February 27, 2014 / 4:34 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-eBay, YRC Worldwide, Inteliquent, Gain Capital

(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) U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday as comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen failed to provide clarity on the impact of a harsh winter on recent economic weakness, while concerns rose over turmoil in Ukraine. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.26 percent at 16,240.35, the S&P 500 was up 0.29 percent at 1,850.52 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.33 percent at 4,306.107.


The drugmaker reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by higher sales of its only approved drug, Amitiza, used for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults.

** EBAY INC, $58.895, +2.71 pct

The online retailer’s founder and chairman, Pierre Omidyar, rejected investor Carl Icahn’s call to separate the company’s fast-growing PayPal payments unit, saying the businesses were better off together.

Icahn challenged eBay executives to a public debate after accusing two company directors of conflicts of interest earlier this week.

** YRC WORLDWIDE INC, $25.32, +11.89 pct

The trucking company reported fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates as operating revenue in its regional transportation business rose 10 percent.

** BIOTELEMETRY INC, $11.34, +15.13 pct

The medical technology company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results due to a rise in revenue from patient services, helped by higher overall patient volume.

** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $7.34, +23.15 pct

After two years of massive losses, the retailer reported improved sales and profit margins for the holiday season quarter and said it expects to make further strides this year.

At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock.

** INTELIQUENT INC, $14.6755, +22.91 pct

The provider of voice and data services to carriers reported fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates, helped by higher voice revenue and cost cuts. The company also forecast 2014 revenue above the average analyst estimate.

** COASTAL CONTACTS INC, $11.22, +19.49 pct

Essilor International will buy the digital retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses for C$430 million ($388.2 million), Coastal said on Thursday.

** GAIN CAPITAL HOLDINGS INC, $10.08, +10.77 pct

The online forex trader reported a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit driven by higher trading revenue from its retail OTC unit, which more than doubled to $61.4 million for the quarter ended Dec.31.

** VITACOST.COM INC, $7.31, +8.46 pct

The online retailer of health and wellness products said on Thursday that it is evaluating a possible sale of the company and other strategic options.

** DYAX CORP, $10.02, -7.39 pct

Leerink analyst Joseph P. Schwartz downgraded his rating the biotechnology company’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” saying that even though the company has a promising pipeline, the foreseeable prospects for each compound are incorporated into its current stock price.

** NEKTAR THERAPEUTICS, $12.7, -7.30 pct

Brokerage MKM Partners downgraded its rating on the drugmaker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” citing regulatory risks to Nektar’s experimental treatment for opioid-induced constipation, scheduled to be reviewed by regulators on Sept 16. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is yet to decide whether Nektar’s naloxegol program requires a pre-approval cardiovascular trial and the drug has not yet gained approval in the European Union.


The banana producer reported a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, hurt by low seasonal prices for the excess supply of bananas sold in trading markets and increased raw product costs caused by adverse growing conditions.


JMP Securities initiated coverage on the drugmaker’s stock with a “market outperform” rating and a price target of $8, saying the company’s experimental drugs, KB001-A and KB004, can “individually produce value-driving milestones within the next 12 months.”

KB001-A is being studied as a potential treatment for a lung infection in cystic fibrosis patients, while KB004 is being studied as a treatment for hematologic cancer and solid tumors.

** NOAH HOLDINGS LTD, $16.25, +9.06 pct

The Chinese wealth management company’s fourth-quarter profit more than doubled as it earned higher commissions and service fees. Revenue rose 81 percent, to $48 million, for the quarter ended Dec.31.

** SINOVAC BIOTECH LTD, $6.859, +4.56 pct

The China-based company said “The New England Journal of Medicine” published the late-stage results of its experimental vaccine that met its goal of preventing hand, foot and mouth disease in infants between the ages of 6 and 35 months.

** BEST BUY CO INC, $27.49, +6.47 pct

The retailer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday on lower expenses and said it was running ahead of plan in terms of cutting costs.

For graphic on Best Buy earnings (link.reuters.com/wuz27v)

** E-COMMERCE CHINA DANGDANG INC, $11.74, +17.75 pct

The Chinese e-commerce company returned to profitability and its fourth-quarter revenue beat Wall Street estimates, helped by higher product and media sales and margin growth.

The company expects first-quarter revenue to grow by 30 percent.

** NOODLES & CO, $36.6, -7.46 pct

The restaurant operator, on Wednesday, reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results, blaming the unusually cold winter in the United States, which it also said would hurt results in the current quarter.

At least three brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock on Thursday.

