Briefing.com: Hourly In Play (R) – 21:00 ET
Feb 16, 2010 (Briefing.com via COMTEX) -- Hourly In Play (R)
Updated: 16-Feb-10 21:00 ET
EEFT Euronet misses by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus (19.34 +0.10)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.37 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.38; revenues rose 11.7% year/year to $285.6 mln vs the $276.6 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of ~$0.32, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.34 consensus. Co said, "Expectations for ~Q1 2010 reflect a seasonal reduction in transactions following the higher transaction levels during Q4 holiday season. Absent unusual circumstances, such as acquisitions, or significant fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, we estimate that each of the Company's three business segments' overall revenue will be ~5-10% lower during Q1 of each year compared to Q4 of the previous year."
OESX Orion Energy Systems announces future rule 10b5-1 plan (5.36 +0.27)
Co announced that, on Feb. 16, 2010, Neal R. Verfuerth, its chairman and chief executive officer, and his wife, Patricia A. Verfuerth, Orion's vice president of operations, entered into a prearranged Rule 10b5-1 trading plan to sell later during OESX's FY10 Q4 80,000 shares of OESX's common stock in order to generate sufficient cash proceeds to assist them in paying personal taxes. As a result of this sale of shares, Mr. and Mrs. Verfuerth's combined direct stock ownership in the co will decrease by only ~2.5% and together they will still beneficially own 3,122,867 shares, or about 14.0% of OESX's outstanding shares. Together, they will remain OESX's largest shareholders.
Standard & Poorâ??s Announces Change to U.S. Indices
Discovery Communications (DISCA) will replace Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) in the S&P 500 index. Bally Technologies (BYI) will replace PepsiAmericas (PAS) in the S&P MidCap 400 index.
GIVN Given Imaging beats by $0.04, beats on revs; guides FY10 EPS in-line, revs in-line (15.88 +0.43)
Reports Q4 (Dec) GAAP earnings of $0.17 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.13; revenues rose 18.3% year/year to $40 mln vs the $39.1 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY10, sees GAAP EPS of $0.50-0.58 vs. $0.50 consensus; sees FY10 revs of $154-160 mln vs. $154.52 mln consensus.
RZ Raser Technologies aAnnounces extension with Thermo No. 1 financing partners (0.96 +0.03)
Co announced that it has reached an agreement with project financing partners to extend the final performance and completion test of the Thermo No. 1 Project to June 30, 2010.
PERY Perry Ellis announces it expects to deliver FY10 EPS results at or above the top end of its previously announce EPS of $0.80-0.95 vs. $0.95 consensus; sees FY11 EPS in-line (16.0 +0.52)
Co expects to deliver FY10 EPS results at or above the top end of its previously announced EPS of $0.80-0.95 vs. $0.95 consensus, sees FY11 EPS of $1.25-1.40 vs. $1.25 consensus, sees revs of $770-790 mln vs $788.4 mln consensus. Co said preliminary Q4 results noted a return to revenue growth and strong gross and operating margin increases over prior year. The co ended FY10 in an outstanding financial position. Focused inventory management throughout the year resulted in a reduction of ~19% compared to prior year. Positive operating cash flow provided the co the ability to repurchase $21 mln of its senior notes. As a result of this working capital and cash flow management, Perry Ellis International ended the year with full availability on its revolving credit facility and a total net debt to capitalization ratio of 34% as compared to 47% for the prior year... as the co has exited certain underperforming businesses during fiscal 2010, it is expected that the improvement in gross margins, noted during the third quarter of FY10, will continue throughout FY11, as compared to the same periods in fiscal 2010. Besides these margin improvements, the co also expects to maintain solid operating leverage derived from the cost reduction activities undertaken during FY10."
SNA Snap-On: Martin Ellen to become CFO of Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Aldo Pagliari Named Successor as Snap-on CFO (42.25 +0.64)
Co announced that Martin M. Ellen, senior vice president - finance and chief financial officer, is resigning from Snap-on to become executive vice president and chief financial officer of Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS). To allow for an appropriate transition, Ellen will remain as Snap-on's chief financial officer until March 31, 2010. Effective the same date, Aldo J. Pagliari, currently president - Snap-on Equipment, and formerly group controller/director of finance for the Snap-on Commercial and Industrial Group, will succeed Ellen as Snap-on's senior vice president - finance and chief financial officer.
Futures are mixed after hours with S&P 500 futures 0.38 points above fair value of 1093.30 and Nasdaq 100 futures 0.94 points below above value of 1800.25
VMI Valmont beats by $0.04, sees FY10 earnings down 25% (71.00 +0.31)
Reports Q2 (Jun) earnings of $1.14 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $1.10; revenues fell 19.2% year/year to $398.6 mln vs the $431.3 mln consensus. Co said, "We will face some challenges in 2010 and we currently expect earnings to decline around 25% from our record earnings in 2009. The first quarter will be particularly weak, as harsh weather has impaired shipping and outdoor activity in all of our markets, and our utility backlog is one-third of what it was last year. Additionally, this year the Engineered Support Structures Segment faces the lack of a long-term highway bill and continued weakness in North American construction markets. Better activity in international structures markets should offset the North American sales weakness. On balance, we expect earnings for the Engineered Support Structures Segment to improve. We expect Irrigation Segment full year results to be somewhat better. The degree of improvement will depend on farm income, input costs to the farmer and crop prices. It is too early at this time to have a more specific outlook. In the Coatings Segment, we currently expect revenues to be similar to 2009."
AON Aon reaches amended and restated agreement with three states on compensation business practices (39.90 +0.09)
BLL Ball announces stock repurchase of $125 mln of its outstanding common stock using cash on hand and available borrowings (52.04 +0.65)
GD General Dynamics was awarded $227.4 mln contract - DoD (69.85 +1.90)
The DoD reported that GD Land Systems-Canada, London, Ontario, was awarded on Feb. 12, 2010, a $227,380,750 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0007. The procurement is for 250 MRAP RG-31A2 vehicles and associated engineering change proposal upgrades to include an independent suspension system. The work is expected to be completed no later than Oct. 30, 2010.
SIRO Sirona Dental Systems announced that it is filing a prospectus supplement to its existing shelf registration relating to an underwritten public offering of 7,000,000 shares of its common stock (37.09 +2.26)
SIRO announced that it is filing a prospectus supplement to its existing shelf registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to an underwritten public offering by Sirona Holdings Luxco S.C.A. of 7,000,000 shares of its common stock and 250,000 shares by Jeffery Slovin. Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. will not receive any proceeds from this sale of its common stock. One of the selling stockholders, Sirona Holdings Luxco S.C.A., has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,050,000 additional shares of common stock.
NDAQ NASDAQ OMX Group announces majority ownership in Agora-X (18.55 +0.26)
NDAQ and Agora-X, LLC announced that NASDAQ OMX bought a majority interest in Agora-X, an electronic communications network for institutional trading in over-the-counter commodity contracts. The transaction gives NASDAQ OMX an 85% equity interest in Agora-X, up from its previous 20% ownership, effective immediately. Financial terms were not disclosed.
THO Thor Industries reports in an 8-K that on February 14, 2010, a fire occurred at the northern production facility on a manufacturing site of THO located near Imlay City, Michigan (33.75 +0.66)
THO said that the Facility is one of the co's principal manufacturing locations for its Champion and General Coach America bus lines. The fire resulted in the destruction of a significant portion of the work in process, raw material and equipment contained in the Facility. There were no reported injuries and the origin of the fire is unknown at this time. The co is currently evaluating the extent of the damage resulting from the fire and the amount of loss is unknown at this time. The southern production plant, paint facility and other buildings at the site were not affected by the fire and remain intact. Within the next two weeks, the co expects to resume limited production activities for its Champion and General Coach America buses in the southern manufacturing facility that is located on the same site. In addition, the co has taken steps to address equipment and staffing reallocation. Many employees will continue to work out of the southern manufacturing facility and an office building on this site on a temporary basis. The co expects that a portion of the loss resulting from the fire will be covered by its property and business interruption insurance. However, up to the first $5 mln of the loss will be borne by the co as a deductible for the policy.
NAV Navistar Defense awarded $752 mln contract for MaxxPro Dash MRAP vehicles (39.72 +0.61)
Co awarded a contract for $752 mln to provide 1,050 enhanced International MaxxPro Dash Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Vehicles under the award from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command will include the DXM independent suspension solution.
PRAA Portfolio Recovery Assoc. announces public offering of 1 mln shares of its common stock (53.25 +0.71)
Co intends to use the net proceeds of the offering primarily to repay a portion of the debt outstanding under its $365 mln revolving credit facility.
INWK InnerWorkings misses by $0.01, misses on revs (6.07 +0.38)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.05 per share, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.06; revenues rose 3.3% year/year to $107.9 mln vs the $109.8 mln consensus.
CCE Coca-Cola Ent increased the regular quarterly to $0.09 per common share, up from $0.08 per share (19.30 +0.02)
BBI Blockbuster announces Blockbuster On Demand will be available on the upcoming HTC HD2 smartphone (0.37 -0.02)
Blockbuster On Demand will be the exclusive movie download embedded on the upcoming HTC HD2 smartphone in the U.S.... The co and and T-Mobile USA (DT) announced that consumers can download and watch the new releases with this first offering from Blockbuster on the new HTC HD2.
RPT Ramco-Gershenson misses by $0.01; guides FY10 FFO's in-line (9.61 +0.10)
Reports Q4 (Dec) funds from operations of $0.29 per share, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.30; revenues fell 9.3% year/year to $30.3 mln vs the $31.7 mln consensus. Co sees 2010 FFO guidance of $1.12-1.24 vs. $1.24 consensus.
DHR Danaher sees Q1 EPS of "above the high end" of the range $0.77-0.82 vs $0.83 First Call consensus (73.50 +1.57)
"We've been encouraged by the strong order activity and continuing margin performance through the first part of the quarter. In addition to improving end markets, the closing of the AB SCIEX transaction combined with our growth investments and new product introductions positions us well for the long term." The Company expects that the AB SCIEX transaction will be accretive in 2010 by between $0.05 - $0.07 per share, excluding the impact of fair value adjustments and transaction costs of approximately $0.15 per share.
GWR Genesee & Wyoming and Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited sign rail services agreement (31.63 +0.59)
The co announces that GWI and a newly formed GWI subsidiary, Western Labrador Rail Services (WLRS), have entered into a long term agreement with Bloom Lake Railway Company (BLRC), a subsidiary of Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited (CLM), for WLRS to provide rail transportation services to BLRC. Operated as part of GWI's Canada Region, WLRS will haul unit trains of iron ore over BLRC's newly constructed 31-kilometer railway from CLM's Bloom Lake mine, located in the province of Quebec on the south end of the Labrador Trough, to Wabush, Labrador. The iron ore will then travel over two privately owned railways to CLM's port facilities in Pointe-Noire on the St. Lawrence River for export primarily to Asian markets. The railway construction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2010 with iron ore shipments starting immediately thereafter.
AFSI Amtrust Financial raises quarterly dividend to $0.07 per share of common stock from $0.06 per share of common stock (11.74 -0.03) -Update-
BKC Burger King and Starbucks (SBUX) Seattle's Best Coffee confirm plan to offer coffee in Burger King restaurants nationwide (18.29 +0.07) -Update-
See 14:44 comment for details.
PLAB Photronics beats by $0.05 (4.41 +0.32) -Update-
Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.01 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.04); revenues rose 12.0% year/year to $98.2 mln vs the $94.7 mln dual-analyst est.
STR Questar unit reports 2009 production and year-end reserves; provides update on recent drilling results in key plays; affirms 2010 production guidance (41.51 +0.36)
Co subsidiary Questar Exploration and Production Company (Questar E&P) today reported 2009 production and year-end 2009 proved gas and oil reserves. The company also provided an update on recent well results in its core operating areas. Questar E&P reported production of 189.5 Bcfe in 2009, compared to 171.4 Bcfe in 2008, an 11% increase. Questar E&P reports year-end 2009 proved gas and oil reserves of 2.75 Tcfe, up 24% from year-end 2008
KOSS Koss Corp reports restatement delays Q2 financial results (4.41 +0.14)
Co announced that its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended December 31, 2009 filed with the SEC today did not include unaudited consolidated financial statements due to delays relating to the previously disclosed unauthorized transactions by its former Vice President of Finance and Secretary, Sujata Sachdeva. Co anticipates restating its financial statements for at least fiscal years 2008 and 2009, and the quarter ending September 30, 2009. Co expects that these financial statements will be available no later than June 2010.
AFSI Amtrust Financial reports Q4 EPs of $0.52 vs $0.50 First Call consensus (11.74 -0.03)
"AmTrust once again delivered solid results and generated a return on equity in excess of 20% even in the face of a challenging economic environment and increased market competition," said Barry Zyskind, Chief Executive Officer of AmTrust Financial. "Our balanced portfolio of niche businesses, highly efficient operating platform, commitment to sound underwriting and the continued dedication of our teams continue to deliver for our shareholders. Our highly efficient capital structure coupled with these results and our pending investment in American Capital Acquisition Corporation's acquisition of the GMAC personal lines insurance portfolio should position us well as we look forward into 2010."
OFLX Omega Flex reports Q4 EPS of $0.17 vs. $0.10 a year ago; revs of $12.6 mln vs. $13.0 mln a year ago (10.55 +0.09)
Further, Net Income for the 4th quarter shows substantial improvement over the Company's first nine months, representing 39% of the year's earnings, while Revenues in each quarter have continued to increase from the prior quarter during 2009.
NBR Nabors Ind beats by $0.02, beats on revs (23.86 +0.30)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.18 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.16; revenues fell 43.4% year/year to $834.5 mln vs the $825 mln consensus. Co said, "In Alaska, our expectation is that the year will likely be ~40% below 2009 and represent the bottom in this market. Over the longer term, there are several strategic projects that could significantly bolster results in subsequent years. Sustained high oil prices and the realization of contemplated tax incentives by the State of Alaska should also improve the outlook... in our US Land Well-servicing business, we expect that oil prices are likely to improve over time and, given the quality and performance of our Millennium rigs, a more robust outlook for the second half of 2010 and especially 2011 is all but certain... in our our US Offshore business, contracted income for 2010 is expected to be 30% greater than our full year results in 2009, up from 20% just last quarter and in our Canadian unit, we expect the first quarter to show a large increase during the peak winter drilling season, approximating last year's first quarter results." Co separately said, "We are quite bullish over the longer term for all of our businesses, but remain uncertain as to the precise timing of a meaningful inflection, although we anticipate it may well be as soon as the second half of this year."
CCK Crown Hldgs increases production capacity in Vietnam (26.52 +0.37)
Co announced that its subsidiary, CROWN Asia Pacific, intends to install a second beverage can line in its existing facility northeast of Ho Chi Minh City in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. The new line is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2010 and have an initial annual production capacity of approximately 600 mln two-piece 33cl aluminum beverage cans, which would expand the Dong Nai plant's capacity to more than 1.2 bln cans. As a result of this latest investment, Crown anticipates having 5 beverage can lines in 3 facilities in Vietnam, with total production capacity in excess of 3 billion aluminum two-piece cans.
ENCO Encorium Group announces one-for-eight reverse stock split (0.26 +0.03)
ADM Archer-Daniels outlined strategy for growing its business (29.48 -0.14) -Update-
Co outlined strategy for growing its business through a combination of increasing its overall volume, expanding its geographic footprint, diversifying its inputs, and growing its product portfolio. Chairman, CEO and President Patricia Woertz said growth strategies for each of ADM's four business units seek to leverage ADM's current geographic footprint and expand to capitalize on future market opportunities. Woertz noted that ADM has a leadership position in oilseeds processing in North America and Western Europe, and a smaller processing position in South America, where the Company is a leading originator of soybeans. She said, "Our strategy is to grow in South America, Central and Eastern Europe and in India. We will also grow in China with our strategic partner in the region."
EQS Equus Total Return announces $13.8 million write down (3.50 +0.06)
Co announces announces a decrease in the value of its portfolio securities of approximately $13.8 million. This decrease is related to the Fund's investments in Infinia and Riptide Entertainment. The Fund's Infinia holdings declined from $10.6 million to $1.5 million due to a recapitalization of the Infinia ownership structure related to its most recent fund raising efforts in which the Fund's holdings were diluted. The principal reason for Riptide's decline in value from $7.9 million to $3.2 million is due to Riptide's current financial position and operating performance.
WTS Watts Ind beats by $0.11, beats on revs (28.87 +0.38)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.53 per share, excluding $0.11 in discontinued operations, $0.2 in impairment charges and $0.19 in restructuring and other charges, $0.11 better than the First Call consensus of $0.42; revenues fell 5.4% year/year to $323.2 mln vs the $3000.7 mln consensus. The co's net debt to capitalization ratio decreased to 9.9% for the year ended December 31, 2009 from 22.8% in the prior year. The decrease was primarily due to better operating cash generation through stringent working capital management, increased margins and better cost containment.
