Feb 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday, on the heels of the S&P 500’s best two-day performance in four months and ahead of new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s first testimony before lawmakers on Tuesday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.34 percent at 15,685, S&P 500 futures were up 0.04 percent at 1,794.2 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.58 percent at 3,578.5.
** SUPERTEX INC, $32.97, +35.23 pct
** MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY INC, $44.75, +0.70 pct
Chipmaker Microchip Technology said it would buy Supertex for $394 million in cash to bolster its business that supplies to the medical, LED lighting, industrial and telecommunication industries.
The offer of $33 per share represents a premium of 35 percent to Supertex stock’s Friday closing price of $24.38.
** AUTONAVI HOLDINGS LTD, $20.55, +24.24 pct
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s largest e-commerce firm, offered to acquire AutoNavi Holdings in a deal valuing the Chinese digital mapping and navigation firm at $1.58 billion.
** APPLE INC, $529.16, +1.82 pct
Activist-investor Carl Icahn said he sees no reason to persist with his proposal that Apple buy back $50 billion of its shares, given the recent share repurchases by the iPhone maker.
** SPRINT CORP, $7.75, -3.37 pct
** T-MOBILE US INC, $30, -1.41 pct
Sprint officials are regrouping to decide whether trying to acquire smaller rival T-Mobile US makes sense after antitrust officials expressed strong sentiments against a deal publicly, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. (link.reuters.com/zah76v)
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler expressed his skepticism about a potential merger between the No.3 and 4 U.S. wireless providers in a meeting with Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son on Feb. 3.
** BOARDWALK PIPELINE PARTNERS LP, $13.23, -45.08 pct
** LOEWS CORP, $43.22, -4.34 pct
** CNA FINANCIAL CORP, $42.36, +6.78 pct
Natural gas pipeline company Boardwalk said it cut its quarterly cash distribution to increase the cash generated internally and reduce leverage on the same day that parent Loews reported a bigger quarterly loss due to impairment charges.
Broadwalk reported a 78 percent fall in its profit, hurt by lower transportation revenue due to expiration of contracts and lower natural gas prices. The company also forecast a lower distributable cash flow for 2014 and cut its quarterly distribution to 40 cents from 53.25 cents.
Another Loews unit CNA Financial said it would sell its life and group insurance business to focus on property and casualty insurance.
** ARCELORMITTAL, $16.34, -5.39 pct
The world’s biggest steel producer is among parties considering buying Italian steelmaker Ilva, depending on the cost of an environmental cleanup plan ordered by the government, several sources said on Monday.
** BARNES & NOBLE INC, $16.07, +8.88 pct
The bookseller’s shares rose by as much as 9.6 percent on Monday after news that the company cut jobs from its team of hardware engineers working on its money-losing Nook digital books and e-reader business.
** FAMOUS DAVE’S OF AMERICA INC, $19.44, +12.50 pct
The barbecue restaurant chain named former McDonald’s Corp veteran Ed Rensi as interim chief executive after CEO John Gilbert resigned. The company also estimated a 0.2 percent growth in 2013 comparable-restaurant sales, which fell 1.8 percent in 2012.
** ORAMED PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $16.23, +13.89 pct
The company said it submitted a protocol to the U.S. health regulator to initiate a mid-stage trial of its orally ingestible insulin capsule, ORMD 0801, for use in type 1 diabetes.
** PLUG POWER INC, $3.4899, +12.58 pct
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC, $2.215, +8.05 pct
The fuel cell maker signed a multi-site deal with retailer GenKey to deploy Plug Power’s turnkey hydrogen fuel cell system solutions at six North American distribution centers for about a two-year period. The first site is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2014, Plug Power said.
Ballard is a supplier of fuel cell stacks to Plug Power.
** CHINA DISTANCE EDUCATION HOLDINGS, $21.67, +8.40 pct
The online education company raised its revenue forecast for the quarter ended Dec. 31 to $18-$18.5 million from $15.8-$16.9 million.
