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December 20, 2012
09:18 EDTDFS, JBL, ELOQ, ICE, BBBY, RAD, VVUS, NYX, FOLD, CAG, ORCL, MDRXOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER AFTER EARNINGS: Rite Aid (RAD), up 17.3%... Jabil Circuit (JBL), up 5.4%... ConAgra (CAG), up 3.1%... ALSO HIGHER: NYSE Euronext (NYX), up 40.2% after acquisition by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) for $33.12 per share in case and stock... Eloqua (ELOQ), up 30% after agreeing to be bought by Oracle (ORCL) for $23.50... VIVUS (VVUS), up 7.9% after Express Scripts (ESRX) adds Qsymia to formulary, takeover speculation fueled by Daily Mail report... LOWER AFTER EARNINGS: Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), down 5.8%... Discover (DFS), down 2.2%... ALSO LOWER: Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD), down 43.5% after drug doesn't show statistical benefit in study... Allscripts (MDRX), down 15.9% after evaluation of strategic alternatives ends without sale, CEO steps down.
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November 18, 2015
06:40 EDTCAGConAgra to host conference call
Conference call to discuss plans to separate into two independent public companies will be held on November 18 at 8:30 am. Webcast Link
06:32 EDTCAGConAgra announces plans to separate into two independent public companies
ConAgra announced plans to pursue the separation of the company into two independent public companies: one comprising its robust consumer portfolio of brands and the other comprising its foodservice portfolio of frozen potato products. The consumer brands business will be renamed Conagra Brands and the frozen potato business will operate under the Lamb Weston name. Immediately following the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016, ConAgra Foods shareholders will own shares of both independent companies. The transaction is expected to be structured as a spin-off of the Lamb Weston business, tax-free to the Company and its shareholders. The two businesses operate in distinct markets and possess unique and compelling growth prospects and investment requirements. In addition, ConAgra Foods believes that the separation will result in other material benefits to the standalone companies, including: Greater management focus on the distinct businesses of consumer brands and foodservice frozen potato products; Increased flexibility, agility and resources to capitalize on their respective long-term opportunities and growth strategies; Tailored capital structures and financial policies and targets appropriate for each company's unique business profile; and The ability for investors to value the two companies based on their particular operational and financial characteristics and invest accordingly. Conagra Brands will be comprised primarily of the operations currently reported as the Company's Consumer Foods segment, which generated approximately $7.2Bin fiscal 2015 revenues, as reported. Following the separation, Lamb Weston's portfolio will consist of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and other vegetable products, as well as a continued presence in retail frozen products under licensed brands and private brands. For fiscal 2015, Lamb Weston generated revenues of approximately $2.9B, as reported, and accounted for the significant majority of the Commercial Foods segment's fiscal 2015 operating profit of approximately $570M. The separation is expected to be tax-free to ConAgra Foods shareholders for federal income tax purposes. The transaction is currently targeted to be completed in the fall of 2016, subject to final approval by the Company's Board of Directors, other customary approvals and receipt of an opinion from tax counsel on the tax-free nature of the spin-off to the Company and its shareholders. Throughout the separation process, ConAgra Foods management will remain highly focused on driving strong business performance, and delivering on its previously announced $300M efficiency plan. ConAgra Foods today also reiterated its plans to utilize the net proceeds from the pending sale of its Private Brands business primarily for debt reduction.
06:31 EDTCAGConAgra announces plans to separate into two independent public companies
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05:40 EDTRADStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; YUM RAD
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November 17, 2015
09:27 EDTMDRXAllscripts management to meet with Leerink
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09:03 EDTICEICE Future Europe introduces white sugar futures contract in 2016
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07:56 EDTJBLUBS 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
07:48 EDTDFSBofa/Merrill to hold a conference
Banking & Financial Services Conference 2015 is being held in New York on November 17-18.
06:26 EDTMDRXThe Advisory Board initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
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November 16, 2015
15:53 EDTCAGJANA Partners reduces stakes in Rackspace, Qualcomm
JANA Partners gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this afternoon. NEW STAKES: Mattel (MAT), Zoetis (ZTS), and Aramark (ARMK). INCREASED STAKES: ConAgra Foods (CAG). DECREASED STAKES: Rackspace (RAX), Qualcomm (QCOM), Time Warner (TWX), Starz (STRZA), and Lions Gate (LGF). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Johnson Controls (JCI), Precision Castparts (PCP), AerCap Holdings (AER), United Rentals (URI), and HD Supply Holdings (HDS).
