InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:01 pm This week's biggest % gainers/losers (:SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

This week's top 20 % gainers

  • Healthcare:AGEN (7.12 +27.83%),CO (7.22 +23.63%),MDSO (57.59 +23.12%),VASC (35.31 +20.8%),ADXS (23.34 +19.88%),RIGL (4.88 +19.19%)
  • Materials:VALE (7.92 +34.92%),VALE.P (6.32 +28.72%),SID (2.39 +21.32%)
  • Industrials:ECHO (32.68 +28.16%),SALT (2.48 +22.77%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:SKX (89.66 +21.97%)
  • Information Technology:GIMO (29.75 +29.35%),CCIH (14.38 +24.61%),CAMP (20.34 +23.8%),ARRS (35.76 +19.92%)
  • Financials:ASPS (23.24 +33.64%),CISG (11 +25.28%)
  • Utilities:EBR (2.52 +24.14%),EBR.B (3.03 +22.67%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare:AMPE (2.73 -65.31%),AERI (12.87 -62.31%),CALA (13.41 -27%),SPNC (26.52 -23.62%),ASMB (15.46 -21.03%),CLDN (13.68 -17.22%),CPRX (3.69 -16.14%),PTX (7.09 -15.09%)
  • Materials:FTK (14.06 -21.1%)
  • Industrials:TRN (28.7 -19.65%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:CZR (9.83 -18.42%),ICON (26.77 -16.42%)
  • Information Technology:FARO (43.44 -30.19%),MOBL (6.98 -27.34%),SMCI (30.44 -17.31%),AWAY (27.18 -16.68%),ADTN (15.98 -14.45%)
  • Energy:NRP (5.26 -27.85%),CRR (31.6 -18.93%),MHR (2.26 -15.99%)

5:00 pm Home Loan Servicing receives notice of delisting from Nasdaq (HLSS) : Co announced that on April 20, 2015 it received a letter from the Listing Qualifications Staff of Nasdaq, notifying the Company that Nasdaq has determined to delist the ordinary shares of the Company from Nasdaq pursuant to the Staff's discretionary authority under Listing Rule 5101, effective at the opening of business on April 29, 2015.

4:50 pm AES clarifies that record date for Q2 dividend of $0.10 per share is May 5, 2015; payment date remains May 15, 2015 (AES) :  

4:48 pm Aqua America: Utility Workers Union of America (:UWUA) announces that ISS has recommended shareholders vote for UWUA shareholder proposal on extraordinary executive retirement benefits (WTR) : Utility Workers Union of America (:UWUA) announces that Institutional Shareholder Services (:ISS) issued a report recommending that shareholders of Aqua America (WTR) vote "for" a shareholder proposal concerning extraordinary retirement benefits for Aqua's senior executives. The shareholder proposal, which was submitted by the Utility Workers Union of America for inclusion in Aqua's proxy statement for the company's May 8, 2015, annual meeting, urges Aqua's board of directors to seek shareholder approval of any future extraordinary retirement benefits for top executives. The UWUA's proposal appears as Proposal No. 5 in Aqua's proxy statement.

4:45 pm Roper Inds announces name change to Roper Technologies (ROP) : Co announced that it has changed its corporate name to Roper Technologies, Inc. to reflect its continued evolution as a diversified technology company. Shares of the company are expected to begin trading under its new name effective as of the market open on April 29, 2015. The company's stock ticker symbol will remain "ROP."

4:42 pm Axalta Coating Systems signed agreement with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia to provide coating products for over 2,500 Australian military logistic vehicles (AXTA) : Co has signed an agreement with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia (:RMMVA) to provide coating products for over 2,500 Australian military logistic vehicles being produced as part of the Australian government's LAND 121 Phase 3B Defence Project. Rheinmetall is a global leader in the supply of military vehicles. The agreement was reached based on Axalta's capability to develop and manufacture specific end-use coatings required especially by the project.

4:32 pm Marvell sees Q1 revs of $710-740 mln (lowered from $810-830 mln) vs $814.66 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate (MRVL) : Co announced that first quarter of fiscal 2016 revenue is expected to be below the company's previous outlook. The company now expects first quarter of fiscal 2016 revenue to be in the range of $710 million to $740 million (vs $814.66 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate), compared to the previous expectation of $810 million to $830 million. The revised revenue outlook is primarily due to weaker than previously expected PC and storage markets and lower than expected emerging market demand. All other financial outlook expectations have been withdrawn and will be updated on the company's first quarter earnings call on May 21, 2015.

4:30 pm Enable Midstream Partners increases quarterly distribution to $0.3125/unit from $0.3088/unit (ENBL) :  

4:29 pm Eli Lilly: CYRAMZA (ramucirumab) receives fourth FDA approval for combination with FOLFIRI chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (LLY) : Co has received its fourth FDA approval for CYRAMZA (ramucirumab). CYRAMZA (ramucirumab injection 10 mg/mL solution) is now also indicated in combination with FOLFIRI (irinotecan, folinic acid, and 5-fluorouracil) chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with disease progression on or after prior therapy with bevacizumab, oxaliplatin, and a fluoropyrimidine.

4:29 pm Closing Market Summary: S&P 500 and Nasdaq Set New Record Highs (:WRAPX) : The stock market wrapped up a strong week with a record finish even as economic data remained weak. The S&P 500 settled higher by 0.2% and registered a fresh record closing high at 2117.69 while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.7%) outperformed and posted another record close. Tragically, the Dow Jones Industrial Average could only add 0.1%, remaining 1.2% below its nominal record closing high from early March.

The Nasdaq surged out of the gate with several large components registering large gains in reaction to earnings. Amazon.com (AMZN 445.10, +55.11) surpassed revenue estimates and reported better than expected operating income. The retailer's loss of $0.12/share did not deter investors from sending the stock higher by 14.1%. Meanwhile another consumer discretionary component-Starbucks (SBUX 51.84, +2.41)-surged 4.9% after its in-line report overshadowed cautious guidance. Thanks to the two names, the consumer discretionary sector (+1.4%) ended well ahead of other groups.

However, Amazon and Starbucks were just partially responsible for the relative strength in the Nasdaq. Two tech sector (+0.9%) heavyweights-Google (GOOGL 573.66, +16.20) and Microsoft (MSFT 47.87, +4.53)-spiked 2.9% and 10.5%, respectively following earnings. Microsoft soared in reaction to better than expected results, while Google missed on earnings and revenue, which may explain why the stock "only" went up 2.9%.

It is worth noting that the handful of giants overshadowed a weak performance from many other Nasdaq components. For instance, chipmakers retreated across the board. The PHLX Semiconductor Index fell 1.7% with Maxim Integrated (MXIM 32.78, -1.96) leading the group lower. Shares of MXIM fell 5.6% after disappointing revenue overshadowed a bottom-line beat. Meanwhile, KLA-Tencor (KLAC 58.89, -0.96) beat estimates and announced plans to reduce its workforce, but still ended lower by 1.6% amid some concerns about the company's outlook.

Similar to chipmakers, biotech names struggled with iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 363.70, -3.98) falling 1.1%. Most notably, Biogen (BIIB 401.71, -28.57) fell 6.6% after missing earnings and revenue estimates even though the company still reported 20.0% year-over-year revenue growth. However, the bar was set even higher for this large component of an industry group that has made a major contribution to the Nasdaq's rally to record highs, today notwithstanding. For its part, the health care sector (-0.3%) spent the day in the red as biotech weighed.

Staying in the health care sector, Mylan (MYL 76.06, +2.37) made an intraday offer to acquire Perrigo (PRGO 192.89, -8.74) for $205/share in cash and stock, but Perrigo was quick to reject that offer. Elsewhere, another potential deal fell through with antitrust concerns likely playing a part as Comcast (CMCSA 59.64, +0.41) terminated its pursuit of Time Warner Cable (TWC 155.26, +6.50). Shares of TWC rallied 4.4% amid speculation the company may now be an attractive target for Charter Communications (CHTR 185.75, +2.17).

As mentioned earlier, consumer discretionary and technology sectors posted solid gains, which kept the S&P 500 in the green. Materials (+0.8%) and utilities (+1.0%) also posted solid gains, but the two groups account for just over 6.0% of the entire market.

Going back to influential sectors, financials (-0.2%), industrials (-0.4%), and energy (-0.6%) spent the entire day in negative territory. The energy sector was pressured by crude oil, which fell 1.0% to $57.18/bbl, while Dow component, ExxonMobil (XOM 86.97, -0.57), kept pace with the sector.

Moving on, the industrial sector was pressured by some of its large components like Dow member, Boeing (BA 148.40, -1.47), which fell 1.0% while transport stocks also lagged following disappointing results and guidance from Landstar (LSTR 64.49, -1.44). The freight carrier lost 2.2% while the Dow Jones Transportation Average shed 0.3%. To be fair, airlines bucked the trend after American Airlines (AAL 52.70, +1.25) beat estimates; however, the stock is not a member of the DJTA so its strength in that arena showed up through peers like Delta Airlines (DAL 46.98, +0.55) and United Continental (UAL 63.51, +0.71).

On the international front, representatives from Greece met with the Eurogroup in Riga today, but once again, the meeting ended without any concrete solutions. The prolonged negotiations appear to be getting more tense with Bloomberg reporting that unnamed euro area finance ministers have called Greek Finance Minister a "time-waster, gambler, and an amateur."

Treasuries posted modest gains with the 10-yr yield falling three basis points to 1.92%. The entire advance occurred in the wake of today's Durable Orders, which seemed ok at first glance:

  • Durable goods orders increased 4.0% in March after declining an unrevised 1.4% in February while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.5% 
    • The entire March gain resulted from increased transportation demand, specifically from the defense-related aircraft sector 
      • Defense aircraft orders increased 112.8% in March with total aircraft orders increasing 43.8% after declining 8.3% in February 
      • Motor vehicle and parts orders increased 5.4% 
    • Excluding transportation, durable goods orders declined 0.2% in March after declining a downwardly revised 1.3% (from -0.6%) in February while the consensus expected an increase of 0.4% 
      • After declining 2.2% in February, orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft declined 0.5% in March 
      • Shipments, which factor into first quarter GDP growth, declined 0.4% in March after increasing 0.1% in February 
There is no data scheduled for Monday. 
  • Nasdaq Composite +7.0% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +5.0% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +2.8% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.4% YTD

4:12 pm Scorpio Tankers announces it has recently taken delivery of two newbuilding vessels; schedules Q1 earnings (STNG) : The Company recently took delivery of the following vessels:

  • STI Oxford, an LR2 product tanker, was delivered from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. Upon delivery, this vessel began a voyage for 50 days at approximately $41,000 per day. 
  • STI Queens, an MR product tanker, was delivered from SPP Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. of South Korea ("SPP"). Upon delivery, this vessel began a time charter for up to 120 days at approximately $18,000 per day.
The Company plans to issue its first quarter 2015 earnings before the market open on Monday, April 27, 2015 and will host a conference call later in the day at 9:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time and 3:30 PM Central European Summer Time. 

4:10 pm NASDAQ: As of April 15, 2015, short interest in NASDAQ Global Market securities totaled 7,692,144,808 shares compared with 7,682,464,601 shares for the prior settlement date of March 31, 2015 (NDAQ) :  

4:06 pm Horizon Pharma announces pricing of private offering of Senior Notes (HZNP) : Co priced its offering of $475 million aggregate principal amount of 6.625% senior notes due 2023. The size of the offering was increased above the previously-announced size of $300 million aggregate principal amount of notes.

  • As a result of the increased size of the note offering, Horizon Pharma, the parent of the Issuer and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Horizon, expects that the aggregate principal amount of its previously-announced new term loan facility will be reduced from $500 million to $400 million. 
  • Horizon expects to use the net proceeds from the offering of notes and borrowings under the new term loan facility to fund a portion of Horizon's planned acquisition of Hyperion Therapeutics (HPTX), repay the outstanding amounts under Horizon's existing $300 million credit facility and Hyperion's existing credit facility and pay prepayment premiums, fees and expenses in connection with the foregoing. 
  • The proceeds from the offering of the notes will be held in escrow pending release in connection with the closing of the Hyperion acquisition.

4:05 pm Akorn announces it will restate various previously issued financial statements due to errors identified during the first quarter 2015 financial review process; affirms its 2015 EPS guidance (shares halted) (AKRX) : On April 20, 2015, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Akorn, Inc. (the Audit Committee), upon the recommendation of the Company's management concluded that the financial statements for the quarterly periods ending June 30, 2014, September 30, 2014 and December 31, 2014 along with the annual period ending December 31, 2014 should not be relied upon because of errors in the financial statements in those associated periods. Furthermore, management's report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2014 should no longer be relied upon.

  • During the review process with respect to the quarter ended March 31, 2015, the Company identified errors related to understatements of rebates and other sales allowances that have resulted in an overstatement of the Company's net revenue for the affected periods described above.
  • Akorn is in the process of analyzing the impact of the restatements on its previously reported financial statements, including previously restated results for the quarters ending June 30, 2014 and September 30, 2014.
  • While the exact impact to the Company's financial statements has not been determined, based on management's preliminary assessment, the errors related to the understatements of rebates and other sales allowances are estimated to have resulted in an overstatement to net revenue and pretax income from continuing operations of $20 million to $35 million for the year ending December 31, 2014.
  • Akorn anticipates that it will not be able to file its Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2015 in a timely manner because of the pending restatements to prior-period results. While the Company plans to request a five-day extension to file its Form 10-Q with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Company does not anticipate it will meet the extended deadline.
  • Lastly, the company affirms its 2015 earnings per share guidance issued on February 26, 2015 calling for adjusted diluted EPS of $1.88-1.98 vs. the $1.96 Capital IQ consensus estimate.

