October 18, 2012 / 2:41 PM / in 6 years

MARKET PULSE-Travelers, Align, Given Imagine, Aegerion, Clearwire

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on STXNEWS/US; for the Morning News Call newsletter click on link.reuters.com/nex49s; for the day ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)


Stocks opened lower in the wake of data showing weekly initial jobless claims were more than expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 35.84 points, or 0.26 percent, to 13,521.16. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 2.82 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,458.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 9.38 points, or 0.30 percent, to 3,094.74.

** SUPERVALU INC, $2.12, up 4 pct (1000 ET)

The U.S. grocery chain said it has received a number of indications of interest from third parties for its business. The company also said it was on track to reduce debt by between $400 million and $450 million by 2013.

** TRAVELERS COMPANIES INC, $74.61, up 4.5 pct (1000 ET)

The property insurer reported record operating profit in the third quarter as prices rose and losses from natural disasters fell sharply.

** BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, $15.29, up 1.7 pct (1001 ET)

The largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, said on Thursday third-quarter were its third-best since going public in 2007 as its funds appreciated in value and performance fees soared.

** ALIGN TECHNOLOGY, $27.22, down 23 pct (1003 ET)

The dental products maker forecast fourth-quarter earnings well below Wall Street estimates as sales of its trademark invisible braces, Invisalign, fell short of expectations.

** GIVEN IMAGING LTD , $18.44, up 20.7 pct (1004 ET)

The Israeli medical device maker said it was evaluating a potential merger or sale of the company after receiving expressions of interest from a range of parties.

** HERTZ GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC, $14.50, down 2 pct (1004 ET)

** DOLLAR THRIFTY AUTOMOTIVE GROUP INC, $85.49, down 1.5 pct (1005 ET)

Car rental company Hertz said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has asked for more time to review its proposed $2.56 billion takeover of rival Dollar Thrifty.

** BIOGEN IDEC INC, $150.90, down 1.9 pct (1005 ET)

The biotechnology company said U.S. health regulators extended the review date of its multiple sclerosis drug, BG-12, by three months.

** PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL INC, $89.81, down 2 pct (1005 ET)

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International Inc reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter results hurt by a drop in cigarette shipment volumes, and forecast a full-year profit that lagged Wall Street estimates.

** ST JUDE MEDICAL INC, $39.96, down 2 pct (1006 ET)

After reporting lower third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, the medical device maker said it might receive a warning letter from the U.S. health regulator about its California heart device manufacturing plant.

Canaccord Genuity and William Blair cut their ratings on St. Jude while BMO Capital Markets lowered its target price on the stock on Thursday.

** AEGERION PHARMACEUTICALS, $21.55, up 12.5 pct (1007 ET)

The company said on Wednesday that an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended its lipid disorder drug lomitapide for approval and assigned it a review date of Dec. 29, 2013.

Jefferies & Co and Needham & Co raised their price target on the stock on Thursday.

** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, $5.45, down 3 pct premarket

The medical device maker reported a quarterly net loss on charges and weaker sales.

** AETERNA ZENTARIS INC , $2.43, up 1.25 pct (1008 ET)

The Canadian drugmaker said a late-stage study of its treatment for adult growth hormone deficiency shows the therapy was safe. It will submit a new drug application for AEZS-130, the oral diagnostic test, in the first quarter of 2013.

** USG CORP, $23.75, down 4.5 pct (1008 ET)

The building products maker posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as a rise in wallboard prices failed to offset weak demand.

** NOVAVAX INC,, $2.33, up 4 pct (1009 ET)

The company said on Wednesday that its experimental flu vaccine did not show any safety issues in an early-stage study. Data from the study showed that the drug could be developed and tested in larger trials, the drugmaker said in a statement.

** MELLANOX TECHNOLOGIES , $79.68, down 19 pct (1009 ET)

The Israel-based chip designer reported a strong third-quarter profit but offered an outlook for the end of the year that disappointed investors.

Mellanox told analysts on a conference call it expects to earn $1.07 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $148 million, said Harel Finance analyst Rami Rozen.

** CLEARWIRE CORP, $2.07, down 8.4 pct (1010 ET)

Wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp has acquired voting control of Clearwire after buying out one of the company’s other shareholders, Sprint said in a securities filing on Thursday.

The company raised its stake in Clearwire to 50.8 percent from 48 percent.

** GERON CORP, $1.50, up 5.6 pct (1010 ET)

BioTime said it offered to buy Geron’s stem cell assets in exchange for a 45 percent stake in a new publicly traded company that would own those assets, along with $40 million of BioTime stock and some of its units.

Geron, which shelved its stem cell program earlier this month due to funding constraints late last year, would retain its cancer therapy business, under BioTime’s offer.

** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, $18.10, up 4.5 pct (1011 ET)

Technology website Benzinga.com reported on Tuesday that the network gear maker may have hired JP Morgan to handle bids from potential buyers, according to its sources.

The company has received a bid in the high $20s and EMC Corp has been mentioned as a potential buyer, Benzinga reported citing sources.[link.reuters.com/wyr43t]

** L & L ENERGY INC, $2.10, up 9.3 pct (1011 ET)

The U.S.-based coal miner will supply 360,000 tons of coal to China’s Datang International Power through September, 2013. With this updated contract with the state-owned power producer, L&L said it looks to strengthen its presence in the region.

U.S. coal exports to coal-hungry Asian economies are on track for a record high this year after having climbed steadily since 2009.

** UNION PACIFIC CORP, $127.20, up 3 pct (1012 ET)

The company posted a 15 percent rise in profit as a rise in the largest publicly traded U.S. railroad’s shipments of freight, including autos, offset weak coal shipments.

