InPlay from Briefing.com

6:21 pm Nucor announces $900 mln share repurchase program (NUE) :  

6:20 pm Pembina Pipeline announces it has placed ~$650 mln of assets into service; provides project updates (PBA) :

Co announces that it has commissioned several key growth projects within its Gas Services and Conventional Pipeline businesses, placing approximately $650 million assets into service. Highlights:

  • Gas Services
    • Pembina's Gas Services business successfully commissioned 260 million cubic feet per day ("MMcf/d") of new processing capacity and pipeline infrastructure in Alberta and Saskatchewan for a combined capital investment of approximately $320 million, which represents a seven percent savings versus the original project budget.
    • In late August, Pembina safely commissioned its Saturn II facility, a 200 MMcf/d 'twin' of the Company's existing Saturn I Facility,ahead of schedule and under budget.
  • Conventional Pipelines
    • At the beginning of September, Pembina commissioned the high vapour pressure ("HVP"), or NGL, portion of the Peace and Northern Phase II pipeline expansion, and expects to have the pipeline fully commissioned by the end of 2015.

Project Updates

  • In the coming months, Pembina will be commissioning a number of projects in its NGL Midstream business. Early in 2016, Pembina plans to commission the twin of its existing 73,000 bpd ethane plus fractionator ("RFS II"). The completion of RFS II will further strengthen Pembina's position as Western Canada's largest owner of fractionation capacity. Additionally, in early 2016, a small scale debottlenecking initiative to modestly increase propane plus throughput capacity at Pembina's existing Redwater Fractionator is expected to be commissioned. Finally, at Pembina's Corunna site, construction and commissioning of new brine pond, storage, rail, and truck infrastructure is well under-way, the new assets are expected to be phased into service through the remainder of 2015 and early 2016.

5:46 pm Frontier Communications announces Federal Communications Commission approval of Verizon's (VZ) wireline operations in California, Florida, and Texas (FTR) : The company is currently also seeking approval from the California Public Utilities Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, and has received Hart-Scott-Rodino federal antitrust clearance. Pending commission approval in Texas and California, the company expects to close the transaction at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

5:11 pm Universal Insurance announces authorization of new $10 mln share repurchase program (UVE) : Co announces that its Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program under which the Company may repurchase up to $10 million of its outstanding shares of common stock through December 31, 2016. The Company will fund the share repurchase program with cash from operations.

5:03 pm Supernus Pharma announces issuance of fifth U.S. patent for Oxtellar XR (SUPN) : Co announces the issuance on September 1, 2015 of a fifth patent (number 9,119,791) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office covering Oxtellar XR, its novel once-daily extended-release oxcarbazepine product. The patent provides protection for the product with expiration that is no earlier than 2027. Supernus has several additional patent applications for extended-release oxcarbazepine and extended-release topiramate pending in other geographic regions.

5:02 pm Geron announces publication of two papers in The New England Journal of Medicine that highlight the potential of imetelstat in hematologic malignancies (GERN) :

Co announces the publication of two papers in The New England Journal of Medicine (:NEJM) in which the company's telomerase inhibitor, imetelstat, was shown to have disease-modifying activity thought to be associated with selective inhibition of the malignant progenitor cell clones responsible for the underlying disease in two hematologic myeloid malignancies, essential thrombocythemia (:ET) and myelofibrosis (:MF). The papers are available online in the September 3rd issue at www.NEJM.org.

  • In the Phase 2 clinical study evaluating imetelstat in ET, all patients achieved a hematologic response, with the majority achieving a hematologic complete response. Rapid and substantial molecular responses observed in the study suggested therapeutic activity of imetelstat on the growth of malignant progenitor cell clones that drive ET.
  • In the Phase 2 pilot study evaluating imetelstat in MF patients, unprecedented complete and partial remissions, including reversal of bone marrow fibrosis and molecular responses, were observed. These results suggest the potential value of telomerase-targeting strategies for the treatment of MF, and identify imetelstat as an active drug in this disease.

In November 2014, Geron entered into an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Janssen Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) company, to develop and commercialize imetelstat worldwide for indications in oncology, including hematologic myeloid malignancies, and all other human therapeutics uses.

5:01 pm Marketaxess announces total monthly trading volume for August 2015 of $75.5 bln, consisting of $43.7 bln in U.S. high-grade volume, $26.7 bln in other credit volume, and $5.1 bln in liquid products volume (MKTX) :  

4:57 pm SCANA Corp subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas receives unanimous approval from the Public Service Commission of South Carolina with regards to nuclear units proposals (SCG) : The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (:SCPSC) voted unanimously to approve South Carolina Electric & Gas Company's (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (SCG), petition to update the construction milestone schedule as well as the capital cost schedule for the two new nuclear units being constructed in Jenkinsville, South Carolina. The approved capital cost schedule includes incremental capital costs that total $698 million (SCE&G's portion in 2007 dollars), of which $539 million are associated with the schedule delays and other contested costs.

4:41 pm Novatel Wireless shareholders approve its acquisition of DigiCore Holdings Limited; closure expected in October, 2015 (MIFI) : Co was also informed that the shareholders of DigiCore have approved the acquisition

4:39 pm Dorian LPG takes delivery of the ECO VLGC Commodore from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and the ECO VLGC Cresques from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (LPG) :  

4:38 pm ABM Industries misses by $0.02, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line; announces $200 mln stock buyback, strategic transformation initiative (ABM) :

Reports Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.47 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.49; revenues rose 5.7% year/year to $1.35 bln vs the $1.33 bln consensus.

  • Co issues narrows guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.75-1.80 vs. $1.80 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co also authorized a $200 million share repurchase program.
  • In a separate press release today, ABM announced a comprehensive strategic and transformation initiative focused on driving sustainable profitability and growth, as well as creating stockholder value.
    • ABM anticipates pre-tax restructuring charges ranging from $45 million to $60 million.
    • Once the strategy and realignment is fully implemented by the second half of fiscal 2017, ABM expects an annualized run-rate for operational benefits of $40 million to $50 million in EBITDA. 

4:34 pm ABM Industries announces Board approval to overhaul its business strategy, will enter into a transaction to contribute its Unified Workforce software platform into a newly-formed company; to explore strategic alternatives for its security unit (ABM) :

The co announced that its Board of Directors has approved a comprehensive strategy and transformation initiative to drive long-term profitable growth and enhance shareholder value. The initiative will focus ABM on its core strengths and most profitable businesses, and align its business operations to deliver unique industry and client solutions.

  • ABM will initially focus on key verticals where it has or can build a competitive advantage, including Business & Industry, Aviation, Healthcare, Education, and HighTech.
  • The co plans to announce a $200 million share repurchase program, a dividend consistent with current practice, and an increased focus on specific financial performance metrics.
  • The Company anticipates pre-tax restructuring charges ranging from $45 million to $60 million. The majority of these restructuring charges will be incurred through the third quarter of fiscal 2016 and are primarily for severance, project fees, and the potential write-down of certain investments. The Company expects the majority of the organizational benefits to be realized by the end of the first half of fiscal 2016. Once the strategy and realignment is fully implemented by the second half of fiscal 2017, the Company expects annualized run-rate for operational benefits of $40 million to $50 million.
  • The Company also reviewed all service lines and internal investments to assess whether ABM is best positioned to continue to competitively offer value added services to customers over the long-term. As a result of this process, despite its strong underlying fundamentals, the Company has determined that it will explore strategic alternatives for its Security business that may include a partnership, sale or other strategic transaction.

The co separately announced that it intends to enter into a transaction to contribute its "Unified Workforce" software platform into a newly-formed company. Tracy K. Price, who has served as ABM executive vice president and president of ABM Facility Solutions Group, will be leaving ABM to serve as chief executive officer of the new business to be named QMerit.

4:30 pm Lannett to acquire Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals for $1.23 bln; expects the deal to be accretive to adjusted EPS in FY16 in the mid-high single digits and 20-25% in FY17 (LCI) :

The co announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc., the U.S. specialty generic pharmaceuticals subsidiary of global biopharmaceuticals company UCB S.A., for $1.23 billion, plus potential contingency payments.  Lannett believes the acquisition will be accretive to adjusted EPS in fiscal 2016 in the mid- to high-single digits and 20% to 25% in fiscal 2017. Lannett expects to receive a significant tax benefit with a value in excess of $100 million

  • Lannett expects to fund the transaction with a combination of a fully committed term loan and cash on hand. 
  • The transaction, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of calendar 2015 and has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Lannett and UCB.

4:28 pm Blackstone acquires a significant equity stake in The PMI Group; terms not disclosed (BX) : In connection with the purchase of a significant equity stake in PMI, Blackstone has agreed to provide the Company with a loan for working capital needs in exchange for warrants and certain other rights.

4:26 pm Agilent announces that, effective immediately, it will no longer report orders in its periodic filings with the SEC or in its quarterly earnings releases (A) :  

4:22 pm RLI Corp announces that President and COO Michael Stone will retire, effective Dec. 31, 2015; EVP Craig Kliethermes to assume that role at the beginning of 2016 (RLI) : Co announced that Michael Stone will retire as RLI Insurance Company President & COO effective December 31, 2015. He will continue to serve on the RLI Board of Directors following that date. Craig Kliethermes, Executive Vice President, Operations, will assume the role of RLI Insurance Company President & COO as of January 1, 2016. Kliethermes joined RLI in 2006 as Vice President, Actuarial Services, and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Risk Services, in 2009.

4:20 pm LogMeIn announces CEO succession (See 16:16 comment for details); Reaffirms Q3 and 2015 outlook (LOGM) :

  • Co reaffirmed its third quarter and full year 2015 outlook, which was last updated on July 23, 2015.
  • The company expects to achieve third quarter revenues of $68.8 million to $69.3 million, Capital IQ consensus $60.09 mln
  • Full year 2015 revenues of $265.0 million to $266.5 million, Capital IQ consensus $265 mln.
  • Q3 Non-GAAP net income is expected to be in the range of $0.43 to $0.44, Capital IQ consensus $0.43.
  • Full year 2015 is expected to be in the range of $1.51 to $1.57, Capital IQ consensus $1.55.

4:18 pm MRC Global's McJunkin Red Man subsidiary signs a five-year contract to supply pipe, valve and fitting products and services for Phillips 66 (PSX) (MRC) :  

4:16 pm Newcastle Investment closes the repurchase of $157 mln face amount of third party golf debt at a price of 90% of par or $141 mln (NCT) : The golf debt consists of a $51 mln first lien and a $106 mln second lien loan and is secured by the Company's golf portfolio. The $141 mln purchase price was funded with $71 mln of cash on hand and $70 mln of short term financing. Newcastle's total cost basis in the repurchased debt was 99.8% of par. The transaction generated a $15 mln total gain on extinguishment of debt.

4:16 pm LogMeIn approves a CEO succession plan, announcing that CEO Michael Simon will step down at the end of 2015 and be succeeded by current COO William Wagner (LOGM) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has approved a succession and transition plan for the company's CEO position. Effective at the end of 2015, Michael K. Simon, the company's co-founder and CEO for the past 12 years, will step down as CEO. He will be succeeded as CEO by William Wagner, currently the company's president and chief operating officer. Simon will remain as the company's chairman of the board and will also serve in an advisory role to Wagner. Wagner was hired in 2013, joining LogMeIn as the company's first chief operating officer. 

4:14 pm NCI Building Systems beats by $0.02, misses on revs (NCS) :

Reports Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.15 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.13; revenues rose 16.4% year/year to $420.79 mln vs the $439.62 mln consensus. Gross profit margin expanded 190 basis points year-over-year to 23.9%

  • Third quarter 2015 backlog increased 50% to approximately $506.3 million which includes CENTRIA's backlog of $114.3 million, compared with $337.2 million in last year's third quarter. The backlog contains higher margin and higher complexity projects which typically lengthens lead time for production.

Outlook

  • "We expect the investments we've made in insulated metal panels over the past few years, including the recent acquisition of CENTRIA, will help us unlock the growth potential of the underpenetrated North American market. We enter the last quarter of our fiscal year with a steady backlog that benefitted from solid bookings growth and by the increase in higher-complexity projects, which gives us greater visibility into the first half of 2016. We currently anticipate delivering the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in gross profit margin and Adjusted EBITDA in the fourth fiscal quarter. Similar to the prior year, we expect our fourth quarter to show sequential improvement over the third quarter in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA."

4:12 pm Novartis AG's Sandoz receives approval from Health Canada for a number of additional indications for PrOmnitrope, a recombinant human growth hormone used to treat growth problems in both pediatric and adult patients (NVS) :  

4:11 pm Closing Market Summary: Technology Sector Leads Stocks Higher (:WRAPX) :

The stock market snapped its two-day skid on Wednesday with the Nasdaq Composite leading the advance. The tech-heavy index climbed 2.5% while the Dow (+1.8%) and S&P 500 (+1.8%) registered slimmer gains.

