2:57 pm Minor new lows for Dow -221 and S&P -22 -- Nasdaq Comp -68 hovering slightly above (:TECHX) :
2:54 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Apr crude oil rose $0.27 to $98.26/barrel
- Crude oil see-sawed between positive and negative territory today. It dipped to a session low of $97.67 moments after floor trade opened and later touched a session high of $98.44. The energy component eventually settled 0.3% higher.
- Apr natural gas fell 10 cents to $4.39/MMBtu
- Natural gas spent its entire floor session in the red with prices falling as low as $4.36. The weakness came on inventory data that showed a draw of 195 bcf vs expectaions for a draw of 191-196 bcf. Unable to find buying support, natural gas settled with a 2.2% loss.
- Apr heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.92/gallon
- Apr RBOB fell 3 cents to $2.93/gallon
2:44 pm S&P -19 holding slightly above low/support (:TECHX) : The index held at support in the 1845/1844 area (The Technical Take, intraday gap/congestion) in early afternoon action with it range trading slightly above over the last 90 minutes. Intraday need to see a sustained push above 1850 and then the 1852/1854 levels to begin to neutralize the negative price patterns. The next short term support is in the 1841/1839 area.
2:25 pm Dollar Reverses into the Green: 10-yr: +20/32..2.657%..USD/JPY: 101.60..EUR/USD: 1.3850 (:SUMRX) :
- An afternoon bid has lifted the Dollar Index into positive territory as action holds on session highs near 79.70. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
- Overnight selling dropped the Index onto the 79.30 level, but the dollar began to see some buying develop amid an escalation in Ukraine.
- The late-day bid has the Index on track to avoid its worst close in four and a half months.
- EURUSD is -50 pips @ 1.3850 as trade presses session lows. The single currency began sliding amid the increased tensions in Ukraine, and saw an acceleration in selling as ECB head Mario Dragi did his best to talk down the euro by noting inflation is too low. Minor support at current levels will be watched closely.
- GBPUSD is flat @ 1.6620 as trade has seen a sharp reversal from today's highs. Early buying provided a test of recent highs near 1.6750, but aggressive selling now has action nearing 1.6600 support. Britain's trade balance is due out tomorrow.
- USDCHF is +20 pips @ .8760 as buyers begin to show some signs of life. The pair tumbled to .8700, its lowest since October 2011, amid this morning's selling, but has found some buying momentum as traders flock into the greenback for safety. Bulls will not begin to breathe easy until resistance in the .8850/.8900 area is retaken. Swiss data is limited to PPI.
- USDJPY is -100 pips @ 101.75 as trade flushes to a one and a half-week low. Today's selling comes amid an unwind in the carry trade, and has the pair lower for the third straight session after five days of gains. The 2014 lows in the 101.00/101.50 area will be monitored closely. The latest Bank of Japan minutes will cross the wires tonight.
- AUDUSD is +35 pips @ .9025 as trade holds onto some of its overnight gains. The hard currency probed the .9100 level in early trade as buyers piled in following the strong Aussie jobs data, but has given up the majority of its gains as traders shed risk. The inability of the Aussie to hold breakouts on two separate occasions this week has to be a bit disconcerting to the bulls.
- USDCAD is -60 pips @ 1.1060 as trade holds just off the lows. Current action has trade testing the 1.1050 pivot with a breakdown setting up a potential test of the key 1.0950 level.
2:24 pm Aqua America subsidiaries refinance debt collectively with interest savings of more than $300k annually (WTR) : Co announced today that its Illinois and New Jersey subsidiaries collectively have refinanced more than $30.1 million of debt estimated to save customers approximately $315,000 in total annual interest expense.
- Aqua Illinois refinanced $23.1 million in existing 5.12 percent debt with debt at a weighted average cost of 3.96 percent, which is expected to save rate payers more than $265,000 in interest costs annually.
- Aqua America's New Jersey subsidiary also refinanced $7 million in existing 5.08 percent debt with debt at a weighted average cost of 4.40 percent, generating annual interest savings for customers of almost $50,000.
2:23 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- May corn fell 5 cents to $4.84/bushel
- May wheat fell 11 cents to $6.72/bushel
- May soybeans rose 5 cents to $13.93/bushel
- Apr ethanol rose 9 cents to $2.46/gallon
- May sugar (#16 (U.S.)) fell 0.03 of a penny to 22.05 cents/lbs
2:12 pm MiMedx Group: EpiFix Allograft receives Medicare coverage from the final Medicare contractor (MDXG) : Co announced that Medicare contractor, First Coast Service Options, Inc. ("FCSO"), has confirmed that the Company's wound care allograft, EpiFix, has been approved for coverage when applied in the hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgery center settings. The coverage from FCSO is effective immediately, and it completes the nationwide coverage of EpiFix from all Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) having jurisdiction within the United States. The FCSO jurisdiction is the State of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
2:10 pm Biolase comments on Oracle Partners' press release: 'Biolase welcomes open communications' (BIOL) : Co issued a statement in response to a press release issued by Oracle Partners announcing its nomination of four director candidates to stand for election to the BIOLASE Board of Directors at the Company's 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. BIOLASE shareholders are not required to take any action at this time. BIOLASE issued the following statement:
- BIOLASE welcomes open communications with its shareholders and values constructive ideas that advance the Board's goal of enhancing value for all shareholders. BIOLASE is executing a robust strategic plan to build a platform on which we can leverage our Total Technology Solution to achieve long-term growth and deliver value to BIOLASE shareholders. The Board and management team will continue to take actions that we believe enable us to achieve this objective.
- On March 11, 2014, Oracle, which reports that it is a 16% shareholder of the Company, filed a lawsuit in the Chancery Court of Delaware seeking a Court determination of the composition of the Board and a temporary restraining order that would preclude the Board from taking any action without the approval of four purported directors whose directorships Oracle claims to be undisputed. The Company will respond to Oracle's claims in the Chancery Court. Furthermore, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will consider Oracle's other nominees in due course. The date of the Company's 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders has not yet been announced.
2:02 pm Eastman to acquire Commonwealth Laminating & Coating; expected to be accretive to the first full-year of earnings post-acquisition (EMN) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Commonwealth Laminating & Coating, Inc. The company, which had 2013 sales revenue of approximately $100 million, is an independent manufacturer and global marketer and distributor of window films and specialty films for automotive, architectural, and protective applications. The acquisition will include Commonwealth's manufacturing facility and master distribution center in Martinsville, VA, and nine sales distribution centers that serve the global market.
The acquired business is expected to be accretive to the first full- year of earnings post-acquisition, excluding acquisition-related costs and charges. Following the completion of the transaction, the acquired business will become part of Eastman's Advanced Materials segment.
1:54 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Apr gold rose $1.50 to $1372.10/oz
- Gold fell to a session low of $1364.90 in early morning pit trade on better-than-anticipated retail sales and initial claims data. However, the precious metal gained support from a weaker dollar index and rose above the unchanged line by afternoon action. It brushed a session high of $1375.40 and settled with a 0.1% gain.
- May silver fell $0.19 to $21.17/oz
- Silver also fell to a session low of $21.10 moments after floor trade opened. It touched a session high of $21.34 in afternoon action but lost momentum as it headed into the close. Silver eventually settled with a 0.9% loss.
- May copper fell 4 cents to $2.92/lbs
1:33 pm Apr natural gas trading at new session lows; now down 2.9% at $4.36 (:COMDX) :
1:14 pm Colgate-Palmolive increases quarterly dividend 6% to $0.36 from $0.34 per share (CL) :
1:14 pm Spansion: Macronix corrects Spansion's 'misleading' statements; says 'orders do not concern whether Spansion infringes Macronix's patents' (CODE) :
- Macronix International indicated that Spansion's press releases relating to Macronix, including its most recent press release regarding the orders of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, are often false or misleading. Spansion is fully aware that those two orders are for procedure only, i.e. one for the transfer of case to California, and the other for the amendment of complaint. Those orders do not concern whether Spansion infringes Macronix's patents.
- Macronix has a seven-patent infringement suit against Spansion in the U.S. District Court in Virginia. This week, the court issued two procedural orders, one transferring the case to California for the convenience of the parties and the witnesses, and a second order requiring Macronix to amend a portion of its complaint with additional details.
- Macronix heavily invests in research and development of its technology and will enforce its patent rights against infringers such as Spansion. In addition to the Macronix's U.S. District Court case, Macronix has a patent infringement case against Spansion at the U.S. International Trade Commission and Macronix also has proceedings at the U.S. Patent Office to invalidate Spansion patents.
1:02 pm Midday Market Summary: Stocks on Lows With Ukraine in Focus (:WRAPX) : At midday, the major averages are on their lows with the Russell 2000 (-1.2%) seeing the largest decline. The S&P 500 trades lower by 0.9% with nine sectors showing losses.
Equity indices began the day with modest gains, but the S&P 500 notched its high within the initial 10 minutes before commencing its steady retreat.
In all likelihood, two factors fueled the slide and they continue to weigh on sentiment at this juncture. Overnight, China reported some economic data that indicated a slowdown in the pace of its economic growth. Industrial production (8.6% year-over-year versus 9.5% expected), fixed asset investment (17.9% year-over-year versus 19.4% expected), and retail sales (11.8% year-over-year versus 13.5% expected) all fell short of estimates. It should be noted the disappointing data was reported amid persistent worries about the country's corporate bond market.
Elsewhere, with the Crimean referendum on joining the Russian Federation still scheduled for Sunday, participants are likely reducing their risk exposure ahead of the weekend event. Earlier, Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov was quoted as saying he believes Russia is 'ready to invade.' The comments were followed by a statement from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said if the referendum goes ahead as planned there will be 'serious series of steps' taking place on Monday from the United States and Europe.
The risk-off sentiment has also been reflected by the Treasury market where the 10-yr note (+20/32) sits on its high with the benchmark yield down seven basis points at 2.66%. Strikingly, the rally in Treasuries accelerated just after the remarks from Ukraine's acting president.
Coinciding with the rally in Treasuries was a steady retreat in the dollar/yen pair, which currently hovers near 101.80 after starting the session in the 102.80 area. Considering the popularity of the yen-based carry trade, a sharp move higher in the Japanese yen has likely led to some forced unwinding of those trades. Yen strength has been even more notable versus the euro. The euro/yen pair is lower by nearly 150 pips (near 141.50) after being up around 50 pips overnight.
Of the ten economic sectors, only four groups trade ahead of the broader market at this time. Consumer staples (-0.2%), telecom services (-0.2%), and utilities (+0.8%) are holding up relatively well while the materials sector (-0.7%) is the only outperformer among cyclical sectors.
With stocks on lows, participants are showing increased demand for volatility protection as indicated by a 9.3% jump in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 15.83, +1.36).
Reviewing today's data:
- Retail sales increased 0.3% in February after declining a downwardly revised 0.6% (from -0.4%) in January. The Briefing.com consensus expected retail sales to increase 0.2%.The report was pretty solid, but did not represent an upward shock that would come as a result of pent up winter-delayed demand. Sales increased in-line with the 0.2% increase in aggregate earnings that were reported in the February employment report. We would have expected a bigger upward swing if pent up demand was unleashed.
- The initial claims level fell to 315,000 for the week ending March 8 from an upwardly revised 324,000 (from 323,000) for the week ending March 1. The Briefing.com consensus expected the initial claims level to increase to 329,000. The DOL reported that there were no special factors that drove the initial claims level to its lowest point since November 2013.
- Total business inventories increased 0.4% in January after increasing an unrevised 0.5% in December while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 0.3%. Total inventories consist of manufacturers, merchant wholesalers, and retailers. Both manufacturer (0.2%) and wholesaler (0.6%) inventories were announced prior to the release. The only unknown was retailer inventories, which increased 0.4% in January after increasing 0.7% in December. The important takeaway from the report was that the inventory gain may not have been planned. Total business sales fell 0.9% in January after declining 0.1% in December. That sharp drop in spending caused an overstock situation as more goods than expected were left on shelves.
12:56 pm European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
- UK's FTSE:-1.0%
- Germany's DAX:-1.9%
- France's CAC:-1.3%
- Spain's IBEX:-1.2%
- Portugal's PSI:-2.2%
- Italy's MIB Index:-0.9%
- Irish Ovrl Index:-0.6%
- Greece ATHEX Composite: -1.0%
12:31 pm Overstock.com announces that plaintiffs in two patent troll lawsuits have dismissed their cases against the company without any settlement or any money paid (OSTK) :
12:16 pm Notable movers of interest (:SCANX) : The following are some of today's most notable movers of interest, categorized by market capitalization (large cap over $10 billion and mid cap between $2-10 billion) and ranked by % change (all stocks over 100K average daily volume).
Large Cap Gainers
- AMZN (378.43 +2.1%): Co raised Amazon Prime and Amazon Student Prime membership fee, as expected.
- ACT (215.1 +1.28%): Co confirmed favorable ruling in generic Celebrex patent suit.
- ATVI (20.95 +1.7%): Upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill.
- NOV (75.08 -2.88%): Downgraded to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group.
