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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 17, 2014
10:11 EDTGILD, YHOO, GOOG, KSU, SNDK, INFY, BX, GOOGL, CMGHigh option volume stocks: CMG INFY GOOGL GOOG SNDK MAT YHOO BX KSU GILD
News For CMG;INFY;GOOG;GOOGL;SNDK;YHOO;BX;KSU;GILD From The Last 14 Days
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January 27, 2016
18:00 EDTGOOGFacebook executives pleased with China growth, hazy on Oculus launch
Speaking on the company's fourth quarter earnings conference call, Facebook (FB) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg highlighted the company's more than 2.5M active advertisers as well as the growth of its Messenger and WhatsApp services, which have expanded to 800M and nearly 1B monthly users, respectively. More services will be coming soon to Messenger, Zuckerberg promised, including airline integration. The CEO noted he is "pleased" with initial consumer reaction to Samsung's (SSNLF) Gear VR virtual reality headset, though commentary on pre-orders for Facebook's own Oculus Rift device was notably light, with Zuckerberg saying only that the Oculus launch is "shaping up to be a big moment for the gaming community." Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company is pleased with the growth its seeing in emerging markets, including China, where businesses are using Facebook to reach customers internationally. The commentary comes in contrast to the downbeat macro view voiced during Apple's (AAPL) conference call Tuesday night. Globally, 98 of the quarter's top 100 Facebook advertisers also chose to market on Instagram, Sandberg said, adding that as businesses realize they need to catch up to consumer shifts towards mobile, she foresees a "big" opportunity to continue growing advertiser count. ANALYST TAKE: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster issued a post-earnings note on Facebook, reiterating his Overweight rating and $155 price target on the social network giant in the wake of its strong beat. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Facebook have surged 12.8% to $106.60 in after-hours trading. Other members of the FANG stock grouping are also moving higher, with Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOG) rising a respective 2.3%, 2.25% and 2.6%.
16:54 EDTGOOGL, GOOGGoogle, Movidius partner on 'deep learning' for mobile devices
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16:10 EDTSNDKSanDisk trades up after earnings
In the extended session the shares are up 1% after an earnings beat. At that price next resistance is at $66.45. Support is at $64.21, the regular session closing price.
16:07 EDTSNDKSanDisk reports Q4 EPS $1.26, consensus 89c
Reports Q4 revenue $1.54B, consensus $1.44B. "I am pleased to report an excellent fourth quarter finish to 2015 driven by strong performance in enterprise and retail. We made substantial progress in the second half of 2015 in reinvigorating our portfolio, improving our product execution and expanding our customer engagements. We also achieved an important milestone in beginning our multi-year conversion to 3D NAND, with first retail product shipments and initial OEM customer sampling in the fourth quarter," said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO.
15:10 EDTSNDKEarnings Watch: Western Digital deal update focus of SanDisk report
SanDisk (SNDK) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the close on Wednesday, January 27. SanDisk will not hold a conference call to discuss its financial results in light of the pending acquisition by Western Digital (WDC). SanDisk manufactures data storage solutions, including removable and embedded Flash memory and solid-state drives. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 89c on revenue of $1.44B. The consensus range is 83c-$1.00 for EPS on revenue of $1.4B-$1.47B, according to First Call. Along with its last earnings report, SanDisk guided to Q4 revenue of $1.4B-$1.475B and a non-GAAP gross margin 40%-43%. LAST QUARTER: On October 21, SanDisk reported third quarter earnings per share of $1.09 and revenue of $1.45B, compared to expectations of 80c and $1.4B, respectively. NEWS: Along with releasing its earnings report, SanDisk announced a definitive agreement under which Western Digital will acquire all of the outstanding shares of SanDisk for a combination of cash and stock that values SanDisk common stock at $86.50 per share, or a total equity value of approximately $19B. If the investment in Western Digital by Unisplendour Corporation closes prior to this acquisition, Western Digital will pay $85.10 per share in cash and 0.0176 shares of Western Digital common stock per share of SanDisk common stock; and if the Unisplendour transaction has not closed or has been terminated, $67.50 in cash and 0.2387 shares of Western Digital common stock per share of SanDisk common stock. The companies said at the time that the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016. STREET RESEARCH: On December 28, Brean Capital analyst Ananda Baruah said the combined Western Digital-SanDisk company, post an expected merger close in September of this year, can generate FY17 