6:07 pm FuelCell Energy reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (FCEL) : Reports Q1 (Jan) loss of $0.04 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of ($0.04); revenues rose 22.2% year/year to $44.43 mln vs the $43.08 mln consensus.
- Backlog totaled $326.8 million at January 31, 2014 compared to $428.3 million at January 31, 2013.
- "We remain on track for closing multiple megawatts of orders and my confidence level is high as we have negotiated contracts for projects where we are waiting on final customer or regulatory approval," said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. "Inquiries and activity levels globally remain high as we work to convert pipeline into backlog, supported by the validation from on-time completion of multi-megawatt fuel cell parks on two different continents."
6:04 pm Euronet agrees to acquire HiFX for ~$242 mln; expected to add $0.15 to annual cash EPS in the first full year (EEFT) : Co announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire U.K.-based HiFX, a fast-growing provider of online initiated international payments and foreign exchange services, for 145 million or approximately $242 million. Twenty-five percent of the purchase price will be paid in shares of Euronet stock and the balance in cash; Euronet's existing revolving credit facility will be used to fund a portion of the cash consideration. Euronet expects the acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions, to close in the second quarter. Euronet estimates that the acquisition will contribute approximately 15 cents to Euronet's annual cash earnings per share in the first full year under Euronet ownership.
5:47 pm Public Storage announces pricing of 6.375% cumulative preferred shares of beneficial interest, Series Y (PSA) : Co announced that it has priced a public offering of 9,000,000 depositary shares at $25.00 per depositary share, with each depositary share representing 1/1,000 of a 6.375% Cumulative Preferred Share of Beneficial Interest, Series Y. The offering is expected to result in $225 million of gross proceeds (assuming no exercise of the underwriters' overallotment option) and to close on or about March 17, 2014. The Company expects to use the net proceeds to repay a portion of the outstanding indebtedness under its term loan. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, UBS Securities LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as joint book-running managers of the offering.
5:31 pm Document Security Systems files patent infringement claim against Samsung (SSNLF), TSMC, and NEC (DSS) : DSS Technology Management, Inc., a subsidiary of Document Security Systems (DSS) announced the filing of a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics (SSNLF), Taiwan Semiconductor Corporation ("TSMC"), and NEC Corporation of America ("NEC") in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. DSS's complaint alleges infringement by Samsung, NEC and TSMC of patents related to semiconductor manufacturing. DSS Technology Management acquired these patents in 2013 in order to support development of proprietary hardware and peripherals, including devices running AuthentiGuard, DSS's digital technology for brand protection.
5:23 pm Wright Medical announces agreement with FDA Office of Device Evaluation to file PMA amendment for Augment Bone Graft in lieu of Dispute Resolution Panel (stock halted) (WMGI) : Co announced it has reached an agreement with the Office of Device Evaluation (:ODE) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) under which ODE will accept a further amendment to the Pre-Market Approval application (PMA) for Augment Bone Graft in lieu of proceeding with the Dispute Resolution Panel (:DRP) that was scheduled for the week of May 19, 2014. The agreement with ODE remains subject to final approval by the FDA appeal authority. That approval is expected shortly.
The PMA amendment, which the company expects to submit on or about March 31, 2014, will consist of analyses of pre-existing radiographic films of clinical study patients at pre-operative and post-operative time points. ODE has committed to an expeditious review of the PMA amendment and agreed to issue a determination on whether the PMA is approvable no later than 180 days after submission of the PMA amendment. The company intends to renew the DRP process if the PMA amendment fails to result in a reversal of ODE's previous not approvability determination.
Commenting on this development, Robert Palmisano, president and chief executive officer, stated, "While this development is cause for somewhat greater optimism than we have thus far had reason to embrace, it is important to reiterate that the parties' positions are still far apart and there is no guarantee this PMA amendment will result in an approval for Augment Bone Graft. Nevertheless, we are pleased we were able to work collaboratively with FDA to identify a path forward that does not require new clinical studies to get to the next approvability determination."
5:22 pm LATAM Airlines reports February system passenger traffic decreased 0.7% as capacity decreased 5.7% (LFL) : Co reported its preliminary monthly traffic statistics for February 2014 compared to February 2013.
- System passenger traffic decreased 0.7% as capacity decreased 5.7%. As a result, the Company's load factor for the month increased 4.2 points to 82.9%. International passenger traffic accounted for approximately 50% of the month's total passenger traffic.
- Domestic passenger traffic in LATAM Airlines Group's Spanish speaking operations (Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia) rose 7.4%, as capacity increased 5.7%. As a consequence, the domestic passenger load factor increased 1.4 points to 84.1%.
- Domestic passenger traffic in Brazil increased 0.5%, as capacity decreased 7.2%. As a consequence, the domestic Brazil passenger load factor increased 6.3 points to 82.0%.
- International passenger traffic decreased 3.8%, while capacity decreased 8.2%. Accordingly, the international passenger load factor for the month increased 3.7 points to 82.9%. International traffic includes international operations of both LAN and TAM on regional and long haul routes.
- Cargo traffic for LATAM decreased 0.8% as capacity decreased 5.7%. As a consequence, the cargo load factor increased 2.9 points to 58.6%. The decrease in cargo capacity is a result of a decreased availability in the bellies of passenger aircraft in addition to a reduced freighter operation.
5:06 pm Perfect World beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs in-line (PWRD) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.54 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.49; revenues rose 34.5% year/year to $151 mln vs the $142.43 mln consensus.
Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs +36-43% yoy (~$105.6-145.8 mln) vs. $131.46 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
5:02 pm Home Inns to acquire Yunshang Siji Hotel Management Company (HMIN) : Co announced that it has signed a legally binding memorandum of understanding to acquire 100% ownership of Yunshang Siji Hotel Management Company from Kunming Department Store Co., Ltd., a publicly listed company in the domestic A-share market, for a cash purchase price of RMB 230 million, subject to satisfactory due diligence and customary purchase price adjustments.
- The transaction is expected to close on April 1, 2014.
4:52 pm Stock Building Supply Holdings announces commencement of public offering of 6.6 mln shares of common stock by selling stockholders (STCK) : Co announced today the commencement of a public offering of 6,600,000 shares of its common stock by certain stockholders, including Gores Building Holdings, LLC and members of management, pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 filed with the SEC. Stock Building Supply will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares of common stock in the offering. Goldman, Sachs & Co., Barclays and Citigroup are serving as joint book-running managers for the offering. Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated is acting as lead co-manager, and Stephens Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as co-managers.
4:50 pm RealD announces February 2014 box office on RealD-enabled screens is estimated to be ~$143 mln ($73 mln domestic, $70 mln international) (RLD) : Co announced that for February 2014, box office on RealD-enabled screens is estimated to be approximately $143 million ($73 million domestic, $70 million international). This represents the second monthly period of RealD's fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 ending March 31, 2014. For the quarter-to-date period in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 (January 1, 2014 through February 28, 2014), box office on RealD-enabled screens is estimated to be approximately $297 million ($133 million domestic, $164 million international).
4:45 pm Pegasystems announces two-for-one stock split (PEGA) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has approved a two-for-one (2:1) split of the company's common stock. Each stockholder of record at the close of business on March 20, 2014 will receive one additional share for each share held on the record date, with the distribution expected to occur on April 1, 2014. The company expects that its common stock will begin trading on a post-split basis on April 2, 2014. The company is maintaining its current quarterly cash dividend program. The company announced that the Q2 2014 dividend will be paid on a post-split, adjusted basis of $0.015 per share on April 21, 2014 to shareholders of record on April 7, 2014.
4:45 pm La Jolla Pharm resumes trading; initially jumps 38% to $15.00 in after-hours (LJPC) : See 16:16 comment for color.
4:39 pm Franklin Resources announces Feb 28, 2014 AUM of $882.2 bln vs $857.2 bln in prior month and $813.8 bln in prior year (BEN) :
4:34 pm Premier Exhibitions board authorizes review of strategic alternatives; announces shareholder call to discuss engagement of financial advisor tomorrow Mar 11 at 9am ET (PRXI) :
4:31 pm Tekmira Pharma announced that it is offering to sell shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering to raise gross proceeds of ~US$60 mln (TKMR) : Co announced that it is offering to sell shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering to raise gross proceeds of ~US$60 million. Tekmira also expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase additional shares of its common stock offered in the public offering to cover over-allotments, if any.
All of the shares in the offering are to be sold by Tekmira, with net proceeds to be used to develop and advance product candidates through clinical trials, as well as for working capital and general corporate purposes. The offering is subject to market conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether or when the offering may be completed, or as to the actual size or terms of the offering. Leerink Partners LLC is acting as the sole book-running manager for the offering. RBC Capital Markets, LLC is acting as lead manager.
4:31 pm Mattress Firm announces Ken Murphy has been appointed to the previously vacant role of chief operating officer (MFRM) : Co announced that Ken Murphy has been appointed to the previously vacant role of chief operating officer overseeing sales and operations, marketing, merchandising, information technology, business development and supply chain. He became the Company's executive vice president, sales and operations, in 2010 after holding various positions within Mattress Firm, including regional vice president of sales, vice president of field and talent management, director of training and recruiting and several field management positions.
4:19 pm Qualcomm names Derek Aberle President (QCOM) : Co announced that Derek Aberle, executive vice president of Qualcomm Incorporated and group president has been promoted to president of Qualcomm Incorporated. Prior to his current role, Aberle held several roles within Qualcomm's Technology Licensing division, including EVP & president and SVP & general manager. In 2000, Aberle joined Qualcomm after representing the Company as outside counsel for several years at large, international law firms.
4:18 pm Novavax beats by $0.01, beats on revs (NVAX) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.07 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.08); revenues rose 89.1% year/year to $8.7 mln vs the $6 mln consensus.
- The increase in revenue was primarily due to the HHS BARDA amendment relating to H7N9 manufacturing and other activities and the PATH amendment to support the co's Phase 2 clinical trial in women of childbearing age.
- As of Dec 31, 2013, the co had $133.1 mln in cash and cash equivalents and investments compared to $50.3 mln as of Dec 31, 2012.
- Net cash used in operating activities for 2013 was $45.4 mln compared to $18.2 mln for 2012.
- Co also announced the initiation of a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its H7N9 avian influenza VLP vaccine candidate with its proprietary Matrix-M adjuvant. The trial is enrolling 610 healthy subjects to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of this vaccine and adjuvant.
4:18 pm Calumet Specialty Products to license the VOLTESSO oil brand from Imperial Oil (CLMT) : Co announced a licensing agreement with Imperial Oil Limited through which Calumet will produce, market and sell bulk transformer insulating oil into the Canadian market under the VOLTESSO brand of products. VOLTESSO electrical insulating oils are formulated from high quality basestocks and select additives that provide excellent low temperature performance and resistance to oxidation and sludge formation in electrical service. These high quality oils are designed and manufactured to provide cooling and to help insulate transformer components against electrical corona and arching.
4:16 pm La Jolla Pharm reports positive, top-line results from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of GCS-100 in chronic kidney disease; primary efficacy endpoint of improved kidney function achieved (stock halted) (LJPC) : Co announced positive top-line results from its randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial of GCS-100 in chronic kidney disease (:CKD).
- The trial met its primary efficacy endpoint of a statistically significant improvement in kidney function. Specifically, a dose of 1.5 mg/m2 led to a statistically significant (p=0.045) increase in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) compared to placebo between baseline and end of treatment. At the 30 mg/m2 dose, there was no statistically significant difference.
- Key secondary endpoints were also met, and the effect on circulating galectin-3 levels was consistent with the effect on eGFR. For the 1.5 mg/m2 dose, there was a statistically significant (p=0.067) reduction in circulating levels of galectin-3, while there was no significant difference at the 30 mg/m2 dose level.
- Out of 121 patients enrolled, 117 completed treatment, including all 41 patients treated at the 1.5 mg/m2 dose.
- There were no serious adverse events (SAEs) in the 1.5 mg/m2 dose group compared to two in the placebo group and two in the 30 mg/m2 group.
- Co will hold a Conference Call and Webcast at 8:30 AM Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 11
- LJPC is currently halted.
4:15 pm United Natural Foods reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides FY14 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (UNFI) : Reports Q2 (Jan) earnings of $0.56 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.56; revenues rose 13.9% year/year to $1.65 bln vs the $1.64 bln consensus.
- Operating margin was 3.0% of net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2014, an increase of 27 basis points from the same period last fiscal year
- Co issues mixed guidance for FY14, sees GAAP EPS of $2.45 to $2.51 vs. $2.52 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $6.70 to $6.78 billion vs. $6.72 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
- Adjusting for $118.7 million of net sales for the 53rd week in fiscal 2013, net sales growth for fiscal 2014 is expected to be in the range of approximately 12.7% to 14.0%.
4:15 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Begin New Week on Modestly Lower Note (:WRAPX) : The major averages began the new trading week on a slightly lower note with small caps leading the weakness. The Russell 2000 shed 0.3% while the S&P 500 slipped less than a point with six sectors ending in the red.
Equity indices began the day in negative territory with only the Nasdaq (-0.04%) making a very brief appearance in the green. After sliding through the first hour of action, the major averages reversed and spent the remainder of the session climbing off their lows with help from the three top-weighted sectors. Health care and financials gained 0.4% and 0.04%, respectively, while technology (-0.1%) ended just below its flat line. Also contributing to the rebound was the energy sector, which added 0.2% even as crude oil fell 1.4% to $101.07/bbl.
The S&P 500 tried to regain its flat line, but came up just short as the weakness among consumer discretionary (-0.4%), industrials (-0.5%), and materials (-0.1%) sectors kept a lid on the attempted rally.
Although the materials sector accounts for less than 4.0% of the entire S&P 500, the group was a notable early laggard after China reported disappointing trade figures for February. The country's trade balance swung from a surplus to a deficit of $22.98 billion (expected surplus of $14.50 billion) as exports fell 18.1% (expected +6.8%) while imports grew 10.1% (consensus +8.0%). The big miss did not come without an excuse as the Lunar New Year, which took place at the start of the month, was cited for causing distortions to the report.
The trade figures put additional pressure on copper futures, which continued their recent weakness. The metal fell 1.3% to $3.042/lb after starting the year in the 3.400/lb area. Miners and steelmakers were also pressured with Freeport-McMoRan (FCX 31.38, -0.81) and Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 43.87, -0.75) sliding 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively.
Elsewhere, the industrial space was pressured by Boeing (BA 126.89, -1.65), which lost 1.3% after a 777 jet operated by Malaysia Airlines vanished over the South China Sea during the weekend. Separately, a Tokyo-bound 787 from San Francisco was forced to make an emergency landing in Hawaii due to engine issues. Although the industrial space finished at the bottom of the leaderboard, transports fared a bit better. The Dow Jones Transportation Average shed 0.2%, trimming its March gain to 3.2%.
Also of note, the discretionary sector spent the duration of the session among the laggards. Homebuilders ended broadly lower with the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 25.23, -0.49) falling 1.9%. Automakers also lagged with Ford (F 15.51, -0.11) and General Motors (GM 37.08, -0.61) ending lower by 0.7% and 1.6%, respectively.
The Treasury market spent the day inside a narrow range and the 10-yr yield slipped one basis point to 2.78%.
Trading volume was well below average with just over 615 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.
Tomorrow, the January Wholesale Inventories report will be released at 10:00 ET.
- Nasdaq Composite +3.8% YTD
- Russell 2000 +3.4% YTD
- S&P 500 +1.6% YTD
- Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.0% YTD
4:13 pm Access Midstream Partners announces underwritten public offering of 8 mln common units representing limited partner interests owned by Global Infrastructure Partners II (ACMP) : Co announced the commencement of an underwritten public offering of 8,000,000 common units representing limited partner interests owned by Global Infrastructure Partners II. The Partnership will not receive any of the net proceeds from this offering and the number of the Partnership's outstanding common units will remain unchanged.
4:12 pm Post Holdings announces proposed concurrent offerings of $250 mln in 6.75% senior notes and 4 mln shares of its common stock (POST) : Co announces the private offering of $250 mln in aggregate principal amount of 6.75% senior notes due 2021. Post also announced it intends to commence an underwritten public offering of 4 mln shares of its common stock. Co intends to use the net proceeds from the proposed offerings for general corporate purposes, which could include financing the pending PowerBar and Musashi acquisition and financing additional acquisition opportunities, working capital and capital expenditures.
Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo are serving as book-running managers for the common stock offering. BMO Capital Markets, Nomura Securities, Stifel, Nicolaus and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey are serving as co-managers.
4:12 pm Douglas Dynamics beats by $0.18, beats on revs; guides FY14 midpoint above consensus; raises dividend 2.35% (PLOW) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.43 per share, $0.18 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.25; revenues rose 158.9% year/year to $73 mln vs the $59.14 mln consensus.
- The increase in sales during the quarter reflects increased demand related to higher than average snowfall levels across core markets compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, which saw lower than average snowfall and additional sales of products related to the business of TrynEx, Inc., which the co acquired in May of 2013.
Co has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.2175 per share of the Company's common stock. The quarterly cash dividend of $0.2175 per share represents an increase of 2.35% from the previous quarterly dividend.
"Following the challenging market conditions we saw in 2012, the positive results for 2013 mark an important step in what we anticipate is a two year return to normal business conditions. As we progress further into 2014, we are encouraged by sustained strong snowfall levels across many of our core markets in the early part of our first quarter and positive non-snowfall indicators within our business such as significantly lower field inventory, strong retail re-order sales, improving dealer sentiment as well as continually improving light truck sales. We remain steadfast in our focus on enhancing margins and leveraging our industry leading product portfolio, which includes our record number of new product launches in 2013 and our TrynEx assets, to better serve the needs of our customers. We will continue to invest prudently in 2014 and beyond to drive future growth and profitability."
