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Business in the Burbs

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Archive for the 'Stock market movers' Category

Hotel stocks under pressure


Shares of hotel companies have fallen sharply this week after analysts raised concerns that a slowing economy could hurt occupancy and room rates.

The decline continued today after JPMorgan Chase cut its ratings on Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. of White Plains and other hotel operators. JPMorgan said that its research on the hotel industry has uncovered weaker corporate business and slowing business internationally.

Shares of Starwood were down 62 cents this afternoon to $30.81 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has fallen 47 percent this year. The downgrade by JPMorgan came a day after a Morgan Stanley analyst downgraded Starwood.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
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Investor delays stake in Debt Resolve


Debt Resolve Inc. of White Plains said it’s prepared to hold a potential investor to an agreement to buy $7 million in the company’s stock after the investor said it needs more time to complete the deal.
Harmonie International LLC reconfirmed its intent to buy the stake in Debt Resolve under a deal dated March 31, Debt Resolve said. A date for concluding the deal was not announced.
“While Harmonie has reconfirmed, they have offered no real specific proof of their ability to perform, and, accordingly, we cannot continue to grant formal extensions,” Debt Resolve Chief Executive Officer Ken Montgomery said in a statement. “We hope they will fund in a short period of time but we must will protect our company, which includes an action for specific performance and damages if they do not.”
Debt Resolve runs an online consumer debt settlement service. Its stock closed at $1.09 a share, down 23 cents.
The company said Harmonie CEO William Donahue sent them a letter dated Monday that said, in part, “Even though the economic climate has greatly affected our ability to rely on the primary institutions that generate our investment revenue, we believe the alternative sources meticulously put together will allow Harmonie to continue its investment” in Debt Resolve.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
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EpiCept prices stock offering


EpiCept Corp., a pharmaceutical company at The Landmark in Eastview, said it will offer 8 million shares of its common stock to the public for 25 cents a share. The company will also offer five-year warrants to buy another 8 million shares at an exercise price of 39 cents a share. The company expects to make $1.9 million from the offering. It said it will use the money for working capital, general corporate purposes, and to pay fees owed to a secured lender. The price of its stock dropped by 10.5 cents a share today, closing at 28.5 cents.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
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Acorda shares fall on downgrade


Shares of Acorda Therapeutics Inc. of Hawthorne fell after an analyst for Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. Inc. downgraded the company but said there’s takeover speculation.
Shares of the drug researcher have risen 41.9 percent year to date after yesterday’s close of $31.16, down 69 cents. The company has reported positive results from a study of its fampridine-SR, a treatment to help MS patients with walking.
Friedman Billings lowered its rating from Outperform to Market Perform and kept its $32 price target. “Investors are increasingly speculating that (Acorda) could be an acquisition target now that regulatory risk surrounding fampridine-SR is significantly lower due to the success of (the study.) We believe the more likely scenario for (Acorda) is completing the buildout of its sales force (a key reason behind the secondary offering in 2/08) and launching fampridine-SR in the U.S.,” analyst David Amsellem wrote in a note released yesterday.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Monday, June 23rd, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
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Progenics stock rises on drug trial news


Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Eastview and its research partner, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, announced good and bad news concerning drug trials on its treatment for side effects of painkillers. Investors focused on the positive, and Progenics stock rose 9.79 percent today.
The companies said that a phase 2 study of an oral form of its Relistor drug for the treatment of constipation showed statistically significant improvements in patients. A phase 3 study of an intravenous form of Relistor on post-operative gastrointestinal function, however, fell short of research goals.
Progenics stock closed at $14.47, up $1.29.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
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Regeneron stock falls on test data


Disappointing data in a clinical trial of a treatment for ovarian cancer sent stock in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Eastview tumbling today.
The company and its research partner, Sanofti-aventis of Paris, said that a phase 2 study of 215 women with advanced ovarian cancer showed no significant response to a drug called aflibercept. The compound is a fused protein that aims to inhibit the growth of tumors by starving them of blood.
Regeneron stock was down as much as 16 percent. It closed yesterday at $18.58, down $2.89 or 13.5 percent. It was down 23.1 percent for the year.
In a statement, the company said there are few treatment options for advanced ovarian cancer.
“We and Sanofi-aventis are continuing to evaluate the data from this trial in order to determine the next steps for aflibercept in advanced ovarian cancer,” Dr. George Yancopoulos, Regeneron’s president, said in the statement.
Sanofi is Regeneron’s largest shareholder, with 19 percent of its stock.
Joseph Pantginis, an analyst who follows the company for Canaccord Adams, said part of the selloff in the stock may have been related to the larger drop in the markets yesterday. The announcement contained some good news about other drug trial results, he said, and Regeneron and Sanofi are testing aflibercept in four phase 3 trials that combine the drug with chemotherapy.
“Overall, the profile of the drug still looks very promising for other indications,” said Pantginis, a former scientist at Regeneron. He said he holds no shares of company stock.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
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Progenics shares tumble 64%


Shares of Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. fell 64 percent today after the Eastview-based drugmaker announced that an experimental drug failed a late-stage clinical trial.

