Market News: Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), OCZ Technology Group Inc. (OCZ) and Oxigene Inc. (OXGN).


U.S. stocks closed lower Monday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40 points to 13553. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index shed 4.6 points to 1461, and the Nasdaq Composite was off 5.3 points to 3179. Among the companies with shares actively trading after hours are Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), OCZ Technology Group Inc. (OCZ) and Oxigene Inc. (OXGN).

Advanced Micro Devices said Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert will resign to pursue other opportunities and named Corporate Controller Devinder Kumar as interim financial chief while the chip maker searches for a permanent replacement. Shares sank 7.7% to $3.70 after hours.

OCZ said President and Chief Executive Ryan Petersen has resigned, and named Chief Marketing Officer Alex Mei as interim CEO, a move that comes two weeks after the data-storage company said its fiscal second-quarter revenue would miss its expectations. Shares fell 7% to $4.15 after hours.

Oxigene has reached an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the study design of an advanced clinical trial of its investigational thyroid cancer treatment. Shares surged 40% to 77 cents after hours.

J.P. Morgan downgraded its ratings on five major players in the steel industry, saying steel prices are likely to fall further, while demand remains near pre-crisis levels. The bank cut AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS, $5.53, -$0.34, -5.79%), U.S. Steel Corp. (X, $21.31, -$1.04, -4.65%), Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF, $42.36, -$3.19, -7.00%), Metals USA Holdings Corp. (MUSA, $14.40, -$1.19, -7.63%) and Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (RS, $54.99, -$2.67, -4.63%) to neutral, sending shares down.

Agricultural-products company American Vanguard Corp. (AVD, $33.87, +$2.86, +9.22%) said it has appointed Jerome L. Cohen to serve as a member of the board, filling the vacancy that had been created by the passing of the late John B. Miles in February. Mr. Cohen will serve on both the audit committee and the nominating and corporate-governance committee of the board. Mr. Cohen has practiced corporate law for almost 40 years. The board also declared a semi-annual cash dividend of seven cents a share, an increase of two cents from the year-ago period.

AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (AHS, $8.68, -$1.08, -11.07%) was downgraded to sell from neutral by UBS, which cited the health-care staffing company’s sharp increase in share price on strong first-half results. “While favorable demographics and health reform could eventually drive incremental demand for the company’s medical staffing business, we do not see signs that either patient volumes or the overall unemployment rate are likely to improve materially over the near term,” UBS said in a note to clients. The investment bank added: “Hence, we remain cautious on the company’s intermediate revenue and margin outlook.”

Human DNA-sequencing company Complete Genomics Inc. (GNOM, $3.02, +$0.35, +13.11%) agreed to be acquired by Chinese genomics company BGI-Shenzhen in a roughly $117.6 million deal. BGI’s U.S. unit will launch a cash tender offer of $3.15 a share, an 18% premium to Complete Genomics’ Friday close.

Shares of anti-viral drug developer Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD, $65.80, +$3.78, +6.09%) rose Monday after analysts lifted their price targets. J.P. Morgan analyst Geoff Meacham raised his target to $75 from $70, citing enthusiasm over the company’s new HIV medication Stribild and hepatitis C drug program. On Friday, Deutsche Bank analyst Robyn Karnauskas raised her price target to $68 a share from $65.

B. Riley & Co. downgraded Globe Specialty Metals Inc. (GSM, $15.77, -$1.27, -7.45%) producer of silicon metal and other silicon-based alloys, to neutral, based on valuation, although the firm continues to like the long-term story. “Silicon metal prices remain lackluster,” said B. Riley in a note to clients, adding that should silicon metal prices not improve in time to be reflected in contracts, “our estimates would need to come down.”

Gulfport Energy Corp.’s (GPOR, $32.56, +$1.00, +3.17%) shares were upgraded to buy from accumulate by Global Hunter Securities, which also raised its price target for the oil-and-gas company to $43 from $30. Global Hunter said that it expects solid results to continue from Gulfport’s next Utica Shale wells, and that while this upgrade isn’t a direct response to specific robust expected data points, it is “a function of a step-up in our overall expectations for GPOR’s operating condition in general and overall Utica prospects.”

Iris International Inc. (IRIS, $19.54, +$6.12, +45.60%) said it entered into a definitive merger agreement under which diversified manufacturer Danaher Corp. (DHR, $54.84, +$0.08, +0.15%) will acquire the in-vitro diagnostics manufacturer for $19.50 a share in cash, representing roughly a 45% premium over Friday’s closing price. The roughly $352 million deal actually looks less costly for Danaher at $338 million, including debt assumption and net cash acquired, although further financial details weren’t provided.

