reassured investors with a small dividend increase on Wednesday and pledged to cut capital spending after lower oil prices depressed fourth quarter profit.
** CENTURYLINK INC, $37.72, -3.85 pct
Goldman Sachs downgraded the communication services provider’s stock to “sell” from “neutral” and its lowered target price to $33 from $37.
** DORMAN PRODUCTS INC, $45.15, -4.95 pct
The auto replacement parts provider reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, hurt by “softer order patterns” in second half of 2014.
** HERBALIFE LTD, $33.72, -2.52 pct
Three of the top 20 investors in Herbalife liquidated their positions during the fourth quarter when the nutrition and weight loss company missed Wall Street earnings estimates, but Soros Fund Management increased its holdings by roughly 80 percent, regulatory filings show. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)