6:02 pm Taminco announces pricing of secondary offering of 10 mln shares of common stock at $20 per share (TAM) : Co announced today that the previously announced public secondary offering of 10,000,000 shares of its common stock by certain of the Company's stockholders priced at a price to the public of $20.00 per share. All of the shares in the Offering are being offered by selling stockholders. The Company will not receive any of the proceeds from the Offering. Citigroup, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank are acting as joint book-running managers for the Offering.
5:57 pm GlaxoSmithKline: NEJM releases study showing GSK's FluLaval Quadrivalent vaccine effective in preventing seasonal flu in children (GSK) : Co announced that a peer-reviewed study issued online by the New England Journal of Medicine has reported that GSK's FluLaval Quadrivalent reduced flu cases among children ages 3-8 by 55.4% overall and lowered the risk of developing moderate-to-serious flu illness by 73.1%. This was the first large-scale clinical trial conducted specifically to review the safety and effectiveness of vaccinating children with a four-strain flu vaccine. The randomized, controlled clinical trial included 5,220 children and was one of the pivotal studies leading to the recent approval of FluLaval Quadrivalent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
5:42 pm Pinnacle Foods prices secondary offering of 17 mln shares of common stock at $26.75 per share (PF) : Co announced the pricing of the previously announced secondary offering of 17 million shares of its common stock to be sold by certain of its stockholders at a price to the public of $26.75 per share. The selling stockholders will receive all of the proceeds from this offering. No shares are being sold by Pinnacle Foods. Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, Credit Suisse, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley are acting as joint bookrunning managers for the offering.
5:34 pm ABM Industries amends credit agreement enhancing flexibility (ABM) : Co announced today it has amended its existing unsecured credit agreement, increasing the borrowing capacity to $800M, extending the maturity to 2018 and reducing certain pricing components, including moving to a flat 1% for letters of credit, subject to certain utilization restrictions. Bank of America, N.A. acted as Administrative Agent for the amendment and US Bank, N.A. was added as a Co-Documentation Agent.
5:33 pm Williams Cos: Williams Geismar olefins plant comments on OSHA findings: 'confirms receipt of findings from OSHA' (WMB) : Williams Olefins LLC, announced that it has received the investigation findings from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") related to OSHA's investigation of the June 13, 2013 incident at Williams' Geismar facility. Company officials are reviewing OSHA's findings. "Williams cooperated in a full and transparent manner to support OSHA's investigation, and we are in the process of reviewing the analysis," said John Dearborn, senior vice president, NGL and Petchem Services. "In addition to conducting our own internal incident investigation, we are committed to learning from OSHA's report to further enhance safety at the Geismar plant and across our organization."
Williams Olefins LLC is now executing on a plan to rebuild, turnaround and expand the Geismar Olefins plant by April, 2014. Williams owns approximately 64 percent of Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ). Williams also owns Canadian operations and certain domestic olefins pipelines assets, as well as a significant investment in Access Midstream Partners (ACMP).
5:19 pm Alpha Natural Resources announces public offering of $250 mln of convertible senior notes due 2020 (ANR) : Co announced that it intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $250 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2020 in an underwritten public offering. The notes will be convertible under certain circumstances and during certain periods into cash, Alpha's common stock or a combination thereof, at Alpha's election, and will be guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by each of Alpha's current and future wholly-owned domestic subsidiaries that guarantee Alpha's obligations under Alpha's 9.75% senior notes due 2018. Subject to the successful completion of this offering, Alpha intends to use the net proceeds to fund purchases or repayments of a portion of its and its subsidiaries' outstanding indebtedness that matures earlier than the notes. Any net proceeds from this offering remaining, including if the purchases or repayments are not consummated, are intended to be used for general corporate purposes. Barclays Capital Inc. is acting as one of the book-running managers in connection with this offering.
5:05 pm Boeing: Air Canada selects Boeing 737 MAX to renew mainline narrowbody fleet; renewal plan includes commitments, options, and rights to purchase 109 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (BA) : Co Air Canada today announced its mainline narrowbody fleet renewal plan that includes commitments, options and rights to purchase up to 109 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The new aircraft will replace Air Canada's existing mainline fleet of Airbus narrowbody aircraft, creating one of the world's youngest, most fuel efficient and simplified airline fleets. The agreement with Boeing, which is subject to completion of final documentation and other conditions, includes firm orders for 33 737 MAX 8 and 28 737 MAX 9 aircraft with substitution rights between them as well as for the 737 MAX 7 aircraft. It also provides for options for 18 aircraft and rights to purchase an additional 30. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017 with 2 aircraft, 16 aircraft in 2018, 18 aircraft in 2019, 16 aircraft in 2020 and 9 aircraft in 2021, subject to deferral and acceleration rights.
When finalized, the firm order for 61 737 MAX 8s and MAX 9s is expected to be worth $6.5 billion at list prices and will be posted to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.
5:02 pm IAMGOLD suspends dividend (IAG) : Co announced that it has suspended future dividend payments until further notice. IAMGOLD's President and CEO, Steve Letwin, said, "While our outlook for gold over the long term is optimistic, in light of the current gold price we are suspending the dividend to preserve our balance sheet. We are on target to reduce costs by $100 million this year and will continue to look for further reductions next year. This decision to suspend the dividend allows us to conserve cash and ensure we maintain the flexibility we need to take advantage of opportunities when they arise." The Company continues to maintain $750 million in undrawn unsecured credit facilities.
5:02 pm DST Systems appoints Gregg Givens as CFO, effective Jan 1, 2014 (DST) : Co announced that it has appointed Gregg Wm. Givens to serve as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, effective Jan. 1, 2014. He succeeds Kenneth V. Hager, who will retire from DST Systems as planned after 29 years of service to the Company. Givens has served as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer for the past 14 years.
5:00 pm Chevron announces $39.8 bln capital and exploratory budget for 2014 (CVX) : Co announced a $39.8 billion capital and exploratory investment program for 2014. Included in the 2014 program are $4.8 billion of planned expenditures by affiliates, which do not require cash outlays by Chevron. The 2014 budget is approximately $2 billion lower than expected total investments for 2013. For the current year, total investments are estimated at $42 billion, including expenditures of approximately $4 billion for major resource acquisitions not included in the original budget. "We expect 2013 will be a relative peak year for investments, as we completed several attractive resource acquisitions. We also anticipate 2014 will represent the peak year for spending on our Australian LNG projects as we move them closer to first production. Overall, we have an attractive portfolio of investment opportunities which we will continue to fund in a disciplined fashion to grow value and shareholder distributions," said Chairman and CEO John Watson.
Approximately 90 percent of the 2014 spending program is budgeted for upstream crude oil and natural gas exploration and production projects. Another 8 percent is associated with the company's downstream businesses that manufacture, transport and sell gasoline, diesel fuel and other refined products, fuel and lubricant additives, and petrochemicals. Almost 75 percent of affiliate expenditures are associated with investments by Tengizchevroil LLP in Kazakhstan and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC (CPChem) in the United States.
4:48 pm Brown & Brown announces the asset acquisition of Agency Services Consolidated and Preserve Extended Protection Plan; announces acquisition of O'Neil Financial Services Agency (BRO) : J. Scott Penny, Regional President and Chief Acquisitions Officer of Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO), together with Rick Roesel, the principal of Agency Services Consolidated, Inc. and Preserve Extended Protection Plan, Inc., today announced that Brown & Brown of Kentucky, Inc., a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, Inc., has acquired certain assets of Agency Services. Founded in 1991, Agency Services Consolidated provides warranty and related protection products to auto dealerships in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. Preserve Extended Protection Plan was established as a managing general agent for a national extended warranty program for the RV industry. Agency Services Consolidated and Preserve Extended Protection Plan have combined annual revenues of approximately $2.1 million. As part of this transaction, the operations of Agency Services will combine with the recently acquired assets of O'Neil Financial Services and operate as a new branch location of Brown & Brown's recreational vehicle and auto division under the leadership of Mike Neal.
Co, together with Tom O'Neil, the principal of O'Neil Financial Services Agency, Inc., also announced that Brown & Brown of Kentucky, Inc., a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, Inc., has acquired certain assets of O'Neil Financial Services. O'Neil Financial Services was founded by Tom O'Neil in 1993 and provides extended warranty and auto protection products to auto dealerships in Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia. O'Neil Financial Services has annual revenues of approximately $1.9 million. The operations of O'Neil Financial Services will combine with recently acquired Agency Services Consolidated assets and operate as a new branch location of Brown & Brown's recreational vehicle and auto division under the leadership of Mike Neal.
4:38 pm Unisource Energy to be acquired by Fortis Utility Group for $60.25/share in cash (UNS) : The Board of Directors of UNS Energy (UNS) has unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement with Fortis (TSX: FTS), Canada's largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility, that calls for Fortis to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of UNS Energy for $60.25 per share in cash.
The $4.3 billion transaction, which includes the assumption of ~$1.8 bln in debt, would provide additional capital and new resources for UNS Energy's subsidiaries, including Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and UniSource Energy Services (:UES). Both companies will remain headquartered in Tucson under local control with current management and staffing levels and no planned changes to existing operations or rates.
4:37 pm Transcept Pharma announces that ISS proxy advisory services recommends 'AGAINST' all proposals (TSPT) : Co announced that ISS Proxy Advisory Services ("ISS"), a leading independent proxy voting and corporate governance advisory firm, has recommended that stockholders vote "AGAINST" all proposals introduced by a group of stockholders consisting of Roumell Asset Management, Retrophin, Inc. and SC Fundamental (the "stockholder group"). In its recommendation, ISS noted that the stockholder group had not presented any arguments in support of its proposals. ISS further noted that the stockholder group had not filed definitive proxy materials, an investor letter or presentation with the SEC to articulate the case in support of its proposals.
4:36 pm AES announces secondary offering of 40 mln shares of common stock by a subsidiary of CIC and concurrent repurchase of 20 mln shares of AES common stock (AES) : Co announced that it has commenced a registered underwritten public offering of 40 million shares of its common stock, all of which will be offered by Terrific Investment Corporation, a subsidiary controlled by China Investment Corporation. AES will not receive any of the proceeds from the Offering.
At the same time, AES announced that its Board of Directors increased the size of AES' common stock repurchase authorization to $450 million from $239 million available as of September 30, 2013. In addition, AES has entered into a stock repurchase agreement with the Selling Stockholder to repurchase 20 million shares of its common stock contingent on the closing of the Offering. Under the Board's authorization, the remaining shares may be repurchased from time to time in open market or privately negotiated transactions, subject to market conditions and other factors. The repurchase of shares from the Selling Stockholder will be effected in a private, non-underwritten transaction at a price per share equal to 96% of the public offering price per share of common stock sold by the Selling Stockholder in the Offering, such price per share not to exceed the lesser of: (i) $14.50; or (ii) the last reported sale price of AES' common stock on the New York Stock Exchange as of December 11, 2013. AES will use cash on hand, as well as borrowings under its revolving credit facility to fund the stock repurchase.
Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are acting as joint book-running managers of the Offering.
4:35 pm Nordson misses by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus, revs above consensus (NDSN) : Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $0.93 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.94; revenues fell 6.4% year/year to $410.82 mln vs the $403.42 mln consensus.
- Order rates for the 12-week period ending December 8, 2013, measured in constant currency, increased 5 percent over the same period a year ago.
- Backlog at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 was $217 million, representing an increase of 23 percent compared with $176 million at the end of the fourth quarter a year ago. The increase was due to the Kreyenborg acquisition, where organic backlog decreased by $1 million from the prior year. Backlog amounts are calculated at October 31, 2013 exchange rates.
4:32 pm Cameron prices $750 mln of unsecured senior notes (CAM) : Co priced a public offering of $250 million aggregate principal amount of 1.150% senior notes due 2016, $250 million aggregate principal amount of 4.000% senior notes due 2023 and $250 million aggregate principal amount of 5.125% senior notes due 2043. Cameron intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repurchase shares of our common stock depending on market conditions and for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment at maturity of our $250.0 million floating rate senior notes due June 2, 2014. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., RBS Securities Inc., and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the senior notes offering.
4:31 pm Supertel Hospitality (thinly traded) announces suspension of dividends on its preferred stock (SPPR) : Co announced the suspension of the regular dividends on its outstanding preferred stock. The Co's board of directors has elected to suspend the payment of monthly dividends on the outstanding shares of its 8.00% Series A Convertible Preferred Stock (SPPRO), quarterly dividends on the outstanding shares of its 10.00% Series B Cumulative Preferred Stock (SPPRP), and the quarterly dividends on the outstanding shares of its 6.25% Series C Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock. The Co has suspended the dividends to preserve capital and improve liquidity.
4:31 pm MTR Gaming announces consent solicitation relating to its 11.50% senior secured second lien notes due 2019 (MNTG) : Co announced that it is soliciting consents (the "Consent Solicitation") from the registered holders as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time on December 5, 2013, of its 11.50% Senior Secured Second Lien Notes due 2019 (CUSIP No. 553796 AL4) (the "Notes"), of which $570,664,114 in aggregate principal amount is outstanding, to amend the Indenture governing the Notes to permit the formation of a new holding co as a result of the transactions contemplated by the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of Sept 9, 2013, as amended (together, the "Merger Agreement"), by and among the Company, Eclair Holdings Co, a direct wholly owned subsidiary of the Co ("NewCo"), Ridgeline Acquisition Corp., a direct wholly owned subsidiary of NewCo, Eclair Acquisition Company, LLC, a direct wholly owned subsidiary of NewCo, Eldorado HoldCo LLC ("Eldorado"), and Thomas Reeg, Robert Jones, and Gary Carano as the representatives of the members of Eldorado, without requiring the Co to effect a change of control offer under the Indenture and the Notes.
In the event that certain conditions are satisfied, including the receipt of the requisite consents and the Co and Eldorado closing the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, the Company will effect the proposed amendments by entering into a supplemental indenture to the indenture governing the Notes.
4:30 pm SunEdison announces intention to refinance its capital structure (SUNE) : Co announced that it intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $400 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2018 (the "2018 notes") and $400 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2021 (the "2021 notes" and, together with the 2018 notes, the "notes") in a private placement.
The notes will be offered by the initial purchasers only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The Company also intends to grant to the initial purchasers a 30-day option to purchase an additional $80 million aggregate principal amount of each series of notes on the same terms and conditions.
4:29 pm SunEdison adjusted Q4 outlook; lowers semiconductor materials revenue estimate to $205-215 from $220-230 due to lower volume (SUNE) : Co updated its expectations for key metrics for Q4 and full year 2013. Our range of project completions for the 2013 Q4 remains unchanged.
"However, in an effort to retain more long-term project value, we have elected to keep additional solar projects on our balance sheet in Q4 rather than sell them. Therefore, the mix of projects in sold versus held on our balance sheet has shifted. In addition, due to continued market weakness, unit volumes in our semiconductor business are now expected to be below prior expectations for the fourth quarter. Pricing, however, remains approximately flat and we believe our market share remains consistent with the past several quarters."
4:28 pm Exelis announces plan to spin off a new publicly traded military and government services company (XLS) : Co announced that its board of directors has unanimously approved a plan to spin-off its military and government services business, currently called Exelis Mission Systems, into an independent public company. This business is currently part of the company's Information and Technical Services segment. The transaction is intended to be tax-free to Exelis and its shareholders, is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014, and is subject to final approval of the company's board of directors.
4:19 pm MFA Mortgage increased share repurchase program by 6 mln shares of common stock; declared quarterly cash dividend of $0.20/share, down from $0.22/share (MFA) :
4:18 pm Constellium announces proposed secondary public offering of 8,345,714 Class A ordinary shares by an affiliate of Rio Tinto (CSTM) : Co announced the commencement of a proposed secondary public offering of 8,345,713 Class A ordinary shares ("ordinary shares") by an affiliate of Rio Tinto Plc (the "Selling Stockholder"). The underwriter will have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,251,847 ordinary shares from the Selling Stockholder at the public offering price, less the underwriting discount.
The co will not receive any of the proceeds from the offering of the ordinary shares (including any ordinary shares sold pursuant to the underwriter's option to purchase additional ordinary shares). The total number of outstanding ordinary shares will not change as a result of the offering. Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.
4:17 pm MacroGenics announces publication of cancer stem cell research in lung cancer (MGNX) : Co announced the online publication of data on the isolation of cancer stem-like cells (CSLCs) from human adenosquamous carcinoma (ASC) of the lung in the journal PLOS ONE. This research contributes to the expanding repertoire of model CSLC lines identified and characterized by MacroGenics and increases the number of important models from which MacroGenics can generate antibody-based drug candidates.
4:16 pm Crumbs Bake Shop announces Edward Slezak as interim Chief Executive Officer (CRMB) : Co announced that Julian R. Geiger, its President and CEO, has informed the Company of his decision not to extend his current employment agreement, which terminates on December 31, 2013. Mr. Geiger will continue to serve as a member of the Company's Board of Directors. The Company also announced that the Board of Directors has appointed Edward M. Slezak as interim Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Slezak is currently the Company's Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, and will retain his duties as General Counsel and Secretary in addition to assuming the interim Chief Executive Officer role.
