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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 11, 2014
09:09 EDTLO, FNMA, QCOM, QCOR, ISLE, FAST, RDN, MTG, CUDA, GPS, RCII, WFC, RAI, FMCCOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Lorillard (LO) up 5% after confirming talks with Reynolds (RAI) about a potential merger. Reynolds shares are also up 1.2% following the news... Barracuda Networks (CUDA), up 2.5% after reporting better than expected earnings. LOWER: Wells Fargo (WFC), down 1% after reporting Q2 earnings that matched estimates... Rent-A-Center (RCII), down 12% following its Q2 profit warning... MGIC Investment (MTG), down 15% and Radian Group (RDN), down 7% following FHFA's proposal to tighten capital rules for private mortgage insurance companies that insure mortgage loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC)... Fifth Street Finance (FSC), down 4% after filing to sell 13.25M shares of common stock... Fastenal (FAST), down 3% after Q2 revenue misses consensus... Qualcomm (QCOM), down 1% after downgraded at Goldman... Gap (GPS), down 1.4% after reporting its June same-store sales fell 2%... Isle of Capri (ISLE), down 10.5% after CFO Black to leave company... Questcor (QCOR), down 1% after NY Times reports on the company's disclosure of Acthar adverse effects data.
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July 10, 2014
15:13 EDTFAST, WFCNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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15:13 EDTCUDANotable companies reporting after market close
Notable companies reporting after the market close, with earnings consensus, include PriceSmart (PSMT), consensus 69c; Barracuda Networks (CUDA), consensus 3c; Zep, Inc. (ZEP), consensus 39c; VOXX (VOXX), consensus 6c; Joe's Jeans (JOEZ), consensus (3c); Ceres (CERE), one estimate (32c).
13:24 EDTWFCEarnings Preview: Analysts divided on Wells Fargo ahead of results
Wells Fargo (WFC) is scheduled to report second quarter earnings before the open on Friday, July 11 with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. Wells Fargo is a bank holding company. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.01 on revenue of $20.82B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 93c-$1.06 on revenue of $20.34B-$22.74B. LAST QUARTER: Wells reported stronger than expected first quarter results, as its net chargeooffs tumbled $594M year-over-year and its nonperforming assets sank 18% year-over-year. However, the bank’s revenue did decline to $20.6B, from $21.3B during the same period a year earlier. On May 20, Wells said that it was targeting a net payout ratio of 55%-75%. The bank defined net payout as dividend and share repurchases less issuances. The bank added that it would target return on equity of 12%-15%. Wells said it was "well-positioned for rising rates," and indicated that its competition was intensifying. On June 6, The New York Times reported that Wall Street's largest banks this year significantly cut the number of bonds they held, leaving them with a negative position in bonds in March, as they expected bond prices to drop, Since bond prices rose, a number of the large banks have said that their earnings would be hurt by this trade, the newspaper stated. STREET RESEARCH: In a note to investors on July 7, FBR Capital named Wells as one of its favorite names in the banking space. Wells is one of the banks that’s benefiting from above average loan growth while taking market share from its peers, according to the firm. Wells also has above-average growth prospects, high-quality earnings streams, and solid underlying fundamentals, FBR Capital stated. Conversely, Barron’s warned on June 30 that Wells’ stock looked pricey at $52.46. According to Barron’s, Macquarie predicted that the bank’s EPS growth was set to slow, while the stock rose more than it should have in the first half of 2014. Macquarie, which downgraded Wells to Underperform from Neutral on June 30, said that the bank’s core earnings had declined in the past four quarters, added Barron’s. Banks’ results remain challenging, as net interest income, fee revenues and core pre-provision earnings are all essentially unchanged since 2011, Oppenheimer wrote in a note to investors on July 7. Meanwhile, chargeoffs have likely hit bottom, the firm stated. But on a positive note, consumer lending is finally increasing and banks’ current expansion cycle likely has a few years to go, Oppenheimer believes. However, the firm kept a Perform rating on Wells Fargo. PRICE ACTION: Wells Fargo’s stock is up more than 14% this year and is not far from its 52-week high of $53.08.
12:14 EDTLOLorillard jumps 2%, or $1.34, to $64.35
11:09 EDTLO, RDNOptions with increasing implied volatility
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06:28 EDTWFCOptions expected to be active
Options expected to be active: LL PBPB VNO FDO WFC COST ZUMZ UAL BA
06:07 EDTLOLorillard implied volatility of 40 at upper end of index mean range
July 9, 2014
12:42 EDTLO, RAILorillard, Reynolds deal still most likely outcome, says Wells Fargo
After it was reported that British American Tobacco (BTI) is potentially in talks to acquire the 58% of Reynolds American (RAI) that it doesn't own, Wells Fargo says it still believes a combination between Reynolds and Lorillard (LO) remains the most likely outcome. The firm thinks Susan Cameron was not brought back to run Reynolds to help facilitate a sale transaction to BAT. Wells recommends buying shares of Lorillard on any pullback should a deal between BAT and Reynolds be announced, as it thinks that ultimately a transaction to buy Lorillard would likely follow.
