US stock futures edged higher on Wednesday as investors await the start of the earnings season with a slew of corporate earnings expected to be announced today.
Dow futures were 0.03% higher, S&P futures had gained 0.12%, and Nasdaq futures were up 0.4% at the time of writing.
While Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Goldman Sachs (GS), JP Morgan (JPM), Infosys (INFY), and Wells Fargo (WFC) are expected to release earnings before the opening bell, Green Tree Hospitality Group (GHG) and KLX Energy Services (KLXE) are expected to report after the market closes.
Galectin (GALT) was the most actively traded and the biggest gainer in pre-market trading and was up by 29.3%. The pharma company said that the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) had published clinical research indicating that Belapectin, the company’s Galectin-3 inhibitor, significantly enhanced responses to tumors in patients with metastatic melanoma.
USA Technologies (USAT) was the biggest laggard falling 14.8% at the time of writing but this fall was unexplained as there was no fundamental news regarding the stock.
In M&A news, Nicolet Bankshares (NCBS) has proposed the acquisition of Mackinac Financial Corporation that will result in NCBS assuming control of the bank. Under the terms of the agreement, Mackinac shareholders will be entitled to 0.22 shares of Nicolet’s common stock and will receive $4.64 for each Mackinac share.
Nicolet National Bank’s CEO and President, Mike Daniels said, “Together, we will combine two organizations that understand the positive impact that a strong community bank can make. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan.”
Bally’s Corporation (BALY) has also proposed the acquisition of Tropicana Las Vegas casino from Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) at about $308 million. The company plans to lease out the land underlying the casino for a period of 50 years and pay $10.5 million as annual rent. Bally’s CEO and President George Papanier stated, “The Strip is visited by over 40 million players and guests per year, which we believe will significantly enhance Bally’s customer base and player database, as well as unlock marketing opportunities to leverage the iconic Bally’s brand. This expansion will also support the growth and development of our online and interactive business”.
Public Storage (PSA) has acquired ezStorage in the United States for $1.8 billion. This acquisition is expected to close in May this year and is expected to be immediately accretive to funds from operations (FFO). Public Storage’s CEO Joe Russell said, “We are pleased to welcome the ezStorage customers to Public Storage’s industry-leading brand and platform. The acquisition is a direct reflection of Public Storage’s unique positioning for growth through acquisitions, development, redevelopment, and third-party management.”
Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences’ (GILD) Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) has received accelerated approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the treatment of adult patients who have urothelial cancer (UC), a type of bladder cancer.
Gilead Sciences’ Chief Medical Officer, Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD said, “Today’s accelerated approval is thanks to the patients and healthcare professionals involved in the TROPHY study, and we appreciate their partnership. This achievement, coupled with last week’s full FDA approval in unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, underscores our commitment toward rapidly delivering Trodelvy to patients facing some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers.”
SAP SE’s (SAP) posted its preliminary 1Q results with its cloud business recording the fastest growth in the past five years and revenue reaching €2.14 billion, up 7% year-on-year. The company also raised its financial outlook for FY21.
SAP SE’s CEO Christian Klein said, “We are seeing very strong growth across all our applications. And we are just getting started. Our new offering ‘RISE with SAP’ is rapidly becoming a massive accelerator to our customers’ business transformations with our platform at the center. Together with our unique ecosystem of more than 22,000 partners and with a strong innovation pipeline for the year, we are well on track with our strategy to deliver robust cloud growth.”