InPlay from Briefing.com

6:43 pm BBCN Bancorp misses by $0.02 (BBCN) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.27 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.29.

  • "We had another quarter of consistent execution highlighted by steady loan growth with total new loan originations of $382 million for the quarter. We continue to see good loan demand in our core California and New York/New Jersey markets, while gaining more traction in our newer markets in the Pacific Northwest and Chicago."

6:13 pm Tesoro Logistics LP prices upsized public offering of 20 mln common units at $57.47 per unit (TLLP) : Co announced that it has priced its previously announced underwritten public offering of 20,000,000 common units representing limited partner interests in the Partnership at $57.47 per common unit. The offering was upsized from the previously announced public offering of 19,350,000 common units.

  • The Partnership expects to use the net proceeds from this offering, including any net proceeds received from an exercise of the underwriters' over-allotment option to purchase additional common units and including an investment by Tesoro Corporation in TLLP equity in this offering, to fund a portion of the purchase price of the Partnership's announced acquisition of QEP Field Services, LLC from QEP Resources, Inc.
  • BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, UBS Investment Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital Markets are acting as the joint book-running managers for the offering.

6:06 pm Gulfmark Offshore misses by $0.06, misses on revs; guides Q4 revs below consensus; guides FY15 revs below consensus (GLF) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.75 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.81; revenues rose 5.7% year/year to $128.69 mln vs the $134.34 mln consensus.

  • "The global offshore vessel market flattened in the third quarter as fewer offshore drilling rigs were utilized than anticipated, and as oil producing companies continued their focus on reducing costs. These factors resulted in generally favorable, but slower than anticipated markets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. In contrast, the Southeast Asia market remained challenged as national oil companies in the region have been slow to award new contracts, compounded by an increasing supply of offshore vessels in that region.
  • Since June 30th, co has repurchased 758,686 shares at an average price of $32.16 per share.
Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees Q4 revs of $110-115 mln vs. $136.58 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $480-530 mln vs. $574.04 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

6:02 pm Steel Dynamics beats by $0.03, beats on revs (STLD) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.47 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.44; revenues rose 22.4% year/year to $2.34 bln vs the $2.14 bln consensus.

  • The average product selling price for the company's steel operations increased $7 to $840 per ton. The average ferrous scrap cost per ton melted decreased $8 to $356 per ton.
  • "Looking ahead, we remain optimistic. Despite recent broader global concerns, the U.S. economy is continuing to improve, inflation remains low and borrowing rates remain at historically attractive levels. We continue to be the beneficiaries of strong end markets, such as automotive, manufacturing, transportation and energy. We also believe growth in the construction market will continue as evidenced by the increased demand for our construction-related steel products."

5:50 pm GlobalStar reiterates value of spectrum assets; Co believes Kerrisdale continues to 'distort facts in attempt to undermine the benefits of TLPS' (GSAT) : Co issued the following statement in response to Kerrisdale Capital's latest misguided attempt to manipulate the Company's stock price:

  • Terrestrial Low Power Service ("TLPS") represents a differentiated, premium, and immediate solution to global broadband and Wi-Fi congestion, and we are confident in our ability to capitalize on this opportunity for our stakeholders and the public at large. 
  • Kerrisdale's most recent claims further demonstrate its lack of understanding of our business and industry, as well as its willingness to manipulate information to advance its self-serving agenda.
  • We remain confident in the value of the Company's spectrum assets. We look forward to the Federal Communications Commission adopting its proposed rules in the near future and thereby making TLPS a reality.

5:32 pm AbbVie announces new $5 bln stock repurchase and increases dividend (ABBV) : Co authorized a new $5 billion stock repurchase program and increased the company's quarterly cash dividend by nearly 17 percent. The authorization allows for the repurchase of up to $5 billion of the company's common stock, which is expected to be executed over the next several years. Additionally, the board declared an increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend from $0.42 per share to $0.49 per share, payable on Feb. 13, 2015 to stockholders of record as of Jan. 15, 2015.

5:32 pm Auxilium Pharma announces XIAFLEX now approved for the concurrent treatment of up to two affected joints in the same hand in Dupuytren's Contracture patients (AUXL) : Co announced that the FDA has approved a supplemental Biologics Application (sBLA) for XIAFLEX (collagenase clostridium histolyticum or CCH) for the treatment of up to two Dupuytren's contracture (:DC) joints in the same hand during a single treatment visit. XIAFLEX is a biologic approved in the U.S., EU, Canada and Australia for the treatment of adult DC patients with a palpable cord.

5:32 pm Helix Energy beats by $0.21, beats on revs (HLX) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.71 per share, $0.21 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.50; revenues rose 54.8% year/year to $340.8 mln vs the $298.38 mln consensus.

  • Co states, "We executed at a high level in the third quarter for both the Well Intervention and the Robotics businesses. This quarter's results reflect the strong demand for our services and the earnings ability of our existing asset base. As previously forecasted, the fourth quarter's earnings are expected to decline as a result of two of our Well Intervention vessels -- the Skandi Constructor and the Seawell -- entering dry dock, as well as normal seasonal factors in the Robotics business." 

5:30 pm Metro Bancorp issues statement regarding Director nominations: 'We welcome open communication with our shareholders and value their input' (METR) : Co confirmed that is has received notice on behalf of the PL Capital Group, which has disclosed beneficial ownership of approximately 8.8% of the outstanding shares of Metro, that it intends to submit nominations of two candidates to stand for election to the Metro Board of Directors at the Company's 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Metro shareholders are not required to take any action at this time. Highlights from the statement:

  • We welcome open communication with our shareholders and value their input toward the goal of enhancing shareholder value. We will continue to take actions that we believe enable us to achieve this objective.
  • The Metro Board will consider these nominations in due course after they are formally submitted. The Board will present its formal recommendation regarding director nominees in Metro's definitive proxy statement and other materials, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and mailed to all shareholders eligible to vote at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

5:26 pm Shire plc confirms AbbVie (ABBV) terminates offer for Shire; to receive $1.635 bln break fee; expects annual product sales of $10 bln by 2020 (SHPG) :

  • On 16 October 2014, the Board of AbbVie confirmed that it had withdrawn its recommendation of its offer for Shire which was announced on 18 July 2014 solely as a result of the anticipated impact of the US Treasury Notice on the benefits that AbbVie expected from its Offer. AbbVie has not provided any financial quantification of this impact.
  • AbbVie's Offer was conditional on the approval of its stockholders. In light of the AbbVie Board's decision to change its recommendation and to advise its own shareholders to vote against its Offer, Shire believes that there is now no realistic prospect that this condition will be satisfied. As a result, the Board of Shire believes that it is in the best interests of its shareholders, employees and other Shire stakeholders for the situation to be resolved as quickly as possible.
  • Shire has entered into a termination agreement with AbbVie pursuant to which AbbVie will now pay to Shire the break fee of approximately $1.635 billion by 5.00 p.m. (London time) on 21 October 2014.
  • Shire expects to deliver double-digit compound annual product sales growth from its current portfolio through 2020, more than doubling its annual product sales to $10 billion. In addition, Shire believes that there are multiple opportunities available for Shire to grow through business development both within the core franchises of Shire as well as in adjacent therapeutic areas.

5:21 pm Gold Resource reports Q3 production of 17,200 ounces precious metal gold equivalent; reiterates 2014 outlook of 85,000-100,000 precious metal gold equivalent (GORO) : Co reports preliminary production results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014 of approximately 17,200 ounces precious metal gold equivalent (AuEq).

  • The Company's third quarter production of approximately 17,200 ounces precious metal gold equivalent (actual 64:1 silver-to-gold ratio) brings the Company's annual production total to approximately 65,100 ounces AuEq. The Company maintains its 2014 Annual Outlook at 85,000-100,000 ounces AuEq (63:1 silver-to-gold ratio) as budgeted.
  • "Slower than expected mine development resulted in fewer tonnes delivered to the Aguila Mill during the quarter. These production issues revealed some needed managerial changes at the Arista mine, which are currently underway. Production levels were approximately 28% lower in the quarter compared to the first half quarterly average. We are pleased to still be within striking distance of the lower end of our annual production goal given the challenges we encountered and are working hard to return to previous production levels."

5:14 pm Celanese beats by $0.18, beats on revs; guides FY14 EPS above consensus (CE) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.61 per share, $0.18 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.43; revenues rose 8.1% year/year to $1.77 bln vs the $1.74 bln consensus.

  • Co issues upside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $5.55-5.65 vs. $5.34 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "We also expect our customer-focused approach for the materials businesses and the commercial actions we will continue to take in our technology-enabled businesses will provide us with appropriate opportunities to offset other anticipated year-over-year headwinds like fewer industry outages, foreign exchange fluctuations and potential weakness in global economies. Adjusted EPS in 2015 that is in the range of our 2014 projections will keep us on track to deliver on our long-term growth objective."

5:13 pm Shire plc: Abbvie (ABBV) announces termination of proposed AbbVie And Shire transaction; Abbvie to pay SHPG $1.635 bln breakup fee (SHPG) : The cos have agreed to terminate their proposed merger following the decision by AbbVie's Board to withdraw support for the proposed transaction.  Abbvie's decision was based upon its assessment of the September 22, 2014 notice issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury, which re-interpreted longstanding tax principles in a uniquely selective manner designed specifically to destroy the financial benefits of these types of transactions.  The notice introduced an unacceptable level of risk and uncertainty given the magnitude of the proposed changes and the stated intention of the Department of Treasury to continue to revise tax principles to further impact such transactions. 

  • AbbVie has agreed to pay Shire the break fee of ~$1.635 bln.  Shire's right to receive the break fee will be Shire's sole and exclusive remedy for all losses and damages in connection with the transaction.

5:13 pm Equity Lifestyle Properties beats by $0.03, beats on revs (ELS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) funds from operations of $0.69 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.66; revenues rose 6.7% year/year to $200.56 mln vs the $186.94 mln consensus.

  • During the third quarter, ELS paid off five mortgages totaling $29.7 mln with a weighted average interest rate of 5.45 percent per annum. We also refinanced the $53.8 mln loan secured by our Colony Cove community with a stated interest rate of 4.65 percent per annum that was scheduled to mature in 2017. The new loan, with gross proceeds of $115.0 million, has a 25 year term and carries a stated interest rate of 4.64 percent per annum.

  • In September 2014, ELS closed on the acquisition of three Northeast RV resorts comprised of 826 sites for a purchase price of $11.8 million. 

5:09 pm Rhino Resource Partners announces Q3 distribution of $0.05 per unit, lowered from previous quarter distribution of $0.445 per unit; co redoubling its cost cutting efforts due to weak coal markets (RNO) : This distribution will be paid on November 14, 2014 to all common unitholders of record as of the close of business on October 30, 2014 and no distribution will be paid on the subordinated units.

  • Chris Walton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rhino's general partner, stated, "The distribution reduction is the result of prolonged weakness in the coal markets, which has continued to adversely affect our cash flow. In conjunction with the distribution reduction, Rhino will redouble its cost cutting efforts, including reducing overhead to reflect market realities and the company's smaller size. There will be an increased focus on cost and productivity improvements at our ongoing core operations, along with a focus on reducing the carrying costs of non-core and idled operations. Together, these actions are designed to preserve liquidity while retaining the flexibility to continue making non-coal investments, which we believe will enhance the long term value of the Partnership."

5:09 pm Equity Lifestyle Properties reports Q3 FFO of $0.69 vs. $0.66 CapIQ Consensus; Total revenue increased 6.7% y/y to $200.6 mln (ELS) :  

5:06 pm Scorpio Tankers announces it recently took delivery of an MR product tanker, STI Yorkville, from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard of South Korea (STNG) : Upon delivery, this vessel began a time charter for up to 120 days at approximately $18,000 per day.

5:03 pm Packaging Corp reports EPS in-line, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS above consensus (PKG) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.26 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.26; revenues rose 79.7% year/year to $1.52 bln vs the $1.5 bln consensus.

  • Co issues upside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $1.16 vs. $1.15 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • "Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, with the Deridder machine conversion, we expect higher mill production which will allow us to reduce our outside purchases of containerboard. Corrugated products shipments are expected to be lower than in the third quarter with three less shipping days, and we also expect seasonally lower white paper shipments. Amortization of annual outage repair costs will be about $0.07 per share higher than the third quarter, and we expect seasonal increases in fuel and transportation costs."

5:03 pm East West Banc beats by $0.02; guides FY14 EPS above consensus (EWBC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.62 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.60. Co issues upside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.37-2.39, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.36 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

"The Company is providing guidance for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014. Management currently estimates that fully diluted earnings per share for the full year of 2014 will range from $2.37 to $2.39, an increase of $0.27 to $0.29 or 13% to 14% from $2.10 for the full year of 2013. This EPS guidance for the remainder of 2014 is based on an adjusted net interest margin of approximately 3.40%, total loan growth of approximately $400 million, provision for loan losses for non-covered loans of approximately $8 million, noninterest expense of approximately $140 million and an effective tax rate of 17.50%. Management currently estimates that fully diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2014 will range from $0.63 to $0.65, based on the assumptions stated above".

5:01 pm Crestwood Midstream Partners announces successful non-binding open season for MARC II pipeline in the Marcellus Shale (CMLP) : Co announced that its subsidiary, Central New York Oil & Gas Company ("CNYOG"), which owns the North-South and MARC I pipelines and the Stagecoach storage facility, has successfully concluded a non-binding open season to solicit interest for firm transportation of natural gas on a proposed new 30-mile pipeline extending CNYOG's system to the proposed PennEast Pipeline, a new interconnect on Transco's Leidy Line, and Transco's proposed Atlantic Sunrise Expansion Project in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Crestwood has received non-binding indications of interest for firm transportation on the proposed MARC II Pipeline in excess of 700 million cubic feet per day. Crestwood anticipates a MARC II Pipeline in-service date in the fourth quarter of 2017.

5:00 pm CVD Equipment appoints new COO (CVV) :

  • Co announced that Dr. Steven Aragon has been appointed the Company's newly created position of Chief Operating Officer.
  • Dr. Aragon has over twenty-five years of thin-film process, materials, and system expertise applied to photovoltaic, optical, electronic, and magnetic device fabrication

4:53 pm Enanta Pharmaceuticals provides update on its collaboration agreement with AbbVie (ABBV); co-development option on next-generation Protease Inhibitor ABT-493 not exercised, net sales allocations for ABT-450-containing regimens finalized (ENTA) : The co announced that it has decided not to exercise its co-development option for ABT-493, Enanta's next-generation protease inhibitor for hepatitis C virus  being developed in Enanta's collaboration with AbbVie (ABBV). Per the original collaboration agreement signed in December 2006, Enanta will be eligible for certain regulatory approval milestones as well as royalties on net sales allocable to ABT-493 from worldwide sales of any ABT-493-containing regimens. Enanta also announced that it has reached agreement with AbbVie regarding the net sales allocations for royalty calculations for ABT-450-containing regimens, as well as any regimens containing ABT-493. ABT-450 is the first clinical-stage protease inhibitor candidate developed within the Enanta-AbbVie collaboration, and ABT-493 is the second.

  • With the amended agreement, the following percentages of worldwide net sales of ABT-450-containing regimens will be the net sales then used to calculate annual royalties payable to Enanta
    • 30% for ABT-450-containing 3-DAA regimen 
    • 45% for ABT-450-containing 2-DAA regimen
    • For any HCV treatment regimen containing ABT-493, net sales for royalty purposes will be determined by dividing AbbVie's worldwide net sales of the regimen by the number of DAAs in the regimen

4:50 pm Resolute Energy provides operation update: Three Permian Basin horizontal wells averaged 1,300 Boe per day on peak 24-hour IP tests (REN) : Co updates certain operating data, provides horizontal well results and provides information for its scheduled conference call to discuss results for the quarter ended September 30, 2014.

  • "Our drilling during the third quarter and into the fourth quarter has been focused in Reeves County, Texas (Delaware Basin) and Campbell County, Wyoming (Powder River Basin). We have completed four horizontal wells in Reeves County since May, including two in our Appaloosa area and two in our Mustang area. In the Powder River Basin, our two most recent Turner horizontal wells have been producing since September 3 and 25, respectively."
  • Three Permian Basin horizontal wells averaged 1,300 Boe per day on peak 24-hour IP tests
  • Two Powder River Basin horizontal wells showed peak 24-hour IPs of 574 and 387 Boe per day
  • "The new wells have contributed significantly to production, and total Company production is on track to be within our annual production guidance as announced on March 10, 2014. Third quarter production was approximately 12,650 barrels of oil equivalent ("Boe") per day with exit rate production for the third quarter of approximately 14,000 Boe per day."

4:45 pm IDEX Corp beats by $0.04, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS below consensus (IEX) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.88 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.84; revenues rose 8.7% year/year to $533.2 mln vs the $525.75 mln consensus (+7 percent organic, +1 percent acquisition and +1 percent foreign currency translation) compared with last year. Orders in the quarter of $507 million were down 5 percent (-6 percent organic and +1 percent foreign currency translation) compared with the prior year period and flat excluding the prior period large dispensing equipment order.

Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.85-0.88 vs. $0.90 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. "We expect fourth quarter organic revenue growth to be low-to-mid single digits (consensus +4.5%), resulting in full year organic revenue growth of 5 to 6 percent with operating margins exceeding 20 percent."

4:40 pm McDermott awarded second contract for PETRONAS Bukit Tua development in East Java, Indonesia (MDR) : Co announced that one of its subsidiaries was awarded a transportation, installation and pre-commissioning contract by PC Ketapang II Ltd, a subsidiary of PETRONAS, for the Bukit Tua Development Project in the Ketapang block of East Java, Indonesia. The contract will be included in McDermott's fourth quarter backlog.

  • This new contract is for the transportation and installation of the BTJT-A jacket, its related topsides and subsea pipeline tie-in spools. Additionally, McDermott will undertake the pre-commissioning of the related export and infield pipelines. All offshore installation work will be carried out by the McDermott Derrick Barge 30.
  • The offshore campaign is expected to be completed by end of the first quarter of 2015. 

4:38 pm Kaiser Alum misses by $0.21, reports revs in-line (stock is halted) (KALU) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.79 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.21 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.00; revenues rose 5.9% year/year to $339 mln vs the $339.73 mln consensus.

  • Co lowers guidance; as a consequence of Q3 earnings coming in below co's expectation, co now anticipates that 2014 adj. EBITDA will fall slightly below 2012 and 2013 levels vs prior guidance, which continued to expect results will be similar to 2012 and 2013."
    • 2012 EPS was $3.82, revs $1.36 bln. 2013 EPS was $3.65, revs was $1.30 bln.
  • 2014 EPS Capital IQ Consensus Est is $3.78. while revenue expectations are $1.36 bln. 
  • "As we look forward, we anticipate improving demand for our aerospace and automotive extrusions applications to be an offset to normal fourth quarter seasonal demand weakness. As in prior years, we have significant planned major maintenance in the fourth quarter which this year includes an extended planned outage at our Newark, Ohio facility that is expected to be completed during the quarter," said Mr. Hockema.
  • "Overall, we anticipate that fourth quarter value added revenue and adjusted EBITDA will be similar to the third quarter 2014. As a consequence of third quarter earnings coming in below our expectation, we now anticipate that full year 2014 adjusted EBITDA will fall slightly below 2012 and 2013 levels.

4:37 pm Ultra Clean Holdings misses by $0.03, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS and revs below consensus; experiences impairments due to GTAT bankruptcy (UCTT) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.15; revenues rose 9.2% year/year to $117.04 mln vs the $117.19 mln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.11-0.14, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.18 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $115-120 mln vs. $125.11 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

"At the beginning of the Company's fourth quarter, a new customer, GT Advanced Technologies, Inc. (GTAT), filed for bankruptcy. This event had an impact on the Company's earnings for the third quarter of 2014. As of the end of Q3 2014, the Company believes that the outstanding accounts receivable, as well as the value of its on-hand inventory and related non-cancelable in-transit inventory related to the bankruptcy, has been impaired. As a result, in the third quarter of 2014, approximately $2.8 million of revenue was reversed for third quarter 2014 and $1.6 million of account receivables was written off to bad debt expense for shipments made prior to the third quarter of 2014. In addition, approximately $6.6 million of on-hand and non-cancelable in-transit inventory was written off to cost of goods sold in the third quarter of fiscal 2014."

4:36 pm TransMontaigne Partners L.P. announces changes in its executive management; CEO Charles Dunlap to retire effective November 7th, 2014 (TLP) : Their general partner is responsible for managing the operations and activities of TLP since the partnership does not have its own officers or employees. The board of directors of our general partner wishes to thank Mr. Dunlap for his substantial contributions to TransMontaigne.

