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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 2, 2013
09:22 EDTVOD, AFFY, INO, AET, UNH, HUM, OMPI, HPQ, NDAQ, BGCP, T, VZ, EZPWOn 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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August 14, 2014
08:05 EDTHUMHumana management to meet with UBS
Meetings to be held in Denver/Minneapolis on August 14 hosted by UBS.
06:18 EDTNDAQNASDAQ, CME Group eyes Barclays index division, Bloomberg says
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06:09 EDTHPQGoogle, HP in talks to collaborate on 'virtual assistant,' The Information says
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August 13, 2014
11:27 EDTTJDSU falls after outlook disappoints, analyst downgrades
Shares of JDSU (JDSU), a provider of equipment to telecommunications service providers, are sharply lower after the company's fourth quarter results and first quarter guidance were reported last night. Following the report, the stock was downgraded this morning at two Street research firms. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, JDSU reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 14c per share, beating the consensus forecast by 1c, on revenue of $448.6M, which topped the consensus $436.8M view. However, JDSU expects revenue to be $405M-$425M in its first quarter and sees Q1 EPS of 8c-12c, which fell short of consensus of about $441M and 14c, respectively. JDSU's President and CEO Tom Waechter said, "Looking ahead to fiscal 2015, we believe there are strong market drivers across our three business segments, and that we are well positioned with differentiated products and solutions to support our customers as they transition to Software Defined Networks, Network Function Virtualization and more dependency on cloud infrastructure. We continue to lead in our core network and anti-counterfeiting markets and I am pleased with the momentum we are building in our commercial lasers business on the strength of our highly differentiated fiber laser product line." ANALYST OPINION: Following the company's report, B. Riley analyst Dave Kang cut his rating on JDSU shares to Neutral from a Buy rating, citing near-term uncertainties in the North American telecom market. Kang pointed to two events contributing to that uncertainty, namely an architectural shift to SDN, or Software Defined Networking, and AT&T's (T) planned merger with DirecTV (DTV). The analyst acknowledged previously underestimating the potential impact of the SDN shift on the telecom equipment industry and noted that appears to be impacting JDSU's NSE business more than its optical component unit. Kang prefers Finisar (FNSR) over JDSU given the current environment, noting that about 70% of Finisar's sales come from the datacom sector. Kang lowered his price target on JDS Uniphase shares to $11.75 from $15.50. Piper Jaffray analyst Troy Jensen also downgraded JDSU following its report, lowering his rating on the stock to Neutral from Overweight. Jensen also said the company's worse than expected guidance indicates softer Telco spending and he believes JDSU will have trouble showing significant revenue acceleration even if the optical upgrade cycle starts to ramp up. Piper lowered its price target on the stock to $12 from $14. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other providers of telecom equipment include Ciena (CIEN) and Infinera (INFN). PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, shares of JDSU fell $1.12, or 9.4%, to $10.78. Meanwhile, shares of Finisar were down nearly 2% to $19.58, Ciena slipped 1.5% to $18.92 and Infinera was fractionally higher at $9.09.
08:54 EDTEZPWEZCORP appoints Kuchenrither CEO
EZCORP announced its new senior executive management team, with the addition of Stuart Grimshaw as executive chairman, the repositioning of Lachlan Given as executive vice chairman and the appointment of Mark Kuchenrither as president and CEO. Kuchenrither, who has been serving as Interim president and CEO since July will assume the president and CEO role effective immediately. Until the company hires a new CFO, Kuchenrither will continue to serve in that role as well.
07:55 EDTHPQHP free cash flow upside thesis intact, says Brean Capital
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August 12, 2014
14:55 EDTTFrontier Communications confirms settlement with Connecticut AG over AT&T deal
Frontier Communications (FTR) announced it has reached an agreement with the Connecticut Attorney General and the Office of Consumer Counsel related to Frontierís proposed acquisition of AT&T's (T) incumbent local exchange operations and statewide fiber network that provides services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in Connecticut. As part of the transaction, Frontier will also acquire AT&T's U-verse video and satellite TV operations in Connecticut. Highlights of the agreement state that for a period of not less than 36 months after the closing of the transaction (i) there will be no increases in the basic primary residential rate in effect for transferred exchanges as of the closing date; and (ii) where available, Frontier has agreed to offer its basic broadband and stand-alone basic broadband product at or below Frontierís current prices. In addition, Frontier has committed to incremental capital investments totaling $63M over 2015, 2016 and 2017 to expand and improve broadband in Connecticut.
