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July 21, 2014
15:30 EDTPII, STT, HOG, IR, CROX, AMTD, KMB, MO, CMCSA, LMT, MCD, KO, TRV, DD, UTX, VZNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's market open, with earnings consensus, include Verizon (VZ), consensus 90c; Coca-Cola (KO), consensus 63c; Comcast (CMCSA), consensus 72c; United Technologies (UTX), consensus $1.70; McDonald's (MCD), consensus $1.44; Altria Group (MO), consensus 66c; du Pont (DD), consensus $1.17; Lockheed Martin (LMT), consensus $2.66; Kimberly-Clark (KMB), consensus $1.50; Travelers (TRV), consensus $2.07; Ingersoll-Rand (IR), consensus $1.11; State Street (STT), consensus $1.26; TD Ameritrade (AMTD), consensus 34c; Harley-Davidson (HOG), consensus $1.46; Polaris Industries (PII), consensus $1.39; Crocs (CROX), consensus 31c.
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September 29, 2015
12:19 EDTMCDMcDonald's updates Build-Your-Own-Burger program, Bloomberg reports
McDonald's is revamping its Build-Your-Own Burger program in an effort to snap a sales slump, Bloomberg reports, citing comments from company spokeswoman Lisa McComb in an e-mail. The name of the program has been changed from TasteCrafted to Chef Crafted and will include new flavors such as maple bacon dijon and buffalo bacon, the report says. Hot jalapeno and deluxe were tossed out, the report says. "The original name 'TasteCrafted' did not resonate with consumers," McComb said. "We decided to celebrate our chefs who have created these recipes and highlight the culinary expertise of our in-house and supplier chefs." Reference Link
11:38 EDTMCDMcDonald's rises as analysts weigh in on fast food sector
Shares of McDonald's (MCD) rose in morning trading after Credit Suisse upgraded the Big Mac maker to Outperform. Some McDonald's competitors were also active after Telsey Advisory initiated coverage on multiple companies in the quick-serve and fast casual restaurant space. WHAT'S NEW: Credit Suisse analyst Jason West upgraded McDonald's to Outperform and raised his price target on its shares to $112 from $110. West said that more improvements for the company are "forthcoming" even after CEO Steve Easterbrook announced positive operational and financial steps. The analyst added that checks suggest that U.S. same-store sales trends are beginning to turn as a result of operational and menu changes, as well as some new product wins. West said he sees 5%-6% possible upside to current 2016 expectations and views a favorable risk/reward of roughly 2%-3% downside as opposed to 20% upside, even if the turnaround is "fairly modest." NOTABLE INITIATIONS: Separately, Telsey Advisory Group analyst Bob Derrington initiated coverage of several companies in the restaurant sector, stamping Panera (PNRA) with an Outperform rating and a $225 price target. The analyst noted that the company's plan to become a better dining alternative continues to build traction and that same-store sales trends are likely to speed up in 2016 and 2017. Derrington initiated Jack in the Box (JACK) with an Outperform rating and a price target of $95, as he sees it being positioned for strong appreciation in the year ahead based on management's plan to revitalize and differentiate the Jack in the Box brand. The analyst also expects the company to further differentiate, improve the returns, and position its Qdoba brand for quick growth and recycle its franchise cash flow for better shareholder returns. Derrington initiated coverage of Chipotle (CMG) with a Market Perform rating and an $800 price target, saying that despite the firm's positive prospects due to better-than-most-peer same-store sales and revenue growth, the company's margin risk makes him take a more cautious approach to his rating of the stock. The analyst also tagged Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) with a Market Perform rating and a $220 price target, noting that the company's strong growth prospects seem to be reflected in its premium valuation. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, McDonald's shares rose 1.6% to $97.49, Panera shares gained 0.9% to $191, Jack in the Box advanced 1.1% to $78.24, Chipotle added 1% to $715 and Buffalo Wild Wings were 1.3% higher at $195.68.
11:09 EDTCMCSAGoPro announces launch of channel on Comcast Watchable
GoPro (GPRO) announced it's bringing the GoPro Channel to Watchable, Comcast's (CMCSA, CMCSK) new, cross-platform video service. GoPro's first Multichannel Video Programming Distributor agreement will deliver GoPro content to users on iOS,, and X1. Launching in beta, all Watchable content is free, the company stated.
