US STOCK FUTURES: HOT STOCKS TO WATCH

Date : 04/02/2012 @ 9:12AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Medtronic Plc. Ordinary Shares (MDT)
Quote : 83.09  -0.04 (-0.05%) @ 4:00PM

US STOCK FUTURES: HOT STOCKS TO WATCH

Avon Products (NYSE:AVP)
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Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Monday's session are Avon Products Inc. (AVP), Groupon Inc. (GRPN) and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (KERX).

Fragrance maker Coty Inc. offered to acquire Avon Products Inc. (AVP) in a cash deal that values the struggling door-to-door beauty products seller at roughly $10 billion. Coty is offering $23.25 a share to Avon shareholders, a 20% premium to Friday's closing price. Shares jumped 20% in premarket trade Monday to $23.32. Avon said Monday the bid is opportunistic and substantially undervalues the company, adding it remains confident in its stand-alone prospects and is committed to its previously announced CEO search.

Groupon lowered its reported fourth-quarter results after the daily-deals service discovered it had to set aside more money for customer refunds. Auditor Ernst & Young also discovered a "material weakness in its internal controls" for the year, prompting shares to slump 11% to $16.31 premarket.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (KERX) and Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (AEZS) reported the combined use of perifosine and the chemotherapy-drug capecitabine as a treatment for refractory advanced colorectal cancer didn't meet a Phase 3 clinical trial's primary endpoint. Shares of Keryx dropped 52% to $2.39 premarket and Aeterna was down 64% at 78 cents as the companies said the study of 468 patients at 65 U.S. sites found perifosine with capecitabine didn't improve the overall survival rate when compared with capecitabine alone.

Towerstream Corp. (TWER) has signed a Wi-Fi agreement with a national wireless carrier utilizing its current and future rooftop assets, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday. Shares of the wireless broadband network services provider jumped 25% to $5.95 premarket.

AVI BioPharma Inc. (AVII) said a 24-week study showed that eteplirsen had a statistically significant effect in raising the level of a key protein, dystrophin, in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Shares of AVI BioPharma tumbled 29% to $1.10 premarket.

"The Hunger Games" reached $251 million in domestic box-office receipts, according to preliminary studio estimates, and handily fended off two newcomers to remain in the No. 1 spot for the second weekend in a row. Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) added 1.7% to $14.15 in recent premarket trading.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) agreed to buy back $2.43 billion in securities from Allianz SE (ALIZF, AZSEY, ALV.XE) in order to give the company financial flexibility and improve its capital structure. Hartford shares inched up 1.4% to $21.37 premarket.

 
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Ener1 Inc. (HEVVQ), a manufacturer of rechargeable car batteries, said it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a privately held company.

Medtronic Inc. (MDT) said it reached an agreement in principle to settle all claims in a previously disclosed federal shareholder class action for $85 million.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. (HBAN) agreed to acquire the assets and deposits of a failed Michigan bank, in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-assisted takeover, adding to the regional bank's footprint.

-Edited by Corrie Driebusch and Drew FitzGerald; write to corrie.driebusch@dowjones.com




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