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News Breaks
February 6, 2013
The Wall Street averages were nearly unchanged at midday in a session of relative calm and consolidation following three straight days in which the Dow experienced triple digit moves... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S. the economic calendar was light, though the Department of Energy did report that crude supplies grew by 2.62M barrels, roughly in-line with forecasts. In Japan, the governor of its central bank offered to step down three weeks before the end of his term, fueling speculation that accelerated and more aggressive stimulus measures may follow and sparking a 3.8% run-up in the Nikkei average. In Europe, German industrial orders climbed 0.8% in December as demand from the euro zone rebounded... COMPANY NEWS: Dow component Walt Disney (DIS) rose 1% after reporting quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analyst estimates. Among others reporting last night and this morning, Time Warner (TWX), Ralph Lauren (RL), Zynga (ZNGA) and Shutterfly (SFLY) advanced, while Aflac (AFL), C.H. Robinson (CHRW) and Colfax (CFX) declined... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were BIOLASE (BIOL), which rose 31% after receiving FDA clearance for a soft tissue laser device, and Metals USA (MUSA), which gained 13% after agreeing to be acquired by Reliance Steel (RS) for $20.65 per share. Among the noteworthy losers was Elan (ELN), which fell 9% after agreeing to sell its 50% interest in the Tysabri MS drug to Biogen (BIIB) for $3.25B in cash and future royalty payments. Also lower were shares of GameStop (GME), which slid nearly 7% following a report suggesting the next version of Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox system will not allow used games to be resold... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was down 2.26, or 0.02%, to 13,977.04; the Nasdaq was up 2.39, or 0.08%, to 3,173.97; and the S&P 500 was up 0.92, or 0.06%, to 1,512.21.
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November 20, 2015
11:45 EDTDIS, TWXBox Office Battle: 'Hunger Games' finale expected to top box office
Lions Gate's (LGF) "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," the final movie based on the dystopian young adult novels, is opening this weekend at 4,175 theaters and is expecting a domestic gross in the range of $120M-$127M. Piper Jaffray analyst James Marsh said in a note to investors on November 18 that he expects the film to open domestically in the $130M range, above where it is tracking, due to limited competition and the addition of IMAX (IMAX) screens. Piper maintained its Overweight rating and $45 price target on Lions Gate shares at that time. "The Hunger Games" main competition is "Spectre" and "The Peanuts Movie," both of which are in their third weekend of release. Sony's (SNE) "Spectre," starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, is expected to earn another $15.2M-$16.8M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) G-rated family film, starring a 3D-animated Charlie Brown, is predicted to earn an additional $12.5M-$13.2M. In other box office news, the Wall Street Journal reported that Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which hits theaters on December 18, has had record-breaking pre-sales. Fandango said the film has already sold more tickets than any other movie before its release, which is still four weeks away, and IMAX said the movie has "doubled" its prior pre-sales record of about $9M. Other publicly traded companies involved in filmmaking include Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner (TWX), and Viacom (VIA, VIAB).
10:38 EDTMSFTAnalyst sees 'cloud cold war' coming between Google, Microsoft, Amazon
Recent comments by Google (GOOG) indicate that the tech giant plans to make a major push in the cloud infrastructure market, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a note to investors today. Google's initiatives in this area could significantly boost its stock price and signify the start of a "cold war" in the space, but are unlikely to negatively affect the number two player in the area, Microsoft (MSFT), Sandler believes. WHAT'S NEW: Google has not been aggressively expanding its cloud infrastructure business, but recent comments by the tech giant indicates that this situation is changing, Sandler wrote. Google executive Urs Holzle said that the tech giant plans to aggressively expand its cloud platform, and projected that the company's revenue from the cloud could surpass its ad revenue by 2020, the analyst noted. The note comes after Google acquired a small platform-as-a-service company called bebop and appointed its CEO, VmWare (VMW) co-founder Diane Greene, to lead a new cloud business. Based on Hozle's comment, Google is seeking to boost its cloud revenue to $100B by 2020, Sandler estimated. If the tech giant even "gets part of the way" to meeting the goal, the growth in its cloud business will boost its market cap by hundreds of billions of dollars, Sandler believes. Google's push in the cloud is negative for Microsoft, but it will take years for Google to build up its cloud business to the point where it's competitive with Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, the analyst contended. Amazon (AMZN), which Google also much catch, is the runaway leader in the cloud market. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Google may look to make acquisitions in the software-as-a-service sector to build up its cloud business, and vendors like Red Hat (RHT) which sell to cloud infrastructure providers have added a major new customer, Sandler wrote. Major software-as-a-service providers include (CRM), Workday (WDAY), and Netsuite (N). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Alphabet Class A shares gained 1.5% to $771.37, Microsoft slid 1.1% to $53.33 and Amazon rose fractionally to $662.87.
