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April 2, 2013
09:22 EDTINO, HUM, NDAQ, VZ, EZPW, AET, OMPI, BGCP, VOD, AFFY, UNH, HPQ, TOn 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%.
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September 23, 2015
12:27 EDTVZOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
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12:02 EDTVZIntel joins Verizon 5G Technology Forum
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11:48 EDTT, VZSynchronoss drops after concerns raised about Verizon cloud business
After Verizon (VZ) recently reduced the amount of free cloud storage it provides to customers as part of its cost cutting efforts, analysts at Baird told investors they were "increasingly concerned" that the telecom giant is "no longer fully committed" to the white-label cloud product it offers via its agreement with cloud services provider Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR). Analysts at two other firms have issued defenses of Synchronoss in the wake of its sharp decline today. BEARISH VIEW: After Version cut its free cloud storage to 5GB from 25GB, Baird said it believed the Telco is less committed to Synchronoss' cloud offering, which the firm contended will "likely have revenue implications for 2016." The firm, which said it has had a negative bias on Synchronoss due to long-term cloud competitive concerns and the lack of growth outside of AT&T (T) and Verizon, has a Neutral rating on the cloud services provider's shares. DEFENSES: JPMorgan analyst Sterling Auty attributes today's pullback in shares of Synchronoss to the concerns raised about the potential loss of Verizon as a cloud customer. Auty, however, sees "no chance" of Synchronoss losing Verizon as a customer in the near-term since the wireless carrier recently renewed its contract with the company for multiple years. He views today's selloff as a "significant overreaction" and recommends buying Synchronoss at current levels. Also noting concerns raised about Synchronoss' potential loss of some cloud business, Wells Fargo said even if Synchronoss' cloud business exhibited zero growth in 2016 from 2015, shares would be compelling at current levels. The firm views the selloff as overdone and reiterates its Overweight rating on Synchronoss shares. PRICE ACTION: Synchronoss shares, which dipped as low as $27.86 this morning, are off their worst levels but remain down $4.65 to $32.74 in late morning trading.
10:52 EDTVZSynchronoss Technologies volatility spikes on sharp pull back
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10:51 EDTVZJPMorgan says 'no chance' Synchronoss loses Verizon in near-term
JPMorgan analyst Sterling Auty attributes today's pullback in shares of Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR) to a research note from Baird talking about the potential loss of Verizon (VZ) as a cloud customer. The comments come after the wireless carrier changed the pricing in the Verizon cloud offering. Auty sees "no chance" of Synchronoss losing Verizon as a customer in the near-term since the wireless carrier recently renewed its contract with the company for multiple years. He views today's selloff as a "significant overreaction" and recommends buying Synchronoss at current levels. Shares are off their lows but remain down $5.91 to $31.48 in morning trading.
10:44 EDTNDAQChinese Internet stock pullback a buying opportunity, CLSA says
Shares of multiple Chinese Internet companies are down again in morning trading amid more weak economic data from the Asian nation. However, research firm CLSA released a note making favorable comments and evaluations of several of the country's largest Internet players amid the economic slowdown. LITTLE IMPACT FROM SLOWDOWN: After 25 Chinese Internet and telecom companies attended CLSA's Investors' Forum, analyst Elinor Leung stated that Internet companies in China reported that they have been little affected by growing weakness in the nation's economy. Leung said that such companies have attributed their successful performance to a high savings rate, which increases consumer spending power, as well as gains in offline market share. Additionally, companies already listed may benefit from a weak A-share market in China, since smaller companies do not have access to financing and the slow market speeds up consolidation, Leung noted. RATINGS CHANGES: CLSA upgraded online travel service provider Ctrip (CTRP) to Buy from Outperform and maintained an $85 price target on its shares, while also raising its rating on Baidu (BIDU) two notches, to Buy from Underperform. Leung, who lowered Baidu's price target to $180 from $225, said the firm's top sector picks in the country are (JD), Alibaba (BABA), Tencent (TCEHY), and Ctrip. The analyst added that Tencent and Ctrip shares are the "most defensive" stocks, while JD and Alibaba could rebound even more after sentiment improves. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Last Thursday, TechInAsia reported that Baidu chief executive officer Robin Li said that the company was weighing the idea of delisting from the Nasdaq (NDAQ) and re-listing on the A-shares market in China. TechInAsia later added that a spokesperson from the Chinese internet giant "downplayed" the potential move, saying that Li's comments referred to an "unlikely hypothetical situation" in which U.S. investors don't recognize the importance of the online-to-offline market. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Baidu shares fell 1.4% to $134.21, Ctrip shares were flat near $66.64, shares slid 2% to $25.04 and Alibaba shares declined 2% to $60.69.
