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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 18, 2014
10:01 EDTZMH, SPWH, HPQ, DG, WETF, KS, HMSY, CEO, WLK, HK, EQR, ACHNOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Achillion (ACHN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... CNOOC (CEO) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... Dollar General (DG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee... Equity Residential (EQR) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies... HMS Holdings (HMSY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis... HP (HPQ) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Monness Crespi... Halcon Resources (HK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at MLV & Co.... KapStone (KS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Sportsman's Warehouse (SPWH) upgraded at RW Baird... Westlake Chemical (WLK) upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust... WisdomTree (WETF) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup... Zimmer (ZMH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair.
News For ACHN;CEO;DG;EQR;HMSY;HPQ;HK;KS;SPWH;WLK;WETF;ZMH From The Last 14 Days
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January 29, 2016
13:26 EDTWLKAxiall rejects unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical
Axiall (AXLL) confirmed that it has rejected an unsolicited and conditional proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK) to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Axiall for a consideration of $20.00 per share in the form of $11.00 in cash and 0.1967 shares of Westlake stock. Axiall noted that Westlake's proposal was delivered to the company on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, four days before Westlake's decision to publicly release the proposal. The Axiall Board of Directors, with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, reviewed, considered and unanimously rejected the proposal within the timeframe requested by Westlake. "We believe that Westlake's proposal is an opportunistic attempt to take advantage of challenging public equity market conditions and significantly undervalues Axiall's assets and its long-term prospects," commented Timothy Mann, president and CEO. "The price of Axiall stock was at $20.18 as recently as Dec. 1, 2015. We remain committed to achieving our $100 million run rate cost reduction and productivity target by the end of 2016, as well as our investment in the LACC ethane cracker project with our joint venture partner Lotte Chemical. In addition, we are continuing to evaluate our entire portfolio of businesses and assets to identify opportunities to enhance shareholder value, including our sales process for the Building Products business."
13:25 EDTWLKAxiall rejects unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical
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12:12 EDTWLKLargest Axiall holder wants negotiation with Westlake, Bloomberg says
Axiall's (AXLL) largest shareholder, Shapiro Capital Management, wants the company to negotiate with Westlake Chemical (WLK) and views Westlake's $20 per share offer as too low, Bloomberg reports, citing an interview with the fund's Chairman Sam Shapiro.
11:47 EDTWLKAxiall downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
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10:05 EDTWETFOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: American Equity (AEL) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital... Calpine (CPN) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... Diamondback Energy (FANG) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Dynegy (DYN) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... ICF International (ICFI) initiated with a Market Perform at Barrington... Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust... Kite Pharma (KITE) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust... Match Group (MTCH) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna... Medifast (MED) initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich... NRG Energy (NRG) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... NRG Yield (NYLD) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Nutrisystem (NTRI) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich... Parsley Energy (PE) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Precision Drilling (PDS) initiated with a Hold at Canaccord... RSP Permian (RSPP) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Taylor Morrison (TMHC) initiated with a Neutral at Citi... Tortoise North American Energy (TYN) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... WisdomTree (WETF) initiated with a Neutral at Northcoast.
09:34 EDTACHNAchillion downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink
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09:28 EDTWETFWisdomTree initiated with a Neutral at Northcoast
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08:21 EDTWLKWestlake Chemical says Axiall rejects $20 per share proposal
In a letter to the board of Axiall, Westlake Chemical disclosed that it proposed to acquire Axiall for $20 per share in cash and stock. In the letter, Westlake commented, "Less than three days after we provided our written proposal, your management informed us that you remain committed to the continued implementation of your current standalone strategic plan. The market reaction to your plan does not suggest investors believe it will deliver anywhere near the value and upside of our proposal. In this challenging environment, we believe your unwillingness to even discuss our compelling proposal exposes your shareholders to significant risk and uncertainty. The combination of Westlake and Axiall would create a more efficient, diversified and competitive company, far better positioned to succeed and grow in this challenging environment. With Westlake's Olefins business and a combined Westlake/Axiall Vinyls business, there would be an immediate opportunity to backward integrate into the ethylene market. The combined company would also benefit from Westlake's European vinyls business, which is a global leader in vinyl technology and specialty PVC resins. The combined company would also have a stronger financial profile than Axiall, providing it with significant financial and operational flexibility, a greater ability to serve its customers, and improved ability to capitalize on future investment opportunities. Based on our proposed consideration mix and strong track record, we believe that the combined company will maintain an investment grade credit rating."
08:17 EDTWLKWestlake Chemical discloses proposal to acquire Axiall for $20 per share
Westlake Chemical (WLK) announced that it has submitted a proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Axiall (AXLL) for $20.00 per share, comprised of $11.00 in cash and 0.1967 of a Westlake share. The proposal, which has been summarily rejected by the Axiall Board, represented a significant premium of 108% to Axiall's closing price of $9.60 on January 22, 2016. The total value of the proposed transaction is approximately $2.9 billion, including the assumption of certain Axiall liabilities, which include approximately $1.5 billion of debt outstanding as of September 30, 2015. Westlake CEO Albert Chao commented, "We are surprised and disappointed by Axiall's summary rejection of our proposal, which provides Axiall shareholders with a significant premium and upside potential via their participation in the increased scale and synergies of the combined company. The combined company would be more diversified and have a stronger financial profile than Axiall, providing it with significant financial and operational flexibility, a greater ability to serve its customers, and improved ability to capitalize on future investment opportunities."
