February 24, 2015 / 4:08 PM / 3 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Biocept, Micron, Sprint, Diamond Offshore

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U.S. stocks were flat shortly after the open on Tuesday, as the Dow and S&P 500 held near record levels before testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and a flurry of economic data. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.39 percent at 18,186.64, the S&P 500 was up 0.17 percent at 2,113.27 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.22 percent at 4,950.29.

** BIOCEPT INC,$2.85, +29.55 pct

The cancer test maker’s shares surged for the second straight day after it said its blood-based diagnostic test was effective in determining hormone levels in breast cancer patients in a study at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The stock was the second-biggest percentage gainer on the Nasdaq.

** MICRON TECHNOLOGY, $30.015, -4.41 pct

The memory chip maker’s shares slid, and were the most traded on the Nasdaq, after Seeking Alpha reported Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was now handling “at least half” of Apple Inc’s DRAM needs for the iPhone 6S, citing Korea Times.


The offshore contractor said Pemex and Petrobras verbally informed it of their intention to terminate contracts on some rigs. Cowen and Co cut its price target on the stock to $26 from $28.

The stock was the third-biggest percentage loser on the New York Stock Exchange.

** FACEBOOK INC, $78.56, -0.36 pct

The social media company said its active advertisers jumped 33 percent to 2 million from the 1.5 million it had in July 2014.

** SPRINT CORP,$4.561, -2.33 pct

BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk downgraded the mobile phone service provider’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”, citing concerns over growth. He set a price target of $3.25 on the stock, implying a 30 percent decline from its Monday close.

** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $60.795, +2.43 pct

The bank said on Tuesday it was aiming to save about $1.4 billion in annual expenses by cutting costs and simplifying businesses mainly in its consumer- and investment-banking units.

The firm is set to charge large institutional customers for some deposits, citing new rules that make holding money for the clients too costly, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The stock was among the sixth-most traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

** REAL GOODS SOLAR INC,$0.5503, -21.27 pct

The solar company priced public offering of units, consisting of shares and warrants, at $0.50 per unit. The stock closed at $0.70 on Monday on the Nasdaq.

** CYTORI THERAPEUTICS INC, $0.7623, +17.28 pct

European regulators issued a positive opinion on the cell therapy drug developer’s application to procure orphan drug status for its experimental drug, ECCS-50, to fight autoimmune condition scleroderma.


The company, which makes software for the automotive retail industry, forecast a 2015 profit below analysts’ expectations. Barclays Capital cut its price target on the stock to $43 from $47.

** SUNPOWER CORP, $32.22, +15.90 pct

** FIRST SOLAR INC, $57.26, +15.35 pct

Sunpower, the second-largest solar panel maker in the United States, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong demand for its high-margin power plant business.

First Solar and SunPower also said they were in advanced talks to form a joint venture, which will hold some of their solar power-generating assets.

** ROSETTA RESOURCES INC, $19.285, -11.82 pct

The oil and gas producer cut its 2015 production forecast to 58-62 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d) from 76-82 MBoe/d. Rosetta also reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, hurt by lower average sales price.

At least four brokerages downgraded the stock.

** CHEGG INC, $7.9, +17.04 pct

The stock was the top percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange after BMO Capital Markets upgraded it to “outperform” from “market perform”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.

The online library operator on Monday signed a deal with book distributor Ingram Content Group Inc’s unit to be able to exit its warehouse operations by the end of this year. The company said it would move investment from physical textbooks to high-margin digital services with Ingram responsible for all new book investments starting May 1.

Chegg also reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as operating expenses fell 10.4 percent from a year earlier.

** CYMABAY THERAPEUTICS INC, $10.37, -15.35 pct

The company said its experimental lead drug met the main goal of reducing episodes of gout in a mid-stage study.

** PDL BIOPHARMA INC, $6.74, -8.17 pct

The drug developer reported lower fourth-quarter net income, as acquisition- and compensation-related expenses increased.

** XENCOR INC, $13.99, -8.68 pct

The drug developer announced an offering of 5.5 million shares and said it will sell all the shares in the offering. The company had 31.4 million shares outstanding, as of Feb. 5.

** HOME DEPOT INC, $116.2, +3.49 pct

The world’s No.1 home improvement chain, reported a 36 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit and said it would buy back $18 billion of shares.

For a graphic comparing earnings of Home Depot and Lowe's Cos Inc, click (reut.rs/1D7xSLR)

** TOLL BROTHERS INC, $38.76, +4.47 pct

The largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised the low end of its full-year home delivery forecast as housing demand strengthened.

** MACY’S INC, $63.17, -1.54 pct

The department store chain’s fourth-quarter sales rose about 2 percent due to higher demand for apparel and accessories in the holiday shopping season, but missed the average analyst estimate.

For a graphic on department store earnings, click (reut.rs/1FTjEUU)

COMCAST CORP, $59.02, +1.39 pct

** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, $151.52, +1.63 pct

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, posted fourth-quarter revenue that marginally beat estimates as the company added new video and high-speed internet customers.

Comcast and Time Warner Cable have also been sued for $20 billion for allegedly discriminating against African American-owned media and employing advocates such as the NAACP and the Rev. Al Sharpton to advance their bias.


The restaurant chain operator raised its full-year earnings forecast after adjusted profit and sales beat estimates for the fourth straight quarter. The company said milder winter lower gas prices spur consumer spending, helping company’s second-quarter result.

** FIVE9 INC, $3.9, +3.17 pct

The maker of contact-management software for call-centers reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue and a smaller-than-expected loss as gross margin expands to 48.6 percent from 46.5 a year earlier. The company also forecast higher-than-expected revenue for the first quarter.

** HEALTH CARE REIT INC, $77.07, -2.06 pct

The REIT will offer 17 million of its 330 million shares outstanding. The company did not disclose the offer price and said it will use net proceeds to repay debt and for other purposes, including investing in healthcare, seniors’ housing.

** AGRIUM INC, $114.129, +3.86 pct

The Canadian fertilizer and farm retail dealer reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher prices for most grains and oilseeds. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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