COV Covidien announces that the FDA has set a new action date for the review of the NDA for Exalgo (50.31 +0.73)
Co announced that the FDA has set a new action date of March 1, 2010, under the PDUFA for the review of the NDA for Exalgo (hydromorphone HCl) Extended-Release Tablets, (CII). The latest rescheduling of the action date for Exalgo is the result of the FDA's decision to allow more time for its review of pending NDAs following the agency's recent weather-related closure.
KAR KAR Auction Services: Insurance Auto Auctions discusses business outlook (13.93 -0.84)
Insurance Auto Auctions (IAAI), a wholly owned subsidiary of KAR Auction Services, today discussed that in the ordinary course of business, Allstate, one of its insurance customers, has chosen to transition the remainder of its business to a competitor who already has the substantial majority of its volume. It is IAAI's understanding that the transition will be completed sometime later in 2010. Commenting on the action, Insurance Auto Auctions' President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom O'Brien stated, "While we are disappointed with Allstate's decision, we will work closely to assist them with the transition and we look forward to doing business with them again in the future." O'Brien went on to state, "While it is not our policy to make announcements on individual customer wins or losses, we have had a number of significant customer wins that should offset the impact of Allstate's decision. On balance, we do not anticipate this having a material impact on KAR's financial performance."
TCX Tucows announces a $10 million stock buyback program (0.67 unch)
RICK Rick's Cabaret and VCGH Enter into Letter of Intent to Merge to Form Largest Publicly Traded N. American Gentlemen's Club Owner (12.89 +0.99) -Update-
Rick's Cabaret (RICK), VCG Holding Corp. (VCGH) and Troy Lowrie and his affiliates have signed a letter of intent under which Rick's Cabaret will acquire all of the outstanding shares of VCG Holding to form the largest publicly traded operator of upscale gentlemen's clubs in North America, the two companies announced today. Rick's Cabaret currently operates 18 nightclubs in seven states while VCG Holding operates 20 clubs in ten states. The two companies had combined revenues of $131.3 million for the 12 month period ending September 30, 2009. Eric Langan, President and CEO of Rick's Cabaret International, said: "The combination of these two companies will result in a powerful operator that we believe would have generated earnings before income tax and depreciation (EBITDA) for the 12 months ended September 30, 2009 of approximately $25.3 million without any of the add-backs we anticipate we will achieve through synergistic cost savings. I am confident that the combined entities can achieve meaningful savings through streamlined management and elimination of duplicate costs associated with being two separate public companies, including lower legal and accounting expenses."
HIG Hartford Financial names Christopher J. Swift CFO (23.95 +0.50)
Co announces that Christopher J. Swift, 49, will join the company as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective March 1. Swift joins The Hartford from American Life Insurance Company, an operating company of American International Group (AIG), where he was Vice Chairman and CFO.
AGX Argan announced that the co and United American Steel Constructors have mutually terminated the non-binding letter of intent and discontinued merger negotiations announced August 10, 2009 (15.93 -0.02)
IAAC International Assets Hldg announced that its previously consolidated shareholding in Agora-X, has been restructured (15.34 +0.06)
IAAC notes that its wholly-owned subsidiary, FCStone Group, was instrumental in establishing Agora-X, an electronic communications network for institutional trading in over-the-counter commodities contracts. The change in shareholding is a result of a $6.6 million investment in Agora-X made by the NASDAQ OMX Group to fund its ongoing growth and expansion. FCStone will continue to support Agora-X as its primary OTC platform and will retain a board seat. The NASDAQ OMX's interest in Agora-X will increase from 20% to 85%, and FCStone's interest will decrease from 80% to 15%. FCStone will have an option to acquire an additional 10% at fair market value. Since IAAC will no longer have a controlling financial interest in Agora-X, it will deconsolidate it as a subsidiary and recognize a resulting gain in income during the three months ending March 31, 2010.
AMTD TD Ameritrade reports monthly metrics; average of 421,000 client trades per day in January 2010, up 38% from January 2009 and up 22% from December 2009 (17.33 +0.31)
Co said ~$314.5 bln in total client assets as of Jan. 31, 2010, up 40% from January 2009 and down 1% from December 2009. Average spread-based balances of $51.2 bln, up 94% from January 2009 and up 3% from December 2009. Average fee-based balances of $58.7 bln, down 3% from January 2009 and up 2% from December 2009.
RAX Correction: Rackspace
At 16:11 we incorrectly reported the co's 4Q09 EPS of $0.06, whereas $0.06 was what it reported in 4Q08. The correct earnings have been reposted at 16:26. The orginal comment has been removed.
COO Cooper cos aquires product line from American Medical Systems for ~$20.5 mln (38.14 -0.19)
Co announced that CooperSurgical, its women's healthcare unit, has acquired the Her Option Global Endometrial Ablation product line from American Medical Systems Holdings (AMMD). Cooper paid ~$20.5 mln in cash for the product line which had revenue of ~$10 mln over the last year. Cooper expects the acquisition to be neutral to its fiscal 2010 consolidated earnings excluding transaction costs.
RAX Rackspace beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (18.81 +0.57)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.07 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.06; revenues rose 18.4% year/year to $169.5 mln vs the $168.4 mln consensus. For the full year of 2010, the company expects to have total capital expenditures of $185 to $235 million, including $140 to $160 million for customer gear, $10 to $20 million for data centers, $10 to $20 million for office space, and $25 to $35 million for capitalized software and other.
FTI FMC Tech beats by $0.01, misses on revs; guides FY10 EPS in-line (58.57 +1.14)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.75 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.74. Co issues in-line guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $2.45 to $2.65 vs. $2.51 consensus. Peter D. Kinnear, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer commented: "While we anticipate 2010 revenue to be slightly lower than 2009, we expect a significant rebound in orders and a rebuilding of our backlog."
RRR RSC Holdings misses by $0.03, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs below consensus (7.13 +0.30)
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.28 per share, $0.03 worse than the First Call consensus of ($0.25); revenues fell 32.1% year/year to $290.1 mln vs the $275.4 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $240-255 mln vs. $287.60 mln consensus. With the anticipation of improving demand during the course of 2010, the co plans to increase its capital expenditures for new fleet in order to meet demand in targeted segments. The co will also use capital to replace fleet, which is in the normal course of business and helps to maintain one of the youngest fleets in the industry. The estimated free cash flow range for 2010 is expected to be $70-100 mln and the aforementioned increase in capital expenditures and higher cash interest costs account for most of the difference compared to 2009 free cash flow levels. The co expects to continue to apply available cash to further debt reduction. For 1Q10, business activity in the co's served markets is expected to continue to be down on a YoY basis and demand is expected to continue its seasonal sequential decline in the first quarter. Industry-wide fleet levels should continue to exceed demand and, as a result, rental rates will likely remain under pressure. Margins on the sale of used equipment are expected to remain similar to those realized in the second half of 2009. "We expect 2010 to be a year of transition, with demand bottoming out, followed by a modest recovery in the second half. Given this outlook we expect a challenging year, but with positive year-over-year comparisons starting in the second half. We believe our end market diversification strategy and operational execution have positioned us to emerge stronger."
XPRT LECG Corp provides update on SMART merger timing (2.89 -0.11) -Update-
Co announced that the parties have agreed to an extension of the termination date provided in the merger agreement with SMART business advisory & consulting. The merger was approved by the LECG stockholders in December, and had been expected to close in February 2010. The parties agreed to extend the termination date from February 15, 2010 to March 31, 2010 to give the co and SMART additional time to negotiate a credit facility for the combined companies in connection with the closing of the merger. The co and SMART are currently negotiating the terms of such a credit facility with their lenders, and expect to conclude those negotiations and to close the merger during March.
JAH Jarden beats by $0.01, beats on revs (31.55 +1.18)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.77 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.76; revenues rose 3.2% year/year to $1.39 bln vs the $1.35 bln consensus.
MYRX Myriad Pharma reports Q2 ($0.60) vs. ($0.71) in the prior year's Q4; co reported no revs vs. $0.4 mln in the prior year's quarter (4.97 +0.26) -Update-
Co said, "We expect our research and development expenses will increase over the next several years as we conduct additional advanced clinical trials to support the development of our potential drug candidates currently in clinical development, including MPC-4326, Azixa, and MPC-3100 and the possible advancement of certain pre-clinical drug candidates into clinical development."
WFMI Whole Foods beats by $0.06, beats on revs; raises FY10 EPS guidance (30.52 +0.77)
Reports Q1 (Dec) earnings of $0.32 per share, $0.06 better than the First Call consensus of $0.26. Co raises guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $1.20-1.25 vs. $1.10 consensus, up from $1.05-1.10 previously. The co is raising its sales outlook as follows: sales growth of 8.5% to 10.5%, comparable store sales growth of 3.5% to 5.5% (or 0.4% to 2.4% on a two-year stacked basis), and identical store sales growth of 2.9% to 4.9% (0 to 3% previously) -- (or -1.4% to 0.6% on a two-year stacked basis). The co points out that the economic outlook remains uncertain, and it faces a significantly higher hurdle starting in the third quarter as identical store sales improved 224 bps from the first half to the second half of fiscal year 2009. The co still expects to open 16 new stores this year, six of which have already opened, translating to a 6% increase in ending square footage. The co now expects operating margin of 4.3% to 4.5% for fiscal year 2010. For the second through fourth quarters, the co does not expect to generate the 57 bps year-over-year improvement in gross margin, excluding LIFO, that it produced on average over the last three quarters. For the twenty weeks ended February 14, 2010, total sales increased 7.8%. Comparable store sales increased 4.2%, and identical store sales increased 3.2%, or 0.1% and -1.8% on a two-year stacked basis, respectively.
ZIXI Zix Corp reports Q4 EPS of $0.00 vs $0.00 First Call consensus; revs $8.2 mln vs $8.02 mln First Call consensus (2.18 +0.08)
Zix Corp sees Q1 EPS of $0.01-0.02 vs $0.01 First Call consensus; sees revs $8.0-8.2 mln vs $7.91 mln First Call consensus; Zix Corp sees FY10 EPS of $0.05-0.08 vs $0.07 First Call consensus; sees revs of $34-36 mln vs $34.07 mln First Call consensus
ACGL Arch Capital beats by $2.23 (73.26 +0.72)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $4.75 per share, $2.23 better than the First Call consensus of $2.52. The Company's book value per common share was $73.01 at December 31, 2009, a 5.1% increase from $69.48 per share at September 30, 2009 and a 42.2% increase from $51.36 at December 31, 2008.
DVAX Dynavax Technologies receives Canadian approval to conduct Phase 3 trials (1.50 -0.01)
Co announces that Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the FDA) has approved the initiation of the co's next Phase 3 trials in Canada. Initiation of the Canadian studies is expected to facilitate enrollment for the multi-center trials. Immunizations in the US have begun, while the Canadian sites are expected to begin enrollment shortly. One trial is designed to demonstrate the lot-to-lot consistency of commercial vaccine and to complete the safety database for HEPLISAV, the co's investigational adult hepatitis B vaccine. The second trial compares HEPLISAV to Engerix-B in patients with chronic kidney disease.
RIG Transocean: Fitch- Transocean's Announced Dividend & Buyback Not Expected to Impact Ratings (82.85 -0.53) -Update-
Fitch Ratings does not anticipate that RIG ratings will be impacted by today's announcement that the company plans to implement a share repurchase program and a recurring dividend. Liquidity and free cash flow levels at Transocean remain strong and should allow the company to finance both the repurchases and dividends without requiring additional debt. In addition, Fitch would expect Transocean to be able to continue to fund debt retirements during 2010 including the company's 1.625% series A convertible senior notes which are callable and puttable in December 2010 (approximately $1.4 billion outstanding as of October 2009). At Sept. 30, 2009, Transocean held cash and equivalents and short-term investment balances totaling $1.1 billion. Free cash flow levels remained extremely strong ($2.9 billion for the LTM ending Sept. 30, 2009) and should benefit in 2010 from falling capital expenditure requirements as the company's newbuild activities slow upon completion of rigs. Total capital expenditures resulting from the company's newbuild program were expected to be approximately $3.3 billion in 2009; however, 2010 capital expenditures related to newbuild vessels are expected to fall to approximately $800 million. While 2010 FCF levels related to offshore drilling operations are expected to decline as a result of the weaker market conditions for offshore drilling rigs, this decline should be more than offset by the reduced capital expenditure requirements and enable the company to fund the announced shareholder friendly actions without additional borrowings.
LZB La-Z-Boy reports Q3 (Jan) results, beats on revs (11.64 +0.73)
Reports Q3 (Jan) earnings of $0.21 per share, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.09; revenues rose 5.7% year/year to $305.1 mln vs the $275.6 mln consensus. The 2010 third-quarter results include a $0.01 per share restructuring charge, primarily related to costs associated with the consolidation in the company's casegoods facilities as well as the previously announced store closures within the company's retail segment. The quarter's results also include income of $4.4 million, or $0.05 per share, reflecting anti-dumping duties received on imports of Chinese wood bedroom furniture. "Although we are comparing the period to a low-volume quarter last year, we believe the strength of the La-Z-Boy brand, with the inherent quality associated with it, and our mid-price-point focus has served our company well in this environment... While we remain concerned about various economic factors, particularly unemployment and credit availability, we note some positive signs with respect to La-Z-Boy's same-store-sales figures, the strength of our upholstery sales performance this quarter as well as continued progress in our retail segment. As noted earlier, while we will remain mindful of cost containment and controls, our entire organization is focused on driving sales throughout all three segments of our business as we continue to pursue market share gains to ensure La-Z-Boy Incorporated maintains a leadership position in the industry. At the same time, we will continue to ensure that our balance sheet remains strong to allow for the greatest operating flexibility going forward."
VCLK ValueClick beats by $0.04, misses on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (9.13 -0.07)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.20 per share, including items, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.16; revenues rose 0.3% year/year to $110.4 mln vs the $132.4 mln consensus. Adjusted-EBITDA of $35.1 mln for 4Q09 increased $8.5 mln from $26.5 mln in 4Q08, resulting in adjusted-EBITDA margin expansion to 31.8% in 4Q09 from 24.1% in the year-ago period. Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.10-$0.11 vs. $0.16 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $93-$97 mln vs. $129.17 mln consensus.
CRME Cardiome Pharma announces $25 million advance on line of credit (5.28 -0.07)
Co announced that Merck (MRK), through an affiliate, has advanced to Cardiome $25 million under a secured, interest-bearing credit facility of up to $100 million granted to Cardiome under the agreement with Merck announced in April 2009. Cardiome may, at its option, repay all or a portion of the advance from time to time without premium or penalty. This advance must be repaid in full by December 31, 2016.
AMMD American Medical beats by $0.01, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus, revs in-line; guides FY10 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (18.83 +0.37)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.35 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.34; revenues rose 9.0% year/year to $146 mln vs the $143.8 mln consensus. Co issues downside EPS guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.23-0.26, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.27 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $127-131 mln vs. $130.65 mln consensus. Co issues downside EPS guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $1.16-1.24, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.25 consensus; sees FY10 revs of $540-560 mln vs. $545.55 mln consensus.
TDSC 3D Systems announced that it acquired the assets of Moeller Design (12.69 -0.13)
Co announced that it acquired the assets of Moeller Design, a provider of premium precision investment casting services and prototyping for the most demanding aerospace, medical device and MCAD prototyping applications.
YHOO Yahoo! announces that Ron Burkle will not stand for re-election to Board (15.41 +0.24)
Co announces that Ron Burkle has decided not to stand for re-election to the company's Board of Directors at its 2010 annual stockholders' meeting in order to devote more time to his other business interests. Mr. Burkle has served on the company's board since November 2001.
CRAY Cray beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides FY10 revs in-line (5.25 +0.07)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.08 per share, $0.01 better than the First Call consensus of $0.07; revenues fell 43.2% year/year to $88.2 mln vs the $88.7 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY10, sees FY10 revs of $305-325 mln vs. $310.83 mln consensus. Co said, a wide range of results remains possible for 2010. Many variables may impact our results, but one significant item is the timing of the availability and release of our next generation supercomputer, code-named "Baker," including its new interconnect chipset, known as "Gemini," and associated system software." Separately, the co said, "As a result of the timing of the Baker system release, we expect a significant majority of 2010 revenue to be recognized in Q4. Service revenue is expected to be in the range of $110 mln for 2010, driven by strong growth in our custom engineering initiative. Gross margins for 2010 are expected to be in the mid-30 percent range."
LIMS Starlims Tech announces shareholder approval of acquisition by Abbott (ABT) (13.95 +0.01)
DSTI DayStar Technologies appoints Magnus Ryde Chief Executive Officer (0.40 +0.01)
MIG Meadowbrook Ins beats by $0.04, beats on revs; guides FY10 EPS in-line (6.49 +0.19)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.24 per share, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.20; revenues rose 22.7% year/year to $170.9 mln vs the $163.6 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $0.85 to $0.95 vs. $0.93 consensus. The co also expects 2010 net operating income to be in a range of $48.5 mln to $54.5 mln. They also expect gross written premium in a range of $790 mln to $815 mln, and the combined ratio to be in a range of 95.5% to 96.5%. Commenting on the results, Meadowbrook President and Chief Executive Officer Robert S. Cubbin stated: "We are working from a position of strength going into 2010. We expect programs implemented in 2008 to further mature, and we anticipate growth from the regional workers' compensation initiatives we launched in 2009. We anticipate the market will remain competitive in 2010, and could look a lot like the second half of 2009--still competitive, but stabilizing. We have opportunities to grow profitably with adequate pricing, and we continue to work on implementing additional revenue enhancing synergies with Century."
