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October 1, 2015
10:00 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: AMEC Foster Wheeler (AMFW) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie... Ares Capital (ARCC) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Celgene (CELG) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Deutsche Boerse (DBOEY) upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Barclays... Devon Energy (DVN) upgraded on valuation, catlysts at Bernstein... HeartWare (HTWR) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Northland... IBERIABANK (IBKC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Sandler O'Neill... (JD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Kirby (KEX) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie... Madison Square Garden (MSG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Microsoft (MSFT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley... Norfolk Southern (NSC) upgraded to Outperform from Peer Perform at Wolfe Research... Pernod Ricard (PDRDY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... RWE AG (RWEOY) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital... SanDisk (SNDK) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Steven Madden (SHOO) upgraded to Outperform ahead of earnings turn at Telsey Advisory... Trex Company (TREX) upgraded to Strong Buy from Buy at CL King... Universal Health (UHS) upgraded to Overweight from Sector Weight at KeyBanc... Western Digital (WDC) upgraded on transaction, valuation, momentum at Argus... Workday (WDAY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens.
06:23 EDTMSFTMicrosoft upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
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September 30, 2015
16:50 EDTMSFTMicrosoft, Google agree to end patent feud over phones, Xbox, Bloomberg says
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16:43 EDTSNEInterDigital expands Convida Wireless research scope with Sony
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11:09 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to open flagship stores in Manhattan, Syndey
Microsoft announced that it plans to open a flagship store in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue and 53rd Avenue on October 26 and one at Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall on November 12. On the company's blog, it said the flagship stores have been in the making for six years. Reference Link
08:45 EDTMSFTNVIDIA price target raised to $30 from $28 at JMP Securities
JMP Securities increased its price target on NVIDA (NVDA) after Microsoft's (MSFT) cloud platform began offering NVIDIA's Grid 2.0 GPU virtualization solutions, JMP says that Microsoft's move "paves the way for broader Cloud adoption and further entrenchment of Nvidia Quadro solutions." The firm reiterates an Outperform rating on the stock.
06:14 EDTMSFTRackspace expected to partner with Amazon, WSJ reports
Rackspace Hosting (RAX) is expected to partner with Amazon (AMZN) to make it easier for corporate customers to move computing operations to Amazon Web Services from their own facilities, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to two sources, the partnership, which is similar to an agreement Rackspace signed with Microsoft (MSFT) in July, will be announced at a conference for AWS users next week. Reference Link
September 29, 2015
12:29 EDTSNEGoogle announces Nexus 6P smartphone
The Nexus 6P features an all-metal body and a 5.7-inch AMOLED display. The phone is manufactured in cooperation with Huawei, and includes a USB-C port that can charge the device twice as fast as an Apple (AAPL) iPhone 6 Plus, according to Google (GOOG). The 6P uses a 12.3 megapixel rear-facing Sony (SNE) camera, as well as a 5 megapixel front-facing camera. The phone also includes Nexus Imprint, an advanced fingerprint authentication technology. Google executives are speaking at the company's Nexus 2015 event.
09:30 EDTGMEGameStop says plans to hire over 28,000 seasonal associates nationwide
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08:01 EDTSNEGlobal Eagle strikes worldwide IFE agreement with Sony Music
Global Eagle (ENT) announced a global licensing agreement with Sony Music Entertainment to add thousands of songs from Sony (SNE) Music's iconic catalog to GEE's leading inflight entertainment portfolio. The broad-based deal is Sony Music's first licensing pact with an inflight entertainment content service provider and gives Global Eagle access to hit songs from leading recording labels, including Columbia, Epic, RCA, Masterworks, Legacy, Sony Music Nashville for use in its airline inflight entertainment systems around the globe.
06:01 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to host conference call
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September 28, 2015
16:34 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to change financial reporting structure
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13:13 EDTMSFTMicrosoft comments on privacy, Windows 10 on blog
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12:06 EDTMSFTMicrosoft acquires Adxstudio, terms not disclosed
Bob Stutz -- Corporate VP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM -- disclosed in a blog post that Microsoft has acquired has reached a definitive agreement to acquire key product and technology assets of Adxstudio Inc., a provider of Web portals, online engagement solutions and application lifecycle management solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Stutz says, "With this acquisition of our long-time partner, our customers will immediately be able to take advantage of new and exciting ways to engage with customers online." Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Reference Link
10:43 EDTMSFTMicrosoft planning Google Cardboard VR competitor, TNW News says
Microsoft (MSFT) is working on a competitor to Google's (GOOG) Cardboard Virtual Reality program, TNW News reports. The Seattle-based tech giant is inviting participants to an event in Russia on October 17, offering cardboard headsets to those with "successful" suggestions, the report says. Microsoft is already developing its HoloLens "mixed reality" technology, the report says. Reference Link
08:29 EDTATVIActivision price target raised to $35 on pipeline progress at Cowen
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September 27, 2015
19:39 EDTSNE'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
September 25, 2015
18:13 EDTMSFTGates Foundation files lawsuit against Petrobras, auditor, WSJ says
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16:35 EDTSNEStocks end week lower as biotechs sink, Volkswagen crashes
