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7:53AM Abbott Labs beats by $0.05, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance (ABT) 37.97 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.41 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.36; co guided for EPS of $0.34-0.36; revenues fell 2.5% year/year to $5.24 bln vs the $5.29 bln consensus.

  • First-quarter 2014 worldwide sales of $5.2 billion increased 0.5% on an operational basis and decreased 2.5% on a reported basis, including an unfavorable 3.0% effect of foreign exchange. International sales, which comprise more than 70% of total Abbott sales, increased 1.8% on an operational basis and decreased 2.3% on a reported basis in the first quarter. The August 2013 sales disruption in International Nutrition and the timing of supply of key products in Established Pharmaceuticals, primarily related to an expected plant shutdown for capacity expansion purposes, are estimated to have reduced Abbott's international sales growth by ~2.6 % points.
  • Nutrition sales -4%; Diagnostics sales +2.6%; Established Pharma -6.6%; Medical Devices -1.2%.
Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.16-2.26, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.19 Capital IQ Consensus. 

7:38AM W.W. Grainger beats by $0.11, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance, revs guidance (GWW) 250.77 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $3.07 per share, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.96; revenues rose 4.6% year/year to $2.39 bln vs the $2.39 bln consensus.
United States

  • Excluding acquisitions, organic sales increased 5% driven by 4 percentage points from volume, 1 percentage point from price and 1 percentage point from higher sales of seasonal products, partially offset by a 1 percentage point decline due to the extreme weather in January and February.  Strong sales growth to customers in the Heavy and Light Manufacturing, Natural Resources, Retail and Commercial customer end markets contributed to the sales increase in the quarter. 
Canada
  • First quarter 2014 sales for Acklands-Grainger decreased 10% in U.S. dollars and were down 2% in local currency.  
  • The 2% sales decline consisted of a 4 percentage points decline from volume partially offset by a 2 percentage points benefit from the timing of Good Friday, which occurred in March of 2013 but will fall in April this year.  
  • Growth during the quarter to customers in the Utilities, Forestry, Transportation and Reseller end markets was more than offset by declines in the Construction, Light and Heavy Manufacturing, Mining, Retail, Government, and Oil and Gas customer end markets.  Approximately two-thirds of revenue is generated in the western provinces with a concentration in natural resources.  
  • The business in Canada continues to be negatively affected by a weak macroeconomic environment, unfavorable currency exchange, lower commodity prices and a reduction of Canadian exports.  
Other Businesses
  • Sales for the Other Businesses, which includes operations primarily in Asia, Europe and Latin America, increased 11% for the 2014 first quarter versus the prior year.  
  • This performance consisted of 18 percentage points of growth from volume and price, partially offset by a 7 percentage points decline from unfavorable foreign exchange.  
  • Sales growth in the Other Businesses was driven by Zoro Tools and the businesses in Mexico and Japan.  
  • Strong sales growth in Japan was partially offset by the weakness in the Japanese yen versus the U.S. dollar. 
Guidance
Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $12.10-12.85 vs. $12.63 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of +5-9% to ~$9.91-10.29 bln vs. $10.08 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Additionally, In the 2014 first quarter, Grainger returned $215 million to shareholders through $65 million in dividends and $150 million to buy back 615,000 shares of stock.  

7:36AM St. Jude Medical beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides Q2 EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides FY14 EPS in-line, revs in-line (STJ) 63.22 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.96 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.95; revenues rose 1.9% year/year to $1.36 bln vs the $1.36 bln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.99-1.01, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.00 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $1.38-1.46 bln vs. $1.44 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.95-4.00, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.97 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $5.61-5.76 bln vs. $5.69 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:28AM CAD Flat Ahead of the Bank of Canada Rate Decision: 10-yr: -05/32..2.649%..USDJPY: 102.26..EUR/USD: 1.3837 (SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index holds slim losses as trade tests the 79.70 level. 
  • Today's early weakness has the current three-day win streak in jeopardy with trade struggling to retake 80.00. 
  • EURUSD is +25 pips @ 1.3835 despite today's data being disappointing to in-line. The eurozone current account surplus narrowed to EUR21.9 bln (EUR22.3 bln expected, EUR25.4 bln previous) while CPI held at 0.5% YoY (0.5% YoY expected), remaining well below the ECB's target. A push through 1.3850 puts the recent highs near 1.3900/1.3950 in play.
  • GBPUSD is +60 pips @ 1.6785 as buyers take control following today's UK jobs report. Britain's claimant count was in-line at -30.4K (-30.2K expected), but it was the drop in the unemployment rate to 6.9% (7.2% expected, 7.2% previous) that has sterling bears on the run. The unemployment reading is the lowest since February 2009, and is below the Bank of England's previous 7.0% threshold as to when they would have considered raising rates. However, the recent change of forward guidance to include a wider range of factors has likely put off any such action as the central bank will look for further signs of a strengthening economy. Any close above 1.6795 will be the best since November 2009.
  • USDCHF is -10 pips @ .8790 as sellers take the reins despite the disappointing ZEW Economic Expectations (7.0 actual v. 19.0 expected). Many traders continue to look elsewhere as this pair remains a derivative of the euro thanks the Swiss National Bank's EURCHF1.20 floor. 
  • USDJPY is +40 pips @ 102.25 as trade probes the 50 dma. Many attribute the early strength to yesterday's headlines indicating Japan would lower its economic forecast, leading to an increase in QE; however, comments from BOJ head Kuroda point to an economy that is strengthening as wage inflation picks up. 
  • AUDUSD is +5 pips @ .9360 amid a mostly uneventful trade. The hard currency has seen little reaction to the data out of China, which included a better than expected GDP print (7.4% actual v. 7.3% expected) and industrial production (8.8% YoY actual v. 9.1% YoY expected) and fixed income investment (17.6% YTDoY actual v. 18.1% YTDoY expected) misses. USDCNY was little changed @ 6.2211. 
  • USDCAD is flat @ 1.0980 as trade checks up near 1.1000 resistance ahead of the Bank of Canada rate decision. Expectations are for the central bank to hold its key rate steady at 1.00%. Before the announcement, the country's foreign securities purchases will be released. Click here to see a daily USDCAD chart.