08:16 EDTWLKWestlake Chemical discloses proposal to acquire Axiall for $20 per share
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January 28, 2016
15:18 EDTHPQXcel Brands collaborates with HP Inc. to create Isaac Mizrahi smartwatch
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10:05 EDTHKOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Azure Midstream Partners (AZUR) downgraded at Stifel... Chesapeake (CHK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich... CorEnergy (CORR) downgraded at Stifel... DCP Midstream (DPM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel... DynCorp (DCP) downgraded at Stifel... Ericsson (ERIC) downgraded on challenging outlook at BMO Capital... H&E Equipment (HEES) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Halcon Resources (HK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich... InvenSense (INVN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Barrington... Invitae (NVTA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink... Kirby (KEX) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... MEG Energy (MEGEF) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Metro (MTTRY) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... OSI Systems (OSIS) downgraded to Hold following Q2 miss at BB&T... Oasis Petroleum (OAS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich... Pan American Silver (PAAS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Qualcomm (QCOM) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... Range Resources (RRC) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Rockwell Automation (ROK) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein... Royal Gold (RGLD) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... SEI Investments (SEIC) downgraded to Underperform at Keefe Bruyette... SandRidge Energy (SD) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Wunderlich... Seadrill (SDRL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... ServiceNow (NOW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at MKM Partners... State Bank Financial (STBZ) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill... Sunoco Logistics (SXL) downgraded at Stifel... Tallgrass Energy GP (TEGP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel... Tallgrass Energy (TEP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel... Textron (TXT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Drexel Hamilton... TripAdvisor (TRIP) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Tupperware Brands (TUP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... U.S. Steel (X) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus... United Rentals (URI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Welltower (HCN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Western Gas Partners (WES) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel... Whiting Petroleum (WLL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich.
09:03 EDTHKHalcon Resources downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich
Wunderlich analyst Irene Haas downgraded Halcon Resources to Hold after her firm lowered its WTI price forecast for 2016 and 2017 from $54/barrel and $65/barrel to $38.25 and $50, respectively. The analyst cut her price target for the shares to $1 from $10.
January 27, 2016
08:51 EDTEQREquity Residential closes sale of 23,262 apartment units for $5.365B
Equity Residential announced the closing of the sale, for $5.365B, of 72 properties, consisting of 23,262 apartment units that it had agreed to sell to controlled affiliates of Starwood Capital Group, as previously announced on October 26, 2015. The sale of 71 of the properties closed on January 26, 2016 and the company expects the final property sale to close later today.
January 25, 2016
16:14 EDTKSOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks began the session in negative territory and remained there throughout the day. The market has yet to de-couple from oil prices, as stocks continue to move in the direction of the commodity. The averages almost made it back to positive ground in the early afternoon, but with oil down more than 4% the sellers emerged and pushed the market toward session lows. The market continued to lose ground as oil fell further, giving up nearly 6% by the close on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing stocks' two day win streak to an end. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was light. The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey, the lone report of note, came in at -34.6, below the revised prior reading of -21.6 and short of the consensus -14.5 forecast. West Texas Intermediate for March delivery fell $1.85, or 5.8%, to close at $30.34 a barrel on the NYMEX. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of McDonald's (MCD) advanced 0.7% to $119.20 after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S... Twitter (TWTR) fell 4.6% to $17.02 after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed on Sunday night the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares... Tyco (TYC) jumped 11.6% to $34.15 after reaching a merger agreement with Johnson Controls (JCI) which will see Johnson shareholders owning 56% of the combined company's equity. Johnson Controls fell 3.9% to $34.21 following the merger announcement. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Valeant (VRX), which rose 4.55% to $92.63 after hospitalized CEO Michael Pearson said he is "on the road to recovery" after a bout of pneumonia. The news was followed by announcements that Valeant has sold three of its skincare brands and received FDA acceptance of its biologics license application for psoriasis drug Brodalumab. Also higher was SunEdison (SUNE), which advanced 2.6% to $2.72 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is set to give David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital a seat on its board. Meanwhile, energy savings firm EnerNOC (ENOC) jumped 69.5% to $7.05 after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of FERC's so-called "demand response" rule, sending energy generators Dynegy (DYN) and Talen Energy (TLN) down a respective 11.6% and 6.2%. Among the noteworthy losers was OncoMed (OMED), which plunged 42.9% to $10.04 after its Phase 2 trial of tarextumab in pancreatic cancer showed futility in an interim analysis. Also lower were containerboard and paper makers KapStone (KS), WestRock (WRK) and Packaging Corp (PKG), which dropped about 21%, 15% and 13%, respectively, after an industry publication reported that prices in the sector had declined. Additionally, Caterpillar (CAT) was the Dow's biggest decliner Monday, sinking 5% to $57.90 after being downgraded to Sell at Goldman Sachs. INDEXES: The Dow fell 208.29, or 1.29%, to 15,885.22, the Nasdaq lost 72.69, or 1.58%, to 4,518.49, and the S&P 500 declined 29.82, or 1.56%, to 1,877.08.
