Texas Instruments' Shares Jump On Beat and Raise
Shares of Texas Instruments jumped 9.4% in after hours action yesterday after the company's 1Q07 earnings beat estimates, and issued guidance which surpassed analyst expectations. Though EPS fell slightly and profits were off 12% versus the year earlier period, the company's EPS of $0.35 handily beat analyst expectations (Bloomberg, Thomson) of $0.31 a share. Revenue also declined slightly to $3.19 billion, but topped analyst projections of $3.1 (Thomson) to $3.17 (Bloomberg) billion. Looking ahead, TI expects 2Q07 EPS, after some costs, of $0.39-$0.45, versus current consensus estimates of $0.38 a share. TI expects sales of $3.32-$3.6 billion, compared with the $3.4 billion estimated by analysts. According to one analyst, TI "did a nice job managing their inventories," scaling back manufacturing and curtailing expanding into new kinds of chips to maintain profit margins during the current semiconductor industry-wide inventory glut. That led to a rebound in March orders which saw "sales begin to increase noticeably" according to CFO Kevin March. "We saw it in almost every product line we sell into. That gives us quite a bit of confidence." Shares rocketed $3.06, or 9.44%, to $35.47 in after hours trading.
Sources: Texas Instruments Q1 2007 Earnings Call Transcript, Press Release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Reuters
Commentary: The Market's Ebullient About Texas Instruments' Results - We're Still Skeptical • Texas Instruments: Short This Post-Earnings Jump? • Texas Instruments: Recovery Seen As Gradual
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Texas Instruments (TXN). Competitors: National Semiconductor Corp. (NSM), Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP). ETFs: Semiconductor HOLDRs (SMH), iShares Goldman Sachs Semiconductor (IGW), PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors (PSI)
AMD to Offer $1.8 Billion in Convertible Notes
Shares of Advanced Micro Devices fell 2.8% on news the company plans to raise up to $1.8 billion in convertible senior notes in a private offering to institutional buyers. At least $500 million from the sale will be used to pay off a loan to Morgan Stanley for AMD's acquisition of ATI Technologies. The rest will finance the company's daily operations. Last week, AMD -- suffering from a price war with rival Intel -- posted a $611 million quarterly loss and said its cash position had fallen 24% to $1.17 billion. The debt offering buys AMD some time, but its debt level is high: prior to the offering, its long-term debt was $3.6 billion against Intel's $1.8 billion. Yesterday, AMD's credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor's to B, its fifth-highest junk grade.
Sources: Press release, TheStreet.com, New York Times, 24/7 Wall Street, News.com
Commentary: AMD Announces $1.8 Billion Convertible Note Offering • Advanced Micro Devices a Sell, Intel Doing Well • AMD Is In Real Trouble
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). Competitors: Intel Corp. (INTC). ETFs: iShares S&P Global Technology (IXN), PowerShares FTSE RAFI Telecom & Tech (PRFQ), iShares KLD 400 Social Index (DSI)
Conference call transcripts: Q1 2007
Alcatel-Lucent Reports Lower Q1 Revenues, Operating Loss; Shares Rallying
Alcatel-Lucent reported preliminary Q1 results today with an operating loss of €260 million ($353m), as revenues fell 8% to €3.9b, missing analysts' consensus estimate of €4.05b. Half of its loss came from "unusual items," but it does have a one-time €780m gain from the sale of assets. The company cited weakness in traditional wireless and core networks segments. It did not provide net income guidance. Its book-to-bill ratio was 1.3 at the end of Q1. Shares of Alcatel-Lucent trading in Paris lost more than 3% in early trading, but have since rallied back, last trading up 12 cents (+1.29%) to €9.42. MarketWatch reports ABN Amro analysts told clients: "The weak profitability should be sorted out through the cost reductions, and even if the first quarter was clearly disappointing, the revenue miss wasn't that significant." Goldman says its book-to-bill ratio suggests further sales declines are "highly unlikely." Alcatel-Lucent's listing on the NYSE lost 0.48% to $12.57 yesterday. It reports full quarterly earnings May 11.
