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September 28, 2015
07:24 EDTAAPLiPhone 7 may have waterproof, dustproof design, AppleInsider says
Apple's iPhone 7 is well into the prototyping phase, with current test models featuring a waterproof and dustproof design with a non-metal chassis, AppleInsider reports, citing a post from Weibo. Reference Link
07:21 EDTAAPLKnowles upgraded on increased Apple content at FBR Capital
FBR Capital analyst Christopher Rolland upgraded Knowles (KN) to Market Perform from Underperform saying Chipworks identified a fourth mic made by the company in Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S, up from three in the previous version of the smartphone. Further, key Knowles competitor has encountered difficulties sourcing qualified MEMS wafers from its third-party manufacturing partner, Rolland tells investors in a research note. He raised his price target for shares to $18 from $17.
06:42 EDTGOOGGoogle to bring free Wi-Fi to 400 train stations in India
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06:32 EDTSHCAYBanks holding $5B in Sharp want company to strike quick deal, WSJ reports
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06:25 EDTGOOGYouTube finalizing subscription launch for two services, Re/code reports
YouTube is finalizing launch plans for its subscription service expected to be launch near the end of October, reports Re/code. In a blast email to content owners, YouTube said they would have to agree to the new terms by October 22 or their "videos will no longer be available for public display or monetization in the United States." According to sources, YouTube intends to bundle two different services that include an update of its music service and the ability to watch anything on YouTube without seeing ads. Reference Link
06:05 EDTAAPLiPhone survey shows trend to higher capacity continues, says Piper Jaffray
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September 27, 2015
19:39 EDTSNE'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
September 25, 2015
17:33 EDTGOOGDelta Air Lines, Google, Amgen look attractively priced, Barron's says
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16:35 EDTAAPL, SNEStocks end week lower as biotechs sink, Volkswagen crashes
Stocks ended the week lower after concerns about drug prices were reignited, sinking biotech stocks, an emissions scandal engulfed Volkswagen (VLKAY), dragging down shares of automakers and their suppliers, and Caterpillar (CAT) announced that it may eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs in the next three years as commodity prices continue to slump. MACRO NEWS: Following the Federal Reserve's decision last week to wait before raising rates, the central bank made a concerted effort to give the market more clarity this week. Over last weekend, three Federal Reserve officials - San Francisco Fed President John Williams, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker - all argued that an interest-rate increase is still warranted this year. Then, on Thursday night, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a speech at UMass Amherst that the central bank remains inclined to hike rates this year. Yellen's remarks were incrementally hawkish, but welcomed by the market, since they helped clarify the message the Fed delivered a week ago... In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index was flat at 53.0 in September, which was slightly better than the expectation for it to dip to 52.8. Durable goods orders for August declined 2.0%, versus expectations for a drop of 2.3%. When transportation items were removed, the core reading was breakeven, versus expectations for a rise of 0.1%. The third estimate of second quarter GDP showed the economy grew 3.9% quarter-over-quarter, versus expectations for the GDP growth estimate to stay at 3.7%. Personal consumption in Q2 is now believed to have grown 3.6%, up from the prior estimate of 3.1%. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September came in at 87.2, which was down from August's 91.9 but above the expected 86.2 reading... The Asian Development Bank cut its growth forecast for the region, citing a weaker outlook for China and India and a delayed recovery in the world's advanced economies. The bank now sees the Chinese economy growing 6.8% this year and 6.7% next year, down from its previous forecasts of 7.2% and 7%, respectively. Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for China fell to 47.0 in September from 47.3 last month. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled new economic targets, including a goal for a 20% increase in the target size of the Japanese economy to 600T yen, though he gave no timeframe for achieving this aspiration... In Europe, Markit's composite PMI for the eurozone came in at 53.9 in the first look for September, down from 54.3 in August and below expectations for a reading of 54.1. COMPANY NEWS: Biotech stocks declined after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on its treatment for toxoplasmosis, reigniting a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and laying out a plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. The NASDAQ Biotechnology index fell roughly xxx% for the week amid the attention paid to Turing's drug and Clinton's response... Volkswagen (VLKAY) shares trading in New York fell sharply to begin the week and ended the week far from where they'd been last Friday before the EPA said it found manipulations that violate U.S. environmental standards while testing certain of the automaker's diesel cars. The EPA said Volkswagen may face civil penalties of $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules, which could total as much as $18B, according to Reuters. In the wake of the scandal, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn resigned, with the company's supervisory board subsequently praising the decision and selecting Matthias Mueller, the former head of Porsche (POAHY), as Winterkorn's successor as the company's new CEO... Caterpillar (CAT) shares dropped after the heavy machinery maker announced plans for job cuts and lowered its revenue guidance for this year and next. Caterpillar said that it would lay off 4,000-5,000 of its employees between now and the end of 2016 and could lay off up to 10,000 employees by 2018. Caterpillar cut its fiscal year 2015 revenue forecast by $1B and said its sees its fiscal year 2016 revenue to be 5% below this year, adding that it expects revenue declines in all three large segments next year... Online and mobile deal provider Groupon (GRPN) said it plans to cut 1,100 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations... Nike jumped after the athletic gear giant reported better than expected earnings and futures orders, prompting numerous price target hikes and at least one upgrade at Street research firms. Among other companies reporting earnings this week, BlackBerry (BBRY), ConAgra (CAG), Carnival (CCL), and CarMax (KMX) fell immediately following their quarterly reports... Apple (AAPL), which has previously been reported to be working on an electric car via its "Project Titan," is speeding up those efforts and setting 2019 as a target to ship its first vehicle, according to The Wall Street Journal... Against the backdrop of China's President Xi Jinping visiting the U.S., Boeing (BA) announced deals to sell 300 planes to three Chinese companies and set up an aircraft factory in in the Asian nation, while Cisco (CSCO) announced a partnership with Chinese server maker Inspur Group... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) Chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was diagnosed with lymphoma. "Fortunately, my form of lymphoma is highly curable and my doctors' and my own expectation is that I will be cured," Blankfein stated in an open letter that was shared by the bank... GoPro (GPRO) finished the week about xxx% lower after Barron's contended in a feature article last weekend that the company's stock could plunge another 30% to $25 as Apple, Sony (SNE) and others pressure the company's "one-hit wonder" products... On the M&A front, Atmel (ATML) agreed to be acquired by German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in a deal valued at roughly $4.6B and Starwood Waypoint (SWAY) announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement with Colony American Homes. INDEXES: The Dow lost about 0.43% to close at 16,314.67, the S&P 500 fell about 1.35% to close at 1,931.34, and the Nasdaq declined about 2.89% to close at 4,686.50.
16:17 EDTAAPLOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks opened with sharp gains the day after Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave some clarity to the market by suggesting the Fed will most likely raise interest rates by the end of the year. During afternoon trading, the news flow slowed and the volume lightened on the buy side, leaving the sellers with the upper hand. The Nasdaq was the first index to move into negative territory, led by broad weakness in biotech stocks, while the Dow was helped to stay in the green by a big post-earnings move higher in Nike (NKE). The averages limped into the close, leaving the market with an interesting set-up to begin next week. Outside of stock news, it was certainly a headline packed day, as Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that he will resign at the end of October, Chinese President Xi Jinping continued his U.S. visit and Pope Francis addressed the United Nations while spending a second day in New York City. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the third estimate of second quarter GDP showed the economy grew 3.9% quarter-over-quarter, versus expectations for the GDP growth estimate to stay at 3.7%. Personal consumption in Q2 is now believed to have grown 3.6%, up from the prior estimate of 3.1%. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September came in at 87.2, which was down from August's 91.9 but above the expected 86.2 reading... Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said during a speech at UMass Amherst last night that the central bank remains inclined to hike rates this year. Yellen's remarks were incrementally hawkish, but welcomed by the market, since they helped clarify the message the Fed delivered a week ago. Of note, the Fed chair paused multiple times toward the end of her speech and received medical attention afterward, but returned to her regular schedule later in the evening, with the bank explaining that Yellen was dehydrated after a long day but was otherwise fine. COMPANY NEWS: Nike jumped $10.23, or 8.9%, to $125.02 after Thursday night's report of better than expected earnings and futures orders prompted numerous price target hikes at Street research firms. Additionally, Sterne Agee upgraded Nike to Buy from Neutral, saying it thinks the company is benefiting from its "global grass roots engagement with its customers," which enables it to meet its customers' needs and determine to what extent it can raise prices. The firm, which thinks that the company is continuing to gain share, has a $150 price target on the athletic gear giant... Biotech stocks, which were already having a bad week, ended the week on a down note, as the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) fell 4.9%, giving it a weekly decline of about 13%. Among the biggest large-cap losers in the space were Vertex (VRTX), which fell 7%, Regeneron (REGN), which dropped 6% and Celgene (CELG), which slid 4.8%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Jabil Circuit (JBL), which advanced $2.38, or 12.2%, to $21.88 after it reported higher than expected earnings and gave guidance for its November quarter that was significantly above expectations. Also higher was Cirrus Logic (CRUS), which gained $3.90, or 14.4%, to $31.03 after tear downs of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S and 6S Plus led analysts to conclude that the chipmaker appears poised to obtain more revenue from the new devices than from the previous generation of the market-leading smartphone. Among the noteworthy losers was Finish Line (FINL), which fell $4.86, or 19.6%, to $19.91 after reporting second quarter revenue that missed expectations and saying it expects adjusted earnings this fiscal year to increase in a low single to mid single digits percentage from last year. Also lower following its earnings report was smartphone and software maker BlackBerry (BBRY), which slid 7.68% to $6.49 after the company posted a second quarter loss that was steeper than analysts expected. BlackBerry also confirmed press reports that it plans to launch a new phone that uses Google's (GOOG) Android operating system instead of its own proprietary BB10 OS. Shares of Aratana Therapeutics (PETX), which dropped $6.81, or 38.97%, to $10.68 after the company said that, based on "mixed clinical and scientific results," it does not believe that canine lymphoma products AT-004 and AT-005 in their current, first-generation forms will capture the desired lymphoma market opportunity. INDEXES: The Dow rose 113.35, or 0.7%, to 16,314.67, the Nasdaq fell 47.98, or 1.01%, to 4,686.50, and the S&P 500 added/slipped 0.90, or 0.05%, to 1,931.34.
16:00 EDTAAPLOptions Update; September 25, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 66c to 25.09. Option volume leaders: AAPL NFLX BAC FB AU NKE PFE INTC AMZN TSLA
13:56 EDTAAPLSkyworks volatility low on tight price range
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13:36 EDTAAPLQualcomm volatility low as shares trend lower
Qualcomm (QCOM) current 30-day call option implied volatility is at 26, compared to a one-month ago level of 38, suggesting decreasing price movement for the chipmaker that appear poised to obtain more revenue from Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S devices.
13:17 EDTSNEFly Watch: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' expected to top weekend box office
Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which is opening in 3,600 theaters, is expected to win this weekend's box office with a domestic gross of $35M-$40M. The next bunch of films are all expecting similar grosses in the mid-to-high teens. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to open in the $15M-$20M range in 3,305 theaters. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest," which opened last weekend on IMAX (IMAX), is expanding to over 3,000 theaters this weekend and is estimated to gross in the range of $15M-$17M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," which grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20, is expected to earn an estimated $16M in its second weekend of release. Warner Bros.' Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass," which took in $23.4M in its domestic opening last weekend, is expected to gross $12.5M-$13M this weekend. Additionally, Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario" is playing in about 50 theaters ahead of the film's wide release on October 2.
