U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 rising above 1,523.57 to reach its highest intraday level since Nov. 1, 2007.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 6.22 points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,012.48. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 4.04 points, or 0.27 percent, at 1,523.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 16.37 points, or 0.51 percent, at 3,202.86.
** RECON TECHNOLOGY LTD, $2.61, up 33.8 pct (1021 ET)
The company, which makes software for managing oil refineries and furnaces, reported a nearly 50 percent rise in second-quarter revenue, helped by strength in its new fracturing service business.
** BANKRATE INC, $10/34, down 16.7 pct (0936 ET)
The personal finance websites operator reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and forecast 2013 revenue significantly below analysts’ estimates.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $30.84, down 15 pct (0936 ET)
The company reported a quarterly loss on Tuesday, dragged down by a writedown in the value of a Canadian acquisition, higher costs and lower iron ore prices, prompting the miner to slash its dividend by 76 percent.
** COMCAST CORP, $41.31, up 6 pct (0935 ET)
** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, $23.22, up 2.7 pct (0935 ET)
** LIN TV Corp, $12.73, up 3.2 pct (0935 ET)
Comcast, the largest cable operator in the United States, clinched full control of NBC Universal for $16.7 billion, the latest in a series of deals that have taken the cable operator from humble roots in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Manhattan’s iconic Rockerfeller Center.
Comcast unveiled plans on Tuesday to buy out General Electric’s remaining 49 percent stake in the NBC Universal joint venture.
LIN TV said it expects to see $715.5 million gain on the deal.
** PIONEER ENERGY SERVICES, $8.65, up 15 pct (1019 ET)
The company, which provides contract land drilling service to oil and gas operators, posted fourth-quarter results that beat analyst estimates on strong performance at its production services business.
** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, $64.94, down 13 pct (0937 ET)
The web hosting company reported a 25 percent rise in quarterly revenue that narrowly missed analysts’ estimates.
** TRULIA INC, $29.48, up 23 pct (1008 ET)
** ZILLOW INC, $39.39, up 9 pct (1008 ET)
Trulia, the online marketplace for real estate listings reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, and forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.
Rival Zillow is expected to report results after the bell on Wednesday.
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $2.05, up 7 percent (1115 ET)
Shares of the drybulk shipper rose after the Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry commodities, rose for the second straight day on Wednesday on higher panamax rates.
** SAPIENT CORP, $11.09, down 9.5 pct (1120 ET)
Brokerage William Blair downgraded the business and technology consultancy company’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform”, citing Sapient’s “weak fiscal 2013 outlook”.
** PHARMACYCLICS INC, $74.74, up 6 pct (1015 ET)
The biotechnology company said U.S. regulators granted the breakthrough therapy designation for use of its experimental drug ibrutinib in the treatment of certain blood cancers.
The designation is intended to expedite development and review of a potential new drug for serious or life-threatening diseases.
** VONAGE HOLDINGS, $2.56, up 5.7 pct (0938 ET)
The Internet phone company’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates.
The company also said it entered into a joint venture agreement with Datora Telecom to deliver communications services in Brazil.
** ALBEMARLE CORP, $65.97, up 5 pct (1049 ET)
The chemicals maker on Tuesday increased its quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 24 cents per share, and also increased its share repurchase program to 15 million shares.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS, $9.90, up 5 pct (1037 ET)
The company said it would report that the U.S. health regulator allowed it to proceed with its mid-stage trial testing a combination of two of its drug candidates to treat hepatitis C at a conference later today.
** LORILLARD INC, $41.89, up 5 pct (1036 ET)
The maker of Newport cigarettes reported fourth-quarter results that handily beat Wall Street estimates, helped by higher average selling prices. Lorillard also raised its quarterly dividend by 6.3 percent to $0.55 per share.
** WILLIS GROUP HOLDINGS $37.46, up 4 pct (1003 ET)
The insurance broker’s adjusted fourth-quarter profit topped Wall Street estimates on higher commission and fees.
The New York-based company also raised it dividend by about 4 percent and said it would cut about 200 jobs.
Barclays raised its price target on Willis stock to $42 from $39.
** MEMC ELECTRONIC MATERIALS INC, $4.00, up 4 pct (0939 ET)
The silicon wafer maker posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit as sales of solar projects rose and the company recognized some deferred revenue in the quarter.
** THOMSON REUTERS , $29.80, down 3 pct (1052 ET)
The global news and information company’s revenue forecast for 2013 failed to impress Wall Street and the shares fell 3 percent, overshadowing bullish remarks from Chief Executive James Smith that his turnaround plan was gaining traction.
** HARRIS TEETER SUPERMARKETS INC, $41.04, up 4 pct (1126 ET)
The grocer is exploring strategic options including a possible sale, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** PROTO LABS INC, $49.80, up 18 pct (0939 ET)
The maker of custom prototype and low-volume plastic parts reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ expectations.
** RPX CORP, $12.46, up 16.4 pct (0939 ET)
The patent company’s fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ expectation.
** RUCKUS WIRELESS, $22.20, down 14 pct (1025 ET)
The WiFi products maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, but the company’s shares, which have climbed 72 percent since their debut, sold off a day later.
Needham downgraded the company’s stock to “hold” from “buy”, saying the post-IPO move in the shares has moved them well past the brokerage’s previous valuation level.
