U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, trimming some of their earlier declines after some positive earnings, though investors remained wary of lingering weakness in small-cap names. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.12 percent at 16,426.42, and the S&P 500 was down 0.10 percent at 1,868.99.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $9.5, +13.50 pct
The retailer’s return to “old school” retailing paid off for the second consecutive quarter. Comparable store sales rose 6.2 percent in the first quarter ended May 3, helped by demand for household goods, men’s and women’s clothing, and jewelry, the company reported on Thursday.
At least five brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock.
“Whether you love or hate the name, JCP’s first quarter release was solid ... with upside across both top-line and margins,” JP Morgan analyst Matthew Boss said in a note.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $27.64, -4.66 pct
The natural gas producer said it expected to raise more than $4 billion this year from asset sales and by spinning off its oilfield services division.
Chesapeake said the asset sales and divestitures would cut debt by $3 billion, but reduce 2014 production by 2 percent.
** JUMEI INTERNATIONAL HOLDING LTD, $25, +13.64 pct
Shares of the Chinese online cosmetics retailer rose about 29 percent in their market debut, valuing the company at about $4.02 billion.
Jumei’s initial public offering raised about $245.1 million, after the 11.1 million American depositary shares (ADSs) on offer were priced at a higher-than-expected $22 per ADS.
** PFIZER INC, $29.19, +0.45 pct
The drugmaker said it planned to file for the U.S. approval of its breast cancer drug, palbociclib, in the third quarter.
Palbociclib received a breakthrough therapy designation from the U.S. regulator in April last year for advanced breast cancer. The status is granted to treatments that could provide substantial improvement over existing therapies intended to treat serious diseases.
** KINGOLD JEWELRY INC, $1.48, +23.33 pct
The Chinese jeweler’s first-quarter net income rose more than five-fold to $16.1 million, or 24 cents per share, as it bought large quantities of gold at lower prices, reducing its production costs.
** SORL AUTO PARTS INC, $3.5, +19.45 pct
The auto parts company’s profit more than doubled in the first quarter as sales grew across businesses and margins rose 31 percent.
** ENZYMOTEC LTD, $12.87, -6.40 pct
The company’s joint venture partner, AarhusKarlshamn AB, initiated an arbitration against the maker of lipid-based products claiming the company violated certain non-disclosure obligations related to their joint venture agreement.
** OVERLAND STORAGE INC, $3.65, +22.07 pct
Sphere 3D Corp said on Thursday it planned to buy the data storage company for about $81.13 million.
Overland also reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings as its revenue doubled.
** TRUECAR INC, $10.35, +15.00 pct
Shares of TrueCar, owner of car comparison website TrueCar.com, rose about 20 percent in their market debut, valuing the company at about $764 million. The company, which sold all the 7.78 million shares, raised about $70 million after its initial public offering was priced at $9 per share, well below the expected range of $12-$14.
** SMART TECHNOLOGIES INC, $2.73, -35.76 pct
The maker of electronic whiteboards warned of lower full-year results, hurt by a fall in demand and higher investments. The company said it expected adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to fall to $40 million-$50 million in fiscal 2015 from $74.5 million in the year ended March 31.
** JUST ENERGY GROUP INC, $6.08, -15.79 pct
Analysts at TD Securities and National Bank Financial downgraded the natural gas and electricity retailer’s stock after the company posted a lower profit on Thursday, hurt by a decline in gross margins because it bought electricity at a higher rate to meet increased winter demand.
** RIO TINTO PLC, $55.02, -3.03 pct
The mining giant is not actively trying to divest assets this year, but would consider any attractive offers, Chief Executive Officer Sam Walsh said on Friday.
** HYPERDYNAMICS CORP, $3.4, +28.79 pct
The oil and gas company said it settled its litigation with AGR Well Management Ltd and would receive $15.6 million as settlement. The litigation involved the drilling of a well offshore Guinea.
** ZENDESK INC, $15.34, +14.22 pct
Shares of the customer service software maker continued to gain a day after debuting at $11.40, above the initial public offering price of $9.
** WADDELL & REED FINANCIAL INC, $60.08, -3.59 pct
Credit Suisse cut its price target on the asset manager’s stock to $75 from $80, saying the company is experiencing a sharp decline in mutual funds under its management.
