The top pre-market NASDAQ Stock Market gainers are: Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Diamond Foods, Expedia, and ON Semiconductor. The top pre-market NASDAQ Stock Market losers are: SemiLEDs, Prospect Capital, Cree, A-Power Energy Generation Systems, Aixtron, and Apple.
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST) stock climbed 15.13 percent to $29.07 in the pre-market trading, after it granted Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) the license to launch the generic version of its antibiotic Cubicin, thus ending the patent dispute between the two. Teva may launch its generic daptomycin product in the U.S. on June 24, 2018, if Cubist gets a 6-month extension of marketing exclusivity for Cubicin. But, without the extension Teva will be able to launch its generic version on December 24, 2017.
Cubist currently has Orange Book patents that are due to expire on September 24, 2019. Pediatric exclusivity, if granted, would add 6 months to that expiration date. The agreement also provides that, for the period the license from Cubist to Teva is in effect, Teva will purchase its U.S. requirements of daptomycin exclusively from Cubist. The payments to be made for such supply will be based on the cost-of-goods-sold plus a margin, and on a specified percentage of gross margin from the sale of Teva's generic daptomycin.
Cubicin is approved in the U.S. and many non-US markets as therapy for bloodstream infections, including right-sided endocarditis, and complicated skin infections caused by certain Gram-positive bacteria.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (QCOR) stock jumped 13.94 percent to $17 in the pre-market trading, as it guided first quarter revenue above Street view, led by a 115 percent surge in sales of its main drug H.P. Acthar Gel, which is used to treat certain disorders with an inflammatory component. The company expects first quarter sales of $48.6 million, higher than Street view of $33.6 million.
Questcor said new paid prescriptions of Acthar Gel exceeded 500, a surge of 115 percent compared with last year. The company shipped 2,010 vials of Acthar during the quarter. The company expects operating expenses for the first quarter of $16 million to $18 million.
The solid growth seen in the fourth quarter was emulated in the first quarter, thanks to strong sales of Acthar. In March alone, the drug's prescriptions for multiple sclerosis improved 50 percent over February. Prior spikes in sequential quarterly Achtar prescriptions have usually been succeeded by modest sequential growth, said Don Bailey, chief executive officer of Questcor.
Diamond Foods, Inc. (DMND) stock advanced 7.48 percent to $61.50 in the pre-market trading. The company has agreed to buy Pringles business from Procter & Gamble Co (PG) in a deal valued at $2.35 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of calendar 2011. Pringles has sales in over 140 countries and manufacturing operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The value of the transaction comprises of $1.5 billion in Diamond common stock, consisting of 29.1 million shares for about 57 percent of the outstanding shares of the combined company, and the assumption of $850 million of Pringles debt. Diamond's existing shareholders would continue to own around 43 percent of the combined company. Assuming Pringles had been owned for all of fiscal year 2011, the combined company would be expected to deliver double-digit accretion to earnings per share or EPS, excluding merger and integration costs on net sales of about $2.4 billion.
For fiscal 2012, Diamond expects strong growth in its core business with EPS of $2.85 to $2.98 on a standalone basis, an increase of 15 percent to 20 percent from the midpoint of its fiscal 2011 guidance range, which represents a 30 percent increase over 2010 EPS. Combined results for Diamond plus the Pringles business for fiscal 2012 will depend on the actual closing date of the transaction. Fiscal 2012 total net sales are estimated to be around $1.8 billion and EPS, before costs associated with the transaction and integration, are estimated to range from $3.00 to $3.10 a share, which reflects EPS accretion of 12 to 15 cents a share.
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) stock grew 5.13 percent to $23.58 in the pre-market trading, as American Airlines restores distribution deal with Expedia. American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corp. (AMR), and Expedia announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will allow the companies to resume doing business together, effective immediately. Access to fares and schedule information of American Airlines and its subsidiary American Eagle has been restored for search and ticketing on Expedia and Hotwire sites worldwide initially via global distribution system (GDS) technology.
Expedia said it plans to access American's fares, schedules, travel products and services via American's Direct Connect link by using aggregation technology provided by a GDS. Expedia website stopped displaying and selling American Airlines' tickets on its website from the beginning of this year after the escalation of a commercial dispute between the airline and travel websites.
ON Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN) stock increased 4.96 percent to $10.15 in the pre-market trading. Texas Instruments (TI) (TXN) said Monday it agreed to buy National Semiconductor (NSM) for $6.5 billion, or $25 a share, a deal that combines two industry leaders in analog semiconductors, each with unique strengths in delivering products to improve performance and efficiency and convert real-world signals in electronic systems.
SemiLEDs Corp. (LEDS) stock plunged 19.43 percent to $11.65 in the pre-market trading. Adjusted loss for the second quarter was $0.74 million or 3 cents a share, compared to a profit of $1.93 million or 4 cents a share last year. Revenue rose to $9.96 million from $7.68 million. Analysts had expected profit of 8 cents a share on revenue of $11.22 million.
The company expects third quarter loss of 7 cents to 10 cents a share and revenue of $6 million to $7 million, while Street analysts predict profit of 14 cents a share on revenue of $13.88 million.
Prospect Capital Corp. (PSEC) stock slid 5.35 percent to $11.50 in the pre-market trading. The company said it priced the public offering of 9 million common shares. Prospect has granted the underwriter a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 1.35 million common shares. The offering is expected to close on April 7.
The company expects to use the proceeds from the offering initially to maintain balance sheet liquidity, involving repayment of debt under its credit facility, investments in high quality short-term debt instruments or a combination thereof, and thereafter to make long-term investments in accordance with its investment objective.
Separately, Prospect Capital said it narrowed its third quarter net investment income guidance to range of 25 cents to 27 cents a share from previous forecast of 24 cents to 30 cents a share.
Cree Inc. (CREE) stock declined 4.44 percent to $43.65 in the pre-market trading.
A-Power Energy Generation Systems, Ltd. (APWR) stock decreased 2.86 percent to $4.08 in the pre-market trading.
Aixtron SE (AIXG) stock moved down 2.18 percent to $43.90 in the pre-market trading.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) stock moved down 1.45 percent to $336.25 in the pre-market trading. The company's weighting in the Nasdaq-100 Index was cut as it had its first major reshuffle since 1998 to better reflect companies’ market value. Apple’s representation will be reduced to 12.33 percent of the index on May 2, from 20.49 percent, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) said in a slide show on its website.
The weightings of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) will more than double. The weighting for Microsoft will be increased to 8.32 percent, the Nasdaq slides showed. Cisco Systems will be boosted to 3.66 percent from 1.56 percent.