|February 21, 2013|
|10:00 EDT||EA, LCC, PAY, TLM, VNTV, QCOR, NTSP, BRKR, AMRS, UNH, NKE, GRPN, BCS, AWAY, PLD, MA, LNG, NEWP||On The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary|
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Barclays (BCS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein... Bruker (BRKR) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Cheniere Energy (LNG) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Groupon (GRPN) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... MasterCard (MA) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS... NetSpend (NTSP) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Nike (NKE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... ProLogis (PLD) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital... Questcor (QCOR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho... UnitedHealth (UNH) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... Vantiv (VNTV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Visa (V) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS... HomeAway (AWAY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair... Amyris (AMRS) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James... Newport (NEWP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Noble Financial... VeriFone (PAY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Compass Point... Electronic Arts (EA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Talisman Energy (TLM) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... US Airways (LCC) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
News For BCS;BRKR;LNG;GRPN;NTSP;MA;NKE;QCOR;PLD;UNH;VNTV;AWAY;AMRS;NEWP;PAY;EA;TLM;LCC From The Last 14 Days
|September 24, 2015|
|15:00 EDT||NKE||Notable companies reporting after market close|
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|13:27 EDT||NKE||Nike September 114 weekly straddle priced for 4.2% movement into Q1|
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|12:32 EDT||NKE||Earnings Watch: Analysts positive on Nike ahead of Q1 earnings report|
Nike (NKE) is expected to report first quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday, September 24, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Nike sells athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories worldwide. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.19 on revenue of $8.22B. The consensus range is $1.14-$1.26 for EPS and $8.13B-$8.33B for revenue. In its last earnings report, Nike forecast Q1 revenue growth in the low single digits. LAST QUARTER: The company reported fourth quarter EPS of 98c and revenue of $7.8B, beating the consensus expectation of 83c and $7.69B, respectively. Nike reported a Q4 gross margin of 46.2%, which was up 60 basis points. The company also reported worldwide futures orders up 2% including currency changes and up 13% excluding currency changes. Looking ahead, Nike forecast fiscal year 2016 revenue growth in the mid-single digits, and said it expected Q1 and FY16 gross margin to increase by 50bps. On its last earnings conference call, Nike said it was confident that it would be able to keep "moving margins forward." The company said it plans to deliver mid-teens EPS growth over time. NEWS: Phil Knight announced plans to step down as the company's chairman on June 30, and recommended president and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker take over the role. Knight said he would transfer most of his stock to a limited liability company named Swoosh LLC, to be managed by himself, Parker and other Nike executives. The move that will help "maintain Nike's corporate governance," the company said. Under terms agreed upon in June, Nike will pay $2.4M to customers who purchased a FuelBand product anytime between January 19, 2012 and June 17, 2015 to settle a class action suit leveled against itself and Apple (AAPL) in 2013, AppleInsider reported in July. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after its last earnings report, Nike's price target was raised at Piper Jaffray, Nomura, Macquarie, Goldman, Deustche Bank and Baird. On July 28, Jefferies raised its price target for Nike to $128 to reflect greater likelihood of the Trans-Pacific Partnership becoming law, which could benefit Nike's margins over time. In August, Telsey Advisory upgraded Nike to Outperform from Market Perform and Susquehanna upgraded shares to Positive from Neutral. Stifel said on August 27 that Nike "continues to dominate" in all areas of footwear and predicted that Nike's revenue could increase by low single digits in FY16. Ahead of this afternoon's earnings report, Deutsche Bank, Susquehanna and UBS raised their price targets on Nike. Deutsche Bank expects Nike to post "modest" Q1 upside today. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Nike shares are up about 7.15%. Ahead of this afternoon's report, shares are down 1.2% to $114.16.
