InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

5:48 pm Kimco Realty announces $500 mln ATM equity offering program (KIM) : Co announced the establishment of an "at the market" continuous offering program, pursuant to which the company may offer and sell shares of its common stock, par value $0.01 per share, with an aggregate gross sales price of up to $500,000,000 through Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Barclays Capital Inc., BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Scotia Capital (USA) Inc., UBS Securities LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, as sales agents. The company intends to use any net proceeds from the program for general corporate purposes, including, without limitation, the funding of future acquisitions, the funding of development and redevelopment costs, the redemption, from time to time, of depositary shares representing one or more class or series of the company's preferred stock and the reduction, from time to time, of outstanding indebtedness, including borrowings under the company's revolving credit facility.

5:24 pm This week's biggest % gainers/losers (:SCANX) : The following are this week's top 20 percentage gainers and top 20 percentage losers, categorized by sectors (over $300 mln market cap and 100K average daily volume).

This week's top 20 % gainers

  • Healthcare:EYES (16.17 +84.8%),PTCT (71.33 +29.24%),PCYC (215.93 +21.61%),TSRO (53.33 +20.66%),QURE (23.24 +20.6%),CLDX (25.54 +20.41%),
  • Industrials:PGTI (10.17 +20.64%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:SFXE (4.76 +34.84%),CHGG (8.12 +26.09%),RGR (51.96 +21.8%),FLWS (12.48 +20.93%)
  • Information Technology:BNFT (32.56 +48.34%),ARUN (24.81 +34.65%),ELX (7.95 +24.02%),FSLR (59.75 +21.88%),VHC (7.55 +20.41%)
  • Financials:TREE (53.04 +20.99%)
  • Energy:CLNE (6.01 +22.15%)
  • Consumer Staples:COT (9.68 +21.15%)
  • Utilities: UIL (50.55 +19.7%)
This week's top 20 % losers
  • Healthcare:VTAE (11.62 -18.17%),SPPI (6.23 -16.49%)
  • Materials:KOP (16.12 -17.8%)
  • Industrials:EGL (36.1 -25.38%),GLDD (6.1 -17.79%)
  • Consumer Discretionary:WBAI (9.23 -41.06%),WTW (11.33 -40.49%),LL (51.86 -23.62%)
  • Information Technology:ENOC (13.49 -24.47%),DAKT (10.23 -19.32%),CYBR (59.27 -15.75%)
  • Financials:WAC (16.67 -20.16%),NBG (1.57 -19.9%)
  • Energy:SD (1.77 -23.71%),ROSE (17.73 -23.05%),CWEI (49.06 -22.83%),CHK (16.68 -17.83%),ESV (24.47 -17.78%),BBG (10.04 -16.05%)
  • Telecommunication Services:IQNT (14.75 -17.78%)

5:23 pm Popular acquires certain assets and deposits of Doral Bank (DRL) from the FDIC in alliance with other institutions (BPOP) : Co announced today that Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, its Puerto Rico banking subsidiary, acquired certain assets and all deposits (other than certain brokered deposits) of Doral Bank (DRL) from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") as Receiver, in alliance with other co-bidders, including its U.S. mainland banking subsidiary, Banco Popular North America, doing business as Popular Community Bank ("PCB"). The other bidders that formed part of the alliance were FirstBank Puerto Rico, Centennial Bank and an affiliate of JC Flowers III L.P. As part of the transaction, BPPR assumed approximately $1.0 billion in deposits that reside in eight of the 18 Puerto Rico branches of Doral Bank and in its online deposit platform. In addition, BPPR acquired $848 million in Puerto Rico performing residential and commercial loans. PCB assumed approximately $1.3 billion in deposits in three New York branches, and acquired $931 million in performing commercial loans primarily in the New York metropolitan area. There is no loss-sharing arrangement with the FDIC in the acquired assets.

5:12 pm First Bancorp Puerto Rico announces acquisition of 10 Doral Bank (DRL) branches in the island (FBP) : Co announced the bank's participation in the acquisition of Doral Bank in alliance with Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, in which FirstBank acquired 10 branches. This transaction includes 10 branches, approximately $600 million in deposits and a mortgage loan portfolio of $300 million, solidifying FirstBank's position as the second largest bank in Puerto Rico.

5:09 pm Home Bancshares and Centennial Bank announce FDIC-assisted acquisition of loans and deposits (HOMB) : Centennial Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Home BancShares (HOMB), announced it has acquired all the deposits and substantially all the assets of Doral Bank's (DRL) Florida Panhandle operations through an alliance agreement with Banco Popular (BPOP) of Puerto Rico who was the successful lead bidder with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") on the failed Doral Bank of San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

  • The acquisition is expected to provide Centennial: Loans of approximately $42.2 million before loan discounts, deposits of approximately $466.0 million including $339.5 million of time deposits and $126.5 million of transaction and savings accounts, plus a significant cash settlement to balance the transaction.
  • This transaction is expected to have the following financial impact on the Company: The Company is buying the assets at a discount of approximately $5.9 million which is expected to yield a one-time pre-tax bargain purchase gain of approximately $2.0 million, excluding any one-time bargain purchase gain, the transaction will be slightly accretive to pre-tax net income after the branch efficiencies are achieved

5:06 pm Cesca Therapeutics receives notice of non-compliance with Nasdaq listing rule (KOOL) : Co announced that it received a letter from Nasdaq indicating that the Company had become non-compliant with the Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1) requiring the Company to timely file its December 31, 2014 quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is currently working on its plan to regain compliance and to file its quarterly report for the quarter ended December 31, 2014.

5:04 pm EnLink Midstream Partners extends open season for Ohio River Valley condensate pipeline system project (ENLK) : Co and EnLink Midstream (ENLC) announced an extension of the binding open season period to solicit volume commitments for interstate common carrier transportation service on a new condensate pipeline system (the "ORV Condensate Pipeline"). The open season, which was scheduled to end February 27, 2015 has been extended to end on April 15, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Central Time. EnLink has received interest for participation in the ORV Condensate Pipeline and is extending the open season.

4:54 pm Dresser-Rand beats by $0.22; announces planned reduction in workforce of ~8% (DRC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.52 per share, $0.22 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.30.

  • Fourth quarter 2014 results were adversely impacted by a confluence of events (including the cost of the merger transaction, the price of oil and the movement in several non-U.S. dollar based trade currencies) that we believe mask what was otherwise a strong operating performance from the Company. 
  • Given the prevailing view that oil prices are expected to remain under pressure in the near future, the Company is taking appropriate measures to continue its emphasis on operating earnings growth, even in what is expected to be a relatively stable year in sales in 2015.
  • Given the flexible manufacturing model that the Company has worked to implement starting back in 2000, it should be possible to make adjustments quickly and at a cost that has less than a one year pay-back to adjust for the lower activity levels expected in the new units business.
  • Looking forward, the Company has modified its view of new units bookings, particularly as they pertain to the upstream investment activities of its key clients. On this basis, the Company has announced a planned reduction in workforce of approximately 8%, which covers its world-wide operations, and associated overhead costs from the different support disciplines.

4:38 pm Moody's prices EUR 500 mln offering of 1.75% senior secured notes due 2027 (MCO) : Co announced that it priced an underwritten public offering of 500 million aggregate principal amount of 1.75% senior unsecured notes due 2027. Moody's expects to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital; capital expenditures; acquisitions of or investments in businesses or assets; the redemption and repayment of other indebtedness; and purchases of its common stock under its ongoing stock repurchase program. J.P. Morgan Securities plc, Merrill Lynch International and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc are the joint book-running managers of the notes offering.

4:32 pm Intrexon to acquire Okanagan Specialty Fruits for $31 mln in Intrexon stock and $10 mln in cash (XON) : Co announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Okanagan Specialty Fruits (:OSF), the pioneering agricultural company behind the Arctic apple, the world's first non-browning apple. Through the acquisition, Intrexon expands its food programs to include trees yielding fruit that is more appetizing and convenient for consumers while providing economic benefit throughout the tree fruit supply chain. Pursuant to the definitive agreement, Okanagan's stockholders will receive $31 million in Intrexon common stock and $10 million in upfront cash. Consummation of the transaction, anticipated in the first half of 2015, is subject to customary closing conditions.

4:32 pm Life Partners Holdings announces receit of Nasdaq letter relationg to additional staff determination of non-compliance with listing rules (LPHI) : Co announced today that on February 23, 2015, the Company received a letter from the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications staff notifying it of an Additional Staff Determination relating to the delisting proceedings previously disclosed in a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 26, 2015.

4:31 pm Essa Bancorp increases quarterly dividend 28.6% to $0.09 from $0.07 per share (ESSA) :  

4:18 pm Vermilion Energy announces 2015 year-end summary reserves and resource information: Total proved reserves increased 17% to 151.5 mmboe, total proved plus probable reserves increased 24% to 246.9 mmboe (VET) : Co announced summary 2014 year-end reserves and resource information. Highlights:

  • Total proved ("1P") reserves increased 17% to 151.5 mmboe, while total proved plus probable ("2P") reserves increased 24% to 246.9 mmboe. This represents year-over-year 1P and 2P per share reserves growth of 12% and 18%, respectively.
  • In 2014, co added 66.5 mmboe of 2P reserves with 37.7 mmboe (57%) of additions coming from exploration and development activities and 28.8 mmboe (43%) of additions through acquisitions. This represents production replacement at the 2P level of 208% through E&D related activities and 367% including acquisitions. At a 1P level, co replaced 125% and 225% of 2014 production, respectively.
  • At year-end 2014, 2P reserves were comprised of 30% Brent-based light crude, 18% Canadian-based light crude, 10% natural gas liquids, 20% European natural gas and 22% Canadian natural gas.
  • Reserve life index for 2P reserves increased to 13.6 years for year-end 2014 reserves based on annualized Q4 2014 production, compared to 13.3 years at year-end 2013. Year-end 2014 reserve life index for 1P reserves was 8.4 years, as compared to 8.6 years at year-end 2013.

4:14 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Pare February Gains (:WRAPX) : The stock market capped a quiet week with a subdued Friday session. However, it is worth noting that the range-bound week followed sharp gains registered earlier this month. The S&P 500 shed 0.3% on Friday to narrow its February gain to 5.5% while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.5%) underperformed today, but climbed 7.1% since the end of January.

Equity indices spent the bulk of the session near their flat lines before a wave of profit-taking during the final 90 minutes sent the indices to fresh session lows. Eight of ten sectors finished the day in the red, but only one sector-utilities (-0.1%)-registered a February loss. The rate-sensitive group fell 7.0% during the month as higher yields made Treasuries more attractive.

The technology sector (-0.5%) finished the day at the bottom of the leaderboard, but still added 7.9% for the month. Similar to the sector, the top-weighted component-Apple (AAPL 128.48, -1.94)-endured some profit taking following a big run in February. Shares of AAPL fell 1.5% today, but still ended the month higher by 9.7%.

Elsewhere, the energy sector lost 0.4% to narrow its February gain to 3.5% even though crude oil settled on its high. The energy component spiked 3.3% to $49.76/bbl, adding nearly 10.0% for the month. WTI crude surged off its afternoon low even after the Baker Hughes rig count registered its 12th consecutive decline (-43) to 1267.

Meanwhile, the remaining cyclical sectors finished closer to their respective flat lines. For instance, the discretionary sector (-0.1%) ended slightly lower with many apparel retailers enjoying gains after Gap (GPS 41.60, +1.23) reported a one-cent beat, announced a $1 billion buyback, and boosted its dividend by 5.0%, which overshadowed below-consensus guidance. Peer J.C. Penney (JCP 8.50, -0.62) headed in the opposite direction, falling 6.8%, after missing earnings estimates.

The countercyclical side looked a bit better today with consumer staples (+0.4%) and telecom services (+0.3%) registering modest gains while the aforementioned utilities sector (-0.1%) and health care (-0.5%) settled in the red.

Consumer staples rallied behind Coca-Cola (KO 43.30, +0.84) and Monster Beverage (MNST 141.12, +16.38) after the latter reported better than expected results. On the flip side, Herbalife (HLF 31.01, -3.81) tumbled 10.9% after its disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat.

Treasuries registered modest gains with the 10-yr yield slipping three basis points to 2.00%. Despite today's advance, the 10-yr note ended February in the red with its yield 32 basis points above where it ended January. For its part, the Dollar Index (95.33, +0.03) eked out a slim gain on Friday and finished the month higher by 0.4%.

Although the final week of February was relatively quiet on the international front, that could change in a hurry. Yesterday evening, Kathimerini reported that Greece is due to pay EUR1.60 billion to the IMF next month, but it is uncertain whether the country will be able to make the payment on time. The IMF is scheduled to receive the first installment in the amount of EUR310 million on Friday, March 6.

Economic data included Q4 GDP, Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment Index, and Pending Home Sales:

  • Fourth quarter GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the second estimate from 2.6% in the advance estimate after increasing 5.0% in Q3 
    • The Briefing.com consensus expected a revision down to 2.1% 
    • Despite the downward revision, the GDP report actually reveals slightly better economic trends in the second estimate. Nearly all of the revision resulted from weaker inventory growth -- $88.40 billion vs. $113.10 billion in the advance release. Excluding inventories, real final sales were revised up to 2.1% from an originally reported 1.8% 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was revised up to 95.4 in the final February reading from 93.6 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a revision up to 94.0 
    • Even after the revisions, the Consumer Sentiment Index is still down from 98.1 in January 
  • The Chicago PMI declined to 45.8 in February from 59.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a drop to 58.0 
    • This was the first reported contraction in the Chicago region since April 2013 and the largest contraction since the index dropped to 42.7 in July 2009 
    • Readings throughout the report were abysmal, and every index, with the exception of supplier deliveries (58.3 from 54.9), contracted in February 
  • Pending home sales for January rose 1.7% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 2.4% 
On Monday, Personal Income/Spending and Core PCE Prices for January will be reported at 8:30 ET while Construction Spending for January and February ISM Index will be released at 10:00 ET.
  • Nasdaq Composite +4.8% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +2.4% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +2.2% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.7% YTD
Week in Review: S&P 500 Locked in Sideways Action

The major averages began the week on a sleepy note with the S&P 500 ending flat after spending the day in a seven-point range while the Nasdaq (+0.1%) finished a little ahead of the benchmark index. Participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of Tuesday's semiannual testimony on monetary policy. Six of ten sectors registered losses with all six cyclical sectors ending in the red. Most notably, the energy sector (-0.4%) slumped to the bottom of the leaderboard at the start, exerting pressure on the market throughout the day. The group lagged as crude oil fell 2.5% to $49.56/bbl. The energy component saw a brief afternoon spike into the $50.00/bbl area after Nigeria's oil minister said the sharp slide in crude prices could lead to an emergency OPEC meeting. WTI crude returned to its afternoon low after OPEC refuted the report, announcing no plans for an emergency meeting at this time.

