Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Friday, April 25, 2014

  • 3:35 AM
    • Alibaba (ABABA) is considering expanding its IPO to over $20B, which would make it the largest listing in U.S. history, the WSJ reports.
    • The offering would be above the $19.7B that Visa raised in 2010 and could even top the world record $22.1B that Agricultural Bank of China attracted in Shanghai and Hong Kong in 2010. Until now, figures of $15-16B have been bandied about for Alibaba's IPO.
    • Under the plan being discussed, Alibaba would sell shares in addition to its investors, which include Yahoo (YHOO). Another major shareholder, Softbank (SFTBF), is not planning to sell shares in the deal.
    • "Alibaba is at the point where, after the extreme growth they've had, they're going to need capital to make another huge push forward," says investment adviser Paul Boyd.
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  • 3:21 AM
    • Nokia (NOK) will reportedly name its Indian-born networks boss, Rajeev Suri, as its next CEO on Tuesday and outline what its strategy will be following the sale of its handset business to Microsoft, which could close today.
    • Suri has been considered the leading candidate to become Nokia's CEO after bringing profitability to Nokia Solutions & Networks (NSN) with a major overhaul.
    • Nokia could also announce on Tuesday how much it plans to pay out to shareholders with the cash that it's receiving from Microsoft.
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  • 3:11 AM
    • WPP's (WPPGY) Q1 revenues rose 1.5% to £2.57B and comparable revenue increased a better than expected 7% despite a slowdown in China.
    • The strong pound hurt WPP's performance by 8.1%
    • Profits, revenue margin and gross margin or net sales margin were above budget.
    • WPP, which is the world's largest advertising company, said its Q1 performance could lead to stronger FY growth than initially planned.
    • Shares are +0.55% in London. (PR)
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  • 2:56 AM
    • S&P has reduced Russia's rating by one notch to BBB-, or one grade above junk level, and kept the country's outlook at negative.
    • The agency cited the risk of further capital flight due to the Ukraine crisis. In Q1, outflows doubled on year to $50.6B and the government has forecast that the full-year figure could hit $70-100B. An increase in sanctions on Russia could also prompt S&P to further reduce the country's rating.
    • S&P's action comes a day after Russia began military exercises on its border with Ukraine in response to the latter's security forces killing five pro-Moscow rebels during its attempts to reassert control over the eastern part of the country. The developments have increased fears that Russia may invade eastern Ukraine, the nation's industrial heartland.
    • Russia's Micex index is -1.6% and the USD-RUB is +0.4% at 35.925 rubles.
    • More on Ukraine ETFs: RSX, RUSL, ERUS, RUSS, RSXJ, RBL, GUR, ESR, RUDR
    | 1 Comment
  • 2:25 AM
    • Japanese core inflation, which excludes fresh food prices, held steady at 1.3% on year in March but came in below consensus of 1.4%.
    • Core core CPI, which excludes fresh food and energy, slipped to +0.7% from +0.8% in February.
    • Overall inflation increased to 1.6% from 1.5%.
    • Tokyo CPI surged to +2.9% in April from +1.3% in March and core inflation to 2.7% from 1% for the biggest rise since 1992, boosted by the hike in sales tax at the start of the month. Excluding that increase, prices rose just 1%, as in March.
    • The question is whether the Bank of Japan's attempt to push inflation to 2% by 2015 has stalled despite the BOJ's massive bond-buying. If so, the bank might feel the need to increase its asset purchases. (PR)
    • BOJ officials are increasingly concerned that the domestic bond market isn't reflecting how inflation has risen over the past year or so, Bloomberg reports. That raises the risk that yields could suddenly surge. The problem for the BOJ is that yields have stayed low because of its QE program.
    • Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has ended a three-day trip to Japan without sealing a trade deal that's seen as key to the wider 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. While the U.S. and Japan have made a breakthrough on market access, gaps remain.
    • The Nikkei is +0.2% and the USD-JPY is flat at ¥102.33.
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  • 12:05 AM
  • 12:00 AM
  • Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • 10:40 PM
    • After initially trading higher following its Q1 revenue beat, Amazon (AMZN) finished AH trading up just 0.3%. A possible factor: CFO Tom Szuktak shared on the CC Amazon's Y/Y paid unit growth fell to 23% in Q1 from 25% in Q4 and 29% in Q3. Slowing unit growth "remains a yellow flag since [the metric] is a better proxy than revenues for the overall velocity of the business," says Baird's Colin Sebastian.
    • While paid unit growth slowed, "Other" North American revenue, a segment dominated by Amazon Web Services, saw revenue growth accelerate to 60% from 52% in Q4. For now, the segment only accounts for 6% of revenue.
    • Thanks to AWS and 28% EGM growth, North American sales growth (+26%) was roughly even with Q4. International sales growth picked up to 18% from 13%, with 27% EGM growth offsetting 4% media growth.
    • AWS and 3rd-party fulfillment growth helped gross margin rise 230 bps Y/Y to 28.8%. But fulfillment spend rose to 11.7% of revenue from 11.1% a year ago, tech/content spend (boosted by video licensing and AWS capex) to 10% from 8.6%, and marketing to 4.4% from 3.9%.
    • Meanwhile, the WSJ reports Amazon is quietly testing its own delivery network (trucks and all) in San Francisco, L.A., and NYC. It's probably not a coincidence all three markets are ones in which the AmazonFresh same-delivery has launched, or is expected to.
