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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 13, 2014
12:40 EDTCALL, COVS, TSRO, MEI, AMZNOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday as an initial bump from better than expected domestic economic data got overshadowed by poor data from China and increasing jitters about the situation in Ukraine. Stocks began the session slightly higher thanks in part to better than expected jobless claims and retail sales figures. The market moved higher at the open but then began to drift lower and crossed into negative territory a little over an hour into trading. Comments by Secretary of State Kerry that the U.S. and Europe would react to Russia on Monday if a dialogue had not taken place may have reignited anxiety about the still unsettled situation there. It certainly did not help the market tone that virtually all of the data released overnight by China missed expectations. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 9K from the revised total for the prior week to 315K in the week ended March 8. The 315K weekly figure was a three-month low and came in below the consensus forecast for 330K initial claims. Retail sales rose 0.3% in February compared to the previous month, beating an expected increase of 0.2%. The import price index for February rose 0.9% from the prior month, versus an expected increase of 0.5%. Business inventories grew 0.4% in January, which was in-line with the consensus estimate. In China, industrial output growth slowed to 8.6% in January and February compared to the prior year, which missed forecasts of 9.5% and is down from 9.7% in December. Property sales, fixed-asset investment and retail sales for the two months all also dropped and came in below forecasts. Note that China publishes January and February numbers together to smooth out distortions caused by the timing of the lunar new year. COMPANY NEWS: Amazon.com (AMZN) shares were up 1% after the company announced an increase in the price of its Prime service for existing regular members to $99 from $79. During its fourth quarter results conference call in late January the e-commerce giant had said that it could raise the price for the Prime service by $20-$40 per year in the future. In a note to investors earlier today, UBS analyst Eric Sheridan reiterated his theory that Amazon would have to provide Prime users with additional services in order to justify the price increase. Sheridan first disseminated the theory on February 2 and today he noted that media outlets have reported that the company is developing a streaming music service. Another firm, Piper Jaffray, estimates Amazon's $20 Prime pricing increase could add about $800M in revenue and $150M in operating income through the first full year. Piper expects any increase in operating income would be reinvested back into the business and keeps an Overweight rating on Amazon with a $420 price target. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was TESARO (TSRO), which jumped 29% after the company signed a license agreement with AnaptysBio that Mizuho analyst Peter Lawson said provides the company access to multiple candidates in the "rapidly developing" cancer immunotherapy market. Also higher was magicJack (CALL), a provider of voice over Internet protocol services in the United States, which surged 17% after its fourth quarter results and guidance significantly surpassed analysts' consensus estimate. Among the noteworthy losers was Covisint (COVS), which dropped 24% after it gave a preliminary Q4 revenue view that missed forecasts and named a new interim CEO. Also lower was Methode Electronics (MEI), which fell 13% after the company's third quarter profit missed expectations following two straight "beat and raise" reports in its past two quarters. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 130.95, or 0.8%, to 16,209.13, the Nasdaq was down 41.09, or 0.95%, to 4,282.24, and the S&P 500 was down 12.98, or 0.69%, to 1,855.22.
News For AMZN;TSRO;CALL;MEI;COVS From The Last 14 Days
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March 23, 2015
08:53 EDTAMZNAmazon VP and General Manager of Payments departs, TechCrunch says
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08:13 EDTAMZNPendrell unit: Court rejects attempts to limit scope of DRM patents
ContentGuard Holdings, a subsidiary of Pendrell Corporation (PCO), announced that on Friday, March 20, Judge J. Rodney Gilstrap of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a 144 page Claim Construction Order in lawsuits ContentGuard filed against several companies who continue to use its patented Digital Rights Management solutions without a license, including Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN), DirecTV (DTV), Google (GOOG), HTC, Huawei, Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics (SSNLF). In his order, Judge Gilstrap interpreted the language in ContentGuard’s patents in a manner that fully preserves the breadth of ContentGuard’s patented Digital Rights Management technologies. These technologies were developed to enable the distribution of digital media over the Internet and other networks, including cellular and satellite networks, and provide innovative solutions to problems that were once thought to be unsolvable. “We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling,” commented James Baker, ContentGuard’s Vice President for Licensing and Strategic Development. “We believe these claim constructions demonstrate that the online stores defendants provide for buying and renting DRM-protected movies, videos, books, and music and devices that play, run, display or print this DRM-protected content infringe ContentGuard’s pioneering DRM patents.”
05:55 EDTAMZNStocks with implied volatility movement; AMZN CELG
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March 20, 2015
09:45 EDTAMZNActive equity options trading on open
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March 19, 2015
16:31 EDTAMZNAmazon Logistics UAS gets experimental airworthiness certificate
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05:53 EDTAMZNAmazon plans to shut down Shopify rival Amazon Webstore, Re/code reports
Amazon is planning to shut down Amazon Webstore, its competitor to Shopify and Bigcommerce, Re/code reports, citing sources. The company will allow its Webstore customers over a year to find a new vendor before the service is fully shut down, the sources say. Reference Link
05:30 EDTAMZNAmazon.com expands Prime Now delivery to Baltimore and Miami
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March 17, 2015
14:55 EDTAMZNVMware to face more competitive process for DOD contract, says Stifel
After government websites indicated that Citrix (CTXS), Amazon (AMZN) and others succeeded in getting the DoD to reconsider its awarding of a $1.6B, five-year contract to VMware (VMW), Stifel said it doesn't think VMware has necessarily lost the opportunity, but that the company will now likely face a more competitive bidding process to win the deal. The firm view this example as supporting its concerns that VMware's steps to become a more strategic vendor have the potential to be as much of a threat as an opportunity and Stifel maintains its Hold rating on the stock.
