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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 6, 2014
08:54 EDTGOOG, GCI, AOL, TGT, VRNGVringo announces award of supplemental damages against AOL, Google et al.
Vringo (VRNG) announced that on January 3, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division, issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order related to its wholly-owned subsidiary I/P Engine, Inc.'s request for Supplemental Damages, Prejudgment Interest and Post-Judgment Interest in its patent litigation against AOL, Google et al. The District Court also previously found that I/P Engine is entitled to post-judgment royalties, the amount of which remains pending. In the Order dated January 3, 2014, the District Court ordered that I/P Engine recover an additional sum of $17.32M from Defendants for supplemental damages and prejudgment interest. In awarding supplemental damages to I/P Engine, the District Court applied a 20.9% apportionment to Defendants' infringing revenues, and then a 3.5% royalty rate, for the fifty-one day period from October 1, 2012, the last day for which Defendants supplied revenue data prior to trial, to November 20, 2012, the date of final judgment. This resulted in supplemental damages totaling $16.78M, of which $15.83M is apportioned to Google (GOOG) and the balance among defendants AOL (AOL), IAC Search & Media, Target (TGT), and Gannett (GCI).
News For VRNG;AOL;GOOG;TGT;GCI From The Last 14 Days
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May 19, 2015
14:38 EDTTGTTarget volatility elevated into Q1 and outlook
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14:05 EDTGOOGGoogle bringing tweets to Google Search on mobile devices
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13:04 EDTTGTEarnings Watch: Lowe's sees FY15 EPS $3.29, strongest comps of year in Q1
Lowe's Companies (LOW), a home improvement retailer, is scheduled to report on its first quarter before the market open on Wednesday, May 20, with a conference call scheduled for 9:00 am ET. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 74c on revenue of $14.27B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 69c-80c on revenue of $13.97B-$14.52B. LAST QUARTER: Lowe's reported fourth quarter EPS of 46c on revenue of $12.54B, beating analyst's estimates of 44c and $12.31B, respectively. The company also reported Q4 same-store sales rose 7.3%, with U.S. comparable sales up 7.4%. The company forecast fiscal year 2015 EPS $3.29 against estimates at that time for $3.28 and said it expects revenue up 4.5%-5% in the fiscal year compared to last. Lowe's also forecast FY15 SSS up 4%-4.5% and said it expects to report the highest comp for FY15 in Q1. On its earnings conference call, the company said it expects higher comps in the first half of 2015 than the second half. The company said it expects jobs, incomes and household financial conditions to improve in 2015. NEWS: During the quarter, Lowe's announced a new $5B share repurchase program, which has no expiration date and adds to the previous program's balance, which was $2.4B at January 30. Seeking Alpha contributor Xuhua Zhou, described as a hedge fund analyst, recently wrote in a blog post that "research confirms Lowe's is guilty of formaldehyde noncompliance in sourcing laminate flooring from China." The Consumer Products Safety Commission and Environmental Protection Agency should include Lowe's products in their safety testing of Lumber Liquidators' (LL) wood, the writer believes. A Lowe's spokesperson told Bloomberg that the Tescun flooring is being removed from stores. Lowe's Canada recently reached an agreement to acquire the leases of 13 former Target (TGT) Canada Locations and will buy Target's Milton, Ontario distribution center for approximately C$151M. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after its last earnings report, UBS raised its price target on Lowe's to $83 from $75, citing the company's big ticket comp growth, the improving economy and pent up demand from consumers putting projects on hold since the downturn. Argus also raised its price target, to $82 from $70, and said its confidence in the company's ability to generate profitable growth has increased. In March, Oppenheimer raised its price target on Lowe's to $85 from $77 and said the stock has a number of positive catalysts, including solid U.S. consumer spending trends, significant slack in the U.S, housing recovery, improving market sentiment and investors' interest in domestic plays as the dollar strengthens. BofA/Merrill said the home improvement space is one of the more attractive areas within retail and recommends buying Lowe's. The firm remains positive on the company's earnings growth and lack of negative catalysts. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Lowe's shares are up nearly 1%. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's report, Lowe's is fractionally lower at $72.77.