4:02 pm Patriot National acquires Missouri-based Corporate Claims Management, a multi-line provider of claims administration; financial terms not disclosed (PN) :

  • "The acquisition of Corporate Claims Management is our fourth program administrator acquisition in recent months and is consistent with our growth strategy to expand Patriot National's fee-based product offerings beyond workers' compensation."
  • Corporate Claims Management had 2014 revenues of $6.5 mln.

4:00 pm Apollo Investment announces an increase in its revolving credit facility to $1.31 bln from $1.27 bln, with a maturity extension to 2020 (AINV) : Co announced an amended and restated credit facility. Total commitments to the facility increased by $40 million, from $1.27 billion to $1.31 billion. The final maturity of the facility was extended by 20 months from August 2018 to April 2020.

  • In addition, the stated interest rate on the facility was changed from LIBOR plus 2.00% to a formula-based calculation, resulting in a stated interest rate of either LIBOR plus 1.75%, or LIBOR plus 2.00% 
  • The facility contains an accordion feature whereby it can be expanded by 50% under certain conditions

4:00 pm PostRock Energy has regained compliance with the Nasdaq Global Market listing requirements (PSTR) :  

3:33 pm Earnings Preview for the week of April 27 - May 1 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of April 27 - May 1 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • Pre Market - TEN, LH, QSR, ROP, MCY, PDS, BPOP, SOHU, HAE, OSIS
    • After Hours - AAPL, HIG, CHRW, OMI, ABX, UHS, PRE, WRB, RE, JLL, AFG, SWFT, RCII, AMKR, WCN, OSTK
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - BP, F, VLO, AET, UPS, YNDX, PFE, MRK, TMUS, CNC, WHR, PHG, NOV, CMI, PAG, SVU, BMY, ECL, PH, JEC, TXT, GLW, GPI, CHTR, MAS, BSX, AKS, AXE, JBLU
    • After Hours - ESRX, AFL, WDC, X, EIX, GNW, NCR, OI, KBR, WYNN, WSH, ACGL, SFS, IACI, GPRE, TPX, PNRA, CLF, TWTR, BWLD, 
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - UMC, FCAU, SPIL, ANTM, HUM, ABB, MDLZ, GD, EXC, TWX, IP, NOC, ETN, SO, GT, PCG, NEE, WM, TRI, CVE, PX, GIB, NSC, HLT, MA, VRX, BEN, FDML, SPR, OCR, AVY, HES, HOT, MWV, CG
    • After Hours - BSAC, SU, FLEX, MAR, LNC, UNM, RKT, ES, WMB, TX, PPC, BIDU, XL, AXS, NXPI, TEX, CNW, ASH, ARRS, MEP, ESV, YELP
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - SNE, XOM, RDS.A, PSX, ABC, NVO, CAH, MPC, BG, EPD, COP, CI, TWC, CTRX, BCE, ARW, TEVA, CL, FMS, DLPH, MMC, VIAB, XEL, ADP, NOK, HUN, LLL, APD, NI, MOS, CELG, SHPG, UFS, GG, CME, WWE
    • After Hours - INT, GILD, FLR, AIG, FE, V, EMN, TS, EEP, EXPE, WU, MRC, THG, YRCW, EVHC, LYV, FLS, FBHS, LNT, SCSC, LNKD, FSLR, 
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - CVS, CVX, DUK, PEG, AON, VFC, TRP, WY, BPL, CPN, CLX, TDS
    • After Hours - VNR, AEC

3:21 pm Treasury Market Summary (BONDX) : Treasuries Rally on Weak Durable Goods Data

  • Weak underlying data in the Durable Goods Orders report spurred buying in the Treasury complex that left only the bond with significant losses for the week
  • Yield check:
    • 2-yr: -2 bps to 0.51%
    • 5-yr: -4 bps to 1.32%
    • 10-yr: -4 bps to 1.92%
    • 30-yr: -4 bps to 2.61%
  • News: 
    • The Eurogroup met in Riga today, although eurozone officials had been downplaying the prospect of an agreement all week 
      • As expected, Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis and the Eurogroup made no progress
      • The Greek 10-year note yield ended the day up 40 basis points to 12.54%
    • The German Ifo Business Climate Index for April rose to 108.6, higher than both expectations and the 107.9 from April
    • Durable goods orders rose 4% in March versus an unrevised 1.4% increase in February. The Briefing.com consensus was looking for +0.5% 
      • The entire March gain was the result of increased transportation demand, specifically from the defense-related aircraft sector
      • The drop in orders outside of transportation was more in-line with the poor results of the regional Federal Reserve manufacturing surveys. Those surveys revealed contractions in new orders in every area of the country except for Philadelphia
      • Business investment was weak. After declining 2.2% in February, orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft declined 0.5% in March. Shipments, which factor into first quarter GDP growth, declined 0.4% in March after increasing 0.1% in February
    • The Nasdaq Composite rose to a record high of 5,100.37 and was up 0.65% to 5,089.11 at the pixel
  • Commodities:
    • WTI Crude declined 1.02% to $57.15/bbl
    • Gold fell sharply, down 1.41% to $1,177.50/troy oz.
    • Copper gained 1.58% to $2.7365/lb.
  • Currencies:
    • EUR/USD gained 0.49% to $1.0870, despite the lack of progress on Greece
    • USD/JPY: -0.63% to 118.87
  • Week Ahead:
    • Monday: $26 billion 2-year note auction (results at 13:00 ET)
    • Tuesday: February Case-Shiller 20-City Index (09:00 ET); April Consumer Confidence (10:00 ET); $35 billion 5-year note auction (results at 13:00 ET)
    • Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Index for the week ending 4/25 (07:00 ET); Q1 GDP-Advanced Estimate (08:30 ET); Q1 Chain Deflator-Adv (08:30 ET); March Pending Home Sales (10:00 ET); Crude Inventories for the week ending 4/25 (10:30 ET); April FOMC Rate Decision (14:00 ET); $29 billion 7-year note auction (results at 13:00 ET)
    • Thursday: Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending 4/25 and Continuing Claims for the week ending 4/18 (08:30 ET); March Personal Income and Personal Spending (08:30 ET); March PCE Prices -- Core (08:30 ET); Q1 Employment Cost Index (08:30 ET); April Chicago PMI (09:45 ET); Natural Gas Inventories for the week ending 4/25 (10:30 ET)
    • Friday: Cleveland Fed President Mester speaks on "Issues in Consumer Credit" (08:30 ET); April ISM Index (10:00 ET); March Construction Spending (10:00 ET); April Michigan Sentiment -- Final (10:00 ET); San Francisco Fed Williams speaks on "Monetary Policy in Financial Markets; Is There a New Paradigm?" (15:45 ET); April Auto and Truck Sales (17:00 ET)

3:01 pm Index Changes Reminder: Communications Sales & Leasing (:CSAL) will replace Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) in the S&P MidCap 400 after the close of trading (:INDXCH) :  

2:54 pm Dow +4.7 and S&P +3.5 slightly extend slip back off midday highs -- Nasdaq Comp +37 still range trading (:TECHX) :  

2:47 pm Sociedad Quimica y Minera announced it has identified expenses from 2009-2014, associated with its SQM Salar affiliate, that lack proper supporting documentation under Chilean tax law (SQM) : Co stated that it has completed a review of its different affiliates from 2009-2014. The review was done to verify if expenses incurred during that time period had sufficient supporting documentation to be qualified as tax expenses under the Chilean tax code.

  • Co identified expenses without proper supporting documentation only related to its affiliate SQM Salar. The amount associated with SQM Salar is significantly less, under 17% of the amount identified for SQM S.A., which was amended a few weeks ago with the Chilean Internal Revenue Service. 
  • SQM S.A and SQM Salar will send to the public prosecutor any supporting documentation necessary related to the expenses. 
    • Upon completion of reviews by the SII, SQM and SQM Salar could be entitled to tax reimbursement for taxes paid in excess related to the amended tax filings.
  • Co will continue supporting the efforts of the SII and Public Prosecutor, providing all of the information necessary to resolve the issues currently under investigation.

2:22 pm Currency Market Summary (FOREX) : Dollar Falls

  • The dollar fell today against most majors, as the U.S. Dollar Index failed to rally above its 50-day moving average and traded down 0.31% to 96.98
  • EUR/USD rallied 0.36% to $1.0855
    • The Eurogroup summit in Latvia provided no resolution on Greece, as expected
    • The April reading of the German Ifo Business Climate Index was 108.6, higher than expectations and the 107.9 in April
  • USD/JPY fell 0.56% to 118.94
  • The Kiwi fell early after Reserve Bank of New Zealand Assistant Governor John McDermott warned that a rate cut might be necessary
    • The Kiwi has been a hot currency among carry traders for the past several months because it still has significantly positive yield, whereas the Aussie has faded in popularity because of aggressive rate cutting at the Reserve Bank of Australia
    • NZD/USD: +0.25% $0.75.98
  • AUD/USD: +0.64% to $0.7822
  • USD/CAD: +0.13% to 1.2169
  • USD/CHF: -0.16% to 0.9543
* Carry trades are where an investor/trader seeks to own high-interest rate currencies against short positions in other so-called "funding" currencies. The idea is to collect the higher interest rate less the lower interest rate (assuming the spot rate remains stable). Given some leverage, this can be very profitable, but exposes the popular currency pairs for these trades to bouts of volatility if the pair begins to decline in value

2:07 pm American Science & Engineering: Stock slips to session lows after filing 8-K reporting a subpeona related to GSA investigation (ASEI) : "On April 17, 2015, we received a subpoena from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. General Services Administration, relating to an investigation by the GSA and the Department of Defense of our compliance with the terms and conditions of our contractual arrangements with the GSA. We intend to cooperate fully in the investigation. We are unable at this time to predict the outcome of the investigation. We will incur legal costs in connection with the investigation, and could incur additional costs, damages or penalties, depending on its outcome. We are unable at this time to estimate the amount of the possible loss or range of loss, if any, that we may incur as a result of the investigation".

1:35 pm Southern Copper reports Q1 EPS of $0.35 vs $0.29 Capital IQ consensus; revs fell 5.9% YOY to $1.274 bln vs $1.318 bln Capital IQ consensus (SCCO) :

  • EBITDA in 1Q15 was $556.1 million, 16.9% lower than the $669.2 million in 1Q14. Margin decreased from 49.4% to 43.6%. 
  • Copper production in 1Q15 increased 8.9% to 177,616 tons from 163,168 tons in 1Q14.

1:22 pm DuPont: Trian shareholder group announces filing a presentation about Dupont's recent statements on operating performance (DD) : Group's announcement stated:

  • "With DuPont's 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders less than a month away, Trian believes it is necessary to cut through DuPont's rhetoric. Over the years, Trian has found that underperforming companies often rely on rhetoric to obfuscate their performance issues. 
  • Trian's nominees, if elected to the DuPont Board. Trian will continue to communicate factually about its proposed strategic and operating initiatives to improve DuPont's performance and increase long-term value so stockholders can base their election decisions on the merits of the fundamental arguments, rather than on inaccurate and misleading statements. 
  • Trian urges stockholders to take this opportunity to facilitate change in the DuPont boardroom by voting the Gold proxy card for upcoming the election."

1:21 pm Sanderson Farms announces an increase in its existing revolving credit facility to $750 mln from $600 mln, with a maturity date of 2020 (SAFM) :  

1:19 pm Sevcon secures grant to develop new range of controllers for electric and hybrid vehicles (SEV) : Co is recruiting an additional 20 skilled staff after receiving a 400,000 grant to develop a new range of controllers for electric and hybrid vehicles. The company has been successful in securing funds from the U.K. government sponsored Regional Growth Fund, which will be used to develop the next generation of its successful Gen4 controller.

1:18 pm Goodyear Tire announces plans to build a new tire factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, with an expected capital investment of ~$500-550 mln (GT) :  

1:11 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX) : The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume). 