earnings per share of $13-$15. He kept a $150 standalone Western Digital target price and believes that the combined company's shares should trade in a range of $154-$256 post close. On January 6, Pacific Crest analyst Monika Garg called Western Digital her best idea for 2016, stating that the company's pending acquisition of SanDisk "would create a formidable company" and bring significant earnings and cash flow generation. On January 25, CLSA analyst Mark Heller downgraded SanDisk to Underperform due to weakening NAND fundamentals and higher deal risk. The analyst does not believe Western Digital can walk away from the deal due to weakening fundamentals, but is more cautious on Unisplenour's investment in Western Digital. Heller lowered his price target to $70 from $86 on SanDisk shares. The same day, Jefferies analyst James Kisner lowered his estimates for Western Digital and Seagate (STX), citing the weak results and guidance from Nidec and a more conservative approach following the recent selloff in the shares. Western Digital's current valuation fully prices in an "extreme bear case" for the combined Western Digital and SanDisk, Kisner told investors in his research note. The analyst cut his price target for Western Digital to $82 from $95 but kept a Buy rating on the stock. Noting that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States would not grant regulatory clearance for Philips (PHG) to sell an 80.1% interest in Lumileds to China's GO Scale Capital, Summit Research analyst Srini Sundararajan said on January 26 that he thinks that the Unisplendour investment in Western Digital is more than likely to be stalled, if not blocked, given the current political climate. However, he also believes Western Digital planned for this contingency and that its deal with SanDisk should still go through. This morning, Citi analyst Stanley Kovler initiated coverage of Western Digital with a Buy rating, as the firm is relatively bullish on the company's acquisition of SanDisk. Conversely, Citi started coverage of Seagate (STX) with a Sell rating, saying that actions it has taken to cope with the decline of the sector "may only help so much." Kovler set an $82 price target on SanDisk, a $53 price target on Western Digital and a $23 price target on Seagate. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, SanDisk rose 0.75% to $64.57 per share. Since October 21, shares of SanDisk have declined about 14%. Since that same day, Western Digital shares are down over 41%.
14:34 EDTBXNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:34 EDTSNDKNotable companies reporting after market close
Notable companies reporting after the market close, with earnings consensus, include Facebook (FB), consensus 68c... Qualcomm (QCOM), consensus 90c... Texas Instruments (TXN), consensus 69c... McKesson (MCK), consensus $3.13... PayPal (PYPL), consensus 35c... Las Vegas Sands (LVS), consensus 65c... eBay (EBAY), consensus 50c... Crown Castle (CCI), consensus $1.10... Vertex (VRTX), consensus 17c... Discover (DFS), consensus $1.30... SanDisk (SNDK), consensus 89c... ServiceNow (NOW), consensus 8c... Lam Research (LRCX), consensus $1.43... Citrix Systems (CTXS), consensus $1.19... Hologic (HOLX), consensus 42c... Juniper (JNPR), consensus 59c... Cavium (CAVM), consensus 28c... Cirrus Logic (CRUS), consensus 81c.
11:13 EDTSNDKCiti mixed on hard disk drive makers, says sell Seagate, buy Western Digital
Citi initiated coverage of hard disk drive, or HDD, maker Western Digital (WDC) with a Buy rating, as the firm is relatively bullish on the company's acquisition of flash memory developer SanDisk (SNDK). Conversely, Citi started coverage of the other major hard disk drive maker, Seagate (STX), with a Sell rating, saying that actions it has taken to cope with the decline of the sector "may only help so much." Stating that the sector has begun a decline that should last for quite some time, the firm believes that Western Digital's actions to cope with this situation are more effective than those taken by its competitor. WHAT'S NEW: Western Digital's pending acquisition of SanDisk makes the company more stable, and will raise its margins and profits, according to Citi analyst Stanley Kovler. The deal will increase Western Digital's earnings per share by a greater amount than if the company had continued its shares buybacks, the analyst added. Conversely, Seagate is trying to lower its costs and improve its products and execution, Kovler noted. The company also entered the solid state drive market, he stated. Given Seagate's limited exposure to markets other than HDD and the "malaise" in that market, the company may seek to make a "potentially transformative" acquisition, the analyst stated. But in light of its "limited financial flexibility," such a deal could limit its ability to return cash to shareholders, Kovler warned. Moreover, any acquisition made by the company may not be large enough to "fully transform" Seagate, according to Kovler, who set a $53 price target on Western Digital and a $23 price target on Seagate. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Western Digital fell 1% to $44.83 and Seagate lost 1.6% to $27.29.