4:16 pm Aecom Tech names Michael S. Burke to succeed John M. Dionisio as CEO (ACM) : Co announced today that its board of directors has elected AECOM President Michael S. Burke, 50, to succeed John M. Dionisio, 65, as chief executive officer (CEO), as part of a planned succession process. Dionisio will become executive chairman of the board of directors when Burke succeeds him as CEO, and joins AECOM's board of directors, on March 6, 2014. Burke joined AECOM in 2005 and was named chief financial officer in 2006. He was appointed president of AECOM in October 2011.
4:13 pm Synthetic Biologics announces public offering of common stock, size not disclosed (SYN) : Co announced today that it intends to offer for sale shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for, among other things, increasing working capital, funding research and development, and capital expenditures. In addition, the Company may use a portion of the net proceeds for licensing or acquiring intellectual property to incorporate into its products and product candidates or its research and development programs. The Company may also use a portion of the net proceeds to in-license, acquire or invest in complementary businesses or products; however, it has no current commitments or obligations to do so. Aegis Capital Corp. is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.
4:09 pm Coldwater Creek beats by $0.13, misses on revs (CWTR) : Reports Q3 (Oct) loss of $0.79 per share, excl. non-recurring items, $0.13 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.92); revenues fell 17.9% year/year to $154.5 mln vs the $160.06 mln consensus.
"In response to the disappointing performance of our fall merchandise, we took swift action early in Q3 to adjust our holiday assortment, and we experienced a meaningful improvement in full-priced selling as holiday product flowed into stores starting in mid-October. During the quarter we also implemented a cost reduction program, which is expected to generate $20-25 mln in expense savings next year," said Jill Dean, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coldwater Creek.
"While we are encouraged by the favorable customer response to recent deliveries, the holiday selling season is still underway and the environment remains highly competitive."
4:07 pm Northstar Realty announces public offering of 50 mln shares of common stock (NRF) : Co announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of 50 million shares of common stock. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to: fund the cash portion of the purchase price for the acquisition of an approximately $400 million portfolio of manufactured housing communities that it currently has under contract and make other potential investments relating to its business
4:06 pm Vascular Solutions receives Shonin approvals to launch GuideLiner Catheter and SuperCross FT Microcatheter in Japan (VASC) : Co announced that two of its products, the GuideLiner guide extension catheter and the SuperCross FT microcatheter, have received Shonin approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (:MHLW). The company expects sales of both devices in Japan to begin during January. Both GuideLiner and SuperCross FT will be distributed in Japan by Vascular Solutions' distribution partner, Japan Lifeline Co., Ltd., which supervised the pre-market regulatory review and reimbursement process with Japan's MHLW. Both devices have also received reimbursement designation, with reimbursement in Japan expected to be effective January 1, 2014. Stocking shipments of both products to Japan Lifeline are expected in early January followed by full-scale commercial activity later that month.
4:06 pm Connecticut Water subsidiary, Connecticut Water, and UConn reach agreement on contract for additional water supply (CTWS) : The University of Connecticut (UConn) and Connecticut Water have reached an agreement on a long-term water supply agreement to supplement the water supply for the Storrs campus and part of Mansfield. The agreement also sets the stage to begin the process of seeking regulatory approvals. The agreement provides a long-term solution for meeting the projected water supply requirements at the UConn Storrs campus, including the planned UConn Tech Park. A related agreement is being developed between Connecticut Water and Mansfield so that Connecticut Water will serve customers in Mansfield, including the Four Corners area. Thomas Callahan says the process of seeking state regulatory permits will begin in early 2014 and there will be various opportunities for public input in the regulatory process. The project is expected to be completed within 18 months of securing all required approvals.
4:05 pm Vera Bradley beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus; stock is halted (VRA) : Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $0.37 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.33; revenues fell 5.9% year/year to $130.1 mln vs the $129.35 mln consensus. Gross profit for the current year third quarter decreased 10.3% to $71.9 million, resulting in a gross margin rate of 55.3%, compared to 58.0% in the prior year third quarter. The decrease in gross margin was primarily due to sales of lower-margin product accounting for a higher percentage of total net revenues in the current quarter, as well as increased promotional activity year-over-year.
Co issues downside guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $0.44-0.47, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.56 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $145-150 mln vs. $159.37 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. The gross margin rate for the current year fourth quarter is expected to decline between 340 and 380 basis points from last year's fourth quarter.
4:03 pm Penske Auto acquires Frank Smith Toyota-Scion and Hyundai dealerships in Pharr, Texas (PAG) : PAG has acquired the Frank Smith Toyota-Scion and Hyundai dealerships in Pharr, Texas. These dealerships operate in the Rio Grande Valley area and serve the greater metropolitan area of McAllen, Texas, representing a new market area for the company. The acquired dealerships complement the company's existing operations in Austin, Houston, and Round Rock, Texas, and are expected to generate approximately $200 million in annualized revenue.
The dealerships are located on an 18-acre site which includes a 28,000-square-foot, 38-service bay collision repair center and an 8,500-square-foot delivery/detail center allowing the company to operate the dealerships in a campus-style environment. All dealership facilities are compliant with the individual brands' current image program.
4:03 pm Matador Resources announces 2014 capital budget of $440 mln, 2014 oil production guidance up 44% (MTDR) : Co announced its 2014 capital budget and operating plan, which include the following:
- 2014 capital budget of $440 million, including $394 million for drilling and completions, $16 million for pipelines and facilities and $30 million for land and seismic data; -- 2014 guidance of 2.8 to 3.1 million barrels of oil production, up about 44% from 2013
- 2014 guidance of 13.5 to 15.0 Bcf of natural gas production, up about 14% from 2013
- 2014 oil and natural gas revenue guidance of $325 to $355 million, up about 31% from 2013, based on established 2014 realized prices of $95/Bbl for oil and $4.25/Mcf for natural gas (including NGLs)
- 2014 Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $235 to $265 million, up about 35% from 2013.
4:02 pm Manning & Napier Advisors reports November 30, 2013 AUM of $50.4 bln vs $49.1 bln in prior month (MN) :
4:01 pm Oxford Industries misses by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides Q4 EPS in-line, revs in-line (OXM) : Reports Q3 (Oct) earnings of $0.10 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.11; revenues rose 8.9% year/year to $197.5 mln vs the $198.9 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q4, sees EPS of $1.01-1.16, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.04 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q4 revs of $255-265 mln vs. $258.48 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
4:01 pm KapStone Paper and Packaging announces two-for-one stock split (KS) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has approved a two-for-one (2:1) split of the Company's common stock at today's regularly scheduled board meeting. The stock split will be structured in the form of a stock dividend. The record date for the stock split is December 23, 2013. Shareholders of record as of such date will receive one additional share of common stock for each share that they own. The distribution of the new shares will be made on January 7, 2014, and trading on a split-adjusted basis is expected to begin on or about January 8, 2014.
4:00 pm ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Phase II study demonstrates that glioblastoma patients live longer without disease progression when treated with ICT-107; the differences in the overall survival (:OS) K-M curves did not reach statistical significance (IMUC) : IMUC announced that ICT-107, its dendritic cell-based vaccine, demonstrated a statistically significant increase in progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (:GBM) in its randomized, placebo-controlled phase II trial. A comparison of PFS between ICT-107 and placebo showed a statistically significant difference in the Kaplan-Meier (K-M) curves favoring ICT-107 in the intent-to-treat population of all 124 randomized patients. The difference in the median progression-free survival times between ICT-107 and placebo favored ICT-107 and was two months in duration.
The differences in the overall survival (:OS) K-M curves did not reach statistical significance in the intent-to-treat population (the primary endpoint) or the per-protocol population. However, there were numerical differences in the median survivals favoring ICT-107 of two months in the intent-to-treat population and three months in the per-protocol population.
The OS analysis includes data on 67 events (patient deaths) out of a possible 124, whereas the PFS analysis includes data from 103 events. ImmunoCellular Therapeutics plans to continue following patients in this trial to collect more mature OS data. In the matured data from the open label, phase I trial, the Company observed a consistent benefit in both PFS and OS compared with historical controls, and on this basis thinks that it is possible that the primary OS benefit could be clarified as the phase II data mature. In this phase II study, ICT-107 was generally safe and well tolerated, with no imbalance of adverse events between the active and placebo groups.
3:57 pm Aegion's Insituform Technologies awarded two contracts with a combined value of $7.4 mln from Metro Water Services (AEGN) : Beginning in early 2014, Insituform crews will install Insituform(R) cured-in-place pipe (:CIPP) in over 13 miles of 8- to 18-inch wastewater pipelines, primarily in residential areas throughout Nashville. Insituform will oversee local subcontractors and small businesses that will perform manhole rehabilitation, concrete and paving work, site preparation and restoration and lateral lining.
3:51 pm Earnings Calendar (:SUMRX) : Today after the close look for the following companies to report:
- MW, NDSN, OXM, CWTR, VRA, SIGM, ASYS
- HOV, CIEN, LULU
3:49 pm Allegion: Nelson Peltz' Trian Fund discloses 5.98% passive stake in 13G filing (ALLE) :
3:47 pm Amazon.com declines as low as 382.12, its six day range low/Dec low is at 381.37 (AMZN) :
3:27 pm Public Service: $1.2 bln in PSE&G transmission improvements approved by PJM (PEG) : PJM approved a $1.2 billion 345-kV double-circuit transmission investment designed to resolve short-circuit concerns in northern New Jersey. The project, to be developed by PSE&G, a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise, will enhance the reliability of the transmission infrastructure and allow for handling of increased load over the next several decades. The upgrades will span from the Linden to Bergen power plants and include upgrading ties to Newark Airport, the Hudson Power Station and New York City connections. Planning work is underway and construction is expected to be completed within 48 months.
3:26 pm Brown & Brown subsidiary, Proctor Financial, announced a three year recertification of its ISO 9001:08 registration effective Nov 7, 2013 (BRO) :
3:19 pm Stock indices drop to new lows -- S&P -17.8, Nasdaq Comp -51, Dow -103 held 5 points above midday low (:TECHX) : Underperforming the S&P in recent trade are: Biotech IBB, Internet FDN, Energy XLE, Oil Service OIH.
3:01 pm Minor new low Nasdaq Comp -44, S&P -15.5 is testing its midday/session low, Dow -89 is 20 points above its low (:TECHX) :
3:00 pm Comcast plans to add new partners to SEEiT, the platform that connects social conversations and promotion around content to the actual viewership of TV shows, movies and sports (CMCSA) : Co announced that it plans to add new partners to SEEiT, the platform that connects social conversations and promotion around content to the actual viewership of TV shows, movies and sports. These partnerships will extend the SEEiT experience to reach millions of users by adding additional video distributors, television networks and an expanded roster of popular shows.
The new partners - ABC Entertainment Group, A+E Networks Group, AMC Networks Inc., Cablevision's Optimum TV, Charter Communications, Crown Media Family Networks, Discovery Communications, Fox Networks Group and Time Warner Cable - are expected to join SEEiT as early as the first quarter of 2014.
2:50 pm NYMEX Energy Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Jan crude oil fell $1.08 to $97.47/barrel
- Crude oil fell deeper into negative territory on higher-than-anticipated builds in gasoline and distillate inventories. Although the EIA reported that crude oil inventories had a draw of 10.585 mln barrels when consensus called for a draw of 2.7-3.0 mln, gasoline stockpiles rose 6.7 mln vs expectations for a build of 1.7-2.0 mln. Distillate inventories rose 4.5 mln when consensus called for a smaller build of 1.5-1.6 mln. The energy component pulled back from its session high of $98.43 set moments after pit trade opened and brushed a session low of $97.20 before settling with a 1.1% loss.
- Jan natural gas rose 10 cents to $4.34/MMBtu
- Natural gas, on the other hand, came off its session low of $4.21 and broke into positive territory in late morning action. It trended higher for the remainder of the session and settled 2.4% higher at its session high.
- Jan heating oil settled unchanged at $3.02/gallon
- Jan RBOB gasoline fell 3 cents to $2.66/gallon
2:33 pm Huntsman prices EUR 300 mln private offering of senior notes due 2021 (HUN) : Co announced that it has priced a 300.0 million in aggregate principal amount offering of senior notes due 2021 through its wholly owned subsidiary, Huntsman International LLC. The offering was increased from a previously announced size of 200.0 million in aggregate principal amount of Notes. The Notes will carry an interest rate of 5.125% and will mature on April 15, 2021. Huntsman intends to use the net proceeds to repay a portion of the principal amount outstanding under its Term Loan C, to pay related fees and expenses and for general corporate purposes.
2:31 pm CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol/ICE Sugar Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Mar corn rose 3 cents to $4.39/bushel
- Mar wheat rose 1 cent to $6.41/bushel
- Jan soybeans rose 5 cents to $13.44/bushel
- Jan ethanol fell 7 cents to $1.93/gallon
- Mar sugar (#16 (U.S.)) rose 0.27 of a penny to 20.34 cents/lbs
2:29 pm Dollar Looking at Fourth Loss in Five Days: 10-yr: -05/32..2.846%..USD/JPY: 102.56..EUR/USD: 1.3790 (:SUMRX) : The Dollar Index is staring at its fourth loss in the past five sessions as trade clings to small losses. Yesterday's weakness saw the greenback slide below the 80.00 level for the first time since late-October, and trade appears destined for another close below the mark as a sleepy session drifts towards the close. Click here to see a daily Dollar Index chart.
- EURUSD is +35 pips @ 1.3795 as buyers are in control for a seventh straight session. The single currency pierced 1.3800 for the first time in one and a half months, but trade has stalled at the level as bears attempt to defend the October highs. Eurozone industrial production and the ECB Monthly Bulletin are due out tomorrow. European Central Bank head Mario Draghi will discuss ECB policy in front of the European Parliament.
- GBPUSD is -60 pips @ 1.6385 as trade slips off yesterday's close, which marked the best since August 2011. Early selling saw sterling test minor help in the 1.6330 area, but buyers quickly emerged to provide support. A breakdown of that level sets up a test of more solid support in the 1.6200 region.
- USDCHF is -15 pips @ .8860 as sellers hammer away for a seventh straight day. The recent skid has turned the attention of many traders towards the .8600/.8800 region as it is the final level of support before trade pulls back to levels last seen when the Swiss National Bank instituted its EURCHF floor. The Swiss National Bank will opine tomorrow with markets expecting no change to its Libor Rate of less than 0.25%.
- USDJPY is -30 pips @ 102.55 as sellers remain in control for a second session. Early weakness dropped action to 102.15, but a persistent afternoon bid has allowed the pair to retake minor support near 102.50. Today's disappointing core machinery orders was the latest data point to miss expectations, and comes amid chatter the Bank of Japan is looking to further ease policy.
- AUDUSD is -80 pips @ .9070 with today's selling wiping away three days of gains. The hard currency failed yet again at .9150, causing some to turn their attention towards the December lows near .9000. Australia's employment change and unemployment rate will follow tonight's release of MI Inflation Expectations. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will announce its latest Official Cash Rate at the top of the hour. No change is expected from the current 2.50%.
- USDCAD is -5 pips @ 1.0595 amid a sleepy session. The small dip has the pair looking at a fifth straight loss as trade settles into minor support in the area. Canada's New Home Price Index will be released tomorrow.
1:56 pm Buckeye Partners announces acquisition of 20 liquid petroleum products terminals with total storage capacity of approximately 39 million barrels for $850 million from Hess (HES) (BPL) : Co announced that it has completed its purchase of 20 liquid petroleum products terminals with total storage capacity of approximately 39 million barrels for $850 million from Hess Corporation (HES). The 19 domestic terminals are located primarily in major metropolitan locations along the U.S. East Coast and have approximately 29 million barrels of refined petroleum products storage capacity, including approximately 15 million barrels of capacity strategically located in New York Harbor. The terminal on St. Lucia in the Caribbean has approximately 10 million barrels of crude oil and refined petroleum products storage capacity and has deep-water access. This acquisition increases Buckeye's total liquid petroleum storage capacity by approximately 53 percent to over 110 million barrels. Hess' Retail Marketing Business will be a key customer at these facilities under a multi-year storage and throughput commitment.
1:44 pm COMEX Metals Closing Prices (:COMDX) :
- Feb gold fell $4.20 to $1256.80/ounce
- Gold spent most of today's session chopping around in negative territory. It dipped to a session low of $1254.60 in morning pit trade and eventually settled with a 0.3% loss.
- Mar silver rose $0.02 to $20.35/ounce
- Silver rose to a session high of $20.48 moments before equity markets opened but trended lower as the session progressed. It erased most of the earlier gains and settled just 0.1% higher.
- Mar copper rose 3 cents to $3.30/lbs
1:26 pm Crude oil futures extend losses and hit a new LoD... Jan crude is now -1.0% at $97.50/barrel (:COMDX) :
1:06 pm Modest midday extension of bounce off lows -- Dow -67 has recouped 44 points, S&P -12, Nasdaq Comp -34 (:TECHX) :
12:34 pm Airgas to expand atmospheric gas production capacity in New England (ARG) : Co announced plans to expand its atmospheric gas production capacity in New England by building a second air separation unit (:ASU) in Bozrah, CT in order to meet the expected increase in demand for merchant gases across its diverse customer base in the region. The ASU, which will produce oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, will be operated by Airgas Merchant Gases and is expected to begin production in the fall of 2015.
