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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For GOOG;SSNLF From The Last 14 Days
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February 1, 2016
14:32 EDTGOOGNotable companies reporting after market close
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13:42 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Alphabet to report Q4 results under new corporate structure
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the market close on Monday, February 1 with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. Alphabet is a multinational conglomerate that serves as the parent company of Google, Calico, GV, Google Capital, and Nest Labs. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $8.09 on revenue of $20.77B. The consensus range is $7.32-$8.59 for EPS, and $20.33B-$21.68B for revenue, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: Alphabet reported third quarter EPS of $7.35 against estimates of $7.21, on revenue of $18.7B against estimates of $18.53B. Google reported Q3 aggregate paid clicks up 23%, paid clicks on Google websites down 5%, aggregate cost-per-clicks down 11%, and cost-per-click on Google websites down 4%. The company also reported Q3 Sites revenue up 16% to $13.08B and Q3 Total advertising revenue up 13% to $26.78B. During its Q3 earnings report, the company said it will begin to disclose the Google business as a single segment in Q4. It also announced that the board authorized the company to repurchase $5.1B of Class C shares in Q4. GOOGLE SEGMENT: Alphabet announced that it will report Google as a single segment within its company beginning in Q4. It stated, "The new operating structure is being introduced in phases. For financial reporting purposes, we expect the reorganization will result in disclosing our Google business as a single segment and all other Alphabet businesses combined as Other Bets beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015." Within Alphabet, the Google segment now has 6 products with over 1B users, including Search, Maps, YouTube, Chrome, Android and Google Play. Gmail is also closing in on the mark with its 900M user base. RBC Capital believes that the disclosure of segment results by Google in conjunction with its Q4 results will cause the stock to rerate. The firm believes that the segment results will highlight the high profits of core Google, supporting an increase in the stocks' sum of the parts valuation. NEWS AND STREET RESEARCH: In the past quarter, Alphabet had a strong holiday season with ChannelAdvisor reporting Google Shopping was up 31.7% over the entire holiday period. Specifically, Google Shopping was up 35.9% on Thanksgiving, up 40.3% on Black Friday, up 25.7% on Cyber Saturday, and up 18.6% on Cyber Monday. Alphabet announced the redesigned launch of Google+ in November, the exploration of Fiber in Chicago and Los Angeles, and announced plans to open its first retail store in New York City. The company also targets the China launch of the Google Play app store in 2016, according to multiple reports. Lenovo (LNVGY) CEO Chen Xudong confirmed that Google Play is expected to come to China at some point this year. The company is expected to make its self-driving car company under the Alphabet structure as a stand-alone business. Ford (F) and Google are in discussions over self-driving cars, with the currently negotiated contract likely to "last a long time." According to a Reuters report, Google expects fewer software failiures in self-driving cars as it learns from its mistakes. Google tested solar-powered Internet drones and expects consumer package delivery via drone to begin in 2017. Google is also in talks with the NFL for streaming rights for London games next year. STREET RESEARCH: Oppenheimer said cloud providers like Alphabet may have a huge opportunity in the coming years. The firm said Alphabet may look for a major partner like Salesforce (CRM) to drive its cloud business. Cantor said Google ad revenue growth should continue to be strong and BMO Capital said Alphabet's outlook has improved as valuation has become more reasonable. Bernstein said the Street continues to underestimate the resilience and growth potential of Alphabet's search ad business and YouTube. Barron's, in particular, was extremely positive on YouTube, saying its revenue per viewer could potentially double in five years. It added it could be twice as valuable as Netflix (NFLX). JMP Securities was also bullish on the company, saying Alphabet benefitted from a relatively strong holiday season for online advertising. Ahead of its Q4 earnings report, JMP Securities expects the company to report "relatively strong" results. PRICE ACTION: Google shares have gained about 6% over the last three months. In Monday afternoon trading ahead of the Q4 report, Google shares are up almost 2%
13:24 EDTGOOGTesla bull cuts target as competition ramps more quickly than new models
