6:36 pm Journal Commun announces extension of existing sharerepurchase authorization until end of 2015 (JRN): Co announced today that its Board of Directors has extended itsshare repurchase program until the end of fiscal 2015. Announced inJuly 2011, Journal Communications' existing share repurchaseauthority allows for the repurchase of up to $45 million of itsoutstanding class A common stock and/or class B common stock untilthe end of fiscal year 2013. To date, Journal Communications hasrepurchased approximately $7.6 million of its class A common stockunder this authority. The extension of the program will allow forthe repurchase of up to the remaining $37.4 million until the endof fiscal 2015. As of October 25, 2013, there were 44.6 millionshares of class A and 6.3 million shares of class B common stockoutstanding.
6:29 pm American Realty Capital: David S. Kay to becomePresident (ARCP): Co announced today that David S. Kay will become President onMonday, December 16, 2013. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Kay servedas Chief Investment Officer and Chief Financial Officer of CapitalAutomotive Real Estate Services, Inc.
6:25 pm RadioShack closes new five-year financing totaling $835mln (RSH): Co announced that it has completed a new financing totaling $835million including a $585 million senior secured ABL credit facilityled by GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance and a $250 millionsecured term loan led by Salus Capital Partners, LLC. Thiscomprehensive new financing will be used to refinance existing debtand provide approximately $200 million of incremental liquidity,all of which will further strengthen the Company's balance sheet asit continues to move forward with its operational turnaround.
6:16 pm QTS Realty Trust expands relationship with largeinternet-based company (QTS): Co announced today that one of the world's largest Internet-basedcompanies is expanding its custom data center relationship. TheCalifornia--based company is expanding its committed deployment inQTS' mega-data center facility in Atlanta-Metro. The company'sinitial deployment with QTS began in 2012 and has continued to growwith expansions scheduled through 2014. The new agreement willsignificantly expand their commitment by adding five megawatts ofpower, representing over a 25 percent increase, and additionalspace in excess of 25,000 square feet starting in 2015.
6:03 pm NanoString Technologies announces adoption of theProsigna Breast Cancer Assay by leading US clinical laboratoriesand cancer centers (NSTG): Co announced nationwide availability of the Prosigna BreastCancer Prognostic Gene Signature Assay beginning in the firstquarter of 2014. Premier national diagnostic laboratories ARUPLaboratories, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH), and Quest Diagnostics (DGX) have chosen to add the Prosigna Assay to their comprehensivesuites of breast cancer diagnostic tests, providing patientstreated throughout the U.S. with timely access to a genomic assaythat assesses a tumor's underlying biology and risk of distantrecurrence. NanoString Technologies also announced thatlaboratories at the University of Alabama at BirminghamComprehensive Cancer Center and University of North CarolinaLineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center will be among the initialwave of facilities to offer the Prosigna Assay in 2014.
6:02 pm Blackstone Mortgage Trust announces the appointment ofPaul Quinlan as CFO (BXMT): Co announced that Paul D. Quinlan, a Managing Director in thefinance division of Blackstone, has been appointed Chief FinancialOfficer of the Company. Mr. Quinlan will succeed Geoffrey Jervis,who, as previously announced by the Company, has resigned to pursueother opportunities.
5:49 pm TravelCenters of America prices public offering of 6.5mln common shares at $9.25 per share (TA): Co announced that it priced an offering of 6,500,000 commonshares at a price to the public of $9.25 per share. TA expects touse the proceeds from the offering to fund its business and growthstrategies and for general business purposes. Some of the netproceeds may be used to fund a portion of the purchase price of itspending convenience store acquisition and other expansionactivities. The joint book-running managers for the offering areCitigroup, RBC Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank. Theco-managers for the offering are BB&T Capital Markets,Craig-Hallum Capital Group, Janney Montgomery Scott, MLV & Co.and Oppenheimer & Co.
5:47 pm Post announces pricing of convertible preferred stock (POST): Co announced today that it has priced its offering of 3,000,000shares of a newly created series of convertible preferred stock tobe designated as its 2.5% Series C Cumulative Perpetual ConvertiblePreferred Stock. The Company intends to use the net proceeds fromthe offering for general corporate purposes, which may include,among other things, financing the pending acquisitions and anyadditional acquisition opportunities, working capital and capitalexpenditures. The offering is expected to close on December 16,2013, subject to customary closing conditions.
5:46 pm E-House China announces proposed offering of $180 mlnconvertible senior notes (EJ): Co announced that it proposes to offer up to US$180 million inaggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2018.Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC is acting as the initial purchaser of the notes. Theconversion rate and other terms of the notes have not beenfinalized and will be determined at the time of pricing of theoffering. The Company plans to use approximately US$20 million ofthe net proceeds from the offering for the repurchase of theCompany's ordinary shares and ADSs and approximately US$50 millionof the net proceeds from the offering to pay the premium of thecall option (defined below). The remainder of the net proceeds ofthe offering will be used for general corporate purposes, includingworking capital needs and potential investments in or acquisitionsof complementary businesses.
5:45 pm Echo Therapeutics announces strategic partnership withMedical Technologies Innovation Asia (ECTE): Co announced that it entered into a strategic collaborationagreement with Medical Technologies Innovation Asia (:MTIA), Ltd.,Hong Kong, for a license arrangement and equity investment in Echo.Under the terms of the License, Development and CommercializationAgreement, dated December 9, 2013, between MTIA and Echo, Echogranted MTIA rights to develop, manufacture, market and distributeEcho's Symphony CGM System on an exclusive basis for the Chinesemarket, including the Peoples' Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macauand Taiwan.
Under the terms of the Agreement, MTIA is responsible fordevelopment costs, as well as manufacturing and marketing costs,relating to the Symphony CGM System for the Chinese market, and forobtaining regulatory approval for the product in the licensedterritories. Upon the earlier of regulatory approval from the ChinaFood and Drug Administration or upon Echo's termination of theAgreement, MTIA is entitled to reimbursement of development costsup to $1.5 million in the form of shares of Echo's common stockvalued at $2.71, which was the NASDAQ closing price on December 9,2013. The parties will share net sales of the product generated inthe territory. The term of the Agreement is ten (10) years, subjectto certain rights to earlier termination for breach, change ofcontrol and certain performance obligations.
5:43 pm Salem Comms acquires Twitchy.com from Michelle Malkin (SALM): Co announced today the acquisition of the ground-breaking Twittercuration site, Twitchy.com -- founded by best-selling author,blogger, and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin. Twitchy.com,combined with Townhall.com and HotAir.com creates the largestsocial media driven conservative platform on the Web with nearly 10million unique readers and over 100 million pageviews eachmonth.
5:39 pm BBX Capital announces it has acquired Hoffman'sChocolates through a wholly-owned subsidiary; terms not disclosed (BBX):
5:35 pm PDC Energy announces 2014 capital budget of $647 mln and2014 production guidance of 9.5-10 mln Boe (PDCE): Co's capital budget for 2014 is approximately $647 million,including $576 million of development capital and $71 million forleasehold acquisitions, exploration and other expenditures. The2014 capital budget is targeting organic growth within PDC'sinventory of high-return, liquid-rich projects in the coreWattenberg Field and Utica Shale.
PDC estimates net production volumes for 2014 will average between9.5 million and 10 million barrels of oil equivalent ("Boe") andanticipates that its crude oil and natural gas liquids ("NGLs")will increase to approximately 60%. Production guidance includes areduction in dry gas volumes in 2014 due to the anticipated closingof the sale of its shallow Upper Devonian assets and the suspensionof drilling in its Marcellus Shale assets. The Company estimatesits 2014 production exit rate to be approximately 33,000 Boe/d.
5:34 pm Gran Tierra Energy announces $467 mln capital spendingprogram for 2014 (GTE): Co announced a 2014 capital spending program of $467 million forits exploration and production development operations in Colombia,Brazil, Peru and Argentina. The capital spending program allocates$227 million for drilling, $102 million for facilities, equipmentand pipelines, $136 million for seismic activities and $2 millionassociated with corporate activities. The budget currentlycontemplates the drilling of 12 gross wells in Colombia, 2 grosswells in Argentina, and 2 gross wells in Peru. Approximately 59% ofthe drilling budget is for development and appraisal drilling andapproximately 41% is for exploration drilling. The approved 2014capital spending program also includes funds for 2,213 km of 2D and228 km2 of 3D seismic acquisition programs in Colombia, Peru, andBrazil, primarily in preparation for additional exploration andproduction drilling operations in 2014 and beyond.
Gran Tierra Energy is expecting 2014 production to average between30,000 and 31,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day ("BOEPD") grossworking interest or between 23,500 and 24,500 BOEPD net afterroyalty ("NAR") with Costayaco contributing approximately 12,000BOEPD NAR and Moqueta contributing approximately 4,700 BOEPD NARassuming a 4% contingency for potential delivery disruptions and$95 average price for Brent. Approximately 96% of this productionconsists of oil, with the balance consisting of natural gas.Production expectations are based on the development of existingdiscoveries and could prove to be conservative with explorationsuccess in Colombia. Gran Tierra Energy had $353 million in cashand equivalents and no debt at the end of the third quarter 2013.Based on current oil prices, Gran Tierra Energy expects the 2014work program and budget to be funded primarily from cash flows fromoperations and cash on hand.
5:32 pm General Cable extends share repurchase program throughthe end of 2014 (BGC): Co's Board extended the Company's existing $125 million sharerepurchase program, which was set to expire at the end of 2013,through the end of 2014. This repurchase program has a remainingauthorization of $106 million following the repurchase of $19.0million of common shares in the second quarter of 2013. The Companyhas not utilized the repurchase program since the end of the secondquarter of 2013 primarily due to restrictions implemented relatingto the restatement of its financial statements as previouslydisclosed.
5:32 pm Tessera Tech appoints Thomas Lacey CEO (TSRA): Co announced the appointment of Thomas Lacey as chief executiveofficer, effective immediately. Lacey, who was appointed interimCEO in May 2013, will also continue to serve on the Company's Boardof Directors, which he joined in May 2013.
5:31 pm CytRx to hold conference call December 11, 2013 at 10:30a.m. ET to discuss results of global Phase 2b clinical trial withaldoxorubicin versus doxorubicin as first-line therapy in advancedsoft tissue sarcomas (CYTR): Co announced that it will issue a news release at 8:00 a.m.Eastern time on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 announcing top-lineresults of its global Phase 2b clinical trial comparing thecompany's aldoxorubicin as a first-line treatment for advanced softtissue sarcomas (STS) versus the widely used chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin. Thecompany will host a conference call beginning at 10:30 a.m. Easterntime December 11 to discuss those results and answer questions.
5:29 pm Asbury Automotive announces appointment of Keith R.Style as CFO (ABG): Co announced, as part of its long-term executive successionplanning process, that Senior Vice President and Chief FinancialOfficer Scott Krenz will retire from the position of ChiefFinancial Officer, effective December 31, 2013. Current VicePresident of Finance Keith Style has been appointed to succeedScott Krenz as Chief Financial Officer effective January 1,2014.
5:19 pm Pharmacyclics announces data presentations for ibrutinibin B-cell malignancies (PCYC): Co announced results of 40 clinical, non-clinical andpre-clinical presentations on ibrutinib (:IMBRUVICA) at the 55THAnnual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) held in New Orleans, Dec 7 - 10, 2013. There were sevenpresentations of clinical data, of which five were oralpresentations, including one "Best of ASH" presentation onWaldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM). In total, 33 additional pre-clinical and non-clinicalpresentations provided new discoveries using ibrutinib; seven ofthese were oral presentations. The presentations further elucidatedthe mechanism of action of ibrutinib and its effect in the tumormicroenvironment and provided data on quality of life changes.Results covered various B-cell malignancies: chronic lymphocyticleukemia (:CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (:SLL), WM, andnon-Hodgkin lymphoma (:NHL).
"The breadth of data presented at ASH this year demonstrates thescientific community's interest in ibrutinib and builds on theclinical responses seen with ibrutinib as a backbone of combinationtherapy and as a single agent in multiple B-cell malignancies,"said Jesse McGreivy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Pharmacyclics."This year's data explain ibrutinib's effect on the quality of lifefor patients and build on impressive efficacy and safety results,independent of cytogenetic risk factors. We also now have long-termfollow-up in CLL, which suggests continuation of the efficacy and adecrease in overall and severe adverse events."
5:17 pm Ballard Power to supply ElectraGen-ME fuel cell systemsfor a polot project in Idea Cellular's India telecom network (BLDP):
5:10 pm Douglas Emmett obtains $300 mln revolving line of credit(DEI): Co announced that it closed a $300 million secured revolving lineof credit. The credit facility has a four year term, bears interestat LIBOR plus 140 basis points and carries a 20 basis point unusedcommitment fee (reduced to 15 basis points if more than $100million has been drawn). Douglas Emmett used a portion of its cashon hand, plus $40 million from this credit line, to prepay theremaining $150 million balance of its loan scheduled to mature onApril 1, 2015.
5:05 pm HomeAway announces intention to file registrationstatement for public offering of common stock: HomeAway to offer5.5 mln, selling stockholders to offer 518,630 (AWAY): Co announced that it intends to file a registration statementwith the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed publicoffering of common stock. HomeAway intends to offer 5.5 millionshares of common stock and selling stockholders intend to offer518,630 shares of common stock.
5:03 pm Crane announces pricing of $550 mln of senior notes (CR): Co announced today the pricing of an underwritten public offeringof $250 million of 2.750% Senior Notes due 2018 and $300 million of4.450% Senior Notes due 2023. Crane intends to use the net proceedsfrom the offering to repay a substantial portion of amountsborrowed under (i) its 364-day credit agreement and (ii) its $500million credit agreement maturing in 2017 to finance a portion ofthe purchase price of all of the outstanding equity interests ofMEI Conlux Holdings (U.S.), Inc. and its affiliate MEI ConluxHoldings (Japan), Inc. Subject to customary closing conditions, thesale of the notes is expected to close on or about December 13,2013. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLCare acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.
5:03 pm Bellatrix Exploration and Angle Energy announcesecurityholder and court approvals for arrnagement (BXE): Co and Angle Energy announce that they have today receivedsecurityholder approval for the previously announced plan ofarrangement pursuant to which Bellatrix will acquire all the issuedand outstanding common shares of Angle and 5.75% convertibleunsecured subordinated debentures of Angle with a maturity date ofJanuary 31, 2016.
5:01 pm Celanese to close two European manufacturing facilities(CE): Co announced that the consultation process has been completed byits French subsidiary with their employee delegates in Roussillon,France, and by its Spanish subsidiary with the work council inTarragona, Spain. Both consultation processes were initiated inNovember 2013. These consultations have resulted in negotiated andapproved redundancy and social plans for the affected employees.The social plans include measures aimed at minimizing the effectsof the facility closures on the workforces at Roussillon andTarragona. The measures of assistance include providing training,outplacement and severance. The company will cease allmanufacturing operations and associated activities at the aceticanhydride plant in Roussillon and at the vinyl acetate monomer(:VAM) unit in Tarragona by the end of 2013, and Celanese willproceed to decommission both facilities. As a result of theRoussillon site closure and the Tarragona VAM unit closure,Celanese expects to record personnel-related exit costs and otherfacility-related shutdown costs in the range of US$100-110 million,including approximately US$35-45 million of non-cash assetimpairments, primarily in the fourth quarter of 2013. Theseexpenses will be excluded from the company's adjusted earnings pershare and adjusted EBIT performance measures. The related cashoutflows will occur over a one-year period. Celanese expectssavings from these closures to be in the range of US$20-30 millionin 2014. The need for these closure projects emerged from anassessment of Celanese's overall corporate strategy, which includedan assessment of the company's global manufacturing facilities.Specifically, in support of the company's acetyl portfolio, themanufacturing footprint strategy favors integrated production sitesthat provide critical economies of scale.
4:50 pm CubeSmart announces pricing of public offering of $250mln of 4.375% senior unsecured notes due 2023 (CUBE): Co announced that its operating partnership, CubeSmart, L.P., haspriced an underwritten public offering of $250 million of 4.375%senior unsecured notes due December 15, 2023. The notes were pricedat 98.995% of the principal amount to yield 4.501% to maturity. Thenotes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed by CubeSmart. Theoffering is expected to close on December 17, 2013, subject tocustomary closing conditions. The net proceeds from this offeringare expected to be approximately $245.4 million after deducting theunderwriting discount and estimated transaction expenses payable byus. The Operating Partnership intends to use the net proceeds torepay all of the outstanding indebtedness under the unsecured termloan portion of our credit facility maturing in 2014 and thebalance of the net proceeds to repay a portion of the outstandingindebtedness incurred under the revolving portion of our creditfacility in connection with the financing of our recent acquisitionof 35 storage facilities located in Texas and one storage facilityin North Carolina. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Jefferies LLC, andMerrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated acted asjoint book-running managers for the offering.
4:48 pm Metrocorp Bancshares announces receipt of regulatoryapprovals (MCBI): MetroCorp Bancshares (MCBI), parent of MetroBank, National Association and Metro United Bank,announced that the State of California Department of BusinessOversight had approved the applications for the mergers of MetroUnited Bank and Metro Bank National Association with and into EastWest Bank, the subsidiary bank of East West Bancorp, Inc. Inaddition, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has indicatedthat it does not object to the consummation of the proposed mergerof MetroCorp with and into East West, with East West surviving themerger, without the filing of a formal application.
4:47 pm Franklin Resources announces 30 mln share increase tostock repurchase program; increases quarterly dividend 20% to $0.12from $0.10 per share (BEN): Co's Board of Directors authorized the company to purchase, fromtime to time, up to an aggregate of 30.0 million shares of itscommon stock in either open market or off-market transactions. Thesize and timing of these purchases will depend on price, market andbusiness conditions and other factors. The stock repurchase programis not subject to an expiration date. The new board authorizationis in addition to the existing authorization, of whichapproximately 9.7 million shares remained available for repurchaseat November 30, 2013. The company repurchased an aggregate of 12.1million shares (on a split-adjusted basis) during the periodOctober 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013. Shares repurchased under theprogram are retired.
Co also announced a quarterly cash dividend in the amount of$0.12 per share payable on January 10, 2014 to stockholders ofrecord holding shares of common stock at the close of business onDecember 31, 2013. The quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share is a20% increase over the dividend paid for the prior quarter andrepresents a 24% increase over the quarterly dividend paid for thesame quarter last year.
4:41 pm Investors Real Estate Trust reports FFO in-line, misseson revs (IRET): Reports Q2 (Oct) funds from operations of $0.16 per share, in-linewith the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.16; revenuesrose 6.3% year/year to $66.2 mln vs the $67.72 mln consensus.
4:35 pm Photronics beats by $0.02, reports revs in-line (PLAB): Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $0.09 per share, excludingnon-recurring items, $0.02 better thanthe Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.07; revenues rose 1.7%year/year to $106 mln vs the $106.05 mln consensus.
- Quarterly Non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.09; exceeds revised guidance of $0.06 - $0.07, which was issued on Nov 13
- Co also warned on the top line of revs of $105-106 mln on Nov 13
4:35 pm Artisan Partners Asset Mgmt reports November 2013 AUM of$103.0 bln (APAM):
4:34 pm Stealthgas announces change in CFO position (GASS): Co announced that Harry Charogiannis, who joined the Company asChief Financial Officer in September 2013, has resigned to pursueother employment opportunities. Konstantinos Sistovaris has assumedthe position of Chief Financial Officer of the Company on aninterim basis. Mr. Sistovaris, who had previously served as theCompany's Chief Financial Officer, has since September 2013 beenperforming other duties at the Company's affiliated manager StealthMaritime S.A., although he has remained involved with StealthGas,including assisting with the Company's pending common stockoffering.
4:31 pm Allison Transmission announces sale of 12.5 mln sharesof common stock by selling stockholders (ALSN): Co announced the sale of 12,500,000 shares of its common stock byinvestment funds affiliated with The Carlyle Group and OnexCorporation. All of the shares are being sold on a pro rata basisby the Sponsors, which are existing stockholders of AllisonTransmission Holdings, Inc. ("Allison"), in accordance with theircurrent interests.Allison will not receive any of the proceeds from the offeringof shares by the Sponsors. Closing of the offering is expected to occur on or about December16, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.
4:30 pm Gevo announces proposed public offerings of commonstock, convertible senior notes, and warrants (GEVO): Co announced that it intends to offer and sell, subject to marketand other conditions, common stock units and senior note units.Each common stock unit will consist of one share of common stockand a warrant to purchase a certain number of shares of commonstock, and each senior note unit will consist of $1,000 principalamount of convertible senior notes due 2023 and warrants topurchase a certain number of shares of common stock.
The units are to be sold by Gevo subject to market and otherconditions in concurrent underwritten public offerings. Neither thecompletion of the common stock unit offering nor the senior noteunit offering will be contingent on the completion of theother.
4:29 pm Oasis Petroleum announces changes to its seniormanagement team: Taylor L. Reid named President and Chief OperatingOfficer (OAS): Co announced several management promotions and changes designedto structure the management team for continued growth and executionof its resource conversion strategy in the Williston Basin. Thechanges will be effective on January 1, 2014. Changes include:
- Taylor L. Reid has been named President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Reid previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Reid will also remain a director on Oasis' Board of Directors.
- Niko Lorentzatos has been named Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
- Richard Robuck has been named Vice President Finance and Treasurer. Mr. Robuck previously served as Director Finance.
4:26 pm Elli Mae: Macquarie discloses 8.25% passive stake in 13Gfiling (ELLI):
4:21 pm Yandex N.V. announces proposed offering of $600 mlnconvertible senior notes and a 3 mln share increase in the co'sopen market share repurchase plan (YNDX): Co announced that it proposes to offer US$600 million inaggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2018.The Company intends to use a portion of the net proceeds from theoffering to repurchase outstanding Class A shares. The remainder ofthe proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. Inconnection with the offering, the Company's Board of Directors hasauthorized an increase in the Company's existing 12 million sharerepurchase program by 3 million shares, to a total of up to 15million shares. As of December 9, 2013, the Company had repurchased7.9 million shares under the program. The amended repurchaseprogram may be in effect through November 20, 2014.
4:20 pm CBOE Holdings declares special cash dividend of $0.50per share; increases stock repurchase authorization by $100 mln (CBOE): Co announced today that its Board of Directors has declared aspecial cash dividend of $0.50 per share of common stock. Thespecial dividend will be paid on January 17, 2014 to stockholdersof record at the close of business on January 3, 2014. Thecompany's Board of Directors also authorized the company torepurchase an additional $100 million of its outstanding commonstock, to be used in addition to any unused amount remaining underprior authorizations. The new authorization brings the total amountavailable for stock repurchases to approximately $167 million atDecember 9, 2013. The company had approximately 87 million sharesof common stock outstanding at December 9, 2013.
