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The Nasdaq Composite index hit the 5,000 mark on Monday for the first time since March 27, 2000 and edged closer to its 5,132.52 all-time peak it reached that same month in the frenzy of the dot-come bubble. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.59 percent at 18,240.33, the S&P 500 was up 0.33 percent at 2,111.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.47 percent at 4,986.878.
** TRACON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $19.28, +43.56 pct
Stifel Nicolaus raised price target on the drug developer’s stock to $20 from $16. Company said on Friday that its experimental cancer drug was effective in improving overall survival in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer, in an early-stage study.
** OHR PHARMACEUTICAL INC, $10.4, +35.24 pct
The eye drug developer said the mid-stage study of its squalamine eye drops improved vision by week 4 in patients with a wet form of age-related blindness, when used in combination with lucentis. Cowen and Co initiated coverage of the stock with an “outperform” rating and price target of $25.
** GRAFTECH INTERNATIONAL LTD, $4.63, +18.72 pct
The graphite electrode maker posted a surprise fourth quarter profit, partly helped by about 25 percent fall in cost of sales. Company said it expected to reduce 2015 capital expenditures by $20 million and inventory by about $50 million.
** LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HOLDINGS INC, $40.8, -21.33 pct
The hardwood flooring retailer sold flooring with higher levels of formaldehyde than permitted under California’s health and safety standards, according to television news program “60 Minutes”.
Morgan Stanley downgrades stock to “equal-weight” from “overweight”.
** ATHERSYS INC, $2.92, +12.74 pct
The drug developer signs agreement with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to market its cell therapy for ischemic stroke in Japan.
** MAVENIR SYSTEMS INC, $16.55, +13.59 pct
** MITEL NETWORKS CORP, $10.83, -14.72 pct
U.S.-listed shares, $8.63, -15.06 pct
Canadian telecom services provider Mitel said it would buy mobile networking software maker Mavenir for $560 million in cash and stock.
** NXP SEMICONDUCTORS NV, $98.76, +16.33 pct
** FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR LTD, $40.16, +11.22 pct
Chipmaker NXP Semiconductors has agreed to buy smaller peer Freescale Semiconductor and merge operations in a deal valuing the combined company at over $40 billion.
** SUCAMPO PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $13.3601, -13.13 pct
Credit Suisse analysts downgraded the drugmaker’s stock to “underperform” from “neutral” but increased price target to $13 from $10. “We remain concerned about the longer-term competitive threats to Sucampo’s base business from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc’s Linzess, which enjoys a superior clinical profile and efficacy,” analysts wrote.
The New York Stock Exchange said it suspended trading of the stock immediately and commenced delisting proceedings. FDIC said on Friday that the bank has failed and a local rival will take over its operations.
** KOSMOS ENERGY LTD, $8.03, -10.58 pct
The oil and gas explorer said it will abandon an exploration well offshore Western Sahara as discovery of gas was non-commercial. The well in the Cap Boujdour exploration area was drilled at a cost of $85 million, the company said.
** CORE-MARK HOLDING CO INC, $60.98, -13.28 pct
The consumer goods distributor reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, hurt by stronger dollar, and company forecast 2015 sales below analysts’ estimates.
** NAVIENT CORP, $19.19, -10.33 pct
Compass Point lowered rating on the student loan servicing company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy” after the U.S. Department of Education ended its collection contract with Navient’s unit, Pioneer Credit Recovery.
** VISA INC, $276.29, +1.84 pct
** CITIGROUP INC, $53.28, +1.64 pct
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, $147.72, +0.52 pct
Warehouse club retailer Costco said it had entered into agreements with Citigroup and Visa for co-branded credit cards. Visa shares touch record high of $277.00.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, $1.12, +24.44 pct
U.S.-listed shares, $0.89, +22.17 pct
The Canadian biotech company said the U.S. FDA granted its lead drug, Reolysin, orphan status for treatment of fallopian tube cancer.
** PACIRA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $95.92, -16.42 pct
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected Pacira’s application for expanding the use of its post-surgery pain drug, Exparel.