12:47 EDTTGTEarnings Watch: Target sees FY15 adjusted EPS $4.45-$4.65, 2%-3% sales growth
Target (TGT) is scheduled to report first quarter results before the market open on Wednesday, May 20, with a conference call scheduled for 10:30 am ET. Target offers merchandise at discounted prices through its retail stores and online business. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.03 on revenue of $17.09B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 85c-$1.09 on revenue of $16.98B-$17.25B. LAST QUARTER: Target reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $1.50 on revenue of $21.75B, beating analysts' estimates for $1.46 and $21.63B, respectively. The company said comparable sales increased 3.8% in Q4, reflecting a 3.2% increase in comparable transactions. Target said digital channel sales contributed 0.9 percentage points to SSS growth. Target forecast Q1 adjusted EPS 95c-$1.05, SSS up about 2% and said its top priority is to drive digital sales growth. The company said it could be in a position to revisit stock buybacks later this year and noted that its workers' wages are "competitive." NEWS: At its Financial Community Meeting on March 3, Target forecast fiscal year 2015 adjusted EPS $4.45-$4.65, against estimates at that time for $4.50, on sales growth of 2%-3% for the fiscal year. The company also forecast 10% annual EPS growth for 2016 and beyond, as well as 5%-10% annual dividend growth. Target forecast $2B in savings in expenses and cost of goods over the next two years and 9.5%-10% EBITDA margins over the next five years. As for share repurchases, Target sees $2B this year, and said it continues to support the dividend and repurchase "billions." Looking to FY15, Target forecast FY15 capital expenditures of $2.1B and sees expected CapEx of $2B-$2.5B over the next five years. Target said its gross margin rate of 29.5% is "achievable." Target said it would focus on categories including style, baby, kids and wellness. As part of its $2B cost savings plan, Target said it will cut "several thousand jobs." Target said in a filing that on March 10, the company notified approximately 1,700 employees whose employment will be terminated as part of an overall plan to transform Targetís business. The company said it expects to incur severance costs of $10M. During the quarter, Target said it planned to raise its minimum pay for all workers to at least $9 an hour starting in April, according to The Wall Street Journal, and agreed to pay $10M to settle a class action lawsuit related to its 2013 data breach, Reuters reported. Target reached a settlement with MasterCard (MA) to resolve claims by MasterCard and its issuers related to the retailerís 2013 data breach. Under the agreement, Target will make available up to $19M in alternative recovery offers to eligible banks and credit unions across the globe. Target Canada said it would close the last 133 retail stores by April 12. Target also announced plans to sell its Target Commercial Interiors subsidiary to Omni Workspace. The retailer launched the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection in April, which rendered its website inaccessible for short time after it was overwhelmed by customer traffic, The WSJ said. The WSJ also reported that, according to sources, Target gave notice to Campbell Soup (CPB), General Mills (GIS), Kellogg (K), Kraft Foods (KRFT) and others that it will reduce their presence in Target circulars and in-store advertisements. STREET RESEARCH: Following Target's analyst meeting, Wells Fargo said it thinks the company's operating plan sets the stage for the company to potentially beat expectations in 2015 and beyond. The firm believes that"outsized digital growth" or new products could enable Target's results to beat expectations. Piper Jaffray views Target's long term earnings algorithm, which is based on a 1% store comp and 40% growth in digital sales annually, as realistic and the company's capital deployment as encouraging. BofA/Merrill upgraded Target to Buy from Neutral in April and increased its price target to $92 from $86. The firm believes Target is well positioned to benefit from an improving middle-income core customer base. The firm said customers are responding well to improved assortment and merchandising and expects Target to continue to see increased spending at stores and online as customers trade-up to more expensive items. PRICE ACTION: Target shares are up over 1.6% over the past three months. In early afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's earnings report, shares are down 0.51% to $77.96.
