4:54PM Catamaran announces pricing of $500 mln of 4.75% senior notes due 2021 (CTRX) 44.36 -0.26 : Co announced today that it has agreed to sell $500 million aggregate principal amount of 4.75% senior notes due 2021 in an underwritten public offering. Catamaran intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repay all outstanding indebtedness under its senior secured revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes. The senior notes will be guaranteed by Catamaran's wholly-owned subsidiaries that guarantee obligations under its senior secured credit facility. BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering,
4:32PM Icahn Enterprises issues statement regarding Facebook account of Chairman Carl C. Icahn: 'Information that Mr. Icahn posts on Facebook could be deemed to be material information' (IEP) 116.69 -1.11 : Co issued the following statement:
"On April 2, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") issued a report in which it provided guidance to issuers regarding the use of social media to disclose material non-public information. Our Chairman, Carl C. Icahn, intends to use Facebook, as well as the web site www.shareholderssquaretable.com (and communications to its members) and Twitter, from time to time to communicate with the public about our company and other issues. Mr. Icahn's Facebook page is located at www.facebook.com/carlicahn. It is possible that the information that Mr. Icahn posts on Facebook, through the Shareholders' Square Table website and to its members, and on Twitter, could be deemed to be material information. Therefore, in light of the SEC's guidance, we encourage investors, the media, and others interested in our company to review the information that Mr. Icahn posts on Facebook, that he provides on the Shareholders' Square Table website and to its members, and that he posts on Twitter, in addition to the information that we disclose using our investor relations website (http://www.ielp.com/investor.cfm), SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts."
4:31PM Tower Group receives Nasdaq notice regarding listing requirements (TWGP) 2.69 -0.05 : Co announced today that it received a notification letter from The Nasdaq Listing Qualification Department on March 5, 2014, stating that because the Company has not yet filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2013 with the SEC, it was not in compliance with the continued listing requirements under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1). The Company currently expects to file the 10-K with the SEC on or about the end of March.
4:26PM This week's biggest % gainers/losers (SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).
This week's top 20 % gainers
4:20PM Dun & Bradstreet reaffirms FY14 guidance (DNB) 99.24 +0.21 : Co reaffirmed its financial guidance for the full year 2014:
4:18PM Closing Market Summary: Stocks End Upbeat Week on Mixed Note (WRAPX) : The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 added just under a point, holding its weekly gain at 1.0% while the Nasdaq lost 0.4%.
The major averages began the day on an upbeat note, but relinquished their opening gains during the first 90 minutes of action. The early sentiment was boosted by a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for February (175K versus Briefing.com consensus 163K), but a closer look into the report suggested that the weather excuse, which has been commonplace for the past several weeks, may have been overused in justifying some of the disappointing economic data received in recent weeks.
Stocks retreated from their opening highs with the Nasdaq pacing the slide. Specifically, biotechnology underperformed for the second day in a row, which fueled much of the Nasdaq weakness. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 259.40, -1.74) lost 0.7% after being down as much as 2.6% at the start of the session. The biotech ETF posted a 1.9% decline for the week, but remains up 14.2% in 2014.
Although biotechnology was able to climb off its lows, the rebound coincided with selling in the traditional technology sector (-0.3%). As a result, the Nasdaq was pressured throughout the day.
Even though heavily-weighted sectors like technology and health care (-0.2%) weighed on the broader market, the S&P 500 held up relatively well thanks to the relative strength of the financial sector (+0.5%), which continued its recent outperformance. The influential sector finished the week with a gain of 3.0%.
Elsewhere among cyclical groups, energy (+0.4%) and industrials (+0.3%) outperformed while consumer discretionary (-0.1%) and materials (-0.5%) lagged. The energy sector posted a modest gain as crude oil rose 1.0% to $102.54/bbl. Despite today's increase, the energy space remains the weakest cyclical group of the year, down 1.8%.
Industrials, meanwhile, drew strength from transports. The Dow Jones Transportation Average added 0.4% after marking a fresh intraday record high at 7627.44.
Despite the continued uncertainty surrounding the situation in Ukraine, stocks climbed into the close, suggesting participants remained hopeful that a worst case scenario would be avoided. The sentiment was a bit different in Europe where major regional indices finished on their lows after a Gazprom spokesman said the company could stop delivering natural gas to Ukraine since the country is behind on its payments. The news rattled the region considering Gazprom is a major supplier to the entire European continent and supply disruptions could affect other economies.
The Treasury market, however, did not reflect a flight to safety as the 10-yr note finished in the red with its yield up five basis points at 2.79%.
Participation was a bit below average as 710 million shares changed hands at the NYSE.
Taking a look at economic data:
4:16PM Bed Bath & Beyond sees Q4 EPS of $1.57-1.61 (lowered from $1.60-1.67) vs $1.65 capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 comps +1.7% (BBBY) 69.16 +0.90 : Co provided preliminary information on its fiscal fourth quarter, including the impact of adverse weather conditions during the period. The Company's fourth quarter comprises the fiscal months of December, January and February and ended on March 1, 2014. The impact of the disruptive weather included 464 times a store was closed for a full day and 1,923 times that a store was closed for a partial day. For the fiscal quarter, the estimated resulting impact due to the disruptive weather on comparable store sales was in the range of 2.0% to 2.5%. The estimated impact on net earnings per diluted share for the quarter was approximately $.06 to $.07.
The Company's comparable store sales for the fiscal fourth quarter increased by approximately 1.7% as compared with its previous model of an increase of approximately 2.0% to 4.0%. Although it is early in the process of its financial close, the Company now estimates net earnings per diluted share of approximately $1.57 to $1.61 (vs $1.65 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate) for the quarter as compared with its previous model of $1.60 to $1.67.
Steven H. Temares, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. stated, "Despite the weather related challenges, we are pleased with our quarter. Absent the disruptive weather, we believe we would have been comfortably within our sales and net earnings per share ranges of our model. Our store associates continue to perform admirably and we thank each of them for their extraordinary effort. We continue to make excellent progress on our omnichannel initiatives and stay on course for the execution of our long term strategic plan."
4:11PM Haynes Intl announces price increase of 3-5% on all product forms effective immediately (HAYN) 49.94 -0.01 : Co announced a price increase of 3 to 5 percent on all product forms effective immediately. This action is necessary to offset increases the Company is experiencing in areas such as supplies, raw materials and utilities.
