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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 24, 2014
20:25 EDTAPOL, APOL, BKS, BKS, GIS, GIS, LNN, LNN, MON, MONNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's market open, with earnings consensus, include Apollo Group (APOL), consensus 66c; Barnes & Noble (BKS), consensus (59c); General Mills (GIS), consensus 72c; Lindsay Corporation (LNN), consensus $1.43; and Monsanto (MON), consensus $1.56.
News For APOL;BKS;GIS;LNN;MON From The Last 14 Days
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January 29, 2015
10:00 EDTGISOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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07:56 EDTGISGeneral Mills downgraded at BMO Capital
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06:05 EDTGISGeneral Mills downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
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January 26, 2015
14:10 EDTBKSEarnings Preview: Analysts' opinions on Microsoft divided
Microsoft (MSFT) is scheduled to report results of its second quarter of fiscal year 2015 after the market close on Monday, January 26, with a conference call scheduled for 5:30 pm ET. Microsoft, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells and licenses software to consumers and businesses, offers cloud computing and other business services, and markets hardware including the Xbox entertainment system, the Surface tablet and Windows smartphones. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 71c on revenue of $26.33B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 65c-81c on revenue of $25.87B-$27.52B. On its last earnings call, Microsoft said it sees Q2 licensing revenue of $4B-$4.2B, computers and gaming revenue of $3.5B-$3.8B, phone hardware revenue of $2B-$2.2B, device and consumer other revenue of $2.3B-$2.4B, commercial licensing revenue of $10.8-$11B and commercial other revenue of $2.5B-$2.6B. Microsoft noted that it expects a quarter-over-quarter decline in its non-commercial segment in Q2. LAST QUARTER: On October 23, Microsoft reported first quarter EPS of 54c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 49c. It's revenue came in at $23.2B, topping the consensus estimate of $22.02B. Microsoft said its Q1 financial results include $1.14B of integration and restructuring expenses, or an 11c per share negative impact, related to both Microsoft’s restructuring plan announced in July and the ongoing integration of the Nokia Devices and Services business. Microsoft reported that its Q1 Devices and Consumer revenue grew 47% to $10.96B and that its Commercial revenue grew 10% to $12.28B. NEWS: On November 4, Dropbox and Microsoft announced a partnership, with the two companies teaming up to integrate their services for collaboration across Dropbox and Microsoft Office on phones, tablets and the web. On December 4, Barnes & Noble (BKS) announced that it would buy Microsoft's entire stake in the book retailer's NOOK Media subsidiary for about $62.5M in cash and 2.74M Barnes & Noble shares. Barnes & Noble said it was buying back the stake to facilitate the spin off of the NOOK business. On January 21, Microsoft announced at its Windows 10 event that Windows 8 and Windows 7 customers will get free upgrades to Windows 10. The company also said that Cortana, its rival to Apple's (AAPL) Siri personal assistant, will be available for the desktop in Windows 10, making the virtual assistant available across smartphones, PCs and tablets. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last quarterly report, Credit Suisse said Microsoft reported strong hardware revenue outperformance combined with cost controls and cloud businesses momentum. The firm raised its price target on the stock to $55 from $50 and said it believed the company can return to double-digit EPS growth. On November 20, Jefferies initiated shares of Microsoft with an Underperform rating, saying the "new" Microsoft will look very much like the "old" Microsoft for some time. The firm attributed a rally in shares over the past year to optimism around new management, but it thinks the tech giant's fundamentals remain challenged despite its focus on cloud and mobile given its dependency on the PC market. Jefferies put a $40 price target on the stock at that time. In early December, JPMorgan started shares of Microsoft with an Overweight rating, saying the company has the strongest cloud platform among enterprise IT mega vendors. The firm set a $53 price target for the stock. Less than two weeks later, Piper Jaffray also began coverage on shares of Microsoft with an Overweight rating, saying the tech giant should benefit from stabilization in the PC market and "healthy" enterprise spending. The firm set a $54 price target for shares. However, on December 16, BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded Microsoft to Underperform from Neutral. The firm downgraded shares based on elevated valuation and reduced visibility. BofA/Merrill has concerns of a slowing Win Pro cycle, the Consumer 365 transition, and challenging gross margins. BofA had a price target of $47 on Microsoft. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Microsoft shares are up about 1%. In afternoon trading ahead of tonight's report, Microsoft is down almost 1% to trade near $46.74 per share.
08:02 EDTAPOLApollo's Carnegie Learning approved by Texas for high school mathematics
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January 23, 2015
07:02 EDTLNNLindsay Corp. comples acquisition of Elecsys
Lindsay Corporation (LNN) announced the completion of its acquisition of Elecsys Corporation (ESYS), a provider of machine-to-machine technology solutions and custom electronic systems. Elecsys shareholders will receive $17.50 per share in cash for each share of common stock they owned as of the effective time of the merger, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes. The agreement was announced on November 4, 2014 and approved at a special meeting of Elecsys stockholders held on January 22, 2015 by over 99% of shares voted. Headquartered in Olathe, KS, Elecsys will continue to be operated by its current management team. As a result of the merger, the common stock of Elecsys will no longer be listed for trading on the NASDAQ exchange as of January 23.
January 20, 2015
08:35 EDTBKSBarnes & Noble says Retail CEO Mitchell Klipper to retire at end of FY
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08:35 EDTBKSBarnes & Noble says Retail CEO Mitchell Klipper to retire at end of FY
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January 16, 2015
13:25 EDTAPOLManning & Napier Advisors reports 6.44% passive stake in Apollo Education
10:34 EDTMONMonsanto announces $365M debt offering
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January 15, 2015
17:44 EDTMONMonsanto's weed control technology deregulated by USDA
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14:45 EDTAPOLFor-profit education names slip after Wells says search data negative
Shares of a number of for-profit education companies are falling after Wells Fargo wrote that Google search trends do not bode well for the sector. WHAT'S NEW: Google search trends for the fourth quarter indicate that students' interest in for-profit education companies probably did not increase significantly during that period, Wells Fargo analyst Trace Urdan wrote in a note to investors today. The data indicates that new student enrollment at the schools could even come in below already pessimistic expectations, Urdan reported. The analyst found that searches for terms related to for-profit schools dropped in Q4, versus the same period a year earlier. Moreover, there were many more searches in Q4 for non-profit schools than for-profit colleges, Urdan stated. Sentiment towards for-profit education names is already "quite weak" after President Obama on January 9 proposed allowing all Americans to attend community college at no cost and Apollo Education (APOL) on January 8 provided lower than expected Q2 revenue guidance, Urdan stated. As a result, investors may already be expecting schools in the sector to report weak enrollment data, Urdan believes. However, the search data for Strayer (STRA) is "more negative than positive," even though expectations for the company appear to be elevated, the analyst reported. On a positive note, search results for Capella Education (CPLA), Grand Canyon (LOPE), and DeVry's (DV) Chamberlain looked better than average, Urdan reported, adding that investors' expectations towards those names are relatively upbeat. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Strayer fell 1% to $68, ITT Educational fell 3.6% to $8.37, Bridgepoint Educational (BPI) tumbled 4.5% to $10.10, American Public (APEI) slid 2.25% to $33.89, and Grand Canyon gave back 2% to $43.
13:20 EDTMONMonsanto gets U.S. approval for engineered soybean, cotton seeds, WSJ reports
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