4:11 pm DCP Midstream announces pricing of $325 mln of 2.70% senior notes and $400 mln of 5.60% senior notes (DPM) :
- The Operating Partnership intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to pay a portion of the purchase price of the Partnership's previously announced dropdown transaction and related expenses, and for general partnership purposes.
- If the dropdown transaction is not consummated, the Operating Partnership intends to use such net proceeds from this offering for organic growth projects, and for general partnership purposes.
- RBS Securities Inc., SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, RBC Capital Markets, LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.
- BBVA Securities Inc., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., DNB Markets, Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), Inc. and Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. acted as co-managers for the offering.
4:09 pm Medifast beats by $0.02, misses on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; guides FY14 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (MED) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.39 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.37; revenues fell 7.1% year/year to $77.3 mln vs the $80.57 mln consensus.
- Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.32-0.35 vs. $0.49 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 revs of $86-88 mln vs. $96.79 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
- Co issues mixed guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $1.80-1.90 vs. $1.96 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $340-380 mln vs. $372.49 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
- "In the fourth quarter our team managed the business well generating strong operational efficiencies that resulted in a 480 basis point improvement in operating margin. Looking ahead, we believe Medifast is increasingly well positioned to capitalize on our future growth opportunities as we execute our strategic initiatives and in turn increase long-term shareholder value."
4:08 pm MakeMyTrip announces public offering of 3 mln ordinary shares, 1.5 mln more by selling shareholders (MMYT) : MMYT announced that subject to market and other conditions, co is proposing to offer and sell up to 3,000,000 ordinary shares and certain selling shareholders are proposing to offer and sell up to 1,500,000 ordinary shares in an underwritten public offering. Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank are acting as joint book running managers of the offering.
4:08 pm Hill International misses by $0.02, beats on revs (HIL) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.03 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.01); revenues rose 15.4% year/year to $145 mln vs the $139.36 mln consensus.
- EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $9.2 mln, up 321.9% from the fourth quarter of 2012. Operating profit for the fourth quarter was $7.0 mln compared to an operating loss of ($0.3 mln) in the fourth quarter of the prior year.
- Guidance: Based on current market conditions and the backlog amounts described above, the company estimates that consulting fee revenue for 2014 will be between $575-$600 mln. This guidance, which assumes no acquisitions, reflects approximately 12% to 17% growth in consulting fee revenue for the year.
4:07 pm PowerSecure beats by $0.04, beats on revs; co's revenue backlog stands at an all-time high of $248 mln (POWR) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.13 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.09; revenues rose 57.3% year/year to $73.6 mln vs the $69.17 mln consensus.
- The co's revenue backlog stands at an all-time high of $248 million, as of the date of this release. This includes new business from awards announced on January 6, 2014 and February 20, 2014. The company's revenue backlog represents revenue expected to be recognized after Dec 31, 2013, for periods including the first quarter of 2014 onward.
- "Our record backlog, healthy order activity, exceptional balance sheet, and the benefits we are realizing from our acquisitions, all provide our team with confidence that our best-in-class solutions for large, growing and underserved markets, combined with our relentless commitment to serve our customers, will translate into a strong year for PowerSecure in 2014."
- Operating margin as a percentage of revenue was negative 2.5% in 4Q 2013 on a GAAP basis, and positive 4.8% on a non-GAAP basis. This compares to positive 4.3% in 4Q 2012 on a GAAP basis, and positive 6.7% on a non-GAAP basis. The decrease in operating margins was driven by the decrease in gross margins, partially offset by a decrease in operating expenses as a percentage of revenues.
4:07 pm Oxford Lane Capital commences public offering of 2.35 mln shares of common stock (OXLC) : OXLC announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of 2,350,000 shares of its common stock.
- Co plans to use the net proceeds of this offering for acquiring investments and for general working capital purposes, which may include the payment of operating expenses, including advisory and administrative fees and expenses.
- Deutsche Bank and Ladenburg Thalmann are acting as the joint bookrunning managers for the offering.
4:07 pm Sensient: FrontFour comments on Sensient's recent announcements regarding restructuring initiatives and plans to repurchase shares: 'Believes Announced Measures are Reactionary and Do Not Go Far Enough to Address Sensient's Prolonged Underperformance' (SXT) :
4:07 pm Pro-Dex announces a record date of March 20, 2014 for planned rights offering (PDEX) :
4:07 pm Urban Outfitters beats by $0.04, rev in-line with Feb 10 downside preannouncement (URBN) : Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.59 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55; revenues rose 5.7% year/year to $905.9 mln, in-line with Feb 10 preannouncement, the stale consensus was $925.66 mln.
- Comparable Retail segment net sales, which include comparable direct-to-consumer channel, increased 1%. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 20% at Free People and 10% at Anthropologie and decreased 9% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales increased 24%.
- Q4 gross profit rate improved by 4 basis points versus the prior year's comparable period. The improvement in gross profit rate was primarily due to improved merchandise margins primarily from significant improvement in the Anthropologie brand markdown rate. This improvement was mostly offset by increased markdowns at the Urban Outfitters brand.
- As of January 31, 2014, total inventories increased by $29 million, or 10%, on a year-over-year basis. The growth in total inventories is primarily related to the acquisition of inventory to stock new and non-comparable stores. Comparable Retail segment inventories increased 3%.
- Under the new agreement, KYTHERA Holdings Ltd., a wholly-owned Bermuda subsidiary of KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., acquired rights to develop and commercialize ATX-101 outside the U.S. and Canada. Bayer will receive $33 mln in KYTHERA common stock, plus a $51 mln note, payable no later than 2024.
- Bayer is also eligible to receive certain long-term sales milestone payments on annual sales outside of the U.S. and Canada.
4:06 pm Nuverra Environmental Solutions misses by $0.08, misses on revs (NES) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.53 per share, $0.08 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.45); revenues rose 13.4% year/year to $128.4 mln vs the $151.42 mln consensus.
- The Company also announced that Mr. Johnsrud will be appointed Chairman of the Board effective as of the upcoming Annual Meeting of Stockholders on May 6, 2014, replacing the retiring Executive Chairman Richard J. Heckmann. Additionally, Director Lou L. Holtz's current term expires on May 6, 2014, and he has elected to not stand for re-election. Both directors have reached the age guideline of 70 in accordance with the Company's Corporate Governance Guidelines and have elected to retire effective as of the Annual Meeting.
- "Looking to the first quarter of 2014, severe winter weather extended into January and February, with the Bakken, Marcellus and Utica regions experiencing the majority of the impact. We expect first-quarter 2014 performance to reflect lower weather-related levels of activity that are not reflective of what we believe are positive overall industry trends in 2014. As the weather improves, we expect operators will resume their drilling and completion programs," concluded Mr. Johnsrud.
- The Company will host a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) today.
4:06 pm Gladstone Invests a total of $11.3 mln of debt and equity in WadeCo Specialties Inc. (GLAD) : GLAD announced that on March 6, 2014, it invested $11.3 million through a combination of debt and equity to support a private equity sponsor's investment in WadeCo Specialties.
- Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Midland, TX, WadeCo provides production well chemicals to oil well operators used for corrosion prevention; separating oil, gas and water once extracted; bacteria growth management; and conditioning water utilized for hydraulic fracturing.
- WadeCo bases its individualized treatment programs on the unique characteristics of each well.
4:05 pm FARO Techs names Peter Abram Chief Financial Officer (FARO) :
- Mr. Abram was most recently with inVentiv Health Clinical LLC in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, serving as Chief Financial Officer, Phase II-IV, and previously held senior management positions at Styron LLC and MDS, Inc. following a number of advancing positions at PerkinElmer, Inc. and General Electric Capital.
4:05 pm Navios Maritime acquisition announces delivery of one VLCC (NNA) : NNA announced that the Nave Buena Suerte, a 2011-built VLCC of 297,491 dwt, was delivered today.
- The Nave Buena Suerte, one of the three VLCCs acquired in November 2013, was purchased for $57.0 million.
- The Nave Buena Suerte has been chartered out to a high quality counter party for minimum one year at a rate based on charterer's VLCC pool earnings.
4:04 pm Summit Midstream Partners announces public offering of 8 mln common units; 2.7 mln offered by selling shareholders (SMLP) : SMLP announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of 8 mln common units representing limited partner interests in SMLP, of which 5.3 mln common units are being offered by SMLP and 2.7 mln common units are being offered by Summit Midstream Partners Holdings.
- SMLP intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to fund a portion of the purchase price of its pending acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding membership interests in Red Rock Gathering Company.
- SMLP will not receive any proceeds from the common units sold by SMP Holdings.
- Barclays, BofA/Merrill, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, RBC Capital Markets, Citigroup, Goldman, and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.
4:03 pm American Eagle Energy announces exercise of purchase option and updated 2014 capital budget; Announces offering of 10 mln shares of common stock after giving effect to a 1 for 4 reverse stock split that will occur concurrently with pricing of the offering (AMZG) : Co announced the exercise of its option to purchase increased working interests in its Spyglass Area and updated its 2014 capital budget. The Company has notified its JV Partner in its Spyglass Area of the exercise of its purchase option to increase its working interests on existing acreage from ~44% to 55% in its total Spyglass Area and from ~51% to 60% in its proved area of Spyglass for total consideration of $47 million.
The Company is also updating its 2014 capital budget to include a continual two rig horizontal drilling program on the Company's ~37,900 pro forma net acres in the Spyglass Area of the Williston Basin. The Company plans on spending $86.1 million on drilling and completion activity. The Company plans to spend $82.2 million to drill 24 gross (13.8 net) operated wells and $3.9 million to participate in 0.6 net non-operated wells by year-end 2014.
Co also announced it intends to commence an underwritten public offering of 10,000,000 shares of the Company's common stock after giving effect to a 1 for 4 reverse stock split that will occur concurrently with pricing of the offering. The Company plans to use the net proceeds from this offering (i) to fund the exercise of its purchase option to acquire a portion of its JV partner's interests in its existing acreage and wells in the Spyglass Area, (ii) to fund a portion of its capital budget for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2014, and (iii) for general corporate purposes, including working capital and additional leasehold acquisitions. The Company has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,500,000 shares of common stock. Johnson Rice & Company L.L.C. is acting as sole book-running manager, Northland Capital Markets and Euro Pacific Capital are acting as senior co-managers, and Canaccord Genuity and Wunderlich Securities are acting as co-managers of the offering.
4:03 pm Casey's General misses by $0.11, misses on revs (CASY) : Reports Q3 (Jan) earnings of $0.38 per share, $0.11 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.49; revenues rose 7.7% year/year to $1.79 bln vs the $1.84 bln consensus.
- Gasoline: The goal for fiscal 2014 is to increase same-store gallons sold 1.5% with an average margin of 15 cents per gallon. For the third quarter, same-store gallons sold were up 3.8% with an average margin of 14.4 cents per gallon.
- Grocery and other Merchandise: The Company's annual goal is to increase same-store sales 5% with an average margin of 32.3%. For the quarter, same-store sales were up 6.5% with an average margin of 31.1%.
- Prepared Food: Casey's annual goal is to increase same-store sales 9% with an average margin of 62%. For the third quarter, same-store sales were up 10.7% with an average margin of 60.8%.
4:02 pm Nuverra Environmental Solutions announces agreement to Sell Thermo Fluids Inc. for $175 mln (NES) :
- Under the terms of the agreement, co will receive $165 mln in cash and $10 mln in VeroLube shares.
4:02 pm Apollo Commercial Real Estate announces public offering of $100 mln convertible senior notes due 2019 (ARI) : ARI) announced it has commenced a public offering of $100,000,000 aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2019.
- ARI intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repay amounts outstanding under co's repurchase facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and the balance, if any, to acquire co's target assets, which include commercial first mortgage loans, subordinate financings, commercial mortgage-backed securities and other commercial real estate-related debt investments, and for general corporate purposes.
- J.P. Morgan, BofA/Merrill and Citigroup are the joint book-running managers for the offering.
4:01 pm Qumu announces termination of shareholder rights agreement (QUMU) : QUMU announced that its rights agreement has been amended to accelerate the expiration date to March 21, 2014, effectively terminating the agreement as of that date. Shareholders are not required to take any action as a result of this expiration.
- "In determining to terminate the rights agreement, the Board considered a number of factors, including current corporate governance practices, voting guidelines of proxy advisory firms, certain protective provisions of Minnesota state law and the fact that the Board retains the right to adopt a new agreement at a future date in the event of changed circumstances," said Sherman Black, President and CEO. "The Board believes that terminating the rights agreement aligns our corporate governance practices with shareholder interests at this time."
3:49 pm Tomorrow's events of interest : Events and conferences of interest for tomorrow, March 11th, include:
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2014Consumer and Retail Conference
- Scheduled toappear: VFC, M, MCD, FL, COTY, ANF, CAKE, PETM, JWN, SKX, DPZ, THI,WMT, EAT, KR, SSI, SBUX, SUSS, NDLS, BKW, BOBE, OXM, PBPB, RCII, TPX, CRI, CHS,AZO, JACK, BONT, SONC, SFM, CBRL, HAIN, DKS, TFM, BLMN, WHR, PERY,UNFI
- Barclays Global HealthcareConference
- Scheduled to appear: HUM, UTHR, EXAM,HTWR, TTPH, HSIC, WMGI, THRX, INCY, SMA, DXCM, REGN, COO, CI, CYBX, TFX, PRXL,SNY, HSP, ESRX, BCRX, MGLN, CCRN, CELG, EVHC, NVO, CAH,UNIS
- Piper Jaffray Technology, Mediaand Telecommunications Conference
- Scheduled toappear: PJC, LGF, AKAM, FIO, JCOM, GDOT, CSCO, VECO, IMAX, MCO, CKEC,NTAP, RLD, RENT, BRCD, ELX, ABCO, CRM, FUEL, XRX, RVBD, CSOD, SHOR, TTWO, POWI,OUTR, GLUU, PRLB, CVLT, SLAB, INAP, ISIL, ASCMA, MODN, CRAY, MLNX, HILL, YELP,UCTT, EA, PLXT, AAOI, QLGC, CDNS, JDSU, BV, IT, RLOC, MDCA, DDD, WWWW, ATHN,MDSO, EQIX, ACLS, ENT, LOGM
3:37 pm Stock indices probing top of intraday ranges -- Dow -43, S&P -2.3, Nasdaq Comp -5.8 (:TECHX) :
3:30 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX) : Today after the close look for the following companies to report:
- CASY, PLOW, FTEK, FCEL, HIL, MED, NVAX, NES, PWRD, POWR, UNFI, URBN
- AEO, ARCO, BONT, BPI, CMN, DKS, EJ, GTN, NNBR
3:24 pm Herbalife: Pershing Square releases statement regarding Herbalife 'claim that allegations are probably false; (HLF) :
- Pershing notes that in an article today, Herbalife's Chief Financial Officer, John DeSimone, told the New York Times that Pershing Square's 'accusations are provably false.'
- Pershing adds "Yet, Herbalife has failed to respond to basic questions that we and others have continued to raise.... Herbalife has refused to release actual retail sales information that it requires its distributors to maintain, instead relying on third party survey data. Herbalife has refused to address the documented false and misleading sales practices plied by its senior-most distributors, including John Tartol, a current member of Herbalife's Board of Directors. Despite documented evidence to the contrary, Herbalife continues to deny that it targets minority communities, including Latinos throughout the United States. Moreover, Herbalife continues to deny that its pays recruiting rewards, despite the fact that recruiters are paid cash commissions when a new distributor qualifies for the business opportunity through mandatory inventory purchases."
2:41 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Apr crude oil fell $1.47 to $101.07/barrel
- Apr natural gas rose 3 cents to $4.65/MMBtu
- Apr heating oil fell 4 cents to $2.97/gallon
- Apr RBOB fell 2 cents to $2.95/gallon
2:40 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Prices- Grains drop following USDA WASDE report (See 12:02, 12:05, 12:26 comments) (:COMDX) :
- May corn fell 10 cents to $4.87/bushel
- May wheat fell 14 cents to $6.39/bushel
- May soybeans fell 40 cents to $14.19/bushel
- Apr ethanol fell 3 cents to $2.27/gallon
- May sugar (#16 (U.S.)) fell 0.09 of a penny to 22.06 cents/lbs
2:39 pm 3M NMC cathode technology confirmed by U.S. Patent Office (MMM) : Co announced that a key 3M patent for lithium ion battery nickel-manganese-cobalt (:NMC) cathode technology has emerged from reexamination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (:USPTO) with all original claims being confirmed as patentable and with no amendments (U.S. Patent 7,078,128). NMC cathode technology is widely used in lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics and electric vehicles. The patented technology enables lithium ion battery makers to design electrodes for specific applications for optimum balance of power, energy, stability and cost.
2:38 pm Great Panther Silver reported further disruptions at its Guanajuato mine complex (GPL) : Co this morning provided an update on developments at its Guanajuato Mine Complex in Mexico.
On March 9th, at around 2:00 pm PDT, ~60 people gained unauthorized entry to the Company's main administration building and plant facility in Guanajuato and continue to illegally occupy the facilities. All employees and contractors are safe and accounted for, and are off site. There have been no reports of any violence. Mining, plant and administration services have been shut down until the situation is resolved. The authorities have been notified but have not yet taken action.
2:16 pm Dollar Hovers Little Changed: 10-yr: +02/32..2.779%..USD/JPY: 103.16..EUR/USD: 1.3873 (:SUMRX) :
- The Dollar Index hovers little changed near 79.75 as a sleepy session nears its final hour of trading. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
- Today's action has spent most of the session hovering in a 10 cent range (79.70-79.80) as trade looks to reclaim the key 80.00 level.