4:05PM Pzena announces February 28, 2014 AUM of $24.8 bln, up from $23.7 bln in prior month and $18.9 bln in prior year (PZN) 12.41 +0.14 :
3:57PM Palo Alto Networks confirms Delaware District Court declares mistrial in patent infringement lawsuit initiated By Juniper Networks (JNPR) (PANW) 76.99 +7.54 : Co announced that today Honorable Judge Sue L. Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (the "Court") declared a mistrial in a lawsuit brought by Juniper Networks against Palo Alto Networks due to the jury being unable to reach a verdict.
"From the outset, we said we would vigorously defend the Company against Juniper's lawsuit," said Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks. "We continue to stand by our position that we do not infringe on their patents and are committed to delivering innovation and providing the network security market with disruptive technologies."
The lawsuit is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and was filed by Juniper Networks in December, 2011. The Court's decision follows a trial which began February 24, 2014. A new trial date in this matter has not been scheduled by the Court.
3:50PM Kellogg prices tender offer to purchase for cash up to $700.0 mln combined aggregate principal amount of its 2.750% Senior Notes due 2023, its 3.125% Senior Notes due 2022, and its 4.000% Senior Notes due 2020 (K) 61.52 +0.09 : The amounts of each series of Notes that are purchased will be determined in accordance with acceptance priority levels and on the cover page of the Offer to Purchase dated February 24, 2014 in the column entitled "Acceptance Priority Level", with 1 being the highest Acceptance Priority Level and 3 being the lowest Acceptance Priority Level. In addition, no more than $500.0 million aggregate principal amount of the 2022 Notes and no more than $100.0 million aggregate principal amount of the 2020 Notes will be purchased
3:37PM Aaron's confirms receipt of director nominations (AAN) 30.55 +0.63 : Co confirmed that Vintage Capital Management and Starboard Value have each submitted to the Company notices of nomination of five candidates and four candidates, respectively, for election to the Aaron's Board of Directors at the Company's 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of Aaron's Board will review the nominations as part of its normal process and the Board will present its recommendation in due course.
3:33PM Earnings Preview for the week of March 10 - 14 (SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of March 10 - 14 some of the bigger names include:
3:18PM Potash announces issuance of notice of redemption for all of its 5.25% notes due May 15, 2014 (POT) 34.67 -0.58 : Co announced that it has issued a notice of redemption for all of its outstanding $500 million aggregate principal amount of 5.25 percent Notes due May 15, 2014. The redemption date is April 7, 2014 and the redemption price will be equal to the greater of (i) 100 percent of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed or (ii) a "make-whole" amount equal to the present value of the remaining scheduled payments, discounted to the redemption date on a semi-annual basis (assuming a 360-day year consisting of twelve 30-day months), at the adjusted treasury rate plus 50 basis points, together with, in each case, accrued and unpaid interest on the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed to the redemption date. PotashCorp intends to fund the redemption with the proceeds from its offering of $750 million aggregate principal amount of its 3.625 percent Notes due 2024, which closed on March 7, 2014.
3:16PM S&P 500 sector out-performance seen in financials- XLF, industrials- XLI, & energy- XLE as we move towards the close (SPY) :
3:10PM Strategic Hotels & Resorts reaches agreement with Orange Capital and appoints David W. Johnson to Board (BEE) 10.40 -0.09 : Co announced that it has reached an agreement with Orange Capital, LLC and agreed to appoint David W. Johnson to the Company's Board of Directors. With the addition of David W. Johnson, the Strategic Hotels Board expands to 10 members, 9 of whom are independent and all of whom are elected annually. Johnson will also be included in the Company's slate of nominees for election to the Board at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
"We are pleased to welcome Dave Johnson to our Board," said Raymond L. "Rip" Gellein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. "Our Board comprises highly qualified leaders and professionals across a range of disciplines, and we believe Dave Johnson's extensive hospitality experience will be very valuable as we continue executing on our strategic plan. As always, we are dedicated to creating value for our shareholders and appreciate the constructive input from Orange Capital and other shareholders regarding the Company's strategy. The Company will continue to evaluate all opportunities to enhance shareholder value."
In connection with today's announcement, Orange Capital has withdrawn its notice of nomination of all of its director candidates to the Strategic Hotels' Board and has agreed to vote its shares in favor of each of the Company's nominees at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Furthermore, Orange Capital has agreed to a customary standstill provision.
3:07PM Cliffs Natural Resources issues statement: Stands by decision to postpone record date of annual meeting (CLF) 18.52 -0.58 : Co issued the following statement:
"On March 3, 2014, James Kirsch, Cliffs' Chairman, had a telephonic conversation with Donald Drapkin, Chairman of Casablanca Capital and Douglas Taylor, CEO of Casablanca Capital. During this conversation, Mr. Drapkin made the suggestion that Cliffs postpone the record date for Cliffs' annual meeting of shareholders, originally scheduled to be held on May 13, 2014. In accordance with this conversation, Cliffs' Board agreed to accommodate this request in order to continue to pursue a potential settlement. Cliffs' Board and management team stand by its decision to postpone the record date and is ready to engage with Casablanca."
2:51PM NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (COMDX) :
2:34PM Coeur d'Alene Mines prices offering of $150 mln of 7.875% Senior Notes due 2021; coupon on the Offered Notes will be 7.875% per year from the date of issuance, payable semi-annually in arrears (CDE) 10.95 -0.46 : The Offered Notes constitute a further issuance of Coeur's $300 mln outstanding principal amount of 7.875% Senior Notes due 2021 issued on January 29, 2013 and when issued, will form a single series of debt securities with the Existing Notes.
2:26PM CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Prices (COMDX) :
2:26PM Dollar Erases Pre-Nonfarm Payroll Losses, Hovers Little Changed: 10-yr: -11/32..2.783%..USD/JPY: 103.25..EUR/USD: 1.3873 (SUMRX) :
2:21PM SPDR DJIA ETF: DJIA now -21pts. slips to a new session low in early afternoon trading (DIA) 163.84 -0.25 :
2:07PM Cumberland Pharma: Pediatric pain study results to be presented at The Pediatric Anesthesiology 2014 Conference; meets primary endpoint (CPIX) 5.00 +0.26 : The pediatric study met its primary endpoint demonstrating that Caldolor was associated with a statistically significant reduction in temperature within the first 2 hours of dosing when compared to acetaminophen. Equally important, no safety concerns were observed during the study. During the study, febrile hospitalized children ranging in age from less than 1 year to 16 years, were administered Caldolor (ibuprofen) injection or oral or rectal acetaminophen as a single or multiple dose therapy for up to five days.
