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News Breaks
February 3, 2014
09:08 EDTZNGA, CHTR, MW, UNTD, KTOS, TWC, JOSB, VMEM, SNN, ARTC, HLFOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Herbalife (HLF), up 6% after pre-announcing better than expected earnings, boosting share repurchase authorization to $1.5B... ArthroCare (ARTC), up 7% after Smith & Nephew (SNN) agrees to buy the company in a $1.37B deal... Time Warner Cable (TWC), up 2% after Reuters says Charter (CHTR) is considering raising its bid for its cable peer to the low $140s per share... Kratos Defense (KTOS), up 15% after company awarded five-year SeaPort-e contract, stock mentioned positively in this weekend's Barron's... Violin Memory (VMEM), up 5.8% after appointing Kevin DeNuccio, who most recently managed angel investing, management and technology consulting firm Wild West Capital, as its president and CEO. LOWER: JoS. A. Bank (JOSB), down 4% after sending letter to Men's Wearhouse (MW) saying offer is inadequate and reported to be in talks to acquire Eddie Bauer... Zynga (ZNGA), down 3% following downgrade at BofA Merrill Lynch... United Online (UNTD), down 13% after discontinuing its cash dividend payments.
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November 25, 2015
08:01 EDTUNTDUnited Online to expand review of strategic options to include potential sale
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November 23, 2015
07:19 EDTKTOSKratos Defense member of team awarded $44M contract
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November 20, 2015
11:45 EDTVMEMNimble Storage plummets to 52-week low after results, guidance trail estimates
Shares of Nimble Storage (NMBL), a flash storage solutions provider, are plunging after the company's third quarter results and fourth quarter outlook significantly trailed analysts' consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Thursday night after the close, Nimble Storage reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share of (14c) and revenue of $80.7M, well below the consensus of (8c) and $87.44M, respectively. Q3 non-GAAP gross margin was 66.9% compared to 67.1% in the prior year period. GUIDANCE: Looking ahead to Q4, Nimble Storage forecast adjusted EPS of (13c)-(11c) and revenue of $87M-$90M, far below the estimates of 0c and $99.2M respectively. EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY: Suresh Vasudevan, Chief Executive Officer of Nimble Storage, noted that the company's enterprise investments were "taking longer to become fully productive" and that the shift in investment from commercial to enterprise business "impacted its commercial revenue growth more than they anticipated." Chief Financial Officer Anup Singh said, "We plan to make some key investments to drive growth that will constrain short-term profitability. We believe our planned investments will improve revenue growth as well as operating leverage over time. We expect that it will take several quarters to realize the impact of these investments and have factored that into our guidance for Q4 FY16." ANALYST REACTION: Friday morning there was a wealth of analyst commentary, with eleven separate firms downgrading Nimble Storage. Conversely, Piper Jaffray analyst Andrew Nowinski said Nimble Storage was oversold following the company's Q3 miss and push out of its break-even point beyond 2016. Estimates and the stock's valuation have been de-risked, Nowinski told investors in a post-earnings research note. He kept an Overweight rating on the name and lowered his price target for Nimble to $20 from $37. Jefferies analyst James Kisner recommended using the significant pullback in shares of Nimble Storage as a buying opportunity. Despite the missed Q3 revenue and disappointing Q4 guidance, Nimble's hybrid storage technology remains well differentiated and the total addressable market is large, Kisner told investors in a post-earnings research note. He cut his price target for shares to $20 from $33 and kept a Buy rating on the name. After Nimble reported weaker than expected results, Sterne Agee CRT still believes that the company has "a healthy franchise" in the $75,000-$125,000 price range. The firm continues to believe that the company's Hybrid product is differentiated from competing systems. It kept a Buy rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Nimble Storage fell $10.37, or over 50%, to $10.02 on more than seven times its average daily trading volume. As the session unfolds, the stock continues to hit fresh 52-week lows. Over the past 12 months, the stock is down approximately 62%. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other flash storage solutions providers include Pure Storage (PSTG), down 13%, NetApp (NTAP), up fractionally, SanDisk (SNDK), down fractionally, and Violin Memory (VMEM) down over 6%.
