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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 24, 2014
12:25 EDTEIGI, MU, WWWW, MEET, VRTX, WAG, GOOGOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday after reports on new home sales and consumer confidence both rose to their best levels in six years. The major averages began the day slightly below the flat-line but crossed into positive ground following the confidence and new home sales reports at 10 am ET, after which they found a level and have barely moved since. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities for April had its smallest 12-month gain in more than a year, rising 10.8% from the same month of last year. However, a separate report showed that new home sales surged 18.6% in May to a 504K annual rate, beating expectations. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index climbed to 85.2 in June, beating expectations and hitting its highest level since 2008. The Richmond Fed manufacturing index dipped to 3 in June from 7 in both April and May. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of computer memory maker Micron Technology (MU) climbed 5% after the company's third quarter earnings per share and revenue surpassed analysts' expectations. Following its report and guidance last night, Needham upgraded Micron to Strong Buy from Buy and raised its price target for shares to $50 from $40, while analysts at Roth Capital, Jefferies, and JPMorgan also raised their price targets on the stock. Conversely, Walgreen (WAG) slipped 1% after its earnings missed expectations and it withdrew the FY16 goals the company had previously announced in 2012. Walgreen cited the consideration its board is making of the second step in its Alliance Boots strategic transaction as the reason for withdrawing the targets and said its expects to provide a new set of goals and metrics by late July or early August. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), which was up about 40% after Phase 3 studies of its combination treatment for lung function in certain cystic fibrosis patients achieved their primary endpoint. Also higher was MeetMe (MEET), which rose 18% after the company announced that it set a new daily record for the number of user-to-user chats as more than 15 million chats were sent on a single day for the first time on its service. Among the noteworthy losers was Web.com (WWWW), which dropped 21% after Google (GOOG) entered the domain name market and announced that it would enable individuals and businesses to choose Internet addresses. Also lower following Google's entry into the domain name market was another company in the sector, Endurance (EIGI), which dropped more than 10%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 12.00, or 0.07%, to 16,949.26, the Nasdaq was up 28.52, or 0.65%, to 4,397.19, and the S&P 500 was up 3.54, or 0.18%, to 1,966.15.
News For WWWW;GOOG;VRTX;MU;WAG;MEET;EIGI From The Last 14 Days
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July 14, 2015
13:01 EDTGOOGFanDuel completes $275M funding round from KKR, Google Capital, Bloomberg says
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12:37 EDTMUOptions with increasing volume Micron
Options with increasing volume: GGP WMC KSU A WY TCK JKS EMC DHR AMJ CZR MU
12:28 EDTMUOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday despite data showing that retail sales unexpectedly fell last month. With a nuclear pact agreed to by Iran and the Greek debt crisis pushed to the back burner for the time being, earnings are set to take center stage, beginning with the reports this morning from two of the country's biggest banks and a bluechip healthcare conglomerate. With stocks working on their fourth consecutive day in positive territory, the Dow has pushed back above the 18,000 level. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.3% in June, versus expectations for growth of 0.3%. If autos and gas are removed from the data, the core reading was down 0.2%, versus expectations for it to be up 0.4%. The import price index fell 0.1% last month, versus expectations for it to be up 0.1%. Business inventories grew 0.3% in May, matching the consensus expectation. In Europe, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told U.K. officials that “the point at which interest rates may begin to rise is moving closer.” Additionally, Iran reached a deal on restrictions and inspections intended to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic by six world powers. The agreement still faces a political fight in the U.S. before taking effect, but President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any congressional effort to block its implementation. COMPANY NEWS: Twitter (TWTR) shares spiked late in the morning after a questionable takeover report appeared on a website that attempted to mimic Bloomberg. A Bloomberg spokesman said soon afterward that the Twitter takeover story being attributed to the news service is a fake, while a Twitter spokesperson also denied the report of an alleged deal in a statement to Reuters... The nation's largest bank, JPMorgan (JPM), earned $1.54 per share in earnings in the second quarter of the year, which was up from the same period of last year and above the $1.44 per share consensus estimate. Peer Wells Fargo (WFC) reported quarterly earnings that were in-line with expectations on a revenue that, like JPMorgan, was a bit below the consensus forecast. Shares of each of the banks rose about 1% near noon following their reports... Dow member Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), however, slipped about 1% after reporting better than expected earnings, revenue that was in-line with expectations and raising its fiscal year adjusted profit forecast. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Micron (MU), which jumped 11% after The Wall Street Journal reported last night that China's state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup had offered to acquire the memory chip maker for $23B, or $21 per share. Also higher was Matrix Service (MTRX), which gained 18% after the Oil & Gas industry service provider issued guidance for its revenue and earnings in fiscal 2016. Among the noteworthy losers was Vince Holding (VNCE), which sunk 19% after the fashion brand owner announced the resignation of its CEO, which follows the resignation of its CFO less than a month ago. Also lower was Navient (NAVI), which fell 10% after the company lowered its outlook to reflect marketplace conditions for private loan portfolio purchases and its cost of funds. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 60.30, or 0.34%, to 18,037.98, the Nasdaq was up 34.68, or 0.68%, to 5,106.20, and the S&P 500 was up 8.21, or 0.39%, to 2,107.81.
