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August 5, 2014
11:13 EDTYUM, AEP, VRX, ED, TGT, PWE, JPM, SPLS, ESIOptions with increasing implied volatility
Options with increasing implied volatility: ESI SVXY PWE VRX SPLS TGT AEP JPM ED YUM
News For ESI;PWE;VRX;SPLS;TGT;AEP;JPM;ED;YUM From The Last 14 Days
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November 17, 2015
15:17 EDTTGTTarget November 73 straddle priced for 6% movement into Q3
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15:13 EDTTGT, SPLSNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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12:53 EDTTGTEarnings Watch: Analysts bullish on Target's Q3 comps ahead of earnings report
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report third quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, November 18, with a conference call scheduled for 10:30 am ET. Target offers merchandise at discounted prices through its retail stores and online business. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 86c on revenue of $17.57B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 81c-89c on revenue of $17.42B-$17.76B. In its last earnings report, Target forecast Q3 adjusted EPS 79c-89c Q3 comparable sales up 1%-2%. LAST QUARTER: Target reported second quarter adjusted EPS of $1.22, beating analysts' estimates for $1.11, on revenue of $17.43B, generally in line with analysts' $17.4B consensus. The company said comparable sales increased 2.4% in Q2. Looking ahead, Target raised its fiscal year 2015 adjusted EPS view to $4.60-$4.75 from $4.50-$4.65 against estimates at that time for $4.62. On its earnings conference call, Target said it felt "great" about its fourth quarter plans and said it will be "very promotional" in that quarter. NEWS: On August 25, Target said it expects to record a pretax gain of approximately $550M after closing the transaction with CVS Pharmacy (CVS) to sell its pharmacy and clinic businesses for cash consideration of approximately $1.9B. Target also entered into a development agreement with CVS, through which it may jointly develop small-format stores, Target said. The transaction is expected to be accretive to EPS after closing. On September 10, Cherokee (CHKE) announced that Target elected not to renew the license of the Cherokee brand in the U.S., which will expire at the end of its current term on January 31, 2017. Target said on September 30 that it will update its Price Match Policy by expanding digitally and extending its timeframe to 14 days compared to 7 days. The retailer later announced plans to bring back free shipping and returns through the holiday season. STREET RESEARCH: Ahead of the company's earnings report, Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Naughton acknowledged that while sentiment is challenging on Target's stock amid the weakness being reported by a number of retailers this week, he believes Target's Q3 SSS are within the company's guidance of up 1%-2%. The analyst believes Target's fundamentals may be holding up better than some expected. He has an Overweight rating and $88 price target on the stock. Stifel also believes Target will report an above Street comp of 2% versus consensus of 1.7% and inline earnings of 86c. Analyst David A. Schick checks indicate strong merchandising and customer response to key holidays and said PCE trends suggest there is still room for comp upside. Last week, Citi analyst Kate McShane said that in a head-to-head comparison between Costco Wholesale (COST), Target and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), three of the biggest broadlines retailers in the world, Target is the "surprising" winner. McShane said that Target "wins" on potential for EPS growth, operating margin and valuation. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are down over 7% over the past three months. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's earnings report, shares are up about 1.7% to $73.54.
09:02 EDTTGTAnalyst 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.
07:50 EDTJPMClearing House to hold a conference
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07:48 EDTJPMBofa/Merrill to hold a conference
Banking & Financial Services Conference 2015 is being held in New York on November 17-18.
07:40 EDTVRXValeant price target cut to $98 from $200 at Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger cut Valeant estimates and lowered his price target to $98 from $200 to account for the negative impact of Philidor and uncertainty in U.S. growth. Risinger believes Valeant is a "real" company selling "real" drugs despite Philidor and other controversies, but cannot ignore the investigation risks or quantify the costs at this time. The analyst continues to rate shares Equal Weight, despite low valuation, until visibility increases.
07:39 EDTSPLSStaples volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
Staples November call option implied volatility is at 87, December is at 68, January is at 60; compared to its 52-week range of 22 to 78, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q3 results on November 18.
06:43 EDTVRXPhilidor effects may be longer-lasting for Valeant, says Deutsche Bank
After surveying 25 dermatologists that prescribe Valeant's products and are familiar with the specialty pharmacy Philidor, Deutsche Bank analyst Gregg Gilbert believes the Philidor controversy could have longer-lasting effects relative to the short-term disruption that Valeant management has suggested. The analyst awaits Valeant's guidance changes for Q4 and 2016 that are coming in December. The stock could have "significant upside" over the next year if Valeant delivers on its targets, Gilbert tells investors in a research note. Nonetheless, he keeps a Hold rating on the stock with a $136 price target. Shares of Valeant closed yesterday down $2.12 to $73.29.
05:33 EDTYUMStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; YUM QCOM
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November 16, 2015
19:12 EDTVRXCongressman seeks interview with Valeant execs linked to Philidor, Reuters says
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16:53 EDTVRXPaulson reduced stake in Valeant
Paulson & Co. gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this afternoon. NEW STAKES: Perrigo (PRGO), CIT Group (CIT), Precision Castparts (PCP), Cameron (CAM), and Altera (ALTR). INCREASED STAKES: Teva (TEVA), Post Holdings (POST), Starwood Hotels (HOT), LivaNova (LIVN), and Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP). DECREASED STAKES: Valeant (VRX), Shire (SHPG), Whiting Petroleum (WLL), Computer Sciences (CSC), and Oasis Petroleum (OAS). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMHC), Broadcom (BRCM), and Sprint (S).
13:24 EDTVRXCooperman's Omega no longer owns Valeant, CNBC reports
Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors no longer owns Valeant and hasn't for some time, CNBC's Scott Wapner reports, citing a source. Omega earlier today disclosed that it owned over 484,000 shares of Valeant as of September 30.
11:24 EDTJPMClearing House to hold a conference
Clearing House Annual Conference is being held in New York on November 16-18.
09:59 EDTVRXOmega bought Valeant in Q3, sold some SuneEdison
Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning, disclosing its positions as of September 30. NEW STAKES: Pfizer (PFE), Valeant (VRX) Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), TerraForm Global (GLBL), Cigna (CI). INCREASED STAKES: Google Class A (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Delta Air Lines (DAL). DECREASED STAKES: SunEdison (SUNE), Shire (SHPG), Citi (C), KAR Auction (KAR), LyondellBasell (LYB). LIQUIDATED STAKES: McKesson (MCK), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), General Motors (GM), QEP Resources (QEP), eBay (EBAY).
09:42 EDTJPMJPMorgan reports October net credit losses 2.22% vs. 2.21% last month
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09:06 EDTVRXDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
08:58 EDTJPMAmerican Express slips following Marriott, Starwood deal announcement
Shares of American Express (AXP) are slipping in pre-market trading following the news that Marriott (MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) have agreed to merge. In early June, American Express and Starwood announced new benefits to the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. Marriott, however, has its co-brand program with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and the early weakness in American Express shares could reflect concern over a potential change in the merged hotels' co-brand relationships. In pre-market trading, AxEx shares are down about 0.5% to $70.88.
07:56 EDTYUMTaco Bell committed to serving cage-free eggs in U.S. restaurants by end of 2016
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06:11 EDTYUMTaco Bell to stop using eggs laid by caged hens by 2017, Reuters reports
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