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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 16, 2014
06:37 EDTCONN, RCII, AANConn's recent sell-off a buying opprotunity, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray views the 9% sell-off in shares of Conn's (CONN) over the past three days as unwarranted. Piper notes that Conn's comps have no correlation to Aaron's (AAN) and Rent-A-Center (RCII), who both issued negative preannouncements. The firm recommends buying Conn's and keeps an Overweight rating on the name with a slightly reduced price target of $59.
News For CONN;AAN;RCII From The Last 14 Days
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July 21, 2014
16:38 EDTRCIIRent-A-Center sees FY14 EPS $2.00-$2.15, consensus $2.09
Sees FY14 revenue up 2.5%-4%. Sees FY14 SSS up 1.5%-2.5%. Sees FY14 EBITDA $300M-$310M.
16:36 EDTRCIIRent-A-Center sees Q3 EPS 43c-51c, consensus 55c
Sees Q3 revenue up 2%-3%. Sees Q3 SSS up 2%-3%.
16:33 EDTRCIIRent-A-Center reports Q2 adjusted EPS 38c, consensus 38c
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15:30 EDTRCIINotable companies reporting after market close
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12:08 EDTRCIIRent-A-Center technical commentary ahead of results
Shares have underperformed the broader averages, trading lower by more than 5% in the last three months. At the current price of $24.15, price is close to the 52-week low at $23.65. On further disappointment in results or outlook tonight, that low could easily be taken out on the downside. Additional support levels to watch as potential downside objectives would be at $22.90, $21.30, and $19.85. If the news comes in better than expected, traders should be aware that over 17% of the float is short. That could provide fuel for a short-squeeze if the fundamentals provide the right catalyst. Resistance levels to be aware of as potential upside objectives on an increasing band of positive surprise are at $25.96, $27.47, $28.53, and $29.26.
July 16, 2014
06:37 EDTAAN, RCII, CONNConn's recent sell-off a buying opprotunity, says Piper Jaffray
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July 15, 2014
12:21 EDTAANOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday despite better than expected quarterly reports from two of the nation's largest financial institutions. Stock futures improved during the pre-market trading session, leading to a higher open for the broader market, following better than expected earnings reports from JP Morgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS). The earnings news also came alongside another huge M&A deal, as tobacco giants Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) confirmed plans to merge. However, the major averages weakened throughout the morning and fell into negative ground against the backdrop of Fed Chair Janet Yellen giving testimony on Capital Hill. In the Board of Governors' Monetary Policy Report, the central bank said valuation metrics in "some sectors" appear substantially stretched, "particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries." ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales increased 0.2% in June compared to the month prior, making for the weakest reading since January and missing the consensus forecast for an increase of 0.6%. The Empire State manufacturing index climbed to a four-year high of 25.6 in July, beating expectations for a reading of 16.5. Import prices rose 0.1% in June, with export prices slipping 0.4%. Business inventories grew 0.5% in May, which was just below the 0.6% consensus growth expectation. In Europe, Germany's ZEW survey missed expectations, as both its Current Situation and Expectations reading were lower than forecast. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of JPMorgan advanced nearly 4% after the bank reported a profit of $1.46 a share, which included a legal expense of 13c a share, beating analysts' consensus forecast of $1.29. The earnings report comes after CEO Jamie Dimon recently disclosed that he has throat cancer. During the company's conference call, Dimon said he was "feeling great," that doctors had found no evidence of cancer anywhere except in the location where it had originally been detected, and that his prognosis for recovery is "excellent"... Also in the large-cap bank sector, Goldman Sachs' headline earnings and revenue similarly beat expectations. The firm, which said it ranks first in worldwide announced and completed mergers and acquisitions for the year-to-date, advanced about 1% following its report... Along with JPMorgan in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported quarterly sales and profits that beat expectations and the healthcare conglomerate raised its fiscal year EPS view to $5.85-$5.92 from $5.75-$5.85. However, its increased outlook range still fell short of the $5.90 per share consensus forecast that analysts had prior to its report... Reynolds American confirmed news that has been speculated for many weeks, announcing that it will acquire peer Lorillard in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at $68.88 per Lorillard share, or a total of $27.4B, including the assumption of net debt. Shares of both fell afterward, with Lorillard down 8% to trade near $61.75 at midday and Reynolds slipping 5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was small-cap pharma biotechnology research company Codexis (CDXS), which surged nearly 50% after announcing a collaboration and license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Among the noteworthy losers was Aaron's (AAN), which is engaged in the lease ownership and retail sale of a variety of consumer products. Its stock fell over 6% after the company lowered its second quarter outlook, citing lower than expected performance of its core business as the reason for the revision. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 33.45, or 0.2%, to 17,021.97, the Nasdaq was down 40.48, or 0.91%, to 4,399.94, and the S&P 500 was down 9.24, or 0.47%, to 1,967.86.
11:34 EDTRCII, CONN, AANAaron's falls after cutting second quarter outlook
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08:34 EDTAANAaron's expects to close 44 stores by the end of Q3
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08:34 EDTAANAaron's sees Q2 preliminary adjusted EPS 34c-37c, consensus 46c
Sees Q2 preliminary revenue $672M, consensus $677.99M.
