6:21 pm Media General prices secondary public offering of 6.8 mln shares of common stock by selling stockholder at $16 per share (MEG) :
6:04 pm PMFG Inc announces agreement to sell its ALCO products and Boss-Hatten heat exchanger brands to Koch Heat Transfer; financial details not disclosed (PMFG) : Koch Heat Transfer has purchased the Alco, Alco-Twin, and Bos-Hatten brands of heat exchangers from Peerless Mfg. Co. PMFG (PMFG) is the parent company of Peerless, and Koch Heat Transfer is a subsidiary of Koch Chemical Technology Group. Financial details are not being disclosed.
6:03 pm Shaw Comms appoints Vito Culmone Chief Financial Officer (SJR) : Co announced Vito Culmone as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective June 1, 2015. Mr. Culmone most recently served as CFO for WestJet Airlines Ltd.
6:02 pm Cormedix receives audit opinion with going concern explanation, as disclosed in Form 10-K filed on March 12, 2015 (CRMD) : Co announced that, as previously disclosed in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, which was filed on March 12, 2015, the audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2014 contained in the Form 10-K contained an audit opinion from its independent registered public accounting firm which includes a going concern qualification.
6:01 pm Sanchez Production Partners acquires Eagle Ford Shale assets from Sanchez Energy (SN); raises preferred equity and refinances credit facility (SPP) : Co announced that it has executed and closed an agreement with Sanchez Energy (SN) to acquire wellbore interests in certain producing oil and natural gas wells in the Eagle Ford Shale for aggregate consideration of $85.0 million, subject to normal and customary closing adjustments. The transaction has an effective date of January 1, 2015 and was financed by SPP with a combination of preferred equity raised in a private placement, common units, borrowings under an amended and restated credit facility, and available cash.
Related to its funding of the cash portion of the Eagle Ford Acquisition, SPP issued 10,625,000 of newly created Class A Preferred Units in a private placement. The Class A Preferred Units were issued for a cash purchase price of $1.60 per unit, resulting in gross proceeds to SPP of $17.0 million. SPP also entered into an amended and restated, $500 million reserve-based credit facility with a syndicate of five lenders. The credit facility has an initial borrowing base of $110.0 million, an increase of $40.0 million over SPP's previous credit facility. The borrowing base is subject to semi-annual redetermination, with the next redetermination scheduled to occur in the fourth quarter 2015. As of March 31, 2015, SPP had $106.0 million in debt outstanding under the credit facility, which matures in March 2020.
5:57 pm Delta Air Lines and Grupo Aeromexico file application with the U.S. Department of Transporation seeking antitrust immunity for a new joint venture on flights between the US and Mexico (DAL) : Co and Grupo Aeromexico have filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation seeking antitrust immunity for a new joint venture on flights between the United States and Mexico. This joint venture is subject to standard regulatory requirements, including the approval of the Federal Economic Competition Commission, among others.
- The application marks a significant step in the creation of a $1.5 billion joint venture that, if approved, will allow Delta and Aeromexico to operate more effectively on routes between the U.S. and Mexico for the benefit of its customers. Also, Delta and Aeromexico will seek to expand opportunities to collocate and invest in airport facilities by improving gates and lounges. Additionally the airlines will increase joint sales and marketing initiatives.
5:48 pm Rock-Tenn sees Q2 adjusted EPS of $0.70-0.75 (lowered from previous guidance of $0.80-0.90) vs $0.88 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate (RKT) : Co expects to report adjusted earnings per share for its fiscal second quarter ending March 31, 2015, in the range of $0.70 to $0.75 per share (vs $0.88 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate), compared to the previous guidance of $0.80 to $0.90 per share.
- The company's corrugated packaging business continues to perform well. Corrugated container shipments have grown during the quarter as compared to the prior year periods. Container shipments for the combined January and February 2015 period increased by 7.2% on an average week basis and 2.1% on an actual shipment basis. These volume increases exceeded comparable industry reported statistics by more than 200 basis points. Co's container shipments for the March interim period reflecting shipments through March 27, 2015, were approximately 2.5% higher than average per day container shipments in March 2014.
- "The change in outlook for the March quarter reflects that our strong corrugated packaging volume performance has been more than offset by the following items: 1) the consequences of winter weather, including natural gas curtailment and challenging logistics execution, impacted our operations during the quarter with an estimated financial impact of approximately $0.06 per share; 2) a substantial electrical failure at our Panama City mill in early February that triggered a series of events that resulted in lost production and increased maintenance costs of approximately $0.04 per share; and, 3) lower promotional activity has reduced sales in our merchandising displays business to levels lower than the March quarter of 2014. Reduced sales of merchandising displays combined with our previously discussed operating challenges related to new business that was onboarded in 2014 contribute to our expectation that fiscal second quarter Merchandising Displays segment income will be less than that reported during the first quarter of fiscal 2015."
