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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 11, 2014
21:45 EDTNFLX, CMCSA, VZ, GOOG, TFCC Chairman Wheeler to revise plan for broadband rules, WSJ says
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is revising proposed rules for regulating broadband Internet and has given some assurances that the agency will not allow internet traffic to be segregated into "fast and slow lanes," says the Wall Street Journal. In the new draft, the FCC chairman will include language that will make it clear that the FCC intends to scrutinize "paid prioritization" deals to make sure broadband providers don't unfairly put nonpaying companies' content at a disadvantage, added the Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
News For CMCSA;T;VZ;NFLX;GOOG From The Last 14 Days
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January 29, 2016
15:55 EDTGOOGAlphabet February weekly 740 straddle priced for 6.7% movement into Q4
12:53 EDTCMCSABox Office Battle: 'Kung Fu Panda 3' expected to kick 'Revenant' from top spot
DreamWorks Animation's (DWA) "Kung Fu Panda 3" featuring Jack Black is expected to break the record for the largest January opening for an animated feature, topping the opening of "The Nut Job" in 2014. The first two films in the "Kung Fu Panda" franchise took in $60.2M and $47.6M, respectively, in their opening weekends and grossed a total of nearly $1.3B worldwide. With a strong base of Po the Panda fans and the popularity of a recent TV show, conservative early estimates say "Panda 3" is expected to bring in $35M-$50M. Also opening this weekend are Disney's (DIS) "The Finest Hours," starring Chris Pine, and Open Road Films' "Fifty Shades of Black," starring Marlon Wayans. "The Finest Hours" may disappoint, with expectations topping out at $10M in its opening weekend. "Fifty Shades of Black," meanwhile, is the latest spoof movie from the team of Wayans and Michael Tiddes from "Haunted House" fame. The last film from Wayans had an opening weekend of $8.8M, and this one is currently expected to take in a similar amount. Both films will battle with Fox's (FOX, FOXA) survival story and Oscar contender "The Revenant," starring Leonardo Dicaprio, and Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" for spots in the top five. "The Revenant" and "Star Wars" should each take in $9M-$12M even as they continue to lose theaters this coming weekend. Other publicly traded companies involved in filmmaking include Lionsgate (LGF), Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), and Sony (SNE).
08:13 EDTGOOGAlphabet volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Alphabet February weekly call option implied volatility is at 60, February is at 42, March is at 33; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 42, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 1.
06:29 EDTGOOGOptions expected to be active: AMZN EA MSFT EWJ FLEX SWKS GOOG GOOGL FB
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05:24 EDTTAT&T implied volatility of 16 at lower end of index mean range
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January 28, 2016
19:09 EDTNFLX, GOOGOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 15.2%... QLogic (QLGC), up 11%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 9.2%... ShoreTel (SHOR), up 5.7%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 3.6%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 4.6%... Microsoft (MSFT), up 3.6%... Proofpoint (PFPT), up 3.1%. ALSO HIGHER: Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is up 1.1% and FireEye (FEYE) is up 1.6% after Fortinet reported quarterly results. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 13.2%... Synaptics (SYNA), down 3.8%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 8%... Quality Systems (QSII), down 9%... Visa (V), down 1.2%. ALSO LOWER: Facebook (FB) is down 1.2%, Netflix (NFLX) is down 2.7%, and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is down 1.5% and 1.7%, respectively, after Amazon reported quarterly results.