Large Cap Gainers

  • AMZN (449.24 +15.19%): Reported Q1 operating income and revs above estimates; guided Q2 revs in-line; AWS profitable with rev +49%; Upgraded at JP Morgan, Raymond James, Janney, others.
  • NEM (25.27 +7.76%): Reported Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.35 per share, $0.12 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.23; revenues rose 11.8% year/year to $1.97 bln vs the $1.93 bln consensus.
  • SBUX (51.81 +4.81%): Reported Q2 EPS in-line, revs in-line; guided Q3 EPS in-line; guided Q4 (Sep) EPS below consensus; reaffirmed FY15 EPS guidance, revs guidance; Price tgt raised at Oppenheimer, Telsey Group, others.
Large Cap Losers
  • RMD (65.37 -10.92%): Reported Q3 (Mar) earnings of $0.65 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.65; revenues rose 6.2% year/year to $422.5 mln vs the $426.71 mln consensus; Downgraded at Macquarie.
  • XRX (11.95 -9.06%): Reported Q1 EPS in-line, misses on revs; guided Q2 EPS below consensus; lowered FY15 guidance.
  • BIIB (404.57 -5.98%): Reported Q1 (Mar) earnings of $3.82 per share, $0.09 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $3.91; revenues rose 20.0% year/year to $2.56 bln vs the $2.66 bln consensus; TECFIDERA sales down 10% QoQ to $825 mln, well below estimates.
Mid Cap Gainers
  • AAN (32.74 +11.47%): Beat Q1 consensus EPS estimates by $0.18, beat on revs; guided FY15 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus.
  • CPHD (59.25 +11.16%): Beat Q1 consensus EPS estimates by $0.16, beat on revs; raised FY15 EPS guidance above consensus, revs in-line; Price tgt raised to $66 at Needham.
  • JNPR (26.04 +8.51%): Beat Q1 consensus EPS estimates by $0.01, beat on revs; guided Q2 EPS to higher end of analysts' estimates; Upgraded at RBC Capital Mkts.
Mid Cap Losers
  • AWAY (27.51 -14.49%): Beat Q1 consensus EPS estimates by $0.12, reported revs in-line; guided Q2 revs below consensus; guided FY15 revs below consensus; Announced its President and COO is resigning as well as the co-founder and Chief Strategy and Development Officer.
  • DV (32.46 -13.6%): Reported Q3 (Mar) earnings of $0.72 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.68; revenues fell 1.3% year/year to $489.83 mln vs the $495.95 mln consensus; Price tgt lowered at Compass Point.
  • DDD (27.43 -9.02%): Guided Q1 EPS and sales well below consensus, citing FX and lower oil, among other issues; sees Q1 EPS $0.02-0.04 vs $0.17 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

1:02 pm Zogenix confirms its previously announced sale of its Zohydro ER Business to Pernix (PTX) for $80 mln in cash, ~1.68 mln shares of Pernix stock and milestone payments of up to $283.5 mln (ZGNX) :  

12:57 pm Wynn Resorts: Elaine Wynn issues statement after Board election results for Wynn Resorts' 2015 Annual Meeting: 'While I am disappointed by today's vote, I am hopeful that I have served as an agent for the improvement of the Company' (WYNN) :  

12:56 pm Midday Market Summary: Nasdaq Leads Another Record Charge (:WRAPX) : The major averages are on track for their third advance in a row with the Nasdaq (+0.8%) leading the charge. The tech-heavy index trades well ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%) while the Dow (+0.2%) has had to fight off the unthinkable-an early dip into the red.

Equity indices began the final session of the week near their current levels with the Nasdaq receiving a big boost from Amazon.com (AMZN 449.30, +59.31) after the online retailer surpassed revenue estimates and reported better than expected operating income; however, the company reported a 12-cent loss per share, which was expected and did not stop the stock from soaring higher by 15.2%.

That being said, it's not just Amazon that has helped the Nasdaq stay well ahead of the benchmark index. Another consumer discretionary name-Starbucks (SBUX 51.82, +2.39)-has jumped 4.8% after in-line results while tech heavyweights Google (GOOGL 578.19, +20.73) and Microsoft (MSFT 47.44, +4.10) hold respective gains of 3.7% and 9.5% after reporting their results. Microsoft surpassed earnings and revenue estimates while Google missed on both metrics.

Thanks to the sharp gains in its components, the Nasdaq is now within 40 points of its intraday record high from March 2000.

Not to be outdone, the S&P 500 has already set a fresh intraday record high earlier today, and is currently tracking a record close. The index has received support from the aforementioned consumer discretionary (+1.4%) and technology (+0.7%) sectors while health care (-0.2%), financials (-0.2%), industrials (-0.4%), and energy (-0.6%) lag.

Notably, the health care sector has been pressured by biotechnology after Biogen (BIIB 404.55, -25.77) reported disappointing results. The stock has dropped 6.0% while iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 365.24, -2.44) trades lower by 0.7%. Interestingly, biotechnology had been a big force behind the recent rally in the Nasdaq, but the index has done just fine today without biotech's participation.

Similar to biotechnology, chipmakers trade broadly lower with the PHLX Semiconductor Index down 2.1%.

Elsewhere, Treasuries hold modest gains following today's durable orders report with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 1.92%.

Economic data was limited to durable orders:

  • Durable goods orders increased 4.0% in March after declining an unrevised 1.4% in February while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.5% 
    • Almost the entire March gain resulted from increased transportation demand, specifically from the defense-related aircraft sector 
      • Defense aircraft orders increased 112.8% in March with total aircraft orders increasing 43.8% after declining 8.3% in February 
      • Motor vehicle and parts orders increased 5.4% 
    • Excluding transportation, durable goods orders declined 0.2% in March after declining a downwardly revised 1.3% (from -0.6%) in February while the consensus expected an increase of 0.4% 
      • After declining 2.2% in February, orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft declined 0.5% in March 
      • Shipments, which factor into first quarter GDP growth, declined 0.4% in March after increasing 0.1% in February

12:51 pm Stock indices slip off highs -- Dow +29 has dipped 20 points, S&P +5.5, Nasdaq Comp +36 (:TECHX) :  

12:25 pm New session highs for major averages -- Dow +34, S&P +7, Nasdaq Comp +42 (:TECHX) : The S&P has slowly edged up to 2120.20, yesterday's all time high is at 2120.49. 

12:19 pm Cinedigm Digital Cinema announces conversion terms of the $64 mln aggregate principal amount of 5.5% convertible senior notes due 2035 (CIDM) : The notes are convertible into shares of our Class A common stock at the option of holders of the notes at any time until the close of business on the business day immediately preceding the maturity date. Upon conversion, the Company will deliver to holders in respect of each $1,000 principal amount of notes being converted a number of shares of its common stock equal to the conversion rate, together with a cash payment in lieu of delivering any fractional share of common stock. The conversion rate for the notes will initially be 824.5723 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of notes (equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $1.21 per share of common stock).

12:09 pm Perrigo confirms its rejection of the unsolicited offer from Mylan (MYL), notes 'shareholders are strongly advised to take no action in relation to the offer' (PRGO) : The Board had previously concluded that Mylan's (MYL) unsolicited proposal of $205.00 per share significantly undervalued the Company and its future growth prospects and was not in the best interests of Perrigo's shareholders.

  • Perrigo notes that today's announcement from Mylan proposes a price that is lower than the previously rejected proposal. Based on Mylan's unaffected price of $55.31 per share on March 10, 2015, the last day of trading prior to widespread public speculation that Teva (TEVA) was considering an offer for Mylan, the value of the Offer is $181.67 per Perrigo share.

12:00 pm Graco announces a new share repurchase program to buy back up to an additional 6 mln shares of common stock over an indefinite perio (GGG) : This authorization is in addition to approximately 1.6 million shares remaining, as of April 23, 2015, under the existing share repurchase authorization.

11:55 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+0.2%
  • Germany's DAX:+0.7%
  • France's CAC:+0.4%
  • Spain's IBEX:+0.7%
  • Portugal's PSI:+0.9%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+1.0%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+0.5%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +3.4%

11:49 am StoneMor Partners L.P announces an increase in its quarterly distribution to $0.64/share from $0.63/share (STON) :  

11:49 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (185) outpacing new lows (30) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAIT, AAXJ, ACWI, ADRA, ADXS, AGEN, AKRX, ALG, ALSK, AMCN, AMOT, AMZN, AOS, APB, ARIA, ASMI, ASR, ATRA, AVOL, AYR, AZO, BCR, BDC, BLBD, BLKB, BMI, BONA, BT, BTX, CARZ, CCO, CDW, CFGE, CHL, CII, CLGX, CNC, CO, COLM, COWN, CPHD, CSFL, CSL, CYNO, DATA, DDC, DEPO, DG, DIS, DL, DNKN, DNP, DPZ, DRRX, DSW, DTV, EBS, EEMA, ELNK, ENI, EOS, EVI, EXPE, EXPR, FBR, FDP, FICO, FLT, FMD, FNF, FONE, FPXI, FRAN, FTNT, FWP, GIMO, GNE, GWPH, HALO, HMC, HMHC, HOLX, HSKA, IGTE, IMH, IMS, INFA, INNL, INSM, INSY, IPCM, IPKW, ISL, JD, JFC, JNPR, KCG, KMI, LEA, LMAT, LPNT, LVNTA, LXU, LYTS, MACK, MMSI, MTG, MYL, NAP, NAT, NI, NJ, NPD, NRZ, NTES, NTT, NVEE, NVO, NXTM, ONEQ, OSHC, OXM, PETS, PMD, PNQI, PSCH, PSG, QLIK, QQEW, QQQ, QQQC, QQXT, RARE, RAX, RDI, RDN, RIGL, RVBD, SBUX, SCHL, SEIC, SFBS, SFG, SHAK, SHI, SHOO, SIRO, SIVB, SIX, SKX, SKYY, SMFG, SNA, SOCL, SOHU, SPSC, SQNM, SSNC, STON, SUPN, SYBT, TECH, TFX, TNP, TQQQ, TREE, TSRO, TTHI, TTMI, TWOU, UEC, UHS, ULTA, USCR, USNA, VASC, VONG, WD, WOOF, WUBA, WWW, XRM, YUM, ZBRA, ZIXI

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: AIXG, AXE, BRT, BWEN, CHCI, CHEK, DV, ELTK, ESIO, FNJN, FREE, FTK, LPTN, LSTR, MXWL, NGD, NURO, OSGB, PRGN, RXII, SIF, SNAK, SPEX, SQQQ, SSYS, STEM, TIS, VRA, XGTI, XRX

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: EWJ, EWT, FDN, IGV, IWC, IWF, PPH, QQQ, SKYY, SOCL, XLY

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: VXX

11:45 am Ecology and Environment announces a $15 million US Navy contract award, to provide base development planning and engineering services for AICUZ and RAICUZ studies (EEI) : The contract has a 60-month term, with an expected completion date in April 2020. Work will be performed in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, California, and the adjacent waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, including the continental United States, the Caribbean, Europe and North Africa.

11:44 am Dow +24 edges slightly above opening high, S&P +5.8 and Nasdaq Comp +40 are hovering near their early session highs (:TECHX) : Sector displaying relative strength vs. the S&P in recent trade include: Housing XHB, Retail XRT, Technology XLK, Software IGV, Restaurant, REITs IYR.

11:44 am Microsoft (+9%) tests resistance near $47 at session/three month high after beating Q3 estimates (MSFT) :  

11:34 am Rackspace (+3.5%) breaks out to two year high as Amazon (+15%) surges after disclosing for the first time impressive metrics for its competing cloud business -- Amazon Web Servies (:AWS) (RAX) :

  • Amazon's (AMZN) AWS FY14 operating income $240 mln with sales up ~50% to $4.64 bln 
  • Rackspace (RAX) FY14 income from operations $163 mln with sales +17% to $1.79 bln

11:23 am Currency Commentary: DXY continues to test its 50 day (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index is testing its 50-sma for support as we head into the weekend. Economic data continues to disappoint with Durable Orders being the latest. The headline number beat but that was largely driven by an increase in military aircraft spend. When the transportation was taken out Orders saw a m/m decline, missing expectations for small growth. Next week will be an interesting one on the data front with Consumer Confidence (Tue), Q1 GDP first Look (Wed), Income & Spending, PCE (Thu), and ISM Index (Fri) all due out. And of course we have the FOMC meeting (Wed). 
  • The euro was able to push above the 1.08 level and test 1.09 for the first time since April 7. It is also just shy of its 50-sma (1.0903). EU Finance Ministers met today and all signs point to a contentious debate between Greece and its Creditors. As expected, nothing was resolved in the meeting and talks will continue to drag on. Markets will be watching events as a May 11 IMF payment comes due for Greece. 
  • The pound continues to rally as it pushed above its 50 sma and is now challenging its 100 sma (1.5182). Sterling has rallied approx 4% over the past two weeks. The move is being supported by hawkish Bank of England minutes earlier in the week that reminded markets that the country would likely be the next one to follow the U.S. in tightening. 
  • The yen has pushed above 119 and is testing key support levels in the low 118 area. This will be a key level to watch next week during a heavy schedule of data releases and the latest Fed meeting (BONDX, FOREX).

11:07 am DISH Network Senior VP and Deputy General Counsel, Jeff Blum, issues statement in support of termination of merger agreement between Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) (DISH) :


10:52 am Kellogg announces a regularly quarterly dividend of $0.49/share, and plans to increase that distribution to $0.50/share for Q3 (K) :  

10:28 am Major averages extend to minor new bounce highs after minor morning slip back -- Dow +8.5, S&P +3.9, Nasdaq Comp +36 (:TECHX) :  

10:15 am Petrobras Brasileiro announced that its Board will meet on May 15th to examine the 1st quarter 2015 financial statements (PBR) : The Company expects to disclose these financial statements after the decision of the Board.

10:11 am Furmanite: Mustang Capital shareholder group comments on company's announcement of Annual Meeting postponement - alleges manipulation of the electoral process (FRM) : Group stated: "With more than a majority of the outstanding shares present on Mustang's WHITE proxy card, the Furmanite Board is frustrating the electoral process and denying stockholders their right to elect a Board of Directors at the long-scheduled meeting. Their announcement to postpone the meeting, in the eleventh hour, reflects a desperate act by an entrenched Board."

10:06 am Small-/mid-caps join Dow -31 in the red -- S&P +0.3, Nasdaq Comp +27 (:TECHX) :  

10:06 am Brookdale Senior Living +0.8% after announcing appointment of two new independent directors to its Board and agreement with Sandell Asset Management (BKD) : The co announced the appointments of Mark J. Parrell and Lee S. Wielansky to its Board of Directors as Class III directors.  The appointments of Messrs. Parrell and Wielansky, which became effective on April 23, 2015, fill the vacancies created by the retirements from the Board of Mark J. Schulte, who had previously served as CEO and Co-CEO of the Company and had served as a director since 2008, and Dr. Samuel Waxman, who had served as a director since 2005.  Following the changes, the Brookdale Board will remain comprised of nine directors, seven of whom are independent.

