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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 22, 2013
14:40 EDTPAY, SPLS, OMX, HPQ, ODPMarket poised to end week lower amid QE worries
Stocks are set to end the week slightly lower after the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee indicated that the central bank could look to slow its asset purchases in the foreseeable future... MACRO NEWS: The minutes from the committee's last meeting noted that several committee members favored adjusting the central bank's asset purchases in response to the economy's outlook. Other members warned that continued asset purchases could damage the economy... Also dragging down stocks was data from Europe. A euro zone purchasing managers' index for February fell compared with January. Economists had expected the index to increase... In the U.S., members of Congress did not appear to make progress toward averting the automatic government spending cuts set to go into effect on March 1... COMPANY NEWS: Office Depot (ODP) and Office Max (OMX) announced that they had agreed to merge. Some analysts believe that Staples (SPLS) will benefit from the merger... VeriFone (PAY) pre-announced much weaker than expected results and its stock plunged... On a more positive note, Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) results beat expectations and its stock rallied.
News For ODP;OMX;PAY;HPQ;SPLS From The Last 14 Days
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July 1, 2015
06:10 EDTHPQHP announces departure of Enterprise chief Bill Veghte
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June 30, 2015
06:26 EDTHPQHP information chief to clone computer programs to smooth transition, WSJ says
Later this week, Hewlett-Packard is expected to disclose the financial outlines of its successor companies for the first time: HP Inc., which will sell PCs and printers, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, a supplier of corporate technology, the Wall Street Journal reports. Scott Spradley, chief information officer at the current HP, soon will start the process of cloning 2,600 internal computer programs, separating their data and restarting them in an effort to keep operations running amid an arduous restructuring effort, the report says. Reference Link
05:59 EDTHPQGartner: Worldwide IT spending on pace to decline 5.5% in 2015
Worldwide IT spending is on pace to total $3.5T in 2015, a 5.5% decline from 2014, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Analysts attribute the decline to the rising U.S. dollar. In constant-currency terms, the market is projected to grow 2.5%. In Gartner's previous forecast in April, it had forecast IT spending to decline 1.3% in U.S. dollars and grow 3.1% in constant currency. "We want to stress that this is not a market crash. Such are the illusions that large swings in the value of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies can create," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "However, there are secondary effects to the rising U.S. dollar. Vendors do have to raise prices to protect costs and margins of their products, and enterprises and consumers will have to make new purchase decisions in light of the new prices." Communications services will continue to be the largest IT spending segment in 2015 with spending at nearly $1.5T. However, this segment is also experiencing the strongest decline among the five IT sectors. In the device market, mobile phones continue to be the leading segment, with growth in Apple phones, especially in China, keeping overall phone spending consistent. However, overall smartphone unit growth will start to flatten. The PC and tablet market continues to weaken. The expected 10 percent increase in average PC pricing in currency-impacted countries is going ahead, delaying purchases even more than expected. Excessive PC inventory levels, especially in Western Europe, need to be cleared, which will delay Windows 10 inventory in the second half of the year. Within the data center systems segment, storage and network markets are both expected to see weaker growth in U.S. dollar terms as a result of the appreciation of the U.S. dollar. Reference Link
June 29, 2015
10:02 EDTHPQHP deal for EMC 'more than a distinct possibility,' says Raymond James
Noting that shares of both HP (HPQ) and EMC (EMC) have been stagnant, Raymond James analyst Brian Alexander repeated that he believes shareholders of both would earn substantial returns from a deal between the two and that he thinks an HP acquisition of EMC is "more than a distinct possibility." Alexander previously said in a note to investors on June 4 that he believed HP will ultimately buy EMC, including VMware (VMW). Assuming EMC is acquired for $32-$34 at various combinations of debt/stock, accretion for HP ranges from 39%-52%, Alexander calculates. Raymond James has a Market Perform rating on HP, a Strong Buy rating on EMC and an Outperform rating on VMware.
08:08 EDTHPQJefferies sees recent weakness as attractive entry point in PC names
Jefferies analyst James Kisner cut his PC unit expectations for 2015 and 2016, citing recent negative data points including Micron's (MU) commentary and guidance, but added that he believes PC names may be finding a bottom and that the pullback in Western Digital (WDC), Seagate (STX), and HP (HPQ) creates an attractive entry point in all three stocks. Kisner sees the most potential upside in Western Digital, but lowered his price target on its shares to $116, and said HP may have the least potential downside, cutting his price target on the computer maker to $40.50. The firm keeps Buy rating on both HDD makers and on HP.
