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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For AAPL;GOOG;SSNLF;MSFT;RIMM;NOK From The Last 14 Days
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February 3, 2016
11:33 EDTMSFTCiti slashes PC outlook, expresses caution on related stocks
Citi significantly lowered its 2016 PC sales estimates, citing recent negative data points. In conjunction with the call, the firm lowered its estimates for three companies whose results are significantly affected by PC sales: HP Inc. (HPQ), Marvell (MRVL) and Intersil (ISIL). WHAT'S NEW: Citi analyst Jim Silva now expects PC sales to drop 6% this year, down from his previous estimate of a 2% decline. Recent data points indicate that demand for PCs has dropped significantly so far this year, while inventories are above normal, the analyst explained. Constrained budgets and macro concerns are restraining demand for PCs, Silva believes. Meanwhile, "there is not enough evidence" to conclude that the launch of Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 10 will be a positive catalyst for PC sales this year, Silva said. Citing his view of PC trends, along with increased competition in the printer space, Silva lowered his 2016 EPS estimate for HP to $1.53 from $1.64. Statements by other printer makers, including Xerox (XRX) and Canon (CAJ), suggest that HP's margins on printers will "come under additional pressure," the analyst believes. He lowered his price target on the name to $10.75 from $14.50 and expects the stock to remain range-bound until analysts reduce their estimates further or its end markets improve. Intersil has 20% exposure to the PC market and the sales of its products related to computing are still strongly correlated with PC sales, Citi analyst Atif Malik stated. As a result, the company will face revenue headwinds throughout this year, stated the analyst. Malik, who expects the company's 2016 and 2017 EPS to come in below consensus levels, downgraded the stock to Sell from Neutral and set an $11.50 price target on the shares. Estimating Marvell's PC exposure at about 60%, Malik lowered his 2016 EPS estimate for the company to 42c from 48c and kept a Sell rating on the name. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Hedge fund Starboard Value disclosed this morning that it had bought a 6.7% activist stake in Marvell. The hedge fund said the shares are "undervalued" and The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation, said Starboard is betting the company can its boost margins by cutting costs, perhaps exiting its mobile device business. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, HP Inc. fell 3.3% to $9.55, Marvell rose 1.25% to $8.78 and Intersil dropped 4.4% to $11.93.
11:09 EDTMSFTMaxim says sell Tableau before it goes the way of Netscape
Shares of Tableau Software (DATA) are declining in late morning trading after Maxim initiated coverage with a Sell rating. NEXT NETSCAPE: Maxim analyst Nehal Chokshi started Tableau Software with a Sell rating and $70 price target, saying his channel checks indicated that Microsoft (MSFT) "has the pieces in place to render Tableau the next Netscape." Chokshi doesn't see Tableau's effective $400/year/user average selling price as sustainable, considering Microsoft's Power BI "matches the ease of use and functionality of Tableau" at an average selling price of $123/user/year. Further, since Tableau threatens Microsoft's cash cow, Office, Microsoft and its CEO, Satya Nadella, will be "highly motivated" to execute and leave Tableau as a "casualty." PRICE ACTION: Tableau is off its lows of the day, but is still trading down over 2% near $77 per share. The stock fell as low at $73.37 earlier in the session.
09:40 EDTGOOGGoogle to support early Qualcomm server chips, Bloomberg says
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09:37 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL BAC FB YHOO GILD CMG NFLX GOOGL QCOM
09:18 EDTMSFTCitigroup to hold an analyst/industry conference call
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08:58 EDTMSFTTableau initiated with a Sell at Maxim
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07:48 EDTMSFTMicrosoft confirms purchase of SwiftKey in blog post
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07:41 EDTMSFTCiti lowers 2016 PC estimates to down 6% from down 2%
Citi analyst Jim Suva says recent data points indicate above normal PC inventories and "materially below seasonal demand" in early 2016. The analyst cut his 2016 PC estimates to down 6% from down 2%, well below IDC's estimate of down 3%. Suva believes there is a lack of evidence to suggest that Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows' 10 launch will drive a PC refresh in 2016. The analyst cut his estimates and price target for HP Inc. (HPQ) and kept a Neutral rating on the name.
