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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 4, 2013
10:17 EDTBUD, EXPE, WMS, YOKU, NYT, WSFS, BKR, HSY, SCHW, CMA, CLWR, WCC, MRK, GOOG, TIF, WMT, VOD, LF, CVXOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Charles Schwab (SCHW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Chevron (CVX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Comfort Systems USA (FIX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... Google (GOOG) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital... Hershey (HSY) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... LeapFrog (LF) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Ascendiant Capital... Merck (MRK) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Michael Baker (BKR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc... Vodafone (VOD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup... WESCO (WCC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... WSFS Financial (WSFS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital... Wal-Mart (WMT) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Clearwire (CLWR) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at DA Davidson... New York Times (NYT) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Lazard Capital... Tiffany (TIF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Monness Crespi... Comerica (CMA) downgraded to Neutral from Long-Term Buy at Hilliard Lyons... Expedia (EXPE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Monness Crespi... Guess (GES) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Buckingham... Youku Tudou (YOKU) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Maxim... WMS Industries (WMS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus... AB InBev (BUD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill.
News For SCHW;CVX;GOOG;HSY;LF;MRK;BKR;VOD;WCC;WSFS;WMT;CLWR;NYT;TIF;CMA;EXPE;YOKU;WMS;BUD From The Last 14 Days
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January 28, 2016
06:02 EDTWCCWESCO reports Q4 EPS $1.03, consensus $1.02
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05:50 EDTBUDAB InBev cancels $42.5B of acquisition facilities following recent bond issue
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January 27, 2016
19:30 EDTGOOGOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Facebook (FB), up 11.4%... Mellanox (MLNX), up 6.4%... Paypal (PYPL), up 5%... Crown Castle (CCI), up 2.2%... Citrix (CTXS), up 2.4%... Las Vegas Sands (LVS), up 1%... SanDisk (SNDK), up 1%. ALSO HIGHER: Radius Health (RDUS), up 1.2% after announcing a clinical collaboration with Novartis (NVS)... LinkedIn (LNKD) is up 2.4%, Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is up 2.2% and 2.6%, respectively, Netflix (NFLX) is up 1%, Amazon.com (AMZN) is up 2%, and Twitter (TWTR) is up marginally after Facebook reported quarterly results... MGM Resorts (MGM) is up 2.2% and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) is up 2.2%. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: ServiceNow (NOW), down 16.5%... eBay (EBAY), down 12.8%... United Rentals (URI), down 9.7%... Juniper Networks (JNPR), down 9.6%... Silicon Graphics (SGI), down 9.1%... Discover Financial (DFS), down 7.4%... InvenSense (INVN), down 6.1%... Core Laboratories (CLB), down 4.3%... Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), down 1.1%. ALSO LOWER: Incyte (INCY), down 12.8% after announcing that it will halt the Phase 2 sub-study of ruxolitinib or placebo in combination with regorafenib after a planned interim analysis of the high CRP subgroup demonstrated that ruxolitinib plus regorafenib did not show a sufficient level of efficacy to warrant continuation.
18:00 EDTGOOGFacebook executives pleased with China growth, hazy on Oculus launch
Speaking on the company's fourth quarter earnings conference call, Facebook (FB) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg highlighted the company's more than 2.5M active advertisers as well as the growth of its Messenger and WhatsApp services, which have expanded to 800M and nearly 1B monthly users, respectively. More services will be coming soon to Messenger, Zuckerberg promised, including airline integration. The CEO noted he is "pleased" with initial consumer reaction to Samsung's (SSNLF) Gear VR virtual reality headset, though commentary on pre-orders for Facebook's own Oculus Rift device was notably light, with Zuckerberg saying only that the Oculus launch is "shaping up to be a big moment for the gaming community." Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company is pleased with the growth its seeing in emerging markets, including China, where businesses are using Facebook to reach customers internationally. The commentary comes in contrast to the downbeat macro view voiced during Apple's (AAPL) conference call Tuesday night. Globally, 98 of the quarter's top 100 Facebook advertisers also chose to market on Instagram, Sandberg said, adding that as businesses realize they need to catch up to consumer shifts towards mobile, she foresees a "big" opportunity to continue growing advertiser count. ANALYST TAKE: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster issued a post-earnings note on Facebook, reiterating his Overweight rating and $155 price target on the social network giant in the wake of its strong beat. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Facebook have surged 12.8% to $106.60 in after-hours trading. Other members of the FANG stock grouping are also moving higher, with Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOG) rising a respective 2.3%, 2.25% and 2.6%.