5:47 pm IberiaBank shareholders approve increase in authorized shares (IBKC) : Co announced at its special meeting of stockholders, that the Company's shareholders have overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Company's articles of incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock from 50,000,000 to 100,000,000 shares. At March 31, 2015, the Company had approximately 38,000,000 shares of common stock outstanding, including common shares issued in association with the recently completed acquisitions of Florida Bank Group, Inc. and Old Florida Bancshares, Inc.
5:46 pm Banc of California announces pricing of offering of $175 mln of 5.25% senior notes due 2025 and offering of 4 mln depositary shares at $25 per share (BANC) : Co announced the pricing of its offering of $175 million aggregate principal amount of 5.25% Senior Notes due 2025 and its offering of an aggregate of 4 million depositary shares, each representing a 1/40th interest in a share of its 7.375% Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series D, par value $0.01 per share and liquidation preference of $1,000 per share, at an offering price of $25 per depositary share, for gross proceeds of $100 million. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the offerings for general corporate purposes. Neither offering is contingent on the completion of the other offering. Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., BofA Merrill Lynch, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, UBS Investment Bank and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint book-running managers for the notes offering and BofA Merrill Lynch and UBS Investment Bank are acting as lead book-running managers for the depositary shares offering.
5:44 pm The Bancorp announces the appointment of Gail Ball as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, effective March 30, 2015 (TBBK) : Ball was most recently the Head of the Payment Studies Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
5:41 pm Delek Logistics Partners announces acquisition a of crude oil storage tank and rail offloading racks from Delek US Holdings (DK) for $61.9 mln in cash (DKL) : Co announced that subsidiaries of Delek Logistics have acquired, from subsidiaries of Delek US Holdings (DK), a crude oil storage tank constructed in 2014 adjacent to Delek US' Tyler, Texas refinery and rail offloading racks constructed in 2012 adjacent to Delek US' El Dorado, Arkansas refinery for a combined $61.9 million in cash. Delek Logistics financed the purchase price for these assets through available cash and borrowings on its revolving credit facility.
5:36 pm Helen of Troy announces acquisition of Vicks VapoSteam business from Procter & Gamble (PG); expected to be accretive in FY16 (HELE) : Co announced that it has, through its subsidiaries, acquired the Vicks VapoSteam U.S. liquid inhalant business from Procter & Gamble (PG), which includes a fully paid-up license to the Vicks VapoSteam trademarks. In a related transaction, the Company has also acquired a fully paid-up license of P&G's Vicks VapoPad trademarks for scent pads in the United States. The vast majority of Vicks VapoSteam and VapoPads are used in Vicks humidifiers, vaporizers and other health care devices already marketed by Helen of Troy. The transaction includes the acquisition of certain production assets and the inventory related to the above categories, as well as the right to use related intellectual property. The VapoSteam acquisition is expected to be financed with the Company's revolving credit facility. The United States Vicks VapoSteam business associated with the transaction had annual revenues of approximately $10 million in calendar year 2014.
- Julien R. Mininberg, CEO, said, "With excellent historical gross margins above our Company average, these transactions are expected to further enhance the profitability of our Healthcare/Home Environment segment, add incremental cash flow to Helen of Troy at an attractive valuation, and be accretive in fiscal year 2016."
5:32 pm Alamos Gold reports proven and probable mineral reserves at Mulatos of 1.73 million ounces of gold (AGI) : Co reported its updated mineral reserves and resources as of December 31, 2014. For a detailed summary of mineral reserves and resources by project, refer to the table below. Highlights
- Proven and Probable mineral reserves at Mulatos of 1.73 million ounces of gold, which at current throughput rates, implies a remaining reserve life of approximately seven years
- Total Mulatos open pit, heap leach mineral reserve grade (including satellite deposits), increased 3% to 1.07 grams per tonne of gold ("g/t Au"), 34% above the 2015 budgeted open pit, heap leach grade
- Total Mulatos open pit, heap leach mineral reserves decreased 12% in terms of ounces, primarily reflecting depletion. Limited exploration targeting open pit mineral reserves was conducted in 2014. This will be a renewed exploration focus in 2015
- Increased Measured and Indicated mineral resources by 3% to 6.85 million ounces of gold at various cut-off grades, driven by a 13% or 0.32 million ounce increase at the Mulatos open pit
- Sold the El Realito concessions, a non-core portion of the large exploration package at Mulatos, for proceeds of US$7 million cash and a 2% net smelter returns royalty
- Commenced exploration activities at the Cerro Pelon satellite deposit
5:31 pm Ameren subsidiary announces pricing of offering of $250 mln of 3.65% senior secured notes due 2045 at 99.764$ of their principal amount (AEE) : Co's subsidiary, Ameren Missouri, intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to repay outstanding short-term debt, including short-term debt that Ameren Missouri expects to incur in connection with the repayment at maturity of $114 million aggregate principal amount of its 4.75% senior secured notes due April 1, 2015. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, RBC Capital Markets, LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.