Credit Suisse said the resignation of Ryan Caldwell, co-manager of Waddell & Reed’s Asset Strategy mutual fund, on Thursday also impacts the company’s management.
** DILLARD‘S INC, $109.97, +13.84 pct
The department store operator reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by a 2 percent rise in comparable store sales.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $16.7, -4.24 pct
UBS cut its price target on the U.S. miner’s stock to $17 from $18, saying iron ore prices are expected to be lower this year. Analysts also believe Cliff Natural’s Bloom Lake mine will be “uncompetitive” unless the company finds a partner for the project.
** CHRISTOPHER & BANKS CORP, $6.41, +4.57 pct
Buckingham Research initiated coverage on the apparel retailer’s stock with a “buy” rating and a $10 price target, saying it expects the company’s earnings to nearly triple to 70 cents per share in 2016 from 24 cents in 2013 as customer loyalty, marketing, and a revamped and expanded product offering boost comparable store sales.
** TARENA INTERNATIONAL INC, $7.7, +9.69 pct
The Chinese education services company said it had signed a partnership agreement with Red Hat China, allowing it to become an authorized Red Hat training and certification partner in China.
** KAMADA LTD, $9.18, -33.57 pct
The Israel-based drugmaker said its experimental drug failed in a key trial to treat an inherited condition that raises the risk of lung and liver disease.
** TAL EDUCATION GROUP, $21.8, +7.81 pct
The company, which provides K-12 after-school tutoring services, said it was offering $200 million in convertible senior notes due 2019.
“The issuance strengthens TAL’s offshore cash position for strategic investments in online education, important for TAL’s long term sustainability,” Jefferies analyst Clara Fan wrote in a note.
** CHINA MOBILE GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LTD, $19, +11.83 pct
The company, which develops games for mobile phones, reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings as its revenue jumped five-fold.
** DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC, $48.71, -3.91 pct
The company said it agreed to sell its Red Lobster seafood chain to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion in cash, defying pressure from an activist investor who opposed plans to shed the struggling chain.
** UNION PACIFIC CORP, $194.87, +1.96 pct
The largest U.S. railroad reported a two-for-one stock split and said it was boosting its 2014 capital spending plan by $150 million to $4.1 billion.
** WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT, $11.35, -43.05 pct
The company, which produces “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night SmackDown,” lost almost half its market value on Friday as its new TV deal with NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment failed to convince investors that the company was capable of winning more subscribers.
** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, $36.7, +19.62 pct
The cloud services provider said it hired Morgan Stanley to evaluate strategic options, such as an acquisition of the company.
** ICICI BANK LTD, $50.52, +8.95 pct
** HDFC BANK LTD, $45.77, +5.17 pct
Indian shares surged to record highs while the rupee strengthened to an 11-month peak against the dollar on Friday as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi swept to a resounding majority in the world’s largest election.
Shares of India-focused lenders such as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank soared, reflecting hopes the BJP and its National Democratic Alliance are best placed to revive an economy growing at its slowest in a decade.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $22.4, -11.53 pct
The solar panel maker forecast much lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as it expects to recognize most of the revenue from its solar projects in Canada and the United States later in the year.
** NORDSTROM INC, $69.19, +12.52 pct
The high-end retailer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by lower expenses and a 3.9 percent rise in total company comparable sales.
** AUTODESK INC, $51.37, +7.42 pct
The software maker raised its full-year revenue forecast after reporting stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by higher sales of its computer-aided design software to engineering and construction companies.
** APPLIED MATERIALS INC, $19.69, +5.35 pct
The top chip gear maker posted higher second-quarter revenue on Thursday as investments to make more smartphones and memory chips helped offset a slow personal computer market.
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, $49.12, +2.42 pct
** WAL-MART STORES INC, $76.95, +0.16 pct
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought a new stake of 11 million shares in Verizon in the first quarter and added to its holding in Wal-Mart, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday.
** COCA-COLA HBC AG, $23.22, -4.48 pct
Coca-Cola HBC, the world’s No. 2 bottler of Coca-Cola Co drinks, posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by currency losses in its Russian and Ukrainian operations. (Compiled by Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)