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September 27, 2015
14:04 EDTCSCOCybersecurity firms look prime for takeover, Barron's says
Cybersecurity companies like Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Fortinet (FTNT), and FireEye (FEYE) are becoming increasingly-attractive takeover targets for a Cisco (CSCO) or IBM (IBM), and any future dip in their stocks could represent a buying opportunity, Barron's contends in its 'Technology Trader' column. Reference Link
September 25, 2015
17:33 EDTGOOGDelta Air Lines, Google, Amgen look attractively priced, Barron's says
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16:35 EDTCSCOStocks end week lower as biotechs sink, Volkswagen crashes
Stocks ended the week lower after concerns about drug prices were reignited, sinking biotech stocks, an emissions scandal engulfed Volkswagen (VLKAY), dragging down shares of automakers and their suppliers, and Caterpillar (CAT) announced that it may eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs in the next three years as commodity prices continue to slump. MACRO NEWS: Following the Federal Reserve's decision last week to wait before raising rates, the central bank made a concerted effort to give the market more clarity this week. Over last weekend, three Federal Reserve officials - San Francisco Fed President John Williams, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker - all argued that an interest-rate increase is still warranted this year. Then, on Thursday night, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a speech at UMass Amherst that the central bank remains inclined to hike rates this year. Yellen's remarks were incrementally hawkish, but welcomed by the market, since they helped clarify the message the Fed delivered a week ago... In the U.S., Markit's flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index was flat at 53.0 in September, which was slightly better than the expectation for it to dip to 52.8. Durable goods orders for August declined 2.0%, versus expectations for a drop of 2.3%. When transportation items were removed, the core reading was breakeven, versus expectations for a rise of 0.1%. The third estimate of second quarter GDP showed the economy grew 3.9% quarter-over-quarter, versus expectations for the GDP growth estimate to stay at 3.7%. Personal consumption in Q2 is now believed to have grown 3.6%, up from the prior estimate of 3.1%. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for September came in at 87.2, which was down from August's 91.9 but above the expected 86.2 reading... The Asian Development Bank cut its growth forecast for the region, citing a weaker outlook for China and India and a delayed recovery in the world's advanced economies. The bank now sees the Chinese economy growing 6.8% this year and 6.7% next year, down from its previous forecasts of 7.2% and 7%, respectively. Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for China fell to 47.0 in September from 47.3 last month. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled new economic targets, including a goal for a 20% increase in the target size of the Japanese economy to 600T yen, though he gave no timeframe for achieving this aspiration... In Europe, Markit's composite PMI for the eurozone came in at 53.9 in the first look for September, down from 54.3 in August and below expectations for a reading of 54.1. COMPANY NEWS: Biotech stocks declined after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on its treatment for toxoplasmosis, reigniting a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and laying out a plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. The NASDAQ Biotechnology index fell roughly xxx% for the week amid the attention paid to Turing's drug and Clinton's response... Volkswagen (VLKAY) shares trading in New York fell sharply to begin the week and ended the week far from where they'd been last Friday before the EPA said it found manipulations that violate U.S. environmental standards while testing certain of the automaker's diesel cars. The EPA said Volkswagen may face civil penalties of $37,500 for each vehicle not in compliance with federal clean air rules, which could total as much as $18B, according to Reuters. In the wake of the scandal, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn resigned, with the company's supervisory board subsequently praising the decision and selecting Matthias Mueller, the former head of Porsche (POAHY), as Winterkorn's successor as the company's new CEO... Caterpillar (CAT) shares dropped after the heavy machinery maker announced plans for job cuts and lowered its revenue guidance for this year and next. Caterpillar said that it would lay off 4,000-5,000 of its employees between now and the end of 2016 and could lay off up to 10,000 employees by 2018. Caterpillar cut its fiscal year 2015 revenue forecast by $1B and said its sees its fiscal year 2016 revenue to be 5% below this year, adding that it expects revenue declines in all three large segments next year... Online and mobile deal provider Groupon (GRPN) said it plans to cut 1,100 jobs relating primarily to the company's international operations... Nike jumped after the athletic gear giant reported better than expected earnings and futures orders, prompting numerous price target hikes and at least one upgrade at Street research firms. Among other companies reporting earnings this week, BlackBerry (BBRY), ConAgra (CAG), Carnival (CCL), and CarMax (KMX) fell immediately following their quarterly reports... Apple (AAPL), which has previously been reported to be working on an electric car via its "Project Titan," is speeding up those efforts and setting 2019 as a target to ship its first vehicle, according to The Wall Street Journal... Against the backdrop of China's President Xi Jinping visiting the U.S., Boeing (BA) announced deals to sell 300 planes to three Chinese companies and set up an aircraft factory in in the Asian nation, while Cisco (CSCO) announced a partnership with Chinese server maker Inspur Group... Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs (GS) Chairman and CEO, disclosed that he was diagnosed with 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... GoPro (GPRO) finished the week about xxx% lower after Barron's contended in a feature article last weekend that the company's stock could plunge another 30% to $25 as Apple, Sony (SNE) and others pressure the company's "one-hit wonder" products... On the M&A front, Atmel (ATML) agreed to be acquired by German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in a deal valued at roughly $4.6B and Starwood Waypoint (SWAY) announced a stock-for-stock merger agreement with Colony American Homes. INDEXES: The Dow lost about 0.43% to close at 16,314.67, the S&P 500 fell about 1.35% to close at 1,931.34, and the Nasdaq declined about 2.89% to close at 4,686.50.
16:00 EDTINTCOptions Update; September 25, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 66c to 25.09. Option volume leaders: AAPL NFLX BAC FB AU NKE PFE INTC AMZN TSLA
13:36 EDTQCOMQualcomm volatility low as shares trend lower
Qualcomm (QCOM) current 30-day call option implied volatility is at 26, compared to a one-month ago level of 38, suggesting decreasing price movement for the chipmaker that appear poised to obtain more revenue from Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S devices.
11:25 EDTQCOMCirrus leads iPhone suppliers higher as analysts dissect 6S
Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Skyworks (SWKS) and Qorvo (QRVO) are among the chipmakers that appear poised to obtain more revenue from Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6S devices than from the previous generation of the market-leading smartphone. Research firms issued notes today based on their analysis of "teardowns" of the new phones after they went on sale for the first time, beginning in Australia. TEARDOWNS: Apple's common practice when rolling out its newest iPhone models is for Australia to be its first launch market. The unboxing of iPhones when they become available for sale for the first time anywhere in the world is a much anticipated event among the tech giant's fans, as well as by Apple-focused blogs and Wall Street analysts who follow the company. Websites like iFixit have become well known for their "teardowns" of the devices, where they purchase, take apart and analyze the way in which the device is made and how it differs from previous models. These teardowns are closely watched by analysts and can sometimes be catalysts for the stocks of iPhone component suppliers. CIRRUS: Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis says teardowns of Apple's iPhone 6S indicate Cirrus Logic secured both a smart codec and boosted amp win in the new phone. The company's content in each phone is likely towards the upper end of his $3.50-$4.00 estimate, Curtis tells investors, noting that he views this as better than expected. Curtis thinks the 6S content, coupled with the "several new growth drivers" Cirrus outlined at yesterday's technology day, could reverse the negative sentiment on the stock. He keeps an Overweight rating on the name with a $39 price target. OTHER WINNERS AND LOSERS: Skyworks and Qorvo saw their content rise 22% and 25% respectively, Curtis estimated. NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) is continuing to supply the NFC and Secure Element chips for the 6S devices, but is no longer providing the sensor hub, the analyst reported. The company will lose about 50c per iPhone as a result of this development, but it did know that it would no longer be providing the hub before it provided its guidance in July, according to Curtis. STMicroelectronics (STM) is no longer providing the secure MCU for the iPhone 6S, Curtis added. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Other companies that are supplying iPhone 6S components include Qualcomm (QCOM), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Avago (AVGO), iFixit reported. After conducting checks, Craig-Hallum analyst Anthony Stoss estimated that Skyworks will obtain about $6.50 of revenue per iPhone, up from about $5.50 previously, while Qorvo's revenue per device will rise to $6.25 from $5.75 and Avago will see its revenue per device increase to about $6.75 from about $6.50, Stoss believes. The firm kept Buy ratings on Skyworks, Avago, and Qorvo. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Cirrus shares jumped $4.36, or 16%, to $31.49, Skyworks added about 3% and Qorvo rose 4%. Meanwhile, NXP gained about 2% and STMicroelectronics advanced 2.5%.
