1:48PM Verizon receives FCC approvals needed for acquisition of Verizon Wireless (VZ) 49.38 -0.22 : Co announced that it has received the approvals needed from the Federal Communications Commission to acquire Vodafone's (VOD) U.S. group with the principal asset of 45 percent of Verizon Wireless. Specifically, the FCC approved Verizon's foreign ownership petition should post-closing foreign ownership of Verizon Wireless exceed 25 percent, and entered its consent to certain pro forma license transfers.
1:48PM COMEX Metals Closing Prices (COMDX) :
1:46PM Stryker increases quarterly dividend 15% to $0.305 from $0.265 per share (SYK) 72.96 -0.97 :
1:30PM Nasdaq Comp -22 joins Dow -112 and S&P -14 at new session low (TECHX) :
1:24PM New session low for Dow -86 and S&P -10 -- Nasdaq Comp -17 (TECHX) :
1:15PM Royal Dutch Shell announces completion of 7.48 bln revolving credit facility (RDS.A) 65.85 -0.79 : Co announced it has completed a $7.48 bln revolving credit facility with a group of relationship banks. The new 5 +1 +1 year facility refinances an existing $5.1 bln revolving credit facility that was originally due to expire in August 2015.
1:10PM OGE Energy increases quarterly dividend to $0.225 per share from $0.20875 per share (OGE) 34.22 +0.165 :
1:03PM Thinly traded Chanticleer announced the expansion of its Hooters franchise agreement previously announced in March 2012 (HOTR) 5.00 0.00 : The Company has partnered with Wings Brasil Restaurante, which currently manages three Hooters locations in Sao Paulo, to form joint venture company, Chanticleer & Wings Brasil Foods Participacoes, of which Chanticleer owns 60% of the operating entity. The new franchise agreement signed with CWBF and Hooters of America expands the number of potential Hooters restaurant locations from three states originally announced in March, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Espirito Santo, to five states, now to include GOIAS and Curitiba-Parana. Additionally, the number of restaurants to be developed increased from five to seven, with the first location scheduled to open in April 2014 in Rio de Janeiro.
12:52PM Precious metals extend gains further; Feb gold now up 2.3% at $1248.90, Mar silver up 3.9% at $19.81 (COMDX) :
12:46PM Stock retreat off morning highs pauses -- Dow -24, S&P -3.2, Nasdaq Comp -2.1 (TECHX) : Intraday resistance for the S&P is at 1793/1794.
12:43PM 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
12:32PM Precious metals continue to push higher; Feb gold now up 1.6% at $1240.30, Mar silver up 2.6% at $19.56 (COMDX) :
12:30PM Molex announces receipt of final merger control clearance for merger with Koch Industries (MOLX) 38.61 0.00 :
12:19PM Feb gold pops to new session highs; now up 1.1% at $1233.70 (COMDX) : Mar silver now up 2.2% at $19.49.
12:03PM Stock indices extend pullback off highs into midday trade -- Dow -31, S&P -3.3, Nasdaq Comp -3.9 (TECHX) :
11:58AM Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (110) outpacing new lows (61) (SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs:
AAP, ABBV, ABFS, ABTL, ACET, ADSK, AEL, AERI, AES, AFCB, AKS, AMSWA, ANEN, ANIK, BCBP, BKBK, BKMU, BRE, BYLK, CALM, CF, CGX, CIR, CLGX, CMC, CNBC, CNSI, COMM, CSGS, DECK, DL, DLNG, DSPG, DW, ENTA, EQU, ESLT, FBIZ, FNGN, GENC, GIII, GM, GMK, GNE, GOGO, GPK, GSL, HBMD, HP, HPQ, HRL, HURN, IEP, IILG, JGW, JRJC, KND, LLTC, LVS, MEG, MMI, MMYT, MSFT, MU, NCIT, NSIT, NUS, NVGS, NXPI, OCIP, OCLS, OMED, PAG, PAYX, PEGI, PINC, PLOW, PLUG, PTSI, PVA, PZN, QLTY, RAD, RDI, RESI, RLYP, ROMA, RSE, SFI, SMCI, SNX, SONC, SPDC, STN, STRL, STRP, STX, STZ, SUNE, SWKS, TCS, TPC, TSN, VICR, VVTV, WDC, WEBK, WMT, WOR, XOMA
Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACC, AEPI, AGNC, AKO.B, ANH, ARR, BLE, BVN, BZM, CBL, CCG, CGG, CIB, CPL, CTRX, DEJ, DRD, EGO, FE, FSC, GFI, GILT, GMAN, GMET, GRT, HCN, HCP, HDY, HK, HMY, HR, INTX, KMI, LAQ, MDW, MITT, NIHD, NLY, O, OFC, OTEL, PAL, RAX, RBY, RIC, RIOM, RNO, SARA, SPRT, STRA, SWSH, SYN, TGD, TRX, TSEM, VELT, VGZ, VIV, VTR, WSR, ZX
ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: HAO, XLK
ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: ECH, EPU, FXC, GDXJ, REMX
11:57AM European Markets Closing Prices (SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
11:45AM Yahoo! edges to new session high of 37.23, its multi-year peak from last week is at 37.35 (YHOO) 37.22 +0.65 :
11:31AM S&P +0.2 extends intraday pullback off morning high/resistance (SPY) : Noted at 10:24 that the S&P had reached the 50% retrace of the slide off Friday's high at 1799 with momentum slowing (session high 1799). The pullback has extended back near the flat line in recent trade and watching 1794 and 1792 for a read on the health of the morning rally (recently high 1794).
11:03AM Currency Commentary: Canadian Dollar Slides to 3 1/2 Year Low (SUMRX) :
10:56AM Kewaunee Scientific (thinly traded nano cap) down 15% after reporting Q2 results (KEQU) 15.60 -2.75 : Co reported Q2 EPS of $0.28 vs. $0.25 last year; sales fell 16% to $26.1 mln (no ests).
Domestic Operations sales were $22,061,000, as compared to sales of $25,683,000 in the second quarter last year. A substantial portion of the decline in domestic sales was anticipated as part of the previously reported strategy underway by the Company to sell more laboratory projects through its dealer network, with the Company providing the manufactured products and the dealers providing related project management, installation and other service activities.
A favorable product mix, lower operating costs, and the favorable impact of the Company's previously reported buyout of the minority interest in its principal international subsidiary more than offset the unfavorable impact of lower sales during the quarter.
The order backlog was $69.5 million at October 31, 2013, as compared to $71.1 million at July 31, 2013. Fewer laboratory construction projects of all sizes, public and private, were available in the domestic laboratory market during the quarter, as customers appeared hesitant to move forward on projects because of ongoing political and economic uncertainty. A decline in the domestic orders backlog was substantially offset by an increase in international orders backlog, as the Company continued to see good project opportunities in its international markets.
"Looking forward to the second half of our fiscal year, we expect the domestic marketplace will continue to be challenging due to the uncertainty in the economy and the resulting softening in demand for our products."
10:45AM Las Vegas Sands shows relative strength with a breakout above 2-month range highs along the 72/73 area (LVS) 74.04 +2.34 :
10:39AM Floor Talk (TALKX) : A stronger-than-expected ADP Employment Change report triggered some tapering angst and precipitated a slide for the major indices at the start of trading. The market, however, staged an equally precipitous rebound beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET with the release of the New Home Sales reports for September and October and the ISM Services report for November. We would add, too, that some chatter was being heard around the same time that Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on a budget. That has not been confirmed, but any such thought would be enough to scare some short sellers into covering their positions.
Absent the aforementioned budget rumor, market participants may have also taken some solace in the idea that the dip in ISM Services (to 53.9 from 55.4) and a so-so new home sales report in aggregate tempered some of the tapering angst seen after the ADP number. Specifically, those two reports raised some doubts about the sustainability of the economic improvement. The Fed said previously that a tapering decision would likely be guided by its confidence in the sustainability of the economic improvement.
We would note the Treasury market did not reflect the same level of headline relief the stock market did. The 10-yr note (-13/32 at 2.84%) is still trading near its lows for the day. The S&P 500 for its part is now battling with resistance at the 1798/1800 level.
10:35AM Morning Commodities: Crude Oil Inches Lower Following Inventory Data (SUMRX) : Jan crude oil has been trading higher this morning. OPEC confirmed that the Conference decided to maintain the current production level of 30.0 mln barrels a day. The energy component rose to a session high of $97.21 but slipped to a session low of $96.54 following inventory data. It is now trading at $96.71, or 0.7% higher.
Jan natural gas advanced to a session high of $4.01 and continues to hold on to most of its morning's gains. It is currently trading 0.6% higher at $4.00.
Precious metals are also trending higher as the dollar index remains in the red following economic data released this morning. Jan gold erased overnight losses as it lifted from its session low of $1217.20 set at pit trade open. It touched a session high of $1230.40 and is now at $1227.40, or 0.5% higher.
Mar silver came off its session low of $19.16 and traded as high as $19.41 in recent action. It is now up 1.4% at $19.33.
10:34AM Nucor increases quarterly dividend slightly to $0.37 from $0.3675 per share (NUE) 51.70 +1.15 :
10:31AM Jan crude oil slips to new session low of $96.54 on inventory data; now up 0.8% at $96.77 (COMDX) :
10:25AM Deere Board of Directors authorizes the repurchase of up to $8 bln of additional common stock (DE) 83.00 +0.29 : The repurchase program will supplement the existing $5 billion share authorization announced in May 2008. On October 31, 2013, there was approximately $1 billion remaining under the prior authorization.
10:24AM Impressive turnaround for S&P +4 after opening downside extension (SPY) : The opening decline brought the slide off last Friday's all time high to 28 points. This was similar to the early Nov slide (29 points) which like this week flirted with its 20 day ema and rebounded. The impressive recovery has reached to 50% retracement of the pullback (1799) and slowed with initial resistance above at 1802 (62%/intraday moving avg).
