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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 5, 2013
12:33 EDTDELL, ACI, YUM, ADM, EL, CSC, MHP, LBTYA, VMED, MSFT, BIDUOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday as reports on services companies from around the globe improved the market's tone dramatically from yesterday. The averages moved higher right at the open and extended the gains until the Dow reached the 14K level once again, where it continues to meet resistance... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the day's lone significant economic report showed growth at service companies slowed slightly in January. The Institute for Supply Management's index of non-manufacturing activity dipped to 55.2 in January, which was down from 55.7 in December but above expectations for a reading of 55.0. In Europe, the composite euro-zone services PMI rose to 48.6 in January from a 48.3 reading in the prior month. In China, HSBC's services PMI jumped to 54.0 in January from 51.7 the month before... COMPANY NEWS: Dell's (DELL) expected "go private" deal was officially announced, as private equity firm Silver Lake and Michael Dell agreed to buy the world’s third-largest PC company for $13.65 in cash, or about $24.4B. As widely speculated, the financing for the deal includes a $2B loan from Microsoft (MSFT). Dell shares, which had risen about 22% over the last month amidst the going private chatter, were up another 0.8% to $13.38 following the announcement... Among companies reporting earnings last night and this morning, advancers included CSC (CSC), Estee Lauder (EL), Archer Daniels (ADM), while Yum! Brands (YUM), Arch Coal (ACI), and Baidu (BIDU) declined... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Virgin Media (VMED), which rose over 16% amid media reports that the company is in talks to be taken over by Liberty Global (LBTYA). Virgin Media confirmed that it is in discussions with Liberty Global concerning a possible transaction, but did not provide any details on the nature of the talks or time frame for an expected resolution. Shares of Liberty Global slid about 3% following Virgin's confirmation. Also lower were shares of McGraw-Hill (MHP), which followed yesterday's nearly 14% slide with another 5% decline after the DOJ confirmed it is suing Standard & Poor's for alleged fraud in rating mortgage-based securities... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 110.24, or 0.79%, to 13,990.32; the Nasdaq was up 32.19, or 1.03%, to 3,163.36; and the S&P 500 was up 13.47, or 0.90%, to 1,509.18.
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August 25, 2014
11:26 EDTBIDUQihoo 360 falls despite better-than-forecast Q2 results, Q3 revenue guidance
Shares of Chinese internet and software company Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU) are falling despite reporting second quarter results that beat analysts' estimates. The company also provided third quarter revenue guidance that exceeded estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Qihoo 360 reported Q2 adjusted earnings per share of 50c on revenue of $317.9M, which surpassed analysts' consensus estimates of 46c and $309.38M, respectively. For the quarter, operating income was $43.9M compared to $36.6M a year ago and $39.6M in the first quarter. Non-GAAP operating margin was 21.9% in Q2, compared to 36% in the year-ago period and 14.9% in Q1. The company said the sequential decline in non-GAAP operating margin was primairly due to increased marketing and promotional expenses, personnel-related costs and bandwidth and equipment depreciation expenses. Looking ahead, Qihoo 360 forecast Q3 revenue of $360M-$365M, which is slightly higher than analysts' consensus estimates of $357.39M. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hongyi Zhou commented that the company is in an "excellent position" to grow its share of China's search market in both PC and mobile traffic and revenue. The company plans to make "significant" investments in the coming quarters to strengthen its brand and market position, and to improve our products and technology, particularly in mobile Internet-related areas. The executive noted that the company's share of Internet search traffic recently reached over 30%, citing third-party data, achieving a company target fourth months ahead of schedule. ANALYST OPINION: Jefferies defended Qihoo 360 shares following the company's Q2 results. Stifel analyst George Askew feels that Qihoo 360's Q2 revenue and operating margin results were "very good" and believes that many factors, including its 30% search query share, will help it sustain its search revenue growth. The firm maintains $168 price target and Buy rating. Bank of America analyst Eddie Leung said that he expects Qihoo 360's margins to get better gradually in the second half of the year since the company is looking to control expenses and realize synergies. He anticipates search to increase at a fast rate to make up 36% of total sales in FY16. Leung believes this should particularly offset the decline in game revenues this past quarter. Leung lowered his price target on Qihoo 360 to $121 from $123. PRICE ACTION: During late-morning trading, shares of Qihoo fell $6.62 or 6.51%, to $95.13. OTHERS TO WATCH: Chinese search market leader Baidu (BIDU) rose nearly 1.7% to $217.77.