10:53 EDTRHTOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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10:48 EDTGOOGMorgan Stanley cautious on media, but sees several stocks punished too hard
Morgan Stanley cut its price targets on a number of media companies, citing the impact of cord cutting and skinny bundles. The firm also reduced its outlook for the pay-TV sector due to its belief that the adoption of skinny bundles will accelerate, while the outlook for cable TV ads has deteriorated slightly, given macro pressures. The firm kept a Cautious view on the media sector, but also identified several stocks in the space that it thinks have been punished too harshly by investors recently. WHAT'S NEW: TV networks in general, and cable networks in particular, have the highest margins in media and are encountering increased top and bottom line competitive pressures, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne believes. On the top line, they are being hit by ratings and ad pressures as well as cord cutting and distribution consolidation, the analyst stated. Meanwhile, their profit is being hurt by the increased need to obtain new content and intensified competition for content from new sources like Netflix (NFLX) and Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Swinburne said. However, the analyst thinks that media stocks are "starting to get" cheap, given the leverage that many of the companies carry. Swinburne cuts his price target on 21st Century Fox (FOXA) to $31 from $37, on AMC Networks (AMCX) to $86 from $88, on CBS (CBS) to $46 from $56, on Time Warner (TWX) to $72 from $87 and on Viacom (VIAB) to $48 from $60. He kept Overweight ratings on Fox, AMC and CBS, an Equal Weight rating on Time Warner and an Underweight rating on Viacom. OVERDONE DECLINES: Swinburne believes that the declines in three media stocks - CBS, 21st Century Fox, and AMC Networks - have been overdone, while the decline in Comcast's (CMCSA) stock has also been excessive. CBS and 21st Century Fox are "best positioned for the skinny bundle" and have the cheapest valuations relative to their growth rates, Swinburne believes. Meanwhile, AMC Networks has "content momentum" and its EPS can exceed expectations, the analyst believes. Comcast is gaining share in the broadband Internet market, could take share in video soon, and has sufficient scale and offerings to benefit from the increased popularity of skinny bundles, according to the analyst, who kept an Overweight rating on the stock. The media sector could benefit from consolidation going forward, added Swinburne, who recommended that investors interested in buying potential takeover targets in the space focus on AMC Networks, MSG Networks (MSG) and Dreamworks Animation (DWA). He kept Overweight ratings on all three of those stocks. OTHERS TO WATCH: Besides Comcast, other pay TV companies include DISH Network (DISH) and Charter Communications (CHTR). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Fox A shares lost 0.5% to $25.83, AMC fell 0.3% to $73.29, CBS added 0.2% to $41, Time Warner was little changed at $67.66 and Comcast A shares added 0.6% to $57.17.