Shares of Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (JAZZ, $55.29, +$7.17, +14.90%) jumped following news that a federal court has issued a Markman ruling largely in favor of Jazz on its narcolepsy medication Xyrem. In a note to investors on Monday, Jefferies analyst Corey Davis said that, based on an initial read, the ruling’s definition of patent-claim terms “seems like a clear win” for Jazz.

Learning Tree International Inc.’s (LTRE, $5.10, +$0.85, +20.00%) chief executive and his wife have offered to take the education company private in a deal that values it at $69.2 million. Chief Executive David C. Collins and his wife offered to buy the remaining shares of the company for $5.25 each, a premium of roughly 22% to Friday’s closing price.

Macquarie started coverage of Netflix Inc. (NFLX, $57.02, -$3.50, -5.78%) at underperform, saying it believes that content owners rule the roost and that the TV and film streaming provider is a price taker in an increasingly competitive market.

Activist investment fund Starboard Value LP has taken a 13.3% stake in office-supplies retailer Office Depot Inc. (ODP, $2.60, +$0.13, +5.26%). In a letter to Office Depot’s chief executive, Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith said that Office Depot’s shares are “deeply undervalued” but that management could take certain actions, such as cutting expenses, to improve performance. The stake makes Starboard the largest shareholder in Office Depot.

Online restaurant-reservation system OpenTable Inc. (OPEN, $46.50, -$2.70, -5.49%) was downgraded to neutral from overweight by Piper Jaffray, which cited valuation and a slight deceleration in industry trends for the third quarter as two key reasons for the cut. “We believe OPEN will need to materially beat Q3 estimates and point to upward revisions for future quarters in order to justify appreciations beyond current levels,” the firm said in a note to clients.

Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REGI, $8.26, +$2.15, +35.19%), which produces and markets biodiesel, should benefit from an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that raises the amount of biodiesel that must be put into fuel in 2013, said UBS analyst Mahavir Sanghavi. The ruling came earlier than expected, Mr. Sanghavi noted.

Drug developer Targacept Inc. (TRGT, $4.31, -$0.54, -11.13%) will no longer develop TC-5619 as a treatment for adults with inattentive-predominant attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, because the drug didn’t meet the primary endpoints of a Phase 2 study. The company also said it will cut jobs and limit investments to its clinical programs until it finds a new chief executive.

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc.’s (TSLA, $32.54, +$2.15, +7.07%) shares were upgraded by Morgan Stanley to overweight from underweight. The investment bank said Tesla has the ability to significantly outperform as analysts expectations have been damped by delivery delays. The firm also lifted its price target to $50 from $45, saying the risk-reward for Tesla is better than for other auto stocks it covers.

Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (THLD, $7.00, -$1.72, -19.72%) said new findings from a Phase 2b clinical trial of an investigational pancreatic-cancer drug showed that changes in overall survival weren’t “statistically significant,” though there was improvement in median overall survival. The biotechnology company said the trial wasn’t designed to detect a statistically significant improvement in overall survival.

Vivus Inc. (VVUS, $22.93, +$0.85, +3.85%) announced the public availability of obesity drug Qsymia ahead of schedule, sending shares up. Vivus had expected to launch Qsymia in the fourth quarter. The drug is now put to the test of whether physicians will prescribe it to obese patients.

Volterra Semiconductor Corp. (VLTR, $22.94, -$0.79, -3.33%) was downgraded to neutral from buy by Longbow Research, after “recent checks show continuing weakness in server shipments in 2012 and point to a further slowdown in notebook builds.” Though the firm is more bullish on the longer-term story for Volterra, it said it sees a lack of positive catalysts for Volterra through year-end.

Monday morning came and went without a renewed bid from Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (MLM, $87.42, -$3.51, -3.86%) for rival construction-materials company Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC, $46.22, -$2.95, -6.00%). Vulcan shares dropped, erasing some of gains from last week’s optimism that a deal could restart following the expiration of a four-month injunction.

Without any definitive news, the deal is “an open question,” SunTrust’s Keith Hughes told Dow Jones Newswires. Waste Connections Inc. (WCN, $32.81, +$3.14, +10.58%), a solid-waste services company, agreed to acquire R360 Environmental Solutions Inc., a provider of non-hazardous oilfield waste-treatment services, for $1.3 billion in cash as it looks to expand its existing exploration-and-production disposal activities. R360 operates 26 facilities and has annual revenue of about $300 million. Waste Connections, which expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter, said it will improve its margins.

Source: Dow Jones