5:13 pm Kinross Gold files updated technical reports for Fort Knox and Kupol-Dvoinoye (KGC) : Co filed an updated technical report for its Fort Knox mine in Alaska, U.S.A. and its Kupol and Dvoinoye mines in the Russian Federation. The Fort Knox and Kupol-Dvoinoye technical reports incorporate updates with respect to the current operations at the mine including the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates as of December 31, 2014 previously announced by news release on February 10, 2015.
- The current operations at Fort Knox described in the technical report include conventional open pit truck-and-shovel mining, a mill operation consisting of crushing, grinding, agitated cyanide leaching, and a carbon-in-pulp circuit; and a run-of-mine valley-fill heap leaching operation.
- The current operations at Kupol-Dvoinoye described in the technical report include underground mines at Kupol and Dvoinoye, and a plant at Kupol that processes ore from both mines using crushing, grinding, gravity and agitated cyanide leaching.
5:10 pm Kinder Morgan and Keyera to build new crude oil storage terminal in Edmonton (KMI) : Co announced a 50-50 joint venture with Keyera to build a new crude oil storage terminal in Edmonton, Alberta. The joint venture owners have entered into long-term, firm take-or-pay agreements with strong, creditworthy customers to build 4.8 million barrels of crude oil storage at a new facility called the Base Line Terminal. KMI's investment in the joint venture terminal is approximately CAD$342 million (includes capitalized interest) for an initial 12 tank build-out, with commissioning expected to begin in the second half of 2017. Separately, KMI will invest up to an additional CAD$69 million outside the joint venture for connecting pipelines and related infrastructure for a total project investment of approximately CAD$411 million. The terminal is under development on land owned by Keyera and will be operated by Kinder Morgan.
5:08 pm Sabre announces it entered into a global CRS services agreement with Wyndham Hotel Group (WYN) (SABR) : "The agreement makes Sabre the exclusive global central reservation system provider for the world's largest hotel company and makes Wyndham Hotel Group the first global company to leverage the overall Sabre SynXis Enterprise Platform."
5:02 pm Inogen announces that it will file a Form 12b-25 Notification of Late Filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with regard to its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 (INGN) : The Company was unable to file its Form 10-K by the March 31, 2015 deadline because the Company has not finalized an ongoing internal investigation regarding certain potential accounting matters that were discovered by management. Specifically, the Audit Committee, with the assistance of independent advisors, is currently investigating whether there were any violations of the Company's accounting policies associated with these potential accounting matters. Consequently, the Company is not in a position to file its Form 10-K until after the completion of the Audit Committee's investigation. However, the Company expects to be able to complete its Form 10-K by the extended deadline of April 15, 2015.
5:02 pm Xunlei Limited has entered into a legally binding framework agreement with Beijing Nesound International Media to sell its entire stake in its online video streaming platform, Xunlei Kankan (XNET) : Co announced that it has entered into a legally binding framework agreement with Beijing Nesound International Media, an independent third party, to sell the Company's entire stake in its online video streaming platform, Xunlei Kankan.
- The Company intends to sell Xunlei Kankan for a consideration of RMB130 million. Xunlei's Board approved the transaction after considering the benefits of the transaction to the Company and its shareholders. The Company believes that the divestment of Xunlei Kankan is consistent with Xunlei's new strategic focus on streamlining existing non-core and unprofitable businesses so as to devote sufficient management attention to execute strategies on mobility and Project Crystal.
5:01 pm Willbros Group has closed the transaction for the sale of all outstanding membership units of its Premier Services subsidiary to USIC Locating Services (WG) : The co will apply net proceeds from the sale to debt reduction, expected to be in the range of $40 to $45 million, after customary closing costs and adjustments.
5:01 pm Kindred Healthcare announces that Benjamin A. Breier has assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer; Paul J. Diaz now Chairman of the Board (KND) : Co announced that Benjamin A. Breier has assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective today. As previously announced, Mr. Breier succeeds Paul J. Diaz, who is now Executive Vice Chairman of the Kindred Board of Directors. Mr. Breier also serves as a member of Kindred's Board of Directors. Breier was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in August 2010, and assumed the additional responsibilities of Company President in May 2012.
