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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

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August 6, 2014
12:12 EDTWPX, TAP, WAG, FOXA, NUS, ENPH, SFTBF, S, TWX, FUEL, GRPN, BAC, TMUSOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in negative territory in what appeared to be a continuation of yesterday’s sell-off. However, by mid-morning the averages crossed into positive territory where they have remained into the lunch hour. Events from abroad continue to move U.S. markets, as European stock markets responded unfavorably to weaker than expected economic data in Italy and Germany, and investors keep an eye on the unfolding stand-offs in Russia and Israel. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the trade deficit narrowed to $41.5B in June from a revised $44.7B in May. In Europe, Italian GDP unexpectedly contracted 0.2% in Q2, putting the country into a technical recession, while German manufacturing orders surprised with a 3.2% June drop. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Time Warner (TWX) declined nearly 12% despite the company reporting quarterly earnings that surpassed the consensus expectation, as its results were overshadowed by other news, namely 21st Century Fox (FOXA) withdrawing its offer to buy the company. Fox Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said Time Warner management and its board refused to engage and that the reaction in its own share price since its initial proposal was made "undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders." Meanwhile, class A shares of 21st Century Fox, which also authorized the repurchase of an additional $6B of its stock, rose 5%... Another deal being abandoned drove shares of another prominent company lower, as Sprint (S) dropped 18% after replacing CEO Dan Hesse with Marcelo Claure and reportedly gave up on its plans to try to combine with the fourth largest U.S. mobile carrier, T-Mobile (TMUS). Shares of T-Mobile also sunk nearly 7%, though The Wall Street Journal, citing a source, said that Iliad (ILIAF) will continue to pursue its bid for T-Mobile, though the French company sees no immediate need to boost its own offer after Sprint and parent Softbank (SFTBF) appear to have walked away... Bank of America (BAC) increased its quarterly dividend to 5c per share from 1c per share, marking the bank’s first quarterly common stock dividend increase in seven years. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was brewer Molson Coors (TAP), which rose 6% after the company's second quarter profits topped expectations. Also higher following their earnings reports were Enphase Energy (ENPH), which gained 20%, and WPX Energy (WPX), which advanced 12%. Among the noteworthy losers was Walgreen (WAG), which dropped 12% after the company exercised its option to acquire the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots that it does not already own but said its purchase of the rest of Boots will not be a "tax inversion" deal, as many had been expecting. Walgreen also authorized a $3B share repurchase program and raised its dividend by 7.1%, though the capital return plans did not appear to be enough to offset investor disappointment over the lack of an inversion pursuit. Also lower following their earnings reports were Groupon (GRPN), which fell 16%, Rocket Fuel (FUEL), which plunged 27%, and Nu Skin (NUS), which declined 24%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 53.37, or 0.32%, to 16,482.84, the Nasdaq was up 25.50, or 0.59%, to 4,378.34, and the S&P 500 was up 6.91, or 0.36%, to 1,927.12.
News For TWX;FOXA;TMUS;S;WAG;BAC;SFTBF;TAP;GRPN;ENPH;WPX;FUEL;NUS From The Last 14 Days
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February 23, 2015
11:35 EDTTWXAmazon picks Benson to head advertising for original TV series, Variety says
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10:17 EDTFUELOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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09:12 EDTFOXADiscovery volatility flat into 21st Century Fox denied it held talks
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08:57 EDTTMUST-Mobile releases teaser image of Samsung Galaxy S6, The Verge says
T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO John Legere released a teaser image of Samsung's (SSNLF) upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone and also confirmed the carrier will offer the S6, reports The Verge, citing tweets and a T-Mobile website. The teaser image suggest a metal backing and curved screen edges on both sides of the phone. An official reveal is expected March 1. Reference Link
08:55 EDTFOXAFox News' O'Reilly defending statements, NY Times reports
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08:33 EDTFOXA'Fifty Shades' ticket sales retain top spot at box office, Reuters says
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07:38 EDTTWXComcast, AT&T deals could be delayed by document access case, WSJ says
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07:00 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox says 'no truth' in rumors of Discovery talks, Reuters reports
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06:34 EDTFOXA21st Century Fox, Discovery held preliminary merger talks, AFR reports
21st Century Fox (FOXA) executives met with their counterparts at Discovery Communications (DISCA) nearly two weeks ago to discuss a possible takeover offer, The Australian Financial Review reports, citing sources. According to the sources, discussions were "nascent" and talks are in the "very, very early days." A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox has denied talks took place. Reference Link
February 20, 2015
