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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 16, 2014
09:23 EDTWAC, ABT, ARCC, NSM, PDS, FOX, TXT, HCA, FEYE, IBM, TWX, MTG, INTC, AAPL, MLNX, YHOO, FOXAOn 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%.
News For TWX;FOXA;AAPL;IBM;YHOO;INTC;FEYE;MLNX;MTG;ARCC;HCA;PDS;ABT;TXT;NSM;WAC;FOX From The Last 14 Days
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January 31, 2016
14:12 EDTAAPLApple should avoid 'dubious' M&A, focus on cloud, AI development, Barron's says
"Impatient" investors encouraging Apple (AAPL) to become a mere dividend payer or make "dubious" acquisitions are not making much sense, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Apple continues to innovate and its iPhone franchise "will endure," though the one area where Apple lags behind peers and "can and should" make progress is cloud computing, according to the publication. Alphabet (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) are making large strides in cloud and artificial intelligence, but the company still has "plenty of opportunity" to catch up given its product install base, Barron's says. Reference Link
13:47 EDTYHOOYahoo delay in seeking sale could force proxy fight, Barron's says
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11:39 EDTAAPLS&P falls 5% in January despite second straight winning week to close month
Stocks finished the month of January with two straight winning weeks, but investors are still glad to see the calendar flip as those winners only cut the S&P's loss to 5% for the month. With growth worries abounding amid troubling signs from China and as oil languishes below $35 per barrel, the manufacturing readings from China, Europe, and the U.S. due out on Monday will be essential to whether the new month continues the uptrend of the end of January or the dour tone that dominated the early half of the month. MACRO NEWS: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged following its policy meeting this week, as almost universally expected. In its accompanying statement, the central bank said its committee members expect that economic conditions will "evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate." The group added that inflation is expected to "remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2% over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"... In other domestic economic news, the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. New home sales surged 10.8% to a 544,000 annualized pace in December, topping expectations and hitting their highest level in 10 months. Initial jobless claims fell to 278,000 last week, versus the expected 281,000 first-time claims. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1% in December, versus expectations for a decrease of 0.7%. The core reading, which removes transportation items, was down 1.2%, versus expectations for a decline of 0.1%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast... In a surprising move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: McDonald's (MCD) advanced Monday after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S.... Earnings season accelerated Tuesday as four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posted results before the opening bell. 3M (MMM) was the top advanced on the index with a gain of over 5%, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and DuPont (DD) all notched gains that day following their reports as well... Apple (AAPL) declined more than 6.5% on Wednesday after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings that topped consensus estimates, but also issued revenue guidance for the new quarter that missed expectations. The company was noted by several analysts as taking a particularly downbeat tone in its earnings conference call, invoking the difficult macroeconomic environment and weakness it has recently seen in China. Apple was not the worst performer in the Dow that day, as Boeing (BA) shares plummeted nearly 9% after its profit outlook for the new fiscal year fell far short of the Street's consensus forecast... Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% on Thursday after the social media giant's fourth quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. A number of Wall Street analysts increased their price targets for the stock following the report, including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who hiked his target to a "Street-high" $170 per share. The same day, Caterpillar (CAT) reported better than expected quarterly earnings, excluding certain items, but its revenue came in below the consensus forecast and the heavy equipment maker warned that it does not anticipate an improvement in the world economy or commodity prices in 2016. The stock, which had declined almost 20% in the last three months prior to this morning's report, rebounded almost 5% after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... On Friday, shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined more than 7.5% after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings, gained almost 6%. Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44... Among the many others reporting earnings this week, Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Under Armour (UA), Sprint (S) and Biogen (BIIB) gained immediately following their reports, while Qualcomm (QCOM), eBay (EBAY), U.S. Steel (X), VMware (VMW) and Anthem (ANTM) all slid following their own... Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Terex (TEX) surged more than 36% higher on Tuesday after receiving a $30 per share acquisition offer from China's Zoomlion. Terex peers Manitowoc (MTW), Joy Global (JOY) and Oshkosh (OSK) also gained after the offer was disclosed... Weight Watchers (WTW) shares soared nearly 20% Tuesday after noted shareholder and partner Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video detailing her progress using the company's program, indicating that she'd already lost 26 pounds thanks to its plan... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over the next two years and announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. The company, under ongoing pressure from activist investors including Carl Icahn, also said it will publicly offer a portion of its United Guaranty unit, though it expressly rejected a full company breakup... SunEdison (SUNE) gained 18% during the week after agreeing to new corporate governance initiatives with David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, including amending its bylaws to restrict equity issuances for two years without a supermajority board vote... Twitter (TWTR) slumped nearly 6% this week after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 2.2% to close at 16,466.30; the S&P 500 rose about 1.6% to close at 1,940.24; the Nasdaq advanced about 0.4% to close at 4,613.95.