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) dipped significantly in early trading before later rebounding after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on the automaker to $333 from its previous $450, with the research firm citing a slow production ramp for its new car models, potentially weakened consumer demand amid cheap oil, and clearly heightening competition in the electric and autonomous vehicle space. LOW DEMAND, MORE COMPETITION: Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones cut his price target on Tesla to $333 from $450, arguing Monday that the carmaker is facing a slow production ramp for the Model X as well as the Model 3, which Jones said may launch in late 2018, missing the company's internal target by at least one year. It is reasonable to assume, Jones said, that Tesla is taking a deliberate, quality-conscious pace for Model X production while also shuffling personnel to help with the car's early rollout, impacting the launch of the mass-market Model 3 even as the company grapples with potentially reduced consumer demand in today's cheap oil environment. Given his assumption of lower volumes, the analyst's revised his 2020 forecast for complete vehicle deliveries to less than half of Tesla's own 500,000 target. For 2016, the analyst cut his total delivery forecast 2% to roughly 70,000 units, including a revision of Model X expectations to 15,000 from 18,500. Contributing to Tesla's headwinds, its consumer energy storage solution looks to be more expensive than previously thought, while competition in the shared and autonomous mobility arena has increased markedly. Indeed, competing efforts from Ford (F), Volkswagen (VLKAY), Alphabet (GOOG) and many others appear "genuine" and are likely to see significant investment follow-through, potentially pressuring Tesla's margins as it increases R&D spend to keep pace, Jones argued. That said, the analyst keeps an Overweight rating on the shares, explaining that while Tesla remains a high risk name that burns plenty of cash to fuel its ambitious plans, it may still be the best positioned company in the ongoing "Auto 2.0" transition. PRICE ACTION: After quickly dropping as low as $182.75 in early trading, shares of Tesla are now up 2.6% to $196.14 in afternoon trading.
12:13 EDTSSNLFOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, but off their worst levels of the day, as oil is once again being weighed on by worries of slower growth in China. Several M&A announcements helped fuel speculation that deal-making may be set to pick up, but the headwinds of lower oil prices and weak economic data are outweighing that potential boost and keeping stocks in the red to start the month. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income rose 0.3% in December, versus expectations for an increase of 0.2%, while spending was flat, versus expectations for an increase of 0.1%. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers index for January dipped to 52.4 in the final January reading, down from the 52.7 flash reading and the below the 52.6 reading that was expected. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for January came in at 48.2, below the 48.4 that analysts expected. Construction spending rose 0.1% in December, which was weaker than the 0.6% increase that was forecast. In China, the statistics bureau's official manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 49.4 in January from 49.7 in December. The private Caixin manufacturing PMI edged up to 48.4 from 48.2 in the prior reading, but both figures still remain in contraction territory. In Europe, Markit's manufacturing PMI for the euro zone dropped to 52.3 from December's 53.2, in-line with the earlier flash estimate. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Twitter (TWTR) advanced 9% after tech reporter Jessica Lessin said private equity firm Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog service operator. Lessin noted in the report published on her site, The Information, that she did not know if deal talks are "active" now between Andreessen, Silver Lake and Twitter... Alere (ALR) surged 45% to $54 per share near midday after Abbott (ABT) agreed to acquire the company for $56 per share at a total expected equity value of $5.8B. In other Monday M&A news, Questar (STR) rose 22% after Dominion Resources (D) agreed to acquire it for $25 per share, or about $4.4B, and assume Questar's outstanding debt. Meanwhile, Stryker (SYK) announced a deal to acquire Sage Products for $2.775B in cash. The buyers' shares did not fare as well in the wake of the deal announcements, as Abbott slipped 0.5%, Dominion dipped 1% and Stryker fell 1%. Also lower were shares of Smith & Nephew (SNN), which slid fractionally as investors may have been concerned that Stryker's deal decreases the likelihood that it will come after S&N. Additionally, Smith & Nephew announced that its CEO Olivier Bohuon has been diagnosed with a "highly treatable" form of cancer. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Lumber Liquidators (LL), which gained 8.5% after a judge accepted the company's $10M plea deal to settle timber source crime charges, according to media reports. Also higher was Chipotle (CMG), which rose 5.5% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to formally declare the end to its E.coli outbreak as soon as today. In addition, Sysco (SYY) and Aetna (AET) were up 7% and 2%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Nokia (NOK), which fell 12% after it forecasted how much revenue it expects to gain from its IP portfolio after its patent deal with Samsung (SSNLF) and its shares were downgraded at Canaccord and BofA Merrill Lynch. Also lower was GoPro (GPRO), which was slid 5% after analysts from Piper Jaffray and Citi predicted that the company's guidance to be issued this week will disappoint investors. In addition, Roper Technologies (ROP) and ImmunoGen (IMGN) were down 6.5% and 5.7%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 56.40, or 0.34%, to 16,409.90, the Nasdaq was down 12.25, or 0.27%, to 4,601.70, and the S&P 500 was down 6.51, or 0.34%, to 1,933.73.
