InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

11:54 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (161) outpacing new lows (48) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: ACCO, ADP, AGX, AKR, ALL, APH, ARE, ARW, AVB, AVGO, BAM, BBD, BJRI, BLX, BMR, BRX, BXP, CCI, CDNS, CDW, CENX, CHH, CM, CMG, CNI, COO, CP, CPL, CPT, CRI, CTP, CVS, CW, DDR, DIS, DKL, DLR, DRE, DRH, ECF, ECL, EEQ, EFC, EIX, ELS, ENSG, EQIX, EQR, ESS, EW, EXP, FDS, FFIV, FIS, FISV, FL, FLT, FRF, FRT, GBX, GCO, GD, GGP, HCC, HCN, HD, HDB, HPQ, HRB, HRL, HSH, IBA, IESC, IHS, INN, INTC, ITUB, IVZ, JBLU, JRJC, KED, KEX, KRC, KSS, KTCC, LAZ, LG, LMT, LNBB, LOW, LPL, LTC, LUV, MAG, MAR, MATW, MCRL, MGA, MNDL, MNR, MPW, MRD, MTD, MUSA, NATI, NEU, NFLX, NOC, PBA, PDM, PEB, PEP, PERY, PFG, PHI, PJC, PSA, PUK, QRE, REG, RPM, RSG, RY, SAVE, SBSI, SEIC, SFL, SHW, SMLP, SNPS, ST, SUSP, SVU, TECD, TRN, TRT, TTM, TWOU, UAL, UDR, UEIC, UGI, UHS, UNP, VGR, WEX, WLK, WM, WMS, WOOF, WPC, WPX, WRB, WRE, WRI, WY, XRS, XRX, ZSPH, ZTS, ZUMZ

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACY, ANTH, APO, AQXP, ARCO, AREX, ARTW, AVL, BAXS, CACG, CALI, COUP, CTG, CYTX, ECT, EGT, END, ENTR, ENVI, FST, FUEL, FWM, GES, GIMO, GKNT, GLCH, HERO, IRG, KING, LDR, LPI, ORRF, PERI, PT, QLGC, QRM, RAVN, SCL, SSI, STML, SUNS, SUTR, TIGR, TITN, TRMR, UNTK, VCRA, WMK

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: AMJ, EEB, EWW, ICF, IHF, IWF, IYF, IYH, IYR, OEF, QQQ, RTH, SPY, URE, VNQ, VTI, XLB, XLF, XLK, XLV, XLY

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: none

11:50 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+0.3%
  • Germany's DAX:+0.9%
  • France's CAC:+1.2%
  • Spain's IBEX:+1.3%
  • Portugal's PSI:+0.7%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+2.1%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+0.6%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +2.1%

11:13 am Currency Commentary: DXY Giving Up Early Gains (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index is giving up some of its overnight gains despite strong economic reports. The DXY rallied to multi-month highs once again as it touched 82.36 following Fed minutes that were viewed as hawkish compared to recent Fed commentary. The index hit highs during Asian trade but would begin to see some selling pressure when Europe opened for trade. That trend would continue despite outperformances in Initial Claims, Existing Home Sales , Leading Indicators, and the Philly Fed. The latter is being questioned though as the underlying components did not match the impressive headline numbers. The DXY is dipping back to 82 and should give that level a strong test for support ahead of tomorrow speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen (10am). 
  • The euro dropped to 1.3240 in early trade before recovering losses. The single currency was aided by PMI numbers, which were not great compared to the consensus expectations but were better than some had feared. The euro was able to rally back to 1.3285 but is running into some resistance here. Tomorrow ECB President Mario Draghi will be speaking and markets will be listening closely to comments on how he intends to implement QE to boost the struggling region. 
  • The pound saw little support from the dovish BoE minutes and fell below 1.66 for the first time since early April. Sterling has now fallen below its 200 sma and continues to see a firm downward trend. A slow down in economic data has hurt sterling as has the slow down in the Euro area. Also weighing on sentiment is the Scotland Independence situation which remains in the newspapers. 
  • The yen is breaking down from its recent tight consolidation range as it slips further down thw 103 level. The yen came within a whisper of the 104 level this morning, hitting 103.95 before seeing a small bounce back. A preliminary look at Manufacturing PMI data came in better than expected (BONDX, FOREX).

11:06 am Noah Holdings clarifies status of asset mgmt plan in response to certain 'inaccurate reports'; does not currently expect material adverse effect (NOAH) :

  • From June 13, 2014 to June 18, 2014, Wanjia Win-Win Assets Management, jv that the co's affiliate entity, holds 35% equity interest, established the asset management plan of Wanjia Win-Win Jingtai Fund Phase I to Phase IV with Shenzhen Jingtai Fund Management. The term of the plan is one year. Noble Equity Investment, a subsidiary of the Company, is the investment advisor of the asset management plan. 
  • Shortly after the establishment of the plan, on June 20, 2014, Wanjia Win-Win and Noble discovered that Jingtai Management violated the term and agreed investment strategy of the asset management plan by using funds under the plan for other investment projects. Wanjia Win-Win and Noble took immediate and proactive measures, including reporting Jingtai Management's potential fraudulent actions to the relevant local public security bureau, and quickly controlled and preserved funds under the plan as well as additional assets pledged by concerned counterparties sufficient to cover repayment of principal and returns of the asset management plan. 
  • To the Company's knowledge, the asset management plan will repay upon maturity or before date of maturity the expected returns and principals to its investors according to the existing investment contracts... As investment advisor, Noble, together with Wanjia Win-Win, detected mis-use of the funds by Jingtai Management at first instance and took immediate actions, which played a crucial role in safeguarding investors' interests. The Company has promptly contacted each client who has purchased this product through the Company's distribution channels about the status and the repayment plan proposed by the asset management plan. The Company does not currently expect that this incident will have any material adverse effect on its business operations or financial results.

11:01 am Oct crude extends gains, hits a new HoD of $94.13/barrel. Oct crude is now +0.7% at $94.09/barrel (:COMDX) :  

10:58 am SPDR DJIA ETF: DIA +0.45% holds near session moving into mid-morning trade; DJIA now @ 17058.50 +79.37 (DIA) :  

10:57 am Plains All Amer plans to construct pipeline from Cushing to Memphis; total project investment expected to be ~$900 mln and completed in late 2016 (PAA) : Co announced it will construct the Diamond Pipeline, a 440-mile, 20-inch crude oil pipeline that will provide capacity of up to 200K barrels per day of domestic sweet crude from the Plains Cushing, Okla. terminal to the Valero (VLO) Memphis Refinery, and the ability to access Valero Energy Partner's Collierville pipeline.

  • The total project investment is expected to be ~$900 mln and is expected to be completed in late 2016. 
  • The Diamond Pipeline project is underpinned by a long-term shipping agreement with Valero and a related contract for storage and terminalling services at the Plains Cushing Terminal. 
  • Valero holds an option until January 2016 to become a partner in the Diamond Pipeline and purchase a 50 percent interest.

10:45 am Middlesex Water announces Delaware PSC approved $0.8 mln increase in base water rates of its subsidiary Tidewater Utilities, effective Aug 19 (MSEX) : The increase resulted from a settled agreement with the Staff of the PSC and the Delaware Division of the Public Advocate.

10:32 am Trimble Navigation acquires privately-held Load Systems International; financial terms not disclosed (TRMB) : Co announced that it has acquired privately-held Load Systems International, a manufacturer of wireless and hardwired crane safety instrumentation, headquartered in Quebec City, Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.

10:30 am Sep natural gas falls into negative territory on inventory data; now down 0.4% at $3.81 (:COMDX) :  

10:04 am Dicerna Pharmaceuticals announces the issuance of multiple patents covering claims for Dicer substrate siRNAs (DRNA) : Co announced a series of recently issued patents providing broad composition and method of use claims covering double stranded RNA molecules, called dicer substrate siRNAs.

  • These patents have issued over the last several months from the intellectual property licensed by Dicerna from the City of Hope estate in November 2007.
  • The newly issued claims provide broad protection for the therapeutic use of DsiRNA oligonucleotides, a technology at the core of Dicerna's current product pipeline development programs. 

10:00 am Cash SPX sets a new intraday record high print, now seen @ 1991.59 in today's 1st hour of trading; SPX currently @ 1990.53 +4.02 (SPY) :  

9:41 am Opening Market Summary: S&P 500 Opens Near Record High (:WRAPX) : The major averages registered modest early gains with the S&P 500 climbing above its record closing high at 1987.98. The benchmark index trades higher by 0.1% with seven sectors showing gains.

Countercyclical sectors have shown early strength with consumer staples (+0.2%), health care (+0.3%), and utilities (+0.5%) starting the day ahead of the broader market, while the telecom services sector (unch) lags.

On the cyclical side, the technology sector (+0.2%) sports a modest gain, while the remaining sectors lag. The materials space is the weakest performer with a decline of 0.3%.

