InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:02 pm Celestica CEO enters automatic securities disposition plan (CLS) : Co announced that Craig Muhlhauser, President & Chief Executive Officer, has entered into an automatic securities disposition plan (:ASDP). The ASDP provides for the sale by an independent broker of up to 274,992 subordinate voting shares between November 23, 2014 and October 30, 2015, pursuant to pre-determined timing and other criteria, and subject to minimum price thresholds specified in the plan. Mr. Muhlhauser is also subject to meaningful restrictions on his ability to modify, amend or terminate the plan.

5:01 pm Koss Corp plans move to NASDAQ Capital Market (KOSS) : Co plans to apply to move from the NASDAQ Global Market to the NASDAQ Capital Market. Management believes that the Capital Market is more suited to smaller reporting companies such as Koss, and that by transferring, the Company could save additional costs in the future and would immediately satisfy the minimum Capital Market listing requirements.

4:50 pm This week's biggest % gainers/losers (:SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

This week's top 20 % gainers

  • Technology:TUBE (15.9 +45.1%),INFN (13.78 +33.43%),SMCI (30.55 +28.39%),UIS (23.69 +24.28%),QLGC (11.32 +20.94%),SUNE (18.87 +20.04%),YDLE (14.12 +19.3%)
  • Services:CVTI (22.29 +27.65%),CTCM (6.06 +23.75%),TSCO (71.67 +21.31%),SHLD (38.97 +21.17%)
  • Healthcare:RGLS (17.33 +110.12%),ALDR (16.4 +36.24%),OVAS (18.06 +26.42%),NLNK (38.48 +22.62%),AKRX (44.38 +19.47%)
  • Financial:BRP (23.16 +28.87%)
  • Consumer Goods:SCSS (25.49 +20.11%)
  • Basic Materials:AKS (7.12 +24.83%),MTRN (36.3 +24.07%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Utilities:EBR (2.51 -14.87%)
  • Technology:OIBR-C (0.46 -23.78%),OIBR (0.45 -22.64%),PT (1.34 -20.12%),ANGI (6.52 -19.79%),UTEK (17.7 -17.95%),YELP (59.42 -14.67%)
  • Services:ASPS (73.33 -23.47%),AIRM (45.06 -17.27%),LL (48.94 -15.8%),CAB (49.37 -15.69%)
  • Financial:OCN (19.27 -22.18%)
  • Consumer Goods:BDBD (8.47 -27.62%)
  • Basic Materials:PBR-A (13.46 -18.74%),ACI (1.84 -17.49%),CDE (4.4 -16.86%),PBR (12.93 -16.48%),AREX (9.75 -16.15%),MCP (1.26 -15.33%),SFY (6.55 -15.1%)

4:31 pm Arkansas Best company ABF Freight announces ~5.4% increase in general rates and charges effective November 3, 2014 (ARCB) :  

4:16 pm Trinity Industries subsidiary Trinity Highway Products to stop shipments of ET-Plus System (TRN) : Co Trinity Highway Products, LLC announced today that it will stop the shipment of the ET-Plus System until additional crash testing can be completed. The Federal Highway Administration (:FHWA) recently requested additional crash testing of the ET-Plus System in support of its ongoing evaluation of the ET-Plus System. The Company will continue working with FHWA related to further testing and will stop shipment of the product until requested testing is completed. Trinity Highway Products, LLC is a subsidiary of Trinity Industries (TRN).

4:12 pm Arkansas Best increases quarterly dividend 100% to $0.06 from $0.03 per share (ARCB) :  

4:11 pm NASDAQ announces end-of-month open short interest position in Nasdaq stocks as of settlement date October 15, 2014 (NDAQ) : At the end of the settlement date of October 15, 2014, short interest in 2,248 Nasdaq Global MarketSM securities totaled 8,394,049,533 shares compared with 8,291,146,631 shares in 2,241 Global Market issues reported for the prior settlement date of September 30, 2014. The end-of-September short interest represents 4.48 days average daily Nasdaq Global Market share volume for the reporting period, compared with 4.58 days for the prior reporting period.

4:10 pm Enable Midstream Partners increases quarterly distribution ~2.5% to $0.3025 per unit (ENBL) :  

4:09 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Extend Rebound From October Lows (:WRAPX) : The major averages capped a strong week with a rally that sent the S&P 500 higher by 0.7%. The benchmark index gained 4.1% for the week while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.7%) extended its weekly advance to 5.3%.

Equity indices endured a shaky start with a handful of concerns factoring into the cautious posture in the early going:

  • Contagion concerns stemming from news that a New York doctor who exhibited Ebola-like symptoms yesterday tested positive for the disease 
  • Disappointing economic data from China that revealed a 1.3% year-over-year drop in New Home Sales and featured monthly declines in all 70 cities, and 
  • Below-consensus results from Amazon.com (AMZN 287.06, -26.12) 
After spinning their wheels through the opening hour, the key indices were able to pull away from their flat lines with help from influential sectors. In addition, investor sentiment was boosted by news from the National Institute of Health indicating Dallas Presbyterian nurse Nina Pham has recovered from Ebola.

Coincidentally, the health care sector (+1.4%) settled in the lead with significant support from Bristol-Myers (BMY 53.63, +1.13) and Shire (SHPG 194.49, +9.51). The two names posted respective gains of 2.2% and 5.1% in reaction to upbeat quarterly results while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 288.77, +5.15) jumped 1.8%.

Similar to health care, the remaining three countercyclical sectors ended ahead of the broader market with gains between 0.8% and 1.0%.

Meanwhile, the cyclical groups ended in mixed fashion with respect to the S&P 500. Financials (+0.9%) and industrials (+0.9%) outperformed, while consumer discretionary (-0.1%) and energy (-0.3%) lagged.

The consumer discretionary sector was pressured by an 8.3% loss in the shares of Amazon.com while also enduring weakness among carmakers. Ford (F 13.78, -0.62) lost 4.3% after surpassing bottom-line estimates on below-consensus revenue. On the flip side, media names and restaurant stocks displayed relative strength.

For its part, the energy sector stumbled in the morning amid weakness in crude oil. The energy component climbed off its worst level of the day, but still ended lower by 1.2% at $81.03/bbl.

Also of note, the technology sector (+0.8%) traded in-line with the market for the bulk of the session before joining the leaders in the afternoon. Dow component Microsoft (MSFT 46.13, +1.11) advanced 2.5% after beating earnings and revenue estimates while chipmakers drew strength from KLA-Tencor (KLAC 75.90, +4.90). The stock soared 6.9% in reaction to in-line results, combined with a special dividend of $16.50 and an increased buyback program. The broader PHLX Semiconductor Index rose 1.1%.

Treasuries ended flat after sliding from their overnight highs. The 10-yr yield ended at 2.27%.

Participation was roughly in-line with long-term averages as 700 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data was limited to the New Home Sales report for September, which revealed a 0.2% increase to 467,000 from a revised rate of 466,000 (from 504,000). However, that was below the Briefing.com consensus, which expected a reading of 475,000. Most notably, the large downward revision to the August figures took away what had been the strongest monthly reading since May 2008.
  • Prices for new homes fell 4.0% year-over-year, which was the first such decline since April and the largest drop since a 7.7% tumble in January 2012. 
Monday's data will be limited to the 10:00 ET release of the Pending Home Sales report for September (Briefing.com consensus 0.5%).
  • Nasdaq Composite +7.4% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +6.3% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.4% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 -3.8% YTD 
Week in Review: Stocks Rebound From Recent Slide

Equity indices finished the Monday session near their highs with the Nasdaq Composite (+1.4%) leading the way. The S&P 500 (+0.9%) settled a bit behind the tech-heavy index while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) struggled to turn positive. The price-weighted Dow spent the bulk of the session in the red as IBM (IBM) weighed. The stock fell 7.1% and surrendered its standing as the second-largest Dow component after reporting disappointing results that featured revenue declines across all key segments and all geographic regions in which the company operates. Despite IBM's miss, the technology sector kept pace with the broader market, thanks in part to the relative strength of Apple (AAPL). The top-weighted sector component jumped 2.1% ahead of its earnings report. Similarly, chipmakers contributed to the advance with the PHLX Semiconductor Index climbing 1.5%.

The market enjoyed another broad-based advance on Tuesday with the S&P 500 (+2.0%) posting its fourth consecutive gain. The benchmark index made its biggest jump in more than a year and recaptured its 200-day moving average (1906.95) while the Nasdaq Composite (+2.4%) outperformed throughout the session. Equities began on an upbeat note with a set of better than expected results contributing to the early strength. However, the futures market received a separate overnight boost from a Reuters report suggesting the European Central Bank will look to begin buying corporate bonds. That report was followed by headlines from the Financial Times indicating the ECB has no plans to implement the aforementioned buying program at this time. The denial did not stop European equities from ending on their highs while the U.S. market built on its early strength throughout the day. For the second day in a row, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.3%) could not keep pace with the broader market, which was once again due in part to the relative weakness in the shares of IBM. The third-largest index component lost 3.5% while only two other Dow members finished in the red. To that point, Coca-Cola (KO) and McDonald's (MCD) registered respective losses of 6.0% and 0.6% in reaction to cautious guidance from both consumer companies.

The stock market ended the midweek session on a lower note, causing the S&P 500 (-0.7%) to snap its four-day winning streak. The benchmark index slumped into the red during afternoon action while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.9%) underperformed once again. Stocks displayed modest gains in the early going, but that advance took place despite the lack of concerted leadership. The underperformance of several influential sectors weighed on the market and led to a midsession retreat. Five of six cyclical sectors ended behind the broader market with energy (-1.7%) showing the largest decline. The growth-sensitive sector displayed intraday strength, but slumped in the afternoon amid weakness in crude oil. The energy component spent the morning near its flat line, but plunged in the afternoon to end lower by 2.4% at $80.49/bbl. Greenback strength acted as a bit of a headwind with the Dollar Index (85.75, +0.45) rising 0.5%.

Equities finished the Thursday session with solid gains. The Russell 2000 (+1.8%) led the way while the S&P 500 settled higher by 1.2% with eight sectors in the green. The key indices surged at the start of the trading day after the overnight session featured upbeat economic data from overseas. On that note, Manufacturing PMI readings from China, Japan, and the Eurozone surpassed estimates, but the headline figures masked some weakness below the surface. For instance, China's HSBC Manufacturing PMI (50.4; expected 50.3) came in ahead of estimates, but the output and employment indices contracted. Additionally, a set of better than expected quarterly results from several large cap names also provided a measure of support.

4:06 pm Arkansas Best increases quarterly dividend to $0.06 from $0.03/share (ARCB) :  

3:49 pm New highs across the board in late trade -- Dow +131, S&P +14, Nasdaq Comp +30 (:TECHX) :  

3:39 pm New session high for Nasdaq Comp +25 in late trade -- Dow +109, S&P +11.3 (:TECHX) : Relative sector strength in recent action has been noted in Internet FDN, Biotech IBB, Bank KBE, Rail, Gold Miners GDX.

3:37 pm Not Good, but Not Bad Either (BONDX) :

  • At the cash close, yields across the Treasury curve were unchanged
    • 2-yr note yield 0.39%
    • 5-yr note yield 1.49%
    • 10-yr note yield 2.27%
    • 30-yr bond yield 3.04%
  • Yields had been lower earlier in the session, bolstered by pre-open reports indicating new home prices in China declined 1.3% year-over-year and that a doctor in New York City tested positive for Ebola after returning from aid work in Guinea
  • A weaker than expected New Home Sales report in the U.S. also lent the market some early support
    • September new home sales increased 0.2% to 467,000 (Briefing.com consensus 475,00) from a downwardly revised 466,000 in August (from 504,000)
    • New home prices declined 4.0% year-over-year to $259,000 -- the first decline since April and the largest decline since a 7.7% drop in January 2012
  • Early buying interest faded, however, as stocks found their footing and gained momentum on a headline from the NIH confirming Dallas nurse Nina Pham is free of the Ebola virus
  • During a bout of selling, the 10-yr note would not break out above 2.300% resistance
  • The 2-yr note tested resistance in the 0.40% area, but renewed buying interest knocked it back below levels that were last seen in early June
  • The U.S Dollar Index was down 0.2% to 85.71 as the greenback lost some modest ground against the yen and the euro
  • Modest strength in the euro belied concerns about the bank stress test results that will be released by the ECB on Sunday
    • Press reports, citing people familiar with the matter, suggested that as many as 25 banks will fail the stress test
  • Commodities were mixed
    • Oil -1.1% to $81.21/bbl
    • Gold +0.1% to $1230.40/troy ounce
    • Copper unch at $3.04/lb
The Week Ahead
  • Monday's data is limited to pending home sales (10).  Attention will also be paid to the results of the ECB bank stress test and the Brazilian election.
  • Tuesday will see durable orders (8:30), Case-Shiller 20-city Index (9), and consumer confidence (10). Treasury will auction $29 bln 2Y notes. 
  • Wednesday will see just the weekly MBA Mortgage Index (7). The FOMC will announce its latest policy decisions (14). Treasury will hold a $35 bln 5Y note auction. 
  • Thursday's data includes initial and continuing claims and GDP-Adv. (8:30). Treasury will auction $29 bln 7Y notes. 
  • Friday's data is heavy as personal income and spending, PCE Prices -- Core, Employment Cost Index (8:30), Chicago PMI (9:45), and Michigan Sentiment -- Final (9:55) are all due out.

