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February 21, 2014
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), up 0.9%... Aruba Networks (ARUN), up 9%... DISH (DISH), up 3.4%... CommScope (COMM), up 18%. ALSO HIGHER: Emeritus (ESC), up 35% after announcing a deal to merge with Brookdale Senior Living (BKD) in a $2.8B deal that gives Emeritus holders 0.95 shares of Brookdale in exchange for each Emeritus share owned InterOil (IOC), up 3% after a report by the U.K.'s Daily Mail said Teck Resources (TCK) is eyeing a cash bid for the company... Microvision (MVIS), up 14.6% as it continues rally after being designed into new Sony (SNE) module. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Fleetmatics (FLTX), down 17%... Acacia Research (ACTG), down 9.4%. ALSO LOWER: Groupon (GRPN), down 12.7% after earnings report, guidance and downgrade at RBC Capital...
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September 22, 2015
12:53 EDTSNEGoPro CEO says competitors like Sony have helped grow total reach
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12:14 EDTGRPN, HPQOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session deep in negative territory and have remained there throughout the morning. There has been little in the way of buying as the downward pressure in the market has not shown any sign of letting up. There is also little in the way of explanation as to why the market is so weak other than continued disappointment in the Fed's interest rate decision and the ongoing concern over China's economic growth. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the FHFA home price index rose 0.6% to 224.5 in July, which was better than the 0.4% rise that was expected. The Richmond Fed factory index fell to -5 in September, versus the reading of 2 that was expected. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Groupon (GRPN) slumped 2.5% after the online and mobile deal provider said it plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations. The news is the latest in a recent run of job cut announcements, after HP Enterprise said last week that it expects 25,000-30,000 people to leave the company and Johnson Controls (JCI) recently announced plans to reduce its global salaried workforce by as many as 3,000 people... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was told by doctors that he has 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. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Weatherford (WFT), which rose 9.6% after stating that it has decided not to pursue its previously announced concurrent public offerings of ordinary shares of the company and mandatorily exchangeable subordinated notes. Also higher was Vascular Biogenics (VBLT), which gained 15% to around $9.30 per share after the stock was initiated with a Buy rating and $25 price target at Chardan. Among the noteworthy losers following their earnings reports were ConAgra (CAG) and Carnival (CCL), which each fell more than 5%, and Red Hat (RHT), which slid 2%. Also lower were shares of Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP), which fell 7% and 8%, respectively, after the New York Post said a top FTC regulator may be leaning toward recommending against approving their merger agreement. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 263.77, or 1.6%, to 16,246.42, the Nasdaq was down 99.52, or 2.06%, to 4,729.44, and the S&P 500 was down 32.51, or 1.65%, to 1,934.46.
11:06 EDTGRPNGroupon slumps after announcing plans to cut jobs, exit markets
Shares of Groupon (GRPN) are slumping in morning trading after the company said it plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations. WHAT'S NEW: Groupon said this morning in a regulatory filing that its board approved a restructuring program under which it will cut 1,100 jobs and take a pre-tax charge of $35M. Of the pre-tax charges, Groupon said it will record $22M-$24M in the third quarter of 2015. The restructuring actions are expected to be complete by September 2016, the company said, adding that "substantially all of the pre-tax charges are expected to be paid in cash and will relate to employee severance and compensation benefits." Cost savings from the cuts will be reinvested in the business, Groupon said. WHAT'S NOTABLE: As part of the restructuring, Groupon will cease operations in several international markets: Morocco, Taiwan, Thailand, Panama, The Philippines, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. The closures come on top of recent exits in Turkey and Greece, as well as a sale of part of its stake in Groupon India to Sequoia. Rich Williams, the company's chief operating officer and president of North America, commented in a blog post that the 1,100 jobs that will be eliminated "over the next several months" will mostly come from the Deal Factory and Customer Service units. "We believe that in order for our geographic footprint to be an even bigger advantage, we need to focus our energy and dollars on fewer countries," Williams explained, adding that "just as our business has evolved from a largely hand-managed daily deal site to a true ecommerce technology platform, our operational model has to evolve." Williams also said that "in order for our geographic footprint to be an even bigger advantage, we need to focus our energy and dollars on fewer countries," and the countries it is exiting are "where the required investment and market potential don't align." PRICE ACTION: Groupon is down 1.7% to $4.10 in morning trading. Shares are down over 50% year-to-date.
10:01 EDTHPQHP acquisition of Stratasys would make sense, says Jefferies
Jefferies noted that HP (HPQ) management, during the company's recent analyst meeting, said they were looking to partner with or acquire a 3D printing company. Analyst Jason North believes a larger acquisition is most attractive, as it would speed HP's time to the market by 1-2 years as the company acquires a sales channel. North said Stratasys (SSYS) makes the most sense given its strong reseller network, FDM jetting, stereolithography and direct metal laser sintering potential, and other technologies. The firm rates Stratasys a Buy with a $44 price target on shares.