Treasuries have jumped to highs after spending the majority of the night in the red. The 10-yr yield is lower by one basis point at 2.42%.

Existing Home Sales for July (consensus 5.00 million), August Philadelphia Fed Survey (consensus 15.5), and July Leading Indicators (expected 0.7%) will all be released at 10:00 ET.

9:34 am SPY sets a new record high print @ 199.21 in early trading paced by sector ETFs XLU +0.30%, & XLV +0.30%; SPX @ 1988.88 +2.37 (SPY) :  

9:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Intuit (INTU) announced the availability of Quicken 2015 for AAPL's Mac. 
  • Synopsys (SNPS) announced that its DesignWare USB 3.0 Controller and PHY IP has shipped in more than 100 mln production system-on-chips used in mobile computing, digital home and cloud computing applications.  
  • HP (HPQ) signed an agreement with Beijing UnionRead Information Technology to build and operate community clouds for enterprise customers in China.  
  • Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI) has launched Sinclair Original Programming, a division of the co involved in the creation and development of original content.
  • Autobytel (ABTL) now offers an effective and easy-to-use car payment conversion tool for dealer websites. Payment Pro - powered by DriveItNow - provides online car shoppers with instant and customized monthly car payment options based on individual credit and inventory eligibility, while delivering pre-qualified leads direct to dealers. 
  • Black Hills (BKH) utility subsidiary Black Hills Power received approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission of a settlement agreement allowing the co to increase electric revs in Wyoming. 
  • Tyler Technologies (TYL) has signed agreements with the city of Allen, Texas, and the city of College Station, Texas, for Munis enterprise resource planning. Allen also chose Tyler's EnerGov planning, permitting and licensing solution to improve efficiencies citywide.
  • City National Rochdale, a subsidiary of City National Bank (CYN), has created an Asian subsidiary - City National Rochdale Asia - and opened a new office in Hong Kong to house analysts who will provide on-the-ground research for the City National Rochdale Emerging Markets Fund. 
  • EPAM (EPAM) was included in the shortlist of companies considered for the implementation of a Consolidated Audit Trail, a system to be developed in response to SEC Rule 613, adopted in July 2012.
  • Bally Technologies (BYI) has connected its Cash Connection wide-area progressive slot link across Nevada and New Jersey to allow jackpots to reach larger amounts more quickly.

9:22 am EveryWare agrees to sell UK business (EVRY) : Co announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Oneida International has entered into an agreement to sell its United Kingdom business to HUK 54 Limited. EveryWare retains all rights to the brands ONEIDA, Anchor Hocking and Sant' Andrea.

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

  • Baystate Health of Springfield, Mass., has selected Premier's (PINC) data warehouse and business intelligence platform, PremierConnect Enterprise, to support the development of innovative solutions within its new Health Informatics & Technology Innovation Center. 
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) is opening its second PizzaRev franchise restaurant in Edina, Minn. in suburban Minneapolis on Aug 21.
  • Monster (MWW) announced the launch of Monster Message Center. 
  • Spok (SPOK) announced that Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Md. selected clinical alerting and secure texting solutions from Spok.
  • Tetra Tech (TTEK) has been awarded a five-year, $23 mln single-award contract with the EPA to assess and reduce the human health and ecological risk from contaminated fish, sediments, and water-borne pathogens in fresh and marine waters. 
  • ARI Network Services (ARIS) announced that a leading marine manufacturer has signed a professional services agreement naming ARI as its digital marketing services agency of record. 
  • IBM (IBM) signed a five-year multimillion dollar agreement with Veda. The agreement extends Veda's existing strategic outsourcing relationship with IBM. Co also announced that Ujjivan Financial Services has selected IBM's private cloud resilience services to ensure continuous business operations for its clients' critical financial transactions.
  • Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) and Flagship Biosciences announced a multi-year, multi-product partnership for the development of automated quantitative endpoint measurements in muscular dystrophy to support the advancement of Sarepta's Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug pipeline, including its lead candidate, eteplirsen. 
  • Elephant Talk Communications (ETAK) has successfully migrated the next phase of Grupo Iusacell existing subscribers in Mexico onto its dedicated platform. Co plans further migrations over the next two quarters, as Iusacell completes its transition by rolling out new services for its Mobile Network Operator and Mobile Virtual Network Operator clients in the Mexican market.

9:17 am Oct crude oil is recovering overnight losses this morning and just moved into positive territory for the first time today, but it was brief. Oct crude is now down 1 cent at $93.44/barrel (:COMDX) :  

9:10 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +2.20. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a slightly higher open as futures on the S&P 500 trade two points above fair value. The benchmark index finished yesterday's session fewer than two points below its all-time closing high (1987.98) and if the current indication holds, the index will challenge that level in the early going.

Market participants have received another batch of earnings since yesterday's close with results coming in mixed. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 35.12, 0.00) is indicated to open flat following its in-line results, while Dollar Tree (DLTR 54.40, -0.60) is on track to open lower by 1.1% after missing earnings estimates and guiding full-year earnings below consensus; however, the company boosted its revenue and comparable store sales guidance.

On the economic front, the initial claims report revealed another drop below the 300,000 mark (298,000), while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 308,000.

Existing Home Sales for July (consensus 5.00 million), August Philadelphia Fed Survey (consensus 15.5), and July Leading Indicators (expected 0.7%) will all be released at 10:00 ET.

Treasuries held losses in overnight action, but the 10-yr note is back near its flat line with the yield at 2.43%.

9:06 am Bank of America confirms settlement with DoJ and State AG; expected to reduce Q3 pretax earnings by $5.3 bln and negatively impact EPS by ~$0.43/share (BAC) :

  • Co announced that it has reached a comprehensive settlement with the DoJ, certain federal agencies and six states. The settlement includes releases on the securitization, origination, sale and other specified conduct relating to residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations, and an origination release on residential mortgage loans sold to Government Sponsored Enterprises and private-label RMBS trusts, or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Authority. 
  • The claims relate primarily to conduct that occurred at Countrywide and Merrill Lynch prior to Bank of America's acquisition of those entities. Bank of America will pay a total of $9.65 bln in cash and provide ~$7.0 bln worth of consumer relief. The cash portion consists of a $5.02 bln civil monetary penalty and $4.63 bln in compensatory remediation payments. 
  • The settlement is expected to reduce third-quarter 2014 pretax earnings by $5.3 bln, or ~$0.43 per share after tax. The EPS impact reflects the varying tax treatment of the components of the settlement. 
  • The settlement does not cover potential criminal claims; potential claims against individuals; and certain purported whistleblower actions. In addition, it does not cover the O'Donnell case. The company has reviewed the most recent court ruling in this case, issued on July 30, 2014, and will file an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 

9:01 am INTL FCStone announced Court of Appeals had reversed trial court's Jan 2013 decision against its subsidiary, FCStone; reversal will have no financial impact on the co (INTL) :

  • Co announced on March 19, 2014 that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit had reversed the trial court's January 2013 decision against its subsidiary, FCStone in the Sentinel matter. 
  • Because the bankruptcy trustee for Sentinel did not seek review of the Seventh Circuit's ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court before the time allotted for appeal expired, the Seventh Circuit's ruling in favor of FCStone is now considered final. The appeal court's reversal will have no financial impact on the Company, which had considered the possibility of losing the appeal to be remote and, accordingly, made no provision in its financial statements for any further loss in this matter. 
  • The $8 million appeal cash deposit made by FCStone with the court has been refunded. The company had disclosed that the trial court's decision, if it had been allowed to stand, would have resulted in a net pre-tax loss to FCStone of between $4 million and $6 million. Such an adverse outcome is no longer a possibility.

9:00 am Baxter announces positive top-line results from its Phase 3 study of BAX 855, extended half-life recombinant FVIII for hemophilia A patients (BAX) : Co announced positive results from its Phase 3 pivotal clinical trial of BAX 855, which met its primary endpoint in reducing annualized bleed rates in the prophylaxis arm compared to the on-demand arm.

  • Top-line results from the Phase 3 study demonstrated that BAX 855 met its primary endpoint in the control and prevention of bleeding, routine prophylaxis and perioperative management for patients who were 12 years or older. 
  • Patients in a twice-weekly prophylaxis arm experienced a 95% reduction in median ABR as compared to those in the on-demand arm. 
  • BAX 855 was also effective in treating bleeding episodes, 96% of which were controlled with one or two infusions. 
  • No patients developed inhibitors to BAX 855 and no treatment-related serious adverse events, including hypersensitivity, were reported.
  • The co expects to submit a Biologics License Application for BAX 855 to the FDA before the end of 2014 and will present additional data in the coming months. 

8:57 am FBR & Co announces preliminary results of self-tender; total of 1,634,658 shares of FBR common stock were properly tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer at a price of $28.00 per share (FBRC) : Co announced the preliminary results of its previously announced modified "Dutch auction" tender offer to purchase up to one million shares of its outstanding common stock, at a price of not less than $28.00 and not more than $29.00 per share, which expired at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on August 20, 2014.