12:39 EDTAAPLElectronic contract manufacturers advance after Jabil reports earnings
Shares of contract electronic manufacturers Flextronics International (FLEX), Sanmina (SANM), and Celestica (CLS) are advancing after peer Jabil Circuit (JBL) posted quarterly earning last night that easily surpassed analysts' estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Jabil Circuit reported better-than-anticipated profit and revenue in the fourth quarter as revenue in its Diversified Manufacturing Services segment increased 47% on a year-over-year basis, and represented 41% of total company revenue. Jabil reported Q4 earnings per share of 53c on revenue of $4.68B against analysts' estimates of 45c and $4.55B. On the company's Q4 earnings conference call, Chief Executive Officer Mark Mondello said he anticipates continued growth across its DMS business, as the company "captures additional opportunities" in the markets that DMS serves. Mondello noted that those markets include audio, healthcare, consumer packaging, mobility, wearable technologies, and accessories. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, the company sees DMS in the first quarter up 33% year-over-year and guided to Q1 results that were far ahead of analysts' estimates. Jabil said it sees Q1 EPS of 72c-88c on revenue of $5.1B-$5.3B. Analysts were expecting EPS of 61c on revenue of $4.91B. Jabil also guided to fiscal year 2016 EPS of $2.60 ahead of expectations of $2.37. ANALYST TAKE: After Jabil reported higher than expected Q4 EPS, Stifel notes that the company's guidance for its November quarter was significantly above expectations. The firm thinks the company is benefiting from increased purchases of its diversified manufacturing products by Apple (AAPL). Stifel says that Apple is using Jabil's products for many of its products, not just iPhones, and it expects other customers to ramp up their purchases of the company's DMS products. Stifel kept a $25 price target and Buy rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Jabil Circuit are advancing almost 15% to $22.43 in midday trading. OTHERS TO WATCH: Shares of other contract manufacturers are also advancing, with Flextronics up 1.5%, Sanmina jumping 2.8%, and Celestica higher by 1.35%
11:25 EDTAAPLCirrus leads iPhone suppliers higher as analysts dissect 6S
Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Skyworks (SWKS) and Qorvo (QRVO) are among the chipmakers that appear poised to obtain more revenue from Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S devices than from the previous generation of the market-leading smartphone. Research firms issued notes today based on their analysis of "teardowns" of the new phones after they went on sale for the first time, beginning in Australia. TEARDOWNS: Apple's common practice when rolling out its newest iPhone models is for Australia to be its first launch market. The unboxing of iPhones when they become available for sale for the first time anywhere in the world is a much anticipated event among the tech giant's fans, as well as by Apple-focused blogs and Wall Street analysts who follow the company. Websites like iFixit have become well known for their "teardowns" of the devices, where they purchase, take apart and analyze the way in which the device is made and how it differs from previous models. These teardowns are closely watched by analysts and can sometimes be catalysts for the stocks of iPhone component suppliers. CIRRUS: Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis says teardowns of Apple's iPhone 6S indicate Cirrus Logic secured both a smart codec and boosted amp win in the new phone. The company's content in each phone is likely towards the upper end of his $3.50-$4.00 estimate, Curtis tells investors, noting that he views this as better than expected. Curtis thinks the 6S content, coupled with the "several new growth drivers" Cirrus outlined at yesterday's technology day, could reverse the negative sentiment on the stock. He keeps an Overweight rating on the name with a $39 price target. OTHER WINNERS AND LOSERS: Skyworks and Qorvo saw their content rise 22% and 25% respectively, Curtis estimated. NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) is continuing to supply the NFC and Secure Element chips for the 6S devices, but is no longer providing the sensor hub, the analyst reported. The company will lose about 50c per iPhone as a result of this development, but it did know that it would no longer be providing the hub before it provided its guidance in July, according to Curtis. STMicroelectronics (STM) is no longer providing the secure MCU for the iPhone 6S, Curtis added. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Other companies that are supplying iPhone 6S components include Qualcomm (QCOM), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Avago (AVGO), iFixit reported. After conducting checks, Craig-Hallum analyst Anthony Stoss estimated that Skyworks will obtain about $6.50 of revenue per iPhone, up from about $5.50 previously, while Qorvo's revenue per device will rise to $6.25 from $5.75 and Avago will see its revenue per device increase to about $6.75 from about $6.50, Stoss believes. The firm kept Buy ratings on Skyworks, Avago, and Qorvo. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Cirrus shares jumped $4.36, or 16%, to $31.49, Skyworks added about 3% and Qorvo rose 4%. Meanwhile, NXP gained about 2% and STMicroelectronics advanced 2.5%.