AAN Aaron's beats by $0.03, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line, revs below consensus; guides FY10 EPS in-line, revs in-line (30.48 +0.26)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.46 per share, $0.03 better than the First Call consensus of $0.43; revenues rose 10.2% year/year to $446.3 mln vs the $432.9 mln consensus. Co issues mixed guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.62-0.67 vs. $0.67 consensus; sees Q1 revs of $485 mln vs. $501.36 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $2.15-2.35 vs. $2.25 consensus; sees FY10 revs of $1.85 bln vs. $1.89 bln consensus.
OKS ONEOK Partners Signs Definitive NGL Fractionation Services Agreement With a Subsidiary of Targa Resources Partners (59.90 +0.69)
ONEOK Partners (OKS) announced that it has signed a definitive 10-year firm space fractionation agreement with Cedar Bayou Fractionators, L.P., a majority-owned subsidiary of Targa Resources Partners LP ( NGLS), for fractionation services at the subsidiary's natural gas liquids fractionation facility at Mont Belvieu, Texas. Under terms of the agreement, ONEOK Partners has contracted for 60,000 barrels per day of fractionation services at the Cedar Bayou Fractionators, L.P. facility, which is currently being expanded to 275,000 barrels per day from 215,000 per day and is expected to be operational during the second quarter of 2011.
PRE PartnerRe announces repurchase of approximately 1.7% of common shares outstanding (76.87 +0.59)
Co announces the repurchase of 1,438,394 common shares in privately negotiated transactions. The shares, totaling approximately 1.7% percent of total common shares outstanding, were purchased at a price per share of $75.14 from certain former shareholders of PARIS RE, who were issued PartnerRe stock through the Company's acquisition of PARIS RE, and who are parties to investor agreements with PartnerRe. The total value of the shares repurchased was $108.1 mln. All terms of the original investor agreements with such former shareholders of PARIS RE, who were issued PartnerRe stock subject to lock-up provisions, remain in place for any unsold shares still held by those investors.
RGC Regal Entertainment reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (14.60 +0.28)
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.23 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.23; revenues rose 7.6% year/year to $765.6 mln vs the $745.9 mln consensus. "We are pleased to report that 2009 was a record year for both Regal and our industry. Our highest-ever annual Adjusted EBITDA was driven by the industry's first $10 billion box office and by our commitment to providing a quality theater experience to our patrons," stated Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Entertainment Group. "As we look ahead, we are excited about the opportunities created by the upcoming completion of the DCIP financing and by the number of premium format films included in the 2010 film slate," Miles continued.
HWAY Healthways reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides Q1 EPS in-line; guides FY10 EPS in-line, revs below consensus (16.08 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.22 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.22; revenues fell 5.5% year/year to $175.2 mln vs the $173.6 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.26-$0.29 vs. $0.26 consensus. Co issues mixed guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $1.05-$1.18 vs. $1.11 consensus; sees FY10 revs of $677-$718 mln vs. $735.78 mln consensus. Co states, "Given the uncertain economic environment and consistent with the company's original guidance for 2009, the low end of revenue guidance for 2010 assumes no new unsigned business and no organic growth in billed lives."
KBR KBR Inc. awarded construction contract for North Carolina's State Laboratory of Public Health and Medical Examiner's Office (19.22 +0.85)
Co announces that its Building Group has been awarded a $52 mln contract by the State of North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services for construction of a new combined facility for the State Public Health Laboratory and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh, N.C.
FLEX Flextronics executes mandatory call option on its 6 1/2 % senior subordinated notes due 2013 (6.91 +0.12)
VRTX Vertex Pharm announces redemption date for 4.75% convertible senior subordinated notes due 2013 (38.68 +0.30)
CRXX Combinatorx Announces Extension of Exalgo Extended-Release Tablets PDUFA Date to March 1, 2010 (1.34 +0.05)
Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date for review of the Exalgo (hydromorphone HCl) extended-release tablets New Drug Application (NDA) from Monday, February 22, 2010 to Monday, March 1, 2010 due to federal government closings. The U.S. rights to Exalgo tablets were acquired from Neuromed by Mallinckrodt Inc., a Covidien company, in June, 2009. Neuromed acquired the U.S. marketing rights to Exalgo tablets from ALZA Corporation in April 2007 and was responsible for clinical development and regulatory filings. Covidien is responsible for all commercialization activities for Exalgo in the U.S., including marketing, sales and all post-approval FDA regulatory filings, and will now own the intellectual property for the product. ALZA is responsible for manufacturing, packaging and supply of the product. CombinatoRx and Neuromed merged on December 21, 2009.
PANL Universal Display announces The U.S. Department of Energy honors Universal Display Corporation for white OLED lighting advances (10.97 -0.03)
XPRT LECG Corp beats by $0.08, beats on revs (2.89 -0.11)
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $0.01 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.08 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.09); revenues fell 5.3% year/year to $66.3 mln vs the $61.4 mln consensus. "Our fourth quarter performance was highlighted by improved activity across most of LECG's business sectors. However, the uncertainty associated with our industry continues to impact visibility, leaving us cautious in the near-term. Longer-term we remain optimistic about LECG's future, including the pending closure of the SMART merger. We expect 2010 to be a year of important integration as we begin to capitalize on the business synergies, cross-selling potential and cost saving opportunities to position the combined company for a return to revenue growth and profitability."
MNRK Monarch Finl Repurchases Stock Warrants from the U.S. Treasury (6.65 -0.07)
Co reported it had finalized the repurchase of common stock warrants related to preferred stock issued to the U.S. Treasury. The company purchased the remaining warrants for 132,353 common shares in a negotiated transaction for $260,000, and as a result of the Warrant repurchase, the Company has no securities issued or outstanding to the Treasury and is no longer participating in the Treasury's Capital Purchase Program. The company had previously redeemed the $14.7 million in preferred stock issued on December 23, 2009.
HTS Hatteras Financial reports Q4 EPS of $1.28 vs $1.29 First Call consensus (25.44 +0.10)
Hatteras declared common dividends of $1.20 per share with respect to the quarter ended December 31, 2009, up from $1.15 per share for the quarter ended September 30, 2009... "2009 was a year emphasized by a steady improvement in the fundamentals of the strategy we employ. The agency mortgage-backed securities portfolio we built in 2008 and 2009 has performed consistently in conjunction with our funding and hedging plan. We are happy to have had timely opportunities to invest and we are now entering 2010 positioned with low leverage and a defensive balance sheet," said Michael Hough, the Company's Chief Executive Officer. "The uncertainties surrounding the recent announcement by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to purchase delinquent loans out of their guaranteed securities should be mitigated by the relatively small exposure we estimate in Hatteras. We have always invested in low premium and recently issued securities as the most effective way to hedge and mitigate the risk of unexpected prepayments. The company is positioned conservatively and we are excited by the prospects for 2010."
AHT Ashford Hospitality Trust receives payoff on $33.6 mln mezz loan (5.71 +0.21)
Co announced it completed the previously disclosed discounted payoff with the borrower on the co's $33.6 mln mezzanine loan, which was secured by interests in the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne and set to mature in 2017. The Company received $20 mln in cash and a $4 mln note secured by interests in the property and that matures in 2017. The co had previously recorded an impairment of $10.7 mln to account for the discounted payoff in the third quarter of 2009.
CAB Cabela's announces Closing of $300 Million Securitization (17.18 +0.32)
Co announced today Cabela's Credit Card Master Note Trust successfully completed the sale of $300 million of Asset-Backed Notes, Series 2010-I. The securitization transaction included the issuance of $255 million of Class A Notes, which accrue interest at a floating rate equal to one-month LIBOR plus 1.45% per year. The Class A Notes are eligible collateral under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) program established by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The securitization transaction also included the issuance of three subordinated classes of notes in the aggregate principal amount of $45 million. World's Foremost Bank, Cabela's wholly-owned subsidiary, purchased each of the subordinated classes of notes. Each class of notes issued in the securitization transaction has an expected life of approximately five years, with a legal maturity of approximately eight years. The securitization transaction finances the growth of World's Foremost Bank's credit card portfolio and is expected to provide adequate liquidity to World's Foremost Bank well into the fourth quarter of 2010.
SVLF Silverleaf Resorts Announces Extension of $106 Million Senior Credit Facility (0.75 -0.01)
Co announces the extension of its receivables-based revolving credit facility with UBS Real Estate Securities. The new initial maximum commitment amount of the variable funding note ("VFN") issued under the facility is $106 million, which maximum commitment amount decreases to $100 million on June 30, 2010.
AMMD American Medical announces sale of Her Option global endometrial ablation product line (18.85 +0.39)
Co announced the divestiture of its Her Option Global Endometrial Ablation product line to Cooper Surgical, a subsidiary of the Cooper Companies (COO) for $20.5 mln. The final sale price is subject to adjustment based on working capital balances at the time of sale.
DBB Late day sector ETF view -Technical-
Actively Traded Leading Sector ETF Plays:
Base metals- DBB+5.50%, Solar power- TAN +5.0%, Heating oil- UHN +4.0%, Crude/WTI oil- USO +4.0%, OIL +4.0%, SPDRS metals & mining- XME +4.0%, Silver- SLV +4.0%, Steel- SLX +4.0%, Coal- KOL +3.75%, Commods- GSG +3.0%, DBC +3.0%, RBOB gas- UGA +3.0%, Global shippers- SEA +3.25%, US airlines- FAA +3.0%, iShares Brazil- EWZ +3.0%, iShares REITS- ICF +2.75%, Gold miners- GDX +2.75%, Energy- IYE +2.75%, XLE +2.50%
Actively Traded Lagging Sector ETF Plays:
VIX vol index- VXX -5.50%, Nat gas- UNG -1.50%, US Dollar index-- UUP -1.0%, Yen currency shares- FXY -0.25%
Conferences and Shareholder/Analyst Meetings of Interest -Update-
Events of interest for tomorrow, Feb 17, include: DRI Analyst Meeting; SMG Analyst Meeting; TEG Analyst Meeting; DHR, ROK, TYC, JEC at Barclays Capital Industrial Select Conference; PM, K, DPS, HNZ at CAGNY Conference; COBZ at FIG Partners West Coast Bank CEO Forum; RJF, CLB. UNT, SWSN at EnerCom Oil & Services Conference. Fed: Fed's January FOMC Minutes; Fed's Plosser.
DIA Dow +169 vacillating near its 50 day ema at 10267 -Technical-
SMH Semiconductors Hldrs Trust new high in late trade bring its 50 day sma into play at 26.82 (26.76 +0.70) -Technical-
CSBC Citizens South Banking names Kenneth A. Icenhour to chief risk officer (4.65 -0.10)
SPY Trading volume analysis-- NYSE & NASDAQ volume pacing well below Friday's tally moving into the final hour of today's trading-- See volume charts -Technical-
With one hour remaining in today's session, both primary exchanges total volume sorely lacks the above average totals seen last Friday ahead of the long holiday weekend. With the indices posting & holding onto broad based gains for much of the session, the lighter volume may indicate a lack of mutual fund & institutional participation, thus signalling little-to-no accumulation by funds today.
As of 3:00ET, nearly 640M shares have changed hands on NYSE versus 695M on Friday, while over on NASDAQ, 1.48B shares have traded versus 1.59B on Friday.
NYSE 30 min volume chart
NASDAQ 30 min volume chart
ALOT Astro-Med awarded $1.4 mln Boeing C-17 aircraft contract for ruggedized cockpit printers and ethernet switches (7.50 0.00)
Co announces that it has been awarded a contract for additional cockpit printers and Ethernet switches used on the C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft. The contract was placed by Boeing (BA) Defense, Space & Security, Long Beach, CA, and will generate ~$1.4 million in revenues for Astro-Med during this fiscal year.
COMDX CBOT Agriculture and Ethanol and ICE Exchange Sugar Closing Prices
March corn closed higher by 5.75 cents to $3.6725 per bushel, March soybeans closed higher by 20.5 cents to $9.655 per bushel, March wheat closed higher by 18.5 cents to $5.05 per bushel, April Ethanol closed higher by $0.016 cents at $1.720, March world sugar futures closed 0.33 cents higher at 27.28 cents per pound.
NIHD NASDAQ 100 (NDX) leades & laggards moving into today's final hour of trading -Technical-
NDX 100 Best % Performers:
NIHD +6.25%, FSLR +5.75%, STX +5.25%, EXPE +3.75%, ADSK +3.75%, AMAT +3.50%, DISH +3.50%, JOYG +3.50%, FWLT +3.50%, MRVL +3.25%, STLD +3.25%, KLAC +3.25%
NDX 100 Worst % Performers:
CTAS -3.50%, RIMM -1.75%, AMZN -1.50%, TEVA -1.50%, RYAAY -1.0%, ATVI -1.0%, PPDI -0.75%, GENZ -0.50%, HANS -0.25%
NASDAQ TRIN @ +0.40
NASDAQ A/D @ +840
SPY New session highs for Dow +133 and S&P +15, Nasdaq +25 confirms the move this time -Update- -Technical-
BAC Dow (INDU) leaders & laggards moving into today's final hour of trading -Technical-
INDU Best % Performers:
BAC +4.75%, AA +3.0%, GE +2.75%, BA +2.50%, CVX +2.50%, JPM +2.25%, AXP +1.75%
INDU Worst % Performers:
PFE -0.75%, KFT -0.75%
NYSE TRIN @ +0.50
NYSE A/D @ +1765
HSY Hershey Foods reaffirms financial goals and announces collaborative initiative with key retailers to drive confectionery growth (38.26 +0.66)
Co outlined plans for growth in key international markets based on building global brands, strong partnerships and continued investment. During a presentation co reaffirmed the Company's 2010 outlook of a 3-5%increase in net sales and growth in adjusted earnings per share-diluted of 6 to 8% (which calc to FY10 EPS of $2.30-2.34 vs $2.32 First Call consensus).
BIDU Baidu.com shares reverse to session lows & trade into negative territory in recent trade as the NDX 100 lags the SPX in relative price action this afternoon (487.77 -.23) -Technical-
AMZN, RIMM, & BIDU weakest of the five most widely watched NDX 100 components.
COMDX NYMEX Energy Closing Prices
Crude oil rallied for $2.88 to end at $77.01, natural gas shed 14.6 cents to finish at $5.323, heating oil closed higher by 7.56 cents to $1.9945 and RBOB gasoline settled up 5.95 cents to $1.989 (all March contracts).
ISSC Innovative Solutions authorizes 1 mln share stock repurchase program (4.21 -0.33)
Co announced that the board has approved a stock repurchase program pursuant to which the co may repurchase up to 1 mln shares of its common stock. The program will remain in effect until February 10, 2011, unless extended by the board. This program replaces the co previous stock repurchase program, which expires as of February 22, 2010.
LGF Lions Gate Entain: Icahn confirms tender offer for common shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (5.60 +0.37) -Update-
Carl C. Icahn confirms that certain of his affiliated entities (the "Icahn Group"), which collectively hold ~18.9% of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s outstanding common shares, intend to initiate a tender offer for up to 13,164,420 common shares of Lions Gate which, together with the common shares they already own, would constitute ~29.9% of the outstanding common shares of Lions Gate. The purchase price in the Offer will be $6.00 per share in cash. The Offer will be conditioned on Lions Gate not entering into any material transaction outside of the ordinary course of business (including any acquisition of assets over $100 million, and any issuance of securities other than upon the exercise of currently outstanding options). Lions Gate has stated that its senior revolving credit facility provides that a change of control, which includes a person or group acquiring ownership or control in excess of 20% of its outstanding common shares, will be an event of default that permits lenders to accelerate the maturity of borrowings thereunder. If such an event of default or acceleration occurs, it will not be a condition allowing the Icahn Group to withdraw the Offer.
PEG Public Service declares a 3% increase in quarterly dividend (30.55 +0.38)
Co announces that the board increased the quarterly dividend to 34.25 cents per share, a 3.0% increase over the company's existing quarterly dividend rate of 33.25 cents per share. The first dividend in 2010 is payable on March 31, 2010, to shareholders of record on March 10, 2010.
Fidelity discloses new positions in 13G filings (cont.)
Notable positions include new stakes in SINA 10.0%, TTWO 10.0%, SIVB 9.8%, THO 5.6%, UNT 9.7%, VMW 7.2%, WL 9.4%, XL +7.3%, and ZION +6.1%. SEC 13G filings represent new shareholder positions of ownership of greater than 5% of the shares outstanding. See 13:29 comment for additional names.
SPY Minor new highs for Dow +126 and S&P +14.6 but Nasdaq +23 has not yet confirmed -Update- -Technical-
COMDX COMEX Metals Closing Prices
April gold finished higher by $30 to $1120.00, March silver rallied for 63.8 cents to end at $16.085 and March copper gained 13.9 cents to close at $3.2215.
