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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 10, 2014
05:45 EDTF, MSFTFord's Mulally ended flirtation with Microsoft weeks ago, WSJ reports
Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally flirted with Microsoft (MSFT) for longer than previously known before saying on Tuesday he won’t leave Ford for Microsoft, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Ford CEO had been telling people inside Ford for weeks that he wouldn’t be the next Microsoft CEO, sources say. Other sources say Mulally soured on the Microsoft job in part because of what he perceived to be leaks from Microsoft about the search process. Theses sources say Mulally also had concerns about the dynamics of Microsoft’s board, including whether the departing CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates remained directors. Reference Link
News For F;MSFT From The Last 14 Days
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January 28, 2016
07:15 EDTFFord backs view for 2016 automotive EPS equal to or higher than 2015
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07:01 EDTFFord reports Q4 adjusted EPS 58c, consensus 51c
Reports Q4 automotive revenue $37.9B, consensus $36.4B.
06:32 EDTMSFTMicrosoft volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
Microsoft January weekly call option implied volatility is at 97, February is at 38; compared to its 52-week range of 15 to 39, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results today after the market close.
January 27, 2016
14:34 EDTFNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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13:47 EDTMSFTVMware tanks after providing lower guidance amid Cloud transition
Shares of virtualization software maker VMware (VMW) are falling after providing guidance, confirming layoffs and announcing executive changes. WHAT'S NEW: After the close of trading on Tuesday, the software company that is 80% owned by EMC (EMC) and provides software for corporate data centers, announced fourth quarter financial results while confirming earlier reports of layoffs and announcing a new chief financial officer. VMware, along with parent company EMC, is in the midst of a proposed acquisition by Dell. The company's Q4 earnings per share and revenue came in at $1.26 and $1.87B, respectively, slightly better than analysts were expecting; however, the company's view for fiscal year 2016 EPS and revenue of $4.07-$4.16 and $6.8B-$6.9B, respectively, were well below the $4.20 and $7.21B analysts are expecting. VMware also guided first quarter EPS to 83c-85c, also below analysts' 92c consensus. Along with its results, the company confirmed earlier reports that it intended to reduce its workforce by 800 and plans to take a charge of between $55M-$65M related to this action over the course of the first half of 2016. The company also announced that its CFO Jonathan Chadwick is leaving and will be replaced by EMC CFO Zane Rowe. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On its quarterly conference call discussing its earnings, VMware company referred to its growth in "emerging" products and businesses including NSX and User Computing and Virtual SAN, all of which grew strongly over the quarter. The company said it hopes its newer products are picking up the slack due to the declining growth in its mature "compute products." Pat Gelsinger, VMware's chief executive officer, "We recognize that our blockbuster compute products are reaching maturity and will represent a decreasing portion of our business going forward." The company is upgrading its Cloud strategy to better compete with leaders like Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT), which provide Cloud services via the internet and make the corporate data center that VMware focuses on less necessary. ANALYSTS' VIEWS: Summit Research analyst Srini Nandury downgraded VMware to Hold and lowered his price target for the shares to $40 from $80 following the company's quarterly results. The company's business will get worse before it gets better, Nandury told investors in a research note. Another downgrade came from research firm Baird's analyst Jayson Noland, who cut his rating on VMware to Neutral and lowered his price target to $60 from $80. Noland said the core vSphere business is facing incremental public cloud headwinds and substantial uncertainty related to the Class V common stock being issued to finance the EMC acquisition. Providing a more constructive view was UBS who said the current valuation levels of VMware offer a significant opportunity for patient investors. The firm noted the company will temper spending and focus on leveraging public clouds, which should provide a tailwind to both capital and operating expenditures. UBS reiterated its Buy rating and $72 price target on VMware. PRICE ACTION: Shares of VMware are down approximately 40% since the Dell-EMC deal was announced last October and are down over 9% to $44.84 in afternoon trading. OTHERS TO WATCH. Other companies in the cloud computing space include Amazon, Microsoft and Citrix Systems (CTXS).
13:17 EDTFFord volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Ford January weekly call option implied volatility is at 59, February is at 31; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 44, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on January 28.
12:44 EDTFEarnings Watch: Ford sees record 2015 pre-tax profit, ex-items
Ford Motor Co. (F) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings on Thursday, January 28, before the market open with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET. Ford is a manufacturer and distributor of cars and trucks across six continents. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 50c on revenue of $36.4B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 36c-53c on revenue of $34.03B-$38.82B. LAST QUARTER: Ford reported third quarter adjusted EPS of 45c against estimates for 47c, on revenue of $38.1B against estimates for $35.07B. Ford reconfirmed fiscal 2015 pre-tax profit guidance to range from $8.5B-$9.5B, with higher automotive revenue, operating margin, and operating-related cash flow compared with 2014. Ford expects North America 2015 pretax profit to exceed last year's result with an operating margin at the upper end of the company's guidance of 8.5%-9.5%. For Europe, Ford continues to expect pre-tax loss for 2015 to improve compared with 2014 as the company continues towards a return to profitability in the region. On the company's conference call, management said it was on track to deliver a "breakthrough" year and expected a stronger second half, driven by Q4. On January 6, Ford announced a $1B supplemental cash dividend reflecting the company's strong financial performance in 2015 and robust cash and liquidity levels. It also announced that it expects to deliver record 2015 pre-tax profit, ex-items and sees FY16 operating EPS to be about equal to or higher than FY15. During the quarter, Ford reported the following: October U.S. sales up 13% to 213,938 vehicles; November U.S. sales up 0.4% to 187,794 units; and December U.S. sales up 8% to 239,242 vehicles. On January 5, Ford reported total 2015 U.S. sales of 2.61M vehicles, up 5%. STREET RESEARCH: Street research has been light in the weeks leading up to Ford's Q4 earnings report. On October 28, UBS said the weakness in Ford shares following the company's Q3 tax related miss was a buying opportunity. The firm believed guidance was conservative and the company was setting up for a solid 2016. UBS reiterated its Buy rating and lowered its price target to $22 from $23 on Ford shares. PRICE ACTION: Ford's shares are down approximately 23% since its Q3 report and have lost about 19% year-over-year. In afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's Q4 report, Ford shares are up just over 1% to around $12.
