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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 9, 2014
10:40 EDTAAPL, SKUL, P, HAR, YHOO, TWTR, YELPMunster says Beats seems like poor fit for Apple
After a media report stated that Apple (AAPL) was in talks about buying Beats Electronics, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote that acquiring Beats "sounds like a bad idea" for the iPhone and iPad maker. Beats Electronics, which was co-founded by rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, sells headphones and other audio equipment and operates a music streaming service. WHAT'S NEW: Financial Times reported last night, citing people familiar with the negotiations, that Apple is in talks to acquire Beats for $3.2B in a deal that could be announced as early as next week. It's difficult to understand Apple's rationale for acquiring Beats, wrote Munster in a note to investors earlier today. Beats does not have any intellectual property that would make it a good acquisition for Apple, and although Beats would provide a world class music brand, the tech giant already has a world class brand, according to Munster. He believes that Apple would be better served by acquiring an Internet services company such as Yelp (YELP), Twitter (TWTR), Square "and even Yahoo (YHOO)." Munster kept an Overweight rating on Apple. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Shares of another audio equipment maker, Skullcandy (SKUL), are surging following the report. In a note to investors earlier today, research firm Roth Capital wrote that the valuation at which Apple is reportedly looking to buy Beats suggests that Skullcandy was materially undervalued before the market opened today. Apple is reportedly discussing buying Beats for about 2.2 times Beats' estimated 2013 revenue, while Skullcandy was trading at just 0.9 times its 2013 revenue, according to the firm. The firm kept a $10 price target and Buy rating on Skullcandy. OTHERS TO WATCH: Harman International (HAR) is an audio equipment maker, while Pandora (P) offers a music streaming service that is significantly more popular than that of Beats. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Apple fell about 1% to $583.20, Skullcandy jumped 5% to $7.21, Pandora rose 1.5% to $22.54 and Harman was fractionally lower at $103.65.
News For AAPL;SKUL;P;HAR;YHOO;TWTR;YELP From The Last 14 Days
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July 15, 2014
12:55 EDTAAPLEarnings Preview: Intel up over 12% since pre-announcement
Intel (INTC) is expected to report second quarter earnings after the close on Tuesday, July 15, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Intel is a global semiconductor manufacturer and a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 52c on revenue of $13.69B. The consensus range is 45c-55c for EPS on revenue of $13.0B-$14.0B, according to First Call. Along with its first quarter report, Intel said it saw Q2 revenue of $13B, plus or minus $500M, compared to consensus at that time of $12.96B. Intel said then that it had expected its fiscal year 2014 revenue to be approximately flat, compared to consensus at that time of $53.15B. Subsequently, on June 12, Intel raised its Q2 revenue forecast to be $13.7B, plus or minus $300M, citing stronger than expected demand for business PCs. Intel added that it now expects some revenue growth for the year and that its full-year gross margin percentage is now expected to be in the upper half of the previous range of 61%, plus or minus a few percentage points, driven mostly by expected improvements in unit cost and volume. LAST QUARTER: Intel reported Q1 EPS of 38c, compared to consensus expectations at that time of 37c. The company's revenue of $12.8B was generally in-line with the consensus forecast. For the quarter, the company's gross margin came in at 59.7%. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after Intel made its positive pre-announcement, its stock was upgraded by several research firms. At that time, Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Underweight, Roth Capital raised its rating to Buy from Neutral, and Drexel Hamilton upped its rating to Buy from Hold. Several firms also increased their price targets on Intel, with Jefferies raising its price target for Intel to $40 from $35 and Pacific Crest taking its target up to $35 from $32. Last night, coverage of Intel was initiated at Imperial Capital, which placed an Outperform rating and $37 target on the stock. NEWS: After eight quarters of declining shipments, worldwide PC shipments experienced flat growth in the second quarter of 2014, Gartner reported recently. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 75.8M units in the quarter, a 0.1% increase from the same quarter of 2013, according to Gartner. Another research firm, International Data Corporation, estimated that worldwide PC shipments totaled 74.4M units in the second quarter, marking a year-on-year decline of 1.7%. In company specific news, a July 9 report from MacRumors, citing Chinese site VR Zone, claimed that Intel has decided to further postpone the shipping of its line of 14-nanometer Broadwell chips, which are anticipated to be included in future versions of the Apple's (AAPL) MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, and iMac. A report two days later from DigiTimes said that Intel is set to unveil its 14nm processors and 10nm wafers at its Developer Forum in San Francisco, citing sources from the upstream supply chain. According to the report, Intel will release the 14nm Core M-series processors in Q4 and 14nm Broadwell-based processors in January 2015. In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel announced plans to package its standard server processors alongside a different class of programmable chip in a combination that includes an FPGA, or field programmable gate array. The Journal noted that FPGAs have been sold for years by Xilinx (XLNX) and Altera (ALTR), but that the general manager of Intelís data center group, Diane Bryant, declined to disclose Intelís partner on the latest effort or when the resulting products would hit the market. PRICE ACTION: Since the day after its earnings pre-announcement, Intel shares have risen over 12% and its stock is up more than 17% over the last three months. In afternoon trading ahead of tonight's report, Intel was trading near flat at $31.53.
