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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 24, 2014
12:25 EDTMEET, VRTX, WAG, GOOG, EIGI, MU, WWWWOn 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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January 28, 2016
16:00 EDTMUOptions Update; January 28, 2016
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 84c to 25.21 Option volume leaders: FB AAPL MSFT AMZN NFLX BAC BABA QCOM AAL MU C RIG
15:05 EDTGOOGEarnings Watch: Analysts more bullish on Microsoft since last quarter's blowout
Microsoft (MSFT) is scheduled to report results of its second quarter of fiscal year 2016 after the market close on Thursday, January 28, with a conference call scheduled for 5:30 pm ET. Microsoft, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells and licenses software to consumers and businesses, offers cloud computing and other business services, and markets computer, phone and gaming hardware. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 71c on revenue of $25.26B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 66c-75c on revenue of $24.62B-$25.92B. On its last earnings conference call, Microsoft said it expected Q2 productivity revenue of $6.6B-$6.67B, Q2 revenue for intelligent cloud of $6.2B-$6.3B and Q2 personal computing revenue of $12B-$12.4B. LAST QUARTER: On October 22, Microsoft reported first quarter earnings per share of 67c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 59c. The company's revenue came in at $21.7B, topping the consensus estimate of $21.03B. NEWS: On December 17, Microsoft announced a new joint venture that will license, deploy, manage and optimize Windows 10 for China's government agencies and certain state owned enterprises and provide ongoing support and services for these customers. That announcement followed Microsoft inking a partnership with Baidu (BIDU) to make it easy for their customers to upgrade to Windows 10 while providing local browsing and search experiences, and universal apps. On January 4, Microsoft said in a blog post that operating system Windows 10 was currently active on over 200M devices, bringing the company closer to its goal of seeing Windows 10 active on more than 1B devices. STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last earnings report, BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan upgraded Microsoft to Buy from Neutral, saying he believes the company was at a turning point with its operating income headed for growth following four years of flattish performance. At the time, Rangan increased his price target on the stock to $63 from $46. On November 20, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a note to investors that actions taken by Google parent Alphabet (GOOG) and comments made by its executives indicated that the tech giant plans to make a major push in the cloud infrastructure market. Based on a comment from executive Urs Holzle that the company's revenue from the cloud could surpass its ad revenue by 2020, Sandler estimated that the company is seeking to boost its cloud revenue to $100B by 2020. Google's push in the cloud is negative for Microsoft, but it will take years for Google to build up its cloud business to the point where it's competitive with Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, the analyst contended. On November 30, Raymond James analyst Michael Turits upgraded Microsoft two notches to Strong Buy from Hold, predicting that the tech giant will become one of the few large scale cloud vendors that can succeed across the industry's three main segments. Microsoft will emerge alongside Amazon (AMZN) and Google as part of a small group of "hyperscale" cloud vendors that can combine Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service, predicted Turits. Forecasting that Microsoft's cloud revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6% between fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2018, the analyst estimated that the company's overall profit growth would accelerate to at least 8% over the long-term. Moreover, the growth of Microsoft's Office business appears to be accelerating, despite competition from Google, said Turits, who set a $62 price target on the shares. On January 13, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss upgraded Microsoft to Overweight, the firm's equivalent of a "Buy" rating, from Equal Weight. Microsoft is emerging as a public cloud winner, is gaining share in the data center market and Office 365 is seeing its base grow and its per user pricing increase, all of which set up the company to resume earnings growth after a five year period of stagnation, Weiss told investors. The analyst, who believes Microsoft's earnings growth and "aggressive" return of capital to shareholders should help its multiple expand, raised his price target on the stock to $66 from $57. This morning, UBS analyst Brent Thill said that given Apple's (AAPL) recent negative commentary around macro uncertainty he was lowering his second half of the year estimates for Microsoft on the potential for more conservative guidance when it issues its Q2 report after the closing bell. Thill trimmed his price target on Microsoft to $58 from $60, but said he remains confident the company is making the right moves to the cloud and kept a Buy rating on shares. PRICE ACTION: On the day after the company's last quarterly report, Microsoft shares jumped 10.4% to $53.03. In late afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's report, Microsoft advanced 1.25% to $51.86.
08:04 EDTGOOGHarman CEO: On track to deliver full year plan
"I am pleased to announce our 11th consecutive quarter of top and bottom line growth. Our strong first half results were in-line with our expectations. While we are closely monitoring macroeconomic developments, at this time, we are on track to deliver on our full year plan," said Dinesh C. Paliwal, Harman (HAR) Chairman, President and CEO. "HARMAN continues to innovate and bring industry-first solutions to market. We are also partnering with key technology leaders such as Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Under Armour (UA) to capitalize on the opportunities presented by IoT for automotive, enterprise and consumer electronics. In addition, our acquisition of TowerSec will strengthen our cybersecurity leadership position for automotive."
07:45 EDTGOOGFacebook price target raised to $140 from $125 at Cowen
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06:24 EDTGOOGSNP calls on EU to probe Google's U.K. tax agreement, FT reports
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06:22 EDTGOOGGoogle, Apple push back on Euro tax deals, FT reports
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06:19 EDTGOOGItaly finance police say Google avoided EUR227M in taxes, Reuters says
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05:59 EDTVRTXVertex price target lowered to $143 from $180 at Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff lowered his price target for Vertex Pharmaceuticals to $143 to reflect reduced cystic fibrosis sales assumptions following the company's Q4 results. The analyst says there is "no surprises" in Vertex's quarter and keeps an Overweight rating on the name.
