InPlay from Briefing.com

12:42 pm Apple: AAPL sees a notable high volume drop to new session lows @ 128.40 in recent midday trading, now back near the 128.46 unch. mark (AAPL) :  

12:35 pm S&P +5.8 trims late Friday to this morning’s advance in half at 2109 and stabilizes (:TECHX) :  

12:32 pm Interactive Brokers reports its Electronic Brokerage monthly performance metrics for February (IBKR) : Highlights include:

  • 633k Daily Average Revenue Trades, 9% higher than prior year and 6% lower than prior month. 
  • Ending client equity of $ 60.3 billion, 24% higher than prior year and 7% higher than prior month. 
  • Ending client margin loan balances of $ 16.6 billion, 16% higher than prior year and 1% higher than prior month. 
  • Ending client credit balances of $ 31.5 billion, 20% higher than prior year and 3% higher than prior month. 290 thousand client accounts, 17% higher than prior year and 2% higher than prior month. 

12:22 pm Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors underperforming the S&P on the pullback off the high include: Housing XHB/ITB, Internet FDN, Bank BKE/KRE, Software IGV, REITs IYR, Retail XRT.

12:18 pm Further minor backtracking off highs — Dow +94 has slipped 35 points, S&P +5.8, Nasdaq Comp +25 (:TECHX) :  

12:16 pm Air Products will increase product pricing and monthly service charges for merchant industrial gas customers in North America effective March 15, 2015 (APD) : The pricing adjustments include increases of: Up to 20% for liquid argon, up to 12% for liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen, and up to 10% on monthly service charges

  • The price adjustments are in response to increased costs to reliably supply Air Products’ customers’ growing demand for industrial gases.  In addition to higher operating costs for both production and delivery of industrial gas products, Air Products has also experienced increased costs for bulk tanks due to higher metal prices. 

12:14 pm Stock indices extend slip back off morning highs — Dow +97, S&P +6, Nasdaq Comp +28 (:TECHX) :  

12:08 pm EZCORP announces that Mark Ashby has been appointed CFO (EZPW) : Ashby joins EZCORP from Myer Holdings Limited, Australia’s largest department store group, where he served as Chief Financial Officer for seven years. It is expected that Mr. Ashby will begin his role at EZCORP in June 2015.

12:04 pm Clear Channel Outdoor: Scott Wells to become CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCO) : Wells joins Clear Channel Outdoor Americas from Bain Capital, where he served as an Operating Partner. 

  • The company also announced that William Eccleshare has decided that he will become Chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International to build on the company’s current momentum and drive its strategy for long-term profitable growth. Eccleshare, who formerly held the title of CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., will continue to report to Bob Pittman.

12:02 pm UPS reports that its ORION routing system is expected to reduce by 100 mln miles annually the distance driven by its drivers, when fully implemented in 2016 (UPS) : The company is accelerating its implementation to complete all planned U.S. routes in 2016.

12:01 pm Ipsen S.A. announces that additional supply of Increlex has been made available in the United States (IPSEY) : In collaboration with the FDA, the co is releasing a third batch of Increlex since product supply was resumed in May 2014.

12:00 pm Jetblue Airways and Royal Air Maroc have filed an application with the U.S. Governments to enter into a codeshare partnership that will offer customers connections between the two airlines’ networks (JBLU) :  

11:58 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK’s FTSE:-0.1%
  • Germany’s DAX:+0.1%
  • France’s CAC:-0.7%
  • Spain’s IBEX:0.0%
  • Portugal’s PSI:-0.8%
  • Italy’s MIB Index:-0.2%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:-0.5%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -2.5%

11:37 am Major averages edges to fractional new session highs, small-/mid-caps are lagging — Dow +125, S&P +96., Nasdaq Comp +36 (:TECHX) :  

11:36 am Stocks/ETFs that traded to new 52 week highs/lows this session – New highs (239) outpacing new lows (54) (:SCANX) : Stocks that traded to 52 week highs: AB, ABCD, ABM, ACAD, ADI, ADP, ADPT, AFAM, AGN, AHH, ALR, AMC, AMSG, AMWD, AOS, ARES, ARI, ARMH, ATLS, ATRO, AVG, AVGO, AWH, AXTA, BHLB, BIIB, BKD, BLJ, BLMN, BOBE, BOOT, BPOP, BR, BSQR, BSX, BURL, BX, CAH, CAVM, CBM, CEVA, CGNX, CHE, CHEV, CHFN, CHMT, CHTR, CI, CIVI, CMCSA, CMCSK, CODE, COLM, COMM, COTY, COWN, CPIX, CRI, CRUS, CSCO, CSII, CSTE, CTAS, CVS, CW, DCM, DENN, DG, DGII, DIS, DRI, DRII, DXGE, EFX, EL, ENDP, ESE, FCAU, FCB, FCHI, FDP, FICO, FIX, FLWS, FMS, FNFV, FORM, FRC, FSFG, FSL, FSS, FUN, FV, G, GK, GLOB, GMK, GRP.U, HAR, HBI, HDB, HOLX, HPI, HPS, HTLF, HXL, IART, ICUI, IFEU, IG, IGT, IMH, INAP, INCY, INTL, INTU, ISIL, ISLE, ISSI, JCI, JEQ, JTP, JYNT, KEYS, KMG, KOPN, LBRDK, LBY, LEG, LFUS, LH, LOGM, LULU, LUX, MAG, MCHP, MCRL, MDVN, MGLN, MHK, MLR, MO, MODN, MPWR, MSCC, NCLH, NICE, NSAT, NTWK, NVDA, NXPI, NYCB, OCUL, OMAM, OMC, ONEQ, ONFC, ONNN, PAM, PINC, PMCS, PNFP, PRFZ, PSCD, PSCH, PSCI, PSCT, PSEM, PSF, PTLA, QQEW, QQQ, QQXT, QTEC, RAI, RGEN, RHP, RIOM, ROST, RVSB, SAAS, SBAC, SCHL, SCI, SCS, SEMI, SERV, SIRI, SMTC, SONC, SOXX, STBZ, STWD, SWKS, SXT, TCON, TEL, TGS, THOR, TNET, TQQQ, TREE, TSRO, TW, TXN, TYL, UA, UHS, UNFI, UNTD, UVE, V, VGR, VICR, VMC, VONG, VOYA, VTWG, VTWO, WBA, WBB, WBS, WCIC, WMS, WNC, WOOF, WSO, WSO.B, WST, WU, WWAV, WWW, WYN, XBKS, XENT, XL, ZAGG, ZIOP, ZTS

Stocks that traded to 52 week lows: AKO.A, ATNM, ATNY, AXU, BIOS, BPTH, BPZ, CAE, CHK, CIB, CNP, CUI, CVSL, CWEI, EGAN, EGF, ESV, ETAK, FENG, FIVE, GIFI, GLOW, GNI, GOL, HERO, HLX, I, ISH, KOP, LL, MCF, MNI, MSM, NRG, NUTR, OESX, OGE, PERF, PGN, PRXI, PSMT, QIHU, ROYL, SCHN, SEED, SPRO, SQQQ, TDW, UG, WBAI, WILN, WTW, ZINC, ZSAN

ETFs that traded to 52 week highs: DIA, IGN, IHF, ITA, IWF, IWM, IYH, IYK, PSK, QQQ, RTH, SMH, SOXX, UUP, UWM, XLK, XLV, XLY, XRT

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

11:36 am Visa, Pizza Hut and Accenture (ACN) are working together to develop a proof-of-concept connected car to test mobile and online purchases on the go (V) : The connected car is expected to feature Visa Checkout, Visa’s online payment service, cellular connectivity, Bluetooth Low Energy, as well as Beacon technology deployed at Pizza Hut restaurants to alert staff when the customer has arrived and is ready to pick up the order. The integration of these technologies is being managed by Accenture.

11:34 am Mobile Mini has completed the purchase of the assets and operations of a portable storage business from Fraser Ltd; terms not disclosed (MINI) :  

11:19 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Relative weakness on the slip back off morning highs in the major averages has been noted in: Housing XHB / ITB, Utility, Telecom IYZ, Rail, Gold Miners GDX, Staples XLP, Retail XRT.

11:13 am Currency Commentary: DXY Stays Strong (:SUMRX) :

  • The Dollar Index remains strong as we kick off the month of March. The DXY was trading near the 95.50 level but did see some early selling to drop it down approx 40 pips. However it has reversed that early selling with the opening of U.S. markets. The DXY has rallied back to 95.41 as markets continue to look for increased strength in the U.S. economy. It is a busy week on the economic front and the early returns were below expectations. Personal Income & Spending, PCE Prices, ISM Index, and Construction Spending all missed expectations. But that has done little to defer bids on the greenback. 
  • The euro saw an early bid which would drive it from 1.1160 to 1.1240. But it has rolled over in the face of the strong dollar. The euro is now attempting to hold 1.12. Manufacturing PMI data was generally mixed in the region and is providing little direction. The ECB will meet this week but there is little in the way of news expected from the discussions. Additional information and an announcement on when the ECB will start QE (Expected next week) will be the most notable items of interest.
  • The pound has been under selling pressure to kick off March. Sterling has slipped back below 1.54 and is attempting to grab some footing near 1.5350. Economic data was mixed today with Manufacturing PMI outpacing expectations but Net Lending, Money Supply, and Mortgage Approvals all under shooting estimates. 
  • The yen has been under selling pressure as market participants head towards risk. Expectations of of an improving global economy and central bank liquidity support are providing a more upbeat outlook for 2015. Japan saw a slight revision higher in its Manufacturing PMI but that has had little impact on the yen. 

11:05 am Dow +110 set new session high but S&P +7.3 and Nasdaq Comp +29 have not yet confirmed (:TECHX) :  

11:05 am Lumber Liquidators disclosed response to ’60 Minutes’ piece in 8K filing; says ‘suppliers have confirmed that all products provided to LL have been and are CARB compliant’ (shares halted) (LL) :

  • “We comply with applicable regulations set by the California Air Resources Board, which is currently the only regulator of composite core emissions. Although the CARB regulations only apply in California, we adhere to these standards everywhere we do business. Every manufacturer of fiberboard cores used in our products is certified in accordance with CARB regulations.” 
  • “We believe that 60 Minutes used an improper test method in its reporting that is not included in CARB’s regulations and does not measure a product according to how it is actually used by consumers. Our laminate floors are completely safe to use as intended.” 
  • “In our attempt to be fair and transparent, we provided significant testing results to 60 Minutes, including the results of the random testing performed on products from each of our laminate suppliers.after becoming aware of the nature and content of the 60 Minutes story, we immediately reached out to the Chinese suppliers included in the story. The suppliers have confirmed that all products provided to Lumber Liquidators have been and are CARB compliant. As 60 Minutes noted, these attacks are driven by a small group of short-selling investors who are working together for the purpose of making money by lowering our stock price. Their motives and methods are wrong and we will fight these false attacks on all fronts.”

11:04 am Utility continues to weaken, probes 200 ema (:TECHX) : The DJ Utility index is down for the third time out of the last four sessions with it breaking below its Feb, Dec and Nov lows this morning bringing into play its 200 ema at 582. Its 200 sma is at 578.

11:01 am Wi-LAN subsidiary enters into settlement and license agreement with EV3 Inc and Covidien Holding (WILN) : Co announced that its subsidiary, Back Bay Medical Inc., has entered into a settlement and license agreement with EV3 Inc. and Covidien Holding Inc. The agreement resolves litigation that was pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

10:51 am Krispy Kreme and Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA announce a multi-year licensing agreement to roast and distribute Krispy Kreme Coffee for grocery, mass merchants and club stores. (KKD) : Per the agreement, which was brokered by Krispy Kreme’s exclusive licensing agency, Brand Central, 12oz branded bags of Krispy Kreme ground coffee in Smooth, Decaf, and Rich blends are now available for purchase at fine retailers throughout the United States, and online.

10:48 am Cisco Systems: CSCO now +1.90% as shares see a notable high volume bid on the move above the $ 30.00 mark (CSCO) :

  • New 52-wk high print now seen @ 30.10

10:44 am RenaissanceRe has completed its acquisition of Platinum Underwriters Holdings (PTP) (RNR) : Effective as of market close today, Platinum (PTP) shares will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

10:32 am Nasdaq Comp +34 hits 5000 for first time in 15 years (:TECHX) :  

10:22 am Nasdaq Comp +33 nears 5000 for first time since March 27, 2000 — session high 4997 (:TECHX) :  

10:21 am LSB Industries extends deadline for Starboard Value to nominate directors; nominations submitted by Starboard prior to 5 pm on March 9, 2015 shall be considered timely (LXU) : The waiver and extension of the advance notice deadline applies only to Starboard and is applicable only for the 2015 annual meeting of stockholders

10:19 am LSI Industries announces the appointment of Andrew J. Foerster to the position of EVP and Chief Technology Officer, effective March 2, 2015 (LYTS) : Prior to joining the Company, he served as Residential and Wiring Devices Division Engineering Director at Eaton (ETN).

10:12 am Broad based extension — Dow +115, S&P +8.4, Nasdaq Comp +32 (:TECHX) : Sector relative strength on the latest push has been noted in: Semi SMH/XSD, Networking IGN, Crude Oil USO, Industrial XLI, Internet FDN, Technology XLK.

10:08 am New session high for Dow +95 and S&P +6 with top performing Nasdaq Comp +26 hovering just under its high (:TECHX) :  

10:04 am Citizens Community Bancorp increases annual dividend to $ 0.08/share from $ 0.04/share (CZWI) :  

10:03 am Banco Santander: Scott Powell has been named CEO of Santander Holdings USA, effective immediately (SAN) :  

10:01 am Comtech Telecom awarded $ 2.2 mln orders for high-power amplifiers (CMTL) : The co announced that, during its third quarter of fiscal 2015, its New York-based subsidiary, Comtech PST Corp., received additional orders totaling approximately $ 2.2 million under a previously announced $ 6.0 million Purchase Agreement with a major domestic OEM to supply solid-state high-power amplifiers.

10:01 am BAE Systems announces that its Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures system has been approved for export by the U.S. Department of Defense (BAESY) :  

9:53 am Dawson Geophys. down 1% after announcing several business updates this morning (DWSN) : The co announced that on or before May 11, 2015, it will issue an earnings release and host an investor conference call to review its financial results for its first quarter ending March 31, 2015. 

  • The co noted that market conditions for seismic data acquisition services in North America remain challenging, and demand is anticipated to remain at reduced levels throughout 2015.   Results for the quarter ending March 31, 2015 will be negatively impacted by reduced demand and utilization rates, adverse weather conditions in many areas of operation, and business combination transaction and related initial integration costs. 
  • The Company’s board of directors, after consideration of general economic and market conditions affecting the energy industry in general, and the oilfield services business in particular, has determined that the Company will not pay a dividend in respect of the quarters ended December 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015 or for the foreseeable future. 

9:50 am Major averages extend to fresh session highs — Dow +74, S&P +4.4, Nasdaq Comp +20 (:TECHX) :  

9:47 am Mesa Laboratories, Inc. announces the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of two of its European distributors; terms not disclosed (MLAB) : These acquisitions involved Cherwell Laboratories Ltd. (“Cherwell”), located in Bicester, Oxfordshire and Dr. Fr h Control GmbH (“Fr h”), located near Frankfurt, Germany; both distributors of the Company’s biological indicator (“BI”) products. Cherwell and Fr h are engaged in other lines of business and they will continue to operate as normal.

9:46 am Celgene announces that the EC has approved ABRAXANE in combination with carboplatin for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (CELG) :  

9:44 am Opening Market Summary: Semiconductors Lead Early Gains (:WRAPX) : There was a modest uptick for the major indices at the start of trading, with strength in the semiconductor space helping to boost the broader market.

That strength has flowed from NXP Semiconductor’s (NXPI 97.07, +12.18) $ 11.8 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor (FSL 39.50, +3.39).  Both companies are componens in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (“SOX” Index), which is up 1.4% in early action.

Areas of early weakness include energy (-1.1%), which following oil prices (-1.1% at $ 49.23/bbl) lower, and utilities (-0.9%), which remain on the defensive following a terrible February in which the sector dropped 7.0%.

9:41 am Array Biopharma earlier announced the completion of both the binimetinib and encorafenib definitive agreements with Novartis (NVS); Andrew Robbins, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, has been appointed COO (ARRY) : Effective March 2, 2015, Novartis’ global, exclusive license to binimetinib terminated with all rights reverting to Array, and Array received global rights to encorafenib. Array will receive an $ 85 million upfront payment from Novartis and reimbursement for certain transaction-related expenses. 

  • Array also announced that Dr. David Snitman, Chief Operating Officer, has announced his intention to retire at the end of June 2015. Until that time, Dr. Snitman will serve as Executive Vice President of Business Development. 

9:40 am Sector Watch (:TECHX) : Early relative sector strength has been noted in: Semi SMH/XSD, REITs IYR, Transports IYT, Coal KOL, Restaurant, Natural Gas UNG, Discretionary XLY, Health XLV, Medical Supplies, Defense PPA.

9:38 am Indices firm after mixed open — Dow +40, S&P +2.2, Nasdaq Comp +13 (:TECHX) :  

9:34 am Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. subsidiaries Union Electric Steel Corporation and Union Electric Steel UK Limited announce they will increase prices on all roll products effective March 1, 2015 (AP) :  

9:33 am Keurig Green Mtn announces the addition of the Keurig 2.0 K200 series to its family of Keurig 2.0 brewers (GMCR) :  

9:32 am Public Service at Investor Conf. reaffirms FY15 guidance (PEG) : Co reaffirms FY15 $ 2.75-2.95 vs $ 2.85 Capital IQ Consensus.

  • Speaking at the company’s Annual 2015 Investor Conference in New York, Ralph Izzo, PSEG chairman and CEO, told the financial community that the company expects to spend about $ 13 billion in capital investments through 2019, primarily on transmission and other critical infrastructure projects by its electric and gas utility, PSE&G. The utility’s capital plan of $ 11 billion includes PJM-mandated transmission upgrades to relieve projected system overloads and maintain reliability for millions of customers. It also now includes $ 1.2 billion in upgrades, approved in May 2014, to make electric and gas systems more resilient and “Energy Strong” in the wake of severe storms.

