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February 9, 2016
16:09 EDTDIS, NFLXOptions Update; February 9, 2016
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15:02 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Akamai to report as client losses, Google competition looms
Akamai (AKAM) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings after the close on Tuesday, February 9, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. Akamai is a provider of cloud computing services and content delivery networks. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 62c on revenue of $568.72M. EPS consensus ranges 58c-64c on a revenue range of $559.0M-$576.23M, according to First Call. During the company's last earnings conference call, Akamai forecast Q4 EPS of 60c-64c on revenue of $557M-$577M, and also noted expectations for declining revenue from its large media clients. LAST QUARTER: On October 27, Akamai reported third quarter EPS of 62c against expectations for 58c, and revenue of $551M versus estimates of $550.29M. NEWS: On November 2, Akamai announced the acquisition of cybersecurity firm Bloxx, which it said would enhance its cloud security offerings. On November 19, the company announced a collaboration with Google (GOOG, GOOGL) to reduce hosting and traffic costs for Akamai customers who also use Google's cloud platform. In early December, Google quietly began rolling out its own cloud content delivery network. STREET RESEARCH: Akamai saw no less than five analyst downgrades following its last earnings report, with JPMorgan, Canaccord, Cowen, Craig-Hallum, and FBR all negative on the company in the wake of its disappointing guidance and lower traffic growth from its three largest customers. On November 20, Goldman Sachs downgraded Akamai to Sell and lowered its price target to $52 from $62, with the research firm highlighting reduced orders from large clients as well as an industry focus on cutting download sizes. On November 24, JMP Securities said its checks with content delivery network experts revealed that "very few" of Akamai's clients other than its largest customers can build their own CDN systems. The firm reiterated its Outperform rating and $85 target on the shares, saying Akamai is well-positioned for the growing opportunity in over-the-top streaming and the convergence of cloud security and CDN. On December 9, JPMorgan said Apple's (AAPL) suspension of its TV streaming plans removes a catalyst for Akamai's media business recovery, leading the research firm to struggle to see a near-term driver of sustainable volume improvement. Following reports of Google planning its own content delivery network, JPMorgan and Craig-Hallum cut their outlooks on Akamai on December 14, saying the news could mark a first step toward Google competing for some of Akamai's business. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Akamai have slipped 2.4% to $40.00 ahead of Tuesday's results.
14:50 EDTDISDisney February weekly 91 straddle priced for 5.9% movement into Q4
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14:36 EDTTWXNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's open, with earnings consensus, include Time Warner (TWX), consensus $1.01... Humana (HUM), consensus $1.45... Owens Corning (OC), consensus 45c... Carlyle Group (CG), consensus 31c... Medidata (MDSO), consensus 24c.
14:36 EDTDISNotable companies reporting after market close
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13:34 EDTDISDisney technical notes ahead of results
The shares are in an active downtrend with a bearish double top pattern in play. The downside for the pattern is to the $80 area, if it completes. If the news is a bearish disappointment, the pattern is likely to continue to unfold. Initial support is at the 52-week low at $89.04. If the news is a positive surprise, the first level of significance is resistance at the $100 area. Resistance levels on the way are at $93.46 and $96.43.
13:24 EDTCMCSANBCUniversal shakes up programming operations, Variety reports
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13:16 EDTNFLXT Rowe Price reports 3% passive stake in Netflix
12:56 EDTTWXTime Warner volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
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12:50 EDTAMZNAmazon working on global delivery business to challenge Alibaba, Bloomberg says
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12:36 EDTTWXWarner Bros. Consumer Products, Mattel announce partnership with Target
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12:18 EDTDISOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks have moved in a fairly wide range, with the Dow beginning the session with triple digit losses, moving briefly into positive territory, and now hovering near the flat line. Oil prices continue to dictate the equity market's direction, as each move of oil prices toward the plus side is followed by a subsequently positive move for stocks. With oil back below $30 per barrel, the major averages have found it hard to maintain any upward momentum. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., wholesale sales dipped 0.3% in December, while inventories fell 0.1%. The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed job openings rose 261,000 in December to about 5.61M. In Asia, most major markets remain closed for Chinese New Year, but one of the exceptions, Japan, saw its main indexes plunge, as the Nikkei dropped 5.4% and the Topix fell 5.5%. COMPANY NEWS: Class A shares of 21st Century Fox (FOXA) declined 3% after the company reported lower than expected second quarter revenue, while peer Viacom (VIAB) tumbled 15% following its own revenue miss. The results of the two media conglomerates weighed on the largest name in the space, Disney (DIS), which fell 1% near noon ahead of its own earnings report, which is due after the closing bell today. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Salesforce (CRM), which rose 5% after it was upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies. Also higher was Boston Scientific (BSX), which gained 4% after it announced that Medicare will cover its Watchman LAAC device. In addition, Belden (BDC) and Goodyear Tire (GT) were up 20% and 5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was ITC Holdings (ITC), which fell 2% after it agreed to be acquired by Fortis in a cash and stock deal valued at $11.3B. Also lower were Plains All American (PAA), Bristow Group (BRS) and HCP (HCP), which were down 14%, 24%, and 15%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 75.85, or 0.47%, to 15,951.20, the Nasdaq was down 16.69, or 0.39%, to 4,267.06, and the S&P 500 was down 8.08, or 0.44%, to 1,845.36.