16:20 EDTFUELOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in negative territory with time running out for Greece to reach an extension of its bailout agreement. The morning was filled with headlines from both Greek and eurozone finance leaders, many of which indicated that prospects for a deal looked grim. When reports surfaced that an agreement on an extension had been reached the Dow took off and hit its first new high of 2015. The S&P 500 followed to its own new high and the Nasdaq continued to close in on the 5,000 level. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's flash PMI rose to 54.3 in February, versus the consensus forecast for a preliminary reading of 53.6 for the month. In Europe, the Eurogroup and Greece reached a tentative deal for an extension of the current EFSF Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement for up to four months. The deal is predicated on Greek authorities presenting a first list of reform measures, based on the current arrangement, by the end of Monday. Also, the Eurozone flash composite PMI came in at 53.5, versus expectations for a reading of 53. The services PMI was better than expected, while the manufacturing PMI was lower than expected. COMPANY NEWS: Deere reported Q1 earnings per share of $1.12 and revenue of $6.38B, which beat consensus forecasts of 84c and $5.59B, respectively. However, Deere said company equipment sales are projected to decrease about 17% for fiscal 2015 and now sees net income to be about $1.8B, which is down from the company's prior net income outlook of $1.9B. Analysts at Wells Fargo calculate that the implied EPS guidance from Deere dropped to $5.25 from $5.50. Consensus for FY15 EPS prior to Deere's report was $5.51. Shares of the farm, construction and forestry equipment maker rose 72c, or 0.79%, to $92.43 following this morning's report. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was National Bank of Greece (NBG), whose shares trading in New York jumped 35c, or 21.74%, to $1.96 after the Greek aid extension deal was negotiated. Also higher was Springleaf (LEAF), which gained $4.40, or 12.88%, to $38.57 after Reuters reported that the company has beaten out rival bidders and is in advanced talks to buy consumer finance unit OneMain Financial from Citigroup (C) for more than $4B. Two stock that dropped after their earnings reports prompted multiple analyst downgrades were Noodles & Company (NDLS), which plunged $8.84, or 31.87%, to $18.90, and Rocket Fuel (FUEL), which fell $3.95, or 26.74%, to $10.82. INDEXES: The Dow rose 154.67, or 0.86%, to 18,140.44, the Nasdaq gained 31.27, or 0.63%, to 4,955.97, and the S&P 500 advanced 12.85, or 0.61%, to 2,110.30.
13:56 EDTTMUSAT&T VP critical of Dish auction tactics
AT&T (T) VP of Federal Regulatory Joan Marsh stated in a post to a corporate blog that FCC Auction 97 represents "hard evidence that there is significant continuing interest in licensed spectrum... It didn't matter that it was mid-band spectrum. It mattered only that it was broadband spectrum." Marsh notes that Dish (DISH) won more licenses than any other bidder though "none of that spectrum is currently supporting commercial wireless services," with her suggestion being that "auctions should be designed to ensure that licenses go to those willing to deploy networks – not speculators or stockpilers...The government should continue to place a high priority on allocating new licensed bands to the wireless industry." Marsh continues her analysis of Dish, claiming the double and triple-bidding activity carried out by its two designated entities "circumvented auction activity rules, masked actual demand and distorted the auction," as they were able to win significant allocations while enjoying a 25% small business discount. In response to Dish claims that all companies use DEs, Marsh replies that "in more recent auctions... bidders like AT&T, Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) had no DE relationships, participated directly and paid full price for their licenses." Reference Link
12:49 EDTFUELOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:12 EDTFUELRocket Fuel gets multiple downgrades after earnings, but Janney still positive
Shares of Rocket Fuel (FUEL) are plunging after the company reported lower than expected fourth quarter revenue and provided first quarter revenue guidance that came in below expectations. Several analysts responded to the news by downgrading the stock, but research firm Janney Capital wrote that the company's potential reward still outweighs its risks. Rocket Fuel has developed a decision making and modeling platform that is based on big data and artificial intelligence. WHAT'S NEW: Rocket Fuel reported a Q4 per share loss, excluding certain items, of (18c), versus analysts' consensus estimate of a (21c) per share loss. The company's revenue came in at $139.5M, versus the consensus outlook of $147M. Rocket Fuel provided Q1 revenue guidance of $57M-$58M, versus the consensus outlook of $69.5M. Of note, the company said, "Given the limited visibility inherent in our rapidly growing and changing industry, Rocket Fuel is only providing specific financial guidance for the first quarter of 2015." ANALYST REACTION: A number of firms downgraded Rocket Fuel following the company's results. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight, saying that the company's transition to "more of a software platform" has made its risk/reward ratio unattractive, while its results raise questions about its business model. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein downgraded the shares to Perform from Outperform, as he believes that the company lacks positive catalysts. Needham also downgraded the shares, cutting its rating on the stock to Hold from Buy. Although Rocket Fuel provided "very disappointing" Q1 guidance and the company is running into difficulties selling its products at trading desks, the company can overcome its challenges over time, Janney Capital analyst Murali Sankar contended. Rocket Fuel has started to build stronger relationships with the executives of trading firms, according to the analyst, who lowered his fair value estimate on the shares to $17.50 from $25.50, but kept a Buy rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Rocket Fuel fell 25% to $11. Over the last year the stock is down about 79%.
10:30 EDTGRPNOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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10:01 EDTFUELOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:15 EDTFUELRocket Fuel downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
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08:57 EDTFUELRocket Fuel potenial reward still outweighs risks, says Janney Capital
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08:21 EDTFUELRocket Fuel downgraded on lack of catalysts
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08:04 EDTFUELRocket Fuel downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham
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06:01 EDTFUELRocket Fuel downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
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