9:32 am Webster Financial: Kerrisdale Capital Management delivers letter to Webster encouraging them to explore spinning off HSA Bank; Kerrisdale believes that Webster’s core regional bank and health savings account business are worth more than $ 46 per share (WBS) : Kerrisdale believes that Webster is significantly undervalued and trades at an over $ 1 billion discount to its fair value. Outside of its well-run regional-banking operations, Webster’s HSA Bank unit is at the forefront of the fast-growing market for health savings accounts. As HSA Bank becomes a major player in its own right, Kerrisdale believes that Webster should consider strategic options that could help crystallize the value of this overlooked asset.

9:31 am Entravision has promoted Mar a Lopez-Knowles to Chief Marketing Officer (EVC) :  

9:29 am Goodrich Petroleum announces the pricing of its public offering of 12 mln shares of common stock at $ 4.15 per share (GDP) :  

9:28 am Tata Motors reports sales grew by 11% y/y at 44,225 vehicles in February (TTM) : Passenger cars (excluding UV’s) and M&HCV grew by 31% and 34%, respectively, year-on-year; with the total commercial and passenger vehicles sales (including exports) in February 2015 of 44,225 vehicles, a growth of 11% over 39,951 vehicles sold in February 2014. The company’s domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles for February 2015 were 40,314 nos., a growth of 14% over 35,315 vehicles, sold in February 2014.

  • Cumulative sales (including exports) for the company for the fiscal are 449,802 nos., lower by 13% over 515,511 vehicles, sold last year.

9:27 am Vringo announces several developments in its global litigation against ZTE (ZTCOF) as well as its published term sheet (VRNG) :

  • In the United States, on February 27, 2015, Vringo filed an Amended Answer andCounterclaims to ZTE’s complaint against Vringo for breach of contract. Amongother claims made against ZTE, Vringo seeks a final determination on a globalFRAND license for ZTE to Vringo’s standard-essential patents
  • In the United Kingdom, on March 2, 2015, Vringo filed its Statement of Case inRelation to the Relief Trial in its case against ZTE for infringement of the UKpart of European Patent 1,212,919. The Statement of Case sets out terms for aFRAND license in the context of appropriate relief being determined for thepatent found infringed and valid (which finding has not been and cannot anylonger be appealed by ZTE), should ZTE request such a license. 

9:26 am GrubHub updates guidance following acquisition of Restaurants On The Run (GRUB) : Co completed acquisition of Restaurants On The Run.

  • As a result, co raises Q1 rev guidance to $ 84-86 mln from $ 83-85 mln, consensus $ 84.8 mln; EBITDA reaffirmed $ 24-26 mln. 
  • FY15 rev to $ 343-358 mln from $ 335-350 mln, consensus $ 348.4 mln; EBITDA $ 101-109 from $ 100-108 mln.

9:25 am Bristol-Myers announces that the FDA acceptance for filing and review, the supplemental Biologics License Application for Yervoy, for the adjuvant treatment of patients with stage 3 melanoma (BMY) : This filing acceptance is based on clinical data from a randomized, double-blind Phase III trial, CA184-029,  assessing the efficacy of Yervoy, at the investigational dose of 10 mg/kg, in preventing or delaying recurrence after complete resection of high-risk stage 3 melanoma.

9:24 am Star Bulk Carriers announces delivery receipt of 2 fuel efficient Ultramax bulk carriers (SBLK) :

  • Co announced that it has taken delivery of M/V Honey Badger and M/V Wolverine 61,000 dwt Ultramax bulk carriers. 
  • Also Star Bulk announced it had entered into definitive contracts for the construction of additionally thirty two vessels at high quality shipyards in Japan and China, including thirteen Newcastlemax, seven Capesize and twelve Ultramax vessels with fuel-efficient specifications with expected deliveries in 2015 and 2016.

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

  • Meru Networks (MERU) announced that public school Bradfield College has completed the first phase of its deployment of Meru Education-grade 802.11ac wireless technology throughout the school’s extensive site in Berkshire.
  • ReachLocal (RLOC) announced the appointments of Paras Maniar as its Chief Strategy Officer and Megan Opp as its Chief People Officer. The additions are instrumental in helping the company increase its focus on strategy and on developing and attracting the talent needed to achieve its long-term objectives.
  • GigOptix (GIG) announced the opening of its GigOptix-Japan office, located in Tokyo, and the immediate appointment of Mr. Yoshi Koizumi to the position of Asia Pacific Sales Director.
  • H&R Block (HRB) has launched an online fraud resource center detailing various tax fraud scams and improper payment issues while highlighting ways taxpayers can protect themselves and offering solutions.
  • Intel (INTC) Security announced that it has joined forces with Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY), in a new carrier deal, which will bring its award-winning password and identity management solution to the European market.
  • John Bean Technologies (JBT) announced that it has been awarded a contract exceeding $ 6 million to supply a North American based food processor with protein processing equipment to process ethnic foods for the fast growing convenience food market.
  • Workiva (WK) announced that more than 100 companies are now using Wdesk to increase efficiency in documenting, implementing and assessing internal controls over financial reporting as required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • Radiant Logistics (RLGT) announced further gains in the growth of its Airgroup network with a new office opening in Orlando, Florida. The Orlando facility will leverage Radiant’s robust technology platform, purchasing power and global network to provide a comprehensive level of domestic and international freight forwarding and logistics services.
  • Hill International (HIL) announced that its subsidiary Hill International N.V. has received a contract from the European Investment Bank to provide project management services during design and construction of EIB’s new headquarters building located in Luxembourg. The eight-year contract has an estimated value to Hill of approximately $ 8.5 million.
  • STR Holdings (STRI) announced the appointment of Mr. Kong Weijie as Sales Director for China. Pursuant to the Sales Service Agreement between the Company and Zhenfa Energy Group Co., Ltd, an affiliate of the Company’s majority stockholder, STR has appointed Mr. Kong, a Zhenfa Vice General Manager, to manage its sales team in China.
  • TiVo Inc. (TIVO) and Vodafone (VOD) Spain, announced that, after the acquisition of ONO by Vodafone Spain, ONO’s Intelligent TV service will be expanded in Spain and TiVo’s platform will be upgraded to take advantage of TiVo’s latest generation of capabilities. 

9:22 am Laredo Petroleum announces the pricing of an upsized underwritten public offering of 60 mln shares of its common stock for total gross proceeds of ~$ 663 mln (LPI) :  

9:21 am Cerner in presentation slides reaffirms Q1 and FY15 EPS and revenue guidance (CERN) :

  • Co reaffirms guidance for Q1 (Mar), sees EPS of $ 0.44-0.45 vs. $ 0.45 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 (Mar) revs of $ 1.05-1.10 bln vs. $ 1.09 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15 (Dec), sees EPS of $ 2.05-2.15 vs. $ 2.11 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 (Dec) revs of $ 4.8-5.0 bln vs. $ 4.88 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

9:19 am Eagle Bancorp announces commencement of 1.9 mln share common stock offering (EGBN) : The Company expects to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, including, among other uses, payment of the redemption price of the $ 71.9 million liquidation amount of the Company’s outstanding preferred stock issued pursuant to the Small Business Lending Fund Program prior to the increase of the dividend rate in January 2016, support for organic growth, de novo branching, and potential opportunistic acquisitions

9:16 am S&P futures vs fair value: -2.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.80. : The futures market continues to operate in a sluggish mode this morning despite some seemingly positive catalysts to get it jumpstarted, namely the rate cut in China, a spate of M&A activity in the U.S., and a weakish Personal Income and Spending report that supported the argument for the Fed to hold off raising the fed funds rate.

The stock market is of course coming off a very strong month in February, so it’s possible that it is expecting a period of consolidation following the strong move.

9:16 am Perseon announces that its Board is exploring strategic options to enhance shareholder value (PRSN) : The Board has retained SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as its financial advisor to assist in this important initiative for the Company.

9:05 am Giga-tronics announced the signing of a securities purchase agreement and warrant agreements with Alara Capital AVI II for $ 1,571,000; regains compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements (GIGA) : Co announced the signing of a securities purchase agreement and warrant agreements with Alara Capital AVI II, LLC, an investment vehicle sponsored by AVI Partners, LLC, in which the Company received total gross cash proceeds of $ 1,571,000. Funds were received from AVI in separate closings dated February 16, 2015 and February 23, 2015 in which AVI exercised a total of 1,002,818 of its existing warrants to purchase common shares, all of which had an exercise price of $ 1.43 per share, for total gross cash proceeds of $ 1,434,000. As part of the consideration for this exercise, the Company sold to AVI two new warrants to purchase an additional 898,634 and 194,437 common shares at an exercise price of $ 1.78 and $ 1.76 per share, respectively, for a total purchase price of $ 137,000 or $ 0.125 per share.

9:04 am Universal Corp announces that its Tabacos del Pacifico Norte subsidiary will be increasing its purchases of leaf tobaccos in Mexico, as part of a new leaf supply arrangement for Mexico with Philip Morris International Management SA (PM) (UVV) : Starting with the upcoming 2015 crop, PMIMSA will purchase processed grades of tobacco from TPN. The new arrangement is expected to provide important supply chain efficiencies and is indicative of PMIMSA’s and Universal’s strong commitment to the grower communities in Mexico and PMIMSA’s intent to remain a major purchaser of Mexican

9:04 am Shutterfly issues statement regarding notice of stockholder proposal from Marathon Partners (SFLY) : Co stated that the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance Committee will evaluate the proposed director nominees based on the criteria set forth in the Charter of the Governance Committee and Shutterfly’s 2014 proxy statement. Re-iterated long term value creation metrics by current management and Board.  

9:03 am 3D Systems announces it has entered into a multi-national distribution agreement with Henry Schein (HSIC) (DDD) : Co enters into a multi-national distribution agreement with Henry Schein (HSIC), the world’s largest provider of healthcare products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners. Under the new agreement, Henry Schein will offer 3DS’ dental 3D printers to its dental laboratory customers in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Australia and Thailand. The agreement substantially expands 3DS’ dental labs reach and integrates its printers into Henry Schein’s complete digital dental solution.

9:02 am State Bank Financial announced launch of insurance division, through the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Boyett Agency; terms not disclosed (STBZ) :  

9:02 am Canon announces the establishment of Canon BioMedical, Inc., a new wholly owned subsidiary that will serve as a worldwide headquarters for its biomedical business (CAJ) : Co announced the establishment of Canon BioMedical, Inc., a new wholly owned subsidiary that will serve as a worldwide headquarters for its biomedical business. The new company will conduct development, manufacturing and marketing operations relating to Canon’s life science and molecular diagnostics platform and seek to expand the use of Canon technology into other medical fields.

9:02 am Norfolk Southern announces that James A. Squires will succeed Charles W. Moorman as CEO effective June 1, 2015 (NSC) : Squires will continue in his current capacity as president and with all major divisions reporting to him, while Moorman will continue as executive chairman of the board of directors. Moorman and Squires will work closely together to ensure a seamless transition of leadership responsibilities.

9:01 am LiqTech International receives pilot order for a revolutionary in-well situated ground water treatment system (LIQT) : Co announces it has received the first pilot order for a newly developed in-well situated ground water treatment system from the leading pump producer, Grundfos. The pilot unit will be installed at Taarnby Forsyning in Denmark.  

9:01 am Relm Wireless announces agreement with Fundamental Global Partners; Fundamental shall have the right, upon written notice to the Company, to nominate a director to serve on the Board (RWC) :

  • Co announced that after discussions with representatives of Fundamental Global Investors, which is deemed to own approximately 12.0% of the outstanding capital stock of the Company, the Company and Fundamental have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Fundamental shall have the right, upon written notice to the Company, to nominate a director to serve on the Board of Directors of the Company, and following such notice the Company will increase the size of the Board and appoint such appointee to fill such vacancy until such time as his or her successor is duly elected and qualified. 
  • In addition, Fundamental has agreed to vote in favor of all of the Company’s Board nominees in connection with the 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Company.

8:58 am Harsco has acquired Protran Technology; terms not disclosed (HSC) :  

8:53 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Abengoa (ABGB) together with KaXu Community Trust have launched a 100 MW solar plant near the town of Pofadder, capable of providing clean and sustainable power to approximately 80,000 homes in South Africa.
  • ADTRAN (DTN) announced that Black Sea Systems is leveraging ADTRAN ProCloud managed services to more easily transition its business model to become a managed service provider.
  • Fairchild (FCS) announced the availability of its next generation PowerTrench MOSFETs for automotive applications in the high-power TO-Leadless package. 
  • Silver Spring Networks (SSNI) announced that Silver Spring has been selected by Metrix, a leading metering service provider and a division of Mighty River Power, to partner with Metrix in delivering Advanced Metering Infrastructure services for Trustpower, an electricity generator and energy and telecommunications retailer serving over 225,000 customers across New Zealand.
  • Hemispherx Biopharma (HEB) announced that its manufacturing site located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, presently configured at over 43,000 square feet, has completed its $ 8 million of upgrades. These upgrades will provide for a higher capacity, more cost effective manufacturing process for the production of Alferon N Injection, the only FDA-approved natural alpha interferon.
  • Honeywell Aerospace (HON) and OneWeb Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding under which Honeywell will provide aircraft equipment and airtime services to bring the benefits of OneWeb’s planned satellite constellation to business, commercial and military aircraft.
  • Biocept (BIOC) announced that David Rimm, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pathology and Professor of Medicine in Medical Oncology at Yale University School of Medicine, will join the Company as a scientific advisor. 
  • On Track Innovations (OTIV) has received a five-year contract extension from the Local Government Economic Services of the Local Authority Ltd. for oti’s EasyPark parking management system.
  • Axiall Corporation (AXLL) announced that its Chief Strategy Officer, George Biltz, has resigned his position, effective mid-month, to accept the opportunity to become the chief executive of another company in the industry.

8:51 am Reliance Steel announces executive leadership succession plan; Gregg J. Mollins to succeed David H. Hannah as President & CEO (RS) : David H. Hannah, who has served as Reliance’s Chief Executive Officer since 1999 and Chairman of the Board and CEO since 2007, has announced his intention to transition from his role as CEO effective May 20, 2015 following Reliance’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

  • Hannah will remain on the Company’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman until July 2016 and will remain involved in the Company’s daily operations until his departure, at which time an independent, non-executive Chairman of the Board will be appointed.  
  • Karla R. Lewis, Reliance’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2002, will be promoted to Senior Executive Vice President and CFO and will continue to lead the Company’s overall financial operations.
  • William K. Sales, Jr. will be promoted to the office of Executive Vice President, Operations.  Mr. Sales has served as Senior Vice President of Operations since 2002 and oversees the Company’s non-ferrous operations, including the aerospace, semi-conductor and electronics industries. 
  • James D. Hoffman will also be promoted to the office of Executive Vice President, Operations.

8:51 am Orchid Island Capital confirms it filed a prospectus supplement to sell up to $ 100 mln of shares of its common stock from time to time, through an at-the-market program (ORC) : The Company intends to add the net proceeds from sales of the shares of common stock under the program to its general corporate funds, which it may use for new investments in accordance with its investment policy in place at the time of such sales, to repay indebtedness or other general corporate purposes

8:50 am Carbonite confirms notices of director nominations from j2 Global (JCOM) and Engine Capital (CARB) :

  • Co confirmed that it has received notice from Engine Capital of its nomination of three candidates for election to the Carbonite Board of Directors at its 2015 Annual Meeting. 
  • In addition, j2 Global, Inc. has announced that it intends to nominate candidates for election to the Carbonite Board of Directors at its 2015 Annual Meeting. 
  • Carbonite’s Board of Directors has eight members, and a class of three directors will stand for election

8:50 am MCG Capital beats by $ 0.05, misses on revs; (MCGC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.05 per share, $ 0.05 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($ 0.00); revenues fell 79.5% year/year to $ 2.3 mln vs the $ 2.48 mln consensus. 

  • Originations and Advances – For the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2014, we made $ 0.1 million and $ 10.0 million, respectively, in originations and advances to existing portfolio companies. Loan Monetizations – For the three and twelve month periods ended December 31, 2014, we received $ 15.6 million and $ 265.4 million, respectively, in loan payoffs and amortization payments. 
  • Strategic Alternatives (announced Feb 9th): “Based on a thorough business review, on February 9, 2015, our board of directors announced its intention to explore strategic alternatives for the Company to maximize value for stockholders, including a possible sale of the Company. We may receive offers or engage in a transaction in the ordinary course which may ultimately result in a sale of any or all of our assets, above or below the fair value on our balance sheet at that time. We may also consider a variety of extraordinary transactions, such as a sale of the Company, a restructuring, a recapitalization, a merger, a consolidation, a business combination, a special dividend to stockholders, a liquidation or other transaction or series of transactions.”

8:47 am Core-Mark has closed the purchase of substantially all of the assets of Karrys Bros. and certain affiliates for ~CAD $ 10 mln (CORE) : Annual sales for the acquired business are approximately C$ 100 million.

8:46 am BPZ Energy exercises grace period for repayment of convertible bond principal and interest (BPZ) :

  • The Company will avail itself of the 10-day grace period provided for in the Indenture on principal and a 30-day grace period on interest due for a total amount due of approximately $ 62 million. Once exercised, the grace periods will expire on March 10, 2015 for principal and March 30, 2015 for interest. 
    • The Company is engaged in discussions with representatives of certain holders of the Notes of the Company’s Convertible Bonds issued with combined outstanding principal amounts of $ 229 million, maturing March 1, 2015 and October 1, 2017.  
    • Discussions include among other items, the potential terms under which one or both bond issues could be restructured to provide a capital structure which would allow the Company to continue developing its oil and gas assets

8:45 am Potash announces 9.50% stake in fertilizantes Heringer S.A (POT) : PotashCorp has signed an agreement to purchase 9.50 percent of Brazil-based company Fertilizantes Heringer S.A. from the controlling shareholders for US$ 55.7 million. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals in Brazil and is expected to close during the second half of 2015

8:45 am Artisan Partners Asset Mgmt reports that its prelim AUM as of February 28, 2015 totaled $ 110.4 billion (APAM) : On March 9, 2015, the company expects approximately 530,000 common units of Artisan Partners Holdings LP, the company’s direct subsidiary, will be exchanged for an equal number of shares of the company’s Class A common stock

8:43 am STAG Industrial announces its acquisition and leasing activity for February 2015 (STAG) : The Company did not acquire any buildings in February. As of March 2, 2015 the Company had entered into contracts to acquire seven industrial buildings for $ 94 million. As of March 2, 2015, the Company had 19 leases in negotiation for approximately 2.3 million square feet. These negotiations are subject to various conditions which have not yet been satisfied and there can be no assurance that the transactions will be consummated.