12:03 EDTDISStocks with call strike movement; DIS MSFT
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11:50 EDTAMZNGannett examining parcel-delivery business, WSJ reports
Gannett (GCI) is examining the parcel-delivery business and has reached out to consultants in the parcel industry as early as December, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. According to one source, Gannett also held preliminary talks with Amazon (AMZN) as it considers delivery possibilities. The report notes that Tribute Publishing (TPUB) abandoned a similar idea after briefly testing package delivery with Amazon in the fall. Reference Link
11:09 EDTDISEarnings Watch: 'Star Wars,' ESPN in focus as Disney reports Q1 earnings
The Walt Disney Company (DIS) is scheduled to report first quarter earnings after the market close on Tuesday, February 9 with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. The Walt Disney Company is a diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.45 on revenue of $14.75B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.27-$1.55 on revenue of $13.51B-$15.95B. LAST QUARTER: Disney reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $1.20, beating estimates for $1.14, on revenue of $13.51B, just missing estimates for $13.55B. Media Networks revenue for Q4 was $5.83B vs. $5.22 in the year-ago period, Parks and Resorts revenue was $4.36B vs. $3.96B a year earlier. The company also said Studio Entertainment for Q4 was $1.78B, Consumer Products revenue was $1.2B and Interactive revenue was $347M. Operating income at Cable Networks increased$381M to $1.7B in Q4. Speaking on CNBC, Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said the company is "really bullish" on ESPN and said the channel's future "remains very bright." Iger also commented that the company was seeing "a different media environment in general," with more competition for the consumer. Iger later said on the company's earnings conference call that "We like the environment because we think long-term it gives us more opportunities." NEWS: During the quarter, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hulu, a joint venture with Disney, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) and Fox (FOX, FOXA), was in talks to sell a stake in the company to Time Warner (TWX) that would value the service at more than $5B. In a November regulatory filing, Disney disclosed that domestic subscribers for ESPN as of October 3, 2015 were 92M, a decline of 3M subscribers from the previous year, as estimated by Nielsen Media Research. In December, The Financial Times said that Disney doubled its stake in youth focused media group Vice Media to $400M. In December, Disney's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" shattered U.S. box office records, debuting at $238M domestically for the weekend of December 20, beating analyst estimates of $200M-$230M. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has since crossed the $900M mark at the domestic box office, making it the only picture in history to reach this milestone. Additionally, "Star Wars" reached the $2B mark worldwide, becoming only the third film ever to do so and just the second to do it in original release. Disney's success from the newest "Star Wars" film has been somewhat overshadowed by the increase in cord-cutting and its troubling impact on ESPN, Steven Russolillo of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the Tape said ahead of the company's Q1 earnings. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after Disney's Q4 earnings report, Piper Jaffray analyst James Marsh said he felt the stock's valuation largely reflected the current outlook. Jefferies analyst John Janedis lowered his price target for Disney to $92 from $112 on February 1, saying domestic growth at the parks is likely to moderate. He believes investors will focus on ESPN, Shanghai and Disney's domestic parks. In January, Atlantic Equities analyst Hamilton Faber downgraded Disney to Neutral from Overweight and cut his price target to $104 from $148. Faber looked at how cord cutting will affect ESPN and is concerned about high levels of fixed costs in its sports rights while ESPN faces revenue headwinds. Also in January, JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani lowered her price target for Disney shares to $120 from $124 but calls the stock "extremely attractive" at current levels. She said that concern over ESPN subscriber losses is being exaggerated. PRICE ACTION: Year-to-date, Disney shares are down over 13%. Ahead of Tuesday afternoon's earnings report, shares are lower by over 1% to $90.96.
10:21 EDTGOOGRising competition may weigh on PayPal margins, analyst says
Research firm Piper Jaffray warned that PayPal continues to face increased competition, which may weigh on its results. Meanwhile, the company announced a change in its Chief Technology Officer. PIPER STICKS WITH SELL RATING: Other leading digital payment systems are becoming more competitive with PayPal's offering, according to well-known Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. More financial and technology competitors - including Visa (V), MasrterCard (MA), Google (GOOG,GOOGL), Samsung and Apple (AAPL) - are offering "similar functionality" to PayPal, Munster believes. Moreover, Apple and and Samsung will begin accepting mobile Web payments in 2016, intruding on PayPal's core competency, and Facebook (FB) is looking to partner with multiple players in the space, Munster noted. The credit card networks are poised to launch online checkout systems, further increasing PayPal's competition, Munster warned. In the face of all this competition, PayPal's appeal to its customers is questionable, according to the analyst, who kept a $33 price target and Underweight rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: PayPal announced that its CTO, James Barrese, would resign "to take time off." Barrese will be replaced, effective April 1, by Sri Shivananda, who led eBay's (EBAY) Global Platform and Infrastructure team, PayPal reported. Shivananda's team has worked closely with PayPal, the company noted. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, PayPal slipped about 1% to $33.30.
09:34 EDTNFLX, DISActive equity options trading on open
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09:34 EDTAMZN, GOOGChannelAdvisor says Amazon SSS grew 17.8% in January, eBay SSS up 4%
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06:35 EDTDISDisney's ESPN woes may overshadow 'Star Wars' success, WSJ says
Disney's success from the newest "Star Wars" film has been somewhat overshadowed by the increase in cord-cutting and its troubling impact on ESPN, Steven Russolillo of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the Tape says. When the media conglomerate reports Q1 results Tuesday, the stock's next move will probably be determined by what the company says about ESPN, the Journal says. ESPN accounts for 52% of Disney's operating income in FY15, even though its contribution has been declining for the past four years, the report says. Reference Link
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