Equity indices endured another quiet session on Tuesday before a late afternoon rally sent the S&P 500 (+0.3%) to a new record high. The price-weighted Dow (+0.5%) outperformed while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) and Russell 2000 (+0.1%) struggled to keep up. Trading volume was well below average with fewer than 700 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor. The key indices spent the bulk of the day near their flat lines, seeing little reaction to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony on monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee. Chair Yellen reiterated the Fed's intent to remain patient before raising rates, due to weak wage growth and low inflation. In addition, Ms. Yellen indicated the Fed will change its forward guidance prior to hiking rates, and that change to the outlook will clear the way for a potential hike in any particular meeting that follows. Although the testimony had little impact on equities, Treasuries spiked with the 10-yr yield sliding eight basis points to 1.98% as bond traders showed little concern for a rate hike in the near term.

The stock market ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the trading day in a narrow range. The S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Nasdaq (-0.02%) registered its first loss since February 9. Once again, the session featured below-average activity with only 687 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor. Equities faced some selling pressure at the start with the top-weighted technology sector (-0.7%) responsible for the early weakness. Specifically, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) pressured the sector after reporting uninspiring results for the quarter. The former Dow component plunged 9.9% after its one-cent beat was overshadowed by a 4.7% year-over-year decline in revenue and below-consensus guidance. Despite the opening weakness, the market was able to reclaim its early loss by midday, but renewed selling in the tech sector sent equity indices to fresh lows during the afternoon. The largest stock by weight-Apple (AAPL)-fell 2.6% to lead the afternoon pullback.

The market endured another range-bound session on Thursday with the S&P 500 shedding 0.1% after respecting a seven-point range. The Dow (-0.1%) and S&P 500 began the day under pressure due to noteworthy weakness in the energy sector (-1.8%). Meanwhile, most other cyclical groups also began in the red while technology (+0.7%) outperformed throughout the day and kept the Nasdaq (+0.4%) in the green. The top-weighted technology sector received support from some of its largest components by weight like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), and Facebook (FB). The three names gained between 1.1% and 2.2% with Apple climbing into the green after announcing a press event on March 9 where the company is expected to launch its wristwatch.

4:11 pm Hospira disclosed that the FDA concluded an inspection of its manufacturing facility in India, and that it received a Form 483 containing 14 observations relating to its observations; co intends to respond in a timely manner (HSP) :  

4:07 pm Riverbed Technology and Project Homestake Merger Corp. announce pricing of $525 mln offering of 8.875% senior notes due 2023 (RVBD) : Co and Project Homestake Merger Corp. ("the Issuer"), controlled by affiliates of Thoma Bravo, announced that the Issuer has priced an offering of $525,000,000 in aggregate principal amount of 8.875% senior notes due 2023. The Notes were priced at 100% of par. 

  • The net proceeds from the offering of the Notes, together with other financing sources, will be used to fund the acquisition (the "Acquisition") of Riverbed by affiliates of Thoma Bravo and Teachers' Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan ("OTPP"), and to pay certain related fees, commissions and expenses. Riverbed will assume all of the obligations of the Issuer under the Notes upon the consummation of the Acquisition.

4:06 pm Entropic Comms and MaxLinear (MXL) announce early termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period for MaxLinear's pending acquisition of Entropic (ENTR) :  

4:04 pm Fannie Mae releases January 2015 monthly summary (FNMA) : FNMA release

4:01 pm Essex Property announces acquisition of apartment community in downtown Los Angeles for $200 mln (ESS) : The property was completed in 2014, is roughly 50% leased and is expected to reach stabilized occupancy by the third quarter of 2015.

4:01 pm Hudson City Banc announced that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has terminated the memorandum of understanding entered into with the Bank on March 30, 2012 (HCBK) :  

4:01 pm EXACT Sciences grants inducement restricted stock unit awards to new employees (EXAS) : Co announced that, in support of the Company's continued growth plans, the Compensation Committee of the Company's Board of Directors has approved the reservation of 315,000 shares of common stock to be used exclusively for the grant of equity awards to individuals who were not previously employees of the Company.

  • On February 25, 2015, Exact Sciences granted restricted stock units covering a total of 133,154 shares of common stock to 66 new non-executive employees under the inducement grant program.

3:34 pm Earnings Preview for the week of March 2 - 6 (:SUMRX) : Of the companies reporting earnings for the week of March 2 - 6 some of the bigger names include:

  • Monday:
    • Pre Market - CORE, ENDP, SSE, JKS, PMC, VGR, BID, EMES, GTI, FSS, OMG, SSYS, ANFI, LXU, ECYT, ICPT
    • After Hours - CZR, MYL, NBR, MDR, CMLS, STKL, PRAA, CODI, PANW, CKEC, SLXP, SN, NTRI, HALO, XON, ARNA
  • Tuesday:
    • Pre Market - JD, BBY, BNS, NAV, DKS, AZO, TPH, PRIM, SSI, KATE, BBEP, ACW, AVOL
    • After Hours - SPTN, ASNA, ABM, TNET, BOBE, EGL, CDI, REGI, CECO, MPO, SWHC, IVO, VEEV, AVAV, AMBA, ZLTQ, BV, GERN, AMRN
  • Wednesday:
    • Pre Market - PETM, ANF, BF.B, TOUR, TSL, HYH, W, SOL, AMED, SSP, IBP
    • After Hours - ERJ, TSE, RNDY, DAR, GEF, HRB, OEC, PEIX, MYRG, WTI, CCRN, PPO, SMTC, SQNM, ALIM
  • Thursday:
    • Pre Market - COST, KR, CNQ, CSIQ, JOY, CIEN, BTE, ARES, BRLI, MEI, CVGW, AMRC, GTN, NAVB
    • After Hours - ALJ, ALDW, THO, ESL, COO, ZQK, DMND, WX, YY, CKP, EBS, PGRE, ATSG, SKUL, DMD, VMEM
  • Friday:
    • Pre Market - SPLS, FL, TRCO, VTG, NWHM

3:30 pm MasterCard recommends rejection of 'mini-tender' offer from TRC Capital Corporation; notes the 'mini-tender' offer price of $88.50 per share is approximately 4.5% below the $92.67 per share market price (MA) :  

3:24 pm CEL-SCI Corp announced the Republic of Belarus Ministry of Health has cleared the company to commence patient enrollment for its Phase III cancer trial of Multikine (CVM) :  

3:05 pm Headwaters announces launch of $425 mln senior secured term loan facility (HW) : Headwaters expects to use the proceeds of the Term Loan to repay and redeem in full the existing $400 million in aggregate principal amount of its 7-5/8% Senior Secured Notes due 2019, to pay transaction fees and expenses and for working capital and general corporate purposes

2:47 pm Dow -66 and S&P -5 join Nasdaq Comp -24 at new session lows (:TECHX) :  

2:46 pm Pharmacyclics provides clinical update on BTK inhibitor for autoimmune disease: longer-term toxicology studies in rheumatoid arthritis have been completed, results submitted to the FDA (PCYC) : Co announced that longer-term toxicology studies for its newly developed Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, have been completed. The results of these preclinical evaluations have been communicated to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The feedback received from the Agency is supportive of the completion of the ongoing first-in-human study. Additional preclinical work is required to begin a Phase II clinical development program in autoimmune diseases with this investigational compound. The Company does not anticipate initiating a Phase II study until additional preclinical work is successfully completed. Further updates on the progress of these efforts will be provided when appropriate.

2:34 pm Pharmacyclics announces that pre-clinical studies indicate Ibrutinib enhances anti-tumor activity when combined with an anti-PD-L1 antibody (PCYC) :

  • Co highlighted findings from a pre-clinical study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found the combination of an anti-PD-L1 antibody and ibrutinib resulted in suppression of tumor growth and extension of survival in a mouse model of lymphoma. 
  • The study found while some of the mice responded to anti-PD-L1 treatment alone, the response eventually diminished over time. When ibrutinib was added to anti-PD-L1 treatment, half of the mice were cured and the other half experienced delays of tumor growth and prolonged survival. 
  • In the case of the colon cancer tumor model, approximately 30% of the mice were cured. 
  • While no conclusions about the safety of this combination were drawn, the authors noted while ibrutinib and anti-PD-L1 antibodies have each been well tolerated as single agents, additional study of the combination of these two agents is necessary to fully understand the appropriate dosing, timing and sequencing of combination treatment

2:27 pm Premier Exhibitions announces shareholder approval for a one-for-ten reverse stock split (PRXI) :

  • The reverse stock split will take effect at the close of business on Friday, February 27, 2015, and PRXI common stock will begin trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market on a split-adjusted basis on Monday, March 2, 2015. 
  • The reverse stock split is intended to increase the market price per share of PRXI common stock to allow the Company to maintain the listing of its common stock on the NASDAQ Stock Market.

2:18 pm Agricultural closing prices (:COMDX) :

  • Mar corn closed $0.03 higher at $3.83/bushel
  • Mar wheat closed $0.12 higher at $5.16/bushel
  • Mar soybeans closed $0.04 higher at $10.28/bushel
  • Ethanol closed $0.05 higher at $1.47/gallon
  • Sugar #11 closed 0.15 cents lower at 13.93 cents/lb

2:04 pm International Banc reports FY14 EPS $2.28 vs. $1.88 last year (no estimates) (IBOC) :  

1:38 pm Nasdaq Comp -16 slides under first hour low -- Dow -39, S&P -2 (:TECHX) :  

1:36 pm Banro has signed definitive agreements for two gold forward sale transactions relating to the Twangiza mine and a gold streaming transaction relating to the Namoya mine, providing total gross proceeds of $100 mln (shares halted) (BAA) : The purchasers under these financing transactions are funded in part by investment funds managed by Gramercy Funds Management LLC  which have committed to fund the $40 million in gold forward sales and $50 million of the gold stream, for a total committed funding of $90 million. The Company and its financial advisor, CIBC World Markets Inc., will seek to obtain commitments for the remainder of the gold stream transaction prior to the expected close in April.

  • The co announced that delivery and installation of the agglomeration drum required for the conversion of the Namoya processing plant to a more traditional fully agglomerated heap leach operation was completed earlier this month. The drum is operating well in its early commissioning mode. It will significantly enhance the quality of the heap leach feed and will improve leach recovery rates. With heap leach operations taking several months of continuous percolation to fully recover the leachable gold, the full benefits of the improvements to the heap leach circuit are expected to build up during the second quarter of 2015. Banro anticipates reaching commercial production levels at Namoya early in the second half of 2015.
  • The co also announced the appointment of Richard Brissenden to the role of Executive Chairman of the Board. Richard joined the Banro board in December 2013 as an independent director and has been working closely with management to seek out and evaluate solutions to the Company's liquidity situation. 
  • Capital expenditures, excluding Namoya Mine under Construction, planned for 2015 amount to approximately $23 million, and exploration is planned to be reduced to approximately $5 million in 2015, with additional opportunities to be considered should gold market conditions improve

1:35 pm Metals closing prices (:COMDX) :

  • Apr gold ended today's session $3.00 higher at $1213.10/oz
  • Mar silver closed flat at $16.59/oz
  • May copper closed flat at $2.69/lb 

1:34 pm Bristol-Myers announces that the FDA has accepted for filing and review the BLA for Opdivo for the treatment of patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer after prior therapy; FDA also granted Priority Review for this application (BMY) : The Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date for a decision is June 22, 2015.

1:33 pm Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session - New highs (188) outpacing new lows (52) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AB, ABT, ACAD, ADBE, ADSK, AFAM, AKRX, AMAG, AMC, AMED, AMG, AMOT, AMPH, AMSG, AMWD, AON, ARMH, ARUN, ASH, AVG, AVID, AZO, BBC, BBP, BCV, BFAM, BKD, BLMN, BLOX, BLPH, BOBE, BSFT, BSQR, BSX, BT, BURL, BX, CBPX, CBRL, CCK, CEMP, CHE, CHEV, CHTR, CI, CMN, COWN, CRI, CRL, CTSH, CVS, DDS, DM, DOX, DRI, DXGE, EL, EOS, EPAM, ESE, EXLS, FCB, FICO, FIX, FLWS, FMS, FNRG, FONE, FORM, FRC, FSS, FV, G, GLOB, GMK, GPN, GRX, GTT, HAE, HAIN, HBI, HBOS, HDB, HOLX, HTLF, HWAY, HZNP, ICLR, IG, IGT, INAP, INT, INTL, IRCP, ISLE, JCOM, JOUT, JTP, KAI, KSS, LARK, LBRDK, LBY, LFC, LHCG, LLNW, LULU, MHK, MJN, MLR, MMSI, MNRO, MNST, MO, MODN, MOH, MSCC, NEOG, NEWT, NRF, NRZ, NSAM, NSP, NTWK, NYCB, OMAM, OMCL, ONCE, ONEQ, ONFC, PFNX, PLAY, PMCS, PNFP, PRFZ, PSCH, PSCI, PSEM, PSF, PSO, PTCT, PUK, QLIK, QQEW, QQXT, QSR, RHP, RIOM, ROP, ROST, SAIC, SBAC, SCMP, SEIC, SEMI, SERV, SHLM, SJM, SLGN, SMTC, SNE, STZ, TCON, THOR, TREE, TSO, TSRO, TSS, TTGT, TXN, TY, TYL, ULTA, UNFI, USCR, UVE, VGR, VLRS, VTWG, WBA, WCG, WCIC, WMS, WPPGY, WYN, XENT, ZAGG, ZIOP

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: ASRV, ATNM, AXPW, AXU, BOSC, CACQ, CAS, CIB, CNP, CROX, CRVP, CUZ, CVSL, DFRG, DNOW, DRL, EAC, EGAN, EGI, FENG, FIVE, GOL, HERO, HLX, ISH, JASN, JONE, KOP, LAS, LL, MAMS, MCF, MNI, NBY, OGE, PRAA, QIHU, QUIK, ROYL, SEED, SGM, SPDC, SPRO, TCPI, TDW, TST, UG, VBFC, WK, WTW, ZINC, ZSAN

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: FXI, IGN, IWM, IYK, PFF, PSK, RTH, UUP, UWM, XLK, XRT

ETFs that traded to 52 week lows: FXE, JO, SGG

1:28 pm Slow drift back off morning highs continues -- Dow -38, S&P -2, Nasdaq Comp -14 (:TECHX) : Relative sector weakness vs. the S&P has been noted in: Internet FDN, Oil Service OIH, Energy XLE, Technology XLK, Software IGV, Transports IYT, Gold Miners GDX, Semi SMH.

1:15 pm TCP International resumes trading (TCPI) :

1:11 pm Xoom announces it now offers instant deposits to all LANDBANK peso and U.S. dollar accounts (XOOM) : LANDBANK joins BDO, Metrobank and PNB -- four of the top five banks in the Philippines -- with instant deposit service for Xoom customers.

