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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 17, 2012
12:16 EDTDNN, JNJ, ZNGA, FSLR, KO, AMTG, GSOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday, as the International Monetary Fund raised its view on U.S. and global growth prospects. Stock futures spurted higher during the pre-market trading session following the IMF’s increase in its growth projections. Also helping push the futures upward were positive earnings reports from some of the country’s largest corporations. The futures action led to a higher open for the broader market. The market pared its opening gains during the first 30 minutes of trading but then resumed it march higher and sat near its daily highs near noon... ECONOMIC EVENTS: Domestically, housing starts for the month of March decreased 5.8%, versus expectations of an increase of 1.0%. The annual run rate came in at 654,000 units, versus the consensus estimate of 750,000. The number of building permits issued, however, rose 4.5% to 747,000, versus expectations of a decrease of 0.7% to 710,000. Industrial production was reportedly flat in March, versus expectations for a 0.3% increase. Capacity utilization was in line with forecasts at at 78.6%. Also, the International Monetary Fund said it sees world output growing 3.5% in 2012, raising its projection for United States growth to 2.1%. The IMF said it sees growth in China slowing to 8.2% and real GDP in the euro area contracting in the first half of 2012 but then recovering... COMPANY NEWS: All but one Dow component was higher near noon, led by shares of Coca Cola (KO), which rose 2.7% following its better than expected earnings report. The only Dow decliner was Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which reported adjusted earnings that beat expectations but revenues below the Street's forecast... Goldman Sachs's (GS) stock was nearly flat in spite of earnings and revenue that beat expectations and an increase in its quarterly dividend to 46c from 35c... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were First Solar (FSLR), up nearly 13%, after it announced plans to cut its global workforce by approximately 2,000 positions, or about 30%, in response to conditions in Europe, and Denison Mines (DNN), up almost 15%, after agreeing to sell its mining assets and operations located in the United States to Energy Fuels. Noteworthy losers included Apollo Residential Mortgage (AMTG), down 6%, after filing to sell 13.9M shares of its common stock, and Zynga (ZNGA), down over 3%, amid reports that its newly acquired Draw Something game has seen its daily active use fall off... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 181.57, or 1.41%, to 13,102.98; the Nasdaq was up 50.58, or 1.69%, to 3,038.98; and the S&P 500 was up 19.24, or 1.40%, to 1,388.81.
News For KO;JNJ;GS;FSLR;DNN;AMTG;ZNGA From The Last 14 Days
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February 3, 2016
16:50 EDTGSSignature Bank announces underwriters' purchase of additional shares
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08:06 EDTGSGoldman Sachs CEO says 'feeling great' after treatment
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07:26 EDTFSLRDeutsche lists five reasons to like First Solar shares
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05:16 EDTGSStocks with implied volatility movement; GS C
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February 2, 2016
10:49 EDTGSGoldman Sachs Asia unit censured by Hong Kong regulator
The Securities and Futures Commission, SFC, has publicly censured Goldman Sachs Asia for breaches of the Code on Takeovers and Mergers whilst acting as a financial advisor to Wing Hang Bank, Limited in relation to a voluntary general offer for the bank. Goldman Sachs' conduct fell far short of the standards expected of a financial advisor under the Takeovers Code in that between 8 November 2013 and 6 January 2014: Goldman Sachs executed 111 trades in the securities of Wing Hang Bank without making the requisite dealing disclosures and no prior consent was obtained as required for 26 of these trades ; and Goldman Sachs failed to comply with the restrictions on issue and distribution of research reports in relation to the research reports it published on Wing Hang Bank. In deciding the sanction, the SFC took into account Goldman Sachs' cooperation and self-reporting of the breaches. Reference Link
10:40 EDTZNGAStifel 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.
08:53 EDTJNJPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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08:47 EDTJNJAduro Biotech shares undervalued, says Roth Capital
After Aduro (ADRO) received a $22.4M payment from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Roth Capital says that Aduro's valuation does not adequately reflect its opportunities. The firm thinks the company has several "broad business development opportunities." It keeps a $68 price target and Buy rating on the shares.