4:16 pm MasterCard announces capital actions: 10-for-1 split,83% increase in quarterly dividend, $3.5 bln share repurchaseprogram (MA): MA announced that its Board of Directors has approved severalcapital actions:
- A 10-for-1 stock split of the Company's common stock to be effected through a stock dividend;
- An 83% increase in the Company's quarterly cash dividend to $1.10 per share ($0.11 per share after the stock split); and
- A new share repurchase program authorizing the Company to repurchase up to $3.5 billion of its Class A common stock.
The higher quarterly dividend of $1.10 per share on a pre-splitbasis, up from $0.60 per share, is to be paid February 10, 2014 toshareholders of record as of January 9, 2014.
The new share repurchase program will become effective at thecompletion of the company's previously announced $2 billion sharerepurchase program. As of December 5, 2013, the Company had $514million remaining under the current program authorization.
4:15 pm Internet Partners provides business update:Reexamination of the company's event log patent by the USPTOcontinues (PTNT): "The company is currently focused on achieving positive outcomesin the reexamination and appeal related to our ongoing cases. Wetherefore do not expect to file new infringement cases for anypatent for a few quarters. Our balance sheet remains strong with$32.0 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investmentsas of September 30, 2013. We intend to preserve our cash resourcesduring this time and do not plan to use cash to acquire patents orother businesses. Our quarterly cash burn rate is expected to bebetween $400,000 and $500,000 over the near-term."
IPC currently owns seven e-commerce related patents. Two patentapplications are pending.
In October 2013, IPC appealed the dismissal of its four DynamicTabs cases to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.IPC believes that the District Court did not properly apply the lawon patent eligibility, and misperceived the substance of thetechnology claimed in the patent.
The reexamination of the Company's Event Log patent by the U.S.Patent and Trademark Office continues. The IRS' audit of IPC's taxreturn for 2011 is in progress.
In July 2013, the Company was informed by the Department of theTreasury that the 2011 tax year would be subject to examination.Management believes that the 2011 tax year was filed correctly andalso believes there will be no material impact on the Company'sfinancial position or results of operations.
4:15 pm American Midstream Partners announces public offering of2.4 mln common units (AMID): The Partnership intends to use the net proceeds from thisoffering to fund a portion of the $60 mln purchase price for thepreviously announced acquisition of Blackwater Midstream HoldingsLLC (the "Blackwater Acquisition"). In the event the BlackwaterAcquisition is not consummated, the Partnership will use the netproceeds of this offering to repay indebtedness under its creditfacility and for general partnership purposes. If the underwriterexercises its option to purchase additional common units, thePartnership intends to use all the net proceeds from the sale ofadditional common units to repay a portion of the outstandingborrowings under its credit facility. Barclays will act as solebook-running manager for the offering.
4:15 pm Omega Protein announces strategic plan to streamlineGulf of Mexico operations (OME): OME announced a plan to streamline its Gulf of Mexico operationsand increase efficiencies through the permanent closure of theCompany's menhaden fish processing plant located in Cameron,Louisiana and the redeployment of certain vessels from that plant.The strategic decision to close the facility and redeploy thesevessels is the result of Omega Protein's efforts to improvefinancial performance by increasing the utilization of its existingassets and reducing maintenance-related capital expenditures. After a thorough review of its fishing facility operations andanticipated future capital requirements, co believes thatconsolidating its two western Gulf of Mexico facilities into asingle facility based in Abbeville, Louisiana would improve longterm operating and capital efficiencies.
4:13 pm Laboratory Corp reaffirms FY13 guidance; guides FY14 EPSbelow consensus with rev ~in-line (LH): Co reaffirms guidancefor FY13 (Dec), sees EPS of $6.90-7.05, excluding non-recurringitems, vs. $7.02 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY13 (Dec)revs of up ~3% to ~$5.84 bln vs. $5.82 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
Co issues guidancefor FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of ~$6.50, excluding non-recurring items,vs. $7.55 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY14 (Dec) revs up ~2% to~$5.96 bln vs. $5.95 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
The Company's preliminary 2014 earnings guidance, which does notinclude the effect of any share repurchase activity in 2014, isalso based on the anticipated negative impact from, among otherfactors: A continued muted utilization environment; Continuedincreases in Americans with high deductible and high co-insuranceplans; Ongoing government payment and reimbursement issues; andUncertainty related to the implementation of the Affordable CareAct.
The Company expects to report final 2013 results in itsfourth quarter earnings release, scheduled for February 7th, 2014.
4:12 pm Smith & Wesson beats by $0.07, reports revs in-line;guides Q3 above consensus; reaffirms FY14 guidance (SWHC): Reports Q2 (Oct) earnings of $0.28 per share, $0.07 better thanthe Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.21; revenues rose 2.0%year/year to $139.3 mln vs the $138.17 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidancefor Q3, sees EPS of $0.28-0.30 vs. $0.26 Capital IQ ConsensusEstimate; sees Q3 revs of $140-145 mln vs. $135.21 mln Capital IQConsensus Estimate. Co reaffirms guidancefor FY14, sees EPS of $1.30-1.35 vs. $1.32 Capital IQ ConsensusEstimate; sees FY14 revs of $610-620 mln vs. $615.78 mln Capital IQConsensus Estimate.
"Our results for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 reflected thecontinued successful execution of our growth strategy. Bymaintaining a strategic focus on increasing market share of ourM&P polymer pistol family of products, we delivered handgunrevenue growth of over 27% and a significant expansion of our grossmargins. For the first six months of this fiscal year, our grossmargins were 42.1%. At the same time, we continued to drive anumber of initiatives in the quarter designed to strengthen ourbusiness and return increased value to our stockholders."
4:12 pm Molycorp announces new Board appointments: ConstantineKarayannopoulos to be Board Chair after serving as Vice Chair;President and CEO Geoff Bedford named to Board (MCP):
4:11 pm AllianceBernstein announces November 30, 2013 AUM of$447 bln, up slightly from $446 bln in prior month (AB):
4:11 pm Northstar Realty announces plan to spin-off AssetManagement Business into a separate publicly traded company in atax-free transaction (NRF): Co announced that its Board of Directors unanimously approved aplan to spin-off its asset management business into a separatepublicly traded company in the form of a tax-free distribution. Thedistribution is expected to be completed in the second quarter of2014 and will be comprised of common stock in NorthStar AssetManagement Corp. ("NorthStar Asset Management"), a newly formedcompany expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Inconnection with the proposed spin-off, NorthStar Asset Managementwill enter into a 20-year management contract to manage NRF.NorthStar Asset Management will also manage NRF's non-traded REITbusiness and own its broker-dealer platform.
4:10 pm H & R Block misses by $0.05, misses on revs (HRB): Reports Q2 (Oct) loss of $0.42 per share, excluding non-recurringitems, $0.05 worse thanthe Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.37); revenues fell 2.4%year/year to $134 mln vs the $138.56 mln consensus.
4:10 pm American Midstream Partners announces $60 mlnacquisition of Blackwater Midstream from an affiliate of ArcLightCapital Partners (AMID): Co announced the execution of a merger agreement to acquireBlackwater Midstream Holdings, LLC, a developer and operator ofterminal storage facilities, from an affiliate of ArcLight CapitalPartners, LLC for an aggregate purchase price of $60 million,subject to certain purchase price adjustments. The purchase priceis payable in a combination of cash and approximately $3.0 millionof American Midstream common units, and the aggregate considerationincludes the payoff of existing indebtedness of Blackwater.
The three operating terminals have a total of 1.3 million barrelsof storage capacity and store a variety of products includingchemical, agricultural, and petroleum liquid products. The revenues are fee-based and almost entirely derived fromtake-or-pay lease contracts. Both the Westwego and Brunswick sites are operating at capacityand have the potential for additional expansions. The Harveydevelopment site is expected to commence operations in 2014, withthe potential for up to two million barrels of capacity when fullydeveloped, which would increase Blackwater's total barrels ofstorage by more than 100 percent. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.
American Midstream forecasts 2014 Adjusted EBITDA in a range of$33 million to $36 million and distributable cash flow, or DCF, ina range of $13 million to $16 million, with both metrics including the benefit of the Blackwateracquisition and does not include other acquisitions, drop downs, orasset development projects the Partnership is pursuing. Growthcapital expenditures in 2014, which exclude capital formaintenance, are forecasted to be in a range of $25 million to $30million.
4:10 pm CB&I awarded contract for LNG Liquefaction terminal(CBI): Co announced a joint venture between CB&I and ZachryIndustrial, Inc. has been awarded two contracts, each valued at approximately $2.5 billion,by FLNG Liquefaction, LLC and FLNG Liquefaction 2, LLC in order toconstruct the first two trains of the Freeport LiquefactionProject. The project scope includes engineering, procurement andconstruction for the conversion of an existing LNG regasificationterminal in Freeport, Texas, to an LNG liquefaction terminal. Thetwo train LNG liquefaction facility will have a total capacity inexcess of 8.8 million tons per year of LNG.
4:09 pm Net 1 UEPS Techs signs agreements for Black EconomicEmpowerment transactions (UEPS): Co announced that it has signed Relationship Agreements with itsBEE partners for the issuance of 4.4 mln shares ("BEE Shares"),which will be partially restricted as to resale for a period offive years. In terms of the agreements, co will issue 4.1 mlnshares of common stock at a price of ZAR 60.00 per share(calculated as 75% of the closing price of our common stock on theJSE Limited on December 6, 2013) to Business Venture Investments1567 Proprietary Limited (RF) and 300,000 shares to Born Free Investments 272 ProprietaryLimited. In order to facilitate the transactions, the co's whollyowned subsidiary Net1 Applied Technologies South Africa ProprietaryLimited, will lend the funds to the BEE partners at a marketrelated interest rate to effect the purchase of the BEE Shares andthese shares will act as the collateral for the loan. The loan isrepayable over a period of five years and the transactions aresubject to certain conditions, including obtaining the relevantregulatory approvals.
4:08 pm Receptos and Ono Pharmaceuticals expand collaborationagreement to include transfer of Receptos GPCR technology platform(RCPT): RCPT announced that Ono has elected to amend and expand theexisting collaboration agreement between the parties to includetransfer to Ono of the Receptos G-protein-coupled receptor (:GPCR)technology platform, a proprietary high resolution protein crystalstructure determination technology which enables rational drugdesign for the GPCR therapeutic target class.
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement amendment, Receptoswill grant Ono a non-exclusive sublicense to intellectual propertyrelating to the technology, including patent applications andproprietary know-how. Receptos will also conduct a program totransfer technology to Ono, including efforts to determine aprotein crystal structure solution for an additional novel GPCRthat is a proprietary Ono drug discovery target. In return, Onowill make payments to Receptos including an upfront fee andmilestones relating to successful technology transfer. Remainingresearch and development milestones directed to an Ono proprietarytarget designated under the existing collaboration agreement willremain eligible for achievement.
4:08 pm Southwestern Energy announced its total capitalinvestment program in 2014 is planned to be ~$2.3 bln; Southwesternis targeting total net gas and oil production of 740 to 752 Bcfe in2014; Harold Korell, Chairman of the Board decided to retire fromthe Board at the May 2014 annual meeting (SWN): Co announced its total capital investment program in 2014 isplanned to be approximately $2.3 billion, compared to a projected$2.25 billion capital program in 2013. Southwestern is targetingtotal net gas and oil production of 740 to 752 Bcfe in 2014, upapproximately 14% over the company's current production projectionof 653 to 655 Bcfe for 2013 (using midpoints).
Total net production from the Fayetteville Shale in 2014 isexpected to be 479 to 484 Bcf, essentially flat compared to 483 to484 Bcf projected to be produced in 2013.In the Marcellus Shale, the company expects total net production togrow by over 60% in 2014 to 244 to 249 Bcf, compared to 148 to 149Bcf that is projected to be produced in 2013.
In the Fayetteville Shale, Southwestern expects that the averagere-entry to re-entry time to drill its operated horizontal wells tototal depth will continue to decrease in 2014 to approximately 6.2days from approximately 6.5 days projected for 2013. The company'saverage 2014 completed well cost is estimated to be $2.6 millionper well with a 5,400 average horizontal lateral, compared to anestimated $2.5 million well cost with an average horizontal laterallength of 5,300 feet in 2013.
Co sees FY14 production of 740-752 BcFe. Co sees net income of$635-645 mln with assumption of $3.75 gas and $90.00 oil.
Co also announced that Harold Korell, Chairman of the Boardof Directors, has decided to retire from the Board at the May 2014annual meeting of stockholders and that the Board intends at thattime to elect Steven L. Mueller, the company's President and ChiefExecutive Officer, as Chairman. Mr. Mueller will continue asCEO. Co also announced that Mr. Jeffrey B. Sherrick has beenpromoted to Executive Vice President, Corporate Development fromhis previous role of Senior Vice President, CorporateDevelopment.
4:08 pm NASDAQ announces end-of-month open short interestpositions in NASDAQ stocks as of settlement date November 29, 2013(NDAQ): Short interest in all 2,718 NASDAQ securities totaled7,760,328,802 shares at the November 29, 2013 settlement date,compared with 2,728 issues and 7,724,554,918 shares at the end ofthe previous reporting period. This is 4.34 days average dailyvolume, compared with an average of 3.81 days for the previousreporting period.
4:06 pm Clean Diesel Technologies President and CEO R. CraigBreese to step down (CDTI): CDT announced that R. Craig Breese has resigned his position asPresident, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board ofDirectors to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Breese will serve in atransitional capacity through January 8, 2014. The Board ofDirectors will undertake to identify and consider candidates forMr. Breese's successor and has established an interim Office of theChief Executive Officer to provide ongoing leadership andcontinuity for the business following Mr. Breese's departure. TheOffice of the Chief Executive Officer will be filled by Nikhil A.Mehta, CDTi's Chief Financial Officer, and Pedro J. Lopez-Baldrich,CDTi's General Counsel and Vice President of Administration. Mr.Mehta and Mr. Lopez-Baldrich will temporarily assume theresponsibilities of the Chief Executive Officer and will reportdirectly to the Board of Directors.
4:06 pm Invesco announces November 30, 2013 AUM of $767.3 bln,an increase of 0.4% month over month (IVZ):
4:05 pm Engility wins position on $4 bln multi-award contract tosupport R&D on combating weapons of mass destruction (EGL): The scope of R&D activity under this new IDIQ will cover arange of work, including systems engineering, systemssurvivability, weapons of mass destruction medical counter measuresand physical counter measures. It will also cover technical nuclearforensics, nuclear detection, standoff detection, treaty andverification technologies and nuclear sensor platforms. Thecontract has a five year base plus a five year option and the feestructure, which may vary by task order, is anticipated to beprimarily cost-plus-fixed-fee.
4:04 pm MarkWest Energy announces extension of open season forLiberty Ethane Pipeline (MWE): MWE and MarkWest Liberty Ethane Pipeline, collectively"MarkWest," has extended the binding open season for the previouslyannounced Liberty Ethane Pipeline until 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time onFriday, December 13, 2013. Subject to the outcome of the bindingopen season and all of the necessary regulatory authorizations, theLiberty Ethane Pipeline will transport purity ethane fromMajorsville, Pennsylvania, to Houston, Pennsylvania. From there,shippers will have direct access to multiple, major ethane takeawayprojects including Mariner West, Mariner East, and ATEX. TheLiberty Ethane Pipeline is expected to become operational in thefourth quarter of 2013.
4:04 pm Peregrine Pharma reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (PPHM): Reports Q2 (Oct) loss of $0.05 per share, in-linewith the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of ($0.05);revenues rose 21.3% year/year to $7.4 mln vs the $5.75 mlnconsensus.
- SUNRISE Pivotal Phase III Lung Cancer Trial on Track for Initiation by Calendar Year-End; Company Strengthens Focus in Immunotherapy With Strategic Appointments to Scientific Advisory Board
4:04 pm PDL BioPharma sees Q4 revenue of approx $109 mln,Capital IQ consensus $107.6 mln (PDLI): The forecasted growth in revenues is driven by increased thirdquarter 2013 sales for Avastin, Herceptin, Lucentis, Xolair,Kadcyla, Perjeta, and Actemra for which PDL receives royalties inthe fourth quarter of 2013, along with the addition of the royaltypayments from PDL's purchase of Depomed's diabetes-relatedroyalties.
- Revenue guidance for the fourth quarter of 2013 is net of an estimated payment due under our February 2011 settlement agreement with Novartis AG (Novartis).
- Reported worldwide sales for Avastin sales increased approximately 9 percent in the third quarter of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012.
- Reported worldwide sales for Herceptin increased approximately 5 percent in the third quarter of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012.
- Reported worldwide sales for Lucentis increased approximately 9 percent in the third quarter of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012.
- Reported worldwide sales for Tysabri, a Biogen Idec product, decreased approximately 1 percent for the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
4:02 pm Trulia announces proposed $150 mln convertible seniornotes offering (TRLA): TRLA announced that it intends to offer, subject to marketconditions and other factors, $150 million aggregate principalamount of its convertible senior notes due 2020 in a privateplacement to qualified institutional buyers. The notes will beconvertible into shares of co's common stock at the option of theholders at any time prior to the close of business on the businessday immediately preceding the maturity date. Co may not redeem thenotes prior to December 20, 2018. Final terms of the notes,including the interest rate, initial conversion rate, and otherterms, will be determined by negotiations between Trulia and theinitial purchasers of the notes.
4:02 pm AdCare Health Systems announces new management agreementwith Grady Health System (ADK): Co announced that it has signed a new management agreement withGrady Health System to manage its Crestview Health andRehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility that has 388licensed beds and is located just south of downtown Atlanta. Asubsidiary of AdCare will provide support services to Crestviewincluding a licensed nursing home administrator.
4:02 pm Fortune Brands Home & Security increases quarterlydividend 20% to $0.12 from $0.10 per share (FBHS):
4:01 pm Avanir Pharmaceuticals reports EPS in-line, revs in-line(AVNR): Reports Q4 (Sep) loss of $0.10 per share, in-linewith the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of ($0.10);revenues rose 60.7% year/year to $21.7 mln vs the $21.78 mlnconsensus.
4:01 pm CSG Systems adjusted convertible debt conversion rate asa result of dividend (CSGS): Co announced that as a result of its fourth quarter dividend of$0.15 per share on its common stock, it will adjust the conversionrate for its outstanding 3.0% Senior Subordinated Convertible Notesissued in March 2010. The adjustments are made in accordance withthe terms of the Indenture Agreement. CSG's 2010 Convertible Notesmature on March 1, 2017 and the original $150,000,000 aggregateprincipal amount remains outstanding. Effective December 6, 2013,the conversion rate for the 2010 Convertible Notes of 41.4371shares of CSG common stock for each $1,000 in principal amount ofthe 2010 Convertible Notes (equivalent to a conversion price of$24.13 per share of CSG common stock) has been adjusted to 41.6555shares for each $1,000 in principal amount of 2010 ConvertibleNotes (equivalent to a conversion price of $24.01 per share of CSGcommon stock, compared to the previous amount prior to thisadjustment of $24.13 per share).
4:00 pm Vimicro receives large order for a SVAC SolutionDeployment in Baoding City, Hebei Province (VIMC): Co announced that its subsidiary Shanxi Zhongtianxin Science andTechnology Co., Ltd. has received an order for a SVAC (SurveillanceVideo and Audio Coding)-based technology solution, valued at nearlyUSD $41 million, of which Vimicro will receive approximately $16million.
3:30 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX): Today after the close look for the following companies to report:
- AVNR, CENT, DDC, HRB, IRET, MIND, NCS, PPHM, PLAB, SWHC
- JOY, COST
3:24 pm NCI Building Systems beats by $0.03, beats on revs (NCS): Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $0.10 per share, excludingnon-recurring items, $0.03 better thanthe Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.07; revenues rose 10.6%year/year to $400.2 mln vs the $361.12 mln consensus.
Adjusted EBITDA was $30.1 million up slightly from the prior fiscalyear, but rose 77% from $17.0 million in the third quarter of 2013.
Outlook:"Our performance in fiscal 2013 was hampered by economicuncertainty, which resulted in lower than expected volumesand pricing pressure earlier in our fiscal year....Beginning inAugust, we experienced a pick-up in demand mainly coming from thecommercial, industrial and agricultural sectors. The recentadditions to our Buildings backlog in the period continue toreflect a number of larger projects and projects with highermargins.Operationally, the Components group....We expect the market will support 800 million square feet ofnonresidential construction starts in calendar 2013, a very modestimprovement from the 772 million square feet realized in 2012. Business conditions at architectural firms have steadily improvedin the past several quarters,suggesting the potential for uppersingle digit year-over-year growth in nonresidential newconstruction in 2014. Recent bookings trends and discussions withour customers appear to supportthis momentum. In addition, we currently anticipate improved margins in fiscal2014 as we fully benefit from greater commercialdiscipline,manufacturing efficiencies and volume-driven operatingleverage."
3:07 pm Eros International announced opening weekend ofR...Rajkumar at the box office was $ 7.5 mln worldwide (EROS): It released across 2,900 screens in India and 300 screensoverseas.
3:04 pm Yahoo!: YHOO now +3.3%, one of the top-performing NDX100 components today as shares move above the $40.00 handle for the1st time since 2006 (YHOO):
- YHOO seeing daily trading vol. pace above the +18M avg. today.
3:03 pm ITC Holdings issues statement on Mississippi PublicService Commission ruling: 'strong disagree with the commission'sdecision' (ITC): Co issued the following statement in response to today's order bythe Mississippi Public Service Commission denying ITC and EntergyCorporation's (ETR) proposed transaction to spin off Entergy Mississippi's electrictransmission business and merge it into a subsidiary of ITC.
"We strongly disagree with the commission's decision and its statedrationale for denying our application. ITC and Entergy havedemonstrated that the transaction is in the public interest basedon the significant benefits that would result from ITC's ownershipof the transmission system, which is clearly in need of investmentto improve reliability and facilitate the competitive electricitymarket. While we recognize the commission's perspectives onjurisdiction and rate issues, ITC and Entergy made commitments tohold customers harmless from possible negative impacts and we donot believe that jurisdictional concerns should stand in the way ofcustomers realizing the benefits of this transaction. Thecommission's action today would deny Mississippi customers thenear-term and longer-term economic and reliability benefitsresulting from ITC's independent ownership with a singular focus ontransmission. We will review the commission's full order anddetermine next steps."
3:03 pm Stock indices extend bounce off afternoon lows -- dow-27, S&P -2.9, Nasdaq Comp +2.6 (:TECHX): Sectors outperforming the S&P on the upside extensioninclude: Materials XLB, Restaurant, Internet FDN, Biotech IBB,REITs IYR.
