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July 1, 2014
10:01 EDTXRX, SYMC, MPO, GS, DECK, TGI, SHO, MNKD, GNRC, BNPQY, URBN, TWX, BSBR, HCCI, BEN, FOXAOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: 21st Century Fox (FOXA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... BNP Paribas (BNPQY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale... Deckers Outdoor (DECK) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... Franklin Resources (BEN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Generac (GNRC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded at Bernstein... Heritage-Crystal Clean (HCCI) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird... MannKind (MNKD) downgraded to Hold from Buy at MLV & Co.... Midstates Petroleum (MPO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland... Santander Brasil (BSBR) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Sunstone Hotel (SHO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Symantec (SYMC) downgraded at BMO Capital... Time Warner (TWX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Triumph Group (TGI) downgraded at RBC Capital... Urban Outfitters (URBN) downgraded at Wedbush... Xerox (XRX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.
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September 30, 2015
16:22 EDTSHOSunstone Hotel sells BuyEfficient to Avendra
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13:44 EDTGNRCGenerac spikes ahead of potential U.S. landfall of Hurricane Joaquin
Shares of backup generator maker Generac (GNRC) are trading higher ahead of the potential U.S. landfall of Hurricane Joaquin, which would be the first hurricane to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Arthur in July of 2014. Models for the storm predict it will hit the East Coast anywhere from coastal North Carolina to Long Island, New York, although one model forecasts it will go out to sea. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Previous severe weather events have tended to push Generac shares higher, such as a blizzard this past winter that pushed shares higher by 4.4% on January 26. Just after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, an event that boosted Generac shares by more than 30%, CEO Aaron Jagdfeld noted, "The events of the last few days continue to demonstrate for home owners and business owners the importance of having a backup plan for their power needs. Automatic standby generators have emerged as a cost effective and increasingly important part of those backup plans. As a result of the increased awareness these outage events provide, adoption rates for home standby and light commercial generators have accelerated over the last several years." PRICE ACTION: Shares of Generac are higher by 7.3% to $29.24 in afternoon trading.
12:32 EDTGSRepsol sells part of piped gas unit for $728M, Reuters reports
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10:33 EDTSYMCBattleground: Analysts agree Barracuda shares 'cheap,' diverge on ratings
The shares of Barracuda Networks (CUDA) are falling after the company reported lower than expected revenue and provided weaker than expected guidance. Research firms Piper Jaffray and JPMorgan both said that the shares are cheap in the wake of their huge decline today, though Piper downgraded the shares and JPMorgan kept an Overweight rating on the stock. Barracuda provides IT security and storage solutions, primarily for small and medium businesses. WHAT'S NEW: Barracuda last night reported second quarter earnings per share of 10c, versus analysts' consensus estimate of 9c. The company's revenue, however, came in at $78.4M, below the consensus outlook of $78.7M. Moreover, the company lowered its fiscal 2016 EPS guidance to 34c-36c from 36c-41c. Analysts' consensus estimate was 39c. Barrcuda cut its full-year revenue guidance to $320M-$323M, from $325M-$330M. Analysts' consensus estimate was $325M. The company said that its Q2 results were negatively impacted by longer sales cycles in its Europe, Middle East, and Africa region and it warned that it "saw some evidence" of slowing growth in the storage market. It also stated that its gross billings came in below its expectations. ANALYST REACTION: Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski responded to Barracuda's results by downgrading the stock to Neutral from Overweight. Although Barracuda blamed its lower than expected billings guidance on weakness in its storage business, its security billings increased only by high single digit percentage levels, the analyst stated. The shares are "cheap," but the valuation is not compelling enough to recommend the stock, contends Nowinski, who cut his price target for shares to $20 from $40. Barracuda was also downgraded at Macquarie and at Stephens this morning.Conversely, JPMorgan analyst Sterling Auty called Barracuda shares "too cheap to ignore." The company lowered its billings guidance partly due to worries about slowing storage market growth, as indicated by an industry report released last quarter, said Auty. However, the growth of Barracuda's storage business actually accelerated last quarter, reaching about 25%, the analyst stated. He believes that Barracuda's new guidance reflects the company's efforts to be "prudent." Auty cut his price target on the name to $30 from $42 but kept an Overweight rating on the shares. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other publicly traded companies in the IT security space include Check Point (CHKP), F5 Networks (FFIV), FireEye (FEYE), Fortinet (FTNT), Imperva (IMPV), Palo Alto (PANW), Proofpoint (PFPT), Qualys (QLYS) and Symantec (SYMC). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Barracuda tumbled 33% to $15.90.
