1:46PM COMEX Metals Closing Prices (COMDX) :
1:43PM Further slip off midday highs -- Dow -23 has pulled back 60 points off high, S&P -2.1, Nasdaq Comp -7.4 (SPY) :
1:21PM Stock indices slide to new afternoon lows -- Dow -1.8, S&P +0.1, Nasdaq Comp -3.1 (SPY) :
1:06PM American Intl agrees to invest ~ HK$718.1 mln (~ $92.5 mln), in accordance with its pro rata share, in a rights offering of PICC Property and Casualty, a co listed in Hong Kong (AIG) 45.30 +0.07 : Immediately prior to and after the rights offering, AIG will own 9.9% of shares in PICC P&C, a subsidiary of The People's Insurance Company (Group) of China Limited.
1:02PM Mac-Gray Corp: ISS supports both Moab nominees to replace Mac-Gray's incumbent directors (TUC) 13.52 +0.07 : Moab Capital Partners announced that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), has chosen to support both Mr. Hyman and Mr. Rothenberg for election to the Board of Directors of Mac-Gray. In its report published on May 17, 2013, ISS states that its decision to support both Moab nominees is attributable to the merits of many of Moab's arguments. First, on the subject of shareholder rights, ISS comments "...the fact pattern and governance track record of the company clearly supports the dissidents' position -- that the board that has a very long history of exhibiting almost complete disregard for shareholder rights by its policies and through its actions and that has only reluctantly -- and grudgingly slowly - acquiesced to shareholders stated positions on this issues."
1:01PM Elan issues resposne to Royalty Pharma announcement: will assess increased offer of $12.50 per share (ELN) 12.10 +0.43 : The Board of Elan Corporation, plc (ELN) notes today's announcement regarding the revised offer by Echo Pharma Acquisition Limited ("Royalty Pharma") to acquire Elan's shares under Rule 2.5 of the Irish Takeover Rules. The Board of Elan will, as before, in line with its obligations under Irish Takeover law, assess the Royalty Pharma announcement and will advise its shareholders accordingly. In the meantime, Elan shareholders are strongly advised to take no action in relation to the Royalty Pharma offer.
12:40PM Stock indices slipping back off midday highs/resistance -- Dow +9.9, S&PO +1.9, Nasdaq Comp +0.7 (SPY) : A minor extension of the slide off midday highs/resistance (The Technical Take, 12:16).
12:40PM Notable movers of interest (SCANX) : The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume).
Large Cap Gainers
12:16PM Stock indices vacillating near first level resistances in midday trade (SPY) : Slow but steady push higher off the first hour low brought first level resistances from The Technical Take into play in midday action at 1672 S&P (session high 1672), 15395/15407 Dow (session high 15391) and 3505 Nasdaq Comp (session high 3509).
12:09PM Amgen tests/hovering near its 50 sma/ema (AMGN) 103.30 -2.33 : The stock slipped under last week's trough to set a new six week low bringing its 50 sma/ema (103.40/102.90) into play (session low 103.20).
12:05PM Slow but steady push to fresh highs -- Dow +36, S&P +5.2, Nasdaq Comp +9.9 (SPY) :
12:00PM European Markets Closing Prices (SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
11:55AM Market View: RUT 2000 index of small-cap stocks surpasses the 1K mark for the 1st time ever (TECHX) :
11:50AM Warren Resources is increasing its 2013 capital expenditure budget by $15 mln to $73 mln due to a decision to drill 25 new coalbed methane wells in the Spyglass Hill Unit in the Washakie Basin (WRES) 3.00 -0.02 : Co announced that it is increasing its 2013 capital expenditure budget by $15 million to $73 million. The increase in planned capital expenditures is due to a decision to drill 25 new coalbed methane ("CBM") wells in the Spyglass Hill Unit in the Washakie Basin, which is a sub-basin of the Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming. The additional wells are expected to be placed into sales in the latter part of 2013; therefore, Warren is not updating its full-year gas production guidance at this time. The Spyglass Hill Unit comprises approximately 113,000 gross acres and holds all of the leases within the Unit to all depths, including those depths and formations below the CBM Mesa Verde coal formation. Warren holds approximately 88,000 net acres in the Unit. In order to maintain and perpetuate the Unit, the Company and the other working interest owners are required to drill 25 CBM wells each year.
11:45AM Elan: Royalty Pharma increases offer for Elan to $12.50 per share in all cash (ELN) 11.92 +0.25 : Echo Pharma Acquisition (Royalty Pharma) announced, pursuant to Rule 2.5 of the Irish Takeover Rules, a firm intention to increase its offer for Elan to $12.50 per share in cash. The increased offer is fully financed, cash confirmed and not conditional on due diligence. The $1.00 per share net cash right has been eliminated. Royalty Pharma has reserved the right to waive down the Acceptance Threshold for the increased offer from 90% to 50% plus one Elan Share and will update Elan Stockholders in this regard in the Revised Offer Document. Royalty Pharma is offering avalue of $4.6 bln for Elan's Tysabri Royalty, a 42% premium to the $3.25 bln at which Elan sold ~ half of its interest in Tysabri to Biogen. The increased offer also represents a premium of 45% to the Undisturbed Elan Enterprise Value.
Royalty Pharma believes that Elan overpaid in the Theravance Transaction by agreeing to pay $1 bln for 21% of selected royalties owned by Theravance when all of Theravance was trading at $3.5 bln. Royalty Pharma is assessing the transactions announced today. The increased offer is therefore conditional on Elan Stockholders voting against the Theravance Transaction and all transactions announced that are put to a shareholder vote.
11:44AM Gold futures push into positive territory.. now +0.1% at $1365.50/oz, but July silver is still in the red at $22.14, down 1% (COMDX) :
11:34AM Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session- New highs (192) outpacing new lows (13) (SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: A, ACN, ACT, ADP, ALKS, AMP, APC, APD, ASML, AXP, BA, BAC, BAX, BBY, BIIB, BRCM, BSX, BX, C, CAH, CAR, CBI, CIT, CMA, CME, COG, COP, CPB, CRM, CSX, CTRP, DAN, DD, DFS, DHR, DIA, DLPH, DNR, DOV, DVY, EFA, EMR, EQT, ETN, EWH, EWJ, F, FAS, FBHS, FCE.A, FHN, FIS, FLEX, FLR, FMER, FSLR, FTI, GD, GLW, GM, GOOG, GS, HAL, HBC, HBI, HCN, HCP, HLX, HOG, HON, HPT, HRB, HTZ, HUN, IGT, IR, ITW, IVV, IWD, IWF, IWM, IWN, IYR, JCI, JPM, KBE, KBR, KEY, KMI, KRFT, L, LEG, LEN, LKQ, LM, LMT, LNG, LUV, LXP, LYB, MAS, MCK, MCO, MDY, MMC, MRO, MS, MSFT, MUR, MYL, NBL, NCR, NE, NMR, NRG, NSC, NTRS, NYX, OC, OCR, OHI, OI, OIS, OMC, PFG, PH, PLD, PNC, PNR, PRU, PWR, PXD, PXP, QIHU, QQQ, RAD, RAI, RLGY, RTN, RYL, SAI, SBUX, SCTY, SDY, SE, SEAS, SHO, SLM, SM, SPLK, SPN, SPWR, SPY, SSO, STI, STM, STR, TEL, TER, TMO, TMUS, TRIP, TROW, TSO, UAL, UBS, UNP, UTX, V, VIG, VNQ, VNTV, VOYA, VRX, VTI, VTR, WDC, WFC, WFM, WHR, WLP, WM, WPX, WY, WYNN, XLB, XLE, XLF, XLI, XLK, YNDX, ZION
Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: AEM, AU, AUY, BVN, CEF, FAZ, GDX, GFI, GG, NGD, SDS, SLV, SLW
ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: CUT, DIA, DIG, DVY, EFA, EWH, EWJ, EWQ, EWU, FDN, IAI, ICF, IDX, IEO, IGV, IHI, IOO, ITA, ITB, IWC, IWF, IWM, IYE, IYF, IYG, IYJ, IYM, IYR, IYT, IYZ, KBE, KCE, KRE, MDY, MES, OEF, OIH, PBD, PBW, PHO, PPA, QQQ, SDY, SEA, SMH, SOCL, SOXX, SPY, TAN, URE, UWM, UYG, VNQ, VTI, XES, XHB, XLB, XLE, XLF, XLI, XLK
ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: DBA, GDX, GDXJ, MBB, SGG, SIL, SIVR, SLV, SMN
Note: To reduce the list of stocks making 52 week highs/lows to a manageable size we have filtered out stocks below $2 bln in market cap and below 1 mln average volume. Without this filter 476 stocks made 52 week highs and 42 stocks made 52 week lows.
11:26AM Nasdaq Comp +6.6 joins Dow +15 and S&P +2.4 at minor new session highs (SPY) : Relative strength in recent action in Finance/Bank (XLF, KBE, KRE), Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Industrial XLI, Casino.
11:17AM Crude Oil futures approach trendline/early May high 97.10/97.17 (TECHX) 96.90 +0.88 : Continuous crude oil futures contract is up for the fourth session in a row with it nearing a trending off the Sep and April peaks (97.10) and its early month high at 97.17 (session high 97.01) -- Click for chart.
11:16AM IMAX: Star Trek Into Darkness grosses $13.6 mln domestically for the weekend in 336 North American IMAX 3D theatres (IMAX) 28.76 +0.55 :
11:14AM Apple extends this morning's strength to close last week's bearish gap along the 443/444 area (AAPL) 444.65 +11.39 : After finding strong support along the 418/420 area on last week's drop, AAPL recoups further losses as price returns back to last Wed's bearish gap at 443/444. Next level of interest above lies around $450, followed by the 100-day simple moving average near 455.