10:00 EDTORCLOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Alliant Energy (LNT) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... AmerisourceBergen (ABC) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Amphenol (APH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... CA Technologies (CA) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citi... Cempra (CEMP) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Edgewell Personal Care (EPC) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Eli Lilly (LLY) upgraded on improved growth outlook at BMO Capital... MiMedx (MDXG) upgraded to Strong Buy from Buy at Needham... NVIDIA (NVDA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord... New York REIT (NYRT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI... Oracle (ORCL) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman... Perrigo (PRGO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Semtech (SMTC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley... Tullow Oil (TUWOY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Wabtec (WAB) upgraded to Outperform on valuatoin at Raymond James.
09:53 EDTORCLOracle rallies, levels to watch
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09:44 EDTDFSDiscover reports October net charge-offs 1.52% vs. 1.61% last month
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09:37 EDTORCLActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB ORCL BAC SUNE FDX FCX EXPE NFLX MU AMZN INTC TSLA
09:06 EDTRADDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
07:40 EDTICEBGC and GFI agree to sell Trayport to Intercontinental Exchange for $650M
BGC Partners (BGCP) and its majority-owned division, GFI Group (GFIG) announced that GFI has entered into an agreement to sell its Trayport business to Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) for $650M. Trayport is a provider of trading and aggregation software primarily in the global OTC energy and commodities markets. Trayport, which is domiciled in the UK, generated revenues of approximately $80M over the twelve months ended September 30, 2015. These revenues were predominantly generated via recurring software license and subscription fees. Trayport's revenues increased by approximately 9 percent year-on-year in British pounds during the third quarter of 2015. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Intercontinental Exchange will acquire the equity of the companies that comprise the Trayport business. The GFI sellers will receive $650 million in ICE common shares based on the closing stock price on November 13, 2015. The aggregate number of ICE common shares is approximately 2.5 million, and up to approximately 0.8 million additional ICE common shares based on a sliding scale from $193.85 to $258.47 in the event that ICE's weighted average stock price over a specified period leading up to closing is less than $258.47. GFI will have the right to sell its ICE common shares pursuant to a registration rights agreement. ICE may elect to substitute cash for part or all of the stock consideration owed to the GFI sellers. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close as early as the first quarter of 2016, subject to receipt of such approvals. After the close of the transaction, BGC and GFI are expected to remain customers of Trayport. The net tax the Company will pay with respect to the transaction is expected to be at a rate of 15 percent or less. The one-time gain will be reflected in BGC's consolidated results under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, but will be excluded from the Company's results for distributable earnings.
07:32 EDTICEIntercontinental Exchange to buy Trayport from BGC, GFI for $650M
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trayport for $650M in ICE common stock. Trayport is a subsidiary of GFI Group (GFIG), which was acquired by BGC Partners (BGCP) in March 2015. Trayport licenses its technology platform to serve brokers for electronic and hybrid trade execution primarily in the European over-the-counter utility markets. The transaction will enable ICE to provide new services to the European OTC energy markets, including European power, natural gas and coal. The $650M purchase price will be paid with 100% equity consideration comprising approximately 2.5M shares of ICE common stock. ICE anticipates an immaterial impact to 2016 adjusted earnings per share. The agreement was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, subject to the completion of closing conditions and receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.
07:23 EDTORCLOracle upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman
Goldman added Oracle to the Conviction Buy List and increased its price target to $47 from $45 on shares following checks that indicate cloud revenue growth will accelerate in second half 2016. Analyst Heather Bellini said investors continue to have concerns about management's cloud guidance but field work provides increasing confidence Oracle will be successful in achieving 2016 bookings targets and expects management to guide towards accelerating revenue growth and gross margin expansion in 2017. Bellini sees 2016 as a bottom in non-GAAP operating margins and expects the Street's focus to shift towards cloud execution, leading to multiple expansion.
November 13, 2015
10:00 EDTRADOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Abbott (ABT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Advance Auto Parts (AAP) downgraded after Q3 miss at Sterne Agee CRT... CafePress (PRSS) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... (CTRP) downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James... CubeSmart (CUBE) downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James... Deutsche Bank (DB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Digital Ally (DGLY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital... El Pollo Loco (LOCO) downgraded to Neutral at Baird... F5 Networks (FFIV) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded on stock outperformance at Raymond James... Fly Leasing (FLY) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... GameStop (GME) downgraded on valuation, digital impact at Pacific Crest... Histogenics (HSGX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... MaxPoint (MXPT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham... Memorial Resource (MRD) downgraded to Outperform at Scotia Howard Weil... Rite Aid (RAD) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Rubicon Minerals (RBY) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Canaccord... SABMiller (SBMRY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg... Sensata (ST) downgraded at SunTrust... Stryker (SYK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.
09:08 EDTRADRite Aid downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
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