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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
December 5, 2013
12:39 EDTTITN, DG, F, FRAN, PBYI, MSFT, WTSL, EAOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
The Wall Street averages were lower at midday, but well off their early session lows and almost back to unchanged from their opening levels. Weekly jobless claims came in below expectations, while third quarter annualized GDP came in well above the consensus forecast. The problem, again, may be that investors have begun considering positive economic news as signs that the Fed may be closer to pulling back on its bond buying program. Today's weakness follows a stretch of down session, though the losses over the past week have not been large and the market remains complacent. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 23K to 298K in the week ended November 30, versus a forecast for 320K claims. GDP growth was revised up to 3.6% in Q3, which was much better than the expected bump up to 3.2% from the 2.8% advance print. Factory orders dipped 0.9% in October, which was close to expectations for a 1% decline. In Europe, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank both left their key interest rates unchanged. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) were down almost 4% near noon following a report that a director on the board of Ford Motor (F) said its CEO, Alan Mulally, is not leaving the company until the end of 2014. Mulally has been considered one of the leading candidates to take the Microsoft CEO spot to be vacated shortly by Steve Ballmer... Shares of Electronic Arts (EA) dropped nearly 7% after the company told the video game website IGN that its DICE subsidiary would not undertake any future projects until it solves the problems plaguing the Battlefield 4 In a note to investors, Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson wrote that the news "confirms the disappointment" of the Battlefield 4 launch and puts the launch of the next version of the game in jeopardy. If DICE does not launch any big games next year, EA's profits are unlikely to increase in 2014, according to the analyst. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Puma Biotechnology (PBYI), which surged 51% after the company said data from a phase II clinical trial of its investigational breast cancer treatment make the drug eligible to advance to the next level of clinical investigation. Also rising were shares of discount retailer Dollar General (DG), which advanced 6% after the company's earnings beat expectations and its board authorized an additional $1B for share repurchases. Among the noteworthy losers after providing disappointing profit outlooks for their holiday quarters were retailers Wet Seal (WTSL), which fell nearly 13%, and Francesca's (FRAN), which slid 9%. Also lower were shares of agricultural and construction equipment retailer Titan Machinery (TITN), which fell 7% after the company slashed its fiscal 2014 earnings outlook. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 25.88, or 0.16%, to 15,863.89; the Nasdaq was down 0.58, or 0.01%, to 4,037.42; and the S&P 500 was down 3.59, or 0.20%, to 1,789.22.
News For MSFT;F;EA;PBYI;DG;WTSL;FRAN;TITN From The Last 14 Days
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April 15, 2014
08:07 EDTMSFT21Vianet announces general availability of Microsoft Office 365 in China
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08:01 EDTFFord reports Europe sales up 12% in March, 11% in Q1
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April 14, 2014
10:02 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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05:36 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating on Microsoft (MSFT) to Hold from Buy citing valuation and concerns over the closing of the Nokia unit acquisition. The firm has a $42 price target for shares.
April 11, 2014
14:14 EDTFDeutsche Bank upgrades Ford on earnings outlook
Deutsche Bank upgraded Ford (F) to Buy from Hold in a note to investors, saying that the company's earnings are poised to increase significantly in 2015-2016. WHAT'S NEW: Ford can increase the price of its pickup trucks, Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache wrote. The company's pickups now cost just an average of about $150 per vehicle more than GM's offerings, versus the average gap of $3,000 over the last five years, Lache explained. Ford's new F150 truck will be less expensive than previously expected, as the truck's aluminum body will be cheaper than anticipated and the company has been able to find other ways to cut production costs, the analyst stated. Additionally, Ford's prospects in Europe and China are "favorable," according to the analyst, who upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold. He raised his price target on the shares to $19 from $18.50. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Lache was somewhat upbeat on General Motors (GM), saying that the company can keep it profits at "decent" levels by cutting its costs. However, he added that the automaker's products have not met expectations. Lache now expects GM's share of the pickup truck market share to drop to 17% in 2015 from 17.5% this year. He lowered his 2014 EPS estimate for GM to $2.58 from $3.38 and reduced his 2015 EPS estimate for the company to $4.20 from $4.80. Lache reduced his price target on the shares to $41 from $48, but kept a Buy rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, Ford added 0.6% to $15.72, while GM fell 2.9% to $32.33.
12:42 EDTF, TITNOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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10:01 EDTFFord rallies in early trading following upgrade, levels to watch
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08:15 EDTEAElectronic Arts price target raised to $35 from $32 at Cowen
Cowen raised its price target on Electronic Arts citing the continuation of the console cycle, improved visibility on new titles, and the entrance into strong seasonality. Shares are Outperform rated.