11:14AM Windstream awarded Federal Government GSA local services acquisition contract for Region 4 (WIN) 8.70 +0.02 : Co has been awarded a 10-year, multi-million dollar contract from the General Services Administration (GSA) of the U.S. Federal Government to provide voice, Internet, data, and converged services to GSA's Region 4. Known as the "Sunbelt Region," Region 4 includes the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
11:06AM June crude oil rallies to new session high of $97.01; now up 0.9% at $96.92 (COMDX) :
11:04AM New session highs for Dow +10 and S&P +1.9 -- Nasdaq Comp +4.7 (SPY) :
11:04AM NorthWestern announces that its new 60-megawatt, natural gas-fired peaking Unit #2 recently commenced commercial operation in Aberdeen, South Dakota (NWE) 42.12 -0.10 :
10:59AM Currency Commentary: Some Profit Taking Ahead of Bernanke (SUMRX) :
10:46AM VASCO Data Security announces acquisition of Cronto (UK) for initial cash consideration of EUR15 mln and contingent cash consideration in the form of an earn-out of up to a maximum of EUR2 mln (VDSI) 8.70 +0.05 : Co announced its acquisition of Cronto, of Cambridge (UK), a provider of secure visual transaction authentication solutions for online banking. VASCO acquired all of the stock of Cronto in exchange for an initial cash consideration of Euro 15 million and contingent cash consideration in the form of an earn-out of up to a maximum of Euro 2 million (combined, approximately $21.9 million using the exchange rate of 1.29). The acquisition was financed from VASCO's existing cash balances. The acquisition is expected to be dilutive in 2013, due in large part to the amortization of purchased intangible assets. The acquisition is expected to be accretive in 2014.
10:45AM AbbVie initiates Phase 3 study of its investigational compound atrasentan on renal outcomes in patients with diabetic nephropathy (ABBV) 45.58 -0.59 : Co announced the initiation of a Phase 3 clinical study called SONAR (Study Of Diabetic Nephropathy with Atrasentan) to assess the effects of the investigational compound atrasentan - when added to standard of care - on progression of kidney disease in patients with stage 2 to 4 chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes. The study will evaluate atrasentan's impact on renal outcomes, such as the onset of end-stage renal disease, as defined by need for chronic dialysis, transplant or death due to renal failure progression.
The initiation of the Phase 3 study follows results from Phase 2b studies, which were presented during a late breaking clinical trials scientific session at the 2013 European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association Congress in Istanbul, Turkey. Findings from the 12-week studies of two doses of atrasentan (0.75 mg, n=78; 1.25 mg, n=83) vs. placebo (n=50) showed sustained reductions in UACR (primary endpoint): 36% in the 0.75 mg, 44% in 1.25 mg group vs. increase of 2% in placebo group (P<0.001). A more than 30% albuminuria reduction was observed in 51 and 55% of the atrasentan subjects, respectively (P=0.001). Changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), another important measure of kidney function, were measured compared to placebo in both groups (0.75mg= -0.81/min/1.73m2; p=0.412 and 1.25mg= -0.91 ml/min/1.73m2; p=0.355), and did not change significantly compared to placebo. In the Phase 2b studies, the observed adverse events were similar among the three treatment and placebo groups. The most commonly observed adverse events included peripheral edema (35% in 0.75mg arm, 42% in 1.25 mg arm vs. 42% on placebo), diarrhea and constipation (13% in 0.75mg arm, 21% in 1.25 mg arm vs. 14% on placebo).
10:45AM Relative sector strength (TECHX) : The lagging Dow -4 is near its high, S&P +0.3, and Nasdaq Comp +2.8 hover in upper end of ranges. Relative sector strength in recent trade noted in: Casino (BYI, CZR, WYNN, BYD, SHFL, LVS, MGM), Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Industrial XLI, Reg Bank KRE, Retail XRT.
10:21AM Sabra Healthcare REIT announces $200 mln senior notes offering by certain of its subsidiaries (SBRA) 31.98 +0.38 : Co announced that certain subsidiaries of Sabra plan to offer $200 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2023. The Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed, jointly and severally, on an unsecured basis, by Sabra and certain of Sabra's other existing and, subject to certain exceptions, future material subsidiaries. Sabra expects to use a portion of the net proceeds of the offering to redeem up to $113,750,000 of the 8.125% Senior Notes due 2018 of certain of its subsidiaries. The 2018 Notes will be redeemable at a redemption price of 108.125% of the principal amount being redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon to the date of redemption. Sabra expects to use the remainder of the net proceeds of the offering to fund future possible acquisitions and for general corporate purposes. In connection with the offering, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, RBC Capital Markets, and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint book-running managers. Credit Agricole CIB and RBS Securities Inc. are acting as co-managers.
10:09AM NRG Energy: Starwood Hotels (HOT) and NRG Energy introduce an alliance to develop solar power at hotel properties (NRG) 67.49 0.00 : Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) and NRG Energy (NRG) on Friday announced a new global alliance to expand the use of renewable energy systems at Starwood properties. The alliance will begin with three properties, including the installation of a 1.3 megawatt (MW) solar array at the Westin St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands where NRG will build, own and operate the project. This array will provide clean, efficient power to the resort helping to reduce local air emissions and the impact of shipping on the fragile Caribbean ecosystem by directly reducing demand for diesel fuel imports.
10:07AM S&P +0.8 joins Nasdaq Comp +4.6 at new session high above Friday's peak -- Dow -6.5 (SPY) :
10:02AM Air T (thinly traded) announces approval for payment of a $0.30 per share fiscal 2013 annual cash dividend; prior $0.25 per share (AIRT) 9.46 -0.55 :
10:01AM Prudential: California plan re-commits to Prudential (PRU) 68.48 +0.10 : Prudential Retirement announced that Alameda County, a government plan client for more than 20 years, has recommitted their retirement plan to Prudential Retirement. Prudential Retirement is a business unit of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU). Alameda County, located in the East Bay area of Northern California, has both a 457(b) and 401(a) plan. Together, total assets are more than $425 million with 5,500 participants.
10:00AM Sprint Nextel acquires Handmark/OneLouder to enhance Pinsight Media+ advertising capabilities (S) 7.27 -0.05 : Co announced that it has acquired Kansas City-based Handmark and its subsidiary OneLouder Apps, a mobile app developer and advertising company. The combined teams will further enhance Sprint's Pinsight Media+ advertising service with an increased entrepreneurial spirit and capabilities to drive tremendous benefits for brands, app developers and consumers.
10:00AM Nasdaq Comp +0.8 sets fractional new session high, Dow -22, S&P -0.8 working off morning lows (SPY) :
9:57AM Baidu.com showing early strength with a breakout above 2-week highs along the 95-area (BIDU) 96.83 +2.08 : Next area of interest lies in the early February bearish gap around 99/100.
9:50AM Apple displaying relative strength, working up toward Friday's rebound high and its 50 ema at 440 -- session high 437 (AAPL) 437.10 +3.76 :
9:46AM Stock indices pause after bouncing back near flat line -- Dow -20, S&P -0.6, Nasdaq Comp -0.8 (SPY) :
9:40AM Plains Exploration: Paulson & Co. Inc. issues statement supporting the Freeport-Plains amended merger agreement (PXP) 48.94 +3.39 : Paulson & Co. Inc., whose funds own as of the record date 12,800,000 shares or approximately 9.9% of the outstanding shares of Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP), issued the following statement regarding the amended merger agreement between Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) and Plains:
"Paulson & Co. appreciates the flexibility of both Plains and Freeport in adding incremental cash to the transaction and will vote all the shares owned by funds under its management in favor of the merger. We further support Freeport's strategy in acquiring both Plains and McMoRan Exploration as it adds another avenue for growth, diversifies its cash flows, and increases the proportion of earnings from the United States."
9:35AM Stock indices push off mildly weaker opening lows -- Dow -5.7, S&P -0.07, Nasdaq Comp -2 (SPY) : Early relative strength in Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Semi SMH, Biotech IBB, Internet FDN, Coal KOL.
9:31AM First Financial Northwest announces quarterly cash dividend of $0.04 per share; authorizes repurchase of up to 1,880,517 shares of the co's common stock, or 10% of the co's outstanding shares (FFNW) 9.70 +0.18 : The cash dividend will be payable on June 14, 2013 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 31, 2013.
9:30AM Canadian Solar wins court case in relation to contract dispute with LDK (CSIQ) 8.22 +0.39 : Co announced that the Jiangsu Suzhou Intermediate Court dismissed the request by LDK Solar ( LDK) to enforce the arbitration award decision by the former Shanghai branch of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in the amount of RMB 248.9 mln (~ $ 40.1 mln). This arbitration award relates to wafer supply contracts entered into between Canadian Solar and LDK in October of 2007 and June of 2008, and subsequently terminated. The total amount of the award includes the initial deposit of RMB 60.0 mln (~ $ 9.7 mln), but excludes ~ RMB 2.0 mln to cover arbitration expenses.
9:29AM Procter & Gamble files infringement lawsuit against CAO Group (PG) 80.02 : Co filed a lawsuit on May 20, 2013 in the Southern District of Ohio against CAO Group, a manufacturer and distributor of dental products. The lawsuit alleges that CAO Group is violating P&G's intellectual property by manufacturing and selling its "Sheer White," "Sheer FluorX," and "Sheer DesenZ" products. The unauthorized use of patented technology is prohibited by law. P&G is suing CAO Group in order to protect its investment in its technology and its Crest Whitestrips business.
9:27AM EDAP TMS SA's Ablatherm-HIFU demonstrates long term efficacy, durability and reproducibility with prospective fourteen -year study (EDAP) 4.18 : Co announces new long term data demonstrating high rates of both cancer-specific and overall survival of patients treated with high-intensity focused ultrasound. The study examined 1002 patients treated from 1997 to 2009 and followed through 2012. Overall, the ten year cancer-specific survival rate was 97%. Stratified by risk group, the cancer-specific survival was 99%, 98% and 92% for men with low, intermediate, and high-risk disease, respectively. The overall metastasis-free rate was 94% and was 99%, 95%, and 86% for low, intermediate, and high-risk groups, respectively.
9:27AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
9:23AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
9:23AM Strategic Hotels & Resorts amends of stockholder rights plan (BEE) 8.12 : Co announces it approved an amendment to the stockholder rights plan to accelerate the expiration date from November 30, 2013 to as soon as possible, but no later than the close of business on June 14, 2013. In addition, the Board amended the co's Corporate Guidance Guidelines to provide that if the co were to adopt any new stockholder rights plan in the future, it will submit the stockholder rights plan for shareholder approval within 12 months of its adoption.