16:40 EDTVZOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Thursday
The Dow began the session with triple digit gains thanks in part to solid earnings reports from some of America's bellwether corporations and oil prices, which approached $34 a barrel. The market was unable to hold its opening gains and eventually crossed into negative territory. Before the losses became too big the averages reversed and moved back across the flat line. With oil holding onto its gains and closing above $33 a barrel, the averages closed in positive territory ahead of the next barrage of earnings reports. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell to 278,000 last week, versus the expected 281,000 first-time claims. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1% in December, versus expectations for a decrease of 0.7%. The core reading, which removes transportation items, was down 1.2%, versus expectations for a decline of 0.1%. The National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index for December rose 0.1%, versus expectations for it to be up 0.9%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% to $109.11 after the social media giant's fourth quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. A number of Wall Street analysts increased their price targets for the stock following the report, including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who hiked his target to a "Street-high" $170 per share. Facebook management made only one mention of macro concerns for the business in 2016, significantly different than Apple's (AAPL) earnings call on Tuesday night, Munster pointed out... Caterpillar (CAT) reported better than expected quarterly earnings, excluding certain items, but its revenue came in below the consensus forecast and the heavy equipment maker warned that it does not anticipate an improvement in the world economy or commodity prices in 2016. The stock, which had declined almost 20% in the last three months prior to this morning's report, rebounded 4.7% to $61.08 after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... Under Armour (UA), which had similarly been the focus of concern recently for some bearish analysts, posted better than expected results on the top and bottom line and backed its fiscal year revenue forecast, proving its doubters wrong and sending its share rocketing up 22.5% to $84.00. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Intrexon (XON), Inovio (INO) and Cerus (CERS), which gained a respective 10%, 7.6% and 1.4% as the ongoing Zika virus scare brought attention to the companies' efforts fighting the illness. Also higher were SolarCity (SCTY), Sunrun (RUN) and Vivint Solar (VSLR), with the solar stocks jumping 8.5%, 20.5% and 3.6%, respectively, after the California Public Utilities Commission approved new net-metering rules. Meanwhile, Eagle Pharmaceuticals (EGRX) rose 12.2% to $74.44 after announcing commercial availability of its Bendeka injection in partnership with Teva (TEVA). Among the noteworthy losers was Yahoo (YHOO), which lost 3.2% to $28.75 despite a pre-market spike after SpringOwl Asset Management urged the company to seek an investment from a strategic partner. The news was also followed by reports that CEO Marissa Mayer has started restructuring efforts with an "invest/maintain/kill" list, as well as news that Verizon (VZ) denied a report that it had bid for the company's core Internet business. Also lower were OSI Systems (OSIS), Qualcomm (QCOM) and eBay (EBAY), which fell a respective 31.8%, 8.3% and 12.5% following their quarterly earnings reports. INDEXES: The Dow rose 125.18, or 0.79%, to 16,069.64, the Nasdaq gained 38.51, or 0.86%, to 4,506.68, and the S&P 500 advanced 10.41, or 0.55%, to 1,893.36.
16:00 EDTNFLXOptions Update; January 28, 2016
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 84c to 25.21 Option volume leaders: FB AAPL MSFT AMZN NFLX BAC BABA QCOM AAL MU C RIG
15:05 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Analysts more bullish on Microsoft since last quarter's blowout
Microsoft (MSFT) is scheduled to report results of its second quarter of fiscal year 2016 after the market close on Thursday, January 28, with a conference call scheduled for 5:30 pm ET. Microsoft, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells and licenses software to consumers and businesses, offers cloud computing and other business services, and markets computer, phone and gaming hardware. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 71c on revenue of $25.26B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 66c-75c on revenue of $24.62B-$25.92B. On its last earnings conference call, Microsoft said it expected Q2 productivity revenue of $6.6B-$6.67B, Q2 revenue for intelligent cloud of $6.2B-$6.3B and Q2 personal computing revenue of $12B-$12.4B. LAST QUARTER: On October 22, Microsoft reported first quarter earnings per share of 67c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 59c. The company's revenue came in at $21.7B, topping the consensus estimate of $21.03B. NEWS: On December 17, Microsoft announced a new joint venture that will license, deploy, manage and optimize Windows 10 for China's government agencies and certain state owned enterprises and provide ongoing support and services for these customers. That announcement followed Microsoft inking a partnership with Baidu (BIDU) to make it easy for their customers to upgrade to Windows 10 while providing local browsing and search experiences, and universal apps. On January 4, Microsoft said in a blog post that operating system Windows 10 was currently active on over 200M devices, bringing the company closer to its goal of seeing Windows 10 active on more than 1B devices. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last earnings report, BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan upgraded Microsoft to Buy from Neutral, saying he believes the company was at a turning point with its operating income headed for growth following four years of flattish performance. At the time, Rangan increased his price target on the stock to $63 from $46. On November 20, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a note to investors that actions taken by Google parent Alphabet (GOOG) and comments made by its executives indicated that the tech giant plans to make a major push in the cloud infrastructure market. Based on a comment from executive Urs Holzle that the company's revenue from the cloud could surpass its ad revenue by 2020, Sandler estimated that the company is seeking to boost its cloud revenue to $100B by 2020. Google's push in the cloud is negative for Microsoft, but it will take years for Google to build up its cloud business to the point where it's competitive with Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, the analyst contended. On November 30, Raymond James analyst Michael Turits upgraded Microsoft two notches to Strong Buy from Hold, predicting that the tech giant will become one of the few large scale cloud vendors that can succeed across the industry's three main segments. Microsoft will emerge alongside Amazon (AMZN) and Google as part of a small group of "hyperscale" cloud vendors that can combine Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service, predicted Turits. Forecasting that Microsoft's cloud revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6% between fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2018, the analyst estimated that the company's overall profit growth would accelerate to at least 8% over the long-term. Moreover, the growth of Microsoft's Office business appears to be accelerating, despite competition from Google, said Turits, who set a $62 price target on the shares. On January 13, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss upgraded Microsoft to Overweight, the firm's equivalent of a "Buy" rating, from Equal Weight. Microsoft is emerging as a public cloud winner, is gaining share in the data center market and Office 365 is seeing its base grow and its per user pricing increase, all of which set up the company to resume earnings growth after a five year period of stagnation, Weiss told investors. The analyst, who believes Microsoft's earnings growth and "aggressive" return of capital to shareholders should help its multiple expand, raised his price target on the stock to $66 from $57. This morning, UBS analyst Brent Thill said that given Apple's (AAPL) recent negative commentary around macro uncertainty he was lowering his second half of the year estimates for Microsoft on the potential for more conservative guidance when it issues its Q2 report after the closing bell. Thill trimmed his price target on Microsoft to $58 from $60, but said he remains confident the company is making the right moves to the cloud and kept a Buy rating on shares. PRICE ACTION: On the day after the company's last quarterly report, Microsoft shares jumped 10.4% to $53.03. In late afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's report, Microsoft advanced 1.25% to $51.86.
12:22 EDTNFLXEarnings Watch: Amazon expected to report strong Q4 results after holiday season
Amazon.com (AMZN) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Thursday, January 28 with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Amazon.com is an online retail company that also provides consumer electronics and cloud computing services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.56 on revenue of $35.93B. The consensus range is 60c-$2.41 for EPS, and $35.11B-$36.75B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Amazon.com reported third quarter EPS of 17c against estimates of (13c), on revenue of $25.4B against estimates of $24.91B. At that time, the company gave Q4 revenue guidance of $33.5B-$36.75B and Q4 operating income guidance of $80M-$1.28B, compared to $591M in the year-ago period. Amazon also reported Q3 Amazon Web Services revenue $2.085B and AWS operating income $521M. The company said Prime Day added 2% to its global revenue growth rate. NEWS: In the past quarter, ChannelAdvisor said that Amazon outpaced the industry with a 16.8% holiday SSS growth. Specifically, Amazon's SSS grew 28.9% on Thanksgiving, up 20% on Black Friday, up 20.5% on Cyber Sunday, and up 25.6% on Cyber Monday. During that time, Amazon's Fire tablet was the top-selling product. According to a Re/code report in December, Amazon is now accounting for more than half of all sales growth in U.S. eCommerce. In Q4, Amazon also announced expansions for Prime Now in Los Angeles, San