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January 22, 2014
10:04 EDTHERO, TRV, SPN, MOS, GSK, CAE, INTC, TW, QSII, LOGM, DLTR, ESV, VZ, TRGP, ORCL, HOLX, CBLOn the Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
CAE (CAE) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... CBL & Associates (CBL) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen... Dollar Tree (DLTR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee... GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen... Hologic (HOLX) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at ISI Group... LogMeln (LOGM) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen... Mosaic (MOS) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Oracle (ORCL) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... Quality Systems (QSII) downgraded to Cautious from Neutral at ISI Group... Superior Energy (SPN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Targa Resources (TRGP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies... Towers Watson (TW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup... Travelers (TRV) downgraded to Outperform from Top Pick at RBC Capital... Verizon (VZ) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest... Intel (INTC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Drexel Hamilton... Hercules Offshore (HERO) downgraded to Accumulate from Buy at Tudor Pickering... Ensco (ESV) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Tudor Pickering.
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October 2, 2015
12:09 EDTINTCMicrosoft acquires Havok from Intel, terms not disclosed
In a company blog post, Microsoft (MSFT) said, "Today, we are proud to announce that Microsoft has acquired Havok, the leading provider of 3D physics, from Intel (INTC). As we welcome Havok to the Microsoft family, we will continue to work with developers to create great gaming experiences, and continue to license Havok's development tools to partners." Reference Link
12:02 EDTVZFrontier Communications, IBEW AFL-CIO reach agreement in Florida
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October 1, 2015
15:02 EDTINTCEarnings Watch: Micron quarter highlighted by Tsinghua report, 3D XPoint launch
Micron Technology (MU) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the close on Thursday, October 1, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm EDT. Micron manufactures semiconductor devices, principally Dynamic Random Access Memory, or DRAM, NAND Flash and NOR Flash memory. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 33c on revenue of $3.56B. The consensus range is 22c-47c for EPS on revenue of $3.4B-$3.68B, according to First Call. On its last earnings conference call, Micron guided for Q4 revenue of $3.45B-$3.7B. In terms of bit growth in Q4, the company said it expected DRAM bit growth to be flat to up by a low single digit percentage in the quarter. LAST QUARTER: On June 25, Micron reported Q3 adjusted EPS of 54c, against a consensus of 56c, and revenue of $3.85B, against a consensus of $3.9B. The company said then that its decline in revenues compared to prior quarter was primarily due to a 10% decline in DRAM average selling prices and relatively flat DRAM sales volume. NEWS: Wednesday, shares of Western Digital (WDC) surged after Unisplendour, a unit of China's Tsinghua Holdings, agreed to buy a 15% stake in the U.S. data storage company for $3.78B. In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tsinghua Unigroup, which is a majority-owned unit of Tsinghua Holdings, offered to buy Micron for $23B. As of yet no deal has come to fruition, but Tsinghua Holdings chairman Jinghong Xu has reportedly said that his company was open to a partnership with Micron if an acquisition deal could not be reached. Also during this quarter, Intel (INTC) and Micron unveiled 3D XPoint technology, a non-volatile memory that the companies say has the potential to "revolutionize any device, application or service that benefits from fast access to large sets of data." Now in production, 3D XPoint technology brings non-volatile memory speeds up to 1,000 times faster than NAND, according to the partners. STREET RESEARCH: After the Journal's initial report that Tsinghua had offered to acquire Micron, research firms had mixed reactions. Tsinghua may have indicated that it was making the "low ball" offer in order to gauge the reaction of Micron's management and shareholders to it, Summit Research analyst Srini Sundarararjan contended in a note to investors immediately following the story. Tsinghua will probably increase its bid, the analyst predicted. Piper Jaffray analyst Ruben Roy told investors that the deal makes sense for Tsinghua and China, but not for Micron. If a takeover of Micron was based on the average