February 19, 2014 / 3:03 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Signet, Eli Lilly, Garmin, Ocean Rig, Carlyle, Potbelly

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) Wall Street edged lower at the open on Wednesday amid caution ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting, even as investors brushed off weak housing data. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.20 percent at 16,162.02, the S&P 500 was down 0.03 percent at 1,840.19 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.31 percent at 4,259.442.


The company’s drug Northera, which treats a rare form of low blood pressure associated with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, has won U.S. approval, the Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday.

** SIGNET JEWELERS LTD, $90.74, +14.47 pct

** ZALE CORP, $20.91, +40.24 pct

Kay Jewelers parent Signet Jewelers agreed to buy smaller rival Zale Corp for about $690 million, cementing its position as the largest North American jewelry chain.

The offer of $21 per share represents a premium of about 41 percent to Zale’s close on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The stock traded as low as $3.76 in April.

** ELI LILLY AND CO, $56.94, +3.06 pct

The company said its experimental lung cancer drug significantly improved patient survival rates compared to a placebo in a late-stage trial. The trial also showed that the drug, ramucirumab, improved survival rates without the cancer worsening.


** DEVON ENERGY CORP’S, $63.67, +1.21 pct

Devon Energy said it would sell some liquids-rich natural gas assets in Canada to Canadian Natural Resources for about $2.8 billion and posted a better-than-expected profit as it ramps up production of more lucrative oil.

** CARLYLE GROUP LP, $37.25, +5.05 pct

The private equity firm reported a higher-than-expected 216 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings as the value of its funds jumped and the profits generated from the sales of assets soared.

** COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR CO, $85.55, +8.75 pct

The outdoor sportswear maker forecast a 15-17 percent jump in full-year sales after reporting quarterly results that blew past analysts’ estimates. The company also raised its quarterly dividend to 28 cents per share from 25 cents.

At least three brokerages raised their price targets on the stock. Janney Capital Markets raised its fair value on the stock to $70 from $65, while Canaccord Genuity increased its price target to $75 from $71. D.A. Davidson raised its price target to $87 from $83.

** MATTRESS FIRM HOLDING CORP, $39.21, -4.97 pct

The specialty bedding retailer estimated fiscal 2013 earnings below analysts’ expectations on Tuesday, citing the weak U.S. consumer spending environment and the cold weather conditions in some of its primary markets.

The company said it expected adjusted earnings of $1.64-$1.66 per share for the year ended Jan. 28, down from $1.75-$1.83 it expected earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.77 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** GARMIN LTD, $50.75, +7.59 pct

The navigation device maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong demand for aviation and fitness products. The company, which also forecast 2014 revenue above the average analyst estimate, has been looking to offset falling sales of its GPS devices that once dominated personal navigation.

** POTBELLY CORP, $20.49, -8.52 pct

The sandwich chain on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ average estimate, hurt by a 0.7 percent decline in company-operated comparable store sales.

The company’s total revenue rose 1.7 percent to $74.8 million in the quarter ended Dec. 29. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $76.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** OCEAN RIG UDW INC, $18.15, +7.52 pct

** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.637, -1.97 pct

Offshore drilling contractor Ocean Rig, majority owned by drybulk shipper DryShips, reported a better-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter, helped by higher revenue from contracts and lower costs. (r.reuters.com/xuf96v)

DryShips’s fleet also posted higher revenues in the quarter and the company said it expects a recovery in the industry in 2014 and beyond after years of oversupply.

** CF INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS INC, $243.5, +7.65 pct

The U.S. fertilizer producer posted a lower fourth-quarter profit, but the fall from record-high earnings a year earlier was not as steep as analysts had expected.

** GOGO INC, $20.57, +2.85 pct

Evercore Partners upgraded the digital entertainment and in-flight communication equipment maker’s stock to “overweight”, citing expectations of positive fourth-quarter results on growth at its business aviation unit and market share gains.

The brokerage, however, cut its price target to $26 from $27.

** HEALTHSTREAM INC, $30.16, -3.52 pct

The company, which provides IT solutions to healthcare organizations, reported fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates, helped by higher subscriptions.

Healthstream also said consolidated revenues for 2014 would grow by 22-26 percent.

** ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES CORP, $62.31, +9.82 pct

The printing device maker reported better-than-expected sales for the fourth quarter and forecast current-quarter sales way ahead of expectations.

The company said it recorded sales growth in all product and service categories in the fourth quarter and added that it sees an improved business pipeline. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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