Although the market ended the midweek session on a higher note, the advance did not feature the characteristics of a sharp bounce. Instead, stocks traded in sideways fashion before spiking to new highs during the final 30 minutes of the day. Despite today's higher close, the S&P 500 remains lower by 2.0% for the week with all ten sectors showing week-to-date losses.

Today, however, nine sectors posted gains while the utilities space (UNCHF) underperformed amid higher Treasury yields. To that point, the 10-yr note slumped in the morning, briefly retraced its loss during the session, and fell back to lows into the close. As a result, the 10-yr yield increased three basis points to 2.19%.

On the upside, the top-weighted technology sector (+2.6%) outperformed throughout the session, which kept the market afloat during the morning pullback that saw the S&P 500 trade within five points of its flat line. Large cap tech names like Apple (AAPL 112.34, +4.62), Facebook (FB 89.89, +2.66), Google (GOOGL 644.91, +15.35), and Microsoft (MSFT 43.36, +1.54) gained between 2.4% and 4.3% while high-beta chipmakers also fared better than the market with the PHLX Semiconductor Index climbing 2.3%.

Elsewhere among influential sectors, health care settled in-line with the market while biotechnology outperformed, contributing to the relative strength in the Nasdaq as iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 346.23, +12.89) spiked 3.9%.

Also of note, the heavily-weighted financial sector (+1.5%) began the day among the leaders, but the group slipped behind the broader market during intraday action after finishing yesterday's session well behind the market.

With the exception of the final 30 minutes of the day, the Wednesday action in equities was fairly subdued, but the same could not be said for crude oil as the energy component remained volatile, ending the pit session higher by 1.9% at $46.25/bbl after testing the $43.22/bbl area. WTI crude slumped to lows after the latest inventory report showed a larger than expected build while news that Senate has enough votes to back the Iran nuclear deal also contributed to the brief weakness in oil.

Today's trading volume was well above average, staying true to recent trends. With that in mind, more than a billion shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data included, ADP Employment Change, Q2 Productivity/Unit Labor Cost data, Factory Orders, and MBA Mortgage Index:

  • The ADP National Employment Report revealed that employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 190K in Augus while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 201K
    • The July reading was revised down to 177,000 from 185,000
  • Productivity data for the second quarter showed an increase of 3.3% (Briefing.com consensus 2.8%), which was better than the 1.3% increase that had been reported in the preliminary reading
    • Unit labor costs for the second quarter were revised lower to reflect a decrease of 1.4% (Briefing.com consensus -0.9%) after they had reportedly increased 0.5% in the preliminary reading
  • Factory orders increased 0.4% in July after increasing an upwardly revised 2.2% (from 1.8%) in June while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.9%
    • The relative softness in the factory orders data was the result of declining oil prices weighing down sales at petroleum refineries as refinery orders fell 7.9% in July after increasing 0.8% in June
  • The weekly MBA Mortgage Index spiked 11.3% to follow last week's 0.2% uptick

Tomorrow, the Challenger Job Cuts report for August will be released at 7:30 ET while weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 273,000) and July Trade Balance (consensus -$42.70 billion) will both be released at 8:30 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the 10:00 ET release of the ISM Services Index for August (consensus 58.4).

  • Nasdaq Composite +0.3% YTD
  • S&P 500 -5.3% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -4.8% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -8.3% YTD

4:10 pm Five Below reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; guides OctQ EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; reaffirms FY16 EPS guidance, revs guidance (FIVE) :

Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.13 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.13 and vs prior guidance of $0.12-0.13; revenues rose 19.5% year/year to $182.2 mln vs the $184.7 mln consensus and vs prior guidance of $182-185 mln.

Co issues downside guidance for Q3 (Oct), sees EPS of $0.06-0.07 vs. $0.08 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $164-167 mln vs. $167.4 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co reaffirms guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $1.03-1.06 vs. $1.06 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $820-828 mln vs. $837.3 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • Comparable store sales increased by +3.0%.
  • Co opened 32 new stores and ended the quarter with 417 stores in 26 states. Co entered three new markets, including the highly anticipated Florida market.
  • Co says it's excited to announce the opening of its new east coast distribution center and with new store growth remaining its top priority. 
  • "We believe our second quarter sales performance was curtailed by two one-time factors that occurred in the middle of the quarter. First, as part of our ongoing test and learn approach around our marketing strategy, we eliminated a summer circular. Second, we experienced temporary store receipt delays as we moved out of our existing east coast distribution center. We believe the combination of the two accounted for total sales coming in at the low end of our guidance range and the comp shortfall for the second quarter."
  • "These one-time factors are behind us, and we believe we are well positioned from a merchandising, marketing and distribution standpoint to deliver on our plans for the second half of the year with compelling merchandise and ample newness to further solidify Five Below as a holiday shopping destination."

4:10 pm Patriot National enters into a general binding authority agreement with Endurance Insurance (EIGI) (PN) : This agreement builds on Patriot's existing relationship with Endurance and will allow Patriot Underwriters to offer quotes on over 700 general liability and property/marine classifications, along with Patriot's existing workers' compensation markets, through its national network of 1,750 agents.

4:08 pm Oxford Industries beats by $0.09, reports revs in-line; guides Q3 EPS below consensus, revs in-line; guides FY16 EPS in-line, revs in-line (OXM) :

Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $1.32 per share, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.23; revenues rose 10.1% year/year to $250.7 mln vs the $251.37 mln consensus.

Gross Margin and Gross Profit Adjusted gross margin expanded more than 70 basis points to 60.6% primarily due to Lilly Pulitzer's strong performance. Adjusted gross profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2015 increased to $151.8 million from $136.1 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014. 

Guidance: Co issues mixed guidance for Q3, sees EPS of ($0.15)-($0.05) vs. ($0.04) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $200-$210 mln vs. $209.80 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. The third quarter is also expected to be impacted by Tommy Bahama's move to new office space, which is currently planned for September and pre-opening expenses associated with Tommy Bahama's Waikiki retail-restaurant location, which is planned to open late in the quarter. The impact of these two events is expected to be $1.5 million and $1.4 million, respectively. 

Co issues in-line guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $3.55-$3.70 vs. $3.64 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $975-$990 mln vs. $982.88 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

4:07 pm Astronics has been selected to supply the Passenger Service Units, on a new family of long-range Boeing (BA) 777X aircraft (ATRO) :

Co announced that it has been selected to supply the Passenger Service Units on the new family of long-range Boeing 777X aircraft. The award is subject to the execution of a final purchase agreement. 

  • Production of the 777X, the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world, will begin in 2017. There currently are 320 orders and commitments for the aircraft.

4:07 pm Cerner forms strategic alliance with Glens Falls Hospital to connect the health system onto one electronic health record (CERN) : Cerner will extend its Millennium EHR into the system's ambulatory facilities, enhance clinical processes and health care delivery capabilities and position the health system for future growth and advancement.

4:07 pm Verint Systems beats by $0.08, beats on revs; guides FY16 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (VRNT) :

Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.76 per share, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.68; revenues rose 7.6% year/year to $297.1 mln vs the $290.12 mln consensus.

  • Co issues mixed guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $3.45 vs. $3.66 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $1.18-1.23 bln vs. $1.22 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:07 pm Ooma beats by $0.41, beats on revs (OOMA) : Reports Q2 (Jun) non-GAAP loss of $0.58 per share, $0.41 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.99); revenues rose 26.3% year/year to $21.1 mln vs the $20.5 mln consensus.

4:06 pm Hillenbrand enters into an agreement to acquire ABEL Pumps from Roper Technologies for EUR 95 million in cash (HI) :

  • Co has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ABEL Pumps LP and certain of its affiliates (:ABEL) from Roper Technologies for EUR 95 million in cash.
  • The transaction is expected to close within approximately 30 days.
  • During the trailing 12-month period ended July 31, 2015, ABEL's revenue was approximately EUR 30 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (:EBITDA) was approximately EUR 8 million.
  • Hillenbrand expects to use cash on hand and cash available under its revolving credit facility to fund this acquisition.
  • The transaction is expected to be accretive to Hillenbrand's earnings per share beginning in the first year, net of acquisition costs.

4:06 pm Limoneira to acquire 757 acres of lemon, orange and specialty citrus orchards in San Joaquin Valley for ~$15.1 million; closure expected on November 30, 2015 (LMNR) :  

4:06 pm STAG Industrial acquired 14 buildings consisting of 1.9 million square feet for $72 million in August; says it has not sold shares under its ATM stock offering program since the last sale on June 30, 201 (STAG) :  

4:06 pm Insite Vision announces that Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Materials has named it in a BromSite patent lawsuit (INSV) :

Co announced that Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Materials has filed a patent lawsuit in the US District Court in connection with activities relating to InSite Vision's New Drug Application seeking commercial approval from the U.S. FDA for BromSite (0.075% bromfenac) for the treatment of inflammation and prevention of pain associated with cataract surgery

4:05 pm SeaChange beats by $0.06, reports revs in-line; guides Q3 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; reaffirms FY16 guidance (SEAC) :

Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.04 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.10); revenues fell 6.7% year/year to $27.8 mln vs the $27.61 mln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of ($0.10) - ($0.04), excluding non-recurring items, vs. ($0.03) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $27-29 mln vs. $29.53 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY16, sees EPS of ($0.38) - ($0.16), excluding non-recurring items, vs. ($0.32) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 revs of $105-115 mln vs. $111.95 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "SeaChange also increased second quarter product margins to 75 percent versus 41 percent for the first quarter of fiscal 2016. International sales accounted for 58 percent of total revenue in the second quarter compared to 49 percent for the first quarter of fiscal 2016"

4:05 pm Catalent beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY15 revs in-line (CTLT) :

Reports Q4 (Jun) earnings of $0.61 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.58; revenues fell 1.8% year/year to $510.1 mln vs the $496.91 mln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $1.81-1.90 bln vs. $1.82 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Catalent expects Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $434 million to $457 million and Adjusted Net Income in the range of $203 million to $226 million. These guidance ranges are consistent with the organic, constant currency long-term CAGR growth expectations of 4-6% for revenue and 6-8% for Adjusted EBITDA.

4:04 pm Adept Tech adds a new distributor in the Republic of Korea, YS-Thermtech (ADEP) : YST develops and sells industrial furnaces and automated equipment for a broad range of manufacturing sectors, including photovoltaics (:PV), advanced materials, metallurgy, and others. Concurrent with entering the agreement with Adept, YST placed an initial order for 100 units of Adept's Lynx autonomous intelligent vehicle (AIV) products to be operated in fleets and delivered over the next three years.

4:03 pm Amgen submits a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency for IV Calcimimetic Etelcalcetide (AMGN) : Co announced the submission of a Marketing Authorization Application to the European Medicines Agency via the centralized procedure for etelcalcetide (formerly AMG 416) for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in adult patients with chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis therapy

4:03 pm Ethan Allen intends to raise up to $250 mln of long-term debt financing (ETH) : The Company currently anticipates that the debt financing transaction will becompleted in the Company's fiscal second quarter

4:03 pm Expedia renews its agreement with American Airlines Group (AAL) for distribution of American Airlines and US Airways flights on Expedia, Travelocity and Hotwire sites (EXPE) : In addition, the Expedia Affiliate Network and AA Vacations announced entry into a partnership for EAN to supply hotel content via www.aa.com.

4:02 pm Dow Chemical commences its exchange offer for the split-off of a significant portion of its chlorine value chain (DOW) : The split-off transaction is the next step in the separation, from Dow, of its U.S. Gulf Coast Chlor-Alkali and Vinyl, Global Chlorinated Organics and Global Epoxy businesses. The exchange offer provides Dow shareholders with the opportunity to exchange their shares of Dow common stock for shares of Blue Cube Spinco Inc. ("Splitco") common stock, which will convert into shares of Olin common stock upon completion of the proposed transaction. The exchange is expected to be tax-free to participating Dow shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

4:01 pm Cynapsus Therapeutics enrolls the first patient in its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of CTH-301 (:CYNA) : CTH-300, a pivotal Phase 3 efficacy study, is also ongoing with data expected from both trials in 2016. 

3:30 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX) :

Today after the close look for the following companies to report:

  • ABM, CTLT, NCS, VRNT, OXM, FIVE, SEAC, OOMA

Tomorrow before the open look for the following companies to report:

  • MDT, CPB, GEF, JOY, GCO, CIEN, LE, MEI, XCRA, HOFT

3:13 pm Digital Ally comments of Taser's (TASR) recent press release regarding its '292 patent, stating that the release may be misleading (DGLY) :

Co clarified the recent decision of an Examiner of the USPTO respecting Digital Ally's U.S. '292 Patent. Taser International (TASR) issued a press release announcing that the USPTO rejected the claims of Digital Ally's '292 Patent.

