InPlay from Briefing.com

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6:02 pm Ctrip.com to acquire Celebrity Century from Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) (CTRP) : Co announced that it has, through Exquisite Marine, an affiliate of Ctrip, entered into an agreement to acquire Celebrity Century, a 1,814-passenger cruise ship, from Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL). Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will continue to operate Celebrity Century until April 2015. Exquisite is a wholly owned subsidiary of Skyseas Holding International Ltd, ("Skyseas"), a co-founded company by Ctrip and other investors, which targets to provide Chinese customers the world-class and tailor-made cruise products. Ctrip has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to form a joint venture to manage the operations of the acquired cruise ship and potentially broaden the relationship.

5:43 pm Goldcorp reports pit wall instability at El Sauzal mine; mine operations suspended (GG) : Co announced that its El Sauzal mine in Chihuahua, Mexico is experiencing movement in the highwall slope of the Trini pit. As a safety precaution, mining operations have been suspended until a geotechnical survey team can assess the potential impact of the instability on the mine's operation. The current year represents the final year of El Sauzal's active mine life, with 100,000 to 105,000 ounces of gold production expected in 2014. As of August 28, 2014 approximately 37,000 ounces of gold have been produced.

5:03 pm Alleghany Corporation announces pricing of $300 mln of 4.900% senior notes due 2044 (Y) : Co announced that it has set the price for the public offering of $300 million of its 4.900% Senior Notes due September 15, 2044. Alleghany intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Senior Notes to redeem a portion of the 5.75% Senior Notes due December 2015 of its subsidiary, Transatlantic Holdings, Inc. BMO Capital Markets, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley and US Bancorp are acting as joint book-running managers for the Senior Notes offering.

4:45 pm Millennial Media appoints Andrew Jeanneret as Chief Financial Officer (MM) : Co announced the appointment of Andrew Jeanneret as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Jeanneret has served as the Company's Senior Vice President of Accounting and Chief Accounting Officer since 2011.

4:35 pm Leucadia Nat'l: Jefferies reports preliminary Q3 results (LUK) : Jefferies will release final results for its third quarter 2014 on September 16, 2014. These preliminary results are being released in advance of Jefferies' normal earnings release schedule in light of the Leucadia Investor Meeting to be held tomorrow on September 3, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.

  • Total Net revenues of $835 million 
  • Pre-tax earnings of $132 million 
  • Net earnings of $82 million 
  • Record Investment Banking net revenues of $461 million
    • Equities net revenues of $163 million 
    • Fixed Income net revenues of $207 million
    • Total Sales and Trading net revenues of $370 million
  • Richard B. Handler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Brian P. Friedman, Chairman of the Executive Committee, commented: "These preliminary results represent the best third quarter and the best first nine-months Jefferies has achieved in our 50-year history. Our third quarter performance was driven by an estimated $461 million in Investment Banking net revenues. These record preliminary investment banking results reflect solid contributions from equity and debt capital markets, strong performance in our merger and acquisition advisory business, and solid participation across our industry groups and geographies. Our sales and trading business preliminary results were also solid for the quarter and are estimated at $370 million".

4:32 pm Capital Product Partners announces offering of 15 mln common units (CPLP) : Co announced that it plans to offer 15,000,000 common units representing limited partnership interests in a public offering. The Partnership intends to use the net proceeds from the public offering (i) to partially fund the approximately $311,500,000 aggregate purchase price of, including the $30,224,500 deposit for, the two 50,000 deadweight product carriers Hull Nos. 027 and 028, the CMA CGM Amazon (ex Akadimos), the CMA CGM Uruguay (ex Adonis) and the CMA CGM Magdalena (ex Anaxagoras), (ii) to repurchase from Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. approximately $60.0 million of common units and to cancel such common units upon completion of the public offering, and (iii) for general partnership purposes. The joint book-running managers for this offering are UBS Investment Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities.

4:32 pm Voya Financial announced that ING Group has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters to sell VOYA common stock in an underwritten public offering. VOYA will not be issuing or selling common stock, and will not receive any proceeds from the offering (VOYA) : ...

4:30 pm Cleveland Biolabs to report outcome of July FDA meeting and host conference call on September 3 (CBLI) : Co announced that on September 3, 2014, it will report the outcome of the Company's July meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA), and will host a conference call at 11:00 a.m. ET.

4:30 pm Epizyme CFO retires (EPZM) :

  • Co announced that Jason Rhodes, President and Chief Financial Officer, has resigned from the company, effective Sept 30, 2014. Mr. Rhodes, who has served on Epizyme's leadership team since 2010, will be joining a venture capital firm.
  • The co has a search underway to identify a new chief financial officer, and Rhodes has agreed to assist Epizyme in an advisory capacity through the end of 2014 to ensure a smooth transition.

4:28 pm Cloud Peak Energy announces expected Q1 CFO Transition (CLD) : Co announced that its current Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Barrett, is planning to relocate his family back to Australia and is expected to resign from Cloud Peak Energy by the end of the first quarter of 2015. The company also announced that it expects to promote Heath Hill, currently Cloud Peak Energy's Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, to serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer following Barrett's departure.

4:26 pm Enable Midstream Partners announces extension of natural gas transportation and storage agreements (ENBL) : Co announced that its Enable Mississippi River Transmission, LLC (:MRT) subsidiary has extended natural gas transportation and storage service agreements with its largest customer, St. Louis-based Laclede Gas Company, at existing contract demand levels through 2017 and 2018.

4:25 pm Athlon Energy provides operational update: Howard County horizontal well, Tubb 39 #5H, achieved a peak 3-phase 24-hour IP rate of 2,351 BOE/D (77% oil) (ATHL) : Co provided an operational update:

  • Athlon's Howard County horizontal well, Tubb 39 #5H (100% WI) was successfully drilled and completed using a 30-stage hybrid fracture stimulation over a perforated lateral length of 6,705 ft. in the Wolfcamp A zone. The well flowed naturally prior to installing artificial lift and achieved a peak 3-phase 24-hour IP rate of 2,351 BOE/D (77% oil) and a peak 3-phase 30-day rate of 1,594 BOE/D (73% oil).
  • Athlon's Midland County horizontal well, Davidson 37B #8H (100% WI) was successfully drilled and completed using a 30-stage hybrid fracture stimulation over a perforated lateral length of 7,744 ft. in the Wolfcamp B zone. The well achieved a peak 3-phase 24-hour IP rate of 2,425 BOE/D (76% oil) and a peak 3-phase 30-day rate of 1,680 BOE/D (74% oil).
  • Athlon's first Lower Spraberry well was completed in Martin County. The Dorothy Faye K #2H (100% WI) was completed using a 32-stage hybrid fracture stimulation over a perforated lateral length of 7,922 ft. The well achieved a peak 3-phase 24-hour IP rate of 1,279 BOE/D (73% oil) and a peak 3-phase 30-day rate of 1,076 BOE/D (74% oil).

4:18 pm Closing Summary: A Mixed Day for Stock Market (:WRAPX) : The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market. Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow. The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in the commodity arena, which saw a 4.2% drop in natural gas futures to $3.90/btu, a 3.1% decline in oil prices to $92.96/bbl, and a 1.7% slide in gold prices to $1266.10/troy ounce.

The US Dollar Index increased 0.3% to 82.99 -- a 13-month high -- as the yen hit its weakest level (105.15) against the greenback since January; meanwhile, the euro was probing the 1.31 level, which was seen in September 2013.

The drop in commodity prices, and especially oil and natural gas, are positives for the consumer if they persist and should lead to more benign inflation readings that will provide a line of defense for the Federal Reserve's policy outlook. That is a positive consideration for longer-dated Treasuries. The fact that they traded down sharply on Tuesday went to show that the impetus for Tuesday's weak showing was primarily profit taking.

The 10-yr note (-20/32) settled at its low for the day and saw its yield jump seven basis points to 2.42%. Presumably, a holiday weekend that did not feature a flare-up of geopolitical conflict also led to some unwinding of safety trades that had been established ahead of the weekend.

The latter point notwithstanding, it was not a "risk-on" trade in the stock market. It tried to run early. The S&P 500 even set a new intraday high at 2006.15 shortly after the start of trading. The follow-through was lacking, however, as participants were battling the notion that the market has gotten overextended on a short-term basis, as well as the recognition that some key, market-moving events are waiting at the back half of the week.

Specifically, the Bank of Japan, Bank of England, and ECB will all be holding policy meetings on Thursday and the US employment report for August will be released on Friday.

The specter of those items overshadowed another spate of M&A news, which featured Dollar General (DG 64.36, +0.37) raising its all-cash bid for Family Dollar (FDO 80.22, +0.39) to $80 per share, the favorable impact on the consumer of lower energy prices, and some encouraging economic data that included the highest reading in the ISM Index (59.0) since March 2011 and a report that construction spending increased 1.8% in July.

Those things didn't go entirely unnoticed, however. The financial (+0.3%), industrial (+0.2%), and consumer discretionary (+0.2%) sectors all exhibited relative strength and helped keep losses in check. Remarkably, a weak earnings report electronics and appliance retaile Conns (CONN 31.00, -13.83) that was blamed in large part on weak credit trends did not take down the consumer discretionary sector.

The information technology sector (+0.1%) also outperformed. It got a boost from Apple (AAPL 103.30, +0.80), which shot down accusations its iCloud service got hacked, noting instead that certain celebrities were targeted in a direct attack on their user names and passwords.



Separately, there were some rumblings that there may have been a customer data breach at Home Depot (HD 91.15, -1.88) stores. That allegation sent the home improvement retailer lower and left it as one of the Dow's worst-performing components along with Chevron (CVX 127.54, -1.91), Boeing (BA 125.48, -1.32), and ExxonMobil (XOM 98.49, -0.97).

Losses in Chevron and Exxon weighed heavily on the energy sector (-1.3%), which was the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500. It was followed by the utilities sector (-1.0%), which traded lower as Treasury yields moved higher.

Volume remained on the light side with just 578 mln shares traded at the NYSE.

Wednesday's session will feature the Mortgage Applications, Factory Orders, Beige Book, and Auto Sales reports.

  • DJIA +3.0% YTD
  • Nasdaq Composite +10.1% YTD
  • S&P 500 +8.3% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +1.4% YTD

4:15 pm Salem Communications increases quarterly cash distribution by 4.2% to $0.0625 from $0.0600/share (SALM) :  

4:15 pm Buckeye Partners commences public offering of 5.5 mln limited partnership units representing limited partner interests (BPL) : Co announced that it has commenced a public offering of 5,500,000 limited partnership units representing limited partner interests pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement. 

  • Co intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to fund a portion of the purchase price of the previously announced transaction with Trafigura Corpus Christi and for general partnership purposes. 
  • Barclays, Morgan Stanley, UBS Investment Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital Markets are acting as joint book running managers of the LP Unit offering. Deutsche Bank Securities and Jefferies are acting as the co-managers of the LP Unit offering.

4:13 pm Ellington Financial commences public offering of 8 mln common shares representing limited liability company interests (EFC) :

  • Co announced that it has commenced a public offering of 8,000,000 common shares representing limited liability company interests. The co expects to grant the underwriters an option for 30 days to purchase up to an additional 1,200,000 common shares.
  • BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, Morgan Stanley, UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.

4:13 pm GrubHub announces launch of proposed follow-on offering of ~10.03 mln shares of common stock (GRUB) : Co announced that it has commenced a follow-on public offering of its common stock. With this offering, the Company and certain of the Company's stockholders intend to offer 10,033,415 shares of common stock. Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and BofA Merrill Lynch will act as book-running managers for the proposed offering. Co is offering 1.25 mln shares, the selling stockholders, which include certain members of our board of directors and management, are offering 8,783,415 shares.

4:12 pm CDW commences public offering of 15 mln shares of its common stock held by selling stockholders (CDW) : CDW today announced the commencement of a public offering of 15 mln shares of its common stock held by the selling stockholders pursuant to a registration statement filed with the SEC.

  • CDW Corporation will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of the shares of common stock. 
  • Barclays is acting as sole underwriter in this offering.

4:12 pm Guidewire Software beats by $0.09, beats on revs (GWRE) : Reports Q4 (Jul) earnings of $0.37 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.28; revenues rose 22.0% year/year to $118.2 mln vs the $112.68 mln consensus.

  • Total license revenue, including term and perpetual licenses, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 was $65.9 million, an increase of 34%. Term license revenue was $59.3 million, a 32% increase. Revenue from perpetual licenses was $6.6 million compared with $4.2 million a year ago. Maintenance revenue was $11.9 million, up 21%, and services revenue was $40.4 million, an increase of 6%

4:11 pm Danaher implements previously disclosed succession plan and will appoint Thomas Joyce, Jr. as President and CEO and member of the Board of Directors, effective Sep 9, 2014 (DHR) : Co announced that the co's Board of Directors has implemented its previously disclosed succession plan and will appoint Thomas Joyce, Jr. as President and CEO and a member of the Board of Directors, effective September 9, 2014. Mr. Joyce's predecessor, H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., will transition to a senior advisory role.

4:11 pm K2M Group receives 510(k) clearance & CE Mark for MESA Hooks used in complex spine procedures (KTWO) :

4:11 pm Box Ships beats by $0.05, beats on revs (TEU) : Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $0.06 per share, excl items, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.01; revenues fell 24.4% year/year to $14.3 mln vs the $13.8 mln consensus.

  • "During Q2, there were some slight signs of improvement in the containership market. We managed to extend the charter of the MSC Emma with MSC for a further period of nine months at a daily rate of $9,450, which even though it is significantly below the previous rate of $28,500/day, it is still a marked improvement compared to our previous extensions for similar vessels at around $7,000 per day earlier in the year."
  • Net revenues represent charter hire earned, net of commissions. During Q2 of 2014 and 2013, its vessels operated a total of 819 and 804 days, respectively, out of a total of 819 calendar days in both periods.
  • Currently, all vessels in its fleet are employed under fixed rate time charters, having an average weighted remaining charter duration of 10 months (weighted by aggregate contracted charter hire).
  • Adjusted TCE rate was $16,843 per vessel per day in the second quarter of 2014, 25% lower than our adjusted TCE of $22,506 for Q2 of 2013.

4:10 pm Professional Delivery Network announces updates to its pending merger with National Association of Professional Women; Final confirmation of the merger will be completed and announced in the next 30 days (IPDN) : Co announced updates today on its pending merger with National Association of Professional Women. The final Information Statement will be sent to stockholders with full information on the consolidated company; Final confirmation of the merger will be completed and announced in the next 30 days.

4:10 pm Paragon Shipping misses by $0.01 (PRGN) : Reports Q2 (Jun) loss of $0.23 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.22); revenues fell 18.5% year/year to $9.7 mln.

  • "For the second quarter of 2014, the drybulk market, and more specifically the market for Panamax vessels, was weaker than expected."
  • "Although we continued to outperform the market during the quarter, earning an average TCE rate of $7,870 per vessel per day, the overall decline in the market rates had a direct impact on our second quarter results"

4:09 pm Resolute Forest Products announces the permanent closure of its Laurentide paper mill in Shawinigan, Quebec (RFP) : RFP today announced the permanent closure of its Laurentide paper mill in Shawinigan, Quebec. The restart of a competitor's mill at the end of 2012, the high cost of fiber, as well as higher transportation and fuel costs, have affected the mill's competitiveness.

  • "We made every effort to find a way to improve the Laurentide mill's performance. Unfortunately, due to its cost structure and challenging market conditions, there is no economically viable option for the mill," stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer

4:09 pm Endeavour Intl announces decision not to make interest payments of ~ $33.5 mln (END) : Co announced that it has decided not to pay ~$33.5 mln in interest due on September 2, 2014 on its 12% First Priority Notes due March 2018, 12% Second Priority Notes due June 2018 and 6.5% Convertible Senior Notes due November 2017.

  • Under the term of the indentures for the Notes, there is a 30-day grace period during which the co may elect to make the interest payment and cure any potential event of default for non-payment.

4:09 pm Aviat Networks misses by $0.06, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs below consensus (AVNW) : Reports Q4 (Jun) loss of $0.13 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.07); revenues fell 21.2% year/year to $85.9 mln vs the $85.01 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $84-89 mln vs. $93.04 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co expects Non-GAAP operating expense in the range of $26-127 mln. Expects cash generation in FY2015.

4:08 pm Team Health Holdings announces merger with the operations of Trident Emergency Physicians; expands relationship with HCA Healthcare (TMH) : Co announced a merger with the operations of Trident Emergency Physicians (TEP) expanding its presence in Charleston, S.C., and its relationship with HCA Healthcare. Combined, these facilities provide care for approximately 120,000 emergency patient visits annually.

4:07 pm Radiant Logistics acquires Trans-NET; Launches global project services offering and network gateway to the Russia Far East (RLGT) : Co announces it has acquired Trans-NET, Inc. Trans-NET is an Issaquah, Washington-based, privately held company with experience in providing integrated project logistics solutions in Russian oil, gas, mining and infrastructure development markets. The transaction was structured as a purchase of assets and includes an option to purchase the assets of Trans-NET's Russian affiliate, Trans-NET International Logistics, LLC with operations in Sakhalin Island, Vladivostok and Moscow.

TNIL will operate as an exclusive agent for Radiant pending the acquisition of the TNIL assets which is expected to be completed in the next 90-120 days. The company paid approximately twenty-five percent (25%) of the expected purchase price at close using cash and stock payments at closing with the balance payable in subsequent periods based on the future performance of the acquired operations.

Co states: "As we have previously discussed, our acquisition strategy continues to target the acquisition of our existing agent station locations as well as the acquisition of other complimentary non-asset based transportation businesses typically generating $1-3 million of EBITDA, particularly in markets where we already have company owned operations.  We believe this approach will continue to deliver profitable growth, minimal dilution to our shareholders and meaningful value creation for our shareholders over the longer term..."

4:07 pm West Corp acquires the 911 Enable business of Connexon Group for ~$42.5 mln (WSTC) :

  • Co announced it has acquired the 911 Enable business of Connexon Group, Inc. 911 Enable provides emergency communications solutions for IP-based enterprise customers across the United States and Canada.
  • 911 Enable is now part of West's Intrado operations. Together, Intrado and 911 Enable plan to build on their respective expertise in enterprise VoIP 911 and public safety communications to deliver improved emergency response to business, government, education and non-profit organizations of all types and sizes.

4:05 pm Avista requests recovery of costs of ~$9.14 mln for providing service in Oregon (AVA) : Co filed a request today with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC.V) to increase natural gas base rates for customers by an overall 9.3 percent. The request is designed to produce approximately $9.14 million in additional natural gas revenue and is based on a proposed rate of return of 7.77 percent with a common equity ratio of 51 percent and a 9.9 percent return on equity.

4:05 pm Aehr Test Systems receives a follow-on order for its Advanced Burn-in and Test System; system shipped in 1Q15 (AEHR) : Co announced it has received a follow-on order for its Advanced Burn-in and Test System from a leading manufacturer of advanced logic integrated circuits for automotive, embedded processing, digital signal processing and analog applications.