- DG (57.9 -2.35%): Reported EPS in-line, missed on revs; guided Q1 and FY15 below consensus.
- NTAP (37.27 -1.53%): Disclosed ~600 employee reduction; expects to incur aggregate charges of ~$35 -45 mln; downgraded to Hold from Buy at Lake Street Capital Mkts; initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich; tgt $44.
- WSM (65.33 +10.79%): Beat on EPS by $0.03, beat on revs; guided Q1 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; guided FY15 EPS below consensus, revs in-line; Q4 comps +10.4%; increased quarterly dividend 6.45% to $0.33 from $0.31 per share; tgt raised to $63 from $59 at Canaccord Genuity; removed from US Focus list at Citigroup; tgt raised to $66 at RBC Capital Mkts.
- CCJ (25.06 +3.43%): Announced ore production has begun at the Cigar Lake uranium mining operation in northern Saskatchewan.
- APL (31.38 +4.01%): Priced offering of 4.4 mln of 8.25% Class E Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Units at $25.00 per unit.
- GOGO (22.38 -6.28%): Beat on EPS by $0.01, beat on revs; guided FY14 revs in-line.
- NMBL (43.08 -5.94%): Initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich; tgt $48.
- FIG (7.94 -5.14%): Announced launch of 28.28 mln share offering of Class A shares; certain officers and senior employees selling ~5.08 mln shares in the offering.
12:08 pm Currency Commentary: DXY Hits Multi-Month Lows (:SUMRX) :
- The Dollar Index tumbled to 79.26 in overnight trade, its lowest level since hitting 79.19 back in late October. The DXY has remained under selling pressure that has now been in place for the past week. The dollar index did find some support as better than expected Initial Claims and Retail Sales numbers helped cool selling pressure. It is also seeing some safe haven bids as markets roll over. But the downward trend remains firmly in place.
- On the flip side the euro remains strong and is now threatening to test the 1.40 level. ECB members were upbeat about the economic recovery in its monthly bulletin board which has helped provide a boost. The move is coming in the face of EU officials attempting to cool off the rally as there are growing concerns over exports with the China weakness and the rising euro.
- The pound was able to regain some of its recent losses as it rallied back to the 1.67 level. Some market participants are pointing toward rate hike expectations but this has been in the market for a few months now.
- The yen is rallying as we are seeing some risk assets taken off the table. Overnight the Bank of Japan announced it would only be purchasing JPY 170 bln of long term bonds which was lower than the expected JPY 180 bln. The move was viewed as a small tapering step by the BoJ and has helped spur the yen move higher.
- The Aussie Dollar was able to rally back above the 0.90 level as the latest job figures beat expectations (FOREX, BONDX).
11:32 am Pantry: Preliminary results indicate Concerned Pantry Shareholders receives overwhelming support to elect all three of its nominees to Pantry's Board at today's Annual Meeting (PTRY) : Concerned Pantry Shareholders, a group led by JCP Investment Management and Lone Star Value Management, together a significant shareholder of Pantry, announced that, based on preliminary results from today's Annual Meeting, the shareholders of Pantry have elected all three of CPS's director nominees, Todd E. Diener, James C. Pappas and Joshua E. Schechter, to Pantry's Board of Directors by a six to one margin for Messrs. Pappas and Diener and a four to one margin for Mr. Schechter. The results are expected to be certified in the coming days.
11:19 am Floor Talk (:TALKX) : The stock market has relinquished its early gains in a broad-based move that has been led by the influential technology (-0.4%), energy (-0.5%), and financial sectors (-0.2%).
Selling activity picked up around 10:30 a.m. ET, which coincided with another leg higher for the yen against the dollar. The yen, in fact, has been gathering some steam since the US market opened, moving from 102.80 in the cross to its current level of 102.35.
The stronger positioning could perhaps be a reflection of some safe-haven posturing in the face of concerns about budding financial risk in China and the Sunday referendum in Crimea. It is difficult to say for sure, but a strengthening move in the yen has a way of piquing concerns about carry-trade issues that often weigh on risk assets.
Overall, the selling activity has been pretty orderly and it certainly hasn't been a head-for-the-exits kind of move but there is nonetheless a prevailing defensive orientation. To wit, the materials sector (+0.2%) is still trading higher while the utilities (+0.8%), consumer staples (+0.2%), and telecom services (+0.1%) sectors are also exhibiting relative strength.
The Treasury market, meanwhile, has staged an intraday reversal. After being down four ticks earlier, the 10-yr note is now up five ticks, which has lowered its yield to 2.71%. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 14.77, +0.30) is up 2.1%.
11:10 am Intervest Bancshares Corp announces termination of regulatory agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (IBCA) : Co announced that actions taken by the co have led to the satisfaction of all of the provisions of the Formal Agreement dated January 14, 2011 between the Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and that the FRBNY was terminating that agreement. The FRBNY based its decision on the results of its most recent inspection as well as documentation provided by the Company under the terms of the agreement. The Bank's Formal Agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had been terminated in March of last year. As a result, neither the Company nor the Bank is any longer subject to any formal or informal regulatory
11:01 am You On Demand signs deals with HiT entertainment, Sesame Workshop and Nelvana to launch YOU Kids On Demand subscription service in China (YOD) : Co announced that it has signed agreements with Nelvana Enterprises, Sesame Workshop and HiT Entertainment Ltd. to offer popular children's titles through its brand new YOU Kids On Demand subscription platform ("YOU Kids"), which will be launched later this year. Additional details will be released closer to the platform's debut. All three deals allow for distribution across digital cable, mobile, IPTV and Internet (including Over-the-Top [OTT]).
10:31 am Apr natural gas slips to new session lows on inventory data; now down 1.9% at $4.40 (:COMDX) :
10:26 am Materion business, Materion Brush Beryllium & Composites, announces it is working with Lockheed Martin (LMT) to qualify as a supplier of proprietary AlBeCast aluminum-beryllium investment castings for the F-35 Lightning II's Electro-Optical Targeting System (MTRN) :
10:17 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors that have underperformed the S&P during the market slip off the highs include: Internet FDN, Retail XRT, Oil Service OIH, Housing XHB, REITs IYR, Software IGV, Ag/Chem MOO, Medical Supplies.
10:16 am Market View: Energy Services a notable SPX large-cap sector laggard in today's 1st hour with XLE currently trading 86.71 -0.55% (:TECHX) :
10:16 am Stock indices slip back off early highs -- S&P +1.2, Dow +19, Nasdaq Comp +2.3 (:TECHX) : The firmer early bias stalled shortly after the open with the indices slipping back slightly in recent action (small-/mid-caps in the red). The S&P edged just above first level resistance at 1872/1873 (session high 1874) with it recently slipping to a new low at 1868 to probe yesterday's rebound high and chart congestion at 1868/1867.
10:02 am Lockheed Martin receives $255 mln U.S. Army contract for guilded MLRS rocket production (LMT) : Co received a $255 million contract in late 2013 from the U.S. Army for Lot 9 production of the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (:GMLRS) Unitary rocket. The new allotment of rockets will be delivered to the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Republic of Italy. Delivery will begin in April 2015. Work will be performed at the Lockheed Martin facilities in Camden, Ark., and Dallas, Texas.
9:50 am Nasdaq Comp +6 and small-/mid-caps slip back off highs to set minor new lows, S&P +3.8 and Dow +47 in tight range near highs (:TECHX) :
9:47 am Sector laggards (:TECHX) : Sectors that have underperformed thus far this morning include: Silver SLV, Solar TAN, Oil Service OIH, Home Const ITB, Crude Oil USO, Casino BJK, Gold Miners GDX, Biotech IBB.
9:47 am pSivida announces that RA Capital has entered into a securities purchase agreement with the co to invest ~ $7.0 mln in a registered direct offering through the sale of a total of 1.7 mln shares of the co's common stock at $4.11 per share (PSDV) :
9:45 am Hill International receives contract to manage renovations at UMass Boston campus (HIL) : Co announced that it has received a contract from the University of Massachusetts Building Authority to provide owner's project management services in connection with academic building renovations at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston).
9:45 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Open Modestly Higher (:WRAPX) : The major averages began the trading day on a modestly higher note with the S&P 500 trading up 0.2% with nine sectors showing early gains.
Consumer discretionary (+0.4%), financials (+0.4%), and industrials (+0.5%) lagged yesterday, but all three groups began the day ahead of the broader market.
Retailers have shown early strength following the better-than-expected February Retail Sales report (+0.3% versus Briefing.com consensus +0.2%) with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 87.05, +0.45) trading higher by 0.5%.
Elsewhere, health care (+0.2%) and technology (+0.2%) trade just behind the S&P 500.
Treasuries remain near their lows with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.75%.
The January Business Inventories report will be released at 10:00 ET.
9:40 am Steiner Leisure enters into new agreement with Azamara Club Cruises, a brand of Royal Caribbean International (RCL), that extends the term of its original agreement through Dec 2017 (STNR) : Under this agreement, Steiner will continue in its longstanding role as the exclusive provider of spas, salons and fitness centers and related beauty and wellness services and products on Azamara vessels currently sailing, as well as any vessels introduced to the Azamara fleet during the term of this agreement. Steiner's offerings will now also include the provision of medi-spa services.
9:38 am Sector Watch (:TECHX) : Early relative sector strength has been noted in: Rail, Networking IGN, Steel SLX, Semi XSD, Materials XLB, Industrial XLI.
9:36 am Solid start to the session as indices build on recovery -- S&P +5.8, Dow +56, Nasdaq Comp +15 (:TECHX) : Intraday recovery on Wednesday has been extended in early action with the S&P probing first level resistance at 1872/1873. The next short term resistance is at 1877 prior to the monthly/all-time high from last week (1883).
9:29 am ModusLink Global Solutions prices offering of $90 mln aggregate principal amount of its 5.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2019 (MLNK) :
- The notes will mature on March 1, 2019, unless earlier repurchased or converted. Interest will be payable semi-annually in arrears at the rate of 5.25% per annum on March 1 and September 1 of each year, beginning on September 1, 2014.
- The notes will be convertible into shares of ModusLink's common stock at an initial conversion rate of 166.2593 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of notes (which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of ~ $6.01 per share), subject to adjustment upon the occurrence of certain events, or, if ModusLink obtains the required consent from its shareholders, into shares of ModusLink's common stock, cash or a combination of cash and shares of its common stock, at ModusLink's election.
9:25 am Microvision prices offering of 7,160,000 units at $1.94 per unit for gross proceeds of ~ $13.9 million (MVIS) : Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one warrant to purchase 0.3 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $2.47 per share.
9:23 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Marcus & Millichap (MMI) announced the sale of Redwood City Portfolio I, a five-property 112-unit multifamily portfolio on the San Francisco Peninsula in Redwood City, Calif. The $23.2 mln sales price equates to $207,142 per unit.
- Motorola Solutions (MSI) and AVX (AVX) announced expansion of Solutions for Hope to the Province of North Kivu, the conflict-prone area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Aviat Networks (AVNW) announced an expanded managed services agreement with MTN Nigeria.
- Alexza Pharma (ALXA) and Ferrer announced that ADASUVE inhalation powder, pre-dispensed (loxapine) is now available in Romania.
- DreamWorks Animation (DWA) and Netflix (NFLX) announced three new original series to debut on the Internet television network in late 2014: King Julien, Puss in Boots, and Veggie Tales in the House.
- Honeywell (HON) and Safran have signed a MOU with GoAir to support the advancement of the EGTS electric taxiing system.
- IGT (IGT) announced its agreement to provide 850 new video lottery terminals to the Oregon State Lottery. This new contract represents a big win for IGT, which now holds more than 40% market share in the Oregon State Lottery program.
- Bayer CropScience and John Deere (DE) are working together to integrate data access, wireless data transmission, and delivery of prescription recommendations to help farmers optimize yields and return on investment. The collaboration will enable Bayer CropScience and John Deere to provide data-enabled decision-support tools for farmers.
- CounterPath (CPAH) announced the immediate availability of Bria Cloud Solution suite.
- Zhone Technologies (ZHNE) announced the launch of its new Zhone Optical Connect Partner Program, in conjunction with its FiberLAN PartnerTraining Program.
- Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) announced its Keurig single cup brewing system has been recognized as the "Brand of the Year" in the single serve coffee maker category in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend Equity Study.
9:17 am S&P futures vs fair value: +4.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.50. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track to begin the session on a modestly higher note as futures on the S&P 500 trade nearly five points above fair value.
Generally speaking, the overnight session was very quiet with the exception of some disappointing data from China. On that note, retail sales rose 11.8% year-over-year (13.5% expected, 13.6% prior), industrial production expanded 8.6% year-over-year (9.5% consensus, 9.7% last), and fixed asset investment increased 17.9% year-over-year (19.4% forecast, 19.6% previous). Also of note, China's Premier Li Keqiang spoke at the National People's Congress, saying the country's government will not let systemic risks come to the forefront as a result of debt defaults. In all likelihood, the comments were aimed at recent speculation surrounding a potential impending wave of defaults.
