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12:13 EDTBRDCYBridgestone upgraded to Buy on strong U.S. position at Goldman
As previously reported, Goldman analyst Kota Yuzawa upgraded Bridgestone to Buy from Neutral citing the company's strong position in the U.S. replacement tire market as well as the benefits expected from lower natural rubber and WTI crude oil prices. The analyst raised his price target on the stock to Y4,700 from Y4,600.
12:12 EDTCOLM, DECK, WWWColumbia Sportswear soars after results, guidance top estimates
Shares of Columbia Sportswear (COLM), a provider of active lifestyle apparel and accessories, are rallying after the company's fourth quarter results topped analysts' consensus estimates. Additionally, the company issued guidance for fiscal year 2016 that was above estimates. WHAT'S NEW: After the close yesterday, Columbia Sportswear reported Q4 earnings per share of 90c and revenue of $699.4M, beating analysts' consensus estimates of 76c and $684.6M, respectively. Net operating income and sales were both records for the company in the quarter, it said. GUIDANCE: Looking ahead to FY16, Columbia Sportswear forecast EPS of $2.55-$2.65, versus estimates of $2.55. The company also forecast mid-single-digit net sales growth for the fiscal year, including approximately 1 percentage point negative effect from changes in currency exchange rates, compared analysts' estimates of $2.45B. The company said it expects FY16 gross margins to improve by up to 40 basis points and said it expects selling, general and administrative expenses to increase at a rate slightly faster than net sales, resulting in approximately 40 basis points of SG&A expense deleverage, including a planned increase in global demand-creation spend to 5.4% of sales from 5.2% in 2015. CEO COMMENTARY: Columbia Sportswear Chief Executive Officer Tim Boyle said 2015 was an "outstanding" year that included expanded operating margins and "record" net sales, and said its balance sheet provides "financial flexibility" to continue to drive sales growth and expand margins in 2016. PRICE ACTION: At midday, Columbia Sportswear rose $7.43, or 15.5%, to $55.37 on more than four times its average daily trading volume. Including the advance, the stock is up approximately 28% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other providers of active lifestyle apparel and accessories include Deckers Outdoor (DECK), up 1.2%, and Wolverine World Wide (WWW), up 2%.
12:10 EDTBRDCYBridgestone upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
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12:09 EDTUSEG, FCXU.S. Energy reports sale of Mt. Emmons mine site to Freeport subsidiary
U.S. Energy (USEG) announced that it entered into an acquisition agreement with Mt. Emmons Mining, or MEM, a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), whereby MEM acquired the company's Mt. Emmons mine site located in Gunnison County, Colorado, including the Keystone Mine, a related water treatment plant and other related properties. Under the agreement, MEM will replace the company as the owner and permittee of the water treatment plant, the associated mining assets and will discharge the obligation of the company to operate the water treatment plant upon closing. Concurrent with entry into the agreement, and as additional consideration for MEM to accept transfer of the properties, the company entered into a Series A Convertible Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement, pursuant to which the company issued 50,000 shares of newly designated convertible preferred stock with a cumulative noncash dividend to MEM. With the divestiture of the Mount Emmons Mining operations, U.S. Energy Corp. will have eliminated its mining related operating costs of approximately $3M per year, a portion of which relates to operation of the water treatment plant. Coupled with the overhead reduction of $4M at year end 2015, approximately $7M savings can be realized on an annualized basis. "The reductions have been implemented to support the ongoing business plan of U.S. Energy Corp. during this industry downturn and low commodity price environment," the company said. CEO David Veltri added, "This transaction will end our mining activities and together with the earlier reductions and savings will position U.S. Energy to execute our strategy to transform the company to profitability and to grow our oil and gas assets during 2016 and beyond."
