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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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May 13, 2015
16:39 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney gross margin helped by penetration of private brands
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16:34 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney saw slowdown in late April versus its expectations
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16:28 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney sees FY15 free cash flow breakeven
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16:26 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney reports Q1 gross margin 36.4%
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16:13 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney narrows FY15 SSS view to up 4%-5% from up 3%-5%
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16:09 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney reports Q1 EPS (57c), consensus (77c)
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16:01 EDTMSFTMicrosoft blog post refrains from using 'Windows Phone' branding
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15:15 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney May 9 straddle priced for 8.2% movement into Q1
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15:04 EDTMSFTEarnings Watch: Cowen says Cisco better positioned than most believe
Cisco Systems (CSCO) is scheduled to report results of its third fiscal quarter after the market close on Wednesday, May 13, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. Cisco, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells Internet protocol-based networking and other products related to the communications and IT industry and provides related services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 53c on revenue of $12.07B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 52c-54c on revenue of $11.99B-$12.46B. Along with its last quarterly report, Cisco guided for Q3 EPS of 51c-53c and said it expects its revenue to be up 3%-5% in the quarter compared to the prior year. LAST QUARTER: On February 1, Cisco reported second quarter EPS of 53c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 51c. Revenue came in at $11.94B, topping the $11.8B consensus forecast. At that time Cisco also raised its quarterly dividend to 21c from 19c. NEWS: On March 11, Cisco announced an extension of its cloud and data center relationship with Microsoft (MSFT) to include a new technology platform designed to accelerate service delivery and streamline the journey to the Intercloud for cloud providers. The new integrated solution combines Windows Azure Pack and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure to help cloud providers "rapidly deliver hybrid cloud services while drastically simplifying operations and reducing costs," the company said. On May 4, Cisco announced that its board has appointed Chuck Robbins, who most recently served as Cisco's senior vice president of worldwide operations, as CEO, effective July 26. Current CEO John Chambers will assume the role of executive chairman and will continue to serve as the chairman of Cisco's board. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last report, research firm Piper Jaffray said it saw little downside risk in Cisco shares and believes Cisco is benefiting from a switching upgrade cycle that should sustain throughout 2015. The firm kept an Overweight rating on the stock with a $33 price target. Conversely, Citigroup said that despite the improving demand seen in Q2, Cisco shares remained fully priced at its levels at that time. Citi raised its price target for shares to $25 from $22, but kept a Sell rating on the name. The day after Cisco announced its CEO transition plan, Cowen said it thinks the company is better positioned and business is trending better than most investors believe, as evidenced by the timing of its CEO change. The firm, which believes Robbins is an excellent choice to replace Chambers, reiterated its Outperform rating and $35 price target on Cisco shares. Earlier this week, Pacific Crest upgraded Cisco to Outperform from Sector Perform, as the firm believes the April quarter results could signify the start of a multi-quarter recovery driven by new product cycles across switching, routing, wireless and servers. Pacific Crest, which thinks improving fundamentals and cloud momentum can drive multiple expansion in the second half of 2015 and into 2016, set a $36 price target for Cisco shares. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's report, Cisco shares are up fractionally to $29.30. In the last three months, Cisco shares have declined about 0.5%.
