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August 15, 2014
12:39 EDTJWN, GOOG, VRNG, JCP, TASR, KO, AOL, ACHN, MNSTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in positive territory despite some soft economic data points, including a weaker than expected report on manufacturing in the New York area and a lower than expected consumer confidence reading. The market drifted higher after the bell, but lost all momentum when reports surfaced that the Ukraine army fired on a Russian convoy that crossed the border. The equity averages quickly fell, while oil prices rose and gold recouped some of its early losses. ECONOMIC EVENTS: The NY Fed's Empire manufacturing survey had a reading of 14.69, versus expectations for a 20.0 reading. The Producer Price Index increased 0.1% overall, matching expectations. The core reading was up 0.2%, which was also in-line with the consensus forecast. Industrial production increased 0.4% in July, beating the consensus 0.2% growth forecast. That nudged up capacity utilization to 79.2%, versus 79.1% previously. The first University of Michigan consumer confidence reading for August fell 2.6 points to 79.2, versus expectations for it to have edged up to 82.0. Treasury international capital data showed foreigners dumped $153.5B in total U.S. assets in July after buying a revised $33.1B in June. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of beverage company Monster Beverage (MNST) surged 27% higher after Coca-Cola (KO) took a 16.7% stake in the energy drink maker and the companies announced a long-term strategic partnership and asset swap. Coca-Cola will pay $2.15B for a 16.7% stake in Monster Beverage, the companies announced last night. Under the terms of their agreement, Coca-Cola will add two directors to Monster's board. Coke 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. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which rose 11% after the company announced interim results from an ongoing Phase 2 proxy study of a potential chronic hepatitis C virus regimen that analysts at Piper Jaffray called "impressive." Also higher was Taser (TASR), which gained 8% after Craig-Hallum said in a note to investors that its checks indicate Taser's AXON on-officer body cam will be rolled out to 16K London Met police officers over the next two years. Among the noteworthy losers was Vringo (VRNG), which plunged 75% after confirming that an appeals court reversed a jury's verdict and held that the asserted claims of the patents-in-suit in the company's wholly-owned subsidiary I/P Engine's litigation against Google (GOOG), AOL (AOL) and others are invalid. Also lower following their earnings reports were two department store operators: J.C. Penney (JCP), which fell nearly 4%, and Nordstrom (JWN), which dropped more than 4%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 86.25, or 0.52%, to 16,627.33, the Nasdaq was down 11.44, or 0.26%, to 4,441.56, and the S&P 500 was down 6.54, or 0.33%, to 1,948.64.
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September 25, 2015
06:59 EDTGOOGGoogle to be investigated by U.S. regulators over Android, Bloomberg reports
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06:21 EDTGOOGFacebook's free internet effort in developing countries 'inadequate,' WSJ says
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06:16 EDTGOOGGoogle October volatility elevated
Google September weekly call option implied volatility is at 23, October is at 37, November is at 30; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 41, suggesting large October price movement.
05:58 EDTGOOGIndian Prime Minister to meet with Apple, Google CEOs, WSJ reports
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet this weekend with Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, among others, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to industry insiders, the tech executives will use the visit to push for better market access in India as well as clearer regulation on investment and startups. Reference Link
September 24, 2015
13:03 EDTGOOGEU investigates internet firms' online practices, Reuters reports
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11:21 EDTGOOGJury says Pendrell patents not infringed on by Samsung, Google products
Pendrell announced earlier, that on September 23, a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that certain claims of five digital rights management patents asserted by Pendrell (PCO) subsidiary, ContentGuard Holdings, against Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) and Google (GOOG) are valid, but that Samsung products and Google products accused in the lawsuit do not infringe the asserted patents. ContentGuard is assessing the jury's findings and evaluating its options to challenge the verdict. ContentGuard's claims against Samsung and Google are part of a larger lawsuit filed by ContentGuard against several companies that have not paid for a license to use ContentGuard's patented digital rights management solutions, including Apple (AAPL), DirecTV, HTC, Huawei and Motorola Mobility. The jury verdict does not impact ContentGuard's August 2015 settlement and license agreement with (AMZN); nor does ContentGuard believe the jury verdict will impact or delay ContentGuard's upcoming November trial against Apple. Shares of Pendrell are down 35.34% in morning trading.
