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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 4, 2014
12:28 EDTPSMI, JCP, FURX, KORS, TTWO, MSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday, bouncing back after yesterday's sell-off, which was one of the worst in quite some time. Yesterday's decline came on the heels of a dismal January, during which the market put in its worst monthly performance since May 2012. The major averages are higher across the board, but have not regained even half of what was lost yesterday. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., factory orders dropped 1.5% in December, versus expectations for a 1.8% decline. COMPANY NEWS: As had been predicted in various technology blogs in recent days, Microsoft (MSFT) promoted the head of its Cloud and Enterprise group, Satya Nadella, to take over as Chief Executive Officer for the departing Steve Ballmer. Bill Gates, one of the company's founders and formerly its chairman of the board, will assume a new role as Technology Advisor and will devote more time to the company, with lead independent director for the board John Thompson taking over as chairman... Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) briefly rallied after the company reported its comparable store sales grew 3.1% during the Holiday period, but reversed and moved into negative ground shortly after the opening bell. 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. J.C. Penney shares declined over 9% near midday following the sales update. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was luxury goods maker Michael Kors (KORS), which soared 18% higher after the company's third quarter results soundly beat analysts' expectations. Also higher was Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX), whose shares more than doubled after the company’s two Phase III trials evaluating its drug for the treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome met both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency formally agreed-upon primary endpoints. Among the noteworthy losers was Peregrine Semiconducter (PSMI), which fell 17% after reporting a steeper than expected quarterly loss and being downgraded at Needham and JPMorgan. Also lower following an earnings report that prompted multiple downgrades was Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), which fell 9% despite reporting earnings that beat expectations and raising its profit outlook for the year. Wedbush downgraded Take-Two to Neutral from Outperform due to lack of visibility and said investors should be cautious about the product pipeline, while Benchmark Co. lowered its rating on the stock to Hold. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 101.96, or 0.66%, to 15,474.76, the Nasdaq was up 42.93, or 1.07%, to 4,039.89, and the S&P 500 was up 15.33, or 0.88%, to 1,757.22.
News For MSFT;KORS;JCP;TTWO;FURX;PSMI From The Last 14 Days
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April 17, 2015
11:20 EDTMSFTGoogle deal possible after Yahoo amends search pact with Microsoft, analyst says
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10:19 EDTMSFTAnalyst says AMD driving close to cliff after Q1 miss
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07:15 EDTMSFTYahoo search deal with Google could add $10/share, says Jefferies
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07:15 EDTTTWOMarch NPD video game software sales declined 3%, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray notes March NPD video game software sales declined 3% year-over-year, with major titles for the month including Electronic Arts' (EA) Battlefield Hardline, Bloodborne from Sony (SNE) and Take-Two's (TTWO) Grand Theft Auto V. Piper notes the monthly decline is the first in 2015, leaving the segment up 2% through the first three months combined. It keeps Overweight ratings on Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts, GameStop (GME) and Take-Two.
06:33 EDTMSFTChina suspends new bank technology policy, NY Times reports
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April 16, 2015
11:54 EDTMSFTYahoo gets more flexibility with new Microsoft agreement, says Cantor
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09:55 EDTKORSMichael Kors view changed to Mixed from Positive at OTR Global (pre-open)
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09:01 EDTMSFTMicrosoft, Yahoo agree to amend search partnership
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09:00 EDTMSFTMicrosoft, Yahoo agree to amend search partnership
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06:08 EDTMSFTMicrosoft counceled EC in Google antitrust probe, NY Post says
Microsoft (MSFT) "complained a lot" and "definitely counseled" the European Commission in its antitrust investigation of Google (GOOG), reports the New York Post, citing a source with direct knowledge of the situation. Reference Link
05:55 EDTKORSCoach upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Barclays analyst Joan Payson upgraded Coach to Overweight citing greater confidence in the designer's ability to grow domestic store comps with its turnaround "well underway." She expects Coach's competitive pressures to ease and raised her price target for shares to $50 from $38. The maker of handbags closed yesterday down 28c to $41.76. Payson also lowered her price target for shares of Michael Kors (KORS) to $60 from $70 and keeps an Equal Weight rating on the name. She believes Kors may soon be in need of transformation. The analyst keeps an Equal Weight rating on Tiffany (TIF), calling the company a "work in progress."