10:13AM Relative sector strength (TECHX) : Sectors outperforming the S&P on the rebound off early lows include: Casino (BYD, CZR, LVS, MGM, WYNN, IGT), Finance XLF, Bank KBE, Retail XRT, Housing XHB.
10:07AM Hill International receives $17 mln contract extension from Southern California Edison (HIL) 3.65 +0.02 : Co announced that it has received a new contract from Southern California Edisonto continue providing project management services on its multi-billion dollar capital improvement program. The three-year contract has an estimated value to Hill of approximately $16.6 million.
10:04AM Stock indices extending post data rebound -- Dow -21, S&P -2.2, Nasdaq Comp +0.8 (TECHX) :
10:02AM Marathon Petroleum and MPLX present long-term strategic priorities to create shareholder value; over the next three years, MPC expects to invest $640 mln in midstream assets that are a part of its Refining & Marketing segment (MPC) 83.21 -3.78 : Executives from Marathon Petroleum and MPLX LP (MPLX) outlined the companies' strategic priorities at the MPC and MPLX 2013 Analyst & Investor Day. "We recognize that earnings volatility is an issue for long-term investors, and we are addressing that by growing more aggressively the segments of our business that produce more stable cash flows."
Templin noted that over the next three years, MPC expects to invest $640 million in midstream assets that are a part of its Refining & Marketing segment; $2.4 billion in Pipeline Transportation, including MPLX; and $925 million on growing the Speedway convenience store segment. This represents a $2.4 billion increase compared with the amount spent on these segments during the previous three-year period. Templin also pointed out that MPC intends to return 100 percent of its through- cycle free cash flow to shareholders via dividends and share repurchases. "Our sharp focus on shareholder returns since becoming a publicly traded company in July 2011 has resulted in cumulative capital returns of $4.6 billion through the third quarter of this year." This is strong evidence of our commitment to return capital to shareholders through all business cycles, and that commitment continues."
Peiffer also reiterated that MPLX intends to grow distributions at an annual rate of 15 to 20 percent for at least the next several years. Peiffer also highlighted another pipeline opportunity in eastern Ohio, where MPLX is evaluating right of way options to construct a $140 million pipeline to connect Utica Shale production in southeastern Ohio to MPC's refinery in Canton, Ohio.
10:01AM DIRECTV announces partnership with two digital technology companies, LiveClips and i.TV (DTV) 66.41 +0.39 : Co announced it is partnering with two leading digital technology companies, LiveClips and i.TV, who are changing the way viewers watch television. The LiveClips technology platform aggregates live, post-game or archived sports feeds to create, digitize and deliver discrete searchable video clips of every play for delivery to linear broadcast and digital devices. i.TV is a social TV and second screen platform that enables nearly 15 million people per month to discover, watch and engage with television. i.TV also powers experiences for brands like AOL, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly and Nintendo, and recently acquired popular second screen company, GetGlue. DIRECTV will be integrating i.TV's capabilities into its next-generation second screen app, which is scheduled to launch before the end of the year.
9:57AM Dow -58 sets new session low, S&P -7.6 and Nasdaq Comp -12 have not yet confirm the move (TECHX) :
9:39AM Relative sector weakness (TECHX) : Sectors lagging in the early going include: Home Const ITB, Retail XRT, Telecom IYZ, REITs IYR, Pharma PPH, Utility UTIL.
9:37AM Slip under Tuesday lows and recovery attempt for stock indices -- Dow -48, S&P -7.2, Nasdaq Comp -11.9 (TECHX) :
9:31AM Magnegas announces new company strategy; now has three business lines: industrial gas sales, co-combustion of MagneGas for the energy industry and liquid waste processing. (MNGA) 0.50 +0.01 :
9:25AM Sunoco Logistics announces binding Open Season for its Mariner East 2 project (SXL) 68.65 : Co announced that it will commence a binding Open Season for its Mariner East 2 project. This Open Season is for a pipeline that will transport natural gas liquids from processing facilities built in the liquid-rich Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Eastern Ohio to Sunoco Logistics' Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on the Delaware River, approximately 300 to 400 miles from the production region. The Mariner East 2 pipeline is expected to be operational in early 2016.
9:25AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
9:19AM KCG Holdings announces the completion of a $100 mln principal repayment of the first lien term loan under the co's first lien senior secured credit facility (KCG) 11.48 : Co announces completion of a $100 million principal repayment of the first lien term loan under the Company's first lien senior secured credit facility. Since entering into the $535 million credit facility on July 1, 2013, KCG has completed a total of $300 million in principal repayments on the loan, leaving a remaining outstanding balance of $235 million.
9:19AM Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Houston with Clearlake (DSX) 11.31 : Co announced that yesterday through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it entered into a time charter contract with Clearlake Shipping, Singapore, a member of the Gunvor Group, for one of its Capesize dry bulk vessels, the m/v "Houston". The gross charter rate is $20,500 per day, minus a 4.75% commission paid to third parties, for a period of about eleven months to about fourteen months. The charter commenced yesterday. The Houston is a 177,729 dwt Capesize dry bulk vessel built in 2009. This employment is anticipated to generate ~ $6.5 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charter.
9:19AM Oasis Petroleum prices offering of 7 mln shares of common stock for total gross proceeds of ~ $314.6 mln (OAS) 46.76 :
9:18AM Volvo presents details on the financial effects of the strategy program -- the implementation of the strategy is expected to have an accumulated positive impact on the Group's operating income (VOLVY) 12.95 : At the Volvo Group's capital markets day in Gothenburg today, CEO Olof Persson presents the details of how the company's previously established strategy program aims to have a positive impact of 3 percentage points on the Group's operating margin by the end of 2015, corresponding to a total of SEK 9 billion based on net sales of SEK 300 billion. According to Olof Persson's presentation, the implementation of the strategy is expected to have an accumulated positive impact on the Group's operating income of about SEK 2 billion by the end of 2013, about SEK 6 billion by the end of 2014 and about SEK 9 billion by the end of 2015, excluding previously announced restructuring costs of SEK 5 billion. The figures provided include the previously communicated yearly savings of SEK 4 billion that are attributable to the Group-wide efficiency program.
9:18AM Thermo Fisher intends to offer senior notes to fund a portion of its acquisition of Life Technologies (LIFE) (TMO) 100.92 : Co announced that it intends to offer senior notes to fund a portion of its acquisition of Life Technologies (LIFE). On April 15, 2013, the co announced its agreement to acquire Life Technologies for an aggregate purchase price of ~ $13.6 bln. The joint book-running managers for the offering are Barclays Capital Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBS Securities Inc.
9:14AM S&P futures vs fair value: -6.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -10.80. (WRAPX) : After registering eight consecutive weekly gains, the S&P 500 finds itself in the midst of another streak. Yesterday, the benchmark index registered its third consecutive decline, and that weakness is expected to continue today as the S&P 500 futures trade 0.4% below fair value.
Once again, today's early weakness coincides with another round of aggressive selling in Europe where France's CAC and Germany's DAX both trade with losses close to 1.0% apiece.
In today's economic data, the October trade deficit fell to $40.6 billion from an upwardly revised $43.0 billion. The Briefing.com consensus expected the trade deficit to fall to $40.5 billion.
Separately, the ADP National Employment Report indicated employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 215K in November. This was above the increase of 160K expected by the Briefing.com consensus.
The better-than-expected data created some jitters regarding tapering expectations. Treasuries sold off, sending the 10-yr yield higher by almost six basis points to 2.84%.
More data remains on today's calendar with the New Home Sales report for September and October and November ISM Services all set to be released at 10:00 ET. Lastly, the Federal Reserve will release its December Beige Book at 14:00 ET.
9:06AM Mondelez Int'l announces an increase in the maximum amount and the tender cap for each series of notes and the early tender results for its previously announced cash tender offer (MDLZ) 33.90 : Co announced the early tender results as of 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on December 3, 2013 for its previously announced cash tender offer for its 6.500% Notes due 2017, 6.125% Notes due 2018, 6.125% Notes due 2018, and 5.375% Notes due 2020.
9:05AM Seacoast Banking announces regulatory approval for redemption of all outstanding series A preferred stock (SBCF) 2.26 : Co announced it has received regulatory approval to redeem all of its 2,000 shares of Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A for an aggregate price of $50 mln the face liquidation amount of the shares, plus ~$386,000 of accrued but unpaid dividends. The shares will be redeemed from current holders through The Depository Trust Company as securities depository for the Series A Preferred Stock. The redemption date will be December 31, 2013.
9:04AM Qualstar announces the departure of CFO Philip Varley and the hiring of Louann Negrete (QBAK) 1.09 : Co announces the departure of Philip Varley, the Company's Chief Financial Officer, and the hiring of Louann Negrete as the Company's new Chief Financial Officer. For the past 2 years Negrete was the Director of Corporate Accounting for LINE 6.
9:03AM Banc of California announces a private placement of 1,509,450 shares of its common stock to funds managed by Patriot Financial Partners; co agreed to sell the shares at a price of $13.25 per share for gross aggregate proceeds of $20 mln (BANC) 12.46 : The capital raise is expected to close on December 10, 2013, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
9:02AM Amazon.com announces this holiday shopping weekend was the best ever for Kindle (AMZN) 384.66 : Co announces this holiday shopping weekend was the best ever for Kindle, with customers purchasing more Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers than ever before. Additionally, Kindle Fire HDX 7" and Kindle Fire HD were the best-selling items on Amazon.com this holiday shopping weekend.
8:58AM S&P futures vs fair value: -6.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -9.80. (WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade 0.4% below fair value.
