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News Breaks
June 2, 2014
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: BNP Paribas (BNPQY) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Big Lots (BIG) downgraded to Equalweight from Overweight at Barclays... Express Scripts (ESRX) downgraded at Cowen... Infineon (IFNNY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup... Microchip Technology (MCHP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Quiksilver (ZQK) downgraded at B. Riley... STMicroelectronics (STM) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup... Sprague Resources (SRLP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... T-Mobile (TMUS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... Team (TISI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... Theravance (THRX) downgraded at RW Baird... Universal Electronics (UEIC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley... Volvo (VOLVY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Xilinx (XLNX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Zillow (Z) downgraded at Pacific Crest.
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November 22, 2015
13:11 EDTESRXExpress Scripts' link to specialty drug makers presents new risk, Barron's says
Express Scripts' (ESRX) United BioSource unit -- often hired by specialty drug makers to help patients find money for costly treatments -- appears at odds with the company's role in negotiating lower drug prices, Barron's contends in a feature article. Though Express Scripts will continue to earn the "vast majority" of its profits as a pharmacy-benefit manager, Barron's argues that investors should view its work on behalf of specialty drug companies as a risk factor for the stock, particularly in light of recent Valeant (VRX) and Horizon (HZNP) headlines. Reference Link
November 20, 2015
18:58 EDTESRXExpress Scripts management to meet with JPMorgan
Meeting to be held in New York on November 24 hosted by JPMorgan.
10:17 EDTTMUSHigh option volume stocks
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05:51 EDTBNPQYBNP Paribas to pay $59.8M in Swiss bank settlement, Bloomberg reports
BNP Paribas has agreed to pay $59.8M and revealed Swiss banking secrets in detail to avoid U.S. prosecution, reports Bloomberg. Some of the secrets include assets restructured into Liechtenstein-linked insurance policies, and a banker who agreed to communicate with one U.S. client by faxes or calls to a prepaid mobile phone. KBL and Bank CIC have also joined the program, paying $18.8M and $3.3M respectively. Reference Link
05:46 EDTBNPQYBNP Paribas dedicates EUR 15B in financing for renewable energy
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November 19, 2015
14:55 EDTUEICUniversal Electronics management to meet with Sidoti
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05:36 EDTVOLVYVolvo reports Oct. truck deliveries up 2% to 20,193 vehicles
In October truck deliveries rose by 15% in Europe and by 6% in North America. On the other hand, deliveries decreased by 31% in South America and by 3% in Asia. In total the Volvo Group's wholly-owned operations delivered 20,193 trucks, which was 2% more than in October 2014. Production in North America will be adjusted as a consequence of lower demand and high inventories in the distribution channel.
November 18, 2015
15:40 EDTESRXCongressman says U.S. may need look at pharmacy competition, dealReporter says
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11:33 EDTTMUSSprint announces launch of LTE Plus network
In celebration of the launch of its new LTE Plus network, Sprint (S) is introducing the biggest wireless offer in U.S. history - 50% off the price of most Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) and T-Mobile (TMUS) rate plans, the company says. New customers can sign up for this offer nationwide Nov. 20 through Jan. 7, 2016. LTE Plus, available today in 77 major markets, takes advantage of Sprint's rich triband spectrum portfolio, and it uses some of the world's most advanced technologies in wireless, such as carrier aggregation and antenna beamforming. Customers who switch get 50 percent off most current rate plan prices from their current carrier. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon customers switching to Sprint also can take advantage of iPhone Forever, where they are eligible to upgrade every time a new iPhone launches. Customers must port one line, and can add up to 9 additional lines on the account. Customers must choose from the 50 percent off rate plans available from their current carrier. Cricket and MetroPCS customers also can switch and save 50 percent off their parent company's postpaid rates. 50 percent off pricing remains valid until Jan. 8, 2018, for activations between Nov. 20, 2015, and Jan. 7, 2016.
