May 13, 2014 / 6:19 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Microsoft, Continental Building Products, Tower Group

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter; for the Morning News Call newsletter, U.S. stocks mostly edged higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 briefly rising above 1,900 for the first time and more developments on the deal front helping investors' outlook. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.15 percent at 16,720.33, and the S&P 500 was up 0.06 percent at 1,897.81.

** PFIZER INC, $29.141, +0.04 pct

** ASTRAZENECA PLC, $78.38, +0.65 pct

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer hinted it could raise its proposed $106 billion offer if AstraZeneca would only engage in talks, as its boss was grilled by UK lawmakers on his commitment to British research spending and jobs.

In response, AstraZeneca said it would have to consider a compelling offer, but accused Pfizer of an “opportunistic” proposal with a ploy to cut taxes that risked its reputation.

** AT&T INC, $36.15, -1.15 pct

** DIRECTV, $86.6, -0.64 pct

** DISH NETWORK CORP, $60.92,-0.08 pct

** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, $37.07,-1.96 pct

AT&T is in active talks to buy satellite TV provider DirecTV and may complete a deal in the next few weeks that could be worth close to $50 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

AT&T is discussing an offer in the low- to mid-$90s per share for DirecTV, one of the people said.

Shares of Britain’s Vodafone Group fell as investors had hoped for a bid even after AT&T ruled it out in January.

If AT&T buys DirecTV, the chances of a Vodafone bid will become remote.

** MICROSOFT CORP, $40.365, +1.70 pct

The company slashed the price of its Xbox One gaming console by $100, matching Sony Corp’s Playstation 4 after about six months on the market.

Microsoft said it would offer Xbox One gaming console without the Kinect motion sensor for $399 starting June 9.

** TURQUOISE HILL RESOURCES, $3.86, -1.53 pct

The mining company’s chief executive said it was considering selling its stake in Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd.

** DXP ENTERPRISES INC, $68.17, -37.41 pct

The company, which provides supply chain services and maintenance, repair, operating and production services, reported a lower-than-expected profit for the first quarter, partly due to higher selling, general and administrative costs.


** ALLERGAN INC, $161.49, +1.11 pct

Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it planned to “improve” its $47 billion takeover offer for drugmaker Allergan, a day after the U.S. company rejected the bid. Canada’s Valeant said it would make the change to its cash and stock offer at a May 28 webcast in which it would discuss details of its plans for Allergan’s business.

** COCA-COLA CO, $41.16, +0.83 pct

** KEURIG GREEN MOUNTAIN INC, $121.25, +9.52 pct

Coca-Cola will raise its stake in Keurig Green Mountain to 16 percent from 10 percent, which will make it the largest shareholder of the maker of the popular Keurig one-cup coffee brewer.

** DIANA CONTAINERSHIPS INC, $3.17, -14.56 pct

The shipping company cut its quarterly dividend on Monday to 5 cents per share from 15 cents per share and it reported a fall of about 11 percent in first-quarter revenue.

** VERTEX ENERGY INC, $7.54, -10.98 pct

The environmental services company reported a 20 percent fall in profit as higher expenses offset the benefit of a rise in revenue.

** ODYSSEY MARINE EXPLORATION INC, $1.7599, -20.00 pct

The salvage specialist, which explores and recovers deep-ocean shipwrecks, reported a fall in revenue due to lower exhibit earnings and artifact sales.


The company’s net loss more than tripled to $1.5 million, or 80 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 29, mainly due to a tax provision.

TCC makes communications equipment that enables users to digitally encrypt and transmit information sent by radios, telephones, fax machines and computer networks, among others.

** INFOSONICS CORP, $2.0801, +6.13 pct

The electronics distributor reported a profit for the quarter ended March 31 compared with a year-earlier loss as its unit shipments rose 51 percent.

** HUB GROUP INC, $46.48, +2.42 pct

Keybanc Capital Markets raised its rating on the freight management company’s stock to “buy” from “hold,” citing Hub’s cost-cutting measures. Hub expects to save about $5 million-$6 million in costs in 2015, the brokerage said.

** FUELCELL ENERGY INC, $2.17, +8.50 pct

** PLUG POWER INC, $4.2102, +7.95 pct

** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC, $3.17, +5.67 pct

FuelCell Energy, a developer of next-generation fuel cell power plants, said it would collaborate with Posco Energy Co Ltd to tap a global customer base.