3:33 pm Earnings Preview for the week of October 27 - 31 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of October 27 - 31 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • Pre Market - MRK, STX, HUN, BEN, TEN, ROP, CFG, AWI, PDS
    • After Hours - AMGN, HIG, RGA, OMI, MAS, UHS, SANM, PRE, CLF, XL, MTW, AMKR, CR, RGC, GGP, HLS, BWLD, TWTR, 
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - HMC, BP, AET, NVS, PFE, HCA, DD, UBS, FCX, WHR, AN, CMI, PCG, PCAR, CNC, TRW, ECL, PH, SHW, MMC, GLW, AGCO, EME, AXE, HOT, LH, MWV, NBL, HRS, SIRI, AME, COH, MLM, XYL, FDP, CNX, TKR
    • After Hours - MCK, ESRX, GILD, AFL, X, APC, EIX, WDC, CHRW, MAR, FB, AMP, OI, TRN, FISV, CINF, EA, AJG, AFG, CBT, GPRE, WSH, EQR, PSMT, PNRA, VRTX
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - AUO, PSX, WLP, EXC, ETN, ARW, SO, GT, PAG, WM, TEL, PX, ADP, HES, RL, HSY, SEE, STM, CMC, BAH, MHFI, JLL, ALLY, SPW, H, WEC, SKYW, IACI, XRAY, AIT, GRMN, CG, SPWR, SODA
    • After Hours - MET, SU, ALL, FLEX, KRFT, LNC, V, UNM, CAR, AIZ, ABX, BIDU, PPC, CBG, WMB, WPZ, TEX, FNF, ALDW, BGC, CNW, HBI, ARRS, MUR, RJF, ESV, THG, NSIT, SPN, FBHS, FMC, OII, TGI, FFIV, WTW, DWA, SFLY
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - RDS.A, ABC, CAH, NVO, MPC, BG, COP, EPD, JCI, CI, TWC, NOV, CTRX, TEVA, MO, PBF, K, ALU, XEL, TRI, LLL, PEG, APD, MGM, MA, MOS, BLL, AVP, BWA, LKQ, FIS, INGR, HAR, IVZ, LAD, HST, ATK, GEL, SCG, NI, RFP, LPLA, Q, GG, AMT, ANR, PBI, IRM, CME, DBD, STRZA, 
    • After Hours - INT, TSO, FLR, SBUX, ALJ, MOH, LYV, EMN, RSG, MYL, MHK, NEM, EXPE, WU, YRCW, MTZ, CCI, ONNN, TPX, GRPN, SEM, BYD, SPF, ATR, COLM, OUTR, LNKD, PSA, GPRO
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - XOM, CVX, BUD, D, AON, HLT, CHTR, WY, SPR, OSK, NWL, COL, CLX, TDS, PNW, XLS, COMM, USM, AXL, TE, NS, LM

3:28 pm American Shared announces $1.2 million private financing (AMS) : Co announced the closing of its issuance of $1.0 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured notes to Board of Directors members Raymond Stachowiak, John Ruffle, Mert Ozyurek, and David Larson.

  • The notes mature in three years, and carry interest at 15% annually. In connection with its issuance of the notes, AMS issued to its note holders three-year warrants to purchase an aggregate of 200K shares at an exercise price of $2.20 per share. 
  • This private offering is pursuant to a note and warrant purchase agreement the parties entered into on October 22, 2014.

3:10 pm Currency Commentary: Currency Volatility Cools for Friday (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index was able to stem early selling at the 85.53. It has been able to regain some of its losses as it pushes back to the 85.71. But afternoon trading has been uneventful with plenty of side way action. The key for investors will be next week's Fed meeting. The FOMC is expected to wind down its QE program so the bigger interest may surround any potential tweaks to the language. 
  • The euro mad a push toward 1.27 but saw its rally end at 1.2695. The single currency has pilled back to the 1.2670 level. Market focus will be on the ECB Stress Test results due out Sunday. On the economic front, CPI and Jobs data from Europe and Germany will dominate the focus. But the overall direction will still be driven by the dollar. 
  • The pound was able to grinding toward 1.61 but failed to test the level and has been grinding sideways between 1.6075 and 1.6090 over the past couple of hours. It is a quiet week on the calendar for the U.K. which suggests the dollar and euro will lead sterling.
  • The yen has been straddling the 108 level all day. It has been a relatively uneventful day for the yen as market volatility took a breather (BONDX, FOREX). 

3:09 pm Nasdaq Comp +22 joins Dow +111 at new session high, S&P +10 is holding just below its midday high at 1962.78 (:TECHX) :  

3:08 pm Lennox Intl discloses credit facility amendment (LII) : Co on Oct 20 entered into a short term loan agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent, and Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A. and the other lenders named therein, to borrow up to $250 million. The Short-Term Facility will mature on March 31, 2015, but permits prepayment at any time prior to maturity without penalty.

2:43 pm Dow +110 sets minor new session high, S&P +10.7 and Nasdaq Comp +18 have not yet confirmed (:TECHX) :  

2:38 pm Zep reschedules Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 earnings release and conference call to November 12, 2014 (ZEP) : Co announced that, because of schedule conflicts, it has rescheduled the release of its fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2014 financial results to 7:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 and will hold a conference call to discuss the results at 8:30 a.m. ET the same day. This is a change from our previously communicated anticipated earnings date.

2:36 pm Energy price action (:COMDX) :

  • Crude oil fell $1.02 to $81.03/barrel
  • Natural gas closed unchanged at $3.62/MMBtu
  • Heating oil fell 2 cents to $2.48/gallon
  • RBOB fell 3 cents to $2.18/gallon

2:31 pm Wells-Gardner Electronics granted shareholder approval to change corporate name to AG&E Holdings Inc. effective immediately; stock will continue to trade on NYSE MKT Exchange under ticker symbol WGA (WGA) :  

2:30 pm Commodities (:COMDX) :

  • Corn fell 7 cents to $3.53/bushel
  • Wheat fell 7 cents to $5.18/bushel
  • Soybeans fell 15 cents to $9.78/bushel
  • Ethanol fell 2 cents to $1.69/gallon
  • Suger #11 rose 1.3% to 16.38 cents/lb

2:18 pm Sensient announces new $450 million credit facility (SXT) : Co announced that it has completed a new $450 million revolving credit facility, with nine banks participating in the transaction.

  • The facility, comprised of a five year, $350 million revolver and a $100 million term loan will be used to refinance current bank debt and for general corporate purposes.

2:17 pm Hilltop Holdings's PlainsCapital Bank announced it will close 11 branches in the Rio Grande Valley (HTH) :  

2:08 pm Rock-Tenn increases quarterly dividend 7.1% to $0.1875 from $0.175/share (RKT) :  

2:05 pm Williams Partners: Constitution Pipeline receives Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's final environmental review (WPZ) : Constitution Pipeline Company, owned by subsidiaries of Williams Partners (WPZ), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), Piedmont (PNY), and WGL Holdings (WGL) reported a key regulatory milestone toward approval to construct its proposed pipeline on a schedule that targets increasing natural gas supply to New York and New England markets in time for the winter 2015-16 heating season.

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 24 published its final environmental review of the proposed 124-mile Constitution Pipeline. 
  • The FERC action is a key step toward the commission's decision on the project, which is expected as early as late November. 
  • Assuming timely receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, Constitution Pipeline would begin construction as early as the first-quarter next year in order to help meet winter 2015-16 heating-season needs in New York and New England. 
  • The FERC's 90-day federal authorization decision deadline for the project is set for Jan. 22, 2015. 
  • The Constitution Pipeline is designed to transport enough natural gas each day to serve ~3 million homes in the U.S. Northeast. 
  • The project involves the construction and operation of 124 miles of 30-inch-diameter pipeline from natural gas supply areas in northeast Pennsylvania and connecting with existing transmission pipelines in Schoharie County, N.Y.

2:01 pm General Dynamics Canadian division was awarded a CDN$122 mln, three-year contract to upgrade the Canadian Forces' existing fleet of Combat Net Radios (GD) : Co's Canadian division has been awarded a CDN$122 million, three-year contract to upgrade the Canadian Forces' existing fleet of Combat Net Radios. The radios, originally purchased in 1991, will be enhanced to allow for simultaneous operation of voice, messaging and positional awareness reporting, capabilities not currently possible with the existing radio set. The upgrades will increase the throughput and speed of data transmission, bringing levels on par with newer military radios.

  • Initial delivery of the upgraded Combat Net Radios is expected in May 2015 and will continue through 2017.
  • This contract provides work for ~150 employees based out of General Dynamics Canada's Calgary and Ottawa facilities, as well as employees at Rockwell Collins Canada, SigmaPoint Technologies and SED Systems.  

1:55 pm StoneMor Partners L.P increases quarterly dividend 1.6% to $0.62 from $0.61/share (STON) :

  • StoneMor also announced that on November 7, 2014 at 10:00 am ET it will be holding a conference call to discuss financial results for the 2014 third quarter period ending September 30, 2014.

1:36 pm Metals price action (:COMDX) :

  • Gold rose $2.60 to $1231.80/oz
  • Silver rose 2 cents to $17.18/oz
  • Copper remained unchanged at $3.04/oz

1:21 pm Major averages slightly extend slip back off midday highs -- Dow +56, S&P +4.4, Nasdaq Comp +6.9 (:TECHX) :  

1:06 pm 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

  • EW (116.75 +10.99%): Reported Q3 results that beat expectations by $0.08, beat on revs; guided Q4 EPS in-line, revs in-line; Tgt raised at Stifel & Northland.
  • AGU (92.79 +7.42%): ValueAct Partners disclosed a 5.7% stake in the company.
  • BMRN (80.29 +7.04%): Beat Q3 consensus estimates by $0.22, missed on revs; raises FY14 revs below consensus; tgt raised to $87 at RBC Capital Mkts.
Large Cap Losers
  • AMZN (289.61 -7.53%): Missed Q3 estimates; guided Q4 operating income and rev below consensus; Downgraded at Janney, Cowen, others.
  • F (13.8 -4.17%): Beat by $0.02, missed on revs; reaffirmed guidance given at Sept 29 Investor Day.
  • SWN (32.08 -3.52%): Reported EPS of $0.50 vs consensus of $0.52 on revs of $928 mln vs consensus of $975.94 mln
Mid Cap Gainers
  • N (104.62 +12.48%): Reported Q3 earnings of $0.11 per share $0.07 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.04; revenues rose 34.4% year/year to $143.7 mln vs the $141.03 mln consensus; tgt raised at Northland & MKM Partners.
  • RMD (52.16 +9.35%): Reported Q1 earnings of $0.58 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.58; revenues rose 6.4% year/year to $380.4 mln vs the $375.22 mln consensus; Upgraded to Outperform at William Blair.
  • IDXX (136.72 +8.21%): Beat Q3 estimates by $0.18, beat on revs; guided FY14 & FY15 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus.
Mid Cap Losers
  • SYNA (61.62 -15.9%): Reported Q1 earnings of $1.04 per share, $0.16 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.20; revenues of $282.7 mln vs the $288.78 mln consensus.
  • P (19.65 -15.01%): Beat Q3 expectations by $0.01, reported revs in-line; guided Q4 EPS in-line, revs above consensus; Downgraded at Susquehanna.
  • GPRO (71.34 -9.87%): Initiated with an Underperform at Oppenheimer; tgt $45.

12:58 pm Midday Market Summary: Health Care Leads (:WRAPX) : The major averages hold modest midday gains with the S&P 500 higher by 0.3% while the Nasdaq (+0.2%) follows right behind.

The first half of the Friday session has consisted of a shaky start that was followed by a rally to fresh highs. Overnight news contributed to a cautious open with China reporting another decline in New Home Prices and separate headlines indicating the New York doctor who was rushed to a hospital with Ebola-like symptoms tested positive for the disease. On a related note, the National Institute of Health said Dallas Presbyterian nurse Nina Pham has recovered from Ebola.

During the past 45 minutes, the S&P 500 marked a session high just north of its 100-day average (1961.81) and currently trades within four points of that level.

Eight sectors hold midday gains while the two decliners-consumer discretionary (-0.4%) and energy (-0.6%)-have narrowed their early losses. The energy sector was down in excess of 1.0% during the opening hour with crude factoring into the weakness. Similar to the sector, oil has climbed off its low, but remains down 1.1% at $81.18/bbl.

For its part, the consumer discretionary sector has been pressured by disappointing results from Amazon.com (AMZN 288.16, -25.00). The stock trades lower by 7.9% and has contributed to the underperformance of the Nasdaq.

However, the tech-heavy index has been able to overcome the bulk of the weakness with help from chipmakers and biotechnology. The PHLX Semiconductor Index has added 0.9% while the technology sector trades in-line with the S&P 500. KLA-Tencor (KLAC 75.62, +4.62) has been a standout in the microchip space after reporting in-line results, combined with a special dividend of $16.50 and an increased buyback program.

Elsewhere, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 286.68, +3.06) is higher by 1.1% while the health care sector (+0.9%) leads following upbeat results from Bristol-Myers (BMY 53.48, +0.98) and Shire (SHPG 195.00, +10.02).

Treasuries hold slim gains after slipping from their highs. The 10-yr yield is lower by one basis point at 2.26%.

Economic data was limited to the New Home Sales report for September, which revealed a 0.2% increase to 467,000 from a revised rate of 466,000 (from 504,000). However, that was below the Briefing.com consensus, which expected a reading of 475,000. Most notably, the large downward revision to the August figures took away what had been the strongest monthly reading since May 2008.

  • Prices for new homes fell 4.0% year-over-year, which was the first such decline since April and the largest drop since a 7.7% tumble in January 2012

12:18 pm New session highs with S&P +11.7 joining Dow +107 above Thursday peaks -- Nasdaq Comp +21 is probing yesterday's high (:TECHX) :  

11:52 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:-0.5%
  • Germany's DAX:-0.7%
  • France's CAC:-0.7%
  • Spain's IBEX:+0.1%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.8%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+0.3%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:-0.4%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +0.1%

11:46 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (85) outpacing new lows (59) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAC, AAPL, AAT, ABBV, AEC, AGIO, AKR, ALX, ALXN, AMRE, ARE, BABY, BCC, BCR, BJRI, BPY, CCI, CELG, CHRW, CRAI, CRL, CUBE, CVTI, DPZ, DRIV, DTE, DUK, DVA, ED, EGP, ELS, EW, FAF, FRT, GAGA, GILD, GSBC, IDXX, INFU, JACK, KIM, KRC, LAWS, LEG, MACK, MKSI, MTX, NP, NU, OCR, ORLY, PANW, PEB, PG, POR, PTSI, RDI, REG, REGN, RENT, ROX, SCSS, SFST, SLG, SMCI, SONC, SPG, SSS, STRT, SWX, SYF, TFX, TMH, TRV, TUBE, TUES, TYL, UHT, UNP, VTAE, VVC, WOOF, WRB, WRI, XENT

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ADHD, AFMD, AMZG, AMZN, ANF, ANGI, AREX, AU, BBGI, CAB, CACH, CBDE, CFX, CGG, CLI, CRK, CTG, EDMC, EPAX, EPRS, FBC, FMD, FNFG, GIG, GSIT, GSS, HMY, HUBG, JIVE, KEG, KOSS, KUTV, KZ, LAS, LAYN, LF, LL, MEA, NCQ, NSSC, P, PDII, PRSS, PSUN, REMY, RNO, SEAC, SFY, SUNS, SUSQ, SWN, TGA, TGE, TLR, TRGT, TSPT, UBSH, VMI, WF

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: IBB, IHI, XLU

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: USCI

11:44 am New session highs for major averages with Dow +92 also edging slightly above Thursday's high -- S&P +10, Nasdaq Comp +18 (:TECHX) :  

11:41 am 3M working back toward weekly/multi-year high (MMM) : The stock tested its previous multi-year high from Sep at 147.87 yesterday and fractionally exceeded before pulling back (hit 147.92) in recent trade this morning it has been working back toward these levels (session high 147.60). 

