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October 15, 2012
12:31 EDTS, HUM, AEGR, SFTBF, AMED, YONG, CLWR, DCTH, COn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday following a report that showed surprisingly strong retail sales in September. The averages started out slightly higher and seemed to have trouble gaining any upside momentum in the early hours of trading. The reaction to the better than expected retails sales figures seemed to be muted by the disappointing Empire manufacturing data. Following the report on August business inventories the averages actually crossed into negative territory, before reversing and drifting higher. The averages stood near session highs around noon as this week begins more positively for the markets than last week... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales rose 1.1% in September, versus expectations for an increase of 0.8%. The core reading, minus auto and gas components, increased 0.9%, versus expectations for a 0.4% gain. The Empire Manufacturing Index had a reading of -6.16, versus expectations for a reading of -4.0. Business inventories reportedly increased 0.6% in August, versus expectations for an increase of 0.5%. In China, a raft of data was reported over the weekend, including better than expected export numbers. Chinese export growth accelerated to 9.9% and import growth accelerated to 2.4%, but some irregularities kept investors and analysts cautious about the results. Also, China's consumer-price index eased in line with expectations and a gauge of producer prices showed a steepening drop, fueling speculation that the government may take further monetary stimulus action... COMPANY NEWS: Japan's SoftBank (SFTBF) confirmed a deal to purchase a 70% stake in Sprint (S) for about $20B. Shares of Sprint were down fractionally after the details of the previously speculated arrangement were publicized. However, moving up again were shares of Sprint partner Clearwire (CLWR), which rose 11% though Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said he would not speculate on what Sprint will do with its new-found financial flexibility... Shares of Citigroup (C) jumped nearly 5% as its third quarter earnings beat expectations after its write down of the value of its remaining stake in Smith Barney and some other adjustments were excluded... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Yongye International (YONG), up 17% following its receipt of "going private" proposal at $6.60 per share, and Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (AEGR), up 9% after the FDA posted briefing documents for a panel's upcoming review of one of the company's drugs. Among the noteworthy losers was Delcath Systems (DCTH), down over 18% after the FDA accepted the company's New Drug Application for its chemosaturation system and designated the NDA for standard review. Also lower were shares of Amedisys (AMED), down 9% after the company signed a new agreement with Humana (HUM) to provide home health services but under a revised reimbursement scheme from their prior arrangement... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was up 67.40, or 0.51%, to 13,396.25; the Nasdaq was up 9.07, or 0.30%, to 3,053.18; and the S&P 500 was up 6.88, or 0.48%, to 1,435.47.
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November 19, 2015
14:26 EDTHUMHumana volatility increases after UnitedHealth lowered FY15 guidance
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12:19 EDTHUMOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks have struggled for direction since the open and spent the morning moving in a narrow range. The Dow has held up fairly well considering the weakness seen in UnitedHealth (UNH), which has declined after the insurer cut its fiscal 2015 profit guidance, citing weakness in individual health insurance policies it markets through exchanges. Oil prices remain under pressure, with benchmark U.S. crude trading back below $42 per barrel. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims continued to hover around four-decade lows, with 271,000 first-time claims filed in the week ended November 14. The Philly Fed index rose 6.4 points to 1.9 in November, better than the forecast for a -0.5 reading. In Europe, minutes from the most recent European Central Bank policy meeting showed that some participants called for more stimulus amid deflation risks, weak oil prices and a sluggish recovery in the euro-area. In Asia, the Bank of Japan maintained its current pace of monetary stimulus, as widely expected. COMPANY NEWS: The shares of health insurer UnitedHealth and a number of other companies in the sector are falling after the Dow member lowered its profit outlook for this fiscal year, citing weakness in individual health insurance policies it markets through exchanges. UnitedHealth said it has pulled back on its marketing efforts for individual exchange products in 2016 and is "evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment." Near noon, UnitedHealth fell about 5%, while Aetna (AET) declined nearly 6%, Humana (HUM) droped more than 3.5%, Anthem (ANTM) declined over 6% and Cigna (CI) slid 4%... Press reports indicate that talks between Pfizer (PFE) and Allergan (AGN) are heating up and that a deal is nearing, but simultaneously the U.S. government's rhetoric around the type of "inversion" deal the two pharmaceutical giants are discussing is getting ratcheted up as well. Last night, Bloomberg reported that Pfizer is nearing an agreement to acquire Allergan for $370 to $380 per share, citing people familiar with the matter. The two companies are aiming to announce a deal as early as Monday, sources told the publication. However, CNBC's David Faber reported, citing sources, that a deal will not be announced on Monday, but Pfizer and Allergan are in the "final innings" of merger talks. The deal will consist of all stock and Pfizer is likely to offer 11-plus shares per Allergan share, Faber noted. Amid the reports, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that his department will release "targeted guidance" later this week meant to "deter and reduce further the economic benefits of corporate inversions" like the one being contemplated by the drugmakers... Square (SQ) completed its initial public offering of stock and rose about $4 per share to trade near $13 around noon after pricing last night at $9 per share. CEO Jack Dorsey, who leads both Square and Twitter (TWTR) as CEO, said in an interview following the opening that the teams behind him make him able to simultaneously hold both positions. Twitter rose about 1.4% to $26.25 in midday trading following Square's entry to the public markets. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR), which rallied 22% after it reported better than expected quarterly earnings and guided for fiscal 2016. Also higher was (CTRP), which gained 19% after no fewer than three analysts raised their price target on the company's stock following upbeat fourth quarter earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was Kirkland's (KIRK), which fell 30% after the company reported downbeat quarterly earnings and provided lower than expected guidance. Also lower was AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG), which lost over 8.5% after it received a complete response letter from the FDA for a single-dose vial of Makena, a treatment to reduce the risk of preterm birth in at-risk patients. In addition, Best Buy (BBY) fell 3% after it reported better than expected third quarter earnings but worse than expected same-store sales growth and also guided toward "near-flat" revenue for its domestic business in the holiday quarter. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 17.44, or 0.1%, to 17,719.72, the Nasdaq was up 2.36, or 0.05%, to 5,077.57, and the S&P 500 was down 3.67, or 0.18%, to 2,079.91.
