WGL Holdings Inc.

Published : January 04th, 2016

4:15 pm WGL Holdings' Washington Gas to file new application with Virginia State Corporation Commission to acquire natural gas reserves

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4:15 pm WGL Holdings' Washington Gas to file new application with Virginia State Corporation Commission to acquire natural gas reserves

11:56 am European Markets Closing Prices (:SUMRX) : European markets are now closed; stock markets across Europe performed as follows:

  • UK's FTSE:+0.7%
  • Germany's DAX:+0.3%
  • France's CAC:+0.3%
  • Spain's IBEX:+0.2%
  • Portugal's PSI:-0.3%
  • Italy's MIB Index:+1.2%
  • Irish Ovrl Index:+0.5%
  • Greece ASE General Index: -0.6%

11:52 am WPP Group plc subsidiary Hill+Knowlton Strategies acquires Acertys; terms not disclosed (WPPGY) : Acertys is a Montreal-based public engagement company

11:43 am Volkswagen AG reports December sales of 30956 units, down 9.1% YoY (VLKAY) :

  • Tiguan delivered 4,900 units, a 131.6% increase.
  • The Golf family of vehicles delivered 5,715 units, a 29.7% increase over the previous December.

11:43 am Micron displays relative strength up nearly +5% with price breaking above its December range highs along the $15-level (MU) : Note the downsloping 50-day simple/exponential moving averages above near 15.26/15.37.

11:39 am ING Groep to sell 33 mln ordinary shares in NN Group (NNGPF) (ING) :

  • ING announces its intention to sell 33 mln ordinary shares in NN Group. The ordinary shares will be sold by way of an accelerated book building offering to institutional investors. As part of the transaction, NN Group has stated its intention to repurchase NN Group ordinary shares from ING Group for an aggregate amount of EUR 250 mln.
  • Following a successful completion of the transaction, ING Group's stake in NN Group's outstanding capital is expected to decrease to 16.2% from its current 25.8%.

11:03 am Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. receives approval to use Organic Materials Review Institute Seal on Performacide (OBCI) :

  • Co announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Odorstar has received approval to use the Organic Materials Review Institute seal on its Performacide Chlorine Dioxide Generator System Disinfectant for Hard, Non-Porous Surfaces.
  • The OMRI seal means that the product may be used in certified organic production or food processing and handling, according to the USDA National Organic Program.

11:01 am Fitbit at CES unveils the Fitbit Blaze (FIT) :

  • Fitbit Blaze is available today for presale with global retail availability starting in March 2016. 
  • Fitbit Blaze is available for $199.95.

10:50 am Northrop Grumman showing relative strength as price climbs back towards late-December highs... (NOC) : Early strength displayed after price found support yesterday on its pullback to the 50-day moving avg's along December lows in the 185-area. Note similar strength this morning seen among peer Aerospace/Defense stocks RTN, LMT, and LLL.

10:47 am Relative sector strength (:TECHX) : Sectors that have continued to display relative strength vs. the S&P include: Casino BJK (LVS, CZR, PNK, WYNN, MGM, IKGH, ISLE, MCRI), REITs IYR, Pharma PPH, Utility XLU.

10:40 am S&P -0.1 and Nasdaq Comp +4 hold on check-back to initial thrust highs (:TECHX) : The initial thrust highs off yesterday's lows were established at midday yesterday (2005 S&P and 4889 Nasdaq Comp) and tested in recent trade (noted at 09:51) -- session lows 2006 and 4890.

10:36 am Mylan Labs launches Norgestimate and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets, generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo tablets, in the U.S (MYL) :  

10:31 am Relative sector weakness (:TECHX) : Sectors that have underperformed the S&P during the pullback off early market highs include: Oil Service OIH, Energy XLE, Crude Oil USO, Bank KBE, Reg Bank KRE, Housing XHB, Transports IYT, Airline JETS, Discretionary XLY, Industrial XLI.

10:27 am American Express (-2%) breaks down to 33 month low (AXP) : AXP fell 25% in 2015 as co lost share at the high end of the very competitive payments market.

10:19 am Indices pull back off opening highs -- Dow -29, S&P -0.2, Nasdaq Comp +4 (:TECHX) : As noted at 09:51 the major averages had tested and paused at/near first level resistances from The Technical Take.  While they have pulled back they are still above the supports highlighted at the initial thrust highs from midday yesterday (4890 Nasdaq Comp, 2005 S&P and 17089 Dow) which keeps a more constructive short term pattern intact. 

10:03 am Fossil confirms plans to Launch more than 100 wearables in 2016 - will include activity trackers and smart watches for many brands (FOSL) : Misfit, the wearable technology brand Fossil Group acquired in November 2015, will also launch new types of connected devices. The Misfit and Fossil brands will feature new wearables throughout the year. Fossil Group will launch new products throughout 2016, and all 100 styles will be available by Holiday 2016.

10:01 am Wi-LAN subsidiary enters into license agreement with Yokogawa for technology related to the automation of industrial facilities; terms not disclosed (WILN) :  

10:00 am Hexcel acquires remaining 50% Interest in Formax UK JV; financial times not disclosed (HXL) :

  • Co announces that it has acquired full ownership of Formax UK Limited. Hexcel acquired a 50% interest in the privately-owned company in December 2014.

9:51 am Major averages probe first level resistances -- Dow +28, S&P +5.7, Nasdaq Comp +11 (:TECHX) : First level resistances from The Technical Take have been probed this morning at 4920/4927 Nasdaq Comp (session high 4926), 2020/2022 S&P (session high 2020), and 17200/17210 Dow (session high 17195). A continued posture above the initial thrust highs from midday yesterday at 4890, 2005 and 17089, respectively, keeps a more constructive price pattern intact.

9:49 am General Motors releases December sales details with total sales +5.7% y/y to 290230 vehicles, retail sales +8.2% to 241724 (GM) : "The U.S. economy continues to expand and the most important factors that drive demand for new vehicles are in place, so we expect to see a second consecutive year of record industry sales in 2016"

9:48 am Opening Market Summary: Indices Open Above Flat Lines (:WRAPX) :

The major indices have all opened above their flat lines with the the S&P 500 (+0.4%) outpacing the Nasdaq (+0.3%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.2%).

Eight of ten sectors have opened in the green with health care (+0.7%) and consumer staples (+0.7%) leading the pack, while financials (+0.6%) and technology (+0.4%) follow. On the flipside, utilities (-0.8%) and energy (-0.2%) round out the bottom of the leaderboard.

In Treasuries, the benchmark note trades on its low with yield rising one basis point at 2.26%. 

Meanwhile in commodities, WTI crude has been able to trim its loss to 0.9% at $36.40/bbl.

9:42 am General Steel signed a series of restructuring agreements to effect the sale of its steel manufacturing business; anticipate De-NOx honeycomb catalysts business will contribute to growth and profitability in 2016 (still halted) (GSI) :

  • Due to persistently depressed market trends for the steel business in China, the co's steel manufacturing business had repeatedly suffered heavy net losses in recent years, and as the depressed market is expected to prolong in 2016 it is estimated that the steel manufacturing business will continue to further deplete the working capital. As previously announced, co had thoroughly evaluated strategic alternatives and been exploring optimal solutions for the divesture of its steel manufacturing business.
  • On December 30, 2015, the Board approved agreement to sell its wholly-owned General Steel (China) Co., Ltd. and its entire equity interest in Shaanxi Longmen Iron and Steel for $1 mln to an affiliate of Victory Energy Resource Limited. Comparatively, the net equity of the assets and liabilities included in the transaction was negatively valued by a third party.
  • Through the transaction, the Company expects to receive a net working capital injection of $1 mln, and realize a reversal of equity deficiency of ~$1.6 bln, benefiting from a large reduction in total liabilities. The transaction will also save the Company from incurring future losses and obligations from steel manufacturing. After the sale, the Company plans to focus on accelerating its cleantech business via its 84.5% equity ownership in Catalon Chemical, which develops and manufactures De-NOx honeycomb catalysts and industrial ceramics. Co will also own 32% of Tianwu Tongyong (Tianjin) International Trading, which mainly sources overseas iron ore for steel mills, and 99% of Maoming Hengda Iron and Steel, which holds valuable land assets worth an estimated RMB 250 mln.

9:39 am Modest recovery for market -- Dow +18, S&P +4.5, Nasdaq Comp +9.7 (:TECHX) : Early relative strength has been noted in: Biotech IBB (VRX, VRTX, ICPT, SGEN, GILD, ABMD, PRGO, MDVN), Social Media SOCL, Steel SLX, Retail XRT (WMT +1.3%), Home Const ITB, copper JJC, Defense PPA.

9:35 am Wal-Mart: DJIA component WMT now +1.15% as the top-performer in the index here early as price breaks out to a new 3-month high print (WMT) :  

9:32 am Sabra Healthcare REIT is expected to increase co's revolving borrowing capacity to $500 mln from $450 mln and increase its term loans to $245 mln and CAD $125 mln (SBRA) :

The Credit Facility is expected to increase Sabra's revolving borrowing capacity to $500 million (from $450 million) and, in addition, increase its U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar term loans to $245 million and CAD $125 million, respectively (from $200 million and CAD $90 million, respectively).The Credit Facility is expected to contain an accordion feature that can increase the total available borrowings to $1.25 billion (an increase from $750.0 million and CAD $140.0 million in our existing unsecured revolving credit facility and Canadian dollar term loan, respectively). The Credit Facility is expected to close in mid-January and closing is subject to customary terms and conditions.