10:59 EDTMRVLMarvell plans to lay off 17% of workforce, restructures mobile operations
Shares of Marvell Technology (MRVL) rose in morning trading after the company announced a major restructuring of its mobile platform business that will include a "significant" headcount reduction. WHAT'S NEW: Marvell Technology announced after the bell yesterday that it will cut about 17% of its global workforce as it restructures its mobile platform business. Marvel is seeking to focus its focus its mobile product line on "anticipated more profitable opportunities" and "right-size its expenses in line with corporate targets." The company plans to take a charge of $100M-$130M related to the structuring, which is currently expected to result in annualized operating expense savings of $170M-$220M. Marvell said it plans to "significantly" downsize the mobile platform organization to refocus its technology to emerging opportunities in IoT, automotive and networking. The moves have already started and the company anticipates the major activities to take place through the end of fiscal 2016. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Marvell announced on September 11 that it was conducting an internal investigation of certain accounting and internal control matters. "The investigation consists of a review of certain revenue recognition issues in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 and any associated issues with whether senior management's operating style during the period resulted in an open flow of information and communication to set an appropriate tone for an effective control environment," the company stated. Specifically, the company said it was focused on 7%-8% of revenue recognized that would have been received in the third quarter. The company forecast a preliminary second quarter net loss of (74c) on revenue of $711M, which may not compare to analysts' consensus estimates at that time for 11c and $721.9M, respectively. Marvell said the preliminary results reflected weaker-than-expected demand for certain products, particularly in the storage market. STREET RESEARCH: Commenting on Marvel's restructuring move, Craig-Hallum analyst Christian Schwab said that Marvell's exit from its mobile handset business is a positive since the unit struggled to create scale and profits, generating just $122M in revenue and $13M in gross profit in the first half of fiscal 2016. Schwab said the move will drive company-wide gross margins toward the mid-50% range and expects a strengthened product profile following the restructuring efforts. The analyst added that the risk/reward is attractive and upgraded the stock's rating to Buy while maintaining a $14 price target. PRICE ACTION: Marvell shares are up 3.05% to $9.30 in morning trading.
10:48 EDTGOOGMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
10:26 EDTGOOG, SSNLFBlackBerry posts quarterly loss, says turnaround continuing
BlackBerry (BBRY) shares are lower in morning trading after the company posted a second quarter loss that was steeper than analysts' expectations. BlackBerry is in the middle of a turnaround for its smartphone business and confirmed today that it plans to launch a new device that uses Google's (GOOG) Android operating system. EARNINGS: Excluding items, BlackBerry reported a loss per share for Q2 of (13c), below analysts' consensus estimates of (9c). Revenue for the quarter was $490M, reflecting a purchase accounting write down of deferred revenue associated with the acquisition of WatchDox. The revenue result may not compare with analysts' estimate of $611M. Looking ahead, BlackBerry said it is targeting "sustainable" non-GAAP profitability in the fourth quarter and sees "modest" sequential growth in total revenue for the rest of fiscal year 2016. The company sees a "slight" uptick in third quarter revenue compared to this quarter, and announced it will change its non-GAAP income statement presentation to be "consistent with the primary practice in the software industry." BlackBerry said it believes this is necessary due to its increased emphasis on software, as well as acquisitions of software companies with material recurring revenue streams. On the company's earnings conference call, John Chen, BlackBerry's chief executive officer, announced that the board approved an increase to the current buyback program by an additional 15M shares, bringing the total available for repurchase to 21M shares. The approval was based on expectations for continued free cash flow. Chen said that he believes the company has made "good progress" moving its software business from perpetual to subscription. Chen said he is "not satisfied" as far as overall revenue and profitability, particularly in its handset business, but said the company is focused on growing device volume profitably, generating recurring revenue from IP licensing and making its software business larger. WHAT'S NOTABLE: To help strengthen its device business, Chen confirmed BlackBerry will launch a new slider device powered by Google's Android operating system later this calendar year, to be called Priv. Chen also confirmed that the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and confirmed plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements. Chen said the company is working with Google to secure Android and is not using Samsung's (SSNLF) Knox. Chen said the company is not planning another BlackBerry 10 device this year and noted that if the plan of doing the Android type of implementation "works well," it could consider replacing BB10 or merging it into Android. PRICE ACTION: BlackBerry is down 2% to $6.89 in morning trading.
10:13 EDTAAPLApple launch day lines generally as expected, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said the line at the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York was about 650 people long at 8 am EDT, compared to last year's record 1,880 people counted, but added that the shorter line was generally in-line with the firm's expectations. The analyst noted that iPhone "S" cycles have historically had shorter lines, that Apple has been promoting pre-orders and online sales, and that the addition of China as a launch country likely cut down on resellers that were in line. Munster said he's still comfortable with his 12M-13M unit estimate for the opening weekend and keeps an Overweight rating and $172 price target on Apple shares.
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