Major Asian indices ended mostly lower, but China's Shanghai Composite (+1.3%) stood out following the announcement of plans to create up to 18 new free-trade zones. In addition, the Ministry of Commerce said 12 other agreements have been finalized while six more are being negotiated. Regional economic data was limited to just a handful of releases. China's HSBC Services PMI ticked down to 52.5 from 52.6 and India's HSBC Services PMI ticked up to 47.2 from 47.1. Elsewhere, Australia's GDP rose 0.6% quarter-over-quarter (0.8% forecast, 0.7% prior) while the year-over-year reading reflected growth of 2.3% (2.6% expected, 2.4% last). Separately, the AIG Services Index improved to 48.9 from 47.9.
8:54AM American Eagle expands global presence with new license agreements in Central and South America and Thailand; first stores to open in 2014 (AEO) 16.52 : Co further expands its global presence in the Americas and Asia Pacific markets with three exclusive multi-store licensing agreements as follows:
8:47AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
8:40AM European Markets Update: FTSE -0.8%, CAC -1.0%, DAX -1.2% (SUMRX) : Core European averages trade notably lower for the second consecutive day with Germany's DAX (-1.2%) pacing the retreat. Regional indices began the session with modest gains as they looked to rebound from yesterday's sharp decline. However, the early strength has morphed into modest weakness as indices in Great Britain, Germany, and France hover near their lows. Investors received several economic data points. Eurozone GDP ticked up 0.1% quarter-over-quarter while the year-over-year reading fell 0.4%, as expected. Separately, retail sales declined 0.2% month-over-month (0.3% forecast, -0.6% last) while the year-over-year reading ticked down 0.1% (0.9% consensus, 0.3% prior). Also of note, Services PMI increased to 51.2 from 50.9 (50.9 forecast). Elsewhere, Germany's Services PMI rose to 55.7 from 54.5 (54.5 consensus). Great Britain's Services PMI slipped to 60.0 from 62.5 (62.0 expected). Italian Services PMI fell to 47.2 from 50.5 (50.2 forecast). French Services PMI ticked down to 48.0 from 48.9 (48.8 expected). Swiss industrial orders declined 2.3% (2.0% forecast, -4.3% last).
8:37AM Capstone Turbine receives multiple orders for Offshore Platforms from new Alaska distributor Chenega Energy (CPST) 1.16 : Co announced that it received multiple orders for oil and gas offshore platforms from its new Alaskan distributor Chenega Energy LLC. The orders are for a single C1000 and multiple C200s for use on offshore platforms in Alaska's Cook Inlet. Chenega Energy secured the orders from Hilcorp Alaska LLC, which purchased 10 oilrigs in Alaska's Cook Inlet from Chevron and Marathon Oil in 2012 and 2013. Since January 2012, oil production on the platforms has increased by 36 percent to approximately 9,700 barrels per day. Despite this increase, cost of oil production remains high and Hilcorp plans to invest over $500 million to further develop this project and make structural changes to help drive down costs. It reported that half of this budget would be spent on remediation, repair, and replacement of old equipment and antiquated technology.
8:35AM Medgenics was informed by Eugene Bauer, a Director of the co, that he sold a total of 20,000 shares of common stock at an average price of $6.30 per share (MDGN) 6.54 : Co announces that on December 2, 2013 and December 3, 2013, the Company was informed by Dr. Eugene Bauer, a Director of the Company, that he sold a total of 20,000 shares of common stock on the open market on those days at an average price of $6.30 per share. Following this sale, Dr. Bauer owns 195,874 shares of common stock representing approximately 1.1 percent of the issued share capital.
8:35AM IntercontinentalExchange's NYSE Euronext announces trading volumes for November 2013; U.S. equity options volumes in November 2013 decreased 7.8% compared to November 2012 (ICE) 212.71 :
8:34AM NewLead announces agreement to acquire one newbuilding Eco Type geared double hull Handysize dry bulk vessel for a purchase price of $19.5 mln (NEWL) 0.62 :
8:34AM Cerus submits Final Module in the premarket approval application process for INTERCEPT Plasma (CERS) 6.44 : Co has submitted the fourth and final module for its Premarket Approval (PMA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for review of the INTERCEPT Blood System for plasma. As previously announced, Cerus filed the first of three modules for its INTERCEPT Platelets PMA in September 2013, with submission of the last module expected in March 2014.
"With this important milestone as well as continued progress with our regulatory submission for INTERCEPT platelets, we remain on track for a U.S. review decision and launch of both products as early as 2014."
8:33AM OncoMed Pharma initiates Third Phase 1b clinical trial of first-in-class WNT-pathway-targeting antibody Vantictumab with nab-paclitaxel and Gemcitabine in Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer (OMED) 27.70 : Co announced that it has started a Phase 1b clinical trial of its first-in-class Wnt-pathway-targeting antibody vantictumab in combination with nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane ) and gemcitabine in patients with Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
This trial is the third of three Phase 1b trials for vantictumab initiated this year as part of OncoMed's collaboration with Bayer Pharma AG. The multi-center Phase 1b clinical trial is a dose escalation study that will evaluate safety of vantictumab in combination with Abraxane and gemcitabine and determine a recommended Phase 2 dose for this combination regimen.
Key secondary and exploratory objectives include evaluation of the pharmacokinetics of vantictumab, as well as the pharmacodynamics (PD) and efficacy of this combination. Tumor tissue from patients will be used to explore predictive biomarker hypotheses related to the efficacy of vantictumab.
This is the third Phase 1b clinical study of vantictumab in combination with standard-of-care treatment initiated by OncoMed this year. Vantictumab plus docetaxel is being evaluated in non-small cell lung cancer and vantictumab combined paclitaxel is being studied in Her2-negative breast cancer. Interim results for the single-agent first-in-human Phase 1a trial for vantictumab in solid tumor patients were recently reported at the 2013 European Cancer Congress (ECC 2013) in Amsterdam, NL in September 2013. Results from the Phase 1a study showed that vantictumab is well tolerated with early evidence of single-agent activity. Additionally, clinical biomarker data from the Phase 1a trial indicating PD modulation of the Wnt pathway by vantictumab were presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Boston, MA in October 2013.
8:33AM Iteris Holdings Appoints Walter McBride as Chief Financial Officer (ITI) 2.17 : McBride joins Iteris after serving as the CFO for SRS Labs (SRSL), a publicly traded audio technology engineering company, from 2011 to 2012.
8:33AM Immunomedics receives Orphan Drug Designation for IMMU-132 for small cell lung cancer therapy (IMMU) 4.42 : Co announces that IMMU-132, the Company's antibody-drug conjugate for solid cancer therapy, has received orphan drug status from the Office of Orphan Products Development of the FDA for the treatment of small cell lung cancer. In an early Phase I clinical study, IMMU-132 has produced partial responses in patients with small cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and triple negative breast cancer.
8:32AM ARCA biopharma Announces FDA Acceptance of Gencaro IND Application for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation; Phase 2B/3 GENETIC-AF Trial on Track to Begin Patient Enrollment in Q1 2014 (ABIO) 1.43 : Co announced that the Company's GencaroTM Investigational New Drug (IND) application for atrial fibrillation (AF) has been accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now active. ARCA plans to evaluate Gencaro, a pharmacologically unique beta-blocker and mild vasodilator, as a potential treatment for atrial fibrillation in the Phase 2B/3 GENETIC-AF clinical trial, which is expected to begin enrolling patients in the first quarter of 2014.
8:32AM Pandora Media announces November 2013 Audience metrics; Listener hours +18% y/y (P) 28.27 : Co announced today new metrics that were reached in the month of November 2013.
8:32AM Quaterra acquires key land covering the bear deposit in the Yerington Copper District, Nevada (QMM) 0.08 : Co announces that it now has four option agreements in place covering 1,305 acres (2.04 square miles) of private land north and east of the Yerington Mine Site overlying part of the Bear copper deposit. Under the terms of the agreements, Quaterra has exclusive rights to explore these parcels with an option to purchase. The agreements also provide the Company an exclusive option to purchase surface water rights and supplemental storage water rights. These recently optioned water rights are in addition to the 8,628 acre-ft/year (5,350 gal/min) of primary ground water rights already owned by the company at the Yerington Mine site that are permitted specifically for mining and milling.
8:32AM Limoneira Announces sale of Santa Maria Properties; sale expected to generated net cash of $8.1 mln, plus interest (LMNR) 25.19 : Co announces it has entered into agreements to sell its Sevilla and Pacific Crest properties located in Santa Maria, California. Both properties are being sold to the same buyer and the combined purchase price of the two properties is $8.3 mln. Upon the execution of the purchase and sale agreements, the buyer will deposit $250,000 into escrow and issue a note receivable for each property leaving a combined amount due of $7.8 mln. The notes are due on the earlier of the approval of the properties' tract maps by the City of Santa Maria or October 24, 2014. The Company will collect 5% interest on the notes.
8:31AM S&P futures vs fair value: -6.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -7.50. (WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade lower by 0.4% versus fair value.
According to today's ADP National Employment Report, employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 215K in November. This was above the increase of 160K expected by the Briefing.com consensus.
Separately, the October trade deficit narrowed to $40.6 billion from $43.0 billion. The Briefing.com consensus expected the deficit to come in at $40.5 billion.
8:28AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
8:21AM Gapping down (SCANX) : In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: EXPR -17.3%,
Financial related names showing weakness: BCS -2.6%, BBVA -1.8%, IRE -1.4%, C -0.9% (Citigroup downgraded to Neutral at Goldman).
Select gold related stocks trading lower: GFI -3.7%, AU -1.4%, GLD -0.6%, .
Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: SDRL -1.1%, RDS.A -1.1%, TOT -1%, BP -0.8%.