2:36 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX):
- Jan crude oil rose $0.85 to $98.55/barrel
- Jan natural gas rose 12 cents to $4.24/MMBtu
- Jan heating oil fell 3 cents to $3.02/gallon
- Jan RBOB gasoline fell 3 cents to $2.69/gallon
2:30 pm Air Products and Takamul Investment announce theformation of a new joint venture in Oman (APD): Co and Takamul Investment Company, a subsidiary of the Oman OilCompany, today announced they have signed a joint venture agreementto establish an integrated industrial gases venture, which willbecome a one-stop provider for a full range of industrial gasessuch as hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen for all customers in theSpecial Economic Zone at Duqm (:SEZAD), Oman. The joint venturewill support the economic development of the Special Economic Zoneat Duqm and will enhance its competitiveness to attract furtherindustrial investments. It will also aim to deliver the highestoperational excellence by leveraging Air Products' world-classcapabilities in large industrial gas plant design, pipelineinfrastructure development and operational know-how, as well asTakamul's strong multi-utility infrastructure position in Duqm, viaits Centralised Utility Company (:CUC).
2:27 pm Dollar Breaks Below 80.00: 10-yr:+12/32..2.802%..USD/JPY: 102.71..EUR/USD: 1.3767 (:SUMRX): The Dollar Index holds just off session lows with action set to post its first sub-80.00 close since the end ofOctober. Today's weakness has the greenback on track for its third declinein four sessions while pushing action back down towards the Octoberlows near 79.20. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
- EURUSD is +35 pips @ 1.3775 as trade tests the October highs and looks likely to register a sixth day of gains . The single currency has seen a tailwind from chatter suggesting European peers are moving closer to a banking union; however, no deal has yet been announced. Any close above the 1.3800 area marks the best since November 2011.
- GBPUSD is +25 pips @ 1.6445 as action readies for its best close since August 2011 . Sterling was able to shrug off this morning's wider than expected trade deficit, and saw some buyers step in following the NIESR GDP Estimate uptick to 0.8% (0.7% previous). The 1.6700 area remains key on the upside.
- USDCHF is -35 pips @ .8865 as sellers have pressured the pair to its lowest level since November 2011 . The .8800 area will now be viewed as support, but traders should keep an eye on .8600 as a breakdown of that level may result in a retest of the record low near .7200 set in August 2011.
- USDJPY is -60 pips @ 102.65 as today's weakness has erased virtually all of yesterday's gains. The pair is under pressure despite both the BSI Manufacturing Index and Tertiary Industry Activity falling short of estimates, and continuing the string of disappointing data out of Japan . Traders remain on the lookout for more potential easing from the BOJ. Japan's core machinery orders will be released later this evening.
- AUDUSD is +55 pips @ .9165 as buyers take control for the third time in four sessions. Participants continue to watch the .9150 level closely as a breakout is likely to provoke a test of resistance in the .9300 area that is helped by the 100 dma (.9265). Australia's Westpac Consumer Sentiment is due out tonight.
- USDCAD is -20 pips @ 1.0605 as trade presses lower for a fourth day . Little support exists until the 1.0500 area.
2:22 pm Xoom announces instant deposit service with BDO, thelargest bank in the Philippines (XOOM): Co and BDO, the largest bank in the Philippines, havecollaborated to offer instant bank deposit to all BDO accounts.This new service allows Xoom customers to instantly send moneydirectly into a BDO account.
2:20 pm Calumet Specialty Products acquires Bel-Ray Company, amanufacturer and global distributor of high-performance lubricants(CLMT): Co announced that it acquired the Bel-Ray Company, Inc., amanufacturer and global distributor of high-performance lubricants.Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.Privately-held Bel-Ray manufacturers and distributes a wide arrayof high-end specialty lubricants sold through its Industrial,Mining and Powersports divisions.
2:20 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol; Grains end mixed followingUSDA WASDE report (:COMDX):
- Mar corn gains 2 cents at $4.36/bushel
- Mar wheat fell 11 cents to $6.40/bushel
- Jan soybeans rose 13 cents to $13.39/bushel
- Jan ethanol rose 1 cent to $2.00/gallon
2:02 pm First Citizen Bancshr. NC: 1st Financial ServicesCorporation Shareholders Approve Merger With First Citizens Bank (FCNCA): First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company (known as First CitizensBank) and 1st Financial Services Corporation announced today thatthe shareholders of 1st Financial have approved the pending mergerof 1st Financial and its subsidiary, Mountain 1st Bank & TrustCompany, into First Citizens Bank. Founded in 1898, First CitizensBank is a major subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares (FCNCA).
1:57 pm SEI Investments increases quarterly dividend 10% to$0.22 from $0.20 per share; increases stock repurchase program by$100 mln (SEIC): Co declared a regular semi-annual dividend of $.22 (twenty-twocents) per share, a $.02, or ten percent (10%), increase comparedto its last regular semi-annual dividend. The cash dividend will bepayable to shareholders of record on December 23, 2013, with apayment date of January 10, 2014. In addition, SEI's Board ofDirectors also approved an increase in its stock repurchase programby an additional $100 million, increasing the availableauthorization under the program to approximately $103 million.Since the beginning of calendar year 2013, the Company repurchasedapproximately 6.2 million shares at a cost of approximately $188.4million.
1:50 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX):
- Feb gold rose $31.90 to $1261/ounce
- Mar silver rose $0.80 to $20.33/ounce
- Mar copper rose 2 cents to $3.27/lb
1:47 pm Jetblue Airways reports Nov metrics; Traffic +0.9% y/yon capacity increase of 5.1% (JBLU): Load factor for November 2013 was 78.3 percent, a decrease of 3.2points from November 2012. JetBlue's preliminary completion factorwas 99.6 percent and its on-time performance was 84.8 percent.JetBlue's preliminary passenger revenue per available seat mile(:PRASM) for the month of November decreased two percent year overyear. For the month of December, PRASM is expected to increasebetween 13 and 14 percent year over year.
1:41 pm American Electric elects Nicholas K. Akins Chairman ofthe Board (AEP): Co's Board of Directors elected Nicholas K. Akins chairman of theboard, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Akins is AEP's president and chiefexecutive officer. Akins, 53, was named AEP president in January2011 and named chief executive officer in November 2011 followingthe retirement of Michael G. Morris, former chairman, president andchief executive officer.
1:37 pm SS&C Techs appoints Bob Schwarts Chief TechnologyOfficer (SSNC): Co announced Bob Schwartz has been appointed chief technologyofficer. Mr. Schwartz joins SS&C after serving as chieftechnology officer for SS&C's fund administration business,SS&C GlobeOp.
1:36 pm Giant Interactive announces retention of specialcommittee financial advisors to consider previously announcednon-binding proposal (GA): Co announced that the special committee of its Board of Directorshas retained Morgan Stanley Asia Limited and Duff & PhelpsSecurities as its financial advisors. The Special Committee wasformed to consider the previously announced non-binding proposalreceived by board of directors on November 25, 2013 from theChairman, Yuzhu Shi, certain of Mr. Shi's affiliated entities andan affiliate of Baring Private Equity Asia. As previouslyannounced, the Proposal contemplates Shi, Baring and other persons(if any) which may join their buyer consortium, acquiring all ofthe outstanding ordinary shares of the Company, including ordinaryshares represented by the Company's American depositary shares or"ADSs" in a going private transaction at a price of US$11.75in cash per ordinary share or ADS, subject to certainconditions.
1:22 pm PACCAR announces extra cash dividend of $0.90 per share(PCAR): Co's Board of Directors today declared an extra cash dividend inthe amount of ninety cents ($.90) per share, payable on January 7,2014, to stockholders of record at the close of business onDecember 20, 2013. The Board of Directors also declared a regularquarterly cash dividend in the amount of twenty cents ($.20) pershare, payable on March 5, 2014, to stockholders of record at theclose of business on February 14, 2014.
1:20 pm Entergy issues statement on Mississippi regulator'sdecision on ITC Holdings transaction: 'Transaction is not in thepublic interest' (ETR): Co issued the following statement on today's decision by theMississippi Public Service Commission to reject the proposedspinoff and merger of Entergy's transmission system to ITCHoldings, Inc.:
"We are disappointed that the Mississippi commission took actiontoday and found that the transaction is not in the public interest.We will evaluate the Mississippi commission's 99-page order andwork with ITC to determine next steps."
1:17 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX): The following are some of today's most notable movers ofinterest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change(all stocks over 100K average daily volume).
Large Cap Gainers
- TWTR (52.19 +6.21%): Continued strength on last week's announcement of new tool for more precise targeting of advertisements
- ABX (16.88 +5.49%): Strength in large cap gold companies: GG , NEM also higher
- CAH (67.33 +4.76%): Co and CVS announced agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture that will be the largest generic sourcing entity in the U.S.
- IEP (135.7 -8.64%): Announced sale of 2 mln depositary units representing limited partnership interests
- GILD (70.63 -6.06%): Hearing Express Scripts ( ESRX ) is pushing for a price war in the hepatitis C treatment space
- SBUX (77.2 -3.17%): Mentioned cautiously at ITG Research
- AU (13.19 +8.65%): Strength in mid cap gold companies: AEM , NGD , RGLD , EGO also higher
- GRPN (10.13 +5.25%): Mentioned positively at Morgan Stanley
- DDD (79.52 +4.70%): Initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank, target $95
- LL (89.71 -13.57%): Raised FY13 rev guidance to $994-1000 mln (from $985-995 mln) vs $995.36 mln estimate, raised EPS guidance to $2.72-2.75 (from $2.65-2.74) vs $2.76 estimate; sees FY14 revs of $1.15-1.20 bln vs $1.16 bln estimate, EPS of $3.25-3.60 vs $3.51 estimate; Canaccord Genuity noted that Q4 gross margin outlook appears conservative
- IOC (58.15 -4.87%): Mentioned negatively in blog article
- CASY (71.48 -4.54%): Missed quarterly EPS by $0.08 ($1.06 vs $1.14 estimate), revs rose 5.5% yoy to $2.02 bln vs $2.02 bln estimate
1:11 pm One Liberty Properties increases quarterly dividend 5.7%to $0.37 from $0.35 per share (OLP):
1:00 pm Boeing forecasts realignment, balance for 2014 airplanefinancing (BA): Co projects that investors and financiers in the major aircraftfinance markets will deliver balanced liquidity to fund what isexpected to be another record global jetliner production year in2014. Boeing forecasts industry jetliner deliveries in 2014totaling $112 billion, with 95 percent of that expected to be splitbetween Boeing and Airbus. While the forecast deals primarily withnew-aircraft financing, the report also noted signs of improvementin used aircraft financing after several years in which higher fuelprices and other economic factors disrupted the balance between thenew and used jetliner markets.
12:34 pm Stock indices edge off midday/session lows -- S&P-4, Dow -36, Nasdaq Comp -4.6 (SPY): The S&P held just above first level support from TheTechnical Take at 1801/1800 (session low 1802.05) during the middaydownside extension and edged off the low. Intraday asustained push back through 1805/1806 neutralizes the modestlyweaker pattern off Monday's high.
12:32 pm WD-40 announced 10% increase of its regular quarterlydividend to $.34 per share (WDFC):
12:19 pm Grains initially dropped following the USDA's WASDEreport, released a little while ago,.. corn, wheat and soybeanfutures remain near session lows. Corn dropped despite an overalldecline in global corn inventory expecatations (:COMDX): Current price action:
- Corn -1.5% at $4.31/bu
- Wheat -2.3% at $6.36/bu
- Soybeans -0.9% at $13.32/bu
12:11 pm USDA released World Agricultural Supply and DemandEstimates (:COMDX): See full text.
- Fertilizer stocks (POT, MOS, CF, AGU, IPI, UAN, TNH, RNF, RTK, BG)
- Farm machinery (DE, AGCO, CNH, TITN)
- Seed names (MON, SYT, DD, DOW), Irrigation ( LNN ) and livestock (SAFM, HRL, SFD, TSN). Related ETFs: JJG (grains ETF), CORN (corn ETF) and WEAT (wheat ETF).
12:07 pm U.S. Bancorp reaches agreement with Freddie Mac (FMCC) resolving repurchase obligations; USB to make a one-time $53 mlncash payment (USB): Co announced that it had entered into an agreement with theFederal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac, FMCC) that resolves substantially all repurchase obligations related torepresentations and warranties made on loans sold to Freddie Macbetween 2000 and 2008. After adjusting for credits related to priorrepurchases, U.S. Bancorp will make a one-time $53 million cashpayment to Freddie Mac. At September 30, 2013, U.S. Bancorp hadfully reserved for the cost of the agreement.
12:05 pm Lithia Motors acquired Diablo Subaru of Walnut Creek,California; The store adds $50 million in estimated annual revenues(LAD):
12:02 pm Dow -46 joins S&P -5.3 at minor new session low,Nasdaq Comp -7.5 hovering above its first hour low (:TECHX):
11:58 am Flowserve acquires Innovative Mag-Drive, a manufacturerof advanced sealless magnetic drive centrifugal pumps (FLS): Co announced today it has acquired Innovative Mag-Drive, LLC, orInnomag(TM), a privately owned American manufacturer of advanced seallessmagnetic drive centrifugal pumps used primarily in the chemical andgeneral industries. The acquisition of Innomag will provideFlowserve with additional sealless, zero-emission pump technologythat is increasingly utilized in the global petrochemical, organicchemical and pharmaceutical industries, which are core markets forFlowserve. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, Innomag hadrevenues of approximately $16.7 million and EBITDA of approximately$6.7 million. For 2013, Innomag estimates having revenues of around$19 million and EBITDA of around $7 million. Flowserve funded thetransaction with cash on hand. The Innomag acquisition is expected to have a dilutive impact ofapproximately $0.01 per share in 2013 due to transaction costs andnon-cash purchase price accounting effects, partially offset byfavorable operations impact.
11:53 am New session low S&P -4.6, Dow -38 and Nasdaq Comp-6.2 still hovering above their early lows (:TECHX):
11:52 am zulily: Capital World discloses 16.0% passive stake in13G filing (ZU):
11:51 am Hologic: Capital World discloses 10.0% passive stake in13G filing (HOLX):
11:37 am FAB Universal responds to allegations; Board authorizesthird party investigation to verify its findings (stock haltedsince 11/22/2013) (FU): Co announced the findings of the preliminary internal reviewundertaken at the direction of FAB's Board of Directors in responseto the allegations made in numerous published reports throughNovember 19, 2013 by acknowledged short-sellers of FAB's commonstock. The Board of Directors takes these allegations seriously andis aware that they have created doubt about FAB Universal and itsbusiness operations and financial reporting. The Board and itsmanagement team remain committed to providing the highest level oftransparency in its financial reporting and maintaining the trustof its shareholders. The management team has been workingdiligently to complete the preliminary internal review undertakenat the Board's request. As a result of the findings of this review,the Board has uncovered certain deficiencies in the Company'sinternal controls, and is taking the necessary steps to tighten FABUniversal's internal controls. In recognition of the fact that theBoard is relying on its own analysis of the allegations and toreassure the Company's shareholders of the integrity of itsanalysis, the Board has authorized the hiring of an independentthird party to verify these findings. In addition, the Companyplans to hire a bi-lingual Senior Financial Reporting Executivewith public company experience to work at FAB Universal in Beijing.This individual will have responsibility for all FAB financialreporting in China.
Bond Offering: It has been determined that one of the Company's variableinterest entities (:VIE), conducted a $16.3 million bond offeringin China which was not reflected on the Company's financials. TheCompany is taking steps to determine both how this occurred andwhat controls are necessary to ensure that it does not happenagain. The Company will file an 8-K later today advising investors tono longer rely on the Company's unaudited financial statements forthe second and third quarters of 2013 and presenting the Company'spreliminary estimates of the effect of the bond offering.
Kiosks:The short sellers provide anecdotal evidence to suggest that thenumber of Intelligent Media kiosks licensed by FAB is far lowerthan publicly reported. The short sellers have a fundamental, butunderstandable, misunderstanding of the economics of the Company'sbusiness. FAB does not buy, sell or own kiosks. Instead, it sellslicenses to operate Intelligent Media kiosks and to use thesoftware to run the kiosks through 40 independent regional agentswho are responsible for signing up licensees, deploying the kiosksand reporting the number of installed kiosks.
Minimum Guarantee: It has been alleged that FAB promises kiosk licenseesguaranteed minimum returns on their kiosk investments and offers tobuy back kiosks using FAB's U.S. listed common stock. To date, theCompany has completed a review of 75% of the license contracts andhas not identified any instances of a minimum guarantee.
Pirated Content: One of the short sellers' allegations centers on the claimthat the Company's Intelligent Media kiosks have been distributingpirated U.S. movies. FAB Universal takes great pride in itscommitment to copyright protection and has never authorized theinstallation of any pirated content.
New Retail Store Prepayments:As part of its review, the Board of Directors has asked that $17.8million in prepayments for the setup of additional FAB flagshipstores be returned to the Company in light of its decision toaccelerate the transition to digital distribution channels. Theseare cash payments that FAB has made to third parties to assist theCompany in opening multiple retail flagship stores throughoutChina. Of the total $21.2 million in prepayments on the Company'sbalance sheet as of September 30, 2013, $3.4 million of prepaymentswill remain outstanding which will be used to open 2 retail storesin 2014.
Cash:For cash recorded at September 30, 2013, cash confirmations werereceived for five bank accounts representing 99% of the cashreported on Form 10Q with no exceptions. On November 27, 2013, abank confirmation was received by the Company for the account thatholds the largest amount of cash to verify the balance as ofNovember 18, 2013.
11:35 am CPI Aerostructures: Ariel Investments discloses 10.1%passive stake in 13G filing (CVU):
11:34 am Copper futures remain flat after selling off minutesago... Mar copper is currently at $3.26/lb (:COMDX):
11:31 am Currency Commentary: DXY Below 80 For First Time SinceOctober 31 (:SUMRX):
- The Dollar Index dipped below 80 for the first time since October 31. The slide, which began in mid-November, continues for the greenback despite continued talk of tapering at next week's FOMC meeting. The DXY dipped to 79.84 where it is now attempting to find support.
- The euro came within a hair of the 1.38 level as the single currency touched 1.3794 in overnight trade. The 2013 high of 1.3823 set back on October 25 will set up as a key level of resistance for markets. Economic data from the region was mixed as France missed its Industrial Production expectations while Italy beat on its IP report. Aiding the euro rally was chatter that EU finance ministers were closing in on a long awaited banking union. Germany is believed to be giving some concessions on banking support which has helped strengthen the faith in the monetary union and thus the union.
- The pound hit a fresh 2013 high today as it briefly traded to 1.6466 Sterling is now up approx 3% since late November as investors continue to see the BoE being one of the first central banks to pull off the QE pedal. The countries trade balance posted a slightly higher than expected trade deficit this morning while Industrial & Manufacturing Production numbers were in line with consensus.
- The yen is holding the 103 level as economic data in the region continues to disappoint. The countries Manufacturing Index, Tertiary Industry Activity, and Consumer Confidence reports all missed expectations. This is raising some concern over the viability of Abenomics but it has hardly swayed the direction of monetary and fiscal pllicy. 103 will remain a key level of support for yen in the coming weeks (BONDX, FOREX).
11:28 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows thissession - New highs (159) outpacing new lows (38) (:SCANX): Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAP, ACXM, AFCB, AGII, ALB, APH, AR, ARSD, ARTX, ATRO, AZO, AZPN,BC, BH, BIDU, BLL, BWA, BYLK, CAFI, CAH, CAR, CBT, CFX, CHMT, CMA,CMC, CMTL, COHR, COKE, COLM, CONN, CPA, CR, CRL, CSGS, CSL, CSX,CVBF, CVS, DG, DGI, DHT, DORM, DXPE, EJ, ENTA, EONC, ESRX, ESYS,ETFC, EXEL, FAF, FARM, FCEL, FIZZ, FMC, FNF, GNRC, GOOG, GPK, GS,HBAN, HGR, HOG, HOMB, HRT, HUN, HURN, IACI, IGTE, IILG, IL, INTU,ITG, ITRN, ITT, JAH, JAZZ, JLL, JW.A, KELYA, KFY, KINS, KKR, KMT,KW, LAZ, LFUS, LII, LKQ, LNBB, LOGI, LPLA, LPS, LZB, MA, MAKO, MAN,MNK, MOSY, MPAA, MTG, NCFT, NEOG, NEU, NFBK, NNBR, NP, NSIT, NURO,NVGS, NWL, OCIP, OCR, OINK, ORBK, PBM, PDFS, PII, PKI, PLOW, PLXS,PNR, POL, POZN, PX, RAIL, REX, RJF, RLYP, ROIA, ROL, RXN, SAPE,SMCI, SNN, SPNC, SYNT, TARO, TEX, TMH, TPX, TRAK, TWTR, UFS, UIHC,URI, VALU, VCYT, VET, VICR, VNCE, VRNT, WBAI, WHR, WWAV, WYNN,YHOO, YONG
Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: BBRY, BLE, BURL, CERP, CIE, COSI, CVM, DCIX, DIAL, DO, EMAN,EMITF, EW, FIO, FSC, FULL, GENE, GMLP, IMI, INXN, IPAS, IVAN, JVA,KFN, LITB, MIL, MRGE, NEWL, NTWK, OCZ, SALE, SARA, SDR, STRA, STRI,TORM, WPRT, WTSL
ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: FDN, FXB, FXF, GULF, IYJ, MDY, PMNA
ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: SMN
11:21 am Cardinal Health (CAH +4%) and CVS (CVS +1.7%) both ripto new all time highs following creation of generic sourcing JV (CAH):
11:07 am Stock indices pullback off morning bounce highs -- Dow-30, S&P -2.8, Nasdaq Comp -2.8 (:TECHX):
11:06 am Time Warner Tcom announces exchange offers (TWTC): Co announced that its subsidiary tw telecom holdings inc.commenced offers to exchange up to $450 million of the Company'soutstanding 5.375% Senior Notes due 2022 and up to $350 million ofits outstanding 6.375% Senior Notes due 2023, which the Companysold in a private offering on August 26, 2013, for up to $450million of its 5.375% Senior Notes due 2022 and up to $350 millionof its 6.375% Senior Notes due 2023, which have been registeredunder the Securities Act of 1933.
11:02 am CVS Caremark and Cardinal Health (CAH) announce creation of largest generic sourcing entity in US; CVSto receive $25 mln quarterly payments from Cardinal (CVS): Co and Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) today announced the signing ofan agreement to form the largest generic sourcing entity in theU.S., which is the world's largest generic drug market. Bothcompanies are contributing their sourcing and supply chainexpertise to this 50/50 joint venture and are committing to sourcegeneric drugs through it. The companies separately announced athree-year extension through June 2019 of Cardinal Health'sexisting pharmaceutical distribution agreements with CVS Caremark.
The U.S.-based joint venture is expected to be operational as soonas July 1, 2014, and will have an initial term of 10 years. Underthis arrangement, the joint venture will source and negotiategeneric supply contracts for both Cardinal Health and CVS Caremark.In order to reflect an equitable 50/50 joint venture, theagreement includes a quarterly payment of $25 million over the lifeof the agreement from Cardinal Health to CVS Caremark. The paymentshave an estimated after-tax present value of $435 million.No physical assets (e.g., property, plant or equipment) are beingcontributed by either company to the joint venture, and minimalfunding is being provided to capitalize the entity. The venture issubject to the completion of final documentation and customaryclosing conditions.
