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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For GOOG;GRPN From The Last 14 Days
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February 2, 2016
12:03 EDTGOOGOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Wall Street began the session in negative territory and the averages have remained there throughout the day as oil once again weighs on stocks. The price of oil has slid another 4%, giving the commodity a roughly 10% loss over the past two trading sessions. The market's late day rally yesterday gave hope for a decoupling between equities and oil prices, but that appears to be a one day reprieve as the stocks are back in lock-step with crude prices. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the economic calendar was quiet. In Europe, statistics agency Eurostat reported that unemployment across the eurozone decreased by 49,000 to a total of 16.75M in December dropping the unemployment rate to its lowest since September 2011 at 10.4%. In central bank news, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Reserve Bank of India both held their benchmark interest rates steady, as expected. COMPANY NEWS: Class A shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) advanced 5% in the wake of its report of better than expected quarterly earnings and revenue, pushing Google's parent company to overtake Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable publicly-traded company in the process... Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported better than expected revenue and profits in the fourth quarter, but its shares slid 2.5% amid the renewed weakness in oil prices. Shares of fellow oil major BP (BP) plunged 8% in New York trading after reporting a steep quarterly loss, largely due to $2.6B in charges related to impairments of Upstream assets as well as restructuring... Pfizer (PFE) reported better than expected fourth quarter results, but forecast 2016 revenue and earnings below analysts' estimates, pushing its shares down fractionally. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Syngenta (SYT), which rallied 4.5% after Bloomberg reported that ChemChina was close to a deal to buy the company for nearly $43B. Also higher were Mattel (MAT), Michael Kors (KORS), and Fabrinet (FN), which gained 12%, 22%, and 12.5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Twitter (TWTR), which fell 8% after it was downgraded to Sell at Stifel and following a report claimed that tweets on the service are down 50% from their peak. Also lower were AGCO (AGCO), Harris (HRS), and Pitney Bowes (PBI), which were down 10%, 9.5%, and 11%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. In addition, Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) lost 4% and 3.6%, respectively, after reporting U.S. sales for the month of January. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 239.86, or 1.46%, to 16,209.32, the Nasdaq was down 64.83, or 1.4%, to 4,555.54, and the S&P 500 was down 27.87, or 1.44%, to 1,911.51.
11:28 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Yahoo set to unveil cost reduction plan following Q4 report
Yahoo (YHOO) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Tuesday, February 2 with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Yahoo is a digital media company that provides properties and services such as Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! News. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 13c on revenue of $1.19B. The consensus range is 6c-18c for EPS, and $1.17B-$1.22B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Yahoo reported third quarter EPS 15c against estimates of 17c on revenue of $1.23B against estimates of $1.26B. The company reported Q3 Gross Search revenue down 2% to $870M, Display revenue down 14% to $509M, price-per-ad up 8%, and price-per-click down 2%. Looking ahead, Yahoo guided Q4 revenue of $1.16B-$1.20B, net income of $10M-$50M, and adjusted EBITDA of $160M-$200M. CEO Marissa Mayer commented that the Q4 guidance is "not indicative of the performance we want." Mayer added that the company will be disciplined on its headcount and will work differentiate search product over the next few quarters. In its Q3 earnings report, Yahoo also announced a services agreement with Google (GOOG, GOOGL) that runs through 2018. Google will provide Yahoo with search advertisements through Google's AdSense for Search service web algorithmic search services through Google's Websearch Service, and image search services. CEO Marissa Mayer said the partnership will be nonexclusive and will remain supplementary to the existing Microsoft (MSFT) relationship. NEWS AND STREET RESEARCH: In the past quarter, Yahoo announced that it suspended work on its plan to spin off remaining holdings in Alibaba (BABA). The company said it will evaluate alternative transaction structures to separate Alibaba stake following concerns about the market's perception of tax risk. Yahoo added that a reverse spin of the Alibaba stake may take a year or more to conclude. In a call to discuss the decision, Yahoo said it was "prudent" to explore options given the tax uncertainty while an Alibaba spin would take too long to get clarity. On an interview with CNBC, Mayer said the core business sale is on a "board level consideration," but no determination was made to sell the company or part of it. Following the announcement, SunTrust said Yahoo made a "great" decision given the tax risks of selling the Alibaba stake. The firm added that a sale of Yahoo's core or the entire company is the most likely outcome after reasoning that investors will not want to undergo "a year long spin process." Analysts at Sterne Agee CRT say the investors should begin to apply tax discounts to the Yahoo Japan stake and the Yahoo core, instead of Alibaba stake. Different reports from the NY Times and the NY Post said staffers and shareholders were beginning to lose faith in CEO Marissa Mayer. In January, Starboard sent a letter to Yahoo's board, expressing its belief that shareholders have lost confidence in the ability of current management. It added, "Despite over three years of effort and billions spent on acquisitions, the management team that was hired to turn around the Core Business has failed to produce acceptable results, in turn, causing massive declines in profitability and cash flow." In response, Yahoo said it will maintain "regular, open dialogue" with all its shareholders. A few days later, a Bloomberg report stated that Yahoo is considering an outright sale of the company. According to sources in a Reuters report, the company will wait to decide on its future strategic steps until it releases the Q4 report. The company wants to gauge shareholder reaction after outlining its "strategic vision" during the conference call. Mayer is expected to announce plans to slash costs and shift the focus away from an improving market share. She is also expected to unveil a plan to cut the company's costs, including several business unit closures, and lashing up to 15% of the company's workforce. Ahead of the earnings report, Re/code's Kara Swisher said investors are looking at how Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman may lay out plans to spin off core assets and other detailed cost reductions. Swisher notes that what may be essential is whether there are "explicit" signs from the CEO and whether the company is open for a buyout. PRICE ACTION: Yahoo shares have dropped more than 11.5%, since the first day of trading following the company's Q2 report. In Tuesday afternoon trading ahead of the Q4 report, Yahoo shares are trading down over 2.5%.
10:40 EDTGRPNStifel warns Twitter may go way of tech busts, cuts to Sell
Twitter (TWTR) is giving up nearly all of yesterday's gains after Fortune and The Wall Street Journal poured cold water on a report that private equity firm Silver Lake might be considering making a strategic investment in the company. Additionally weighing on the stock are a Business Insider report claiming that the number of tweets has declined by more than 50% in the last 18 months and research firm Stifel downgrading the stock to Sell. WHAT'S NEW: Yesterday morning, tech website The Information reported that venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and private equity firm Silver Lake have considered making a deal involving Twitter. However, Silver Lake isn't looking to make a deal with Twitter, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed source. The Journal's article echoes a report yesterday afternoon by Fortune, which also quoted an unnamed source as saying that Silver Lake isn't interested in buying Twitter. Also, according to Business Insider, the number of daily tweets on Twitter has plummeted by more than 50% since August 2014. The report based its estimate on a sampling of data from the website's application programming interface. Last month, there were 303M tweets per day on average, down from the peak of an average of 661M per day in August 2014, when the World Cup was occurring, the website stated. Moreover, according to the data, Twitter has about 130M active users, versus the company's estimate of up to 320M monthly active users. STIFEL SAY SELL: Stifel analyst Scott Devitt downgraded Twitter to Sell form Hold, saying that it has "never fully developed into a sustainable public company." Yahoo (YHOO) says that it has 1B monthly active users, but the market valuation of Yahoo's core business is "much lower" than that of Twitter, which has a significantly smaller user base, Devitt stated. Additionally, Internet companies Groupon (GRPN) and Zynga (ZNGA) became well-known and obtained tens of millions of users, only to see their stocks plummet, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, Twitter's product has not changed significantly since the company hired a new CEO three months ago and it will have difficulty meeting financial expectations over the short-term and longer term, given the size of its user base, said Devitt, who has a $14 price target for the shares. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Twitter fell 6.3% to $16.78. The stock had gained 6.55% yesterday on the heels of Jessica Lessin's report in The Information.