7:22AM Emergent BioSolutions announces successful completion of the last licensure-enabling study in its BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) Post-Exposure Prophylaxis program; study met the prospectively defined success criteria for both the primary and secondary endpoints (EBS) 23.69 :

  • Co announced successful completion of the last licensure-enabling study in its BioThrax (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) program. This clinical study was designed to evaluate the pharmacokinetic profile of the antimicrobial ciprofloxacin when administered prior to and following the administration of a three-dose series of BioThrax. It was also designed to evaluate the immune response to BioThrax when administered with or without ciprofloxacin. The primary endpoints were the ratio of the maximum concentration (Cmax) and area under the curve (AUC) for ciprofloxacin and the secondary endpoint was the ratio of the geometric mean titer of the antibody response to BioThrax two weeks following the last dose. The study met the prospectively defined success criteria for both the primary and secondary endpoints. Data from this study show no interaction between ciprofloxacin and BioThrax. 
  • The co has submitted the final clinical study report to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the FDA. Results from this study will be used to support a supplemental Biologics License Application seeking licensure of a PEP indication for BioThrax to be used in combination with antibiotics in people with suspected or confirmed exposure to anthrax spores. BioThrax is currently licensed for a pre-exposure prophylaxis indication only.

7:21AM U.S. Bancorp reports EPS in-line, revs in-line (USB) 41.01 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.73 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.73; revenues fell 1.2% year/year to $4.81 bln vs the $4.8 bln consensus. 

  • Net income attributable to U.S. Bancorp for the first quarter of 2014 was $31 million (2.2%) lower than the first quarter of 2013, and $59 million (4.1%) lower than the fourth quarter of 2013. The decrease in net income year-over-year was principally due to a decrease in mortgage banking revenue, partially offset by a favorable variance in the provision for credit losses. The decrease in net income on a linked quarter basis was principally due to a reduction in total net revenue, mainly due to seasonally lower fee revenue, partially offset by lower noninterest expense. 
  • Total net revenue on a taxable-equivalent basis for the first quarter of 2014 was $4,814 million; $60 million (1.2%) lower than the first quarter of 2013, reflecting a .1% decrease in net interest income and a 2.6% decrease in noninterest income. Net interest income was essentially flat year-over-year, as an increase in average earning assets was offset by a decrease in the net interest margin. Noninterest income declined year-over-year, primarily due to lower mortgage banking revenue. Total net revenue on a taxable-equivalent basis decreased on a linked quarter basis, as a 1.0% decrease in net interest income, reflecting the impact of two fewer days in the first quarter relative to the prior quarter and seasonally lower loan fees, was combined with a 2.2% decrease in noninterest income, mainly due to seasonally lower fee revenue. 
  • Growth in average total loans of 6.0% over the first quarter of 2013 (7.6% excluding covered loans) and 1.3% on a linked quarter basis (1.7% excluding covered loans)
    • Growth in average total commercial loans of 8.5% over the first quarter of 2013 and 2.8% over the fourth quarter of 2013 
    • Growth in average total commercial real estate loans of 7.6% over the first quarter of 2013 and 1.9% over the fourth quarter of 2013 
    • Growth in average commercial and commercial real estate commitments of 11.7% year-over-year and 3.4% over the prior quarter 
  • Return on average assets and return on average common equity were 1.56% and 14.6%, respectively, for the first quarter of 2014, compared with 1.65% and 16.0%, respectively, for the first quarter of 2013. 
  • The provision for credit losses was lower than net charge-offs by $35 million in the first quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2013, and $30 million lower than net charge-offs in the first quarter of 2013.

