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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For AHS;CMCSA;GRPN;MOH;NNA;PM;PL;UTIW;WU;PRO;IRWD;ZMH;MDU;BPL From The Last 14 Days
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July 30, 2015
16:28 EDTMOHMolina Healthcare reports Q2 adjusted EPS 86c, consensus 63c
Reports Q2 revenue $3.52B, consensus $3.6B. The company said, "Financial results for the second quarter of 2015 improved significantly over the same quarter of 2014 due to higher revenue, greater medical and administrative cost efficiency, and more complete state reimbursement of the Affordable Care Act Health Insurer Fee (HIF)."
16:20 EDTWUWestern Union up 2% after reporting Q2 results, raising guidance
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16:19 EDTWUWestern Union raises FY15 adjusted EPS to $1.60-$1.67 from $1.58-$1.65
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16:17 EDTWUWestern Union reports Q2 EPS ex-items 41c, consensus 39c
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15:38 EDTWUWestern Union technical comments ahead of results
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15:04 EDTWUNotable companies reporting after market close
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10:51 EDTCMCSANBCU near to investments in BuzzFeed and Vox Media, Re/code says
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07:28 EDTGRPNGroupon announces launch of Groupon to Go in Chicago
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July 29, 2015
14:14 EDTPMBAT sees 'plain packaging' legal hearing in December, Reuters says
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July 28, 2015
14:09 EDTPMAltria, Philip Morris could be ripe for recombination, Bloomberg says
The justification for splitting Altria (MO) and Philip Morris (PM) roughly seven years ago "no longer exists" and it may be time to look at a combination, reports Bloomberg Real M&A, noting that the two companies lag behind Reynolds American (RAI) after its recent acquisition of Lorillard. The report notes that the firms have already partnered on product developments in recent months, though a Philip Morris spokesperson told Bloomberg that "many of the reasons articulated by the board at the time of the spinoff are still relevant today." Reference Link
13:49 EDTWUWestern Union, CFPB in settlement pact regarding Paymap
On July 28, Paymap, a subsidiary of The Western Union Company, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reached a settlement agreement regarding Paymapís marketing of its Equity Accelerator service. Under the terms of the agreement, Paymap will pay approximately $33.4M in restitution to impacted consumers who enrolled in Paymapís Equity Accelerator service between July 2011 and July 2015. In addition, Paymap has agreed to pay $5M in civil money penalties. The CFPB previously claimed that certain aspects of the marketing of Paymapís Equity Accelerator service violated the Consumer Financial Protection Actís prohibition against unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices. Paymap agreed to resolve the matter without admitting or denying the CFPBís allegations. The Company expects to record a non-recurring pre-tax charge of $35.3M in its second quarter earnings. The Company had partially reserved for this matter in previous periods.
13:17 EDTPMEarnings Watch: Analysts bullish on Altria, seen as 'top pick' by Cowen
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July 27, 2015
13:16 EDTCMCSAADT rises after Citi downplays 'smart home' concerns
Shares of ADT (ADT) are heading higher in afternoon trading following an upgrade from Citi, within which the research firm said traditional home security firms have plenty of traction as self-installed, self-monitored security solutions from the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Google's (GOOG) Nest are slow to be adopted by homeowners. WHAT'S NEW: Citi's Jason Bazinet issued a research note on the home security sector, upgrading ADT to Buy from Neutral while slightly lowering his price target to $39 from $40. Bazinet notes that the sector is expanding into "smart home" technology powered by companies like Apple and Google's Nest. Despite this, the analyst contends that consumer data shows continued preference for the traditional approach in the form of professionally installed and professionally monitored services from ADT, Monitronics, Vivint, AT&T (T) and Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK). WHAT'S NOTABLE: Though tech firms and venture capitalists seem drawn towards the concept of self-installed, self-monitored "smart homes," consumers appear to be sticking with the professionals, says Citi. Security systems using Apple HomeKit and Google's Nest products are seeing "limited" adoption, and firms like ADT -- equipped with call centers and installation specialists -- appear ready to "hold their own," with recent weakness in ADT shares called an "opportunity" by Bazinet. The analyst conceded that professional security providers will see their market share drop to 15% from a current 20%, but Bazinet set a 2035 date for that shift, leaving plenty of near-term opportunity for traditional players. PRICE ACTION: After a 25% drop since mid-April, shares of ADT are up about 1.4% to trade near $32 this afternoon.
