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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 4, 2014
16:39 EDTBRO, KORS, DNB, TTWO, YUM, JCP, MSFTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher, bouncing back a bit following yesterday's sharp sell-off. The averages opened higher, led by gains in the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which added nearly 1% for the session. Despite gains, the averages recouped less than half of yesterday's decline. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., factory orders dropped 1.5% in December, versus expectations for a 1.8% decline. COMPANY NEWS: Microsoft (MSFT) shares fell 13c, or 0.36%, to $36.35 after the company promoted the head of its Cloud and Enterprise group, Satya Nadella, to Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Steve Ballmer. Nadella's promotion, which had been roundly telegraphed in recent media reports, make him the tech giant's third CEO. Bill Gates, one of the company's founders and formerly chairman of its board, will assume a new role as Technology Advisor and devote more time to the company, with lead independent director John Thompson taking over as chairman... Embattled retailer J.C. Penney (JCP) fell 60c, or 10.56%, to $5.08 despite reporting comparable store sales that grew 3.1% during the Holiday period. Deutsche Bank said it believes investors were expecting a positive low-single digit gain in same-store sales and it does not view today's press release as material to the J.C. Penney story, while Sterne Agee cut its price target on the retailer's shares to $3 from $9. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was luxury goods maker Michael Kors (KORS), which advanced $13.24, or 17.27%, to $89.91 after the company's third quarter results soundly beat analysts' expectations and several analyst firms raised their price targets on the stock. Also higher following their quarterly report was Yum! Brands (YUM), up $5.90, or 8.92%, to $72.06 after the Taco Bell and KFC owner reported adjusted profit that beat estimates and affirmed its fiscal 2014 earnings outlook. Among the noteworthy losers following disappointing earnings reports were Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), down $10.88, or 10.22%, to $95.58, and Brown & Brown (BRO), down $2.40, or 7.82%, to $28.28. Also lower was Take-Two (TTWO), which fell $1.84, or 9.74%, to $17.06. The video game maker reported better-than-expected results though issued guidance for the current quarter that missed expectations and analysts were generally downbeat about the company's outlook. INDEXES: The Dow was up 72.44, or 0.47%, to 15,445.24, the Nasdaq was up 34.56, or 0.86%, to 4,031.52, and the S&P 500 was up 13.31, or 0.76%, to 1,755.20.
News For MSFT;JCP;KORS;YUM;DNB;BRO;TTWO From The Last 14 Days
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January 28, 2016
12:41 EDTMSFTMicrosoft technical notes before earnings
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10:44 EDTMSFTStocks with call strike movement; AMZN MSFT
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09:38 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open
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08:50 EDTMSFTUBS trims Microsoft estimates for second half on macro uncertainty
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08:07 EDTTTWO2K, WWE announce multi-year extension for WWE video game properties
2K (TTWO) and WWE (WWE) announced that the companies have extended their partnership with a new multi-year exclusive agreement granting 2K the worldwide rights to develop and publish WWE video game properties across all major platforms and distribution channels. WW 2K, the simulation-based flagship series developed by 2K's Visual Concepts studio and Yuke's, will continue an 18-year tradition established by past WWE titles, including the recently released WWE 2K16. In addition, 2K will continue to invest in WWE SuperCard, the breakout hit card-battling game developed by its Cat Daddy Games studio, which has been downloaded more than nine million times since its initial release. Financial terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.
08:04 EDTMSFTHarman CEO: On track to deliver full year plan
"I am pleased to announce our 11th consecutive quarter of top and bottom line growth. Our strong first half results were in-line with our expectations. While we are closely monitoring macroeconomic developments, at this time, we are on track to deliver on our full year plan," said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman (HAR) Chairman, President and CEO. "HARMAN continues to innovate and bring industry-first solutions to market. We are also partnering with key technology leaders such as Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Under Armour (UA) to capitalize on the opportunities presented by IoT for automotive, enterprise and consumer electronics. In addition, our acquisition of TowerSec will strengthen our cybersecurity leadership position for automotive."
