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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
December 19, 2012
10:10 EDTAXP, USB, SYMM, SWHC, SD, PFG, PDCE, KB, HRB, GTAT, CPWR, CB, CP, BJRI, BBT, WFCOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: American Express (AXP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore... BB&T (BBT) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... BJ's Restaurants (BJRI) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush... Canadian Pacific (CP) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotia Capital... Chubb (CB) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Compuware (CPWR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland Securities... GT Advanced (GTAT) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... H&R Block (HRB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... KB Financial Group (KB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... PDC Energy (PDCE) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Principal Financial (PFG) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Evercore... SandRidge Energy (SD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup... Smith & Wesson (SWHC) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Cowen... Symmetricom (SYMM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley... U.S. Bancorp (USB) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Wells Fargo (WFC) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.
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April 11, 2014
08:14 EDTHRBH&R Block volatility expected to move into plan to sell bank unit
H&R Block (HRB) option implied volatility is expected to move after the company announced that it will divest its H&R Block Bank assets to BofI Federal Bank (BOFI). Overall option implied volatility of 30 is near its 26-week average of 29 according to Track Data, suggesting non-directional price movement.
08:07 EDTWFCWells Fargo reports Q1 Basel III Advanced Tier 1 ratio 10.04%
Wells said capital continued to strengthen in the first quarter, with Common Equity Tier 1 of $132.7B under the Basel III General Approach, or 11.36% of risk-weighted assets. The Common Equity Tier 1 ratio under Basel III under the Advanced Approach, fully phased-in, was 10.04%.
08:04 EDTWFCWells Fargo reports Q1 provision for credit losses $325M
Reports net charge-offs of $825M, down $594M from first quarter 2013. Reports $500M reserve release due to continued strong credit performance and improved economic conditions. Chairman and CEO John Stumpf said, "First quarter 2014 earnings were another record for our Company and capital levels continued to strengthen. Returning more capital to our shareholders has remained a priority for Wells Fargo and we were pleased to have received a non-objection to our 2014 CCAR submission." CFO Tim Sloan said, “We are very pleased with Wells Fargo’s performance in the first quarter, particularly in some of the fundamental drivers of long term growth: loans, deposits, investments, capital and credit quality. Revenue remained relatively stable despite the impact of fewer days in the quarter, reflecting contributions from our diversified sources of fee revenue. In addition, we generated revenue more efficiently as we reduced expenses year-over-year and compared with fourth quarter of last year.”
08:01 EDTWFCWells Fargo reports Q1 EPS $1.05, consensus 97c
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07:38 EDTHRBH&R Block bank sale a positive, says Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley said H&R Block's bank sale is an incremental positive and removes an overhang on shares. The firm said the sale will allow H&R Block to buyback stock, one of the key value drivers in its Overweight rating.
07:34 EDTHRBH&R Block partnership deal positive, says Oppenheimer
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06:42 EDTHRBBofI Holding upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
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06:40 EDTPFGPrincipal Financial upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Evercore
Evercore upgraded Principal Financial based on balanced risk/reward and confidence in longer-term margins. Price target is $50.
April 10, 2014
19:00 EDTHRBOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
NOTABLE: According to a Bloomberg report that cited sources, Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, is set to resign tomorrow. A New York Times report added that President Obama is expected to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, as Sebelius' replacement. HIGHER: Shares of BofI Holding (BOFI) and H&R Block (HRB) both advanced after announcing a deal for BofI to acquire H&R Block's bank assets. BofI, which saw shares gain 9% after hours, said it expects ongoing annual revenue from the deal of $26M-$28M beginning with its fiscal 2015. H&R Block, which gained 7%, said it expects the deal to be 7c-9c dilutive to earnings per share beginning in its fiscal 2015, and the company said it sees the deal resulting in $200M-$250M of immediate excess capital. LOWER: Gap (GPS), down 2.6% after reporting March same-store sales that fell 6% and saying that it expects first quarter gross margins to decline more when compared to the prior year period than they did in the preceding quarter... NQ Mobile (NQ), down 8.8% after reporting earnings that missed expectations on revenue that topped estimates and saying that it identified an accounting overstatement related to share-based compensation for the three and nine months ended September 30... Datawatch (DWCH), down 25% after cutting its second quarter revenue outlook... TTM Technologies (TTMI), down 3.9% after cutting its first quarter earnings outlook and saying it expects first quarter revenue to come in at the low end of its previous guidance range.
17:37 EDTHRBH&R Block to host conference call
Conference call to discuss definitive agreement to divest its bank will be held on April 11 at 9 am. Webcast Link
17:16 EDTHRBH&R Block, BofI Holding surge after acquisition agreement
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16:22 EDTHRBBofi Holding to acquire H&R Block bank assets
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16:15 EDTHRBH&R Block reaches definitive agreement to divest its bank
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16:12 EDTHRBH&R Block reaches definitive agreement to divest its bank
15:25 EDTWFCNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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13:07 EDTWFCWells Fargo April weekly 50 straddle priced for 2% move into Q1
12:36 EDTWFCEarnings Preview: Wells Fargo to report results after dividend hike
Wells Fargo (WFC), a bank holding company, is scheduled to report first quarter earnings before the open on Friday, April 11, with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 97c on revenue of $20.6B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 90c-$1.02 on revenue of $19.5B-$22.41B. LAST QUARTER: Wells Fargo reported higher than expected Q4 EPS and revenue. The company said that it believes it can continue to grow its net interest margin over time. In a statement, CEO John Stumpf said, "Strong earnings power and capital levels, and an improving economic outlook are major reasons why we look ahead to 2014 with optimism." On March 26, Wells Fargo reported that the Federal Reserve had approved the bank’s capital allocation plan. Under the plan, Wells plans to pay a dividend of 35c per share. The dividend, which was increased 16.7% over prior levels, must be approved by the bank’s board of directors at its April 29 meeting. The bank also authorized the repurchase of an additional 350M shares of its own stock. STREET RESEARCH. In a note to investors on April 8, UBS wrote that Q1 may be the first quarter in four years that Wells Fargo’s EPS will not grow versus the previous quarter, as it believes the bank was hit with seasonal costs in Q1 that were not offset by revenue increases. The bank’s EPS will drop to 97c in Q1, down from $1.00 in Q4, but will still be up 5% versus the first quarter of 2013, the firm predicted. On a positive note, UBS contended that Wells Fargo was "a relative winner" of the Fed’s capital plan approval process. Although Wells' board has approved a 350M share increase in the bank’s stock repurchases, it typically doesn’t carry out large share repurchases, UBS stated. Wells should benefit from a continued U.S. economic recovery, but its shares already reflect such an outlook, according to UBS, which kept a Neutral rating on the stock. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer was somewhat upbeat about the sector's outlook. In a note to investors on April 3, the firm predicted that bank stocks would outperform the broader market by a few hundred basis points per year. Loan growth "remains sluggish," but reduced credit costs and expenses should enable banks to report results that show slight year-over-year improvements, the firm contended. PRICE ACTION: Wells’ stock is little changed over the last month, but is up 6% so far this year and nearly 29% over the last 12 months.
07:30 EDTWFCWells Fargo April volatility elevated at 20 into Q1 and outlook
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07:21 EDTHRBH&R Block risk/reward positive, says Oppenheimer
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06:35 EDTUSB, WFCMobile banking presents opportunity and risks for banks, WSJ reports
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