12:29 pm Coastal Contacts launches partnership with Overstock (OSTK) (COA) : Co announced that it has launched a partnership with Overstock to market Coastal.com's industry leading eyewear offering to Overstock's large and growing customer base. Coastal.com has launched their eyeglasses product offering at Overstock.com and will fulfill orders directly to Overstock's customers from its U.S. based manufacturing and distribution facility.
12:27 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
- SNI (80.77 +7.34%): Variety reporting that Discovery Communications (DISCA) is considering making a bid for the company; CNBC's David Faber reporting that co's are not actively discussing a deal
- MA (794 +3.98%): Announced 10-for-1 stock split, 83% increase in quarterly dividend, and $3.5 bln share repurchase program
- CAM (56.24 +2.48%): Announced $750 mln increase in share repurchase authorization
- IEP (114.5 -13.7%): Mentioned cautiously in Barron's article, says co "looks grossly overvalued"
- ECA (18.36 -4.47%): Announced capital program focused on generating profitable growth through investment in five core liquids-rich resource plays; announced that a restructuring resulted in an approximate 20% workforce reduction since the beginning of November; co expects to take an ~$65 mln after-tax charge as a result of the restructuring
- RBS (10.64 -3.77%): Confirmed that Nathan Bostock will resign from role as Group Finance Director; Bostock had been in role for just 10 weeks and is joining rival Santander
- NRF (11.49 +15.64%): Announced plan to spin-off asset management business into a separate publicly traded company in a tax-free transaction
- URBN (37.24 +4.20%): Disclosed that thus far Q4 comparable retail segment net sales are mid single-digit positive
- GRPN (10.26 +2.19%): Upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
- OPK (9.92 -13.7%): Mentioned negatively in blog article (note: author of article disclosed short position in the stock)
- LH (89.28 -9.95%): Reaffirmed FY13 EPS of $6.90-7.05 ex items vs $7.02 estimate, revs +3% to ~$5.84 bln vs $5.82 bln estimate; sees FY14 EPS of ~$6.50 ex items vs $7.55 estimate, revs +2% to ~$5.96 bln vs $5.95 bln estimate; downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity; target lowered to $89 from $98 at Mizuho
- ALSN (25.9 -5.51%): Announced the sale of 12.5 mln shares of common stock by funds affiliated with The Carlyle Group and Onex Corporation
12:20 pm Sector Watch (:TECHX) : Sectors pacing the way on a relative basis (underperforming the S&P) include: Biotech IBB, Industrial XLI, Transports/Rail IYT, Housing XHB, Materials XLB, Software IGV. Sectors outperforming are defensive (Utility UTIL, Staples XLP, Gold GLD, Silver SLV, Restaurant).
12:16 pm EW Scripps confirms acquisition of Newsy.com for $35 mln (SSP) : Co has acquired video news provider Newsy.com for $35 million. Columbia, Missouri-based Newsy, a five-year old start-up, describes itself as a multisource video news service that highlights unique perspectives from across the media spectrum. Newsy will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Scripps.
12:12 pm Gannett provides strategic update at UBS Global Media and Communications Conference; co comfortable with higher end of $0.63-0.67 Q4 EPS range (in-line with estimates) (GCI) : Co's executives at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference today discussed each of the company's business segments, as well as its continuing transformation into a more highly diversified media and marketing services company. Gracia Martore, Gannett president and CEO, provided an update on the company's strategy to position Gannett for growth in the digital age. "We are very pleased with the substantial progress we've made on our strategic transformation. Our most significant news during the past year is our pending acquisition of Belo Corporation, which is a true game-changer for Gannett. Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting, discussed the impact of the pending acquisition of Belo, noting that the combined company will be the largest independent owner of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets, including stations to be serviced by Gannett through shared services or similar sharing arrangements. Lougee also provided an update on the company's expectations for Broadcasting revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013, noting that revenue comparisons for the fourth quarter of 2013 are challenged by a record level of political spending in the fourth quarter last year, as well as an additional week in the 2012 fourth quarter. Excluding the additional week in 2012, Broadcasting revenues are forecasted to be approximately 20 percent below the 2012 fourth quarter. Broadcasting revenues are expected to be 17 percent higher, excluding the incremental impact of political spending. Looking ahead to 2014, the Broadcasting segment is well positioned to benefit from the Winter Olympic Games and political advertising as well as substantial growth in retransmission revenue. Victoria Harker, chief financial officer, discussed the company's expected fourth quarter and 2013 results, its capital allocation program, and certain operating and financial assumptions for 2014. "Most of the estimates for fourth quarter earnings per share range from 63 cents to 67 cents. Based on the trends thus far in the quarter and our expectations for the remainder of the year, we are comfortable with the higher end of this range," said Harker. Briefing Note: Capital IQ Consensus for Q4 adjusted EPS is $0.67.
12:01 pm Dolby Labs announces Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment now encode movies and TV programs in the UltraViolet Common File Format (:CFF) using Dolby Digital Plus (DLB) :
12:00 pm Minor new session lows -- Dow -71, S&P -11.4, Nasdaq Comp -28 (:TECHX) : The S&P has extended down to third level support in the 1790/1789 area in recent trade. Limited push off low thus far.
11:57 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:
- UK's FTSE:-0.2%
- Germany's DAX:-0.4%
- France's CAC:-0.1%
- Spain's IBEX:-0.8%
- Portugal's PSI:-0.2%
- Italy's MIB Index:-1.4%
- Irish Ovrl Index:-0.8%
- Greece ATHEX Composite: -0.3%
11:34 am Morning pressure persists, small-caps underperforming major averages with Russell 2000 / IWM hovering modestly above their 50 day (:TECHX) : The 50 sma for the Russell 2000 is at 1105.04 (session low 1107.39) with the 50 sma for the IWM at 109.79 (session low 110.02).
11:33 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (84) outpacing new lows (59) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AAOI, ACT, ADSK, AGX, ALU, ARSD, ARTC, ARTX, ASTC, BIDU, BWA, BX, CAE, CAFI, CBI, CLC, COLM, COMM, CONN, CRL, CUBI, CVS, CVU, CW, CYTR, DG, DGI, DIS, DXPE, EHTH, ESMC, EVGN, EVR, FCEL, GSL, HASI, HBAN, HSIC, HYGS, ICE, ILMN, IT, ITRN, JGW, JW.A, KKR, KND, LM, LNBB, LVS, MA, MAKO, MAMS, MGM, MITL, MPEL, NLSN, NRF, NSTG, NVAX, NVGS, OLN, OTEX, OZM, PDFS, PLAB, PLOW, POZN, STZ, SWKS, SYNT, TSN, TWTR, VET, VNCE, VPHM, WFBI, WIT, WIX, WYNN, WYY, XLRN, XRAY, XUE
Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ACTG, AEPI, ARQL, ATGN, AVEO, BAXS, BLE, BZM, CERP, CIE, CNAT, CRIS, CVM, DO, EW, FIO, FRD, FSC, FST, FSYS, GENE, GEVO, GMAN, GMET, GMLP, INVE, JIVE, JVA, KMI, LITB, MIL, MVF, MVIS, NCQ, NCTY, NEWL, NMIH, NMY, NRT, NTWK, NZH, OCZ, RBY, RDNT, RNF, RNO, SHOS, SQM, STRA, STRI, TBAC, TDC, TEU, TLYS, UAN, VDSI, VICL, VRS, WTSL
ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: FXF
ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: REMX
11:20 am Currency Commentary: DXY Unable to Regain 80 Despite Budget Deal (:SUMRX) :
- The Dollar Index has been unable to hold the 80 level despite numerous overnight tests. Yesterday the DXY slipped into the 79 area for the first time since October 31. The DXY has not been under heavy selling pressure since dipping below the key psych support level. But it has been unable to use that support to push back higher. So we have the DXY trading in a tight range straddling the 80 level. The move comes on the heels of a budget announcement that should ease some concerns on the fiscal side. The deal still needs to be approved by both Houses but early indications are it should pass with bipartisan support.
- The euro has started to probe the 1.38 level as it takes advantage of the dollar weakness. Economic data from the region was generally weak as a French Nonfarm payroll showed continued decline while Greece's Unemployment rate slipped to 27.4% from 27.3%. Germany had no revision to its CPI number and Portugal's inflation rate showed the second straight 0.2% decline. An Irish Industrial Production number showed a 7.6% m/m decline. But the weak numbers have had little impact on the single currency.
- The pound has given up some of its recent gains. The move was sparked by comments from Bank of England member Martin Weale who noted that inflation has seen a 'sharp and unexpected' decline since the summer. Sterling has dipped back to the 1.6350 area but is seeing some signs of holding that level.
- The yen is seeing bids after hitting a six month low yesterday. The yen was seen as a safe haven today as Asian equities saw selling pressure. Economic data from the region continues to underwhelm as Core Machinery Orders missed expectations while CGPI inflation numbers came in line with expectations (BONDX, FOREX).
11:12 am Avago Tech announces $0.25 quarterly, interim cash dividend; previous dividend was $0.23 (AVGO) :
11:06 am Dow -47 works roughly 30 points off low, S&P -8.1, Nasdaq Comp -18 (:TECHX) :
11:01 am Humana and Regional HealthPlus partner to launch Accountable Care relationship in Spartanburg, South Carolina (HUM) :
10:44 am Floor Talk (:TALKX) : The stock market exhibited some resilience at the open, but it has succumbed to broad-based selling interest that has each of the major indices down 0.4-0.5%. The S&P Midcap 400 Index (-0.8%) and the Russell 2000 (-0.7%) are underperforming their larger counterparts.
There hasn't been any specific news catalyst for the downturn, so it has the semblance of being a sweeping profit-taking move. This is of course the time of year when tax-loss selling tends to pick up, so that can be thought of as a possible contributing factor.
At the same time, with such big gains across the small-cap, mid-cap, and large-cap spaces, and thoughts of tapering dancing in the market's head, portfolio rebalancing efforts cannot be dismissed as a causal factor for today's selling interest.
One final element to be considered, in the absence of a specific news catalyst, is the expedient of technical selling as support levels at 1801/1800 and 1796/1795 have both been violated this morning.
Every sector, with the exception of consumer staples (+0.2%), is trading lower. Health care (-1.1%) is the biggest loser followed by the influential financial sector (-0.9%).
10:30 am Jan crude oil futures spike following weekly EIA crude oil inventory data. Jan crude oil is now --0.5% at $98.04/barrel (:COMDX) :
10:27 am Dollar index just spiked higher, helping weigh on select commodities. Crude oil prices are near its session low, which was just recently hit, just ahead of the weekly EIA inventory data (:COMDX) : Jan crude oil is now -0.7% at $97.88/barrel.
10:26 am New lows again for Dow -75 and S&P -9.8, Nasdaq Comp -20 just above its trough (:TECHX) :
10:18 am Stealthgas announces termination of public offering of common stock (GASS) : Co announced that it will not proceed with its previously announced public offering of common stock at this time as it is not in the best interests of its stockholders.
10:16 am Crude oil extends losses, hits a new LoD here (:COMDX) : Jan crude oil is now -0.8% at $97.74/barrel.
10:09 am Semiconductor Hldrs ETF displaying some intraday relative strength as it edges back into positive territory (SMH) :
10:07 am Stock indices extend further to new session lows -- Dow -67, S&P -8.9, Nasdaq Comp -20 (:TECHX) :
10:07 am Endo Health announces proposed private offering of $375 mln of senior unsecured notes (ENDP) : Co announced that Endo Finance Co., its wholly-owned subsidiary ("Endo Finance"), intends to offer, subject to market and customary conditions, $375 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes. Endo intends to use the net proceeds from the proposed offering, together with borrowings under the term loan portion of a new senior secured credit facility, to refinance Endo's existing senior secured credit facility, to pay acquisition related fees and expenses and for general corporate purposes, which may include strategic acquisitions. Upon closing the acquisition of Paladin Labs, Endo Finance will merge with and into a subsidiary of the holding company which will own Endo and Paladin following the acquisition ("New Endo"), with such subsidiary continuing as the surviving entity and assuming all of Endo Finance's obligations under the notes, and the notes will be guaranteed by certain of New Endo's subsidiaries. Should the acquisition not close, Endo Finance will merge into Endo, and Endo will assume the notes, at which time the notes will be guaranteed by certain of Endo's subsidiaries.
10:03 am BlackBerry announces that RMHS has selected BlackBerry's enterprise mobility management solution - BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) - along with BlackBerry Z10 smartphones to enhance mobile productivity (BBRY) :
9:56 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Underperforming sectors as the market drops to new lows include: Housing XHB, Finance XLF, Bank KBE, Energy XLE, Rail/Transports IYT, Gold Miners GDX, Steel SLX, Materials XLB, Coal KOL, REITs IYR, Solar TAN, Biotech IBB.
9:56 am Ruby Tuesday responds to recent market rumors suggesting co has hired Goldman Sachs: 'rumor did not originate from Ruby Tuesday' (RT) : Co, "is aware of recent media reports suggesting it has hired Goldman Sachs to evaluate strategic alternatives. While it is our practice not to respond to market rumors and speculation, we believe it is important to clarify that this rumor did not originate from Ruby Tuesday. Ruby Tuesday's management and teams are committed to the Company's previously-disclosed strategic plans and remain confident in our brand transformation strategy and in our team's ability to successfully execute our plans."
9:47 am New lows across the board -- Dow -21, S&P -4.4, Nasdaq Comp -7 (:TECHX) :
9:42 am Mixed bias after limited opening upticks -- Dow +2, S&P -2.5, Nasdaq Comp -0.1 (:TECHX) :
9:34 am Cisco Systems slips to new low for the month in early action at 20.85, its seven month low from Nov is at 20.77 (CSCO) :
9:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Overstock.com (OSTK) announced its website now offers prescription brand-name glasses and sunglasses.
- Gannett's (GCI) U.S. Community Publishing and USA TODAY announced the launch of a major new initiative to provide local consumers with an enhanced news product that leverages Gannett's unique ability to generate and distribute national content while enhancing its ever-important local hometown coverage.
- Lockheed Martin (LMT) is producing Liquefied Natural Gas storage tanks. Co is under contract to produce cryogenic LNG storage tanks for Wartsila, a Finnish power solution provider and Harvey Gulf International Marine, a marine transportation co.
- March Networks has received factory certification from Lenel Systems International for OnGuard 2013 and 2012 on the latest release of its Command video management system software and new 8000 Series Hybrid Network Video Recorders. Lenel is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies (UTX).
- CollabRx (CLRX) and Cynvenio Biosystems announced a multi-year agreement to access CollabRx technology and content resources in support of the clinical interpretation of genetic sequencing-based tests provided by Cynvenio.
9:22 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Avid (AVID) announced that Florida-based Full Sail University has furnished its on-campus post-production facility with a complete end-to-end Avid workflow. The university is now equipped with the most proven and trusted technology to ensure students gain the relevant and valuable industry expertise they'll need for future success.
- MetLife (MET) has signed a JV agreement with UDR (UDR) to invest in the construction of a luxury high-rise residential development in San Francisco. MetLife will have a 49% share of the project, and UDR will own 51%. With 447 residential units, the community will cost ~ $317 mln to develop and is expected to open in 2016.
- KVH Industries (KVHI) has been chosen by BW as the satellite communications solution for its Liquefied Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas fleet. BW's vessels will use KVH's advanced, dual-mode TracPhone V11-IP onboard satellite communications system and mini-VSAT Broadbands service for the "always-on" broadband connectivity that is essential for today's commercial maritime operations.
- BSD Medical (BSDM) signed an agreement with Active Medical for the sales and distribution of the MicroThermX Microwave Ablation line of products. Pursuant to the agreement, BSD recently commenced shipment of MicroThermX systems and synchronous phased array disposable antennas to Active.
- 3M (MMM) and Korea-based ECOPRO have entered into a patent license agreement that aims at further expanding the use of Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt cathode materials in lithium ion batteries.
- BIOLASE (BIOL) announced that the Board of Directors has appointed James R. Talevich and Samuel B. Low to the Board. Mr. Talevich and Dr. Low were appointed to the Audit Committee and Mr. Talevich was appointed Chairman of the Audit Committee.
- Xplore Technologies (XPLR) has received its first major purchase order for its RangerX rugged Android tablet. The order of ~ $4 mln from a major U.S. telecommunications provider includes tablets and accessories and is expected to ship this month.
- As part of its ongoing commitment to providing asset management and auction services for Hoffmann-La Roche, Liquidity Services (LQDT) will be conducting a series of online auctions for surplus equipment, including biotech, research and development and lab equipment, no longer needed in Roche's daily operations at its facility in Nutley, NJ USA.
9:18 am Gevo priced an offering of 18.53 mln common stock units at a public offering price of $1.35/unit (GEVO) :
9:13 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +2.00. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 is poised for a slightly higher open as futures on the benchmark index trade just above fair value.
Today's most notable headline came out Washington where negotiators have secured a two-year budget agreement that aims to reduce sequester cuts by $63 billion and lower the deficit by roughly $20 billion. The deal has yet to receive full Congressional approval.
