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February 14, 2014
17:03 EDTCSCO, CBS, CMCSA, PEP, OWW, CHTR, VFC, CVS, TWCMarkets log gains after Yellen affirms Fed strategy
Stocks ended the week higher after comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reassured investors of the central bank's strategy, with the Dow and S&P 500 climbing back within 1% of their all-time highs. MACRO NEWS: In testimony before a Congressional panel, newly appointed Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she expected "a great deal of continuity" in the central bank's policies as she begins her tenure. Yellen said she would likely support further tapering of the Fed's asset purchases, and backs its policy of keeping interest rates low "well past" the point when the unemployment rate drops below 6.5%... An index of retail sales in January showed that sales fell 0.4% during the month, which was below December's 0.2% gain and economists' expectations for flat sales... Earlier today, the EU reported that eurozone GDP grew 0.3% last quarter, surpassing consensus estimates for a 0.2% gain. COMPANY NEWS: Cable majors Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), agreed to merge in a $45.2 billion deal all-stock deal. The announcement followed a months-long pursuit of TWC by Charter Communications (CHTR), which earlier in the week had nominated a full slate of directors to TWC's board... Corporate earnings season is beginning to wind down, but a slew of companies were out this week with their quarterly reports. Among the companies that gained after reporting results were CBS (CBS), CVS Caremark (CVS), and online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide (OWW). Companies that fell following their quarter reports included tech giant Cisco (CSCO) and apparel company VFC Corp. (VFC). Soft drink maker Pepsi (PEP) also reported quarterly results and saw its shares slip after deciding against spinning-off its domestic beverage business. INDEXES: The Dow finished the week up 2.2% to 16,154.39; the S&P 500 gained 2.3% to 1,838.63; the Nasdaq gained 2.8% to 4,244.02.
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November 20, 2015
11:45 EDTCMCSABox Office Battle: 'Hunger Games' finale expected to top box office
Lions Gate's (LGF) "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," the final movie based on the dystopian young adult novels, is opening this weekend at 4,175 theaters and is expecting a domestic gross in the range of $120M-$127M. Piper Jaffray analyst James Marsh said in a note to investors on November 18 that he expects the film to open domestically in the $130M range, above where it is tracking, due to limited competition and the addition of IMAX (IMAX) screens. Piper maintained its Overweight rating and $45 price target on Lions Gate shares at that time. "The Hunger Games" main competition is "Spectre" and "The Peanuts Movie," both of which are in their third weekend of release. Sony's (SNE) "Spectre," starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, is expected to earn another $15.2M-$16.8M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) G-rated family film, starring a 3D-animated Charlie Brown, is predicted to earn an additional $12.5M-$13.2M. In other box office news, the Wall Street Journal reported that Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which hits theaters on December 18, has had record-breaking pre-sales. Fandango said the film has already sold more tickets than any other movie before its release, which is still four weeks away, and IMAX said the movie has "doubled" its prior pre-sales record of about $9M. Other publicly traded companies involved in filmmaking include Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner (TWX), and Viacom (VIA, VIAB).
08:04 EDTCSCOCisco announces intent to acquire Acano for $700M in cash, assumed equity awards
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08:03 EDTCSCOCisco announces intent to acquire Acano for $700M in cash, assumed equity awards
06:13 EDTCSCOTechnicolor completes $600M Cisco Connected Devices acquisition
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November 19, 2015
05:54 EDTCSCOCisco implied volatility of 18 at lower end of index mean range
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November 18, 2015
15:40 EDTCVSCongressman says U.S. may need look at pharmacy competition, dealReporter says
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11:01 EDTCVSTarget says working with CVS team to secure regulatory approval for deal
Target (TGT) says "pleased" with progress to date of CVS (CVS) deal.
07:59 EDTCSCOUBS to hold a conference
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06:16 EDTCMCSAComcast dumps YES Network, WSJ reports
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November 17, 2015
16:01 EDTCSCOOptions Update; November 17, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 1.32 to 21.07. Option volume leaders: GE BAC AAPL FB NFLX SYF WMT CSCO MU SUNE VRX BABA AMZN HD FCX
13:03 EDTTWCTime Warner Cable management to meet with Jefferies
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10:17 EDTCVSHouse 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
09:04 EDTCMCSAComcast: Over 1M multifamily residents using Xfinity services delivered by ACN
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06:41 EDTCMCSANBC comedy streaming service beta starts December 3, Engadget reports
Comcast's NBC will make its comedy streaming service available as a free public beta beginning December 3, Engadget reports. Reference Link
November 16, 2015
17:10 EDTTWCSoros took stake in Paypal, liquidated Herbalife stake
Soros Fund Management gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this afternoon. NEW STAKES: Paypal (PYPL), CIT Group (CIT), Schlumberger (SLB), Kraft Heinz (KHC), and Amazon (AMZN). INCREASED STAKES: Allergan (AGN), Lions Gate (LGF), Energen (EGN), Southwest Airlines (LUV), and Qunar Cayman Islands (QUNR). DECREASED STAKES: LyondellBasell (LYB), YPF (YPF), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Dow Chemical (DOW), and Monsanto (MON). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Herbalife (HLF), Lennar (LEN), DR Horton (DHI), United Continental (UAL), and Nice Systems (NICE).
09:06 EDTCVSDiplomat 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%.
08:03 EDTCMCSAComcast to add 400 new jobs in early 2016 at St. Paul office
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07:36 EDTCHTRBerkshire Hathaway discloses new AT&T stake in quarterly update
Berkshire Hathaway gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning. NEW STAKES: AT&T (T), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Liberty Lilac Group (LILA). INCREASED STAKES: Phillips 66 (PSX), Charter (CHTR), Liberty Media (LMCK), Suncor (SU), General Motors (GM). DECREASED STAKES: Goldman Sachs (GS), Wal-Mart (WMT), Deere (DE), Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), WABCO (WBC). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Viacom (VIAB).
06:18 EDTCVSDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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05:26 EDTCSCOEricsson CEO says no talks with Cisco about merger or acquisition
Ericsson (ERIC) has noted the recent speculation in the press and financial markets regarding an interest by Cisco (CSCO) to acquire Ericsson. On November 9, the two companies announced a global business and technology partnership to create the networks of the future. The partnership announcement was supported by multiple agreements that include commitments to network transformation through reference architectures and joint development, systems-based management and control, a broad reseller agreement, and collaboration in key emerging market segments. President, CEO and member of the board, Hans Vestberg says: "We note that there are rumors in the market regarding an acquisition of Ericsson by Cisco possibly spurred by the recent announcement of a partnership between our two companies. The talks leading up to the partnership announcement have been ongoing for a year and there have not been any discussions whatsoever on a merger or an acquisition."
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