Turning the focus back to the U.S., the February Retail Sales report indicated an increase of 0.3% (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%), but that comes against the backdrop of a downwardly revised January reading (-0.6% from -0.4%).
Treasuries hold modest losses with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.75%.
January business inventories will cross the wires at 10:00 ET and the February Treasury Budget will be released at 14:00 ET.
9:03 am Cameco announces ore production has begun at the Cigar Lake uranium mining operation in northern Saskatchewan (CCJ) : The mining system and underground processing circuits are operational and ore is being transported to the McClean Lake mill operated by AREVA Resources Canada Inc. which is located 70 kilometres northeast of the minesite. The McClean Lake mill is expected to begin processing the ore to uranium concentrate by the end of the second quarter of 2014. The mill is expected to produce between 2 million and 3 million pounds of uranium concentrate in 2014 and ramp up to its full production rate of 18 million pounds by 2018.
9:03 am T-Mobile US launches major network upgrade program (TMUS) : T-Mobile is kicking off a major new program to upgrade its 2G/EDGE network with 4G LTE. The co plans to complete 50 percent of the work this year alone, and expects the program to be substantially complete by the middle of next year. The upgrade will provide customers who currently experience 2G/EDGE coverage new access to 4G LTE, and many already covered by 4G LTE will enjoy access to 4G LTE in even more places. In addition, T-Mobile plans to begin deploying 4G LTE this year in the new 700 MHz A-Block spectrum the co is in the process of acquiring.
9:03 am 3D Systems announced that it is teaming up with the White House, UI Labs, the Department of Defense and other industry and academic organizations on its recently announced Digital Lab for Manufacturing (DDD) :
- Co announced that it is teaming up with the White House, UI Labs, the Department of Defense and other industry and academic organizations on its recently announced Digital Lab for Manufacturing.
- As part of this collaboration, 3DS plans to deliver its latest Geomagic perceptual design to manufacturing tools including scan-to-CAD, and inspection products into the center, providing access for the American manufacturing industry to the most advanced design to manufacturing digital thread.
9:01 am S&P futures vs fair value: +3.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +10.70. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade four points above fair value.
Major Asian markets finished the Thursday session on a mixed note. China's Premier Li Keqiang spoke at the National People's Congress, saying the country's government will not let systemic risks come to the forefront as a result of debt defaults. This comes amid recent worries about an impending wave of defaults.
Data from the Middle Kingdom was disappointing as industrial production (8.6% year-over-year versus 9.5% expected), fixed asset investment (17.9% year-over-year versus 19.4% expected), and retail sales (11.8% year-over-year versus 13.5% expected) all fell short of estimates. Elsewhere, Japan's core machinery orders surged 13.4% month-over-month (7.3% expected, -15.7% previous), but the reading is being discounted due to the steep decline that took place in January. Australia's employment change (47.3K versus 18.0K expected, 18.0K previous) posted its strongest reading since 1991. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.0%, its highest since 2003.
Also of note, New Zealand became the first developed nation to hike rates since the onset of the financial crisis. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand hiked its Official Cash Rate 25 basis points to 2.75%, as expected. Meanwhile, the Bank of Korea kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 2.50%, as expected.
- Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.1% to a one and a half-week low. Shipping stocks were hit on the soft Chinese data as Mitsui & Co. and Nippon Yusen lost 3.0% and 2.6%, respectively.
- Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.7% to a one-month low. Real estate shares were on the defensive as China Overseas Land & Investment tumbled 4.1% and China Resources Land fell 3.3%.
- China's Shanghai Composite climbed 1.1%, rising off near two-month lows as trade regained the 2000 level. Trade was boosted by reports of a pilot program for preferred shares. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China added 1.2%.
- Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.3% amid notable weakness among food retailers. J Sainsbury, Tesco, and WM Morrison Supermarkets hold losses between 4.5% and 9.8% after WM Morrison forecast a decline in profits. The weakness sent the stock to its lowest levels in almost six years.
- In France, the CAC is flat. Software company Gemalto leads with a gain of 2.8% after receiving a new contract in China. Consumer names Accor, Carrefour, and L'Oreal underperform with losses between 0.6% and 1.1%.
- Germany's DAX trades higher by 0.2%. Lufthansa trades up 5.9% after issuing upbeat guidance. On the downside, K+S holds a loss of 5.5% after issuing a profit warning and proposing a dividend cut.
- In Italy, the MIB holds an advance of 0.8% with banks in the lead. Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl, BMPS, and Mediobanca display gains between 2.4% and 6.0%.
8:57 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.3%, CAC UNCH, DAX +0.2%, MIB +0.8% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade little changed while Italy's MIB (+0.8%) outperforms. Economic data was scarce. French CPI rose 0.5% month-over-month (0.4% expected, -0.6% last), Spain's Retail Sales increased 0.5% year-over-year (-0.8% consensus, -1.0% previous), and Italy's CPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month while the year-over-year reading increased 0.5%. Both figures met expectations.
- Great Britain's FTSE is lower by 0.3% amid notable weakness among food retailers. J Sainsbury, Tesco, and WM Morrison Supermarkets hold losses between 4.5% and 9.8% after WM Morrison forecast a decline in profits. The weakness sent the stock to its lowest levels in almost six years.
- In France, the CAC is flat. Software company Gemalto leads with a gain of 2.8% after receiving a new contract in China. Consumer names Accor, Carrefour, and L'Oreal underperform with losses between 0.6% and 1.1%.
- Germany's DAX trades higher by 0.2%. Lufthansa trades up 5.9% after issuing upbeat guidance. On the downside, K+S holds a loss of 5.5% after issuing a profit warning and proposing a dividend cut.
- In Italy, the MIB holds an advance of 0.8% with banks in the lead. Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl, BMPS, and Mediobanca display gains between 2.4% and 6.0%.
8:57 am Anika Therapeutics announces dismissal of MONOVISC U.S. patent infringement lawsuit (ANIK) :
- Co announced that Sanofi's (SNY) Genzyme and Anika Therapeutics filed a joint motion with the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to lift a stay and dismiss a patent infringement lawsuit concerning MONOVISC. MONOVISC, a single-injection treatment for osteoarthritis pain of the knee, received FDA PMA approval in February 2014. The court granted the parties' motion and issued an order dismissing the litigation with prejudice on March 10, 2014. This final and unappealable order resolves the parties' dispute and is another important milestone toward commercialization of the product in the United States.
- Under the license agreement with Mitek, Anika will receive a milestone payment of $17.5 mln upon an irrevocable resolution of the Genzyme litigation allowing Mitek and Anika to make, use, and sell MONOVISC without infringing the Genzyme intellectual property. The agreement also calls for potential additional payments contingent on achieving certain performance and sales threshold milestones, in addition to product transfer and royalty fees.
8:52 am GenVec agrees to sell ~ $9 million of shares of its common stock to selected institutional investors in a registered direct offering at a price of $3.15 per share; co will issue ~ 2.87 mln shares (GNVC) :
- Co announced it has agreed to sell ~ $9 mln of shares of its common stock to selected institutional investors in a registered direct offering at a price of $3.15 per share.
- In the offering, GenVec will issue ~ 2,870,000 shares of its common stock.
- Roth Capital Partners and H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC are acting as placement agents in connection with the offering.
- The net proceeds of the offering will be used for operating costs, working capital, and general corporate purposes.
8:51 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: AMRC -8.9%, MEI -6.4%, DEG -5.6%, MILL -5.5%, MTN -3.2%, HZNP -3.1%, DCTH -2.3%, EMAN -2.1%, DG -2.1%, NSU -1.4%, JRCC -1.4%, ADUS -1.2%, PRSC -0.7%, .
Select names showing weakness following offerings: FIG -3.8% (announced launch of 28.28 mln share offering of Class A shares; certain officers and senior employees selling ~5.08 mln shares in the offering), ITMN-3.4% (announced public offering of 7.5 mln shares of common stock), URI -1.8% (prices $850 mln of 5.75% Senior Notes due 2024 and $525 mln of 6.125% Senior Notes due 2023 ),Q -1.6% (prices 15 mln shares of its common stock by certain of its shareholders at $52.00 per share),WLH -1.1% (filed for ~15.73 mln share common stock offering by selling shareholders), TKMR -0.7% (prices 2.125 mln share offering at $28.50 per share), STCK -0.6% (prices 5.6 mln shares of common stock at $19.50 per share by selling shareholders).
Other news: NTAP -1.1% (discloses ~600 employee reduction; expects to incur aggregate charges of ~$35 -45 mln, also downgraded to Hold from Buy at Lake Street Capital Mkts), KIOR -0.8% (canceled Q4 earnings call previously scheduled for Thursday, March 13, 2014)
Analyst comments: PVH -2.9% (downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo), EA -1.3% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill), ED -0.6% (downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays).
8:46 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- MSCI (MSCI) announced that Lepercq Lynx Investment Advisory has selected InvestorForce as its performance measurement and reporting platform.
- Workday (WDAY) announced that JDA Software (JDAS) has selected Workday Financial Management.
- Puget Technologies (PUGE) announced the selection of the first group of brand ambassadors and plans to ship the IdeaWerk high performance 3D printers to the members of the group as part of a program designed to solicit user experience and feature development feedback.
- Integra LifeSciences (IART) announced the first implantation of its Integra Laminoplasty System, in the United States.
- Manhattan Associates (MANH) announced that Arcadia Group has selected multiple components from Manhattan's Supply Chain Commerce Solutions portfolio to enable new supply chain processes and maximize service levels across its growing omni-channel retail operations.
- Envestnet | Tamarac, a part of Envestnet (ENV), experienced an extremely productive 2013 fiscal year, entering into contracts with 173 RIAs, bringing the total number of independent RIA clients on Tamarac's Advisor Xi platform to over 650 firms collectively managing in excess of $350 bln in assets.
8:46 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: CALL +21.4%, PLUG +11.8%, KKD +10.4%, DEPO +9.3%, SGMS +8.4%, GOGO +6.8%, WSM +6.6%, CCIH +6.4%, PHMD +4.9%, SUPN +3.8%, OREX +3.5%, ATRS +2.6%, PGNX +2.6%, SNMX +2.5%, LTS +2.5%, TAX +1.9%, EOX +1.6%, PAY +1.3%.
Select solar related names showing strength: SOL +4%,JASO +2.4%,YGE +2.1%,CSIQ +2%,TSL +1.7%,SCTY +1.3%,JKS +1.2%,SUNE +1.1%,SPWR +0.7%.
Select stocks trading higher following Mad Money mention: PAY +2.8%, EXXI +1.9%, SWKS +1.9%.
Other news: APPY +21.8% (announces positive top-line results from pivotal study of APPY1 test),GSOL +15.4% (announces intended cash tender offer for up to $50 mln of its outstanding common shares at $10.00 per share ),UNIS +9.5% (secures $60 mln debt financing with OrbiMed Advisors),BLDP +7.5% (in sympathy with PLUG earnings),RSH +5.1% (CFO disclosed buying 100k shares a $2.105-2.14 on March 11, worth ~$200k),FCEL +5% (in sympathy with PLUG earnings),VOCS +4.7% (Reuters reporting that co is running a sale process),DARA +3.7% (presents results of breast cancer CAPTURE Registry at NCCN 19th Annual Conference),JCP +3% (Reuters previews JCP's re launch of home goods section),PPHM +3% (Preclinical data presentations at Keystone Symposia ),ARCP +2.6% (plans to spin off its over $2.2 bln multi-tenant power and shopping center business by issuing one share of ARCM stock for each 10 shares of ARCP stock held via special distribution),IDRA +2.4% (announces expansion of pipeline into two orphan autoimmune diseases; co to initiate clinical development of IMO-8400 in polymyositis and dermatomyositis in first half of 2014),YHOO +1.3% (Reuters reporting that Alibaba (ALBCF.PK) is 95% sure it will choose NY for IPO).
Analyst comments: JIVE +6% (initiated with a Buy at B. Riley & Co.; tgt $17),ATVI +5.2% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill),YY +3.7% (initiated with a Outperform at Credit Suisse),BCS +2.8% (upgraded to Add from Hold at Numis),DANG +2.7% (assumed with an Outperform at Credit Suisse ),QIHU +2.1% ( upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse),LOCK +1.5% (added to Short-Term Buy list at Deutsche Bank),CAB +0.9% (upgraded to Outperform form Mkt Perform at William Blair)
8:44 am K+S Aktiengesellschaft reports additional color on 2013 results (KPLUF) : Note: K+S is Europe's largest potash producer and the world's largest salt producer.
Yesterday, K+S reported dividend info and some 2013 results. Please see our 08:27 comment from yesterday.
This morning, the co issued additional color on 2013 and some guidance for 2014.
A few highlights from 2013:
- Potash prices declined while sales volumes remain stable
- De-icing salt sales volumes rose 65% on 2012
- 2014 Outlook: Revenues moderately lower, EBIT down significantly due to price factors
As a result, international prices for potassium chloride in particular came under pressure. In total, revenues of the K+S Group in the past financial year amounted to 3,950.4 mln and were therefore at the level of 2012 ( 3,935.3 mln). As expected, operating earnings significantly lowerOperating earnings EBIT I of the K+S Group decreased by 18.4% to 655.9 mln in 2013. The EBIT margin was 16.6% (2012: 20.4%).