  • Digital Ally believes that Taser's press release may be misleading in stating that the "claims were found unpatentable by the USPTO." The USPTO only recently made an initial, non-final action related to the '292 Patent and therefore, has not made a final determination of unpatentability. In fact, Digital Ally has the opportunity to discuss the merits of the prior art and the scope of the patent claims with the Examiner who issued this initial, non-final action and to freely amend the patent claims. Digital Ally will be filing a response in the near future.
  • Therefore, to say the patent has been found invalid is incorrect. Digital Ally is confident that material aspects of the technology disclosed in the '292 Patent will ultimately be found patentable.

3:08 pm Underperforming small-cap Russell 2000 pushes to new session high, major averages are hovering slightly under their highs -- Dow +198, S&P +21, Nasdaq Comp +72 (:TECHX) :  

2:46 pm RAIT Financial Trust announces approval by the SEC of a settlement regarding its subsidiary TCM; considerations include a $21.5 mln payment to the SEC (RAS) :  

2:20 pm Major averages notch new session highs -- Dow +219, S&P +23, Nasdaq Comp +75 (:TECHX) : Relative strength in recent action has been noted in Biotech IBB, Internet FDN, Discretionary XLY, Telecom IYZ, Rail, Transports IYT.

2:01 pm Federal Reserve releases Beige Book (:ECONX) : Beige Book

1:46 pm Index Change Reminder (:INDXCH) : United Continental Holdings (UAL) will replaceHospira (HSP) in the S&P 500 after the close of trading ontoday September 2. Hospira is being acquired by Pfizer (PFE) ina transaction expected to be completed on or about that date.

1:21 pm Alaska Air reports a 7% increase in traffic, on a 7.7% increase in capacity Y/Y for August, 2015 (ALK) : On a combined basis, Air Group reported a 7% increase in traffic (RPMs) on a 7.7 percent increase in capacity (ASMs) compared to August 2014. Load factor decreased 0.5 points to 86.7 percent

1:18 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX) :

The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume).

Large Cap Gainers

  • AAL (40.85 +4.21%): Airlines outperforming amid weakness in crude oil (RYAAY, DAL, LUV also higher).
  • CTL (26.86 +3.71%): disclosed that it expects an additional $0.16 of EPS and $150 mln of operating revenues for Q3 following acceptance of ~$500 mln of annual support payments under the FCC's six-year Connect America Fund Phase 2 program.
  • INCY (118.83 +3.22%): Entered into a global license and collaboration agreement with Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd. for the development and commercialization of SHR-1210; will gain the exclusive development and commercialization rights to SHR-1210 worldwide with the exception of a few Asian nations for upfront payment of $25 mln.

Large Cap Losers

  • NBL (30.12 -3.18%): Oil & gas names under pressure with crude oil extending yesterday's pull back (CVE, SU, EC, MRO, APA, IMO among many others lower).
  • NFLX (103.23 -2.42%): Citron Research says time to short Netflix, stock headed back to $80; also weighing, Hulu launched a commercial free membership option.
  • DLTR (67.65 -2.87%): Extending yesterday's decline after being downgraded at Feltl & Co.; PT lowered at MKM Partners, Deutsche Bank.

Mid Cap Gainers

  • HRB (35.46 +7.62%): Beat Q1 consensus EPS estimates by $0.04, beat on revs; announced the closing of its bank divestiture transaction with BofI Holding (BOFI); announced new a $3.5 billion share repurchase program.
  • BPOP (29.9 +6.14%): The PREPA Bondholder Group announced that they have reached a Term Sheet Agreement with PREPA to form the basis of a recovery plan for PREPA
  • HII (113.34 +5.38%): Was awarded a $109.4 mln modification by the US Navy, also reports out citing company spokesman that they are interested in building new U.S. icebreakers for the Coast Guard.

Mid Cap Losers

  • GFI (2.8 -6.35%): Miners trading lower with gold futures down $6 (EGO also lower).
  • ESV (16.17 -4.55%): Energy names weak, as mentioned above (PTEN, NBR, CHK, CIE also lower)
  • HP (53.99 -3.45%): Downgraded to Underperform at BMO Capital Markets.

1:01 pm Midday Market Summary: Technology Leads (:WRAPX) :

Equity indices trade in the green at midday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.3%) and Nasdaq Composite (+1.4%) holding posture ahead of the S&P 500 (+1.1%).

The market began the trading day on an upbeat note, taking the lead from overnight strength in the futures market. However, the major averages have not been able to build on their opening gains, and that has resulted in sideways action.

Nine sectors display midday gains while energy (-0.1%) has been pressured by weakness in crude oil as the energy component trades lower by 2.8% at $44.15/bbl. WTI crude has been active as of late, rallying nearly 30.0% between Thursday and Monday, while today's weakness has followed an inventory report that showed a larger than expected build. In addition, news that Senate has enough votes to back the Iran nuclear deal has also contributed to the weakness in oil.

On the flip side, the top-weighted technology sector (+1.5%) has outperformed since the start while consumer discretionary (+1.2%) and industrials (+1.2%) also trade ahead of the broader market.

For its part, the technology sector has received broad support with the likes of Apple (AAPL 110.35, +2.63), Google (GOOGL 637.16, +7.60), Intel (INTC 28.48, +0.66), and Facebook (FB 88.62, +1.39) showing gains between 1.2% and 2.6%. Similar to Intel, high-beta chipmakers outperform with the PHLX Semiconductor Index trading higher by 1.1%.

It is worth noting that other high-beta areas like biotechnology and transport stocks also trade ahead of the broader market, which could become a supportive factor during afternoon action. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 338.37, +5.03) is higher by 1.5% while the Dow Jones Transportation Average also trades up 1.5%.

Treasuries have climbed off their early-morning lows, but the 10-yr note remains in the red with its yield higher by a basis point at 2.17%.

Economic data included, ADP Employment Change, Q2 Productivity and Unit Labor Cost data, Factory Orders, and MBA Mortgage Index:

  • The ADP National Employment Report revealed that employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 190K in Augus while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 201K
    • The July reading was revised down to 177,000 from 185,000
  • Productivity data for the second quarter showed an increase of 3.3% (Briefing.com consensus 2.8%), which was better than the 1.3% increase that had been reported in the preliminary reading
    • Unit labor costs for the second quarter were revised lower to reflect a decrease of 1.4% (Briefing.com consensus -0.9%) after they had reportedly increased 0.5% in the preliminary reading
  • Factory orders increased 0.4% in July after increasing an upwardly revised 2.2% (from 1.8%) in June while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.9%
    • The relative softness in the factory orders data was the result of declining oil prices weighing down sales at petroleum refineries as refinery orders fell 7.9% in July after increasing 0.8% in June
  • The weekly MBA Mortgage Index spiked 11.3% to follow last week's 0.2% uptick

12:57 pm Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New lows (108) outpacing new highs (20) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: BRSS, BVXV, CENT, CENTA, DLA, DSGX, DXLG, ECACU, EDUC, EFOI, ITI, JNP, MBTF, MPG, MTS, NCIT, SMED, SURG, SWHC, YCB

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ABX, ACU, ADSK, AFB, AMCF, AVAV, BBD, BDC, BGMD, BKD, BKH, BKK, BSI, BUFF, BWEN, CBYL, CFMS, CHA, CHU, CIG, CIG.C, CLCD, CLMS, CNA, CNP, CNS, CPAC, CPHR, CPL, CRD.A, CRDS, CSTE, CWT, DSWL, EBR, ECHO, EDE, EGIF, ELP, ENRJ, ESEA, ETR, FBZ, FE, FLKS, FSM, GHL, GRP.U, GSH, GZT, HGR, HMY, HTWR, HZN, ITUB, JOY, KRO, LEE, LILA, LILAK, LNT, MANT, MHE, MN, MPW, MT, MWE, NAVI, NCS, NL, NX, OGE, OHI, OIBR, ONE, PSG, PSO, PTR, PVBC, QUAD, RCAP, RCI, RWLK, RYAM, SAIA, SAM, SAN, SBRA, SFXE, SJI, SRE, SXE, TAC, TAXI, TDOC, TSU, TTOO, TWI, UIHC, VHI, VMEM, VRS, VRTS, VSAR, VTG, WDR, WGBS, WPG

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: none

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: ENZL, FXA, JJA, JJG, JO, NLR, RJA, XLU

11:58 am Major averages slip back toward their morning pullback levels -- Dow +103, S&P +8, Nasdaq Comp +36 (:TECHX) : Relative sector weakness in recent trade has been noted in Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Crude Oil USO, Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Finance XLF

11:50 am Cleveland Biolabs confirms it was awarded $9.2 mln contract for advanced development of Entolimod as a medical radiation countermeasure by the DOD (CBLI) : See 17:51 post from last night for more color on the contract

11:33 am FMC Corp announces various insider purchases by its executives totaling over $4.5 mln (FMC) : The co nnounces that President, CEO, and Chairman Pierre Brondeau recently purchased 48,909 shares of common stock. Several FMC senior executives also recently purchased in aggregate more than 24,000 shares of FMC common stock. This includes Mark Douglas, president of FMC Agricultural Solutions, who acquired 10,000 shares, and Paul Graves, executive vice president and CFO, who acquired 9,000 shares. In addition, several FMC board directors recently acquired in aggregate more than 38,000 shares of FMC common stock. Peter D'Aloia, lead director, acquired 15,000 shares, adding to his earlier purchase of 15,000 shares in October 2014.

11:31 am Mechel Steel announces its intention to restructure its 13 and 14 series bonds (MTL) : The company intends to offer holders of 13-series bonds (state number 4-13-55005-E issued on August 10, 2010) and 14-series bonds (state number 4-14-55005-E issued on August 10, 2010) to introduce changes in the current payment schedule and reconsider the order of determining the coupon rate for future periods.

11:26 am Currency Commentary: DXY Drifts Higher Despite Economic Data (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index is climbing back towards 96 despite some poor economic data this morning. Markets are in the midst of digesting a miss on the ADP jobs number, lower than expected Unit Labor Cost revisions, and a miss in Factory Orders. All will have markets pushing back expectations of a Fed rate hike. But the greenback remains bid at the moment. This afternoon we will be provided with a look at the Fed Beige Book as we head towards the September 17 rate decision.
  • The euro was offered as we saw some moves to risk on trade overnight. But the action was relatively quiet and on low volumes. With equity markets pulling back we are seeing the single currency stabilize at the 1.1230 area. The ECB will be meeting tomorrow with participants looking for clues on the impact of the China slow down on regional trade as well as inflation with energy prices declining.
  • The pound remains trapped under its 200 sma and has found little buying interest at the moment. Sterling slipped below the key level on Monday and has seen a slow drift lower the past two sessions. The currency saw some bids come to the table following a better than expected Construction PMI number but it is running into resistance at 1.53 intraday.
  • The yen has moved back higher to test the 120 level. Yen tested the 200 sma(120.78)  for resistance yesterday and so far it is holding true. Market sentiment will be a key driver for yen in the coming sessiosn but it looks like we could see it hit a consolidation phase in that 119-121 area in coming sessions (BONDX, FOREX).

10:56 am Opko Health confirms its licensee TESARO (TSRO) received approval for VARUBI (rolapitant); can receive up to $110 mln of milestone payments and double digit tiered royalties (OPK) : Briefing.com note: See 08:56 post from earlier for more details regarding their existing agreement

10:39 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors that have underperformed the S&P on the pullback off opening highs include: Oil Service OIH, Energy XLE, Crude Oil USO, Internet FDN, Gold Miners GDX, Silver SLV.

10:38 am Major averages extend slide off opening highs -- Dow +122, S&P +11, Nasdaq Comp +36 (:TECHX) :  

10:03 am Wi-LAN's Open Network Systems subsidiary enters into a patent license agreement with Lexmark International (LXK); terms not disclosed (WILN) :  

9:50 am Stock indices slip just slightly off opening thrust highs -- Dow +185, S&P +19, Nasdaq Comp +50 (:TECHX) :  

9:48 am MiMedx Group issues a statement correcting the 'inaccurate statements' published by the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation in yesterday's press release (MDXG) :

MDXG noted that MTF's September 1st press release characterizes the inter partes review decision rendered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board related to MiMedx's '437 patent as a "ruling in favor" of MTF's challenge.  However, MiMedx Group  says the IPR decision was simply related to the Board's granting of a review, not a final ruling on the merits.  Further, the IPR on the '437 patent is going forward on only one of the seven grounds requested by MTF.