9:21AM Seanergy Maritime announces agreement to sell three subsidiaries in full satisfaction of underlying loan; ~ $39 mln of outstanding debt will be discharged and the guarantee provided by mcs will be fully released (SHIP) 1.65 : Co announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Maritime Capital Shipping Limited, entered into a term sheet with its sole lender for the sale of a 100% ownership interest in three of MCS's vessel-owning subsidiaries to a nominee of the lender, in exchange for a nominal cash consideration and full satisfaction of the underlying loan. MCS provides a guarantee under this loan agreement. The three subsidiaries own the Handysize dry bulk carriers M/V Asian Grace, M/V African Glory and M/V African Joy. Upon the closing of the transaction, approximately $39 million of outstanding debt will be discharged and the guarantee provided by MCS will be fully released.
9:20AM GOL Linhas Areas Inteligentes S.A. announces PRASK increased 8% and fuel PMP increased 2% YoY in April 2013 (GOL) 5.43 : Co announced its preliminary air traffic figures for April 2013. Net PRASK was 8% up year over year. PRASK grew by 11% year-to-date. This is the 13th consecutive increase of PRASK. Net yield was 13% up in April year-on-year, between R$20.8 and R$21.3 cents. Fuel Price in April was 2% up over April 2012.
In April, GOL continued with its strategy to rationalize capacity and recorded a 6.9% decrease in the domestic supply, mainly due to the end of Webjet's operations. The strategy of capacity reduction was initiated in April 2012, thus, there is a lower level of reduction when compared to the previous months. Supply in April was 31.2% up year-on-year, chiefly due to new daily routes to Santo Domingo, Miami and Orlando which started by the end of last year. Demand in same period increased by 17.5% due to same reasons mentioned above.
9:17AM Neuralstem: ALS trial principal investigator presents Phase I data; data shows early stem cell transplantation could slow progression or even improve patient's condition in some forms of ALS (CUR) 1.49 : Co announces that its principal investigator, presented updated Phase I data from its spinal cord-derived human neural stem cell trial in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the neuro diabetes special medical symposium in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday.
9:09AM Rockville Financial approves new stock repurchase program for up to 2,730,026 shares, or 10% of the current outstanding shares (RCKB) 13.21 : The co has nearly completed the remaining authorized repurchases under its prior program. The prior program is 88% complete and has ~342,000 shares remaining available for repurchase before the new program will commence.
9:04AM VisionChina Media: Court orders VISN to pay fine and attorney fees for contempt of court (VISN) 2.64 : The New York State Supreme Court has ordered defendant VISN and its subsidiary to pay plaintiffs Gobi Partners and Oak Investment Partners $250 fine plus plaintiffs' costs and reasonable attorneys' fees in the amount of $185.9K within fifteen days. This order is pursuant to the court's grant of Motion for Contempt against VisionChina for failure to comply with the court's August 13, 2012 order requiring transfer of US$60 million to the New York jurisdiction or mutually acceptable alternative arrangements.
9:04AM Ramco-Gershenson prices two long-term, fixed-rate unsecured debt financings totaling $160 mln (RPT) 17.58 : Co announced the pricing of two long-term, fixed-rate unsecured debt financings totaling $160 mln . The new financings have a weighted-average interest rate of 3.87%. Proceeds will be used to pay down balances outstanding under the Company's unsecured revolving line of credit, to pay off maturing mortgage debt, and for general corporate purposes. The Company closed a $50 mln, 7-year unsecured term loan arranged and funded by Capital One Bank, N.A. An accordion feature provides the Company with the option to borrow up to an additional $25 mln under the same loan agreement, subject to customary terms and conditions. The loan is prepayable without penalty after three years. Loan pricing is based upon the Company's leverage. In conjunction with the financing, the Company entered into a 7-year swap agreement, resulting in an interest rate at closing of 3.51%.
9:03AM OSI Systems notified that DHS issued a Notice of Proposed Debarment in connection with a Show Cause letter from the TSA received by Rapiscan in Nov 2012 (OSIS) 66.34 : Co announced that its Security division, Rapiscan Systems, has been notified that the DHS issued a Notice of Proposed Debarment in connection with a Show Cause letter from the TSA received by Rapiscan in November 2012. The Show Cause Letter related to the Rapiscan Advanced Imaging Technology system and associated Automated Target Recognition software. The Notice marks the initial phase of the formal proceedings and will allow Rapiscan, for the first time since the Show Cause letter was issued, to provide information and communicate directly with DHS officials.
9:03AM Natl Oilwell Varco Board of Directors has approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.26 per share of common stock from $0.13 per share of common stock (NOV) 68.53 : Co announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in the regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.26 per share of common stock from $0.13 per share of common stock, payable on June 28, 2013 to each stockholder of record on June 14, 2013. The Company has increased its quarterly cash dividend every year since the Company started paying cash dividends.
9:03AM DXP Enterprises announces completion of acquisition of Tucker Tool; financial terms not disclosed (DXPE) 61.73 : Co announced today the completion of the acquisition of substantially all the assets of Tucker Tool Company, a distributor of state-of-the-art cutting tools, abrasives, coolants and machine shop supplies.
Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. Signing of the definitive agreements occurred on May 17, 2013. Sales and adjusted EBITDA for the last twelve months ending April 30, 2013 were ~$8 mln and $1 mln, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA was calculated as income before tax, plus interest, depreciation and amortization, and non-recurring items that will not continue after the completion of the acquisition.
9:02AM j2 Global Ziff Davis Acquires NetShelter from inPowered Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed and the financial impact to j2 Global is not expected to be material (JCOM) 40.45 : Co announced the acquisition of NetShelter, the biggest community of technology publishers dedicated to consumer electronics, computing and mobile communications, from inPowered. Ziff Davis is a division of j2 Global (JCOM). NetShelter will integrate Ziff Davis' powerful BuyerBase technology, providing advertisers a revolutionary new value proposition: The ability to tap exclusive BuyerBase product- and category-level in-market data to reach buyers on 100-percent transparent, fully guaranteed sites in the NetShelter portfolio. Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed and the financial impact to j2 Global is not expected to be material.
9:01AM Tellabs; Andrew B. Szafran, executive VP and CFO, has resigned from Tellabs for personal reasons, unrelated to Tellabs operations, financial reporting or business outlook (TLAB) 2.16 :
8:59AM Caterpillar releases its monthly dealer statistics, most of which are lower YoY (CAT) 87.62 : Co reported retail sales of machines and power system retail stats.
Within retail sales of machines, the co reported Asia/Pacific fell 20% YoY, EAME fell 3%, Latin America rose 28%, ROW fell 5%, North America fell 18% and, overall, World fell 9%.
Within power system retail stats, co reported that electric power fell 11% YoY, industrial fell 7%, transportation rose 8%, petroleum fell 6%, while overall, the total showed a 5% decline.
8:58AM S&P futures vs fair value: -5.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -13.20. :
Markets across Asia were mostly higher with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.8%) leading the way on hopes Beijing will implement new measures to jumpstart the slowing Chinese economy. Japan's Nikkei (+1.5%) saw a solid advance despite comments from Economy Minister Akira Amari suggesting, 'The correction of the strong yen has been largely completed. If the yen keeps on weakening a lot more, it will have a negative impact on peoples' lives.' Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi (-0.2%) was a laggard after neighboring North Korea conducted missile test firings over the weekend. Data from the region was rather limited with Friday evenings release of Chinese home prices (+4.9% YoY) being the lone number to cross the wires.
European markets are mostly lower with significant underpeformance coming from the periphery. Spain's IBEX and Italy's MIB are seeing notable weakness as both trade lower by 1.2% despite their better than expected data. Spain posted a EUR0.64 bln trade surplus (-EUR1.18 bln previous) while Italy's current account deficit swung to a surplus of EUR1.92 bln. Volumes are rather light today as equity markets are open, but French and German banks are shuttered for Whit Monday.
8:55AM Ensco shareholders elect two new directors, pass share repurchase authorization and Board declassification (ESV) 62.15 : Shareholders passed a special resolution authorizing the co to repurchase up to $2 bln of the company's issued Class A ordinary shares. This authorization replaces a previous share purchase agreement that expired with the conversion last year of Ensco's American Depository Shares to Class A ordinary shares. Shareholders also passed a special resolution to eliminate staggered three-year term classes for board members. The term of all directors will now be one year.
8:48AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
8:47AM Peregrine Pharma reaches agreement with FDA on a Phase III trial design for bavituximab in second-line non-small cell lung cancer (PPHM) 1.54 : Co announced that it has reached agreement with the FDA on a Phase III registration trial design of the company's lead clinical immunotherapeutic candidate bavituximab in second-line non-small cell lung cancer. The trial design was supported by promising data from a Phase IIb trial in patients treated with bavituximab plus docetaxel. Final data from the study will be presented at the upcoming ASCO Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 1, 2013. The Phase III clinical trial will be a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating bavituximab plus docetaxel versus docetaxel alone enrolling ~ 600 patients at sites worldwide. The trial will enroll Stage IIIB/IV non-squamous, NSCLC patients who have progressed after standard front-line treatment. The primary endpoint of the trial will be overall survival.
8:44AM Peregrine Pharma halted (PPHM) 1.54 :
8:36AM Miller Energy resources to begin drilling sword #1 well (MILL) 4.11 : Co announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Cook Inlet Energy has entered a contract for the Patterson owned, Rig-191 to drill the Sword #1 well. The Co will mobilize the rig from the nearby Tyonek Village area at the end of May and transport it to an existing pad near its West McArthur River ("WMR") production facility. The 1500 HP rig is constructed with a 750,000 lb. rated mast and is capable of drilling a maximum depth of 24,000 feet.
The Sword #1 is designed as an extended reach well to be directionally drilled to 19,000 feet. It will target probable reserves in an adjacent fault block to the WMR field and test an up thrown fault closure
8:35AM Rosetta Genomics announces credentialing agreement with Prime Health Services for miRview mets2 (ROSG) 3.40 : Co announces that the Company has executed a credentialing agreement with Prime Health Services, Inc, a managed care company that offers a full spectrum of services, including a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), for the inclusion of Rosetta Genomics' miRview mets2 test in Prime Health's covered products and services. The agreement with Prime Health is the first credentialing agreement executed between Rosetta Genomics and a U.S. PPO, and increases the number of covered lives for which its miRview mets2 test could be adjudicated as "in-network" to more than 6.5 million.
