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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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March 25, 2015
05:57 EDTVZStocks with implied volatility movement; VZ PG
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March 24, 2015
09:05 EDTVZVerizon moves to 100G network in the U.S.
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08:52 EDTSSprint CEO may make 'unfortunate misstep,' says FBR Capital
FBR Capital says its vendor checks indicate new Sprint CEO Marcello Claure has undertaken a strategic review of the company's competitive positioning. The firm believes Truco, the strategic advisory group brought in by Claure, is advocating a "premature network rip and replace program." FBR says this approach of converting Sprint's 1.9GHZ spectrum to uplink would be an "unfortunate misstep and a missed opportunity to embrace the technology shift underway." The firm sees risk of Sprint under-investing and weakening its franchise value further. It has a Market Perform rating on the name.
07:47 EDTVZBrookings Institution holds a discussion
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March 23, 2015
10:08 EDTVZVerizon management to meet with Oppenheimer
Meeting to be held in Europe on March 24 hosted by Oppenheimer.
07:13 EDTSRadioShack bankruptcy auction to begin Monday, WSJ says
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March 19, 2015
16:26 EDTTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened lower but turned mixed early in the day and remained that way for most of the session. The Dow and S&P spent most of the day deep in negative territory, while the Nasdaq managed to stay just above the flat line. Investors had a chance to digest yesterday’s comments from the Fed and may have re-considered whether it latest policy stance was as dovish as originally believed. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims rose 1K to 291K in the week ended March 14, which nearly matched the consensus 293K forecast. The current account deficit widened to $113.5B in Q4 from a revised deficit of $98.9B in Q3. The leading indicators for February rose 0.2% to 121.4, which was in-line with expectations. The Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey ticked down to a 5.0 one-year low from 5.2 in February, missing expectations for it to have risen a 7.0 reading. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the close last night, replacing AT&T (T). Shares of Apple finished their first day in the blue chip index down 97c, or 0.76%, at $127.50, while AT&T fell 39c, or 1.16%, to $33.20... Coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX) rose $1.92, or 2%, to close at $97.76 after hitting a new all-time high of $99.20 earlier. The move follows the company's investor day meeting yesterday, where it unveiled plans for two pilots of delivery services, reported a partnership to expand the distribution of its ready-to-drink products in China, and announced that its board has declared the sixth two-for-one split of the company’s stock since its IPO in 1992. Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo were both unphased by the record highs and predicted the rally is not over for Starbucks in upbeat notes on the stock today. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD), which rose $3.11, or 33.26%, to $12.46 after reporting positive results in meetings with the EMA and FDA. Also higher was Wynn Resorts (WYNN), which gained $7.19, or 5.85%, to $130.11 after research firm Brean Capital last night initiated coverage of the stock and several casino peers with Buy ratings. Among the noteworthy losers was Transocean (RIG), which fell $1.09, or 7.15%, to $14.16 after saying that it intends to scrap four rigs and noting that with those it has announced plans to scrap a total of 16 floaters. Also lower after its earnings report was diversified apparel company Vince Holding (VNCE), which fell $3.50, or 16.36%, to $17.89. INDEXES: The Dow fell 117.16, or 0.65%, to 17,959.03, the Nasdaq gained 9.55, or 0.19%, to 4,992.38, and the S&P 500 declined 10.23, or 0.49%, to 2,089.27.