7:17AM On The Wires (WIRES) :

  • ARC Group Worldwide (ARCW) announced its division, 3D Material Technologies, launched an online quoting system for 3D printing on its website. 
  • CyrusOne (CONE) expanded its Houston West II data center, adding 42,000 square feet and 6 megawatts of power capacity.
  • TransEnterix (TRXC) announced the first human cases performed using its recently launched fully flexible advanced energy device. 
  • Rentrak (RENT) announced a StationView Essentials contract with WOW Factor Marketing, an advertising agency in Coral Gables, Fla. 
  • Texas Instruments (TXN) announced support for iBeacon technology across its Bluetooth low energy portfolio.
  • QVC, a subsidiary of Liberty Interactive (LINTA), announced plans to expand its European presence into France. With the launch of the new service scheduled for 2Q 2015, QVC will expand its global multimedia ecommerce business to seven operations reaching nine countries.
  • Accenture (ACN) announced the successful implementation of Accenture Duck Creek Policy and Accenture Duck Creek Billing software at Southern Trust. 
  • SES Broadband Services and Gilat Satellite Networks (GILT) announced the expansion of consumer Ka-band services to Germany and Italy over SES's ASTRA 2E satellite.

7:15AM Bank of America misses by $0.10, beats on revs; reaches settlement with FGIC and Bank of NY Mellon (BAC) 16.39 : Reports Q1 (Mar) loss of $0.05 per share, $0.10 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.05; revenues fell 2.7% year/year to $22.77 bln vs the $22.1 bln consensus. Excluding the impact of net debit valuation adjustments (DVA) in both periods, revenue was down 4 percent from the year-ago quarter to $22.7 billion. 

  • The results for the first quarter of 2014 include $6.0 billion in litigation expense related to the previously announced settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and additional reserves primarily for previously disclosed legacy mortgage-related matters. 
  • Net interest income, on an FTE basis, fell 5 percent from the year-ago quarter to $10.3 billion. The decline was driven by lower yields on debt securities due to an approximate $540 million swing in market-related premium amortization expense. Net interest margin, excluding market-related adjustments, was 2.36 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 2.30 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
  • Noninterest income was flat compared to the year-ago quarter, as lower mortgage banking income and lower trading account profits were largely offset by year-over-year increases in investment and brokerage income, equity investment income and gains on the sale of debt securities. 
  • The provision for credit losses declined 41 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to $1.0 billion, driven by improved credit quality. Net charge-offs declined 45 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to $1.4 billion, with the net charge-off ratio falling to 0.62 percent in the first quarter of 2014 from 1.14 percent in the year-ago quarter. During the first quarter of 2014, the reserve release was $379 million, compared to a reserve release of $804 million in the first quarter of 2013.
  • Settlement with FGIC and BK
  • Bank of America reached a settlement with FGIC, as well as separate settlements with The Bank of New York Mellon (BK), as trustee, for certain second-lien residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trusts for which FGIC provided financial guarantee insurance. The agreements resolve all outstanding litigation between FGIC and the company, as well as outstanding and potential claims by FGIC and the trustee related to alleged representations and warranties breaches and other claims involving second-lien RMBS trusts for which FGIC provided financial guarantee insurance. Seven of the trust settlements have already been completed, and the two remaining trust settlements are subject to additional investor approvals in a process that is expected to be completed within the next 45 days.
Consumer & Business Banking
  • Consumer and Business Banking reported net income of $1.7 billion, up $210 million, or 15 percent, from the year-ago quarter. Noninterest income of $2.5 billion increased $88 million primarily due to a portfolio divestiture gain.
    • Consumer Real Estate Services reported a net loss of $5.0 billion for the first quarter of 2014, compared to a net loss of $2.2 billion for the same period in 2013, reflecting a $3.8 billion increase in litigation expense. Revenue declined $1.1 billion from the first quarter of 2013 to $1.2 billion, driven primarily by a $548 million decline in servicing revenue, reflecting a smaller servicing portfolio and a $542 million decline in core production revenue due to lower loan originations. 
    • CRES first-mortgage originations declined 65 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, reflecting the decline in the overall market demand for refinance mortgages. Core production revenue decreased in the first quarter of 2014 to $273 million from $815 million in the year-ago quarter due to lower volume and a reduction in margins.
Global Wealth & Investment Management
  • Global Wealth and Investment Management reported net income of $729 million, up slightly from the first quarter of 2013, reflecting continued strong revenue performance and low credit costs. Revenue increased 3 percent from the year-ago quarter to a record $4.5 billion, driven by higher noninterest income related to improved market valuation and long-term AUM flows. Return on average allocated capital was 24.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014, down from 29.4 percent in the year-ago quarter, reflecting earnings stability coupled with increased capital allocations.
Global Banking
  • Total revenue, net of interest expense, on an FTE basis excluding net DVA, and net income (loss) excluding net DVA are non-GAAP financial measures. Net DVA gains (losses) were $112 million, $(617) million and $(145) million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, December 31, 2013 and March 31, 2013, respectively. 
  • Sales and trading revenue, excluding net DVA, remained relatively flat from the first quarter of 2013 at $4.1 billion. 
  • Equities sales and trading revenue, excluding net DVA was solid compared to the year-ago period. The company continued to increase market share compared to the year-ago quarter. 
  • Return on average allocated capital, excluding net DVA, was 14.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013, reflecting stable net income combined with an increase in allocated capital compared to the year-ago quarter. 
Global Markets
  • Global Markets reported net income of $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $1.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. Excluding net DVA, net income was $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 3 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Global Markets revenue increased $235 million, or 5 percent, from the year-ago quarter to $5.0 billion. Excluding net DVA, revenue decreased $22 million to $4.9 billion as declines in Rates and Currencies were partially offset by stronger performance in Credit and Equities.
  • Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities sales and trading revenue, excluding net DVA, was $3.0 billion in the first quarter of 2014, a decrease of $51 million, or 2 percent, from the year-ago quarter, as credit markets remained strong but Rates and Currencies declined on lower market volumes and volatility. Adjusting the year-ago quarter to exclude this negative impact, FICC revenue, excluding net DVA, declined 15 percent from the first quarter of 2013.
    • Equities sales and trading revenue, excluding net DVA(H), was $1.2 billion, in line with results from the year-ago quarter. The current quarter benefited from continued gains in market share and higher client financing balances.
Capital
  • Tangible common equity ratio 7.00% compared to 7.20% in Q4; Common equity ratio 10.17% compared to 10.43% in Q4.
  • On March 26, the company announced that it plans to increase its quarterly common stock dividend to $0.05 per share, beginning in the second quarter of 2014. Also, the Board of Directors authorized a new $4.0 billion common stock repurchase program. This authorization, which covers both common stock and warrants, replaces the prior year's common stock repurchase program that expired on March 31, 2014. 
  • Tangible book value per share was $13.81 at March 31, 2014, compared to $13.79 at December 31, 2013 and $13.36 at March 31, 2013. Book value per share was $20.75 at March 31, 2014, compared to $20.71 at December 31, 2013 and $20.19 at March 31, 2013.

