A Look at 5 Stocks That Closed Up Thursday

by: Alex Shadunsky

These 5 stocks managed to post big gains on Thursday despite the stock market falling for the 4th day this week.

Rubicon Minerals (RBY) jumped 30% after it announced a strategic investment by Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) in the company. The company said that Agnico-Eagle Mines entered into a subscription agreement under which Agnico-Eagle will make a strategic investment of C$70,000,000 in Rubicon Minerals by way of a non-brokered private placement of common shares.

Under the terms of the subscription agreement, Agnico-Eagle will purchase a total of 21,671,827 common shares at C$3.23 per common share, for proceeds to Rubicon Minerals of approximately C$70,000,000. As a result of the private placement, Agnico-Eagle will own 9.2% of the issued and outstanding shares of Rubicon Minerals. Agnico-Eagle has also been granted rights that allow it, at its election, to participate in certain subsequent issuances by the company in order to maintain its level of ownership in the company. Both respective boards of directors have approved the transaction. The proceeds will be used for additional drilling, studies, testing and other development work in connection with the F2 Gold System at the Phoenix Gold Project.

The parties have also agreed to negotiate a technical services agreement that will provide Rubicon Minerals access to Agnico-Eagle's geological and engineering mining team, which will greatly benefit Rubicon Minerals as it further develops the F2 Gold System.

Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ:DVAX) rose 17% after an update on the Heplisav lots. The company announced that the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) of the FDA advised the company that "CBER agrees that clinical consistency of three consecutively manufactured lots of HEPLISAV has been demonstrated." In a written communication to Dynavax, FDA noted that "Although lot consistency criteria were not met at the pre-specified time point of 4 weeks PLD (post last dose), lot consistency criteria were met 8 weeks PLD, the time point corresponding to the primary immunogenicity endpoint, as well as at several other time points."

The company added that "as expected, the FDA has confirmed our assessment of lot consistency in the Phase 3 trial we just announced. With their concurrence, we can now move forward towards our goal of preparing a BLA for submission by the end of the year for hyporesponsive populations aged 40 and older."

Gastar Exploration (NYSEMKT:GST) climbed 25% after it provided a Marcellus operational update. The company said that Gastar has completed the drilling and stimulation of its first two horizontal Marcellus wells in Marshall County, West Virginia, the Wengerd 1H and 7H, with lateral lengths of 4,700 and 5,700 feet, respectively. These two wells have been tested at a combined stabilized rate of approximately 15.5 MMCFD of 1285 Btu natural gas and 1,100 barrels of condensate per day ("BCPD") while each well was flowing at approximately 1200 psi of flowing casing pressure and each well was producing over 150 barrels of frac water per hour. The Wengerd 1H and 7H are expected to be placed on sales in mid-August following delivery and installation of separators capable of handling the condensate volumes. Gastar owns a 44.5% working interest ("WI") and 37.5% net revenue interest ("NRI") in these wells.

Gastar currently has three drilling rigs running in the play. The company is currently drilling on two multi-well pads in Marshall County and it will commence drilling on a third multi-well pad in Marshall County in early August. Also, it has recently completed the drilling of the Hickory Ridge 2H well (GST 100% WI) in Preston County, West Virginia, on the acreage that was acquired in December 2010, and plans on a mutli-stage fracture stimulation of the Hickory Ridge 2H well in the second half of August.

Alliance Bankshares (NASDAQ:ABVA) rallied 15% after the company announced a merger. Eagle Bancorp (NASDAQ:EGBN) and Alliance Bankshares announced that Eagle, Alliance and Alliance's wholly owned subsidiary, Alliance Bank have entered into a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Alliance will be merged into Eagle with Eagle being the surviving corporation and all of the outstanding shares of Alliance will be converted into shares of Eagle. Alliance has approximately $536 million in assets and $412 million in deposits. The merger will accelerate Eagle's growth in Northern Virginia, with the addition of Alliance's 6 branches, which are all located in that attractive market.

The merger is structured as a stock-for-stock transaction, under which Alliance shareholders will receive 0.4317 shares of Eagle common stock for each share of Alliance common stock, subject to adjustment based upon certain factors set forth in the Agreement.

Metabolix (MBLX) rose 15% after the company announced a joint development program. The company and CJ CheilJedang announced the execution of a joint development agreement to advance production technology and assess investment options for the commercialization of renewable C4 chemicals via fermentation. The C4 chemical market is a $3 billion industry growing at 4% per year. C4 chemical products are used in a wide range of applications including engineering plastics, fabrics and fibers, personal care products and in semiconductor manufacturing.

Within the joint development agreement, CJ will contribute fermentation assets and expertise to produce pilot quantities of dried whole fermentation broth containing raw C4 chemicals. Metabolix will continue the development of microbial strains and the scale-up of its proprietary FASTTM recovery process to produce high-purity C4 chemicals. The FASTTM recovery process is a low-cost, energy-efficient approach to recover high-purity renewable chemicals directly from dried whole fermentation broth. In addition, Metabolix and CJ will collaborate closely to develop a detailed market and economic analysis examining all aspects of an investment to commercialize renewable C4 chemicals. The initial market entry is expected to be through gamma butyrolactone, with subsequent growth into butanediol , tetrahydrofuran and polyester engineering resins.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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