November 17, 2015
11:49 EDTTISITeam management to meet with Johnson Rice
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10:47 EDTMCHPMicrochip management to meet with Jefferies
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10:33 EDTXLNXCiti says Xilinx, not Maxim, likely to be acquired
According to Citi, analog chip maker Maxim Semiconductor (MXIM) probably won't be acquired, despite Bloomberg reports which stated that Texas Instruments (TXN) and Analog Devices (ADI) had held talks about potentially buying the company. The firm sees Xilinx (XLNX) as the only large cap chip maker remaining that has "all of the attributes of a good takeover target." WHAT'S NEW: The only two companies capable of buying Maxim are Texas Instruments and Analog Devices, Citi analyst Christopher Danely wrote in a note to investors today. However, Maxim's valuation is too high for Texas Instruments and the deal would be too big for Analog Devices, the analyst stated. However, Xilinx is a potential takeover target, partly due to its high margins, a size large enough that it could impact an acquirer's profits and its cost cutting opportunities, Danely stated. One potential acquirer of Xilinx is Qualcomm (QCOM), which has suggested that it could be interested in M&A opportunities in the future, the analyst wrote. Despite his belief that Xilinx could be acquired, Danely kept a Neutral rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On October 14, Bloomberg reported that Analog Devices and Maxim were in merger talks. On October 28, the news service reported that Texas Instruments was in talks about buying Maxim. According to Bloomberg, Maxim was working with a bank on a strategic review before it was approached by Analog Devices. Maxim may not want to sell itself unless it receives a large premium, the news service stated. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Maxim was flat near $38.86 per share, while Xilinx gained 1.5% to $47.83.
10:17 EDTESRXHouse Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing
The Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law holds a hearing entitled, "The State of Competition in the Pharmacy Benefit Manager and Pharmacy Marketplaces" with Vice President Bricker of Express Scripts and Senior Vice President Pons of CVS Health on November 17 at 3 pm. Webcast Link
09:20 EDTTMUST-Mobile shares attractive, likley to be acquired, says Cowen
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08:54 EDTXLNX, STM, IFNNYMaxim could be bidder for Fairchild, says Citi
Citi analyst Atif Malik views Maxim Integrated (MXIM) as a potential acquirer Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS). Bloomberg on October 13 reported that Fairchild was seeking advice for a potential sale, and listed potential acquirers as STMicroelectronics (STM), Infineon (IFNNY) and ON Semiconductor (ON). Bids from STM and ON seem unlikely, but Infineon and Maxim could be potential acquirers of Fairchild, Malik tells investors in a research note. In a bull case scenario, Fairchild's buyout value could reach $25 per share, the analyst contends. Fairchild closed yesterday at $17.76. Malik's peer at Citi, analyst Christopher Danely, argued today in research note that Maxim Integrated (MXIM) is unlikely to get acquired despite reports of interest from Analog Devices (ADI) and Texas Instruments (TXN). Danely views Xilinx (XLNX) as a potential takeout target, potentially for Qualcomm (QCOM).
08:37 EDTXLNXCiti sees Xilinx, not Maxim, as potential takeout candidate
Citi analyst Christopher Danely says he does not expect Maxim Integrated (MXIM) to get acquired despite reports of interest from Analog Devices (ADI) and Texas Instruments (TXN). Xilinx (XLNX) is the only large-cap semiconductor company left with "all of the attributes of a good takeover target," Danely tells investors in a research note. He believes Xilinx management could be willing sellers at the right price, and points out Qualcomm (QCOM) has a history of doing deals. Xilinx could make a good candidate for Qualcomm, Danely contends.
November 16, 2015
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%.
09:03 EDTTMUSGabelli to hold a symposium
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06:18 EDTESRXDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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05:42 EDTXLNXXilinx, IBM announce strategic collaboration
IBM (IBM), and Xilinx (XLNX) announced a multi-year strategic collaboration to enable higher performance and energy-efficient data center applications through Xilinx FPGA-enabled workload acceleration on IBM POWER-based systems. IBM and Xilinx, through a private signed agreement and collaboration through the OpenPOWER Foundation, are teaming to develop open acceleration infrastructures, software and middleware to address emerging applications such as machine learning, network functions virtualization, or NFV, genomics, high performance computing, or HPC, and big data analytics. As part of the IBM and Xilinx strategic collaboration, IBM Systems Group developers will create solution stacks for POWER-based servers, storage and middleware systems with Xilinx FPGA accelerators for data center architectures such as OpenStack, Docker, and Spark. IBM will also develop and qualify Xilinx accelerator boards into IBM Power Systems servers. Xilinx is developing and will release POWER-based versions of its leading software defined SDAccel Development Environment and libraries for the OpenPOWER developer community. Additionally, IBM and Xilinx will continue to further utilize IBM's innovative Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface, or CAPI, to deliver accelerated computing value to its clients. CAPI, a unique feature built into the POWER architecture, provides Xilinx and the technology industry at large with the ability to build tightly integrated, coherent solutions right on top of the POWER architecture.
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