1:57PM COMEX Metals Closing Prices (COMDX) :
1:33PM Cliffs Natural Resources: Casablanca condemns Cliff's decision to indefinitely postpone annual meeting (CLF) 18.65 -0.45 : Co issued the following statement condemning Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) for its decision to indefinitely postpone its annual meeting of shareholders previously scheduled for May 13, 2014:
"The Board that owns virtually no shares and has presided over an 80% value destruction is in our view showing its true colors by indefinitely postponing a shareholder vote and falsely suggesting that the delay was advocated by Casablanca. We look forward to engaging in a substantive dialogue with other Cliffs shareholders."
12:57PM Midday Market Summary: Mixed at Midday (WRAPX) : At midday, the major averages trade mixed. The Dow (+0.1%) holds a slim gain while the Nasdaq (-0.4%) hovers in the red. For its part, the S&P 500 sits on its flat line.
The stock market began the trading day on a higher note, but the early strength faded quickly. The upbeat open took place after it was reported that February nonfarm payrolls surpassed estimates (175K versus Briefing.com consensus 163K). Although the headline number surprised to the upside, it suggested that the weather excuse, which has been used for just about every disappointing report this year, may have been overused.
Like yesterday, the Nasdaq led the retreat due to significant weakness in biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 258.17, -2.97) is lower by 1.1% after being down nearly 3.0% shortly after the open. The underperformance of biotech has also reflected on the health care sector (-0.5%).
Although the biotech industry group has climbed off its lows, the Nasdaq has not seen a comparable snapback due to recent weakness in top-weighted technology components. Apple (AAPL 526.44, -4.31), Google (GOOG 1214.30, -5.31), Facebook (FB 70.15, -0.69), and Oracle (ORCL 38.95, -0.51) hold losses between 0.4% and 1.3%. The technology sector, meanwhile, trades down 0.4%.
Even though two of the three top-weighted groups lag, the S&P 500 has been able to hold its flat line thanks to the outperformance of industrials (+0.3%) and the continued strength of financials (+0.6%). Including the midday gain, the financial sector is higher by 3.1% this week versus a 0.9% increase for the S&P 500.
Another item at play that is likely contributing to participants reducing their risk exposure into the weekend is the continued uncertainty regarding the situation in Ukraine. Earlier, a Gazprom spokesman said the company could stop delivering natural gas to Ukraine since the country is behind on its payments. Since Gazprom is a major supplier to the entire European continent, the news weighed on regional equities, sending them to lows into the close.
Treasuries hover in the red, but they have climbed off their lows. The benchmark 10-yr yield is higher by six basis points at 2.79%.
Reviewing today's economic data:
12:32PM 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
12:29PM Sherwin-Williams announces it met with Federal Economic Competition Commission in Mexico on March 6 to discuss effort to acquire Comex (SHW) 206.19 +3.19 : On Thursday, March 6, 2014, The Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) met with the Federal Economic Competition Commission (the "Commission") in Mexico to discuss the Company's ongoing effort to acquire the Comex business in Mexico. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss various issues relating to potential remedies required by the Commission as a condition of regulatory approval of the transaction. Sherwin-Williams has not re-filed its appeal with the Commission. No information was released or authorized by Sherwin-Williams regarding this meeting prior to this press release.
12:22PM Furiex Pharmaceuticals confirms Takeda's submission of an NDA for trelagliptin succinate (SYR-472) in Japan for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (FURX) 89.58 -1.96 : Co today confirmed that Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced that it has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for trelagliptin succinate (SYR-472), a once weekly dosage treatment for type 2 diabetes. Under Furiex's agreement with Takeda, Furiex is eligible to receive royalties and sales-based milestones if trelagliptin succinate is approved and marketed in Japan.
12:18PM Teva Pharma announces launch of the generic equivalent to Xeloda (Capecitabine) Tablets, 150 MG and 500 MG, in the U.S. (TEVA) 49.79 -0.03 : Co announced the launch of the generic equivalent to Xeloda (Capecitabine) Tablets, 150 MG and 500 MG, in the United States. Xeloda is marketed by Roche's (RHHBY) Genentech in the United States. Teva was the first to receive approval on its ANDA from the FDA on September 16, 2013 and is launching today per a settlement agreement.
11:56AM European Markets Closing Prices (SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
11:51AM Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (289) outpacing new lows (12) (SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs:
ABFS, AERG, AGO, ALL, ALV, AMAT, AMC, AMCX, AME, AMH, AON, ARSD, ARTX, ASGN, ASTE, ASX, ASYS, ATAI, ATTU, AV, AXP, AZPN, BBCN, BBT, BBX, BEBE, BEE, BFAM, BGCP, BIDU, BLL, BNCL, BUSE, CACQ, CAK, CASH, CBS, CBZ, CCE, CDNS, CF, CHKP, CIS, CJES, CMG, CMTL, CNOB, CNTY, CO, CODE, COO, CPE, CR, CSE, CSTE, DAL, DBD, DEG, DFS, DIS, DISH, DLB, DORM, DOV, DOX, DRII, DST, DTV, DVCR, DXYN, DY, EBS, ECF, EGL, EJ, ENS, EROS, ESL, ESRX, ESXB, ETE, ETFC, EVK, EWBC, EXE, EXP, FCNCA, FFIV, FITB, FL, FLXS, FMC, FRBK, FRC, FSL, FSRV, FTK, GBX, GIGM, GMT, GNCA, GNRC, GNW, GPN, GRA, GSM, GT, GTAT, GVA, GY, HA, HAFC, HAR, HAS, HBAN, HCBK, HEES, HHC, HI, HII, HON, HP, HRT, HSIC, HST, HTLD, HY, IBKC, IDN, IDSA, INTU, IPHI, IPWR, ISBC, ISIG, ISIL, IT, ITRN, JACK, JHX, JST, KAR, KELYA, KEX, KFY, KLAC, KNX, KRNY, LACO, LADR, LANC, LDL, LEA, LII, LKFN, LLTC, LM, LNC, LSTR, LVS, MANH, MAR, MAS, MEET, MEOH, MGA, MGM, MITL, MITSY, MKL, MLI, MMC, MOBI, MSCI, MTB, MTZ, MWW, NDAQ, NDZ, NOC, NOR, NTRS, NWHM, NWLI, NXPI, OCLR, ONNN, OPY, OXM, OZRK, PACW, PBI, PBIO, PES, PF, PHX, PJC, PL, PLCM, PLL, PLM, PLUG, PMCS, PNC, PNR, POL, POWI, PQ, PRI, PSIX, PVTB, PWR, PZN, PZZA, QCOM, QIHU, QTWW, QUMU, R, RF, RFMD, RGA, ROK, RSPP, RTN, RUK, RXN, SAIA, SB, SBGL, SBSI, SCHW, SFG, SHW, SIG, SKUL, SLAB, SMSI, SNA, SPW, SQNS, SRLP, SSL, ST, STRT, SWFT, SXC, SXT, SYA, TAP, TCBI, TDY, TEN, TMK, TQNT, TRIP, TRN, TSH, TSL, TXN, TXT, TYC, UBOH, UBSH, UCTT, UFS, UNM, UNP, UPL, USB, UVE, VAC, VE, VIAB, VOYA, VRA, VSCI, WBAI, WDR, WFC, WFT, WMB, WOOF, WSO, WUBA, WWE, WYN, XLNX, XPO
Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: BAK, EMAN, EVRY, HAUP, LEI, MR, NEWL, ONTX, OTEL, TLM, WTW, YZC
ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: DBA, FXE, GREK, IAI, IGE, IWF, IYF, IYG, IYJ, IYT, KBE, KRE, MDY, OEF, PBD, PBW, QQQ, SMH, SOXX, SPY, TAN, USCI, UYG, VTI, XLF, XLI, XLK, XLY
ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: none
11:36AM Floor Talk (TALKX) : The stock market started today's session on an upbeat note, bolstered by a sense of relief that the February employment report was better than expected (relatively speaking). The focal point was the 175,000 jump in nonfarm payrolls following the prior two months in which they were up just 129,000 (January) and 84,000 (December), respectively.
