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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 20, 2013
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Barclays (BCS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Canadian Imperial Bank (CM) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Delek US Holdings (DK) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Express Scripts (ESRX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... HollyFrontier (HFC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... L-3 Communications (LLL) downgraded to Underperform at RBC Capital... OfficeMax (OMX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... SAIC (SAI) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... SAIC (SAI) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital... Sealed Air (SEE) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Sirona Dental (SIRO) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird... Starwood Hotels (HOT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies... Total System (TSS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies... Windstream (WIN) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS... BioMimetic (BMTI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Summer Street... OfficeMax (OMX) downgraded at BB&T... Daktronics (DAKT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Dougherty... Red Robin (RRGB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Davenport... Baidu (BIDU) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... AEGON (AEG) downgraded to Sell from Hold at ABN Amro... NetSpend (NTSP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Capital One (COF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim... Rockwood (ROC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Endeavour (END) downgraded to Neutral from Accumulate at Global Hunter.
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November 16, 2015
12:28 EDTHOTOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday as markets around the world, most notably in Europe, held up better than may have been expected after the terrorist attacks in Paris. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., stock futures were pointing to a higher open early this morning, showing a good amount of resiliency in the face of the events in France this weekend. However, the futures weakened following the release of manufacturing data from the N.Y. region, leading to a slightly lower open for the broader market. The Empire State index edged up to -10.74 in November, which was improved from the -11.4 reading for last month but below expectations for a -6.50 reading. In Asia, Japan's gross domestic product declined 0.8% in the third quarter, missing expectations for a 0.2% decrease and taking the nation's economy back into recession. COMPANY NEWS: Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) found a buyer, but it was not the one that recent reports had been foreshadowing. Starwood and Marriott (MAR) announced a merger agreement under which the companies will create the world's largest hotel company. Starwood, which had been linked in media reports to a number of other potential buyers in the past, including Hyatt (H) most recently, fell 6% following the deal announcement, while Marriott shares slid fractionally. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was (JD), which rallied 9.5% after the company reported third quarter earnings. Also higher was CONSOL Energy (CNX), which gained 6% after Business Insider reported that Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn reiterated the company as his "best idea" while presenting at the Robin Hood investors conference. Among the noteworthy losers was SunEdison (SUNE), which fell over 6.5% after quarterly filings showed that at least two prominent hedge funds have exited or trimmed their stakes in the company. Also lower was Clovis (CLVS), which was down 70% after it announced that the FDA requested additional data for rociletinib. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 68.18, or 0.4%, to 17,313.42, the Nasdaq was down 5.62, or 0.11%, to 4,922.27, and the S&P 500 was up 6.19, or 0.31%, to 2,029.23.
11:31 EDTHOTMarriott announces plans to buy Starwood in $12.2B cash and stock deal
Shares of Marriott International (MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) fell after the two companies announced that Marriott will acquire Starwood in a cash and stock deal valued at $12.2B. WHAT'S NEW: Under the terms of the agreement, Starwood shareholders will receive 0.92 shares of Marriott Class A common stock and $2 in cash for each share of Starwood stock. When the deal closes, Starwood stakeholders will own roughly 37% of the combined entity's stock, the companies said. Marriott expects the deal to be earnings accretive by the second year after the merger, excluding the impact of transaction and transition costs. Marriott president and chief executive officer Arne Sorenson will remain in both positions following the merger. The transaction, which has been approved unanimously by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in mid-2016. In a statement announcing the deal, Marriott said it remains committed to its management and franchise strategy. Additionally, Marriott said it expects to deliver at least $200M in annual cost savings in the second full year after closing. Marriott expects to return at least $2.25B in dividends and share repurchases to investors, and believes it can reutrn "at least as much" in the first year following the closing. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On a conference call discussing the deal, Sorenson said that Starwood brands will "remain in place" and that he is focused on increasing appeal to younger travelers. Sorenson also said that the agreement includes a $400M break-up fee. Marriott chief financial officer Carl Berquist added that Starwood will continue its asset sale program. Starwood Chairman Bruce Duncan said that "all possible options" were considered and the company spoke to a "wide range" of interested parties. OTHER BIDDERS: On November 2, CNBC's David Faber reported that Starwood and rival Hyatt (H) were still in talks over a potential merger deal and that deal was about "a week away." In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported on October 27 that Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels, HNA Group and China Investment Corporation were vying for government clearance to submit an offer to acquire Starwood. On July 30, media reports emerged that Starwood had reached out to possible suitors about a buyout, including InterContinental (IHG), Wyndham Worldwide (WYN), and several sovereign wealth funds. Intercontinental denied it was involved in any such discussions with Starwood the day the story was reported. STREET RESEARCH: In response to the acquisition news, RBC Capital Markets analyst Wes Golladay said that Marriott may look to convert some of Starwood's hotels, likely older Sheratons, to its new Delta brand. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Marriott declined 0.14% to $72.64 and Starwood fell 6.25% to $70.24. OTHERS TO WATCH: Hyatt rallied 3.4%, InterContinental was down 1.77% and Wyndham Worldwide lost 2.07% following the deal announcement. American Express (AXP), which announced new benefits to the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card in early June, slipped 0.62% in morning trading.