Operating earnings EBIT I in the Potash and Magnesium Products business unit decreased by about 28% to 552.5 mln, especially because of lower average proceeds for potash fertilizers. At 117.8 mln, operating earnings EBIT I of the Salt business unit in 2013 were up about 91% on the figure for the preceding year. This increase in earnings is primarily attributable to significantly higher revenues as a result of volume factors due to the above-average de-icing salt business in Europe.
Adjusted Group earnings after taxes followed the trend in operating earnings and declined. This downtrend was intensified by the absence of a non-recurring effect resulting from discontinued operations in 2012, when the nitrogen business was still included. Therefore, the figure fell by 32% year on year to 435 mln. Adjusted earnings per share reached 2.27 after having been 3.33 in the same period last year.
2014 Outlook: Lower revenues and earnings expected
Following the conclusion of new contracts between major potash producers and China, prices appeared to bottom out at the start of 2014. With the sales volume for the Potash and Magnesium Products business unit expected to stay the same (2013: 6.94 mln tonnes), average prices over the course of the year should be tangibly lower than in the preceding year.
In the case of the salt business, K+S assumes that the volume of crystallised salt sales will amount to 22.8 mln tonnes and will therefore be on about the same level as in 2013 while prices will also partly be lower.
Revenues of the K+S Group for financial year 2014 should therefore be moderately below the figure for the previous year. In particular, revenues in the Potash and Magnesium Products business unit should be tangibly down on account of the anticipated lower annual average prices.
Taking into account the high proportion of fixed costs customary in mining, it can be assumed that operating earnings EBIT I will be down significantly on the figure for the previous year. Adjusted Group earnings after taxes should follow the trend in operating earnings and thus also be significantly lower than in the previous year.
8:36 am Sonus Networks reaffirms Q1 and FY14 guidance given on 2/20; reaffirms Q1 revs of $70 mln vs $70.00 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate, EPS of ($0.01) vs ($0.01) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; (SONS) :
8:35 am Global Partners sees FY13 EBITDA at low end of guidance; co will restate interim financial results for 2013 primarily to reflect a correction in its accounting for RINs; will file 10-K by March 31 (GLP) : Co announced that the Partnership is affirming full year 2013 EBITDA guidance of $150 million to $175 million. After taking into account a $10 million accrued obligation in the fourth quarter of 2013 related to its accounting for Renewal Identification Numbers (RINs), the Partnership expects its results to be at the lower end of the EBITDA range. The Partnership also announced that it will restate interim financial results for 2013 primarily to reflect a correction in its accounting for RINs.
The total impact of the restatements reflecting accounting adjustments related to RINs is a decrease in net income and EBITDA in each of the first three quarters of 2013, which reverse in the fourth quarter of 2013 with a corresponding increase to net income and EBITDA. Application of this accounting principle in the fourth quarter of 2013 is expected to result in a reduction in net income and EBITDA of ~$10 million for the year, reflecting the Partnership's recognition at December 31, 2013 of a $13 million mark-to-market obligation offset by RIN inventory of approximately $3 million. The obligation does not represent cash outflows in the period, but represents an estimate of the amount of cash that may be required in future periods to acquire RINs, if necessary, to satisfy the Partnership's RVO at that point in time. The obligation does not reflect any forward purchases of RINs or RINs that could be obtained through blending activities.
Due to the additional time required to address the restatement of the Partnership's previously issued unaudited consolidated financial statements for March 31, 2013, June 30, 2013 and September 30, 2013, the Partnership's filing of its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 will be delayed. The Partnership intends to announce its fourth-quarter and full year 2013 financial results and file its Form 10-K no later than Monday, March 31, 2014.
8:34 am S&P futures vs fair value: +4.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade almost five points above fair value.
February retail sales rose 0.3% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an uptick of 0.2%. The prior month's reading was revised to reflect a decrease of 0.6% (from -0.4%). Excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.3% against the 0.2% increase expected by the consensus.
The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 315,000, which was lower than the 329,000 that had been expected by the Briefing.com consensus. Today's tally was below the revised prior week count of 324,000 (from 323,000). As for continuing claims, they fell to 2.855 million from 2.903 million.
Export prices, excluding agriculture, ticked up 0.6% in February after increasing 0.2% in the prior reading. Excluding oil, import prices fell 0.2%, which follows last month's uptick of 0.5%.
8:33 am Timberline Resources to merge with Wolfpack Gold; currently anticipated that prior to the merger, Timberline will transfer ownership of its partially permitted Butte Highlands Gold Project in Montana to its existing shareholders through a spin-out or similar transaction (TLR) :
- Co announced that it has agreed in principle to merge with Wolfpack Gold, creating a pure Nevada focused gold exploration company with a substantial portfolio of quality assets in a world class jurisdiction. The merger is expected to be completed by a plan of arrangement or other suitable mechanism, and Timberline and Wolfpack have agreed to an exclusivity period expiring April 22, 2014, during which time the parties will conduct their respective due diligence.
- With the focus on Nevada, it is currently anticipated that prior to the merger, Timberline will transfer ownership of its partially permitted Butte Highlands Gold Project in Montana to its existing shareholders through a spin-out or similar transaction. Timberline shareholders would retain ownership of the Company's interest in the Butte Highlands project, and, in addition to the Company's current pipeline of projects in Nevada, would gain an interest in Wolfpack's substantial portfolio of Nevada exploration properties. Similarly, with the focus of the merged company entirely on Nevada gold projects, Wolfpack anticipates that prior to the merger it will transfer its ownership of its uranium assets to its shareholders.
- At the time of the merger, Wolfpack is anticipated to have ~ $6.7 million in its treasury. The transaction is expected to be structured such that Timberline will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Wolfpack and, on completion, former Wolfpack shareholders will hold, as a group, approximately 50% of the outstanding shares of common stock of Timberline. The agreement requires a break fee in the amount of $500,000 be paid by a party electing to terminate the agreement to accept a third party superior proposal.
8:33 am Gold and silver tick lower following cont claims, retail sales figures; gold hits a new session low. Apr gold is now -0.3% at $1367/oz, while May silver is -0.5% at $21.26/oz (:COMDX) :
8:31 am Polycom COO & CFO Eric Brown to depart PLCM; Chief Accounting Officer Laura Durr to serve as Interim CFO (PLCM) : Co announced it has eliminated the position of Chief Operating Officer to better streamline the organization and continue its focus on driving operating performance. As a result, Eric Brown will leave the company to pursue other opportunities.
- The company's Chief Accounting Officer, Laura Durr, has been appointed Interim Chief Financial Officer effective immediately and will serve in that role while Polycom conducts an executive search for a new Chief Financial Officer.
- This announcement is not a reflection of any accounting or financial concerns at the Company.
8:31 am Market View: Front-month Mar. E-mini index futures hold a modest bid above fair values following the 8:30 am ET economic data points- (:TECHX) :
- ESh4 currently trades @ 1872.25 +4.75
- NQH4 currently trades @ 3720.00 +13.25
8:21 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- MoneyGram (MGI) signed an agreement with Qingdao Rural Commercial Bank. Money transfer services are now available at all 330 Qingdao RCB locations.
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Theravance (THRX) announced that recruitment of patients into the "Study to Understand Mortality and MorbidITy", known as SUMMIT, has completed enrolment.
- Cypress Semiconductor (CY) announced a new USB 3.0 hub controller certified by the USB Implementers Forum for the SuperSpeed USB 5 Gbps standard.
- The First Academy selected end-to-end networking solutions from Extreme Networks (EXTR) to help with its goal of earning an Apple (AAPL) Distinguished School title.
- Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (BLX) announced the recent closing of a $60 mln, 3-year Term Loan Facility in favor of Banco Santander Peru.
- MGM Resorts International (MGM) and Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) announced a strategic marketing partnership for the companies' rewards programs - MGM Resorts' M life and Pinnacle's mychoice.
- FireEye (FEYE) announced the publication by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence of a research paper entitled "Pandemonium: Nation States, National Security, and the Internet".
- Thomson Reuters (TRI) announced an agreement with Cambridge Associates to provide Cambridge's private fund performance benchmarks through a jointly- developed online platform.
8:13 am Dipexium Pharmaceuticals prices 2.75 mln share IPO at $12.00 per share, at low end of $12-$14 expected range (:DPRX) :
- The shares are expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market today under the symbol "DPRX."
- Co is a late stage biopharmaceutical company developing Locilex (pexiganan acetate cream 1%), a proposed treatment for mild infections of diabetic foot ulcers
8:13 am Miller Energy Resources nominates two new independent director candidates to stand for election at FY13 Annual Meeting and reduces board to seven members (MILL) : Co's Board of Directors has nominated two new, highly-qualified independent director nominees, Bob G. Gower, Chairman of Ensysce Biosciences, Inc. and former CEO of Lyondell Petrochemical Company, and Joseph T. Leary, Chief Financial Officer of Tarpon Operating & Development, LLC, to stand for election at the Company's upcoming Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Joining Messrs. Gower and Leary on the Company's slate of director nominees are incumbent directors Deloy Miller, Scott M. Boruff, Gerald Hannahs, Marceau N. Schlumberger and Charles M. Stivers. Five of the seven director nominees are independent.
The Company also announced that the Board's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has voted to reduce the size of the Board from 10 to seven directors at the Annual Meeting, bringing Miller's board structure to a more appropriate size for the Company.
8:10 am Celsion reports FY13 results; co is on track to launch its planned OPTIMA study in 1H14 (CLSN) : CLSN announces it is on track to launch its planned pivotal, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III trial of ThermoDox in combination with RFA in primary liver cancer, also known as the OPTIMA study, in the first half of 2014.
- In addition, the Company recently met with the China State Food and Drug Administration (:SFDA) to discuss the Phase III trial, including minimum patient enrollment requirements supporting ThermoDox's registration in China. Based on those discussions, the Company is submitting an application for accelerated approval of the study in China.
- The Company plans to expand its clinical site footprint in Europe for the OPTIMA study and meet with the European Medicines Agency (:EMA) in the first half of 2014.
- Co reported FY13 EPS of ($0.95) vs. ($3.44) in prior year.
- CLSN ended 2013 with $43.8 million of total cash, investments and accrued interest on these investments.
8:08 am Penske Auto acquires BMW of Greenwich located in Greenwich, Connecticut; co estimates the new BMW dealership will generate ~ $190 mln in rev on an annualized basis (PAG) :
8:07 am Stein Mart beats by $0.03, revs in line with 2/6 downside pre-announcement; Q4 comps +3.1% (SMRT) : Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.29 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.26; revenues fell 2.1% year/year to $360.8 mln vs the $369.12 mln consensus (co pre-announced Q4 revenues of $359.9 mln on Feb 6th).
- Comparable store sales for the 13-week fourth quarter ended February 1, 2014 increased 3.1 percent over the 13-week fourth quarter ended February 2, 2013. During the fourth quarter of 2013, we refined our estimation of the buying and distribution costs allocated to inventories.
- This change lowered the percentage of expenses allocated to inventory purchases. The decrease in inventories resulted in a $5.0 million pretax non-cash charge ($3.1 million after-tax or $0.07 per diluted share), comprised of a $15.0 million increase in SG&A expenses and a $10.0 million increase in gross profit.
- "For 2014, we expect sales increases to leverage against our efficient expense structure to continue driving earnings, particularly as we add stores. We expect the following factors to influence our business in 2014: -- Current 2014 plans are to open 10 stores, relocate six stores to better locations in their respective markets and close two stores."
8:07 am Wix.com acquires code-free mobile commerce native app builder Appixia -- terms not disclosed; not expected to have an impact on non-GAAP operating results (WIX) : Co announced its acquisition of Appixia, a platform for building native mCommerce apps. This acquisition supports the company's plans to continue strengthening its technological advantage and the depth of its product offering.
There is a natural correlation between the two cos as both provide code-free solutions empowering small businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals to build their online presence. Appixia lets every retailer profit from the benefits of having a native mobile app by making a complex and costly development process accessible and affordable. Wix's comprehensive cloud-based platform provides user-friendly solutions for all of a business's online needs -- website creation, eCommerce capabilities, business management tools, third party app integration, mobile solutions and much more. Appixia's technology adds another layer to the Wix product suite and perfectly complements the company's philosophy and offering. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition is not expected to have an impact on the Company's non-GAAP operating results.
8:06 am Unilife Corporation secures $60 mln debt financing with OrbiMed Advisors (UNIS) :
- Co announced that it has entered into a $60 million debt financing agreement with an affiliate of OrbiMed. $40 million was funded to Unilife at the closing of the deal. Provided the Company is in compliance with the terms of the agreement, two additional tranches of $10 million each will be provided to Unilife in December 2014 and June 2015.