10:05 EDTGNRCHigh option volume stocks
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07:46 EDTGSFed liftoff may be more turbulent for banks than expected, WSJ says
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07:18 EDTGSSecurities Industry and Financial Markets Association to hold a forum
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September 29, 2015
12:12 EDTBNPQYAB InBev taps BofA, Santander for SABMiller offer financing, Bloomberg says
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09:40 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox, ValueAct Capital enter into agreement regarding ownership
Twenty-First Century Fox announced that it entered into a Nomination Agreement dated September 28 with ValueAct Capital Master Fund L.P., VA Partners I, LLC, ValueAct Capital Management, L.P., ValueAct Capital Management, LLC, ValueAct Holdings, L.P., ValueAct Holdings GP, LLC, Volpe Velox, L.P., Volpe Velox, LLC and Jeffrey W. Ubben. The ValueAct Group currently beneficially owns approximately 5.9% of the company's outstanding Class B Common Stock. Pursuant to the Nomination Agreement, and subject to the conditions set forth therein, the company agreed to nominate Ubben, the Founder, CEO and CIO of ValueAct Capital, for election to the company's Board at the company's annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2015.Subject to certain exceptions, if at any time the ValueAct Group ceases to own at least 5% of the outstanding Class B Common Stock of the company, the company will no longer be required to nominate Ubben for election at the 2015 Annual Meeting and, if he previously joined the Board, Ubben will be required to resign from the Board. Under the Nomination Agreement, in the event that Ubben no longer serves as a company director prior to the Company's 2016 annual meeting of stockholders due to his death or disability, the company and the ValueAct Group shall work together to nominate a mutually acceptable replacement so long as the ValueAct Group continues to own at least 5% of the company's outstanding Class B Common Stock. For the duration of the Standstill Period, the ValueAct Group has agreed, among other things, that it will not: (i) in any way participate in any "solicitation" of proxies; (ii) in any way participate in any group with any persons who are not ValueAct affiliates with respect to the company's securities; (iii) acquire any beneficial or other ownership interest of (A) 7% or more of the company's Class B Common Stock outstanding at such time or (B) 7% or more of the company's Class A Common Stock outstanding at such time; (iv) knowingly sell the securities of the company to any person or entity that would own more than 4.9% of the outstanding shares of the Company's Class B Common Stock or 4.9% of the outstanding shares of the company's Class A Common Stock following such transaction; (v) effect or seek to effect any tender or exchange offer, merger, consolidation, acquisition, scheme, arrangement, business combination, recapitalization, reorganization, sale or acquisition of material assets, liquidation, dissolution or other extraordinary transaction involving the Company, or frustrate or seek to frustrate any extraordinary transaction proposed or endorsed by the company; (vi) engage in any short sale or similar derivative transaction related to the market price or value of the company's securities.
09:31 EDTFOXAValueAct agrees to 7% equity cap in standstill with 21st Century Fox
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09:31 EDTGSRe/code to hold a discussion
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09:22 EDTGSMorningstar to hold a conference
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08:38 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox, ValueAct Capital enter into agreement regarding ownership
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08:37 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox nominates ValueAct CEO Jeffrey Ubben for election to board
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September 28, 2015
06:08 EDTGSComcast NBCUniversal to acquire 51% stake in Universal Studios Japan
Comcast NBCUniversal (CMCSA) announced that it has agreed to purchase 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalization transaction, partnering with the current owners including Goldman Sachs (GS), USJ's CEO Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners, and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. Comcast NBCUniversal's purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is Y183B, or $1.5B. "We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in Japan and all of Asia," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. "This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally." Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBCUniversal's ongoing investment strategy for it's U.S. parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
September 27, 2015
19:39 EDTFOXA, TWX'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
September 25, 2015
16:35 EDTGSStocks end week lower as biotechs sink, Volkswagen crashes
Stocks ended the week lower after concerns about drug prices were reignited, sinking biotech stocks, an emissions scandal engulfed Volkswagen (VLKAY), dragging down shares of automakers and their suppliers, and Caterpillar (CAT) announced that it may eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs in the next three years as commodity prices continue to slump. MACRO NEWS: Following the Federal Reserve's decision last week to wait before raising rates, the central bank made a concerted effort to give the market more clarity this week. Over last weekend, three Federal Reserve officials - San Francisco Fed President John Williams, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker - all argued that an interest-rate increase is still warranted this year. Then, on Thursday night, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a speech at UMass Amherst that the central bank remains inclined to hike rates this year. Yellen's remarks were incrementally hawkish, but welcomed by the market, since they helped clarify the message the Fed delivered a week ago... In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index was flat at 53.0 in September, which was slightly better than the expectation for it to dip to 52.8. Durable goods orders for August declined 2.0%, versus expectations for a drop of 2.3%. When transportation items were removed, the core reading was breakeven, versus expectations for a rise of 0.1%. The third estimate of second quarter GDP showed the economy grew 3.9% quarter-over-quarter, versus expectations for the GDP growth estimate to stay at 3.7%. Personal consumption in Q2 is now believed to have grown 3.6%, up from the prior estimate of 3.1%. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September came in at 87.2, which was down from August's 91.9 but above the expected 86.2 reading... The Asian Development Bank cut its growth forecast for the region, citing a weaker outlook for China and India and a delayed recovery in the world's advanced economies. The bank now sees the Chinese economy growing 6.8% this year and 6.7% next year, down from its previous forecasts of 7.2% and 7%, respectively. Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for China fell to 47.0 in September from 47.3 last month. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled new economic targets, including a goal for a 20% increase in the target size of the Japanese economy to 600T yen, though he gave no timeframe for achieving this aspiration... In Europe, Markit's composite PMI for the eurozone came in at 53.9 in the first look for September, down from 54.3 in August and below expectations for a reading of 54.1. COMPANY NEWS: Biotech stocks declined after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on its treatment for toxoplasmosis, reigniting a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and laying out a plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. The NASDAQ Biotechnology index fell roughly xxx% for the week amid the attention paid to Turing's drug and Clinton's response... Volkswagen (VLKAY) shares trading in New York fell sharply to begin the week and ended the week far from where they'd been last Friday before the EPA said it found manipulations that violate U.S. environmental standards while testing certain of the automaker's diesel cars. The EPA said Volkswagen may face civil penalties of $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules, which could total as much as $18B, according to Reuters. In the wake of the scandal, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn resigned, with the company's supervisory board subsequently praising the decision and selecting Matthias Mueller, the former head of Porsche (POAHY), as Winterkorn's successor as the company's new CEO... Caterpillar (CAT) shares dropped after the heavy machinery maker announced plans for job cuts and lowered its revenue guidance for this year and next. Caterpillar said that it would lay off 4,000-5,000 of its employees between now and the end of 2016 and could lay off up to 10,000 employees by 2018. Caterpillar cut its fiscal year 2015 revenue forecast by $1B and said its sees its fiscal year 2016 revenue to be 5% below this year, adding that it expects revenue declines in all three large segments next year... Online and mobile deal provider Groupon (GRPN) said it plans to cut 1,100 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations... Nike jumped after the athletic gear giant reported better than expected earnings and futures orders, prompting numerous price target hikes and at least one upgrade at Street research firms. Among other companies reporting earnings this week, BlackBerry (BBRY), ConAgra (CAG), Carnival (CCL), and CarMax (KMX) fell immediately following their quarterly reports... Apple (AAPL), which has previously been reported to be working on an electric car via its "Project Titan," is speeding up those efforts and setting 2019 as a target to ship its first vehicle, according to The Wall Street Journal... Against the backdrop of China's President Xi Jinping visiting the U.S., Boeing (BA) announced deals to sell 300 planes to three Chinese companies and set up an aircraft factory in in the Asian nation, while Cisco (CSCO) announced a partnership with Chinese server maker Inspur Group... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) Chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was diagnosed with lymphoma. "Fortunately, my form of lymphoma is highly curable and my doctors' and my own expectation is that I will be cured," Blankfein stated in an open letter that was shared by the bank... GoPro (GPRO) finished the week about xxx% lower after Barron's contended in a feature article last weekend that the company's stock could plunge another 30% to $25 as Apple, Sony (SNE) and others pressure the company's "one-hit wonder" products... On the M&A front, Atmel (ATML) agreed to be acquired by German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in a deal valued at roughly $4.6B and Starwood Waypoint (SWAY) announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement with Colony American Homes. INDEXES: The Dow lost about 0.43% to close at 16,314.67, the S&P 500 fell about 1.35% to close at 1,931.34, and the Nasdaq declined about 2.89% to close at 4,686.50.
13:20 EDTGSGoldman Sachs hires Morgan Stanley trader, Business Insider reports
Goldman Sachs (GS) has hired Adam Savarese, a former trader at Morgan Stanley (MS), as a partner at its debt trading desk, Business Insider reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Savarese will work with partner Tom Tormey, the report says. Reference Link
13:17 EDTTWX, FOXAFly Watch: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' expected to top weekend box office
Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which is opening in 3,600 theaters, is expected to win this weekend's box office with a domestic gross of $35M-$40M. The next bunch of films are all expecting similar grosses in the mid-to-high teens. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to open in the $15M-$20M range in 3,305 theaters. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest," which opened last weekend on IMAX (IMAX), is expanding to over 3,000 theaters this weekend and is estimated to gross in the range of $15M-$17M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," which grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20, is expected to earn an estimated $16M in its second weekend of release. Warner Bros.' Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass," which took in $23.4M in its domestic opening last weekend, is expected to gross $12.5M-$13M this weekend. Additionally, Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario" is playing in about 50 theaters ahead of the film's wide release on October 2.
10:48 EDTTWX, FOXAMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
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