Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) -3.8% after-hours as it names Amit Singh as its new president, succeeding Mark Anderson, effective Nov. 1, and reiterates its FQ1 financial outlook.
Singh was the president of Google Cloud and, most recently, Google's VP of business and operations in emerging computing platforms, including augmented and virtual reality; he previously spent 20 years with Oracle in various product, engineering, sales and strategy roles.
PANW also reiterates its Q1 adjusted EPS guidance of $1.04-$1.06 on revenue of $625M-$635M; analyst consensus forecasts EPS of $1.06 on revenue of $632M.
Citing insurmountable operational headwinds, ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (NYSEMKT:IMUC) plans to file a formal notification to NYSE American that it will voluntarily delist its common stock and common stock warrants. The notification, called a Form 25, should be effective on or about November 5.
Aclaris Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACRS) has agreed to acquire global rights to Allergan's (NYSE:AGN) RHOFADE (oxymetazoline hydrochloride) cream 1%, indicated for the topical treatment of facial redness associated with rosacea in adults.
Under the terms of the deal, Alcaris will pay Allergan $65M at closing, a development milestone related to the advancement of an additional dermatology product and tiered royalties on net sales. The transaction should close this quarter.
Allergan acquired the product when it bought Vicept Therapeutics in 2011. Vicept was founded by certain members of Alcaris' senior management team.
Shares, currently halted, will resume trading at 4:30 pm ET.
"We have a bullish outlook through the end of the year and into next year," says HSBC precious metals analyst Jim Steel. "Our average is $1,274/oz. this year, which means we'd continue to have a drive up into the end of the year."
Last week's stock market selloff has been a factor in gold's rise, as well as the drop in the 10-year yield from a recent 3.25% back to 3.15%, says Bart Melek, head of commodities strategy at TD Securities, but the risk-off move may have given way to another catalyst: "Now there's a view the Fed might not be as aggressive" in raising rates, he says.
Meanwhile, last week’s positive reversal for gold left much of the market wrong-footed, helping accelerate the move, according to Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen.
Gold mining stocks are broadly higher: ABX +2.4%, NEM +2.2%, GOLD +2.7%, AEM +2.3%, GG +0.9%, FNV +1.4%.
Eletrobras (EBR +4.6%) is higher after the top economic adviser to Brazilian presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro said he favors selling off some of the utility company's power generation assets.
EBR shares rallied following the clear lead Bolsonaro took in last weekend’s first-round vote but then fell back when Bolsonaro said he would privatize transmission and distribution units but not the generation of electricity.
But in comments to reporters, Paulo Guedes, Bolsonaro's economic guru, said he favored selling EBR generation assets rather than transmission assets, as "there are many cases [for sales] of strong private generation."
PG&E (PCG +1.8%) took the unprecedented step over the weekend of cutting electricity for tens of thousands of customers in an attempt to prevent wildfires in its northern California service area during high winds and dry conditions.
Pacific Gas & Electric says it began turning off the power for 87K customers Sunday night and that more could be put in the dark depending on the weather before it restores power tonight, although some residents will not get their electricity back until Tuesday.
The National Weather Service predicted winds gusting to 55 mph in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento, and high winds were expected in the state's wine country north of San Francisco.
PG&E said it made the decision to turn off power "as a last resort given the extreme fire danger conditions these communities are experiencing."
Checking the end of the presentation slides finds some Q3 details. Among them is a $14.2M after-tax loss on the sale of $495M of securities during the quarter. There's also a $900K after-tax gain on discontinuing cash flow hedge and equity security impairments. Combined these will cut Q3 EPS by roughly $0.41.
Should the Flagship deal be terminated, there could be additional related costs.
Nicely higher earlier in the session, CUBI now flat for the day.
Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) tracks up 2.66% after an upgrade from Deutsche Bank captures some attention.
The DB note indicates that the firm sees the sell-off in the railroad stock as a little overdone. "Post sell-off we now view shares as highly attractive in light of growth prospects," writes the analyst team.
Shares of KSU have fallen off 11% over the last 30 days.
Nano cap Valeritas Holdings (VLRX -11.8%) is down on almost double normal volume on the heels of its preliminary prospectus for a $50M stock offering, specifically, ~38M shares at an assumed price of $1.33.
PAR (NYSE:PAR) shareholder Voss Capital writes the board a letter agreeing with last week’s letter from ADW Capital Management that the company should pursue an outright sale
Voss says that PAR “will likely never achieve fair market value for its potentially valuable assets without splitting those assets” and that now is the time since “the market is generously valuing both of the industries in which PAR operates.”