10:31 EDTHPQEx-Autonomy CFO accuses HP of agreement cover-up, Re/code says
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08:55 EDTVZVerizon CFO says cash priorites include investing in network, dividend
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06:35 EDTHUM, AETManged Care recent pullback a buying opportunity, says Leerink
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06:30 EDTVODEricsson deploys its Charging System for Vodafone India
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August 11, 2014
16:50 EDTINOOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in positive territory but were never able to gain any upside momentum. There was little to account for the initial move other than no change to the status quo for Israel and Russia. The averages moved in a narrow range but managed to stay on the plus side into the close, though in lackluster fashion. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no significant economic data was released. In prepared comments for a conference, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said rebounds across advanced economies have been disappointing, leading the Fed and other observers to lower their long-term expectations for growth potential in the U.S. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI) advanced $3.25, or 9.0%, to $39.37 after announcing it will consolidate its oil-and-gas holdings into one company by acquiring all of the outstanding shares of a number of its subsidiaries, including Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), Kinder Morgan Management (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB). The total transaction has a value of about $70B and the combined entity will be the largest energy infrastructure company in North America and the third largest energy company overall with an estimated enterprise value of approximately $140B, the company said. Afterward, Kinder Morgan was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA Merrill Lynch, though Wells Fargo viewed the plans as mixed near-term. Wells believes the deal helps address some of the structural issues that have been pressuring Kinderís valuation in recent quarters, but it believes itís unclear how the market will ultimately value the new structure and the firm kept its Market Perform rating on all four stocks involved. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was salad and banana distributor Chiquita Brands (CQB), which jumped $3.04, or 30.22%, to $13.10 to close above the $13 per share takeover offer announced by Cutrale Group and the Safra Group. Note that Chiquita previously agreed to combine with Fyffes plc in a stock-for-stock transaction. Also higher was Mattress Firm (MFRM), which advanced $6.52, or 13.58%, to $54.53 after reporting preliminary second quarter results that beat expectations and raising it fiscal year outlook. Among the noteworthy losers following their earnings reports were Walter Investment (WAC), which fell $3.52, or 12.45%, to $24.75, and Inovio (INO), which dropped 99c, or 9.94%, to $8.97. INDEXES: The Dow edged up 16.05, or 0.1%, to 16,569.98, the Nasdaq gained 30.43, or 0.7%, to 4,401.33, and the S&P 500 rose 5.33, or 0.28%, to 1,936.92.
15:45 EDTTSpherix subsidiary settles with AT&T, files joint motion to dismiss
Spherix (SPEX) subsidiary Guidance IP has reached a settlement with AT&T (T), according to a court document filed August 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed on December 6, 2013 by Spherix for infringement of its patent entitled, "System and Method for Determining the Geolocation of a Transmitter." Shares of small-cap Spherix are up 19% to $1.75 in later afternoon trading following the circulation of the court filing. Reference Link
15:24 EDTHPQBloomberg to hold a summit
Silicon Valley 2014 Cybersecurity Summit to be held in Palo Alto, California on August 12.
14:28 EDTINOInovio not seeking partner for VGX-3100 right now, says Maxim
Maxim noted that Inovio management indicated it plans to initiate a pivotal phase III study for VGX-3100 in early 2016 and estimated that a pivotal program should cost about $100M. The firm also noted that Inovio is not seeking a partner on the drug right now and that the pivotal trial could move up depending on the company's meeting with the FDA. Maxim maintains a Buy rating and $18 price target on Inovio.
12:25 EDTINOOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in positive territory and have remained there throughout the morning. There was little in the way of a catalyst, as the economic calendar was empty, though investors may have been encouraged that there was no breakdown in the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Gaza and no big headlines from the Russia/Ukraine border. Additionally, some may have viewed comments from Fed Vice Chair Fischer as dovish and in support of continued easing. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no significant economic data was released. In prepared comments for a conference, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said rebounds across advanced economies have been disappointing, leading the Fed and other observers to lower their long-term expectations for growth potential in the U.S. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Kinder Morgan (KMI) advanced 10% after announcing it will consolidate its oil-and-gas holdings into one company by acquiring all of the outstanding shares of a number of its subsidiaries, including Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), Kinder Morgan Management (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB). In addition to the rise in the shares of the parent, Kinder Morgan Energy shares rose 19%, Kinder Morgan Management gained 25% and El Paso Pipeline moved up 22%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was salad and banana producer Chiquita Brands (CQB), which jumped 31% to trade above $13 per share after Cutrale Group and the Safra Group proposed to acquire 100% of the company's outstanding stock for $13 in cash each. Also higher was electric car maker Tesla (TSLA), which rose 5% after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and raised its price target on the shares to $310 from $220. Among the noteworthy losers was social game maker King Digital (KING), which slid 3% after the stock was downgraded at Pacific Crest to Sector Perform from Outperform. Also lower following their earnings reports were Inovio (INO), which fell over 8%, and Gogo (GOGO), which dropped nearly 6%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 51.25, or 0.31%, to 16,605.18, the Nasdaq was up 38.19, or 0.87%, to 4,409.08, and the S&P 500 was up 10.12, or 0.52%, to 1,941.71.
08:38 EDTINOInovio reports Q2 EPS (18c), consensus (19c)
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August 8, 2014
11:32 EDTT, VZSprint is preparing to engage in fierce pricing war, WSJ reports
Sprint (S) is preparing to engage in a fierce price competition on the heels of an almost complete network revamp, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing Masayoshi Son, the CEO of parent company Softbank (SFTBY). Sprint is currently testing new pricing plans, and will utilize its "street fighter" strategies to take on larger rivals Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T). "Price competition will intensify. Sprint will soon be ready to join the fray," Son said. Reference Link
07:59 EDTUNHBenefitfocus price target raised to $45 from $41 at Canaccord
Canaccord raised its price target on Benefitfocus (BNFT) to $45 from $41 following its better than expected Q2 results. The firm cited continued momentum, its United Health (UNH) win, and its potential to establish itself as one of the premier vendors in the benefits administration space. Canaccord keeps a Buy rating on Benefitfocus.
07:56 EDTTSonus Networks upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Barrington
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