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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 16, 2014
12:47 EDTGOOG, MSFT, YHOO, AOLYahoo falls after results disappoint, details additional plans for Alibaba stake
Shares of media and search engine company Yahoo (YHOO) are falling after the company's second quarter results fell short of analysts' consensus estimates. The company also said it will lower the amount of stock it will sell in Alibaba's initial public offering to 140M shares and that it plans to return "at least half" of its after-tax proceeds from the stake sale to its shareholders. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Yahoo reported Q2 earnings per share of 37c and revenue ex-tac of $1.04B, narrowly missing analysts' consensus estimates of 38c and $1.08B, respectively. The company's Q2 display ad revenue fell 7% to $394M, while Q2 price per ad fell 24% versus last year. Q2 search revenue ex-tac increased 6% to $428M. Yahoo said that in Q2, the number of ads sold increased approximately 24% compared to last year, while the number of paid clicks increased approximately 3%. Price-per-click increased 15% compared to last year. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's Chief Executive Officer, said that as the company's top priority is revenue growth, it is "not satisfied" with Q2 results. Mayer noted that several areas showed strength in the quarter, including Yahoo Search, which grew 6% year-over-year on a revenue ex-tac basis, but their growth was offset by declines. Meyer says the company needs to "work faster to ameliorate" negative trends in display. Mayer says the company "can and will do better" going forward. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, Yahoo forecast third quarter revenue ex-tac of $1.02B-$1.06B, below the consensus of $1.1B. The company also guided Q3 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBTIDA, at $220M-$260M and non-GAAP operating income of $70M-$110M. Yahoo also noted that it will lower the number of shares it sells in the Alibaba IPO to 140M from 208M, and is committed to return at least half of the after-tax IPO proceeds to shareholders. Mayer noted on the company's earnings conference call that "A transformation of this size will take several years," adding that "it will take a little longer than originally forecasted." ANALYST REACTION: This morning, research firm CRT Capital downgraded Yahoo to Fair Value from Buy, citing mixed Q2 earnings and weak guidance. The firm sees pressure on ad pricing continuing for at at least two to three quarters. Another firm, Bernstein, lowered their price target on Yahoo to $40 from $43 following the company's weaker than expected results and said that it would return 50% of its proceeds from the Alibaba IPO to shareholders. The firm thinks there is an increased risk that Yahoo will use the other 50% on M&A, and Bernstein sees high risk that the M&A will destroy value. Bernstein kept an Outperform rating on the stock. Piper Jaffray said Yahoo should be owned ahead of the Alibaba IPO, noting its agreement with Alibaba to reduce the number of shares it will sell at the IPO should outweigh the "unsurprising" challenges in the company's core business. The firm, which kept an Overweight rating on the stock, expects the stock to react positively on the Q2 earnings report. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Yahoo fell $1.66, or about 4.7%, to $33.95 on heavy trading volume. Despite today's pull back, the stock is up approximately 25% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Yahoo peer AOL (AOL) is down over 4.% to $38.98. Jackie Reses, Yahoo's chief of mergers and acquisitions, said at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference that the company is not planning to buy AOL, Re/code reported this morning. Mayer previously told a number of people that she does not "get" the merger.
News For YHOO;GOOG;AOL;MSFT From The Last 14 Days
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December 5, 2014
10:00 EDTYHOOOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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09:36 EDTYHOOActive equity options trading
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08:55 EDTGOOG, YHOOYahoo seen overtaking Twitter in U.S. mobile ad market share, WSJ reports
Research firm eMarketer predicts Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) will account for about 35% and 17%, respectively, of the U.S. mobile ad market in 2015, but the firm also expects Yahoo (YHOO) will edge past Twitter (TWTR) in terms of mobile ad revenue, with projected market shares of 3.74% and 3.69%, respectively, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
08:14 EDTGOOGGoogle volatility low into being downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
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07:46 EDTMSFTCIO survey results favorable for Microsoft, says Pacific Crest
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07:43 EDTYHOOFollow-up: Yahoo upgraded at BofA/Merrill
As previously reported, BofA/Merrill upgraded Yahoo (YHOO) to Buy from Neutral. The firm upgraded shares based on increased optimism for a Alibaba (BABA) tax solution and a slight improvement in the core business outlook. Price target raised to $62 from $55.
07:38 EDTGOOGFollow-up: Google downgraded at BofA/Merrill
As previously reported, BofA/Merrill downgraded Google to Neutral from Buy. The firm lowered estimates slightly below the Street due to lack of product catalysts, search maturity, and margin pressure from investments. BofA/Merrill is also cautious on online advertising growth given increased regulatory risk in the EU, potential Facebook (FB) competition, share loss from social growth, and a strong Apple (AAPL) product cycle. Price target lowered to $580 from $600.
07:28 EDTGOOGGoogle downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
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07:28 EDTYHOOYahoo upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
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06:15 EDTGOOGGoogle revamps incentive program for firms that sell productivity apps, services
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06:03 EDTGOOGiOS mobile traffic shows iPhone 6 launch strong, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray says that according to Quantcast data, Apple's (AAPL) iOS mobile traffic share increased from 60.6% at iPhone 6 launch to 61.4% nine weeks after launch, while Google's (GOOG) Android decreased from 38.4% to 37.5% in the same period. Piper views the iOS mobile traffic share as further evidence that the iPhone 6 launch in the U.S. is off to a strong start. It keeps an Overweight rating on Apple shares with a $135 price target.
