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News Breaks
January 24, 2014
13:28 EDTIGT, JNPR, BDSI, PG, KSU, MSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
The Wall Street averages were all lower at midday for a third straight session, with the Dow again registering a triple-digit loss despite post-earnings advances from Microsoft (MSFT) and Procter & Gamble (PG). The U.S. market began the session deeply in negative territory, taking its lead from emerging markets, which took a beating overnight. The market seemed to have found a level early on, but the selling momentum eventually increased, pushing the Dow down about 200 points near noon. The long awaited correction appears to be occurring after the market put in one of its best yearly performances ever in 2013. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., little economic data of note was reported. In Europe, Fitch affirmed Germany's AAA sovereign credit rating with a stable outlook. In Argentina, the government said it would loosen its strict foreign exchange controls a day after it abandoned a long-standing policy of supporting the peso. The change in policy announced yesterday had resulted in an 11% drop in the Argentinian peso against the dollar, marking the currency's steepest plunge since 2002. In addition to Argentina's currency issues, the Turkish lira, the South African rand and the Russian ruble all hit new, multi-year lows. COMPANY NEWS: After last night's close, Microsoft reported earnings and revenue that surpassed the consensus forecast of analysts. Helping to power its performance were increased sales of its Surface tablet, strong holiday season sales of its Xbox game systems and the company "[continuing] to take share" from competitors as customers transition to the cloud. Shares of the tech giant gained about 3%... Fellow Dow component Procter & Gamble was vying with Microsoft to be the top gainer on the blue-chip index with its own post-earnings advance of nearly 3%. The consumer goods maker reported sales that were just a hair below expectations and profits that narrowly exceeded the consensus forecast. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Juniper Networks (JNPR), which rallied 7% after the company reported better than expected results, announced the pending release of a new operational plan and activist investor Jana Partners backed Elliot Managementís recent plan to unlock shareholder value at the company. Also higher was BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI), which surged 33% after announcing top-line results from of a study of a drug it is developing for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain in certain patients. Among the noteworthy losers was Kansas City Southern (KSU), which fell over 13% after the railroad operator reported weaker than expected results. Also lower were shares of International Game Technology (IGT), which fell nearly 13% after its results disappointed and the company said that the lower end of its previously announced guidance range is more likely, with potential further downside risk. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 200.08, or 1.24%, to 15,997.27, the Nasdaq was down 66.08, or 1.57%, to 4,152.80, and the S&P 500 was down 24.30, or 1.33%, to 1,804.16.
News For MSFT;PG;JNPR;KSU;BDSI;IGT From The Last 14 Days
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November 23, 2015
08:58 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $65 from $55 at Pacific Crest
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07:18 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $60 from $56 at UBS
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06:30 EDTMSFTGameStop sees challenge around growing number of digital shoppers, WSJ says
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November 22, 2015
12:56 EDTPGProcter & Gamble breakup could yield 25% return, Barron's says
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November 20, 2015
10:38 EDTMSFTAnalyst sees 'cloud cold war' coming between Google, Microsoft, Amazon
Recent comments by Google (GOOG) indicate that the tech giant plans to make a major push in the cloud infrastructure market, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a note to investors today. Google's initiatives in this area could significantly boost its stock price and signify the start of a "cold war" in the space, but are unlikely to negatively affect the number two player in the area, Microsoft (MSFT), Sandler believes. WHAT'S NEW: Google has not been aggressively expanding its cloud infrastructure business, but recent comments by the tech giant indicates that this situation is changing, Sandler wrote. Google executive Urs Holzle said that the tech giant plans to aggressively expand its cloud platform, and projected that the company's revenue from the cloud could surpass its ad revenue by 2020, the analyst noted. The note comes after Google acquired a small platform-as-a-service company called bebop and appointed its CEO, VmWare (VMW) co-founder Diane Greene, to lead a new cloud business. Based on Hozle's comment, Google is seeking to boost its cloud revenue to $100B by 2020, Sandler estimated. If the tech giant even "gets part of the way" to meeting the goal, the growth in its cloud business will boost its market cap by hundreds of billions of dollars, Sandler believes. Google's push in the cloud is negative for Microsoft, but it will take years for Google to build up its cloud business to the point where it's competitive with Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, the analyst contended. Amazon (AMZN), which Google also much catch, is the runaway leader in the cloud market. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Google may look to make acquisitions in the software-as-a-service sector to build up its cloud business, and vendors like Red Hat (RHT) which sell to cloud infrastructure providers have added a major new customer, Sandler wrote. Major software-as-a-service providers include (CRM), Workday (WDAY), and Netsuite (N). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Alphabet Class A shares gained 1.5% to $771.37, Microsoft slid 1.1% to $53.33 and Amazon rose fractionally to $662.87.
