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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 25, 2014
07:32 EDTLOCOCorrection: El Pollo Loco 7.142M share IPO priced at $15.00
The deal range was $13.00-$15.00 range. Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and RW Baird acted as joint book running managers for the offering.
News For LOCO From The Last 14 Days
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August 28, 2015
10:02 EDTLOCOOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: ADP (ADP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair... ASML (ASML) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Berenberg... Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) upgraded on Hollister fundamentals at RBC Capital... Akamai (AKAM) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities... Ares Capital (ARCC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Banco Santander (SAN) upgraded on valuation at Deutsche Bank... CIBC (CM) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... Canon (CAJ) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank... Citi (C) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim... Ctrip.com (CTRP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... El Pollo Loco (LOCO) upgraded at Stifel... Genomic Health (GHDX) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James... Golar LNG (GLNG) upgraded on valuation, upcoming project completion at Stifel... Habit Restaurants (HABT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... Helmerich & Payne (HP) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... Himax (HIMX) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim... InterContinental (IHG) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Knight Transportation (KNX) upgraded to Strong Buy on valuation at Raymond James... LogMeln (LOGM) upgraded to Overweight from Sector Weight at Pacific Crest... Patterson Companies (PDCO) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... Qunar (QUNR) upgraded on valuation, positive catalysts at Stifel... Regions Financial (RF) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim... Ryder (R) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... SVB Financial (SIVB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson... Seagate (STX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cross Research... Sinopec (SNP) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citi... Summit Hotel Properties (INN) upgraded to Outperform at Baird... Texas Capital (TCBI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson... The Medicines Co. (MDCO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... U.S. Bancorp (USB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim... Weatherford (WFT) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens.
07:31 EDTLOCOEl Pollo Loco upgraded at Stifel
As noted earlier, Stifel upgraded El Pollo Loco to Buy from Hold. The firm upgraded the stock based on valuation, its belief that the company will benefit from its QSR-plus status and the growing popularity of Mexican food, and what it sees as effective strategic changes by the company over the last four years. Target $17.
06:22 EDTLOCOEl Pollo Loco upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
August 18, 2015
08:02 EDTLOCOEl Pollo Loco post-earnings selloff overdone, says Jefferies
Jefferies analyst Andy Barish lowered his price target for El Pollo Loco to $19 from $27 to reflect last week's "disappointing" Q2 earnings report. Barish acknowledges less same-store-sales visibility but keeps a Buy rating on the name. He views the post-earnings selloff as overdone and sees the opportunity for a "bounceback" should the company's trends improve in the second half of the year.
August 14, 2015
16:13 EDTLOCOOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks began the session with modest losses despite a calm overnight trading session for the Chinese yuan. The U.S. economic data that was released prior to the open were generally in-line with expectations leaving little for investors to key in on during the market hours. As a result, the averages drifted several times across the flat line until finally moving higher in the afternoon. Even the price of crude was fairly stale throughout the session, but it still closed toward its low of the day. The market received a slight boost toward the end of the session when headlines out of Europe said the area's finance ministers agreed to implement the Greek bailout with a couple of additional measures. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., both industrial production and PPI beat estimates, with industrial production increasing 0.6% and PPI increasing 0.2%. Consumer sentiment for August fell to 92.9 in the preliminary report from the University of Michigan survey, after slipping to 93.1 in July from 96.1 in June. Meanwhile, Euro-area GDP rose 0.3% last quarter. Germany's economy grew 0.4%, Italy's 0.2%, while France stagnated. The Baker Hughes North American rig count report was unchanged from last week at 884 rigs. COMPANY NEWS: Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management disclosed a new 7.08% stake in food distributor Sysco Corporation (SYY), and is engaged in discussions with the company including board representation for Trian. Sysco rose 7.4% to $41.38 after the disclosure of the Trian stake... General Electric (GE) announced an agreement to sell GE Capital Bank's U.S. online deposit platform along with all deposits of GE Capital Bank, including online savings accounts, online CDs and brokered CDs, to Goldman Sachs Bank USA (GS). Under this agreement approximately $16B of deposits will be transferred to GS Bank. Additionally, Reuters reported that General Electric was expected to win EU antitrust approval for its proposed EUR12.4B acquisition of Alstom's (ALSMY) power unit, according to two people familiar with the matter. GE rose 1.1% to $26.08 on the day. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their earnings reports were department store retailers Nordstrom (JWN) and J.C. Penney (JCP), which gained 4.3% and 5.6%, respectively. Also higher was WuXi PharmaTech (WX), up 6.15%, which reported earnings and entered into an agreement to be acquired by a management buyout group for around $3.3B. Among the noteworthy losers was El Pollo Loco (LOCO), which dropped 20.7% after its Q2 revenue fell short of analysts' estimates. Also lower were shares of King Digital (KING), which declined nearly 20.7% after reporting quarterly earnings and forecasting gross bookings for the third quarter $460M-$485M, citing "recent trends." INDEXES: The Dow rose 69.15, or 0.4%, to 17,477.40, the Nasdaq gained 14.68, or 0.29%, to 5,048.23, and the S&P 500 advanced 8.15, or 0.39%, to 2,091.54.