11:15 EDTGOOGAnalyst sees $55,000 car from Apple as soon as 2019
Apple (AAPL) could introduce a car by as soon as 2019, but assuming an average selling price of $55,000 and 200,000 shipments, the contribution to the tech giant's earnings in that year is probably not enough to "excite" investors, said the research team at Jefferies this morning. However, a car would give the tech giant some "much needed" diversification away from the iPhone and would be positive for the broader tech space, the firm added. RIPE FOR DISRUPTION: Jefferies analysts Sundeep Bajikar, Mark Lipacis and their team say their analysis indicates the automobile industry is "ripe for disruption" and that Apple is well positioned to introduce a car, potentially as early as 2019. A car could add 32c to Apple's earnings per share in FY19 under a best-case scenario, Bajikar tells investors. He assumes a $55,000 average selling price for an Apple Car and an operating margin of 20%, over 1,000 basis points higher than the Street's 2019 margin estimate for electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA). Investors are likely to find the assumptions "highly aggressive," the analyst cautions. Meanwhile, the potential earnings impact is probably not big enough for Apple investors to get excited and earnings contributions from a vehicle may not become meaningful before iPhone decelerates, the analysts argue. However, the firm said it could get more constructive on Apple shares if diversification in earnings were to drive less iPhone risk. Bajikar and Lipacis keep a Hold rating on the iPhone maker with a $126 price target. TOP CHIP PICKS: Efforts in the car market from tech heavyweights Apple and Google (GOOGL) will lead the industry to design and sell more intelligent vehicles, accelerating the growth of semiconductors for automobiles above current forecasts, contend Jefferies' analysts in a separate note to investors this morning. The analysts lay out their top picks among automotive semiconductor suppliers, saying the pending merger of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) and Freescale (FSL) will create the world's biggest automotive semi company, adding that growth in microcontroller content and networking applications will benefit that combined giant. NVIDIA's (NVDA) automotive sales have grown the fastest since the end of the 2012 fiscal year among the companies the firm follows, while Maxim Integrated (MXIM) had the second fastest growth in that time frame, the analysts noted in naming those two as their other top picks in the space. Lipacis and Bajikar identified Analog Devices (ADI), Microchip (MCHP) and Linear Technology (LLTC) as other notable beneficiaries from the expected growth of semiconductor content in automobiles. PRICE ACTION: Amid broad weakness in the market, Apple shares are down 1.5% to $112.56. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Sector index (SOX) is down 2.4% this morning.
10:01 EDTTASROn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
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10:01 EDTMNSTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: 8point3 Energy (CAFD) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Avondale... AEGON (AEG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... AMC Networks (AMCX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... Citi ups Ralph Lauren (RL) to Buy on valuation, cost savings... Kate Spade (KATE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... L'Oreal (LRLCY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale... Marriott (MAR) upgraded on historical performance, growth outlook at SunTrust... Monster Beverage (MNST) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Nimble Storage (NMBL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow... Qualys (QLYS) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie... Ralph Lauren (RL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Trex Company (TREX) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Valero Energy Partners (VLP) upgraded on better than expected transaction at SunTrust.
08:57 EDTGOOGGoogle price target raised to $781 from $730 at Citi
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08:49 EDTTASRTASER initiated with a Buy at Sidoti
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08:03 EDTKOCoca-Cola Bottling signs LOI to acquire manufacturing facilities
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (COKE) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with The Coca-Cola Company (KO) to purchase manufacturing facilities in Virginia, Maryland, Indiana and Ohio and also that it has signed a definitive agreement with an affiliate of The Coca-Cola Company to expand the bottler's franchise distribution territory to include territories located within Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. The Company has signed a non-binding Manufacturing Letter of Intent with The Coca-Cola Company to purchase and operate manufacturing facilities currently owned and operated by Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, in Sandston, Virginia; Silver Spring and Baltimore, Maryland; Indianapolis and Portland, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio. The transactions proposed in the Manufacturing Letter of Intent are subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement, with a series of transaction closings for these facilities expected to begin in the first half of 2016. The Definitive Agreement represents the first phase of the proposed franchise territory expansion described in the previously-announced Letter of Intent dated May 12, 2015 between the Company and The Coca-Cola Company ("May 2015 Letter of Intent") and includes the following territories: Baltimore, Capital Heights, Cumberland, Easton, Hagerstown, La Plata and Salisbury in Maryland; Alexandria, Norfolk, Richmond, Yorktown, Fredericksburg and Staunton in Virginia; Elizabeth City in North Carolina; and Washington D.C. CCR currently serves these territories. The Company expects to begin a series of transaction closings for these distribution territories in the fall of 2015 and to complete them by mid-2016. The Company is continuing to work towards a definitive agreement with The Coca-Cola Company for the remainder of the proposed franchise territory expansion described in the May 2015 Letter of Intent, including distribution territories in parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The Definitive Agreement and other agreements to be entered into at closing will provide the Company the exclusive rights to distribute beverage brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company as well as certain other beverage brands not owned by The Coca-Cola Company that are currently being distributed in the territories by CCR. The transaction includes the purchase by the Company of distribution assets and certain working capital items from CCR relating to these territories and the purchase of exclusive rights to distribute certain non-Coca-Cola beverage brands in these territories. The transaction also includes the grant by CCR to the Company of exclusive rights to distribute beverage brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company in these territories under a comprehensive beverage agreement to be entered into at closing. Under such agreement, the Company will make a quarterly sub-bottling payment to CCR on a continuing basis after the closing for the grant of such exclusive rights. In addition to the transactions contemplated by the Definitive Agreement, the parties also have executed a "Territory Conversion Agreement" which provides for all of the Company's franchise distribution territories with The Coca-Cola Company, including the Company's legacy, recently-acquired and to-be-acquired distribution territories, to be governed in the future by a new and final form of comprehensive beverage agreement.