16:54 EDTGOOGGoogle, Movidius partner on 'deep learning' for mobile devices
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16:42 EDTWSFSWSFS Financial resumes search for new CFO, Kevin Thompson will not join firm
WSFS Financial announced that they are resuming their search for a new CFO. Kevin Thompson, who was recently named CFO, has decided to remain with his family in Utah and will not be joining the company. As previously reported, members of Thompson's immediate family were involved in a serious auto accident. A recent medical prognosis has indicated that full recovery will be difficult and prolonged, leading to the need for Kevin to remain close to his family. WSFS understands and applauds Kevin's decision to put his family first during this difficult time, and wishes him and his family the very best. Rodger Levenson, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Development Officer who previously served as Chief Commercial Banking Officer, will continue to serve as the interim CFO.
13:40 EDTBUDKKR replaces Bain as suitor for Peroni, Grolsch brands, Reuters says
KKR (KKR) is replacing Bain Capital as a bidder for SABMiller's (SBMRY) Peroni and Grolsch brands, Reuters reporst, citing three sources familiar with the matter. KKR was not previously shortlisted as one of the final suitors for the brands being unloaded by AB InBev (BUD) to smooth its acquisition of SABMiller, the report says. Reference Link
12:19 EDTMRKPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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11:07 EDTMRKGilead sinks as Attorney General probes pricing strategy
Shares of drugmaker Gilead (GILD) are underperforming after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey warned that her office may bring an unfair commercial conduct complaint against it related to the pricing for its Hepatitis C virus treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni. UNFAIR PRICING: Healey, in a letter addressed to Gilead CEO John Martin dated January 22 that has just been made public, said that her office is considering whether Gilead's pricing strategy for Sovaldi and Harvoni may constitute an "unfair trade practice" in violation of Massachusetts law. "Because Gilead's drugs offer a cure for a serious and life-threatening infectious disease, pricing the treatment in a manner that effectively allows HCV to continue spreading through vulnerable populations, as opposed to eradicating the disease altogether, results in massive public harm," Healey stated in her letter to Martin. Healey, who urged Gilead to adjust its pricing strategy, noted that the company has invoked the high cost and risk associated with research and development as a justification for its prices, but she said that Gilead quickly recouped its outlay to acquire Pharmasset by selling "$12.4B worth of HCV medication in the first year alone" after its deal. The AG, who said that Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill in the U.S. but only $10 per pill in Egypt and about $4 per pill in India, contends that American taxpayers "have been footing the bill for Gilead's record profits." FREQUENT TARGET: The pricing of Gilead's hep C treatments have been the focus of significant criticism and political rhetoric in the past. In December, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and senior committee member Chuck Grassley released the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing and marketing of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The company "pursued a marketing strategy and final wholesale price of Sovaldi - $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a single course of treatment - that it believed would maximize revenue," and "fostering broad, affordable access was not a key consideration in the process of setting the wholesale prices," the senators wrote. Members of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, who held a press conference last November to announce "meaningful action" to combat the "skyrocketing" costs of pharmaceuticals, specifically took aim at Sovaldi. During her campaigning efforts, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly decried the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. OTHERS TO WATCH: AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also market or are at work on therapies for hepatitis C. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead slid 2% to $90.35.
