April 29, 2014 / 1:58 PM / in 3 years

MARKET PULSE-Merck, Coach, Gogo, Nokia, Biota, Cirrus Logic

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U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, lifted by a round of positive earnings reports, including from Dow component Merck & Co. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.53 percent at 16,535.75, the S&P 500 was up 0.50 percent at 1,878.71 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.58 percent at 4,097.837.

** MERCK & CO, $58.31, +2.88 pct

Britain’s Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc confirmed on Monday it was in talks to buy the U.S. drugmaker’s consumer health business, the latest asset up for grabs in a wave of recent pharmaceutical deals.

Merck on Tuesday reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by sharply lower research spending and asset sales, but revenue came in slightly below expectations.

** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO, $48.925, -2.85 pct

The U.S. drugmaker reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by cost cuts and lower taxes, but sales missed Wall Street estimates.

** AMICUS THERAPEUTICS INC, $2.33, +26.63 pct

The company said its lead drug was effective in treating patients with an inherited disease that leads to the accumulation of fat in body cells.

** NOVAVAX INC, $4.18, +6.09 pct

The biotechnology company said multiple formulations of its experimental RSV vaccine were shown to be safe and elicited a favorable immune response in a mid-stage study with 720 women of childbearing age.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a respiratory pathogen that afflicts all humans regardless of age and disproportionately affects infants below six months of age.

** NOKIA, $7.45, +5.97 pct

The Finnish firm named the man who led a turnaround at its main telecoms network business as its new chief executive on Tuesday, boosting investors’ confidence in the future of the company following the sale of its once dominant handset arm.

The company, which completed the 5.6-billion-euro ($7.75 billion) deal to sell its mobile handset business to Microsoft on Friday, said Rajeev Suri would become its CEO on May 1, replacing Stephen Elop who is moving to Microsoft.

($1 = 0.7223 Euros)

** CIRRUS LOGIC INC, $23.61, +7.27 pct

The U.S. chip maker has agreed a deal to buy British microchip maker Wolfson Microelectronics for 291 million pounds ($489 million) to boost its audio division, the two firms said on Tuesday.

($1 = 0.5950 British Pounds)

** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, $44.93, -8.79 pct

** STRATASYS LTD, $91.64, -5.60 pct

The three-dimensional printer maker said most of the revenue and profit it expects for 2014 would be generated only in the second half of the year when it launches new products and services.

Shares of rival Stratasys were also down.

** BIOTA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $3.7199, -33.22 pct

The company said a U.S. agency has asked it to stop developing its experimental influenza drug, pending a decision related to the company’s contract with the agency.

** MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL, $24.42, +6.08 pct

The casino operator reported better-than-expected first-quarter sales, as casino gambling revenue rose 13 percent due to higher VIP table turnover at MGM China.

** CUMMINS INC, $149.83, +3.19 pct

The company posted results that topped analysts expectations and raised its full-year forecast as strong demand for its engines and vehicle components in North America offset weakness in many other parts of the world.

** GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER CO, $25.76, -5.15 pct

The biggest U.S. tire maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hit by the extreme winter in North America and a labor dispute in Venezuela.

** ALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS INC, $151.21, +8.93 pct

** ORBITAL SCIENCES CORP, $32.5, +22.32 pct

Alliant Techsystems, the world’s largest ammunition maker, said it would merge with Orbital Sciences after spinning off its sporting gun business.

** COACH INC, $46.33, -8.11 pct

The upscale leather goods maker reported a sharp drop in North American sales on Tuesday as the upscale leather goods maker continued to lose ground to fast-growing rivals in the U.S. handbags market.

** EATON CORP, $72.92, -2.12 pct

The diversified manufacturer posted a rise in first-quarter profit that just topped analysts’ estimates on Tuesday, helped by lower-than-expected costs, but forecast second-quarter earnings that appeared to lag Wall Street’s target.

** ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND CO, $42.93, -3.27 pct

The agribusiness company on Tuesday reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings as poor margins and harsh U.S. weather hurt its core grain-trading business.

** SPRINT CORP, $7.93, +6.73 pct

The No. 3 U.S. mobile provider on Tuesday reported an increase in quarterly revenue in line with analysts’ expectations, due to a new billing plan that lowered wireless expenses.

** FLAMEL TECHNOLOGIES, $12.2, -6.87 pct

The specialty pharmaceutical company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration denied approval to one of its experimental drugs, citing deficiencies at the manufacturing facility of the company’s pharmaceutical ingredient supplier. Flamel said it would work with the supplier to resolve the issues, but did not offer details on the product or say when it would resubmit the marketing application.

** CONTAINER STORE GROUP INC, $26.9, -9.94 pct

At least two brokerages cut their price targets on the storage products retailer’s stock after the company reported a much lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday, hurt by an unusually severe winter in the United States that limited customer visits and led to store closures.

** ULTRA CLEAN HOLDINGS INC, $9.265, -21.55 pct

The chip equipment maker’s first-quarter profit missed analysts’ average estimate due to lower-than-expected gross margins.

The company also forecast second-quarter profit of 15-18 cents per share on revenue of $128-$133 million. Analysts expect a profit of 26 cents per share on revenue of $132 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** AMERICAN REALTY CAPITAL PROPERTIES INC, $12.9899, +2.93 pct

** NORTHSTAR REALTY FINANCE CORP, $16.07, -6.57 pct

American Realty Capital Properties and NorthStar Realty Finance said they were not currently in merger talks, a day after reports that American Realty was looking to buy the real estate financing company.

** CONSOL ENERGY INC, $43.6, +3.93 pct

The company posted a first-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, mainly due to a 59 percent jump in sales of natural gas and liquids.

** AMKOR TECHNOLOGY INC, $7.89, +11.60 pct

The provider of semiconductor assembling and testing services on Monday reported first-quarter results that beat expectations, helped by higher demand from mobile clients and customer additions. The company also forecast current quarter revenue and profit largely above analysts’ average estimate.

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

** GOGO INC, $14.74, -19.80 pct

AT&T Inc and Honeywell International Inc are teaming up to offer high-speed, in-flight Internet in the United States, the companies said on Monday, challenging industry leader Gogo Inc.

** BUFFALO WILD WINGS INC, $142.41, +6.76 pct

The restaurant chain reported a much better-than-expected first-quarter profit, helped by “significantly” lower chicken wing prices and a 6.6 percent jump in same-store sales.

The company also forecast a 25 percent rise in net earnings in 2014.

** ENCANA CORP, $23.49, +3.21 pct

Canada’s largest natural gas producer said it had agreed to sell about 90,000 net acres in east Texas for about $530 million to an undisclosed buyer, as part of a plan to cut its dependence on low-value natural gas.

** ROCKWELL AUTOMATION INC, $118.05, -5.20 pct

The maker of systems that help factories run smoothly reported a 2.5 percent rise in quarterly profit mainly due to higher sales of its motion control and industrial safety products in the United States.

** CIT GROUP INC, $42.95, -7.16 pct

The small business lender’s quarterly profit fell by a third as the small-business lender earned lower interest on loans. (Compiled by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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