Sources: Press release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch
Commentary: Alcatel-Lucent Snags $6 Billion Hardware Contract With Verizon • Lucatel Revenues In 'Free Fall' - Cramer Called It • Microsoft Gets Boost in Alcatel Patent Battle
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Alcatel-Lucent (ALU). Competitors: Cisco (CSCO), Ericsson (ERIC), Nokia (NOK), Nortel (NT), Siemens (SI). ETFs: Broadband HOLDRS (BDH), iShares Goldman Sachs Networking (IGN)
Conference call transcripts: Alcatel-Lucent Q4'06
McAfee Says Data Loss Prevention Top Priority, Announces Expanded Solution
McAfee released the results today of research it funded surveying 1,400 IT professionals at firms with more than 250 employees in the U.S., Europe and Australia. Worrisome findings coincide with a second announcement for the release next month of an expanded Data Loss Prevention [DLP] solution. McAfee will offer "Gateway" (guest laptops, non-Windows systems, servers, mobile devices, etc) DLP, which complements its "Host" (desktop) DLP announced in February. Key findings from its research include: 33% of IT decision makers say a major data loss incident could put their company out of business; 66% of respondents have experienced a security breach in the past year; and on average, only one-half of 1% of IT budgets are spent on data security. In a press release, a senior analyst at Yankee Group comments, "The data loss prevention problem is as challenging to corporations as asbestos removal is to homeowners. Like asbestos, data can be toxic when airborne." Shares of McAfee lost 0.54% to $29.29 yesterday.
Sources: Press release (i, ii)
Commentary: McAfee Announces EMC Corp.'s David DeWalt Will Be Its New CEO • McAfee: Hiring May Squash Buyout Speculation • McAfee Suffers 9% Q4 Profit Drop; Annual Report Will Be Late
Stocks/ETFs to watch: McAfee (MFE). Competitors: Symantec (SYMC), Trend Micro (TMIC), Microsoft (MSFT), CA, Inc. (CA). ETFs: Internet HOLDRS (HHH), PowerShares Dynamic Networking (PXQ)
Conference call transcripts: McAfee Q4'06
Juniper: Q1 Profit Down, but Adjusted EPS In-line, Shares Trade Lower
Juniper Networks reported a 12% decline in net income to $66.6 million ($0.11/share), but adjusted earnings (excluding items such as stock options costs and a related investigation) of $112.4m ($0.19/share) were in-line with Street estimates. Revenues increased 11% to $626.9m, ahead of analysts' average estimates of $620.8m. Shares of Juniper gained 2.88% to $21.11 during normal trading, but lost 4.78% to $20.10 in after-hours activity on volume of more than 1.4 million. Juniper's guidance for Q2 [adjusted EPS of $0.20 on sales of $640m - $650m, vs. Street: $0.20/share on $646.8m] and the full-year [$0.80 - $0.81 earnings per share, on sales of $2.6b - $2.7b, vs. $0.81/share on sales of $2.7b] was mostly in-line with analysts' estimates and failed to impress investors. Juniper's CEO commented: "Our first quarter results were in line with our expectations. We continue to see a solid opportunity for Juniper moving forward and remain focused on meeting the strategic needs of our customers and sharpening our execution."