Stocks ended the week lower after concerns about drug prices were reignited, sinking biotech stocks, an emissions scandal engulfed Volkswagen (VLKAY), dragging down shares of automakers and their suppliers, and Caterpillar (CAT) announced that it may eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs in the next three years as commodity prices continue to slump. MACRO NEWS: Following the Federal Reserve's decision last week to wait before raising rates, the central bank made a concerted effort to give the market more clarity this week. Over last weekend, three Federal Reserve officials - San Francisco Fed President John Williams, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker - all argued that an interest-rate increase is still warranted this year. Then, on Thursday night, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a speech at UMass Amherst that the central bank remains inclined to hike rates this year. Yellen's remarks were incrementally hawkish, but welcomed by the market, since they helped clarify the message the Fed delivered a week ago... In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index was flat at 53.0 in September, which was slightly better than the expectation for it to dip to 52.8. Durable goods orders for August declined 2.0%, versus expectations for a drop of 2.3%. When transportation items were removed, the core reading was breakeven, versus expectations for a rise of 0.1%. The third estimate of second quarter GDP showed the economy grew 3.9% quarter-over-quarter, versus expectations for the GDP growth estimate to stay at 3.7%. Personal consumption in Q2 is now believed to have grown 3.6%, up from the prior estimate of 3.1%. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September came in at 87.2, which was down from August's 91.9 but above the expected 86.2 reading... The Asian Development Bank cut its growth forecast for the region, citing a weaker outlook for China and India and a delayed recovery in the world's advanced economies. The bank now sees the Chinese economy growing 6.8% this year and 6.7% next year, down from its previous forecasts of 7.2% and 7%, respectively. Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for China fell to 47.0 in September from 47.3 last month. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled new economic targets, including a goal for a 20% increase in the target size of the Japanese economy to 600T yen, though he gave no timeframe for achieving this aspiration... In Europe, Markit's composite PMI for the eurozone came in at 53.9 in the first look for September, down from 54.3 in August and below expectations for a reading of 54.1. COMPANY NEWS: Biotech stocks declined after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on its treatment for toxoplasmosis, reigniting a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and laying out a plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. The NASDAQ Biotechnology index fell roughly xxx% for the week amid the attention paid to Turing's drug and Clinton's response... Volkswagen (VLKAY) shares trading in New York fell sharply to begin the week and ended the week far from where they'd been last Friday before the EPA said it found manipulations that violate U.S. environmental standards while testing certain of the automaker's diesel cars. The EPA said Volkswagen may face civil penalties of $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules, which could total as much as $18B, according to Reuters. In the wake of the scandal, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn resigned, with the company's supervisory board subsequently praising the decision and selecting Matthias Mueller, the former head of Porsche (POAHY), as Winterkorn's successor as the company's new CEO... Caterpillar (CAT) shares dropped after the heavy machinery maker announced plans for job cuts and lowered its revenue guidance for this year and next. Caterpillar said that it would lay off 4,000-5,000 of its employees between now and the end of 2016 and could lay off up to 10,000 employees by 2018. Caterpillar cut its fiscal year 2015 revenue forecast by $1B and said its sees its fiscal year 2016 revenue to be 5% below this year, adding that it expects revenue declines in all three large segments next year... Online and mobile deal provider Groupon (GRPN) said it plans to cut 1,100 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations... Nike jumped after the athletic gear giant reported better than expected earnings and futures orders, prompting numerous price target hikes and at least one upgrade at Street research firms. Among other companies reporting earnings this week, BlackBerry (BBRY), ConAgra (CAG), Carnival (CCL), and CarMax (KMX) fell immediately following their quarterly reports... Apple (AAPL), which has previously been reported to be working on an electric car via its "Project Titan," is speeding up those efforts and setting 2019 as a target to ship its first vehicle, according to The Wall Street Journal... Against the backdrop of China's President Xi Jinping visiting the U.S., Boeing (BA) announced deals to sell 300 planes to three Chinese companies and set up an aircraft factory in in the Asian nation, while Cisco (CSCO) announced a partnership with Chinese server maker Inspur Group... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) Chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was diagnosed with lymphoma. "Fortunately, my form of lymphoma is highly curable and my doctors' and my own expectation is that I will be cured," Blankfein stated in an open letter that was shared by the bank... GoPro (GPRO) finished the week about xxx% lower after Barron's contended in a feature article last weekend that the company's stock could plunge another 30% to $25 as Apple, Sony (SNE) and others pressure the company's "one-hit wonder" products... On the M&A front, Atmel (ATML) agreed to be acquired by German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in a deal valued at roughly $4.6B and Starwood Waypoint (SWAY) announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement with Colony American Homes. INDEXES: The Dow lost about 0.43% to close at 16,314.67, the S&P 500 fell about 1.35% to close at 1,931.34, and the Nasdaq declined about 2.89% to close at 4,686.50.
13:17 EDTSNEFly Watch: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' expected to top weekend box office
Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which is opening in 3,600 theaters, is expected to win this weekend's box office with a domestic gross of $35M-$40M. The next bunch of films are all expecting similar grosses in the mid-to-high teens. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to open in the $15M-$20M range in 3,305 theaters. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest," which opened last weekend on IMAX (IMAX), is expanding to over 3,000 theaters this weekend and is estimated to gross in the range of $15M-$17M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," which grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20, is expected to earn an estimated $16M in its second weekend of release. Warner Bros.' Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass," which took in $23.4M in its domestic opening last weekend, is expected to gross $12.5M-$13M this weekend. Additionally, Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario" is playing in about 50 theaters ahead of the film's wide release on October 2.
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