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November 18, 2015
13:44 EDTINTCBefore the Move: Watch Intel into tomorrow's analyst day
Chipmaker Intel's (INTC) analyst day tomorrow could yield information on numerous company operations, but Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis cautions investors that the probability for positive surprises appears low given recent spending outlays. BACKGROUND: Intel, one of the largest semiconductor makers in the world, is scheduled to hold an analyst day on Thursday, November 19. Beyond providing forecasts for its various business segments and remarks on the larger computer market, Intel is expected to provide further clarity on several recent stories, including its memory joint venture with Micron (MU), plans to invest heavily in a Chinese production facility and progression towards chips on the 10 nanometer scale. STRONG OUTLOOK, MILD MEETING: Intel's pending acquisition of Altera (ALTR) and its plans to invest as much as $5.5B in a computer memory facility in Dalian, China leave little room for positive surprises at tomorrow's event in regards to 2016 margins, capital expenditures, or shareholder returns, Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis said in a recent research note. That said, the analyst views Intel's Chinese facility expansion as part of a "brilliant investment strategy that positions Intel as a partner to China" and "keeps the market open" to its microprocessors, perhaps Intel's more famed business segment. Though the two initiatives are certain to push up near-term debt load, Lipacis takes the longer-term view, reminding investors that Intel has shown consistently strong free cash flow over the past decade, leading him to forecast another $13B in 2016. The year may also bring "a number" of other positives for the company, including more data center wins after the Altera tie-up, potentially renewed sales on a cyclical uptick in PC gaming, and even the possibility of an iPhone chip contract, though Lipacis said none of those points look set to be discussed tomorrow. The analyst kept a Buy rating and $38 price target on the shares while reiterating that Thursday's Intel event may have little in store for those expecting eye-grabbing surprises. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Intel have advanced roughly 0.9% to $32.92 Wednesday afternoon. "Before the Move" is The Fly's recurring series of exclusive stories that identify potentially market moving events, along with analyst predictions, ahead of the news.
12:33 EDTQCOMOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in positive territory and have moved higher throughout the morning. All eyes continue to be fixed on Paris and successful police action in a raid of the dwellings of suspects from the bombing over the weekend may have added to today's positive sentiment. There was little help from the day's economic data, however, as the housing starts report for October came in with the lowest reading in seven months and the energy inventories data showed another buildup in crude. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., housing starts fell 11.0% to a 1.06M pace in October, weaker than the expected rate of 1.16M. Building permits, however, rose 4.1% to a 1.15M rate, versus an expected rise of 3.8%. The day's big economic event may be yet to come, as investors await the minutes from the Fed's last FOMC meeting, which are scheduled for release at 2:00 pm ET. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Target (TGT) fell more than 5% after the retailer reported in-line quarterly sales and profits and narrowed the range of its fiscal year earnings view. Target, which guided for same-store sales in its holiday quarter to be up 1%-2%, added that it sees "indications of heavy inventory levels" at some competitors into the holiday season... Shares of railroad operator Norfolk Southern (NSC) spiked in the after-hours trading after rival Canadian Pacific (CP) announced that it had sent an offer letter proposing a business combination, but failed to outline the details of its proposal. Norfolk Southern then confirmed Canadian Pacific to acquire the company for $46.72 in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 0.348 Canadian Pacific shares per Norfolk share, calling the indication of interest "unsolicited, low-premium, non-binding and highly conditional." CNBC's David Faber, citing sources, subsequently reported that Norfolk Southern has no interest in pursuing a merger, but Norfolk shares remain up more than 6% early this afternoon, while Canadian Pacific is up nearly 6% as well... Shares of Apple (AAPL) climbed about 3% after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its Conviction Buy List, predicting that investors should begin to focus on the company's monetization and recurring revenue opportunities over the next year, which would be a boon to its valuation. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Aramark (ARMK), which rallied 8% after it reported upbeat quarterly earnings and guided for fiscal 2016. Also higher was Fairchild Semicondcutor (FCS), which gained 8.5% after it agreed to be acquired for approximately $2.4B by ON Semiconductor (ON), which fell 8% following the deal announcement. Another noteworthy losers was Qualcomm (QCOM), which fell nearly 10% after it said that allegations from Korea's FTC that the company did not properly negotiate "aspects" of its licenses are "not supported by the facts." Also lower was Staples (SPLS), which was down 4% after it reported Q3 earnings and provided an earnings outlook for Q4. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 132.98, or 0.76%, to 17,622.48, the Nasdaq was up 43.00, or 0.86%, to 5,029.01, and the S&P 500 was up 15.62, or 0.76%, to 2,066.06.
