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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 9, 2013
10:21 EDTHCSG, EAT, MAT, CSC, ROST, PCG, FMER, SAPE, DNKN, RRGB, KEY, CTXS, DISH, V, URBN, RL, BGSOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: B&G Foods (BGS) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... Brinker (EAT) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Citrix Systems (CTXS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... FirstMerit (FMER) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... Healthcare Services (HCSG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Benchmark Co.... KeyCorp (KEY) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... PG&E (PCG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Ralph Lauren (RL) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Red Robin (RRGB) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Ross Stores (ROST) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Urban Outfitters (URBN) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie... Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital... CSC (CSC) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Sapient (SAPE) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Visa (V) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman... Mattel (MAT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at MKM Partners... DISH (DISH) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich.
News For BGS;EAT;CTXS;FMER;HCSG;KEY;PCG;RL;RRGB;ROST;URBN;DNKN;CSC;V;SAPE;MAT;DISH From The Last 14 Days
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January 27, 2016
07:26 EDTFMERFirstMerit downgraded at RBC Capital
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06:30 EDTFMERFirstMerit downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
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05:57 EDTPCGPG&E upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
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January 26, 2016
16:36 EDTHCSGHealthcare Services sees 13c-14c unfavorable impact to FY15 EPS
In connection with the financial results to be reported in the upcoming release, Healthcare Services has, while denying any violations, agreed to mediated settlements regarding certain labor and employment related matters. The company estimates that such settlements, and related costs and expenses will unfavorably impact FY15 financial results by approximately 13c-14c per diluted common share. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 signed into law on December 18, 2015, included provisions that addressed the expiration of certain business tax extenders. Specifically, the Act reinstated the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, or WOTC, program from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2019. The company expects the reinstatement of the WOTC to favorably impact its income tax rate and related financial results in 2015 as well as subsequent periods, through 2019. Additionally, as a continuation of its strong top-line momentum from 2015, the company announced it has recently entered into service agreements, to be phased in during Q1, with annual revenues of over $70M. The company expects the impact of these new service agreements to be fully reflected in Q2 results.
16:33 EDTHCSGHealthcare Services raises Q4 dividend to 18.13c per share
Healthcare Services's board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 18.13c per common share, payable on March 25, to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 19.
16:20 EDTFMEROn The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
Stocks began Tuesday in positive territory, once again trading in tandem with oil prices. The Dow led today's gains thanks in part to earnings reports from 3M (MMM), Proctor & Gamble (PG) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), though the Nasdaq struggled early in the day. Following a better than expected reading on consumer confidence and a rip in oil prices, stocks continued to pile on gains in the afternoon, with the major indexes all going out near their highs. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index fell 2.35% while China's Shanghai composite slid 6.4%. COMPANY NEWS: Earnings season accelerated Tuesday as major members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posted results before the opening bell. 3M lead the pack with a gain of 5.16% to $144.79, while Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and DuPont (DD) added 4.86%, 2.55% and 0.89%, respectively, following their reports... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over the next two years and announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. The company, under ongoing pressure from activist investors including Carl Icahn, also said it will publicly offer a portion of its United Guaranty unit, though it expressly rejected a full company breakup. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Terex (TEX), which surged 36.5% to $20.48 after receiving a $30 per share acquisition offer from China's Zoomlion. Terex peers Manitowoc (MTW), Joy Global (JOY) and Oshkosh (OSK) also saw respective gains of 16%, 9.5% and 5.5% after the news. In other M&A news, FirstMerit (FMER) jumped 18.35% after a merger agreement with Huntington Bancshares (HBAN). Also higher was Weight Watchers (WTW), which rose nearly 20% to $13.32 after noted shareholder and partner Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video detailing her progress and weight loss using the company's program. In addition, Sprint (S) soared 18.65% to $2.99 after reporting losses for the quarter that were not as steep as expected and raising its fiscal year EBITDA forecast. Among the noteworthy losers was Leidos (LDOS), which declined 9% to $48.83 after reaching an agreement with Lockheed Martin (LMT) to combine with the company's realigned Information Systems & Global Solutions unit in a Reverse Morris Trust transaction. Also lower was Centene (CNC), which lost 2.26% to $59.99 after revealing it has potentially misplaced six hard drives containing personal data on nearly 1M individuals. Meanwhile, Polaris (PII) dipped 9.15% to $72.99 after its fourth quarter report. INDEXES: The Dow rose 282.01, or 1.78%, to 16,167.23, the Nasdaq gained 49.18, or 1.09%, to 4,567.67, and the S&P 500 advanced 26.55, or 1.41%, to 1,903.63.
