Monday, September 30, 2013

Stocks to Watch: Achillion, Active Network, Harvest Natural

Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Monday’s session are Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ACHN), Active Network Inc.(ACTV) and Harvest Natural Resources Inc.(HNR)

Achillion Pharmaceuticals said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided to not lift its clinical hold on sovaprevir, the company’s experimental hepatitis C treatment. Shares plunged 53% to $3.37 in premarket trading as the company said the FDA’s response indicated that while Achillion’s submission addressed all the issues noted in the FDA’s June 29 letter, the FDA concluded that the removal of the clinical hold isn’t warranted.

Technology and media company Active Network will be taken private by Vista Equity Partners in a cash deal valued at about $1.05 billion. The company, which makes software used to build websites that help people find and register for events online, last month disclosed its board had established a committee to evaluate strategic options. Vista will acquire Active for $14.50 a share in cash, a 27% premium to Friday’s close. Shares surged 26% to $14.41 premarket.

Harvest Natural entered into exclusive negotiations to sell the company’s 67% interest in Dussafu Marine Permit PSC, offshore Gabon, for $137 million in cash to Vitol S.A., as the energy company moves forward with its plans to sell off the company. Shares climbed 7.2% to $5.50.

Omeros Corp. said its treatment for Huntington’s disease was granted orphan drug status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, accelerating the drug’s development. The designation, for novel drugs or biologics that treat a rare disease or condition, can provide the drug developer with a seven-year period of U.S. marketing exclusivity. Shares rose 4.6% to $10.31 premarket.

Cal-Maine Foods Inc.’s fiscal first-quarter earnings slipped 7% as the egg producer’s margins weakened, though revenue continued to strengthen. Chief Executive Dolph Baker said the latest quarter’s improved revenue reflected higher volumes and higher average selling prices. However, overall production costs were higher than the year-ago period, with feed costs up 6.7%.

Charm Communications Inc., an advertising agency in China, said it received a preliminary and nonbinding offer to be taken private from a consortium including its chairman and founder, He Dang, that values the company at about $180 million. The consortium offered to pay $4.70 in cash for each American depositary share, a 17% premium over Friday’s close. Shares were halted premarket.

Eli Lilly & Co. said it is disappointed that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has denied patient access to its Amyvid drug, which is used in imaging brain scans for use in patients who are being assessed for Alzheimer’s disease.

Ingersoll-Rand(IR) PLC said Friday its security business unit, Allegion, has completed $1.3 billion in financing using loans and bonds. Allegion plans to use the net proceeds from the offering of the notes and the senior secured term loan facilities to pay a special cash distribution to Ingersoll-Rand prior to its proposed spinoff, with any remaining amounts used for general corporate purposes, said Ingersoll-Rand.

Philip Morris International Inc. agreed to acquire a 49% interest in Arab Investors-TA for $625 million, a deal that aims to strengthen the cigarette maker’s profits in the Algerian market. The maker of Marlboro and L&M brand cigarettes has been seeking to increase its presence in emerging markets as cigarette sales volumes continue to weaken in many developed countries.

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