5:00 pm American Intl announces that Gaurav D. Garg has been named Chief Executive Officer, Personal Insurance (AIG) : Garg returns to AIG, where he held various personal insurance roles for 12 years before joining Mercer (MMC).
4:49 pm Myers Industries completes Brazilian investigation and announces revised Q4 and FY14 results; Q4 net income and diluted EPS decreased by $0.07 (MYE) : Co announced a revision of its previously released financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014, as a result of completing its Brazilian investigation.
- The revision as compared to the Company's earnings release issued February 25, 2015 reflects adjustments which led to an increase in cost of sales of $2.4 million and an increase in selling, general and administrative expenses of $0.1 million for both the fourth quarter and full year of 2014. The total adjustments reduced income from continuing operations by $2.5 million, net income from continuing operations by $2.3 million and earnings per diluted share from continuing operations by $0.07 for both the fourth quarter and full year of 2014. There were no changes to results from discontinued operations. Therefore, net income and earnings per diluted share also changed by $2.3 million and $0.07, respectively, for both the fourth quarter and full year of 2014. Previously reported financial results for prior periods were not affected by the adjustments.
- As a result of the adjustments, Myers Industries' previously released cash flow provided by continuing operations was reduced by $0.3 million to $51.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014.
4:34 pm Carpenter Tech guides Q3 below consensus; announces restructuring (CRS) : Co issues downside guidance for Q3 (Mar), sees EPS of $0.26-0.30, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.58 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
- Co announced restructuring actions to reduce fixed overhead costs and position the Company to drive long-term, profitable growth. The actions are precipitated by the Company's desire to improve operating cost performance and the current weakness in the Oil and Gas market, and they are part of an overall plan to deliver greater value to shareholders by strengthening the Company's performance as a specialty alloys leader.
- The Company's restructuring actions are expected to yield ~$30 million of annual fixed overhead cost savings and will be complemented by additional strategies to reduce costs.
- Reduced targeted capital spending to $100-120 million for fiscal year 2016.
- Targeted a $50 million inventory reduction by the end of fiscal year 2015 compared to ending first quarter fiscal year 2015 level.
4:32 pm Capital Southwest Corp. provides portfolio update: Co has successfully divested its investments in KBI Biopharma and Trax Technologies (CSWC) :
- Capital Southwest received proceeds of $16.8 million, excluding further proceeds of up to $2.1 million as recovery of its contribution to a customary escrow, which may be used to satisfy certain post-closing indemnification claims, if any. Additionally, Capital Southwest will retain a minority ownership stake in kSep Systems, the former subsidiary of KBI that was spun off to KBI shareholders prior to the sale.
- Company exited its investment in Trax Technologies, a SaaS provider of solutions to improve the validation, accounting and payment of transportation-related invoices, in Trax's majority recapitalization by Strattam Capital. Capital Southwest received proceeds of $14.5 million, excluding further proceeds of up to $1.6 million as recovery of its contribution to a customary escrow, which may be used to satisfy certain post-closing indemnification claims, if any.
- Earlier this month, Capital Southwest funded $7 million of a $135 million senior secured second lien debt tranche to finance the acquisition of Research Now Group, Inc., a leading digital data collection provider powering analytics and insights, by Court Square Capital Partners.
4:31 pm United Rentals announces entrance into an asset-based loan facility of $2.5 bln (URI) :
- United Rentals, United Rentals (North America) (together, the "Company") and certain of their subsidiaries announced today that they entered into a Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement which provides for a senior secured asset-based loan facility (the "ABL Facility") of $2,500 mln, a portion of which is available for borrowing in Canadian Dollars.
- The Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement also provides for an uncommitted incremental increase in the ABL Facility of up to $1,250 mln or more, depending on the value of borrowing base assets in excess of the initial maximum amount of the facility. The ABL Facility replaces the Company's existing senior secured asset-based loan facility.
- Certain of the Company's subsidiaries have provided guarantees under the ABL Facility. In addition, obligations under the facility are secured by certain first-priority security interests in the assets of the borrowers and the guarantors.
4:31 pm Intelligent Systems announces signed agreement sell its ChemFree subsidiary to CRC Industries, Inc for ~$21.6 mln (INS) :
4:30 pm Burlington Stores announces that certain stockholders intend to offer 12,490,154 shares common stock in an underwritten public offering (BURL) : The Company will not sell any shares in the offering and will not receive any proceeds from the offering.
4:30 pm Orion Marine Group announces a contract award of ~$13 mln for demolition and reconstruction of an existing Navy pier in South Carolina (ORN) : Onsite construction is expected to begin in the second quarter and will last approximately 12 months.
