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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 23, 2014
11:04 EDTWMT, GME, SNE, MSFTGameStop advances after profits beat expectations, outlook backed
Shares of multichannel video game retailer GameStop (GME) are rising this morning after the company reported better than expected first quarter profits and backed its fiscal 2014 guidance. WHAT'S NEW: GameStop reported Q1 earnings per share of 59c, which beat analysts' consensus estimate of 57c, and revenue of $2B, which was relatively in-line with an estimate of $2.03B. Consolidated comparable sales for the quarter increased 5.8%. For the quarter, the new hardware category grew 81.1% from the year-ago period, driven by strong worldwide consumer demand for Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox One. The company said total market sales in the U.S. from launch through April of XBox One and PS4 hardware more than doubled the combined sales of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hardware through their first six months of sales. Looking ahead, the company backed its fiscal year 2014 EPS view of $3.40-$3.70. The consensus forecast of analysts for FY14 EPS prior to the report was $3.68. Full year SSS are expected to be up 6%-12%. The company also forecast second quarter EPS of 12c-20c with SSS up 12%-19%. The consensus forecast for Q2 EPS prior to the report was 17c. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On its earnings conference call, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said the company is seeing "stronger" demand for the Xbox One as a result of the console's recent price drop last week, adding that the good news for the company is "we'll sell a lot more units." Also during the call, an analyst asked if GameStop's business has been impacted from Wal-Mart (WMT) recently entering the used game space. Raines said the company has not seen any impact from competitors entering the used game space and commented that "I would encourage you to go do some trades at all of our competitors, because I think all of them are in the trade business. We have a deep knowledge of how execution looks at all of those competitors and we do not have any impact from them." PRICE ACTION: GameStop is trading up $1.85, or about 5%, to $38.74 in mid-morning trading.
News For GME;MSFT;SNE;WMT From The Last 14 Days
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December 11, 2014
08:53 EDTMSFTBritain lays out details for proposed 25% 'Google Tax,' WSJ reports
U.S. technology giants such as Google (GOOGL, GOOG), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) have come under fire in Britain for the relatively small corporate taxes they pay there and the U.K. government detailed plans for a new 25% tax on profits of multinational technology and other companies, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
08:09 EDTMSFTGoogle shares pricing in loss of Apple search deal, says Citigroup
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06:34 EDTWMTJudge says Wal-Mart managers at two stores violated labor laws, NY Times reports
Managers at two of Wal-Mart's (WMT) California stores illegally punished employees for striking and unlawfullythreatened to close a store in retaliation for higher compensation demands by workers, a judge ruled yesterday, according to The New York Times. The company said it would appeal the ruling. Reference Link
December 10, 2014
14:31 EDTWMTWal-Mart names Judith McKenna as COO of Wal-Mart U.S.
McKenna succeeds Gisel Ruiz, who has been appointed executive vice president of Walmart’s International People Division.
09:22 EDTMSFTMicrosoft management to meet with Pacific Crest
Meeting to be held on the West Coast on December 12 hosted by Pacific Crest.
09:20 EDTMSFTTyler Technologies signs agreement with Albermarle County Service Authority
Tyler Technologies (TYL) has signed an agreement with the Albemarle County Service Authority to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX, an enterprise resource planning solution with public sector functionality that Tyler Technologies jointly developed with Microsoft (MSFT). The contract includes implementation and related professional services, support, and training.
December 9, 2014
06:27 EDTMSFTSamsung, white-box makers to benefit from Microsoft Mobile exit, DigiTimes says
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December 8, 2014
18:19 EDTSNESony hacker releases additional private data, issues threat, Re/code says
Guardians of Peace, the hacker group claiming responsibility for the attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, released an additional trove of private data and issued threats against the studio, according to Re/code. Reference Link
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.
13:21 EDTMSFTMicrosoft files appeal in case on customer data in Ireland
Microsoft said on its blog that it has filed an appeal in its ongoing case challenging a U.S. government search warrant for customer data stored in Ireland. Microsoft said it filed the appeal after a U.S. district court judge rejected the company’s argument that the warrant is illegal because it calls for the seizure of emails stored outside the United States. Reference Link
12:40 EDTWMT, MSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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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.
10:44 EDTMSFTDigital River grants Microsoft extestion to decide on renewing pact
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10:04 EDTMSFTAccenture and Microsoft launch hybrid cloud platform
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10:03 EDTWMTLiquidity Services price target lowered to $9 from $12 at RW Baird
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09:21 EDTSNESony Pictures called the cyberattack 'unprecedented in nature', Re/code reports
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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.
06:24 EDTSNENorth Korea denies role in recent Sony hacking, WSJ reports
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06:17 EDTSNESony PlayStation store may have suffered possible cyberattack, AP reports
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