Other news: AMBI -29.7% (provides regulatory update following FDA Meeting regarding Quizartinib (AC220); based on FDA's current position, the co does not plan at this time to submit a NDA for accelerated approval of quizartinib based on the Phase 2 and 2b clinical trial data ), ACMP -4.6% (priced of an underwritten public offering of ~6 mln common units representing limited partner interests owned by Global Infrastructure Partners II; GIP II offered the units to the public at $51.45/share ), CLDX -4.2% ( files mixed securities shelf offering and announced offering 6.5 mln shares of common stock), SHLD -4.1% (after 7%+ decline yesterday; ESL Partners decreases stake to 48.4% from 55.4%), WAVX -3.8% (discloses Factoring and Security Agreement), AVG -3.5% (still checking), OAS -3.1% ( announces public offering of 7 mln shares of common stock), SFUN -2.8% ( announces proposed $250 mln convertible senior notes offering), CLVS -1.6% (announces public offering of 2 mln shares of common stock by selling stockholders at $57.50 per share ), DFRG -1.2% (announces proposed secondary public offering of ~5.39 mln shares of common stock), LCC -0.8% ( reports November Mainline RPMs -0.1% YoY), EBAY -0.8% ( ComScore data reports Cyber Monday jumps 18% to $1.735 bln in desktop sales to rank as heaviest U.S. online spending day in history, downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore ), PM -0.2% (announces agreement to acquire a 20% interest in Russian Megapolis Group; purchase price of $750 mln excludes additional payment of up to $100 mln contingent on Megapolis' operational performance over four fiscal years following closing of purchase; projected to be accretive to PMI's earnings per share as of 1Q2014).
Analyst comments: FLEX -2.4% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman), NTAP -2.1% (downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley), TDC -1.7% (downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley), T -1% (downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan), ACN -0.6% (downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley due to accelerating public cloud adoption and the risk of reduced on-premise IT infrastructure demand ), STI -0.4% (downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley)
8:20AM Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -2.2%, Hang Seng -0.8%, Shanghai +1.3% (SUMRX) : Major Asian indices ended mostly lower, but China's Shanghai Composite (+1.3%) stood out following the announcement of plans to create up to 18 new free-trade zones. In addition, the Ministry of Commerce said 12 other agreements have been finalized while six more are being negotiated. Regional economic data was limited to just a handful of releases. China's HSBC Services PMI ticked down to 52.5 from 52.6 and India's HSBC Services PMI ticked up to 47.2 from 47.1. Elsewhere, Australia's GDP rose 0.6% quarter-over-quarter (0.8% forecast, 0.7% prior) while the year-over-year reading reflected growth of 2.3% (2.6% expected, 2.4% last). Separately, the AIG Services Index improved to 48.9 from 47.9. Looking at currencies: USDCNY ticked down to 6.0916; USDINR slipped to 62.025; USDJPY is lower near 102.38; AUDUSD is down near .9025.
In Japan, the Nikkei closed -2.2% as only 10 of 225 components registered gains. Exporters lagged as Sony, Kyocera, and Yamaha lost between 3.4% and 3.9%. Nisshin Steel Holdings outperformed with a gain of 1.5%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng ended -0.8% as energy and financials underperformed. PetroChina lost 1.6% and China Resources Land fell 1.9%...In China, the Shanghai Composite settled +1.3% with shipping stocks displaying strength. China Shipping Development and Shanghai International Port Group both surged the limit, 10.0%.
In India, the Sensex ended -0.7%. Hindalco Industries was the weakest performer, falling 2.7%. On the upside Tata Power advanced 2.5%.
In Australia, the ASX settled +0.3% as BHP Billiton jumped 1.0%.
In Taiwan, the Taiex finished +0.3%....In South Korea, the Kospi ended -1.1% as STX Corp led to the downside with a loss of 14.9%.
In other regional markets...Vietnam -0.1%...Singapore -0.9%...Indonesia -1.1%...Malaysia -0.1%...Thailand -0.5%...Philippines -1.2%.
8:17AM Market View: Front-month Dec. e-Mini index futures trade weaker vs fair values following the 8:15 a.m. ET Nov. ADP Employment Report (TECHX) :
8:11AM Oculus Innovative Sciences receives FDA clearance for Microcyn Scar Management HydroGel; Oculus U.S dermatology partner, Quinnova Pharmaceuticals, targeting U.S. launch in Q2 2014 (OCLS) 2.33 : Co announced that it has received a new 510(k) clearance from the FDA for the company's new Microcyn Scar Management HydroGel. The Rx product, under the supervision of a healthcare professional, is intended for the management of old and new hypertrophic and keloid scarring resulting from burns, general surgical procedures and trauma wounds. Oculus U.S. dermatology partner, Quinnova Pharmaceuticals, intends to commercialize the product in the first half of 2014.
In addition to U.S. commercialization, Oculus is working with its international distributors and partners to bring this new scar product to patients throughout the globe, including Latin American partner, More Pharma, with anticipated commercialization in Mexico in 2014. Further product launches should follow shortly after in other Latin American countries as regulatory approvals are secured. In the Asian countries of China, Singapore, Malaysia and India, product launches are anticipated sometime after April 2014. Similarly, the scar product will be introduced in Kuwait, UAE, Jordan and Iraq in the same time frame.
8:11AM Gapping up (SCANX) : In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: GWRE +5.8%,
LINE +0.8% (reiterates guidance for Q4 production of 840-860 MMcfe/d).
Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: RIO +1.6%, BBL +1%, MT +0.7%, BHP +0.4%, GOLD +0.4% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Investec) .
Other news: PLUG +51.9% (reports business update for webcast; currently in negotiations with several large customers), CYTR +11.9% (following director insider buy), SAEX +9.1% (announces $40 million of new project awards), CCXI +7.6% (announces positive top-line CCX168 Phase II Data in ANCA-Associated Renal Vasculitis), MTL +6.5% (announces reaching agreement on covenant holidays on bilateral credit lines from VTB Bank), ADEP +6.1% (receives order for Mobile Robots from Pharmacy Automation System Provider), CTIC +5.8% (Cell Therapeutics and GKV-SV reach agreement on pricing of PIXUVRI in Germany ), ARCW +4.6% (continued strength), ICLD +3.8% (after yesterday's 30%+ move), FRO +2.9% (still checking), CAMT +2.2% (modestly rebounding), VJET +1.5% (continued momentum), NBL +1.4% (Announces New Exploration Discoveries In The Deepwater Gulf Of Mexico And Eastern Mediterranean), HPQ +1.1% (following positive MadMoney mention), MYGN +1% (ticking higher, reported that Prolaris score has been demonstrated to be a stronger predictor of prostate cancer recurrence and cancer-specific death than clinical parameters such as Gleason score and PSA), TEVA +0.7% (announces that 15 new projects have entered its development pipeline from its New Therapeutic Entities program), DDD +0.6% ( announced the immediate availability of two new VisiJet class performance plastics for its ProJet 5000 large-format 3D printer), LEN +0.5% (prevails in defamation and extortion case against Marsch; Jury awards $1 billion in damages), AMZN +0.2% (light volume, ComScore data reports Cyber Monday jumps 18% to $1.735 bln in desktop sales to rank as heaviest U.S. online spending day in history) .
Analyst comments: MGNX +5.3% ( initiated with an Outperform at Wedbush), WDC +1.3% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley due to stabilizing PC trends, continued cloud segment strength, and benign pricing), BRCD +1.2% (upgraded to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley due to improved execution, cost savings, and valuation), BBT +0.9% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley)
8:08AM Ametek acquires Powervar for ~ $128 mln (AME) 48.72 : Co announced that it has acquired Powervar, a provider of power management systems and uninterruptible power supply systems, for ~ $128 million. Headquartered in Waukegan, IL, the privately held company has annual sales of ~ $70 million.
8:08AM Roche Hldg receives FDA clearance to use additional specimen types for chlamydia and gonorrhea test (RHHBY) 68.60 : Co announced that it has received 510k clearance from the FDA for the use of four additional specimen types with the cobas CT/NG v2.0 Test to help physicians diagnose Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae infections in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. In addition to self-collected vaginal swabs and male urine specimens, the test may now be used with endocervical and clinician-collected vaginal specimens, female urine specimens collected in cobas PCR media, and cervical specimens collected in PreservCyt solution.
8:07AM CoreLogic expands share repurchase authorization to $350 mln (CLGX) 34.71 : Co announces that its Board of Directors has authorized the co to repurchase up to $350 mln of its outstanding shares. The authorization, which commences on Dec 3, has no expiration date and replaces the unused portion of the co's previous share repurchase authorization.
8:06AM SPX Corp announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its 44.5% joint venture interest in EGS Electric Group LLC to Emerson Electric for $571 mln (SPW) 93.06 : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its 44.5% joint venture interest in EGS Electric Group LLC to Emerson Electric Co. for $571 mln. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. As a result of this sale, SPX expects to record an after-tax gain of ~$300 mln, or $6.50 per share, in its first quarter results. It also expects to pay cash taxes on the transaction of ~$220 mln, bringing the net, after-tax proceeds to ~$350 mln.
SPX plans to reduce its gross debt by $300 mln. As part of this initiative, upon closing of the sale of the company's interest in EGS, the company expects to tender for its $500 mln of senior unsecured notes that mature in December 2014. It also expects to amend its existing credit facility agreement to extend the maturity to 2018 and increase the size of its Term Loan A by $100 mln, funding a portion of the bond repurchase.
SPX intends to allocate $500 million to share repurchases; this includes the $55 million of share repurchases remaining from the company's previously announced target. To facilitate these repurchases, the company plans to enter into a 10b5-1 stock repurchase agreement that is expected to begin trading in the fourth quarter and complete by the end of 2014.
8:06AM A.H. Belo has engaged Stephens to explore a potential sale of The Providence Journal; guides FY13 EBITDA; announces printing contract (AHC) 7.67 : Co has engaged Stephens Inc. to explore a potential sale of The Providence Journal. The Providence Journal is the leading newspaper in Rhode Island and is the oldest major daily newspaper of general circulation and continuous publication in the United States. This decision is part of the revised financial and operating strategies discussed in the Company's third quarter earnings release. A sale of The Providence Journal would generate additional cash proceeds to potentially invest in or buy advertising and marketing services cos to grow and diversify revenues and to finance further share repurchases in the future.
