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U.S. stocks were lower on Wednesday, with indexes on track for a second straight day of declines after a recent rally, with healthcare stocks the only bright spot after a U.S. Supreme Court hearing. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.53 percent at 18,107.78 and the S&P 500 was down 0.46 percent at 2,098.18.
** COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS INC, $52.54, +5.95 pct
** HCA HOLDINGS INC, $75.07, +6.05 pct
** TENET HEALTHCARE CORP, $49.43, +5.04 pct
** LIFEPOINT HOSPITALS INC, $73.63, +3.02 pct
** UNIVERSAL HEALTH SERVICES INC, $115.46, +2.42 pct
** AETNA INC, $101.05, +1.26 pct
** UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC, $113.36, +0.44 pct
Shares of U.S. hospital operators and health insurers rose as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on a second major challenge to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. No clear majority was immediately apparent in the case, which takes aim at a pivotal part of the statute providing tax subsidies to help people afford insurance.
A graphic on the healthcare stocks: link.reuters.com/fub34w
** INFOSONICS CORP, $2.65, +55.88 pct
The handset and tablet maker’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 51 percent, helped by strong retail demand for its smartphones.
** NOVOGEN LTD, $3.62, +43.97 pct
The Australian drug developer said pre-clinical study of its lead drug showed promising results in treating brain cancer in adults and children. The company said the drug, TRXE-009, was found to be effective in destroying brain cancer cells that are resistant to chemotherapy.
** SOLAR3D INC, $3.16, -44.56 pct
The solar cell developer’s offering of 3 million units was priced at $4.15 each, raising about $12.45 million.
** VEEVA SYSTEMS INC, $25.45, -22.15 pct
Deutsche Bank cut its rating to “hold” from “buy” on the stock of the company, which provides cloud-based software for life sciences industry.
Deutsche Bank also cut its price target to $30 from $37.
Veeva forecast Q1 billings of $80 million-$85 million, well below Deutsche Bank’s estimate of $102 million.
** BAZAARVOICE INC, $6.68, -26.43 pct
B. Riley & Co cut its rating on the e-commerce software maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”. The company forecast a 6-10 percent revenue growth for the year ending April 2016, below analysts’ average estimate of 14 percent, as new products are taking longer to gain traction, analysts wrote in a note.
** EFUTURE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INC, $4.9, +18.64 pct
The Chinese supply chain management software maker’s fourth-quarter revenue rises 44 percent to $20.9 million, driven by higher sales of its software licenses and an increase in service fees.
** BOB EVANS FARMS INC, $46.84, -21.46 pct
The restaurant and packaged food company said it was not currently looking at selling or spinning off its food-products business and was evaluating strategic options for all or a portion of its real-estate assets. At least two brokerages downgraded the stock to “hold”.
** AUTOHOME INC, $43.87, +14.24 pct
The Chinese automobile information website operator’s fourth-quarter revenue topped estimates, helped by a rise in revenue from dealer and automaker advertising services.
** CDI CORP, $15.91, -13.67 pct
The staffing services company reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue, hurt by a 4.5 percent dip in its hi-tech professional staffing services business.
** HYDROGENICS CORP, $14.11, +12.79 pct
The Canadian fuel-cell company reported a surprise quarterly profit. Fourth-quarter revenue jumped a better-than-expected 42 percent, driven by higher demand for its fuel-cell products.
** XPLORE TECHNOLOGIES CORP, $6.115, -11.76 pct
The rugged tablet PC maker’s offering of 2 million shares was priced at $6 per share, a 13 percent discount to Tuesday’s close.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $11.65, -4.04 pct
Barclays Capital began covering the drug developer’s stock with an “underweight” rating and an $8 price target.
** RENEWABLE ENERGY GROUP INC, $9.63, +5.36 pct
The biofuel producer’s fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by a slightly lower feedstock prices and a biodiesel tax credit.
** CORONADO BIOSCIENCES INC, $3.2755, +17.40 pct
** TG THERAPEUTICS INC, $14.98, +6.02 pct
Coronado said its subsidiary, Checkpoint Therapeutics, signed a deal with TG Therapeutics to develop cancer therapies. Checkpoint is set to develop anti-PD-1 antibody - a new class of drugs to fight cancer by activating body’s defenses against tumor cells.
** ATOSSA GENETICS INC, $2.06, +5.10 pct
The medical-test maker launched a FullCYTE Breast Aspirator, used to collect fluid from breasts for tests, in some European countries. The company said it aims to achieve $8 million in 2015 revenue from product sales and laboratory services.
** CYCLACEL PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $1.073, -24.44 pct
The drug developer’s public offering of 10 million shares was priced at $1 per share, a discount of 30 percent to Tuesday’s close.
** NEOPHOTONICS CORP, $4, +14.29 pct
The company, which makes chips used in telecommunication networks, reported a surprise fourth-quarter profit and better-than-expected revenue, helped by cost-cutting and strong demand.