  • On October 20, 2014, the board of directors of our general partner appointed Frederick W. Boutin to serve as Chief Executive Officer of our general partner, effective November 7, 2014. Mr. Boutin has also been appointed to serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer of TransMontaigne Inc., effective November 7, 2014. 
  • On October 20, 2014, the board of directors of our general partner appointed Robert Fuller to serve as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer of our general partner, effective November 7, 2014.

4:35 pm Apple beats by $0.11, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs above consensus (AAPL) : Reports Q4 (Sep) earnings of $1.42 per share, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.31; revenues rose 12.4% year/year to $42.12 bln vs the $39.84 bln consensus.

  • Gross margins of 38% vs ests ~38% (guidance 37-38%)
  • iPhone sales of 39.27 mln vs 38 mln ests and 33.8 mln last year.
  • Q4 iPad sales of 12.32 mln vs 13 mln ests and 14.1 mln last year.
  • Q4 Mac sales of 5.52 mln vs 4.75 mln ests and 4.6 mln last year
Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $63.5-66.5 bln vs. $63.44 bln Capital IQ Consensus; sees Q1 gross margins of 37.5-38.5% versus ~38% ests vs 37.9% last year. 
  • "We continued to execute aggressively against our capital return program, spending over $20 billion in the quarter and bringing cumulative returns to $94 billion."

4:34 pm Texas Instruments beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides Q4 EPS above consensus, revs in-line (TXN) : Reports Q3 (Sep) GAAP earnings of $0.76 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.71; revenues rose 7.9% year/year to $3.50 bln vs the $3.45 bln consensus.

  • "Gross margin of 58.4 percent, a new record, reflects the quality of our portfolio of Analog and Embedded Processing products as well as the efficiency of our manufacturing strategy.
Co issues mixed guidance for Q4, sees GAAP EPS of $0.64-0.74 vs. $0.63 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $3.13-3.39 bln vs. $3.25 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. The annual effective tax rate for 2014 is expected to be about 28 percent, unchanged from our previous guidance.

4:33 pm Potlatch misses by $0.01, misses on revs (PCH) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.81 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.82; revenues rose 12.2% year/year to $177.2 mln vs the $184.71 mln consensus.

  • Segments: Resource's operating income was $34.1 million on revenues of $91.9 million in the third quarter, compared to operating income of $10.8 million on revenues of $39.5 million in the second quarter of 2014... Wood Products' operating income was $15.8 million on revenues of $99.2 million in the third quarter, compared to operating income of $14.9 million on revenues of $100.6 million in the second quarter of 2014... Real Estate's operating income was $4.6 million on revenues of $6.2 million in the third quarter, compared to operating income of $12.4 million on revenues of $15.7 million in the second quarter of 2014. 

4:33 pm BancorpSouth misses by $0.01; NIM increased to 3.62% from 3.59% last qtr (BXS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.32 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.33.

  • Generated net loan growth of $198.9 million, or 8.5 percent annualized, which represents the sixth consecutive quarter of net loan growth. 
  • Net interest margin increased to 3.62% from 3.59% for the second quarter of 2014.

4:32 pm MasTec expands wireless operation with acquisition of WesTower Communications for ~$199 mln in cash; will be accretive to 2015 diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.05- $0.10 (MTZ) : Co announced that it has acquired WesTower Communications, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Exchange Income. WesTower is a telecommunications services firm, focusing on construction and maintenance of communications infrastructure related to wireless networks throughout the United States. WesTower's operations have experienced significant revenue expansion, growing from ~ $100 mln in annual revenues in 2010, to ~ $450 mln in projected revenues in 2014. WesTower currently provides services to a number of major wireless carriers through 16 regional operating offices located throughout the Eastern, Central and Western United States, and currently has ~ 1,600 employees.

In the transaction, MasTec acquired all of the issued and outstanding equity interests of WesTower for a one-time payment of ~ $199 mln in cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. At closing, WesTower had ~ $159 mln in tangible net worth, comprised mostly of working capital of $151 mln, including ~ $18 mln in cash.

  • George Pita, MasTec's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "We believe that once WesTower's operations are integrated into MasTec billing systems and processes, we will be able to substantially reduce overall working capital levels in these operations by as much as 20%. We anticipate that this transaction, exclusive of merger integration costs, will be accretive to 2015 diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.05- $0.10. For our upcoming fourth quarter, we anticipate that this transaction, exclusive of merger integration costs, and due to WesTower's seasonally lower fourth quarter revenue expectations, will be ~ $0.01-$0.03 dilutive to diluted earnings per share".

4:31 pm UPS rates across UPS Ground, Air, International, UPS Freight, and UPS air freight will increase average of 4.9% effective Dec. 29, 2014 (UPS) :  

4:31 pm Stamps.com acquires e-commerce software company ShipWorks for ~$22 mln in cash (STMP) : The co announced the acquisition of ShipWorks , based in St. Louis, Missouri, which offers monthly subscription based e-commerce shipping software. ShipWorks is a leading client-based shipping software company that provides simple, powerful and easy to use solutions for online sellers. The co purchased ShipWorks for approximately $22 million in cash. Stamps.com plans for ShipWorks to operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary, led by the existing management team.

4:30 pm CEL-SCI Corp announces proposed public offering of common stock; terms not disclosed (CVM) :

  • Laidlaw & Company (:UK) Ltd. is acting as the sole book-running manager and underwriter for the proposed offering.

4:30 pm Hannon Armstrong Sust. Infr announces $144 mln investment in ten operating wind projects; raises $115 million of fixed rate debt (HASI) : The transaction enables Hannon Armstrong to participate in the priority cash flows associated with these wind projects.  Hannon Armstrong also raised $115 million of new fixed-rate non-recourse debt from Bank of America, N.A, using the investment as collateral. 

  • Wind investment covers 10 projects, in five states, representing over 1,200 megawatts of gross generating capacity, all placed in service between 2004 and 2008 
  • Projects have no debt, hence the vast majority of the free cash flow (after operating expenses) is distributed to the investors, including Hannon Armstrong, until a preferred return is achieved
  • Hannon Armstrong has contributed $144 million in cash to a newly created limited liability company ("NewCo") with no debt, liabilities or employees. The cash will be used to acquire four separate existing limited liability company investments from JP Morgan. 
  • Hannon Armstrong will own 50% of NewCo and share in the cash flow and tax attributes according to a negotiated schedule.  As part of the transaction, Hannon Armstrong borrowed $115 million of fixed-rate amortizing non-recourse debt from Bank of America, N.A. using Hannon Armstrong's interest in NewCo as collateral.

4:27 pm Kaiser Alum trading halted ahead of earnings, news pending (KALU) :  

4:15 pm Allegheny Tech and Snecma (Safran) sign long-term titanium cast products agreement (ATI) :

  • Co announced that it has signed an agreement to supply titanium investment cast products to Snecma (Safran) for use in single-aisle and business jet engine programs, including the CFM LEAP family.
  • The new agreement begins in 2015 and extends into the next decade.

4:12 pm Medical Properties Trust announces more than $1 billion in new real estate investments; expected to be accretive to normalized FFO by $0.09 - $0.12 per share (MPW) : Co announced that it has entered into definitive agreements pursuant to which it will acquire and lease back substantially all of the real estate assets of privately-held MEDIAN Kliniken Group, the largest private provider of post-acute and acute rehabilitation services in Germany. The aggregate purchase price for the real estate assets is expected to be ~ 705 mln, or $900 mln based on current exchange rates.

  • "This transaction further demonstrates MPT's success in leveraging its deep understanding of the healthcare markets and continues its track record of completing highly accretive investments across diverse geographies," said Edward K. Aldag, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Medical Properties Trust. "This is an important transaction because it significantly increases our asset base to ~ $4.5 bln, and builds on our recent entry into the attractive Western European market. The acquisition of the MEDIAN real estate is a very compelling and unique opportunity for MPT and is fully aligned with our strategy to diversify our market-leading hospital portfolio across geography, operator and facility type." 
In addition to the MEDIAN acquisitions, MPT also announced ~ $155 mln in recent, previously undisclosed commitments and investments. Investment takes MPT's normalized FFO run rate to $1.19 to $1.26 per share. MPT's previous run rate estimate was $1.10 to $1.14 per share.

4:12 pm Closing Market Summary: Nasdaq Leads Stocks Higher (:WRAPX) : Equity indices finished the first session of the week near their highs with the Nasdaq Composite (+1.4%) leading the way. The S&P 500 (+0.9%) settled a bit behind the tech-heavy index while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) struggled to turn positive.

The price-weighted Dow spent the bulk of the session in the red as IBM (IBM 169.10, -12.95) weighed. The stock fell 7.1% and surrendered its standing as the second-largest Dow component after reporting disappointing results that featured revenue declines across all key segments and all geographic regions in which the company operates.

Despite IBM's miss, the technology sector kept pace with the broader market, thanks in part to the relative strength of Apple (AAPL 99.76, +2.09). The top-weighted sector component jumped 2.1% ahead of its earnings report. Similarly, chipmakers also contributed to the advance with the PHLX Semiconductor Index climbing 1.5%.

The outperformance of microchip manufacturers gave a boost to the Nasdaq Composite, which also benefited from strength in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 269.57, +4.20) spiked 1.6% while the health care sector (+1.2%) finished among the outperformers. Similarly, two other countercyclical sectors-consumer staples (+1.4%) and utilities (+1.4%)-displayed relative strength, while the telecom services space (+0.8%) ended a bit behind the S&P 500.

Also of note, the energy sector (+0.8%) was able to settle in the green even as crude oil slipped 0.1% to $81.97/bbl. Halliburton (HAL 52.92, +0.32) underpinned the sector, climbing 0.6%, in reaction to better than expected earnings and revenue.

Elsewhere, industrials (+0.3%) registered a slim gain, but the sector was weighed down by defense contractors with the PHLX Defense Index shedding 0.1%. Meanwhile, transport stocks fared well with the Dow Jones Transportation Average rising 1.0%. Airlines led the way with United Continental (UAL 47.29, +2.61) spiking 5.8%.

Treasuries registered modest gains with the 10-yr yield slipping one basis point to 2.18%.

Today's participation was largely in-line with average as 723 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Investors did not receive any economic news today and tomorrow's data will be limited to the Existing Home Sales report for September (Briefing.com consensus 5.11 million), which will be released at 10:00 ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +3.3% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +3.0% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.1% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 -5.8% YTD

4:11 pm Cadence Design beats by $0.02, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (CDNS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.24; revenues rose 9.0% year/year to $400 mln vs the $396.24 mln consensus.

  • "Cadence continued to drive growth in the 3Q, with wins in core EDA and our expanding systems business," said Lip-Bu Tan, president and chief executive officer.
Co issues mixed guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.26-0.28, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.29 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $417-427 mln vs. $427.44 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:11 pm Rambus misses by $0.01 (:GAAP), misses on revs; guides Q4 revs ~in-line (RMBS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) GAAP earnings of $0.05 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.06; revenues fell 4.9% year/year to $69.7 mln vs the $71.16 mln consensus, down 9% on a sequential basis from the second quarter of 2014 primarily due to a one-time catch-up payment from the new license agreement signed with Qualcomm during the second quarter of 2014 and lower royalty revenue from NVIDIA. As compared to the third quarter of 2013, revenue was down 5% primarily due to lower royalty revenue from Samsung and NVIDIA, offset by the license agreements signed with Qualcomm and Micron Technology. Revenue is not without risk and includes expectations that the Company will sign new customers for patent as well as solutions licensing.

Co issues in-line guidance for Q4, sees Q4 revs of $70-75 mln vs. $74.07 mln Capital IQ Consensus. 

4:10 pm Imperva appoints former Citrix and BMC executive Kim DeCarlis as Chief Marketing Officer (IMPV) : Mark Kraynak, formerly Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, has moved into the newly created role of Chief Product Officer. 

4:09 pm CYS Investments reports EPS in-line (CYS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.31 per share (core earnings plus drop), in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.31; revenues (internet income) fell 9.9% year/year to $77.1 mln may not compare to the $78.87 mln consensus. 

  • The Company's book value per common share on September 30, 2014 was $10.14, compared to $10.31 at June 30, 2014. The decrease in book value was due principally to a decline in prices of Agency RMBS during the quarter ended September 30, 2014. 
  • September 30, 2014 leverage ratio of 6.63 to 1. 
  • The Company had net income available to common shareholders of $19.8 million during the third quarter of 2014, or $0.12 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $153.2 million, or $0.95 per diluted common share, in the second quarter of 2014.

4:09 pm Illumina beats by $0.22, beats on revs; guides FY14 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (ILMN) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.77 per share, $0.22 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55; revenues rose 34.8% year/year to $481 mln vs the $451.38 mln consensus.

  • Gross Margin: Excluding the effect of non-cash charges associated with stock compensation, amortization of acquired intangible assets, legal contingencies, and impairments, non-GAAP gross margin was 73.2% for the third quarter of 2014 compared to 70.2% in the prior year period. 
  • Guidance: Co issues upside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.63-$2.65 vs. $2.28 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs increasing approximately 30% to $1.85 bln vs. $1.8 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:09 pm Hexcel beats by $0.03, misses on revs; raises FY14 EPS in-line, raises revs in-line (HXL) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.57 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.54; revenues rose 9.6% year/year to $451.9 mln vs the $460.2 mln consensus.

  • Co raises FY14 EPS guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $2.10-2.16, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.13 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, up from $2.06-2.14)
  • Co raises FY14 revs guidance to $1.83-1.86 bln, as Commercial Aerospace continues its strong pace, while lower expected Space & Defense sales should be offset by higher Industrial sales, vs. $1.86 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, from $1.81-1.86 bln

4:07 pm Trinity Industries confirms $175 mln in damages at jury trial (TRN) :

  • See earlier InPlay comments, co confirms prior reports.
  • The co respects the jury's decision. However, co believes the decision cannot and will not withstand legal scrutiny. 
  • The co strongly believes the courts will affirm its position.

4:07 pm Citrix Systems acquires RightSignature to streamline workflows; terms of the acquisition were not disclosed (CTXS) : RightSignature, which integrates with Citrix ShareFile, provides a simple way to get documents signed electronically, helping customers to digitize documents, automate processes and go paperless.

4:06 pm Chipotle Mexican Grill beats by $0.31, beats on revs; Reiterates 2014 SSS guidance (CMG) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $4.15 per share, $0.31 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $3.84; revenues rose 31.1% year/year to $1.08 bln vs the $1.06 bln consensus. 

  • CMG reports Q3 SSS +19.8%; Street Expectations were for +17%; 
  • Food costs were 34.3% of revenue, an increase of 70 basis points, driven by increased prices for beef, avocados, and dairy, partially offset by the menu price increase. 
  • Restaurant level operating margin was 28.8% in the quarter, an increase of 200 basis points from the third quarter of 2013. The increase was primarily driven by favorable sales leverage, partially offset by higher food costs, primarily for beef, avocados and dairy. 
Outlook
  • 180 - 195 new restaurant openings 
  • Reiterates Mid-teens comparable restaurant sales increases 
  • An effective full year tax rate of approximately 38.5% 
2015 Outlook
  • 190-205 new restaurant openings 
  • Low to mid-single digit comparable restaurant sales increases 
  • An estimated effective tax rate of 39.1%. 

4:06 pm Silicon Image appoints Khurram Sheikh as new Chief Strategy and Technology Officer (SIMG) : In the new role, Mr. Sheikh will be responsible for driving the company's strategic initiatives and technology innovation as well as overseeing corporate development, business development and industry standards activities. Prior to joining Silicon Image, Mr. Sheikh was founder and CEO of JKSFS, a communications technology company based in Silicon Valley.

4:05 pm Team Health Holdings acquires PhysAssist Scribes, Inc; terms not disclosed (TMH) : Based in Fort Worth, Texas, PhysAssist provides scribe services for more than 155 emergency departments in 22 states. PhysAssist will operate under its current leadership as a separate division of TeamHealth and will continue to serve its existing clients from the Fort Worth office while seeking new opportunities for growth throughout the U.S. The PhysAssist management team will provide leadership and oversight of TeamHealth's development of scribe services, providing support for TeamHealth's new and existing hospital partners throughout the country.

4:05 pm Neurocrine Biosci announces initiation of Phase III study for VMAT2 inhibitor NBI-98854 (NBIX) : Co announced that it has initiated a Phase III clinical trial of its proprietary Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 compound, NBI-98854. The design of the Kinect 3 Study is a randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of approximately 240 subjects with moderate to severe tardive dyskinesia and an underlying diagnosis of mood disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

  • The initial six weeks of treatment consists of an efficacy and safety assessment of 80mg and 40mg once-daily NBI-98854 against placebo. This is followed by an additional 46 weeks of long-term safety assessment where all subjects are randomized in a blinded fashion to either 80mg or 40mg once-daily NBI-98854. Topline efficacy data is expected in the second half of 2015.

4:05 pm Oi SA announces liquidation of assets will have no impact on the business combination with Portugal Telecom (PT) (OIBR) : Co clarifies that the announcement of a possible liquidation of the assets of Rio Forte Investments S.A. as a result of the rejection of the request for controlled management for Rio Forte, which occurred on October 17, shall have no impact on the development of the business combination and the merging of the shareholder bases of Oi, Portugal Telecom (PT) SGPS S.A. and TmarPart.

4:05 pm Harsco appoints Peter Minan as Chief Financial Officer (HSC) :

  • Mr. Minan's most recent role was VP Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Audit with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).

4:03 pm General American Investors reports net assets as of September 30, 2014; Net assets applicable to common stock as of Sep 30 were $1,276,977,415 (GAM) : The value at September 30, 2014 included an increase in assets resulting from operations for the nine month period then ended of $63,068,047 and a reduction of $15,560,378 representing the cost of 445,681 shares of the Company's common stock that were repurchased during the nine month period.

  •  Net asset value per share of common stock at September 30, 2014 was $43.30, as compared with $41.07 per share at December 31, 2013.

4:03 pm Triangle Capital invests $21.8 mln in PlayHaven (TCAP) :  

4:03 pm Wilshire Bancorp misses by $0.01 (WIBC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20. 

  • Net interest margin of 4.26% for the third quarter of 2014, an increase from 4.08% for the third quarter of 2013. 
  • Loans receivable (net of deferred fees and costs) totaled $3.16 billion at September 30, 2014, an increase of 44% from $2.20 billion at September 30, 2013.

3:59 pm AT&T announced that it will offer iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular and iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular (T) :  

3:30 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX) : Today after the close look for the following companies to report:

  • EWBC, CE, BBCN, BXS, CDNS, CMG, CYS, ELS, GLF, HLX, HSTM, HXL, PKG, RCII, RMBS, STLD, TXN, UCTT, WERN, WIBC, ZION, AAPL, BRO, ILMN, KALU, PCH
Tomorrow before the open look for the following companies to report:
  • APOL, CP, ARMH, MAN, SBNY, XRS, ABG, AOS, ASTE, ATI, CSL, CTG, HOG, KMB, KO, LMT, LPT, LXK, MCD, OMC, RF, SAH, SNV, TRV, UTX, VZ, WAT, GPK, ITW, RAI, PNR, EAT

3:11 pm S&P 500 continues higher into the final hour here paced by sector leadership in materials- XLB +135%, consumer staples- XLP +1.5%, consumer discretionary- XLY +1.4%, & utilities- XLU +1.25% (SPY) :

  • SPX now trades @ 1902.84 +16.08 (+0.85%)

3:05 pm Signature Group will host conference call tomorrow Oct 21 at 8:30am ET to discuss previously announced Global Recycling and Specification acquisition (SGGH) :  

3:05 pm Novartis AG announces FDA Advisory Committee unanimously recommends approval of AIN457 (secukinumab) for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (NVS) : Co announced the Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee (:DODAC) to the FDA voted unanimously to support the approval of AIN457 (secukinumab), a selective interleukin-17A (IL-17A) inhibitor, for the treatment of moderate-to- severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy (a drug that is absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed to all parts of the body) or phototherapy (light therapy). The DODAC based its recommendation on the safety and efficacy outcomes from 10 psoriasis Phase II/III clinical studies which included nearly 4,000 patients with moderate-to- severe plaque psoriasis. Novartis submitted a Biologics License Application (:BLA) for secukinumab to the FDA in October 2013 and the FDA action date is expected in early 2015. Additionally, submissions have been made with regulatory authorities in the EU with an expected decision anticipated in late 2014 or early 2015.

