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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 5, 2014
05:38 EDTHAS, AMZN, TWXAmazon announces new licensing agreements with Hasbro, Warner Bros.
Amazon (AMZN) Publishing announced that Kindle Worlds has reached licensing agreements to open up seven new Worlds, including Worlds based on Hasbro’s (HAS) iconic G.I. JOE brand, and Warner Bros. (TWX) TV shows Veronica Mars and Pretty Little Liars’ spinoff Ravenswood. Writers can now choose from more than 20 Worlds to write and sell their own original fiction inspired by popular characters and storylines. These Worlds will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.
News For AMZN;HAS;TWX From The Last 14 Days
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November 13, 2014
07:01 EDTHASHasbro deal with Disney could be impacted with merger, says Piper Jaffray
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06:29 EDTHASMattel deal with DreamWorks likely not renewed with merger, says Wells Fargo
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06:20 EDTAMZNAmazon's Web-services chief not threatened by cash threat from rivals, WSJ says
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06:09 EDTHASDreamWorks looking for $35 per share in takeover, Deadline reports
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05:52 EDTHASHasbro in advanced talks to acquire DreamWorks, NY Times reports
Hasbro (HAS) is in advanced talks to buy DreamWorks Animation (DWA) for a mix of cash and stock, New York Times reports, citing people briefed on the matter. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is seeking more than $30 per share, but the deal price is yet to be determined, the paper adds. Reference Link
November 12, 2014
16:00 EDTAMZNOptions Update; November 12, 2014
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13:47 EDTAMZNEarnings Preview: Wal-Mart sees FY15 net sales up 2%-3% vs. last year
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report third quarter earnings before the market open on Thursday, November 13, with a conference call scheduled for 7:00 am ET. Wal-Mart, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, operates retail stores in various formats under 69 different banners in 27 countries with its "everyday low price" philosophy. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.12 on revenue of $118.35B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.08-$1.17 on revenue of $115.17B-$119.67B. LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported second quarter EPS of $1.21, in line with estimates, on revenue of $119.3B, against estimates of $119B. Walmart U.S. comp sales were flat for the 13-week period ended August 1, and U.S. net sales increased $1.9B, or 2.7%, to over $70B. Currency exchange rate fluctuations negatively impacted net sales by approximately $700M, the company said. Wal-Mart forecast Q3 EPS of $1.10-$1.20, with U.S. comp store sales relatively flat and Sam's Club comp sales, excluding fuel, slightly positive. and increased investments in Sam's Club membership programs. The company lowered its fiscal year 2015 EPS view to $4.90-$5.15 from $5.10-$5.45, against estimates at that time of $5.15. The new full year guidance reflects incremental investments in e-commerce and higher U.S. health-care costs than previously anticipated. The annual effective tax rate is projected to be between 32%-34%. NEWS: On its Q2 earnings conference call, Wal-Mart lowered its FY15 e-commerce sales growth forecast to 25%. In mid-October, Wal-Mart said that as a result of a tougher sales environment than it anticipated a year ago, it now expects to grow net sales for FY15 between 2%-3% on last year’s $473.1B. The company indicated in February that it expected net sales growth to be at the low end of its guidance provided last October of 3%-5%. The company sees fiscal year 2016 net sales growth of 2%-4%, or approximately $10B-$20B of net sales growth. The company said FY16 operating expenses will grow at a rate "somewhat faster" than sales growth and operating income will be flat to slightly down. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said the company will invest less in stores and more in e-commerce. Wal-Mart sees FY15 capital investments of $12.5B-$13B and FY16 capital investments $11.6B-$12.9B. Wal-Mart also sees FY16 e-commerce and digital spending of $1.2B-$1.5B. Ahead of a holiday shopping season that may be fiercely promotional, Wal-Mart is testing a program to match online prices from rivals including Amazon.com (AMZN), reported the Wall Street Journal. The company announced the "New Black Friday" will include five days of deals. STREET RESEARCH: Cleveland Research said Wal-Mart's trends softened in September and October following a strong August driven by soft traffic and less promotional activity. The firm believes Wal-Mart is positioned to maintain share during the holidays, but sees "growing caution" on the consumer spending outlook. Baird said expectations for Wal-Mart appear to be muted into the Q3 report. The firm believes sales may remain lackluster and margins may slip in the near-term, but sees international as an opportunity. During the quarter, shares were initiated with a Neutral rating at Sterne Agee. PRICE ACTION: Wal-Mart shares are up 6.9% over the last three months but are only up 0.8% year-to-date. In early afternoon trading, Wal-Mart shares are up 0.4% to $79.35.
12:55 EDTAMZNAmazon to expand its R&D in Cambridge, UK, TechCrunch reports
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10:43 EDTTWXBernstein downgrades Discovery, Viacom, citing 'structural decline' in TV
Research firm Bernstein sees strong evidence that audiences of ad-supported TV have entered a period of "structural decline." The firm cut its rating on Discovery (DISCA), the owner of the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet cable stations, and Viacom (VIA,VIAB), which owns MTV and and Nickelodeon. The firm also cut its price target on CBS (CBS). WHAT'S NEW: Noting that audiences for ad-supported TV have fallen by unprecedented amounts for four months, Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger added that consumption of subscription video on demand, or SVOD, services continue to grow. Meanwhile, TV networks are seeing increased competition from Internet websites for ad dollars, limiting the ability of the networks to raise ad prices, Juenger stated. The profit margins and return on investment of content owners are likely to decline over time, the analyst believes. He downgraded Discovery to Market Perform from Outperform and set a $37 price target on the stock, and cut Viacom to Underperform from Market Perform, placing a $71 price target on that stock. Juenger reduced his price target on CBS to $55 from $60 and kept a Market Perform rating on the shares. He kept Outperform ratings on 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney (DIS), and Time Warner (TWX), saying that those are least affected by the trend, as they are less dependent than their peers on the American TV ad market and have a large amount of sports programming. PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Discovery lost 0.6% to $31.81, Viacom class A shares gained 0.6% to $70.09, CBS fell 0.7% to $51.48, Twenty-First Century Fox class A shares lost 0.5% to $34.75, Time Warner fell 0.5% to $77.69 and Disney was flat near $90 per share.
09:37 EDTAMZNActive equity options trading
Active equity options trading according to Track Data: AAPL CLSN TWTR BABA NFLX TSLA AMZN CSIQ C
06:22 EDTTWXFunny or Die hires Moelis to explore potential sale, WSJ reports
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November 11, 2014
16:01 EDTAMZNOptions Update; November 11, 2014
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10:00 EDTTWXOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Alcentra Capital (ABDC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette... Ambac Financial (AMBC) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at MKM Partners... Banco Bilbao (BBVA) upgraded to Buy from Reduce at Nomura... Darden (DRI) upgraded at KeyBanc... ICU Medical (ICUI) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... IMAX (IMAX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Juniper (JNPR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Michaels (MIK) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Midcoast Energy (MEP) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Midstates Petroleum (MPO) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland... Monroe Capital (MRCC) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird... NuVasive (NUVA) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen... ONEOK Partners (OKS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... ORBCOMM (ORBC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis... Pattern Energy (PEGI) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Time Warner (TWX) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Tremor Video (TRMR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Western Gas Partners (WES) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Yamana Gold (AUY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC... Zynga (ZNGA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
09:37 EDTAMZNeBay October SSS up 4.4%, Amazon SSS up 32.4%, ChannelAdvisor says
ChannelAdvisor released October same-store sales data for eBay (EBAY) and Amazon (AMZN) in a blog post. The research company reported eBay's October SSS growth came in at 4.4%, down from September's 8.9% and below the e-commerce growth rate of about 15% reported by ComScore. Amazon's October SSS growth came in at 32.4%, which was a decrease compared to August's 37.9% rate, ChannelAdvisor stated. Reference Link
07:08 EDTTWXTen Network's Gordon says won't sell stake in company, AFR reports
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06:03 EDTAMZNQ4 global tablet shipments estimated at 74.5M units, DigiTimes reports
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06:00 EDTTWXTime Warner upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman
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November 10, 2014
15:44 EDTAMZNAmazon Web Services to hold a conference
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07:12 EDTTWXCA Technologies to hold a conference
CA World 2014 is being held in Las Vegas on November 9-12.
November 9, 2014
17:45 EDTTWXTime Warner approaches Australia's Ten Network, AFR says
Time Warner has approached Australia's Ten Network, the company behind Offspring and The Bachelor Australia, says the Australian Financial Review. In an approach that was not binding, Time Warner offered about $680M or 25c a share for the Australian broadcaster, added the Australian Financial Review. Reference Link
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