  • Based on a preliminary count by American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, the depositary for the tender offer, a total of 1,634,658 shares of FBR common stock were properly tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer at a price of $28.00 per share, including 136,293 shares tendered through notice of guaranteed delivery. 
  • FBR has elected to purchase 201,897 additional common shares (within up to 2% of the outstanding shares of its common stock).

8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +3.70. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points above fair value.

Asian markets ended the Thursday session on a mixed note.

  • In economic data: 
    • China's HSBC Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.3 from 51.7 (expected 51.5) 
    • Japan's Manufacturing PMI jumped to 52.4 from 50.5 (consensus 51.7) 
    • Hong Kong's CPI climbed to 4.0% year-over-year from 3.6% (consensus 3.5%) 
    • Australia's CB Leading Index rose 0.4% month-over-month (prior 0.2%) 
    • New Zealand's Visitor Arrivals fell 0.5% month-over-month (prior -0.3%), while Credit Card Spending increased 4.5% year-over-year (last 6.0%) 
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  • Japan's Nikkei rose 0.9%, gaining for a ninth straight session to finish near one-month highs. Exporters gained on the back of the weaker yen with Sony tacking on 1.9%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.7%, sliding from its best levels in more than six years. Coal names were pressured as China Shenhua Energy and Yanzhou Coal Mining gave up 0.4% and 0.9%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.4%, slipping off eight-month highs. Energy plays weighed as PetroChina lost 0.6% and Sinopec fell 1.3%. 
Major European indices trade higher across the board with Italy's MIB (+1.6%) pacing the rally.
  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.8 from 51.8 (expected 51.3), while Services PMI slipped to 53.5 from 54.2, as expected 
    • Germany's Manufacturing PMI ticked down to 52.0 from 52.4 (consensus 51.8), while Services PMI slipped to 56.4 from 56.7 (expected 55.7) 
    • French Manufacturing PMI fell to 46.5 from 47.8 (forecast 47.8), while Services PMI improved to 51.1 from 50.4 (expected 50.0) 
    • Great Britain's Retail Sales ticked up 0.1% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; prior 0.2%), while the year-over-year reading rose 2.6% (expected 3.0; prior 3.4%). Core Retail sales increased 0.5% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; last -0.1%), while the year-over-year reading rose 3.4% (consensus 3.4%; prior 3.8%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is higher by 0.2% with financials among the leaders. Hargreaves Lansdown, Old Mutual, and Schroders are up between 0.8% and 2.5%. Miners lag with Antofagasta, Fresnillo, and Rio Tinto down between 0.5% and 3.1%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades up 0.5% with 25 of 30 components showing gains. Heavyweights Deutsche Bank and Siemens lead with respective gains of 0.9% and 1.5%. On the downside, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp is lower by 0.9%. 
  • In France, the CAC holds an advance of 0.8%. Countercyclical names are mixed as Veolia Environnement leads with an increase of 2.6%, while Pernod Ricard is the weakest performer, down 0.9%. 
  • Italy's MIB outperforms with a gain of 1.6%. Banca di Milano Scarl, Intesa Sanpaolo, and UBI Banca are up between 3.0% and 5.5%.

8:56 am Platinum Group Metals announces favorable award on all matters in arbitration with Wesizwe Platinum; co calculates that Wesizwe's ownership in Maseve will be further diluted to 17.0985% (PLG) : Co announced that on August 20th an award in the binding arbitration with respect to the calculation of dilution to the ownership of Wesizwe Platinum Limited has been completed and delivered to the Company. The arbitrator ruled in favour of Platinum Group on all matters in contention and has ordered that costs are to be paid by Wesizwe.

  • The shareholding of Africa Wide in Maseve will fall to 21.2766% as a result of the initial cash call that gave rise to the arbitration and PTM RSA's shareholding will be increased to 78.7234%
  • Based on the dilution formula in the Maseve shareholders' agreement, as confirmed in the arbitration, the company calculates that Wesizwe's ownership in Maseve will be further diluted to 17.0985%
  • The co expects its shareholding in Maseve will increase to approximately 82.90% based on the two missed cash calls by Africa Wide.

8:53 am CBD Energy subsidiary awarded installation and maintenance contracts in Melbourne, Australia; estimated value of contracts is ~ $1.7 mln (CBDE) : Co, through its Australian Energy Efficiency subsidiary, Parmac, been awarded installation and maintenance contracts in Melbourne, Australia. The total estimated value of the contracts is ~ $1.7 million. The projects are expected to be commissioned in Sep and to be completed in Dec 2014.

8:47 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • 3D Systems (DDD) has opened its new innovation center and software development facility in Cary, North Carolina.
  • DragonWave (DRWI) announced the completion of a series of extensive outdoor small cell backhaul propagation tests that have been conducted with a 3rd party for street level characterization. This testing has validated and characterized non-line-of-sight paths at street level utilizing 60 GHz small cell backhaul deployment technologies.
  • CGI (GIB) announced that the states of Colorado and West Virginia have successfully launched new financial management systems utilizing the built-for-government capabilities of its CGI Advantage enterprise resource planning solution. 
  • ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) announced that BulbAmerica has selected ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces and ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing to help increase its online revenue.

8:44 am Meritor issues notice of redemption for all of its outstanding $84,396,000 aggregate principal amount of 8.125% notes due 2015 (MTOR) : Co announced that it has issued a notice of redemption for all of its outstanding $84,396,000 aggregate principal amount of 8.125% notes due 2015. The redemption date is Sept. 20, 2014 and the redemption price will be equal to the greater of 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed or the sum of the present values of the remaining scheduled payments of principal and interest on the Notes discounted to the Redemption Date on a semi-annual basis at the adjusted treasury rate, which will be calculated on the third business day preceding the Redemption Date, plus 50 basis points, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but not including, the Redemption Date.

8:36 am CounterPath provides update on Normal Course Issuer Bid and announces plan to initiate purchases on NASDAQ exchange (CPAH) : Co announced an update on the purchases of its common shares pursuant to the normal course issuer bid previously announced on March 17, 2014 and plans to initiate purchases of its common shares using the facilities of the NASDAQ.

  • Under the current NCIB, CounterPath may acquire up to 2,458,153 common shares, representing ~10% of the public float of the Company as of March 12, 2014, during the 12-month period starting March 19, 2014.
  • As of August 19, 2014, CounterPath has purchased for cancellation a total of:
    • 78,900 common shares at an average purchase price of CDN$1.31 per common share using the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange under its current NCIB
    • A total of 361,858 common shares at an average purchase price of CDN$1.67 per common share using the facilities of the TSX under all NCIBs.

8:35 am Capstone Turbine receives order for seventy five C65 microturbines from Horizon Power Systems for several U.S. Oil and Gas Customers (CPST) : Co announced that it received an order for seventy five C65 microturbines, scheduled for shipment through Dec 2014, from Horizon Power Systems for several U.S. Oil and Gas Customers. The order was placed by Horizon Power Systems, Capstone's distributor for the Eagle Ford, Permian, Barnett, Mancos, San Juan, and Wattenberg shale plays.

8:33 am Toro beats by $0.04, beats on revs; raises FY14 guidance (TTC) : Reports Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.87 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.83; revenues rose 11.3% year/year to $567.5 mln vs the $557.72 mln consensus.

Co issues guidance for FY14, raises EPS to $2.94-2.96 from $2.90-2.95 vs. $2.96 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; raises FY14 revs to +6% to ~$2.17 bln (from +5-6%) vs. $2.16 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

8:33 am Aaron's appoints Gilbert Danielson, Executive Vice President and CFO, as interim CEO (AAN) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Gilbert Danielson, Executive Vice President and CFO, as interim COO, effective following the retirement of Ronald W. Allen as the Company's Chief Executive Officer on August 31, 2014, which was previously announced.

8:32 am Kofax voluntarily changes from IFRS to U.S. GAAP financial reporting as of July 1, 2014, the beginning of its fiscal year 2015 (KFX) : The company notes after converting the basis of preparation of the their financial statements to GAAP, they have concluded and are able to report that the differences in reporting income statement financial measures on GAAP rather than IFRS and Non-GAAP rather than Non-IFRS are not material. The differences in balance sheet financial measures are largely reclassifications and related to the amortization of goodwill arising from acquisitions made in prior periods.

8:32 am Interdigital Comm sees Q3 revenue guidance of $74-76 mln vs $70.9 Capital IQ Consensus Est (IDCC) :

  • "We expect total revenue for Q3 2014 to be in the range of $74-76 mln, with recurring revenues contributing $70-72 million," noted Richard J. Brezski, Chief Financial Officer, InterDigital. "Our Q3 revenue guidance does not include any contribution from the arbitration award we received last quarter related to our agreement with Arima. We will recognize any revenue related to the Arima arbitration award when all criteria for revenue recognition have been met."
  • This revenue guidance is based primarily on royalty reports received to date, and does not include the potential impact of any new patent license, technology solutions or patent sale agreements that may be signed, or any other arbitration or dispute resolutions that may occur, during the balance of Q3 2014.