12:17 EDTKSOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday as oil prices resumed their slide, giving up some of the surge the commodity saw to close out last week. The stock market, which has been highly correlated with oil lately, continues to be led around by energy prices once again today. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was light with the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey the lone report of note. The survey came in at -34.6, below the revised prior reading of -21.6 and short of the consensus -14.5 forecast. WTI crude oil dropped about 5% to trade near $30.50 per barrel near midday. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of McDonald's (MCD) advanced a bit over 1% after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S. On the other side of the Dow was Caterpillar (CAT), which fell nearly 4% to lead the bluechip index on the down side after its stock was downgraded to Sell at Goldman Sachs... Twitter (TWTR) fell about 4% after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed on Sunday night the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Tyco (TYC), which rallied 10.8% after it announced that it entered into a definitive merger agreement with Johnson Controls (JCI). Johnson shares fell 2% after the deal announcement. Also higher was Williams Partners (WPZ), which gained 7% after it lowered its estimate of its 2016 growth capital funding needs to $2B, 32% lower than its previous plans. Among the noteworthy losers was OncoMed (OMED), which fell 46% after the company said its Phase 2 ALPINE clinical trial showed futility on an interim analysis. Also lower were KapStone (KS), WestRock (WRK), and Packaging Corp (PKG), which dropped 20%, 13%, and 11%, respectively, after an industry publication reported that prices in the sector had declined. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 78.00, or 0.48%, to 16,015.51, the Nasdaq was down 23.34, or 0.51%, to 4,567.84, and the S&P 500 was down 11.89, or 0.62%, to 1,895.01.
10:30 EDTKSContainerboard makers sink after prices cut
The shares of containerboard makers are falling after an industry publication reported that prices in the sector had declined. Citi and Deutsche Bank responded differently to the news. Citi recommended that investors avoid the sector and downgraded two stocks in the space, International Paper (IP) and Packaging Corp. (PKG). However, Deutsche Bank kept Buy ratings on three stocks in the sector - KapStone (KS), Packaging Corp. and WestRock (WRK), predicting that containerboard makers would look to balance supply with demand. BACKGROUND: On Friday night, Pulp & Paper Week lowered its benchmark kraftliner and semichemical medium prices by $15 per ton and $20 per ton, respectively. ANALYST REACTION: Friday's news was unexpected and will probably cause cause box prices to drop, wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Debbie Jones. As a result, analysts' estimates for companies in the sector will decline, Jones stated. However, the companies will respond by taking steps to balance supply with demand, the analyst believes. Moreover, some producers will try to keep prices stable, she stated. Estimating that the price cut would cause a 3%-4% reduction in the companies' earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization, Jones kept Buy ratings on Kapstone Papaer, Packaging Corp. and Westrock. Conversely, Citi anayst Anthony Pettinari downgraded International Paper and Packaging Corp. to Neutral from Buy. The decline in kraftline prices was surprising, given stronger than expected December box shipments and supply discipline by the major companies in the sector, the analyst stated. Although the recent price cuts could be a one-time event, there is a possibility that additional price decreases will follow, making the stocks unattractive, the analyst believes. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, International Paper dropped 5.4% to $34.50, Packaging Corp tumbled 8.2% to $52.90, Kapstone sank 15% to $14.82 and WestRock fell 11.5% to $33.42.
10:00 EDTKSOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: American Eagle (AEO) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... American Express (AXP) downgraded on weak revenue outlook at Argus... Bristol-Myers (BMY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital... Caterpillar (CAT) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Crestwood Equity (CEQP) downgraded to Neutral on potential distribution cut at Baird... Cummins (CMI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Federal Realty (FRT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... GKN PLC (GKNLY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Galapagos NV (GLPG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at GoldmanvHortonworks (HDP) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... International Flavors (IFF) downgraded on headwinds at Stifel... International Paper (IP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... JPMorgan (JPM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nomura... KapStone (KS) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Mosaic (MOS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... NetSuite (N) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens... ONEOK Partners (OKS) downgraded to Neutral at Baird... OvaScience (OVAS) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... Packaging Corp. (PKG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Potash (POT) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Power Solutions (PSIX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Raymond James (RJF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nomura... Regeneron (REGN) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Chardan... SanDisk (SNDK) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Toll Brothers (TOL) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities... Twitter (TWTR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel... WPX Energy (WPX) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Iberia... WestRock (WRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Whole Foods (WFM) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Zurich Insurance (ZURVY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Exane BNP Paribas.
07:50 EDTKSDeutsche sees Containerboard stocks trading 'aggressively' down
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06:29 EDTKSKapStone downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie
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