NII Holdings ( NIHD), which through its subsidiaries including Nextel offers wireless communications services, rose 9.6% after the company named a new CEO and authorized an additional $500 million for a stock repurchase program. NII said Steven Dussek will join the company as CEO effective Feb. 11. The company also said it exceeded its 2007 guidance for net subscriber additions and has completed its previously announced $500 million share repurchase program. NII was up $4.45 to $51.07. Business software maker Netsuite ( N) continued to trend down and was off $3.63, or 11.5%, to $28.06. The decline comes on the heels of a research note from Pacific Crest last week suggesting that the stock's current valuation leaves "little room for error" in terms of execution. Netsuite does not target the highest areas of growth in the on-demand software segment and its growth potential is not higher than that of its peers, said the analyst. The stock is now down nearly 35% from its peak shortly after the company's debut on the stock market on Dec. 20. DTS ( DTSI), an Agoura Hills, Calif., entertainment technology provider, saw shares leap 12.5% to $27.40 after announcing a new sound technology to be unveiled this week at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company will also partner with XStreamHD and Seagate ( STX) to provide technology for transmitting high-definition movies and music directly to the home, and Deutsche Securities added more good news by initiating coverage of DTS with a hold rating.
Throughout the trading day, NYSE tracker component Jefferies Group ( JEF), a New York-based broker, remained mired in the red after it estimated
taking a fourth-quarter loss of around $24 million, or 17 cents a share. As with its multitudinous suffering peers that quarter, the shortfall is ultimately due to an "extremely challenging environment" that made for "weak results" in its high-yield and asset-management business and forced postponement of "a number of deals." CEO Richard Handler said that he and executive committee chairman Brian Friedman have asked for hefty pay cuts in order to effectively negate 2007 restricted-share awards. Also "in light of Jefferies' recent results," the pair won't receive bonuses this year. Handler moreover cited a number of recent changes at the firm, including shutting down two money-losing trading accounts, but said the firm won't be going the capital-infusion route taken by so many of its peers in view of its "strong" balance sheet and "substantial liquidity." Still, shares were down 5.7%, or $1.12, to $18.67. Among the losers, shares of Empire Resorts ( NYNY), which operates the Monticello horseracing facility, were chopped in half to $1.42. The Department of the Interior denied an application by Empire Resorts' partner, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, to place 29 acres at Monticello into trust for purposes of building a casino. Empire CEO David P. Hanlon called the decision "very disappointing."
Among the stalwart winners today was fraught student lender Sallie Mae ( SLM), which
resumed a separation of the CEO and chairman roles following a brief period in which Albert Lord acted as both. Lord remains CEO but was shifted to vice chairman of the board, and newcomer Anthony Terracciano has taken the chairman position. In addition, Sallie alum John Remondi is returning as vice chairman and CFO. Shares were gaining $1.16, or 7%, to $17.83. InterMune ( ITMN) rose after announcing that in early stage testing, its Hepatitis C candidate ITMN 191 as a monotherapy for patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus met its goal and the company will progress to early stage testing of the drug in combination with standard of care. The company, which is developing the drug with Roche, said that it's on track to announce top-line data and safety results from at least three doses in previously untreated patients as part of the ongoing MAD clinical study in the first quarter. Shares added $4.27, or 31.9%, to $17.64. Emergent Biosolutions ( EBS) tacked on $1.70, or 33%, to $6.64, after issuing revenue guidance above the consensus. The Rockville, Maryland-based company is looking for 2007 revenue of $183 million, versus the consensus target of $180.82 million. Emergent is now looking for 2008 revenue above analysts' expectations--$180 to $195 million, in comparison to the $160.19 million consensus target. The biopharmaceutical company said revenues will be driven by delivery of doses of anthrax vaccine BioThrax under its $448 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.