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February 5, 2014
12:38 EDTMYGN, MRK, BIRT, CVS, SSYS, USNA, GOOG, DDDOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday after ADP reported that dismal weather in January put a damper on private sector hiring. The market seemed indecisive in the opening 30 minutes of trading, but soon picked up downside momentum. The Nasdaq, which was down more than 1% early in the session, has trimmed its losses and the Dow has moved into positive ground, though just barely. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., payroll company ADP reported that 175,000 service jobs were created in January, versus the expectations for 185,000 net new positions to have been added. The ISM services index rose to 54.0 in January from December's 53.0 reading, which was a bit ahead of expectations. COMPANY NEWS: Dow component Merck (MRK) advanced fractionally after the drug company’s quarterly results were generally in-line with expectations and it also announced three clinical collaboration agreements to evaluate its investigational anti-PD-1 immunotherapy… Shares of Google (GOOG) are advancing in a down market after the search giant reached a settlement with European Union regulators over antitrust allegations and research firm Bernstein hiked its price target on the stock to $1,500 from $1,350... CVS Caremark (CVS) announced plans to cease selling all tobacco products, including cigarettes, at all its locations starting October 1. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was multi-level-marketer USANA Health Sciences (USNA), which rose 17% after its results and guidance beat expectations. Also higher were shares of molecular diagnostic company Myriad Genetics (MYGN), which climbed over 11% after the company reported second quarter results that beat consensus expectations, raised its fiscal 2014 outlook, and announced the acquisition of Crescendo Bioscience. Among the noteworthy losers was 3D Systems (DDD), which plunged 16% after the maker of 3D printers and supplies lowered its profit outlook for the current fiscal year and guided to earnings next year below the consensus estimate. A number of 3D Systems’ peers fell as well, with the next biggest company in the sector, Stratasys (SSYS), also declining 3%. Also lower were shares of Actuate (BIRT), which slid about 17% after reporting earnings, announcing the acquisition of German software developer legodo ag and being downgraded at Drexel Hamilton. INDICES: Near midday, the Dow was up 13.12, or 0.08%, to 15,458.36; the Nasdaq was down 13.59, or 0.34%, to 4,017.93; and the S&P 500 was down 2.14, or 0.12%, to 1,753.06.
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September 25, 2015
10:26 EDTGOOGBlackBerry posts quarterly loss, says turnaround continuing
BlackBerry (BBRY) shares are lower in morning trading after the company posted a second quarter loss that was steeper than analysts' expectations. BlackBerry is in the middle of a turnaround for its smartphone business and confirmed today that it plans to launch a new device that uses Google's (GOOG) Android operating system. EARNINGS: Excluding items, BlackBerry reported a loss per share for Q2 of (13c), below analysts' consensus estimates of (9c). Revenue for the quarter was $490M, reflecting a purchase accounting write down of deferred revenue associated with the acquisition of WatchDox. The revenue result may not compare with analysts' estimate of $611M. Looking ahead, BlackBerry said it is targeting "sustainable" non-GAAP profitability in the fourth quarter and sees "modest" sequential growth in total revenue for the rest of fiscal year 2016. The company sees a "slight" uptick in third quarter revenue compared to this quarter, and announced it will change its non-GAAP income statement presentation to be "consistent with the primary practice in the software industry." BlackBerry said it believes this is necessary due to its increased emphasis on software, as well as acquisitions of software companies with material recurring revenue streams. On the company's earnings conference call, John Chen, BlackBerry's chief executive officer, announced that the board approved an increase to the current buyback program by an additional 15M shares, bringing the total available for repurchase to 21M shares. The approval was based on expectations for continued free cash flow. Chen said that he believes the company has made "good progress" moving its software business from perpetual to subscription. Chen said he is "not satisfied" as far as overall revenue and profitability, particularly in its handset business, but said the company is focused on growing device volume profitably, generating recurring revenue from IP licensing and making its software business larger. WHAT'S NOTABLE: To help strengthen its device business, Chen confirmed BlackBerry will launch a new slider device powered by Google's Android operating system later this calendar year, to be called Priv. Chen also confirmed that the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and confirmed plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements. Chen said the company is working with Google to secure Android and is not using Samsung's (SSNLF) Knox. Chen said the company is not planning another BlackBerry 10 device this year and noted that if the plan of doing the Android type of implementation "works well," it could consider replacing BB10 or merging it into Android. PRICE ACTION: BlackBerry is down 2% to $6.89 in morning trading.