- EURUSD is flat @ 1.3875 as trade looks for its sixth straight weekly advance. The single currency has tacked on near 400 pips during its winning streak as trade holds at its best levels since October 2011. The 1.3800 region will be critical in the days ahead as the single currency looks to maintain its recent breakout. Eurozone data is limited to the German trade balance.
- GBPUSD is -70 pips @ 1.6640 as sellers remain in control for a second session. Action in sterling has stalled near the 1.6750 level in recent weeks as sellers continue to put up a staunch defense at the best levels since October 2009. Britain's BRC Retail Sales Monitor is due out tonight while manufacturing production, the Inflation Report Hearings, and NIESR GDP Estimate are scheduled for tomorrow.
- USDCHF is flat @ .8775 as trade holds on its lowest levels since November 2009. Trade saw an early boost in response to the Swiss retail sales miss, but action has slipped back onto the flat line amid a sleepy session.
- USDJPY is -10 pips @ 103.15 as traders await tonight's Bank of Japan interest rate decision. Of interest will be the pair's ability to hold the 103.00 level following tonight's decision as resistance and the 50 dma aid the level.
- AUDUSD is -55 pips @ .9015 as sellers take control for a second session. Today's weakness comes amid more worries of a slowdown in China, and has dropped action back below the key .8050 level. The .8900 area will be watched closely as a breakdown puts the January lows near .8700 in jeopardy. Australia's NAB Business Confidence is scheduled to cross the wires this evening.
- USDCAD is +20 pips @ 1.1100 as trade presses the January highs. Action remains within striking distance of its best levels since July 2009 as any close above 1.1186 will mark the best close since that time.
2:00 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Apr gold rose $3.80 to $1341.60/oz
- May silver fell $0.01 to $20.91/oz
- May copper fell 5 cents to $3.03/lb
1:25 pm International Banc announces extension of stock repurchase program (IBOC) : On each of April 9, 2009, March 9, 2010, March 10, 2011, March 22, 2012 and March 4, 2013, the Board authorized the repurchase of up to $40 million of common stock within the next twelve months beginning on April 9 of that year. On March 7, 2014, the Board again authorized the repurchase of up to $40 million of its common stock during the twelve month period commencing on April 9, 2014, which repurchase cap the Board is inclined to increase over time. Since April 9, 2009 until the present, IBC has repurchased approximately $30.1 million of common stock, representing approximately 1,885,770 shares of common stock.
1:21 pm European Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
- UK's FTSE:-0.4%
- Germany's DAX:-0.9%
- France's CAC:+0.1%
- Spain's IBEX:+0.3%
- Portugal's PSI:+1.2%
- Italy's MIB Index:+0.6%
- Irish Ovrl Index:-0.5%
- Greece ASE General Index: -0.2%
1:04 pm Minor new rebound highs for major averages -- Dow -55, S&P -2.8, Nasdaq Comp -6 (:TECHX) :
1:02 pm eMagin announces a one day delay of its Q4 earnings conference call to March 12, 2014 due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict (EMAN) :
1:00 pm Green Mtn Coffee changes its name to Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) : Co announced it has changed its company name to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) effective immediately. Shareholders approved the new name at the Company's annual shareholder meeting held last week. The Company will retain its ticker symbol of "GMCR" on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Company's Canadian subsidiary, formerly GMCR Canada Holding, Inc., also becomes Keurig Canada Inc. effective immediately.
"Our new name better reflects who we are as a Company today and captures our aspirations for the future," said Brian Kelley, Keurig Green Mountain's President and CEO. "The name Keurig Green Mountain brings together our two strongest brands, Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee, into one single and powerful corporate identity that symbolizes the strength of our business and the unity of our team, while also recognizing our strong heritage."
12:59 pm Barrick Gold announces intention to divest part of African Barrick Gold plc Holding (ABX) : Co announces its intention to divest part of its shareholding held indirectly in African Barrick Gold. The disposal will be conducted by means of a placing of ABG ordinary shares to institutional investors. The Placing is expected to comprise approximately 41.0 million ABG ordinary shares, representing ~10.0 percent of the issued ordinary share capital of ABG and ~13.5 percent of Barrick's holding in ABG. The Placing is being conducted through an accelerated bookbuild offering process which will be launched immediately following this announcement.
12:58 pm Midday Market Summary: Russell 2000 Lags at Midday (:WRAPX) : At midday, the major averages trade lower across the board with the Russell 2000 (-0.6%) displaying the largest decline. The S&P 500 holds a more modest loss of 0.3% with nine sectors sitting in the red.
Although individual sectors trade broadly lower, only four groups-consumer discretionary (-0.5%), industrials (-0.7%), materials (-0.5%), and telecom services (-1.0%)-are seeing larger losses than the broader market. Furthermore, two of the four-materials and telecom services-account for less than 6.5% of the S&P 500.
The telecom sector is being pressured by Verizon (VZ 46.69, -0.46) while producers of basic materials trade lower following disappointing trade data from China. Specifically, China's trade balance swung from a surplus to a deficit of $22.98 billion (expected surplus of $14.50 billion) as exports fell 18.1% (expected +6.8%) while imports grew 10.1% (consensus 8.0%). Despite the big miss, the data is being taken with a grain of salt due to the Lunar New Year, which occurred at the beginning of the month and may have exacerbated the deficit.
While the broader market has not shown too much concern over the disappointing figures, the same cannot be said for the copper market, where the base metal trades lower by 1.5% at $3.037/lb after trading near 3.20/lb just last week. Miners and steelmakers are also seeing pressure with Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 17.77, -0.88) and Freeport-McMoRan (FCX 31.15, -1.04) down 4.7% and 3.3%, respectively.
Elsewhere, the industrial sector lags amid notable weakness in shares of Boeing (BA 125.38, -3.16) after a 777 jet operated by Malaysia Airlines vanished over the South China Sea during the weekend. In addition, a Tokyo-bound 787 from San Francisco was forced to make an emergency landing due to engine issues. Boeing trades lower by 2.5%, which is contributing to the underperformance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.4%).
Even though the key indices remain in the red, they have been able to climb off their lows thanks to the relative strength among the three top-weighted sectors. Financials (-0.1%) and technology (-0.1%) hover just below their flat lines while health care (+0.1%) represents the only group trading in the green at this juncture.
Treasuries hold modest gains with the 10-yr yield off one basis point at 2.78%.
12:46 pm TD Ameritrade's Investor Movement Index: IMX breaks highest level in its four-year history third month in a row (AMTD) : The February 2014 Investor Movement Index for the four weeks ending February 28, 2014, reveals:
- Reading: 5.74 (compared to 5.66 in January)
- Trend direction: Positive
- Trend length: 5 months
- Score relative to historic ranges: High
12:42 pm Freddie Mac announces third multifamily securities offering this year, K-037 (FMCC) : Co announced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates ("K Certificates"), which are multifamily mortgage-backed securities. The company expects to issue approximately $1.15 billion in K Certificates ("K-037 Certificates"), which are expected to price the week of March 10, 2014, and settle on or about March 25, 2014. This is Freddie Mac's third K Certificates offering this year. The K-037 Certificates are backed by 102 recently-originated multifamily mortgages and are guaranteed by Freddie Mac. The K-037 Certificates will be offered to the market by a syndicate of dealers led by Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated as co-lead managers and joint bookrunners.
12:26 pm USDA WASDE report color; global soybean ending stocks estimated 3.2% below prior forecast (:COMDX) : World corn production rose 0.1% to 967.52 mln metric tons (mmt), while exports rose to 144.53 mln mmt and ending stocks rose 0.7% to 158.47 mmt. Projected U.S. feed grain ending stocks for 2013/14 are reduced with higher corn exports and lower oats imports. Corn exports are projected 25 mln bushels higher on stronger world imports and the rising pace of shipments in recent weeks.
World soybeans production expectations call for a decline of 0.8% to 285.43 mmt and now estimate ending stocks at 70.64 mmt, 3.2% below last month's estimate. U.S. soybean supply and use projections for 2013/14 include higher imports and exports, reduced crush, and reduced ending stocks compared with last month's report.
Soybean exports are raised 20 mln bushels to a record 1.53 billion reflecting continued strong sales and shipments through February.
Soybean crush is reduced 10 mln bushels to 1.69 billion reflecting weaker-than-expected domestic soybean meal use through the first quarter of the marketing year. Soybean stocks are projected at 145 mln bushels, down 5 mln from last month. Soybean oil stocks are reduced on lower production and increased exports.
World wheat production is now expected to be 712.92 mmt, 0.01% higher than the prior estimate, while ending stocks remained basically unchanged (183.81 mmt from 183.73 mmt). A 15-mln-bushel increase in projected Hard Red Spring wheat exports is offset by a decrease for Soft Red Winter wheat, with both changes reflecting the pace of sales and shipments.
12:19 pm Herbalife comments on NY Times report 'exposing Pershing Square's unprecendent tactics to destroy company' (HLF) : Co commented on a March 10, 2014, New York Times report "After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Levers of Power," by Michael S. Schmidt, Eric Lipton and Alexandra Stevenson. The article details how Bill Ackman of Pershing Square has employed a sophisticated and unprecedented campaign to exert pressure on lawmakers and regulators to investigate and destroy Herbalife, all to protect the $1 billion bet he made against the company. Herbalife issued the following statement:
"For the past 15 months, Bill Ackman has executed an unfounded, relentless and fraudulent public attack on Herbalife's business model, blasting Herbalife to any media outlet or hedge fund audience willing to listen. As The New York Times reports, Ackman has, out of desperation, shifted his focus from Wall Street to Washington and key states across the country. Ackman's unprecedented campaign to destroy Herbalife has now been exposed for what it is: a cynical, self-serving attempt to manipulate the market by buying his way into an investigation to cover his own reckless $1 billion dollar bet. There has never been merit to his accusations. Now we know how he has been orchestrating the appearance of outrage and concern. There should be no question any longer about Ackman's motives, his techniques and his goals."
12:16 pm Old Dominion raises expectations for Q1 growth in LTL tons per day following an increase of 11.7% for February (ODFL) : Co reported an increase in its less-than-truckload ("LTL") tons per day for February 2014 of 11.7% compared with February 2013, which followed comparable-period growth of 10.1% for January 2014. Based on these results and its outlook for March, Old Dominion today raised its expectations for growth in first-quarter 2014 LTL tons per day to a range of 11.0% to 11.5% from the previously reported range of 10.0% to 11.0% over the prior-year comparable quarter. The Company also affirmed its expectations for comparable-period growth in LTL revenue per hundredweight, excluding fuel surcharges, to be in a range of 2.0% to 2.5% for the first quarter of 2014.
12:11 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
- ALXN (178.74 +6.36%): Raised FY14 EPS guidance to $4.37-4.47 from $3.70-3.80 (may not compare to $3.82 estimate), raised FY14 rev guidance to $2.15-2.17 bln from $2.00-2.02 bln (may not compare to $2.03 estimate)
- FMC (82 +5.30%): Announced separation into two independent public companies; new FMC will be comprised of FMC Agricultural Solutions and FMC Health and Nutrition segments
- FB (71.76 +2.81%): Target raised to $90 from $72 at UBS; target raised to $82 from $70 at Telsey Advisory Group
- VOD (38.3 -4.08%): FT reporting that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was negative on chances of Vodafone being acquired
- SCCO (27.84 -4.00%): Weakness in metals stocks: GGB, FCX, TCK, BHP, AA, VALE also lower
- BA (125.47 -2.39%): Weakness following a Reuters report of wing cracks on 787 Dreamliners in production; a Japanese Airlines 787 also made an emergency landing
- HIMX (15.62 +11.73%): Target raised to $20 from $17.50 at Northland Capital - early channel checks indicate that Q1 is tracking in-line or better than the firm's current model
- NBG (5.15 +6.85%): Initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
- CVRR (22.64 +4.04%): Mentioned positively at Barron's
- ATHM (45.46 -6.35%): Initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
- DDD (63.94 -5.01%): Mentioned cautiously in Barron's article
- CLF (17.75 -4.83%): Initiated with a Sell at Axiom Capital
12:08 pm Zygo receives $1.4 mln support order for laser fusion amplifiers (ZIGO) : Co announced that its Optical Systems Division has been awarded a $1.4 million contract for meter class Laser Fusion Amplifiers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The order is part of an operational spares program for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) located in Livermore California.
12:05 pm Corn, wheat and soybeans all initially drop following monthly USDA WASDE report; Corn is now -1.5% at $4.82/bushel, wheat is -0.8% at $6.49/bu and soybeans are -2.4% at $14.23/bu (all May contracts) (:COMDX) :
12:02 pm USDA releases WASDE report; not many changes at all on U.S. corn balance sheet. ending stock fell to 1.456 bln from 1.481 bln. World Ending corn stocks rise 0.7% to 158.47 mln metric tons (:COMDX) : Click here for WASDE latest report.
- Fertilizer stocks (POT, MOS, CF, AGU, IPI, UAN, TNH, RNF, RTK, BG)
- Farm machinery (DE, AGCO, CNH, TITN)
- Seed names (MON, SYT, DD, DOW)
- Irrigation (LNN) and livestock (SAFM, HRL, SFD, TSN)
- Related ETFs: JJG (grains ETF), CORN (corn ETF) and WEAT (wheat ETF)
12:01 pm Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors displaying relative weakness in recent trade include: Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH, Housing XHB, Discretionary XLY, Transports IYT, Utility XLU, Casino, Finance/Bank XLF/KBE.
11:55 am S&P -5.6 recovery pauses (:TECHX) : The index broke below the low of Friday's all-time high bar during the morning wave of profit-taking but stabilized after testing its Feb peak at 1867 (session low 1867). While still in the red, the pace and pattern of the rebound back above Friday's low is an encouraging short term development. It has reached an intraday resistance noted earlier at 1873/1874 and paused but a continued hold above 1871 and more importantly 1869 during this dip keeps the constructive pattern off the low intact. An initial resistance of importance above is at 1878.
- Cos announced the signing of a supply agreement for high volume production of a key component of the OPKO Sangia microfluidic cassette. The Sangia cassettes are designed to perform quantitative immunoassays from a finger-stick blood sample on the Claros1 in-office analyzer.
- The test results are reported in the physician's office in 10 minutes. The first two OPKO Sangia tests are for total prostate specific antigen and Total Testosterone.
11:27 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (162) outpacing new lows (24) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAL, ACU, ALL, AMAT, AMC, ASGN, ASPX, ASRV, ASTE, BBCN, BGCP, BHE, BKW, BLDP, BRK.A, BRK.B, BRKS, BX, CACQ, CAK, CAVM, CBPX, CELH, CFR, CISG, COKE, CPE, CPS, CTP, CUI, CVTI, DBD, DL, DRII, DXYN, DY, EBS, EJ, ENS, EONC, EVK, EWBC, FB, FBIZ, FBNC, FCEL, FCH, FMC, FMNB, FRBK, GIGM, GLUU, GNCA, GNRC, GNW, GSAT, GSI, GTT, HA, HCLP, HNT, HOLI, HRG, HRT, HTLD, HUB.B, HUSA, HYGS, IDXX, IG, IMOS, IPHI, IPWR, ISIG, IT, JACK, JST, KAMN, KFY, LABC, LACO, LCUT, LDL, LDRH, LLTC, LSTR, LUV, MATR, MEET, MGA, MITL, MKL, MLR, MMC, MMI, MNI, MNTX, MPET, MXC, NJ, NSEC, NTRS, NWLI, NYT, ODFL, OGXI, OHRP, OILT, OPY, OXM, PF, PFBC, PHX, PLM, PLUG, POST, POWI, PQ, PRI, PRXL, PSIX, PSX, PTSI, PWR, PZN, PZZA, QUMU, RBCN, ROK, ROX, RVNC, SBGL, SBSA, SBSI, SIMG, SIX, SLAB, SPNS, ST, STZ, SZYM, TCBI, TFX, THO, THTI, TMK, TRIP, TRNS, TSRA, UBIC, UQM, URI, VAR, VE, VECO, VLO, VRA, VSB, VTSS, WLFC, XNCR, YDKN
Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ANR, APL, BAK, CERE, CHA, CHL, DMD, EMAN, FMX, FST, HNP, LEI, MR, OTEL, PBR, PBR.A, RLOC, RTI, TBAC, TLM, VHI, VIP, WLT, YZC
ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: DBA, FXE, GREK, PBW
ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: none
11:17 am Stock indices edge off lows, Dow -90 rebounded 30 points -- S&P -7.2, Nasdaq Comp -17.9 (:TECHX) :
11:12 am Floor Talk (:TALKX) : There is broad-based selling pressure in the US stock market this morning and the question at hand is: why? There are some proximate causes, yet the fairly even dispersion of selling interest suggests the move is rooted primarily in profit taking following a big run by the major indices.
Some items drawing attention as selling catalysts include the following:
- China's report that exports declined 18.1% in February. The large drop has been pinned in part on Lunar New Year holidays, but it has nonetheless stirred concerns about a global slowdown
- A Reuters article notes, however, that exports were up 1.6% for the combined January-February period versus a year earlier
- Japan's Q4 GDP growth was revised down to 0.2% from 0.3% (0.7% annualized versus 1.0% prior)
- Increasing angst about the diplomatic standoff in Ukraine after Vladimir Putin defended Crimea's right to hold a March 16 referendum on annexation to Russia
- Building concerns about signs of speculative excess that have been reflected in groups like the marijuana and fuel cell stocks
- A warning from Seth Klarman, head of the $27 bln Baupost Group and closely-followed hedge fund manager, about asset price bubbles building
- A Financial Times report notes that Mr. Klarman was recently named the fourth best performing hedge fund manager of all time
The inability to hold larger gains on Friday following the better-than-feared employment report opened the door for some follow-through profit taking that has been easier to rationalize given the proximate causes noted above.
