The top pre-market NASDAQ Stock Market gainers are: Conns, Expedia, Curis, Seagate Technology, and NXP Semiconductors. The top pre-market NASDAQ Stock Market losers are: Hercules Offshore, Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Sangamo Biosciences, Qiao Xing Universal Resources, and Costco Wholesale.
Conns Inc. (CONN) stock jumped 31.83 percent to $7.29 in the pre-market trading. Conn’s recently said Theodore Wright would act as interim chief executive officer after Timothy Frank stepped down. The company said it will begin a search for a permanent replacement. In response to this appointment, Wright purchased $96,800 of company shares on April 4. CFO Michael Poppe followed that up with a $50,100 purchase of company shares the next day. This 10,466 share purchase brings Poppe's total holdings up to 15,574.
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) stock advanced 15.00 percent to $25.76 in the pre-market trading, as its board of directors has preliminarily approved a plan to separate the company into two publicly traded entities -- Expedia Inc. and TripAdvisor. The proposed spin-off is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2011.
Expedia Inc. will continue to include the domestic and international operations of the company's travel transaction brands including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, eLong, Hotwire and others. On other hand, TripAdvisor will include the domestic and international operations associated with the TripAdvisor Media Group, which includes its flagship brand as well as 18 other travel media and advertising brands
The company expects to effect the spin-off through a distribution of TripAdvisor shares to Expedia shareholders or a reclassification of Expedia stock. In either case, the transaction is expected to be tax free. The transaction is subject to a number of conditions including final approval by Expedia's board of transaction specifics. In addition, it is expected that Expedia will seek stockholder approval of the transaction.
Curis Inc. (CRIS) stock climbed 10.57 percent to $4.50 in the pre-market trading.
Seagate Technology PLC (STX) stock grew 7.69 percent to $15.82 in the pre-market trading, as it guided third quarter revenue above Street view. The company expects third quarter revenue of about $2.7 billion, while Street predicts $2.62 billion. Seagate expects third-quarter shipments of 49 million units and anticipates gross margin near or slightly above the high-end of the original outlook of 18 percent to 19 percent. Seagate said its board has approved a quarterly cash dividend of 18 cents a share, payable on June 1 to shareholders of record on May 2.
NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI) stock gained 4.80 percent to $34.52 in the pre-market trading. The company is in takeover talks with Intel Corp. (INTC), Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) and Broadcom Corp. (BRCM), a Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported citing a banker. The signals about an approach are now serious and are too strong to ignore, the newspaper quoted.
Hercules Offshore, Inc. (HERO) stock plunged 9.25 percent to $5.79 in the pre-market trading. In a regulatory filing, the company said it has received a subpoena issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting the delivery of certain documents to the SEC in connection with its investigation into possible violations of the securities laws, including possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in certain international jurisdictions where the company conducts operations.
The company has also notified by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that certain of its activities are under review by the Department. The company said it is currently not possible to predict the outcome of the investigations, the expenses it will incur associated with those matters, or the impact on the price of its common stock or other securities if the SEC or DOJ takes any actions regarding the investigations. The company said it plans to respond fully to the SEC subpoena and cooperate with the SEC and DOJ in their investigations.
Investor-rights law firm Hagens Berman LLP said it investigates Hercules Offshore to determine if the company violated securities laws after the announcement of a SEC investigation of certain of the company’s activities.
Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IDIX) stock fell 7.41 percent to $3 in the pre-market trading. The company said it has commenced an underwritten registered public offering of shares of its common stock. All of these shares are being sold by Idenix. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as sole book-running manager and underwriter for the offering. Idenix intends to grant the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15 percent of the amount sold to cover over-allotments, if any.
Sangamo Biosciences Inc. (SGMO) stock slid 6.67 percent to $7.80 in the pre-market trading. The company said it is offering to sell 6.7 million common shares pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement in an underwritten public offering. Barclays Capital Inc. is the sole book-running manager in this offering and Sangamo will grant the underwriter a 30 day option to buy up to 1.005 million additional shares.
Qiao Xing Universal Resources, Inc. (XING) stock declined 4.95 percent to $2.11 in the pre-market trading, as its chief financial officer Jiang Aijun, resigned from his position with immediate effect. The company is seeking a new CFO to replace Jiang. The company recently appointed Luo Zhaoyang as Financial Controller to strengthen its accounting department.
In addition, the company announced the timing for release of its 2010 financial results, as well as certain management changes. Currently, XING is expecting to file its 2010 financial results in May 2010, which is earlier than the company reported its annual financial results in recent prior years. As a Foreign Private Issuer, the company is required to file its annual results on Form 20-F by June 30, 2011.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) stock moved down 0.91 percent to $77.11 in the pre-market trading.