06:32 EDTMSFTMicrosoft volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
Microsoft January weekly call option implied volatility is at 97, February is at 38; compared to its 52-week range of 15 to 39, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results today after the market close.
January 27, 2016
13:47 EDTMSFTVMware tanks after providing lower guidance amid Cloud transition
Shares of virtualization software maker VMware (VMW) are falling after providing guidance, confirming layoffs and announcing executive changes. WHAT'S NEW: After the close of trading on Tuesday, the software company that is 80% owned by EMC (EMC) and provides software for corporate data centers, announced fourth quarter financial results while confirming earlier reports of layoffs and announcing a new chief financial officer. VMware, along with parent company EMC, is in the midst of a proposed acquisition by Dell. The company's Q4 earnings per share and revenue came in at $1.26 and $1.87B, respectively, slightly better than analysts were expecting; however, the company's view for fiscal year 2016 EPS and revenue of $4.07-$4.16 and $6.8B-$6.9B, respectively, were well below the $4.20 and $7.21B analysts are expecting. VMware also guided first quarter EPS to 83c-85c, also below analysts' 92c consensus. Along with its results, the company confirmed earlier reports that it intended to reduce its workforce by 800 and plans to take a charge of between $55M-$65M related to this action over the course of the first half of 2016. The company also announced that its CFO Jonathan Chadwick is leaving and will be replaced by EMC CFO Zane Rowe. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On its quarterly conference call discussing its earnings, VMware company referred to its growth in "emerging" products and businesses including NSX and User Computing and Virtual SAN, all of which grew strongly over the quarter. The company said it hopes its newer products are picking up the slack due to the declining growth in its mature "compute products." Pat Gelsinger, VMware's chief executive officer, "We recognize that our blockbuster compute products are reaching maturity and will represent a decreasing portion of our business going forward." The company is upgrading its Cloud strategy to better compete with leaders like Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT), which provide Cloud services via the internet and make the corporate data center that VMware focuses on less necessary. ANALYSTS' VIEWS: Summit Research analyst Srini Nandury downgraded VMware to Hold and lowered his price target for the shares to $40 from $80 following the company's quarterly results. The company's business will get worse before it gets better, Nandury told investors in a research note. Another downgrade came from research firm Baird's analyst Jayson Noland, who cut his rating on VMware to Neutral and lowered his price target to $60 from $80. Noland said the core vSphere business is facing incremental public cloud headwinds and substantial uncertainty related to the Class V common stock being issued to finance the EMC acquisition. Providing a more constructive view was UBS who said the current valuation levels of VMware offer a significant opportunity for patient investors. The firm noted the company will temper spending and focus on leveraging public clouds, which should provide a tailwind to both capital and operating expenditures. UBS reiterated its Buy rating and $72 price target on VMware. PRICE ACTION: Shares of VMware are down approximately 40% since the Dell-EMC deal was announced last October and are down over 9% to $44.84 in afternoon trading. OTHERS TO WATCH. Other companies in the cloud computing space include Amazon, Microsoft and Citrix Systems (CTXS).