  • While MiMedx says it does not believe MTF will eventually prevail on this single ground, the outcome of the IPR does not impact the validity of any other patent, regardless of any familial relationships amongst the patents.  While the '437 patent was the first to be filed in the chain, it remains an ancillary patent. Further, as noted in a previous MiMedx press release, the PTAB refused to review the primary EpiFix and AmnioFix patents.

9:41 am Opening Market Summary: Influential Sectors Pace Opening Advance (:WRAPX) :

As expected, the market began the trading day on an upbeat note amid strength in all ten sectors. The S&P 500 trades higher by 1.1% with yesterday's biggest laggard-financials (+1.3%)-setting the early pace.

Similar to financials, heavily-weighted consumer discretionary (+1.3%), technology (+1.1%), and health care (+1.3%) display early strength while the energy sector (+0.2%) trades behind the remaining nine groups. On a related note, crude oil has added 0.4%, climbing to $45.62/bbl.

Elsewhere, Treasuries remain near their lows with the 10-yr yield up three basis points at 2.19%.

9:37 am Solid, broad based bounce in early dealings -- Dow +181, S&P +19, Nasdaq Comp +51 (:TECHX) : Early relative strength has been noted in: Biotech IBB, Solar TAN, Coal KOL, Reg Bank KRE, Copper JJC, Social Media SOCL, Semi SMH, Airline JETS, Mining XME, Pharma PPH, Discretionary XLY, Casino, Medical Supplies, Internet FDN, Broker IAI, Finance XLF.

9:29 am AbbVie: Par Pharmaceutical begins shipping testosterone gel 1%, the generic version of AbbVie's AndroGel 1% (ABBV) :  

9:27 am Bombardier announces that its JV Bombardier Sifang Transportation has been awarded a high speed train contract from China Railway Corp valued at ~$381 mln (BDRBF) : Co announced that its Chinese joint venture, Bombardier Sifang Transportation has been awarded a contract with China Railway Corp to supply 15 CRH380D very high speed trains for the country's rapidly growing high speed network. The contract for 15 eight-car trainsets is valued at ~2.4 billion Chinese RMBs ($ 381 million). Bombardier owns 50% of the shares in BST

9:23 am Vringo announces that, on August 31, 2015, the Bucharest Tribunal denied ZTE (ZTCOF) Romania's latest attempt to overturn Vringo's preliminary injunction against ZTE Romania (VRNG) :  

9:22 am News Corp. confirms Rebekah Brooks has been appointed CEO at News UK (NWSA) : The co announced leadership changes at News UK, with the appointment of Rebekah Brooks as Chief Executive Officer, David Dinsmore as Chief Operating Officer, and Tony Gallagher as Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, Britain's largest selling daily newspaper. Brooks will replace Mike Darcey, who is departing as CEO after three years in the post. The changes announced today will take effect this Monday, September 7, 2015 for Ms. Brooks and in the coming weeks for Mr. Dinsmore and Mr. Gallagher.

9:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ryanair (RYAAY) announced it will open a new base at Milan Malpensa (No. 73), its 15th in Italy, from 1st December 2015, initially with 1 based aircraft (an investment of $100m) and 4 routes to London Stansted, Comiso, Bucharest and Seville, which will deliver 450,000 customers p.a. and support 450* "on-site" jobs at Milan Malpensa Airport.
  • Xoom (XOOM) announced the launch of its money transfer service to Singapore. Xoom customers can now send money online to bank accounts in Singapore via their U.S. bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards.
  • Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) confirmed that the European Commission has approved Revolade, a Novartis (NVS) product, for the treatment of adults with severe aplastic anemia who were either refractory to prior immunosuppressive therapy or heavily pretreated and are unsuitable for hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
  • Voya Financial (VOYA) announced that its broker-dealer, Voya Financial Advisors, has launched a hybrid registered investment advisory platform. As a result of this launch, certain financial advisors affiliated with Voya Financial Advisors have the ability to operate with greater flexibility to meet a wide range of customer needs while enabling them to build and expand their practices.
  • Perry Ellis International (PERY) announced that it has entered into a license agreement with American Traveler, granting rights to design, manufacture and market men's luggage and associated travel bags such as hard and soft sided luggage, wheeled weekend travel and duffle bags and trunks under the Original Penguin brand in the US and Canada
  • FreeSeas (FREE) announced that the owned vessel M/V Free Neptune, a 1996-built, 30,838 dwt Handysize vessel, has been delivered to her charterers for a time charter trip of a duration of ~30 days at a gross rate of $9,500 per day
  • BAE Systems (BAESY) has delivered 12 new CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles to the Norwegian Army. They are the first production batch of a total of 144 new and upgraded CV90s planned for the nation's Army
  • Summit State Bank (SSBI) reported that it has redeemed all of the preferred stock issued under the Small Business Lending Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. That issue included 13,750 shares for $13,750,000 of Fixed Rate Non-cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series B
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) has been selected by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence to provide navigation suite upgrades to the two Royal New Zealand Navy's ANZAC Class Frigates.

9:15 am Terreno Realty announces the private placement of $100 mln in Senior Unsecured Notes (TRNO) : Co announced today the private placement of $100 million senior unsecured notes, consisting of $50 million with a seven-year term and $50 million with a 12-year term. The $50 million seven-year notes bear interest at a fixed annual rate of 4.23%. The Company expects the 12-year notes to bear interest at a fixed annual rate of 4.65%. Co intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund future acquisitions, pay down existing loans and for other corporate purposes.

9:15 am Silver Spring Networks names Michael Bell President and CEO (SSNI) : Scott Lang transitions to the role of Executive Chairman and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board. Most recently Bell held leadership roles in the technology groups dedicated to new devices, mobility, and communications at Intel (INTC)

9:13 am S&P futures vs fair value: +25.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +62.40. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a higher open with S&P 500 futures trading 25 points above fair value.

Index futures rebounded overnight even as markets across Asia struggled. In Japan, the Nikkei fell 0.4% after spending early action above its flat line while China's Shanghai Composite was down more than 4.0%, but narrowed its decline to 0.2% ahead of an extended weekend.

Futures backed away from their highs at the start of the European session, but they have returned into the neighborhood of those levels not long ago.

On the economic front, the ADP National Employment Report revealed that employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 190K in August (Briefing.com consensus 201K) while Q2 Productivity growth was revised up to 3.3% from 1.3% (Briefing.com consensus 2.8%) and Q2 Unit Labor Costs were revised down to -1.4% from +0.5% (Briefing.com consensus -0.9%).

Treasuries retreated following the data, sending the 10-yr yield higher by two basis points to 2.18%.

More economic news will be released after the open with the July Factory Orders report (Briefing.com consensus 0.9%) set to be released at 10:00 ET while the Federal Reserve's September Beige Book will cross at 14:00 ET.

9:11 am Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit announces the approval of a FDA sBLA for SIMPONI ARIA for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis to include measures of physical and mental health reported by patients (JNJ) : Janssen announced the approval of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for SIMPONI ARIA (golimumab for infusion) for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (:RA) to include measures of physical and mental health reported by patients through the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 questionnaire (SF-36). According to the revised label, SIMPONI ARIA, when administered in combination with methotrexate (MTX), improved patients' physical and emotional well-being as measured by the SF-36 assessment.

9:10 am Till Capital announces the resignation of Chairman and CEO William M. Sheriff (shares halted) (TIL) :

The co announced that William M. Sheriff has resigned as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and from all of his board and executive positions with Till and all of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, as of September 1, 2015, to focus his attention on mining and other resource-based opportunities external to Till. The Company desires to exit its involvement in the resource sector, with the corresponding financial commitments, and to devote its future efforts and attention to its reinsurance/insurance businesses. The Company and Mr. Sheriff mutually agree that this step is in their respective best interests.

  • Till also announces that it has renegotiated the terms of a Promissory Note from Golden Predator (the "Note") that it currently holds, to require payment in cash only, removing Golden Predator's current right to pay with shares of Golden Predator valued at $0.35 CDN per share, and securing repayment of the note against Golden Predator's Brewery Creek and 3 Aces properties. 
  • The Board has appointed Mr. William A. Lupien, a Director of the Company and its Chief Investment Officer, to serve as Interim CEO of the Company while it pursues the recruitment of a CEO having a strong reinsurance/insurance background. 
  • Till also announces that Director Alan S. Danson has been elected non-executive Chairman of the Board.

9:04 am Delta Air Lines reports financial and operating performance for August 2015, PRASM -6.5% y/y (DAL) :

Consolidated passenger unit revenue (:PRASM) for the month of August decreased 6.5% year over year, consistent with recent trends of pressure from foreign exchange, lower surcharges in international markets, and yields in select domestic markets. In addition, unit revenues were negatively impacted by the timing of Labor Day holiday travel. The co's financial and operating performance is detailed below.

Preliminary Financial and Operating Results:

  • August consolidated PRASM change year over year (6.5%)
  • August mainline completion factor 99.8%
  • ugust on-time performance (preliminary DOT A14) 85.5%

9:02 am Trimble Navigation acquires Vianova Systems; terms not disclosed (TRMB) :

  • Co announces that it has acquired Vianova Systems AS, a Norwegian company specializing in Building Information Modeling software for infrastructure design software solution.
  • Financial terms were not disclosed.

9:02 am Voya Financial announces launch of hybrid Registered Investment Advisory (:RIA) platform (VOYA) : Co announced that its broker-dealer, Voya Financial Advisors, has launched a hybrid registered investment advisory (:RIA) platform. The broker-dealer's advisory business grew to $9.92 billion in 2014, up 25% from the previous year.

9:01 am WPCS Intl awarded $3.0 mln in new contracts during the months of July and August 2015 (WPCS) :

  • Co announced that it was awarded $3.0 mln in new contracts during the months of July and August 2015.
  • These new projects include a $1.4 mln contract to provide low voltage structured cabling and telecommunications closet build outs for Sutter Coast Hospital, an 80,000 square foot general medical and surgical hospital with 49 beds, located in Crescent City, California. In addition, the Co was also awarded $1.6 mln in new work from existing customers.
  • According to Sebastian Giordano, Interim CEO of WPCS, "Suisun City remains a profitable operation, performing as expected during the first four months of the fiscal year ended April 30, 2016. Since our business has historically been strongest in the third and fourth quarters, we look forward to building upon this positive news as the year unfolds."

9:00 am Unilife Corporation announces review of strategic alternatives in response to third-party initiated expressions of interest (shares halted) (UNIS) :

  • Co announced that in response to third-party initiated expressions of interest, the Co's Board of Directors has engaged Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC to conduct a review of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.
  • Potential strategic alternatives to be explored and evaluated during the review process may include a possible sale of the Co, a strategic partnership with one or more parties or the licensing of some of the Co's proprietary technologies.
  • The Unilife Board of Directors will not provide any commitment regarding when or if this strategic review process will result in any type of transaction, and no assurance can be given that the Co will determine to pursue a potential sale, strategic partnership or licensing arrangement.

8:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: +24.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +63.00. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 24 points above fair value.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region suffered further losses on Wednesday, only they were much more modest in scope following Tuesday's selling pressure. Several markets rebounded from large losses that followed on the heels of Wall Street's ugly showing. China's Shanghai Composite, for instance, was down 4.6% shortly after it opened but ended the day down just 0.2%. In other developments, Australia's Q2 GDP growth of 0.2% was weaker than expected and down from 0.9% growth in the prior quarter, underscoring the drag of slumping commodity prices and economic slowing in the region.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan's Monetary Base +33.3% year-over-year (expected +33.2%; prior +32.8%)
    • Australia's Q2 GDP +0.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.4%; prior +0.9%); +2.0% year-over-year (expected +2.2%; prior +2.5%)

------

  • Japan's Nikkei declined 0.4%, coughing up a 1.7% gain on the heels of a renewed bout of selling interest in the afternoon session. The materials (-1.9%), financials (-1.3%), and consumer staples (-0.9%) sectors were the weakest areas. Yokohama Rubber Co. (-4.6%), Showa Shell Sekiyu (-4.4%), and Mazda Motor (-4.2%) paced losing issues while Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma (+4.8%), Kyowa Hakko Kirin (+2.7%), and Mitsubishi Logistics (+2.3%) led the winners. Out of the 225 index members, 33 ended higher, 188 finished lower, and 4 were unchanged.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.2% in a roller-coaster trading session. The index was down 2.0% shortly after the start of trading, gained all of that loss back, and then dove in the afternoon session on renewed selling interest. Bank of Communications (-5.7%), Kunlun Energy (-4.3%), and Galaxy Entertainment Group (-4.2%) were the worst-performing issues. Belle International Holdings (+1.5%), CK Hutchison Holdings (+1.4%), and Want Want China Holdings (+1.3%) topped the small list of winners. Out of the 50 index members, 10 ended higher and 40 finished lower.
  • China's Shanghai Composite ended down 0.2%, but staged quite a comeback from an opening 4.6% decline. The scope and speed of the rebound, which occurred in the morning session, stirred some speculation that it was government-sponsored in front of the country's celebration of the end of World War II and the defeat of Japan. China's stock market will be closed on Thursday and Friday to commemorate Victory Day.