- During the six year term of the agreement, Unilife will make interest-only payments to OrbiMed currently calculated at a rate of 10.25% per annum, with the principal to be repaid by March 12, 2020. OrbiMed will also receive a tiered royalty payment based on net sales generated by Unilife during each fiscal year of the agreement. The maximum royalty rate is 2.75% of annual net sales.
8:05 am Peregrine Pharma: Preclinical data presentations at Keystone Symposia highlight broad immunotherapy potential of PPHM's PS-targeting antibodies (PPHM) :
- Co announced that preclinical data presented at two Keystone Symposia support the immune-stimulatory mechanism of action and therapeutic potential of the co's phosphatidylserine (:PS)-targeting antibodies in both oncology and antiviral therapeutic areas. These data were detailed in presentations at the Keystone Immune Evolution in Cancer symposium in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada and the Keystone HIV Pathogenesis - Virus vs. Host symposium in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
- Poster titled, "Phosphatidylserine-Targeting Antibody Triggers -Chemokine Release from Monocytes by Cell-Cell Crosslinking and is a Potent Inhibitor of HIV-1 In Vitro" presented data from studies conducted by Duke University and Peregrine researchers that further characterizes the mechanism by which the PS-binding antibody PGN632 inhibits the HIV infection of cells. Results revealed that PGN632 stimulates immune cells to link together and secrete molecules that block viral receptors used by HIV to infect cells. Furthermore, the immune-stimulatory mechanism of PS-targeting antibodies was further validated as study results showed that the antiviral mechanism of action was dependent on using the full length antibody rather than an antibody fragment that simply blocks PS.
- Presentation titled, "Phosphatidylserine-Targeting Antibodies Induce M1 Macrophage Polarization, Promote Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cell Differentiation and Boost Tumor-Specific Immunity" presented data from studies demonstrating that PS-targeting antibodies override PS-mediated immune suppression in tumors and induce multiple downstream immune-stimulatory effects. Results showed a reduction of highly immunosuppressive myeloid derived suppressor cells (:MDSC), increases in inflammatory cytokines, tumor-fighting M1 macrophages, mature dendritic cells and tumor-specific cytotoxic T-cells. Additionally, combination therapy studies utilizing a PS-targeting antibody with an anti-PD-1 antibody yielded enhanced therapeutic results in a preclinical model of melanoma, including delays and reductions in tumor growth compared to either antibody administered alone.
8:03 am Fieldpoint Petroleum begins workover program (FPP) : Co reported that it has launched a program to workover existing wells where it believes production can be increased, or in some cases resumed, in a cost effective manner.
8:02 am CommonWealth REIT Comments on Newly Discovered and Previously Undisclosed Sam Zell Conflict of Interest; says 'We did not know until Jeff Blau's disclosure during a television interview earlier this week that Zell had any current dealings with CWH or SIR" (CWH) : Co issued the following statement regarding Sam Zell's newly discovered and previously undisclosed conflict of interest in connection with his participation in the consent solicitation to remove the entire CWH Board, without cause, which is being conducted by Related Fund Management, LLC and Corvex Management LP. During a television interview on Monday, March 10, 2014, Jeff Blau, CEO of the Related Companies, disclosed for the first time that Sam Zell was motivated to join the Related/Corvex hostile takeover effort because of a dispute concerning property in Hawaii. Upon investigation, CWH discovered that Zell is the lead investor in a large tenant of Select Income REIT (SIR), a publicly traded company that owns property in Hawaii and is 44% owned by CWH. CWH believes the dispute to which Blau apparently made reference is that Zell has proposed to lower the rent paid by his company despite the fact that market rents are increasing.
8:01 am DARA BioSciences presents results of breast cancer CAPTURE Registry at NCCN 19th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care; Findings detail new patient insights regarding Tamoxifen adherence and potential for a liquid form of Tamoxifen to improve long-term compliance (DARA) : CAPTURE STUDY KEY FINDINGS
- Breast cancer patient adherence to tamoxifen tablet therapy is less than optimal, consistent with previous publications; 14% of patients enrolled in CAPTURE self-reported that they miss 2 or more tamoxifen doses each month.
- Eight percent of patients were identified with swallowing difficulties as assessed by scoring greater than 2 on the Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10).
- Seven percent of respondents believe that a liquid form of tamoxifen would help them achieve long-term compliance with tamoxifen therapy and 22 percent of respondents indicated a willingness to try a liquid formulation of tamoxifen.
8:00 am Aegion awarded $10 million contract from the city of Baltimore, Maryland (AEGN) : AEGN announced that its subsidiary, Insituform Technologies has been awarded a contract valued at approximately $10 million from the City of Baltimore, Maryland.
- Including this latest contract, the City of Baltimore has awarded Insituform $56.9 million in contracts since September 2012.
- Insituform will install nearly seven miles of small- and medium-diameter Insituform cured-in-place pipe (:CIPP) in wastewater pipelines located throughout the Baltimore area.
- Work on the project is expected to begin in mid-2014 and will take approximately 16 months to complete.
7:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: +3.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade little changed amid subdued action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover three points above fair value.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Asian markets ended mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.7%, Japan's Nikkei -0.1%, and China's Shanghai Composite +1.1%.
- Economic data was plentiful:
- China's Retail Sales rose 11.8% year-over-year (13.5% expected, 13.6% prior), Industrial Production expanded 8.6% year-over-year (9.5% consensus, 9.7% last), and Fixed Asset Investment increased 17.9% year-over-year (19.4% forecast, 19.6% previous).
- Japan's Core Machinery Orders rose 13.4% month-over-month (7.0% expected, -15.7% prior) while the year-over-year reading jumped 23.6% (18.8% consensus, 6.7% last).
- Australia's employment expanded by 47,300 (18,000 expected, 18,000 last) while the participation rate increased 64.8% (64.5% consensus, 64.6% prior). The unemployment rate held steady at 6.0%, as expected.
- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand hiked its key interest rate 25 basis points to 2.75%, as expected.
- The Bank of Korea held its key interest rate at 2.50%, as expected.
- In news:
- China's Premier Li Keqiang spoke at the National People's Congress, saying the country's government will not let systemic risks come to the forefront as a result of debt defaults. This comes amid recent worries about an impending wave of defaults.
- Economic data was plentiful:
- Major European indices trade little changed. Great Britain's FTSE -0.2%, France's CAC -0.1%, and Germany's DAX +0.2%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.7% and Spain's IBEX is unchanged.
- Economic data was scarce:
- French CPI rose 0.5% month-over-month (0.4% expected, -0.6% last).
- Spain's Retail Sales increased 0.5% year-over-year (-0.8% consensus, -1.0% previous).
- Italy's CPI ticked down 0.1% month-over-month while the year-over-year reading increased 0.5%. Both figures met expectations.
- Among news of note:
- After ending yesterday at its highest level since late 2011, the euro continued climbing during the overnight session. At this time, the single currency hovers near 1.3955 versus the dollar.
- Economic data was scarce:
- Gogo (GOGO 25.60, +1.72): +7.2% after beating on earnings and revenue.
- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD 22.10, +2.22): +11.2% despite missing the Capital IQ consensus estimate by one cent on below-consensus revenue; however, the company boosted its repurchase program to $80 million.
- Plug Power (PLUG 7.56, +0.76): +11.2% after reporting in-line earnings on above-consensus revenue.
- Williams-Sonoma (WSM 62.80, +3.83): +6.5% after beating on earnings and revenue. The company issued below-consensus guidance.
7:55 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.1%, Hang Seng -0.7%, Shanghai +1.1% (:SUMRX) :
- Markets finished mixed across Asia.
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang suggested defaults are 'unavoidable.'
- Data from the Middle Kingdom was disappointing as industrial production (8.6% YoY actual v. 9.5% YoY expected) and fixed asset investment (17.9% YTDoY actual v. 19.5% YTDoY expected) both fell short of estimates.
- Japan's core machinery orders surged 13.4% MoM (7.3% MoM expected, -15.7% MoM previous), but the reading is being discounted due to the steep decline in January.
- Australia's employment change (47.3K actual v. 154.3K expected, 18.0K previous) posted its strongest reading since 1991. However, some suggest the blowout number is a result of volatility in the data. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.0%, its highest since 2003.
- New Zealand became the first developed nation to hike rates since the onset of the financial crisis. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand hiked its Official Cash Rate 25bps to 2.75%, as expected.
- The Bank of Korea kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 2.50%, as expected.
- Japan's Nikkei (-0.1%) slipped to a one and a half-week low. Shipping stocks were hit on the soft Chinese data as Mitsui & Co. and Nippon Yusen shed 3.0% and 2.6%, respectively.
- Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.7%) sank to a one-month low. Real estate shares were hit hard as China Overseas Land & Investment tumbled 4.1% and China Resources Land fell 3.3%.
- China's Shanghai Composite (+1.1%) climbed off near two-month lows as trade regained the 2000 level. Trade was boosted by reports of a pilot program for preferred shares. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China added 1.2%.
- India's Sensex (-0.4%) saw an early test of all-time highs, but was unable to hold onto its gains. Infosys plunged 8.5% in response to its downbeat forecast. The comments dragged down shares of competitors Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro, which saw losses of 1.4% and 0.6%, respectively.
- Australia's ASX (+0.5%) recouped yesterday's losses. Miners posted solid gains as BHP Billiton added 1.1% and Rio Tinto gained 2.7%.
- Regional Decliners: Singapore -0.5%...Philippines -0.5%
- Regional Advancers: South Korea +0.1%...Malaysia +0.2%...Taiwan +0.7%...Vietnam +0.9%...Indonesia +0.9%...Thailand +1.0%
- Fx: USDCNY slipped to 6.1365...USDINR fell to 61.17...USDJPY -15 pips @ 102.60...AUDUSD +65 pips @ .9055
7:49 am Amazon.com: Amazon Prime and Amazon Student Prime membership fee changes, as expected (AMZN) : For the first time since it was introduced nine years ago, the price of Prime is going up. Existing Prime members will pay $99 per year on their annual renewal date and Amazon Student members will pay $49.
7:48 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Bacterin International (BONE) announced the launch of OsteoSTX, a new novel allograft for orthopedic procedures.
- Cardtronics (CATM) announced a licensing agreement with BBVA Compass, providing the bank branding rights to more than 300 ATMs in H-E-B stores across Texas.
- Co released preliminary passenger traffic statistics for February 2014. Co's system-wide passenger traffic (RPM) increased 12.9% year over year, while capacity increased 9.7%. As a result, system load factor for February 2014 was 78.5%, a 2.2 percentage point increase when compared to February 2013.
- International passenger traffic grew 13.4%, while capacity increased 10.2%. This resulted in a load factor of 78.5%, a 2.2 percentage point increase when compared to February 2013. For the month, International capacity represented 97.1% of total capacity.
- Domestic traffic, represented wholly by Colombian domestic service, decreased 2.4%, while capacity decreased 4.7%. As a result, domestic load factor for the month increased 1.8 percentage points to 79.4%. For the month, domestic capacity represented 2.9% of total capacity.
7:41 am Progenics Pharm beats by $0.05, beats on revs (PGNX) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.14 per share, $0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.19); revenues fell 66.3% year/year to $3 mln vs the $1.67 mln consensus.
- Q4 revenue totaled $3.0 mln, down from $8.9 mln in 2012, resulting primarily from prior year partnering transactions.
- Q4 and full year research and development expenses increased by $1.8 mln and $1.6 mln, respectively, compared to the 2012 periods, primarily due to higher clinical trial expenses for PSMA ADC and inclusion in 2013 of expenses related to 1404, partially offset for the full year period by a decline in compensation expenses.
7:40 am Zalicus reports ~in-line FY13; ZLCS has the financial resources to advance a modified release formulation of Z944 toward Phase 2 clinical development in an appropriate pain indication by late 2014 (ZLCS) : FY13 EPS ($1.68) vs ($1.73) Capital IQ Consensus; revs +17% to $14.7 mln vs $14.79 mln Capital IQ Consensus.
"With the successful translation of Z944 in a human clinical pain model, Zalicus has initiated a Phase 1 clinical study to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and safety of multiple modified-release formulations of Z944," commented Mark H.N. Corrigan, MD, President and CEO of Zalicus. "Following the recent sale of the Exalgo royalty stream, prepayment of our debt obligations and the strong performance of our cHTS services business, Zalicus has the financial resources to advance a modified release formulation of Z944 toward Phase 2 clinical development in an appropriate pain indication by late 2014."
7:36 am Idera Pharma announces expansion of pipeline into two orphan autoimmune diseases; co to initiate clinical development of IMO-8400 in polymyositis and dermatomyositis in first half of 2014 (IDRA) : Co announced that it plans to initiate clinical development of its lead compound, IMO-8400, for the treatment of patients with polymyositis and patients with dermatomyositis, two orphan autoimmune diseases with high unmet clinical needs. The Company plans to submit a protocol to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) in the first half of 2014 for a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to investigate the safety and potential utility of IMO-8400 in these two indications. This represents the execution of a previously announced strategy to expand the clinical development of IMO-8400 in orphan autoimmune disease indications. Based on the results from this study, Idera anticipates that it will pursue separate later-stage clinical trials for each indication.
