Shares of CB Richard Ellis ( CBG) soared more than 50% Wednesday after the commercial real estate firm announced a renegotiated credit agreement and was upgraded by JPMorgan. The stock was up 50.7%, or $1.52 to $4.52, on volume of almost 11.5 million shares and as high as $4.95 intraday. The normal volume for the Los Angeles-based company is about 6.3 million shares. The company said the new credit agreement will give it greater flexibility "to navigate through a weaker market environment." The pact allows the company to carry a greater amount of debt relative to its available cash, and makes other modifications to covenants in its credit agreement. JPMorgan analyst Anthony Paolone upgraded shares to overweight from neutral. Paolone wrote that the credit agreement had eased his concerns that the company was at risk of violating a debt covenant. Clear Channel Outdoor ( CCO) shares rose 59 cents, or 24.3% to $3.02. The outdoor-advertising company announced earlier this week that it would extend by a year its digital campaign to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation hunt fugitives. Thirteen fugitives have been apprehended since appearing on Clear Channel Outdoor's digital billboard networks in Akron, Ohio, Albuquerque, N.M., Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. "The ability to provide the traveling public with current law enforcement and other critical emergency messages within minutes after the need arises and to update those messages just as quickly has been an invaluable public service to the 27 communities where we operate our digital billboard networks," said Paul Meyer, Clear Channel Outdoor president and CEO.
"We're impressed with how effective Clear Channel Outdoor's digital billboard networks have been in delivering security messages that have led to the capture of dangerous fugitives," said Brett Hovington, FBI Community Relations Unit Chief. "The versatile technology allows concerned citizens across the country to act immediately when they have critical information for law enforcement." Shares of Ameron ( AMN) were down almost 11%, or $5.19 to $42.16 after the Pasadena, Calif.-based home-materials maker reported a steep drop in first-quarter profit. Net income of $3.8 million, or 42 cents per share, was down nearly one-third from $9.7 million, or $1.07 per share in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected EPS of 47 cents a share on revenue of $136.8 million. Ameron said the results were due primarily to a significant fall in demand for steel rebar at the company's 50%-owned steel minimill. Ameron said demand fell due to a drop in construction spending in Arizona, California and Nevada.