2:22 pm Dollar Tests 85.00: 10Y:+03/32..2.182%..USD/JPY: 106.88..EUR/USD: 1.2797 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index presses session lows as trade probes the 85.00 level. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
  • The greenback saw a modest overnight bid, but has come under steady selling throughout U.S. trade. 
  • EURUSD is +35 pips @ 1.2795 as a modest bid develops following two days of losses. The single currency has been found a bid following word the European Central Bank has begun buying Frecnh and Spanish covered bonds to kick off its ABS purchase program. A run through 1.2800 puts 1.2900 resistance in play. 
  • GBPUSD is +75 pips @ 1.6165 as buyers remain in control for a fourth session. A quiet day for news and data out of the UK has left trade correlated to risk. Britain's public sector net borrowing will cross the wires tomorrow.
  • USDCHF is -20 pips @ .9430 with action pressing session lows. Support in the .9400 area is being watched closely, but its ability to hold is likely dependent on action in the euro. Swiss data set for tomorrow is limited to the trade balance. 
  • USDJPY is flat @ 106.90 after surrendering all of its early gains. The pair climbed to nearly 107.50 following overnight reports Japan's largest pension fund, GPIF, is boosting its equity allocation to 25% (currently 12%)
  • AUDUSD is +45 pips @ .8790 as trade continues to test the lowest levels of 2014. The latest Reserve Bank of Australia minutes will be released tonight, and have the ability to break the pair out of the .8650/.8850 range that has been in place for the past month. Chinese data is heavy this evening as GDP, industrial production, and fixed asset investment are all scheduled for release.
  • USDCAD is +10 pips @ 1.1285 as trade contends with its best close since July 2009. The pair held small losses early on in the U.S. session, but recovered the lost ground following the in-line wholesale sales data.

2:08 pm Hampden Bancorp: ISS supports both Clover Nominees to replace Hampden Bancorp's incumbent directors (HBNK) : Clover Partners, the general partner of MHC Mutual Conversion Fund, L.P., is pleased to announce that ISS, an influential and leading proxy advisory firm, has chosen to support both Mr. Base and Mr. Guerry for election to the Board of Directors of Hampden Bancorp.

  • Regarding Hampden's share price performance, ISS notes: "the impact on and run-up in the company's stock price on Oct. 22, 2013, when ISS recommended to shareholders to vote for the dissident nominees in last year's proxy contest -- and the subsequent decline in total shareholder return when the company's nominees were re-elected in November -- appears to demonstrate the positive impact of the dissident's campaign on the stock price." 
  • Regarding Clover nominees ISS commented: "The complementary skills and experience of dissident nominees Base and Guerry appear suited to address the company's performance and strategic decision-making issues which we believe are the fundamental issues facing the board."

2:01 pm General Electric's GE Aviation wins avionics and power systems for General Dynamics's (GD) Gulfstream's G500/G600 (GE) : GE Aviation is supplying the data concentration and network, the advanced power management system and the advanced health management system to General Dynamics's (GD) Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation for the G500/G600 business jet aircraft.

  • The data concentration and network for the G500/G600 builds on GE's core computing system from the Boeing (BA) 787 and is a new offering for business jets. The system provides a highly configurable integrated data network (analog, digital via multiple communication protocols) for the aircraft and offers a way to seamlessly connect avionics and utility functions. Using GE's sophisticated tool suite, the data concentration and network system can be rapidly re-configured, enabling efficient integration and significantly reducing cost of change over the life of the airplane. 
The G500 entry-into-service is anticipated for 2018. The G600 is slated to enter service in 2019.

1:37 pm Vringo announces court of appeals invites Google (GOOG) to respond to en banc petition (VRNG) : The co announced thatthe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has invited the appellants,consisting of Google (GOOG) and certain of Google's customers to respond to the petition for rehearing en banc that Vringo's wholly-owned subsidiary I/P Engine, Inc. submitted on October 15, 2014.  The FederalCircuit indicated that appellants' response is due on or before November3, 2014.  Vringo believes that the deadline is subject to extension by thecourt.

1:27 pm Market View: SPY, QQQ push to new session highs here in midday trading; SPX now trades @ 1897.57 +10.81 (+0.57%) (:TECHX) :  

1:04 pm comScore and TubeMogul (TUBE) announced a partnership that will deliver brand advertisers with TV-comparable metrics from comScore validated Campaign Essentials for digital video campaigns on TubeMogul's enterprise software for digital branding. (SCOR) : The partnership brings vCE directly into the TubeMogul platform to give advertisers and their agencies campaign reporting metrics, such as demographics, reach/frequency and human gross rating points, for their video campaigns. These metrics help advertisers determine which ads are delivered to actual people -- rather than bots or spiders -- and which are within their target audience segments.

1:03 pm WellPoint renews agreement with Healthways to continue SilverSneakers fitness program (WLP) : "In 2015, WellPoint affiliated Medicare Advantage plans, like most, are facing significant financial pressures for the third consecutive year because of reimbursement reductions in the program. Facing these challenges requires making difficult decisions about the most important aspects of our product offerings. But we concluded, without hesitation, that programs that promote wellness, like SilverSneakers, needed to be a priority for us so Medicare beneficiaries can enjoy healthier, more productive lives."

1:01 pm Celanese acquires assets of Cool Polymers; financial terms not disclosed (CE) : Co announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Cool Polymers, Inc., based in North Kingstown, R.I. The acquisition will accelerate Celanese's growth in the conductive polymers market by building on Cool Polymers' strong product portfolio and technical capabilities. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

12:57 pm Midday Market Summary: Nasdaq Leads (:WRAPX) : The major averages hover on their highs at midday with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.8%) in the lead. For its part, the S&P 500 trades higher by 0.5% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.3%) has yet to turn positive.

The price-weighted Dow has lagged since the opening bell with IBM (168.42, -13.63) responsible for the bulk of the weakness. Shares of Big Blue have plunged 7.5% in reaction to disappointing earnings and revenue, which has caused the stock to drop below Goldman Sachs (GS 177.31, +0.40) in the Dow's weightings.

Interestingly, IBM's loss has been masked by the relative strength among other large cap technology (+0.4%) names. Facebook (FB 76.63, +0.68) and Google (GOOGL 527.89, +4.92) are both up near 1.0%, while Apple (AAPL 99.12, +1.45) has added 1.5% ahead of this evening's quarterly report. Chipmakers have also enjoyed a broad rally with the PHLX Semiconductor Index higher by 1.0%.

Similar to chipmakers, the high-beta biotech group has shown strength, which has resulted in relative strength for the Nasdaq Composite. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 267.77, +2.40) trades up 0.9% while the health care sector trades in-line with the S&P 500.

Elsewhere among heavily-weighted sectors, financials (+0.2%) lag, while energy (+0.5%) outperforms with a modest boost from Halliburton's (HAL 52.94, +0.34) better than expected earnings. As for crude oil, the energy component traded higher in overnight action, but slumped in the morning. Crude is currently lower by 0.4% at $82.04/bbl.

On the downside, the industrial sector (-0.3%) is the lone decliner amid weakness in defense contractors. The PHLX Defense Index trades lower by 0.6% with all but three components in the red.

Treasuries are little changed after surrendering their morning gains. The 10-yr yield is pegged at 2.19%.

12:48 pm ARC Document Solutions announced the renewal of its managed print services agreement with New York-based Parsons Brinckerhoff (ARC) : Co announced the renewal of its managed print services agreement with New York-based Parsons Brinckerhoff, a premier infrastructure consultancy providing services in the transportation, power, energy, community development, water, mining and environment segments.

  • The five-year agreement provides Parsons Brinckerhoff offices in and around North America with comprehensive document solutions including the integration of Abacus, ARC's proprietary software for managing, maintaining, and tracking enterprise print network activity; utilization of PlanWell SmartScreens; and other digital workflow services. Document solutions are being provided throughout North America with opportunities in other international locations in the future. Anticipated revenue from the contract was not disclosed.

12:33 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

  • LUV (32.59 +4.96%): Positive view mentioned over the weekend in Barron's; strong commentary from Cowen on the airline industry ahead of earnings.
  • RCI (38.8 +3.49%): Upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.
  • TWTR (50.38 +3.29%): Bullish commentary from Topeka Capital Mkts, notes numerous near-term catalysts, raised PT to $63 from $62.
Large Cap Losers
  • IBM (169.72 -6.77%): Missed Q3 estimates by $0.64, missed on revs; removed 2015 EPS guidance.
  • SAP (65.36 -5.26%): Beat by EUR0.02, reported revs in-line; issued mixed guidance, trimming full-year profit outlook.
  • MJN (96.13 -4.09%): Reports are out that Danone (DANOY) did not discuss a transaction with MJN at its latest board meeting; also was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
Mid Cap Gainers
  • CNL (53.08 +9.98%): To be acquired by a North American investor group led by Macquarie Infrastructure for $55.37, or ~$4.7 bln.
  • TERP (27.36 +9.66%): Mentioned positively by Greenlight's Einhorn at Robin Hood conference; also upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan.
  • LII (83.16 +8.92%): Beat by $0.03, missed on revs; reaffirmed FY14 EPS in-line, reaffirmed revs in-line; announced new $450 mln accelerated share repurchase program.
Mid Cap Losers
  • NCR (23.46 -21.46%): Issued downside Q3 guidance and lowered 2014 guidance.
  • TLLP (61.2 -8.77%): Purchased the Midstream Business from QEP Resources (QEP) for $2.5 bln, announced the commencement of a registered underwritten public offering of 19.35 mln common units and an intention to offer $1.3 bln of senior notes.
  • SHOO (29.16 -8.72%): Issued downside Q3 guidance; updated FY14 guidance to reflect Dolce Vita acquisition.

12:02 pm Hemispherx announces strategic relationship with Squire Patton Boggs, Washington, DC as governmental counsel in fight against Ebola (HEB) : The co has retained Squire Patton Boggs to serve as its global government relations team in an effort to help find additional pathways for testing Hemispherx's flagship experimental anti-viral Ampligen and approved anti-viral Alferon N against the devastating Ebola virus. Hemispherx currently is testing its experimental immunomodulator Ampligen for potential efficacy as a prophylactic and therapeutic against the Ebola virus. Squire Patton Boggs will work with foreign officials in Africa, Europe and the United States, to pursue opportunities to provide Ampligen and Alferon to populations suffering from the Ebola crisis.

11:54 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:-0.7%
  • Germany's DAX:-1.5%
  • France's CAC:-1.0%
  • Spain's IBEX:-0.4%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.2%
  • Italy's MIB Index:-0.9%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+0.7%
  • Greece ASE General Index: +1.1%

11:50 am Heading towards midday trading, SPX large-cap sector leadership & out-performance is seen in utilities- XLU +1.3%, consumer staples- XLP +1.0%, materials- XLB +0.90%, and consumer discretionary- XLY +0.85% (SPY) :

  • SPX currently trades @ 1894.17 +7.41 (+0.39%)

11:41 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New lows (57) outpacing new highs (22) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AMRE, ANAC, BSET, CCBG, CNSL, DPZ, EIX, ELLI, ERIE, FIZZ, FNHC, JXSB, NAVI, ORC, RDNT, ROX, SONC, STRA, TE, USPH, UUU, VAC

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACUR, AE, AMZG, AU, BIND, BIOS, BSDM, CANF, CGG, CLRB, COOL, CPA, CPXX, DDE, DIT, DRNA, DXPE, EGAN, ENVI, ESCR, ESSX, FRAN, GBIM, GES, GIG, IBM, ISSC, JOB, KGC, LAS, MFLX, MG, MRVC, NCR, OIBR, OIBR.C, OMI, ONP, OXM, PBCT, PED, PETS, PHG, PME, PSTR, PT, QCCO, QEPM, SAP, SHOO, SID, STRM, TCK, TS, VALE, VRNS, WGA

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: none

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: DJP, REMX, USCI

11:24 am PPG Industries to acquire Pittsburgh-based architectural paint distributor Westmoreland Supply; financial terms not disclosed (PPG) : Co announced that its North American architectural coatings business has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Westmoreland Supply, an independent architectural paint distributor headquartered in Pittsburgh. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

  • The acquisition of Westmoreland Supply, which operates a 12-store network throughout Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, will expand PPG's North American company-owned stores footprint. Following completion of the acquisition, the locations will operate as part of PPG's network of more than 900 company-owned stores in North America, and will be rebranded under the company's new PPG Paints store brand.

11:13 am Currency Commentary: DXY Holding 85 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index is attempting to hold the 85 level as we kick off another week of trade. It has been a quiet start to the week with no notable economic data. However market participants will be awaiting China economic data overnight that promises to garner plenty of attention. In addition, preliminary PMI data from major economies is due out Wednesday night, Thursday morning. It is, overall, a quiet macro calendar in the U.S. with the most notable reports being Existing Home Sales (Tue), CPI (Wed), and Leading Indicators (Thu). 
  • The euro was under early selling pressure but it continues to show signs of being able to hold the 1.2750 level. There is plenty of concern around the upcoming French and Italian budgets but stories out over the weekend suggest France was in talks with Germany behind the scenes to smooth out differences. Market focus in the region will be on upcoming Stress Test results which are expected to be released Sunday, October 26. 
  • The pound is extending on recent gains as it climbs into the 1.6150 area. Better than expected housing prices has helped cable push to its best level in a week. Sterling has been putting together a nice upward trend since dipping to 1.58 early last week.
  • The Japanese yen saw some weakness as a report over the weekend stated that sources were saying the country's Government Pension Investment Fund will raise its holdings in foreign bonds and lower stake in JGBs. There has been no confirmation of this and there are some questioning the legitimacy of the rumor. Regardless, it did lead to some profit taking in the yen the briefly pushed it to 107.40 before it stabilized (BONDX, FOREX).

11:11 am ShoreTel confirms receipt of unsolicited proposal from Mitel (MITL) (SHOR) : The co confirmed that it has received an unsolicited proposal from Mitel Networks Corporation (MITL) to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the company for $8.10 per share in cash. Consistent with its fiduciary duties, ShoreTel's board of directors, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, will carefully review and evaluate the Proposal and determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company's stockholders.  ShoreTel advises stockholders not to take any action at this time pending the review of the Proposal by the company's board of directors.

11:05 am SolarCity appoints Jonathan Beamer as Chief Marketing Officer (SCTY) : Co announced the appointment of Jonathan Beamer as Chief Marketing Officer. Beamer will report to Chief Revenue Officer Hayes Barnard and work to broaden awareness of SolarCity and its ability to give homeowners across America a cleaner, more affordable alternative to their utility bills.

  • Beamer joins SolarCity from Progressive's (PGR) Progressive Insurance, where he served as the Business Leader in Marketing Strategy and Innovation. He joined Progressive in 2011 to lead marketing brand strategy and execution across digital channels.

10:59 am Gold Fields publishes 3Q2014 production guidance update; remains on track to achieve its FY14 production guidance of ~2,2 mln ounces (GFI) :

  • Attributable gold equivalent production for the quarter is expected to be ~559,000 ounces at All-in Sustaining Costs of US$1,074/oz and All-in Costs of $1,096/oz.
  • Gold Fields remains on track to achieve its production guidance for the full-year 2014, of approximately 2,200,000 ounces of gold equivalent production, as published on 13 February 2014.
  • Costs for the full year, however, is expected to be lower than the guidance published on 13 February 2014. AISC guidance for the full year is revised down to ~$1,090/oz (previously US$1,125/oz) and AIC guidance is revised down to ~$1,130/oz (previously US$1,150/oz).

10:48 am Kraton Performance Polymers announced the successful completion of the first road trial of highly modified asphalt technology in St. Petersburg, Russia, which will open to traffic in mid-2015. (KRA) : "Our goal is to make pavements more cost-effective. Our HiMA solution allows us to add more polymer into the mixes to achieve an asphalt thickness reduction from 20% to up to 50%, which makes the pavement less costly upfront. Additionally, pavements become more rut-resistant and able fight fatigue cracks, saving on maintenance costs."

10:36 am Sanofi-Aventis's Genzyme reports results from two phase III studies added to U.S. Label of Genzyme's Aubagio (SNY) : Co announced that the FDA has approved the inclusion of efficacy and safety data from the TOWER and TOPIC studies of once-daily, oral Aubagio (teriflunomide) in the product's U.S. label. In the TOWER study, patients with relapsing MS receiving Aubagio 14 mg had a statistically significant reduction in annualized relapse rate and relative risk of sustained disability progression compared to placebo. In addition, a significant reduction in annualized relapse rate was observed in patients treated with Aubagio 7 mg compared to placebo.

  • "Aubagio is the only oral multiple sclerosis treatment that has demonstrated a positive effect on disability progression in two Phase III clinical studies and is the only oral therapy with supporting published efficacy data on the treatment of patients who have experienced a first clinical attack," said Dr. Aaron E. Miller, Medical Director, The Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis, The Mount Sinai Hospital. "These data, along with its consistent safety and tolerability profile, make Aubagio an important treatment option for patients with relapsing MS."

10:32 am WiLAN concludes second patent agreement with Panasonic (PCRFY) (WILN) : Co announced that it has entered into a second patent assignment agreement with Panasonic Corporation (PCRFY). Under the Agreement, Panasonic will assign, to a wholly-owned subsidiary of WiLAN, all rights and title to certain patents related to vending machine systems. All terms of the Agreement are confidential.

10:31 am TransAct Tech announced that its Board of Directors is reviewing options to increase the flexibility of the stock repurchase return of capital program currently in place (TACT) : Co announced that its Board of Directors is reviewing options to increase the flexibility of the stock repurchase return of capital program currently in place which complements the co's quarterly cash dividend return of capital program.

  • TransAct currently pays a regular quarterly cash dividend and on August 11, 2014, the co's Board of Directors approved the repurchase of up to $7.5 mln of the co's outstanding shares of common stock from time to time on the open market, depending on market conditions, share price and other factors. 
  • The $0.08 per share quarterly dividend paid to shareholders on September 15, 2015 reflects an annual yield of 5.9% based on the on the $5.40 per share closing price of the co's stock on October 17, 2014. 
  • Through September 16, 2014, the beginning of the co's blackout period prior to the reporting of its 2014 third quarter results, and pursuant to the August repurchase authorization, TransAct has repurchased ~ 109K shares of its common stock for total consideration of ~ $0.8 mln. 
  • There can be no assurance that the co's Board of Directors will authorize any additional return of capital initiatives or if additional return of capital programs are approved what the timing or activity will be pursuant to any newly approved programs.

10:28 am Booz Allen Hamilton purchases healthcare unit of Genova Technologies; financial terms not disclosed (BAH) : The co announced that it has purchased the Baltimore, Md.-based healthcare unit of Genova Technologies, a move that represents the firm's commitment to further support the transformational efforts of the U.S. government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

10:25 am Chiquita Brands: leading proxy advisory firm ISS changes recommendation to Chiquita shareholders to vote "for" proposed combination with Fyffes (FYFFF) (CQB) : Co announced that ISS, a leading independent proxy voting and corporate governance advisory firm, has changed its previous recommendation and is advising its clients to vote "FOR" Chiquita's revised merger agreement with Fyffes plc (FYFFF). ISS is now recommending that Chiquita shareholders vote "FOR" the pending combination with Fyffes.

In its revised recommendation issued on October 20, 2014, ISS stated:

  • "After reviewing the value and relative certainty of the two competing transactions, as well as the appropriateness of the target board's response to the unsolicited bid, ISS has concluded that the $14.00 Cutrale/Safra offer, while higher than Chiquita closing prices immediately prior to the Cutrale/Safra's first bid, does not provide sufficient compensation to Chiquita shareholders to warrant giving up on the potential upside of the revised Fyffes transaction."
  • "While the Cutrale/Safra cash bid appears to offer relative certainty of value, it does not appear to offer a sufficient premium to the value of the ChiquitaFyffes combination, as indicated by present value of 2016 EBITDA and free cash flow multiples. As the target board's response to the unsolicited bid appears to have been appropriate-leading, ultimately, to improvements in both offers prior to the definitive shareholder vote-there does not appear to be any credible evidence the Chiquita board has not been acting in shareholders' best interest."
  • "Accordingly, Chiquita shareholders should vote FOR the Fyffes transaction and AGAINST Cutrale/Safra's proposal to give Cutrale/Safra unilateral ability to further adjourn the Chiquita shareholder meeting."*

10:18 am Market View: Biotech.- XBI +2.0%, IBB +0.90%, and Home-builders- ITB +1.8%, XHB +1.5% with notable sector ETF out-performance vs. SPX now trading marginally higher here in the 1st hour (:TECHX) :  

10:10 am Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. comments on Land & Buildings' press release; co will continue to evaluate Land & Buildings' most recent proposal that PREIT should immediately divest 17 properties, but they believe it is similarly flawed and will provide the initial feedback to L&B (PEI) : "PREIT welcomes and values the opinions of all shareholders, and is open to input that may help advance the goal of enhancing shareholder value. The PREIT Board of Trustees and management team continually review the Company's strategic priorities and opportunities, and periodically assess a variety of strategic options."