Major European indices hold gains after slipping from their opening highs. Overall, the trading action in Europe has been relatively subdued with the European Central Bank's latest policy statement set to be released tomorrow morning. The euro has retreated about 0.4% against the dollar, slipping to 1.1255.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Eurozone July PPI -0.1% month-over-month, as expected (prior -0.1%); -2.1% year-over-year (consensus -2.1%; last -2.1%)
    • UK's August Construction PMI 57.3 (expected 57.5; last 56.1)
    • Spain's Unemployment Change 21,700 (consensus 35,500; last -74,000)

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  • UK's FTSE is higher by 0.7% with 3i Group, Inmarsat, and ARM Holdings up between 1.8% and 3.1%. On the downside, BP and Royal Dutch Shell hold respective losses of 1.5% and 1.1%.
  • In France, the CAC trades up 0.6% amid strength in financials. BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, and Societe Generale show gains between 0.3% and 1.1% while Valeo is the weakest performer, down 1.6%.
  • Germany's DAX trades higher by 0.4% with roughly half of the index in the green. Infineon Technologies leads with a gain of 1.5% while exporters BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen show losses between 0.6% and 0.9%.

8:46 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • UQM Technologies (UQM) announced the signing of a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding with RAPAC Communication and Infrastructure, Ltd. RAPAC will represent UQM in Israel and will provide various UQM PowerPhase electric motors, generators and controllers to their clients for all-electric and hybrid electric military vehicles, armored vehicles, as well as other non-defense related medium-to-heavy duty bus and truck applications for the growing Israel market.
  • Revolution Lighting Technologies (RVLT) announced that it has been selected to retrofit the headquarters of one of the largest U.S. financial institutions. This program, scheduled for completion on October 31, 2015, will install 72,000 of its Seesmart LED G3 tubes
  • Mellanox Technologies (MLNX) announced it is now shipping Spectrum, the industry's first 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, Open Ethernet-based switch, to multiple cloud, Web 2.0 and enterprise data center customers world-wide.
  • Capstone Turbine Corporation (CPST) announced that its flagship C200 and C1000 Series microturbines have become certified for multiple European Grid Interconnection standards
  • American CareSource Holdings (ANCI), announced its plan to change the name of its urgent care centers and primary care centers to GoNow Doctors

8:44 am Columbus McKinnon completes $188.9 mln acquisition of Magnetek (MAG) (CMCO) :

Cost synergies are expected to be at least $5 million in the first full year after the acquisition. Excluding purchase accounting adjustments, the acquisition is expected to be approximately $0.40 per share accretive to earnings in the first full fiscal year of combined operations. Columbus McKinnon estimates its one-time costs related to the transaction to be between $7.5 million to $8.5 million.

8:39 am European Markets Update: FTSE +0.4%, DAX +0.3%, CAC +0.3% (:SUMRX) :

Major European indices hold modest gains after slipping from their opening highs. Overall, the trading action in Europe has been relatively subdued with the European Central Bank's latest policy statement set to be released tomorrow morning. The euro has retreated about 0.4% against the dollar, slipping to 1.1255.

Economic data was limited:

  • Eurozone July PPI -0.1% month-over-month, as expected (prior -0.1%); -2.1% year-over-year (consensus -2.1%; last -2.1%)
  • UK's August Construction PMI 57.3 (expected 57.5; last 56.1)
  • Spain's Unemployment Change 21,700 (consensus 35,500; last -74,000)

------

  • UK's FTSE is higher by 0.4% with 3i Group, Inmarsat, and ARM Holdings up between 1.8% and 3.1%. On the downside, BP and Royal Dutch Shell hold respective losses of 1.5% and 1.1%.
  • Germany's DAX trades higher by 0.3% with roughly half of the index in the green. Infineon Technologies leads with a gain of 1.5% while exporters BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen show losses between 0.6% and 0.9%.
  • In France, the CAC trades up 0.3% amid strength in financials. BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, and Societe Generale show gains between 0.3% and 1.1% while Valeo is the weakest performer, down 1.6%.

8:34 am Tupperware update Q3 sales forecast; reports foreign exchange impact versus 2014 sales 2 points worse than in July Q2 earnings release, trending toward high end of +4-6% Q3 local currency+ increase range (TUP) :

  • "While we, like many other global consumer products companies are navigating through a volatile external environment, particularly in the emerging markets+++, we are pleased that two months into the quarter we are tracking towards the high-end of our local currency sales outlook range for the third quarter as announced in July. We have seen the expected trend improvement in Indonesia, France and Italy, and strong growth in our businesses in Argentina, Brazil, China and Tupperware Mexico and South Africa in spite of the macros, which reflects the strength of our business model and skill of our local leadership."
  • Based on actual foreign exchange rates for July and August rates thereafter, the Q3 impact of changes in foreign exchange rates on the Co's 2015 EPS comparison with 2014 would be negative $0.26/share.
    • There was a negative $0.22 impact included in the guidance provided in July in the Co's Q2 2015 earnings release.

8:33 am Steel Dynamics: Cowen discusses SMU Steel Summit, scrap price outlook; thinks STLD should continue to outperform (STLD) : Cowen notes that during the first day of the SMU Steel Summit, in spite of most people thinking that HRC prices are close to a floor, sentiment was fairly negative. Firm notes that overall, participants think inventory levels are still too high, demand may be soft next year, and that scrap prices have further downside. The firm thinks shares of EAF steelmakers, including their top pick STLD, should continue to outperform the integrated players given the greater variable cost structure and the tailwind of falling scrap prices.

8:33 am Isle of Capri beats by $0.11, reports revs in-line (ISLE) :

Reports Q1 (Jul) earnings of $0.28 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.17; revenues rose 4.2% year/year to $246.9 mln vs the $248.49 mln consensus.

  • Co reported Q1 adjusted EBITDA increased 15.9% to $51.1 million YoY.

8:33 am S&P futures vs fair value: +17.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +48.60. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade 17 points above fair value.

The ADP National Employment Report revealed that employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 190K in August. That was below the increase of 201K expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The July reading was revised down to 177,000 from 185,000.

Productivity data for the second quarter showed an increase of 3.3%, which was better than the 1.3% increase that had been reported in the preliminary reading. It was also above the 2.8% increase that had been expected by the Briefing.com consensus. Unit labor costs for the second quarter were revised lower to reflect a decrease of 1.4% after they had reportedly increased 0.5% in the preliminary reading. Economists polled by Briefing.com had expected that unit labor costs would be revised down to -0.9%.

8:31 am China Biologic Products enters into a strategic collaboration agreement with Xinjiang Deyuan Bioengineering to source raw plasma (CBPO) :

The Agreement allows the company's Guizhou Taibang subsidiary to source no less than 500 tonnes of source plasma from Xinjiang Deyuan over the next three years. The raw plasma will be shipped in batches to Guizhou Taibang for the production of human albumin and IVIG products. The Company expects that the products made from the sourced raw plasma will begin to reach the market in second half of 2016.

  • As part of the Agreement, Guizhou Taibang agreed to lend to Xinjiang Deyuan an interest-bearing loan with a principal amount of ~$47 mln. The loan is due July 31, 2018 and is secured by a pledge of a 58.02% equity interest in Xinjiang Deyuan from its controlling shareholder. The loan to Xinjiang Deyuan and the raw plasma will be funded primarily by the Company's cash released from a collateral deposit to secure a USD-denominated loan that the Company repaid in full in June 2015.

8:31 am Pieris Pharmaceuticals names Darlene Deptula-Hicks as SVP and CFO (PIRS) : The Company also announced the transition of its corporate headquarters from Freising, Germany to Boston, Massachusetts. Deptula-Hicks has been the Acting Chief Financial Officer of Pieris since November 2014, providing financial consulting services to the Company pursuant to a consulting agreement with the financial advisory firm of Danforth Advisors

8:31 am Sky Solar Holdings announces a new financing agreement for several Japan projects (SKYS) : Co announced that its subsidiary Sky Solar Japan K.K. signed certain definitive agreements with its existing tokumei kumiai partner to increase the TK partner's capital contribution to the TK partnership with respect to the 67 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 107.9 MW in Japan developed and operated by Sky Solar Japan. Sky Solar Japan and the TK partner first entered into certain original TK partnership agreements on September 9, 2014. According to the Amended Agreements, the TK partner will invest an additional JPY4 billion over the JPY4.93 billion contributed to the TK partnership so far.

8:30 am Gilead Sciences's investigational fixed-dose combination of Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide (F/TAF) meets primary 48-week objective in phase 3 study (GILD) : Co announces that a Phase 3 study evaluating its investigational fixed-dose combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide (200/10 mg and 200/25 mg) (F/TAF) for the treatment of HIV-1 infection met its primary objective. Compared to the TDF-based regimens, the F/TAF-based regimens demonstrated statistically significant differences in mean bone mineral density (:BMD) at the hip and spine (p

8:25 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD) announced a $170 million expansion project at its Metal Container Corporation (MCC) facility in Jacksonville. As part of the company's plan to increase production of the popular Budweiser and Bud Light aluminum bottles, the project will create approximately 75 new jobs at the facility.
  • CB&I (CBI) announced it has been awarded an early works contract by LACC, LLC, a joint venture between Axiall Corporation (AXLL) and Lotte Chemical Corporation, to provide additional detailed engineering and early procurement services associated with the proposed LACC Ethane Cracker Project in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
  • Manchester United (MANU) announced a global partnership with IT services company HCL Technologies. As part of this partnership HCL and Manchester United will work together to explore and unveil a number of digital initiatives to transform the experience of the Club's 659 million global followers.
  • Champion Aerospace LLC and United Technologies (UTX) announced that they have finalized Life of Program long-term supply agreements to support production at UTC's aerospace businesses. The UTV long-term supply agreements secure Life of Program contracts for exciters, ignition leads and igniters required by UTC primarily at UTC Aerospace Systems on many programs.
  • Pulmatrix (PULM) has been granted a U.S. patent for its iSPERSE inhaled dry powder technology. The patent broadly covers small, dense and dispersible dry powders that are comprised of proprietary combinations of divalent cation salts and excipients. The Company now has 37 issued patents worldwide covering the iSPERSE technology through at least 2030
  • Innocoll AG (INNL) announced that the first patient was dosed in the MATRIX-1 Phase 3 study for the treatment of postoperative pain following open hernioplasty with mesh using XaraColl, Innocoll's surgically implantable and bioresorbable bupivacaine-collagen matrix. Enrollment is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2016 and topline results from the study are expected in the second quarter of 2016.
  • Wyndham Hotel Group (WYN) announced plans to expand its portfolio of offerings in Southeast Asia to Myanmar for the first time with the signing of a franchise agreement for a 260-room Wyndham Grand hotel in Yangon, the country's capital city.

8:17 am Equity futures see minimal reaction to August ADP Employment Change reading of 190K, which was a little short of the 201K Briefing.com consensus (SPY) : S&P futures remain higher by 9 points at 1925.75.

8:15 am Market View: Sep. eMini stock-index futures remain bid above fair values following the 8:15 am ET Aug. ADP Employment Change figure (:TECHX) :

  • ESu5 now @ 1925.25 +9.25
  • YMu5 now @ 16182 +95
  • NQu5 now @ 4181.00 +22.75

8:10 am Intelli-Check announces the sale of its its wireless assets to the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, in Washington state; terms not disclosed (IDN) :  

8:07 am Vera Bradley beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides Q3 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus; raises FY16 guidance; comps -15% (VRA) :

Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.15 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.10; revenues rose 1.4% year/year to $120.7 mln vs the $115 mln consensus.

  • Co issues upside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.19-0.21 vs. $0.15 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $120-123 mln vs. $117.20 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues raised guidance for FY16, sees EPS of $0.72-0.78 from $0.64-0.74 vs. $0.66 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; raises bottom end of FY16 revs to $487-495 mln from $480-495 mln vs. $481.57 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Comparable sales (including e-commerce) decreased 15.0% for the quarter (reflecting a 15.2% decline in comparable store sales and a 14.7% decrease in e-commerce sales),
  • Gross profit for the quarter totaled $66.6 million, or 55.1% of net revenues, compared to $63.4 million, or 53.3% of net revenues, in the prior year second quarter. The gross margin rate exceeded guidance of 54.5% to 55.0% primarily due to reduced promotional activity relative to plan.