13:09 EDTTAT&T to pay $40M after missing appeal deadline, Bloomberg reports
AT&T is required to pay $40M in a patent infringement case because the company's lawyers failed to read a court document, reports Bloomberg. An appeals court ruled that AT&T missed the deadline to appeal a jury verdict for $27.5M, plus interest, won by Two-Way Media LLC. AT&T said its missed deadline was “excusable neglect” because of the incorrect docket entry, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said others were given the information needed and refused to extend the time period for the appeal. Reference Link
13:00 EDTTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday, with Nasdaq slightly higher and the Dow and S&P 500 both down a bit more than 0.5%. The day’s economic reports were generally benign and are likely less significant to the trading action than participants having had some time to digest yesterday’s Fed comments. Immediately after the Fed's policy statement yesterday, the U.S. dollar fell as low as 1.10 against the euro, but that move was almost entirely reversed overnight. The dollar was back near pre-Fed levels against the euro early this morning, and similar moves were seen in pairs of the dollar and other major currencies. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims rose 1K to 291K in the week ended March 14, which nearly matched the consensus 293K forecast. The current account deficit widened to $113.5B in Q4 from a revised deficit of $98.9B in Q3. The leading indicators for February rose 0.2% to 121.4, which was in-line with expectations. The Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey ticked down to a 5.0 one-year low from 5.2 in February, missing expectations for it to have risen a 7.0 reading. In Europe, the Swiss National Bank left rates unchanged, cut its growth forecasts for the country's economy, said that it will intervene in currency markets as needed since it believes the Swiss Franc remains overvalued. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average today, replacing AT&T (T). Shares of the iPhone maker were down 0.5% near midday, while AT&T stock fell a bit more than 1%... Shares of coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX) hit a new all-time high of $98.50 earlier this afternoon following the company's investor day meeting yesterday. In conjunction with its meeting, Starbucks reaffirmed its goal to grow its market cap to $100B, unveiled plans for two pilots of delivery services, announced that its board has declared the sixth two-for-one split of the company’s stock since its IPO in 1992 and said it has entered into an agreement for Tingyi to manufacture and expand the distribution of Starbucks ready-to-drink products throughout mainland China. Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo both issued upbeat notes on the stock today, saying that the coffee retailer's shares can continue to climb. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Coronado Biosciences (CNDO), which gained 42% after announcing the formation of a new company, Mustang Therapeutics, focused on Chimeric Antigen Receptor, or CAR-T, technology. The company also announced a licensing agreement with NeuPharma for EGFR inhibitors. Also higher was Guess (GES), which gained 15% after reporting higher than expected profits for its fiscal fourth quarter. Among the noteworthy losers was Transocean (RIG), which fell 6% after having announced last night that four of its 5th generation UDW drillships will be cold stacked and the contract with ENI (E) for the Transocean Amirante was terminated. Transocean also said it intends to scrap four rigs, noting that with those it has announced plans to scrap a total of 16 floaters. Also lower following its earnings report was diversified apparel company Vince Holding (VNCE), which fell 16%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 128.51, or 0.71%, to 17,947.68, the Nasdaq was up 3.15, or 0.06%, to 4,985.98, and the S&P 500 was down 13.36, or 0.64%, to 2,086.14.
09:05 EDTTApple up fractionally in pre-market trade ahead of Dow entry
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07:04 EDTTAmerican Express confirms plans to launch Plenti loyalty program
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March 18, 2015
13:59 EDTVZ, T, ST-Mobile announces 'Un-contract,' 'Carrier Freedom' initiatives
Today, during an event held to announce Un-carrier 9.0 − Un-carrier for Business − T-Mobile (TMUS) unveiled two new major Un-carrier initiatives for consumers. First, with T-Mobile’s new "Un-contract," customers will now have more certainty in their wireless pricing than ever before. Consumers and businesses with the Simple Choice rate plan will find that rates won’t go up as long as they’re a T-Mobile customer and keep their plan − and even customers with unlimited 4G LTE will lock in their rates for a minimum of two years. The Un-carrier also launched "Carrier Freedom," a new move where T-Mobile will now cover all outstanding phone and tablet payments up to $650 per line when customers from AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) or Sprint (S) switch to T-Mobile.
10:26 EDTVZVerizon agrees to settle 911 outage probe for $3.4M
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09:23 EDTVZVerizon may launch mobile TV service as soon as June, Bloomberg says
Verizon (VZ) has secured mobile television streaming rights with Viacom (VIA, VIAB) and DreamWorks Animation (DWA) and plans to start a mobile video streaming service as early as June, according to Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter. Verizon plans to have programming from ABC (DIS), NBC (CMCSA), CBS (CBS) and Fox (FOXA) as part of the service, the report added. The Fly notes that Verizon has publicly confirmed previously that it plans to launch such a service, but has not provided many details to date.
07:30 EDTTAT&T-DirecTV getting less attention than Comcast-Time Warner Cable, Reuters says
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06:16 EDTTAmerican Express to launch Plenti loyalty program this spring, WSJ reports
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March 17, 2015
10:02 EDTWINHigh option volume stocks
High option volume stocks: NGL ARCO ENR OIL SNI ESPR CYH WIN CRZO DISH
09:34 EDTWINActive equity options trading on open
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06:10 EDTVZSpherix announces Markman hearing held as scheduled in Verizon case
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March 16, 2015
08:03 EDTFTRFrontier Communications unit announces alliance with DistiNow
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