The stock fell $8.62 today to end trading at $4.93 a share.

The drug, known as intravenous methylnaltrexone, was being evaluated as a treatment for constipation in patients following colon surgery.

Preliminary results from a Phase 3 trial, conducted by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, showed that the drug failed to reduce the time it takes for patients have a bowel movement after surgery, compared to a placebo, or fake drug.

Those given the drug were given does of 12 milligrams or 24 milligrams every six hours, the companies said, noting that the drug was generally well tolerated.

The results of the study, which involved 542 patients, were inconsistent with a smaller, earlier study of 65 patients that showed positive results for the condition, known as postoperative ileus, said Dr. Paul J. Maddon, Progenics founder, chief executive and chief science officer.

“We are conducting the necessary analyses to determine greater clarity regarding the outcome of this clinical study,” Maddon said.

“Despite the results of this Phase 3 trial for POI, we remain confident in the methylnaltrexone development program,” said Robert Ruffolo, president of research and development at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, March 12th, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
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IBM to buy back $15 billion in stock


The board of directors of Armonk-based IBM Corp. today authorized an additional $15 billion to buy back shares of the company’s stock. The sum adds to the $400 million left at the end of February from a previous authorization. IBM plans to spend up to $12 billion of the money on stock buybacks this year.

The new stock repurchase authorization follows a $15 billion authorization last April, the biggest in IBM’s history.
Today, as it did after last year’s announcement, IBM’s stock rose as investors looked forward to higher earnings per share thanks to spreading profit over fewer outstanding shares.

As of 1:21 p.m., IBM shares were trading at $114.93 on the New York Stock Exchange, up $4.85, or 4.41 percent.

Posted by Julie Moran Alterio on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
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Swedish investor sells AFP shares


A Swedish institutional investor has significantly reduced its holdings in AFP Imaging Corp., an Elmsford-based supplier of medical and dental imaging equipment whose stock has fallen sharply this year.
Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that the investor, HealthInvest Partners of Stockholm, sold large blocks of AFP stock in December and January. Some of the recent transactions include the sale of 200,000 shares on Dec. 14, 360,900 shares on Dec. 31 and 92,500 shares on Jan 2.
AFP’s shares have fallen nearly 22 percent this year. They rose 11 cents to 51 cents in trading today on the over-the-counter bulletin board. The stock is down from a 52-week high of $2.21 on May 3.
“AFP was not a party to any decisions by this independent investor,� David Vozick, chairman of AFP Imaging, said in a written statement. The sales “may have been instituted by the foreign investor as part of a portfolio realignment of its overall holdings.�
Vozick added that there have been no changes at AFP related to the trading volume in the stock. In September, AFP received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market its NewTom VG Cone Beam Computed Tomography Scanner. The imaging system allows dentists to see detailed three-dimensional, radiographic images of the teeth and jaws.
“AFP believes the future opportunities for the company are excellent,� Vozick said. “We continue to participate in the development of advanced dental imaging technologies based on ten years of experience in this field along with our large installed base of (scanner) units around the world.�
HealthInvest Partners could not be reached for comment. The company, founded in 2006, manages the HealthInvest Global Long/Short Fund.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, January 14th, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
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Low bid price threatens Nutrition 21 listing


Nutrition 21 Inc. stock may face delisting after the company received a letter from Nasdaq officials warning that the Purchase-based company’s low share price threatens its continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

Shares of Nutrition 21, a maker of nutritional supplements, ended today’s trading at 71 cents a share. The company’s stock last closed higher than a $1 a share on Nov. 8.

Nutrition 21 said today Nasdaq has granted the company 180 days, or until June 23, to regain compliance with minimum bid-price requirements. Additionally, the company may receive a 180-day extension to raise its bid price should it remain in compliance with all other listing requirements.

If Nutrition 21 fails to regain compliance with the minimum bid-price requirement, Nasdaq will notify the company that its stock will be delisted, Nutrition 21 said, adding that the company may appeal such a decision.

On Nov. 9, Nutrition 21 reported it lost $4.1 million, or 7 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, roughly on par with the loss it posted a year earlier.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
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Navigators Group to join S&P SmallCap Index


The Navigators Group Inc. will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index after trading ends for the year, the insurer said today.

Navigators Group has offices in Rye Brook that house two of its business units.

Investors and professional money managers use the S&P index as an aid in creating diversified stock portfolios.