The industrial (-0.9%) and basic materials (-0.8%) sectors are pacing the declines, which is fitting given the prevailing narrative today that highlights growth concerns. Some of the defensive-oriented sectors, like consumer staples (-0.2%) and utilities (-0.3%) are showing some relative strength, but even they are on the defensive in a tape pressured by broad-based profit-taking interest.
11:07 am UQM Technologies is up 20% following ISO/TS 16949 Certification news before the open (UQM) : Co has reached a significant milestone with the official registration for the ISO/TS 16949:2009 Quality Standard. This registration is considered the highest level of quality standards for the automotive industry and encompasses UQM's entire operation including the design, manufacturing and service of the company's distinctive product offerings.
11:03 am Currency Commentary: EU Official See Euro as Overvalued (:SUMRX) :
- The Dollar Index has seen a small bid to push it to 79.78. It remains firmly under the key 80 level as we kick off a week that will be light on economic data and heavy on geopolitical headlines with the Ukraine and a G-7 meeting taking focus. For the moment it appears the DXY is prepared to hold the 79.60 level.
- The euro rallied to 1.3898, just shy of the 1.39 level and its highest since November of 2011. The single currency has broken above 1.38 which we noted has been the 'line in the sand' for EU members. This valuation tends to impact exports and sure enough ECB governing council member Christian Noyer was out this morning noting concern about the current valuation. Expect a list of EU headlines attempting to jawbone the euro down in the coming week. Economic data was mixed as France Industrial Production numbers missed and Italian IP beat expectations. The EU Investor Confidence survey did fall short of consensus but it was at its highest level in 35 months.
- The pound came under selling pressure today as it pulls back from the 1.67 level. The move comes ahead of tomorrow's testimony by BoE Chief Mark Carney with regards to currency manipulation. While the hearing is unlikely to have any impact on monetary policy, it will be highly publicized and reflect poorly on the Bank of England.
- The yen was weaker this morning as the country posted its lowest current account deficit on record. Much of the move was being attributed to a pick up in imports as consumers rush to make purchases ahead of a consumption tax hike in April. The yen dipped back into the 103 level in reaction as investors contemplate further action from the Bank of Japan. The BoJ is set to meet tonight but the central bank is not expected to expand any of its programs until it sees the impact from the April tax hike.
- The Aussie dollar has been chopped lower in reaction to the poor China trade data. Some of the weakness was being attributed to the Lunar new year but that did not mask the overall weakness in the Chinese economy. The Aussie has slipped from 0.9060 to test the 0.90 support level in response (FOREX, BONDX).
11:01 am Hemispherx Biopharma plans to file for regulatory approval of Ampligen to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in three additional Latin American countries (HEB) : Co announced that it and its partner in Latin America, GP Pharm, are planning on making applications in Chile, Peru and Uruguay for regulatory approval of Ampligen to treat CFS.
10:47 am Relative sector performance (:TECHX) : Sectors that are underperforming the S&P on the recent downside extension include: Transports IYT, Defense PPA, Internet FDN, Biotech IBB, Housing XHB, Industrial XLI, Discretionary XLY, Software IGV, Steel SLX, Casino, Coal KOL. Relative strength has been noted in more defensive sectors: Gold Miners GDX, Gold GLD, Silver SLV, Utility XLU, Staples XLP
10:43 am Stock indices continue to extend morning decline -- Dow -110, S&P -10.8, Nasdaq Comp -26.7 (:TECHX) :
10:41 am InterActiveCorp unit acquired international rights to Online Dating Rituals of the American Male (IACI) : (no financial terms disclosed)
10:32 am Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico February total terminal passengers increased 13.2% YoY; Domestic passenger traffic increased 12.7%, while international passenger traffic increased 13.9% YoY (PAC) :
10:30 am S&P -7 tests lower end of support zone (:TECHX) : A new session low for the S&P in recent trade probed the low end of support from The Technical Take at 1872/1870 (session low 1870). For this morning need to see a sustained rebound back through 1873/1874 in order to improve the very short term price pattern. The next near term support is at 1864.
10:26 am World Wrestling and TELE 5 announce partnership (WWE) : Co and TELE 5 announced a multi-year deal to bring WWE's flagship program, Monday Night Raw, back to free television in Germany. Starting April 10th, WWE fans will be able to see the two-hour version of Monday Night Raw every Thursday at 10.15pm on TELE 5.
10:13 am Stock indices slide to new session lows -- Dow -86, S&P -6, Nasdaq Comp -11 (:TECHX) :
10:12 am Ligand Pharma Captisol licensee Lundbeck announces FDA acceptance of NDA Submission for Carbamazepine IV; action letter is anticipated before the end of 2014 (LGND) : With acceptance of the NDA filing, Ligand earns a $200,000 milestone payment.
9:54 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sectors that have displayed relative strength (outperformed the S&P) in recent trade include: Transports IYT, Technology XLK, Semi SMH, Medical Supplies, Finance XLF, Energy XLE.
9:49 am InterCloud Systems announces a new turnkey managed services agreement with the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services; contract valued at $2.6 million over 5 years (ICLD) :
9:49 am Stock indices edging off opening lows, Nasdaq 100/Comp reach positive territory -- Dow -32, S&P -0.5 (:TECHX) :
9:46 am CUI Global up 15% at multi-year high after releasing a 60A digital point-of-load (POL) series based on new power topology (CUI) : Co announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, CUI Inc, has released a new family of digital point of load dc-dc modules that set performance benchmarks in efficiency, power density, and transient response to address the rapidly-rising power challenges in distributed power architectures. The NDM3ZS-60 is a non-isolated module outputting 60A in ultra low-profile vertical and horizontal packages. The series is the first non-isolated design to incorporate CUI's patented Solus Power Topology which integrates a conventional buck converter into a SEPIC converter to form a SEPIC-fed buck converter. The topology is able to reduce switching turn-on losses by 75% and switching turn-off losses by 99% on the control FET when compared to a conventional buck converter. The Solus Topology further increases total efficiency by distributing the energy delivery into multiple paths, reducing circuit conduction losses by nearly 50%. The new topology allows the NDM3ZS-60 to hit the performance metrics quickly which is imperative in today's advanced designs.
9:45 am Novo Nordisk A/S initiated a share repurchase program (NVO) : This programme is part of the overall share repurchase programme of up to DKK 15.0 billion to be executed during a 12-month period beginning 30 January 2014.
9:43 am Opening Market Summary: Small Caps Lead Opening Retreat (:WRAPX) : The major averages began the session in the red with the Russell 2000 (-0.4%) seeing the largest opening decline. The S&P 500, meanwhile, trades lower by 0.2% with nine sectors showing losses.
As expected, the materials space (-0.5%) began the day behind the remaining groups in reaction to disappointing trade data from China. Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, energy (-0.5%) and industrials (-0.5%) lag while financials (-0.2%) trade in-line with the S&P 500. Also of note, the tech sector hovers just above its flat line.
On the countercyclical side, telecom services (-0.6%) lag while consumer staples (-0.1%), health care (-0.2%), and utilities (-0.1%) display slim losses.
9:43 am Boeing extends gap down start (BA) : The weakest Dow component gapped down off the open (weekend crash) and extended back near the 50% retracement of the Feb-March advance slightly under 125 (124.90, session low 125.12).
9:33 am Sector Watch (:TECHX) : Weaker tone for the start with sector laggards led by: Coal KOL, Solar TAN, Steel SLX, Crude Oil USO, Home Const ITB, Industrial XLI, Materials XLB.
- Co announced that they and Karpasia Shipping, a company controlled by a trust established by John Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family have agreed for Knightsbridge to acquire five fuel efficient 180,000 DWT Capesize bulk carrier newbuildings from Frontline 2012 (FRO) and one Capesize bulk carrier built in 2013 from Karpasia.
- The newbuildings were ordered by Frontline 2012 from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company Limited in China and have expected deliveries of between May 2014 and September 2014. Knightsbridge has agreed to pay $61 mln for each of the five Capesize newbuildings and $55 mln for the Capesize built in 2013. Of the total consideration of $360 mln, $186 mln will be paid in shares of Knightsbridge at $10 per share, $150 mln in absorption of remaining newbuilding capex and $24 mln in cash.
- Accordingly, Knightsbridge has agreed to issue 15.5 mln shares to Frontline (FRO) 2012 and 3.1 mln shares to Karpasia, or another company controlled by trusts established by John Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family, on closing of the transaction. Knightsbridge will seek to raise around $30 mln in bank debt per vessel. The transaction is subject to execution of definitive documentation and normal closing conditions.
9:17 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Methes Energies International (MEIL) announced it has received a deposit from Antilla Energy VBA to start the manufacturing process of one Denami 600 to be delivered to Aruba.
- YuMe (YUME) announces the launch of Video Reach, a YuMe brand. Video Reach, the Programmatic Branding Solution.
- Accenture (ACN) and SAP (SAP) announced the creation of a new business group focused on rapidly accelerating the time it takes to jointly develop and deliver new industry-specific solutions based on cloud and other digital technologies.
- GE (GE) announced its 2.75-120 wind turbine.
- NetSuite (N) announced that Adminovate, an enterprise software and consulting provider in the life, health and annuities industries, has decided to replace SAP (SAP) Business ByDesign with NetSuite as its core ERP, CRM and project management platform.
- Medifast (MED) announced today that it will expand its international presence by launching in Canada in the first quarter of 2014.
- I.D. Systems (IDSY) received a series of purchase orders, valued in excess of $800,000.
- Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII) announced it has received a United States patent covering applications of products containing anthraquinone derivatives, such as the company's flagship product Regalia Biofungicide.
- Smith & Nephew (SNN) and OrthoSensor announced an agreement that will enable surgeons to benefit from OrthoSensor's VERASENSE Sensor Assisted Surgery Technology for soft tissue balancing when implanting Smith & Nephew's JOURNEY II and LEGION Total Knee Systems.
- Citi (C) announced that it lent $9.1 billion to U.S. small businesses in 2013. Citi's lending to small businesses in 2013 was up more than 100% from 2009 when Citi loaned $4.5 billion. Citi pledged lending of $7 billion in 2011, $8 billion in 2012 and $9 billion in 2013.
9:17 am Amcol to be acquired by MTX for $45.75/share; The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings upon closing (ACO) :
- Cos announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which MTX will acquire ACO for $45.75 per share in cash, or a total value of ~$1.7 bln.
- The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close in the first half of 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Prior to entering into this agreement with Minerals Technologies, AMCOL terminated its merger agreement with Paris-based Imerys S.A.
- In accordance with that agreement, AMCOL has paid Imerys' U.S. subsidiary a termination fee of $39 million.
- The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings upon closing, excluding acquisition-related costs and charges. Minerals Technologies intends to finance the acquisition through cash and debt financing pursuant to a signed commitment from J.P. Morgan. Pursuant to the definitive merger agreement, Minerals Technologies will commence a tender offer for 100% of AMCOL's outstanding shares for $45.75 per share in cash.
9:14 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +0.20. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track to begin the week on a slightly lower note as futures on the S&P 500 trade two points below fair value.
Over the weekend, China reported a trade deficit of $22.98 billion while a surplus of $14.50 billion was generally expected. Exports fell 18.1% (+6.8% expected, +10.6% prior) while imports grew 10.1% (8.0% consensus, 10.0% prior). The data has been taken with a grain of salt since the large swing was attributed to adjustment issues surrounding the Lunar New Year. Elsewhere, Japan also reported disappointing data as its unadjusted current account deficit widened to JPY1.59 trillion from JPY0.64 trillion (deficit of JPY1.41 trillion expected). Meanwhile, the adjusted reading pointed to a deficit of JPY0.59 trillion, as expected. Also of note, fourth quarter GDP was revised down to indicate growth of 0.2% versus 0.3% observed in the preliminary reading.
The disappointing trade data from China is likely to weigh on the materials sector. On that note, Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 18.11, -0.54) and Freeport-McMoRan (FCX 31.70, -0.49) hold pre-market losses of 2.9% and 1.5%, respectively.
Treasuries enter the session little changed with the 10-yr yield sitting just under 2.79%.
9:10 am Firsthand Tech. Value Fund end of February estimated net assets $28.69/share (SVVC) : As of Feb 28, 2014, estimated net assets of the Fund were ~$260 million, or $28.69 per share, including cash of ~ $8.44 per share. As of that date, the Fund's top five holdings constituted 53.5% of the Fund's estimated net assets.
Top five holdings as of February 28, 2014 were Twitter - TWTR, (19.1% of net assets), Facebook - FB, (15.8%), IntraOp Medical (9%), Turn (5.8%), and AliphCom (3.9%).
9:05 am Verizon announces tender offer for 8 tranches of notes of Verizon and its Subsidiaries (VZ) : Co announces announced the commencement of a tender offer for cash for any and all of the following series of notes:
- $1,000,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of Cellco Partnership and Verizon Wireless Capital LLC 8.50% Notes due 2018
- $1,300,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of Verizon 8.75% Notes due 2018;
- $300,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of Alltel Corporation 7.00% Debentures due 2016;
- $1,250,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of Verizon 5.55% Notes due 2016;
- $750,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of Verizon 5.50% Notes due 2017;
- $600,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of GTE Corporation 6.84% Debentures due 2018;
- $1,500,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of Verizon 6.10% Notes due 2018;
- $1,500,000,000 outstanding aggregate principal amount of Verizon 5.50% Notes due 2018.
9:03 am CommonWealth REIT confirms commitment to Best in Class Governance by permanently waiving option to classify its Board under Maryland law (CWH) :
8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: -3.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures have retreated from their highs and now trade three points below fair value.
The major Asian bourses ended mostly lower, spooked by the surprise Chinese trade deficit (-$22.98 billion versus $14.50 billion expected surplus). The deficit resulted from an 18.1% drop in exports and a 10.1% rise in imports, and was likely a result of timing of the Lunar New Year. In other data, CPI (2.0% year-over-year versus 2.1% expected) and PPI (-2.0% year-over-year versus -1.9% expected) were both slightly cooler than expected. Elsewhere, Japanese data also disappointed as the country posted a record adjusted current account deficit (JPY0.59 trillion versus JPY0.59 trillion expected) and the lowest final GDP (0.2%) since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office.
- Japan's Nikkei lost 1.0%, slipping off five-week highs. Real estate shares were weak with Sumitomo Realty & Development and Mitsui Fudosan off 2.1% and 2.4%, respectively.
- Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.8% to a one-month low. China Southern Airlines slid 3.5% on reports two passengers aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight that vanished over the weekend had purchased tickets through a code share with the company.
- China's Shanghai Composite tumbled 2.9% below the 2000 level and is threatening its lowest close of 2014. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China saw sizable losses, off 2.9%.
- Germany's DAX is lower by 0.4% with Deutsche Bank trading down 2.1%. Producers of basic materials also lag with K+S and ThyssenKrupp down 0.5% and 2.1%, respectively.
- Great Britain's FTSE trades flat. Miners lag following China's disappointing trade data. Anglo American, Antofagasta, and Glencore Xstrata are all down close to 2.0% apiece. Defense contractor Rolls-Royce Holdings outperforms with a gain of 2.1%.
- In France, the CAC is higher by 0.5%. Bouygues trades higher by 8.2% after agreeing to sell a spectrum network to Iliad. Telecom provider Orange also outperforms, up 3.4%.
8:57 am ArcelorMittal reaffirms 2014 guidance at Investor Day (MT) :
- Reiterate its 2014 guidance
- Update its medium term roadmap to a normalised Ebitda per tonne of US$150
- Outline the recovery plan underway to improve Ebitda in its ACIS business segment
- State that it expects global apparent steel consumption to increase by 3.5 - 4.0% this year
- Discuss the expected returns on announced investments to develop its steel franchise businesses, including automotive
- Provide further information on its newest facility AM/NS Calvert, acquired in partnership with NSSMC
- Discuss the company's progress in increasing iron ore production capacity to 84 million tonnes by the end of 2015, and the potential to stretch production beyond this level with minimal additional capital
- Announce that as of 1 January 2014 ArcelorMittal has taken steps to streamline its management, reorganising its steel businesses by geography. External reporting will follow this structure under the new segments: ACIS, Brazil (and neighbouring countries), Europe, Mining and NAFTA.
8:55 am 22nd Century GroupSubsidiary Goodrich Tobacco Co granted federal permit to manufacture tobacco products (XXII) : Co announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Goodrich Tobacco Company, has been granted a federal permit to produce tobacco products by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury ("TTB Permit").
As previously reported, 22nd Century Group entered into an Agreement to purchase all of the issued and outstanding membership interests of NASCO Products, LLC ("NASCO"), a North Carolina limited liability co (the "NASCO Acquisition"). NASCO has its own TTB permit to manufacture tobacco products and is a participating member of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement ("MSA"), an agreement among 46 U.S. states and the tobacco industry administered by the National Association of Attorneys General.
The NASCO Acquisition will close immediately upon the settling states of the MSA consenting to the transaction; such consent consisting of a modified Adherence Agreement for NASCO. At this date, the terms of NASCO's modified Adherence Agreement, as negotiated among NAAG, NASCO and 22nd Century Group, are very close to final.