  • The order includes down payments to lock in a delivery slot and volume pricing discount. 
  • This system shipped in Q1 of AEHR's fiscal 2015.

4:03 pm Old Dominion raises expectations for Q3 less-than-truckload tonnage growth; affirms expectations for Q3 yield improvement (ODFL) : Co increased its outlook for growth in third-quarter less-than-truckload tons per day to a range of 18.0% to 18.5% over the third quarter of 2013 from the previously disclosed range of 17.0% to 18.0%.

  • The actual increases in LTL tons per day for July and August 2014 as compared to the same prior-year periods were 18.8% and 19.0%, respectively. 
  • The co also affirmed its previously disclosed expectations for comparable-quarter growth in its LTL revenue per hundredweight, excluding fuel surcharges, to be in a range of 2.0% to 2.5% for the third quarter of 2014.

4:03 pm Clovis Oncology to offer $200 mln of convertible senior notes (CLVS) : Co announced that, subject to market and other conditions, it intends to offer $200 mln aggregate principal amount of its convertible senior notes due 2021 in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Clovis Oncology also expects to grant the initial purchasers a 30-day option to purchase up to $30 mln aggregate principal amount of additional notes on the same terms and conditions.

  • The net proceeds from the sale of the notes will be used for general corporate purposes, including funding of Clovis Oncology's development programs, payments of milestones pursuant to its license agreements, general and administrative expenses, acquisition or licensing of additional product candidates or businesses and working capital.

4:02 pm Baker Hughes closes previously announced acquisition of Weatherford's (WFT) pipeline and specialty services business (BHI) :  

4:02 pm Ultra Petroleum announces $700 mln offering of senior notes (UPL) : Co announced that, subject to market conditions, the company intends to offer $700.0 mln in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2024 in a private placement pursuant to exemptions from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Ultra intends to use the net proceeds of this offering to fund a portion of the purchase price of its recently announced Pinedale field acquisition.

4:02 pm Crown Castle receives favorable private letter ruling from IRS (CCI) : Co announced today that it has received from the Internal Revenue Service a favorable private letter ruling with respect to the real property portion of Crown Castle's small cell networks. The PLR provides that the real property portion of Crown Castle's indoor and outdoor small cell networks and the related rents qualify as real property and rents from real property, respectively, under the rules governing real estate investment trusts. As previously announced, Crown Castle commenced operations as a REIT effective January 1, 2014. Subject to the approval of its Board of Directors, Crown Castle expects to take appropriate action to include the qualifying portion of its small cell systems as part of the REIT effective January 1, 2015. Certain non-qualified assets related to Crown Castle's small cell systems will continue to be held in taxable REIT subsidiaries.

4:02 pm Flextronics received shareholder approval to purchase up to 20% of its outstanding shares; also, co's Board of Directors authorized management to purchase the co's shares in an aggregate amount of up to $500 mln (FLEX) : Co received shareholder approval to purchase up to 20% of its outstanding shares.

  • Additionally, the co's Board of Directors authorized management to purchase the Company's shares in an aggregate amount of up to $500 mln. 
  • The co continues to return value to its shareholders as it has purchased ~ $1.7 bln or 247 mln of its shares over the last four years.

4:02 pm Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals announces positive oral dosing data from lead-in of IGNITE 2 Phase 3 trial of eravacycline for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (TTPH) : Co announced that positive top-line results from the lead-in portion of its IGNITE 2 clinical trial, a two-part Phase 3 clinical trial studying the efficacy and safety of intravenous and oral formulations of eravacycline for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections, support advancement of the trial into its pivotal portion.

  • The responder outcome the primary endpoint for the FDA for the IV-to-oral 200 mg, IV-to-oral 250 mg and levofloxacin groups were 70.8%, 64.3% and 52.2%, respectively. 
  • The microbiological response the primary endpoint for the European Medicines Agency were 75.0%, 64.3% and 56.5%, respectively.

4:01 pm Flextronics received shareholder approval to purchase up to 20% of its outstanding shares (FLEX) : Additionally, the Company's Board of Directors authorized management to purchase the Company's shares in an aggregate amount of up to $500 million. The Company continues to return value to its shareholders as it has purchased approximately $1.7 billion or 247 million of its shares over the last four years.

4:01 pm Buckeye Partners to acquire 80% interest in Corpus Christi Terminal Complex and associated Eagle Ford assets in South Texas for $860 mln; 'expect this investment to be highly accretive to our distributable cash flow per limited partner unit in 2016 and beyond' (BPL) : Co announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire an 80 percent interest in a company that will be owned jointly with Trafigura AG for $860 mln. The co and its subsidiaries will own and operate a vertically integrated system of midstream assets including a deep-water, high volume marine terminal located on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, a condensate splitter and LPG storage complex in Corpus Christi, and three crude oil and condensate gathering facilities in the Eagle Ford shale.

  • All of the assets are supported by 7- to 10-year minimum volume throughput, storage and tolling agreements with Trafigura. 
  • This transaction is expected to close later in September 2014, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
  • Clark Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "... we expect this investment to be highly accretive to our distributable cash flow per limited partner unit in 2016 and beyond."

4:00 pm DepoMed announces offering of $230 mln convertible senior notes due 2021 (DEPO) : Co announced that it intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $230 mln aggregate principal amount of Convertible Senior Notes due 2021. Depomed expects to grant the underwriters in the offering a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $34.5 mln aggregate principal amount of the Notes.

  • Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and RBC Capital Markets, LLC will act as joint book-running managers for the offering. 
  • Depomed intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions. 
  • There are currently no agreements or understandings with respect to any such acquisition or strategic transaction.

4:00 pm Elec For Imaging proposes offering of $300 mln convertible senior notes due 2019 (EFII) : Co announced that it intends to offer, subject to market conditions and other factors, $300 mln aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2019 in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

  • In addition, the co intends to grant to the initial purchasers of the Notes the right to purchase up to an additional $45 mln aggregate principal amount of the Notes, exercisable within a 13-day period from, and including, the date of initial issuance.

3:44 pm Cardinal Financial's Cardinal Bank to acquire current Gainesville office of Virginia Heritage Bank; to be immediately accretive to earnings (CFNL) :

  • The co announced that Cardinal Bank has signed a definitive agreement with EagleBank (EGBN) to acquire the current Gainesville, Virginia branch office of Virginia Heritage Bank. 
  • With the acquisition, Cardinal Bank will take over the operations of the branch and assume ~$59 million in deposits. The deposit premium will be $195,000 for the deposits acquired. 
  • The acquisition, subject to regulatory approval and the completion of the Eagle/Virginia Heritage merger, is anticipated to be completed in the fourth quarter.

3:31 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX) : Today after the close look for the following companies to report:

  • PIKE, GWRE, AVNW, PRGN
Tomorrow before the open look for the following companies to report:
  • NAV, TOL, GIII, VNCE, EGAN

3:14 pm CBOE Holdings: CBOE Futures Exchange reports August 2014 is busiest month ever; VIX futures up 37% from August 2013, and up 10% from July 2014 (CBOE) : Average daily volume in VIX futures was a record 216,996 contracts during August, an increase of 37 % from August 2013 and an increase of 10% from July 2014.

  • August's record ADV surpassed the previous record ADV of 216,797 contracts in February 2014. 
  • Total volume in VIX futures reached a new all-time high during August with 4.56 mln contracts, up 31% from August 2013 and up 5% from July 2014. 
  • August's record total volume topped the previous record of 4.40 mln contracts in January 2014.
  • New records were also set in exchange-wide ADV and total volume during August.
  • Exchange-wide ADV was 217,440 contracts, a 36% increase from a year ago and a 10% increase from July 2014. 
  • The record ADV in August surpassed the previous record ADV of 217,029 contracts in February 2014. 
  • Exchange-wide total volume during the month was 4.57 mln contracts, a 29% increase from August 2013 and a 5% increase from July 2014. 
  • August's record total volume topped the previous record of 4.41 mln contracts in January 2014.

2:54 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Oct crude oil fell $3.02 to $92.91/barrel 
    • Crude oil fell below the $93 level today as a stronger dollar index weighed on prices. The energy component trended lower after pulling back from a session high of $94.99 set at pit trade open. It brushed a session low of $92.68 moments before settling with a 3.1% loss. 
  • Oct natural gas fell 18 cents to $3.89/MMBtu 
    • Natural gas also slipped further into the red after touching a session high of $3.98 in early morning action. It settled just above its session low of $3.88, booking a loss of 4.4%.
  • Oct heating oil fell 6 cents to $2.80/gallon 
  • Oct RBOB fell 8 cents to $2.54/gallon

2:46 pm CBOE Holdings reports August trading volume for options contracts on CBOE and C2SM and futures contracts on CFE totaled 99.10 mln contracts (CBOE) : Co reported that August 2014 trading volume for options contracts on CBOE and C2 Options ExchangeSM (C2SM) and futures contracts on CBOE Futures ExchangeSM (:CFE) totaled 99.10 mln contracts. Average daily volume was 4.72 mln contracts, a two-percent increase from August 2013 and a five-percent decrease from July 2014.

  • CBOE Holdings' year-to-date ADV was 5.12 mln contracts, 10% ahead of the same period one year ago. August was the most active month ever for futures on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX index), surpassing previous monthly volume and ADV records. VIX futures ADV increased 37 percent from a year earlier.
  • Exchange traded product (ETP) options ADV was 1.09 mln contracts, a two-percent decrease from August 2013 and even with July 2014. 
  • Equity options ADV was 1.58 mln contracts, a seven-percent decrease from August 2013 and a 17-percent decrease from July 2014. 

2:30 pm Apple provides update to investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities: 'certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions' (AAPL) : Co announced, "We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple's engineers to discover the source. Our customers' privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved. To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232."

2:20 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Price (:COMDX) :

  • Dec corn fell 2 cents to $3.64/bushel 
  • Dec wheat fell 8 cents to $5.55/bushel 
  • Nov soybeans rose 8 cents to $10.32/bushel 
  • Oct ethanol settled unchanged at $2.04/gallon 
  • Nov sugar (#16 (U.S.)) rose 0.12 of a penny to 25.60 cents/lb

2:17 pm Intelli-Check Mobilisa is up ~25%; co confirms CEO appearance on Fox Business in segment regarding cyber-security and hacking of banks (IDN) : Co's CEO was interviewed on Fox Business News on September 2 about measures individuals can take to ensure their personal security when dealing with banks.

  • Speaking with Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo, Dr. Ludlow noted that recent bank hackings are sophisticated and global in nature, and just as large U.S. banks are taking measures to enhance their cybersecurity, individuals can also take specific steps to enhance their personal security.

2:11 pm Stock indices extending push off early afternoon lows -- Dow -54 has bounced roughly 30 points, S&P -5.1, Nasdaq Comp +7.4 (:TECHX) :  

1:47 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :

  • Dec gold fell $22.50 to $1264.90/oz 
    • Gold fell deeper into negative territory today as strength in the dollar index weighed on the commodities space. The yellow metal traded as low as $1263.10 in morning action and settled just above that level, booking a loss of 1.7%. 
  • Dec silver fell $0.33 to $19.16/oz 
    • Silver also traded in the red, slipping to a session low of $19.11. Unable to gain momentum, it settled with a 1.7% loss. 
  • Dec copper fell1 cent to $3.15/lb

1:06 pm Midday Market Summary: Bulls Take a Rest (:WRAPX) : The stock market hasn't lacked bullish catalysts today, yet buyers nonetheless have been a reluctant bunch.

  • There were no major geopolitical flare ups over the weekend
  • M&A activity continued afoot
    • Dollar General (DG 64.38, +0.39) raised its all-cash offer for Family Dollar Stores (FDO 80.27, +0.44) to $80 per share
    • Compuware (CPWR 10.51, +1.16) agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for approximately $2.5 billion or $10.92 per share
    • Select Income REIT (SIR 26.35, -1.55) is buying Cole Corporate Income Trust for roughly $3 billion
  • Economic data out of the US was encouraging
    • ISM Index for August reached 59.0 (Briefing.com consensus 57.0) versus 57.1 in July and hit its highest level since march 2011
    • Construction spending increased 1.8% in July (Briefing.com consensus +1.0%) following an upwardly revised 0.9% decline (from -1.8%) in June
  • Today is the first trading day of a new month, which often attracts new inflows
The lackluster response to a spate of bullish catalysts has presumably engendered a sense that the good news was priced in following a 4.0% gain for the S&P 500 over the last month. Accordingly, some profit taking has ensued that has kept the market from pressing further into record-high territory.

At the same time, there is an increased awareness that the back half of the week will produce some market-moving action (for better or for worse) with policy meetings by the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England, and the ECB on Thursday, and the August employment report on Friday.

There isn't any real leadership to speak of at this point as every sector is trading down, none more so than the energy sector (-1.5%), which is getting hit hard along with energy prices.

Crude is currently down 2.7% at $93.34/bbl and is leading an otherwise weak commodity complex lower. Gold (-1.7% at $1265.30/troy ounce), cotton (-2.1% at $0.65/lb), and silver (-1.6% at $19.19/troy ounce) are some of the other notable laggards.

Dollar strength has been a key drag on the dollar-denominated commodities. The US Dollar Index is up 0.3% to 82.98, paced by interest rate differentials and a burgeoning sense that the Federal Reserve looks likely to be on a divergent policy path from the ECB and Bank of Japan. The yen, at 105.14, is at its weakest level versus the dollar since January; meanwhile, the euro, at 1.3124, is testing levels last seen a year ago.

Another notable pocket of weakness today has been seen in sovereign bond markets. They are succumbing to some profit taking after a big run of late and have also seen some of the safe-haven premium enjoyed ahead of the weekend being unwound on the other side of the weekend. The benchmark 10-yr note is down 18 ticks and its yield has risen six basis points to 2.41%.

The Dow and S&P 500 are trading near their lows for the day while the Nasdaq, aided by Apple's (AAPL 103.35, +0.85) outperformance, is holding close to unchanged.

1:05 pm Stock indices set minor new lows -- Dow -80, S&P -8.2, Nasdaq Comp -2.6 (:TECHX) :  

12:54 pm Escalera Resources enters into a new $250 mln credit facility (ESCR) : Co announced that it has entered into a new $250 million credit facility with Societe Generale, who is acting as both the Administrative Agent and initial Lender, and SG Americas Securities as Bookrunner and Sole Lead Arranger. The facility has a term of three years and replaces the co's previous revolving credit facility. The new credit facility has an initial borrowing base of $50 million, with borrowing costs comparable to Escalera's previous revolving credit facility.

12:54 pm MGT Capital Investments confirmed earlier it was notified by NYSE MKT of unusual trading activity in its stock; co's general policy is not to comment on market rumors or speculation (MGT) : The Company's general policy is not to comment on market rumors or speculation, including unusual market activity, and instead urges investors to look to the Company's filings with the SEC and its official press releases.

12:53 pm Interactive Brokers reports August metrics; DARTs +5% y/y to 495K (IBKR) : August Metrics:

  • 495K thousand Daily Average Revenue Trades, 5% higher than prior year and 6% lower than prior month. 
  • Ending customer equity of $55.7 bln, 40% higher than prior year and 4% higher than prior month. 
  • Ending customer margin loan balances of $16.6 bln, 39% higher than prior year and 4% higher than prior month.
  • 421 annualized average cleared DARTs per customer account. 

12:43 pm Pembina Pipeline increases size of preferred share offering to 10 mln shares with gross proceeds of $250 mln; offering no longer includes the previously granted underwriters' option (PBA) : Co announced that its offering of cumulative redeemable rate reset class A preferred shares, Series 7 has been increased to 10 mln shares. The offering no longer includes the previously granted underwriters' option. The aggregate gross proceeds will be $250 mln.

  • The holders of Series 7 Preferred Shares will be entitled to receive fixed cumulative dividends at an annual rate of $1.125/share, payable quarterly on the 1st day of March, June, September and December, as and when declared by the Board of Directors of Pembina, yielding 4.50% per annum, for the initial fixed rate period to but excluding December 1, 2019.
  • The Series 7 Preferred Shares are redeemable by Pembina, at its option, on December 1, 2019 and on December 1 of every fifth year thereafter at a price of $25.00/share plus accrued and unpaid dividends.

12:34 pm Shanda Games announces changes to consortium; Primavera, Perfect World, FV Investment Holdings, and CAP IV Engagement Limited have withdrawn from the Consortium (GAME) : The co has been informed by Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited, the controlling shareholder of Shanda Games, of the following changes to the consortium:

  • Orient Finance Holdings Limited, an affiliate of Orient Securities Company Limited, Shanghai Buyout Fund, an affiliate of Haitong Securities, and Ningxia Zhongyincashmere International Group, have joined the Consortium as new members through adherence agreements to become parties to the Consortium Agreement.
  • Orient Finance has entered into a share purchase agreement with Shanda SDG Investment Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shanda Interactive to purchase 123,552,669 class A ordinary shares of the Company, representing 23% of the total ordinary shares of the Company outstanding as of August 31, 2014.
  • Primavera, Perfect World, FV Investment Holdings, and CAP IV Engagement Limited have withdrawn from the Consortium.

12:25 pm 22nd Century Group has become a member of the U.S. tobacco Master Settlement Agreement through the acquisition of NASCO Products (XXII) :

  • 22nd Century Group, NASCO Products, and the Settling States of the MSA have executed an Amended Adherence Agreement under which 22nd Century Group and its subsidiaries have agreed to comply with the MSA and other requirements regarding the Company's manufacturing and marketing of tobacco products. 
  • In brief, participating manufacturers of the MSA have agreed to various restrictions on tobacco product marketing and to contribute funds in perpetuity to the Settling States based on unit sales of cigarettes.

12:02 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

  • TSLA (284.76 +5.58%): Upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel; tgt $400; California lawmakers did not agree on TSLA incentives, according to reports.
  • BIDU (223.65 +4.26%): Co to invest $10 mln in startup IndoorAtlas Ltd, according to reports.
  • REGN (363.15 +3.62%): Co and Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) announced presentation of detailed positive results from four pivotal alirocumab trials; tgt raised to $400 from $340 at Credit Suisse; tgt raised to $436 from $389 at Leerink Partners.
Large Cap Losers
  • MPEL (26.91 -5.11%): Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau reported August gross gaming rev -6.1% YoY (LVS, WYNN, MGM also lower).
  • GG (26.9 -4.17%): Weakness in metals/mining stocks (NEM also lower).
  • MPC (89.09 -2.11%): Co announced proposed offering of senior notes.
Mid Cap Gainers
  • CPWR (10.48 +12.09%): Co to be acquired by Thoma Bravo; shareholders will receive an aggregate value of ~ $10.92 per share.
  • NCLH (37.21 +11.71%): Co agreed to acquire Prestige Cruises International for $3.025 bln; acquisition immediately accretive to earnings without synergies; initial $25 mln of synergies will result in high single-digit percentage adjusted EPS accretion.
  • ACAD (26.29 +9.63%): Announced the FDA has granted BTD to NUPLAZID for the treatment of Parkinson's disease psychosis.
Mid Cap Losers
  • EMES (136.12 -5.58%): Downgraded to Neutral at Robert W. Baird on valuation.
  • FNSR (19.23 -5.32%): Downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.
  • OIBR (0.64 -3.93%): Co disclosed Moody's update.