8:05 am SS&C Techs announces the acquisition of Varden Technologies; terms not disclosed (SSNC) : Co announced the acquisition of Varden Technologies, a provider of client and advisor communication solutions for investment firms. . Varden currently serves 100+ mutual fund, wealth management, and fund administration clients ranging from $50 million to $300 billion in assets under management (:AUM).

8:04 am JBT Corp to acquire A&B Process Systems; Co expects A&B to be accretive to earnings by ~$0.10-0.15/share (JBT) :

Co announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the shares of A&B Process Systems, a provider of processing systems for the beverage and food industries.

  • The purchase price will be $102 million, before customary post-closing adjustments.
  • The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • JBT expects transaction costs and purchase price accounting associated with the acquisition to result in a $0.03 - $0.04 per share negative impact in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • In fiscal year 2016, the Company expects A&B to contribute sales and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (:EBITDA) of approximately $100 million and $14 million, respectively, and be accretive to earnings by approximately $0.10 - $0.15 per share.
  • A&B's cash generation is expected to exceed its net income.
  • In 2017, JBT expects the acquisition to contribute $0.20 - $0.25 per share and deliver double digit cash return on invested capital (ROIC), as the Company deploys its JBT Excellence Model (JEM) initiatives.

8:04 am Mylan Labs announces the USPTO has instituted an inter partes review on all claims against a third Copaxone 40mg patent (MYL) : Co announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (:PTO) has instituted an inter partes review (:IPR) proceeding on all claims against a third Copaxone 40 mg/mL patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,969,302, owned by Yeda Research & Development Co., Ltd. and licensed to Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. The patent relates to methods for the treatment of multiple sclerosis through the administration of at least three 40 mg/mL subcutaneous injections of glatiramer acetate per week.

8:03 am Iao Kun Group announces that August unaudited Rolling Chip Turnover at the company's VIP rooms in Macau was $0.44 billion, -72% y/y (IKGH) : Win rate for the month of August 2015 was 4.13%. As of September 1, 2012, all IKGH VIP rooms are on a revenue sharing remuneration model.

8:03 am Merck announces that the FDA has approved an SNDA for Emend, for use in treating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy (MRK) : With the expanded indication, EMEND capsules are now approved for use in combination with other antiemetic agents in patients 12 years of age and older and patients less than 12 years who weigh at least 30 kg for the prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy including high-dose cisplatin, as well as for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of moderately emetogenic cancer chemotherapy

8:03 am Bristol-Myers announces that the FDA has accepted for filing and review the sBLA for Opdivo; this sBLA seeks to expand the current indication (BMY) : Co announces that the FDA has accepted for filing and review the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Opdivo for the treatment of previously treated patients with non-squamous (:NSQ) non-small cell lung cancer (:NSCLC). This sBLA seeks to expand the current indication for Opdivo in patients with previously treated squamous (:SQ) NSCLC. The projected FDA action date is January 2, 2016. The agency has also granted this application priority review, and Opdivo Breakthrough Therapy Designation for this indication, underscoring the need for new treatments for this patient population, where currently a significant unmet medical need remains.

8:02 am Atossa Genetics appoints Scott Youmans as Chief Operating Officer, effective September 1, 2015 (ATOS) : Co announced that Scott Youmans has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer, effective September 1, 2015. Mr. Youmans has served as Senior Vice President, Operations for Atossa since September 2014.

8:02 am Tesaro announces FDA approval for Varubi, in combination with other antiemetic agents to treat delayed nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy (TSRO) :

  • Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) has approved VARUBI (rolapitant) in combination with other antiemetic agents in adults for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, including, but not limited to, highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

8:01 am Aecom Tech awarded a prime contractor position on the Air Force Contract Augmentation Program; six-year contract has a $5-billion aggregate maximum value for the eight awardees (ACM) : Co announces that it has been awarded a prime contractor position from the US Air Force. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract outlines the full range of base, life, operating and logistical support services AECOM will provide for the Air Force and any other U.S. federal entities operating in support of Air Force missions. The six-year contract has a $5-billion aggregate maximum value for the eight awardees and is estimated to reach completion by 2021.

8:01 am Fuwei Films announced that its operations has not been affected by the Tianjin chemical explosions, which were reported on August 12, 2015 (FFHL) :  

8:00 am Synergetics to be acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) for $6.50 per share in cash (shares halted) (SURG) :

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) and SURG announced a definitive agreement under which Valeant will acquire Synergetics for $6.50 per share in cash.

  • In addition to the upfront cash payment, Synergetics stockholders will receive additional cash payments of up to $1.00 per share if specified sales milestones are achieved following the closing:
    • $0.50 per share in cash payable upon sales of the Company's ophthalmology products achieving $55 mln on a trailing four calendar quarter basis prior to June 30, 2018; and
    • $0.50 per share in cash payable upon sales of the Company's ophthalmology products achieving $65 mln on a trailing four calendar quarter basis prior to June 30, 2018, with a pro-rata portion payable for net sales above $55 million but less than $65 million.

8:00 am Digital Ally sinks 24% to 5.96 following Taser (TASR) press release indicating the USPTO has rejected 20 claims of a patent assigned to Digital Ally (DGLY) : As mentioned at 7:31, TASR announced that it has received notice from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (:USPTO) that the USPTO has rejected all 20 claims of U.S. Patent 8,781,292 which has been assigned to Digital Ally. TASR said this USPTO office action is in response to an ex parte reexamination request filed by TASER. According to TASR, Digital Ally has until October 17, 2015 to file a response with the USPTO.

7:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +16.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +44.80. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures trade modestly higher in pre-market action, but they have retreated from their overnight highs. The S&P 500 futures remain 17 points above fair value after being up almost 30 points prior to the European opening bell.

Meanwhile, Treasuries are little changed with the 10-yr yield at 2.16%.

On the economic front, the weekly MBA Mortgage Index spiked 11.3% to follow last week's 0.2% uptick. More data will be released today with the August ADP Employment Change survey (Briefing.com consensus 203K) set to cross the wires at 8:15 ET while Q2 Productivity and Unit Labor Cost data will follow at 8:30 ET. The Factory Orders report for July (Briefing.com consensus 0.9%) will be reported at 10:00 ET and the day's data will be topped off with the 14:00 ET release of the Federal Reserve's September Beige Book.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Ambarella (AMBA 80.00, -9.61): -10.7% after cautious guidance overshadowed better than expected results.
  • Navistar (NAV 14.87, -2.49): -14.3% in reaction to below-consensus results.
  • SunEdison (SUNE 11.08, +0.32): +3.0% after Point72 Asset Management disclosed a 5.1% passive stake in the company.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Asian markets ended mostly lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.2%, Japan's Nikkei -0.4%, and China's Shanghai Composite -0.2%.
    • In economic data:
      • Japan's Monetary Base +33.3% year-over-year (expected +33.2%; prior +32.8%)
      • Australia's Q2 GDP +0.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.4%; prior +0.9%); +2.0% year-over-year (expected +2.2%; prior +2.5%)
    • In news:
      • Brokers in China are reportedly providing funds to China Securities Finance Corp for market intervention purposes
  • Major European indices trade mostly higher, but they have slipped from their opening levels. UK's FTSE +0.1%, Germany's DAX +0.3%, and France's CAC +0.3%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.9% and Spain's IBEX -0.3%
    • Economic data was limited:
      • Eurozone July PPI -0.1% month-over-month, as expected (prior -0.1%); -2.1% year-over-year (consensus -2.1%; last -2.1%)
      • UK's August Construction PMI 57.3 (expected 57.5; last 56.1)
      • Spain's Unemployment Change 21,700 (consensus 35,500; last -74,000)
    • Among news of note:
      • Trading action in Europe has been relatively subdued with the European Central Bank's latest policy statement set to be released tomorrow morning. The euro has retreated about 0.4% against the dollar, slipping to 1.1260

7:36 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Colliers International Group (CIGI) announced the acquisition of former Cushman & Wakefield St Louis affiliate, Gateway Commercial, a market-leading commercial real estate firm specializing in tenant representation, investment sales brokerage and property management. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Sequenom (SQNM) announced a partnership with the Perinatal Quality Foundation to support an educational program and the creation of a Genetic Education Module to help health care personnel and their patients better understand and navigate the prenatal testing process.
  • JinkoSolar (JKS) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, JinkoSolar INC. has entered into an agreement with Ygrene Energy Fund, to integrate JinkoSolar's high quality solar modules into Ygrene's PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing program, YgreneWorks, for residential and commercial PV systems in the United States
  • Wavestream, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (GILT), announced that it has been certified to the ISO/AS 9100 quality system standard.
  • Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (DRNA) announced the submission of an investigational new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for DCR-PH1, the company's therapeutic candidate for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1). PH1 is a severe, rare, inherited disorder of the liver that often results in kidney failure and for which there are no approved therapies.
  • Navidea Biopharmaceuticals (NAVB) announced that the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has approved the new listing of Navidea's common stock on the TASE beginning on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 under the ticker symbol NAVB.
  • EMCOR Group (EME) announced that its subsidiary EMCOR Facilities Services has been awarded a contract to perform ongoing reactive repairs to the interior and exterior of the United States Postal Service's 32,000 locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Engility Holdings (EGL) announced it has been awarded a contract with the potential to be worth $12.5 million over five years to provide supply chain and logistics management--specifically reclamation, demilitarization and disposal of stricken aircraft--to the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support Stricken Aircraft Reclamation and Disposal Program.
  • SunOpta Inc. (STKL) provided an update on the expansion of aseptic processing and filling capabilities at the Allentown, Penn. facility. The aseptic expansion project was announced in December 2014 and construction commenced in April 2015, proceeding on schedule with first production planned for late October 2015.

7:32 am Just Energy amends and extends its credit facility, to have a $277.5 mln capacity and three year maturity (JE) : Co has renegotiated an agreement with a syndicate of lenders regarding its credit facility. The agreement extends Just Energy's credit facility for an additional three years to September 1, 2018. The line has been set at $277.5 million with an accordion for Just Energy to draw up to $350 million.

7:31 am CME Group announces that August volume averaged 16.3 million contracts per day, up 25% y/y (CME) :

Co announced that August 2015 volume averaged 16.3 million contracts per day, up 25 percent from August 2014, and included average daily volume of 23 million contracts during the last week of the month, the highest weekly average ever.

  • Total volume was more than 341 million contracts, of which a record 89 percent was traded electronically
  • Options volume in August averaged 3 million contracts per day, up 27 percent versus August 2014

7:31 am TASER announces that the USPTO has rejected 20 claims of a patent assigned to Digital Ally (DGLY) (TASR) :

  • Co announced that it has received notice from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (:USPTO) that the USPTO has rejected all 20 claims of U.S. Patent 8,781,292 which has been assigned to Digital Ally (the "Digital Ally" patent"). This USPTO office action is in response to an ex parte reexamination request filed by TASER. Digital Ally has until October 17, 2015 to file a response with the USPTO.
  • The Digital Ally patent describes an apparatus to detect when a video recorder has begun recording and to communicate with any recording device in range indicating that the recording device should begin recording. The Digital Ally patent claims were found unpatentable by the USPTO due to prior art found by TASER.

7:30 am PAR Technology awarded a $5.6 mln one year contract extension (PAR) : The co announced that the U.S. Navy awarded its subsidiary, Rome Research Corporation, a one year extension to its current contract to provide satellite operations and maintenance services at the Naval Satellite Operations Center Headquarters

7:20 am ANSYS acquires substantially all the assets of Delcross Technologies; terms not disclosed (ANSS) : Delcross Technologies is a developer of computational electromagnetic simulation and radio frequency system analysis software

7:16 am Allergan announces FDA approval for its SNDA to update the label for Teflaro, to treat acute bacterial skin infections and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (AGN) : With the updated label, Teflaro also is now approved to be administered by intravenous infusion in five minutes to one hour in adult patients 18 years and older.

7:16 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ignyta (RXDX) announced that Valerie Harding, Ph.D., has been appointed to the newly-created role of Senior Vice President, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls. Harding joins Ignyta from Pfizer (PFE).
  • NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY) announced that its prescription daily eyelid and lash hygiene product, Avenova, will be marketed in New Zealand through a partnership with Ophthalmic Instrument Company
  • Horizon Pharma (HZNP) announced it received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for U.S. patent application number 14/705,606 (U.S. publication number 2015-0231262), entitled "Diclofenac Topical Formulation" that covers Horizon's U.S. approved product PENNSAID (diclofenac sodium topical solution) 2% w/w (PENNSAID 2%).
  • RR Media (RRM) announced a strategic partnership with WSC Sports Technologies that combines RR Media's global digital media services and reach with WSC's automatic clipping and video highlights generation platform.
  • GeoPark (GPRK) announces a new oil field discovery following the drilling of exploration well Jacana 1, located on the Llanos 34 Block in Colombia. GeoPark operates and has a 45% working interest in the Llanos 34 Block.
  • China Information Technology (CNIT) announced that it was selected by leading advertising agencies in China to install 1,200 cloud-based new media elevator terminals in Guiyang City of Guizhou Province and Longyan City of Fujian Province. Revenues from these installations will amount to approximately RMB4.4 Million including one-time terminal sales and monthly recurring platform service fees, as well as monthly rental fees on certain terminals.
  • NeoGenomics (NEO) announced that it has entered into a national group purchasing agreement with Premier (PINC). The three year agreement secures for NeoGenomics the distinction of becoming the first specialized oncology reference laboratory to become a preferred in-network lab option for all Premier member hospitals, cancer centers, pathology groups, and oncology/physician providers nationwide.
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) announced that its Micro Systems, Inc. subsidiary has received a $3.8 million firm fixed price single contract award from Raytheon Missile Systems to provide radar tracking transponders for the AMRAAM missile. The period of performance on the contract is three years.