7:09AM WABCO Holdings wins $1 bln in new business in past four quarters, including $620 mln through 2018; confirms sales growth rate is expected long term to outperform market growth (WBC) 101.88 : Co announces announced that from Q2 2013 to Q1 2014 the company has entered into contracts with customers globally totaling $1 bln of expected cumulative incremental business, including $620 mln from 2014 through 2018, up from $548 mln reported a year ago for the period from 2013 through 2017. 

These contracts represent new incremental business, separate from replacement and renewal of existing contracts. It comprises orders for WABCO technologies and products that improve vehicle safety and efficiency, mostly in braking systems, air management and vehicle dynamics systems on commercial vehicles. 

Commentary:

"This new business significantly drives WABCO's ongoing ability to generate sales growth beyond expansion of the global market for new trucks and buses," said Jacques Esculier, WABCO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Economic conditions permitting, WABCO expects that its sales growth will continue to outperform market growth of truck and bus production by a compound annual growth rate of 8 to 10 percent through 2018 and beyond." 

7:04AM First Republic Bank misses by $0.02 (FRC) 52.36 : Reports Q1 (Mar) core earnings of $0.67 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.69. 

  • Loans sold were $346.2 mln in the first quarter, compared to $1.2 bln for the same period a year ago. 
  • Book value per share was $26.21, up 14.1% from a year ago. 
  • Core net interest margin was 3.17%, compared to 3.06% for the prior quarter. 
  • Loan originations were $3.2 bln, down 9.1% from the first quarter of 2013 in the face of a substantial decline in the single family refinance market. Loans outstanding totaled $35.3 bln, up 3.0% for the quarter. 
  • Book value per common share was $26.21 at March 31, 2014, up 6.4% for the quarter and up 14.1% from a year ago.
  • In the first quarter, the Bank recorded a provision for loan losses of $7.1 mln.  This provision is related primarily to the continued growth in new loans.  The allowance related to loans originated since our independence on July 1, 2010 totaled $150.2 mln, or 0.52% of such loans outstanding.  
  • Mortgage banking sales volume and profitability were down compared to the first quarter of last year, which had the highest quarterly gain on sale in the Bank's history.  The Bank sold $346.2 mln of primarily longer-term, fixed-rate home loans during the quarter and recorded net gains of $2.8 mln, or 0.82% of loans sold.  Gain on sale contributed $0.01 to diluted EPS for the quarter, compared to $0.11 for the quarter a year ago.