07:32 EDTTASRTASER receives order from Memphis Police Department for 2000 body cameras
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07:32 EDTKOCoca-Cola signs LOI to implement national product supply system in the U.S.
The Coca-Cola Company announces the formation of a new National Product Supply System in the United States. The mission of the NPSS will be to facilitate optimal operation of the U.S. product supply system for Coca-Cola bottlers in order to: Achieve the lowest optimal manufactured and delivered cost for all bottlers in the Coca-Cola system; Enable system investment to build sustainable capability and competitive advantage; Prioritize quality, service and innovation in order to successfully meet and exceed customer and consumer requirements. Under the new NPSS, three existing independent producing bottlers, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, and Swire Coca-Cola USA, as well as the Company-owned Coca-Cola Refreshments along with Coca-Cola North America, will be members of Coca-Cola's National Product Supply Group. The NPSG will administer key national product supply activities for these NPSS bottlers, which currently represent approximately 95 percent of the U.S. produced volume. Under the initial terms of the Letters of Intent, it is anticipated that each NPSS bottler will acquire certain production facilities from CCR within their transitioning distribution territories. Initially, it is contemplated that CCR will divest the following nine production facilities with an estimated net book value of $380 million: Consolidated will acquire production facilities in Sandston, Va., Baltimore and Silver Spring, Md., Indianapolis and Portland, In. and Cincinnati, Oh.; United will acquire the production facility in New Orleans, La.; Swire will acquire production facilities in Phoenix, Az. and Denver, Co. The transition of these production facilities from CCR to NPSS bottlers is anticipated to take place between 2016 and 2018. The sale of additional production facilities from CCR to NPSS bottlers in previously announced transitioning distribution territories will be considered in due course. CCR's territories will continue to be refranchised as previously announced and decisions on any remaining production facilities in those territories will also be considered at that time. The new transactions announced today are subject to the parties reaching definitive agreements. The parties are committed to working together to implement a smooth transition with minimal disruption for customers, consumers and system associates.
07:24 EDTGOOGWPP CEO: Google needs to weed out 'fake' online ad views, FT reports
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06:59 EDTGOOGFacebook and Google more 'Yelp-like' than ever, says Northland
Northland analyst Darren Aftahi says Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and (AMZN) have recently added new features that focus on improved local search as well as tools enabling easier business-consumer communication. Facebook and Google are now more "Yelp-like" than ever, Aftahi tells investors in a research note. And while Apple's (AAPL) new "swipe right" feature could drive a near-term surge in Yelp (YELP) app downloads, it may translate into lower engagement on the Yelp app over longer term, the analyst argues. He remains cautious on Yelp's growth prospects and cut his price target for the stock to $17.75 from $21.50. Shares of the local business review site closed yesterday down 25c to $23.10. Aftahi has an Underperform rating on the stock, his firm's equivalent of a sell.
06:51 EDTMNSTMonster Beverage upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Goldman upgraded Monster Beverage (MNST) to Buy and increased its price target to $165 from $160. Analyst Judy Hong said Monster shares have underperformed the market since August, primarily due to issues with the distributor transition and uncertainty on the timing of cash returns. Hong views valuation as attractive ahead of Monster's entry into the China energy market in early 2016, which she believes could add 11c-27c to 2017 earnings. Further, the analyst is modeling a $5B tender announcement in early 2016, twice the amount the market is forecasting, following the close of the Coca-Cola (KO) deal. This is the key driver for Hong's above consensus 2016 earnings estimate of $4.20 versus $3.96.
06:08 EDTGOOGSamsung Pay has over $30M in accumulated transaction volume in first month
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September 23, 2015
07:08 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney names John Tighe chief merchant
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06:37 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney seeks new chief merchant to replace Sweney, WSJ reports
J.C. Penney is searching for a new chief merchant, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. The new executive would replace Elizabeth Sweney, who has held the role since 2012. It is unclear whether the new chief merchant would be an internal or external candidate, but one source says that an announcement relating to the role will be made "early Wednesday morning." Reference Link
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