1:07 pm Apr crude oil extends losses, hit a new low for today at $48.58/barrel, now +1.3 % at $48.79/barrel (:COMDX) :  

1:04 pm Apr crude oil declines following the weekly Baker Hughes U.S. rigs count data, falls back below $49/barrel (Apr crude is now +1.7% at $48.99/barrel (:COMDX) :  

12:59 pm TCP International is evaluating claims filed on February 26, 2015 (stock is halted) (TCPI) : Co announced that claims were filed in Cuyahoga County, Ohio against the company and its CEO, Ellis Yan, alleging misconduct by the CEO and related matters. TCPI is currently in the process of evaluating these claims and intends to vigorously defend itself.

12:57 pm Ocwen Fincl confirms that on February 24, 2015 it received notice from a trustee that a majority of Certificateholders of two Trusts had voted to terminate Ocwen as Servicer (OCN) : The co notes that these two Pooling and Servicing Agreements represent $260 mln of unpaid principal balance or 0.07% of Ocwen's overall servicing portfolio and $0.8 million in MSR value. These two PSAs were part of the 119 transactions referenced in our February 5, 2015 Form 8-K filing

  • The Company believes the financial impact of these transfers will be immaterial to Ocwen's overall financial condition.

12:55 pm Midday Market Summary: Flat at Midday (:WRAPX) : The major averages are little changed at midday with the S&P 500 (+0.1%) showing a slim gain while the Dow (-0.1%) and Nasdaq (-0.2%) underperform.

The benchmark index entered today's session flat for the week, so it should not be all that surprising to see range-bound action continue today. To that point, the S&P 500 has traded within a seven-point range since the opening bell.

Even though the S&P 500 trades near its flat line, seven of ten sectors find themselves in the green with countercyclical consumer staples (+0.4%) and telecom services (+0.4%) in the lead. Meanwhile, the remaining advancers hover closer to their unchanged levels.

The consumer staples sector has received a boost from Monster Beverage (MNST 141.42, +16.68), which trades higher by 13.4% after reporting better than expected results. On the flip side, Herbalife (HLF 31.61, -3.21) has given up 9.2% after its disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat.

Over on the cyclical side, the materials sector (+0.2%) leads with help from miners and steelmakers. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 21.30, +0.34) is higher by 1.6% while Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 34.15, +0.14) has added 0.4%.

Elsewhere, the consumer discretionary sector (+0.1%) trades in-line with the S&P 500, masking relative strength among apparel retailers after Gap (GPS 41.50, +1.13) reported a one-cent beat, announced a $1 billion buyback, and boosted its dividend by 5.0%, which overshadowed below-consensus guidance.

Treasuries hold modest gains after climbing off their overnight lows. The 10-yr yield is lower by a basis point at 2.02%.

Economic data included Q4 GDP, Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment Index, and Pending Home Sales:

  • Fourth quarter GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the second estimate from 2.6% in the advance estimate after increasing 5.0% in Q3 
    • The Briefing.com consensus expected a revision down to 2.1% 
    • Despite the downward revision, the GDP report actually reveals slightly better economic trends in the second estimate. Nearly all of the revision resulted from weaker inventory growth -- $88.40 billion vs. $113.10 billion in the advance release. Excluding inventories, real final sales were revised up to 2.1% from an originally reported 1.8% 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was revised up to 95.4 in the final February reading from 93.6 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a revision up to 94.0 
    • Even after the revisions, the Consumer Sentiment Index is still down from 98.1 in January 
  • The Chicago PMI declined to 45.8 in February from 59.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a drop to 58.0 
    • This was the first reported contraction in the Chicago region since April 2013 and the largest contraction since the index dropped to 42.7 in July 2009 
    • Readings throughout the report were abysmal, and every index, with the exception of supplier deliveries (58.3 from 54.9), contracted in February 
  • Pending home sales for January rose 1.7% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 2.4%

12:50 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

  • MNST (141.07 +13.09%): Reported Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.72 per share, $0.14 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.58; revenues rose 12.0% year/year to $605.57 mln vs the $585.02 mln consensus; Price target raised at Stifel, JP Morgan, BMO Capital, others.
  • ROST (105.5 +6.51%): Beat Q4 consensus EPS estimates by $0.08, beat on revs; guided Q1 EPS below consensus; guided FY16 EPS below consensus, announced $1.4 bln stock repurchase program; Price target raised at FBR Capital.
  • ADSK (64.75 +6.13%): Beat Q4 consensus EPS estimates by $0.01, beat on revs; guided Q1 EPS below consensus, revs above consensus; guided FY16 EPS below consensus, revs in-line; Price target raised at Canaccord Genuity and RBC Capital Mkts.
Large Cap Losers
  • RBS (11.31 -4.44%): Downgraded to Sell at Societe Generale.
  • CXO (110.48 -2.2%): Priced its upsized public offering of 6 mln shares of common stock for total gross proceeds of ~$650 mln.
  • BAC (15.8 -1.5%): Downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Mid Cap Gainers
  • DGI (32.67 +14.83%): Beat Q4 consensus EPS estimates by $0.11, beat on revs; guided FY15 revs in-line; Price target raised to $39 at Chardan Capital Mkts, buy rating maintained.
  • HZNP (20.54 +7.71%): Beat Q4 consensus EPS estimates by $0.06, beat on revs; raised FY15 rev and EBITDA guidance.
  • ARCP (9.93 +7.58%): Announced that it expects to file its restated financial statements and provide a business update on March 2, 2015.
Mid Cap Losers
  • KBR (15.72 -12.13%): Reported Q4 (Dec) net loss of $8.57 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20; revenues fell 17.6% year/year to $1.4 bln vs the $1.63 bln consensus; Guided FY15 EPS in-line.
  • HLF (31.65 -9.1%): Beat Q4 consensus EPS estimates by $0.19, missed on revs; guided Q1 below consensus, lowered FY15 below consensus.
  • IM (24.79 -8.96%): Reported Q4 EPS in-line, beat on revs; guided Q1 EPS below consensus; Price target lowered at Brean Capital.

12:31 pm S&P +1.9 sets fractional new session high -- Dow -13, Nasdaq Comp -5 (:TECHX) :  

12:30 pm Mylan Labs announces the successful completion of the acquisition of Abbott Laboratories' (ABT) non-U.S. developed markets specialty and branded generics business (MYL) :  

12:20 pm Valero Energy Partners announces the acquisition of certain businesses from subsidiaries of Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) for total consideration of ~$671 mln (shares halted) (VLP) : The businesses to be acquired include the following assets and operations:

  • Valero Partners Houston, LLC operates a crude oil, intermediates, and refined petroleum products terminal located on the Houston ship channel that supports Valero's Houston refinery. The assets consist of storage tanks with 3.6 million barrels of storage capacity. 
  • Valero Partners Louisiana, LLC operates a crude oil, intermediates, and refined petroleum products terminal located on the Mississippi River in Norco, Louisiana, that supports Valero's St. Charles refinery. The assets consist of storage tanks with 10 million barrels of storage capacity.
The Partnership expects to finance the acquisition with $211 million of cash, $200 million of borrowings under its revolving credit facility, $160 million in borrowings under a five-year subordinated loan agreement with Valero, and the issuance of 1,908,100 common units, representing limited partner interests, and 38,941 general partner units to a subsidiary of Valero valued, collectively, at $100 million
  • Upon closing, the Partnership plans to enter into 10-year terminaling agreements with subsidiaries of Valero.  The businesses to be acquired are expected to contribute approximately $75 million of EBITDA in their first full year of operation.  

12:06 pm Exelis announces its selection by the Port of Seattle, to provide its Noise Monitoring and Flight Tracking System for use at Sea-Tac airport (XLS) :  

12:00 pm Visa to acquire TrialPay, a private company that operates an offers platform connecting merchants with consumers through targeted promotions; expected to close in 3Q15, terms not disclosed (V) :  

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

  • UK's FTSE:0.0%
  • Germany's DAX:+0.7%
  • France's CAC:+0.8%
  • Spain's IBEX:+0.4%
  • Portugal's PSI:+0.6%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+0.8%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+1.1%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -2.7%

11:54 am TubeMogul and Cox Media have entered a bilateral partnership to offer new cross-device video advertising initiatives (TUBE) :  

11:34 am Roche Hldg confiirms Avastin plus chemotherapy receives positive recommendation from CHMP for EU approval in advanced cervical cancer (see 7:57 EMA comment) (RHHBY) :

  • Co announced that the European Union's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has issued a positive opinion on the use of Avastin in combination with standard chemotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix.
  • The EU filing was based on the significant survival benefit in the pivotal GOG-0240 study, which showed that women who received Avastin plus chemotherapy had a statistically significant 26 percent reduction in the risk of death.

11:32 am Novartis AG reports Phase 2 study of Alcon's RTH258 for patients with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration met the primary endpoint (NVS) : Alcon, a Novartis company, presented positive results from its second Phase II clinical study of RTH258 during the 38(th) Annual Macula Society Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the compound versus aflibercept in patients with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). RTH258 (formerly known as ESBA1008) is a novel, single-chain antibody fragment developed to treat wet AMD.

  • The Phase II study met its primary endpoint, demonstrating promising visual acuity gains that were non-inferior to aflibercept, with numerically greater reduction and rapid improvement in abnormal retinal fluid observed in RTH258- treated patients.
  • Patients treated every three months with RTH258 also experienced a prolonged duration-of-action, potentially leading to a reduced treatment burden.
  • With these positive Phase II results, Alcon has initiated its Phase III clinical study program to evaluate the efficacy and safety of RTH258 versus aflibercept in patients with wet AMD.

11:08 am Currency Commentary: DXY Holding 95 (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index continues to hold 95 but is running into resistance at the multi-month highs of 95.48 set back on January 23. The greenback was boosted by a better than expected Q4 GDP revision and slightly higher Deflator prices. But the early excitement has cooled after a big miss in the Chicago PMI. Markets prepare for a busy week of data as we kick off March. Of note: Income & Spending, PCE, ISM Index (Mon); Vehicle Sales (Tue); ADP, Beige Book (Wed); Unit Labor Costs, Factory Orders (Thu); Jobs Report (Fri). 
  • The euro was hit on the dollar run as it dove below 1.12. The single currency would dip to the 1.1180 level before finally finding support. It is now trading at 1.1220 as it attempts to recoup some losses. Economic data from the region was mixed as Germany saw a better than expected CPI number but this was offset a little by a miss in France and Spain. Greece remains a concerns as rumors over a lack of funding and bank deposit runs continue to weight on sentiment. 
  • The pound is seeing a steady run higher off of the 1.54 support level. Sterling is seeing a small run of consolidation in this 1.54-1.55 area as investors weigh the potential for a rate hike against inflation worries in the region.
  • The yen is seeing some selling pressure against the dollar as it slips to the low end of 119 and prepares to test 120 for support. The week low of 119.83 will set up as a key level for traders as we see the selling in the yen turn aggressive. It was a buys night of economic news for Japan. Retail Sales, National CPI, Unemployment Rate and Household Spending all came in light but Industrial Production was a surprise to the upside (BONDX, FOREX).

11:06 am Choppy range trade persists with major averages pulling back after Dow -22 and Nasdaq Comp -4.6 did not confirm new S&P -0.02 session high (:TECHX) :  

10:57 am Lenovo announces response actions to Superfish software discovery (LNVGY) : Co stated in its announcement:

  • "We have worked with partners to create tools and update antivirus programs to eliminate Superfish software. And an automatic removal tool is available on Lenovo.com. 
  • No ThinkPads, desktops, tablets, smartphones nor any enterprise server or storage product was impacted. 
  • Additionally, we will offer Lenovo PC users affected by this issue a free 6-month subscription to McAfee (INTC) LiveSafe service (or a 6-month extension for existing subscribers)."

10:52 am S&P +0.6 notches minor new session high, Dow -18 and Nasdaq Comp -2.5 have not yet confirmed (:TECHX) : Have seen relative strength vs. the S&P in Staples XLP, Telecom IYZ, Retail XRT, Rail, Gold Miners GDX, Silver SLV, Gold GLD.

10:34 am Corporate Resource: Noor Staffing Group has entered into an agreement to purchase all assets of CRRS subsidiary Corporate Resource Development; terms not disclosed (CRRS) :  

10:24 am Choppy trade in the red persists but indices edge up toward morning bounce highs -- Dow -23, S&P -1, Nasdaq Comp -5 (:TECHX) :  

10:22 am 3D Systems has added Impression Solutions, a national value-added distributor of printing and imaging solutions, to expand access to its portfolio of consumer products (DDD) :  

10:01 am Stock indices extend push off morning lows after data -- Dow -23, S&P -1.1, Nasdaq Comp -4.4 (:TECHX) :  

9:58 am MFS Financial announces agreement with PL Capital; amends certain bylaws (MFSF) : The co announced it has entered into an agreement pursuant to which, among other things, will amend its bylaws to remove the requirement that in order to qualify to stand for election or to continue to serve as a director, a person must have his or her principal residence in any county in which the Company or any of its subsidiaries has an office. 

  • The Company also has agreed to appoint PL Capital principal Richard J. Lashley to the Company's Board of Directors.  Mr. Lashley was added to the Boards of Directors of the Company and the Bank on February 26, 2015 and will serve in the class of directors whose term expires at the conclusion of the annual meeting of stockholders to be held in May 2017.

9:48 am JDS Uniphase: Sandell comments on proposed CCOP spin-off of JDSU; believes proposed governance structure of CCOP business does not conform with best practices (JDSU) : Sandell comments that:

  • "The entire Board of Directors of JDSU bears full responsibility for the proposed governance of Lumentum. Furthermore, the Board has chosen to blatantly ignore our February 2 open letter to the Directors highlighting the need for CCOP to conform with best governance practices. We believe the entrenching mechanisms proposed at Lumentum clearly signify that the Board has been disingenuous as regards to its purported willingness to enhance shareholder value and we intend to hold the entire Board accountable for these actions."

9:46 am New lows for stock indices -- Dow -46, S&P -4.7, Nasdaq Comp -13 (:TECHX) :  

9:46 am Opening Market Summary: Stocks Register Opening Losses (:WRAPX) : The major averages began the day with modest losses. The S&P 500 trades lower by 0.1% while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.2%) underperforms.  

Two sectors sport opening gains with energy (+0.2%) and consumer staples (+0.1%) out to an early lead. Yesterday's laggard-energy-outperforms thanks to a 1.7% advance in crude oil, which trades at $48.97/bbl.

On the flip side, the utilities sector (-0.4%) is the weakest performer so far, extending its February decline to 7.3%.

Just released, the Chicago PMI for February fell to 45.8 from 59.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decrease to 58.0.