|September 23, 2015|
|08:31 EDT||AMRS||Amyris announces TIA investment agreement with DARPA|
Amyris announced a multi-year, Technology Investment Agreement worth up to $35M with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's, or DARPA, Biological Technologies Office to create new research and development tools and technologies that will significantly reduce the time and cost of bringing new molecules to market. Amyris has chosen five specialized subcontractors to assist in achieving these innovations. According to DARPA, its focus in working with industrial biotechnology companies is to competitively solicit "innovative proposals to develop new tools, technologies and methodologies" to create new capabilities in biotech. The tools and infrastructure developed through DARPA-funded efforts are expected to enable the rapid and scalable development of transformative defense-relevant products and systems that are currently too complex to access.
|07:54 EDT||GRPN||Groupon restructuring a sign of maturation, says Brean Capital|
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|07:34 EDT||NKE||Nike shares have room for further upside, says Deutsche Bank|
Deutsche Bank analyst Dave Weiner says that despite the 20% year-to-date rally, shares of Nike have room for further upside. Nike's business in China is accelerating and operating margin strength should continue, Weiner tells investors in a research note. The analyst expects Nike to post "modest" Q1 upside when reporting results tomorrow after the close. He keeps a Buy rating on the stock with a $125 price target.
|05:56 EDT||EA||Reviews solid for EA's FIFA 16, says Piper Jaffray|
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|September 22, 2015|
|20:02 EDT||UNH||Clinton vows $250 cap on monthly drug costs in blast against biotechs, insurers|
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton railed against biotech companies as well as health insurers at a community health care forum in Iowa on Tuesday. Clinton began her speech by praising the Affordable Care Act, but quickly noted that she wants to strengthen it due to what she called the rising cost of prescription drugs. She explained, "Our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit... [But] too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investment... so it may makes sense, for a short period of time, to have to charge a lot of money for a drug. But when a drug has no competition, when there aren't any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America." Referencing the recent criticism against Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton went on to say that "pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing affordable drug that people rely on, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it, [are just betting] on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it." Preemptively responding to questions of whether greater regulation will dampen investment, Clinton commented that "some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation, but I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite... Under my plan, drug companies that want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development." Clinton also criticized incremental drug improvements, saying that "too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit, but then they're marketed as breakthrough drugs and they're sold for high prices." The Democratic candidate went on to condemn advertising in the drug industry, remarking that "I also want to tackle direct to consumer advertising... Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn't be encouraging them with corporate write-offs... Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation... I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA." Moving more broadly onto Medicaid and health insurers, Clinton stated, "I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members... I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients... I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice." Providing more concrete details of her plan, Clinton concluded, "I will cap out of pocket drug costs for working families. You won't have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications... Particularly for people who have a chronic illness. Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada or any other country that meets our safety standards... I will also make sure we have more generics on the market [by boosting funding for] the FDA's office of generic drugs."
|16:36 EDT||GRPN||On The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday|
Stocks on Wall Street began the session sharply lower and remained that way throughout the session. There was little in the way of buying as each of the major equity indexes slid over 1% and the market internals were decidedly negative. The auto industry and biotech sector were both notably weak, after the French government called for an investigation into the entire auto industry in the wake of the Volkswagen (VLKAY) emissions scandal and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton presented a plan to limit the cost of drugs for consumers. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the FHFA home price index rose 0.6% to 224.5 in July, which was better than the 0.4% rise that was expected. The Richmond Fed factory index fell to -5 in September, versus the reading of 2 that was expected. In Asia, 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. COMPANY NEWS: 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... Bank of America (BAC) shareholders approved a proposal to ratify the 2014 amendments to the company's bylaws that permitted the board of directors to determine its leadership structure, meaning Brian Moynihan can retain his dual role as both Chairman and CEO... Shares of several fertilizer companies slid after Mosaic (MOS) announced it will reduce its potash production in response to current crop nutrient market conditions, primarily related to delayed fertilizer purchases in Brazil and North America. Shares of Mosaic finished the day down 7% at $33.87 following last night's announcement, while Potash (POT) fell 6.5% and Agrium (AGU) dropped 3.5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Ashland (ASH), which advanced $2.78, or 2.6%, to $108.50 after announcing it will proceed with a plan to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies. Also higher was Weatherford (WFT), which gained 90c, or 10.7%, to $9.31 after cancelling plans for a public share offering, after which research firms Jefferies and Iberia both reiterated Buy-equivalent ratings on the stock. Among the noteworthy losers were Office Depot (ODP) and Staples (SPLS), which declined a respective 4% and 5.8% after the New York Post quoted a source as saying the FTC may move to block their merger plan. Also lower was Groupon (GRPN), which slipped 2.2% to $4.08 after announcing plans to cut 1,100 jobs related primarily to its international operations. ConAgra (CAG), Carnival (CCL), and CarMax (KMX) fell 7%, 5.5%, and 4.65%, respectively, following their quarterly earnings reports. INDEXES: The Dow fell 179.72, or 1.09%, to 16,330.47, the Nasdaq lost 72.23, or 1.5%, to 4,756.72, and the S&P 500 dropped 24.23, or 1.23%, to 1,942.74.