  • While it is the company's policy not to comment on specific discussions with shareholders, we note that we have had numerous discussions with representatives of Land & Buildings and have thoroughly reviewed a previous proposal from Land & Buildings, which recommended that PREIT sell a pool of assets into a liquidating trust. We have determined that such a strategy would not achieve optimal execution price or be value enhancing; furthermore, a liquidating trust would have significant leverage, liquidity, operating and cash flow implications, and would not be in the best interest of all shareholders.
  • While we will continue to evaluate Land & Buildings' most recent proposal that PREIT should immediately divest 17 properties, we believe it is similarly flawed, and we have provided this initial feedback to Land & Buildings. We noted specific issues with respect to Land & Buildings' proposal, including, but not limited to: the number of assets that should be sold, certain problematic leverage, liquidity and operating implications, credit complications, and considerable transaction costs and other expenses. Most notably, at this time, we believe that the immediate sale or spin-off of certain assets would not result in a valuation uplift and enhanced value for shareholders. We are confident that the continued execution of our strategy to dispose of selected assets in a deliberate and orderly manner, while strategically enhancing our other properties, is the best way to deliver long-term value.
  • While we respect Land & Buildings' views, PREIT remains focused on executing its strategic plan to create sustainable long-term value. The PREIT Board and management team have created significant value for shareholders, and as demonstrated by its track record, PREIT will take action when it is the right time and the right thing to do for shareholders.

10:02 am Innospec: judgment in favor of Innospec in Key Legal Matter; case against Innospec dismissed in its entirety (IOSP) : Co announce the successful conclusion of a lawsuit brought against the company by Jalal Bezee Mejel Al-Gaood & Partner and Future Agencies Company Limited in connection with alleged loss of profits in Iraq.

The matter had been filed in the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom, and the judge dismissed the Claimants' case in its entirety, subject to the right of appeal. The judgment also allows Innospec to bring a claim for reimbursement of its legal expenses. Innospec previously disclosed, in its SEC filings, that the stated claim inclusive of costs and expenses, was for up to $42.3 million.

10:00 am Orion Energy Systems receives commitments for $2.1 mln in recent orders from U.S. Federal Agency (OESX) : Co announced Orion has been awarded commitments from a major U.S. Federal agency totaling $2.1 million. Orion will retrofit five different government facilities in separate locations throughout the country with a combination of Orion products, 80% of which are LED fixtures and controls. All installations will be completed by the end of the 2015 fiscal year.

9:45 am Tesoro notably higher in early trading, up 8% after news this morning that its affiliate Tesoro Logistics (TLLP) had agreed to acquire QEP Field Services for ~$2.5 bln (TSO) : From the PR earlier, "In conjunction with the transaction, Tesorohas committed to investing $350 million in TLLP common units as well asmaintaining its 2% general partner interest. The investment is expected togenerate significant value through Tesoro's ownership interests in TLLP."

9:43 am Opening Market Summary: S&P 500 Erases Opening Retreat (:WRAPX) : The major averages slumped out of the gate, but the S&P 500 (+0.2%) has been able to turn positive. The technology sector (-0.2%) has exerted early pressure with IBM (IBM 168.74, -13.31) and SAP (SAP 65.63, -3.36) trading lower by 7.4% and 4.9%, respectively.

Elsewhere among influential sectors, consumer discretionary (+0.7%) and energy (+0.8%) display early strength while financials (unch), and industrials (-0.1%) underperform. Defense contractors have contributed to the weakness in the industrial space while transport stocks have held up well in the early going. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is higher by 0.3%.

Treasuries remain near their highs with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.17%.

9:40 am Worthington acquires dHybrid, designer and manufacturer of CNG Fuel Systems; financial terms not disclosed (WOR) : The co announced that it has acquired a majority interest in dHybrid Systems, a leader in compressed natural gas fuel systems. Worthington will own 80% of the equity, with the founder retaining 20% and continuing in a leadership role.

9:38 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Lionsgate (LGF) and Tribeca Enterprises have partnered to launch a subscription video-on-demand service.
  • King Digital Entertainment plc (KING) announced that Candy Crush Soda Saga, the sister title to hit game Candy Crush Saga, has launched worldwide on Facebook.
  • Medtronic, Inc. (MDT) introduced its Pure Titanium Coating platform of interbody fusion devices for the spine today at the 2014 Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in Boston.  
  • Acuity Brands,  Inc. (AYI)  announced  it will  build a  world-class engineering  and technology center at asite  it owns in Decatur,  Georgia, and will invest  in facility upgrades at its complex  in Conyers Georgia, as part of a  plan to enhance a workplace that willdrive  innovation and technology advances. 
  • Cummins Inc. (CMI) has entered into a partnership agreement with Schneider Electric and Ege University to support scholarships for students, and lab and equipment purchases to launch the new Mechatronics program at Ege.
  • Synopsys, Inc. (SNPS) introduced the DesignWare STAR Memory System for Embedded Flash product, the industry's first integrated memory test and repair solution with test algorithms optimized for on-chip embedded flash memories.
  • Tyler Technologies, Inc. (TYL) has signed a contract with Kane County, Illinois, to implement Tyler's Odyssey court case management system and give the county's justice community access to a single, integrated information system. The contract includes software licensing fees and professional services.
  • Teradata (TDC) introduced Connection Analytics powered by the Teradata Aster Discovery Platform. Connection Analytics offers a new class of data-driven analytics for discovering relationships and influences between people, products, and processes. 
  • Ellie Mae (ELLI), announced that it has recently surpassed 100,000 active usersof its Encompass mortgage management solution, the mortgage industry's solution for achieving compliance, loan quality and efficiency.
  • Highwoods Properties, Inc. (HIW) has renewed a 199,000 square foot lease with Vanderbilt University at 3401 West End in Nashville. Based on annual revenues, this was the Company's largest lease expiration in 2015. 
  • Valley National Bancorp (VLY) and 1st United Bancorp, Inc. (FUBC) jointly announced today that all regulatory and shareholder approvals necessary to complete the previously announced merger of 1st United with and into Valley have been received.
  • Texas Instruments (TXN) announced that its SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 and CC3200 devices, designed for the Internet of Things, are now Wi-Fi CERTIFIED at the chip level.

9:35 am Ocean RIG UDW announces recent developments; co has agreed to lend its parent company, DryShips (DRYS) up to $120m of immediate liquidity through a short-term unsecured loan (ORIG) :

  • The Company has agreed to lend its parent company, DryShips (DRYS) up to $120m of immediate liquidity through a short-term unsecured loan. 
  • The proceeds will be used, if needed, to repay Dryship's 5% Convertible Notes maturing in Dec. 1, 2014. 
  • The Company has declared its third consecutive quarterly cash dividend with respect to the quarter ended September 30, 2014, of $0.19 per common share, to shareholders of record as of October 31, 2014, and payable on or about November 11, 2014.
  • Ocean Rig has been awarded extensions of the drilling contracts for its two ultra deepwater drillships, the Ocean Rig Corcovado and the Ocean Rig Mykonos by Petr leo Brasileiro (PBR) for drilling offshore Brazil. The contract extensions are subject to partner approvals. The term of each extension is for 1,095 days with a total combined revenue backlog of over $1.1 billion, excluding reimbursement by Petrobras for contract related equipment upgrades. The new contracts will commence in direct continuation from the end of the current agreements with Petrobras, in Q1 and Q2 of 2015. 

9:33 am Market View: Large-cap technology sector- XLK -0.90% the biggest drag on the SPX in early trading as IBM drops -7.5% here following earnings miss (:TECHX) :  

9:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Mosaic announced that an affiliate of global reinsurer PartnerRe Ltd. (PRE) will provide up to $100 million in financing for Mosaic's home solar loan program.
  • OmniVision Technologies Inc. (OVTI) announced the newest additions to its portfolio of OmniHDR automotive high dynamic range sensors: the 1.3-megapixel OV10642 and the WVGA OV10625. 
  • Metabolix, Inc. (MBLX) announced that data on Mirel performance additives will be presented at conferences being held in the U.S. and Europe on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. 
  • Office Depot, Inc. (ODP) announced that Office Depot store customers across the U.S. can now pay for their purchases via Apple (AAPL) Pay on their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and upcoming Apple Watch. 
  • Fiserv, Inc. (FISV) announced that its eBill Easy Activation program was awarded a Direct Marketing Association Innovation Award for Global Sustainability.
  • Ikanos Communications, Inc. (IKAN) announced Traffic Analyzer, a powerful new capability of the company's inSIGHT Broadband eXperience Manager, Ikanos' innovative diagnostics and analytics software solution.  
  • Rackspace (RAX) announced the newest release of its Rackspace Hybrid Cloud offering, RackConnect v3, including new security capabilities, increased scalability and an improved customer experience. 
  • MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV) introduced the latest addition to its skincare dispensing portfolio: Amplify. The solution represents MWV's leadership in creating dispensing solutions that enhance the consumer experience in the beauty and personal care industry.   
  • Fortinet (FTNT) announced that it received two awards from Frost & Sullivan -- the 2014 Global Cyber Threat Analysis and Reporting Enabling Technology Leadership Award, and a Market Leadership Award for the Managed Security Service Provider Market. 
  • Synopsys, Inc. (SNPS) announced that VIA Technologies, the foremost fabless supplier of power efficient x86 processor platforms, successfully taped out a system-on-chip design using Synopsys' DFTMAX Ultra compression, meeting test time and quality goals.
  • Williams-Sonoma (WSM) subsidiary West Elm announced that it will open a new retail store in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 9am. 
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) announced new results of its collaboration with SAP (SAP) to drive the next generation of mobile database development and synchronization. With today's news, developers now have access to new components of the SAP Data Management portfolio in OpenShift, Red Hat's award-winning Platform-as-a-Service offering. 
  • Optibase Ltd. (OBAS) announced the successful closing of a transaction to sell 11 luxury condominium units located in the Flamingo-South Beach One Condominium in Miami Beach, Florida to an unrelated third party for $6.4 mln
  • Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) introduced the FXTH87 tire pressure monitoring system family, which is the smallest integrated package TPMS solution available at an extremely light weight of 0.3 grams.
  • WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. (WGBS) announced the launch of an automated solution for Agilent's SureSelect Target Enrichment workflow on the Apollo 324 Next Generation Sequencing sample preparation system.  
  • Wind River Financial has partnered with Planet Payment, Inc. (PLPM) to offer Shop in Your Currency, Planet Payment's multi-currency solution for e-tailers, to its portfolio of online merchants.

9:12 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.00. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a cautious open with the S&P 500 futures hovering four points below fair value. Meanwhile, futures on the Dow (-0.6%) underperform amid pre-market weakness in IBM (IBM 168.25, -13.80). The technology stock is indicated to open lower by 7.6% after missing earnings and revenue estimates.

Staying on the earnings front, the technology sector will also have to contend with an opening loss in SAP (SAP 66.26, -2.73) after the software company lowered its guidance.

Elsewhere, the energy sector is poised for a rebound from its recent underperformance with Halliburton (HAL 54.60, +2.00) holding a pre-market gain of 3.8% following upbeat results. For its part, crude oil is higher by 0.3% at $82.31/bbl.

Treasuries hover near their highs with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.17%.

9:12 am Procera Networks: Ronald L. Chez requests that the Procera Board of Director's immediately evaluate strategic alternatives (PKT) : "As you well know, there are abundant reasons to be dissatisfied with the performance of Procera (PKT). As a result, I do not intend to recap the continually disappointing operating results, acquisition disappointments, dramatic increase in expenses in front of unrealized sales, failure to provide proper guidance, and the dramatic decline of Procera's stock. I will not provide an unnecessary 200 slide presentation to document the aforesaid. Procera operates in a rapidly growing market sector of significant potential, but the company continues to fail to execute on its strategies, and seems to be unable to seize upon market opportunities. I believe it is essential, and consistent with the Board of Director's fiduciary duties to Procera shareholders, that the Board of Directors evaluate all strategic alternatives, including the retention of an investment bank to help guide the process. I have spoken to several shareholders and investment bankers. I intend to actively pursue further discussions with additional shareholders and interested parties. At the earliest possible convenience, I would also like to meet with the Board of Directors, to discuss the immediate need to change direction."

9:06 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Luoxis Diagnostics, Inc., a subsidiary of Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMPE), announced that its academic collaborators will present several peer-reviewed posters highlighting the clinical and research potential for its novel RedoxSYS Diagnostic System. 
  • IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc. (IPCM) announced that it is continuing its investment in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. with the acquisition of Comprehensive Health Solutions, based in Newtown Square, PA. 
  • Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IRWD) announced the presentation of initial data from a Phase IIa clinical study in functional dyspepsia with IW-9179, an investigational guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist designed to target the upper gastrointestinal  tract. 
  • Lahey Health, has chosen Premier, Inc. (PINC) and Yankee Alliance Supply Chain Solutions, LLC to accelerate the integration of its full continuum of health services.
  • NXT-ID, Inc. (NXTD) issues a recent blog entry from Mr. David Tunnell, Chief Technology Officer in which Mr. Tunnell breaks down Apple Pay in the first of many blog posts examining alternative payment methods in a compare and contrast with their upcoming smart wallet, Wocket. 
  • Micronet Enertec Technologies, Inc. (MICT) announced that XRS Corporation (XRSC) has certified Micronet Enertec's M-307 rugged computer tablet to run the XRS solution.
  • Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (MLNX) announced that its ConnectX-3 Pro 10Gb/s Ethernet adapters with RoCE are integrated on the motherboard in the new HP ProLiant m400 server cartridge. 
  • Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. (AFH) announced that all three of its insurance company subsidiaries, American Country, American Service and Gateway Insurance Companies earned a Financial Stability Rating of "A" (Exceptional) from Demotech, Inc. 
  • Teledyne DALSA, a Teledyne Technologies (TDY) introduced its Piranha42k quadlinear line scan camera featuring red, green, and blue outputs plus a Near Infrared channel for multispectral imaging. 
  • Research Frontiers (REFR) President and CEO Joseph M. Harary will present the benefits and recent developments relating to Research Frontiers patented SPD-SmartGlass at the glass industry's largest trade show, Glasstec 2014, which is being held from October 21-24, 2014 in Dusseldorf, Germany. 
  • First Horizon Natinal Corp (FHN) subsidiary First Tennessee Bank will soon offer customers the option of using a First Tennessee debit or credit card within Apple (AAPL) Pay UBIC, Inc. (UBIC) announced that the company would be relocating and expanding the head office of its Taiwanese subsidiary, UBIC Taiwan, Inc.
  • The Home Depot (HD) announced that it has named Marc Powers executive vice president, U.S. stores, effective November 1, 2014. 
  • Astea International Inc. (ATEA) will be showcasing their latest service management and mobile workforce innovations at WBR Field Service Europe, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 20th -- 22nd, and at the After Market Business Platform conference, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 22nd -- 24th. 
  • SuperCom (SPCB) announced that it will present its SuperPOS solution - a revolutionary Secure Mobile Point-of-Sale, simultaneously at the MONEY20/20 event, booth 208, Las Vegas, and at CARTES SECURE CONNEXIONS 2014, booth 4 G 040, in Paris, on November 4th. 
  • Laboratory Corporation (LH) and Monogram Biosciences, Inc. announced the launch of HIV GenoSure Archive, the first laboratory test to help optimize antiretroviral drug regimens in virally suppressed HIV patients. 
  • Datawatch Corporation (DWCH) announced its visual data discovery capabilities are available to customers of Teradata Corporation (TDC), the big data analytics and marketing applications company.

9:06 am Advanced Cell Tech. appoints LeRoux Jooste to the newly created position of Senior Vice President of Business Development and Chief Commercial Officer (ACTC) : LeRoux has a global track record of building commercial capability and proven success in launching blockbuster products in the USA and Europe. LeRoux joins ACT from Antares Pharma Inc. (ATRS)

9:05 am NVR misses by $0.11, misses on revs (NVR) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $20.70 per share, $0.11 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $20.81; revenues rose 1.2% year/year to $1.2 bln vs the $1.26 bln consensus. 

  • New orders in the third quarter of 2014 increased 23% to 2,936 units when compared to 2,381 units in the third quarter of 2013.
  • The cancellation rate in the third quarter of 2014 was 16% compared to 19% in the third quarter of 2013 and 13% in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Backlog of homes sold but not settled as of September 30, 2014 increased on a unit basis by 10% to 6,231 units, and increased on a dollar basis by 14% to $2,360,730,000 when compared to September 30, 2013.

9:04 am ZAGG introduces products for new Apple iPads; InvisibleShield HDX for iPad Air 2 & InvisibleShield glass for iPad Air 2 (ZAGG) : Co announced a full range of accessories for the Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The lineup includes screen protection, audio and power.

9:03 am Baxter launches HYQVIA in the United States for adult patients with primary immunodeficiency (BAX) : The co and Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., (HALO) announced the launch and first shipments of HYQVIA [Immune Globulin Infusion 10% (Human) with Recombinant Human Hyaluronidase], Baxter's subcutaneous immunoglobulin treatment for adult patients with primary immunodeficiency (PI.V) in the United States. The treatment was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September of this year.

9:02 am IRobot receives $7.6 million order from the U.S. Navy (IRBT) : Co announced it has received a $7.6 million order from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division. The order calls for upgrades and spares for 46 Man Transportable Robotic System robots. MTRS is modeled after the company's multi-mission iRobot 510 PackBot. All deliveries under the order will be completed by Q2 2015. 

  • The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division also awarded iRobot a three-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with a total ceiling of $13 million. This contract also calls for robot upgrades and spares for MTRS robots, and an initial $277,000 order has been placed.

9:02 am Tetra Tech Wins $76 Million U.S. EPA Superfund Contract (TTEK) : Co announces it has been awarded a five-year, $76 mln contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 to provide technical and advisory services to the Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START IV).

  • TTEK will provide broad scientific and technical support services under START IV to assist the EPA in protecting human health and the environment in response to man-made and natural emergencies and disasters, and at polluted sites. EPA Region 4 consists of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
  • Services to be performed include emergency response, emergency preparedness and prevention, Superfund and brownfields site assessments, technical support, data management, and training.

9:01 am Genuine Parts beats by $0.01, beats on revs (GPC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.24 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.23; revenues rose 8.2% year/year to $3.99 bln vs the $3.94 bln consensus. 

"5.4% underlying sales growth and a 3.3% contribution from acquisitions offset by a currency headwind of ~0.5%. Our overall sales growth was also supported by increases in each of our four business segments, with sales for the Automotive Group up 4%, which essentially represents our core automotive growth for the quarter. Sales at Motion Industries, our Industrial Group, were up 10% including 8% underlying growth and 3% from acquisitions offset by a currency headwind of approximately 1%. Sales at EIS, our Electrical/Electronic Group, increased by 35% due to acquisitions. Sales for S. P. Richards, our Office Products Group, were up 15% and include 8% underlying growth and 7% from acquisitions."

9:01 am PCM subsidiary PCMG awarded NASA SEWP V contracts (PCMI) : PCMG, Inc., a subsidiary of PCM, Inc. announced that NASA has awarded PCMG two contracts on the $20 billion SEWP V (Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement) government-wide contract. The SEWP IV contracts awarded in 2007 are set to expire on October 31st. Ordering on the new SEWP V contracts is set to begin on November 1st for a five year base contract period with an additional five year option to renew.

9:00 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

It was a sea of green across Asia as virtually all of the major averages gained. Japan's Nikkei outperformed amid speculation Government Pension Investment Fund will increase its exposure to domestic equities from about 12% to 25% as early as this month. In China, members of the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party began their fourth plenum meetings.