8:42 am GrafTech Intl beats by $ 0.11, beats on revs (GTI) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.06 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($ 0.05); revenues fell 15.8% year/year to $ 259.9 mln vs the $ 257.09 mln consensus. 

Outlook: “The 2015 graphite electrode order book continues to be built, with approximately 60 percent of targeted order volumes confirmed. Of the orders booked to date, 2015 graphite electrode prices are on average lower than 2014 year-end pricing. Pricing for products in the Engineered Solutions segment is also lower. The Company’s previously announced cost savings programs remain on track and are anticipated to deliver $ 50 million in cash savings to benefit 2015 EBITDA results, offsetting the impact of lower pricing. While the Company expects to benefit from falling oil prices in its needle coke and graphite electrode businesses, lower near-term graphite electrode operating rates, driven by plans to further reduce inventory, are expected to largely offset this benefit.”

8:40 am InterCloud Systems was recently awarded over $ 3.2 mln in work for new next-generation DAS networks and Small Cell network engineering (ICLD) : This work is expected to begin immediately and to be completed over the next three to four months.

8:35 am Aldeyra Therapeutics provides update on NS2 clinical program (ALDX) :

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) has notified Aldeyra that, before initiation of Aldeyra’s planned Phase II clinical study of NS2 in patients with noninfectious anterior uveitis, the protocol submitted as part of the company’s Investigational New Drug Application requires amending. 
  • Aldeyra has submitted an amended protocol that the Company believes will be acceptable to the FDA. 
  • Specifically, in the amended protocol, a minority subset of the most severe uveitis patients are excluded from enrollment, and the frequency of dosing was reduced to treat less severe disease and match the dosing frequency employed in the Phase I study. Consistent with earlier guidance, and subject to FDA review of the modified protocol, the trial is expected to begin enrollment in the first half of 2015, with preliminary data available by the end of the year. 
  • Consistent with earlier guidance, final data from the trial are expected in the second half of 2015.

8:35 am Eyegate Pharmaceuticals announces the appointment of Michael B. Raizman, MD as the Consulting Chief Medical Officer (EYEG) : Dr. Raizman began working with the Company as a consultant in the fourth quarter of 2014.

8:34 am Capstone Turbine has received an order for two C1000 microturbines to upgrade a top Northern California brewery (CPST) : Regatta Solutions, Capstone’s distributor in California, secured the order, which is expected to be commissioned later this year.

8:34 am Core-Mark beats by $ 0.08, misses on revs; guides FY15 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (CORE) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.69 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.61; revenues rose 4.7% year/year to $ 2.61 bln vs the $ 2.69 bln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $ 2.26-2.33, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $ 2.51 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $ 10.7-11.0 bln vs. $ 11.2 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

8:34 am S&P futures vs fair value: flat. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +9.25. : January personal income increased 0.3%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an uptick of 0.4%. Meanwhile, personal spending decreased 0.2%, while the consensus expected a decrease of 0.1%.

PCE prices were down 0.5%. Core PCE prices, which exclude food and energy, were up 0.1% while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 0.2%.

8:34 am DDR appoints Luke J. Petherbridge Chief Financial Officer (DDR) :

  • Co announced that it has appointed Luke J. Petherbridge to the role of chief financial officer, effective immediately.
  • Petherbridge joined DDR as senior vice president of capital markets in December 2011, and most recently held the role of executive vice president of capital markets and treasurer.
  • Petherbridge formerly served as the chief executive officer and a director of shopping center owner EDT Retail Trust (formerly Macquarie DDR Trust), a company which had been publicly traded on the Australian Stock Exchange and previously managed in a joint venture between DDR and Macquarie Group.

8:34 am FMC Corp increases its quarterly dividend 10% to $ 0.165/share from $ 0.15/share (FMC) :  

8:33 am Marathon Patent Group’s s wholly-owned subsidiary Signal IP, enters into settlement and license agreement with Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (MARA) : Co announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Signal IP, Inc., has entered into a settlement and license agreement with Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. The consideration to be paid by Volvo to Signal IP and all other terms of the license agreement are confidential.

8:33 am Sterling Bancorp has completed the acquisition of Damian Services Corporation ; terms not disclosed (STL) : Damian provides funding, back-office support and software solutions for the temporary staffing industry. Damian, which funded over $ 250 million in receivables for over 100 clients in 2014, will expand Sterling’s lending capacity, client base, professional team and fee-generation opportunities to serve this specialized financing niche.

8:33 am Actavis receives marketing authorization approval from the European Commission for XYDALBA (ACT) : Through a license and supply agreement with Angelini, an international group leader in the pharmaceutical and mass-market sectors, XYDALBA will be commercialized in 36 countries, which include Italy, Spain, Poland, Portugal, many Eastern European countries, Russia, Turkey, and Commonwealth of Independent States.

8:33 am Kofax announces it has acquired Aia Holding BV (KFX) :

  • Co announced it has acquired Aia Holding BV, a provider of customer communications management (CCM) software.
  • Aia’s CCM software helps organizations manage interactive and ad hoc customer correspondence both electronically and on paper, enabling them to address evolving needs faster and increase the effectiveness of their customer communications

8:33 am GrafTech Intl has amended its revolving credit facility to provide additional flexibility, resulting in access to the full $ 400 mln revolver (GTI) : In addition, the Company established a new $ 40 million senior secured term loan facility. The primary purpose of the credit facility amendment and the term loan facility is to further enhance GrafTech’s capital structure and to provide ample liquidity to repay its $ 200 million senior subordinated notes due in November 2015 while funding its ongoing operations and initiatives.

8:32 am Market View: Front-month Mar. eMini stock-index futures hold a modest advance following the 8:30 a.m. ET economic data points (:TECHX) :

8:32 am Tallgrass Energy Partners announces Rockies Express Pipeline, a subsidiary of Tallgrass Development, LP, has approved several significant financial and commercial developments; repayment of $ 450 mln senior unsecured notes, Seneca Lateral achieves full capacity (TEP) : Rockies Express Pipeline, a joint venture of: a subsidiary of Tallgrass Development, LP , announces has approved a plan to fully repay the $ 450 million of debt that is due on April 15, 2015. Additionally, REX has commissioned all of the compressor units of the Seneca Lateral in Noble County, Ohio, thereby increasing the available capacity to the design limit of approximately 600 MMcf/day, all of which is contracted with a weighted average contract life of ~14 years.

8:31 am Aruba Networks to be acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) for $ 24.67 per share in cash (ARUN) :

  • HPQ & ARUN announced HPQ will acquire ARUN for $ 24.67 per share in cash. 
  • The equity value of the transaction is approximately $ 3.0 billion, and net of cash and debt approximately $ 2.7 billion. 
  • Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the deal.  
  • HP expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in the first full year following close.

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

  • Pegasystems (PEGA) and T3 announced the launch of a multi-million dollar brand awareness campaign. The multi-media campaign “Pega Can — Can Salesforce?” hits national business media outlets beginning today, March 2.
  • Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital will soon become the first treatment center in Singapore to treat cancer using the TrueBeam STx system for radiotherapy and radiosurgery from Varian Medical Systems (VAR).
  • Kimberly-Clark Professional, a division of Kimberly-Clark (KMB), announced a strategic collaboration with Eastman Aviation Solutions, a division of Eastman Chemical (EMN), to better support aviation original equipment manufacturers; maintenance, repair and overhaul workplaces; and component suppliers who use consumable products and chemicals in critical manufacturing and return-to-service tasks.
  • ANADIGICS (ANAD) announced that it is shipping production volumes of its AWL9281 front-end integrated circuit to Huawei for the new Honor 4X. This smartphone, available in China and showcased at the 2015 International CES, offers a large 5.5-inch IPS display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and 13 megapixel rear-facing camera.
  • El Pollo Loco (LOCO) announced it has signed a franchise development deal to open five new restaurants in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. Three long-time franchisees have committed to reinvesting in the brand and expanding El Pollo Loco’s presence to a total of seven locations in Utah by 2018.
  • Kite Pharma (KITE) announced that it has amended its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institute. The amendment will encompass emerging areas of research in the immune response to tumor neo-antigens, truly tumor-specific antigens generated as tumors accumulate genetic mutations. In addition, new T cell receptor and new chimeric antigen receptor product candidates targeting solid tumors have been added to the collaboration.
  • NantHealth and Allscripts (MDRX) will collaborate on the development and delivery of cutting-edge, precision medicine solutions directly to the point of care. The companies will introduce an integrated, evidence-based, personalized approach to healthcare solutions that includes actionable clinical data, enabling physicians to make informed decisions from complex genomic and proteomic analysis.
  • Guidance Software (GUID) announced a leading not-for-profit healthcare organization has purchased a complete suite of EnCase products to gain visibility into the location of sensitive patient information across its network of over 100 locations serving more than 10,000 members.
  • Broadcom (BRCM) announced the world’s first upstream diagnostic analyzer technology. The new offering will help cable multi-system operators remotely detect and locate upstream noise sources in real time, enabling proactive diagnosis and resolution of subscriber’s network connectivity issues without costly service calls or truck rolls.
  • Tempur Sealy International (TPX) announced its long term commitment to the study of sleep science and an exclusive partnership with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine’s Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science Program in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.

8:24 am Teva Pharma announced the sale of facility in Pennsylvania; financial details not disclosed (TEVA) :

  • Co announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its Sellersville, Pennsylvania facility to G&W Laboratories, Inc. The sale supports its plans to streamline operations by reducing excess manufacturing capacity and is part of the Company’s previously announced cost reduction program. 
  • The sale includes all buildings, land, and equipment located at the site 
  • The transaction includes the sale to G&W of approximately 25 products from the Teva portfolio, which will be manufactured and sold by G&W in the U.S. under the G&W label.
  • Further, the transaction includes the grant to G&W of exclusive rights to sell up to two additional Teva products in the U.S. under G&W’s label
  • The transaction is expected to close in March or April 2015

8:20 am Eurasian Minerals announces year-end exploration results from the Akarca gold-silver project (EMXX) : The work was conducted by Colakoglu Ticari Yatirim A.S., a privately owned Turkish company that signed an option agreement in June 2013 to acquire the Akarca property for a combination of cash payments, gold bullion, work commitments, and a retained royalty interest to EMX’s benefit.

  • Colakoglu’s 2014 exploration programs expanded and further defined known zones of epithermal style gold and silver mineralization across the district-scale Akarca project, and also identified new targets for follow-up exploration. 
  • Recent drill results include an oxide drill intercept of 58.5 meters averaging 2.00 g/t gold and 15.3 g/t silver, with a higher grade sub-interval of 2.6 meters averaging 35.31 g/t gold and 226.6 g/t silver. In addition to drilling, Colakoglu conducted over seven kilometers of trench mapping and sampling.

8:15 am 8×8 announces that its Board has approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $ 20 mln in repurchases of outstanding shares of common stock (EGHT) : 8×8 had $ 187.9 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments as of December 31, 2014.

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

  • Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (CBLI) and Incuron LLC, a joint venture between the CBLI and Bioprocess Capital Ventures, announce the issuance of a composition of matter patent for Curaxin CBL0137 in the U.S.
  • Home Bancorp, Inc. (HBCP) announced that the Bank has converted from a federal savings bank charter to a national bank charter. The Bank’s legal name is now “Home Bank, National Association” and the Company is now a bank holding company.
  • MTS Systems Corporation (MTSC) announced the worldwide introduction of MTS Exceed Testing Systems, a new product line designed for the growing material testing market for manufacturing and quality assurance applications.
  • Accuray (ARAY) announced that the first patient treatment has been completed using the CyberKnife M6 System with the InCise Multileaf Collimator. The treatment was administered as a multidisciplinary effort between Dr. Steven Burton from the Department of Radiation Oncology and Dr. Johnathan Engh from the Department of Neurosurgery at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Pacific Biosciences of California (PACB) announced that its Single Molecule, Real-Time Sequencing was featured in a number of presentations during last week’s Advances in Genome Biology & Technology conference, including demonstrations of the technology’s ability to create reference-quality de novo human genome assemblies. Presentations at the conference highlighted the power of PacBio’s long and accurate sequencing reads to resolve difficult regions and access novel genetic variation.
  • Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS) announced LoyaltyOne, its Canadian coalition loyalty business, signed a multi-year agreement with Shell Canada Products, the licensor and franchisor of the Jiffy Lube brand in Canada, that allows AIR MILES reward miles to be issued at the more than 150 participating Jiffy Lube service centres throughout Canada.
  • Advanced Care Scripts, a specialty pharmacy and clinical services platform of Omnicare’s (OCR) Specialty Care Group, has been chosen to dispense Bayer’s (BAYRY) Nexavarand Stivarga (regorafenib) as part of their limited distribution networks.
  • Inovalon (INOV) announced that it has entered into a new multi-year agreement with Gateway Health, to provide a data-driven analytics solution platform to improve clinical and quality outcomes, financial performance, and regulatory compliance for its Medicare Advantage and managed Medicaid membership populations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
  • Model N (MODN) announced that 7 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie and Gilead, are customers of Revvy Global Price Management, a Software-as-a-Service solution to drive effective global pricing strategies.
  • ACI Worldwide (ACIW) and STS PayOne, have announced a high-value, integrated solution that combines the market-leading ACI ReD Shield fraud prevention solution with the ePayment Gateway services offered by STS PayOne.
  • MasterCard (MA) announced a global partnership with Cubic Transportation Systems, a provider for smart city solutions across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The alliance is designed to help the millions of daily commuters around the world experience faster, more convenient and personalized ways to get around, tapping into the power of their mobile devices.
  • Enable Midstream Partners (ENBL) announced that Enable Gas Transmission, LLC is holding a non-binding open season to allow interested parties an opportunity to obtain new firm interstate natural gas transportation capacity resulting from an expansion of EGT’s Line AD in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Expansion Capacity will provide enhanced transportation options from receipt points in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province region, as well as the Woodford and Cana Basins, the Granite Wash and the Colony Wash supply basins in Oklahoma.

8:08 am Actavis announces proposed public offering of senior notes in connection with pending acquisition of Allergan (AGN) (ACT) :

  • Co announced that it is commencing an offering of senior unsecured notes in multiple tranches in a registered public offering to be issued by its indirect subsidiary, Actavis Funding SCS, and guaranteed by certain of its other subsidiaries, subject to market and other conditions.
  • Actavis plc intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of the Notes, together with the proceeds from its offerings of its Ordinary Shares and 5.500% Mandatory Convertible Preferred Shares, Series A

8:07 am RiceBran Tech. and Medicus Research release claims substantiation analysis of the health benefits of RBT’s patented Rice Bran derivatives (RIBT) : Co announced the release of a claims substantiation analysis of the health benefits of RBT’s proprietary rice bran based ingredients conducted by Medicus Research. RBT contracted Medicus Research to perform a analysis of independent studies conducted on behalf of RBT to substantiate numerous important health claims for its proprietary and process patented rice bran derivatives and products. The research from Medicus substantiates that RBT’s RiBran and RiSolubles products reduce hyperglycemia; improves insulin levels and insulin sensitivity; and increases adiponectin levels. The research also cites scientific evidence indicating that the Company’s RiFiber product reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; reduces absorption of cholesterol; and reduces plasma lipid and lipoprotein cholesterol.

8:07 am Eldorado Gold has received a formal notice from Greece’s Ministry of Energy, revoking the approval required to complete final construction of the processing plant at the Skouries Project (EGO) : The notice from the Ministry indicates however, that the Ministry may reverse its decision once it completes an internal review process. Timing to complete this review process has not been stipulated by the Ministry.

  • The Company believes the decision of the Ministry has no legal basis and will, if necessary, act to protect the legal rights of the Company, employees and stakeholders. At this moment in time the revocation of this approval has no material impact on the construction schedule of the Skouries Project and various site activities continue unabated. The Company takes the opportunity to remind all stakeholders that the integrity of the Environmental Impact Assessment – the main environmental permit supporting its projects in Halkidiki, Northern Greece – has been confirmed by three separate rulings of the Council of State, which is Greece‘s Supreme Court on administrative and environmental matters. 

8:07 am Varonis Systems cancels participation at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today due to weather-related travel delays (VRNS) : The co notes that Chief Financial Officer Gili Iohan and Vice President of Marketing David Gibson are still scheduled to present at the JMP Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco on March 3, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. PST.

8:07 am S&P futures vs fair value: -0.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.50. : U.S. equity futures are relatively flat and are trading close to fair value despite the news that the People’s Bank of China cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.35% and word of a multi-billion M&A deal in the semiconductor space.

Personal Income/Spending and PCE prices for January will be reported at 08:30 a.m. ET. Construction spending data for January and the February ISM Index will follow at 10:00 a.m. ET.

In U.S. corporate news:

  • NXP Semiconductors (NXPI): trading up 12% after announcing it will acquire Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) for $ 11.8 billion in cash and stock (or $ 16.7 billion including Freescale’s net debt)
  • Mitel (MITL): buying Mavenir Systems (MVNR) for approximately $ 560 million in cash and stock ($ 17.94 per share)
  • Lumber Liquidators (LL): Down 24% in pre-market action following a critical ’60 Minutes’ piece on the company

Major markets in Asia ended Monday higher, bolstered by the news that the People’s Bank of China cut its loan and deposit interest rates by 25 bps each to 5.35% and 2.50%, respectively.

