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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 18, 2014
12:18 EDTNXPI, ST, MNST, FDO, LCI, DGThe Fly: Midday Wrap
The market opened in positive territory following news that Russia and Ukraine were working on a potential ceasefire. The market had faltered on Friday following reports that the Ukraine army had attacked a Russian military vehicle after it crossed into Ukraine territory. The market opened sharply higher and then received an additional boost when the NAHB Housing market Index came in above expectations. The averages quickly moved to session highs, lifting the S&P to its highest level ever and putting August on track for the best monthly performance since February. ECONOMIC EVENTS: The NAHB homebuilder sentiment index rose 2 points to 55 in August. The index had climbed 4 points to 53 in July. This is the highest level since January's 56. The single family sales index edged up to 58 from 56 (revised from 57). The future index was 65 from 63 (revised from 64). The index of prospective buyer traffic improved to 42 from 39 (revised from 39). Data was better than expected. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of discount retailer Dollar General (DG) were higher by about 10% after the company announced a proposal to acquire rival Family Dollar (FDO) for $78.50 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at $9.7B. Shares of Family Dollar rose approximately 5% on the news. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Sensata Technologies (ST), which rose 5.6% after after agreeing to buy privately held Schrader International for $1B. Also higher was Lannett (LCI), which gained 9.3% after the company said fourth quarter and full-year 2014 earnings per share and revenue would exceed analysts' consensus estimates. Among the noteworthy losers was Monster Beverage (MNST), which fell about 4% after research firm Jefferies downgraded the shares to Hold from Buy saying the valuation looks full following its recent rally. Also lower was NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), which dropped 2.3% after Goldman Sachs downgraded the company to Sell from Neutral, and downgraded the semiconductor sector to Cautious from Neutral. The firm expects consensus estimates to move lower due to cyclical headwinds, increased Q4 and Q1 seasonality, and a RF correction. Goldman lowered their price target on the shares to $54 from $58. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 168.13, or 1.01%, to 16,831.04, the Nasdaq rose 44.11, or 0.99%, to 4,508.87, and the S&P 500 was higher by 16.79, or 0.86%, to 1,971.88.
News For DG;FDO;ST;LCI;MNST;NXPI From The Last 14 Days
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February 2, 2016
06:08 EDTSTSensata sees FY16 revenue $3.140B-$3.280B, consensus $3.31B
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06:06 EDTSTSensata sees FY16 adj. EPS $2.87, consensus $3.00
Company said, "Revenue continues to grow at a double-digit pace; Sensata delivered 14% compound annual revenue growth in the 5 years between 2010 to 2015. Executing on Sensata's proven acquisition integration playbook will drive near-term earnings growth even in a low-growth environment. We initiate our 2016 financial guidance with adjusted EPS of $2.87 at the midpoint, an increase of 4% year over year and 11% on a constant currency basis."
06:04 EDTSTSensata reports Q4 adj. EPS 66c, consensus 65c
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February 1, 2016
16:21 EDTLCILannett announces cost savings actions, to reduce workforce by 20% over 3 years
Lannett announced a number of restructuring actions to streamline operations, improve efficiencies and significantly reduce costs. The initiatives are part of the company's efforts to integrate the recently completed acquisition of Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, or KU. Actions have already begun and include the closing of KU's corporate offices in Princeton, New Jersey, an immediate workforce reduction of approximately 10% and a total staff reduction of approximately 20% over the next three years. The Plan is expected to result in approximately $40M of cost reductions during the 12 months following the close of the acquisition, including $27M in FY16, and is currently estimated to generate annualized synergies of approximately $50M by the end of FY18 and achieve an ultimate run rate of approximately $65M by the end of FY20. The company currently estimates that it will incur aggregate costs to implement the Plan of approximately $20M to $22M. The costs associated with the Plan, the majority of which are expected to be incurred between fiscal years 2016 and 2018, will primarily consist of a reduction in headcount through reorganization and integration, including severance and termination benefits for employees, expected to be approximately $11M to $13M, other costs primarily relating to the rationalization, consolidation and relocation of certain portions of our research and product development, manufacturing and distribution centers, as well as other facilities, expected to be approximately $8M and contract termination costs expected to be approximately $1M.