12:02 EDTMSFTBox, Microsoft expand alliance to deliver better cloud experiences
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10:07 EDTMSFTMicrosoft announces launch of News Pro app
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09:01 EDTFFord Ohio Assembly Plant adds Ford F-Series Super Duty chassis cab
Ford announced that its Ohio Assembly Plant will support additional production of the all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty chassis cab. Together with Kentucky Truck Plant, Ohio Assembly will produce F-350, F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cab configurations.
07:59 EDTMSFTMicrosoft volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
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06:01 EDTFIBM names Ford President and CEO Mark Fields to board, effective March 1
The IBM (IBM) board of directors yesterday elected Mark Fields to the board effective March 1, 2016. Fields is president and CEO, Ford (F). Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, said: "We are pleased that Mark will be joining the IBM board of directors. Mark led the highly successful transformation of his company in a competitive industry where technology has driven innovation. He is leading Ford into a future where cars are not only vehicles, but increasingly becoming mobile technology platforms. His knowledge and insights in running a complex global business will make a significant contribution to IBM."
January 26, 2016
18:35 EDTMSFTMicrosoft executive: Surface glitch during NFL game caused by stadium error
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16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; January 26, 2016
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11:51 EDTFFord expands safety recall on vehicles with Takata airbag inflators
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11:43 EDTFFord to host sales conference call
Conference call to discuss January Sales Results will be held on February 2 at 10 am. Webcast Link
11:13 EDTMSFTActive options; AAPL BAC FB NFLX C MSFT TWTR VALE FCX COH XOM AMZN
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10:34 EDTMSFTBattleground: BofA says sell NetSuite, DA Davidson still bullish
Over the last two days, analysts have issued mixed views on NetSuite (N), with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Stephens downgrading the shares, while research firm DA Davidson argued in its own note to investors that the company should report better than expected fourth quarter results on January 28. NetSuite develops cloud based financial and enterprise resource planning, or ERP, tools for businesses. BEARISH TAKE: Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan downgraded NetSuite to Underperform, the firm's equivalent of a sell rating, from Neutral today. The company has increased its sales force by about 40%, but its billings are accelerating by only about 30%, the analyst stated. Moreover, NetSuite's operating margins are expected to come in at only about 4% in 2016, making it difficult for investors to value the stock on a price to earnings or enterprise value to free cash flow basis, Rangan believes. The stock may face obstacles if its billings growth doesn't accelerate significantly or if its operating margin doesn't increase to 10%-12%, Rangan wrote. Meanwhile, the company is facing tough competition from Microsoft (MSFT) in the mid-market and from other players at the lower end, according to the analyst, who cut his price target on the name to $80 from $95. Also writing that NetSuite is facing increased competition, Stephens analyst Alex Zukin yesterday downgraded the stock to Equal Weigh from Overweight. These competitive pressures along with changes to the company's organizational structure, the loss of a number of its "marquee" customers, and its premium valuation, led to the downgrade, Zukin stated. He slashed his price target on the stock to $75 from $100. BULLISH TAKE: NetSuite's Q4 results should beat expectations, with revenue coming in at $207.6M, above the company's guidance range of $202M-$205M and the consensus outlook of $204.4M, predicted DA Davidson analyst Jack Andrews. The company will report EPS of 5c, versus the consensus outlook of 4c, estimated Andrews. NetSuite can continue to increase its market share at the expense of mid-tier ERP vendors, believes the analyst, who reiterated a $130 price target and Buy rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: In the same note to investors this morning, Merrill Lynch's Rangan also downgraded Paylocity (PCTY) and Marketo (MKTO) to Underperform from Neutral and it cut his rating on Red Hat (RHT) to Neutral from Buy. Paylocity provides payroll and human capital management software to medium businesses, while Marketo provides cloud-based marketing tools and Red Hat provides open source software solutions. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, NetSuite fell 3.6% to $65.45.
09:32 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: FB PEP NFLX PM GM RMBS MSFT GLW AAPL
08:26 EDTMSFTTwitter in play after executive departures, says Cantor
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali believes yesterday's news of several senior executives leaving Twitter (TWTR) puts the company in play and could encourage potential bidders to step forward. Twitter's current valuation and sizeable user base makes it a strategic asset for a number of potential buyers, Squali told investors last night in a research note. Potential suitors on the technology side include Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT), the analyst contends. On the media side, Squali thinks 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA) or Time Warner (TWX) could express interest in Twitter. No concentration of share ownership and no super-voting structure increase the odds of a buyout, Squali argues. The analyst, however, adds that the executive departures are not good news for a company in the midst of a turnaround. He maintains a Buy rating on the microblogging operator with a $45 price target. Twitter closed yesterday down 82c, or 5%, to $17.02..
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