09:20 EDTGOOGU.K. opposed to EU sanctions against Google-favored Bermuda, Observer says
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08:20 EDTGOOGTwitter jumps after The Information breaks potential deal
Shares of Twitter (TWTR) are rising in pre-market trading after tech reporter Jessica Lessin said private equity firm Silver Lake and investor Marc Andreessen and have "considered some sort of deal" for the microblog service operator. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Lessin said in her report published on her site, The Information, that she did not know if deal considerations are "active" now with Andreessen and private equity firm Silver Lake. Silver Lake calls itself "the global leader in technology investing," stating that it has over $26B in combined assets under management. FREQUENT SPECULATION TARGET: Twitter has often been the subject of takeover rumors in the past year. Last April, Re/code's Kurt Wagner reported that Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) had looked at a potential acquisition of Twitter in the past, but noted at that time that neither tech giant was in discussions to acquire the social network owner. On January 20, News Corp. (NWSA) declined comment to CNBC regarding speculation about its potential interest in acquiring Twitter. Speculation also circulated the same day regarding an activist investor taking an interest in Twitter, trading sources told The Fly. PRICE ACTION: In pre-market trading near 8:15 am ET, Twitter rose 7% to $18 per share.
08:09 EDTGOOGOptions expected to be active
Options expected to be active: GOOGL GOOG YHOO UPS KORS UPS BAX RCL CCL PFE AET D STR DWA CMG ABT SYK.
07:09 EDTGOOGAlphabet volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
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06:14 EDTGOOGGoogle tests solar-powered internet drones, Guardian reports
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05:15 EDTSSNLFNokia receives decision in patent license arbitration with Samsung
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January 31, 2016
19:15 EDTGOOGGoogle adds dedicated VR design team, Re/code says
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14:12 EDTGOOGApple should avoid 'dubious' M&A, focus on cloud, AI development, Barron's says
"Impatient" investors encouraging Apple (AAPL) to become a mere dividend payer or make "dubious" acquisitions are not making much sense, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Apple continues to innovate and its iPhone franchise "will endure," though the one area where Apple lags behind peers and "can and should" make progress is cloud computing, according to the publication. Alphabet (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) are making large strides in cloud and artificial intelligence, but the company still has "plenty of opportunity" to catch up given its product install base, Barron's says. Reference Link
January 29, 2016
15:55 EDTGOOGAlphabet February weekly 740 straddle priced for 6.7% movement into Q4
08:13 EDTGOOGAlphabet volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Alphabet February weekly call option implied volatility is at 60, February is at 42, March is at 33; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 42, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 1.
06:29 EDTGOOGOptions expected to be active: AMZN EA MSFT EWJ FLEX SWKS GOOG GOOGL FB
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January 28, 2016
19:09 EDTGOOGOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 15.2%... QLogic (QLGC), up 11%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 9.2%... ShoreTel (SHOR), up 5.7%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 3.6%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 4.6%... Microsoft (MSFT), up 3.6%... Proofpoint (PFPT), up 3.1%. ALSO HIGHER: Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is up 1.1% and FireEye (FEYE) is up 1.6% after Fortinet reported quarterly results. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 13.2%... Synaptics (SYNA), down 3.8%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 8%... Quality Systems (QSII), down 9%... Visa (V), down 1.2%. ALSO LOWER: Facebook (FB) is down 1.2%, Netflix (NFLX) is down 2.7%, and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is down 1.5% and 1.7%, respectively, after Amazon reported quarterly results.
