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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 2, 2013
09:22 EDTAFFY, UNH, HPQ, T, INO, HUM, NDAQ, VZ, EZPW, AET, OMPI, BGCP, VODOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Obagi Medical (OMPI), up 14.9% after Mez Pharma proposes to acquire Obagi for $22 per share... Nuance (NUAN), up 8.5% after Carl Icahn reports 9.27% passive stake... Vodafone (VOD), up 5.2% after FT Alphaville says Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) may consider offer to break-up and buy Vodafone assets... Humana (HUM), up 9.4%, UnitedHealth (UNH), up 4.2%, Aetna (AET), up 4.2%, after CMS issues final 2014 Medicare Advantage rates that were significantly better than original announcement... BGC Partners (BGCP), up 44.2% after selling treasuries platform to Nasdaq (NDAQ) for up to $1.234B in cash and stock. Nasdaq shares down 5.4% in pre-market after deal announced... ALSO LOWER: Inovio (INO), down 13.3% after collaborator ChronTech reports interim Phase II results from study of vaccine to treat hepatitis C virus... Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), down 4.3% following downgrade to Sell rating at Goldman... EZCORP (EZPW), down 3.1% after downgrade to Underperform at FBR Capital... DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Affymax (AFFY), down 9.6%.
News For VOD;VZ;T;BGCP;NDAQ;HPQ;OMPI;HUM;UNH;AET;INO;AFFY;EZPW From The Last 14 Days
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January 29, 2016
14:24 EDTAET, HUM, UNHEarnings 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.
13:19 EDTINOOptions with increasing call volume: EXP FLIR SYN INO PBR VMEM EPI GILD EA
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13:10 EDTAETAetna technical comments ahead of earnings
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10:03 EDTINOHigh option volume stocks: GIMO CSOD NAVI ALGN IMPV LC INO FMC VMW RCII
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09:21 EDTINOOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 17.7%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 10%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 10%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 5.7%... Seagate Technology (STX), up 4.9%.. Microsoft (MSFT), up 4.6%. ALSO HIGHER: Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), up 8.1% after CEO says Zika vaccine could enter human testing this year... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 2.1% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... BRF S.A. (BRFS), up 3.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Axiall (AXLL), up 83.4% after rejecting $20 per share acquisition proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK)... Energous (WATT), up 12% after Bloomberg reported that Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 10.1%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 6.2%... AbbVie (ABBV), down 4%... American Airlines (AAL), down 1.3%. ALSO LOWER: Gilead Sciences (GILD), down 5.5% after CEO John Martin to assume role of executive chairman and COO John Milligan will be promoted to CEO.
08:52 EDTINOInovio rises as CEO says Zika vaccine could enter human testing this year
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) shares are rising again this morning as the Zika virus continues to gain attention and its CEO says the company is "ahead of the pack" in developing a vaccine to combat the disease. YEAR END TESTING POSSIBLE: Joseph Kim, CEO of Inovio, said making a vaccine available by the end of this year is aggressive, but possible, according to Reuters, which quoted Kim as saying, "I believe this will be the first to go into human testing. We believe we're ahead of the pack in the race for a Zika vaccine." WHAT'S NOTABLE: The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan, said the Zika virus, which has been linked to neurological ailments, especially in fetuses and newborns, is "now spreading explosively" in the Americas. WHO now predicts that Zika could infect as many as 4M people in the Americas. ANOTHER TO WATCH: Cerus (CERS) is also at work on combating Zika. A study, partially funded by Cerus, showed that amotosalen combined with UVA light inactivates Zika virus in fresh-frozen plasma, according to an earlier report. PRICE ACTION: Inovio shares, which gained over 7.5% yesterday, are up another 9% to $6.30 in pre-market trading.
07:03 EDTAETAetna volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Aetna February weekly call option implied volatility is at 47, February and March is at 38; compared to its 52-week range of 18 to 44, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 1.
05:24 EDTTAT&T implied volatility of 16 at lower end of index mean range
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January 28, 2016
17:01 EDTAETAetna enters four-year reinsurance arrangement with Vitality Re VII
Aetna announced it has entered into a four-year reinsurance arrangement with Vitality Re VII. The arrangement allows Aetna to reduce its required capital and provides $200M of collateralized excess of loss reinsurance coverage on a portion of Aetna's group commercial health insurance business.
