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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For AAPL;MSFT;GOOG;STX From The Last 14 Days
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February 25, 2015
10:34 EDTMSFTHP slide after currency driven guidance cut called buying opportunity
The shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are falling after the company reported lower than expected first quarter revenue and sharply lowered its free cash flow guidance and cut its fiscal year profit view. However, analysts at Citigroup, Bernstein, and Brean Capital all recommended buying the stock on weakness in separate notes to investors today. BACKGROUND: HP reported slightly higher than expected Q1 profits, but its revenue came in below expectations. The company sharply lowered its fiscal 2015 free cash flow guidance to $3.5B-$4B from its previous outlook of $6.5B-$7B. The tech giant also lowered its fiscal 2015 EPS guidance to $3.53-$3.73 from its previous outlook of $3.83-$4.30. "While we were able to manage the impact of currency in the quarter and deliver earnings as expected, we believe the impact on FY15 will be significantly greater than we anticipated in November. We'll work hard to offset these impacts through re-pricing and productivity, but fully mitigating currency movements of this size would require reducing investments and mortgaging our future. We won't do that," said HP CEO Meg Whitman. ANALYST REACTION: The decline in HP's EPS guidance was entirely due to foreign currency fluctuations, while most of the cut in its free cash flow guidance was caused by one-time costs related to the upcoming split of HP into two separate companies, Citi analyst Jim Suva stated. Most of the company's businesses "continue to perform well or at least make progress," wrote Suva. The decline in the stock has created an attractive entry point for investors who are looking to own the shares in order to benefit from the break-up, according to the analyst. He kept a Buy rating on the shares. Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi was less upbeat on HP's outlook, but also recommended buying the shares on today's weakness. Although revenue estimates for HP may be too high, the stock's valuation remains attractive, as it is the second least expensive tech stock in the S&P 500, according to Sacconaghi, who believes the shares are worth $45-$50. Cautioning that HP's stock is likely "to be in the penalty box" in the near-term, Sacconaghi nonetheless believes that the shares could get a significant boost when the company provides more information about its spin-off. He recommended that investors buy the stock on today's weakness and kept an Outperform rating on the shares. HP's fundamentals haven't changed, as the company continues to expect its revenue to remain flat in fiscal 2015, and it has not changed its capital return guidance, Brean Capital analyst Ananda Baruah stated. The company also continues to expect free cash flow of at least $5B-$6B in 2016 and beyond, Baruah added. Moreover, HP's share repurchases are unlikely to be significantly reduced as a result of the decline in its free cash flow guidance, the analyst predicted. Baruah recommended buying the stock on today's weakness and kept a $45 price target and Buy rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, HP fell 9.5% to $34.84. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other large cap PC levered names are also weak in morning trading after HP's report last night, with Microsoft (MSFT) down 0.25% and Intel (INTC) down 1.2%.
10:01 EDTAAPLIDC reports Samsung retains 22% smartphone marketshare in India
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09:48 EDTMSFT, AAPL, GOOGIDC reports 96.3% smartphone marketshare for iPhone, Android
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09:36 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: AAPL HPQ PBR FSLR MRVL TSLA LVS ABX TWTR MGM
09:25 EDTAAPLCisco, Apple among U.S. names cut from China state buying list, Reuters says
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09:01 EDTAAPLMorgan Stanley says Apple Pay available for Wealth Management clients
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08:54 EDTGOOGGoogle expected to propose new headquarters this week, NY Times says
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07:27 EDTAAPLApple reportedly creating streaming music service, may relaunch iTunes, BI says
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07:13 EDTAAPLApple price target raised to $150 from $130 at Stifel
Stifel increased its price target on Apple as the firm thinks the company "has more than enough capacity" to increase its dividend to $2.30-$2.40 per share. The firm indicates that it believes that Apple can reduce its tax rate. Stifel keeps a Buy rating on the stock.