9:30 am BOK Financial acquires Weaver and Tidwell Financial Advisors; terms not disclosed (BOKF) : The co announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Weaver and Tidwell Financial Advisors LTD d/b/a Weaver Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. This acquisition will increase BOK Financial's assets under management and administration by approximately $340 million and expand the company's wealth management reach in Texas.

9:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Global Genomics Group entered into a research collaboration with Sanofi (SNY) to identify new signaling pathways and targets involved in the etiology of coronary artery disease. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi and G3 will utilize G3's proprietary platform with data from its G3LOBAL Database to further unravel the molecular underpinnings of LDL-cholesterol regulation. G3 will receive undisclosed payments from Sanofi for the collaboration.
  • First Republic Bank (FRC) announced that Katherine August-deWilde has become Vice Chair of the co's Board
  • Affiliated Managers Group (AMG) acquired an equity interest in Baring Private Equity Asia. Baring Asia will use the proceeds of the transaction to fund the growth of its business and further align interests between its LPs and staff at the firm. As part of the transaction, Baring Asia's leadership has agreed to long-term commitments with the firm. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Aegon (AEG) appoints Mark Bloom as Global Chief Technology Officer and a member of the Management Committee, effective February 1, 2016
  • Orion Energy Systems (OESX) announced a Fortune 500 packaged food company selected Orion fixtures for its new multimillion-dollar production line expansion in Waterloo, Iowa.
  • Fluor Corporation (FLR) announced that its joint venture team was selected as the preferred bidder for a design-build and maintain project by the Arizona Department of Transportation to provide design, construction and maintenance services for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway. Fluor plans to book its share of the final contract value in 1Q16.
  • KONE (KNYJY) announced it has acquired the service, repair and modernization business of Capital Elevator Services, in Waldorf, Maryland, the US. Capital Elevator Services operates in the greater Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland areas.

9:22 am Ford Motor December US sales +8.4%; announces autonomous, smart car initiatives at CES (F) :

  • Ford Motor Company posts best U.S. December monthly sales results since 2005, selling 239,242 vehicles, up 8 percent (this is reportedly just below estimates). F-Series sales total 85,211 trucks in December, surpassing 85,000 sales for the first time in a decade; SUVs +13%.
  • Ford is developing ways to pair millions of SYNC-equipped vehicles globally with home automation devices or smart home products; half of consumers say they will buy at least one smart home product in the next year Ford is working to integrate SYNC Connect and Amazon Echo to provide voice control access between the car and home; drivers could also access Internet-enabled devices, such as lights, home security systems, TVs and garage doors
  • Ford and drone-maker DJI drive innovation in smart drone-to-vehicle software with DJI Developer Challenge
  • Ford is tripling its fleet of Fusion Hybrid autonomous research vehicles this year -- making the company's fully autonomous vehicle fleet the largest of all automakers -- and accelerating the development and testing of its virtual driver software in both urban and suburban environments

9:21 am Kaman Aerospace segment has been awarded an order for the procurement of Joint Programmable Fuzes w/ an expected total value of $93 mln from a foreign government (KAMN) : Delivery of the fuzes is anticipated to occur beginning in late 2016 through 2017.

9:17 am Solar3D announces that its operating subsidiaries have secured ~$12 mln via several new agreements to provide agricultural and commercial customers in the Northern California region (SLTD) :  

9:16 am Almost Family acquires Long Term Solutions for $20 mln in cash, a $6 mln note payable plus $11 mln in common stock; expected to be accretive to EPS between $0.20-0.25 in 2016 (AFAM) :

  • LTS is one of the largest providers of in-home nursing assessments for the long-term care insurance industry.
    • Results for 2015 include about $16 mln in revs generated from performing over 60k in-home assessment visits.
  • Co has acquired 100% of the equity of LTS for $20 mln in cash, a $6 mln note payable plus $11 mln of common stock.
  • The cash portion of the purchase price was funded on the co's revolving credit facility.
  • LTS is expected to be accretive to EPS between $0.20 and $0.25 in 2016.

9:15 am S&P futures vs fair value: +1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.90. (:WRAPX) :

The stock market is on track for a flat open with S&P 500 futures trading two points above fair value after climbing off their pre-market lows.

Overnight, equity markets in Asia struggled to rebound as the Shanghai Composite traded between a 3.2% loss and a brief 1.0% gain. The index ended its session down 0.3% despite the People's Bank of China injecting 130 billion yuan or roughly 20 billion dollars in cash through open market operations. 

Switching to company news, Smith & Wesson (SWHC 25.05, +1.77) is trading higher by 7.6% after the company raised guidance on Q3 from $0.27-0.29 to $0.39-0.41 and FY 2016 from $1.26-1.31 to $1.36-1.41. The company is also receiving a boost ahead of President Obama's announcement of executive action regarding stricter licensing requirements and expanded background checks for firearms. 

Meanwhile in commodities, WTI crude saw a brief move into positive territory before the commodity returned its advance and dropped steadily. Oil trades lower by 1.1% at $36.32/bbl.

In Treasuries, the benchmark note trades off of its high with yield on the 10-yr note lower by one basis point at 2.24%.

9:11 am Partner Comms notifies Orange (ORAN) of its decision to terminate the Orange brand license agreement (PTNR) : Partner will continue providing goods and services under the Orange brand name until further announcement.

9:07 am Marsh McLennan's Mercer acquires CPSG Partners; terms not disclosed (MMC) : CPSG Partners is a 'leading' Workday (WDAY) services partner

9:02 am Curtiss-Wright receives contracts valued in excess of $450 mln, with a total potential value of ~$500 mln including incentives (CW) :

  • Co announces that it has been awarded contracts valued in excess of $450 mln, with a total potential value of ~$500 million including incentives, by Harbin Electric Power Equipment Company and Shenyang Blower Works Nuclear Pump Company primarily to provide AP1000 plant reactor coolant pumps for Generation III+ commercial nuclear power plants.
  • Co will provide a total of sixteen reactor coolant pumps supporting various AP1000 plant sites in China. The shipment of RCPs linked to these contracts is not expected to begin until 2019.
  • In November, the Company successfully completed the shipment of the first pair of AP1000 RCPs for Sanmen Unit 1 in China, the world's first AP1000 nuclear power plant, and recently completed the shipment of the second pair of RCPs for Sanmen Unit 1. Curtiss-Wright expects to ship the remaining twelve RCPs under this original China contract during 2016.

9:02 am I.D. Systems secures $2.4 mln in VMS orders during December; expects to generate predictable, recurring revenue over a multi-year period from post-deployment hosting/support services (IDSY) : Under the terms of the collective series of contracts, I.D. Systems will deliver its latest-generation VAC4 and third-generation VAC3 VMS products. In addition to recognizing upfront product sales, I.D. Systems expects to generate predictable, recurring revenue over a multi-year period from its post-deployment hosting and support services.

9:02 am CytRx announces settlement of California Stockholder derivative lawsuit (CYTR) :

Co has reached an agreement to settle its consolidated stockholder derivative lawsuit, In Re CytRx Corporation Stockholder Derivative Litigation, pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • The settlement includes no financial or equity compensation.
  • It provides that CytRx will implement certain corporate governance changes and modify certain governance practices, many of which have already been implemented over the past 12 months.
  • The parties have not yet reached an agreement on an amount of fees and expenses to the plaintiffs' attorneys, but the settlement is not dependent on such agreement or the amount of any fees and expenses approved by the Court.
  • The settlement is subject to approval by the Court and certain other conditions, including notice to the co's stockholders.

9:02 am Netflix and DreamWorks Animation (DWA) expand current multi-year deal (NFLX) :

Netflix (NFLX) and DreamWorks Animation (DWA) announced the expansion of their current multi-year deal. The deal also covers streaming rights to the DreamWorks Animation feature film library.

  • Over the term of the new agreement, a number of new original series will be developed and produced by DreamWorks Animation for Netflix, based not only on recent and upcoming feature films from the studio, but also on other classic IP.

9:01 am S&P futures vs fair value: +2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.00. (:WRAPX) :

The S&P 500 futures trade two points above fair value.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region tried to rebound from Monday's trouncing, but the efforts were futile as most regional indices ended the day in negative territory. For instance, China's Shanghai Composite (-0.3%) swung from a 3.2% loss to a brief 1.0% gain before ending the day with a slim decline. Similarly, Japan's Nikkei (-0.4%) also showed an intraday gain, which was retraced fully into the close. The market backed away from its high even though Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank is ready to take "even bolder steps" to meet the 2.0% inflation target. The yen, however, has strengthened, pressuring the dollar/yen pair to 118.93.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Japan's Monetary Base +29.5% year-over-year (consensus 33.2%; previous 32.5%)
    • South Korea's November Current Account surplus narrowed to KRW6.75 billion from KRW7.35 billion

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 0.4%, ending just above its session low. Most sectors finished in the red with consumer staples (-1.0%), health care (-1.0%), and industrials (-0.8%) leading the retreat while defensively-oriented communications (+0.3%) and utilities (+0.6%) outperformed. Toshiba, Pioneer, Isuzu Motors, Mazda Motor, Furukawa, and Honda Motor fell between 1.9% and 3.8%. On the upside, Advantest, Tokyo Dome, Nippon Soda, and Keisei Electric Railway climbed between 1.4% and 2.6%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7%, nearing its December low. China Mobile, Bank of Communications, and China Unicom Hong Kong surrendered between 1.5% and 2.5%. Meanwhile, energy names were mixed with Petrochina falling 1.4% while CNOOC and China Petroleum & Chemical both gained near 0.3%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite could not forge a sustained rebound, surrendering 0.3%. Despite the overall decline, some strength could be found in financial and shipping names. China Shipbuilding spiked 7.1% while Agricultural Bank of China, CITIC Securities, and Industrial & Commercial Bank advanced between 0.5% and 1.3%.