16:40 EDTINO, VZOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Thursday
The Dow began the session with triple digit gains thanks in part to solid earnings reports from some of America's bellwether corporations and oil prices, which approached $34 a barrel. The market was unable to hold its opening gains and eventually crossed into negative territory. Before the losses became too big the averages reversed and moved back across the flat line. With oil holding onto its gains and closing above $33 a barrel, the averages closed in positive territory ahead of the next barrage of earnings reports. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., 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 National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index for December rose 0.1%, versus expectations for it to be up 0.9%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% to $109.11 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. Facebook management made only one mention of macro concerns for the business in 2016, significantly different than Apple's (AAPL) earnings call on Tuesday night, Munster pointed out... 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 4.7% to $61.08 after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... Under Armour (UA), which had similarly been the focus of concern recently for some bearish analysts, posted better than expected results on the top and bottom line and backed its fiscal year revenue forecast, proving its doubters wrong and sending its share rocketing up 22.5% to $84.00. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Intrexon (XON), Inovio (INO) and Cerus (CERS), which gained a respective 10%, 7.6% and 1.4% as the ongoing Zika virus scare brought attention to the companies' efforts fighting the illness. Also higher were SolarCity (SCTY), Sunrun (RUN) and Vivint Solar (VSLR), with the solar stocks jumping 8.5%, 20.5% and 3.6%, respectively, after the California Public Utilities Commission approved new net-metering rules. Meanwhile, Eagle Pharmaceuticals (EGRX) rose 12.2% to $74.44 after announcing commercial availability of its Bendeka injection in partnership with Teva (TEVA). Among the noteworthy losers was Yahoo (YHOO), which lost 3.2% to $28.75 despite a pre-market spike after SpringOwl Asset Management urged the company to seek an investment from a strategic partner. The news was also followed by reports that CEO Marissa Mayer has started restructuring efforts with an "invest/maintain/kill" list, as well as news that Verizon (VZ) denied a report that it had bid for the company's core Internet business. Also lower were OSI Systems (OSIS), Qualcomm (QCOM) and eBay (EBAY), which fell a respective 31.8%, 8.3% and 12.5% following their quarterly earnings reports. INDEXES: The Dow rose 125.18, or 0.79%, to 16,069.64, the Nasdaq gained 38.51, or 0.86%, to 4,506.68, and the S&P 500 advanced 10.41, or 0.55%, to 1,893.36.
15:18 EDTHPQXcel Brands collaborates with HP Inc. to create Isaac Mizrahi smartwatch
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12:49 EDTINOCerus spikes as journal discusses treatment of Zika virus
Shares of Cerus (CERS) are rallying after a Transfusion journal article posted on Read Cube made its way through the investment community. The article describes a study, partially funded by Cerus, which showed that amotosalen combined with UVA light inactivates Zika virus in fresh-frozen plasma. Shares of Inovio (INO) are also higher today as news agencies report on more Zika virus cases. Cerus is up 36c to $5.55 in afternoon trading. Reference Link
07:16 EDTINOInovio, GeneOne initiate patient recruitment for MERS vaccine trial
Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced the beginning of recruitment for its collaborative vaccine study for MERS. Inovio and GeneOne Life Science Inc. are co-developing Inovio's MERS vaccine in partnership with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland, where the trial is being conducted. The primary and secondary goals of this first-in-man phase I trial are to obtain safety and immunogenicity data. This trial represents the first MERS vaccine to be tested in humans for this disease that has no approved vaccines or treatments.
07:07 EDTNDAQNasdaq reports Q4 EPS 89c, consensus 89c
Reports Q4 revenue $536M, consensus $530.16M. The company initiated 2016 non-GAAP operating expense guidance of $1.11B-$1.16B
07:04 EDTNDAQNasdaq CFO Lee Shavel to retire
Nasdaq announced that Lee Shavel, CFO and EVP, Corporate Strategy will retire, effective March 31. Shavel has accepted a position to join the board of a public company. Ron Hassen, SVP and Corporate Controller, Nasdaq, will serve as interim CFO, as the company conducts an active search to fill the role. Hassen has been with Nasdaq for nearly 15 years and previously served as interim CFO.
06:56 EDTVZVerizon denies report of bidding on Yahoo core business, CTFN says
Verizon (VZ) spokesperson for Bob Varettoni said the New York Post "was wrong" in reporting on January 23 that the telecom company made an offer to acquire Yahoo's (YHOO) Internet search business, reported CTFN. Varettoni told the publication: "The rumor's false...We've made no offer to acquire Yahoo." Reference Link
06:30 EDTVZ, TYahoo starts restructuring with 'invest/maintain/kill' list, Re/code reports
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06:24 EDTUNHAnthem added to Focus List at Citi
Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe added Anthem (ANTM) to his firm's Focus List. As Anthem and Express Scripts (ESRX) continue to negotiate their pharmacy benefits manager contract, the analyst sees UnitedHealth (UNH) as a potential alternative for Anthem. Regardless of the outcome, Anthem is in the "driver's seat for significant savings/upside," which is not reflected in the stock. Giacobbe tells investors in a research note. He keeps a Buy rating on the name with a $172 price target.
05:44 EDTVZ, TSpringOwl calls for Yahoo, Viacom to seek partners, Reuters reports
SpringOwl Asset Management, which holds undisclosed stakes in Yahoo (YHOO) and Viacom (VIA), is urging the boards of both companies to seek investments from strategic partner, Reuters reports, citing an article that is set to be published today. SpringOwl managing director Eric Jackson says that "Although some shareholders of both Yahoo and Viacom think that a simple sale or break-up of both companies is the best way to create value for shareholders, we believe that both companies could benefit from their own version of the 'Buffett Convert,'" and that while stakes of investors would be diluted if an outside investor steps in, but "they would still be better off because their shares would likely get re-rated upwards substantially with this new partner sitting around the board table." Jackson believes Yahoo should seek outside investment from Liberty Media (LMCA), Verizon (VZ) or AT&T (T), while Viacom would benefit from Alibaba (BABA), Amazon (AMZN) or AMC Entertainment (AMC). Reference Link
05:41 EDTTAT&T implied volatility of 17 at lower end of index mean range
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