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.
Index changes: Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. (AHL US) rose
2.8 percent to $29.92. The insurer will replace Baldor Electric Co. (BEZ US) in the Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 Index. Vitamin Shoppe Inc. (VSI US) climbed 5 percent to $33.67. The retailer will replace Volt Information Sciences Inc. (VOL US) in the S&P SmallCap 600 Index.
Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (ACOR US) plunged 14 percent, the most since October 2009, to $23.97. The biotechnology company declined after the European Medicines Agency didn’t approve the company’s Fampyra drug, which is developed to improve walking ability in adult patients with multiple sclerosis. Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB US) licensed rights from Acorda to sell the drug in markets outside the U.S. The world’s largest maker of multiple-sclerosis treatments fell 2.9 percent to $66.77.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD US) dropped the most in the S&P 500, retreating 6 percent to $7.54. FBR Capital Markets Corp. cut its 2011 and 2012 earnings estimates on the second-largest maker of computer microprocessors, citing “mixed” fourth-quarter results and the dismissal of Chief Executive Officer Dirk Meyer earlier this month.
BB&T Corp. (BBT US) rose 4.8 percent to $28.39, the highest price since July 13. The North Carolina bank that remained profitable through the financial crisis, reported fourth-quarter profit increased 12 percent on lower credit costs. Net income was 30 cents a share. That beat the 25-cent average estimate of 34 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Dean Foods Co. (DF US) rose 6.1 percent to $10.46, the highest price since Nov. 5. Billionaire investor David Tepper, who holds a 7.4 percent stake in Dean, told CNBC that the biggest U.S. dairy processor “looks like a cheap company.”
General Electric Co. (GE US) had the biggest gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, advancing 7.1 percent to $19.74. The world’s biggest maker of jet engines, medical-imaging equipment and power turbines posted its third straight quarter of profit growth, beating analysts’ estimates, driven by a rebound in its finance unit, health-care and transportation divisions. Fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations rose to 36 cents a share. That exceeded the 32-cent average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts.
Hughes Communications Inc. (HUGH US) jumped 18 percent to $60.86, the highest price since it became an independent, publicly listed company in February 2006. The provider of high-speed Internet service by satellite, which is controlled by private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC, may be up for sale after hiring Barclays Plc as an adviser, Reuters reported.
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG US) rose the most in the S&P 500, jumping 13 percent to $326.58. The surgical-system maker posted earnings of $3.02 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $2.25 a share. Sales also exceeded forecasts.
J&J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF US) fell 5.8 percent, the most since Nov. 19, to $44.42. The maker of SuperPretzels reported first-quarter revenue that missed estimates.
News Corp. (NWSA US) rose 4.5 percent to $15.32, the highest price since May. The owner of Fox News and Twentieth Century Fox film studio is in talks that may lead to a sale of its Moscow-based outdoor advertising group as soon as late February, according to a person familiar with the plans. The unit may be valued at as much as $400 million the person said. News Corp. declined to comment.
Online Resources Corp. (ORCC US) rallied 33 percent to $6.07 for the biggest increase in the Russell 2000 Index. The maker of Internet banking software said it is evaluating “unsolicited expressions of interest in potential business combinations” which it has received as an alternative to its own growth plan.
People’s United Financial Inc. (PBCT US) fell 3.6 percent, the most since July 16, to $13.20. The Bridgeport, Connecticut-based lender said it agreed to buy Danvers Bancorp Inc. (DNBK US) in a 55 percent stock and 45 percent cash transaction valued at about $493 million. The stock was cut to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Danvers jumped 27 percent to $21.65.
Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (PBY US) surged 15 percent, the most since April 2009, the $14.15. The Philadelphia-based auto-parts retailer is considering a sale of the company and working with Bank of America Corp. to explore strategic options, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
Polycom Inc. (PLCM US) gained the most in the Russell 1000 Index, rallying 15 percent to $44.08. The largest independent maker of videoconferencing systems reported earnings of 49 cents a share, compared with the 43-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI US) jumped 5.9 percent, the most since July 22, to $29.50. The Georgia lender that has yet to repay $4.85 billion in U.S. bailout funds reported fourth-quarter profit excluding some items of $185 million, compared with a loss of $248 million in the same period in 2009, as provisions for credit losses decreased. The company earned $189 million in 2010 after a loss of $1.56 billion in the previous year.
Synaptics Inc. (SYNA US) slumped 11 percent to $28.55, the lowest price since Nov. 30. The maker of touch pads for digital music players and electronic devices was cut to “underperform” from “hold” at Needham & Co.
Tempur-Pedic International (TPX US) rose 11 percent to $43.65, the highest price since it went public in December 2003. The maker of luxury mattresses said 2011 earnings will be at least $2.60 a share and could reach $2.75. Analysts forecast earnings below that, at $2.49 a share, according to Bloomberg data.
Vivus Inc. (VVUS US) slumped 16 percent, the most since July 16, to $8.74. The drugmaker said the Food and Drug Administration has asked for an analysis of birth defects related to an ingredient in the company’s experimental Qnexa weight-loss drug.
Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG US) surged 27 percent, the most since November 2008, to $6.01. The record label hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to solicit takeover bids, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s plans. Amanda Collins, a spokeswoman for Warner Music, declined to comment.