Today - Monday, March 2, 2015
- NutriSystem (NASDAQ:NTRI) has zoomed +11.6% after hours in the wake of a Q4 earnings beat and its sixth straight quarter of Y/Y revenue growth.
- Adjusted EBITDA of $11.6M (up 152%) beat expectations of $10.45M.
- For the full year, revenue was $403.1M (up 13%); adjusted EBITDA was $42.7M (up 35%).
- Gross profit margin was up 380 bps to 51.5%; gross profit up 22% to $40.8M.
- Cash, equivalents and short-term investments grew $2.85M during the year to leave $29.2M at year's end.
- Press release
- Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) have been on the rebound since a disappointing Q4 earnings report, in part because the company’s debt levels and development costs are lower than its competitors, which puts it in a strong position to weather the oil slump, according to a Bloomberg profile.
- PXD’s debt is ~1.4x a projection for its 2015 EBITDA, according to calculations by RBC analyst Leo Mariani, who says the result is ~25% lower than its competitors, including Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) and Newfield Exploration (NYSE:NFX).
- Investors are watching to see if PXD can close above the intraday low of $160.50 from Nov. 26, the last trading day before a plunge in oil prices sent shares down 11%, Miller Tabak's Matt Maley says, and that it would be a bullish technical indicator if the stock can “fill the gap.”
- Though it beat FQ2 estimates, Guidewire (NYSE:GWRE) is guiding for FY15 (ends July '15) revenue of $362.7M-$378.4M, mostly below a $376.8M consensus. On the other hand, with a $0.06 FQ2 beat in tow, EPS guidance of $0.51-$0.58 is above a $0.49 consensus.
- FQ3 guidance is for revenue of $76.5M-$84M and EPS of $0.02-$0.06 vs. a consensus of $85.6M and $0.05.
- The insurance software vendor also discloses CFO Karen Blasing is retiring. Richard Hart, a banker who helped take Guidewire public in 2012, will be replacing Blasing.
- License revenue (drives future maintenance/services revenue) rose 24% Y/Y in FQ2 to $43.6M. Maintenance revenue rose 23% to $12.2M, and services revenue fell 12% to $33.6M. GAAP operating expenses rose 21% Y/Y to $52M (compares with 7% revenue growth).
- Shares have fallen to $53.50 AH.
- FQ2 results, PR
- Stating the company has violated investment rules for Chinese companies, Taiwan's investment regulators has fined Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) a modest T$120K ($3,800) and ordered it to withdraw/transfer all holdings from its Taiwanese operation within six months.
- At issue: Alibaba set up shop in Taiwan in 2008 via its Singapore-registered Alibaba.com unit (focused on international wholesale deals), before Taiwan began allowing mainland Chinese companies to directly invest. After going over Alibaba's IPO filings, regulators have concluded Alibaba.com is directly linked to its Chinese parent company.
- Alibaba, for its part, insists it's complying with Taiwanese law, and that it will work with authorities to resolve all issues. A large number of Taiwanese merchants rely on Alibaba.com to sell their goods.
- Separately, the WSJ reports preparations are underway for Alipay parent Ant Financial to go public, even though an offering isn't expected until 2016 or 2017. Chinese i-bank CICC has been hired to handle the offering, and state-owned entities have been named as potential investors.
- The paper argues Ant/Alipay's "links to Beijing give off the faintest whiff of an implicit state guarantee of the kind enjoyed by the rest of the financial sector." A Chinese magazine reported last month Ant is in talks to sell an 11% stake to three government-affiliated entities at a $30B valuation.
- Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT) -1.2% AH after disclosed that it agreed to issue 8.65M common shares in exchange for $66.72M aggregate principal amount of 8.5% senior notes due 2021 held by a noteholder.
- WLT says it executed the transaction to reduce its debt and interest cost, increase equity, and improve its balance sheet.
- WLT will receive no cash proceeds as a result of the exchange.
- McDermott (NYSE:MDR) +21.8% AH after reporting a surprise Q4 profit and better than expected revenues, as well as strong revenue guidance for 2015.
- MDR issues upside guidance for FY 2015, forecasting revenues of $3.3B-$3.6B vs. $2.79B analyst consensus estimate, and operating income $25M-$50M.