12:16 EDTFMEROn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in positive territory moved cautiously in the opening segment, before shooting higher following the better than expected consumer confidence reading. The Dow is the biggest winner and is up more than 1.5% while the Nasdaq has been lagging but is up more than 0.6%. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index fell 2.35% while China's Shanghai composite slid 6.4%. COMPANY NEWS: The volume of earnings reports took a step up, with four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posting results before the opening bell this morning. All four advanced on the heels of their reports, with 3M (MMM) leading the pack with a gain of 4.5% despite earnings, excluding restructuring charges, that missed the consensus forecast. The industrial conglomerate did, however, affirm its performance expectations for the new fiscal year. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose 3%, Procter & Gamble (PG) gained 2.7% and DuPont (DD) added 1.6%... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over next two years and announcing that it has agreed to sell AIG Advisor Group to private equity firm Lightyear Capital and Canadian pension investment manager PSP Investments. AIG also said it will pursue an initial public offering of United Guaranty in mid-2016 to sell up to 19.9% of the outstanding shares as a first step towards a full separation. However, the insurer said it believes a full breakup, as espoused by investor Carl Icahn, would detract from shareholder value, arguing that a lack of diversification benefits would reduce capital available for distribution and there would be a loss of tax benefits. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Avis Budget (CAR), which rallied 7% after the company raised its share repurchase authorization by $300M and after SRS Investment reported a 9.5% stake in the company. Also higher were Sprint (S) and Coach (COH), which gained 20% and 11%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. In addition, FirstMerit (FMER) rose 16% after reporting quarterly earnings and announcing that it will merge with Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) in a deal valued at $3.4B. Huntington Bancshares fell 10% after the FirstMerit merger agreement was announced. Also lower was Stratasys (SSYS), which dropped 6% after JPMorgan downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight. In addition, Polaris (PII) and Waters Corporation (WAT) were down 11% and 4.5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 273.66, or 1.72%, to 16,158.88, the Nasdaq was up 49.20, or 1.09%, to 4,567.69, and the S&P 500 was up 25.96, or 1.38%, to 1,903.04.
10:00 EDTPCGOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: AMC Entertainment (AMC) upgraded on valuation, 2017 outlook at RBC Capital... America Movil upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... BNC Bancorp (BNCN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Gabelli... Casella Waste (CWST) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Cenovus Energy (CVE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Cracker Barrel (CBRL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust... D.R. Horton (DHI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Zelman... Edison International (EIX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Sandler O'Neill... Hartford Financial (HIG) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities... Heartland Financial (HTLF) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Sandler O'Neill... MFA Financial (MFA) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... National General (NGHC) upgraded to Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... PG&E (PCG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... SBA Communications (SBAC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... Sally Beauty (SBH) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... Sanmina (SANM) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citi... Scorpio Bulkers (SALT) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Southern Company (SO) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Evercore ISI... Southern Copper (SCCO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Vodafone (VOD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
09:33 EDTDNKNDunkin' Donuts announces plans for four new restaurants in Detroit
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09:15 EDTFMEROn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Sprint (S), up 19.5%... Rambus (RMBS), up 8%... Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), up 11.3%... Sanmina (SANM), up 9.9%... Coach (COH), up 4.9%. ALSO HIGHER: Firstmerit (FMER), up 21.5% following the merger announcement with Huntington Bancshares (HBAN). DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Polaris (PII), down 4.2%. ALSO LOWER: Huntington Bancshares, down 6.8% after announcing a merger with Firstmerit. Stratasys (SSYS), down 3.7% after being downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
08:14 EDTMATMattel should be bought aggressively ahead of Q4 results, says Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo thinks that Mattel's stock could rise significantly in 2016 and early 2017. The firm believes that the company's Q4 results could trigger a positive turning point in investors' view of the shares. Wells thinks that the company's revenue and EPS rose versus easy 2014 comps, while Barbie and HotWheels both performed well. The firm keeps an Outperform rating on the shares.
08:10 EDTPCGPG&E upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI
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07:57 EDTVVisa shares 'becoming increasingly attractive,' says Bernstein
After Visa's stock fell 7% so far this year, Bernstein says the stock "is becoming an increasingly attractive, defensive investment in a bearish market." The firm expects the company's EPS to increase 19% through 2020, and says fears about the impact of macro issues on Visa's EPS growth are overdone. Most of the company's EPS growth will come from business model changes and factors that won't be impacted by the macro performance, the firm stated. It keeps a $90 price target and Outperform rating on the shares.
07:16 EDTPCGPG&E upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
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06:32 EDTFMERFirstMerit volatility elevated into merging with Huntington Bancshares
FirstMerit (FMER) February call option implied volatility is at 41, March is at 37; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 40; suggesting large near term price movement into Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) purchasing for 1.72 shares of Huntington common stock, and $5.00 in cash.
06:22 EDTFMERHuntington Bancshares volatility elevated into merge with FirstMerit
Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) February call option implied volatility is at 42, March is at 39; compared to its 52-week range of 17 to 41; suggesting large near term price movement into purchasing FirstMerit (FMER) for 1.72 shares of Huntington common stock, and $5.00 in cash.
06:17 EDTFMERHuntington Bancshares to host conference call
Conference call to discuss merger with FirstMerit Corporation will be held on January 26 at 9 am. Webcast Link
05:17 EDTFMERFirstMerit reports Q4 EPS 33c, consensus 34c
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05:15 EDTFMERHuntington Bancshares to merge with FirstMerit in deal valued at $3.4B
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05:11 EDTFMERHuntington Bancshares to merge with FirstMerit in deal valued at $3.4B
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