11:26 EDTGOOGGoogle price target raised to $744 from $614 at B. Riley
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10:55 EDTMUMicron upgraded to Hold from Sell at Drexel Hamilton
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10:52 EDTMUAnalysts say Micron could be sold, but not at price Tsinghua said to offer
Research firms have reacted to a Wall Street Journal report, published last night, that Chinese chip maker Tsinghua had offered to acquire Micron (MU) for $23B, or $21 per share. Summit Research said that Tsinghua would probably raise its bid, while JMP Securities wrote that the deal would be logical from Tsinghua's perspective. However, Piper Jaffray contended that the reported buyout offer is illogical and Cowen agreed, saying that the deal makes no sense for shareholders. ANALYST REACTION: Tsinghua may have indicated that it was making the "low ball" offer in order to gauge the reaction of Micron's management and shareholders to it, Summit Research analyst Srini Sundarararjan contended in a note to investors. Tsinghua will probably increase its bid, the analyst predicted, adding that he expects Micron's stock to reach $21 soon. Sundarararjan kept a $34 price target and Buy rating on Micron. JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna wrote that the deal would be logical for Tsinghua, as it would allow the Chinese company to access leading edge process technology, enable it to deliver more complete system solutions, and give it access to 3D NAND technology. The analyst, who believes that other Chinese companies may make competing bids for Micron, finds it difficult to believe that Micron would accept an offer more than 5%-10% below its 52-week high of $36.50. Piper Jaffray analyst Ruben Roy countered that the deal makes sense for Tsinghua and China, but not for Micron. If a takeover of Micron was based on the average valuation that companies in Micron's sector have received in takeover deals over the last 18 months, it would fetch a takeover price of $43 per share, Roy estimated. Micron and Tsinghua are more likely to reach an intellectual property sharing deal than complete a takeover transaction, according to Roy, who kept an Overweight rating on Micron. Similarly, Cowen analyst Timothy Arcuri wrote that the $21 per share price wouldn't make sense for Micron's shareholders, since it's barely above the estimated replacement cost of the company's capacity. The analyst indicated that he does not believe that Tsinghua would actually make the deal and he thinks that the U.S. Department of Justice would not approve the deal if it does get offered. WHAT'S NOTABLE: In a separate note, Summit's Sundarararjan, noting that Intel (INTC) has a 20% stake in Tsinghua. contended that the U.S. chip giant probably "midwifed" Tsinghua's offer for Micron. The analyst says that Intel "carries a lot of weight" with the U.S. Department of Justice and he believes that the DOJ could approve the deal. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Micron jumped 11% to $19.60. Several other semi chip related stocks were also rising, with SanDisk (SNDK) gaining 4%, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) advancing 3% and Atmel (ATML) adding 2%.