09:36 EDTGOOGActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: FB AAPL BAC GOOGL NFLX GOOG XOM TWTR LVS
09:28 EDTGOOGOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Michael Kors (KORS), up 17.3%... Mattel (MAT), up 6.9%... Mallinckrodt (MNK), up 4.3%... Alphabet (GOOGL), up 5%... Dow Chemical (DOW), up 3%... UPS (UPS), up 2.3%. ALSO HIGHER: Netflix (NFLX), up 1.1% after being upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... Hansen Medical (HNSN), up 18.8% after announcing FDA clearance of Magellan Robotic Catheter eKit. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Integrated Device (IDTI), down 20%... BP (BP), down 8.5%... Royal Caribbean (RCL), down 7%... Waddell & Reed (WDR), down 5.5%... Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), down 5.5%. ALSO LOWER: Twitter (TWTR), down after being downgraded to Sell from Hold at Stifel... American Campus (ACC), down 1.1% after 15.6M share Spot Secondary priced at $41.25... Horsehead (ZINC), down 47.6% after filing for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware.
09:13 EDTGOOG, GOOGAlphabet price target raised to $970 from $930 at CLSA
CLSA analyst James Lee said Alphabet reported strong core advertising revenue growth accelerating due to search, mobile, and YouTube. The analyst continues to see growth drivers in key areas of advertising, closing the mobile pricing gap, and shifting advertising from TV online. Lee maintained his Buy rating and raised his price target to $970 from $930 on Alphabet shares.
08:00 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $1050 from $950 at Bernstein
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07:32 EDTGOOGAlphabet remains a top pick at Baird
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07:28 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $965 from $822 at Oppenheimer
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07:23 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $968 from $900 at JPMorgan
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07:14 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $950 from $900 at Jefferies
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07:12 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $925 from $900 at Nomura
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07:09 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $930 from $900 at Stifel
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06:51 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $924 from $890 at Citi
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06:49 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $900 from $800 at Barclays
Barclays analyst Paul Vogel said Alphabet's (GOOGL) revenues continue to accelerate and margins are moving higher as well. The analyst said shares remain inexpensive and raised his price target to $900 as he rolled forward valuation multiple to 2017 estimates and maintained his Overweight rating.
06:42 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $1,080 from $900 at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler raised his price target for Google parent Alphabet after saying the company's Q4 results "left little confusion" around the strength of the core franchise. The analyst calls the core search business a "scare undervalued asset" and thinks Alphabet shares will move over $1,000. The stock remains Sandler's top pick.
06:24 EDTGOOGOptions expected to be active
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05:56 EDTGOOGAlphabet price target raised to $911 from $812 at Piper Jaffray
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February 1, 2016
20:17 EDTGOOGAlphabet highlights momentum in YouTube, consumer shifts towards mobile
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19:15 EDTGOOGAlphabet overtakes Apple as most valuable public company
Shares of Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) surged after the company reported fourth quarter results Monday, with after-hours stock prices signaling it has overtaken Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable publicly traded company. WHAT'S NEW: Alphabet reported Q4 EPS of $8.67, above analyst expectations of $8.10, and Q4 revenue of $21.33B, above consensus estimates of $20.77B. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Alphabet reported that Google's aggregate paid clicks were up 31% in Q4, while paid clicks on Google Network Members' websites were up 2%, aggregate cost-per-click was down 13%, cost-per-click on Google websites was down 16%, and cost-per-click on Google Network Members' websites was down 8%. PRICE ACTION: Alphabet's Class A shares under ticker symbol GOOGL are up 4.65% to $806.61 while its ordinary shares under symbol GOOG are up 5.25% to $791.50 in after-hours trading. Shares of Apple, meanwhile, are down fractionally to $96.18. According to CNBC, those after-hours levels, though not yet indicating real world value, represent a market capitalization of roughly $570B for Alphabet, surpassing Apple's market cap of $535B.
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