(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks inched higher on Wednesday, rebounding from the previous day's selloff, but investors continued to focus on when the Federal Reserve would adjust its rate policies. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.07 percent at 17,674.75 and the S&P 500 was up 0.02 percent at 2,044.62.
** MELA SCIENCES INC, $3.1093, +49.49 pct
The company moved a step closer to getting insurance coverage for its device used in digital analysis of unusual skin lesions. The company said the American Medical Association added insurance codes to the procedure. The company said the codes will apply to its device MelaFind.
** VERA BRADLEY INC, $15.125, -16.30 pct
The handbag and accessories maker’s fourth quarter profit net revenue lagged analysts’ estimates and the company said it would close the Indiana manufacturing facility, taking a $1.9 million related charge.
** BRASKEM SA, $7.18, -18.87 pct
The Brazilian petrochemical product maker expects costs to rise at a petrochemical project on Peru’s south coast, Latin America-focused business website BNamericas reported, citing Braskem country manager Jaime Quipusco.
** ZOGENIX INC, $1.2699, -23.96 pct
** PERNIX THERAPEUTICS HOLDINGS INC, $11.58, -0.26 pct
Zogenix said on Tuesday it would sell its Zohydro business to Pernix Therapeutics in a deal that could be worth nearly $400 million, to cut costs and focus on two other drugs in its pipeline.
** CONN‘S INC, $27.54, +14.80 pct
Citadel GP LLC reported a 4.9 percent passive stake in Conn’s as of March 3. Conn’s had 36.3 million outstanding shares as of Oct. 31.
** MEMORIAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT CORP, $17.95, -12.48 pct
The oil and gas company said production results for Louisiana Methodist well are below its expectation. The company also reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, hurt by slump in oil prices.
Stifel cut rating on the stock to “hold” from “buy”.
** CHINA LODGING GROUP LTD, $18.025, -11.73 pct
The Chinese hotel operator reported smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue, hurt by lower occupancy and revenue per available room at its hotels.
Brean Capital LLC cut its price target to $28 from $31 while Deutsche Bank cut its to $17 from $25.
** SUPERNUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $11.15, +12.29 pct
Cowen & Co analysts raised their price target on the stock to $14 from $12.50, a day after the company announced it was cash-flow positive in the fourth quarter. Analysts expect the company to be profitable in 2015 and could get aggressive in buying products in the near future.
** COVENANT TRANSPORTATION GROUP INC, $35.51, +14.88 pct
The trucking company estimated earnings of 24-30 cents per share for the first quarter ending March 31, compared with the average analyst estimate of 24 cents per share. The company said “demand has trended solidly” above that of the last year.
** CORCEPT THERAPEUTICS INC, $3.94, +16.91 pct
Piper Jaffray analysts upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “neutral” and raised price target to $9 from $2.50, citing potential from company’s drug Korlym in treating breast cancer.
** ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC, $88.01, -1.11 pct
** SALIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, $167.8, +6.44 pct
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $193.74, -3.84 pct
Endo International made a competing offer of between $170 and $175 per share for Salix Pharmaceuticals, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals agreed to buy bowel drug maker Salix in late February for about $10 billion, or $158 per share.
** SYNERGETICS USA INC, $5.2001, +11.35 pct
Craig-Hallum Capital raised its price target on the stock to $6 from $5, a day after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $5.17, -5.31 pct
The coal and iron ore miner said it would quit its Australian iron ore business and put its only mine there up for sale. The company blamed Australia for dramatic fall in ore prices and warned that the central bank may one day be called to explain anti-competitive practices.
** BLOUNT INTERNATIONAL INC, $13.62, -17.60 pct
The maker of cutting chain and guide bars for forestry and agriculture industries forecast 2015 sales of $900 million-$950 million, compared with about $945 million in 2014. The company blamed a “significant movement in currency exchange rates” for the forecast.
** MASTERCARD INC, $87.32, -1.71 pct
The company’s stock was one of the most heavily traded on the S&P 500 index after an unregistered secondary sale. Sources said Deutsche Bank priced 12.7 million shares at $86.85, a 2.2 percent discount to Tuesday’s close.
** INTEL CORP, $32.66, +3.03 pct
The chipmaker will provide fast wireless modem chip for Apple Inc’s new smartphone in 2016, tech website VentureBeat said on Tuesday.
** BROWN SHOE CO INC, $30.04, -6.30 pct
The footwear maker forecast potential product shipment delays in the first half of 2015 as months-long labor dispute at U.S. West Coast port is gradually being resolved.
** IMPAX LABORATORIES INC, $41.72, +8.48 pct
Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the stock to “overweight” from “neutral” and price target to $49 from $37, while RBC Capital raised its target to $37 from $33. The company said it completed acquisition of Tower Holdings Inc.
** THERAVANCE BIOPHARMA INC, $18.74, -5.83 pct
The biotech company’s fourth-quarter net loss widened to $2.02 per share from $1.39 largely due to charges related to the writing down of old batches of its antibiotic, Vibativ, from former partner Astellas Pharma Inc.
** MYLAN INC, $58.2, +5.23 pct
BMO Capital Markets analysts said Street Account reported that Mylan shares jumped on speculation that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is in negotiations to buy the company.
“After speaking with Teva this morning, we believe this is untrue and baseless,” BMO analyst David Maris said in a note.
** RAVEN INDUSTRIES INC, $18.78, -7.08 pct
The farming equipment maker reported smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue, hurt by lower demand in its agricultural end-markets.
“Fiscal 2016 will be a challenging year, with the first quarter being particularly challenged,” the company said.
** ERA GROUP INC, $20.26, -6.46 pct
The helicopter transport operator posted smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue and profit due to lower utilization of helicopters in oil and gas line of service.
** HABIT RESTAURANTS INC, $32.6001, -8.30 pct
The restaurant chain forecast full-year comparable sales growth of 2.5-3 percent, much lower than the 10.7 percent growth recorded in 2014. The company reported a 55 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit as food, paper and labor costs rose.
** TOWER SEMICONDUCTOR LTD, $17.204, +4.97 pct
The Israeli chipmaker said it would offer accelerated conversion of some bonds to equity to reduce debt, help reach profitability.
** SUNOCO LOGISTICS PARTNERS LP, $40.13, -7.02 pct
The oil pipeline operator said it commenced an offering of 13.5 million units. The offering represents about 5.9 percent of the company’s total outstanding units.
** SANDISK CORP, $83.15, +3.72 pct
Goldman Sachs analysts added the stock to their “conviction buy” list and raised price target to $106 from $100, citing healthy 2015 supply, demand and expected gross margin expansion due to weaker yen.
** CITIGROUP INC, $52.49, +2.46 pct
Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB) said on Wednesday Citigroup had opened its books for a due diligence process that could lead to the purchase of its retail portfolio.
** NORANDA ALUMINIUM HOLDING CORP, $2.98, +2.76 pct
Power users in Missouri, including the Missouri Retailers Association, approved a deal for Noranda to pay lower power rate at 268,875 tonne/year smelter in New Madrid.
** RECRO PHARMA INC, $5.58, +2.01 pct
MLV & Co raised its price target on the stock to $12 from $9 after the company bought rights to a pain drug and a related manufacturing plant for $50 million from Alkermes Plc. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel)