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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 20, 2014
16:45 EDTCONN, PRAA, TSLA, ONTX, WMT, FB, JACK, BBRYOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher despite mixed economic data and continued volatility in the political situations in Ukraine and Venezuela. The averages opened the session mixed and were all in negative ground by an hour into trading. However, the averages moved upward near mid-morning and powered higher throughout the session, closing near session highs. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 3K to 336K in the week ended February 15, which was generally in-line with expectations. The Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1% in January, as expected, and the core reading excluding food and energy also rose 0.1%. Markit's “flash” Purchasing Managers' Index for February rose to 56.7 from a prior 53.7 reading, beating expectations. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing business outlook for February fell to -6.3, versus expectations for a much smaller pull back to 8.0 from its prior 9.4 reading. The Leading Index for January rose 0.3%, matching the consensus estimate. In China, factory activity appeared to shrink again in February, as the flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 from January's final reading of 49.5. In Europe, Markit’s composite eurozone PMI fell to 52.7 from 52.9 in January. COMPANY NEWS: Facebook (FB) last night announced that it had agreed to buy mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $16B in cash and stock, with an additional $3B in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years. Facebook shares, which initially sold off after the deal, closed the session up $1.57, or 2.31%, to $69.63. Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY), which has its own Blackberry Messenger messaging service, climbed 34c, or 3.77%, to $9.35 as analysts debated BBM's valuation relative to WhatsApp... Tesla Motors (TSLA) gained $16.33, or 8.43%, to a new all-time closing high of $209.97 after the electric car maker's earnings and 2014 delivery guidance of 35K Model S cars topped estimates... Wal-Mart (WMT) was the Dow's laggard, falling $1.33, or 1.78%, to $73.52 after its earnings guidance for the current quarter and new fiscal year trailed expectations. For the just-completed quarter, the retail giant reported in-line earnings and sales that were just below expectations. Also, the company raised its dividend 2% to $1.92 annually. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Portfolio Recovery (PRAA), which added $8.92, or 17.67%, to $59.40 after last night announcing a deal to acquire Aktiv Kapital for $880M, a deal analysts at JMP Securities believe will be immediately accretive. Portfolio Recovery also reported earnings that were roughly in-line with expectations. Also higher following a better-than-expected quarterly report was Jack in the Box (JACK), up $4.26, or 7.97%, to $57.73. Among the noteworthy losers was Onconova (ONTX), which plunged $5.07, or 36.58%, to $8.79 after a Phase 3 trial of its rigosertib drug did not meet its primary endpoint. Also lower was Conn's (CONN), which fell $23.91, or 42.85%, to $31.89 after the company issued weaker than expect fourth quarter earnings guidance and lowered its fiscal 2014 and 2015 profit forecasts. INDEXES: The Dow was up 92.67, or 0.58%, to 16,133.23, the Nasdaq was up 29.59, or 0.7%, to 4,267.54, and the S&P 500 was up 11.03, or 0.6%, to 1,839.78.
News For FB;TSLA;BBRY;WMT;PRAA;JACK;ONTX;CONN From The Last 14 Days
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December 9, 2014
07:35 EDTTSLATesla Motors volatility flat as shares trend lower
Tesla Motors December weekly call option implied volatility is at 48, December is at 42, January is at 39; compared to its 26-week average of 46 according to Track Data, suggesting non-directional price movement.
07:09 EDTCONNConn's announces departure of CFO Brian Taylor
Conn’s announced the departure of Brian Taylor, the company’s CFO. Effective immediately, the company has appointed Mark Haley as Interim CFO. Prior to joining Conn’s as VP and Chief Accounting Officer in October 2014, Haley was Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Coldwater Creek, Inc. for four years. The company has engaged an executive search firm to identify qualified candidates for the permanent CFO position. The search process will include both internal and external candidates.
07:05 EDTCONNConn's sees Q4 SSS flat to up 3%
The following are the company’s expectations for its business for the fourth quarter: Same stores sales flat to up 3%; Retail gross margin between 39.0% and 40.0%; Opening of 2 new stores during the quarter; and Closure of 1 store during the quarter. Beginning with December results, the company will release, shortly after the end of the month, same store sales and greater than 60 days delinquency performance. The company believes this will provide investors with timely, relevant information about business trends and expects to continue this practice until the company experiences more stability in its results.
