(Adds Yahoo, Sunedison, Impax, Knightsbridge, Global Payment, Agrium, Amicus, Broadwind; Updates American Eagle, Valeant) (For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s)
U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday, a day after equities snapped a five-day losing skid, on expectations for continued acceleration in the U.S. economy and more aggressive action by the European Central Bank. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.64 percent at 17,872.3, the S&P 500 was up 1.62 percent at 2,058.69 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.56 percent at 4,722.80.
** FORD MOTOR CO, $15.31, +1.80 pct
The carmaker raised its quarterly dividend 20 percent; to pay 15 cents per share first-quarter dividend. Ford on Monday reported 1 percent rise in December sales.
** MISTRAS GROUP INC, $20.46, +11.99 pct
The acoustic emission sensor maker raised its revenue forecast to $720 million-$740 million for the full year from $705 million-$730 million on Wednesday, based on strong second-quarter results and “additional upside” from acquisition of Nacher Corp.
** AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC, $13.88, -5.13 pct
** AEROPOSTALE INC, $2.74, +21.24 pct
The teen apparel retailers said business in the holiday shopping quarter was better than they had expected as margins improved due to fewer discounts.
** YAHOO INC, $49.64, +2.16 pct
** AOL Inc, $48.24, +4.60 pct
Yahoo shareholder Starboard Value LP reiterated that the company should explore a combination with AOL and cut costs to improve profits.
Yahoo’s number one priority must be to monetize its investments in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Yahoo Japan Corp, the activist investor wrote in a letter to Yahoo’s board on Thursday.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $153.42, +5.72 pct
The company on Thursday raised its 2015 guidance for adjusted profit more than expected, as the drugmaker sees growth from existing products and a stream of small acquisitions.
** SUNEDISON INC, $18.94, +4.30 pct
The solar company said it bought new turbines that will enable it to develop up to 1.6 gigawatts of wind energy projects. Sunedison said TerraForm Power Inc will buy projects once they achieve commercial operation.
** IMPAX LABORATORIES INC, $36.0714, +16.40 pct
The companies said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved Rytary, its drug for treating Parkinson’s disease, two years after initially rejecting it.
** KNIGHTBRIDGE SHIPPING LTD, $4.789, +15.40 pct
The dry bulk shipper’s shares said it has an agreement with an RWE AG unit to charter out 15 capesize vessels on long-term contracts.
Canaccord Genuity cut its price target on the stock, saying a supply glut in the dry bulk market was much worse than it had thought.
** GLOBAL PAYMENTS INC, $84.94, +7.13 pct
The payment processor said it expects a profit of $4.75-$4.83 per share for 2015, above average analyst estimate of $4.72. The company reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit, helped by expansion in Asia.
** AGRIUM INC, $99.7, +2.09 pct
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) raised its price target to $125 from $118 on the Canadian fertilizer producer’s stock. CIBC analysts expect agriculture and fertilizer stocks to outperform natural resource stocks in 2015, adding that agriculture fundamentals remain solid.
Analysts said improving the forecast for U.S. agriculture reflects drought in South America, rising U.S. exports to Asia.
** AMICUS THERAPEUTICS INC, $9.0445, +5.91 pct
The drug developer’s shares said experimental drug effective in reducing cardiovascular events in patients with Fabry’s disease, in a late-stage study.
Fabry disease is a rare genetic disorder that occurs as result of abnormal deposits of fatty substance in the blood vessel walls throughout the body.
** BROADWIND ENERGY INC, $5.0501, -10.14 pct
The energy infrastructure company cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast and said it expects loss-per-share to widen, hurt by continued “operational challenges” at its Abilene facility that makes wind towers.
The company said it now expects fourth-quarter revenue of $53 million-$54 million, lower than prior forecast by $5 million. It expects fourth-quarter wind tower earnings to be lower than its prior forecast by $3 million.
** CYTRX CORP, $3.61, +6.49 pct
CytRx said its cancer drug was effective against a type of skin cancer in HIV+ patients. Interim data from an ongoing mid-stage study showed that the drug, aldoxorubicin, stopped tumor growth in HIV+ patients suffering from Kaposi’s Sarcoma, the company said on Thursday.
** AVEO ONCOLOGY, $0.9178, +9.92 pct
The drug developer said European regulators confirmed it is eligible to submit an application to market its lead drug, tivozanib, to treat a form of kidney cancer.
The news comes a day after the company outlined plans to cut two-thirds of its workforce. Aveo has suffered many setbacks and chopped its workforce as tivozanib had failed in multiple cancer indications.
** BIND THERAPEUTICS INC, $8.755, +70.00 pct
The drug developer said it enrolled its first patient in a mid-stage trial on lung cancer drug BIND-014. The Trial will focus on lung cancer patients with KRAS mutant, who have historically been unresponsive to standard treatment. Bind also attained milestone as part of agreement with Pfizer Inc
** ACURA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $0.616, +8.45 pct
Egalet Corp to market the drugmaker’s painkiller Oxecta. Under deal, Acura will receive $5 million upfront and additional $2.5 million on first sale of tablet in United States.
