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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For ACN;CTSH;IBM;HPQ;WIT;INFY From The Last 14 Days
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February 26, 2015
16:52 EDTIBMOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street moved in a narrow range for most of the session while remaining near record levels. The Nasdaq was the strongest of the indices, as it continues its march towards 5,000. Crude oil prices fell by over 5% during the regular trading session, but recovered a bit in after-hours trading. The market is on pace to complete its fourth consecutive week of gains and close out the month of February with gains after suffering losses in January. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Consumer Price Index fell 0.7% in January, with the core rate rising 0.2%, versus expectations for the headline CPI to be down 0.6% and the core rate to rise 0.1%. Initial jobless claims rose 31K to 313K in the week ended February 21, versus expectations for 290K first-time claims. Durable goods orders rose 2.8% in January, versus expectations for a 1.6% increase. The FHFA home price index rose 0.8% to 218.6 in December, versus expectations for an increase of 0.5%. COMPANY NEWS: The Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of adopting new open Internet, or "net neutrality," rules. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed that the FCC use its Title II authority to implement and enforce "bright-line" rules to ban paid prioritization and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. However, Wheeler said his proposal will "modernize" Title II, insuring there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, and no last-mile unbundling. Major Internet Service Providers, including Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Comcast (CMCSA), have opposed the rules, while Netflix (NFLX) has been a strong and vocal supporter of open Internet provisions... Shares of International Business Machines (IBM) slipped $1.94, or 1.19%, to $160.87 after Big Blue held its investor day meeting in NYC. At the meeting, IBM backed its fiscal year profit view but also said that the company now expects currency to impact revenue growth by over 6 points for the full year, which is greater than the impact previously provided based on January 16 spot rates. IBM also said it was shifting $4B into "strategic initiatives," including Big Data, the Cloud, mobile, social and security... Barnes & Noble (BKS) rose $1.67, or 6.89%, to $25.92 after announcing plans to split its Education business from its Retail and NOOK Digital businesses. The separation into two independent, publicly traded companies is anticipated to be completed by the end of August and is intended to be a tax-free distribution to shareholders, B&N noted. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Emulex (ELX), which jumped $1.57, or 24.69%, to $7.93 after the company agreed to be acquired by Avago Technologies (AVGO) for $606M, or $8 per share in cash. Avago also rose $16.57, or 14.71%, to $129.25 after announcing the deal and reporting "beat and raise" quarterly results. Also higher was UIL Holdings (UIL), which gained $9.74, or 23.01%, to $52.07 after the company agreed to be acquired by Iberdrola USA to create a newly listed U.S. publicly-traded company. The proposed transaction implies total value per share to UIL shareholders of $52.75, including $10.50 per share paid in the form of cash, the companies said. Among the noteworthy losers was Clayton Williams (CWEI), which fell $11.41, or 17.77%, to $52.79 after the company suspended drilling operations in both of its core resource plays, citing low oil prices, and its shares were downgraded at Wunderlich. Also lower following their earnings reports were network solutions provider Inteliquent (IQNT), which dropped $3.05, or 17.33%, to $14.55, and electric weapons maker TASER (TASR), which slid $4.36, or 16.14%, to $22.68. INDEXES: The Dow fell 10.15, or -0.06%, to 18,214.42, the Nasdaq gained 20.75, or 0.42%, to 4,987.89, and the S&P 500 declined 3.12, or 0.15%, to 2,110.74.
12:39 EDTIBMOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:20 EDTHPQRuckus Wireless will be in play if HP acquires Aruba, says Craig-Hallum
Craig-Hallum said Ruckus Wireless (RKUS) remains a likely takeout target following reports Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) may acquire competitor Aruba Networks (ARUN). Analyst Tony Stoss said if Hewlett is looking at Aruba, it should absolutely look at Buy rated Ruckus, which would also pressure Cisco (CSCO) to take a hard look at the company. Stoss says Ruckus has superior technology and exposure to the high growth service provider market with numerous catalysts ahead to drive shares higher.
09:18 EDTHPQAruba Networks could be acquired for $28 per share, says SunTrust
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09:12 EDTIBMIBM shifting $4B into 'strategic initiatives'
The strategic imperatives identified by IBM include Data, Cloud and Engagement.