07:31 EDTFChina auto sales growth slowed in March, WSJ reports
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said 1.71M passenger vehicles were sold there in March, which was up 7.9% from a year earlier but a slower growth rate than the 11% year-over-year increase seen in the January-to-February period, reported The Wall Street Journal. The association cited weak sales of minivans, which fell 23% in the month, as a large factor, the report noted. Publicly traded automakers include Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Fiat (FIATY), Honda (HMC), Toyota (TM), Nissan (NSANY) and Volkswagen (VLKAY). Reference Link
07:16 EDTTITNTitan Machinery upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Longbow
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06:15 EDTFFord upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
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April 10, 2014
13:14 EDTDGFamily Dollar slides after holiday disappointment prompts store closures
Shares of discount retailer Family Dollar (FDO) are falling after the company reported second quarter earnings per share and revenue that fell below expectations, along with third quarter and FY14 projections that are lower than analysts' consensus. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, Family Dollar reported second quarter earnings per share of 80c, which fell below analysts consensus of 90c. The company reported second quarter revenue of $2.72B, while analysts projected $2.77B. Family Dollar, which reported that its second quarter same-store-sales decreased by 3.8%, said the holiday season was challenged by "a more promotional competitive environment and a more financially constrained consumer" and that its results were also significantly impacted by severe winter weather like many retailers. The company expects third quarter earnings per share excluding-items to be 85c-95c, while analysts project a 98c consensus. Family Dollar said that it sees FY14 earnings per share excluding items to be $3.05-$3.25, which is at the lower end of analysts' estimations. Family Dollar noted that it expects to close nearly 370 underperforming stores in the second half of FY14 and slow new store growth beginning in FY15. WHAT'S NOTABLE: During Family Dollar's earnings conference call, the company said that it plans to slow square footage growth in the beginning of FY14 and said that it recently cut about 10% of its corporate workforce. ANALYST OPINION: Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer said Family Dollar's third quarter negative comp guidance and commentary about a challenging macro environment could pressure its own shares as well as those of its peers Dollar General (DG) and Dollar Tree (DLTR). However, Family Dollar's store closures combined with a decrease in future store growth could ultimately have positive implications for its competitors, Nemer added. On March 4, Credit Suisse said Family Dollar's underperformance compared to Dollar General and significant earnings possibilities gives the rationale for a potential merger of the two. On February 19, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein suggested that Wal-Mart (WMT) should consider acquiring Family Dollar as a way to "jumpstart" its small store effort. CNBC's David Faber reported the same morning that Exstein published his note that Family Dollar was not holding any talks about selling itself at that time. PRICE ACTION: During afternoon trading, shares of Family Dollar decreased $1.54, or 2.61%, to $57.53, Dollar Tree dropped 2.5%, and Dollar General fell about 1.5%.
08:44 EDTMSFTCLSA technology analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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08:00 EDTMSFTSony PS4 grants Hirai profit potential as risk decreases, Bloomberg says
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06:54 EDTTITNTitan Machinery to reduce its Construction segment headcount by 11.7%
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06:52 EDTTITNTitan Machinery sees 2015 EPS 58c-88c with items, consensus 89c
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06:49 EDTTITNTitan Machinery reports Q4 adjusted EPS 35c, consensus 20c
Reports Q4 revenue $708.6M, consensus $725.07M.
06:32 EDTFAutomakers have recalled nearly 15M vehicles since start of year, WSJ reports
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06:23 EDTMSFTIDC says worldwide PC shipments totaled 73.4M units in Q1, down 4.4% y/y
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 73.4 million units in 1Q14, a decline of -4.4% year on year, according to the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Although still in decline and with continuing weakness in consumer and emerging market segments, the preliminary results are slightly better than a projected decline of -5.3%. The U.S. market continued to stabilize with growth near zero in line with forecasts. With shipments totaling 14.3 million PCs in 1Q14, the U.S. market contracted by -0.6% from the same quarter a year ago. Desktop shipments were slightly stronger, posting 3.5% growth, while portables remained in negative territory. Lenovo (LNVGY) preserved its lead in total worldwide PC shipments despite a seasonal drop due to the Chinese New Year. Growth in other regions continued at a solid pace although Latin America slowed after a dramatic expansion over the past year. HP (HPQ) remained in the number 2 position, with growth rising nicely to nearly 5% year on year. Dell grew over 9% in the first quarter.
06:14 EDTMSFTMicrosoft may release server orders to Taiwan ODMs, DigiTimes reports
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