11:07 EDTGILDGilead sinks as Attorney General probes pricing strategy
Shares of drugmaker Gilead (GILD) are underperforming after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey warned that her office may bring an unfair commercial conduct complaint against it related to the pricing for its Hepatitis C virus treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni. UNFAIR PRICING: Healey, in a letter addressed to Gilead CEO John Martin dated January 22 that has just been made public, said that her office is considering whether Gilead's pricing strategy for Sovaldi and Harvoni may constitute an "unfair trade practice" in violation of Massachusetts law. "Because Gilead's drugs offer a cure for a serious and life-threatening infectious disease, pricing the treatment in a manner that effectively allows HCV to continue spreading through vulnerable populations, as opposed to eradicating the disease altogether, results in massive public harm," Healey stated in her letter to Martin. Healey, who urged Gilead to adjust its pricing strategy, noted that the company has invoked the high cost and risk associated with research and development as a justification for its prices, but she said that Gilead quickly recouped its outlay to acquire Pharmasset by selling "$12.4B worth of HCV medication in the first year alone" after its deal. The AG, who said that Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill in the U.S. but only $10 per pill in Egypt and about $4 per pill in India, contends that American taxpayers "have been footing the bill for Gilead's record profits." FREQUENT TARGET: The pricing of Gilead's hep C treatments have been the focus of significant criticism and political rhetoric in the past. In December, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and senior committee member Chuck Grassley released the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing and marketing of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The company "pursued a marketing strategy and final wholesale price of Sovaldi - $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a single course of treatment - that it believed would maximize revenue," and "fostering broad, affordable access was not a key consideration in the process of setting the wholesale prices," the senators wrote. Members of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, who held a press conference last November to announce "meaningful action" to combat the "skyrocketing" costs of pharmaceuticals, specifically took aim at Sovaldi. During her campaigning efforts, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly decried the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. OTHERS TO WATCH: AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also market or are at work on therapies for hepatitis C. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead slid 2% to $90.35.
10:38 EDTGILDGilead trades near session lows
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10:36 EDTSNDKOptions with increasing implied volatility: SNDK GMCR
09:32 EDTGOOGActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB AMZN AAL BAC PCLN NFLX MRK GOOG
08:52 EDTGILDMassachusetts AG warns Gilead hep C drug prices may be unfair, Boston Globe says
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08:42 EDTYHOOIAC's Diller says would not buy Yahoo, Bloomberg reports
IAC (IAC) Chairman Barry Diller said Yahoo (YHOO) can be a standalone business, adding that he would not buy the company, according to Bloomberg. Diller said Yahoo is only worth buying at a "serious discount," according to Bloomberg.
06:41 EDTBXSunEdison shops Vivint rooftop assets before closing takeover, Bloomberg says
SunEdison (SUNE) has yet to close its $1.9B acquisition of Vivint Solar (VSLR) and is already shopping come of the company's rooftop solar assets, Bloomberg reports. The purchase from Blackstone (BX) was announced in July and altered in December, and SunEdison might have difficulty completed the deal if it can't find a buyer for some assets, the report says, citing comments from an interview Credit Suisse analyst Patrick Jobin. Reference Link
06:41 EDTSNDKSeagate initiated with a Sell at Citi
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06:38 EDTSNDKWestern Digital initiated with a Buy at Citi
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06:38 EDTGOOGL, GOOGGoogle files patent for secure delivery component for drones, Reuters says
Alphabet's Google has filed a patent for a drone component designed to store packages securely, Reuters reports. The patent describes a "delivery receptacle" that will take packages from an "aerial delivery device" for deposit to a secure area, the report says. Reference Link
06:37 EDTSNDKSanDisk initiated with a Buy at Citi
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06:14 EDTGOOG, GOOGLFCC proposes set-top box rule revamp, WSJ reports
Federal regulators are anticipated to propose an overhaul of rules for television set-top boxes, a move that targets reducing bills for cable viewers and giving more access to web-based programming, the Wall Street Journal reports. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal would likely include providing cable and satellite customers more options when it comes to using their service provider's set-top box and cable app, the report says. Such a move could open up the market to alternative set-top-box providers, including TiVo (TIVO) and Alphabet's (GOOG) Google, the report notes. Reference Link
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