8:53 am Iron ore stocks including RIO, BHP, VALE and CLF are taking a hit as iron ore futures drop 6.8% to $116/ton as weak China exports drive metals prices lower. Chinese steel and iron ore futures at lowest levels ever (:COMDX) :
8:51 am European Markets Update: DAX -0.4%, FTSE UNCH, CAC +0.5% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade mixed after seeing early gains. Looking at economic data, Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence improved to 13.9 from 13.3 (14.0 expected). French Industrial Production slipped 0.2% month-over-month (0.2% consensus, -0.6% prior). Italy's Industrial Production rose 1.0% month-over-month (0.4% expected, -0.8% prior) while the year-over-year reading increased 1.4% (-0.7% consensus, -0.7% last). Spain's Industrial Production increased 1.1% year-over-year (1.4% forecast, 2.2% prior). Swiss Retail Sales slipped 0.3% year-over-year (3.3% expected, 2.5% last).
- Germany's DAX is lower by 0.4% with Deutsche Bank trading down 2.1%. Producers of basic materials also lag with K+S and ThyssenKrupp down 0.5% and 2.1%, respectively.
- Great Britain's FTSE trades flat. Miners lag following China's disappointing trade data. Anglo American, Antofagasta, and Glencore Xstrata are all down close to 2.0% apiece. Defense contractor Rolls-Royce Holdings outperforms with a gain of 2.1%.
- In France, the CAC is higher by 0.5%. Bouygues is higher by 8.2% after agreeing to sell a spectrum network to Iliad. Telecom provider Orange also outperforms, up 3.4%.
8:44 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Global Partners (GLP) announced the passing of Alfred Slifka, Chairman of the Board of Directors of its general partner, who died unexpectedly
- Ross Stores (ROST) recently opened a total of 30 Ross Dress for Less and seven dd's DISCOUNTS stores in 14 different states.
- BG Medicine (BGMD) announced that galectin-3 testing has been recognized for the first time in the newly issued 2014 Indian Consensus Document on Cardiac Biomarkers published by the Cardiological Society of India.
8:39 am eBay confirms rejection of Icahn nominees (EBAY) :
- EBAY announced that it has filed a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC with respect to eBay's 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
- EBAY also announced that its Board of Directors, on the recommendation of its Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, is nominating for re-election to the Board: Fred D. Anderson, Edward W. Barnholt, Scott D. Cook, John J. Donahoe.
- eBay stockholder and activist investor Carl Icahn nominated two of his employees to the Board; the nominations of both were rejected by the Board's Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee.
- "The Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee gave serious consideration to the two employees of Carl Icahn that he nominated to the Board. After careful review, the Board concluded that they are not qualified candidates based on the criteria that have consistently been applied by the Committee, including in particular that neither nominee has relevant experience or expertise. In addition, neither nominee would comply with the Board's governance guidelines on overboarding -- each is on four public company boards and Mr. Ninavaggi is co-CEO of Federal Mogul."
8:37 am Unwired Plant announces enforcement action in Germany and the UK; actions filed against Samsung (SSNLF), Huawei, Google (GOOG), and HTC for patent infringement (UPIP) : Co announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Unwired Planet International has filed parallel patent infringement actions in the Patents Court, High Court of Justice, London, and in the Landgericht, Dusseldorf, Germany.
- The UK lawsuit, asserted against Samsung, Google and Huawei, involves a total of six UK patents covering technologies fundamental to wireless communications found in mobile devices and network equipment, including the use of 2G/3G/4G telecommunication standards and push notification technology underpinning the Android ecosystem.
- The German lawsuit, asserted against Samsung, Google, Huawei, and HTC, involves the six German equivalents of these UK patents.
8:36 am NewLead announces placement of $25.0 mln perpetual preferred equity (NEWL) :
- Co announced that on March 4, 2014, it completed the issuance of $25.0 mln in Perpetual Series A Preferred Shares to an institutional investor under a share subscription agreement. The preferred shares can be redeemed by the Company or converted by the purchaser in common shares.
- The Company received partial consideration of $2.5 mln in cash at the closing of the transaction. The $22.5 mln balance is expected to be received, subject to certain conditions per the Agreement, in nine consecutive equal monthly installments commencing approximately ninety days after the closing date.
8:36 am TiVo has appointed Ira Bahr as Chief Marketing Officer (TIVO) : Bahr brings to TiVo more than 25 years of sales, marketing and business development experience with many high profile consumer, technology and media brands, most notably as CMO of DISH Network.
8:36 am Audiocodes Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY) selects AudioCodes Multi-Service Business Router for hosted Microsoft Lync Unified Communications (AUDC) : AudioCodes, a leading provider of converged voice solutions that enable enterprises and service providers to transition to all-IP voice networks, announced that its Multi-Service Business Router (:MSBR) products have been selected by Deutsche Telekom for deployment at customer locations of both its hosted Microsoft Lync Unified Communications (:UC) services "Deutschland LAN Hosted Lync" and "EnhancedBusinessCommunications" (:EBC). AudioCodes' MSBRs are fully qualified for use with Lync and offer session border controller, media gateway and data router capabilities integrated into a single hardware platform.
8:34 am Keryx Biopharmaceuticals announces submission of a Marketing Authorization Application for Zerenex to the European Medicines Agency (KERX) : Co announces it has submitted a Marketing Authorization Application ("MAA") to the European Medicines Agency seeking the approval of Zerenex as a treatment for hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic kidney disease, including dialysis- and non-dialysis dependent CKD. The MAA will be reviewed by the EMA Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use and the review will be conducted under the Centralized Authorization Procedure. An approval under the Centralized Authorization Procedure provides one marketing authorization which is valid in all 27 member states of the European Union, as well as in Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
The company's new drug application for Zerenex is currently under review by the FDA with an assigned Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date of June 7, 2014. In January, it was announced that the company's Japanese partner, Japan Tobacco, Inc. and Torii Pharmaceutical Co., received marketing approval of ferric citrate (branded Riona) in Japan for the improvement of hyperphosphatemia in patients with CKD, including dialysis and non-dialysis dependent CKD.
8:33 am InterOil begins drilling Wahoo-1; Second of up to eight wells in $300m campaign (IOC) : Co announced it had started drilling the Wahoo-1 exploration well in Papua New Guinea following approval by the Papua New Guinea Department of Petroleum and Energy. Wahoo-1 is the second of four exploration wells InterOil plans to drill in the Gulf Province over the next 12-15 months. Additionally, InterOil will drill up to four appraisal wells on the Elk-Antelope and Triceratops discoveries under a US$300 million exploration and appraisal program.
8:33 am Global Partners announced the passing of Alfred Slifka, Chairman of the Board of Directors of its general partner, who died unexpectedly (GLP) : Co announced the passing of Alfred A. "Fred" Slifka, Chairman of the Board of Directors of its general partner, Global GP LLC, who died unexpectedly at his home in Boston yesterday. He was 81. Mr. Slifka's brother, Richard, Vice Chairman of the Board since March 2005, will succeed him as Chairman.
8:33 am Kellogg announces early tender results of its tender offer and increase to tender cap for the 4.000% Senior Notes due 2020 (K) : Co announced the early tender results of its previously announced tender offer to purchase for cash up to $700.0 million combined aggregate principal amount of its 2.750% Senior Notes due 2023, its 3.125% Senior Notes due 2022, and its 4.000% Senior Notes due 2020 and increased the Tender Cap for the 2020 Notes from $100.0 million to $150.0 million. Except for such increase, all other terms and conditions of the Tender Offer remain unchanged.
8:33 am Intrexon and Amneal Pharma form exclusive channel collaboration to develop an improved production process for a complex active pharmaceutical ingredient (XON) : Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Intrexon (XON) announces the formation of an Exclusive Channel Collaboration to develop an improved production process for a complex active pharmaceutical ingredient. The companies will continue to explore other similar opportunities for collaboration in the future.
- The vast majority of active pharmaceutical ingredients are currently produced through a series of complex chemical processes.
- The goal of the collaboration is to develop a biological process for a targeted API production that may reduce the cost of production.
- The collaboration will leverage Intrexon's proprietary UltraVector platform as well as the company's suite of integrated synthetic biology technologies.
8:32 am CommonWealth REIT comments on recent downgrade warning by Moody's; Moody's review underscores potential value destruction by related/corvex consent solicitation (CWH) : Co noted that on March 7, 2014, Moody's Investors Service announced that it was placing CWH's investment grade ratings "on review for downgrade," which would affect approximately $2 billion of CWH securities.
CWH believes Moody's action confirms that there are significant risks for CWH shareholders if Related Fund Management, LLC and Corvex Management LP ("Related/Corvex") are successful in removing the entire CWH Board without cause. It appears that Related/Corvex's plan for CWH is to sell CWH's best performing assets, increase leverage and buyback stock.
8:32 am Callon Petroleum announces agreement with Lone Star Value and appointment of two new independent directors (CPE) : Co announced that it has reached an agreement with Lone Star Value Management, LLC.
- Pursuant to the agreement, Callon has agreed to expand the size of the Company's Board of Directors (the "Board") from six to eight directors and to designate two new independent directors -- Matthew Regis Bob, Managing Member of MB Exploration, and James M. Trimble, Chief Executive Officer and President of PDC Energy -- to fill the newly-created directorships, effective March 14, 2014.
- The Company also announced its slate of director nominees who will stand for election to the Board at the Company's 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The slate is comprised of incumbent director Anthony J. Nocchiero, who has served on Callon's Board since 2011 and is Chairman of the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee, as well as Messrs. Bob and Trimble. Currently all independent directors serve on all Board committees.
- Pursuant to its agreement with Callon, Lone Star Value has agreed to certain customary standstill and voting provisions. The agreement will be filed on a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
8:31 am Wesco WESCO Distribution, through its wholly owned Canadian subsidiary, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Hazmasters, Inc. Closing is expected to occur in March 2014. (WCC) : Co announced that through its wholly owned Canadian subsidiary, it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Hazmasters, Inc. Closing is expected to occur in March 2014. Headquartered in Ontario, Hazmasters generates approximately $80 mln in annual revenue from 14 branches across Canada. Hazmasters is a leading independent Canadian distributor of safety products servicing customers in the industrial, construction, commercial, institution, and government markets. This acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings by approximately $0.05 per diluted share in the first year of operation.
8:31 am Pacific Energy Development announces the acquisition of 14,000 net acres and 40 wells in the Niobrara Shale Formation, the securing of a drilling capital facility, the raising of $7.3 million through equity issuance, and cancellation of shares resulting in effectively no increase in shares outstanding (PED) : Co announced that it has successfully completed the previously announced acquisition of an interest in 40 wells and approximately 28,000 net acres in the DJ Basin, Colorado from an independent U.S. oil and gas company. The acreage acquired in the Niobrara Shale Formation is almost entirely located in Weld County, Colorado, including some acreage in the prolific Wattenberg Area. Of the 40 wells in which interests were acquired, 11 are now operated by the Company, 14 are non-operated, and the Company will have an after-payout interest in the remaining 15 wells. The purchase had an effective date of December 1, 2013. The Company paid approximately $28 million in cash, reflecting oil and gas production credited to the Company since the December 1, 2013 effective date, and certain other adjustments.
Company entered into a 3-year term debt facility with RJ Resources, a subsidiary of a NY-based investment management group with more than $1.3 billion in assets under management specializing in resource investments. As part of the transaction, RJ Resources, will be a 50% working interest partner with the Company in the development of its assets going forward, allowing the Company to undertake a more aggressive drilling program, in 2014. As a result, the Company has an interest in 14,000 net acres after closing. The Company has drawn down $34.5 million of a $50 million dollar debt facility, and can draw down the remaining $15.5 million for drilling capital to develop this new acreage. In addition to cash on hand, proceeds of the just completed offering of common stock, and future anticipated oil and gas revenues, this facility should give the Company sufficient drilling capital to meet its 2014 drilling budget.
8:31 am Walter Energy commences process to amend credit facility (WLT) : Co has commenced a process to amend its credit facility in order to increase its financial flexibility. The proposed amendments to the credit facility would, among other things, permit the Company to repay the existing term loan A facility without making a pro rata repayment to the existing term loan B facility. The amendment would provide that upon refinancing of the entire existing term loan A (and subject to a minimum amount of the new financing being raised in a form other than first lien debt, which could include second lien and/or convertible debt), certain covenants would be amended and certain covenants would be eliminated. The Company intends at some point following the amendment process to refinance its existing term loan A facility. There is no assurance that any of these transactions will be consummated.
8:31 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Entropic (ENTR) and Microelectronics Technology announced a major direct broadcast satellite operator in the Middle East deployed MTI's 4x4, Quad Single Cable Router DBS outdoor unit low noise block product, based on Entropic's third-generation Channel Stacking Switch silicon, the EN5288.
- Westport Innovations (WPRT) announced that it has united its bi-fuel and dedicated natural gas fuel system products and body configurations for Ford vehicles under the Westport WiNG Power System product brand.
- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) announced that its Kratos Integral Systems International business unit has been awarded a contract by NewSat Limited to provide the satellite command and control system for the Jabiru-1 satellite. Jabiru-1, Australia's first commercial Ka-band satellite, is currently under construction and scheduled to be launched in 2015. Jabiru-1 is a Lockheed Martin A2100 satellite that will be used to provide coverage over South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Harris (HRS) has received an 18-month follow-on contract from Boeing to provide Ka-band antennas for the fourth Inmarsat Global Xpress satellite.
- LightSquared announced a multi-year agreement with ViaSat (VSAT). Together, the companies will introduce ViaSat L-band Managed Service, an exciting new mobile satellite service that will combine the power of LightSquared's state-of-the-art SkyTerra 1 L-band satellite, with ViaSat secure, all-IP, true packet-switched satellite technology.
- Healthcare organizations can now analyze labor efficiency across multiple care settings using enhanced analytics from Premier (PINC).
8:30 am Microvision announced that it has received a letter from Nasdaq confirming that as of March 6, 2014 the company has regained compliance with Listing Rules (MVIS) :
8:25 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures hover just below fair value amid quiet pre-market action. Futures began the trading week in the red following disappointing trade data from China, but have since erased the bulk of their losses.
Generally speaking, pre-market action has been very subdued with no notable data or earnings of note on the schedule. McDonald's (MCD 95.50, 0.00) served up a reminder regarding light consumer spending by saying its U.S. comparable store sales decreased 1.4% in February. Shares of the fast food giant, however, are flat in pre-market action.
8:15 am Montage Tech announces receipt of non-binding proposal to acquire the company at $21.5/share (MONT) :
- Co announced that its Board of Directors has received a preliminary non-binding proposal letter, dated March 10, 2014, from Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment, a wholly state-owned limited liability company directly under Pudong New Area government of Shanghai.
- According to the proposal letter, PDSTI proposed to acquire all of Montage's outstanding ordinary shares at a price of $21.5 in cash per ordinary share. The Board is reviewing and evaluating PDSTI's proposal. No decision has been made with respect to Montage's response to the proposal.
8:14 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: ALXN +5.3%, BBBY +0.4%, .
Select battery related names showing continued strength: BLDP +13.6%, FCEL +9.9%, PLUG +9.6%.
Social media names trading higher: FB +1.4% (tgt raised to $90 from $72 at UBS), YELP +1.3%, TWTR +1.3% ( plans to focus on international revenue opportunities, according to reports, following Icahn news and positive analyst comments)
Other news: MATR +35.5% (still checking),IDIX +17.6% (still checking),CQB +11.6% (Chiquita Brands and Fyffes plc announce that the companies approve a definitive agreement under which Chiquita will combine with Fyffes, in a stock-for-stock transaction),MIL +10.8% (still checking),SORL +10.2% (SORL Auto Parts wins supplier awards from three major customers),NWBO +9.9% (announces two German approvals: "Hospital Exemption" for Early Access Program with DCVax-L and Eligibility of DCVax-L for Reimbursement),RVLT +7.1% (Revolution Lighting to acquire Value Lighting and affiliates for $35.6 mln; significantly increases distribution footprint),EJ +7% (Subsidiary Leju Signs Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Tencent),BLRX +6% (completes dose escalation stage of Phase 1/2 study for novel celiac treatment; results expected mid 2014 ),SQNS +4.8% (still checking),NBS +3.4% (progenitor cell therapy, announces bi-coastal facility expansions ),MXWL +2.9% (continued strength),YGE +2.1% (signs its largest module supply agreement to date in Israel),GTAT +1.7% (following positive MadMoney mention),WAC +1% ( S.A.C. Capital discloses 5.0% passive stake in 13G filing ),FL +0.7% (ticking higher following positive Barron's mention).
Analyst comments: EGRX +1.9% (initiated with a Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald; with a Overweight at Piper Jaffray, with an Outperform at William Blair ),DWA +1.8% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley & Co.),UIL +1.3% ( upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill),EW +0.9% ( upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo),QIHU +0.8% (target raised to $160 from $115 at Citigroup; Buy),RAI +0.5% (target raised to $66 from $58 at Citigroup),
8:14 am DCP Midstream announced that its 100 percent owned subsidiary, DCP Midstream Operating, LP intends to issue a series of senior notes due 2019 and a series of senior notes due 2044 (DPM) :
8:12 am Avino Silver & Gold produces 96,254 ounces of silver equivalent in February 2014 (ASM) : Co announces Silver Equivalent ounces produced in February were lower by 7% than that of January due mainly to two fewer operating days.
- Feed grades of silver and gold together with their respective recoveries were similar to those of January with little or no change.
- Total tonnage processed was lower by 4%, however daily throughput was higher due to higher plant availability.
- The quality of concentrate produced was also better resulting in fewer tons produced.
8:12 am Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust: STWD's fair market value of the distribution of SWAY was $28.84 (SWAY) : For U.S. federal income tax purposes, STWD intends to report the fair market value of the distribution at $28.84 per share of SWAY common stock distributed. Accordingly, every STWD stockholder who received a share of SWAY in the distribution will have a tax cost basis of $28.84 per share of SWAY.