4:30 pm Tremor Video announces that CFO Todd Sloan will resign to pursue other opportunities; search initiated for his successor (TRMR) : Mr. Sloan has agreed to continue as CFO until May 31 and then assist the company as a strategic advisor through August 15. The company has initiated a search for his successor.
- Results in substantial management fee savings to Residential compared to the previous asset management agreement, and is expected to be immediately accretive to the Company's earnings.
- Provides for an initial term of 15 years with two potential five-year extensions, subject to the Company's achieving an average annual return on invested capital of at least 7%, thereby providing protection for Residential and creating a strong alignment of interests between Residential and AAMC.
- Provides Residential the flexibility to pay up to 25% of the incentive management fee to AAMC in shares of common stock, further aligning both companies' interests.
4:23 pm Etsy announces IPO Road Show, offering 16.67 mln shares between $14-$16 per share (ETSYF) : ETSY announces that it expects to launch the roadshow for the initial public offering of its common stock on April 1, 2015. The offering is for 16,666,666 shares.
- Etsy is offering 13,333,333 shares and the selling stockholders are offering 3,333,333 shares.
- The selling stockholders have also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 2,499,999 additional shares.
- The initial public offering price is currently expected to be between $14.00 and $16.00 per share.
- Etsy has applied to list its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "ETSY."
4:19 pm UTI Worldwide misses Q4 estimates; cuts FY16 EBITDA guidance (UTIW) : Reports Q4 (Jan) GAAP loss of $1.02 per share, including items, $0.95 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of ($0.07); revenues fell 10.0% year/year to $964.6 mln vs the $1.08 bln consensus.
- The Company expects adjusted EBITDA to be within the range of $125 million to $150 million (down from $190-210 mln target); and, The Company anticipates a year over year reduction in working capital in the range of $175 million to $200 million.
- The updated EBITDA guidance for the year reflects several new assumptions, with the movement in currency exchange rates being one of the most significant factors. The Company's outlook assumes currency exchange rates of 1.05 for the Euro and 12.5 for the Rand throughout the year. Unfavorable currency movements since December 2014 account for ~$20 million to $25 million of the revised EBITDA estimate.
4:17 pm Allegiant Travel disclosed that it borrowed $7.5 million from Nevada State Bank, secured by the real estate purchased by the co in 2014 (ALGT) : The loan bears a fixed interest rate of 2.86% per annum and provides for a 25-year amortization and a five-year term. The proceeds from the loan will be used for general corporate purposes
4:13 pm BGC Partners lowers Q1 guidance (BGCP) : Co announced that it has updated its consolidated outlook for the quarter ending March 31, 2015. In addition, BGC's majority-owned division, GFI Group (GFIG) ("GFI Group" or "GFI"), an intermediary and provider of trading technologies and support services to the global OTC and listed markets, provided its outlook for March, 2015.
Excluding the results of GFI, BGC expects its quarterly revenues for distributable earnings to be towards the low end of the range of its previously stated guidance, and its quarterly pre-tax distributable earnings to be around the mid-point.
BGC's first quarter 2015 outlook, which was also without regard to the impact of GFI, was originally published in a press release dated February 11, 2015, as follows:
- BGC's Original First Quarter 2015 Outlook Compared with First Quarter 2014 Results:
- The co had expected distributable earnings revenues to increase by between ~10-17% and to be between ~$490 mln and $520 mln, compared with $445.9 mln.
- BGC had anticipated its pre-tax distributable earnings to increase by between ~21-42% and to be in the range of $68-80 mln, versus $56.2 mln.
- The co had expected its effective tax rate for distributable earnings to remain unchanged at ~15%.
4:13 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Slide to End First Quarter (:WRAPX) : The stock market extended its March decline on Tuesday, but was able to end the first quarter in the green. The S&P 500 (-0.9%) lost 1.7% for the month, but added 0.4% during the first quarter. The tech-heavy Nasdaq (-0.9%) outperformed, losing 1.3% in March to narrow its Q1 gain to 3.5%. For its part, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-1.1%) lost 2.0% in March and shed 0.3% in Q1.
Equity indices started the day amid broad pressure while the Dollar Index (98.31, +0.33) added to yesterday's gain. The S&P 500 tried climbing off its opening low, but daylong weakness among heavily-weighted sectors like health care (-1.5%), industrials (-1.0%), and energy (-0.9%) prevented the index from turning positive. On the flip side, the consumer discretionary sector (-0.5%) held a modest gain into the afternoon, but slipped into the red during the final hour.
Still, the discretionary sector ended ahead of its peers with homebuilders contributing to the relative strength after DR Horton (DHI 28.48, +0.47) was upgraded to 'Positive' from 'Neutral' at Susquehanna. Shares of DHI gained 1.7% while the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 28.23, -0.03) surrendered its gain ahead of the close. Similarly, apparel and luxury retailers outperformed with Movado (MOV 28.49, +2.86) jumping 11.2% in reaction to better than expected results.
Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, industrials (-1.0%) were pressured by large cap names like Boeing (BA 150.08, -2.62) and General Electric (GE 24.81, -0.31) while the energy sector (-0.9%) lagged amid weakness in crude oil. WTI crude fell 1.9% to $47.72/bbl and locked in a 12.7% decline for the quarter. For its part, the energy sector lost 3.6% in Q1.
Once again, dollar strength was a headwind for oil as the Dollar Index added 0.3% for the day and ended the month higher by 2.7%. Furthermore, the index spiked more than 8.0% during the first quarter.
Nine of ten sectors ended the month in negative territory while health care (-1.5%) gained 0.8% in March. Biotechnology helped the sector end the month ahead of its peers, but the group contributed to today's underperformance. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 343.48, -7.84) lost 2.2%, but still added 1.8% in March.
Treasuries posted slim gains after a slow daylong climb. The 10-yr yield slipped two basis points to 1.93%. For the month, the benchmark yield fell seven basis points from 2.00%.
Today's participation was better than average with roughly 950 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.
Economic data included Chicago PMI, Consumer Confidence, and Case-Shiller 20-City Index:
- The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index increased to 101.3 in March from an upwardly revised 98.8 (from 96.4) while the Briefing.com consensus expected the reading to hold at 96.4
- Labor market improvements catalyzed the increase in confidence as initial claims levels returned to their sub-300,000 trend over the past couple of weeks
- The Chicago PMI increased to 46.3 in March from 45.8 in February while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase to 52.0
- Chicago PMI fell from 59.4 to 45.8 in February, which was immediately blamed on extreme weather conditions. As weather conditions returned to normal in March, manufacturing activities were expected to return to their previous expansionary cycle, but that did not happen
- Conditions did improve modestly, but the overall index remained firmly in contraction for a second consecutive month, meaning the pullback that began in February was likely not the result of temporary weather problems
- The Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index for January rose 4.6%, which is what the Briefing.com consensus expected
- The previous month's increase was revised to 4.4% from 4.5%
- Nasdaq Composite +3.5% YTD
- Russell 2000 +4.0% YTD
- S&P 500 +0.4% YTD
- Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.3% YTD
4:12 pm Immune Design announces positive topline data from three Phase 1 clinical trials of Immuno-Oncology agents; co also reported Q4 earnings (IMDZ) : Co reported that analyses of data from three ongoing Phase 1 studies support continued development of its two primary product candidates, CMB305 and G100.
- CMB305's "prime" and "boost" components, LV305 and G305, were well tolerated and demonstrated specific and selective immunogenicity in two parallel Phase 1 studies to meet the company's guidelines to progress CMB305 into development.
- Carlos Paya, M.D., Ph.D, President and Chief Executive Officer of Immune Design noted, "The data from the dose escalation Phase 1 studies of LV305 and G305 met our internal requirements for demonstrating that each of these two 'building blocks' of CMB305 selectively activates different arms of the immune response against NY-ESO-1
- Co also reported Q4 revenue of $1.8 mln vs. $0.0 mln in prior year. Cash and cash equivalents totaled $75.4 million on December 31, 2014 compared to $30.4 million on December 31, 2013.
4:12 pm Freshpet reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides FY15 revs in-line (FRPT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.02 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.02); revenues rose 38.4% year/year to $24.5 mln vs the $23.88 mln consensus.
- Gross margin increased 1,270 basis points to 48.9%.
- Freshpet fridges increased 23.5% to 13,386 from 10,836.
- Guidance: Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of 112-114.5 vs. $113.36 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Sees Adjusted EBITDA of $16.0 to $17.5 million an increase of $10.5 to $12.0 million compared to 2014. Sees Freshpet Fridges of approximately 15,100 to 15,600, an increase of approximately 13% to 17%, compared to 2014
4:11 pm Riverview Bancorp, Inc. reinstates cash dividend and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.01125 per share (RVSB) :
4:11 pm Lime Energy reports EPS of ($1.44) vs. ($3.90) in prior year; revs rose 14% YoY to $58.8 mln - no ests (LIME) :
4:10 pm Kosmos Energy announces the borrowing base under its reserves-based lending facility has remained unchanged at $1.5 bln (KOS) : The co notes that for the first time, the borrowing base calculation includes value related to the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme development project in Ghana, as well as the Jubilee field. Total undrawn availability on the reserves-based lending facility remains $1 billion as of March 31, 2015.
4:09 pm Landec reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS in-line, revs above consensus (LNDC) : Reports Q3 (Feb) earnings of $0.14 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.14; revenues rose 9.6% year/year to $138.5 mln vs the $135.73 mln consensus.