The co anticipates full-year 2013 EBITDA from continuing operations to be in the range of $26 million and $29 million. This updated guidance reflects changes to the Company's results after considering revenue and expense trends for the first eleven months of 2013 and the impact of selling substantially all assets comprising the operations of The Press-Enterprise.
In Q4, the co also entered into an agreement to print the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for an initial term of 10 years and a renewal option to extend the contract. This contract is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014 and will add $6.0 to $6.5 million in printing and inserting revenues to The Dallas Morning News annually.
8:05AM Owens & Minor targets FY14 revs and adj EPS in-line with consenus at investor meeting (OMI) 38.14 : Co issues guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of $1.95-2.05 vs. $2.05 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 (Dec) revs of +2% YoY vs Capital IQ Consensus Estimate or +2.2% YoY.
8:04AM US Airways reports November Mainline RPMs -0.1% YoY (LCC) 22.39 : Co reports its November traffic results. Mainline revenue passenger miles (RPMs) for the month were 4.8 billion, down 0.1 % versus November 2012. Mainline capacity was 6.0 billion available seat miles (ASMs), up 6.1 % versus November 2012. Mainline passenger load factor was 80.1 % for the month of November, down 5.0 points versus November 2012.
For the month of November, US Airways' preliminary on-time performance as reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation was 86.1% with a completion factor of 99.3%.
8:03AM Aoxing Pharma receives Notice of Extension and additional Notice of Noncompliance from NYSE MKT (AXN) 0.25 : Co announces that on October 30, 2013 that it had received notice from NYSE MKT that Co (a) is not in compliance with Section 1003(a)(iii) of the NYSE MKT Company Guide since it reported stockholders' equity of less than $6,000,000 at June 30, 2013 and has incurred losses from continuing operations and/or net losses in its five most recent fiscal years then ended, and (b) is not in compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv) of the Co Guide since it has sustained losses that are so substantial in relation to its overall operations or its existing financial resources, or its financial condition has become so impaired that it appears questionable, in the opinion of the NYSE MKT, as to whether the Co will be able to continue operations and/or meet its obligations as they mature.
The Co was afforded the opportunity to submit plans of compliance to the Exchange. On November 8, 2013 the Co presented its plan of compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv). On December 3, 2013 the Exchange notified the Co that it accepted the Co's plan of compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv) and granted the Co an extension until March 1, 2014 to regain compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv).
8:03AM Roche Hldg and Molecular Partners enter into Alliance to develop new cancer treatments; Molecular Partners is entitled to receive upfront and initiation payments up to CHF 55 million (RHHBY) 68.60 : Co announced today that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the use of four additional specimen types with the cobas CT/NG v2.0 Test to help physicians diagnose Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae (NG) infections in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. In addition to self-collected vaginal swabs (collected in a clinical setting) and male urine specimens, the test may now be used with endocervical and clinician-collected vaginal specimens, female urine specimens collected in cobas PCR media, and cervical specimens collected in PreservCyt solution. The clinical performance of the cobas CT/NG v2.0 Test using the additional specimen types was validated in the VENUS Studies, which included 6,004 patients (5,266 females and 738 males), representing over 26,000 specimens collected in two clinical studies.
8:02AM Brown-Forman beats by $0.05, misses on revs; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance (BF.B) 74.50 : Reports Q2 (Oct) earnings of $0.96 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.91; revenues rose 6.4% year/year to $1.08 bln vs the $1.11 bln consensus.
Underlying net sales increased 7% YTD: Jack Daniel's trademark grew underlying sales 10% Emerging markets underlying sales grew 7% (6% reported, 6% constant currency) Price/mix contributed over 3% points to underlying sales growth, and led to a 100bps expansion in reported gross margins Super-premium whiskey brands grew underlying sales by 18%, including 27% growth from Woodford Reserve Herradura and el Jimador grew underlying sales by 7% and 2%, respectively Underlying operating income increased 13%.
Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.80-3.00, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.95 Capital IQ Consensus. The EPS outlook for fiscal 2014 includes an estimated negative effect of $0.06 per diluted share related to the expected decrease in net inventories from the route-to-consumer change in France on January 1, 2014. SG&A in the back half of fiscal 2014 will be negatively impacted by this transition to an owned distribution model. Foreign exchange is now expected to be neutral to full year EPS compared to the prior year.
8:02AM Noble Energy announces new exploration discoveries in the deepwater Gulf Of Mexico and Eastern Mediterranean (NBL) 69.51 : Co announced discoveries at the Dantzler exploration well in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and at the Tamar Southwest (SW) exploration well offshore Israel. At Dantzler, wireline logging data indicates that the well encountered over 120 net feet of primarily crude oil pay in two high-quality Miocene reservoirs. The discovery well, located in Mississippi Canyon 782, was drilled to a total depth of 19,234 feet in 6,580 feet of water. Dantzler is located 12 miles west of the Company's Rio Grande development area, which includes discoveries at Big Bend and Troubadour. Discovered gross resources at Dantzler are now estimated at between 55 and 95 million barrels of oil equivalent. The Tamar SW well, testing a new exploration prospect, encountered approximately 355 feet of net natural gas pay within the targeted Miocene intervals. Tamar SW, which was drilled to a total depth of 17,420 feet in 5,405 feet of water, is the Company's eighth consecutive discovery in the Levant Basin. The field is located approximately 8 miles southwest of the Tamar field. Evaluation of drilling data and wireline logs has confirmed the range of gross resources of the field to be between 640 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas and 770 Bcf. The well encountered high-quality reservoir sands, with per well productivity anticipated to be approximately 250 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
8:01AM Fastenal reports Nov net sales +3.1% y/y (FAST) 47.32 : Co reported Nov net sales +3.1% y/y, daily sales +8.2% y/y. The change in currencies in foreign countries (primarily Canada) relative to the United States dollar reduced our daily sales growth rate by 0.4% during the month. See FAST release.
8:00AM Christopher & Banks beats by $0.12, reports revs in-line; Q3 comps +4.9% (CBK) 6.48 : Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $0.23 per share, $0.12 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.11; revenues rose 0.7% year/year to $118.1 mln vs the $117.24 mln consensus.
Same-store sales increased 4.9%, as compared to the thirteen weeks ended November 3, 2012; this follows a 13.6% same-store sales increase in last year's third quarter.
"Our momentum continued in the third quarter as reflected in our sixth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales growth and strong bottom line results. We attribute our positive performance to the continued refinement of our merchandise strategy, greater focus on targeted marketing programs, optimization of our multi-channel opportunities and our enhanced store experience. As we head into the holiday season we believe that our merchandise assortment and our marketing program offer our customer the right balance of quality and price to meet her needs. That said, we expect the promotional environment to remain aggressive, and we will remain diligent in managing inventory levels and operating costs, accordingly. We look forward to a solid ending to a challenging 2013 retail environment and we remain confident in our three-year growth plan."
Q4 Guidance Details: Same-store sales to increase in the low single digit range for the thirteen weeks ended February 1, 2014, as compared to the same period last year; average store count to be down 6.8%, as compared to last year's fourth fiscal quarter, reflecting its store rationalization program; approximately 100 to 150 bps of gross margin improvement, as compared to last year's fourth fiscal quarter.
7:59AM S&P futures vs fair value: -5.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -7.00. (WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade near their lows amid cautious action in Europe. The S&P 500 futures are down 0.3% versus fair value.
Looking at overnight developments:
7:51AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
7:51AM RAIT Financial Trust commences public offering of Convertible Senior Notes due 2033 (RAS) 8.13 : Barclays Capital Inc. is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering. The Notes will be senior unsecured obligations of RAIT and will pay interest semi-annually. The interest rate, conversion rate, offering price and other terms of the Notes will be determined at the time of pricing of the offering.
RAIT currently intends to use a portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the Notes for working capital and general trust purposes, including potential repurchases of its outstanding 7.00% Convertible Senior Notes which mature on April 1, 2031. RAIT also intends to use a portion of the net proceeds of this offering to fund payment of the cost of a capped call transaction with an affiliate of Barclays Capital which is generally expected to reduce potential dilution to holders of our common shares upon the potential conversion of the Notes. The capped call transaction is a separate transaction and is not part of the terms of the Notes and will not affect the holders' rights under the Notes.
7:45AM Healthways announced it signed an agreement with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to continue administering the HealthyRewards online incentive program to its HealthyBlue plan members through 2015. (HWAY) 14.03 :
7:34AM Hemispherx Biopharma announces Board has appointed Thomas Equels as the new Chief Financial Officer and Adam Pascale as the new Chief Accounting Officer (HEB) 0.20 : Mr. Equels currently serves as Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary and General Counsel of Hemispherx.
7:32AM Wells-Gardner Electronics announced that its Board of Directors has authorized management to explore strategic alternatives (WGA) 1.70 : Co announced that its Board of Directors has authorized management to explore strategic alternatives. The Company has retained El Segundo, California- based Innovation Capital, LLC as its financial advisor to conduct a thorough review of the Company's business and assets and to provide recommendations for consideration by the Wells-Gardner Board of Directors. There can be no assurance that this evaluation process will result in any transaction.
""We expect this to be a thorough process and we will report back to the Board at the completion of the review. We will not comment on the progress of the review while it is in process. We cannot guarantee that any actions will be taken as a direct result of this review, but it is important for management and the Board to clearly understand potential available options to enhance the value of the Company going forward."
7:31AM TASER announces multiple significant weapons deployments; includes 137 TASER X2 Smart Weapons to Allegheny County Police Training Academy (TASR) 16.18 : Co announces multiple orders of its TASER brand next generation Smart Weapons. These orders were received and shipped in the fourth quarter 2013. Significant new TASER Smart Weapon deployments:
7:30AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
7:27AM ANSYS acuqires Reaction Design (ANSS) 85.58 : Co announces it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Reaction Design, a leading developer of chemistry simulation software. Reaction Design serves more than 400 customers around the world. Its flagship product, CHEMKIN-PRO, is the gold standard for modeling and simulating gas-phase and surface chemistry.