8:07 am Vulcan Materials Announces An Increase In The Aggregate Maximum Tender Amount And The Final Results In Connection With Its Previously Announced Tender Offer (VMC) : Co announces the final results of its previously announced tender offer (as amended by the early results press release dated February 10, 2014 for its 6.50% senior notes due 2014, 6.40% senior notes due 2017 and 7.00% senior notes due 2018
- The Company had previously received tenders in an aggregate principal amount of $433.4 million of the 2016 Notes, $130.1 million of the 2017 Notes and $224.9 million of the 2018 Notes
- After the Early Tender Date, the Company received tenders in aggregate principal amount of $0.4 million of the 2016 Notes and $1.2 million of the 2017 Notes. The Company received no additional tenders of the 2018 Notes after the Early Tender Date.
8:07 am ViaSat and LightSquared enter strategic relationship (VSAT) : LightSquared announced a multi-year agreement with ViaSat (VSAT). Together, the cos will introduce ViaSat L-band Managed Service, an exciting new mobile satellite service that will combine the power of LightSquared's state-of-the-art SkyTerra 1 L-band satellite, with ViaSat secure, all-IP, true packet-switched satellite technology.
8:07 am ANI Pharma expands generic drug development agreement with Sterling Pharmaceuticals (ANIP) : Co announced that it has entered into a fee for service product development agreement for an undisclosed generic drug product with Sterling Pharmaceutical Services. The product will be developed by Sterling and transferred into ANI for commercial manufacture and marketing.
8:06 am Tesoro Logistics LP announces that in response to interest from a higher than expected number of potential shippers, it is extending its binding open season for firm priority capacity on the Tesoro High Plains Pipeline system until Apr 4, 2014 at noon central time (TLLP) : Tesoro Logistics announces that in response to interest from a higher than expected number of potential shippers, it is extending its binding open season for firm priority capacity on the Tesoro High Plains Pipeline system until April 4, 2014 at noon central time.
TLLP also announced that to maximize the number of potential shippers on the system, the size of bid tranches would be reduced to 5,000 barrels per day (bpd), for both Phase 1 and Phase 2. As previously announced, the proposed THPP capacity expansion would be executed in two phases:
- Phase I will provide incremental capacity to transport up to approximately 70,000 barrels per day of crude petroleum from various locations south of Lake Sakakawea, including Johnson's Corner, Keene, Blue Buttes and Charlson Station, to Ramberg Station by July 1, 2014.
- Phase II will provide incremental pipeline capacity of up to 90,000 bpd from Ramberg to Stampede, with an expected in-service time frame of second half of 2015.
- The in-service time frames are subject to THPP obtaining sufficient commitments from shippers as well as regulatory and internal approvals. Concurrent with the start of the open season, TLLP also announced its proposal to expand the Bakken Area Storage Hub terminal facility.
- TLLP is also extending the time for potential customers to submit offers for BASH storage space until April 4, 2014.
8:05 am Investment Tech release Feb 2014 U.S. trading volumes; Co announced that Feb 2014 U.S. trading volume was 3.1 bln shares and average daily volume was 165 mln shares. This compares to 3.4 bln shares and ADV of 163 mln shares in Jan 2014 and 3.7 bln shares and ADV of 194 mln shares in Feb 2013 (ITG) : Co announced that February 2014 U.S. trading volume was 3.1 billion shares and average daily volume (:ADV) was 165 million shares. This compares to 3.4 billion shares and ADV of 163 million shares in January 2014 and 3.7 billion shares and ADV of 194 million shares in February 2013. There were 19 trading days in both February 2014 and February 2013 and 21 trading days in January 2014.
8:05 am TICC Capital beats by $0.02 (TICC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) core net investment income $0.30 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.28; total investment income up ~10% QoQ to $30.5 mln.
- Board of Directors has declared a distribution of $0.29 per share for the first quarter of 2014.
- As of December 31, 2013, net asset value per share was $9.85 compared with the net asset value per share as of Sept 30, 2013 of $9.90.
8:03 am PNM Resources to reaffirm FY14 EPS guidance during investor/analyst meetings this week (PNM) : Co reaffirms guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of $1.42-1.52 vs. $1.47 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
8:03 am American Airlines Group Reports February Traffic Results; total revenue passenger miles rise 0.5% YoY, total capacity gained 0.8% YoY, total passenger load factor was 78.4% in Feb, down 0.3 points versus Feb 2013 (AAL) :
8:02 am Northstar Realty Income II originates $39.2 mln senior loan in Norfolk, Virginia (NRF) : Co announced it directly originated a $39.2 mln senior loan secured by a 225-unit, class-A multifamily property located in Norfolk, Virginia. The property, located in Norfolk's Ghent Historic District, offers apartments and contains 14,800 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The property is managed by an affiliate of the borrower. Co funded the investment with a combination of available cash and a $19.6 mln advance on its secured term credit facility.
8:01 am Biostar Pharma announces execution of agreement for $4.1 mln registered direct offering of shares of common stock and warrants (BSPM) : Co announces that it entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain institutional investors for the sale of 1.65 mln shares of common stock in a registered direct offering at the price of $2.49 per share.
- In addition, warrants to purchase 660,000 shares of common stock in the aggregate will be issued to the investors.
- The warrants will be exercisable immediately upon issuance at an exercise price of $3.23 per share and expire three years from the date of issuance.
- Gross proceeds of the offering, before deducting placement agent fees and other estimated offering expenses payable by the Company, are expected to be approximately $4.1million.
- The net proceeds from this offering will be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes.
8:01 am Northwest Biotherapeutics announces two German approvals: 'Hospital Exemption' for early access program with DCVax-L and eligibility of DCVax-L for reimbursement (NWBO) : Co announced that it has received approval from the Paul Ehrlich Institute ("PEI"- the FDA of Germany) of a "Hospital Exemption" early access program under Section 4b of the German Drug Law. Under this Hospital Exemption, NW Bio may provide DCVax-L to patients for the treatment of any glioma brain cancers (both Glioblastoma multiforme and lower grade gliomas), both newly diagnosed and recurrent, outside of the Company's clinical trial and charge full price. The patients may be from Germany or elsewhere. This approval has a term of five years, and can be re-applied for and re-issued at the end of that period.
8:01 am Clayton Williams Energy announces exchange offer expired (CWEI) : Co announces that its exchange offer relating to its outstanding $250 mln aggregate principal amount of 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019, which commenced on Feb 6, expired on March 7 at 5pm New York City time. As of the expiration date, holders of $250 mln, or 100%, of the outstanding aggregate principal amount of the Notes have tendered their Notes for exchange. The co has accepted all Notes validly tendered and not properly withdrawn.
8:01 am Cardiovascular Systems receives FDA clearance for low profile, 60cm Diamondback Devices designed to expand the treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease (CSII) : Co announced it has received FDA clearance of its new Diamondback 360 60cm Peripheral Orbital Atherectomy Systems (OAS) for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (:PAD).
8:00 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.20. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade one point below fair value amid mostly upbeat overseas action.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Asian markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei -1.0%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.8%, and China's Shanghai Composite -2.9%.
- Participants received several economic data points:
- China reported a trade deficit of $22.98 billion (surplus of $14.50 billion expected, $31.86 billion prior surplus) as exports fell 18.1% (+6.8% expected, +10.6% prior) while imports grew 10.1% (8.0% consensus, 10.0% prior). Separately, CPI rose 0.5% month-over-month (0.8% expected, 1.0% last) while the year-over-year reading increased 2.0% (2.0% forecast, 2.5% prior). Also of note, PPI fell 2.0% year-over-year (-1.9% consensus, -1.6% previous).
- Japan's trade deficit widened to JPY1.59 trillion from JPY0.64 trillion (deficit of JPY1.41 trillion expected). GDP ticked up 0.2% quarter-over-quarter (0.3% expected, 0.3% prior) while the year-over-year reading increased 0.7% (1.0% consensus, 1.0% prior). GDP Price Index fell 0.3% year-over-year (-0.4% expected, -0.4% previous) and the Economy Watchers Current Index fell to 53.0 from 54.7 (54.3 consensus).
- In news:
- In China, the surprising trade deficit was attributed to disruptions caused by the Lunar New Year.
- Participants received several economic data points:
- Major European indices trade mostly higher. France's CAC +0.5%, Great Britain's FTSE +0.1%, and Germany's DAX -0.4%. Elsewhere, Spain's IBEX +0.4% and Italy's MIB +0.6%.
- Economic data was limited:
- Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence improved to 13.9 from 13.3 (14.0 expected).
- French Industrial Production slipped 0.2% month-over-month (0.2% consensus, -0.6% prior).
- Italy's Industrial Production rose 1.0% month-over-month (0.4% expected, -0.8% prior) while the year-over-year reading increased 1.4% (-0.7% consensus, -0.7% last).
- Spain's Industrial Production increased 1.1% year-over-year (1.4% forecast, 2.2% prior).
- Swiss Retail Sales slipped 0.3% year-over-year (3.3% expected, 2.5% last).
- Among news of note:
- Germany's DAX trails the region amid weakness in producers of basic materials. K+S and ThyssenKrupp trade lower by 1.3% and 2.6%, respectively.
- Economic data was limited:
- Facebook (FB 70.77, +0.97): +1.4% after UBS raised its price target for the stock to $90 from $72.
- Manufacturers of basic materials are seeing pressure following China's trade data. Alcoa (AA 11.96, -0.20), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 18.15, -0.50), and Freeport-McMoRan (FCX 31.79, -0.40) display losses between 1.2% and 2.4%.
8:00 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -1.0%, Hang Seng -1.8%, Shanghai -2.9% (:SUMRX) :
- The major Asian bourses ended mostly lower, spooked by the surprise Chinese trade deficit (-$23 bln actual v. $13.2 bln surplus expected, $31.9 bln surplus previous).
- The deficit came on a -18.1% drop in exports and 10.1% rise in imports, and is likely a result of timing of the Lunar New Year.
- Chinese CPI (2.0% YoY actual v. 2.1% YoY expected) and PPI (-2.0% YoY actual v. -1.9% YoY expected) were both slightly cooler than expected.
- Japanese data also disappointed as the country posted a record current account deficit (JPY0.59 trln actual v. JPY0.59 trln expected) and the lowest Final GDP (0.2%) since Shinzo Abe took office.
- Japan's Nikkei (-1.0%) slipped off five-week highs. Real estate shares were weak with Sumitomo Realty & Development and Mitsui Fudosan off 2.1% and 2.4%, respectively.
- Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.8%) fell to a one-month low. China Southern Airlines slid 3.5% on reports two passengers aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight that vanished over the weekend had purchased tickets through a code share with the co.
- China's Shanghai Composite (-2.9%) tumbled below the 2000 level and is threatening its lowest close of 2014. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China saw sizable losses, off 2.9%. Click here to see a daily Shanghai Composite chart.
- India's Sensex (UNCHF) ticked to a record high. Strength in automakers offset weakness in IT software service providers. Maruti Suzuki India gained 3.8% while Tata Consultancy Services lost 3.9%.
- Australia's ASX (-0.9%) eased off five-year highs. Heavyweight miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton lagged, off 1.2% and 1.9%, respectively.
- Regional Decliners: South Korea -1.0%...Taiwan -0.6%...Thailand -0.4%...Singapore -0.3%...Indonesia -0.2%
- Regional Advancers: Philippines +0.1%...Malaysia +0.2%...Vietnam +0.7%
- Fx: USDCNY rallied 0.2% to 6.1403, posting its biggest gain in five years...USDINR eased to 60.86...USDJPY +10 pips @ 103.35...AUDUSD -30 pips @ .9040
7:58 am McDonald's February comps -0.3% vs. +1.2% in January (MCD) :
- In February, U.S. comparable sales decreased 1.4% amid challenging industry dynamics and severe winter weather. Across the segment, McDonald's priority remains building guest traffic through improved restaurant operations and customer service, relevant menu news, and strong consistent value offerings to regain momentum.
- Europe's comparable sales rose 0.6% in February as a result of continued strong performance in the U.K. and positive results in France largely offset by ongoing weakness in Germany. Local menu options and expanded convenience through breakfast and extended hours continue to support the segment's performance.
- In APMEA, February comparable sales decreased 2.6% primarily due to weakness in Japan and, to a lesser extent, a shift in timing of Chinese New Year and negative results in Australia. To strengthen performance, APMEA is pursuing customer-focused initiatives to deliver menu variety, increased convenience and branded affordability across the segment.
- "We are diligently focused on strengthening our performance, however our relatively flat year-to-date global comparable sales will pressure margins in the first quarter," said McDonald's Chief Financial Officer Pete Bensen. "Looking ahead, we believe that we are taking the right actions to more clearly align with our customers' needs and build momentum to drive long-term profitable growth."
- Systemwide sales for the month decreased 0.6%, or increased 2.2% in constant currencies.
7:53 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Epsilon, an Alliance Data (ADS) company has signed a new multiyear agreement with Ebates to provide targeted email marketing services focused on driving sales and creating a more personalized experience for customers across Ebates' suite of websites and rewards programs.
- Leidos (LDOS) was awarded a prime contract for multiple behavioral health and epidemiology projects that support the Naval Health Research Center's Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology Department. The contract has a one-year base period of performance, four one-year options and a total contract value of approximately $7.3 million, if all options are exercised. Work will be performed primarily in San Diego, Calif.
7:48 am Southwest Airlines reports Feb traffic; Revenue passenger miles rise 1.2% YoY, available seat miles decreased 1.7% YoY, load factor rose to 78.1% from 75.8% in Feb 2013 (LUV) : Co announced it flew 7.1 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in February 2014, a 1.2 percent increase from the RPMs flown in February 2013. Available seat miles (ASMs) decreased 1.7% to 9.1 billion from the February 2013 level of 9.3 billion. The February 2014 load factor was 78.1%, compared to 75.8% in February 2013. For February 2014, passenger revenue per ASM (:PRASM) is estimated to have increased ~5% compared to February 2013. This increase includes one point of estimated PRASM benefit from February 2014's storms.
7:46 am Outerwall announced the preliminary results of its modified 'Dutch Auction' self-tender offer for the purchase of up to $350 mln in value of shares of its common stock (OUTR) :
- Co announced the preliminary results of its modified "Dutch Auction" self-tender offer for the purchase of up to $350 mln in value of shares of its common stock, which expired at 12:00 Midnight, New York City time, at the end of the day of March 7, 2014.
- Based on the preliminary count by Computershare Trust Company the depositary for the tender offer, a total of 5,301,040 shares of Outerwall's common stock were properly tendered and not properly withdrawn at or below the final purchase price of $70.07 per share, including 3,057,426 shares that were tendered through notice of guaranteed delivery.
7:38 am BioLineRx completes dose escalation stage of Phase 1/2 study for novel celiac treatment; results expected mid 2014 (BLRX) : Co announces its novel treatment for celiac disease, BL-7010, has successfully completed the single administration, dose-escalation stage of the on-going Phase 1/2 clinical study.
- No serious adverse events were reported and there were no dose-limiting safety issues.
- Based on these positive safety and tolerability results, the Company will proceed with the repeated administration stage of the study.
- Results are expected in mid-2014.
7:38 am Ocean RIG UDW Announces commencement of tender offer for 9.5% senior unsecured callable notes due 2016 (ORIG) : Co announced that it has commenced a cash tender offer for any and all of its currently outstanding 9.5% Senior Unsecured Callable Notes due 2016 on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Company's Offer to Purchase dated March 10, 2014.
7:37 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) announced that its Integral Systems Europe business group has been awarded a contract by Federal Network Agency, the spectrum regulator for the Federal Republic of Germany, to provide a satellite carrier monitoring solution and integrate it with Federal Network Agency's existing interference geolocation system.
- Iridium Communications (IRDM) and Rutgers University's Coastal Ocean Observation Lab announced Iridium will be a key technology sponsor to the Challenger Glider Mission. The mission plans to "fly" 16 autonomous underwater gliders worldwide, covering all five ocean basins, collecting an unprecedented undersea dataset to better equip researchers with the tools to predict the ocean's future and its impact on global weather.
- NICE Systems (NICE) announced that its audio recording solution has successfully completed interoperability testing with Cassidian Communications, an Airbus Group (EADSY) company, COR P25 radio trunking system. The integration enables public safety agencies and other security organizations to communicate across multiple vendors' systems that are based on P25 industry standards.
- Perfect World (PWRD) announced its recent business developments as of March 10, 2014. In January 2014, Perfect World launched its 3D MMORPG mobile game "Fantasy of the Immortals." In December 2013, Perfect World began to operate "Perfect World II" in Singapore and Malaysia through its overseas subsidiary. First launched in mainland China in November 2006, "Perfect World II" has since been successfully launched in dozens of countries and regions.
- Unisys Corporation (UIS) announced that it is working with TravelSky to build the next generation of the Unisys Logistics Management System. The new version will be known as LMS Next Generation and is expected to be available by the end of 2015.
- Response Genetics (RGDX) announced the commercial availability of its expanded KRAS assay, a mutation detection test that provides broader coverage of KRAS mutations, including those in regions of the gene not previously examined.
7:33 am Gain Capital announces monthly metrics for February 2014 (GCAP) :
- Retail OTC trading volume of $169.3 billion, a decrease of 20.3% from January 2014 and an increase of 17.9% from February 2013.
- Average daily retail OTC trading volume of $8.5 billion, a decrease of 12.4% from January 2014 and an increase of 17.9% from February 2013.
- Total institutional trading volume of $412.7 billion, a decrease of 16.4% from January 2014 and an increase of 34.9% from February 2013.