7:36 am Covisint sees Q4 revs below consensus; names Sam Inman interim CEO (COVS) : Co's board of directors has named Sam Inman as interim Chief Executive Officer.
Q4: Total revenue is projected to be between $24 and $25.5 mln (consensus $27.5 mln). Subscription revenue is projected to be between $17 and $18 million. Services revenue is projected to be between $7 and $7.5 million.
"Covisint remains an important growth asset operating in vibrant, dynamic markets; we simply missed on execution in Q4," said Covisint Chairman Bob Paul. "At this important moment, the board has decided to take quick action to improve the company's execution. We're pleased to have someone of Sam's caliber to call on for renewed leadership and focus. He has an extensive technology background-including significant CEO experience-and a proven ability to drive growth. We look forward to working with Sam to drive the next stage of Covisint's growth."
7:36 am Just Energy announces normal course issuer bid-6.0% convertible subordinated debentures due June 30, 2017 (JE) : Co announced that it intends to renew its normal course issuer bid for its outstanding 6% convertible extendible unsecured subordinated debentures due June 30, 2017. All Debentures purchased under the NCIB will be cancelled. As of March 12, 2014 $330,000,000 principal amount of the Debentures were outstanding.
7:35 am Tekmira Pharma prices 2.125 mln share offering at $28.50 per share (TKMR) :
7:35 am Gogo beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides FY14 revs in-line (GOGO) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.26 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.27); revenues rose 45.8% year/year to $92.6 mln vs the $85.45 mln consensus.
- Service revenue increased 44% to $69.7 million and equipment revenue increased 52% to $22.9 million year-over-year.
- Adjusted EBITDA decreased to negative $0.3 million from $0.5 million in Q4 2012, driven by increased investment in our international expansion.
"As we look to the year ahead, we are excited about our growth prospects. We expect our revenue per aircraft to increase at CA-NA, as take rates increase driven by a strong secular trend and passenger adoption of new services like Gogo Vision and Gogo Text Messaging grows. We expect to see a meaningful increase in network capacity during 2014, as we plan to roughly double the number of aircraft online equipped with ATG4 from 436 at the end of 2013 and introduce our new hybrid Ground-To-Orbit (:GTO) technology. Our BA business is poised to deliver strong results driven by continued strong demand for ATG systems and adoption of recently announced new products and services. Finally, we are very excited about the commercial launch of our CA-ROW business in 2014 and expect to end the year with between 50 and 100 CA-ROW satellite aircraft online."
7:35 am Genesco misses by $0.11, misses on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line (GCO) : Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $2.07 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.11 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $2.18; revenues fell 0.5% year/year to $793 mln vs the $802.93 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $5.40-5.55, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $5.65 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
7:35 am Vocus: Constant Contact (CTCT) denies VOCS takeover speculation; CTCT states that it has not been approached about acquiring Vocus nor has it indicated any interest in acquiring Vocus (VOCS) : VOCS trading at 14.05 in pre-mkt.
7:34 am Medical Action to sell Medegen and certain other assets of its patient care business unit to Inteplast Group for ~ $75 mln (MDCI) : Co announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Medegen Medical Products subsidiary and certain other assets of its Patient Care business unit to Medira, an affiliate of Inteplast Group, for ~ $75 million, subject to certain purchase price adjustments. The transaction is expected to close upon receipt of the required regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions agreed to by the parties. The co anticipates completion of these regulatory approvals and closing conditions within three to four months.
7:34 am Christopher & Banks beats by $0.02, misses on revs (CBK) : Reports Q4 (Jan) loss of $0.01 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.03); revenues fell 9.6% year/year to $104.9 mln vs the $106.64 mln consensus.
- For Q1 of FY14, the Co expects:
- same-store sales to be relatively flat to last year's first quarter
- ~50 to 70 bps of gross margin improvement, as compared to the comparable prior year period, driven by improved merchandise margins.
- Inventory to remain higher than the levels for the comparable prior year period at a level similar to the increase at the end of FY13
- For the 2014 fiscal year, the Company expects:
- Capital expenditures to be ~$23-25 mln
7:31 am Constant Contact says it has not been approached about acquiring Vocus (VOCS) nor has it indicated any interest in acquiring Vocus (CTCT) : Co responded to the Reuters article published on March 12, 2014 regarding the potential sale of Vocus (VOCS). Constant Contact's general policy is not to comment on speculation regarding merger and acquisition activity. However, given the detailed nature of the information reported by Reuters, Constant Contact management states that it has not been approached about acquiring Vocus nor has it indicated any interest in acquiring Vocus.
7:26 am Horizon Pharma Clarification: Reports smaller than expected net loss ex-items; reaffirms FY14 guidance (HZNP) : Earlier we reported Q4 non-GAAP EPS was ($0.22); co also provided a EPS ex-costs associated with early extinguishment of the co's senior loan facility in connection with the VIMOVO acquisition and convertible senior note transaction, which was ($0.04)... The prior comment has been removed and should have read as follows:
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.04 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of ($0.10); net revenues rose 370.3% year/year to $30.1 mln vs the $32.18 mln consensus.
- DUEXIS gross and net sales for Q4 were $34.6 million and $23.1 million, respectively, after deducting sales discounts and allowances of $11.5 million, including co-pay assistance costs of $6.5 million, compared to gross and net sales of $7.1 million and $5.7 million, respectively, during Q4. The increase in DUEXIS sales during the current quarter compared to the same period in the prior year resulted primarily from a combination of product price increases implemented during 2013 and increased prescription count driven by the Company's expanded sales force.
Since the launch of DUEXIS in late 2011, the Company has accounted for certain services fees paid to its wholesale distributors as a component of cost of goods sold, as was described in the notes to the Company's previously filed financial statements. On January 29, 2014, the Company announced preliminary (unaudited) fourth quarter and full year 2013 revenues, which were prepared in a manner consistent with the Company's historical and audited classification of these services fees as a component of cost of goods sold. Subsequently, in connection with the audit of its 2013 financial results, the Company determined that these services fees should be recorded as a reduction in revenue rather than as an increase in cost of goods sold. The revision to the classification of these fees has the effect of reducing net revenue and cost of goods sold by the same dollar amount, with gross profit dollars unchanged, resulting in a higher gross profit margin on the reduced net sales amounts. The revision has no impact on the Company's reported gross profit, net income, earnings per share, or cash flows. After evaluating the quantitative and qualitative effect of the revision, the Company, in discussion with its independent registered public accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, determined that the revision would not require a restatement of its financial statements for any prior periods. The Company has revised all affected, current and prior income statements, including those presented in this earnings release, to reflect the revision.
7:26 am Aussie Jumps on Strong Employment Data: 10-yr: unch..2.734%..USD/JPY: 102.60..EUR/USD: 1.3949 (:SUMRX) :
- The Dollar Index is lower for a third session with today's weakness dropping action to 79.30, a four and a half-month low.
- The selling sets up a test of the key 79.00/79.20 area, which has held as support since late-2011.
- EURUSD is +45 pips @ 1.3950 as trade presses its best levels since October 2011. Today's advance comes amid an absence of meaningful news and data out of the region with trade ticking higher for the fifth time in six sessions. The recent streak has added approximately 225 pips, and has trade narrowing in on the psychologically important 1.4000 level.
- GBPUSD is +75 pips @ 1.6690 as trade sees a bounce off 1.6600 support. A quiet data slate has sterling taking its cues from the euro and aussie, which are seeing support from a bid in risk assets.
- USDCHF is -30 pips @ .8110 with today's weakness marking fresh 29-month lows. The .8500 level is setting up as a key area as a breakdown suggests a potential retest of the August 2011 levels, which caused the Swiss National Bank to implement its EURCHF floor.
- USDJPY is -15 pips @ 102.60 as sellers look to remain in control for a third session. Trade lifted to its best levels of the session (102.86) in response to the strong core machinery orders (13.4% MoM actual v. 7.3% MoM expected, -15.7% MoM previous), but that number is being somewhat discounted as it followed a sharp decline in January. Support in the 102.50 area is being watched closely.
- AUDUSD is +65 pips @ .9055 following the blowout employment change (47.3K actual v. 154.3K expected, 18.0K previous). The number marked the best reading since 1991, but many remain skeptical as there seems to be a large amount of volatility in the data. Australia's unemployment rate, held at 6.0%, its highest level since 2003. Today's bid has trade probing the 100 dma, which lurks in the key .9050/.9100 area. Neighboring New Zealand saw a bit of good news as it became the first developed nation to hike rates. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised its Official Cash Rate 25bps to 2.75%, as expected. USDCNY slipped to 6.1365 despite the disappointing industrial production (8.6% YoY actual v. 9.5% YoY expected) and fixed asset investment (17.9% YTDoY actual v. 19.5% YTDoY expected). Notable were comments from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang suggesting defaults were 'unavoidable.' Click here to see a daily AUDUSD chart.
- USDCAD is -60 pips @ 1.1060 as trade presses session lows. Recent action has struggled in the 1.1150 region, causing some to turn their focus back towards 1.0950.
7:22 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Ducommun (DCO) has been named a Partner-level supplier for 2013 in the John Deere (DE) Achieving Excellence Program.
- Level 3 Communications (LVLT) signed an agreement with Cinemark Brazil. Level 3 is enhancing the efficiency of Cinemark's communications systems by providing the co with Internet services in Sao Paulo to support connectivity to its VPN of 64 movie theater complexes, which are distributed throughout 36 Brazilian cities.
- RetailMeNot (SALE) announced an update of its free RetailMeNot Coupons app for AAPL iPhone and GOOG Android users.
- GE (GE) announced a partnership with Local Motors to launch a new model for the manufacturing industry. The partnership will pair co-creation and micromanufacturing to build and commercialize the next evolution of various GE products.
- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) announced that its Public Safety & Security Division recently received a $2.7 mln contract award for the deployment of public safety and security related products, equipment, and system integration services across an independent school district located in the southwestern U.S.
- Informatica (INFA) announced that Everton Football Club is using the Informatica Cloud Platform to power a trusted, single customer view across all fan touch points and interactions.
7:21 am Houston Wire & Cable misses by $0.04, misses on revs; authorized up to $25 mln stock repurchase program (HWCC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.18 per share, $0.04 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.22; revenues fell 9.5% year/year to $94.44 mln vs the $98.63 mln consensus.
- Co also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program effective Monday, March 17, 2014. Under the program, the Company is authorized to purchase up to $25 million of its outstanding shares of common stock from time to time, depending on market conditions, trading activity, business conditions and other factors.
- Despite the continued overall competitiveness of the marketplace, varying levels of market demand, and softening metals prices, gross margin at 21.8% was near flat sequentially and up 70 basis points over the prior year period, which contained a greater amount of low margin project sales.
- "The inconsistent market strength trends experienced in the first three quarters of the year continued in the fourth quarter. As a result, our fourth quarter year-over-year results were again mixed as we experienced an increase in Maintenance, Repair and Operations sales of just over 3%, or approximately 6% on a metals adjusted basis, but a project sales decrease of approximately 30%, or 27% on a metals adjusted basis. Total sales, on a metals adjusted basis, fell approximately 7% from Q4 2012."
7:10 am Howard Hughes issues letter to shareholders; says 'our core developments are off to a strong start' (HHC) : Key points in the letter include:
- "We remain focused on a handful of core assets in which the majority of our value creation potential resides: The South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan; the master planned communities in Columbia, Maryland, Houston, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada; the Shops at Summerlin in Las Vegas; and Ward Village, an urban master planned community in Honolulu, Hawaii."
- "We are also redeveloping several assets that showcase how imaginative thinking can create value. The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk in New Orleans, Louisiana represents such an example."
7:10 am Dollar General reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; guides Q1 and FY15 below consensus (DG) : Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $1.01 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $1.01; revenues rose 6.8% year/year to $4.49 bln vs the $4.62 bln consensus.
- Same-store sales increased 1.3 percent, resulting from increases in both customer traffic and average transaction amount. Same-store sales increases were driven by sales of tobacco products and perishables.
- The Company's gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 31.9 percent in the 2013 fourth quarter compared to 32.5 percent in the 2012 fourth quarter, a decrease of 58 basis points. The majority of the gross profit rate decrease in the 2013 fourth quarter as compared to the 2012 fourth quarter was due to increased sales of lower margin consumables, including tobacco products and expanded perishables offerings, which contributed to lower initial markups. In addition, the Company's inventory shrinkage rate increased.
Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $3.45-3.55 vs. $3.70 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of +8-9% to ~$18.9-19.25 bln vs. $19.3 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; comps +3-4%.
The volatility of the macroeconomic environment continues to pressure the consumer and impact the Company's cost of purchasing and delivering merchandise to its stores. Management continues to closely monitor customers' responses to the economic and competitive climates. The co repurchased $620 million, or 11.0 million shares, under its share repurchase program in 2013 and an additional $200 million, or 3.5 million shares, in the 2014 first quarter to date.
