(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) Wall Street was little changed in a narrow trading range late on Wednesday morning, with the S&P 500 inching towards its all-time high, as oil prices gave up some early gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.31 percent at 17,994.19, the S&P 500 was up 0.22 percent at 2,116.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.20 percent at 4,971.842.
** VERIFONE SYSTEMS INC, $20.28, -28.16 pct
At least five brokers downgraded the credit card swipe machine maker’s stock after the company said it intends to reduce headcount and conduct a strategic review to address underperforming businesses. The company also posted a second-quarter profit below analysts’ expectations and reduced its full-year forecast.
** FLEXION THERAPEUTICS INC, $14.06, -12.62 pct
The specialty pharmaceutical company raised $77 million in a follow-on offering, upsized from $60 million, at $14 - midpoint of the $13.75-$14.25 range marketed by bookrunners Wells Fargo, Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal. Flexion said it would use the proceeds to fund a planned NDA submission for its lead drug, Zilretta, a non-opioid treatment for moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis pain.
** ASHFORD HOSPITALITY PRIME INC, $15, +32.51 pct
The real estate investment trust received an unsolicited proposal from investment firm Weisman Group for $1.48 billion, including refinancing of the company’s existing debt. Ashford’s shareholders will get $20.25 cash per share of common stock and about $25 per share of Series B preferred stock.
** ARDMORE SHIPPING CORP, $8.82, -9.45 pct
The shipping company’s public offering of 7.5 million common shares was priced at $8.90 per share, an 8.6 percent discount to the stock’s Tuesday close. The company also acquired six eco-design MR product/chemical tankers for $172.5 million.
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $35.79, +2.40 pct
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $19.56, +3.93 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $12.66, +9.23 pct
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES INC, $11.07, +5.73 pct
U.S.-listed shares of Canadian gold and silver miners surged, bolstered by a weaker dollar on declining expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates any time soon.
** AK STEEL HOLDING CORP, $5.17, +12.88 pct
** UNITED STATES STEEL CORP, $17.7, +11.11 pct
** STEEL DYNAMICS INC, $26.97, +5.64 pct
** NUCOR CORP, $51.95, +3.14pct
Credit Suisse raised its price targets and gave bullish outlook on U.S. steelmakers. Analysts expect constrained supply of value-added flat-rolled steel to continue into the third quarter, “supporting prices well above fair value levels”.
** CATABASIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $5.12, -25.26 pct
The drug developer said its experimental cholesterol-lowering drug failed in a mid-stage study. The company said it will stop investments in the drug for cholesterol, but will continue to evaluate it to treat NASH, a condition caused by a buildup of fat in the liver.
** IMMUNE PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $0.5107, +41.86 pct
The drug developer filed for a joint patent along with Israel’s Hadasit for the oral use of gastro and liver drug bertilimumab.
** LENDINGCLUB CORP, $4.27, -2.73 pct
Ousted LendingClub CEO and co-founder Renaud Laplanche has been speaking to private equity firms and banks about financing a potential buyout of the online lender, according to people familiar with the matter.
** SKULLCANDY INC, $4.57, +16.29 pct
Ptarmagin LLC, a firm associated with the audio product maker’s founder Rick Alden, disclosed a 12.7 percent stake in the company. Alden may look to take the company private according to a filing.
** GEVO INC, $1.06, +75.70 pct
Alaska Airlines said 2 of its aircraft flew using the chemical and biofuel maker’s jet fuel made from sustainable U.S. corn. Alaska estimates 20 percent biofuel blend it is using for two flights will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 50 percent.
** BEBE STORES INC, $0.4801, +38.64 pct
The apparel and accessories retailer entered into a joint venture with Bluestar Alliance LLC to aggressively pursue global licensing deals. The company received $35 million from Bluestar in connection with the JV formation.
** HYDROGENICS CORP, $8.02, +7.08 pct
The Canadian fuel-cell maker signed an agreement for $13.5 million with SinoHytec, a Beijing-based vehicle propulsion technology company, for delivery of fuel cells in China.
** OXFORD INDUSTRIES INC, $61.27, -5.93 pct
The apparel retailer reported lower-than-expected first-quarter sales and profit, hurt by lower demand for the Tommy Bahama brand, its biggest business. The company also cut its 2016 adjusted profit forecast.
** DAVE & BUSTER’S ENTERTAINMENT INC, $45.455, +8.59 pct
The restaurant and arcade chain operator reported better-than-expected first-quarter same-store sales, helped by a 4 percent increase in walk-in sales. The company also raised full-year 2016 sales guidance, beating analyst estimates. (Compiled by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)