7:04AM Oxford Resource Partners has sold additional Illinois Basin assets; Cash proceeds from the sale totaled $2 mln (OXF) 1.39 : The sale transaction, which closed on April 11, 2014, involved Oxford's Island river terminal and related equipment located on the Green River in western Kentucky. In the transaction, principally for the benefit of its remaining Illinois Basin reserves, Oxford retained assignable rights to coal loading throughput at the terminal facility for a period of seven years following the closing.

7:03AM Zalicus and Epirus Biopharmaceuticals to merge; current ZLCS stockholders will own ~19% of the combined co and current Epirus stockholders will own ~ 81% of the co (shares halted) (ZLCS) 1.03 : ZLCS and Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Epirus will merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zalicus in an all-stock transaction.

  • Following closing, Zalicus will be re-named Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., and will operate under the leadership of the Epirus management team with Amit Munshi serving as the president and chief executive officer. 
  • The merger will create a Nasdaq-listed, publicly traded company
  • Epirus also announced today that it has closed a $36 million Series B financing round led by Livzon Mabpharm, Inc. 
  • On a pro forma basis, based upon the number of shares of Zalicus common stock to be issued in the merger, (i) current Zalicus stockholders will own approximately 19% of the combined company and current Epirus stockholders will own approximately 81% of the Company if Zalicus' net cash at closing is equal to or in excess of $12 million, (ii) current Zalicus stockholders will own approximately 17% of the combined company and current Epirus stockholders will own approximately 83% of the Company if Zalicus' net cash at closing is equal to or in excess of $9 million but less than $12 million, and (iii) current Zalicus stockholders will own approximately 14% of the combined company and current Epirus stockholders will own approximately 86% of the Company if Zalicus' net cash at closing is equal to or less than $9 million.

7:02AM Lucas Energy announces $2 million equity offering and is granted NYSE MKT compliance plan extension (LEI) 0.67 :

  • Co has entered into an agreement with funds managed by Ironman Energy Master Fund and John B. Helmers (associated with Long Focus Capital Management), pursuant to which the Company will sell up to 3,333,332 units at $0.60 per unit for total consideration of $2,000,000 to such entities. The units are each comprised of one share of common stock plus associated warrants to purchase 1,666,666 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $1.00 per share with a five-year term. The Company will use the net proceeds from the sale of the Units solely for oil and gas development and for general corporate purposes. 
  • Co also announced that the NYSE MKT which accepted the Company's plan of compliance dated March 28, 2014, and granted the Company until April 14, 2014 to regain compliance under its plan of compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv), extended the date the Company is required to regain compliance by to July 31, 2014.

7:01AM JinkoSolar Holding successfully connects two solar PV projects totaling 39MW to the grid in Jiangsu Province (JKS) 25.75 : Co announced that its 24MW solar PV power plant in Xinyi, Jiangsu Province and 15MW solar PV power plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province were successfully connected to the grid. The company has so far successfully connected to the grid for more than 252 MW of solar PV power projects. The 24MW Xinyi and 15MW Lianyungang power plants were granted blended 20-year subsidies of 1.125 RMB/KWh and 1.1 RMB/KWh, respectively, including subsidies from the local government. Both locations are among areas with the highest insolation level in Jiangsu Province.

7:00AM Antares Pharma announces additional patent coverage for OTREXUP (ATRS) 2.91 : Co announces the issuance of U.S. Patents RE44846 and RE44847. These patents are reissued versions of U.S. Patents 7,744,582, and 7,776,015. Tracing back to inventions made in the late 1990's, the patents capture innovations in the field of auto injectors that originally established Antares Pharma's position as a leader and innovator in medical injection device technology. Importantly, these patents add protection to OTREXUP as well as Antares' pipeline products. Antares is taking steps to supplement the current Orange Book listings related to OTREXUP. 

  • The overall Antares patent portfolio coverage exemplifies the Company's intellectual property strategy of obtaining patents that are generally directed toward devices, combination products and methods for delivering injectable drugs, which the Company has earned on its filed inventions. 

6:54AM Daimler AG and Rolls-Royce (RYCEY) agree on valuation of Daimler's equity interest in Rolls-Royce Power Systems; total fair market value of Daimler's equity interest in Rolls-Royce Power Systems determined at EUR 2.43 bln (DDAIF) 88.47 : Co and Rolls-Royce plc (RYCEY) announced that they have agreed on the valuation of Daimler's 50% equity interest in the JV Rolls-Royce Power Systems (RRPSH). Both parties have determined the fair market value of Daimler's shares due to be acquired by Rolls-Royce at a total of EUR 2.43 billion. The transaction is expected to close within this year and is subject to the usual regulatory approvals. Daimler will recognize the financial impact at the time of closing.