  • Economic data:
    • Japan
      • Q4 Capital Spending +2.8% year-over-year (expected +4.1%; prior +5.5%)
      • February Manufacturing PMI 51.6 (expected 51.5; prior 51.5)
    • China
      • Official PMI 49.9 (expected 49.7; prior 49.8)
      • HSBC Manufacturing PMI 50.7 (expected 50.1; prior 50.1)
    • Australia
      • January HIA New Home Sales +1.8% month-over-month (prior -1.9%)
      • Q4 Business Inventories -0.8% month-over-month (expected +0.1%; prior +1.2%)
      • Q4 Company Gross Profits -0.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.3%; prior -0.4%)
    • India
      • February HSBC Markit Manufacturing PMI 51.2 (prior 52.9)
    • Indonesia
      • February HSBC Manufacturing PMI 47.5 (prior 48.5)
      • February inflation -0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.2%); +6.3% year-over-year (expected 6.7%; prior 7.0%)
      • February Core inflation +5.0% year-over-year (expected 5.0%; prior 5.0%)
    • South Korea
      • February trade balance KRW7.70 billion (expected KRW6.20 billion; prior KRW 5.40 billion)
        • Exports -3.4% year-over-year (expected -1.8%; prior -0.7%)
        • Imports -19.6% year-over-year (expected -11.7%; prior -11.0%)
      • January Current Account 6.94 bln (prior 7.02 bln)
      • January Industrial Production -3.7% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; prior +3.4%); +1.8% year-over-year (expected +0.4%; prior +1.1%)
      • Retail Sales -3.1% month-over-month (prior +1.5%)
      • January Service Sector Output -0.4% month-over-month (prior 0.0%)
      • February HSBC Manufacturing PMI 51.1 (expected 51.0; prior 51.1)
  • Equity markets
    • Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2% on the back of relative strength in the communications (+1.0%), consumer cyclical (+0.6%), and technology (+0.5%) sectors and news that Japan’s public pension fund was an active purchaser of domestic shares in the fourth quarter. Top gainers included Sekisui House Ltd. (+3.3%), Dentsu (+3.1%), and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (+3.0%). Kuraray Co. (-3.5%), Taisei Corp. (-3.3%), and Hokoetsu Kishu Paper (-3.0%) were the biggest percentage decliners. 
    • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.3%, helped by strength in the consumer non-cyclical (+0.7%), diversified (+0.6%), and financial (+0.2%) sectors. AIA Group (+3.7%), Cheung Kong Holdings (+1.9%), and China Shenhua Energy (+1.7%) sat atop the list of winners while Bank of East Asia (-3.3%) paced declining issues.
    • China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.8%, bolstered by the PBOC’s rate cut announcement. All sectors advanced with the technology (+3.0%), consumer cyclical (+1.4%), and industrial (+1.2%) sectors leading the way. Shanghai Zi Jiang Enterprises (+10.1%) and Wenfeng Great World Chain Development Corp. (+10.0%) were the biggest percentage gainers while Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Co (-3.4%) and China Railway Erju Co (-3.2%) were the biggest percentage decliners.
    • India’s Sensex increased 0.3%, led by its consumer non-cyclical (+1.5%) and financial (+1.5%) sectors. Axis Bank Ltd. (+5.7%), Cipla Ltd./India (+5.1%), and Bharat Heavy Electricals (+4.4%) scored the largest percentage gains. Conversely, ITC Ltd. (-5.0%), Bajaj Auto Ltd, (-3.7%), and Hero MotoCorp (-2.2%) were the biggest laggards.
    • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished Monday with a 0.5% gain ahead of Tuesday’s Reserve Bank of Australia policy meeting, which many participants think will produce another interest rate cut. The utilities (+1.9%), REIT (+1.6%), and Gold (+1.4%) sectors provided leadership on Monday. Rio Tinto (+1.9%) was a notable gainer.
    • Regional advancers: South Korea +0.6%, Singapore +0.03%, Indonesia +0.5%, Philippines +0.6%
    • Regional decliners: Taiwan -0.2%, Malaysia -0.2%, Thailand -0.3%, Vietnam -0.3%
  • FX: 
    • USD/CNY +0.1% at 6.2737
    • USD/INR +0.5 % at 61.927
    • USD/JPY +0.2% at 119.80

European indexes are trading modestly lower today. The DAX and FTSE took out recent highs in the early action but have recently given up the early gains and are now trading roughly unchanged. The CAC lags the rest of the region, down 0.7%. Regional PMIs dominated the news flow out across the pond, with only France missing its preliminary mark, coming it at 47.6 vs 47.7 prior. Italy posted stronger than expected macro data employment data, with the Jan Unemployment Rate hitting 12.6%, 30bps better than consensus.

  • Economic Data (not mentioned above)
    • Italy Feb Manufacturing PMI 51.9 vs 50.1e
    • Italy Annual GDP -0.4% vs -0.4%e
    • Eurozone Manuf PMI 51.0 vs 51.1e
    • UK Feb Manuf PMI 54.1 vs 53.4e
    • Eurozone Core CPI +0.6% vs +0.6%e
    • Eurozone Unemp Rate 11.2% vs +11.4%e
  • Equity Markets
    • Germany’s DAX is trading in minor negative territory (down 0.1%) with Financials bucking the broader average, up 0.5%. Thyssenkrup (TYEKF) and BMW (BAMXY) are among the leaders, posting gains of nearly 1% each. Siemens (SIEGY) is weighing on the index, with the heavy weight trading nearly 1% lower on the day. 
    • France’s CAC (-0.7%) is trading lower, taking a hit with the weaker than expected PMI. Vivendi is trading lower by 5% following earnings released on Friday after the close. Credit Ag (CRARY) is bucking the trend, trading higher with the rest of the financials in the region, up 0.6% thus far.
    • The UK’s FTSE is trading 0.1% lower. Weighing on the index is the Energy Sector (-1.9%), which is taking its cue from lower oil prices this morning. Again, bucking the broader market are financials (+0.3%) with the likes of Barclays (+1.4%) and RBS (+1.9%) trading with solid gains for the session. 
  • FX
    • EURUSD +0.4% at 1.1235
    • GBPUSD -0.2% at 1.5394
    • USDCHF +0.2% at 0.9552

8:06 am Proofpoint signs definitive agreement to acquire Emerging Threats for ~$ 40 mln in cash and stock (PFPT) : The co will integrate Emerging Threats’ advanced threat intelligence with its existing Targeted Attack Protection and Threat Response security solutions. 

  • The co currently expects the transaction to have no material impact on revenue, billings, and non-GAAP profitability for the first quarter and full year 2015.

8:06 am Public Service unveils 5-year proposal to continue replacement of aging gas infrastructure (PEG) :

  • Co announced a proposal to invest $ 1.6 billion over the next 5 years to proactively modernize its gas systems.
  • The utility requested the funding of ~$ 320 million per year 
  • PSE&G’s Gas System Modernization Program would include replacing an average of approximately 160 miles of cast iron and unprotected steel gas mains, and about 11,000 unprotected steel service lines to homes and businesses per year, over five years. 

8:06 am Amira Nature Foods beats by $ 0.10, beats on revs; reaffirms FY15 guidance (ANFI) : Reports Q3 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.44 per share, $ 0.10 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.34; revenues rose 35.0% year/year to $ 192.4 mln vs the $ 180.41 mln consensus. 

  • The revenue increase was primarily due to increased sales volume and product mix in India and internationally. Sales in India increased 30.7% to $ 86.6 million, while sales outside of India, or international sales, increased 38.9% to $ 105.8 million. Amira branded and third party branded sales increased 29.2% to $ 176.4 million and institutional sales increased $ 10.1 million to $ 16.0 million.

The Company reiterated its previously-issued guidance and expects full-year fiscal 2015 revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth in excess of 25% (rev consensus +25.3%). This is in line with long-term guidance previously provided to the investment community. The Company’s guidance is based on foreign exchange rates as of December 31, 2014. 

8:06 am Merus Labs announces settlement of Canadian patent litigation (MSLI) : Co reaches a settlement with Apotex Inc. related to the previously disclosed Canadian patent litigation on Enablex. The terms of the settlement are confidential, and the impact is not financially material to the company. Enablex is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat overactive bladder syndrome. Marketing to Urologists and other medical practitioners across Canada is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.

8:06 am Silicon Labs prevails in ITC patent infringement hearing; the Administrative Law Judge overseeing the U.S. International Trade Commission Investigation has issued a Notice of Initial Determination in Silicon Labs’ favor (SLAB) : Co announces the Administrative Law Judge overseeing the U.S. International Trade Commission Investigation No. 337-TA-910 has issued a Notice of Initial Determination in SLAB’s favor. The ALJ found that all patent claims asserted against SLAB’s products are either invalid or not infringed.  After a full evidentiary hearing, the ALJ found that there was no violation committed by SLAB or its customers and that all patent claims asserted by Cresta were either invalid, not infringed or both. In addition, the ALJ found that Cresta failed to satisfy the ITC’s domestic industry requirement for each patent, resulting in a separate and independent basis for the finding of no violation in the Investigation

8:05 am Level 3 announces redemption of 9.375% senior notes due 2019 (LVLT) :

  • All of the outstanding principal amount of the Notes will be redeemed at a redemption price equal to 104.688% of the principal amount 
  • To fund the redemption of the Notes, Level 3 Financing is using the net proceeds, along with cash on hand, from the issuance of its 5.625% Senior Notes due 2023 on January 29, 2015.

8:05 am Mast Therapeutics announces preliminary findings from a nonclinical study of vepoloxamer in advanced heart failure (MSTX) : Co announces preliminary findings from a randomized, placebo-controlled, nonclinical study of vepoloxamer (MST-188) in a model of chronic, stable heart failure produced by intracoronary microembolizations. The primary objective of this study was to examine the effects of repeat intravenous administration of vepoloxamer on left ventricular (:LV) systolic and diastolic function. Consistent with results of a previously reported study, in this study, a single, two-hour administration of vepoloxamer resulted in robust improvements that persisted for 1 – 2 weeks in key parameters of heart function, including LV end-systolic volume, ejection fraction, stroke volume, and cardiac output. Notably, LV ejection fraction was improved by approximately 20% for up to two weeks, returning to baseline values by three weeks post-administration.

8:05 am Endocyte beats by $ 0.06 (ECYT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $ 0.19 per share, $ 0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($ 0.25). Reports collaboration revenue of $ 12K vs. $ 17.3 mln year ago.

  • The company expects that its cash balance at the end of 2015 will exceed $ 155 million. Spending is expected to increase from the first half of 2015 to the second half as the trials for EC1456 and EC1169 are expanded once the maximum tolerated doses are determined.

8:05 am Vector Grp misses by $ 0.08, beats on revs (VGR) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.11 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.08 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.19; revenues rose 39.4% year/year to $ 417.6 mln vs the $ 392.59 mln consensus. 

  • For the fourth quarter 2014, the Company’s E-cigarette segment had Pro-forma Adjusted Revenues of negative $ 1.4 million and a loss of Pro-forma Adjusted EBITDA of $ 6.0 million.

8:05 am Sotheby’s misses by $ 0.16, beats on revs (BID) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 1.12 per share, $ 0.16 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 1.28; revenues rose 3.5% year/year to $ 351.2 mln vs the $ 338.11 mln consensus. 

  • “… success has continued in 2015, with market-leading sales in Old Masters, Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art,” Mr. Ruprecht continued. “We have seen a 12% growth in global participation, a 42% increase in online buying across categories, and we have doubled our audience for live-stream auctions viewed on sothebys.com. We’re reaching more collectors, in more corners of the world, through more channels. It’s been a good start to the year.”

8:05 am Simon Properties announces amended and extended $ 2.75 bln revolving credit facility and increase to global commercial paper program (SPG) : Co announces it has amended and extended its $ 2.0 bln unsecured multi-currency supplemental revolving credit facility. The facility’s borrowing capacity has been increased from $ 2.0 bln to $ 2.75 bln, and can be further increased to $ 3.5 bln during its term, will initially mature on June 30, 2019 and can be extended for an additional year to June 30, 2020 at the Co’s sole option.

  • In addition, the Co also increased the maximum aggregate program size of its global commercial paper note program from $ 500 mln to $ 1.0 bln, or the non-U.S. dollar equivalent thereof.

8:05 am PharMerica beats by $ 0.02, beats on revs; guides FY15 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (PMC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.45 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.43; revenues rose 16.2% year/year to $ 523.5 mln vs the $ 491.99 mln consensus.

  • Co issues downside EPS guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $ 1.55-1.65, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $ 1.86 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $ 1.95-2.05 bln vs. $ 1.98 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

8:04 am Portola Pharma announces full results from Positive Phase 3 ANNEXA-R Study; first part of registration-enabling study met all primary and secondary endpoints with high statistical significance (PTLA) :

  • Co announced full results from the first part of the Phase 3 ANNEXA-R (Andexanet Alfa a Novel Antidote to the Anticoagulant Effects of fXa Inhibitors — Rivaroxaban) study, which is evaluating the safety and efficacy of andexanet alfa with the Factor Xa inhibitor XARELTO (rivaroxaban) in healthy volunteers.
  • Results showed the first part of this registration-enabling study met all primary and secondary endpoints with high statistical significance (p90% reduction of mean anti-Factor Xa activity within five minutes of the end of administration).
  • Additionally, there was a significant reduction in the level of free (unbound) XARELTO in the plasma, and thrombin generation was rapidly restored to within the normal baseline range following administration of andexanet alfa.
  • In the study, andexanet alfa was well tolerated. There were no serious or severe adverse events, no thrombotic events, and no antibodies to Factor X or Xa observed.

8:04 am Popular awarded MSR Portfolios by the FDIC as receiver for Doral Bank (DRL) (BPOP) :

  • Co announced acquisition of mortgage servicing rights on three pools of residential mortgage loans serviced for Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a total unpaid principal balance of approximately $ 5.0 billion as of December 31, 2014. 
  • The mortgage servicing rights were auctioned separately from the remainder of the assets and liabilities of Doral Bank. 
  • The purchase price for the mortgage servicing rights is estimated to be approximately $ 48.6 million, or 0.97% of the total unpaid principal balance as of December 31, 2014.

8:03 am Journal Commun receives recommendations from ISS and Glass Lewis that shareholders vote for the Journal/Scripps transaction (JRN) : Co announces that the two leading independent proxy advisory firms — Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis — have recommended that Journal shareholders vote “FOR” the proposed transaction between Journal Communications and The E.W. Scripps Company. ISS stated in its February 26, 2015, report: “A vote FOR the merger is warranted due to the positive market reaction, the premium at announcement, and the strategic rationale for the transactions.” The parties currently expect to complete the proposed transaction promptly following approval by Journal and Scripps shareholders.

8:03 am Arrow Elec announces it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire immixGroup (ARW) :

  • Co announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire immixGroup, a value-added distributor supporting over 800 value-added resellers, solution providers, service providers, and other public sector channel partners with specialized resources to accelerate their government sales.

8:03 am Scorpio Tankers reports EPS in-line, misses on revs (STNG) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.12; revenues rose 135.4% year/year to $ 125.7 mln vs the $ 127.46 mln consensus. 

  • The Company has $ 69.3 million remaining under its stock buyback program as of the date of this press release. The Company expects to repurchase these shares in the open market, at times and prices that are considered to be appropriate by the Company, but is not obligated under the terms of the program to repurchase any shares. 
  • In February 2015, the Company took delivery of a previously announced time chartered-in-LR2 tanker that was under construction in South Korea. The vessel is chartered-in for one year at $ 21,050 per day and the Company also has an option to extend the charter for one year at $ 22,600 per day.

8:02 am PharMerica announces wholesale drug distribution agreement with Cardinal Health (CAH); Cardinal Health will assume responsibility for the sourcing and distribution of branded and generic pharmaceuticals for PharMerica (PMC) : Co announces  it has entered into a new wholesale drug distribution agreement with Cardinal Health (CAH), an Ohio-based health care services co. The new agreement will take effect on April 1, 2015 and extend through June 2018. As part of the agreement, CAH will assume responsibility for the sourcing and distribution of branded and generic pharmaceuticals for PMC.

8:02 am Heartland Payment Systems acquires Payroll 1; terms not disclosed (HPY) :  

8:02 am Select Income REIT: Government Properties Income Trust increases investment in Select Income REIT (SIR) :

  • Government Properties Income Trust announced that it has entered an agreement to purchase 3,418,421 common shares of Select Income REIT (SIR) from a fund affiliated with Lakewood Capital Management. 
  • The purchase price is approximately $ 95.2 million, or $ 27.85 per share. 
  • As a result of this purchase, GOV’s ownership of SIR will increase from approximately 24.3% to approximately 28.2% of the total common shares of SIR

8:01 am Costco announces it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa (COST) : Co enters into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa. The implementation of these agreements is subject to the purchase of the existing co-brand credit card portfolio by Citi. Under the terms of the agreements, Citi, the world’s largest issuer of consumer credit cards, would become the exclusive issuer of Costco’s co-brand credit cards and Visa will replace American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the US and Puerto Rico beginning April 1, 2016. Once issued, Costco’s co-brand Visa credit card would provide generous rewards to Costco members, serve as the Costco membership card, and would be accepted at Costco locations.

8:00 am Spartan Stores announces 12.5% dividend increase to $ 0.135/share (SPTN) :  

8:00 am Townsquare Media announces redemption notice for senior notes conditioned upon refinancing (TSQ) :

  • Co announced that it has delivered a conditional notice of redemption to the trustee of the outstanding 9.00% senior notes due 2019 issued by Townsquare Radio, LLC and Townsquare Radio, the Co’s wholly-owned subsidiaries.
  • The Notice calls for the redemption of the remaining $ 410.9 mln aggregate principal amount of the Notes on April 1, 2015 and is conditioned on the completion by the Co of refinancing transactions, which are expected to include a new senior secured credit facility and an offering of new unsecured senior notes, which together will refinance the Co’s existing senior secured credit facility and the Notes (the “Refinancing Transactions”).
  • The redemption price for the Notes is 106.750% of the principal amount redeemed, which amount is equal to $ 1,067.50 per $ 1,000.00 principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest to the redemption date, in accordance with the provisions of the indenture governing the Notes.
  • Following the Refinancing Transactions, the Co will no longer report separate financial results or hold a separate conference call with investors for Townsquare Radio, LLC, as a co-issuer of the Notes.

7:59 am Triangle Capital beats by $ 0.03, beats on revs (TCAP) : Reports Q4 (Dec) net investment income of $ 0.55 per share, $ 0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.52; total investment income rose 39.5% year/year to $ 30.7 mln vs the $ 27 mln consensus; book value $ 16.11.

7:43 am European Summary: Germany & UK trading near flat line while French equities sink on disappointing PMI (:SUMRX) : European indexes are trading modestly lower today. The DAX and FTSE took out recent highs in the early action but have recently given up the early gains and are now trading roughly unchanged. The CAC lags the rest of the region, down 0.7%. Regional PMIs dominated the news flow out across the pond, with only France missing its preliminary mark, coming it at 47.6 vs 47.7 prior. Italy posted stronger than expected macro data employment data, with the Jan Unemployment Rate hitting 12.6%, 30bps better than consensus.