12:01 pm Freddie Mac announces tenth multifamily securities offering this year, K-039 (FMCC) : Co announced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates which are multifamily mortgage-backed securities. The company expects to issue ~$1.1 bln in K Certificates, which are expected to price the week of September 2, 2014, and settle on or about September 18, 2014. This is Freddie Mac's tenth K Certificates offering this year.

  • Certificates will be offered to the market by a syndicate of dealers led by Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and Barclays Capital Inc. as co-lead managers and joint bookrunners. 
  • Bonwick Capital Partners, LLC, Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and RBS Securities Inc. will serve as co-managers.

11:53 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+0.1%
  • Germany's DAX:+0.3%
  • France's CAC:0.0%
  • Spain's IBEX:0.1%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.4%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+0.5%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+0.1%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -1.1%

11:49 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (256) outpacing new lows (30) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAP, AAPL, ACCO, ACHN, ADM, AFG, AGX, AI, AIG, ALX, AMGN, AMOT, AMP, AMSG, AMX, ANAC, ANDE, ARCW, AVGO, AVNR, BDR, BDSI, BG, BKS, BLL, BLT, BMO, BR, BURL, CAM, CDNS, CDXS, CELG, CENX, CFN, CHA, CHH, CHKP, CHL, CHU, CNI, CNSL, CNW, COO, CP, CSWC, CTAS, CTO, CW, CYS, DGLY, DK, DLX, DOC, DPS, DRH, DVA, EBR, ECHO, EEFT, EIX, ELS, ENZ, ERIE, EVEP, EW, EXH, EXP, FDO, FFG, FFIV, FISH, FL, FRF, FSFG, FTNT, GBX, GGP, GPK, GPRK, GPRO, GPS, GPT, HCC, HCLP, HCN, HEES, HGSH, HIG, HMLP, HRL, HSII, IBN, ICD, IESC, IFN, IHS, IMS, INGR, INVE, IRM, ITMN, ITUB, IVZ, KALU, KED, KLAC, KR, LAZ, LEA, LEG, LG, LHO, LNC, LNG, LOXO, LQ, LUV, LVNTA, LYB, MAG, MAR, MC, MCRL, MDVN, MEP, MGPI, MITT, MKSI, MMI, MNR, MPAA, MPW, MPWR, MRD, MRO, MTD, MTSI, MWE, NATI, NCLH, NEU, NEWM, NHI, NI, NMFC, NOC, NOV, NRF, NTCT, NTRS, NVGS, NVS, NWL, NXPI, ODFL, OKE, OKS, ORLY, OTIC, PANW, PBA, PBR, PEB, PEIX, PFG, PFNX, PHII, PIP, PLNR, PLOW, PMBC, PNX, PRE, PRI, PSEM, PSX, QEP, QRE, R, RAIL, RCMT, RDY, RE, REGN, RFMD, RGA, RGP, RIGP, RLJ, RPAI, RPM, RRMS, RTIX, RUSHA, RUSHB, SCI, SCLN, SEIC, SEMG, SERV, SIG, SIMO, SKM, SLCA, SLGN, SLI, SNCR, SPCB, SPR, SRE, STE, STRT, STX, SWIR, SWKS, SXL, SYA, TECH, TER, TFSL, THRM, THS, TMH, TPL, TQNT, TRN, TRNO, TROX, TSLA, TSQ, TTM, UBSI, UGI, UNM, UNP, URI, UTHR, UTSI, VGR, VOYA, VSH, WCN, WLK, WMB, WRB, WRE, WTS, WWAV, WYN, XRSC, XRX, ZEN, ZFC, ZFGN, ZTS

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: AMPE, CBMX, CONN, CRRS, CTG, CWST, DLA, DO, DWSN, END, EXEL, GKNT, IDI, IMRS, INTX, LODE, LPDX, MAT, MPEL, NDLS, NSPH, NUS, RLJE, SKY, SOQ, SPU, SVA, WWWW, XNY, XUE

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: AMJ, EGPT, IBB, IGV, IHF, IWF, IYF, IYH, IYK, IYT, KIE, OEF, PIN, PSK, QQQ, RTH, SDY, SMH, SPY, THD, UYG, VNM, VTI, XLB, XLF, XLK, XLV, XLY

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: FXE, FXS, FXY

11:48 am Currency Commentary: DXY Hits 13-month Highs (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index continues its run as it hits 83 for the first time since July of 2013. The dollar has been a top performing currency over the past six weeks as strong economic data has led to expectations of a divergence between the U.S. and other countries on monetary policy. The multi year high of 84.75 is now moving on to radars as we approach a busy week of central bank activity.  
  • The euro is preparing to test the 1.31 level. Manufacturing data from around the region was weak but not as poor as some had feared. This will set the stage of Thursday's ECB meeting and Draghi press conference. Markets have been reining in expectations for potential action which may lead to a small bounce ahead of the meeting. But economic data remains weak and inflation light which will continue to lead to expectations that eventually the central bank will need to take action. 
  • The pound has tumbled down to test the 1.64 level for the first time since February. The PMI number came in light of expectations but there is also a growing concern surrounding the upcoming vote for Scotland for independence. The referendum is now two weeks away and there were few who expected the country to break away from the U.K.. However polls are starting to point toward a potential break away. The uncertainty surrounding the impact on the pound is forcing some to look for other alternatives.
  • The yen has ripped through the 104 level after breaking that support line and is now testing 105. This marks the first time since January 10 that the yen has traded in this level. The multi-year low of 105.44 set on January 2 will be very closely monitored this week. THe Bank of Japan also meets this week and there is some expectation that the country may look to add to its current QE program (BONDX, FOREX).

11:48 am S&P -2.9 sets fractional new session low, Dow -32 and Nasdaq Comp +7.5 have not yet confirmed but are hovering in the lower end of their ranges (:TECHX) :  

11:25 am Macrocure completes enrollment in its pivotal, double-blind, Phase III clinical trial of CureXcell in Diabetic Foot Ulcers; expects to announce DFU trial results in 2H2015 (MCUR) : Co announced that it has completed enrollment in its pivotal, double-blind, Phase III clinical trial of CureXcell in Diabetic Foot Ulcers ("DFUs").

  • CureXcell is currently in two pivotal, Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of chronic, hard-to-heal wounds below the knee. The first clinical trial is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel group, sham-controlled study of CureXcell in DFUs. The co expects to announce study results in the second half of 2015. 
  • The cos second pivotal, Phase III clinical trial is studying CureXcell in Venous Leg Ulcers ("VLUs"). The VLU study initiated patient enrollment in May 2014. Interim data in the VLU study is expected in the second half of 2015 with the study expected to conclude in the second half of 2016.

11:18 am Stock indices working back off highs -- Dow -9.9, S&P -1.1, Nasdaq Comp +8 (:TECHX) : Tight range trade for the S&P of just five points has developed thus far today following the opening push to a minor new all time high of 2006. In recent trade the indices have backed off their highs (led by small-caps) after the S&P failed to set a new session high with the Nasdaq Comp and Dow.

11:03 am Shutterstock announces it has surpassed 2 million video clips in its collection, which also includes more than 65,000 videos in 4K (SSTK) :  

10:45 am Nasdaq Comp +16 edges to new session high, Dow +5.7 and S&P +1.8 approaching their early highs (:TECHX) :  

10:17 am MWI Veterinary Supply acquires Vetspace Limited and certain of its affiliates; expects cquisition to have an approximately neutral impact on EPS in its fiscal year commencing Oct 1, 2014 (MWIV) : Co announced today that it has acquired Vetspace and certain of its affiliates. Vetspace, formerly known as Jupiter Systems, is a provider of practice management software to veterinary practices, principally in the United Kingdom.

  • In connection with the acquisition, the co expects to incur acquisition-related expenses of ~ $0.5 million during the year ending September 30, 2014.
  • The co expects this acquisition to have an approximately neutral impact on EPS in its fiscal year commencing October 1, 2014. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

10:02 am Limited reaction to better data for stock indices -- Dow -36, S&P -0.8, Nasdaq Comp +9.3 (:TECHX) :  

9:59 am St. Jude Medical: Two year data from FAME 2 trial shows sustained benefits of FFR-guided PCI over medical treatment in patients with stable CAD; NEJM publishes data demonstrating St. Jude Medical PressureWire FFR can reduce urgent revascularization and adverse cardiac events (STJ) : Co announced primary outcome two-year data from the FAME 2 Trial which demonstrated sustained superiority with FFR-guided PCI using St. Jude Medical PressureWire technology in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to standard medical therapy alone.

  • The data were published online in The New England Journal of Medicine (:NEJM) and presented during a hot line late-breaking session at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2014. 
  • The results of FAME 2 show patients with stable CAD who received FFR-guided PCI using drug-eluting stents and medical therapy (PCI+MT) had reduced rates of death, myocardial infarction or urgent revascularization compared to patients who received medical therapy alone. In particular, in patients who had at least one significant coronary blockage with an FFR value =0.80, FFR-guided PCI+MT reduced urgent revascularization by 77 percent compared to medical therapy alone.

9:53 am Sector Watch (:TECHX) : The market tone has turned mixed following minor early strength. Sectors posting gains have been led by: Reg Bank KRE, Transports IYT, Internet FDN, Bank KBE, Semi SMH, Broker IAI, Social Media. Weakness has been noted in: Natural Gas, Casino BJK, Bold Miners GDX, Gold GLD, Silver SLV, Crude Oil USO, Steel SLX, Energy XLE.

9:45 am Opening Summary: Mixed Start for Stock Market (:SUMRX) : The stock market pretty much followed form with the S&P futures market and opened slightly higher. Thus far, however, there hasn't been any real follow through as traders are playing things close to the vest in front of the ISM Index and Construction Spending reports at the top of the hour.

Despite a disappointing earnings report from Conns (CONN 32.44, -12.39) that was blamed in large part on negative credit trends, the consumer discretionary sector (+0.3%) has taken an early leadership role along with the financial sector (+0.1%).

The apparel and auto parts industry groups are helping to underpin the consumer discretionary sector. On a related note, AutoZone (AZO 539.08, +0.24) said it is going to purchase InterAmerican Motor Corporation.

9:43 am Stock indices turned mixed after a modestly firmer start -- Dow -31, S&P -0.9, Nasdaq Comp +6 (:TECHX) : The S&P set a minor new all time high of 2006 (last week's high 2005) and paused, the Nasdaq Comp set a new multi-year high (4594) while the Dow stalled shy of Friday's peak.

9:34 am Compuware (shares halted) to be acquired by Thoma Bravo; shareholders will receive an aggregate value of ~ $10.92 per share (CPWR) : Co and Thoma Bravo jointly announced that Compuware has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo in a transaction valued at ~ $2.5 bln.

  • Under the terms of the agreement, pending shareholder approval, CPWR shareholders will receive an aggregate value of ~ $10.92 per share, representing a premium of ~ 17% to the co's stock price as of the close of trading on Aug 29, 2014. 
  • Thoma Bravo will pay a cash purchase price of $10.43 for each outstanding share of Compuware common stock, less the pro rata portion of the applicable corporate tax that will be owed in connection with the spin-off of Covisint (COVS), currently estimated at $0.18 per share based on the current market price of Covisint, for a net cash payment of ~ $10.25 per share. 
  • The parties have agreed that within 60 days following the date of the merger agreement, Compuware will effectuate the pro rata distribution to its shareholders of the remaining shares of Covisint owned by Compuware, resulting in a distribution of Covisint shares representing ~ $0.67 per share of Compuware common stock based on the closing price of Covisint on Aug 29. During the 60-day period, CPWR may seek a higher value alternative for its Covisint shares, in which case the proceeds, net of tax and certain charges, of such disposition will be paid to Compuware shareholders. 
  • Elliott Management, which owns ~ 9.5% of CPWR's common stock, has entered into an agreement with Thoma Bravo agreeing to vote its shares in favor of the transaction.
  • CPWR has agreed to immediately discontinue its quarterly cash dividend.

9:33 am Forum Energy Tech. awarded contract for eight remotely operated vehicles; will be delivered throughout 2015 (FET) : Co announced that it has received an order from Vard Holdings Limited to supply eight Perry XLX 150HP work-class remotely operated vehicle systems. The ROVs are to be mobilised on four new-build pipeline supply vessels for the joint venture formed by DOF Subsea and Technip that was awarded four contracts by Petr leo Brasileiro S.A. for operations in Brazilian waters. The ROVs will be delivered throughout 2015.

9:26 am Compuware trading halted, news pending (CPWR) :  

9:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Lombard Medical (EVAR) announced that the first two post approval procedures using Lombard Medical's flagship Aorfix endovascular stent graft were performed in Japan. 
  • athenahealth (ATHN) announced that UTP has selected the athenaOne suite of electronic health record, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement services for its 260-provider network, including 214 specialty and primary care physicians.
  • Prologis (PLD) announced that Prologis European Logistics Partners Sarl has acquired a portfolio of more than 1.6 mln square feet of high-quality logistics facilities and development land in Madrid and Barcelona from SABA Parques Logisticos.
  • Methes Energies International (MEIL) announced the introduction of Methes PP-MEC catalyst.
  • RiT Technologies (RITT) announced the launch of its Xlight range of advanced fiber optic cabling solutions in India.
  • JBT (JBT) has been awarded a contract valued at over $11 mln from a U.S.-based aviation ground services provider for the supply of Commander cargo loaders, Tempest aircraft deicing vehicles and Expediter towbarless tractors.
  • InterHealth Canada and RGP Healthcare, a division of Resources Global Professionals (RECN) jointly announced that InterHealth Canada plans to implement Pavisse at its hospitals in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Materialise (MTLS) has worked together with hand specialist Dr. Verstreken to give children with complex, improperly-healed forearm fractures a fresh chance for a carefree and active childhood.
  • Solitario Exploration & Royalty (XPL) and Ely Gold & Minerals announced that the Environmental Assessment process undertaken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- Forest Service has been completed. 
  • Highwoods Properties (HIW) will begin development of a LEED-certified, multi-tenant office building located in the co's Seven Springs development in Nashville's Davidson County's Brentwood submarket.
  • Top Image Systems (TISA) and Issuer Direct Corporation (ISDR) announce that Issuer Direct has chosen Top Image System's eFLOW solution to automate certain front end portions of its Annual Report Service order entry.

9:21 am Actavis announces FDA acceptance for filing of NDA for eluxadoline; potential treatment of diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome in men and women granted priority review status (ACT) : Co announced that the FDA has accepted for filing Actavis' New Drug Application (:NDA) for eluxadoline, an investigational drug for the treatment of diarrhea and abdominal pain in men and women with diarrhea predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-D). Actavis' NDA for eluxadoline has been granted priority review status by the FDA.

9:17 am Tyler Tech acquires SoftCode; broadens courts and justice offering with acquisition of civil process software co (TYL) : Co announced that it has acquired SoftCode, a co specializing in software for managing civil processes. SoftCode was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

9:17 am Strategic Hotels & Resorts closed a ten-year, $115.0 mln limited recourse loan secured by the InterContinental Miami hotel (BEE) : Under the terms of the agreement, the loan bears interest at a fixed rate of 3.99% and has a ten-year term.

9:16 am Kayne Anderson Energy enters into $70 mln term loan and extends maturity of revolving credit facility (KED) : Co announced that it has entered into a $70 mln secured term loan as part of an amendment to its existing secured credit facility.

  • All of the proceeds from the Term Loan were used to partially repay amounts borrowed on the co's existing $120 mln secured revolving credit facility. Outstanding loan balances on the Term Loan accrue interest daily at a rate equal to one-month LIBOR plus 1.35%. The interest rate of the Revolving Facility was unchanged at one-month LIBOR plus 1.60%.
  • he Term Loan matures on Aug 28, 2018, and as part of the amendment to the Credit Facility, the maturity date of the Revolving Facility was extended to Aug 28, 2017.

9:16 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.30. (:WRAPX) : As the opening bell draws closer, the S&P futures market is attempting to cling to a small gain that would keep the cash market on course for a slightly higher open.

There might be some wait-and-see action in the stock market as traders returning from vacation aim to get a feel for things by watching the tape for a bit.  That point notwithstanding, there is plenty of activity already in the currency, bond, and commodity markets.

The dollar is flying right now against the yen, with USD/JPY up to 104.90 (+0.6%).  That is the weakest level for the yen against the greenback since January.

Strength in the dollar is applying some added pressure to oil and precious metals prices, which are down more than 1.0% at the moment. 

9:16 am Archer-Daniels to sell its global chocolate business to Cargill for $440 mln (ADM) :

  • Co announced an agreement to sell its global chocolate business to Cargill for $440 mln, subject to a customary working-capital adjustment. The proposed sale is expected to close during the first half of 2015 and is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions. 
  • Included in the sale are chocolate manufacturing operations located in Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Georgetown, Ontario; Liverpool, U.K.; Manage, Belgium; and Mannheim, Germany. Approximately 700 employees will transfer to Cargill with the sale. 

9:16 am Cloud Peak Energy lowers FY14 coal shipment and Adj EBITDA guidance (CLD) : The Company updated its guidance for 2014 coal shipments for its three owned and operated mines to between 83-86 mln tons, compared to its July 29, 2014 guidance of 85-89 mln tons.

  • The Company also updated its guidance for 2014 Adjusted EBITDA to between $170-200 vs prior guidance of $180-210 mln. 
Medium Term Outlook 
  • Looking ahead to 2015 and 2016, the Company anticipates annual shipments to be between 78-84 mln tons from its three owned and operated mines, as the previously announced reductions take place in 8400 Btu production from the Company's Cordero Rojo Mine. 
  • Co continue to believe that current domestic and international prices are unsustainably low as they are not providing economic returns to a large number of major producers. 
  • Taking these pricing and volume factors into account, our preliminary estimates are that Adjusted EBITDA for 2015 could be ~$120 million if coal prices were to remain at recent depressed levels through the end of next year.

9:15 am Plains All Amer commences public offering of senior notes (PAA) : Co announced that it has commenced a public offering of senior notes.

  • The Partnership intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay outstanding borrowings under its commercial paper program and for general partnership purposes. Amounts repaid under the Partnership's commercial paper program may be reborrowed, as necessary, to fund its ongoing expansion capital program or future acquisitions, or for general partnership purposes.
  • J.P. Morgan Securities LLC; Barclays Capital Inc.; BNP Paribas Securities Corp.; and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated will act as joint book-running managers of the offering.