11:18 EDTMNSTWells Fargo, Citron take sides in Monster Beverage debate
Monster Beverage (MNST) is rising slightly in the down market after Wells Fargo upgraded the stock, saying that the shares have reached a compelling entry point while Monster's convenience store sales appear to have accelerated. UPGRADE: The recent weakness in Monster's stock has created a "compelling entry point," according to Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog, who upgraded the stock to Outperform from Market Perform. Moreover, Wells Fargo's survey of beverage retailers suggests that the company's sales at convenience stores rose 10% last quarter, up from 7% in Q3. Additionally, the survey found that the quality of Monster's distribution operation had greatly improved in recent months. As a result, Herzog wrote that the issues caused by the company's transition to using Coca-Cola's (KO) distribution system had been "largely resolved." Monster's earnings growth should accelerate over the next five years as it penetrates new overseas markets, including China, the analyst contended. There are "numerous scenarios" that would enable the beverage maker to beat earnings expectations going forward, Herzog believes. In addition to international expansion, the company could benefit from accelerated share buybacks, a reduced tax rate and "major innovations" in beverages outside of its core energy business, according to Herzog. She raised her price target on the shares to $159-$161 from $139-$141. SHORT REPORT: On January 29, short-selling research firm Citron wrote that Monster's "valuation..is completely removed from reality." Over the past five years, Monster's stock has surged 500%, even though its revenue has only increased 90%, the firm stated. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's 2014 purchase of a stake in Monster will prevent the latter company from being acquired, as Coke is not interested in buying Monster, Citron contended. In China, Monster will have to cope with high start-up costs, tough competition and lower margins, Citron warned. Furthermore, the company's new products cannibalize its existing drinks, Citron believes. Also on January 29, the small Eastern European country of Latvia decided to ban sales of energy drinks to minors. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Monster climbed 2% to $137.73. The stock dipped about 1.6% on Friday.
10:00 EDTMNSTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Air Products (APD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... American Airlines (AAL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen... Axiall (AXLL) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... BASF (BASFY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale... CNH Industrial (CNHI) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... CU Bancorp (CUNB) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Fig Partners... CaixaBank (CAIXY) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Societe Generale... Chipotle (CMG) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Concho Resources (CXO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust... Continental Building (CBPX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Eastman Chemical (EMN) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA... Extreme Networks (EXTR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham... Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Fig Partners... IBERIABANK (IBKC) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Infineon (IFNNY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Jarden (JAH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Joy Global (JOY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... KT Corporation (KT) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Kennametal (KMT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... L-3 Communications (LLL) upgraded to Buy on valuation at BofA/Merrill... Maximus (MMS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Micron (MU) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Monster Beverage (MNST) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Northrop Grumman (NOC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... PTC (PTC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee CRT... Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Boenning & Scattergood... Praxair (PX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Proofpoint (PFPT) upgraded to Outperform from In-Line at Imperial Capital... Seagate (STX) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Benchmark... Siemens (SIEGY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Superior Drilling (SDPI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich... Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Werner (WERN) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... ZAIS Financial (ZFC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
06:14 EDTMNSTMonster Beverage upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog upgraded Monster Beverage to Outperform saying the recent pullback in the shares provides a "compelling" entry point. The analyst points out her firm's recent beverage survey indicates Monster's U.S. distribution issues have largely been resolved and that the company's earnings are poised to reaccelerate in 2016 and beyond. Herzog raised her price target for Monster shares to $159-$161 from $139-$141. The energy drink maker closed Friday down $2.17 to $135.03 after Citron Research posted a cautious report on the company.
January 29, 2016
12:50 EDTMNSTOptions with increasing put volume
Options with increasing put volume: MNST STLD LC LPX DRII MEOH STMP VMW XRX XLP
12:45 EDTMNSTMonster Beverage puts active on Citron sees shares hitting $80 in near term
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12:24 EDTMNSTCitron sees Monster Beverage shares hitting $80 in near term
Shares of Monster Beverage (MNST) are likely to hit $80 in the near term, Citron Research writes in a new research report on the energy drink maker. The short-selling research firm says valuing Monster versus Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) results in 48% downside for the stock. "For the sake of the benefit of the doubt we used the post GMCR takeout value as a benchmark to get to $80 a share for Monster," Citron states. Monster shares are down $7.15, or 5%, to $130.05 in midday trading. Reference Link
12:18 EDTMNSTCitron puts $80 price target on Monster Beverage
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11:14 EDTMNSTLatvia to ban energy drink sales to minors, Nutra Ingredients reports
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11:12 EDTMNSTMonster Beverage weakness an overrreaction, says Stifel
Stifel said Monster is underperforming on concerns that a ban on energy drink sales to those under 18 years of age in Latvia could spread to other countries. Stifel said the concerns are a considerable overreaction, creating a buying opportunity. The firm's analyst said Latvia is barely a rounding error of the global energy drink market, and likely less than 0.1% of Monster's sales.
