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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 14, 2013
17:46 EDTDISH, ESRX, TGT, LNKDSoros liquidates stakes in LinkedIn, Express Scripts, DISH, Target over quarter
News For LNKD;ESRX;DISH;TGT From The Last 14 Days
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May 19, 2015
16:41 EDTESRXExpress Scripts initiated with a Neutral at Baird
Target $94.
15:00 EDTTGTNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:41 EDTTGTTarget (TGT) May weekly 78 straddle priced for 3.6% movement Q1
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14:38 EDTTGTTarget volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
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13:04 EDTTGTEarnings Watch: Lowe's sees FY15 EPS $3.29, strongest comps of year in Q1
Lowe's Companies (LOW), a home improvement retailer, is scheduled to report on its first quarter before the market open on Wednesday, May 20, with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 74c on revenue of $14.27B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 69c-80c on revenue of $13.97B-$14.52B. LAST QUARTER: Lowe's reported fourth quarter EPS of 46c on revenue of $12.54B, beating analyst's estimates of 44c and $12.31B, respectively. The company also reported Q4 same-store sales rose 7.3%, with U.S. comparable sales up 7.4%. The company forecast fiscal year 2015 EPS $3.29 against estimates at that time for $3.28 and said it expects revenue up 4.5%-5% in the fiscal year compared to last. Lowe's also forecast FY15 SSS up 4%-4.5% and said it expects to report the highest comp for FY15 in Q1. On its earnings conference call, the company said it expects higher comps in the first half of 2015 than the second half. The company said it expects jobs, incomes and household financial conditions to improve in 2015. NEWS: During the quarter, Lowe's announced a new $5B share repurchase program, which has no expiration date and adds to the previous program's balance, which was $2.4B at January 30. Seeking Alpha contributor Xuhua Zhou, described as a hedge fund analyst, recently wrote in a blog post that "research confirms Lowe's is guilty of formaldehyde noncompliance in sourcing laminate flooring from China." The Consumer Products Safety Commission and Environmental Protection Agency should include Lowe's products in their safety testing of Lumber Liquidators' (LL) wood, the writer believes. A Lowe's spokesperson told Bloomberg that the Tescun flooring is being removed from stores. Lowe's Canada recently reached an agreement to acquire the leases of 13 former Target (TGT) Canada Locations and will buy Target's Milton, Ontario distribution center for approximately C$151M. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after its last earnings report, UBS raised its price target on Lowe's to $83 from $75, citing the company's big ticket comp growth, the improving economy and pent up demand from consumers putting projects on hold since the downturn. Argus also raised its price target, to $82 from $70, and said its confidence in the company's ability to generate profitable growth has increased. In March, Oppenheimer raised its price target on Lowe's to $85 from $77 and said the stock has a number of positive catalysts, including solid U.S. consumer spending trends, significant slack in the U.S, housing recovery, improving market sentiment and investors' interest in domestic plays as the dollar strengthens. BofA/Merrill said the home improvement space is one of the more attractive areas within retail and recommends buying Lowe's. The firm remains positive on the company's earnings growth and lack of negative catalysts. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Lowe's shares are up nearly 1%. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's report, Lowe's is fractionally lower at $72.77.
12:47 EDTTGTEarnings Watch: Target sees FY15 adjusted EPS $4.45-$4.65, 2%-3% sales growth
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report first quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, May 20, with a conference call scheduled for 10:30 am ET. Target offers merchandise at discounted prices through its retail stores and online business. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.03 on revenue of $17.09B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 85c-$1.09 on revenue of $16.98B-$17.25B. LAST QUARTER: Target reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $1.50 on revenue of $21.75B, beating analysts' estimates for $1.46 and $21.63B, respectively. The company said comparable sales increased 3.8% in Q4, reflecting a 3.2% increase in comparable transactions. Target said digital channel sales contributed 0.9 percentage points to SSS growth. Target forecast Q1 adjusted EPS 95c-$1.05, SSS up about 2% and said its top priority is to drive digital sales growth. The company said it could be in a position to revisit stock buybacks later this year and noted that its workers' wages are "competitive." NEWS: At its Financial Community Meeting on March 3, Target forecast fiscal year 2015 adjusted EPS $4.45-$4.65, against estimates at that time for $4.50, on sales growth of 2%-3% for the fiscal year. The company also forecast 10% annual EPS growth for 2016 and beyond, as well as 5%-10% annual dividend growth. Target forecast $2B in savings in expenses and cost of goods over the next two years and 9.5%-10% EBITDA margins over the next five years. As for share repurchases, Target sees $2B this year, and said it continues to support the dividend and repurchase "billions." Looking to FY15, Target forecast FY15 capital expenditures of $2.1B and sees expected CapEx of $2B-$2.5B over the next five years. Target said its gross margin rate of 29.5% is "achievable." Target said it would focus on categories including style, baby, kids and wellness. As part of its $2B cost savings plan, Target said it will cut "several thousand jobs." Target said in a filing that on March 10, the company notified approximately 