Also of note, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata party extended its reach in state elections and Indonesian President Joko Widodo was sworn into office.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • Japan's Leading Index rose to 104.4 from 104.0 (expected 104.0) 
    • Hong Kong's Unemployment Rate held at 3.3% (expected 3.4%) 
    • South Korea's PPI slipped 0.3% month-over-month (previous -0.1%) while the year-over-year reading fell 0.4% (consensus 0.3%; previous -0.2%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei surged 4.0% off five-month lows. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rallied 5.2% after unveiling its regional jet 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2%, but was unable to reclaim the 200-day moving average. Casino shares extended their recent run as Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment gained 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.7%, advancing for the first time in three days. Bringspace Science & Technology and Wonder Information both surged the daily limit, 10%, after Beijing announced it would begin using computer systems developed by Chinese firms. 
  • India's Sensex jumped 1.2%, finishing just shy of the 50-day moving average. Oil exporter ONGC rallied 5.5% after Prime Minister Modi's government eliminated diesel price caps and raised natural gas tariffs. 
Major European indices trade lower across the board with Germany's DAX (-1.4%) leading the retreat. Germany's Der Spiegel reported the country's government has engaged in secret discussions with French counterparts on securing a budget deal that will receive the approval of the EU commission. The agreement is expected to map out French plans for deficit reduction.
  • In economic data: 
    • Eurozone Current Account surplus narrowed to EUR18.90 billion from EUR21.60 billion (expected surplus of EUR21.30 billion) 
    • Germany's PPI was unchanged month-over-month (expected 0.1%; previous -0.1%) while the year-over-year reading fell 1.0%, as expected 
    • Italy's Industrial New Orders rose 1.5% month-over-month (consensus -1.0%; prior -1.5%) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.9% amid weakness in energy names. BG Group, Royal Dutch Shell, and Petrofac are down between 2.6% and 3.7%. Consumer names outperform with InterContinental Hotels, Tesco, and TUI Travel up between 1.9% and 2.5%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades down 1.3% with Gemalto showing the largest loss. The stock has surrendered 6.3%. Consumer name Pernod Ricard outperforms with a gain of 0.7%. 
  • Germany's DAX has given up 1.4%. SAP leads the decline with a loss of 4.1% after lowering its full-year outlook. Adidas has added 5.3% amid speculation the company's Reebok unit may be in demand.

8:51 am Chiquita Brands: Wynnefield Capital rejects Chiquita-Fyffes (FYFFF) proposal as inferior, Questions Chiquita board's behavior; major shareholder to support Cutrale-Safra proposal in October 24 vote (CQB) :

  • Wynnefield Capital, a long-term holder of Chiquita Brands (CQB), owning 1,646,103 shares or 3.5% of the company announced that it rejects the Fyffes (FYFFF) transaction backed by the Chiquita board as offering inferior value, and that it supports the recently announced $14.00 per share offer made by the Cutrale-Safra Group. 
  • Wynnefield projects that Chiquita's shares would fall by $2.00 -- $2.50 if the Fyffes transaction were approved. 
  • In contrast, Wynnefield's analysis demonstrates that the all-cash Cutrale-Safra proposal would provide superior value and eliminate the risks associated with a merger. And, as a company analyzed on a cash-flow basis, rather than an Earnings per Share (EPS) basis, Chiquita Brands would be a better company for all stakeholders as a private enterprise. 
  • Wynnefield believes that the Chiquita Brands Board of Directors failed to carry out its fiduciary duties by agreeing to the inferior Chiquita-Fyffes transaction -- a transaction that favors Fyffes shareholders over Chiquita shareholders. This view is shared by the investment markets, which traded down the share price of Chiquita Brands until the initial announcement of the Cutrale-Safra proposal. 

8:50 am PC-TEL settles lawsuit with accounting firm (PCTI) :

  • Co announced that it settled its lawsuit against the accounting firm that provided audited financial statements for TelWorx Communications, LLC and related entities in connection with the July, 2012 asset sale to PCTEL.
  • The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. The details of the impact of this settlement on PCTEL's 2014 financial statements will be discussed at the company's third quarter earnings call on October 30, 2014.

8:46 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.8%, CAC -1.1%, DAX -1.4% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade lower across the board with Germany's DAX (-1.4%) leading the retreat. Germany's Der Spiegel reported the country's government has engaged in secret discussions with French counterparts on securing a budget deal that will receive the approval of the EU commission. The agreement is expected to map out French plans for deficit reduction.

  • In economic data: 
    • Eurozone Current Account surplus narrowed to EUR18.90 billion from EUR21.60 billion (expected surplus of EUR21.30 billion) 
    • Germany's PPI was unchanged month-over-month (expected 0.1%; previous -0.1%) while the year-over-year reading fell 1.0%, as expected 
    • Italy's Industrial New Orders rose 1.5% month-over-month (consensus -1.0%; prior -1.5%)
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.8% amid weakness in energy names. BG Group, Royal Dutch Shell, and Petrofac are down between 2.6% and 3.7%. Consumer names outperform with InterContinental Hotels, Tesco, and TUI Travel up between 1.9% and 2.5%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades down 1.1% with Gemalto showing the largest loss. The stock has surrendered 6.3%. Consumer name Pernod Ricard outperforms with a gain of 0.7%. 
  • Germany's DAX has given up 1.4%. SAP leads the decline with a loss of 4.1% after lowering its full-year outlook. Adidas has added 5.3% amid speculation the company's Reebok unit may be in demand.

8:38 am Sungy Mobile announces changes to the Board of Directors and the Executive management team (GOMO) :

  • Co announced the appointment of Ms. Xiangguang Zou, vice president and compliance officer of Pactera Technology International Ltd., as an independent director to its board of directors, effective October 20, 2014. 
  • They also announced that Mr. Xiangdong Zhang has resigned from his positions as a director and president of the company to pursue his entrepreneurial endeavors, effective October 20, 2014. Mr. Zhang will continue to provide service to the company as a consultant, and contribute to overall company strategy going forward.

8:37 am Hemispherx Biopharma prevails in multi-million dollar federal lawsuit (HEB) : Co announced that a federal judge in Delaware has dismissed all claims against Hemispherx and the Sage Group brought by Cato Capital in an order and decision dated September 29, 2014.  The decision comes following a three day trial before a judge in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, which considered several multimillion dollar claims brought by Cato Capital. The Court's order completely vindicated Hemispherx and the Sage Group of any wrongdoing and denied Cato Capital's claims against Hemispherx for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. On October 14, 2014, Hemispherx' lead trial counsel James J. Black, filed a motion for recovery of fees and costs seeking recovery for Hemispherx of ~$1 million based upon contractual fee shifting provisions in the subject contract.

8:36 am ChemoCentryx releases Phase III SHIELD 4 clinical results in patients with Crohn's disease (CCXI) : Co reports data from the Phase III SHIELD 4 clinical trial in Crohn's disease with vercirnon, an inhibitor of the chemokine receptor known as CCR9. Data showed that patients experienced improved response and remission rates when taking a higher dose of vercirnon (500 mg twice daily (BID) vs. 500 mg once daily (:QD)). There was no evidence of higher gastrointestinal, hepatic, or cardiovascular adverse events with the twice daily group compared to the once daily group.

Data were presented at the 79th American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Annual Scientific Meeting from October 17-22. "These SHIELD 4 data are consistent with our earlier positive PROTECT-1 study data."

8:36 am Royal Dutch Shell limited partnership Shell Midstream Partners launched IPO of 37.5 mln common units, representing limited partner interests (RDS.A) : The common units being offered represent a 27.2 percent limited partner interest in Shell Midstream Partners, or a 31.3 percent limited partner interest if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional common units. Royal Dutch Shell, through certain of its subsidiaries, will own the remaining limited partner interest in Shell Midstream Partners, as well as its 2.0 percent general partner interest.

8:35 am Cerus submits compassionate use IDE supplement for INTERCEPT blood system treatment of Ebola convalescent plasma (CERS) :

  • Co announced submission of a clinical protocol to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) to make the INTERCEPT Blood System for plasma available under a Compassionate Use Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) for treatment of convalescent plasma collected from Ebola disease survivors for passive immune therapy.
  • A Compassionate Use IDE allows access to an unapproved product for U.S. patients with serious or life-threatening conditions for whom the treating physician believes the treatment may provide a benefit.
  • Transfusion of blood or plasma from recovered Ebola virus patients has demonstrated benefit in patients with acute Ebola virus infections. However, recovered patients may carry undetected pathogens due to prior exposure.
  • Plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from Ebola virus disease contains antibodies against the virus - antibodies that can help fight Ebola infection in the recipient of the transfused plasma

8:35 am Solitario Resources announces updated Mt. Hamilton Feasibility Study; Production Rate/Mine Life: 10,000 tons ore per day (350 days/yr.) / 7 years, All-in sustaining costs of $833 per AuEq oz (XPL) :

  • Average annual production for the first four years is approximately 81,000 AuEq oz. compared to approximately 51,600 oz. forecast in the 2012 FS, an increase of 57%.
  • Life-of-mine total cash costs of $558 per AuEq oz. (includes all royalties and Nevada Net Profits Tax and does not use silver as a credit). Low operating costs are mainly due to the high reserve gold grade, strong gold recoveries and short haulage distances.
  • At $1,300/oz. gold and $20.00 silver prices, the IRR is 26% (after tax) and 35.4% (pre-tax) with a 2.9 year payback of the projected $91.7 million initial capex.

8:35 am Marsh McLennan: Marsh to acquire Torrent Technologies (MMC) : Co announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Torrent Technologies, a leading service provider to Write Your Own (:WYO) insurers participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (:NFIP). Terms were not disclosed. "Torrent Technologies is widely recognized as having the most advanced and unique suite of cloud-based technology solutions that interface with WYO insurers and the NFIP, including real-time, paperless claims handling and web-based pricing tools." The transaction marks an expansion of the existing relationship between the two firms. In 2013, Marsh began using Torrent's platform to access the NFIP.

8:34 am Scotts Miracle-Gro to Acquire Action Pest Control; expects the Action Pest business to add annual sales approaching $15 million and for transaction to be earnings accretive in fiscal 2015 (SMG) : Co announces that its subsidiary E.G. Systems, doing business as Scotts LawnService, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Action Pest Control, one of the largest residential pest control providers in the Midwest.

  • The transaction, which is expected to close by Jan 2015, would mark the company's first acquisition of a home pest control business. For more than a year, Scotts LawnService has been operating a pest business in Florida using the Company's Ortho brand.
  • Scotts LawnService, with anticipated sales of approximately $260 mln in FY14 is currently the No. 2 player in lawn service. Given the fragmented nature of the $7 bln home pest control category, the company believes it can complement organic growth in lawn service by consistently expanding its pest control platform.
  • Action Pest provides a comprehensive range of residential and commercial pest control services to homeowners and businesses throughout Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The company expects the Action Pest business to add annual sales approaching $15 mln and for the transaction to be earnings accretive in fiscal 2015. 

8:34 am Family Dollar sets October 30 as record date for special meeting of stockholders to approve Dollar Tree (DLTR) transaction (FDO) :  

8:33 am TECO Energy announces agreement to sell its TECO coal subsidiary for $170 mln (TE) :

  • Co announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its coal mining subsidiary, TECO Coal and its subsidiaries, to Cambrian Coal Corp, a member of the Booth Energy Group.
  • The total sales price of $170 mln includes future contingent consideration of $50 mln if certain coal benchmark prices reach certain levels over the next five years.
  • The $120 mln cash base purchase price is subject to post-closing adjustments. The sale is expected to close by year end, subject to the purchasers obtaining financing, and other normal closing conditions.
  • TECO Energy expects to use sale proceeds to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.
  • As a result of the agreement, in Q3 of 2014, TECO Coal will be classified as an asset held for sale and its operating results will be reported as discontinued operations.
  • TECO Energy will record a non-cash valuation adjustment of ~$65 mln, after tax, to the carrying value of TECO Coal to reflect the sales price.

8:33 am Ikanos Communications announces filing of registration statement for rights offering to stockholders (IKAN) : Co announced it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a Registration Statement on Form S-1 for a rights offering. In the Rights Offering, stockholders of record at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 26, 2014, will receive one non-transferrable subscription right for each whole share of common stock owned on the Record Date. Each subscription right will entitle the holder to purchase 1.459707 shares of the company's common stock, at a subscription price of $0.41 per share. The Subscription Price is the same price at which the company sold shares in the Private Placement described below. As previously announced, on September 29, 2014, a group of investors affiliated with Tallwood Venture Capital, co's largest investor, and Alcatel-Lucent Participations purchased from us in a private placement an aggregate of 39,634,144 shares of common stock at a per-share purchase price equal to the Subscription Price, resulting in gross proceeds to us of approximately $16.25 mln.

8:33 am Full House Resorts stockholder issues open letter; says 'have determined at this time that the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust will support the call to convene such a special meeting' (FLL) :

  • Letter stated "Throughout the years, we have followed closely all Company decisions and communications, and have communicated separately with members of the Board and management. On October 9, 2014, we received a letter from a group of stockholders of the Company announcing their intention to seek to call a special meeting of the stockholders of Full House Resorts. As a stockholder with a long history with the Company and after careful consideration, we have determined at this time that the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust will support the call to convene such a special meeting. While we are reserving judgment on the merits of the various proposals put forward by this group for consideration at the requested special meeting, we do believe it is important that the stockholders and the Company have an open dialogue with respect to its management, and to gain some transparency with respect to the Board's and management's plans for the direction and prospects of the Company on a going-forward basis."

8:32 am Breitburn Energy Partners provides update on QR Energy (QRE) acquisition (BBEP) : QR Energy will hold a special meeting of its unitholders on November 18, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. QR Energy unitholders of record at the close of business on October 13, 2014, will be entitled to receive notice of the special meeting and to vote at the special meeting. Completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of QR Energy unitholders and customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in late November.

8:32 am Immunomedics announced that the European Medicines Agency has granted orphan drug status for IMMU-132, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer (IMMU) : Co announces that the European Medicines Agency (EMA.TO) has granted orphan drug status for one of the company's solid-tumor antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), isactuzumab govitecan, or IMMU-132, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. "We are pleased to receive this orphan designation from EMA, the first for IMMU-132 in the European Union...We will have significant updates on the Phase 2 studies involving IMMU-132, as well as IMMU-130, at the World ADC Summit in San Diego, CA, and the EORTC/NCI/AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets in Cancer Therapeutics in Barcelona, Spain."

8:32 am Datalink acquires IT Solutions provider bear data solutions for $18.5 million, including $16.8 million in cash and $1.7 million in Datalink common stock; sees Q3 EPS $0.18-0.19 from $0.16-0.22; rev $145 mln vs. $150-160 mln guidance (DTLK) :

  • Co announced an agreement to acquire privately held Bear Data Solutions, Inc. (Bear). Bear primarily serves California-based customers. Bear had 2013 revenues of $130 million with a large percentage coming from networking products, including Cisco wireless, routing and core switches being requested by Datalink customers. 
  • Datalink is purchasing Bear for $18.5 million, including $16.8 million in cash and $1.7 million in Datalink common stock. Datalink will record a one-time acquisition-related charge of approximately $750,000, or $.02 per fully diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings by approximately $.08 to $.10 per fully diluted share in the first twelve months of operations, excluding one-time integration charges and amortization of intangibles.
  • Q3 Guidance- 
    • Datalink expects third quarter 2014 revenues to be approximately $145 million (Prior guidance was $150-160 mln, Capital IQ consensus $154 mln). This compares to revenues of $139.6 million in the third quarter of 2013.
    • Datalink expects earnings per share to be in the range of $0.18 per share to $0.19 per share on a non-GAAP basis (Prior guidance $0.16-0.22, Capital IQ consenhsus $0.19). .

8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures have climbed off their lows, but Dow futures (-0.4%) remain pressured by IBM's (IBM 168.61, -13.44) disappointing earnings. The third largest Dow component is on track to open lower by 7.4%. Elsewhere among tech names, SAP (SAP 66.38, -2.61) is on course for a lower open after its cautious guidance masked better than expected results.

Meanwhile, the energy sector should receive an early boost from Halliburton (HAL 54.30, +1.70), which holds a pre-market gain of 3.2% after beating earnings and revenue estimates.

8:30 am Halozyme receives FDA approval for additional manufacturing facilities For Hylenex Recombinant (HALO) : Co announces that the F.D.A. has approved new contract manufacturing facilities used in the production of Hylenex recombinant (hyaluronidase human injection). The F.D.A. approved the use of the Cook Pharmica manufacturing facility in Bloomington, IN for the production of bulk rHuPH20, the active ingredient used in Hylenex, and the Patheon facility in Greenville, NC, for production of finished Hylenex product.

  • Co states, "The approval of new production sites enables us to substantially increase our manufacturing capacity for Hylenex recombinant. Furthermore, the approvals demonstrate our capabilities in the manufacturing and operations area to ensure continuous supply of active ingredients and finished commercial drug products which are essential for our core strategy to commercialize our own proprietary products as well as partner our rHuPH20 technology with innovative companies."

8:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Marvell (MRVL) introduced Questflo, a groundbreaking Static Random Access Memory-based network search engine, that delivers the industry's highest capacity and fastest performance while using a fraction of the power of existing solutions today.
  • City, Netflix (NFLX), and shomi announced a landmark partnership to bring audiences around the world a new, premium drama series, Between -- an original survivalist thriller series.
  • Zhaopin Limited (ZPIN) announced the opening of its second call center in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. The Suzhou call center is expected to facilitate the acquisition of new customers in lower-tier cities, expand Zhaopin's market share in southern China, and will allow the Company to better serve small-and-medium-sized enterprises in a cost-effective way. 
  • Whole Foods Market (WFM) is now offering its customers the ability to make purchases with Apple (AAPL) Pay. 
  • FIS (FIS) has earned Private Sector Preparedness ISO 22301 certification by National Quality Assurance, USA.
  • Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (VTSS) and Aquantia announced the industry's first and only turnkey 2.5G Ethernet switch solution, reference design and software integration to accelerate Wave 2 802.11ac network deployments over existing Cat5e and Cat6 cabling infrastructure.
  • Semtech Corporation (SMTC) announced it will demonstrate its next generation of high performance, low cost transmitter and quad receiver chip sets for HD surveillance applications at the Security China 2014 Conference.
  • Equifax Inc. (EFX) announced that 10 of the Top 25 of lenders in the U.S. are using its Spectrum Verification Services Platform for mortgage loan and income verifications.
  • Wave Systems Corp. (WAVX) announced it has appointed retired U.S. Army Major General Gary Patton as the company's Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff.
  • Kyocera Solar, Inc., (KYO) and Healthy Planet Partners announced a strategic partnership that will result in lowering capital costs for solar developers and benefit Power Purchase Agreement customers.
  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY) announced that it has launched Alnylam Assist, a program dedicated to providing support to patients, families, and caregivers. 
  • ResMed (RMD) announced the availability of the ResMed Data Exchange program, a comprehensive suite of software and service solutions for home medical equipment and other health care providers.
  • Oracle (ORCL) has expanded its Oracle Data Integration portfolio with the addition of Oracle Enterprise Metadata Management 12c, a comprehensive platform that helps reduce compliance risks and ensure the success of governance programs within organizations by providing much-needed business and data transparency.
  • MainSource Financial Group, Inc. (MSFG) announced that on October 17, 2014, it finalized its purchase of the common stock of MBT Bancorp in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $35.4 million based on MainSource's closing price on October 16, 2014.
  • Avnet Technology Solutions, an operating group of Avnet, Inc. (AVT), has been authorized globally as a Lenovo distributor.  
  • Equinix, Inc. (EQIX) announced that Hurricane Electric is extending its global IPv4 and IPv6 network to Equinix International Business Exchange data centers in Asia and Europe. 
  • Altera Corporation (ALTR) announced it is demonstrating new field-programmable gate array solutions enabling systems designers to rapidly add features and functionality to their automotive systems designs at SAE Convergence in Detroit, Michigan from October 21 to 22.
  • MRV Communications, Inc. (MRVC) announced that Dr. Scott Wilkinson, MRV's senior director of technical marketing, will present alongside industry experts in an Infonetics Research Webinar on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 11:00 am EDT.

8:27 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: SHOO -10.5%, NCR -10.4%, IBM -6.3%, SAP -4.2%, PHG -3.9%, VFC -3.6%, ESLT -0.9%, (anticipates extraordinary finance expenses in Q3) CHL -0.9%, .

M&A news: CSX -3.4% (Canadian Pacific announced that exploratory conversations held with CSX (CSX) about a possible business combination have ended, no further talks are planned)

Select EU related names showing weakness: PT -21.5%, ARMH -2%, ALU -1.7%, MT -1.5%, NOK -1.4%, ASML -1.4%, AZN -1.2%, HSBC -1%

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: TOT -2.2%, STO -2%, PBR -1.9%, RDS.A -1.8%, BP -1.2%

Other news: IBIO -24.3% (may be related to calming Ebola news over the weekend), LAKE -9.9% (may be related to calming Ebola news over the weekend), ESI -3.6% (modestly pulling back following last weeks gains), TKMR -3.5% (easing ebola concerns over the weekend), ORCL -1.7% (in symp with SAP earnings), HPQ -1.6% (in symp with IBM), TSLA -1.2% (still checking), MSFT -1% (in symp with IBM earnings)

Analyst comments: CGG -4.6% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman), SDRL -2.6% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup ), CLF -2.3% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup), PBCT -0.9% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at Raymond James).

