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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 24, 2014
07:38 EDTUALUnited Continental announes $1B share repurchase program
United Continental authorized a $1B share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete within the next three years. This amount represents approximately 6% of the company's market capitalization as of yesterday's closing stock price. Additionally, in Q2, the company spent $62M to retire convertible debt that would have converted into approximately 1.5M shares of UAL common stock.
News For UAL From The Last 14 Days
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July 1, 2015
17:05 EDTUALJetBlue not contacted by Justice Department, Bloomberg says
JetBlue (JBLU) said it has not been contacted by the U.S. Justice Department regarding potential collusion within the industry, Bloomberg reports, citing emailed statements. On the other hand, American Airlines (AAL), Southwest (LUV), and United (UAL) have all confirmed receiving letters from the Department, noting that the information request covers the past two years.
16:28 EDTUALOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks on Wall Street opened higher amid hopes for a resolution to the Greek debt crisis. The market also received help from positive reports from the ISM on manufacturing and ADP on the labor market. The averages saw their highs shortly after the open and then gradually drifted off those highs, while moving in a fairly narrow range. Investors will now be looking to the release of tomorrow’s nonfarm payrolls report, which will be out a day earlier than normal due to the Independence Day holiday. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., ADP reported the private sector added 237,000 jobs in June, versus expectations for 218,000 job additions. Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers' index for June came in at 53.6, narrowly above the 53.4 forecast. ISM's manufacturing index rose to 53.5 in June, topping May's 52.8 reading and the 53.2 consensus forecast. Construction spending rose 0.8% in May, versus the expected growth of 0.5%. In China, manufacturing PMIs came in short of expectations. The HSBC/Markit PMI slipped to a final 49.4 in June from the flash reading of 49.6, while the government's official manufacturing PMI fell to 50.1 in June from 50.9 in May. In Europe, Greece officially missed its $1.7B payment to the International Monetary Fund last night. Reports then indicated that Greece's government was willing to make concessions that get it much closer to creditor demands. The new proposal for budget cuts and policy overhauls from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was dismissed by European officials, however, and Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that he sees no need for further talks on Greece at this point and that he awaits the result of this Sunday's scheduled referendum. COMPANY NEWS: In a blockbuster deal in the insurance industry, ACE Limited (ACE) agreed to acquire Chubb (CB) in a cash and stock transaction valued in excess of $28B that will create the number one global Property and Casualty insurance company by P&C underwriting income and the number two U.S. public P&C insurer by market cap. ACE shares advanced 77c, or 0.76%, to $102.45 following the deal announcement, while Chubb surged $25.63, or 26.94%, to $120.77... U.S. airline stocks dropped after the Associated Press reported that the Justice Department is investigating potential "unlawful coordination" between companies attempting to artificially limit growth to keep fares high. Shares of American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest (LUV), United Continental (UAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) all closed lower by between 1.4% to 3.4% following the report. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Schnitzer Steel (SCHN), which advanced 13.45% to $19.82 after BofA Merrill Lynch upgraded the shares two notches to Buy from Underperform and raised its price target to $21, saying scrap pricing should be nearing a trough with stability expected ahead. Also higher were shares of Dycom (DY), which gained 7.87% to $63.48 following a fourth quarter guidance hike, an announcement of a $40M repurchase plan and an upgrade to Buy at DA Davidson. Among the noteworthy losers was Baxter (BAX), which fell 44.43% to $38.86 after its spin-off of Baxalta (BXLT), whose shares fell 1.38% to $31.50. Baxter was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse after the research firm updated its valuation of Baxter to reflect the split. Also lower was Graham Holdings (GHC), which fell 35.48% to $693.63 after the company completed its spin-off of Cable ONE (CABO), whose shares lost 6.23% to $399. Additionally, shares of General Motors (GM) fell 0.87% to $33.04 after the company halted production at its Russian plant and reported June U.S. sales dropped 3%. INDEXES: The Dow rose 138.40, or 0.79%, to 17,757.91, the Nasdaq gained 26.26, or 0.53%, to 5,013.12, and the S&P 500 advanced 14.31, or 0.69%, to 2,077.42.
14:28 EDTUALAirlines fall after Justice Department said to probe possible collusion
Major U.S. airline stocks are dropping precipitously in intraday trading following a report of a Justice Department investigation into potential "unlawful coordination" between companies attempting to artificially limit growth to keep fares high. WHAT'S NEW: The Associated Press has obtained a document showing that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether major airlines might be colluding to slow their growth in order to maintain high airfares. A spokesperson for the Department confirmed that it is probing airlines over possible "unlawful coordination," though she did not name specific companies in the sector. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Today's report of possible collusion within the industry follows a period of volatility among airline stocks in late May and early June on concerns over undisciplined capacity growth and price competition. Following some recovery in the stocks, a Barron's cover story on June 20 predicated a potential 15%-50% upside in airlines and specifically cited high fares. PRICE ACTION: Shares of American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest (LUV), United Continental (UAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) are all down over 4.5% in afternoon trading and continue to drop.