08:50 EDTGOOGBlackBerry says working with Google on securing Android
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08:15 EDTMRKMerck narrow Keytruda label may not matter as much as thought, says Bernstein
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07:22 EDTMYGNEuropean Society for Medical Oncology to hold a conference
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07:04 EDTGOOGBlackBerry launches slider device Priv
BlackBerry (BBRY) is announcing two new additions to its handheld device roadmap. First, the company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android (GOOG) operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. In combination with BlackBerry's efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks. While the new device will provide a choice in OS to new and existing customers, the company remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which enables industry-leading security and productivity benefits. Second, the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and is confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.
06:59 EDTGOOGGoogle to be investigated by U.S. regulators over Android, Bloomberg reports
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06:21 EDTGOOGFacebook's free internet effort in developing countries 'inadequate,' WSJ says
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06:16 EDTGOOGGoogle October volatility elevated
Google September weekly call option implied volatility is at 23, October is at 37, November is at 30; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 41, suggesting large October price movement.
05:58 EDTGOOGIndian Prime Minister to meet with Apple, Google CEOs, WSJ reports
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet this weekend with Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, among others, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to industry insiders, the tech executives will use the visit to push for better market access in India as well as clearer regulation on investment and startups. Reference Link
September 24, 2015
17:04 EDTMRKMerck, Pfizer to collaborate with Agilent's Dako on Avelumab diagnostic
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16:03 EDTMRKNewLink Genetics awarded $8.1M from DTRA to advance Ebola vaccine
NewLink Genetics (NLNK) announced that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense has awarded a subsidiary of NewLink Genetics an $8.1M base contract with future options totaling $5.2M to support various development activities of the investigational rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola) vaccine candidate. NewLink has exclusively licensed research, development and manufacturing of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine to Merck (MRK). In late 2014, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, licensed the vaccine from NewLink Genetics to apply Merck's vaccine expertise to help accelerate the development of this vaccine candidate. Clinical studies of the rVSV-ZEBOV are ongoing.
13:03 EDTGOOGEU investigates internet firms' online practices, Reuters reports
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11:21 EDTGOOGJury says Pendrell patents not infringed on by Samsung, Google products
Pendrell announced earlier, that on September 23, a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that certain claims of five digital rights management patents asserted by Pendrell (PCO) subsidiary, ContentGuard Holdings, against Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) and Google (GOOG) are valid, but that Samsung products and Google products accused in the lawsuit do not infringe the asserted patents. ContentGuard is assessing the jury's findings and evaluating its options to challenge the verdict. ContentGuard's claims against Samsung and Google are part of a larger lawsuit filed by ContentGuard against several companies that have not paid for a license to use ContentGuard's patented digital rights management solutions, including Apple (AAPL), DirecTV, HTC, Huawei and Motorola Mobility. The jury verdict does not impact ContentGuard's August 2015 settlement and license agreement with (AMZN); nor does ContentGuard believe the jury verdict will impact or delay ContentGuard's upcoming November trial against Apple. Shares of Pendrell are down 35.34% in morning trading.