Major European trade mostly higher with the UK's FTSE (+0.7%) and Italy's MIB (+0.8%) outperforming. For its part, the euro has retreated about 0.7% against the dollar to 1.0747. Elsewhere, the political situation in Spain remains uncertain as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy continues looking for ways to remain at the head of government.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone December CPI +0.2% year-over-year (expected 0.3%; previous 0.2%) and Core CPI +0.9% year-over-year (consensus 1.0%; last 0.9%)
    • Germany's December Unemployment Change -14,000 (expected -6,000; previous -14,000) and December Unemployment Rate held at 6.3%, as expected
    • UK's December Construction PMI 57.8 (expected 56.0; last 55.3)
    • Spain's Unemployment Change -55,800 (expected -52,600; previous -27,100)
    • Italy's December CPI 0.0% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last -0.4%); +0.1% year-over-year (consensus 0.2%; last 0.1%)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is higher by 0.7% with roughly 60% of its components in the green. Miners and consumer names outperform with the likes of Glencore, Fresnillo, TUI, and Tesco up between 1.7% and 2.6%. On the downside, financials Aberdeen Asset Management, Standard Chartered, and Old Mutual show losses between 1.4% and 4.2%.
  • France's CAC has gained 0.5%. Technip traded well behind its peers in the early session, down 5.4%, while financials are mixed. BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole hold respective gains of 0.4% and 0.1% while Societe Generale and AXA are down 0.1% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Germany's DAX trades higher by 0.4%, despite one point in their session when 2/3 of its components were in the red. Volkswagen tumbled as much as 6.6% while BMW, Adidas, BASF, and Commerzbank show losses between 0.4% and 1.2%. On the upside, Fresenius has climbed 3.5% while Deutsche Bank trades up 1.1%.

9:01 am Avid Tech anticipates its Q4 bookings will come in at $191 mln exceeding expectations (AVID) :

  • Co announces that it anticipates its Q4 bookings will exceed expectations implied by its previously issued guidance and will be an estimated $191 mln, which is 21% higher than the top end of the level implied by its prior guidance and 25% higher than reported bookings for the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • On a constant currency basis, estimated Q4 bookings of ~$199 mln were 23% higher than the top end of the level implied by its prior guidance and 28% higher than the constant currency bookings for the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Accordingly, all other Company guidance remains unchanged with no additional adjustments currently contemplated.

9:01 am Delta Air Lines December PRASM fell 5%; down 1.5% in Q4, reaffirms operating margin 16.5-17.5% (DAL) :

Consolidated passenger unit revenue (:PRASM) for the month of December declined 5.0% year over year. Results for the month included a 2 point headwind from calendar timing of the Thanksgiving holiday and 2 points of pressure from foreign exchange.

  • In an Investor Update issued this morning, Delta announced that it expects its operating margin to be 16.5% - 17.5% (reaffirmed) and its unit revenue to decline ~1.5% for the December quarter. At Dec 17 Investor meeting co raised PRASM guidance to -2% from the high end of (4.5-2.5%).

9:01 am Qualstar received NASDAQ notice of bid price deficiency; no immediate effect on the listing of the common stock (QBAK) : The notification letter states that the Company will be afforded 180 calendar days, or until June 27, 2016, to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement.

9:00 am Mannkind Announces Termination of License and Collaboration Agreement With Sanofi (MNKD) : Co announced the termination of its license and collaboration agreement with Sanofi-aventis for the development and commercialization of Afrezza (insulin human) Inhalation Powder. The parties will promptly commence transition discussions in order to effect a smooth and orderly transition in the development and commercialization of Afrezza from Sanofi to the co over the next 90 - 180 days. In any event, termination of the license agreement in its entirety will be effective no later than six months from the effective date of Sanofi's notice of termination, or July 4, 2016. Co is reviewing its strategic options for Afrezza as a result of the termination of the collaboration with Sanofi.

8:55 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Cerus (CERS) signed a master agreement with Blood Systems for use of the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma.
  • Fusion (FSNN) announced that a major East Coast University has signed a three year, $150K agreement for co's network connection to the cloud
  • PCTEL (PCTI) announced the results of its share buyback program during 4Q15. During the quarter, the co bought back 448,769 shares at an average price of $5.32. The company invested $2.386 mln in the buyback of it shares during the quarter. Co entered the year with 783K shares remaining under the current buyback program.
  • Apollo Commercial Real Estate (ARI) announced that it closed four investments totaling $201 million in December. With the closing of these transactions, ARI has committed to over $1.1 billion of investments in 2015

8:43 am Filings, Offerings and Pricings (:PRICE) :

Filings:

  • Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) files $300 mln common stock offering

Offerings:

  • Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA) announces proposed $75 mln public offering as part of previously disclosed shelf offering
  • Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) announces proposed $150 mln offering of common stock
  • Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) to offer 2.5 mln shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering

8:36 am PURE Bioscience receives FDA approval for use of SDC Antimicrobial as fresh produce processing aid to combat foodborne illness and reduce pathogens, including Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria (PURE) :

Co announces that the FDA has completed its review of the safety and efficacy of the proposed use of silver dihydrogen citrate as a fresh produce processing aid and declared PURE Bioscience's food contact notification to be effective as of January 7.

  • SDC is the active ingredient in PURE Control.
  • When compared with the toxic processing aids used in the market today, dramatic SDC test results show consistent and materially significant reductions in the pathogens most frequently associated with foodborne illness outbreaks traced to processed produce (including Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria).

8:35 am Spectra Energy increases quarterly dividend by $0.035/share to $0.405/share (SE) :  

8:33 am OncoMed Pharma achieves $72.5 mln in milestone payments from Celgene (CELG); exceeds guidance with year-end cash balance of ~$227.2 mln (OMED) :

  • OncoMed achieved the $70 mln safety milestone from Celgene based on an analysis of available Phase 1b and blinded interim Phase 2 clinical trial safety data associated with the demcizumab (anti-DLL4, OMP-21M18) program. The next potential financial milestone for demcizumab is an opt-in payment from Celgene that may occur through the end of either of the Phase 2 pancreatic cancer or NSCLC trials. Following option exercise, OncoMed and Celgene will co-develop and co-commercialize demcizumab in the U.S., sharing profits 50/50, while Celgene would lead development and commercialization outside the U.S.
  • Including the Celgene milestones, OncoMed ended 2015 with ~$227.2 mln in pro-forma cash, representing ~1.5 years of cash, without taking into account future potential milestone payments from partners, and exceeding its 2015 guidance predicting a year-end cash balance of greater than $120 mln. Full-year operating expenses for 2015 are anticipated to be ~$110 mln, in accordance with previous guidance. OncoMed plans to provide full-year 2016 guidance during its 2015 fourth quarter earnings call in the first quarter of 2016.
  • 2016 Anticipated Key Financial Milestones and Pipeline Progress by Program: Present updated Phase 1b survival data for demcizumab in combination with Abraxane at Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium (ASCO GI) being held January 21-23, 2016. Initiate Phase 1b clinical trial of demcizumab plus anti-PD1 pembrolizumab in the first quarter of 2016. Update survival data from the demcizumab Phase 1b non-small cell lung cancer (:NSCLC) clinical trial. Complete enrollment in the randomized Phase 2 "YOSEMITE" clinical trial of demcizumab in combination with Abraxane and gemcitabine in patients with first-line pancreatic cancer by year end. Data from this study are expected to be available by early 2017.

8:32 am Gapping down (SCANX) : Gapping down
In reaction to disappointing earnings/guidance
: CMC -0.7%, LLY -0.3%

Select EU bellwhethers showing weakness: ABB -2.2%, ERIC -2.2%, SYT -2%, PHG -1.6%, ASML -1.4%, UN -1.2%, SAP -1.2%

Select oil/gas related names showing early weakness: STO -1.9%, TOT -1.8%, RIG -1.8%, SDRL -1.7%, BP -0.9%, RDS.A -0.8%

Other news: ADMS -4.7% (to offer 2.5 mln shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering), AKBA -4.5% (announces proposed $75 mln public offering of common stock), XLRN -2.3% (filed $300 mln common stock offering; announced proposed $150 mln offering of common stock), BCS -1.1% (may be in symp with peers ING and SAN dg's today)

Analyst comments: SAN -2.1% (downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital Mkts), VRSN -2.1% (downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup ), SPWR -1.6% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman), RCL -1.3% (downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley), APA -1.2% (downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill), DD -1.1% (downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup), ING -0.9% (downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital Mkts), CSC -0.8% (downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays), JNPR -0.6% (downgraded to Mkt Perform from Outperform at Bernstein), DIS -0.5% (downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie).

