Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Thursday, September 18, 2014

  • 9:52 AM
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  • 9:50 AM
    • ArcelorMittal (MT +1.5%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $17.50 price target at BofA/Merrill, which cites margin upside.
    • The firm's positive outlook on MT is based on the belief that Europe steel prices have troughed and will rise into Q4, steel margins are expanding with steel prices having proved more resilient than raw materials, and that iron ore will not prove a headwind for earnings from here.
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  • 9:42 AM
    • Baxano Surgical (BAXS +2.8%) hires Houlihan Lokey to advise it on potential strategic alternatives for its business.
    • The firm's market cap is $15M. In the quarter ended June 30, it posted $4.7M in revenues and consumed almost $17M in cash leaving a cash balance of only $2.3M.
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  • 9:39 AM
    • Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is buying Ireland's FeedHenry, provider of a platform that helps enterprises streamline and speed up mobile app development, for €63.5M ($81.9M) in cash.
    • FeeHenry's platform covers developer collaboration, app security, and deployment on cloud app platforms, among other things. Red Hat calls the purchase an "important addition" to its existing enterprise cloud app development tools, which rely on its JBoss middleware and OpenShift cloud app platform.
    • The announcement comes ahead of this afternoon's FQ2 report. Ahead of its June FQ1 report, Red Hat announced it's buying French cloud integration firm eNovance. Both deals presumably involved the use of offshore cash.
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  • 9:37 AM
    • Papa Murphy's (NASDAQ:FRSH) announces a new partnership with Udi's Gluten Free, a maker of pizza crusts.
    • The company will now offer gluten-free crusts at more than 1,000 stores.
    • What to watch: Gluten-free is becoming a major buzzword in the food/restaurant industry even though recent polling showed a majority of consumers weren't quite sure what gluten is and why it should be avoided.
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  • 9:31 AM
    • Dow +0.21% to 17,193.50. S&P +0.27% to 2,006.90. Nasdaq +0.34% to 4,577.50.
    • Treasurys: 30-year +0.06%. 10-yr -0.12%. 5-yr -0.14%.
    • Commodities: Crude +0.23% to $93.41. Gold -1.1% to $1,222.30.
    • Currencies: Euro +0.23% vs. dollar. Yen flat. Pound +0.06%.
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  • 9:30 AM
    • Shares of Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) and CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) are showing some weakness early after results from Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) take a hit from generic drug introductions.
    • Walgreen is down 0.4% premarket, while CVS is tilting 0.6% south.
    • Rite Aid (RAD) is in a dive, now down 13.4%.
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  • 9:30 AM
    • Under a $53M contract with the Department of Defense, Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) has begun the construction of two major sub-components of AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radars.
    • The units will enable the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to rotate sub-components out of the field to receive depot-level upgrades while keeping radars up and running.
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  • 9:29 AM
    • What if you held at TLTRO and nobody came? The pressure rises on Mario Draghi to move forward with full-blown QE after European banks step up to borrow just €82.6B from the ECB at a fixed rate of 0.15% in the targeted longer-term refinancing operation. A Bloomberg survey had expected a €100B-€300B range of borrowing.
    • “This low figure is making the probability of fully-blown QE much higher,” says a fixed-income fund manager. “The target to raise the ECB balance-sheet size to roughly €3T will be attained, either through lending to banks or through direct investment into the markets.”
    • “This was clearly a failed operation,” says an analyst at Nordea Markets. “It puts pressure on them to also succeed with their covered-bond and ABS programs. Ultimately, even if you include those, it will be difficult for them to reach the balance-sheet target they have.”
    • The euro (NYSEARCA:FXE) is higher by 0.25% to $1.2890.
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  • 9:29 AM
    • OvaScience (NASDAQ:OVAS) appoints Jeffrey Young as CFO. He joins the firm from Transmedics where he was CFO and Treasurer.