December 4, 2014
16:27 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:34 EDTMSFTMicrosoft advances after analyst hikes target on upbeat earnings forecast
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12:22 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session slightly lower despite relatively in-line jobless claims data, as European markets moved down following a rate decision and accompanying commentary from ECB President Mario Draghi. Adding to the modest pressure seen in morning trading may be the fact that oil prices continue to move lower. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims fell 17K to 297K in the week ended November 29, which was nearly in-line with the expectation for 295K first-time claims. Challenger reported announced layoffs fell 15.2K in November to 35.9K. In Europe, the European Central Bank kept its key rates unchanged, as expected. ECB President Mario Draghi said in his accompanying press conference that the latest euro area macroeconomic projections indicate lower inflation, accompanied by weaker real GDP growth and subdued monetary dynamics. Additionally, he stated that early next year the Governing Council will reassess the monetary stimulus achieved, the expansion of the balance sheet and the outlook for price developments. "Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the Governing Council remains unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate. This would imply altering early next year the size, pace and composition of our measures," Draghi said. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Barnes and Noble (BKS) slid about 10% after the company reported lower than expected second quarter earnings and said it continues to expect both Retail comparable bookstore sales and Retail Core comparable bookstore sales to decline in the low-single digits this fiscal year. Additionally, Barnes & Noble and Microsoft (MSFT) agreed to terminate their commercial agreement and B&N agreed to acquire Microsoft's entire preferred interest in NOOK Media in exchange for $62.4M cash and 2.74M shares of its stock. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Hawaiian Electric (HE), which jumped 16% after its board approved a plan to spin off ASB Hawaii, the parent company for American Savings Bank, and establish it as an independent publicly traded company and NextEra Energy (NEE) agreed to acquire the company, excluding the banking subsidiary. Array BioPharma (ARRY) rose 15% after announcing it has reached a definitive agreement with Novartis (NVS) to regain full worldwide rights to binimetinib, a MEK inhibitor in three Phase 3 trials, which Piper Jaffray called a "big win" for the company. Among the noteworthy losers was UTi Worldwide (UTIW), which fell 11.5% after confirming that exploratory conversations have taken place with DSV, but adding those discussions never progressed beyond a preliminary stage and that no talks are currently taking place. Also lower were shares of Express (EXPR), which declined over 9% after the apparel retailer reported lower than expected Q3 revenue and gave EPS guidance that fell short of estimates. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 53.56, or 0.3%, to 17,859.06, the Nasdaq was down 2.80, or 0.06%, to 4,771.67, and the S&P 500 was down 5.49, or 0.26%, to 2,068.84.
11:10 EDTGOOGNetwork-1 Technologies initiates 2nd patent litigation against Google, YouTube
Network-1 Technologies (NTIP) announced it has initiated its second patent litigation against Google (GOOG) and YouTube in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for infringement of its newly issued patent relating to the identification and tagging of media content. The patent being asserted is U.S. Patent No. 8,904,464. The lawsuit alleges that Google and YouTube have infringed and continue to infringe by making, using, selling and offering to sell unlicensed systems and products and services related thereto, which include YouTube's Content ID system.
10:08 EDTMSFTBarnes & Noble says Pearson continues to have 5% interest in Nook Media LLC
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08:46 EDTMSFTBarnes & Noble to pay $62.4M, 2.74M shares for Microsoft Nook stake
08:44 EDTMSFTBarnes & Noble to acquire preferred interest in NOOK Media from Microsoft
Barnes & Noble (BKS) filed a Form 8-K with the SEC stating that Barnes & Noble and Microsoft (MSFT) have agreed to terminate their commercial agreement including any associated obligations for international content acquisition and sale. Such termination will allow the company to continue its rationalization of the NOOK Digital business and enhances Barnes & Noble’s operational and strategic flexibility. The termination also relieves Microsoft of any obligation to continue to fund support and other payments set forth in the commercial agreement between the partners. Additionally, the company stated that it had entered into an agreement with Microsoft to acquire its entire preferred interest in NOOK Media, LLC. As a result of today’s announcement, Barnes & Noble expects that the completion of the potential separation of the company's businesses could occur by the end of August 2015, although there can be no assurances regarding the timing of such potential separation or that such separation will be completed.
07:25 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $56 from $50 at Nomura
Nomura raised Microsoft's price target to $56 to reflect the new Board's potential return of cash to shareholders. The analyst believes the Board is looking at several scenarios that include a leveraged recapitalization to buy back half its stock over a multi-year period, to a more likely, 5%-10% repurchase of shares. The firm rates shares a Buy.
06:41 EDTGOOGProposed U.K. tax hike would hit tech companies, NY Times says
The British government has proposed a 25% tax on the U.K. profits of international companies, according to The New York Times. The tax would hit tech giants like Google (GOOG) which use complex loopholes to reduce their taxes, the newspaper stated. Reference Link
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