07:04 EDTCONNConn's withdraws FY15 guidance
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07:04 EDTCONNConn's says no timetable set for completion of strategic alternatives process
In October, the Company announced that its Board of Directors authorized management to explore a full range of strategic alternatives for the Company to potentially enhance value for stockholders. The Company has engaged an independent financial advisor to assist in this process and is actively engaged in preliminary discussions with multiple parties about a range of potential strategic alternatives. No timetable has been set for the completion of the process. Conn's does not expect to comment further or update the market with any further information on the process unless and until its Board of Directors has approved a specific transaction or otherwise deems disclosure appropriate or necessary. There can be no assurance that this strategic alternatives review will result in the Company changing its current business plan, pursuing a particular transaction or completing any such transaction.
07:03 EDTCONNConn's says initiating search for president
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07:03 EDTCONNConn's reports Q3 EPS (8c), may not compare to consensus 68c
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December 8, 2014
16:24 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower amid another drop in crude oil prices, which tumbled to five-year lows. The market opened slightly lower following weaker than expected data from China and Japan, with nothing of note on the domestic calendar to get buyers involved in the day’s activity. Near noon, the averages gained downside momentum and though the market pared its losses several times, it was never able to gain any steam to pull the indexes back into the green. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major economic data was released. In Asia, Chinese exports rose 4.7% from a year earlier in November, which missed the consensus estimate for an 8% increase. Chinese imports fell 6.7% from the prior year last month, compared with projections for a 3.8% increase. Additionally, Japan's revised third quarter gross domestic product estimate showed the economy shrank more than initially thought, with growth contracting an annualized 1.9%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) surged $26.24, or 35.29%, to $100.60 after Merck (MRK) agreed to acquire the maker of next-generation antibiotics for $102 per share in cash, or $8.4B and the assumption of $1.1B in debt. A number of other antibiotic makers also climbed, including Tetraphase (TTPH), which rose $2.45, or 8.82%, to $30.24, and Cempra (CEMP), which advanced $1.64, or 11.37%, to $16.06, while shares of Merck finished fractionally higher, adding 39c, or 0.63%, to $61.88 following the deal announcement. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their presentations at the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, annual meeting were Calithera Biosciences (CALA), which gained $2.38, or 22.52%, to $12.95, and Acceleron Pharma (XLRN), which jumped $5.11, or 13.6%, to $42.67. Among the noteworthy losers was McDonald's (MCD), which fell $3.70, or 3.84%, to $92.61 after the Dow member reported a 2.2% decline in global same-restaurant sales in November. Additionally, the fast-food giant warned that its fourth quarter results would be hurt by its sales pressures, supplier issues in China and a stronger U.S. dollar. Also lower were shares of Liquidity Services (LQDT), which plunged $2.77, or 27.0%, to $7.49 after the company disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) had terminated a deal to provide it with surplus merchandise. INDEXES: The Dow fell 106.31, or 0.59%, to 17,852.48, the Nasdaq dropped 40.06, or 0.84%, to 4,740.69, and the S&P 500 slipped 15.06, or 0.73%, to 2,060.31.
16:00 EDTTSLAOptions Update; December 8, 2014
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13:21 EDTTSLATesla has an active bearish pattern, levels to watch
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12:40 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:22 EDTTSLATesla estimated to sell 1,200 Model S in U.S. in November, InsideEVs says
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10:49 EDTWMTLiquidity Services plunges after Wal-Mart seeks to end supply deal
Shares of Liquidity Services (LQDT) are tumbling after the company disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) had terminated a deal to provide it with merchandise. Liquidity Services operates an auction marketplace that features surplus and salvaged items. WHAT'S NEW: Liquidity Services reported after Friday's market close in a regulatory filing that Wal-Mart had decided to stop supplying products to Liquidity Services.The auction company noted that it had previously had the right to purchase certain consumer items that have been removed from Wal-Mart's shelves. However, Wal-Mart, on December 1, reported to the company that it would terminate the deal, effective today. Wal-Mart is alleging that Liquidity Services violated certain requirements of the agreement between the companies, Liquidity Services stated. However, the auction company disputed Wal-Mart's assertions and said it was "evaluating all its options" before determining how to proceed. Liquidity Services indicated that it still expects to meet its guidance for its December quarter results. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors today, Colin Sebastian, an analyst at research firm Robert W. Baird, predicted that the loss of the contract would have a significant impact on Liquidity Services' results starting in 2015. However, he believes that the extent of the impact on the company's earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization will depend on its ability to manage its expenses. The analyst cut his price target on the name to $9 from $12 and kept a Neutral rating on the shares. Meanwhile, Janney Capital analyst Shawn Milne wrote that Liquidity Services had previously disclosed that Wal-Mart accounted for 11% of its gross merchandise volume in fiscal 2014. Milne predicted that the termination of the deal would reduce Liquidity Services' annual EBITDA by less than $10M. He also kept a Neutral rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Liquidity Services sank 25% to $7.70.