Upon closer inspection, though, it was clear that the employment report wasn't unequivocally good. Furthermore, it was also clear that the weather excuse that has been used to dismiss all previous economic disappointments was not as clear cut as it was made out to be. Outdoor-oriented construction payrolls increased by 65,000 for the combined January-February period, whereas, indoor-oriented information jobs declined by 24,000.
Irrespective of the data dive, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 pressed higher, as did the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which came within striking distance of setting a new all-time intraday high. The Nasdaq, however, trailed in noticeable fashion, lagging behind as it did yesterday under the weight of a weak biotech sector.
It would be remiss not to add that the biotech space has been among the hottest spaces going in the recovery rally off the February 5 low. At yesterday's high, the NYSE Arca Biotech Index (BTK 2799.62, -15.16) was up 17% from the aforementioned low and up 25% for the year. Recent weakness has occurred on no substantive news, leaving the impression that investors are booking some profits from an overbought posture.
That inclination looks to be spilling over a bit to the broader market where a lot of significant (and outlandish) price gains have been made (and are still being made) by some lower-quality issues (think pot stocks, alternative energy) that have suggested some of the bullish enthusiasm has gotten a bit carried away, likely encouraging some accounts to take some money off the table in front of the weekend.
To that last point, the political rhetoric over Ukraine remains fiery, offering another excuse to take some profits or, at least, cool off some of the buying interest.
11:24AM Currency Commentary: DXY Rallies Off Multi-Month Lows (SUMRX) :
11:13AM Niska Gas Storage prices private placement of $575 mln of senior unsecured notes due 2019 (NKA) 13.28 +0.06 : Co announced the pricing of its previously announced private placement of senior unsecured notes due 2019. The Notes will be issued by two wholly owned subsidiaries of the co, Niska Gas Storage Canada ULC and Niska Gas Storage Canada Finance. The Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed by the Company and its restricted subsidiaries, on a senior unsecured basis, subject to certain exceptions. The Notes will pay interest semi-annually on October 1 and April 1, commencing on October 1, 2014, at a rate of 6.5% per year, and will mature on April 1, 2019.
11:01AM Prudential reschedules its symposium for fixed income analysts and investors in New York City, to June 9, 2014, from June 4 (PRU) 89.07 +2.30 :
10:51AM ComScore reports Jan 2014 U.S. smartphone subscriber market share; Apple (AAPL) ranked as the top OEM with 41.6% of U.S. smartphone subscribers, up 1 percentage point from Oct (SCOR) 31.52 +0.08 :
10:50AM Republic Airways reports February 2014 traffic: Revenue passenger miles increased 14% year/year to 0.8 bln (RJET) 9.31 +0.07 : Co reported preliminary passenger traffic results for February 2014. The Company generated 0.8 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in February, a 14% increase over the same period in 2013 on a 7% increase in available seat miles (ASMs). Block hours were 5% greater, and load factor increased four percentage points from the same period in 2013. Republic Airways carried 1.6 million passengers, a 9% increase compared to February 2013. February departures were 2% above the same period in 2013. During February, the Company canceled more than 4,400 of its almost 36,400 scheduled departures due to the extreme weather across much of the country. Overall, the Company completed 87.7% of its scheduled flights in February, compared to 94.6% in February 2013.
10:31AM Blackhawk Network comments on parent company Safeway's spin-off; Safeway and Blackhawk extend exclusive prepaid card distribution agreement through 2019 (HAWK) 26.68 +1.55 : Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:HAWK) parent company Safeway Inc. affirmed in a press release on March 6, 2014 its intention to distribute its 37.8 million shares of Blackhawk common stock to Safeway shareholders and further indicated that it expects to complete the distribution by mid-April. In addition, in a separate transaction Safeway announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Albertsons which, if consummated, may allow Blackhawk to obtain a step-up in the tax basis of its assets, anticipated to provide significant incremental long-term tax benefits to Blackhawk. The distribution of Blackhawk shares is not dependent upon the completion of Safeway's merger with Albertsons and is being undertaken for independent business reasons.
Impact on Blackhawk: Blackhawk's day-to-day operations of its prepaid products business have been conducted independently for the past two years, except for sharing tax and treasury management functions. As a result, Safeway's change in ownership will not adversely impact Blackhawk's operations and the distribution by Safeway will complete Blackhawk's independence as a stand-alone public company.
Potential Tax Benefit: Independent of its merger with Albertsons, Safeway previously announced its intention to spin-off its ownership in Blackhawk. If the merger is completed, it is expected that the distribution of Blackhawk shares will be taxable to Safeway and its shareholders. As part of the merger agreement, the buyer will assume the corporate tax on the distribution of Blackhawk shares to Safeway shareholders. It is also anticipated that there will be a step-up in the tax basis of Blackhawk's assets that could generate approximately $30 million in cash tax savings per annum for Blackhawk. On a present value basis, using a 10% discount rate, over 15 years this tax savings is valued at approximately $230 million or approximately $4.50 per Blackhawk share.
