The top pre-market NASDAQ stock market gainers are: Aeterna Zentaris, AeroVironment, Hercules Offshore, Randgold Resources, and ASML Holding. The top pre-market NASDAQ stock market losers are: Finisar, Oclaro, JDS Uniphase, Ciena, Infinera, and Opnext.
Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (AEZS) stock climbed 16.20 percent to $2.08 in the pre-market trading. The company and Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. announced the signing of an exclusive development, commercialization and licensing agreement for the development, registration and marketing of perifosine, Aeterna Zentaris' lead anti-cancer compound, for Japan. Perifosine, a novel oral PI3K/Akt inhibitor, is currently in two Phase 3 programs for the treatment of colorectal cancer and multiple myeloma in the United States and Europe.
Aeterna Zentaris will receive an initial 6 million Euro ($8.3 million) upfront payment and will be entitled to receive additional up to 44 million Euro ($60.9 million) payments upon achieving certain pre-established milestones including clinical and regulatory events in Japan. Furthermore, Aeterna Zentaris will be supplying perifosine to Yakult Honsha on a cost-plus-basis and be entitled to receive double-digit royalties on future net sales of perifosine in Japan. Yakult Honsha will be responsible for the development, registration and commercialization in Japan.
Hercules Offshore, Inc. (HERO) stock advanced 14.26 percent to $6.17 in the pre-market trading, as its fourth quarter loss was narrower than Street view. Adjusted loss from continuing operations narrowed to $3.34 million or 3 cents a share from $25.85 million or 23 cents a share last year. Revenue fell to $172.25 million from $176.4 million. Analysts had expected a loss of 11 cents a share on revenue of $170.43 million.
AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV) stock jumped 12.76 percent to $32.26 in the pre-market trading, as its third quarter earnings and revenue exceeded Street view. Profit was $11.5 million or 52 cents a share, up from $6.5 million or 30 cents a share last year. Revenue rose 39 percent to $84.4 million. Analysts had expected profit of 38 cents a share on revenue of $78.53 million.
The company now expects to achieve revenue growth for fiscal 2011 of 12.5 percent to 15 percent over the previous year, which is the upper half of its prior guidance range, while Street predicts revenue growth of 12.80 percent. The company also reiterated its operating income margin guidance of between 10 percent and 12 percent of revenue.
Randgold Resources Ltd. (GOLD) stock gained 1.91 percent to $75.16 in the pre-market trading. The company confirmed that despite the continuing political impasse in the Cote d'Ivoire, its recently commissioned mine at Tongon was still operating on plan as stated when the company reported its quarterly results last month. At that time, it said the mine was functioning normally, albeit with some interruptions and delays related to the situation in the country.
The company continued to monitor and manage developments and would make a further announcement if these affected its operations to a material degree, said Mark Bristow, Randgold's chief executive officer on Wednesday.
ASML Holding NV (ASML) stock increased 1.42 percent to $44.23 in the pre-market trading.
Finisar Corp. (FNSR) stock plunged 37.31 percent to $25.10 in the pre-market trading, on disappointing fourth quarter outlook. The company said the fourth quarter results will be impacted by the full three months of the annual price negotiations with telecom customers that typically take effect on January 1, the 10-day long shutdown at certain customers for Chinese New Year in February, the adjustment of inventory levels at some telecom customers, particularly for products which had previously been on allocation and long lead times, and a slowdown in business in China overall.
As a result, the company expects fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 31 cents to 35 cents a share and revenue of $235 million to $250 million, lower than Street profit view of 48 cents a share on revenue of $268.55 million.
Finisar posted third quarter adjusted earnings of $42.5 million or 47 cents a share, up from $11.5 million or 17 cents a share last year. Revenue grew 57.6 percent to $263.02 million. Analysts had expected profit of 47 cents a share on revenue of $257.93 million.
The weak outlook from Finisar casts a pall of gloom on the fiber optics sector. JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU) stock plummeted 11.54 percent to $22.45 in the pre-market trading, while Oclaro, Inc. (OCLR) stock dropped 14.26 percent to $14.25.
Finisar's explanation for the weak outlook is causing trouble for the rest of the optical stocks -- just a day after the sector took a hit on disappointing financial guidance from Ciena (CIEN), which fell 4.99 percent to $24.40 in the pre market.
Other stocks getting hit included: Opnext, Inc. (OPXT) fell 4.55 percent to $3.57, and Infinera Corp. (INFN) declined 4.91 percent to $7.94.