  • Economic Data (not mentioned above)
    • Italy Feb Manufacturing PMI 51.9 vs 50.1e
    • Italy Annual GDP -0.4% vs -0.4%e
    • Eurozone Manuf PMI 51.0 vs 51.1e
    • UK Feb Manuf PMI 54.1 vs 53.4e
    • Eurozone Core CPI +0.6% vs +0.6%e
    • Eurozone Unemp Rate 11.2% vs +11.4%e
  • Equity Markets
    • Germany’s DAX is trading in minor negative territory (down 0.1%) with Financials bucking the broader average, up 0.5%. Thyssenkrup (TYEKF) and BMW (BAMXY) are among the leaders, posting gains of nearly 1% each. Siemens (SIEGY) is weighing on the index, with the heavy weight trading nearly 1% lower on the day. 
    • France’s CAC (-0.7%) is trading lower, taking a hit with the weaker than expected PMI. Vivendi is trading lower by 5% following earnings released on Friday after the close. Credit Ag (CRARY) is bucking the trend, trading higher with the rest of the financials in the region, up 0.6% thus far.
    • The UK’s FTSE is trading 0.1% lower. Weighing on the index is the Energy Sector (-1.9%), which is taking its cue from lower oil prices this morning. Again, bucking the broader market are financials (+0.3%) with the likes of Barclays (+1.4%) and RBS (+1.9%) trading with solid gains for the session. 
  • FX
    • EURUSD +0.4% at 1.1235
    • GBPUSD -0.2% at 1.5394
    • USDCHF +0.2% at 0.9552

7:34 am Newcastle Investment misses by $ 0.22 (NCT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $ 0.17 per share, $ 0.22 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.39. 

  • Newcastle recovered $ 305 million of capital from its Legacy Real Estate Debt portfolio in 2014. At year end, Newcastle owned a portfolio with a face amount of $ 1.1 billion ($ 672 million of non-agency assets and $ 391 million of agency securities). 

7:34 am Ambac reports Q4 (Dec) results (AMBC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 9.73 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.42. Net income in the fourth quarter 2014 was $ 453.6 million, or $ 9.73 per diluted share, compared to $ 68.6 million, or $ 1.49 per diluted share, in the same period last year. Operating earnings in the fourth quarter 2014 were $ 476.6 million, or $ 10.22 per diluted share, compared to $ 292.0 million, or $ 6.34 per diluted share in the same period last year. Net income and operating earnings were positively impacted by a higher benefit for loss and loss expenses, which included $ 389.0 million (gross of reinsurance), related to an increase in estimated representation and warranty subrogation recoveries and favorable loss development across the majority of sectors. These results were partially offset by lower credit and interest rate derivative revenues and lower premiums earned. Net income was also impacted by lower losses from variable interest entities (“VIEs”) as well as a loss on the partial redemption of surplus notes during the period.

7:33 am TCP International issues statement on recent litigation; co has voluntarily chosen to conduct additional levels of quality control on its products (TCPI) : Co issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit recently filed by its General Counsel:

  • TCP takes these allegations seriously. The Audit Committee of TCP’s Board of Directors, which is comprised solely of independent directors, is investigating these claims with the assistance of outside legal counsel. The Audit Committee’s investigation is ongoing. 
  • TCP believes that the one claim against TCP is without merit, and TCP intends to vigorously defend against it. 
  • TCP does not intend to comment on the specific allegations and claims made against Ellis Yan. 
  • Consistent with TCP’s commitment to high quality products, the Company has voluntarily chosen to conduct additional levels of quality control on its products. 
  • TCP believes this is appropriate and is doing so out of an abundance of caution, and TCP has engaged an outside testing firm to support these efforts. 
  • While products are available for shipping, the Company expects some deliveries may be delayed for a short time period, and TCP will work closely with customers to minimize any potential impact on orders.

7:32 am Johnson & Johnson announces binding offer from Cardinal Health to acquire Cordis for $ 1.99 billion (JNJ) :  

7:32 am SinoCoking to produce hydrogen at Syngas Facilities for sale to Shenma Industry Co Ltd (SCOK) :

  • Co announced it has signed an agreement to provide hydrogen, a byproduct from the production of syngas, to Henan Province-based Shenma Industry Co Ltd. Hydrogen production is scheduled to begin later this year and will be generated at a facility located alongside SinoCoking’s aboveground syngas facilities. The co said it will employ the Pressure Swing Adsorption process to separate hydrogen from syngas.
  • SinoCoking expects the new facility for the hydrogen project to be completed in Oct 2015 at a cost of ~$ 11 million, with about $ 6.5 mln of that amount to be financed through a credit line from the Pingdingshan Rural Credit Union.
  • Based on current market prices for hydrogen, management estimates that SCOK will recover its construction costs within the initial nine months of operation.
  • SinoCoking had previously announced that current production of 25,000 cubic meters of syngas per hour at its aboveground facility is expected to double shortly with the addition of a second facility at the same site. Together, output from these facilities will produce the initial 12,000 cubic meters per hour of hydrogen.

7:31 am Solar Power announces agreement with RE Projects Development to co-develop 25 MW of solar PV projects in the United Kingdom (SOPW) : Under the terms of the agreement, SPI and REPD UK will co-develop sub-5 MW projects at various locations in South Wales, South East Midlands and Northern England. The projects generally enjoy favorable radiation conditions and accessible connection to the grid. SPI anticipates that all of the projects may be completed and sold by the third quarter of 2015, contributing significantly to its revenue in 2015

7:31 am Ohr Pharmaceutical announces additional positive anatomic data from the OHR-102 IMPACT study interim analysis; rapid resolution in SHRM correlates with early improvements in visual acuity observed in phase II IMPACT study in wet AMD (OHRP) : Co announces new data showing an early regression of subretinal hyper-reflective material, an anatomic biomarker for the wet form of age-related macular degeneration, which is consistent with the early gains in visual acuity previously reported from this study.

  • The new data presented at the Macula Society Meeting showed, in a masked analysis of spectral domain optical coherence tomography images, the reduction in SHRM occurred early in the study, with differences between the treatment and control groups observed by week 4. The early differences between combination therapy and control groups were observed both in the overall treatment population, as well as in the subset of patients with classic-containing choroidal neovascularization lesions, where the difference was even greater.

7:31 am Cardinal Health to acquire JNJ’s Cordis for $ 1.944 bln in cash; FY17 accretion is expected to be greater than $ 0.20 in non-GAAP EPS, increasingly accretive thereafter (CAH) : Co announced plans to acquire Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis business, a leading global manufacturer of cardiology and endovascular devices, for $ 1.944 billion in cash, or ~ $ 1.594 billion, net of the present value of tax benefits. The acquisition is expected to be financed with a combination of $ 1.0 billion in new senior unsecured notes and the remainder with existing cash. The transaction is expected to close in the United States and key non-U.S. countries towards the end of calendar 2015.

  • Assuming this timing, Cardinal Health expects fiscal 2017 accretion in non-GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations of greater than $ 0.20 per share, which includes the cost of an incremental $ 0.07-$ 0.08 per share of interest expense associated with financing the transaction. The co expects the acquisition to be increasingly accretive thereafter and assumes that synergies will exceed $ 100 million annually by the end of fiscal 2018.
  • Cordis had annual sales in 2014 of ~$ 780 million, split almost evenly between cardiology and endovascular products

7:31 am E*TRADE announces plans to reduce its corporate debt outstanding by $ 340 mln, while simultaneously effecting a refinance of existing notes (ETFC) : Co will use the net proceeds from this offering, along with $ 432 mn of existing corporate cash, to redeem all of the outstanding $ 800 mln aggregate principal amount of its 6.375% Senior Notes due 2019 pursuant to the make-whole call, and to pay the associated redemption premiums, accrued and unpaid interest, and related fees and expenses.

  • Co also announced that it has increased the amount of its three-year senior secured revolving credit facility from $ 200 mln to $ 250 mln.

7:31 am Acasti Pharma announces full data for phase II TRIFECTA Trial (ACST) :

  • The full set of data further confirms and supports the positive Phase II TRIFECTA results announced in September 2014, on the safety and efficacy of CaPre in the treatment of patients with hypertriglyceridemia. 
  • In addition, benefits in other key cholesterol markers were announced, including slight increases in HDL-C , no deleterious effect on LDL-C and no safety concerns 
  • With full data, Acasti is now able to meet with the US Food and Drug Administration  to discuss next steps in the clinical development of CaPre. The meeting is expected to take place in the Corporation’s first quarter, ending May 31, 2015

7:30 am Incyte appoints Steven H. Stein, MD as Chief Medical Officer (INCY) : Co announces Steven H. Stein, MD, has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Stein was formerly SVP, US Clinical Development & Medical Affairs at Novartis Oncology (NVS)

7:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Best Buy (BBY) and Sprint (S) have introduced a simple way to get a wireless phone, simplifying the wireless selection process for customers. The Best Buy One Plan, an industry-first, all inclusive plan, gives customers unlimited talk, text and data, plus the hottest Sprint smartphones, for one low monthly price (excluding taxes and fees ). This plan is available exclusively at Best Buy locations nationwide beginning March 1.
  • Teleflex (TFX) has announced three new group purchasing agreements with Premier (PINC). The new agreements cover Teleflex’s Weck brand of Endomechanical products, Deknatel brand of Cardiovascular Suture, and Weck Vista brand of Bladeless Laparoscopic Access Ports. The agreements begin April 1, 2015 and extend through March 31, 2018.
  • Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI) announced that it acquired Cambrian Park Plaza in San Jose, California. Cambrian Park Plaza is a 170,000 square foot in-fill shopping center serving the affluent cities of San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and Saratoga.
  • SL Green Realty Corp (SLG) announced that Swatch, signed a 2,113-square-foot lease for a Times Square store on the ground floor of 1515 Broadway. This transaction completes the lease-up of the retail space at the 54-story, 1.8 million-square foot building located in the heart of Times Square at 45th Street.
  • Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), announced the sponsorship of the 2015 Winter X-Games gold medal winning snowboarders Mark McMorris and Silje Norendal as their official action cam and watch provider.
  • Alere (ALR) announced it has received IVD CE marking in Europe for the Alere q HIV-1/2 Detect assay, the first molecular diagnostic at the point of care that identifies HIV-1 and HIV-2 in less than 60 minutes. Molecular testing of HIV nucleic acids is required for acute detection as well as accurate Early Infant Diagnosis.
  • LHC Group (LHCG) announced that it has entered into a home health joint venture with Missouri Delta Medical Center. The service area includes six counties in Southeast Missouri with a population of 150,000.
  • Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) announced that it has earned a $ 15 million milestone payment from GSK related to advancing the Phase 2/3 study of ISIS-TTRRx in patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy. 
  • PREIT (PEI) announced that comparable sales per square foot exceeded $ 400, to $ 402 for the same store mall portfolio, for the twelve months ended January 31, 2015.  This was a key goal outlined by the Company in November 2012, when it conveyed its strategic objective to improve overall portfolio quality, among other objectives.
  • Gilat Satellite Networks (GILT) announced that RuralCom Corporation, a cellular carrier headquartered in Vancouver, selected Gilat as prime network contractor for its Alaska Highway and British Columbia Coast Networks. RuralCom’s networks will use Gilat’s CellEdge 3G technology to provide satellite-based, high-speed mobile services in previously unserved rural areas of Canada.

7:19 am Nielsen announces secondary common stock offering by selling shareholders of 8 mln shares of common stock (NLSN) : The co announced that Valcon Acquisition Holding intends to offer for sale in an underwritten secondary offering 8,000,000 shares of its common stock pursuant to the Company’s shelf registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

7:18 am S&P futures vs fair value: +0.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.50. :

7:18 am Midstates Petroleum postponed earnings release and conference call, originally scheduled for Tuesday March 3 and Wednesday March 4, 2015, to allow for more time to finalize its year-end financial results (MPO) :  

7:16 am Peabody Energy announces offering of $ 1.0 billion in senior secured second lien notes, in a private placement (BTU) : Subject to the successful completion of this offering, Peabody intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the notes to fund a tender offer to purchase for cash any and all of the $ 650 million aggregate principal amount outstanding of its 7 3/8% Senior Notes due 2016, to fund the redemption or satisfaction and discharge of all 2016 notes that are not tendered in the tender offer and for general corporate purposes, which may include the payment of its federal coal lease expenditures

7:14 am Bioscrip reports Q4 (Dec) results, misses on revs (BIOS) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $ 0.69 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.01; revenues rose 12.5% year/year to $ 253.7 mln vs the $ 257.61 mln consensus. Infusion Services segment revenue was $ 239.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 as compared to $ 212.0 million for the same period in 2013. The 13.0% increase was driven primarily by continued strong organic growth.

7:11 am Endo Health beats by $ 0.04, beats on revs; guides FY15 ex-American Medical Systems’ (AMS) Men’s Health and Prostate Health businesses, sold to Boston Scientific (BSX) (ENDP) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 1.16 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus of $ 1.12; revenues rose 36.8% year/year to $ 800 mln vs the $ 776.54 mln consensus.

Co issues guidance for FY15 excluding the American Medical Systems’ (AMS) Men’s Health and Prostate Health businesses, cold to Boston Scientific (BSX), sees EPS of $ 4.35-4.55, may not be comparable to $ 4.84 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY15 revs of $ 2.9-3.0 bln, may not be comparable to $ 3.36 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 

  • Adjusted gross margin of between 63 percent and 65 percent. 

Endo announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its American Medical Systems’ (AMS) Men’s Health and Prostate Health businesses to Boston Scientific for up to $ 1.65 billion, with $ 1.6 billion in upfront cash. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015. In addition, Endo is currently evaluating strategic alternatives for the AMS Women’s Health business. “We look forward to continuing to invest in sustainable organic growth drivers in our existing commercial portfolio as well as our R&D pipeline and deploying capital to value-creating M&A.”

7:10 am JinkoSolar Holding beats by $ 0.33, misses on revs (JKS) : Reports Q4 (Dec) Non-GAAP per ADS earnings of $ 1.24 per share, $ 0.33 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.91; revenues rose 32.5% year/year to $ 478.9 mln vs the $ 494.29 mln consensus. 

  • Total solar product shipments to the third parties amounted to 838.2 megawatts, consisting of 739.2 MW of solar modules, 53.1 MW of silicon wafers and 45.9 MW of solar cells. This represents an increase of 18.4% from 708.2 MW in the third quarter of 2014 and an increase of 43.0% from 586.3 MW in the fourth quarter of 2013. 
  • Total solar module shipments were 1,078.3 MW, which includes 339.1 MW to be used in the Company’s downstream projects (vs guidance of 1.030-1.120 MW).
  • Guidance: 
    • For the first quarter of 2015, the Company estimates total solar module shipments to be in the range of 710 MW to 780 MW, which includes 550 MW to 600 MW module shipments to third parties and 160 MW to 180 MW for its own downstream projects. Revenues will not be recognized for the modules shipped to its own downstream projects as required by U.S. GAAP.
    • For the full year 2015, the Company estimates total solar module shipments to be in the range of 3.3 GW and 3.8 GW which includes 2.7 GW to 3GW module shipments to third parties. Full year newly-added solar power project development scale is expected to be in the range of 600 MW to 800 MW.           

7:10 am OM Group beats by $ 0.02, beats on revs (OMG) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.10 per share, $ 0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.08; revenues fell 9.4% year/year to $ 245 mln vs the $ 226.9 mln consensus. 

7:09 am Asian Markets Close: Japan’s Nikkei +0.2%; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng +0.3%; China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.8%) (:SUMRX) : Major markets in Asia ended Monday higher, bolstered by the news that the People’s Bank of China cut its loan and deposit interest rates by 25 bps each to 5.35% and 2.50%, respectively.

  • Economic data:
    • Japan
      • Q4 Capital Spending +2.8% year-over-year (expected +4.1%; prior +5.5%)
      • February Manufacturing PMI 51.6 (expected 51.5; prior 51.5)
    • China
      • HSBC Manufacturing PMI 50.7 (expected 50.1; prior 50.1)
    • Australia
      • January HIA New Home Sales +1.8% month-over-month (prior -1.9%)
      • Q4 Business Inventories -0.8% month-over-month (expected +0.1%; prior +1.2%)
      • Q4 Company Gross Profits -0.2% quarter-over-quarter (expected +0.3%; prior -0.4%)
    • India
      • February HSBC Markit Manufacturing PMI 51.2 (prior 52.9)
    • Indonesia
      • February HSBC Manufacturing PMI 47.5 (prior 48.5)
      • February inflation -0.4% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.2%); +6.3% year-over-year (expected 6.7%; prior 7.0%)
      • February Core inflation +5.0% year-over-year (expected 5.0%; prior 5.0%)
    • South Korea
      • January Current Account 6.94 bln (prior 7.02 bln)
      • January Industrial Production -3.7% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; prior +3.4%); +1.8% year-over-year (expected +0.4%; prior +1.1%)
      • Retail Sales -3.1% month-over-month (prior +1.5%)
      • January Service Sector Output -0.4% month-over-month (prior 0.0%)
      • February HSBC Manufacturing PMI 51.1 (expected 51.0; prior 51.1)
  • Equity markets
    • Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2% on the back of relative strength in the communications (+1.0%), consumer cyclical (+0.6%), and technology (+0.5%) sectors and news that Japan’s public pension fund was an active purchaser of domestic shares in the fourth quarter. Top gainers included Sekisui House Ltd. (+3.3%), Dentsu (+3.1%), and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (+3.0%). Kuraray Co. (-3.5%), Taisei Corp. (-3.3%), and Hokoetsu Kishu Paper (-3.0%) were the biggest percentage decliners. 
    • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.3%, helped by strength in the consumer non-cyclical (+0.7%), diversified (+0.6%), and financial (+0.2%) sectors. AIA Group (+3.7%), Cheung Kong Holdings (+1.9%), and China Shenhua Energy (+1.7%) sat atop the list of winners while Bank of East Asia (-3.3%) paced declining issues.
    • China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.8%, bolstered by the PBOC’s rate cut announcement. All sectors advanced with the technology (+3.0%), consumer cyclical (+1.4%), and industrial (+1.2%) sectors leading the way. Shanghai Zi Jiang Enterprises (+10.1%) and Wenfeng Great World Chain Development Corp. (+10.0%) were the biggest percentage gainers while Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Co (-3.4%) and China Railway Erju Co (-3.2%) were the biggest percentage decliners.
    • India’s Sensex increased 0.3%, led by its consumer non-cyclical (+1.5%) and financial (+1.5%) sectors. Axis Bank Ltd. (+5.7%), Cipla Ltd./India (+5.1%), and Bharat Heavy Electricals (+4.4%) scored the largest percentage gains. Conversely, ITC Ltd. (-5.0%), Bajaj Auto Ltd, (-3.7%), and Hero MotoCorp (-2.2%) were the biggest laggards.
    • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished Monday with a 0.5% gain ahead of Tuesday’s Reserve Bank of Australia policy meeting, which many participants think will produce another interest rate cut. The utilities (+1.9%), REIT (+1.6%), and Gold (+1.4%) sectors provided leadership on Monday. Rio Tinto (+1.9%) was a notable gainer.
    • Regional advancers: South Korea +0.6%, Singapore +0.03%, Indonesia +0.5%, Philippines +0.6%
    • Regional decliners: Taiwan -0.2%, Malaysia -0.2%, Thailand -0.3%, Vietnam -0.3%
  • FX: 
    • USD/CNY +0.1% at 6.2737
    • USD/INR +0.5 % at 61.927
    • USD/JPY +0.2% at 119.80

7:08 am Synacor: JEC Capital Partners and Ratio Capital Partners comment on SYNC’s operating results; ‘there is ample reason for concern about Synacor’s performance and prospects’ (SYNC) : “Based in part upon the foregoing, we have concluded that the Board has no working or workable strategy to create shareholder value. We attribute Synacor’s consistent negative shareholder returns to failures of leadership by the incumbent Board, led by its Chairman Jordan Levy. We feel this Board has entrenched themselves through poor governance practices that stifle shareholders’ legitimate ability to seek change, principally through a classified board structure and a prohibition on shareholders’ calling special shareholders meetings. We believe the Board’s next disingenuous move may be to try to time the record date and voting deadline for the upcoming Annual Meeting in such a way as to hide the poor Q1 results and potentially worse Q2 guidance from shareholders. We urge the Board not to do this and announce the Q1 results and Q2 guidance at least ten days before the voting deadline”.