11:05 EDTCMCSAComcast launches video platform Watchable, Business Insider reports
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10:00 EDTMCDOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Apache (APA) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Simmons... Autoliv (ALV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Bristol-Myers (BMY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Bunge (BG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Cerner (CERN) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital... Continental AG (CTTAY) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman... Digital Realty (DLR) upgraded to Overweight from Sector Weight at KeyBanc... FTD Companies (FTD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... Intermolecular (IMI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland... Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... LDR Holding (LDRH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland... Lincoln National (LNC) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray... McDonald's (MCD) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Micron (MU) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Nautilus (NLS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley... Nevsun Resources (NSU) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Scotia... Nexstar (NXST) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Omega Protein (OME) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson... Raytheon (RTN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Republic Airways (RJET) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Swiss Re (SSREY) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan... Thor Industries (THO) upgraded on positive trends, checks at BMO Capital... Verint (VRNT) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair.
09:27 EDTMCDOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Yahoo (YHOO), up 4.5% after the company's board authorized the company to continue to pursue its spin-off of Aabaco Holdings, a newly formed independent registered investment company that will hold all of Yahoo's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (BABA)... Phoenix Companies (PNX), up 164% after Nassau Reinsurance agreed to acquire Phoenix for $37.50 per share in cash... McDonald's (MCD), up 1.4% after the stock was upgraded to Outperform at Credit Suisse... Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), up 1% following upgrade at Deutsche Bank. LOWER: Esperion (ESPR), down 29% after reporting that the FDA has encouraged the company to initiate a cardiovascular outcomes trial promptly since any concern regarding the benefit/risk assessment of ETC-1002 could necessitate a completed cardiovascular outcomes trial before approval... Solera (SLH), down 2% after IHS (IHS) said on its earnings call that it is not pursuing an acquisition of the company, as previouly indicated in media reports... Zosano (ZSAN), down 54% after the company announced that it would discontinue its ZP-PTH agreement with Eli Lilly (LLY).
06:37 EDTMCDMcDonald's upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse upgraded McDonald's to Outperform and raised its price target to $112 from $110. Analyst Jason West said checks indicate U.S. same-store-sales trends are beginning to turn driven by operational and menu changes, and some new product wins. West sees 5-6% potential upside to current 2016 forecasts and sees favorable risk/reward of 2-3% downside versus 20% upside, even if the turnaround is fairly modest.
06:18 EDTVZPublicis signs advertising partnership with Verizon's Go90 service, WSJ reports
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September 28, 2015
15:33 EDTUTXPratt & Whitney renews JV agreement for training center in Beijing
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14:08 EDTVZAOL announces the launch of LIVE by AOL
AOL announced the launch of LIVE by AOL, a comprehensive end-to-end service for the production, streaming, distribution and monetization of live events. LIVE by AOL brings together AOL's world-class video expertise with Verizon Digital Media Services to give content and media partners access to a complete suite of live experience solutions for all screens and devices. LIVE by AOL provides content and media partners with unprecedented distribution through the company's owned and operated properties, including, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and more, in addition to a holistic and open network of over 1,700 publisher partners for live distribution across mobile, digital, over-the-top, and linear TV. In addition to LIVE's expansive reach, the solution also provides complete production capabilities, full content-preparation supported by cross-device, cloud-based encoding that is combined with Verizon Digital Media Services' high-performance stream delivery, and options to monetize through various advertising, sponsorship, and native integration options. "As the video landscape continues to evolve, live programming is the next frontier for innovation," said Jimmy Maymann, EVP and President, AOL Content & Consumer Brands. "LIVE by AOL not only unites the pillars of our business, but enables all of our content and media partners to tap into the power of live programming and bring that success to their own properties. As the lines between traditional television and online video blur, producing, distributing, and monetizing live content in the digital realm will be a deciding factor for those who successfully step into the next era of video."