11:21 am Major averages edge up toward early highs -- Dow +58, S&P +6.4, Nasdaq Comp +14 (:TECHX) :  

10:56 am Novo Nordisk A/S confirmed it received subpoena from US Attorney (NVO) :

  • Co announced that it has been served with a subpoena by the office of the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts requesting documents regarding potential manufacturing issues within certain production units located in Kalundborg, Denmark.
  • Novo Nordisk is cooperating fully with the US Attorney in this investigation. At this time, Novo Nordisk cannot determine or predict the outcome of this matter or assess the consequences thereof. In addition, the company cannot predict how long the investigation will take or when it will be able to provide additional information.

10:50 am Vringo: ZTE (ZTCOF) request for release of detained products denied by president of district court of the hague, netherlands (VRNG) : Co announced that the President of the District Court of The Hague in the Netherlands issued its decision in a request filed by ZTE Corporation (ZTCOF), ZTE Deutschland GmbH, and ZTE Netherlands B.V. to release the ZTE UMTS-products that are being held by Dutch customs officials and to order Vringo to ask the Dutch customs authorities to stop their actions against ZTE's products based on the Anti Piracy Regulation of the European Union.

  • In a ruling, issued today, the President denied ZTE's requests, and upheld the detention of ZTE's goods as previously ordered by Dutch customs authorities. The Court found that Vringo's European Patent 1,186,119, which a German court previously held to be infringed by ZTE Corporation and ZTE Deutschland GmbH, is prima facie valid and infringed by ZTE. The Court also rejected ZTE's argument that Vringo has violated European competition law by enforcing the '119 Patent. In addition, the Court ordered ZTE to pay Vringo's legal costs of 200K. ZTE may choose to appeal the Court's decision.

10:41 am Heartland Express reports Q3 (Sep) results, misses on revs (HTLD) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.26 per share, negatively impacted by approximately $0.02 per share due to manufacturer's delays in the delivery of new tractors, resulting in lower than expected gain on sale of equipment, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.28. Revenues rose 66.2% year/year to $217.1 mln vs the $227.88 mln consensus.

  • Freight demand continued to be strong throughout the quarter as the Company experienced above normal volumes of freight across the entire United States. All regions of the country were strong, with some like the west coast being extremely overbooked. Loads turned down throughout the quarter were the highest the Company has seen since before the recession.

10:35 am Semiconductor Hldrs ETF hovering near session high of 49.30 (SMH) : The new session high leaves the SMH at a resistance marked by its 50 day ema and this week's high at 49.31/49.37 -- KLAC +8.5%, TER +3.9%, AMAT +2.3%, LSCC +2%, NVDA +1.5%, INTC +1.3%, CRUS +1.3%, ADI +1.3%, MCHP +1.2%, AMD +1.1%, LRCX +1.1%, AMKR +1%.

10:34 am United Continental: United Airlines will launch four new Pacific routes next week, beginning with nonstop service between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, and between San Francisco and Tokyo's Haneda Airport and also two new routes from its Guam hub -- Seoul, South Korea and Shanghai (UAL) :  

10:31 am Lam Research extends to new weekly high, stalls just below its multi-year close high (LRCX) : The stock has been able to build on the previous day post-earnings gains with it setting a new high for the week at 76.67. This early move left is slightly below its multi-year close high from Sep at 76.77 (Sep/multi-year intraday peak 77.35) with some minor backtracking developing. 

10:17 am Full House Resorts: concerned stockholders of Full House Resorts, Inc. issue statement on Board Of Director's decision to amend bylaws to reduce the right of stockholders to call special meetings (FLL) : Concerned Stockholders issued the following statement in reaction to the Board of Directors action this week which changed the Company's bylaws:

  • On October 23, 2014, the Board of Directors of Full House Resorts announced that they had amended bylaws of the Company to reduce existing shareholder rights to call a special meeting.
  • The changes allow the Board to reject the calling of a special meeting even if done in accordance with the bylaws. 
  • It empowers the Board to delay any vote on the subject matter presented by stockholders by calling its own meeting months later. 
  • Dan Lee, one of the Concerned Stockholders said, "This is an outrageous action on the part of the Full House Board. We believe this bylaw is invalid and unenforceable under Delaware law and its adoption was a breach of the directors' fiduciary duties to stockholders."
  • "This appears to us to be a blatant attempt to entrench and possibly enrich management at the expense of Full House stockholders," commented Bradley Tirpak, another of the Concerned Stockholders, "We believe stockholders will see right through this ruse."

10:11 am Harris has been awarded a potential $770 million in indefinite delivery/requirements contracts for up to five years to provide geospatial data services for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (HRS) : Under Foundation GEOINT Content Management contracts, Harris will create high-quality data and products of the Pacific, North America, South America, and Africa regions of the world for use by the U.S. intelligence community and military. FGCM will contribute to and maintain a comprehensive, geospatially accurate map of the world that can be accessed quickly as intelligence, operational, and crisis needs arise.

10:07 am Stock indices weakening, slip slightly under Thursday's late pullback lows -- Dow -14, S&P -3.5, Nasdaq Comp -3.7 (:TECHX) :  

10:02 am CBD Energy scheduled to resume trading at 10:05 a.m. ET; see 08:44 comment for related news (CBDE) :  

10:02 am Stock indices tick slightly higher after data -- Dow +42, S&P +3.8, Nasdaq Comp +10 (:TECHX) :  

10:01 am XL Group plc's North America Property & Casualty insurance business has promoted Donna Nadeau to COO (XL) :  

10:01 am Comtech Telecom receives $1.5 million high-power traveling wave tube amplifier contract (CMTL) : Co announced today that its Santa Clara, California-based subsidiary, Comtech Xicom Technology Inc., has received an award for $1.5 million to supply high-power millimeter-wave traveling wave tube amplifiers from a U.S. government customer. The Comtech Xicom TWTA is a rugged outdoor amplifier and will be used in fixed and transportable satellite links for strategic military communications.

10:00 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors displaying some relative sector weakness in recent trade (underperforming the S&P) include: Housing XHB, Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Materials XLB, Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Retial XRT.

9:52 am Major averages edge slightly higher but pause below Thursday peaks prior to the data -- Dow +20, S&P +1.5, Nasdaq Comp +7 (:TECHX) :  

9:42 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Climb Out of the Gate (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 began the Friday session near its flat line, but has pulled away from that level and now trades higher by 0.3%.

The consumer discretionary sector (-0.5%) weighs due to a 7.4% loss in the shares of Amazon.com (AMZN 289.28, -23.88), which reported disappointing results.

Elsewhere, the energy sector (-0.3%) lags amid weakness in crude oil. The energy component has surrendered 1.4% and currently trades at $80.93/bbl.

On the upside, the health care sector (+0.8%) leads with help from Shire (SHPG 194.88, +9.90). The drug maker has added 5.4% in reaction to upbeat results. Elsewhere, the tech sector (+0.4%) has received support from Microsoft (MSFT 45.80, +0.78). The Dow component is higher by 1.7% after beating earnings and revenue estimates.

The New Home Sales report (Briefing.com consensus 475,000) will be released at 10:00 ET.

9:37 am Major averages choppy and confined near flat line -- Dow +12, S&P +0.6, Nasdaq Comp +1.1 (:TECHX) : Some minor sector strength has been noted in: Silver SLV, Transports IYT, Software IGV, Pharma PPH, Technology XLK, Steel SLX, Ag/Chem MOO, Health XLV.

9:30 am Currency Commentary: Euro Rallies (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index continues to threaten to test 86, however it stalled out at the 85.90 area the past two days. The greenback has pulled back during European trade and is now near session lows at 85.69. New Home Sales data is due out at 10am and is the only notable economic report on the docket. But the big item will be next week's FOMC decision (Wed) in which the Fed is expected to withdraw its QE program.
  • The euro has been able to rally off the lows and push to 1.2675. A better than expected German GfK Consumer Survey has helped provide a boost. The primary focus for Europe though is the ECB Stress Tests which will be released at 11am GMT on Sunday. It would appear that the central bank is leaking out some of the results in order to avoid any sort of panic close today. Early indication is that 25 banks will fail. This is higher than previously anticipated but not necessarily a negative as some participants will feel that the test is more of a true measure if a few names fail. The euro has pushed to 1.2680 in early trade.
  • The pound has pushed back above the 1.60 level after the preliminary look for the Q3 GDP came in line with expectations and better than feared. The country continues to see growth but it has cooled off from recent quarters. 
  • The yen is testing 108 for resistance. The risk on/off  trade has been a primary driver this week for the yen. The markets are uncertain at this moment and that is being reflected in the yen as it trades in a tight range around a key technical level (BONDX, FOREX). 

9:29 am Chiquita Brands announces results of special meeting of shareholders; Chiquita and Fyffes (FYFFF) terminate transaction agreement, Chiquita expects to enter into discussions with Cutrale/Safra Group regarding their $14.50 per share offer (shares halted) (CQB) : Co announced that based on the votes cast at the Company's Special Meeting of Shareholders held today Chiquita shareholders have not approved the revised transaction agreement with Fyffes plc (FYFFF). Accordingly, each of the parties has delivered notice to terminate the transaction agreement, and the proposed combination with Fyffes has lapsed for the purpose of the Irish Takeover Rules. In addition, Chiquita said that it expects to enter into discussions with the Cutrale/Safra Group regarding Cutrale / Safra's revised offer to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Chiquita for $14.50 per in cash. Chiquita notes that no definitive agreement with Cutrale / Safra has been reached and there can be no assurances that any transaction will result from these discussions. Chiquita does not expect to update the market with any further information unless and until the Board has reached a final decision.

9:28 am Layne Christensen provides additional information on improved liquidity position (LAYN) : Co provided additional information regarding the improvement in its liquidity position during the third quarter ending October 31, 2014.

  • This metric was included in a press release issued by Layne on October 23, 2014 that provided guidance for Q3 FY 2015. 
  • Layne monitors its liquidity by combining current domestic cash on hand and total availability under the ABL facility, less a $25 mln portion of the ABL that would trigger a covenant compliance period. 
  • Using this methodology, Layne's liquidity has increased $21 mln to ~ $65 mln, up from ~ $44 mln at Q2 FY 2015. 
  • Combining total current worldwide cash and total availability under the ABL (including the above-referenced $25 mln portion), Layne's liquidity position at Q3 FY 2015 rose to ~ $106 mln from ~ $84 mln at Q2 FY 2015.

9:21 am Lakeland Industries announces $11.2 mln private placement at a price of $10.00/share (LAKE) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive securities purchase agreement to raise ~$11.2 mln in a private placement of common stock sold at a price of $10.00 per share.

  • Proceeds from the financing will be used to fully repay Lakeland's 12% subordinated term loan with LKL Investments, LLC in the approximate amount of $3.6 mln. 
  • The balance of the proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, including supporting the increased demand for Lakeland's safety products due to the EBOLA crisis. 
  • Pending such usage, Lakeland intends to temporarily pay down its senior revolving credit facility with AloStar Bank of Commerce.

9:20 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Spartan ERV, a business unit of Spartan Motors (SPAR), announced Firefighter Trucks in Las Cruces, New Mexico as the latest dealer signed to represent Spartan ERV.
  • AFLAC (AFL) announced that Hiroshi Yamauchi, who currently serves as executive vice president of Aflac Japan, will be promoted to president and chief operating officer of Aflac Japan. Tohru Tonoike, president and chief operating officer of Aflac Japan, will assume the role of vice chairman of Aflac Japan, both effective January 1, 2015.
  • Amazon (AMZN) announced that Fire TV's selection has tripled since its launch in April, with over 600 apps and games now available.

9:19 am WTI crude oil extends losses and hits a new low for the day at $80.73/barrel, now -1.5% at $80.85/barrel (:COMDX) :  

9:16 am BSD Medical reports findings from study sponsored by Terumo Europe N.V. using MicroThermX microwave ablation system (BSDM) : The co announced that researchers presented the successful results of their animal study utilizing the MicroThermX Microwave Ablation System at CIRSE 2014. The objective of the study was to determine reproducibility of the ablation volumes in liver and lung animal studies using the MicroThermX. "The positive results of this study reflect BSD's and Terumo Europe N.V.'s ongoing, long-term commitment to drive innovation and expand treatment options for patients. This study, and others to follow, could help pave the way for our MicroThermX system to be adopted by hospitals and treatment centers all over the world. Microwave ablation therapy has the potential to improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for patients."

9:13 am S&P futures vs fair value: -0.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.50. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a flat open with the S&P 500 futures trading within a point of fair value. Index futures dipped last evening after Amazon.com (AMZN 283.75, -29.43) reported disappointing results for the third quarter and then extended their retreat when it was reported that the doctor who was rushed to a New York hospital with Ebola-like symptoms tested positive for the disease.

Index futures have been able to pull away from their lows, but disappointing economic data has contributed to the cautious posture. On that note, China reported a 1.3% year-over-year decline in New Home Prices with all 70 cities showing monthly retreats.

Meanwhile in Europe, the European Central Bank is scheduled to release the results of its stress test on Sunday, but a recent Bloomberg TV report suggested 25 banks are on course to fail the test.

On the earnings front, results from companies not named Amazon.com have been mostly better than expected. To that point, Ford Motor (F 14.54, +0.14), Shire (SHPG 193.05, +8.07), Microsoft (MSFT 47.08, +2.06), and UPS (UPS 102.75, +2.27) are on track to register early gains after beating earnings estimates.

Treasuries hold modest gains with the 10-yr yield down one basis point at 2.26%.

9:12 am Ingersoll-Rand prices $1.1 bln of Senior Notes, lowers Q4 EPS guidance to reflect dilution (IR) : Co announces that it priced a $1.1 bln debt offering consisting of three tranches, maturing in 2020, 2024 and 2044. Co intends to use the net proceeds to fund the redemption of existing debt. To reflect the impact of the newly issued notes and the early redemption of the 2015 notes, the company is updating its Q4 EPS estimate to a range of $0.63-0.67.