10:30 EDTQCOMQualcomm drops, levels to watch
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09:05 EDTQCOMQualcomm says Korea FTC report allegations 'not supported by the facts'
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08:19 EDTSTXRBC Capital to hold a tour
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November 17, 2015
18:58 EDTMSFTMicrosoft CEO says building new cyber defense center, NBC reports
Speaking at the Microsoft Government Cloud Forum on Tuesday, CEO Satya Nadella revealed plans to open a Cyber Defense Operations Center, gathering security experts from across the company's suite of products in order to respond to security threats in real-time, reports NBC. Reference Link
15:40 EDTINTCIntel to host investor meeting
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11:32 EDTQCOMQualcomm to host analyst meeting
Analyst Meeting to be held in New York on November 18 at 10 am. Webcast Link
11:10 EDTWDCMicron the most likely target for Tsinghua stake, says Macquarie
Macquarie analyst Deepon Nag highlighted yesterday that Tsinghua Unigroup Chairman Zhao Weiguo told Reuters in an interview that his company was in talks with a U.S. semiconductor company, and that a deal could be announced as early as the end of the month. Zhao stated that a majority stake was unlikely due to regulatory concerns. Given recent moves by China in the memory market, Micron (MU) is the most likely target for Tsinghua, Nag wrote in a note to investors. Tsinghua recently announced a 15% stake in Western Digital (WDC) at a 33% premium to the company's prior closing price. A similar premium for Micron would lead to a 15% stake in Micron for $20 per share, which would equal $3.4B, the analyst points out. Shares of Micron are up 46c, or 3%, to $15.35 in late morning trading. Nag has an Outperform rating on Micron with a $30 price target.
11:03 EDTQCOM, INTCTsinghua Chairman says in talks with U.S.-based chipmaker, Reuters reports
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10:33 EDTQCOMCiti says Xilinx, not Maxim, likely to be acquired
According to Citi, analog chip maker Maxim Semiconductor (MXIM) probably won't be acquired, despite Bloomberg reports which stated that Texas Instruments (TXN) and Analog Devices (ADI) had held talks about potentially buying the company. The firm sees Xilinx (XLNX) as the only large cap chip maker remaining that has "all of the attributes of a good takeover target." WHAT'S NEW: The only two companies capable of buying Maxim are Texas Instruments and Analog Devices, Citi analyst Christopher Danely wrote in a note to investors today. However, Maxim's valuation is too high for Texas Instruments and the deal would be too big for Analog Devices, the analyst stated. However, Xilinx is a potential takeover target, partly due to its high margins, a size large enough that it could impact an acquirer's profits and its cost cutting opportunities, Danely stated. One potential acquirer of Xilinx is Qualcomm (QCOM), which has suggested that it could be interested in M&A opportunities in the future, the analyst wrote. Despite his belief that Xilinx could be acquired, Danely kept a Neutral rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On October 14, Bloomberg reported that Analog Devices and Maxim were in merger talks. On October 28, the news service reported that Texas Instruments was in talks about buying Maxim. According to Bloomberg, Maxim was working with a bank on a strategic review before it was approached by Analog Devices. Maxim may not want to sell itself unless it receives a large premium, the news service stated. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Maxim was flat near $38.86 per share, while Xilinx gained 1.5% to $47.83.