|12:14 EDT||GRPN||On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday|
Stocks began the session deep in negative territory and have remained there throughout the morning. There has been little in the way of buying as the downward pressure in the market has not shown any sign of letting up. There is also little in the way of explanation as to why the market is so weak other than continued disappointment in the Fed's interest rate decision and the ongoing concern over China's economic growth. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the FHFA home price index rose 0.6% to 224.5 in July, which was better than the 0.4% rise that was expected. The Richmond Fed factory index fell to -5 in September, versus the reading of 2 that was expected. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Groupon (GRPN) slumped 2.5% after the online and mobile deal provider said it plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations. The news is the latest in a recent run of job cut announcements, after HP Enterprise said last week that it expects 25,000-30,000 people to leave the company and Johnson Controls (JCI) recently announced plans to reduce its global salaried workforce by as many as 3,000 people... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was told by doctors that he has 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. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Weatherford (WFT), which rose 9.6% after stating that it has decided not to pursue its previously announced concurrent public offerings of ordinary shares of the company and mandatorily exchangeable subordinated notes. Also higher was Vascular Biogenics (VBLT), which gained 15% to around $9.30 per share after the stock was initiated with a Buy rating and $25 price target at Chardan. Among the noteworthy losers following their earnings reports were ConAgra (CAG) and Carnival (CCL), which each fell more than 5%, and Red Hat (RHT), which slid 2%. Also lower were shares of Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP), which fell 7% and 8%, respectively, after the New York Post said a top FTC regulator may be leaning toward recommending against approving their merger agreement. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 263.77, or 1.6%, to 16,246.42, the Nasdaq was down 99.52, or 2.06%, to 4,729.44, and the S&P 500 was down 32.51, or 1.65%, to 1,934.46.
|11:06 EDT||GRPN||Groupon slumps after announcing plans to cut jobs, exit markets|
Shares of Groupon (GRPN) are slumping in morning trading after the company said it plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations. WHAT'S NEW: Groupon said this morning in a regulatory filing that its board approved a restructuring program under which it will cut 1,100 jobs and take a pre-tax charge of $35M. Of the pre-tax charges, Groupon said it will record $22M-$24M in the third quarter of 2015. The restructuring actions are expected to be complete by September 2016, the company said, adding that "substantially all of the pre-tax charges are expected to be paid in cash and will relate to employee severance and compensation benefits." Cost savings from the cuts will be reinvested in the business, Groupon said. WHAT'S NOTABLE: As part of the restructuring, Groupon will cease operations in several international markets: Morocco, Taiwan, Thailand, Panama, The Philippines, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. The closures come on top of recent exits in Turkey and Greece, as well as a sale of part of its stake in Groupon India to Sequoia. Rich Williams, the company's chief operating officer and president of North America, commented in a blog post that the 1,100 jobs that will be eliminated "over the next several months" will mostly come from the Deal Factory and Customer Service units. "We believe that in order for our geographic footprint to be an even bigger advantage, we need to focus our energy and dollars on fewer countries," Williams explained, adding that "just as our business has evolved from a largely hand-managed daily deal site to a true ecommerce technology platform, our operational model has to evolve." Williams also said that "in order for our geographic footprint to be an even bigger advantage, we need to focus our energy and dollars on fewer countries," and the countries it is exiting are "where the required investment and market potential don't align." PRICE ACTION: Groupon is down 1.7% to $4.10 in morning trading. Shares are down over 50% year-to-date.