9:02 am Media General announces proposed private offering of $300 mln in senior unsecured notes (MEG) : The co announced that its newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary intends to issue $300 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured noteslin med in connection with the financing of its announced business combination with LIN Media LLC (LIN). The proceeds of any such Senior Notes, together with cash on hand, proceeds from previously announced divestitures and bank borrowings through proposed amendments to its existing credit agreement, will be used to pay a portion of the merger consideration for the business combination with LIN, repay certain existing indebtedness of LIN and pay related fees and expenses. The offering of the Senior Notes will be subject to market and other conditions.

9:01 am S&P futures vs fair value: -0.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade within a point of fair value.

Asian markets ended mostly lower

  • In economic data: 
    • China's House Prices fell 1.3% year-over-year (previous 0.5%) 
    • South Korea's GDP rose 0.9% quarter-over-quarter, as expected, while the year-over-year reading increased 3.2% (consensus 3.3%; previous 3.5%) 
    • New Zealand's trade deficit widened to $1.35 billion from $472 million (expected deficit of $700 million) 
    • Singapore's Industrial Production fell 3.3% month-over-month (consensus -0.8%; previous -0.4%) while the year-over-year reading declined 1.2% (expected 0.1%; prior 4.0%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei gained 1.0% and outperformed the region amid broad strength. Growth-sensitive names led with Toho Zinc, Kubota, and Sumitomo Osaka Cement up between 2.7% and 5.6%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.1%, lagging amid weakness in property developers. China Resources Land, Henderson Land Development, and China Overseas Land surrendered between 0.9% and 1.7%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite ended flat. Great Wall Motor tumbled 6.7% while China Television Media gained 9.3%. 
  • India's Sensex remained closed for Diwali. 
Major European indices trade mostly lower with Germany's DAX (-0.6%) showing the largest loss. The European Central Bank is expected to release the results of its stress test on Sunday around 4 AM ET with Vitor Constancio's follow up press conference scheduled 30 minutes after the release. To that point, a recent report from Bloomberg TV indicated ECB draft documents showed 25 banks are set to fail the test while ten are 'in negotiations.'
  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Germany's GfK Consumer Climate ticked up to 8.5 from 8.4 (expected 8.0) 
    • Great Britain's Q3 GDP rose 0.7% quarter-over-quarter and 3.0% year-over-year. Both figures matched expectations. Separately, Index of Services increased 0.8% (consensus 0.9%; previous 1.0%) 
    • Italy's Consumer Confidence slipped to 101.4 from 101.9 (expected 101.5) while Retail Sales fell 3.1% year-over-year (forecast -0.9%; prior -1.7%) 
    • Spain's PPI slipped 0.3% year-over-year (expected 0.0%; previous -0.6%) 
------
  • Germany's DAX is lower by 0.6% with chemical manufacturers on the defensive. BASF and K+S hold respective losses of 4.0% and 1.6%. On the upside, Deutsche Telekom is higher by 2.3%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades down 0.6% with Kering showing the largest loss. The stock has surrendered 4.4% after its Gucci brand saw a 1.6% decline in sales. Orange outperforms with a gain of 1.3%. 
  • Great Britain's FTSE has given up 0.5% with energy names pressuring the index. BP and Tullow Oil are lower by 1.3% and 2.0%, respectively. Shire outperforms with a gain of 3.1% after reporting upbeat earnings.

9:01 am Baxter: Announced that the FDA has approved OBIZUR [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), Porcine Sequence] (BAX) : Co announces that the FDA has approved OBIZUR [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), Porcine Sequence] for the treatment of bleeding episodes in adults with acquired hemophilia A (:AHA), a very rare and potentially life-threatening acute bleeding disorder.

  • OBIZUR was granted orphan-drug status by the FDA and its review was prioritized based on AHA's classification as a rare disease and the potential for the treatment to address an important unmet medical need.
  • It is the first recombinant porcine FVIII treatment approved for AHA that allows physicians to manage the treatment's efficacy and safety by measuring factor VIII activity levels in addition to clinical assessments.
  • OBIZUR replaces the inhibited human factor VIII with a recombinant porcine sequence factor VIII based on the rationale that it is less susceptible to inactivation by circulating human factor VIII antibodies.
  • All patients treated with OBIZUR (28/28) showed a positive response, meaning an effective or partially effective response with bleeding stopped or reduced and clinical improvement, at 24 hours after the initial infusion. A total of 86% (24/28) had successful treatment of the initial bleeding episode.
  • The drug will be commercially available in the U.S. in the coming months and is currently under regulatory review in Europe and Canada.

8:55 am Energy commodities lower in morning trade; oil just hit a new low for the day (:COMDX) :

  • The energy space is starting the day off lower with losses across the board in energy futures.
  • Dec WTI crude oil hit a new low for the day at $80.85/barrel in recent trade, but is now back over $81, currently at -1.3% at $81.03/barrel
  • Brent crude oil is -1.3% at $85.73/barrel
  • In other commodities...
    • Nov natural gas is -1.1% at $3.58/MMBtu
    • Heating oil -1.4% at $2.45/gallon
    • RBOB gasoline -0.9% at $2.15/gallon

8:47 am Gilat Satellite: FIMI commences cash tender offer for Gilat Satellite; offer to purchase 5,166,348 ordinary shares at $4.95/share (GILT) : FIMI Opportunity IV, L.P, FIMI Israel Opportunity IV, Limited Partnership, FIMI Opportunity V, L.P and FIMI Israel Opportunity Five, Limited Partnership, announced that they have commenced a cash tender offer to purchase 5,166,348 ordinary shares of Gilat Satellite Networksfor $4.95 per share. If more than the maximum number of shares offered to be purchased in the tender offer are tendered, FIMI will purchase shares on a pro rata basis.

  • Pursuant to an Agreement, dated as of September 17, 2014 among (i) FIMI and (ii) York Capital Management, L.P., York Multi-Strategy Master Fund, L.P., York Credit Opportunities Fund, L.P., York Credit Opportunities Master Fund, L.P., Jorvik Multi-Strategy Master Fund, L.P. and Permal York Ltd. (collectively, "York"), (a) FIMI undertook to make a public "special tender offer" pursuant to Israeli Law, on or prior to October 24, 2014, to acquire 5,166,348 Gilat shares at a price of $4.95 per Gilat share, and (b) York undertook to accept the offer in respect of the 5,166,348 Gilat Shares held by it in consideration for a price of $4.95 per Gilat share.

8:47 am Gorman-Rupp misses by $0.02, misses on revs (GRC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.36 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.38; revenues rose 8.9% year/year to $110.2 mln vs the $111.68 mln consensus. 

  • The third quarter increase in water end market sales was largely due to additional sales in the municipal market of $7.8 million driven primarily by large volume pumps related to wastewater and flood control. This increase was partially offset by lower agriculture sales of $1.4 million driven by ongoing wet weather conditions in several locations domestically. 
  • Increased sales in non-water markets during the third quarter of 2014 were primarily due to added shipments for the industrial market of $5.8 million related to fracking and the contribution from the recent acquisition of Bayou City Pump Company. This increase was offset by lower sales in the OEM market of $3.2 million related to power generation equipment.

8:47 am Diana Containerships announces direct continuation of time charter agreement for m/v Sagitta with A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S (AMKBY) ; employment is anticipated to generate approximately $2.35 mln of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charter. (DCIX) : The co announced that it has agreed to extend the present time charter contract with A.P. M ller-Maersk A/S  (AMKBY), for its Panamax container vessel, the m/v Sagitta, for a period of minimum ten months to maximum twelve months. The gross charter rate is US$7,825 per day, minus a 1.25% commission paid to third parties. The new charter period is expected to commence on November 14, 2014.

8:46 am DryShips announces pricing of 250 mln shares of common stock at $1.40/share (DRYS) : Co announces that it priced the offering of 250 mln shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share, at a price of $1.40 per share. The offering is expected to close on Oct 29, 2014.

  • As part of the offering, George Economou, the Co's Chairman, President and C.E.O, has purchased $80 mln, or 57,142,857 shares, of common stock in the offering at the public offering price.
  • RS Platou Markets, Inc. and Pareto Securities Inc. are acting as joint lead managers, joint bookrunners and placement agents in the offering.
  • The Co intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repurchase a portion of its $700 mln principal amount of indebtedness under the 5.0% Convertible Senior Notes maturing on Dec 1, 2014.

8:44 am TC Pipelines reports Q3 results (TCP) : Reports Q3 (Sep) adj. earnings of $0.48 per share, $0.09 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.57; co also declared the Partnership's third quarter 2014 cash distribution of $0.84 per common unit.

  • For the three months ended September 30, 2014, net income attributable to controlling interests decreased by $6 mln to $31 mln compared to $37 mln in the third quarter of 2013. This decrease was primarily due to lower net income from GTN primarily due to lower transportation revenue and higher Partnership expenses primarily due to the costs relating to the Bison Acquisition

8:36 am Avery Dennison beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line; lowers top end of FY14 EPS guidance; elected Mitchell Butier as President and COO effective November 1st (AVY) : Reports Q3 (Sep) adj earnings of $0.77 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.74; revenues rose 3.6% year/year to $1.56 bln vs the $1.57 bln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, lowers top end of EPS to $3.00-3.05 from $3.00-3.10 vs. $3.00 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "We expect to deliver improved operational performance in the fourth quarter, with a reduction in the transition costs impacting PSM," said Scarborough....However, given recent top-line trends and headwinds from currency, we have modestly lowered our guidance for full-year adjusted earnings per share growth to approximately 13 percent."
  • Co also announced that its board of directors has elected Mitchell Butier as President and COO effective November 1. Butier has been the company's senior vice president and chief financial officer since June 2010, and will continue to serve as CFO until a successor is named. Dean A. Scarborough continues as chairman and chief executive officer. Butier joined Avery Dennison from PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2000. 

8:33 am European Markets Update: DAX -0.6%, CAC -0.6%, FTSE -0.4%, MIB +0.1% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade mostly lower with Germany's DAX (-0.6%) showing the largest loss. The European Central Bank is expected to release the results of its stress test on Sunday around 4 AM ET with Vitor Constancio's follow up press conference scheduled 30 minutes after the release.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Germany's GfK Consumer Climate ticked up to 8.5 from 8.4 (expected 8.0) 
    • Great Britain's Q3 GDP rose 0.7% quarter-over-quarter and 3.0% year-over-year. Both figures matched expectations. Separately, Index of Services increased 0.8% (consensus 0.9%; previous 1.0%) 
    • Italy's Consumer Confidence slipped to 101.4 from 101.9 (expected 101.5) while Retail Sales fell 3.1% year-over-year (forecast -0.9%; prior -1.7%) 
    • Spain's PPI slipped 0.3% year-over-year (expected 0.0%; previous -0.6%) 
------
  • Germany's DAX is lower by 0.6% with chemical manufacturers on the defensive. BASF and K+S hold respective losses of 4.0% and 1.6%. On the upside, Deutsche Telekom is higher by 2.3%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades down 0.6% with Kering showing the largest loss. The stock has surrendered 4.4% after its Gucci brand saw a 1.6% decline in sales. Orange outperforms with a gain of 1.3%. 
  • Great Britain's FTSE has given up 0.4% with energy names pressuring the index. BP and Tullow Oil are lower by 1.3% and 2.0%, respectively. Shire outperforms with a gain of 3.1% after reporting upbeat earnings. 
  • Italy's MIB leads with a gain of 0.1%. BMPS, Banco Popolare, and Unicredit hold gains between 0.6% and 8.3%.

8:33 am Avis Budget agrees to acquire its Budget Licensee for Southern California and Las Vegas for ~$210 mln, accretive to earnings; the acquisition is expected to add $100 mln of revenue and more than $25 mln of adj. EBITDA (CAR) :

  • Co announced that it has agreed to acquire its Budget Car Rental licensee for southern California and Las Vegas for ~$210 million, plus the cost of acquired fleet.
  • The licensee being acquired operates directly at Los Angeles International and Bob Hope Burbank airports, as well as numerous local market locations throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
  • It also generates licensing income from its sub-licensees that operate throughout Southern California and in Las Vegas.
  • The acquisition is expected to add $100 mln of revenue and more than $25 mln of Adjusted EBITDA to Avis Budget Group, after synergies, and is scheduled to close in fourth quarter 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.
  • The co says it will be able to acquire this strategic asset at a multiple that will be accretive to earnings.

8:32 am Chefs' Warehouse acquires Maryland Based Euro Gourmet Inc.; Euro Gourmet is expected to generate ~$5.0 mln in annualized net sales in 2014; terms not disclosed (CHEF) : The co announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Euro Gourmet Inc., based in Beltsville, Maryland. Founded in 1999, Euro Gourmet is a wholesale specialty distributor of imported and domestic products along the East Coast.

8:32 am Odyssey Marine: HMS Victory (1744) Shipwreck project receives approval from UK Ministry of Defence to move forward (OMEX) : The co confirmed a statement by the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Defence giving consent to proceed with the archaeological investigation and recovery of at-risk artifacts from the HMS Victory (1744) wreck site in accordance with the project design that has been approved by the UK Ministry of Defence and Department for Culture Media & Sport. As the exclusive archaeological contractor to the MHF, Odyssey will undertake the activities as outlined in the approved project design, including recording, documentation, conservation and publication. All recovered artifacts will be declared to the Receiver of Wreck in accordance with UK legislation.

8:31 am Solar Power's SPI Solar Power Suzhou announces framework agreement with ZhongNeng GuoDian Green Ecological Cooperation and Development Jiangsu Co., Ltd. to acquire one of the largest PV project development companies in China (SOPW) : Co announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, SPI Solar Power Suzhou has entered into a framework purchase agreement with ZhongNeng GuoDian New Energy Development and Investment Jiangsu, with the intention to acquire six PV projects currently under construction in China, and another framework purchase agreement with ZhongNeng GuoDian Green Ecological Cooperation and Development Jiangsu, with the intention to acquire the equity interest in ZhongNeng New Energy.