06:05 EDTHPQNotebook demand expected to be weaker than expected in 2H15, DigiTimes reports
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June 25, 2015
17:56 EDTHPQMicron plunges after Q3 results, guidance impacted by PC headwinds
Shares of PC related memory chip maker Micron Technology (MU) are plunging after reporting third quarter financial results and fourth quarter guidance that missed analyst expectations. WHAT'S NEW: After the close, Micron reported Q3 earnings per share of 54c on revenue of $3.85B, both shy of analyst estimates of 56c and $3.9B, respectively. Citing "near-term headwinds driven primarily by weakness in PC sector," Micron gave a fourth quarter revenue view of $3.45B-$3.7B which was significantly lower than analyst expectations of $4.16B. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On the company's earnings conference call, Micron said, consistent with prior expectations, "We are forecasting DRAM industry supply bit growth in the mid-20s in calendar 2015 and in the low-to-mid 20s in 2016." The company said it sees DRAM gross margins for Q4 down mid-single digits sequentially. Additionally, the chip maker said it sees Q4 DRAM bit growth flat to up low single digits. ANALYST TAKE: On June 22, Micron was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Goldman analyst Mark Delaney downgraded Micron Technology to Sell saying rising DRAM supply will lower selling prices and contract margins. Delaney expects DRAM prices to drop up to 30% over the next three quarters and cut his price target for shares to $19 from $27. On the same day, JP Morgan lowered its price target on Micron shares to $33 from $37. The firm also lowered its estimates for Micron citing lower than anticipated DRAM pricing in the past three months. The firm, however, kept an Overweight rating on Micron, saying improving demand in other segments like mobile and the company's decision to not hold inventory during Q3 should help offset the DRAM weakness. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Micron are lower by 11.5% in after- hours trading to $21.25. OTHER PC RELATED STOCKS: In after-hours trading, PC related chip makers are also lower, with Intel Corporation (INTC) down 0.9%, NVIDIA (NVDA) lower by 1.1%, and AMD (AMD) down fractionally. Others trading lower include Microsoft (MSFT), SanDisk (SNDK), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Seagate (STX).
14:05 EDTSPLS, ODPStaples, Office Depot shares head lower as analyst highlights merger pitfalls
Shares of Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP) are in negative territory following a Citi research note identifying significant downside potential if their proposed merger is blocked. The note follows news on June 23 that a U.S. District Court has approved the preliminary injunction of the US Foods-Sysco (SYY) merger. WHAT'S NEW: In the wake of the FTC's preliminary injunction of the US Foods-Sysco deal, Citi's Kate McShane issued a note on the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot. The FTC is expected to release a public version of its Sysco ruling this Friday, and McShane said details of the injunction could shed light on whether the Staples-Office Depot merger is likely to follow a similar path. The analyst sees a 40% and 49% downside scenario for Staples and Office Depot, respectively, were the merger to fail, versus a 20% upside for Office Depot shares if a successful outcome is reached. WHAT'S NOTABLE: The FTC stated on June 23 that the Sysco-US Foods merger "would lead to higher prices and diminished service," and U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta cited the probability of "substantially" reduced competition. Building on those pieces of information, Kate McShane notes that a merged Staples-Office Depot may only capture 15%-25% of the addressable market, in contrast to the 75% market share of a Sysco and US Foods combination. McShane cautioned that if she limits her analysis to just Fortune 100 companies, the 15%-25% figure would likely be higher, but refrains from stronger speculation on the probability of the deal closing. On June 24, the New York Post cited sources calling the merger "unlikely" after the Sysco injunction. As noted by Citi, if regulator sentiment swings against the office supply companies, shares could head sharply lower. PRICE ACTION: Staples is down 0.4% in afternoon trading, while Office Depot is down 0.3%.
13:31 EDTHPQWi-LAN unit enters into license agreement with Acuity Brands
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10:00 EDTODPOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: AT&T (T) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Eli Lilly (LLY) upgraded to Buy, added to US 1 List at BofA/Merrill... Finish Line (FINL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley... Gran Tierra (GTE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord... Greenhill & Co. (GHL) upgraded to Buy from Sell at Goldman... Magnum Hunter (MHR) upgraded to Equalweight from Underweight at Capital One... Marathon Oil (MRO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Newpark Resources (NR) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Office Depot (ODP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Telsey Advisory... Quanex (NX) upgraded to Outperform from In-Line at Imperial Capital... Vestas Wind (VWDRY) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas... Web.com (WWWW) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley... NRG Yield upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Avondale.
08:50 EDTSPLS, ODPStaples has 20% upside if Office Depot deal closes, says Citi
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06:47 EDTSPLS, ODPStaples volatility low into expected closure of its merger with Office Depot
Staples (SPLS) July weekly call option implied volatility is at 23, July is a 22, September is at 28; compared to its 52-week range of 20 to 53, suggesting decreasing price movement into the expected closure of its proposed $6.3B merger with Office Depot (ODP).
06:35 EDTODPOffice Depot upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Telsey Advisory
June 24, 2015
09:10 EDTSPLS, ODPOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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07:12 EDTSPLS, ODPStaples deal unlikely after Sysco-US Foods merger blocked, NY Post reports
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June 23, 2015
12:54 EDTHPQPC concerns weighing on shares of Seagate, Western Digital
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06:05 EDTHPQNo clear prospects for PC component suppliers until July, DigiTimes reports
There are no clear business prospects for PC component suppliers until July, reports DigiTimes. According to sources in the supply chain, Intel's decision to delay the launch of its Skylake platform has weakened market demand for notebooks and other PC systems. The planned release of Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 10 may also affect the production of PC makers. Reference Link
June 19, 2015
09:19 EDTSPLSStaples sees Office Depot deal completed by end of year
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08:20 EDTSPLS, ODPOffice Depot shareholders approve acquisition by Staples
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07:44 EDTHPQTamr receives $25.2M in financing from HP Ventures, Thomson Reuters, others
Tamr announced that it has raised $25.2M in Series B financing from Hewlett Packard Ventures (HPQ); Thomson Reuters (TRI); MassMutual Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and others. Current Tamr investors NEA and Google Ventures (GOOG) also participated in the round. Tamr will use the funds to significantly grow sales as well as product engineering for Tamr’s scalable data unification platform.
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