8:33AM CytRx issues letter to stockholders providing business update; progression-free survival data from international Phase 2b clinical trial are expected in the second half of this year (CYTR) 2.45 : Excerpts from the letter:
8:33AM ITT Exelis awarded follow-on U.S. Army contract option for production of enhanced night vision goggles (XLS) 12.04 : The U.S. Army has awarded XLS a $48 mln contract option for follow-on production of enhanced night vision goggles that allow soldiers to detect and identify potential threats in various environmental conditions during nighttime missions. Exelis expects to complete deliveries to the Army in 2014.
8:33AM Encore Capital announces $100 mln credit facility for the purchase of tax lien certificates (ECPG) 33.12 : Co reported the successful closing of a $100 mln asset-backed credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank. The Facility will be used to finance the acquisition of tax lien certificates from municipalities in multiple states. The Facility consists of a $100 million revolving credit facility maturing on May 15, 2017. Borrowings under the Facility bear interest at LIBOR plus 3.25%. The assets acquired by Encore's subsidiaries through the Facility will be pledged to the Lender as security and will be serviced by Propel Financial Services.
8:32AM ROI Acquisition Corp. announces that its sponsor, clinton magnolia master fund, and its sponsor's affiliate will purchase 1.65 mln shares of ROI's common stock (ROIQ) 9.95 : Such purchases will be made at the time of the closing directly from ROI in a private placement transaction at a purchase price of $10.00 per share and/or prior to the stockholder vote on the proposed acquisition in one or more private transactions from certain of ROI's public stockholders who had previously exercised their right to request redemption of their shares of ROI's common stock in connection with the proposed acquisition and who, with ROI's consent, will withdraw such redemption requests prior to the stockholder vote, at a purchase price of $10.00 per share.
All of the shares purchased by ROI's sponsor or its affiliate will be subject to a 180-day lock-up on the same terms as the lock-up on the shares being issued by ROI to the stockholders of EveryWare in the proposed acquisition.
8:32AM National Financial Partners names Doug Hammond CEO (NFP) 25.18 : Co announced that Douglas W. Hammond, president and chief operating officer, has been named chief executive officer (CEO), effective May 17, 2013. Hammond succeeds Jessica M. Bibliowicz, chairman and CEO of NFP. Ms. Bibliowicz, whose intention to step down as CEO was announced in April 2012, served as NFP's CEO since joining the company in April 1999, and as chairman since June 2003. Hammond has served as chief operating officer of NFP since 2008, and was named president in 2012.
Prior to that role, he served as NFP's executive vice president and general counsel from 2004 to 2008 and as NFP's executive vice president and deputy general counsel from 2002-2004. Before joining NFP in 1999, Hammond was an attorney with the law firm known as Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, where he specialized in corporate insurance and regulatory matters and represented NFP's capital sponsor prior to and during the formation of the co.
8:32AM Mac-Gray Corp amends senior credit facility; reduced borrowing spreads expected to generate $5 mln in interest expense savings over the life of the facility (TUC) 13.45 : Co announced the signing of an amended five-year, $250 million senior credit facility. The transaction extends the maturity date by 14 months to May 2018 and reduces the Company's borrowing spread, based on its current leverage ratio, by 75 basis points. As a result of the transaction, the Company expects to generate ~ $700,000 in interest expense savings in 2013 and ~ $5 million over the life of the facility, depending on utilization.
8:31AM Host Hotels names Gregory J. Larson Its Chief Financial Officer (HST) 18.77 : Co announced as part of a broader leadership reorganization, that Gregory J. Larson, its current executive vice president, corporate strategy, has become the chief financial officer of the Co. Struan Robertson, the current chief investment officer, will, in addition to his investment activities, assume leadership of the Company's disposition efforts. Larson, who has been with the Co since 1993, has overseen corporate strategy since 2007, assumed leadership of dispositions in 2011 and has led the investor relations department since 2000.
8:31AM First Potomac Realty Trust to sell Industrial Portfolio for $259 million (FPO) 15.50 : Co announces it has entered into two separate contracts to sell a portfolio of 24 industrial properties, which consists of approximately 4.3 mln square feet. The aggregate sales price under the contracts is $259 mln. The majority of the industrial portfolio, representing approximately 4.0 mln square feet, is being sold to an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII for a purchase price of $241.5 mln. Following the acquisition, the properties being acquired by Blackstone will be managed by IndCor Properties -- Blackstone's national industrial portfolio company.
I-66 Commerce Center, a 236,000 square foot property in Haymarket, Virginia, was sold separately to Corporate Office Properties Trust (OFC) on May 7, 2013, for $17.5 mln, and brings the aggregate sales price of the industrial portfolio to $259 million. The property was occupied by Engineering Solutions through March 31, 2013, and was vacant at the time of the sale.
The Company intends to use the proceeds from the sale of its industrial portfolio to repay outstanding debt, improve balance sheet flexibility and take advantage of future opportunities to acquire high-quality office properties in the Washington, D.C. region.
8:31AM Tesoro Logistics LP announces amended purchase agreement for the acquisition of chevron pipe line company's northwest products system (TLLP) 63.27 : Co announced that it has amended the purchase agreement for the acquisition of Chevron Pipe Line Company's Northwest Products System reducing the purchase price from $400 mln to $355 mln. The lower purchase price reflects a renegotiation as a result of the diesel fuel release that occurred near Willard, Utah on March 18, 2013. Chevron Pipe Line Company will retain liabilities and responsibility for remediation of the diesel fuel release site for a period of two years.
The Partnership expects to utilize net proceeds from the $392 mln equity offering on January 14, 2013 to fund the acquisition of the Northwest Products System. Estimated EBITDA from the Northwest Products System for the first twelve months is $30 mln to $35 mln.
"Closing this transaction will allow us to add to our portfolio of well positioned, fee-based logistics assets while significantly increasing third-party revenue. We expect to invest $15 mln to $25 mln over the next two years to implement a detailed inspection program to further improve the integrity of the pipeline system."
8:31AM Uni-Pixel receives $5 mln milestone payment for UniBoss license (UNXL) 27.19 : Co received a $5 mln payment according to its recently announced second preferred price and capacity license with a major touch-screen ecosystem partner. UniPixel signed the licensee to facilitate the development, introduction and production of products that feature next-generation touch screens based on UniPixel's UniBoss pro-cap, multi-touch sensor film. UniPixel will recognize the $5 mln as deferred revenue in the second quarter of 2013 and apply the funds toward building out an additional one mln square feet per month of UniBoss production capacity.
8:31AM Team lowers Q4 earnings guidance; reflects lower expected profit margin performance due to cost and utilization challenges; sees FY14 EPS below consensus; revs in-line (TISI) 42.25 : Co issues downside guidance for Q4 (May), sees EPS of $0.52-0.64 vs. $0.74 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate and lower than its implied guidance for Q4 of $0.69-0.84. The revised guidance reflects lower expected profit margin performance than had been previously forecast due primarily to cost and utilization challenges in the quarter.
Key Challenges for Fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2013
8:30AM Paragon Shipping enters into A $69 million credit facility with China Development Bank and amends its Credit Facility with Nordea (PRGN) 5.03 : Co announced that it has signed an agreement for a $69 million credit facility with China Development Bank to partially finance its two 4,800 TEU containerships currently under construction, that are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2014. The Company has granted an option to Box Ships Inc. (TEU), a subsidiary of the Company until its initial public offering in 2011, to acquire the vessels at any time prior to their delivery to Paragon Shipping.
8:25AM Memorial Production Partners announces proposed offering of additional $100 mln in aggregate principal amount of their 7.625% senior unsecured notes due 2021 (MEMP) 19.74 : The notes are being offered as additional notes under the same indenture pursuant to which their existing $300 million of 7.625% senior notes due 2021 were issued. The Existing Notes and the additional notes will be treated as a single class under the indenture. MEMP intends to use the net proceeds from the proposed offering to reduce debt outstanding under its revolving credit facility and for general partnership purposes.
8:24AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
8:22AM Gold and silver prices are moving higher here and just hit new session highs, although both remain in negative territory. Silver is especially getting hit hard (COMDX) : July silver is now -2.5% at $21.79/oz, June gold is -0.4% at $1359.80/oz.
8:21AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
8:20AM CF Industries launches senior notes offering of up to $1.5 bln (CF) 190.57 : Co announced that its subsidiary CF Industries, Inc. is commencing a public offering of senior notes in an aggregate principal amount of up to $1.5 billion. CF Industries intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of senior notes to fund its capacity expansion projects and working capital and for other general corporate purposes, including stock repurchases. The senior notes will be guaranteed by CF Industries Holdings.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Goldman, Sachs & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers for the senior notes offering.
8:12AM Gapping down (SCANX) : In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: QLGC -1.9% (QLogic President and CEO resigns to pursue other opportunitites; co reaffirms Q1 guidance).
Select financial related names showing weakness: NBG -12.6%, SNV -2.1% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman), HIG -2.1%, PUK -1.5%, SAN -1.1%, MTU -1.0%, LYG -1.0%, BCS -0.8%.
Metals/mining stocks trading lower: GFI -5.3%, AU -4.8%, SLV -2%, HMY -1.6%, GDX -1.3%, SLW -1.2%, GOLD -1.1% (enters into a $200 mln unsecured revolving credit facility with HSBC and three other banks, maturing in May 2016), NEM -0.8%, RIO -0.7%, GLD -0.3%.
Other news: XNPT -28.9% (reports top-line results of Phase 3 trial of arbaclofen placarbil for spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients; trial was unsuccessful in demonstrating that AP provided statistically significant improvement relative to placebo in the co-primary endpoints of the study ), SAP -1.2% (still checking), VOD -1.1% (Vodafone PLC execs are under pressure to sell Verizon (VZ) stake, according to reports).