IEP Icahn Enterprises commences lawsuit against Geoffrey Raynor and Certain related entities; seeks damages in excess of $100 million (46.66 +0.70)
Co commenced a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against Geoffrey Raynor, R2 Investments, LDC, Nineteen Eighty-Nine, Amalgamated Gadget, Sceptor Holdings, Q Funding, Acme Widget and Brandon Teague (collectively the "Raynor Defendants"). The Icahn suit seeks at least $100 million in compensatory damages, as well as special and punitive damages and other relief. The lawsuit stems from a 13D filing made by Raynor entities at a critical point during a $2 billion bond offering that was recently completed by IEP. The Icahn Plaintiffs assert that the claims made in the Raynor entities' 13D filing are without merit, and interfered with the IEP bond offering and caused damages to the Icahn Plaintiffs.
Fidelity discloses new positions in 13G filings
Notable positions include new stakes in HMIN 8.6%, NADVF 6.2%, PNRA 6.6%, GAME 10%, and PLX 5.4%.
SSI Stage Stores names Richard Maloney Chief Merchandising Officer and Edward Record Chief Operating Officer (13.02 +0.08)
SQNM Sequenom -- Recent uptick pushes the stock up into the key 5.00 "psych" level (5.02 +0.50) -Update- -Technical-
Stock is currently attempting to push above its Dec-Jan range highs of 4.79, but the 5.00 area also comes into play here as a psychological level as well. See 13:23.
WMT Wal-Mart sets minor new session high of 53.54, last week's high is at 53.62 with its 50 day sma at 53.69 (53.54 +0.64) -Technical-
XLI Industrial Spdr extends three-day rally back near resistance its 50 day sma at 28.18 -- session high 28.15 (28.06 +0.49) -Technical-
MMM +1% (paused near 50 ema), BA +2.1%, CAT +1.2% (see 12:48 update), EMR +1.5% (session high 46.98, Feb/52-wk peak 47.12), FDX +1.4% (paused near 20 day), GE +2.1% (vacillating just under 50 ema/sma at 15.96), HON +2.2% (paused at 20 day), UPS +1.6%, UTX +0.6%, LMT (unch, paused at 50 sma), UNP +2.3%.
CXPO Crimson Exploration announced production results and drilling activity for the fourth quarter of 2009, year-end 2009 reserves and guidance for 2010 production and capital expenditures (3.60 +0.08)
Co announces production results and drilling activity for the fourth quarter of 2009, year-end 2009 reserves and guidance for 2010 production and capital expenditures. Production Update Crimson produced an estimated 3.2 Bcfe of natural gas equivalents, or approx 34,800 Mcfe per day, during the fourth quarter 2009, compared with 4.6 Bcfe, or 50,300 Mcfe per day, produced during the fourth quarter of 2008. For the year ended 2009, Crimson produced an estimated 14.9 Bcfe of natural gas equivalents, or approx 40,900 Mcfe per day, compared with 19.2 Bcfe, or 52,600 Mcfe per day, produced in 2008. New production resulting from a very limited drilling program in 2009 was not sufficient to offset normal field decline in existing production. Fourth quarter 2009 production was also negatively impacted by approx 1,500 Mcfe per day by a retroactive dispute settlement related to royalty payments on certain lease use gas and a retroactive adjustment to production previously recognized from certain non-operated conventional properties. Average production associated with the December 29, 2009 divestiture of certain non-core Louisiana assets was approx 2,200 Mcfe per day for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to approx 4,900 Mcfe per day for the fourth quarter 2008. Co says " As we proceed with our drilling program during 2010, we anticipate production to increase ratably during the year, resulting in an average rate of between 35,000 and 39,000 Mcfe per day for the year. Proved reserves at December 31, 2009, as estimated by Netherland, Sewell, and Associates, Inc., our independent reservoir engineering firm in accordance with new reserve reporting guidelines mandated by the SEC, were 97.5 Bcfe, with a PV-10 value of approx $176.4 mln. Capital expenditures for the fourth quarter of 2009 were approx $5.3 mln, with approx 80% of the expenditures related to our East Texas resource play. Co says they have forecasted 2010 capital expenditures to be approximately $50-$56 million compared to the $21.4 million spent in 2009.
UUP Dollar Index pulls back near short term support at last week low/Jan high -Update- -Technical-
The mid-morning drop in the Dollar Index appeared to provide some lift for the rally in the equity arena. The recent downside extension in the Dollar Index has brought it back near short term support at last week's low and its Jan high at 79.56/79.49 (session low 79.62). It will, however, take a push back through the 80.00 area and 80.21 to neutralize the weaker pattern off Friday's high.
AMZN Amazon.com displays a little relative weakness as it slips to fresh lows just above Friday's low of 117.50 (117.91 -1.77) -Update- -Technical-
Note that the stock has continued to stall out near the 120.00-121.00 area on all morning attempts to surpass it lately.
CAT Caterpillar extends three day surge near its 50 day (56.95 +0.75) -Technical-
The stock has rallied roughly 8.4% from the intraday low Thursday to this morning's high (57.15) with it pausing thus far in the vicinity of its 50 day sma at 57.05.
DBB Midday sector ETF view -Technical-
Actively Traded Leading Sector ETF Plays:
Base metals- DBB +5.50%, Solar power- TAN +4.0%, Heating oil- UHN +4.0%, Silver- SLV +3.75%, Crude/WTI oil- USO +3.75%, OIL +3.75%, Steel- SLX +3.50%, SPDRS metals & mining- XME +3.50%, Commods- GSG +3.25%, DBC +2.75%, RBOB gas- UGA +3.25%, Coal- KOL +3.0%, Global shippers- SEA +2.50%, iShares Brazil- EWZ +2.50%, iShares S Korea- EWY +2.50%, Emerging mkts- EEM +2.25%, US airlines- FAA +2.25%, Gold miners- GDX +2.0%, Gold- GLD +2.0%
Actively Traded Lagging Sector ETF Plays:
VIX vol index- VXX -4.75%, Nat gas- UNG -1.0%, US Dollar index- UUP -1.0%, Yen currency shares- FXY -0.25%, US bonds- TLT -0.25%
SLE Sara Lee trading resumes (13.19 +0.21) -Update-
FIF Financial Federal stockholders approve merger with People's United (27.00 +0.09)
Co announced at its special meeting of stockholders this morning, its stockholders approved the merger of Financial Federal with People's United Financial, Inc. The holders of approximately 81% of the outstanding shares of Financial Federal common stock entitled to vote approved the merger. The merger is expected to close February 19, 2010, pending customary closing conditions.
SLE Sara Lee announces revised capital plans; authorizes $2 bln of additional share repurchases and annual dividend expected to be $0.44 per share (13.06 +0.08) -Update-
Co revised its capital plans and is providing new targets for dividend policy and further clarity on the use of proceeds of the International Household and Body Care (H&BC) sale. "At this time, we firmly believe that the best use of these funds is to buy back Sara Lee shares, which will be accretive to earnings per share. While maintaining a solid investment grade credit profile, we estimate that we can buy back around $2.5-3 bln of stock over a three-year period. The plan is to front-load the repurchases, initially buying ~$1 to $1.3 bln of shares by the end of this calendar year. We are committed to driving strong growth in future years, and combined with aggressive share repurchase, we anticipate significant improvement in earnings per share"... Co expects to begin buying back shares in the near future and anticipates that it will repurchase $1-1.3 bln of shares in calendar 2010, though that amount will not exceed $500 mln until the company receives the proceeds from selling its Body Care business to Unilever. Co will continue to target a dividend payout ratio of 40 to 50% of net income, excluding significant items. Following the sale of H&BC, co expects to maintain and gradually increase its $0.44 per share annual dividend. At this time, co is not providing any new guidance, as the amount and timing of any potential share repurchase or significant items is uncertain. However, the EPS guidance reported by the company on Feb 4, 2010 is expected to be impacted by the tax provisions described above and lower shares outstanding, as repurchases are completed. (stock is halted)
IYR iShares DJ Real Estate hovering near upper end of morning range top/session high at 44.00 (43.91 +0.67) -Technical-
Its 50 day ema and 38% retrace of the Dec/Feb decline and early month gap top is slightly above at 44.09/44.12 -- AIV +3.8%, PEI +3%, MAC +2.9%, SPG +2.5%, CPT +2.3%, EQR =2.1%, KIM +1.6%, BXP =1%, PSA +0.7%, VNO =0.7%, PCL +0.7%, PLD +0.6%.
TTEK Tetra Tech awarded $40 mln EPC wind energy project (21.29 +0.13)
Co announced that it has been awarded a $40 mln contract to design and build a 152-megawatt wind farm outside of Woodward, Oklahoma.
SLE Sara Lee trading halted - news pending (13.06 +0.08)
PLCC Paulson Capital names Doug McCaslin as Senior VP of Investments (1.52 0.00)
BK Bank of NY Mellon to acquire corporate trust business of CIBC Mellon (27.48 +0.43)
Co signed a definitive agreement to acquire the corporate trust business of CIBC Mellon. The acquisition will more than double BK's share of the corporate trust market in Canada. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the first quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
GS Goldman Sachs lifts to morning highs as it elevates up into its early Feb gap of 156.06-157.11 (156.22 +2.31) -Update- -Technical-
European Markets Closing Prices: FTSE: 5244.1 +76.6 +1.5%, DAX: 5592.1 +81.0 +1.5%, CAC: 3669.0 +59.8 +1.7%, Spain's IBEX: +0.97%, Portugal's PSI: +0.43%
SPY Trend day up action continues with indices setting new session highs -- Dow +128, S&P +14, Nasdaq +24 -Update- -Technical-
Relative sector strength (outperforming the S&P) has been noted in REITs IYR, Ag/Chem MOO, Rail, Solar TAN, Steel SLX, Medical Supplies, Gold Miners GDX.
AJG Arthur J. Gallagher announces the acquisition of Securitas Re of Sao Paulo, Brazil from Estater Gestao de Investimentos; terms of the transaction were not disclosed (22.89 -0.09)
HD Home Depot vacillating near its 52-wk close high from Dec at 29.29, its Dec/52-wk intraday high is at 29.44 (29.28 +0.28) -Technical-
APD Air Products' nitrogen recovery unit equipment selected for ExxonMobil Texas Project (69.52 +0.99) -Update-
Co announced that it will provide its nitrogen recovery unit (NRU) and cryogenic gas processing equipment for an ExxonMobil (XOM) project in Hawkins, Tex. The new NRU plant will be operated by ExxonMobil and will process ~140 million standard cubic feet per day of gas. The unit will recover natural gas for pipeline sale and produce nitrogen for re-injection into the reservoir to enable enhanced oil and gas recovery. Air Products will deliver the NRU plant equipment in late 2010, with operations at Hawkins targeted to commence in late 2011.
SBSA Spanish Broadcasting granted continued listing on Nasdaq until June 7, 2010 (0.71 0.00)
Co announced that it received notice from Nasdaq indicating that Nasdaq had granted the co's request for an extension of time to regain compliance with the $1.00 per share minimum bid price requirement set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(a)(1) by June 7, 2010.
OIH Oil Service HOLDRS Trust stalled near 50 day ema resistance off the open, has slipped under first hour range low at 120.61 in recent trade (120.50 +1.27) -Technical-
BHI +2.1%, BJS +2%, CAM +1.4%, DO +2.2%, ESV +2% (pause near 50 day), HAL +3.1%, NBR +1%, NE +1% (pause near 50 day), NOV +0.9% (pause near 50 day), RDC +1.9%, SII +1.5%, SLB +0.8% (pause near 50 day), TDW +1.3% (pause near 200 day), WFT +2.1%.
SO Southern Co confirms it received DOE support for nuclear units (31.58 +0.40) -Update-
Co confirms that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has offered its subsidiary Georgia Power a conditional commitment for loan guarantees for the construction of the nation's first nuclear power units in more than 30 years, a move designed to help spur a renaissance in America's nuclear industry. The new units will be located at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Ga., where the company already owns and operates two nuclear units. The conditional commitment is for loan guarantees that would apply to future borrowings related to the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4. Total guaranteed borrowings would not exceed 70 percent of the company's eligible projected costs, or approximately $3.4 billion, and are expected to be funded by the Federal Financing Bank. Any guaranteed borrowings would be full recourse to Georgia Power and secured by a first priority lien on the company's 45.7 percent ownership interest in the two new units.
TECHX Both TRIN readings highly bullish through today's 1st 90 min. of trading -Technical-
TRIN readings on both primary trading exchanges signal very muted selling pressures throughout the first hour-and-a-half of trading today. Currently, NYSE TRIN is registering a bullish reading @ +.50, while NASDAQ TRIN indicates an even more bullish bias/tone with current readings @ +.40.
Any significant levels below the 1.0 neutral line suggest sellers are mostly absent from market/price action while notable reading above 1.0 suggest sellers are active & present.
COMDX Crude oil trades to fresh highs at $77.19; now higher by 3.03 to $77.16
XHB SPDR Homebuilders sets new high for the month, pauses shy of Jan/five month close high (16.01 +0.13) -Technical-
Although the XHB has outperformed the S&P since Dec it failed to confirmed the new highs in the market averages which was a red flag. The relative strength has accelerated over the last eight sessions with the XHB establishing a new high for the month today at 16.10 -- Click for chart. Resistances of interest above are at 16.22 (Jan/five month close high), 16.35/16.47 (Jan intraday high/52-wk close high Sep) -- LEN +1.7% (probing its 52-wk close high at 17.38), SPF +5.1%, HD +0.9% (tested 52-wk close high at 29.29), LOW +0.9% (paused near 50 ema), SHW +0.9%, MHK +1.6% (tested/paused near 50 ema). RYL +0.6%, DHI +0.4%, KBH +0.8%, NVR +0.7%, LEG +1.7%.
EXK Endeavour Silver exercises early purchase of El Porvenir Cuatro Properties, Guanacevi District, Durango, Mexico (3.56 +0.19)
Co announces the early exercise of its option to purchase the El Porvenir Cuatro properties. Co acquired a two year option to purchase the Porvenir Cuatro properties in February, 2009, commenced exploration drilling in July, 2009 and announced the discovery of a new zone of high grade, silver-gold mineralization in September, 2009. By the end of 2009, Endeavour had completed 31 drill holes totalling 9,176 meters of core drilling at Porvenir Cuatro.
LRY Liberty Prop announced that Stephen D. Steinour, chairman, president, and ceo of Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) has joined Liberty's board of trustees (30.02 +0.51)
PNCL Pinnacle Airlines announces repayment of remaining 3.25% senior convertible notes due 2025 (7.93 -0.65)
Co announced that substantially all of the holders of its remaining $31 mln par amount of 3.25% senior convertible notes due 2025 (the "Notes") elected to require the co to repurchase the notes at the par amount plus accrued interest. The co will repurchase substantially all of the notes on February 16, 2010.
SPY New session highs for stock indices -- S&P +10, Dow +94, Nasdaq +19 -- Dollar Index slips to new day session low -Update- -Technical-
BAC Bank of America pushes to new high of 14.82, hovering modestly under resistance zone at its 200 sma/last week's high at 14.93/14.96 (14.80 +0.35) -Update- -Technical-
DBB 1st hour sector ETF view -Technical-
Actively Traded Leading Sector ETF Plays:
Base metals- DBB +4.0%, SPDRS metals & mining- XME +3.50%, Solar power- TAN +3.75%, Crude/WTI oil- USO +3.50%, OIL +3.50%, Heating oil- UHN +3.75%, Steel- SLX +3.50%, RBOB gas- UGA +3.0%, Commods- GSG +2.75%, DBC +2.50%, Coal- KOL +2.50%, Silver- SLV +2.50%, iShares Brazil- EWZ +2.25%, Gold- GLD +2.25%, Gold miners- GDX +2.25%, iShares S Korea- EWY +2.0%, Emerging mkts- EEM +1.75%, Global shippers- SEA +1.75%
Actively Traded Lagging Sector ETF Plays:
VIX vol index- VXX -3.25%, Biotech- BBH- 0.50%, IBB -0.50%, XBI -0.25%, US bonds- TLT -0.25%, US Dollar index- UUP -0.50%
COMDX Crude oil continues to rally, trading to fresh highs at $76.86; now up $2.72 to $76.85
TGT Target gaps higher after upgrade, extends to/pauses near last week's high/20 day at 49.70/49.73 --session high 49.73 (49.66 +1.02) -Update- -Technical-
LOJN LoJack announces that Richard T. Riley will retire as chairman of the board effective May 20, 2010. (4.34 0.03)
NIHD NASDAQ 100 (NDX) leaders & laggards moving through today's 1st hour of trading -Technical-
NDX 100 Best % Performers:
NIHD +7.50%, FSLR +6.0%, STLD +4.25%, STX +3.0%, ADSK +3.0%, EXPD +2.75%, WYNN +2.25%, EBAY +2.50%, JOYG +2.25%, ERTS +2.0%, MRVL +1.75%
NDX 100 Worst % Performers:
RIMM -2.50%, RYAAY -2.0%, CTAS -2.0%, PPDI -1.25%, GILD -1.25%, AMZN -1.0%, ATVI -0.75%, CHKP -0.75%, TEVA -0.75%
NASDAQ TRIN @ +.50
NASADQ A/D +555
MRK Dow (INDU) leaders & laggards moving through today's 1st hour of trading -Technical-
INDU Best % Performers:
MRK +2.50%, CVX +2.25%, BA +1.75%, BAC +1.75%, GE +1.75%, MSFT +1.50%
INDU Worst % Performers:
NYSE TRIN @ +.50
NYSE A/D @ +1300
HOT Starwood Hotels announces $4 bln strategic expansion that will add approximately 50 new hotels and over 20,000 rooms over the next three years (36.88 -0.07)
Co announced that through a strategic expansion that will add ~50 new hotels and over 20,000 rooms over the next three years. Starwood and its partners are investing more than $4 bln in new hotel openings across four continents.