12:02 EDTMSFTBox, Microsoft expand alliance to deliver better cloud experiences
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10:07 EDTMSFTMicrosoft announces launch of News Pro app
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10:00 EDTBROOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: BG Group (BRGYY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Bill Barrett (BBG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg... Brown & Brown (BRO) downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Canadian National (CNI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... DreamWorks (DWA) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Topeka... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded at RBC Capital... Gentex (GNTX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Haverty Furniture (HVT) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Hercules Technology (HTGC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... Horizon Technology (HRZN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Installed Building downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Jarden (JAH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... K+S (KPLUF) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... La-Z-Boy (LZB) downgraded at BB&T... Legacy Reserves (LGCY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Medivation (MDVN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Merck (MRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Metaldyne Performance (MPG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Pier 1 Imports (PIR) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Priceline (PCLN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Profire Energy (PFIE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Chardan... Regeneron (REGN) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Swiss Re (SSREY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... TSYS (TSS) downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at First Analysis... Talmer Bancorp (TLMR) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... TopBuild (BLD) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... TripAdvisor (TRIP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... VMware (VMW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Research... W.R. Grace (GRA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... WEC Energy (WEC) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Welltower (HCN) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Yamana Gold (AUY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
08:03 EDTBROBrown & Brown downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley
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07:59 EDTMSFTMicrosoft volatility elevated into Q2 and outlook
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06:24 EDTBROBrown & Brown downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
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January 26, 2016
18:35 EDTMSFTMicrosoft executive: Surface glitch during NFL game caused by stadium error
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16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; January 26, 2016
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11:13 EDTMSFTActive options; AAPL BAC FB NFLX C MSFT TWTR VALE FCX COH XOM AMZN
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10:34 EDTMSFTBattleground: BofA says sell NetSuite, DA Davidson still bullish
Over the last two days, analysts have issued mixed views on NetSuite (N), with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Stephens downgrading the shares, while research firm DA Davidson argued in its own note to investors that the company should report better than expected fourth quarter results on January 28. NetSuite develops cloud based financial and enterprise resource planning, or ERP, tools for businesses. BEARISH TAKE: Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan downgraded NetSuite to Underperform, the firm's equivalent of a sell rating, from Neutral today. The company has increased its sales force by about 40%, but its billings are accelerating by only about 30%, the analyst stated. Moreover, NetSuite's operating margins are expected to come in at only about 4% in 2016, making it difficult for investors to value the stock on a price to earnings or enterprise value to free cash flow basis, Rangan believes. The stock may face obstacles if its billings growth doesn't accelerate significantly or if its operating margin doesn't increase to 10%-12%, Rangan wrote. Meanwhile, the company is facing tough competition from Microsoft (MSFT) in the mid-market and from other players at the lower end, according to the analyst, who cut his price target on the name to $80 from $95. Also writing that NetSuite is facing increased competition, Stephens analyst Alex Zukin yesterday downgraded the stock to Equal Weigh from Overweight. These competitive pressures along with changes to the company's organizational structure, the loss of a number of its "marquee" customers, and its premium valuation, led to the downgrade, Zukin stated. He slashed his price target on the stock to $75 from $100. BULLISH TAKE: NetSuite's Q4 results should beat expectations, with revenue coming in at $207.6M, above the company's guidance range of $202M-$205M and the consensus outlook of $204.4M, predicted DA Davidson analyst Jack Andrews. The company will report EPS of 5c, versus the consensus outlook of 4c, estimated Andrews. NetSuite can continue to increase its market share at the expense of mid-tier ERP vendors, believes the analyst, who reiterated a $130 price target and Buy rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: In the same note to investors this morning, Merrill Lynch's Rangan also downgraded Paylocity (PCTY) and Marketo (MKTO) to Underperform from Neutral and it cut his rating on Red Hat (RHT) to Neutral from Buy. Paylocity provides payroll and human capital management software to medium businesses, while Marketo provides cloud-based marketing tools and Red Hat provides open source software solutions. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, NetSuite fell 3.6% to $65.45.
09:32 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: FB PEP NFLX PM GM RMBS MSFT GLW AAPL
08:26 EDTMSFTTwitter in play after executive departures, says Cantor
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali believes yesterday's news of several senior executives leaving Twitter (TWTR) puts the company in play and could encourage potential bidders to step forward. Twitter's current valuation and sizeable user base makes it a strategic asset for a number of potential buyers, Squali told investors last night in a research note. Potential suitors on the technology side include Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT), the analyst contends. On the media side, Squali thinks 21st Century Fox (FOXA), Disney (DIS), Comcast (CMCSA) or Time Warner (TWX) could express interest in Twitter. No concentration of share ownership and no super-voting structure increase the odds of a buyout, Squali argues. The analyst, however, adds that the executive departures are not good news for a company in the midst of a turnaround. He maintains a Buy rating on the microblogging operator with a $45 price target. Twitter closed yesterday down 82c, or 5%, to $17.02..
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