Central Garden & Pet (CENT) Says It Has Retained Advisors Jul 29, 2014 05:41PM

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) (NASDAQ: CENTA) today announced that it has retained Lazard as financial advisor and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP as legal advisor to assist the Company’s Board of Directors in its review of two proposals recently received from Harbinger Group Inc.

The Company also announced today that it will release results for its third quarter ended June 28, 2014 on Thursday, August 7, 2014, after the close of trading. The Company will not be hosting a conference call.

Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT) Says Some or All of Victoria, Aus., Project Statements Shouldn't Be Relied Upon Jul 29, 2014 05:19PM

On June 9, 2014, the Board of Directors of Ocean Power Technologies (Nasdaq: OPTT), meeting in executive session, formed a Special Committee to conduct an internal investigation into the commercial agreement between Victorian Wave Partners Pty Ltd (“VWP”), an indirect consolidated subsidiary of the Company, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (“ARENA”) concerning a proposed wave power demonstration project off the coast of Victoria, Australia (the “Project”) and related public statements regarding the Project. The Special Committee retained the law firm of Reed Smith LLP (“Reed Smith”) to assist in the investigation. The Special Committee has received a report from Reed Smith presenting some initial findings from the investigation to date.

In consideration of the report from Reed Smith, and in consultation with management, the Special Committee has determined that investors should not rely on some prior public statements from the Company concerning the Project, including statements concerning the ability to provide the expected energy outputs described in the Project and associated statements concerning the economic competitiveness of the cost of electricity from the larger utility-scale PowerBuoys (PB150 and PB500) that were proposed for the project.

The Company has determined that none of its historical audited financial statements needs to be restated as a result of the issues that are the subject of the Special Committee investigation.

Sequenom (SQNM) Enters Into License Agreement With MML, No Terms Jul 29, 2014 04:12PM

Sequenom, Inc.(NASDAQ: SQNM), a life sciences company that provides innovative genetic analysis solutions, and Mayo Medical Laboratories (MML), the third-largest provider of esoteric laboratory services in the United States, have announced a license agreement for noninvasive prenatal testing patents and applications.

"We have great appreciation for Mayo Clinic's commitment to research, innovation, and patient care, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with the organization's leading clinical research laboratory to expand patient access to this revolutionary technology," said William Welch, chief executive officer of Sequenom, Inc.

Sequenom Laboratories first pioneered the use of noninvasive prenatal testing in 2011 with the introduction of the MaterniT21™ PLUS laboratory-developed test that has helped more than 250,000 pregnant women worldwide who are at a high risk for fetal chromosomal abnormalities. A December 2012 joint committee opinion from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine supports the use of cell-free fetal DNA testing as an option for primary screening for pregnant women at increased risk of aneuploidy (abnormal chromosomal number), including those 35 years of age or older or who have a history of ultrasound abnormalities in pregnancy.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Google (GOOG) Introduces New Product Ratings on Google Shopping Jul 29, 2014 01:58PM

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Shopping Product Manager, Mike Capsambelis, posted the following to Google's e-commerce blog today:

Product reviews provide critical information to shoppers making purchase decisions. To help shoppers easily find this information when searching for products, we’re introducing product ratings on Product Listing Ads.

Shoppers in the United States will see product ratings appear in the form of stars and review counts on Product Listing Ads across google.com and google.com/shopping. This 5-star rating system represents aggregated rating and review data for the product, compiled from multiple sources including merchants, third party aggregators, editorial sites and users.

Product ratings for juicers as indicated by stars and a count of total reviews below Product Listing Ads

We believe these ratings will help differentiate products across google.com and google.com/shopping and will help merchants drive more qualified traffic through Product Listing Ads. In initial tests, product ratings also helped increase click-through-rates of Product Listing Ads.

How to enable product ratings on your Product Listing Ads

Product ratings are available to merchants targeting the United States who choose to share all of their product review content with Google, either directly or through an approved third party aggregator.

In order to give merchants time to share their review content, we’re offering a grace period from late July through October, 2014. During this grace period, we’ll allow product ratings to be shown across all Product Listing Ads where we have product review data available. After the grace period, we’ll only show ratings for products from merchants who choose to share their reviews with us.

Product ratings are one of several extensions we may show with Product Listing Ads, so please note that just because a product has reviews does not mean that we’ll always show ratings.

How to share your review content

If you would like to enable product ratings on your Product Listing Ads, please begin the process of submitting your review content to us by completing our product ratings form. During the initial launch, we expect high inquiry volumes and appreciate your patience as we work to address all inquiries.

We also plan to open up product ratings to merchants targeting countries outside of the United States in the coming months, so please stay tuned.

Electronic Arts (EA) Debuts 'EA Access' Subscription Service for Xbox One (MSFT) Jul 29, 2014 01:54PM

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) made the following announcement on its News page today:

Today we’re revealing a new way for gamers to play more EA games. This is something we’ve never done before and we’re excited to share it with you.

We have partnered with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) to deliver EA Access, an all-new monthly (or annual) membership for gamers exclusively on Xbox One that starts at just $4.99 a month. The service is being rolled out in beta to a limited number of players today, but it will launch for everyone on Xbox One soon. At EA, we are always looking for new ways to make it easier for gamers to play more EA games across all platforms, and we are excited about what EA Access will offer to players on Xbox One.

EA Access membership unlocks The Vault, a collection of EA’s biggest games on Xbox One ready for you to download and play. During the beta, gamers will have unlimited access to four great EA games: FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4, with more titles being added soon. That’s over $100 worth of games for $4.99 a month. You can play these EA favorites as much as you want with the click of a button.

EA Access is a totally new way for you to play more of the games you love, for less. Here’s a rundown of the additional benefits EA Access members will get:

  • Awesome Value– Besides the great games in The Vault, EA Access members will save 10% on purchases of EA digital content for Xbox One offered through the Xbox Games Store. From full digital-download titles like the upcoming Dragon Age™ Inquisition or NHL®15, to additional membership services such as Battlefield 4 Premium or even FIFA Ultimate Team points, it’s all 10% off for members.*
  • Play First – Membership in EA Access lets you experience trials of new EA games up to five days before the release date.* It starts with Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA LIVE 15, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, but more are on the way. If you decide to buy the game, your progress will carry over so you can pick up right where you left off.

You can join EA Access for just $4.99 per month, or you can purchase an annual membership for $29.99 per year on Xbox LIVE®.

Soon, fans of GameStop will be able to purchase their EA Access membership in local retail stores. GameStop and Amazon will also carry EA Access memberships for Xbox One gamers across Europe, as well as EB Games in Canada.

Excited to check it out? EA Access will launch on Xbox One soon. You will find more information on the program at the EA Access website. Be sure to follow EA Access on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Stay tuned!

*Conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. See www.ea.com/eaaccess for details.

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