The company will also receive additional $12.5 million when annual sales of tablet reach $150 million.
** BANCO SANTANDER SA, $7.565, -4.24 pct
Santander suspended as bank says to sell shares to hike capital by EUR 7.5 billion and cuts its dividend.
Other Spanish banks hit: BBVA down 0.8 percent, Caixabank down 1.6 percent and Banco Popular trims gains to be up 0.2percent — all among the worst performers (apart from Greek banks) and lagging the 1.3 percent rise in Euro STOXX banks.
Euro STOXX banks had been up as much as 3 percent before the first reports of a capital boost.
** ALCATEL LUCENT SA, $3.43, +1.78 pct
Credit Suisse upgraded the French telecom company’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral” and raised its price target 3.75 euros from 3.25. The stock was one of the most traded on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, with nearly 1.3 million shares changing hands by 11.54 a.m. ET - almost equaling their 10-day average volume.
** GW PHARMACEUTICALS PLC, $74, +4.14 pct
An experimental cannabis drug failed to alleviate pain in cancer patients as hoped in a clinical study. GW Pharmaceuticals , which is developing the drug Sativex for pain in collaboration with Japan’s Otsuka Corp, said the first of three late-stage trials found no statistically significant difference between subjects using its product and those given a placebo.
** CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC, $107.44, +4.26 pct
The alcoholic beverage maker raised its full-year earnings forecast after reporting higher-than-expected quarterly sales and profit, helped by increased sales of its beer brands such as Corona and Modelo.
** ABBVIE INC, $67.82, +1.33 pct
** NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES INC, $25.79, +17.87 pct
An experimental drug being developed by AbbVie and Neurocrine successfully reduced symptoms of endometriosis in pre-menopausal women in the first of two late-stage studies.
** APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP, $27.77, -12.84 pct
** ITT Educational Services Inc, $9.47, +2.82 pct
The for-profit education provider’s quarterly profit plunged nearly 66 percent as student enrollments fell. New degreed enrollments at Apollo’s flagship University of Phoenix fell 5 percent to 39,600 in the first quarter.
** INFINITY PHARMA, $14.94, -8.51 pct
The company said it would stop testing its lead drug as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis after it failed the main goal in a mid-stage study. Duvelisib - being developed with AbbVie Inc in oncology - will still be tested to treat various types of blood cancer.
** IMPAX LABORATORIES INC, $36.0714, +16.40 pct
The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved Rytary, its drug for treating Parkinson’s disease, which was previously rejected due to issues with the company’s manufacturing plant in Hayward, California. The agency had also raised concerns about Impax’s factory in Taiwan.
** NOVARTIS AG, $95.01, +3.19 pct
The Swiss pharma group said it will submit regulatory applications in the United States for two treatments against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after late-stage clinical studies yielded good results.
** SANCHEZ ENERGY CORP, $8.6, +7.90 pct
The oil producer operating in Texas and Mississippi, cut its 2015 capital budget on Wednesday by 60 percent, citing a recent drop in crude oil prices.
** HALOZYME THERAPEUTICS INC, $13.89, +10.94 pct
The drugmaker believes it has a multibillion-dollar cancer drug on its hands. The drug, PEGPH20, being tested against pancreatic cancer, has the potential to help treat several other types of solid tumor cancers, its chief executive said in an interview.
** INSULET CORP, $41.14, -7.61 pct
The medical device maker slashed its fourth-quarter revenue estimate, citing delays in shipments of its non-insulin drug delivery products from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015.
The company now expects fourth-quarter revenue of $71 million-$73 million, down from its previous forecast of $76 million-$81 million.
** BIODEL INC, $1.7901, +23.46 pct
The drug developer’s preliminary mid-stage trial results showed that its experimental insulin drug may be more effective than Eli Lilly and Co therapies in controlling glucose in patients when dosed immediately before breakfast.
** NEPHROGENEX INC, $9.6872, +5.18 pct
The kidney disease drug developer said European Medicines Agency indicated current late-stage study of its drug to treat diabetic nephropathy could be adequate to support a marketing application.
** RESOURCES CONNECTION INC, $16.98, +2.47 pct
The consulting firm reported a better-than-expected profit for the second quarter ending Nov. 29, as it earned more money from services such as accounting and corporate advisory. The company’s revenue also beat average analyst estimate.
** AMTRUST FINANCIAL SERVICES INC, $51.0201, -5.52 pct
The property and casualty insurer said it will sell 3 million common shares in a public offering. Up to Wednesday’s close, the stock had risen 55.5 pct over the last year.
** ULTRAGENYX PHARMACEUTICAL INC, $51.16, +5.16 pct
Canaccord Genuity started coverage of the company’s stock with a “buy” rating and a $60 target price. (Compiled by Lehar Maan; Editing by Joyjeet Das)