January 29, 2016
16:00 EDTAAPLOptions Update; January 29, 2016
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14:24 EDTHCAEarnings Watch: Aetna down 9% since last report
Aetna (AET) is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings before the market open on Monday, February 1, with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET. Aetna, a diversified health care benefits company in the United States, operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.21 on revenue of $14.93B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.16-$1.32 on revenue of $14.44B-$15.36B. LAST QUARTER: Aetna reported third quarter EPS of $1.90 on revenue of $14.97B against analyst estimates of $1.77 and $14.95B, respectively. The company raised its fiscal 2015 EPS view to $7.45-$7.55 from "at least $7.40." Operating earnings were $668.6M for Q315 compared with $638.6M for Q314. The increase in operating earnings was primarily due to higher underwriting margins in Aetna's Health Care segment, partially offset by an increase in general and administrative expenses and lower underwriting margins in Aetna's Group Insurance segment. On January 11, Aetna said it see FY15 EPS at the high end of the $7.45-$7.55 range. Consensus for FY15 EPS is $7.54. STREET RESEARCH: On January 15, Wells Fargo said it expects health insurers' stock to do well this year, as the firm expects M&A deals made the last years to increase profits this year, and it thinks investors should be attracted to what it sees as the defensive names in the sector. Wells does not believe that any changes to or replacements of the ACA will be worse for the sector than the status quo. It identified Aetna and HCA Holdings (HCA) as its favorite names in the sector. On January 25, Leerink analyst Ana Gupte said she believed the recent selloff has provided a "strong" buying opportunity in the Managed Care space. Valuations are attractive on multiple metrics, Gupte told investors in a research note. Her top picks are UnitedHealth (UNH), Aetna, Humana (HUM) and Molina Healthcare (MOH). The analyst also favors Anthem (ANTM) and Cigna (CI). PRICE ACTION: Shares of Aetna are down approximately 9% since its last earnings report. The stock is up 2.6% to $101.42 in Friday afternoon trading ahead of Monday morning's report.
12:53 EDTFOX, FOXABox Office Battle: 'Kung Fu Panda 3' expected to kick 'Revenant' from top spot
DreamWorks Animation's (DWA) "Kung Fu Panda 3" featuring Jack Black is expected to break the record for the largest January opening for an animated feature, topping the opening of "The Nut Job" in 2014. The first two films in the "Kung Fu Panda" franchise took in $60.2M and $47.6M, respectively, in their opening weekends and grossed a total of nearly $1.3B worldwide. With a strong base of Po the Panda fans and the popularity of a recent TV show, conservative early estimates say "Panda 3" is expected to bring in $35M-$50M. Also opening this weekend are Disney's (DIS) "The Finest Hours," starring Chris Pine, and Open Road Films' "Fifty Shades of Black," starring Marlon Wayans. "The Finest Hours" may disappoint, with expectations topping out at $10M in its opening weekend. "Fifty Shades of Black," meanwhile, is the latest spoof movie from the team of Wayans and Michael Tiddes from "Haunted House" fame. The last film from Wayans had an opening weekend of $8.8M, and this one is currently expected to take in a similar amount. Both films will battle with Fox's (FOX, FOXA) survival story and Oscar contender "The Revenant," starring Leonardo Dicaprio, and Disney's (DIS) "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" for spots in the top five. "The Revenant" and "Star Wars" should each take in $9M-$12M even as they continue to lose theaters this coming weekend. Other publicly traded companies involved in filmmaking include Lionsgate (LGF), Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), and Sony (SNE).