7:12 am Acadia Healthcare completes three acquisitions in the UK; the new facilities are expected to contribute $0.04-0.05 per diluted share in annual accretion (ACHC) : The co announced that it has completed three acquisitions in the United Kingdom, bringing a total of six inpatient behavioral health facilities with 149 beds to Partnerships in Care, the Company's U.K. operation. These facilities generate approximately $35 million in annual revenue and are expected to contribute $0.04 to $0.05 per diluted share in annual accretion. With the completion of these transactions, PiC now operates 52 inpatient facilities with over 2,000 beds.

7:11 am Sears Canada reports Q2 results; says it began to show positive same store sales trends during the period, and this trend has continued into August (SRSC) :

  • Reports Q2 EPS of C$0.13 vs. (C$0.21) in prior year; revenue declined 9% YoY to C$768.8 mln;  
  • Same store sales -3.9% for Q2; The percentage decline in same store sales was smaller than the percentage decline in revenue primarily due to (1) store exits since last year, (2) declines in the Company's print catalogue business, and (3) declines in logistics services sold to third parties.
  • Core retail same store sales were -1.0%, but turned positive during the quarter in the month of June.
  • Co said it began to show positive same store sales trends during the period, and this trend has continued into August.

7:07 am G-III Apparel beats by $0.07, reports revs in-line; guides Q3 EPS in-line, revs above consensus; raises FY16 EPS above consensus, reaffirms FY16 revs guidance (GIII) :

Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.27 per share, $0.07 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20; revenues rose 11.8% year/year to $473.9 mln vs the $469.89 mln consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $1.78-1.83 vs. $1.82 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of ~$920 mln vs. $910.57 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues guidance for FY16, raises EPS to $2.78-2.88 from $2.66-2.76 vs. $2.75 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; reaffirms FY16 revs of ~$2.4 bln vs. $2.4 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
    • Co is now projecting adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2016 to increase between 27% and 31% to between $237 mln and $245 mln compared to its previous guidance of adjusted EBITDA between approximately $225.0 mln and $233.0 mln.

7:05 am Allergan announces positive topline results from RECAPTURE 1 and 2, Phase III studies evaluating the antibiotic AVYCAZ as a treatment for adult hospitalized patients with complicated urinary tract infections (AGN) : In the RECAPTURE 1 and RECAPTURE 2 Phase III studies, AVYCAZ met the objective of statistical non-inferiority compared to doripenem for both the EMA primary and FDA co-primary endpoints. AVYCAZ was also effective in treating cUTI patients infected with ceftazidime-resistant bacteria. The most commonly reported adverse events were headache, nausea, constipation and diarrhea. No new safety concerns were identified upon review of the most frequent events up to the late follow-up visit (45--52 calendar days after randomization). Allergan plans to submit this data as a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to the Food and Drug Administration by the end of 2015.

7:04 am Sangamo BioSci and Shire plc (SHPG) revise their collaboration and license agreement to expedite the development of ZFP Therapeutics for hemophilia A and B and Huntington's disease (SGMO) :

The decision to restructure reflects a strategic decision by both Shire and Sangamo to focus efforts in areas of current interest and expertise for each company. Under the revised terms of the agreement, Shire will return to Sangamo the exclusive world-wide rights to gene targets for the development, clinical testing and commercialization of ZFP Therapeutics for hemophilia A and B. Shire will retain rights and will continue to develop ZFP Therapeutic clinical leads for Huntington's disease and a ZFP Therapeutic for one additional gene target yet to be named. Shire's rights with respect to other targets contemplated in the original agreement revert to Sangamo.

  • Under the revised agreement, each company is responsible for expenses associated with its own programs and will reimburse the other for any ongoing services provided. Sangamo has granted Shire a right of first negotiation to license the hemophilia A and B programs. No milestone payments will be made on any program and each company will pay certain royalties to the other on commercial sales up to a specified maximum cap. Additional financial details of the agreement will not be disclosed.

7:03 am Amedisys enters into a new $300 mln secured credit facility (AMED) : It consists of a $100 million five-year amortizing Term Loan A and a $200 million Revolving Credit Facility. Proceeds from the facility were used to pay off Amedisys' existing senior term loan and second lien term loan.

7:03 am xG Technology announces the commercial availability of its xMax NOW transportable broadband wireless system (XGTI) :  

7:03 am SolarCity creates a new fund, with a large financial institution, to finance $400 mln in solar projects (SCTY) :  

7:02 am AutoNation reports retail new vehicle unit sales of 31,032 in August 2015, -5% y/y (AN) :

The co announced that it reported to automotive manufacturers, based on their respective sales transaction reporting standards, retail sales of 31,032 new vehicles in August 2015, a decrease of 5% as compared to August 2014.

  • On a same-store basis, reported retail new vehicle unit sales in August 2015 were down 7% as compared to August 2014.

7:02 am Ambarella and GoPro (GPRO) lower following AMBA's earnings/guidance last night (AMBA) :

  • Ambarella (AMBA) is lower by 8% after reporting results last night. GoPro (GPRO) is lower by 6.5% in thin pre-market trading, on read-through from AMBA as AMBA the exclusive chip provider to GoPro (GPRO).  
  • While AMBA beat on the top and bottom line, it beat by lesser margin than it has historically and issued in-line guidance.
  • AMBA beat EPS ests by $0.07, beat on revs; guided for Q3 revenue of $90-$93 vs. $92.3 mln CapIQ Consensus, and sees Q3 EPS of approximately $0.86-$0.92 vs. $0.89 CapIQ consensus.  
    • AMBA also said wearable camera revenue is expected to be down sequentially and year/year due to product launches occurring in Q2 instead of Q3.

7:01 am Spectrum Pharma announces the publication of results from its pivotal clinical study for EVOMELA, noting that it is on track for a PDUFA decision in late October, 2015 (SPPI) :

Co announced publication of results from the pivotal clinical study for EVOMELA, used for myeloablative conditioning in multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous transplantation.

  • Patients enrolled in the study received 200 mg/m2 of EVOMELA as two doses on Day -3 and Day -2 prior to ASCT (Day 0). Efficacy was assessed by clinical response at Day +100 with an ORR of 95% and CR rate of 31% based on investigators' assessments, and rates of 100% and 21%, respectively based on independent pathology review; the lower rate of confirmed CRs in the independent review was due to missing data.
  • Importantly, the five patients who had previously relapsed from a prior ASCT were all shown to achieve a response to EVOMELA. All patients in the study achieved myeloablation with a median of 5 days post-ASCT, and all patients had successful neutrophil and platelet engraftment (median of 12 days and 13 days post-ASCT, respectively). Treatment-related mortality was 0%, and non-hematologic adverse events were mostly Grade 1 and Grade 2 in severity.
  • The incidence of Grade 3 mucositis and Grade 3 stomatitis were 10% and 5%, respectively with no Grade 4 mucositis or stomatitis reported. Twenty percent of patients experienced treatment-emergent serious adverse events, most of which were Grade 3, and consisted of events commonly reported in patients undergoing myeloablative chemotherapy; no new safety signals were identified.
  • A PDUFA decision is expected on October 23, 2015.

7:01 am Trimble Navigation commences a $75 million accelerated share repurchase (TRMB) : Under the current authorization, the Company has purchased $75 million in the open market since August 13, 2015 and has committed to an additional $75 million through this ASR. After the completion of the ASR, $250 million will remain under the current share repurchase authorization

7:00 am Summit Therapeutics appoints Dr Ralf Rosskamp as Chief Medical Officer (SMMT) : Rosskamp was most recently Vice President, Global Clinical Development, at NPS Pharmaceuticals

7:00 am Asian Markets Close: Japan's Nikkei -0.4%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.2%; China's Shanghai Composite -0.2% (:SUMRX) :

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region suffered further losses on Wednesday, only they were much more modest in scope following Tuesday's selling pressure. Several markets rebounded from large losses that followed on the heels of Wall Street's ugly showing. China's Shanghai Composite, for instance, was down 4.6% shortly after it opened but ended the day down just 0.2%. In other developments, Australia's Q2 GDP growth of 0.2% was weaker than expected and down from 0.9% growth in the prior quarter, underscoring the drag of slumping commodity prices and economic slowing in the region.

Economic data

  • Japan
    • Monetary Base +33.3% year-over-year (expected +33.2%; prior +32.8%)
  • Australia
    • Q2 GDP +0.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.4%; prior +0.9%); +2.0% year-over-year (expected +2.2%; prior +2.5%)

Equity Markets

  • Japan's Nikkei declined 0.4%, coughing up a 1.7% gain on the heels of a renewed bout of selling interest in the afternoon session. The materials (-1.9%), financials (-1.3%), and consumer staples (-0.9%) sectors were the weakest areas. Yokohama Rubber Co. (-4.6%), Showa Shell Sekiyu (-4.4%), and Mazda Motor (-4.2%) paced losing issues while Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma (+4.8%), Kyowa Hakko Kirin (+2.7%), and Mitsubishi Logistics (+2.3%) led the winners. Out of the 225 index members, 33 ended higher, 188 finished lower, and 4 were unchanged.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.2% in a roller-coaster trading session. The index was down 2.0% shortly after the start of trading, gained all of that loss back, and then dove in the afternoon session on renewed selling interest. Bank of Communications (-5.7%), Kunlun Energy (-4.3%), and Galaxy Entertainment Group (-4.2%) were the worst-performing issues. Belle International Holdings (+1.5%), CK Hutchison Holdings (+1.4%), and Want Want China Holdings (+1.3%) topped the small list of winners. Out of the 50 index members, 10 ended higher and 40 finished lower.
  • China's Shanghai Composite ended down 0.2%, but staged quite a comeback from an opening 4.6% decline. The scope and speed of the rebound, which occurred in the morning session, stirred some speculation that it was government-sponsored in front of the country's celebration of the end of World War II and the defeat of Japan. China's stock market will be closed on Thursday and Friday to commemorate Victory Day.
  • India's Sensex declined 0.9% in a day of steady selling that left the market near its worst levels at the close. A weak showing from the industrials (-2.2%), financials (-1.9%), consumer staples (-1.8%), and consumer discretionary (-1.8%) sectors pressured the Sensex. Bharat Heavy Electricals (-4.9%), Oil & Natural Gas Co (-3.8%), and Mahindra & Mahindra (-3.7%) were downside leaders. Tata Consultancy Services (+2.5%), Tata Steel (+2.1%), and ITC Ltd (+1.6%) led a small group of winners. Out of the 30 index members, 7 ended higher and 23 finished lower.
  • Australia's S&P/ASX 200 increased 0.1%, rebounding in afternoon trade from an early 1.6% decline that followed a weaker than expected Q2 GDP report. The healthcare (+0.8%), financials (+0.4%), and industrials (+0.4%) sectors were instrumental in driving the turnaround effort. Out of the 200 index members, 79 ended higher, 105 finished lower, and 16 were unchanged.
  • Regional advancers: South Korea +0.1%, Taiwan +0.2%, Thailand +1.0%
  • Regional decliners: Malaysia -1.2%, Indonesia -0.3%, Singapore -0.2%, Philippines -0.2%
  • Closed for holiday: Vietnam (National Day)

FX

  • USD/CNY -0.1% at 6.3559
  • USD/INR -0.1% at 66.1850
  • USD/JPY +0.6% at 120.10

6:47 am BiondVax Pharmaceuticals announces the intention of the NIAID, to launch a Phase 2 trial of its Multimeric-001 vaccine (BVXV) :

Co announced the intent of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (:NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health within the Department of Health and Human Services, to launch a new phase 2 trial to be held in the United States in the 2015-16 timeframe. The trial will examine the use of BiondVax's universal flu vaccine candidate, Multimeric-001, as a primer vaccine.

