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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 28, 2013
12:30 EDTBKS, BSFT, JCP, MNST, GRPN, PANL, SHLDOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly higher at midday despite a weaker than expected estimate on gross domestic product growth. The futures had little reaction to the pre-market economic reports, which included the GDP revision along with personal consumption data and weekly jobless claims figures. The opening losses were minimal and barely lasted, as the market quickly reversed and moved into positive territory. The better than expected Chicago Purchasing Managerís Index also had little effect, as the averages have remained in a narrow trading range though mostly higher since the open... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the estimate of fourth quarter economic growth was revised up from an annualized fall of 0.1% to a rise of 0.1%, though the increase was much smaller than the bump up to 0.5% growth that analysts had forecast. Personal consumption rose in the quarter by 2.1%, versus the expected increase of 2.3%. Initial jobless claims fell 22K to 344K in the final week of February, better than the expected decline to 360K. The Chicago PMI Business Barometer Index for February rose to 56.8, versus consensus calls for a 55.0 reading. In Asia stocks were broadly higher, particularly in Japan, after the Japanese government formally nominated Haruhiko Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive policy action, as the Governor of its central bank... COMPANY NEWS: A number of well known retailers saw their stocks decline following their earnings reports, headlined by J.C. Penney (JCP). The company reported a much wider than expected quarterly loss and said its same-store sales plunged 31.7% during the holiday quarter. Shares declined over 15% following the report. Another embattled department store, Sears (SHLD), saw its shares fall more than 5% after its own report... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their earnings reports were Universal Display (PANL), which jumped 13%, Barnes & Noble (BKS), which rose over 7%, and Monster Beverage (MNST), which advanced nearly 6%. Among the noteworthy losers was Groupon (GRPN), which plummeted more than 19% after it unexpectedly reported a quarterly loss, guided to much worse than expected sales in the coming quarter and the stock was downgraded by at least three firms. Also sharply lower were shares of BroadSoft (BSFT), which dropped 28% after its stock was similarly downgraded by at least three firms following disappointing results and guidance... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 6.32, or 0.04%, to 14,081.69; the Nasdaq was up 6.68, or 0.21%, to 3,168.94; and the S&P 500 was up 1.97, or 0.13%, to 1,517.96.
News For JCP;SHLD;GRPN;BSFT;PANL;MNST;BKS From The Last 14 Days
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February 9, 2016
13:55 EDTSHLDSears liquidity event a matter of 'when, not if,' says Evercore ISI
Evercore ISI analyst Greg Melich said the preliminary Q4 financials released by Sears showed comparable sales were worse than he expected at the flagship brand and at Kmart and that its margins were also worse than he thought. Sear's cash situation has gotten worse, making additional debt issuance more likely in 2016, Melich tells investors, adding that he believes "a liquidity event is a matter of when not if," and may be possible in 2017 at the current burn rate. The analyst keeps a Sell rating on Sears shares.
12:06 EDTSHLDSears is not a viable retailer, says Evercore ISI
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06:51 EDTSHLDSears says to accelerate closing of unprofitable stores
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06:13 EDTSHLDSears sees FY15 revenue $25.1B, one estimate $25.27B
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06:13 EDTSHLDSears sees Q4 revenue $7.3B, one estimate $7.43B
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February 8, 2016
13:03 EDTJCPKohl's replaces J.C. Penney as Academy Awards retail sponsor, Fortune says
Kohl's (KSS) will become the sole retail sponsor of the upcoming Academy Awards, replacing J.C. Penney (JCP), which ended its Oscar partnership after 14 years last year, Fortune reports. Kohl's is attempting to increase the visibility and fashion credibility of its private apparel brands and is aiming to showcase its big names, including Sonoma, which is expected to relaunch after the Oscars, the report says. Reference Link
05:32 EDTBSFTBroadSoft acquires Transera, sees deal 2c-3c dilutive to FY16 EPS
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February 5, 2016
12:26 EDTBKSOptions with increasing implied volatility
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08:02 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney pursues sale of home office campus
J.C. Penney announced that it is pursuing the potential sale and partial leaseback of its Home Office building in Plano, Texas as part of an ongoing effort to reduce outstanding debt and effectively manage expenses. A combination of favorable market conditions and a surplus of available square footage within the building make this an attractive real estate opportunity for the company. It is expected that the cost of leasing space within the building would be offset by a reduction in maintenance costs, property taxes and interest expense as a result of paying down debt with proceeds from the transaction. CBRE Capital Markets has been selected to market the 1.8 million-square-foot, Class A office campus located in Legacy Business Park in Plano, Texas. The new owner will have the opportunity to market over 650,000 square feet of contiguous space within the coveted Legacy West submarket. These actions follow a decision in 2014 to contribute a significant portion of fringe land around the Home Office to a joint venture with a team of developers.