  • SPI Meitai Suzhou intends to acquire the six projects under construction in China from ZongNeng GuoDian, including a 40 MW project in Chifeng City, 60 MW in Kezuo County, 50 MW in Shangdu County, and 30 MW in Chayou County, all in Inner Mongolia, as well as a 130 MW project in Zhongwei City, Ningxia and 50 MW in Yanyuan County, Sichuan. 
    • Grid connection for these projects is expected to take place from the end of 2014 to the middle of 2015. 
    • SPI Meitai Suzhou will pay a deposit of RMB140.0 mln (U.S. $22.9 mln) in cash by November 20, 2014 to secure the agreement. The final purchase price for the six projects will be decided after further due diligence when the projects are completed. 
  • SPI Solar intends to acquire the 100% equity interest in ZhongNeng New Energy at an aggregate purchase price of RMB100.0 mln (U.S. $16.3 mln), consisting entirely of SPI's ordinary shares; 49% of the total consideration, or RMB49.0 mln (U.S. $8.0 mln) will be determined based on the Renminbi-to-U.S.-dollar exchange rate and closing price of SPI's ordinary shares of U.S. $2.35 per share on October 22, 2014, or ~ 3.4 mln ordinary shares, and 51% of the total consideration, or RMB51.0 mln, will be based on the five-day averages of the trading prices of SPI's ordinary shares and Renminbi-to-U.S.-dollar exchange rates prior to the closing date of the acquisition.

8:31 am Con-way announces Fall 2014 general rate increase; will implement a general rate increase averaging 4.7% (CNW) :

  • The rate increase will apply to customers on the company's CNWY 599 tariff. 
  • It will affect general LTL rates, minimum charges, accessorial and other supplemental fees involved in the provision of service for LTL shipments moving within the United States and Canada, cross-border shipments moving between the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, and the domestic U.S. portion of shipments into Mexico.  

8:28 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: TESS -15.6%, TESS -15.6%, LAYN -14.3%, SYNA -12.8%, AMZN -9.9%, FSL -6.4%, OLN -6%, LSCC -5.8%, P -5.6%, MXIM -5.5%, EDU -4.2%, SWN -3.8%, ALTR -3.7%, PSO -3.4%, VMI -3.1%, JBSS -3%, DECK -2.7%, CLNE -2.7%, CERN -2.4%, ELY -2.1%, DV -2%, ERIC -1.9%, INFA -1.8%, WYN -1.8%, JNPR -1.5%, STT -1.4%, BMRN -1.3%, WIRE -1.2%, FMD -1.2%, CBI -1%, IMGN -1%, CL -1%, CPWR -0.9%

Select travel related names showing weakness: RCL -1.7%, JBLU -1.4%, DAL -1.1%, AAL -1.1%, SAVE -1.1%, LUV -0.7%

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: TOT -1.7%, SDRL -1.8%, STO -1%, BP -0.7%

Other news: DRYS -20% (announces offering of common stock), SUTR -19.2% (disclosed that Board approved of dismissal of Grant Thornton, the China member firm of Grant Thornton International, as the company's independent registered public accounting firm), NPSP -5.4% ( PDUFA action date for Natpara BLA extended three months to January 24, 2015 ), ROIC -1.8% (announces company's warrants have been fully retired), GEVA -1.4% (presented sebelipase alfa data for LAL Deficiency: six infants met the primary endpoint of survival at 12 months of age and five infants continue on treatment with sebelipase alfa)

Analyst comments: ANF -4.8% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Mkts, downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman), GPRO -2.9% (initiated with an Underperform at Oppenheimer), BT -2.1% (downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley), QIWI -1.9% (downgraded to Sell from Buy at Goldman), MITT -1.5% (ddowngraded to Mkt Perform from Mkt Outperform at JMP Securities)

8:27 am CBD Energy trading halted, news pending (CBDE) :  

8:26 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.80. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures continue hovering in the red while Treasuries sit just below their highs with the 10-yr yield down three basis points at 2.24%.

The benchmark yield has climbed steadily over the past three days, but the current standing suggests a pullback may take place today. Treasuries strengthened overnight after the doctor in New York who was suspected of having Ebola tested positive for the disease. Furthermore, disappointing housing data from China (House Prices -1.3% year-over-year) has also contributed to the defensive trade.

8:24 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: RUBI +19.2%, GIMO +14.8%, MXWL +11.8%, (Maxwell Tech announces development agreement with Corning (GLW) to advance Ultracapacitor technologies ), KLAC +11.7%, BJRI +11.5%, QLIK +9.7%, FLIR +9.7%, EW +9.3%, N +6.7%, SHPG +4.5%, GHL +4.4%, FII +4%, PFPT +3.6%, BBGI +3.6%, MSFT +2.7%, POL +2.4%, LEA +2.3%, CB +2%, ALGN +1.9%, PACB +1.8%, IM +1.8%, LPNT +1.8%, LYB +1.6%, IDXX +1.5%, UPS +1.5%, WRI +1.3%, NCR +1%, (light volume), LOGM +0.9%, PFG +0.8%

M&A news: DRIV +48.2% (to be acquired by investor group led by Siris Capital Group for $26.00 per share in cash),RP +6.1% (FT indicated apprached by buyers),CQB +0.7% (Board considered the revised $14.50 offer from Cutrale/Safra and determined to reaffirm its recommendation of the ChiquitaFyffes (FYFFF) merger)

Select Ebola related names showing strength: APT +22.4%, LAKE +17.4%, IBIO +14.7%, TKMR +4.8%, INO +3.1%, NLNK +2.4%, SRPT +2.2%, BCRX +2.1%.

Other news: VTAE +35.8% (positive top-line results achieved from Two Phase 1 clinical trials of BACE inhibitor BI1181181/VTP-37948 in Alzheimer's Disease ),RP +6.1% (seeing reports that multiple buyers are interested in the company),LGF +4.6% ( Alibaba (BABA) considering purchase 37.4% stake in LGF),MNOV +4% (CDC supports recruitment for MediciNova's Clinical Trial of MN-166 in ALS),PFPT +3.6% (signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nexgate for $35 mln in cash),ARIA +2.8% (European Medicines Agency recommends further measures to minimise risk of blood vessel blockage with ARIA's Iclusig),EMES +2.5% (declared a cash distribution of $1.38 for the third quarter of 2014, an 18% increase over the second quarter 2014 distribution of $1.17 per unit),VOD +2.2% (still checking),LJPC +1.9% (announces data presentation at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week; short term therapy with the galectin-3 inhibitor, GCS-100 at 1.5 mg/m2, resulted in small but significant improvement in Egfr),SD +1.7% (announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary MidCon Midstream, LP has filed a registration statement with the SEC relating to its proposed IPO),PFE +1.5% (declares $0.26 fourth-quarter 2014 dividend and Board authorizes new $11 bln share repurchase program)

Analyst comments: RMD +2.7% (upgraded to Outperform from Mkt Perform at William Blair),FMS +1.4% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Berenberg),BDN +0.9% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel),DLR +0.7% (upgraded to Mkt Perform from Underperform at Cowen)

8:23 am Brunswick rose 3.5% yesterday after beating Q3 estimates and raising FY14 EPS guidance (BC) : Co raised FY14 EPS guidance to $2.30-2.35 from $2.25-2.35; yesterday we said they lowered guidance from 2.35-2.45 -- that comment has been edited.

Stock is challenging resistance near the $45 level.

8:21 am Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for M/V Triton with Glencore (GLNCY); employment is anticipated to generate approximately $3.05 mln of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charter (DSX) : The co announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it has entered into a time charter contract with Glencore (GLNCY) Grain B.V., Rotterdam, for one of its Panamax dry bulk vessels, the m/v "Triton." The gross charter rate is $9,250 per day minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum eleven months to maximum fourteen months. The charter is expected to commence later today.

8:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • The U.K. Ministry of Defense selected the Raytheon (RTN) U.K., Thales U.K. team to conduct a one-year study into upgrading existing Identification Friend or Foe systems to Mode 5, which will address NATO's requirement for a new standard of IFF across all platforms.
  • During the U.S. Navy's Combat Ship System Qualification Trials, the USS Chancellorsville tested two Raytheon Company (RTN) Standard Missile-6 interceptors against anti-ship and cruise missile targets.
  • IBM (IBM) introduced a new Analytics software and services offering aimed to help companies in the Travel & Transportation industry mitigate IT security risks and address a growing volume of advanced threats and data compromising incidents faced by the industry.
  • Qlik (QLIK) announced that AmerisourceBergen (ABC) has signed an enterprise deal to significantly extend its use of Qlik products, deploying both QlikView and Qlik Sense widely across the enterprise.
  • NCR Corp (NCR) opened a new office to accommodate its team of software developers and engineers building the latest in bank branch technology just outside of Salt Lake City.
  • NCH Healthcare System, Blue Zones, and Healthways (HWAY) announced the launch of the Blue Zones Project, an initiative to improve the well-being and longevity of residents of Collier and South Lee Counties in Southwest Florida.
  • Hilton (HLT) announced the launch of Idea Network, an online resource created for planning professionals.
  • The first aeroderivative gas turbine packaged in China rolled off the assembly line in Minhang, a significant milestone for the joint venture between China Huadian Corporation and General Electric (GE) and a step forward in U.S.-China cooperation on cleaner energy.

8:09 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +1.0%, Hang Seng -0.1%, Shanghai UNCH (:SUMRX) :

  • Asian markets ended mostly lower 
  • In economic data: 
    • China's House Prices fell 1.3% year-over-year (previous 0.5%) 
    • South Korea's GDP rose 0.9% quarter-over-quarter, as expected, while the year-over-year reading increased 3.2% (consensus 3.3%; previous 3.5%) 
    • New Zealand's trade deficit widened to $1.35 billion from $472 million (expected deficit of $700 million) 
    • Singapore's Industrial Production fell 3.3% month-over-month (consensus -0.8%; previous -0.4%) while the year-over-year reading declined 1.2% (expected 0.1%; prior 4.0%) 
  • Japan's Nikkei (+1.0%) outperformed the region amid broad strength. Growth-sensitive names led with Toho Zinc, Kubota, and Sumitomo Osaka Cement up between 2.7% and 5.6%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.1%) lagged amid weakness in property developers. China Resources Land, Henderson Land Development, and China Overseas Land surrendered between 0.9% and 1.7%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite ended flat. Great Wall Motor tumbled 6.7% while China Television Media gained 9.3%. 
  • India's Sensex remained closed for Diwali. 
  • Australia's ASX (+0.5%) rallied with help from financials. Westpac advanced 0.5% and Macquarie gained 0.4%. 
  • Regional Decliners: Indonesia (-0.6%), Philippines (-0.2%), Singapore (-0.4%), South Korea (-0.3%), Taiwan (-1.0%), Vietnam (-0.3%) 
  • Regional Advancers: Malaysia (+0.5%), Thailand (+0.5%) 
  • FX: USDCNY ticked down to 6.1171, USDINR inched up to 61.17, USDJPY is lower near 107.98, AUDUSD is modestly higher near .8784

8:06 am SunCoke Energy Partners misses by $0.01 (SXCP) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.52 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.53; reports revenue fell 3.3% to $158.7 mln vs $169.7 mln consensus.

8:05 am SunCoke Energy beats by $0.12, misses on revs; raises EBITDA guidance (SXC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) adj. earnings of $0.21 per share, $0.12 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.09; revenues fell 1.6% year/year to $367.6 mln vs the $393.85 mln consensus. 

  • Earnings driven by improvement at our Indiana Harbor cokemaking operations, the contribution of our new Coal Logistics segment and lower Corporate costs 
  • Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations rose $16.9 million to $68.0 million in third quarter 2014 for reasons noted above
Guidance:
  • Domestic Coke production is expected to be ~4.2 million tons Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations is expected to be between $235 million and $255 mln, up from $220-240 mln. 
  • Adjusted EBITDA attributable to SXC from continuing operations is expected to be between $175 million and $192 million. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA including discontinued operations is expected to be between $220 million and $240 million. The portion attributable to SXC is expected to be between $160 million and $177 million. Potential black lung charges of ~$8 million in the fourth quarter could result in consolidated Adjusted EBITDA at or below the low end of this guidance range. Completed $75 million Accelerated Share Repurchase Program and took possession of 3.2 million shares in October.

8:05 am TCF Financial misses by $0.01, beats on revs (TCB) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.29 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.30; revenues rose 4.7% year/year to $320.3 mln vs the $312.86 mln consensus. 

  • Loan and lease originations of $3.6 billion, up 14.9 percent from the third quarter of 2013 
  • Average deposits of $15.2 billion, up 5.9 percent from the third quarter of 2013 
  • Provision for credit losses of $15.7 million, down 36.0 percent from the third quarter of 2013 
  • Non-accrual loans and leases of $275.1 million, down 2.7 percent from the third quarter of 2013 
  • Return on average assets of 1.15 percent, up 18 basis points from the third quarter of 2013 
  • Return on average tangible common equity of 12.11 percent, up 120 basis points from the third quarter of 2013

8:04 am Choice Hotels beats by $0.03, misses on revs; guides Q4 EPS below consensus (CHH) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.67 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.64; revenues fell 0.7% year/year to $215.2 mln vs the $229.29 mln consensus.

  • RevPar increased 8.8 percent in the third quarter of 2014 as occupancy and average daily rates increased 320 basis points and 3.4 percent, respectively from the same period of 2013. 
  • Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.34 vs. $0.40 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.  EBITDA for full-year 2014 are expected to range between $216 million and $219 million. 
  • FY14 Outlook: Franchising: Net domestic unit growth for 2014 is expected to range between 1% and 2%; RevPAR is expected to increase approximately 9% for the fourth quarter and range between 8% and 8.5% for full-year 2014; The effective royalty rate is expected to decline 5 basis points for full-year 2014 as compared to full-year 2013.

8:04 am Standard Register reports Q3 results, revenue up 10% YoY (SR) : Co reports Q3 (Sep) GAAP loss of $(0.65) per share, revenue rose 10% YoY to $219.4 mln, there are no analyst estimates. Co says "We are continuing to see the results from our efforts to increase sales of our entire portfolio of products and solutions, improve margins through consolidation of operations and contain all other costs. The net effect for the quarter was continued improvement in gross margin and Adjusted EBITDA."