Among corporate news of note, Mastercard (MA 794.00, +30.39) sports a pre-market advance of 4.0% after the company announced a 10-1 stock split, increased its quarterly dividend by 83.0%, and announced a new share repurchase program in the amount of $3.50 billion.
On the earnings front, Costco (COST 118.00, -2.04) is indicated 3.3% lower after reporting a bottom-line miss on below-consensus revenue.
9:10 am CytRx extends move higher, now +60% at 15 month high in premarket following highly statistically significant positive results from its global phase 2b clinical trial (CYTR) : Call is at 10:30 ET.
9:05 am Biolase engages Piper Jaffray & Co. as financial advisor to assist the Board in considering a wide range of strategic options (BIOL) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has engaged Piper Jaffray & Co. to act as the Company's exclusive financial advisor in the evaluation of strategic alternatives. Pursuant to the agreement, Piper Jaffray will assist the Board in considering a wide range of strategic options.
9:05 am American Homes 4 Rent commences public offering of its 5% Series B Participating Preferred Shares (AMH) : Co announced that the Company has commenced an underwritten public offering of its 5% Series B Participating Preferred Shares. Investors in the Series B Participating Preferred Shares may also potentially benefit from home price appreciation in the Company's top 20 markets by participating in home price gains as determined by the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index, subject to certain limitations and payable upon certain defined realization events in each case described in the prospectus for the securities.  In addition, the Company will grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the Series B Participating Preferred Shares. The Company intends to apply to list the Series B Participating Preferred Shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'AMHPRB.'
The Company intends to distribute the net proceeds of the offering to its operating partnership. The operating partnership intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to continue to acquire and renovate single-family properties, to repay borrowings under its credit facility and for general business purposes.
9:04 am SunTrust announces agreement to sell RidgeWorth Capital Management; sale price consists of up to $245 mln to be paid at closing with the potential for up to $20 mln in additional proceeds based on retention of certain assets (STI) : Co announced it has reached a definitive agreement to sell the co's asset management subsidiary, RidgeWorth Capital Management, to RidgeWorth employees and an investor group led by a private equity fund managed by Lightyear Capital. The sale is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014. RidgeWorth and its five institutional asset management boutiques collectively manage approximately $50.6 billion in assets. SunTrust had $189.4 billion in assets under advisement at September 30, 2013. As of September 30, RidgeWorth contributed approximately $25 million to SunTrust's year-to-date net income.
The sale price consists of up to $245 million to be paid at closing with the potential for up to $20 million in additional proceeds based on retention of certain assets. SunTrust estimates the after-tax gain on the transaction to be $50 million.
9:04 am Citigroup announces expiration and final tender results of offers to purchase three series of outstanding notes; notes totaling ~ $462.78 mln are being accepted (C) : These Offers, in which Notes totaling ~$462.78 mln, are being accepted, are consistent with Citigroup's liability management strategy, and reflect its ongoing efforts to enhance the efficiency of its funding and capital structure. Since the beginning of 2012, Citigroup has retired ~$28 bln of senior debt, subordinated debt, preferred and trust preferred securities, reducing Citigroup's overall funding costs and efficiently deploying its ample liquidity. Citigroup will continue to consider opportunities to redeem or repurchase securities, based on several factors, including without limitation, the economic value, potential impact on Citigroup's net interest margin and borrowing costs, the overall remaining tenor of Citigroup's debt portfolio, as well as overall market conditions.
9:03 am Brixmor LLC announces offer to repurchase certain of its outstanding notes (BRX) : The offer is being made pursuant to requirements set forth in the indenture governing the Notes, which provides that holders of the Notes have the right to require the Company to repurchase such Notes from holders for cash on January 15, 2014. Accordingly, the Company will pay a purchase price of 100% of the principal amount of the Notes of each series validly tendered and accepted for payment pursuant to the offer, plus accrued and unpaid interest up to, but not including, the Payment Date. The Company expects to fund the purchase of the Notes using available cash on hand, borrowings under existing credit facilities, or a combination thereof.
9:03 am SeaChange: eircom, Ireland's telecom service provider, has deployed SeaChange's Adrenalin web-centric platform for the new eVision TV service (SEAC) : Co announced that eircom, Ireland's telecom service provider, has deployed SeaChange's Adrenalin web-centric platform for the new eVision TV service. The launch of eVision allows eircom to offer quad play broadband, home phone, mobile and TV packages to residential subscribers using its high-speed fiber network.
9:03 am Emulex restructures workforce to improve operational efficiency; reaffirms its Q2 guidance (ELX) : Co announces that it has implemented a restructuring plan designed to streamline business operations with the goal of driving long-term shareholder value. This restructuring plan is part of the three-part transformation initiative announced last month to improve profitability, increase cash flow and enhance shareholder value. The restructuring will include a workforce reduction of 110 people or ~10%, the consolidation of some engineering activities, and the closure of the Company's Bolton, Massachusetts engineering facility.
The Co expects to have the restructuring completed and the transition of the Bolton, Massachusetts facility finished by the end of fiscal year 2014 at which time the site will close. This timing is consistent with the cost savings program Emulex announced last month, which is expected to deliver $30 mln in annual cost savings in our connectivity business over the fiscal year 2013 spending level, with the full run-rate benefits of the program expected to be realized in fiscal year 2015.
Additionally, Co reaffirms guidance for Q2 (Dec), sees EPS of $0.15-0.17 vs. $0.17 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 (Dec) revs of $118-124 mln vs. $120.84 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
9:02 am JDS Uniphase plans to acquire Network Instruments for $200 mln (JDSU) : Co announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Network Instruments, a leading developer of enterprise network and application-performance management solutions for global 2000 companies. JDSU plans to acquire Network Instruments for $200 mln in cash, subject to certain adjustments.
The acquisition of Network Instruments further strengthens JDSU as a key solutions provider to the enterprise, data center and cloud networking markets. It expands the addressable market for JDSU's Network and Service Enablement business segment by more than $1 bln in markets growing at nearly 13 percent, including the application-aware network performance management and network packet broker markets.
8:59 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.50. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures continue to hover just above fair value.
Asian markets ended lower across the board with China's Shanghai Composite (-1.5%) and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.7%) seeing notable losses. Coal and industrial names paced the decline after the National Development and Reform Commission said next year's coal consumption will be under tighter control.
Investors received several economic reports. Japan's Corporate Goods Price Index ticked up 0.1% month-over-month (-0.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading increased 2.7% (2.5% prior). Both figures met expectations. Separately, core machinery orders rose 0.6% month-over-month (0.6% forecast, -2.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading climbed 17.8% (15.0% consensus, 11.4% last). South Korea's unemployment rate ticked down to 2.9% from 3.0% (3.0% forecast). Separately, the M2 Money Supply increased 7.4% (6.7% last). India's trade surplus narrowed to $9.22 billion from $10.56 billion (-$11.00 billion expected) as exports grew $24.60 billion ($27.27 billion previous) and imports increased $33.83 billion ($37.83 billion prior). Australia's Westpac Consumer Sentiment fell 4.8% (1.9% prior).
- In Japan, the Nikkei lost 0.6% with exporters pacing the decline. Citizen Holdings, Konica Minolta, and Mitsubishi lost between 2.8% and 3.1%. Yahoo Japan was a notable outperformer, climbing 4.7%.
- Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 1.7%. China Coal Energy and China Shenhua Energy weighed, falling 3.9% each.
- In China, the Shanghai Composite settled lower by 1.5%. Anhui Hengyuan Coal-Electricity Group and Datong Coal Energy lost 2.2% and 2.1%, respectively.
- Germany's DAX is higher by 0.3% with Bayer and Daimler among the leaders. The two names hold gains close to 1.0% apiece. On the downside, fertilizer producer K+S lags, trading lower by 1.3%.
- Great Britain's FTSE trades up 0.4%. Defense contractors are among the leaders with BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce Holdings trading higher by 2.6% and 1.1%, respectively.
- In France, the CAC sports an advance of 0.8% as growth-sensitive names provide support. Alstom and Lafarge are higher by 1.3% and 3.3%, respectively.
8:56 am European Markets Update: DAX +0.3%, FTSE +0.4%, CAC +0.8% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices hold modest gains as they rebound from yesterday's selling. Italy's MIB (-0.4%) underperforms as Prime Minister Enrico Letta prepares to face a confidence vote. Prior to the vote, Mr. Letta spoke in front of the Lower House, saying institutional reform will be his main focus for the next 18 months. Economic data was limited. Germany's CPI ticked up 0.2% month-over-month (0.2% last) while the year-over-year reading reflected an increase of 1.3% (1.3% prior). Both figures met expectations. Elsewhere, France's current account deficit narrowed to EUR2.10 billion from EUR3.60 billion. Separately, nonfarm payrolls ticked down 0.1% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (-0.1% last).
- Germany's DAX is higher by 0.3% with Bayer and Daimler among the leaders. The two names hold gains close to 1.0% apiece. On the downside, fertilizer producer K+S lags, trading lower by 1.3%.
- Great Britain's FTSE trades up 0.4%. Defense contractors are among the leaders with BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce Holdings trading higher by 2.6% and 1.1%, respectively.
- In France, the CAC sports an advance of 0.8% as growth-sensitive names provide support. Alstom and Lafarge are higher by 1.3% and 3.3%, respectively.
8:55 am NanoViricides announced that the annual meeting of its shareholders was held on December 9th; CEO reviews achievements (NNVC) : Co announced today that the annual meeting of its shareholders was held on December 9th in Stamford, CT. The meeting was well attended in spite of poor weather conditions. All of the Directors of the Company were present. Professor Mukund Kulkarni and Mr. Stanley Glick were present in person. Dr. Milton Boniuk had sent Ms. Debra Boniuk, his daughter and legal counsel to his charitable foundation, as his representative. In addition, two of the Company's Scientific Advisory Board members, namely Dr. Harmon Aronson, and Professor Thomas Lentz, also attended the meeting.
After the business portion of the meeting was concluded, Dr. Eugene Seymour, the Company's CEO, reviewed the Company's achievements over the previous year. Of note, the Company has successfully up-listed to the NYSE MKT exchange in September. The listing to NYSE MKT followed a uniform reverse split comprising conversion of each 3.5 old common stock instruments to 1 new common stock instrument. The prior existing warrants were automatically adjusted in price and in number in accordance with the uniform reverse split. Concomitantly, the Company also successfully raised ~ $9.7M, with a total financing of ~ $18M over the year. The Company's rate of cash expenditure continues to be low, at about $1.75M in the most recent quarter. The Company had ~ $22M in cash and cash-like instruments in hand as of September 30, 2013. The Company estimates that this funding is sufficient for ~ two years worth of operations. The available funding is estimated to be sufficient for initial human clinical trials of FluCide and possibly of DengueCide as well, depending upon several factors outside of the Company's control.
8:54 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Internap Network Services (INAP) announced the opening of its newest data center, located in Secaucus, N.J.
- Broadcom (BRCM) announced that HTC has chosen Broadcom's quad-core baseband and connectivity platform for the new HTC Desire 6160 Android smartphone.
- SunEdison (SUNE) and the SunEdison Rural Energy Fund announced that the IRS recognized SREF as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
- Raytheon's (RTN) Patriot Air and Missile Defense System test fired nine Patriot missiles at McGregor Range, N.M., during its annual Field Surveillance Program, successfully engaging inbound and outbound unmanned air breathing targets.
- Hertz (HTZ) has fully remodeled its London, Marble Arch flagship location.
- Internap Network Services (INAP) announced that Distil Networks has consolidated its IT infrastructure from five different managed service providers to Internap's managed hosting and bare-metal cloud services.
- Silicon Labs (SLAB) has expanded its family of 8-bit Si10xx wireless microcontrollers with two new options optimized for both cost-sensitive and performance-intensive designs.
- Logility, a subsidiary of American Software (AMSWA), announced Johnstone Supply is seeing continued improvements in its supply chain performance following its upgrade to Logility Voyager Solutions Version 8 platform.
- Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) announced that on Nov 21, 2013 it filed suit against law firm Seeger Weiss in New York federal court. Seeger Weiss has been using the co's name and trademark "Vitamin Shoppe" in its domain name and marketing materials, as well as the trademarked BODYTECH name in marketing and soliciting materials without the co's permission.
- Cerner (CERN) announced that it is offering KidsHealth pediatric-specific discharge and after-care instructions to Cerner clients.
- Itron (ITRI) and Exceleron Software are delivering a smart payment solution to Jefferson Energy Cooperative, a member-owned energy cooperative with more than 30,000 customers in 11 Georgia counties.
- CoreSite (COR) announced that EdgeCast Networks is extending its content delivery network with deployments in CoreSite's One Wilshire campus in Los Angeles and its Reston, VA facility.
- Bayer HealthCare (BAYRY) has signed a master agreement for the performance of clinical trials with the Houston-based University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The agreement aims to bolster ongoing and future collaborative clinical programs in oncology and bring new cancer treatments to patients.
- Tech Data (TECD) announced its partnership with Panduit to provide intelligent data center solutions to its channel of solution providers. Through the partnership, Panduit's physical infrastructure solutions are now available for purchase through Tech Data's Advanced Infrastructure Solutions division.
8:51 am Wabtec increases its share buyback authorization to $200 mln from previous authorization of $150 mln (WAB) : Co announces it has increased the company's share buyback authorization to $200 mln. This new buyback authorization supersedes the previous authorization of $150 mln, which had about $45 mln remaining. In 2013, the company has repurchased about $38 mln worth of Wabtec stock, including about $33 mln in the fourth quarter.
8:47 am Pacific Energy Development announces successful test results of an additional appraisal well on Kazakhstan asset (PED) : Co announces the initial results of testing done by Aral Petroleum Capital Limited Partnership on Well #315, which was originally drilled in 2012, located in western Kazakhstan's East Zhagabulak field located within the North Block of Kazakhstan's Pre-Caspian Basin.
According to information received from Aral, the test of the initial target interval of Well #315 was completed on December 4, 2013, and the well was tied into the production pipeline on December 4, 2013 with an average initial production rate of 86.7 tons of oil equivalent (~628 barrels of oil equivalent) per day over the first three days of production. Similar to Well #306, which was successfully tested in November 2013 with an initial production rate of approximately 579 BOE per day, Aral has decided to defer the planned testing of two additional target intervals of Well #315 and put the well into production. Aral's plan is to next retest (fracture and acidize) the previously tested KT-1 interval of Well #316 which discovered oil in 2012, and then proceed to workover and test certain upper objectives of Well #308.
8:46 am Kamada announces completion of pivotal Phase II/III clinical trial in Europe and Canada of inhaled AAT to treat Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency; expects to report top-line results in 1Q2014; preparations underway for European regulatory filing in second half of 2014 (KMDA) : Co announced completion of the pivotal Phase II/III clinical trial in Europe and Canada of the Company's proprietary inhaled Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) therapy for the treatment of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD or Inherited Emphysema). Kamada expects to report top-line results from this study in the first quarter of 2014. "In conjunction with pre-launch marketing activities performed by Chiesi, our European marketing partner, we are in the process of preparing a marketing authorization application (MAA) for the European Medicines Authority (:EMA), which we expect to submit in the second half of 2014. We look forward to advancing our innovative and potentially more efficacious treatment for patients suffering with this chronic, life-threatening, inherited lung disease."
In August 2012 Kamada signed an exclusive agreement for the distribution of its inhaled AAT for the treatment of AATD in Europe and with Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A, a fully integrated European pharmaceutical company focused on respiratory disease and special care products. Under the agreement Kamada is eligible to receive milestone payments of up to $60 million, subject to achievement of certain regulatory and sales targets. The agreement is for 12 years and Kamada estimates that the sales potential from the agreement, provided its inhaled AAT product is approved for this indication, may reach hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.
8:45 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.6%, Hang Seng -1.7%, Shanghai -1.5% (:SUMRX) : Asian markets ended lower across the board with China's Shanghai Composite (-1.5%) and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-1.7%) seeing notable losses. Coal and industrial names paced the decline after the National Development and Reform Commission said next year's coal consumption will be under tighter control. Investors received several economic reports. Japan's Corporate Goods Price Index ticked up 0.1% month-over-month (-0.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading increased 2.7% (2.5% prior). Both figures met expectations. Separately, core machinery orders rose 0.6% month-over-month (0.6% forecast, -2.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading climbed 17.8% (15.0% consensus, 11.4% last). South Korea's unemployment rate ticked down to 2.9% from 3.0% (3.0% forecast). Separately, the M2 Money Supply increased 7.4% (6.7% last). India's trade surplus narrowed to $9.22 billion from $10.56 billion (-$11.00 billion expected) as exports grew $24.60 billion ($27.27 billion previous) and imports increased $33.83 billion ($37.83 billion prior). Australia's Westpac Consumer Sentiment fell 4.8% (1.9% prior). Looking at currencies: USDCNY ticked up to 6.0717; USDINR rose to 61.304; USDJPY is lower near 102.55; AUDUSD trades down near .9103.
In Japan, the Nikkei closed -0.6% with exporters pacing the decline. Citizen Holdings, Konica Minolta, and Mitsubishi lost between 2.8% and 3.1%. Yahoo Japan was a notable outperformer, climbing 4.7%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng ended -1.7%. China Coal Energy and China Shenhua Energy weighed, falling 3.9% each...In China, the Shanghai Composite settled -1.5%. Anhui Hengyuan Coal-Electricity Group and Datong Coal Energy lost 2.2% and 2.1%, respectively.