Analyst comments: DNKN -1.3% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow), NTAP -1.2% (downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Baird) BAC -0.3% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette)
8:10AM Given Imaging provides new data confirming SmartPill improves diagnosis and clinical management of patients with motility issues (GIVN) 15.40 : Co announces several studies confirming an expanded role for SmartPill in diagnosing gastrointestinal motility disorders. All data were presented at Digestive Disease Week taking place May 18 - 21, 2013 in Orlando. Several additional studies presented during DDW highlight the value of SmartPill for the evaluation and diagnosis of different motility conditions.
8:06AM Nuverra Environmental Solutions announces acquisition of landfill site in North Dakota (NES) 3.74 : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ideal Oilfield Disposal, LLC ("Ideal"), a greenfield oilfield disposal landfill site located in McKenzie County, North Dakota. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The landfill site has received draft permits by regulatory authorities in accordance with the North Dakota Department of Health. The completion of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions.
The transaction is expected to close in the late second quarter or early third quarter of 2013. The Co anticipates that the landfill will be operational by the end of 2013, and once completed, will be accretive to earnings and produce ~$18-20 mln in annual run-rate revenue, exclusive of potential revenue synergies with the Co's other service offerings.
8:05AM Websense confirms it will be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $24.75 per share in cash in transaction valued at approximately $1 billion - currently halted (WBSN) 19.23 : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in software, data and technology-enabled businesses. "After detailed discussions with several potential acquirers, the Websense board of directors is pleased to approve this agreement."
8:05AM Umpqua Holdings increases quarterly cash dividend by 50% to $0.15 per share; announces special dividend of $0.05 per share (UMPQ) 13.51 : The special dividend is payable on June 14, 2013, to shareholders of record as of May 31, 2013.
8:05AM Plains All American announces Western Oklahoma pipeline extension (PAA) 57.98 : Co announced it is constructing a 95-mile extension of its existing Oklahoma crude oil pipeline system to service increasing production from the Granite Wash, Hogshooter and Cleveland Sands producing areas in western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. The new Western Oklahoma pipeline will provide up to 75,000 barrels per day of new takeaway capacity from Reydon, Okla. in Roger Mills County to PAA's existing Orion station in Major County, Okla. At the Orion station, crude oil will flow on PAA's existing pipeline system to the PAA terminal in Cushing, Okla. The new Western Oklahoma pipeline is supported by long-term producer commitments and is expected to be in service by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
8:05AM Pulse Electronics announces reverse stock split (PULS) 0.38 :
8:04AM Gapping up (SCANX) : In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: QIHU +6.8%, JASO +5.5%, (light volume), CPB +1.0 (ticking higher) .
M&A news: AQ +110.6% (Accenture announces acquisition of Acuity Group for $13.00 per outstanding ADS ), MEAD +97.6% (to be acquired by Jinghua Optics & Electronics for $3.45 per share), WBSN +30% (halted, attributed to potential Vita Partners bid), PACT +29.3% (announces receipt of 'going private' proposal at $7.50 per ADS), WCRX +3.1% and ACT +2.5% (Warner Chilcott to be acquired by Actavis in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at ~ $8.5 bln; WCRX shareholders will receive 0.160 shares of New ACT for each WCRX share, which equates to $20.08 per share).
Select solar stocks trading higher: RSOL +12.5% (continues strength), SCTY +5.3%, LDK +5.3%, SPWR +2.5%.
Other news: PXP +5.4% (to declare special $3.00/share dividend), DANG +5.1% (still checking), SNE +3.2% (story suggests potential upside break-up scenario), YHOO +2.9% (confirms acquisition of social networking site Tumblr), IQNT +2.4% (announces intention to declare special cash dividend of $1.25 per share and to initiate a quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share of its common stock), GE +2.2% (GE Capital Board Plans to Pay $6.5 billion of Dividends to its Parent GE in 2013), MTOR +2.1% ( announces extension of the early tender date with respect to its cash tender offer and consent solicitation for any and all of its 8-1/8% notes due 2015), FCX +0.7% ( Announces Intention to Declare $1.00 per Share Supplemental Dividend on Closing of Plains Exploration & Production (PXP) Acquisition and Reiterates Capital Allocation Plan for Oil & Gas Business), BIDU +0.3% (may consider IPO for its video site, according to reports , CSCO +0.2% (positive Barrons mention).
Analyst comments: TMUS +2.6% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank), ABT +2.2% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman), JCP +1.8% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Maxim), P +1.5% (upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays), PCLN +0.8% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank)
8:04AM Rockwell Medical presents PRIME study results at the 50th ERA-EDTA meeting in istanbul, turkey; unique iron drug SFP Met primary endpoint demonstrating statistically significant 35% reduction in esa dose; safety profile similar to placebo (RMTI) 3.47 : Co announced a PRIME clinical study results for Soluble Ferric Pyrophosphate at the 50th ERA-EDTA congress in Istanbul, Turkey. SFP is the Company's investigational iron-delivery drug for the treatment of iron deficiency in hemodialysis patients, nearing completion of its Phase 3 clinical studies. Dr. Ajay Gupta, MD, Chief Scientific Officer of Rockwell presented the PRIME study results at the Late Breaking Clinical Trials session. This is fully-analyzed data, including atypical data subsequently found in a few study subjects, superseding initial top-line data announced Feb 4, 2013.
The PRIME study was a nine-month, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, multi-center study in United States that randomized 108 patients equally to dialysate containing SFP-iron versus conventional dialysate. A total of 103 patients received blinded study drug.
In all study patients, ESA doses were titrated to maintain hemoglobin in a target range of 9.5 to 11.5 g/dL according to an algorithm managed by an independent centralized anemia management group. At the end of treatment, the hemoglobin value in the SFP group was 10.5 g/dL and 10.4 g/dL in the placebo group. Intravenous (IV) iron was administered according to a protocol to treat iron deficiency.
The primary endpoint was the percent change in ESA dose from baseline to end of treatment. Baseline ESA dose was similar between SFP (9483 U/wk) and placebo (9205 U/wk). In the modified ITT population, at the end of the study, ESA dose in the SFP arm was 9871 U/wk and placebo was 12628 U/wk. After adjusting for differences in baseline hemoglobin, the SFP arm required 35% less prescribed ESA compared to placebo. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant. The PRIME study demonstrated that regular administration of SFP-iron via dialysate reduced the usage of erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) during hemodialysis by 35% while maintaining iron balance and maximizing iron delivery.
The adverse event profile of the SFP group was similar to placebo with respect to event, frequency and severity. The numbers and types of serious adverse events were also similar in both groups.
8:03AM Clearwire: Crest Financial urges Clearwire stockholders to focus on battle for control of Sprint (S) (CLWR) 3.20 : Crest Financial Limited, the largest of the independent minority stockholders of Clearwire (CLWR), sent separate letters today to Clearwire stockholders and John W. Stanton, Chairman of the Clearwire Board, emphasizing that the contest for control of Sprint should be resolved before any definitive action on Clearwire. The focus of the stockholders' attention should not be on what happens at the Clearwire special meeting on May 21 but rather on what will ultimately happen with the contest for Sprint in June.
In its letter to Clearwire stockholders, Crest stated that "Clearwire should not be locked up before the battle for control of Sprint is resolved. Clearwire is the key reason for the push by DISH and SoftBank to acquire control of Sprint. Letting Sprint gobble up Clearwire now would only transfer Clearwire's value to Sprint. Conversely, keeping Clearwire in play while the contest for Sprint is pending drives both bidders for Sprint to focus on Clearwire. So long as Clearwire is not locked up, the winner of Sprint is not guaranteed Clearwire and the loser of Sprint is not precluded from making a play for Clearwire. In addition, a third player, like Verizon, could enter the contest for Clearwire."
8:01AM Yahoo! and Tumblr confirmed that they have reached a definitive agreement for Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr for $1.1 bln in cash (YHOO) 26.25 : Co and Tumblr announced today that they have reached a definitive agreement for Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr. Total consideration is ~$1.1 bln, substantially all of which is payable in cash. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the second half of the year.
8:01AM Intercept Pharma reports positive initial results from ongoing Phase 2a Trial in chronic bile acid diarrhea (ICPT) 33.22 : Co announces positive initial results from OBADIAH, an ongoing Phase 2a trial of obeticholic acid as a treatment for primary bile acid diarrhea presented at the Digestive Diseases Week conference. The initial results from the OBADIAH trial demonstrate that treatment with OCA is associated with statistically significant increased levels of fibroblast growth factor 19 and improvement in clinical symptoms in patients with PBAD.
Data from ten PBAD patients, the first group studied in OBADIAH, indicate:
8:01AM Covidien receives FDA 510(k) clearance for Nellcor Pulse Oximetry motion claims (COV) 65.77 : Co announces that its Nellcor pulse oximetry portfolio, which is used to measure arterial oxygen saturation, has received FDA 510(k) clearance for motion claims. This makes Covidien the first co to receive FDA clearance for a motion-tolerant bedside pulse oximeter portfolio that is also compliant with ISO 80601-2-61.
Devices covered by the action include:
7:55AM China Auto Logistics signs non-binding letter of intent to acquire the Airport International Automall in Tianjin (CALI) 3.14 : Co announced that a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent to acquire and operate the Airport International Automall, a 26,000 square meter vehicle sales and exhibition center located in the heart of the Tianjin Airport Economic Area adjacent to a number of top 4S shops in Tianjin. The port city of Tianjin is one of China's major automobile import and sales centers, where the Company also manages the city's largest imported vehicle auto mall.