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, $45.26, up 1.2 pct (1013 ET)

The telecom firm posted a 16 percent increase in quarterly profit helped by higher revenue in its wireless business after it raised data prices and started selling the latest Apple Inc iPhone.

** WESCO INTERNATIONAL INC, $63.90, up 11.7 pct (1013 ET)

The electrical products distributor posted better-than-expected quarterly profit on strong margins.

It also said on Wednesday that it would buy rival EECOL Electric Corp for about C$1.14 billion ($1.16 billion) to expand its presence in Canada and South America.

** PPG INDUSTRIES INC, $118.27, down 0.5 pct (1014 ET)

The chemicals producer posted a 9 percent jump in quarterly profit as cost cuts helped offset nearly flat revenue growth.

** POLARIS INDUSTRIES INC, $85.91, up 0.7 pct (1014 ET)

The all-terrain vehicle maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results due to strong sales in North America and raised its full-year forecast for the third time.

** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, $70.74, up 1.4 pct (1015 ET)

One of the world’s top-five offshore rig contractors reported a better-than-expected profit on lower operating costs.

** BB&T CORP, $30.48, down 5.5 pct (1015 ET)

The regional bank’s forecasted weaker-than-expected net interest margin for the 4th-qtr, though third-quarter profit rose 28 percent in the third quarter.

** UNION PACIFIC CORP, $127.16, up 2.8 pct (1016 ET)

The largest U.S. public railroad company is expected to post higher profits even as demand for coal fell and the global economy weakened.

** ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES INC, $2.73, down 1.4 pct (1016 ET)

The chipmaker faces skeptical investors when it posts third quarter results.

** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP, $9.41, down 1.4 pct (1017 ET)

The company is expected to report earnings per share that are just about half of what they were a year earlier as trading levels and interest-based income declined

** DANAHER CORP, $53.55, down 4.5 pct (1017 ET)

Industrial and healthcare conglomerate reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday and cut its forecast for the year, saying it would spend more to restructure its operations.

** FLEXTRONICS INTERNATIONAL LTD, $6.17, down 1.7 pct (1018 ET)

The contract electronics manufacturer will be the first in its peer group to report quarterly results.

** HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES INC, $6.88, down 2.4 pct (1018 ET)

The company’s third-quarter profit narrowly beat analysts’ estimates as it lent more to commercial and industrial businesses, boosting its net interest margin.

** XILINX INC, $33.57, down 1.1 pct (1020 ET)

The chipmaker reported a drop in second-quarter revenue as sales dropped in all regions except Asia Pacific, and forecast sales to drop up to 5 percent sequentially in the current quarter.

** CME GROUP INC, $57.36, down 1 pct (1020 ET)

The company on Wednesday agreed to buy the Kansas City Board of Trade for $126 million in cash, cementing CME’s dominance in world grain futures markets and keeping rival IntercontinentalExchange from gaining an important foothold.

** NETSCOUT SYSTEMS INC, $25.44, up 7.7 pct (1020 ET)

The software monitoring applications maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results on strong bookings, and raised the low end of its full-year profit forecast.

The company said it is winning “significant new projects” in the wireless carrier space. Demand for NetScout’s services for monitoring network traffic and improving network and application performance is rising on the growing adoption of smartphones such as Apple Inc’s iPhone, and the rapid rollout of faster carrier networks in the U.S.

** LABORATORY CORP OF AMERICA HOLDINGS, $87.46, down 3 pct (1022 ET)

The medical test provider reported a slightly higher-than-expected quarterly profit, but the company, which is under pressure as managed care companies cut costs, lowered the high end of its full-year earnings forecast.

** KEYCORP, $8.87, up 5.4 pct (1000 ET)

bank posted third-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates helped by continued loan growth driven by commercial and small businesses.

** LEXICON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $2.21, down 11.2 pct (1000 ET)

The drugmaker said it will raise $37.2 million by selling 17.5 million shares at a discount of 10 percent to Wednesday’s close.

** GREENHILL & CO, $47.14, down 7.6 pct (1001 ET) The boutique investment bank’s third-quarter profit missed Wall Street estimates on weak advisory revenue. [ID:nASA04YRH ]

** SODASTREAM INTERNATIONAL LTF, $30.00, up 2.5 pct (1002 ET)

The Israel-based manufacturer of soda-makers said it will start distributing its products in Russia, Chile and Singapore through partnerships. [ID: nWNAB007ES]

** REINSURANCE GROUP OF AMERICA, $55.56, down 7.4 pct (1003 ET)

A host of brokerages including Barclays and UBS cut the reinsurer’s price target after it reported lower than expected quarterly earnings that was affected by high claims experience in U.S. and Australia.

** ALLIANCE DATA SYSTEMS CORP, $140.74, up 1.4 pct (1003 ET)

The company, which provides private-label credit card services to retailers, posted estimate-topping third quarter operating profit, and raised its full-year revenue and core EPS forecast.

** MGM CHINA , $10.92, up 3 pct (0949 ET)

The casino unit of U.S. gambling giant MGM Resorts said it has received approval to build its $2.5 billion dollar casino project in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, the world’s biggest gambling market.

** NORTHERN TIER ENERGY LP, $22.14, up 6.4 pct (1020 ET)

The downstream oil and gas company raised its adjusted core earnings forecast for the third quarter, helped by higher margins in its refining segment. Northern Tier now expects its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be in the range of $235 million to $255 million, higher than its previous estimate of $120.3 million.

** CYTRX CORP, $2.55 down 18 pct (1028 ET)

The cancer drugmaker said it would offer 8 million shares of its common stock at $2.50 per share, a discount of nearly 20 percent to its Wednesday close. The company said it would raise gross proceeds of $20 million to fund development of its drugs aldoxorubicin and tamibarotene, and for general corporate purposes. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore)

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