- Average daily institutional volume of $20.6 billion, a decrease of 8.1% from January 2014 and an increase of 34.9% from February 2013.
7:32 am ChinaNet Online Holdings regain compliance with NASDAQ minimum bid price rule (CNET) : Co announced that on March 6 2014, it received a letter from The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC notifying the Co that it has regained compliance with the Minimum Bid Price Rule for continued listing set forth in NASDAQ Listing Rule 5450(a)(1), as the common stock had achieved a closing bid price of $1.00 or more for 10 consecutive business days.
7:32 am Neostem Subsidiary, progenitor cell therapy, announces bi-coastal facility expansions (NBS) :
- Co announced that PCT has expanded both its Allendale, NJ and Mountain View, CA current Good Manufacturing Practice facilities to significantly increase its engineering and process development laboratories, and controlled environment space available for client needs.
- Furthermore, the expansion in the Allendale, NJ facility features an ISO Class 6/1,000 clean room, enabling PCT to manufacture products intended for European distribution.
7:31 am Bacterin Secures announced the closing of an additional $4 mln financing from OrbiMed (BONE) : The additional $4 million was provided on the same terms as the $20 million term loan the Co received in August of 2012. In conjunction with the financing, Bacterin agreed to issue 1.5 million shares of common stock to an affiliate of OrbiMed. The proceeds will be used by the Co for working capital and general corporate purposes.
7:31 am Regado Biosciences FDA designates Regado's REG1 in PCI as a Fast Track Development Program (RGDO) : Co announced that the FDA has designated REG1 for anticoagulant therapy to be used in patients with coronary artery disease during percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) as a Fast Track development program. The FDA's Fast Track process is designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions that fill an unmet medical need, with the overall goal of getting new drugs to patients earlier.
7:30 am Dollar Ticks Higher: 10-yr: -02/32..2.798%..USD/JPY: 103.31..EUR/USD: 1.3868 (:SUMRX) :
- The Dollar Index holds small gains near 79.80 following a quiet overnight session.
- Early action has spent much of the time locked in a tight 10 cent range as trade hovers near its lowest levels in four months.
- EURUSD is flat @ 1.3875 as trade lingers near its best levels since October 2011. The single currency ticked to its best levels of the session ahead of the French industrial production (-0.2% MoM actual v. 0.6% MoM expected) release, and has been under pressure since the number fell short of estimates. The ability to hold the 1.3800 level remains paramount for the bull case.
- GBPUSD is -65 pips @ 1.6645 as trade presses session lows. Data and news have been absent out of the UK, but that has not stopped sellers from dropping the pair to its lowest level in almost three weeks as buying begins to show signs of exhausting near four and a half-year highs. Support in the 1.6600 area is being watched closely. Click here to see a daily GBPUSD chart.
- USDCHF is +10 pips @ .8785 as trade ticks off its worst levels since October 2011. The light bid comes after Swiss retail sales (0.3% YoY actual v. 2.7% YoY expected) came in well below estimates.
- USDJPY is +5 pips @ 103.30 as trade contends with its best levels of the session. Today's trade has seen a boost from last night's data, which included a record current account deficit (JPY0.59 trln actual v. JPY0.59 trln expected) and the weakest Final GDP (0.2%) since Shinzo Abe took office. Near-term resistance holds at the 104.00 level.
- AUDUSD is -40 pips @ .9030 as sellers take control for a second session. Data out of Australia was absent with trade instead responding to the developments in China. The latest trade data out of China was stunning as the Middle Kingdom posted a $23 bln deficit ($13.2 bln surplus expected, $31.9 bln surplus previous) on a -18.1% drop in exports and 10.1% rise in imports. CPI (2.0% YoY actual v. 2.1% YoY expected) and PPI (-2.0% YoY actual v. -1.9% YoY expected) were both slightly cooler than expected. USDCNY jumped 0.2% to 6.1403, posting its biggest advance in over five years.
- USDCAD is +30 pips @ 1.1110 as buyers remain in control for a second session. Minor resistance in the area is all that stands in the way of a retest of recent highs with any close above 1.1186 marking the best since July 2009.
7:20 am E-House China subsidiary Leju signs strategic cooperation agreement with Tencent (TCEHY) (EJ) : EJ wholly-owned subsidiary, Leju Holdings Limited, has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Tencent Holdings Limited (HK: 0700). Leju is a leading provider of real estate online services including advertising, listings and product launch information, and online-to-offline e-commerce services that facilitate real estate transactions in China.
Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Leju and Tencent have agreed to jointly develop software and tools for use on Weixin to facilitate Leju in opening batches of Weixin public accounts associated with real estate projects. Leju has agreed to adopt Weixin payment solutions as the default payment method for Real Estate O2O E-Commerce transactions conducted by Leju users on Weixin. Leju and Tencent will also explore and pursue additional opportunities for potential cooperation, including but not limited to cooperation involving Tencent's social communications platform such as Weixin, "QQ" and "mobile QQ"; the social media service, "Tencent Microblog"; the social networking service, "Qzone"; and/or other Tencent internet properties.
7:18 am Ritchie Bros. conducts its largest Las Vegas auction last week (RBA) : The unreserved public auction was the largest the site has ever conducted in terms of gross auction proceeds, number of registered bidders (4,750+), number of sellers (450+) and total number of buyers (900+). Last week's Las Vegas, NV unreserved public auction also broke multiple site records for online sales, including online gross auction proceeds ($19+ mln), online registered bidders (2,900+) and online buyers.
7:17 am Global Ship Lease re-launches first priority secured notes offering (GSL) : Co plans to re-launch its offering of an aggregate principal amount of up to $400,000,000 of first priority secured notes due 2019 in a private placement. The Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed, jointly and severally, on a senior basis by Global Ship Lease Services Limited and each of the Company's 17 vessel-owning subsidiaries and in the future by certain of the Company's existing and future restricted subsidiaries, as may be required by the terms of the indenture that will govern the Notes.
On the issue date, the Notes will be secured by first priority ship mortgages on 17 vessels owned by certain subsidiary guarantors and certain other associated property, contract rights and bank accounts, as well as share pledges over the subsidiary guarantors that own the Mortgaged Vessels. In the future, vessels, shipping containers and container shipping-related assets and certain other associated property and contract rights may be pledged in addition to or in substitution for Initial Collateral. The co intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering to repay all outstanding borrowings under, and terminate, the Company's existing credit facility, to terminate the Company's existing interest rate swap agreements and to pay related expenses.
7:16 am Trina Solar announces sale of Wuwei solar power plant to Huadian Fuxin (TSL) : Co announced it has successfully sold its 50 MW solar power plant in Wuwei, Gansu province to Huadian Fuxin Energy Corporation. Huadian Fuxin will assume 100 percent ownership of the project from the co with the completion of the transaction.
7:14 am United Continental reported Feb 2014 consolidated traffic decreased 0.3% and consolidated capacity (available seat miles) decreased 0.9% versus February 2013 (UAL) : Co reported February 2014 operational results. UAL's February 2014 consolidated traffic (revenue passenger miles) decreased 0.3% and consolidated capacity (available seat miles) decreased 0.9% versus February 2013. UAL's February 2014 consolidated load factor increased 0.5 points compared to February 2013.
The co's operations were significantly impacted by winter storms in February, and in total UAL cancelled more than 11,000 flights during the month. Weather-driven cancellations reduced year-over-year capacity by ~3 percentage points.
7:13 am American Airlines (AAL) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU) discontinue partnership (AAL) : American Airlines and JetBlue Airways plan to terminate their interline traffic agreement and reciprocal frequent flyer program accrual agreement, which includes select routes from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (:JFK).
Beginning today, each airline will no longer accept new interline sales for travel on the other carrier. Effective April 1, customers will no longer earn miles or points when traveling on eligible routes operated by the other airline. All American AAdvantage miles or JetBlue TrueBlue points already accrued through this partnership will be credited to customers' accounts and are not affected. The two airlines are working together to ensure these changes have little impact to customers.
7:13 am MGIC Investment reports primary new insurance written for Feb 2014 of $1.5 bln versus $1.7 bln in Jan 2014 (MTG) : issued an Operational Summary of its insurance subsidiaries for the month of February 2014 for their primary mortgage insurance. The information concerning new notices and cures is compiled from reports received from loan servicers. The level of new notice and cure activity reported in a particular month can be influenced by, among other things, the date on which a servicer generates its report, the number of business days in a month, and by transfers of servicing between loan servicers.
Monthly operating stats:
- Primary New Insurance Written $1.5 bln
- Beginning Primary Delinquent Inventory (# of loans) 102,351
- Ending Primary Delinquent Inventory (# of loans) 97,588
7:12 am Synthetic Biologics announces issuance of U.S. patent adding another layer of protection for the use of oral estriol candidate, Trimesta, for multiple sclerosis (SYN) : Co announced that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,658,627 entitled, Pregnancy Hormone Combination for Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases, to the Regents of the University of California (:UCLA). The patent includes claims to the use of the Company's drug candidate, Trimesta (oral estriol), in conjunction with a gestagen for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases.
The patent also includes a claim for the administration of Trimesta, a gestagen and a third standard of care MS agent, such as glatiramer acetate injection (Copaxone), interferon beta-1a (Avonex, Rebif), interferon beta-1b (Betaseron, Extavia) or sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator (Gilenya). Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Synthetic Biologics holds the exclusive license to the newly issued U.S. Patent 8,658,627, as well as U.S. Patents 8,372,826 and 6,936,599 and pending patents for MS and other autoimmune diseases covering the uses of its oral estriol candidate, Trimesta.
In an on-going randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of women with relapsing-remitting MS, patients enrolled at 15 centers in the U.S. are administered either Trimesta in combination with Copaxone and progesterone (a gestagen), or receive a placebo plus Copaxone.
7:05 am Omeros announces positive OMS721 data in serum from patients with aHUS (OMER) : Co announces positive data using OMS721, the lead human monoclonal antibody in Omeros' mannan-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 program, in ex vivo studies of endothelial activation relevant to the pathophysiology of human atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a form of thrombotic microangiopathy.
- The data showed that OMS721 significantly inhibited complement deposition in the model using serum samples from aHUS patients obtained during the acute phase of disease and during remission compared to untreated controls.
- Experiments evaluating the effects of OMS721 on thrombus formation are planned.
- Eculizumab is an anti-C5 monoclonal antibody that is approved by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency to treat patients with aHUS.
7:04 am FMC Corp announces separation into two independent public companies; new FMC will be comprised of FMC Agricultural Solutions and FMC Health and Nutrition segments (FMC) :
- Co announced plans to separate into two independent public companies, "New FMC," which will be comprised of FMC's Agricultural Solutions and Health and Nutrition segments and "FMC Minerals," which will be comprised of FMC's current Minerals segment.
- The company expects the separation, which remains subject to final board approval and other customary conditions, will take the form of a tax-free distribution of shares to existing FMC shareholders.
- FMC Corporation expects to complete the separation in early 2015, and each company is expected to be listed on the NYSE.
- New FMC will be led by Pierre Brondeau, president, CEO and chairman, and Paul Graves will be the executive vice president and CFO. Mark Douglas, president of Agricultural Solutions, and Mike Smith, vice president and global business director of Health and Nutrition, will continue in their current roles.
7:03 am Prospect Capital provides first-lien senior secured floating rate debt to Tolt Solutions, Inc. (PSEC) : Co announced that Prospect has provided first-lien senior secured floating rate debt to support the continued growth of Tolt Solutions. Prospect closed approximately $2.7 billion of new originations during calendar year 2013. Prospect has closed nearly $400 million of originations during the current March 2014 quarter, with further origination activity expected in the current quarter and the coming months.
7:03 am Kratos Defense and Security: Germany's Federal Network Agency selects Kratos for satellite carrier monitoring solution (KTOS) : announced that its Integral Systems Europe (Kratos ISE) business group has been awarded a contract by Federal Network Agency, the spectrum regulator for the Federal Republic of Germany, to provide a satellite carrier monitoring solution and integrate it with Federal Network Agency's existing interference geolocation system.
7:02 am Mattress Firm announced that the co entered into an agreement to acquire the outstanding equity interests of Sleep Experts Partners; co expects on a GAAP basis blended earnings will be $0.03-0.05 accretive (MFRM) :
- Co announced that the Company entered into an agreement to acquire the outstanding equity interests of Sleep Experts Partners which operates Sleep Experts retail stores in Texas. Additionally, on March 3, 2014, the Company completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of Yotes which operated stores under the Mattress Firm brand in Colorado and Kansas, as well as the Virginia retail operations of Southern Max.
- Both companies were Mattress Firm franchisees and Southern Max will continue its franchised operations in Tennessee. Collectively, these accretive acquisitions will add ~93 specialty retail stores to the Mattress Firm company-operated store base, of which ~56 stores are located in Texas with the remainder in Colorado, Kansas and Virginia.
- The aggregate purchase price for these acquisitions is ~$80.5 million, subject, in each case, to customary adjustments.
- The closing of the Sleep Experts acquisition is expected to occur in the first fiscal quarter of 2014, subject to the prior satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Assuming the acquisition is consummated, the Company expects that the blended earnings per diluted share, on a generally accepted accounting principles basis, will be $0.03 to $0.05 accretive in the Company's full fiscal year ending February 3, 2015.
- The Company expects to provide additional details on the acquisitions and to provide an update on the Company's fiscal year 2014 guidance on March 13, 2014 with the release of its earnings results for the full fiscal year (52 weeks) ending January 28, 2014.
7:02 am Antares Pharma announces LEO Pharma's launch of OTREXUP (Methotrexate) Injection to dermatologists for adults with psoriasis (ATRS) : Co announced LEO Pharma's launch of OTREXUP to Dermatologists, the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) approved subcutaneous (SC) methotrexate (MTX) product for once weekly self-administration with an easy-to-use, single dose, disposable auto injector.
- ATRS has received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for OTREXUP (methotrexate) injection for the treatment of adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis, children with active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and adults with severe recalcitrant psoriasis. Antares Pharma is also developing VIBEX QS T for testosterone replacement therapy.
7:01 am Fortuna Silver Mines drills 2.8 kg/t Ag and 14.5 g/t Au over a true thickness of 4.2 m at Trinidad North Discovery, San Jose Mine, Mexico (FSM) : Co announces new results for step-out drilling of the Trinidad North discovery located contiguous with the San Jose mine in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- The results continue to confirm the extension of the Trinidad North zone with high-grade silver-gold mineralization present over wide vein widths.
- "The results of the step-out drilling at Trinidad North confirm the continuation of a very robust mineralized system with mineralization being present in two sub-parallel vein systems (Bonanza Vein and Trinidad Vein) and commonly in the form of stockwork zones between the two structures. The mineralization is closely associated with hydrothermal breccias formed as a result of boiling of the epithermal system with the evidence of boiling persisting to the deepest holes drilled to-date (approximately 600 m below current surface). The mineralization remains open to the north and to depth as well as vertically above the 1200 meter level."
7:01 am EnteroMedics announces the FDA has rescheduled the Advisory Committee Meeting date to June 17, 2014 for review of Maestro rechargeable system (ETRM) : Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Device Evaluation has rescheduled a meeting of the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health's (:CDRH) Advisory Committee for Tuesday, June 17, 2014 to review the Maestro System delivering VBLOC vagal blocking therapy as a treatment for morbid obesity. The prior meeting date presented a significant scheduling conflict for the CDRH.
7:01 am Quest Diagnostics completes acquisition of Solstas Lab Partners and raises 2014 financial guidance (DGX) : Co announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Solstas Lab Partners Group and its subsidiaries (Solstas), a full-service commercial laboratory company based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The combination of Solstas with Quest Diagnostics will give patients and healthcare providers in the Southeastern United States, where Solstas operates in nine states, including the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, greater access to innovative and cost-effective diagnostic information services.
Co also raised 2014 adjusted earnings per diluted share guidance to $3.95-4.15 vs $4.04 Capital IQ Consensus Est, up from prior guidance of $3.90-4.10.
7:01 am Starwood Hotels announced that it is poised for record-breaking growth over the next 12 months with 35 new hotels expected to open (HOT) :
- Co announced from the Sheraton Hotels General Manager Summit in Seattle that its largest and most global brand is poised for record-breaking growth over the next 12 months with 35 new hotels expected to open. After topping 100 hotels in Asia Pacific in 2013, Sheraton continues to build momentum in the region with 23 openings expected over the next 12 months.
- Sheraton will open approximately one hotel every three weeks in China alone, reflecting the brand's aggressive growth primarily in the country's secondary and tertiary markets. Sheraton will add two new hotels in key emerging markets across Europe over the next 12 months.
- Openings will include Sheraton Rostov-On-Don Hotel in Russia and the Sheraton Ismayilli Resort & Spa in Azerbaijan.
- Within Latin America, Brazil is one of Starwood's most promising growth markets as the country accelerates infrastructure development ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. This year, Sheraton will open its seventh hotel in Brazil.
6:43 am CombiMatrix hires Weslie Tyson as Chief Medical Officer (CBMX) :
- Co announced that veteran pediatric pathologist Weslie Tyson has been hired as Chief Medical Officer, effective April 8, 2014. Tyson will report directly to CombiMatrix President and CEO Mark McDonough.
- He will replace Richard D. Hockett as Chief Medical Officer, whose resignation was disclosed in a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2014.
6:42 am Cellceutix reports 14 acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections patients treated in Phase 2b clinical trial (CTIX) :
- Co announced that through March 7 a total of 14 patients have been treated in the Company's Phase 2b clinical (7% of the 200 patients to be treated). The multi-center study is evaluating the safety and efficacy of Brilacidin as a novel antibiotic drug candidate as compared to daptomycin for the treatment of Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infections (:ABSSSI).