06:56 EDTAAPLiPhone 7 may come with Flush Rear camera, MacRumors says
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06:38 EDTAAPLApple bought LegbaCore in November 2015, MacRumors says
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06:30 EDTGOOGYouTube developing 360-degree livestream service, BuzzFeed says
Google's YouTube is developing the ability to livestream 360-degree video on its service, BuzzFeed reports, citing multiple sources familiar with the company's plans. The streaming service site has met with 360-degree camera makers about adding support for its livestream broadcasts, the report says. There is no clear launch timeline, the report says. Reference Link
06:23 EDTMSFTMicrosoft's SwiftKey buy more to do with AI, Re/code reports
Microsoft's acquisition of the U.K.'s SwiftKey was less about the mechanics of entering text on a touchscreen and more about the increasing role that context is playing in artificial intelligence, Re/code reports. The company has been looking more deeply into AI, including with Cortana, the report says. Reference Link
05:57 EDTMSFTMicrosoft ships 6M Surface tablets in 2015, DigiTimes reports
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February 2, 2016
18:45 EDTGOOGFrance vows to secure 'way bigger' tax settlement with Google, FT says
Commenting on Google's recent U.K. tax settlement, French finance minister Michel Sapin said Tuesday that the U.K. deal "seems more the product of a negotiation than the application of the law," reports the Financial Times, citing statements at a Paris conference. "The French tax administration does not negotiate the amount of taxes owed. It applies the rules," explained Sapin, who claimed Google's settlement with France will be "way bigger" than what was reached with the U.K. Reference Link
18:39 EDTGOOGAlibaba leads $794M funding round for augmented reality firm Magic Leap
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18:23 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to acquire Swiftkey for $250M, FT says
Microsoft will pay roughly $250M to acquire Swiftkey, a developer of AI-driven smartphone typing technology, reports the Financial Times, citing sources. The deal is set to be announced this week, said the report. Reference Link
16:23 EDTGOOGOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
Stocks began the session in negative territory and remained there throughout the entire session. The early weakness was attributed to oil prices, which were down early and never recovered during the day. The losses of more than 5% brings the loss over the past two days to more than 10%, pushing WTI crude back below $30 a barrel and squashing equities in the process. Any hope that oil prices would de-couple from stock prices will have to wait another day as the two continue to move in lockstep with each other. Even a solid earnings report from tech bellwether Alphabet (GOOG) could not help the market. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was quiet. In Europe, statistics agency Eurostat reported that unemployment across the eurozone decreased by 49,000 to a total of 16.75M in December dropping the unemployment rate to its lowest since September 2011 at 10.4%. In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Reserve Bank of India both held their benchmark interest rates steady, as expected. COMPANY NEWS: Class A shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) advanced 1.3% to $780.91 after its better than expected quarterly results were followed by analysts around Wall Street hiking their price targets for shares, including Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler, who raised his target on the parent of Google to $1,080 from $900... Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported better than expected revenue and profits in the fourth quarter, but its shares slid 2.2% to $74.61 amid the renewed weakness in oil prices. Shares of fellow oil major BP (BP) plunged 8.5% to $29.02 in New York trading after reporting a steep quarterly loss, largely due to $2.6B in charges related to impairments of Upstream assets as well as restructuring... Ford (F) shares fell 4.6% after the company reporting that its U.S. sales declined 3% last month versus a year ago. Peer General Motors (GM) slid 1.5% after reporting that its U.S. sales grew 0.5% in January... Dow Chemical (DOW) jumped 5.75% to $45.03 after posting better than expected earnings and revenue. Of note, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said he plans to transition out of the company when it completes its planned merger with DuPont (DD). MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Michael Kors (KORS) and Mattel (MAT), which rose nearly 24% and almost 14%, respectively, following their earnings reports. Also higher was Pacific Biosciences (PACB), which jumped 24% to $12.67 after Reuters said Roche (RHHBY) has recently approached the company to discuss a potential acquisition. Among the noteworthy losers following earnings were Integrated Device (IDTI), which fell 26.8%, ADT (ADT), which dropped 15.7%, and Royal Caribbean (RCL), which declined 15.2%. INDEXES: The Dow fell 295.64, or 1.8%, to 16,153.54, the Nasdaq lost 103.42, or 2.24%, to 4,516.95, and the S&P 500 declined 36.35, or 1.87%, to 1,903.03.