"Sales in the fourth quarter were impacted by severe winter weather, including many days with significant store closures, an aggressive competitive retail landscape and our customers' uncertainty about spending in the current economic environment. In spite of these headwinds, both customer traffic and average ticket increased in our same-stores in the fourth quarter. In addition, we controlled our expenses well and successfully managed the business to deliver a gross margin rate that was better than we anticipated. Although some of the severe weather impact has continued into the first quarter, we are pleased with our sales performance on days when weather is more normalized."
7:08 am General Electric announces filing of registration statement for IPO of its North American Retail Finance business (GE) :
- Co announced that it has filed a registration statement with the SEC for the initial public offering (IPO) of its North American Retail Finance business. GE currently expects to complete the IPO later in 2014. After completion of the IPO, GE Capital Retail Finance will operate under its new name, "Synchrony Financial," and the registration statement has been filed under that name.
- GE currently is targeting to complete its exit from the Retail Finance business through a split-off transaction in 2015. GE may also decide to exit by selling or otherwise distributing or disposing of all or a portion of its remaining interest in the business. The completion of the IPO and GE's exit from the business are subject to market conditions and receipt of regulatory and tax reviews and approvals, which could delay the IPO or GE's exit from the business.
- The joint book-running managers for the IPO are Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank Securities.
7:07 am Nexstar to acquire assets of Internet Broadcasting Systems for $20.0 mln in a transaction that is expected to be accretive to 2014 results (NXST) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. ("IB"), a leading digital publishing platform and digital agency services provider for $20.0 million in a transaction that is expected to be accretive to 2014 results. The acquisition will be funded through internal sources and is expected to close later this month. The purchase price represents a mid-5x multiple of pro-forma 2014 EBITDA. In the first year following the closing of the transaction, IB's operations are expected to expand Nexstar's digital business portfolio to over $45 million in annual revenues.
7:06 am Tesaro and AnaptysBio announce strategic immuno-oncology antibody collaboration; Tesaro will pay an upfront license fee of $17 mln, as well as provide funding of costs incurred by AnaptysBio related to the development programs (TSRO) :
- Co and AnaptysBio announced an exclusive, worldwide license agreement and immuno-oncology antibody collaboration. Under the terms of the agreement, TESARO receives rights to monospecific antibody drug candidates targeting TIM-3, LAG-3 and PD-1 and dual reactive antibody drug candidates targeting PD-1/TIM-3 and PD-1/LAG-3. Therapeutic antibodies selected from these programs will form the basis of a strategic platform that will enable TESARO to develop novel monotherapy and combination-based approaches with immuno-oncology and other anti-cancer agents in a variety of indications. Antibody candidates from these programs are expected to enter clinical trials over the next 18 to 24 months.
- Under the terms of this agreement with AnaptysBio, TESARO will pay an upfront license fee of $17 mln, as well as provide funding of costs incurred by AnaptysBio related to the development programs. For each development program, AnaptysBio is eligible to receive milestone payments of $18 mln if certain research and development events are achieved and an additional $90 mln associated with certain U.S. and ex-U.S. regulatory submissions and approvals in multiple indications. AnaptysBio will also be eligible to receive tiered single-digit royalties related to worldwide net sales of products developed under the collaboration and certain commercial milestone payments if specified levels of annual worldwide net sales are attained. AnaptysBio and TESARO will together complete preclinical development of the antibody candidates, with TESARO being solely responsible for all clinical development, manufacturing, regulatory and commercial activities.
7:05 am Primero Mining meets annual silver purchase agreement threshold six weeks earlier than 2013 (PPP) :
- Co announced that it has successfully produced the annual threshold of 3.5 mln ounces of silver and will now begin selling 50% of the silver produced at San Dimas at spot prices for its own account until August 5, 2014. The co estimates that it will sell between 1,250,000 and 1,500,000 ounces of silver at spot realized prices by Aug 5, 2014.
- The co assumed the silver purchase agreement when it acquired the San Dimas mine in 2010 and the agreement was renegotiated in order for Primero to participate in the silver produced above the annual threshold amount. The silver purchase agreement annual threshold increases to 6.0 mln ounces on August 5, 2014 and remains there for the remainder of the mine life.
7:04 am Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust acquires pool of ~ 500 non-performing loans; announces completion of $350 mln warehouse credit facility (SWAY) : Co announced that it completed the $101.3 mln purchase of a non-performing loan (:NPL) pool from a money-center bank. The non-performing loan portfolio is comprised of 494 non-performing first lien mortgages representing ~$150.9 mln of UPB and $158.2 mln of estimated BPO value.
The purchase price equates to 67.2% of UPB and 64.0% of BPO value. The transaction was funded with proceeds from a $350 mln warehouse credit facility with Deutsche Bank A.G. This represents the sixth NPL pool purchased by SWAY and its predecessor entities, which in aggregate represents a total purchase price of $356.6 mln. This purchase price represents ~52.7% of the total unpaid principal balance (:UPB) of $676.6 mln and 63.9% of the estimated total BPO value at the time of each purchase totaling $557.8 mln.
7:03 am Venaxis announces positive top-line results from pivotal study of APPY1 test; achieved negative predictive value and sensitivity ~97% and specificity ~38%; company believes these pivotal results are sufficient for potential FDA clearance (APPY) :
- Co announced positive top-line results from its pivotal U.S. study. The APPY1 Test performed well, with sensitivity and negative predictive value results that exceeded those from the previous pilot study. The company believes these pivotal results are sufficient for potential FDA clearance and expects to finalize its 510(k) submission and file with the FDA in the next few weeks.
- In the measure of negative predictive value (NPV), which is the primary metric for the APPY1 Test, the results were 97.3%, with a lower 95% confidence limit of 95.5%.
- Additionally, the APPY1 Test performed with sensitivity of 96.9% (lower 95% confidence limit of 94.9%). Specificity for APPY1 was 37.8% (lower 95% confidence limit of 35.3%), which is believed to be adequate for an adjunctive, negative predictive test such as the APPY1 Test. Overall prevalence of appendicitis was 25%, which was also in line with expectations and the medical literature.
- "These top-line results reflect improved test performance for negative predictive value and sensitivity compared to Venaxis' previous 500-patient pilot study. This is highly significant for a number of reasons. In addition to involving many more hospital sites and patients, for the first time in this pivotal study the APPY1 Test was performed on-site in real time at each participating hospital, by hospital personnel, as the test would be run in the real clinical setting."
7:03 am Antares Pharma beats by $0.01, misses on revs (ATRS) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.04 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.05); revenues fell 14.5% year/year to $4.7 mln vs the $6.15 mln consensus.
- "We believe the coming year will bring continued success on the commercial front as well as on the development front as our QuickShot testosterone product enters the next phase of studies toward an expected 2015 filing of a New Drug Application, and we will expand our pipeline to create additional long-term shareholder value."
- The decrease in product revenues in the fourth quarter was primarily due to a decrease in sales of our oxybutynin gel 3% product (Gelnique 3%) to Actavis, as Actavis assumed all manufacturing of Gelnique 3% in the first quarter of 2013, as contracted.
- At December 31, 2013, cash and investments totalled approximately $69.1 million compared to approximately $85.2 million at December 31, 2012.
6:59 am Gleacher & Co announces Board Approval of Dissolution and Liquidation; expects to make initial liquidating distribution to stockholders of $3.23 per share (GLCH) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of the Company's stockholders for the Company to dissolve, liquidate and distribute to stockholders its available assets.
- Separately, the Company reported a net loss of $2.9 million ($0.47 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2013.
- If the Company's stockholders approve the proposal, the Company currently expects to make an initial liquidating distribution to stockholders of approximately $20 million ($3.23 per share). The Company expects to make this initial liquidating distribution as soon as practicable following receipt of stockholder approval and filing of a certificate of dissolution.
- Insofar as the reserves required by applicable law exceed, in the view of the Board of Directors, the ultimate amounts the Company will likely be required to pay creditors, the Board of Directors believes there is a reasonable possibility that a portion of the reserves will ultimately be distributed to stockholders. The Board of Directors currently believes that these subsequent distributions could range between $40 million and $70 million ($6.47 and $11.32 per share), for a total aggregate distribution to stockholders ranging between $60 million and $90 million ($9.70 and $14.55 per share).
6:52 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Marlin (MRLN) Business Services and Hussmann have formed a strategic alliance that will provide financing solutions for Hussmann's food service and food retailer customers in the United States and Canada.
- CombiMatrix (CBMX) has been selected by American Pathology Partners to provide its chromosomal microarray analysis testing for miscarriage analysis to AP2 patients.
- eGain (EGAN) announced that a global telecom services provider has implemented eGain to drive sales, cost savings, and higher Net Promoter Score in its African subsidiary.
- Hollister, a division of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), announced that they have teamed up with SeaVees to release an exclusive male footwear line that features signature Hollister colors on twill lace up and slip on sneakers.
- Orange Business Services (ORAN) has joined a European Union-sponsored initiative to play a key role in the development of new business intelligence and IT standards that are set to improve management tools used by the shipping industry.
- Covidien plc (COV) announced the U.S. launch of Symbotex composite mesh, a product designed to make it easier for surgeons to perform surgical laparoscopic and open ventral hernia repairs.
- Superconductor Technologies (SCON) entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with an international company for a wireless technology patent previously developed by STI. In consideration for the use of the patent, STI will receive cost savings on support equipment for its Conductus HTS wire program. STI was awarded two additional patents in 4Q2013.
- Broadridge Financial Solutions (BR), together with Lombard Risk Management, formed a global alliance to address changing industry needs in the collateral management sector.
6:51 am Kirklands beats by $0.01, misses on revs; guides Q1 ~in-line; guides FY15 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (KIRK) : Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.69 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.68; revenues fell 4.2% year/year to $156.1 mln vs the $158 mln consensus. On a 13-week basis, comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, including e-commerce sales, were flat compared with a decrease of 2.6% in the prior-year quarter. Kirkland's opened 8 stores and closed 7 during the fourth quarter, bringing the total number of stores to 324 at quarter end.
Co issues guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.09-0.12 vs. $0.10 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 revs of $105-106 mln vs. $106.44 mln Capital IQ Consensus; comps +2-3%.
Co issues guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $0.90-1.00 vs. $1.03 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of +8-10% to ~$497.5-506.7 mln vs. $501.65 mln Capital IQ Consensus; comps +3-4%. The co expects year-over-year improvement in merchandise and gross profit margins that is expected to result from a lower markdown rate, lower inbound freight costs, and sales leverage. Operating expenses are expected to increase on a dollar basis due to the growth in stores and incremental investments in corporate headcount. The co is also anticipating ~$0.03 to $0.04 per diluted share in additional costs associated with its second half lease expiration and transition to replacement corporate headquarters space.
"Despite continued adverse weather events throughout February and into March, the early first quarter sales and margin trends have been positive and encouraging. As we look to fiscal 2014, we remain excited about the investments in store growth, merchandise systems and process improvement, greater e-commerce capabilities and focused branding initiatives that we expect to drive improved traffic, sales and earnings results."
6:50 am European Markets : FTSE...6613.67...-6.90...-0.10%. DAX...9215.22...+26.50...+0.30%.
6:50 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...-14815.98...-14.40...-0.10%. Hang Seng...21756.08...-145.90...-0.70%.
6:43 am S&P futures vs fair value: +5.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +11.00. :
6:40 am Galmed Pharma (:GLMD) priced upsized 2,837,400 share IPO at $13.50 per share, at high end of $12-14 expected range (:IPOXX) : The co originally planned to offer 2.35 mln shares.
6:32 am Mylan Labs confirms United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled invalid a patent related to Pfizer's (PFE) Celebrex (celecoxib) 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg and 400 mg capsules (MYL) :
- Co confirmed that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled invalid a patent, United States Patent No. RE44,048, related to Pfizer's (PFE) Celebrex (celecoxib) 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg and 400 mg capsules.
- Mylan was sued by G.D. Searle and Pfizer Asia Pacific PTE for alleged infringement of this patent in connection with Mylan's Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for its generic version of Celebrex.
- Mylan expects to launch its generic version of Celebrex in May 2014, pending final approval of its ANDA by the FDA. Based on available information, Mylan believes it may be entitled to 180 days of shared generic market exclusivity on the 100 mg, 200 mg and 400 mg strengths, subject to the FDA's determination that the product qualifies for an award of exclusivity under the provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act.
6:29 am Senomyx misses by $0.02, misses on revs; guides FY14 below consensus; discusses S617 GRAS determination (SNMX) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.08 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.06); revenues fell 9.6% year/year to $7.41 mln vs the $7.96 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of ($0.28)-(0.23) vs. ($0.15) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $32-35 mln vs. $36.09 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
The GRAS determination allows Senomyx's partners, PepsiCo (PEP) and Firmenich, to pursue commercialization of the Sweetmyx flavor ingredient in the U.S. and a number of other countries. The GRAS status also assists with approvals in other regions of the world. PepsiCo has exclusive rights to use the new Sweetmyx flavor ingredient worldwide in non-alcoholic beverages. Firmenich has lifetime rights to commercialize this Sweetmyx flavor for food product categories and alcoholic beverages, with exclusive rights until March 2018. Senomyx will receive royalties from each of its partners based on sales of products that incorporate the new flavor ingredient.