SLX Mkt Vctrs Steel Sector ETF vacillating near early Feb high/50 ema at 59.00/58.95 (59.01 +1.70) -Technical-
ATI +2.7%, CLF +6.2%, SID +1.8%, GGB +2.4%, NUE +1.9%, PKX +3.2%, RS +1.8%, RTP +3.1%, VALE +3.2%, GNA +2%, TX +0.9%.
SPY S&P 500 +8.7 vacillating near opening range high, Dow +76 has slightly penetrated, Nasdaq +12.8 has further work to reach range high -Update- -Technical-
XLB Materials SPDR early sector leader pauses near resistance its early Feb highs at 31.60/31.62 -- session high 31.54 -Technical-
AA +1%, DOW +0.9% (holding just under Fri. high/50 day sma), IP +2.2% (holds near last wk high at 23.30), MON +1.8% (tested 20 day/last wk high at 77.50/77.60), NEM +0.8% (edged back off 50 day), NUE +1.9%, PX +1%, WY +1.4%, FCX +2.2% (high 75.92, 50 ema 76.37), APD +1.8%, PPG +0.9%.
COOL Majesco Entertainment announced that Data East Arcade Classics for Wii has shipped to retailers nationwide (0.82 -0.01)
SPAR Spartan Motors announced a new order for 22 Metro Star Pumper chassis for the Beijing Fire Department (5.93 +0.06)
Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors (SPAR), announced a new order for 22 Metro Star Pumper chassis for the Beijing Fire Department. The order is the largest ever from China since the company first began doing business there in 2002. Under the terms of the contract, Spartan will provide the chassis to Itasca, Illinois-based W.S. Darley & Co. Darley will add the body and pump systems to fulfill the order. The vehicles are scheduled for second/third-quarter delivery.
COIN Converted Organics partners with syndicated gardening radio show to drive organic fertilizer sales in New England (0.88 0.00)
Co announced today that, as part of a comprehensive 2010 retail growth strategy, co will launch a grassroots marketing initiative in mid-March in conjunction with The Paul Parent Garden Club talk radio show. The marketing campaign is designed to drive retail sales of Converted Organics' organic fertilizer products throughout New England.
TAN Claymore Solar ETF displaying relative strength after last week hold near support (8.58 +0.25) -Update- -Technical-
Last week noted support at the Nov low (8.12) amid the roughly 30% decline off the Jan peak and it held near on both Wed. and Friday. Today's extension of the Friday bounce leaves it back near last week's peak at 8.60 (session high 8.58) with the Jan low just above at 8.67.
FSLR First Solar moves to session highs with technical trading levels in play surrounding the 120.00 resistance level up through the current Feb. high point @ 120.30 (119.87 +4.77) -Technical-
HoD now @ 119.88 +3.95%
SPY Stock indices jump higher off the open, edging back off resistances -Update- -Technical-
The market jumped broadly higher off the open but have seen several of the averages slip back after probing initial resistance zones. The IWM Russell 2000, MDY S&P 400 Mid-Cap, Nasdaq Comp and QQQQ have paused near their 50 day, the S&P has held near the 38% retracement of the Jan-Feb decline at 1084.97 (session high 1085.13) with the Dow pausing near resistance noted in The Technical Take at 10175 (session high 10177). The dip has been limited and watching support at Friday's rebound highs for a read on the underlying strength of the early sprint.
AMGN Amgen & Centocor Ortho Biotech products finalize ESA risk evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) with FDA (56.36 -0.12)
Co and Centorcor a Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) subsidary announced that the FDA has approved the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), which include Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa), EPOGEN (Epoetin alfa) and PROCRIT. The FDA has determined that a REMS is necessary for ESAs to ensure the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risks of shortened overall survival and/or increased tumor progression or recurrence as identified in clinical studies in patients with breast, non-small cell lung, head and neck, lymphoid and cervical cancers.
K Kellogg shares under pressure following FDA warning (See 9:42) with technical levels in play surrounding the Feb. base/range-low @ 52.00/51.93 (52.00 -.34) -Update- -Technical-
LoD now stands @ 52.00 with 52.00 support being tested.
TECHX Opening Point Gainers/Losers -Technical-
Point Gainers: TRA (+7.05), RTP (+5.95), FSLR (+3.90), BIDU (+3.56), CF (+3.83), NIHD (+3.06), IOC (+2.76), GOOG (+2.39), CLF (+2.46), RRC (+2.02), DGIT (+2.18)
Point Losers: UTHR (-2.46), WLP (-1.56), ENOC (-1.51), SA (-1.41), RIMM (-1.64), PNCL (-1.33), AMZN (-1.15), STEC (-1.21)
IWM iShares Russell 2000 pulling back after opening run to its 50 day at 61.80 -- session high 61.77 -Technical-
MDY MidCap SPDRs tests/edging back from resistance (130.81 +0.92) -Technical-
The Mid-Caps outperformed last week with it gapping higher off the open to test resistance at its 50 day sma and Feb peak at 131.25/131.59 before slipping back off this area in recent trade (session high 131.51).
GPC Genuine Parts beats by $0.11, beats on revs (38.19 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.62 per share, $0.11 better than the First Call consensus of $0.51; revenues fell 1.9% year/year to $2.47 bln vs the $2.4 bln consensus. "We are encouraged by the sequential improvement across all of our business segments during the final quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2009, our Automotive sales were up 6%, our Office Products Group was down 4%, our Industrial Group sales were down 11% and our Electrical Group was down 12%. We observed some early signs of improving market conditions in the latter part of 2009 and we feel this bodes well for a stronger performance in 2010. We are fortunate to operate in four good industries."
COMDX Natural gas gives up all of its gains to trade into negative territory; now off 0.5 cents to $5.463
XLE Energy Select Sector gap higher to start the week (56.34 +0.75) -Technical-
The XLE gapped higher off the open and has tested/paused near the early month gap top at 56.42 (session high 56.45). Note that its 50 day ema comes into play modestly above at 56.61 (50 sma at 56.93) -- CVX +2%, COP +1.3%, DVN +2.5%, XOM +1%, MRO +2.8%, OXY +1.4%, SLB +0.8%, APA +2.2%, XTO +0.7%, APC +3.5%.
GS Goldman Sachs breaks above last week's high, probes early month gap at 156.06 -- session high 156.00 (155.70 +1.77) -Technical-
The top of the gap comes in at 157.11.
RIMM Research In Motion shares lag most widely watched NDX 100 counterparts AAPL, AMZN, BIDU, & GOOG (70.24 -1.09) -Technical-
SPY S&P 500 runs to top end of first level resistance zone at 1084 -Technical-
Its 20 day ema and congestion come into play at 1089/1090.
BVN Buenaventura SA provides update on strike (34.82 +1.14)
Co announces that a strike has affected the Orcopampa, Uchucchacua and Antapite mining units since Saturday, February 13, 2010. The strike has been promoted by personnel from the Company and contractors who are demanding a review of the workers' profit sharing from years 2006 - 2008, in addition to increases in workers' profit sharing for 2009.
KFT Kraft Foods slides back near last week's low at 28.35 in opening action. (28.36 -0.74) -Update- -Technical-
LPTH LightPath sees increasing demand and revenue from aspheres for industrial laser tools (2.03 -0.15)
Co announces it is seeing increasing demand in the strategic market of molded aspheres for consumer and industrial laser tools. Current open orders for these products are valued over $1.8 mln with more than 25% growth anticipated over the next several quarters. After a year of volume production shipments to multiple OEM manufacturers, the acceptance of molded aspheres as a replacement for spherical doublets and triplets has surpassed LightPath's initial expectations. Molded aspheric lenses are being adopted because they provide a cost savings and are easier to assemble over traditional high volume spherical doublet and triplet lenses without sacrificing performance.
XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR testing last week's high of 14.06 in opening trade, its 200 day ema is at 14.12 (14.03 +0.08) -Technical-
BAC +1.3%, AXP +1.3%, JPM +1%.
TSEM Tower Semicon to expand global capacity based on customer momentum (1.26 )
The co announces it has accelerated plans for additional capacity expansion to meet customer demand, which is exceeding current capacity. In the company's Fab2 located in Israel, capacity will increase by approximately 30,000 wafers per year in order to meet the greatly expanding needs of customers for its wide range of specialty process technologies. In the company's manufacturing facility located in Newport Beach, CA, capacity will be increased by 36,000 wafers per year to enable the fab to accommodate the substantial increase in demand necessitating more than 100% utilization. The total payments to purchase the equipment by TowerJazz are expected to be approximately $15 million, resulting in an increase of approximately 66,000 wafers per year. Based on customer forecasts, this cost-effective investment has a rate of return (ROR) of two quarters.
STNR Steiner Leisure announces appointment of Michael Indursky as President of Bliss World (42.09 )
Co announced the appointment of Michael Indursky as president of Steiner's recently acquired Bliss World Holdings subsidiary, effective March 8, 2010. In that capacity, Mr. Indursky will be responsible for the worldwide operations of the Bliss and Remede brands.
NG NovaGold Resources reaches agreement on terms of litigation settlement (6.05 )
Co announces that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding to settle outstanding securities class action lawsuits in both the United States and Canada, in which NovaGold and certain of its directors and officers were named as defendants. On Dec. 22, 2008, a consolidated class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York consolidating similar complaints of violations of U.S. Securities laws. On Oct. 14, 2009, a similar notice of action was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Canada and on Oct. 28, 2009, the same parties were named as defendants in a class action lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. All three actions alleged misrepresentations, misstatements and omissions in various public statements and filings concerning NovaGold's Galore Creek Property.
CTT Competitive Technologies expanded the U.S. sales team for its Calmare Therapy medical device (1.43 )
Co announced that it has expanded the U.S. sales team for its Calmare Therapy medical device. CTT has contracted with five U.S. sales representatives and will be hiring a new Vice President of U.S. Sales for the medical device. The company looks forward to significantly increased revenues during 2010. Revenues for the fiscal second quarter, ended January 31, 2010, have increased from those of the prior quarter, primarily reflecting increases in U.S. sales of the medical device. CTT has already received shipping instructions from its European distributor to ship 50 units to Europe during the third quarter ending April 30, 2010.
On The Wires
StemCells (STEM) announces the launch of GS2-M, a new cell culture medium that enables the derivation and long-term maintenance of true mouse induced pluripotent stem cells... Apache Corporation (APA) announces that oil production has commenced at the Van Gogh development in Production License WA-35-L in the Exmouth Basin, offshore Western Australia... Yuri Itkis Gaming Trust announces that it has extended its cash tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of common stock of FortuNet (FNET) to February 17, 2010, unless further extended... Mentor Graphics (MENT) announces that it has acquired the Virtual Garage product line from Freescale, a technology co.
TBUS DRI Corp announces new multi-year global supply agreement with Volvo of Sweden (1.62 )
Co announces that its Mobitec A.B. subsidiary in Sweden has signed a new multi-year global supply agreement with Volvo Bus Corp. As part of the new multi-year agreement, Mobitec will provide electronic destination sign systems to Volvo worldwide.
JDAS JDA Software issues FY10 guidance (27.25 )
Co issues mixed guidance for FY10 (Dec), sees EPS of $1.85-2.00, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.15 First Call consensus; sees FY10 (Dec) revs of $590-625 mln vs. $588.09 mln consensus. Co sees software rev of $125-135 mln for the year, with FCF of $80-90 mln. "So far, I am delighted to be able to report that everything that we predicted for the i2 acquisition appears to be on track. Our integration plans are proceeding well, the early feedback from our customer outreach program is positive, we still expect to see gross profit compression in the first year and we are confident that this transaction is going to be immediately accretive for JDA, delivering substantial growth in earnings per share and resultant cash flow from operations."
CVM CEL-SCI Corp reports Q1 operating loss of ($4,252,849) versus an operating loss of ($2,551,823) during 1Q08 (0.63 )
"We concluded December 31, 2009 quarter in the strongest financial condition ever, with more than $36 million in cash and cash equivalents, allowing us to self-fund our upcoming pivotal Phase III study with our cancer drug Multikine. We are excited that we are in position to move Multikine through the clinic without losing rights to any of the major markets and to continue to develop our L.E.A.P.S. technology platform in areas such as H1N1 and Rheumatoid Arthritis."
XOM Exxon Mobil announces 2009 reserves replacement (64.80 )
Co announces that additions to its proved reserves in 2009 totaled 2.0 billion oil-equivalent barrels, replacing 133 percent of production. Excluding the impact of asset sales, reserves additions replaced 134 percent of production. The corporation's reserves additions in 2009, the highest in the decade, reflect new developments with significant funding commitments as well as revisions and extensions of existing fields resulting from drilling, studies and analysis of reservoir performance. Reserves additions from the Papua New Guinea LNG project and the Gorgon Jansz LNG project in Australia totaled almost one billion oil equivalent barrels. Proved additions were also made in many other countries including Canada, the United States, Angola and Norway. At year-end 2009, ExxonMobil's proved reserves base, utilizing the corporation's definition of year-end reserves, increased to 23.3 billion oil-equivalent barrels, split approximately evenly between liquids and gas (51 percent liquids, 49 percent gas). The 2009 proved developed reserves add of 2.9 billion oil-equivalent barrels was also the highest in the decade driven by the successful startup of a number of significant projects. This increased the portion of proved reserves already developed to 67 percent.
CBE Cooper Industries announces an increase in dividends from $1.00 to $1.08 per share on an annual basis (43.78 )
SOLR GT Solar Announces Richard Gaynor as Chief Financial Officer
REFR ID Research Pty acquires license from smart glass co Research Frontiers to produce SPD-Smart Light control film and SPD-Smart architectural products (2.94 )
ID Research Pty acquired a license from Research Frontiers (REFR), the developer and licensor of patented VaryFast SPD-Smart light-control film technology. The non-exclusive license grants iGlass the worldwide right to manufacture and sell SPD emulsion and film to end-product licensees of REFR, and also grants iGlass the right to manufacture and sell SPD-Smart architectural end-products in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. This license provides for a 15% royalty to REFR on sales of licensed SPD-Smart architectural products including windows, doors, skylights, atria, partitions and curtainwalls. The minimum annual royalties and other license terms were not disclosed. The license follows a $1.5 mln grant to iGlass from the Government of Victoria's Science Agenda (VSA) Investment Fund for "Electro Responsive Material Coatings for Switchable Automotive Tinted Glass." In discussing this and other productivity and sustainability projects funded by the VSA, Acting Innovation Minister Tim Holding noted, "We are committed to supporting and encouraging innovation that drives Victoria's economy. Through the $145 mln VSA, we're investing in projects that boost the state's capacity to turn new ideas and technologies into valued products, services and solutions."
ECONX Reminder: Net Long-Term TIC Flows data due out in about 12 min at 9:00ET
DSX Diana Shipping agrees to invest us$50 million for a 38% stake in previously announced new containership project (13.65 )
Co announces that it has agreed to invest US$50 million in the previously announced new project involving a company formed for the purpose of investing in containerships. The investment by Diana Shipping is equivalent to an interest of approximately 38% of the common shares of the new company. The balance of the new company's common shares is being purchased by institutional and accredited investors in a private transaction. The proceeds raised in the private transaction from Diana Shipping and the other investors are expected to be used primarily to invest in containerships over the next 12-18 months.
GIS General Mills outlines long-term growth plans; reaffirms FY10 EPS guidance of $4.52-$4.57 (69.49 )
Co reaffirms FY10 EPS guidance of $4.52-$4.57 vs. $4.60 First Call consensus. Co also outlined several strategies to fuel sales growth, including a focus on growing consumer segments such as baby boomers, millennial families, and the rising middle class in emerging markets around the world. The company also said it will continue to follow its successful business model, which uses holistic margin management to protect margins and fuel investment in product innovation and consumer marketing. H.M.M. savings from supply chain initiatives alone are targeted at $1 bln over the next three years, and $4 bln over the next decade. GIS announced specific financial goals for its 2015 fiscal year, in line with this model. Net sales are expected to grow to $18 bln by 2015. Segment operating profits are projected to grow faster than sales over this period and reach $3.6 bln by 2015. The company expects earnings per share to grow at a high single-digit compound annual rate to reach $6.75 per share by 2015.