7:08 am Goodrich Petroleum announces public offering of 12 mln shares of common stock (GDP) :

  • Co announced that it has commenced, subject to market and other conditions, an underwritten public offering of 12,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock. 
  • The Company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay borrowings under its credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
  • J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as sole book-running manager for this offering.

7:08 am Seventy Seven Energy misses by $ 0.40, misses on revs (SSE) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $ 0.17 per share, $ 0.40 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.23; revenues rose 7.4% year/year to $ 494.9 mln vs the $ 528.64 mln consensus. 

  • “As we experienced in our hydraulic fracturing segment during the fourth quarter, we expect to see market volatility and pricing pressure across all of our businesses in 2015.”

7:06 am RedHill Biopharma reports the presentation of two posters at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2015 Annual Meeting (RDHL) : The results from two positive bioavailability studies, previously reported , demonstrate the safety and tolerability of BEKINDA and support the European marketing application submitted for BEKINDA and the planned submission of a U.S. New Drug Application for oncology support

  • A European Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for BEKINDA for oncology support is currently under review by the UK MHRA, with feedback expected during H2/2015 
  • Top-line results from the ongoing Phase III study with BEKINDA (RHB-102) for acute gastroenteritis and gastritis (the GUARD study) are expected in Q4/2015

7:06 am Prima Biomed announces it will focus on developing its highly prospective Immune checkpoint LAG-3 based immuno-oncology programs; will cease recruitment for CAN-004B and CAN-301 clinical trials (PBMD) : Co announces that it is prioritising its highly prospective immune checkpoint LAG-3 based immuno-oncology programs. As a result, Prima will consolidate its clinical trial program of CVac and pursue opportunities to monetise its cancer vaccine manufacturing infrastructure. Co’s recruitment for CAN-004B and CAN-301 clinical trials for CVac to cease.

7:06 am Avis Budget has agreed to acquire Maggiore Group, Italy’s fourth-largest vehicle rental business for ~$ 170 mln; acquisition is expected to add approximately $ 160 mln of annual revenue and $ 30 mln of Adjusted EBITDA (CAR) : Co announced today that it has agreed to acquire Maggiore Group, Italy’s fourth-largest vehicle rental business.

  • The net purchase price will be approximately $ 170 million, and is expected to add approximately $ 160 million of annual revenue and $ 30 million of Adjusted EBITDA to Avis Budget Group, once the two businesses have been fully integrated.
  • Avis Budget expects to fund the acquisition with available cash and/or incremental corporate debt borrowings.

7:05 am Shire plc has submitted a New Drug Application with the FDA for its investigational compound lifitegrast for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in adults (SHPG) :  

7:05 am Magnum Hunter misses by $ 0.03 (MHR) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $ 0.24 per share, $ 0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($ 0.21); oil & gas revenues fell 27.5% year/year to $ 46.3 mln.

  • Oil and gas production increased 34% for the three months ended December 31, 2014 to 1.6 million Boe or an average of 17,178 Boe per day (63% natural gas), compared with production of 1.2 million Boe or an average of 12,786 Boe per day for the three months ended December 31, 2013.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company’s production was impacted by production shut-ins in the Appalachian region due primarily to the previously reported wells that were shut-in due to multi-well pad development. 
  • The Company is working on several transactions and strategic initiatives to improve current liquidity. 
  • The Company is currently engaged in discussions with several third parties relating to a proposed AMA whereby the Company would enter into a natural gas marketing agreement with such third party during the first quarter of 2015 and, in connection therewith, the third party would substitute its credit support for the Company’s outstanding firm transportation letters of credit of $ 39.3 million, which would then be canceled, resulting in an increase in borrowing capacity under the Company’s revolving credit facility.  

7:05 am Sunesis Pharma Announces Amendment to Loan Agreement; creates an interest-only period from March 1, 2015 through February 1, 2016 (SNSS) :

  • Co announced the signing of an amendment to its loan and security agreement with Oxford Finance LLC, Silicon Valley Bank, and Horizon Technology Finance Corporation. 
  • The amendment, effective February 27, 2015, creates an interest-only period from March 1, 2015 through February 1, 2016 on the remainder of Sunesis’ loan balance.
  • “We believe that this loan amendment, together with our current cash position, provide us with the resources to fund operations through the first quarter of 2016.”

7:04 am Stratasys reports Q4 after warning last month; reaffirms FY15 guidance (SSYS) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.48 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.47; revenues rose 40.0% year/year to $ 217.1 mln vs the $ 215.86 mln consensus.

  • Co lowered FY14 guidance and guided FY15 below consensus on February 2.

Co reaffirms guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $ 2.07-2.24, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $ 2.12 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $ 940-960 mln vs. $ 950.12 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 

Stratasys reiterated the following information regarding the Company’s long-term operating model: Annual organic revenue growth of at least 25%. Non-GAAP operating income as a percent of sales of 18% to 23%. Non-GAAP effective tax rate of 10% to 15%. Non-GAAP net income as a percent of sales of 16% to 21%.

7:04 am PC-TEL misses by $ 0.01, beats on revs (PCTI) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.16 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.17; revenues rose 13.1% year/year to $ 29.4 mln vs the $ 29 mln consensus. 

  • Gross profit margin of 40% in the quarter, compared to 42 percent for the same period last year.

7:04 am Amgen: Celimmune announces it has reached Anti-IL-15 antibody licensing and option agreements with Amgen (AMGN) : Celimmune LLC has licensed a Phase 2-stage, anti-IL-15 monoclonal antibody (AMG 714) from Amgen. Under the provisions of this exclusive license agreement, Celimmune has the rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize AMG 714 on a worldwide basis excluding Japan. Concurrently, Amgen has been granted an exclusive option to reacquire AMG 714, upon completion of additional clinical studies. Financial terms of the agreements are not being disclosed. Celimmune plans to initiate Phase 2 studies of AMG 714 for the treatment of diet non-responsive celiac disease and refractory celiac disease.

7:03 am Cimpress has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Exagroup SAS (CMPR) : Under the terms of the agreement, Cimpress will acquire 70% of the shares of Exagroup for a purchase price of ~ 91.5 million with an option to acquire the remaining 30% of the shares in 2019 for a price between 39 million and 47 million, subject to the achievement of financial performance targets for calendar year 2017.

  • In calendar year 2014, Exagroup’s revenue was approximately 76 million, reflecting year-over-year growth of 17 percent. Exagroup’s free cash flow in calendar year 2014 was approximately 5 million and its EBITDA was approximately 14 million. 
  • Cimpress expects this transaction to be accretive to its fiscal 2015 revenue, but dilutive to GAAP EPS due to transaction costs as well as anticipated interest expense and expected amortization expense for acquisition-related intangible assets. The transaction is expected to be slightly dilutive in fiscal 2015 to operating cash flow, free cash flow, as well as non-GAAP EPS, which excludes amortization expense for acquisition-related intangible assets, due to transaction costs and anticipated interest expense.

7:03 am BioLineRx announces regulatory submission for Phase 2b trial for Novel AML consolidation treatment (BLRX) :

  • The Phase 2B study will examine its ability to improve outcomes for AML patients who have achieved remission after standard treatment by eliminating the minimal residual disease left in the bone marrow that can lead to relapse, known as consolidation therapy. 
  • The study is expected to commence shortly after the receipt of regulatory approval, which is anticipated in the next few months

7:02 am Gannett details corporate governance profile of the independent publishing company which will be spun off; Carl Icahn has agreed to certain customary standstill provisions and has withdrawn all of his previously submitted director nominations and proxy proposals (GCI) : The corporate governance profile for the new publishing company will include:

  • The Board of Directors will be elected annually
  • Special meetings can be called by holders of 20% of the outstanding shares
  • If a shareholder rights plan is adopted, it will expire after 135 days unless extended by a majority vote of shareholders
  • A majority voting standard will apply to uncontested director elections
  • No supermajority voting provisions unless required by law 

7:02 am Boston Scientific has entered into a definitive agreement with Endo International (ENDP) to acquire the American Medical Systems urology portfolio for $ 1.6 bln in up-front cash and a potential additional $ 50 million milestone based on 2016 sales (BSX) : Upon completion of the transaction, the AMS Men’s Health and Prostate Health businesses will become part of Boston Scientific Urology and Women’s Health. The acquisition encompasses the AMS product portfolio for treating urologic conditions, including benign prostatic hyperplasia, male stress urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

  • The AMS Men’s Health and Prostate Health businesses include approximately 800 employees worldwide, and generated 2014 sales of approximately $ 400 million and adjusted operating income of approximately $ 130 million, excluding amortization and certain allocated expenses. GAAP operating income, including amortization and certain allocated expenses, was approximately $ 60 million in 2014.
  • The acquisition is expected to result in annual pre-tax synergies in excess of $ 50 million by the end of 2018.  On an adjusted basis, the transaction is expected to be breakeven to adjusted earnings per share in 2015, accretive by at least 3 cents in 2016, approximately 7 cents in 2017, and increasingly accretive thereafter. The transaction is expected to be less accretive (or dilutive, as the case may be) on a GAAP basis 2015 through 2017, due to amortization expense and transaction and integration costs. 

7:02 am Acadia Healthcare has purchased the stock of Quality Addiction Management for ~$ 53 mln; anticipated to be accretive to 2015 earnings by approximately $ 0.03 to $ 0.04 per diluted share (ACHC) :  

7:01 am Catalent announces the launch of a secondary public offering of 20 million shares of common stock by selling shareholders (CTLT) : Catalent is not offering any stock in this transaction and will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares by the Selling Stockholders.

7:01 am Porter Bancorp announces that shareholders approved the issuance of common shares, an amendment of non-voting common shares and a proposal to implement an increase in authorized shares at a special meeting of shareholders (PBIB) : “The net effect of the exchange transaction increased our total shareholders’ equity by approximately $ 7.4 million, increased our common shareholders’ equity by approximately $ 42.9 million, and our total issued and outstanding common and non-voting shares now total approximately 25.4 million.” Shareholders approved issuing Common Shares, as required by the NASDAQ rules, to permit the conversion of convertible preferred shares issued in the exchange transaction into 4,053,600 Common Shares and 6,458,000 Non-Voting Common Shares

7:00 am Alkermes announces new drug candidate, ALKS 7119, for treatment of Alzheimer’s Agitation, Depression and other CNS Diseases (ALKS) :

  • ALKS 7119 is the newest candidate in Alkermes’ pipeline of novel medicines for CNS diseases. 
  • ALKS 7119 has a multivalent mechanism of action that acts on key receptors in the brain involved in several CNS diseases, including agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, MDD and others. 
  • Alkermes intends to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A number of patent applications have been submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office related to ALKS 7119. 
  • Alkermes has successfully completed preclinical development and expects to initiate the first clinical study of ALKS 7119 in the third quarter of 2015

6:55 am Shanghai… +0.78% (FXI) :  

6:55 am 500.Com provides additional information on temporary suspension of sales by provincial sports lottery administration centers; financial results will likely be materially and adversely impacted during the temporary suspension (WBAI) : On February 28, 2015 the Company was further informed by the remaining provincial sports lottery administration centers to which the Company provides sport lottery sales services that such provincial sports lottery administration centers also plan to temporarily suspend accepting online purchase orders for lottery products, in response to the Notice on Issues Related to Self-Inspection and Self-Remedy of Unauthorized Online Lottery Sales. The Company notes that during the temporary suspension period the Company plans to continue processing online orders for lottery products that are distributed by local lottery stations and represented by paper lottery tickets.

  • As a result, the Company expects transaction volume to decrease significantly and in turn the Company’s financial results will likely be materially and adversely impacted during the temporary suspension period. 
  • The Company plans to actively engage in conversation with the competent government authorities with regard to such temporary suspension and will make announcements with updates on the situation once available.

6:53 am European Markets : FTSE…6945.98…-0.700.00%.  DAX…11413.60…+11.90+0.10%.

6:53 am Asian Markets : Nikkei…18826.88…+28.90+0.20%.  Hang Seng…24887.44…+64.20+0.30%.

6:53 am Loxo Oncology provides updated 2015 program guidance and unveils molecular targets for three of its active preclinical programs (LOXO) : The three targets disclosed are Rearranged during Transfection, Fibroblast Growth Factor Recepto, and FMS-Like Tyrosine kinase 3. In addition to these three programs, Loxo possesses well-vetted candidates for two other programs, not yet disclosed by target name, that are ready for IND-enabling work. Like Loxo’s clinical program LOXO-101, these preclinical pipeline programs are the result of Loxo’s collaboration with Array BioPharma. The Company will provide periodic data updates for its discovery pipeline at medical meetings, beginning in the second half of 2015.

  • LOXO-101: Initial Phase 1 safety and pharmacokinetic data for LOXO-101 will be presented as a poster at the AACR 2015 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in April. In the second half of 2015, Loxo will provide an update on its clinical development plans for LOXO-101. Loxo will present future clinical data at a medical meeting if they support proof of concept for LOXO-101 in TRK altered patients.
  • As per its collaboration agreement with Array BioPharma (ARRY), Loxo initially held exclusivity for twelve undisclosed targets, excluding TRK.  In January 2015, Loxo’s exclusivity was reduced to seven targets, and will be further reduced to four targets in January 2016. Loxo has an option for a fifth target, which would trigger a milestone payment to Array.

6:50 am American Realty Capital files 10-Q for Q3; restates financials — no material changes related to Fundamental Business Operations; will file 10-K and by March 31 (ARCP) :

  • Q3 FFO of $ 0.26 vs $ 0.25 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; revs $ 457 mln vs $ 375.88 mln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • The Audit Committee’s investigation did not identify any material changes relating to ARCP’s real estate ownership, rental revenue or fundamental business operations.
    • Additionally, the Audit Committee investigation did not identify any changes to the financial statements or operations of the Cole Capital-sponsored non-traded REITs, nor did the matters reviewed by the Audit Committee relate to the operations of these REITs. 
    • Net loss was understated for 2013 (including each quarter of 2013) and the second quarter of 2014. 
    • Net loss was overstated for the first quarter of 2014. AFFO was overstated for 2011, 2012, 2013 (including each fiscal quarter of 2013) and the first two quarters of 2014. 
    • The Audit Committee’s investigation identified certain payments made by the Company to ARC Properties Advisors, LLC and certain of its affiliates that were not sufficiently documented or otherwise warrant scrutiny. The Company has recovered consideration valued at approximately $ 8.5 million in respect of certain such payments that the Company concluded were inappropriate. 
    • The investigation found that equity awards made to two former executives in connection with the Company’s transition to self-management contained provisions that, as drafted, were more favorable to such executives than the Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors had approved. 
    • The investigation found certain material weaknesses in the Company’s internal controls over financial reporting and its disclosure controls and procedures. 
  • The Company intends to report its fourth quarter and full year 2014 results and file its Annual Report on Form 10-K by March 31, 2015. 
  • The Board of Directors will announce the Company’s new dividend policy later in 2015 
    • Per the waivers and consents from the Company’s lenders, the Board cannot declare or pay a dividend on the Company’s common stock until the Company has delivered its required quarterly and annual financial statements and related officer’s and compliance certificates, all of which the Company expects to deliver on or before March 31, 2015

6:50 am Laredo Petroleum announces 50 mln share offering of common stock (LPI) : The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the shares of common stock to repay all of its outstanding indebtedness under its senior secured credit facility and to apply the excess to capital expenditures or, subject to approval of the lenders under its senior secured credit facility, redeem a portion of the outstanding $ 550 million of its 9 1/2% senior unsecured notes due 2019.

6:47 am Lumber Liquidators follow-up: LL indicated lower by 15% in thin, early trading following last night’s 60 Minutes piece on co’s laminate flooring sourced from China (LL) :

  • The 60 Minutes report alleges that LL’s “Chinese-made laminate flooring contains amounts of toxic formaldehyde that may not meet health and safety standards.” 
  • LL CEO indicated they would investigate the Chinese mills that were the subject of the report.
  • The report also indicated that laminate flooring sold at HD and LOW was tested and found to meet the standards where LL failed. 
  • LL is currently trading -15% at 44.00 in thin, early trading.
  • See 60 Minutes report here

6:45 am Braskem SA has signed with Petrobras (PBR) a new amendment to the petrochemical naphtha supply agreement with a 6-month duration, until August 31, 2015 (BAK) : The price will be adjusted retroactively to March 1, 2015, upon the signing of the new agreement. Braskem will continue to pursue for a structural solution that enables the signing of a new long-term naphtha supply agreement with Petrobras that ensures the competitiveness of the Brazilian chemical and petrochemical industry.