10:16 EDTMNSTOptions with increasing implied volatility: WMB W CERS RAD CRM GILD MNST
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January 26, 2016
19:26 EDTLCIOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: CA Technologies (CA), up 4.8%... Ethan Allen (ETH), up 10.6%... Hawaiian Holdings (HA), up 5.7%... Capital One (COF), up 1.1%. ALSO HIGHER: Fate Therapeutics (FATE), up 25% after announcing that the FDA has cleared the company's investigational new drug application for ProTmune... Raptor Pharmaceutical (RPTP), up 6.6% after being upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: U.S. Steel (X), down 9%... AT&T (T), down 1.9%... Apple (AAPL), down 2.6%... VMware (VMW), down 4.7%... TSYS (TSS), down 7.4% after reporting quarterly results and announcing the acquisition of TransFirst for $2.3B in cash. ALSO LOWER: Lannett (LCI), down 9% after giving second quarter and fiscal 2016 guidance... Baxalta (BXLT), down 2% after filing to sell $1.45B of common stock for holders.
18:54 EDTNXPIApple shares slide after mixed Q1 results, slower iPhone sales
Apple (AAPL) shares dipped Tuesday after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings and gave select second quarter guidance. WHAT'S NEW: Apple reported Q1 earnings per share of $3.28, above consensus estimates of $3.23, and revenue of $75.9B, below analyst expectations of $76.59B. The company also issued Q2 revenue guidance of $50B-$53B, against a consensus of $55.64B, and Q2 gross margin between 39%-39.5%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Apple reported Q1 iPhone sales of 74.78M units, versus 48.05M units sold in the fourth quarter and 74.47M units sold in Q1 of last year. Apple reported Q1 iPad sales of 16.12M units, versus 9.88M units sold in Q4 and 21.42M units sold in Q1 of last year. The company also reported Q1 Mac sales of 5.31M units, versus 5.71M in Q4 and 5.52M units in Q1 of last year. Apple's Other Products revenue, which includes sales of Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, iPod, and Apple-branded and third-party accessories, was $4.35B, versus $2.69B last year. During the company's earnings conference call, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook remarked that Q1 was the best quarter for Apple TV sales and Apple TV app development, and the Apple Watch set a new quarterly sales record. Cook also said this quarter had more conversions of Android users to iPhones than previous quarters. Cook noted the company is maintaining its investment plans in China while also investing in India and other emerging markets, with the CEO adding that the company remains very bullish on China and is on target to have 40 stores in the region this year. ANALYST REACTION: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster issued a note following the earnings announcement indicating the research firm is maintaining its Overweight rating on the stock. Munster noted that although Apple guided below the Street's expectations, the outlook is above investor fears and will result in the reset of June expectations. Munster continues to expect the stock's multiple to expand as the September iPhone 7 launch approaches, and it remains the firm's top pick for 2016. OTHERS TO WATCH: iPhone suppliers are largely lower following Apple's results. Skyworks (SWKS) has dipped 0.7% to $65.32 while Cirrus Logic (CRUS) is down 2.03%. NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Avago Technologies (AVGO) have declined 0.68%, 1.28%, and 1.07%, respectively. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Apple are lower by 2.69% to $97.31 in after-hours trading.
16:26 EDTLCILannett sees FY16 revenue $585M-$595M consensus $609.29M
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16:24 EDTLCILannett sees Q2 adj. EPS 93-95c, consensus 98c
Sees Q2 revenue $127M, consensus $141.62M.