7:55AM Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +1.5%, Hang Seng +1.8%, Shanghai +0.8% (SUMRX) : Markets across Asia were mostly higher with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.8%) leading the way on hopes Beijing will implement new measures to jumpstart the slowing Chinese economy. Japan's Nikkei (+1.5%) saw a solid advance despite comments from Economy Minister Akira Amari suggesting, "The correction of the strong yen has been largely completed. If the yen keeps on weakening a lot more, it will have a negative impact on peoples' lives." Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi (-0.2%) was a laggard after neighboring North Korea conducted missile test firings over the weekend. Data from the region was rather limited with Friday evenings release of Chinese home prices (+4.9% YoY) being the lone number to cross the wires. Looking at the currencies...USDCNY slipped to 6.1389; USDINR climbed to 55.11; USDJPY is weaker at 102.50; AUDUSD is stronger near .9785. In Japan, the Nikkei closed +1.5% to end at its best level in five and a half years. Exporters remained in favor as Toyota Motor added 1.9% and Sony Corp. surged 5.7%. However, real estate shares were under pressure as interest rates continued to perk up. Mistui Fudosan shed 2.1%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng finished +1.8% to close at a three and a half-month high. Internet gaming co Tencent Holdings jumped 6.3% to a fresh all-time high as buyers remained in control following last week's earnings report. Elsewhere, property stocks were strong as China Overseas Land and China Resources Land gained 2.8% and 3.7% respectively...In China, the Shanghai Composite settled +0.8% to end at a seven-week high. Brokerage names outperformed as Citic Securities and Haitong Securities added 1.2% and 1.4% respectively after a government report suggested an increase in speculative funds over the coming years. Property stocks ended lower despite their early gains with China Vanke giving up 1.9% to pace the decline. Click here to see a daily Hang Seng chart.
In India, the Sensex closed -0.3% as shares slipped off their best levels in two and a half years. Interest rate sensitive names ended lower with ICICI Bank shedding 1.7% and HDFC Bank giving up 0.6%. Automakers outperformed with Mahindra & Mahindra adding 1.5%.
In Australia, the ASX finished +0.5% as trade lingers near a five-year high. Financials and miners were mixed as Westpac added 1.4% and Newcrest Mining slid 0.8%.
In other regional markets...Philippines -0.1%...Singapore +0.1%...Malaysia +0.5%...Thailand +1.0%...Vietnam +1.0%...Indonesia +1.4%
7:54AM B&G Foods Announces a Cash Tender Offer and Consent Solicitation for Its 7.625% Senior Notes Due 2018 (BGS) 31.25 : Co announced that it has launched a cash tender offer and consent solicitation for any and all of its outstanding 7.625% Senior Notes due 2018. Holders who validly tender their Notes and provide their consents to the Proposed Amendments prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on June 3, 2013, unless extended by the Company in its sole discretion, shall receive $1,080.90 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes, plus any accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes up to, but not including, the payment date for such Notes.
7:54AM B&G Foods announces intention to offer $700 mln aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2021 (BGS) 31.25 : Co announced that it has launched a cash tender offer and consent solicitation for any and all of its outstanding 7.625% Senior Notes due 2018. Holders who validly tender their Notes and provide their consents to the Proposed Amendments prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on June 3, 2013, unless extended by the Company in its sole discretion, shall receive $1,080.90 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes, plus any accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes up to, but not including, the payment date for such Notes.
7:42AM Campbell Soup beats by $0.06, beats on revs; raises FY13 guidance (CPB) 47.63 : Reports Q3 (Apr) earnings of $0.62 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.56; revenues rose 15.0% year/year to $2.09 bln vs the $2.05 bln consensus. The acquisition of Bolthouse Farms added 11% Volume and mix added 5%; Price and sales allowances added 1% Increased promotional spending subtracted 2%. Ex-restructuring-related charges, adjusted gross margin in the current quarter was 36.7% (38.8% last year). The decline in gross margin was mostly attributable to the acquisition of Bolthouse Farms, which operates with a lower gross margin structure.
Co issues guidance for FY13, raises EPS to $2.58-2.62, excluding non-recurring items, benefitting from a favorable tax rate and the EBIT improvement, from $2.51-2.57 vs. $2.57 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY13 revs at upper end of +10-12% guidance to ~$8.48-8.63 bln vs. $8.54 bln Capital IQ Consensus. This guidance includes the estimated impact of the Bolthouse Farms business and excludes the impact of acquisition transaction costs and restructuring charges. In fiscal 2013, Campbell expects Bolthouse Farms to contribute ~$750 million to sales and add ~$0.06 to adjusted EPS, including the impact of the suspension of Campbell's strategic share repurchase program.
"In U.S. Soup, our condensed, ready-to-serve soups and broth businesses delivered double-digit sales growth. Global Baking and Snacking also posted solid top-line growth across Pepperidge Farm crackers, cookies and bakery, as well as in Arnott's biscuits. At Bolthouse Farms, we delivered another quarter of strong results in super-premium beverages, carrots and salad dressings... Our International business was up 2% for the quarter... We are disappointed that certain parts of our portfolio did not perform well in the quarter. U.S. Beverages faced ongoing softness in the shelf-stable juice category and heightened competition. North America Foodservice continued to be challenged by the loss of a major restaurant customer and structural shifts in the food service sector."
7:42AM Concho Resources announces proposed offering of $500 mln in senior unsecured notes (CXO) 83.21 : Co announced that it intends, subject to market conditions, to publicly offer an additional $500 mln aggregate principal amount of its 5.5% senior unsecured notes due 2023. The new senior notes are being offered as additional notes under an indenture pursuant to which Concho originally issued $700 mln aggregate principal amount in August 2012.
The senior unsecured notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed by all of Concho's current subsidiaries. Concho intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund the cash tender offer that it commenced today to purchase any and all of its $300 mln in outstanding aggregate principal amount of 8.625% Senior Notes due 2017 and repay a portion of the outstanding balance under its credit facility. BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, and Wells Fargo Securities will act as joint book-running managers for the senior unsecured notes offering
7:38AM Freeport-McMoRan announces intention to declare $1.00 per share supplemental dividend on closing of Plains Exploration & Production (PXP) acquisition and reiterates capital allocation plan for oil & gas business (FCX) 32.68 : Co announced that its Board of Directors intends to declare a supplemental dividend of $1.00 per share of common stock immediately following the closing of the pending acquisition of Plains Exploration & Production (PXP). The declaration of the supplemental dividend is conditional on the closing of the transaction. In addition, a special committee of FCX's Board of Directors formed to consider the transaction and the FCX Board of Directors have agreed to allow Plains Exploration & Production Company to pay a $3.00 per share cash dividend to PXP stockholders upon completion of the transaction. FCX also announced that, assuming completion of the pending acquisitions of Plains Exploration & Production and McMoRan Exploration (MMR), it plans to complete $1.5 bln in asset sales from the combined co and/or to reduce its capital spending plans. In addition, FCX reiterated its commitment to limit oil and gas capital expenditures to the cash flows generated by the oil and gas business. "This dividend in no way changes our commitment to reduce debt on completion of the pending acquisitions. The planned asset sales, combined with our significant cash flows and disciplined approach to investing in capital projects, will enable us to meet our target of reducing debt to $12 bln over a three year period. We are committed to continuing our track record of maintaining a strong balance sheet, operational excellence, return driven capital investments and focus on creating shareholder value."
7:34AM Plains Exploration to declare special $3.00/share dividend (PXP) 45.55 : Co announced that it has received the approval of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) under the merger agreement between the companies for PXP's Board of Directors to declare a special one-time cash dividend of $3.00 per share. Upon receipt of bank waivers under a credit facility that will terminate in connection with the merger, PXP's Board of Directors intends to declare the dividend to PXP stockholders as of May 30, 2013, the expected dividend record date. The dividend will be conditioned upon and paid immediately prior to the completion of PXP's merger with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
7:32AM Concho Resources announces tender offer and consent solicitation for $300 mln of Its 8.625% Senior Notes due 2017 (CXO) :
7:31AM Midstates Petroleum announces $700 mln private placement of senior notes due 2021 (MPO) 5.78 : Co and its subsidiary Midstates Petroleum Company LLC announced that they intend to offer for sale $700 million in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2021 in a private placement. The co intends to use the net proceeds from the private placement to fund the cash portion of the purchase price of the co's previously announced acquisition of producing properties and undeveloped acreage in the Anadarko Basin in Texas and Oklahoma from Panther Energy and its partners. The remaining proceeds will be used to repay a portion of the outstanding borrowings under the co's revolving credit facility, for general corporate purposes and to pay expenses related to the Panther Acquisition, the notes offering and the co's entry into an amendment to its revolving credit facility.
7:31AM Primoris Services receives new contract work valued at over $80 mln (PRIM) 21.27 : Co announces a major new contract award secured by Q3 Contracting, part of the West Construction Services segment of Primoris. The new award will result in a net revenue increase of over $80 mln over the next three years.
Q3 Contracting was awarded a new three year contract by Xcel Energy (XEL). The unit priced blanket contract covers gas distribution work in the Denver area. The contract adds ~Co announces a major new contract award secured by Q3 Contracting, part of the West Construction Services segment of Primoris. The new award will result in a net revenue increase of over $80 mln over the next three years.
Q3 Contracting was awarded a new three year contract by Xcel Energy (XEL). The unit priced blanket contract covers gas distribution work in the Denver area. The contract adds ~$27 mln per year for the three year term and includes an option for an additional two years. The work will begin immediately. 7 mln per year for the three year term and includes an option for an additional two years. The work will begin immediately.
7:31AM Zogenix and Battelle to present positive, new data demonstrating value of needle-free injection for biologics; dosepro studies to be presented at 2013 AAPS National Biotechnology Conference (ZGNX) 1.60 : Co announced new data supporting the value of the DosePro needle-free injection technology in the delivery of biologics. The positive, new data will be presented in four poster presentations, including two posters co-authored by MedImmune, LLC, the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca plc, and Zogenix; and two posters co-authored by Battelle and Zogenix, at the 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists National Biotechnology Conference, May 20-22, 2013 in San Diego.
The data presented in these posters show that the DosePro technology is compatible with monoclonal antibodies formulations and a range of biologic formulation viscosities which are challenging to deliver via standard autoinjector technologies. The studies found that injection of these formulations were within the acceptable criteria for injection time and peak pressure and that there were no changes in molecular integrity, observable tertiary structure, purity or potency following injection.
7:30AM Digirad rejects Dissident's call for new stockholder meeting as yet another attempt to seize control of the co (DRAD) 2.43 : Co disclosed that the Red Oak Fund, L.P. ("Red Oak") has filed a complaint and motion for expedited proceedings seeking to set aside the results of the Company's recent annual meeting of stockholders, where, among other things, stockholders had elected the Company's slate of directors, and require that the Company schedule a special meeting of stockholders to elect directors.