9:43 am Quick pullback in Semi SMH in recent trade, S&P -1.4 and Nasdaq Comp -5.5 rebound stalls after minor push above flat line (:TECHX) :  

9:39 am Nasdaq Comp +0.6 and S&P +0.3 edge back into the black (:TECHX) :  

9:37 am Relative sector performance (:TECHX) : Early relative weakness has been noted in: Auto, Utility XLE, Reg Bank KRE, Copper JJC, Biotech IBB, Bank KBE. Stronger sectors include: Natural Gas UNG, Gold Miners GDX, Oil Service OIH, Coal KOL, Steel SLX, Crude Oil USO, Gold GLD, Silver SLV, Energy XLE.

9:37 am ISIS Pharm beats Q4 estimates (ISIS) : Reports Q4 (Dec) adj. net income/diluted share count ~$0.32 per share, excluding non-recurring items, (GAAP EPS $0.25), $0.28 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.04; revenues rose 101.2% year/year to $84.9 mln vs the $74.58 mln consensus. 

"We plan to continue to progress the drugs we have in pivotal Phase 3 studies, initiate additional Phase 3 studies, and advance our drugs that are in or entering early and mid-stage development. We also plan to expand our pipeline and continue to invest in advancing our technology. Although our clinical programs are increasing in size and cost, we are projecting a pro forma NOL in the mid $50 million range, which is very similar to our 2014 guidance. We are able to keep our projections in line with last year's projections because of the many opportunities we have to earn significant revenue as our partnered programs continue to advance. Already this year, we have earned $27 million in milestone payments from our partners. We are also projecting to end the year with more than $630 million in cash, which represents net cash outflows of only $100 million to move forward our large and growing pipeline of drugs."

9:34 am Stock indices recouping the limited slip off the open -- Dow -16, S&P -0.2, Nasdaq Comp -1 (:TECHX) :  

9:16 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Priceline (PCLN) announced that Paul J. Hennessy has been named Chief Executive Officer of priceline.com, an operating business of The Priceline Group, effective April 1, 2015.  Mr. Hennessy will report into Darren Huston, President & CEO of The Priceline Group.  Current priceline.com CEO Chris Soder has been named Chairman of the Norwalk, CT-based business. 
  • Masco (MAS) subsidiary Watkins Manufacturing Corporation has acquired Endless Pools, Inc; terms not disclosed
  • Rubicon Project (RUBI) debuted Orders, the industry's first full-stack direct order automation solutions before a packed house of more than 150 premium advertising buyers and sellers.
  • Gigamon (GIMO) announced that it has teamed with Empirix to extend the analytical capabilities of the Empirix IntelliSight customer experience and performance management platform.
  • Federal-Mogul Motorparts (FDML) announces the availability of new Sealed Power Vintage product line, which includes original equipment-design pistons, piston rings, gaskets, engine bearings and valvetrain components.

9:12 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.30. (:WRAPX) : The stock market is on track for a flat open as futures on the S&P 500 trade one point below fair value. The benchmark index will enter today's session unchanged for the week while the Nasdaq Composite has shown relative strength and will look to defend its 0.6% weekly gain.

True to this week's form, overnight action featured very little action to speak of. S&P 500 futures spent the night in a four-point range, seeing little movement following the downward revision to Q4 GDP, which lowered the reading to 2.2% from 2.6%.

On the corporate front, Gap (GPS 41.93, +1.56) is on track to open higher by 3.9% after its one-cent beat, a $1 billion buyback, and a 5.0% increase to its dividend overshadowed below-consensus guidance. On the flip side, Herbalife (HLF 34.25, -0.57) is indicated lower by 1.6% after disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat.

Treasuries hold slim gains with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.01%.

The Chicago PMI for February (consensus 58.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET while the final Michigan Sentiment Index for February (consensus 93.8) and the January Pending Home Sales report (expected 2.2%) will both be released at 10:00 ET.

9:12 am Platinum Underwriters: RenaissanceRe Holdings (RNR) announces the preliminary results of the elections made by PTP shareholders regarding their preference as to the form of merger consideration (PTP) : Based on available information as of the Election Deadline, the preliminary merger consideration election results are as follows:

  • Holders of approximately 16.1% of outstanding or issuable Platinum Shares, or 4,068,885 Platinum Shares, elected the Standard Election Consideration. 
  • Holders of approximately 20.6% of outstanding or issuable Platinum Shares, or 5,195,376 Platinum Shares, elected the Cash Election Consideration. 
  • Holders of approximately 53.9% of outstanding or issuable Platinum Shares, or 13,617,793 Platinum Shares, elected the Share Election Consideration.

9:08 am Inventergy announces it has further enhanced its financing relationship with Fortress Investment Group (FIG); Fortress has agreed to provide up to $3 mln in advances (INVT) : Fortress has agreed to provide up to $3 mln in advances based on future payments from Inventergy IP licensees and waive or adjust certain prior debt repayment terms for near-term licensing agreements made by Inventergy.

9:04 am South Jersey Inds misses by $0.19; announces 2:1 stock split (SJI) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.93 per share, $0.19 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.12. 

  • "On a year-over-year basis, South Jersey Gas grew its customer base by 1.3 percent, net of any shut-offs or losses, bringing our current customer count to 366,854. We do expect to continue scaling back solar development leading up to 2017, in preparation for a possible reduction in the ITC from 30 percent to 10 percent. However, we will also continue to seek targeted solar projects with a focus on those that provide the longer term benefit of growing our generation capacity to offset a portion of our current contributions from ITC."
  • Stock Split SJI intends to split its outstanding common shares two-for-one on May 8, 2015, for shareholders of record on April 17, 2015. Shareholders will receive one share of SJI stock for each share held on the record date and the new shares resulting from the split will be distributed following the close of business on May 7, 2015.

9:02 am Ciber receives letter from Lone Star Value; intends to nominate three director candidates for election to the board of directors (CBR) : Co announces it has received a letter from Lone Star Value Management regarding its intention to nominate three director candidates for election to the BoD of CBR at the upcoming 2015 annual meeting of CBR shareholders.

  • "We fear many of the incumbent Board members are more focused on their director fees and the prestige of serving on a public board in their hometown of Denver, than they are on maximizing value for Ciber's shareholders. During Chairman Jacobs' tenure as a Board member, for example, CBR stock has declined by more than 45%(1) while he has made over $1.2 mln in director fees.(2)  In addition, average Board member compensation during Chairman Jacobs' tenure has risen from ~$40,000 per year to ~$200,000 per year(3) and is paid mainly in cash -- not the compensation terms shareholders want to see in a turnaround situation."
  • "As a sign of a poorly performing Board, management team turnover has been alarmingly high over the past ten years with four different CEOs and four different CFOs.  We believe the incumbent Board, until very recently, has repeatedly failed to find a suitable CEO to lead the Co toward profitability and performance in line with its peers.  CBR's dismal operating performance, for example, is represented by a cumulative net loss to shareholders of more than $193 mln ($2.69/share) since 2010 in GAAP earnings and it has reported annual net losses in GAAP earnings every year since 2010, while its industry peers were much more profitable during this time period."

9:02 am Plains All Amer has acquired Legion Terminals, LLC, which owns a crude oil terminal under construction in Johnson's Corner, McKenzie County, N.D; terms not disclosed (PAA) : The terminal, which is expected to be in service in Q3 2015, is strategically positioned to serve as a crude oil logistics hub in the Williston Basin. Once in service, the terminal will complement Plains' existing Williston Basin footprint and provide opportunities for additional connectivity to Plains assets. Plains' Trenton crude oil gathering system and Manitou and Van Hook crude-by-rail facilities are all located within 50 miles of the terminal.

9:02 am Medtronic announces Irish high court approval of share premium reduction (MDT) :

  • The company's share premium reduction petition, creating the distributable reserves needed to support share repurchases or redemptions and payment of the cash dividend of $0.305 per ordinary share

9:00 am Stoneridge beats by $0.04, misses on revs (SRI) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.25 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.21; revenues fell 1.4% year/year to $166.81 mln vs the $170.48 mln consensus. 

  • "Although the improvement in the Brazilian economy did not materialize as quickly as we anticipated in the second half of 2014, we are encouraged by the 8.4% revenue growth in local currency in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter.  This growth was muted by a weakening Brazilian Real compared to the U.S. dollar. Foreign currency translation and transaction risks caused by the strengthening U.S. dollar are becoming a larger factor affecting our financial performance.  Our 2015 guidance published February 10, 2015 reflects our effort to grow our business profitably and our expectation of continued U.S. dollar strength and its unfavorable impact on our results."

9:00 am Amgen announces that the CHMP of the EMA adopted a positive opinion to extend the marketing authorization for Vectibix to include combination with FOLFIRI as first-line treatment in adult patients with wild-type RAS metastatic colorectal cancer (AMGN) :  

8:55 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.80. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

With the exception of India (+1.7%), markets in the Asia-Pacific region posted either modest gains or losses. Japan for its part eked out a modest gain to reach another 15-year high, pushing higher in the wake of a heavy slate of economic releases.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's January Household Spending 0.3% month-over-month (expected +0.4%; prior +0.4%); -5.1% year-over-year (expected -4.1%; prior -3.4%) while January National CPI +2.4% year-over-year (expected 2.4%; prior 2.4%) and National core CPI +2.2% year-over-year (expected +2.3%; prior +2.5%). Separately, January unemployment rate 3.6% (expected 3.4%; prior 3.4%), Industrial Production +4.0% month-over-month (expected +2.7%; prior +0.8%), Retail Sales -2.0% year-over-year (expected -1.3%; prior +0.2%), Construction Orders +27.5% year-over-year (prior +7.5%), and Housing Starts -13.0% year-over-year (expected -11.3%; prior -14.7%) 
    • Australia's Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.6%) and Private Sector Credit +0.5% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei had a flattish session, up 0.1% (with rounding) after digesting a large batch of mixed economic data. Gains in the consumer staples (+0.8%) and technology (+0.7%) sectors were offset by losses in the financial (-0.3%), communications (-0.3%) and industrial (-0.2%) sectors. MEIJI Holdings (+5.2%) topped the list of winners while Tokyo Dome Court (-4.2%) was the biggest decliner on a percentage basis. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3% and ended at its lows for the session. It was pressured by weakness in the financial (-0.4%) and communications (-0.4%) sectors. Wharf Holdings Ltd. (-2.9%), Want Want China Holdings (-2.3%), and China Resources Land (-1.9%) led the decliners while gaming companies, Sands China (+2.3%) and Galaxy Entertainment (+2.2%), rebounded from recent losses and topped the list of winners. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite increased 0.4% in a roller-coaster trading session. The communications (+2.9%) and industrial (+0.8%) sectors fared well on Friday. Tianjing Global Magnetic Card Co., Guangxi Wuzhou Communications, and Jiangsu Hongtu High Technology Co. were the top three gainers, all jumping 10.0% on the day.
Major European indices trade mixed with Italy's MIB (+0.5%) in the lead. According to Kathimerini, Greece is due to pay EUR1.60 billion to the IMF next month, but it is uncertain whether the country will be able to make the payment on time.
  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Germany's Import Price Index -0.8% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; previous -1.7%); -4.4% year-over-year (expected -4.6%; prior -3.7%) 
    • French PPI -0.9% month-over-month (prior -0.9%) while Consumer Spending +0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.5%; previous 1.6%) 
    • Spain's CPI -1.1% year-over-year (expected -1.5%; prior -1.3%) while Current Account surplus expanded to EUR4.80 billion from EUR1.73 billion 
    • Italy's CPI +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.4%); -0.2% year-over-year (consensus -0.5%; last -0.6%) 
------
  • UK's FTSE is lower by 0.2% with energy and mining names on the defensive. BG Group, Tullow Oil, and Fresnillo are down between 1.2% and 2.0%. Staple stocks outperform with Associated British Foods and Imperial Tobacco higher by 3.2% and 1.5%, respectively. 
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.1% with exporters Daimler and Volkswagen among the leaders. Both names sport gains close to 1.1% apiece. Basic materials names lag with BASF down 2.1% and K+S lower by 0.7%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades up 0.2% with Airbus in the lead. The stock has surged 6.8% in reaction to better than expected results. Telecom names lag with Alcatel-Lucent and Orange down 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively. 
  • Italy's MIB has added 0.5% amid broad strength. Enel, Pirelli, BMPS, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Ferragamo are up between 1.0% and 1.9%.

8:50 am MoSys priced its underwritten public offering of 12.5 mln shares of its common stock at a price of $1.60 per share (MOSY) : After the underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses payable by the company, the company expects to receive net proceeds of ~$18.5 mln, assuming no exercise of the overallotment option.

8:44 am China Telecom confirms that it has been granted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC the permit to operate the LTE/4G digital cellular mobile service (LTE FDD) (CHA) : The Company notes it will leverage the competitive edge of hybrid network and flexibly deploy the LTE network, leveraging collaborated use of different spectrum resources to meet customers' demand. Through its collaborated and integrated operation with the existing superior 3G network, the Company would grasp the rapidly growing data business opportunities with an aim to better enhance customers experience and corporate return.

  • The Company believes that the issue of 4G digital cellular mobile service (LTE FDD) operation permit will be beneficial to the sustainable development of the telecommunications industry and the business of the Company as a whole. It will also foster the informatisation consumption and economic growth. However, it will simultaneously intensify market competition. The Company will proactively leverage its edge in full services operation and strive to foster the sustainable development of its business.

8:42 am Argos Therapeutics announces that an update on its Phase 3 ADAPT clinical trial of AGS-003 plus sunitinib for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma will be presented at the 2015 ASCO symposium (ARGS) : During the presentation Dr. Robert Figlin will provide an update on enrollment to the Phase 3 ADAPT trial, which is expected to complete enrollment to the tumor collection phase by spring 2015. Overall, at least 450 patients are expected to be randomized and initiate study treatment by summer 2015.

8:40 am European Markets Update: FTSE -0.2%, DAX +0.2%, CAC +0.3%, MIB +0.5% (:SUMRX) : Major European indices trade mixed with Italy's MIB (+0.5%) in the lead. According to Kathimerini, Greece is due to pay EUR1.60 billion to the IMF next month, but it is uncertain whether the country will be able to make the payment on time.

  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Germany's Import Price Index -0.8% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; previous -1.7%); -4.4% year-over-year (expected -4.6%; prior -3.7%) 
    • French PPI -0.9% month-over-month (prior -0.9%) while Consumer Spending +0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.5%; previous 1.6%) 
    • Spain's CPI -1.1% year-over-year (expected -1.5%; prior -1.3%) while Current Account surplus expanded to EUR4.80 billion from EUR1.73 billion 
    • Italy's CPI +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.4%); -0.2% year-over-year (consensus -0.5%; last -0.6%) 
------
  • UK's FTSE is lower by 0.2% with energy and mining names on the defensive. BG Group, Tullow Oil, and Fresnillo are down between 1.2% and 2.0%. Staple stocks outperform with Associated British Foods and Imperial Tobacco higher by 3.2% and 1.5%, respectively. 
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.2% with exporters Daimler and Volkswagen among the leaders. Both names sport gains close to 1.1% apiece. Basic materials names lag with BASF down 2.1% and K+S lower by 0.7%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades up 0.3% with Airbus in the lead. The stock has surged 6.8% in reaction to better than expected results. Telecom names lag with Alcatel-Lucent and Orange down 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively. 
  • Italy's MIB has added 0.5% amid broad strength. Enel, Pirelli, BMPS, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Ferragamo are up between 1.0% and 1.9%.