  •  The trial will assess the ability of M-001 in humans to serve as a pandemic primer to the H7N9 avian pandemic vaccine, by enhancing protective immunity to these highly pathogenic avian influenza H7 strains. It will also look to strengthen previous clinical and pre-clinical findings on M-001 priming capacity to other seasonal and pandemic strains.

6:46 am Loxo Oncology granted orphan drug designation by the FDA for LOXO-101 for treatment of patients with soft tissue sarcoma (LOXO) :  

6:44 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Evotec AG (EVOTF) announced that CHDI Foundation has extended and expanded its collaboration with Evotec through to August 2018. Over this period CHDI will fund 55 full-time scientists at Evotec. The collaboration-which aims to find new treatments for Huntington's disease, an inherited neurodegenerative disorder-will take advantage of additional technologies, capabilities and capacities at Evotec's facilities in Toulouse, France, and Princeton, NJ, USA
  • KONE (KNYJY) announced it has acquired its authorized distributors in Croatia and Bosnia; term snot disclosed
  • Xcel Brands (XELB) announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement and innovative strategic partnership with Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor. Xcel will design and manage the manufacturing of products in an innovative Quick Time Response supply chain for four of Xcel's proprietary brands including IMNYC, H Halston, C. Wonder Limited and an additional brand targeting millennials created exclusively for the program.
  • Mitsubishi Electric (MIELY) announced that it has been awarded a contract by Hong Kong Observatory, a department of the Hong Kong Government, to supply Hong Kong International Airport with two Terminal Doppler Lidar systems capable of detecting nearby low-level wind shear and turbulence during non-precipitation conditions.
  • Medigus (MDGS) announced the addition of a new product to its micro ScoutCam portfolio of products - the micro ScoutCam 6.5 Lum, a new CMOS video camera that provides intense illumination in a small size which was originally custom-designed for the aeronautics industry.
  • WABCO (WBC) announced the opening of a new 65,000 square foot facility in Chennai, India that will enable WABCO to significantly expand its software engineering and shared services capabilities.

6:31 am Trimble Navigation acquires privately held Spatial Dimension; terms not disclosed (TRMB) : Spatial Dimension is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with subsidiaries in South Africa, Brazil and Australia. Its software is an enterprise scale land management solution adopted by mining companies and governments

6:30 am DTS to acquire iBiquity Digital Corporation for ~$172 mln; expected to drive strategic and financial synergies and be accretive beginning in 2016 (DTSI) :

The co announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of digital HD Radio technology for AM/FM audio and data broadcasting for approximately $172 million. DTS expects to finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and debt.  

  • The transaction is expected to close later in 2015 and is subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to be accretive beginning in 2016.

6:20 am China Unicom announces that Wang Xiaochu has been appointed as an Executive Director, Chairman and CEO effective September 1 (CHU) :  

6:16 am ION Geophysical announces a cost reduction initiative, will reduce global workforce by 25% (IO) :

The co announced an aggressive cost reduction initiative as part of an overall plan to align operating expenses with business conditions and recent declines in the current commodity price environment for crude oil and natural gas. The Company believes this cost reduction program will more appropriately scale its operations to the current commodity price environment.

  • The cost reduction initiative is expected to result in an approximate 25% decrease in the Company's global workforce and is expected to be substantially completed by September 30, 2015. The Company expects to incur $5-6 million in termination costs, all of which are expected to require cash expenditures, and the majority of which are expected to be incurred in the current fiscal year. The Company will provide additional details of these charges when it reports its results for the third quarter of 2015 later this year.
  • In connection with this plan, the Company expects to reduce annual operating costs by approximately $40 million. Such cost savings will consist primarily of payroll reductions and reductions in discretionary spending associated with a smaller workforce, as well as additional cost control measures. When combined with the cost savings undertaken since December of 2014, the Company will have achieved a total estimated annual savings of $80 million and a 50% reduction in its workforce. The cost savings initiatives were across all groups within the Company, but the Company is maintaining key capabilities in all its groups, including Ocean Bottom, and its readiness to rescale the business as revenues increase.

6:13 am China Telecom announces that Chang Xiaobing has been appointed as CEO with effect from September 1 (CHA) : In addition, the Company will seek approval for the proposed appointment of Mr. Chang Xiaobing as an executive director of the Company from the shareholders of the Company, effective from the date of approval by the shareholders of the Company at an extraordinary general meeting.

5:59 am Goodrich Petroleum receives non-compliance notice from NYSE relating to the minimum price requirement; also announces entry into private exchange transactions for convertible senior notes (GDP) :

Under Section 802.01C (i.e., share price standard), the Company has six months following its receipt of the NYSE notice to regain compliance with the minimum share price requirement. To indicate the Company's desire and ability to regain compliance with Section 802.01B (i.e., market capitalization standard) within 18 months, the Company will submit a business plan to the NYSE within 45 days from its receipt of the NYSE notice. If the NYSE approves the Company's business plan, the Company's shares will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE during the 18-month cure period, subject to its compliance with other NYSE continued listing standards.

  • The co also announced that it has entered into separate, privately negotiated exchange agreements under which it will retire $55 million in an aggregate original principal amount of its outstanding 5.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2032 in exchange for its issuance of a new series of 5.00% Convertible Exchange Senior Notes due 2032 in an aggregate original principal amount of $27.5 million. Following these transactions, approximately $111 million in an aggregate original principal amount of the Existing Notes will remain outstanding with terms unchanged. The exchange is expected to close on September 8, 2015, subject to customary closing conditions. Many terms of the New Notes will remain the same as the Existing Notes they replace, including the 5.0% annual cash interest rate and the final maturity date of October 1, 2032.

5:48 am S&P futures vs fair value: +15.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +43.70. :

5:48 am European Markets : FTSE...6045.30...-13.30...-0.20%.  DAX...9970.11...-45.50...-0.50%.

5:48 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...18095.40...-70.30...-0.40%.  Hang Seng...20934.94...-250.50...-1.20%.

5:40 am Hanwha Q CELLS receives GBP40.3 mln in financing for 2 solar projects totalling 45.2 MW (HQCL) :

Co announced that it has closed the financing of two solar power plants in Cambridgeshire, England, totalling 45.2 MW in capacity.

  • Financing for the operation of the solar plants has been provided by Bayerische Landesbank, which provided a GBP 40.3 million non-recourse loan.
  • EDF Energy, the UK's largest producer of low-carbon electricity, will purchase the solar energy under 15 year power purchase agreements with the two plants

5:39 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Citi (C) has been appointed by Merlin Entertainments as depositary bank for its Level 1 American Depositary Receipt programme, which trades on the US OTC marketplace under the symbol "MERLY".
  • With wireless LTE network deployments accelerating across Europe, CommScope (COMM) has opened a new antenna manufacturing facility that will more quickly satisfy customers' needs. The CommScope facility in Brno, Czech Republic will produce base station antennas for wireless operators across Europe, significantly reducing lead times before delivery.
  • Mindray (MR) announced that it was exclusively selected for the American Society of Echocardiography Foundation's humanitarian mission in Hanoi, Vietnam. Mindray was chosen as the exclusive partner for the mission because of its rugged, compact, fully featured echocardiography solution and the ability to pull together global support resources.
  • Toshiba's Digital Products Division (TOSBF) announced the Satellite Radius 12, a compact 2-in-1 laptop designed with expert technologies to best meet the performance demands
  • NETGEAR (NTGR) launched its highest performance VDSL Modem Router with Nighthawk X4S AC2600 WiFi VDSL/ADSL Modem Router

5:35 am Incyte signs GLA with Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine for SHR-1210; Incyte to pay Hengrui $25 million upfront plus the potential for milestone and royalty payments (INCY) :

Incyte announced a global license and collaboration agreement with Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine for the development and commercialization of SHR-1210, an investigational anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody.

  • Under the agreement, Incyte will have the exclusive development and commercialization rights to SHR-1210 worldwide, with the exception of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. SHR-1210 is expected to enter proof-of-concept studies for the treatment of patients with advanced solid tumors in the coming months.
  • Incyte will acquire development and commercialization rights to SHR-1210 worldwide, with the exception of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, in exchange for an upfront payment of $25 million.
  • The terms also include potential milestone payments of up to $770 million to Hengrui, consisting of $90 million for regulatory approval milestones, $530 million for commercial performance milestones, and $150 million based on clinical superiority.
  • The terms also include tiered royalties to Hengrui on net sales of SHR-1210 in Incyte territories.

4:52 am Citigroup to divest consumer banks in Hungary (C) :

Co signed an agreement with Erste Bank Hungary Zrt. and its subsidiary Erste Befektetsi Zrt. (Erste Investment) to sell its consumer banking business in Hungary.

  • The sale includes Citi's retail banking, consumer loans, cards businesses and the transfer of consumer banking employees.
  • This transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, which are expected by the end of 2015. Transfer of customer accounts is expected to be completed in Q4 2016.
  • The financial terms of the transaction are not material to Citi.

4:51 am Volkswagen extends terms to keep Dr. Martin Winterkorn as Chairman through Dec 31, 2018 (VLKAY) :  

4:48 am AstraZeneca enters license agreement to develop FluMist in Japan (AZN) : AstraZeneca announced that its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, has entered an agreement granting Daiichi Sankyo (DSNKY) an exclusive license to develop and commercialise FluMist Quadrivalent in Japan.

3:52 am NIDEC acquires U.S.-Based KB Electronic and E.M.G. Elettromeccanica (NJ) :

Co announced that it has acquired full ownership of KB Electronics, a privately owned US company; terms were not disclosed 

  • The Transaction is expected to have no significant impact on the Company's consolidated financial performance for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.
  • Additionally, co also acquired the business of E.M.G. Elettromeccanica S.r.l., a privately owned Italian company

2:40 am CGG completes Hail-Shuweihat Survey for ADNOC (CGG) :

CGG announced that, with the support of its Seabed Geosolutions joint venture with Fugro, it has successfully completed the acquisition of a 3D seismic survey over the Hail and Shuweihat oil and gas fields in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, one of the world's most environmentally sensitive areas.

  • The survey is part of an integrated project, including data processing and reservoir characterization, awarded to CGG by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company
  • Seismic operations were implemented to the highest QHSE standards to acquire the two-part survey, covering a total area of 1200 sq km and lasting over 18 months.

2:39 am Novartis receives EU approval for new Revolade (NVS) :

Co announced today that the European Commission has approved Revolade for the treatment of adults with severe aplastic anemia who were either refractory to prior immunosuppressive therapy or heavily pretreated and are unsuitable for hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

  • The approval is based on the results of a pivotal open-label Phase II study and two supporting Phase II studies conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health.
  • The pivotal study demonstrated a hematologic response (40%) in SAA patients treated with Revolade who had an insufficient response to IST.
  • The most common adverse reactions in the pivotal single-arm study of 43 patients were nausea, fatigue, cough, transaminase increased, diarrhea, and headache

2:37 am Care Capital Properties acquires 9 Senior Care Centers for total value of ~$210 mln (CCP) :

Co announced that it has completed the acquisition of eight skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility in Shreveport, Louisiana and simultaneously entered into a long-term triple-net lease with Texas-based operator Senior Care Centers, to operate the acquired portfolio.

  • SCC concurrently acquired the operations, which also included a rehabilitative therapy company, four hospice agencies and an interest in an affiliated pharmacy provider.
  • CCP purchased the assets for approximately $190 million and made a $20 million five-year, fully amortizing loan to SCC, resulting in a total transaction value of $210 million.
  • The initial cash lease yield on the properties is 8.25%, and the loan bears interest at a rate of LIBOR plus five percent, which escalates 25 basis points annually.

2:37 am Otter Tail Power acquires Impulse Manufacturing for $30.5 mln (OTTR) :

BTD Manufacturing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Otter Tail, announced it has acquired Impulse Manufacturing of Dawsonville, Georgia, for $30.5 million in cash.

  • Impulse had revenues of $27 million in 2014. Expected revenues for the remainder of 2015 are $11 million, and the results of operations for the last four months will be negatively impacted by $.01 per common share as a result of business combination accounting principles.
  • Earnings from this acquisition are expected to be accretive for 2016

2:36 am Career Education transfers ownership of Missouri College to Weston Education Group; terms of the agreement were not disclosed (CECO) : Co announced that it has closed on an agreement transferring control of Missouri College, one of its Career College institutions, to Weston Education Group, an education operator providing with four distance education schools as well as Heritage College and Heritage Institute. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

2:30 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PCG) submitted to state regulators its 2017-2019 General Rate Case, which proposes an average increase of less than 3 percent in typical residential customer energy bills to support upgrades to technology and electric and gas infrastructure.
  • Super Micro Computer (SMCI) announced immediate availability of embedded motherboard and system solutions supporting the new 6th Gen Intel Core processor family 
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