Jeff Eberwein, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated, "The Red Oak complaint against the Company and its Board regarding the results of the 2013 annual meeting will only waste valuable corporate resources. The fact is that after a full, fair and open election process, stockholders supported the Company's slate of directors by a substantial margin. Red Oak lost at the polls and is now attempting to achieve through the courts what it could not achieve in the recent stockholder vote. We are confident they will lose in court."
7:30AM Meritor announces extension of the early tender date with respect to its cash tender offer and consent solicitation for any and all of its 8-1/8% notes due 2015 (MTOR) 6.53 : Co announced today that it has extended the Early Tender Date with respect to its previously announced cash tender offer and consent solicitation for any and all of its 8-1/8% Notes due 2015 from 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 17, 2013 to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 23, 2013. Meritor is not extending the withdrawal date with respect to the Offer and Consent Solicitation, which occurred at 5:00 p.m. on May 17, 2013.
Accordingly, previously tendered Notes and Notes tendered after the Withdrawal Date and prior to the expiration of the Offer and Consent Solicitation may not be withdrawn. The expiration date of the Offer and Consent Solicitation remains unchanged and the Offer and Consent Solicitation is scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m., New York City time, on June 5, 2013, unless extended. As of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 17, 2013, holders of ~165.218 mln principal amount of Notes, or 65.8% of the outstanding principal amount of Notes, had tendered and not withdrawn and submitted and not revoked their consents pursuant to the Offer and Consent Solicitation.
7:21AM Yen Strengthens on Commets from Japanese Economy Minister: 10-yr: unch..1.948%..USD/JPY: 102.53..EUR/USD: 1.2862 (SUMRX) : The Dollar Index is lower in early trade as overnight selling provided a test of the 84.00 level. That area has so far been able to hold, but the greenback remains on track for just its second losing session over the past eight days.
7:21AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
7:10AM Natus Medical reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; reaffirms Q2 EPS guidance, revs guidance; raises FY13 EPS above consensus, reaffirms FY13 revs guidance (BABY) 14.36 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.11 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.11; revenues rose 44.2% year/year to $85.8 mln vs the $84.65 mln dual estimate.
Q2: Co reaffirms guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.17-0.20 vs. $0.19 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $86-90ln vs. $88.90 mln Capital IQ dual estimate.
FY13: Co reaffirms and issues upside guidance for FY13, sees EPS of $0.85-0.88 vs. $0.83 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, up from its prior guidance of $0.84-0.87; sees FY13 revs of $362-367 mln vs. $364.37 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
7:08AM Warner Chilcott (halted) to be acquired by Actavis (ACT sees deal >30% accretive to adj. EPS in 2014) in a stock deal valued at ~$8.5 bln; WCRX shareholders will receive 0.160 shares of New ACT for each WCRX share ($20.08/share based on Friday's ACT closing price) (WCRX) 19.21 : Actavis will acquire Warner Chilcott plc in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at ~$8.5 billion. The transaction is expected to be more than 30% accretive to Actavis non-GAAP EPS in 2014, including anticipated synergies.
Under the terms of the Transaction Agreement, at closing WCRX shareholders will receive 0.160 shares of New Actavis for each Warner Chilcott share they own, which equates to a value of $20.08 per Warner Chilcott share based on Actavis' closing share price of $125.50 on May 17, 2013. This represents a 43 % premium compared to Warner Chilcott's volume-weighted average trading price of $14.00 for the 30 day trading period ending on May 9, 2013 (the day before Warner Chilcott disclosed it was engaged in preliminary discussions with Actavis) and a 34 % premium to the Warner Chilcott closing share price on May 9, 2013 of $15.01. Based on the closing prices of Actavis shares and Warner Chilcott shares on May 9, 2013 of $106.81 and $15.01 each respectively, the value of the consideration payable per Warner Chilcott share would be $17.09 which would represent a premium of 14 % over the Warner Chilcott closing share price on such date.
The transaction is expected to be tax-free, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, to Warner Chilcott shareholders. Actavis shareholders will receive one share of New Actavis for each Actavis share they own upon closing. The transaction will be taxable, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, to Actavis shareholders. Immediately after the close of the transaction, Warner Chilcott shareholders are expected to own ~23 % of New Actavis.
Shares of New Actavis are expected to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol ACT. At the close of the transaction, which is expected by year-end 2013, Actavis and Warner Chilcott will be combined under a new co incorporated in Ireland, where Warner Chilcott is currently incorporated. The newly created co, which is expected to be called Actavis plc will be led by the current Actavis leadership team. The combination of Actavis and Warner Chilcott will result in Specialty Brand sales comprising ~25 % of total combined company 2013 revenues, when compared to ~7 % for standalone Actavis. More than $400 mln in after-tax operational synergies and related cost reductions and tax savings are anticipated. The majority of savings are expected to be realized in 2014, with full effect during 2015. The majority of these are operational and this estimate excludes any revenue, manufacturing or interest rate synergies or savings. The combination is expected to generate strong operating cash flow which would further enable the combined company to rapidly delever the balance sheet to below 3.0x debt to adjusted EBITDA at close.
If successfully completed, the transaction will create a leading global specialty pharma co with ~$11 billion in combined annual rev, and the third-largest U.S. specialty pharmaceutical co with ~$3 billion in annual revenues focused on core therapeutic categories of Women's Health, Gastroenterology, Urology and Dermatology. The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Actavis, Inc. and Warner Chilcott plc, and is supported by the mgmt teams of both cos.
7:05AM Medtronic receives CE mark for 'Export Advance' aspiration catheter (MDT) 49.84 : Co announced that the Export Advance aspiration catheter recently received the CE mark and will soon be launched in Europe and other international markets.
7:04AM Sangamo BioSci announces presentation of new data demonstrating the successful application of co's proprietary In Vivo Protein Replacement Platform to produce therapeutically relevant levels of Factor VIII in a mouse model (SGMO) 8.43 : Co announced the presentation of new data demonstrating the successful application of Sangamo's proprietary In Vivo Protein Replacement Platform to produce therapeutically relevant levels of Factor VIII in a mouse model. Sangamo has partnered with Shire AG (SHPG) to develop ZFP Therapeutics for both hemophilia A and B using this approach. The data were presented at the 16th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy which was held in Salt Lake City from May 15-18, 2013.
Based on Sangamo's zinc finger DNA-binding protein (ZFP) genome-editing technology, the IVPRP enables the permanent production of therapeutic proteins from the liver with a single systemic treatment, potentially providing curative treatments for a range of monogenic diseases including hemophilia and lysosomal storage disorders such as Gaucher and Fabry disease. Such diseases are currently treated by regular infusions of protein or enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) throughout the patient's life.
7:03AM Dell today sent a letter to Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management underscoring its need for additional information regarding the proposed leveraged recapitalization transaction submitted to the Board on May 9, 2013. (DELL) 13.40 : Letter stated 'On behalf of a group formed by various of your affiliates, your representatives have made a number of requests for information, including a request for data room access for a potential lender, to advisors to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of DELL in connection with the potential transaction outlined in your letter dated May 9, 2013, addressed to the Board of Directors of Dell. As you know, on May 13, 2013 we sent you a letter requesting clarifications and additional materials relating to your proposal. Unless the Board of Directors of Dell determines that your proposal could reasonably be expected to result in a "Superior Proposal" as defined in the Company's existing merger agreement with affiliates of Silver Lake and Michael Dell, we are not permitted to provide you with information or engage in discussions concerning your proposal....Please understand that unless we receive information that is responsive to our May 13 letter, we are not in a position to evaluate whether your proposal meets that standard. Accordingly, neither we nor our representatives are able to respond to your requests and inquiries.'
7:02AM Synageva Biopharma's sebelipase alfa receives breakthrough therapy designation for early onset LAL deficiency from the FDA (GEVA) 39.87 : Co announced that the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to sebelipase alfa for the treatment of early onset lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL Deficiency), also known as Wolman disease. The designation was based on data generated from clinical trials with sebelipase alfa in patients with early onset LAL Deficiency. The FDA also confirmed that late onset LAL Deficiency is "a serious and life threatening disease or condition" and that Breakthrough Therapy designation could be obtained for this aspect of the disease with additional clinical information.
7:02AM Acorda Therapeutics receives additional patents for AMPYRA covering a range of dosage strengths (ACOR) 32.95 : This patent is separate from the two AMPYRA method of use patents issued by the USPTO in 2011 and 2013 that are set to expire in 2027 and 2026, respectively.
7:02AM Hercules Offshore announces agreement to divest the majority of inland fleet; expects to record a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $40 million as a result of the sale in Q2 of 2013 (HERO) 7.17 : Co announced that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of eleven inland barge rigs, which includes three active rigs, eight cold stacked rigs, and related assets for cash proceeds of ~$45 mln. Excluded from the Inland Asset Package are the Hercules 27, for which the Company has a separate agreement to sell the rig to a third party for $5 mln, the Hercules 52, and the Hercules 9.
The Company will also retain existing working capital within the Inland segment. Closing will be staggered based on the expiration dates of existing contracts on the three active rigs and is subject to the completion of certain customary closing conditions. The initial closing will include ten of the rigs and is expected in late second quarter 2013, at which time the Company will receive $35 mln, and closing on the final rig is expected in early third quarter 2013, at which time the Company will receive the remaining balance of $10 mln. The Company expects to record a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $40 mln as a result of the sale in the second quarter 2013.
7:02AM Century Aluminum announces proposed offering of $250 mln aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due 2021 (CENX) 8.75 : Century intends to use all net proceeds from the sale of the 2021 Notes to repay all of its 2014 Notes.
7:01AM Chesapeake Energy names (Sr. VP at APC) Robert Douglas Lawler CEO (CHK) 20.27 : Co announced that Robert Douglas Lawler, 46, Senior Vice President, International and Deepwater Operations at Anadarko Petroleum (APC), will join Chesapeake as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective June 17. He is a proven oil and gas executive with significant expertise in asset development, operations management and engineering as well as experience in corporate and strategic planning.
With Mr. Lawler assuming the CEO position at Chesapeake, the Office of the Chairman will be discontinued and Archie W. Dunham, Steven C. Dixon and Domenic J. Dell'Osso Jr. will continue to serve in their roles as non-executive Chairman of the Board, Executive Vice President of Operations and Geosciences and Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.