  • The co noted that after receiving feedback from numerous shareholders regarding the Company's change in control severance arrangements, the Board has approved amendments to the Company's existing severance arrangements with its senior executives that will provide additional benefits to the executives in the event of certain terminations.  These changes are intended to further align the senior executives' interests with those of the Company's shareholders, particularly in the context of a change in control. 
  • In connection with today's Board actions, the Company also announced an agreement with Sandell Asset Management. Sandell has agreed to withdraw its notice of nomination and agreed to abide by certain customary standstill and voting provisions, including voting in favor of the three nominees to be recommended by the Board at the 2015 Annual Meeting.  
  • Sandell commented: "We are very pleased with the collaborative solution we were able to reach with Brookdale, and the ongoing commitment the Company has demonstrated towards enhancing shareholder value. The two new directors joining the Board and the Investment Committee bring the right range and depth of experience to help the Company continue to address its strategic, operational and corporate governance goals.  We look forward to ongoing dialogue with Brookdale's management and Board during this period of increased industry strategic activity and real estate values."  

10:01 am ArcBest announces that Traci Sowersby has been named VP - Controller, Chief Accounting Officer effective April 27, 2015 (ARCB) : Sowersby most recently served as Executive Director with EY in their Phoenix office.

9:46 am Opening Market Summary: Technology and Discretionary Shares Display Early Strength (:WRAPX) : As expected, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq began the day in the green. The S&P 500 (+0.1%) holds a slim gain while the Nasdaq has jumped 0.6% in the early going. However, the Dow (-0.2%) has not been able to follow suit.

Only five sectors trade in the green so far, but influential consumer discretionary (+1.0%) and technology (+0.8%) have flexed some muscle. The discretionary sector owes much of its strength to Amazon.com (AMZN 444.17, +54.18) and Starbucks (SBUX 51.15, +1.72) while technology has been boosted by Apple (AAPL 130.04, +0.37), Google (GOOGL 580.35, +22.89), and Microsoft (MSFT 45.91, +2.57).

On the downside, Biogen's (BIIB 403.66, -26.62) disappointing earnings have pressured the health care sector (-0.7%) while the Dow has been pressured by industrials (-0.6%) and financials (-0.4%).

9:46 am Relative sector performance (:TECHX) : Sectors underperforming in early trade include: Biotech IBB, Solar TAN, Semi XSD, Crude Oil USO, Trucking, Health XLV, Rail, Industrial XLI. Groups on the plus side include: Steel SLX, Mining XME, Internet FDN, Copper JJC, Casino BJK, Discretionary XLY, Restaurant, Social Media SOCL.

9:46 am Perrigo: Mylan (MYL) to commence formal offer to acquire Perrigo for $205 in a combination of cash and Mylan stock (PRGO) : Under the terms of the offer announced, Perrigo shareholders will receive $60 in cash and 2.2 Mylan ordinary shares for each Perrigo ordinary share. The offer is subject to certain conditions and other terms set forth in the formal Rule 2.5 announcement. The offer is fully financed, cash confirmed and not conditional on due diligence. 

  • Mylan (MYL) expects the combination will result in at least $800 million of annual pre-tax operational synergies by the end of year four following the consummation of the offer.

9:39 am Stock indices slip after firmer start -- Nasdaq Comp +31 leads while Dow -20 has underperformed -- S&P +2.3 (:TECHX) : Weaker Dow components include: BA, HD, INTC, NKE, MMM, TRV, GS, PFE, CVX.  

9:30 am LiveDeal announces the beginning of an extensive marketing campaign to increase the consumer base of users for its new e-commerce platform (LIVE) : The company's recent marketing campaign for its restaurant deal platform has shown record increases that have outperformed the company's expectations. The company is now expanding its marketing focus to drive additional traffic to its e-commerce platform. This campaign will include online marketing through Amazon and other channels, as well as its recently announced national television campaign.

9:27 am StemCells priced offering of common stock/warrants at $0.70 for fixed combination of one share of common stock and warrant to purchase three-quarters of share of common stock (STEM) : The warrants have an exercise price of $0.85 per share, are exercisable immediately, and will expire five years from the date of issuance. The Company expects to receive gross proceeds of ~$25.0 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses.

9:25 am Actavis announces topline Phase 3 Clinical trial results for single-dose DALVANCE (dalbavancin) in the treatment of ABSSSI; study met primary & secondary endpoints (ACT) : The co announced positive top-line results for study DUR001-303, a phase 3 study comparing a single 1500 mg dose of DALVANCE with the same total dose given as two-doses one week apart, for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections caused by susceptible Gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. 

  • Preliminary top-line data demonstrated the 1500 mg single-dose of DALVANCE achieved its primary endpoint of non-inferiority to the two-dose regimen (10% non-inferiority margin) at 48-72 hours after initiation of therapy, as determined by a decrease of > 20% in lesion area relative to the baseline measurement  (81.4% vs. 84.2 % for the single dose vs. the two dose regimen, respectively; Difference -2.9; 95% CI: -8.5, 2.8) Similar proportions of patients with Staphylococcus aureus infections at baseline were clinical responders at the 48-72 hour time-point within each treatment group (122/137 (89.1%) in the single-dose treatment group and 124/145 (85.5%) in the two-dose treatment group). 
  • In addition, the trial assessed the secondary outcome measures of clinical response at Day 14 (the EMA Primary Endpoint) as well as at Day 28. The single-dose of DALVANCE provided similar treatment efficacy to the two dose regimen in these secondary endpoints. 94.4% of patients in the single-dose DALVANCE arm and 94.0% of patients in the two-dose DALVANCE arm achieved clinical success at Day 14 (95% CI -3.5, 4.3). At Day 28, 84.5% of patients treated with a single-dose of DALVANCE achieved clinical success compared to 85.1% of those treated with the two-dose regimen of DALVANCE (95% CI -6.0, 4.8).
  • Actavis plans to file a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) with these data in Q3 2015.

9:18 am S&P futures vs fair value: +3.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +44.70. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a modestly higher open with the S&P 500 futures trading four points above fair value. However, the Nasdaq Composite is likely to be propelled even higher considering futures on the tech-heavy index trade 45 points above fair value. Shares of Amazon.com (AMZN 439.80, +49.81) will be doing much of the propelling after the online commerce giant pleased its investors with an earnings report that showed better than expected operating income and revenue.

Similar to Amazon.com, Google (GOOGL 577.81, +20.35) is on track to open higher, but the gain comes despite below-consensus earnings and revenue. Speaking of disappointment, shares of Biogen (BIIB 412.75, -17.53) will pressure weigh on biotech names after the company missed earnings and revenue estimates.

On the economic front, durable goods orders jumped 4.0% in March (Briefing.com consensus 0.5%), but that was entirely due to increased demand from the defense-related aircraft sector, which masked weak business investment.

In sum, the early shades of today's session bear resemblance to yesterday's affair, which ended with a record close for the Nasdaq. We will soon find out if today's disappointing data and mixed corporate results warrant a rally past the intraday record high of 5,132.52 that was set on March 10, 2000.

Treasuries hold gains with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 1.93%.

9:15 am Valeant Pharma confirms that RELISTOR has received a positive CHMP opinion in the EU to treat adult opioid-induced constipation (VRX) : Co announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has adopted a positive opinion recommending a new indication for RELISTOR Subcutaneous Injection for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient in adult patients.

  • Additionally, the Committee has recommended a one-year extension of data/marketing protection for RELISTOR, to 11 years from the date of approval, citing the fact that RELISTOR offers a major contribution to patient care in comparison to existing therapies.

9:13 am Arthur J. Gallagher Correction: Beats Q1 estimates (AJG) : Reports Q1 (Mar) adj. earnings of $0.45 per share, $0.18 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.27; revenues rose 34.5% year/year to $1.23 bln vs the $1.16 bln consensus.

  • "Our revenue momentum continues. In the first quarter, our combined Brokerage and Risk Management segments posted 30% growth in adjusted revenues, of which 6.0% was total organic growth. Our adjusted EBITDAC increased 46% and adjusted net earnings per share grew 18%. We also improved our adjusted EBITDAC margin 208 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2014."
  • Earlier we reported GAAP EPS; that comment has been deleted.

9:06 am PlasmaTech Biopharma announces the closing of an upsized private placement of ~2.33 mln shares at $3/share, worth $7 mln (PTBI) : The private placement was with Knoll Capital Management and one additional global institutional fund manager. Co plans to use the proceeds of the financing to accelerate development of its proprietary Salt Diafiltration Plasma Protein technology, working capital and general corporate purposes.

9:05 am American Superconductor priced its underwritten public offering of 4 mln shares of its common stock at $6.00 per share (AMSC) :  

9:04 am McClatchy reports Q1 results; guides FY15 (MNI) :

  • Q1 EPS ($0.13) vs. ($0.18) last year; rev -7% to $257 mln (no estimates) 
  • The co plans to continue its digital transformation and revenue diversification during the remainder of 2015. More than two-thirds of its revenues are derived from sources other than print newspaper advertising. In 2015 the company expects digital-only advertising revenues to grow in the double-digit range on a gross basis, and up in the high-single digit to low double-digit range including the impact of netting $9 million in higher wholesale fees against revenues in the first nine months of the year due to the new Cars.com affiliate agreement entered into on Oct. 1, 2014. Also, growth is expected in direct marketing advertising that will be invigorated by new niche products and events and expanded distribution of its Sunday Select product. Finally, growth in digital subscribers and selective rate increases are expected to continue to fuel low single-digit increases in audience revenues. Management expects newspaper print advertising to continue to represent a smaller share of overall revenue, due in part to the growth in digital-only advertising, direct marketing and audience revenues.

9:00 am Xplore Tech receives additional purchase orders in excess of $9 mln for the delivery of 3,400 fully-rugged Bobcat Windows series of tablets and docks (XPLR) :  

9:00 am Resource Capital announces execution and posting of supplements that allow periodic business updates for its CRE CLOs (RSO) : provisions allow the Company to provide periodic narrative business plan updates for each commercial mortgage loan in the securitizations by posting reports on the trustee's password-protected web site. The updates for the 2013 and 2104 transactions, which were posted on the trustee web site, CTS Link, on April 20, will provide bond investors the ability to track the progress that RSO's commercial mortgage borrowers have made towards achieving their forecasted stabilizations of property operations.

  • Over the 14 months between December of 2013 and February 2015, the Company successfully executed three CLOs that term financed approximately $1.1 billion of collateral at a weighted average cost of LIBOR + 1.74% and weighted average leverage of 77.24%. RSO's weighted average annual yield on the retained equity in these CLOs will be between 17% and 19%.

8:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +4.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +43.70. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade four points above fair value.

It was another mixed outing for markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Profit-taking weighed on the Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite, yet the Hang Seng staged a nice turnaround and closed up 0.8%. Australia (+1.5%) was the biggest mover on Friday, riding the strength of its metals & mining and resources sectors. For its part, China's Shanghai Composite was down as much 1.5% in the early going amid speculation the government would make several changes to its tax policy, but China Securities Regulatory Commission refuted the rumors shortly after the open.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's Corporate Services Price Index +3.2% year-over-year (expected +3.3%; prior +3.3%) while All Industries Activity Index +0.1% month-over-month (expected -0.9%; prior +0.5%) 
    • South Korea's April Consumer Confidence rose to 104 from 101 (expected 102) 
    • Singapore's Q1 URA Property Index -1.0% (prior -1.1%) while March industrial production +1.2% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +4.4%); -5.5% year-over-year (expected -5.9%; prior -3.3%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei declined 0.8% and finished near its low for the session. Losses were paced by the consumer non-cyclical (-0.9%), consumer cyclical (-0.8%), and financial (-0.7%) sectors. Secom (-4.0%), Toyota Tsusho (-3.8%), and OKUMA Corp (-3.2%) were the worst-performing issues. Sumitomo Chemical (+6.7%), Sony (+3.4%), and Toho Zinc (+2.6%) led the winners. Out of the 225 index members, 79 ended higher, 135 finished lower, and 11 were unchanged. For the week, the Nikkei was up 1.9%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng increased 0.8%, finishing more than 400 points off its lows for the day and at its high for the session. The consumer cyclical (+2.1%), industrial (+1.2%), and diversified (+0.9%) sectors led the way. HSBC Holdings (+4.2%), Galaxy Entertainment (+3.6%), and Sands China (+2.7%) were the top gainers. China Resources Power Holdings (-1.5%) was the only stock to close more than 1.0% lower. Out of the 50 index members, 35 ended higher, 14 finished lower, and 1 was unchanged. For the week, the Hang Seng increased 1.5%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite declined 0.5%, pressured by profit taking that followed reports of speculation that taxes could be raised on local stock investors. The financial (-2.1%), energy (-1.6%), and technology (-1.1%) sectors were the weak links for the Chinese markets on Friday. For the week, the Shanghai Composite increased 2.5%.
Major European indices have retreated from their best levels of the session. France's CAC has returned to its flat line while the remaining markets hold gains. Today's meeting between Greek officials and the Eurogroup did not yield any results with reports indicating some regional finance ministers are losing their patience with their Greek counterpart, Yanis Varoufakis.
  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Germany's April Ifo Business Climate Index rose to 108.6 from 107.9 (expected 108.4) as Current Assessment improved to 113.9 from 112.1 (consensus 112.4) while Business Expectations declined to 103.5 from 103.9 (expected 104.5) 
    • Spain's PPI -1.2% year-over-year (prior -1.6%) 
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  • France's CAC trades flat with growth-sensitive names showing weakness. Defense contractors Airbus and Safran are both down near 1.6% while consumer names Accor, Essilor, Danone, and L'Oreal show losses between 0.4% and 0.9%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades higher by 0.3% amid strength in exporter names and financials. Daimler, Continental, Volkswagen are up between 0.5% and 1.5% while Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank trade higher by 1.0% and 0.8%, respectively. 
  • UK's FTSE has added 0.3% with miners in the lead. Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore Xstrata, and Rio Tinto have gained between 2.5% and 3.3%. Drug makers lag with AstraZeneca down 3.0% after reporting a one-cent beat. 
  • Italy's MIB outperforms with a 1.2% gain thanks to broad strength. Banco Popolare, UBI Banca, Unicredit, Fiat Chrysler, and Enel are up between 1.1% and 3.4%.