10:49 am Siemens AG awarded U.S. patent for anti-biofoulingtechnology to protect filters used in SeaCURE Ballast WaterManagement System (SI): The U.S. Patent Office has awarded Siemens Water Technologies apatent for a system and method to control biofouling of filtersused as a first stage of treating ballast water in its SeaCUREBallast Water Management System. The patent, entitled "Method andSystem for Biofouling Control of Shipboard Components" (U.S. patentno. 8,591,740 B2), involves injection of biocide into ballastseawater before it reaches the large surface filter intakes toreduce the growth of marine organisms that can clog thefilters.
10:33 am Nasdaq Comp +1.9 and small-/mid-cap indices push intopositive territory (:TECHX):
10:11 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX): Sectors that have outperformed the S&P on the push off earlylows include: Energy XLE, Bank KBE, Rail/Transports IYT, InternetFDN, Biotech IBB, Retail XRT.
10:10 am Stock indices extend push off morning lows -- Dow -6.6,S&P -0.5, Nasdaq Comp -0.8 (:TECHX):
10:02 am Muscle Pharm announces new $5 million share repurchaseprogram (MSLP): Board of Directors has approved a new 1 year, $5 million programto repurchase shares of MusclePharm's common stock. Separately,between November 21, 2013 and December 5, 2013, a number of theCompany's executives and board members purchased an aggregate of55,439 shares of the Company's common stock in open markettransactions at prices between $7.70 and $8.65 per share.
9:57 am S&P -4.4 and Nasdaq Comp -9.5 drop to new sessionlows -- Dow -32 (:TECHX):
9:53 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX): Sectors underperforming the S&P include: Staples XLP, SemiSMH, Networking IGN, Restaurant, Retail XRT, Technology XLK,Casino, Auto CARZ.
9:39 am Stock indices edge off opening lows -- Dow -18, S&P-2.5, Nasdaq Comp -2.2 (:TECHX):
9:33 am EarthLink launches new FlexCloud hosting service,designed to address server sprawl (ELNK): Co announced the launch of its new FlexCloud Hosting service tohelp businesses create secure IT environments to optimize serverutilization.
9:33 am Greif misses by $0.07, reports revs in-line (GEF): Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $0.76 per share, excludingnon-recurring items, $0.07 worse thanthe Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.83; revenues rose 4.7%year/year to $1.13 bln vs the $1.12 bln consensus. The 4.7percent increase in net sales was primarily due to the impact of a3.7 percent increase in selling prices coupled with a 1.4 percentincrease in volumes, partially offset by a negative 0.4 percentimpact from foreign currency translation.
"Our fourth quarter 2013 results included solid improvement in netsales driven by increased volumes and higher selling prices, thehighest gross profit margin in three years and improved EBITDA,despite a weak agriculture season in several key geographies. Theslow-motion global economic recovery led to fourth quarter volumeimprovements in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America compared to ayear ago. We are committed to strengthening our performance and acomprehensive review of the entire business portfolio is underwaywith particular emphasis on geographies and assets that areconsistently achieving unacceptable results. During fiscal 2014 wewill take actions to improve our businesses and position them forsustainable, profitable growth."
9:32 am Alcatel-Lucent broadens its enterprise SDN capabilities(ALU): Co announces has unveiled new software defined networkingtechnologies for the OmniSwitch Ethernet LAN portfolio of itsEnterprise division that will help companies meet the increasingdemands of employees and customers to use the applications theywant, when and where they want to use them.
9:31 am Lockheed Martin and The U.S. Navy Strengtheninternational alliance with helicopter acceptance (LMT): The Royal Australian Navy accepted the first two MH-60Rhelicopters from the U.S. Navy in a ceremony today at the LockheedMartin [NYSE: LMT] facility in Owego, N.Y.
9:21 am On Assignment: The Whitaker Companies announces the saleof its Physician Staffing Company, Whitaker Medical to OnAssignment (ASGN): "We expect there to be little sales channel conflict or customeroverlap allowing for a successful integration. I look forward toworking with our new team and taking advantage of the opportunitiesin the marketplace that this transaction will bring."
9:19 am On The Wires (:WIRES):
- Tandy Leather Factory ( TLF ) announced that it plans to open two new retail stores -- one in Corpus Christi, Texas and the second in Bossier City, Louisiana.
- ShoreTel ( SHOR ) announced the appointment of Mark Roberts as chief marketing officer.
- Sapphire Energy and Phillips 66 ( PSX ) announced a strategic joint development agreement aimed at taking production of algae crude oil a significant step toward commercialization.
- Entigral Systems and Zebra Technologies ( ZBRA ) announced a partnership that will support the Zatar platform.
- Praxair ( PX ) announced the start-up of its new carbon dioxide purification facility at the Honeywell Resins & Chemicals site in Hopewell, VA. Under a long-term agreement, Praxair will purchase CO2 from Honeywell ( HON ) Resins & Chemicals, one of the world's largest producers of nylon resin and caprolactam, a critical feedstock used for nylon production.
9:17 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.00. Nasdaq futures vsfair value: -5.80. (:WRAPX): After gaining 1.3% over the past two sessions, the S&P 500 isset to start the day on a modestly lower note. The S&P 500futures trade 0.3% below fair value with the entire decline comingin the past two hours. There was no specific news catalystresponsible for the turn, but the retreat has coincided withprofit-taking in Europe where markets in France and Germany tradelower by 0.9% each.
With equity futures on the defensive, the bond market has receiveda steady bid, and the 10-yr note currently sits just off its highwith its yield down four basis points at 2.81%.
Also of note, the foreign exchange market is seeing a bit of asafety bid with the EURJPY carry hovering near its low at 141.48.The Swiss franc has also received a bid, pressuring USDCHF to itslowest level since November 2011. The pair trades near 0.8870.
Today's economic data will be limited to the October wholesaleinventories report and the October JOLTS -- Jobs Openings report.Both items will be released at 10:00 ET.
The U.S. Treasury will auction $30 billion in 3-yr notes.
9:16 am Kingstone priced a public offering of 3 mln shares ofits common stock at a price of $5.95/share (KINS):
9:15 am EVERTEC announced the sale in an underwritten publicoffering of ~15.23 mln shares of its common stock by sellingshareholders (EVTC): The Selling Stockholders will receive all of the proceeds fromthe offering. Upon completion of the offering, Apollo will nolonger be a stockholder of EVERTEC.
9:13 am General Motors confirms exec changes (GM):
- General Motors confirmed that Dan Akerson will step down as chairman and CEO on Jan. 15, 2014. Akerson pull ahead his succession plan by several months after his wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.
- Mary Barra, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, was elected by the Board of Directors to become the next CEO of the company. Barra will also join the GM Board.
- The Board also named Theodore (Tim) Solso to succeed Akerson as Chairman. Solso is the former chairman and CEO of Cummins ( CMI ) and has been a member of the GM Board since June 2012.
9:11 am Chimera Investment announces the appointment of ChiefInvestment Officer (CIM): Co announced that it has promoted Mohit Marria to be the ChiefInvestment Officer of Chimera. Mr. Marria was previously the headresidential mortgage credit trader at Fixed Income DiscountAdvisory Company ("FIDAC"), the external manager of Chimera.
9:10 am NXP Semi priced an offering of 25 mln shares of itscommon stock by selling shareholders at $42.50/share (NXPI):
9:08 am McClatchy guides FY14 at UBS Conf. (MNI): The company expects double-digit growth in digital-onlyadvertising revenues along with low single-digit growth in bothdirect marketing and circulation revenues in 2014. Additionally,expenses are expected to be down in the low single-digits in 2014,excluding the impact of circulation-related expensereclassification as a result of moving to fee-for-service deliverycontracts at several newspapers. Expenses in 2014 will include ~$13million of expense associated with digital initiatives next year.
McClatchy is well equipped to meet its financial obligations in2014. The company expects to contribute ~$25 million to its pensionplan and to spend about $29 million in capital expenditures nextyear. The company also expects to continue to pay down debt,including the retirement of ~$29 million in bonds maturing inNovember 2014.
9:08 am LRAD extends share buyback program through December 31,2014 (LRAD): Under the terms of the program, the Company may repurchase itsoutstanding common shares from time to time in the open market andin privately negotiated transactions, depending on marketconditions, share price and other factors. The Company plans tofund the buyback program with available cash and from cash flowsfrom operations.
9:04 am Prana Biotech provided an update of its IMAGINEAlzheimer's Disease (:AD) Extension trial, will proceed (PRAN): Co provided an update of its IMAGINE Alzheimer's Disease (:AD)Extension trial. In July 2013, Prana announced that the AustinHealth Human Research Ethics Committee (:HREC) approved a 12-monthopen label extension study for patients completing the double-blind placebo-controlled IMAGINE trial. There is no placebo groupin the Extension trial.
All participants receive a once daily dose of 250mg of PBT2. PBT2is Prana's drug in Phase 2 development for Alzheimer's andHuntington's diseases. The approval followed a full review by theAustin Health HREC of the potential benefit to patients and safetydata collected during the IMAGINE trial. All patients in theIMAGINE trial were given the opportunity to participate in theExtension trial. Participation in the Extension study requiredpatients to consent to receive PBT2 for 12 months following the endof the IMAGINE trial, as well as undergoing further brain scans,blood tests and cognitive testing.
On December 9, 2013 Prana announced that the treatment phase of theIMAGINE trial had completed with 95% of enrolled patientscompleting treatment (40 of a possible 42). Prana now confirms thata total of 33 patients chose to go into the Extension trial,representing 83% of the 40 patients who completed 12 months oftreatment in the IMAGINE trial. The independent Data SafetyMonitoring Board recently met to review the available safety datafrom the Extension trial, and has recommended that the studyproceed without change to the original protocol.
9:04 am Astrotech's 1st Detect awarded U.S. Patent for novelmass spectrometer design (ASTC): ASTC announced that the US Patent Office (:USPTO) has allowed theissuance of a key patent for co's unique ion trap used for chemicalanalysis and detection. "We are extremely pleased that the USPTOhas allowed this patent. This patent is an important component ofour intellectual property portfolio as it allows 1st Detect toenhance the performance of miniaturized mass spectrometers withoutan increase in size or cost," said Thomas B Pickens III, Chairmanand CEO of 1st Detect. "The patent clearly validates ourtechnology, while both demonstrating and protecting the progress wehave made in the development of the 1st Detect mass spectrometer."
The patent, entitled "A Mass Spectrometer Ion Trap HavingAsymmetric End Cap Apertures", published as USPTO No. 8,610,055,represents a key technological advantage for 1st Detect to improvethe sensitivity and resolution of small mass spectrometers withoutincreasing the complexity or cost of the instrument.
9:03 am Lazard declares special dividend of $0.25 per share onits outstanding Class A common stock (LAZ):
9:02 am Ares Capital announced that it has priced its publicoffering of 14,300,000 shares of its common stock (no pricing isgiven) (ARCC): ARCC announced that it has priced its public offering of 14.3 mlnshares of its common stock. The offering is subject to customaryclosing conditions and is expected to close on December 13, 2013.On December 9, 2013, the official close price of Ares Capital'scommon stock on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol"ARCC" was $18.29 per share.
Co expects to use the net proceeds of this offering to repaycertain outstanding indebtedness under its debt facilities and, tothe extent not used for such purpose, for general corporatepurposes, which may include investing in portfolio companies inaccordance with its investment objective.
Morgan Stanley, BofA/Merrill and Wells Fargo are acting as jointbook-running managers for this offering.
9:02 am Insulet announces commercial agreement With Amgen (AMGN) (PODD): PODD announced an agreement with Amgen, the world's leadingindependent biotechnology company, for a five year commercialagreement to supply Amgen with a delivery device specificallydesigned around the unique delivery needs of biotechnologymedicines. "We are thrilled to advance our collaboration with Amgento supply this version of our technology," said Duane DeSisto,President and Chief Executive Officer of Insulet.
9:02 am Baxter Submits Application for FDA Approval of OBI-1 forPatients with Acquired Hemophilia A (BAX): Co announces that the company has submitted a biologicslicense application to the FDA for the approval of OBI-1, arecombinant antihemophilic porcine sequence factor VIII, inpatients with acquired hemophilia A. The global, prospective,multi-center phase 2/3 open label clinical trial examined theefficacy and safety of OBI-1 in the treatment of serious bleeds inadults with acquired hemophilia A. Patients who presented with aserious bleed were treated with an initial dose of OBI-1 (200 unitsper kilogram), followed by additional doses based on their personalprofiles, including clinical evaluations and target factor VIIIactivity levels. The primary efficacy endpoint of the study wasdefined by clinical assessment as effective or partially effectivecontrol of bleeding and FVIII activity levels at 24 hours afterinitiation of OBI-1 therapy. All patients in the study respondedpositively (14 effective / 4 partially effective) in the first 24hours, based on clinical assessment and FVIII activitylevels.
No treatment-related serious adverse events were reported in thestudy. Non-serious mild adverse events related to treatment werereported in two of 18 patients (11.1%). These two patientsdeveloped anti-porcine inhibitors to OBI-1.
9:01 am Rosetta Genomics collaborative study profiling micrornaspublished in Clinical & Translational Oncology; demonstratesmicroRNA Regulation of epithelial mesenchymal transition (ROSG): Co announces that data from a collaborative study between Rosettaand a leading research team in the field of Cancer of UnknownPrimary at the University of Ioannina, were published online inClinical & Translational Oncology in an article titled,"Insights into the epithelial mesenchymal transition phenotype incancer of unknown primary from a global microRNA profiling study."
The study examined the microRNA regulation of epithelialmesenchymal transition and the acquisition of migratory,mesenchymal-like properties of epithelial cells in CUP. In thestudy, the global expression profile of 982 microRNAs wereevaluated by means of microarray technology in 68 CUP cases thatwere immunohistochemically characterized as EMT-positive orEMT-negative. According to the study's lead author, "The studyresults showed the EMT-suppressive miR-203 and miR-200 family wereconsistently but non-significantly down regulated in CUP sampleswith the EMT phenotype."
9:01 am ShoreTel appoints Mark Roberts as Chief MarketingOfficer (SHOR): SHOR announced the appointment of Mark Roberts as chief marketingofficer. Roberts has more than 20 years of technology marketingexperience and brings strong technology, channel and unifiedcommunications industry expertise to ShoreTel, most recently in therole as vice president of marketing Americas for Mitel.
9:00 am KaloBios Pharma announces preliminary Phase 1 results inAdvanced hematologic malignancies with KB004, an anti-EphA3monoclonal antibody; 'encouraged by the results ' (KBIO): Co announces preliminary results of an ongoing multi-centerPhase 1 study of KB004, an anti-EphA3 monoclonal antibody, whichthe company is developing as a treatment for hematologicmalignancies. Forty-four patients with refractory disease or whowere unfit for chemotherapy have been enrolled in the doseescalation portion of the study. The experimentalpatient-targeted therapeutic has been well tolerated, with initialevidence of clinical activity.
Escalating doses of KB004 were administered as a 1 or 2 hourinfusion on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 21 day cycle at incrementaldoses of 20, 40, 70, 100, 140, 190 and 250 mg and will thereafterincrease at 33% increments up to a planned maximum of 700 mg. Theprimary study objective is to determine a maximum tolerated dose,which has not yet been reached. Secondary objectives includedevaluation of pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity and clinicalactivity. The investigators also evaluated EphA3 expression ontumor, stromal and endothelial cells.
Commentary: "We are encouraged by the results seen with KB004 to date, whichhas been well-tolerated at doses up to 190 mg, with mild tomoderate transient infusion reactions the most common toxicity.There are some signs of activity as well, including a patient withrelapsed acute myeloid leukemia who had sustained remission forover 1 year."
8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: -5.10. Nasdaq futures vsfair value: -7.50. (:WRAPX): The S&P 500 futures trade lower by 0.3%.
Major Asian markets ended modestly lower with Japan's Nikkei(-0.3%) and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.3%) pacing the regionaldecline. In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has suffered a notabledrop in the polls with Kyodo News citing a 10.3 percentage pointdecline to 47.6%. This comes amid the passage of ahighly-controversial secrecy bill. Elsewhere, China's ShanghaiComposite settled little changed. In economic data, China's FixedAsset Investment increased 19.9% year-over-year (20.0% forecast,20.1% prior), industrial production increased 10.0% year-over-year(10.1% forecast, 10.3% prior), and retail sales increased 13.7%year-over-year (13.3% forecast, 13.3% prior). Elsewhere, Japan's M2Money Stock rose 4.3% year-over-year (4.1% last), as expected.Separately, the Tertiary Industry Activity Index declined 0.7%month-over-month (0.3% forecast, 0.0% prior). Also of note, theHousehold Confidence Index rose to 42.5 from 41.2 (44.2 forecast)and Machine Tool Orders rose 15.4% (8.4% prior). Australia's HomeLoans increased 1.0% month-over-month (1.0% forecast, 3.5% prior)and the NAB Business Confidence Index ticked down to 5 from 6.
- In Japan , the Nikkei shed 0.3% with technology pacing the decline. Konami, Sony, and Trend Micro lost between 1.9% and 2.6%. Yahoo Japan outperformed, jumping 5.5%.
- Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended lower by 0.3% as retailers Li & Fung and Want Want China Holdings fell 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively. Energy names displayed relative strength as CNOOC added 0.8%.
- In China , the Shanghai Composite settled flat following an uneventful session. Financial China Vanke outperformed, rising 0.6%.
Economic data was plentiful. French industrial production decreased0.3% month-over-month (0.1% forecast, -0.3% prior). Italianindustrial production decreased 0.5% year over-year (-2.5%forecast, -2.9% prior) while the month-over-month reading ticked up0.5% (0.2% forecast, 0.2% prior). Third quarter GDP was unchangedquarter-over-quarter (-0.1% forecast, -0.1% prior) while theyear-over-year reading declined 1.8%(-1.9% forecast, -1.8% prior).Great Britain's industrial production increased 3.2% year-over-year(3.2% expected, 2.2% prior) and 0.4% month-over-month (0.3%forecast, 0.9% prior). The country's trade deficit narrowed toGBP9.73 billion from GBP10.10 billion (-GBP9.35 billion forecast).Lastly, Norwegian CPI increased 0.1% month-over-month (0.1%forecast, 0.1% prior). Separately, PPI increased 3.2%year-over-year (2.7% forecast, 2.3% prior).
- Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.5% with TUI Travel (-2.5%) pacing the decline after lowering its guidance for the first half of 2014. On the upside, Weir Group outperforms, trading higher by 3.2%.
- In France , the CAC holds a loss of 0.6% as defense contractors EADS and Safran lag. The two names hold respective losses of 3.2% and 1.9% after EADS announced plans to cut nearly 6,000 jobs.
- Germany's DAX trades down 0.7% as exporters weigh. BMW and Volkswagen are lower by 1.3% and 1.0%, respectively.
8:54 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.5%, CAC -0.6%, DAX-0.7% (:SUMRX): Major European indices spent the first half of the session neartheir flat lines, but have since dropped to lows. France's CAC(-0.6%) and Germany's DAX (-0.6%) are pacing the decline with thewidely-followed EURJPY carry also sliding. The pair has retreatedfrom the 142.15 area to just below 141.50, where it currentlytrades. Among news of note, The Financial Times reports thatGermany and France are nearing an agreement on the structure of theelusive banking union. In a speech this morning, Mario Draghi alsourged European governments to complete the union as quickly aspossible.
Economic data was plentiful. French industrial production decreased0.3% month-over-month (0.1% forecast, -0.3% prior). Italianindustrial production decreased 0.5% year over-year (-2.5%forecast, -2.9% prior) while the month-over-month reading ticked up0.5% (0.2% forecast, 0.2% prior). Third quarter GDP was unchangedquarter-over-quarter (-0.1% forecast, -0.1% prior) while theyear-over-year reading declined 1.8%(-1.9% forecast, -1.8% prior).Great Britain's industrial production increased 3.2% year-over-year(3.2% expected, 2.2% prior) and 0.4% month-over-month (0.3%forecast, 0.9% prior). The country's trade deficit narrowed toGBP9.73 billion from GBP10.10 billion (-GBP9.35 billion forecast).Lastly, Norwegian CPI increased 0.1% month-over-month (0.1%forecast, 0.1% prior). Separately, PPI increased 3.2%year-over-year (2.7% forecast, 2.3% prior).
- Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.5% with TUI Travel (-2.5%) pacing the decline after lowering its guidance for the first half of 2014. On the upside, Weir Group outperforms, trading higher by 3.2%.
- In France , the CAC holds a loss of 0.6% as defense contractors EADS and Safran lag. The two names hold respective losses of 3.2% and 1.9% after EADS announced plans to cut nearly 6,000 jobs.
- Germany's DAX trades down 0.7% as exporters weigh. BMW and Volkswagen are lower by 1.3% and 1.0%, respectively.
8:50 am General Motors: Reports indicate GM names Mary Barra(current VP, Global Product Development) as new CEO (GM):
8:47 am Pacific Energy Development priced an offering of 3.25mln shares of its common stock at $2.25/share (PED):
8:41 am Tonix Pharma announces the enrollment of completers Fromthe BESTFIT trial into a 12-month open-label extension study (TNXP): Co announced that it is enrolling subjects into an open-labelextension study to the BESTFIT trial of TNX-102 2.8 mg sublingualtablet in fibromyalgia.
The primary objective of the 12-month OLE study is to evaluate thelong-term safety and tolerability of TNX-102 SL taken sublinguallyat bedtime once-daily in patients with FM. The secondary objectiveis to evaluate the long term efficacy of TNX-102 SL on the symptomsof FM. Subjects who complete the BESTFIT trial have the option toenroll into the OLE study, in which all participants will receiveTNX-102 SL.
8:34 am Celgene: Two studies highlight retrospective analyses ofPhase III study of POMALYST/IMNOVID in previously treated multiplemyeloma patients presented at ASH (CELG): Celgene International S rl, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Celgene(CELG) announced that updated analyses from MM-003, the co's phase IIIstudy of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone compared withhigh-dose dexamethasone in patients with refractory multiplemyeloma who have failed therapy with both bortezomib andlenalidomide, administered either alone or in combination werepresented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting inNew Orleans, La. Pomalidomide is marketed as POMALYST in the UnitedStates and IMNOVID in the European Union.
It was previously reported that with a median follow-up of 10months, pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone significantlyextended progression-free survival (PFS) (4.0 months vs 1.9 months, HR= 0.48, p<0.001) and overallsurvival (:OS) (12.7 months vs 8.1 months, HR= 0.74, p<0.028)compared with high-dose dexamethasone.
The OS benefit was observed despite 50% of the patients in thehigh-dose dexamethasone arm receiving subsequent pomalidomide. Theoverall response rate (:ORR) for the pomalidomide plus low-dosedexamethasone arm and high-dose dexamethasone arm was 31% vs. 10%(P < 0.001), respectively.The results were published in The Lancet Oncology in September2013.