15:04 EDTJCPNotable companies reporting after market close
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12:54 EDTJCPEarnings Watch: J.C. Penney sees Q1 SSS up 3.5%-4.5%
J.C. Penney (JCP) is scheduled to report first quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday, May 13, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. J.C. Penney operates about 1,100 retail stores and jcp.com. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for a loss per share of (77c) on revenue of $2.87B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is (96c)-(61c) on revenue of $2.78B-$2.92B. LAST QUARTER: J.C. Penney reported fourth adjusted earnings per share of breakeven against estimates for 11c, on revenue of $3.89B against estimates for $3.87B. Comparable store sales were up 4.4%. The company forecast fiscal year 2015 SSS up 3%-5% and said it expected gross margin to improve 50 to 100 basis points versus 2014 and free cash flow to be flat. On its Q4 earnings conference call, the company said that it expected Q1 sales to be impacted less than 1% due to the West Coast port slowdown. NEWS: On March 17, AdAge said Chief Marketing Officer Debra Berman would leave the company immediately. Later that day, Bloomberg reported that General Cousnel Janet Dhillon would also leave the company, which was confirmed by J.C. Penney on March 20. On April 28, J.C. Penney appointed Mary Beth West as executive vice president and Chief Customer & Marketing Officer, effective June 1. In an April regulatory filing, J.C. Penney said it became aware that a senior company official "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%." The company said it expects Q1 SSS up 3.5%-4.5%, which takes into account the shift of Easter into March. The retailer said it would introduce Sephora to 25 additional stores starting on May 1. In April, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters warning J.C. Penney and other retailers that he believes the chains are using on-call scheduling and that such practices may be in violation of New York laws. STREET RESEARCH: Following the release of J.C. Penney's Q4 results, Deutsche Bank said J.C. Penney remained a "show me story" until liquidity is improved. Craig-Hallum said J.C. Penney's 2015 gross margin outlook supports its view the company's 2017 financial targets are "unattainable." In March, JPMorgan raised its price target for the retailer to $10 from $8 and said management expressed confidence in the company’s ability to reach its 2017 EBITDA target of $1.2B. Baird said J.C. Penney's business is on "more stable footing," but believes meaningful free cash flow growth will be challenging. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, J.C. Penney shares are up over 7.45%. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's Q1 report, J. C. Penney is down 2.5% to $8.66.
10:01 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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06:07 EDTMSFTMicrosoft upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank analyst Karl Keirstead upgraded Microsoft to Buy saying weak PC market sentiment is priced into the stock at current levels while Azure and Office 365 optimism is "just starting" to take hold. The analyst sees more positive than negative catalysts and raised his price target for Microsoft shares to $55 from $44. Shares of the computing giant closed yesterday down 2c to $47.35.
May 12, 2015
16:01 EDTJCPOptions Update; May 12, 2015
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11:37 EDTJCPStocks with call strike movement; TWTR JCP
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10:27 EDTMSFTAppeals court upholds InterDigital loss in patent fight with Microsoft, ZTE
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the final determination of the International Trade Commission finding no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act was committed by Microsoft (MSFT) and ZTE related to patents held by InterDigital (IDCC). The patents at issue in the case are directed to cellphone technology, and in particular, code division multiple access networks, according to the appeals court ruling.
May 11, 2015
16:00 EDTJCPOptions Update; May 11, 2015
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13:17 EDTMSFTMicrosoft invests in subsea cables to connect datacenters globally
Microsoft (MSFT) announced in a blog post that over the past nine months, "Microsoft has been significantly investing in subsea and terrestrial dark fiber capacity by engaging in fiber partnerships that span multiple oceans and continents. And today, our connections across the Atlantic and Pacific just got stronger.We announced deals with Hibernia and Aqua Comms, in which Microsoft is investing in a cable with each company to connect Microsoft’s datacenter infrastructure from North America to Ireland and on to the United Kingdom. These cables will help deliver data at higher speeds, with higher capacity and lower latency for our customers across the globe. Additionally, we joined a consortium comprised of China Mobile (CHL), China Telecom (CHA), China Unicom (CHU), Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), KT Corporation (KT) with TE SubCom as the cable supplier. As part of our participation in the consortium, Microsoft will invest in its first physical landing station in the US connecting North America to Asia. The New Cross Pacific Cable Network will provide faster data connections for customers, aid Microsoft in competing on cloud costs, all while creating jobs and spurring local economies. The goal of our expansions and investments in subsea cables is so our customers have the greatest access to scale and highly available data, anywhere." Reference Link
09:37 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open
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06:11 EDTMSFTStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; LNKD NFLX
Stocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; LinkedIn (LNKD) 28, Netflix (NFLX) 26 according to iVolatility.
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