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Assured Guaranty, Massey, Savient, Sykes: U.S. Equity Movers

Updated on

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 4 p.m. in New York.

Applied Signal Technology Inc. (APSG US) rose 6.2 percent to $33.27, the highest price since January 2005. The maker of equipment for collecting and processing signals for the U.S. military hired Bank of America Corp. to explore strategic options, including a possible sale.

Assured Guaranty Corp. (AGO US) declined 8.3 percent, the most since May 14, to $19.52. The mortgage guarantor had its counterparty credit and financial strength Ratings cut to AA+ from AAA by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Citigroup Inc. (C US) advanced 2.4 percent to $4.21, the highest price since Oct. 13. Goldman Sachs added the bank 12 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers to its “conviction buy” list.

CommScope Inc. (CTV US) surged 30 percent to $30.16 for the biggest gain in the Russell 1000 Index. The North Carolina-based fiber-optic cable maker said Carlyle Group, the Washington-based leveraged buyout firm, is in talks to buy the company for $31.50 a share in cash, in a deal that would value the telecommunications equipment maker at about $3 billion.

Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN US) had the second-biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, rising 5.1 percent to $82.59. The largest U.S. maker of plastics for water bottles agreed to sell the PET business and related assets and technology of its Performance Polymers segment to DAK Americas LLC for $600 million.

Lorillard Inc. (LO US) climbed 1.3 percent to $85.14, the highest price since it was spun off from Loews Corp. in 2008. The maker of Newport cigarettes reported third-quarter earnings were $1.81 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.65 a share.

Massey Energy Co. (MEE US) rose 3.4 percent to $41.17, the highest intraday price since April 28. The coal miner may get $62 a share in an offer by Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF US), Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Paul Massoud said.

Motricity Inc. (MOTR US) jumped 14 percent to $19.90 for its biggest gain since Oct. 13. The provider of mobile-data services was recommended as a “speculative” pick by CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, who said the company will benefit from the increasing use of smartphones.

Nalco Holding Co. (NLC US) rose 3.6 percent to $27.46, the highest price since October 2007. The environmental services provider may rise as much as 50 percent as China boosts demand for pollution-control technologies, Barron’s said.

Office Depot Inc. (ODP US) rose 3.5 percent to $4.79, its biggest gain since Oct. 12. The second-largest U.S. office- supply chain said third-quarter earnings were about 18 cents a share, which includes a tax benefit of 15 cents a share. The average estimate of analysts was for a loss of 2 cents a share.

The Boca Raton, Florida-based company also announced Steve Odland, chairman and chief executive officer since 2005, has resigned from the company effective Nov. 1, by mutual agreement with the board. Neil R. Austrian will serve as interim chairman and CEO.

Pegasystems Inc. (PEGA US) advanced 13 percent, the most since May 2009, to $27.20. The developer of customer relationship management software started a service that allows lenders to automatically get rid of errors and “improve productivity in mortgage origination,” according to a release today.

Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. (PPD US) rallied 12 percent, the most since November 2009, to $62.74. The company, which sells memberships for legal services, said it received a buyout offer at $60 a share.

RadioShack Corp. (RSH US) fell the most in the S&P 500, slumping 9 percent to $20.74. The consumer-electronics retailer reported third-quarter gross margin fell to 45.4 percent from a year earlier, which Janney Montgomery Scott LLC analyst David Strasser said was disappointing.

Roper Industries Inc. (ROP US) climbed 1.3 percent to $70.38, the highest price since October 2007. The maker of radio-frequency tabs boosted its earnings forecast for 2010 to as much as $3.26 a share from a previous guidance of $3.15 a share at most.

Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SVNT US) plunged 44 percent, the most since October 2008, to $12.07. The unprofitable biotechnology company said it failed to find a buyer. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY US) and Novartis AG (NVS US) both passed on acquiring Savient because of concern about price, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The board of directors will continue to “evaluate strategic alternatives,” Savient said in a statement today. Inc. (SOHU US) surged 14 percent, the most since November 2008, to $74.93. The operator of China’s fourth most-visited website said third-quarter profit rose 12 percent, beating analysts’ estimates, as the company increased sales of online advertising and Internet games.

Sykes Enterprises Inc. (SYKE US) rallied 12 percent, the most since October 2009, to $16.86. The operator of call centers said third-quarter profit excluding some items was at least 35 cents a share. That topped the 24-cent average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Value Line Inc. (VALU US) had the second-biggest gain in the Russell 2000 Index, jumping 19 percent to $17.11. The money manager and publisher of investment guides said it will pay a $2-a-share special dividend instead of the regularly scheduled 20-cent payout.

Wilmington Trust Corp. (WL US) dropped the most in the Russell 1000 Index, sinking 12 percent to $7.70. The Delaware bank founded by the du Pont family may fetch $8 a share at most in a takeover, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC analyst Stephen M. Moss wrote in a note.

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