9:13 am Paramount Gold and Silver is mobilizing four core rigs to its 100%-owned San Miguel project in northern Mexico; drilling to test priority targets near high grade Don Ese deposit; convert inferred resources to measured and indicated; undertake geotechnical testing (PZG) : The co expects to complete the majority of this work during the current year within an estimated budget of $5 million to be financed from cash on hand. 

9:11 am Medbox granted 'Seed- to-Sale' marijuana monitoring patent by USPTO (MDBX) : The patent describes a system used to: Verify the identity of a patient/consumer receiving medication;  Monitor the dispensing of medication/product to the patient/consumer;  Monitor the development of the medication/product, including tracking the location from which the seeds are obtained, cultivation and harvesting of the plant, and conversion into medication/product; Support a complete biometric chain of custody seed to sale system from cultivation facility to dispensary where dispensing can occur through Medbox's patented "Secure- Safe" technology for added security and transparency.

9:10 am Allergan files answer in Federal Court responding to Valeant (VRX) and Pershing Square's counterclaims (AGN) :  

9:08 am Ferrellgas Partners to expand Eagle Ford Midstream Operations; acquires 2 additional facilities (FGP) : Co announces a definitive agreement to acquire two salt water disposal wells in the Eagle Ford Shale region of south Texas from C&E Production. The acquisition will increase the partnership's SWD wells in the region to eight.

  • Associated with the transaction, equity holders of the C&E SWD assets will acquire $12 million of Ferrellgas common units.  
  • Ferrell Companies will also acquire $30 million of Ferrellgas common units. 
  • Proceeds from these offerings will be used to permanently finance this transaction as well as other recent growth initiatives.


9:08 am STAG Industrial announces acquisition activity for Aug 2014; co acquired three warehouse and distribution buildings containing a total of 414,585 square feet for ~ $13.6 mln (STAG) :

  • Co announced its acquisition activity for August 2014. In August, the Company acquired three warehouse and distribution buildings containing a total of 414,585 square feet for ~$13.6 mln. 
  • The buildings are located in the greater Charlotte and Asheville, North Carolina markets. The buildings are 100% leased with a weighted average lease term remaining of five years.

9:05 am Cyberonics announces results from the ANTHEM-HF clinical study; ANTHEM-HF shows autonomic regulation therapy is safe and improves heart function in patients with chronic heart failure (CYBX) : Results from the ANTHEM-HF clinical study were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress and showed that heart failure patients on stable pharmacological therapy and treated with ART via vagus nerve stimulation experienced a clinically significant:

  • Improvement in heart pump function; average left ventricular ejection fraction increased from 32% at baseline to 37% after 6 months of ART
  • Reduction in heart failure symptom burden; NYHA class improved in 77% of patients

9:05 am Quantum Fuel receives ~$0.7 mln CNG Fuel System orders from Wisconsin-based bulk carrier (QTWW) : Co recently received orders for its Q-CabLITE and Q-RailLITE CNG storage modules with a combined total of ~$0.7 million from a new customer, Time Transport a same-day freight transportation company based in Racine, Wisconsin.

9:05 am Nordson expands automated fluid dispensing capabilities with acquisition of Dima Group B.V.; terms of the deal were not disclosed (NDSN) : Dima will operate as part of Nordson's Advanced Technology Systems segment. The company's products are used in a variety of automated dispensing, bonding, welding, soldering and SMT processes within the global electronics assembly market. In addition to its Netherlands headquarters, Dima is further supported by a global network of sales partners. 

9:04 am Biolase names Jeffrey M. Nugent permanent president and CEO; Nugent previously served as acting CEO since June (BIOL) : Nugent has a broad background in the medical device, medical laser technology and dental industries and most recently, in 2010, he was founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Precision Dermatology, Inc, a privately-held dermatology therapeutics company that was recently acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc (VRX).

9:03 am Nuvilex submits application for orphan drug designation to the European Medicines Agency for its cell-in-a-box treatment for pancreatic cancer (NVLX) :

  • Co announced that it has submitted an application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA.TO) for an Orphan Drug Designation for its Cell-in-a-Box treatment for pancreatic cancer. Nuvilex's pancreatic cancer treatment consists of the combination of Cell-in-a-Box with low doses of the anticancer drug ifosfamide.
  • The Cell-in-a-Box portion of the treatment consists of live cells capable of converting ifosfamide into its cancer-killing form that have been enclosed in protective pin-head sized spherical capsules that are composed of bio-inert cellulose.
  • This first submission of Nuvilex's pancreatic cancer treatment is being made in Europe because, in the mid-2000s, an application for the Orphan Drug Designation for the encapsulated live cell (Cell-in-a-Box) component of the pancreatic cancer treatment was approved in principle in Europe by the precursor to the EMA - the EMEA.

9:03 am ACADIA Pharmaceuticals announces the FDA has granted BTD to NUPLAZID for the treatment of Parkinson's disease psychosis (ACAD) : Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to NUPLAZIDfor the treatment of Parkinson's disease psychosis. The co plans to submit the NUPLAZID NDA to the FDA near the end of this year.

9:03 am Blackbaud to acquire MicroEdge for an aggregate purchase price of $160 million (BLKB) :

  • Co announced it has signed an agreement to acquire MicroEdge.
  • This combination also positions the expanded Blackbaud business to deliver innovation within its current customer base, as well as to organizations that provide funding to support nonprofit missions. 
  • Under the purchase agreement for the transaction, Blackbaud will acquire all of the outstanding equity interests of MicroEdge for an aggregate purchase price of $160 million. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976, as amended. Blackbaud expects to finance the acquisition with cash on hand and borrowings under its existing credit facility.

9:02 am Blue Earth announces shareholders have exercised ~ 2 million Class A warrants at $3.00 per share (BBLU) : Co announced that shareholders have exercised approximately 2 million Class A warrants at $3.00 per share. Accordingly, all of the Company's outstanding Class A warrants have either been exercised or have expired as of August 29, 2014.

9:02 am Halliburton reaches settlement on claims related to Macondo (HAL) : Co announces that it has reached an agreement to settle a substantial majority of the plaintiffs' class claims asserted against the company as a result of the April 20, 2010 Macondo well incident in the Gulf of Mexico. The ~$1.1 billion settlement will be paid into a trust until all appeals have been resolved in three installments over the next two years. 
The agreement includes the following: 

  • Claims against Halliburton that BP assigned to the settlement class in BP's April 2012 settlement
  • Punitive damages claims against Halliburton by a class of plaintiffs who allege damages to property or associated with the commercial fishing industry arising from the Deepwater Horizon Incident
  • Affirmation that Halliburton has no liability for compensatory damages to the members of the settlement class in the BP April 2012 settlement. 

9:01 am Marathon Petroleum announces proposed offering of senior notes (MPC) :

  • Co announced that it has commenced a public offering of senior notes pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement previously filed with the SEC. The offering and the actual terms of the senior notes, including principal amount, interest rate and maturity, will depend on market and other conditions. 
  • Together with borrowings under the recently announced $700 mln term loan, MPC intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to fund the pending acquisition of Hess Retail Holdings LLC by its subsidiary.
  • The senior notes are expected to be subject to a special mandatory redemption, which would apply in the event the acquisition is not consummated on or prior to Sept. 30, 2015, or if the purchase agreement is terminated prior to such date other than in connection with the closing of the acquisition and is not otherwise amended or replaced.

9:00 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.20. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade 1.6 points above fair value.

Asian markets ended the Tuesday session on a broadly higher note with stimulus chatter supporting the advance.

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • South Korea's CPI ticked up 0.2% month-over-month (expected 0.3%) 
    • Japan's Average Cash Earnings rose 2.6% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; prior 1.0%) 
    • Australia's Current Account deficit widened to AUD13.70 billion from AUD7.80 billion (expected deficit of AUD14.00 billion) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.2% with support coming from the weaker yen. TDK and Pioneer surged 7.5% and 4.1%, respectively. Japan Steel Works lagged, falling 1.1%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled flat. China Unicom Holdings was the top performer, climbing 4.1%. Energy names lagged with CNOOC and China Petroleum & Chemical down 1.2% and 0.9%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite advanced 1.4% amid broad strength. TangShan Port Group and Yingkou Port Liability both surged the limit, 10.0%. 
Major European indices trade mostly higher. Among news of note, European economies are reportedly exploring alternatives in event Russia cuts off gas supplies.
  • Economic data was plentiful: 
    • Eurozone Manufacturing PMI slipped to 50.7 from 50.8 (expected 50.8). Separately, PPI decreased 0.1% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; prior 0.2%) 
    • Germany's Q2 GDP was left unrevised at -0.2% quarter-over-quarter, as expected. Separately, Manufacturing PMI decreased to 51.4 from 52.0 (consensus 52.0) 
    • Great Britain's Manufacturing PMI fell to 52.5 from 54.8 (expected 55.0) 
    • French Manufacturing PMI climbed to 46.9 from 46.5 (consensus 46.5) 
    • Italy's Manufacturing PMI fell to 49.8 from 51.9 (expected 50.8) 
    • Spain's Manufacturing PMI declined to 52.8 from 53.9 (consensus 53.1). Separately, Claimant Count increased by 8,100 (expected 26,000; prior -29,800) 
    • Swiss SVME PMI fell to 52.9 from 54.3 (expected 53.3) 
------
  • Great Britain's FTSE is flat. Barratt Developments is the weakest performer, down 2.2%. Industrials and mining shares outperform with Anglo American, BHP Billiton, and Weir Group up between 1.3% and 2.8%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades up 0.2% with Legrand in the lead. The stock has jumped 4.6% after receiving an upgrade at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Orange lags, down 1.2%. 
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.4%. Producers of basic materials lead with BASF, ThyssenKrupp, and K+S holding gains between 0.8% and 1.1%.

8:58 am Alleghany Corporation announces commencement of Senior Notes public offering (Y) : The co intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Senior Notes to redeem a portion of the 5.75% Senior Notes due December 2015 of its subsidiary, Transatlantic Holdings, Inc.

8:57 am eFuture: C&U Group switches to eFuture in its retail subsidiaries for omni-channel solution and grocery solution portfolio (EFUT) : Co announced that C&U Group has selected eFuture's omni-channel solution and grocery solution portfolio to support the dynamic growth of its C&U supermarkets and Shizu convenience stores.

  • Since C&U's previous system from an US-based software vendor could not meet the growing need to engage customers across all channels, they decided to adopt eFuture's agile omni-channel solution and switch to eFuture's grocery enterprise resource planning total solution at the same time.

8:55 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • MEI Pharma (MEIP) has completed enrollment in a randomized Phase II clinical trial of its lead investigational drug candidate Pracinostat in combination with azacitidine in patients with previously untreated intermediate-2 or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome.
  • Cellular Biomedicine Group (CBMG) announced the launch of a study on human adipose derived mesenchymal progenitor cell therapy for Cartilage Defects resulting from osteoarthritis or sports injury.
  • CWT Meetings & Events has strengthened its overall client technology offering by signing an agreement with Cvent (CVT) a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform.
  • Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (WHLR) announced that the Company recently opened a regional office located in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Eros International (EROS) announced the launch of a partnership between Home Cable Network Private Limited and ErosNow, the dedicated online entertainment service of Eros International Plc.
  • Global real estate investment and services firm Kennedy Wilson (KW) announced that the co purchased a 100% interest in Tabula Rasa, an 118-unit apartment community located in Tumwater, Washington for $20.8 million.
  • Aldeyra Therapeutics (ALDX) announced the expansion of its drug development team with three strategic hires to support upcoming studies for its lead product candidate, NS2.
  • Marin Software (MRIN) announces that MR PORTER and THE OUTNET, leading global fashion brands in The NET-A-PORTER Group, have chosen to work with its platform to optimize search, social and display campaigns globally.

8:50 am Xunlei Limited announces definitive agreement to acquire Kuaipan Personal for aggregate cash consideration of $33 mln (XNET) : Co announced today that through its PRC subsidiary, Shenzhen Xunlei Network Technology Co., Ltd. it has entered into a definitive agreement with subsidiaries of Kingsoft Corporation Limited to acquire Kuaipan Personal and Kansunzi software. Pursuant to the Agreement, The co will acquire business and assets in relation to Kuaipan Personal for an aggregate cash consideration of US$33 million.

8:49 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei +1.2%, Hang Seng UNCH, Shanghai +1.4% (:SUMRX) : Asian markets ended the Tuesday session on a broadly higher note with stimulus chatter supporting the advance

  • Economic data was limited: 
    • South Korea's CPI ticked up 0.2% month-over-month (expected 0.3%) 
    • Japan's Average Cash Earnings rose 2.6% year-over-year (expected 0.9%; prior 1.0%) 
    • Australia's Current Account deficit widened to AUD13.70 billion from AUD7.80 billion (expected deficit of AUD14.00 billion) 
  • Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.2% with support coming from the weaker yen. TDK and Pioneer surged 7.5% and 4.1%, respectively. Japan Steel Works lagged, falling 1.1%. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled flat. China Unicom Holdings was the top performer, climbing 4.1%. Energy names lagged with CNOOC and China Petroleum & Chemical down 1.2% and 0.9%. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite advanced 1.4% amid broad strength. TangShan Port Group and Yingkou Port Liability both surged the limit, 10.0%. 
  • India's Sensex gained 0.6%. Financials displayed relative strength with HDFC Bank and Axis Bank up 2.1% and 1.0%, respectively. 
  • Australia's ASX added 0.5%. Miners advanced with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto climbing 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. 
  • Regional Decliners: Taiwan (-1.2%) 
  • Regional Advancers: Indonesia (+0.5%), Malaysia (+0.1%), Philippines (+0.3%), Singapore (+0.4%), Thailand (+0.2%), Vietnam (+0.7%) 
  • FX: USDCNY rose to 6.1483, USDINR ticked up to 60.68, USDJPY is higher near 104.92, AUDUSD is down near 0.9279

8:47 am Vringo provides update to shareholders; says 'We are preparing to seek further review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's split 2-1 decision in our wholly-owned subsidiary I/P Engine's case against AOL, Google and others' (VRNG) : Co provided an update to shareholders:

  • "... We are preparing to seek further review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's split 2-1 decision in our wholly-owned subsidiary I/P Engine's case against AOL (AOL), Google (GOOG) and others. Our legal team is preparing for the next steps in the case, and we intend to keep our shareholders updated."
  • "Vringo continues to pursue ZTE Corporation (ZTCOF) and ASUS and certain of their subsidiaries for past and future license royalties. Vringo is committed to providing ZTE, ASUS and all other interested parties licenses to its standard essential patents (SEPs) on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms."
  • "We look forward to the remainder of 2014 where we have more than ten scheduled hearings in which liability, interim or final relief are being determined in more than six countries. We believe strongly in the cases that we have filed, and we intend to prove that these parties and others should take licenses to our intellectual property. Vringo has approximately $29 million in cash and court deposits, and no debt..."

8:45 am Biolase names Alexander Arrow Chief Medical Officer (BIOL) : In a separate announcement to be made later this morning, the co will announce the appointment of its permanent President and Chief Executive Officer.

8:44 am Darden Restaurants guides Q1 EPS just above consensus; reaffirms FY15 guidance; new Board of Directors will have four Starboard members, four incumbents and four new independent/unaffiliated members (DRI) : Co issues upside guidance for Q1 (Aug), sees EPS of $0.31-0.33, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.30 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. The Company reported that it anticipates U.S. same-restaurant sales for the first quarter to be approximately +2.8% for LongHorn Steakhouse, -1.3% for Olive Garden and +2.1% for its Specialty Restaurant Group. The Specialty Restaurant Group's results reflect preliminary U.S. same-restaurant sales of approximately +3.9% for The Capital Grille, +2.5% for Eddie V's, +2.3% for Yard House, +1.1% for Bahama Breeze and -0.3% for Seasons 52.

Co reaffirms guidance for FY15 (May), sees EPS of $2.22-2.30, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.23 Capital IQ Consensus. These expectations reflect the Company's projection that U.S. same-restaurant sales growth for fiscal 2015 for Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and the Specialty Restaurant Group will be flat to +1%, +1% to +2% and ~ +2%, respectively.

Co also announced a new slate of nominees for election to the Company's Board of Directors at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which is scheduled for October 10, 2014. The new slate reflects the Board's commitment to serving the best interest of all Darden shareholders. Darden's slate and proposed board structure would provide for four new independent nominees unaffiliated with the Company or Starboard, four returning independent director nominees, and four seats to be filled by candidates proposed by Starboard Value L.P. and its affiliates. 

8:38 am Family Dollar confirms receipt of revised unsolicited proposal from Dollar General (DG); will review and consider the revised proposal (FDO) :

  • Co confirmed that it has received a revised, non-binding, unsolicited proposal from Dollar General (DG) to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Family Dollar. Consistent with its fiduciary duties and subject to the terms of its existing merger agreement with Dollar Tree (DLTR), FDO's Board of Directors, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, will review and consider the revised proposal. 
  • The Company's Board of Directors has not changed its recommendation in support of the merger with Dollar Tree. Family Dollar will have no further comment on Dollar General's proposal until the Board has completed its review.

8:37 am Glori Energy has acquired three additional leases at Coke Field in Wood County, Texas from a private seller for $2 mln (GLRI) : The leases contain two wells producing 37 barrels of oil (27 barrels net) per day and one water injection well. The co expects to increase production rates at these sites by tying the wells into its current operations infrastructure at Coke Field to reduce well downtime. "Since acquiring the Coke Field, Glori has created efficiencies and production improvements that we estimate will add approximately $2.8 million in EBITDA over the coming year. "

8:36 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: CONN -25.5%, VIVO -0.6%.

Select pharma/biotechl related names showing weakness: AMPE -5.1% (announces update on the phase III, multicenter, double-blind STEP study of Ampion for osteoarthritis of the knee), GSK -1.6%, AZN -1.1%.

Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: GFI -2.5%, PAAS -2.4%, NEM -2.1%, GG -2%, GDX -1.8%, SLV -1.7%, GOLD -1.7%, GLD -1.6%, SLW -1.4%, .

Other news: EXEL -52.4% (announces results from the COMET-1 Phase 3 pivotal trial of Cabozantinib in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer), RIBT -17.4% (disclosed its Irgovel plant experienced a structural breakdown; co withdraws prior guidance), TWGP -11.9% (received a letter from the SEC stating that the SEC is conducting an investigation and attaching a subpoena for various documents), PT -2.7% (still checking), LXRX -1.3% (files for $150 mln mixed securities shelf offering), PXLW -1.2% (files $50 mln common stock shelf offering), HSBC -0.9% (stake sold by Fund Manager Neil Woodford, according to reports), CREE -0.7% (LED demand fell in Q3 QoQ, according to reports (not stock specific)).

Analyst comments: OSIS -3.1% (downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer), FNSR -2.5% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies), EMES -1.7% (downgraded to Neutral at Robert W. Baird on valuation), FCX -0.5% (downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight).