14:43 EDTAMZNVMware award from DISA canceled after protest, siliconANGLE reports
On March 12, the Defense Information Security Agency, or DISA, reversed a decision to award VMware (VMW) with a $1.6B contract following protests by Amazon Web Services (AMZN), Citrix Systems (CTXS), and others, reported siliconANGLE. A government posting noted that "Amendment 0002 is issued to cancel the request for proposal to further analyze the government's needs." Reference Link
12:38 EDTCALLOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, with the Dow falling about 1%. The market opened in negative territory and proceeded to gain additional downside momentum in early trading. Data on housing starts was not good, even accounting for bad weather in many areas of the country, and the prospect of interest rate increases on the horizon may have some fearing that the housing market recovery is in danger of stalling. Adding to the weakness in stocks may have been the further slide in crude oil prices, which pushed benchmark U.S. crude oil below $43 per barrel earlier in the session. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., housing starts plunged 17% to an 897K rate in February, widely undershooting expectations for starts to be down 2.4% to a 1.04M rate, but much of the slide was attributed to weather. Building permits rose 3% to a rate of 1.092M, which was better than the expected 0.5% growth to a 1.065M rate. In Europe, Germany's ZEW Center investor confidence index climbed to 54.8 from 53 last month, though that fell short of the 59.4 consensus forecast. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index rose 1.6% to close at its highest level in over 6 years. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) is preparing to launch an online TV service later this year, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. After the reports, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said he believes Apple's online TV service launch would lay the groundwork for an actual television launch sometime in 2016. Munster estimates that at an average selling price of $1,750, a television could add about 7% to Apple's 2017 revenue. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Black Diamond (BDE), which jumped 30% after the company reported was then expected quarterly results and guidance but also announced it has hired two banks to help it explore its strategic alternatives. Also higher was Esperion (ESPR), which rose 15% after the company's phase 2b study of ETC-1002, a product in development for patients with hypercholesterolemia on stable statin therapy, met its primary endpoints. Among the noteworthy losers was Himax (HIMX), which dropped 9% after BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock two notches to Underperform from Buy. Also lower following its earnings report was magicJack (CALL), which fell 19%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 152.00, or 0.85%, to 17,825.42, the Nasdaq was down 8.39, or 0.17%, to 4,921.12, and the S&P 500 was down 11.39, or 0.55%, to 2,069.80.
11:23 EDTAMZNApple willing to share TV data to attract programming partners, NY Post reports
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09:07 EDTAMZNDISH's Sling TV launches on Xbox One
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09:05 EDTAMZNMicrosoft Band now available at Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Re/code reports
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07:42 EDTAMZNBoeing may produce satellite for tech giants, Reuters says
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March 16, 2015
19:00 EDTCALLOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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16:42 EDTCALLmagicJack reports estimated 2.75M active MJ subscribers as of Dec. 31, 2014
magicJack activated 169,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2014. Activations are defined as devices that become activated on to a subscription contract during a given period. During the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014, magicJack's average monthly churn was 3.3%. magicJack APP had 3.4M monthly active unique APP users as of December 31, 2014.
16:41 EDTCALLmagicJack reports Q4 adjusted EPS 15c, consensus 12c
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16:40 EDTCALLmagicJack announces new $20M stock repurchase program
magicJack VocalTec Ltd. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a new share repurchase program under which the company may repurchase up to $20M of its outstanding common stock from time to time on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The company's prior $100M repurchase program, pursuant to which $91.3M of its outstanding common stock was repurchased and $8.7M remained authorized for repurchases has been terminated.
16:00 EDTAMZNOptions Update; March 16, 2015
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10:44 EDTAMZNNetflix retreats after cut to sell on competition, cost concerns
The shares of Netflix (NFLX) are falling after research firm Evercore ISI downgraded the stock to Sell from Hold. Increased competition will force the company to increase its investments and the return from those investments is uncertain, the firm contends. WHAT'S NEW: In the U.S., technological advancements are enabling content providers to sell their programming to a wider range of Internet video distributors, Evercore ISI analyst Ken Sena wrote in a note to investors earlier today. Moreover, content providers themselves are now able to stream more of their programming online and obtain higher profits from doing so, Sena reported. The analyst noted that Apple (AAPL) recently obtained a three month exclusive deal to stream content form Time Warner's (TWX) HBO Now, while Yahoo (YHOO), Amazon (AMZN), and Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, NWSA) are all reportedly interested in obtaining streaming rights to "Seinfeld." Netflix's international expansion will not be sufficient to offset the increased competition, especially because foreign viewers are likely to watch less TV and be less interested in paying for TV content, the analyst believes. Furthermore, Netflix will face more competition from other Internet TV services overseas than in the U.S., according to Sena, who cut his 2015 consolidated operating income estimate for the company by 26% to $381M from $517M previously. In addition to cutting his rating, Sena lowered his price target on the shares to $380 from $450. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Netflix sank $16, or 3.7%, to $422.
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