Sources: Juniper Networks Q1 2007 Earnings Call Transcript, Press release, Associated Press, Bloomberg
Commentary: Juniper: Solid Demand Expected From Carriers, Internet Companies • Juniper: Street Optimistic On New Products • Sell-Side Concern On Juniper Execs' Resignation
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Juniper Networks (JNPR). Competitors: Cisco (CSCO), Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), Nortel Networks Corp. (NT). ETFs: iShares Goldman Sachs Networking (IGN), PowerShares Dynamic Networking (PXQ), Internet Architecture HOLDRs (IAH)
Target Shares Drop 3% in After-Hours on Revised Same-Store Forecast
Target said late Monday in an 8-K filing its April same-store sales will be 'much weaker' that its original -2% to -4% forecast -- a sign that a cold and rainy April may turn out even worse than previously thought for retailers. For March and April, Target said comparable store sales would rise 3%-4%, vs. the 4%-6% originally estimated. ThinkEquity analyst Edward Weller said the filing implies April's results will fall 8%-9%. Target said it remains "comfortable that our first quarter earnings per share growth will be consistent" with previous full-year guidance. Shares fell 3.1% to $59.50 in after-hours trading following the news. Shares of rival Wal-Mart, who has not thus far revised its 0% to -2% April same-store forecast, fell 1.1% to $48.40.
Sources: 8-K Filing, MarketWatch, AP, Reuters, TheStreet.com
Commentary: Target Gets Slaughtered [24/7] • Target Corporation: Further Growth is in the Bag • Target: Hitting the Mark
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Target Corp. (TGT). Competitors: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD), Federated Department Stores Inc. (FD). ETFs: Retail HOLDRS ETF (RTH), Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY)
Conference call transcript: F4Q06
TRANSPORT AND AEROSPACE
Toyota Q1 Sales Edge Past GM for First Time
While both GM and Toyota posted record sales in the first quarter of 2007, for the first time Toyota surpassed GM in total global sales, selling 2.348 million vehicles (+9%) to GM's 2.26 million (+3%). GM said last week it estimates its global market share at 13%, down 1% from last year. Toyota's U.S. market share rose 1.8% to 15.6% in the quarter, GM's dropped 1.1% and Ford's 2.2%. Toyota's success sets the stage for a battle over who will emerge as the year's #1 automaker, a claim determined by annual production figures and held by GM for the past 76 years. In 2006, Toyota's global production was 9.018 million vehicles (+10%) while GM made 9.18 million vehicles worldwide. In Q1, Toyota made 2.367 million vehicles vs. GM's expected 2.335 million. Julie Hamp, a GM spokeswoman: "[CEO] Rick Wagoner has said that one month or one quarter doesn't make a trend. They are formidable competitors, but our intention is to maintain leadership." Japanese analyst Yasuhiro Matsumoto had this to say: "It was obvious that Toyota was going to beat GM this year, but this is much earlier than expected." Over the last year, Toyota shares are up about 10%; GM shares are up about 45%.
Sources: AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Commentary: Toyota As No.1: Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown [24/7] • Auto Retail Earnings Season: Headlines Rarely Tell the True Story • Auto Stocks: Some Speeding Ahead, Some Stalling
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), General Motors Corp. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F), DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Honda Motor Co. (HMC)
Struggling Nissan Looks To Slash 1,500 Jobs In Japan
Nissan is hoping to eliminate 1,500 jobs in Japan - about 4.5% of its workforce - in its first reductions there in eight years. By offering early retirement incentives to both blue- and white-collar employees who are 45 and older and have been with the company a minimum of five years, President Carlos Ghosn hopes to contain overhead costs. Ghosn has declared Nissan is in a "performance crisis"; the company slashed its profit forecast 12% for the fiscal year ending in March after earnings fell 22% in the quarter ended December.