Extension of Distribution Agreement with Safeway: Blackhawk also recently extended its distribution agreement with Safeway Inc. to be its exclusive provider of prepaid products in all its U.S. grocery stores through 2019 (presently 1,335 stores). Under the agreement, Safeway will continue to sell Blackhawk's full range of prepaid products including prepaid gift cards, prepaid telecom products and general purpose reloadable debit products. All other terms of the agreement remain unchanged.
10:14AM Aaron's second largest shareholder nominates five to co's Board (AAN) 30.52 +0.60 : Vintage Capital Management has notified Aaron's that five candidates are being submitted as nominees for the Board of Directors of Aaron's at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held in May. Brian R. Kahn, Managing Member of VCM, made the announcement and expressed concern about poor recent financial results and continued decline of store traffic, especially the precipitous loss of what is estimated to exceed another 50,000 customers so far this year under current management. He noted that the customer losses follow 27 years of continuous growth under former management that included Mr. Butler.
10:01AM Quality Distribution expands into the West Texas market, with a new terminal in Sweetwater, TX (QLTY) 13.57 +0.11 :
9:54AM Market View: Biotechnology sector very weak once again in today's session; XBI now -2.4%, IBB now -1.9%, & BBH now -1.95% (TECHX) :
9:47AM Opening Market Summary: Nasdaq Gives Up Early Gain (WRAPX) : The major averages began the day with modest gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) leads while the Nasdaq (unch) trails. For its part, the S&P 500 is higher by 0.2% with six sectors showing gains.
Once again, the financial sector (+0.7%) began in the lead, which has been the case since Tuesday. Including the opening advance, the sector is now higher by 3.4% this week versus an increase of 1.3% for the S&P 500.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is seeing pressure from biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 260.11, -1.03) is lower by 0.4%. This has also reflected on the health care sector, which trades flat.
Treasuries sit near their lows with the 10-yr yield up six basis points at 2.79%.
9:21AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
9:14AM Metals are down notably this morning led by copper, silver and gold futures; Corporate bond default in China helping weigh on copper. Copper now at 7-month low (COMDX) : Gold and silver futures were just modestly lower in overnight/early morning trade, but dropped sharply following the jobs report.
Copper futures, on the other hand, have been sliding lower since the overnight session and just hit a new session low of $3.11/lb.
Since China is the largest importer of copper in the world, news that China saw its "first" corporate bond default, with Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy unable to pay its debt in full today, is likely one catalyst weighing on copper prices this morning as the default weakens confidence in the importer.
Current price action is as follows:
9:14AM S&P futures vs fair value: +11.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.00. (WRAPX) : The stock market is on track to begin today's session on a higher note following a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for February (175K actual, 163K Briefing.com consensus). The S&P 500 futures trade 12 points above fair value with the bulk of the gain coming after the jobs report.
Over the last several weeks, economists have pointed toward the winter weather as the reason for the recent economic slowdown. The above-consensus result in the February employment report refutes that theory. Sectors that are normally impacted by weather events, such as construction of buildings (+100), reported positive payroll gains. These sectors should have seen a sizable pullback if weather was the root cause of the economic malaise.
With index futures on their highs, Treasuries hover near their lowest levels of the day. The benchmark 10-yr yield is higher by seven basis points at 2.81%.
The January Consumer Credit report will be released at 15:00 ET.
9:06AM Materion receives letter from GAMCO Asset Management expressing its intention to nominate two individuals to Materion's Board of Directors at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (MTRN) 34.13 : Co reported that it has received a letter from GAMCO Asset Management Inc. expressing its intention to nominate two individuals to Materion's Board of Directors at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which will be held on May 7, 2014.
Materion issued the following statement in response: Materion values input from its shareholders and welcomes investors who believe in the potential of the Company. The Materion Board and management team are committed to the long-term growth of this Company and enhancing value for all shareholders.
9:04AM Coeur d'Alene Mines announces its intention to offer $150 mln of 7.875% senior notes due 2021 (CDE) 11.41 : CDE announced its intention to offer $150 mln of 7.875% senior notes due 2021. The offered notes constitute a further issuance of Coeur's $300,000,000 outstanding principal amount of 7.875% Senior Notes due 2021 issued on January 29, 2013 and, when issued, will form a single series of debt securities with the Existing Notes.
9:03AM Charles Schwab and J.P. Morgan (JPM) extend agreement giving Schwab clients access to municipal and corporate bond issues (SCHW) 26.94 : Charles Schwab has extended its agreement with J.P. Morgan to provide Schwab clients with access to a broad range of J.P. Morgan's fixed income securities. The agreement, originally signed in 2010, gives Schwab's 9.1 million client brokerage accounts1 access to J.P. Morgan's new issue and secondary municipal bonds and corporate debt securities.
9:02AM S&P futures vs fair value: +13.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.50. (WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade 13 points above fair value following a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report.
Asian markets finished on a mixed note. In China, Chaori Solar failed to make its bond payment, marking the "first" domestic corporate bond default. Interestingly, SHIBOR eased significantly with the two-week reading sliding 71 basis points to 3.052%. Elsewhere, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens testified in Sydney and suggested the Australian dollar is still overvalued.
Regional data of note was limited to Japan's Leading Index, which ticked up to 112.2 from 111.7 (112.4 expected).
9:02AM PVR Partners: Glass Lewis recommends PVR unitholders vote 'for' PVR's merger with Regency (RGP) (PVR) 15.39 :
9:02AM Star Bulk Carriers takes delivery of its second Post-Panamax bulk carrier, Star Sirius (SBLK) 15.39 :
9:01AM Aaron's provides update on the evaluation underway by the Transaction Committee of Aaron's Board of Directors; Board retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an additional financial advisor to assist in this process (AAN) 29.92 :
9:00AM Briefing Bullet Points: 30 minutes ahead of the open S&P futures are +10 vs. fair value and DJ Futures are +90 (SUMRX) : U.S. Equities
8:59AM Fuwei Films announces receipt of the fifth notice of proposed public auction of controlling interest (FFHL) 1.49 :
8:54AM CDW announces pricing of a public offering of 10 mln shares of its common stock held by selling stockholders at $25.55 per share (CDW) 26.80 :
8:50AM European Markets Update: DAX UNCH, FTSE +0.1%, CAC +0.2% (SUMRX) : Major European indices hover near their flat lines. Participants received several economic data points. Germany's Industrial Production rose 0.8% month-over-month (0.7% expected, 0.1% prior) while the Wholesale Price Index slipped 0.1% month-over-month (-0.2% consensus, 0.3% prior). French trade deficit widened to EUR5.70 billion from EUR5.20 billion (expected deficit of EUR4.60 billion) while the government budget deficit narrowed to EUR12.70 billion from EUR74.90 billion (expected deficit of EUR70.00 billion). Italy's PPI slipped 0.2% month-over-month (-0.1% expected, -0.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading fell 1.5% (-1.6% consensus, -1.8% previous). Swiss CPI ticked up 0.1% month-over-month (0.2% expected, -0.3% prior) while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.2%, as expected.