6:38AM PNC beats by $0.18, misses on revs (PNC) 82.15 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.82 per share, $0.18 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.64; revenues fell 4.5% year/year to $3.78 bln vs the $3.84 bln consensus. 

  • NIM fell 12 bps QoQ to 3.26%. 
  • Total loans grew $2.6 bln as of March 31, 2014 compared with December 31, 2013. Commercial lending increased $3.6 bln during the first quarter of 2014 primarily in real estate, corporate banking and business credit. Consumer lending decreased $1.0 bln due to lower home equity, residential mortgage and education loans as well as seasonal declines in credit card loans partially offset by growth in automobile loans.
  • Net interest income of $2.2 bln for the first quarter declined $71 mln, or 3 percent, compared with the fourth quarter reflecting fewer days in the quarter and lower purchase accounting accretion. 
  • Noninterest income of $1.6 bln decreased $225 mln, or 12 percent, compared with the fourth quarter. 
  • Provision for credit losses declined to $94 mln for the first quarter compared with $113 mln for the fourth quarter as overall credit quality continued to improve. 
  • Pro forma fully phased-in Basel III common equity Tier 1 capital ratio increased to an estimated 9.7 percent at March 31, 2014 from 9.4 percent at December 31, 2013
  • Nonperforming assets at March 31, 2014 decreased $153 mln compared with December 31, 2013 as a result of improvements in both consumer and commercial lending.
  • Provision for credit losses for first quarter 2014 decreased $19 mln compared with fourth quarter 2013 and $142 mln compared with first quarter 2013 as overall credit quality has continued to improve. 
  • Noninterest income for fourth quarter 2013 benefited from the release of reserves for residential mortgage repurchase obligations of $124 mln largely attributable to fourth quarter settlements with FNMA and FHLMC compared with a benefit of $19 mln in first quarter 2014. 

6:35AM Sony announces sale of SQUARE ENIX shares held by Sony Computer Entertainment; co also announces establishment of a JV with Hydro-Quebec to start development of a large-scale energy storage system for power grids (SNE) 18.55 :

  • Co announced that Sony Computer Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony, has entered into an agreement to sell all of the shares (9,520,000 shares) of SQUARE ENIX HOLDINGS owned by SCEI to SMBC Nikko Securities. As a result of the sale, Sony expects that a gain on the sale of ~ 4.8 billion yen would be recorded as other income in Sony's consolidated financial results, in the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.
  • Separately, the co and Hydro-Quebec announced that they have agreed to establish a joint venture to research and develop a large-scale energy storage system for power grids. Sony and Hydro-Quebec plan to establish the new company in June, 2014.

6:25AM S&P futures vs fair value: +12.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +33.00. :

6:25AM European Markets : FTSE...6564.56...+23.00...+0.40%.  DAX...9255.06...+81.40...+0.90%.

6:25AM Asian Markets : Nikkei...14417.68...+420.90...+3.00%.  Hang Seng...22969.01...+24.80...+0.10%.

6:22AM On The Wires (WIRES) :

  • Acacia Research (ACTG) announced that its Saint Lawrence Communications subsidiary has entered into a settlement and patent license agreement with Samsung Electronics (SSNLF). The agreement resolves litigation that was pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
  • Gray Television (GTN) announced the launch of LocalX Marketing across all of its television markets. 
  • Spherix (SPEX) has retained Hayden IR, a national investor relations firm, to raise the visibility of Spherix and strengthen its relationships with the investment community. 
  • Eastern Bank has chosen Infosys (INFY) Finacle to enhance its online and mobile banking products.
  • IMAX (IMAX) and TCL Multimedia Technology announced a JV partnership with Wasu Digital TV Media as part of their IMAX TCL home theatre initiative. WASU will license and distribute IMAX-enhanced Hollywood and Chinese current theatrical and other content to the IMAX-TCL premium home theatre system. 
  • Resource Development International, a subsidiary of Capella Education (CPLA), has been granted degree-awarding powers.

6:06AM Huntington Banc reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (HBAN) 9.47 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.17 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.17; revenues rose 0.8% year/year to $691.9 mln vs the $676.74 mln consensus. 