10:20 EDTEXPEGoldman says sell TripAdvisor as Airbnb adds to industry challenges
The outlook for online travel agencies, or OTAs, has become less favorable, partly due to increased competition from alternative lodging providers like Airbnb, Goldman Sachs wrote in a note to investors today. The firm downgraded one of the stocks in the sector, Priceline (PCLN), to Neutral from Buy, and cut another online travel agency, TripAdvisor (TRIP), to Sell from Neutral. WHAT'S NEW: Amid high lodging occupancy rates and below average supply growth, more travelers are embracing alternative lodging options like Airbnb, cutting out the OTAs, wrote Goldman analyst Heath Terry. Additionally, high occupancy rates are enabling hotels to seek better terms from OTAs, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, OTAs have increased their penetration of the hotel sector, leaving less room for share gains, Terry stated. Turning to specific stocks, the analyst expects Priceline to be hurt by the stronger dollar as well as increased competition from alternative lodging options. He anticipates that TripAdvisor's bottom line will be lowered by its efforts to convince hotels to join its Instant Booking program by granting them more favorable deal terms. Terry kept a Neutral rating on Expedia, but said that the stock could drop further, given the company's high exposure to large hotel chains, the competitive challenges it's facing, and integration risks from four major acquisitions it has made over the last two years. He cut his price target on Priceline to $1,200 from $1,500 and on TripAdvisor to $59 from $68. Terry has a $93 price target on Expedia. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Priceline fell 3.5% to $1,073, TripAdvisor lost 3.2% to $67.44, and Expedia declined 2.2% to $102.61.
10:00 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: BG Group (BRGYY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Bill Barrett (BBG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg... Brown & Brown (BRO) downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Canadian National (CNI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... DreamWorks (DWA) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Topeka... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded at RBC Capital... Gentex (GNTX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Haverty Furniture (HVT) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Hercules Technology (HTGC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... Horizon Technology (HRZN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Installed Building downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Jarden (JAH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... K+S (KPLUF) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... La-Z-Boy (LZB) downgraded at BB&T... Legacy Reserves (LGCY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Medivation (MDVN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Merck (MRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Metaldyne Performance (MPG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Pier 1 Imports (PIR) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Priceline (PCLN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Profire Energy (PFIE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Chardan... Regeneron (REGN) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Swiss Re (SSREY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... TSYS (TSS) downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at First Analysis... Talmer Bancorp (TLMR) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... TopBuild (BLD) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... TripAdvisor (TRIP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... VMware (VMW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Research... W.R. Grace (GRA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... WEC Energy (WEC) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Welltower (HCN) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Yamana Gold (AUY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
09:32 EDTMRK, GOOGActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB AMZN AAL BAC PCLN NFLX MRK GOOG
08:36 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral on lack of catalysts at BofA/Merrill
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08:31 EDTMRKMerck says FDA accepts for review BLA for investigational antitoxin
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08:29 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
08:00 EDTTIFTiffany, Coty announce new fragrance agreement
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06:46 EDTSCHWFee prices on mutual funds, ETFs sliding towards zero, WSJ says
There is intense fee price competition occurring in the asset management sector as several fund firms, including BlackRock (BLK), Charles Schwab (SCHW), and others, cut fees on their passive products close to 0%, the Wall Street Journal reports. The competition is suppressing industry margins and building a greater impetus for firms to achieve scale, the report says. The slide in costs have been under way for years but is accelerating as the sector's largest companies are targeting increasingly cost-obsessed investors, the report says. Over 100 mutual funds and exchanged-traded funds currently cost $10 or less per $10,000 invested, up from 40 in 2010, the report says, citing Morningstar. Reference Link
06:38 EDTGOOGGoogle files patent for secure delivery component for drones, Reuters says
Alphabet's Google has filed a patent for a drone component designed to store packages securely, Reuters reports. The patent describes a "delivery receptacle" that will take packages from an "aerial delivery device" for deposit to a secure area, the report says. Reference Link
06:14 EDTGOOGFCC proposes set-top box rule revamp, WSJ reports
Federal regulators are anticipated to propose an overhaul of rules for television set-top boxes, a move that targets reducing bills for cable viewers and giving more access to web-based programming, the Wall Street Journal reports. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal would likely include providing cable and satellite customers more options when it comes to using their service provider's set-top box and cable app, the report says. Such a move could open up the market to alternative set-top-box providers, including TiVo (TIVO) and Alphabet's (GOOG) Google, the report notes. Reference Link
06:02 EDTEXPEPriceline downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry downgraded Priceline (PCLN) to Neutral saying the environment for online travel agents is becoming less favorable amid high occupancy and rising competition from alternative accommodation providers. Terry cut his price target for the shares to $1,200 from $1,500. He continues to believe Priceline is the best positioned in the space, however. The analyst this morning also downgraded TripAdvisor (TRIP) to Sell and kept a Neutral rating on Expedia (EXPE).
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