09:02 EDTMSFTAnalyst pans competing products, says buy Fitbit
Shares of previous high-flier Fitbit (FIT) have dropped about 30% in the last two weeks following the company's third quarter earnings report, but an analyst at Bank of America upgraded his view of the fitness tracker maker this morning, saying that now is the time to buy ahead of fourth quarter results that may be boosted by the "underwhelming" new products being launched by its competitors. UNDERWHELMING COMPETITION: Fitbit's sales guidance for this holiday quarter looks conservative, contends Bank of America analyst Nat Schindler, who notes that the company only had the launch of one new product last December but will have the Charge, Charge HR and Surge to drive sales this season. Schindler also notes that the company's international advertising has expanded into more countries ahead of the holidays this year. Key, however, may be the "underwhelming" lineup of new or updated fitness trackers launched by competitors, such as the Microsoft's (MSFT) Band 2, Jawbone's UP4 and Sony's (SNE) Smartband 2, many of which have only minor improvements and no "must have" features to pull consumers away from Fitbit, Schindler told investors in his research note. PLATFORM PICKING UP STEAM: The analyst also pointed out that Fitbit now has more than 20 companies signed onto its health and wellness platform, including big names like Target (TGT) and Barclays (BCS), which he believes should help drive revenue beats in the upcoming fiscal year due to increased device sales. Also, the additional dashboard data should help Fitbit maintain long-term user engagement, said Schindler. APPLE WATCH: Apple's (AAPL) Apple Watch is largely viewed as the biggest potential competitive threat to Fitbit's offerings, but on the fitness tracker maker's last earnings call CEO James Park said Fitbit's products differ from those of its competitors in several key aspects, including pricing, cross-platform compatibility, brand awareness and product line breadth. Other wearables makers include Garmin (GRMN) and Samsung. PRICE ACTION: Since the day after Fitbit's last earnings report after the market close on November 2, its shares have fallen about 29.5% to close yesterday at $28.80. In pre-market trading this morning, Fitbit shares rose 2% to $29.40.
08:54 EDTQCOMMaxim could be bidder for Fairchild, says Citi
Citi analyst Atif Malik views Maxim Integrated (MXIM) as a potential acquirer Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS). Bloomberg on October 13 reported that Fairchild was seeking advice for a potential sale, and listed potential acquirers as STMicroelectronics (STM), Infineon (IFNNY) and ON Semiconductor (ON). Bids from STM and ON seem unlikely, but Infineon and Maxim could be potential acquirers of Fairchild, Malik tells investors in a research note. In a bull case scenario, Fairchild's buyout value could reach $25 per share, the analyst contends. Fairchild closed yesterday at $17.76. Malik's peer at Citi, analyst Christopher Danely, argued today in research note that Maxim Integrated (MXIM) is unlikely to get acquired despite reports of interest from Analog Devices (ADI) and Texas Instruments (TXN). Danely views Xilinx (XLNX) as a potential takeout target, potentially for Qualcomm (QCOM).
08:37 EDTQCOMCiti sees Xilinx, not Maxim, as potential takeout candidate
Citi analyst Christopher Danely says he does not expect Maxim Integrated (MXIM) to get acquired despite reports of interest from Analog Devices (ADI) and Texas Instruments (TXN). Xilinx (XLNX) is the only large-cap semiconductor company left with "all of the attributes of a good takeover target," Danely tells investors in a research note. He believes Xilinx management could be willing sellers at the right price, and points out Qualcomm (QCOM) has a history of doing deals. Xilinx could make a good candidate for Qualcomm, Danely contends.
07:56 EDTMSFTUBS to hold a conference
Global Technology Conference is being held in San Francisco on November 16-18 with webcasted company presentations to begin on November 17 at 10:45 am.; not all company presentations may be webcasted. Webcast Link
07:48 EDTINTCHP Enterprise announces alliance with Intel
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06:27 EDTINTCIntel November volatility elevated into investor meeting
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06:16 EDTMSFTMicrosoft turns around flawed security technology, NY Times says
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05:33 EDTQCOMStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; YUM QCOM
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November 16, 2015
17:02 EDTMSFTPoint72 added to lululemon position, subtracted from Netflix position
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