Diego, Baltimore, Austin and Chicago. It began delivering alcohol in Manhattan and offered delivery from local stores in China. By the end of 2015, Amazon was offering Prime Now in 26 cities. The company plans to open fulfillment centers in Columbus, Massachusetts and Canada. It also also build an Amazon Wind Farm in Ohio. Amazon announced that it will shutter its payments service and Groupon-style daily deals service in 2016. However, it also announced that it tripled its selection of free games and apps since launching Amazon Underground. Amazon held early tests of cargo aircraft as it looks to establish its own freight operations. During the Golden Globe awards, Amazon's "Mozart in the Jungle" received two awards, while its competitor Netflix (NFLX) left empty-handed. STREET RESEARCH: In the long-term, Citi said Amazon has a path towards $20 per adjusted EPS by 2018 due to an ongoing mix shift in the retail business and stellar growth in its high margin cloud business. The company was also initiated with an Overweight at Pacific Crest, and had its price target raised at Nomura and BofA.Merrill, citing the company's aim to be part of the consumer purchase process and its lead in both eCommerce and the cloud. Piper Jaffray said Amazon's Prime membership has been the most impressive despite a large base of users. It expected Amazon to add 8M-9M Prime subscribers during the full holiday season, ahead of its previous expectation of 6M-7M. Piper Jaffray added that estimates are mis-modeling Amazon's margin expansion in 2016 and believes the company's unit growth will likely exceed expectations. Ahead of the Q4 earnings report, Stifel said Amazon revenue is expected to beat expectations due to healthy eCommerce trends, strong Prime adoption and strong adoption of AWS. Bernstein also said that the street margin outlook for Amazon continues to be too low, and believes the company is poised to beat street expectations. PRICE ACTION: Amazon.com shares are near flat over the last three months. In Thursday trading ahead of the Q3 report, Amazon.com shares are higher by 6.5%.
09:38 EDTNFLXActive equity options trading on open
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08:04 EDTGOOGHarman CEO: On track to deliver full year plan
"I am pleased to announce our 11th consecutive quarter of top and bottom line growth. Our strong first half results were in-line with our expectations. While we are closely monitoring macroeconomic developments, at this time, we are on track to deliver on our full year plan," said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman (HAR) Chairman, President and CEO. "HARMAN continues to innovate and bring industry-first solutions to market. We are also partnering with key technology leaders such as Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Under Armour (UA) to capitalize on the opportunities presented by IoT for automotive, enterprise and consumer electronics. In addition, our acquisition of TowerSec will strengthen our cybersecurity leadership position for automotive."
07:45 EDTGOOGFacebook price target raised to $140 from $125 at Cowen
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06:56 EDTVZVerizon denies report of bidding on Yahoo core business, CTFN says
Verizon (VZ) spokesperson for Bob Varettoni said the New York Post "was wrong" in reporting on January 23 that the telecom company made an offer to acquire Yahoo's (YHOO) Internet search business, reported CTFN. Varettoni told the publication: "The rumor's false...We've made no offer to acquire Yahoo." Reference Link
06:30 EDTVZ, TYahoo starts restructuring with 'invest/maintain/kill' list, Re/code reports
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06:24 EDTGOOGSNP calls on EU to probe Google's U.K. tax agreement, FT reports
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06:22 EDTGOOGGoogle, Apple push back on Euro tax deals, FT reports
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06:19 EDTGOOGItaly finance police say Google avoided EUR227M in taxes, Reuters says
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05:44 EDTT, VZSpringOwl calls for Yahoo, Viacom to seek partners, Reuters reports
SpringOwl Asset Management, which holds undisclosed stakes in Yahoo (YHOO) and Viacom (VIA), is urging the boards of both companies to seek investments from strategic partner, Reuters reports, citing an article that is set to be published today. SpringOwl managing director Eric Jackson says that "Although some shareholders of both Yahoo and Viacom think that a simple sale or break-up of both companies is the best way to create value for shareholders, we believe that both companies could benefit from their own version of the 'Buffett Convert,'" and that while stakes of investors would be diluted if an outside investor steps in, but "they would still be better off because their shares would likely get re-rated upwards substantially with this new partner sitting around the board table." Jackson believes Yahoo should seek outside investment from Liberty Media (LMCA), Verizon (VZ) or AT&T (T), while Viacom would benefit from Alibaba (BABA), Amazon (AMZN) or AMC Entertainment (AMC). Reference Link
05:41 EDTTAT&T implied volatility of 17 at lower end of index mean range
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