January 27, 2016
19:30 EDTVRTX, GOOGOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Facebook (FB), up 11.4%... Mellanox (MLNX), up 6.4%... Paypal (PYPL), up 5%... Crown Castle (CCI), up 2.2%... Citrix (CTXS), up 2.4%... Las Vegas Sands (LVS), up 1%... SanDisk (SNDK), up 1%. ALSO HIGHER: Radius Health (RDUS), up 1.2% after announcing a clinical collaboration with Novartis (NVS)... LinkedIn (LNKD) is up 2.4%, Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) is up 2.2% and 2.6%, respectively, Netflix (NFLX) is up 1%, Amazon.com (AMZN) is up 2%, and Twitter (TWTR) is up marginally after Facebook reported quarterly results... MGM Resorts (MGM) is up 2.2% and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) is up 2.2%. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: ServiceNow (NOW), down 16.5%... eBay (EBAY), down 12.8%... United Rentals (URI), down 9.7%... Juniper Networks (JNPR), down 9.6%... Silicon Graphics (SGI), down 9.1%... Discover Financial (DFS), down 7.4%... InvenSense (INVN), down 6.1%... Core Laboratories (CLB), down 4.3%... Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), down 1.1%. ALSO LOWER: Incyte (INCY), down 12.8% after announcing that it will halt the Phase 2 sub-study of ruxolitinib or placebo in combination with regorafenib after a planned interim analysis of the high CRP subgroup demonstrated that ruxolitinib plus regorafenib did not show a sufficient level of efficacy to warrant continuation.
18:00 EDTGOOGFacebook executives pleased with China growth, hazy on Oculus launch
Speaking on the company's fourth quarter earnings conference call, Facebook (FB) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg highlighted the company's more than 2.5M active advertisers as well as the growth of its Messenger and WhatsApp services, which have expanded to 800M and nearly 1B monthly users, respectively. More services will be coming soon to Messenger, Zuckerberg promised, including airline integration. The CEO noted he is "pleased" with initial consumer reaction to Samsung's (SSNLF) Gear VR virtual reality headset, though commentary on pre-orders for Facebook's own Oculus Rift device was notably light, with Zuckerberg saying only that the Oculus launch is "shaping up to be a big moment for the gaming community." Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company is pleased with the growth its seeing in emerging markets, including China, where businesses are using Facebook to reach customers internationally. The commentary comes in contrast to the downbeat macro view voiced during Apple's (AAPL) conference call Tuesday night. Globally, 98 of the quarter's top 100 Facebook advertisers also chose to market on Instagram, Sandberg said, adding that as businesses realize they need to catch up to consumer shifts towards mobile, she foresees a "big" opportunity to continue growing advertiser count. ANALYST TAKE: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster issued a post-earnings note on Facebook, reiterating his Overweight rating and $155 price target on the social network giant in the wake of its strong beat. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Facebook have surged 12.8% to $106.60 in after-hours trading. Other members of the FANG stock grouping are also moving higher, with Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOG) rising a respective 2.3%, 2.25% and 2.6%.
16:54 EDTGOOGGoogle, Movidius partner on 'deep learning' for mobile devices
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16:05 EDTVRTXVertex backs FY16 net product revenue guidance for KALYDECO of $670M-$690M
Vertex expects to provide net product revenue guidance for ORKAMBI during 2016 after gaining additional information on the launch of ORKAMBI in the U.S.
16:04 EDTVRTXVertex reports Q4 EPS 17c, consensus 17c
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14:34 EDTVRTXNotable companies reporting after market close
Notable companies reporting after the market close, with earnings consensus, include Facebook (FB), consensus 68c... Qualcomm (QCOM), consensus 90c... Texas Instruments (TXN), consensus 69c... McKesson (MCK), consensus $3.13... PayPal (PYPL), consensus 35c... Las Vegas Sands (LVS), consensus 65c... eBay (EBAY), consensus 50c... Crown Castle (CCI), consensus $1.10... Vertex (VRTX), consensus 17c... Discover (DFS), consensus $1.30... SanDisk (SNDK), consensus 89c... ServiceNow (NOW), consensus 8c... Lam Research (LRCX), consensus $1.43... Citrix Systems (CTXS), consensus $1.19... Hologic (HOLX), consensus 42c... Juniper (JNPR), consensus 59c... Cavium (CAVM), consensus 28c... Cirrus Logic (CRUS), consensus 81c.
11:27 EDTVRTXOptions with increasing call volume
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10:23 EDTMUOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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10:04 EDTVRTXHigh option volume stocks: RDN TRXC EEFT CVLT VRTX
09:32 EDTGOOGActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB AMZN AAL BAC PCLN NFLX MRK GOOG
06:38 EDTGOOGGoogle files patent for secure delivery component for drones, Reuters says
Alphabet's Google has filed a patent for a drone component designed to store packages securely, Reuters reports. The patent describes a "delivery receptacle" that will take packages from an "aerial delivery device" for deposit to a secure area, the report says. Reference Link
06:14 EDTGOOGFCC proposes set-top box rule revamp, WSJ reports
Federal regulators are anticipated to propose an overhaul of rules for television set-top boxes, a move that targets reducing bills for cable viewers and giving more access to web-based programming, the Wall Street Journal reports. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal would likely include providing cable and satellite customers more options when it comes to using their service provider's set-top box and cable app, the report says. Such a move could open up the market to alternative set-top-box providers, including TiVo (TIVO) and Alphabet's (GOOG) Google, the report notes. Reference Link
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