8:39 am Qihoo 360 Tech. has completed the $200 mln share repurchase program by buying back ~3.4 mln of its ADS with an average cost of $58.98 (QIHU) :  

8:34 am A.M. Castle misses by $1.21, misses on revs (CAS) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $1.64 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $1.21 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.43); revenues fell 0.7% year/year to $231.5 mln vs the $236.37 mln consensus. 

"We continued our restructuring and cost improvement efforts which included consolidation of certain facilities and strategic de-layering through headcount reductions. In light of the currently challenging market conditions, especially in the Oil and Gas sector, we have engaged Conway MacKenzie to expand and accelerate these efforts. Mr. A. Jeffrey Zappone of Conway MacKenzie has been appointed interim Chief Operating Officer of the Company. Jeff is a Certified Turnaround Professional with extensive experience in improving cash flow and profitability."

8:33 am Western Asset Mortgage reports Q4 (Dec) results (WMC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.87 per share, of which $0.22 or approximately 25% was attributable to dollar roll income associated with the Company's "to-be-announced" or TBA positions, vs. the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.65.

8:32 am Vuzix announces warrant conversion into cash and common stock shares (VUZI) :

  • Co announced that holders of its common stock purchase warrants have elected to exercise into common shares, this includes the outstanding warrants held by senior management. 
    • This event accounts for the exercise of a majority all of the Vuzix' outstanding warrants, which were issued in conjunction to its August 2013 public offering 
    • Company has received requests to exercise 4,605,892 warrants exercisable into common stock at $2.25 per share
    • After a portion were redeemed for cash, transaction resulted in the issuance of 3,534,972 common shares

8:32 am Magellan Midstream and Plains All American (PAA) to build Saddlehorn Pipeline (MMP) : The co's announced that they have formed Saddlehorn Pipeline Company, a 50/50 limited liability company, to construct, own and operate the Saddlehorn pipeline 

  • The project is currently estimated to cost between $800 million and $850 million. Magellan will serve as construction manager and pipeline operator 
  • Subject to receipt of necessary permits and regulatory approvals, the Saddlehorn pipeline is expected to be operational during mid-2016

8:31 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.50. (:WRAPX) : The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

The second estimate of fourth quarter GDP pointed to an expansion of 2.2%, down from the 2.6% increase observed in the preliminary reading. The downwardly revised increase is higher than the 2.1% growth that economists polled by Briefing.com had expected. The fourth quarter GDP Deflator was revised up to 0.1% from 0.0% while the consensus expected the reading to remain unchanged.

8:31 am Campus Crest Communities: Clinton Group and Campus Evolution Villages send open letter to CCG shareholders; 'We believe that our plan addresses both the immediate needs of the Company and long-term shareholder value' (CCG) : "We believe that our plan addresses both the immediate needs of the Company and long-term shareholder value.  As members of the  management team, we will work diligently to implement an immediate and positive impact on policies, procedures and day to day operations that in our view will put the Company on the path to maximizing stockholder value while at the same time providing potential buyers the attractive alternative of an in-place team which should yield broader interest and pricing strength from the sale process."

  • "The Clinton/Campus Evolution Group plan is more aligned with shareholder value creation than what we see as a 'hope proposal' that the incumbent board has instituted, which, in our view, could very likely leave the Company without a suitor and relegated to an executive team lacking management experience in the industry and an entrenched board as assets 'waste' for another year."

8:31 am Allergan announces it has received approval from the FDA to market NATRELLE INSPIRA round gel-filled smooth breast implants (AGN) : Co announces it has received approval from the FDA to market NATRELLE INSPIRA round gel-filled smooth breast implants. The NATRELLE INSPIRA line is different from other available breast implant styles as it has a higher fill ratio that provides an additional breast shaping option for women undergoing reconstruction, augmentation or revision surgery.

  • "The NATRELLE INSPIRA breast implants provide women seeking breast augmentation the option of fullness in breast shaping that can become lost after pregnancy. Additionally, this implant will provide a great revision option to the millions of women in America who have aging saline or silicone breast implants."

8:31 am Cerus signs INTERCEPT platelet agreement with Sweden's largest blood product supplier (CERS) :

  • Coannounced today that the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, has signed a three-year agreement to purchase the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets. 
    • In addition to the three-year base term, the agreement allows for automatic annual extensions for an additional two years. 
  • Including KUH's utilization of INTERCEPT in routine use, almost half of Sweden's platelet supply is expected to be treated with the INTERCEPT Blood System for pathogen inactivation.

8:30 am Bankwell Financial Group announces Christopher Gruseke has been appointed CEO and President (BWFG) : Co announces Christopher Gruseke has been appointed CEO and President. He has also been appointed as CEO of the Cos subsidiary, Bankwell Bank, and to the BoD of the Co and Bank. Most recently, he was a member of the Executive Committee at CRT Capital, a Stamford, Connecticut-based broker/dealer.

8:17 am Platinum Underwriters shareholders 'overwhelmingly' approve all proposals related to the pending acquisition by RenaissanceRe Holdings (RNR); transaction is expected to close on March 2, 2015 (PTP) :  

8:15 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • InterCloud Systems (ICLD) announced that they have achieved the status of VMware Network Virtualization Certification; one of the highest SDN certifications in the industry.
  • Digital Turbine (APPS) announced that it will launch Digital Turbine Ignite with Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY). Deutsche Telekom will initially pilot Ignite and expand the service to mobile smartphone users.
  • Oakland Unified School District reported today that SunPower (SPWR) solar power systems at 16 schools are expected to significantly reduce the district's annual electricity costs over the next 25 years or more. 
  • Neonode (NEON) announces the feature of Nenode zForce touch technology in Koenigsegg Regera, the words fastest accelerating, most powerful production car ever.
  • DTS (DTSI) and M-GO, have announced an agreement for DTS to provide its DTS-HD multi-channel surround sound as part of M-GO's exceptional consumer experience.
  • InterDigital (IDCC) and WiGig chip developer Peraso Technologies announced the integration of their respective technologies into the world's first WiGig-based Millimeter Wave Mesh Backhaul system. The technology will enable easier deployments for small cell mobile backhaul resulting in lower cost solutions for high-speed data delivery in 4G and 5G networks.

8:15 am Gapping down (:SCANX) : In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance: RESN -27.3%, TUBE -26.4%, WTW -15.7%, ENOC -12.9% (also downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham), JCP -12.7%, PODD -8.8% (ticking lower, also downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer), SB -7.5%, NVAX -7.3%, PEGA -7.1%, RPTP -6.6%, IM -5.8%, OLED -5.1%, CROX -4.6%, RLH -4.1% (thinly traded), KND -4.1%, MDRX -3.9%, ZIOP -3.7%, IMMR -3.5% (light volume), GDP -3.3%, (light volume), NMBL -3%, CERS -2.8%, (light volume), RMTI -2.5%, (light volume), IEP -2.2%, HLF -1.8%, TPC -0.9% (light volume).

Select Brazil related names are trading lower (on light volume): GOL -4.2%, BVN -3.2% (reported earnings), CPL -1.5%, ERJ -1.2%, ITUB -0.7%.

Other news: VTAE -22.4% (announces its BACE Inhibitor BI 1181181 will be voluntarily put on temporary clinical hold for safety evaluation), MOSY -8.4% (announces proposed public offering of common stock; details not disclosed), PBPB -8.1% (announces the resignation of CFO; downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at Piper Jaffray), NBG -7.5% (ongoing volatility), CXO -3.1% (priced an upsized public offering of 6 mln shares of its common stock for total gross proceeds of ~$650 mln), CYBR -2.3% (has filed a registration statement on Form F-1 with the SEC for a proposed secondary public offering of its ordinary shares by selling shareholders; size not disclosed), RBS -2.1% (continued weakness and downgraded to Sell at Societe Generale), TNDM -2% (priced its underwritten public offering of 5.25 mln shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $11.50 per share), GPRO -1.7% (comments from Oppenheimer analyst on CNBC in after-hours), QTWO -1.5% (prices its upsized public offering of 5,122,353 shares at a price to the public of $19.75 per share; Q2 is selling 1.5 mln shares in the offering and selling stockholders are selling 3,622,353 shares), NTRI -1.4% (following WTW results), SHPG -1.3% (still checking), CLF -1.2% (announces the commencement of private offers to exchange up to $750 mln aggregate principal amount of its newly issued 7.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2020 for certain outstanding senior unsecured notes), LL -0.9% (continued weakness and despite Point72 Asset Management disclosing a 5.1% passive stake in a 13G filing), HLX -0.8% (Helix Energy and BP agree to amend multi-year Q5000 contract; to defer the commencement of the work, previously scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2015, to April 1, 2016), RIO -0.8% (Rio Tinto announces streamlining of its product groups and corporate functions to drive efficiency), AAL -0.5% (announced proposed offering of $500 mln of unsecured senior notes due 2020; intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes).

Analyst comments: PCYC -1.8% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman), AKRX -1.3% (downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham), MEMP -1.1% (downgraded to Underperform from Perform at Oppenheimer), DKS -0.8% (downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays), BUD -0.8% (downgraded to Hold at Berenberg), BAC -0.6% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS).

8:08 am OM Asset Mgmt beats by $0.09, beats on revs (OMAM) : Reports Q4 (Dec) economic net income of $0.39 per share, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.30; revenues rose 26.3% year/year to $184.4 mln vs the $162.9 mln consensus. AUM +3.3% QoQ and +11.1% YoY to $220.8 mln.

8:07 am Gapping up (:SCANX) : In reaction to strong earnings/guidance: FIX +17.9% (light volume), SREV +17.8%, ABTL +15.6%, CLNE +15.1%, BLOX +14.9% (also upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup), XIN +13.1%, AIRM +7.3%, MNST +7.3%, SPLK +6.2%, UNXL +5.4%, NOG +5.4% (light volume), HPTX +5.3% (light volume), NRG +5% (light volume), ARUN +4.8%, ROST +4% (announces $1.4 bln stock repurchase program), OVTI +3.7%, SD +3.7%, VLCCF +3.5% (light volume), PKT +3.2% (light volume), ADSK +3%, CST +2.8%, DFRG +2.6%, GPS +2.2% (also approved a new $1 bln share repurchase authorization; intends to increase quarterly dividend to $0.23/share from $0.22/share), DGI +2.2%, PSO  +2.2% (light volume), XLS +2.1%, HZNP +2% (light volume), UHS +1.2%, SWN +0.6%, AL +0.3%.

M&A news: MGT +54.5% (MGT Capital Investments to Merge with Tera Group).

Other news: CYTX +15% (continued strength),URBN +2.5% (announces authorization to repurchase 20 million shares),BLMN +1.7% (announces secondary public offering of 18,307,782 shares to J.P. Morgan and repurchase of common stock ),CY +0.6% (favorable commentary on Thursday's Mad Money ),HAWK +0.4% (provides additional details on revenue reclassification for FY14 and FY13; discusses impact of currency exchange rates on Q4 and FY14 ),.

Analyst comments: ACUR +3.9% (upgraded to Buy at MLV),IHG +2.2% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill), FMS +1.7% (upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at HSBC ),FDX +1.5% (upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse)

8:05 am Granite Constr misses by $0.26, misses on revs (GVA) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.43 per share, $0.26 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.69; revenues fell 1.4% year/year to $589.8 mln vs the $713.62 mln consensus.

  • "We are actively engaged in providing support and direction to our new Congress to move forward with substantive, long-term funding solutions for our country's infrastructure investment needs," Roberts continued. "However, while a new Highway Bill could provide significant opportunities in the back half of 2015 and beyond, we will continue to grow the top and bottom line without the reliance on Congress."
  • "Granite is positioned well to execute on our more than $2.7 billion of backlog, with several additional awards pending for the first quarter. In 2014, our margins improved in all segments of our business. We expect to grow revenue steadily in the current environment, and we are confident that additional margin improvement in 2015 will be aligned to continued efficiency gains," Roberts said.

8:03 am Rowan Cos reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (RDC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.89 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.89; revenues rose 41.4% year/year to $556.2 mln vs the $529.98 mln consensus. 

  • "I am pleased with our successful entry into the ultra-deepwater market, with our second newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship, the Rowan Resolute commencing operations in the US Gulf of Mexico in October 2014 and our third newbuild drillship, the Rowan Reliance, operating since early February 2015. In 2014, both our jack-up and drillship fleet had excellent safety results and limited operational downtime."

8:03 am PTC Therapeutics misses by $0.09, beats on revs (PTCT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.84 per share, $0.09 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.75); revenues rose 188.6% year/year to $12.7 mln vs the $9.49 mln consensus.

Guidance:

  • Operating expense for the full year 2015 is anticipated to be between $160- $170 million, excluding expected non-cash stock-based compensation expense of ~$30 million, for total operating expenses of ~$190 million to $200 million. These expenses will be primarily in support of our ongoing and planned confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trials for Translarna in nmDMD and nmCF, commercial launch activities for Translarna in the EU as well as pre-commercial activities in the US, and the continued research and clinical development of other product pipeline candidates. 
  • "For 2015, PTC anticipates providing the number of nmDMD patients on Translarna therapy at the end of each quarter. Concurrent with our ongoing launch activities in Europe and around the world, we are beginning to build out our commercial infrastructure in the US in preparation for a potential launch in 2016. We are equally focused on bringing additional innovative therapies to patients by moving our earlier stage pipeline forward. Importantly, we completed two successful public equity financings in 2014, providing us with a strong cash position to advance our ongoing commercial and clinical efforts."

8:03 am Wabash Natl announces a realignment of its reporting segments to better leverage operational synergies across its businesses (WNC) : The realignment includes transitioning Wabash Wood Products, our wood flooring operations, from its current positioning within the Diversified Products Group to inclusion within the Commercial Trailer Products segment. 

8:03 am American Realty Capital announced intention to issue restated financial statements and file amendments (ARCP) :

  • Co expects to issue restated financial statements and file amendments for ARCP and ARC Properties Operating Partnership, regarding its:
    • 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K and first
    • Second quarter 2014 Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, 
    • And expects to file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the third quarter 2014 

8:02 am KCG Holdings announces it expects to launch a capital markets debt transaction in the next week; details not disclosed (KCG) : The net proceeds from any offering would be used to repay KCG's maturing convertible notes and redeem KCG's existing senior secured notes as well as for general corporate purposes, which may include share repurchases. KCG can provide no assurance that a capital markets debt transaction will occur.