CEG Constellation Energy announces $90 million solar capital commitment (32.39 )
Co announces that it will support the development of commercial photovoltaic power systems with a $90 million solar capital commitment. To maximize the value of government renewable incentives, the $90 million set-aside will be available for customer-sited solar installations of 500 kilowatts or larger which begin construction before mid-year 2010.
VAL Valspar beats by $0.08, beats on revs; reaffirms FY10 EPS guidance (26.66 )
Reports Q1 (Jan) earnings of $0.36 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.08 better than the First Call consensus of $0.28; revenues rose 5.1% year/year to $672.4 mln vs the $661 mln consensus. Co reaffirms guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $1.85-2.05, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.00 consensus. "Improved top-line results, particularly in our Paints segment and in Asia, contributed to our strong earnings performance. New business and share gains, together with our focus on productivity and cost control, are helping to offset ongoing weakness in U.S. industrial markets. Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, we expect top-line growth consistent with our current results and continuing upward pressure on raw material costs. We are confident that we will deliver fiscal year 2010 adjusted net income per share in the range of $1.85 to $2.05, excluding restructuring charges."
DRI Darden Restaurants sees Q3 EPS ahead of consensus; raises FY10 EPS growth expectations (38.99 )
Co issues upside guidance for Q3 (Feb), sees EPS of $0.91-0.93, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.80 First Call consensus. Co raises guidance for FY10 (May), sees EPS up 5-8% YoY vs up 0-4% previously, we calculate this to be FY10 EPS of $2.78-2.86, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.74 consensus. The co stated that it estimates Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse's blended U.S. same-restaurant sales for the third quarter to be approximately -0.5% to +0.5% compared to the prior year period. Fiscal third quarter U.S. same-restaurant sales are estimated to be approximately +1.0% to +1.5% at Olive Garden, -1.0% to -1.5% at Red Lobster, +0.5% to +1.0% at LongHorn Steakhouse and -2.5% to -3.0% at The Capital Grille. These results include the impact of a shift in the Thanksgiving holiday week, which moved to the fiscal second quarter this year from the fiscal third quarter last year. This holiday shift should positively affect the Company's blended same-restaurant sales results by approximately 80 basis points in the fiscal third quarter. "The signs of sales and traffic improvement we began to see late in the second quarter and discussed during our December conference call with investors continued into January and February. As a result, we are revising upward our outlook for same-restaurant sales and earnings per share for the fiscal year. We recognize, of course, that conditions continue to be far from normal. Still, we believe our brands are well positioned and our teams are delivering more than ever on our promises to our guests. Great brands and great people explain the tremendous loyalty we've enjoyed so far this fiscal year and are why we're confident going forward. The co indicated that its outlook for diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations for fiscal 2010 is based on its expectation that combined U.S. same-restaurant sales for the fiscal year for Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse will be approximately -3%, as well as its expectation that it will achieve new restaurant growth for the year of approximately 50 to 55 net new restaurants."
COMDX Gold, silver and crude oil all tick to their best levels of the morning
Gold now higher by $28.10 to $1118.10; silver is up 44.3 cents to $15.89; crude oil is higher by $1.37 to $75.50.
On The Wires
Sequenom (SQNM) announces the launch of the SensiGene Fetal test by Sequenom's CAP accredited and CLIA-certified laboratory, Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine. This is the company's second laboratory developed test powered by its SEQureDx technology... CSC (CSC) announces a global strategic alliance with Qnamic AG, a leading supplier of software solutions for the rail industry... JDSU (JDSU) announces that it was recently selected by a major mobile communications service provider to support its mobile backhaul transition from time-division multiplexing to Ethernet...Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) announces that it has been awarded two ED-SAT blanket purchase agreements by the U.S. Department of Education to provide technical assistance and educational policy analysis services to support the Department's policy, program and performance evaluation, assessment, and research efforts... IBM (IBM) announces that it has acquired Intelliden, a provider of intelligent network automation software that enables organizations such as telecommunications companies to configure, manage and scale their networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.
EP El Paso announces Northeast upgrade project (10.05 ) -Update-
Co announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, has executed binding, 20-year term agreements with Chesapeake Energy Marketing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK), and StatOil Natural Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Statoil (STO), for 100 percent of the capacity for its Northeast Upgrade Project. The project will provide 636,000 dekatherms per day of incremental firm transportation capacity from TGP's 300 Line in Pennsylvania to an interconnect in New Jersey to serve growing markets in the Northeast. The Northeast Upgrade Project is a natural extension of TGP's presence in the heart of the developing Marcellus Shale play. The project would cost approximately $400 million with a majority of the capital spending taking place during 2013.
DTSI DTS announces changes to the board of directors (26.36 )
Co announced that Dan Slusser and Joe Fischer will retire from the board and not seek reelection following the expiration of their current terms in June 2010. Mr. Slusser has served on the DTS board since 1997 and will step down from his role as Chairman, effective immediately, but will remain on the board through the end of his term. Mr. Fischer has served on the board since 2003 and will remain Chairman of the Audit committee through the end of his term. The co further announced that Jon Kirchner, current president and ceo, has been appointed chairman, effective immediately, and that Joerg Agin, a long time director, has been appointed Lead Independent Director. In addition, the co announced that Brad Duea will join the Board effective March 1, 2010.
RIG Transocean announces that its Board authorizes CHF 3.5 bln share repurchase and seeks shareholder approval for US$1.0 bln dividend (83.38 )
The Board of Directors has also decided to recommend that the company's shareholders at their May 2010 annual general meeting approve and authorize the Board of Directors to pay a dividend denominated in Swiss francs for an amount equivalent to approximately US$1.0 billion, or about US$3.11 per share (based on currently outstanding shares), converted to Swiss francs at the exchange rate prevailing two business days prior to the annual general meeting. The dividend would take the form of a reduction of the par value of the company's shares, and if approved, will be paid in four equal installments with expected payment dates in July 2010, October 2010, January 2011 and April 2011.
ALKS Alkermes announces "positive" results for Phase 1 Study of new drug candidate for treatment of opioid-induced constipation (11.85 )
Co announced positive topline data from a phase 1 clinical study of ALKS 37, an orally active, peripherally-restricted opioid antagonist with potential to block the effects of opioid agonists on gastrointestinal motility. Data from the study showed that ALKS 37 was generally well tolerated and as predicted, demonstrated low systemic exposure across a wide range of doses. Based on these positive results, Alkermes expects to initiate a multi-dose phase 1 study in March 2010 as well as a phase 2 study to assess safety, tolerability and efficacy of ALKS 37 in individuals with OIC by the end of the first half of calendar 2010.
ECONX Reminder: Empire Manufacturing data due out in about 17 min at 8:30ET
On The Wires
Kensey Nash Corporation (KNSY) announces that it has received the CE Mark for the Company's Cartilage Repair Device. This approval allows for the marketing and sale of the Device, which incorporates a unique biomaterials technology for treating articular cartilage defects of the knee... Bridgepoint Education (BPI) announces that Ashford University has signed an articulation agreement with the Yuba Community College District, headquartered out of Marysville, California... PTC (PMTC) announces that Greaves Cotton Limited has chosen to expand enterprise wide adoption of PTC's Windchill across all four business units. Windchill will be used to streamline and optimize Greaves Cotton's product development processes... Hi-Tech Pharmacal (HITK) announces that its branded marketing subsidiary, ECR Pharmaceuticals will promote Urocit-K 15mEq, potassium citrate extended release tablets to primary care physicians beginning in April, 2010... CIBER Federal, a division of CIBER (CBR), announces that it has been selected by the Georgia Port Authority to provide various security systems and services, including integrated and comprehensive video surveillance, wireless communications, radar, TWIC compliant access control, and a Command & Control solution for the port... SRI/Surgical Express (STRC) announces a four-year national brand distribution agreement with Cardinal Health's medical and surgical supply chain business. The agreement appoints Cardinal Health (CAH) as a non-exclusive, authorized distributor of SRI products... AK Steel (AKS) announces that it will increase spot market base prices by $50 per ton, effective immediately with all new orders for its carbon steel products. AK Steel said that the price increase is in response to increased demand for carbon steel products, as well as the need to recover higher costs... Brocade (BRCD) and McAfee (MFE) have entered a strategic partnership to deliver a broad set of fully interoperable end-to-end network security solutions. As part of the partnership, Brocade will work in conjunction with McAfee to integrate critical security capabilities into the Brocade family of networking products... Novo Nordisk (NVO) announces that Victoza is now available in the United States. Victoza is the first once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 analog for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
TSTR TerreStar promotes Jeffrey W. Epstein and Vincent Loiacono (0.90 )
Co announced that Jeffrey W. Epstein has added Chief Executive Officer duties to his position at TerreStar Corporation and its subsidiaries, and will assume the title of President & CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Epstein has served as President of TerreStar since April 2008. The Board of Directors also promoted Vincent Loiacono to Chief Financial Officer of TerreStar Corporation and its subsidiaries, effectively immediately. Mr. Loiacono has been TerreStar's Chief Accounting Officer since November 2008.
CTAS Cintas issues in-line Q3 and Q4 rev guidance; downside Q3 and Q4 EPS guidance (24.60 )
Co issues mixed guidance for Q3 (Feb), sees EPS of $0.29-0.31 vs. $0.37 First Call consensus; sees Q3 (Feb) revs of $850-860 mln vs. $857.95 mln consensus. Co issues mixed guidance for Q4 (May), sees EPS of $0.30-0.34 vs. $0.41 consensus; sees Q4 (May) revs of $870-890 mln vs. $888.93 mln consensus. "We stated on December 22, 2009, that we had seen some stabilization in our business this fiscal year, and that we continued to expect a very slow recovery in the job market. Additionally, we indicated our third quarter is traditionally our most challenging due to a reduced number of workdays and extended customer holiday closures. As a result, we stated at that time the current analyst expectations for Cintas revenue and earnings were too optimistic. We did not provide specific guidance due to continued uncertainties regarding job recovery and the approaching holiday period. However, we now believe we can provide revenue and earnings estimates due to continued stability in our business and increased revenue clarity... Growth in our businesses is greatly influenced by job recovery which tends to lag the general economic recovery. As we look to the fourth quarter of our fiscal year, we continue to expect a very slow improvement in the job market."
KOG Kodiak Oil & Gas provided an interim update on its Williston Basin drilling and completion activities (2.55 )
Co provided an interim update on its Williston Basin drilling and completion activities. Since commencing drilling activity in the middle Bakken on its Dunn County leasehold in November 2008, Kodiak has drilled and completed 10 oil producers, has an inventory of two wells awaiting initial completion activities and is drilling ahead in the horizontal leg of its thirteenth well. During the first part of 2010, the Company has completed drilling operations on three wells. All three wells were drilled as shorter laterals with horizontal lengths ranging from 4,200 feet to 4,800 feet. These wells represent the tenth, eleventh and twelfth wells drilled by the Company in Dunn County since operations commenced in late November 2008. Kodiak operates these three wells with a 60% working interest and a 49% net revenue interest. The Moccasin Creek #16-3-11H and the MC #16-3H wells were drilled on a two-well pad. The MC #13-34-3H well was drilled as part of a three-well pad that includes the MC #13-34-28-2H well, currently drilling in the lateral portion of the well bore, and the MC #13-34-28-1H. While the MC #13-34-3H well was drilled as a short lateral, the other two wells being drilled from the same pad are projected to be approximately 9,000-foot laterals. Kodiak operates the two longer laterals with a 45% WI and a 37% NRI and the shorter lateral with a 60% WI and a 49% NRI. Bakken producer with 4,729 foot lateral has initial production rate of 1,419 BOE/D
MRLN Marlin Business Services completes $80.7 mln term debt securitization (9.84 )
NUAN Nuance Communications has acquired MacSpeech (14.45 )
Co announced that it has acquired MacSpeech, the provider of speech recognition solutions for Apple Macintosh computers. The agreement will allow Nuance to extend the Dragon NaturallySpeaking family of products to the growing community of Mac users as a native Mac application.
CAVO Cavico signed a road construction contract with Global Petroleum Power Company (4.90 )
Co announced that it signed a road construction contract with Global Petroleum Power Company, an energy joint stock company. The revenue value of the contract is approximately $0.5 million. According the agreement, Cavico's majority-owned subsidiary, Cavico Transport is responsible for constructing a 2.5 kilometer service road that will lead to the Nam Pan 5 Hydropower Plant. Cavico expects to complete the service road construction within 120 days, once the overall project commences.
CPRT Copart announced today Allstate Insurance Company (ALL) has selected Copart as its exclusive national provider of vehicle sales and auction services -Update-
NVAX Novavax announces the election of Stanley Erck as Executive Chairman. The effective date of this leadership change is immediately. (2.40 )
IVAC Intevac receives order for five 200 Lean Gen II Systems (14.41 )
The co announces an order for five 200 Lean Gen II magnetic disk sputtering systems, scheduled for delivery in the second and third quarters of 2010. "We are pleased to receive this order, which reflects the continued strength of the hard drive industry and increased unit growth expected in 2010," commented Kevin Fairbairn, president and chief executive of Intevac. "This order provides some incremental capacity as these systems will replace existing legacy tools. Our backlog has now increased to include 23 200 Lean systems."
CLDX Celldex Therapeutics receives $3 million sublicense income payment from TopoTarget (4.46 )
Co announces that it has received a sublicense income payment of $3 mln from TopoTarget as a result of the recent co-development and commercialization agreement between TopoTarget and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) for Belinostat. In this transaction, TopoTarget granted Spectrum a license for the co-development and commercialization of Belinostat in North America and India, with an option for the Chinese rights, in exchange for an upfront cash payment of $30 million.
On The Wires
P.F. Chang's China Bistro (PFCB) announces a development and license agreement with Global Restaurant Concepts, a leading casual dining operator in the Philippines, to develop eight restaurants over the next five years. The first location is scheduled to open in Manila in the first quarter of 2011... Edwards Lifesciences (EW) announces the publication of new clinical data demonstrating reduced hospital stay and complications associated with the use of its minimally invasive FloTrac system for monitoring critical care patients when compared to standard hemodynamic monitoring... Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC) announces a joint-venture agreement with Mitsui E&P USA LLC, an affiliate of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (MITSY), whereby Mitsui will participate with Anadarko as a 32.5% partner in Anadarko's Marcellus Shale assets, primarily located in north-central Pennsylvania, for ~$1.4 bln. Mitsui will earn approximately 100,000 net acres in exchange for funding 100% of Anadarko's share of development costs in 2010, and 90% of these costs thereafter, with an estimated completion of all obligations by 2013. In addition, Mitsui will have the opportunity to purchase a 32.5% share of Anadarko's existing wells and additional acreage acquisitions by reimbursing a proportionate share of Anadarko's prior expenditures, currently estimated to be ~$100 mln... TowerJazz, a subsidary of Tower Semiconductors (TSEM) announces that it has accelerated plans for additional capacity expansion to meet customer demand, which is exceeding current capacity. In the company's Fab2 located in Israel, capacity will increase by approximately 30,000 wafers per year in order to meet the greatly expanding needs of customers for its wide range of specialty process technologies. In the company's manufacturing facility located in Newport Beach, CA, capacity will be increased by 36,000 wafers per year to enable the fab to accommodate the substantial increase in demand necessitating more than 100% utilization... Eagle Rock Energy Partners (EROC) announces its intention to deploy a currently idle high-efficiency cryogenic plant to the Texas Panhandle in order to increase efficiency and accommodate volume growth from the Granite Wash Play... Cherokee (CHKE) announces that it has entered into three new exclusive license agreements.
APWR A-Power Energy receives NDRC approval and makes cash contribution to Texas wind farm project co (11.74 )
Co announced that its subsidiary, Shenyang Power Group has completed the establishment of a project company related to the development of a 600MW wind farm in Texas and has made an initial cash contribution of $36.625 mln.
CECE CECO Environ. names Jeff Lang CEO (3.78 )
Co announces that its Board of Directors has appointed Jeff Lang to serve as the Company's Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Lang succeeds Phillip DeZwirek who will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board.
PDE Pride Intl fourth quarter 2009 results to include accrual pertaining to FCPA investigation (30.30 )
Co announced that it has accrued $56.2 mln in the fourth quarter of 2009 in anticipation of a possible resolution with the DoJ and the SEC of potential liability under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
WM Waste Mgt reports Q4 earnings; guides FY10 EPS in-line
Waste Mgt reports Q4 earnings of $0.64 per share, including a net benefit of $0.12 per diluted share consisting of an $81 mln income tax benefit resulting primarily from the favorable impacts of the carry-back of a capital loss and a revaluation of deferred taxes resulting from reductions in Canadian tax rates; a $20 mln reduction in net income from asset impairment charges; and a $3 mln reduction in net income from charges related to the restructuring announced in February 2009, may not be comparable to the First Call consensus of $0.48; revs fell 3% year/year to $3.01 bln vs $3.30 bln First Call consensus. Co issues in-line guidance, sees 2010 earnings of $2.09 to $2.13 per diluted share vs $2.13 First Call consensus.