8:03 am Safety Trade in Play (Again) (BONDX) :

  • New York doctor tests positive for Ebola after returning from aid work in Guinea.  Contagion concerns push a safety trade that benefits Treasuries.
  • Overnight trade saw the 10-yr yield kiss 2.26% before reversing.  10-yr is currently up 9 ticks with its yield at 2.24%.
  • China reports that new home prices declined 1.3% year-over-year in September
  • Buying interest more active at the back end of the curve
    • 30-yr bond up 20 ticks and yield down three basis points to 3.02% (roughly the level where the 10-yr note started the year)
  • Front of the curve also being accorded some buying respect as slowdown worries persist, thereby diminishing concerns about the Fed raising rates before the second half of 2015
    • 2-yr yield down one basis point to 0.38%
  • US Dollar Index is little changed
  • Commodities are mixed
    • Crude -1.0% to $81.27/bbl
    • Gold +0.4% to $1233.80/troy ounce
    • Copper up 0.2% at $3.05/lb
  • Data: New Home Sales at 10:00 a.m. ET (Briefing.com consensus 450k; prior 504K)

8:03 am Apollo Global Management: Express Energy Services agrees to be acquired by Apollo Funds; terms not disclosed (APO) : The co announced that Express Energy Services, a North American oilfield services company, announced that funds managed by affiliates of the co and participating management have agreed to acquire EES from its existing shareholders. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Express, founded in 2000, is a premier provider of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries. Offering oilfield services in every major hydrocarbon basin in the United States, Express assists its customers with six service lines, including casing and tubular running and completion and production services, and a workforce of approximately 1,700 employees in more than 30 locations.

8:03 am Vaalco Energy announces entering into the subsequent exploration phase On Block 5 Offshore Angola (EGY) : Co announced that it has entered into the Subsequent Exploration Phase on Block 5 offshore Angola together with its working interest partner, Sonangol P&P, as provided for in the Production Sharing Agreement signed in 2006 with the Republic of Angola.

  • The SEP extends the exploration license for an additional three year period such that the new expiry date for exploration activities is November 30, 2017. 
  • The SEP requires the Company and its partner to acquire a 3D seismic program covering six hundred square kilometers and to drill two additional exploration wells.
  • The seismic obligation has been satisfied with a seismic program already completed covering 1,058 square kilometers over the outboard portion of the block. 
  • By entering the SEP, the Company is now required to drill a total of four exploration wells during the exploration extension period. 
  • The four well obligation includes the two well commitment under the primary exploration period that carries over to the SEP period. 
  • A $10 mln assessment ($5 mln net to VAALCO) applies to each of the four commitment exploration wells, if any, that remain undrilled at the end of the exploration period in 2017.

8:02 am Raytheon announced that the FAA has awarded Raytheon a $131 mln contract (RTN) : The co announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Raytheon a $131 million contract for Wide Area Augmentation System Dual Frequency Operations Segment 1.  Under this contract, Raytheon will enhance overall system capability as the FAA moves toward a dual frequency system.

8:02 am Penn Virginia announces borrowing base increase to $500 million and financial liquidity in excess of $620 million (PVA) : Co announced that its bank group has approved an increase in the borrowing base under PVA's senior secured credit facility from approximately $438 million to $500 million.

  • PVA's financial liquidity, inclusive of the expanded borrowing capacity and its $124 million cash balance as of September 30, 2014, is in excess of $620 million. 
  • The 14% increase in the borrowing base is the result of PVA's ongoing and successful Eagle Ford Shale drilling program and the increased value of proved reserves. 
  • Under the terms of the credit facility, which matures in September 2017, the bank group re-determines the borrowing base semi-annually utilizing the banks' estimates of reserves and future oil and gas prices.

8:01 am Imprimis Pharmaceuticals reports on positive clinical findings presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting (IMMY) : Co provided an update resulting from the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting held in Chicago, Illinois.

  • In ten cases (5%), he added a short course of topical steroid to enhance patient comfort. Dr. Lewis found a CME rate of 2% when transzonular triamcinolone was used in place of topical anti-inflammatory medications. 
  • The presentation noted that current literature reports CME rates are between 0% and 8% after uncomplicated cataract surgery using post-operative topical steroids and NSAIDs. 
  • None of the patients had clinical or OCT evidence of macular edema.

7:58 am Ryder System signs its largest natural gas lease deal in North America with C.A.T. (R) : The co announced that C.A.T. Inc. (formally Canadian American Transportation, Inc.) has signed a full-service lease agreement for 100 compressed natural gas sleeper tractors. This is Ryder's first natural gas lease customer in Canada and its largest single natural gas vehicle customer to date. C.A.T., a truckload carrier based in Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada, will use the trucks in its delivery fleet that travels from Montreal, Canada to Laredo, Texas. Ryder will also provide maintenance for the 100 CNG vehicles from Ryder's Montreal, Canada service facility, which is being upgraded for compliance with natural gas standards.

7:57 am Safeguard Sci misses on the bottom line; reaffirms FY14 revs guidance (SFE) : Reports Q3 (Sep) GAAP loss of $0.68 per share, $0.18 worse than the GAAP Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.50). Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees FY14 revs of $341-365 mln vs. $361.00 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

  • Aggregate revenue guidance for the same partner companies in 2013 and 2012 was $284 million and $201 million, respectively. Aggregate revenue guidance for 2014 and prior years reflects revenue on a net basis.

7:56 am S&P futures vs fair value: -5.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -13.80. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade modestly lower amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover five points below fair value after spending the night in negative territory. Last evening, futures began feeling pressure after Amazon.com (AMZN 282.70, -30.48) reported disappointing results for the quarter and lowered its guidance. Index futures took another leg lower a little later when it was reported that the New York doctor who was hospitalized yesterday with symptoms of Ebola does indeed have the disease.

It is worth mentioning that the overnight pullback took place after a big surge earlier in the week that has the S&P 500 entering the Friday session with a week-to-date gain of 3.4%. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has added 4.6% since last Friday.

Treasuries hover near their highs with the 10-yr yield down three basis points at 2.24%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Ford Motor (F 14.40, 0.00): flat after beating bottom-line estimates on light revenue. 
  • Juniper Networks (JNPR 20.74, +0.42): +2.1% after its one-cent beat overshadowed below-consensus guidance for the current quarter. 
  • KLA-Tencor (KLAC 78.88, +7.88): +11.1% following its revenue beat and the announcement of a leveraged capital return plan. 
  • Microsoft (MSFT 46.30, +1.28): +2.8% after beating earnings and revenue estimates. 
  • Pandora Media (P 21.36, -1.76): -7.6% despite reporting a one-cent beat. 
  • Procter & Gamble (PG 84.51, +1.28): +1.5% in reaction to in-line results. 
  • Shire (SHPG 192.82, +7.84): +4.2% after reporting better than expected revenue. 
Economic data will be limited to the New Home Sales report (Briefing.com consensus 475,000), which will be released at 10:00 ET.

Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei +1.0%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.1%, and China's Shanghai Composite closed flat 
    • In economic data: 
      • China's House Prices fell 1.3% year-over-year (previous 0.5%) 
      • South Korea's GDP rose 0.9% quarter-over-quarter, as expected, while the year-over-year reading increased 3.2% (consensus 3.3%; previous 3.5%) 
      • New Zealand's trade deficit widened to $1.35 billion from $472 million (expected deficit of $700 million) 
      • Singapore's Industrial Production fell 3.3% month-over-month (consensus -0.8%; previous -0.4%) while the year-over-year reading declined 1.2% (expected 0.1%; prior 4.0%) 
    • In news: 
      • Concerns regarding China's housing market returned to the forefront after the latest housing report revealed month-over-month declines in price in all 70 cities. On a year-over-year basis, only 10 out of 70 cities reported an increase.
  • Major European indices trade mostly lower. Great Britain's FTSE -0.4%, Germany's DAX -0.6%, and France's CAC -0.6%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.1% and Spain's IBEX -0.1%
    • Economic data was limited: 
      • Germany's GfK Consumer Climate ticked up to 8.5 from 8.4 (expected 8.0) 
      • Great Britain's Q3 GDP rose 0.7% quarter-over-quarter and 3.0% year-over-year. Both figures matched expectations. Separately, Index of Services increased 0.8% (consensus 0.9%; previous 1.0%) 
      • Italy's Consumer Confidence slipped to 101.4 from 101.9 (expected 101.5) while Retail Sales fell 3.1% year-over-year (forecast -0.9%; prior -1.7%) 
      • Spain's PPI slipped 0.3% year-over-year (expected 0.0%; previous -0.6%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • The European Central Bank is expected to release the results of its stress test on Sunday around 4 AM ET with Vitor Constancio's follow up press conference scheduled 30 minutes after the release.

7:50 am UPS beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance (UPS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.32 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.28; revenues rose 5.7% year/year to $14.29 bln vs the $14.2 bln consensus.

  • Operating profit increased 8.3%, resulting from balanced growth across all three segments. 
    • Daily packages in the U.S. were 6.9% higher as demand from both B2C and B2B customers improved. 
    • International Export shipments increased 9.4% with strong growth in both Asia and Europe. 
    • UPS delivered 1.1 billion packages around the world, up 6.9% over the third quarter 2013.
    • U.S. Domestic revenue +5.3% to $8.7 bln. 
      • Daily package volume improved 6.9%, led by gains in UPS Ground and Deferred products up 7.7% and 5.9%, respectively. 
      • E-commerce continued to drive strong B2C growth, while B2B deliveries were also higher this quarter. 
      • Operating profit was $1.3 billion, up 7.8%. 
Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $4.90-5.00 vs. $4.95 Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • The co announced its expectations for the upcoming holiday season. UPS expects shipments delivered during the month of December to climb 11% over the prior year.
  • As previously announced, the company committed an additional $175 million in operating expense and $500 million in capital expenditures to enhance its capabilities and prepare the network for peak and future volume growth. 

7:48 am Procter & Gamble announced its intention to exit the Duracell personal power business by creating a stand-alone Duracell company (PG) :

  • Consistent with its plans to focus and strengthen its brand and category portfolio, P&G announced its intention to exit the Duracell personal power business by creating a stand-alone Duracell company.
  • P&G said it is exiting the battery business in two steps.
  • The first step was finalizing an agreement to sell its interest in a China-based battery joint venture, which it accomplished in late-August.
  • Terms of this transaction were not disclosed.
  • The second step is the exit of the Duracell business.
  • Although no decision has been made on the form of the exit, P&G's current preference is a split-off of the Duracell business into a stand-alone company.

7:36 am Ariad Pharm announces adoption of final opinion for Iclusig by Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use in Europe; the EMA recommended that Iclusig continue to be used in accordance with its already approved indications as a treatment of certain leukaemias and confirmed that the benefit-risk profile of Iclusig continues to be positive in each of these indications (ARIA) : The EMA also recommended additional warnings in the European product information to minimize the risk of vascular events. The European Commission is expected to issue a final legally binding decision on Iclusig in December 2014, which will be valid throughout the EU.

7:36 am Cabot Oil & Gas misses by $0.02, beats on revs (COG) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.20 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.22; revenues rose 17.5% year/year to $512.01 mln vs the $504.87 mln consensus. 

  • 2015 Hedging 
    • The Company now has approximately 194 Mmcf per day of natural gas volumes hedged for 2015 at a weighted average floor of $3.99 per Mcf. 
  • 2015 Guidance 
    • The Company has reaffirmed its 2015 production growth guidance range of 20 to 30 percent. The Company's capital budget for 2015 is $1.53 to $1.60 billion.
    • Drilling and completion capital will account for $1.25 to $1.32 billion of the capital budget, with approximately 52 percent allocated to the Marcellus Shale, 46 percent allocated to the Eagle Ford Shale, and 2 percent allocated to other drilling areas. 

7:35 am Bristol-Myers beats by $0.03, beats on revs; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance (BMY) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.45 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.42; revenues fell 3.5% year/year to $3.92 bln vs the $3.82 bln consensus.

  • Excluding the divested Diabetes Alliance, global revenues increased 7%. U.S. revenues decreased 3% to $2.0 billion in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago. International revenues decreased 4%. Gross margin as a percentage of revenues was 74.3% in the quarter compared to 71.1% in the same period a year ago.
Co issues guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $1.70-1.80, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.78 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $15.2-15.8 bln vs. $15.58 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.  

"Our financial results in the third quarter reflect our continued focus on balancing long-term growth with short-term performance, as we achieved significant progress in our pipeline and saw strong in-market performance for key products including Eliquis, Yervoy, Sprycel and Orencia."

7:33 am SandRidge Energy announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary MidCon Midstream, LP has filed a registration statement with the SEC relating to its proposed IPO of common units representing limited partner interests. (SD) : The number of common units to be offered and the price range for the offering have not been determined. MidCon Midstream intends to apply for a listing of the common units on the New York Stock Exchange. It is anticipated that a substantial majority of the net proceeds of the offering will be distributed to SandRidge.

7:33 am Ventas beats by $0.02, beats on revs; raises FY14 FFO guidance above consensus (VTR) : Reports Q3 (Sep) funds from operations of $1.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.10; revenues rose 9.5% year/year to $779 mln vs the $752.42 mln consensus.

  • Co raises guidance for FY14, sees FFO of $4.44-4.47, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $4.40 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, up from $4.39-4.43.

7:21 am Altra Industrial Motion beats by $0.02, beats on revs; sees FY14 EPS at low end of range, rev at high end of range (AIMC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.45 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.43; revenues rose 15.5% year/year to $202.5 mln vs the $200.27 mln consensus.

Co issues guidance for FY14, lowers EPS to $1.75-1.80 from $1.75-1.85 vs. $1.80 Capital IQ Consensus; raises FY14 revs to $815-825 mln from $800-825 mln vs. $826.63 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

"We have completed the integration of SAP at all of the target sites, and we are excited about the investments we are making in new business activities. We also have made a significant investment in the reorganization of our foreign subsidiaries reporting structure in order to reduce our ongoing tax rate by 100 to 150 basis points, beginning in the fourth quarter. However, given the deteriorating economic environment in Europe and prolonged higher medical claims costs, we are narrowing our EPS guidance for 2014 to the lower end of our range."

7:21 am Omnicare beats by $0.02, reports revs in-line; raises bottom end of prior FY14 EPS guidance, EPS above consensus, reaffirms revs in-line (OCR) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.94 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.92; revenues rose 6.1% year/year to $1.61 bln vs the $1.6 bln consensus.