In India, the Sensex ended -0.4%. Tata Motors paced the decline, falling 3.3%.
In Australia, the ASX settled -0.8%. BHP Billiton lost 1.7% and Fonterra tumbled 7.3%.
In Taiwan, the Taiex finished -0.1%....In South Korea, the Kospi ended -0.8%.
In other regional markets...Vietnam -1.2%...Singapore -0.7%...Indonesia -0.1%...Malaysia -0.1%...Thailand +0.1%...Philippines UNCH.
8:38 am Time Warner commences public offering of up to $1.0 bln of debt securities split between senior notes due 2023 and senior debentures due 2043 (TWX) : The net proceeds from the issuance of the notes and debentures will be used for general corporate purposes. The notes and debentures will be issued by Time Warner and guaranteed by Historic TW. In addition, Home Box Office and Turner Broadcasting System will guarantee the obligations of Historic TW under its guarantee. The guarantee structure for the notes and debentures will be the same as the structure for the notes and debentures Time Warner has issued since 2010.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and RBS Securities Inc. are the active joint book-running managers.
8:32 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.50. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures have climbed out of the red after spending the entire overnight session in negative territory. The overnight weakness tracked losses across Asian markets, but futures began climbing as the European session got underway. At this juncture, the S&P 500 futures hover roughly two points above fair value as the benchmark index will look to rebound from yesterday's modest decline.
It is worth mentioning that Democratic and Republican lawmakers have reached a budget agreement that would avoid another government shutdown taking place in January. This announcement has likely contributed to the rebound off the overnight lows, but the plan still needs to be approved by both chambers of Congress.
Investors received just two quarterly reports today, and both fell short of analyst expectations. Costco (COST 118.40, -1.64) holds a pre-market loss of 1.4% after reporting a bottom-line miss on below-consensus revenue. Elsewhere, Joy Global (JOY 53.66, -2.58) trades down 4.6% after missing earnings estimates by one cent and guiding full-year 2014 results below consensus.
8:32 am NovaBay Pharma gains ISO 13485 certification for the design and manufacturing of NeutroPhase (NBY) : Co announces that it received ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 13485 certification from the notified body DEKRA, for its quality management system. This is an important milestone supporting the manufacturing and commercialization of NovaBay's NeutroPhase skin and wound cleanser.
8:32 am Chefs' Warehouse announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Allen Brothers; expected to contribute ~$0.01-0.03 to the Co's consolidated diluted EPS in 2014 (CHEF) : Co announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Allen Brothers, Inc. (and its subsidiaries), based in Chicago, IL.
Allen Brothers is expected to generate ~$80.0 mln to $85.0 mln in annualized net sales in 2013. The total purchase price for the business is expected to be ~$29.9 mln (subject to customary working capital adjustments), of which $20.0 mln was paid at closing with cash proceeds from the Co's recently completed common stock offering. The remaining $9.9 mln represents liabilities assumed by the Co and earnout consideration to be paid upon the achievement of certain performance milestones over the next four years.
Based on the seasonality of Allen Brothers, the acquired business is expected to contribute modestly to the Company's earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Company currently expects the Allen Brothers business, coupled with the build-out of its CW-Chicago branch, to contribute ~$0.01-0.03 to the Co's consolidated diluted earnings per share in 2014.
8:31 am The Female Health Company names Karen King President and Chief Executive Officer (FHCO) : Co announced that Karen King will become President and CEO effective January 20, 2014. O.B. Parrish, a Company founder and current Chairman and CEO will continue as Chairman of the Board. Karen King was President of the Biologics and BioSolutions businesses at Royal DSM from 2007 to 2013. DSM Biologics/BioSolutions is a global provider of biopharmaceutical manufacturing technology and services.
8:26 am Barnes & Noble: Founder Leonard Riggio discloses 26.3% active stake (~15.8 mln shares) in amended 13D filing; last reported owning ~17.8 mln shares on 8/20 (BKS) :
- On December 2, 2013, The Riggio Foundation made a gift of 80,000 shares of Common Stock. On December 3, 2013, Mr. Riggio made a gift of 160,000 shares of Common Stock to The Riggio Foundation. On December 10, 2013, the Reporting Persons sold 2,000,000 shares of Common Stock for $13.81 per share in a privately negotiated block trade. The aforementioned transfers were made for tax planning purposes.
8:24 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- API Technologies (ATNY) received two additional AS9100 Rev C aerospace site certifications, one for its RF/Microwave facility in Delmar, Delaware, and the other for its magnetics manufacturing operation in State College, Pennsylvania.
- GE Capital, Equipment Finance (GE) has signed an agreement to provide retail financing to commercial buyers of Cushman utility vehicles.
- LogRhythm announced that Noodles & Company (NDLS) has deployed LogRhythm's award-winning Security Intelligence Platform.
- Enzo Biochem (ENZ) and Flagship Biosciences of Boulder, CO, announced a partnership in tissue-based companion diagnostics that will enable personalized diagnosis and treatment of disease. The firms are working jointly with pharmaceutical clients that require an independent complete solution to the delivery of an in situ hybridization companion diagnostic, which ultimately could have a major impact on drug development.
- 8x8 (EGHT) has been selected by Merchant Warehouse to provide cloud-based business VoIP, unified communications and hosted contact center services for its 300+ worldwide employees spread across two locations in the United States and one in Belfast, Ireland.
- Corning (GLW) announced its distributed antenna systems deliver always-on wireless coverage in more than 50 major sports venues and arenas across North America.
- Blackbaud (BLKB) announced multiple higher education institutions are embracing Blackbaud CRM and additional products and services from the company to help increase both outreach and engagement with supporters.
- Splunk (SPLK) announced that IDT (IDT) is expanding its use of Splunk Enterprise 6 to become IDT's core operational intelligence platform across its entire organization.
- Citrix (CTXS) announced new customer deployments of the Citrix XenDesktop with HDX 3D Pro to deliver high-end 3D apps to designers, engineers and workers all along the product design chain.
- KB Home (KBH) announced the grand opening of its Gramercy Farms community in St. Cloud.
- LiveDeal (LIVE) launched livedeal.com in the Los Angeles market.
- Meritor (MTOR) has been selected to supply its ELSA225H range of air disc brakes for Scania's trucks and buses with production starting in 2014. "We are investing $58 million in air disc brake capabilities at our technical center of excellence and manufacturing facility in Cwmbran, United Kingdom".
- The U.S. government has awarded ViaSat (VSAT) a development contract for Block Upgrade 2 hardware and software upgrades to its Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals Link-16 terminals, valued at $33,469,487 with options of $5,713,160.
8:23 am Progressive reported November net premiums written of $1.195 bln which increased 6% YoY; reports November net income of $0.16 versus $0.13 last year (PGR) : On December 9, 2013, the Board of Directors declared both a special cash dividend and an annual variable dividend, consistent with our published policy of returning capital to our shareholders when appropriate and our annual variable dividend policy. Both dividends will be paid together on February 7, 2014, to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 29, 2014 (ex-dividend date of January 27, 2014). The amount of the special dividend will be $1.00 per Common Share and the amount of the annual dividend will be announced in our year-end earnings release which is currently scheduled for January 22, 2014
8:16 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: AVNR -18.4% (also announced that PRIME, its phase II clinical trial of the investigational drug AVP-923 (dextromethorphan / quinidine) for the treatment of central neuropathic pain in patients with multiple sclerosis did not meet the primary efficacy endpoint), CENT -9.4% (light volume), LH -6.7%, JOY -4.4%, MIND -2.8% (light volume), COST -2.5%, CNI -1.1%, HRB -1%.
Select metals/mining stocks trading lower: AU -3.2%, GOLD -2%, BHP -0.9%, GDX -0.6%, SLV -0.5%, VALE -0.5%, BBL -0.4%, GLD -0.3%.
Other news: GEVO -20.5% (announces proposed public offerings of common stock, convertible senior notes and warrants), ALSN -5% ( announces sale of 12.5 mln shares of common stock by selling stockholders), AWAY -3.5% (announces intention to file registration statement for public offering of common stock: HomeAway to offer 5.5 mln, selling stockholders to offer 518,630; Bloomberg discusses that AWAY may be a possible takeover target by Priceline (PCLN) or other travel cos ), EJ -3.3% (announces proposed offering of $180 mln convertible senior notes), TTM -2.8% (still checking), RBS -2.4% (confirms Bostock to resign as Group Finance Director), IEP -1.7% (mentioned cautiously in Barron's), CHL -1.6% (still checking), TRLA -1.5% (intends to offer $150 million aggregate principal amount of its convertible senior notes due 2020), DGX -1.5% (following LH results), POST -0.4% (announces pricing of convertible preferred stock), TA -0.4% (prices public offering of 6.5 mln common shares at $9.25 per share), GSK -0.4% ( to invest GBP 200 mln into UK manufacturing, according to reports ), CAT -0.3% (following JOY results), .
Analyst comments: BBRY -3.2% (assumed with Sell from Neutral at Citigroup), BRCD -1% (initiated with a Sell at Citigroup ), CSCO -0.8% (initiated with a Sell at Citigroup)
8:10 am CytRx launches 28% to 2 month high following highly statistically significant positive results from its global phase 2b clinical trial (CYTR) :
8:08 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: MLNK +12%, VIMC +10%, (receives large order for a SVAC Solution Deployment in Baoding City, Hebei Province), BLIN +9.1%, PPHM +7.9%, SWHC +5.9%, PLAB +4.8%, URBN +3.5%, ( discloses thus far Q4 comparable retail segment net sales are mid single-digit positive), PDLI +1.5%, .
M&A news: SNI +12.6% (Variety report suggesting Discovery (DISCA) bid), VPHM +0.4% (Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period expires for Shire's (SHPG) acquisition of ViroPharma ), .
Select solar names showing strength: SPWR +0.6% (Total, SunPower (SPWR) and Etrion secure financing with OPIC 70MWp Salvador Solar Project in Chile), TSL +0.6% (announces appointment of new CFO ), JASO +0.6% (announces Mr. Herman Zhao has been appointed the co's new chief financial officer ), .
Other news: CYTR +29.7% (reports highly statistically significant positive results from its Global Phase 2b Clinical Trial),ECTE +22.9% ( announces strategic partnership with Medical Technologies Innovation Asia),BGMD +15.7% (continued strength),NSTG +11.7% (announces adoption of the Prosigna Breast Cancer Assay by leading US clinical laboratories and cancer centers),NRF +10.7% (announces plan to spin-off Asset Management Business into a separate publicly traded company in a tax-free transaction),SPPI +10.2% (presents 'encouraging' FOLOTYN and MARQIBO clinical data),RNN +6.3% (Receives Method Patent for Treatment of Solid Tumor Cancers for Supinoxin),BLDP +4.9% (to supply ElectraGen-ME fuel cell systems for a polot project in Idea Cellular's India telecom network),CGEN +4.6% (Compugen discloses discovery of five potential cancer targets for antibody drug conjugate therapy),MA +4% ( announces capital actions: 10-for-1 split, 83% increase in quarterly dividend, $3.5 bln share repurchase program),ARIA +3.6% (still checking),ALU +3.3% (BlackRock discloses new 10%+ passive positions in 13G; upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup),QCOR +3.2% (made open market purchases during Q4 of ~500,000 shares of Questcor common stock through Dec 10; the shares were purchased at an average price of $57.21 per share),SNE +2.2% (music licensing deal in India, according to reports),CBI +1.8% (awarded contract for LNG Liquefaction terminal),PLUG +1.6% (continued strength),MCP +1.2% ( announces new Board appointments: Constantine Karayannopoulos to be Board Chair),RGR +1% (following SWHC results),SSNI +1% (Waddell & Reed disclosed 12.3% passive stake in 13G filing out last night after the close),CAM +0.8% ( approves $750 mln increase in share repurchase authorization ),FNSR +0.6% (prices $225 mln of 0.50% of Convertible Senior Notes due 2033; offering was increased by $25 mln),CBOE +0.5% ( declares special cash dividend of $0.50 per share; increases stock repurchase authorization by $100 mln),GM +0.5% (to halt Australia production by 2017),COG +0.5% (Barron's profiles positive view on Cabot Oil & Gas),YNDX +0.2% (announces proposed offering of $600 mln Convertible Senior Notes and a 3 mln share Increase in the Company's Open Market Share Repurchase Plan).
Analyst comments: GRPN +2.6% (upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo),EOPN +2.1% (initiated with a Buy at Janney ),XONE +1.8% (initiated with a Buy at Jefferies),RVBD +1.3% (initiated with a Buy at Citigroup),QCOM +1% (assumed with a Buy from a Neutral at Citigroup),VJET +1% (initiated with a Hold at Jefferies; tgt $40),FE +1% (FirstEnergy upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman),FFIV +0.7% (initiated with a Buy at Citigroup ),ARCW +0.7% (initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital),DDD +0.5% and SSYS +0.4% (initiated with a Buy at Jefferies),MMM +0.4% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura)
8:05 am Duke Energy Progress' new Sutton natural gas plant in Wilmington, N.C., begins commercial operation (DUK) : Co subsidiary, Duke Energy Progress, announced its new 625-megawatt (MW) L.V. Sutton combined-cycle natural gas plant has begun serving North Carolina and South Carolina customers. The approximately $600-million plant replaces the existing three-unit, 575 MW coal-fired plant that the company recently retired after 59 years of service.
8:04 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.70. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures display modest gains after spending the bulk of the overnight session in negative territory. The S&P 500 futures trade higher by 0.1%. Among news of note, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have reached a budget agreement that would avoid another government shutdown. However, the plan still needs to be approved by both chambers of Congress.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Asian markets ended lower. Japan's Nikkei -0.6%, China's Shanghai Composite -1.5%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng -1.7%.
- In regional economic data:
- Japan's Corporate Goods Price Index ticked up 0.1% month-over-month (-0.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading increased 2.7% (2.5% prior). Both figures met expectations. Separately, core machinery orders rose 0.6% month-over-month (0.6% forecast, -2.1% prior) while the year-over-year reading climbed 17.8% (15.0% consensus, 11.4% last)
- South Korea's unemployment rate ticked down to 2.9% from 3.0% (3.0% forecast). Separately, the M2 Money Supply increased 7.4% (6.7% last)
- India's trade surplus narrowed to $9.22 billion from $10.56 billion (-$11.00 billion expected) as exports grew $24.60 billion ($27.27 billion previous) and imports increased $33.83 billion ($37.83 billion prior)
- Australia's Westpac Consumer Sentiment fell 4.8% (1.9% prior)
- In news:
- Equities in China succumbed to broad pressure with coal names leading the decline after the National Development and Reform Commission said next year's coal consumption will be under tighter control.
- In regional economic data:
- Major European indices hold modest gains as they rebound from yesterday's selling. Germany's DAX +0.2%, Great Britain's FTSE +0.3%, and France's CAC +0.6%.
- Economic data was limited:
- Germany's CPI ticked up 0.2% month-over-month (0.2% last) while the year-over-year reading reflected an increase of 1.3% (1.3% prior). Both figures met expectations.
- France's current account deficit narrowed to EUR2.10 billion from EUR3.60 billion. Separately, nonfarm payrolls ticked down 0.1% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (-0.1% last).
- In news:
- Prior to facing a confidence vote, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta spoke in front of the Lower House, saying institutional reform will be his main focus for the next 18 months.
- Economic data was limited:
- Cisco Systems (CSCO 20.96, -0.25): -1.2% after Citigroup initiated the stock with a 'Sell' rating.
- Costco (COST 116.10, -3.94): -3.3% after reporting a bottom-line miss on below-consensus revenue.
- Joy Global (JOY 53.80, -2.44): -4.3% after missing earnings estimates by one cent and guiding full-year 2014 results below consensus.
- Mastercard (MA 794.50, +30.89): +4.1% after the company announced a 10-1 stock split, increased its quarterly dividend by 83.0%, and announced a new share repurchase program in the amount of $3.50 billion.
Today's economic data will be limited to the November Treasury Budget, which will be released at 14:00 ET.
8:04 am Actavis announces tentative agreement related to Asacol HD patent challenge litigation (ACT) : Co announces it has entered into an agreement in principle with Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA and Cadila Healthcare to settle all outstanding patent litigation related to Zydus' generic version of Asacol HD delayed-release tablets. The agreement remains subject to preparation and execution of definitive documentation.
Warner Chilcott (WCRX) will grant Zydus a royalty-bearing license to market its generic Asacol HD beginning on November 15, 2015 or earlier under certain circumstances, following receipt by Zydus of final approval from the FDA on its Abbreviated New Drug Application for generic Asacol HD.