The letter highlights the July acquisition of POS company Level Up by GrubHub for $390M in cash and private company Toast’s $115M capital raise. Last month, Global Payments acquired SICOM for $415M in cash.
Ultra-thinly traded nano cap Presbia PLC (LENS -17.9%) is down on almost a 10x surge in volume, albeit on turnover of only 80K shares, adding to the down move that started last week after the company disclosed that the expected FDA nod for its Flexivue Microlens may not happen for another year. Shares have slumped almost 40% since then.
The company's original expectation was for U.S. approval this quarter based on 24-month data, followed by the submission of 36-month data in Q1 2019. The FDA notified it on October 5 that the 36-month results would be required for a complete review of the application. The company has until April 3, 2019 to submit the information, pushing potential approval into the last quarter of the year if all goes well.
Daqo New Energy (DQ +6.7%) jumps after saying it has completed construction and installation of its Phase 3B polysilicon production facility in Shihezi, China, and has begun pilot production.
DQ expects the Phase 3B facility will ramp up to full production capacity and expand its total production capacity to 30K metric tons by the end of Q1 2019.
DQ says Phase 4A capacity expansion project is under construction and is expected to begin pilot production in Q4 2019 and ramp up to full production in Q1 2020, which will expand total production capacity to 70K metric tons/year.
When Phase 4A is fully ramped, DQ expects electricity rates will decrease further, lowering the overall total cost of polysilicon production for its Xinjiang facilities to $6.80/kg.
Pot stocks have perked up in conjunction with Canopy Growth's (CGC +10.5%) acquisition of Colorado-based hemp research outfit ebbu. The commencement of legal cannabis use in Canada on Wednesday, October 17, may have something to do with it as well.
Lacaze says the company is evaluating options in case a negative environmental review forced the closing of its A$1B plant in Kuantan.
FT also says Malaysian MP Fuziah Salleh said she resigned her chairmanship from the committee reviewing the Lynas plant, but it is unclear if Malaysia’s energy minister has accepted the resignation or if a replacement has been named.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLK) is down 1.1%. S&P 500 IT Index is down 1.2%. The tech heavy Nasdaq 100 drops 1% and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is down 0.5%.
Movers with no clear catalysts: (XRX +1.9%), (DBD -0.5%), (KOPN +2.4%), (SYMC +1%).
Internet and Software stocks are feeling the most pressure with Netflix -2.2% down ahead of earnings, Adobe -3.3% down on its event day, and Hortonworks -3.4% and Cloudera -3.1% pulling back from their post-merger announcement gains. Apple -2.1% is also weighing down FAANG after a negative analyst note this morning about Chinese demand.
Occidental Petroleum (OXY -4.2%) plunges after Qatar Petroleum says it will take over management and operation of the Idd El-Shargi North Dome offshore oilfield upon next year's expiration of the 1994 production sharing agreement.
“Managing and operating this important oil field showcases Qatar Petroleum’s distinctive technical capabilities in operating and managing oil & gas fields, and maximizes the value for the state," Qatar Petroleum says.
Puma Biotechnology (PBYI -5%) is down on below-average volume in apparent reaction to Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.2%) announcement of positive late-stage data on Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab) as adjuvant treatment in patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer. Puma's Nerlynx (neratinib) was OK'd in the U.S. in July 2017 for the same indication.
Nano cap SELLAS Life Sciences Group (SLS +18.4%) is up more than a 4x surge in volume following its announcement that it will host a conference call on Monday, October 22, at 8:00 am ET to discuss updated and final results from its Phase 2b clinical trial evaluating NeuVax (nelipepimut-S) plus Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.2%) Herceptin (trastuzumab) in HER2 low-expressing breast cancer patients. The call will follow the presentation of the data at ESMO in Munich.
In early June, the company announced that the study was stopped early based on positive results.
Thinly traded micro cap Anixa Biosciences (ANIX +4%) is up on below-average volume in response to its announcement that it has filed an application with the FDA requesting a in-person meeting to clarify a regulatory path for Cchek, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based cancer detection technology, as a test for prostate cancer.
Cchek uses AI to analyze flow cytometry data to distinguish between tumor-bearing and non-tumor bearing patients.
Research Solutions (OTCQB:RSSS +4.3%) says that the Company has submitted a symbol reservation form as a prerequisite step to filing an application to list its common stock on the NASDAQ Capital Market.