- Co issues in-line EPS guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.18-0.20 vs. $0.20 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $130-135 mln vs. $127.20 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
- "Looking forward to FY16, we expect our longstanding Lifecore Biomedical customer who is reducing its inventory levels in FY15 to resume its historical ordering patterns in FY16, and we expect that the revenues and income forecasted for this year from a key Lifecore development partner will instead occur in FY16. As a result, in FY16 we expect significant year-over-year growth at Lifecore, continued expansion and growth in Apio superfood products and further expansion from Windset. Altogether, we believe consolidated revenues, excluding the $9 mln of revenues from the extra week in fiscal 2015, could grow up to 10% in FY16 compared to fiscal 2015 with preliminary estimates of net income increasing ~60% to 75%."
- "To achieve $1.00 per share in FY16, the change in the fair market value in Windset compared to fiscal 2015 would need to increase ~50% to $9.0 mln to $10 mln in FY16, which is higher than what we are currently projecting. We now expect Windset's most recent expansions to become operational towards the end of calendar 2015, which is later than we previously expected. We will have updated information concerning the timing of Windset's expansion plans when we report our fourth quarter results in July 2015 at which time we will provide overall guidance for the Company for FY16."
4:07 pm Synnex misses by $0.06, misses on revs; guides Q2 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (SNX) : Reports Q1 (Feb) earnings of $1.46 per share, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.52; revenues rose 5.8% year/year to $3.2 bln vs the $3.42 bln consensus.
- Co issues downside guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $1.50-1.56 vs. $1.58 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $3.375-3.475 bln vs. $3.57 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
4:06 pm Oxford Immunotec announces availability of the T-SPOT.CMV Test in the United States (OXFD) : Co announced the availability in the United States of a new test that measures the strength of a patient's cellular immune response to cytomegalovirus (CMV.V). This T-SPOT.CMV test is available as a Laboratory Developed Test from the Company's CLIA-certified and CAP accredited service laboratory.
"While we are enthusiastic about the potential clinical utility and economic value that the T-SPOT.CMV test may provide in transplant medicine, we are taking a measured approach to market introduction as we await the results of our PROTECT and REACT clinical trials. We continue to expect full commercial launch in the second half of 2016."
4:06 pm Equifax Appoints Trey Loughran as Chief Marketing Officer (EFX) : Co appointed Joseph M. 'Trey' Loughran as Chief Marketing Officer, succeeding Paul Springman who has retired.
4:06 pm Leidos and Ripken Baseball announce a multi-year partnership granting Leidos the naming rights for Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md (LDOS) :
4:05 pm Wendy's announces agreement with the City of Philadelphia PERS to propose proxy access at 2016 annual meeting (WEN) : Co announced that that the Company has agreed to submit management-supported proxy access amendments to its Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws, to be voted upon by stockholders at the Company's 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. As a result of the Company's decision, the City of Philadelphia Public Employees Retirement System has agreed to withdraw its proxy access shareholder proposal from the Company's proxy statement for its 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
4:05 pm Century Aluminum has hired Stephen K. Heyroth as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer (CENX) : Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Heyroth served as Controller for Surface Mining Manufacturing Operations at Joy Global (JOY). Also effective March 31, 2015, Rick T. Dillon has returned from his temporary medical leave of absence and has resumed his duties as the Company's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
4:05 pm Rubicon Project has reached a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Chango Inc for ~$122 mln; reaffirms its confidence in its financial guidance on a stand alone basis for the first quarter of 2015 as previously provided (RUBI) : Chango specializes in intent marketing technology and is Canada's fastest-growing technology company, as recognized in 2014 by Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 for
- "Chango's momentum, combined with Rubicon Project's scale and holistic end-to-end offering, provides tremendous synergies for not only our business but for the entire marketplace. We expect this transaction to be accretive within the first twelve months with strong growth opportunities."
4:04 pm Ducommun delays earnings further as co equires further time to complete its financial statements (DCO) :
- Co announced that it needs to further postpone its 2014 fourth quarter and year-end earnings announcement and conference call, currently scheduled for today, as the Company requires further time to complete its financial statements.
- As previously reported, the Company discovered certain errors in the reported financial results for certain prior periods. Ducommun anticipates that the correction of these errors generally will result in an increase in the Company's net income for such periods. The Company's assessment of these matters is ongoing and subject to additional review.
4:03 pm AdCare Health Systems announces progress in its strategic transition, declaring a cash dividend of $0.05/share and reconstituting its Board of Directors (ADK) : On March 31, 2015, the Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.05 per share of common stock, payable on April 30, 2015 to shareholders of record as of April 15, 2015.