  • Tier 1 Common Ratio of 10.63%, up from 10.62%. 
  • Average loans and leases increased $2.6 billion, or 6%, from the prior year, driven by: $2.0 billion, or 40%, increase in average Automobile loans, as originations remained strong and our investments throughout the Northeast and upper Midwest continued to grow as planned. $0.7 billion, or 4%, increase in average Commercial and Industrial (C&I) loans and leases. This reflected the continued growth within the international specialty vertical, Business Banking, and dealer floorplan. 
  • 3.27% fully-taxable equivalent net interest margin down 15 basis points 
  • FY14 Outlook: "Our loan pipelines are strong, and we see signs that our customers are more confident in the economy...Our Midwestern markets are recovering with downward unemployment trends and ongoing investments by manufacturers and other businesses. Notwithstanding these tailwinds, we continue to face a challenging regulatory and competitive environment...Net interest income is expected to increase moderately. We anticipate an increase in earning assets as total loans moderately grow and investment securities remain near current levels. However, those benefits to net interest income are expected to be mostly offset by continued downward pressure on NIM. While we are maintaining a disciplined approach to loan pricing, asset yields remain under pressure but the continued opportunity of deposit repricing remains, albeit closer to current levels. "We anticipate the increase in total loans will outpace growth in total deposits modestly. This reflects our continued focus on the overall cost of funds, through the issuance of long-term debt as well as the continued shift towards low- and no-cost demand deposits and money market deposit accounts."

5:49AM On The Wires (WIRES) :

  • Yingli Green Energy (YGE) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yingli Energy Company has signed a cooperation agreement with Shanghai Sailing Capital Management Co, the manager of Shanghai Sailing Capital Investment Fund, to jointly form a renewable energy fund 
  • CUI Global (CUI) announced that, effective April 2, 2014, its wholly owned subsidiary, Orbital Gas Systems, has reached an agreement to expand its relationship to provide system integration capability to Yokogawa for its products. 
  • IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) announced management appointments and the Board of Directors for its Singapore-based exchange and clearing house, subject to regulatory approval. 
  • Vonage Holdings (VG) announced the initial launch of service in Brazil as part of its joint venture with Datora Telecom. 
  • Microsoft (MSFT) Advertising announced that it has been chosen by Emirates Airline and its media agency Havas Media Group as one of the key partners for its global brand campaign. 
  • Cellcom Israel (CEL)  announced that it selected Nokia (NOK) Solutions and Networks, a worldwide leading network manufacturer, for the supply of its 4G network.
  • Washington Banking Company (WBCO) announced its shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger with Heritage Financial Corporation (HFWA). More than 97% of the shares voting at Washington Banking's special meeting of shareholders voted in favor of the merger, representing more than 80% of all outstanding shares.
  • Baytex Energy (BTE) supports the regulatory initiatives announced today by the Alberta Energy Regulator ("AER") governing heavy oil development in the Peace River region.
  • Kaman (KAMN) Aerospace announced today that the first New Zealand government NZ SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite helicopter began production flight testing at Kaman's Bloomfield, Connecticut facility. After production flight tests, this aircraft will be used for maintenance and aircrew training. The program is on track with deliveries of all ten aircraft scheduled to be complete in mid-2015
  • Technip (TKPPY) and Heerema Marine Contractors was awarded a major lump-sum contract by Total E&P Angola for the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and pre-commissioning for the SURF part of the Kaombo project, located in Block 32 offshore Angola in water depths up to 2,000 meters. The contract is valued at ~$3.5 billion with a Technip share of around 55% and a Heerema share of around 45%.. The project is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2018.
  • Mirantis and Ericsson (ERIC) entered into an initial five-year partnership to deploy Mirantis carrier-grade OpenStack software in the Ericsson cloud software platform used for telecommunications networks, internal data centers and cloud computing services that Ericsson will offer its customers.

5:43AM Pretium Resources provides Brucejack Project update (PVG) 5.67 : Co announces the following update on its activities underway and planned for 2014 at its high-grade gold Brucejack Project. 

Permitting 

  • Pretivm expects to file its Environmental Assessment Certificate application this quarter once it receives the final Application Information Requirements from the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, which is expected shortly. Once filed, the application will be evaluated for completeness over a 30-day period by BCEAO with the involvement of a working group including representatives of First Nations and local governments and other government agencies. Once the application has been accepted, the BCEAO has a maximum of 180 days to complete its review and prepare an assessment report for a decision by the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Energy and Mines. 
  • In coordination with the provincial permitting process, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will review the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") which Pretivm will submit concurrently with the provincial EAC application. Provincial and federal approval of the EAC application and EIS, respectively, allow for the issuance of the statutory permits and authorizations to begin construction of a mine at Brucejack. 
Feasibility Study 
  • Work to update the Brucejack Project feasibility study has been ongoing, with the mine plan and mining stopes now updated to incorporate the revised economic parameters of $1,100/oz gold, $17/oz silver and $0.92 CAD:US exchange rate. Based on this work, the production rate of 2,700 tonnes per day has been confirmed. Other updates include equipment and materials pricing to the second quarter, and the update of labour rates, schedule and productivity. The amended Brucejack Project feasibility study is on track for completion in June. 
  • On completion of the amended feasibility study, basic engineering will commence in the third quarter, including the order of long-lead items to facilitate the start of construction once permits for the Project have been received. 