08:28 EDTSNNSmith & Nephew management to meet with Jefferies
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November 18, 2015
10:59 EDTUNTDB. Riley Financial proposes acquisition of United Online for $185M
B. Riley Capital Management, a unit of B. Riley Financial (RILY), has proposed a negotiated transaction to the board of directors of United Online (UNTD) to acquire all of its outstanding shares for $12.50 per share. As of November 17, 2015, B. Riley Capital Management and its affiliates beneficially owned approximately 7.9% of the outstanding shares of United Online, a provider of consumer services and products over the Internet.
November 17, 2015
16:42 EDTHLFJustice Department announces criminal charges against supplement maker USPlabs
The U.S. Department of Justice, along with partners at the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Postal Inspection Service, and Internal Revenue Service, announced a "nationwide sweep" targeting more than 100 makers and marketers of dietary supplements. The agencies noted, "The actions discussed today resulted from a year-long effort, beginning in November 2014, to focus enforcement resources in an area of the dietary supplement market that is causing increasing concern among health officials nationwide. In each case, the department or one of its federal partners allege the sale of supplements that contain ingredients other than those listed on the product label or the sale of products that make health or disease treatment claims that are unsupported by adequate scientific evidence." Among the cases announced Tuesday is a criminal case charging USPlabs and several of its corporate officers with various counts associated with the unlawful sale of dietary supplements, obstruction of an FDA proceeding, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Department also filed in the past week five civil cases seeking injunctive relief against a number of businesses and individuals that allegedly sold supplements as disease cures or that were otherwise in violation of the law. The cases involve various entities, including Vibrant Life, Viruxo, Optimum Health, Bethel Nutritional, VivaCeuticals, and Regeneca, said the agency. Note that shares of GNC (GNC), Herbalife (HLF), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI), and Natural Health (NHTC) all slipped Tuesday following early reports of criminal charges in the dietary supplement space. Reference Link
15:10 EDTHLFDOJ files indictment against USPLabs over Supplements, FDA Law Blog says
Shares of GNC Holdings (GNC), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI), and Herbalife (HLF) were all weak this afternoon on concerns that they would be the target of the FDA's action. Reference Link
13:09 EDTHLFHerbalife says not aware of being named in DOJ supplement action, Bloomberg says
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13:03 EDTTWCTime Warner Cable management to meet with Jefferies
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12:35 EDTHLFHerbalife puts active on headlines of DOJ briefing on supplement actions
Herbalife November 47 and 50 puts are active on total put volume of 9,800 contracts (2,400 calls) following Bloomberg headlines of DOJ briefing on supplement actions. November put option implied volatility is at 113, December is at 55; compared to its 52-week range of 34 to 126. Active put volume suggests traders taking positions for wide price movement.
12:28 EDTHLFGNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Herbalife at lows following DOJ supplement advisory
The Department of Justice said in a media advisory that it plans to announce at 3:30 pm today its actions related to dietary supplements sales and unlawful ads. Following the press advisory, shares of GNC Holdings (GNC), Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) and Herbalife (HLF) are at session lows, though none of the companies were named in the advisory.
November 16, 2015
17:21 EDTUNTDUnited Online confirms unsolicited acquisition proposal from B. Riley
United Online acknowledged receipt of an unsolicited proposal from B. Riley Capital for a negotiated transaction to acquire the company's outstanding shares. "United Online's board of directors, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, will carefully review and evaluate the proposal," the company remarked.
17:10 EDTHLF, TWCSoros took stake in Paypal, liquidated Herbalife stake
Soros Fund Management gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this afternoon. NEW STAKES: Paypal (PYPL), CIT Group (CIT), Schlumberger (SLB), Kraft Heinz (KHC), and Amazon (AMZN). INCREASED STAKES: Allergan (AGN), Lions Gate (LGF), Energen (EGN), Southwest Airlines (LUV), and Qunar Cayman Islands (QUNR). DECREASED STAKES: LyondellBasell (LYB), YPF (YPF), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Dow Chemical (DOW), and Monsanto (MON). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Herbalife (HLF), Lennar (LEN), DR Horton (DHI), United Continental (UAL), and Nice Systems (NICE).
