Today - Friday, December 6, 2013
4:45 PMADM still looking for overseas deals despite GrainCorp setback
- Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is still looking for deals overseas despite last week's failure of the GrainCorp acquisition that upended its plans in Asia, CFO Ray Young says.
- ADM is interested in acquisitions as well as other investments and joint ventures to help spread its business deeper into Asia, South America and eastern Europe, areas where ADM's vast storage and transportation network may be attractive to smaller agribusiness operators, Young says.
- The global agricultural business, already dominated by a handful of major players, will continue to consolidate, the CFO says.
4:20 PMFDA approves sofosbuvir, ushering in paradigm shift in HCV treatment| Comment!
4:19 PMPlum Creek Timber adds to holdings
- Plum Creek Timber (PCL) grows its core timber management business while adding to its land and non-timber holdings, closing on the purchase of 501K acres of industrial timberlands, associated mineral and wind assets, and interests in about 109K acres of high-value rural and development-quality lands from MeadWestvaco Corporation.
- "By significantly increasing our assets in the Southeast, we expand our presence in key markets, enhance our ability to service customers, and are well positioned to capture value from these assets as markets continue to improve," says CEO Rick Holley.
- Press release
4:16 PMBullish Pac Crest note helps Palo Alto continue fall rally
- Pac Crest trumpets Palo Alto Networks' (PANW +3.8%) firewall share gains, and declares the company a disruptive force in the network security space. It also asserts shares are trading at a 45%+ discount to those of companies growing at similar rates (Palo Alto posted 49% rev. growth in its Oct. quarter), and predicts the company's closely-watched legal battle with Juniper won't have serious consequences.
- Shares are now up 27% from their early-November lows. They jumped two weeks ago after Palo Alto beat FQ1 estimates and reported strong deferred revenue growth.
4:15 PMSo what happened to those taper fears? Stocks surge on jobs report
- Good news is good news, for a change, as the better than expected U.S. jobs report left investors feeling better about the economy and more comfortable with a potential pullback in the Fed's stimulus efforts.
- The Dow and S&P 500 both snapped five-day losing streaks, with the Dow rallying nearly 200 points to clear 16K and the S&P rising 20 to finish above 1800; the Nasdaq's gains were a bit lower but it was the only major index to post a gain for the week.
- A five-month high in consumer confidence also helped, as the reading offers positive implications on the potential for a better Christmas than expected a few weeks ago.
- Industrials and consumer staples led gains that extended to all 10 of the S&P's major industry groups.
- Treasury bonds were volatile, with the benchmark 10-year note's yield rising to 2.932%, its highest level in nearly three months, before dipping as low as 2.839%, suggesting that bond investors are still split on how the jobs data might affect Fed policy.
4:14 PMMorningstar spikes into close, expands share repurchase by $200M, hikes dividend
- Morningstar (MORN +1.8%) shares spiked into the close after the company announced a $200M increase to its share repurchase program authorization, bringing the total to $700M, and a 36% quarterly dividend hike to $0.17 (payable Jan. 31 for shareholders of record as of Jan. 10).
- $329.6M of the repurchase authorization is available, which would be good for reducing shares outstanding by 8.8% as of today's close.
4:13 PMPhotoMedex, Ya-Man terminate distribution agreement| Comment!
4:02 PMInvenSense outperforms following bullish Maxim note
- Maxim's Ashok Kumar reports InvenSense's (INVN +2.3%) orders from top customer Samsung remain strong. He's also optimistic about the motion sensor vendor's ability to win orders from Apple down the road.
- Kumar's predictions regarding InvenSense's 2013 iPhone/iPad design wins (or lack thereof) were more accurate than those of many peers.
- InvenSense mentioned on its FQ2 (Sep. quarter) CC Samsung is expected to continue accounting for a mid-30s percentage of total revenue. In a November note, Piper cited higher Samsung penetration as a potential growth catalyst for InvenSense.
4:00 PMAt the close
- Dow +1.26% to 16022. S&P +1.14% to 1805. Nasdaq +0.65% to 4059.
- Treasurys: 30-year +0.29%. 10-yr +0.06%. 5-yr -0.02%.
- Commodities: Crude +0.31% to $97.69. Gold -0.3% to $1228.2.
- Currencies: Euro +0.27% vs. dollar. Yen +1.05%. Pound -0.03%.
3:58 PMProgenics completes enrollment in mCRPC trial
- Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX +2.4%) completes enrollment in a Phase 2 study of PSMA ADC in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer.
- The enrolled patients are chemotherapy experienced.
- The company is also enrolling chemotherapy naive patients in a second cohort.
- Top-line data from the chemotherapy experienced cohort is expected in January. (PR)
3:54 PMChart Industries -7% after cautious comments from William Blair
- Consensus earnings estimates for Chart Industries (GTLS -7.1%) are likely to drop, William Blair says after meeting with management; the firm sees slower China activity, uncertainty in biomedical, and issues concerning large heat exchanger projects pressuring gross margins in 2014.
- The firm keeps a Market Perform rating on the stock and believes GTLS remains well positioned longer term.
3:36 PMSales and margin worries for KFC China
- Yum Brands (YUM -0.1%) says KFC China knocked out a modest 1% gain in comparable store sales for November, but how the company got there might be an issue.
- Though moving into positive growth after slips in September and October looks promising, KFC's comp sales growth after a promotion expired on November 10 was -8% Y/Y.
- Early channel checks for December also indicate the chain may struggle to meet last year's pace of sales at comparable stores. While higher foods costs in China which could pressure margins if KFC stays promotional are also a concern.
3:30 PMGolar LNG Partners -6.2% but still seen positively after expected deal
- Golar LNG Partners (GMLP -6.2%) is defended at Clarkson Capital, which reiterates its Outperform rating and $38 price target after GMLP reveals plans to offer 5.1M units; parent Golar LNG (GLNG +0.4%) will sell 3.4M GMLP units as part of the offering.
- The acquisition of the Golar Igloo from GLNG was expected before the vessel begins service on a five-year contract to Kuwait National Petroleum in March 2014, the firm says; the transaction value is in-line with expectations, and the firm believes GMLP has solid distribution growth potential and strong unit coverage.
3:20 PMSharp jump in revolving credit in October
- October Consumer Credit to $18.19B vs. an expected mark of $14.5B, previous $16.3B (revised).
- Revolving credit rose a whopping 6.1% from September, a sharp divergence from months of either declines or flatlines. Is it a trend of consumers using credit cards again, or were furloughed government workers breaking out a lot of plastic in October?