11:41 EDTAAPLApple CEO has 'never met' Carney, The Loop reports
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10:56 EDTTWTR, YELPFed calls small cap social media, biotech valuations 'stretched'
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in its Monetary Policy Report dated today said valuation metrics in "some sectors" appear substantially stretched, "particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries, despite a notable downturn in equity prices for such firms early in the year." A later part in the document reads, "Equity valuations of smaller firms as well as social media and biotechnology firms appear to be stretched, with ratios of prices to forward earnings remaining high relative to historical norms." The specific targeting of sectors by the Fed seems to be having an impact on stocks in the social media and biotech spaces. Shares of Yelp (YELP) are down over 5% to $67.51, while Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) are each down 2%. Celgene (CELG) and Amgen (AMGN) are leading the biotech space lower with pullbacks of greater than 1%.
10:46 EDTAAPLApple rumored to solve alleged battery problem in new iPhones, AppleInsider says
According to reports from Asia, Apple is rumored to have solved its issue with the construction of ultra-thin batteries for its next-generation iPhones, says AppleInsider. Apple is said to have enlisted a new manufacturing partner in Taiwan to craft the batteries, added AppleInsider. Reference Link
10:33 EDTTWTRFacebook, Twitter slip following cautious valuation comments from Fed
Shares of a number of companies in the social media and biotech industries moved lower following the circulation of cautious comments about their stock valuations that were included in the Federal Reserve's latest Monetary Policy Report. WHAT'S NEW: In the report, presented by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and signed on behalf of the governors by Chair Janet Yellen, the central bank wrote that some broad equity price indexes have increased to all-time highs in nominal terms since the end of 2013, but that valuation measures for the overall market in early July were "generally at levels not far above their historical averages." However, the Fed's report also cautioned that valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially "stretched," particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries, despite a notable downturn in equity prices for such firms early in the year. As support for its assessment, the Fed noted that ratios of prices to forward earnings for "smaller firms as well as social media and biotechnology firms" remain "high relative to historical norms." PRICE ACTION: Following the circulation of the comments in the Fed report, shares of Facebook (FB) are down 88c, or 1.3%, to $67.02, Twitter (TWTR) is down 24c, or 0.6%, to $38.07 and LinkedIn (LNKD), is down 21c, or 0.1%, to $159.57. Shares of some biotechnology companies including Celgene (CELG) and Amgen (AMGN) also ticked lower following the circulation of the comments from the Fed's report.
10:18 EDTTWTRFacebook, Twitter move lower following comments from Yellen
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10:13 EDTPPandora calls active on renewed takeover chatter
Pandora July 25.5 and 28 calls are active on total call volume of 6,800 contracts (400 puts) on renewed takeover chatter. July call option implied volatility is at 64, August is at 67, September is at 61; compared to its 26-week average of 55 according to Track Data. Active call volume suggests traders taking positions for upside price movement.
10:04 EDTPPandora spikes higher, testing resistance
The shares have spiked higher in the last five minutes off the low of the day, currently at $26.71. Traders may push to test resistance at yesterday's high at $27.19. Support is at $26.40, the prior session low.
10:00 EDTYHOOOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
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10:00 EDTTWTROn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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09:58 EDTPRumor: Pandora moves up on renewed takeover chatter
09:40 EDTAAPLApple 'iWatch' said to debut in two sizes, three models, AppleInsider says
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09:38 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: AAPL FB JPM TSLA
08:18 EDTTWTRTwitter cracks down on providers of user stats, BI says
After Twitter's stock declined early this year following data that suggested growth in its monthly active users was slowing or flat and that engagement measures were declining, the social network operator has taken the unusual step of shutting off its data flow to certain companies that have published their own stats on Twitter's user statistics, according Business Insider, citing two sources. Reference Link
07:32 EDTYHOOYahoo July 35.5 straddle priced for 4.5% move into Q2
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06:43 EDTAAPLApple reportedly considering Carney for PR head position, Re/code reports
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06:41 EDTYHOOYahoo, Live Nation concert program to launch tonight, NY Times says
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06:30 EDTPDOJ investigating music publishing, possible price coordination, WSJ reports
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06:20 EDTAAPLBoy's rash linked to possible exposure to nickel found in iPad, WSJ reports
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06:06 EDTTWTRTwitter upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie
Macquarie upgraded its rating on Twitter (TWTR) to Neutral saying a reset in expectations and improving fundamentals will limit downside in the stock. The firm believes user growth trends remain an issue, though, and remains cautious on the name. Macquarie has a $36 price target for Twitter shares, which closed yesterday down 2c to $38.31.
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