    • Q1 results, guidance/details, PR
  • 7:23 PM
    • Plug Power (PLUG) sold 22.6M shares - far more than the 15M it had filed to sell - at $5.50 each, in its biggest stock sale ever today, showing continuing investor demand for some smaller tech companies despite the fuel cell company's turbulent trading history.
    • The offering raised $124.3M before the potential sale of additional shares to underwriters; PLUG has conducted five stock offerings since the start of last year, each raising $30M at most.
    • PLUG brought in Morgan Stanley to lead the offering with Barclays while demoting Cowen & Co., the banker on its last three equity sales, to a passive role in favor of underwriters that rank among the top 10 by market share in arranging U.S. stock sales.
  • 7:04 PM
    • Freescale (FSL) has hired Dan Durn, formerly the CFO of #2 chip foundry Globalfoundries, to be its new CFO, starting in June. Durn will replace Alan Campbell, who announced plans to retire in January.
    • The chipmaker has guided in its Q1 report for Q2 revenue of $1.14B-$1.2B, above a $1.13B consensus. Gross margin is expected to rise 50-75 bps from a Q1 level of 44.8%.
    • FSL -1.7% AH in spite of the guidance and a Q1 beat. Shares went into earnings trading within a hair's breadth of their 52-week high of $26.
    • Q1 results, PR
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  • 7:02 PM
    • Weatherford (WFT) pushes ahead with its corporate downsizing, saying in its Q1 earnings report that it has so far identified more than 6,600 positions for elimination and completed ~56% of its planned workforce, with an estimated pretax annualized savings of $263M.
    • WFT also says it began the process of closing 20 underperforming operating locations in various countries.
    • Reaffirms guidance for FY 2014, seeing EPS of $1.10-$1.20 vs. $1.00 analyst consensus estimate.
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  • 6:48 PM
    • Along with its Q1 results, Itron (ITRI) announces CFO Steven Helmbrecht is leaving at year's end. A search will commence for a replacement.
    • Helmbrecht, 50, has been Itron's CFO since 2005.
    • Itron also announces it has won a deal to provide Mitsubishi Electric with smart grid software for a 10M-unit smart meter deployment with Japan's 3rd-largest utility.
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  • 6:46 PM
    • Basic Energy Services, Inc. (BAS): Q1 EPS of -$0.05 beats by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $336.8M (+10.6% Y/Y) beats by $8.76M.
    • Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:45 PM
    • Forum Energy Technologies (FET): Q1 EPS of $0.40 beats by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $404M (+8.3% Y/Y) beats by $0.83M.
    • Press Release
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  • 6:44 PM
    • The world's top three platinum producers - Amplats (AGPPY, AGPPF), Impala Platinum (IMPUY, IMPUF) and Lonmin (LNMIF, LNMIY) - say they will bypass the union representing tens of thousands of South African miners and offer a new wage deal directly to their employees, after talks aimed at ending three months of strikes hit an impasse.
    • Although the move doesn't bring an end to negotiations with the AMCA union, it could further damage already strained relations between management and strike leaders.
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  • 6:37 PM
    • Briggs & Stratton Corporation (BGG): FQ3 EPS of $0.81 misses by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $628.4M (-1.4% Y/Y) beats by $1.17M.
    • Press Release
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  • 6:35 PM
    • Marketo (MKTO) expects Q2 revenue of $33M-$34M and EPS of -$0.30 to -$0.32 vs. a consensus of $32.3M and -$0.29. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $138M-$141M and EPS of -$1.00 to -$1.06, above a consensus of $134.6M and -$1.12. The company's deferred revenue balance rose 10% Q/Q and 86% Y/Y in Q1 to $45.6M. Shares +9.5% AH. (Q1 results, PR)
    • HomeAway (AWAY) expects Q2 revenue of $109M-$111M (above a $108.2M consensus) and adjusted EBITDA of $28M-$29M. 2014 guidance is for revenue of $435M-$442.5M (above a $433.7M consensus) and adjusted EBITDA of $117M-$122.5M. Shares -1.9% AH. (Q1 results, PR)
    • KLA-Tencor (KLAC) guides on its CC for FQ4 revenue of $700M-$760M and EPS of $0.75-$0.95, below a consensus of $832.5M and $1.16. The company blames delays among clients in ramping production of chips featuring 3D transistors, and (like Lam Research) notes 3D NAND production is being pushed out. Shares -5.1% AH. (FQ3 results, PR)
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  • 6:35 PM
    • Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM): Q1 EPS of $0.22 beats by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $1.76B (-19.3% Y/Y) misses by $90M.
    • Press Release
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  • 6:32 PM
    • Total revenues: $570M (+10.9%), revenues net of acquisitions and recalls/returns: $519.8M (+6.3%), gross profit: $255.5M (+10.1%), EPS: $0.91 (+7.1%).
    • U.S. revenues: $392.1M (+7.8%), international revenues: $177.9M (+18.5%).
    • CF Ops: $144.5M (+47.1%).
    • (SRCL)
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  • 6:25 PM
    • Under Armour (UA) and Navient (NAVIV) are added to the S&P 500 index, effective April 30.
    • Out of the index are SLM Corp. (SLM), which is splitting into two companies - Navient, and a consumer banking operation that will continue under the Sallie Mae brand - and Beam (BEAM), which was acquired by Suntory Holdings.
    • SLM moves for now to the S&P MidCap 400, ousting Alpha Natural Resources (ANR).
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