8:35 am Chiquita Brands sends letter to shareholders and files investor presentation to set record straight on proposed combination with Fyffes (FYFFF); reaffirms that $13 per share does not constitute a superior proposal and the Board will not negotiate a sale of the co at an inadequate price (CQB) : Co is mailing a letter to its shareholders that highlights key parts of a presentation the co filed with the SEC in which Chiquita sets the record straight regarding the flawed and misleading statements made by the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group in connection with Chiquita's proposed combination with Fyffes (FYFFF).

  • "We are taking this opportunity to set the record straight and, once again, point out that the Cutrale / Safra $13.00 proposal is an inferior alternative to ChiquitaFyffes and that the proposal itself is opportunistic, at a low premium and based off an artificial low in Chiquita's stock price... 
  • Chiquita is clearly in the midst of a turnaround, as evidenced by the increase in its EBITDA by 69% in 2013 compared to 2012 and an estimated increase of approximately 19% in 2014 compared to 20133. The implied multiple provided by Cutrale / Safra based on Chiquita's stand-alone LTM as of June 30, 2014, adjusted for special charges is 9.4x, Chiquita's stand-alone estimated 2014 EBITDA is only 8.6x, and against ChiquitaFyffes estimated pro forma combined 2014 EBITDA, including run rate synergies, is 6.9x, not 11.8x.4 Chiquita shareholders are not being asked to sell Chiquita as a stand-alone business. They are being asked to sell the value achievable in a Chiquita/Fyffes transaction. Accordingly, the Cutrale / Safra proposal is misleading, misrepresented and inadequate..."

8:35 am GP Strategies commences modified 'Dutch auction' tender offer to repurchase up to $80 mln of its common stock at a price within the range of $26.00 to $29.00 per share (GPX) :

  • Co announced that it is commencing a modified 'Dutch auction' tender offer to repurchase up to $80 million of its common stock at a price within the range of $26.00 to $29.00 per share. The tender offer begins today, September 2, 2014, and will expire at the end of the day, 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on Monday, September 29, 2014, unless extended or withdrawn by the Company. 
  • At the maximum price of $29.00 per share, GP Strategies would repurchase a maximum of ~2.759 shares, or approximately 14.4% of its common shares outstanding as of August 29, 2014. At the minimum price of $26.00 per share, GP Strategies would repurchase a maximum of ~3.076 mln shares, or ~16.1% of its common shares outstanding as of August 29, 2014.

8:35 am Commodities are mostly lower this morning, while the dollar index is up 0.3% at 82.98 (currently at HoD). Gold is down 1.5%, nat gas -2%, coffee +4% (:COMDX) :

  • In current trade, gold, silver, WTI crude oil and natural gas are all sitting just above lows for the day
  • Energy and metals, excluding aluminum, are all lower (aluminum futures rose 2.2% overnight on the LME)
  • Agriculture futures are mostly higher
  • Dec gold is currently -1.5% at $1268.10/oz
  • Dec silver is -1.4% at $19.22/oz
  • Oct WTI crude oil is -1.1% at $94.91/barrel
  • Oct natural gas -2% at $3.98/MMBtu
  • Dec copper -0.2% at $3.15/lb
  • Coffee futures are +4% at $2.09/lb
  • Corn +0.1% at $3.65/bushel

8:34 am Intrexon announces exclusive channel collaboration with Sanofi (SNY) subsidiary to optimize production for a specific family of active pharmaceutical ingredients (XON) :

  • Co announced that it has entered into an Exclusive Channel Collaboration (ECC.V) with Sanofi Chimie, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sanofi (SNY) to develop an enhanced production process for a specific family of its marketed Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) through Sanofi's current manufacturing operations in France.
  • This collaboration will leverage Intrexon's proprietary technology suite plus Sanofi's expertise and innovation in yeast metabolism and industrial chemistry to increase overall yield.
  • Under the ECC, Intrexon will utilize its advanced computational biology and bioinformatics to identify the most efficient biological pathways for producing these marketed APIs

8:33 am 3D Systems partners with Vortex VR to Launch Virtual Reality Mobile Phone Case and Head Mounted Display (DDD) :

  • Co announced that it has partnered with Vortex VR, Inc. and GameFace Labs, to develop the VRTX I, Vortex VR's new virtual reality mobile phone case and head mounted display device. 

8:32 am Pacific Ethanol increases Pacific Ethanol Plant ownership to 96% for $6 mln (PEIX) : Co announced it has purchased an additional 5% ownership interest in PE Op Co., the owner of the Pacific Ethanol plants, for a total cash purchase price of $6,000,000. "With this purchase, our 96% equity ownership is at a weighted-average cost of thirty cents per gallon of annual operating capacity, which is a significant discount to both current market values and replacement costs"

8:32 am Dakota Plains announces oil storage tank expansion project at pioneer rail terminal; to increase oil storage capacity from 180,000 barrels to 270,000 barrels (DAKP) :

  • Co announced that its Board of Directors and joint venture partner have approved the expansion of oil storage at its Pioneer Terminal in New Town, North Dakota. Construction of a third 90,000 barrel storage tank is set to immediately commence; regulatory permits and engineering design are complete and Dakota Plains expects the storage tank to be operational by summer 2015.

8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.50. (:WRAPX) : A bit of seesaw action in S&P futures trading over the past hour or so, yet the current move is to the upside and is contributing to expectations for a higher start for the cash market.  At the moment, the S&P futures are trading approximately 0.1% above fair value.

Most of the early selling pressure is being seen in the Treasury market and in the commodity complex.  The former is down as some of the safe-haven premium is being drained while the latter is getting pinched by a stronger dollar.  The US Dollar Index is currently up 0.3% to 82.96.

8:30 am WPCS Intl announced the appointment of David Horin as its new CFO, effective Sep 1, 2014 (WPCS) : Mr. Horin is currently a Managing Partner of Chord Advisors, LLC, an advisory firm that provides targeted financial solutions to public and private small and mid-sized companies.

8:30 am Moneygram acquires MTI Money Transfer Limited; financial terms not disclosed (MGI) :  

8:30 am Advanced Emissions Solutions appoints Heath Sampson as CFO (ADES) : Co announced that the Company has appointed Heath Sampson as Chief Financial Officer, following the retirement of Mark McKinnies, who has served as Chief Financial Officer since 2000. Heath Sampson was previously CFO at Square Two Financial.

8:30 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: DGLY +15.5%, FORM +2.4%, KFX +1.1%, (also announces acquisition of Softpro GmbH) ZNH +1%, GZT +0.7%.

M&A news: CPWR +15% (WSJ reporting that company is in sale discussions),FLWS +12.6% (signs definitive agreement to acquire Harry & David Holdings for $142.5 mln in cash),TMUS +2.8% (Illiad (ILIAY) in discussions with buyout firms regarding TMUS bid, according to reports),DG +1.7% (to raise bid for FDO for $80/share),TSL +1.4% (acquires Majority Stake in Yunnan Metallurgical New Energy),ARCP +0.8% (confirms Cole Corporate Income Trust entered into merger agreement relating to the sale of CCIT to Select Income REIT (SIR)),FDO +0.6% (Dollar General (DG) confirms enhanced proposal to acquire Family Dollar).

Select pharma/biotech related names showing strength: ELOS +10.5% (still checking),ZGNX +5.9% (reports that Zohydro ER demonstrates sustained 12-hour pain relief),ARNA +3.9% (still checking),NVS +3.5% (new heart failure medicine LCZ696 cut cardiovascular deaths by 20% vs. ACE-inhibitor in landmark PARADIGM-HF trial, early results of upcoming presentations).

Other news: HGSH +43.2% (signed its second shanty area rebuilding project agreement with a budgeted investment over $750 mln),ASTI +21.2% (announces new common stock investment of $8.0 mln led by largest shareholder),SYNA +4.7% (positive Barron's mention),USG +3.5% (positive Barron's mention),ISNS +2.4% (in sympathy with DGLY),NXPI +2.2% (reports that Apple (AAPL) may partner with Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) for payment applications),DTV +1.9% (still checking),OWW +1.8% (reaches an agreement with American Airlines (AAL) to continue to offer American Airlines and US Airways (LCC.V) flights on all of its sites),BLDP +1.8% (appoints Randy MacEwen as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective October 6, 2014), PBA +1.2% (to acquire the Vantage pipeline system and Mistral Midstream's interest in the Saskatchewan Ethane Extraction Plant),NBG +0.9% (still checking),YHOO +0.8% (Alibaba.com to begin roadshow next week, according to reports).

Analyst comments: SPLS +4.9% (upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse),SD +3.4% (upgraded to Buy at Stifel),CENX +3% (upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley),GRPN +2.9% (upgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital Mkts),STO +2.9% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank),TSLA +2.9% (upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel),DSKY +2.6% (initiated with a Overweight at Piper Jaffray),ACHN +2.6% (tgt raised to $15 from $11 at UBS), TS +2.4% (upgraded to Neutral from Sell),RCAP +1.9% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup),ZU +1.5% (upgraded to Buy from Fair Value at CRT Capital),ANET +1.3% (initiated with a Buy at Sun Trust Rbsn Humphrey),COG +1% (upgraded to Buy at Stifel),AAPL +0.8% (target raised to $120 from $105 at Piper Jaffray)

8:29 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Liquid Holdings Group (LIQD) announced The Mada Group has selected the Liquid platform to manage its investment processes and middle-office operations.
  • InfoSonics (IFON) announced the launch of its new verykool SL5000 smartphone, the company's first device to include expansive support for LTE 4G networks.
  • ResMed (RMD) has introduced the Astral 100 and Astral 150 devices in the United States.
  • Celsion (CLSN) announced that the first patient has been enrolled in its pivotal Phase III OPTIMA Study of ThermoDox in combination with optimized radiofrequency ablation in patients with primary liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Rosetta Genomics (ROSG) has entered into a strategic alliance with Moffitt Cancer Center to discover, develop and commercialize a variety of microRNA-based cancer diagnostics.
  • The U.S. Air Force's fleet of Global Positioning System Block IIR and IIR-M satellites, manufactured by Lockheed Martin (LMT), have reached 200 collective years of operational life.
  • Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners (CPRX) announced the initiation of its second Phase 1 safety and tolerance study for CPP-115, a novel GABA aminotransferase inhibitor.
  • DS Healthcare Group (DSKX) will open its first DS Laboratories Hair Loss Clinic in Miami, Florida.

8:27 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Vitesse Semiconductor (VTSS) announced that Vubiq Networks is using Vitesse's CEServices software, Serval-Lite VSC7416 Carrier Ethernet switch engine, and VSC8574 Gigabit Ethernet PHY for Vubiq Networks' latest generation 60GHz millimeter wave wireless system targeted at wireless fiber extension and 4G / LTE backhaul applications. 
  • Sophiris Bio (SPHS) announced that it has fully enrolled its ongoing Phase 3 trial (referred to as PLUS-1) of PRX302 as a treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms of BPH. 
  • 2K, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO), and Gearbox Software announced that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will offer four add-on content packs following the release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for the SNE PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft (MSFT), and Windows PC.
  • Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX) has consolidated its EU operations to a new European office combined with a manufacturing facility in Deeside, Wales, UK.
  • Electronic Arts (EA) announced that The Sims 4 is now available on PC in North America.
  • Splunk (SPLK) announced that Amaya Gaming (AMYGF) has transformed its development approach and enhanced performance across its online properties with the help of Splunk Enterprise.
  • NCR (NCR) announced that Golden Chick has successfully piloted the NCR Drive-Thru Timer to help improve the customer experience and efficiency of its business.
  • Inphi (IPHI) announced the production of first generation of the new iKON family of 100G Clock and Data Recovery Retimer ICs targeted at next-generation 2-Terabit line cards.
  • Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) announced the opening of its first full expression locations on the West Coast, which are now open in Modesto and Santa Monica.
  • AMD (AMD) set a new world record for silicon processor speed according to the HWBOT.org ranking.

8:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ebix (EBIX) has completed the purchase of two new buildings in Noida, India, in the Export Processing Zone of the Govt. of India.
  • Rouse Properties (RSE) announced a joint venture partnership with David Hocker & Associates to own and operate The Mall at Barnes Crossing, a single-level, 670K square foot enclosed regional mall in Tupelo, Mississippi.
  • KBR (KBR) has been awarded a reimbursable contract by Koch Nitrogen Company, LLC to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for a new grassroots urea plant, part of a $1.3 bln expansion project by Koch Nitrogen at its Enid, Oklahoma facility.
  • Harmonic (HLIT) announced the appointment of Bart Spriester as senior vice president, video products.
  • Alcobra (ADHD) announced that the first patient has been enrolled in a Phase IIb study of MDX in adolescents with ADHD. The trial is expected to complete enrollment and report topline data by the end of 2014.
  • FLY Leasing Limited (FLY) has acquired two Airbus (EADSY) A330-300 aircraft manufactured in 2013 and on lease to a leading airline in Asia in a sale and lease-back transaction.
  • IC Bus, LLC, a subsidiary of Navistar (NAV) will offer its IC Bus CE Series school bus powered by the Power Solutions International 8.8-liter LP propane engine for the 2015 school year. Purpose-built for the school bus industry, the CE Series with PSI propane engine is designed to provide diesel-like performance with higher torque at lower engine speeds.
  • Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) and Telefonica (TEF) have agreed to deploy a 100 Gbps optical network throughout the north-west, eastern and southern regions of Spain.
  • Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PEI) announced that Field & Stream, a specialty retail concept owned by Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) that carries the best brands to meet the evolving needs of hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen, will open next year at Capital City Mall.
  • UBIC (UBIC) announced that it will enter into the data security and big-data analysis business in the field of healthcare and healthcare information technology, utilizing its self-developed artificial intelligence based "VIRTUAL DATA SCIENTIST."
  • MetaBank's (CASH) payment solutions division Meta Payment Systems recently signed an agreement to partner with Card Limited.

8:22 am Aurinia Pharma to begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Market (:AUPH) : Co announced that it has received approval by the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Department to list its common shares on the NASDAQ Global Market. Trading will commence today, September 2nd, at the opening of the market under the trading symbol "AUPH." The co's shares will continue to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "AUP."

8:19 am A. Schulman acquired Compco Pty., located near Melbourne, Australia, for $6.7 mln in cash (SHLM) : Compco is a manufacturer of a variety of plastic compounds and products including masterbatches and custom performance colors. Key markets include packaging, wire & cable and pipe. Compco achieved revenues of nearly $15 million for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2014.

8:19 am Cancer Genetics announces its proprietary DNA-probe based test for cervical cancer, FHACT, has received the CE Marking (CGIX) : Co announced that their proprietary DNA-probe based test for cervical cancer (:FHACT) has received the CE Marking. The Conformit Europ enne (CE) mark is a conformity mark required to market in vitro diagnostic medical devices in the European Economic Area (EEA).

8:18 am Amgen submits marketing authorization application for talimogene laherparepvec to the European Medicines agency; first marketing authorization application for an oncolytic immunotherapy in the European Union (AMGN) :

  • Co announced the submission of a Marketing Authorization Application to the European Medicines Agency via the centralized procedure for talimogene laherparepvec seeking approval for the treatment of adults with melanoma that is regionally or distantly metastatic.

8:18 am EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy (NEE) announce Mountain Valley Pipeline project JV formation and binding open season (EQT) : The companies also announced EQT Corporation, through one or more of its affiliates, including EQT Midstream Partners, LP (EQM), will operate the pipeline and own a majority interest in the joint venture. The binding open season is scheduled to end on September 29, 2014, at which time the final project scope will be determined.

8:17 am Pembina Pipeline launches $150 mln bought deal preferred share offering (PBA) : Co announces that it has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters which have agreed to purchase from Pembina 6,000,000 cumulative redeemable rate reset class A preferred shares, Series 7 at a price of $25 per share for distribution to the public.

8:16 am RSP Permian increases borrowing base and amends credit facility (RSPP) :

  • In conjunction with the closing of the acquisitions, RSP announces that the Company has closed an amendment to its revolving credit facility that provides for, among other things: (i) increasing the borrowing base to $500 mln from $375 mln; (ii) increasing the lenders' maximum facility commitments to $1.0 bln from $500 mln; (iii) extending the maturity date two additional years to August 2019; and (iv) allowing RSP the ability to issue senior notes.

8:16 am Covenant Transportation Group announces unfavorable court decision and expected impact on EPS. If an appeal is unsuccessful, the uninsured portion of the award in excess of our current reserve is estimated ~$0.29-0.33 after tax per diluted share (stock is halted) (CVTI) :

  • Co announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio issued a pre-trial decision in a lawsuit against Southern Refrigerated Transport, a wholly owned subsidiary of Covenant Transportation Group, relating to a cargo claim incurred in 2008.
  • The court awarded the plaintiff ~$5.9 million plus prejudgment interest and costs and denied a motion for summary judgment by SRT. Previously, the court had ruled in favor of SRT on all but one count before overturning its earlier decision and ruling in favor of the plaintiff.
  • CEO comments: "We are disappointed with the adverse ruling at this point in the case. At this stage, we are reviewing our options and expect to appeal the decision.
  • If an appeal is unsuccessful, the uninsured portion of the award in excess of its current reserve is estimated at ~$7-8 mln before tax, or a range of ~$0.29-0.33 after tax per diluted share. Co expects to increase the reserve for this claim by an amount in the stated range during Q3.
  • The actual amount of any payment will be subject to various interest rate, time period, legal cost, and other factors, as well as the success of any appeal.
  • "July's financial results were ahead of our own expectations, and our business metrics were positive in August."

8:15 am Teva Pharma's Reslizumab delivers clinically and statistically significant reduction in asthma exacerbations in two pivotal Phase III studies; Reslizumab unequivocal in meeting primary end point in both studies - cuts frequency of clinical asthma exacerbations by at least half (50% and 60% respectively) (TEVA) : Reslizumab's combination of exacerbation reduction and lung function improvement may constitute a significant differentiator in this segment (data to be presented at European Respiratory Society Congress, Sept 6-10). Positive results pave the way for reslizumab regulatory submissions planned for the first half of 2015 (initially US, followed by EU and other regions), pending full analysis of the data

8:14 am Swisher Hygiene closed on a $20 mln revolving credit facility with Siena Lending Group (SWSH) :

  • Co announced it has closed on a $20 million revolving credit facility with Siena Lending Group LLC.
  • Interest on borrowings under the credit facility will accrue at the Base Rate plus 2.00%.
  • Base Rate is defined as the greater of (1) the Prime Rate, (2) the Federal Funds Rate plus 0.50%, or (3) 3.25%.
  • Interest will be payable monthly and the facility matures on August 29, 2017.

8:13 am Covenant Transport trading halted, news pending (CVTI) :  

8:10 am Orexigen Therapeutics announces the USPTO has issued a patent related to NB32, the co's investigational medication being evaluated for weight loss (OREX) :

  • Co announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent related to NB32, the Co's investigational medication being evaluated for weight loss.
  • NB32 is a fixed-dose combination of naltrexone sustained release and bupropion SR. U.S. Patent No. 8,815,889 claims methods for treating insulin resistance using a composition including naltrexone and bupropion.
  • The patent expires in 2024. If NB32 is approved for use in the United States, Orexigen expects the patent to be listed in the Orange Book maintained by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
  • A counterpart application to this patent has issued in Europe and other international jurisdictions.