8:33 am Express Scripts entered accelerated share repurchasetransaction with Bank of America to purchase shares of ExpressScripts' common stock for purchase price of $1,500 mln (ESRX): Under the terms of the transaction, Express Scripts willinitially receive approximately 20.1 million shares of its stock.At the end of the period for the ASR transaction, Express Scriptswill either be required to deliver shares of its stock or the cashvalue thereof to Bank of America, or will receive additional sharesfrom Bank of America, depending upon the daily volume-weightedaverage prices per share of Express Script's stock during suchvaluation period. The ASR transaction is expected to be completedby end of the second quarter of 2014.
8:33 am BG Medicine confirms final determination by CMS of 2014reimbursement for BGM Galectin-3 Test (BGMD): Co announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) have published the final determination of the 2014 Medicarenational limitation amount for the Company's galectin-3 blood test(analyte-specific CPT Code 82777) at the amount of a crosswalkedtest (analyte-specific CPT Code 84244) whose 2014 nationallimitation amount is $30.01. This national limitation amount willreplace the galectin-3 blood test's national limitation amount of$17.80 that was effective in 2013.
This final determinat...ion by CMS comes in response to BG Medicine's request for reconsideration of the 2013 CMS determination and will apply effective January 1, 2014. The 2014 national limitation amount applies across the U.S. except in Ohio and West Virginia where rates of $23.99 and $26.40, respectively, will apply. In addition, the 2014 national limitation amount is subject to a 2% sequestration applicable to Medicare services if the current sequestration is extended beyond January 15, 2014.
8:32 am Seattle Genetics highlights ADCETRIS Phase 2 Clinical data in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; 42% objective response rate in relapsed or refractory DLBCL (SGEN) : Co announces updated results from a phase 2 clinical trial of ADCETRIS in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and other B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. ADCETRIS is an antibody-drug conjugate directed to CD30. ADCETRIS is currently not approved for the treatment of DLBCL or other B-cell lymphomas.
A Phase 2 Study of Brentuximab Vedotin in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory CD30-Positive Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas: Interim Results in Patients with DLBCL and Other B-cell Lymphomas
Interim data from an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial were reported from 50 patients with DLBCL and 18 patients with other B-cell lymphomas. Among the DLBCL patients, the median age was 63 years, 74% were refractory to frontline therapy and 82% were refractory to their most recent prior therapy. Patients were treated with single-agent ADCETRIS every three weeks. The trial was designed to assess the antitumor activity, duration of response and safety profile of ADCETRIS in these patients.
Key findings presented included:
- Of the 50 patients with DLBCL, 42% achieved an objective response, including 16% complete remissions and 26% partial remissions.
- At the time of data analysis, the median duration of response for DLBCL was 5.8 months. For DLBCL patients who achieved a complete remission, the median duration of response was 11.5 months.
- Objective responses were observed across a broad range of CD30 expression, from DLBCL patients with undetectable CD30 by standard immunohistochemistry testing to those with CD30 expression up to 90%.
- The most common treatment-emergent adverse events of any grade in patients with DLBCL and other B-cell lymphomas occurring in more than 25% of all patients enrolled were fatigue (49%), neutropenia (40%), nausea (38%), diarrhea (37%) and fever (29%).
- The most common Grade 3 treatment-emergent adverse events in patients with DLBCL and other B-cell lymphomas were neutropenia and anemia. The only Grade 4 treatment-emergent event was neutropenia. Serious adverse events considered related to treatment and occurring in more than one patient were pneumonia (three patients) and anemia, febrile neutropenia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia (two patients each).
8:32 am Vonage Granted three new patents (VG) : Co was granted three new patents in December by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 1 relates to a system that automatically activates a call forwarding feature based on the customer's location, enabling low-cost incoming calls on mobile phones while traveling internationally; 1 provides a solution for avoiding the disconnection of a voice-over-IP call when the mobile user moves between coverage areas of different wireless networks; last one enables a customer to conveniently purchase a telephone service plan through a third-party merchant such as the Apple App Store and Google Play, without having to enter into a separate financial transaction with the services provider itself.
8:32 am GlassesOff announces official launch of app aimed at eliminating dependency on reading glasses (GLSO) : Co announced the official launch of its innovative iPhone application GlassesOff. The GlassesOff mobile app aims to eliminate the dependency on reading glasses of people over the age of 40 who experience natural age-related changes in their near vision sharpness.
GlassesOff targets the large population of people who experience the inevitable natural age-related changes in reading abilities, usually starting at the age of 40. It is estimated that more than one billion people worldwide and about 100 million in the U.S. alone experience such age-related changes, with these numbers expected to rise significantly through 20501.
The GlassesOff app is the result of years of advanced scientific research, resulting in several breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience. To complete the program, users need to spend just 12-15 minutes per day, three times a week, for about three months. The application will initially be available for iOS operated devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod) and is expected to be available for Android operated devices during the early months of 2014.
Extensive scientific studies have demonstrated the efficacy of the GlassesOff program. In a study carried out at the University of California at Berkeley, all subjects who completed the GlassesOff program were able to read standard newspaper font size without the use of reading glasses, while improving their "Eye Age" by an average of 8.6 years. The results of this study were published in Nature's prestigious scientific publication, Scientific Reports2.
The GlassesOff app is free to download from the App Store and offer users access to a vision evaluation and the first segment of the GlassesOff program. After Using the GlassesOff app for ~two weeks, users will be given the option to subscribe to the full version, which includes additional advanced segments, for $59.99. However, during the launch, subscriptions will be offered at a special price of just $9.99.
8:31 am Richmont Mines Inc. appointed Rosaire Emond, Eng., to the position of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (RIC) : Co announces appointed Rosaire Emond to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Emond joined Richmont in September 2011, and was appointed as Project Manager for Richmont's Island Gold Deep project in February 2013. Mr. Emond will be replacing Mr. Christian Pichette, who is retiring after a distinguished 35 year career in the mining industry.
8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.30. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures hover near their lows after spending the past hour in a steady decline with comparable price action across European indices. The S&P 500 futures trade lower by 0.2% while markets in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom display losses close to 0.4% apiece.
The retreat in futures has coincided with a continuation of an overnight bid in the Treasury market. The benchmark 10-yr note trades higher by nine ticks with its yield down three basis points at 2.81%, which represents a session low. Also of note, gold futures hover at their best levels of the session (+2.0% at $1259.60/ozt).
8:31 am Zogenix announces FDA approval of 4 mg SUMAVEL DosePro (sumatriptan injection) needle-free delivery system (ZGNX) : Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) has approved the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for a 4 mg dose of SUMAVEL DosePro (sumatriptan injection) Needle-free Delivery System. SUMAVEL DosePro has been available in a 6 mg dose for the treatment of acute migraine and cluster headache.
The 4 mg dose of SUMAVEL DosePro can be used to help migraine sufferers who require management of side effects. The 4 mg dose of SUMAVEL DosePro is expected to be available approximately June 2014.
SUMAVEL DosePro is the first and only needle-free delivery system for subcutaneous sumatriptan for the treatment of acute migraine and cluster headache.
Clinical data has shown that the current 6 mg dose of SUMAVEL DosePro can provide migraine pain relief within 10 minutes for some patients (16% of patients versus 4% for placebo). The product was launched in January 2010, reaching over 225,000 total prescriptions at the end of the third quarter 2013.
8:31 am Celldex Therapeutics: CDX-301 in combination with Mozobil increases hematopoietic stem cell mobilization and results in improved transplantation of mobilized cells in preclinical studies; results presented at ASH 2013 (CLDX) : Co announced positive results from a preclinical combination study of CDX-301 (FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 ligand or Flt3L) and Mozobil (Plerixafor injection, formerly AMD3100) demonstrating that the combination of these agents significantly increases hematopoietic stem cell mobilization in mice.
The data support future clinical development of CDX-301 and demonstrate a novel potent cell mobilization regimen combining CDX-301 and Mozobil, which may have significant potential for use in autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Results were presented in an oral session entitled "FLT3L and AMD3100 Combination Increases Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization and Leads to Improved Transplantation Outcome" on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:30 am CT at the American Society of Hematology 55th Annual Meeting and Exposition.
8:30 am TD Ameritrade November metrics; average of 416,000 client trades per day in November 2013, up 22% from November 2012 (AMTD) : Co announces metrics for November 2013.
Monthly activities for November 2013 included:
- An average of 416,000 client trades per day in November 2013, up 22% from November 2012 and down 1% from October 2013.
- $584.1 billion in total client assets as of Nov. 30, 2013, up 23% from November 2012 and up 2% from October 2013.
- Average spread-based balances of $89.9 billion, up 14% from November 2012 and essentially flat from October 2013.
- Average fee-based balances of $130.9 billion, up 32% from November 2012 and up 2% from October 2013.
8:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- GTT (GTT) announced that Switch SUPERNAP has partnered with GTT to deliver connectivity to customers on a global scale.
- Juniper Networks (JNPR) announced Mozzart Bet has replaced most of its existing data center infrastructure with an integrated Juniper Networks switching, routing and security portfolio.
- NMI Holdings (NMIH) announced that National MI will be introducing enhancements to its master policy.
- ServiceNow (NOW) announced ServiceNow Configuration Automation, a new orchestration application that controls automated configuration of data center infrastructure based on the ServiceNow Configuration Management Database.
- The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) announced the opening of its newest restaurant at the Mall of Georgia in Buford, GA, a suburb of Atlanta.
- World Energy Solutions (XWES) announced it successfully supported the 22nd quarterly auction of carbon dioxide allowances administered by Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on December 4, 2013.
8:23 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: PBY -11.3%, ALOG -9.9%, CASY -1.2%, TPLM -1.1% (light volume), TEVA -0.6%, KMG -0.5%, TXN -0.3%.
Select shipping related names showing weakness: GNK -16.2%, EGLE -12.7%, VLCCF -2.4%, .
Other news: IEP -6.3% (announces sale of 2 mln depositary unit), GASS -5.8% (announces public offering of 10 mln shares of common stock), TA -5.4% (TravelCenters of America LLC Announces Public Offering of 5,000,000 Common Shares), ARCC -3.8% (plans to make a public offering of 14,300,000 shares of its common stock), DAR -3.7% (announced that it intends to offer 40,000,000 shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering), BCRX -3.7% / NVAX -0.8% (still checking), PF -3.5% (announces secondary offering of 17 mln shares of common stock), SEAS -2.8% (filed amended S-1 prior to close), ALU -2.2% (still checking), NXPI -2% ( Selling shareholders commence 25 mln share secondary offering of common stock), TAM -1.5% (proposed secondary offering of 10 mln shares of common stock), FNSR -1.3% (announces proposed $200 mln convertible Senior notes offering due 2023), RL -0.7% (still checking), HTS -0.2% (declares Q4 dividend of $0.50 per share; previous quarter's dividend was $0.55 per share), NOK -0.7% (Nokia may pay $487 mln to India to transfer factory to Microsoft (MSFT), according to reports), .
Analyst comments: TEN -0.7% (Tenneco downgraded to Outperform at RBC Capital Mkts; tgt $66)
8:23 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.3%, Hang Seng -0.3%, Shanghai UNCH (:SUMRX) : Major Asian markets ended modestly lower with Japan's Nikkei (-0.3%) and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.3%) pacing the regional decline. In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has suffered a notable drop in the polls with Kyodo News citing a 10.3 percentage point decline to 47.6%. This comes amid the passage of a highly-controversial secrecy bill. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite settled little changed. In economic data, China's Fixed Asset Investment increased 19.9% year-over-year (20.0% forecast, 20.1% prior), industrial production increased 10.0% year-over-year (10.1% forecast, 10.3% prior), and retail sales increased 13.7% year-over-year (13.3% forecast, 13.3% prior). Elsewhere, Japan's M2 Money Stock rose 4.3% year-over-year (4.1% last), as expected. Separately, the Tertiary Industry Activity Index declined 0.7% month-over-month (0.3% forecast, 0.0% prior). Also of note, the Household Confidence Index rose to 42.5 from 41.2 (44.2 forecast) and Machine Tool Orders rose 15.4% (8.4% prior). Australia's Home Loans increased 1.0% month-over-month (1.0% forecast, 3.5% prior) and the NAB Business Confidence Index ticked down to 5 from 6. Looking at currencies: USDCNY ticked down to 6.0710; USDINR rose to 60.99; USDJPY is lower near 102.84; AUDUSD is higher near .9133.
In Japan, the Nikkei closed -0.3% with technology pacing the decline. Konami, Sony, and Trend Micro lost between 1.9% and 2.6%. Yahoo Japan outperformed, jumping 5.5%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng ended -0.3% as retailers Li & Fung and Want Want China Holdings fell 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively. Energy names displayed relative strength as CNOOC added 0.8%...In China, the Shanghai Composite settled flat following an uneventful session. Financial China Vanke outperformed, rising 0.6%.
In India, the Sensex ended -0.3%. Banks lagged as State Bank of India and ICICI Bank lost 2.5% and 3.6%, respectively.
In Australia, the ASX settled unchaged. Miners were mixed as BHP Billiton added 0.1% while Rio Tinto lost 0.5%.
In Taiwan, the Taiex finished flat....In South Korea, the Kospi ended -0.4%.
In other regional markets...Vietnam +0.1%...Singapore -1.0%...Indonesia +1.5%...Malaysia +0.1%...Thailand +0.4%...Philippines -2.0%.
8:20 am Takeda Pharma: FDA Advisory Committee recommends approval of investigational biologic Vedolizumab (TKPYY) : Co announces that a joint panel of members from the Gastrointestinal Drugs and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committees of the FDA voted to recommend approval of Takeda's vedolizumab for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. All 21 committee members voted that based on currently available efficacy and safety data, the benefits outweigh the potential risks of vedolizumab to support approval for UC. Specifically, 13 committee members supported approval for UC patients who have failed steroids or immunosuppressants or TNF-alpha antagonists, while eight committee members supported approval for UC patients who have failed immunosuppressants or TNF-alpha antagonists.
- 20 of the 21 committee members voted to support approval for CD.
- Specifically, 14 committee members supported approval for CD patients who have failed steroids or immunosuppressants or TNF-alpha antagonists while six supported approval for CD patients who have failed immunosuppressants or TNF-alpha antagonists.
8:19 am Northwest Biotherapeutics announced that the number of events required to trigger the first interim analysis of its Phase III clinical trial in patients with Glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer has been reached (NWBO) : Co announced that the number of events required to trigger the first interim analysis of its Phase III clinical trial in patients with Glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer has been reached, and the analysis process is under way which will culminate in the independent Data Monitoring Committee's assessment.
This important milestone is measured by "events," which are defined as either a tumor recurrence or a death. The pre-specified trigger number for this first interim analysis of NW Bio's international Phase III trial is 66 such events, comprising 60% of the 110 events required to reach the primary endpoint of the Phase III trial. Another interim analysis will occur when 88 events, comprising 80% of the total 110 events, have been reached.
The DMC then reviews and evaluates the data and reaches an assessment, which it delivers to the Company. The most common DMC recommendation is to continue the trial as originally planned, although it is possible in rare instances that the DMC may recommend that the trial be stopped, either because of safety or futility concerns or because of unexpectedly high levels of success. The Company does not participate in the interim analysis process or the assessment, and both the Company and the clinical trial sites remain completely blinded. Due to the work involved in auditing and preparing the data, and conducting the review, it is anticipated that the DMC may complete its evaluation and recommendation approximately six to eight weeks from now.
8:17 am Monsanto and Novozymes (:NZYM) announce a long-term strategic alliance to transform research and commercialization of sustainable microbial products (MON) : Co announce a long-term strategic alliance to transform research and commercialization of sustainable microbial products that will provide a new platform of solutions for growers around the world. The BioAg Alliance will allow the companies to leverage employees, technologies and commercial assets in the companies' agricultural biologicals portfolios. The BioAg Alliance is unique in the industry, bringing together Novozymes' commercial BioAg operations and capabilities within microbial discovery, development and production with Monsanto's microbial discovery, advanced biology, field testing and commercial capabilities. The result will be a comprehensive research, development and commercial collaboration to help farmers globally meet the challenge of producing more with less in a sustainable way -- for the benefit of agriculture, consumers, the environment and society at large.
Novozymes has over the last decade leveraged its know-how and experience in industrial enzymes and microbial technologies to build global positions in the agricultural biologicals market with a broad and proven product portfolio and annual revenue of approximately $120 million in 2012.
The agreement is subject to the approval of the relevant national antitrust authorities to the extent required. The alliance is expected to close in early 2014. Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.
8:15 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: CMTL +6.4%, DIOD +4.7%, ABM +4.5%, TOL +3.6%, LL +1.2%, BURL +0.5%, (light volume), HITK +0.2%, (light volume).
M&A related: VTNC +6.1% (Vitran to be acquired by Manitoulin Transport for $6.00 per share),TI +4.5% (Telecom Italia not considering breakup of TIM Participacoes, according to reports ), TBOW (Trunkbow enters into merger agreement for 'going private' transaction for $1.46/share).
Select Brazil related names showing strength: CIG +9.8%, GFA +4.7%, PBR +1.3%.
Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: AG +2%, GDX +1.8%, NEM +1.7%, AU +1.7%, GFI +1.7%, GG +1.6%, SLV +1.5%, AUY +1.3%, ABX +1.2%, GOLD +0.2%.
Other news: GERN +16.8% (Geron seeing some volatility in after hours trading; co presented data on imetelstat at ASH and is scheduled to host an analyst and investor meeting; upgraded to Buy at Needham),NAVB +14.8% (FDA grants fast track designation to Navidea Biopharmaceuticals' Lymphoseek for sentinel lymph node detection in patients with head and neck cancer ),SYN +12% (Synthetic Biologics and Intrexon (XON) initiate Development of Novel Biologics for a Subset of Patients Suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome ),RMBS +7.9%/ MU +0.3% (Rambus and Micron sign license agreement),DRWI +7.8% (continued strength),NURO +6.7% (to partner with Omron Medical Devices for Distribution of NC-stat DPNCheck in China),CTIC +4.4% (presents interim results from Phase 2 Tosedostat Trial in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome),HL +4.2% (still checking),PLUG +4.2% (continued strength),LULU +2.9% (appoints Laurent Potdevin as CEO),ARWR +2.7% (presents Phase 1 Data on ARC-520 at HepDART 2013 -- New data including pharmacokinetics (:PK) and adverse event (AE) attribution presented today in a poster and in an oral presentation tomorrow, support the previous findings that ARC-520 appears to be generally safe and well-tolerated at all six dose levels studied),ACI +2.6% (has begun operating its longwall mining system),IRM +2.5% (discloses it entered into a REIT Status Protection Rights Agreement),STM +2.3% (still checking),EVTC +2% (announces commencement of public offering of 15,287,473 shares of its common stock by selling stockholders and concurrent repurchase of its common stock),SODA +1.3% (following late spike),MED +1% (announces it has completed repurchase 786k shares of common stock under 1.125 mln share authorization at average price of $25.46),HON +0.7% (announces Major Investments to Increase HFO-1234yf Production in the United States),PXD +0.5% (still checking),BA +0.5% (WSJ discusses Boeing's (BA) tactics to lower its taxes),GM +0.4% (Treasury sold its remaining stake),TWC +0.4% (Time Warner Cable and Charter (CHTR) execs are in no rush for deals, according to reports),YHOO +0.3% (to give more details on revenue composition, according to reports),NAT +0.3% (issues latter to shareholders; says 'Bright spots on the horizon are the strong tendencies we see in global ton-mile demand '),ENDP +0.2% (receives FDA 510(k) clearance of the RetroArc Retropubic Sling System for treatment of female stress urinary incontinence),KO +0.2% (plans to introduce low calorie Coke, according to reports )
Analyst comments: HAWK +9.8% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup),RLYP +5.6% (initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley, initiated with a Outperform at Wedbush),ARIA +4.9% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel),NVMI +1.4% (initiated with a Buy at Canaccord),DDD +1.3% (initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank),OSIS +1.1% (Sell-off is overdone; risk of debarment is low -- The Benchmark Company ),SSYS +1% (initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank),JCI +1% (upgraded to Top Pick at RBC Capital Mkts; tgt $61),RDS.A +0.6% (upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan),PKI +0.5% (upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie ),URI +0.4% (upgraded to Top Pick at RBC Capital Mkts),HAR +0.1% (upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo).
8:08 am Gold and silver just spiked to new session highs (:COMDX) : Feb gold is now +1.8% at $1256.40/oz, Mar silver is +2.5% at $20.20/oz.
8:06 am Oxford Lane Capital announces preferred dividends on Series 2017 and Series 2023 preferred stock (OXLC) : Co announced that the its Board of Directors has declared the required monthly dividends on its Series 2017 and Series 2023 Term Preferred Shares (each, a "Share") of $0.1771 and $0.15625 per Share, respectively, for the months of December 2013, January 2014 and February 2014. The dividends are payable on Dec 31, 2013 (record date December 20, 2013), January 31, 2014 (record date January 20, 2014), and February 28, 2014 (record date February 17, 2014), respectively.
In accordance with their terms, each of the Series 2017 and Series 2023 Shares will pay a monthly dividend at a fixed rate of 8.50% and 7.50%, respectively, of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference, or $2.125 and $1.875 per Share per year, respectively. This fixed annual dividend rate is subject to adjustment under certain circumstances, but will not in any case be lower than 8.50% and 7.50% per year, respectively, for each of the Series 2017 and Series 2023 Shares.
8:05 am Duke Energy submits Crystal River nuclear plant decommissioning plan to NRC (DUK) : Co has submitted its decommissioning plan for the co's retired Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The plan includes a decommissioning description, cost estimate and schedule. It also includes a management strategy for storing used nuclear fuel. Duke Energy expects to implement tasks outlined in the decommissioning plan starting in 2014. The plant operated from 1977 to 2009.
- Duke Energy has selected the "SAFSTOR" decommissioning option -- one of three options approved by the NRC, and one chosen by several other retired U.S. nuclear plants. Under this option, the plant will be placed in a safe, stable condition for 60 years until decommissioning work is completed in 2074.
- The estimated decommissioning cost is $1.18 bln in today's (2013) dollars. Duke Energy believes the company's existing nuclear decommissioning trust fund, plus the fund's future growth -- coupled with funds from the plant's nine other owners -- will be sufficient to decommission the plant.
- Radiological and environmental monitoring will continue during the entire decommissioning process to ensure safety and environmental protection.
- The plant's used nuclear fuel will remain in the existing on-site fuel pool until a new, on-site, dry-cask storage facility is built. The plant has safely stored its used fuel on site for 35 years, since the facility's first refueling in 1978. All U.S. nuclear plants store used fuel on site -- either in fuel pools or dry casks -- because the U.S. does not have a central federal repository for used nuclear fuel.