** GROUPON INC, $5.68, up 7.3 pct (0940 ET)
Sterne Agee & Leach upgraded the daily deals company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” according to Streetinsider.com
** DEAN FOODS CO, $16.57, down 9.7 pct (0941 ET)
The top U.S. dairy company reported a quarterly profit thanks to cost cuts, and said it had decided to retain part of its Whitewave organic products unit.
** NICE SYSTEMS , $36.20, down 2.3 pct (0941 ET)
The Israel-based software provider on Wednesday reported better-than-expected fourth quarter profit on strong demand for its data analytics software and introduced a dividend plan.
**PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT INC, $15.50, down 2 pct (1025 ET)
The casino operator reported a fourth-quarter adjusted profit that came in below Wall Street estimates as higher expenses offset a rise in revenues.
** PROS HOLDINGS INC, $25.48, up 14.7 pct (0946ET)
The big data software provider reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.
Atleast three brokerages raised their price targets on the stock. The revenue upside was driven by better-than-expected license and implementation revenue, JMP Securities analyst Greg McDowell wrote in a note.
** NATURAL ALTERNATIVES INTERNATIONAL INC, $4.94, down 6 pct (1025 ET)
The maker of nutritional supplements reported a sharp 87 percent drop in its second-quarter net income due to weak customer demand for its products and customer inventory reduction programs.
** AVEO PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.60, down 16 pct (0947 ET)
The drugmaker said patients treated with Aveo’s experimental kidney cancer drug tivozanib in a late stage trials showed lower rate of survival when compared with Nexavar, also known as sorafenib, sold by Bayer AG and Onyx Pharmaceuticals .
** BUFFALO WILD WINGS INC, $77.05, down 5 PCT (0948 ET)
The casual dining chain’s fourth quarter profit of 89 cents per share missed analysts’ expectations of 96 cents per share.
** PEREGRINE PHARMACEUTICALS, $2.25, up 6 pct (0951 ET)
A mid-stage trial of the company’s experimental pancreatic cancer drug showed that the treatment more than doubled patients’ overall response rates, when compared to a chemotherapy drug.
However, the drug showed only a modest improvement in patients’ overall survival, which was the main goal of the trial.
“With pancreatic cancer still representing a tough nut to crack, we have consistently maintained a cautious stance on these data,” Roth Capital Partners analyst Joseph Pantginis said, adding that the focus is on the drug’s trial in non-small cell lung cancer.
** REAL GOODS SOLAR INC, $2.23, up 48 percent (0950 ET)
The company, which provides turnkey solar energy solutions, said it had been selected by a leading production homebuilder to install residential solar systems in certain of its new communities, beginning in California.
** LEARNING TREE INTERNATIONAL INC, $4.95, down 4.6 (0953 ET)
The company that provides training to information technology professionals said it has decided not to sell the company as it is unfeasible at this time.
Chief Executive David Collins withdrew his offer to buy the company late last month, saying Learning Tree should focus on its operations in this weak economy.
** ALTISOURCE PORTFOLIO SOLUTIONS S.A. $89.23, up 6 percent (0955 ET)
The company, which helps manage mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial’s portfolio, reported an 18 percent jump in quarterly profit and forecast a strong 2013 and 2014.
** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, $65.53, up 4 pct (0957 ET)
** STRATASYS LTD, $76.20, up 1 pct (0957 ET)
U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned a 3D printing innovation institute in Ohio in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, and announced the launch of three more “manufacturing hubs” on its lines.
“A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3-D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns,” Obama said, referring to the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
EZCHIP SEMICONDUCTOR LTD , $33.25, up 3 pct (0958 ET)
The Israel-based company reported a better-than-expected adjusted fourth-quarter profit. The company also said it expects to receive orders from Huawei for its N-4 network processor and start production for it in the current quarter.
** LIVEPERSON INC, $13.02, down 5 pct (0959 ET)
The company said it expects full-year earnings of between 30 cents and 33 cents per share, below analysts’ expectations of 37 cents per share.
** NETFLIX INC, $182.09, up 2.3 pct (1000 ET)
J.P. Morgan Securities raised its target price on the online video streaming company’s stock to $205 from $180.
** COEUR D’ALENE MINES CORP, $21.65, down 8 pct (1017 ET)
The largest U.S.-based silver miner proposed to buy Canada’s Orko Silver Corp for about C$384 million ($383 million), nearly two months after Orko agreed to be sold to First Majestic Silver Corp.
** WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS, $59.62, down 10 pct (1019 ET)
The company’s fourth-quarter results edged past analysts’ estimates as more people signed up for its health plans, but the managed-care services provider forecast full-year results below analysts’ expectations.
** DEERE & CO, $92.64, down 1.5 pct (1004 ET)
The world’s largest farm equipment maker reported first-quarter results above analysts’ expectations as farmers geared up to plant the largest corn crop in U.S. history following the worst drought in the U.S. Midwest in 56 years.
** GREENWAY MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES INC, $14.50, down 2.6 pct (1004 ET)
The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of 3 cents per share, while analysts had expected the healthcare software provider to earn 4 cents per share.
** NETGEAR INC, $33.50, down 8 pct (1005 ET)
The network equipment maker forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates as telecom service providers cut spending.
** BLUE NILE INC, $30.07, down 3 pct (1005 ET)
The diamond retailer forecast a profit of between 75 cents and 85 cents per share for full year, largely below analysts’ expectations of 95 cents per share.
** DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP INC, $43.25, down 4.5 pct (1006 ET)
The soft drinks maker reported a 2 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue as strong growth in Latin America offset flat North American volumes. (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore)