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January 28, 2013
10:15 EDTPG, HAL, SNE, NSC, FB, WAT, XRX, ST, NWSA, BBY, SNY, BW, SPLS, O, NTAP, ASMLOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: ASML (ASML) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... Best Buy (BBY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Facebook (FB) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... NetApp (NTAP) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... News Corp. (NWSA) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Norfolk Southern (NSC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Realty Income (O) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Sensata (ST) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Sony (SNE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... Staples (SPLS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Xerox (XRX) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... BorgWarner (BW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc... Halliburton (HAL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at MLV Equity... Waters (WAT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at WallachBeth... Procter & Gamble (PG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley Caris... Sanofi (SNY) upgraded to Neutral from Conviction Sell at Goldman.
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September 25, 2015
06:21 EDTFBFacebook's free internet effort in developing countries 'inadequate,' WSJ says
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06:13 EDTFBPiper's Munster sees building virtual reality momentum for Facebook
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says Facebook's (FB) virtual reality theme is building momentum after its Oculus unit announced a 50% price cut for its mobile VR solution headset to $99. Also announced was that the headset, named Gear VR, will work with five phones versus three in the past. A better virtual reality experience is now available to a larger market and the "critically important" content is growing, Munster tells investors in a research note. Oculus has partnerships with Netflix (NFLX), Hulu, Tivo (TIVO), Sega and Midway to bring their content into Gear VR, Munster points out. He expects Samsung to sell 5M-10M Oculus enabled Gear VR headsets next year, up from around 1M in 2015. Munster maintains an Overweight rating on Facebook with a $146 price target. The stock closed yesterday up 44c to $94.41.
05:58 EDTFBIndian Prime Minister to meet with Apple, Google CEOs, WSJ reports
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet this weekend with Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, among others, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to industry insiders, the tech executives will use the visit to push for better market access in India as well as clearer regulation on investment and startups. Reference Link
05:55 EDTSPLSEU opens investigation into Staples, Office Depot merger
The European Commission said it has opened an in-depth investigation under the EU Merger Regulation into the acquisition of Office Depot (ODP) by its competitor Staples (SPLS). The Commission "has concerns that the takeover could lead to price increases and less choice." It added, "Both Staples and Office Depot are active in the distribution of office products via a number of sales channels, including wholesale, retail, direct sales and national or international supply contracts. The Commission's preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns in the market for the supply of office products to business customers through international contracts in the European Economic Area, as well as in the market for the supply of office products to business customers through national contracts in the Netherlands and Sweden. The customers of office supplies include companies in the private sector and public administrations." The Commission now has 90 working days, until February 10, 2016, to take a final decision.
05:20 EDTSPLSStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; ODP SPLS
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September 24, 2015
20:04 EDTFBFacebook virtual reality initiative picks up speed with $99 Samsung device
Thursday's Oculus Connect 2 event saw numerous announcements from Facebook (FB) virtual reality subsidiary Oculus VR, including content deals with major media players as well as a $99 VR headset developed in conjunction with Samsung (SSNLF). CONTENT OFFERINGS: The virtual reality firm will be partnering with Fox (FOX, FOXA) and Lionsgate (LGF) to bring more than 100 films to the Oculus Store at launch. Additionally, Netflix (NFLX), Amazon's (AMZN), TiVo (TIVO), and Hulu -- the joint venture of Disney (DIS), Fox, and Comcast's (CMCSA, CMCSK) NBCUniversal -- will be launching apps for the company's virtual reality products, bringing web TV and streaming content to early adopters of the new technology. MAINSTREAM DEVICE: Samsung joined with Oculus to reveal a new $99 "Gear VR" headset on Thursday. Standing in contrast to Oculus' own pricier devices, the Samsung headset will rely on the company's Galaxy line of smartphones to power its virtual reality experiences. Note that a major point of contention regarding the "blockbuster" potential -- or lack thereof -- of VR technology is whether consumers will be willing to pay upwards of $399 for the Oculus gadgets. Samsung's Gear VR tends more towards what Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has called "medium immersion" devices, potentially allaying investor concern over adoption rates with its more attractive point of entry. PRICE ACTION: Facebook shares closed higher by 0.5% and continued to rise in after-hours trading, up another 0.2%.
19:07 EDTFBFacebook rebrands free internet initiative to Free Basics
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16:00 EDTFBOptions Update; September 24, 2015
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15:39 EDTSPLSOffice Depot, Staples advance after another merger deal clears hurdle
Office Depot (ODP) and Staples (SPLS), which are awaiting FTC approval to merge, spiked higher after a report that a Judge denied the FTC's request to temporarily halt the merger of two other unrelated companies. WHAT'S NEW: STERIS Corporation (STE) confirmed earlier reports that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has denied the Federal Trade Commission's request for a preliminary injunction to block STERIS's acquisition of Synergy Health. Office Depot and Staples, which announced plans to merge early last year, have been waiting for regulatory approval of their merger. According to a NY Post report from Tuesday, the proposed $11.3B merger of Staples and Office Depot may not happen due to a possible block from U.S. regulators. WHAT'S NOTABLE: The STERIS deal for Synergy Health, which was announced in October of 2014, was also closely scrutinized by the FTC. On May 29, STERIS and Synergy Health said they had been informed by the FTC that the FTC intends to seek to block their proposed combination. STERIS and Synergy said at the time that they will contest the FTC's attempted action, and that they welcome a full judicial review of the competitive effects of the combination. ANALYST TAKE: In a note out earlier in the week, Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder still expects the merger between Staples and Office Depot to win regulatory approval after the New York Post report that said Deborah Feinstein, the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition head, is seeking to block the deal. Admitting he's in the minority, Binder said his work indicates that economic data for the deal "may not be damning," customer complaint activity is low and key industry player WB Mason is not in talks to be part of a solution for an FTC remedy requirement. The proposed merger could still get approved without a remedy requirement, the analyst told investors. He viewed the risk/reward on shares of Staples as favorable. If approved, enthusiasm around deal synergies could push the stock to $20, Binder wrote. If regulators deny the merger, the shares of Staples could trade between $11 and $12, the analyst added. PRICE ACTION: In late afternoon trading, shares of Office Depot are up 4% while Staples shares are higher by 2.4%.
15:06 EDTSPLSOffice Depot volatility up on uncertainty of FTC approval of merger with Staples
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14:56 EDTSPLSStaples volatility up on uncertainty of FTC approval of merger with Office Depot
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13:46 EDTFBNetflix says working on app with Facebook's Oculus
Anthony Park, VP of Engineering at Netflix said in a blog post, "We've been working with Oculus to develop a Netflix app for Samsung Gear VR. The app includes a Netflix Living Room, allowing members to get the Netflix experience from the comfort of a virtual couch, wherever they bring their Gear VR headset. It's available to Oculus users today." Reference Link
13:44 EDTFBOculus says bringing Netflix, Huly to GearVR, company says in tweet
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13:03 EDTFBEU investigates internet firms' online practices, Reuters reports
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09:32 EDTFBActive equity options trading on open
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08:51 EDTFBCiti cuts Twitter estimates below consensus, drops target to $30
Citi analyst Mark May says his analysis indicates the consensus estimates for Twitter (TWTR) may be too high as they assume "meaningful increases" in monetization which he believes may prove difficult to realize. May cut his 2015, 2016 and 2017 earnings per share estimates for Twitter to 30c, 34c and 58c, respectively, well below the consensus estimates of 34c, 63c, and $1.03. He also cut his 2016 revenue estimate to 3% below the consensus. It will be difficult for the stock to achieve sustained multiple expansion until user growth accelerates and/or revenue growth stabilizes, May tells investors in a research note. He moved the stock to Citi's "High Risk" designation given Twitter's recent user trends and his belief that his estimates are unlikely to move up in the near-term. He keeps a Neutral rating on the name. May's top picks among U.S. Internet stocks remain Facebook (FB), (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY).
07:24 EDTFBWPP CEO: Google needs to weed out 'fake' online ad views, FT reports
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06:59 EDTFBFacebook and Google more 'Yelp-like' than ever, says Northland
Northland analyst Darren Aftahi says Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and (AMZN) have recently added new features that focus on improved local search as well as tools enabling easier business-consumer communication. Facebook and Google are now more "Yelp-like" than ever, Aftahi tells investors in a research note. And while Apple's (AAPL) new "swipe right" feature could drive a near-term surge in Yelp (YELP) app downloads, it may translate into lower engagement on the Yelp app over longer term, the analyst argues. He remains cautious on Yelp's growth prospects and cut his price target for the stock to $17.75 from $21.50. Shares of the local business review site closed yesterday down 25c to $23.10. Aftahi has an Underperform rating on the stock, his firm's equivalent of a sell.
06:52 EDTHALFracking companies see bankruptcies, closures, WSJ reports
A series of bankruptcies and closures has swept across the oil industry, with dozens of mostly small, privately owned fracking companies at risk, the Wall Street Journal reports. Most companies that help oil and gas explorers drill and frack wells are small, privately owned and fairly young, the report says. The fall in oil prices has played a large role in the failures of many of these companies, the report says. Companies in the space include Key Energy Services (KEG), Basic Energy Services (BAS), Schlumberger (SLB), and Halliburton (HAL). Reference Link
06:32 EDTFB360-degree video should boost GoPro sales, says JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster believes GoPro (GPRO) has first-mover advantage in the creation of high-quality, low-cost 360-degree content after being named the exclusive spherical content provider for Facebook's (FB) News Feed. Coster is "still reeling from the experience" of riding yesterday via Facebook with Ronnie Renner across the dunes of Idaho. The launch of 360-degree content on Facebook's News Feed should spur sales of GoPro's hardware and give momentum to the company's media and entertainment initiatives, Coster tells investors in a research note. The analyst keeps an Overweight rating on the action camera maker with a $75 price target. The stock closed yesterday down 67c to $32.64.
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