Intraday Financial Gainers: Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), IsoRay, Inc. (NYSEMKT:ISR), Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD)

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) shares firm Tuesday as the company is contemplating a deal with Japanese electronics maker Sharp. Sharp would build liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions with a built-in cable channel receiver, Kyodo reported. The Japanese news agency said Sharp is trying to pursuing growth by focusing on its sluggish LCD TV operations. Comcast did not comment on the potential alliance. In late morning trade, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) was up 0.19% to $51.62.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) jumped on Tuesday after Citigroup upgraded the retail chain to buy from neutral with a 12-month price target of $11 from $7.50. The stock was up 9.5% at $9.22 in late-morning trade, up from a 52-week low of $4.90 hit Feb. 4. The 52-week top is $19.63. Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen said the company may be successful in getting back lost shoppers as it brings back private-label products including St. John’s Bay, Worthington and Ambrielle. Chief Executive Mike Ullman has said he aims to increase store brands, which are more profitable than national brands, to a level of about 50% of sales from 30%. A better assortment of national labels including Levi’s, Nike and Carter’s also are helping to bring customers back, the analyst noted.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) company is also removing merchandise such as Justin Timberlake’s William Rast label as well as JCP Everyday, the home furnishings line designed by home maven Martha Stewart. While exiting those merchandise lines hurt gross margin in Q4, Chen said he doesn’t expect discontinued labels to hurt Q1 margin.

Rather Chen sees significant improvement in margin this year. The company’s home merchandise is also being overhauled as will the children’s department. Chen added fears about the company’s liquidity are overdone and he sees the company ending the year with $2 billion liquidity, in line with company projection.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) shares are popping up nearly 8% intraday.

IsoRay, Inc. (NYSEMKT:ISR) is climbing higher after the developer and manufacturer of isotope-based medical products and devices for the treatment of cancer and other malignant diseases said Tuesday that it has received formal approval for the sale of its complete product line in Greece. IsoRay, Inc. (NYSEMKT:ISR) shares are up 7.71% at $0.852, with a 52-week range of $0.44 – $1.19. IsoRay, Inc. (NYSEMKT:ISR)’s products will be distributed by its partner in Greece, IASIS Medical. Citizens of Greece residing on islands and non-metropolitan areas will also have access to the products through localized health care.

The shares of a number of U.S. casino operators focused on properties outside of Las Vegas are rising after a hedge fund announced a significant stake in one of the companies in the sector, Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD).

Hedge fund Elliott Management last night disclosed that it had obtained 4.99% of Boyd(NYSE:BYD)’s outstanding shares and an additional 2.05% exposure to the stock through derivatives. Elliott’s filing status allows the fund to seek talks with Boyd’s management or its board regarding a variety of strategic alternatives, but the filing said the fund has no present plan or proposal to engage management.

In a note to investors earlier today, research firm Janney Capital called Boyd Gaming shares expensive. The company is unlikely to be sold for much above its current share price, given the stock’s high valuation, wrote the firm, which has a $9 price target and Neutral rating on the stock.

According to, companies that own U.S. casinos outside of Las Vegas have reported largely disappointing results in recent weeks, with Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK) and Isle of Capri (NASDAQ:ISLE) announcing results that missed expectations. Meanwhile, Penn National (NASDAQ:PENN) reported lower than expected fourth quarter revenue and provided weaker than expected first quarter guidance last month. Separately, well-known investor Leon Cooperman disclosed on February 25 that he had sold his stake in Penn National last quarter. Another in the space, Monarch Casino (NASDAQ:MCRI), reported higher than expected revenue but profits that came in below analysts’ consensus estimate.

In early afternoon trading, Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK) jumped 5.4% to $25.60, Isle of Capri (NASDAQ:ISLE) advanced 2.5% to $8.72, Dover Downs Gaming (DDE) climbed 1.9% to $1.58, and Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD) jumped 18% to $13.90. Bucking the trend, Penn National (NASDAQ:PENN) slid 0.9% to $12.77 and Monarch Casino (NASDAQ:MCRI) dropped 1.5% to $18.95.

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