The top pre-market NASDAQ Stock Market gainers are: Micromet, Verigy, Harbin Electric, Zipcar, Lululemon Athletica, and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals. The top pre-market NASDAQ Stock Market losers are: Diana Containerships, Life Partners Holdings, LM Ericsson Telephone, SIRIUS XM Radio, Research In Motion, and Vodafone Group.
Micromet, Inc. (MITI) stock jumped 12.64 percent to $5.96 in the pre-market trading. Data to be presented tomorrow at the 16th Annual Meeting of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in London, UK, show that Micromet’s blinatumomab produced a high complete remission rate in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who had relapsed following treatment with standard therapy.1 Blinatumomab is the most advanced of a new class of agents called BiTE antibodies, designed to harness the body's T cells to kill cancer cells.
Interim results from this phase 2 single-arm trial showed that 75% of patients (9 of 12) achieved a complete remission (CR) or CR with partial recovery of blood counts (CRh) following treatment with blinatumomab. All nine responding patients achieved a complete molecular response, or had no evidence of leukemic cells in their bone marrow, a key prognostic factor for patient survival. Notably, four patients with genetic abnormalities typically associated with poorer outcomes all achieved a CR or CRh. Current treatment for Philadelphia negative relapsed/refractory ALL consists of combinations of toxic chemotherapy drugs that in the majority of cases fail to drive the disease into remission. In more than 30 years, no new drug has been approved for use in this setting, leaving physicians with few options to improve long-term patient outcomes other than variations in the dose and schedule of old drugs with limited efficacy. With current approaches, complete remission rates range from 17 percent to 45 percent. Standard chemotherapy is associated with a mortality rate of up to 23 percent. The average five-year survival rate for adult ALL patients after first relapse is 7 percent.
Verigy, Ltd. (VRGY) stock climbed 10.75 percent to $14.94 in the pre-market trading. In a regulatory filing, the company said it entered into an Implementation Agreement on March 28 with Advantest Corp. pursuant to which Advantest proposes to acquire all outstanding Verigy ordinary shares (other than those held by Advantest and its subsidiaries) for $15 per share. The obligation of Advantest to consummate the transaction contemplated by the Implementation Agreement is conditioned on, among other things, expiration of the waiting period (and any extensions of such waiting period) under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. On June 9, Verigy received notification from the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, of the termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act with respect to the Transaction.
Harbin Electric, Inc. (HRBN) stock advanced 8.91 percent to $16.86 in the pre-market trading. The company said its board has received a letter from its chief executive officer, Tianfu Yang, and Abax Global Capital reaffirming their proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Common Stock of Harbin Electric not currently owned by Yang, Abax and their respective affiliates in a going private transaction for $24.00 per share in cash. Yang, Abax and their respective affiliates collectively own about 40.72 percent of Harbin Electric's Common Stock.
In addition, Harbin Electric said its board has received from Yang and Abax an executed copy of a Facility Agreement between Tech Full Electric Co. Ltd., the acquisition vehicle formed for use in connection with the proposed acquisition and going private transaction, and China Development Bank Corporation Hong Kong Branch (CDB). Pursuant to the Facility Agreement, CDB has agreed to provide to Tech Full a $400 million term loan to fund Tech Full's proposed purchase of all of the outstanding shares of Common Stock of Harbin Electric not currently owned by Yang, Abax and their respective affiliates, subject to certain conditions. Harbin Electric's Board has formed a special committee of independent directors consisting of David Gatton, Boyd Plowman and Ching Chuen Chan to consider and evaluate this proposal. Although no decisions have yet been made by the Special Committee with respect to this proposal, the Special Committee is continuing its work with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors.
Zipcar, Inc. (ZIP) stock increased 7.18 percent to $20.74 in the pre-market trading.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) stock gained 6.91 percent to $92.09 in the pre-market trading. Profit for the first quarter was $33.37 million or $0.46 per share, up from $19.59 million or $0.27 per share last year. Revenue grew to $186.78 million from $138.3 million. Analysts had expected profit of $0.38 per share on revenue of $181.21 million. Comparable stores sales increased by 16 percent on a constant dollar basis.
The company expects second quarter earnings of $0.42 to $0.44 per share and revenue of $200 million to $205 million, based on a comparable-store sales percentage increase in the mid-to-upper teens on a constant-dollar basis, while Street predicts profit of $0.40 per share on revenue of $197.48 million. For the full year 2011, the company raised its earnings guidance to range of $2.10 to $2.16 per share from previous forecast of $1.90 to $2.00 per share. The company also increased 2011 revenue outlook to range of $915 million to $930 million from previous range of $885 million to $900 million. Street analysts predict profit of $2.04 per share on revenue of $916.71 million for the full year.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX) stock gained 5.45 percent to $3.48 in the pre-market trading. A novel variant of swine flu has emerged in Asia with a genetic adaptation giving some resistance to Roche's Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Relenza, the two mainstay drugs used to tackle the disease, according to a Reuters report. Researchers said more than 30 percent of H1N1 swine flu infection samples from northern Australia, and more than 10 percent of those in Singapore, collected during the early months of 2011 had mildly reduced sensitivity to the two drugs. There was no significant reduction in sensitivity to peramivir, an experimental flu drug from BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.
Diana Containerships Inc. (DCIX) stock fell 7.30 percent to $7.37 in the pre-market trading. The company said it has priced its public offering of 14.25 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $7.50 per share. The proceeds of the offering and a $20 million concurrent private placement of approximately 2.67 million common shares to Diana Shipping Inc. are expected to be used to repay in full the company's existing secured term loan facility with DnB NOR Bank ASA, to fund the balance of the acquisition costs of three containerships that the company has agreed to acquire, and the balance for additional containership acquisitions and general corporate purposes, including working capital. The underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2.14 million shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any. The offering is expected to close on June 15.
Life Partners Holdings, Inc. (LPHI) stock slid 7.16 percent to $3.50 in the pre-market trading. In a regulatory filing, the company said it has received a letter on June 6 from Ernst & Young LLP addressed to the Chairman of our Audit Committee confirming that it had resigned effective June 3, as its independent registered public accounting firm, as had been orally communicated to the Chairman of the Audit Committee on June 3. The resignation means that Ernst & Young will not certify the company's financial statements for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2011, which is necessary for completing and filing our Annual Report on Form 10-K for Fiscal 2011. Ernst & Young stated that its reports dated May 12, 2010, with respect to the Fiscal 2010 financial statements and the effectiveness of its internal controls over financial reporting as of February 28, 2010, may no longer be relied upon.
LM Ericsson Telephone Co. (ERIC) stock declined 1.18 percent to $14.19 in the pre-market trading. Moody's upgraded Ericsson's senior debt rating to A3, with stable outlook.
SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (SIRI) stock decreased 1.01 percent to $2.06 in the pre-market trading.
Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) stock moved down 0.72 percent to $37.34 in the pre-market trading. The company unveiled plans to launch the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in an additional 16 markets around the world over the next 30 days. The BlackBerry PlayBook is scheduled to launch in the UK, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.
Vodafone Group plc (VOD) stock moved down 0.68 percent to $26.35 in the pre-market trading. Vivendi SA, the French media company, said the European Commission has granted approval for its acquisition of Vodafone Group's 44 percent stake in SFR. Vivendi, which already holds 56 percent stake in SFR, said the approval was received on Thursday, and the company is required to complete the deal in the next few days. On April 3, Vodafone announced an agreement to sell its entire 44 percent shareholding in SFR to Vivendi for a cash consideration of 7.75 billion euros.