6:44 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Northern Trust (NTRS) announced that Northern Trust debit cards now support Apple Pay, in addition to Northern Trust-branded credit cards that already support Apple Pay.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) announced it is on track to open more than 40 new hotels and resorts across Europe in the next five years, expanding its portfolio by almost 30% with openings in both fast-growing and established markets. Starwood is set to open five new hotels in Turkey this year, including The St. Regis Istanbul which just opened on March 1st.
  • Chanticleer Holdings (HOTR) announced the appointment of Brian O’Connell as Vice President of European Business Development. As part of Chanticleer Holdings’ leadership team, O’Connell will be responsible for pursuing opportunities to expand the Company’s Hooters footprint organically and through franchise development of its better-burger concept throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa. 
  • Macrocure (MCUR) announced that Dr. Ramesh Tharuvai has joined Macrocure as Vice President, Operations effective March 2, 2015. Most recently, Dr. Tharuvai was Vice President, Manufacturing and Product Supply, at Nuron Biotech, a private, clinical stage biopharmaceuticals company.
  • BioMed Realty Trust (BMR) announced it has recaptured approximately 313,000 square feet of space in the most dynamic and valuable life science real estate market in the world through the termination of Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ leases on three properties in Cambridge, Massachusetts effective February 28, 2015. BioMed Realty will receive a $ 14 million termination fee from Vertex and will immediately begin to reposition the properties to meet the growing demand for lab space from new life science companies in this core innovation district.

6:35 am LSB Industries strategic committee and board of directors announce unanimous determination; that continued execution of strategic plan is in best interests of LSB shareholders (LXU) : Co stated:

  • “The Strategic Committee will continue to evaluate all strategic alternatives as the current company initiatives underway are implemented and as market conditions warrant. Specifically, once the expansion project at El Dorado is completed and Pryor and Cherokee demonstrate improved consistency of operations, the Committee intends to reassess the ability to enhance shareholder returns through placing some or all of the Company’s Chemical Business into a Master Limited Partnership structure under market conditions at that time. 
  • In addition, as end markets accelerate for the Climate Control Business, and the business growth initiatives and other changes drive enhanced performance, LSB will also reassess the viability of alternatives to separate the business.

6:34 am LSB Industries misses by $ 0.26, beats on revs (LXU) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $ 0.09 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $ 0.26 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $ 0.35; revenues rose 21.7% year/year to $ 181.3 mln vs the $ 178.44 mln consensus. 

  • “In addition to lower selling prices for our agricultural products and higher overall feedstock costs, we experienced some unplanned downtime at our Pryor and Cherokee Facilities. These maintenance issues have been resolved and both plants have been producing at targeted ammonia rates. Furthermore, we expect the cost disadvantage that results from the use of purchased ammonia at El Dorado to be eliminated once the in-process construction of the ammonia plant at the facility — expected to reduce costs, increase capacity and enhance product balance — is completed. This project, along with the enhancement of the El Dorado’s nitric acid capacity, remains on budget and on schedule and we expect significant incremental operating profit beginning in 2016 as a result of these investments.”

6:33 am JAKKS Pacific has secured a licensing agreement to produce toys and related products based on the Smurfs franchise including the classic Smurfs brand and the upcoming Smurfs feature film premiering in August 2016 (JAKK) : The co announced that it has secured a licensing agreement with LAFIG and Sony Pictures Consumer Products to produce toys and related products based on the Smurfs franchise including the classic Smurfs brand and the upcoming Smurfs feature film premiering in August 2016. The worldwide, master toy agreement includes rights to produce figures, playsets, plush and more. The new Smurfs toys from JAKKS Pacific will be available at retailers nationwide in Fall 2015.

6:33 am Atara Biotherapeutics announces that its collaborative partner, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for EBV-CTL in the treatment of patients with EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease (ATRA) : Breakthrough therapy designation for EBV-CTL was based on data from two separate clinical trials of EBV-CTL conducted by MSK. Data from these studies have been submitted for presentation at an upcoming medical conference in 2015.

6:32 am Oncolytics Biotech announces receipt of Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. FDA for Cancer of the Fallopian Tube (ONCY) : The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for its lead product candidate, REOLYSIN, for the treatment of cancer of the fallopian tube. The designation was granted on the basis of the Company’s December 2014 application for an Orphan Drug Designation encompassing ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers which are generally treated as one indication. On Feb 11, 2015, the co announced that it had received Orphan Drug Designation for ovarian cancer.

6:32 am Akamai Tech has acquired Xerocole, a provider of recursive DNS functionality; terms not disclosed (AKAM) :  

6:31 am Arctic Cat has completed the acquisition of Motorfist; terms not disclosed (ACAT) : Motorfist develops and distributes high-performance technical riding gear.

6:31 am PacWest Bancorp and Square 1 Financial (SQBK) agree to merge (PACW) :

  • PacWest will acquire Square 1 in a transaction valued at approximately $ 849 million. 
    • The Square 1 lending operations will continue to do business under the name Square 1 as a division of Pacific Western Bank. 
    • As of December 31, 2014, on a pro forma consolidated basis, the combined company would have had approximately $ 19.8 billion in assets 
    • Under the terms of the Agreement, Square 1 stockholders will receive 0.5997 shares of PacWest common stock for each share of Square 1 common stock. The total value of the per share merger consideration, based on the closing price of PacWest common stock on February 27, 2015, of $ 45.84 is $ 27.49.

6:31 am Pacira Pharma receives complete response letter from FDA for sNDA seeking approval of EXPAREL (PCRX) : Co announced the receipt of a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following a review of its supplemental New Drug Application for the use of EXPAREL in nerve block to provide postsurgical analgesia. Pacira will immediately schedule an End-of-Review meeting with the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to discuss the contents of the CRL.

6:31 am PC-TEL acquires Nexgen Wireless for $ 20.5 mln at the closing with an additional $ 2 mln in cash incentives for performance of the newly acquired software business (PCTI) :  

6:30 am Alexion Pharma announces FDA has granted priority review for Asfotase Alfa as a treatment for patients with Hypophosphatasia (ALXN) : Alexion has also submitted a Marketing Authorization Application for asfotase alfa with the European Medicines Agency and has submitted a New Drug Application for asfotase alfa to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

6:23 am Hornbeck Offshore has closed the previously announced sale of three 250EDF class OSVs, that were previously chartered to the U.S. Navy (HOS) : The three vessels were sold for cash consideration of $ 114 million, which is expected to result in a gain on sale of assets of approximately $ 33.0 million ($ 20.8 million after-tax or $ 0.57 per diluted share). In recognition of the final terms and conditions, the Company now expects to operate the HOS Black Powder under a 215-day time charter beginning February 28, 2015 at an average dayrate of just over $ 30,000

  • The Company expects to generate revenues related to the O&M contract between $ 1.5 million and $ 1.7 million for the first quarter of 2015 and $ 17.5 million and $ 18.5 million for fiscal 2015, including O&M contract revenue from the HOS Black Powder for the fourth quarter of 2015, after its anticipated sale to the U.S. Navy on the assumed closing date of September 30, 2015.  Operating expenses from the O&M contract and time charter are projected to increase the Company’s previous guidance range by $ 1.5 million and $ 15.0 million for the first quarter of 2015 and the full-year 2015, respectively. 
  • The cash proceeds from the vessel sales are projected to result in an increase in interest income of $ 0.4 million and $ 0.4 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2016, respectively.  The Company’s annual effective tax rate for fiscal 2015 is now expected to be 37.0% and should remain within the prior guidance range of 36.0% to 38.0%, while cash income taxes for fiscal 2015 are expected to increase $ 0.4 million

6:18 am Matador Resources has completed the previously announced combination of its Delaware Basin assets with Harvey E. Yates Company (MTDR) : Pursuant to the final terms of the transaction, Matador paid approximately $ 21.6 million in cash, assumed debt obligations of $ 12.0 million, issued 3,300,000 shares of Matador Common Stock and issued 150,000 shares of a new series of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock to HEYCO Energy Group, Inc. (convertible into ten shares of Matador Common Stock for each share of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock).

6:10 am Intercept Pharma misses by $ 0.01 on the bottom line (ICPT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $ 1.63 per share, $ 0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($ 1.62); revenues rose year/year to 445K vs $ 405K last year vs the 420K consensus.  

  • During 2014, expenditures in the OCA development program increased by $ 34.8 million as Intercept focused its resources on completing the work and studies necessary for its planned New Drug Application and Marketing Authorization Application filings for OCA for the treatment of PBC, which are currently planned to be completed during the first half of 2015. In addition, Intercept also expanded its pre-commercialization activities resulting in an increase of approximately $ 6.8 million in expenses. I

6:05 am Summit Financial announces its intent to restore paying regular dividends to its common shareholders, and that its Board of Directors recently declared a first quarter 2015 dividend of $ 0.08 per share (SMMF) :  

6:04 am Transition Therapeutics has completed enrolment of the Phase 2 clinical study evaluating neuropsychiatric drug candidate ELND005 as a treatment for agitation and aggression in patients with mild, moderate and severe Alzheimer’s disease (TTHI) : It is anticipated that the top-line data from the Harmony AD Study will be announced mid-year 2015.

6:01 am Carbonite: j2 Global (JCOM) withdraws tender offer for Carbonite; currently intends to nominate candidates for election to the Board of Directors of Carbonite at 2015 annual meeting (CARB) :  

6:01 am Athersys and Chugai Pharmaceutical enter license agreement to develop multistem cell therapy for Ischemic Stroke in Japan (ATHX) :

  • As part of the collaboration, Chugai will be responsible for the development and commercialization of MultiStem for ischemic stroke in Japan, and Athersys will have responsibility for product supply. 
    • Under the financial terms of the agreement, Athersys will receive an up-front cash payment of $ 10 million from Chugai and would receive additional payments as the program is further advanced. 
    • Athersys is eligible to receive milestone payments from Chugai of up to $ 45 million upon the successful achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones, and sales milestones of up to 17.5 billion Yen. 
    • Athersys would also receive from Chugai tiered, double-digit royalties on any net sales, as well as payments for product supplied to Chugai.

6:01 am Dynavax Technologies announces that the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board has completed its second prespecified review and has recommended that the study continue unchanged (DVAX) : The second DSMB review included safety data for all enrolled subjects collected through the data cut-off in February. As of the cut-off, all continuing subjects had received the second immunization and all had reached at least 5 months follow-up after the first immunization. The DSMB reviewed unblinded tables and listings presenting key safety data. Based on this review, the panel recommended continuing HBV-23 with no change to the study.

  • One additional prespecified DSMB review will occur during the conduct of HBV-23. All study visits will be completed by October, 2015. 

6:01 am Dakota Plains announces operational and corporate updates (DAKP) : Co announced:

  •  Dakota Plains will bring its crude oil and sand transloading operations in-house effective June 1, 2015, and August 1, 2015, respectively. 
  • Construction of a third 90,000 barrel crude oil storage tank is ahead of schedule and remains on budget; the project is fully funded. The storage tank is expected to be operational by summer 2015 and will increase the storage capacity at the Pioneer Terminal from 180,000 barrels to 270,000 barrels. 
  • Craig McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, stepped down as Chairman of the Board and proposed that the Board elect an independent, non-executive Chairman. McKenzie continues as executive director. 
  • The Board has reduced its size to five directors, effective May 1, 2015, comprised of four non-executive directors and the Chief Executive Officer. To enable this reconfiguring of the Board, Gabe Claypool will step down from the Board on May 1, 2015; Mr. Claypool continues as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company

6:00 am Gen Growth Prop and AustralianSuper have formed a partnership to own and operate Ala Moana Center located in Honolulu, Hawaii (GGP) : Effective with the partnership formation, GGP will own a 75% equity interest and AustralianSuper will own a 25% equity interest in Ala Moana Center. The transaction values Ala Moana Center at approximately $ 5.5 billion.

  • The transaction will generate approximately $ 907 million of net proceeds. GGP received approximately $ 670 million of net proceeds at closing on February 27, 2015. The remaining $ 237 million of net proceeds will be paid in late 2016 after substantial completion of the redevelopment. GGP expects to use the net proceeds to repay approximately $ 670 million of debt within the next two months. The weighted average interest rate of the debt is approximately 4.6%.

6:00 am Biolase announces David Dreyer as Chief Financial Officer, effective March 9, 2015 (BIOL) : Dreyer replaces Frederick D. Furry, who resigned January 31 to pursue other opportunities. Most recently, from 2010 to 2014, Dreyer was Chief Financial Officer of Irvine, CA-based Patient Safety Technologies

5:58 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • FireEye (FEYE) announced a new product integration with Samsung to enhance enterprise risk management on Samsung KNOX-enabled devices. 
  • VMware (VMW) debuted VMware vCloud for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization platform that will combine VMware’s production-proven virtualized compute, networking, storage and management solutions with integrated OpenStack support. 
  • Marvell (MRVL) and Kinoma announced that the Marvell ARMADA Mobile PXA1908 platform and advanced Avastar 88W8777 wireless connectivity solution were selected by Samsung Mobile (SSNLF) to power select models of  its new global mass market LTE smartphone, the recently announced Samsung Galaxy J1 LTE smartphone. 
  • Synaptics (SYNA) announced the availability of Synaptics ClearPad 4191 and ClearPad 4291, the world’s first touch and display driver integration solutions for smartphones and tablets. 
  • STMicroelectronics (STM) announced that ST was providing micro-mirrors and control devices for Perceptual Computing initiatives at Intel (INTC). 
  • CEVA (CEVA) announced that the companies have partnered to offer Waves’ suite of audio, voice and speech enhancement algorithms for the CEVA-TeakLite-4 audio/voice family of DSPs. 
  • ACE Group (ACE) announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with Transavia to provide the airline’s customers with travel and flight cancellation insurance cover. Transavia is a member of the AIR FRANCE KLM Group, and provides scheduled and charter flights to over 100 destinations in Europe and North Africa.
  • Cheetah Mobile (CMCM) announced a partnership with Samsung (SSNLF) to enable a mobile experience for millions of Galaxy users around the world. 
  • AkzoNobel’s (AKZOY) Specialty Chemicals business recently broke ground on a new alkoxylation facility in Ningbo, China, bringing the company’s total investment in the strategic multi-site to more than 400 million. 
  • Wipro (WIT) announced that it has partnered with Flytxt, a specialised company in monetizing mobile consumer data through big data analytics, to jointly offer customer experience and revenue enhancement solutions worldwide. 
  • China’s largest used car e-business trading platform Cheyipai announced that it has completed a new round of financing valued at $ 110 million. Renren (RENN) was the lead investor of this D-round financing with secondary investors Sequoia Capital, Matrix China, Morningside Ventures and CITIC Capital. 
  • Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG (AWH) announced that Allied World Europe and Airbus (EADSY) have entered into a relationship whereby Allied World will offer complimentary aircraft hull insurance to airlines that purchase Airbus’ Runways Overrun Prevention System 

5:52 am Silicon Image: Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (LSCC) announces that the waiting period for U.S. antitrust review under the HSR Act relating the proposed acquisition of Silicon Image expired on February 24, 2015 (SIMG) : The tender offer is scheduled to expire at 12:00 midnight, ET time, at the end of the day on March 9, 2015, unless the tender offer is extended or terminated earlier.

5:49 am CUI Global has acquired specific assets of equipment manufacturer Tectrol for $ 5.2 mln (CUI) : The co notes the acquisition will immediately provide it with manufacturing capabilities for, among other things, its Novum and Solus Technologies, along with certain electronic components in its proprietary GasPT2 product 

  • Acquisition is expected to provided immediate incremental revenue growth

4:47 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Radisys (RSYS) and Benetel announced that they have partnered to deliver a Distributed Antenna System targeted base station platform.
  • Tangoe (TNGO) announced a global partnership agreement with AirWatch by VMware (VMW) to further enhance its world-class Managed Mobility Services suite, MatrixMobile. 
  • JDSU (JDSU) announced that Partner Communications (PTNR), a leading mobile communications service provider operating under the Orange (ORAN) brand in Israel, has selected JDSU’s xSIGHT Customer Experience Assurance solution to manage data-hungry services as they evolve from 2G/3G to 4G mobile broadband.
  • Audience (ADNC) announced the first member of the NUE family of Multisensory processors — the N100. NUE products are targeted at smartphones, tablets, wearables, and IoT devices, with the first N100 devices expected to be available for sampling mid-2015. 
  • Cisco (CSCO) announced commercial availability of its Universal Small Cell 8000 Series designed for large enterprises and venues. 
  • Comverse (CNSI) announced the company is working with Smith Micro Software (SMSI) to bring innovative visual messaging solutions to service providers. 
  • Texas Instruments (TXN) and LGS Innovations announced the collaboration on LGS Innovations’ next-generation of deployable communications and wireless solutions that are both fixed and portable. 
  • Qualcomm (QCOM), T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) announced that they are enabling the extension of LTE to unlicensed spectrum with upcoming Licensed Assisted Access deployment plans. TNT (TNTEY) has chosen Verizon (VZ) Enterprise Solutions to implement its global communications infrastructure. 
  • Infosys (INFY) announced it has signed a five-year agreement with the leading global express delivery company TNT, to help TNT simplify and transform its technology applications. 
  • Qorvo (QRVO) announced the expansion of Qorvo’s RF Fusion family of complete RF Front End solutions. 
  • Integrated Device Technology (IDTI) introduced its “Wireless PowerShare” technology. 
  • Intel (INTC) Security announced that Samsung (SSNLF) will be providing Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphone users with a security solution to help keep them safe from a growing number of mobile threats. 
  • EXFO (EXFO) announced  the latest feature set for EXFO’s iOLM application designed to simplify optical time-domain reflectometer testing. The iLOOP intelligent feature relies on the loopback single-ended measurement method allowing two fibers to be characterized through a single acquisition. 
  • Microsoft (MSFT) introduced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. Both phones are upgradeable to Windows 10, which offers more personal computing and greater productivity, and will be available later this year. 

4:40 am Athersys and Chugai enter license agreement and collaboration to develop MultiStem Cell Therapy for ischemic stroke in japan (ATHX) : Athersys and Chugai Pharmaceutical have announced a partnership and license agreement to exclusively develop and commercialize MultiStem cell therapy for ischemic stroke in Japan. 

  • As part of the collaboration, Chugai will be responsible for the development and commercialization of MultiStem for ischemic stroke in Japan, and Athersys will have responsibility for product supply. 
  • Under the financial terms of the agreement, Athersys will receive an up-front cash payment of $ 10 million from Chugai and would receive additional payments as the program is further advanced. 
  • Athersys is eligible to receive milestone payments from Chugai of up to $ 45 million upon the successful achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones, and sales milestones of up to 17.5 billion Yen (~$ 150 million based on the current exchange rate).  
  • Athersys would also receive from Chugai tiered, double-digit royalties on any net sales, as well as payments for product supplied to Chugai. 

4:34 am Starwood Hotels to grow portfolio by more than 40 new hotels and resorts across Europe in the next five years (HOT) : Co announced it is on track to open more than 40 new hotels and resorts across Europe in the next five years, expanding its portfolio by almost 30% with openings in both fast-growing and established markets. Further underlining its long-term growth strategy, Starwood is set to open five new hotels in Turkey this year, including The St. Regis Istanbul which just opened on March 1st. 