8:31 am Marrone Bio Innovations appointed Tim Fogarty as Chairperson of the Board (MBII) :  

8:31 am Cellectar Biosciences announces data from the first cohort of patients enrolled in its Phase 1 study of CLR 131 in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (CLRB) :

Based on safety and efficacy data from the first cohort, the trial's Data Monitoring Committee approved enrollment of the second cohort of patients with a 50 percent escalation in dose level of CLR 131.

  • Data from the first cohort of patients in the Phase 1 study demonstrated safety and tolerability with a favorable adverse event profile. Additionally, stable disease was achieved in four of five treated patients with two of these patients maintaining stable disease throughout the 85-day study monitoring period.

8:31 am UQM Technologies appoints Joseph Mitchell as CEO, effective immediately (UQM) : Co names Joseph Mitchell as CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Mitchell has also been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Mitchell has been Interim CEO since July 21, 2015. He joined the company three years ago as VP of Operations and led all manufacturing, quality and purchasing functions. Prior to joining UQM, Mr. Mitchell was Director of Operations and Quality for Continental Automotive's North American Hybrid and Electric Drive business unit.

8:31 am Gilead Sciences Announces top-line results from two Phase 3 studies evaluating tenofovir alafenamide (:TAF) for patients with chronic hepatitis B infection ; met primary endpoints, US and EU filings planned for Q1 (GILD) : Co announced that two Phase 3 clinical trials (Studies 108 and 110) evaluating investigational use of once-daily tenofovir alafenamide (:TAF) 25 mg in treatment-nave and treatment-experienced adults with HBeAg-negative and HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B virus (:HBV) infection met their primary objectives. The studies demonstrated that TAF was non-inferior to co's Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, TDF) based on the percentage of patients with HBV DNA levels below 29 IU/mL at 48 weeks of therapy. In addition, TAF demonstrated improved renal and bone laboratory safety parameters compared to Viread.

8:30 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Cardiome Pharma (CRME) has entered into an agreement with Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceuticals to commercialize BRINAVESS in South Korea. Cardiome will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible to receive regulatory milestone payments. CKD has agreed to minimum annual commercial targets for BRINAVESS. Other details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
  • Corindus Vascular Robotics (CVRS) announced the launch of a CorPath at Massachusetts General Hospital and the installation of its first CorPath System.
  • The J.G. Wentworth (JGW) announced the appointment of John Owens as its new Chief Marketing Officer. John most recently served as Managing Vice President, Head of Marketing for Capital One Bank in Wilmington, DE.
  • Checkpoint Systems (CKP) announced that AEON RETAIL is switching out existing acousto-magnetic electronic article surveillance systems for Checkpoint's radio frequency identification-upgradeable RF EAS systems to improve inventory management and the shopping experience.
  • VMware (VMW) announced an expansion of its collaboration with Intel Security (INTC) to include joint solutions for customers using the AirWatch by VMware Enterprise Mobility Management platform.
  • CEL-SCI (CVM) announced that in 2015 it enrolled 340 patients in its ongoing Phase 3 trial of its investigational immunotherapy Multikine (Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection) in patients with advanced primary head and neck cancer. Total patient enrollment for the trial is now 668 as of December 31. The current study goal is to enroll 880 patients through approximately 100 clinical centers in over 20 countries.
  • Teva Pharma (TEVA) announced the launch of a generic equivalent of Ortho Tri-Cyclen  Lo (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) tablets in the United States.
  • TrueCar (TRUE) projects U.S. revs from new vehicle sales reached a record high for the month of $58 billion in December, +15.4% Y/Y. Full-size pickups were popular among consumers on the TrueCar platform.

8:28 am Gapping up (SCANX) : Gapping up
In reaction to strong earnings/guidance
: SWHC +7%, MZOR +4.6%, (Q4 guidance)

M&A news: BIN +4% (confirms it has commenced review of strategic alternatives),FCS +3.8% (determines revised unsolicited proposal from China Resources and Hua Capital of $21.70/share in cash would reasonably be expected to result in a 'Superior Proposal')

Select metals/mining stocks trading higher: HMY +5.7%, MT +2.7%, AG +2.3%, FCX +1.8%, GG +1.5%, VALE +1.3%, SLV +1.2%, RIO +1.1%, NEM +1.1%, GDX +0.9%, ABX +0.9%

Other news: UNIS +28.5% (cont strength),GBSN +11.7% (announces updates to the 2016 product roadmap and status for previously announced products and FDA submissions),IMMU +7.8% (issued new patent for additional claims under the patent family 'Dosages of immunoconjugates of antibodies and SN-38 for improved efficacy and decreased toxicity'),EXEL +6.6% (announced 'positive' results from subgroup analyses of the meteor Phase 3 pivotal trial)CTIC +4.1% (CTI BioPharma and Baxalta submit NDA for Pacritinib),RPRX +3.8% (expects to meet with FDA to discuss 'Complete Response Letter' for enclomiphene NDA during)February 2016GPRO +3.8% (presenting at Citi conf today),HIW +3.4% (has agreed to sell Country Club Plaza portfolio in Kansas City for $660 mln to a Taubman Centers (TCO) and The Macerich Company (MAC) joint venture),VCEL +2.8% (submits Biologics License Application to the FDA for MACI for the treatment of cartilage defects in the knee),MBLY +2.7% (GM exploring Mobileye advanced mapping with OnStar data)

Analyst comments: FSLR +4.3% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman),JCP +1.9% (upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup),CLR +1.5% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill),CLNE +1.4% (upgraded to Mkt Perform from Underperform at Raymond James),FMS +1.3% (upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS),RLYP +0.7% (initiated with a Buy at BTIG Research)

8:27 am S&P futures vs fair value: +0.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.50. (:WRAPX) :

As pre-market trading continues, S&P 500 futures are currently trading above their low at one point below fair value.

In specific company news, Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS 21.21, +0.74) is trading higher by 3.6% on the news that the company's board designated the offer from China Resources Microelectronics and HUA Capital Management a superior proposal, as defined by the company's agreement and Plan of Merger with ON Semiconductor. The revised unsolicited offer proposes that the company be acquired for $21.70 a share.

Moving to Treasuries, the benchmark note sits near its high with its yield lower by one basis point at 2.24%.

Meanwhile in commodities, WTI crude has moved off of its pre-market low and into positive territory. Oil is trading higher by 0.2% at $36.83/bbl

8:27 am Spirit Airlines appoints Robert L. Fornaro as President and CEO, effective immediately (SAVE) :

  • Fornaro succeeds Ben Baldanza.
  • Fornaro was appointed to the Spirit Airlines Board in May 2014.

8:19 am Iao Kun Group Rolling Chip Turnover for December was $0.42 bln, -40% y/y (IKGH) : Win rate for the month of December 2015 was 3.28%. For 2015, IKGH's Rolling Chip Turnover was $6.42 billion (an average of $0.54 billion per month), down 61% year-over-year, compared to $16.64 billion (an average of $1.39 billion per month) for 2014.

8:16 am Fiat Chrysler reports December 2015 U.S. Sales rose 13% YoY (FCAU) :

Co reported U.S. sales of 217,527 units, a 13% increase compared with sales in December 2014 (193,261 units), and the group's best December sales ever. Jeep brand was +42%, while Chrysler brand was -21%. 

  • The Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in December compared with the same month a year ago.

8:16 am Acuity Brands acquires GeoMetri, a provider of a software and services platform for mapping, navigation and analytics -- terms not disclosed (AYI) : The acquisition adds advanced indoor mapping and navigation capabilities to the ByteLight(TM) indoor positioning technology solution from Acuity Brands, which helps retailers deliver a tailored, mobile-enabled omnichannel shopping experience to their customers.

8:13 am Galectin Therapeutics announces the dismissals of federal securities class action and shareholder derivative actions (GALT) : Based on the Federal Court's rulings, Galectin intends to seek dismissal of a duplicative shareholder derivative action in Nevada that was filed after the federal actions.

8:11 am Broadcom (being acquired by Avago (AVGO) announces new chips at CES (BRCM) : Broadcom (BRCM, being acquired by Avago AVGO) announced the industry's highest performing Near Field Communications (:NFC) controller -- the BCM20797, its latest and lowest power Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip for mobile platforms and accessories -- the BCM43012 delivers up to 3X longer battery life compared to Broadcom's previous combo chips and the industry's first 64bit quad-core processor for high-end routers -- BCM4908.

8:08 am Market View: Mar. E-mini stock-index futures seeing some improvement in recent pre-market trade with ESh6 now -7.25, NQh6 -17.50, & YMh6 -68 all well off overnight lows here (:TECHX) :  

8:05 am Great Basin Scientific announces updates to the 2016 product roadmap and status for previously announced products and FDA submissions (GBSN) :

  • Pertussis/Parapertussis Test -- clinical trial expected to commence in first half of 2016.
  • CT/NG Test -- clinical trial expected to commence early second half of 2016.
  • In the second half of 2015, Great Basin submitted its Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel and Shiga Toxin Direct Test to the U.S. FDA for 510(k) clearance following the successful completion of clinical trials.
  • The Company anticipates response from the FDA for both submissions in the first quarter of 2016. Based on initial FDA review of the submissions, the Company anticipates response for the Shiga Toxin Direct Test prior to response for the Staph ID/R Blood Culture Panel due to the complexity of the submission for a panel diagnostic assay.