8:48 am European Markets Update: CAC UNCH, DAX +0.2%, FTSE +0.3%, MIB +1.1% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices have retreated from their best levels of the session. France's CAC has returned to its flat line while the remaining markets hold gains. Today's meeting between Greek officials and the Eurogroup did not yield any results with reports indicating some regional finance ministers are losing their patience with their Greek counterpart, Yanis Varoufakis.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Germany's April Ifo Business Climate Index rose to 108.6 from 107.9 (expected 108.4) as Current Assessment improved to 113.9 from 112.1 (consensus 112.4) while Business Expectations declined to 103.5 from 103.9 (expected 104.5) 
    • Spain's PPI -1.2% year-over-year (prior -1.6%) 
------
  • France's CAC trades flat with growth-sensitive names showing weakness. Defense contractors Airbus and Safran are both down near 1.6% while consumer names Accor, Essilor, Danone, and L'Oreal show losses between 0.4% and 0.9%. 
  • Germany's DAX trades higher by 0.2% amid strength in exporter names and financials. Daimler, Continental, Volkswagen are up between 0.5% and 1.5% while Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank trade higher by 1.0% and 0.8%, respectively. 
  • UK's FTSE has added 0.3% with miners in the lead. Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore Xstrata, and Rio Tinto have gained between 2.5% and 3.3%. Drug makers lag with AstraZeneca down 3.0% after reporting a one-cent beat. 
  • Italy's MIB outperforms with a 1.1% gain thanks to broad strength. Banco Popolare, UBI Banca, Unicredit, Fiat Chrysler, and Enel are up between 1.1% and 3.4%.

8:45 am Allegion acquires sliding and folding door designer Brio; financial terms not disclosed, with transaction closing expected in Q2 (ALLE) :  

8:37 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: UBNT -14.9%, AWAY -11.7%, ETH -10.4%, DDD -10.4%, MTSN -9.3%, RMD -8.2%, SPNC -7.9%, MXWL -7.5%, INFY -7.4%, MXIM -7%, DV -6.8%, KN -6.5%, NTGR -4.9%, CVTI -4.5%, XRX -4.5%, VRSN -4.4%, ALTR -3.8%, P -3.7%, SYNA -3.6%, BIIB -3.4%, AZN -3.3%, AMSC -3.2%, (announces a proposed public offering of common stock; size and price considerations not disclosed), MKTO -2.9%, IMGN -2.5%, HBI -2%, IPAR -1.9%, SHOR -1.4%, FSL -1.3%, COF -0.9%, N -0.9%, KLAC -0.6%

Other news: AERI -55% (reports initial Rhopressa Phase 3 efficacy results; trial did not meet its primary efficacy endpoint), STEM -13.4% ( announces proposed public offering of common stock and warrants; Size not disclosed), SPNC -7.9% (announced it is accelerating investments in the Stellarex drug-coated balloon angioplasty platform for treatment of Below the Knee peripheral artery disease), EMES -7.1% (reduces quarterly distribution 29% to $1.00/unit from $1.41/unit), LPCN -5.2% (announces proposed public offering of common stock), AMSC -5% (announced a proposed public offering of common stock; size and price considerations not disclosed), SSYS -4.5% (in sympathy with DDD), PDLI -3% (disclosed that on April 22, 2015, David Montez, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer resigned ), NLSN -2.1% (Announces Secondary Common Stock Offering of 20 mln shares on behalf of selling shareholder)

Analyst comments: BBY -1.8% (downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan), BBT -0.7% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point)

8:34 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: EHTH +26.7%, IMH +24.1%, GIMO +17.6%, AMZN +12.1%, JNPR +8.1%, HMHC +6.8%, QDEL +6.2%, ALGN +5.3%, CPHD +5.1%, QLIK +4.9%, DGII +4.8%, MSFT +4.5%, SHOO +4.3%, SBUX +3.9%, GOOG +3.3%, BAS +3.3%, NEM +3.1%, HA +3%, FLIR +2.8%, AAN +2.6%, ACTG +2.5%, BGG +2%, VTR +1.3%, DTE +1.2%, STT +1%, COG +1%

M&A news: LOOK +23.1% (Looksmart announces spin-off and definitive merger agreement with Pyxis)

Select EU financial related names showing strength: NBG +5.1%, HSBC +3.6%, BCS +2.9%, LYG +0.9%


Select ometals/mining stocks showing strength: CLF +2.7%, BHP +2.6%, RIO +2.3%, MT +2.3%, VALE +2.2%, FCX +1.2%

Other news: HKTV +17.3% (discloses updated court ruling relating to the company's application for a domestic free television programme service licence ),INNL +12.9% prices its follow on offering at $9/ADS share),MCP +6.6% (cont strength after yday's news that China will end taxes on aluminum-alloy & rare earth ores),DRNA +4% ( confirms that the FDA grants Orphan Drug Designation for DCR-PH1 to treat primary hyperoxaluria type 1 ),CIDM +3.1% prices its $64 mln private offering of 5.5% senior convertible notes due 2035),DNKN +3% (Dunkin' Brands to replace Riverbed in S&P 400 ),BIOD +2.4% (Rock Springs Capital Management disclosed a 6.99% passive stake in 13G filing), WD +2.3% (WD to replace ENTR in the S&P SmallCap 600),AGEN +1.9% (announces the final results from the Phase 3 study of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) candidate, RTS,S, demonstrated a statistically significant reduction against malaria in children),CTSO +1.9% (issues letter to shareholders; believe potential opportunities for 'significant future growth' greatly outweigh near-term concerns),BMY +1.5% (confirms positive CHMP opinion in the European Union for Opdivo),TWC +1.4% (RBC discusses possibility for another attempt by CHTR to acquire TWC; sees TWC's take-out price of $151 in such a scenario),VTR +1.3% (Ventas announces filing of form 10 Registration Statement for spin-off of post-acute / skilled nursing facility portfolio),NGL +1.1% (announces an increase in its quarterly distribution to $0.625/unit from $0.6175/unit),MRK +0.9% (Phase 3 C-EDGE program evaluating Grazoprevir/Elbasvir shows high sustained virologic responses across broad range of patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus infection),RF +0.8% ( increases quarterly common stock dividend to $0.06 per share and announces $875 million common stock repurchase program)

Analyst comments: MAT +4% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman),CSCO +1.7% (added to Conviction Buy List at Goldman),CVC +1% (upgraded to Hold from Sell at Brean Capital)

8:32 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +40.20. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points above fair value.

March durable goods orders rose 4.0%, which was better than the 0.5% increase expected among economists polled by Briefing.com. This comes after the prior month's unrevised reading reflected a decrease of 1.4%. Excluding transportation, durable orders decreased 0.2% (consensus +0.4%) to follow the prior month's revised decline of 1.3% (from -0.6%).

8:31 am Market View: Jun. stock-index futures trade up with NASDAQ 100 futures holding solid gains following the 8:30 am ET economic data points (:TECHX) :

  • ESm5 now trades 2108.25 +1.25

  • YMm5 now trades 17986 +5

  • NQm5 now trades 4509.25 +27.75

8:31 am Pfenex announces the pricing of its 6 mln share follow-on offering at $15.50/share (PFNX) : Of the shares being offered, 2,610,000 are being offered by Pfenex and the remaining 3,390,000 shares are being offered by existing stockholders.

8:31 am Lipocine priced 4.65 mln share offering of common stock at $6.50 per share for gross proceeds of $30.2 mln (LPCN) :  

8:30 am Vail Resorts reports certain ski season metrics; comfortable with prior guidance but likely to finish the year in the lower half of the range (MTN) : Co reports ski season metrics thru April 19, 2015, adjusted as if Park City was owned in both periods. The reported ski season metrics do not incorporate the urban ski areas of Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton.

  • Season-to-date total lift revenue at the co's nine mountain resorts, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up approximately 8.5% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
  • Season-to-date ancillary spending outpaced skier visitation, with ski school revenue up 3.4% and dining revenue up 3.3% at the Company's nine mountain resorts compared to the prior year season-to-date period. Additionally, retail/rental revenue for resort store locations was up 3.8%. 
  • Season-to-date total skier visits for the Company's nine mountain resorts were down 2.8% compared to the prior year season-to-date period. 
"We are very pleased with our results as the 2014/2015 ski season comes to its conclusion. This was a challenging year, with snowfall in Tahoe at record lows and Utah experiencing abnormally warm and dry conditions this spring. However, we were able to overcome these challenges through the strength of our season pass program and data-driven marketing efforts...We remain comfortable with the latest guidance we issued March 12, 2015, though we are likely to finish the year in the lower half of the range, given the further deterioration in conditions we faced this spring in Utah and Tahoe."

8:30 am Energy Recovery announces appointment of Joel Gay as Chief Executive Officer (ERII) :

  • Co announced that it has appointed Joel Gay as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board of Directors, effective immediately. 
  • Gay previously served as the Company's Chief Financial Officer and joined Energy Recovery in 2012.

8:18 am European Yields (BONDX) : European Yields Mixed After Summit in Latvia

  • The Eurogroup met today in Latvia's capital city, Riga, to try to bridge the gap between Greece and its creditors
  • After little progress was made, Greek yields edged up slightly and EUR/USD gave back earlier gains
  • The German Ifo Business Climate Index for April rose to 108.6, higher than both expectations and the 107.9 from April
  • The outcome of the U.K.'s upcoming general election remains uncertain. The Conservatives have a slight edge in the polls but betting markets have recently priced David Milliband of the Labour Party as more likely to be the next Prime Minister. Goldman Sachs has warned of a sell-off in the pound sterling if Milliband does become the next PM, although the business community is also worried about the possibility of Britain's exit from the European Union if David Cameron holds a referendum on the subject as he has proposed
  • Yield check:
    • France, 10-yr OAT: unch at 0.42%
    • Germany, 10-yr Bund: unch at 0.16%
    • Greece, 10-yr note: +12 bps to 12.26%
    • Italy, 10-yr BTP: +2 bps to 1.41%
    • Portugal, 10-yr note: -1 bp to 1.97%
    • Spain, 10-yr Bono: +2 bps to 1.38%
    • U.K., 10-yr Gilt: unch at 1.72%

8:13 am Emerge Energy Services reduces quarterly distribution 29% to $1.00/unit from $1.41/unit (EMES) : The co commented: "We are revising our full year distribution guidance to approximately $3.00 per unit for the year ending December 31, 2015. While we believe that we have a number of opportunities to improve our projected results, this revised guidance is based on current market conditions."

8:13 am Harsco begins previously announced multi-year contract to support India's largest stainless steel producer (HSC) :

  • Co announced it has begun its previously announced multi-year contract to provide onsite material processing services to India's largest stainless steel producer, Jindal Stainless Limited (:JSL).
  • The project at JSL's all-new production facility in the growing steel-producing area of Jajpur, Odisha marks Harsco's fifth major steel mill services site in India and its first serving India's stainless sector.
  • Harsco's services include specialized process technologies for recovering metal from stainless steel slag co-products, where Harsco has consistently generated metal recovery rates above 99% at its similar operations throughout the world.

8:08 am 3D Systems follow up: Guides Q1 EPS and sales well below consensus, citing FX and lower oil, among other issues (DDD) : Co sees Q1 EPS $0.02-0.04 vs $0.17 Capital IQ Consensus; revs $158-160 mln vs $182.62 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

  • The co believes that economic weaknesses attributable to several factors, including the decline in the Euro and Yen relative to the U.S. Dollar and the aftershock of lower oil prices, caused the majority of its aerospace, automotive and healthcare customers to curb new printer purchases during the quarter and curtail their materials and service purchases. In addition, certain metal and nylon applications and performance issues delayed the company's ability to sell additional printers during the quarter. The combined impact of these factors compressed the company's expected revenue growth for the quarter to 9% over the comparable quarter of 2014, or 17% at first quarter 2014 exchange rates. A stronger U.S. Dollar reduced total quarterly revenues by ~ $12 million at comparable Q1 2014 currency rates.
  • Stronger consumer products performance that yielded a 169% consumer printer units increase and continued direct metal demand that generated 46% metal printer units growth, were not enough to make up for the revenue shortfall from postponed industrial customers' purchases.
  • Given current uncertainties from continued macroeconomic pressures and foreign currency headwinds, management is undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of its full year guidance and plans to update investors during its scheduled first quarter 2015 earnings conference call on May 6, 2015. 

8:08 am Trend Micro announces that Judge Leonard Stark for the U.S. District Court of Delaware invalidated two Intellectual Ventures patents that have been asserted against Trend Micro since 2010 (TMICY) : Judge Stark ruled that the patents were too abstract and not patent eligible. Trend Micro notes it applauds the court's decision which voids the need for a trial in early May.