8:31 am Market View: Sep. stock-index futures hold a modest bid above fair values following the 8:30 a.m. ET Weekly Jobless Claims data (:TECHX) :

  • ESu4 @ 1987.00 +3.75

  • YMu4 @ 16990 +40

  • NQu4 @ 4044.75 +5.25

8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade three points above fair value.

The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 298,000, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 308,000. Today's tally was below the revised prior week count of 312,000 (from 311,000). As for continuing claims, they fell to 2.500 million from 2.549 million.

8:24 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: SSI -9.5%, BONT -7.7%, WUBA -6.7%, KIRK -5.1%, SHLD -4.3%, PLKI -3.2%, GFI -1.9%, DLTR -0.6%, CYBX -0.5%.

M&A news: DG -1.3% (also, sends letter to Family Dollar's (FDO) Board of Directors), FDO -0.4% (CNBC's David Faber reporting Family Dollar will reject Dollar General's (DG) $78.50 bid for company shortly, due to antitrust risk).

Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: HMY -2.3%, PAAS -2.1%, IAG -2%, GOLD -1.7%, AU -1.1%, CDE -1.1%, ABX -0.9%, BHP -0.9%, SLW -0.9%, RIO -0.8%, EGO -0.7%, AUY -0.7%.

Other news: KIN -30.7% (announces its pivotal field study (KB010) of CereKin, an interleukin-1 inhibitor for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs, did not meet its primary endpoint ), MCC -3.1% (prices 5 mln shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $13.02 per share), KTOS -1.8% (filed for $300 mln mixed securities shelf offering), ITMN -1.1% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo), MAC -0.6% (filed mixed securities shelf offering).

Analyst comments
: CCJ -1.5% (downgraded to Market Perform at Cowen), WWAV -0.9% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow), MSG -0.5% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel).

8:22 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • VMware (VMW) announced the VMware vCloud Air Network to provide greater choice and flexibility to businesses looking to capitalize on the advantages of hybrid cloud. 
  • Pfizer (PFE) has initiated a multi-center, open-label expanded access program in the U.S. for the investigational CDK 4/6 inhibitor, palbociclib. Through the program, palbociclib is being made available for use in combination with letrozole for post-menopausal women with hormone receptor positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer for whom letrozole is considered appropriate therapy. 
  • CACI International (CACI) has been selected as a prime contractor to provide logistics support to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command on the Worldwide Logistics Services contract. This five-year (one base plus four option years) multiple-award IDIQ contract has a ceiling value of $37 mln. 
  • Comcast (CMCSA) launched Xfinity On Campus, a service that lets college students watch live TV and On Demand content on their IP-enabled devices, including, laptops, tablets and smartphones while on campus. 
  • G3 Communications has published a report on how Plantronics (PLT) has significantly improved its channel management programs, channel ROI, and channel data infrastructure with a cloud-based solution from Zyme. 
  • Rackspace (RAX) announced that Shaadi.com is using Rackspace dedicated hosting.
  • Square 1 Bank (SQBK) has provided a $1 mln credit facility to new client Positiona.  
  • UBIC (UBIC) announced today that the Japan Patent Office has issued the co a patent concerning new functionality for Predictive Coding.  
  • CB&I (CBI) has been awarded a contract by Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen S.A. for the license and engineering design of a new on-purpose propylene production unit to be located in Plock, Poland.  
  • Extreme Networks (EXTR) has teamed up with Axis Communications to provide the wired and wireless infrastructure needed to deliver complete video surveillance during the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series that is currently underway. 
  • Cheetah Mobile (CMCM) announced the release of an updated version of the Clean Master app featuring a new Device Cooler function. The new app version is now available on Google (GOOG) Play.  
  • IMRIS (IMRS) has received Health Canada licensing to incorporate next generation MRI core technology into the VISIUS Surgical Theatre for sales and marketing in the country.

8:20 am European Markets Update: FTSE +0.3%, DAX +0.6%, CAC +0.8%, MIB +1.7% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade higher across the board with Italy's MIB (+1.7%) pacing the rally.

  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.8 from 51.8 (expected 51.3), while Services PMI slipped to 53.5 from 54.2, as expected 
    • Germany's Manufacturing PMI ticked down to 52.0 from 52.4 (consensus 51.8), while Services PMI slipped to 56.4 from 56.7 (expected 55.7) 
    • French Manufacturing PMI fell to 46.5 from 47.8 (forecast 47.8), while Services PMI improved to 51.1 from 50.4 (expected 50.0) 
    • Great Britain's Retail Sales ticked up 0.1% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; prior 0.2%), while the year-over-year reading rose 2.6% (expected 3.0; prior 3.4%). Core Retail sales increased 0.5% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; last -0.1%), while the year-over-year reading rose 3.4% (consensus 3.4%; prior 3.8%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is higher by 0.3% with financials among the leaders. Hargreaves Lansdown, Old Mutual, and Schroders are up between 0.8% and 2.5%. Miners lag with Antofagasta, Fresnillo, and Rio Tinto down between 0.5% and 3.1%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades up 0.6% with 25 of 30 components showing gains. Heavyweights Deutsche Bank and Siemens lead with respective gains of 0.9% and 1.5%. On the downside, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp is lower by 0.9%. 
  • In France, the CAC holds an advance of 0.8%. Countercyclical names are mixed as Veolia Environnement leads with an increase of 2.6%, while Pernod Ricard is the weakest performer, down 0.9%. 
  • Italy's MIB outperforms with a gain of 1.7%. Banca di Milano Scarl, Intesa Sanpaolo, and UBI Banca are up between 3.0% and 5.5%.

8:20 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: SMTC +6.8%, HRL +2%, NM +1.3%, ASM +0.5%, CACI +0.3%.

M&A news: ACT +1.9% (may be a possible takeover target following ending of Pfizer (PFE) and Asterzenca (AZN) takeover talks, according to reports),VMW +1.1% (announced the acquisition of CloudVolumes, a provider of real-time application delivery technology).

Select phrama/biotech related names showing strength: AZN +2.4% (rumored interest in ACT),EXAS +1.4%,SNY +1%,CELG +1%.

Select semi names showing strength: SMTC +6.8%, STM +1.7%, ASML +1.2%.

Other news: UNTK +8.8% (common stock to begin trading on the OTC),DGLY +8.1% (recent momentum body camera play),TKMR +4.6% (seeing early strength; NYTimes positive on experimental drug for ebola-like virus),AUXL +4.5% (announces positive data from Phase 2a study of CCH In patients with cellulite),BLRX +2.9% (announces receipt of Notice of Allowance from USPTO for a patent claiming the use of BL-7010),CPST +2.5% (still checking),HTZ +1.5% (following late move higher in Icahn stake news),PANW +1.3% (positive mention on Mad Money).

Analyst comments: PLAB +4.1% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham),AEO +1.2% (upgraded to Buy at Janney, upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sun Trust Rbsn Humphrey),ROSE +1.1% (upgraded to Accumulate from Hold at KLR Group),CRH +0.8% (upgraded to Mkt Perform from Underperform at Bernstein)

8:15 am Miller Energy Resources receives $31.2 mln tax credit certificate; near term liquidity exceeds $70.0 mln (MILL) :

  • Co announced that it has received a certificate for ~$31.2 mln of tax credits. The tax credits are submitted for reimbursement and are anticipated to be received in cash over the next few weeks.
  • "We continue to benefit greatly from State of Alaska tax credits," explained John Brawley, CFO of Miller. "With $31.2 mln of tax credits, the $18.4 mln in gross proceeds we expect to raise from the public offering of our Series D Preferred Stock, launched yesterday, and $24.0 mln available under our revolver, we now have over $70 mln in near-term liquidity, in addition to our operating revenue. We are excited about our drilling program and have the infrastructure, reserves and liquidity in place to convert those opportunities into significant production and cash flow."

8:05 am Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen names William Matt as New Chief Financial Officer effectively immediately (PLKI) : He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of La Senza Global, an arm of L Brands (LB).

8:05 am Miller Energy Resources prices new offering of its Series D Preferred Stock at a public price of $24.50/share (MILL) : Co announced today that it has priced an underwritten public offering of its 10.5% Series D Fixed Rate/Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock at a public offering price of $24.50 per share. 

  • Gross proceeds to the company are expected to be approximately $18.375 million.

8:04 am Stein Mart misses by $0.04 on the bottom line; reaffirms FY15 gross profit rate guidance (SMRT) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.06 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.10; revenues rose 2.4% year/year to $298.1 mln. Q2 Comparable store sales +1.3%. (Pre-announced revenues & comps on August 7th). Q2 adjusted gross profit was 29.0% of sales.