07:30 EDTKSUUBS to hold a conference
Industrials & Transportation Conference is being held in Boca Raton, FL on November 18-20 with webcasted company presentations to begin on November 20 at 8 am; not all company presentations may be webcasted. Webcast Link
06:20 EDTMSFTSony mulling bringing PS2 games to PS4, WSJ says
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November 19, 2015
08:18 EDTMSFTMicrosoft participates in a panel discussion
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November 18, 2015
16:01 EDTMSFTOptions Update; November 18, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 1.39 to 19.44. Option volume leaders: AAPL NBG TGT NFLX F FB QCOM SUNE GPRO MSFT
14:49 EDTMSFTEarnings Watch: Salesforce shares up 14% since last earnings report
Salesforce (CRM) is scheduled to report third quarter results after the market close on Wednesday, November 18, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Salesforce is a provider of enterprise cloud computing solutions that include apps and platform services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 19c on revenue of $1.7B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 17c-20c on revenue of $1.68B-$1.72B. On its last earnings conference call, Salesforce gave Q3 EPS guidance of 18c-19c and revenue guidance of $1.69B-$1.7B. It also gave FY16 EPS guidance of 70c-72c and FY16 revenue of $6.6B-$6.63B. The company expects FY16 operating cash flow growth of approximately 34%-35%. Salesforce said it is now on pace to reach $7B run rate later this year. LAST QUARTER: On August 20, Salesforce reported second quarter EPS of 19c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 18c. The company's revenue came in at $1.63B, topping the consensus estimate of $1.60B. It reported deferred revenue on balance of $3.03B as of July 31 and Q2 subscription and support revenue of $1.52B. Salesforce added that Q2 was the "best quarter ever" for the company due to momentum in Europe and growth in the adoption of its core platform. NEWS: Salesforce and Western Union (WU) announced an agreement for Western Union to use Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud and App Cloud to automate previously paper-based processes. Salesforce also announced plans to extend its strategic partnership with Microsoft (MSFT). The company said it would double its workforce in the Seattle area. STREET RESEARCH: Brean Capital said Salesforce should be a core holding due its new cloud targets, operating margin expansion and revenue growth in the 20%-30% range year over year. Jeffries said it was impressed with the company's DreamForce conference, but kept an Underperform rating on the stock because the net present value of new business may be negative for Salesforce at this time. In late September, Oppenheimer said that the company's checks were positive. It added that Salesforce's share of the market could be increasing and adds that Salesforce's platform strategy is becoming more popular with customers. PRICE ACTION: Salesforce shares are up over 14% since the company's Q2 report. In afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's report, Salesforce shares are up fractionally.
09:09 EDTPGProcter & Gamble says 'not averse' to looking at any option that creates value
Says "not averse" to looking at any option that creates value for shareholders.
08:57 EDTPGProcter & Gamble CFO sees organic sales topline growth resuming in Q2
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08:46 EDTPGProcter & Gamble repeats FY16 guidance in presentation slides
Sees FY16 core EPS growth down slightly to up mid single digits, all-in EPS growth up 53%-63%. Sees FY16 core operating profit up mid to high single digits. Sees FY16 organic sales growth in line to up low single digits, all-in sales growth down high single digits. Sees currency down 5%-6%, Venezuela and minor brand divestitures down 2%-3%. Sees FY16 share retirement/repurchases $8B-$9B, dividends over $7B, cash returned to shareholders $15B-$16B. Comments from slides being presented at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference.
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
17:32 EDTKSUNorfolk Southern spikes after Canadian Pacific proposes merger
Shares of railroad operator Norfolk Southern (NSC) are spiking in the after-hours after rival Canadian Pacific (CP) announced that it has sent an offer letter to Norfolk Southern proposing a business combination. WHAT'S NEW: After the close of trading on Tuesday, Canadian Pacific proposed a business combination with Norfolk Southern "that would create a transcontinental railroad with the scale and reach to deliver improved levels of service to customers and communities while enhancing competition and creating significant shareholder value." Canadian Pacific noted that the proposal reflects a "sizable premium in cash and stock offered to NS shareholders." The combined company would have a potential for faster earnings growth than either of the companies independently, CP noted, while offering unparalleled customer service and competitive rates to shippers." The combined company would innovate a new approach to terminal access that would allow another carrier to operate from a point of connection in the event the combined company failed to provide adequate service or competitive rates. The combination of NS and CP would provide a solution to "bottleneck pricing" and alleviate congestion in Chicago by channeling rail traffic away from Chicago. WHAT'S NOTABLE: According to a Globe and Mail report from earlier Tuesday, Keith Creel the COO of Canadian Pacific, who was speaking at a transportation conference, said rail mergers are inevitable but the executive "refused" to confirm past reports that the railroad operator was in talks to acquire rival Norfolk Southern. ANALYST VIEW: ON November 12, research firm BB&T said it believes there are many scenarios in which a merger between Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern would benefit both companies. The firm said that Norfolk Southern shareholders would get a 20%-30% premium above the stock's current level, while Canadian Pacific's potential revenue growth issues would be solved and its 2018 EPS would be boosted by 20% plus. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Norfolk Southern are up 6.9% to $93.00, while Canadian Pacific shares are unchanged. OTHERS: Publicly traded companies in the space include CSX (CSX), Canadian National (CNI), Genesee & Wyoming (GWR), Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Union Pacific (UNP).
15:19 EDTBDSIBioDelivery Sciences management to meet with William Blair
Meeting to be held in London on November 17 hosted by William Blair.
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.
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
07:52 EDTPGMorgan Stanley to hold a conference
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06:16 EDTMSFTMicrosoft turns around flawed security technology, NY Times says
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