07:42 EDTJNJPressure mounts on big pharma names to shrink, sharpen focus, FT says
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06:32 EDTJNJGSK, J&J back Index Ventures' $1B biotech business spinoff, Reuters says
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will back a new spinoff from Index Ventures, which is spinning off its biotech portfolio into a new $1B entity, Reuters reports. The New Medicxi Ventures business will be helmed by the existing life sciences team from Index and will include all the current biotech portfolio firms, the report says. Medicxi raises $229M for a new fund in Europe with GSK and J&J each putting in 25%, Reuters reports. Reference Link
February 1, 2016
11:18 EDTKOWells 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.
08:13 EDTJNJAduro Biotech receives $20M milestone payment from Janssen Biotech
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January 31, 2016
20:43 EDTKOOn The Fly: Top five weekend stock stories
Catch up on the weekend's top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Coca-Cola (KO) announced a minority stake in diary and juice company Chi, with plans to take full ownership within three years. 2. Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz is considering taking an activist position in Time Warner (TWX), the New York Post reported. 3. Toyota (TM) could temporarily halt domestic production after an explosion at a key supplier curbed its supply of steel, Reuters said. 4. Investigations into Herbalife (HLF), as well as investigations into Bill Ackman himself, have fizzled and criminal charges look unlikely, the Wall Street Journal revealed. 5. Virtu Financial (VIRT) and Ctrip (CTRP) were discussed positively by Barron's this week, as well as "tech bargains" Autodesk (ADSK), Akamai (AKAM), Western Digital (WDC), SanDisk (SNDK) and Lam Research (LRCX) and attractive banking stocks Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
15:06 EDTKOCoca-Cola makes strategic investment in Chi, plans full ownership within 3 years
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12:33 EDTGSU.S. banks could return 20% or more, Barron's says
The banking sector looks like "one of the best bargains in the market," Barron's contends in a cover story. Names such as Citi (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), BB&T (BBT), PNC Financial (PNC), SunTrust (STI) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) are showing healthy balance sheets and could offer "at least" 20% upside, the publication argues, adding that the industry's exposure to the energy sector "looks manageable" given information offered in recent earnings reports and conference calls. Reference Link
11:39 EDTJNJS&P falls 5% in January despite second straight winning week to close month
Stocks finished the month of January with two straight winning weeks, but investors are still glad to see the calendar flip as those winners only cut the S&P's loss to 5% for the month. With growth worries abounding amid troubling signs from China and as oil languishes below $35 per barrel, the manufacturing readings from China, Europe, and the U.S. due out on Monday will be essential to whether the new month continues the uptrend of the end of January or the dour tone that dominated the early half of the month. MACRO NEWS: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged following its policy meeting this week, as almost universally expected. In its accompanying statement, the central bank said its committee members expect that economic conditions will "evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate." The group added that inflation is expected to "remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2% over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"... In other domestic economic news, the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. New home sales surged 10.8% to a 544,000 annualized pace in December, topping expectations and hitting their highest level in 10 months. Initial jobless claims fell to 278,000 last week, versus the expected 281,000 first-time claims. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1% in December, versus expectations for a decrease of 0.7%. The core reading, which removes transportation items, was down 1.2%, versus expectations for a decline of 0.1%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast... In a surprising move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: McDonald's (MCD) advanced Monday after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S.... Earnings season accelerated Tuesday as four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posted results before the opening bell. 3M (MMM) was the top advanced on the index with a gain of over 5%, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and DuPont (DD) all notched gains that day following their reports as well... Apple (AAPL) declined more than 6.5% on Wednesday after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings that topped consensus estimates, but also issued revenue guidance for the new quarter that missed expectations. The company was noted by several analysts as taking a particularly downbeat tone in its earnings conference call, invoking the difficult macroeconomic environment and weakness it has recently seen in China. Apple was not the worst performer in the Dow that day, as Boeing (BA) shares plummeted nearly 9% after its profit outlook for the new fiscal year fell far short of the Street's consensus forecast... Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% on Thursday after the social media giant's fourth quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. A number of Wall Street analysts increased their price targets for the stock following the report, including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who hiked his target to a "Street-high" $170 per share. The same day, Caterpillar (CAT) reported better than expected quarterly earnings, excluding certain items, but its revenue came in below the consensus forecast and the heavy equipment maker warned that it does not anticipate an improvement in the world economy or commodity prices in 2016. The stock, which had declined almost 20% in the last three months prior to this morning's report, rebounded almost 5% after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... On Friday, shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined more than 7.5% after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings, gained almost 6%. Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44... Among the many others reporting earnings this week, Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Under Armour (UA), Sprint (S) and Biogen (BIIB) gained immediately following their reports, while Qualcomm (QCOM), eBay (EBAY), U.S. Steel (X), VMware (VMW) and Anthem (ANTM) all slid following their own... Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Terex (TEX) surged more than 36% higher on Tuesday after receiving a $30 per share acquisition offer from China's Zoomlion. Terex peers Manitowoc (MTW), Joy Global (JOY) and Oshkosh (OSK) also gained after the offer was disclosed... Weight Watchers (WTW) shares soared nearly 20% Tuesday after noted shareholder and partner Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video detailing her progress using the company's program, indicating that she'd already lost 26 pounds thanks to its plan... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over the next two years and announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. The company, under ongoing pressure from activist investors including Carl Icahn, also said it will publicly offer a portion of its United Guaranty unit, though it expressly rejected a full company breakup... SunEdison (SUNE) gained 18% during the week after agreeing to new corporate governance initiatives with David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, including amending its bylaws to restrict equity issuances for two years without a supermajority board vote... Twitter (TWTR) slumped nearly 6% this week after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 2.2% to close at 16,466.30; the S&P 500 rose about 1.6% to close at 1,940.24; the Nasdaq advanced about 0.4% to close at 4,613.95.
