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November 19, 2015
12:19 EDTBBYOn 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.
10:26 EDTCATGoldman says sell Titan with ag and mining weakness expected to continue
Goldman Sachs downgraded Titan International (TWI) to Sell from Neutral today, saying that weakness in agriculture and mining would continue to weigh on the company's results. Goldman's downgrade comes after the company reported much weaker than expected results on November 6. Titan makes tires and wheels used in off-road vehicles which are utilized by farmers and mining and construction companies. WHAT'S NEW Titan derives 80% of its revenue from agriculture and mining, so the weakness in those sectors will continue to hurt its results going forward, wrote Goldman analyst David Tamberino. Additionally, farmers have less money to spend on capital projects, reducing the likelihood that they will adopt Titan's new LSW tires, according to the analyst. Given these factors and the January 2017 maturity of Titan's convertible note, the company could be faced with a cash crunch, the analyst warned. Moreover, Titan is facing increased competition, according to Tamberino. He sharply lowered his 2015-2017 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization estimates for the company and slashed his price target on the name to $3 from $8. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Deere (DE), Caterpillar (CAT), and AGCO (AGCO) sell heavy machinery used in agriculture. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Titan sank 11% to $4.50.
09:34 EDTBBYActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL CHK BAC FB PFE MU GMCR AMZN NFLX BBY BABA CRM QCOM
09:16 EDTBBYOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR), up 19%... (CTRP), up 11.8%... (CRM), up 5.4%... Perry Ellis (PERY), up 4%. ALSO HIGHER: Celladon (CLDN), up 55.9% after signing a merger agreement with Eiger BioPharmaceuticals... StemCells (STEM), up 45.7% after Phase II Pathway Study data shows motor improvement in SCI patients... UniPixel (UNXL), up 36.1% after receiving an initial mass production order from a Japanese PC manufacturer... Anavex Life Sciences (AVXL), up 16% after announcing preparation of regulatory filings based on guidance from FDA... Plug Power (PLUG), up 3.7% after securing Colruyt Group as its next GenDrive fuel cell customer in Europe. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Stage Stores (SSI), down 14.7%... JinkoSolar (JKS), down 7.5%... Best Buy (BBY), down 5.2%... Semtech (SMTC), down 7.5%. ALSO LOWER: AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG), down 8.4% after receiving a complete response letter from the FDA its application seeking approval for a single-dose vial of Makena... Titan International (TWI), down 8.3% after being downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Sunedison (SUNE), down 5.5% after Reuters reported that Blackstone (BX) is not interested in SunEdison investment.
07:04 EDTBBYBest Buy sees 'near-flat' revenue for Domestic business in Q4
The company says, "Our year-over-year non-GAAP outlook for Q4 FY16 is as follows. In the Domestic business we are expecting (1) near flat revenue assuming an approximate 4% industry decline in the NPD-reported categories, in line with Q3, and the timing of the Super Bowl shifts approximately 40 basis points of sales out of Q4 into Q1 FY17; and (2) a non-GAAP operating income rate decline of 20 to 35 basis points driven by gross profit rate pressure and higher SG&A. The gross profit rate pressure is primarily driven by (1) a 25-basis point investment in services pricing; (2) higher distribution costs associated with our growth in the online channel and the appliance and large-screen television categories; and (3) product mix and product cycle pressures. Largely offsetting these gross profit pressures is an expected 55-basis point periodic profit sharing benefit from our externally-managed extended service plan portfolio. The higher SG&A is due to our investment in growth initiatives, partially offset by cost savings. In the International business, due to the ongoing impacts of the Canadian brand consolidation, foreign currency fluctuations and softness in the Canadian market, we are expecting (1) an International revenue decline of approximately 30%; and (2) an International non-GAAP operating income rate in the range of positive 2% to 3%. Based on the above expectations, our Enterprise level outlook is as follows: (1) a negative low-single digit revenue growth rate; and (2) a non-GAAP operating income rate decline of 25 to 45 basis points. From a tax rate perspective, we expect the non-GAAP effective income tax rate from continuing operations to be in the range of 36% to 37%, versus 34.2% last year, which is expected to result in a negative $0.04 to negative $0.06 year-over-year non-GAAP diluted EPS impact in Q4 FY16."
