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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 18, 2014
06:45 EDTT, MSFTMicrosoft launches tablet with LTE service
Microsoft (MSFT) yesterday announced a new version of its Surface tablet that provides 4G LTE service from AT&T (T), the tech giant stated. Previous versions of the device only offered WiFi Internet connections. The Surface 2 will cost $679, Microsoft added. Reference Link
News For MSFT;T From The Last 14 Days
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May 14, 2015
16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; May 14, 2015
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11:19 EDTMSFTMicrosoft set to test 52-week high, levels to watch
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10:37 EDTTDISH CEO says AT&T, DirecTV merger will bring tougher competitor
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09:34 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open
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06:37 EDTTDISH, Cogent ask FCC to set conditions for AT&T acquisition, Reuters says
DISH (DISH) and Cogent Communications (CCOI) asked the FCC to force AT&T (T) to sell Internet service as a standalone service, as a condition of the telecom giant's proposed acquisition of DirecTV (DTV), according to Reuters. DISH and Cogent also asked the agency to make AT&T sell standalone Internet service at a reasonable price and at the same speeds it provides in package deals, the news service stated. Reference Link
06:06 EDTTDISH plans to enter wireless business, Yahoo reports
DISH (DISH) plans to enter the wireless business in an attempt to become the only provider to offer wireless voice, video and data services, Adam Samson of Yahoo Finance reports, citing an internal document. The document, marked confidential, obtained by Yahoo indicates Dish is looking to hire a chief marketing officer to help guide its move into the wireless space, Samson adds. The move comes after DISH acquired nearly half of the spectrum licenses offered in a U.S. government auction. The top U.S. wireless providers are Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S). Reference Link
May 13, 2015
16:01 EDTMSFTMicrosoft blog post refrains from using 'Windows Phone' branding
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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%.
12:01 EDTTAT&T to offer Hulu subscription streaming service to customers
AT&T (T) and Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) have signed a deal that will bring the Hulu subscription streaming service to AT&T customers through AT&T's websites and mobile applications. AT&T customers will be able to browse Hulu programs and select the shows they want to watch through an AT&T app for mobile device viewing or an AT&T website for Internet viewing. Combined with a leading TV Everywhere catalog, AT&T customers subscribing to Hulu will have one of the best selections available of current and past season full episodes. AT&T and Hulu also are exploring the possibility of bringing a Hulu app to TV. This offering will become available to AT&T customers later this year. The expanded relationship with Hulu complements AT&T's other over-the-top initiatives, including Otter Media.
11:58 EDTTAT&T, Communications Workers of America reach tentative contract agreements
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10:01 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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06:55 EDTTInsiders speculate bidding war to erupt over AOL, Business Insider reports
The consensus speculation from investment bankers, hedge fund traders and people close to AOL (AOL) is that another company will emerge and offer a price for AOL that is higher than $50 per share, reports Business Insider. The potential suitors include Time Warner (TWX), Comcast (CMCSA), Yahoo (YHOO), Alibaba (BABA), Softbank (SFTBF), AT&T (T), Netflix (NFLX) and Apple (AAPL). Reference Link
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
12:59 EDTTRegulators unlikely to block AT&T-DirecTV deal, WSJ says
The FCC and U.S. Justice Department are nearly finished reviewing AT&T's (T) acquisition of DirecTV (DTV), and are unlikely to block the deal, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. Sources said the Justice Department hasn't raised issues, and though the FCC may seek to impose conditions, they are expected to be acceptable to AT&T. Reference Link
12:32 EDTTDirecTV up 1% after report says regulators unlikely to block AT&T deal
Dow Jones, citing sources, said the U.S. review of the deal is nearing its end and that regulators are unlikely to step in to block the merger.
12:30 EDTTU.S. unlikely to block AT&T, DirecTV deal, Dow Jones reports
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11:38 EDTTLivePerson sinks to 52-week low after cutting fiscal 2015 outlook
Shares of LivePerson (LPSN), a provider of cloud-based digital engagement solutions, are sinking after the firm lowered its outlook for fiscal 2015. WHAT'S NEW: LivePerson yesterday reported first quarter adjusted earnings per share of 4c, in line with analysts' consensus estimates, on revenue of $59.8M, slightly below analysts' consensus estimates of $60.79M. LivePerson said it signed 147 deals in the quarter, including the addition of 30 new customers. Looking ahead to the second quarter, LivePerson forecast adjusted EPS of 0c-2c and revenue of $58.5M-$59.5M, well below the analysts' consensus estimates of 6c and $63.88M, respectively. WHAT'S NOTABLE: The company lowered its fiscal year 2015 adjusted EPS view to 10c-15c from 27c-32c, significantly trailing analysts' consensus estimates of 28c. LivePerson also cut its FY15 revenue outlook to $243M-$247M from $263M-$269M, also well below analysts' estimates of $264.36M. The company reduced reduced FY15 revenue guidance by $21M when comparing the midpoint of its updated guidance range to the midpoint of its previous guidance range. The adjustment reflects the impact of one large customer contract that ended, an increase in foreign exchange headwinds and a slightly slower start to the year than expected as the company intensified its focus on bringing LiveEngage to the market, the company said. LivePerson said it expects to record a $2.5M charge in Q2 related to cost-cutting move, which it described as "reprioritizing on areas showing the highest potential growth." The company believes its cost-savings initiatives will generate approximately $13M of expense savings in 2015. ANALYST REACTION: Credit Suisse this morning downgraded LivePerson to Neutral from Outperform and lowered its price target to $8 from $19. The firm said LivePerson was "forced" to lower revenue guidance for FY15 primarily due to the loss of AT&T (T) as a pay-for-performance chat customer, as well as from a slow sales start and FX. The firm said the ability of LivePerson to transition its large customer base to LiveEngage 2.0 will take longer than previously estimated. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, LivePerson fell $1.16, or 12.26%, to $8.30 on more than five times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a fresh 52-week low of $8.10. Including today's pull back, the shares have lost approximately 15% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies offering cloud-based digital engagement solutions include eGain (EGAN), down 1.2%, Zendesk (ZEN), down 4.05%, and Salesforce.com (CRM), up 0.2%.
11:14 EDTTAOL premium low but likely best bet for AOL shareholders, Bloomberg says
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10:32 EDTTAcacia Research enters settlement, license agreement with AT&T Mobility
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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.
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