11:52 EDTGOOGDepartures raises concerns of Google's commitment to ecommerce, Re/code says
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11:50 EDTVRNGVringo says ZTE violated Brazilian court injunction
Vringoannounced that court-appointed experts in Brazil have issued a report stating that ZTE violated a Brazilian court injunction. Vringo received a preliminary injunction against ZTE on April 15, 2014, prohibiting ZTE from manufacturing, using, offering for sale, selling, installing, testing, or importing any 3G, 4G, or LTE infrastructure equipment in Brazil. The Federal and State Courts of Rio de Janeiro have, six times, denied ZTE's appeal of this injunction. Based on evidence of a potential violation of the injunction, the State Court of Rio de Janeiro appointed experts to investigate ZTE's activities in Brazil. Vringo now plans to file a motion for contempt with the Court requesting that punitive measures be taken against ZTE for its violation of the injunction.
10:47 EDTGOOGGoogle says 'no sacred cows' in rethink of Glass product, Financial Times says
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09:51 EDTGOOGYelp early strength attributed to talk of buyout
The early move higher in shares of Yelp is being attributed to speculation that Google (GOOG) may have interest in acquiring the online review site. The Wall Street Journal on May 7 reported that Yelp has hired banks to explore a sale. Shares of the company are up $1.05 to $47.61 in early trading.
08:20 EDTGOOGVerizon CFO sees net phone additions in Q2
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07:54 EDTAOLVerizon CFO says future of wireless around video, Internet of Things
Shammo says Verizon (VZ) mobile video "multicast" will be pay-per-view and mobile video service will be starting this summer. Shammo said buying AOL (AOL) gives the company the ad technology to make its mobile model work. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo is speaking at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
06:59 EDTGOOGYouTube Kids app receives complaints of 'inappropriate content', WSJ says
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May 18, 2015
11:47 EDTGOOGAmazon unlikely hurt by Google Buy button in next 3 years, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said he does not expect Google's (GOOG) addition of a "Buy" button for mobile e-commerce hurting Amazon.com (AMZN) over the next 1 to 3 years, but he does believe Google's plan presents a longer-term threat to "chip away" at Amazon's growth rate. However, Munster thinks it will be "next to impossible" for Google to replicate Amazon's core infrastructure and customer experience and he keeps an Overweight rating and $475 price target on Amazon shares.
10:37 EDTAOLOptions with decreasing implied volatility
Options with decreasing implied volatility: NLNK ARWR CTRP ZIOP CLNE ARIA VHC AOL KING XON PEIX
09:12 EDTVRNGVringo announces favorable ruling by Brazilian court
Vringo announced that the Brazilian Federal Court in Rio de Janeiro has denied ZTE's motion for a preliminary injunction against Vringo Infrastructure. Vringo received a preliminary injunction against ZTE on April 15, 2014. Since that time, ZTE has sought to overturn the injunction by filing numerous appeals. ZTE's most recent attempt to overturn the injunction was a lawsuit filed by ZTE's Brazilian subsidiary. In that lawsuit, ZTE requested a preliminary injunction against Vringo, seeking the Brazilian court impose a royalty rate for a temporary license between the parties. The Court denied ZTE's request for preliminary injunction based solely on the evidence presented in ZTE's own filing. Among other points, the Court found that there was no evidence that ZTE was willing to effectively negotiate a license prior to Vringo's filing an infringement lawsuit against ZTE in the Rio de Janeiro State Court. Following this ruling, the preliminary injunction against ZTE remains in place.
08:22 EDTAOL, GOOGVerizon deal has multiple positive catalysts, says Wells Fargo
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07:59 EDTGOOGGoogle Buy button a natural fit for mobile shopping listings, says Baird
Baird noted Google added a Buy button to accompany mobile product listings and believes it will improve the company's e-commerce search competitiveness. Baird reiterated its Outperform rating and $690 price target on Google shares.
07:52 EDTAOLAOL Platforms launches One by AOL: Video in Brazil
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May 17, 2015
19:11 EDTTGTTarget to reduce advertising space for certain large brands, WSJ says
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18:56 EDTGOOGGoogle to feature 'buy' button in sponsored search results, WSJ says
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16:50 EDTGOOGWhite House wavers on backing Google, Oracle in copyright suit, Reuters says
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