8:05 am eHealth beats by $0.44, beats on revs (EHTH) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.44 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.18); revenues rose 20.4% year/year to $61.3 mln vs the $45.63 mln consensus.

  • Total estimated members decreased 10% compared to the first quarter of 2014
  • Submitted applications for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement products combined increased 59% compared to the first quarter of 2014.
  • Submitted applications for Individual & Family Plan products decreased 17% compared to the first quarter of 2014

8:04 am CytoSorbents issues letter to shareholders; believe potential opportunities for 'significant future growth' greatly outweigh near-term concerns (CTSO) :

  • Co highlights significant new opportunity has emerged that may accelerate U.S. approval of CytoSorb for critical illnesses such as sepsis. The FDA has recently issued new guidance on two related topics: the Expedited Access Pathway (:EAP) program and the Balancing of Pre-market and Post-market Data Collection for Devices Subject to Premarket Approval. The end result is that devices that are safe and achieve EAP Designation have an opportunity to get to U.S. approval and commercialization much faster, and with less regulatory risk. We believe this new program could benefit CytoSorbents as CytoSorb currently targets the treatment of many life-threatening conditions such as sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, severe acute pancreatitis, trauma, and many others that do not have effective treatments. As we move forward with our REFRESH cardiac surgery trial in the U.S., we plan to aggressively pursue this EAP opportunity for critical care applications in parallel, and foster open collaboration with the FDA. 
  • "Although we face some potential challenges such as the weakness in the Euro, the need to strengthen our direct sales force, and the unpredictability of timely country-specific product registrations, we continue to believe that the many potential opportunities for significant future growth greatly outweigh these near-term concerns. As detailed in our April 7, 2015 press release responding to Frequently Asked Questions, we have a clear strategy and plan on how to drive long-term, sustainable growth of our business. "

8:02 am Provident Finl misses by $0.01, misses on revs (PFS) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.32 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.33; revenues rose 11.9% year/year to $72.2 mln vs the $73.68 mln consensus.

8:01 am SLI Inc announces preliminary results of its modified Dutch auction tender offer (SLI) : Based on the preliminary analysis by the depositary, an aggregate of 160,334 shares were properly tendered and not withdrawn, including shares that were tendered through notice of guaranteed delivery, at prices at or below $42.00. Accordingly, pursuant to the terms of the Offer to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal and applicable securities laws, the Company expects to accept for payment up to an aggregate of 160,334 shares of its common stock at a purchase price of $42.00 per share

8:01 am Lannett announces an expansion of its revolving credit facility to $120 mln from $50 mln (LCI) : The amended facility includes an accordion feature that will allow the company to increase borrowings by a total of up to an additional $30.0 million, while the maturity date of the credit facility remains December 18, 2018

8:00 am Innocoll prices its ~3.32 mln share follow-on offering at $9/ADS share (INNL) : The offering is expected to close on April 30, 2015. Company expects to receive total estimated net proceeds from this offering of approximately $16.1 million and intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes and the development of its products.

7:57 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +41.40. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade modestly higher amid upbeat action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover three points above fair value after spending the bulk of the night near the unchanged level.

Meanwhile, the Dollar Index (97.42, -0.01), which fell 0.7% yesterday, hovers just beneath its flat line after climbing off its overnight low.

Treasuries hold slim losses with the 10-yr yield adding a basis point to 1.96%.

Economic data will be limited to the 8:30 ET release of the Durable Orders report for March (Briefing.com consensus 0.5%). 

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Amazon.com (AMZN 430.01, +40.02): +10.3% after beating operating income and revenue estimates and guiding Q2 revenue in-line with analyst expectations. 
  • American Airlines (AAL 52.25, +0.80): +1.6% after beating earnings expectations. 
  • AstraZeneca (AZN 70.69, -2.44): -3.3% despite reporting a one-cent beat. 
  • Biogen (BIIB 418.50, -11.78): -2.7% in reaction to disappointing earnings and revenue. 
  • Google (GOOGL 579.00, +21.54): +3.9% despite missing earnings and revenue estimates. 
  • Infosys (INFY 32.20, -2.76): -7.9% following disappointing earnings and revenue. 
  • Microsoft (MSFT 44.81, +1.47): +3.4% after beating on both metrics and receiving an upgrade from Nomura to 'Buy' from 'Neutral.' 
  • Starbucks (SBUX 51.60, +2.17): +4.4% after reporting in-line with estimates and guiding Q4 earnings below analyst expectations. 
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei -0.8%, China's Shanghai Composite -0.5%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.8% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's Corporate Services Price Index +3.2% year-over-year (expected +3.3%; prior +3.3%) while All Industries Activity Index +0.1% month-over-month (expected -0.9%; prior +0.5%) 
      • South Korea's April Consumer Confidence rose to 104 from 101 (expected 102) 
      • Singapore's Q1 URA Property Index -1.0% (prior -1.1%) while March industrial production +1.2% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +4.4%); -5.5% year-over-year (expected -5.9%; prior -3.3%) 
    • In news: 
      • China's Shanghai Composite was down as much 1.5% in the early going amid speculation the government would make several changes to its tax policy, but China Securities Regulatory Commission refuted the rumors shortly after the open.
  • Major European indices trade higher across the board. UK's FTSE +0.3%, France's CAC +0.3%, and Germany's DAX +0.4%. Elsewhere, Spain's IBEX +0.7% and Italy's MIB +1.1% 
    • Economic data was limited: 
      • Germany's April Ifo Business Climate Index rose to 108.6 from 107.9 (expected 108.4) as Current Assessment improved to 113.9 from 112.1 (consensus 112.4) while Business Expectations declined to 103.5 from 103.9 (expected 104.5) 
      • Spain's PPI -1.2% year-over-year (prior -1.6%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • Today's meeting between Greek officials and the Eurogroup did not produce any results with reports indicating some regional finance ministers are losing their patience with their Greek counterpart, Yanis Varoufakis.

7:46 am Bristol-Myers Squibb confirms positive CHMP opinion in the European Union for Opdivo (nivolumab) (BMY) :

  • Co confirms that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (:EMA) has adopted a positive opinion recommending that Opdivo (nivolumab), a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, be granted approval for use in both first-line and previously treated patients with advanced (unresectable or metastatic) melanoma.
  • This is the first positive opinion given by the CHMP for a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, and it will now be reviewed by the European Commission, which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union.
  • Opdivo is the first and only PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor to receive an accelerated assessment from CHMP in melanoma
  • Opinion based on superior survival benefit demonstrated from CheckMate -066 trial in first-line patients and improved response rate in CheckMate -037 study in previously treated patients
  • Application supports the use of Opdivo in both BRAF wild-type and mutation positive melanoma patients

7:45 am Ventas beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line; guides FY15 FFO above consensus (VTR) : Reports Q1 (Mar) funds from operations of $1.18 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.14; revenues rose 19.2% year/year to $884 mln vs the $877.88 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY15, sees FFO of $4.67-4.75 vs. $4.66 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:45 am Cinedigm Digital Cinema prices its $64 mln private offering of 5.5% senior convertible notes due 2035 (CIDM) : The conversion rate for the notes will initially be 824.5723 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of notes. Holders of the notes may require the Company to repurchase all or a portion of the notes on April 20, 2020, April 20, 2025 and April 20, 2030 and upon the occurrence of certain fundamental changes.

  • Company estimates that the net proceeds from the note offering will be approximately $60.7 million.
  • Company expects to use approximately $18.2 million of the net proceeds from the offering to repay borrowings under and terminate the Company's term loan, approximately $11.4 million of the net proceeds to fund the cost of repurchasing approximately 11.8 million shares of its common stock pursuant to  its forward stock purchase agreement, approximately $2.6 million of the net proceeds to fund the cost of repurchasing approximately 2.7 million shares of its common stock concurrently with the closing of the offering from certain purchasers of notes in privately negotiated transactions and the remainder of the net proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes

7:44 am Vanda Pharma confirms a positive CHMP Opinion for HETLIOZ, to treat non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder in the EU; decision expected from the EMA within 2 months (VNDA) : Co announced that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has adopted a positive opinion recommending approval of HETLIOZ (tasimelteon) for the treatment of Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder in totally blind adults in the European Union.

  • The CHMP positive opinion will be reviewed by the European Commission. If approved, the EC grants a centralized marketing authorization with unified labeling that is valid in the 28 countries that are members of the EU, as well as European Economic Area members Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. 

7:39 am Overnight Treasury Summary (BONDX) : Treasuries Mixed

  • From the highs of Thursday's afternoon rally, the yield curve has steepened considerably with the 30-year yield back up in the middle of its trading range while the 5-year yield is almost down to its Tuesday high
  • Yield check:
    • 2-yr: +1 bp to 0.54%
    • 5-yr: unch at 1.36%
    • 10-yr: +1 bp to 1.96%
    • 30-yr: +2 bps to 2.66%
  • International News:
    • The German Ifo Business Climate Index for April beat expectations, rising to 108.6 versus 107.9 in March
      • German Business Expectations fell to 103.5 in April from 103.9 in March, missing expectations 
      • German Current Assessment for April beat expectations and rose to 113.9 versus 112.1
    • The Eurogroup is meeting in Riga today, although eurozone officials have been downplaying the prospect of an agreement here all week
      • Overnight, Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis wrote that his government is willing to compromise on pension reforms and privatizations, but that wages and pensions cannot be cut further
      • At the press conference, following some intense and heated negotiations, European officials said that there are positive signs but much ground to be covered on the technical details
      • The next Eurogroup meeting is on May 11
      • Greek stocks are higher on the day, but this is more likely because they are priced for the most extreme scenarios rather than due to any hope coming from the summit in Latvia
  • Data Out Today: 
    • March Durable Goods Orders and Durable Goods Orders ex-Transportation (08:30 ET)

7:37 am Cabot Oil & Gas beats by $0.08, beats on revs (COG) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.04; revenues fell 8.8% year/year to $464.8 mln vs the $417.04 mln consensus.

  • The co has provided second quarter net production guidance of 1,375 to 1,425 Mmcf per day and 17,500 to 18,250 Bbls per day for natural gas and liquids, respectively.
  • Cabot's full-year production growth guidance range of 10 to 18 percent remains unchanged. The co expects its natural gas price realizations before the impact of hedges to average between $0.82 and $0.92 below NYMEX settlement prices for Q2.
  • Cabot's 2015 capital program remains unchanged at $900 million.
  • "Our robust production levels were predicated on higher base-load volumes in the Marcellus during the quarter driven by increased seasonal demand and favorable natural gas sales contracts for the winter heating season; however, as we have communicated in the past, our plan is to reduce production levels beginning in Q2 in response to the current environment throughout Appalachia."

7:35 am FLIR Systems beats by $0.02, misses on revs; reaffirms FY15 guidance (FLIR) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.34 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.32; revenues fell 2.0% year/year to $344.5 mln vs the $364.07 mln consensus, impacted 5% by FX.

Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.60-1.70, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.65 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY15 revs of $1.55-1.60 bln vs. $1.59 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • FLIR's backlog of firm orders for delivery within the next twelve months was ~$557 million as of March 31, 2015, an increase of $10 million, or 2%, during the quarter and an increase of $43 million, or 8%, over the prior year.

7:31 am BioAmber announces that Bayer MaterialScience (BAYRY) has selected it to provide bio-based polyurethanes for Bayer's textile applications (BIOA) : Co has been chosen by Bayer MaterialScience (BAYRY) as the supplier of bio-succinic acid used to produce a new range bio-based polyurethanes for textile applications that Bayer MaterialScience has begun commercializing.

7:30 am Rare Element Announces a ~5.23 mln share registered direct offering, with a purchase price of $0.65 for one common share and accompanying warrant (REE) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with a single institutional investor pursuant to which it agreed to sell an aggregate of 5,230,770 common shares and warrants to purchase up to 2,615,385 common shares in a registered direct offering. The purchase price for each unit, consisting of one common share and a warrant to purchase 0.5 common shares, is $0.65. The warrants will be exercisable, at a price of $0.85 per share

7:16 am DTE Energy beats by $0.13, misses on revs; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (DTE) : Reports Q1 (Mar) operating earnings of $1.65 per share, $0.13 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.52; revenues fell 24.1% year/year to $2.98 bln vs the $3.35 bln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.48-4.72 vs. $4.62 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • DTE Gas reduced natural gas prices charged to customers by 17 percent in the first quarter. Savings from a combination of reduced natural gas costs and DTE's purchasing strategy is passed along to customers. The new gas cost is 57 percent lower than the April 2008 cost.

7:15 am A.O. Smith beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line (AOS) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.65 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.62; revenues rose 12.0% year/year to $618.5 mln vs the $611.5 mln consensus. "Lower volumes and approximately $4 million of incremental ERP costs contribute to our expectation that 2015 second quarter earnings per share will be about flat with 2014 second quarter earnings per share, after adding back $.03 per share of non-operating pension costs to the 2014 earnings per share."

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.72-2.82 vs. $2.76 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • For Q2, co sees Q2 earnings flat vs. 2Q14's $0.66 (consenus is $0.64)... "We expect water heater volumes in the second quarter will be negatively impacted by the customer pre-buy we experienced in the first quarter," commented Rajendra. "Lower volumes and approximately $4 million of incremental ERP costs contribute to our expectation that 2015 second quarter earnings per share will be about flat with 2014 second quarter earnings per share, after adding back $.03 per share of non-operating pension costs to the 2014 earnings per share."