11:24 EDTCOF, BCSClearing House to hold a conference
Clearing House Annual Conference is being held in New York on November 16-18.
09:42 EDTCOFCapital One reports October net charge-off rate 3.38% vs. 312% last month
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09:35 EDTHOTMarriott CEO says Starwood deal includes break-up fee of $400M
09:21 EDTHOTMarriott says Starwood to continue asset sale program
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09:19 EDTHOTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Nexvet Biopharma (NVET), up 16.8% after NV-01 study meets primary endpoint... Protalix BioTherapeutics (PLX), up 4.8% after announcing that it will conduct a Phase III clinical trial for PRX-102... Array Biopharma (ARRY), up 4.3% after announcing a commercialization collaboration with Pierre Fabre... Perrigo (PRGO), up 2.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Dillard's (DDS), down 11.7% after reporting quarterly results. ALSO LOWER: Clovis Oncology (CLVS), down 71.3% after the FDA requested additional clinical data for rociletinib... KaloBios Pharmaceuticals (KBIO), down 48.9% after announcing that it will wind down its operations... Starwood Hotels (HOT), down 6.3% after announcing that Marriott (MAR) will acquire the company... Marriott is down 2.4%... Five Below (FIVE), down 3.1% after being downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
09:13 EDTHOTMarriott CEO Sorenson says Starwood brands to 'remain in place'
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09:06 EDTESRXDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
08:58 EDTHOTAmerican Express slips following Marriott, Starwood deal announcement
Shares of American Express (AXP) are slipping in pre-market trading following the news that Marriott (MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) have agreed to merge. In early June, American Express and Starwood announced new benefits to the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. Marriott, however, has its co-brand program with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and the early weakness in American Express shares could reflect concern over a potential change in the merged hotels' co-brand relationships. In pre-market trading, AxEx shares are down about 0.5% to $70.88.
08:57 EDTHOTMarriott says 'committed' to management and franchise strategy
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07:18 EDTHOTDeutsche Bank to hold a conference
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06:19 EDTHOTMarriott & Starwood to host joint conference call
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06:18 EDTESRXDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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06:12 EDTHOTMarriott volatility flat into acquiring Starwood for $12.2B
Marriott (MAR) November call option implied volatility is at 31, December is at 28; compared to its 52-week range of 19 to 41, suggesting non-directional price movement into acquiring Starwood (HOT) for $12.2B in cash, stock.
06:09 EDTHOTMarriott to acquire Starwood for $12.2B in cash, stock
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06:09 EDTHOTStarwood November volatility up into Marriott acquiring for $12.2B
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06:05 EDTHOTMarriott to acquire Starwood for $12.2B in cash, stock
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November 15, 2015
16:17 EDTBCSLaw firm says Barclays reaches $120M settlement in LIBOR litigation
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13:12 EDTBIDUBaidu shares look attractive on O2O potential, Barron's says
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