09:06 EDTCFXColfax management to meet with Deutsche Bank
Meeting to be held in New York on November 20 hosted by Deutsche Bank.
08:43 EDTDIS'Star Wars' already over $50M in ticket pre-sales, Variety reports
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08:31 EDTGMEGameStop volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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07:17 EDTBIIBBiogen says Benepali receives 'positive' opinion from CHMP
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07:16 EDTGMEGameStop should be bought on any weakness after results, says Oppenheimer
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06:20 EDTMSFTSony mulling bringing PS2 games to PS4, WSJ says
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November 19, 2015
08:18 EDTMSFTMicrosoft participates in a panel discussion
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November 18, 2015
17:44 EDTTWXTCS Capital reports 10.9% stake in Central European Media, urges sale of company
In a regulatory filing reporting its position in the company, TCS Capital stated it delivered a letter on November 18 to Central European Media's (CETV) chairman and board of directors urging the hiring of a financial adviser to explore a sale of the company. In the letter, TCS expressed concern about the "poor performance" of the company's stock price, which it believes is "directly tied to Time Warner's (TWX) dominant position as both the largest debt and equity holder" of Central European.
16:01 EDTMSFTOptions Update; November 18, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 1.39 to 19.44. Option volume leaders: AAPL NBG TGT NFLX F FB QCOM SUNE GPRO MSFT
14:49 EDTMSFTEarnings Watch: Salesforce shares up 14% since last earnings report
Salesforce (CRM) is scheduled to report third quarter results after the market close on Wednesday, November 18, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Salesforce is a provider of enterprise cloud computing solutions that include apps and platform services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 19c on revenue of $1.7B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 17c-20c on revenue of $1.68B-$1.72B. On its last earnings conference call, Salesforce gave Q3 EPS guidance of 18c-19c and revenue guidance of $1.69B-$1.7B. It also gave FY16 EPS guidance of 70c-72c and FY16 revenue of $6.6B-$6.63B. The company expects FY16 operating cash flow growth of approximately 34%-35%. Salesforce said it is now on pace to reach $7B run rate later this year. LAST QUARTER: On August 20, Salesforce reported second quarter EPS of 19c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 18c. The company's revenue came in at $1.63B, topping the consensus estimate of $1.60B. It reported deferred revenue on balance of $3.03B as of July 31 and Q2 subscription and support revenue of $1.52B. Salesforce added that Q2 was the "best quarter ever" for the company due to momentum in Europe and growth in the adoption of its core platform. NEWS: Salesforce and Western Union (WU) announced an agreement for Western Union to use Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud and App Cloud to automate previously paper-based processes. Salesforce also announced plans to extend its strategic partnership with Microsoft (MSFT). The company said it would double its workforce in the Seattle area. STREET RESEARCH: Brean Capital said Salesforce should be a core holding due its new cloud targets, operating margin expansion and revenue growth in the 20%-30% range year over year. Jeffries said it was impressed with the company's DreamForce conference, but kept an Underperform rating on the stock because the net present value of new business may be negative for Salesforce at this time. In late September, Oppenheimer said that the company's checks were positive. It added that Salesforce's share of the market could be increasing and adds that Salesforce's platform strategy is becoming more popular with customers. PRICE ACTION: Salesforce shares are up over 14% since the company's Q2 report. In afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's report, Salesforce shares are up fractionally.