Sources: AP, Reuters
Commentary: Japan: Best and Worst Performing ADRs Last Week and YTD • Nissan Likely to Miss Next FY Sales Target • Nissan to Launch Clean Diesel Maxima in U.S. in 2010
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY). Competitors: Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC). ETFs: iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ)
ENERGY AND MATERIALS
BP's Q1 Earnings In-Line, Down 17% From 2006
BP said this morning Q1 net income fell 17% to $4.66 billion ($0.24/share) on lower energy prices and reduced production. Revenue dropped 3.3% to $62.04 billion. Quarterly replacement cost profit was $4 billion -- down 24% and just below analyst forecasts of $4.08 billion. BP is the first top-tier oil company to report; analysts expect reduced profits across the sector. Oil production was down 3% to 3.91 million barrels/day and oil prices were down an average of 4% over the quarter. Analyst Richard Hunter: "Faced as it is with reduced production and higher costs, lower oil prices... its challenges are not yet over." He said the market view on BP was 'cautiously positive.' ConocoPhillips reports Wednesday, ExxonMobil on April 26, Royal Dutch Shell on May 3 and Total SA on May 4. BP shares were up 0.8% to 582 pence in London and are up 13% over the past five weeks.
Sources: Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Reuters, AP
Commentary: The New Seven Sisters: Today's Most Powerful Energy Companies • BP Solar To Open Two Mega Cell Plants • BP: Difficult Execution Worries Investors
Stocks/ETFs to watch: BP plc (BP). Competitors: Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), Total S.A. (TOT), ConocoPhillips (COP), Chevron Corp. (CVX), ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM). ETFs: Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE), SPDR Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration/Production (IEO)
ABN-Barclays Merger: Rival Bidders and Investors Query LaSalle Sale
ABN Amro shares dropped 1.4% to €35.77 in Amsterdam after a rival consortium canceled a meeting today with the Dutch bank to discuss a takeover. The consortium, which consists of the Royal Bank of Scotland [RBS], Banco Santander Central Hispano and Fortis NV, is reviewing its options after ABN's announcement that it is selling Chicago-based LaSalle Bank to Bank of America for $21 billion as part of a $91 billion merger with Barclays. "The banks need to understand the circumstances under which [the LaSalle] sale can be terminated,'' the consortium said. RBS had planned to acquire LaSalle as part of an overall acquisition of ABN and then merge it with its U.S. Citizens division, giving it cost savings and revenue benefits. The consortium has made clear its intention to break up the Dutch bank, a denouement favored by activist shareholder TCI Fund Management. TCI is "concerned the pre-agreed sale of LaSalle Bank unfairly hinders the RBS consortium," and is demanding disclosure of the terms of the sale. The Dutch shareholders' association VEB has stated it will take ABN Amro to court for selling LaSalle without a shareholder vote if it the sale deters rival bidders for ABN.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Financial Times, Bloomberg
Commentary: Barclays offer for ABN probably will win the day [MarketWatch] • ABN Amro Agrees to Sell Itself to Barclays for $91 Billion • Trio of European Banks Eyes ABN Amro
Stocks/ETFs to watch: ABN Amro Holding N.V. (ABN), Barclays PLC (BCS), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc [ADR] (RBSPY), Fortis NV [ADR] (FORSY), Bank of America Corp. (BAC). Competitors: HSBC Holdings plc ADR (HBC), Deutsche Bank AG (DB), UBS AG (UBS). ETFs: First Trust Morningstar Div Leaders Idx (FDL), PowerShares Intl Dividend Achievers (PID), iShares MSCI Netherlands Index (EWN)
Chubb Beats Q1 Earnings Expectations
U.S. business insurer Chubb Corporation yesterday posted a 5.7% Q1 earnings gain as investment income grew 9%. Net income was up to $710 million ($1.71/share) from $672 million ($1.58) in the year-ago period. Operating earnings, which exclude investment gains and losses, were $634 million ($1.53/share), up from $603 million ($1.42) last year and well ahead of Street expectations of $1.38. Net written premiums for Q1 were down 2% to $2.9 billion and the combined ratio, a gauge of underwriting profitability, was 83.4%. The company declined to revise guidance, but CEO John Finnegan did say that "Chubb's outstanding first-quarter results obviously put us on the path to achieving or exceeding our January 30, 2007 operating income per share guidance of $5.00-5.40 for the year." The company's shares were up $0.23 in AH trading to $53.99.