February 4, 2016
19:30 EDTGRPNOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT), up 18.3%... Symantec (SYMC), up 9.3%... Hartford Financial (HIG), up 7.4%... Post Holdings (POST), up 6.3%... Lumentum (LITE), up 4.7%... TTM Technologies (TTMI), up 1.1%. ALSO HIGHER: Multi-Fineline (MFLX), up 40% after agreeing to be acquired for $23.95 per share. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Tableau Software (DATA), down 35.2%... LinkedIn (LNKD), down 29%... Giga-tronics (GIGA), down 28.6%... Hanesbrands (HBI), down 11.4%... YRC Worldwide (YRCW), down 18.8%... Outerwall (OUTR), down 14.2%... Deckers Outdoor (DECK), down 9.9%... Qorvo (QRVO), down 1.3%... athenahealth (ATHN), down 3.7%. ALSO LOWER: Hess (HES), down 6.7% after filing to sell 25M common shares and 10M depositary shares... Splunk (SPLK) is down 10.4%, Qlik Technologies (QLIK) is down 11.4%, Workday (WDAY) is down 6.2%, and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is down 3% after Tableau Software reported quarterly results... Groupon (GRPN) is down 1.9%, Netflix (NFLX) is down 1.7%, Twitter (TWTR) is down 1.7%, and Facebook (FB) is down 1% are down after LinkedIn reported quarterly results.
10:52 EDTBKSOptions with increasing implied volatility: MPLX BOFI BKS NAT KSS
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10:28 EDTJCPKohl's slumps after cutting forecast on lower than planned sales, margins
Shares of Kohl's (KSS) are plunging after the department store retailer cut its earnings per share guidance for fiscal year 2015 based on lower than planned sales for the quarter and "significantly" lower gross margins. WHAT'S NEW: Kohl's said this morning that comparable store sales for the fourth quarter increased 0.4%, with total quarterly sales rising 0.8%. The company said that despite a "very strong" holiday selling season, sales were "very volatile and less than planned" in the quarter. Additionally, Kohl's said the holiday season results were offset by a "very slow start" to Q4 in November as well as a weaker than expected January due to soft demand for cold-weather goods that led to lower store traffic. Looking ahead, Kohl's cut its FY15 EPS view to $3.95-$4.00, excluding losses from debt repayment, against analysts' consensus estimate of $4.30. Kohl's previously expected FY15 EPS to be at the low end of its $4.40-$4.60 range. Kohl's said it lowered its guidance as a result of lower than expected quarterly sales and "significantly lower than planned" gross margin. Kohl's is expected to report Q4 results on February 25. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Kohl's is considering whether to hire an investment bank to advise the company on alternatives including going private or a break up, The Wall Street Journal reported on January 11, citing a source. Kohl's executives are said to be open to a strategic review, the source said. ALSO NOTABLE: Retailer Ralph Lauren (RL) this morning said that while international net revenue grew 6% in constant currency in its third quarter, North America revenue declined 4%, due in part to warmer temperatures for the fall and holiday season. ANALYST OPINIONS: Buckingham yesterday upgraded Kohl's to Buy from Neutral, as the firm expected Kohl's SSS to rise by a low single digit percentage level in Q4. Analysts at Stifel said on January 11 that Kohl's could be worth as much as $95 in a takeover. PRICE ACTION: Kohl's is down over 14% to $43.72 in morning trading. OTHERS TO WATCH: Ralph Lauren is down over 17.5% to trade near $95 per share. Department store peers Macy's (M) and J.C. Penney (JCP) are down 3% and 2%, respectively, this morning.