8:03 am Osiris Therapeutics confirmed that Grafix was approved for Medicare coverage from Cahaba for patients with chronic wounds; co also announced contract with a major Group Purchasing Organization (OSIR) :

Co announced that the Medicare contractor, Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators, has confirmed that Grafix has been approved for coverage for patients with chronic wounds, effective January 1, 2016.

  • This Medicare Administrative Contractor covers the states of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, or approximately 3.8 million lives.
  • Additionally, Grafix has been awarded a contract with a major Group Purchasing Organization that has over 1600 members nationwide.

8:03 am Euroseas sold two vessels, announced debt financing of upcoming Kamsarmax newbuilding delivery, refinancing of six vessels, updated schedule of two Ultramax newbuildings and delayed delivery of second Kamsarmax newbuilding until Jan 2018 (ESEA) :

  • Co announced the sale of two vessels, the M/V Despina P and the M/V Aristidis NP. M/V Despina P was delivered on December 28, 2015. M/V Aristides NP is expected to be delivered around January 15, 2016.
  • Co signed a binding termsheet to finance 69% of the fair market value at delivery of the newbuilding, M/V Xenia expected to be delivered around February 25, 2016. Upon delivery, M/V Xenia will enter in a four year time charter at $14,100/day with an option for the charterer to extend it for a fifth year at $14,350/day. The Company which has already made payments for 30% of the contracted price of the vessel will finance the remaining payment from existing funds. Delivery of its two Ultramax vessels is now expected to be in April and July 2016, respectively, a delay of five month each from the original schedule. Delivery of its second Kamsarmax vessel will be delayed by approximately fifteen months and it is now expected to be delivered between January and March 2018.
  • Co signed a binding termsheet to draw a loan with a three year tenor and balloon of about 65% of the loan amount to refinance existing debt on its vessels M/V Ninos, Kuo Hsiung, Cpt. Costas, Manolis P and Monica P which along with, the currently unencumbered, M/V Aggeliki P, will serve as collateral to the new loan.

8:03 am Aduro Biotech: US PTO issued two patents covering composition and methods related to its LADD and GVAX immunotherapy technologies (ADRO) :

  • Patent 9,198,960 claims methods for enhancing an immune response to mesothelin by administering first a "prime" dose of an inactivated tumor cell containing a nucleic acid that encodes granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulation factor (GM-CSF) followed by a "boost" dose of an immunotherapy. The nominal expiration date for this patent is July 17, 2027, subject to any extensions that may be available.
  • Patent 9,200,057, which is jointly owned with Providence Health & Services. The nominal expiration date for this patent is November 17, 2031, subject to any extensions that may be available.

8:02 am American Electric Technologies enters into a new $8.5 mln credit facility (AETI) : The new Credit Facility consists of a $4.0 million revolving line of credit with a two-year term and a $4.5 million declining revolving line of credit.

8:02 am Alaska Air December rev passenger miles (RPM) +9.9%; rev passengers +6.8%; available seat miles +12.2% (ALK) :  

8:01 am Dolby Labs announces commitment from MGM Studios and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to deliver Dolby Vision titles to home entertainment distribution partners (DLB) :  

8:01 am General Steel received NYSE notification regarding closing price requirement under NYSE's continued listing standard (shares halted) (GSI) :

  • Under the NYSE regulations, the co has a cure period of six months from receipt of the NYSE's notice to achieve compliance with the continued listing standard of Section 802.01C.
  • Co will provide the NYSE with the required response within 10 business days of its receipt of the NYSE Notice, stating its intent to cure this deficiency. Subject to compliance with the NYSE's other continued listing standards and ongoing oversight, the Company's common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE during the six-month cure period, under the symbol "GSI", but will continue to be assigned a ".BC" indicator.

8:01 am STRATA Skin Sciences announces refinancing of $10.0 million of short-term debt (:SSKN) : Co announces that on December 30, 2015, it entered into a $12 mln Credit and Security Agreement and related financing documents with a group led by MidCap Financial Trust. The credit facility may be drawn down in two tranches, the first of which was drawn for $10.5 mln on December 30, 2015. The proceeds were used to repay $10 mln principal amount of short-term senior secured promissory notes. The second tranche may be drawn after January 1, 2016.

8:00 am Harman acquires TowerSec; terms not disclosed (HAR) : Co announced it is acquiring TowerSec, a global automotive cyber security company specializing in network protection for connected vehicles. TowerSec's technology will be integrated into co's 5+1 security architecture aimed at protecting the critical points of vulnerability in the connected and autonomous car, including hardware, network and Over The Air (:OTA) updates.

7:59 am S&P futures vs fair value: -6.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -11.00. (:WRAPX) :

U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market lows with the S&P 500 futures currently trading six points below fair value.

In Treasuries, the benchmark note sits near its overnight high with its yield lower by one basis point at 2.23%.

It's a quiet day on the economic front with Auto and Truck sales being released throughout the day. 

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Eli Lilly (LLY 81.02, -1.85): -2.2% following the company issuing 2016 FY guidance below expectations, EPS of $3.45-3.55 versus a consensus of $3.64.
  • DuPont (DD 61.83, -1.24): is lower by 2.0% after the company was downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Citigroup. 
  • Smith & Wesson (SWHC 24.56, +1.28): +5.5% after the company raised guidance for Q3 from $0.27-0.29 to $0.39-0.41 and FY 2016 from $1.26-1.31 to $1.36-1.41, additionally the stock is responding to the preliminary announcement that President Obama will be expanding background checks and licensing requirements for firearms. 

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Asian markets ended broadly lower with Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.7%, Japan's Nikkei -0.4%, and China's Shanghai Composite -0.3%.
    • Economic data:
      • Japan's Monetary Base +29.5% year-over-year (consensus 33.2%; previous 32.5%)
      • South Korea's November Current Account surplus narrowed to KRW6.75 billion from KRW7.35 billion
    • Economic news:
      • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank is ready to take "even bolder steps" to meet the 2.0% inflation target.
  • European markets traded mostly lower with Germany's DAX -0.3%, France's CAC -0.1%, and the U.K.'s FTSE +0.3%. Elsewhere, Italy MIB +0.6% and Spain's IBEX +0.4%. 
    • Economic data:
      • Eurozone December CPI +0.2% year-over-year (expected 0.3%; previous 0.2%) and Core CPI +0.9% year-over-year (consensus 1.0%; last 0.9%)
      • Germany's December Unemployment Change -14,000 (expected -6,000; previous -14,000) and December Unemployment Rate held at 6.3%, as expected
      • UK's December Construction PMI 57.8 (expected 56.0; last 55.3)
      • Spain's Unemployment Change -55,800 (expected -52,600; previous -27,100)
      • Italy's December CPI 0.0% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last -0.4%); +0.1% year-over-year (consensus 0.2%; last 0.1%)
    • Economic news:
      • Spain's political situation remains uncertain as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy continues to look for ways to remain the head of the government. 

7:59 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Canadian Solar (CSIQ) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, closed on a tax equity investment commitment with GE (GE) unit GE Energy Financial Services for the 75 mw Astoria 2 solar power project. 5 banks will provide them w/ project-level construction debt, a letter of credit facility and a back-leveraged term loan facility, totaling approximately $180 million. The Astoria 2 solar power project is expected to reach commercial operation in 4Q16 and will utilize GE 1500V inverters.
  • Corbus Pharma (CRBP) will discuss the progress of the co's three clinical trial programs for Resunab at the 8th Annual Biotech Showcase on January 12 at 11: 00 AM PT in San Francisco. Co expects to report top-line safety and efficacy results from these Phase 2 studies starting at the end of 2016.
  • EnteroMedics (ETRM) announced the publication of a position statement on vagal blocking therapy for obesity in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. The article concluded that "the society currently supports...vBloc for the treatment of obesity and encourages members to participate in post FDA approval studies," and that "the prospective collection of VBLOC outcomes as part of the national bariatric accreditation program is encouraged in order to establish further efficacy of this new technology."
  • Millendo Therapeutics entered into an exclusive license agreement with AstraZeneca (AZN) for the worldwide development and commercialization rights to AZD4901, a product candidate for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common endocrine disease in women. Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Millendo acquired global rights to develop and commercialize MLE4901. In exchange, AstraZeneca will receive an upfront payment and take an equity stake in Millendo, as well as development and commercial milestone payments. In addition, AstraZeneca is eligible to receive royalties on net product sales.
  • Can-Fite (CANF) has submitted its Phase III clinical study protocol to the Institutional Review Board of Barzilai Medical Center in Israel and will file similar submissions in several European countries, Canada and the U.S.
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS) announced that its SAT Corporation subsidiary will provide expanded end-to-end satellite RF monitoring, interference detection, geolocation and mitigation services to the Joint Functional Component Command for Space
  • Main Street Capital (MAIN) led a new portfolio investment totaling $13.0 million of invested capital in Valley Healthcare Group to fund the Company's near-term growth opportunities and refinance existing debt, with Main Street funding $10.4 million of the investment.
  • Cempra (CEMP) announced first patient dosing in a Phase 2 clinical trial exploring the use of solithromycin in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The trial is expected to complete patient enrollment by the end of 2016.
  • Amazon (AMZN) announced that more than 23 mln items were ordered worldwide from sellers on Amazon on Cyber Monday, +40% increase y/y. During the holiday season, individuals and businesses selling on Amazon sold to more than 80 percent of Amazon customers worldwide who ordered a physical item. FBA items shipped worldwide grew more than 60 percent year-over-year during the holiday season.