12:20 EDTUNTDB. Riley & Co. reports 7.9% stake in United Online, makes $12.50 per share offer
Bryant R. Riley sent the following letter to the board of directors of United Online: "Per my conversation with Chairman Howard G. Phanstiel, B. Riley Capital Management, LLC and certain of its affiliates currently beneficially owns approximately 7.9% of the outstanding shares of United Online, and proposes to enter into a negotiated transaction with the Company's Board of Directors to acquire all of the Company's outstanding shares for $12.50 per share. This represents approximately a 21% premium over the current price of United Online shares. We would require limited due diligence given our deep knowledge of the Company and would provide for a go-shop clause. We believe our offer provides shareholders with immediate liquidity at a time of tremendous uncertainty. The announcement of the resignation of the Company's CEO as well as the hiring of an investment bank to review the Company's acquisitions have resulted in an approximate 10% decline in its share price and a Schedule 13D filing by a shareholder group announcing an intention to nominate directors for election at the next annual meeting. We believe that many shareholders share our concern that using the cash on the Company's balance sheet to make an acquisition first in telecom and now in e-commerce is too risky, especially given that prior acquisitions made by the Company under the leadership of the incumbent Board have proven detrimental to shareholder value. Although we would have preferred to keep our offer private, securities laws have forced us to go public with our proposal. As such, we believe that this is an appropriate forum to not only share our proposal, but also some of our concerns regarding the Company that shareholders should be aware of. As you may be aware, earlier last month we shared with the Company's management team an analysis of the compensation that has been paid to the management team, the Board and the Company's auditors. We expressed our dismay that over the last 10 years, despite United Online shares declining over 10% inclusive of dividends, the members of the Company's executive team have received over $160 million in compensation and the Company's auditors have been paid in excess of $25 million. Further, over the last 9 years, the members of the Board who have served during such time have each received between $1.5 million and $2.1 million in total compensation, all while shareholders have sustained losses. Compounding matters is that the Board's minimal ownership of the Company comes in the form of stock option awards and restricted stock unit grants, despite over 70 years of cumulative service on the Board. We firmly believe shareholders cannot afford to remain in an environment where unallocated management expenses, board fees and audit expenses equate to more than 25% of the Company's current enterprise value. Our proposal offers shareholders both immediate liquidity and an opportunity to maximize the value of their investment in the Company. As I informed Chairman Phanstiel, we have serious concerns with the potential ramifications of a long drawn-out process and will not participate in a full auction process. We believe our proposal, highlighted by a go-shop provision, will provide shareholders with the certainty of closing while also allowing the Company to engage an investment bank to look for others who are willing to pay a higher price for the Company. Our reason for not participating in a full auction process is a simple one - we own over $10 million of United Online shares that we purchased in the open market and believe that under the current infrastructure, this investment will continue to deteriorate. We do not believe that the Company, its shareholders, or its valuable employees can afford to face the uncertainty associated with an extended sales process. We are prepared to immediately enter into negotiations with the Board on the terms and conditions of a definitive merger. We intend to fund the purchase price with an equity contribution and the balance from financing commitments. We have spoken with financing sources for the debt commitment and are highly confident that we will obtain binding commitments for all such financing no later than the signing of a definitive merger agreement. Accordingly, the merger agreement would not be subject to a financing contingency. Given our ability to consummate the transaction without a financing contingency, we expect that the Board will meet with us promptly and seriously consider our proposal. We intend to evaluate all our options and take appropriate action with respect to United Online should we fail to hear a favorable response from the Board to our proposal."
12:05 EDTUNTDUnited Online up 8% to $11.16 after B. Riley makes $12.50 per share offer
12:00 EDTUNTDB. Riley & Co. reports 7.9% stake in United Online
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12:00 EDTMWMen's Wearhouse upgraded Underperform from Sell at Tigress Financial
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07:38 EDTVMEMViolin Memory downgraded to Hold from Buy at Maxim
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07:36 EDTCHTRBerkshire Hathaway discloses new AT&T stake in quarterly update
Berkshire Hathaway gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning. NEW STAKES: AT&T (T), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Liberty Lilac Group (LILA). INCREASED STAKES: Phillips 66 (PSX), Charter (CHTR), Liberty Media (LMCK), Suncor (SU), General Motors (GM). DECREASED STAKES: Goldman Sachs (GS), Wal-Mart (WMT), Deere (DE), Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), WABCO (WBC). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Viacom (VIAB).
05:37 EDTMWStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; MW WTW
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