AboveNet Inc., a White Plains-based telecommunications company that provides high-speed data links, announced plans for a two-for-one stock split after its shares jumped 195 percent this year.
AboveNet’s stock has soared in response to increasing demand for its services from financial firms, media companies and other corporate customers. AboveNet’s system delivers network and Internet services in 15 top U.S. markets and London.
As a result of the stock split, stockholders of record on Aug. 20 will receive one additional share for each share held on that date. The new shares will be distributed on Sept. 3.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred Thomas Joseph Downs from any association with any FINRA member business. Downs, who had addresses in Pleasantville and Peekskill, settled a FINRA complaint without admitting or denying guilt, the agency said in its March disciplinary report. Downs was accused of making two unauthorized trades in two separate accounts, and later ignoring FINRA requests for information on the case. Downs does not have a local telephone listing and could not be reached for comment.
For investors who have watched the stock market plunge during the past year in response to the slowing economy and a global financial crisis, there was a welcome gift on Tuesday — good earnings news for a change from a blue-chip company.
The better than expected fourth-quarter profits from IBM Corp pushed shares of the Armonk-based computer services giant up 11.5 percent today in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. It was the biggest percentage gain for Big Blue in eight years, according to Bloomberg News.
“We remain impressed by IBM’s ability to squeeze profit and cash flow out of a dismal economic environment,” Morningstar analyst Rick Hanna wrote in a research report. “Overall sales were soft as expected in the fourth quarter, but did not fall off a cliff.”
IBM is one of only three stocks that is up for the year among the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial average. The Dow is down 6.3 percent for the year. IBM shares are up 8.6 percent.
The shares rallied $9.44 to $91.42 yesterday as IBM bucked the trend of other tech companies that have recently reported weak results.
Despite the global slowdown, IBM has consistently announced new contracts to provide tech services around the world. The latest deal came today when IBM announced a $411 million contract with BNP Paribas, the largest bank in France. Under the six-year joint venture, IBM will help manage the technology infrastructure of BNP Paribas’ subsidiary office, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in Italy.
WHX Corp., a White Plains industrial products manufacturer, said that the Nasdaq Stock Market has approved listing the company’s stock under the symbol “WXCO” on its capital market. The listing was effective today. The company’s shares were previously quoted on the over-the-counter Pink Sheets under the same symbol.
In trading today, WHX shares fell $2 to $8.00.
Chief Executive Officer Glen Kassan said that the listing is an important milestone for the company.
“We believe the Nasdaq listing should provide WHX with enhanced trading liquidity,” Kassan said.
WHX’s products include engineered materials for the roofing, construction, natural gas, electric and water industries; specialty tubing products; and precision electroplated materials and stamped parts.
WHX Corp., a White Plains industrial products manufacturer, said that the company has completed a 1-for-10 reverse stock split of its common stock. That means that every 10 shares of common stock will be reclassified into one share. The company said that it expects the split-adjusted common stock will begin trading on the Pink Sheets on Tuesday under the new symbol WXCO. Shares today fell 15 cents to 70 cents.
MasterCard Inc. will become part of the S&P 500, a large-company stock index that is widely followed by the investment community.
The Purchase-based company has consistently reported strong earnings as it benefited from consumers shifting payments to credit and debit cards from cash and checks. Gross dollar volume, a measure of charges on cards, has grown an average of 16.1 percent during the past three years.
At the end of trading Thursday, MasterCard will replace ACE Ltd. in the index. ACE, a Bermuda-based property and casualty insurer, is changing its place of incorporation to Switzerland, making it ineligible for the S&Pâ€™s U.S. indices.
In another change, MasterCard will replace General Motors Corp. in the S&P 100 after the close of trading on Thursday. GM will remain a member of the S&P 500.
Debt Resolve Inc. of White Plains said itâ€™s prepared to hold a potential investor to an agreement to buy $7 million in the companyâ€™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.
â€œWhile Harmonie has reconfirmed, they have offered no real specific proof of their ability to perform, and, accordingly, we cannot continue to grant formal extensions,â€ Debt Resolve Chief Executive Officer Ken Montgomery said in a statement. â€œWe 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.â€
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, â€œEven 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 investmentâ€ in Debt Resolve.
The board of directors of Universal American Corp. of Rye Brook has approved the repurchase of up to an additional $50 million of the companyâ€™s stock. As of Friday, Universal American has bought back about 4 million shares, at an average price of $11.29 per share, totaling $45.5 million under the $50 million share repurchase program that was authorized on Feb. 19. Shares closed yesterday at $11.84, up 21 cents, or 1.8 percent.
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.
â€œWe 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,â€ Dr. George Yancopoulos, Regeneronâ€™s president, said in the statement.
Sanofi is Regeneronâ€™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.
â€œOverall, the profile of the drug still looks very promising for other indications,â€ said Pantginis, a former scientist at Regeneron. He said he holds no shares of company stock.
Shares of EpiCept Corp. were higher by a penny a share in afternoon trading today, at 48 cents a share, after reaching a 52-week low of 44 cents a share Friday, following news that the companyâ€™s shares face renewed scrutiny by Nasdaq officials.
The Eastview-based biotechnology company said Friday it was notified two days prior that it hadnâ€™t yet regained compliance with a regulation that requires the companyâ€™s shares to maintain a market value of $35 million for 10 consecutive trading days.
Last month, Nasdaq officials gave EpiCept until May 5 to regain compliance with the listing requirement.
With last weekâ€™s news, EpiCept said it plans to seek a hearing with Nasdaq officials.
EpiCept shares also face delisting for failing to maintain a minimum $1 a share bid price, Nasdaq officials warned the company last month. The company. which is developing treatments for pain and cancer, has until Oct. 13 to regain compliance with minimum-bid price rules.
In the event the companyâ€™s shares are delisted, EpiCept said, they may be eligible to trade on the over-the-counter market, an informal method for trading stocks.