10:26 EDTGOOGBlackBerry posts quarterly loss, says turnaround continuing
BlackBerry (BBRY) shares are lower in morning trading after the company posted a second quarter loss that was steeper than analysts' expectations. BlackBerry is in the middle of a turnaround for its smartphone business and confirmed today that it plans to launch a new device that uses Google's (GOOG) Android operating system. EARNINGS: Excluding items, BlackBerry reported a loss per share for Q2 of (13c), below analysts' consensus estimates of (9c). Revenue for the quarter was $490M, reflecting a purchase accounting write down of deferred revenue associated with the acquisition of WatchDox. The revenue result may not compare with analysts' estimate of $611M. Looking ahead, BlackBerry said it is targeting "sustainable" non-GAAP profitability in the fourth quarter and sees "modest" sequential growth in total revenue for the rest of fiscal year 2016. The company sees a "slight" uptick in third quarter revenue compared to this quarter, and announced it will change its non-GAAP income statement presentation to be "consistent with the primary practice in the software industry." BlackBerry said it believes this is necessary due to its increased emphasis on software, as well as acquisitions of software companies with material recurring revenue streams. On the company's earnings conference call, John Chen, BlackBerry's chief executive officer, announced that the board approved an increase to the current buyback program by an additional 15M shares, bringing the total available for repurchase to 21M shares. The approval was based on expectations for continued free cash flow. Chen said that he believes the company has made "good progress" moving its software business from perpetual to subscription. Chen said he is "not satisfied" as far as overall revenue and profitability, particularly in its handset business, but said the company is focused on growing device volume profitably, generating recurring revenue from IP licensing and making its software business larger. WHAT'S NOTABLE: To help strengthen its device business, Chen confirmed BlackBerry will launch a new slider device powered by Google's Android operating system later this calendar year, to be called Priv. Chen also confirmed that the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and confirmed plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements. Chen said the company is working with Google to secure Android and is not using Samsung's (SSNLF) Knox. Chen said the company is not planning another BlackBerry 10 device this year and noted that if the plan of doing the Android type of implementation "works well," it could consider replacing BB10 or merging it into Android. PRICE ACTION: BlackBerry is down 2% to $6.89 in morning trading.
10:00 EDTINTCOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: 3M (MMM) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... ACE Limited (ACE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Applied Materials (AMAT) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA... Autoliv (ALV) upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) upgraded to Market Perform at Telsey Advisory... Box (BOX) upgraded to Buy at Canaccord... Chevron (CVX) upgraded to Peer Perform from Underperform at Wolfe Research... CyberArk (CYBR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Exelon (EXC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim... General Growth (GGP) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Intel (INTC) upgraded on positive checks, developments at JMP Securities... KLA-Tencor (KLAC) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA... Lam Research (LRCX) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA... Marvell (MRVL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Craig-Hallum... Nike (NKE) upgraded on share gains at Sterne Agee CRT... Spirit Airlines (SAVE) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen... United Rentals (URI) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill.
09:48 EDTQCOMApple iPhone 6S Plus teardown reveals chip suppliers, iFixit reports
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09:21 EDTINTCIntel upgraded on positive checks, developments at JMP Securities
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08:50 EDTGOOGBlackBerry says working with Google on securing Android
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08:19 EDTCSCOCisco weakness creates buying opportunity, says Bernstein
After meeting with Cisco's CEO, Bernstein says that the company continues to perform in-line with the firm's upbeat outlook. Bernstein says that beairsh views on the company's SDN and Hyperscale businesses "continue to be proved wrong." The firm reiterates an Outperform rating on the shares.
07:04 EDTGOOGBlackBerry launches slider device Priv
BlackBerry (BBRY) is announcing two new additions to its handheld device roadmap. First, the company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android (GOOG) operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. In combination with BlackBerry's efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks. While the new device will provide a choice in OS to new and existing customers, the company remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which enables industry-leading security and productivity benefits. Second, the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and is confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.
06:59 EDTGOOGGoogle to be investigated by U.S. regulators over Android, Bloomberg reports
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06:30 EDTINTCIntel upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at JMP Securities
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06:21 EDTGOOGFacebook's free internet effort in developing countries 'inadequate,' WSJ says
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06:16 EDTGOOGGoogle October volatility elevated
Google September weekly call option implied volatility is at 23, October is at 37, November is at 30; compared to its 52-week range of 16 to 41, suggesting large October price movement.
05:58 EDTGOOGIndian Prime Minister to meet with Apple, Google CEOs, WSJ reports
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet this weekend with Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, among others, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to industry insiders, the tech executives will use the visit to push for better market access in India as well as clearer regulation on investment and startups. Reference Link
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