Sources: Press release, MarketWatch, TheStreet.com, Reuters, Bloomberg
Commentary: The Right Moment to Buy Chubb? • Where's the Money Flowing in Financial Stocks?
Stocks/ETFs to watch: The Chubb Corporation (CB). Competitors: American International Group, Inc. (AIG), Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV). ETFs: KBW Insurance ETF (KIE), iShares Dow Jones US Insurance (IAK), PowerShares Dynamic Insurance (PIC)
Boston Scientific Misses Estimates, Issues Soft Guidance; Shares Fall
Boston Scientific Corp.'s latest earnings report disappointed the Street, sending shares lower by 2.6% in after hours trading. In addition to missing consensus estimates with an EPS of just $0.08 after costs (Thomson Financial projected EPS of $0.10), Boston Scientific also guided lower for its next quarter, predicting EPS of $0.04-$0.09 on sales of $2-$2.1 billion. Consensus estimates had called for EPS of $0.13 on sales of $2.13 billion. Earnings before one-time items were $0.20 a share on in-line sales of 2.09 billion. Boston Scientific's earnings were largely impacted by its acquisition of Guidant Corp. last year for $27 billion, making it the second biggest producer of ICDs, which are used to prevent irregular heartbeats. The Guidant deal cause its float to nearly double, greatly lowering EPS. President and CEO Jim Tobin said of his company's results: "While drug-eluting stent sales were lower than we hoped due to market dynamics, our performance within the market remained strong, and we continue to expect market fundamentals to improve over time." Shares dropped to $15.67, lower by $0.42, or 2.61%, in after hours trading on volume of 236,000 shares.
Sources: Press Release, The New York Times/Bloomberg News, MarketWatch, Reuters, TheStreet.com,
Commentary: FDA Lifts All Restrictions on Boston Scientific's Minnesota Guidant Plant • Bypassing Surgery - Will Stents Survive The Bad News? • Cramer's Take on BSX
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX). Competitors: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Medtronic Inc. (MDT), St. Jude Medical Inc. (STJ), Abbott Laboratories (ABT). ETFs: iShares Dow Jones US Medical Devices (IHI)
Amgen Posts In-Line Q1 Earnings
Biotech company Amgen posted a 15% rise in Q1 profit on sales of anemia drugs, but forecasts that full-year earnings will be at the low end of expectations. Net income rose to $1.11 billion ($0.94/share) from $1 billion ($0.82) a year ago. Excluding items, profit came in at $1.08/share, meeting Street expectations. Total revenue was $3.69 billion in the quarter, a 15% gain from the year-ago quarter but behind analyst expectations of $3.73 billion. The company plans to cut expenses and adjust revenue forecasts because sales of anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen are likely to drop now that clinical studies have shown them to increase risk of death when taken in high doses. The two drugs accounted for 45% of Amgen's Q1 revenue. The company is projecting full-year profit to be at the low end of the $4.30-4.50 range forecast in January. At that time, Amgen projected $15.4-16 billion in revenue for 2007, an 8-12% increase from a year ago. Analysts have forecast full-year EPS of $4.31 on revenue of $15.4 billion.