8:09 am Amgen submits Marketing Authorization Application for novel investigational LDL cholesterol-lowering medication Evolocumab to the EMA (AMGN) : The MAA for evolocumab contains data from approximately 6,800 patients, including more than 4,500 patients with high cholesterol in 10 Phase 3 trials.

8:09 am Galmed Pharma completes two six-month chronic toxicology studies of its drug candidate, aramchol; reports no significant adverse events (GLMD) : In a six-month toxicology study in rats, testing a maximum aramchol dose of 1,000 mg/kg per day, WIL Research did not observe any treatment-related mortalities or effects on body weight. In addition, WIL Research did not observe any significant adverse events in the ophthalmologic, hematologic and biochemical testing or in macroscopic and microscopic organ examinations conducted during the study. In a concurrent six-month study in dogs, unlike the study in rats, blood tests revealed a decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, including low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, and phospholipids, and there was a slight increase in the size of the adrenal glands of the dogs, which WIL Research assessed as a physiologic compensatory response to the decrease in blood cholesterol levels.

8:08 am Dominion, Duke Energy (DUK), Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY) and AGL Resources (GAS) form joint venture to own proposed atlantic coast pipeline (D) :

  • Co announced the formation of a joint venture to build and own the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The $4.5 billion to $5 billion, 550-mile natural gas pipeline would run from Harrison County, W. Va., southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Va., and then south through central North Carolina to Robeson County.
  • The joint venture ownership stakes are: D, 45%; DUK, 40%; PNY, 10%; and GAS, 5%. Subsidiaries and affiliates of all four joint venture partners plan to be customers of the pipeline under 20-year contracts, pending regulatory approvals. PSNC Energy also plans to be a customer of the pipeline under a 20-year contract, pending regulatory approvals.
  • The extensive FERC review process solicits input from numerous local, state and federal entities, and private citizens. Public safety, air quality, water resources, geology, soils, wildlife and vegetation, threatened and endangered species, land and visual resources, cultural and historic resources, noise, cumulative impacts and reasonable alternatives are fully examined.
  • Pipeline expected to be in service by late 2018, pending regulatory approvals.

8:08 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.30. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures are pointing to a slightly higher open, but have slipped from their morning highs in the wake of a disappointing report from electronics and appliance retailer Conns (CONN), which was attributed in large part to credit quality issues across "all credit quality levels, customer groups, product categories, geographic regions, and years of origination."

Longer-dated Treasuries are on the defensive as some of the safe-haven premium attached to them ahead of the holiday weekend has been drained in the absence of any major geopolitical flare-up over the weekend.

Economic data will be limited to the ISM Index for August and the July Construction Spending report. Both data points will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Conns (CONN 34.75, -10.08): getting hit hard after a disappointing earnings report
  • Dollar General (DG 65.38, +1.39): moving higher after raising its bid for Family Dollar (FDO) to $80/share
  • Apple (AAPL 103.17, +0.67): trading up on news it may partner with with Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) for payment applications
  • Compuware (CPWR 1086, +1.51): up 16% following reports it may be involved in sale talks
  • Groupon (GRPN 7.09, +0.29): early percentage gainer after RBC Capital upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets traded mostly higher.  Japan's Nikkei +1.2%; China's Shanghai Composite +1.4%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.01%
    • In economic data:
      • China's Manufacturing PMI fell to 51.1 from 51.7 (expected 51.2), while HSBC Manufacturing PMI decreased to 50.2 from 50.3 (consensus 50.3)
      • Japan's Manufacturing PMI slipped to 52.2 from 52.4 (forecast 52.4)
      • India's HSBC Markit Manufacturing PMI fell to 52.4 from 53.0 (expected 52.9)
      • South Korea's trade surplus widened to $3.40 billion from $2.40 billion, while CPI rose 0.2% month-over-month (expected 0.3%; last 0.1%)
      • Australia's Current Account deficit widened to AUD13.7 billion from AUD7.80 billion (expected deficit of AUD14.00 billion) and Building Approvals rose 2.5% month-over-month (consensus 1.5%; previous -5.0%)
    • In news: 
      • Reserve Bank of Australia left its monetary policy unchanged
      • Survey data shows home prices fell in China fell for fifth straight month
  • Major European indices are mixed. Germany's DAX Index +0.2%; France's CAC-40 Index -0.1%; England's FTSE 100 -0.1%.
    • Economic data was plentiful:
      • Eurozone Manufacturing PMI slipped to 50.7 from 50.8 (expected 50.8). Separately, PPI decreased 0.1% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; prior 0.2%)
      • Germany's Q2 GDP was left unrevised at -0.2% quarter-over-quarter, as expected. Separately, Manufacturing PMI decreased to 51.4 from 52.0 (consensus 52.0)
      • Great Britain's Manufacturing PMI fell to 52.5 from 54.8 (expected 55.0)
      • French Manufacturing PMI climbed to 46.9 from 46.5 (consensus 46.5)
      • Italy's Manufacturing PMI fell to 49.8 from 51.9 (expected 50.8)
      • Spain's Manufacturing PMI declined to 52.8 from 53.9 (consensus 53.1). Separately, Claimant Count increased by 8,100 (expected 26,000; prior -29,800)
      • Swiss SVME PMI fell to 52.9 from 54.3 (expected 53.3)
    • In news:
      • Europe reportedly looking at alternatives in event Russia cuts off gas supplies

8:06 am CONMED issues open letter to shareholders; urges sareholders to vote today for all CONMED's director nominees on the gold proxy card (CNMD) : The company contends: "Voce's actions make it clear that Voce is only interested in pursuing its self-serving agenda, irrespective of the cost to all other CONMED shareholders. With a reconstituted Board and new interim CEO, we are confident that CONMED has the right team to create value for CONMED shareholders. We strongly urge you to protect the value of your investment in CONMED by voting "FOR" ALL your Board's experienced and highly qualified director nominees "

8:06 am Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (:AUPH) to Begin Trading on the NASDAQ Global Market : ...

8:05 am XRS Corp to be acquired by Omnitracs for $5.60 per share of XRS, which equates to $178 mln in equity value (XRSC) :

  • Omnitracs, LLC, a provider of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, announced that it has agreed to acquire XRS Corporation (XRSC), a mobile fleet optimization software. 
  • Subject to the terms and conditions of the definitive agreement, Omnitracs will pay $5.60 per share of XRS, which equates to $178 million in equity value.
  • Omnitracs expects to complete the acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2014.

8:04 am SFX Entertainment announces extension of consent solicitation relating to its 9.625% second lien senior secured notes due 2019 (SFXE) :

  • Co announced that it has extended the expiration date of its previously announced consent solicitation to a proposed amendment to the indenture governing its outstanding 9.625% Second Lien Senior Secured Notes due 2019.
  • The Solicitation will now expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on September 5, 2014, unless further extended.
  • The full terms of the Solicitation are detailed in SFX's consent solicitation statement and related consent form, each dated as of August 19, 2014.
  • Except as provided herein, all other terms, provisions and conditions of the Solicitation remain unchanged.
  • To accommodate the traditional late August holiday period, SFX is issuing the extension to provide noteholders with additional time to consider the Solicitation.

8:04 am Stillwater Mining announces it will scale back activities associated with the Marathon PGM-copper project (SWC) : Co announced it will scale back activities associated with the Marathon PGM-copper project.

  • The permitting process for the Marathon PGM-copper project was suspended previously. 
  • As a result of the reduction in activities, Stillwater Canada Inc expenditures for 2014 are now expected to be in the range of $4 to $6 million

8:04 am Arena Pharmaceuticals' APD811 granted orphan drug status for pulmonary arterial hypertension (ARNA) :  

8:03 am Allergan announces the European Commission has extended the Marketing Authorization for OZURDEX (dexamethasone 700 mcg intravitreal implant in applicator) to treat adult patients with visual impairment due to diabetic macular edema (AGN) :

  • Co announced that the European Commission has extended the Marketing Authorization for OZURDEX to treat adult patients with visual impairment due to diabetic macular edema who are pseudophakic, or who are considered insufficiently responsive to, or unsuitable for non-corticosteroids therapy. 

8:03 am CVR Refining announced that its Coffeyville refinery resumed normal operations last week within the time frame the co indicated during its 2014 Q2 earnings conference call (CVRR) : The refinery had been shut down since July 29 as a result of a fire that damaged its isomerization unit and distributive controls system.

8:02 am Chimerix and BARDA announces $17.0 mln continued partnership in the development of Brincidofovir for smallpox (CMRX) : Co announced an award of $17.0 million through the extension of its contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development of its broad spectrum antiviral brincidofovir as a medical countermeasure to treat smallpox. This contract extension provides an additional $17.0 million to Chimerix for a period of 15 months, and will support Phase 3 trials expected to initiate in the second half of 2014.

8:02 am LRR Energy, L.P. to acquire Oil and Gas Producing Properties in Oklahoma; purchase price of $38.0 mln, co expects acquisition to be immediately accretive (LRE) :

  • Co announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire oil and natural gas properties in Lincoln and Creek Counties, Oklahoma for a purchase price of $38.0 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. The primary asset, the Stroud Prue Sand Unit, is a mature oil property and one of the largest Prue Sand waterfloods in Oklahoma. 
  • The field was discovered in 1943 and SPSU initial water injection began in 1960. The effective date of the transaction is September 1, 2014, and closing of the transaction is expected to occur on or about October 1, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

8:02 am Fidelity & Guaranty Life announced that its board has authorized the co to repurchase up to 500,000 shares of its common stock over the next twelve months (FGL) :  

8:01 am Novatel Wireless appoints new CFO (NVTL) : Co announced that the Company has appointed Michael Newman as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining the Company, Newman, served in senior executive level positions at Websense (WBSN) over an eleven-year span from 2002 to 2013.

8:01 am 21Vianet announces $5 mln share repurchase program (VNET) :

  • Co announced that its board of directors has authorized a $5 million share repurchase program. 21Vianet's board of directors has authorized, but not obligated, the Company to repurchase up to US$5 million of its own outstanding shares within the next 12 months. 
  • The share repurchases may be made on the open market at prevailing market prices pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 and/or Rule 10b-18 plans, in privately negotiated transactions, in block trades or legally permissible ways from time to time depending on market conditions and in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.

8:00 am WageWorks announced Colm Callan has been appointed the co's CFO, effective immediately (WAGE) : Mr. Callan most recently served as CFO of the Product and Technology division of PayPal, an eBay Inc. (EBAY).

7:59 am Norwegian Cruise Line agrees to acquire Prestige Cruises International for $3.025 bln; acquisition immediately accretive to earnings without synergies; initial $25 mln of synergies will result in high single-digit percentage adjusted EPS accretion (stock halted) (NCLH) : Co announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige Cruises International, the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 bln, including the assumption of debt.

  • Norwegian will finance the acquisition with existing cash, new and existing debt facilities and the issuance of ~20.3 mln shares of its common stock.
  • Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer said, "Our complementary strengths and skillsets will pave the way for new cross-selling opportunities, cross-brand collaboration, cross-business support, as well as joint partnerships which, coupled with meaningful synergies that can be quickly implemented, will provide solid accretion to earnings per share and drive long-term shareholder value," added Sheehan.

7:57 am XRS Corp trading halted, news pending (XRSC) :  

7:57 am Ampio Pharma announces update on the phase III, multicenter, double-blind STEP study of Ampion for osteoarthritis of the knee; review of the data from the STEP study confirmed that 382 (72%) patients received study medication that had fallen below the product specification temperature range (AMPE) : Co announced an update on the phase III, multicenter, double-blind STEP study of Ampion for osteoarthritis of the knee.

  • Review of the data from the STEP study confirmed that 382 (72%) patients received study medication that had fallen below the product specification temperature range. The average length of exposure below this temperature range was 16.1 hours (maximum: 36.3 hours). This technical difficulty was out of the control of Ampio (Sponsor) and affected co's ability to perform the statistical analysis according to plan. Co believes the temperature deviations that were present in the 72% of patients likely affected the level of active ingredients in the injected dose of Ampion. Despite this difficulty efficacy was demonstrated in patients with the most severe form of OA (KL IV, where the number of patients was sufficient for statistical analysis) for which the only current alternative therapy is knee joint replacement.  
  • The co plans to present safety data From the Australian phase I and Phase II studies as well as the SPRING, STEP and Multiple Injections studies for the BLA. Efficacy data for the BLA will be drawn from the SPRING and Multiple Injections Study. The co plans to submit the BLA before the end of Q1 2015.

7:51 am Novartis AG's new heart failure medicine LCZ696 cut cardiovascular deaths by 20% vs. ACE-inhibitor in landmark PARADIGM-HF trial (NVS) : Co Saturday disclosed that at the European Society of Cardiology congress and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine, Novartis revealed that its investigational heart failure medicine, LCZ696, was superior to ACE-inhibitor enalapril on key endpoints in the largest heart failure study ever done. In PARADIGM-HF patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HF-REF) who were given LCZ696 were more likely to be alive and less likely to have been hospitalized for sudden deterioration of their heart failure than those given ACE-inhibitor enalapril. Patients received LCZ696 or enalapril on top of current best treatment.

  • The magnitude of benefit with LCZ696 against enalapril in HF-REF patients was highly statistically significant and clinically important. 
  • Overall there was a 20% risk reduction on the primary endpoint, a composite measure of CV death or heart failure hospitalization (p=0.0000002) (1).

7:41 am Pembina Pipeline to acquire the Vantage pipeline system and Mistral Midstream's interest in the Saskatchewan Ethane Extraction Plant for total consideration of $650 mln (PBA) : Co announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire the Vantage pipeline system and Mistral Midstream's interest in the Saskatchewan Ethane Extraction Plant ("SEEP") for total consideration of $650 million, subject to traditional closing adjustments, from certain entities affiliated with Riverstone Holdings.

  • Transaction is expected to be neutral to cash flow per share in 2015 and accretive in 2016 on the basis of minimum volumes currently under contract and a full year contribution from SEEP. Pembina foresees the potential for significant accretion as additional volumes are secured.
  • Vantage links a growing supply of ethane from the prolific North Dakota Bakken play to the petrochemical market in Alberta. It originates from a large-scale gas plant in Tioga, North Dakota extending northwest, through Saskatchewan and terminating near Empress, Alberta, where it is connected to the Alberta Ethane Gathering System pipeline.

7:36 am Meridian Bioscience reaffirms FY14 guidance near low end of range; guides FY15 below consensus (VIVO) : Co reaffirms guidance for FY14 (Sep) near the low end of the range: sees EPS of $0.85-0.90 vs. $0.86 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 (Sep) revs of $190-195 mln vs. $191.59 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

Co issues downside guidance for FY15 (Sep), sees EPS of $0.85-0.91 vs. $0.97 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 (Sep) revs of $193-200 mln vs. $203.75 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

"Our revenue guidance range of $193 to $200 million for fiscal 2015 is based upon expectations that the markets we target will continue to be highly competitive as established and new diagnostics competitors attempt to advance their new molecular platforms. For our Life Science units, double-digit growth should continue for our Bioline molecular components business, somewhat offset by lower growth rates in our core immunoassay components business.

7:36 am Synthetic Biologics to initiate clinical trials of SYN-004 in 4Q 2014 to prevent C. difficile infections; co completes final preclinical toxicology study and prepares to file IND in 2H2014 (SYN) : Co announced positive results from its final preclinical toxicology study of SYN-004. Per FDA guidance, this bridging study was required to move the Company's lead anti-infective, second-generation product candidate designed to prevent the devastating effects of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), toward the clinic.

  • The co is in the final stages of preparing its SYN-004 IND application for submission to the FDA, with the expectation of initiating Phase Ia and Ib clinical trials in the fourth quarter of 2014, and a Phase II efficacy study in the first half of 2015.

7:31 am Zogenix reports that Zohydro ER demonstrates sustained 12-hour pain relief; no additional nighttime dosing and no end-of-dose failure, in most patients, according to post-hoc analysis presented at PAINWeek (ZGNX) : Co announced new post-hoc analysis data showing that the indicated 12-hour dose of Zohydro ER, (hydrocodone bitartrate) Extended-Release Capsules, CII, provided durable pain relief over the entire dosing interval.

  • "In this study, we saw that most of the chronic pain patients taking Zohydro ER achieved effective pain relief for the entire duration of 12 hours for each administered dose. In particular, most patients did not experience dose failures during the night, meaning they did not wake up to take additional medication for their pain."

7:31 am Goodrich Petroleum announces put option notification for 5.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2029 (GDP) : Co announced that it is notifying holders of the $51,816,000 outstanding principal amount of its 5.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2029 that they have an option, pursuant to the terms of the Notes, to require Goodrich to purchase on Oct 1, 2014 all or a portion of such holders' Notes at a price equal to par, plus any accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, Oct 1, 2014.

7:31 am 1-800-FLOWERS.COM signs definitive agreement to acquire Harry & David Holdings for $142.5 mln in cash; deal would be accretive to the co's top and bottom line results in the current fiscal year (FLWS) :

  • Co announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Harry & David Holdings, a multi-channel specialty retailer and producer of branded premium gift-quality fruit, gourmet food products and other gifts marketed under the Harry & David, Wolferman's and Cushman's brands.
  • The acquisition, for $142.5 mln in cash, includes Harry & David's brands and websites as well as its headquarters, manufacturing and distribution facilities and orchards in Medford, Oregon, a warehouse and distribution facility in Hebron, Ohio and 47 Harry & David retail stores located throughout the country.
  • Acquisition is expected to increase the co's Fiscal 2015 EBITDA and Free Cash Flow as well as being accretive to EPS.

7:29 am Pembina Pipeline enters into agreement with the Port of Portland, Oregon to enable the development of Pembina's planned West Coast propane export terminal project (PBA) : The co intends to initially develop a 37,000 barrel per day propane export facility for an expected capital investment of approximately $500 mln and with an anticipated in-service date of early-2018. They expect that the West Coast Terminal will provide growing Canadian propane supply (that is derived from natural gas produced in Western Canada) with access to large, international markets while complementing the co's expanding integrated service offering for products that are derived from natural gas.

7:27 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Conatus Pharmaceuticals (CNAT) announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial of its lead drug candidate, emricasan, in patients with liver cirrhosis, and the initiation of a separate exploratory Phase 2 trial in cirrhosis patients with portal hypertension.
  • Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) announced the completion of its acquisition of FNBR Holding Corporation and its subsidiary, First National Bank of the Rockies, a community bank based in Grand Junction, Colorado.
  • Rudolph Technologies (RTEC) announced that the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Albany, NY, has selected its Discover Enterprise Yield Management Software to provide an integrated data warehouse and analytics system for the Global 450 Consortium equipment development program.
  • Rexford Industrial Realty (REXR) has acquired 605 8th Street, a 55,516 square foot industrial building located in San Fernando for $5.1 mln, or $91 per square foot.
  • Conemaugh Health System's Board of Directors and Duke LifePoint Healthcare (LPNT) announced that the acquisition of Conemaugh Health System by Duke LifePoint is complete.
  • Cardtronics (CATM) announced that its U.K.-based business is entering into a seven-year, exclusive agreement to operate ~1,800 ATMs located in Co-operative Food stores across the U.K.

