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November 17, 2015
09:35 EDTAAPL, GEActive equity options trading on open: AAPL FB GE HD
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09:27 EDTGESynchrony announces completion of separation from General Electric
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09:02 EDTAAPL, SNEAnalyst 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.
07:01 EDTAAPLGlobal Payments to offer Apple Pay support in Canada
Global Payments (GPN) said it will offer its merchants in Canada the ability to accept American Express (AXP) payments made with Apple (AAPL) Pay. As an Apple Pay-qualified payment provider, Global Payments' robust suite of payments solutions is fully enabled for Apple Pay acceptance, allowing merchants to offer their customers the convenience of Apple Pay acceptance in-store, in-app and on-the-go.
06:41 EDTGEGE's offer to exchange Synchrony's shares was oversubscribed by 3.2 times
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06:35 EDTGOOGGoogle's Project Aura working on three new wearables, the Information says
Google's revamped Google Glass project, known as Project Aura, is developing a wearable with a screen and at least one without, the Information reports. Three versions of the head-mounted device are currently in development, though three may be consolidated into two, the report says. The two without a screen rely on bone conduction, much like the original Google Glass, the report says. Reference Link
05:29 EDTGEGeneral Electric announces new Renewable Energy business
GE introduced its new Renewable Energy business at the European Wind Energy Association's 2015 Annual Event in Paris. The new unit significantly expands GE's wind portfolio in the wake of its recent acquisition of Alstom's power and grid businesses. The new business expands GE's global wind footprint to more than 30,000 turbines worldwide and significantly increases its presence in regions like Europe and Latin America. In Europe alone, GE's installed base will grow by approximately 50% as a result of the deal. In addition, GE Renewable Energy is welcoming a new offshore wind unit into the portfolio. Featuring new Haliade turbine technology, the offshore business has built a significant backlog of orders with EDF in France and has been selected for the Merkur offshore project in Germany. The Haliade technology will also be featured in the historic Block Island project, which is set to become the first offshore wind farm in the United States. Construction is underway, and the project will begin operation next year. Customers can also expect to see service-related benefits resulting from the acquisition. GE Renewable Energy plans to extend its services capabilities across both existing fleets, with an emphasis on using cutting-edge digital and analytics capabilities to help customers improve productivity and increase power output. Earlier this year, GE launched its Digital Wind Farm, which aims to create a digital infrastructure for the wind industry. The Digital Wind Farm harnesses the analytics power of the GE Store and is powered by Predix, the secure software platform for the Industrial Internet.
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