Among news of note, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to yesterday's comments from President Obama, saying Russia can't ignore "calls for help" from Russian speakers living in Ukraine.
8:39AM Flamel prices public offering of ADSs, representing 10,800,000 ordinary shares, at $9.75 per ADS (FLML) 10.71 :
8:33AM FuelCell Energy announces further progress with developing the on-site distributed hydrogen generation market with a $2.8 mln continuation of an award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office to showcase the tri-generation capabilities of a Direct FuelCell power plant for industrial applications (FCEL) 2.99 : The co will install a sub-megawatt fuel cell power plant at its manufacturing facility in Torrington, Connecticut, to generate hydrogen, electricity and heat, replacing hydrogen that is currently purchased and delivered to the facility via truck, and replacing electricity purchased from the electric grid. The tri-generation DFC-H2 is expected to be operational by the end of 2014.
8:33AM S&P futures vs fair value: +12.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.00. (WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade 12 points above fair value in reaction to a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report.
February nonfarm payrolls came in at 175,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 163,000. Nonfarm private payrolls added 162,000 against the 170,000 expected by the consensus. The unemployment rate rose to 6.7% while the consensus expected a reading of 6.6%.
Hourly earnings increased 0.4%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an uptick of 0.2%. The average workweek was reported at 34.2 against the 34.4 expected by the consensus.
Separately, the January trade deficit widened to $39.10 billion from $38.80 billion. The Briefing.com consensus expected the deficit to come in at $37.30 billion.
8:33AM Gold and silver dropped to new session lows following jobs data, dollar index spiked, crude oil spikes higher; Apr gold is now -0.8% at $1341/oz, May silver is -1.8% at $21.19/oz (COMDX) :
8:32AM Market View: Front-month Mar. E-mini index futures uptick, ESh4 sets a new all-time high print following the 8:30 am ET Feb. Employment Report (TECHX) :
8:29AM Gapping down (SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: NVTL -21.8%, ALSK -17.6%, BAXS -15.5%, VMEM -12.4%, PRGS -11.7%, ALOG -11.2%, APP -8.5%, BNFT -7.9%, TNDM -6.7%, QTWW -6.4%, WTI -5.2%, GPS -4.3%, AMBA -3.9%, FRM -3.8%, HYGS -3.3%, PSMT -2.3%, HRB -1.8%, TGD -1.3%, IDT -1.2%, LGP -1.1%, VNET -0.5%.
M&A news: SWY -2.3% (co and Albertsons announced definitive merger agreement; Safeway shareholders expected to receive total value estimated at $40 per share).
Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: GOLD -1.5%, VALE -1.5%, RIO -1.5%, FCX -0.7%, SLV -0.3%, BHP -0.2%
Select names trading lower following offerings: FEYE -6.9% (prices follow-on public offering of 14 mln shares of common stock at $82.00 per share by co and selling shareholders), LEI -4.3% (commenced public offering of 10 mln shares of its common stock held by the selling stockholders), APAM -1.6% (prices 8,073,337 shares of Class A common stock at $62.00 per share).
Other news: NLNK -12.1% (independent review committee recommends study continuation without modification after completion of first interim analysis of IMPRESS Phase 3 pancreatic cancer trial with algenpantucel-L), CKP -3.9% (announced delay in earnings release and conference call for Q4 and FY13), CDW -1.9% (announced it received a noncompliance notice from NYSE MKT; co also provided downside FY14 rev guidance), ZBB(E) -1.4% (announced NYSE MKT extended the co's compliance plan period to May 30, 2014), EAT -1.1% (announced Guy Constant has resigned as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and President of Global Business Development) .
Analyst comments: VMEM -12.4% (downgraded to Underperform from Buy at BofA/Merrill), ANR -4.2% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman), HMHC -3.4% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman; removed from America's Buy list, downgraded to Hold at Stifel), KIN -2.4% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at ROTH Capital), ALU -1.4% (downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg), MTGE -1.1% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank), CYS -1.1% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank), HUM -0.7% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies).
8:26AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
8:24AM Gapping up (SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: SKUL +22.5%, BIG +15.5%, EBS +5.5%, FL +5.2%, KFY +4.8%, CMTL +4.3%, PNY +3.8%, IPWR +2.7%, ASTI(F) +2.7%, PRTS +2%, JMBA +1.6%, QIHU +1.3%, XGTI +1.1%.
M&A news: AUQ +2.9% (announced tender offer for any and all of its outstanding 3.50% convertible notes due 2016; announces offering of $300 mln senior notes due 2022), TRQ +1.4% (seeing reports that Rio Tinto is considering making a bid for the company).
Other news: DLIA +10.9% (Tiger Global Management files 13G noting 6.3% stake), GURE +8.8% (still checking), INCY +3.6% (reports positive top-line results from Phase III study of Ruxolitinib in patients with polycythemia vera), PLUG +3.3% (CEO to make appearance on CNBC later today), GOGO +2.9% (S.A.C. Capital disclosed 5.1% passive stake), SGMO +2.8% (mentioned positively by Jim Cramer; co's CEO made appearance on Mad Money.
Analyst comments: CNAT +7.3% (initiated with a Buy at ROTH Capital), GTAT +6.6% (upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse), CCRN +6.4% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor Fitzgerald), TFM +4.4% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS), PVG +2.4% (resumed with an Outperform at BMO Capital Mkts ), PLCM +2.2% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup), YELP +1.7% (target raised to $115 at Pacific Crest), TEVA +1.6% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays), CLH +1% (upgraded to Strong Buy from Mkt Perform at Raymond James)
8:11AM STR Holdings announces final results of its modified 'Dutch auction' tender offer; co has accepted for purchase 15,611,958 shares of the co's common stock at a purchase price of $1.54 per share (STRI) 1.59 :
8:11AM Public Service reaffirms 2014 operating EPS guidance of $2.55-$2.75 vs $2.66 Capital IQ Consensus Est (PEG) 35.51 : Co announced that it will spend ~$12 bln in capital investments during the next five years, primarily driven by increased investments in transmission to maintain reliability.