valuation that companies in Micron's sector had received in takeover deals over the last 18 months, it would fetch a takeover price of $43 per share, Roy estimated. Micron and Tsinghua are more likely to reach an intellectual property sharing deal than complete a takeover transaction, according to Piper's analyst. On August 7, Drexel Hamilton analyst Richard Whittington downgraded Micron to Hold from Buy, stating that a PC unit refresh hasn't materialized and DRAM unit demand and pricing were trending below anticipated levels. Whittington cut his price target on Micron shares to $19. After Micron held its analyst meeting on August 14, analysts were divided in their responses. Right after the event, Wells Fargo upgraded Micron to Market Perform from Underperform, while pointing out that it still believes that the company is facing several risks, including falling prices for DRAM and its rising capital spending. Although Micron is facing "challenging near-term conditions," including a weak PC market, the company outlined many positive aspects of its business at the meeting, according to Piper's Roy. Micron may miss estimates in the short-term but its share price is unlikely to drop much further, and its performance should improve significantly next year, Roy said at that time. Micron's decision to raise its capital spending suggests that it is "overconfident" in its new chips, according to Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Simon Dong-je Woo, who cut his rating on the shares to Neutral from Buy following the analyst day. Also during August, Baird downgraded Micron to Neutral, citing falling DRAM prices. On September 21, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis started shares of Micron with an Overweight rating and $20 price target, saying he believed near-term risk from weak DRAM demand was priced into the stock at then-current levels. Earlier this week, Wells Fargo analyst David Wong upgraded Micron Technology to Outperform, saying current valuation levels provide upside potential. Wong cut his estimates for the company, however, citing the "ongoing slide" in DRAM pricing. Nonetheless, he thinks that memory industry financial dynamics have improved in recent years and keeps a $16-$19 price target range for Micron shares. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, shares of Micron have fallen about 22%. Ahead of its earnings report, Micron declined 2.3% to $14.64 in late day trading.
10:32 EDTMOSBernstein U.S. chemicals analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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08:11 EDTTWTowers Watson completes acquisition of Brovada
Towers Watson announced the completion of its acquisition of Brovada, a Canadian technology provider for property & casualty insurers and brokerages. The acquisition will enhance Towers Watson's capabilities across its portfolio of software targeted at the P&C market. Brovada will operate as a separate unit within the company's Risk Consulting and Software business, part of its Risk and Financial Services business segment. Brovada's founder and CEO, Karl Greenlaw, will continue to lead the Brovada team.
08:04 EDTGSKPfizer completes acquisition of Nimerix, Mencevax from GSK
Pfizer (PFE) announced that it has completed the acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) quadrivalent meningococcal ACWY vaccines Nimenrix and Mencevax.
06:12 EDTMOSMosaic to pay $1.8B settlement to clean fertilizer waste, AP reports
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06:09 EDTMOSMosaic Fertilizer reaches regulatory settlement in Florida, Louisiana
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September 30, 2015
16:00 EDTINTCOptions Update; September 30, 2015
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12:41 EDTGSKGlaxoSmithKline exercises option for Liquidia Technologies' inhaled therapeutics
Liquidia Technologies announced that GlaxoSmithKline has exercised its option under a Collaboration and Option Agreement signed in 2012 to exclusively license the right to research, develop, and commercialize inhaled therapeutics derived from the company's proprietary PRINT technology. Through this collaboration, Liquidia and GSK will continue to work together with the goal of advancing inhaled therapeutics into clinical studies. According to the agreement signed in June 2012, Liquidia was granted an upfront payment comprised of cash and equity, R&D funding, and potential development milestones and royalties. As a result of the GSK decision to exercise the option, Liquidia will receive an option fee, continued R&D funding, and potential product-based development and regulatory milestone payments. Liquidia has also retained the ability to independently develop an inhaled treatment for a particular disease field.