  • Adjusted EBITDA for the first six months of 2014 was $44.8 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of $46.4 million for the same period in 2013. 
  • "We operated 265 stores at the end of the second quarter this year compared to 262 at the end of the second quarter last year. We expect to open six new stores, relocate four and close one during the second half of the year. Pre-opening costs related to new and relocated stores were $0.6 million in the second quarter of 2014 and $1.9 million in the first half compared to no costs in the second quarter of last year and $0.6 million in the first half of last year." 
  • Outlook: "New stores will increase sales an estimated 1.5% above our comparable store increases for the full year and 2.5% in the second half. We continue to expect our full year gross profit rate to be slightly less than the 29.1 percent reported in 2013."

8:02 am VirtualScopics names James Groff CFO effective immediately (VSCP) : Groff has held the role of acting chief financial officer since August 2013. He joined VirtualScopics in January 2006 as an accounting manager and was promoted to controller in February 2013.

8:02 am Family Dollar issues statement rejecting buyout proposal from Dollar General (DG), citing antitrust issues; supports Dollar Tree (DLTR) merger (FDO) : FDO Board of Directors has unanimously rejected the non-binding proposal made by DG on the basis of antitrust regulatory considerations. In addition, the Family Dollar Board unanimously reaffirmed its recommendation in support of the merger agreement with Dollar Tree (DLTR).  

8:02 am KBR awarded EPC contract for new high-density polyethylene facility in La Porte, Texas; contract value was not disclosed; Expected revenue from the contract will be included in the third quarter 2014 backlog of unfilled orders for the Hydrocarbons segment (KBR) : Co announced it has been awarded a contract from Gemini HDPE LLC, to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for a new high-density polyethylene facility to be located at INEOS`s Battleground Manufacturing Complex in La Porte, Texas.

  • The new facility is designed to produce 470 kilotons per annum of bimodal HDPE using Innovene S process technology licensed from INEOS Technologies.

8:02 am Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System provides greater reliability in screw placement and reduced use of fluoroscopy, according to prospective study published in current issue of Turkish Neurosurgery (MZOR) : The co announced that according to a prospective study published in the current issue of Turkish Neurosurgery, their Renaissance Guidance System provides greater reliability in screw placement and reduced use of fluoroscopy:

  • According to the study, the accuracy rate of pedicle screw positioning with the system was found to be 98.5%, and no neurological, vascular or dural damage was observed in the case series
  • The study noted that the total surgery duration in patients who undergo multi-level instrumentation is reduced because of the decrease in the time that is typically lost in gaining x-ray images to determine the screw location

8:00 am ACCO Brands announces $100 mln share repurchase authorization (ACCO) :  

7:59 am S&P futures vs fair value: +3.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.20. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market highs amid upbeat action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover three points above fair value, which puts the benchmark index on track to challenge its all-time closing high of 1987.98 and the intraday high of 1991.39. Participants have received several quarterly reports since yesterday's close with results coming in somewhat mixed.

On the economic front, weekly initial claims will be reported at 8:30 ET (Briefing.com consensus 308K), while Existing Home Sales for July (consensus 5.00 million), August Philadelphia Fed Survey (consensus 15.5), and July Leading Indicators (expected 0.7%) will all be released at 10:00 ET.

Treasuries hold slim losses with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.44%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Dollar Tree (DLTR 55.00, 0.00): flat after missing earnings estimates and guiding full-year earnings below consensus. However, the company boosted its revenue and comparable store sales guidance. 
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 35.30, +0.18): +0.5% following its in-line earnings on better than expected revenue. 
  • Hormel Foods (HRL 49.80, +1.94): +4.1% in reaction to its better than expected results. 
  • Sears Holdings (SHLD 33.91, -2.04): -5.7% after missing earnings and revenue estimates. 
  • Stage Stores (SSI 16.84, -1.66): -9.0% after missing estimates and guiding below consensus. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei +0.9%, China's Shanghai Composite -0.4%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.7% 
    • In economic data: 
      • China's HSBC Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.3 from 51.7 (expected 51.5) 
      • Japan's Manufacturing PMI jumped to 52.4 from 50.5 (consensus 51.7) 
      • Hong Kong's CPI climbed to 4.0% year-over-year from 3.6% (consensus 3.5%) 
      • Australia's CB Leading Index rose 0.4% month-over-month (prior 0.2%) 
      • New Zealand's Visitor Arrivals fell 0.5% month-over-month (prior -0.3%), while Credit Card Spending increased 4.5% year-over-year (last 6.0%) 
    • In news: 
      • Japanese equities outperformed after a report in Nikkei indicated the government plans to earmark JPY1 trillion in next year's budget to build a stimulus fund to offset the effects of a sales tax hike planned for the fall.
  • Major European indices trade higher across the board. Great Britain's FTSE +0.3%, Germany's DAX +0.6%, and France's CAC +0.8%. Elsewhere, Spain's IBEX +1.1% and Italy's MIB +1.6% 
    • Participants received several data points: 
      • Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.8 from 51.8 (expected 51.3), while Services PMI slipped to 53.5 from 54.2, as expected 
      • Germany's Manufacturing PMI ticked down to 52.0 from 52.4 (consensus 51.8), while Services PMI slipped to 56.4 from 56.7 (expected 55.7) 
      • French Manufacturing PMI fell to 46.5 from 47.8 (forecast 47.8), while Services PMI improved to 51.1 from 50.4 (expected 50.0) 
      • Great Britain's Retail Sales ticked up 0.1% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; prior 0.2%), while the year-over-year reading rose 2.6% (expected 3.0; prior 3.4%). Core Retail sales increased 0.5% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; last -0.1%), while the year-over-year reading rose 3.4% (consensus 3.4%; prior 3.8%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • Markets in Italy and Spain outperform amid strength in financials. Italy's UBI Banca and Banco Popolare are both up near 2.5%, while Spain's Caixabank and Bankinter hold respective gains of 1.4% and 1.8%.

7:58 am Ampio Pharma announces a delay in the data analysis of the STEP Study due to the discovery that the study drug (both Ampion and the placebo) were, during shipment to the clinical sites, exposed to lower temperatures than permitted by the drug specifications (AMPE) : Co announced a delay in the data analysis of the STEP Study due to the discovery by the independent Clinical Research Organization that the study drug (both Ampion and the placebo) were, during shipment to the clinical sites, exposed to lower temperatures than permitted by the drug specifications.

  • "The drug temperature specifications were set because AmpionTM may lose potency if it is exposed to temperatures approaching freezing. We have contacted the FDA who has agreed to analyze the STEP trial as supportive data for our BLA." 
  • "...company is pursuing alternative solutions to meeting the requirements for filing a Biologic License Application for Ampion on schedule."

7:50 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Textura (TXTR) announced that Alston Construction has implemented Textura-CPM in all of their offices across the U.S.
  • Yingli Green Energy (YGE) announced that its subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Japan, is supplying more than 2 MWs of monocrystalline PV modules to Japan Benex. The modules will be used on the Benex Nagareyama Solar Port.

7:38 am Dollar Tree misses by $0.02, reports revs in-line; guides Q3 in-line; guides FY15 EPS below consensus, raises FY15 revs, comp guidance (DLTR) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.61 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.63; revenues rose 9.5% year/year to $2.03 bln vs the $2.01 bln consensus; comps +4.4%; gross amrgin -80 bps to 34.2%.

Co issues in-line guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.61-0.66, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.65 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $2.02-2.07 bln vs. $2.05 bln Capital IQ Consensus based on low- to mid-single digit positive comparable store sales.

Co issues guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.96-3.08, excluding non-recurring items, from $2.94-3.12 vs. $3.13 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; raises FY15 revs to $8.44-8.55 bln from $8.37-8.54 bln vs. $8.51 bln Capital IQ Consensus, based on a range of low- to low-mid-single digit positive comparable store sales, up from low single digits previously.