Speaking at the co's Annual 2014 Investor Conference in New York, Ralph Izzo, PSEG chairman and CEO, told the financial community that Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) is implementing a 5-year capital program of $10 bln, a 20% increase in the level of spending over the prior five years. The additional investment is primarily due to PJM-mandated transmission upgrades to relieve projected system overloads and maintain reliability for millions of customers.
"This year, operating earnings from our co's stable, regulated business will represent about 55% of earnings as we make critical infrastructure investments. Combined with the flexibility of a solid merchant generation business, we are providing shareholders with the opportunity for consistent and sustainable dividend growth."
"Transmission lines and switching stations are the backbone of our electric grid, ensuring that we can transport power to where it's needed safely and reliably," Izzo added. "The utility has five major projects under way, with an additional 345-kilovolt line slated to be in service by June 2018." PSE&G's capital spending program is expected to lead to double-digit earnings growth at the utility over the 2013-2016 period.
Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G president and COO, said the utility's transmission investments of $6.8 bln-- up about $2 bln-- account for about 70% of PSE&G's capital investments and represent 60% of PSEG's total capital expenditures during the next five years.
LaRossa also noted that on Jan 1, PSEG began operating the Long Island Power Authority's electric system under a 12-year operating services agreement. Led by seasoned utility professionals, PSEG Long Island is expected to provide $0.03 earnings in 2014, growing to $0.07 in 2016
8:04AM Peregrine Pharma reports EPS in-line, misses on revs (PPHM) 2.61 : Reports Q3 (Jan) loss of $0.06 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of ($0.06); revenues fell 44.7% year/year to $3.89 mln vs the $5.09 mln consensus.
8:04AM Northwest Biotherapeutics Receives Recommendation To Continue With Phase III GBM Brain Cancer Trial Based On Data Safety Monitoring Board's Safety Review (NWBO) 5.96 : announced today, in response to shareholder inquiries, that the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) has made an unblinded review of the safety data for the Company's ongoing international Phase III GBM Trial, and has recommended that the trial continue as planned. The DSMB's review of the efficacy data is still pending. Dr. Marnix Bosch, Chief Technical Officer of NW Bio noted, "We are pleased with the recommendation of the DSMB to continue the trial as planned. This is an important step in the ongoing progress of our Phase III trial."
8:04AM Hennessy Capital acquisition common stock and warrants to commence trading separately on March 10, 2014 (HCAC) 10.05 : Co announced that the holders of the Company's units may elect to separately trade the common stock and warrants underlying the units commencing March 10, 2014. Those units not separated will continue to trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "HCACU" and the common stock and the warrants are expected to trade under the symbols "HCAC" and "HCACW", respectively.
8:03AM Superior Ind reports EPS in-line, misses on revs (SUP) 18.89 : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.23 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.23; revenues fell 8.3% year/year to $192.5 mln vs the $199.26 mln consensus.
8:03AM Hill-Rom increases quarterly dividend by 11% to $0.1525 per share from $0.1375 per share (HRC) 38.03 :
8:01AM SunEdison, Nationwide Mutual, Sol Systems and National Bank of Arizona announce financing for 13.4 MW solar electricity portfolio (SUNE) 21.09 : announced a $50 million fund to build a 13.4 megawatt (MW) solar portfolio for the State of California prison and hospital systems. Sol Systems advised Nationwide Mutual Insurance on the acquisition of the equity in the transaction. SunEdison secured long-term debt for the projects from the National Bank of Arizona (NBAZ). These projects mark the first time the companies have worked together on a solar project.
8:01AM Celanese and Airborne Oil & Gas sign strategic supply agreement for deepwater thermoplastic composite pipes (CE) 49.73 : Co announced the signing of a strategic supply agreement for the development and supply of composite materials for these pipe systems.
This multi-year alliance promises to further improve materials, systems and solutions that will meet the oil and gas industry requirements for harsh deepwater operations," said Marcus Kremers, chief technology officer, Airborne.
"Together, Airborne, with its expertise in offshore thermoplastic composite pipe systems, and Celanese, a leading global producer of high-performance thermoplastic composites, will be able to drive the development of the right material solutions. This strategic alliance is an important milestone in achieving a robust supply chain, ready for scaling up."
8:00AM S&P futures vs fair value: +5.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.50. (WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures hold modest gains despite cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures trade six points above fair value. Some volatility is expected around 8:30 ET when the nonfarm payrolls report for February crosses the wires. The Briefing.com consensus expects the reading to come in at 163,000.
Reviewing overnight developments:
7:59AM Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +0.9%, Hang Seng -0.2%, Shanghai -0.1% (SUMRX) :
7:31AM Endo Health appoints Susan Hall as executive vice president, chief scientific officer and global head of research & development and quality, effective March 10, 2014 (ENDP) 73.89 : Prior to joining Endo, Dr. Hall served as senior vice president and global head of research and development at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX).
7:29AM Lithia Motors acquires Honolulu Buick GMC Cadillac and Honolulu Volkswagen in Honolulu, Hawaii; stores will add $75 mln in estimated annual revs (LAD) 66.55 :
7:28AM Dollar Slumps to Four-Month Lows Ahead of NFPs: 10-yr: +03/32..2.729%..USD/JPY: 102.92..EUR/USD: 1.3903 (SUMRX) :
7:24AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
7:16AM NewLink Genetics' independent review committee recommends study continuation without modification after completion of first interim analysis of IMPRESS Phase 3 pancreatic cancer trial with algenpantucel-L (NLNK) 37.71 :
7:11AM Malibu Boats beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line (MBUU) 21.76 : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.20 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.16; revenues rose 16.1% year/year to $43.9 mln vs the $43.75 mln consensus.
7:07AM Foot Locker beats by $0.06, beats on revs; sees mid-single digit comp growth in 2014 (FL) 42.73 : Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.82 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.76; revenues rose 4.6% year/year to $1.79 bln vs the $1.77 bln consensus.
7:04AM Fifth Street Finance expands its syndicated bank credit facility to $650 mln (FSC) 9.60 : Co announced an additional lender to its syndicated bank credit facility led by ING Capital LLC. The new commitment increases the facility size by $30 million to $650 million. The facility now includes 15 lenders and has an accordion feature allowing for potential future expansion up to $800 million. The final maturity of the facility remains August 6, 2018.