8:24 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: PETS +7.4%, VRX +4.8%, LII +3.5%, HAL +3.1%, CBU +2.1%, BTU +0.6%

M&A news: SHOR +18.3% (ShoreTel receives proposal by MITL for $8.10/share in cash),CNL +11.7% (enters agreement to be acquired by North American Investor Group),QEP +7.2% (announces sale of its Midstream Business to Tesoro Logistics LP (TLLP) for $2.5 bln),BBRY +5% (reports of Lenovo potentially making a bid for co),. NPSP +4.8% (Shire (SHPG) may consider another round of acquisition talks with NPSP or Cubist (CBST), according to reports),CBST +1% (sames as NPSP, also names Robert J. Perez CEO)

Other news: SCOK +54% (announced that its aboveground facility for the conversion of CO2 into clean-burning syngas had begun operations),NLNK +31.1% (announces exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for development of NLG919),APRI +17.7% (expands development pipeline with the in-licensing of U.S. rights for Fispemifene),RSH +8.8% (still checking), KNDI +4.3% (still checking),FST +4.1% (announces commencement of proxy mailing),NBG +3.6% (still checking),ETFC +3.6% (added to Conviction Buy List at Goldman),TTM +2.5% (Jaguar Land Rover may open US factory, according to reports),EXXI +2.2% (appointed Bruce Busmire to the position of CFO, replacing West Griffin who is stepping down effective October 20, 2014),TGTX +1.4% (RA Capital Management discloses 8.3% passive stake in 13G filing),SJM +1.4% (increases stock repurchases by 5 mln shares),HL +1.3% (releases production guidance),SHPG +1.3% (Interim Chief Financial Officer James Bowling to step down),RCL +1.2% (Healthcare worker aboard CCL ship tested negative for Ebola, according to reports),CCL +1.1% (Healthcare worker aboard CCL ship tested negative for Ebola, according to reports),PSEC +1% (makes $86.1 million follow-on first-lien senior secured debt investment in Onyx Payments),FDO +0.9% (Elliott issues letter to Family Dollar CEO and Board of Directors) 

Analyst comments: BK +3.5% (upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman),TUBE +1.9% (upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets),NEM +1.8% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup),SWFT +1.7% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup),AIG +0.9% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank),MU +0.8% (upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest)

8:24 am Gannett beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line (GCI) : Reports Q3 (Sep) adj. earnings of $0.59 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55; the substantial increase was driven by the strength of the company's expanded television station portfolio in the Broadcasting Segment as well as significantly improved Digital Segment results.

Revenues rose 15.2% year/year to $1.44 bln vs the $1.44 bln consensus. The increase reflects revenue growth in the Broadcasting Segment of almost 105%, due primarily to the acquisition of Belo Corp., and Digital Segment revenue growth of 4.4%. Publishing Segment revenues were 3.6% lower in the quarter. On a pro forma basis (had Gannett owned the Belo and London television stations during the same quarter last year and excluding results for Captivate and the impact of the sale of a print business and Apartments.com), total company revenues were up 3.8% in the quarter.

"Year-over-year revenue comparisons for each of our business segments improved relative to second quarter comparisons, just as we anticipated. Double digit pro forma growth in Broadcasting revenue, which again reached a record high, was driven by robust political ad spending and retransmission revenue. Strong results at CareerBuilder resulted in a substantial increase in profitability in our Digital Segment."

8:20 am NV5 extends project management services with The University of Kansas Hospital to $3 mln through 2018 (NVEE) : Co announced that its contract to provide project management services to The University of Kansas Hospital has been extended to 2018. NV5 will continue to lead the planning and execution of Phase One of the Hospital's facilities master plan. NV5 fees on the project will be increased to ~$3 mln.

8:19 am Compressco Partners announced an increase to quarterly distribution to $0.46/share from $0.4525/share prior (GSJK) :  

8:10 am Scorpio Bulkers announces commitment for a $411 mln loan facility and status of remaining bank financing (SALT) :

  • Co announced that it has received commitments from a group of financial institutions for a loan facility of up to $411.264 million. 
  • The Facility shall mature six years from the delivery of the final vessel securing the Facility, however not later than June 2022, and in certain circumstances the Facility shall mature 12 years after the delivery of each financed vessel. 
  • The Facility is available to finance up to 60% of the contract price of the Company's 12 Capesize bulk carriers under construction at Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering South Korea.

8:10 am Sutor Technology receives NASDAQ non-compliance letter due to delay in filing annual report on Form 10-K (SUTR) :


8:09 am Core Molding Technologies announces COO retirement (CMT) : Co announces that Chief Operating Officer, Stephen J. Klestinec, plans to retire, effective November 28, 2014. Klestinec joined the company in 1998 and has been Core's Chief Operating Officer since 2007. The company is actively recruiting for a replacement. 

8:09 am Boston Scientific initiates study Of Promus PREMIER Coronary Stent System in underserved patient populations (BSX) :  

8:09 am Neptune Technologies and BlueOcean sign licensing agreement (NEPT) : Co announced the signing of a world-wide, royalty-bearing, non-transferable, License Agreement with BlueOcean Nutrascience Inc. under co's composition and extraction patents covering the production and sale of marine derived oil products containing phospholipids. The License allows BlueOcean and its shrimp joint venture affiliate to produce and sell shrimp oil products extracted from three species of North Atlantic cold water shrimp (Pandalus borealis, Pandalus montagui, and Pandalus jordani) in the nutraceutical, dietary ingredients, natural health products, functional food and food supplements markets. The medical food, drugs and drug product markets are not included. The commercial terms of the License include BlueOcean paying Neptune a minimum yearly cash royalty, and a royalty per unit of product sold. As well, an initial upfront payment will be payable at closing through the issuance of BlueOcean shares.

8:09 am IAMGOLD reports further positive diamond drilling results at the advanced Boto Gold Project, Senegal (IAG) : Co announced additional drilling results from its 100% owned Boto Gold Project in eastern Senegal, West Africa. The Company is reporting assay results from 36 diamond drill holes totaling over 9,200 metres completed year to date during the 2014 exploration program.

8:08 am Hecla Mining announces preliminary Q3 production; Greens Creek's Q3 production exceeded the Q2 production and remained at high end of expected annual production range (HL) : Co announced preliminary production results for the third quarter ending September 30, 2014.

  • Greens Creek's third quarter production of 1.9 million ounces of silver exceeded the second quarter production of 1.7 million ounces as well as the third quarter 2013 production of 1.8 million ounces and remains at the high end of the mine's expected annual production range of 6.5 to 7.0 million ounces of silver. 
  • Lucky Friday's third quarter production of 972,995 ounces of silver, an increase of more than 103% over the third quarter of 2013, reflects the impact of the mine now operating at full production levels. 
  • Casa Berardi's third quarter gold production of 28,977 ounces is comparable to the second quarter production of 28,623 ounces.

8:08 am Progenics Pharm: Phase 2 data for Progenics' 1404 imaging agent presented at EANM Congress; SPECT/CT imaging with 1404 showed 94% sensitivity in detecting and imaging cancer in the prostate gland of high-risk patients prior to prostatectomy (PGNX) :

  • "The Phase 2 data are quite impressive and demonstrate how SPECT/CT with 1404 may provide a more accurate assessment of the presence, location and extent of prostate cancer," said Dr. Dabasi. "1404 may provide prognostic information for both primary and metastatic disease in a single procedure, which could greatly enhance the clinical decision-making process. There is a strong rationale for continued development of this promising molecular imaging agent."
  • In the Phase 2 trial, SPECT/CT imaging with 1404 showed 94% sensitivity in detecting and imaging cancer in the prostate gland of high-risk patients prior to prostatectomy. In addition, 1404 was more sensitive than MRI in detecting primary prostate cancer (94% vs. 86%) and was a good predictor of lymph node involvement at prostatectomy. SPECT/CT imaging with 1404 identified 14 (19%) more patients with suspicious lymph node sites than MRI. Uptake of 1404 in the lobes of the prostate gland showed a highly significant correlation with Gleason score (p

8:08 am Pharmacyclics files supplemental new drug application for IMBRUVICA for waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (PCYC) : Co announced that it has submitted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) to the U.S. FDA based on data from a Phase 2 study evaluating the use of IMBRUVICA (ibrutinib) in patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, which was led by Dr. Steven Treon from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. IMBRUVICA, which received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation in February 2013 for patients with WM, is being jointly developed and commercialized by Pharmacyclics and Janssen Biotech, Inc.

8:07 am Peabody Energy beats by $0.07, beats on revs; guides FY14 EPS below consensus (BTU) : Reports Q3 (Sep) loss of $0.59 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.07 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.66); revenues fell 4.2% year/year to $1.72 bln vs the $1.65 bln consensus, primarily on lower realized pricing in Australia.

  • U.S. Mining revenues declined to $1.02 billion, due to lower volumes and reduced Midwestern revenues per ton. Australian revenues decreased 4 percent as higher volumes partly offset a 13 percent reduction in revenues per ton. Australian sales totaled 10.0 million tons, including 4.6 million tons of metallurgical coal and 3.4 million tons of seaborne thermal coal. 
  • Co raised Q3 EBITDA guidance to $190-210 from $140-190 mln on Sept 23; co also lowered adj. EPS to ($0.69-0.63) from ($0.53-0.40) following the repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax in Australia. 
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $216.3 million reflects ongoing cost and productivity improvements that mitigated the impact of ~$135 million from lower pricing. U.S. Mining Adjusted EBITDA declined 8 percent over the prior year to $281.6 million primarily due to rail performance issues in the quarter. Australian Mining Adjusted EBITDA declined to $16.9 million as a result of lower seaborne coal prices. Australian costs per ton decreased 6 percent compared with the prior year on improved longwall performance as well as cost and productivity programs. 
OUTLOOK
  • Peabody is targeting full-year 2014 Adjusted EBITDA of $765-815 mln and Adjusted Diluted EPS of $(1.48) to $(1.38)  vs. ($1.31) Capital IQ Consensus.
    • Targets reflect lower seaborne thermal coal pricing and reduced production at the Wilpinjong Mine as strong year-to-date performance is expected to result in the mine reaching annual permit levels before year end. Additional full-year 2014 targets include: Total sales of 245 to 255 million tons, including U.S. sales of 185 to 190 million tons and Australian sales of 36 to 38 million tons; U.S. costs per ton 1 to 3 percent below 2013 levels on cost containment efforts. U.S. revenues per ton improved to 2 to 4 percent below 2013 levels on higher realized price per ton; and Australian costs that have been lowered to ~$70 per ton, as a result of successful cost reduction initiatives and operating performance.

8:07 am Lpath granted key European patent related to iSONEP and ASONEP programs (LPTN) : This newly issued patent, European patent No. 2087002, claims compositions of matter related to sonepcizumab, the drug substance in Lpath's two lead compounds, iSONEP and ASONEP. Sonepcizumab is an antibody that binds to and inhibits sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive lipid that has been validated as a target in multiple disease states.

8:07 am Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Announces Agreement with The Coca-Cola (KO) to Exchange Franchise Territory (COKE) : KO announces it has signed a definitive agreement with The Coca-Cola Company (KO) to exchange the bottler's franchise territory in Jackson, TN for territory currently served by Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of KO, in Lexington, KY. This agreement represents an additional phase of the proposed franchise territory expansion and realignment described in the previously-announced Letter of Intent between the COKE and KO. The company expects the exchange transaction to close in the 1H15.

  • The company is continuing to work toward definitive agreements with KO for the remainder of the proposed franchise territory expansion and realignment, including territories currently served by C.C.R in Cleveland and Cookeville, TN, Louisville, Paducah and Pikeville, KY and Evansville, IN.
  • The definitive agreement and other agreements to be entered into at closing will provide for the company to receive C.C.R.'s existing rights in the Lexington, KY territory to distribute brands owned by KO as well as certain other brands not owned by KO that are currently being distributed in the Lexington, KY territory by C.C.R. Such agreements will also provide for the company to transfer to C.C.R all of the company's existing rights in the Jackson, TN territory to distribute brands owned by KO, as well as rights to other brands not owned by KO that are currently being distributed in the Jackson, TN territory. The transaction also includes the exchange, by the company and .C.C.R, of certain distribution assets and working capital items in the company's Jackson, TN territory for comparable items in CCR's Lexington, KY territory. 

8:07 am Willis Group and Miller in exclusive talks to form leading London wholesale insurance broking firm (WSH) : Willis Group (WSH) and Miller Insurance Services announce that they have entered into exclusive talks to create a leading London wholesale specialist broking firm. The proposed transaction will combine their wholesale businesses to trade under the Miller brand, governed and regulated as a standalone legal entity and separate Lloyd's broker. Wholesale activities encompassing a series of units will be expected to transfer from Willis to Miller, while existing Miller treaty reinsurance and more retail-orientated activities will be expected to transfer to Willis.

8:06 am Lennox Intl beats by $0.03, misses on revs; reaffirms FY14 EPS in-line, reaffirms revs in-line; announcing new $450 mln accelerated share repurchase program (LII) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.44 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.41; revenues rose 3.5% year/year to $898.4 mln vs the $909.5 mln consensus.

  • Gross profit for Q3 was $247 mln, up 4% from the prior-year quarter.
  • Gross margin was 27.5%, up 10 basis points from 27.4% in the prior-year quarter.
  • Gross profit was favorably impacted by higher volume, lower material costs and favorable price, partially offset by negative mix, Australian refrigerant profitability, foreign exchange, and investments in distribution expansion
  • Co reaffirms in-line guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $4.30-4.50 vs. $4.37 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate
  • Co reaffirms FY14 revs of $3.36-3.42 bln vs. $3.36 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 1 point of negative impact from foreign exchange is still expected. 

8:05 am Great Lakes Dredge & Dock announces contract signing ceremony in Cairo to Deepen and Widen the Suez Canal; contract is valued at $540 million and is part of a larger project to expand global trade and strengthen the economy in Egypt. (GLDD) : Co announced that the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mohamed Hussein Mamish, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Egypt, Ibrahim Mahlab, signed a contract with the Consortium consisting of Great Lakes (25%) and Dredging International NV (75%) for Lot 6 of the widening and deepening of the Suez Canal. The contract is valued at $540 mln and is part of a larger project to expand global trade and strengthen the economy in Egypt.

8:04 am Merck: US FDA accepts for review a biologics license application for Merck and Sanofi (SNY) Pasteur's investigational pediatric hexavalent vaccine (MRK) : MRK and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (SNY) announced that the BLA filed for the companies' investigational pediatric hexavalent vaccine, DTaP5-IPV-Hib-HepB1, has been accepted for review by the U.S. FDA. If approved, it would be the first pediatric combination vaccine in the United States designed to help protect against six important diseases -- diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio (poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3), invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and hepatitis B.

8:03 am PetMed Express misses by $0.03, misses on revs (PETS) : Reports Q2 (Sep) earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.22; revenues fell 4.8% year/year to $57.6 mln vs the $61.28 mln consensus.

  •  "While navigating through a shortened flea and tick season, we were able to maintain increased gross profit margins and an increased average order size. For the quarter ended September 30, 2014 our gross profit increased 23 basis points, which can be attributed to a shift in sales to higher margin items. Our average order size increased to $75 for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, compared to $73 for the same quarter in the prior year. Cash from operations was $23.6 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, compared to $24.4 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2013. For the remainder of Fiscal 2015 we are focusing on improving our marketing efforts to increase sales."

8:03 am Steven Madden issues downside Q3 guidance; updates FY14 guidance to reflect Dolce Vita acquisition (SHOO) :

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q3 (Sep), sees EPS of ~$0.61-0.62 vs. $0.67 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 (Sep) revs of $392 mln vs. $415.39 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Retail comparable store sales for the third quarter of 2014 decreased 7.4%. 
  • Factoring in the recent acquisition of Dolce Vita and current expectations for the remainder of the year, for fiscal year 2014, the Company now expects that net sales will increase 1% to 2% over net sales in 2013 (+5% consensus). Diluted EPS for fiscal year 2014 is now expected to be in the range of $1.81 to $1.86 vs $2.02 consensus. 

8:02 am Orexigen Therapeutics and Takeda (TKPYY) announce availability of CONTRAVE extended-release tablets for chronic weight management in obese adults (OREX) :

  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TKPYY), its wholly-owned subsidiary Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) jointly announced that Contrave (naltrexone HCI and bupropion HCI) extended-release tablets are now available to patients by prescription in pharmacies across the United States.
  • Contrave is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus or dyslipidemia).

8:01 am Hollysys Automation Technologies announces SCADA bidding win of Tianjin subway line 5 valued at $13.88 mln (HOLI) : Tianjin Subway Line 5 is a mass transit subway line connecting Science Park in Beichen District in the north and Liqizhuang in Xiqing District in the south of Tianjin, with 30 stations and 33.6 km in total length. The construction is including three phases. The Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, the phase 2 is scheduled to be completed by September 2016, and the whole line is scheduled to be in trail operation by October 2017.

8:01 am ShoreTel receives offer to be acquired by MITL for $8.10/share in cash, SHOR declines offer (SHOR) : Mitel (MITL) discloses that it has made a proposal to acquire ShoreTel (SHOR) for $8.10 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of approximately $540 million. This offer represents a 24% premium to ShoreTel's closing stock price on October 17. "The business communications market is rapidly consolidating and Mitel has clearly stated that we intend to be a consolidator in this market."

MITL says "We are disappointed that the ShoreTel Board has rejected our proposal and refused to engage with us. Mitel continues to believe that the proposal offers ShoreTel shareholders an attractive premium. We remain open to constructive and progressive discussions and for that reason I have advised the ShoreTel Board that our proposal will remain open until 5pm EST on November 20, 2014." 

7:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: -4.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -8.00. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market lows amid cautious action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover five points below fair value while Dow futures (-0.5%) lag after IBM (IBM 169.13, -12.92) reported disappointing earnings.

On the commodity front, crude oil holds a modest gain of 0.4% at $83.04/bbl with little impact from changes in the dollar as the Dollar Index hovers on its flat line.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • IBM (169.13, -12.92): -7.1% after missing earnings and revenue estimates. 
  • Halliburton (HAL 54.17, +1.57): +3.0% following its better than expected results. 
  • Hasbro (HAS 53.75, -0.10): -0.2% after reporting a one-cent beat. 
  • Philips Electronics (PHG 27.01, -1.06): -3.8% despite beating earnings estimates. 
  • SAP (SAP 66.20, -2.79): -4.0% after its cautious full-year outlook overshadowed better than expected earnings. 
Treasuries hover just above their flat lines with the 10-yr yield at 2.19%.

There is no economic data of note scheduled to be reported today.

Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.2%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.7%, and Japan's Nikkei +4.0%. 
    • Economic data was limited: 
      • Japan's Leading Index rose to 104.4 from 104.0 (expected 104.0) 
      • Hong Kong's Unemployment Rate held at 3.3% (expected 3.4%) 
      • South Korea's PPI slipped 0.3% month-over-month (previous -0.1%) while the year-over-year reading fell 0.4% (consensus 0.3%; previous -0.2%) 
    • In news: 
      • Japan's Nikkei outperformed amid speculation Government Pension Investment Fund will increase its exposure to domestic equities from about 12% to 25% as early as this month.
  • Major European indices trade lower across the board. Great Britain's FTSE -1.0%, France's CAC -1.4%, and Germany's DAX -1.6%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB -0.7% and Spain's IBEX -1.0%. 
    • In economic data: 
      • Eurozone Current Account surplus narrowed to EUR18.90 billion from EUR21.60 billion (expected surplus of EUR21.30 billion) 
      • Germany's PPI was unchanged month-over-month (expected 0.1%; previous -0.1%) while the year-over-year reading fell 1.0%, as expected 
      • Italy's Industrial New Orders rose 1.5% month-over-month (consensus -1.0%; prior -1.5%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • Germany's Der Spiegel reported the country's government has engaged in secret discussions with French counterparts on securing a budget deal that will receive the approval of the EU commission. The agreement is expected to map out French plans for deficit reduction.

7:47 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Bacterin International Holdings, Inc. (BONE) announced the launch of a demineralized allograft, 3Demin Cortical Fibers.
  • Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc. (IDN) has signed a new one-year revolving credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank for $2 million, replacing its previous credit facility with that bank.
  • Lightbridge Corporation (LTBR) announced it has signed an initial cooperation agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited for fabrication and test reactor irradiation of Lightbridge's patented next generation metallic nuclear fuel samples. 
  • Celgene (CELG) announced that results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase II trial of GED-0301 in 166 patients with active Crohn's disease will be presented at the United European Gastroenterology Week in Vienna, Austria. 
  • HP (HPQ) announced that academic institutions including Loyola University Chicago, California's Irvine Unified School District and Illinois' Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 are leveraging HP TippingPoint network security solutions to help prevent and immediately block certain cyber threats through security intelligence utilizing proactive intrusion prevention, broad-scoped threat protection and application awareness and control.