09:28 EDTCMCSADiscovery, Comcast reach long-term renewal agreement, Deadline reports
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08:35 EDTWUWestern Union activates money transfers into Greece
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06:09 EDTCMCSAFox Networks Group leads $300M funding round for DraftKings, WSJ reports
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July 26, 2015
15:59 EDTCMCSADisney's 'Ant-Man' leads U.S. weekend box office with $24.8M
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July 24, 2015
15:06 EDTCMCSAEarnings Watch: TV networks report as streaming services gain ground
CBS (CBS), Time Warner (TWX), Viacom (VIA, VIAB), and 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) are among TV network companies expected to report quarterly results over the next several weeks, with Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) already having reported before the open on July 23. EXPECTATIONS: Time Warner is expected to report EPS of $1.03 on revenue of $6.9B, CBS is expected to report EPS of 73c on revenue of $3.22B, Viacom is expected to report EPS of $1.47 on revenue of $3.22B, and 21st Century Fox is expected to report EPS of 37c on revenue of $6.48B. LAST QUARTER: CBS, Time Warner, and Fox all reported stronger than expected Q1 results, while Viacom reported higher than expected Q2 EPS but missed on revenue. THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS: On the morning of July 23, Comcast reported Q2 EPS of 84c in line with estimates, and revenue of $18.7B versus expectations for $18.14B. Cable customer relationships for the quarter were up 31,000 to 27.3M, driven by increases in double and triple product relationships. During a subsequent conference call, the company noted that TV viewership continues to be under pressure. NEWS: At Re/code's Code Conference on May 27, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves remarked that his network will "probably" sign up for Apple's (AAPL) rumored TV service, and on June 3, CBS announced that its Showtime network will be offered over the internet as a stand-alone streaming service launching in early July for a monthly price of $10.99, with Apple as its first partner. On July 1, Variety quoted sources as saying Viacom was attempting to entice advertisers by offering to construct social-media and digital extensions of traditional TV ad campaigns as the company seeks to move away from Nielsen-based advertising sales. On July 8, the Wall Street Journal reported that Viacom's Paramount Pictures reached an agreement with AMC (AMC) to accelerate the home release of movies, noting that the company hoped to implement the quickened schedule for all new releases beginning later in the year. On July 17, Re/code reported that Viacom held talks to acquire e-commerce and media company Thrillist Media, according to sources. On June 17, 21st Century Fox named James Murdoch as CEO, with founder and former chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch appointed executive co-chairman alongside Lachlan Murdoch. The Telegraph reported on June 20 that Fox rejected offers for its stake in Sky (SKYAY) from Vodafone (VOD) and Vivendi (VIVHY), potentially signalling an interest in outright purchasing the rest of Sky, according to the report. More recently, the European Commission announced on July 23 that it delivered a statement of objections to Sky and various film studios owned by Comcast, Viacom, Fox, Time Warner, Disney (DIS), and Sony (SNE), discussing anti-trust concerns due to limitations on country-by-country availability of pay-TV services. STREET RESEARCH: On May 12, Pacific Crest said it believes Apple will launch its TV service before the end of the year, saying the move should benefit TV networks as well as Apple itself. On June 24, Brean Capital said Facebook's (FB) agreement with Time Warner to host premier episodes of certain upcoming shows was "a trend worth following," and possibly indicative of Facebook hosting additional TV content in the future. Also on June 24, FBR Capital contended that Netflix (NFLX) was on pace to have a larger 24-hour audience than all traditional broadcast networks, where ratings are seeing declines on average, according to the research firm. Those comments were followed by a July 10 note on Netflix from Morgan Stanley, saying the subscription streaming service was seeing higher time spent per day than any single broadcast network. Moving away from the Netflix factor, on July 10, JPMorgan said CBS shares looked "very attractive" following a recent selloff, though the company saw a downgrade on July 20 from Pivotal, which cited higher costs of capital among other factors. Finally, Citi upgraded Viacom on July 16 to Neutral, citing recent underperformance in the company's shares heading into earnings season.
07:31 EDTCMCSAComcast outlook still attractive, says Wells Fargo
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July 23, 2015
20:09 EDTCMCSA'Jurassic World' sequel to be released June 2018, Variety says
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18:59 EDTCMCSAComcast pursuing deals with multiple 'new media' companies, WSJ says
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18:21 EDTCMCSAOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Thursday
Stocks began the session mixed on the heels of weak earnings reports from both Caterpillar (CAT) and 3M (MMM). The Nasdaq managed to spend most of the day in positive territory but joined the other averages in negative territory by mid-afternoon. Selling picked up momentum towards late afternoon, and by dayís end each of the averages were lower by more than 0.4%, with the Dow losing nearly 0.7%. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell to 255,000 in the week ended July 18, below the 278,000 first-time claims that were expected. The Leading Economic Indicators advanced 0.6% in June, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% increase. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index advanced for a sixth straight session, adding another 2.4%. In Europe, the Greek Parliament voted to accept creditor terms for a new bailout, though a decision on when to reopen Greek financial markets was deferred to next week. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of General Motors (GM) finished the session up 3.96% to $31.50 after reporting earnings per share above analyst expectations. Other notable names rising following earnings reports include SanDisk (SNDK), Under Armour (UA), Southwest (LUV)... Caterpillar, meanwhile, dropped $2.86, or 3.59%, to $76.90 after cutting its yearly guidance during this morning's earnings report, with the company noting a "relatively stagnant" global economy. Also lower following earnings were Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Dunkin Brands (DNKN), and Boston Scientific (BSX). MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Cigna (CI), which rose $3.29, or 2.18%, to $154.36 after the Wall Street Journal reported last night that Anthem (ANTM) is nearing a deal to acquire the company for roughly $187, representing a total transaction value of over $48B. Adding to that report, CNBC's David Faber said on Thursday morning that Anthem will announce an agreement Friday to purchase Cigna for $188 per share, at a 45% equity, 55% cash split. Also higher were shares of numerous IT security companies, with FireEye (FEYE) advancing 4.53% and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) adding 2.33% after earnings reports from security firms Fortinet (FTNT) and F5 Networks (FFIV) beat on both top and bottom lines. Fortinet and F5, meanwhile, finished Thursday's session up 10.71% and 7.75% to $46.83 and $127.68, respectively. Among the noteworthy losers following earnings was McDonald's (MCD), which edged down 0.52% to $97.10 after noting that Q2 global comparable sales fell 0.7% for the quarter, including a 2% decline in U.S. same-store sales. Also lower was Hertz (HTZ), which declined 8.53% to $16.45 following a downgrade to Underweight at Morgan Stanley, with the research firm citing increased competition from Uber and similar mobility services. INDEXES: The Dow fell 119.12, or 0.67%, to 17,731.92, the Nasdaq lost 25.36, or 0.49%, to 5,146.41, and the S&P 500 declined 12.00, or 0.57%, to 2,102.15.
12:32 EDTCMCSAOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
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09:58 EDTCMCSAComcast slips after earnings, levels to watch
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07:20 EDTCMCSAComcast reports Q2 NBCUniversal revenue of $7.2B
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07:11 EDTCMCSAComcast reports Cable customer relationships increased by 31,000
Revenue for Cable Communications increased 6.3% to $11.7B in Q2 compared to $11.0B in the second quarter of 2014, driven by increases of 10.0% in high-speed Internet, 20.4% in business services and 3.7% in video. Customer Relationships increased by 31,000 to 27.3M in Q2, a 56,000 improvement compared to the second quarter of 2014 and driven by increases in double and triple product relationships. At the end of Q2, double and triple product customers increased to 69% of total customer relationships compared to 68% in the second quarter of 2014. Video net losses improved 52% year-over-year to 69,000 and were the best result for a second quarter in nine years, while High-Speed Internet customers grew by 180,000 and Voice net additions were 49,000.
07:02 EDTCMCSAComcast reports Q2 EPS 84c, consensus 84c
Reports Q2 revenue $18.7B, consensus $18.14B. Consolidated Operating Cash Flow increased 8.0% to $6.3B. Excluding $79M of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Charter (CHTR) transaction-related costs in the second quarter of 2015 and $44M in the second quarter of 2014, consolidated operating cash flow increased 8.5%
05:59 EDTCMCSAEU sends Statement of Objections to Sky, U.S. film studios
The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Sky UK (SKYAY) and six major U.S. film studios: Disney (DIS), NBCUniversal (CMCSA), Paramount Pictures (VIA), Sony (SNE), Twentieth Century Fox (FOXA) and Warner Bros (TWX). The Commission takes the preliminary view that each of the six studios and Sky UK have bilaterally agreed to put in place contractual restrictions that prevent Sky UK from allowing EU consumers located elsewhere to access, via satellite or online, pay-TV services available in the UK and Ireland. Without these restrictions, Sky UK would be free to decide on commercial grounds whether to sell its pay-TV services to such consumers requesting access to its services, taking into account the regulatory framework including, as regards online pay-TV services, the relevant national copyright laws. If the Commission's preliminary position were to be confirmed, each of the companies would have breached EU competition rules prohibiting anti-competitive agreements. The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. These antitrust investigations focus on contractual restrictions on passive sales outside the licensed territory in agreements between studios and broadcasters.
July 22, 2015
15:26 EDTCMCSANotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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08:32 EDTWUWestern Union, Kroger extend more than 30-year relationship
Western Union (WU) announced the extension of its more than 30-year relationship with The Kroger Co. (KR). This agreement gives customers the ability to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions across the United States or across the globe to more than 200 countries and territories, in minutes. In addition, Customers can purchase money orders and pay their bills at more than 2,300 Kroger Family of Store locations across 34 states.
07:45 EDTCMCSAComcast July weekly volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
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07:38 EDTIRWDIronwood announces data from Phase I IW-1973 study
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals announced top-line data from a Phase I study of IW-1973, its lead investigational soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator. In the study, IW-1973 demonstrated cardiovascular pharmacodynamic effects, extensive tissue distribution, proof of mechanism for sGC stimulation, and a dose range that was well tolerated in healthy volunteers. The totality of clinical and preclinical data generated to date strongly support continued development of IW-1973 as a potential once-daily oral therapy. Ironwood intends to initiate a Phase Ib multiple ascending dose study of IW-1973 in the fourth quarter of 2015. This study will inform the selection of doses and priority indications for the Phase II program, which will focus on areas with the highest unmet need and optimal path to market. Ironwood intends to initiate at least two Phase II proof of concept studies for IW-1973 in 2016. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose Phase I study enrolled 46 healthy volunteers. Participants were randomized 3:1 to receive a single dose of IW-1973 or placebo administered via an oral capsule. Top-line clinical data were consistent with preclinical findings and included cardiovascular pharmacodynamic effects, dose-proportional pharmacokinetics, biomarker-based confirmation of target engagement, and evidence of extensive distribution to tissues. No serious adverse events were reported. Reported adverse events were consistent with the mechanism of action. Data from clinical and preclinical studies of IW-1973 are expected to be presented at a future medical conference.
July 20, 2015
15:05 EDTUTIWUTi Worldwide management to meet with Stephens
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July 19, 2015
15:43 EDTCMCSADisney's 'Ant-Man' leads U.S. weekend box office with $58M
For the weekend of July 19, Disney's (DIS) "Ant-Man" topped domestic box office charts at $58M. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Minions" landed in second place with $50.2M, while Universal's "Trainwreck" came in third with $30.2M. Disney's "Inside Out" and Universal's "Jurassic World" took fourth and fifth place at $11.7M and $11.4M, respectively. Data gathered by Rentrak.
July 17, 2015
06:13 EDTCMCSAHulu considering ad-free option, WSJ reports
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July 16, 2015
19:17 EDTMOHAffordable Care Act plan prices to increase 11.2% in 2016, WSJ says
State regulators will begin approving plan price increases for insurance plans purchased on Care Actís exchanges as early as this month, reports the Wall Street Journal. Nearly every state has plans with premiums increasing over 10%, with some as high as 30%-50%, the Journal adds. Publicly traded companies in the space include Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM), Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Humana (HUM), Molina Healthcare (MOH), UnitedHealth (UNH) and WellCare (WCG). Reference Link
15:12 EDTGRPNGroupon acquires OrderUp
Groupon announced the acquisition of OrderUp, an on-demand online and mobile food ordering and delivery marketplace operating in nearly 40 markets across the United States. "Online food ordering and delivery represents an untapped opportunity for Groupon and serves as a natural extension of our local marketplace," said Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky. "The potential in delivery and takeout is apparent -- especially with the growth of mobile -- and OrderUpís operational ability, coupled with Grouponís engaged customer and merchant base, bring tremendous scale to the space."