06:00 EDTMSFTMicrosoft readying Chromecast competitor, GigaOM reports
Microsoft (MSFT) is building a competitor to Chromecast (GOOG), GigaOM reports, citing documents filed last week with the FCC. The documents reveal that the streaming dongle will come with an HDMI port, Wi-Fi and a USB connection for power supply. Reference Link
August 24, 2014
16:46 EDTMSFTChina looks to establish 'homegrown operating system,' Reuters says
China is looking to help its computer technology industry by developing its own "homegrown operating system by October," says Reuters. China's "homegrown operating system" would pose a challenge to imported rivals like Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL), added Reuters. Reference Link
14:09 EDTMSFTAmazon develops ad sales program in challenge to Google and Microsoft, WSJ says
Amazon (AMZN) is developing its own software for placing ads online that may utilize the online retailer's knowledge of millions of Web shoppers, says the Wall Street Journal. Amazon's new ad platform which is called Amazon Sponsored Links may be tested this year and is a potential challenge to Google's (GOOG) and Microsoft's (MSFT) advertising business, added the Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
August 22, 2014
11:59 EDTMSFTGameStop surges after Q2 EPS, revenue beat expectations
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August 21, 2014
18:22 EDTMSFTSalesforce.com CEO: Microsoft the number one customer of ExactTarget
Says Europe performing beyond expectations. Marc Benioff is speaking on CNBC.
18:01 EDTMSFTSalesforce.com targets $1.1B in cash flow at end of FY15
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12:30 EDTMSFTMicrosoft plans to unveil Windows 9 on September 30, The Verge reports
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11:44 EDTMSFTHP hits 52-week high after solid revenue growth, positive analyst commentary
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09:04 EDTMSFTMicrosoft and TracFone announce collaboration
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August 20, 2014
13:25 EDTADMArcher Daniels price target raised to $57 from $49 at Argus
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07:58 EDTMSFTBallmer stepping down a positive for Microsoft, says FBR Capital
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06:36 EDTMSFTIliad speaks to Google, Microsoft regarding T-Mobile offer, NY Post says
After Iliad's (ILIAF) surprise bid for T-Mobile (TMUS) was rejected, the firm is now in contact with , personnel at Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) about working together to come up with a larger offer for the company, according to the New York Post, citing a "well-placed" source. Reference Link
August 19, 2014
17:14 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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16:09 EDTLBTYALiberty Global announces update on recommended public offer for Ziggo
Liberty Global announces, in connection with its previously announced recommended public offer to all holders of issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of Ziggo as more fully described in the joint press releases of Liberty Global and Ziggo of January 27 and June 27 that its prospectus/offer to exchange, dated August 19, related to the Offer has been declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The final U.S. Prospectus can be found on Liberty Global’s and Ziggo’s offer websites. The U.S. Prospectus contains additional information to the Offer Memorandum, dated June 27, 2014, approved by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, relating to, among other things, the fact that Liberty Global will issue a press release if it is willing to waive down the acceptance level condition to a lower percentage and that a waiver of the acceptance level condition to less than 65% will require consent from Ziggo under the Merger Protocol and its lenders under its debt financing.
14:12 EDTMSFTBallmer steps down from Microsoft board, sees holding shares
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11:25 EDTMSFTHTC unveils the HTC One for Windows
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06:02 EDTYUMTaco Bell introducing dollar menu, LA Times reports
Taco Bell (YUM) is introducing its new Dollar Cravings menu, which features 11 items, the LA Times reports. McDonald's (MCD) and Wendy's (WEN) both offer dollar menus. Reference Link
August 18, 2014
15:05 EDTADMArcher Daniels intends to expand Barcarena terminal capacity to 6M tons by 2016
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13:12 EDTMSFTMicrosoft getting ready to launch Chromebook challengers, 9to5Google says
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