7:57 am STRATA Skin Sciences: MELA Sciences (formerly MELA) has changed its name to STRATA Skin Sciences and now trades under the SSKN symbol (:SSKN) :  

7:49 am Jacobs receives contract option w/ a potential value of $127.8 million and also receives contract for Biogen's (BIIB) new manufacturing facility in Luterbach, Switzerland (JEC) :

  • Co receives a modification to extend the Engineering and Science Services and Skills Augmentation contract at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
    • The contract modification is for a one-year option with a potential value of $127.8 million.
    • The option began October 3, 2015 and extends through September 30, 2016.
    • Under the terms of the ESSSA contract, Jacobs is providing science and engineering and technician support at MSFC.
  • Co also announces that it receives a contract to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services for Biogen's (BIIB) new manufacturing facility in Luterbach, Switzerland.
    • Under the terms of the agreement, Jacobs is providing EPCM services for Biogen's fourth manufacturing plant.
    • Work on the facility was expected to begin in late 2015 with the plant fully operational by 2021.

7:37 am Fairchild Semi Board determines revised unsolicited proposal from China Resources and Hua Capital of $21.70/share in cash would reasonably be expected to result in a 'Superior Proposal' (FCS) : Co Board, after consultation with its legal and financial advisors, has determined that a revised unsolicited proposal received on December 28, from China Resources Microelectronics and Hua Capital Management to acquire Fairchild for $21.70/share in cash would reasonably be expected to result in a "Superior Proposal" as defined in the co's Agreement and Plan of Merger with ON Semiconductor (ON).

7:32 am CME Group reports Dec & full year volume metrics; December 2015 volume averaged 13.0 mln contracts per day, down 4% YoY (CME) :

  • Co reported that December 2015 volume averaged 13.0 million contracts per day, down 4 percent from December 2014. Total volume during December 2015 was more than 286 million contracts, of which 87% was traded electronically. Energy volume achieved double-digit growth in both fourth quarter and December.
  • Co announced that full-year 2015 volume averaged a record 13.9 million contracts per day, up 2% from 2014, and included year-over-year growth across five of six product lines. 

7:31 am Primoris Services' James Industrial Contractors announced industrial award valued at over $15 mln; scheduled to start immediately and is expected to be completed in Q4 (PRIM) :  

7:31 am Ophthotech announces that Glenn P. Sblendorio to join as EVP, COO, and CFO on April 1, 2016; Michael G. Atieh to retire as EVP and Chief Financial and Business Officer (OPHT) :

  • Co announces that Glenn P. Sblendorio has agreed to join the co as EVP, COO, and CFO on April 1, 2016.
    • Sblendorio joins from The Medicines Company, where he most recently served as President and CFO
  • Michael G. Atieh to retire as EVP and Chief Financial and Business Officer; transition expected at end of 1Q16.

7:30 am SteadyMed confirms receipt of Orphan Designation from the FDA for its lead product development candidate Trevyent for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (STDY) : Of significant note, Trevyent may also receive a seven-year period of U.S. marketing exclusivity upon approval, which may potentially block other treprostinil based products from coming to market.

7:27 am European Markets Update: FTSE +0.2%, CAC -0.4%, DAX -0.5% (:SUMRX) :

Major European indices trade mostly lower while UK's FTSE (+0.2%) and Italy's MIB (+0.4%) outperform. Despite the slight gains in the two indices, regional markets have had a lackluster showing with markets in France and Germany erasing their opening gains in short order. For its part, the euro has retreated about 0.7% against the dollar to 1.0760. Elsewhere, the political situation in Spain remains uncertain as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy continues looking for ways to remain at the head of government.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone December CPI +0.2% year-over-year (expected 0.3%; previous 0.2%) and Core CPI +0.9% year-over-year (consensus 1.0%; last 0.9%)
    • Germany's December Unemployment Change -14,000 (expected -6,000; previous -14,000) and December Unemployment Rate held at 6.3%, as expected
    • UK's December Construction PMI 57.8 (expected 56.0; last 55.3)
    • Spain's Unemployment Change -55,800 (expected -52,600; previous -27,100)
    • Italy's December CPI 0.0% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; last -0.4%); +0.1% year-over-year (consensus 0.2%; last 0.1%)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE is higher by 0.2% with roughly 60% of its components in the green. Miners and consumer names outperform with the likes of Glencore, Fresnillo, TUI, and Tesco up between 1.7% and 2.6%. On the downside, financials Aberdeen Asset Management, Standard Chartered, and Old Mutual show losses between 1.4% and 4.2%.
  • France's CAC has surrendered 0.4%, trading near yesterday's low amid losses in most components. Technip trades well behind its peers, down 5.4%, while financials are mixed. BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole hold respective gains of 0.4% and 0.1% while Societe Generale and AXA are down 0.1% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Germany's DAX has slipped beneath yesterday's low, trading down 0.5% with 2/3 of its components in the red. Volkswagen has tumbled 6.6% while BMW, Adidas, BASF, and Commerzbank show losses between 0.4% and 1.2%. On the upside, Fresenius has climbed 3.5% while Deutsche Bank trades up 1.1%.

7:16 am Adamas Pharmaceuticals to offer 2.5 mln shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering (ADMS) :  

7:05 am Akari Therapeutics announces additional data from non-human primate safety study demonstrating equivalent coversin efficacy in both Elisa CH50 and Hemolytic SRBC assays (AKTX) :

Co announces an update from its 28 day non-human primate safety study that Coversin demonstrated complete inhibition of complement C5 whether measured by Elisa CH50 or Sheep Reb Blood Cell lytic assay.

  • The study tested Coversin daily subcutaneous injection for 28 days at a low and high dose versus placebo in 24 non-human primates and demonstrated no safety issues, adverse events or injection site reactions.

7:04 am The Children's Place announces Board will adopt proxy access rights and will propose a set of additional shareholder rights (PLCE) :

Co announced that its Board of Directors will adopt proxy access rights and will propose a set of additional shareholder rights for shareholder approval at the Company's 2016 Annual Meeting.

  • In addition, its Board of Directors has taken steps to strengthen the Company's governance practices in the areas of director engagement and executive compensation, and to enhance disclosure practices.
  • This amendment will provide that the Company is to include nominees in its proxy materials for up to 20% of the Board proposed by a shareholder, or a group of up to 20 shareholders, who have continuously owned 3% or more of the Company's common stock for a minimum of 3 years.

7:03 am Aradigm will host corporate update conference call tomorrow January 6 at 9am ET; will review recent progress with the Pulmaquin investigational inhaled antibiotic program in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (ARDM) :  

7:03 am Immunomedics issued new patent for additional claims under the patent family 'Dosages of immunoconjugates of antibodies and SN-38 for improved efficacy and decreased toxicity' (IMMU) : The allowed claims under the new patent, which will expire in July 2033, cover the use of labetuzumab govitecan (IMMU-130), an anti-CEACAM5-SN-38 conjugate, either alone or in combination with an anti-CEACAM6-SN-38 conjugate, for the treatment of cancer.

7:01 am Ionis Pharma confirms it received FDA Orphan Drug Designation for IONIS-HTT Rx for the treatment of patients with Huntington's Disease (IONS) : Orphan drug designation entitles seven years of market exclusivity in the United States if market approval is granted for IONIS-HTT Rx for the treatment of patients with HD. Additional incentives include tax credits related to clinical trial expenses, an exemption from the FDA-user fee, and FDA assistance in clinical trial design. IONIS-HTTRx has also been granted orphan drug designation by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of patients with HD.

7:01 am VolitionRx transitions Jason Terrell, MD to full-time status as Chief Medical Officer and Head of U.S. Operations (VNRX) : Dr. Terrell has served in a part-time capacity as the Company's Chief Medical Officer and Head of U.S. Operations since March 2013.

6:55 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Mills Fleet Farm, a Midwestern, value-based retailer oflifestyle merchandise serving active outdoor families as well as suburban andfarm consumers, and KKR (KKR) announced that they have entered into a definitivepurchase agreement where KKR will acquire Mills Fleet Farm. Financial termswere not disclosed.
  • Winthrop Realty Trust (FUR) announced that the report in theSan Antonio Business Journal that Winthrop has acquired a multi-family propertyin San Antonio, Texas is incorrect. Aspreviously reported, Winthrop has adopted a plan of liquidation and is notseeking to acquire any additional assets. The report in the San Antonio Business Journal has since been withdrawn.
  • Green Plains Partners LP (GPP) announced that it hasacquired the storage and transportation assets of the Hopewell, Va. andHereford, Texas ethanol production facilities from Green Plains (GPRE) for$62.5 million. The acquired assets are expected to contribute approximately$7.7 million of EBITDA in its first full year of operation.

6:55 am Asian Markets Close: Nikkei -0.4%, Hang Seng -0.7%, Shanghai -0.3% (:SUMRX) :

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region tried to rebound from Monday's trouncing, but the efforts were futile as most regional indices ended the day in negative territory. For instance, China's Shanghai Composite (-0.3%) swung from a 3.2% loss to a brief 1.0% gain before ending the day with a slim decline. Similarly, Japan's Nikkei (-0.4%) also showed an intraday gain, which was retraced fully into the close. The market backed away from its high even though Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank is ready to take "even bolder steps" to meet the 2.0% inflation target. The yen, however, has strengthened, pressuring the dollar/yen pair to 118.93.