** SAFE BULKERS INC, $10.58, +3.02 pct

The shipping company reported on Wednesday a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it operated more vessels at higher daily rates. (link.reuters.com/nez27v)

** CAREER EDUCATION CO, $7.72, +15.74 pct

The for-profit education company reported fourth-quarter results that beat the average analyst estimate as student enrollment rose at three of its schools.

** AMERISAFE INC, $44.81, +13.70 pct

The insurer reported a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, driven by a 10.1 percent increase in net premiums earned in the quarter ended Dec.31.

** DELEK US HOLDINGS INC, $28.15, -7.37 pct

The U.S. refiner reported a surprise fourth-quarter loss, hurt by higher costs related to administrative expenses and turnaround of its refineries.

** HALCON RESOURCES CORP, $3.65, -5.44 pct

The oil and gas producer reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted profit on Wednesday, due to a pre-tax impairment charge of about $239 million and a 1,220 barrels of oil equivalent per day negative impact related to adverse weather conditions during the quarter ended Dec. 31. [D:nGNXUZXQOa]

** NUTRISYSTEM INC, $15.22, -9.51 pct

The weight management company, on Wednesday, forecast a surprise current-quarter loss as it expects a new promotion to hit gross margins.

The company said it expects a loss of 2-7 cents per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of 13 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** AUTODESK INC, $56.04, +2.41 pct

The software designer’s fourth-quarter revenue beat Street consensus estimates, helped by higher subscription revenue from its AutoCAD and Revit software used by designers, architects and engineers.

The company also forecast first-quarter and full-year revenue above the average analyst estimate, on expectations of higher billing revenue and margin growth.

** SOLAZYME INC, $12.58, +6.52 pct

The renewable oil producer said on Wednesday that it had started shipping multiple products from its Clinton and Iowa units and was commissioning its new Brazil facility. Solazyme uses micro-algae to convert low cost plant sugars into high value renewable oils and bioproducts.

Analysts at Cowen and Co raised their price target on the company’s stock to $17 from $14.

** ROUNDY’S INC, $6.26, -7.26 pct

The U.S. supermarket chain, on Wednesday, forecast current-quarter adjusted profit below the average analyst estimate.

“Core Wisconsin, Minnesota store base continues to struggle due to excess capacity and a highly promotional environment,” Jefferies analyst Mark Wiltamuth said, after cutting his price target on the company’s stock to $7.25 from $8.

** BAIDU INC, $177.2, +2.49 pct

The Chinese web-search provider on Wednesday posted fourth-quarter revenue that beat Wall Street expectations due to a rise in revenue from its mobile business. The company also forecast first-quarter revenue above the average analyst estimate.

At least two brokerages raised their price targets on Baidu’s stock.

** WHITING PETROLEUM CORP, $67, +6.55 pct

The oil and natural gas producer met Wall Street expectations, but posted a fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday, saying its exploration, production and interest costs had spiked.

** CHICO’S FAS INC, $16.53, -8.17 pct

The women’s apparel and accessories retailer reported fourth-quarter results below consensus estimates, hurt by a 3.4 percent decline in comparable store sales and a weaker gross margin due to heavy discounting.

** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, $42.44, +5.05 pct

The retailer, on Thursday, reported a big loss and sales decline in a “tough-to-terrible” holiday quarter, but said it was making progress in generating more of its sales through a loyalty program it was betting its future on.


The largest listed drugmaker in Canada swung to a fourth-quarter profit, driven by the acquisition of contact lens maker Bausch & Lomb Holdings Inc.

** TIVO INC, $13.54, +5.53 pct

The digital video recorder maker reported a better-than-expected 20 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue and said it expects to benefit from Comcast Corp’s $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. [ID:nL3N0LV50S}

** WESTERN REFINING INC, $37.8, -3.50 pct

The company reported a fourth-quarter loss as the cost of the crude oil it processes rose from the year-earlier period when it posted a profit.

** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $15.89, +6.00 pct

The Chinese solar panel maker said it had signed a contract with Fresh Fruits Co, a food storage and logistics company in Jordan, for a 2 megawatt rooftop solar power plant.

** AMC NETWORKS INC, $71.9, +3.29 pct

The cable TV network reported a 19 percent jump in quarterly revenue that handily beat Street estimates, helped by the popularity of “The Walking Dead.”

The fourth season of “The Walking Dead” was a hit, attracting 12.1 million viewers to its mid-season finale in December.

** PACIRA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $81.49, +4.41 pct

The drugmaker said a late-stage study showed its painkiller, Exparel, significantly reduced pain for a wider range of patients after surgery.

Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore, Editing by Simon Jennings

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