November 17, 2015
18:58 EDTMSFTMicrosoft CEO says building new cyber defense center, NBC reports
Speaking at the Microsoft Government Cloud Forum on Tuesday, CEO Satya Nadella revealed plans to open a Cyber Defense Operations Center, gathering security experts from across the company's suite of products in order to respond to security threats in real-time, reports NBC. Reference Link
15:36 EDTCFXAirgas deal potentially negative for Lincoln Electric, says RBC Capital
RBC Capital analyst Matthew McConnell Air Liquide's acquisition of Airgas (ARG) opens the possibility that the French company could enter the market for U.S. welding equipment manufacturing, which is currently concentrated with top three players Lincoln Electric (LECO), Illinois Tool Works (ITW) and Colfax (CFX). The firm, which assumes that roughly 8% of Lincoln Electric's total sales go through Airgas, said the merger deal is most relevant for Lincoln, but also potentially negative for the other two. The firm keeps Sector Perform ratings on Lincoln, Illinois Tool and Colfax.
10:20 EDTGMEOptions with increasing implied volatility
Options with increasing implied volatility: SGMS HZNP CSC ULTA RH BURL GME AEO BBRY TIF
09:14 EDTTWXDolby, VUDU to release Warner Bros. titles for Dolby Vision
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09:02 EDTMSFTAnalyst pans competing products, says buy Fitbit
Shares of previous high-flier Fitbit (FIT) have dropped about 30% in the last two weeks following the company's third quarter earnings report, but an analyst at Bank of America upgraded his view of the fitness tracker maker this morning, saying that now is the time to buy ahead of fourth quarter results that may be boosted by the "underwhelming" new products being launched by its competitors. UNDERWHELMING COMPETITION: Fitbit's sales guidance for this holiday quarter looks conservative, contends Bank of America analyst Nat Schindler, who notes that the company only had the launch of one new product last December but will have the Charge, Charge HR and Surge to drive sales this season. Schindler also notes that the company's international advertising has expanded into more countries ahead of the holidays this year. Key, however, may be the "underwhelming" lineup of new or updated fitness trackers launched by competitors, such as the Microsoft's (MSFT) Band 2, Jawbone's UP4 and Sony's (SNE) Smartband 2, many of which have only minor improvements and no "must have" features to pull consumers away from Fitbit, Schindler told investors in his research note. PLATFORM PICKING UP STEAM: The analyst also pointed out that Fitbit now has more than 20 companies signed onto its health and wellness platform, including big names like Target (TGT) and Barclays (BCS), which he believes should help drive revenue beats in the upcoming fiscal year due to increased device sales. Also, the additional dashboard data should help Fitbit maintain long-term user engagement, said Schindler. APPLE WATCH: Apple's (AAPL) Apple Watch is largely viewed as the biggest potential competitive threat to Fitbit's offerings, but on the fitness tracker maker's last earnings call CEO James Park said Fitbit's products differ from those of its competitors in several key aspects, including pricing, cross-platform compatibility, brand awareness and product line breadth. Other wearables makers include Garmin (GRMN) and Samsung. PRICE ACTION: Since the day after Fitbit's last earnings report after the market close on November 2, its shares have fallen about 29.5% to close yesterday at $28.80. In pre-market trading this morning, Fitbit shares rose 2% to $29.40.
08:56 EDTTWXTime Warner announces proposed debt offering
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07:56 EDTMSFTUBS to hold a conference
Global Technology Conference is being held in San Francisco on November 16-18 with webcasted company presentations to begin on November 17 at 10:45 am.; not all company presentations may be webcasted. Webcast Link
06:16 EDTMSFTMicrosoft turns around flawed security technology, NY Times says
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