** GALECTIN THERAPEUTICS INC, $16.02, +15.17 pct
The drug developer’s experimental drug, which was shown preclinically to reverse fibrosis, could help it potentially become a market leader in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease - a form of liver inflammation for which no currently approved treatment exists, Aegis Capital analyst Raghuram Selvaraju said in a note and raised his price target on the stock to $32 from $16.
** BIODELIVERY SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL INC, $8.96, +8.47 pct
The drugmaker said a group of institutional investors led by Federated Kaufmann committed to buy $60 million of Biodelivery’s common stock in a registered direct offering. The company plans to sell an aggregate of 7.5 million shares at $8 per share in the offering, and will use the proceeds to advance its development pipeline.
** THE MEDICINES CO, $32.56, -4.85 pct
U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewers are divided on whether an intravenous blood clot preventer developed by The Medicines Co should be approved.
** HUDBAY MINERALS INC, $8.05, -5.07 pct
The Canadian base metal miner said it plans to buy exploration company Augusta Resource Corp in a bid to gain control of its Rosemont project in Arizona, an asset widely viewed as one of the most promising copper projects in the United States.
** RED ROBIN GOURMET BURGERS INC,$74.09, +11.25 pct
Brokerage Raymond James raised its rating on the burger chain to “strong buy” from “outperform,” saying it expects the company to “solidly outperform” peers in the near term due to its multi-pronged brand transformation which involves transforming its menu, marketing, systems and controls and remodels.
Brokerage BofA Merrill Lynch also raised its rating on the company to “buy” from “underperform.”
** REVOLUTION LIGHTING TECHNOLOGIES INC, $3.3, +10.37 pct
The LED bulb maker said it expects 2014 revenue to jump 50 percent to be in the $50 million range.
** CHANGYOU.COM LTD, $26.51, -11.49 pct
The China-based game developer reported fourth-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations and forecast current-quarter adjusted earnings far below the average analysts’ estimate.
The company also said Alex Ho had resigned as its chief financial officer to start his own business.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $196.765, +5.49 pct
** KANDI TECHNOLOGIES GROUP INC, $13.92, +6.75 pct
China’s finance ministry said on Saturday that it would extend a program of subsidies for buyers of electric-powered vehicles after the current subsidy regime, part of efforts to combat pollution in cities, expires in 2015.
** MOTORCAR PARTS OF AMERICA INC, +15.36 pct
The maker of automobile components reported third-quarter results that beat the average analyst estimate due to increased business from its wheel hub product line.
** DICK’S SPORTING GOODS INC, $52.21, +2.17 pct
The company, which sells everything from camping and golfing gear to winter wear and guns, estimated its fourth-quarter earnings above its previous forecast due to a higher-than-expected jump in same-store sales.
** YAHOO INC, $37.61, +1.02 pct
** YELP INC, $91.13, +1.92 pct
Yahoo is partnering with consumer reviews website Yelp to beef up local results in its search engine, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
** MATTSON TECHNOLOGY INC, $2.57, -4.46 pct
The maker of semiconductor wafer-processing equipment announced a proposed public offering of common stock. The offering is expected to price after market close on Feb 10. The company said there was no assurance on the offering’s actual size or when or whether it would be completed.
** SOHU.COM INC, $71.15, -0.52 pct
The Chinese Internet portal reported a surprise profit of 6 cents in the fourth quarter, on an adjusted basis, while analysts expected a loss of 36 cents. But the company said current-quarter earnings are expected to be reduced by 13 cents-15 cents due to compensation expenses related to share-based awards.
** TETRA TECHNOLOGIES INC, $10.08, -3.26 pct
The oil services provider estimated fourth-quarter earnings below the average analysts’ estimate, citing weakness in North American production testing operations and customer delays in certain deepwater completion fluids projects in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company also said it has bought assets of water management service provider WIT Water Transfer.
** TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, $43.96, -1.26 pct
The world’s largest maker of generic drugs revealed in a regulatory filing that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Teva’s marketing and promotion of the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone and the Parkinson’s Disease drug Azilect.