7:37 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +0.9%, Hang Seng -0.7%, Shanghai -0.4% (:SUMRX) :

  • Markets finished mixed across Asia. 
  • China's HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI (50.3 actual v. 51.5 expected, 51.7 previous) missed estimates. 
  • Australia's CB Leading Index improved to 0.4% (0.2% previous). 
  • Japan's Nikkei (+0.9%) gained for a ninth straight session to finish near one-month highs. Exporters gained on the back of the weaker yen with Sony tacking on 1.9%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.7%) slid off its best levels in more than six years. Coal names were pressured as China Shenhua Energy and Yanzhou Coal Mining gave up 0.4% and 0.9%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (-0.4%) slipped off eight-month highs. Energy plays weighed as PetroChina lost 0.6% and Sinopec shed 1.3%. 
  • India's Sensex (+0.2%) finished near record highs. Financials were among the top performers with State Bank of India up 2.2% and HDFC Bank higher by 1.5%. 
  • Australia's ASX (+0.1%) gained for the eighth time in nine days and finished at a six-year high. Miners were a drag as Rio Tinto fell 0.6% and BHP Billiton eased 0.3%. 
  • Regional Decliners: South Korea -1.4%...Taiwan -0.4%...Malaysia -0.2% 
  • Regional Advancers: Singapore UNCH...Thailand UNCH...Indonesia +0.3%...Vietnam +1.0% 
  • Closed: Philippines (Ninoy Aquino Day) Fx: USDCNY climbed to 6.1518...USDINR ticked up to 60.66...USDJPY +15 pips @ 103.85...AUDUSD -5 pips @ .9280

7:34 am Perry Ellis beats by $0.04, misses on revs; raises bottom end of FY15 EPS in-line, reaffirms FY15 revs guidance (PERY) : Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.08 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.12); revenues fell 7.4% year/year to $196 mln vs the $208 mln consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for FY15, raises bottom end of EPS to $0.85-0.95 from $0.80-0.95 vs. $0.91 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; reaffirms FY15 revs of $910-920 mln vs. $924.89 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • During the second quarter of fiscal 2015, gross margin expanded to 34.6% as compared to 32.4% in the same period of the prior year. 
  • "There is positive momentum in our businesses as the team is focused on driving higher margin sales, adding licensing agreements and expanding our geographic reach and categories served. During the quarter we continued to make solid progress in our international expansion across our direct operations in Canada, Mexico and Europe. We see international growth and direct-to-consumer expansion as important drivers of the business going forward. As we look ahead, we are announcing strategic priorities that will enable us to maximize shareholder value by remaining focused on the strategic review of our portfolio and optimizing the positioning of our brands while continuing to reduce costs."

7:32 am CafePress announces settlement in copyright infringement suit brought by Tiki Shark Art (PRSS) : Co has entered into an agreement to settle all claims brought against CafePress by artist Brad Parker through his company, Tiki Shark Art Inc.

  • Under the terms of the settlement, CafePress will be required to make no financial or other payment to Tiki Shark Art Inc. 
  • Under the terms of this settlement, Tiki Shark Art will dismiss the lawsuit against CafePress with prejudice, and will be prohibited from suing CafePress for any future claims of infringement unless Tiki Shark Art first provides CafePress with written notice of any user-uploaded content on the CafePress website alleged to infringe Tiki Shark Art intellectual property rights, and CafePress does not promptly remove any such images from the CafePress website in response to any colorably valid claims of infringement.

7:31 am Endeavour Silver acquires La Bufa property adjacent to existing Endeavour properties in Mexico; Co will issue 90,000 common shares in consideration for the purchase on or before Sept 19 (EXK) :

  • Co announces it has entered into an agreement with Lincoln Mining Corporation to purchase a 100% interest in the La Bufa exploration property located adjacent to Endeavour's existing exploration properties in the Guadalupe y Calvo gold-silver district, Chihuahua, Mexico.
  • Endeavour will issue 90,000 common shares in consideration for the purchase on or before Sept 19, 2014, less that number of shares equal to an amount of US$19,000 plus 5% interest advanced by Endeavour to Lincoln on July 29, 2014.

7:31 am Auxilium Pharma announces positive data from Phase 2a study of CCH In patients with cellulite; mid and high level doses demonstrate statistically significant improvement in cellulite across all endpoints (AUXL) : Co announced positive results from a randomized, double-blind Phase 2a study of collagenase clostridium histolyticum (or CCH) for the treatment of edematous fibrosclerotic panniculopathy, commonly known as cellulite.

  • In the Phase 2a trial, all three doses of CCH (low (0.06mg), mid (0.48mg) and high (0.84mg)) showed an improvement in the appearance of cellulite as measured by the trial endpoints of an investigator and a patient score on the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale (:GAIS), which was adapted by the co for use in cellulite. 
  • The mid and high dose groups demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the appearance of cellulite, as measured by GAIS scores, with a p-value of
  • In the mid and high dose groups, 68% of patients reported being "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" with the results of their treatment, compared to only 34% of patients randomized to placebo. 
  • Positive and consistent results were also demonstrated across the trial's other endpoints, including Physician and Patient assessed Composite Responder Analyses. 
  • CCH was well-tolerated by all dose groups with most adverse events (AEs) being mild to moderate and primarily limited to the local injection area.

7:31 am Supernus Pharma announces Paragraph IV ANDA filing for Trokendi XR (SUPN) : Co announced that on August 20, 2014, the company received a Paragraph IV Notice Letter from Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. (ACT) advising them of the filing by ACT of an Abbreviated New Drug Application seeking approval for topiramate extended-release capsules.

  • The co is currently reviewing the details of this Notice Letter and intends to vigorously enforce its intellectual property rights relating to Trokendi XR. 
  • The product is currently protected by three issued patents that are listed in the FDA's Orange Book and expire no earlier than 2027.

7:30 am Intelli-Check awarded a $102K contract to provide its TWIC Plus IM2610 identification card readers to Watco Greens Port Terminal in Houston, Texas (IDN) :  

7:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Main Street Capital (MAIN) recently led a financing totaling $15.9 mln of invested capital in Mystic Logistics to support the majority recapitalization of Mystic, with Main Street funding $12.7 mln of the financing in this new portfolio investment. 
  • Level 3 Communications (LVLT) announced the expansion of its global data center network with the opening of its newest facility in Herndon, Virginia. 
  • Trina Solar (TSL) announced the co's new Duo-Max module, a 72-cell frameless dual glass module (the PEG14 and PDG14 series), has received quality certifications, including the IEC61215, IEC 61730 and UL1703 standards, from independent testing and certification organizations, UL and TUV Rheinland.  
  • SunEdison (SUNE) has closed a $160 mln fund for distributed generation projects in the U.S. with Barclays and Citi. The lease pass-through fund represents a unique structure that will provide the tax equity for 40 U.S. projects. The portfolio includes a mix of ground-mounted, rooftop and canopy photovoltaic systems with an average size of 1.1 megawatts per project.  
  • The Children's Place (PLCE) entered into a franchise agreement with Arvind Lifestyle Brands to open stores in India, with the potential to open 50 stores over time beginning in the Fall of 2015.

7:18 am USDJPY Approaches 104.00: 10-yr: -03/32..2.441%..USD/JPY: 13.82..EUR/USD: 1.3261 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index trades flat near 82.25 as trade holds at its best level since September. 
  • EURUSD is +5 pips @ 1.3260 after the region's mixed Flash Manufacturing and Services PMI data. Eurozone manufacturing (50.8) slid to its lowest levels in a year and France's manufacturing (46.5) dipped to its lowest levels since May 2013. Services numbers fared a little better as the German reading (56.4) topped estimates and saw a slight downtick. The single currency is currently trying to find support at 11-month lows. 
  • GBPUSD is -5 pips @ 1.6590 as early selling has action testing the April lows. The recent spell of weak economic data continued today as retail sales (0.1% MoM actual v. 0.4% MoM expected) and public sector net borrowing (-GBP1.1 bln actual v. -GBP1.9 bln) both fell short of estimates. Resistance near 1.6700 is guarded by the 200 dma. 
  • USDCHF is -5 pips @ .9130 amid a rather uneventful trade. Action has held in a 30 pip range despite the larger than expected trade surplus (CHF3.98 bln actual v. CHF1.87 bln expected) as trade remains closely linked to the euro. 
  • USDJPY is +10 pips @ 103.80 as action contends with its best close since the end of January. An overnight bid tested the 104.00 level, but action has so far been unable to reclaim the mark. Click here to see a daily USDJPY chart.
  • AUDUSD is -5 pips @ .9280, having recovered its early losses. The hard currency tumbled to session lows below .9240 following the weak Chinese HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI (50.3 actual v. 51.5 expected, 51.7 previous), but buyers emerged at support and have managed to run trade back up to almost unchanged. USDCNY climbed to 6.1518. 
  • USDCAD is flat @ 1.0970 as trade flirts with its best close in four months. A lack of news and data out of Canada puts action at the mercy of the greenback.

7:12 am Compugen reacquires Baize's financial interest in Pipeline product candidates; Baize to be issued 1.6 mln CGEN ordinary shares and is entitled to reduced revenue sharing until Dec 31, 2015 (CGEN) : Co announced the signing of a termination and equity conversion agreement with Baize Investments (Israel) pursuant to which the co has reacquired Baize's participation rights for certain Pipeline Program candidates. In addition, a warrant to purchase 500,000 CGEN ordinary shares at $7.50 per share previously issued to Baize has been cancelled.

  • In consideration thereof, CGEN will issue to Baize 1.6 mln ordinary shares, and Baize will have the right to receive up to 5% of the cash consideration received by the co from third parties with respect to Pipeline Program candidates covered by the prior agreement until Dec 31, 2015. 
  • Under the previous agreements, pursuant to which Baize had invested a total of $13 mln, Baize had the right to receive 10% of such cash consideration until June 30, 2015, and thereafter 10% for five selected Pipeline Program candidates until Dec 31, 2030.