12:06 EDTS, SFTBF, T, VZ, TMUSHSBC says sell Sprint with competitive pressure mounting
Sprint (S) shares rallied in morning trading after an HSBC analyst recommended investors sell the stock due to mounting competitive pressure. Separately, the company announced yesterday that it was extending its 50% offer to customers switching from its rivals a day after majority shareholder SoftBank (SFTBF) made positive comments about the wireless carrier's turnaround, according to Bloomberg. HSBC DOWNGRADE: HSBC analyst Sunil Rajgopal this morning downgraded Sprint to Reduce from Hold and cut his price target for the stock to $1.60 from $5, saying that the carrier's competitors may challenge its turnaround efforts. Rajgopal said that pricing and packaging changes at rivals AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) over the past two months have forced Sprint to respond with a more aggressive offering, otherwise it may have to be content with its churn rates inching up. The analyst also lowered his long-term revenue and EBITDA forecasts for Sprint, cutting long-term EBITDA margin estimates to 31.8% from 35.4% and changing his 2016-2025 revenue CAGR to down 1.1% from up 40%. The analyst added that the company needs to show a significant improvement in its profitability or consider monetizing some of its unused or excess spectrum in order to address leverage concerns. Notably, Rajgopal also downgraded Sprint on November 6 to Hold from Buy and cut his price target to $5 from $6.20. Rajgopal said at the time that the company's second quarter results were mixed with a turnaround in postpaid net addition but a rise in prepaid churn. The analyst said that he was concerned that Sprint would continue to be highly leveraged in the medium-term and that increasing competition would lead to an increase in marketing efforts. RECENT NEWS: Yesterday, Sprint announced that it was extending its 50% offer to customers from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile who wished to switch to its network, adding that it will pay switching fees up to $650 per line for customers switching from competitors. Marcelo Claure, the company's chief executive officer, recently said that customer demand for the 50% offer was "strong." Separately, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Masayoshi Son, the chairman of Sprint stakeholder SoftBank, told reporters in Tokyo that the wireless carrier is "showing definitive signs of a turnaround" and that there are "more opportunities for cost cutting at Sprint." PRICE ACTION: Near midday, Sprint rallied 7.25% to $2.73. OTHERS TO WATCH: Verizon gained 1.48%, T-Mobile was up 2.23% and AT&T was up 0.55%higher in midday trading.
12:05 EDTFX Action: USD-CAD has retreated to 1.3826
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11:54 EDTLBVictoria's Secret names Les Wexner CEO
L Brands announced that Victoria's Secret CEO Sharen Jester Turney has made the decision to resign. Leslie Wexner, Chairman and CEO of L Brands, will assume leadership of Victoria's Secret. Turney will continue to serve as an advisor to the business.
11:51 EDTTRGP, NGLSTarga Resources, Targa Resources Partners stockholders approve merger
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11:50 EDTU.S. equities are extending their rally
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11:48 EDTQTWOQ2 Holdings management to meet with Northland
Meeting to be held in Austin on February 18 hosted by Northland.
11:47 EDTUBS, MSUBS hires Scott Francoeur as head of FRC emerging markets, Business Insider says
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11:44 EDTPHMPulteGroup management to meet with Buckingham
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11:42 EDTOKSBSouthwest Bancorp management to meet with Stephens
Meetings to be held in Detroit on February 18 and in Milwaukee/Chicago on February 19 hosted by Stephens.
11:39 EDTNOCTimetable for Northrop Grumman's $80B bomber program unclear, Reuters says
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11:39 EDTLXKLexmark wins patent case against Impression Products, Reuters reports
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11:39 EDTOESXOrion Energy management to meet with Craig Hallum
Meeting to be held in Los Angeles on February 18 hosted by Craig Hallum.
11:35 EDTMDWDMediWound management to meet with Jefferies
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11:33 EDTUSOUnited States Oil Fund breaks downtrend for the week
The ETF is up over 5% to $8.41 at time of writing. This move has broken the weekly downtrend, which is a technical positive. Next resistance at current price is at $8.67. Support is at $8.19.
11:31 EDTEPAYBottomline Technologies management to meet with Stephens
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11:31 EDTSHPGShire price target lowered to $230 from $288 at Northland
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