09:52 EDTDISHCNBC's Faber dampens DISH takeover speculation
Potential deal talks between DISH (DISH) and T-Mobile (TMUS) were going nowhere in the past and are still not going anywhere, CNBC's David Faber reports. Speculation continues to surround DISH after it asked the FCC for more time to pay for its newly purchased spectrum, citing "new and complex business issues," Faber added. Verizon (VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam told the reporter last week in an interview that his company has no plans to buy a satellite company and is not in talks with DISH. Shares of DISH are down 57c to $61.85 in early trading.
09:45 EDTDISHDISH, T-Mobile talks still not going anywhere, CNBC's Faber reports
09:20 EDTGRPNOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Ashland (ASH), up 4% after announcing that its board has approved proceeding with a plan to separate Ashland into two independent, publicly traded companies: the new Ashland, a provider of specialty chemical solutions, and Valvoline, which will focus on building the world's leading engine and automotive maintenance business... Solera Holdings (SLH), up 3% after Bloomberg reported that IHS (IHS) is considering besting Vista Equity Partners' $55.85 per share offer for Solera. Shares of IHS are up xxx% following the report... Weatherford (WFT), up 11% after stating that it has decided not to pursue its previously announced concurrent public offerings of ordinary shares of the company and mandatorily exchangeable subordinated notes. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Carnival (CCL), down 3.7%. ALSO LOWER: Groupon (GRPN), down 0.7% after announcing plans to cut 1,100 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations... New Mountain Finance (NMFC), down 4% after its 5M share spot secondary priced at $14.14 per share... Memorial Resource Development (MRD), down 4% after announcing it acquired additional acreage in North Louisiana and pricing its 12M share spot secondary at $17.60 per share.
09:02 EDTGRPNGroupon volatility flat into announcing restructuring, plans to cut 1,100 jobs
Groupon September weekly call option implied volatility is at 51, October is at 48; compared to its 52-week range of 33 to 83, suggesting non-directional price movement into announcing a restructuring, plans to cut 1,100 jobs, sees pretax charges up to $35M.
08:54 EDTGRPNGroupon to cut 1,100 jobs, sees pretax charges up to $35M
In a regulatory filing, Groupon disclosed that its board of directors approved restructuring actions relating primarily to the company's international operations. These actions are expected to involve an overall reduction of approximately 1,100 positions globally and be substantially complete by September 2016. In connection with these actions, the company expects to record total pre-tax charges of up to $35M, including approximately $22M-$24M in the third quarter of 2015. Substantially all of the pre-tax charges are expected to be paid in cash and will relate to employee severance and compensation benefits, with an immaterial amount of the charges relating to asset impairments and other exit costs. The company intends to exclude the restructuring charges from its non-GAAP financial metrics, including Adjusted EBITDA and non-GAAP EPS. In addition, the company expects that any cost savings from the restructuring actions will be immaterial in 2015. Cost savings in subsequent years are expected to be primarily reinvested in the business.
07:29 EDTHPQHP coverage assumed with a Neutral at Goldman
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September 21, 2015
19:06 EDTHPQMichigan sues HP over alleged failure to deliver on $49M contract
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16:53 EDTSNEOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in positive territory and remained there for most of the morning. The Nasdaq was the first index to show signs of weakness after Hillary Clinton pledged to address the high cost of specialty drugs, sinking multiple biotech stocks. The averages later recovered from their afternoon lows, with both the Dow and S&P posting gains and the Nasdaq narrowly finishing in the green after Monday's drug pricing debate. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., existing home sales fell 4.8% to a 5.31M rate in August, versus expectations for them to be down 1.6% to a rate of 5.5M. Over the weekend, three Federal Reserve officials, namely 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. 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 promising to lay out a plan tomorrow to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. The NASDAQ Biotechnology index fell roughly 4.4% following the attention paid to Turing's drug and Clinton's response... Shares of Volkswagen (VLKAY) trading in New York dropped 17.1% to $30.10 after the EPA and California Air Resources Board detected manipulations that violate U.S. environmental standards while testing certain Volkswagen 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... 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. Shares of Tesla Motors (TSLA) were volatile following the Journal's report, but closed the day up 1.37% at $264.20. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Atmel (ATML), which surged 12.65%, to $8.19 after agreeing to be acquired by German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in a deal valued at roughly $4.6B. Also higher was Starwood Waypoint (SWAY), which gained $2.89, or 12.70%, to $25.64 after announcing a stock-for-stock merger agreement with Colony American Homes. Additionally, Pandora (P) rose 8.17% to $21.31 after receiving an interim opinion from the Register of Copyrights regarding the company's agreements with Merlin and Naxos. Among the noteworthy losers was GoPro (GPRO), which fell $2.88, or 8.19%, to $32.27 after Barron's contended 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. Also lower was Mallinckrodt (MNK), which lost $8.23, or 10.02%, to $73.87 after ANI Pharma (ANIP) announced plans to acquire two new drug applications from Merck (MRK) that could compete with Acthar, Mallinckrodt's largest product. Separately, D.R. Horton (DHI) dipped 2.91% after the August U.S. existing home sales report showed a 4.8% drop for the month. Note also that Lennar (LEN) slipped 0.27% after its quarterly earnings report beat analyst estimates. INDEXES: The Dow rose 125.61, or 0.77%, to 16,510.19, the Nasdaq added 1.73, or 0.04%, to 4,828.96, and the S&P 500 gained 8.94, or 0.46%, to 1,966.97.