Posted by David Schepp on Friday, December 21st, 2007 at 4:53 pm |
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IBM buys back 8 percent of outstanding stock


IBM Corp. said it bought back 8 percent of its outstanding common stock for $12.5 billion, and it raised its 2007 profit forecast accordingly.

The company announced the deal after the close of trading yesterday. The buyback will contribute to earnings growth this year of 13 to 14 percent, up from the 11 percent originally provided during its first-quarter earnings report.

The new estimate includes the effect of the share repurchase program, adding 14 to 17 cents of EPS, the company said. The estimates exclude a gain from the previously-announced sale of IBM’s printer business.

IBM repurchased 118.8 million shares for an initial price of $105.18 per share. The repurchases are part of a $15 billion authorization on April 24 by the board of directors. IBM said it doesn’t expect to seek board approval for further buybacks before April 2008.

IBM stock closed yesterday at $105.91, up 73 cents. It’s up 9 percent for the year.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 at 6:42 pm |
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White Plains-based ITT leaves the London Stock Exchange


ITT Corp. of White Plains said this morning that it finished the steps to withdraw its shares from the London Stock Exchange.

The company removed its stock from the exchange because of low trading volume.

The shares continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Posted by Allan Drury on Monday, May 14th, 2007 at 10:04 am |
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MBIA seeks to buy back $1B in stock


MBIA Inc. announced today it is instituting a new share-repurchase program to replace the one its board authorized nearly three years ago.

The new program permits the Armonk-based provider of financial services to buy back up to $1 billion of outstanding shares.

MBIA said its ability to repurchase its stock will be dependent on the amount of dividends paid to it by MBIA Insurance Corp., which requires prior approval by the New York State Insurance Department.

Stock purchases in the program will be made from time to time in the open market or in private transactions as permitted by securities laws and other legal requirements, MBIA said.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, February 1st, 2007 at 7:16 pm |
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Avon boosts quarter dividend


Avon Products Inc., which has research facilities in Suffern and back-office operations in Rye, announced today that it is boosting its quarterly dividend to 18.5 cents from 17.5 cents a share.

The new rate, effective March 1, will be payable to shareholders of record Feb. 15, the Manhattan-based beauty-products maker said.

The increase raises the annual-dividend amount to 74 cents a share, up from the current 70 cents a share.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, February 1st, 2007 at 7:14 pm |
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LeCroy notes to be sold


LeCroy Corp., the Chestnut Ridge company that sells equipment that measures the electronic signals of computer chips, said 20 institutional investors plan to resell $72 million of notes and any stock issued in connection with the conversion of the notes.

The 4-percent senior notes are due in 2026, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company will not receive any proceeds from the sales. LeCroy said the notes were first issued to Cowen and Co. LLC, the investment banking brokerage company, in October.

The investor holding the largest amount of principal on the notes is Citadel Equity Fund Ltd., which owns $14 million, or 19.4 percent. LeCroy stock was trading at $11.52 a share, up 16 cents, at 1:45 p.m.

Posted by Allan Drury on Friday, December 29th, 2006 at 2:47 pm |
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12.65 million shares of Prestige Brands to be sold


Prestige Brands Holdings Inc., an Irvington company that markets Comet, Murine eye and ear drops, Chloraseptic throat sprays and other products, provided notice that stockholders plan to sell 12.65 million shares of company stock.

The company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the shares will be offered at an estimated maximum price of $13.12 apiece.

Once the sales are complete, there will be more than 50 million Prestige shares outstanding. The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale. Prestige shares were trading at $13.32, up 16 cents, at 12:20 p.m.

Posted by Allan Drury on Friday, December 29th, 2006 at 1:44 pm |
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TAL boosts dividend increased 50%


TAL International Group Inc., which leases intermodal freight containers, reports it is boosting it quarterly dividend payment to 30 cents a share, up from 20 cents a share. The Purchase-based company’s board of directors approved the dividend increase at its regular December meeting. The quarterly cash dividend will be paid March 9 to shareholders on record as of Feb. 23, TAL said.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, December 20th, 2006 at 5:10 pm |
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Moody’s may upgrade PepsiCo debt


Moody’s Investors Service Inc. announced today that it is considering raising PepsiCo’s long-term Aa3 debt-rating as well as that of its subsidiaries. The review was prompted by PepsiCo’s continued strong financial performance, robust growth and reduction in foreign debt at its international subsidiaries, Moody’s said. The review will also look at PepsiCo more broadly, taking into account the company’s franchise strength and the combined financial strength of PepsiCo and its largest bottlers, Moody’s said. The debt-rating service also affirmed its Prime-1 rating on PepsiCo’s short-term debt. The Purchase-based beverage-and-snacks giant had revenues of $32.6 million last year, Moody’s noted, adding that 61 percent of that is derived from U.S. sales.

Posted by David Schepp on Monday, December 18th, 2006 at 3:17 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.


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