NXY Nexen: Nomura to acquire Nexen Energy Marketing London of Nexen (21.79 )
Nomura announces that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Nexen Energy Marketing London Limited, a physical commodity trading and marketing business focused on European natural gas and power. NEML is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexen, a Canadian based exploration and production company listed in Canada and the US. NEML has trading activities in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany and access to a scalable physical platform, including natural gas storage and transportation capabilities. Nomura currently operates commodities businesses in Europe and Asia, primarily focused on providing commodity solutions to its institutional and corporate client base. The acquisition of NEML will be highly complementary to Nomura's existing Commodities franchise. The acquisition will also further enhance Nomura's highly regarded global investment banking franchise in the power and gas sector.
APC Anadarko Petro announces joint venture with Mitsui in the Marcellus Shale (65.32 )
The co announces a joint-venture agreement with Mitsui E&P USA, an affiliate of Mitsui, whereby Mitsui will participate with Anadarko as a 32.5% partner in Anadarko's Marcellus Shale assets, primarily located in north-central Pennsylvania, for approximately $1.4 billion. Mitsui will earn approximately 100,000 net acres in exchange for funding 100% of Anadarko's share of development costs in 2010, and 90% of these costs thereafter, with an estimated completion of all obligations by 2013. In addition, Mitsui will have the opportunity to purchase a 32.5% share of Anadarko's existing wells and additional acreage acquisitions by reimbursing a proportionate share of Anadarko's prior expenditures, currently estimated to be approximately $100 million.
AGAM AGA Medical beats by $0.05, beats on revs; guides FY10 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (14.30 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.17 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 better than the First Call consensus of $0.12; revenues rose 27.8% year/year to $54.2 mln vs the $52.3 mln consensus. Co issues mixed guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $0.49-0.54, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.60 consensus; sees FY10 revs of $221-226 mln vs. $225.66 mln consensus. Gross margins for the fourth quarter of 2009 were 85.9% compared to 82.3% in the prior year period. The increase in gross margin was due to higher average selling prices which were in part due to the distributor to direct conversions completed last year, as well as continued improvement in manufacturing efficiencies. In the prior year period, gross margins were unfavorably impacted as the company amortized the excess cost of inventory repurchased from distributors in territories that AGA Medical converted to direct distribution in 2008. Excluding this charge, gross margins would have been 84.5% in the prior quarter. The company's gross margins are expected to be approximately 85% and EBITDA is forecasted to be in the range of $56-59 million (EBITDA consensus is $65.3 mln). We expect this growth in EBITDA to result primarily from the co's anticipated ability to leverage previous investments in its sales, marketing and corporate infrastructure, as well as its expectation of declining legal expenses.
WTW Weight Watchers receives adverse U.K. tax ruling (28.92 )
Co announced that it recently received an adverse tax ruling from the U.K. First Tier Tribunal that its U.K. leaders should have been classified as employees for U.K. tax purposes and, as such, the co should have withheld tax from its leaders pursuant to the U.K. "Pay As You Earn" and national insurance contributions collection rules for the period from April 2001 to April 2007 with respect to services performed by the leaders for the co's U.K. subsidiary, Weight Watchers (UK) Limited. Although the co is considering all of its options, it fully expects to seek an appeal of this adverse ruling. In light of this recent adverse ruling, the co now expects to record a charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 in the amount of approximately $37 mln for the period from April 2001 through the end of fiscal 2009, inclusive of estimated accrued interest. This current and prior period charge results in a reduction to fiscal 2009 earnings per fully diluted share of ~$0.33, of which approximately $0.29 relates to prior periods and ~$0.04 relates to fiscal 2009. Both the prior period and the current year reduction to fiscal 2009 earnings per fully diluted share were not included in the co's full year 2009 earnings guidance range.
ADS Alliance Data provides private label performance update for January 2010 (53.86 )
Co announces provided an update on its Private Label Credit segment. Co says that YoY portfolio growth was 22%. Net charge offs as a percentage of average managed receivables was 10%.
VNDA Vanda Pharma reports Q4 results (10.63 )
Vanda Pharma reports Q4 earnings of ($0.34) vs ($0.16) First Call consensus; revs of $4.55 mln vs $3.34 mln First Call consensus. Co reports that their primary objective over the next quarter is to conserve cash while supporting the Fanapt launch. In addition, the Company intends to engage in discussions with several foreign regulatory agencies to review their filing requirements with respect to Fanapt(TM). Vanda also plans to continue the clinical, regulatory and commercial evaluation of tasimelteon. Although Vanda incurred transaction-related costs of approximately $6.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, which included financial advisor fees, consulting fees, legal expenses and employee bonuses, and $2.0 million in Fanapt inventory costs, Vanda's fixed overhead costs are expected to be ~$10.0 mln to $12.0 mln annually. Vanda will recognize revenue of $26.8 million in 2010 for the amortization of the deferred upfront payment received from Novartis.
ONCY Oncolytics Biotech receives approval from the U.K. MHRA to conduct Phase 3 Trial for REOLYSIN in head and neck cancers (3.08 )
Co announced that it has received a letter of approval from the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to conduct its Phase 3 trial examining REOLYSIN in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in patients with platinum-refractory head and neck cancers. This is the same trial that the Company previously reached an agreement on with the FDA under the Special Protocol Assessment process.
CAG ConAgra reaffirms 2010 EPS guidance of $1.73 vs $1.75 First Call consensus; announces $500 mln share repurchase program (23.40 )
CAG also sees Annual sales growth of 3 to 4% over the long term; annual EPS growth of 8% to 10% over the long term
GGWPQ Gen Growth Prop: Simon Property Group (SPG) makes $10 bln offer to acquire General Growth; shareholders would receive more than $9.00 per General Growth share (9.40 )
Simon Property Group (SPG) announced that it has made a written offer to acquire General Growth Properties (GGWPQ.PK) in a fully financed transaction valued at more than $10 billion, including approximately $9 billion in cash. Simon's offer would provide a 100% cash recovery of par value plus accrued interest and dividends to all General Growth unsecured creditors, the holders of its trust preferred securities, the lenders under its credit facility, the holders of its Exchangeable Senior Notes and the holders of Rouse bonds, immediately upon the effectiveness of a definitive transaction agreement. This consideration to creditors totals approximately $7 billion. General Growth shareholders would receive more than $9.00 per General Growth share, consisting of $6.00 per share in cash and a distribution of General Growth's ownership interest in the Master Planned Community assets valued by General Growth at more than $3.00 per share. Simon is also prepared to offer Simon common equity instead of the cash consideration, in whole or in part, as payment to those General Growth shareholders or creditors who would prefer to participate in the upside of owning stock in Simon. Under Simon's offer, the existing secured debt on General Growth's portfolio of assets would remain in place. The Official Committee of General Growth's Unsecured Creditors has advised Simon that it supports the Simon offer, and encourages General Growth to engage with Simon promptly to allow the proposed transaction to be considered by General Growth's creditors and shareholders as soon as possible.
PLAB Photronics enters into new credit facility and repays its previously existing credit facility and term loan (4.09 )
Co announced today that it has entered into a new three-year revolving credit facility in the amount of $50 million, with an expansion capability to $65 million. In connection therewith, Photronics repaid all outstanding amounts of its previously existing credit facility and term loan which was due to mature on January 31, 2011. The new credit agreement provides for reduced interest rates and covenant amendments, collectively, to the benefit of Photronics.
TEG Integrys Energy Group executive chairman Larry Weyers to retire March 31, 2010 (41.16 )
Co approved executive chairman Larry L. Weyers' request to retire on March 31, 2010. This is in keeping with the plan announced in late 2008 when Charles A. Schrock was selected to succeed Weyers as president and ceo of Integrys. Schrock will assume the additional role of Chairman, effective April 1, 2010. Weyers agreed to stay on as executive chairman of the board during a transition period and to oversee the co's strategy to divest of all or part of its nonregulated subsidiary, Integrys Energy Services. The objectives of this strategy have now been achieved.
PMI PMI Group: Fannie Mae approves PMI Mortgage Assurance Co. as an eligible mortgage insurer (2.41 ) -Update-
The PMI Group (PMI) principal operating subsidiary, PMI Mortgage Insurance, announced that Fannie Mae (FNM) has approved PMI Mortgage Assurance as a direct issuer of mortgage guaranty insurance. PMAC is an existing subsidiary of MIC. Pursuant to Fannie Mae's approval, PMAC may write new mortgage insurance business, if any, in 16 states in the event MIC is required to cease writing new mortgage insurance business due to its financial condition, including its inability to meet regulatory capital requirements applicable to mortgage insurers. Fannie Mae's approval is subject to certain conditions and restrictions, including a limitation on PMAC's new business volumes, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2011.
DSCO Discovery Labs receives FDA guidance regarding pathway to Potential SURFAXIN approval (0.69 )
Co announces today that, in response to written guidance recently received from the FDA, it will now focus on a pathway that would entail solely performing additional preclinical work, instead of conducting a limited clinical trial, to potentially gain FDA marketing approval for Surfaxin for the prevention of Respiratory Distress Syndrome in premature infants. Based on prior guidance received from the FDA, Discovery Labs expected that a limited, pharmacodynamic-based clinical trial in preterm infants would be required to address the sole remaining Chemistry, Manufacturing & Control issue regarding the final validation of a fetal rabbit Biological Activity Test necessary for Surfaxin approval. The recently-received guidance from the FDA advises that since an acceptable and well-established animal model of RDS already exists and this model could be used as an acceptable alternative to a clinical trial in human preterm infants, that a PD clinical trial approach is not appropriate. Compared to the conduct of a PD clinical trial, a comprehensive preclinical program, if successful, presents an opportunity to significantly reduce the time and expense required to gain potential Surfaxin approval and Discovery Labs believes a Complete Response could be submitted to the FDA in the first quarter of 2011.
INTC Intel and Nokia will create a unified Linux-based platform (20.43 )
Intel Corporation and Nokia are merging their Moblin and Maemo software platforms. This will create a unified Linux-based platform that will run on multiple hardware platforms across a wide range of computing devices. Called MeeGo, the open software platform will accelerate industry innovation and time-to-market for a wealth of new Internet-based applications and services and exciting user experiences. MeeGo-based devices from Nokia and other manufacturers are expected to be launched later this year.
MSFT Microsoft unveiled the next generation of Windows Phones (27.93 )
Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows Phones, Windows Phone 7 Series. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7 Series.
FOSL Fossil beats by $0.12, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus; guides FY10 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (34.22 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.03 per share, $0.12 better than the First Call consensus of $0.91; revenues rose 13.7% year/year to $527.8 mln vs the $521 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.31-0.33 vs. $0.30 consensus; sees Q1 revs increasing 12.0-14.0% from 1Q09 (translates into approx $361.79-368.25 mln vs. $344.71 mln consensus). Co issues upside guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $2.25-2.35 vs. $2.21 consensus; sees FY10 revs increasing 10.0-12.0% (translates into $1.7-1.73 bln vs. $1.65 bln consensus). Co announces $20 mln share repurchase program.
TNDM Neutral Tandem misses by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides FY10 revs in-line; announces $25 mln share buy-back program (15.18 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.31 per share, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.32; revenues rose 28.1% year/year to $44.7 mln vs the $45 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY10, sees FY10 revs of $185-200 mln vs. $192.95 mln consensus. The increase in fourth quarter revenue was primarily related to an increase in the number of minutes carried over our network and continued penetration into existing markets. Billed minutes increased 32.0% to 23.8 billion minutes for the three months ended December 31, 2009, compared to 18.1 billion minutes for the three months ended December 31, 2008. Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, for the full year of 2010 is expected to be between $81 million and $96 million (EBITDA consensus is at $90.5 mln). Billed minutes for the full year of 2010 are estimated to be between 109 billion and 118 billion minutes. Neutral Tandem also announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $25 million of its outstanding common stock as part of a stock repurchase program. "We believe that the current share price does not accurately reflect our long-term growth prospects and therefore represents an investment opportunity for both the company and our stockholders."
HOKU HOKU Scientific's chairman, president, and ceo Dustin Shindo stepping down (2.35 )
Co announced that Dustin Shindo is stepping down as chairman, president, and chief executive officer, effective March 31, 2010. Scott Paul, Hoku's coo, has been unanimously approved by the board to succeed Mr. Shindo as president and ceo and has been nominated to serve on the board effective April 1, 2010.
On The Wires
Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI) announces that it has closed on an amended and restated three-year $500 mln unsecured revolving credit facility. The amended facility will mature in February of 2013. Borrowing rates under the amended facility float at a margin over LIBOR, plus a facility fee... Local.com Corporation (LOCM) announces the acquisition of 10,000 web hosting subscribers, bringing the company's total subscribers to over 50,000... Eurand N.V. (EURX) announces the grant of U.S. Patent No. 7,658,918, titled "STABLE DIGESTIVE ENZYME COMPOSITIONS," by the United States Patent and Trademark Office .... MAP Pharmaceuticals (MAPP) announces the Company initiated a trial to compare the pharmacokinetics, safety and metabolic profiles of LEVADEX orally inhaled migraine therapy with intravenous dihydroergotamine mesylate in smokers and non-smokers.... Informatica Corporation (INFA) announces that the Office of State Revenue, a department of the Treasury of the State of New South Wales, Australia is implementing the Informatica Identity Resolution solution... Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT) announces that it has entered into an agreement with Orbotech (ORBK) under which Ultra Clean will provide manufacturing services to Orbotech at one of Ultra Clean's two facilities in Shanghai. Ultra Clean Microelectronics Equipment, a subsidiary of UCTT, will assemble products from Orbotech's Supervision range of high-speed automated optical inspection systems for applications in the manufacture of flat panel display products.
VQ Venoco announces reserves and operations update (12.90 )
Co announces that its total proved oil and gas reserves as of December 31, 2009 were 98.3 mln barrels of oil equivalent at SEC pricing of $61.04 per barrel of oil and $3.87 per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. The company's production in 2009 was approx 7.5 MMBOE or 20,622 BOE per day. Net of production, the company added 12.2 MMBOE of proved reserves in its Sacramento Basin assets, including 2.7 MMBOE from a mid-year acquisition. In its Southern California assets, the company added 2.8 MMBOE to proved reserves net of production. In its Texas assets, which the company has announced are for sale, reserves, pro forma for the sale of Hastings and net of production, were flat. Year-end 2009 reserves net of production increased 18% compared to year-end 2008 reserves, pro forma for the February 2, 2009 sale of the Hastings field, of 89.8 MMBOE. The company replaced 210% of its 2009 production. The company expects 2009 all-in finding and development costs will be approx $12.12 per BOE and that organic finding and development costs, which exclude proved property acquisitions, will be approx $13.63 per BOE. The pre-tax PV-10 value of the company's reserves using SEC pricing of $61.04 per barrel for oil and $3.87 per MMBTU for gas is $801 mln. The company's estimate of reserves using the December 31, 2009 NYMEX 5-year strip pricing is 101.3 MMBOE. The pre-tax PV-10 value using the NYMEX 5-year strip pricing is $1.67 bln. See the end of this release for a reconciliation of PV-10 to a standardized measure.
AEIS Advanced Energy beats by $0.13, beats on revs; guides Q1 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (14.25 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.04 per share, $0.13 better than the First Call consensus of ($0.09); revenues fell 1.6% year/year to $66.4 mln vs the $59.3 mln consensus. Gross margin improved significantly to 36.8% in the fourth quarter, up from 30.1% in the third quarter of 2009 and 27.2% for the fourth quarter of 2008. The sequential improvement was driven largely by leverage against our fixed costs from the increase in revenues. Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $0.13-$0.17 vs. ($0.03) consensus; sees Q1 revs of $77-$83 mln vs. $66.85 mln consensus.
ENMD EntreMed receives orphan drug designation for ENMD-2076 in Leukemia (0.82 )
Co announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation for the Company's lead oncology drug candidate, ENMD-2076, for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. The FDA accepted EntreMed's application upon review of preclinical data as well as initial data from its ongoing Phase 1 clinical study with ENMD-2076 in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
ZIGO Zygo board unanimously rejects unsolicited proposal from II-VI (10.60 )
Co announced that the it's board has unanimously rejected the January 5, 2010 proposal from II-VI for the acquisition of all the outstanding common shares of ZYGO for $10.00 per share. In rejecting the proposal, the Board said that ZYGO is not for sale and that it is in the best interests of its shareholders to allow ZYGO's newly-named CEO, industry veteran Dr. Chris L. Koliopoulos, to pursue a standalone strategy to increase shareholder value. Dr. Koliopoulos, a recognized leader in the optics industry with an exceptional track record of delivering growth and increasing value at advanced optical instruments companies, was named President and CEO on January 19, 2010 and Chairman on February 12. Said Dr. Koliopoulos, "The Board strongly believes ZYGO's shareholders will be best served by keeping the company independent and pursuing its long-term strategy. ZYGO is a great company with industry-leading products and technologies, strong positions in its core optical and metrology markets, and significant growth opportunities. The Board and management team are moving forward quickly to leverage these strengths."