  • Economic data was limited:
    • Japan's Monetary Base +29.5% year-over-year (consensus 33.2%; previous 32.5%)
    • South Korea's November Current Account surplus narrowed to KRW6.75 billion from KRW7.35 billion

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 0.4%, ending just above its session low. Most sectors finished in the red with consumer staples (-1.0%), health care (-1.0%), and industrials (-0.8%) leading the retreat while defensively-oriented communications (+0.3%) and utilities (+0.6%) outperformed. Toshiba, Pioneer, Isuzu Motors, Mazda Motor, Furukawa, and Honda Motor fell between 1.9% and 3.8%. On the upside, Advantest, Tokyo Dome, Nippon Soda, and Keisei Electric Railway climbed between 1.4% and 2.6%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7%, nearing its December low. China Mobile, Bank of Communications, and China Unicom Hong Kong surrendered between 1.5% and 2.5%. Meanwhile, energy names were mixed with Petrochina falling 1.4% while CNOOC and China Petroleum & Chemical both gained near 0.3%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite could not forge a sustained rebound, surrendering 0.3%. Despite the overall decline, some strength could be found in financial and shipping names. China Shipbuilding spiked 7.1% while Agricultural Bank of China, CITIC Securities, and Industrial & Commercial Bank advanced between 0.5% and 1.3%.
  • India's Sensex began the day with a slim gain, but settled lower by 0.2%. Coal India, Hero MotoCorp, and Hindustan Unilever lost between 1.1% and 1.4% while Tata Steel outperformed, spiking 6.7%.

---FX---

  • USDJPY -0.5% to 118.93
  • USDCNY -0.2% to 6.5225
  • USDINR UNCH at 66.594

6:53 am Eli Lilly follow-up: LLY reaffirms 2015 guidance, issues 2016 guidance below expectations (LLY) :

  • Co reaffirms guidance for FY15 (Dec), sees EPS of $3.40-3.45 vs. $3.44 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY16 (Dec), sees EPS of $3.45-3.55 vs. $3.64 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY16 (Dec) revs of $20.2-20.7 bln vs. $21.33 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Non-GAAP figures for 2016 exclude amortization of intangibles as well as integration costs associated with the Novartis Animal Health acquisition.
    • Excluding the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates, the company expects revenue growth from a number of established products including Humalog, Trajenta, Cialis, Forteo, Strattera, Erbitux, and animal health products, as well as higher revenues from new products including Cyramza, Trulicity, Jardianc, Portrazza, and Basaglar.
  • "In 2016 we expect multiple regulatory actions across therapeutic areas including diabetes, oncology and immunology," said Derica Rice, Lilly's executive vice president for global services and chief financial officer.

6:49 am Commercial Metals misses by $0.03, misses on revs; FAST Act will not translate into increased steel orders near term (CMC) :

  • Reports Q1 (Nov) earnings of $0.22 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.03 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.25; revenues fell 31.3% year/year to $1.16 bln vs the $1.24 bln Capital IQ Consensus. 
  • "Our results for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 were generally consistent with our outlook from last quarter."
  • "The recent passage of comprehensive infrastructure spending legislation, Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, or FAST, marked a significant achievement for the future infrastructure in the U.S. We expect that FAST will provide a guaranteed and predictable funding stream for state and local governments to plan and construct road, bridge, transit, freight and passenger rail projects for the next five years. Although we expect the new legislation to provide meaningful upside from a demand perspective, we do not anticipate the new spending provision will translate into steel orders for 12 months or more. Our second fiscal quarter has historically been seasonally slower as a result of holiday slowdowns and winter weather conditions, which reduce construction activities. We anticipate that market conditions will not improve materially over the short term, due to ongoing pressure from steel import activity into the U.S. and continued weakness in the scrap markets."

6:44 am Bristol-Myers enters into a strategic collaboration agreement with ONCODESIGN to discover, develop and commercialize novel macrocyclic compounds (BMY) :

The collaboration is based on Oncodesign's platform of small macrocycles, Nanocyclix, and will also engage the advanced oncology pharmacology models at Oncodesign for cancer applications, Predict, Chi-mice and Pharmimage.

  • Under the terms of the agreement, Oncodesign will be primarily responsible for hit to lead and lead optimization up to the candidate selection stage for oncology targets and potentially for certain non-oncology targets. Bristol-Myers Squibb will be solely responsible for completing preclinical and clinical development of all products arising from the collaboration and for their commercialization globally.
  • Oncodesign will receive an upfront payment of $3 million and research, development and regulatory based milestone payments of up to $80 million per target. In addition, Oncodesign is eligible to receive tiered royalties and sales based milestones for each product resulting from the collaboration.

6:36 am Willis Group and Towers Watson (TW) complete merger, combined company to be known as Willis Towers Watson and trade under the symbol WLTW (:WSH) :  

6:32 am BBX Capital subsidiary announces JV to Develop Altis at Bonterra in Miami-Dade County (BBX) :

BBX Capital Real Estate, a division of co, has entered into a jv agreement w/ The Altman Companies to develop Altis at Bonterra.

  • Located within BBX Capital Real Estate's Master-Planned community of Bonterra in Hialeah, Florida, Altis at Bonterra plans to develop 314 apartment homes on ~14 acres.
  • The first apartments are anticipated to be delivered in the 1Q17.

6:32 am Penn West Energy receives non-compliance notice from the NYSE relating to the minimum bid price requirement, has six months to regain compliance (PWE) : Penn West intends to notify the NYSE within 10 business days from the date of the NYSE notification that it intends to cure this price deficiency and return to compliance with the NYSE's price listing standard prior to the expiration of the applicable cure period.

6:30 am Applied Industrial acquires HUB Industrial Supply; terms not disclosed (AIT) : HUB Industrial Supply's product portfolio includes saw blades and cutting tools, fasteners, abrasive products, safety supplies, paints and related general industrial items.

6:25 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Nissan Motor (NSANY) and Microsoft (MSFT) announced that all Nissan LEAF models and Infiniti models in Europe will have Connect Telematics Systems by Microsoft Azure. Nissan CTS is coupled to Azure, allowing a remote connection to the vehicle.
  • China Yuchai International (CYD) announced that Meng Choong Wong has resigned as a director of the Company with effect from January 5, 2016.
  • HARMAN (HAR) announced a connected car collaboration with Microsoft (MSFT) at CES 2016. This project will introduce new mobile productivity services, as well as utilize existing products, services and technologies, including cloud platforms, telematics and driver productivity, to offer better convenience, safety and reliability for drivers and greater operating efficiency for auto manufacturers.
  • Parthenon Unified Memory Architecture LLC, a subsidiary ofAcacia Research (ACTG), entered into a settlement and patent license agreementwith Motorola Mobility LLC. This agreement resolves patent litigation, CivilAction No. 2:14-cv-00689 pending in the United States District Court for theEastern District of Texas.
  • On December 30, 2015, Ritter Pharmaceuticals (RTTR) entered into a Master Service Agreement with Covance with an effective date of December 29, 2015. Pursuant to the terms of theMaster Service Agreement, Covance (or one or more of its affiliates) willprovide Phase I/II/III/IV clinical services for a clinical study or studies tothe Company, and, at the Company's request, assist the Company with the designof such studies, in accordance with the terms of separate individual projectagreements to be entered into by the parties.

6:08 am S&P futures vs fair value: -9.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -17.00. :

6:07 am European Markets : FTSE...6093.81...+0.40...+0.00%.  DAX...10216....-67.40...-0.70%.

6:07 am Asian Markets : Nikkei...18374...-77.00...-0.40%.  Hang Seng...21189...-138.40...-0.70%.

6:03 am Canadian Oil Sands: Shareholder Seymour Schulich writes letter to shareholders, also urging them to reject Suncor Energy's (SU) hostile bid (COSWF) :  

6:02 am Magal Security receives several orders in Israel for homeland security infrastructure; aggregate expected revenue from these orders are ~$8.4 mln (MAGS) :  

6:01 am Patterson-UTI reports that for December, it had an average of 82 drilling rigs operating in the United States and one rig in Canada (PTEN) : For the three months ended December 31, 2015, the Company had an average of 88 drilling rigs operating in the United States and three rigs in Canada.

6:01 am Ardelyx reports positive clinical results of RDX022 for the treatment of Hyperkalemia; supporting plans to proceed with a Phase 3 clinical program currently expected to begin in the second half of 2016 (ARDX) :

Co announces positive results of an open label clinical study evaluating the pharmacodynamic activity of RDX022 in healthy adult volunteers.

  • The study demonstrated that RDX022, Ardelyx's proprietary potassium binder for the treatment of hyperkalemia, effectively binds potassium in the gastrointestinal tract supporting plans to proceed with a Phase 3 clinical program currently expected to begin in the second half of 2016.
  • RDX022 was generally well-tolerated at all doses and demonstrated comparable results to those observed with sodium polystyrene sulfonate.
  • Other fecal electrolytes were monitored during the study and no unexpected changes were observed; in particular, fecal magnesium remained unchanged from baseline.

