Among the companies whose shares are expected to actively trade in Monday's session are Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IDIX), Inhibitex Inc. (INHX) and GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK, GSK.LN).
Idenix surged 44% to $10.16 in recent premarket trading in the wake of fellow Hepatitis C drug developer Inhibitex's planned $2.5 billion purchase by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY). But Brean Murray Carret says Idenix's effort in the space "will ultimately yield results that do not match what we have become accustomed to" from others. The investment bank keeps its 7-month-old sell rating and $3 price target on Idenix, noting that "although the gut reaction will be to view Idenix as a similar investment as Pharmasset Inc. (VRUS) and Inhibitex, we strongly caution against viewing these assets as being equivalent as we believe there are deficiencies in the clinical profile" of Idenix's effort. Inhibitex soared 148% to $24.50 in recent premarket trading and Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACHN) is also receiving a boost, soaring 31% to $10.24.
GlaxoSmithKline's American depository shares are down 2.9% at $44.86 premarket after the company said it completed Phase III studies for Relovair. The results are mixed and some risk is involved, according to Shore Capital. "The data are probably not as clean as we would have liked and although the lack of superiority versus Advair probably has little relevance to approvability, we believe that it could limit [Relovair's] commercial positioning," the firm says.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR) said the number of paid prescriptions of its treatment for the flare-up of multiple sclerosis more than doubled in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. Shares rose 9.9% to $42.80 in premarket trading as the pharmaceutical company said H.P. Acthar paid prescriptions for MS rose about 165% in the latest period to an estimated 935 to 950 paid prescriptions.
IPC The Hospitalist Co. (IPCM) lowered its full-year guidance and gave fourth-quarter guidance below analyst expectations, noting unexpected softness in patient volumes in certain practices hurt revenue in the latest quarter. Shares slid 16% to $38.34 in premarket trading as the provider of hospitalist services also said the continued use of temporary staffing at several of its larger practices, and start-up costs to open several new practices, hurt profits.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU, LLL.T) said Friday that founder Chip Wilson would step down from his position as chief innovation and branding officer Jan. 29 but will remain chairman of the yoga-wear maker. The company's common stock traded in New York was down 2.1% at $52.56 in light premarket trading.
Vivus Inc.'s (VVUS) shares surged 18% to $12 premarket as the pharmaceutical company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked the company to remove the restriction against use by women of childbearing age on the proposed label for the weight-loss drug Qnexa.
Biotechnology firm Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (ACOR) said it expects sales of its Ampyra drug to rise to $255 million to $275 million in 2012, up from $210 million last year. Shares edged up 0.3% to $25.75 premarket.
Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) said the number of drilling rigs actively exploring or developing oil during December decreased by 1.9% from November.
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (DO) ordered a moored semisubmersible rig from Keppel AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas, at an estimated cost of $300 million. The rig, to be named the Ocean Onyx, will be able to operate in water as much as 6,000 feet deep and is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2013.
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS) projected revenue for 2012 below analysts' expectations and the vaccine and drug developer narrowed its profit estimate for 2011.
Humana Inc. (HUM) predicted sales of Medicare Advantage plans for 2012 would be somewhat higher than previously expected.
InfoSpace Inc. (INSP) said it agreed to acquire tax-preparation company TaxACT for $287.5 million in cash, giving the Internet search company new exposure to the growing online tax-preparation market.
Jones Group Inc. (JNY) is shelving plans to sell its jeanswear division, saying it will instead focus on ownership and normal operations of the business. The owner of such brands as Nine West, Jones New York and RachelRoy last year had been exploring a potential sale of the business to private-label apparel maker Delta Galil Industries Inc. (DELTY, DELT.TV) for between $350 million and $400 million.
Mistras Group Inc.'s (MG) fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 40% on a sharp increase in products and systems revenue. The company, which provides software and inspection services to test and monitor the safety of critical infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants and bridges, also raised its full-year revenue estimate.
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) predicted it was modestly profitable excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter on sales of about $3.4 billion, saying mobile-device competition increased along with its legal costs.
Regis Corp. (RGS), the parent of haircut chains such as Supercuts, reported fiscal second-quarter revenue that missed analysts' expectations, saying its same-store sales came in lower than expected.
TranSwitch Corp. (TXCC) said its fourth-quarter revenue will be lower than previously expected due to a contractual dispute on a service agreement with a North American customer. The company said it now expects revenue of about $6.3 million, down from its November projection of about $7 million.
United Technologies Corp.'s (UTX) Carrier business and GD Midea Holding Co. (000527.SZ) agreed to form an air conditioning manufacturing and distribution venture in India, a deal that will grow the companies' international partnerships and help them increase manufacturing scale.
Brazilian miner Vale SA (VALE, VALE5.BR), said Monday that heavy rains are leading to "momentary halts" in production at its iron ore mines in Minas Gerais state, south east Brazil.
Zep Inc.'s (ZEP) fiscal first-quarter earnings slumped 28% as revenue slipped more than expected and higher raw material costs outpaced the cleaning-products maker's ability to raise prices for its products.
-Edited by Ian Thomson and Maya Pope-Chappell; write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com