7:08 am Penn West Energy receives waiver of defaults from noteholders; upon the curing of the defaults, the Notes will remain in place on their existing terms (PWE) : Co has now obtained waivers from the holders of its senior unsecured notes of certain defaults under the Notes arising from matters relating to the decision to restate certain historical financial results and the delay in filing the Company's second quarter 2014 interim filings.

  • Such defaults do not relate to any of the financial tests under the Notes respecting the Company's financial condition. 

7:07 am Advanced Emissions Solutions provides update on accounting review; statements from several periods during 2011 & 2012 should not be relied upon and will likely be restated (ADES) : As part of the re-audit, the company is also evaluating whether or not the financial statements of Clean Coal Solutions, LLC, should have been consolidated or accounted for as an equity method investment in the Non-Reliance Periods.

7:06 am Galena Biopharma appoints Mark Schwartz as President and CEO (GALE) : Co announced that Mark W. Schwartz has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. 

  • He replaces Mark J. Ahn, who has resigned as the President and CEO and as a director of the company to pursue other long held personal and professional goals
  • The co expects that Dr. Schwartz will also be appointed to the their board as well

7:06 am The Children's Place beats by $0.08, beats on revs; guides Q3 EPS in-line; guides FY15 EPS in-line (PLCE) : Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.37 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.45); revenues rose 0.6% year/year to $384.6 mln vs the $378.51 mln consensus.

  • Comparable retail sales +0.8% vs down low single digit guidance
Co issues in-line guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $1.74-1.82, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.82 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Guides 3Q14 flat to negative low single digit comps
Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.95-3.05, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.02 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Reaffirms FY15 comp guidance of flat to -1%

7:05 am BioLineRx announces receipt of Notice of Allowance from USPTO for a patent claiming the use of BL-7010 (BLRX) : Co announced today receipt of a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a patent claiming the use of BL-7010, a novel polymer in preventing or decreasing gluten's deleterious effects on the gastrointestinal mucosa.

  • This patent, when issued, will be valid until at least 2026. 
  • Additional patents claiming the BL-7010 composition and uses thereof are granted or pending in the US, Europe, Japan, Canada, Israel, India, China, Brazil, Russia, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.

7:05 am Cyberonics misses by $0.03, misses on revs; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance, revs guidance (CYBX) : Reports Q1 (Jul) earnings of $0.53 per share, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.56; revenues rose 4.5% year/year to $72 mln vs the $73.95 mln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.33-2.39 vs. $2.36 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $300-307 mln vs. $304.64 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Sees worldwide unit growth of approximately 7%.

7:04 am Patterson Companies beats by $0.01, beats on revs; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (PDCO) : Reports Q1 (Jul) earnings of $0.50 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.49; revenues rose 20.4% year/year to $1.06 bln vs the $1.04 bln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.20-2.30 vs. $2.25 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • National Veterinary Services Limited acquisition contributed $174 million to consolidated sales and $0.02 per diluted share to net earnings. 
  • By category, again on a constant currency basis, versus the year-ago quarter, sales of: 
    • Consumable dental supplies rose 2.5 percent
    • Dental equipment declined 7.3 percent overall, but rose by high-single digits excluding CEREC trade-ups in the prior year
    • Other services and products, consisting primarily of technical service, parts and labor, software support services and artificial teeth, increased 7.8 percent. 
  • FY15 Outlook: "We are maintaining our earnings guidance range for fiscal 2015 of $2.20-$2.30 per diluted share. We believe that the recent change announced by IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., to move to a direct sales and distribution model in the veterinary market effective January 1, 2015, does not materially impact our fiscal 2015 outlook and we expect to mitigate the potential reduction in net income from this move."

7:03 am Lifepoint Hospitals JV Duke LifePoint Healthcare to acquire Conemaugh Health System; financial terms of agreement exceed $500 mln and include a commitment by Duke LifePoint to invest $425 mln in Conemaugh's services and facilities over the next 10 years (LPNT) :

  • Co announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Conemaugh Health System. 
  • The financial terms of the agreement exceed $500 million and include a commitment by Duke LifePoint to invest $425 million in Conemaugh's services and facilities over the next 10 years. 
  • Under the terms of the agreement, Duke LifePoint will acquire Conemaugh Health System's three hospitals, outpatient centers and Conemaugh Physician Group practices.

7:03 am Buckle misses by $0.02, reports revs in-line with preannouncement (BKE) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.51 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.53; revenues rose 1.4% year/year to $235.7 mln, in-line with 8/6 preannouncement and vs the $234.36 mln consensus. 

  • Comparable store net sales for Q2 decreased 0.5%, in-line with preannouncement.
  • Online sales (which are not included in comparable store sales) increased 1.7%.

7:03 am Philips Electronics receives FDA 510(k) clearance for TAVI precision treatment planning application; package accommodates virtually all types of TAVI devices (PHG) : Co announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA to market its precision planning application for Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Implantation treatments. Through 3D imaging, the Philips TAVI application provides interventionalists with pre-procedural, high-precision positioning to treat aortic stenosis ailments.

  • The TAVI technology received FDA approval in 2011. A minimally-invasive procedure, TAVI became a major breakthrough option for high-risk patients who were deemed non-surgical candidates. This procedure can reduce mortality by 60 percent as compared to conventional surgeries1.

7:02 am Eli Lilly's Ixekizumab superior to Etanercept and placebo in Phase 3 psoriasis studies; met all primary and key secondary objectives across three pivotal studies of 3866 patients (LLY) : The co announced its investigational medicine ixekizumab was statistically superior to etanercept and placebo on all skin clearance measures in Phase 3 studies in disclosing top-line results from its pivotal UNCOVER studies in moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

  • The co plans regulatory submissions for ixekizumab in 1st half of 2015

7:01 am Covidien announces FDA approved changes to manufacturing process for polytetrafluoroethylene coating on delivery wire (COV) : Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved changes to the manufacturing process for the polytetrafluoroethylene coating on the delivery wire of the company's Pipeline embolization device.

  • The recall is expected to have only a slight negative effect on sales and earnings in the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2014. 
  • The co  also submitted to the FDA a Special 510(k) change in the manufacturing process for their Alligator device.

7:00 am Kratos Defense and Security receives $7.5 mln electronic attack platform related contract awards; No additional details are being provided due to customer and other sensitivities (KTOS) : Co announced today that its Electronic Products division has received orders valued at $7.5 million for the production of Integrated Microwave Assemblies for two critical U.S. Navy platforms.

  • These awards, from a follow-on customer, are related to continuing production on long term Electronic Attack and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) airborne platforms. 
  • No additional details are being provided due to customer and other sensitivities.

6:49 am Kirklands misses by $0.03, misses on revs; lowers FY15 guidance below consensus (KIRK) : Reports Q2 (Jul) loss of $0.06 per share, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.03); revenues rose 6.6% year/year to $103.5 mln vs the $104.76 mln consensus; comps +3.6%.

Co issues downside guidance for FY15, lowers EPS to $0.87-0.97 from $0.90-1.00 vs. $0.99 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; lowers FY15 revs to +7-8.5% (from +8-10%) to ~$492.8-499.8 mln vs. $504.21 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

"We experienced a strong start and a strong finish to the quarter with comparable sales and margins in line with our expectations. Slower traffic experienced in June and some delays in new store openings related to the timing of space availability affected an otherwise solid second quarter. Early sales and margin trends in August are encouraging, and we will look to build on that momentum through the second half of the year. Seasonal product has also been introduced in the stores and has been well received."

6:41 am Kirklands announces that W. Michael Madden, the co's Senior Vice President and CFO, has been promoted to President and COO (KIRK) : Co announced that W. Michael Madden, the co's Senior Vice President and CFO, has been promoted to President and COO, effective immediately.

  • Kirkland's expects Mr. Madden to assume the role of CEO after a period of orderly transition.
  • Mr. Madden will remain the co's principal financial officer pursuant to S.E.C requirements. 
  • The co also announced that Michelle Graul, the co's SVP of Stores/Human Resources, has been promoted to EVP of Stores and Merchandising, and Adam Holland, the co's VP of Finance, has been promoted to CAO, effective immediately.

6:40 am Masonite International announced earlier restructuring of Israel subsidiary (DOOR) : Co announced that the Board of Directors of Masonite Israel Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Masonite International Corporation, decided to voluntarily seek a Stay of Proceedings from the Israeli courts in an attempt to restructure the business.

  • The court is expected to appoint a Trustee to oversee the operation of the business and to attempt to restructure it. 
  • The action to seek court protection followed a comprehensive evaluation of the alternatives for the business, including an organized sale process that was ultimately unsuccessful.

6:38 am S&P futures vs fair value: +3.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.00. :

6:38 am European Markets : FTSE...6777.77...+22.30...+0.30%.  DAX...9357.58...+43.00...+0.50%.

6:38 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15586.20...+131.80...+0.90%.  Hang Seng...24994.10...-165.70...-0.70%.