Alternatively, if Zydus does not receive FDA approval of its generic Asacol HD by July 1, 2016, Zydus will be permitted to launch an authorized generic version of Actavis' product beginning on July 1, 2016. Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
8:04 am Orexigen Therapeutics resubmits Contrave New Drug Application (OREX) : Co announced that it has resubmitted the Contrave New Drug Application to the FDA. Investigational drug Contrave (naltrexone sustained release (SR) / bupropion SR) is being developed for weight loss and maintenance of weight loss. The resubmission follows the Nov 25, 2013 announcement of the successful interim analysis of the Light Study, the Contrave cardiovascular outcomes trial (:CVOT), which is being conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment with the FDA. In Jan 2011, Orexigen received a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the FDA detailing a single approval deficiency-the need to conduct a clinical trial of sufficient size and duration to exclude excess risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. In less than three years, Orexigen negotiated with FDA a feasible CVOT design, enrolled the CVOT, and generated safety data responsive to the CRL.
The interim analysis clinical study report will be supplied to the FDA within 60 days of the NDA resubmission. The review period for the resubmission is expected to be six months.
8:02 am Agios Pharma advances cancer metabolism collaboration with Celgene (CELG) (AGIO) : announced an extension of one additional year to the period of exclusivity for their strategic cancer metabolism collaboration with Celgene Corporation (CELG). As a result of the extension, Celgene will maintain its exclusive option to all drug candidates emerging from Agios' cancer metabolism research platform through April 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, Agios will receive a $20 mln payment. Celgene has the ability to further extend this collaboration period for one additional year for an additional payment.
Under the terms of the original agreement announced in April 2010, Agios received a $130 mln upfront payment, including an equity investment that comprised the company's Series B financing round. Agios leads research and early development efforts through Phase 1, while Celgene receives an option to obtain exclusive rights either upon IND acceptance or at the end of Phase 1, to further develop and commercialize drugs emerging from Agios' cancer metabolism research.
Celgene would lead and fund global development and commercialization of some of these drugs, and Agios would retain development and commercialization rights for certain drugs in the United States. On all programs, Agios has the right to receive up to $120 mln in milestone-based payments as well as royalties on any sales.
8:02 am CytRx reports highly statistically significant positive results from its global Phase 2b clinical trial (CYTR) : Co announced highly positive top-line efficacy results from a multicenter, randomized, open-label global Phase 2b clinical trial. The trial investigated the efficacy and safety of aldoxorubicin compared with doxorubicin in subjects with first-line metastatic, locally advanced or unresectable soft tissue sarcomas (STS). Aldoxorubicin combines the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin with a novel linker-molecule that binds specifically to albumin in the blood to allow for delivery of higher amounts of doxorubicin (3 to 4 times) without the major dose-limiting toxicities seen with administration of doxorubicin alone.
As determined by both the trial investigators and by blinded central radiology review, subjects treated with aldoxorubicin demonstrated highly statistically significant better clinical outcomes than those receiving standard doxorubicin therapy for their soft tissue sarcomas.
8:02 am Walter Investment Mgmt announces acquisition of $30 bln MSR portfolio (WAC) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with a large national depository to acquire a pool of mortgage servicing rights ("MSRs") backed by Fannie Mae with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of approximately $30 billion. The current acquisition is part of the Company's previously announced plan to acquire MSRs having an aggregate unpaid principal balance of approximately $62 billion. Of that amount, the Company has now entered into definitive agreements for the acquisition of MSRs having an aggregate unpaid principal balance of approximately $54 billion, while letters of intent have been executed in connection with the remaining transactions.
8:01 am Rosetta Stone has agreed to acquire Tell Me More a global language- learning software company for EUR 20.75 mln, including assumed net debt; expects that the acquisition of Tell Me More will contribute bookings in a range of $25 mln to $27 mln (RST) : Co announced it has agreed to acquire Tell Me More, language- learning software company with significant presence throughout Europe, including France and Spain, as well as in the Latin America and China. The purchase price is EUR 20.75 million ($28 million), including assumed net debt. Approximately 95% of Tell Me More's EUR 18.5 million ($25 million) business is focused on the Corporate and Higher Education verticals.
Rosetta Stone expects to fully integrate Tell Me More's operations and achieve significant synergies from combining the two companies. In particular, the direct sales forces of the two companies will be united under the Rosetta Stone brand, taking advantage of Rosetta Stone's sales and marketing infrastructure and overall scale to grow the combined company.
In 2014, Rosetta Stone expects that the acquisition of Tell Me More will contribute bookings in a range of $25 mln to $27 mln. Adjusted Operating EBITDA is expected to be in a range of $3 million to $4 million, excluding the impact from one-time integration expenses, which are estimated at $3 million to $4 million.
For the year, Rosetta Stone expects free cash flow from Tell Me More to be neutral as cash from operations is offset by integration expenses. Beyond 2014, Rosetta Stone expects the contribution from Tell Me More to reflect modest top-line growth and Adjusted Operating EBITDA margins of 25% or greater.
Co expects to provide an update for its 2014 outlook when it reports fourth quarter 2013 earnings results. Rosetta Stone expects to close the transaction in January 2014.
8:01 am Rexahn receives method patent for treatment of solid tumor cancers for Supinoxin TM (RX-5902) (RNN) : Co announces that it has been issued United States Patent, which covers a method for treating solid cancer tumors including ovarian, breast, prostate, liver, lung, kidney, colon, pancreatic and stomach for its clinical development candidate SupinoxinTM (RX-5902). Rexahn had previously received a composition of matter patent from the United Stated Patent and Trademark Office covering the structure of Supinoxin.
8:01 am Oxygen Biotherapeutics selects Duke Clinical Research Institute to conduct Phase 3 Trial of Levosimendan; anticipated to begin in Q3; FDA provided guidance that a single successful trial will be sufficient to support approval of levosimendan in this indication (OXBT) : Co announced that it has selected Duke University's Duke Clinical Research Institute, (:DCRI) to conduct the Phase 3 trial of the Company's newly acquired compound, levosimendan. DCRI is the world's largest academic clinical research organization, with substantial experience in conducting cardiac surgery trials. The DCRI will serve as the coordinating center and Drs. John H. Alexander and Rajendra Mehta as lead investigators for the Phase 3 trial. Levosimendan is a calcium sensitizer developed for intravenous use in hospitalized patients with acutely decompensated heart failure. The treatment is currently approved in more than 50 countries for this indication. The United States Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) has granted Fast Track status for levosimendan for the reduction of morbidity and mortality in cardiac surgery patients at risk for developing Low Cardiac Output Syndrome (:LCOS). In addition, the FDA has agreed to the Phase 3 protocol design under Special Protocol Assessment (SPA), and provided guidance that a single successful trial will be sufficient to support approval of levosimendan in this indication.
8:00 am Dow AgroSciences receives U.S. patent for Enlist Corn (DOW) : Co announces the issuance of U.S. Patent Number for the company's lead 2,4-D herbicide tolerance event in corn. The corn event is based on one of Dow AgroSciences' anticipated Enlist herbicide-tolerant traits, and provides robust tolerance to broadleaf and grass herbicides, including 2,4-D and the FOP family of herbicides. Pending regulatory approvals, Dow AgroSciences expects to launch Enlist corn in 2015 in the U.S.
The Dow AgroSciences' patent provides proprietary protection for corn plants containing the event, methods of using Enlist corn for controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds, and uses of Dow AgroSciences' herbicide-tolerance trait in combination with 2,4-D herbicides, FOP herbicides as well as other broad spectrum and selective herbicides. The patent application also covers stacking the event with other traits.
7:56 am Legg Mason reported preliminary assets under management of $675 bln as of November 30, 2013 versus $670 bln last month (LM) : November total AUM increased from October due to positive liquidity and long-term flows. The positive long-term flows were driven by equity inflows and slight fixed income inflows. Favorable equity market appreciation was more than offset by negative foreign exchange of ~$2.5 bln and negative fixed income market performance.
7:53 am Landstar System agrees to sell supply chain subsidiaries to XPO Logistics (XPO) for $87.0 mln in cash; declares special one-time dividend in the amount of $0.35 per share; increases authorized share buyback to 3 mln shares (LSTR) : Co announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Michigan-based supply chain subsidiaries ("LSCS") to XPO Logistics (XPO) for $87.0 million in cash.
The Landstar Board of Directors also has declared a special one-time dividend in the amount of $0.35 per share, payable on January 16, 2014, to shareholders of record on December 27, 2013, and has increased the number of shares of Landstar common stock the Company is authorized to purchase from time to time on the open market or otherwise to three million shares.
The transaction is anticipated to close late in the 2013 fourth quarter or early in the 2014 first quarter pending Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance and the satisfaction or waiver of certain other customary closing conditions. The purchase price is subject to customary post-closing adjustments. The sale is expected to result in an estimated after-tax gain on sale of ~ $32 million or ~ $0.71 per diluted share and is expected to generate ~ $50 million in additional cash to Landstar, after estimated working capital adjustments. For the 2012 fiscal year, LSCS generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $7.3 million.
7:49 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Control4 (CTRL) announced the opening of its new Technical Center in Bangalore, India.
- EMCOR Group (EME) announced that its subsidiary, EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems has been awarded four contracts by the Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest for work on three military bases in San Diego County, California.
- Scotiabank (BNS) has reached an agreement with the Bank of Beijing to help immigrants, international students and foreign workers moving to Canada begin their financial transition before they leave China.
- Piedmont Office Realty Trust (PDM) will develop "Enclave Place", a 302,000 square foot, 11-story Class A office building in Houston, Texas. Construction is anticipated to commence in March 2014, and is targeted for completion during 2Q2015.
7:36 am Curtiss-Wright announces new segment structure, reaffirms FY13 guidance; guides FY14 EPS in-line, rev above consensus at Investor Day (CW) : Co reaffirms guidance for FY13 (Dec), sees EPS of $2.75-2.85 vs. $2.84 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY13 (Dec) revs of $2.48-2.52 bln vs. $2.51 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
Co issues guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees EPS of $3.20-3.35 vs. $3.26 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 (Dec) revs of $2.65-2.70 bln vs. $2.64 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
Co expects full year 2014 sales growth of 6-8%, operating income growth of 13-18% and diluted EPS growth of 14-20%; free cash flow growth of 22-30% to $140-150 million.
Co announced the transition to a new segment structure for a more strategically aligned, market-facing Curtiss-Wright. The co will be comprised of Commercial/Industrial, Defense and Energy segments effective January 1, 2014.
Once instituted, this new segment structure will replace the current segment structure, as follows: Flow Control segment: The oil and gas and nuclear aftermarket businesses will become the new Energy segment. The Naval defense, new build power generation and general industrial businesses will move to the new Defense segment. The commercial aerospace business will move to the new Commercial/Industrial segment. Controls segment: The commercial aerospace and general industrial businesses will shift to the Commercial/Industrial segment and the defense business will shift to the new Defense segment. Surface Technologies segment: All businesses will move to the new Commercial/Industrial segment.
7:31 am FreeSeas announces entering into terms with the insurers of M/V Free Goddess and expected return to service of vessel (FREE) : Co announced that it has entered into terms with the insurers of M/V Free Goddess pursuant to which the sum of USD 1,100,000 will be paid by the insurers to the Co. The amount of USD 700,000 has already been disbursed in favor of the Company pursuant to the terms agreed.
The M/V Free Goddess had been hijacked by pirates in February 2012 and under repairs at her port of refuge since her release in October 2012. As a result of the repairs progress and the funding received, the vessel is now expected to shortly return to service.
7:25 am Dollar Hovers Flat: 10-yr: +01/32..2.813%..USD/JPY: 102.54..EUR/USD: 1.3765 (:SUMRX) : The Dollar Index trades flat near 79.95 amid an uneventful trade despite Congress reaching a two-year budget deal. Action has spent the entire overnight session trapped in a 15 cent range with most of the trade occurring within a couple cents of the breakeven line.
- EURUSD is +5 pips @ 1.3765 as trade edges up for a seventh straight session. A lack of meaningful data and news flow from the region has made for a lackluster session with the only noteworthy headline being an uptick in Greek unemployment (27.4% actual v. 27.3% previous). The 1.3800 area continues to act as a lid while a breakout would produce the best print since November 2011.
- GBPUSD is -70 pips @ 1.6375 as trade presses session lows. Sterling saw an early test of the 1.6450 level, but steady selling has persisted throughout the session. The 1.6325/1.6350 area is home to minor support with a breakdown setting up a test of the more important 1.6200 region.
- USDCHF is flat @ .8875 as trade lingers at its lowest levels since November 2011. The flat trade provides some hope to bulls who have endured six straight days of selling. Click here to see a daily USDCHF chart.
- USDJPY is -30 pips @ 102.55 as sellers remain in control for a second session. The selling comes despite the closely watched core machinery orders (0.6% MoM actual v. 0.9% MoM expected) missing estimates and becoming the latest data to disappoint. The run of soft data has ignited chatter the Bank of Japan will look to announce further easing. A breakdown of the 101.50 area sets up a potential retest of parity.
- AUDUSD is -35 pips @ .9115 as trade continues to struggle at .9150 resistance. The weakness in the hard currency comes after Westpac Consumer Sentiment disappointed with -4.8% print (1.9% previous) with trade largely ignoring the surge in Chinese new loans (CNY625 bln actual v. CNY585 bln expected). USDCNY edged up to 6.0717.
- USDCAD is -10 pips @ 1.0590 as sellers remain in control for a fifth session. Minor support in the 1.0580 area is being watched closely as a breakdown sets up a likely move into the 1.0500 region.
7:24 am Marathon Oil increases remaining share repurchase authorization to $2.5 bln; set to accelerate U.S. resource play activity and market North Sea assets (MRO) : Co, at its Analyst Day in New York today, is providing investors with a comprehensive report on the co's global operations, including a review of strategic plans to achieve profitable growth and competitive returns for shareholders. The co's plans include:
- Accelerating Eagle Ford and Bakken rig activity 20% each; 100% rig activity increase planned for Oklahoma Woodford
- 28-rig program underpinned by 2.4 bln barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of 2P unconventional resource, doubled since 2011, and over 4,500 net well locations
- Greater than 60% of 2014 $5.9 bln capital, investment and exploration budget allocated to resource plays
- Projects 2014 resource play production growth rate greater than 30% relative to 2013; forecasts overall production growth rate of ~ 4%, excluding Alaska, Angola and Libya
- For the period 2012-2017, projects resource play production compound annual growth rate (CAGR) greater than 25%; forecasts total production CAGR of 5-7% for the same period
- Marketing the United Kingdom (:UK) and Norway assets to continue portfolio optimization strategy
- Simplifies and concentrates portfolio
- 2012-2017 adjusted CAGR would increase to 8-10%
- Increased remaining share repurchase authorization to $2.5 bln
- Includes anticipated $500 mln share repurchase with sale of Angola Block 31
- Provides financial optionality heading into 2014
7:19 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Enphase Energy (ENPH) announced that EnviroGroup has successfully installed Australia's largest grid-connected solar power system with Enphase microinverters, in conjunction with Yingli Green Energy, known as "Yingli Solar", at the Glenlyn Aged Care Facility in Glenroy, Victoria.
- Rexford Industrial Realty (REXR) has acquired Bonita Thompson Industrial Park, an industrial property located in Pomona, California, for $27.2 mln. The acquisition was fully funded through the co's existing line of credit.
- DBI Software announced a new multi-faceted partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). This partnership pairs DBI's database monitoring, tuning, and trending tools with HP's customer relationships to bring a truly powerful DB2 database support solution to the market.
- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) announced that its Electronic Products Division has recently received ~ $1.4 mln in electronic warfare simulation and related product orders.
- Mitek (MITK) and Kony announced a collaborative agreement to deliver Mitek's Mobile Photo Bill Pay solution.
- AngioDynamics (ANGO) announced the appointment of John Soto as Chief Commercial Officer, a newly created position overseeing the co's global sales and marketing initiatives.
- Bruker (BRKR) announced the successful installation of an Ascend Aeon 900 magnet at the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, CA.
7:15 am AngioDynamics announced the appointment of John Soto as Chief Commercial Officer, a newly created position (ANGO) :
7:06 am Questcor Pharma made open market purchases during Q4 of ~500,000 shares of Questcor common stock through Dec 10; the shares were purchased at an average price of $57.21 per share (QCOR) :
7:05 am W&T Offshore declares special cash dividend of $0.42 per share (WTI) : The special dividend will be payable on December 27, 2013 to shareholders of record on December 23, 2013.
7:04 am Can-Fite BioPharma CEO issues letter to shareholders; says 'in the remainder of 2013, we will continue to advance our science and we look forward to sharing results from two of our clinical trials' (CANF) : Co issued a Letter to Shareholders. The letter states: "2013 has truly been a pivotal year for Can-Fite. We have achieved numerous clinical, corporate, and financial milestones. Before the end of the year, we expect to announce results from two of our advanced stage clinical trials... We plan to announce results of our Phase II study in Europe and Israel for CF101 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis before the end of 2013. In addition, during the last two weeks of December we expect to announce results of our Phase III trial for CF101 for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. This dry eye syndrome study is being conducted by our subsidiary, OphthaliX. As we await these results, we are pleased to reiterate that, to date, CF101 has an excellent safety profile with experience in over 1,000 patients...
In addition to the two trials for which we expect to announce results in December, we intend to also announce results from an ongoing Phase II glaucoma study in mid-2014 and our Phase II/III psoriasis study in the fourth quarter of 2014. Additionally, we are scheduled to initiate patient enrollment in early 2014 in our Phase II trial for liver cancer and our Phase II trial for uveitis. Collectively, the markets addressed by Can-Fite's drugs currently in clinical trials top $30 billion..."