16:02 EDTGOOG, AAPLOptions Update; February 2, 2016
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15:46 EDTAAPL, GOOGEarnings Watch: Media networks report amid shifts in streaming, TV landscape
Comcast (CMCSA), CBS (CBS), Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA), and 21st Century Fox (FOX) are among media companies expected to report quarterly results over the next several weeks. EXPECTATIONS: Comcast is expected to report EPS of 82c on revenue of $18.77B, CBS is expected to report EPS of 93c, Time Warner is expected to report EPS of $1.00 on revenue of $7.53B, Viacom is expected to report EPS of $1.18 on revenue of $3.26B, and Fox is expected to report EPS of 44c on revenue of $7.54B. LAST QUARTER: Comcast, Fox, and viacom reported mixed results for the previous quarter, while CBS and Time Warner beat on both top and bottom lines. NEWS: On November 10, Comcast announced it expanded its advanced fiber network to Modesto, California as part of the company's ongoing response to Google (GOOG) Fiber. On November 12, the Wall Street Journal broke news that Hulu, a video streaming joint venture of Disney (DIS), Comcast and Fox, is in talks to sell a stake to Time Warner, though the Journal said on January 31 that the company has expressed dissatisfaction with Hulu's inclusion of current-season TV episodes, which it believes contributes to cord-cutting. On December 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube was holding talks with Hollywood studios and production companies to seek content licenses amid intensified competition with Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Hulu. On December 9, Re/code reported that Apple (AAPL), rumored to be working on a subscription TV service, walked away from its negotiations with the major networks after being pressed to include "filler" channels in its hypothetical service. Speaking at a January 7 media conference, Time Warner CFO Howard Averill said the company was negotiating to make full seasons of TV shows available to pay-TV customers on demand, mirroring the "binge watching" offered by Netflix. On January 8, the New York Post reported that Corvex Management was considering an activist position in Time Warner. That same day, Benzinga reported that Twenty-First Century Fox remained interested in the company and had made a $105 per share acquisition offer, though Fox later denied the report. On January 14, the New York Post reported that Comcast has begun "ripping up" agreements with cable networks, moving them from basic cable onto digital tiers in response to consumer demand for smaller bundles. On January 27, Reuters reported that SpringOwl Asset Management is urging Viacom to seek outside investment from strategic partners. On January 30, the New York Post reported that Nelson Peltz is considering an activist position in Time Warner. On February 1, the National Football League announced a broadcasting agreement with CBS and Comcast's NBC which will see the two companies paying roughly $225M each for rights to the next two seasons of Thursday Night Football. Also on February 1, it was reported that Fox offered certain employees voluntary buyouts as part of a $250M cost cutting target. STREET RESEARCH: On November 5, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker downgraded Time Warner to Market Perform after its "huge" guidance cut last quarter, with the shares also seeing downgrades at CLSA and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. On December 22, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne called Comcast one of his top large cap picks for 2016, saying the company can use skinny bundles to take market share and potentially add net video customers for the first time since 2006. On January 8, research firm Stifel cut its price target on CBS to $54 from $66, citing a belief that industry syndication and SVOD revenues will significantly decelerate going forward, with CBS having more exposure to those areas than its peers. Meanwhile, JPMorgan added the company to its U.S. focus list on January 11, citing its heavily discounted stock and potentially strong EPS growth in 2016. On February 1, Pacific Crest argued that Comcast shares should be owned going into fourth quarter results, contending that the company's video and broadband investments will likely translate to increased market share and strong cash flows this year. PRICE ACTION: Comcast and Fox, the first of the media giants to report quarterly earnings, are down 2% and 3.6%, respectively, amid the broader market selloff.
12:03 EDTAAPL, GOOGOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Wall Street began the session in negative territory and the averages have remained there throughout the day as oil once again weighs on stocks. The price of oil has slid another 4%, giving the commodity a roughly 10% loss over the past two trading sessions. The market's late day rally yesterday gave hope for a decoupling between equities and oil prices, but that appears to be a one day reprieve as the stocks are back in lock-step with crude prices. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was quiet. In Europe, statistics agency Eurostat reported that unemployment across the eurozone decreased by 49,000 to a total of 16.75M in December dropping the unemployment rate to its lowest since September 2011 at 10.4%. In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Reserve Bank of India both held their benchmark interest rates steady, as expected. COMPANY NEWS: Class A shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) advanced 5% in the wake of its report of better than expected quarterly earnings and revenue, pushing Google's parent company to overtake Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable publicly-traded company in the process... Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported better than expected revenue and profits in the fourth quarter, but its shares slid 2.5% amid the renewed weakness in oil prices. Shares of fellow oil major BP (BP) plunged 8% in New York trading after reporting a steep quarterly loss, largely due to $2.6B in charges related to impairments of Upstream assets as well as restructuring... Pfizer (PFE) reported better than expected fourth quarter results, but forecast 2016 revenue and earnings below analysts' estimates, pushing its shares down fractionally. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Syngenta (SYT), which rallied 4.5% after Bloomberg reported that ChemChina was close to a deal to buy the company for nearly $43B. Also higher were Mattel (MAT), Michael Kors (KORS), and Fabrinet (FN), which gained 12%, 22%, and 12.5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Twitter (TWTR), which fell 8% after it was downgraded to Sell at Stifel and following a report claimed that tweets on the service are down 50% from their peak. Also lower were AGCO (AGCO), Harris (HRS), and Pitney Bowes (PBI), which were down 10%, 9.5%, and 11%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. In addition, Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) lost 4% and 3.6%, respectively, after reporting U.S. sales for the month of January. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 239.86, or 1.46%, to 16,209.32, the Nasdaq was down 64.83, or 1.4%, to 4,555.54, and the S&P 500 was down 27.87, or 1.44%, to 1,911.51.
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