Sources: Conference call transcripts: Q1 2007, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, TheStreet.com, 24/7 Wall Street
Commentary: Amgen Shares Gain on Aranesp Results • Amgen: How Promising Lead Product Will Affect the Stock • Amgen: Bad News Priced In, Growth On The Horizon
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Amgen, Inc. (AMGN). Competitors: Roche Holding Ltd. [ADR] (OTCQX:RHHBY), Novartis AG (NVS), Baxter International Inc. (BAX). ETFs: Biotech HOLDRs (BBH), PowerShares Buyback Achievers (PKW), PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth (PWB)
Mylan Labs Gets FDA Approval for Generic Version of Ambien
Generic and proprietary drug manufacturer Mylan Laboratories announced yesterday that the FDA has granted final approval for the release of its generic version of Sanofi-Aventis's Ambien. The drug, zolpidem tartrate, is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic, otherwise known as a sleeping pill. The tablets, which are shipping immediately, are in 5 mg and 10 mg doses. Last year, Ambien had U.S. sales of approximately $2.2 billion for the same dosages. Mylan's drug is one of 13 generic versions of Ambien approved by the FDA for release. Other manufacturers now cleared to produce the drug include Teva Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories. Zolpidem tartrate has been linked to several risks, like "sleep-driving" and face-swelling, that prompted the FDA to ask manufacturers of the drug to strengthen the language on its warning labels. Mylan Labs has three subsidiaries, Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Mylan Technologies Inc. and UDL Laboratories Inc., and a controlling interest in Matrix Laboratories Limited, India.
Sources: Press release, MarketWatch, Reuters, MoneyCentral
Commentary: FDA Refuses Approval To Generics Of Pfizer Drug, Except Mylan • FDA Issues New Warning Label Requirement for Sleeping Pills • Biotech Legal Battles: Will Other Generics Follow Mylan's Lead?
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Mylan Laboratories Inc. (MYL), Sanofi-Aventis (SNY). Competitors: Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited [ADR] (RDY), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. (BRL), Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI). ETFs: SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals (XPH)
Siemens Now Looking to Replace CEO -- Financial Times
FT Deutschland, sister paper of the Financial Times, reports that German engineering company Siemens' supervisory board wants a new CEO to replace Klaus Kleinfeld: "Leading members of the supervisory board think that a change at the top of the company is the right way for a new beginning at Siemens," said an unnamed source familiar with the matter. It was widely expected that Kleinfeld's contract, which expires on Sept. 30, would be renewed for another five years. While the company is accused of bribery in securing contracts, Kleinfeld has thus far not been implicated in the scandal, and a source within the company told FT Deutschland that according to the Siemens-sanctioned report of law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, "Mr. Kleinfeld is clean." Heinrich von Pierer resigned as Chairman last week; he also denied any knowledge or involvement in the wrongdoings. The sources said the CEO change is being driven by Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackerman and an influential member of the supervisory board. Shares are down 1.64% in pre-market trading.
Sources: Financial Times
Commentary: Say Ach Ya To Germany: A Global Powerhouse • Siemens Seems Secure, Despite Bribery Suspicions - Barron's
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Siemens AG (SI), Deutsche Bank AG (DB). Competitors: Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson ADR (ERIC), Alcatel-Lucent ADR (ALU), Nokia Corp. (NOK), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Nortel Networks Corp. (NT)
China Irate Over U.S. Piracy Complaints to WTO
Vice Premier Wu Yi, China's senior envoy on trade relations with the U.S., warned today that American complaints to the World Trade Organization over Chinese product piracy and commercial barriers will "badly damage" cooperation on trade issues. Earlier in April, the U.S. filed two complaints accusing China of failing to stop widespread piracy of film and music and barring imports of American publications. "The adverse impact generated by this would be huge," she said at a government forum on intellectual property protection in Beijing. Wu claimed the U.S. has disregarded the progress China has made on combating commercial piracy and said the U.S. complaints to the WTO "[fly] in the face" of an agreement to settle such disagreements through dialogue. She did not clarify whether she will be addressing the WTO complaint with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, her American counterpart, who is under growing Congressional pressure to take a firm stance with China. She did say, however, that Beijing will "actively respond" and "will fight to the last minute."
Sources: Reuters, News.com, MoneyCentral
Commentary: Open Skies Agreement Between U.S. and China? Not Anytime Soon • Chinese ETFs Should Keep Pace With Growing Economy • Chinese Consumers: Acting Globally and Thinking Locally
Stocks/ETFs to watch: PowerShares Golden Dragon Halter USX China Portfolio (PGJ), iShares FTSE/Xinhua China (FXI)
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