8:02 am MGT Capital Investments to merge with bitcoin derivatives exchange owner Tera Group (MGT) : MGT announced today that it has entered into a Letter of Intent to merge with Tera Group, owner of TeraExchange, a Swap Execution Facility regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In September 2014, Tera launched on TeraExchange the first regulated Bitcoin derivative products, and a spot Bitcoin price index.

  • Under the contemplated terms of the agreement, and subject to stockholder approval, MGT will issue shares of its common stock to the current owners of Tera, representing 70% of the pro forma equity of the combined companies at closing.

8:01 am Hospitality Props beats by $0.02, beats on revs (HPT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.81 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.79; revenues rose 11.9% year/year to $430.5 mln vs the $412.47 mln consensus.

8:01 am Actavis and Medicines360 announce the approval of LILETTA by the FDA for use by women to prevent pregnancy for up to three years (ACT) : Actavis and Medicines360 expect that LILETTA will be available for use in the U.S. by Q2 2015.

8:01 am Forest City Enterprises announces exchange of $248.3 mln of senior notes for 10,838,998 shares of common stock (FCE.A) : Co announces it has entered into separate, privately negotiated exchange agreements under which it will exchange ~$120.1 mln aggregate principal amount of its 4.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018 and ~$128.2 mln aggregate principal amount of its 3.625% Convertible Senior Notes due 2020, for a total of 10,838,998 shares of its Class A common stock, plus a cash payment for accrued and unpaid interest and in consideration for additional interest payable on the notes through maturity. The exchange transactions reflect the company's continued focus on reducing debt and improving its balance sheet.

8:01 am Atossa Genetics announces its subsidiary, The National Reference Laboratory for Breast Health, has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (ATOS) :  

8:00 am Richmont Mines Inc. announces that Mr. Rosaire Emond, Chief Operating Officer, has decided to leave Richmont to pursue other career opportunities (RIC) : Co announces that Mr. Rosaire Emond, Chief Operating Officer, has decided to leave Richmont to pursue other career opportunities. Mr. Emond's last day will be March 6, 2015.

  • Mr. Renaud Adams, President and CEO, will oversee the operations and the transformational development currently underway at Richmont's cornerstone Island Gold Mine.
  • Consequently, the Corporation does not plan to replace Mr. Emond in the near-term.

7:58 am S&P futures vs fair value: -1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.00. (:WRAPX) : U.S. equity futures trade modestly lower amid mixed action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover two points below fair value after trading within a four-point range throughout the night.

Range-bound has been the theme throughout the week, evidenced by the S&P 500, which will enter today's session flat for the week.

The second estimate of Q4 GDP (Briefing.com consensus 2.1%) will be released at 8:30 ET while the Chicago PMI for February (consensus 58.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the 10:00 ET release of the final Michigan Sentiment Index for February (consensus 93.8) and the January Pending Home Sales report (expected 2.2%).

Treasuries hold modest losses with the 10-yr higher by a basis point at 2.04%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Aruba Networks (ARUN 23.70, +1.09): +4.8% in reaction to above-consensus results. 
  • Gap (GPS 41.25, +0.88): +2.2% after its one-cent beat, $1 billion buyback, and a 5.0% increase to its dividend overshadowed below-consensus guidance. 
  • Herbalife (HLF 34.32, -0.50): -1.4% after disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat. 
  • J.C. Penney (JCP 7.96, -1.16): -12.7% after missing earnings estimates. 
  • Monster Beverage (MNST 136.07, +11.33): +9.1% after beating earnings and revenue estimates.
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. China's Shanghai Composite +0.4%, Japan's Nikkei +0.1%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.3% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's January Household Spending 0.3% month-over-month (expected +0.4%; prior +0.4%); -5.1% year-over-year (expected -4.1%; prior -3.4%) while January National CPI +2.4% year-over-year (expected 2.4%; prior 2.4%) and National core CPI +2.2% year-over-year (expected +2.3%; prior +2.5%). Separately, January unemployment rate 3.6% (expected 3.4%; prior 3.4%), Industrial Production +4.0% month-over-month (expected +2.7%; prior +0.8%), Retail Sales -2.0% year-over-year (expected -1.3%; prior +0.2%), Construction Orders +27.5% year-over-year (prior +7.5%), and Housing Starts -13.0% year-over-year (expected -11.3%; prior -14.7%) 
      • Australia's Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.6%) and Private Sector Credit +0.5% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%) 
    • In news: 
      • Japan's Natiowide core CPI fell to a ten-month low, but Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda remained optimistic about the outlook for the country's economy
  • Major European indices trade mixed. France's CAC +0.3%, Germany's DAX +0.1%, and UK's FTSE -0.2%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.6% and Spain's IBEX -0.2% 
    • Participants received several data points: 
      • Germany's Import Price Index -0.8% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; previous -1.7%); -4.4% year-over-year (expected -4.6%; prior -3.7%) 
      • French PPI -0.9% month-over-month (prior -0.9%) while Consumer Spending +0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.5%; previous 1.6%) 
      • Spain's CPI -1.1% year-over-year (expected -1.5%; prior -1.3%) while Current Account surplus expanded to EUR4.80 billion from EUR1.73 billion 
      • Italy's CPI +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.4%); -0.2% year-over-year (consensus -0.5%; last -0.6%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • According to Kathimerini, Greece is due to pay EUR1.60 billion to the IMF next month, but it is uncertain whether the country will be able to make the payment on time

7:57 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ericsson (ERIC) announced that Verizon (VZ) has the first deployment of the Ericsson Radio Dot System in a commercial building in the United States. Installed in Verizon's regional headquarters in Southfield, Michigan, the Dot is a breakthrough solution that boosts indoor mobile coverage and capacity.
  • CEVA (CEVA) and Cypher announced that the companies have partnered to offer a noise reduction solution that dramatically improves user voice experience in smartphones, tablets and wearables, and greatly enhances speech recognition performance, in noisy environments.
  • Ritchie Bros. (RBA) sold 4,600+ equipment items and trucks for $67+ million at an unreserved public auction in Edmonton, AB this week, making it the Company's largest Canadian auction ever held in February.
  • Aradigm (ARDM) announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Igor Gonda, Ph.D. will be interviewed live on iHeart Radio's Health Tech Talk Live hosted by Ben Chodor and broadcasted nationwide on iHeart Radio/ Clear Channel Atlanta Studios - 640 WGST AM tomorrow, at 3:00pm ET.
  • ProPhase Labs (PRPH) announced that CEO & Chairman Ted William Karkus will be interviewed live on iHeart Radio's Health Tech Talk Live hosted by Ben Chodor and broadcasted nationwide on iHeart Radio/ Clear Channel Atlanta Studios - 640 WGST AM this Saturday at 3:00pm ET.

7:56 am New Residential Investment reports EPS in-line (NRZ) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.41 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.41.

7:55 am Nathan's Famous announces it intends to offer $125 mln of Senior Secured Notes due 2020 in a private offering (NATH) : Nathan's intends to use the net proceeds of the Notes offering to pay a special dividend of up to approximately $116.0 million to Nathan's stockholders of record and the remaining net proceeds for general corporate purposes, including working capital

7:53 am Tata Motors announces new initiatives designed to enhance competitiveness (TTM) : The co notes the people initiatives will extend to all categories of employees, including workmen and the managerial cadres. Key focus areas will include productivity benchmarking, cost optimization and job enrichment, for a more effective and efficient organizational structure aligned to market demand.

  • As a part of these initiatives, the Company has announced a Voluntary Retirement Scheme, presently intended for the workmen. 
  • The Company's people initiatives will complement the product portfolio it has announced till 2020, including the launch every year of two new products for its passenger vehicle business, and several new products and variants for its commercial vehicles business. 
  • "The Company is determined to meet these plans by creating a strong, robust, global and customer-centric organization that is able to compete effectively while ensuring a strong future for its people."

7:51 am Libbey beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides FY15 revs ~in-line (LBY) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.53 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.52; revenues rose 4.7% year/year to $231.4 mln vs the $231.95 mln consensus.

Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees FY15 revs +3% to ~$878 mln (+5-6% ex-FX) vs. $881.30 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:49 am Diana Containerships reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (DCIX) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.01 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.01; revenues fell 3.2% year/year to $15 mln vs the $13.86 mln consensus.

  • Time charter revenues, net of prepaid charter revenue amortization, were $15.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $15.5 million for the same period of 2013, mainly due to decreased average time charter rates, despite an increase in ownership days resulting from the addition to the Company's fleet of three vessels in 2014, partly offset by the disposal of two vessels in December 2013 and February 2014.

7:35 am JDS Uniphase announces CFO departure and spinoff target date (JDSU) :

  • The company announced that Rex Jackson, chief financial officer, will depart JDSU September 30, 2015, following the expected completion of the spinoff and necessary fiscal year-end filings. It expects to initiate a search for Jackson's replacement in due course. 
  • Also co announced its CCOP business spinoff is now targeted for completion by 3Q15

7:34 am Brasil Foods S.A. reports 2014 results; net income more than doubled vs. prior year (BRFS) :

  • BRF more than doubled its net income in 2014 to R$2.2 billion, an increase of 109.4% over the same period last year. 
  • EBITDA reached R$4.9 billion, 56.4% higher than 2013. Net operating revenue (NOR) totaled R$31.7 billion, an increase of 4.0% over 2013. 
  • The company's performance was mainly driven by positive results in the international market, growth of sales points across Brazil and improved service quality.

7:34 am Dril-Quip beats by $0.09, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus; guides FY15 EPS below consensus; Authorizes $100 mln stock repurchase (DRQ) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.43 per share, $0.09 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.34; revenues rose 9.6% year/year to $254.8 mln vs the $247.39 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $1.10-1.20 vs. $1.29 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $4.60-4.80 vs. $5.25 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.  

  • "Along with our entire industry, we will face numerous challenges throughout 2015. Falling oil prices have led to declining capital expenditure budgets for our customers and to uncertainties related to our bookings and our book-and-ship business for the year. These factors, combined with customer requests for pricing discounts, are expected to have a negative impact on both our revenue and gross margins". 
  • The Company also announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program under which the Company can repurchase up to $100 million of its common stock

7:33 am PNM Resources beats by $0.02; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance (PNM) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.24 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.22.

  • Co issues reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.50-1.62 vs. $1.57 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • PNM's fourth quarter ongoing earnings benefitted from rate relief, a 2013 contribution made to the PNM Resources Foundation that did not recur in 2014, higher market prices for Palo Verde unit 3, and AFUDC. These were partially offset by the termination of the Gallup wholesale generation contract, the acceleration of a planned plant outage at the Afton Generating Station, a decline in load, and mild weather.

7:30 am Agria reported first half of fiscal 2015 EPS at $0.03 vs $0.01 in the first half of fiscal 2014; revenues rose 1.9% year/year to $538.9 mln (GRO) :

  • Revenue increased 19% in Rural Services, 4% in Crop Protection, Nutrients and Merchandise, and declined 11% in Seed and Grain.
  • Operating profit increased 75% in Rural Services, 36% in Seed and Grain, and declined 1% in Crop Protection, Nutrients and Merchandise

7:30 am Novartis AG Novartis announces that the CHMP of the EMA adopted a positive opinion for Zykadia to treat adult patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinasepositive advanced non-small cell lung cancer previously treated with crizotinib (NVS) :  

7:24 am Alexion Pharma receives CHMP positive opinions for updates to the EU Label for Soliris (ALXN) :

  • Co announced the European Medicines Agency has adopted a Positive Opinion to update the therapeutic indication for Soliris in the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (:PNH) for patients with high disease activity regardless of history of transfusion. 
  • The CHMP also issued a Positive Opinion to update the EU label for Soliris with additional data on the benefits of long-term treatment and the risks associated with treatment discontinuation in patients with atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome. 
  • If approval is granted, updated information for the use of Soliris in both PNH and aHUS will be detailed in the Summary of Product Characteristics, which will be published in the revised European Public Assessment Report.

7:23 am TETRA Tech beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (TTI) : Reports Q4 (Dec) adj. earnings of $0.09 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.08; revenues rose 40.6% year/year to $315.1 mln vs the $317.12 mln consensus, primarily as a result of the acquisition of Compressor Systems on August 4, 2014 by CSI Compressco LP.

7:17 am Sanofi-Aventis announces Toujeo receives positive opinion from the European Regulatory Authorities (SNY) :

  • Co announced today that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has issued a positive opinion recommending the approval of Toujeo 
  • The CHMP positive opinion of Toujeo is based on results from the EDITION clinical trial program, a worldwide and extensive series of Phase III studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of Toujeo compared to Lantus 
  • The European Commission  is expected to make a final decision on granting marketing authorization for Toujeo in the EU in the coming months

7:11 am Cvent beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides FY15 EPS above consensus, revs in-line (CVT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.03 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.02; revenues rose 28.0% year/year to $39.3 mln vs the $38.9 mln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.00-0.01, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.01 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 revs of $39.7-40.1 mln vs. $39.78 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues upside EPS guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $0.21-0.25, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.12 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $177-180 mln vs. $177.82 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

7:10 am KBR reports Q4 (Dec) results, misses on revs; guides FY15 EPS in-line (KBR) : Reports Q4 (Dec) net loss of $8.57 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20; revenues fell 17.6% year/year to $1.4 bln vs the $1.63 bln consensus.

  • Q4 consolidated results reflect the significant charges associated with the company's restructuring previously announced in December 2014. 
  • Co is on track to achieve the 2016 targets set forth on analyst day for segment profit margin percentages and a $200 million cost reduction.
Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.07-1.22 vs. $1.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

The company continues to expect the following segment gross profit plus equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates margin percentages by year-end 2016 as follows: 
  • Technology & Consulting low twenties 
  • Engineering & Construction upper single digits
  • Government Services low teens (excluding legacy issues)

7:09 am BASF AG reports Q4 results (BASFY) :

  • BASF Sales 18.0 billion (minus 0.6%)
  • EBIT before special items 1.5 billion (plus 2.8%)
  • Considerable earnings increase in Chemicals and Agricultural Solutions; significant earnings decrease in the Oil & Gas segment due to lower oil price

7:06 am CST Brands beats by $0.31, misses on revs (CST) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.02 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.31 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.71; revenues fell 11.8% year/year to $2.7 bln vs the $2.93 bln consensus. 