** WAYFAIR INC, $29.05, +15.05 pct
The online home-furnishing retailer reported a much smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, as it added more customers and revenue per customer jumped in the holiday shopping quarter.
** CAREER EDUCATION CORP, $6.07, +18.32 pct
The for-profit education provider said it expects modest growth in total student enrollments in 2015. The company said cost-cutting actions would reduce 2015 expenses by $40 million.
** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, $8.9528, +17.18 pct
The drugmaker said on Tuesday data from cardiovascular outcomes study showed that obesity drug Contrave was safe for heart. Leerink Partners LLC analysts raised their price target on the stock to $11 from $8.
** TRINET GROUP INC, $33.47, -11.64 pct
The staffing services company’s fourth-quarter profit missed analysts’ average estimate due to higher-than-expected large medical claims. Deutsche Bank cut its target price on the stock to $35 from $40.
** LEXICON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $1.05, +7.16 pct
The drug developer’s fourth-quarter revenue exceeded analysts’ average estimate due to revenue recognized from a license agreement with French company Ipsen Pharma SAS.
** CYTORI THERAPEUTICS INC, $1.115, -7.08 pct
The drug developer said it expects full-year product revenue to be lower than analysts’ average estimate.
** EXACT SCIENCES CORP, $21.95, +4.23 pct
** AETNA INC, $101.05, +1.26 pct
Medical-test maker Exact Sciences said health insurer Aetna will cover the company’s colon cancer test for three years, starting April 1.
** AMBARELLA INC, $66.67, +5.74 pct
At least six brokerages raised their price target on the video-processing chip maker’s stock after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue and profit.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, $84.72, +3.85 pct
The Chinese e-commerce giant invested $382.7 million in TV program producer Beijing Enlight Media Co Ltd, Beijing Enlight said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
Executive Chairman Jack Ma announced on Tuesday that Alibaba would provide Taiwan with the information about its business, a day after the island’s investment regulator said the company had violated rules required for a Chinese company and had to quit the island within six months.
** ARTISAN PARTNERS ASSET MANAGEMENT INC, $45.93, -4.55 pct
The investment management firm is offering 3.8 million Class A shares, representing 5.2 percent of its outstanding stock.
** PHOTOMEDEX INC, $2.38, +30.05 pct
The skin health products maker reached an agreement with lenders on credit facility default. The company agreed not to pay President or CEO salary other than base salary, prerequisites and standard benefits on employment agreement.
** ALCOA INC, $14.52, -4.35 pct
BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the aluminum maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”, and cut price target to $17 from $20 on a lower aluminum price outlook, according to Streetinsider.com.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $20.95, -12.67 pct
The teen apparel retailer reported lower-than-expected sales for the third straight quarter, hurt by low demand for its Hollister and namesake brands, discounts and a strong dollar in the holiday shopping quarter. The company said low demand for its logo-focused clothing and a strong dollar would continue to hurt its performance in the first half of its year ending January 2016.
** AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC, $16.13, +8.84 pct
The teen apparel retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, helped by improved merchandise and fewer discounts. The company forecasted profit of about 9-12 cents per share for the current quarter, including 2 cents impact from West Coast port slowdown, compared with 2 cents a year earlier.
** GERON CORP, $2.83, -4.39 pct
The drug developer is set to cut about 46 percent of its workforce to 21 positions, citing reduced operational demand after it sold the license to its sole drug in development to Johnson & Johnson.
** VALE SA, $6.85, -3.93 pct
** RIO TINTO LTD, $46.03, -2.17 pct
** BHP BILLITON LTD, $51.42, -1.10 pct
U.S.-listed shares of iron ore producers fall as ore prices dropped to near lowest level in almost six years. Slowing economic growth in China, which buys about two-thirds of the world’s iron ore, and a global glut are weighing on iron ore prices.
** RENESOLA LTD, $1.42, +5.19 pct
The Chinese solar company reported a smaller-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter. The company said it expects first-quarter gross margin to be 14-16 percent - above the 10.6 percent reported a year earlier.
** METABOLIX INC, $0.92, -12.38 pct
** HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC, $103.41, -0.61 pct
Metabolix, a plastics and chemicals technology developer, partnered with Honeywell to develop marine biodegradable ingredients for personal care products.
** TIVO INC, $11.58, +2.93 pct
The digital video recorder maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped by higher subscriptions. TiVo’s net subscriber additions rose to 340,000 in the fourth quarter from 319,000, a year earlier.
** SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORP, $14.07, +7.82 pct
The firearms maker raised full-year sales forecast to $532 million-$536 million, from $526 million-$530 million. The company also reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit and sales as orders from distributors and key retailers rose.
** AMARIN CORP, $1.67, +8.44 pct
The Irish drugmaker posted a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, helped by higher gross margins on sales of its sole drug on market, Vascepa, and lower operating costs.
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $11.5, +3.79 pct
The company said it expects to set up low-cost plants outside China to ramp up production capacity this year as the panel maker tries to counter U.S. and EU duties on products made in the Asian country. (Compiled by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel)