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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For AIZ From The Last 14 Days
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February 10, 2016
12:18 EDTAIZOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks have undergone another see-saw ride. The averages opened in positive territory, added to their gains in early trading, then saw much of their gains disappear, with the Dow now slipping below the flat line. Market watchers are intently listening as Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks before the House Finance committee. She has maintained her mantra that the central bank will be data dependent in making its policy decisions and given little clue as to the potential pace of further rate hikes, though she did say that she does not believe the Fed will need to cut rates again. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before the House Financial Services Committee. Tomorrow, she will present to the Senate Banking Committee. In her prepared remarks ahead of her testimony, Yellen said U.S. financial conditions have recently become "less supportive of growth," citing declines in the stock market, higher borrowing rates for riskier borrowers, and a further appreciation of the dollar. Yellen also noted that foreign economic developments pose risks to U.S. economic growth, noting that these growth concerns, along with strong supply conditions and high inventories, contributed to the recent fall in the prices of oil and other commodities. In Asia, Japanese stock indexes sank further, with the Topix falling another 3% and the Nikkei dropping over 2%. COMPANY NEWS: Continuing a recent trend in the media space, Time Warner (TWX) reported lower than expected quarterly revenues and its stock was punished. The shares were down 2% near noon, after being down much further early in the session, despite the fact that its fourth quarter earnings topped expectations, as did its profit forecast for the new fiscal year, and the company hiked its dividend 15% and approved a $5B share buyback program. Disney (DIS) last night reported better than expected earnings and revenue, powered by its blockbuster "Star Wars" film, but its shares also fell about 5% this morning as investors continue to worry about the future of traditional media companies in the face of industry shifting trends such as cord-cutting and over-the-top video... SolarCity (SCTY) plunged 20% after reporting lower than projected installations in Q4 and giving lower than expected Q1 installation guidance. A number of analysts cut their price targets on the stock but maintained their buy or equivalent ratings, though Roth Capital analyst Philip Shen downgraded SolarCity to Neutral and cut his price target for the shares to $19 from $65. SolarCity's slide weighed on its peers in the solar space as well, as First Solar (FSLR) fell 2.5% and Sunrun (RUN) dropped 12.5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Fitbit (FIT), which advanced 5% after Vanguard reported a 9.2% stake in the company and Salesforce (CRM) founder, chairman, and CEO Marc Benioff reported a 5% stake. Also higher were Akamai (AKAM), Panera (PNRA), and Sealed Air (SEE), which gained 21%, 5%, and 8%, respectively, after reporting quarterly results. Among the notable losers was Kapstone (KS), which fell 25% and was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank following its Q4 earnings report. Also lower were Assurant (AIZ) and Medidata (MDSO), which were down 15% and 13%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 9.17, or 0.06%, to 16,005.21, the Nasdaq was up 50.11, or 1.17%, to 4,318.87, and the S&P 500 was up 10.35, or 0.56%, to 1,862.56.
February 9, 2016
16:26 EDTAIZAssurant sees 2016 Solutions' operating income to increase from 2015
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16:25 EDTAIZAssurant reports Q4 EPS 97c, consensus $1.51
Reports Q4 revenue $2.55B, consensus $2.00B. The company said, "While fourth quarter results were disappointing and fell short of our expectations, we believe our transformation strategy will improve results and drive shareholder value. We are focusing resources and investments in targeted markets and increasing operating efficiency across the company as we continue to return capital to shareholders." The company said the EPS decrease primarily reflects lower contributions from the mobile business at Assurant Solutions and ongoing normalization of lender-placed insurance business at Assurant Specialty Property.

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