  • The decrease in operating revenues was primarily due to a decrease in the per gallon average selling price for both the U.S. Retail and Canadian Retail segments.
  • Motor fuel gross profit (per gallon) in the U.S. for the fourth quarter of 2014, after deducting credit card fees, was $0.32 compared to $0.15 in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was primarily caused by a declining crude oil and wholesale gasoline pricing environment. U.S. merchandise gross profit increased 8% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, primarily driven by the packaged beverages, perishable foods and fresh foods categories across the Company's network of stores.
"In 2015, we expect to continue to participate in an active M&A market with CrossAmerica to accelerate our growth strategy and expand our network. During the first quarter of 2015, we completed our first drop down transaction with CrossAmerica and have already started integrating the 22 Landmark stores that we closed on in January with CrossAmerica. In 2015, I am looking forward to building upon our growing footprint, strengthening our relationship with CrossAmerica and continuing to refine our existing operations." 

7:05 am GasLog beats by $0.11, beats on revs (GLOG) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.28 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.17; revenues rose 66.7% year/year to $99 mln vs the $96.69 mln consensus.

LNG Market Update and Outlook:

  • There were a number of important developments during the fourth quarter of 2014, particularly in the United States, highlighting North America's increasing prominence in the LNG production industry.
  • The first two trains of the 13.2 million tons per annum ("mtpa") Freeport project commenced construction as did the 5.9mtpa Cove Point project. At the end of the quarter, Cheniere's 13.5mtpa Corpus Christi project became the fifth U.S. project to receive Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") approval and the co believes this project will take final investment decision ("FID") in the first half of 2015, having secured the financing commitments in December 2014.
  • The project has also sold all of the volumes from its first two trains (over 8mtpa of total projected volumes) on long-term supply agreements.

7:05 am Keryx Biopharma reports Q4 results (KERX) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.44 per share, $0.08 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.36). 

  • At December 31, 2014, the Company had cash, cash equivalents, interest receivable and investment securities of $85.8 million, as compared to $55.7 million at December 31, 2013.
  • "We believe that we are poised for a successful 2015 with the launch of Auryxia, the EMA regulatory decision on our MAA expected mid-year, and the results of the phase 3 trial evaluating Auryxia as a treatment of iron deficiency anemia in patients with pre-dialysis CKD."

7:04 am Horizon Pharma beats by $0.06, beats on revs; raises FY15 rev and EBITDA guidance (HZNP) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.27 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.21; revenues rose 244.9% year/year to $103.8 mln vs the $95.54 mln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY15, raises FY15 revs to $450-475 mln from $425-450 mln vs. $461.17 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; raises adjusted EBITDA to $170-190 mln vs $160-180 mln prior.
  • Gross profit margins were 69 percent of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with 83 percent of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2013, and on a non-GAAP basis, were 94 percent of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2014. 
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $41.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 after excluding the impact of $29.4 million in costs associated with induced conversions of a portion of the 5.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018

7:02 am Concert Pharmaceuticals reports FY14 results (CNCE) : Reports FY14 EPS of -$2.00 vs. ($1.99) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; FY14 revs of $8.6 mln vs. $8.17 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • "In 2015, we expect continued clinical progression across our pipeline, including the potential advancement of AVP-786 into pivotal testing this year."

7:02 am Asian Markets Close: Japan's Nikkei +0.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.3%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.4% (:SUMRX) : With the exception of India (+1.7%), markets in the Asia-Pacific region posted either modest gains or losses. Japan for its part eked out a modest gain to reach another 15-year high, pushing higher in the wake of a heavy slate of economic releases.

  • Economic data:
    • Japan
      • January Household Spending -0.3% month-over-month (expected +0.4%; prior +0.4%); -5.1% year-over-year (expected -4.1%; prior -3.4%)
      • January National CPI +2.4% year-over-year (expected 2.4%; prior 2.4%); National core CPI +2.2% year-over-year (expected +2.3%; prior +2.5%)
      • January unemployment rate 3.6% (expected 3.4%; prior 3.4%)
      • January Industrial Production +4.0% month-over-month (expected +2.7%; prior +0.8%)
      • January Retail Sales -2.0% year-over-year (expected -1.3%; prior +0.2%)
      • January Construction Orders +27.5% year-over-year (prior +7.5%)
      • January Housing Starts -13.0% year-over-year (expected -11.3%; prior -14.7%)
    • Australia
      • January Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.6%)
      • January Private Sector Credit +0.5% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%)
    • Hong Kong
      • M3 Money Supply +10.3% in January (prior +9.0%) 
  • Equity Markets
    • Japan's Nikkei had a flattish session, up 0.1% (with rounding) after digesting a large batch of mixed economic data. Gains in the consumer staples (+0.8%) and technology (+0.7%) sectors were offset by losses in the financial (-0.3%), communications (-0.3%) and industrial (-0.2%) sectors. MEIJI Holdings (+5.2%) topped the list of winners while Tokyo Dome Court (-4.2%) was the biggest decliner on a percentage basis. 
    • Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3% and ended at its lows for the session. It was pressured by weakness in the financial (-0.4%) and communications (-0.4%) sectors. Wharf Holdings Ltd. (-2.9%), Want Want China Holdings (-2.3%), and China Resources Land (-1.9%) led the decliners while gaming companies, Sands China (+2.3%) and Galaxy Entertainment (+2.2%), rebounded from recent losses and topped the list of winners.
    • China's Shanghai Composite increased 0.4% in a roller-coaster trading session. The communications (+2.9%) and industrial (+0.8%) sectors fared well on Friday. Tianjing Global Magnetic Card Co., Guangxi Wuzhou Communications, and Jiangsu Hongtu High Technology Co. were the top three gainers, all jumping 10.0% on the day.
    • India's Sensex was the big mover on Friday, surging 1.7% ahead of the prime minster's budget release on Saturday. There are expectations that it will include large allocations for public spending. The consumer cyclical (+2.2%) and financial (+1.6%) sectors led the gains. Tata Power Co. (+5.6%), Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (+4.9%), and ICICI Bank (+4.4%) were the leading percentage gainers in the index.
    • Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed Friday's session with a 0.3% gain. Strength in the gold (+1.9%), information technology (+1.4%), and health care (+1.2%) helped make the winning difference. Spotless Fp (+4.0%), Technology One Ltd. (+3.8%), and Dexus Property Group (+3.5%) were leading gainers.
    • Regional advancers: Malaysia +0.02%
    • Regional decliners: South Korea -0.4%, Singapore -0.7%, Thailand -0.4%, Indonesia -0.02%, Philippines -0.4%, Vietnam -0.7%
    • Holiday closure: Taiwan (228 Peace Memorial Day)
  • FX: 
    • USD/CNY +0.2% at 6.2686
    • USD/INR +0.1 % at 61.811
    • USD/JPY -0.1% at 119.30  

7:00 am Biogen Idec and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum announce positive top-line results of the Kids B-LONG Phase 3 clinical study of ALPROLIX in children under age 12 with severe hemophilia B (BIIB) : ALPROLIX was generally well tolerated and no inhibitors (neutralizing antibodies that may interfere with the activity of the therapy) were detected during the study. In this study, once-weekly prophylactic dosing with ALPROLIX resulted in low bleeding rates.

  • In the study, children treated prophylactically with ALPROLIX had an overall median ABR of 1.97. The median ABR for spontaneous joint bleeds was zero. Approximately 33 percent of participants in the study experienced zero bleeding episodes. Overall, 91.7 percent of bleeding episodes were controlled by one or two infusions of ALPROLIX. The terminal half-life of ALPROLIX in the study was 66.5 hours for children under six and 70.3 hours for children six to less than 12 years of age. Additional analyses of the Kids B-LONG study are ongoing, and detailed results will be presented at a future scientific meeting. 
  • No inhibitors to ALPROLIX were detected during the study. ALPROLIX was generally well tolerated and no cases of serious allergic reactions or vascular thrombotic events were reported in any participants, all of whom had been previously treated with other commercially available factor IX products. No serious adverse events were determined by any investigator to be related to the drug. One adverse event, decreased appetite, was considered related to ALPROLIX treatment and was reported in one participant. No participant discontinued the study due to an adverse event after receiving ALPROLIX. The pattern of treatment-emergent adverse events reported was consistent with the population studied and generally consistent with results seen in adolescents and adults in the pivotal Phase 3 B-LONG study. 
  • "These data will enable regulatory filings in Europe later this year as well as support pediatric indications in other countries, with the potential to help address a critical need among children with hemophilia B."

7:00 am Genpact announces share repurchase program of up to $250 million; funded using cash and debt facilities (G) :  

6:50 am Shangahi... +0.4% (FXI) :  

6:50 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.50. :

6:50 am European Markets : FTSE...6942.11...-7.10...-0.10%.  DAX...11317.42...-9.80...-0.10%.

6:50 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...18797.94...+12.20...+0.10%.  Hang Seng...24823.29...-78.80...-0.30%.

6:49 am Knightsbridge Shipping reports Q4 results; comments on drybulk market; suspends dividend (VLCCF) :

  • Knightsbridge reports Q4 EPS of $0.06 vs. ($0.03) Capital IQ consensus. 
  • Knightsbridge received $6.4 million in the fourth quarter as final settlement for a claim for damages and unpaid charter hire. 
  • Two months into 2015 the freight market has continued its negative trend with a BDI touching "all time low." 
  • "The market in the first quarter has been disappointing so far and this will affect the earnings for the first quarter. Future earnings will continue to correlate with the spot market as long as the majority of our vessels are employed in the spot market. Should the weak market continue it will force changes on the industry, some participants will disappear, and it will open up for consolidation and for those that have stamina to stand through this period there will be opportunities in the other end. During a period with a weak market we expect to see increased scrapping, postponed orders, cancellations and conversions, and in long term it will cater for better fundamentals for an upturn in the market in the future."
  • The Board of Knightsbridge has decided not to declare a dividend for the fourth quarter of 2014 due to the current market environment, which caters for a cautious approach.

6:44 am Goodrich Petroleum misses by $0.02, misses on revs (GDP) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.47 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.45); revenues fell 4.0% year/year to $48.6 mln vs the $58.53 mln consensus. 

  • The company's proved oil and natural gas reserves as of December 31, 2014 totaled 273.7 Bcfe, versus 452.2 Bcfe in the prior year period.  

6:41 am SAGE Therapeutics reports FY14 EPS ($1.67) vs. ($2.59) consensus; updates pipeline (SAGE) : "Looking ahead, 2015 will be a year rich with milestones. We expect to report final results from our ongoing Phase 1/2 trial of SAGE-547 before initiating a registration trial by mid-year. We are on track to report proof of principle data from exploratory Phase 2a studies of SAGE-547 in essential tremor and severe postpartum depression in mid-2015. Further, we expect to broaden our clinical program with the initiation of Phase 1 trials for both SAGE-217 and SAGE-689 by year-end. We believe 2015 is poised to be a transformative year for SAGE."

6:40 am Rentokil reports 2014 results (RTOKY) :

  • Strong end to the year with Q4 revenue, profit and cash; contributing to good overall performance for 2014: Ongoing revenue +3.6%, organic +1.2%, +2.4% from acquisitions 
  • 6.5% ongoing profit growth supported by reduction in central overheads
  • 93m improvement in continuing free cash flow at 129m

6:39 am Cyber-Ark Software has filed a registration statement on Form F-1 with the SEC for a proposed secondary public offering of its ordinary shares by selling shareholders; size not disclosed (CYBR) : All of the shares will be offered by the company's shareholders. The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale of these shares.

6:37 am Bank of Ireland reports 2014 results (IREBY) :

  • Underlying profit of 921 million with all trading divisions profitable -- an improvement of 1.5 billion over 2013 
  • 10 billion of new lending -- an increase of over 50% 
  • Largest lender to the Irish economy during 2014, UK mortgage lending more than doubled 
  • A substantial and sustainable increase in NIM during 2014; Q4 NIM was 2.22% 
  • Reduced defaulted loans by 2.8 billion to 14.3bn; 22% below their peak
  • Increased transitional CET1 ratio by 250bps to 14.8% 
  • Fully loaded CET1 Ratio of 9.3% 
  • Passed ECB stress test with substantial capital buffers
  • Increased TNAV per share by 13%

6:37 am Old Mutual reports 2014 results (ODMTY) :

Co reports 2014 results:
  • Adjusted operating profit (:AOP) of 1.6 billion up 16% in constant currency, flat in reported currency
  • AOP earnings per share 17.9p up 13% in constant currency, down 3% in reported currency
  • Final dividend of 6.25p up 4%, with a total dividend of 8.7p up 7%
  • Net client cash flow of 4.9 billion FUM at 319.4 billion up 6% in constant currency, 9% in reported currency 653 million net free surplus generated
  • Group ROE 13.3%, within target range of 12-15%
  • The Group has appropriate and resilient levels of capital, liquidity and leverage

6:35 am Exelis beats by $0.02, beats on revs (XLS) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.47 per share, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.45; revenues rose 1.2% year/year to $933 mln vs the $912.04 mln consensus. 

  • Results from continuing operations reflect the September spin-off of the former Mission Systems business into Vectrus, an independent, publicly traded company. Exelis shareholders at the time of the spin-off received one share of Vectrus common stock for every 18 shares of Exelis common stock held on the spin-off record date. 
  • The company secured $3.3 billion in orders in 2014, earning significant new business within our four Strategic Growth Platforms, and continuing steady orders in our more mature business areas. 
  • "I believe the merger agreement, signed February 5th with Harris Corporation (HRS), represents an excellent opportunity for Exelis businesses and employees to achieve our stated growth strategy and bring our customers and shareholders greater capabilities and value."

6:33 am Control4 announces early-stage investors will resign from its Board of Directors (CTRL) :

  • Co announced the resignations of its remaining early-stage investor board members:
    • Len Jordan, Managing Director of Madrona Ventures Group 
    • Steven Vassallo, General Partner of Foundation Capital
  • Both resignations are effective as of Control4's 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, currently scheduled for April 28, 2015.
  • A search is currently underway for replacement directors with applicable industry experience and broad operating capability

6:31 am Transgenomic priced its underwritten public offering of 3,573,899 shares of common stock and corresponding warrants to purchase 714,780 shares of common stock for net proceeds of ~$6.2 mln (TBIO) :  

6:27 am Lloyds Banking reports 2014 results (LYG) :

  • Underlying profit increased 26% to 7.8 billion (2013: 6.2 billion) 
  • Income of 18.4 billion, up 1% excluding St. James's Place effects in 2013 
  • 2015 full year net interest margin expected to be around 2.55 per cent 
  • 2015 full year asset quality ratio expected to be around 30 basis points
  • Expect other income to be broadly stable in 2015 
  • Targeting cost:income ratio to exit 2017 at around 45 per cent, with reductions in each year
  • Expect to generate between 1.5 and 2 percentage points of common equity tier 1 per annum (pre dividend) 
  • Expected return on required equity of 13.5-15 per cent by the end of the strategic plan period (2017)

6:21 am Pepco Hldgs beats by $0.03, misses on revs; awaiting state regulatory approvals for merger with EXC (POM) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.23 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20; revenues rose 2.5% year/year to $1.12 bln vs the $1.16 bln consensus. 