16:51 EDTCHTRTime Warner Cable confirms shareholder approval of merger with Charter
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15:58 EDTCHTRCharter stockholders approve Time Warner Cable, Bright House transactions
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15:50 EDTACTGAlcatel-Lucent, Acacia settle patent infringement suit, Law360 says
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11:12 EDTCHTRTime Warner Cable stakeholders approve Charter takeover, Reuters reports
Time Warner Cable (TWC) shareholders have approved its $56B takeover by Charter Communications (CHTR), Reuters reports, citing preliminary votes at a special shareholder meeting. Reference Link
10:49 EDTSNEGoPro falls after Barron's predicts 'dramatic' drop in share price
GoPro (GPRO) shares fell in morning trading after an article from Barron's argued that the company's share price may drop to as low as $25. WHAT'S NEW: Alexander Eule argued in a Barron's article that GoPro's stock price may see a "dramatic" slip of as much as 30% to $25 due to significant competitive pressure from Apple (AAPL), Sony (SNE) and others. Eule noted that the company's shares have crashed to a recent $35 after peaking at $98 in October 2014 and even called the mostly bullish analyst views on the camera maker's stock "wishful thinking." Additionally, Eule called the company's cameras a "one-product wonder" and compares them to BlackBerry (BBRY) smartphones and Palm digital organizers, which previously dominated their respective markets. The article adds that there is risk in being overly bearish on the company, since the "impressive" brand might become an acquisition target. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Last Wednesday, Citi analyst Jeremy David said that GoPro chief financial officer Jack Lazar confirmed at the bank's Global Tech Conference the week before that the Hero4 Session camera has been off to a slow start since its launch on July 12. David said that the recent selloff in the company's shares has been motivated by investor concerns about the Session. At the time, Citi cut its third quarter fiscal 2015 estimate for the company to $425M from $438M and fourth quarter estimate to $560M from $737M, $148M below consensus estimate at the time of $708M. David also said he was reducing estimates for the second half of fiscal 2015 and first quarter of fiscal 2016 as a result of downside from the Hero4 Session, but left estimates after 1Q16 unchanged, saying the long-term fundamentals of the company are "intact." The analyst added that his firm was "humbled" by the recent move in share price and acknowledged that GoPro is the "quintessential product cycle stock," though he said he remains bullish on the long-term prospects of the camera maker and reiterated a $90 price target. David argued that GoPro missing Q3 estimates and guiding below the consensus for Q4 is largely priced in. Separately, The Wall Street Journal said on September 13 that shares of GoPro were starting to look like a bargain after dropping 50% in a month. The company had a difficult time selling its Hero4 Session camera in July in the face of competition from older GoPro models, the publication added. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, GoPro shares are down 5.15% to $33.34. OTHERS TO WATCH: Ambarella (AMBA), which supplies chips to GoPro, is down 3.7% to $68.81.
September 20, 2015
19:48 EDTSNE'Maze Runner' sequel outpaces 'Black Mass'
Young-adult science fiction film "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" raced ahead of Johnny Depp-led crime biopic "Black Mass" in their respective weekend debuts. WEEKEND LEADER: Falling somewhat short of estimated sales in the range of $34M-$36M, Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20. The sci-fi action thriller's $61M budget nearly doubles that of the first "Maze Runner" film, building on a trend of dystopic young-adult films popularized by Lionsgate's (LGF) "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: "Black Mass" from Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros. took in $23.4M for its domestic open. The Boston-based crime film garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike, with particular praise given to Johnny Depp in the role of mobster Whitey Bulger. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's horror thriller "The Visit" earned $11.4M in its second week in theaters, while Sony (SNE) thriller "The Perfect Guy" fell to fourth place with $9.7M. Rounding out this weekend's Top 5, Universal's disaster film "Everest" grossed $7.6M despite opening in just 545 theaters ahead of its wider release.
14:46 EDTHPQCompany split may not end troubles at Hewlett-Packard, Barron's says
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12:49 EDTSNEGoPro shares could fall another 30% to $25, Barron's says
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