8:04 am Wal-Mart announces David Cheesewright as President and CEO of Walmart International, the co's second largest operating segment (WMT) : WMT announced that David Cheesewright, 51, will be promoted to president and CEO of Walmart International, the company's second largest operating segment. Cheesewright, currently president and CEO of Walmart's Europe, Middle East and Africa (:EMEA) and Canada region, will report to Doug McMillon, who was named on Nov. 25 to succeed Mike Duke as the company's president and CEO. Both assume their new roles on Feb. 1, 2014. Cheesewright's successor will be named at a later date.
8:03 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -0.80. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures hold modest losses following a range-bound overnight session. The S&P 500 futures trade lower by 0.1%.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Major Asian markets ended modestly lower. Japan's Nikkei -0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.3%, and China's Shanghai Composite settled little changed.
- Investors received several economic data points:
- China's Fixed Asset Investment increased 19.9% year-over-year (20.0% forecast, 20.1% prior), industrial production increased 10.0% year-over-year (10.1% forecast, 10.3% prior), and retail sales increased 13.7% year-over-year (13.3% forecast, 13.3% prior)
- Japan's M2 Money Stock rose 4.3% year-over-year (4.1% last), as expected. Separately, the Tertiary Industry Activity Index declined 0.7% month-over-month (0.3% forecast, 0.0% prior). Also of note, the Household Confidence Index rose to 42.5 from 41.2 (44.2 forecast) and Machine Tool Orders rose 15.4% (8.4% prior)
- Australia's Home Loans increased 1.0% month-over-month (1.0% forecast, 3.5% prior) and the NAB Business Confidence Index ticked down to 5 from 6
- In news:
- In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has suffered a notable drop in the polls with Kyodo News citing a 10.3 percentage point decline to 47.6%. This comes amid the passage of a highly-controversial secrecy bill
- Investors received several economic data points:
- Major European indices are little changed. France's CAC -0.2%, Great Britain's FTSE -0.1%, and Germany's DAX hovers just below its flat line. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -0.1% and Spain's IBEX +0.4%.
- In economic news:
- French industrial production decreased 0.3% month-over-month (0.1% forecast, -0.3% prior)
- Italian industrial production decreased 0.5% year over-year (-2.5% forecast, -2.9% prior) while the month-over-month reading ticked up 0.5% (0.2% forecast, 0.2% prior). Third quarter GDP was unchanged quarter-over-quarter (-0.1% forecast, -0.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading declined 1.8%(-1.9% forecast, -1.8% prior)
- Great Britain's industrial production increased 3.2% year-over-year (3.2% expected, 2.2% prior) and 0.4% month-over-month (0.3% forecast, 0.9% prior). The country's trade deficit narrowed to GBP9.73 billion from GBP10.10 billion (-GBP9.35 billion forecast)
- Norwegian CPI increased 0.1% month-over-month (0.1% forecast, 0.1% prior). Separately, PPI increased 3.2% year-over-year (2.7% forecast, 2.3% prior)
- Looking at news:
- The Financial Times reports that Germany and France are nearing an agreement on the structure of the elusive banking union. In a speech this morning, Mario Draghi also urged European governments to complete the union as quickly as possible.
- In economic news:
- PVH (PVH 125.00, -2.43): -1.9% after its below-consensus Q4 earnings and revenue guidance overshadowed its bottom-line beat on better-than-expected sales.
- Toll Brothers (TOL 34.85, +1.27): +3.8% after reporting better-than-expected earnings on in-line revenue.
The U.S. Treasury will auction $30 billion in 3-yr notes.
8:03 am Fidelity National retains J.P. Morgan as financial advisor to explore strategic alternatives with respect to its portfolio company investments (FNF) : Co announced that it has retained J.P. Morgan Securities LLC to work with FNF management to identify strategic alternatives for FNF's portfolio co investments, potentially including a tracking stock, spin-offs, sales and other potential strategic alternatives, to both monetize and highlight the value of FNF's portfolio investments for the benefit of its shareholders.
"Our energies are focused on the pending acquisition of Lender Processing Services and opportunities to grow our core businesses. Future free cash flow from core operations is expected to be used to pay down debt, invest in core operations, pay dividends and repurchase shares and not for acquisitions outside of our core business. The portfolio company investments have significant value which may not be fully reflected in our stock price and we believe there are attractive alternatives we can pursue to unlock the value of these investments for the benefit of FNF and our shareholders."
8:02 am AbbVie demonstrates 96% SVR in its Phase III study of treatment-experienced patients with Genotype 1 Hepatitis C (ABBV) : Co released phase III results for the investigational three direct-acting-antiviral (3D) regimen plus ribavirin in patients with chronic, genotype 1 (GT1) hepatitis C virus (:HCV) infection. In the 394-patient SAPPHIRE-II study, 96% of patients who previously failed pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment, including ~49% of who were prior null responders, achieved sustained virologic response at 12 weeks (SVR12) with the regimen. The majority of patients were GT1a, considered a difficult-to-treat subtype, and the SVR12 rates of GT1a and GT1b were 96 percent and 97%, respectively. Virologic relapse or breakthrough was noted in 2 percent of patients receiving the 3D regimen plus ribavirin. In addition, the discontinuation rate due to adverse events was 1%.
AbbVie's multinational HCV program is the largest all-oral, interferon-free clinical program in GT1 patients being conducted to date. GT1 (with subtypes 1a and 1b) is the most prevalent genotype worldwide, with a higher prevalence of 1a in the U.S. and 1b in Europe.
"SAPPHIRE-II demonstrates that treatment-experienced genotype 1 HCV patients achieved high rates of virologic response with AbbVie's interferon-free, all-oral 3D regimen plus ribavirin," said Scott Brun, M.D., vice president, pharmaceutical development, AbbVie. "Completion of the two placebo-controlled SAPPHIRE studies is an important step in AbbVie's HCV clinical development program. We look forward to the results of studies looking at AbbVie's 3D regimen with and without ribavirin in different patients, as well as data from our dedicated study in patients with cirrhosis."
8:02 am Fieldpoint Petroleum announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Philip H. Roberson to serve as President (FPP) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Philip H. Roberson to serve as President.
FieldPoint's Executive Chairman, Roger Bryant, stated, "Phil's relationship with FPP goes back several years, and we were very fortunate to have him join the co earlier this year, following the loss of our founder, Ray Reaves. Phil took over the day to day operations of the co at that time, and has worked tirelessly to see that we meet all of our operational objectives. I believe the results of these efforts will be evident at year end. In addition to these operational duties, Phil led the way to our recently announced agreement with Riley Exploration Group that will involve the re-development of an ~8,000 acre AMI (Area of Mutual Interest) in the Taylor Serbin Field located in south Texas. This will be the largest project that the company has ever undertaken."
8:02 am Enanta Pharmaceuticals announces 96% SVR12 in treatment experienced genotype 1 Hepatitis C patients in SAPPHIRE-II study (ENTA) : Co announced results from the SAPPHIRE-II study, the second of six phase 3 registrational studies being conducted by AbbVie for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (:HCV) genotype 1 (GT1) infection, using a regimen containing Enanta's lead protease inhibitor ABT-450. ABT-450 is part of AbbVie's investigational three direct-acting antiviral (3D) regimen, consisting of boosted protease inhibitor ABT-450/ritonavir, NS5A inhibitor ABT-267, and non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor ABT-333. The SAPPHIRE-II study used this 3D regimen plus ribavirin.
Results from the 394-patient SAPPHIRE-II trial demonstrated a sustained virologic response at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12) of 96 percent in chronically infected GT1 HCV treatment experienced adult patients who had previously failed pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment. Virologic relapse or breakthrough was noted in 2 percent of patients receiving the 3D regimen plus ribavirin. The treatment regimen was well tolerated, with 1 percent of patients discontinuing treatment due to adverse events.
"The high SVR rates in this SAPPHIRE-II trial and the previously reported SAPPHIRE-I trial further validate this 3D regimen plus ribavirin for both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients. We look forward to the remaining phase 3 studies reading out using the same 3D regimen with and without ribavirin, as well as in the treatment of HCV patients with cirrhosis."
8:02 am Splunk announces acquisition of Cloudmeter; financial terms not disclosed (SPLK) : Co announced it has acquired Cloudmeter, Inc., a provider of network data capture technologies. The addition of Cloudmeter will enhance the ability of Splunk customers to analyze machine data directly from their networks and correlate it with other machine-generated data to gain insights across Splunk's core use cases in application and infrastructure management, IT operations, security and business analytics.
8:01 am Masimo announced that a new clinical study recently published in the Emergency Medicine Journal shows that Masimo's noninvasive carboxyhemoglobin (SpCO) from rainbow Pulse CO-Oximetry helped clinicians identify 23% more patients with carbon monoxide poisoning who presented to the emergency department with headaches (MASI) : Patients whose initial SpCO measurement was greater than 10% underwent a venous blood draw for laboratory determination of invasive carboxyhemoglobin measurement. If a patient's invasive COHb level was greater than 10%, they were diagnosed with CO poisoning. Of the 482 patients presenting with headaches who were screened with SpCO measurement, 38 had a mean SpCO value of over 10%, 31 (6.4% of the study population) of which had elevated COHb confirmed by laboratory determination.
As a screening measurement, SpCO had a positive predictive value of 82% for CO poisoning. Of the 31 true CO poisoning cases, 24 (77%) were suspected and seven (23%) were not suspected. Therefore, SpCO screening was responsible for helping the ED clinicians detect the 23% of cases that would be considered "occult," or unsuspected, CO poisoning.
8:01 am Wendy's: Meritage reports acquisition of Wendy's restaurants and new restaurant developments (WEN) : Co announces it has acquired four additional Wendy's restaurants in Jacksonville, FL, began development on its second Wendy's "image activation" remodel in Mt Zion, GA, and commenced construction of a Wendy's restaurant in Jacksonville FL, scheduled to open in the spring of 2014.
8:01 am Honeywell announces Major Investments to Increase HFO-1234yf Production in the United States (HON) : Co announces that investments of ~ $300 mln will be made by the company and key suppliers to increase production capacity for HFO-1234yf, a new refrigerant for automobiles with a global-warming potential of less than 1.This GWP is 99.9 percent lower than that of HFC-134a, the current refrigerant in use, and even lower than that of carbon dioxide.
Among these investments, Honeywell will construct a high-volume manufacturing plant using new process technology at the company's existing Geismar, Louisiana, refrigerants manufacturing site, which is expected to be fully operational in 2016. The exact size of the plant will depend on supply agreements that Honeywell is putting in place with major customers.
7:46 am Talisman Energy announces $595 mln sale of Colombian Pipeline Interest (TLM) : Co announces that two of its affiliates have reached agreement to sell their ~ 12% equity interest in the Ocensa Pipeline in Colombia to an investment group led by Advent International for a total cash consideration of ~$595 mln.
As part of the transaction:
- Two Talisman affiliates will sell their approximately 12% equity interest in the Ocensa Pipeline for approximately $595 million.
- Other Talisman affiliates retain crude transportation rights for ~63,000 bopd. Talisman will use these rights to transport proprietary crude, and will generate third party revenue from surplus capacity.
7:43 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- SolarWinds (SWI) announced that 11 SolarWinds IT management software solutions are collectively now under evaluation for certification in the Canadian Common Criteria Scheme, an internationally recognized standard for computer security achieved by national laboratory testing and evaluation.
- TASER (TASR) announced multiple international orders totalling ~$5.8 million for its TASER brand conducted electrical weapons and its next generation Smart Weapons. These orders are expected to ship in the fourth quarter 2013.
- Textura (TXTR) announced that Ryder Construction, a Construction Management, General Contracting and Consulting Services company based in New York, achieved considerable gains in efficiency and productivity after using Textura CPM - Enterprise for an owner and decided to adopt use of the solution for themselves.
7:33 am Pentair announced its Board of Directors has authorized the company to repurchase up to $1.0 bln of its common stock (PNR) : Co announced today its Board of Directors has authorized the company to repurchase up to $1.0 bln of its common stock. The authorization allows the company to commence share repurchases effective immediately and expires on December 31, 2016. Pentair intends to repurchase outstanding shares from time to time in the open market using cash flow generated by its operations.
7:33 am Cytokinetics announces results from first-time-in-humans clinical trial of CK-2127107 at Conference of the Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders -- suggest an encouraging safety and pharmacokinetic profile (CYTK) : Co announced that the results from a first-time-in-humans clinical trial of CK-2127107 in healthy male volunteers were presented during a Late Breaking Clinical Trials session at the 7th International Conference of the Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders in Kobe, Japan. Cytokinetics, in collaboration with Astellas Pharma (ALPMY), is developing CK-2127107, a novel small molecule activator of the fast skeletal muscle troponin complex, for potential application in non-neuromuscular diseases and medical conditions associated with muscle weakness.
"We are pleased with the results from this first-time-in-humans clinical trial of CK-2127107, which suggest an encouraging safety and pharmacokinetic profile for this novel activator of skeletal muscle," stated Fady Malik, MD, PhD, FACC, Cytokinetics' Senior Vice President of Research and Early Development. "These results will inform our plans for the further clinical development of this drug candidate."
7:32 am Pentair approves proposed change in place of incorporation; Co remains committed to its long-term goal of $5/share EPS goal in 2015. Capital IQ Consensus for 2015 calls for $4.83 (PNR) : Co announced its Board of Directors has approved changing the place of incorporation of the publicly-traded parent company of Pentair from Switzerland to Ireland. Pentair's shareholders will be asked to vote to approve the proposed change of place of incorporation at an anticipated second quarter 2014 shareholder meeting.
Pending shareholder approval, Pentair expects the change of incorporation location to be effective as soon as practicable following the merger of Pentair, the current Swiss publicly-traded parent company, into a newly-formed Irish company named Pentair plc. Pentair plc will then become the publicly-traded parent company of Pentair and its subsidiaries with its tax residency in the U.K.
The co also stated that it remains committed to its long term growth strategy, its target synergies from the transaction, and its $5/share 2015 EPS goal. Capital IQ Consensus for 2015 calls for $4.83.
7:32 am Gain Capital announces monthly metrics for November 2013; Retail OTC trading volume of $168.3 bln a decrease of 9.6% from October 2013 (GCAP) : Co announced today that Joe Colavito, a distinguished speaker, business consultant and leadership development executive has joined RCS as its Vice President of Communication and Innovation. Mr. Colavito will provide direct support to senior leadership, spearheading a series of projects and initiatives currently in development which are designed to optimize the experience of participants and the overall performance of all RCS external events. He will focus primarily on improvements to RCS's training and education programs.
7:31 am Broadcom raises its Q4 revenue guidance at its Analyst day (BRCM) : Co issues upside guidance for Q4 (Dec), sees Q4 (Dec) revs of $2.00-2.05 bln vs. $1.98 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate and above its prior guidance of $1.95-2.03 bln. The raised outlook was due to better-than-expected revenue in each reportable segment, particularly in Infrastructure & Networking.
- Product Gross Margin: Improved the guided range for Q4'13 to down ~50 -- 75 bps on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis.
- R&D Plus SG&A Expenses: Reduced guided sequential growth range for Q4'13 to up ~$30-50 mln on both a GAAP and non-GAAP basis due to tighter expense management.
7:30 am Navidea Biopharma: FDA grants fast track designation to Navidea Biopharmaceuticals' Lymphoseek for sentinel lymph node detection in patients with head and neck cancer (NAVB) : Co announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to Lymphoseek (technetium 99m tilmanocept) Injection for sentinel lymph node detection in patients with head and neck cancer.
Under the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the Fast Track program was designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drug candidates intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions, and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.
Navidea intends to file the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Lymphoseek before year-end. Lymphoseek was approved by the FDA in March 2013 for use in lymphatic mapping procedures that are performed to help in the diagnostic evaluation of potential cancer spread for patients with breast cancer and melanoma.
7:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Edwards Group (EVAC) announced it will supply the EXT75DX compound turbomolecular pump to Granville-Phillips to form a part of their 835 Vacuum Quality Monitor Differential Pump System.
- Deutsche Post DHL revealed it is equipping its employees with 55,000 Honeywell (HON) Dolphin 99EX mobile computers.
- USEC (USU) announced that a demonstration cascade of 120-machines has operated at commercial plant specifications for 20-machine years. During that performance run, USEC successfully completed the final three milestones set by the Department of Energy for the American Centrifuge research, development and demonstration program.
7:29 am Fifth & Pacific announces agreement to sell lucky brand jeans to an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners for total consideration of $225 mln; Divestitures of Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand Jeans result in estimated net proceeds of $370 to $380 million (FNP) : FNP announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Lucky Brand Jeans to an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) for total consideration of $225 million, with $140 million of the sale price to be paid in cash at closing and the remaining $85 million to be financed in the form of a three year seller note. The seller note can be repaid by LGP at any time prior to the end of its three year term, bears cash interest of $8 million per year, and provides for additional interest of $417,000 per month, resulting in a $100 million maximum payment obligation at maturity. Further, the note will be secured by a first priority lien on the Lucky Brand trademark and also by a second priority lien on the other assets of Lucky Brand that are expected to be pledged to third party lenders. Under LGP's ownership, Lucky Brand Jeans will also assume the proportionate share of FNP's sourcing contract with Li & Fung in addition to other FNP obligations. This $225 million purchase price reflects a multiple of over 7 times the brand's latest twelve months pro forma adjusted standalone EBITDA. Consummation of this transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2014.
At closing, Fifth & Pacific Companies will enter into a Transition Services Agreement (:TSA) with Lucky Brand Jeans in order to support the transferred business while the new owner creates a standalone infrastructure. The TSA is expected to span up to 24 months.
7:27 am Airgas enters into a material definitive agreement for receivable purchase (ARG) : Co announces entered into the Fourth Amendment to the Third Amended and Restated Receivables Purchase Agreement dated March 17, 2010 among the Company, as servicer, Radnor Funding Corp, a bankruptcy-remote special purpose entity and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, as seller, the members of the various purchaser groups from time to time party thereto and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, as administrator. The Amendment extends the expiration date of the Receivables Purchase Agreement from December 4, 2015 to December 5, 2016. The maximum amount of borrowings available to the Company under the Receivables Purchase Agreement remained unchanged as a result of the Amendment.
7:25 am Dollar Nears 80.00: 10-yr: +07/32..2.818%..USD/JPY: 102.99..EUR/USD: 1.3744 (:SUMRX) : The Dollar Index holds slim losses as trade presses the 80.10 area. The weakness has the greenback lower for the third time in four days with overnight weakness providing the first test of the 80.00 level since late-October.
- EURUSD is +5 pips @ 1.3745 as buyers look to remain in control for a fifth straight session. An early bid ran the single currency up to resistance in the 1.3775 area before sellers emerged in defense of the level. Recent action has gotten rather steep, causing some to shift focus towards 1.3600 support. French industrial production (-0.3% MoM actual v. 0.2% MoM expected) was released overnight, falling well short of estimates.
- GBPUSD is +20 pips @ 1.6440 as action holds at its highest level since August 2011. Sterling has seen an early bid despite Britain posting a wider than expected trade deficit (GBP9.7 bln actual v. GBP9.3 bln expected, GBP10.1 bln previous) and manufacturing production posting an in-line 0.4 MoM%. Click here to see a daily GBPUSD chart.
- USDCHF is -5 pips @ .8900 as trade looks to post a sixth day of losses. The .8900 area remains under careful scrutiny as it has managed to hold up since the fall of 2011.
- USDJPY is -15 pips @ 103.10 as trade struggles near the May highs. Today's selling comes despite both the BSI Manufacturing Index (9.7 actual v. 17.2 expected, 15.2 previous) and Tertiary Industry Activity (-0.7% MoM actual v. 0.3% MoM expected) falling short of expectations, continuing the run of mostly disappointing data. A JNN poll released last night showed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's approval rating has slumped to 54.6%, the lowest since he took office, in the wake of news his government is looking to push through secrecy laws.
- AUDUSD is +10 pips @ .9120 amid a rather uneventful trade. The hard currency slid to session lows near .9075 following the in-line NAB Business Confidence survey (5 actual v. 6 previous) and home loans miss (1.0% MoM actual v. 1.3% MoM expected), but managed to reverse to its best levels despite the Chinese industrial production (10.0% YoY actual v. 10.2% YoY expected) and fixed asset investment (19.9% actual v. 20.1% expected) misses. USDCNY was little changed @ 6.0713.
- USDCAD is +10 pips @ 1.0635 after early action managed to hold minor support in the 1.0620 area. Overall, action has been light, limited to a 20 pip range.
7:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- NeuroMetrix (NURO) announced that it had entered into an agreement with Omron Medical Devices, a subsidiary of Omron Healthcare China, to be the exclusive distributor for NC-stat DPNCheck in China.
- Bruker Corporation (BRKR) announced that it has launched the ContourSP large panel metrology system, which more than doubles the measurement throughput of the high-density interconnect substrates in multi-chip modules over previous generation SP models used by the semiconductor packaging industry.
- Samsung Telecommunications America (SSNLF) business customers now have an easy and secure way to access company and personal files when they are not at the office. TappIn, a wholly owned subsidiary of GlobalSCAPE, is now available on the Samsung Solutions Exchange, an online marketplace that addresses the needs of business owners by creating holistic mobile solutions on a robust portfolio of enterprise-grade Samsung Mobile devices.
- Verastem (VSTM) announced the initiation of a Phase 1 trial of VS-5584, a dual mTORC1/2 and PI3K inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma.
- Evolving Systems (EVOL) announced the availability of new self-service mobile applications for nTelos Wireless (NTLS) postpaid and its FRAWG Wireless prepaid customers.
- The Wet Seal (WTSL) announced a partnership with AwesomenessTV on reality series, The Intern.
- Astellas Pharma Global Development and Vical (VICL) announced the initiation of a Phase 2 trial of ASP0113 in ~140 solid organ transplant recipients.
- Xilinx (XLNX) announced availability of its 20nm All Programmable UltraScale portfolio with product documentation and Vivado Design Suite support.
- Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS) announced the initiation of an investigator-sponsored trial of vosaroxin in combination with azacitidine in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome.
- Willis Group (WSH) has appointed Michelle Bishop as client development manager for international private medical insurance. Michelle will work within the UK Employee Benefits practice to help clients with globally mobile employees navigate the international employee benefits landscape.
7:20 am Dominion to deliver additional volumes of natural gas from West Virginia To Ohio interconnection points (D) : Co contracted to deliver 500,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas produced in West Virginia to various interconnections with pipelines in Ohio, as producers look westward to seek new markets for Marcellus production. In conjunction with the farmout with CONSOL, Dominion Transmission and CONSOL have executed a binding precedent agreement to transport 250,000 dekatherms per day from the Fink-Kennedy area to two different points in eastern Ohio.
One is an interconnection with the Texas Eastern pipeline at Mullet, Ohio, and the other an interconnection with the Rockies Express Pipeline in Clarington, Ohio. The contract term is 15 years beginning in November 2016. Dominion has also received commitments from various producers to transport 250,000 DT/day to interconnections in Lebanon, Ohio. These long term contracts begin in June 2014 and continue with various terms up to 21 years.