7:12 am Interpublic beats by $0.03, beats on revs; reaffirms FY15 targets (IPG) : Reports Q1 (Mar) net of breakeven, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.03); revenues rose 2.4% year/year to $1.68 bln vs the $1.65 bln consensus.

  • "During the quarter, we saw solid contributions to our performance from across our agency portfolio, with particular strength in the US, as well as significant growth in Asia and the UK. Our capital structure will continue to be a source of value creation. Looking forward, we believe that we remain well positioned to achieve our 2015 targets of 3-4% organic revenue growth and 80-100 basis points of improvement in operating margin, thereby further enhancing shareholder value."

7:11 am Simon Properties beats by $0.01, misses on revs; raises FY15 FFO, just below consensus; raises quarterly dividend 7.1% (SPG) : Reports Q1 (Mar) funds from operations of $2.28 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.27; revenues rose 5.1% year/year to $1.22 bln vs the $1.23 bln consensus. 

  • Results for the three months ended March 31, 2014 included FFO per diluted share of $0.24 from the Washington Prime Group properties that were spun-off effective May 28, 2014.
Co issues guidance for FY15, raises FFO to $9.65-9.75 from $9.60-9.70 vs. $9.78 Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • Today Simon's Board of Directors declared a quarterly common stock dividend of $1.50 per share. This is a 15.4% increase year-over-year and an increase of $0.10 or 7.1% from the previous quarter. 

7:11 am LyondellBasell beats by $0.54, misses on revs (LYB) :

  • Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $2.54 per share, excluding items, $0.54 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.00; revenues fell 26.5% year/year to $8.19 bln vs the $9.48 bln consensus. 
  • OUTLOOK "During the first few weeks of April, business conditions within our olefins and polyolefins segments have been relatively consistent with the first quarter. Planned and unplanned industry downtime has continued to support polyolefins pricing. Additionally, in the U.S., NGL feedstock inventories stand at or near record levels, production has remained strong, and NGL prices are low. During the quarter, we expect our Intermediate and Derivatives segment to benefit from normal seasonal trends. Thus far, Refining industry spreads have declined versus the first quarter but remain healthy."

7:10 am Lear beats by $0.09, reports revs in-line; guides FY15 revs in-line (LEA) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $2.28 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.19; revenues rose 3.7% year/year to $4.52 bln vs the $4.51 bln consensus. Improved margins in both business segments.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $18.0-18.5 bln vs. $18.36 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:10 am First Niagara beats by $0.01 (FNFG) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.15 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.14. 

  • Average total loans increased 4% annualized from the prior quarter, driven by increases in the company's commercial real estate, indirect auto and home equity portfolios.

7:08 am Steven Madden beats by $0.01, beats on revs; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance, revs guidance (SHOO) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.32 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.31; revenues rose 6.3% year/year to $323.9 mln vs the $316.4 mln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of 1.85-1.95 vs. $1.91 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of +7-9% to ~$1.43-1.45 bln vs. $1.44 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Gross margin was 34.4% as compared to 35.6% in the same period last year. 
  • Same store sales increased 11.6% for the quarter.

7:07 am IMS Health Holdings beats by $0.07, reports revs in-line; reaffirms full-year 2015 constant currency guidance, revises current currency guidance due to currency movement (IMS) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.39 per share, $0.07 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.32; revenues fell 2.0% year/year-$632 mln vs the $626.89 mln consensus. 

  • IMS Health reaffirms full-year 2015 constant currency guidance. 
    • The company expects core IMS Health (excluding the impact of the acquisition of Cegedim's CRM and Strategic Data businesses)-have full-year 2015 constant currency growth of 5-6% in revenue, 7.5-8.5% in Adjusted EBITDA, 16-19% in Adjusted Net Income, and 11-14% in Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share. 
  • Solely due-the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar, the company is revising full-year reported revenue growth-approximately 10% and Adjusted EBITDA growth-approximately 4% for the Combined business. However, assuming current foreign exchange rates hold constant through the end of the year, IMS Health is maintaining full-year reported guidance for Adjusted Net Income growth of 8-11% and Adjusted Diluted Earnings per Share growth of 4-6% for the Combined business.

7:06 am American Airlines beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line (AAL) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.73 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.70; revenues fell 1.7% year/year to $9.83 bln vs the $9.82 bln consensus on a 0.9 percent decrease in total available seat miles (ASMs).

  • Consolidated passenger revenue per ASM (:PRASM) was 13.44 cents, down 1.7 percent versus the first quarter 2014. 
  • While core demand remains healthy, first quarter 2015 revenue was impacted by competitive capacity growth, a stronger U.S. dollar and economic softness in Latin America.
  • The Company's first quarter 2015 pretax margin excluding net special charges was a record 12.7 percent, up 8.6 percentage points from the same period last year.

7:04 am Turtle Beach has issued a $5 mln subordinated note to SG VTB Holdings, LLC (HEAR) : The subordinated note bears interest at a rate of 10% per annum until April 20, 2016 (the maturity date of the subordinated note) and 20% per annum for all periods thereafter.

7:04 am Biogen misses by $0.09, misses on revs (BIIB) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $3.82 per share, $0.09 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $3.91; revenues rose 20.0% year/year to $2.56 bln vs the $2.66 bln consensus. 

  • Total multiple sclerosis product sales were $2.1 billion compared to $1.7 billion in the same quarter last year. 
  • TECFIDERA revenues were $825 million compared to $506 million in the same quarter last year. 
  • Interferon revenues, including AVONEX and PLEGRIDY, were $755 million compared to $761 million in the same quarter last year. 
  • TYSABRI revenues were $463 million compared to $441 million in the same quarter last year.

7:04 am Aaron's beats by $0.18, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (AAN) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.73 per share, $0.18 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55; revenues rose 40.4% year/year to $821.8 mln vs the $800.21 mln consensus.

  • Co issues upside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.01-2.21 vs. $1.98 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, compared with the previous guidance of $1.90 to $2.10.; sees FY15 revs of $3.10-3.30 bln vs. $3.16 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

7:03 am Cipher Pharma announces outcome of Markman hearing in patent infringement suit for Absorica (CPHR) : The co announced that the Court has issued an opinion in the claim construction hearing (commonly referred to as a "Markman hearing") for the patent infringement suit by Ranbaxy Inc., Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., ("Ranbaxy", a Sun Pharma Company, Galephar Pharmaceutical Research Inc., and Cipher against Watson Laboratories, Inc, now Actavis plc (ACT) related to Watson's Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for a generic version of Absorica (isotretinoin capsules).

  • The purpose of a Markman hearing is to determine the precise meaning of words from patent claims that are in dispute in a patent infringement lawsuit. No ultimate determination of infringement or validity of the patents has been determined at this point.
  • "With the hearing completed, we look forward to the scheduling of a trial date as Cipher and Ranbaxy continue our vigorous defense of Absorica's intellectual property rights. Recently, we further strengthened our intellectual property for Absorica with the addition of a third patent in the FDA's Orange Book and we will continue to do so through all available legal and regulatory pathways."

7:03 am Asian Markets Close: Japan's Nikkei -0.8%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.8%; China's Shanghai Composite -0.5% (:SUMRX) : It was another mixed outing for markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Profit-taking weighed on the Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite, yet the Hang Seng staged a nice turnaround and closed up 0.8%. Australia (+1.5%) was the biggest mover on Friday, riding the strength of its metals & mining and resources sectors.

Economic data

  • Japan
    • Corporate Services Price Index +3.2% year-over-year (expected +3.3%; prior +3.3%)
    • All Industries Activity Index +0.1% month-over-month (expected -0.9%; prior +0.5%)
  • South Korea
    • April Consumer Confidence 104 (expected 102; prior 101)
  • Singapore
    • Q1 URA Property Index -1.0% (prior -1.1%)
    • March industrial production +1.2% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +4.4%); -5.5% year-over-year (expected -5.9%; prior -3.3%) 
Equity Markets
  • Japan's Nikkei declined 0.8% and finished near its low for the session. Losses were paced by the consumer non-cyclical (-0.9%), consumer cyclical (-0.8%), and financial (-0.7%) sectors. Secom (-4.0%), Toyota Tsusho (-3.8%), and OKUMA Corp (-3.2%) were the worst-performing issues. Sumitomo Chemical (+6.7%), Sony (+3.4%), and Toho Zinc (+2.6%) led the winners. Out of the 225 index members, 79 ended higher, 135 finished lower, and 11 were unchanged. For the week, the Nikkei was up 1.9%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng increased 0.8%, finishing more than 400 points off its lows for the day and at its high for the session. The consumer cyclical (+2.1%), industrial (+1.2%), and diversified (+0.9%) sectors led the way. HSBC Holdings (+4.2%), Galaxy Entertainment (+3.6%), and Sands China (+2.7%) were the top gainers. China Resources Power Holdings (-1.5%) was the only stock to close more than 1.0% lower. Out of the 50 index members, 35 ended higher, 14 finished lower, and 1 was unchanged. For the week, the Hang Seng increased 1.5%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite declined 0.5%, pressured by profit taking that followed reports of speculation that taxes could be raised on local stock investors. The financial (-2.1%), energy (-1.6%), and technology (-1.1%) sectors were the weak links for the Chinese markets on Friday. For the week, the Shanghai Composite increased 2.5%.
  • India's Sensex declined 1.1% on broad-based selling interest that was concentrated on the industrial (-2.3%), technology (-2.0%), and financial (-1.6%) sectors. Infosys (-6.1%), Cipla Ltd (-3.8%), and Sesa Sterlite (-3.1%) were the biggest decliners. Oil & Natural Gas Corp (+3.1%) and Tata Consultancy Services (+2.1%) topped the list of winners. For the week, the Sensex declined 3.5%.
  • Australia's S&P/ASX 200 increased 1.5% with the bulk of its gains coming right after the start of trading. The gains were led by the metals & mining (+2.8%), resources (+2.7%), and energy (+2.7%) sectors. For the week, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.9%.
  • Regional advancers: Taiwan +1.2% (+3.6% for the week), Singapore +0.3% (-0.4% for the week), Malaysia +0.9% (+0.9% for the week), Thailand +0.7% (-0.7% for the week), Philippines +0.7% (unchanged for the week), Vietnam +0.8% (-0.1% for the week)
  • Regional decliners: South Korea -0.6% (+0.8% for the week), Indonesia -0.02% (+0.5% for the week)
FX
  • USD/CNY -0.06% at 6.1948
  • USD/INR +0.5% at 63.591
  • USD/JPY -0.1% at 119.52

7:02 am GW Pharma confirms receipt of Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for Cannabidiol to treat Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (GWPH) : GW held a pre-IND meeting with the FDA and expects to submit an Investigational New Drug Application in mid-2015 and to commence a Phase 1 trial in the second half of 2015.

7:01 am Silicon Motion acquires Shannon Systems for $57.5 mln in cash, equity and contingency payments; acquisition expected to be accretive (SIMO) : Shannon Systems is a supplier of enterprise-class PCIe SSD and storage array solutions to China's internet and other industries. In 2015, Shannon expects to rapidly scale sales to approximately $14 to $18 million

  • The impact of this acquisition is expected to be slightly accretive to Silicon Motion's non-GAAP earnings per share in the second half of 2015 and more accretive in full-year 2016.

7:01 am China Housing & Land to conduct 1-for-5 reverse stock split effective April 24, 2015 (CHLN) : The Company implemented the Reverse Split to regain compliance with NASDAQ continued listing standards.  Following the Reverse Split the Company has approximately seven (7) million shares of Common Stock issued and outstanding.

7:00 am Agenus: announces the final results from the Phase 3 study of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) candidate, RTS,S, demonstrated a statistically significant reduction against malaria in children (AGEN) : The study demonstrated a statistically significant reduction against malaria in children who received RTS,S followed by a booster shot of the vaccine at 18 months. RTS,S incorporates QS-21 Stimulon, Agenus' adjuvant designed to increase the immune response to antigens in vaccines.

  •  The study results also showed: 
    • RTS,S reduced the number of cases of clinical malaria in young children  by 36%, and in infants   by 26% over an average follow-up period of 48 months. 
      • This resulted in an average reduction of 1,774 cases of clinical malaria for every 1,000 children vaccinated, and an average reduction of 983 cases of clinical malaria for every 1,000 infants vaccinated over an average 36-month follow-up. Children receiving the vaccine candidate but not a booster dose had lower rates of protection. 
      • The study showed that RTS,S averted even more cases of malaria in areas with higher transmission rates. 

7:00 am NGL Energy Partners announces an increase in its quarterly distribution to $0.625/unit from $0.6175/unit (NGL) :  

6:57 am Xerox reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; guides Q2 EPS below consensus; lowers FY15 guidance (XRX) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.21 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.21; revenues fell 6.3% year/year to $4.47 bln vs the $4.56 bln consensus, or 2% in constant currency.

  • Revenue from the company's Services business, which represented 56% of total revenue, was $2.5 billion, down 3% or up 1% in constant currency. Services margin was 7.5%, down 1.1%age points, primarily due to higher costs in our legacy Health Enterprise platform implementations. 
  • Revenue from the company's Document Technology business was $1.8 billion, down 10% or 6% in constant currency.
Co issues downside guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.21-0.23 vs. $0.25 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Co issues downside guidance for FY15, lowers EPS to $0.95-1.01 from $1.00-1.06 vs. $1.03 Capital IQ Consensus; lowers constant currency rev to down ~1% from flat. 