The transaction is expected to close in January 2014. Management will provide further details regarding the transaction and its impact on the 2014 financial outlook subsequent to the closing. No further details of the terms were provided.
7:26AM RDA Microelectronics responds to certain media reports on the pending merger with Tsinghua Unigroup; says 'we also understand from Tsinghua Unigroup that it is on track to obtain the preclearance of the Merger from the National Development and Reform Commission of China' (RDA) 17.51 : "It has come to our attention that there are certain media reports containing inaccurate information on our announced merger transaction with Tsinghua Unigroup which may be misleading to investors. We are providing the following clarifications in view of potential misinformation, and to re-assure the investors that our board of directors has been acting, and will continue to act, in the best interests of our shareholders as a whole: Before we entered into a definitive merger agreement with Tsinghua Unigroup on November 11, 2013, the Board conducted a robust, comprehensive and structured evaluation process of strategic alternatives. The Board considered a wide range of relevant factors, analysis and data points available, with a focus on the commercial terms and closing certainty of various available alternative. After such process, the Board determined that Tsinghua Unigroup's proposal was clearly the most favorable and certain offer among all the proposals that we had received and therefore selected Tsinghua Unigroup as the preferred buyer over other bidders, including Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment on November 8, 2013. The Board further approved unanimously the entry into the Merger Agreement with Tsinghua Unigroup on November 11, 2013."
"We have been maintaining close discussions with Tsinghua Unigroup regarding the regulatory approvals required to complete the Merger, and have provided Tsinghua Unigroup with assistance and information in such regard in compliance with the Merger Agreement. We and Tsinghua Unigroup will continue to cooperate with each other in obtaining the relevant approvals that are required for the consummation of the Merger. We also understand from Tsinghua Unigroup that it is on track to obtain the preclearance of the Merger from the National Development and Reform Commission of China.:
7:23AM Aussie Dollar Breaks to Three-Month Low: 10-yr: -05/32..2.802%..USD/JPY: 102.43..EUR/USD: 1.3587 (SUMRX) : The Dollar Index trades on session lows near 80.60 amid a rather quiet overnight trade. Today's action has been limited to a 15 cent range as an early bid failed at 80.75 before trade slipped back onto key support.
7:14AM Peabody Energy provides investor presentation for UBS Coal Conference in Boston (BTU) 18.44 : Co provides investors with an update on Global Coal demand over the next 5 years.
7:13AM Hudbay Minerals announces offering of an additional $100 mln aggregate principal amount of its 9.50% senior unsecured notes due Oct 1, 2020 (HBM) 6.92 : The Notes are additional to the $650 million aggregate principal amount of 9.50% senior unsecured notes that Hudbay issued in September 2012 and June 2013. Hudbay plans to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes and the development of its Lalor and Reed projects in Manitoba and its Constancia project in Peru.
7:11AM Myriad Genetics' prolaris test guides treatment decisions for men with prostate cancer; Prolaris score has been demonstrated to be a stronger predictor of prostate cancer recurrence and cancer-specific death than clinical parameters such as Gleason score and PSA (MYGN) 25.55 : Co announced it will present data from four clinical studies with Prolaris at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Society for Urologic Oncology (SUO) in Bethesda, Md. Prolaris is a prognostic test that accurately predicts cancer-specific disease progression and mortality based on an analysis of 46 cell cycle progression genes. The Prolaris score has been demonstrated to be a stronger predictor of prostate cancer recurrence and cancer-specific death than clinical parameters such as Gleason score and PSA.
The prostate biopsy research study evaluated Prolaris' potential clinical utility in guiding the treatment decision for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. Participating physicians were asked to assess the value of the Prolaris score and questionnaires were completed for 294 evaluable patients with localized prostate cancer. Physicians indicated that 55 percent of tests generated a mortality risk score that was either higher or lower than what they expected. Physicians also indicated that 32 percent of test results would lead to a definite or possible change in treatment plan, with the net effect of shifting patients from more aggressive to more conservative treatment. These data strongly suggest that the Prolaris test can help physicians determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer and tailor treatment plans for individual patients. A second large prospective clinical utility study called PROCEDE 500 also is underway. An interim analysis of that study showed that physicians would change actual treatment selection in 65 percent of cases after they reviewed the results of the Prolaris test with their patients. Data from PROCEDE 500 will be presented at the ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco on Jan. 30, 2014.
Cell cycle progression score predicts metastatic progression of clear cell renal carcinoma after resection: This study evaluated the prognostic value of a cell cycle progression test on patients with renal cell carcinoma. Twenty-six patients and 38 controls were evaluated. The analysis revealed that the spread of a cancer to the blood vessels and lymph nodes, tumor grade and cell cycle progression score were the only independent variables that significantly predicted progression to metastasis. A combined analysis of age, cell cycle progression, tumor size and the spread of a cancer to the blood vessels and lymph nodes revealed an area under the curve of 0.84 that decreased to 0.78 if the cell cycle progression score was excluded. These findings indicate that the cell cycle progression score predicts metastatic progression after resection of organ-confined, clear-cell renal cell carcinoma and appears to add prognostic information to standard clinical and pathologic variables. These findings warrant further investigation.
7:09AM Express misses by $0.02, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS below consensus (EXPR) 24.67 : Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $0.23 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.25, vs. $0.21-0.26 guidance; revenues rose 7.4% year/year to $503 mln vs the $500.06 mln consensus. Comparable sales increased 5% vs. +mid-single digit guidance; e-commerce sales increased 29% to $71.2 mln.
Gross margin improved 60 basis points over last year's third quarter and represented 32.9% of net sales. Merchandise margin improved by 40 basis points. Despite the promotional environment, we were able to recover some of the margin lost in last year's third quarter by delivering a stronger product assortment, especially on the women's side of the business. Buying and occupancy costs as a percentage of sales improved by 20 basis points, primarily due to the leverage associated with our comparable sales growth.
Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.66-0.71 vs. $0.78 Capital IQ Consensus, with low single digit comp growth.
"Our current product line consists of a well balanced mix of cold weather and spring merchandise, with styles that tested well and are on-trend. Thanksgiving week sales exceeded last year's, however results did not meet our expectations. We had been planning for a promotional holiday season but we now expect the intensity of those promotions to reach heightened levels and we are updating our full year guidance accordingly.
7:08AM Harvard Biosci realigns global operations; will reduce global workforce by ~ 13%; expects to realize ~ $2 mln in annual savings on a pre-tax basis (HBIO) 4.42 : Co announced the realignment of its global operations to create organizational efficiencies and better position the Company for growth. As part of the realignment, Harvard Bioscience will reduce its global workforce by ~ 13 percent by eliminating certain operational redundancies across several sites, creating a leaner, more nimble organization. It plans to reinvest some of the savings into its China expansion, sales and marketing and product development initiatives, in order to drive growth.
Harvard Bioscience expects to realize overall annual savings of ~ $2 million on a pre-tax basis, beginning in 2014. These savings include an immediate reduction of ~ $3 million in personnel related costs and expenditures, of which ~ $1 million will be reinvested. Management expects to take a restructuring charge of ~ $1.5 million on a pre-tax basis during the fourth quarter 2013 as a result of these actions.
7:08AM Laredo Petroleum announces severe winter weather has affected Permian Basin operations (LPI) 26.50 : Co announced that the effects of the severe winter weather in the Permian region continue to materially impact operations. The extent and duration of weather-related issues will result in total production below the Company's anticipated guidance range for the fourth quarter of 2013. Laredo's operations were impacted by widespread power outages, reduced access to production and drilling facilities, curtailed trucking services as well as drilling and completion delays.
Currently, drilling and completion activities have resumed but pervasive power outages continue to affect a substantial portion of the Company's wells. More than 50% of Laredo's wells remain shut-in and the production of many operating wells has been curtailed due to facilities constraints.
Once power is restored, it is anticipated that there will be no impact on the performance of these wells. Assessing the impact of the storm could take several weeks as the bulk of Laredo's operations are in rural, less populated areas that offer operational advantages but are among the last to have electrical service restored. Once operations return to normal and the full impact of weather-related downtime can be quantified, the Company will update its fourth-quarter 2013 guidance ranges.
7:08AM Primero Mining discovers another new high grade vein at San Dimas and intersects new mineralization at Cerro Del Gallo (PPP) 4.74 : Co announced results of recent drilling at both its San Dimas mine and its Cerro del Gallo development project in Mexico. Exploration highlights include:
7:08AM Intelligent Systems confirms to the NYSE that it is not aware of any material corporate developments beyond its most recently issued news releases that could account for the recent unusual trading activity in its shares (INS) 1.79 :
7:07AM HomeAway announced it has acquired Stayz Group, the publisher of Stayz.com.au for $198 mln (AWAY) 37.76 : Co announced it has acquired Stayz Group, the publisher of Stayz.com.au and the leading online vacation rental marketplace in Australia. The Stayz Group, which also includes Rentahome.com.au, TakeABreak.com.au, and YesBookIt, was purchased from Fairfax Digital, a division of Fairfax Media Limited, for ~$198 mln in an all-cash transaction. Stayz, which generated AU$25.4 mln in revenue in its last fiscal year 2013 (ended in June 2013), has long employed a commission-based business model, which produces the majority of its revenue.
