Abercrombie, AVI BioPharma, Hartford: U.S. Equity Movers
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.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) climbed 4.1 percent, the most since Feb. 15, to $51.62. The teen-clothing retailer was raised to buy from hold at Brean Murray Carret & Co.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) fell 2.2 percent, the second biggest retreat in the S&P 500, to $198.05. The largest Internet retailer was cut to neutral from buy at Bank of America Corp. on concern analysts’ earnings expectations are too high.
AVI BioPharma Inc. (AVII) tumbled 28 percent, the most since May 2006, to $1.11. The biotechnology company said a study showed its experimental drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy requires longer treatment to demonstrate benefit.
Avon Products Inc. (AVP) surged 17 percent, the most since July 2008, to $22.70. Coty Inc. offered to buy the door- to-door cosmetics seller conducting an internal bribery probe, for about $10 billion. The cash proposal of $23.25 a share is 20 percent higher than Avon’s closing price on March 30. Coty has said it has held “extensive discussions” about financing a deal.
Express Scripts Inc. (ESRX) rose 2.4 percent to $55.50, the highest price since July 26. The pharmacy benefits manager’s $29.1 billion bid for rival Medco Health Solutions Inc. (MHS) won unconditional approval from U.S. antitrust regulators, clearing the way to create the biggest manager of prescription- drug benefits for corporate and government clients.
Groupon Inc. (GRPN) (GRPN US) slid 17 percent, the most since its initial public offering in November, to $15.28. The largest provider of daily deals online reported a “material weakness” in its financial controls and said fourth-quarter results were worse than previously stated because of higher refunds to merchants. That cut revenue in the period by $14.3 million to $492.2 million. Groupon was also downgraded to neutral from buy at Bank of America Corp.
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) rose 4.1 percent, the most since March 15, to $21.95. The insurer being pressured by investor John Paulson to break up said it will pay about $2.43 billion to buy back debt and warrants issued to Allianz SE. Chief Executive Officer Liam McGee plans to issue senior notes and junior subordinated debt as part of a strategy to improve financial flexibility, according to a statement.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (KERX) sank 65 percent, the most since March 2008, to $1.74, The developer of treatments for cancer and renal disease and Aeterna Zentaris (AEZS) said perifosine didn’t meet the primary goal of improving survival when combined with Roche Holding AG’s (ROG) Xeloda. Aeterna plunged 66 percent to 73 cents.
Roundy’s Inc. (RNDY) (RNDY US) gained 7.6 percent to $11.51, the highest price since it went public in February. The grocery- store chain was added to the Russell 2000 Index.
Theravance Inc. (THRX) advanced 19 percent, the most since October 2008, to $23.29. GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) agreed to pay $212.9 million to boost its stake in the maker of treatments for respiratory disorders and bacterial infections to 26.8 percent, deepening ties with the company that developed its experimental asthma medicine Relovair.
Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (THLD) declined 5.8 percent, the most since Feb. 28, to $8.29. The biotechnology company said that a Phase 2b trial for its TH-302 pancreatic cancer drug met its primary efficacy endpoint.
Towerstream Corp. (TWER) gained 9.9 percent to $5.22, the highest price since July 7. The Middletown, Rhode Island- based wireless broadband provider has signed a Wi-Fi agreement with a national wireless carrier that uses its current and future rooftop assets, the company said in filing.
Willbros Group Inc. (WG) climbed 21 percent, the most since October 2003, to $3.93. The oil-industry contractor forecast 2012 revenue of as much as $1.9 billion, above the average analyst estimate of $1.79 billion.
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