7:16 am Senesco drug candidate SNS01-T selectively kills cancer cells and not healthy cells in disease models (SNTI) : reported results of preclinical studies with SNS01-T at the 55th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Senesco's drug candidate, SNS01-T, which is the subject of an on-going Phase 1b/2a clinical study in B-cell cancers, induces cell death in cancer cells by reducing the levels of a protective protein and replacing it with a protein that induces cell death.
The drug candidate was taken up more efficiently by malignant B-cells than normal human B-cells in non-clinical studies. Although 50% of normal B-cells took up SNS01-T, it did not cause cell death in the healthy cells, whereas cell death was readily seen in human myeloma cells.
Laboratory studies have already shown that, due to its design, SNS01-T does not produce significant levels of the message that makes the death-inducing protein in normal tissues including heart and liver. The new discoveries provide evidence suggesting SNS01-T may not affect normal human B-cells, which are an important protective component of the body's immune system. This is in contrast to existing B-cell cancer therapies like rituximab, which is widely used in mantle cell and diffuse large cell lymphomas.
7:15 am Kratos Defense and Security unit has received a task order to support US Air Force Cybersecurity operations; award is valued at over $1.5 mln over a one-year period of performance (KTOS) :
7:15 am Taiwan Semi reports Nov sales volumes of NT$44.33 bln vs NT$44.30 bln in Nov 2012 (TSM) :
7:11 am Northern Oil & Gas provides November drilling and completion update (NOG) : Co provides a drilling and completion update for the month of November 2013. During the month of November, Northern participated in 62 gross (4.8 net) wells that were completed and placed into production. Through the first two months of the fourth quarter, Northern had completed 127 gross (9.5 net) wells. These additions bring Northern's year-to-date well additions to 485 gross (36.8 net) wells. As a result, Northern's total producing wells totaled 1,712 gross (143.0 net) as of November 30, 2013. In addition, Northern was participating in 255 gross (16.6 net) wells drilling or awaiting completion as of November 30, 2013.
7:11 am Salix Pharma announces expiration of hart-scott-rodino waiting period for acquisition of Santarus (SLXP) : Co announced that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended in connection with Salix's proposed acquisition of Santarus (SNTS) has expired.
7:10 am Sangamo BioSci presents data from non-human primates providing proof of concept for disruptive and broadly leverageable platform for Protein Replacement Therapies; Therapeutic Levels of gene modification in Sangamo's In Vivo Protein Replacement Platform (SGMO) : Co announced the presentation of new pre-clinical data demonstrating therapeutic levels of gene modification in non-human primates (NHPs) from its In Vivo Protein Replacement Platform. Based on Sangamo's zinc finger DNA-binding protein (:ZFP) genome-editing technology, the platform enables the permanent production of therapeutic proteins from a specific genomic site in the liver with a single systemic treatment, potentially providing curative treatments for a range of monogenic diseases such as hemophilia and lysosomal storage disorders (:LSD) including Gaucher and Fabry disease. Such diseases are currently treated by regular infusions of protein or enzyme replacement therapy (:ERT) throughout the patient's life. The data were presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) which is being held in New Orleans.
"These data provide proof of concept for this broadly applicable genome editing strategy by demonstrating that our process is scalable to large animals and by validating the use of the albumin safe harbor as a site for expression of therapeutic proteins," said Philip Gregory. D. Phil., Sangamo's vice president of research and chief scientific officer. "We have further optimized Sangamo's ZFN system and demonstrated that a single systemic treatment enables stable liver-specific production of replacement protein. Early data in primates suggest that we can achieve circulating levels of protein above the threshold for therapeutic effect, which we believe are sufficient for the correction of a range of monogenic diseases. Our data demonstrate expression of replacement enzymes for multiple different proteins, including those deficient in lysosomal storage disorders, which serves to demonstrate the potential of this approach for a broad range of other monogenic diseases."
7:10 am BioLineRx presents 'positive' preclinical results of Acute Myeloid Leukemia treatment at ASH Conference (BLRX) : BLRX announced that positive preclinical results of BL-8040, for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (:AML) and other hematological indications, have been presented as a poster at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). The data show that BL-8040 is efficient in inducing the death of AML cancer cells both in vitro and in a humanized mouse model.
The data presented in the conference show that BL-8040 directly inhibits AML cell growth and induces cell death, both in cell cultures and in mice engrafted with human AML cells. In addition, the ability of BL-8040 to induce mobilization of AML cells from the bone marrow into the blood circulation enhanced the chemotherapeutic effect of ARA-C (one of the standard-of-care chemotherapies for AML). The effects were even more robust in cells harboring the FLT3 mutation and a synergistic effect was observed when BL-8040 was combined with the FLT3 inhibitor AC220 (Quizartinib).
7:09 am CONSOL Energy provides latest Marcellus Shale well results; acquires Nearly 90,000 acres with Marcellus Shale and upper devonian potential. Six-well Philippi 13 pad shows positive early results (CNX) : Co provided an update on Marcellus Shale well results from several CONSOL-operated drilling pads in Washington County, Pa.
The eleven wells on three pads had an average lateral length of 5,300 feet and were completed with some combination of shorter stage lengths, reduced cluster spacing, and other enhanced production techniques. Initial production from the wells averaged 10.7 MMcfe per day, and ranged from 5.3 MMcfe to 18.4 MMcfe per day.
While EURs1 have yet to be calculated for these wells, the co believes they should easily approach 2.0 Bcfe per thousand lateral feet. The wells were turned into line quickly after flowing back frack fluids.
Separately, in Barbour County, W. Va., CONSOL has recently completed its first pad, the six-well Philippi 13 pad, that employed the same short stage lengths, reduced cluster spacing, and enhanced production techniques with positive early results.
Drillout and flowback activities are ongoing but the first well, PHL 13F which is 8,733 feet in lateral length, recently went into production with a maximum 24-hour flow rate of 13.6 MMcfe per day.
For the co's 2014 Marcellus Shale program, CONSOL Energy intends to make extensive use of these enhanced completion and production techniques. In addition to providing well results, CONSOL Energy has acquired the gas drilling rights to nearly 90,000 contiguous acres from Dominion Transmission, a unit of Dominion Resources. The majority of the acreage, which is associated with Dominion's Fink-Kennedy, Lost Creek, and Racket Newberne gas storage fields in West Virginia, lies in the northern portion of Lewis County and the southern portion of Harrison County. CONSOL anticipates that over one-half of the acres will have wet gas.
CONSOL Energy has acquired the gas rights to both the Marcellus Shale and the Upper Devonian formations in the storage fields. A total gross consideration of up to $190 mln will be paid in two installments -- approx. 50% paid at closing last week, with the balance due over time as the acres are drilled. CONSOL has also committed to be an anchor shipper on Dominion's transmission system.
7:09 am AngioDynamics comments on new reimbursement rate for hospital-based varicose vein ablations; beginning January 1, 2014, hospital-based RF and laser procedures will be reimbursed under Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) 0219 at an average rate of $2,139 (ANGO) : ANGO announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has created a new Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) that includes both in-hospital endovenous radiofrequency (RF) treatments and in-hospital endovenous laser varicose vein ablation, such as the Company's VenaCure EVLT procedure.
The 2014 CMS fee schedule establishes new reimbursement rates for hospital-based laser and RF treatment of varicose veins. In 2013, the reimbursement for RF treatments and laser vein ablation averaged $3,025 and $1,959, respectively. Beginning January 1, 2014, hospital-based RF and laser procedures will be reimbursed under Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) 0219 at an average rate of $2,139. The Company estimates 20% of all U.S.-based thermal varicose vein ablations are performed in the hospital setting. "We are pleased the new CMS APC increases payment for laser vein ablation by 9% while creating in-hospital reimbursement parity for thermal varicose vein ablation procedures," said John Soto, Senior Vice President, Global Franchise, Peripheral Vascular. "We believe the new APC will make it easier for clinicians to focus on the best clinical care for their patients."
7:07 am Henry Schein announces $300 mln increase to share repurchase plan (HSIC) : HSIC announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $300 million of shares of the Company's common stock. This program is in addition to the $300 million repurchase program announced in November 2012, which as of today has approximately $12.3 million remaining authorized for future repurchases. Co had approximately 86 million shares outstanding as of September 28, 2013, and this new authorization represents approximately three percent of shares outstanding at the current stock price.
7:07 am NewLink Genetics initiates phase 1 clinical trial of NLG919, a novel immune checkpoint inhibitor for cancer immunotherapy (NLNK) : Co announced the initiation of a first in human Phase 1 clinical trial of NLG919. This is NewLink's second IDO (indoleamine-(2,3)-dioxygenase) pathway inhibitor that will initially be tested in patients with recurrent advanced solid tumors. NLG919 is a small-molecule, orally bioavailable, immune checkpoint inhibitor designed to counteract a fundamental mechanism by which tumors evade immune-mediated destruction.
NLG919 represents a novel class of compounds in NewLink's IDO pathway platform. This platform includes indoximod, NewLink's most advanced IDO pathway inhibitor, which is currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of breast cancer.
In preclinical studies, NLG919 has demonstrated encouraging activity in solid tumor models and shown that IDO pathway inhibition is critical to reversal of the local immune suppression which impairs immunological detection and destruction of tumors. NewLink has shown that NLG919 inhibits the IDO pathway by a complementary, yet different mechanism of action than indoximod. Furthermore, preclinical data showing that the combined activity of different checkpoint inhibitors, including distinct IDO inhibitors such as NLG919 and indoximod as well as other agents targeting the PD-1 and CTLA-4 pathways, can function synergistically against cancer.
7:06 am Spectrum Pharma announces submission of new drug application for Belinostat, a novel pan-HDAC inhibitor (SPPI) : Co commercial and drug development operations and a primary focus in hematology and oncology, announced today the that the company has submitted a New Drug Application (:NDA) to the FDA for approval of Belinostat, a pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma (R/R PTCL).
Belinostat is differentiated from other HDAC inhibitors that selectively inhibit a single class of HDAC enzymes by virtue of its inhibition of all 3 classes of the zinc-dependent HDAC enzymes (Class I, Class II and Class IV); this leads to different alterations in histone and non-histone protein acetylation that, in turn, could importantly influence chromatin accessibility, gene transcription, and activity in different cancer patients, including those who develop drug resistant disease.
7:05 am Hi-Tech Pharmacal beats by $0.20, beats on revs (HITK) : Reports Q2 (Oct) earnings of $0.71 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.20 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.51; revenues rose 1.9% year/year to $58.6 mln vs the $56.45 mln consensus.
Briefing note: On August 27, 2013, the Company entered into a definitive agreement under which Akorn (AKRX) will acquire the Company for cash. Under the terms of the
for $43.50 per share.
7:05 am Merck advances development program for investigational alzheimer's disease therapy, MK-8931 (MRK) : Co provided an update on the development program for MK-8931, a novel investigational oral -amyloid precursor protein site-cleaving enzyme inhibitor. The Data Monitoring Committee (:DMC) for the Phase II/III "EPOCH" study in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease recently completed its planned interim safety analysis and recommended that the trial continue to recruit patients, with no changes to the protocol.
The DMC recommendation was made following a planned analysis of interim safety data that included a safety cohort of 200 patients treated with MK-8931 for at least 3 months. Based upon the DMC's recommendations, Merck will continue enrollment of the EPOCH study. In addition, Merck will initiate dosing in a new Phase III study (APECS study) evaluating MK-8931 in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease, also known as prodromal Alzheimer's disease.
7:04 am Emergent BioSolutions shows positive results in combination with rituximab in people with CLL; Otlertuzumab was well tolerated in Cohort 1. 54% of patients experienced infusion reactions (EBS) : Co announced preliminary results from a Phase 1b single-arm, open-label study evaluating the safety and efficacy of otlertuzumab (TRU-016) in combination with rituximab in people with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (:CLL) (Study 16009). Data from the first cohort to have completed enrollment, presented during the American Society of Hematology annual meeting, showed that the combination was active and well tolerated.
Otlertuzumab is a humanized anti-CD37 monospecific protein therapeutic, built on Emergent's ADAPTIRTM (modular protein technology) platform, that targets the CD37 signaling pathway involved in B-cell malignancies such as CLL, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (:NHL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (:DLBCL) and other cancers of the blood.
Overall response rate (:ORR) by 2008 International Workshop on CLL (:IWCLL) Response Criteria was the primary efficacy endpoint of the study.
For the 20 patients who have necessary CT scans and have completed treatment, the ORR per IWCLL criteria was 50%. Complete response (CR), one of the secondary endpoints, was 5%.
One patient was minimal residual disease (:MRD) negative on examination of bone marrow by 5 color flow cytometry. The response by investigator assessment using National Cancer Institute criteria was an ORR of 96% and CR of 33% .
Otlertuzumab was well tolerated in Cohort 1. 54% of patients experienced infusion reactions, most of which were grade 1 or 2 with only two grade 3 reactions. None of the infusion reactions resulted in study drug discontinuation.
7:03 am Buckle announces a $1.20/share special cash dividend and a 10% increase in regular quarterly dividend to $0.22/share (BKE) : Co announced that at its quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors, held on December 9, 2013, the Board authorized a $1.20 per share special cash dividend to be paid to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2014.
The Board also authorized a $0.22 per share quarterly dividend to be paid to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2014. This represents an increase of $0.02 per share, or 10%, in the Co's regular quarterly dividend rate.
Both the $1.20 per share special cash dividend and the $0.22 per share regular quarterly dividend are payable on January 27, 2014 and will be paid together.
7:01 am AutoZone beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (AZO) : Reports Q1 (Nov) earnings of $6.29 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $6.28; revenues rose 5.2% year/year to $2.09 bln vs the $2.1 bln consensus.
For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 51.9% (versus 51.8% for last year's quarter). The improvement in gross margin was attributable to lower acquisition costs that were offset primarily by the inclusion of the recent acquisition of AutoAnything (37 bps). Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 33.5% (versus 33.6% last year). The decrease in operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, was primarily due to a shift in the timing of advertising expenditures.
Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 678 thousand shares of its common stock for $292 million during the first quarter, at an average price of $430 per share. At the end of the first quarter, the Company had $177 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.
The Company's inventory increased 9.1% over the same period last year, driven by a combination of increased product placement in stores and new store openings. Inventory per store was $566 thousand versus $537 thousand last year and $550 thousand last quarter. Net inventory, defined as merchandise inventories less accounts payable, on a per store basis was a negative $88 thousand versus negative $64 thousand last year.
6:49 am Outerwall updates progress on operating review and capital structure initiatives; Implements additional actions expected to achieve $22 mln of annual cost savings; shutdown of Crisp Market will result in a tax benefit of $0.56 to $0.59 in diluted EPS in Q4; raises Q4 EPS above consensus; sees Q4 revenue in line (OUTR) : Co announced progress on its previously announced operating review and capital structure initiatives. This progress includes:
- The discontinuation of three new venture concepts; A leadership transition at Redbox
- Cost reduction initiatives that are expected to result in $22 million of annual cost savings beginning in the first quarter of 2014.
- A $350 million expansion of Outerwall's existing senior secured credit facility, which will enable the company to meet its previously announced target leverage ratio in the first quarter of 2014.
The company's shutdown of Crisp Market will result in a tax benefit of $0.56 to $0.59 in diluted EPS in the fourth quarter of 2013, through the use of a worthless stock deduction. The tax benefit will be reported in the company's non-core, continuing operations*; in addition, the company expects a related cash tax savings of $14.6 million to $15.3 million in the first quarter of 2014.
The company also announced a leadership transition as Redbox president Anne Saunders has left the business. Leadership responsibilities for Redbox will be managed on an interim basis by the existing Redbox executive team, overseen by Di Valerio, until the position is filled on a permanent basis. Outerwall will commence a search and expects to fill the role in the coming months. In addition to savings from the reduced spending in New Ventures,
Outerwall is implementing actions to reduce costs by approximately $22 million annually beginning in 2014, primarily through workforce reductions across the enterprise. These savings will be offset by a one-time, non-core pre-tax charge of approximately $5.0 million incurred in the fourth quarter of 2013 associated with severance and other costs to implement the plan. Between the closure of certain new ventures and additional reductions across the enterprise, the company has reduced its workforce by 251 positions, an 8.5% reduction.
Outerwall has increased the accordion option under its credit facility to provide an additional $350 million of debt, comprised of a $200 million Term Loan A and an additional $150 million of revolver capacity.
Co issues guidance for Q4 (Dec), raises EPS to $1.18-1.33 from prior guidance of $1.09-1.24, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 (Dec) revs of $583-608 mln (prior guidance $585-610 mln) vs. $596.69 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
6:43 am Hyperdynamics names David Wesson as Chief Financial Officer (HDY) : Co announce it has appointed David Wesson as its new Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Wesson, who currently serves as the Controller, will assume this new role effective January 1. He succeeds Paul Reinbolt, who will step down from the CFO position at the end of December.
6:41 am S&P futures vs fair value: +3.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.50. :
6:41 am European Markets : FTSE...6568.20...+8.60...+0.10%. DAX...9210.06...+14.90...+0.20%.
6:41 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15611.31...-38.90...-0.30%. Hang Seng...23744.19...-67.00...-0.30%.
6:35 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- JMC Homes recently opened The Executive Series at Lakeside in Lincoln, CA, offering all new homes with solar as standard, in a partnership with PetersenDean Roofing & Solar and Canadian Solar (CSIQ).
- Krispy Kreme (KKD) announced today that it plans to open its first store in Taiwan on Thursday December 12, 2013. The new store will be the first of 10 planned Krispy Kreme stores in Taiwan over the next five years by Krispy Kreme's new franchise partner, Huan Hsin.
- Cellcom Israel (CEL) announced it has entered an agreement with Pelephone Communications, and Golan Telecom, for the construction and operation of a shared 4G radio network, an agreement with Pelephone for the sharing of passive elements of cell sites for existing networks and an Indefeasible Right of Use agreement with Golan, regarding the Company's 2G and 3G radio networks.
- CGG (CGG) announced that it has signed a contract with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate relating to the Seismic, Well and Production modules in the Diskos database, the National Data Repository of Norway. The scope of the contract includes implementation of software during 2014 and operation of the database from 2015 through to the end of 2020. - Optimal Payments launched an integrated payment processing and fraud management solution specifically designed to serve the online retail clients of Magento, a e-commerce platform owned by eBay (EBAY) with more than 150,000 merchants worldwide.
- HP (HPQ) announced an innovative collaboration with Conservation International -- a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting nature for people -- to dramatically improve the accuracy and speed of analysis of data collection in environmental science.
- Hanwha SolarOne (HSOL) announced it has supplied modules for two projects with an aggregate capacity of 50 MW to one of China's largest state-owned power companies, China Huaneng Group. The modules were delivered to two separate utility-scale installations: (i) an approximately 30 MW in Qingtongxia, a city in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and (ii) a 20 MW project in Wuchuan, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
- TowerJazz (TSEM) and Silicon Works Co, a leading Korean fabless company, announced today a power management integrated circuit with an embedded LED driver IC was developed utilizing TowerJazz's 0.18um Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS process.
6:31 am Trunkbow enters into merger agreement for 'going private' transaction for $1.46/share (TBOW) : Co announced that it has entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger with Trunkbow Merger Group Limited, a business company with limited liability incorporated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands and wholly owned by Dr. Wanchun Hou, chairman of our board of directors, and Mr. Qiang Li, our chief executive officer and director, and Trunkbow International Merger Sub Limited, a Nevada corporation and a wholly owned, direct subsidiary of Parent, pursuant to which Parent will acquire the Company for $1.46 per share of the Company's common stock without interest.
The Merger Consideration represents a 24.8% premium over the closing price on November 1, 2012, the last trading day prior to the Company's announcement on November 2, 2012 that it had received a "going private" proposal, and a 48.6% premium over the 30-trading day volume weighted average price as of the same date.
Co also announced that it expects net income for the full year of 2013 to be in the range of $7.2 million to $7.8 million, with the second half of 2013 representing a substantial turnaround as compared to the first half of 2013.
6:22 am Burlington Stores reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (BURL) : Reports Q3 (Oct) loss of $0.05 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of ($0.05); revenues rose 10.0% year/year to $1.06 bln vs the $1.05 bln consensus. Q3 Comparable store sales increased 3.9%
- Fourth quarter Comp Store Sales to be between 2% - 3%
- Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA margin rate to be 30-40 basis points better than last year
6:05 am American Capital's European Capital receives proceeds of EUR 28.8 mln and achieves a 1.7x money multiple from alliance automotive group refinancing (ACAS) : Co announced that they have received proceeds of 28.8 mln from exiting their two investments in Alliance Industrie and Financiere Alliance Industrie. European Capital's exit comes as Alliance Automotive Group's shareholders have decided to refinance its indebtedness with a EUR 185 mln high-yield private bond. European Capital realized a 1.8x money multiple and 11% IRR on its investment in Alliance Industrie and a 1.1x money multiple and 24% IRR on its investment in Financiere Alliance Industrie.
European Capital supported the Weinberg buy-out in 2006 by providing EUR 6 mln of second lien and 13 mln of mezzanine. In 2013, European Capital financed the acquisition of Precisium Groupe, a direct competitor of Alliance Industrie, through an additional 4 mln of mezzanine.
6:03 am Plains All Amer announces new permian basin expansion activities (PAA) : Co announced four projects that are part of its plan to significantly increase and expand its Permian Basin pipeline infrastructure over the next few years to keep pace with rising production volumes. These four projects, as well as several other projects currently under review, will result in aggregate investments of ~$400 mln to $500 mln.
The four projects are expected to be completed in stages throughout 2014 and early 2015 and include the construction of three new large diameter pipelines that will increase the Partnership's takeaway capacity in support of crude oil production growth in the Delaware and South Midland Basins and will support gathering systems the Partnership is constructing in the Avalon, Bone Spring and South Spraberry developments.
Co announced it is constructing approximately 45 miles of new crude oil pipeline that will complement its existing Mississippian Lime pipelines and will further service growing production in the Mississippian Lime resource play. The pipeline is expected to be brought into service in the first quarter of 2014.
6:02 am Chipmos Technology reports Nov revs increased 0.6% YoY to NT$1.62 bln (IMOS) : Revenue for the month of November 2013 was NT$1,620.5 million or $54.8 million, a decrease of 0.9% from the month of October 2013 and an increase of 0.6% from the same period in 2012. All U.S. figures in this release are based on the exchange rate of NT$29.59 to $1.00 as of November 29, 2013.
6:02 am Pacific Premier announced today that Steven R. Gardner, President and Chief Executive Officer, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank (PPBI) : Co announced that Steven Gardner, President and Chief Executive Officer, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. Gardner will serve a four-year term beginning January 1, 2014 and ending December 31, 2017. The Board of Directors is voted upon by the member financial institutions.