"Senomyx continues to maintain a healthy balance sheet, and we began 2014 with nearly $33 million in cash and no debt. We are well-positioned to achieve our discovery, development and commercialization objectives, and we have no plans to raise money through the issuance of equity or debt to fund the current scope of our operations. Furthermore, we continue to anticipate achieving profitability in 2015. Today we are reiterating the commercial revenue guidance announced last quarter and providing additional insight into our expectations for 2014."
6:21 am Jetblue Airways to sell its LiveTV subsidiary to Thales Group for $400 million (JBLU) :
- Co announced it has agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary LiveTV to Thales Group for $400 million. The sale which is subject to regulatory and other approvals is expected to be completed in mid-2014. LiveTV is a provider of live in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines.
- Concurrent with the closing of this transaction, JetBlue will enter into long term agreements with LiveTV to continue providing support for its live TV and inflight connectivity product, Fly-Fi.
6:11 am UCP misses by $0.40, misses on revs (UCP) : Reports Q4 (Dec) GAAP loss of $0.25 per share, $0.40 worse than the GAAP Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.15; revenues fell 0.8% year/year to $29.6 mln vs the $30.97 mln consensus.
- Revenue from homebuilding operations in the fourth quarter rose by $16.2 million, to $25.9 million, as compared to $9.7 million for the same period last year. The improvement was primarily the result of a 170.8% increase in the number of homes delivered to 65 during the 2013 period, as compared to 24 homes during the 2012 period. An increase in the number of selling communities to nine communities at year end 2013 compared to four at year end last year was the primary driver of growth in deliveries.
- Average selling price declined slightly to $398,000 during the fourth quarter of 2013, as compared to, approximately $406,000 during the fourth quarter of 2012. The decrease in average selling price was primarily a result of geographic mix.
- Consolidated gross margins in the current quarter were 20.0% compared to 27.6% in the same period in 2012.
- Net new home orders in the quarter increased to 40 from 34 in the same period in 2012, primarily as the result of an increase in average active selling communities to nine from four in the fourth quarter of 2012. Unit backlog in the quarter increased to 35 from 26.
- "We believe the long term housing recovery remains intact. Our markets continue to exhibit strong fundamentals, including low housing stock, rising employment, and strong affordability. As we look to 2014, we are well positioned to grow revenue with both a strong pipeline of new opportunities as well as a continuation our community count expansion from our existing land base. To that end, in 2014 we opened models in two important multi-phase, master-planned communities; three neighborhoods at East Garrison in Monterey, California, and two neighborhoods at The Preserve in Tumwater, Washington."
6:04 am PhotoMedex beats by $0.03, beats on revs (PHMD) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.28 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.25; revenues rose 15.9% year/year to $63.5 mln vs the $59.07 mln consensus.
- Consumer revenues of $53.6 million, an increase of 16%
- Global Direct-to-consumer channel revenues of $39.4 million, an increase of 31%
- Global retail and home shopping channel revenues of $13.6 million, an increase of 10%
- Global Distributor consumer channel revenues of $0.6 million, a decrease of 84%
- Repurchase of $12.0 million or 972,770 shares common stock at an average price of $12.35 per share
6:02 am American Realty Capital announces plan to spin off its over $2.2 bln multi-tenant power and shopping center business by issuing one share of ARCM stock for each 10 shares of ARCP stock held via special distribution (ARCP) :
- Co announced a plan to spin off substantially all of its multi-tenant shopping center business into a publicly traded REIT, American Realty Capital Centers, that will operate under the name "ARCenters" and that is expected to trade on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol, "ARCM." ARCP's operating partnership will retain 25% of ARCM.
- "In addition to unlocking that value for our stockholders, we believe this transaction enhances our financial profile while focusing our pure-play strategy. Not only do we have the added benefit of participating in future potential upside through our operating partnership's 25% retained ownership, we will also reduce our leverage to an expected 7.0x net debt to EBITDA while producing an expected combined 7.3% increase in dividend rate and expected AFFO accretion resulting in a combined $1.20 of AFFO per share. Equally noteworthy is the expected improvement in our credit profile as ARCP will maintain a long lease duration while increasing our percentage of investment grade tenancy to 52%, increasing our percentage of unencumbered NOI, decreasing our percentage of secured debt and materially reducing our property-related capital expenditures."
- The spin-off is intended to result in ARCP stockholders receiving a combined dividend that exceeds ARCP's current annualized dividend of $1.00 per share. ARCP currently estimates that ARCenters' annualized dividend for its first year following the spin-off will be at least $0.73 per share (based on an anticipated distribution of one share of ARCenters common stock for every 10 shares of ARCP common stock). Because ARCP expects to maintain its current annualized dividend of $1.00 per share and after adjusting for the ratio of one share of ARCenters common stock distributed for every 10 shares of ARCP common stock, ARCP stockholders who continue to hold their shares of ARCenters common stock would receive a combined annualized dividend of $1.073 per share - resulting in 7.3% of dividend growth.
4:48 am CNH Industrial plans to issue notes denominated in Euro (CNHI) :
4:03 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Dominion (D) welcomed word from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the agency will issue its Environmental Assessment for the Dominion Cove Point LNG liquefaction and export project on May 15.
- Yelp (YELP) announced the availability of Yelp Mexico
- TiVo (TIVO) announced that TiVo has surpassed 2.5 million subscribers across Europe as consumers in the UK, Spain and Sweden quickly embrace the TiVo experience offered by Virgin Media, ONO, and Com Hem, respectively
- Top Image Systems (TISA) and Open Scan, a privately held software company based in Denver, CO, announced today the establishment of a partnership for Open Scan to embed Top Image Systems' mobile image processing applications in its new mobile payment and remittance capture solution.
3:40 am Royal Dutch Shell provides long-term objective at its mgmt day (RDS.A) : Co provides presentations to financial markets on its management day.
- Shell's strategy is founded on technological expertise, disciplined capital investment, integrated operations, and large scale. This is underpinned by an unrelenting focus on safety. Investment in long term opportunities is balanced with short term delivery.
- Shell will drive sharper performance management of the company's portfolio than in the past, through a more detailed segmentation of the business, into performance units.
- Shell's investment strategy recognizes three distinct time horizons that can be characterized as follows:
- Maintaining the existing cash "engines" businesses, where Upstream is delivering high returns and strong cash flow, with further potential from improved operational uptime and selective growth, and where Downstream faces headwinds in Oil Products.
- Delivering near-term cash flow from "growth priorities" - deep-water and integrated gas, with industry-leading positions and capabilities, high returns and cash flow, and rich development funnels. Integrated gas earnings, for example, have increased by some 400% from 2009, to $9 billion in 2013.
- Identifying and maturing "future opportunities" for the longer term, including Nigeria, Iraq, Kazakhstan and global resources plays, where returns in 2013 were impacted by factors such as losses in North America and the security situation in Nigeria.
- Upstream Americas profitability has been impacted by losses in resources plays such as shales. Shell is shrinking this portfolio and cost base, with 2014 spending to be reduced by 20% compared to 2013, and redirecting onshore investment to the lowest cost gas acreage with the best integration potential, and into on-going exploration in liquids-rich shales. At the same time, profitable growth should continue in deep-water and heavy oil, where an industry-leading development programme is underway.
- Shell's Downstream results include strong performance from businesses such as chemicals, lubricants and biofuels, but weaker and more volatile delivery from refining and fuels marketing. By disaggregating this portfolio into distinctive performance units, the company intends to drive hard choices on capital allocation for selective growth, and divestment of non-strategic positions, to improve cash flow and returns.
3:36 am Foster Wheeler to acquire MDM Engineering Group for ~$109 mln (FWLT) : Foster Wheeler announced that an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of the Company has entered into a merger implementation agreement with MDM Engineering Group to acquire all of the ordinary shares and options in issue of MDM Engineering in a cash transaction valued at ~$109 million.
3:18 am Charles River to acquire the CRO Services Division of Galapagos NV; expected to be accretive to Non-GAAP EPS by $0.10 in 2014 (CRL) : Charles River Laboratories International announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the CRO services division of Galapagos NV, which includes both Argenta and BioFocus. These businesses are global leaders in integrated drug discovery services, with a predominant focus on in vitro capabilities. The acquisition will position Charles River as a full service, early-stage contract research organization, with integrated in vitro and in vivo capabilities from target discovery through preclinical development.
The purchase price is EUR129 million in cash (~$179 million based on current exchange rates). In addition to the initial purchase price, the transaction includes future performance payments of up to EUR5 million (~$7 million based on current exchange rates).
Additional Financial and Transaction Details
- In 2013, Argenta and BioFocus generated combined sales of EUR63 million (~ $87 million based on current exchange rates).
- The sales growth rate for the combined Argenta and BioFocus businesses is expected to be ~10% in 2014.
- The purchase price implies a multiple of ~ 2x 2013 sales and approximately 12x 2013 adjusted EBITDA.
- Based on the anticipated timing of the close, the acquisition is expected to add ~6% to Charles River's net sales in 2014.
- It is also expected to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share in 2014 by ~$0.10.
2:49 am Quintiles Transnational prices 15 mln shares of its common stock by certain of its shareholders at $52.00 per share (Q) :
2:25 am Liberty Global joins RDK Venture (LBTYA) : Liberty Global plc (LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) and RDK Management announce the strategic addition of Liberty Global as a new member in the RDK joint venture. Together with Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Liberty Global will provide technical, financial, and management oversight resources to support the joint venture.
RDK Management, LLC is responsible for licensing, code management, training and community support for the Reference Design Kit. The RDK is a pre-integrated software bundle developed and licensed to create a common framework for powering IP or hybrid set-top boxes and gateway devices for CE manufacturers, SOC vendors, software developers, system integrators and TV service providers. The RDK was created to accelerate the deployment of next-generation video services and prevent software fragmentation by providing speed-to-market, collaboration and standardization.
2:11 am Global Sources announces intended cash tender offer for up to $50 mln of its outstanding common shares at $10.00 per share (GSOL) :
2:08 am B2Gold reports positive results from the preliminary economic assessment for the Gramalote Project in Colombia (BTG) : Co announces positive results from the Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Gramalote gold project in Colombia. The Gramalote property is a 51% AngloGold Ashanti and 49% B2Gold joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti as the project manager. Gramalote is located 230 kilometers northwest of Bogota and 80 km northeast of Medellin in central Colombia.
Highlights of the Gramalote Preliminary Economic Assessment on a 100% basis
- Open pit gold mine with an initial life of mine of 14 years based on Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources.
- Average annual gold production LOM of 317,500 ounces at $664 direct cash cost per ounce
- Average annual gold production of 373,300 ounces per year for the first 5 years of production.
- LOM gold production of 4.445 million ounces.
- Average LOM total operating costs (including sustaining capital) of $736 per ounce of gold
- Annual processing rate of 16 million tonnes per year.
- Project payback of 4.8 years.
1:57 am Sucampo Pharma receives notice that second indication for AMITIZA for Opioid-Induced Constipation is not approved by Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in U.K. (SCMP) : Co announces that Sucampo Pharma Europe, Ltd., its wholly owned subsidiary, has received a notice of refusal to grant a Type II variation for AMITIZA 24 mcg for opioid- induced constipation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the United Kingdom. In 2012, the MHRA approved AMITIZA for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (:CIC) and associated symptoms in adults when response to diet and other non-pharmacological measures are inappropriate. In 2013, the FDAapproved AMITIZA as the first and only oral medication for the treatment of OIC in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. Sucampo is reviewing the variation assessment report from the MHRA and intends to explore all available options for a path forward.
Sucampo completed in 2013 a Type II variation submission to update the Summary of Product Characteristics for AMITIZA in the U.K. to include the additional therapeutic indication of OIC in non-cancer pain. MHRA is of the opinion that insufficient evidence of efficacy for the proposed OIC indication had been presented. The MHRA stated in the VAR that the safety profile of lubiprostone appears consistent with what is currently described in the SPC for the approved indication in CIC.
1:51 am Atlas Pipeline prices offering of 4.4 mln of 8.25% Class E Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Units at $25.00 per unit (APL) :
1:39 am United Rentals prices $850 mln of 5.75% Senior Notes due 2024 and $525 mln of 6.125% Senior Notes due 2023 (URI) :
1:36 am Stock Building Supply Holdings prices 5.6 mln shares of common stock at $19.50 per share by selling shareholders (STCK) :
1:25 am Kinross Gold reaches agreement with unions to end strike at Maricunga (KGC) : Co announces that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with its two unions at its Maricunga mine in Chile to end a strike which started on March 5th. Kinross has reached an agreement that is fair and reasonable to both its employees and the Company and recognizes the cost challenges at Maricunga and the current gold price environment. The strike is not expected to impact the Company's 2014 regional guidance for the Americas. Management plans to return to normal operations as soon as possible.
- Company Earnings