FuelCell said it would sell four fuel cell modules totaling 5.6 megawatt to meet rising demand in Asia.

Plug Power, a fuel cell systems maker, reiterated its full-year sales forecast of $70 million, according to Benzinga. The company is scheduled to release its first-quarter results on Wednesday.

** MAGICJACK VOCALTEC LTD, $16.415, -13.74 pct

The company, which makes devices to make and receive calls over the Internet, posted a nearly 44 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Monday, hurt by higher operating expenses and lower revenue.

Canaccord Genuity cuts its price target on the company’s stock to $22 from $24.

Separately, Magicjack said it entered into a strategic agreement with Telefonica SA to sell products and services in Latin American countries.

** EVERYDAY HEALTH INC, $14.1, +17.01 pct

The provider of digital healthcare services posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by a 29 percent jump in its advertising and sponsorship revenue.

** UBIQUITI NETWORKS INC, $34.3061, +8.66 pct

Brokerage Raymond James raised its rating on the wireless networking equipment provider’s stock to “strong buy” from “buy,” saying the company could benefit as demand for broadband grows in emerging markets.

The brokerage said a rise in Ubiquiti’s inventory levels in the third quarter “seemingly drove the sell-off” in its shares on Friday, but the company had brought down inventory within its stated range.

** OPENTABLE INC, $64.74, -7.06 pct

The company’s rival Yelp Inc, which operates an online restaurant and business guide, launched a free restaurant reservation service using technology it gained from the acquisition of SeatMe last year.

OpenTable usually charges restaurants a fee for the service.

** THE BABCOCK & WILCOX CO, $32.68, -6.12 pct

The clean energy technology company said its subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc, would buy MEGTEC, a maker of air pollution control systems, based on an enterprise value of $155 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed by June 30.

** DORAL FINANCIAL CORP, $3.85, +2.39 pct

The lender said on Monday that it asked Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to pay close to $230 million “immediately” that it says it is owed by the commonwealth.

Doral’s shares are up more than 30 percent in more than six times its average trading volume over the last 10 days, following a 59 percent jump on Friday.

The company said earlier in May that it was revising its capital plan, which could include a sale of assets and businesses, in an effort to meet regulatory requirements.

** INTERSECTIONS INC, $4.74, -15.36 pct

The company, which provides identity risk management services, reported a 19 percent fall in first-quarter revenue as it lost customers due to its exit from certain businesses.

Intersections’ total subscribers fell to about 2.8 million as of March 31 from 4.2 million, a year earlier, the company said.

** UNILIFE CORP, $2.97, -6.90 pct

Unilife, a maker of injectible drug delivery systems, reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results on Monday and forecast full-year sales below analysts’ estimates.

** PENN VIRGINIA CORP, $14.62, -8.68 pct

The oil and gas company reported a much bigger-than-expected adjusted loss, hurt by a rise in operating expenses. The company also raised its capital expenditure forecast by $13 million-$20 million to $595 million-$653 million.

** CORINTHIAN COLLEGES INC, $1.09, +19.44 pct

The for-profit education company said its lenders have agreed to amend the credit facility and waive a default related to the breech of a debt covenant. The company had warned earlier this month that it could be in default due to breach of its debt agreement due to a $76.5 million charge.


European insurer Euroins Insurance Group said it proposed to buy the Bermuda-based insurer for $3.75 per share.

The offer comes almost a week after Tower Group and reinsurer ACP Re announced an amendment to a proposed merger, reducing consideration to Tower’s shareholders to $2.50 per share from $3. ACP Re offered to buy Tower Group for $172 million in January.

** ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.45, -5.70 pct

The drugmaker posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as its operating expenses rose.

** TROVAGENE INC, $4.7, -2.29 pct

The medical tests maker posted a bigger first-quarter loss, mainly due to higher operating expenses and changes in the market value of certain financial contracts.

** OMEROS CORP $11.11, -8.26 pct

The drug developer posted a bigger-than-expected loss for the first quarter, hurt by higher operating expenses.

** PHOENIX NEW MEDIA LTD, $8.93, -2.83 pct

The Chinese digital content provider forecast second-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.

Deutsche Bank analysts said the company’s guidance reflects the negative impact of telecom revenue share policies and value-added tax changes from June.