- Patients are receiving one of three different dosing regimens of Brilacidin (one of two single-dose regimens or one 3-day regimen) or a 7-day regimen of daptomycin. Cellceutix is pleased with the initial enrollment pace and believes that it will continue to escalate as the trial moves forward.
6:40 am NII Holdings retains financial advisors to explore strategic and capital structure alternatives (NIHD) :
- Co announced that it has retained UBS Investment Bank as its financial advisor to explore and advise the company on potential strategic opportunities, including creating partnerships or alliances, selling or merging one or more of the company's business units or other strategic transactions involving the entire company.
- Concurrently, the company has retained Rothschild Inc. as its financial advisor to explore and advise the company regarding opportunities for modifying its capital structure to improve its long-term liquidity position, including potential approaches that could lead to refinancing or restructuring all or a portion of its existing debt obligations.
6:36 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Acacia Research (ACTG) announced that its Brandywine Communications Technologies subsidiary has entered into a settlement and patent license agreement with Windstream Corporation and Allworx Corporation. The agreement resolves litigation that was pending in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
- llumina (ILMN) and WuXi PharmaTech (WX) announced that the WuXi Genome Center has purchased an Illumina HiSeq X Ten sequencing system.
6:34 am Revolution Lighting to acquire Value Lighting and affiliates for $35.6 mln; significantly increases distribution footprint (RVLT) : Revolution Lighting Technologies announces it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Value Lighting Inc. and certain affiliates, a leading supplier of lighting solutions to the multifamily residential housing sector and new construction marketplace across the U.S.
- Revolution Lighting will pay a total purchase price of $35.6 mln for 100% of the outstanding equity of the Value Lighting business plus $3.5 mln of assumed debt.
- Approximately $7.5 mln of the purchase price will be paid in cash which is expected to be financed with bank debt with the remaining $28.1 mln paid in Revolution Lighting common stock.
- As part of the acquisition, Revolution Lighting expects to receive at a minimum $9 mln of working capital.
- The Value Lighting equity holders will have the opportunity for earn-out payments of up to $10 mln if 2014 and 2015 revenue and EBITDA targets are achieved.
- Value Lighting's 2013 revenues were approximately $43 mln and are expected to be ~$55 mln in 2014, with EBITDA in excess of 12% in
- More than half of Value Lighting's expected 2014 revenues are in current backlog.
6:30 am Yingli Green Energy signs its largest module supply agreement to date in Israel (YGE) : Co announced its largest supply agreement to date in Israel and the Middle East, under which the Company will deliver 27.5 MW of multicrystalline PV modules between February and April of 2014. The Company will supply its YGE 72 Cell NH Series modules to a solar power plant that will occupy more than one million square meters of land in Israel. Designated a National Infrastructure Project by the Israeli Government, the solar farm has been granted the conditional feed-in tariff approval from the Israeli Public Utilities Authority.
6:13 am Full House Resorts misses by $0.07; misses on revs (FLL) : Reports Q4 adjusted net loss of $0.13 per share vs ($0.06) CIQ estimate; revs declined 16% YoY to $31.5 mln vs $33.3 mln CIQ est
Commentary: "...We were disappointed with our fourth quarter results, as increased competition and adverse weather conditions led to lower-than-expected performance..."
6:02 am SORL Auto Parts wins supplier awards from three major customers (SORL) : Co announced that the Company has received supplier awards from three of its major customers, Dongfeng Liuzhou Automobile, Dongfeng Dana Axle, and the Qingte Group.
6:02 am Basic Energy Services reported selected operating data for the month of February 2014. Basic's well servicing rig count remained unchanged at 425 (BAS) :
- Co reported selected operating data for the month of February 2014. Basic's well servicing rig count remained unchanged at 425. Well servicing rig hours for the month were 68,100 producing a rig utilization rate of 73%, compared to 69% and 71% in January 2014 and February 2013, respectively.
- During the month, Basic's fluid service truck count increased by five to 1,008. Fluid service truck hours for the month were 189,000 compared to 207,400 and 177,600 in January 2014 and February 2013, respectively.
5:59 am S&P futures vs fair value: flat. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +2.50. :
5:59 am European Markets : FTSE...6740.93...+28.30...+0.40%. DAX...9360.33...+9.60...+0.10%.
5:59 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15120.14...-153.90...-1.00%. Hang Seng...22264.93...-395.60...-1.80%.
5:47 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Cray (CRAY) announced the opening of the Company's new supercomputer manufacturing facility in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. With the addition of this second facility and with recent upgrades to its existing primary manufacturing site, Cray has roughly doubled its manufacturing capacity.
- Advantest (ATE) introduced two new test modules for high-speed, cost-efficient testing of radio-frequency ICs used in cell phones and wireless LAN devices built to meet 802.11ac and LTE-Advanced mobile communication standards. Both the 32-port WLS32-A module and the 16-port WLS16-A module are fully compatible with Advantest's widely used T2000 platform.
5:35 am Tencent and JD.com announce partnership agreement (TCEHY) : Tencent and JD, announce they have entered into the following Transactions:
- Share Subscription Agreement Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Share Subscription Agreement, JD agreed to allot and issue to the Buyer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, and the Company agreed to purchase through the Buyer from JD, 351,678,637 JD Ordinary Shares, representing 15% of the outstanding JD Ordinary Shares on a Pre-IPO Basis immediately after the completion of the Pre-IPO Subscription.
- Through strategic investment in JD, the Company partners up with JD to jointly provide best-in-class e-Commerce services to users and customers. With this strategic partnership, the Company combines its e-Commerce initiative with JD's to extend the Company's presence in the fast-growing physical goods e-Commerce market and to achieve economies of scale. This strategic partnership also equips the Company to better develop its payment solution, allowing the Company to further develop other e-Commerce enabling services such as public accounts and performance-based advertising network to create a more prosperous ecosystem for users and partners on the Company's platforms.
- The Board believes that the terms of the Share Subscription Agreement, the Strategic Cooperation Agreement, the JD Amended and Restated Shareholders Agreement, the IPO Share Subscription Agreement, the Call Option Agreement, the Shanghai Icson Shareholders Agreement and the other Transaction Documents are on normal commercial terms and fair and reasonable, and the Transactions are in the interests of the shareholders of the Company as a whole.
5:18 am Pretium Resources appoints James Currie as Chief Operating Officer (PVG) : Currie previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of New Gold Inc
5:15 am World Econ Data (:SUMRX) : China
- Feb Trade Balance -$22.98 bln vs $31.87 bln in Feb 2013
- Feb Imports +10.1% vs +10.0% in Feb 2013
- Feb Exports -18.1% vs +10.6% in Feb 2013
- Feb CPI +2.0% vs +2.5% in Feb 2013
- Feb PPI -2.0% vs -1.6% in Feb 2013
- Q4 final GDP +0.7% vs +1.0% prelim
- Jan Trade Balance (in billions JPY) -2345.4 vs -1047.4 in Jan 2013
- Feb Eco Watchers Survey: Current 53.0 vs 54.7 in Jan
- Feb Eco Watchers Survey: Outlook 40.0 vs 49 in Jan
4:32 am DDR accelerates asset sales and reaches an agreement to sell its investment in Brazil for $344 mln (DDR) : Co announces that it has signed a letter of intent to sell its 50% ownership interest in Sonae Sierra Brazil BV Sarl, a Luxembourg Company, to Alexander Otto and his affiliates for $343.6 mln. DDR's interest in SSB BV Sarl represents DDR's entire investment in Brazil. The gross proceeds of $343.6 million consist of $283.0 million from the negotiated price of R$26.00 per share of Sonae Sierra Brasil, a 67% premium to the closing price on the IBOVESPA as of March 7, and DDR's stake in Parque Dom Pedro, valued at $60.7 million. The closing of the sale is expected to be completed in the next 30 days. The transaction is subject to negotiation of a definitive purchase and sale agreement and customary terms and conditions of closing.
4:19 am Royal DSM N.V. proposes appointment of Geraldine Matchett as new Chief Financial Officer (RDSMY.PK) : Geraldine Matchett is currently the Global Chief Financial Officer and member of the Operations Council of the SGS Group, a publicly quoted company on the SIX Swiss stock exchange and the world leading company in inspection, verification, testing and certification with 80,000 employees and annual revenues of approximately CHF 6 billion.
Geraldine has three nationalities (Swiss, British and French) and has previously worked in London for KPMG and in Switzerland for Deloitte as financial auditor and audit manager, handling clients in the food, pharma and chemical sectors. She has extensive experience with interaction with all relevant stakeholders, has been actively involved in corporate development activities and has managed many areas of the finance function across the world.
3:35 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated (MSA) announced it has completed a legal realignment of the company, establishing a new holding company structure for MSA as well as a new parent company.
- T-Mobile US (TMUS) announced the company is offering customers more 4G LTE data and tethering and unlimited international texting - at no extra charge. The company announced it is doubling the amount of high-speed 4G LTE data and tethering to 1GB included in the $50 Simple Choice service plan.
- Power management company Eaton, along with Cummins (CMI) announced that their popular SmartAdvantage Powertrain package is being expanded to include applications for the ISX12 diesel engine and ISX15 SmartAdvantage applications up to 110,000 lb gross vehicle weight.
- William Clay Ford, who helped steer Ford (F) into the modern era as an employee, director and influential member of the Ford family, died this morning at his home from pneumonia. He served as Director Emeritus, Ford Motor Company and was the last surviving grandchild of the company's founder, Henry Ford.
- MSCI (MSCI) announced that Krane Funds Advisors, a provider of China-focused exchange traded funds, and Bosera Asset Management, one of China's largest asset managers, have licensed the MSCI China A Index as the basis of a new ETF trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
- Panasonic (PCRFY) announced pricing and availability of its much-anticipated LUMIX GH4. The GH4, the world's first DSLM with 4K cinematic recording capability designed for both still photographers and cinematographers will be available at retail locations at the beginning of May.
- Adobe (ADBE) announced the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has entered into a three-year Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreement that will result in expanded access to Adobe software across branches and departments. The contract, valued at $40.5 million, was awarded to CDW-G, a government IT solutions provider that works in partnership with Adobe.
- CGG (CCG) announced that Sercel's latest and most advanced digital single-sensor, QuietSeisTM, based on next-generation MEMS technology, is living up to its name after having demonstrated an outstanding low-noise performance during a recent series of field tests.
3:01 am Chiquita Brands and Fyffes plc announce that the companies approve a definitive agreement under which Chiquita will combine with Fyffes, in a stock-for-stock transaction (CQB) : Chiquita Brands International and Fyffes plc announce that the Boards of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Chiquita will combine with Fyffes, in a stock-for-stock transaction that is expected to result in Chiquita shareholders owning ~50.7% of ChiquitaFyffes, and Fyffes shareholders owning ~49.3% of ChiquitaFyffes, on a fully diluted basis. The agreement creates a global banana and other fresh produce company with ~$4.6 billion in annual revenues. Chiquita and Fyffes plan to complete the transaction before the end of 2014.
Under the terms of the Transaction Agreement, Fyffes shareholders will receive 0.1567 ChiquitaFyffes shares for each Fyffes share they hold upon completion of the scheme contemplated as part of the overall transaction. Chiquita shareholders will also become shareholders of ChiquitaFyffes and receive one ChiquitaFyffes share for each Chiquita share that they hold upon closing of the merger contemplated as part of the overall transaction.
- The transaction values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Fyffes at ~$526 million (EUR379 million) and each Fyffes share at EUR1.22 based on Chiquita's closing share price on March 7, 2014 and a Euro/U.S. dollar exchange rate of 1.39, which represents a premium of ~36% compared to EUR0.90, Fyffes volume-weighted average trading price for the 30 trading day period ending March 7, 2014 (the last trading day prior to this announcement), and a 38% premium to the Fyffes closing share price on March 7, 2014 of EUR0.89.
- On this basis, the transaction will result in a combined equity value of ~$1.07 billion (EUR770 million). The actual values received will depend on the trading price of ChiquitaFyffes Shares following consummation of the transaction.
1:55 am United Rentals to acquire National Pump (URI) : Co announces it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement to acquire National Pump, the second largest specialty pump rental company in North America.
- Under the terms of the agreement, United Rentals will also acquire GulfCo, a two branch general rental business also based in Texas.
- The combined purchase price for the assets is ~$780 million.
- The Board of Directors of United Rentals and the partners of National Pump unanimously approved the proposed transaction.
- The acquired assets recorded LTM revenue of $211 million and adjusted EBITDA of $103 million, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 49% on a fleet with an original equipment cost of $215 million.
1:52 am Elbit Systems receives contract for the U.S. Customs Border Protection integrated fixed towers project valued at $145 mln over 9 yrs (ESLT) :
1:50 am NIDEC outlines of planned stock split and modification to share repurchase program (NJ) : Co announces made the following decisions regarding a stock split and an amendment to the Company's Articles of Incorporation, as well as a modification to the Company's share repurchase program, which was adopted at the meeting of the Board of Directors on January 22, 2014.
Purposes of the Stock Split
- The Company has decided to implement the stock split to enhance the liquidity of the Company's common stock and expand its investor base by reducing the trading price per share of the Company's common stock.
- Outline of the Stock Split - Each of the shares of the Company's common stock held by shareholders included or recorded in the final register of shareholders as of the record date of March 31, 2014 (Monday) will be split into two shares.
- Total issued shares prior to stock split: 145,075,080 shares
1:49 am RadNet commences tender offer and consent solicitation for 10 3/8% Senior Notes due 2018 (RDNT) : Co announces that it has commenced a tender offer to purchase for cash any and all of the outstanding $200 million aggregate principal amount of 10 3/8% Senior Secured Notes due 2018.
In conjunction with the tender offer, the Company also commenced a solicitation of consents to amend the indenture governing the Notes to eliminate or modify certain restrictive covenants and other provisions contained in the indenture governing the Notes. The tender offer and consent solicitation are being made pursuant to the Company's Offer to Purchase and Consent Solicitation Statement, dated March 7, 2014, which sets forth a more comprehensive description of the terms of the offer.
1:48 am Timberline Resources submits plan of compliance to NYSE (TLR) : Co announces that it has submitted a plan of compliance to the NYSE MKT addressing how the Company intends to regain compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv) of the NYSE MKT Company Guide by March 31, 2014. Timberline previously announced that it had received notice from the Exchange that the Company was not in compliance with one of the Exchange's continued listing standards. The Exchange is now evaluating the Plan.
1:45 am Ellington Financial reports estimated Book Value as of February 28, 2014 of $24.23, or $23.83 (EFC) : Briefing note: This was revised upward from an earlier press release which stated BV was $24.05, or $23.65 on a diluted basis
1:43 am NovaCopper cancels previously announced financing (NCQ) : Co announces that the Company has decided not to proceed with the public offering of common shares and concurrent private placement announced on February 19, 2014. The Company is deferring a decision on any financing until after public release of the updated resource estimate for the Bornite project, anticipated later this month. In the interim, the Company is continuing discussions with its principal shareholders and certain other parties, and is considering a number of financing alternatives.
1:41 am Science Applications recommends rejection of below-market price mini-tender offer by TRC Capital (SAIC) : Science Applications International has been notified of an unsolicited "mini-tender offer" made by TRC Capital to SAIC stockholders to purchase up to 700,000 shares of SAIC common stock at a price of $35.35 per share. TRC's offer price represents a discount of $1.78 per share, or 4.79 percent, below SAIC's closing price of $37.13 on February 26, 2014, the date of the offer.
SAIC recommends that stockholders not tender their shares because the offer price is below SAIC's current share price, and urges them to obtain current market quotations for their shares of SAIC common stock, consult with their financial advisor and exercise caution with respect to TRC's offer.
1:40 am Houston American Energy contacted by NYSE regarding unusual market activity (HUSA) : Co announces that, in view of the unusual market activity in the Company's common stock on Friday, March 7, 2014, the New York Stock Exchange had contacted the Company in accordance with its usual practice. The Company stated that its policy is not to comment on unusual market activity.
1:39 am Celanese announces vinyl acetate-based emulsions price increase in Americas (CE) : Co announces it will increase the price of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in the Americas. PVAc homopolymer, vinyl acetate ethylene, and vinyl acrylic emulsions will increase by up to $0.03/wet pound effective April 1, 2014, or as contracts allow.
1:38 am Canadian Natl Rail responds to the Order in Council announced by Transport Minister and Agriculture Minister that sets out minimum volumes of grain the railways are each required to move (CNI) : CN has indicated to the federal government its intention to ramp up towards 5,500 cars delivered to country elevators each week, as soon as weather conditions permit and a strong Thunder Bay program starts. CN will have the resources - locomotives, cars and crews - in place to support this record weekly spotting level. This level of performance can be sustained, provided that there is strong collaboration from all partners in the supply chain - grain companies, country and terminal elevators. Critical factors will include: use of all sale corridors; timely loading and unloading of grain cars; and encouragement from the federal government to act in a collaborative, as opposed to accusative, manner in the grain supply chain.
1:37 am Global Cash Access announces the appointment of Controller Randy Taylor as Chief Financial Officer (GCA) :
1:35 am Northfield Bancorp adopts second repurchase program; first program nearly complete (NFBK) : Co announces that its initial repurchase program is nearly complete, having repurchased 2,198,002 shares of its common stock of the 2,886,312 shares approved in that initial program. The Company's Board of Directors adopted a second stock repurchase program to begin at the conclusion of the initial program. In the second repurchase program, the Company may repurchase up to 2,751,460 shares of its common stock, or approximately 5% of the shares outstanding at the end of the initial program.
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