11:31 EDTVZOn Track Innovations files patent infringement lawsuits against AT&T, Verizon
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10:50 EDTVZAT&T, Verizon could find it hard to sell enterprise businesses, CTFN says
The wireline units of AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) that serve corporate customers may be viewed as good units to sell if the companies need to raise cash to help defray spectrum acquisition costs, but a small number of potential buyers and low EBITDA multiples for the units could make any such divestitures challenging, contended CTFN. Level 3 (LVLT) could be seen as a potentially interested buyer, but a source within the company told CTFN that purchasing units that are part of other companies, known as a "carve out," doesn't match the company's usual M&A strategy. Reference Link
10:49 EDTINTCWestern Digital surges on $3.78B investment from China's Unisplendour
Shares of Western Digital (WDC) surged in morning trading after the company said it Unisplendour will take a 15% stake in the U.S. data storage company. WHAT'S NEW: Western Digital and Unisplendour, a unit of China's Tsinghua Holdings, said they entered into a pact under which a Unis subsidiary will invest $3.78B in Western Digital, the companies said. Under the terms of the agreement, Unis will buy the shares at $92.50 each. Unisplendour will own 15% of Western Digital's outstanding shares after the purchase, and have the right to nominate one representative to Western Digital's board of directors, a right that terminates if Unis' ownership falls below 10%. Unis also agreed not to sell any of its Western Digital shares for five years. WHAT'S NOTABLE: In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tsinghua Unigroup, which is majority-owned Tsinghua Holdings, offered to buy Micron Technology (MU) for $23B. After several talks and meetings over the matter, Reuters reported on August 28 that Zhao Weiguo, chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup, met with Micron in an attempt to revive takeover talks, but a deal did not come to fruition. Tsinghua Holdings chairman Jinghong Xu said that his company was open to a partnership with Micron if an acquisition deal could not be reached, dealReporter said. Separately, in May, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced that it would sell a 51% stake in its H3C business to Unisplendour for roughly $2.3B. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Western Digital shares are up 16.06% to $79.91. OTHERS TO WATCH: Micron, which reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, is up 5.25% to $15.10, HP is up 2.56% to $25.28, SanDisk (SNDK) is up 9.2% to $53.63, Intel (INTC) is up 3.56% to $30.28, and Seagate (STX) is up 5.5% to $44.10.
09:59 EDTINTCActive equity options trading on open
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09:31 EDTVZVerizon Ventures partners with Grand Central Tech
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06:58 EDTORCLOracle to furlough workers during holiday week, BI reports
Oracle has decided to close down during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year's, mandating that its employees pay for this furlough with paid vacation time, Business Insider reports, citing several sources. Some Oracle employees have been angered about this move that basically removes four days of paid time off from them, the report says. Reference Link
September 29, 2015
09:03 EDTINTCHP updates entry-level workstation
HP (HPQ) announced the HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF Workstations with next generation Intel (INTC) processors and HP Z Turbo Drive options, raising the bar for entry-level workstations, while providing the reliability of a workstation at the price point of a desktop PC. The Z240 is the latest update to the world's No. 1 ranked entry-level workstation, the HP Z230. As HP's most affordable workstation, the Z240 is ideal for customers in the video editing, MCAD/AEC, education, public sector and image viewing industries.
08:39 EDTORCLOracle Health Sciences adds 93 biopharma customers
Oracle (ORCL) Health Sciences announced that 93 emerging biopharma organizations worldwide have become new customers in the past year, adopting Oracle Health Sciences solutions to succeed in this rapidly evolving market and deliver drugs to patients faster. Organizations, including Accera and NewLink (NLNK), selected Oracle Health Sciences solutions to manage their end-to-end clinical trial processes, boost clinical development productivity, facilitate compliance, and build scalable, affordable platforms for growth.
06:48 EDTINTCAMD stake sale talks with Silver Lake stalled, Bloomberg says
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a competitor of Intel (INTC), was in discussions to sell an approximate 25% stake to private equity firm Silver Lake Management before the talks were stalled, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The two sides have put talks on hold after they failed to reach an agreement over price and strategy, the report says. AMD is looking into other strategic options, the report says. Reference Link
06:18 EDTVZPublicis signs advertising partnership with Verizon's Go90 service, WSJ reports
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