7:07AM Access Midstream Partners prices public offering of ~6 mln common units representing limited partner interests owned by GIP II at $51.45/share (ACMP) 54.01 :
7:06AM AutoNation announces total retail new vehicle unit sales in Nov 2013 increased 13% versus Nov 2012 (AN) 49.02 : Co announced that its total retail new vehicle unit sales in Nov 2013, as reported to the applicable automotive manufacturers, were 25,454, an increase of 13% as compared to Nov 2012. Same-store retail new vehicle unit sales in Nov 2013 were 24,320, an increase of 8% as compared to Nov 2012. Total retail new vehicle unit sales for AutoNation's operating segments were as follows:
7:05AM Aaron's enters into an agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association to repurchase $125 mln of the co's common stock under an accelerated share repurchase program (AAN) 28.55 : Co announced that it has entered into an agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association to repurchase $125 mln of the Company's common stock under an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) program. The Company will use cash on hand to fund the ASR program. The Company is scheduled to pay $125 mln to Wells Fargo on December 4, 2013, in exchange for ~3.5 mln shares, currently estimated to represent 80% of the total number of shares expected to be purchased in the program, based on current market prices and assuming the program ends as scheduled.
7:05AM Pingtan Marine Enterprise announced the closing of the previously announced sale of its 100% owned dredging subsidiary, China Dredging Group; sees FY13 net income between $40 and $43 mln (PME) 3.67 : Co announced the closing of the previously announced sale of its 100% owned dredging subsidiary, China Dredging Group and its PRC operating subsidiaries, Fujian Xing Gang Port Service business and operating assets to an affiliate of the Company's Chairman, CEO and majority shareholder Xinrong Zhuo.
Under the terms of the proposed transaction, the consideration to be received by the Company consists of: (i) forgiveness of the Company's current $155.2 million 4% promissory note due on June 19, 2015; and (ii) the transfer to the Company of the 25-year exclusive operating rights for 20 new fishing vessels, with such rights appraised at $216.1 million by BMI Appraisals Limited, (iii) forgiveness of current consolidated accounts due from Pingtan to CDGC in the amount of $172.1 million.
As a result of the closing, Pingtan now owns or has exclusive operating rights to 126 fishing vessels and licenses. These vessels have an average useful life of approximately 17 years, which includes the 20 newly-built and pre-owned fishing drifter vessels as part of this transaction.
Guidance: Based on the Company's current projections, Pingtan expects to report net income of between $40 and $43 million (excluding the discontinued dredging business) for the year ending December 31, 2013 and $80 and $85 million for the year ending December 31, 2014. This guidance is based on the current expected timeline for each vessel to operate at full capacity, taking into account maintenance and dry-docking requirements for certain vessels, strong continued demand, and current debt obligations.
7:05AM G-III Apparel beats by $0.24, beats on revs; raises FY14 EPS and revs guidance above consensus (GIII) 58.29 : Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $2.85 per share, $0.24 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.61; revenues rose 23.0% year/year to $668.7 mln vs the $620.23 mln consensus.
Co issues upside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.50-3.60, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.32 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate and above its prior guidance of $3.30-3.50; sees FY14 revs of $1.73 bln vs. $1.65 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, above its prior guidance of $1.61 bln.
7:05AM Main Street Capital announces it has fully exited its debt and equity investments in Van Gilder Insurance (MAIN) 31.78 : Co has fully exited its debt and equity investments in Van Gilder Insurance Corporation, an industry leading provider of a full spectrum of insurance brokerage services, including business insurance, employee benefits, risk management and personal insurance services. Main Street made its initial investment in Van Gilder, which consisted of $8.2 million of first lien, secured debt investments with equity warrant participation and a $2.5 million direct equity investment, in January of 2011 to refinance certain of the Company's debt obligations and provide additional liquidity for the co's ongoing operations. Main Street realized a total internal rate of return of 16.2% and 1.4 times money invested return on its debt and equity investments in the Company.
7:04AM Philip Morris International announces agreement to acquire a 20% interest in Russian Megapolis Group; purchase price of $750 mln excludes additional payment of up to $100 mln contingent on Megapolis' operational performance over four fiscal years following closing of purchase; projected to be accretive to PMI's earnings per share as of 1Q2014 (PM) 85.76 : Co announces its agreement to acquire a 20% equity interest in Megapolis Distribution BV, the holding company of CJSC TK Megapolis, PMI's distributor in Russia. The purchase price of $750 million excludes an additional payment of up to $100 million which is contingent on Megapolis's operational performance over the four fiscal years following the closing of the purchase. PMI expects the transaction to be completed by the end of 2013 without requiring regulatory approvals. The transaction is projected to be accretive to PMI's earnings per share as of the first quarter of 2014.
7:02AM First Majestic Silver announces that the co's new 1,000 tonnes per day Cyanidation circuit at its Del Toro Silver Mine in Zacatecas, Mexico began initial production of silver dore bars on Nov 20, 2013 (AG) 8.95 : Co announced that its new 1,000 tonnes per day (tpd) cyanidation circuit at its Del Toro Silver Mine in Zacatecas, Mexico began initial production of silver dore bars on November 20, 2013. Commissioning of the new 1,000 tpd cyanidation circuit began on October 20, 2013. Surface stockpiles consisting of lower grade oxide ore is initially being supplied to the mill for this ramp-up period. Mill throughput since initial commissioning has averaged 582 tpd with head grades averaging 168 grams per tonne silver. Initial silver recoveries in the oxide circuit have averaged 67%. It is expected that throughput, grades and recoveries will achieve commercial levels by Dec 31, 2013 and will come closer to rates indicated in the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) dated August 20, 2012. Six pours have now taken place with each pour resulting in better quality silver dore bars.
As previously announced, the Company is planning to accelerate the ramp up of the cyanidation circuit to 2,000 tpd in early 2014. However, due to persistently low silver prices, management has determined to delay further investment at Del Toro beyond what is necessary. The installation of the first SAG mill has been delayed and as a result total throughput at Del Toro is expected to reach 2,500 tpd in the first quarter of 2014.
7:01AM TherapeuticsMD appoints Joel Krasnow as Chief Scientific Officer (TXMD) 4.72 : Co announced the appointment of Joel Krasnow as the Company's Chief Scientific Officer and head of its regulatory department. Dr. Krasnow joins TherapeuticsMD from Intarcia Therapeutics, where as Chief Safety Officer he was responsible for managing and conducting ongoing safety surveillance on the Intarcia Therapeutics' products, including its lead diabetes product. He also provided scientific input to leverage Intarcia Therapeutics' technology across different clinical applications.
7:01AM Ritchie Bros. conducts its largest ever agriculture auction (RBA) 20.20 : Co conducted its largest ever agriculture auction, in Saskatoon, SK, on December 3, 2013, selling more than CA$43 million (US$40+ million) of equipment and trucks in a single day. The unreserved public auction also set a new Saskatoon site record for number of bidders: more than 4,350 bidders from 27 countries registered to participate in the auction. Every item in the auction was sold without minimum bids or reserve prices.
7:00AM SBA Comm to expand operations in Brazil with acquisition of 2,007 additional wireless sites for ~ $645 mln at current exchange rates; anticipates that transaction will be immediately accretive to AFFO per share (SBAC) 85.42 : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with certain subsidiaries of Oi SA, one of Brazil's largest telecommunications service providers, and its affiliates, under which SBA will acquire 2,007 wireless sites in Brazil.
Upon closing of the transaction, Oi will enter into a long-term lease with SBA, with monthly lease payments, for antenna space on each of these sites. The sites currently have 1.6 tenants per site (including Oi) and include leases with all of the major wireless carriers in Brazil. The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close on or before March 31, 2014. This transaction follows SBA's previously announced acquisition of use rights to 2,113 sites from Oi, which transaction closed November 26, 2013. The consideration to be paid by SBA for the 2,007 sites will be ~ R$1.525 bln (or ~$645 mln at current exchange rates).
SBA expects to fund the purchase price from cash on hand, existing revolver capacity and/or future debt issuances. Based on an assumed closing date of March 31, 2014, SBA anticipates that the sites will contribute ~R$110 mln of cash leasing revenue and R$70 mln of tower cash flow to SBA's results during 2014. SBA anticipates that the transaction, upon closing, will be immediately accretive to AFFO per share. Upon consummating this transaction, SBA will own or have use rights with respect to over 5,000 sites in Brazil.
6:59AM Netflix announced the extension and expansion of its licensing agreement with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (NFLX) 362.94 : The expanded licensing agreement includes new seasons of currently available CBC TV shows on Netflix, including Republic of Doyle , Heartland, Mr. D, Dragons' Den and other titles. Beginning this December and continuing through 2014, new shows and seasons will be available to Canadian members.
6:58AM Teva Pharma announces that 15 new projects have entered its development pipeline from its New Therapeutic Entities (NTE) program (TEVA) 40.20 : The full NTE story can be seen and heard during the Teva In-Focus NTE webinar today at 8:00am ET. Click here for the webcast.
6:33AM Uroplasty provides update on PTNS reimbursement; expects to end 2013 with procedure coverage for more than 140 mln lives, up from 124 mln lives as of 12/31/2012; fiscal Q3 U.S. urgent PC rev growth expectations reaffirmed (UPI) 3.14 : Co provided an update on reimbursement coverage for Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) procedures delivered via the Company's Urgent PC Neuromodulation System for treatment of overactive bladder and associated symptoms of urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urge incontinence. "The number of patients with insurance coverage for PTNS procedures delivered via our Urgent PC system continues to grow and presents us with the opportunity for sustainable strong growth. Based on the latest reimbursement developments, including the decision of National Government Services (NGS) to continue its existing non-coverage policy for PTNS, we anticipate Urgent PC will exit calendar 2013 with approximately 40 million Medicare lives under coverage, an increase from 37 million a year ago, and approximately 106 million private insurer lives under coverage, up from 87 million a year ago."
In addition, the co reported that Health Care Service (HCSC), the largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States, recently announced extended PTNS coverage for treatment of OAB. Effective December 15, 2013, HCSC Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas will extend coverage of PTNS treatment for up to three years for patients showing continued improvement after the first year of treatment.
