Shares of the following companies are having unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as 1:10 p.m. in New York.
Acxiom Corp. (ACXM US) slid 23 percent, the most since April 2001, to $13.50. The computer-services company said John A. Meyer resigned as chief executive officer, effective March 28. Jerry D. Gramaglia, a member of the board, was named interim CEO while the board looks for a successor.
Advanced Battery Technologies Inc. (ABAT US) had the biggest decline in the Russell 2000 Index, sliding 43 percent to $2.01. The maker of rechargeable batteries was the subject of a blog post on Seeking Alpha in which Variant View Research said “financial statements and management of ABAT cannot be trusted” and investors should bet against the stock. A company spokesman declined to comment.
Align Technology Inc. (ALGN US) fell 3.8 percent, the most since Feb. 22, to $20.37. The maker of a teeth-straightening product agreed to acquire closely held Cadent Holdings Inc. for $190 million in cash. Align forecast fiscal-year 2011 earnings of no more than 75 cents a share, less than the average estimate for 80 cents. Cadent provides 3D digital scanning for orthodontics and dentistry.
AT&T Inc. (T US) rose 2.2 percent, the biggest increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to $30.71. Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said the proposed takeover of T-Mobile USA would improve capacity on AT&T’s wireless network by about 30 percent in some of the largest U.S. cities. AT&T could also reduce charges for overseas roaming, he said. The executive spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
BlackRock Inc. (BLK US) rose 6.6 percent, the most since July 23, to $198.84. The world’s largest asset manager will replace Genzyme Corp. (GENZ US) in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index after the close of trading on April 1, S&P said in a statement.
Cephalon Inc. (CEPH US) advanced 28 percent to $75.44, the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX US) offered to buy the maker of sleep and pain drugs for $73 a share in cash. The offer is valued at about $5.7 billion.
Valeant rose 13 percent to $50.08. Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX US), also a drugmaker, added 4.3 percent to $32.48.
GeoResources Inc. (GEOI US) increased 6.7 percent, the most since Jan. 5, to $30.64. The exploration and production company was rated “outperform” in new coverage at Wells Fargo Securities LLC.
KV Pharmaceutical Co. (KV/A US) fell 21 percent, the most since March 2010, to $5.65. U.S. regulators said pharmacies may make less expensive versions of KV’s drug Makena for reducing risks of preterm births.
Lennar Corp. (LEN US) fell the most in the S&P 500, erasing 4.2 percent to $18.27. The homebuilder was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by Stephen East at Ticonderoga Securities LLC.
Nuance Communications Inc. (NUAN US) rallied 7.1 percent, the most since November 2009, to $19.55. The U.S. maker of speech-recognition software is a likely partner with Apple Inc. for voice recognition technology in the iOS 5, according to Soleil Securities Corp.
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA US) slid 3.8 percent to $18.45, the second-biggest decline in the S&P 500. ThinkEquity LLC analyst Krishna Shankar lowered his price target for the maker of three-dimensional graphics processors to $18 from $24.
Oxford Industries Inc. (OXM US) soared 34 percent to $33.43, the biggest increase in the Russell 2000 Index. The maker of Tommy Bahama clothing posted quarterly earnings-per-share that exceeded the average analyst estimate, according to a Bloomberg survey. The company also boosted its quarterly dividend to 13 cents a share from 11 cents.
Pain Therapeutics Inc. (PTIE US) rose 13 percent, the most since Oct. 12, to $9.72. The San Mateo, California-based drug developer was rated “buy” in new coverage at Bank of America Corp.
PPG Industries Inc. (PPG US) gained 5.9 percent, the most since July 2009, to $95.93. The world’s second-biggest paint maker forecast first-quarter profit of at least $1.30 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.12.
Qihoo 360 Technology Co. (QIHU US) soared 134 percent to $34 on its first day of trading. The Beijing-based provider of computer anti-virus products and Web browsers raised $175.6 million in its U.S. initial public offering.
Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM US) climbed 5.6 percent to $134.49, the highest price since Feb. 25. The largest supplier of customer-management software agreed to buy Radian6 Technologies Inc. for about $340 million in cash and stock to add Web-monitoring services.
Universal Travel Group (UTA US) slumped 20 percent, the most since October 2008 to $4.33. The travel services company said it will delay an earnings conference call because its independent auditors need more time to complete their work.
ValueVision Media Inc. (VVTV US) slumped 11 percent, the most since June 4, to $6.08. The direct-marketing company said it’s planning a secondary stock offering. It didn’t specify an amount of shares to be sold.
Visa Inc. (V US) rallied 2.8 percent, the most since Dec. 27, to $75.09. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday that the central bank wouldn’t meet an April 21 deadline to come up with a final rule on debit-card transaction fees. The cap, mandated by the Dodd-Frank law that overhauled the financial industry last year, must be in place by July 21. MasterCard Inc. (MA US) advanced 0.8 percent to $253.66.