5:51 am Arris completes its $2.1 bln acquisition of Pace plc (ARRS) : The acquisition is expected to create $0.65 -- $0.75 Non-GAAP EPS accretion in the next 12 months. ARRIS expects to benefit from improved product, company, and operational expenditures, a reduced tax rate, and a strong, flexible balance sheet. When announcing the deal in April, the co had originally expected $0.45 to $0.55 accretive in the first 12 months after close to Non-GAAP EPS

4:46 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Ford (F) announced it is tripling its fleet of fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid test vehicles -- making it the largest in the automotive industry -- and will use a new-generation sensor technology as the company further accelerates its autonomous vehicle development plans.
  • TomTom (TMOAY) announced that German car manufacturer BMW (BAMXY) has chosen TomTom's award winning traffic information in Russia, New Zealand and Australia. The service is already available cross car-line as part of the "Connected Drive" offer on BMW vehicles. 
  • AVG Technologies N.V. (AVG) introduced Smart Photo Cleaner, a new feature within the AVG Cleaner for Android application. 
  • Callaway Golf (ELY) announced its new line of XR 16 woods and will be available at retail nationwide beginning January 29, 2016
  • Logitech (LOGI) announced the introduction of the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Gaming Mouse.
  • Panasonic (PCRFY) Eco Solutions announced a significant upgrade to its photovoltaic module HIT product guarantee from 10 to 15 years, bringing increased value to installers and end users across Europe in 2016. 
  • Statoil (STO) hasawarded two new, long-term contracts with estimated value of NOK 11 billion forinsulation, scaffolding and surface treatment services to Beerenberg Corp ASand Prezioso Linjebygg AS.

4:42 am Orange confirms renewed discussions with the Bouygues Telecom (ORAN) :

Co announces these discussions arenot limited by any particular calendar and hold no commitment to any particularpredefined outcome.

  • The Group is exploring the opportunities available within the French telecomsmarket, while keeping in mind that its investments and its solid positionafford it a total independence in its approach.

4:39 am Mazor Robotics announced Q4 orders for 12 Renaissance systems; anticipates Q4 revenue above consensus (MZOR) :

Co announced that it received orders for a record 12 Renaissance systems in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2015.

  • In the US, the Company installed eight systems and internationally, it received purchase orders from its distribution partners for four systems, primarily in Asia. For the 2015 full year the Company received 25 orders, plus one upgrade, for its Renaissance system. This represents a 25% year over year increase compared to 20 systems in 2014. 
  • Company expects to report record revenue of ~$8.8 million for Q4 vs $7.80 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
    • For the full year, Mazor expects to report revenue of approximately $26 million compared to revenue of $21.2 million in 2014. The anticipated results in this press release are based on management's preliminary unaudited analysis of financial results for the period.

4:08 am Audiocodes acquires Active Communications Europe (AUDC) :

AudioCodes announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Active Communications Europe, a provider of communications solutions, which increase the effectiveness of departments, individuals and organizations.

  • The consideration for this transaction will consist of payment of $3 million in cash to the stockholders of Active Communications Europe, plus an earn-out arrangement under which AudioCodes has agreed to pay up to an additional $2 million based on attaining certain sales targets over the next three years.
  • In exceptional circumstances, the earn-out may increase

4:03 am CTI BioPharma and Baxalta submit NDA for Pacritinib (CTIC) :

CTI BioPharma (CTIC) and Baxalta (BXLT) announced the completion of the rolling submission of the New Drug Application to the FDA for pacritinib, an investigational oral kinase inhibitor with specificity for JAK2, FLT3, IRAK1 and CSF1R.

  • CTI BioPharma and Baxalta are requesting U.S. marketing approval of pacritinib for the treatment of patients with intermediate and high-risk myelofibrosis with low platelet counts of less than 50,000 per microliter -- a specific patient population for which there is an existing unmet medical need.
  • The Companies are seeking accelerated approval and have requested a Priority Review of the application.

4:01 am Celyad completes of the 30-day safety follow-up of the first patient enrolled in the second cohort in the Phase I clinical trial; no safety issues thus far (CYAD) :

Celyad announced the completion of the 30-day safety follow-up of the first patient enrolled in the second cohort in the Phase I clinical trial evaluating the safety and feasibility of its NKG2D CAR T-cell therapy, in cancer patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia or multiple myeloma

  • Commentary: "The NKG2D CAR T-Cell Phase I trial is progressing well. No safety issue were reported since the beginning of the trial. We look forward to recruiting the next patients in this second dose cohort".

3:56 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • NVIDIA (NVDA) announced that Volvo (VOLVY) Cars will use the NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 deep learning-based computing engine to power a fleet of 100 Volvo XC90 SUVs starting to hit the road next year in the Swedish carmaker's Drive Me autonomous-car pilot program. 
  • Lenovo (LNVGY) introduced portfolio of next gen devices: eight new laptops, desktops and monitors across its YOGA, ideapad and ideacentre brands that upgrade nearly every PC experience from work, gaming to entertaining.
  • Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) announced that its entire 2016 SUHD TV lineup has been awarded the UHD Premium Certification by the UHD Alliance

3:54 am Progessive Waste confirms it has commenced review of strategic alternatives (BIN) :

Co announces that in response to the recent trading activity in the Company's common shares announced that the Company's Board of Directors has commenced a review of strategic alternatives with the objective of enhancing shareholder value.

  • A committee of the Company's Board of Directors has been established to oversee the review of strategic alternatives. The Company has retained J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as its financial advisor.
  • The Company is aware of press reports speculating about the process. The Company cautions investors not to rely on these press reports

3:50 am Aegion provides investor update on growth initiatives; acquires Underground Solutions for $85 million in cash, accretive to 2016 GAAP earnings (AEGN) :

Co announced several actions to deliver sustainable growth and address the market realities in the North American energy markets.

  • Aegion has executed a definitive agreement to acquire Underground Solutions for $85 million in cash and expects to close the transaction during the first quarter of 2016. The Company will separately pay for the discounted value of tax benefits (estimated today to be approximately $5 million) associated with Underground Solutions' net operating loss carry forwards at closing. Aegion will fund a substantial portion of the purchase price with existing cash and the remainder from borrowings against the Company's line of credit.
    • Aegion expects the transaction to be accretive to 2016 GAAP earnings per share with revenues of approximately $50 million and operating margins in excess of 10 percent.
  • In light of expectations for a prolonged low oil price environment, Aegion will reduce its exposure in the North American upstream market by approximately $100 million in annual revenues through two specific actions. Aegion expects the transaction to close during the first quarter of 2016.
    • Second, the Company will downsize Energy Services' upstream operations in Central California due to reduced customer demand while continuing to support the remaining customers in the region with its high-quality services and industry leading safety programs.
    • The Company will also implement a restructuring plan approved by Aegion's Board of Directors to reduce consolidated annual expenses by approximately $15 million, most of which will be realized in 2016. Management intends to complete the cost reductions and record a majority of an estimated $7 to $9 million in pre-tax charges, most of which are cash charges, during the first quarter of 2016.
  • Outlook- "The favorable market conditions for the majority of Aegion's business and the strategic actions outlined today give us the opportunity for 2016 non-GAAP earnings per share to be in line with what we expect to achieve in 2015. This outlook excludes a significant contribution from the Shell Appomattox contract we believe is likely in the fourth quarter of 2016..."

3:39 am Sierra Bancorp acquires Coast Bancorp; immediately accretive to earnings (BSRR) :

Sierra Bancorp announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Coast Bancorp of San Luis Obispo County, California.

  • Under the agreement the outstanding shares of Coast Bancorp will be entitled to receive aggregate consideration of $3.2 million in cash and 581,753 shares of Sierra Bancorp common stock.
  • Based on the closing price of Sierra Bancorp common stock on January 4, 2016, the transaction would have a value of $13.8 million, or $2.37 per Coast Bancorp common share.
  • Sierra Bancorp expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings per share, and will yield a tangible book value earnback of less than 4 years and an IRR in excess of 20%

3:37 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • NVIDIA (NVDA) launched NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 -- the world's most powerful engine for in-vehicle artificial intelligence. The NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 allows the automotive industry to use artificial intelligence to tackle the complexities inherent in autonomous driving. 
  • CORPBANCA (BCA) announced that it filed today with the Chilean Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros a Material Event Notice announcing that the Board of Directors unanimously rejects allegations that resulted in a fine by the Chilean Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions to CorpBanca.

3:24 am Viad Corp acquires Maligne Tours; expected to be accretive to 2016 earnings (VVI) :

Viad Corp announced that it acquired the Maligne Tours business, which provides interpretive boat tours and related services at Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park.

  • Maligne Tours has seven tour boats operating seasonally from May through October and welcomed ~75,000 guests last year.
  • The acquisition closed on January 4, 2016, was within Viad's stated target valuation range and is expected to be accretive to 2016 earnings.
Read the rest of the article at finance.yahoo.com
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WGL Holdings Inc.

CODE : WGL
ISIN : US92924F1066
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WGL Holdings is a development stage company based in United states of america.

WGL Holdings is listed in United States of America. Its market capitalisation is US$ 4.6 billions as of today (€ 3.9 billions).

Its stock quote reached its lowest recent point on December 31, 1990 at US$ 13.25, and its highest recent level on July 06, 2018 at US$ 88.78.

WGL Holdings has 51 359 182 shares outstanding.

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