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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 15, 2014
12:16 EDTGMCR, SODA, PEP, KO, DPS, MNSTMonster surges as Coca-Cola takes 16.7% stake in company
Shares of beverage company Monster Beverage (MNST) are surging after Coca-Cola (KO) took a 16.7% stake in Monster and the companies announced a long-term strategic partnership and asset swap. WHAT'S NEW: Coca-Cola will pay $2.15B for a 16.7% stake in Monster Beverage Corp, the companies said. Under the terms of their agreement, Coca-Cola will add two directors to Monster's board. Coca-Cola will transfer ownership of its worldwide energy business including brands like NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother, Play and Power Play, and Relentless to Monster. Monster will transfer its non-energy business, which includes Hansenís Natural Sodas, Peace Tea, Hubertís Lemonade and Hansenís Juice Products to Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola will become Monster's preferred distribution partner globally, while Monster brands will be the only energy drinks distributed by Coca-Cola. At closing, Coke will make a net cash payment of $2.15B and transfer its worldwide energy business to Monster, and Monster will issue to Coke the shares of Monster common stock, transfer its non-energy business to Coke, and enter into expanded distribution arrangements. The transaction is expected to close late in 2014 or early in 2015. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On slides discussing the partnership, Monster said that it anticipates fiscal year 2013 pro forma operating income to be over $700M following the deal with Coke vs. $600M for "current Monster." Monster sees a pro forma second quarter cash balance of $2.6B vs. $0.8B for current Monster. ANALYST REACTION: Following the companies' announcement, Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog said she feels that the Coke/Monster deal is a good move for both firms. She expects the agreement to significantly quicken Monster's international division and believes that the company's market share could gross 4 to 5 times its current international sales within the next three years due to the deal. She feels that Coke gains increased access to the energy category. The firm maintains an Outperform rating on both the stocks. Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan perceives Monster's agreement with Coke as hugely positive since it builds international and U.S. revenue synergies while boosting EBITDA BY $95M next year. He keeps Monster's shares with a Buy rating and raises its price target to $94 from $75. CLSA upgraded Monster to Outperform from Underperform. PRICE ACTION: During afternoon, Monster is up $21.62 or 30.17% to $93.27 and Coca-Cola is up 58c or 1.46% to $40.76. OTHERS TO WATCH: Shares of SodaStream (SODA) are up relatively flat following the news. Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) is down 0.2% and PepsiCo (PEP) is down 0.25%. Shares of Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) are down 1% since Coke took a 10% stake in the company on February 5.
News For MNST;KO;SODA;DPS;PEP;GMCR From The Last 14 Days
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February 9, 2016
06:56 EDTKOCoca-Cola reports Q4 comparable EPS 38c, consensus 37c
Reports Q4 revenue $10B, consensus $9.91B.
06:39 EDTKOCoca-Cola enters into non-binding letter to refranchise operations in China
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06:38 EDTKOCoca-Cola announces plans to significantly accelerate bottler refranchising
Coca-Cola Company announced that it is accelerating the pace and scale of its bottler refranchising efforts with plans to refranchise 100% of company-owned North America bottling territories by the end of 2017, including all cold-fill production facilities. The company has also entered into a non-binding letter of intent to refranchise company-owned bottling operations in China to existing partners China Foods Limited, part of COFCO Limited, and Swire Beverage Holdings Limited, building on other recent global refranchising initiatives in Europe and Africa. The company's progress and success in transitioning bottling territories to date has provided the confidence to increase the pace of transition. So far, the company has reached definitive agreements or signed letters of intent to refranchise territories that account for more than 40% of bottler-delivered distribution volume in the United States. The company's Coca-Cola Refreshments unit continues to operate company-owned territories in North America and will work to ensure a smooth transition to aligned, new and existing bottling partners going forward. As part of this accelerated refranchising effort, the company now plans to sell the remainder of its company-owned cold-fill production facilities by the end of 2017. These facilities produce sparkling beverages, such as Coca-Cola trademark brands and Sprite, along with still brands such as Dasani. The company expects to maintain ownership of its hot-fill facilities, which produce brands such as Powerade and Minute Maid juices. company-owned hot-fill operations will supply the entire North America Coca-Cola system.
February 8, 2016
14:28 EDTKONotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:01 EDTKO, GMCREarnings Watch: Analysts becoming more positive on Coca-Cola
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10:13 EDTGMCROptions with decreasing implied volatility
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08:16 EDTKOCoca-Cola volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Coca-Cola February weekly call option implied volatility is at 26, February is at 20, March is at 17; compared to its 52-week range of 12 to 25, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 9.
February 7, 2016
16:48 EDTPEPPepsiCo pursued major stake in Chobani, Bloomberg says
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February 5, 2016
10:02 EDTKOOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Abbott (ABT) upgraded on valuation at Argus... Allstate (ALL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... CACI (CACI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) upgraded to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna... Coca-Cola (KO) upgraded to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna... Comcast (CMCSA) upgraded following Q4 results at Argus... DCT Industrial (DCT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... Fluidigm (FLDM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho... Glu Mobile (GLUU) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Benchmark... Goldman Sachs (GS) upgraded to Buy at UBS... JPMorgan (JPM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... KeyCorp (KEY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Kona Grill (KONA) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Telsey Advisory... LPL Financial (LPLA) upgraded to Neutral at Susquehanna... Level 3 (LVLT) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... Resolute Forest (RFP) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital... Suburban Propane (SPH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Sysco (SYY) upgraded at Argus... U.S. Concrete (USCR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Ubiquiti (UBNT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich... United Natural Foods (UNFI) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital... Weatherford (WFT) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James... Whole Foods (WFM) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Longbow... Wi-LAN (WILN) upgraded to Speculative Buy from Hold at Canaccord.
07:37 EDTKOCoca-Cola upgraded to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna
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06:23 EDTKO20 companies make alliance to keep down healthcare costs, WSJ says
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February 4, 2016
10:10 EDTGMCROptions with decreasing implied volatility
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07:56 EDTGMCRSONIC, Keurig Green Mountain announce coffee partnership
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February 1, 2016
11:18 EDTMNST, KOWells 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.
10:08 EDTDPSHigh option volume stocks
High option volume stocks: NOK HLT NCLH DF GALE VMW DPS SYY SYMC PGR
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.
08:19 EDTGMCRKeurig Green Mountain will not be issuing Q1 earnings or updating guidance
As previously disclosed, on December 6, 2015, Keurig Green Mountain entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger by and among Acorn Holdings B.V., a private limited liability company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands, Maple Holdings Acquisition Corp.. Due to the pending Merger, the company is neither updating nor reaffirming its prior earnings guidance, and will not be issuing a fiscal first quarter 2016 earnings release or holding a fiscal first quarter 2016 earnings call for investors and financial analysts.
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.
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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