February 3, 2016
16:40 EDTBKSOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks began the session in positive territory but were unable to hold their early gains. Following larger than expected builds in energy inventories, oil moved lower, taking equities with it. By the noon hour oil prices recovered and moved higher once again, helping to lift equities. While oil prices continued their advance and moved up more than 7%, stocks lagged, especially the Nasdaq, which was down as much as 1.5% this afternoon. That changed in the last hours of trading, which saw the Dow spurt higher and the Nasdaq recover most of its losses heading into another heavy dose of corporate earnings reports after the close. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., ADP estimated that private payrolls grew by 205,000 jobs in January, topping the consensus forecast for 190,000 job additions. Markit's services PMI came in at 53.2, versus the consensus 53.7 forecast. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index came in at 53.5 for January, down from 55.3 in the previous month and below the 55.1 reading forecast by analysts. In Asia, the Caixin services PMI for China climbed to 52.4 in January from 50.2 in December, while Japan's services PMI rose to 52.4 from 51.5 in the prior month. Additionally, China's National Development and Reform Commission set its economic growth projection range for this year at 6.5%-7%, noting that attempts to curb overcapacity will increase unemployment in provinces with high output of steel and coal. In Europe, Markit's composite purchasing managers index for January declined to 53.6 from 54.3 in December. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) declined 4.75% to $27.68 after the embattled Internet company reported fourth quarter results and announced plans to simplify its product portfolio and reduce its workforce by roughly 15%. Maynard Webb, Yahoo's chairman, said the board is committed to its turnaround efforts and supportive of management's plan, but also believes that exploring additional strategic alternatives is in the best interest of its shareholders... Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) fell 2.89% to $461.92 after reporting lower than expected revenue and a 14% plunge in same-store sales for the quarter. Adding to the negative headlines, the restaurant operator also disclosed a subpoena broadening the scope of a criminal investigation that was previously limited to a single Chipotle location in California. Also punished by food safety worries were shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), which slid 4.24% to $143.64 after one of its restaurants was named a suspected source of new norovirus-like cases in suburban Kansas City, though the company disputed a link between its location and the illnesses. The stock continued to move lower in after-hours trading following the company's earnings report and lower than expected guidance... Merck (MRK) was one of the worst performers on the Dow, dipping to as low as $48.58 before ending the day down 0.7% at $50.04 after its earnings narrowly topped estimates but guidance for the new year fell short of expectations. Among other large cap names reporting earnings this morning, Comcast (CMCSA) rose 5.95% following its report, while General Motors (GM) slid 2.43%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Autodesk (ADSK), which rallied 8% to $49.56 after announcing a restructuring plan that will see its workforce cut by roughly 10%. Also higher was Angie's List (ANGI), which jumped 13.53% to $9.48 after the New York Post reported that InterActiveCorp (IAC) is preparing a "big run" to acquire the company. In addition, Syngenta (SYT) rose 2% to $80.21 after receiving a $43B-plus takeover offer from ChemChina. Among the noteworthy losers was Lowe's (LOW), which fell 6.2% to $67.42 after agreeing to acquire Canada's RONA in a deal valued at $2.3B. Also lower was Barnes & Noble (BKS), which declined 9.6% to $7.32 after mall operator General Growth (GGP) said during a conference call that Amazon (AMZN) plans to open 300-400 physical bookstores. After the closing bell, General Growth CEO Sandeep Mathrani indicated that his previous statement "was not intended to represent Amazon's plans." Meanwhile, Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Mondelez (MDLZ) and Match Group (MTCH) lost 7.6%, 6.5% and 12.6%, respectively, following their quarterly reports. INDEXES: The Dow rose 183.12, or 1.13%, to 16,336.66, the Nasdaq fell 12.71, or 0.28%, to 4,504.24, and the S&P 500 advanced 9.50, or 0.5%, to 1,912.53.