08:16 EDTCONNConn's management to meet with Oppenheimer
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July 11, 2014
16:22 EDTRCIIOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher today, but were still lower for the week, as concerns in Europe have come back to the forefront of investors' minds. Today's modest bounce was not enough to make up for the declines seen in three of the other four sessions earlier in the week. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the June federal budget statement showed a surplus of $70.5B for the month, compared to analysts' forecast for a $79B surplus. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) slipped 32c, or 0.62%, to $51.49 after the largest mortgage lender in the U.S. posted earnings of $1.01 a share that matched analysts' consensus forecast. Wells did note that its credit performance continued to improve in Q2 and CEO John Stumpf said he is "optimistic about the future" for the bank... Lorillard (LO) advanced $2.92, or 4.63%, to $66.01, while Reynolds American fell 51c, or 0.82%, to $61.75, after the two cigarette makers confirmed that they are holding talks about a possible merger, as has been speculated by various media reports in recent weeks... In another update to an ongoing M&A story, Japan's Nikkei reported that Sprint's (S) corporate parent, Softbank (SFTBF), has reached an agreement to acquire T-Mobile (TMUS) from Deutsche Telecom (DTEGY), clearing the way for the long-speculated merger between the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the U.S. Following the new story, Sprint shares finished the day up 30c, or 3.64%, to $8.55, while T-Mobile rose 62c, or 1.89%, to $33.50. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Ruckus Wireless (RKUS), which advanced 87c, or 7.9%, to $11.88 after the FCC announced that it would allocate new funds to subsidize the launch of WiFi networks in schools and libraries. Also higher was Amazon.com (AMZN), which climbed $18.28, or 5.57%, to $346.20 after consulting firm ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) reported that the company's same-store sales growth had accelerated significantly in June compared with May. Among the noteworthy losers was Rent-A-Center (RCII), which dropped $3.18, or 10.94%, to $25.88 after the company warned that its revenue and earnings for Q2 will not meet expectations. Also lower were shares of industrial and construction supply retailer Fastenal (FAST), which fell $2.00, or 4.16%, to $46.15 after its Q2 revenue missed analysts' consensus view and the company reported plans to close 45 stores. INDEXES: The Dow was up 28.74, or 0.17%, to 16,943.81, the Nasdaq was up 19.29, or 0.44%, to 4,415.49, and the S&P 500 was up 2.83, or 0.14%, to 1,967.51.
12:36 EDTRCIIOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:19 EDTRCII, AAN, CONNRent-A-Center plummets after Q2 profit warning
Shares of rent-to-own operator Rent-A-Center (RCII) are sinking after the company’s second quarter profit outlook significantly trailed analysts’ consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Rent-A-Center forecast Q2 adjusted earnings per share of 36c-38c and revenue of $773M, far short of the consensus views of 48c and $786.4M, respectively. The company’s CEO Robert Davis said, “Macro-economic pressures continue to burden our financially constrained customers contributing to softer than expected demand in our U.S. business segments. Consequently, revenue and earnings for Q2 will not meet expectations. We are not satisfied with our Q2 results and hold ourselves accountable for improving our performance. To that end, we are excited to announce a new product line in our domestic retail stores with our entrance into the burgeoning smartphone business.” WHAT’S NOTABLE: The company’s smartphone rollout offers consumers nationwide one-stop shopping for a variety of name-brand smartphones and no-contract plans, a rent-to-own industry first, the company said. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Rent-A-Center fell $3.22, or about 11%, to $25.86 on more than twice its average daily trading volume. Including today’s pull back, the stock has lost approximately 36% over the past twelve months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies that provide leasing and rent-to-own arrangements of consumer products include Aaron’s (AAN), which is down 3.3%, and CONN’S (CONN), which is down 3.5%.
09:18 EDTRCIIRent-A-Center tumbles on Q2 profit warning, levels to watch
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09:09 EDTRCIIOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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July 10, 2014
18:35 EDTRCIIOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Joe's Jeans (JOEZ), up 15.5% after reporting second quarter results above analyst estimates... Barracuda Networks (CUDA), up 2.2% after reporting quarterly results and guidance... DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: PriceSmart (PSMT), down 3.7% after reporting third quarter revenue below analyst estimates... Rent-A-Center (RCII), down 11% after reporting disappointing preliminary second quarter results. ALSO LOWER: Gap (GPS), down 2% after reporting June Same Store Sales down 2%... Arotech (ARTX), down 5.6% after filing an automatic common stock shelf... NOTABLE: MGIC Investment (MTG), down 4.8% and Radian Group (RDN), down 3.8% following the FHFA proposal to tighten capital rules for mortgage insurers.
17:08 EDTRCIIRent-A-Center down 8.5% to $26.60 following weaker than expected Q2 forecast
16:48 EDTRCIIRent-A-Center reports preliminary Q2 adjusted EPS 36c-38c, consensus 48c
Reports preliminary Q2 revenue $773M, consensus $786.4M. Reports preliminary Q2 SSS up approximately 0.6%. Robert D. Davis, the CEO of Rent-A-Center stated, “Macro-economic pressures continue to burden our financially constrained customers contributing to softer than expected demand in our U.S. business segments. Consequently, revenue and earnings for the Q2 will not meet expectations. We are not satisfied with our Q2 results and hold ourselves accountable for improving our performance. To that end, we are excited to announce a new product line in our domestic retail stores with our entrance into the burgeoning smartphone business.” The Company’s smartphone rollout offers consumers nationwide one-stop shopping for a variety of leading, name-brand smartphones and no-contract plans, a rent-to-own industry first. It also provides ground-breaking flexibility: Phones may be rented in connection with the immediate activation of a no-contract airtime plan, or without. A choice in the brand of airtime plans is offered, and customers may even opt to activate a plan for a phone not rented through Rent-A-Center. Additionally, airtime plans may be reloaded at Rent-A-Center stores, regardless of one’s cellular carrier.

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