The Company's common stock will continue to trade on the OTCQB under its current symbol "RSSS" until NASDAQ approval and completion of the up-listing.
Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT +1.3%) is up on light volume on the heels of the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating AR101 with adjunctive DUPIXENT (dupilumab) in peanut-allergy patients.
The study is being sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN -1.6%) with AIMT providing product and food challenge materials. Target enrollment is 160 across 25 U.S. sites. The primary objective is to determine if the addition of dupilumab to AR101 therapy improves desensitization compared to placebo + AR101.
According to ClinicalTrials.gov, the estimated primary completion date is June 2020.
Thinly traded nano cap Aevi Genomic Medicine (GNMX +1.9%) is up on below-average volume following its announcement that Part B of its Phase 2 ASCEND study evaluating AEVI-001 in pediatric and adolescent patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is now fully enrolled.
Topline data from both Part A (enrollment completed in August) and Part B should be available in January 2019.
AEVI-001 is an oral non-stimulant pan-selective activator/modulator of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) that bind glutamate, a molecule that plays a key role in nerve cell signaling. MGluRs are promising drug targets for a range of disorders beyond ADHD, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
After the bankruptcy filings of Sears Holdings (SHLD -13.8%) and Toys "R" Us, the spotlight turns to where the retailers' holiday sales will go this year.
Analysts think Target (TGT -0.1%), Amazon (AMZN -1.9%), Dollar Tree (DLTR -0.8%) and Walmart (WMT -0.4%) will gobble up the most toy sales, while Sears appliance sales are seen going to Home Depot (HD), Lowe's (LOW -0.2%) and Best Buy (BBY +1.5%).
Apparel sales out of Sears aren't expected to transfer over to department store rivals at quite the same rate, although incremental gains are seen for J.C. Penney (JCP -4%), Macy's (M +0.6%) and Kohl's (KSS -0.3%).
Luvu Brands (OTCQB:LUVU) reports Q4 revenue growth of 6.3% Y/Y to $3.9M.
Gross margin increased 185 bps to 28.9%.
$0.2M in income from operations, compared to a loss from operations of $1K Y/Y.
Adj. EBITDA margin for fiscal 2018 declined 367 bps to 22.8%.
“Our focus in fiscal 2019 continues to be on improving our production efficiencies and gross profit margins and ramping up production in order to keep pace with the continued demand”, said President and CEO, Louis Friedman.
William Blair analyst Jason Ader is out positive on Arista Networks (ANET +1.2%) saying that the firm’s contact reports the company was recently awarded a Department of Defense contract worth $100M over multiple years. Cisco (CSCO -0.9%) previously had the award and is now protesting.
Ader says the contract win should be seen as a “game-changer” for the “underpenetrated federal business” and should boost the chances for future government awards.
Thinly traded nano cap Cellect Biotechnology (APOP) is in the green out the gate this morning on the heels of its announcement of positive preliminary data from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating its ApoGraft stem cell selection technology in patients undergoing stem cell transplantation.
One-month data on six patients showed 100% engraftment with no procedure-related adverse events reported. Also, the first three patients (cohort 1) have safely completed the 180-day study period with no tolerability issues.
According to the company, ApoGraft significantly reduces the risk of life-threatening rejection disease and other unwanted immune responses by separating the stem cells needed for transplant from those that cause the adverse effects.
Enrollment in the third cohort (of four) is underway.
Helios and Matheson Analytics (NASDAQ:HMNY) says it has the backing of independent proxy advisory firms ISS and Glass, Lewis & Co. for the proposed reverse stock split and the other proposal set forth in its proxy statement for the upcoming special meeting of stockholders scheduled for October 18.
Helios is aiming to keep its Nasdaq listing through the reverse split.
Nano cap VistaGen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VTGN) is up 4% premarket following its announcement that social anxiety disorder (SAD) expert Michael Liebowitz, M.D. has joined its CNS Clinical and Regulatory Advisory Board ahead of the launch of Phase 3 development for PH94B, a potential on-demand nasal spray for the condition.
Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBGL) +6.8% pre-market and surging as much as 20% on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, a development the company says is reflective of its “better outlook."
“We are recovering from the significant negativity from the first quarter and the market is starting to reflect the better outlook,” says SBGL's head of investor relations.
Traders say the improvement is part of a wider appreciation in South African gold shares and not related to a short squeeze; other South African miners also are higher pre-market: HMY +4.9%, AU +3.9%, GFI +2.5%.