12:12 EDTPMOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in positive territory after Greece's Parliament approved austerity measures that should pave the way for the country to receive a new bailout package. With earnings season gaining steam and the situations in Greece and China appearing more stable in recent days, the S&P and Nasdaq are back within striking distance of their all-time highs. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims dropped to 281,000 in the week ended July 11, versus expectations for 285,000 first-time claims. The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index for July came in at 60, a point better than forecast. The Philly Fed business outlook index dropped 9.5 points to 5.7 in July, falling short of the 12.0 reading that was expected. In Europe, Greek lawmakers passed the country's austerity agreement and Euro-area finance ministers also reportedly agreed in principle to extend a $7.6B bridge loan to Greece. The loan, which will come from the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism, should help keep Greece afloat while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras negotiates the details of the country's three-year bailout. COMPANY NEWS: Netflix (NFLX) rallied 16% and hit a split-adjusted all-time high of $114.45 per share after the streaming service operator reported stronger than expected second quarter results, including higher than expected Q2 subscriber metrics, prompting a large number of research firms to raise their price targets on the stock... The third-largest U.S. bank, Citigroup (C), posted second quarter profit, excluding adjustments and one-time items, of $1.45 per share, beating the $1.34 average estimate of analysts. Goldman Sachs (GS) reported Q2 earnings per share of $1.98, which fell far short of the consensus forecast of $3.89. However, the firm recorded $1.45B in net provisions for litigation and regulatory matters, which reduced EPS for the quarter by $2.77. Goldman Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein said the bank was "pleased" with its quarterly performance, adding that while "uncertainty in the EU" weighed on investorsí conviction, many of its businesses continued to benefit from generally improving economic conditions. Citi shares rose 3.5% following its report, while Goldman shares slipped a bit more than 1.5%... eBay (EBAY), which is set to split from PayPal (PYPL) in just a few days, reported better than expected earnings for the still-combined company. eBay also announced an additional $1B stock repurchase authorization, bringing its total buyback allowance to $3B, and confirmed it reached a deal to sell eBay Enterprise to a consortium consisting of Sterling Partners, Permira Funds and others for $925M. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Amira Nature Foods (ANFI), which advanced 16% after the company reported earnings and said it sees "double-digit" revenue growth in its new fiscal year. Also higher was Philip Morris (PM), which gained 3% after reporting better than expected earnings and revenue, excluding certain items. Among the noteworthy losers was Rovi (ROVI), which dropped 16.5% after Netflix was granted a motion of summary judgment invalidating all five of the remaining Rovi patents that were being contested in litigation between the companies. Also lower was Garmin (GRMN), which fell 9% after reporting preliminary Q2 earnings that fell short of expectations, citing the negative impact of currency movements and a "more promotional pricing environment" in the fitness segment. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 35.47, or 0.2%, to 18,085.64, the Nasdaq was up 54.08, or 1.06%, to 5,153.02, and the S&P 500 was up 14.10, or 0.67%, to 2,121.50.
10:45 EDTCMCSANetflix price targets soar as Bernstein stays bearish
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09:55 EDTCMCSARovi trial loss immaterial to estimates, says Piper Jaffray
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09:08 EDTPMOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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09:00 EDTPMAltria expands strategic framework with Philip Morris for e-vapor products
Altria (MO) announced that it is expanding its strategic framework with Philip Morris International (PM) to include a joint research, development and technology-sharing agreement. Under the agreement, Altria and PMI will collaborate to develop e-vapor products for commercialization in the United States by Altria and in markets outside the United States by PMI. The Agreement also provides for exclusive technology cross licenses, technical information sharing and cooperation on scientific assessment, regulatory engagement and approval related to e-vapor products.
07:13 EDTPMPhilip Morris, Swedish Match to dissolve smokeless JV
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07:06 EDTPMPhilip Morris CEO says Q2 results 'very solid'
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07:04 EDTPMPhilip Morris sees being near high end of FY15 adjusted EPS growth of 9%-11%
PMI reaffirms its FY15 reported diluted EPS forecast of $4.32-$4.42, at prevailing exchange rates. On an adjusted basis, diluted EPS are projected to increase in the range of 9%-11% versus adjusted diluted EPS of $5.02 in 2014, with PMI anticipating that its currency-neutral adjusted diluted EPS growth rate will be towards the upper end of 9%-11%. Consensus $4.41. "While currency headwinds remain stubbornly high, we are ever focused on the prudent management of cash flow. We are committed to returning around 100% of our free cash flow to shareholders, said CEO Andre Calantzopoulos.
07:01 EDTPMPhilip Morris reports Q2 adjusted EPS $1.21, consensus $1.13
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06:31 EDTGRPNBlue Calypso announces favorable 'Markman' rulings at District Court
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05:56 EDTCMCSANetflix ruling irrelevant to Rovi contract renewals, says B. Riley
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05:52 EDTCMCSARuling in Netflix case a negative for Rovi, says JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Sterling Auty says court filings released after yesterday's market close indicate Netflix (NFLX) was granted a motion of summary invalidating all five of the remaining Rovi (ROVI) patents that were being contested. Auty expects Rovi to sell off on the news as investors consider what the ruling may do to the company's upcoming contract renewals with Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC), DirecTV (DTV) and DISH (DISH). The "big 4" choosing to litigate against Rovi is "certainly a possibility," but the companies have bigger patent infringement exposures than an over-the-top vendor like Netflix, Auty writes in a research note. He keeps a Neutral rating on Rovi.
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