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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 2, 2014
10:44 EDTRAX, HPQ, IBM, CSCO, GOOG, AMZN, EMC, VMWRackspace surges after report on 'going private' talks
Shares of open cloud company Rackspace (RAX) are rising after a technology focused blog said the firm is in talks with a private equity company to figure out a deal that would take it private. WHAT'S NEW: TechCrunch reported that Rackspace has been involved in negotiations with a private equity company for an agreement that would take the company private. A source within Rackspace is quoted as saying that the pressures of being a public firm could be "too much," while another source told the blog that an official announcement regarding the deal could occur as soon as this week. The TechCrunch article added that Rackspace has received bids from both HP (HPQ), which was said to be offering up to $43 per share, and IBM (IBM), though the source added that IBM's offer "fell through." WHAT'S NOTABLE: On May 15, Rackspace announced that it had been approached by a number of other companies that expressed interest in exploring strategic relationships, including partnerships and acquisitions. Rackspace disclosed it had hired Morgan Stanley (MS) to evaluate the proposals and explore other alternatives. Afterwards, analysts from Credit Suisse, Piper Jaffray and JMP Securities gave their opinions regarding potential acquirers of Rackspace, listing HP, Cisco (CSCO), Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), EMC (EMC), VMWare (VMW) and Red Hat (RHT) as among the many potentially interested or suitable matches. ANALYST REACTION: Wells Fargo analyst Gray Powell feels that Rackspace could be "seriously" contemplating a motion to go private. Due to the company's strong balance sheet, Powell notes that the move is possible, but he thinks it is more likely that the company is trying to pressure possible acquirers. Wells continues to maintain an Outperform rating on Raxspace shares. PRICE ACTION: During morning trading, Rackspace jumped $2.23 or 6.6%, to $35.98.
News For RAX;HPQ;IBM;CSCO;GOOG;AMZN;EMC;VMW From The Last 14 Days
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July 17, 2014
07:38 EDTIBMPratt & Whitney announce partnership with IBM
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07:27 EDTIBMFCC to hold a meeting
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06:50 EDTAMZN, GOOGAirbus considering partnering with high tech companies, NY Times says
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06:47 EDTGOOGGoogle plans big push in India for Android One initiative, The Informations says
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06:28 EDTHPQHP increasing fire-safety audits in China, WSJ reports
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July 16, 2014
17:39 EDTGOOGeBay says Google search algorithm change slowed traffic in June
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16:24 EDTIBMOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street started the trading day higher, thanks in part to solid earnings reports from some of the nationís largest companies as well as a proposed mega-merger in the entertainment industry. Investors preparing for the next round of earnings after the close, which includes reports from eBay (EBAY), Yum! Brands (YUM), and Las Vegas Sands (LVS), did so with the Dow at a new all-time high. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Producer Price Index for June rose 0.4%, which was ahead of expectations for a 0.2% increase. Industrial production grew 0.2% in June, missing the forecast for 0.3% growth. The NAHB homebuilder confidence index rose to 53 in July, ahead of expectations for it to tick up 1 point to 50. Economic activity expanded in all regions of the country at a moderate to modest pace in recent weeks, the Fed reported today in its Beige Book. Consumer spending rose in every region, as retail sales grew modestly in most areas and vehicle sales were stronger than sales of most other products, the central bank reported. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of HBO and Warner Bros. parent Time Warner (TWX) surged $12.12, or 17.07%, to $83.13 after it was reported by CNBC and DealBook's Andrew Ross Sorkin that the company had received, and rejected, a takeover offer worth about $80B, or $85 per share, from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA). Both Time Warner and Fox subsequently confirmed the report, with Time Warner stating that it rejected the bid since it was "not in the best interests of stockholders" and Fox noting that the companies are not currently in discussions. Afterward, research firm Jefferies said it believes 21st Century Fox could raise its bid for Time Warner into the mid-to-upper $90's per share, but it also thinks that Time Warner would still be unlikely to accept the offer. Meanwhile, FBR Capital said Fox could pay up to $120 for Time Warner and still make an accretive deal. Class A shares of Twenty-First Century Fox ended the day down $2.19, or 6.22%, to $33.00... Shares of Apple (AAPL) initially rose after announcing last night that it would collaborate with IBM (IBM) to provide mobile solutions for businesses. Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope wrote in a note to investors that the deal with IBM is clearly positive for Apple, as it validates the "unique enterprise capabilities" of iOS, which has a lack of fragmentation that makes it uniquely suited for organizations. BlackBerry (BBRY), which has a focus on mobile devices for business use, slid $1.33, or 11.77%, to $9.97 after the tech giants announced their new partnership. Apple closed down 54c, or 0.57%, to $94.78, though IBM (IBM), which reports after tomorrow's close, climbed $3.87, or 2.05%, to $192.36. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Intel (INTC), which advanced $2.94, or 9.27%, to $34.65 after the semiconductor giant's second quarter results beat analysts' consensus estimates. Also higher was Tenet Healthcare (THC), which rallied $3.74, or 8.32%, to $48.71 after after another company in the hospital sector, HCA Holdings (HCA), pre-announced stronger than expected second quarter results. For its part, HCA rose $5.78, or 10.47%, to $60.99 after providing better than expected Q2 guidance and increasing its fiscal year outlook. Among the noteworthy losers was Yahoo (YHOO), which fell $1.82, or 5.11%, to $33.79 after the company's second quarter results fell short of analysts' consensus estimates. The company also said it will lower the amount of stock it will sell in Alibaba's initial public offering to 140M shares and that it plans to return "at least half" of its after-tax proceeds from the stake sale to its shareholders. Also lower were shares of Ross Stores (ROST), which fell $3.12, or 4.78%, to $62.15 after Sterne Agee downgraded its stock to Neutral from Buy and cut its price target for shares to $68 from $81, citing negative traffic trends and low visibility. INDEXES: The Dow rose 77.52, or 0.45%, to 17,138.20, the Nasdaq gained 9.58, or 0.22%, to 4,425.97, and the S&P 500 advanced 8.29, or 0.42%, to 1,981.57.
16:00 EDTGOOG, HPQ, AMZNOptions Update; July 16, 2014
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 70c to 27.25. Option volume leaders: AAPL FB GOOG AMZN TWTR TSLA C HPQ TWX INTC AMZN according to Track Data.
12:47 EDTGOOGYahoo falls after results disappoint, details additional plans for Alibaba stake
Shares of media and search engine company Yahoo (YHOO) are falling after the company's second quarter results fell short of analysts' consensus estimates. The company also said it will lower the amount of stock it will sell in Alibaba's initial public offering to 140M shares and that it plans to return "at least half" of its after-tax proceeds from the stake sale to its shareholders. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Yahoo reported Q2 earnings per share of 37c and revenue ex-tac of $1.04B, narrowly missing analysts' consensus estimates of 38c and $1.08B, respectively. The company's Q2 display ad revenue fell 7% to $394M, while Q2 price per ad fell 24% versus last year. Q2 search revenue ex-tac increased 6% to $428M. Yahoo said that in Q2, the number of ads sold increased approximately 24% compared to last year, while the number of paid clicks increased approximately 3%. Price-per-click increased 15% compared to last year. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's Chief Executive Officer, said that as the company's top priority is revenue growth, it is "not satisfied" with Q2 results. Mayer noted that several areas showed strength in the quarter, including Yahoo Search, which grew 6% year-over-year on a revenue ex-tac basis, but their growth was offset by declines. Meyer says the company needs to "work faster to ameliorate" negative trends in display. Mayer says the company "can and will do better" going forward. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, Yahoo forecast third quarter revenue ex-tac of $1.02B-$1.06B, below the consensus of $1.1B. The company also guided Q3 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBTIDA, at $220M-$260M and non-GAAP operating income of $70M-$110M. Yahoo also noted that it will lower the number of shares it sells in the Alibaba IPO to 140M from 208M, and is committed to return at least half of the after-tax IPO proceeds to shareholders. Mayer noted on the company's earnings conference call that "A transformation of this size will take several years," adding that "it will take a little longer than originally forecasted." ANALYST REACTION: This morning, research firm CRT Capital downgraded Yahoo to Fair Value from Buy, citing mixed Q2 earnings and weak guidance. The firm sees pressure on ad pricing continuing for at at least two to three quarters. Another firm, Bernstein, lowered their price target on Yahoo to $40 from $43 following the company's weaker than expected results and said that it would return 50% of its proceeds from the Alibaba IPO to shareholders. The firm thinks there is an increased risk that Yahoo will use the other 50% on M&A, and Bernstein sees high risk that the M&A will destroy value. Bernstein kept an Outperform rating on the stock. Piper Jaffray said Yahoo should be owned ahead of the Alibaba IPO, noting its agreement with Alibaba to reduce the number of shares it will sell at the IPO should outweigh the "unsurprising" challenges in the company's core business. The firm, which kept an Overweight rating on the stock, expects the stock to react positively on the Q2 earnings report. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Yahoo fell $1.66, or about 4.7%, to $33.95 on heavy trading volume. Despite today's pull back, the stock is up approximately 25% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Yahoo peer AOL (AOL) is down over 4.% to $38.98. Jackie Reses, Yahoo's chief of mergers and acquisitions, said at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference that the company is not planning to buy AOL, Re/code reported this morning. Mayer previously told a number of people that she does not "get" the merger.
12:26 EDTIBMOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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12:07 EDTIBMApple, IBM rise after agreeing to collaborate on mobile products
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11:58 EDTIBMDruckenmiller says IBM facing problems similar to Xerox, Kodak
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10:58 EDTAMZNAmazon testing 'Kindle Unlimited' subscription service, Gigaom reports
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10:58 EDTGOOGSamsung in talks to buy SmartThings for about $200M, TechCrunch reports
Samsung is in talks to acquire SmartThings, a company in the home automation space that allows users to connect devices like lights and doorlocks to a system controlled by their mobile phone, TechCrunch reports. The purchase price is said to be around $200M. Reference Link
09:37 EDTHPQActive equity options trading on open
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09:23 EDTIBMOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Time Warner (TWX), up 15% after company confirmed that it rejected an $80B takeover offer from 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA), as had been reported earlier this morning... Apple (AAPL), up 2% after announcing an enterprise mobile partnership with IBM (IBM), which is also up 2%... International Game (IGT), up 9.5% after agreeing to be acquired by GTECH for $4.7B in cash and stock... FireEye (FEYE), up 5% after shares upgraded at Goldman... Precision Drilling (PDS), up 4% after announcing strategic agreement with Schlumberger (SLB), upgraded at Deutsche Bank... Mellanox (MLNX), up 4.7% following upgrade at Jefferies. UP AFTER EARNINGS: Intel (INTC), up 5.4%... HCA Holdings (HCA), up 6%... Textron (TXT), up 3.2%... Abbott (ABT), up 1%. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: PNC Financial (PNC), down 2.5%... MGIC Investment (MTG), down 3.6%. LOWER: Yahoo (YHOO), down 3% after downgraded at CRT Capital following second quarter earnings report... Ares Capital (ARCC), down 2.5% after filing to sell 11.85M shares of common stock... Nationstar (NSM), down 2.4% after downgraded at Wells Fargo... Walter Investment (WAC), which was also downgraded at Wells Fargo, down 1.6%.
08:55 EDTHPQBarclays tech hardware analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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08:05 EDTHPQHP has positive read through from Intel results, says Pacific Crest
Pacific Crest has an upward bias on its estimates for HP (HPQ) following Intel's (INTC) positive comments on the PC market. The firm thinks that HP's stock could jump another 20% if enterprise PC fundamentals continue to improve. It keeps an Outperform rating on HP.
08:03 EDTIBMApple deal with IBM could drive enterprise sales, says Canaccord
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06:14 EDTGOOGABI Research: More than 2B smartphones to ship in 2018, DigiTimes says
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