12:30 EDTRAIOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were moderately higher at midday, helped in part by better than expected earnings from Alcoa (AA), solid monthly numbers from the airlines sector, and a bounce from the two day losing streak that had seen the S&P lose 1% and the Nasdaq pullback by more than 2%. The market has been unable to gather any upside momentum and has moved in a narrow range throughout the morning, as investors await the release of the Fed’s FOMC minutes. ECONOMIC EVENTS: The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held June 17-18 are scheduled to be released at 2:00 pm ET. In China, the producer-price index declined 1.1% from a year earlier, compared with a consensus forecast for a 1% drop. China's consumer-price index rose 2.3%, below projections for a 2.4% gain. COMPANY NEWS: Alcoa swung to a second-quarter profit of 18c a share on an adjusted basis, beating the consensus estimate of 7c a share, as its revenue also topped expectations. The aluminum producer, whose report is widely considered to mark the start of an earnings season, said its transformation is in "high gear" and that its cost position continues to improve. The stock rose 5% near midday following its report. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was AeroVironment (AVAV), which develops a portfolio of products and services for unmanned aircraft and efficient energy systems. The stock rallied 14% after the company reported better than expected fourth quarter results. Also higher was Reynolds American (RAI), which rose more than 2.5% after the U.K.'s Daily Mail reported that British American Tobacco (BTI), which currently holds a 42% stake in Reynolds, is speculated to be "on the verge" of buying out the remainder of its U.S. peer that it does not already own. Among the noteworthy losers was IT infrastructure technology provider Gigamon (GIMO), which was downgraded by at least five firms and plunged 32% after the company lowered its Q2 revenue guidance, citing challenges closing deals. Also lower following its earnings reports was specialty storage and organizational product retailer The Container Store (TCS), which fell 10%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 36.86, or 0.22%, to 16,943.48, the Nasdaq was up 18.93, or 0.43%, to 4,410.39, and the S&P 500 was up 4.59, or 0.23%, to 1,968.30.
11:25 EDTRAI, LOReynolds rises as BAT said to contemplate total takeover
Shares of cigarette manufacturer Reynolds American (RAI) are higher this morning following a report that British American Tobacco (BTI) is close to a deal to buy the stake in Reynolds it does not already own. WHAT'S NEW: The Daily Mail reported that British American Tobacco, which currently holds a 42% stake in Reynolds, is speculated to be "on the verge" of buying out the 58% of its U.S. peer that it does not already own. WHAT'S NOTABLE: A deal for Reynolds, whose brands include Kill, Camel, Winston and Salem, by British American Tobacco would stop any plans Reynolds might already have to buy Lorillard (LO), which makes Newport menthol cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. CNBC's David Faber said on July 3 that Reynolds was on track to buy Lorillard "within weeks," and added that Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY) would likely buy some of the divested assets as a result of the transaction. Faber noted at the time that British American Tobacco was likely to build a position in Reynolds. ANALYST REACTION: According to the Daily Mail, Citigroup has said it would be "advantageous" for British American Tobacco to acquire all of Reynolds, as its earnings per share would be boosted by 10%-13% and give it access to "one of the best" global e-cigarette platforms. The firm believes a total acquisition would allow British American Tobacco "total freedom" to deploy Reynolds' intellectual property on e-cigarettes. PRICE ACTION: Reynolds American shares are up $1.62, or 2.64%, to $62.93 in mid-morning trading. Meanwhile, British American Tobacco shares trading in New York are down 46c to $121.51 and Lorillard is up 40c to $63.33.
09:13 EDTRAI, LOOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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07:38 EDTRDNKeefe Bruyette to hold a virtual conference
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07:36 EDTWFCWells Fargo July weekly volatility increases into Q2 and outlook
Wells Fargo July weekly call option implied volatility is at 39, July is at 20, August is at 15, October is at 14; compared to its 26-week average of 16 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results on July 11.
07:26 EDTRAI, LOBritish American rumored 'on verge' of deal to buy out Reynolds, Daily Mail says
British American Tobacco (BTI) is speculated to be "on the verge of a mega deal" to buy the 58% cigarette peer Reynolds American (RAI) that it does not already own, according to the Daily Mail. By doing so, it would stop any plans Reynolds might have to buy another company in the industry, Lorillard (LO), according to the report. Reference Link
06:16 EDTQCOMQuclomm places FinFET chip orders with Samsung, DigiTimes reports
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July 8, 2014
16:57 EDTFASTGoogle Shopping for Suppliers shuts down, says William Blair
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08:03 EDTRDNRadian Guaranty reports delinquencies fell to 48,904 in June
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07:36 EDTQCOMQualcomm subsidiary announces VoLTE launch in Japan
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07:32 EDTQCOMSemiconductor Equipment & Materials International to hold a conference
SEMICON West to be held in San Francisco on July 8-10.
06:29 EDTQCOMSEMI predicts 21% increase in production equipment purchases in 2014, WSJ says
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