10:58 EDTHUMAnalysts say possible exchange exit positive for battered UnitedHealth
The shares of health insurer UnitedHealth (UNH) and a number of other companies in the sector are falling after the Dow member lowered its fiscal 2015 profit guidance, citing weakness in individual health insurance policies it markets through exchanges. WHAT'S NEW: UnitedHealth lowered its fiscal 2015 earnings per share guidance to $6 from $6.25-$6.35. Analysts' consensus estimate was $6.31. The company identified policies sold to individuals through exchanges as the culprit. UnitedHealth said it expects to lose 26c per share on these policies in 2015 and 2016. The insurer stated that its other businesses were performing in-line with expectations and showing strength. UnitedHealth said it has pulled back on its marketing efforts for individual exchange products in 2016 and indicated that it would consider offering fewer individual policies through exchanges in 2017. UnitedHealth provided fiscal 2016 EPS guidance of $7.10-$7.30, versus the consensus outlook of $7.28. ANALYST REACTION: Any weakness in UnitedHealth and other health insurers today on the news from UnitedHealth creates a strong buying opportunity, Leerink Swann analyst Ana Gupte wrote in a note to investors today. The government will either reform the exchanges to make them more profitable for the insurers or they will exit the market, Gupte predicted. Moreover, the downside risk for health insurers Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM), Humana (HUM), and Cigna (CI) from today's news are low, since their Q3 and 2016 outlooks already incorporated the negative trends cited by UnitedHealth, the analyst stated. Mizuho Securities analyst Sheryl Skolnick was more cautious, predicting that the news would "rattle" the health insurance sector. United Health is more "insulated" than its peers from the weakness of the exchanges because its exposure to the market is relatively limited and its business is more diversified than that of its peers, according to Skolnick, who kept a $150 price target and Buy rating on the stock. Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Wieland says UnitedHealth reducing its exchange exposure should be accretive to shareholder value. The company's participation in exchanges is not essential to its growth strategy, according to Wieland. The issues cited for the guidance cut likely applies to all Managed Care companies, therefore UnitedHealth should outperform peers given its limited exposure to exchanges, contends Wieland, who reiterated an Overweight rating on the stock with a $149 price target. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, UnitedHealth fell 4% to $112.49, Aetna declined 4.4% to $102.18, Humana gave back 2.4% to $167, Anthem fell 6.6% to $128.20, and Cigna slid 3.8% to $130.
10:23 EDTHUMUnitedHealth selloff on guidance presents buying opportunity, says Leerink
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07:46 EDTHUMOptions expected to be active; UNH AET ANTM CI WCG HUM HNT CNC
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November 18, 2015
16:45 EDTSOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks on Wall Street were higher from the opening bell onward despite housing starts data that was weaker than expected. Investors waited for the release of the FOMC minutes and saw what they had suspected; that the Fed was reinforcing its message that the December meeting is an option for the central bank to begin raising interest rates. The visibility on rates gave investors confidence, leading to a late-day rally that saw the averages close at their highs. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the minutes from the Fed's last FOMC meeting showed that most participants expect that rate hike conditions will be met by their December meeting. The Fed repeated its constant refrain, though, that the actual decision would depend on the implications for the medium-term outlook from recent economic data. Housing starts fell 11.0% to a 1.06M pace in October, weaker than the expected rate of 1.16M. Building permits, however, rose 4.1% to a 1.15M rate, versus an expected rise of 3.8%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Target (TGT) fell 4.3% to $69.78 after the retailer reported in-line quarterly sales and profits and narrowed the range of its fiscal year earnings view. Target, which guided for same-store sales in the new quarter to be up 1%-2%, added that it sees "indications of heavy inventory levels" at some competitors into the holiday season... Shares of Apple (AAPL) climbed 3.17% to $117.29 after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its Conviction Buy List, predicting that investors should begin to focus on the company's monetization and recurring revenue opportunities over the next year, which would be a boon to its valuation... Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov downgraded Exxon Mobil to Underperform, the firm's equivalent to a "Sell" rating, saying he expects a modest oil recovery in 2016 but that Exxon's limited leverage to oil prices will act as a hindrance during a recovery. Despite Molchanov predicting Exxon shares to be a source of funds for investors turning more constructive on oil in 2016, the stock rose about 1% to $80.74 today amid a rally in oil prices. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Fairchild (FCS), which jumped $1.52, or 8.5%, to $19.40 after agreeing to be acquired for $20 per share by ON Semiconductor (ON), whose stock fell 7.9% to $9.89 after the news. Also higher were Canadian Pacific (CP) and Norfolk Southern (NSC), with the two railway operators advancing a respective 5.8% and 6.35% after Canadian submitted a bid to acquire Norfolk, though the latter immediately criticized the offer as "low-premium." Additionally, ConAgra (CAG) gained 4% to $40.93 after announcing plans to separate into two independent public companies. Among the noteworthy losers was Qualcomm (QCOM), which dropped $4.98, or 9.4%, to $48.00 after disclosing that Korea's Fair Trade Commission alleged the company does not "properly negotiate" aspects of its licenses and may be violating Korean competition law. Also lower was Sprint (S), which fell 9.3%, to $3.99 after announcing a 50% discount for new customers switching from competing wireless carriers. GoPro (GPRO) declined 5.1% to $19.81 after research firm Piper Jaffray noted that the company has been offering discounts on its cameras, including featuring them on "flash sale" sites, and cut its price target on the stock to $15 per share. INDEXES: The Dow rose 247.66, or 1.42%, to 17,737.16, the Nasdaq gained 89.19, or 1.79%, to 5,075.20, and the S&P 500 advanced 33.14, or 1.62%, to 2,083.58.
11:33 EDTSSprint 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.
08:55 EDTCMorgan Stanley exec sees Q4 not much better than Q3 for banks, DJ reports
Morgan Stanley (MS) Institutional Securities President Colm Kelleher cautioned that fixed-income markets "still seem subdued," according to Dow Jones, citing his comments at an investment conference. Morgan Stanley was among the banks that reported lower revenue from fixed-income, currency and commodities trading during the third quarter and Kelleher said he doesn't think "the fourth quarter is going to be much better," the report noted. Large bank peers to Morgan Stanley include Bank of America (BAC), Citi (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Reference Link
07:43 EDTAEGRJefferies to hold a conference
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05:42 EDTCStora Enso Oyj appoints Citi as successor depositary bank for ADR program
Citi (C), acting through Citibank N.A., has been appointed by Stora Enso Oyj (SEOAY) as successor depositary bank for its Level 1 American Depositary Receipt, or ADR, program, which trades on the U.S. OTCQX marketplace under the symbol "SEOAY". Stora Enso's underlying ordinary shares are listed and trade on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Stock Exchange under symbol "STERV".
November 17, 2015
16:21 EDTSSprint to hold a press conference with a conference call hookup
Sprint CEO Claure makes a major announcement and will answer questions from participating journalists at a Press Conference to be held on November 18 at 12:15 pm.
07:50 EDTCClearing House to hold a conference
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November 16, 2015
17:16 EDTAMEDNorth Tide Capital reports 8.1% passive stake in Amedisys
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16:53 EDTSPaulson reduced stake in Valeant
Paulson & Co. gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this afternoon. NEW STAKES: Perrigo (PRGO), CIT Group (CIT), Precision Castparts (PCP), Cameron (CAM), and Altera (ALTR). INCREASED STAKES: Teva (TEVA), Post Holdings (POST), Starwood Hotels (HOT), LivaNova (LIVN), and Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP). DECREASED STAKES: Valeant (VRX), Shire (SHPG), Whiting Petroleum (WLL), Computer Sciences (CSC), and Oasis Petroleum (OAS). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMHC), Broadcom (BRCM), and Sprint (S).
14:06 EDTCCiti reports October credit loss 2.27% vs. 2.29% last month
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11:24 EDTCClearing House to hold a conference
Clearing House Annual Conference is being held in New York on November 16-18.
09:59 EDTCOmega bought Valeant in Q3, sold some SuneEdison
Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning, disclosing its positions as of September 30. NEW STAKES: Pfizer (PFE), Valeant (VRX) Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), TerraForm Global (GLBL), Cigna (CI). INCREASED STAKES: Google Class A (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Delta Air Lines (DAL). DECREASED STAKES: SunEdison (SUNE), Shire (SHPG), Citi (C), KAR Auction (KAR), LyondellBasell (LYB). LIQUIDATED STAKES: McKesson (MCK), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), General Motors (GM), QEP Resources (QEP), eBay (EBAY).
09:07 EDTCCiti completes OneMain sale
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08:38 EDTCSpringleaf downgraded after settlement on acquisition reached at BMO Capital
As noted earlier, BMO Capital downgraded Springleaf to Market Perform from Outperform. The firm noted that it had recommended buying the stock based on its belief that the company's acquisition of OneMain from Citi (C) had a higher probability of closing than was reflected by the shares. The firm downgraded Spingleaf after the company reached a settlement with governments that will enable the deal to close.
05:37 EDTCCiti appointed successor depository bank for Technip ADR program
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