10:56 EDTFEYEIT security stocks rise after Fortinet meets expectations
The shares of a number of IT security companies are rising after one of the companies in the sector, Fortinet (FTNT), reported in-line fourth quarter results last night. JPMorgan and RBC Capital were upbeat on the company's outlook. WHAT'S NEW: Fortinet reported Q4 EPS of 18c, in line with analysts' consensus outlook. The company's revenue was also in-line with the consensus outlook, while its billings jumped 35% versus the same period a year earlier. Moreover, Fortinet's fiscal 2016 guidance also came in near consensus estimates. ANALYST REACTION: Fortinet's results show that it is gaining market share, especially overseas and among U.S. small and medium businesses, JPMorgan analyst Sterling Auty stated. Additionally, the company's margins look set to reach about 15% in fiscal 2016, up from 13% the previous year, and its free cash flow should jump 33% in fiscal 2016, the analyst predicted. He kept a $54 price target and Overweight rating on the shares, saying the quarter should bring a "welcomed lift" following the recent selloff in shares. Fortinet's guidance suggests that it will have more leverage than expected in fiscal 2016, but its outlook is also "somewhat conservative," RBC Capital analyst Dan Bergstrom wrote. Fortinet's stock is relatively cheap versus its peers and its historical norms, the analyst believes. However, he kept a $32 price target and Sector Perform rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Yesterday morning IT security company Check Point (CHKP) reported stronger than expected Q4 results and provided in-line fiscal 2016 EPS guidance, excluding certain items. Last night IT security company Proofpoint (PFPT) reported in-line Q4 results but provided lower than expected fiscal 2016 EPS guidance. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Fortinet climbed 6% to $28. Other IT security companies also advanced, with Palo Alto (PANW) surging 7.5%, Barracuda (CUDA) gaining 2.5% to $10.60, FireEye (FEYE) rising 1.5% to $14, Check Point adding 1% to $77.70 and Symantec (SYMC) rising 1.2% to $129.75.
10:36 EDTAAPLActive puts @ CBOE: IWM VMW NEM SPY XRT AAPL
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10:27 EDTABT, AAPLActive calls: IWM F DXJ ABT FXI AAPL EEM COP
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10:15 EDTAAPLApple may look into developing original shows for i Tunes, The Street reports
Apple is talking to TV producers and Hollywood studios about investing and developing original TV shows, reports The Street. According to two people with knowledge of the overtures, Apple has begun sounding out studios although it has yet to sign any agreements. One deal would have Apple announcing exclusive content as part of a cable-like offering in September. Reference Link
10:05 EDTPDSOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: American Equity (AEL) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital... Calpine (CPN) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... Diamondback Energy (FANG) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Dynegy (DYN) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... ICF International (ICFI) initiated with a Market Perform at Barrington... Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust... Kite Pharma (KITE) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust... Match Group (MTCH) initiated with a Neutral at Susquehanna... Medifast (MED) initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich... NRG Energy (NRG) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim... NRG Yield (NYLD) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... Nutrisystem (NTRI) initiated with a Buy at Wunderlich... Parsley Energy (PE) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Precision Drilling (PDS) initiated with a Hold at Canaccord... RSP Permian (RSPP) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital... Taylor Morrison (TMHC) initiated with a Neutral at Citi... Tortoise North American Energy (TYN) initiated with a Neutral at Guggenheim... WisdomTree (WETF) initiated with a Neutral at Northcoast.
10:05 EDTABTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Abbott (ABT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... Chuy's (CHUY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Cypress Semiconductor (CY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... Darden (DRI) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Dominion (D) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Ensco (ESV) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... First Financial (FFIN) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Sandler O'Neill... Global Partners (GLP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Mitsubishi UFJ... Investors Bancorp (ISBC) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Compass Point... NetScout (NTCT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham... Precision Castparts (PCP) downgraded to Sell from Buy at Gabelli... Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Synaptics (SYNA) downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham... Terex (TEX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Avondale... UniCredit (UNCFF) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg... United Rentals (URI) downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna... Xcel Energy (XEL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.
09:34 EDTAAPLActive equity options trading on open: AMZN MSFT FB AAPL GILD GE
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08:28 EDTAAPLEnergous rises after Apple said to be at work on wireless charging
A Bloomberg report that said Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology did not mention Energous (WATT), which is a development-stage company exploring technology that can enable wire-free charging for electronic devices. In pre-market trading, Energous shares rose 10% to $5.25.
07:38 EDTPDSPrecision Drilling initiated with a Hold at Canaccord
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07:03 EDTINTCProofpoint results suggest demand remains strong, says Piper Jaffray
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06:38 EDTWACWalter Investment announces acquisition of certain assets from RCS
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06:37 EDTABTAbbott downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair
William Blair analyst Margaret Kaczor downgraded Abbott Laboratories to Market Perform citing a more bearish outlook on the potential for near-term transformative or accretive transactions due to management's comments on the earnings call. The analyst also sees risk of further downside to the company's emerging market businesses.
06:28 EDTAAPLApple working on wireless-charged phone, Bloomberg says
Apple is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to create new wireless charging technology that could work on mobile devices possibly as soon as next year, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the plans. Apple is eyeing new technologies that would allow iPhones and ipads to be powered from further away than charging mats, the report says. Reference Link
06:14 EDTFOX, FOXASky names James Murdoch chairman, WSJ reports
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