15:03 EDTNXPIEarnings Watch: Apple may report first ever quarter with iPhone unit decline
Apple (AAPL) is set to report earnings for the company's first quarter of fiscal year 2016 after the market close on Tuesday, January 26, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Apple, the most valuable U.S.-listed company by market capitalization, is the manufacturer of the iPhone and iPad, among other devices. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $3.23 on revenue of $76.59B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $2.83-$3.44 on revenue of $70.65B-$79.96B. Along with its last earnings report, Apple said it sees Q1 revenue of $75.5B-$77.5B and a gross margin between 39%-40%. On average, analysts expect the tech giant to report iPhone units of 75M, according to Bloomberg data that sources nine analyst estimates. iPad units are estimated at 17.3M, Mac units are estimated at 5.8M and Watch units are estimated at 5.3M, according to Bloomberg. LAST QUARTER: On October 27, Apple reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.96, which topped the consensus estimate of $1.88. Fourth quarter revenue of $51.5B also beat the $51.12B consensus expectation. Apple reported iPhone units of 48.05M, iPad units of 9.88M and Mac units of 5.71M in Q4. Apple reported a Q4 gross margin of 39.9%. LAST YEAR: In its first fiscal quarter of last year, Apple reported EPS of $3.06 on revenue of $74.6B and a gross margin of 39.9%. Last year, Apple reported iPhone units of 74.47M, iPad units of 21.42M and 5.52M Mac units in its first quarter. UPCOMING PHONES: According to media reports, Apple's next flagship smartphone, likely called the iPhone 7, will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, will be thinner, and will likely support wireless charging and be waterproof. Apple is also rumored to soon be releasing a new 4-inch iPhone, known as the "iPhone 5se," that will likely have faster A9/M9 chips and always-on Siri, 9to5Mac reported. The iPhone 5s will be discontinued upon the release of the 5se, which is expected as soon as mid-March, the report said. CAR EFFORTS: Steve Zadesky, who was tapped by Tim Cook to lead Apple's electric car development, is leaving the company, Bloomberg reported on January 24, citing sources. Zadesky stepped down due to personal reasons unrelated to his performance, and the move has not affected Apple's plans to build a car, Bloomberg added. The next day, AppleInsider said Apple has placed a hiring freeze on the team involved with the company's nascent automotive project known as "Project Titan" after company executives became unsatisfied with the project's progress, though CNET then said, citing a source, that contrary to the earlier report Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive was not unhappy with the direction of the company's car effort. OTHER NEWS: In early December, CBS (CBS) CEO Les Moonves said Apple had paused development of its live TV service, according to Bloomberg. "They've had conversations on it and I think they pressed the hold button. They were looking for a service," said Moonves, according to the report. Following up on that report, Re/code, citing sources, said Apple had walked away from negotiations with TV industry executives due to issues with the composition of the "skinny bundle" it would offer. Later in the month, Apple announced that Jeff Williams had been named COO and Johny Srouji is joining Apple's executive team as senior vice president for Hardware Technologies. UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said afterward that Williams looks like CEO Tim Cook's successor, adding that Williams had been speculated as next in line since he had been included in presentations, but the promotion to a new position was still unexpected. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last quarterly report, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves upgraded Apple to Overweight, stating that its long-term value offset its remaining near-term risks. On November 18, Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski upgraded Apple to Conviction Buy, saying the market views Apple as a "hardware" stock, or a company with limited recurring revenue and visibility that only extends to the next product cycle, but over the next year she expects the market focus will shift from unit growth to installed base monetization and recurring revenues, which she dubbed "Apple-as-a-Service." On December 11, BMO Capital analyst Tim Long initiated Apple with an Outperform rating and $145 price target, contending that iPhone unit growth will be in the high single digits for a few years. During mid-to-late December, several analysts, including Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha, BofA Merrill Lynch's Wamsi Mohan and UBS' Milunovich, lowered their iPhone unit estimates, citing smartphone supply chain data points and other sources of information. On January 6, Rosenblatt analysts Jun Zhang and Martin Pyykkonen downgraded Apple to Neutral, saying they believe iPhone 6S sales slowed down during the holiday season. On January 11, Mizuho analyst Abhey Lamba upgraded Apple to Buy from Neutral, saying that investors' focus on short-term supply chain data points had created an attractive risk/reward in the tech giant's shares. The next day, Bank of American Merrill Lynch upgraded Apple to Buy, echoing the view that worries that were prompted by supply chain data points had been largely factored into the stock after its pullback. On January 22, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster recommended buying shares of Apple into the company's earnings report, stating that he believes the stock will rally on the iPhone number change cycle and experience multiple expansion over the next six months. Munster, who thinks shares of Apple could achieve upside of over 50% from its recent levels by the iPhone 7 launch in September, kept an Overweight rating on the iPhone maker with a $179 price target. OTHERS TO WATCH: Shares of iPhone suppliers, including Skyworks (SWKS), Cirrus Logic (CRUS), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), Qualcomm (QCOM), Avago Technologies (AVGO) and Broadcom (BRCM), often move in reaction to Apple's earnings report and guidance. PRICE ACTION: On October 28, the day after Apple reported better than expected fourth quarter sales and profits, the stock advanced a bit over 4%. Since the beginning of the new year, Apple shares have declined more than 4.7%. Over the last three months, the stock has fallen 13% to trade near $100 per share in late afternoon trading ahead of Tuesday's report.
08:55 EDTNXPINXP Semiconductors underperformance creates opportunity, says BMO Capital
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