12:37 EDTLOCOOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session with modest losses, despite a stabilization in the Chinese yuan overnight. Relatively in line data on producer prices and industrial production did not hurt the situation, but there was also the lack of a catalyst. As a result, the market has drifted throughout the morning session moving up as much as 0.4% before paring its gains. The market is now struggling to hold onto its meager gains. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., both industrial production and PPI beat estimates, with industrial production increasing 0.6% and PPI increasing 0.2%. Consumer sentiment for August fell to 92.9 in the preliminary report from the University of Michigan survey, after slipping to 93.1 in July from 96.1 in June. Meanwhile, Euro-area GDP rose 0.3% last quarter. Germany's economy grew 0.4%, Italy's 0.2%, while France stagnated. The Baker Hughes North American rig count report is out at 1 p.m. ET. COMPANY NEWS: General Electric (GE) announced an agreement to sell GE Capital Bank's U.S. online deposit platform along with all deposits of GE Capital Bank, including online savings accounts, online CDs and brokered CDs, to Goldman Sachs Bank USA (GS). Under this agreement approximately $16B of deposits will be transferred to GS Bank. Separately, Goldman Sachs is selling its Colombia coal mining division to privately held Murray Energy. General Motors (GM) is boosting production of its larger SUVs and trucks, according to Reuters. The automaker could make as many as 60,000 additional vehicles for the 2016 model year to capitalize on rising demand. Meanwhile, GM is recalling 73,424 small cars because improper wiring could prevent the roof-mounted driver's side air bag from deploying after a crash, the Associated Press reported. SunTrust analyst Robert Peck said he believes Twitter (TWTR) could announce a permanent CEO as early as next week. Peck continues to think Twitter is likely to unveil a "Triumvirate of leadership" with Jack Dorsey as CEO, Adam Bain as COO and Evan Williams with more board influence, possibly Chairman. Tesla's (TSLA) secondary offering of 2.7 million common shares was priced at $242 each, according to an SEC filing. That represents an increase from the 2.1 million shares Tesla had previously announced for the offering. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following their earnings reports were department store retailers Nordstrom (JWN) and J.C. Penney (JCP), which gained 5.35% and 5.95%, respectively. Also higher was WuXi PharmaTech (WX), up 5.45%, which reported earnings and entered into an agreement to be acquired by a management buyout group for around $3.3B. Cyberark Software (CYBR) also gained 1.8% after being upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. Among the noteworthy losers was El Pollo Loco (LOCO), which dropped 18% after its Q2 revenue fell short of analysts' estimates. Also lower were shares of King Digital (KING), which declined nearly 12% after reporting quarterly earnings and forecasting gross bookings for the third quarter $460M-$485M, citing "recent trends." The company said fourth quarter gross bookings would be "fairly consistent sequentially." JPMorgan downgraded King Digital this morning to Neutral from Overweight citing an elevated risk profile following the results. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 42.43, or 0.24%, to 17,450.68, the Nasdaq was fractionally lower by 2.96, or 0.06%, to 5,030.59, and the S&P 500 was up 3.46, or 0.17%, to 2,086.89.
11:33 EDTLOCOEl Pollo Loco plummets to 52-week low as revenue falls short of estimates
Shares of concept restaurant operator El Pollo Loco (LOCO) are sinking after the company reported mixed second quarter results and narrowed its fiscal 2015 outlook for systemwide comparable restaurant sales. WHAT'S NEW: After the market close on THursday, El Pollo Loco reported Q2 pro forma earnings per share of 19c, beating analysts' estimates of 18c, on revenue of $89.5M, missing analysts' estimates of $92.96M. Systemwide comparable restaurant sales increased 1.3% in Q2, including a 0.5% decrease for company-operated restaurants and a 2.6% increase for franchised restaurants. Comparable company-operated restaurant sales in Q2 were driven by a 3.9% decrease in traffic, partially offset by a 3.4% increase in average check. Adjusted EBITDA increased 2.6% in Q2 to $17M. Steve Sather, the company's Chief Executive Officer, noted that Q2 results included pro forma net income growth of over 20%, as well as the company's 16th consecutive quarter of systemwide comparable restaurant sales growth. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, El Pollo Loco said it continues to see FY15 pro forma EPS of 67c-71c, compared to analysts' consensus estimates of 70c. The FY15 EPS view includes an approximate 2c per share benefit resulting from capitalizing development costs directly attributable to remodels and building new restaurants. The company also revised some of its other expectations, and now sees FY15 systemwide comparable restaurant sales growth of approximately 3%, at the low end of its prior 3%-5% view. El Pollo Loco now sees opening 16 new company-owned restaurants and 8 new franchised restaurants in FY15, compared with its previous view of opening 11 new franchised restaurants, and sees adjusted EBITDA $65M-$67M, below its previous view of $66.5M-$69.2M. The company's pro forma income tax rate is now expected at 41%, above its previous 40.5% view, and sees restaurant contribution margin of 21.2%-21.5% vs. its previous view of 21.7%-22%. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, El Pollo Loco fell $3.48, or 18.95%, to $14.90 on nearly four times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock made a fresh 52-week low of $14.62. Including today's pull back, the shares have lost approximately 53% over the past year. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other concept restaurants specializing in chicken include Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI), Fiesta Restaurant (FRGI) and Bojangles (BOJA).
09:08 EDTLOCOOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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