7:04 am Gentium: Interim results from Gentium's treatment IND for Defibrotide -- 35% of patients achieved a complete response (CR) and 55% survived to day 100 (D+100) (GENT) : Co announced that additional data on Defibrotide were presented this week at the 55th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Hematology at the Ernst N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA, Dec 7-10, 2013.
Professor Paul G. Richardson, RJ Corman Professor of Medicine, Clinical Director Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (USA) reported, in an oral presentation, the updated results from the ongoing Treatment IND Expanded Access Protocol, a large prospective study on the use of Defibrotide in the treatment of Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients, (abstract # 700). This updated interim analysis was based on 470 patients with VOD, enrolled between Dec 2007 and Dec 2012 at 75 centers across the United States. 425 patients had undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplant and of those patients, 35% of patients achieved a complete response (CR) and 55% survived to day 100 (D+100).
Additional findings were as follows: In the subgroup of 284 HSCT patients with severe VOD, 29% achieved a CR and 48% survived to day 100. In the sub-group of 141 HSCT patients with non-severe VOD, 47% achieved a CR and 69 % survived to D+100. In the subgroup of 45 patients who had VOD following chemotherapy but no HSCT, 40% achieved a CR and 62% survived to D+100. Delayed initiation of Defibrotide treatment (more than 2 days after VOD diagnosis) resulted in reduced CR (25% versus 39%, p=0.0052) and survival (38% versus 61%, p=0.0001) compared to early administration (within 2 days from VOD diagnosis).
7:04 am Henry Schein reaffirms FY13/FY14 EPS guidance at Analyst and Investor Day (HSIC) : Co reaffirms guidance for FY13 (Dec), sees adj. EPS of $4.86-4.91 vs. $4.90 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
Co reaffirms guidance for FY14 (Dec), sees adj. EPS of $5.32-5.42 vs. $5.42 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
7:03 am Savient Pharma reaches agreement to sell substantially all assets to Crealta Pharmaceuticals for gross proceeds of ~ $120.4 mln (SVNTQ) : Co announced that it has reached agreement on the terms of an acquisition agreement with Crealta Pharmaceuticals through which Crealta would acquire substantially all of the assets of Savient, including all KRYSTEXXA assets, for gross proceeds of approximately $120.4 million. The agreement was reached following an auction conducted pursuant to bidding procedures approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
A hearing at which Savient and Crealta will seek the required Court approval of the sale is scheduled for Friday, December 13, 2013. According to the terms of the acquisition agreement, Crealta will purchase Savient's pharmaceutical portfolio, which is highlighted by the chronic refractory gout drug KRYSTEXXA. KRYSTEXXA is a novel biologic product that was designated as an orphan drug by the FDA based on the relatively small patient population with refractory chronic gout. KRYSTEXXA is a PEGylated uric acid specific enzyme, or uricase, that has been shown to dramatically reduce uric acid levels for many patients suffering from RCG.
7:02 am ViroPharma: Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period expires for Shire's (SHPG) acquisition of ViroPharma (VPHM) : Co announced that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 relating to its previously announced tender offer by a wholly owned subsidiary of Shire for all outstanding shares of ViroPharma (VPHM) expired at 11:59 p.m., Eastern U.S. time, on December 10, 2013.
The expiration of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the tender offer. The tender offer remains subject to certain other conditions set forth in the offer to purchase, including the termination of review or approval of the transaction by the United Kingdom Office of Fair Trading and the satisfaction of the minimum tender condition. The tender offer is scheduled to expire at 6:00 p.m., Eastern U.S. time, on Thursday, December 26, 2013, unless the tender offer is extended.
7:02 am Spectrum Pharma presents 'encouraging' FOLOTYN and MARQIBO clinical data (SPPI) : Co announces encouraging clinical data from investigator-sponsored studies of MARQIBO and FOLOTYN.
Select ASH Presentation Summaries
Long Term Results Of a Phase 2 Study Of Vincristine Sulfate Liposome Injection Substituted For Non-Liposomal Vincristine In CHOP With Or Without Rituximab For Patients With Untreated Aggressive Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas
This study evaluated 60 patients with untreated DLBCL in which Marqibo was substituted for Vincristine (VCR) in R-CHOP creating R-CHMP. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (:ORR), and secondary endpoints were Progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (:OS). The overall response rate was 95% (57/60) and the complete response rate (CR) was 90% (54/60). Ten year PFS and OS were 64% and 87%, respectively. In patients greater than 60 years of age, overall response rate was 91%, 10 year PFS= 48%, and 10 year OS was 65%. The safety profile of R-CHMP was comparable to what has been reported in the literature for R-CHOP. Grade 3 peripheral neuropathy was 3%. The authors concluded that the R-CHMP "resulted in a high ORR and encouraging PFS and OS without apparent increased toxicity compared to historical experience with R-CHOP. In particular, elderly DLBCL patients with an unfavorable prognosis, based on age-adjusted International Prognostic Index (aaIPI) experienced remarkable PFS and OS."
Analysis of Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Subtype By Race and Geography Using The Comprehensive Oncology Measures For Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Treatment Dataset
This study evaluated 34 patients treated with cyclophosphamide, etoposide, vincristine and prednisone alternating with pralatrexate as front line therapy for patients with Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma Patients who achieved remission were eligible for consolidative Autologous Stem Cell Transplant after Cycle 4. Of 34 patients, 27 received at least 2 cycles of therapy. At the end of stage 1, 50% achieved a complete response rate. At the time of this initial analysis, the ORR was 70%, and the CR was 45%. Six patients (18%) had received consolidation with ASCT and all are in CR post transplant. The authors concluded that CEOP-Pralatrexate met the pre-defined stage 1 response criteria. While these results are encouraging, longer term follow-up is warranted to assess impact on final CR, EFS and OS outcome measures.
7:01 am Compugen discloses discovery of five potential cancer targets for antibody drug conjugate therapy (CGEN) : Co announces the predictive discovery and selection of five candidate targets for antibody-drug conjugate cancer therapy. These five potential ADC targets, representing the initial results from the Company's second focused in silico discovery program, are now entering initial experimental validation to be followed by antibody discovery and development activities. Initial results are expected during the second half of 2014.
ADC target discovery is Compugen's second focused in silico discovery program, following the success of its first focused discovery program for the discovery of immune checkpoint targets for treatment of cancer and immune diseases.
7:01 am Apricus Biosciences appoints Kleanthis Xanthopoulos as Chairman (APRI) : Co announces that Kleanthis Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. has been elected as Chairman of Board. Dr. Xanthopoulos succeeds Rusty Ray in the Chairman role. Ray will continue to serve as a Director and will assume key roles on the Company's audit, compensation and corporate governance committees of the Board. Dr. Xanthopoulos has been a member of the Apricus Board since 2011.
6:58 am Global Ship Lease plans to issue an aggregate principal amount of up to $400 mln of first priority secured notes due 2021 in a private placement (GSL) : Co plans to issue an aggregate principal amount of up to $400,000,000 of first priority secured notes due 2021 in a private placement. The Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed, jointly and severally, on a senior basis by Global Ship Lease Services Limited and each of the Company's 17 vessel-owning subsidiaries and in the future by certain of the Company's existing and future restricted subsidiaries, as may be required by the terms of the indenture that will govern the Notes.
On the issue date, the Notes will be secured by first priority ship mortgages on 17 vessels owned by certain subsidiary guarantors and certain other associated property and contract rights, as well as share pledges over the subsidiary guarantors that own the Mortgaged Vessels. In the future, vessels, shipping containers and container shipping-related assets and certain other associated property and contract rights may be pledged in addition to or in substitution for Initial Collateral.
The co intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering, together with cash on hand, to repay all outstanding borrowings under, and terminate, the Company's existing credit facility, to terminate the Company's existing interest rate swap agreements and to pay related expenses.
6:52 am Huaneng Power announces Huaneng Huaining Shijing Wind Farm Project in Anhui had recently obtained the approval from the Development and Reform Commission of Anhui Province (HNP) : Shijing Wind Farm Project has a planned installed capacity of 50MW with an estimated total investment of RMB411 million. 20% of the investment will be project capital to be contributed by the Company from its internal funds while the remaining investment will be funded by bank loans.
6:37 am S&P futures vs fair value: flat. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.00. :
6:36 am European Markets : FTSE...6536.48...+13.20...+0.20%. DAX...9128.76...+14.10...+0.20%.
6:36 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...15515.06...-96.30...-0.60%. Hang Seng...23338.24...-406.00...-1.70%.
6:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- WNS (WNS) announced their strategic partnership towards servicing the Human Resources Outsourcing marketplace across industries. The joint offering will initially be targeted at customers in the North American and European markets.
- HP (HPQ) expanded its cloud portfolio with new solutions and services that offer enterprises greater agility, simplified management and improved security for their hybrid environments.
6:25 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- China Yuchai International (CYD) announced that the first vehicles using heavy-duty diesel engines produced by the co's main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery, have been delivered to Zibo Yaoxin Logistics.
- BoJack Horseman will have his own Netflix (NFLX) Original Series produced by Michael Eisner's Tornante Company in 2014.
- RBC (RY) marked a N. American first by announcing a social, person-to-person electronic money transfer capability for customers to send money to Facebook (FB) Messenger contacts, right from within the RBC Canada app.
6:11 am Basic Energy Services reports its well servicing rig count for Nov 2013 remained unchanged at 425 (BAS) : Co reported selected operating data for the month of November 2013. Basic's well servicing rig count remained unchanged at 425. Well servicing rig hours for the month were 60,500 producing a rig utilization rate of 62%, compared to 71% and 62% in October 2013 and November 2012, respectively.
During the month, Basic's fluid service truck count increased by 6 to 989. Fluid service truck hours for the month were 185,100 compared to 201,900 and 182,400 in October 2013 and November 2012, respectively. Drilling rig days for the month were 259 producing a rig utilization of 72%, compared to 69% and 76% in October 2013 and November 2012, respectively.
6:09 am EnCana to grow liquids production by 30% and conduct IPO of Clearwater Royalty business in 2014; projects FY2014 upstream operating cash flow, including hedging, to be between $3.0 bln and $3.2 bln (ECA) : Co announced a disciplined capital program focused on generating profitable growth through investment in five core liquids-rich resource plays. In order to transition to a more balanced commodity portfolio and achieve a goal of deriving ~ 75% of its cash flow from oil and natural gas liquids by 2017, Encana will focus three quarters of its planned $2.4 bln to $2.5 bln capital investment in 2014 on five oil and liquids-rich assets: the Montney, Duvernay, DJ Basin, San Juan Basin and the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (:TMS). These five assets are expected to make up about 25% of total production in 2014 while generating ~ 45% of total upstream operating cash flow before the impact of commodity price hedging.
Operationally, the co's forecasted production, on a total equivalency basis, is expected to remain unchanged from last year despite a more than 10% reduction in planned capital investment from 2013 levels. Total liquids production is expected to grow by 30% y/y which will offset a small decline in expected gas production for 2014. With growth in higher margin liquids, the co is estimating it will achieve an ~ 10% increase in netbacks in 2014.
Maintaining a strong balance sheet and investment grade credit rating continues to be a priority for Encana. In 2014, the co will maintain its balance sheet integrity by aligning its capital expenditures with cash flow and unlocking value from its asset base through an initial public offering (IPO) of its Clearwater Royalty business. The co also plans to repay from cash a $1 bln, 5.8% note maturity due May 1, 2014.
As a result of the co's focused strategy and capital investment plan, co projects its full-year 2014 upstream operating cash flow, including hedging, to be between $3.0 bln and $3.2 bln. Total cash flow is expected to range between $2.4 and $2.5 bln. Natural gas production is expected to average between 2.6 bln cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) and 2.8 Bcf/d and total liquids production between 70 thousand barrels per day (Mbbls/d) and 75 Mbbls/d. The co believes it can average a more than 10% compound annual growth rate in cash flow per share through 2017.
Encana has completed the alignment of its organizational structure in support of the focused strategy announced by the co on November 5. This restructuring resulted in an approximate 20% workforce reduction since the beginning of November. In the fourth quarter of 2013, co expects to take an ~ $65 mln after-tax charge as a result of the restructuring.
6:06 am XPO Logistics agrees to acquire NLM, a provider of web-based expedited transportation management in N. America, for $87 mln in cash; expected to be immediately accretive to earnings (XPO) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Landstar System to acquire NLM, a provider of web-based expedited transportation management in North America. A second technology product, A3i, is included in the planned acquisition. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings, exclusive of any synergies with the company's existing expedite business.
The purchase price is $87 mln in cash, subject to working capital adjustment. The company expects to acquire at closing cash in the amount of $10 mln to $13 mln. The transaction is expected to close by mid-January 2014, subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance and customary conditions.
The company intends to fund the transaction with available cash on hand, including the acquired cash, and its ABL facility. For the trailing 12 months through November 2013, NLM managed ~$500 mln of gross total transportation spend and generated $9.8 mln of adjusted EBITDA on $23.4 mln of transaction management fee revenue.
6:06 am Joy Global misses by $0.01, beats on revs; guides FY14 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (JOY) : Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $1.11 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.12; revenues fell 25.9% year/year to $1.18 bln vs the $1.12 bln consensus.
Co issues downside guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.00-3.50, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.81 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 revs of $3.6-3.8 bln vs. $3.87 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
Total bookings decreased 19 percent from last year to $1.1 bln in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Original equipment orders decreased 38 percent while aftermarket orders declined 3 percent when compared to the prior year period. Bookings for underground mining machinery decreased 6 percent in comparison to last year's fourth quarter.
Original equipment orders decreased 11 percent compared to the fourth quarter of last year, with declines in all regions except Australia in which a longwall system was booked in the current quarter. Bookings for surface mining equipment were down 32 percent. Original equipment orders were down 62 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, while aftermarket bookings decreased 5 percent.
Market Outlook: The U.S. coal market began to see some marginal improvements in 2013. Coal consumption has improved, and is expected to grow over 7 percent in 2013 as natural gas prices have averaged $3.70/mmBtu throughout the year facilitating natural gas to coal switching at power plants. Elevated inventories resulting from the production overhang in 2012 have been reduced and are approximately 155 mln tons. This normalization should elicit a production response in 2014 after this year's US coal production is expected to be down 2.0 percent.
Company Outlook: "Looking forward, thermal coal capex will remain under pressure but appears to be near the bottom. Met coal capex will likely slow after several years of investment. Copper should remain high on prospect lists as current prices support most of global production, and iron ore projects will move forward selectively. Although we believe our markets overall will begin to improve in 2014, the timing is difficult to predict. Until a sustained demand catalyst emerges, we expect our customers will continue to be cautious and selective in deploying capex."
6:04 am Home Depot reaffirms 2013 guidance; sees FY14 sales growth of 5%, provides targets for 2014 and 2015 (HD) : Co provides progress on its key strategic priorities and discuss its financial targets at its 2013 Investor and Analyst Conference
- Co reaffirms guidance for FY14 (Jan), sees EPS of ~$3.72 vs. $3.74 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY14 (Jan) revs of ~+5.6% to $78.9 bln vs. $79.09 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co sees Comparable store sales, on a 52-week like for like basis, are expected to be up ~7.0% for the year. The Company's fiscal 2013 sales and diluted earnings-per-share guidance is based on a 52-week year compared to fiscal 2012, a 53-week year.
- Co issues guidance for FY15 (Jan), sees EPS of ~+17% YoY to ~$4.35, may not be comparable to $4.41 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 (Jan) revs of ~+5% YoY to ~$82.95 bln vs. $82.82 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
- Additional metrics:
- 8 new stores
- Operating margin expansion of ~70 basis points
- Share repurchases of ~$5.0 bln
- Capital spending of ~$1.5 bln
In June of 2012, the Company announced a long term operating margin target of 12% and a 24% return on invested capital target by the end of fiscal 2015. The Company anticipates reaching these targets at the end of fiscal 2014, one year earlier than planned, and has updated its fiscal 2015 financial targets as follows:
- Operating margin of ~13%
- Return on invested capital of ~27%
6:03 am JA Solar announces Mr. Herman Zhao has been appointed the co's new chief financial officer (JASO) : Co announced changes to its management team, effective January 1, 2014. Mr. Herman Zhao has been appointed the co's new chief financial officer ("CFO"). Mr. Min Cao, the co's current CFO, will assume the role of chief strategy officer upon Mr. Zhao's appointment.
Concurrently, Mr. Jian Xie, the co's current chief operating officer ("COO"), will assume broader leadership at the co as its president, and current chief technology officer Mr. Yong Liu will become the co's COO. Mr. Herman Zhao previously served as JA Solar's CFO from July 2006 to May 2008. Since then, he has served as CFO at Legend Silicon, a Silicon Valley-based fabless semiconductor co, and Sky Solar Holdings, a downstream solar-project developer.
6:02 am Trina Solar announces appointment of new CFO (TSL) : Co announced it has accepted Terry Wang's resignation as Chief Financial Officer effective January 10, 2014 to pursue other interests. Teresa Tan will be appointed as Chief Financial Officer of the Company immediately upon Mr. Wang's departure. Most recently, Ms. Tan worked for Parker Hannifin (PH).