  • Co raises bottom end of prior FY14 EPS guidance to $3.70-3.72, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.69 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, from $3.64-3.72; reaffirms FY14 revs of $6.3-6.4 bln vs. $6.39 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:19 am DTE Energy misses by $0.17, beats on revs; guides FY14 EPS in-line (DTE) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.88 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.17 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.05; revenues rose 8.7% year/year to $2.6 bln vs the $2.52 bln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $4.28-4.42 vs. $4.40 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:18 am Lear beats by $0.05, reports revs in-line; narrows FY14 revenue guidance (LEA) : Reports Q3 (Sep) adj earnings of $1.93 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.88; revenues rose 8.0% year/year to $4.23 bln vs the $4.27 bln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, sees FY14 revs of ~$17.7 bln (prior guidance $17-6-17.9 bln) vs. $17.71 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • FY14 Outlook: Core operating earnings are now expected to be in the range of $1,010 to $1,040 million, up from the prior range of $975 to $1,025 million. Free cash flow is expected to be approximately $450 million. Pretax income before restructuring costs and other special items is estimated to be in the range of $940 to $970 million. Tax expense, excluding the impact of restructuring costs and other special items, is expected to be in the range of $270 to $285 million. Adjusted net income attributable to Lear is expected to be in the range of $640 to $655 million (prior guidance $610-645 mln).

7:16 am Shire plc beats on revs; raises guidance (SHPG) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $2.93 per share, may not compare to Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.81; revenues rose 31.7% year/year to $1.6 bln vs the $1.46 bln consensus. 

  • Growth was generated across portfolio but primarily driven by VYVANSE (up 19% to $355 million), LIALDA/MEZAVANT (up 24% to $177 million), ELAPRASE (up 31% to $169 million) and REPLAGAL (up 25% to $136 million). Sales of ELAPRASE and REPLAGAL in the quarter benefitted from several large orders from customers who order less frequently. In 2013 comparable orders were recorded in the fourth quarter.
  • Co increases guidance: 
    • Now expect to deliver Non GAAP earnings per ADS growth in the high thirty percent range in 2014 (previous guidance: low-to-mid thirty percent growth). 
    • Now expect product sales growth for the full year 2014 in the low twenty percent range (previous guidance: high teens growth). 
      • Anticipates product sales growth in the fourth quarter to be lower than delivered so far this year, as the third quarter benefited from Rare Diseases sales to customers who order less frequently, and as they lap against stronger comparatives in the fourth quarter. 
  • Shire has entered into a termination agreement with AbbVie (ABBV) pursuant to which AbbVie has paid the break fee under the cooperation agreement of approximately $1.635 billion.

7:15 am State Street beats by $0.05, beats on revs (STT) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.21; revenues rose 0.1% year/year to $2.68 bln vs the $2.64 bln consensus. 

  • Servicing fees of $1.30 billion in the third quarter of 2014 increased 1.1% from the second quarter of 2014, primarily due to net new business and stronger global equity markets, partially offset by the impact of the stronger U.S. dollar. 
  • Management fees of $316 million in the third quarter of 2014 increased 5.3% from the second quarter of 2014, primarily due to net new business, higher performance fees, and stronger global equity markets. 
  • Foreign-exchange trading revenue of $161 million increased 11.8% from the second quarter of 2014, due to higher volumes and volatility. 
  • Brokerage and other fees of $117 million in the third quarter of 2014 were relatively flat with the second quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2013.
  • Securities finance revenue of $99 million in the third quarter of 2014 decreased 32.7% from the second quarter of 2014, primarily due to second-quarter seasonality. 
  • Net interest revenue of $580 million in the third quarter of 2014 increased 0.9% from the second quarter of 2014. 
  • Net interest margin, including balances held at the Federal Reserve and other central banks, decreased to 106 basis points in the third quarter of 2014 from 112 basis points in the second quarter of 2014 and from 127 basis points in the third quarter of 2013.

7:15 am Procter & Gamble reports Q1 in-line; reaffirms FY15 guidance (PG) : Reports Q1 (Sep) earnings of $1.07 per share, excluding non-recurring items, vs the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.08, the median estimate (an other provides) are at $1.07; revenues fell 0.2% year/year to $20.79 bln vs the $20.79 bln consensus, including a negative two percentage point impact from the combination of foreign exchange and minor divestitures.

  • Organic sales grew two percent, in line or higher versus the prior year in all reporting segments. Organic volume was unchanged versus the prior year in both developed and developing regions. Pricing added one percentage point to sales growth, and geographic and product mix was also positive. 
P&G reiterated its organic sales growth and core earnings per share growth guidance ranges for fiscal year 2015.
  • P&G added that the quarterly profile of earnings will be heavily influenced by the variation of foreign exchange impacts from period-to-period. The co expects significant negative sales and earnings impacts from foreign exchange in the October-December 2014 quarter. 
  • The Company continues to expect organic sales growth in the low-to-mid single digit range. Net sales growth is now expected to be in-line to up low single digits versus the prior fiscal year (consensus +0.4%), including a negative two point impact from foreign exchange. 
  • P&G maintained its outlook for core earnings per share growth in the range of mid-single digits (consensus +4.5%).

7:12 am Aaron's beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS slightly below consensus, revs in-line (AAN) :

  • Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.39 per share, excludingitems, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.37; revenues rose 31.7% year/year to $707.6 mln vs the $694.62 mln consensus. 
  • Co sees Q4 EPS of $0.34-$0.39, excluding items, vs. $0.40 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of ~$740 mln vs. $726.55 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Q4 adjusted EBITDA in the range of ~$57 -62 million including Progressive EBITDA in the range of $15 -18 million. Co expects for the full year 2014 no new store growth in Company-operated Aaron's stores, on a net basis after store closings.
  • "We are making significant progress on the strategic initiatives outlined earlier this year to strengthen our core business... continue to expect that ~$50 million in annual cost savings will be achieved by the end of 2015. Among other actions, during the third quarter we closed 44 under-performing stores and restructured our home office and field support to more closely align with current business conditions. Overall, we believe we are on the right path in transforming Aaron's." 

7:11 am IDEXX Labs beats by $0.18, beats on revs; guides FY14 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus; guides FY15 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (IDXX) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.05 per share, $0.18 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.87; revenues rose 13.4% year/year to $383.5 mln vs the $371.69 mln consensus.

  • Co issues upside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.85-3.90 vs. $3.70 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $1.505-1.510 bln vs. $1.5 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. The Company has updated its organic revenue growth guidance for 2014 to 9.5% to reflect growth trends at the high end of its previous guidance range. Operating margin is expected to be in line with the Company's previous guidance of relatively consistent operating margins for the full year compared to 2013. 
  • Co issues upside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.38-4.48 vs. $4.37 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $1.690-1.710 bln vs. $1.67 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:11 am IMS Health Holdings beats by $0.03, misses on revs; guides FY14 EPS below consensus (IMS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.37 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.34; revenues rose 3.6% year/year to $656 mln vs the $668.44 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $1.34-1.36 vs. $1.38 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Consistent with previous guidance, on a constant currency basis, IMS Health now expects 2014 revenue growth of 5.5 to 5.7 percent, Adjusted EBITDA growth of 9.0 to 9.8 percent, and Adjusted Net Income growth of 20 to 21 percent. As a result of the headwind created by the broad strengthening of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, on a reported basis IMS Health now expects revenue growth of 3.8 to 4.0 percent, Adjusted EBITDA growth of 5.8 to 6.6 percent, Adjusted Net Income growth of 15 to 16 percent, and Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share of $1.34 to $1.36. Unlevered Free Cash Flow is now projected to be 70 to 75 percent of Adjusted EBITDA, excluding the investment for the company's new global delivery center in Bangalore.

7:09 am Delphi Automotive beats by $0.03, misses on revs; raises bottom end of FY14 EPS in-line, lowers FY14 midpoint below consensus (DLPH) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.16 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.13; revenues rose 3.2% year/year to $4.14 bln vs the $4.2 bln consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for FY14, raises bottom end of EPS to $5.00-5.10 from $4.95-5.10, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $5.03 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; lowers FY14 revs to $17.0-17.3 bln from $17.2-17.6 b ln vs. $17.31 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Third quarter earnings before interest expense, other income, net, income tax expense, equity income, net of tax, restructuring, other acquisition-related costs and asset impairments was $468 million, compared to $428 million in the prior year period. 

7:07 am Colgate-Palmolive beats by $0.01, misses on revs; guides FY14 EPS in-line (CL) :

  • Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.76 per share, excluding  items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.75; revenues fell 0.4% year/year to $4.38 bln vs the $4.44 bln consensus. Gross profit margin was 58.6% ex items, in third quarter 2014, a decrease of 40 basis points versus the year ago quarter, primarily as a result of higher pricing and cost savings from the Company's funding-the-growth initiatives and from the 2012 Restructuring Program. 
  • Outlook in light of the ongoing impact of the changes to Venezuela's foreign exchange system and excluding other items "For 2014, we anticipate another year of solid organic sales growth. Given the recent deterioration in exchange rates, we now expect gross margin may be flat for the year and expect diluted earnings per share to grow 3% to 4% on a dollar basis, based on current spot rates ( to ~$2.93-2.95 vs. $2.94 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate). "As we look ahead, our long-term goal of double-digit annual earnings per share growth on a dollar basis remains unchanged. For 2015, our global budget process is still in its initial stages and since our last earnings release we have already seen a deterioration in foreign exchange. In light of this, we are planning for a year of gross margin expansion and mid to high single-digit earnings per share growth, on a dollar basis based on current spot rates, excluding charges related to the 2012 Restructuring Program."

7:07 am Ford Motor beats by $0.02, misses on revs; reaffirms guidance given at Sept 29 Ivestor Day (F) : Reports Q3 (Sep) adj. earnings of $0.21 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.19; auto sector rev fell 3.2% year/year to $32.8 bln vs the $33.21 bln consensus. 

  • Total Automotive third quarter wholesale volume and revenue decreased by 3 percent from a year ago. The lower volume is more than explained by an unfavorable change in dealer stocks related to product launch effects and supplier parts shortages, as well as declining industry volume in South America. Higher industry volumes in other regions was a partial offset. 
This year is a critical building block in the One Ford plan.
  • Ford continues to expect its 2014 pre-tax profits to be about $6 billion, excluding special items. The co is on track with its record 23 global new product launches in preparation for a more profitable 2015. 
  • Ford continues to expect its North America operating margin to be at the lower end of its 8 percent to 9 percent guidance range, and better results in Europe, Asia Pacific and Ford Credit compared with 2013.
In 2015, Ford expects to realize the benefits of its global product investment and growth strategies, and will continue its strong product push with 16 global vehicle launches.
  • The co expects its pre-tax profit, excluding special items, to be significantly higher - in the $8.5 billion to $9.5 billion range - with all five Automotive regions improving on 2014 results, with auto sector rev higher vs. +6% consensus. 
    • Sees US industry volume 16.8-17.5 mln; Europe 20 14.8-15.3 mln; China 24-26 mln. Sees US

7:07 am Moody's beats by $0.07, beats on revs; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance (MCO) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.97 per share, $0.07 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.90; revenues rose 15.7% year/year to $816.1 mln vs the $787.18 mln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.95-4.05 vs. $4.03 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "Moody's achieved strong financial results in the third quarter, with record revenue growth in Moody's Analytics, and double-digit revenue growth in nearly every line of business in both Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics."

7:06 am Lifepoint Hospitals beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides FY14 above consensus (LPNT) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.75 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.73; revenues rose 29.6% year/year to $1.17 bln vs the $1.09 bln consensus.

  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 15.9% to $155.7 mln compared with $134.3 mln for the same period a year ago. 
Co issues upside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.26-$3.39 from prior range of $2.99-3.19, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.10 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $4.45-4.50 bln raised from prior range of $4.25-4.35 bln vs. $4.29 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees adjusted EBITDA of $630-640 mln. 

7:04 am NASDAQ beats by $0.02, misses on revs; announces additional $500 mln buyback, lowers expense guidance (NDAQ) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.72 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.70; revenues fell 1.8% year/year to $497 mln vs the $513.39 mln consensus. 

  • The Board has authorized an additional $500 million of stock repurchases, which combined with approximately $60 million of unused authorization after the October repurchases to date, gives the company a total available authorization of approximately $560 million. 
  • The company has lowered non-GAAP operating expense guidance to $1,205-$1,225 million, down from the prior $1,220-$1,250 million. 
    • Included in this non-GAAP operating expense guidance is an expected $30-$35 million in GIFT new initiative spending, down from a prior $30-$40 million estimate, and $1,175-$1,190 million in core non-GAAP operating expense, down from $1,190-$1,210 million.

7:02 am Chiquita Brands Board considered the revised $14.50 offer from Cutrale/Safra and determined to reaffirm its recommendation of the ChiquitaFyffes (FYFFF) merger (CQB) : "Chiquita's Board continues to believe in the long-term value of the ChiquitaFyffes merger and does not believe that the $14.50 offer from Cutrale/Safra is superior to the potential combination. The Board intends to convene the Special Meeting as scheduled at 9:00 AM ET in Charlotte to allow shareholders to vote on the ChiquitaFyffes merger. The Board also determined that if shareholders do not approve the combination with Fyffes, the Board intends to continue discussions with Cutrale/Safra."

7:01 am TPG Specialty Lending favorably amends and extends its revolving credit facility; letter of credit sublimit has been increased to $100 mln from $20 mln (TSLX) : Co announced that it has favorably amended and extended its senior secured revolving credit facility with its bank group. The amended facility has a borrowing rate of LIBOR plus 200 basis points, a 25 basis point reduction, with no LIBOR floor, and a final maturity of October 2019, extended from February 2019. Under the terms of the amended facility, the letter of credit sublimit has been increased from $20 million to $100 million. The amended facility continues to include the accordion feature, which would allow the Company, under certain circumstances, to increase the size of the amended facility to a maximum of $956.3 million.

7:01 am QLT Inc appoints Geoffrey Cox as Interim Chief Executive Officer (QLTI) : Co announced that current QLT Board member, Geoffrey Cox, has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Cox brings more than 35 years of business and scientific leadership in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to QLT, 13 years of which have been as Chairman and CEO of public companies. Dr. Cox will continue in his role as a member of the QLT Board of Directors. In conjunction with Dr. Cox's appointment, the QLT Board has disbanded its Executive Transition Committee.

  • From 2001 to 2010, Dr. Cox was Chairman, President and CEO of GTC Biotherapeutics Inc. (now rEVO Biologics (RBIO)), and from 1997 to 2001 he was Chairman, President and CEO of Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

7:00 am NGL Energy Partners declared a quarterly distribution of $0.60875 per unit, a 3.4% increase over the prior quarterly distribution of $0.58875 (NGL) :  

7:00 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -13.00. :

7:00 am European Markets : FTSE...6,396.60...-22.50...-0.40%.  DAX...9,013.91...-33.60...-0.40%.

7:00 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15,291.64...+152.70...+1.00%.  Hang Seng...23,302.20...-31.00...-0.10%.