6:55 am Blueprint Medicines announces new BLU-554 pre-clinical data, showing tumor regression in models of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (BPMC) : Co announced new preclinical data demonstrating that BLU-554, a selective and potent inhibitor of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4, has significant anti-tumor activity in models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that are dependent on FGFR4 signaling.

  • BLU-554 showed significant anti-tumor efficacy and was well-tolerated in two in vivo models of HCC driven by aberrant FGFR4 signaling, one with genomic amplification of FGFR4-activating ligand FGF19 and another with FGF19 overexpression in the absence of amplification. In the preclinical data being presented, BLU-554 demonstrated:
    • Complete tumor regression in 100 percent of mice with genomic amplification of FGF19 treated for 21 days at the 100 mg/kg twice daily and 200 mg/kg once daily doses.
    • Dose-dependent tumor growth inhibition in mice with overexpression of FGF19 in the absence of amplification. 
    • Potent inhibition of FGFR4 and greater than 100-fold more selectivity for FGFR4 than FGFR1-3 in in vitro studies. In contrast, pan-FGFR inhibitors fail to exhibit selective inhibition of FGFR4 compared with the other family members. 
    • Little to no inhibition of all other kinases.
Blueprint currently has its IPO planned for next week

6:50 am Yamana Gold: Mega Precious Metals announces that it will be acquired by Yamana Gold for consideration of C$ 0.10/share (AUY) : Mega Precious Metals announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Yamana Gold whereby Yamana will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Mega under a plan of arrangement for consideration of 0.02092 of a Yamana share and cash of C$0.001 per Mega share, equivalent to C$0.10 per Mega share.

  • The total consideration to Mega shareholders is approximately C$17.5 million, based on the Company's issued current and outstanding shares. Yamana has also agreed to purchase the outstanding convertible debentures held by Pacific Road Capital Resources Funds. 
  • Also under certain circumstances where the transaction is not completed, Mega has agreed to pay a termination fee of C$700,000 to Yamana. 
  • Yamana has agreed to a C$500,000 placement in Mega if the transaction is terminated in certain circumstances.

6:40 am Barnes Group beats by $0.01, misses on revs; raises FY15 adj EPS, lowers revs below consensus (B) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.53 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.52; revenues fell 3.7% year/year to $300.6 mln vs the $314.35 mln consensus, positive organic growth of 3% was more than offset by unfavorable foreign exchange of 6%. 

Co issues guidance for FY15, raises EPS to $2.45-2.60, excluding non-recurring items, from $2.42-2.57 vs. $2.50 Capital IQ Consensus; lowers FY15 revs to +1-3% to ~$1.27-1.30 bln from $1.30-1.34 bln vs. $1.31 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

6:36 am Forum Energy Tech. beats by $0.02, misses on revs; guides Q2 EPS below consensus (reported last night) (FET) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.30 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.28; revenues fell 13.8% year/year to $348.1 mln vs the $371.95 mln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.15-0.20 vs. $0.21 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "We were proactive with our cost reduction efforts, which helped to preserve our operating margins, demonstrating the scalability of our business model. EBITDA for the quarter, excluding non-operational items, was $62 million, or 17.7% of revenue."

6:36 am National Penn beats by $0.01 (NPBC) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.18. Net interest margin of 3.36%, compared to 3.33% in the prior quarter

6:35 am Houghton Mifflin Harcourt confirms it will acquire Scholastic's (SCHL) Educational Technology and Services Business for $575 mln; increases total share repurchase authorization to $200 mln (HMHC) : The transaction is expected to be accretive to HMH net income and free cash flow in 20161 and to yield synergies in 2016 and beyond with annual cost savings of $10 to $20 million. In connection with this transaction, the co expects to replace its existing $180 million term loan with a new $500 million committed term loan with a six year maturity.

  • In addition, consistent with the Company's goal to create long-term stockholder value, HMH's Board of Directors has authorized an additional $100 million under the Company's existing share repurchase program, bringing the total authorization to $200 million.
  • See 06:30 post under SCHL for more commentary on the transaction

6:34 am Immunogen misses by $0.02, misses on revs; reaffirms FY15 net loss, lowers rev guidance (IMGN) : Reports Q3 (Mar) loss of $0.25 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.23); revenues rose 65.2% year/year to $11.4 mln vs the $20.51 mln consensus.

Co issues guidance for FY15, lowers FY15 revs to $85-95 mln from $100-105 mln, due to changes in the expected timing of partner milestone events, may not be comparable to $166.43 mln Capital IQ Consensus. The Company's guidance for its net loss is unchanged, and expected to be between $60 million and $65 million. The Company expects to end its fiscal year on June 30, 2015 with between $265 million and $275 million in cash and cash equivalents, reflecting its recent royalty transaction.

6:30 am Scholastic Corp announces it will sell its Educational Technology Business to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMHC) for $575 mln in cash (SCHL) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Educational Technology and Services business to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (HMHC) for $575 million in cash.

  • EdTech had $249 million in revenues and $40 million in operating income in the 2014 fiscal year ended May 31, 2014. 
  • Revenues were $175 million and operating income was $17 million for the first nine months of the current fiscal year ending May 31, 2015. 
  • Scholastic expects net proceeds from the sale, after taxes, transaction fees, and other expenses, of approximately $360-$370 million. 
  • Company plans to re-invest the proceeds from the sale in its Children's Book Publishing and Distribution, Classroom and Supplemental Materials Publishing, and International business segments. The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2015

6:28 am Furmanite announces Chairman Sangwoo Ahn will retire and its annual meeting will be postponed until May 6, 2015 (FRM) : Co announced that Sangwoo  Ahn, Furmanite's Presiding Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Board, is to retire from the Furmanite Board of Directors, effective as of the 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

  • In connection with the announcement, the Furmanite Board of Directors has postponed the 2015 Annual Meeting, originally scheduled to be held today, to May 6, 2015. 
  • The postponement, as requested by several stockholders, will allow all Furmanite stockholders the opportunity to consider the current circumstances and to change their votes if they so desire. 
  • The seat vacated by Mr. Ahn will be filled in the election to take place at the postponed Annual Meeting, and the size of the Furmanite Board will not change 

6:27 am State Street beats by $0.11, reports revs in-line (STT) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.17 per share, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.06; revenues rose 4.6% year/year to $2.68 bln vs the $2.69 bln consensus. 

  • Net interest margin, including balances held at the Federal Reserve and other central banks, decreased to 101 basis points in Q1 from 104 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2014 and from 124 basis points in 1Q14.
  • ROE 10.4% vs. 11.6% in Q4 and 8.8% in 1Q14.

6:10 am Firsthand Tech. Value Fund announces a revised March 31, 2015 preliminary NAV of $24.91 (SVVC) : This figure replaces the previously announced preliminary NAV of $25.14.

6:10 am Prosperity Bancshares beats by $0.01 (PB) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.05 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.04. 

  • Loans increased $1.414 billion or 18.2% compared with the first quarter 2014.

6:07 am Tyco beats by $0.06, reports revs in-line; guides Q3 EPS below consensus; lowers FY15 EPS guidance (TYC) : Reports Q2 (Mar) earnings of $0.55 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.49; revenues fell 2.0% year/year to $2.43 bln vs the $2.43 bln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.55-0.57, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.65 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, lowers EPS to $2.23-2.27 from $2.30-2.40 vs. $2.33 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange rates, revenue of $2.4 billion increases 4%, with 2% organic growth and 2% growth from acquisitions.

5:56 am BankUnited downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette (BKU) :  

5:56 am AstraZeneca has signed a co-development and commercialization agreement with Innate Pharma (AZN) : The co's announced the agreement with the intention to accelerate and broaden the development of Innate Pharma's proprietary anti-NKG2A antibody, IPH2201, including in combination with MEDI4736, an anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor developed by MedImmune. Currently in Phase II development, IPH2201 is a potential first-in-class humanized IgG4 antibody.

  • The financial terms of the signed agreement include cash payments of up to $1.275 billion to Innate Pharma as well as double digit royalties on sales. The initial payment is $250 million, which includes a consideration for the exclusive global rights to AstraZeneca to co-develop and commercialize IPH2201 in combination with MEDI4736 and access to IPH2201 in monotherapy and other combinations in certain areas. 
  • AstraZeneca will pay to Innate a further $100 million prior to initiation of Phase III development, as well as additional regulatory and sales-related milestones of up to $925 million. AstraZeneca will book all sales and will pay Innate double-digit royalties on net sales. The arrangement includes the right for Innate to co-promote in Europe for a 50% profit share in the territory.
  • The initial development plan includes: Phase II combination clinical trials with MEDI4736 in solid tumors; multiple Phase II trials planned by Innate to study IPH2201 both as monotherapy and in combination with currently approved treatments across a range of cancers; and the development of associated biomarkers.

5:54 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +39.50. :

5:54 am European Markets : FTSE...7091.07...+37.40...+0.50%.  DAX...11811.42...+84.10...+0.70%.

5:54 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...20020.04...-167.60...-0.80%.  Hang Seng...28060.98...+233.30...+0.80%.

5:30 am Jumei International appoints two new independent directors (JMEI) : Co announced that it has enhanced the independence of its board of directors by appointing two new independent directors to serve on the Board and its committees, effective as of April 24, 2015. After the appointment, the Board will consist of a majority of independent directors and fully independent audit, compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees.

  • Jumei appointed each of Mang Su and Zhenquan Ren as an independent director and a member of each of the audit committee, the compensation committee and the nominating and corporate governance committee of the Board.

4:01 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Toshiba Corporation's (TOSBF) Semiconductor & Storage Products Company today announced the launch of "T4KB3", a 13-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor with the optical format of 1/3.07 inch that offers makers of smartphones and tablets lower power consumption and a smaller chip size. Mass production shipments start today.
  • Celgene International II Srl, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene (CELG) announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with MedImmune Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca (AZN), to develop and commercialize an anti-PD-L1 inhibitor, MEDI4736, for hematologic malignancies.

3:24 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Burson-Marsteller, a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (WPPGY), announced the U.S. launch of Burson-Marsteller StudioB, a fully integrated, real-time, data-driven center of creativity, content production and distribution. 
  • CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, has appointed Accenture (ACN) as its Global Digital Partner in an agreement that extends the two organizations' relationship which began in 2010. The new contract extends Accenture's support for a further 12 months.

2:19 am Merck's pivotal Phase 3 C-EDGE program evaluating Grazoprevir/Elbasvir shows high sustained virologic responses across broad range of patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus infection (MRK) : Co announced the first presentations of data from the company's ongoing C-EDGE pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial program evaluating the investigational once-daily tablet grazoprevir/elbasvir (100mg/50mg) in patients with or without cirrhosis who are infected with chronic hepatitis C virus genotypes 1, 4 or 6

12 week arms

  • Of the 209 patients randomized to the 12 week arms, 105 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir only and 104 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV. Patients in the grazoprevir/elbasvir only arm comprised 58% GT1a, 33% GT1b or other GT1 and nine% GT4. Overall, 35% had liver cirrhosis. Among the 104 patients receiving grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV, 58% were infected with chronic HCV GT1a, 28% GT1b or other GT1, and 14% GT4. Overall, 34% had liver cirrhosis. 
16 week arms
  • Of the 211 patients enrolled in the 16 week arms, 105 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir only and 106 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV. In the grazoprevir/elbasvir only arm, 46% were infected with chronic HCV GT1a, 46% with GT1b or other GT1, five% with GT4 and four% with GT6. Overall, 36% of patients had liver cirrhosis. Among those in the grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV arm, 55% were infected with chronic HCV GT1a, 36% with GT1b or other GT1, eight% with GT4, and two% with GT6. Overall, 35% had liver cirrhosis. 

2:15 am AbbVie: FDA grants priority review to AbbVie for investigational, all-oral, interferon-free therapy for the treatment of Genotype 4 chronic Hepatitis C (ABBV) : Co announced that the FDA has accepted its New Drug Application and granted priority review for the company's, all-oral, interferon-free, two direct-acting antiviral treatment of ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, with ribavirin. The NDA is for the treatment of adults with chronic genotype 4 hepatitis C virus infection.

  • The FDA granted priority review to AbbVie for the regimen based in part on data from the PEARL-I study, which was recently published online in The Lancet. The FDA grants priority review designation to investigational therapies that treat a serious condition and, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness.

1:11 am Landmark Infrastructure Partners announces 3.5% increase in quarterly cash distribution (LMRK) : Co announced that the board of directors of its general partner declared a cash distribution of $0.2975 per limited partnership unit, or $1.19 per unit on an annualized basis, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. This quarter's cash distribution represents an increase of 3.5% over the minimum quarterly distribution of $0.2875 per unit. The distribution is payable on May 14, 2015 to unitholders of record as of May 5, 2015.

1:05 am Carrizo Oil & Gas announces expiration and results of cash tender offer for 8.625% Senior Notes due 2018 (CRZO) : Co announced that its previously announced tender offer to purchase for cash any and all of its outstanding 8.625% Senior Notes due 2018 and any related guarantees expired at 5:00 p.m. New York City time today. As reported by the depositary, at the expiration time, holders had validly tendered and not validly withdrawn in the tender offer $264,082,000 aggregate principal amount of the notes, representing approximately 44% of the outstanding aggregate principal amount of the notes, which excludes $1,147,000 aggregate principal amount of notes that remain subject to the guaranteed delivery procedures.

1:02 am Orchids Paper Products prices 1,500,000 shares of common stock at $23.00 per share (TIS) :  

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