7:22 am Salix Pharma submitted its response to the March 7, 2011 FDA Complete Response Letter regarding the co's sNDA for XIFAXAN 550 mg tablets for tproposed indication of treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (SLXP) : Co announced that on Aug 29, 2014, it submitted its response to the March 7, 2011, FDA Complete Response Letter (CRL) regarding the co's supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for XIFAXAN 550 mg tablets for the proposed indication of the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea or IBS-D. Upon receipt of Salix's response, the FDA will have six months to issue a response.

7:12 am China HGS signed its second shanty area rebuilding project agreement with a budgeted investment over $750 mln (HGSH) : Co announced that it signed its second shanty area rebuilding framework agreement with the Hantai District government of Hanzhong City. The estimated investment in the project is ~$750 mln. The local government will coordinate with the Company to implement the reform plans.

7:10 am Soligenix announces positive preliminary results from a preclinical study with its ricin toxin vaccine RiVax, in a non-human primate lethal aerosol exposure model; study demonstrated that NHPs vaccinated with RiVax were completely protected against a lethal aerosol of ricin toxin with a highly significant survival benefit (SNGX) : Co announced today promising preliminary results from a preclinical study with its ricin toxin vaccine RiVax. The study demonstrated that NHPs vaccinated with RiVax were completely protected against a lethal aerosol of ricin toxin with a highly significant survival benefit. All of the NHPs in the RiVax-vaccinated treatment group survived when exposed to the respiratory aerosol of ricin toxin, with no apparent signs of gross lung damage. Conversely, all NHPs in the unvaccinated treatment group died within approximately 36 hours of exposure to aerosolized ricin while developing severe lung damage, including hemorrhaging.

7:09 am Conns misses by $0.25, reports revs in-line; lowers FY15 EPS below consensus -- unexpected headwinds in credit operations (CONN) : Reports Q2 (Jul) earnings of $0.50 per share, $0.25 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.75; revenues rose 30.4% year/year to $353 mln vs the $353.94 mln consensus.

  •  Same store sales increased 11.7%, on top of an 18.4% increase a year ago 
  • Credit segment provision for bad debts on an annualized basis was 13.9% 
    • "Overall results were not satisfactory. Our credit operations ran into unexpected headwinds, resulting in portfolio performance deterioration. Despite tighter underwriting, lower early-stage delinquency and improved collections staffing and execution, delinquency unexpectedly deteriorated across all credit quality levels, customer groups, product categories, geographic regions and years of origination. Tighter underwriting and better collections execution did not offset deterioration in our customer's ability to resolve delinquency. 
    • "Delinquency rates improved through May and increased modestly in June, consistent with typical seasonal trends. However, over sixty-day delinquency rates unexpectedly deteriorated a combined 90 basis points in July and August. We now expect future 60-plus day delinquency to increase to levels above our historical highs in the third and fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. Early stage delinquency remains lower than historical averages through August. "We have made additional minor changes to tighten underwriting in August."
 Co issues downside guidance for FY15, lowers EPS to $2.80-3.00  from $3.40-3.70 vs. $3.54 Capital IQ Consensus. reaffirms same stores sales up 5% to 10%; New store openings of 18; Ten store closures; Discontinued sales of lawn equipment; Retail gross margin between 40.0% and 41.0%; An increase in the credit portfolio balance; Credit portfolio interest and fee yield of between 17.5% to 18.0%; Credit segment provision for bad debts of between 11.0% and 12.0% (up from 8-10%) of the average portfolio balance outstanding based on the same store sales expectations presented above and influenced by the level of customer receivables accounted for as troubled debt restructurings.

7:08 am Kofax beats on revs; announces acquisition of Softpro GmbH (KFX) : Reports Q2 revenues rose 3.0% year/year to $80.6 mln vs the $78.98 mln consensus. Co reports FY14 EPS of $0.27 vs. $0.26 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • Co issues guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs of $343-351, may not be comparable to $316.50 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; Sees adjusted EBITDA of $54.0 to $58.0 mln. 
  • Co separately announced that it acquired Softpro GmbH, a leading provider of signature verification, fraud prevention and electronic signature software and services, for $34.7 million in cash

7:07 am Canadian Solar announces it supplied Conti / SunDurance with 11 MW of solar modules during 2Q2014 (CSIQ) :

  • Co announced that it supplied Conti / SunDurance with 11 MW of solar modules during the second quarter of 2014. For this 11MW order, Canadian Solar delivered to the Conti Group in total 37,202 pieces of CS6X solar modules in 6 x 12 cell matrix with UL 1000V certificate. During their 25 year life span, these modules will turn solar energy into 360,000 MWh of electricity, and reduce CO2 emissions by 67,000 tons, the equivalent to taking 11,800 cars off of the roads; or equivalent to creating a forest of 6,200 hectares with 237,000 trees.

7:06 am Centene announced plans to build a new claims processing center in Ferguson, Missouri creating 150 to 200 full-time jobs (CNC) :  

7:06 am ISIS Pharm: drugs from Isis' Lipid franchise highlighted at European Society of Cardiology Congress 2014 -- patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia treated for one year with KYNAMRO experienced a reduction in Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events (ISIS) : Co announced that data from three drugs in its lipid franchise were highlighted in four presentations at the 2014 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona Spain. Isis has created a lipid franchise of antisense drugs designed to provide effective and safe therapeutic options to treat patients with lipid disorders.

  • This franchise is composed of one commercialized drug and several other drugs in clinical development designed to treat cardiovascular conditions by reducing specific lipid parameters that are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • An overall summary of the Phase 2 program for ISIS-APOCIIIRx in which treatment with ISIS-APOCIIIRx produced consistent, robust and statistically significant reductions in triglycerides, apoC-III and non-HDL and increases in HDL-cholesterol in all patient populations evaluated.

7:06 am Cepheid announces European release of Xpert Flu/RSV XC for detection and differentiation of flu A, flu B, and RSV infection; redundant targets extend coverage to provide detection of seasonal and emerging novel viruses (CPHD) : Co announced today the release of Xpert Flu/RSV XC. The test will be marketed as a CE-IVD product under the European Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices, bringing the total number of tests available to 18. 

7:06 am Callon Petroleum announces $213 mln Midland Basin acquisition (CPE) :

  • Co announced it has entered into definitive agreements with private entities to acquire certain undeveloped acreage and oil and gas producing properties located in Midland, Andrews, Martin and Ector Counties, Texas for an approximate aggregate price of $212.6 mln in cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments with an effective date of May 1, 2014.
  • Key attributes of the acquired fields include:
    • 6,230 gross surface acres, 95% of which are located in Midland and Andrews Counties, in close proximity to the Company's existing Carpe Diem and Pecan Acres fields in Midland County.

7:05 am Goodrich Petroleum announces completion of its Denkmann 33-28H-2 (75% WI) well in Amite County, Mississippi; co also commenced flowback on its Bates 25-24H-1 (98% WI) well in Amite County, Mississippi, an ~ 5,000 foot lateral with 19 frac stages (GDP) :

  • Co announced the completion of its Denkmann 33-28H-2 well in Amite County, Mississippi. The well, which was drilled with an approximate 6,000 foot lateral and was fracked with 22 stages, has achieved a peak 24-hour average production rate to date of approximately 1,250 barrels of oil equivalent per day, comprised of 1,200 barrels of oil and 300 Mcf of gas on a 16/64 inch choke. 
  • The Company has also commenced flowback on its Bates 25-24H-1 (98% WI) well in Amite County, Mississippi, an approximate 5,000 foot lateral with 19 frac stages, and is currently fracking its CMR/Foster Creek 31-22H-1 (90% WI) well in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, which has an approximate 6,700 foot lateral with 24 planned frac stages. 
  • The Company has also drilled and is in completion phase on its CMR/Foster Creek 24-13H-1 well in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, which has an approximate 6,600 foot lateral, and its Spears 31-6H-1 well in Amite County, Mississippi, which has an approximate 7,600 foot lateral.

7:05 am Alder BioPharmaceuticals regains worldwide rights to Clazakizumab; co plans to continue development of therapeutic antibody for autoimmune/inflammatory disease (ALDR) : Co nnounced that it has regained the worldwide rights to clazakizumab, from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) based on BMS' decision to end further development following a portfolio prioritization and not based on any new or unexpected efficacy or safety data or technical issues. The co plans to continue the clinical development of the therapeutic antibody in autoimmune/inflammatory disease based on the positive study results reported to date. The results of a Phase IIb dose-ranging clinical trial of clazakizumab in patients who suffer from active psoriatic arthritis will be the focus of an oral presentation at the American College of Rheumatology's 2014 annual meeting, which takes place Nov. 14-19 in Boston.

7:04 am NetList announces United States District Court of the Northern District of California denied without prejudice a motion to stay Netlist's patent infringement action against SanDisk (SNDK) and Diablo Technologies (NLST) :

  • Co announced that the United States District Court of the Northern District of California denied without prejudice a motion to stay Netlist's patent infringement action against SanDisk (SNDK) and Diablo Technologies who partnered to create the recently released ULLtraDIMM memory module which is accused of infringing seven Netlist patents.

7:02 am AutoZone reaches definitive agreement to acquire Interamerican Motor Corporation; financial terms not disclosed (AZO) : Interamerican currently operates 17 locations and is the second largest distributor of OE quality import replacement parts in the United States.

7:01 am Prospect Capital completes extension of the revolving credit facility for Prospect Capital Funding, extending the term 5.5 years from today, increasing the size to $1.5 bln, and reducing pricing to one-month Libor plus 2.25% (PSEC) : The new facility, for which $800 million of commitments have been closed to date, includes an accordion feature that allows the facility, at the co's discretion, to accept up to a total of $1.5 bln of commitments. The facility matures in March 2020. It includes a revolving period that extends through March 2019, followed by an additional one-year amortization period, with distributions allowed to the co after the completion of the revolving period.

7:00 am Mast Therapeutics announced on Friday Santosh Vetticaden, Chief Medical Officer and SVP, will be leaving the co, for personal reasons, in mid-September (MSTX) : Co announced that Santosh Vetticaden, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, will be leaving the co, for personal reasons, in mid-September. Edwin Parsley, D.O., the Chief Medical Officer of Aires Pharmaceuticals, which Mast acquired earlier this year, will assume Dr. Vetticaden's former responsibilities as the Company's interim Chief Medical Officer.

6:58 am Microchip further announcement regarding CSR (CSRE) (MCHP) : Microchip Technology (MCHP) announces that, further to its announcement of August 28, 2014, that it has had preliminary mutual discussions with CSR plc (CSRE) regarding ways in which its relationship with CSR could be advanced, including possibly an acquisition of CSR, any offer for CSR is likely to be solely in cash, although Microchip reserves the right to vary the form of the consideration in any offer if one were to be made. 

6:56 am CHC Group modifies plans for previously announced investor events; Q1 release after close of trading Sept. 8; analyst call morning of Sept. 9; withdraws from 2014 Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference (HELI) : Co is modifying plans for previously announced investor events because of timing considerations in connection with pending regulatory filings described in the co's Current Report on Form 8-K dated Aug. 22, 2014.

  • Specifically, CHC said it was withdrawing from a Sept. 3 presentation at the 2014 Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference and postponing an analyst meeting which was to have been held on Oct. 2. 
  • There is no change to the co's plans to announce financial results for its fiscal-2015 first quarter, which ended July 31, after close of market on Monday, Sept. 8, or to hold an earnings-related call for analysts the morning of Sept. 9.

6:47 am Correction: Exelixis announces results from the COMET-1 Phase 3 pivotal trial of Cabozantinib in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (EXEL) : Co announces top-line results from the final analysis of COMET-1, the phase 3 pivotal trial of cabozantinib in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer whose disease progressed after treatment with docetaxel as well as abiraterone and/or enzalutamide. The trial did not meet its primary endpoint of demonstrating a statistically significant increase in overall survival for patients treated with cabozantinib as compared to prednisone. The median OS for the cabozantinib arm of the trial was 11.0 months versus 9.8 months for the prednisone arm. 

  • As a result of the outcome of COMET-1, Exelixis will initiate a significant workforce reduction to enable the company to focus its financial resources on the late-stage clinical trials of cabozantinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (the METEOR trial) and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (the CELESTIAL trial). The company will reduce its workforce by approximately 70 percent, or approximately 160 employees, resulting in approximately 70 remaining employees. 
  • Exelixis anticipates the one-time restructuring charge associated with the workforce reduction to be approximately $6 million - $8 million, with the majority to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. As a result of this and other cost-saving measures contemplated, the company anticipates that it has sufficient cash to support its operations through the release of top-line results of the METEOR trial next year. More financial details will be provided by the company in its third quarter 2014 financial report. 
Briefing note: This post was previously issued under ticker EXAS in error. That post has been deleted

6:43 am Ipsen S.A. announced earlier the acceptance of filings for Somatuline in the treatment of GEP-NETs1 in the US with priority review (IPSEY) : Co announced that the FDA has accepted and granted priority review of its sNDA for Somatuline Depot 120mg injection in the treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The FDA designates priority review status to drug candidates that have the potential to offer a significant improvement in treatment compared to currently approved options. A decision is expected in early Q1, 2015.

6:32 am Telecom Italia announced term of the sale of Telecom Argentina (TEO) extended to Sep 25, 2014; conditions of agreement signed with Fintech remain unchanged (TI) : Co and Fintech have agreed to extend to Sep 25, 2014, at terms and conditions currently in place, the term of the stock purchase agreement entered into on Nov 13, 2013, for the sale of Telecom Italia's entire direct and indirect controlling interest in Telecom Argentina (TEO).

6:31 am SAGE Therapeutics presents new preclinical data on SAGE-217 at Eilat Conference on new anti-epileptic drugs; data suggest improved activity for this compound versus other first-generation neuroactive steroids in development (SAGE) : Co presented preclinical data on its second-generation neuroactive steroid, SAGE-217, at the Twelfth Eilat Conference on New Anti-Epileptic Drugs in Madrid, Spain. The data suggest improved activity for this compound versus other first-generation neuroactive steroids in development, as well as favorable selectivity and pharmacokinetic profile of the drug.

  • SAGE-217 also exhibited reduced off-target activities compared to the known first-generation analogs.

6:28 am Barclays PLC agreed to sell its Retail Banking, Wealth and Investment Management and Corporate Banking businesses in Spain to CaixaBank S.A. (CAIXY) (BCS) : Co announced that it has agreed to sell its Retail Banking, Wealth and Investment Management and Corporate Banking businesses in Spain to CaixaBank S.A. (CAIXY). Furthermore, Barclays has completed the sale of its UAE Retail Banking business to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. CaixaBank will acquire Barclays Bank SAU and certain subsidiaries, which represent total assets of EUR22.2bn and liabilities of EUR20.5bn as at 30 June 2014, for a consideration of EUR800m (~ GBP630m), payable in cash upon completion and subject to adjustment based on the statutory Net Asset Value as at 31 Dec 2014.

6:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Nam Tai Property (NTP) announced that as of August 29, 2014 accumulated total 1,289,000 common stocks had been bought back from the open market at the prevailing market price under its stock repurchase program announced on May 7, 2014. 
  • Amarantus Bioscience Holdings (AMBS) announced it has entered into a Master Services Agreement with ICON for global therapeutic and diagnostic clinical development services. 
  • IGATE (IGTE) announced a new facility in Noida, India. The facility is spread across 60K sq ft and can accommodate about 550 people across two floors.

6:22 am S&P futures vs fair value: +5.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.00. :

6:22 am European Markets : FTSE...6,840.79...+16.40...+0.20%.  DAX...9,566.80...+88.20...+0.90%.

6:22 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15,668.60...+192.00...+1.20%.  Hang Seng...24,749.02...-3.10...0.00.

6:21 am American Realty Capital confirms Cole Corporate Income Trust entered into merger agreement relating to the sale of CCIT to Select Income REIT (SIR) (ARCP) : Co confirmed that Cole Corporate Income Trust, managed by Cole Capital, ARCP's private capital management business, has entered into a merger agreement relating to the sale of CCIT to Select Income REIT (SIR).

  • "As anticipated, the transaction should substantially increase our fourth quarter capital raising activity in Cole Capital and is expected to generate AFFO for ARCP of approximately $0.02 per share through incentive and disposition fees under our management agreement with CCIT. This positive upside event, which has not been included in our prior earnings guidance, demonstrates a key aspect of the value proposition Cole Capital represents to our business, ultimately providing returns to the stockholders of both ARCP and the non-traded REITs..." 
  • The merger provides CCIT stockholders a cash consideration of $10.70 gross per share or $10.50 net per share. Using SIR's 60-day volume weighted average price of $28.82 per share, the 0.36 shares are valued at $10.38 per share as of market close on Aug 29, 2014. Additionally, CCIT stockholders electing to receive stock have no lockups or trading restrictions after closing, and full stock elections result in a tax-free exchange. The per share value of the transaction, based on the 60-day VWAP, represents a premium to CCIT stockholders of ~ 3.8% over CCIT's original issue price of $10.00 per share.

6:16 am Family Dollar: Dollar General (DG) confirms enhanced proposal to acquire Family Dollar; raises all-cash consideration to $80/share; offers to divest up to 1,500 stores if required by the FTC; includes a $500 mln reverse break-up fee (FDO) : Dollar General Corporation (DG) announced that it has sent an enhanced acquisition proposal to the Board of Directors of Family Dollar Stores (FDO).

  • Under the terms of the revised proposal, Dollar General would increase its all-cash proposal for all outstanding shares of Family Dollar to $80.00/share. 
  • To provide even greater certainty of consummation to the Family Dollar Board, Dollar General also increased the number of stores that it would be willing to agree to divest to 1,500 if ordered by the FTC and, as further evidence of its confidence in its ability to obtain antitrust approval.
  • Agreed to pay a $500 mln reverse break-up fee to Family Dollar relating to antitrust matters. All other terms and conditions of the proposal remain unchanged.
  • Dollar General's revised proposal provides Family Dollar's shareholders with ~$640 mln of additional aggregate value over Dollar Tree's (DLTR) offer and represents a premium of 31.9% over the closing price of $60.66 for Family Dollar stock on the day prior to the Dollar Tree announcement. 