February 2, 2016
19:22 EDTBKSOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Boot Barn (BOOT), up 16.5%... Wabash National (WNC), up 9.7%... Oclaro (OCLR), up 6.8%... Myriad Genetics (MYGN), up 8%... Ultimate Software Group (ULTI), up 6.2%... Natural Health (NHTC), up 6.2%... Edwards Lifesciences (EW), up 6.2%... Viavi Solutions (VIAV), up 2.4%... Gilead Sciences (GILD), up just under 1%. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Match Group (MTCH), down 7.3%... Yahoo (YHOO), down 1.2%... Chipotle (CMG), down 7.1%. ALSO LOWER: Barnes & Noble (BKS), down 2.4% after General Growth (GGP) CEO Sandeep Mathrani announced that Amazon (AMZN) is going to open 300-400 brick-and-mortar bookstores.
16:14 EDTBKSAmazon.com said to plan hundreds of physical bookstores, DJ reports
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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.
06:55 EDTJCPPiper reiterates J.C. Penney as top pick for 2016
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February 1, 2016
11:18 EDTMNSTWells Fargo, Citron take sides in Monster Beverage debate
Monster Beverage (MNST) is rising slightly in the down market after Wells Fargo upgraded the stock, saying that the shares have reached a compelling entry point while Monster's convenience store sales appear to have accelerated. UPGRADE: The recent weakness in Monster's stock has created a "compelling entry point," according to Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog, who upgraded the stock to Outperform from Market Perform. Moreover, Wells Fargo's survey of beverage retailers suggests that the company's sales at convenience stores rose 10% last quarter, up from 7% in Q3. Additionally, the survey found that the quality of Monster's distribution operation had greatly improved in recent months. As a result, Herzog wrote that the issues caused by the company's transition to using Coca-Cola's (KO) distribution system had been "largely resolved." Monster's earnings growth should accelerate over the next five years as it penetrates new overseas markets, including China, the analyst contended. There are "numerous scenarios" that would enable the beverage maker to beat earnings expectations going forward, Herzog believes. In addition to international expansion, the company could benefit from accelerated share buybacks, a reduced tax rate and "major innovations" in beverages outside of its core energy business, according to Herzog. She raised her price target on the shares to $159-$161 from $139-$141. SHORT REPORT: On January 29, short-selling research firm Citron wrote that Monster's "valuation..is completely removed from reality." Over the past five years, Monster's stock has surged 500%, even though its revenue has only increased 90%, the firm stated. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's 2014 purchase of a stake in Monster will prevent the latter company from being acquired, as Coke is not interested in buying Monster, Citron contended. In China, Monster will have to cope with high start-up costs, tough competition and lower margins, Citron warned. Furthermore, the company's new products cannibalize its existing drinks, Citron believes. Also on January 29, the small Eastern European country of Latvia decided to ban sales of energy drinks to minors. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Monster climbed 2% to $137.73. The stock dipped about 1.6% on Friday.
10:00 EDTMNSTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Air Products (APD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... American Airlines (AAL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen... Axiall (AXLL) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... BASF (BASFY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale... CNH Industrial (CNHI) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... CU Bancorp (CUNB) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Fig Partners... CaixaBank (CAIXY) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Societe Generale... Chipotle (CMG) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Concho Resources (CXO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust... Continental Building (CBPX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Eastman Chemical (EMN) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA... Extreme Networks (EXTR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham... Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Fig Partners... IBERIABANK (IBKC) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Infineon (IFNNY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Jarden (JAH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Joy Global (JOY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... KT Corporation (KT) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Kennametal (KMT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... L-3 Communications (LLL) upgraded to Buy on valuation at BofA/Merrill... Maximus (MMS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Micron (MU) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Monster Beverage (MNST) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Northrop Grumman (NOC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... PTC (PTC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee CRT... Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Boenning & Scattergood... Praxair (PX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Proofpoint (PFPT) upgraded to Outperform from In-Line at Imperial Capital... Seagate (STX) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Benchmark... Siemens (SIEGY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Superior Drilling (SDPI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich... Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Werner (WERN) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... ZAIS Financial (ZFC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
06:14 EDTMNSTMonster Beverage upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog upgraded Monster Beverage to Outperform saying the recent pullback in the shares provides a "compelling" entry point. The analyst points out her firm's recent beverage survey indicates Monster's U.S. distribution issues have largely been resolved and that the company's earnings are poised to reaccelerate in 2016 and beyond. Herzog raised her price target for Monster shares to $159-$161 from $139-$141. The energy drink maker closed Friday down $2.17 to $135.03 after Citron Research posted a cautious report on the company.
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