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  • 9:25 AM
    • The FDA approves Intuitive Surgical's (NASDAQ:ISRG) da Vinci S and da Vinci Si Surgical Systems for use in benign base of tongue resection procedures. The systems were previously approved for use in transoral otolaryngology procedures for the resection of early-stage benign or malignant tumors classified as T1 and T2.
    • The da Vinci Xi System is not approved for transoral otolaryngologic surgical procedures.
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  • 9:25 AM
    • Stock futures point to a firm open following yesterday's FOMC statement that it would retain accommodative for a "considerable time"; Dow +0.2%, S&P +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.4%.
    • Futures held gains after economic data showed applications last week for U.S. jobless claims dropped to its lowest level since July but housing starts falling 14% in August.
    • Markets in Asia ended mostly higher, while major European bourses trade higher across the board; FTSE +0.4% as Scottish voters head to the polls, with indications pointing to a narrow victory for unionists.
    • Alibaba will begin NYSE trading today at a top opening price of $68; the IPO could raise more than $25B, making it the biggest ever.
    • Treasury prices are little changed, with the 10-year benchmark yield at 2.62%.
    • Still ahead: Philly Fed, EIA natural gas inventory.
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  • 9:24 AM
    • Warren Buffett tries to defuse some of the criticism over a plan to relocate Burger King Worldwide (NYSE:BKW) to Canada as part of its merger with Tim Hortons (NYSE:THI) by noting the company hasn't paid out more than $30M in taxes in any of the last three years.
    • He also notes that offshore cash and intellectual property aren't motivating factors.
    • "It’s a case of the larger company being in Canada," says the Omaha legend.
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  • 9:17 AM
    • JPMorgan gives a shot in the arm to Macau casino stocks by reiterating Overweight ratings on major players.
    • Melco Crown (NASDAQ:MPEL), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) are all tapped for gains by the investment firm, despite the concerns on slowing growth in the Chinese gambling mecca.
    • JP thinks share price on the group has nearly bottomed out at current levels.
    • Premarket: MGM +0.7%, WYNN +0.7%, LVS +0.2%, MPEL +0.2%.
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  • 9:16 AM
    • Violin Memory (NYSE:VMEM) is offering $95M in convertible senior notes due 2019. Uses for the proceeds include working capital and paying down an existing credit facility. Pricing hasn't been disclosed yet.
    • The flash storage system vendor had $80.2M in cash and short-term investments at the end of July, and $9.8M in debt. It's expected to post an $0.85/share loss in FY15 (ends Jan. '15), and a $0.63/share loss in FY16.
    • Shares -1.4% premarket.
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  • 9:12 AM
    • Dresser-Rand (NYSE:DRC) +1.5% premarket after William Blair says the company could be valued at $80-$100/share in an M&A deal with limited downside.
    • Blair cites an increasing likelihood of a merger transaction after Sulzer confirmed yesterday that it is in talks to acquire DRC; the firm keeps its Outperform rating on the stock while raising its price target to $82 from $70.
    • Meanwhile, Gabelli continues to believe DRC has an asking price somewhere above $80 to be acquired by Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY).
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  • 9:07 AM
    • Oncothyreon (NASDAQ:ONTY) prices its public offering of 10M shares of common stock at $2 per share and a concurrent offering of 10K shares of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock at $2,000 per share for total expected gross proceeds of $40M.
    • Underwriters over-allotment is 1.5M shares of common stock. Closing date is September 23, 2014.
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  • 9:06 AM
    • Shares of ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) rise in early action after some tight expense control helped the company best FQ1 EPS estimates.
    • The company also backed its FY15 guidance.
    • CAG +2.7% premarket
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  • 9:06 AM
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  • 9:02 AM
    • The 3.2M share offering priced at $52.25 each, and the underwriters have an option to buy another 480K shares at that price. Net proceeds to EPR should be about $160.2M.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Shares -4.1% to $52.40 premarket
    • Previously: EPR Properties announces secondary
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