1,700 employees whose employment will be terminated as part of an overall plan to transform Targetís business. The company said it expects to incur severance costs of $10M. During the quarter, Target said it planned to raise its minimum pay for all workers to at least $9 an hour starting in April, according to The Wall Street Journal, and agreed to pay $10M to settle a class action lawsuit related to its 2013 data breach, Reuters reported. Target reached a settlement with MasterCard (MA) to resolve claims by MasterCard and its issuers related to the retailerís 2013 data breach. Under the agreement, Target will make available up to $19M in alternative recovery offers to eligible banks and credit unions across the globe. Target Canada said it would close the last 133 retail stores by April 12. Target also announced plans to sell its Target Commercial Interiors subsidiary to Omni Workspace. The retailer launched the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection in April, which rendered its website inaccessible for short time after it was overwhelmed by customer traffic, The WSJ said. The WSJ also reported that, according to sources, Target gave notice to Campbell Soup (CPB), General Mills (GIS), Kellogg (K), Kraft Foods (KRFT) and others that it will reduce their presence in Target circulars and in-store advertisements. STREET RESEARCH: Following Target's analyst meeting, Wells Fargo said it thinks the company's operating plan sets the stage for the company to potentially beat expectations in 2015 and beyond. The firm believes that"outsized digital growth" or new products could enable Target's results to beat expectations. Piper Jaffray views Target's long term earnings algorithm, which is based on a 1% store comp and 40% growth in digital sales annually, as realistic and the company's capital deployment as encouraging. BofA/Merrill upgraded Target to Buy from Neutral in April and increased its price target to $92 from $86. The firm believes Target is well positioned to benefit from an improving middle-income core customer base. The firm said customers are responding well to improved assortment and merchandising and expects Target to continue to see increased spending at stores and online as customers trade-up to more expensive items. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are up over 1.6% over the past three months. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's earnings report, shares are down 0.51% to $77.96.
11:05 EDTLNKDLinkedIn says bets company made on re-segmentation starting to play out
The company says it no longer makes sense to think of their company as only large and smaller customers, as it moves to more variation. It also says it doesn't make sense to think of it as only a monolithic offering. Says North America continues to be their biggest market. Expects vast majority of companies will have someone responsible for learning and development, which will become the primary consolidated buyer. Comments made by LinkedIn Global Head of Sales Mike Gamson made at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
06:18 EDTDISHDish says followed all rules in bidding strategy for spectrum auction, WSJ says
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May 18, 2015
09:49 EDTDISHEquity options with increasing volume
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May 17, 2015
19:11 EDTTGTTarget to reduce advertising space for certain large brands, WSJ says
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May 15, 2015
17:33 EDTLNKDPoint72 Asset Management gives quarterly update on stakes
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May 14, 2015
19:06 EDTLNKDLinkedIn closes lynda.com acquisition
LinkedIn announced that it has closed the acquisition of lynda.com, a leading online learning company teaching business, technology and creative skills to help people achieve their professional goals. Based in Carpinteria, CA, lynda.com was co-founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.5B, in a combination of approximately 52% cash and approximately 48% stock.
14:32 EDTTGTTarget to sell commercial interiors subsidiary to Omni Workspace
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11:08 EDTESRXExpress Scripts management to meet with Maxim
Meeting to be held in St. Louis, MO on May 21 hosted by Maxim.
10:43 EDTDISHDISH CEO says 'not sure' how spectrum will be used in wireless
Charlie Ergen is speaking on CNBC.
10:39 EDTDISHDISH CEO says may release Sling TV numbers next quarter
Charlie Ergen is speaking on CNBC.
10:37 EDTDISHDISH CEO says AT&T, DirecTV merger will bring tougher competitor
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06:37 EDTDISHDISH, Cogent ask FCC to set conditions for AT&T acquisition, Reuters says
DISH (DISH) and Cogent Communications (CCOI) asked the FCC to force AT&T (T) to sell Internet service as a standalone service, as a condition of the telecom giant's proposed acquisition of DirecTV (DTV), according to Reuters. DISH and Cogent also asked the agency to make AT&T sell standalone Internet service at a reasonable price and at the same speeds it provides in package deals, the news service stated. Reference Link
06:20 EDTLNKDStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; LNKD NFLX
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06:06 EDTDISHDISH plans to enter wireless business, Yahoo reports
DISH (DISH) plans to enter the wireless business in an attempt to become the only provider to offer wireless voice, video and data services, Adam Samson of Yahoo Finance reports, citing an internal document. The document, marked confidential, obtained by Yahoo indicates Dish is looking to hire a chief marketing officer to help guide its move into the wireless space, Samson adds. The move comes after DISH acquired nearly half of the spectrum licenses offered in a U.S. government auction. The top U.S. wireless providers are Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S). Reference Link
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