07:03 EDTBBYBest Buy reports Q3 Enterprise and Domestic SSS up 0.8%
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07:02 EDTBBYBest Buy reports Q3 adjusted EPS 41c, consensus 35c
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November 18, 2015
14:38 EDTBBYNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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13:41 EDTBBYBest Buy November 31 straddle priced for 10% movement into Q3
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13:37 EDTBBYBest Buy technical comments ahead of results
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11:22 EDTBBYBest Buy management to meet with Jefferies
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10:08 EDTBBYGoPro sinks after analyst finds cameras on flash sales sites
The shares of action camera maker GoPro (GPRO) are sinking and hit a new 52-week low after research firm Piper Jaffray reported that the company has been offering significant discounts on its cameras. WHAT'S NEW: GoPro's cameras have been selling on flash sales websites such as Zulily (ZU) and Groupon (GRPN) at price discounts of 16%-34%, Piper analyst Erinn Murphy wrote in a note to investors today. As a result of these discounts and the 147% increase in GoPro's inventory at the end of the third quarter, the analyst is concerned that the company's gross margin could be pressured. In addition to the discounts GoPro is offering on the flash websites, the camera maker cut the price of its GoPro Session camera on Amazon to $299 from $399 in September and there has been "select downward price movement" on two more of its cameras on Amazon, Murphy reported. The analyst continues to expect GoPro's Q4 earnings per share to come in at 34c, versus analysts' consensus estimate of 41c. She slashed her fiscal 2016 EPS estimate for the company to $1.03 from $1.35, versus the consensus outlook of $1.37. Murphy reduced her price target on the stock to $15 from $20 and kept an Underweight rating on the name. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Ambarella (AMBA) makes chips used in GoPro's cameras. Best Buy (BBY), which is due to report its results tomorrow, sells GoPro's cameras. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, GoPro fell 8% to $19.19. Earlier today, it hit a new 52-week low of $19.04.
06:19 EDTBBYUPS, FedEx peers see business in bulky item deliveries, WSJ says
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05:56 EDTSNESony Mobile, LG to develop smartphone app processors in-house, DigiTimes says
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05:37 EDTBBYStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; CRM BBY
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November 17, 2015
10:47 EDTSNEPress Conference to unveil new brain injury technology to be held in New York
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10:00 EDTHESOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Airgas (ARG) downgraded on valuation at KeyBanc... BHP Billiton (BHP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Clarksons Platou... Chesapeake (CHK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... ChipMOS (IMOS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Clovis (CLVS) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Cooper Companies (COO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Five Below (FIVE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... Grainger (GWW) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities... Hess Corp. (HES) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer... J Sainsbury (JSAIY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Kindred Biosciences (KIN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital... Leju (LEJU) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Lombard Medical (EVAR) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Osiris (OSIR) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Brean Capital... Polaris Industries (PII) downgraded on anemic ORV growth at Wedbush... SQM (SQM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC... Southwestern Energy (SWN) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Sterne Agee CRT... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Outperform from Buy at CLSA... Urban Outfitters (URBN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor... WM Morrison (MRWSY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... adidas (ADDDY) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... athenahealth (ATHN) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
09:02 EDTSNEAnalyst pans competing products, says buy Fitbit
Shares of previous high-flier Fitbit (FIT) have dropped about 30% in the last two weeks following the company's third quarter earnings report, but an analyst at Bank of America upgraded his view of the fitness tracker maker this morning, saying that now is the time to buy ahead of fourth quarter results that may be boosted by the "underwhelming" new products being launched by its competitors. UNDERWHELMING COMPETITION: Fitbit's sales guidance for this holiday quarter looks conservative, contends Bank of America analyst Nat Schindler, who notes that the company only had the launch of one new product last December but will have the Charge, Charge HR and Surge to drive sales this season. Schindler also notes that the company's international advertising has expanded into more countries ahead of the holidays this year. Key, however, may be the "underwhelming" lineup of new or updated fitness trackers launched by competitors, such as the Microsoft's (MSFT) Band 2, Jawbone's UP4 and Sony's (SNE) Smartband 2, many of which have only minor improvements and no "must have" features to pull consumers away from Fitbit, Schindler told investors in his research note. PLATFORM PICKING UP STEAM: The analyst also pointed out that Fitbit now has more than 20 companies signed onto its health and wellness platform, including big names like Target (TGT) and Barclays (BCS), which he believes should help drive revenue beats in the upcoming fiscal year due to increased device sales. Also, the additional dashboard data should help Fitbit maintain long-term user engagement, said Schindler. APPLE WATCH: Apple's (AAPL) Apple Watch is largely viewed as the biggest potential competitive threat to Fitbit's offerings, but on the fitness tracker maker's last earnings call CEO James Park said Fitbit's products differ from those of its competitors in several key aspects, including pricing, cross-platform compatibility, brand awareness and product line breadth. Other wearables makers include Garmin (GRMN) and Samsung. PRICE ACTION: Since the day after Fitbit's last earnings report after the market close on November 2, its shares have fallen about 29.5% to close yesterday at $28.80. In pre-market trading this morning, Fitbit shares rose 2% to $29.40.
06:56 EDTHESHess Corp. downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit downgraded Hess Corp. to Perform citing continued deficit spending in a sub-$70 oil price environment. The analyst removed his $75 price target for shares.
November 16, 2015
15:36 EDTCATCaterpillar November volatility up into overview of Financial Services
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