|09:20 EDT||GRPN||On The Fly: Pre-market Movers|
HIGHER: Ashland (ASH), up 4% after announcing that its board has approved proceeding with a plan to separate Ashland into two independent, publicly traded companies: the new Ashland, a provider of specialty chemical solutions, and Valvoline, which will focus on building the world's leading engine and automotive maintenance business... Solera Holdings (SLH), up 3% after Bloomberg reported that IHS (IHS) is considering besting Vista Equity Partners' $55.85 per share offer for Solera. Shares of IHS are up xxx% following the report... Weatherford (WFT), up 11% after stating that it has decided not to pursue its previously announced concurrent public offerings of ordinary shares of the company and mandatorily exchangeable subordinated notes. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Carnival (CCL), down 3.7%. ALSO LOWER: Groupon (GRPN), down 0.7% after announcing plans to cut 1,100 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations... New Mountain Finance (NMFC), down 4% after its 5M share spot secondary priced at $14.14 per share... Memorial Resource Development (MRD), down 4% after announcing it acquired additional acreage in North Louisiana and pricing its 12M share spot secondary at $17.60 per share.
|09:02 EDT||GRPN||Groupon volatility flat into announcing restructuring, plans to cut 1,100 jobs|
Groupon September weekly call option implied volatility is at 51, October is at 48; compared to its 52-week range of 33 to 83, suggesting non-directional price movement into announcing a restructuring, plans to cut 1,100 jobs, sees pretax charges up to $35M.
|08:54 EDT||GRPN||Groupon to cut 1,100 jobs, sees pretax charges up to $35M|
In a regulatory filing, Groupon disclosed that its board of directors approved restructuring actions relating primarily to the company's international operations. These actions are expected to involve an overall reduction of approximately 1,100 positions globally and be substantially complete by September 2016. In connection with these actions, the company expects to record total pre-tax charges of up to $35M, including approximately $22M-$24M in the third quarter of 2015. Substantially all of the pre-tax charges are expected to be paid in cash and will relate to employee severance and compensation benefits, with an immaterial amount of the charges relating to asset impairments and other exit costs. The company intends to exclude the restructuring charges from its non-GAAP financial metrics, including Adjusted EBITDA and non-GAAP EPS. In addition, the company expects that any cost savings from the restructuring actions will be immaterial in 2015. Cost savings in subsequent years are expected to be primarily reinvested in the business.
|08:37 EDT||UNH||Aetna, Anthem CEOs set to testify to Senate committee, WSJ reports|
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|08:35 EDT||BCS||Barclays recommends investors position for lower growth environment|
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|06:43 EDT||NKE||Nike September weekly volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook |
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|September 21, 2015|
|10:22 EDT||LNG||Options with decreasing implied volatility|
Options with decreasing implied volatility: ADXS CVC NWBO RPTP ATML QIHU ARIA LNG MBLY SCTY
|08:22 EDT||LNG||Cheniere Energy signs additional LNG sales agreement with EDF|
Cheniere Energy announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Cheniere Marketing International has entered into another sales arrangement with Electricite de France, S.A. for the delivery of liquefied natural gas cargoes on an ex-ship basis from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. The sales arrangement covers the delivery of up to 24 cargoes, or up to approximately 89M MMBtus total, from 2017 through 2018. As in the previously announced sales arrangements, the sales price for the LNG cargoes is linked to the Dutch Title Transfer index, a natural gas pricing index in continental Europe. With this latest agreement, Cheniere Marketing has executed agreements for the sale of up to a total of 92 cargoes, or up to approximately 340 million MMBtus, to buyers in Europe and Asia through 2018.
|07:42 EDT||NKE||Nike price target raised to $128 from $122 at UBS|
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