Midday Gainers: Intermune Doubles; Tekmira Advances to Record High; Diamond Rock Hits 6-Year High

InterMune (NASDAQ:ITMN) more than doubled Tuesday to its highest value since May 2011 after saying data from a phase 3 trial showed its Pirfenidone drug significantly reduced the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Near midday, ITMN had jumped 126.6% at $31.63 per share in recent trading. Earlier it hit $37.22. Also, significant treatment effects were demonstrated on both of the key secondary endpoints of six-minute walk test distance change and progression-free survival.

“InterMune is preparing a resubmission of our New Drug Application for pirfenidone to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which we expect to submit by early third quarter of this year,” CEO Dan Welch said in a statement. In response to the news, Wells Fargo raised its price target range to $41-$43 from $18-$20, and kept its rating on shares at Outperform, saying it expects FDA approval. ITMN will further secure its European revenue stream, and ultimately capture about $1 billion in global out-year sales, even allowing for other competitive entrants like Boehringer Ingelheim’s (BI) nintedanib, Wells Fargo said in its note.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ:TKMR) hit a record high Tuesday after saying its drug delivery technology showed advances in gene therapy. The research company, which develops experimental treatments that use gene silencing methods, presented the findings at a conference in Tokyo. Tekmira is studying drug candidates to treat cancer, hepatitis and Ebola infection. Tekmira climbed to a record high of $24.88 a share, capping a fourfold increase in the past 52 weeks. It stood up nearly 10% at $23.88 near midday.

DiamondRock Hospitality (NYSE:DRH) edged higher, reaching its highest level in nearly six years after the company reported improved revenue, although shy of Street expectations, and issued FFO guidance for fiscal 2014 in line with estimates. Shares are up 0.5% at $12.50, and earlier hit $12.66, its highest since May 2008. The real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on lodgings reported Q4 adjusted funds from operations of $0.17 per share, compared with the prior-year period’s $0.29 per share. Revenue was $201.47 million, up 5.6% from $190.77 million in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Capital IQ were expecting FFO of $0.19 per share on revenues of $209.51 million. RevPAR was $139.98, an increase of 3.3% from 2012.

Hotel Adjusted EBITDA margin was 25.81%, a decrease of 188 basis points from 2012. The company expects fiscal 2014 adjusted FFO of $0.86 – $0.90, ex one-time items, compared with the Street view of $0.89 adjusted FFO per share. DRH also said it has increased its quarterly dividend for 2014 by 21% to $0.1025 per share for stockholders of record as of March 31, 2014.


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