7:03AM RedHill Biopharma provides update on RHB-102 development and intellectual property; co has secured from Temple University direct rights to the original RHB-102 patents and has terminated its agreement with SCOLR Pharma (RDHL) 13.95 :
7:02AM Big Lots announces promotion of Timothy A. Johnson to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (BIG) 29.25 : Co announced the promotion of Timothy A. Johnson to Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Johnson has served as CFO since 2012.
7:01AM NanoViricides denies rumor that it is being acquired for between $2.25 bln and $4.5 bln (NNVC) 3.77 : Co denies the statement made in a blog post on the Seeking Alpha website that it is being acquired for between $2.25 bln and $4.5 bln. The new article was filed by a "MathewRohlad" in his instablog on the Seeking Alpha website. He identified himself as an investor in "undervalued large growth potential stocks." The article entitled "NanoViricides (NNVC) Acquisition In Review" claims that an anonymous source informed the author that an unidentified entity is "intent on acquiring NanoViricides" and that this phantom entity valued the co "between 2.5 to 4.5 billion dollars."
The author has not contacted any of the co's executives prior to this posting, nor has Seeking Alpha attempted to verify any portion of the story with the co. The co has no knowledge of being an acquisition target, and has not had any discussions whatsoever of such nature with any parties.
7:01AM Southcross Energy Partners acquires natural gas pipelines near Corpus Christi, Texas along with contracts related to those pipelines for ~ $40 mln (SXE) 0.80 :
6:55AM S&P futures vs fair value: +6.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -2.00. :
6:55AM European Markets : FTSE...6781.57...-6.90...-0.10%. DAX...9498.13...-44.70...-0.40%.
6:55AM Asian Markets : Nikkei...15274.07...+139.30...+0.90%. Hang Seng...22660.49...-42.50...-0.20%.
6:54AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
6:52AM Columbia Labs repurchases 1.4 mln shares of its common stock from Coventry Acquisition, a subsidiary of Actavis (ACT), at $6.08 per share (CBRX) 6.81 : Co announced that it has repurchased 1.4 million shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share, from Coventry Acquisition, a subsidiary of Actavis (ACT), at $6.08 per share, which represents a 10.75% discount to the closing price on Thursday, March 6, 2014. The total purchase price was ~ $8.5 million. This transaction reduces the total issued and outstanding shares of common stock by about 11.5% from ~ 12.15 million to 10.75 million.
6:38AM Cliffs Natural Resources proposes settlement with Casablanca Capital; offer of additional Board seats rejected by Casablanca Capital; co postpones record date for 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (CLF) 19.10 :
6:34AM Cliffs Natural Resources confirms receipt of director nominations by Casablanca Capital (CLF) 19.10 : Co confirmed that Casablanca Capital is nominating six director candidates for election to Cliffs' Board of Directors at the co's 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Cliffs' shareholders are not required to take action at this time.
"Our Board and a newly constituted senior executive management team are actively evaluating Cliffs' strategic options and reducing costs and capital spending with a focus on value creation. We have reviewed - and will continue to review - alternatives to enhance shareholder value. We believe Casablanca's overall proposal fails to provide a sustainable, long-term value-enhancing alternative. We are confident our plan will improve long-term financial and operating performance to create value for all Cliffs' shareholders."
6:32AM AngioDynamics announces the FDA granted 510(k) clearance for its BioFlo DuraMax chronic hemodialysis catheter (ANGO) 15.60 : Indicated for use in attaining long-term vascular access for hemodialysis and apheresis, AngioDynamics expects a commercial launch in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014.
6:31AM Aquinox Pharma (AQXP) priced upsized 4.2 mln share IPO at $11 per share, at midpoint of the $10-12 expected range (IPOXX) : The co originally planned to offer 3.7 mln shares.
6:19AM Achillion Pharma beats by $0.02; sees FY14 net income better than expected (ACHN) 3.43 : Reports Q4 net loss of $0.14 per share vs ($0.16) CIQ estimate; co reported no revs, as expected.
6:02AM Baker Hughes announced that the international rig count for Feb 2014 was 1,341, up 16 from the 1,325 counted in Jan 2014, and up 66 from the 1,275 counted in Feb 2013 (BHI) 63.48 : The average U.S. rig count for Feb 2014 was 1,769, unchanged from the count in Jan 2014, and up 7 from the 1,762 counted in Feb 2013. The average Canadian rig count for Feb 2014 was 626, up 122 from the 504 counted in Jan 2014, and down 16 from the 642 counted in Feb 2013. The worldwide rig count for Feb 2014 was 3,736, up 138 from the 3,598 counted in Jan 2014, and up 57 from the 3,679 counted in Feb 2013.
5:02AM Western Refining issues notice of settlement for conversions of 5.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2014 (WNR) 39.19 :
3:00AM FireEye prices follow-on public offering of 14 mln shares of common stock at $82.00 per share by co and selling shareholders (FEYE) 89.55 : Of the shares being offered, 5,582,215 are being offered by FireEye and the remaining shares are being offered by existing stockholders.
2:43AM Recro Pharma (REPH) prices upsized 3.75 mln share IPO at $8.00 per share, below the $10-12 expected range (IPOXX) : Co originally planned to offer 2.5 mln shares.
2:03AM Incyte reports positive top-line results from Phase III study of Ruxolitinib in patients with polycythemia vera (INCY) 65.62 : Co announces that a pivotal Phase III trial of ruxolitinib compared to best available therapy in patients with polycythemia vera who are resistant to or intolerant of hydroxyurea has met its primary endpoint of achieving phlebotomy independence and reducing spleen size by 35% or more. The safety profile of ruxolitinib was generally consistent with previous studies based on initial review of the data. Ruxolitinib, marketed as Jakafi in the United States, is approved to treat people with intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis, including primary MF, post--polycythemia vera MF and post--essential thrombocythemia MF.
2:01AM Advanced Semi reports Feb net revs increased 12.5% YoY to NT$16.2 bln (ASX) 5.11 :
1:55AM Celanese announces various price increases on Acetic Acid, Acetic Anhydride and Paraformaldehyde, among others, effective date of February 15, 2014 (CE) 53.36 :
1:49AM Coupons.com (COUP) priced 10.5 mln share IPO at $16 per share, above the expected range of $12-14 per share (IPOXX) :
1:39AM Artisan Partners Asset Mgmt prices 8,073,337 shares of Class A common stock at $62.00 per share (APAM) 64.05 :
1:32AM Allegiant Travel reports February 2014 traffic (ALGT) 112.32 : Firm reports preliminary passenger traffic results for February 2014.