15:05 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Analysts more bullish on Microsoft since last quarter's blowout
Microsoft (MSFT) is scheduled to report results of its second quarter of fiscal year 2016 after the market close on Thursday, January 28, with a conference call scheduled for 5:30 pm ET. Microsoft, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells and licenses software to consumers and businesses, offers cloud computing and other business services, and markets computer, phone and gaming hardware. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 71c on revenue of $25.26B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 66c-75c on revenue of $24.62B-$25.92B. On its last earnings conference call, Microsoft said it expected Q2 productivity revenue of $6.6B-$6.67B, Q2 revenue for intelligent cloud of $6.2B-$6.3B and Q2 personal computing revenue of $12B-$12.4B. LAST QUARTER: On October 22, Microsoft reported first quarter earnings per share of 67c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 59c. The company's revenue came in at $21.7B, topping the consensus estimate of $21.03B. NEWS: On December 17, Microsoft announced a new joint venture that will license, deploy, manage and optimize Windows 10 for China's government agencies and certain state owned enterprises and provide ongoing support and services for these customers. That announcement followed Microsoft inking a partnership with Baidu (BIDU) to make it easy for their customers to upgrade to Windows 10 while providing local browsing and search experiences, and universal apps. On January 4, Microsoft said in a blog post that operating system Windows 10 was currently active on over 200M devices, bringing the company closer to its goal of seeing Windows 10 active on more than 1B devices. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last earnings report, BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan upgraded Microsoft to Buy from Neutral, saying he believes the company was at a turning point with its operating income headed for growth following four years of flattish performance. At the time, Rangan increased his price target on the stock to $63 from $46. On November 20, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a note to investors that actions taken by Google parent Alphabet (GOOG) and comments made by its executives indicated that the tech giant plans to make a major push in the cloud infrastructure market. Based on a comment from executive Urs Holzle that the company's revenue from the cloud could surpass its ad revenue by 2020, Sandler estimated that the company is seeking to boost its cloud revenue to $100B by 2020. Google's push in the cloud is negative for Microsoft, but it will take years for Google to build up its cloud business to the point where it's competitive with Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, the analyst contended. On November 30, Raymond James analyst Michael Turits upgraded Microsoft two notches to Strong Buy from Hold, predicting that the tech giant will become one of the few large scale cloud vendors that can succeed across the industry's three main segments. Microsoft will emerge alongside Amazon (AMZN) and Google as part of a small group of "hyperscale" cloud vendors that can combine Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service, predicted Turits. Forecasting that Microsoft's cloud revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6% between fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2018, the analyst estimated that the company's overall profit growth would accelerate to at least 8% over the long-term. Moreover, the growth of Microsoft's Office business appears to be accelerating, despite competition from Google, said Turits, who set a $62 price target on the shares. On January 13, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss upgraded Microsoft to Overweight, the firm's equivalent of a "Buy" rating, from Equal Weight. Microsoft is emerging as a public cloud winner, is gaining share in the data center market and Office 365 is seeing its base grow and its per user pricing increase, all of which set up the company to resume earnings growth after a five year period of stagnation, Weiss told investors. The analyst, who believes Microsoft's earnings growth and "aggressive" return of capital to shareholders should help its multiple expand, raised his price target on the stock to $66 from $57. This morning, UBS analyst Brent Thill said that given Apple's (AAPL) recent negative commentary around macro uncertainty he was lowering his second half of the year estimates for Microsoft on the potential for more conservative guidance when it issues its Q2 report after the closing bell. Thill trimmed his price target on Microsoft to $58 from $60, but said he remains confident the company is making the right moves to the cloud and kept a Buy rating on shares. PRICE ACTION: On the day after the company's last quarterly report, Microsoft shares jumped 10.4% to $53.03. In late afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's report, Microsoft advanced 1.25% to $51.86.
08:04 EDTGOOGHarman CEO: On track to deliver full year plan
"I am pleased to announce our 11th consecutive quarter of top and bottom line growth. Our strong first half results were in-line with our expectations. While we are closely monitoring macroeconomic developments, at this time, we are on track to deliver on our full year plan," said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman (HAR) Chairman, President and CEO. "HARMAN continues to innovate and bring industry-first solutions to market. We are also partnering with key technology leaders such as Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Under Armour (UA) to capitalize on the opportunities presented by IoT for automotive, enterprise and consumer electronics. In addition, our acquisition of TowerSec will strengthen our cybersecurity leadership position for automotive."
07:45 EDTGOOGFacebook price target raised to $140 from $125 at Cowen
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06:24 EDTGOOGSNP calls on EU to probe Google's U.K. tax agreement, FT reports
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