DHT Double Hull Tankers reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (3.51 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.08 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.08. The co notes that the reduced world-wide demand for oil, a result of the global economic slow down, continue to affect the number of cargoes available and the need for transportation in the tanker sector during the fourth quarter. At the same time there is a net increase in the fleet from deliveries of newbuildings. Combined, these factors continue the negative pressure on freight rates, which, together with the effect of the difficult credit market on capital available to finance vessels, has also had a severe adverse affect on vessel values.
DGIT DG FastChannel beats by $0.09, beats on revs (29.15 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.40 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.09 better than the First Call consensus of $0.31; revenues rose 10.6% year/year to $57.5 mln vs the $54.2 mln consensus. Fourth quarter 2009 revenue from the delivery of high definition (HD) advertising content increased 78% to $21.4 million compared to $12.0 million in the same period of 2008. "Overall, DG FastChannel enters 2010 with confidence in its position and opportunities for additional revenue growth."
Q Qwest reports EPS in-line, revs in-line (4.43 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.08 per share, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.08; revenues fell 9.7% year/year to $2.99 bln vs the $3.02 bln consensus. Co expects to report improving revenue comparisons over the course of 2010 with the year-over-year decline improving to a low- to mid-single digit rate by the fourth quarter. Qwest expects to achieve full year 2010 adjusted EBITDA in a range of $4.3 to $4.4 bln. In 2010, Qwest expects full year pension and post-retirement benefit expenses to be ~130 million, a decline of ~$70 mln from 2009 levels. The outlook for full year 2010 capital investments is $1.7 bln or lower. The company may continue to use lease financing in 2010 for some of its capital investments. Full year adjusted free cash flow is expected to be $1.5 to $1.6 bln.
SRE Sempra Energy, RBS agree to sell european and asian commodity operations to J.P. Morgan (49.48 )
Sempra Energy (SRE) announced that it and The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have agreed to sell the European and Asian operations of their RBS-Sempra Commodities joint venture to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) for an expected $1.7 bln, subject to distributions prior to closing. The final purchase price will be determined at the close of the transaction, based on the tangible book value of the business, plus a fixed premium of $468 million. Sempra Energy's share of the sale proceeds is expected to be approximately $940 mln. Through the transaction, J.P. Morgan will acquire RBS Sempra Commodities' global metals and oil businesses, and European natural gas and power businesses. RBS Sempra Commodities will retain its North American natural gas and power businesses.
CPLA Capella Education beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides Q1 revs above consensus; guides FY10 revs above consensus (70.55 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.88 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.86; revenues rose 24.7% year/year to $94.5 mln vs the $93.4 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q1, sees Q1 revs of $97.8-99 mln vs. $93.62 mln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for FY10, sees FY10 revs of $416-423 vs. $404.73 mln consensus. "For fiscal year 2010, we expect average quarterly enrollment to increase by 25 to 27 percent and revenue to grow by 24.5 to 26.5 percent year-over-year. Operating income for 2010 is expected to grow by 35 to 45 percent year-over-year, which would translate to operating margins of 21 to 22 percent. For the first quarter ending March 31, 2010, enrollment is expected to grow by 30 to 32 percent and revenue by 28 to 30 percent compared to first quarter 2009. The operating margin is anticipated to be approximately 20 to 21 percent of total revenue for the first quarter of 2010. "Capella's excellent fourth quarter and full year results for 2009 showcase the benefits of our strategy to stay focused on learners, educational quality and excellence in operations. The demand fundamentals for our business are very strong and we see continued opportunities to improve our operational performance."
ANF Abercrombie beats by $0.04, misses on revs (33.85 )
Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.91 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the First Call consensus of $0.87; revenues fell 4.6% year/year to $936 mln vs the $953.7 mln consensus. Comparable store sales decreased 13%. The gross profit rate for the fourth quarter was 63.5%, 110 basis points lower than last year's fourth quarter gross profit rate. The decrease in gross profit rate was primarily driven by a lower average unit retail, partially off-set by a reduction in average unit cost. In addition, gross profit for the quarter was affected by unplanned markdowns on spring product that will go straight to clearance or outlet stores. In Fiscal 2010, the Company expects to open Abercrombie & Fitch flagship stores in Copenhagen, Denmark and Fukuoka, Japan and a Hollister Epic store on Fifth Avenue in New York. Additionally, the Company expects to open approximately 30 international mall-based Hollister stores. Based on current new store plans and other planned expenditures, the Company expects total capital expenditures to be in the range of $250 million to $260 million, including $215 million to $225 million related to new stores, store refreshes and remodels, and approximately $35 million related to information technology, distribution center and other home office projects.
MRK Merck reports EPS in-line, beats on revs (36.92 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.79 per share, which excludes certain impacts of the merger, including a $7.5 bln pretax gain associated with obtaining the controlling interest in the Merck/Schering-Plough partnership, purchase accounting adjustments, merger-related expenses as well as all restructuring costs, in-line with the First Call consensus of $0.79; revenues rose 67.3% year/year to $10.09 bln vs the $9.7 bln consensus. The co continues to target a high single-digit non-GAAP EPS compound annual growth rate for the combined company from 2009 to 2013 when compared to Merck 2009 non-GAAP EPS. Given the fourth quarter 2009 close of the merger with Schering-Plough, Merck expects to provide 2010 financial targets around the time of its first quarter 2010 sales and earnings announcement in April.
TNDM Neutral Tandem $25 mln share repurchase program (15.18 )
Co announced today that its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $25 mln of its outstanding common stock as part of a stock repurchase program. The repurchases, which are expected to be funded from by the co's current cash position of ~$161.4 mln, may occur in open market, negotiated or block transactions. As of December 31, 2009, the co had ~33.6 mln shares of common stock outstanding.
On The Wires
Athersys (ATHX) announces that it has completed patient enrollment for its phase I clinical trial of MultiStem. Top line results of the trial are expected to be announced midyear, upon completion of the four-month patient follow-up visits and analysis of results... Delcath Systems (DCTH) announces that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow the Company to initiate an Expanded Use - Intermediate Size Population protocol for the hepatic arterial infusion of melphalan with venous filtration via the Delcath PHP System for patients with ocular and cutaneous melanoma metastatic to the liver... Fluor Corporation (FLR) announces that Elecnor S.A. has awarded the company an engineering services contract for a new 50 megawatt concentrating solar power plant in Badajoz, Spain. Fluor will book the undisclosed contract value in the first quarter of 2010.
TEVA Teva Pharm misses by $0.01, reports revs in-line (58.86 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.94 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.95; revenues rose 33.5% year/year to $3.8 bln vs the $3.81 bln consensus.
S&P futures vs fair value: +10.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.80.
Nikkei...10034.25...+21.00...+0.20%. Hang Seng...Holiday.........
PMI PMI Group misses by $1.09 (2.41 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) loss of $2.76 per share, $1.09 worse than the ($1.67) First Call consensus; revenues declined 7.4% year/year to $170.58 mln vs $179.73 mln consensus.
THS TreeHouse Foods announces $400 mln senior notes offering to fund Sturm Foods acquisition (41.33 )
GMXR GMX Resources announces 14.1 MMCF/D Haynesville/Bossier horizontal well (9.54 )
Co announces the completion of the Mia Austin #1H Haynesville/Bossier horizontal well with a 14.1 mln cubic feet of gas per day initial production rate. The well has a 4600 foot lateral, with 12 frac stages and was flowing on a 20/64 choke with 5492 pounds of Flowing Casing Pressure. This is the first of four H/B Hz wells the Company expects to complete during the first quarter of 2010.
IOC InterOil announces year-end 2009 gross best case resource estimate of 1.52 billion barrels of oil equivalent (66.97 )
Co announces the details of the independent engineering evaluations prepared by GLJ Petroleum Consultants, which evaluated the resources at the Elk/Antelope field in Papua New Guinea effective as at December 31, 2009, and was prepared in accordance with the definitions and guidelines in the COGE Handbook and National Instrument 51-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas Activities (NI 51-101). The GLJ Report provides a best case estimate of 8.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 156.5 million barrels of condensate. This compares to the year-end 2008 best case contingent resources estimate of 3.4 Tcf of natural gas and 59.3 MMBbls. This amounts to a 141% percent increase from 631 million barrels of oil equivalent to 1.52 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
CBZ CBIZ misses by $0.04, misses on revs; guides FY10 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (6.89 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.02 per share, $0.04 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.06; revenues rose 2.3% year/year to $162.3 mln vs the $174.3 mln consensus. Co issues downside guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $0.54-0.56, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.61 consensus; sees FY10 revs of $762-777 mln vs. $793.78 mln consensus. Same-unit revenue for the quarter decreased by 9.1% and newly acquired businesses contributed $18.1 million, or 11.4%, to revenue growth. "In 2010, CBIZ expects to grow revenue within a range of 3% to 5% and expects to improve earnings per share from continuing operations within a range of 4% to 7% over the $0.52 per diluted share reported for 2009, excluding the impact of the previously announced charges in 2010 for the consolidation of facilities in connection with recent acquisition activity. Cash flow is expected to remain strong, and CBIZ expects EBITDA of approximately $90 million in 2010."
GEOI GeoResources provides an interim operations update (12.82 )
Co provided an interim operations update on its joint venture in the Bakken Shale trend of the Williston Basin. To date, the Company has participated in 42 wells drilled by its joint venture operator and has realized a 100% success rate. In addition, the Company owns minor working interests in more than 140 wells within the Bakken/Three Forks play. Co says their joint venture continues to acquire acreage in this expanding play and is currently running four drilling rigs continuously.
RTEC Rudolph Tech receives $5 mln in capacity orders for metrology production tools from tier one memory manufacturer (8.11 )
OSK U.S. Army affirms FMTV contract award to Oshkosh (38.33 )
Co announces the U.S. Army has affirmed the contract award to OSK, originally received on Aug. 26, 2009, to produce the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. The bids of all three competitors for the FMTV program were re-evaluated by the U.S. Army in response to recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office following a review of competitors' protests of the original contract award to Oshkosh. The FMTV rebuy program is a five-year, firm fixed-price requirements contract for the production of up to 23,000 vehicles and trailers, as well as support services and engineering.
RIGL Rigel Pharma and AstraZeneca sign license agreement for late-stage development product - fostamitinib disodium - for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (9.43 )
AstraZeneca (AZN) and co announce a license agreement for the global development and commercialization of fostamatinib disodium, Rigel's late-stage investigational product for rheumatoid arthritis and additional indications.
TRA Terra Industries to be acquired by Yara International for $41.10/share in cash (33.25 )
Co announces that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Yara International ASA will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Terra common stock for $41.10 per share in cash. The transaction has a total equity value of approx $4.1 bln.
On The Wires
AVI BioPharma (AVII) announces that CureDuchenne and the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, each awarded grants of $250,000 to AVI BioPharma to support continued research and development of the co's exon skipping drug candidates for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
GPC Genuine Parts raises annual dividend to $1.64/share from $1.60/share (38.19 )
TV NII Holdings and Televisa agree to Televisa investment in Nextel Mexico (18.64 )
NII Holdings (NIHD) and Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. announce that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Televisa will acquire an equity stake in NII Holding's operating subsidiary in Mexico, Comunicaciones Nextel de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. Under the agreement, Televisa will invest $1.44 bln in cash for an initial 30% equity stake in Nextel Mexico, which reflects an implied pre-investment value of Nextel Mexico of $4.3 bln. Televisa will also be granted an option to acquire an additional 7.5% equity interest in Nextel Mexico that will be exercisable on either the 3rd or 4th anniversary of the completion of the initial investment. NII Holdings will continue to hold the remaining equity interests in Nextel Mexico and Nextel Mexico's proven management team led by Peter Foyo will continue to manage the wireless operation.
CHE Chemed beats by $0.12, beats on revs, issues FY10 guidance (49.40 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.06 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.12 better than the First Call consensus of $0.94; revenues rose 3.8% year/year to $303.3 mln vs the $299.7 mln consensus. Net revenue for VITAS was $217.6 million in 4Q09, which is an increase of 5.7% over the prior-year period. This revenue growth was the result of increased ADC and admissions of 2.7% and Medicare price increases of approx 3.5%. FY10 guidance: VITAS expects to achieve FY10 revenue growth, prior to Medicare Cap, of 5.0% to 6.0%. Admissions in 2010 are estimated to increase 2.0% to 4.0% and full-year Adjusted EBITDA margin, prior to Medicare Cap, is estimated to be 15.0% to 15.5%. FY10 guidance includes $5.0 million of estimated Medicare contractual billing limitations during 2010. Roto-Rooter expects to achieve full-year 2010 revenue growth of 1.0% to 3.0%. The revenue estimate is a result of increased pricing of 3.0%, a favorable mix shift to higher revenue jobs, offset by a job count decline estimated at 2.0% to 4.0%. Adjusted EBITDA margin for 2010 is estimated in the range of 17.5% to 18.0%. Management estimates FY10 EPS from continuing operations, excluding non-cash expenses for stock options, the non-cash increase in interest expense related to the accounting change for convertible debt interest expense and other items not indicative of ongoing operations will be in the range of $4.05 to $4.20.
CW Curtiss-Wright beats by $0.02, beats on revs; guides FY10 EPS below consensus, revs in-line (29.60 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.76 per share, $0.02 better than the First Call consensus of $0.74; revenues fell 0.9% year/year to $502.8 mln vs the $494.9 mln consensus. Co issues guidance for FY10, sees EPS of $2.15-2.25 vs. $2.29 consensus; sees FY10 revs of 1.80-1.85 bln vs. $1.84 bln consensus. period. The sales change in the quarter consisted of a $17 million (or 3%) organic sales decrease, partially offset by $7 million of incremental revenues from our 2009 acquisitions of EST and Nu-Torque, as well as favorable foreign currency translation which increased sales $6 million. Organic sales were primarily impacted by our Flow Control and Metal Treatment segments, which declined 7% and 17%, respectively. These declines were partially offset by organic growth of 9% in Motion Control segment. From a market perspective, overall sales to commercial markets declined by 9% due to lower sales in our commercial power, oil and gas and general industrial markets. These declines were partially mitigated by strong overall sales growth in defense markets of 12%, particularly aerospace defense.
BRO Brown & Brown misses by $0.05, misses on revs (17.70 )
Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.17 per share, $0.05 worse than the First Call consensus of $0.22; revenues fell 7.7% year/year to $214.2 mln vs the $224.3 mln consensus.
CPRT Copart announces CEO/Chairman Willis J. Johnson will relinquish title of CEO to A. Jayson Adiar, Copart's current President, effective February 15, 2010 (33.70 )
MITSY Anadarko announces joint venture with Mitsui in Marcellus Shale (299.39 )
Anadarko (APC) announces a joint-venture agreement with Mitsui E&P USA LLC, an affiliate of Mitsui & Co., Ltd, whereby Mitsui will participate with Anadarko as a 32.5% partner in Anadarko's Marcellus Shale assets, primarily located in north-central Pennsylvania, for approx $1.4 bln. Mitsui will earn approx 100,000 net acres in exchange for funding 100% of Anadarko's share of development costs in 2010, and 90% of these costs thereafter, with an estimated completion of all obligations by 2013. In addition, Mitsui will have the opportunity to purchase a 32.5% share of Anadarko's existing wells and additional acreage acquisitions by reimbursing a proportionate share of Anadarko's prior expenditures, currently estimated to be approx $100 mln.
On The Wires
Idera Pharmaceuticals (IDRA) presents data on the evaluation of a Toll-like receptor antagonist in a preclinical hyperlipidemia model at the Keystone Symposia conference "Advances in Molecular Mechanisms of Atherosclerosis" being held in Banff, Alberta, Canada; treatment with the antagonist resulted in reduced serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, leptin, hepatic and kidney steatosis, and body weight gain compared to control mice on high-fat diet... The PMI Group's (PMI) principal operating subsidiary, PMI Mortgage Insurance, announces that Fannie Mae has approved PMI Mortgage Assurance as a direct issuer of mortgage guaranty insurance... During January 2010, ExpressJet (XJT) reported revenue passenger miles totaled 611 mln, and available seat miles flown were 849 mln. ExpressJet's January load factor, operating as Continental Express, was 72%... Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) announces that its subsidiary, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, has signed an agreement with Novartis to settle patent litigation involving Teva's U.S. generic version of Novartis' (NVS) Famvir125 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg tablets including all claims for patent infringement and damages... Pulte Homes (PHM) founder William J. Pulte will retire effective March 31, 2010... Ness Technologies (NSTC) was awarded a $4 mln outsourcing contract by Israel's Ministry of Interior.
Reminder: U.S. markets will be closed on Monday, Feb 15 in observation of Presidents Day
ATEC Alphatec files $100 mln mixed securities shelf offering in its form S-3 (4.70 +0.13)
MPW Medical Properties Trust files to sell common and preferred stock in its form S-3ASR (9.97 +0.16)
UNS Unisource Energy increases quarterly dividend by $0.10 to $0.39 (30.52 )
Co has declared a Q1 dividend for common shareholders of $0.39 per share. The dividend will be paid on March 8, 2010, to common shareholders of record as of February 23, 2010. In 2009, the co's quarterly dividend was $0.29 per share.
ROY International Royalty announces that it will delist from the NYSE Amex and deregister from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its transaction with Royal Gold (6.48 )
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