6:04 am Select Income REIT to acquire Cole Corporate Income Trust for ~$3 bln; expected to be modestly accretive to SIR's normalized funds from operations per share in 2015 (SIR) : Co announced that its Board has unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Cole Corporate Income Trust, managed by Cole Capital, American Realty Capital Properties' (ARCP) private capital management business, for ~ $3.0 bln, payable in a combination of cash and SIR common shares plus the assumption of certain mortgage debt. The transaction is subject to approval by SIR and CCIT shareholders and other customary conditions, and it is expected to close during 1Q2015.

  • SIR will acquire CCIT's full property portfolio, which includes 64 office and industrial net lease properties as well as 23 healthcare properties, for a total consideration of ~ $3.0 bln including the assumption of ~ $298 mln of mortgage debt and excluding transaction costs. As part of the transaction, SIR has entered an agreement to sell the 23 healthcare properties to Senior Housing Properties Trust (SNH) for ~ $539 mln (including $509 mln in net proceeds and assumed debt of ~ $30 mln) immediately upon closing of the merger, resulting in a net purchase price to SIR of ~ $2.5 bln. 
  • Assuming 60% of CCIT's purchase price is paid in cash and that debt incurred with this transaction is refinanced with longer term debt financing at current market rates, SIR believes this merger transaction will be modestly accretive to SIR's normalized funds from operations per share in 2015
  • SIR's Board of Trustees expects to increase SIR's regular quarterly common share distribution by $0.02 to $0.50 ($2.00 per share per year) upon the closing of the merger.

6:02 am Senior Housing agrees to purchase 23 medical office buildings for $539 mln (SNH) : Co announced that it has agreed to acquire 23 Class A medical office buildings, or MOBs, for a purchase price of ~$539 mln.

  • The 23 properties contain ~2.2 mln square feet and are located in 12 states. 
  • The properties are currently 100% occupied for a weighted average term (by rents) of 9.5 years, with no scheduled lease expiration before December 31, 2018. 
  • 72% of the rents are payable by tenants with investment grade credit ratings and certain other tenants that are believed to have strong credit qualities but are unrated.
  • The 23 properties will be purchased in connection with the purchase by Select Income REIT (SIR) of Cole Corporate Income Trust, a publicly owned unlisted REIT, which was announced earlier today.

6:02 am Spherix: USPTO issues three new standard essential patents to Spherix (SPEX) : Co announced that the USPTO issued three patents to the Company in the month of August that are part of a standard essential family of patents.

6:00 am Ascent Solar announces new common stock investment of $8.0 mln led by largest shareholder, TFG Radiant Investment (ASTI) : Co announced that it entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement on Aug 29, 2014 with existing stockholders TFG Radiant Investment Group and Series A investor, Seng Wei Seow for ~ $8.0 mln of common stock.

  • In the first tranche of the transaction (which has closed), the co issued 845,309 common shares to Seow and 845,309 shares to TFG Radiant at a fixed per share price of $2.366, representing a 30% premium to the closing price of $1.82 per share on Aug 28, 2014. 
  • In the second tranche of the transaction, the co will issue 1,425,000 common shares to TFG Radiant at a fixed per share price of $2.80, ~ 54% premium to the closing price on Aug 28, 2014 and will result in additional net proceeds of ~ $4.0 mln to the co.

5:45 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Thomson Reuters (TRI) announced the launch of a suite of indices to measure the performance of European companies with superior ratings for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance practices. 
  • Envivio (ENVI) announced the introduction of Envivio NuageSM - the world's most advanced fully virtualized cloud-based software-as-a-service video solution.
  • BW Offshore, a leading global provider of floating production services to the oil and gas industry, has signed a 5-year, $12 million contract with Orange Business Services (ORAN) for an end-to-end satellite communication solution for its fleet of highly-specialized oil and gas production vessels. 
  • TowerJazz (TSEM) announced that Triune has developed a proprietary isolated power and data technology using the TowerJazz TS18PM process on its state of the art 0.18um based power management platform.
  • Radware (RDWR) announced that yes Satellite, Israel's leading provider of home entertainment with over 600,000 customers has recently deployed Radware's Alteon NG, a next-generation Application Delivery Controller, DefensePro, a real-time behavioral based DDoS attack mitigation device and AppWall, an ICSA certified web application firewall. 
-- Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced the launch of a suite of indices to measure the performance of European companies with superior ratings for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (:ESG) practices. 

--Envivio (Nasdaq:ENVI) today announced the introduction of Envivio NuageSM - the world's most advanced fully virtualized cloud-based software-as-a-service (SAAS) video solution.

--)-- BW Offshore, a leading global provider of floating production services to the oil and gas industry, has signed a 5-year, $12 million contract with Orange Business Services for an end-to-end satellite communication solution for its fleet of highly-specialized oil and gas production vessels. 
 
--)-- TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, and Triune Systems LLC, a mixed signal and power management IC provider, today announced that Triune has developed a proprietary isolated power and data technology using the TowerJazz TS18PM process on its state of the art 0.18um based power management platform.
-- Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced the launch of a suite of indices to measure the performance of European companies with superior ratings for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (:ESG) practices. 

--Envivio (Nasdaq:ENVI) today announced the introduction of Envivio NuageSM - the world's most advanced fully virtualized cloud-based software-as-a-service (SAAS) video solution.

--)-- BW Offshore, a leading global provider of floating production services to the oil and gas industry, has signed a 5-year, $12 million contract with Orange Business Services for an end-to-end satellite communication solution for its fleet of highly-specialized oil and gas production vessels. 
 
--)-- TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, and Triune Systems LLC, a mixed signal and power management IC provider, today announced that Triune has developed a proprietary isolated power and data technology using the TowerJazz TS18PM process on its state of the art 0.18um based power management platform.

5:00 am Himax Tech announces additional joint initiative with Optinvent SA to create next generation augmented reality glasses (HIMX) : Co announces and Optinvent SA, a leading producer of the disruptive ORA Smart Glasses, will undertake an additional partnership to develop next generation augmented reality glasses that should be among the most technologically advanced products in the smart glass market.

4:16 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings (MTSI) announced the industry's most integrated 10G chipset ideal for 10G/12G SFP+ and XFP optical module designs. The innovative chipset consists of a transimpedance amplifier along with an integrated laser driver and a limiting amplifier with the option of an integrated clock and data recovery 
  • Agilent Technologies (A) introduced ClearSeq AML, the first product in the ClearSeq line of next-generation cancer research panels, which targets 48 selected exons in 20 of the most commonly mutated genes found in acute myeloid leukemia.

4:01 am ReneSola to develop 13MW solar farm project in United Kingdom (SOL) : Co announces that it will develop a 13MW solar project in Dorset, England. The Company expects the solar farm to be fully operational and connected to the national energy grid by end of this year. 

3:48 am Luxottica announces the implementation of a new governance structure based on a co-CEO model (LUX) : Co announces the introduction of a new management structure based on a co-CEO model; one focused on Markets and the other dedicated to Corporate Functions. 

  • The evolution to a co-CEO leadership structure with distinct and complementary responsibilities will ensure stronger management of the Group, which has rapidly increased its size, complexity and global presence in recent years.
  • Enrico Cavatorta, current General Manager and CFO of the Group, was appointed CEO of Corporate Functions. He was also named as Interim CEO of Markets, pending the appointment of a permanent executive to this position. The search process for a CEO of Markets is on-going. Operations, led by Massimo Vian, will temporarily report to the Chairman, Leonardo Del Vecchio.
  • An Executive Committee, led by the Chairman, will be created to support the efficient management of the Group during this new phase. 
Explanation from co:
With reference to the agreement to terminate the employment and administration relationship between Andrea Guerra and Luxottica Group S.p.A., Luxottica acknowledges that its Board of Directors, resolved that, as part of the abovementioned agreement, Andrea Guerra is to be paid a redundancy incentive equal to the gross total amount of Euro 10,000,000 in addition to the severance pay linked to the consensual termination of the employment relationship and inseparably linked to the administration relationship, which has also been terminated effective immediately.

2:43 am FormFactor raises third quarter guidance range (FORM) : Co issues upside guidance for Q3 (Sep), sees Q3 (Sep) revs of $71-75 mln vs. $70.30 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, higher than the company's previous revenue guidance of $68-73 mln.

  • Customer demand across all segments is the main driver for the increase to the company's expected revenue results. 
  • The Company also raised the midpoint of its non-GAAP gross margin guidance, increasing the guidance range to be between 35% to 38%, higher than the company's previous gross margin guidance of 34% to 38%. 

2:33 am St. Jude Medical: New clinical trial results demonstrate importance of St. Jude Medical fractional flow reserve in guiding treatment of NSTEMI patients (STJ) : Co announces new multi-center clinical trial has found that using St. Jude Medical Fractional Flow Reserve technology changed the course of treatment for more than one fifth of patients suffering non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction heart attacks. The data also demonstrated that FFR-guided PCI is safe and tended to reduce procedure-related myocardial infarctions in NSTEMI patients over angiography alone. NSTEMI is the most common form of acute coronary syndrome and a leading cause of premature morbidity and mortality worldwide. 

2:32 am General Electric announces European Union approval of VIZAMYL for PET Imaging of Beta Amyloid Plaque in suspected Alzheimer's disease (GE) : Co announces that VIZAMYL has received marketing authorisation from the European Commission as a radiopharmaceutical medicinal product indicated for Positron Emission Tomography imaging of beta amyloid neuritic plaque density in the brains of adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer's disease and other causes of cognitive impairment.

  • VIZAMYL is the only PET imaging tracer for detection of amyloid approved in Europe for visual interpretation of colour images and will be commercially available in selected European countries from early 2015. 
  • VIZAMYL is for diagnostic use only and should be used in conjunction with a clinical evaluation. 

2:32 am Crown Hldgs acquires Heineken (HEINY) Packaging businesses in Mexico (CCK) : Co announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EMPAQUE, a leading Mexican manufacturer of aluminum cans and ends, bottle caps and glass bottles for the beverage industry, from Heineken N.V., in a cash transaction valued at $1.225 billion, subject to adjustment. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including competition authority approval, and is expected to close by year end 2014 and contribute between $0.15 and $0.20 per share to Crown's 2015 earnings before synergies, but including estimated amortization and depreciation for purchase accounting adjustments.

  • With projected 2014 sales of  ~$700 million and EBITDA of approximately $150 million,  EMPAQUE, headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, currently operates two beverage can plants, a plant that manufacturers beverage can ends, aluminum closures and bottle caps, a glass bottle plant and a glass service facility in Mexico, with a total of ~1,500 employees.  

2:31 am ResMed: Treating cardiac patients who have sleep apnoea with positive airway pressure therapy shown to reduce mortality up to 38% (RMD) : Co announces results from a major analysis of the German Statutory Health Insurance. Results showed that the three-year mortality of people with sleep apnoea -- a prevalent co-morbidity in coronary heart disease and heart failure -- was significantly lower in patients who were treated with positive airway pressure devices compared to a comparable cohort that received no PAP treatment. Mortality was reduced by 37.9% in patients with CHD and by 31.6% in patients with HF. 

2:31 am St. Jude Medical: Large-scale study confirms growing body of clinical evidence for the St. Jude Medical Quadripolar System (STJ) : Co announces results from a large-scale, clinical study concluding that the St. Jude Medical Quartet left-ventricular quadripolar lead provides more options to effectively manage common pacing complications compared to systems with bipolar leads. 

  • The MORE-CRT data, More Options available with a quadripolar LV lead pRovidE in clinic solutions to CRT challenges, was presented during a hot line late-breaking session at the European Society of Cardiology Congress. Results showed that complications occurred less frequently and were managed more efficiently in patients who received the Quartet lead than in patients who received bipolar electrode leads. 
  • Additional data on the first-to-market MultiPoint pacing system presented during ESC 2014 includes 12 month results from the St. Jude Medical MultiPoint Pacing clinical study. Twelve month results, consistent with the three month data, indicates a 19% increase in the number of patients responding to CRT compared to the standard-of-care, biventricular pacing. CRT response in the MultiPoint pacing study was quantified as a greater than 15% reduction in End Systolic Volume and an increase in ejection fraction to baseline, two commonly used but rigorous criteria for determining CRT response. Quadra Assura MP CRT-D is an investigational device in the U.S. and is not commercially approved in the U.S. 

1:58 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • NexPoint Advisors, L.P. announces that the NexPoint Credit Strategies Fund (NHF) expects to benefit from an outstanding claim in favor of the Fund in an amount up to $6.7 million, subject to the final calculation. We do not have an anticipated date in which these amounts will be received by the Fund. 
  • Avista (AVA) has filed its 2014 Natural Gas Integrated Resource Plan with state regulators in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. The plan forecasts sufficient natural gas resources well into the future, indicating that access to natural gas supply through the acquisition of additional pipeline resources will not be needed until 2034 or later.
  • American Water Works Company (AWK), the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, today announced that its Military Services Group has been awarded a contract for ownership, operation and maintenance of the water and the wastewater systems at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. According to the agreement the award is estimated at a gross amount of approximately $297 million over a 50-year period. The contract will be subject to annual economic price adjustments. 
  • Frontier Communications (FTR) and the Communications Workers of America announced today that West Virginia locals have ratified the labor agreement the two parties reached on Aug. 3. The new contract will expire in August 2017. 
  • OCI Partners LP (OCIP) announced today that it is starting up the methanol plant at its Beaumont facility after conducting essential repairs on its reformer. The facility is expected to restart production of methanol during the next two days.  
  • Cameco (CCJ) announced that production continues to be suspended at the McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill operations in northern Saskatchewan due to a labour dispute.
  • Royal Philips (PHG) announced the launch of Affiniti, a new ultrasound system designed to enable global hospitals and health systems to overcome the demands of increasing patient volumes and cost pressures.
  • CyberOptics (CYBE) will demonstrate its wireless measurement devices for chamber gapping, leveling, wafer handoff teaching, vibration and airborne particle measuremen
  • Bharti Retail Limited has selected Accenture (ACN) to implement SAP solutions to enable the retailer to more efficiently plan, monitor and track the flow of merchandise and information throughout its supply chain. 
  • ARM (ARMH) announced the signing of the 50th licensing agreement for its ARMv8-A technology, which includes support for 64-bit computing. A total of 27 companies have signed agreements for the company's ARMv8-A technology as industry momentum builds for greater compute capability across a wide range of applications. 
  • Ericsson (ERIC) and Polish telecom operator Polkomtel successfully carried out the first test of LTE Broadcast technology in Poland on August 30, streaming the opening game of the 2014 World Volleyball Championship between Poland and Serbia to 300 selected guests and journalists at Warsaw's National Stadium.
  • American International Group (AIG) announced that, in accordance with the company's succession plan, previously disclosed on June 10, 2014, Peter D. Hancock has assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of AIG, and has joined AIG's Board of Directors. Mr. Hancock succeeds Robert H. Benmosche, who retired and now serves as an advisor to AIG.
  • Dako, an Agilent Technologies (A) company, announced the EU launch of HER2 IQFISH pharmDx automated on Dako Omnis.

1:20 am Sanofi-Aventis and Regeneron (REGN) announce presentation of detailed positive results from four pivotal Alirocumab (SNY) : Sanofi (SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) detailed positive results from four Phase 3 ODYSSEY trials of alirocumab in people with hypercholesterolemia. Alirocumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody targeting PCSK9. Results from the four ongoing trials, all of which met their primary efficacy endpoint.

ODYSSEY LONG TERM Trial

  • Key data presented today include:
    • On the primary efficacy endpoint of the trial, at 24 weeks, there was a 61% reduction from baseline in LDL-C levels in the alirocumab group as compared to a 1% increase in the placebo group (62% reduction in alirocumab group compared to placebo), p
    • At 52 weeks, there was a 57% reduction from baseline in LDL-C levels in the alirocumab group as compared to a 4% increase in the placebo group (61% reduction in alirocumab group compared to placebo), p
    • 81% of alirocumab patients achieved their pre-specified LDL-C goal (either 70 milligrams/deciliter [mg/dL] or 100 mg/dL depending on patients' baseline CV risk) compared to 9% for placebo (p
    • The most common adverse events (greater than or equal to 5% of patients) were nasopharyngitis (13% alirocumab; 13% placebo), upper respiratory tract infection (7% alirocumab; 8% placebo), and injection site reactions (6% alirocumab; 4% placebo). 

1:17 am Boston Scientific's NECTAR-HF Clinical Trial does not meet primary end-point (BSX) : Co releases the primary endpoint results from its NEural Cardiac TherApy foR Heart Failure clinical trial, the first and only randomized sham-controlled clinical trial investigating vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of heart failure patients. The results will also be published in the European Heart Journal.

  • The study evaluated 96 New York Heart Association Class II-III patients with heart failure and an ejection fraction of less than 35%.  All patients continued receiving optimal medical treatment for heart failure, but were randomized 2:1 to treatment or sham, respectively.  
  • The trial did not meet the pre-specified six month primary efficacy endpoint of a reduction in left ventricular end systolic diameter as assessed by a blinded echocardiography core laboratory. 
  • Quality of life metrics demonstrated significant symptomatic improvement despite the lack of a significant effect on primary and secondary endpoint measures of cardiac remodeling and functional capacity in HF patients. 

1:16 am Novartis' new heart failure medicine LCZ696 cut cardiovascular deaths by 20% vs. ACE-inhibitor in landmark PARADIGM-HF trial (NVS) : Co announces European Society of Cardiology congress and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine, Novartis revealed that its investigational heart failure medicine, LCZ696, was superior to ACE-inhibitor enalapril on key endpoints in the largest heart failure study ever done.

  • In PARADIGM-HF patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction who were given LCZ696 were more likely to be alive and less likely to have been hospitalized for sudden deterioration of their heart failure than those given ACE-inhibitor enalapril. 
  • Patients received LCZ696 or enalapril on top of current best treatment. 
  • The magnitude of benefit with LCZ696 against enalapril in HF-REF patients was highly statistically significant and clinically important. 
  • Overall there was a 20% risk reduction on the primary endpoint, a composite measure of CV death or heart failure hospitalization 

1:15 am Pfizer and Bristol-Myers (BMY) reports secondary analysis of AMPLIFY-EXT Examining predictors of hospitalization; Eliquis significantly reduced the risk of all-cause hospitalization versus placebo in patients with venous thromboembolism (PFE) : Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Pfizer (PFE) announce results of a pre-specified secondary analysis of the Eliquis Phase 3 AMPLIFY-EXT trial. The analysis evaluated clinical and demographic predictors of all-cause hospitalization in patients with VTE, which includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Results from this analysis demonstrated that during the 12-month extended treatment of VTE, Eliquis significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization versus placebo. This effect was independent of other variables including renal function, the only other significant predictor of hospitalization in the AMPLIFY-EXT population. 

1:11 am American Airlines fares available on Orbitz (AAL) : American Airlines Group (AAL) announced that American Airlines fares will return to Orbitz (OWW) on Friday after the companies entered into a letter of intent. American Airlines Group also no longer plans to remove US Airways fares from Orbitz on Sept. 1 as previously announced. The companies are working toward final agreements based on the letter of intent. 

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