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $6.85, -4.99 pct
U.S.-listed shares, $5.475, -5.60 pct
The Canadian gold miner said Greece’s energy ministry revoked approval to complete construction of a processing plant at its Skouries project. The company said the ministry may renew approval once it completes an internal review.
** GOODRICH PETROLEUM CORP, $4.16, -7.14 pct
Oil and gas producer’s public offering of 12 million shares priced at $4.15 each, a discount of 7.4 percent to the stock’s Friday’s close. Offering represented 27 percent of shares outstanding.
** LAREDO PETROLEUM INC, $11.24, -5.78 pct
The oil and gas producer’s offering of 60 million shares priced at $11.05 apiece, a discount of nearly 8 percent to the stock’s Friday close. Offering size was raised from 50 million shares to 60 million, which represents nearly 42 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.
** BIOSCRIP INC, $5.3399, -12.60 pct
The home health provider reported its biggest quarterly loss in four years as it took a charge related to bad debt. The company reported a net loss of $63.6 million, including a $31.7 million charge to bad debt which the company believes reserves older account receivables.
** ACHAOGEN INC, $10.15, -9.13 pct
Credit Suisse downgraded the drug developer’s stock to “underperform” from “outperform” and cut the price target to $13 from $22. Analysts said they expect the launch of company’s lead experimental antibiotic, plazomicin, could be delayed by a year to 2019.
** ZIOPHARM ONCOLOGY INC, $11.71, +4.00 pct
Mizuho Securities USA Inc raises price target on the cancer drug developer’s stock by $3 to $14, matching Wall Street’s median target. Mizuho reiterates “buy”, citing potential data from one or more clinical programs by year-end among other factors.
** ENDOCYTE INC, $5.989, +3.26 pct
The cancer drug developer posted a smaller-than-expected fourth quarter loss as expenses fell. Total expenses fell 59 percent to $8.2 million in the fourth quarter.
** AMERICAN REALTY CAPITAL PROPERTIES INC, $9.995, +1.89 pct
The commercial real estate investment trust said it completed restating results for 2011, 2012, 2013 and the first six months of 2014.
** OPKO HEALTH INC, $14.18, -2.61 pct
Drug developer reports bigger-than expected fourth quarter loss, hurt by higher costs.
** TCP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LTD, $2.79, +1.82 pct
The lighting technology maker says claims against TCP is “without merit” and intends to “defend against it”. The company was responding to the litigation filed on Feb. 27 alleging misconduct by company and Chief Executive Ellis Yan.
** STAR BULK CARRIERS CORP, $4.195, -9.20 pct
** DRYSHIPS INC, $0.925, -2.64 pct
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $10.83, -1.55 pct
** SAFE BULKERS INC, $3.68, -2.90 pct
Shares of dry bulk shippers down 1-9 percent due to “prolonged weakness” in the dry bulk market. Weak demand from China and oversupply of ships has pushed the Baltic dry index - the industry benchmark for freight rates - to an all-time low.
** NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE HOLDINGS INC, $25.85, -3.00 pct
FBR Capital Markets cut rating on the mortgage servicer’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform” and price target to $30 from $35, after company reported lower-than-expected fourth quarter profit last week.
** MCDONALD’S CORP, $99.92, +1.03 pct
The fast-food chain operator’s Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook started as chief executive on Sunday. Shares have risen 11.4 percent in the 21 trading days since Jan. 28 when McDonald’s said CEO Don Thompson would leave, following one of its worst financial years in decades.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $13.94, +2.95 pct
U.S.-listed shares, $11.1228, +2.89 pct
Mobile device maker said it plans to offer a cloud-based version of its device management platform BES12, a move that will make the service more accessible to small- and medium-sized businesses that need to secure devices on their own networks.
** SQUARE 1 FINANCIAL INC, $25.47, -7.98 pct
** PACWEST BANCORP, $44.38, -3.17 pct
Regional lender PacWest Bancorp said it agreed to buy Square 1 Financial in an all-stock deal valued at about $849 million. Square 1 stockholders will receive 0.5997 shares of PacWest common stock for each share held, the companies said on Monday. This equates to $27.49 per share based on PacWest’s Friday close. (Compiled by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)