7:47 am LMI Aerospace, Inc. announces company to supply Gulfstream's new business jets; multi-year contracts are expected to yield significant revenue for the company. (LMIA) : Co announced that the company has secured contracts to supply both bonded fuselage panels and numerous detail parts for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation's recently announced new business jets. The multi-year contracts are expected to yield significant revenue for the company. These contracts further extend the longstanding relationship LMI has enjoyed with Gulfstream. Under the new agreements, LMI will produce structural assemblies, skins and components for both the Gulfstream G500 and G600 business jets.

7:42 am Frontline announced that Robert Hvide Macleod has been engaged as the new Chief Executive Officer (FRO) : Mr. Macleod is currently the managing director and owner of Highlander Tankers AS and will join Frontline on November 3rd.

7:40 am Hewlett-Packard: HPQ, MSFT and ORCL all down around 1% following disappointing earnings/guidance from the likes of IBM -8%, NCR -9%, SAP -4% (HPQ) :

  • MSFT earnings date: Oct 23 after market, confirmed 
  • HPQ  earnings date: Nov 25 after market, confirmed 

7:37 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +4.0%, Hang Seng +0.2%, Shanghai +0.7% (:SUMRX) :

  • It was a sea of green across Asia as virtually all of the major averages gains. 
  • Reports pension fund GPIF is boosting its equity allocation to 25% (currently 12%) provided the backdrop for today's surge in Japanese shares.
  • Members of the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party begin their fourth plenum meetings. 
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata party extended its reach in state elections.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo was sworn into office. 
  • Hong Kong's unemployment rate held at 3.3%. 
  • Japan's Nikkei (+4.0%) surged off five-month lows. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rallied 5.2% after unveiling its regional jet. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.2%) was unable to reclaim the 200 dma. Casino shares extended their recent run as Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment tacked on 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (+0.7%) advanced for the first time in three days. Bringspace Science & Technology and Wonder Information both surged the daily limit, 10%, after Beijing announced it would begin using computer systems developed by Chinese firms.
  • India's Sensex (+1.2%) finished just shy of the 50 dma. Oil exporter ONGC rallied 5.5% after Prime Minister Modi's government eliminated diesel price CAPs and raised natural gas tariffs. 
  • Australia's ASX (+0.9%) saw a fifth day of gains. All of the big four banks gained with ANZ up 1.6% to pace the sector's advance. 
  • Regional Advancers: Indonesia +0.2%...Singapore +0.4%...Vietnam +0.7%...Philippines +0.8%...Malaysia +0.8%...South Korea +1.5%...Taiwan +1.8%
  • Regional Decliners: Thailand -0.1% 
  • Fx: USDCNY was flat @ 6.1239...USDINR slipped to 61.31...USDJPY flat @ 106.90...AUDUSD +20 pips @ .8765

7:32 am Cytokinetics provides development program update for Tirasemtiv; robust effects of Tirasemtiv on slow vital capacity observed in BENEFIT-ALS support progression to Phase III (CYTK) :

  • Co provided a program update relating to tirasemtiv, the co's lead drug candidate from its skeletal muscle contractility program.
  • The co announced that it has completed its review of results from BENEFIT-ALS (Blinded Evaluation of Neuromuscular Effects and Functional Improvement with Tirasemtiv in ALS) and has concluded that effects observed on Slow Vital Capacity (SVC.TO) in patients treated with tirasemtiv are robust and potentially clinically meaningful.
  • In addition, following consultation with clinical and statistical experts, the co believes that data from BENEFIT-ALS support progression of tirasemtiv to a potential Phase III clinical trial in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS.TO).
  • The co also announced that it has begun regulatory interactions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) regarding results from BENEFIT-ALS and has received initial feedback from the FDA.
  • Co believes that effects on SVC could be a Phase III clinical trial endpoint and could support registration of tirasemtiv as a potential treatment for patients with ALS.
  • As a result, Cytokinetics has initiated planning for a potential Phase III clinical trial of tirasemtiv that could begin in 2015.

7:31 am PMFG Inc announced that it has been awarded contracts for two separate projects related to critical air pollution control equipment totaling $6.5 million (PMFG) :

  • The first project includes multiple emissions- control systems to reduce NOx, CO and VOC, along with the reagent storage and handling equipment. The equipment will be installed on a natural gas pipeline compression station located in the South Central portion of the United States before the spring of calendar 2016.
  • The second project includes both replacement and new oxidation catalyst systems also used on natural gas pipeline compression. 

7:31 am Cubist Pharmaceuticals names Robert J. Perez CEO (CBST) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has selected Robert J. Perez as the Company's Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2015. Perez, who currently serves as Cubist's President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Michael W. Bonney who is retiring from his current role as CEO on December 31, 2014, and will become non-executive Chair of Cubist's Board of Directors. 

7:31 am WEX announced it has signed a 10-year contract with Sinclair Oil Corporation to be the exclusive fleet card provider for Sinclair's Fleet Track Card program (WEX) : WEX selected as exclusive fleet card for Sinclair's 300+ distributors through 2024

7:30 am Advaxis appoints David J. Mauro as Chief Medical Officer (ADXS) :

  • Co announced that it has appointed David J. Mauro, M.D., Ph.D., as Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer of Advaxis. Dr. Mauro brings to Advaxis more than 14 years of experience in oncology drug development, clinical research, and medical affairs.
  • In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mauro will oversee the Company's clinical immuno-oncology programs that utilize bioengineered live attenuated bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes (Lm), to actively suppress key components in the tumor microenvironment that contribute to the tumors growth and protection from immunologic attack.
  • Dr. Mauro most recently served as Executive Director, Section Head Oncology Clinical Development at Merck & Co., known as MSD outside the United States and Canada

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

  • SinoCoking Coal and Coke Chemical Industries, Inc. (SCOK) announced that as of the morning of October 18 China time its aboveground facility for the conversion of carbon dioxide into clean-burning syngas had begun operations and was producing and transporting syngas to customers in and around Pingdingshan.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) and Sanofi (SNY) announced that the first patients have been dosed in a Phase 3 clinical study of dupilumab, an investigational therapy that blocks IL-4 and IL-13 signaling, in adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis that is not adequately controlled with topical AD medications.
  • Six Dimensions, Inc., a 6D Global Technologies, Inc. (SIXD) company, announced that it has been recognized for the second year in a row for exceptional revenue growth among Bay Area Companies by the San Francisco Business Times. 
  • Spansion Inc. (CODE) added 96 new products to the Spansion FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers.
  • Comverse (CNSI) inaugurated its new ultra-modern data center facilities in Europe -- an integral part of Comverse's global network of cloud operations facilities supporting SaaS subscription-based models of its leading VAS, Evolved Communication Suite and BSS offerings.
  • Attunity Ltd. (ATTU) introduced its new certified data integration solution for the Teradata Appliance for Hadoop from Teradata (TDC).
  • Piedmont Office Realty Trust (PDM) announced that it executed approximately 684,000 square feet of total leasing, including 389,000 square feet of previously unoccupied space - the second highest quarter of new, unoccupied leasing on record for the firm. The company also completed the purchase of one strategic asset in the third quarter of 2014. 
  • NICE Systems (NICE) announced that the NICE Trading Recording solution has been qualified to support Microsoft (MSFT) Lync.

7:21 am Platform Specialty Products Follow Up: Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Arysta LifeScience for $3.51 billion; acquisition will not have any impact on Platform's status as a U.S.-domiciled company; sees Q3 revs in line (PAH) :

  • Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Arysta LifeScience, a provider of crop solutions with expertise in agrochemical and biological products, from a company backed by the Permira funds for ~$3.51 bln, subject to regulatory approval.
  • The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, is expected to be funded through a combination of cash on hand, convertible equity, debt, and equity. The acquisition will not have any impact on Platform's status as a U.S.-domiciled company.
  • Arysta has delivered stable and profitable growth under the Permira funds' ownership. The company reported net sales of $1.5 billion for the full year 2013 and had a particularly strong performance in its key growth regions of Latin America and Africa. High-growth regions such as Latin America, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, China and South Asia represented over 65% of Arysta's sales in 2013. The proposed Arysta acquisition would have been more than 20% accretive to Platform's 2014 adjusted earnings before synergies.
  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q3 (Sep), sees Q3 (Sep) revs of $195-197 mln vs. $197.00 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Adjusted EBITDA expected to be in the range of $51 million to $52 million compared to $47.6 million in 2013, which would represent a record quarter for Platform. 

7:17 am Ohr Pharmaceutical announces new positive anatomic and visual acuity data on OHR-102 (Squalamine Eye Drops) IMPACT study presented at the 2014 American Academy of Ophthalmology Scientific Meeting (OHRP) :

  • Co announced that additional positive clinical data from the IMPACT study were presented at the 2014 American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Scientific Meeting, in Chicago, Illinois.
  • The IMPACT study is a nine month phase II clinical trial evaluating Squalamine Eye Drops (OHR-102) for the treatment of the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).
  • The data, presented in the AAO late breaker session by Dr. David S. Boyer on Saturday, October 18, demonstrated that the combination of OHR-102 plus Lucentis resulted in a marked improvement in subretinal hyperreflective material (:SHRM), an anatomical biomarker for wet-AMD.
  • The regression of SHRM observed was greater in the OHR-102 combination arm compared to the Lucentis monotherapy arm. A clear relationship was demonstrated between this reduction in the SHRM biomarker and the improvements in visual acuity seen in the study.
  • In addition, the IMPACT study demonstrated that the OHR-102 combination arm had a greater proportion of patients with total resolution of SHRM compared to the Lucentis monotherapy arm.

7:16 am Valeant Pharma beats by $0.12, reports revs in-line; raises Q4, FY15 cash EPS guidance (VRX) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $2.11 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.12 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.99; revenues rose 33.4% year/year to $2.06 bln vs the $2.06 bln consensus.

  • Co guided up on Sept 24.
  • Total same store sales organic growth was 19%, including impact from generics Bausch + Lomb organic growth was 12%, adjusted only for foreign exchange.
Co issues upside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $2.45-2.55, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.38 Capital IQ Consensus.
  • Expect double-digit same store organic growth in the fourth quarter
Co issues upside guidance for FY15, raises EPS to $10.00, excluding non-recurring items, from $9.65 vs. $9.58 Capital IQ Consensus; raises 2015 outlook to +10% organic growth.

7:12 am IBM misses by $0.64, misses on revs -- Co will guide on the call at 8:00 (IBM) : Reports Q3 (Sep) non-GAAP earnings of $3.68 per share, $0.64 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $4.32; revenues rose -4% year/year to $22.4 bln vs the $23.37 bln consensus. 

  • The company will provide earnings guidance during today's quarterly earnings conference call, and it is included in the presentation charts. 
  • "We are disappointed in our performance. We saw a marked slowdown in September in client buying behavior, and their results also point to the unprecedented pace of change in our industry. While we did not produce the results we expected to achieve, we again performed well in our strategic growth areas -- cloud, data and analytics, security, social and mobile - where we continue to shift our business. We will accelerate this transformation." 
    • Revenues from the Software segment were $5.7 billion, down 2% (down 2%, adjusting for currency) compared with the third-quarter of 2013. Software pre-tax income decreased 3% and pre-tax margin decreased to 35.5%. 
    • The Americas' third-quarter revenues were $10.1 billion, a decrease of 2% (down 1%, adjusting for currency) from the 2013 period. Revenues from Europe/Middle East/Africa were down 2% to $7.2 billion (down 3%, adjusting for currency). Asia-Pacific revenues decreased 9% (down 8%, adjusting for currency) to $5.0 billion. 
    • Revenues from the company's growth markets were down 6% (down 5%, adjusting for currency). Revenues in the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - were down 7% (down 7 percent, adjusting for currency). 
  • The co has reached an agreement under which GLOBALFOUNDRIES will acquire IBM's Microelectronics OEM semiconductor business and manufacturing operations. The loss from discontinued operations in the third quarter includes a non-recurring pre-tax charge of $4.7 billion, or $3.3 billion, net of tax.
  • At the end of Sept 2014, IBM had ~$1.4 billion remaining from the current share repurchase authorization. The company expects to request an additional share repurchase authorization at the October 2014 board meeting.

7:10 am Hutchinson Tech. priced a registered direct offering of $37.5 mln aggregate principal amount of its unsecured 8.50% Convertible Senior Notes due 2019 (HTCH) :

  • Co announced the pricing of a registered direct offering of $37.5 million aggregate principal amount of its unsecured 8.50% Convertible Senior Notes due 2019. 
  • The Convertible Notes will bear interest at a rate of 8.50% per year. Interest will be payable semi-annually in arrears on April 30 and October 31, beginning on April 30, 2015. The Convertible Notes will mature on October 31, 2019. The offering is expected to close on October 23, 2014, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. 
  • Certain beneficial holders of the Convertible Notes have the right to require Hutchinson Technology to repurchase for cash up to $7.5 million aggregate principal amount of the Convertible Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, during the 120-day period commencing on October 23, 2014.

7:08 am V.F. Corp misses by $0.01, misses on revs; guides FY14 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (VFC) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.08 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.09; revenues rose 6.8% year/year to $3.52 bln vs the $3.57 bln consensus.

  • Co issues mixed guidance for FY14, now sees EPS of $3.08 vs. $3.11 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, which is an an increase of $0.02 over the previous outlook and includes an estimated $0.02 negative impact due to currency fluctuations since prior outlook; sees FY14 revs of $12.3 bln vs. $12.34 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:07 am Euro Firms in Early Trade: 10Y: +01/32..2.196%..USD/JPY: 106.87..EUR/USD: 1.2787 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index holds steady near 85.15. 
  • Overnight, the Index probed the 85.35 level but has spent early morning trade surrendering those gains. 
  • EURUSD is +15 pips @ 1.2775 amid a mostly uneventful trade. Early action has been limited to a 45 pip range as trade digested the German Bundesbank's latest monthly report suggesting while the economy is slowing it is unlikely to slide into a recession. Also impacting trade were reports the European Central bank has begun its asset purchase program, first buying French covered bonds. The 1.2800 level has been tested over the past few sessions, but has so far been able to hold. Click here to see a daily EURUSD chart.
  • GBPUSD is +35 pips @ 1.6125 as buyers take control for a fourth day. A lack of news and data out of the UK has left action at the mercy of the risk trade. 
  • USDCHF is -5 pips @ .9445 as trade hovers little changed. The absence of any catalyst has kept the pair tightly correlated to the euro. 
  • USDJPY is +15 pips @ 107.00 as trade ticks higher for a third session. The current rally has the pair testing what was previously support in the 107.00 area.
  • AUDUSD is +20 pips @ .8765. The hard currency continues to press the 2014 lows as it has for much of the past month. USDCNY was flat @ 6.1235. 
  • USDCAD is -15 pips @ 1.1260. Action has been limited to a 40 pip range with wholesale sales set for release later this morning.

7:07 am Community Bank beats by $0.03, reports revs in-line (CBU) :

  • Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $0.59 per share, ex items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.56; revenues rose 4.9% year/year to $92.5 mln vs the $91.65 mln consensus. 
  • As an annualized percentage of average loans, Q3 net charge-offs were 0.10% vs 0.15% in the prior year and 0.14% Q2. Nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans at September 30, 2014 were 0.57%, consistent with 0.58% at June 30, 2014 and down from 0.61% of total loans at September 30, 2013.

7:06 am Forest Oil announces commencement of proxy mailing (FST) :

  • Co announced that it will commence mailing definitive proxy materials today in connection with the meeting to Forest shareholders for the purpose of voting on the previously announced business combination transaction between Sabine Oil & Gas LLC ("Sabine") and Forest.
  • Today's action follows completion of the Securities and Exchange Commission review process last week. Forest has scheduled the special meeting of shareholders for November 20, 2014, to consider and vote on the proposed merger agreement with Sabine.
  • Forest shareholders of record at the close of business on October 3, 2014, the record date, are entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Forest special meeting.

7:05 am Canadian Pacific announced that exploratory conversations held with CSX (CSX) about a possible business combination have ended, no further talks are planned (CP) : CP proposed an integrated coast-to-coast combination that would improve customer service, promote competition, alleviate congestion in North America -- specifically the key Chicago gateway -- and generate significant shareholder value. Such a business combination would offer creative alternatives for shippers, greater fluidity, increased capacity and improved efficiency industry-wide.  

  • While regulatory concerns appear to be a major deterrent for many railroads considering combinations, CP believes that given the right structure between the right players, and having thoughtful considerations and remedies to address shipper concerns, regulatory approvals are achievable. The North American rail industry is confronted today with the challenges of moving more freight than ever and the prospect of moving even more as oil production, crop yields and consumer demand grow alongside the economy. CP is convinced that the significant problems that beset the industry now will only worsen over time if solutions aren't put in place immediately. A pro-competition, customer-friendly, safety-focused railway combination is one such solution that could not be ignored on its merits by regulators. 

7:05 am Halliburton beats by $0.09, beats on revs (HAL) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.19 per share, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.10; revenues rose 16.4% year/year to $8.7 bln vs the $8.53 bln consensus.

  • Completion and Production (C&P) revenue in the third quarter of 2014 was $5.4 billion, an increase of $478 million, or 10%, from the second quarter of 2014. 
    • This increase was primarily driven by higher activity in North America and strong growth across the majority of our product lines in the Europe/Africa/CIS and Latin America regions.

7:04 am Rentrak granted U.S. patent for measuring set-top boxes (RENT) : Co announced that it has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the method and system behind measuring the status of return path TVs. U.S. Patent 8,863,166 is for a system to identify when TV sets are off, but the set-top-box is on.

7:04 am NCR Corp issues downside Q3 guidance and lowers 2014 guidance (NCR) :

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q3 (Sep), sees EPS of $0.67 vs. $0.71 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate (which is below our previous expectations due to lower operating results and unfavorable foreign currency impacts, partially offset by a lower effective income tax rate ); sees Q3 (Sep) revs of ~$1.647 bln vs. $1.66 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co lowers guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of $2.60-2.70, prior $3.00-3.10 vs. $3.00 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 (Dec) revs of $6.575-6.625 bln, prior $6.75-6.85 bln vs. $6.75 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • "In addition to our third quarter preliminary results, we now expect our 2014 results to be below our previous guidance, due largely to a challenging retail market as well as difficult global macroeconomic conditions, including foreign currency headwinds... Market conditions within the retail industry worsened in the third quarter, as evidenced by weak same store sales comparisons and financial results. This resulted in our retail customers spending more cautiously than anticipated and further delaying solution rollouts. Contributing further are ongoing data security concerns, which were heightened in the third quarter. This is causing retailers to shift IT priorities, resources, and capital spending. Additionally, ongoing retail consolidation continues to be a factor impacting our performance."

7:03 am Prospect Capital makes $86.1 million follow-on first-lien senior secured debt investment in Onyx Payments (PSEC) : Co announced that it has upsized its existing credit facilities to Onyx Payments, an H.I.G. Capital portfolio company, by $86.1 million to facilitate Onyx's recapitalization and acquisitions of Net Trans Services AS and Worldwide Payment Systems SA. Prospect is now the sole lender and agent of the first-lien senior secured debt issued by Onyx.

7:03 am Rex Energy reports production of 169.7 MMcfe/d exceeds high end of co guidance by 3%; Full year 2014 production guidance increased by 2% at the midpoint of the guidance range (REXX) :

  • Third quarter 2014 production volumes were 169.7 MMcfe/d, an increase of 72% over Q3 of 2013 and 32% over Q2 of 2014, consisting of 107.0 MMcf/d of natural gas and 10.4 Mboe/d of oil, condensate and NGLs (including 2.6 Mboe/d of ethane).
  • Oil, condensate and NGLs (including ethane) accounted for 37% of net production during the third quarter and increased 61% sequentially over Q2 of 2014.
  • Production from oil and condensate reached a record level of 3.3 Mboe/d, an increase of 20% over Q2 to 2014.
  • Third quarter 2014 production of 169.7 MMcfe/d exceeded the high end of the co's production guidance range of 159.0 -- 165.0 MMcfe/d by 3%.