6:34 am Hormel Foods beats by $0.03, beats on revs; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance (HRL) : Reports Q3 (Jul) earnings of $0.51 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.48; revenues rose 5.8% year/year to $2.28 bln vs the $2.25 bln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.17-2.27 vs. $2.18 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "Strong demand for pork and turkey, and increased sales of value-added products in our Refrigerated Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store and International & Other segments more than offset a challenging quarter for our Grocery Products and Specialty Foods segments."
  • Outlook: We anticipate a strong finish to the year from our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment, aided by beneficial grain markets and growing value-added sales, and from our International & Other and Specialty Foods segments...The impact of cost pressures in our Grocery Products segment is likely to continue in the fourth quarter, and pork operating margins are not expected to be as beneficial to Refrigerated Foods. Taking all of these factors into account, we expect to finish fiscal 2014 within our previously stated guidance range of $2.17 to $2.27 per share."

6:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Acacia Research (ACTG) announced that its Auto-Dimensions subsidiary has entered into a settlement and patent license agreement with Autodesk (ADSK). The agreement resolves litigation that was pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. 
  • Quanta Services (PWR) announced that PAR Electrical Contractors was selected by Southern California Edison for the 500-kilovolt underground project for the Chino Hills segment of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project. 
  • Aruba Networks (ARUN) announced that its indoor and outdoor enterprise 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points are the first in the industry to be qualified under the Microsoft (MSFT) Lync Server Wi-Fi qualification program.

6:11 am Stage Stores misses by $0.17, misses on revs; lowers FY15 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (SSI) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.35 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.17 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.52; revenues fell 4.5% year/year to $377.5 mln vs the $397.3 mln consensus.

  • Q2 comps: Comparable store sales decreased 4.2% 
  • Commentary on the Q: "We found the second quarter to be challenging, but we were encouraged that our sales trend improved towards the end of the quarter. We were pleased with the performance of our back-to-school categories as well as cosmetics, which delivered another strong quarterly performance..."
Guidance:
Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.05-1.15, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.22 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $1.61-1.63 bln vs. $1.65 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Comparable store sales for the second half of the year are now expected to be in the range of flat to positive 2.0% 

5:33 am iSoftStone: Glass Lewis and Egan-Jones recommend that iSoftStone Shareholders vote "For" proposed going-private transaction (ISS) : iSoftStone Holdings, a leading China-based IT services provider in the People's Republic of China, is pleased to announce that in addition to the previously announced recommendation of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. ("ISS"), Glass Lewis & Co,and Egan-Jones Proxy Services have recommended that iSoftStone shareholders vote FOR the approval of the agreement and plan of merger dated as of April 18, 2014, among the Company, New iSoftStone Holdings and New iSoftStone Acquisition Limited, pursuant to which Parent will acquire iSoftStone (the "Transaction") for US$0.57 per ordinary share of the Company or $5.70 per American depositary share, each representing ten Shares.

3:05 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • ViaSat (VSAT) will offer Exede high-speed satellite internet plans that provide households across the Hawaiian Islands with virtually unlimited data usage for communications, web browsing, and streaming media.
  • World Bank priced a $12.057 million World Bank Step-Up Callable Green Bond sold to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management clients. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) offered the step-up fixed rate bonds, which are callable after one year.
  • The U.S. Navy has selected Northrop Grumman (NOC) as one of five contractors for the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services full deployment production contract to upgrade cybersecurity, command and control, communications and intelligence systems across the fleet. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity multiple award contract has a potential value of $2.5 billion over eight years.
  • OpenText (OTEX) announced that OpenText Trading Grid powers Hong Kong's leading EDI platform, ezTRADE. By providing regional enterprises access to the world's largest integration cloud, OpenText enables them to compete more effectively and execute any-to-any transactions on a global scale.
  • MobileIron (MOBL) announced enhancements to MobileIron University, including knowledge- and skill-based accreditation paths and a new mobile app that puts Mobile IT training on tablets. 
  • Accenture (ACN) has been awarded a one-year contract to help the Cabinet of the State Secretary for Civil Services and Modernisation of Public Services and Federal Public Service for Information and Communications Technology create a strategic information plan to improve government IT systems. 

2:59 am Volvo reports Truck deliveries declined 9% YoY (VOLVY) : Co reports deliveries from the Volvo Group's truck operations in July 2014 amounted to 15,410 vehicles. This was a decrease of 9% compared with the year-earlier month. 

  • This was a decrease of 9% compared with the year-earlier month. On a regional basis July deliveries declined by 36% in South America and by 17% in Europe while deliveries increased by 21% in North America

2:57 am Dollar General sends letter to Family Dollar's (FDO) Board of Directors (DG) : Dollar General Corporation (DG) announced it has sent the following letter to the Board of Directors of Family Dollar Stores (FDO

"We have reviewed the Form S-4 on the background of your current merger agreement with Dollar Tree. As the Family Dollar Board of Directors considers our superior proposal, we believe it is important for you to take into account certain important facts that are not included in the Form S-4 relating to our interaction with your company...While the Form S-4 references various meetings between our companies' representatives over the years, it fails to mention that Dollar General representatives have consistently expressed a keen interest in putting our two companies together. The Form S-4 also fails to mention that on more than one occasion at such meetings, Howard Levine expressed his own interest in the social issues of a combination, including, among other things, his desire to be chief executive officer of the combined companies. We cannot help but question whether Dollar General's failure to embrace such requests by Mr. Levine weighed into Family Dollar's decision to pursue an agreement with Dollar Tree...This lack of engagement is puzzling. Regrettably, as a result, we are now forced to factor a $305 million break-up fee into our offer -- consideration that could have been better used to maximize value for the Family Dollar shareholders...Nonetheless, we have presented you with a superior proposal for your shareholders (although perhaps not for Mr. Levine personally), and we urge you to evaluate our proposal on its merits considering this full set of facts and in keeping with your obligation to consider first and foremost the best interests of your shareholders...Finally, we have heard the media reports in which unnamed sources close to Family Dollar are claimed to have expressed concern about antitrust matters relating to a potential acquisition by Dollar General."

2:40 am Illumina announces strategic partnerships with AstraZeneca (AZN), Janssen and Sanofi (SNY) to redefine companion diagnostics for oncology (ILMN) : Illumina (ILMN) announces it has formed collaborative partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies to develop a universal next-generation sequencing-based oncology test system. The system will be used for clinical trials of targeted cancer therapies with a goal of developing and commercializing a multi-gene panel for therapeutic selection, resulting in a more comprehensive tool for precision medicine. Initial strategic partners include AstraZeneca, Janssen Biotech, unit of JNJ, and Sanofi (SNY). 

  • Illumina is working with the strategic partners to develop assays that detect and measure multiple variants simultaneously to support partners' clinical trials, with the objectives of securing regulatory agency approvals and test commercialization. In parallel, Illumina is working with key thought leaders to set standards for NGS-based assays in routine clinical oncology practice, as well as to define regulatory frameworks to enable this new testing paradigm. Together, Illumina and its strategic partners aim to transition from single-analyte companion diagnostics to panel-based assays that select for "companion therapeutics." 

2:00 am CIM Commercial Trust appoints Charles Garner as CEO; co also exploring strategic alternatives for its lending business (CMCT) : Co announces it has approved CIM Group's recommended nominee, Charles Garner II, as Chief Executive Officer, effective today. Garner is a Principal at CIM Group, the manager of CIM Commercial Trust Corporation. 

CMCT also announced today that it is exploring strategic alternatives for its lending business. The likely result will be the deconsolidation of the lending business, allowing CMCT to increase its focus as an urban office REIT while independently expanding, diversifying and growing the lending business. 

1:37 am Medley Capital prices 5 mln shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $13.02 per share (MCC) :  

1:32 am Hertz Global issues a statement to shareholders: (HTZ) : Co issued the following statement: "The Hertz Board and leadership team value the views of all Hertz shareholders and welcome a constructive dialogue with them. All of us at Hertz are focused on addressing the Company's recent challenges. While it will take time to complete the accounting review, we are making progress. We are in the process of implementing new procedures and controls, and we have made a number of important additions to the accounting and finance teams over the past few months. We remain focused on the business and executing our operating initiatives. We have a good handle on the nature and scope of the issues in the business and are executing plans to resolve them. Hertz also benefits from a solid foundation and clearly defined strategic priorities, including the planned separation of the Company's equipment rental business into a separate, publicly traded company, which is advancing; the integration of Dollar Thrifty; expanding Hertz's off-airport footprint; and building on the Company's success with Donlen leasing. As we address our challenges, we are confident that execution on these priorities, as well as the Company's $1 billion share repurchase program, will drive enhanced performance and shareholder value..."

1:28 am Citizens authorizes the repurchase of up to 200,000 shares of its outstanding common stock over the next 36 months (CIZN) :  

1:25 am CHS Inc prices 6,752,188 shares of its Class B, Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, Series 1 at $29.62 per share (CHSCP) :  

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