13:42 EDTVZVerizon offers annual upgrade plan for iPhone users
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12:39 EDTDDHuntsman plunges after warning of continued headwinds
Shares of chemical maker Huntsman (HUN) are plunging after warning that headwinds would impact its third quarter earnings. WHAT'S NEW: After the close on Friday, Huntsman warned that certain trends are expected to impact Q3 earnings. Trends expected to impact its earnings include lower titanium dioxide selling prices amid continued foreign currency headwinds, the company said. The company also noted continued soft demand in the Asia Pacific region. Huntsman said it also sees lower MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether, margins as a result of lower oil prices and forecast continued lower MDI urethane component product margins in the Asia Pacific region. Peter Huntsman, the company's chief executive officer, said the company is "optimistic about the future" despite seeing headwinds in the short term. "Lower raw material prices impacted demand and margins in Q3, thus the accounting benefits will be delayed into the fourth quarter," added Huntsman. The company is anticipating fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA similar to Q3 at about $300M, similar to last year's level. The company is committed to a separation of the Pigments and Additives business by the end of 2016 or sooner. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On August 17, Goldman Sachs removed Huntsman from its Conviction Buy List and said investors remain skeptical on value proposition and free cash flow generation that could strengthen the balance sheet is likely several quarters away. The firm continued to rate shares a Buy with a $26 price target. PRICE ACTION: In midday trading, shares of Huntsman are down 23.08% to $10.70. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other chemical companies are trading lower, including Chemours (CC), which is down 7.8%, Kronos Worldwide (KRO), down 1.62%, Dow Chemical (DOW), falling 3.94% and DuPont (DD), down 2.06%%.
10:00 EDTAMTDOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Aratana Therapeutics (PETX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Craig-Hallum... Astoria Financial (AF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim... Cosan (CZZ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Cummins (CMI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... DSW (DSW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley... Fibrocell Science (FCSC) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush... Galapagos NV (GLPG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Heritage Commerce (HTBK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill... International Flavors (IFF) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... MINDBODY (MB) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... MercadoLibre (MELI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Navistar (NAV) downgraded to Neutral from Accumulate at Global Hunter... Premiere Global (PGI) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens... Qorvo (QRVO) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at Pacific Crest... Snyder's-Lance (LNCE) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... Stryker (SYK) downgraded on M&A sentiment shift at Needham... TD Ameritrade (AMTD) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Telecom Argentina (TEO) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Varian Medical (VAR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Verastem (VSTM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital... Vodacom (VDMCY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
06:50 EDTVZVerizon's go90 wins $80M from backers, NY Post reports
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06:08 EDTCMCSAComcast NBCUniversal to acquire 51% stake in Universal Studios Japan
Comcast NBCUniversal (CMCSA) announced that it has agreed to purchase 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalization transaction, partnering with the current owners including Goldman Sachs (GS), USJ's CEO Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners, and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. Comcast NBCUniversal's purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is Y183B, or $1.5B. "We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in Japan and all of Asia," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. "This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally." Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBCUniversal's ongoing investment strategy for it's U.S. parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
05:36 EDTAMTDTD Ameritrade downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
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September 27, 2015
19:39 EDTCMCSA'Hotel Transylvania 2' bites down in record-setting debut
Animated children's film "Hotel Transylvania 2" set a domestic record for September while "Maze Runner" and "Black Mass" dropped in their second weekends at the box office. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) computer animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania 2" grossed $47.5M during its domestic open for the weekend of September 27, beating expectations for $35M-$40M and setting a new record for September box office debuts. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and others returned to provide voice acting for the monster-themed movie, which saw the biggest open yet for Sony Pictures Animation. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: With Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in leading roles, Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' "The Intern" opened at $18.2M against estimates sales of $15M-$20M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" came in third with $14M after grossing $30.3M domestically during last weekend's debut. Meanwhile, Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest" jumped to $13.1M after significantly expanding its screen count, while Warner Bros.' "Black Mass" rounded out this weekend's Top 5 at $11.5M.
September 25, 2015
13:17 EDTCMCSAFly Watch: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' expected to top weekend box office
Sony's (SNE) animated sequel "'Hotel Transylvania 2," which is opening in 3,600 theaters, is expected to win this weekend's box office with a domestic gross of $35M-$40M. The next bunch of films are all expecting similar grosses in the mid-to-high teens. Time Warner (TWX) subsidiary Warner Bros.' comedy "The Intern," starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is estimated to open in the $15M-$20M range in 3,305 theaters. Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary Universal's "Everest," which opened last weekend on IMAX (IMAX), is expanding to over 3,000 theaters this weekend and is estimated to gross in the range of $15M-$17M. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials," which grossed $30.3M domestically for the weekend of September 20, is expected to earn an estimated $16M in its second weekend of release. Warner Bros.' Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass," which took in $23.4M in its domestic opening last weekend, is expected to gross $12.5M-$13M this weekend. Additionally, Lions Gate's (LGF) drug cartel drama "Sicario" is playing in about 50 theaters ahead of the film's wide release on October 2.
12:10 EDTCROXCrocs volatility elevated into to host investor day
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10:48 EDTCMCSAMorgan 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.
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