Q4 and 2014 production guidance:
  • Rex Energy is providing its initial production guidance for the fourth quarter of 2014 and increasing its previously issued production guidance for the full year 2014.
  • The company expects fourth quarter production volumes to range from 179.0 MMcfe/d -- 185.0 MMcfe/d, representing a sequential increase of 7% at the midpoint of guidance over Q3 and a 65% year-over-year increase at the midpoint of guidance.
  • In addition, the co is increasing its full year 2014 production guidance by 3.0 MMcfe/d at the midpoint to 150.0 MMcfe/d -- 152.0 MMcfe/d from its previously announced guidance of 146.0 MMcfe/d -- 150.0 MMcfe/d.
  • The increase in full year production guidance is due to strong production results from the co's existing producing properties

7:03 am ZaZa Energy announces production results from three east Texas vertical wells (ZAZA) : Co announced the one-year production results (October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014) from three of its East Texas vertical wells in Madison and Walker counties, Texas:

  • Toby #1: During 336 producing days, average three-stream production for the Toby well was approximately 539 boe/d, consisting of about 230 b/d of liquids and 1,853 mcf/d of natural gas (cumulative one-year production of ~181,069 boe).
  • Grisham #1: During 358 producing days, average three-stream production for the Grisham well was approximately 533 boe/d, consisting of about 456 b/d of liquids and 460 mcf/d of natural gas (cumulative one-year production of ~190,720 boe).
  • Laura Unit #1: During 356 producing days, average three-stream production for the Laura well was approximately 382 boe/d, consisting of about 293 b/d of liquids and 532 mcf/d of natural gas (cumulative one-year production of ~135,911 boe). 
  • ZaZa's internal models indicate similarly strong economics of greater than 50% IRR for both horizontal and vertical wells

7:02 am NewLink Genetics announces exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for development of NLG919, an IDO Inhibitor in Phase 1, and research collaboration for the discovery of next generation IDO/TDO inhibitors; to receive upfront payment of $150 mln (NLNK) :

  • Co announced that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, for the development of NLG919, NewLink's IDO pathway inhibitor.
  • The parties also entered into a research collaboration for the discovery of next generation IDO/TDO compounds.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, NewLink will receive an upfront payment of $150 million.
  • NewLink will be eligible to receive in excess of $1 bln in milestone payments based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones as well as escalating double-digit royalties on potential commercial sales of multiple products by Genentech.

7:01 am Energy XXI appointed Bruce Busmire to the position of CFO, replacing West Griffin who is stepping down effective October 20, 2014 (EXXI) : Mr. Busmire will lead Energy XXI's corporate finance, accounting, information technology, investor relations, planning and strategy functions. Most recently Mr. Busmire was Chief Financial Officer of Venari Resources, a private equity backed Deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration company.

7:01 am MEDNAX announces acquisition of Perinatology Practice in Texas; transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings (MD) :

  • Co announced the acquisition of Houston Perinatal Associates, a private physician group practice based in Houston, Texas. 
  • The practice will become part of MEDNAX's Pediatrix Medical Group division.
  • The practice was acquired for cash and the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings. No additional terms of the transaction were disclosed. 

7:00 am China Information Tech signed major contract to install new media terminals in Hunan Province (CNIT) : Co announced that it has signed a major contract to install 20,000 units of the company's new media terminals on behalf of the Hunan provincial government. Reoccurring monthly revenue from each new media terminal is expected to range from RMB 60 to RMB 200, depending on terminal model and location. Such revenue includes both hardware lease and software and platform service fee. These new media terminals are expected to be installed over the next three years and will display advertisement and public legal information.

6:56 am Halliburton increases quarterly dividend to $0.18/share from $0.15/share (HAL) :  

6:47 am Howard Bank assumes all deposits and purchases certain assets of NBRS Financial Bank (HBMD) : Howard Bank, subsidiary of Howard Bancorp (HBMD), announced that it has entered into an agreement with the FDIC to assume all of the deposits and purchase certain loans and other assets of NBRS Financial Bank, a full-service, state chartered commercial bank headquartered in Rising Sun, Maryland.

  • As of June 30, 2014, NBRS Financial Bank had approximately $188.2 million in total assets and $183.1 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of NBRS Financial Bank, Howard Bank also agreed to acquire the majority of the NBRS Financial Bank assets.

6:41 am Tesoro Logistics LP announced the commencement of a registered underwritten public offering of 19.35 mln common units representing limited partner interests in the Partnership; also announced intention to offer $1.3 bln of senior notes (TLLP) : The Partnership expects to use the net proceeds from these offerings to fund a portion of the purchaseprice of the Partnership's announced acquisition of QEP Field Services, LLC from QEP Resources, Inc and to repay amounts outstanding under itsexisting revolving credit facility and for general partnership purposes.

6:38 am S&P futures vs fair value: +5.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.00. :

6:38 am European Markets : FTSE...6,258.81...-51.50...-0.80%.  DAX...8,751.57...-98.10...-1.10%.

6:38 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15,111.23...+578.70...+4.00%.  Hang Seng...23,070.26...+47.10...+0.20%.

6:33 am Hasbro beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (HAS) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of $1.46 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.45; revenues rose 7.3% year/year to $1.47 bln vs the $1.47 bln consensus. Foreign exchange had an unfavorable $10.8 million impact on third quarter revenues.

  • "In the third quarter, we grew revenues across all operating segments, delivered improved profitability and took strategic steps to grow our brand portfolio and content delivery over the longer term, including forming a new strategic merchandising relationship with Disney Consumer Products for the globally popular Disney Princess and Frozen properties." 
  • During Q3, Hasbro repurchased a total of 2.4 million shares of common stock at a total cost of $124.5 million and an average price of $52.56 per share.

6:32 am Klondex Mines reports Q3 op results (KLNDF) : Co reports Q3 tons mined 54,842 vs 54659 prior qtr. Co anticipates recovered ounces for 2014 to be higher than management's previous expectation of 75k to 85k AuEq ounces. At this point, co anticipates recovered ounces for 2014 to be approximately 95k AuEq. With strong Q3, and expected finish to the year, Klondex expects that it can monetize an aggregate of approximately 85k ounces for the 2014 year.

6:32 am Affymetrix exclusively licenses technology from Peptide Groove LLP for HLA typing from genotyping data (AFFX) : Co announced today that it has exclusively licensed technology from Peptide Groove LLP that enables HLA typing of human samples from genotyping data generated from a variety of assays including the company's Axiom genotyping assays. The technology will enable purpose-built, highly efficient HLA typing screening arrays that could prove useful for a broad range of HLA typing application needs, including donor repositories, drug development clinical trials, and many translational research studies. Additionally, customers using Affymetrix Axiom biobank arrays and other genotyping arrays for GWAS and fine mapping will be able to ascertain HLA type information without further experimentation.

6:30 am Asterias Biotherapeutics announces notice of grant award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a clinical trial of AST-OPC1 in complete cervical spinal cord injury (AST) : Co announced today that it has signed a Notice of Grant Award with the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, effective October 1, 2014.  The NGA provides for the immediate release of Clinical Development payments and the release of additional grant funds pursuant to the previously announced $14.3 million CIRM grant award for clinical development of Asterias' product, AST-OPC1. The grant provides non-dilutive funding to initiate a Phase 1/2a clinical trial of AST-OPC1 in patients with complete cervical spinal cord injury and other product development activities for AST-OPC1.

  • The new Phase 1/2a clinical trial is designed to assess safety and activity of escalating doses of AST-OPC1 for complete cervical spinal cord injuries, the first targeted indication for AST-OPC1. 
  • Selection of the clinical trial sites is well underway, and the Company expects to begin patient enrollment during the first quarter of 2015.

6:30 am Sears Hldg announces intent to conduct rights offering of units consisting of senior unsecured notes and warrants (SHLD) : Co announced that their board of directors has approved a rights offering allowing its stockholders to purchase up to $625 mln in aggregate principal amount of 8% senior unsecured notes due 2019 and warrants to purchase shares of its common stock. This rights offering will generate up to an additional $625 mln in proceeds, if it is fully subscribed and closes as planned, with the proceeds to be used for general corporate purposes. 

  • The subscription rights will be distributed to all stockholders of record of the company, and every stockholder will have the right to participate on the same terms in accordance with its pro rata ownership of the company's common stock, except that holders of the company's restricted stock that is unvested as of the record date are expected to receive cash awards in lieu of subscription rights.
  • Each subscription right will entitle the holder thereof to purchase, at a subscription price equal to the principal amount of each note, one unit, consisting of a 8% senior unsecured note due 2019 in a principal to be determined and a number of warrants equal to that principal amount divided by the strike price for the warrants, with each warrant entitling the holder thereof to purchase one share of the company's common stock at a strike price of $28.41, the closing market price on October 17, 2014, the last trading day before the board approved the offering.

6:28 am Family Dollar issues statement regarding Director Nominations for 2015 annual meeting (FDO) : The co confirmed that, on October 17, 2014, affiliates of Elliott Advisors Limited delivered a notice that purports to preserve the ability of Elliott to seek to elect seven directors if there were to be a 2015 annual meeting of the stockholders of Family Dollar. Family Dollar will review the notice in due course.

6:26 am Henry Schein enters Japan with investment in Iwase Dental Supply; financial terms not disclosed (HSIC) : The co announced that it has invested in Iwase Dental Supply, Inc., a leading full-service provider of dental consumables, implants and equipment in Japan.  The transaction marks Henry Schein's entrance into Japan, the world's 2nd largest dental market, and increases to 28 the number of countries in which the company operates. 

  • Iwase Dental Supply's existing shareholders, including the Iwase family, will continue to hold the remaining shares of the company.  Henry Schein will not be consolidating Iwase's financial results. Financial and other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  The company expects the transaction to be neutral to its earnings per share in 2015.
  • Led by Mr. Kenichiro Iwase, the third generation of the Iwase family to lead the company, Iwase Dental Supply reported 2013 sales of $190 mln.

6:24 am Amicus Therapeutics announces additional positive Phase 3 data from Fabry Monotherapy study 011 (FOLD) : The co announced additional positive data from a Phase 3 study (Study 011) of the oral small molecule chaperone migalastat HCl in Fabry disease patients with amenable mutations:

  • Stratifying patients for gender and baseline proteinuria demonstrated that patients treated with migalastat experienced less decline in kidney function than untreated patients from a previously published natural history study
  • Overall, patients with amenable mutations had declining levels of GL-3 when treated for six months with migalastat. In contrast, patients with non-amenable mutations had no change or increasing levels of GL-3 after six months of migalastat treatment.

6:22 am Phoenix Cos files first quarter 2014 form 10-Q; remain on schedule for completing our delayed SEC filings and expect to file our second quarter 2014 Form 10-Q with the SEC next week (PNX) :

6:20 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Acacia Research Corporation (ACTG) announced that its Unified Messaging Solutions LLC subsidiary has entered into a settlement and patent license agreement with The Vanguard Group, Inc. and Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Co also announced that its Cell and Network Selection LLC subsidiary entered into an agreement with Blackberry Corporation (BBRY) and Blackberry Limited.
  • Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) announced that it has entered into lease agreements with Primark, a leading fashion retailer in Europe, for seven standalone stores. 

6:01 am IBM confirms that Global Foundries will acquire IBM's Microelectronics Business; Cash consideration of $1.5 bln is expected to be paid to Globalfoundries by IBM over the next three years (IBM) :

  • Co announced that they have signed a Definitive Agreement under which Globalfoundries plans to acquire IBM's global commercial semiconductor technology business, including intellectual property, world-class technologists and technologies related to IBM Microelectronics, subject to completion of applicable regulatory reviews.
  • The Agreement, once closed, enables IBM to further focus on fundamental semiconductor research and the development of future cloud, mobile, big data analytics, and secure transaction-optimized systems. IBM continues its previously announced $3 bln investment over five years for semiconductor technology research to lead in the next generation of computing. 
  • IBM will reflect a pre-tax charge of $4.7 bln in its financial results for the third quarter of 2014, which includes an asset impairment, estimated costs to sell the IBM microelectronics business, and cash consideration to Globalfoundries. Cash consideration of $1.5 bln is expected to be paid to Globalfoundries by IBM over the next three years. The cash consideration will be adjusted by the amount of working capital which is estimated to be $200 mln.

5:56 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • The PT Kustodian Sentral Efek Indonesia, the central securities depository of Indonesia, and Nasdaq (NDAQ), have signed an agreement for Nasdaq to deliver X-stream CSD, to KSEI. The contract signed is for 10 years.
  • ZTE Corporation (ZTCOF) was awarded 30.77% of China Mobile Group's annual tender for high-performance routers, the second-highest allocation among all vendors. 
  • Ingenico Group (ING) has partnered with TMTFactory, a leading provider of multimedia content, to deploy a pioneering project in Europe, the Digital Locker, an innovative POS which is already deployed in the FC Barcelona official megastore, at Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium. 
  • Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation and Evogene (EVGN) announced the signing of a joint research agreement between Embrapa and Evofuel Ltd., Evogene's wholly-owned subsidiary, for the advancement of castor cultivation in Brazil.
  • European Senior Secured Loan Programme, a joint venture between affiliates of Ares Management L.P (ARES) and GE Capital (GE), announced that it has reached a total of 1 billion in commitments since inception in 2012 with the completion of its landmark 10th transaction. 

5:25 am CLECO Corp enters agreement to be acquired by North American Investor Group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and British Columbia Investment Management (CNL) : Cleco Corporation (CNL) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a group of North American long-term infrastructure investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, together with John Hancock Financial and other infrastructure investors.

  • The agreement values Cleco at ~$4.7 billion, including approximately $1.3 billion of assumed debt. Under the terms of the agreement, the new owners will acquire all outstanding shares of Cleco Corporation for $55.37 per share in cash. 
  • The price represents approximately a 15 percent premium to Cleco's closing price of $48.27 on October 17, 2014, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the agreement. 

5:23 am eBay announces Marc Andreessen resigns from eBay Board of Directors (EBAY) : eBay (EBAY) announced that Marc Andreessen has decided to resign from the company's board of directors. 

  • Andreessen has served on eBay's board for six years, joining in September 2008. Following the board's recent decision to separate eBay and PayPal into independent, publicly traded companies in the second half of 2015, Andreessen said that now is the right time to step down. 

4:40 am IBM announces they will make a major business announcement and seperately release its third-quarter 2014 earnings results at 7am (IBM) :  

3:42 am VimpelCom's subsidiary sells its operations in Burundi and Central African Republic (VIP) : Co announced that its 51.9% owned subsidiary Global Telecom Holding S.A.E. has sold its entire 100% stake in Telecel Globe, which owns 100% of each of U-COM in Burundi and Telecel CAR in Central African Republic, for $65 million, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. TG was acquired by Econet Wireless Global Limited, a diversified telecommunications group with operations in several countries mainly in Africa.

3:03 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Space Systems/Loral announced that a satellite designed and built for Intelsat (I) was launched and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan. 
  • Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD) announced that the binding open commitment period to determine shipper demand for capacity on a proposed new crude oil pipeline from the Williston Basin of North Dakota to the Cushing hub in Oklahoma has been extended until 5 p.m. CST, November 14, 2014. 
  • Global Sources (GSOL) has now fully launched its suite of services for the mobile electronics industry. Mobile Electronics is an industry-specialized community of buyers and suppliers -- connected through content, communication and five media channels -- an online marketplace, a magazine, alerts, an app and trade shows. 
  • The Lockheed Martin (LMT) -led industry team launched the nation's seventh Littoral Combat Ship, Detroit, into the Menominee River at Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC). Detroit will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015. 
  • JD.com (JD) announced it has launched operations for the initial phase of its first highly automated "Asia No.1" warehouse, located in Shanghai. 

2:14 am Koninklijke Ahold provides share buyback update (AHONY) : Co announces Ahold has repurchased 1,887,906 Ahold common shares in the period from October 13, 2014 up to and including October 17, 2014. The shares were repurchased at an average price of 11.9677 per share for a total consideration of 22.59 million. These repurchases were made as part of the 500 million share buyback program announced on February 28, 2013 as increased by 1.5 billion to a total amount of 2 billion announced on June 4, 2013. The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 143,485,440 common shares for a total consideration of 1,860.47 million.

2:12 am Constellium announces expiration and final results of its consent solicitation to amend notes of Wise Metals (CSTM) : Co announced solicitation of consents to certain proposed amendments to the indentures governing Wise Metals Group and Wise Alloys Finance Corporation's 8 % Senior Secured Notes due 2018 and Wise Metals Intermediate Holdings and Wise Holdings Finance Corporation's 93/4 / 10 1/2% Senior PIK Toggle Notes due 2019 

2:10 am Apricus Biosciences expands development pipeline with the in-licensing of U.S. rights for Fispemifene, a Phase 2b ready asset, from Forendo Pharma targeting urological conditions in men (APRI) : Apricus Biosciences (APRI) announced that it has licensed the U.S. development and commercialization rights for a novel selective estrogen receptor modulator, fispemifene, an investigational treatment for urological conditions in men, from Forendo Pharma, a private therapeutics company based in Finland. This license agreement combines Apricus' expertise in men's health with Forendo's established leadership in SERM drug discovery, to advance the development of fispemifene as an investigational treatment for urological conditions in men.

License Terms

  • Under the terms of the agreement, Forendo and its advisors received an upfront license fee of $12.5 million comprised of a $5 million cash payment and the issuance of $7.5 million in Apricus common stock (approximately 3.6 million shares priced at the 360-day average market price of $2.08 per share)
  • The agreement includes additional potential clinical and regulatory milestone payments to Forendo of up to $45 million, including for potential FDA approval, as well as potential commercial milestone payments totaling up to $260 million, based on achieving specified annual net sales levels up to $1 billion in the U.S.
  • Apricus will also pay tiered low double-digit royalties based on net sales once the product is commercialized. 
  • Apricus will be responsible for the clinical development of fispemifene in the U.S., as well as all future commercialization efforts in the U.S. and its territories. 

2:07 am Shire Interim Chief Financial Officer James Bowling to step down (SHPG) : Shire announces that James Bowling, Interim Chief Financial Officer, has notified the Board of Directors of his decision to step down from his current role to pursue a new career opportunity as CFO of Severn Trent plc. James will leave Shire at the end of Q1 2015 and the company will commence a search for a new CFO immediately.

1:38 am SAP AG beats by EUR0.02, reports revs in-line; issues mixed guidance due to mix shift (SAP) : Reports Q3 (Sep) earnings of 0.84 per share, 0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of 0.82; revenues rose 4.9% year/year to 4.26 bln vs the 4.23 bln consensus.

  • Cloud Billings: Non-IFRS Calculated Cloud Billings Increased 51% 
  • Cloud & Support Revenue: 62% in Third Quarter 2014 up From 59% a Year Ago 
  • SAP's annual cloud revenue run rate now exceeds 1.3 billion or $1.7 billion 
BUSINESS OUTLOOK 2014
The Company updated its outlook for the full year 2014.
  • Based on the strong momentum in SAP's cloud business, the Company is raising its cloud outlook again and now expects full year 2014 non-IFRS cloud subscriptions and support revenue to be in a range of 1,040 -- 1,070 million (previously 1,000 -- 1,050 million) at constant currencies (2013: 757 million). 
    • The upper end of this range represents a growth rate of 41%.
  • The Company continues to expect full year 2014 non-IFRS software and software-related service revenue to increase by 6% -- 8% at constant currencies (2013: 14.03 billion). 
  • With the customer-driven mix shift from upfront to cloud subscription revenue the Company now expects full-year 2014 non-IFRS operating profit to be in a range of 5.6 billion -- 5.8 billion (previously 5.8 -- 6.0 billion) at constant currencies (2013: 5.48 billion).
    • SAP anticipates the fast-growing cloud business along with growth in support revenue will drive a higher proportion of more predictable revenue in the future.

12:28 am Boeing: Honeywell (HON) forecasts up to 9,450 new business jet deliveries worth $280 billion from 2014 to 2024 (BA) : In its 23rd annual Business Aviation Outlook, Honeywell (HON) is forecasting up to 9,450 new business jet deliveries worth $280 billion from 2014 to 2024. 

  • The 2014 Honeywell outlook reflects an approximate 7 to 8 percent increase in projected delivery value over the 2013 forecast. Slightly higher unit deliveries are coupled with modest list price increases and the continued strong showing of larger business jet models in the delivery mix to generate the growth.
  • Honeywell forecasts 2014 deliveries of approximately 650 to 675 new jets, a single-digit increase in percentage growth year over year. The improvement in deliveries expected in 2014 is largely due to program schedule recoveries, new model introductions and additional fractional uptake.

12:19 am Tri-County Financial files shelf registration statement providing the Company with the ability to offer up to $75.0 mln of securities (TCFC) :  

12:04 am J.M. Smucker increases stock repurchases by 5 mln shares (SJM) : Co announced it Board increased the Company's share repurchase authorization by five million common shares. Therefore, the Company has a total of approximately ten million common shares available for repurchase under its Board authorizations. Future share repurchases will occur at management's discretion, and there is no guarantee as to the exact number of shares that will be repurchased.

Rates

View Comments (112)

Recommended for You