The brokerage cut its price target on the stock to $15.70 from $16.20, while maintaining its “buy” rating.

** MDC PARTNERS INC, $22.2, -11.27 pct

The marketing and communication services company said on Monday that Chief Executive Miles Nadal would sell 3.5 million class A subordinate voting shares of the company in an underwritten offering.


The maker of gypsum wallboard products reported a bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss late on Monday as its wallboard volumes stayed flat due to a severe winter and its operating expenses rose.

Brokerage RBC Capital Markets cut its price target on the company’s stock to $19 from $22.

** INNERWORKINGS INC, $7.69, +4.48 pct

The company, which delivers printed materials and promotional products to companies, reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter due to growth in its international business.


The maker of electricity generation equipment said its board authorized a $5 million stock buyback program.

** EXAMWORKS GROUP INC, $31.29, -11.36 pct

The company, a provider of independent medical examinations, said some of its stockholders would offer about 3 million shares at a price of $33.90 per share. The offer price represents a discount of about 4 percent to the stock’s Monday close.

** CYTORI THERAPEUTICS INC, $2.275, -8.63 pct

The company reported lower-than-expected sales on Monday and said it would offer shares up to $40 million. The company did not disclose the price at which it would offer the shares.

Maxim Group cut its price target on the biotechnology company’s stock to $9 from $10.

** ENCANA CORP, $22.95, +1.73 pct

Encana reported on Tuesday a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, much of which coming from a field it may put up for sale as it looks to cut its dependence on natural gas production.

** ELIZABETH ARDEN INC, $27.94, -21.58 pct

The U.S. cosmetics company said it is evaluating strategic alternatives, after reporting much weaker-than-expected quarterly results due to falling demand for its perfumes.

** CONVERGYS CORP, $22.42, +1.91 pct

The customer management software provider reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter on Monday, helped by organic growth and the integration of Stream, which was accretive to its revenue. Convergys also said it was raising its quarterly dividend to 7 cents per share.

** DR. REDDY’S LABORATORIES LTD, $42.95, -6.79 pct

India’s second-largest drugmaker by sales posted a 25 percent rise in quarterly net profit that fell short of analysts’ estimates due to a rise in expenses.

** MCKESSON CORP, $180.16, +3.40 pct

The U.S. drug wholesaler said on Monday that profit rose in the latest quarter, exceeding analyst expectations, thanks to strength in its distribution and technology solutions units.

** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, $29.98, +8.90 pct

The company reported better-than-expected quarterly results as demand rose for its web-hosting services. Rackspace also forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.

** RESOLUTE ENERGY CORP, $7.87, +4.93 pct

The oil and gas producer reported a 15 percent rise in first-quarter revenue, helped by higher output at its Permian basin assets. The company’s production from Permian basin rose to 413,000 barrels of oil equivalent from 280,000 boe a year earlier.

** HALOZYME THERAPEUTICS INC, $8.365, +11.24 pct

The biotechnology company said an independent safety committee recommended resuming a pancreatic cancer mid-stage trial halted in April, after it submitted an amended study protocol. Halozyme said on Monday that it had requested the U.S. health regulator to lift the clinical hold on the study.

The regulator ordered a halt on the study testing an advanced version of Halozyme’s flagship drug delivery system barely a week after the company voluntarily stopped the trial on the recommendation of the committee.

** CHINA SUNERGY CO LTD, $3.2301, +14.14 pct

The China-based solar panels maker estimated first-quarter shipments of more than 140 megawatts (MW) due to strong demand from the Chinese market.

China Sunergy had earlier forecast shipments of 130-140 MW for the quarter ended March 31.

** CARTESIAN, $4.27, +1.91 pct

The company, which provides software and technical consulting services to the communications, digital media and technology industries, reported a 16 percent rise in quarterly revenue, driven by growth from its Europe, Middle East and Africa unit.

** FUEL TECH INC, $5.1499, -18.77 pct

The maker of pollution control products reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results late on Monday, mainly due to a decline in bookings in the United States and lower activity at a project in Chile.

** TELECOM ITALIA, $11.99, -6.33 pct

The company said on Tuesday that it expected a gradual recovery in earnings this year after posting an 8.4 percent fall in first-quarter core profit to reflect declining sales in Italy and a weaker currency in Brazil. ($1 = 6.24 Chinese yuan) (Compiled by Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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