4:31 am VimpelCom and Wind Telecomunicazioni announce sale of majority stake in Wind tower subsidiary to Abertis Telecom (VIP) : VimpelCom and its fully owned subsidiary WIND Telecomunicazioni announce that they have concluded a definitive agreement for the sale of 90% of the shares of WIND’s fully owned subsidiary “Galata” to Abertis Telecom Terrestre for a total cash consideration of EUR693 mln.  

  • Galata is a tower business consisting of 7,377 towers together with the relevant functions, employees and related contracts.
  • Upon the transaction closing, which is expected to occur within the first quarter of 2015, Abertis Telecom will own 90% of the share capital of Galata while WIND will retain a 10% stake. 
  • At the same time WIND will enter into a Tower Services Agreement for an initial term of 15 years with Galata for the provision of a broad range of services on the contributed sites and sites subsequently built by Galata hosting WIND equipment.  

4:26 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Comverse (CNSI) released the newest version of Comverse ONE Converged Billing and Active Customer Management Suite, as the next generation billing solution for service providers competing in today’s digital world. 
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its cruise ship Splendour of the Seas to TUI Cruises in the second quarter of 2016. The ship will then be leased to Thomson Cruises, which will operate the vessel. 
  • Pioneer and KKR (KKR) announced the completion of a share purchase agreement for Pioneer DJ, under which KKR and Pioneer now own 85.05% and 14.95%, respectively, of Pioneer DJ holding company PDJ Holdings Co 
  • Sequans Communications (SQNS) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) announced that the companies had recently collaborated with Ericsson (ERIC) to conduct testing of LTE UE Category 1 devices powered by Sequans on a Verizon trial network using Ericsson 4G LTE infrastructure. 
  • TomTom (TMOAY) announced a new deal with Kia Motors Europe to integrate its state-of-the-art connected services in new Kia cars. The partnership beginning in summer 2015, Kia customers will benefit from the delivery of TomTom’s connected services at no additional cost for seven years after the purchase of a new Kia model. 
  • SAP SE (SAP) announced availability of SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services, the foundation of SAP’s mobile app development strategy and the next step in delivering mobile innovations in the cloud. 
  • CGG (CGG) has started acquiring the Davros 3D BroadSeisTM and BroadSourceTM multi-client survey in the Northern Carnarvon Basin on the North West Shelf of Western Australia. Covering in excess of 11,000 km, Davros is the largest seismic survey ever to be acquired by CGG in the Asia-Pacific region. 
  • Cyanogen and Qualcomm (QCOM) announced details of a collaboration that will provide support for the best features and UI enhancements of the Cyanogen Operating System on certain Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. This will be available for the upcoming release of Qualcomm Reference Design planned for April. 
  • Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) announced that its SkyOne Ultra, the newest addition to its SkyOne platform, has commenced volume production in support of several next generation smartphones. 
  • InvenSense (INVN) announced the availability of its InvenSense Positioning Library software, designed to provide sensor assisted positioning in places where GNSS alone cannot provide desired accuracy. 
  • Rambus (RMBS) announced its Partners-in-Open-Development program in collaboration with design firms frog and IXDS to promote the adoption of its lensless smart sensor technology. 
  • Dolby Laboratories (DLB) and Lenovo (LNVGY) announced the launch of three new mobile devices with Dolby Atmos sound at Mobile World Congress 2015: the Lenovo A7000 smartphone and two tablets, the Lenovo TAB 2 A8 and the Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70. 

4:25 am Kosmos Energy provides update on 2015 exploration drilling program (KOS) : Co announced today that the CB-1 exploration well located in the Cap Boujdour permit area offshore Western Sahara encountered hydrocarbons. The well penetrated approximately 14 meters of net gas and condensate pay in clastic reservoirs over a gross hydrocarbon bearing interval of approximately 500 meters. The discovery is non-commercial, and the well will be plugged and abandoned. CB-1 well was drilled on plan to a total depth of 5,700 meters at a net cost to Kosmos of ~$ 85 million. 

4:15 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • SanDisk (SNDK) introduced the 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, the world’s highest capacity microSD card for use in mobile devices. Co also introduced the iNAND 7132 storage solution 
  • AT&T (T) announced that it will carry the Samsung Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 edge in its retail stores and on www.att.com. Pricing, availability and further details will be announced at a later date. AT&T currently offers the largest selection of Samsung devices. 
  • Ericsson (ERIC) and Telstra announce their agreement to join forces and collaborate on the development of 5G standards and technologies. 
  • SK Telecom (SKM) has unveiled a variety of consumer-centric smart devices, or ‘Lifeware*’, at the Mobile World Congress 2015 with the aim to create opportunities in the global market for the Internet of Things 
  • Brightcove (BCOV) announced that PrimeTime Entertainment, Thailand’s newest on-demand streaming service, has partnered with Brightcove to power transcoding for its over-the-top entertainment channel. 
  • Silicon Image (SIMG) announced the SiI7023 and SiI7033, the industry’s first single-chip USB Type-C port controllers that include MHL Alternate Mode for the USB Type-C specification, as well as port configuration switches. 
  • Citrix (CTXS) announced the availability of the NetScaler MPX 25000 series, a carrier-grade application delivery controller for communications service providers featuring Citrix TriScale technology and the industry’s highest performance-to-price ratio. 
  • Cavium (CAVM) announced the introduction of a family of highly integrated single chip solutions that enable a new category of Macrocells and Smart Radio Heads supporting a wide range of deployment scenarios and setting a new bar for cost, performance, power and footprint. 
  • Brocade (BRCD) announced its intent to acquire Connectem, a privately-held company in the LTE virtual Evolved Packet Core market, in an all-cash transaction. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
  • Comverse (CNSI) announced that Foxtel, one of Australia’s most progressive media companies delivering subscription television service to both regional and metropolitan areas, is leveraging Comverse technology to accelerate development of its expansion in broadband Internet, phone and TV service. 
  • Altera (ALTR) and China Mobile (CHL) demonstrated a Centralized/Coordinated/Cloud Radio Access Network platform targeting the next generation of virtualized 5G wireless networks. 

4:12 am Mavenir Systems to be acquired by Mitel (MITL) in a cash and stock deal valued at ~$ 560 mln, or $ 17.94 per share (MVNR) : Mitel (MITL) and Mavenir Systems (MVNR) announced that that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement in which Mitel will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Mavenir common stock in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $ 560 million.

  • Under the terms of the merger agreement, Mitel will commence an exchange offer pursuant to which Mavenir stockholders will be entitled to elect to receive either all-cash or all-stock consideration for each share of Mavenir common stock, subject to proration, in either case with a value of $ 11.08 plus 0.675 of a Mitel common share, or $ 17.94 based on the closing price of a Mitel common share on February 27, 2015. 

4:06 am 58.com acquires Anjuke to create largest online secondary real estate platform in China (WUBA) : Co announced that it has acquired Anjuke, a major online real estate listing platform in China. 58.com paid approximately $ 267,010,000, including ~5,087,585 new ordinary shares of 58.com and $ 160,170,715 in cash for a 100% equity stake. Following the acquisition, Anjuke will continue to operate its website and mobile app under the Anjuke brand.

3:51 am Science Applications enters into definitive agreement to acquire Scitor Corp; expected to be EPS accretive in the first year (SAIC) : Science Applications International Corp announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire intelligence community market leader Scitor Corp for $ 790 million in an all cash transaction from private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.

  • SAIC will fund the transaction from increased borrowings and cash on hand. SAIC has secured a firm financing commitment and expects to put in place permanent financing. 
  • Following the close of the transaction, SAIC would have about a 3.6x debt to trailing 12 months pro-forma adjusted EBITDA level and a flexible balance sheet supported by continued strong free cash flow from the combined businesses. 
  • The combined pro-forma annual revenue of the two companies is $ 4.5 billion on a historical basis with adjusted EBITDA of $ 321 million. SAIC has identified annual pre-tax cost synergies of at least $ 20 million. 
  • The transaction is expected to be EPS accretive in the first year excluding amortization of intangibles and approximately $ 15 million of transaction costs. 
  • The transaction is expected to be generally neutral to earnings on a GAAP EPS basis in the first year 

3:32 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ericsson (ERIC) announced that the Radio Dot System will go live on the Telef nica (TEF) network at MWC 2015. 
  •  AT&T (T) announced that it will carry the HTC One M9 and the HTC Grip in AT&T retail stores and on www.att.com. Pricing, availability and further details will be announced at a later date. 
  • Mozilla, together with KDDI, LG U+, Telef nica (TEF) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) announced at Mobile World Congress a new initiative to create devices based on Firefox OS. 
  • Qualcomm (QCOM) announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, entered a multi-year agreement with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team to become an official technology partner. 
  • Lenovo (LNVGY) introduced new tablets for consumers with the Lenovo TAB 2 A8 and A10-70. 
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) and Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) announced continued progress in their partnership with the planned integration of Samsung KNOX with two new BlackBerry enterprise services 
  • FotoNation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies (TSRA) and ALCATEL (ALU) ONETOUCH announced that LifeFocus, FotoNation’s auto-focus solution for mobile phones, has been implemented in ALCATEL ONETOUCH’s latest premium smartphone, the IDOL 3, which is expected to start selling in Europe in the second quarter of 2015. 

3:20 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ericsson (ERIC) and China Mobile (CHL) jointly demonstrated the Ericsson Radio Dot System for TD-LTE during Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, aiming to together drive commercial uptake of TD-LTE small cell products. 
  • AT&T (T) announced that it will offer the LG Watch Urbane in its retail stores and at www.att.com. Pricing, availability and further details will be announced at a later date.   
  • Juniper Networks (JNPR) introduced an automated virtualized customer premises equipment solution to meet enterprise customer demands 
  • ZTE (ZTCOF) announced at the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona that a new flagship device, the ZTE Grand S3, will be launched with a pioneering eye-based biometric solution from EyeVerify. 

3:17 am Honeywell forecasts steady global helicopter demand for next five years (HON) : In its 17th annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchasing Outlook, Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON) expects that 4,750-5,250 civilian-use helicopters will be delivered during 2015-2019. 

  • Overall, five-year demand for turbine-powered, civil helicopters remains steady versus the 2014 five-year forecast, with moderate improvement in new helicopter purchase plans reported, offsetting the short-term uncertainty of large-fleet operators in the face of lower energy prices and fluctuating market currencies. 
  • The forecast estimates the five-year share of demand from the U.S. and Canada at 34%, up nearly eight points on stronger North American buying plans. When combined with Latin America, the Western Hemisphere represents 53% of the five-year global demand. Europe’s share tallies 24%, with the Asia-Oceania region accounting for 14%, and Africa and the Middle East contributing 9%.

2:57 am Freescale Semi and NXPI to merge (FSL) : NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) and Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which NXP will merge with Freescale in a transaction which values the combined enterprise at just over $ 40 billion.

  • Under the terms of the agreement, Freescale shareholders will receive $ 6.25 in cash and 0.3521 of an NXP ordinary share for each Freescale common share held at the close of the transaction. 
  • The purchase price implies a total equity value for Freescale of ~$ 11.8 billion and a total enterprise value of approximately $ 16.7 billion including Freescale’s net debt.
  • The transaction is expected to be accretive to NXP non-GAAP earnings and non-GAAP free cash flow. 
  • NXP anticipates achieving cost savings of $ 200 million in the first full year after closing the transaction, with a clear path to $ 500 million of annual cost synergies.

2:45 am Bombardier prices new issuance of $ 750 mln of 5.50% Senior Notes due 2018 and $ 1.5 bln of 7.50% Senior Notes due 2025 (BDRBF) :  

2:29 am Samsung Elect partners with Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) with to bring mobile payments to the new Samsung Galaxy S6 (SSNLF) : Samsung introduced collaborations with both Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) to support consumer payments with the new Samsung (SSNLF) Galaxy S6.

  • Eligible consumers in the U.S. will be able to make secure Visa payments with Samsung Pay, Samsung’s new payment service scheduled to launch this summer.
  • Samsung Pay is supported by Visa Token Service technology which is designed to enable secure payments with a broad range of connected devices.
  • Samsung Pay will enable MasterCard cardholders to use their Samsung Galaxy S6 for everyday in-store purchases. 

2:16 am ASML discovers security incident; No evidence that anything of value has been compromised (ASML) : Co announces that it recently discovered unauthorized access to a limited portion of its IT systems. ASML took immediate steps to contain the breach and is conducting an ongoing investigation. The time between the break-in and the discovery by ASML IT staff was short. At this time it appears that only a limited amount of data has been accessed. ASML has not found any evidence that valuable files, either from ASML or our customers and suppliers, have been compromised. We cannot be certain about the identity of the hackers. 

2:11 am Gran Tierra Energy misses on top and bottom lines (GTE) : Reports Q4 EPS of ($ 0.94) vs $ 0.06 Capital IQ consensus; revs declined 29% YoY to $ 99.6 mln vs $ 108.8 mln consensus.

  • Gran Tierra’s total Proved oil and gas reserves NAR were 37.0 MMBOE at December 31, 2014, compared with 42.1 MMBOE in 2013 (100% light and medium oil and liquids compared with 95% at year-end 2013), and after producing 9.2 MMBOE of company interest oil and gas before royalties, inventory adjustments and losses or 7.0 MMBOE NAR before inventory adjustments and losses, excluding Argentina production. 

2:01 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ericsson (ERIC) and Skanska have partnered to test and build mobile infrastructure in indoor environments, using the innovative Ericsson Radio Dot System. 
  • HP (HPQ) announced the HP Spectre x360, a 13.3 inch convertible PC that delivers an ultra-thin design, the quality customers expect, and performance to get things done. 

1:45 am Amgen’s Phase 3 Head-to-Head ENDEAVOR Study demonstrates superiority of Kyprolis over Velcade in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (AMGN) : Co announced the results from a planned interim analysis showing that the Phase 3 head-to-head clinical trial ENDEAVOR evaluating Kyprolis for Injection in combination with low-dose dexamethasone versus Velcade and low-dose dexamethasone met the primary endpoint of progression-free survival.

  • Patients with relapsed multiple myeloma treated with Kyprolis lived twice as long without their disease worsening, demonstrating statistically and clinically significant superiority over Velcade. 
  • The Kyprolis combination demonstrated superiority over the Velcade combination for secondary objectives of higher overall response rate and lower neuropathy events.
  • Overall survival data are not yet mature and continue to be monitored.

1:12 am Acceleron Pharma presents encouraging response rates and progression-free survival data in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (XLRN) : Co reported new preliminary data from the DART study, an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial of dalantercept in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Key preliminary data from part 1 of the DART study (open-label, dose escalation and expansion cohorts): 

  • Three cohorts each received dalantercept subcutaneously once every three weeks and axitinib 5 mg orally twice a day for each 21 day cycle. The 0.9 and 1.2 mg/kg dose levels were expanded. 
  • Response rates of the combination of dalantercept and axitinib: 
  • Objective response rate of 25.0% (7 partial responses of 28 patients) 
  • Stable disease rate of 60.7% (17 of 28 patients) 
  • Disease control rate at 6 months of 57.1% (16 of 28 patients) 
  • The preliminary median progression-free survival of dalantercept plus axitinib is 8.3 months across all dose levels tested in part 1. 
  • The median PFS of the 0.9 mg/kg cohort has not yet been reached. 
  • The most common treatment emergent adverse events were fatigue, diarrhea, dysphonia and peripheral edema. There were no grade 4 or 5 related adverse events. 
  • Common adverse reactions expected with axitinib such as diarrhea, hypertension, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, and proteinuria did not increase in incidence or severity when combined with dalantercept. 

1:02 am Tracon Pharmaceuticals announces positive Phase 1b results for TRC105 in combination with Inlyta (TCON) : Co reported positive results from a Phase 1b clinical trial combining TRC105 with Inlyta in patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Data were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (TATD) 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium being held in Orlando, Florida.

  • In the open-label dose escalation and expansion Phase 1b study, eligible patients had received at least one prior line of therapy with a VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor and most received three or more prior therapies. All patients were treated with the combination of TRC105 and axitinib. 
  • The objective response rate was 29% (5 of 17 evaluable patients) and an additional 10 patients achieved stable disease, according to RECIST 1.1. 
  • Median progression-free survival for all patients in the study was 8.4 months, while median PFS for the subset of clear cell RCC patients was 11.3 months. For comparison, the objective response rate seen in the large subgroup of VEGFR TKI-refractory patients treated with axitinib in the axitinib AXIS Phase 3 study in second line clear cell RCC patients was 11.3% and median PFS was 4.8 months.  
  • The Phase 1b study is now complete and the randomized Phase 2b study combining TRC105 with axitinib is now enrolling patients.

1:00 am Blackhawk Network provides additional details on 2015 guidance; sees FY15 adj EPS above consensus (HAWK) : Co announced additional details on the Company’s fiscal 2015 financial guidance that it provided at its investor conference held on February 26, 2015. As such, co issues upside guidance for FY15 (Dec), sees EPS of $ 2.16, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $ 2.00 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

  • Interest expense related to spin-off: The increase in interest expense reflects debt outstanding for full year 2015 as compared to a partial year in 2014 under a new credit agreement that followed the Company’s spin-off from Safeway in April 2014. Full year interest expense resulting from borrowings to finance 2014 acquisitions is considered separately below. 
  • Foreign exchange rate impact: The Company has incorporated into its guidance further erosion in foreign currency exchange rates during fiscal 2015. The impact is calculated on a constant currency basis (forecasted earnings contribution multiplied by the difference between fiscal 2015 forecasted rates and fiscal 2014 actual rates by country). 
  • Increase in effective tax rate: The midpoint of the Company’s guidance for an effective tax rate on fiscal 2015 adjusted income before income taxes is 38.0% representing a 0.7% increase over the actual rate for fiscal 2014. 

12:55 am Nathan’s Famous prices $ 135.0 mln its 10.000% Senior Secured Notes due 2020 (NATH) :  

12:51 am Capital Bank announces extension of consent solicitation for early redemption of Southern Community CVRS (CBF) : Co announced that, due to the inclement weather affecting North Carolina and a delay in the delivery of solicitation materials to certain holders, it has extended the termination date for its consent solicitation seeking the early redemption of the contingent value rights issued to former shareholders of Southern Community Financial Corporation when it was acquired by the Company on October 1, 2012. 

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