6:58 am Columbus McKinnon beats by $0.14, reports revs in-line (CMCO) : Reports Q2 (Sep) earnings of $0.53 per share, $0.14 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.39; revenues rose 5.8% year/year to $147 mln vs the $147.25 mln consensus, driven by volume growth in the U.S., Asia Pacific, and Latin America, as well as improved pricing and one additional shipping day. Sales from the Unified Industries acquisition, which was acquired in February 2014, were $2.9 million in the second quarter. Foreign exchange translation had a negative impact on sales of $0.4 million in the quarter compared with the prior-year period.

  • Backlog was $82.2 million at September 30, 2014, a decrease of $6.1 million, or 6.9%, from backlog of $88.3 million at June 30, 2014; ~70%, or $57.2 million, of backlog at quarter end is expected to ship prior to the end of the third quarter fiscal 2015.

6:47 am WABCO Holdings beats by $0.03, misses on revs; lowers FY14 guidance (WBC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.44 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.41; revenues rose 4.5% year/year to $707.3 mln vs the $719.77 mln consensus, of which 2.7 percent comes from the Q3 2014 consolidated results in local currencies of Transics International, WABCO's newly acquired subsidiary.

Co issues downside guidance for FY14, lowers EPS t $5.45-5.55 vs. $5.54 Capital IQ Consensus. WABCO expects full year 2014 sales growth to now range from 5.5 to 6.5 percent in local currencies vs. previous guidance to range from 6 to 9 percent; performance operating margin to now range from 12.9 to 13.1 percent versus previous guidance to range from 12.9 to 13.3 percent; and operating margin on a U.S. GAAP basis to now range from 12.2 to 12.4 percent versus previous guidance to range from 12.2 to 12.6 percent. Consistent with its committed framework, WABCO reiterates that it expects in 2014 to convert between 80 and 90 percent of its net income attributable to the company into free cash flow, excluding payments associated with items for streamlining, separation, acquisition, and expiration of the accounts receivable securitization program.

6:45 am Immunogen misses by $0.11, misses on revs; reaffirms FY15 revs guidance (IMGN) : Reports Q1 (Sep) loss of $0.26 per share, $0.11 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.15); revenues fell 23.3% year/year to $13.2 mln vs the $23.57 mln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $100-105 mln vs. $98.68 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Advancing pipeline of wholly owned therapeutic candidates: IMGN853 in initial evaluation of efficacy in treatment of targeted ovarian and endometrial cancers; new IMGN529 clinical data to be reported at ASH; dose-finding evaluation of IMGN289 ongoing; IMGN779 advancing towards IND submission in 2015. 
  • Kadcyla sales exceed $150 mln in Roche's (RHHBY) most recent quarter, with regulatory submissions for two more indications expected in 2015; eight other novel programs in clinic through partnerships, with number expected to increase markedly over the coming year; partner data presentations expected at ASH. 
  • FY15 Guidance Details: Co's operating expenses to be between $160 mln and $165 mln; its net loss to be between $60 mln and $65 mln; its cash used in operations to be between $55 mln and $60 mln; and its capital expenditures to be between $7 mln and $9 mln. Cash and marketable securities at June 30, 2015 are anticipated to be between $75 mln and $85 mln.

6:41 am Wyndham Worldwide beats by $0.04, misses on revs; raises FY14 EPS above consensus, reaffirms revs; guides FY15 EPS ex-buybacks, below consensus, revs below consensus; adds $1 bln to share buyback (WYN) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.67 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.63; revenues rose 6.1% year/year to $1.51 bln vs the $1.53 bln consensus.

-- Co notes that its EPS guidance excludes share repurchases, which are often included in consensus.

Co issues guidance for FY14, raises EPS to $4.45-4.48 from $4.34-4.44 vs. $4.43 Capital IQ Consensus; reaffirms FY14 revs of $5.25-5.35 bln vs. $5.32 bln Capital IQ Consensus.

Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.70-4.85 vs. $4.98 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY15 revs of $5.4-5.5 bln vs. $5.64 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 

The co repurchased 2.0 million shares of its common stock for $161 million during the quarter.

"Domestic RevPAR growth once again exceeded 8%, our vacation rentals business had a robust summer and our vacation ownership business significantly increased sales to new owners while continuing to benefit from improved lending practices. Based on our confidence in the prospects of our business, the Board of Directors approved a one billion dollar increase in our share repurchase authorization."

6:35 am National Penn reports EPS in-line; NIM of 3.43% consistent with prior qtr (NPBC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.18 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.18.

  • Cash dividend increased 10% to $0.11 cents per common share for the fourth quarter 2014
  • Net interest income for the third quarter of 2014 was $64.2 million, compared to $63.0 million in the prior quarter. 
  • Net interest margin for the third quarter was 3.43% and consistent with the margin for the second quarter. 
  • Loans grew approximately 5% on an annualized basis during the quarter, comprised of increases in both the commercial and consumer loan portfolios. 
  • Tangible Book Value per Share of 6.06 vs 6.02 in the prior qtr

6:34 am Barnes Group beats by $0.06, beats on revs; raises FY14 EPS above consensus (B) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.64 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.58; revenues rose 17.9% year/year to $317.7 mln vs the $313.33 mln consensus.

Co issues upside guidance for FY14, raises EPS to $2.30-2.35 from $2.23-2.33 vs. $2.27 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

"Our Industrial and Aerospace Segments each delivered high-single digit organic growth and orders in the quarter were solid which supports an improved outlook for 2014 and positive momentum heading into 2015."

6:30 am Statoil ASA expands in Australia with the award of 100% equity share in a large exploration permit located in the Northern Carnarvon Basin on the Northwest shelf of Australia (STO) : This is the co's third asset in Australia, adding to the onshore operatorship in the Northern Territory's South Georgina basin and four BP (BP)-operated offshore permits in the Great Australian Bight. The permit WA-506-P covers an area of more than 13,000 square kilometers, situated 300 kilometers off Western Australia in water depths of 1,500-2,000 meters. The permit has been awarded to the co by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator through the 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release. Other parts of the Northern Carnarvon Basin have already proved large volumes of gas. It has multiple fields in production and established infrastructure.

6:12 am LyondellBasell beats by $0.16, beats on revs (LYB) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $2.46 per share, $0.16 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.30; revenues rose 8.2% year/year to $12.07 bln vs the $11.85 bln consensus. 

  • Co repurchased approximately 12 million shares during the third quarter, and approximately 46 million shares year to date.  
  • Capital spending and cash balances - Capital expenditures, including growth projects, maintenance turnarounds, catalyst and information technology-related expenditures, were $338 million in the third quarter 2014.
OUTLOOK
"Despite declines in crude oil prices, U.S. industry fundamentals remained favorable through the first weeks of October. Domestic ethylene and polyolefins pricing remained strong, and we continued to benefit from favorable NGL pricing.  Our fourth quarter results should be favorably impacted by the new La Porte ethylene capacity.  Additionally, our refinery should begin receiving shipments of Canadian crude from the Flanagan South pipeline.  However, we historically experience margin compression in products such as oxyfuels in winter months and slower polyolefin demand around the holiday season.  Recent crude oil price declines are expected to ultimately impact domestic margins but today's tight market conditions may delay the timing of potential declines..."

6:07 am Verastem presents new data on Mesothelioma programs; results from a window of opportunity study in surgically-eligible patients demonstrate a reduction in pFAK, cancer stem cell markers and tumor size following 12 days of treatment with VS-6063 (VSTM) : Co announced the presentation of clinical and preclinical data in oral presentation and discussion sessions at the 12th International Mesothelioma Interest Group Conference being held October 22-24, 2014, at the Cape Town International Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The study also measures tumor size using CT/PET scans before and after the 12-day administration of VS-6063. All study patients were enrolled at the BWH clinical site.

  • Measurement of tumor size by CT/PET using RECIST modified for mesothelioma confirmed that there was no progression of disease while on the 12 day treatment with single agent VS-6063 in any of the 10 patients. 
  • Moreover, in 2 patients, tumor shrinkage consistent with a partial response (-30%, -49%) was noted. VS-6063 was well tolerated with no apparent negative impact on surgical outcome.

6:07 am Corp Office Props beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q4 FFO in-line (OFC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) funds from operations of $0.48 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.47; revenues rose 16.1% year/year to $153 mln vs the $139.44 mln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q4, sees FFO of $0.48-0.50 vs. $0.49 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • At September 30, 2014, the Company's total portfolio of 174 operating office properties totaled 16.9 million square feet that were 91.5% occupied and 93.0% leased.

6:04 am First Niagara reports EPS in-line (FNFG) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.18 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.18. 

  • Average total loans increased 9% annualized from the prior quarter, driven by continued growth in the company's commercial lending, indirect auto and home equity portfolios. 
  • Third quarter 2014 net interest income increased $1 million from the prior quarter to $273 million. The benefits of a 4% annualized increase in average earning assets, an additional day in the quarter and income accretion from CLO prepayments were partially offset by a 5-basis point decline in the net interest margin.

6:03 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • iDreamSky Technology (DSKY) announced that it has launched a real time multiplayer card battle game called "Sky Fall." 
  • Equinix (EQIX) announced the immediate availability of Amazon Web Services (AMZN) Direct Connect cloud service in Equinix's Germany International Business Exchange data centers. 
  • Cognizant (CTSH) announced that it has been selected by the Vorwerk Group to transform its IT infrastructure and provide application services. 

5:48 am CNOOC announces new discovery Jinzhou 23-2 in Bohai (CEO) : Co announced that the Company made a mid-to-large new discovery Jinzhou 23-2 in Bohai. Jinzhou 23-2 structure is located in the north part of Liaodong Uplift of Bohai with an average water depth of about 10 meters. The well Jinzhou 23-2-3 is drilled and completed at a depth of 1,097 meters and encountered oil and gas pay zones with a total thickness of 68.4 meters. The oil production of the well was tested around 260 barrels per day. The exploration success of Jinzhou 23-2 not only demonstrated the structure belt has excellent reservoir quality, but also proved the good exploration prospects in the north part of Liaodong Uplift.

5:05 am Retail Opportunity Investments announces company's warrants have been fully retired (ROIC) : Co announced its remaining outstanding warrants expired by their terms on October 23, 2014.

  • The warrants were initially issued in 2007 by the company's predecessor entity. Of the 49.4 million warrants originally issued, 24.8 million warrants were exercised in total, providing ROIC with approximately $297.1 million of proceeds. 
  • Additionally, 16.6 million warrants were repurchased by ROIC, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $32.8 million, all 8.0 million founders' warrants were exercised on a cashless basis and 64,452 warrants expired unexercised.

4:35 am New Oriental Education & Technology misses by $0.15, misses on revs; guides Q2 revs in-line (EDU) : Reports Q1 (Aug) earnings of $0.73 per share, $0.15 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.88; revenues rose 1.4% year/year to $394 mln vs the $417.15 mln consensus.

  • Total student enrollments in academic subjects tutoring and test preparation courses decreased by 3.4% year-over-year to approximately 888,400 for the first fiscal quarter of 2015. 
  • The total number of schools and learning centers was 711 as of August 31, 2014, down from 713 as of August 31, 2013, and an increase of 8 compared to 703 as of May 31, 2014. The total number of schools was 56 as of August 31, 2014.
Guidance:
Co issues in-line guidance for Q2, sees Q2 revs of $235.4-243.7 mln vs. $235.49 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

2:15 am LM Ericsson beats by $0.02, beats on revs (ERIC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.11 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.09; revenues rose 8.7% year/year to $57.6 bln vs the $54.98 bln consensus. 

  • The sales growth YoY, mainly driven by growth in the Middle East, China, India and Russia was partly offset by sales decline in North America 
  • Gross margin increased YoY to 35.2% (32.0%), driven by improved business mix, higher IPR revenues and lower restructuring charges 
  • Reported sales increased by 9% year-over-year and sales for comparable units, adjusted for currency, grew by 3% with stable operating income. 

1:58 am Sierra Bancorp CEO announces retirement and succession plans (BSRR) : Co announced that James Holly, plans to retire as Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Bancorp and the Bank on March 31, 2015. The Board of Directors has also finalized the Company's management succession plan and is proud to announce that President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin McPhaill has been designated as Holly's successor, to be appointed by the Board as President and Chief Executive Officer for Sierra Bancorp and Bank of the Sierra upon Holly's retirement.

1:25 am Digital River to be acquired by investor group led by Siris Capital Group for $26.00 per share in cash (DRIV) :

  • Digital River announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Siris Capital Group in a transaction valued at ~ $840 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Siris will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Digital River for $26.00 per share in cash, representing a premium of ~50% over the closing price on October 23, 2014, and 67% over Digital River's volume weighted average share price during the 90 days ended October 23, 2014. 
  • The agreement was approved by Digital River's Board of Directors, which recommended that Digital River's stockholders adopt the agreement with Siris. 
  • Digital River may solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties during a 45-day "go-shop" period, following the date of execution of the merger agreement.

12:50 am Basic Energy Services reports Q3 (Sep) results, beats on revs (BAS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.24 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.26; revenues rose 23.2% year/year to $394 mln vs the $389.41 mln consensus.
Business Segment Results

  • Completion and remedial services revenue increased by 18% to $193.7 million in the third quarter of 2014 from $164.4 million in the prior quarter.  The sequential increase in revenue was mainly due to increased activity for our pumping and coiled tubing services and from additional equipment deployed during the third quarter. In the third quarter of 2013, this segment generated $127.1 million in revenue.
    • As of September 30, 2014, Basic had approximately 413,000 HHP compared to approximately 351,000 HHP at the end of the previous quarter and 292,000 HHP as of September 30, 2013. Weighted average HHP for the third quarter of 2014 was 385,000 compared to 317,000 in the prior quarter.
  • Well servicing revenues increased two percent to $91.1 million during the third quarter of 2014 compared to $89.6 million in the prior quarter. Revenues from the Taylor manufacturing operations were $3.0 million in the third quarter, up from $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2014. 

12:42 am MediciNova: CDC supports recruitment for MediciNova's Clinical Trial of MN-166 in ALS (MNOV) : Co announced that the U.S. CDC's National ALS Registry Research Committee has voted to approve support of patient recruitment for MediciNova's clinical trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS.TO). CDC has notified ALS patients who are registered with the CDC's National ALS Registry and who also met the inclusion criteria about the initiation of MediciNova's clinical trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) in ALS.  Subject enrollment in this trial began in early October 2014. 

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