6:01 am Ohr Pharma presents Phase II data on OHR/AVR118 in advanced cancer patients with Cachexia Presented (OHRP) : Co announces that full results from a Phase II trial to evaluate the effects of OHR/AVR118 in advanced cancer patients with cachexia were presented yesterday at the 7th International Cachexia Conference in Kobe, Japan. The data were selected for podium presentation of late breaking clinical trials and were presented by principal investigator Dr. Martin Chasen, Medical Director, Palliative Care, Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Canada.
In this Phase 2 trial with OHR/AVR118, 29 patients with advanced cancer and cachexia were enrolled. 18 patients, 3 with stage III and 15 with stage IV cancers completed the treatment protocol. This included 5 patients with pancreatic cancer, 5 with lung cancer, 2 with prostate cancer and one each with colon, stomach, esophageal, liver cancers, head and neck cancer and multiple myeloma. While the primary trial end point of weight gain was not met, at the completion of treatment, patients achieved stabilization of body weight, body fat and muscle mass with a significant increase in appetite. Moreover, there was an improvement in PG-SGA scores, indicating an enhanced quality of life. No statistically significant differences from baseline (as indicated by the paired t test) were observed in body fat content, arm circumference, triceps fold measurement, nausea or vomiting.
After completing the initial 28 day treatment period, patients had the option to continue receiving study drug if they felt it was in their best interest. Eleven of the 18 patients (61%) elected to do so, being treated with the drug for a total of between 42 to 153 days. Sustained body weight stabilization was maintained even on prolonged therapy with the drug in this sub-group of patients. These results were seen despite the fact that 7 of the 18 patients were receiving concomitant chemotherapy, and 1 was receiving concomitant radiotherapy during the trial treatment period with OHR/AVR118. Chemotherapy and radiation frequently exacerbate the symptoms of cachexia. Overall, the drug appeared well tolerated with minimal side effects.
6:01 am Superior Energy Board of Directors approves initiating a quarterly dividend program and declares an initial quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share (SPN) :
5:53 am General Motors discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017 (GM) : Co announced it would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it would discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017. Holden will continue to have a significant presence in Australia beyond 2017, comprising a national sales company, a national parts distribution centre and a global design studio.
With the decision to discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, GM expects to record pre-tax charges of $400 mln to $600 mln in the fourth quarter of 2013. The charges would consist of ~$300 mln to $500 mln for non-cash asset impairment charges including property, plant and equipment and ~$100 mln for cash payment of exit-related costs including certain employee severance related costs.
Additional charges are expected to be incurred through 2017 for incremental future cash payments of employee severance once negotiations of the amount are completed with the employees' union. The asset impairment charges will be considered special for EBIT-adjusted reporting purposes.
5:49 am GlaxoSmithKline to invest GBP 200 mln into UK manufacturing (GSK) : Co announced a series of investments totalling ~GBP 200 mln that will support the delivery of the company's pipeline of new medicines and create a centre for pharmaceutical manufacturing innovation in the UK. Manufacturing sites in Ware, Hertfordshire and Worthing, Sussex will be upgraded with new state-of-the-art equipment. In addition GSK will establish a new facility dedicated to harnessing innovative technologies with the potential to transform both the way medicines are made and the company's supply chain.
5:31 am Hanwha SolarOne signs 13 MW module supply contract in China (HSOL) : Co announces it has signed a contract with Zhejiang Zhentai New Energy Development Co to supply modules with capacity of 12.96 MW. The modules are scheduled for delivery in December 2013 and will be installed in a utility-scale project in Yongchang, Gansu Province.
3:51 am Moody's acquires Amba Investment Services (MCO) : Co announces that it has acquired Amba Investment Services, a provider of investment research and quantitative analytics for global financial institutions. Amba will operate as part of Moody's Analytics majority-owned subsidiary, Copal Partners. The acquisition will bolster the research and analytical capabilities offered by Moody's Analytics through Copal, creating a leading outsourcing provider for the global financial sector, including nine of the ten largest global investment banks. Moody's acquired a majority stake in Copal in 2011.
The deal, which is not expected to have a material impact on Moody's earnings per share, was funded from cash on hand, and the terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Amba expects to generate nearly $39 million of revenue in 2013.
3:27 am Costco misses by $0.06, misses on revs (COST) : Reports Q1 (Nov) earnings of $0.96 per share, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.02; revenues rose 7.8% year/year to $25.02 bln vs the $25.44 bln consensus.
- Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 were +3.0% (US +3%, Int'l +1%).
- Comparable sales for the twelve-week period, excluding negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, were +5% (US +4%, Int'l +6%).
2:43 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :
- Archipelago International has implemented Cisco (CSCO) cloud networking solutions for wireless and wired network access for their guests as well as a scalable and effective dashboard to manage their rapidly expanding network.
- NTT Communications (NTT) announced on December 11 it will deliver a cloud-based unified voice-communication solution incorporating its "Arcstar UCaaS" and other technologies, which All Nippon Airways Group employees will use for highly efficient and flexible communications at offices, airports and remote locations worldwide. Services will be introduced sequentially starting in 2014.
- Cabot (CBT) announced the launch of CAB-O-SIL CLARUS 3160 fumed silica, a new hydrophilic product for liquid silicone rubber applications. This new fumed silica is designed to improve performance in clear silicone rubber by providing a high level of reinforcement without sacrificing transparency, and with minimal discoloration due to aging.
- Stratasys (SSYS) announced it has observed an accelerated adoption of its Objet30 OrthoDesk 3D Printer, bringing the advantages of digital dentistry across the world to such diverse locations as Saudi Arabia, Australia, Mauritius Islands and Costa Rica.
- Kofax (KFX), a leading provider of smart process applications for the business critical First Mile of customer interactions, today announced release 2.6 of its Kofax Medical Claims Add-on Pack to support Centers for Medicare and Medicaid regulations related to the Affordable Care Act taking effect in January 2014.
2:34 am Royal Bank of Scotland confirms Bostock to resign as Group Finance Director (RBS) : Co confirm that Nathan Bostock has informed the Board of his intention to resign from his role as Group Finance Director.His formal resignation is expected soon, but he will remain in his position to oversee an orderly handover of his responsibilities.
2:20 am Total, SunPower (SPWR) and Etrion secure financing with OPIC 70MWp Salvador Solar Project in Chile (TOT) : Total (TOT), Etrion and SunPower (SPWR) announce that financing has been secured for construction of the 70-megawatt-peak Salvador project in the Atacama region of Chile. Project Salvador will be the world's largest solar power plant based on spot market electricity revenues.
PV Salvador, the project special purpose vehicle, recently signed a project finance facility agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corp, the U.S. government's development finance institution, to finance 70% of the ~$200 mln project cost through long-term, non-recourse project debt. The remaining 30% equity portion will be funded by Etrion, Total and the initial project developer, Solventus, based on their ownership interests of 70%, 20% and 10%, respectively.
Etrion has a $42 mln credit facility from its major shareholder, the Lundin family, to fund its equity commitment. Following initial payback of Etrion's equity investment of $42 mln, Etrion's ownership in Project Salvador will decrease from 70% to 50.01%. After 20 years of operations, Etrion's ownership will decrease to zero.
2:17 am GW Pharma announces US patent allowance of use of cannabinoids in treating Giloma (GWPH) : Co announces that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Application Serial Number 12/996,124, a patent which covers the use of cannabinoids for treating glioma.
The subject patent specifically covers a method for treating glioma in a human using a combination of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol wherein the cannabinoids are in a ratio of from 1:1 to 1:20 with the intent to reduce cell viability, inhibit cell growth or reduce tumor volume. A Notice of Allowance is issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent can be granted from an application. The issued patent from this application will provide an exclusivity period until June 2029.
2:14 am Sanofi-Aventis grants priority review of Genzyme's Cerdelga (SNY) : Genzyme, a Sanofi company, announced that the FDA has granted a six-month Priority Review designation to its New Drug Application for Cerdelga, an investigational oral therapy for adult patients with Gaucher disease type 1. As previously announced, the European Medicines Agency in late October validated Genzyme's marketing authorization application for eliglustat in the EU.
Genzyme is developing eliglustat, a capsule to be taken twice daily, to provide an effective oral treatment alternative for adult patients with Gaucher disease type 1, and to provide a broader range of treatment options for Gaucher patients and physicians. Genzyme's clinical development program for eliglustat represents the largest clinical program ever conducted in Gaucher disease, with approximately 400 patients treated in 29 countries.
The marketing applications for Cerdelga are based on two positive Phase 3 studies for eliglustat, ENGAGE, which included patients new to therapy, and ENCORE which included patients switching from enzyme replacement therapy. The submissions also include four years of safety and efficacy data from the eliglustat Phase 2 study.
2:07 am Finisar prices $225 mln of 0.50% of Convertible Senior Notes due 2033; offering was increased by $25 mln (FNSR) :
1:54 am Universal Technical Institute appoints CE Kimberly McWaters as Chairman (UTI) :
1:52 am RadioShack receives credit facility of $585 mln from GE Capital (GE) (RSH) : GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance announces it is serving as administrative and collateral agent on a $585 mln senior secured credit facility for RadioShack Corporation (RSH), a leading electronics retailer. The facility was provided alongside an additional $250 mln secured term loan facility arranged by Salus Capital Partners, LLC. The combined proceeds of $835 mln will refinance existing debt and provide additional liquidity as the company engineers a comprehensive operational turnaround. GE Capital Markets served as joint lead arranger and joint bookrunner on the $585 mln facility.
1:51 am Cameron approves $750 mln increase in share repurchase authorization (CAM) :
1:48 am Precision Drilling plans 2014 Cap-ex of $504 mln (PDS) : Co announces its 2014 Capital Plan and Update on 2013 Capital Plan
The 2014 capital expenditure plan includes $255 mln for expansion capital, $192 mln for sustaining and infrastructure expenditures, and $57 mln to upgrade existing rigs. We expect that the $504 mln will be split $468 mln in the Contract Drilling segment and $36 mln in the Completion and Production Services segment.
Co anticipates 2013 capital expenditures to be approximately $561 mln, a $48 mln decrease from our previous guidance. Carry forward capital expenditures of $183 mln have been included in the 2014 capital expenditure guidance of $504 mln.
Operational Update and Near Term Outlook
Precision's active drilling rig count in both Canada and the United States has been increasing throughout the fourth quarter. As of today, Precision has 109 active drilling rigs in Canada, 93 in the United States and 12 in international locations.
Co expects Precision's Canadian drilling rig count to remain at current levels until industry activity breaks for the holiday season before returning to higher activity after the first of the year. We expect our first quarter peak activity levels to be similar to winter 2013. In the United States, we expect recent market share gains to be maintained in the near term and activity levels to increase or decrease with industry activity.
Precision currently has 200 Tier 1 rigs and will have 211 Tier 1 drilling rigs upon delivery of all announced new builds, up from 93 Tier 1 rigs in 2009. To date in 2013, we have completed and delivered eight new build drilling rigs.
1:44 am Celgene presents studies evaluating REVLIMID; demonstrated clinical activity following standard chemo (CELG) : Co announces that results from two studies of REVLIMID combinations in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting.
In the first study, co evaluated whether maintenance treatment with lenalidomide plus rituximab would result in a clinically significant reduction in relapse rates when compared with lenalidomide alone. DLBCL patients with an intermediate/high to high-risk international prognostic index are at an increased risk of disease relapse rate in the first year after completion of standard therapy with R-CHOP.
Forty-four intermediate-high/high risk IPI patients were randomized to receive either lenalidomide at a dose of 25 mg daily for 21 days of 28 days or lenalidomide at a dose of 20mg daily for 21 days of 28 days along with rituximab on day 8 of every other cycle. The primary endpoint of the study was to assess the one-year disease-free survival rate.
At a median follow up of 28.3 months, the 2-year disease-free survival and overall survival were 86% and 84%, respectively. For patients in arm A and arm B the 2--year DFS was 90% vs. 82% and the 2--year OS was 96% vs. 72%, respectively (P=NS).
Adverse events with patients experiencing grade 3-4 toxicities included neutropenia (23%), fatigue (13%), hypothyroidism (4%), DVT (2%), rash (2%) and febrile neutropenia (3%). Related grade 1-2 toxicities include hypothyroidism (13%) and rash (45%).
The results of this study showed that lenalidomide as maintenance therapy demonstrated clinical activity following standard chemotherapy in DLBCL patients with high risk prognostic features.
Co also presented results from a second study of lenalidomide, this one in treatment-na ve, elderly DLBCL patients. The study investigated whether lenalidomide added to a chemotherapy plus rituximab regimen would improve overall response rate compared to historical results with standard RCHOP21.
The author reports that the standard treatment for elderly untreated DLBCL is RCHOP21, however up to 40% of patients experience failures. In this phase II study, 49 patients were enrolled and given RCHOP21 plus 15 mg lenalidomide from day 1 to 14 for 6 courses. Improvement in ORR was the primary endpoint. All cases were centrally reviewed by an expert pathologist.
At the end of 6 cycles of R2CHOP21, ORR was 92%, complete response rate was 86% and partial response rate was 6%. At a median follow-up of 28 months, 2-year OS was 92% (95% CI: 79-97), 2-year progression-free survival was 80% (95% CI: 64-89) and 2-year event-free survival was 70% (95% CI: 55-81). The 2-year PFS for International Prognostic Index low-intermediate risk, intermediate-high risk, and high-risk patients was 89% (95% CI: 62-97), 76% (95% CI: 47-90), and 72% (95% CI: 36-90), respectively.
Hematological and extra-hematological toxicities were mild, with no grade IV extra-hematological events and no toxic deaths during treatment.
In the study presented by Dr. Chiappella, the ORR for GCB and non-GCB sub-types were 88% (CR 81%) and 88% (CR 88%), respectively. At a median follow-up of 28 months, 2-year PFS was 71% (95% CI: 40-88) in the GCB-group and 81% (95% CI: 51-93) in non-GCB-group.
The R2CHOP21 results in poor-risk, elderly patients, particularly in non-GC subgroups, warrant a phase III randomized trial comparing R2CHOP21 vs. RCHOP21 in untreated non-GCB DLBCL patients.
Finally, co presented results from a study of the combination of lenalidomide and rituximab in indolent or mantle cell lymphoma. The study investigated whether the combination of lenalidomide plus rituximab would improve response rates in patients previously treated with rituximab therapy.
In the study, 42 patients with indolent or mantle cell lymphomas who were resistant, refractory or who had relapsed while on rituximab-containing regimens were enrolled and given two 28-day treatment cycles of lenalidomide 10 mg every day and dexamethasone 8 mg once weekly. After an assessment of response to this phase, all patients received four weekly doses of rituximab 375 mg/m2 during cycle 3 in addition to the lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment. Lenalidomide and dexamethasone were continued in stable and responding patients until disease progression or development of clinically unacceptable toxicity. Improvement in response was the primary endpoint. All cases were centrally reviewed by an expert pathologist.
The response rate for all patients evaluable for response following rituximab plus lenalidomide therapy was 65% with a 40% complete response rate. In patients with follicular lymphoma the overall response rate was 67% with a 33% complete response rate. In patients with mantle cell lymphoma, the overall response rate was 60% with all responses as complete responses. In patients with other sub-types (n=6), the overall response rate was 67% with a 33% complete response rate.
The most common grade 3-4 adverse events included neutropenia (48%), hypokalemia (12%), hypophosphatemia (8%), rash (6%), tumor flare (4%) and gastrointestinal complaints (4%).
1:40 am Resolute Energy provides operational update; production from Aneth and Permian Basin rebounded from Q3 (REN) : Co provides updates certain operating data and provides horizontal well results.
As anticipated, production from Aneth Field and the Permian Basin has rebounded from the levels announced in our third quarter 2013 results. Our field level production estimates for October and November averaged more than 12,500 Boe per day. As expected, the CO2 injection in Aneth that was reduced for operational consideration during drilling operations, thereby causing lower production levels during the third quarter, has been increased and production has returned to levels experienced before the reduction of CO2 injection. In addition, contributions from both the vertical and horizontal activity in the Permian Basin have increased production there above the levels experienced during the third quarter. In particular, our horizontal wells in the Permian Basin are beginning to add volumes at a meaningful level, as is reflected in the table that follows.
In addition to the three horizontal wells that we drilled in the Midland Basin, we now have drilled our first horizontal well to TD in the Delaware Basin, in Reeves County, Texas. A second horizontal well there is currently drilling. Both of these wells are expected to be fraced early next year.
1:37 am Cimarex experiences disruption of production due to severe weather; Q4 production expected below expectations (XEC) : Co announces it experienced production curtailments in the Permian Basin primarily caused by the shut-in and repair of a third party natural gas liquids pipeline and the extremely cold winter weather experienced in late November and early December. Efforts to restore the majority of curtailed production have been successful.
To date, curtailments related to the pipeline repair, facilities freezing, oil and water hauling challenges along with other operational issues total ~1.8-2.0 Bcfe. As a consequence, production for the fourth quarter is now expected to be below the company's forecast of 714-734 MMcfe/d.
1:34 am ClubCorp initiates quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share; payable Jan 15 for shareholders of record of Jan 3 (MYCC) :
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