06:40 EDTGOOGGoogle acquires Toro, terms not disclosed
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06:22 EDTAAPLJury orders Apple to pay $533M for patent violations, Reuters reports
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06:01 EDTGOOG, AAPLGlobal tablet shipments forecast at 221.4M units in 2015, DigiTimes says
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05:54 EDTMSFTStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; FOSL QCOM
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February 24, 2015
16:06 EDTAAPLOptions Update; February 24, 2015
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14:35 EDTAAPLMicron retreats amid pricing, Apple worries but analysts defend shares
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12:47 EDTSTXEarnings Preview: HP reports with break-up inching closer
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is set to report first quarter earnings after the market close on Tuesday, February 24, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Hewlett-Packard is an IT company that provides hardware, software, and business and enterprise solutions. In October of last year, HP announced plans to separate into two new publicly traded companies: one comprising HP's enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services businesses, which will do business as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and one that will comprise HP's personal systems and printing businesses, which will do business as HP Inc. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 91c on revenue of $27.34B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 88c-95c on revenue of $27.01B-$27.92B. With its last earnings report, the company said it expects Q1 EPS of 89c-93c. HP has an FY15 EPS forecast of $3.83-$4.03, compared to a consensus estimate of $3.96. LAST QUARTER: On November 25, HP reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.06, matching the consensus estimate, on revenue of $28.4B, against a consensus estimate of $28.76B. HP said its Q4 personal systems revenue was up 4% from the prior year period, with total units up 5%, including Desktops units being down 2% and Notebooks units being up 8%. Enterprise Group revenue was down 4% year over year, with Industry Standard Servers revenue down 2%, Storage revenue down 8%, Business Critical Systems revenue down 29%, Networking revenue up 2% and Technology Services revenue down 3%. NEWS: On the day after HP's Q4 report, HP CEO Meg Whitman said in an interview on CNBC that the company will have a moratorium on acquisitions during 2015 as it readies for its split. Whitman also noted that the newly formed companies will have a supply chain agreement to ensure they do not lose leverage after their split. In mid January, research firm Gartner estimated that worldwide shipments of PCs increased 1% last quarter. "These results indicate a slow, but consistent improvement following more than two years of decline," the firm wrote. Late last month, HP said it has been "working diligently to ensure that both HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise are set up for success" and announced Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will be headed by Meg Whitman as President and CEO and that HP Inc. will be led by Dion Weisler as President and CEO. STREET RESEARCH: On December 17, Citigroup analyst Jim Suva contended that sales of PCs will be at least flat next year, before growing slightly in 2016 and 2017. The firm identified HP as the best way to play better than expected PC sales. Suva raised his price target on HP shares to $46 from $40 and kept a Buy rating on the stock. Also at that time, Suva raised his price target on hard disk drive maker Western Digital (WDX) to $125 from $110 and on its competitor, Seagate (STX), to $74 from $70, as he noted that the companies obtain about 50% of their revenue from PCs. He kept Buy ratings on both names. On January 13, Pacific Crest downgraded HP to Sector Perform from Outperform, citing increased competition and the fact that a number of companies are buying integrated IT stacks and buying fewer individual servers and IT storage products. More recently, Wells Fargo said it believes that HP's Q1 results could exceed the consensus outlook, driven by PC share gains, strong server demand, and solid printing demand. The firm believes that currency issues may pressure the company's outlook, but it thinks that investors expect such a scenario. The firm reiterated an Outperform rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, shares of HP are up almost 2%. Near midday ahead of Tuesday's report, the stock was down fractionally near $38 per share.
12:15 EDTAAPLMicron sell-off 'totally unwarranted,' says Summit Research
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11:29 EDTAAPLApple could thrive in auto sector, Morgan Stanley says
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10:43 EDTAAPLMicron drop on Apple speculation presents buying opportunity, says Stifel
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10:14 EDTAAPLSamsung reportedly reaches deal with LG, Apple to supply DRAM, Korea Times says
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