Co announced that Effective April 1, Allan J. Rimland will join AdCare as President and Chief Financial Officer. Rimland joined AdCare from Stephens Inc. where he served as Managing Director in the Healthcare Group, focusing on healthcare services companies from 2011 to until 2015.
- The Board of Directors made the following changes/announcements regarding its corporate governance:
- Appointed Bill McBride as Chairman of the Board, effective March 25, 2015. McBride will retain his position as Chief Executive Officer and will relinquish his position as President.
- David Tenwick, the company's former Chairman of the Board and founder, will continue as a Director.
- Michael Fox will serve as the Lead Independent Director Effective April 1, 2015
- Peter Hackett will resign as a Director after serving in this position since May 2005
4:02 pm Franklin Street Properties announces the sale of an ~153,028 square foot office property known in Eden Prairie, Minnesota for gross proceeds of ~$28 mln (FSP) :
4:02 pm Adamas Pharmaceuticals announces that United States Patent and Trademark Office issued US Patent No. 8,987,333 entitled 'Composition and Method for Treating Neurological Disease' (ADMS) : Co announced that the USPTO issued US Patent No. 8,987,333 entitled "Composition and Method for Treating Neurological Disease." The claims of this patent are directed towards dosage forms that enable the osmotic delivery of amantadine for therapeutic purposes.
4:01 pm Agree Realty announces that it recently closed on the acquisition of 10 retail properties for an aggregate purchase price of ~$17.5 mln; also reaffirmed its targeted 2015 acquisition volume of $175-200 mln (ADC) : In the first quarter of 2015, the Company acquired 25 retail properties for an aggregate purchase price of $59.7 million. The properties are net leased to 15 tenants operating in 9 retail sectors and located in 15 states. The transactions were completed at a weighted-average cap rate of 8.14% and have a weighted-average remaining lease term of 13.0 years.
4:01 pm SunEdison and TerraForm Power (TERP) interconnect four solar farms in North Carolina totaling 26 Megawatts; TERP reiterates its 2015 guidance of $214 million of CAFD and dividends of $1.30 per share. (SUNE) : TerraForm Power (TERP) announced it acquired solar power plants comprising 168 MW from SunEdison (SUNE) during the first quarter of 2015. All of these power plants were on TerraForm Power's 3.4 GW call right list of SunEdison power plants which TerraForm Power has the option to purchase once completed.
- Together, the plants are expected to contribute $17 million in cash available for distribution in 2015, and generate annualized unlevered CAFD of $24 million. Installation has been completed for all 168 MW in the portfolio.
- TERP has used its existing balance sheet liquidity to fund the acquisition of these call right power plants, and reiterates its 2015 guidance of $214 million of CAFD and dividends of $1.30 per share.
4:01 pm Dyax announces positive results from Phase 1b Clinical Trial of DX-2930 (DYAX) : Co noted that DX-2930 was well tolerated at all dose levels. There were no deaths or subject discontinuations due to an adverse event. There were no serious adverse events in subjects treated with DX-2930 and no evidence of dose-limiting toxicity. There was no safety signal in treatment-emergent adverse events, clinical laboratory results, vital signs, or electrocardiograms. Subcutaneous injection was well tolerated.
- Primary proof-of-concept efficacy analyses were based on subjects in the 300 mg, 400 mg, and placebo dose groups who reported having at least 2 attacks in the 3 months prior to study entry.
- During the pre-specified, primary efficacy interval of 6 weeks the HAE attack rate was 0 in the 300 mg group and 0.045 attacks per week in the 400 mg group, compared to 0.37 attacks per week in the placebo group. This resulted in a 100% reduction for the 300 mg dose group as compared to placebo and an 88% reduction for the 400 mg dose group as compared to placebo.
- During this primary efficacy interval, 100% of subjects in the 300 mg group and 82% of subjects in the 400 mg group were attack-free compared with 27% of subjects in the placebo group. The study will be complete when all subjects in the 400 mg dose group finish the final safety assessments on study day 120.
- Dyax also announced receipt of Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) for the investigation of DX-2930 for HAE.
4:00 pm Intricon announces amendments to its credit facilities with The PrivateBank (IIN) : Co announced that it has amended its credit facilities with The PrivateBank. Highlights of the amendment include:
- Increasing IntriCon's term loan to $5.0 million from its current balance of $1.75 million, amortized in quarterly principal installments of $250,000;
- Lowering interest rates on the term loan and revolving loan compared to the company's existing facility;
- Extending the term loan and revolving loan maturity date to February 28, 2019;
- Increasing the annual capital expenditure limit to $4.5 million;
- Implementing investment provisions that allow for up to $4.0 million in investment spending prior to requiring bank approval
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