09:07 EDTIBMIBM backs FY15 EPS view $15.75-$16.50, consensus $16.02
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09:02 EDTIBMIBM sees EPS to grow high single-digits over longer term
IBM sees revenue to grow low single-digits over longer term. See longer term Free Cash Flow realization in the 90%'s. Longer term view given in slides for analyst day meeting.
07:17 EDTHPQAruba would seek takeover price of $23-$27 per share, says JMP Securities
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06:57 EDTIBMIBM volatility low into investor day
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February 25, 2015
16:38 EDTHPQOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
The Wall Street averages had a relatively quiet open and remained in a tight range for most of the session. The market moved to the high end of its range by mid-afternoon, which pushed the Dow and S&P to new highs and the Nasdaq ever closer to its 5,000 level. There was little momentum behind the move and the averages eventually faded, closing nearly unchanged for the session. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., new home sales slipped 0.2% to a 481K annual pace in January, which was better than the expected 2.3% decline to a 471K rate. The DOE petroleum inventory report showed crude stockpiles grew by 8.4M barrels in the week of February 20, versus expectations for a 4M barrel increase. In China, HSBC and Markit's flash purchasing managers' index for February came in at 50.1, which was above the consensus outlook of 49.7 and represented a four month high. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) dropped $3.82, or 9.92%, to $34.67 after the PC, printer and server maker reported lower than expected Q1 revenue and cut its FY15 EPS view and free cash flow outlook, citing separation costs and foreign exchange headwinds. However, analysts at Citigroup, Bernstein, and Brean Capital all recommended buying the stock on weakness in separate notes to investors today. Later in the day, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that HP is in talks to make its biggest acquisition in several years by potentially acquiring Aruba Networks (ARUN), sending shares of the WiFi equipment maker up $3.86, or 21.0%, to $22.24. Shares of Aruba competitor Ruckus Wireless (RKUS) also gained 66c, or 5.89%, to $11.86 after Bloomberg's report on potential M&A in their space... Chesapeake Energy (CHK) slid $1.90, or 9.56%, to $17.98 after reporting worse than expected earnings amid the recent plunge in energy prices and announcing lower capital spending plans for 2015. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Benefitfocus (BNFT), which jumped $10.85, or 47.24%, to $33.82 after reporting Q4 earnings and disclosing that Marsh & McLennan (MMC) subsidiary Mercer took a 9.9% stake in the company. Also higher was SFX Entertainment (SFXE), which gained $1.09, or 29.46%, to $4.79 after the company’s Chairman and CEO, Robert Sillerman, offered to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of the company not already owned by him for $4.75 per share in cash. SFX Entertainment confirmed that it received the proposal and established a special committee to review and negotiate the nonbinding offer. Among the noteworthy losers was Lumber Liquidators (LL), which plunged $18.15, or 26.39%, to $50.63 after reporting Q4 earnings per share and revenue that missed consensus expectations, warning on its associated call that an upcoming "60 Minutes" piece may cast the company in an unfavorable light, and disclosing in its annual report that the Department of Justice indicated in recent communications that it is contemplating seeking criminal charges under the Lacey Act. Also lower following their earnings reports were shares of Republic Airways (RJET), which fell $2.17, or 14.49%, to $12.81, and LendingClub (LC), which dropped $3.14, or 13.28%, to $20.51. INDEXES: The Dow added 15.38, or 0.08%, to 18,224.57, the Nasdaq slipped 0.98, or 0.02%, to 4,967.14, and the S&P 500 dropped 1.62, or 0.08%, to 2,113.86.
15:40 EDTHPQAruba Networks a strong takeout candidate, says Northland
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15:07 EDTHPQAruba Networks in talks to be acquired by Hewlett-Packard, Bloomberg says
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15:04 EDTHPQAruba Networks jumps 10.5%, halted after report on HP takeover talks
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15:03 EDTHPQAruba Networks in talks to be bought by Hewlett-Packard, Bloomberg says
12:31 EDTHPQOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:34 EDTHPQHP 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%.
09:36 EDTHPQActive 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
09:08 EDTHPQOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:38 EDTHPQIntralinks enters stategic technology partnership with Hewlett-Packard
Intralinks (IL)has entered into a strategic technology and go-to-market partnership agreement with HP (HPQ). Intralinks has joined the HP PartnerOne for Service Provider program and will leverage HP solutions and services to support Intralinks' global data centers. The company is building its application architecture for secure content collaboration on HP Helion OpenStack technology.
08:38 EDTHPQHP should be bought on weakness, says Bernstein
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