13:57 EDTUALDOJ investigating whether airlines colluding on fares, AP reports
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June 30, 2015
08:12 EDTUALUnited Airlines announces $30M equity investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy
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June 29, 2015
10:08 EDTUALUnited Continental management to meet with Sterne Agee CRT
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June 26, 2015
12:03 EDTUALUnited Airlines and Azul Brazilian form long-term strategic partnership
United Airlines and Azul Brazilian Airlines announced a new strategic partnership in which United will acquire an approximate 5% stake in Azul, paving the way for the carriers to cooperate on a range of customer benefits including codesharing of flights, expanded connection opportunities on routes between the United States and Brazil, in addition to other points in North and South America, and joint loyalty-program participation. Through a wholly owned subsidiary, United will invest $100M for its economic stake in Azul, which includes one seat on Azul's board of directors. As a result of the partnership, United and Azul will expand their frequent flyer loyalty agreement.
June 23, 2015
07:11 EDTUALUnited Continental coverage assumed with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
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June 22, 2015
11:43 EDTUALStocks with call strike movement; AAL UAL
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07:19 EDTUALAirlines focusing on upgraded in-flight web services, WSJ reports
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June 21, 2015
13:03 EDTUALU.S. airline stocks may rise 15%-50% in one year, Barron's says
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June 19, 2015
16:59 EDTUALBuckeye, airlines agree to settle FERC disputes
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11:09 EDTUALDelta climbs following upgrade, reported fare hike
The shares of Delta Air Lines (DAL) are rising after research firm Wolfe Research upgraded the stock to Outperform from Peer Perform in a note to investors earlier today. Additionally, JPMorgan says Delta appears to have instituted a domestic fare increase yesterday. WHAT'S NEW: Delta's new deal with its pilots on profit sharing removes an unknown that had been facing the company, Wolfe wrote. Additionally, the airlines seems to be implementing additional domestic capacity cuts, the firm stated. As a result, Wolfe slightly increased its passenger revenue per available seat mile, or PRASM, estimate for the company. Furthermore, expectations for Delta's Q3 PRASM have dropped significantly, even though the airlines recently said that its PRASM should turn positive in Q4. Consensus estimates for Delta now look "reasonable" for this year and beatable in 2016, according to Wolfe, which set a $62 price target on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: JPMorgan said Delta appears to have instituted an additional, $2 one-way across-the-board domestic fare increase yesterday, following last week's industry-wide increase. The firm sees "no harm" in Delta trying, but adds it would be surprised to see material support from the discounters. JPMorgan said it remains "puzzled" as to why airline industry stock sentiment is so negative since discipline among the companies is "alive and kicking." The firm has an Overweight rating on Delta. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other publicly traded airline operators include American Airlines (AAL), JetBlue (JBLU), Southwest (LUV) and United Continental (UAL). PRICE ACTIOn: In late morning trading, Delta rose 2.5% to $42.38.
June 18, 2015
10:21 EDTUALSouthwest, Spirit retreat after analysts downgrade shares
Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Spirit Airlines (SAVE) are falling after both airline stocks received downgrades from research firms this morning. Barclays downgraded Southwest, while Credit Suisse cut its rating on Spirit. WHAT'S NEW: Barclays analyst David Fintzen lowered his rating on Southwest to Underweight from Overweight, saying that the stock's valuation is above peer levels even though its outlook is no better than its large competitors. Moreover, the company's margins could drop in 2016 because of its "outsized growth," the analyst warned. Credit Suisse analyst Julie Yates downgraded Spirit Airlines to Neutral from Outperform, as she believes the airlines is facing more aggressive competitor fares. American Airlines (AAL) is offering lower fares than Spirit on five of the latter company's ten top ten routes for travel two months from reservation dates, the analyst stated. Moreover, Spirit's second quarter margins may come in below its guidance and the airline will probably reduce its margin outlook when its reports its Q2 results in late July, Yates predicted. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Barclays' Fintzen was more upbeat on Spirit, continuing to identify it as his top pick among airlines. More broadly, Fintzen remains generally upbeat on airline stocks, predicting that the industry's profitability will be "far more durable" than the market believes. The sector's competition is balanced, and it has increased its capacity and airplane purchases much less than in prior periods of oil price declines, according to Fintzen. Additionally, the airline stocks' multiples remain overly depressed, he believes. He says that the following stock in the sector can climb about 50%: Spirit, American, Delta (DAL), and United (UAL). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Southwest dropped 2.2% to $33.11 and Spirit slid 2.4% to $60.91.
05:41 EDTUALSouthwest downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at Barclays
Barclays analyst David Fintzen downgraded Southwest (LUV) two notches to Underweight from Overweight saying the company has moved from a margin expansion story to an "average" big four airline trading at a premium valuation. Fintzen expects Southwest's growth to normalize in 2016 and cut his price target for shares to $39 from $50. The stock closed yesterday down 7c to $33.84. The analyst coupled the downgrade with an upgrade of Align Technology (ALGN) to Equal Weight. He remains bullish on airlines, with Spirit Airlines (SAVE) remaining his top pick, followed by Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL) and United Continental (UAL). Fintzen sees 50% average upside in those four names.

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