7:01AM Century Aluminum announces tender offer and consent solicitation for its 8% senior secured notes due 2014 (CENX) 8.75 : Co announced that it has commenced a cash tender offer for any and all of its ~$249.6 mln outstanding principal amount of 8% Senior Secured Notes due 2014. In conjunction with the tender offer, Century is soliciting consents to eliminate most of the covenants, certain events of default applicable to the Notes and certain other provisions contained in the indenture governing the Notes. Century expects to fund the tender offer with the proceeds of a debt financing.
7:01AM Stillwater Mining announces the election of Brian Schweitzer, the former governor of Montana, as Chairman of the Board (SWC) 12.36 : Co announced the election of Brian Schweitzer, the former governor of Montana, as Chairman of the Board. Governor Schweitzer, elected to the Board at the Company's Annual General Meeting of shareholders on May 2, 2013, replaces Frank McAllister as Chairman. Mr. McAllister, who has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since 2001, will continue in the role of CEO and President of the Company during an interim period while the Board seeks a suitable candidate to succeed him. A committee of the Board has been established to carry out the CEO search, which will begin immediately.
7:00AM Pactera Tech. announces receipt of 'going private' proposal at $7.50 per ADS (PACT) 5.26 : Co announced that its board of directors has received a non-binding proposal letter dated May 20, 2013 from an affiliate of funds managed or advised by Blackstone (BX), the Company's non-executive Chairman, Chris Chen, its Chief Executive Officer, Tiak Koon Loh, and its Executive Committee members, David Chen, Sidney Huang and Jun Su to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Pactera not currently owned by the Buyer Consortium in a going private transaction for US$7.50/ADS representing one common share of in cash, subject to certain conditions.
According to the proposal letter, the Buyer Consortium intends to form an acquisition vehicle for the purpose of implementing the Transaction, and the Transaction is intended to be financed with a combination of equity capital funded by the Buyer Consortium and third-party debt. A copy of the proposal letter is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
6:41AM S&P futures vs fair value: -3.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -7.00. :
6:41AM European Markets : FTSE...6721.65...+33.90...+0.50%. DAX...8440.79...+42.80...+0.50%.
6:41AM Asian Markets : Nikkei...15360.81...+222.70...+1.50%. Hang Seng...23493.03...+410.40...+1.80%.
6:31AM General Electric: GE Capital Board plans to pay $6.5 bln of dividends to its parent GE in 2013; GE Capital also plans $4.5 bln in special dividends to GE in 2013 (GE) 23.46 : GE announced that the Board of Directors of GE Capital (GECC) had approved plans for GECC to pay $6.5 bln in dividends in 2013 to GE. Earnings-dividend payments, which are subject to GECC Board and GE Board Risk Committee approvals, are planned at 30% of GECC's total 2013 earnings. GECC paid the first-quarter earnings-dividend of $447 mln to GE on April 19, 2013. In addition, GECC plans $4.5 bln in special dividends to GE in 2013, subject to the same approvals. Under its balanced capital allocation plan of investing for its long-term growth, maintaining an attractive dividend pay-out and repurchasing stock, GE plans to return $18 bln cash to its shareholders in 2013, including repurchase of $10 bln of stock.
6:31AM Xenoport reports top-line results of Phase 3 trial of arbaclofen placarbil for spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients; trial was unsuccessful in demonstrating that AP provided statistically significant improvement relative to placebo in the co-primary endpoints of the study (XNPT) 6.75 : We are obviously disappointed that the co-primary efficacy endpoints were not met. Based on the results of the study, we have decided to terminate further investment in this program. We will be working diligently to shut down all activities related to AP development, and plan to provide an update in the future on the impact of these expected savings on our cash burn guidance. We remain committed to allocating our resources to build value through the focused commercialization of Horizant and advancing the development of our novel fumarate product candidate, XP23829."
6:18AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
6:10AM BGC Partners receives HSR approval for proposed tranastion with NASDAQ (NDAQ) (BGCP) 5.67 : Co announced that it has received regulatory approval for the proposed sale of certain assets comprising its platform for the fully electronic trading of benchmark, on-the-run US Treasuries to NASDAQ OMX Group (NDAQ). As previously disclosed, total consideration for this transaction is up to $1.234 billion.
6:05AM Neutral Tandem announces intention to declare special cash dividend of $1.25 per share and to initiate a quarterly dividend of $0.0625 per share of its common stock (IQNT) 5.86 : Both dividends are expected to be declared and paid within the next three months. Co also announced that it has reached an agreement with Clinton Group. Under the agreement, the co will declare the dividends and appoint, prior to Dec 31, 2013, at least one new independent director. The investors have agreed, among other things, to withdraw their notice of intent to nominate individuals for election as directors at the 2013 annual meeting and not to take certain actions during a "standstill" period.
6:02AM Affymetrix appoints Gavin Wood as Chief Financial Officer (AFFX) 3.69 : Co announces it has appointed Gavin Wood to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Wood joined co in 2006 and served most recently as VP Finance, International Controller based in the United Kingdom.
4:41AM Ryanair Hldgs beats on top and bottom lines; forward bookings ahead of co's expectations (RYAAY) 44.80 : Reports FY13 EPS of EUR 0.40 vs EUR0.39 CIQ est; revs increased 13% YoY to EUR4.88 bln vs EUR4.84 bln CIQ est. Passengers increased 5% YoY to 75.8 mln. Co states Forward bookings on our new routes and bases this summer are ahead of expectations
4:31AM Qihoo 360 Tech. beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q2 revs above consensus (QIHU) 41.05 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.14 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.13; revenues rose 58.6% year/year to $109.9 mln vs the $105.89 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q2, sees Q2 revs of $142-144 mln vs. $121.19 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
First Quarter Operating Metrics
3:58AM Advanced Semi unit ASE Assembly & Test to acquire shares of Wuxi Tongzhi Microelectronics from Toshiba Semiconductor (ASX) 4.25 : Co announces that in order to strengthen the capability of its Shanghai subsidiary for providing IC assembly and testing services, ASE will procure its wholly-owned subsidiary, ASE Assembly & Test to enter into an equity interests transfer agreement with Toshiba Semiconductor Co. Under the EITA, ASESH will pay RMB70 mln to TSW to acquire 100% shares in Wuxi Tongzhi Microelectronics Co held by TSW.
2:26AM Randgold Resources enters into a $200 mln unsecured revolving credit facility with HSBC and three other banks, maturing in May 2016 (GOLD) 71.47 :
2:12AM Elan announces series of transactions; acquires AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals and Newbridge Pharma; devt offering, repurchase program planned (ELN) 11.67 : Co announces a series of transactions designed to decisively transform and advance the company.
AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals
Elan will acquire 100% of AOP and upon close Elan will pay EUR263.5mln for the company, comprised of EUR175.7 mln in cash and EUR87.8 mln of Elan ordinary shares. In addition, there will be potential cash milestone payments of up to EUR270 mln on the advancement (filing and acceptance) of certain late stage clinical programs. ---Four late stage pipeline programs (2014-2018 time frame) in: Hematology/Oncology and Cardiology/Pulmonology indications
2:07AM Intelsat unit amends the terms of its previously announced solicitation of consents from holders of its 8.5% Senior Notes due 2019 (I) 23.04 : Holders of the 2019 Intelsat Jackson Notes who validly consent to the Proposed Amendments on or prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on May 20, 2013 (the "Expiration Time"), will now be eligible to receive a consent fee of $22.50 per $1,000 principal amount of 2019 Jackson Notes for which consents are received on or prior to the Expiration Time. All other terms of the consent solicitation remain unchanged.
1:42AM Cell Therapeutics: German Federal Joint Committee issues Final Assessment Report for PIXUVRI; reported that additional benefit could not be determined for PIXVURI versus the comparator therapies assigned (CTIC) 1.16 : Co reports that Germany's Federal Joint Committee has issued its final benefit assessment report for PIXUVRI, which is indicated as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who have failed two or three prior lines of therapy. The G-BA reported that additional benefit could not be determined for PIXVURI versus the comparator therapies assigned by G-BA, the ultimate authority in determining reimbursement for drugs in Germany.
The Federal Joint Committee also decided that the prescribability for pixantrone should be limited to hematologists and oncologists and that this limitation might be of relevance for the GKV-SV, the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, with regard to the therapy cost, since the cost for PIXUVRI was only marginally higher than the cost of the appropriate comparative therapy. CTI also reported that the Company was notified by the GKV-SV that pricing discussions will begin in June.
The G-BA's decision was based on the assessment that the submitted Phase 3 EXTEND study of PIXUVRI was found not to be sufficient to allow a conclusion of a 'proven additional benefit' because:
1:39AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
1:37AM Erickson Air-Crane purcahses 5 aircraft (EAC) 28.10 : Co announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Evergreen Helicopters, has acquired five aircraft for $10.1 mln that it has historically leased from a third-party. The acquired aircraft include two Bell 214STs, two Beechcraft 1900Ds and one Casa 212-CC. The co's total fleet size remains unchanged at 85 aircraft, now comprised of 35 leased and 50 owned aircraft.
1:37AM Atlas Financial announces expiration of warrant tender; no warrants will be taken up by the co under the offer (AFH) 7.35 :
1:36AM Pacific Drilling prices $750 mln of 5.375% Senior Secured Notes due 2020 (PACD) 10.00 :
1:36AM Saratoga Investment closes an additional $6.3 mln of 7.50% Notes due 2020 Pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional Notes (SAR) 18.39 :
1:35AM Meade Instruments to be acquired by Jinghua Optics & Electronics for $3.45 per share (MEAD) 1.67 : Co and Jinghua Optics & Electronics announce that Meade and JOC's wholly-owned subsidiary, JOC North America and JOCNA's wholly-owned merger subsidiary, have signed a definitive merger agreement for JOCNA to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Meade for ~$4.5 mln or $3.45 per share. The acquisition will be paid with cash and is expected to be completed by the end of July 2013, subject to shareholder approval.
1:34AM Corvel declares a 2-for-1 stock split to be effected in the form of a 100% stock dividend; will be distributed on June 26 to stockholders of record on June 12 (CRVL) 49.00 :