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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 29, 2014
12:23 EDTS, WIN, CTL, T, FTR, VZWindstream REIT spin off plan provides jolt for stock, telecom sector
Shares of Windstream (WIN), which provides network communications services to businesses and residential consumers, are jumping after the company announced that it would spin off some of its assets into a real estate investment trust, or REIT. Two research firms had very different reactions to the move. WHAT'S NEW: Windstream said that it would spin of some of its assets, including its fiber and copper networks and other real estate, as a REIT. Expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year, the tax-free spinoff will enable Windstream to realize significant financial flexibility by lowering its debt by approximately $3.2B and increasing free cash flow to accelerate broadband investments, transition faster to an IP network and pursue additional growth opportunities, the company said. The REIT will be positioned to provide an attractive dividend to shareholders and grow revenue through lease escalation, capital investment and acquisitions, Windstream added. Windstream noted that the IRS had granted preliminary recognition of the tax-free nature of the spinoff and the qualification of the spun off assets for REIT status. The company said it expects to pay a dividend of 10c per share after the transaction, while the REIT will pay an annual dividend equivalent to 60c per share. REITs do not pay taxes on income that they distribute to unitholders. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors today, Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan said that the move would enable Windstream to avoid about $200M each year in potential taxes. The analyst noted that Windstream was cutting its overall dividend to 70c from $1, but he believes that the dividend has become much safer. Furthermore, the move is intelligent from a strategic, operational, and financial viewpoint, he believes. With its new structure, Windstream is worth at least $15 per share and could be worth as much as $18 per share, Horan estimated. The analyst kept a Perform rating on the stock. Much more skeptical about Windstream's move was Mike McCormack, an analyst at research firm Jefferies. The REIT spin-off is "an elegant way" for Windstream to cut its dividend, McCormack contended. The move does not change the company's fundamentals and calls into question the stock's valuation, as the portion of the company not spun off into the REIT appears to be a non-facilities based provider, the analyst wrote. As a result, Windstream's valuation is questionable, he contended. McCormack kept a $6 price target and Underperform rating on the shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Horan and McCormack both believe that other telecom companies with wireline businesses could follow Windstream's lead and spin off assets into a REIT. By obtaining a favorable preliminary ruling from the IRS, Windstream has already cleared the biggest hurdle to a REIT conversion, possibly setting the stage for other companies in the sector to follow suit, McCormack stated. If Windstream is able to carry out the spinoff, it means that every non-REIT communications and cloud company covered by Oppenheimer is now about 20% undervalued, wrote Horan. However, UBS analyst Scott Arwin does not expect large telecom companies like Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) to follow Windstream's lead, as he does not think the larger companies will want to open their networks to competitors at regulated rates. PRICE ACTION: In midday trading, Windstream rose 12% to $11.80. The stock was well off its high for the day of $13.30. Other stocks in the sector also rose, with Frontier Communications climbing 12% to $6.64, Century Link (CTL) advancing 4% to $39.15, AT&T (T) gaining 3.3% to $36.83, Verizon (VZ) rising 1.8% to $52.50 and Sprint (S) adding 1% to $7.75.
News For WIN;VZ;T;S;FTR;CTL From The Last 14 Days
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January 16, 2015
16:00 EDTVZOptions Update; January 16, 2015
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11:42 EDTSSprint announces expansion of Sprint Lease program
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10:12 EDTSSprint unit Virgin Mobile to offer no contract data sharing plans
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January 15, 2015
15:33 EDTSRadioShack in talks for bankruptcy loan with lenders, Bloomberg says
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09:36 EDTVZActive equity options trading
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06:27 EDTT, VZIntel to partner with more IT players for Internet of Things, DigiTimes reports
Intel (INTC) is preparing to team up with more IT firms such as AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), Cisco (CSCO), SAP (SAP), and Microsoft (MSFT) in order to expand the Internet of Things industry in 2015, reports DigiTimes. According to sources from the upstream supply chain, Intel has been playing an active role in helping Taiwan build its smart city infrastructure and has also cooperated with Chunghwa Telecom to develop the IoT and cloud computing applications. Reference Link
January 14, 2015
14:10 EDTCTLData center providers could be hurt by Bitcoin slump, Data Center Knowledge says
As an extended slump in the value of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies prompts a shakeout that has seen some firms shut down or halt payouts, industry publication Data Center Knowledge says the fallout is being felt by some data center operators. Companies that operate data centers include CenturyLink (CTL), InterXion (INXN), and Equinix (EQIX). Reference Link
10:00 EDTVZOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: ACE Limited (ACE) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... AXIS Capital (AXS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... Allstate (ALL) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Altera (ALTR) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... American Midstream Partners (AMID) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Argo Group (AGII) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Aspen Insurance (AHL) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Beneficial Bancorp (BNCL) downgraded to Neutral at Boenning & Scattergood... CDW Corporation (CDW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... CHC Group (HELI) downgraded at Raymond James... CIRCOR (CIR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel... Chesapeake (CHK) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Commerzbank (CRZBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Continental Resources (CLR) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Corporate Office Properties (OFC) downgraded to Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Credit Suisse (CS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC... Datawatch (DWCH) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Devon Energy (DVN) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Dollar Tree (DLTR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Northcoast... Douglas Emmett (DEI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho... Dresser-Rand (DRC) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Enable Midstream (ENBL) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... F5 Networks (FFIV) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... First Majestic (AG) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotia Capital... Foot Locker (FL) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Franklin Resources (BEN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... HCP (HCP) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Halcon Resources (HK) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Insulet (PODD) downgraded at Sterne Agee... J.B. Hunt (JBHT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Avondale... JPMorgan (JPM) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC... KB Home (KBH) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Kosmos (KOS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Marathon Oil (MRO) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Medley Management (MDLY) downgraded to Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette... MoneyGram (MGI) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... National Grid (NGG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Navigators (NAVG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Pioneer Energy (PES) downgraded at Raymond James... RSP Permian (RSPP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Rambus (RMBS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Realty Income (O) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Red Hat (RHT) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Resolute Energy (REN) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Ross Stores (ROST) downgraded to Neutral at UBS... SandRidge Energy (SD) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Tech Data (TECD) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Teekay Offshore Partners (TOO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Travelers (TRV) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... TrueCar (TRUE) downgraded to Market Perform at Cowen... Valspar (VAL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird... Verizon (VZ) downgraded at Evercore ISI... Viacom (VIAB) downgraded to Sell from Buy at Citigroup... W. R. Berkley (WRB) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Waddell & Reed (WDR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Western Union (WU) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Whiting Petroleum (WLL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Whole Foods (WFM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus... Xilinx (XLNX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... iRobot (IRBT) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
08:22 EDTTMKM Partners unable to recommend ADTRAN until clarity on AT&T timing
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07:34 EDTVZVerizon downgraded at Evercore ISI
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07:14 EDTVZSynacor, Verizon FiOS expand partnership
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06:53 EDTVZVerizon downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI
January 12, 2015
10:00 EDTFTR, WINOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Agnico-Eagle (AEM) upgraded at BMO Capital... Aimco (AIV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Alaska Air (ALK) upgraded at Evercore ISI... Alcoa (AA) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Alon USA Energy (ALJ) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... AvalonBay (AVB) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... BASF (BASFY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup... C.H. Robinson (CHRW) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... CBS (CBS) upgraded to Outperform at Cowen... Chesapeake (CHK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... China Mobile (CHL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at ... D.R. Horton (DHI) upgraded at KeyBanc... Daimler AG (DDAIF) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Diamond Resorts (DRII) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... FMC Corporation (FMC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... First Cash Financial (FCFS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital... Frontier Communications (FTR) upgraded at BofA/Merrill... HomeAway (AWAY) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Ingersoll-Rand (IR) upgraded at Morgan Stanley... KB Home (KBH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Knight Transportation (KNX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... LabCorp (LH) upgraded to Outperform at RW Baird... M.D.C. Holdings (MDC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Mid-America Apartment (MAA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... PACCAR (PCAR) upgraded at RBC Capital... Parsley Energy (PE) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Peugeot (PUGOY) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Radware (RDWR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Buckingham... Rush Enterprises (RUSHA) upgraded at BB&T... Ryland Group (RYL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... SL Green Realty (SLG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Solera (SLH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... Standard Pacific (SPF) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan... Statoil (STO) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Syngenta (SYT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Miller Tabak... VMware (VMW) upgraded to Positive from Mixed at OTR Global... Vale (VALE) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Scotia Capital... Volvo (VOLVY) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Windstream (WIN) upgraded at BofA/Merrill... lululemon (LULU) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee.
07:35 EDTVZNational Retail Federation to hold a trade show
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07:27 EDTWINWindstream upgraded at BofA/Merrill
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07:25 EDTFTRFrontier Communications upgraded at BofA/Merrill
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06:16 EDTVZSpherix announces trial date for case against Verizon set for May 18
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06:06 EDTT, VZSoftcard cuts 60 employees in restructuring, Re/code reports
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06:01 EDTFTRFrontier Communications upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
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06:01 EDTWINWindstream upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
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