6:32AM The Medicines Co acquires Rempex Pharmaceuticals for $140 mln upfront payment and milestone payments of $214 mln and $120 mln (MDCO) 36.55 : Co announced that it has acquired Rempex Pharmaceuticals, a company with multiple potential new therapies focused on multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria. The co paid Rempex equity holders $140 million in an upfront payment at the closing of the deal. In addition, the co has agreed to pay Rempex equity holders milestone payments subsequent to the closing, including certain development and regulatory approval milestones totaling $214 million, and commercial milestones totaling $120 million. The Medicines Company has acquired several anti-infective assets as a result of the transaction: Carbavance, Minocin IV, RPX-602, and a preclinical developmental program of novel investigational agents.
Carbavance has completed Phase 1 dose-escalation studies in normal subjects, and is expected to enter registration studies in 2014. The Medicines Company expects to submit for US approval a novel, improved formulation of Minocin IV (RPX-602) in 2014.
6:27AM S&P futures vs fair value: -1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.50. :
6:27AM European Markets : FTSE...6525.98...-6.50...-0.10%. DAX...9235.15...+11.80...+0.10%.
6:27AM Asian Markets : Nikkei...15407.94...-341.70...-2.20%. Hang Seng...23728.70...-181.80...-0.80%.
6:20AM Bob Evans misses by $0.20, misses on revs; guides FY14 EPS below consensus, revs above consensus (BOBE) 55.10 : Reports Q2 (Oct) earnings of $0.35 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.20 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55; revenues fell 19.1% year/year to $332.6 mln vs the $339.07 mln consensus. Co states higher than expected year-over-year increase in sow prices, and other short-term cost impacts reduced diluted GAAP and non-GAAP EPS by approximately $0.27 per diluted share.
Fiscal year 2014 outlook
Guidance: Co issues mixed guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.60-2.65 vs. $2.72 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of ~$1.4 bln vs. $1.38 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
The Company expects fiscal 2014 non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.60-2.65, which includes an estimated $0.09 to $0.11 per diluted share net accretive effect of the newly expanded $225 million fiscal 2014 share repurchase program. The Company's fiscal 2014 non-GAAP earnings per share guidance includes the following assumptions:
6:20AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
6:02AM JPMorgan Chase reaches a EUR 79.9 mln settlement with the European Commission regarding the conduct of two former traders during a one-month period in early 2007 related to Yen LIBOR rates (JPM) 56.86 : Co announced that it has reached a EUR79,897,000 settlement with the European Commission regarding the conduct of two former traders during a one-month period in early 2007 related to Yen LIBOR rates. The settlement makes no finding that JPMorgan Chase management had any knowledge or involvement in the conduct at issue, or that the traders' actions had any impact on the firm's LIBOR submissions or the published LIBOR rates.
Separately, the European Commission announced that it intends to continue its investigation of JPMorgan Chase in connection with Euro-interest-rate derivatives referenced to the EURIBOR benchmark rate. JPMorgan Chase has cooperated fully with the European Commission throughout its investigation and does not believe that the firm engaged in wrongdoing with respect to the EURIBOR benchmark. The company intends to defend itself fully.
6:01AM Ur-Energy ships first production from Lost Creek (URG) 1.11 : Co announced that it has shipped the first load of yellowcake from its wholly-owned Lost Creek Project in Wyoming. The first shipment, which contained ~ 35,000 pounds of U3O8, left the Lost Creek facility on Dec 3, 2013. Additional product shipments have been scheduled throughout the month of Dec.
6:00AM Mechel Steel announces reaching agreement on covenant holidays on bilateral credit lines from VTB Bank amounting to $1.8 billion until the end of 2014 (MTL) 2.14 : Co announced reaching agreement on covenant holidays on bilateral credit lines from VTB Bank amounting to $1.8 billion until the end of 2014. "This agreement once again demonstrates that VTB is one of our most longstanding and credible partners. We are thankful to VTB for many years of fruitful cooperation, which has always contributed to Mechel OAO's dynamic development against a backdrop of the volatility in international commodity markets. Covenant holidays provided by VTB are an important step forward in our debt optimisation process."
5:55AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
5:28AM Cellcom Israel announces network and site sharing negotiations (CEL) 13.57 : Co announces that it is conducting negotiations towards a 4G radio network sharing with Pelephone Communications, or Pelephone, and Golan Telecom (both Israeli cellular operators), and towards sharing of passive elements of cell sites for existing networks with Pelephone. At this stage there is no assurance that such negotiations shall mature into an agreement, nor as to the contents, terms and timing of such agreement which require further negotiations and approval by the parties' authorized institutions. Further, such an agreement, if executed, will be subject to regulatory approvals and there is no assurance that such approvals will be granted.
2:55AM Tesco PLC reports Q3 like-for-like sales down 1.5% YoY, driven by weaker grocery market (TSCDY) 16.92 : Co announces Q3 UK sales growth of +0.9%
2:45AM Cell Therapeutics and GKV-SV reach agreement on pricing of PIXUVRI in Germany (CTIC) 1.91 : Co announces that it concluded an agreement with the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) in Germany for PIXUVRI. PIXUVRI is the first medicinal product approved in the European Union for patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who have failed two or three prior lines of therapy.
2:39AM Impac Mortgage announces sale of AmeriHome Mortgage (IMH) 4.82 : Co announces the sale of its fully licensed and agency approved seller/servicer subsidiary, AmeriHome Mortgage Corp. This transaction is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2014 at a significant gain. The sale is subject to change of control requirements by the state, and government agencies including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. The transaction includes the sale of AmeriHome's primarily agency servicing portfolio of approximately $700 million in unpaid principal balance, but will not affect the ongoing operations of Excel Mortgage Servicing, Inc., dba Impac Mortgage, the Company's nationally licensed mortgage originator that is also a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae approved seller/ servicer. Excluding AmeriHome, Excel's originations are estimated to be $2.7 billion in 2013 and the retained portion of the servicing portfolio is estimated to be $2.5 billion by December 31, 2013. Currently, Impac Mortgage is originating over $500 million per quarter which are predominately Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac eligible loans.
The sale of AmeriHome, which was a redundant mortgage operational platform, will not only improve near term cash balances and profitability but will also help the Company to streamline its mortgage operations. The additional cash from the sale will allow the Company to continue to build its mortgage servicing portfolio.
2:33AM RPM Inc prices $200 mln in 2.25% senior notes due 2020 (RPM) 38.64 :
2:31AM Norwegian Cruise Line prices 22 mln share secondary offering by principal shareholders at $33.25 per share (NCLH) 33.55 : Co announces the pricing of a secondary public offering of 22 mln of its ordinary shares by Star NCLC Holdings and certain funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management (APO) and TPG Global, at a price of $33.25 per ordinary share.
2:24AM Professional Delivery Network announces $1 mln share repurchase program for over the next six months (IPDN) 5.22 : Co announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized a renewal of the Company's share repurchase program pursuant to which the Company may repurchase up to $1 million of its outstanding common stock.
2:21AM Microsoft prices EUR3.5 bln and $3.25 bln in senior unsecured debt offerings (MSFT) 38.31 : Co announces the pricing of its offerings of 3.5 billion of senior unsecured notes and $3.25 billion of senior unsecured notes. The notes consist of the following tranches:
2:19AM Dover signs agreement to sell DEK (DOV) 89.43 : Co announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its DEK Printing Machines unit, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, to ASM Pacific Technology, a Hong Kong listed company. DEK is a global provider of advanced materials deposition technologies and support solutions including printing equipment platforms, stencils, precision screens and mass imaging processes used primarily in the electronics industry. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to close around mid-year 2014. Dover expects to realize cash proceeds from the sale of $170 mln, plus other contingent consideration that could result in up to an additional $30 mln in proceeds, subject to normal post-closing adjustments.
2:10AM HollyFrontier provides update on reduce crude rate on subsidiary (HFC) 48.25 : Co announces that it expects a resolution to the previously announced refinery waste water constraints at its subsidiary's Navajo Refinery by ~the end of January 2014. In the interim, crude throughput at the Navajo Refinery is expected to be ~60,000 barrels per day. Based on HFC's current operational outlook, HFC's fourth quarter 2013 total crude throughput guidance is ~370,000 barrels per day, and HFC's first quarter total crude throughput is expected to be negatively impacted by ~10,000 barrels per day due to January constraints at the Navajo refinery.
2:04AM Constellation Energy: Delaware Court issues Order for Preliminary Juncture in PostRock Litigation (CEP) 2.16 : Co announces that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware has issued an order granting a motion for a preliminary injunction made by plaintiffs in the PostRock Litigation. As a result of the order, CEP is enjoined preliminarily from holding its annual meeting of unitholders on December 5, 2013, or at any time before the Court has ruled on the merits of plaintiffs' claims.
Once the Court has ruled on the merits of plaintiffs' claims, the company's duly constituted board of managers shall promptly schedule and hold the annual meeting.
2:00AM CLARCOR acquires Bekaert advance filtration business (CLC) 59.78 : Co announces Co announces that it has acquired the Bekaert Advanced Filtration business from NV Bekaert SA for a purchase price of ~EUR6 mln ($8 mln), before various contractual adjustments. The Advanced Filtration business is engaged in the same line of business as CLARCOR's subsidiary, Purolator EFP -- the manufacture and supply of engineered metal filters and systems used primarily in the polymer fiber and plastics industries.With estimated 2013 sales of ~EUR15 mln ($20 mln), the business, which has been renamed Purolator Advanced Filtration, has ~170 employees and manufacturing facilities located in Belgium and Indonesia, as well as sales personnel in North and South America. The transaction also includes a supply contract under which the combined business can continue to purchase specialized Bekipor metal fiber filtration media from Bekaert for incorporation into certain of the company's products. The acquisition is not anticipated to be materially accretive or dilutive to CLARCOR's 2014 earnings.