4:33AM ADTRAN beats by $0.02, misses on revs (ADTN) 24.67 : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.21 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.19; revenues rose 2.8% year/year to $147 mln vs the $149.36 mln consensus.

Commentary: Co states - "...Lower sales in the US were offset by international sales which grew 56% over the same period last year. Operating income increased 72% buoyed by higher gross margins in both our US and international businesses."

4:03AM King Digital and and Tencent announce the launch of Candy Crush Saga in China (KING) 17.43 : King Digital Entertainment announces it will launch a Chinese version of its wildly popular Candy Crush Saga game for the Chinese market exclusively with Tencent Holdings.

  • This agreement further extends King's presence in key Asian markets. It follows the successful launches of Candy Crush Saga in Korea and Japan in 2013. The Chinese version will be available via Tencent's Mobile QQ and Weixin Game Centers.

3:13AM BHP Billiton reports 9-month operations update (BHP) 70.07 : BHP Billiton maintained strong momentum in the nine month period ended March 2014 with record production achieved for four commodities and at 10 operations. In total, production increased by 10% during the period and is expected to grow by 16% over the two years to the end of the 2015 financial year. Record production at Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) for the nine month period was underpinned by strong operating performance, the relatively limited impact of the wet season and the continued ramp-up of Jimblebar. Despite tie-in activities associated with the commissioning of the first replacement shiploader scheduled for the June 2014 quarter, we have raised production and sales guidance for the 2014 financial year to 217 Mt (100% basis). In total, we have raised production guidance for this high-margin business by 10 Mt (100% basis) during the course of the year. Metallurgical coal production for the nine month period increased by 24% to a record 33 Mt and included record production at all Queensland Coal operations3. As a result, total metallurgical coal production guidance for the full year has increased by 2.5 Mt to 43.5 Mt.

2:58AM Opus Bank (Nasdaq: OPB) prices downsized 5,125,864 share IPO (2,324,016 shares by selling shareholders) at $30 per share, below the $31-34 expected range (IPOXX) : Co originally planned to offer 5.8 mln shares.

2:48AM TriVascular Technologies (Nasdaq: TRIV) prices 6.5 mln share IPO at $12 per share, below the expected range of $13-15 per share (IPOXX) :  

2:03AM Dr. Reddy's launches Eszopiclone Tablets C-IV (RDY) 42.84 : Co announces that it has launched Eszopiclone Tablets 1 mg, 2 mg and 3 mg, a therapeutic equivalent generic version of LUNESTA tablets C-IV in the US market on April 15, 2014, following the approval by the United States Food & Drug Administration. The LUNESTA tablets C-IV brand and generic combined had U.S. sales of ~$887 mln MAT for the most recent twelve months ending in January 2014 according to IMS Health

1:53AM CONSOL Energy announces tenders and consents from holders of ~$583 mln, or 38.%, of the principal amount of its outstanding 8.00% senior notes due 2017 (CNX) 40.94 :  

1:42AM GrafTech Intl issues statement urges stockholders to vote FOR the GrafTech Director nominees on the WHITE Proxy Card (GTI) 7.57 : Co announces it issued a follow-up in response to the Daniel and Nathan Milikowsky Group's filing of its definitive proxy materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the Company's May 15, 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders: 

"After announcing its intention to take control of the GrafTech Board at the 2014 Annual Meeting by nominating five director candidates, the Daniel and Nathan Milikowsky Group recently announced its plan to nominate only three candidates....Unfortunately, Nathan Milikowsky continues to include himself as a nominee, despite the Board's evidence-based conclusion that his prior governance breaches and conduct demonstrate that he is not a qualified candidate. Nathan Milikowsky's personal quest to reinstate himself to GrafTech's Board in spite of his clear breaches of good corporate governance and ethics is at the heart of the issue...As GrafTech also noted in its proxy statement, if all seven of GrafTech's Board nominees are elected, the Company intends to offer to add Board representation from the Daniel and Nathan Milikowsky Group after the 2014 Annual Meeting, choosing from among those candidates who meet GrafTech's corporate governance criteria...GrafTech reminds stockholders to protect their investment by voting the WHITE proxy card FOR GrafTech's seven highly qualified and experienced director nominees..."

1:35AM Sensient sends letter to shareholders urging to elect White proxy card (SXT) 52.79 : Co announces sent a letter urging shareholders to support the Company's highly qualified nominees by voting on the WHITE proxy card. 

The letter reviews the co's prior quarter and encourages investors to vote for current group of Directors.

1:32AM Northern Trust raises quarterly dividend by $0.02 per share to $0.33 (NTRS) 59.63 :