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Ford Motor Shares Slip on Issuance of Three Safety Recalls in North America

Ford Motor (F) shares edged lower Wednesday after the auto maker said it is issuing three safety recalls for vehicles in North America. F was down 0.9% recently at $16.42, still trading in the upper half of its 52-week range between $13.26 and $18.12.

The company said it is recalling 212,911 2011-2013 Ford Explorer and Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles in North America for an issue with the spring that controls the interior door handles. If the spring is unseated the door may become unlatched in a side-impact crash, increasing the risk of injury. The auto maker said it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries that are related to the issue.

It is also recalling 1,725 2013-2015 Lincoln MKT limo and hearse vehicles for an issue with the for an issue with the vacuum pump relay that could result in an underhood fire. The company said it is aware of two underhood fires but no accidents or injuries believed to be related to the issue.

Finally, Ford is recalling 6,6,472 2011-2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty ambulance vehicles and 2014-2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty ambulance and emergency vehicles equipped with 6.7-liter diesel engines in North America. It said the exhaust gas temperature sensors may not function properly, causing the vehicle to incorrectly identify a high temperature condition. Ford said it isn’t aware of accidents or injuries related to the condition.


Advaxis Shares Hit All-Time High

Advaxis shares hit an all-time high of $14.44 earlier after data from a phase 1/2 clinical study of its ADXS-HPV in 10 patients with HPV-associated locally advanced anal cancer showed that all patients who completed treatment in the study had a complete response with no evidence of recurrence to date.

ADXS was most recently higher 14% at $14.15. The 52-week low is at $2.46. Average daily volume is 1.5 million shares. Earlier in the trading session shares hit $14.44, setting an all new high.

The preliminary data also showed the treatment was well tolerated and all treatment-related toxicities were within 24 hours of dosing, the most frequent of which included chills/rigors, fever and nausea, the company said.

“Though preliminary, the data we have observed thus far are extremely encouraging,” said Kimberly Perez, assistant professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School, Brown University. “ADXS-HPV has the potential to be an important advancement in the treatment of HPV-associated anal cancer, and we look forward to reporting the full safety and efficacy data set once all 25 patients have completed the dosing regimen.”


PICO Holdings Reports Wider Quarterly Losses

PICO Holdings (PICO) shares dropped more than 3% in early trading Monday after the company reported a wider Q4 loss and a decline in revenue, mainly due to the holding company’s agribusiness operations, which PICO is considering selling.

For the fourth quarter of 2014, PICO reported a net loss of $31.1 million or $1.36 per share, compared to a net loss of $7.8 million or $0.34 per share in the fourth quarter of 2013. Q4 revenues fell to $74.4 million compared with $76.0 million in the same period of 2013. Analyst estimates for comparison were not available.

PICO reported steeper losses in all three of its main businesses: water resources, real estate and agribusiness.

John Hart, PICO’s president and chief executive officer. said the company is reviewing financial and strategic alternatives for monetizing its investment in Northstar Agri Industries, a canola seed crushing operation with a single plant in northern Minnesota. “We believe that Northstar may have a higher valuation in the hands of a strategic buyer than as part of a diversified holding company.”

PICO also has interests in Vidler Water, a water resource development business and UCP, (UCP), a homebuilder and land developer. PICO shares fell 3.6% to $16.38, in a 52-week range of $15.66 to $26.25.


Progenics Pharmaceuticals Posts Wider-Than-Expected Q4 Loss

Progenics Pharmaceuticals shares fell Monday after the drug-maker reported a wider-than-expected Q4 loss on negative revenue.

The company reported a net loss of $12.2 million, or $0.18 per share, wider than its net loss of $8.6 million, or $0.14 per share, for the same quarter of 2013. Analysts’ mean estimate was for a loss of $0.13 per share, according to Capital IQ.

The company posted negative revenue of $571,000 as a result of Relistor royalty losses due to Salix Pharmaceuticals’ (SLXP) plan to accelerate the reduction of wholesaler inventory levels and cease all sales efforts to wholesalers for Q4 2014. This compares with three analysts’ mean estimate for $2.8 million in revenue, versus $3.0 million in revenue for the same quarter last year.

Salix is Progenics’ marketing partner for Relistor, a treatment used by patients with chronic pain to treat the constipating effect of opioids in the gastrointestinal tract. Shares of PGNX were down 7.2% recently at $6.58, in a 52-week range of $3.10 to $7.84.


Neuralstem Shares Up as 2014 Loss Matches Expectations

Neuralstem shares rose Monday after the stem-cell development company reported a 2014 loss that matched analysts’ expectations while its revenue for the year was above the Street view.

Shares of CUR were up 7.4% at $2.75 in recent trading shortly after the open, in a 52-week range of $2.12 to $4.81.

The company reported a net loss of approximately $22.6 million, or $0.26 per share, for 2014, compared with a loss of approximately $19.8 million, or $0.27 per share, in 2013. The per-share comparison was skewed by a 20% jump in the number of shares outstanding. Two analysts polled by Capital IQ had expected a GAAP loss of $0.26 per share, on average.

The company’s operating loss was approximately $17.4 million, compared with a loss of approximately $12.5 million in the previous year. The widening of the operating loss was primarily attributable to an increase of approximately $3.7 million in general-and-administrative expenses coupled with an increase of approximately $1.0 million in research-and-development expenses.

Total revenue plunged to $18,833 for 2014 from $110,000 in the previous year, but was above three analysts’ average expectation for about $10,000 in revenue.

“In 2015, we plan to begin clinical development of our NSI-189 small molecule drug in a second indication for the treatment of cognitive deficit from schizophrenia, and we plan to initiate a Phase II clinical trial for the ongoing development program for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD),” said CEO Richard Garr. “The cell-therapy programs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), chronic spinal cord injury (cSCI) and stroke will also move forward.”