10:03 EDTWMTLiquidity Services price target lowered to $9 from $12 at RW Baird
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09:22 EDTTSLATesla weakness a buying opportunity, says RW Baird
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09:20 EDTWMTLiquidity Services estimate cuts possible on Wal-Mart fight, says Janney Capital
After Liquidity Services (LQDT) disclosed that Wal-Mart (WMT) terminated its return agreement and that the two are now in dispute over the deal, Janney Capital noted Liquidity 's recent 10K filing indicated that Wal-Mart accounted for 11% of FY14 gross merchandise volume, including Commercial Capital assets. Janney estimates the full year EBITDA impact from the contract to be somewhere below $10M, but said there is a potential for further estimate cuts given the dispute. The firm maintains its Neutral rating on Liquidity Services shares.
09:13 EDTWMTLiquidity Services reports Walmart terminates return agreement
Liquidity Services (LQDT) had previously acquired from ILJ Enterprises its business of purchasing closeouts, excess merchandise and customer returns for resale to retailers, wholesalers, and other third parties and consumers. In connection with the acquisition, the company, through one of its subsidiaries, assumed ILJ’s rights and obligations with Wal-Mart Stores (WMT). Under the Wal-Mart agreement, Liquidity Services has the exclusive right to purchase certain consumer products from Wal-Mart that have been removed from the sales stream of Wal-Mart’s retail operations. On December 1, Wal-Mart provided Liquidity Services written notice terminating the Wal-Mart Agreement, effective December 8. The termination notice alleges that the company failed to comply with certain provisions under the Wal-Mart agreement with respect to service level requirements and restrictions on the disposition of merchandise, Liquidity disclosed in a regulatory filing late Friday. The company disputes these allegations and is contesting the termination of the agreement with Wal-Mart. The company had been in negotiations with Wal-Mart to address Wal-Mart’s failure to honor the company’s exclusive right to purchase selected merchandise from Wal-Mart but was unable to reach a satisfactory resolution. The company is currently evaluating all of its options, reserves all rights with respect to this matter and will continue to seek appropriate relief from Wal-Mart for its failure to honor the company’s exclusive rights to purchase selected merchandise and any related actual damages the company has incurred. The company does not believe that the purported termination of the Wal-Mart Agreement will result in the company being unable to meet its financial guidance for its first fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2014, Liquidity Services stated.
December 7, 2014
19:49 EDTONTXOnconova announces data from trials of rigosertib in myelodysplastic syndromes
Onconova Therapeutics announced the presentation of data from clinical trials of rigosertib in myelodysplastic syndromes, MDS, at the 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, December 6-9. Three presentations from Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Dr. Lewis R. Silverman and Dr. Ghulam Mufti provided details of Phase 3 results from the ONTIME study of IV rigosertib in higher risk MDS. "The ONTIME pivotal trial with IV rigosertib was the first randomized, controlled clinical trial in higher risk MDS patients who had progressed on, failed to respond to, or relapsed after prior therapy with hypomethylating agents, HMAs," said Guillermo Garcia-Manero, M.D., lead investigator and Chief, Section of Myelodysplastic Syndromes, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "Although the trial did not achieve its primary endpoint, rigosertib was found to improve overall survival in multiple patient subgroups, which represent a substantial proportion of MDS patients with the highest levels of unmet medical need. This group included patients who had progressed on or failed to respond to previous treatment with hypomethylating agents, as well as patients in the Revised International Prognostic Scoring System Very High Risk category, and patients with certain karyotypic abnormalities, such as, monosomy 7, del7q and trisomy 8. Patients in these subgroups have a very poor prognosis, and currently there is no approved drug available to treat their disease once they have failed HMA therapy."
16:33 EDTONTXOnconova presents data from study combining rigosertib and azacitidine
Onconova Therapeutics announced the presentation of data from clinical trials of rigosertib in myelodysplastic syndromes, MDS, and non-proliferative acute myeloid leukemia, AML, at the 56th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, December 6-9. Based on synergistic anti-leukemic activity of the combination of rigosertib and azacitidine demonstrated in non-clinical studies, an exploratory, dose-range finding study was conducted at Mount Sinai Medical Center and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. "In this first-in-man Phase 1 trial, the combination of oral rigosertib and azacitidine was safely administered to patients with MDS or non-proliferative AML. Importantly, the addition of oral rigosertib to the standard dose of azacitidine did not worsen the adverse event profile compared to that reported for azacitidine alone," said Lewis R. Silverman, M.D., lead investigator and Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Furthermore, the rate of response observed in the Phase 1 portion of the study is promising and has led to the Phase 2 portion of this trial, which is now open at trial sites in the U.S. and Europe."
14:10 EDTONTXAmerican Society of Hematology to hold a meeting
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