11:15 EDTGOOGAnalyst sees $55,000 car from Apple as soon as 2019
Apple (AAPL) could introduce a car by as soon as 2019, but assuming an average selling price of $55,000 and 200,000 shipments, the contribution to the tech giant's earnings in that year is probably not enough to "excite" investors, said the research team at Jefferies this morning. However, a car would give the tech giant some "much needed" diversification away from the iPhone and would be positive for the broader tech space, the firm added. RIPE FOR DISRUPTION: Jefferies analysts Sundeep Bajikar, Mark Lipacis and their team say their analysis indicates the automobile industry is "ripe for disruption" and that Apple is well positioned to introduce a car, potentially as early as 2019. A car could add 32c to Apple's earnings per share in FY19 under a best-case scenario, Bajikar tells investors. He assumes a $55,000 average selling price for an Apple Car and an operating margin of 20%, over 1,000 basis points higher than the Street's 2019 margin estimate for electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA). Investors are likely to find the assumptions "highly aggressive," the analyst cautions. Meanwhile, the potential earnings impact is probably not big enough for Apple investors to get excited and earnings contributions from a vehicle may not become meaningful before iPhone decelerates, the analysts argue. However, the firm said it could get more constructive on Apple shares if diversification in earnings were to drive less iPhone risk. Bajikar and Lipacis keep a Hold rating on the iPhone maker with a $126 price target. TOP CHIP PICKS: Efforts in the car market from tech heavyweights Apple and Google (GOOGL) will lead the industry to design and sell more intelligent vehicles, accelerating the growth of semiconductors for automobiles above current forecasts, contend Jefferies' analysts in a separate note to investors this morning. The analysts lay out their top picks among automotive semiconductor suppliers, saying the pending merger of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) and Freescale (FSL) will create the world's biggest automotive semi company, adding that growth in microcontroller content and networking applications will benefit that combined giant. NVIDIA's (NVDA) automotive sales have grown the fastest since the end of the 2012 fiscal year among the companies the firm follows, while Maxim Integrated (MXIM) had the second fastest growth in that time frame, the analysts noted in naming those two as their other top picks in the space. Lipacis and Bajikar identified Analog Devices (ADI), Microchip (MCHP) and Linear Technology (LLTC) as other notable beneficiaries from the expected growth of semiconductor content in automobiles. PRICE ACTION: Amid broad weakness in the market, Apple shares are down 1.5% to $112.56. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Sector index (SOX) is down 2.4% this morning.
09:36 EDTSSYSGabelli continues to believe Stratasys is a strategic fit for Hewlett-Packard
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08:57 EDTGOOGGoogle price target raised to $781 from $730 at Citi
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07:24 EDTGOOGWPP CEO: Google needs to weed out 'fake' online ad views, FT reports
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06:59 EDTGOOGFacebook and Google more 'Yelp-like' than ever, says Northland
Northland analyst Darren Aftahi says Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and (AMZN) have recently added new features that focus on improved local search as well as tools enabling easier business-consumer communication. Facebook and Google are now more "Yelp-like" than ever, Aftahi tells investors in a research note. And while Apple's (AAPL) new "swipe right" feature could drive a near-term surge in Yelp (YELP) app downloads, it may translate into lower engagement on the Yelp app over longer term, the analyst argues. He remains cautious on Yelp's growth prospects and cut his price target for the stock to $17.75 from $21.50. Shares of the local business review site closed yesterday down 25c to $23.10. Aftahi has an Underperform rating on the stock, his firm's equivalent of a sell.
06:08 EDTGOOGSamsung Pay has over $30M in accumulated transaction volume in first month
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September 23, 2015
08:50 EDTMRKProvectus initiates Phase 1b/2 trial of PV-10 combo with Pembrolizumab
Provectus Biopharmaceuticals (PVCT) announced it has completed development of the protocol for Phase1b/2 testing of its investigational cancer drug PV-10 in combination with pembrolizumab in patients with Stage IV melanoma. Pembrolizumab, also known as Keytruda, a product of Merck (MRK), is an immune checkpoint inhibitor approved for treatment of patients with advanced or unresectable melanoma. PV-10 is Provectus's novel investigational drug for cancer that is injected into solid tumors. It is currently undergoing Phase 3 clinical testing in patients with Stage III melanoma. Clinical testing under the new Phase 1b/2 protocol is expected to commence before the end of the year. The FDA granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab in September 2014, making it the first FDA-approved anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor. Because pembrolizumab is already FDA-approved, Provectus can commence this study with or without assistance of a partner.
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