"Looking ahead, we remain confident that our pending merger with Exelon (EXC) will provide significant stakeholder benefits, including enhancing our ability to achieve our fundamental strategy of providing our customers with safe and reliable service."

6:20 am Mobile TeleSystems has transferred its 100% ownership stake in MTS-Ukraine along with its indirect ownership stake through its subsidiary PTT Telecom Kyiv, to Preludium B.V; terms not disclosed (MBT) :  

6:16 am AAON reports EPS in-line, revs in-line (AAON) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.19 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.19; revenues rose 15.4% year/year to $84.7 mln vs the $84 mln consensus. 

  • "The Company's backlog increased from $45.3 million at December 31, 2013 to $48.8 million at December 31, 2014."
  • "While we had another record year, we are starting to see an inflation in raw material, component and labor costs, and perceive a stagnation in non-residential construction growth. Still, we expect to have another good year in 2015."

6:15 am Pacific Booker Minerals asked to respond to Review Panel Recommendations (PBM) : The co announced it received a letter from Doug Caul, Associate Deputy Minister, BC Environmental Assessment Office in which he provided PBM an opportunity to provide comments on the Mount Polley Investigation and Report in relation to the Morrison project. He asked that PBM provide him with any comments on the Report by March 20, 2015. He asked that PBM focus their comments on the potential implications of the recommendations of the Report to Morrison and effects relating to its proposed tailings management facility and that it is not necessary to reiterate the submissions made previously regarding the Morrison project. A response will be prepared by Klohn Crippen Berger on behalf of PBM.

6:11 am Del Frisco's Restaurant misses by $0.06, misses on revs; guides FY15 EPS below consensus (DFRG) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.35 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.41; revenues rose 8.5% year/year to $105.8 mln vs the $108.5 mln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of +15-18% to ~$0.94-97 vs. $1.02 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees total comparable restaurant sales increase of 2% to 3% 
  • On a calendar basis and normalized for New Year's Eve during the prior year, comparable restaurant sales increased 4.8% at Del Frisco's Double Eagle and represented the concept's 20th consecutive quarter of positive comparable restaurant sales. On a fiscal quarter basis, excluding the 17th week in the fourth quarter of 2013, sales in the same restaurants increased 4.9%. Blended comparable restaurant sales, on a calendar basis and normalized for New Year's Eve during the prior year, increased 2.4% across all three concepts. FY15 Guidance: 

6:07 am NW Natural Gas misses by $0.07; guides FY15 EPS below consensus (NWN) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.04 per share, $0.07 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.11; revenues fell 7.8% year/year to $240.3 mln.

  • Results for the quarter reflected higher utility margins and a decrease in consolidated operations and maintenance expense offset by lower gas storage results. 
  • Volumes decreased in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to 2013 with lower residential and commercial deliveries related to weather that was 25% warmer than the previous year and 15% warmer than average.
Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.10-2.30 vs. $2.37 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

6:03 am GFI Group: BGC Partners (BGCP) announces the successful completion of BGC's tender offer for GFI shares (GFIG) : As of the expiration of the tender offer at 5:00 PM on February 26, 2015, approximately 54.6 million shares were tendered pursuant to the offer. The 54.6 million tendered shares, together with the 17.1 million shares of GFI common stock already owned by BGC, represent approximately 56.3% of GFI's outstanding shares. The companies also announced that as part of the agreement with GFI, Marisa Cassoni, Frank Fanzilli Jr. and Richard Magee have resigned from the GFI Board. BGC has designated six directors to the expanded eight-member GFI Board.

6:03 am HMS Holdings misses by $0.13, misses on revs (HMSY) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.03 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.13 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.16; revenues fell 7.7% year/year to $112.2 mln vs the $116.35 mln consensus. 

  • Total revenue of $109.4 million in the fourth quarter, excluding Medicare RAC revenue, was 13.7% higher than the prior year fourth quarter. Commercial revenue in the quarter was $45.0 million, an 18.1% increase compared to $38.1 million in the prior year fourth quarter; state government revenue was $58.7 million in the fourth quarter, a 12.7% increase compared to $52.1 million in the prior year fourth quarter; non-Medicare RAC federal and other revenue was $5.7 million, a 7.0% decrease compared to $6.1 million in the prior year fourth quarter.

6:01 am Carbonite: j2 Global (JCOM) extends tender offer to Carbonite shareholders until 5:00 p.m. New York City time on March 30, 2015 (CARB) : In addition, j2 has been in discussions with Carbonite over the terms of a proposed confidentiality agreement to permit j2 to participate in Carbonite's previously announced potential sale process.

6:01 am Summit Financial announces the termination of holding company MOU (SMMF) : Co announced today that the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions have terminated their informal memorandum of understanding with Summit entered into on November 6, 2009

6:00 am Lilis Energy regains Nasdaq compliance in regards to both the periodic filing requirement and board composition requirement (LLEX) :  

6:00 am Acacia Research subsidiary Nexus Display Technologies announces it has entered into settlement and patent license agreement with Eizo Corporation (ACTG) :  

5:47 am American Homes 4 Rent reports FFO in-line, misses on revs; prices $552.8 mln securitization transaction (AMH) : Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.16 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.16; revenues rose 80.2% year/year to $116.9 mln vs the $120 mln consensus.

  • As of December 31, 2014, the Company had 28,250 leased properties, an increase of 2,089 properties from September 30, 2014. At December 31, 2014, the leased percentage for properties that have been rent-ready for more than 90 days or initially leased after completing renovations was 92.8%, compared to 94.1% at September 30, 2014.  
  • The co also announced that it has priced its fourth securitization transaction. The transaction involves the issuance and sale to third parties of single-family rental pass-through certificates that represent beneficial ownership interests in a loan secured by 4,661 single-family residential properties transferred to an affiliate from the Company's portfolio of single-family properties. The Company anticipates gross proceeds from the sale of its certificates of approximately $552.8 million. The certificates will be issued for a thirty-year term with an anticipated repayment date ten years after the closing date. The duration-adjusted weighted average coupon rate for the certificates for the first ten years is 4.138%.

5:29 am Pearson Plc announces the appointment of Coram Williams as its new CFO (PSO) : Coram will join Pearson as CFO designate on July 1st, and succeed Robin Freestone as CFO on August 1st, when he will also replace Robin on the Pearson board as an executive director. Coram is currently CFO of Penguin Random House.

5:10 am Pennsylvania R.E.I.T. announced that Michael J. DeMarco will be nominated to stand for election to the Board of Trustees at its 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders pursuant to an agreement with shareholder Land & Buildings (PEI) : Pursuant to the agreement, the L&B Group agreed to certain customary voting, standstill and other commitments continuing, subject to certain exceptions, until the date that is sixty (60) days prior to the last day of the advance notice period for shareholders to submit timely notice of trustee nominations or proposals of other business pursuant to the Company's by-laws for the Company's 2016 annual meeting of shareholders.

4:53 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Accenture (ACN) has won a public tender and signed a four-year framework agreement with the Finnish State Treasury to develop and maintain a range of IT applications that support the State Treasury's effort to digitalize its claims management system and enables the State Treasury to further improve and expedite its claims service. Under the agreement, Accenture will develop and maintain new functionalities, expand the processing scope of the claims system to cover additional insurance products, and integrate online services into the service processes. The co also announced it has completed the design and deployment of a flexible backend platform that helps enable the BMW Group's (BAMXY) connected vehicle offering, ConnectedDrive.
  • Toshiba Corporation (TOSBF) announced the development of TMPV7608XBG, an image recognition processor that provides high accuracy recognition and detection of vehicles and pedestrians at night. This sample shipment started in January.
  • Delfin LNG LLC announced the signing of a Joint Development Agreement with H egh LNG Ltd, an affiliate of Hoegh LNG (HMLP), in relation to its US-based Delfin Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port Project. The Project is a planned floating liquefaction, deepwater port designed to export liquefied natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico, and is positioned to be the first floating deepwater liquefaction project in the United States.
  • InterOil Corporation (IOC) announces that all participants in the PRL 15 Joint Venture have unanimously voted to appoint Total (TOT) E&P PNG Limited as Operator of the PRL 15 Joint Venture.The appointment will take effect in accordance with an operator transition plan and the terms of the Joint Venture Operating Agreement.
  • Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) updated that the Pearl gas-to-liquids plant, in Qatar has entered planned maintenance in February 2015. Pearl GTL comprises two identical GTL 'trains', with a total capacity of 140,000 barrels per day of GTL products plus 120,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids and ethane.
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing (SMI) and Cista System Corp have jointly announced the achievement of mass production for two CIS-BSI products, of 1.3MP resolution with 1.75-micron pixel and 8MP resolution with 1.4-micron pixel, respectively. Both sensors are based on SMIC's independently developed 0.13-micron BSI technology platform.
  • Varian Medical Systems (VAR) reports on its progress towards its goal of making advanced treatments systems more available for cancer patients across Africa. The co has installed more than 100 radiotherapy treatment systems in Africa over the last 25 years. The company recently announced major projects in Algeria, Egypt and South Africa. Varian has also installed equipment in several sub-Saharan nations including Ghana, Angola, Kenya, and Madagascar.  
  • Millicom (MIICF) announced that it has joined the GSMA's cross-ecosystem Pan-African mHealth initiative which is designed to connect people with the mobile industry and health services in eleven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Tigo operations in Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania.
  • Orange (ORAN) and Nokia Networks (NOK) announced they have entered into a Partnership aimed at leveraging the benefits of virtualization applied to IMS for the operator business model and network architecture. As part of their joint 'Telco Cloud partnership', Orange and Nokia Networks have achieved one of the first voice calls in a fully virtualized IMS experimental environment.

4:48 am Rovi prices $300 mln principal amount of 0.500% Convertible Senior Notes due 2020 in a private offering (ROVI) :  

4:40 am LM Ericsson has filed two complaints with the ITC and seven complaints in a United States District Court against Apple (AAPL) asserting 41 patents covering many aspects of Apple's iPhones and iPads (ERIC) : The patents includestandard essential patents related to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards as well asother patents that are critical to features and functionality of Apple devicessuch as the design of semiconductor components, user interface software,location services and applications, as well as the iOS operating system.Ericsson seeks exclusion orders in the ITC proceedings and damages

  • The co notes that Apple's global license agreement for Ericsson's mobile technology expired lastmonth, and Apple has declined to take a new license offered on FRAND terms. "Ericsson made several attempts to find a fair solution, including an offer forboth parties to be bound by a decision on fair licensing terms by a UnitedStates federal court. Apple has refused all attempts, so Ericsson has filedthese infringement complaints to defend the industry's long-standing principleof technology sharing."

4:35 am Mondelez Int'l has reached an agreement to sell its 50% interest in Ajinomoto General Foods to its joint venture partner, Ajinomoto Co (MDLZ) : Upon closing of the stock purchase agreement, Mondelez will receive pre-tax cash proceeds of 27 billion yen

4:34 am Cliffs Natural Resources announces the commencement of private offers to exchange up to $750 mln aggregate principal amount of its newly issued 7.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2020 for certain outstanding senior unsecured notes (CLF) : The aggregate principal amount of Senior Secured Notes to be issued in the Exchange Offers is limited to $750 million. In the event that the Exchange Offers are oversubscribed, the principal amounts of each series of Existing Notes that are accepted will be determined in accordance with the "Acceptance Priority Levels" set forth on the table above, with 1 being the highest Acceptance Priority Level and 4 being the lowest Acceptance Priority Level. In addition, the aggregate principal amount of 6.25% Senior Notes due 2040 to be accepted is limited to $325 million.

  • The consummation of the Exchange Offers is conditioned upon Cliffs having refinanced its existing revolving credit facility on terms and conditions satisfactory to Cliffs in its discretion.

4:31 am CEMEX S.A. prices EUR 550 mln of its 4.375% Senior Secured Notes due 2023 and $750 mln of its 6.125% Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (CX) :  

4:30 am Q2 Holdings prices its upsized public offering of 5,122,353 shares at a price to the public of $19.75 per share; Q2 is selling 1.5 mln shares in the offering and selling stockholders are selling 3,622,353 shares (QTWO) : The size of the offering was increased from the previously announced 4,559,156 shares to 5,122,353 shares

4:27 am LyondellBasell prices its public offering of $1 bln aggregate principal amount of 4.625% Senior Notes due 2055 (LYB) : The proceeds of the offering are expected to be used for general corporate purposes, including repurchases of the co's ordinary shares.

4:26 am Tandem Diabetes Care has priced its underwritten public offering of 5.25 mln shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $11.50 per share (TNDM) :  

4:25 am CVSL prices its previously announced public offering of shares, which now includes warants; gross proceeds are expected to be $20 mln (CVSL) : The co announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 6,667,000 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 6,667,000 shares of its common stock at a combined offering price of $3.00. The warrants will have a per share exercise price of $3.75, are exercisable immediately and will expire five years from the date of issuance. 

4:22 am Omnicell to purchase MACH4 Pharma Systems, terms not disclosed; Expects the acquisition to become accretive during 2016; Updates 2015 guidance to reflect expected additional revenues (OMCL) : MACH4 Pharma Systems is a provider of highly automated medication management systems to a base of over 1,000 retail and hospital pharmacy customers primarily in Europe, with additional installations in China and the Middle East. The co expects 2015 revenue contribution from MACH4 will be between $12 and $15 million and Non-GAAP earnings per share dilution of approximately $0.04 as the companies are integrated.

  • The company now sees FY15 non-GAAP EPS of $1.31-1.36 (vs. prior guidance for $1.35-1.40), which may no longer compare to the $1.36 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs $492-505 mln (vs. prior guidance for $480-490 mln) vs $487.69 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate 
  • The co previously expected 2015 product bookings to be between $390 and $405 million and now expects product bookings between $398 and $416 million with the inclusion of MACH4.

4:14 am Concho Resources has priced an upsized public offering of 6 mln shares of its common stock for total gross proceeds of ~$650 mln (CXO) : The offering was upsized from the company's initially plans to offer 5.6 mln shares

4:12 am California Resources Corp declares its first quarterly dividend of $0.01/share since being spun off from Occidental Petroleum (OXY); Indicates $0.04/share annual rate (CRC) :  

4:08 am Boise Cascade announces that, effective March 7, 2015, Duane McDougall will resign as chairman of the Board (BCC) : The co announced that, effective March 7, 2015, Mr. McDougall will resign as chairman of the Board and Thomas E. Carlile, CEO, who will be retiring on March 6, 2015, will become chairman of the Board. The co also announced that Steven C. Cooper was elected to its Board of Directors on February25, 2015. Further, the co noted that Matthew W. Norton will be resigning from BoiseCascade's Board effective February 27, 2015

4:04 am Energy Recovery reschedules Q4 release date to Thursday March 5, 2015 after the close (ERII) : The co was initially planning to release its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014 on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, after the market close. The company will hold a conference call to discuss its financial results on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 2:30 PM PST / 5:30 EST

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