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September 3, 2013
12:51 EDTLF, CYTK, TU, ALU, VZ, JAH, MSFT, VOD, NOKOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Investors came back to Wall Street following the long holiday weekend and bought stocks, sending the major averages higher on the first day of trading in September. The market, coming off its worst performing month of the year, reacted to the lack of military action by the U.S. in Syria as well as some better than expected economic data at home and abroad. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's final PMI reading for August came in at 53.1, which missed the expectation for a 54.0 reading. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing PMI beat expectations with a rise to a 55.7 two-year high from 55.4 in July. Construction spending in July rose 0.6%, versus expectations for a 0.4% increase. In Europe, Markit's euro-zone manufacturing PMI rose to 51.4 in August from 50.3 in July. In Asia, China’s official PMI rose to 51.0 in August from 50.3 in July, while the HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI rose to 50.1 from 47.7 in July. China's non-manufacturing PMI held relatively steady at 53.9, compared to 54.1 in the prior month. COMPANY NEWS: Two large merger and acquisition deals were announced as U.S. investors returned from Labor Day, including one that was largely expected and one that was quite unexpected. Verizon (VZ), as had been speculated last week, agreed to buy Vodafone's (VOD) 45% stake in their U.S. joint venture, Verizon Wireless, for $130B. Shares of both trading in New York fell following the announcement. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT) agreed to buy Nokia’s (NOK) mobile phone business and license its patents for $7.2B. Following the deal, no less than five firms raised their rating on Nokia, which advanced about 30% near noon. Microsoft was the worst performing Dow component, falling over 6% after its purchase... In a smaller M&A deal that still involved a well-known brand, consumer products company Jarden (JAH) agreed to buy Yankee Candle Company for $1.75B. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), which rose nearly 11% as some speculated it could be another M&A target following Nokia's deal. Also higher was Canadian wireless company Telus (TU), which rose more than 7% and was upgraded at BMO Capital after Verizon's large deal meant it will not be entering the Canadian wireless market for the time being. Among the noteworthy losers Cytokinetics (CYTK), which fell 23% after announcing a clinical trial of its drug omecamtiv did not hit its primary endpoint. Also lower were shares of educational toymaker LeapFrog (LF), which slid almost 5% after an analyst at BMO Capital Markets said the company's new LeapPad Ultra was disappointing and buggy during tests. INDEXES: Near noon, the Dow was up 11.28, or 0.08%, to 14,821.59; the Nasdaq was up 24.09, or 0.67%, to 3,613.96; and the S&P 500 was up 6.08, or 0.37%, to 1,639.05.
News For NOK;MSFT;VZ;VOD;JAH;ALU;TU;CYTK;LF From The Last 14 Days
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November 24, 2015
05:56 EDTMSFTMicrosoft shares workforce numbers in global diversity report
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November 23, 2015
10:18 EDTMSFTGameStop plunges on weaker than expected Q3 earnings
Shares of GameStop (GME) are plunging in morning trading after the company reported downbeat third quarter earnings on lower new software and hardware sales and delays in store openings. The company also provided guidance for the fourth quarter and reiterated its outlook for fiscal year 2015. WHAT'S NEW: Before the market open, GameStop reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share of 54c on revenue of $2.02B, below analysts' consensus estimates of 59c and $2.14B, respectively. GameStop added that global same-store sales for the quarter were down 1.1% year over year, with SSS down 1.7% in the United States and up 0.3% internationally. The company said foreign currency negatively impacted EPS by 2c and sales by about $100M and noted that it recorded $1.6M of one-time charges as a result of non-recurring acquisition-related costs. GameStop said new hardware sales declined 20.4%, while new software sales were down 9.3%; pre-owned sales were up 0.6%, the company said. Commenting on the quarter, Chief Executive Officer Paul Raines said that the company's results fell to the low end of its guidance range -- 53c-60c for EPS on SSS up 1% to up 4% -- due to "lower than expected new software and hardware sales and delays in Technology Brands store openings." The company provided an outlook for the fourth quarter, forecasting EPS of $2.12-$2.32, below analysts' estimates of $2.37, and SSS ranging from down 1% to up 6%. Despite the disappointing Q3 earnings and weak Q4 guidance, GameStop affirmed its FY15 EPS view of $3.66-$3.86 and added that it expects full year same store sales to grow 2%-6%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Prior to the retailer's Q3 earnings report, Steven Russolillo of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the tape said that GameStop was "running out of lives" since it has experienced an increasingly challenging video game retail environment due to a rising number of shoppers buying games digitally. Russolillo noted that GameStop's resale business is still profitable and may pare losses somewhat. In addition, NPD Group reported earlier this month a 3% year over year decline in game software retail sales in the U.S. in October. The loss came even despite the major launch of Microsoft's (MSFT) flagship title "Halo 5: Guardians." STREET RESEARCH: Piper Jaffray analyst Michael J. Olson said that GameStop is "clearly" seeing an impact from increasing digital software sales, but that the firm expects digital expansion to ease during the holiday quarter. Olson added that the video game industry is currently in the "renewed growth phase" and that he expects trends in the sector to be strong heading into 2016. The analyst maintained an Overweight rating and $57 price target on the company's stock. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, GameStop slipped 13.93% to $33.89. The company will hold its earnings conference call at 11am. OTHERS TO WATCH: Video game makers are also lower this morning. Shares of Electronic Arts (EA) are down 2.26%, Take Two Interactive (TTWO) is down 0.84% and Activision Blizzard is down 1.55%.
09:39 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open
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08:58 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $65 from $55 at Pacific Crest
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07:18 EDTJAHJarden should be bought on recent weakness, says RBC Capital
After viewing a presentation by Jarden's management, RBC Capital thinks the company's organic revenue growth remains on track to accelerate this quarter. The firm continues to believe that the company's fiscal 2016 EPS guidance is conservative, partly due to the impact of cost cutting at the company's Brazil unit. The firm keeps a $60 price target and Outperform rating on the name.
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 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.
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.
11:33 EDTVZSprint announces launch of LTE Plus network
In celebration of the launch of its new LTE Plus network, Sprint (S) is introducing the biggest wireless offer in U.S. history - 50% off the price of most Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) and T-Mobile (TMUS) rate plans, the company says. New customers can sign up for this offer nationwide Nov. 20 through Jan. 7, 2016. LTE Plus, available today in 77 major markets, takes advantage of Sprint's rich triband spectrum portfolio, and it uses some of the world's most advanced technologies in wireless, such as carrier aggregation and antenna beamforming. Customers who switch get 50 percent off most current rate plan prices from their current carrier. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon customers switching to Sprint also can take advantage of iPhone Forever, where they are eligible to upgrade every time a new iPhone launches. Customers must port one line, and can add up to 9 additional lines on the account. Customers must choose from the 50 percent off rate plans available from their current carrier. Cricket and MetroPCS customers also can switch and save 50 percent off their parent company's postpaid rates. 50 percent off pricing remains valid until Jan. 8, 2018, for activations between Nov. 20, 2015, and Jan. 7, 2016.
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
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
06:16 EDTMSFTMicrosoft turns around flawed security technology, NY Times says
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November 16, 2015
17:02 EDTMSFTPoint72 added to lululemon position, subtracted from Netflix position
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16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; November 16, 2015
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November 15, 2015
19:29 EDTMSFTMicrosoft delays, possibly kills tool to translate Android apps, Re/code says
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