09:30 EDTMUMicron gaps up on Tsinghua bid speculation, levels to watch
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09:30 EDTMUPiper says reported Micron buyout price makes no sense
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09:20 EDTMUOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Natural Health Trends Corp. (NHTC), up 16.2% following second quarter guidance... Transgenomic (TBIO), up 14% after launching genetic test for Leukodystrophy diagnosis... Biocept (BIOC), up 12.4% after launching diagnostic assay for BRAF mutations in melanoma patients... Micron (MU), up 13.1% after WSJ reports that Tsinghua made $23B acquisition offer... SanDisk (SNDK) and AMD (AMD) are up 3.8% and 3.1%, respectively, following reports of Tsinghua offer to Micron... GoPro (GPRO), up 3.2% after being upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Wells Fargo (WFC), down 1%... JPMorgan (JPM), down fractionally. ALSO LOWER: Vince Holding (VNCE), down 16.3% after being downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair... Tonix Pharmaceuticals (TNXP), down 8.3% after 2.3M share Spot Secondary priced at $7.50... Spirit Airlines (SAVE), down 7.4% after pricing pressure leads to reduced fiscal 2015 margin view... Orbitz Worldwide (OWW), down 2.8% after being downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS.
09:06 EDTGOOGMerkle announces deal with Google to adopt DoubleClick's marketing solutions
Merkle, a data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency, has reached an agreement with Google to adopt the full suite of DoubleClick’s marketing solutions. As part of the agreement, Merkle will be one of the first agencies to use DoubleClick’s cross-device measurement, which was unveiled by Google at the June 17 DoubleClick Leadership Summit.
08:26 EDTMUMicron upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley upgraded Micron (MU) to Equal Weight and said reports China's Tsinghua Unigroup bid $21 per share for the company puts a floor on the stock.
08:26 EDTMUMicron takeover by Tsinghua would be logical, says JMP Securities
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08:18 EDTMUReported Micron deal wouldn't make sense for shareholders, says Cowen
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07:35 EDTMUMicron volatility flat into Tsinghua acquisition offer report
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06:41 EDTMUMicron, Tsinghua deal 'probably won't happen,' WSJ reports
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06:30 EDTMUTsinghua bid for Micron likely goes higher, says Summit Research
Summit Research analyst Srini Sundararajan views Tsinghua Unigroup's reported $21 per share offer for Micron (MU) as a "low-ball bid" that likely goes higher. Micron's spokespeople have said they are yet to receive an offer in writing, the analyst tells investors in a research note. Sundararajan says Micron is a "very justified" acquisition target. The analyst expects shares to trade to $21 soon and believes antitrust concerns can be dealt with successfully. Sundararajan points out Intel holds a 20% stake in Tsinghua and "carries a lot of weight" with the U.S. Department of Justice.
06:20 EDTGOOGQualcomm to work with Google-backed Thread Group, Re/code reports
Qualcomm (QCOM) said it is working with Thread Group, a Google (GOOG) backed effort to find ways for internet connected devices to communicate with one another, Re/code reports. Reference Link
06:15 EDTGOOGGoogle seeks ways to operate more efficiently, WSJ reports
Google is slowing down hiring and seeking ways to run more efficiently, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. New CFO Ruth Porat has been active in the company's cost-cutting measures, the report says, having started an internal audit examining costs, revenue, and accounting systems. Google is expected to offer an expenses update on Thursday when it reports its second quarter financial results, the report says. Reference Link
06:11 EDTMUMicron says hasn't received offer from Tsinghua, Reuters reports
A Micron spokesperson tells Reuters that the company has not received an M&A offer from Tsinghua Unigroup. Reference Link
05:46 EDTMUIntel may have 'midwifed' Tsinghua bid for Micron, says Summit Research
Summit Research analyst Srini Sundararajan says Tsinghua Unigroup's reported $23B offer for Micron (MU) is highly likely to have been "midwifed" by Intel (INTC). Intel owns 20% of Tsinghua, Sundararajan points out. The analyst thinks the potential merger will "only have a few objections to work through," despite doubt from investors that the deal will be allowed by the Department of Justice. Sundararajan has viewed Micron as an acquisition candidate and keeps a Buy rating on the name with a $34 price target after the Wall Street Journal reported last night that the state-owned Tsinghua offered $21 a share for Micron. The chip maker is up $1.99 to $19.60 in pre-market trading.
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