** NISKA GAS STORAGE PARTNERS LLC, $14.35, -9.46 pct
Analysts at Barclays downgraded the natural gas storage company’s stock to underweight from equal weight, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** CAMECO CORP, $20.45, -3.54 pct
The world’s third-largest uranium producer scrapped on Friday its lofty production target for the radioactive metal due to excess global supply in an uncertain market.
** TATA MOTORS LTD, $30.56, +5.42 pct
India’s biggest automaker by revenue saw third-quarter net profits triple to their highest in a year-and-a-half on strong demand for its luxury Jaguar Land Rover vehicles and a one-time accounting gain.
** HELEN OF TROY LTD, $63.5, +6.99 pct
The consumer products company said it started a modified “Dutch auction” tender offer to repurchase up to $300 million of its common shares at a price between $57.75 and $66.50 per share.
The company also said it plans to repurchase an additional $250 million of its common stock over the next three years.
** SUNESIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.74, -4.82 pct
The company said it expects to “unblind” the end-stage study testing its cancer drug in combination with a generic, to treat relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of blood cancer, by the third-quarter instead of the second quarter.
A blinded study is an experiment in which information about the test that may evoke bias in the results is concealed from the tester, the subject, or both, until after the test.
** CHEMBIO DIAGNOSTICS INC, $3.285, -4.56 pct
The diagnostic products maker said the U.S. health regulator indicated that additional new infections should be detected to strengthen Chembio’s data that its HIV test performs equivalently in the hands of the untrained user versus the professional user.
Chembio said it is working with the authorities to define the additional requirements necessary for the satisfactory completion of the application.
** KITE REALTY GROUP TRUST, $6.37, +3.58 pct
The operator of community shopping centers said it would buy Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust Inc for $1.2 billion in stock to boost its shopping center portfolio and help it enter new markets in the United States.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $19.24, +1.85 pct
** YAMANA GOLD INC, $9.72, +6.00 pct
** AGNICO EAGLE MINES LTD, $33.96, +5.11 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $6.73, +5.32 pct
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $22.17, +3.02 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.81, +3.81 pct
Gold rose on Monday after a weak U.S. jobs report last week raised questions over the economic recovery, which could potentially slow the pace of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus tapering.
Spot gold rose 0.6 percent to $1,274.30 an ounce by 1253 GMT, after gaining 1.9 percent in the previous week, its largest weekly increase since Jan. 3.
** REAL GOODS SOLAR INC, $3.95, +4.77 pct
Cowen and Company analysts raised their price target on the solar energy company’s stock, citing improving prospects for commercial solar installation projects.
** BEBE STORES INC, $5.88, +8.49 pct
The contemporary women’s retailer is exploring a potential sale and is reaching out to private equity firms, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
** JAMES RIVER COAL, $0.8, +8.08 pct
The coal miner said on Friday that it was considering a sale of itself or some parts, or an equity or debt investment, along with other strategic alternatives for the company.
** ROCKET FUEL INC, $54, +5.94 pct
Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on the digital advertising technology company's stock with a "buy" rating and price target of $69, according to StreetInsider.com (link.reuters.com/gyf76v)
** MIMEDX GROUP INC, $7.06, +3.07 pct
The maker of regenerative materials and implants from human amniotic membranes said its Medicare contractor confirmed that the company’s wound care allograft, EpiFix, has been approved to receive reimbursement coverage effective March 1.
The approval would cover the cost of EpiFix for diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers that fail to respond to standard treatments, MiMedx said.
** INTERCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $367, +4.39 pct
Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos reiterated her rating of “outperform” on the drug developer’s stock, citing the mid-stage trial testing of its lead drug, Obeticholic Acid (OCA), in alcoholic hepatitis (AH) patients.
“We project gross annual peak sales of OCA treating AH could reach over $3 billion worldwide”, Moussatos said in a note, raising her price target on the stock to $493 from $449.
** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO, $52.14, +3.60 pct
BMO Capital Markets raised its rating on the drugmaker’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform,” citing a more positive outlook for the company’s immuno-oncology pipeline. (Compiled by Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)