08:11 EDTAET, HUMLeerink sees less political risk for Managed Care mergers after hearings
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06:32 EDTHPQHP's employee shift ultimatum not going as planned, Business Insider reports
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September 22, 2015
20:02 EDTUNH, HUM, AETClinton vows $250 cap on monthly drug costs in blast against biotechs, insurers
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton railed against biotech companies as well as health insurers at a community health care forum in Iowa on Tuesday. Clinton began her speech by praising the Affordable Care Act, but quickly noted that she wants to strengthen it due to what she called the rising cost of prescription drugs. She explained, "Our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit... [But] too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investment... so it may makes sense, for a short period of time, to have to charge a lot of money for a drug. But when a drug has no competition, when there aren't any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America." Referencing the recent criticism against Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton went on to say that "pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing affordable drug that people rely on, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it, [are just betting] on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it." Preemptively responding to questions of whether greater regulation will dampen investment, Clinton commented that "some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation, but I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite... Under my plan, drug companies that want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development." Clinton also criticized incremental drug improvements, saying that "too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit, but then they're marketed as breakthrough drugs and they're sold for high prices." The Democratic candidate went on to condemn advertising in the drug industry, remarking that "I also want to tackle direct to consumer advertising... Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn't be encouraging them with corporate write-offs... Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation... I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA." Moving more broadly onto Medicaid and health insurers, Clinton stated, "I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members... I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients... I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice." Providing more concrete details of her plan, Clinton concluded, "I will cap out of pocket drug costs for working families. You won't have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications... Particularly for people who have a chronic illness. Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada or any other country that meets our safety standards... I will also make sure we have more generics on the market [by boosting funding for] the FDA's office of generic drugs."
14:52 EDTAET, HUMAetna plans to raise Humana wages after merger, Bloomberg says
Aetna (AET) CEO Mark Bertolini plans to raise wages to $16 per hour for about 10,000 low-wage Humana (HUM) employees if the prospective merger of the two companies goes through, reports Bloomberg, citing written testimony at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing. "Our hope is these initiatives will help reduce employee turnover," explained Bertolini. Reference Link
14:34 EDTVZVerizon spins out CrunchBase, says AOL to retain significant ownership interest
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12:14 EDTHPQOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session deep in negative territory and have remained there throughout the morning. There has been little in the way of buying as the downward pressure in the market has not shown any sign of letting up. There is also little in the way of explanation as to why the market is so weak other than continued disappointment in the Fed's interest rate decision and the ongoing concern over China's economic growth. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the FHFA home price index rose 0.6% to 224.5 in July, which was better than the 0.4% rise that was expected. The Richmond Fed factory index fell to -5 in September, versus the reading of 2 that was expected. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Groupon (GRPN) slumped 2.5% after the online and mobile deal provider said it plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations. The news is the latest in a recent run of job cut announcements, after HP Enterprise said last week that it expects 25,000-30,000 people to leave the company and Johnson Controls (JCI) recently announced plans to reduce its global salaried workforce by as many as 3,000 people... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was told by doctors that he has 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. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Weatherford (WFT), which rose 9.6% after stating that it has decided not to pursue its previously announced concurrent public offerings of ordinary shares of the company and mandatorily exchangeable subordinated notes. Also higher was Vascular Biogenics (VBLT), which gained 15% to around $9.30 per share after the stock was initiated with a Buy rating and $25 price target at Chardan. Among the noteworthy losers following their earnings reports were ConAgra (CAG) and Carnival (CCL), which each fell more than 5%, and Red Hat (RHT), which slid 2%. Also lower were shares of Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP), which fell 7% and 8%, respectively, after the New York Post said a top FTC regulator may be leaning toward recommending against approving their merger agreement. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 263.77, or 1.6%, to 16,246.42, the Nasdaq was down 99.52, or 2.06%, to 4,729.44, and the S&P 500 was down 32.51, or 1.65%, to 1,934.46.
10:01 EDTHPQHP acquisition of Stratasys would make sense, says Jefferies
Jefferies noted that HP (HPQ) management, during the company's recent analyst meeting, said they were looking to partner with or acquire a 3D printing company. Analyst Jason North believes a larger acquisition is most attractive, as it would speed HP's time to the market by 1-2 years as the company acquires a sales channel. North said Stratasys (SSYS) makes the most sense given its strong reseller network, FDM jetting, stereolithography and direct metal laser sintering potential, and other technologies. The firm rates Stratasys a Buy with a $44 price target on shares.
10:00 EDTTAT&T commits to bringing broadband to over 37,00 homes, businesses in OH
AT&T has committed to extend broadband to more than 37,000 rural homes and businesses in Ohio over the next six years.
09:52 EDTVZCNBC's Faber dampens DISH takeover speculation
Potential deal talks between DISH (DISH) and T-Mobile (TMUS) were going nowhere in the past and are still not going anywhere, CNBC's David Faber reports. Speculation continues to surround DISH after it asked the FCC for more time to pay for its newly purchased spectrum, citing "new and complex business issues," Faber added. Verizon (VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam told the reporter last week in an interview that his company has no plans to buy a satellite company and is not in talks with DISH. Shares of DISH are down 57c to $61.85 in early trading.
08:37 EDTHUM, UNH, AETAetna, Anthem CEOs set to testify to Senate committee, WSJ reports
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07:47 EDTAETSenate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing
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07:30 EDTNDAQNASDAQ management to meet with Deutsche Bank
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07:29 EDTHPQHP coverage assumed with a Neutral at Goldman
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07:27 EDTVZVerizon valuation 'still compelling,' says Wells Fargo
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