SBGL has surged 16% since Thursday, when Goldman Sachs said the stock was "materially undervalued."
Morgan Stanley says it also favors SBGL because the stock “trades at a material discount to its sum of the parts and where valuation is ignoring sources of optionality,” and AU's premium relative to South African peers is “warranted” because of its diversification and lower cost of production.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:INO) is up 7% premarket on light volume on the heels of its announcement of positive preclinical data on its Ebola vaccine INO-4212.
INO-4212, administered via IM injection in one study, elicited 100% protection against a lethal Ebola challenge. In another study, two intradermal injections of the vaccine candidate also provided 100% protection from a lethal Ebola challenge (both involved monkeys).
In a previously completed Phase 1 study in healthy humans, the vaccine produced an Ebola-specific antibody immune response in 95% (n=170/179) of participants.
The company says it is working with collaborators and potential new funders to advance INO-4212.
Preliminary data from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating Krystal Biotech's (NASDAQ:KRYS) gene therapy KB103 in patients with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) showed a treatment effect.
Two patients received topical KB103 followed by intradermal injections to intact skin. The data showed a meaningful clinical benefit with functional COL7 (collagen type 7) protein and anchoring fibril formation.
On the safety front, no safety signals were observed.
RDEB is a rare inherited disorder characterized by fragile skin that blisters when subjected to even mild friction. It is caused by mutations in the COL7 gene.
The company and principal investigator will host a webcast at 8:45 am ET to discuss the results.
Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) announces that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 set a new launch day record as the largest day one digital release in company history, breaking the previous record set by Call of Duty: WWII.
The game, which was released on Friday, set a new PlayStation record for day one digital full game sales on PlayStation Store and became the best-selling Activision Xbox One game on day one.
Analyst action: Barclays upgrades Activision Blizzard from Equal Weight to Overweight. (Source: StreetAccount.)
First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) +2.3% pre-market after announcing record quarterly production of 6.7M silver equiv. oz. in Q3, consisting of 3.5M oz. of silver, 35.2K oz. of gold, 4.4 M lbs. of lead and 1.2M lbs. of zinc.
YTD silver production totaled 8.4M oz., or 15.8M silver equiv. oz., in-line with full-year production guidance of 12M-13.2M silver oz. or 20.5M-22.6M silver equiv. oz.
AG attributes the record quarter primarily to a full quarter of production from the San Dimas operation, along with respective 19% and 35% increases in consolidated silver and gold grades, with five of its six mines recording higher production levels as a result of the grade improvements.
AG also says it is implementing a 20% cost reduction program across all areas due to prolonged silver price weakness.
Argenx (NASDAQ:ARGX) initiated with Outperform rating and $110 (51% upside) price target at Evercore ISI.
Elanco Animal Health (NYSE:ELAN) initiated with Equal Weight rating at Morgan Stanley. Initiated with Overweight rating and $38 (17% upside) price target at JPMorgan. Initiated with Buy rating and $37 price target at Citigroup. Initiated with Neutral rating and $30 price target at Goldman Sachs. Initiated with Outperform rating and $38 price target at Cowen and Company.
KalVista Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KALV) initiated with Buy rating and $33 (76% upside) price target at Stifel.
Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) resumed with Neutral rating and $120 (9% upside) price target at Goldman.
Arbutus Biopharma (NASDAQ:ABUS) upgraded to Neutral with a $5 (16% upside) price target at Wedbush. Sharses up 2% premarket.
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) upgraded to Buy with an $8 (101% upside) price target at Jefferies after the Ad Com nod for DSUVIA. Shares up 26% premarket.
Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) upgraded to Overweight with a $100 (12% upside) price target at JPMorgan.
Carl Icahn writes an open letter to Dell (NYSE:DVMT) stockholders saying he plans to vote against the proposed merger. Icahn holds 8.3% of the Class V shares.
Icahn says the Dell tracking stock currently sells for about $92/share but is worth “on a pure mathematical basis” about $144/share.
Icahn blames the gap on the 2013 go-private transaction that left the market distrustful of Michael Dell and Silver Lake, the fact that the tracker “has basically zero governance rights,” and the gradual destruction of value due to “scare tactics” like floating the possibility of a Dell IPO.
Dell announced in July that it would pay $21.7B in cash and stock to buy back shares that track VMware (NYSE:VMW). The company has a potential IPO as a Plan B if the merger fails to win shareholder support.