April 15, 2015
11:09 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney rally would be opportunity to issue shares, says Imperial Capital
Imperial Capital continues to expect elevated debt levels to erode the value of J.C. Penney shares, but it thinks favorable operating momentum could drive the stock price above $10. Imperial believes such a rally would provide Penny with a "great opportunity" to issue additional shares to pay down debt. The firm keeps an Underperform rating on Penny with a $3 price target. Shares of the retailer are up 9c to $9.23 in late morning trading.
06:17 EDTMSFTCiti cuts Microsoft estimates, price target ahead of Q3 results
Ahead of the tech giant's Q3 results on April 23 and analyst day on April 29, Citigroup cut its below consensus estimates for Microsoft to reflect currency headwinds, lower PC units and reductions in commercial licensing. Citi's FY15, FY16 and FY17 earnings estimates now stand at $2.59, $2.71 and $2.90. The firm believes further contraction to Microsoft’s valuation multiple is possible given downside risk to consensus numbers and "medium-term uncertainty on multiple fronts." It believes the tech giant's strategic issues, including Windows challenges and the cloud transition, have no easy answers. Citi cut its price target for Microsoft shares to $36 from $38 and keeps a Sell rating on the name.
April 14, 2015
11:47 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney business on 'more stable footing,' says Baird
Baird analyst Mark Altschwager says J.C. Penney's business is on "more stable footing" after the retailer reported a quarter-to-date comp of 6% and provided Q1 comp guidance above consensus. Altschwager raised his price target for shares to $10 from $9 but keeps a Neutral rating on Penny. He believes meaningful free cash flow growth will be challenging as investment needs normalize.
11:04 EDTMSFTMicrosoft acquires Datazen Software, terms not disclosed
Microsoft announced in a blog post the acquisition of Datazen Software, "an industry leader in mobile business intelligence and data visualization on Windows, iOS and Android devices. This acquisition accelerates our Power BI strategy to help organizations create a data culture with easy-to-use, accessible tools to extract maximum value from data – from anywhere, on any device... Beyond great technology, this acquisition brings a group of talented people to Microsoft. They will help us continue to deliver a broad range of products and services that will empower organizations around the world capitalize on their data opportunities." Reference Link
08:55 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney sees Q1 SSS up 3.5%-4.5%
J.C. Penney said in a regulatory filing that on April 13, the company became aware that a senior official of the company inadvertently sent an e-mail communication to a securities analyst that contained non-public information regarding the company’s comparable store sales results for Q1 to date, which are approximately 6%. Based on results to date, and taking into account the shift of Easter into the fiscal month of March this year, the company currently expects comparable store sales for Q1 to be in the range of 3.5%-4.5%.
05:46 EDTMSFTMicrosoft's Surface 3 expected to see weak sales, DigiTimes Research reports
Microsoft's Surface 3 is expected to see low shipments and weak sales due to fiercer competition than those for its Surface Pro 3, reports DigiTimes Research. The Surface 3, priced over $600, is expected to only have limited impact on other branded 2-in-1 products, which are priced below $350 on average. Reference Link
05:46 EDTMSFTMicrosoft offers fee cut to attract vendors to pre-install apps, DigiTimes says
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April 13, 2015
12:02 EDTMSFTMicrosoft hires Kurt DelBene to head corporate strategy and planning
Microsoft announced that Kurt DelBene has been named executive vice president of Corporate Strategy and Planning reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. DelBene is returning to Microsoft, where he was most recently president of the Microsoft Office Division. After leaving Microsoft in 2013, he then served as senior advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services where he was appointed by President Obama to oversee implementation and improvement of Healthcare.gov. He most recently has been a venture partner at Madrona Venture Group, concentrating on investing and advising in early stage, technology-focused startups in the Pacific Northwest.
06:22 EDTJCPGap, Target, others scrutinized by NY AG over staffing practices, WSJ says
Several major retailer including Gap (GPS) and Target (TGT) are under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over their staffing practices and whether they require workers to show up or stay home with little notice, The Wall Street Journal reports. Schneiderman sent letters warning Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), JC Penney (JCP), Urban Outfitters (URBN), TJX Cos (TJX), Ann Inc (ANN), L Brands (LB), Burlington Stores (BURL), Sears Holdings (SHLD), Williams-Sonoma (WSM) and J Crew Group that he believes the chains are using on-call scheduling and that such practices may be in violation of New York laws. Reference Link
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