5:54 am Volkswagen AG recorded November metrics with volumes up 3.4% to 522,100 (November 2012: 504,800) units (VLKAY) : In the Asia-Pacific region, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand grew deliveries by 15.8 percent from January to November, handing over 2.46 (2.12) million vehicles to customers, of which 2.26 (1.92; +17.5 percent) million units were delivered in China (including Hong Kong), the region's largest single market. In contrast, deliveries in India declined to 54,300 (63,600; -14.7 percent) units. In the North America region, the delivery level was unchanged, with the brand handing over 563,000 vehicles, of which 373,700 (394,100; -5.2 percent) new models were handed over to customers in the United States.
5:35 am Lake Share Gold increases 2014 production guidance (LSG) : Co provides updated guidance for 2014, including target gold production of 160,000 to 180,000 ounces. Previously, the Company had indicated a target range for annual production of 140,000 to 160,000 ounces. Other guidance for 2014 includes cash operating cost per ounce sold between $675 and $775 and all-in sustaining cost per ounce sold between $950 and $1,050.
5:33 am Toll Brothers beats by $0.10, reports revs in-line (TOL) : Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $0.54 per share, $0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.44; revenues rose 65.1% year/year to $1.04 bln vs the $1.04 bln consensus.
- FY 2013's fourth-quarter gross margin improved to 21.3% from 20.1% in FY 2012's fourth quarter. Excluding write-downs and interest, FY 2013's fourth-quarter gross margin improved to 25.4% from 24.6% in FY 2012's fourth quarter. For FY 2013, gross margin, excluding interest and write-downs, was 24.6%, compared to 24.0% for FY 2012.
- FY 2013's fourth-quarter net signed contracts of $839.0 mln and 1,163 rose 23% in dollars and 6% in units, compared to FY 2012's fourth-quarter net signed contracts of $684.1 mln and 1,098 units.
- The average price per unit of net contracts signed in FY 2013's fourth quarter was $721,000, compared to $706,000 in FY 2013's third quarter and $623,000 in FY 2012's fourth quarter.
- FY 2013's fourth-quarter cancellation rate (current-quarter cancellations divided by current-quarter signed contracts) was 5.5%, compared to 4.6% in FY 2012's fourth quarter. As a percentage of beginning-quarter backlog, FY 2013's fourth-quarter cancellation rate was 1.7%, compared to 2.1% in FY 2012's fourth quarter.
- The Company ended FY 2013 with a backlog of approximately $2.63 bln and 3,679 units, which increased 57% in dollars and 43% in units, compared to FY 2012's year-end backlog of $1.67 bln and 2,569 units.
- Based on FYE 2013's backlog and the pace of activity at its communities, the Company currently estimates it will deliver between 5,100 and 6,100 homes in FY 2014. It believes the average delivered price for FY 2014 will be between $670,000 and $720,000 per home.
3:54 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- EnerNOC (ENOC) announced that EnerNOC and Marubeni Corp have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture to provide demand response in Japan.
- Ed4Online will offer the Thuze library of eTextbooks to students across the country under the terms of a new partnership with Bridgepoint Education (BPI).
- CoreSite Realty (COR), a provider of network-dense, cloud-enabled data center products and services, announces that its NY2 facility, located in Secaucus, NJ, opened on December 2.
- InterDigital (IDCC) announced that its Innovation Partners unit has signed a collaboration agreement with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a multi-technological applied research organization in Northern Europe.
3:50 am Huntsman to issue EUR200 mln in Senior Notes due 2021 (HUN) :
3:44 am Cell Therapeutics presents interim results from Phase 2 Tosedostat Trial in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (CTIC) : Co presents promising interim results from an investigator-initiated Phase 2 clinical trial of tosedostat in combination with cytarabine or decitabine in newly diagnosed older patients with acute myeloid leukemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome. Tosedostat is a first-in-class selective inhibitor of aminopeptidases, which are required by tumor cells to provide amino acids necessary for growth and tumor cell survival. Tosedostat is administered orally and has been previously shown to induce complete remissions as monotherapy in relapsed or refractory AML.
This presentation reported on the results of 26 patients (median age was 69) enrolled in the first dose cohort. Patients were randomized to treatment with tosedostat in combination with either cytarabine or decitabine. Fourteen out of 26 (54%) patients in this cohort had either a complete response (39%) or complete response with incomplete blood count recovery (CRi; n=4, 15%). The%age of complete responses was comparable between arms. Seven (50%) of the 14 CR/CRi were achieved in patients with poor-risk cytogenetic features. Importantly, 10 of the 26 patients subsequently went on to receive hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The study achieved its primary objective with 21 (82%) patients alive at four months. Median overall survival was encouraging at ~12 months for both study arms. Tosedostat combination therapy was well tolerated and predominantly administered as an outpatient therapy. The primary side effects of the combination therapy, the majority of which were associated with the cytarabine arm, included febrile neutropenia (50%), pulmonary infections (31%) and sepsis (19%). Clinically significant non-hematological toxicities were uncommon and predominantly low grade.
3:41 am A.O. Smith executive chairman to retire, Ajita Rajendra named chairman and CEO (AOS) : Co announces that Executive Chairman Paul Jones has decided to retire following the company's Annual Shareholders Meeting in April 2014.
The company's Board of Directors has elected Ajita Rajendra as chairman of the Milwaukee-based water technology company effective upon Jones' retirement. Rajendra will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer of the company. Jones will remain a member of the company's Board of Directors.
3:38 am Celgene reports REVLIMID-Treated patients with deletion-5q MDS who achieve transfusion-independence of at least 26 weeks and AML-free survival associated with cytogenetic response (CELG) : Co presents results from a retrospective analysis of patients with International Prognostic Scoring System Low- or Intermediate-1-risk myelodysplastic syndromes with del(5q) treated with REVLIMID were presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting in New Orleans, La.
In the analysis, 286 patients from the MDS-003 and MDS-004 studies received lenalidomide from the study start. Of the total, 181 were evaluable for both cytogenic response and red-blood cell transfusion independence (RBC-TI) of at least 26 weeks, (88 patients from MDS-003 and 93 patients from MDS-004).
Of those 181 patients, 130 had isolated del(5q), 32 had del(5q) plus 1 additional abnormality, 14 had del(5q) plus more than 1 additional abnormality, and 5 patients had missing cytogenetics at baseline.
A total of 103 patients (56.9%) achieved a CyR (complete and partial response). The likelihood of a CyR was increased in patients who achieved RBC-TI of at least 26 weeks compared with those who did not: 71% versus 31%. CyR rates were comparable across the isolated del(5q) and del(5q) plus 1 additional abnormality groups (59% vs. 63%, but lower in the del(5q) plus more than 1 additional abnormality group compared to these 2 groups combined. In patients with isolated del(5q) and del(5q) plus 1 additional abnormality, CyR was associated with a 41% and 58% reduction, respectively, in the risk of AML or death compared with no CyR. In all cytogenetic groups, median AML-free survival was longer in those who achieved CyR compared with non-responders, although it was not statistically significant in patients with del(5q) more than 1 additional abnormality. In a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, factors associated with AML-free survival were CyR, total REVLIMID dose in cycle 1, lower IPSS-R categorization, female gender, and younger age.
3:32 am Ambit Biosciences announces 4 presentations including results of phase 2b randomized, open-label study of lower doses of quizartinib in flt3 itd positive relapsed refractory acute myeloid leukemia patients (AMBI) : Co announces four oral presentations given at the 55th Annual ASH Conference in New Orleans, with data highlighting the Company's lead drug candidate, quizartinib.
Results of the Phase 2b Randomized, Open-Label, Study of Lower Doses of Quizartinib in Subjects with FLT3-ITD Positive Relapsed Acute Myeloid Leukemia (:AML): The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy and safety of lower doses of quizartinib in the treatment of patients 18-years or older with relapsed/refractory FLT3 ITD positive AML to further improve the benefit:risk assessment of quizartinib.
This preliminary analysis is based on data available through May 28, 2013 with a minimum of eight weeks of follow up since the last subject first visit. A total of 76 patients were enrolled from May 21, 2012 to March 27, 2013. Median age for all patients was 55 (19-77) and 92% were FLT3-ITD. 35 patients remained in follow-up at the time of the analysis, and are currently censored for overall survival. The following key information was presented:
For dose of 30mg:
- The CRc rate was 47 percent (5 percent CR+CRp, 42 percent CRi)
- The rate of HSCT after quizartinib use was 32 percent
- The median overall survival was 20.7 weeks, with 16/38 patients censored as they remained in follow-up at the time of the analysis
- Of the 12 patients who were bridged to HSCT, the median overall survival was 31 weeks
- Grade 2 or greater QT prolongation was 11%, with a 5% grade 3 rate and no grade 4 events
- The CRc rate was 47 percent (5 percent CR+CRp, 42 percent CRi)
- The rate of HSCT after quizartinib use was 42 percent
- The median overall survival was 25.4 weeks, with 19/38 patients censored as they remained in follow-up at the time of the analysis
- Of the 16 patients who were bridged to HSCT, the median overall survival is 28.1 weeks
- Grade 2 or greater QT prolongation was 17%, with a 3% grade 3 rate and no grade 4 events
Next steps include a global phase 3 randomized study of quizartinib in FLT3-ITD(+) patients in 1st relapse planned to start in early 2014 pending final FDA feedback on our recommended starting dose.
3:22 am Volvo to sell Volvo Rents to private equity firm for ~SEK7.2 bln (VOLVY) : Co announces it has agreed to sell Volvo Rents to the US private equity firm Platinum Equity for ~SEK 7.2 bln. At closing, net financial debt in the Volvo Group's Industrial Operation is expected to be reduced by the same amount.
The transaction is expected have a negative impact on the Group's operating income of ~SEK 1.5 bln in the fourth quarter of 2013.
3:17 am LDK Solar enters into further forbearance with noteholders (LDK) : Co announces that it has entered into a new 30-day forbearance arrangement with holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of its US$-Settled 10% Senior Notes due 2014. The new forbearance arrangement, which expires on January 9, 2014, relates to the interest payment due under the Notes on August 28, 2013. That interest payment is still unpaid. It is LDK Solar's intention to find a consensual solution to its obligations under the Notes as soon as possible and LDK Solar remains hopeful that it will be able to achieve that goal.
3:13 am lululemon athletica appoints Laurent Potdevin as CEO (LULU) : Co announces its Board has appointed Laurent Potdevin as the company's Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors. Potdevin will succeed Christine Day, who has served as the company's CEO since 2008 and who announced her intention to resign in June 2013. Potdevin is expected to step into his role as Chief Executive Officer in January 2014, and will become a director when he assumes his duties as CEO. Ms. Day is expected to remain with lululemon through the end of the company's fiscal year, ensuring a smooth transition. Potdevin comes to lululemon having most recently served as President of TOMS Shoes
In addition, Chip Wilson, lululemon's founder and the Chairman of its Board of Directors, informed the Board of Directors that he is resigning from the position of non-executive Chairman. Wilson will step down from the role effective prior to the company's annual meeting in June 2014. The Board has selected Michael Casey, Lead Director of the Board of Directors, as the next Chairman of the Board. Casey is expected to assume this role upon Wilson's resignation. This will allow time for an orderly transition and continuity in lululemon's leadership structure. Wilson will retain a seat on the Board of Directors.
3:00 am Savient Pharma reaches agreement on use of cash collateral (SVNTQ) : Co announces that an agreement in principle has been reached by and among Savient, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors appointed in Savient's Chapter 11 case and the Unofficial Committee of Senior Secured Noteholders, whose members hold approximately 90% of Savient's senior secured notes. As part of the agreement, it is anticipated that the UCC will withdraw its objection and consent to entry of a final order authorizing Savient's continued use of cash collateral by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The Parties anticipate submitting a proposed Final Cash Collateral Order for consideration and approval by the Court on or before the hearing to consider the Final Cash Collateral Order, currently scheduled to take place on December 13, 2013. If entered by the Court, the proposed Final Cash Collateral Order would, among other things, provide for the distribution of proceeds from the sale of all or substantially all of Savient's assets and of additional amounts of cash collateral to the Secured Noteholders promptly after the Sale closing.
2:57 am Rambus and Micron (MU) sign license agreement (RMBS) : Rambus (RMBS) and Micron Technology (MU) announce they have signed a broad patent cross license agreement. Under the agreement, Micron gains the right to use any Rambus patent for the manufacture of specified integrated circuit products, including any memory integrated circuit products. Certain of these memory products will enjoy a perpetual, paid-up license after the end of the initial term. The agreement requires quarterly royalty payments to Rambus over the next seven years capped at $10 million per quarter, with a rolling twelve-month cap fixed at $40 million, or $280 million during the initial term. In addition, Micron will have the option to extend the initial term of this agreement for additional renewal periods. As part of this agreement, the two companies have settled all outstanding patent and antitrust claims, and the agreement covers both Micron and Elpida products. Other terms and details of the agreement are confidential.
2:53 am Vitran to be acquired by Manitoulin Transport for $6.00 per share (VTNC) : Vitran Corporation (VTNC) announces that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement under which 2398946 Ontario an affiliate of Manitoulin Transport, will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Vitran for $6.00 in cash per share. The total transaction, including the assumption of Vitran's outstanding net debt of ~$29 million at October 31, 2013, is valued at ~$128 million. The $6.00 share price represents a 10.3% premium to Vitran's closing price on NASDAQ on December 9, 2013, and a 38.2% premium to the closing price on NASDAQ on September 20, 2013, the day before the announcement of the sale of Vitran's US LTL business.
2:48 am Samson Oil & Gas provides operational update on its North Stockyard Project (SSN) : Co provides update on its NORTH STOCKYARD PROJECT in ND
Blackdog 3-13-14H (SSN WI 25.03%)
The Blackdog well successfully set and cemented the 7 inch casing in the Middle Bakken at 11,691 feet measured depth, 11,341 feet true vertical depth. Currently the 6 inch lateral portion of the well is being drilled at a depth of 15,258 feet. The forward plan is to drill the Blackdog to a total depth of 19,987 feet.
This well will be a middle Bakken lateral and is the infill location between the Rodney 1-14H well (SSN WI 27.18%) and the Sail and Anchor 1-13-14HBK well (SSN WI 25.03%).
Coopers 2-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%),
The 22 stage plug and perf stimulation treatment commenced on December 3rd as planned. Currently eleven stages of the frac have been completed as of December 9th. Operations have been delayed due to extremely cold weather and the subsequent effect on operations including frac line sand manifolds being frozen. After completion of the Coopers well, the forward plan is to fracture stimulate the Tooheys, which will be a 24 stage sliding sleeve configuration.
Tooheys 4-15-14HBK (SSN WI 27.7%),
Fracture stimulation was expected to commence on December 8th, following the Coopers frac. With the weather delays experienced in the Coopers stimulation this frac has been pushed back. The completion configuration is a 24 stage sliding sleeve.
2:43 am American Airlines: US Airways Group 7.25% Conv Senior Notes due 2014 become convertible into shares of AAL stock (AAL) : US Airways Group (LCC) announced that, as a result of the Company's merger with AMR Merger Sub, pursuant to which the Company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group (AAL) as contemplated by the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of Feb 13, 2013, its 7.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2014 have become convertible into cash, shares of AAG common stock or a combination thereof at the Company's election.
2:39 am Pharmacyclics study results published in Lancet Oncology; progression free survival at 24 months was 96.3% in Phase 1b/2 trial (PCYC) : Co announces that The Lancet Oncology published results of a study evaluating ibrutinib in previously untreated elderly patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma. The Phase 1b/2 open-label, multicenter study evaluated 31 patients, 65 years of age and older with CLL or SLL. The primary endpoint of the study was safety, as assessed by the frequency and severity of adverse events, while the secondary objectives assessed the clinical activity of single agent ibrutinib. Only one patient out of the 31 enrolled in this cohort has had progression of disease.
After a median follow-up of 22.1 months, the overall response rate for patients was 71%, which included 55% partial response, 3% nodular partial response and 13% complete response. An additional 13% of patients achived a partial response with lymphocytosis. The median time to initial response was 1.9 months; the median time to best response and complete response were 5.9 months and 12.0 months, respectively.
Across all patients, the estimated progression-free survival and overall survival at 24 months were 96.3%.
2:31 am Analysts Intl presents preclinical data on ALN-AT3 (ANLY) : Co presents new pre-clinical data with ALN-AT3, a subcutaneously administered RNAi therapeutic targeting antithrombin for the treatment of hemophilia and rare bleeding disorders. In these new studies, repeat administration of ALN-AT3 was found to be well tolerated in Hemophilia A mice, with no adverse findings up to dose levels 200 times greater than levels required to achieve 50% AT knockdown. Further, the new studies demonstrate that ALN-AT3 administration achieves complete correction of the activated Partial Thromboplastin Time -- an ex vivo measure of blood coagulation that is significantly prolonged in hemophilia -- in HA mice. ALN-AT3 is a key program in the company's "Alnylam 5x15" product strategy, which is aimed at advancing five RNAi therapeutic programs directed toward genetically validated disease targets into clinical development, including programs in advanced stages, by the end of 2015.
Co presented data demonstrating that, in contrast to wild type mice, repeat administration of ALN-AT3 was very well tolerated in HA mice. Specifically, HA mice treated with ALN-AT3 exhibited no adverse events up to 100 mg/kg -- a dose that is 200-fold greater than the mouse ED50 and that essentially ablates AT protein levels in blood. In fact, 100% of the treated HA mice survived, with no adverse clinical signs or changes to body weight parameters. In WT mice (with intact coagulation systems), repeat administration of over 10 mg/kg ALN-AT3 led to greater than 90% knockdown of plasma AT, and resulted in the expected procoagulant phenotype and poor tolerability. This result was expected since AT knockout in mice and homozygous AT deficiency in humans are known to be embryonic lethal. To evaluate the potential reversal of ALN-AT3 efficacy, WT mice treated with 100 mg/kg ALN-AT3 were also treated with exogenous human AT protein. Co-administration of human AT conferred complete protection from prothrombotic adverse events observed in WT mice receiving ALN-AT3 alone, demonstrating that human AT protein could serve as a potential reversal agent for ALN-AT3, if needed. In addition, HA mice treated with ALN-AT3 exhibited significant reductions in aPTT relative to control HA mice. Specifically, the aPTT in HA mice, which is significantly prolonged, was corrected back to aPTT values observed in WT mice. Collectively, these data suggest a substantially expanded therapeutic index of AT knockdown in the hemophilia disease condition, and confirm the active effects for ALN-AT3 that are expected to reset insufficient thrombin generation in people with hemophilia.
Alnylam remains on track to begin a Phase I trial with ALN-AT3 early in 2014. Alnylam announced that it has received CTA approval from the MHRA for the initiation of the Phase I clinical study. The study will be conducted in the U.K. as a single- and multi-dose, dose-escalation study consisting of two parts.
2:25 am Agios Pharma presents preclinical data from lead programs (AGIO) : Co presents that data from its lead programs were highlighted at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting this week in New Orleans.
Two presentations featured in vivo efficacy data in acute myelogenous leukemia for the company's lead cancer metabolism programs targeting IDH1 and IDH2 mutations. In AML and other cancers, IDH1 and IDH2 mutations initiate and drive cancer growth by blocking maturation of primitive cells. The data presented at ASH demonstrate preclinical single agent and combination efficacy of Agios' IDH mutant inhibitors in patient-derived primary models of AML. Agios also presented data on AG-348, its lead inborn errors of metabolism program candidate focused on pyruvate kinase deficiency, a rare, inherited hemolytic anemia with no approved therapeutic options.
- "AG-221 offers a survival advantage in a primary human IDH2 mutant AML xenograft model," an oral presentation, provides strong preclinical in vivo evidence of AG-221's potential clinical benefit for patients with tumors that harbor an IDH2 mutation. AG-221 is a potent, selective, orally available IDH2 mutant inhibitor currently in clinical trials for patients with hematologic malignancies. In this study, Agios scientists evaluated the efficacy of AG-221 as a single agent in a primary human model of aggressive AML carrying an IDH2 mutation. AG-221 caused a potent reduction in 2HG, the oncometabolite produced by the mutant IDH2 protein, found in the bone marrow, plasma and urine of engrafted mice. Treatment also induced a dose-dependent, statistically significant survival benefit in which all mice in the high-dose treatment group survived to the end of the study.
- "IDH1 mutant inhibitor induces cellular differentiation and offers a combination benefit with Ara-C in a primary human IDH1 mutant AML xenograft model," a poster, evaluates the use of AGI-14100, a potent, selective, orally available IDH1 mutant inhibitor. Agios scientists treated a primary human mutant AML model with AGI-14100, either alone or in combination with low-dose chemotherapy (Ara-C). Researchers observed a significant decrease in tumor burden in peripheral blood in the model treated with AGI-14100 alone, and a more pronounced response, as measured by a simultaneous decrease in the bone marrow tumor burden, in the model that received combination therapy. The duration of response continued for three weeks after dosing of both drugs had been terminated. These data suggest that this combination therapeutic approach could be an important option for patients, to be explored in future clinical trials.
- "Small Molecule Activation of Pyruvate Kinase Normalizes Metabolic Activity in Red Cells From Patients With Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency-associated Hemolytic Anemia," a poster, presents preclinical data supporting Agios' lead IEM clinical candidate, AG-348, as a potentially effective approach to correcting the underlying pathology of PK deficiency. The results demonstrate that AG-348 potently activates a spectrum of PKR mutant proteins, the isoform of pyruvate kinase that is present in red blood cells, leading to a normalization of metabolic balance in patient-derived blood samples. These data support the hypothesis that drug intervention with AG-348 may restore glycolytic pathway activity and normalize red cell metabolism in vivo.
2:16 am Pacific Booker Minerals receives judgement regarding Morrison Copper/Gold mine (PBM) : Co announces that the British Columbia Supreme Court has released the Judgement regarding the Company's challenge of the decision by the Provincial Government to turn down the proposed Morrison Copper/Gold Mine, announced by the provincial government on October 1st of last year.
The hearing was held before Justice Kenneth Affleck, Q.C. from August 7 to 9, 2013. Justice Affleck ruled that: "The petitioner is entitled to a declaration that the executive director's referral of the application for a certificate to the ministers and the ministers' decision refusing to issue the certificate failed to comport with the requirements of procedural fairness. There will be an order in the nature of certiorari quashing and setting aside the ministers' decision and an order remitting the petitioner's application for a certificate to the ministers for reconsideration. The petitioner is entitled to costs."
2:13 am Group 1 Auto acquires 6 franchises in Columbus Georgia; estimated to generate $150 mln in revs (GPI) : Co announces the acquisition of Jay Automotive Group, Inc., in Columbus, Georgia, which include the following franchises: Jay Toyota Scion; Jay Buick GMC; Jay Subaru of Columbus; Jay Mazda; and Volvo of Columbus. The dealerships, which will operate as Rivertown Toyota; Rivertown Scion; Rivertown Buick GMC; Rivertown Subaru; Rivertown Mazda; and Volvo of Columbus, are expected to generate $150 million in estimated annual revenues.
- Health Care Industry
- Investment & Company Information