January 29, 2016
08:52 EDTGSSiemens hires Goldman Sachs to advise on potential Gamesa deal, Reuters says
Siemens (SIEGY) has hired Goldman Sachs (GS) as an advisor for its potential acquisition of Spanish wind farm manufacturer and operator Gamesa, Reuters reports, citing two people familiar with the matter. One of the sources told Reuters that it was still unclear what the structure of such a transaction would be. Reference Link
07:31 EDTGSBank, financial stocks look cheap, says Oppenheimer
After an index of bank stocks fell 19% since last summer, versus an 8% decline for the S&P, Oppenheimer says that "the group looks cheap." The firm says that banks' balance sheets will remain strong whether the economy is resilient or enters a downturn. The firm says that the banks' Q4 results were stable, and it expects the group to benefit from steady loan growth and slightly rising NIMs in 2016. Oppenheimer continues to recommend Bank of America (BAC), Citi (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), Discover (DFS), and Fifth Third (FITB)
January 27, 2016
13:39 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson shareholders ask activists to get involved, FT reports
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11:07 EDTJNJGilead sinks as Attorney General probes pricing strategy
Shares of drugmaker Gilead (GILD) are underperforming after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey warned that her office may bring an unfair commercial conduct complaint against it related to the pricing for its Hepatitis C virus treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni. UNFAIR PRICING: Healey, in a letter addressed to Gilead CEO John Martin dated January 22 that has just been made public, said that her office is considering whether Gilead's pricing strategy for Sovaldi and Harvoni may constitute an "unfair trade practice" in violation of Massachusetts law. "Because Gilead's drugs offer a cure for a serious and life-threatening infectious disease, pricing the treatment in a manner that effectively allows HCV to continue spreading through vulnerable populations, as opposed to eradicating the disease altogether, results in massive public harm," Healey stated in her letter to Martin. Healey, who urged Gilead to adjust its pricing strategy, noted that the company has invoked the high cost and risk associated with research and development as a justification for its prices, but she said that Gilead quickly recouped its outlay to acquire Pharmasset by selling "$12.4B worth of HCV medication in the first year alone" after its deal. The AG, who said that Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill in the U.S. but only $10 per pill in Egypt and about $4 per pill in India, contends that American taxpayers "have been footing the bill for Gilead's record profits." FREQUENT TARGET: The pricing of Gilead's hep C treatments have been the focus of significant criticism and political rhetoric in the past. In December, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and senior committee member Chuck Grassley released the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing and marketing of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The company "pursued a marketing strategy and final wholesale price of Sovaldi - $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a single course of treatment - that it believed would maximize revenue," and "fostering broad, affordable access was not a key consideration in the process of setting the wholesale prices," the senators wrote. Members of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, who held a press conference last November to announce "meaningful action" to combat the "skyrocketing" costs of pharmaceuticals, specifically took aim at Sovaldi. During her campaigning efforts, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly decried the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. OTHERS TO WATCH: AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also market or are at work on therapies for hepatitis C. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead slid 2% to $90.35.
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