- MDR expects 2015 cash savings from its restructuring, before costs, of ~$50M, with cash savings of $100M/year beginning in 2016.
- Also announces contract wins for two separate offshore construction projects in the Middle East: a significant power supply system replacement contract by Saudi Aramco for the Marjan field offshore Saudi Arabia, and a project for new jacket, temporary deck and replacement umbilical by Qatar Petroleum for the North Field Alpha gas development offshore Qatar.
6:41 PM| Comment!
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has been busy on the first day of the Mobile World Congress, announcing refreshes (and new names) for its mobile processor and modem lineups, as well as new security software OEM deals and alliances with telecom equipment vendors.
- Intel's SoFIA baseband/app processor line, aimed at low-end Android devices, has launched as the Atom x3 line. Three processors are offered - one has a dual-core, 1GHz. CPU and 3G modem, another (made by partner Rockchip) a quad-core, 1.2GHz. CPU and 3G modem, and a third a quad-core 1.4GHz. CPU and 4G modem. Notably, SoFIA uses ARM's Mali GPU cores, and relies on an older 28nm manufacturing process.
- Also officially launched: Cherry Trail, the 14nm successor to the 22nm Bay Trail line as Intel's entry for the tablet and small-screen convertible market, and whose processors will be sold under the Atom x5 and x7 monikers.
- Relatively few details were provided about x5/x7 parts, which leads AnandTech to suspect they're aimed at late 1H15 and 2H15 products. Intel does note x5/x7 processors will sport powerful Gen 8 GPUs, and (as rumored) the company's next-gen Airmont CPU core.
- The XMM 7360, the latest entry for Intel's standalone baseband modem line, supports Cat-10 LTE (peak speeds of 450Mbps). The prior-gen XMM 7260 topped out at Cat-6 (peak speeds of 300Mbps); Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) unveiled a Cat-10 modem last November.
- Other announcements: 1) Intel's McAfee unit's VirusScan Mobile software will be pre-installed on Samsung's Galaxy S6, and McAfee's Mobile Security software will be bundled with an LG smartwatch; a pre-install deal already exists for LG smartphones. 2) Intel is partnering with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Huawei on creating a variety of network management and radio network hardware running on (Intel-powered) servers.
- Intel is hoping the efforts will bolster a mobile chip division that (thanks in large part to marketing subsidies) posted a $1.1B op. loss in Q4, and a $4.2B op. loss for 2014. Nomura and Wells Fargo are optimistic SoFIA can provide a lift.
- Shares rose 2.4% today to $34.06, aided by a chip stock rally that followed the NXP/Freescale deal.
6:33 PM| Comment!
- Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) -2.7% AH after missing expectations for Q4 earnings and revenues.
- Unadjusted earnings swung to an $891M Q4 loss, which included a $612M impairment NBR booked on its older rigs which have become less valuable as they are used less and the company is no longer able to justify maintenance, and a $387M writedown related to goodwill; NBR reported an unadjusted $152M profit in the year-ago quarter.
- NBR says its drilling operations posted a Q/Q improvement in operating income, primarily attributable to new rig deployments and the seasonal ramp-up in Alaska, and its international drilling segment also benefited from new rig deployments and contract renewals, but rig services and completion and production services operations were hurt by lower activity and increased pricing competitiveness compared with the previous quarter.
- The small Alaska company that partnered with Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) in the FCC's recent AWS-3 wireless spectrum auction is defending its big partner against criticism that it abused the designated-entities bidding procedures.
- Doyon, a regional Native corporation based in Fairbanks, Alaska, owns 15% of Northstar Wireless, and Dish Network the rest, but Doyon manages the firm. Northstar successfully bid $7.8B in the auction, part of Dish's $13.3B in gross bids, and qualified for $3.25B in federal credits as a small-business DE.
- Doyon attorneys say the company needed to team up with a deep pocket to "reach the scale of investment that is required in today's wireless industry," and says the partnership operated as intended: increasing competition for licenses.
- "The idea that a small company buying a few wireless licenses in a small market can meaningfully impact competition is simply uninformed," says Doyon lawyer Allen Todd.
- More on the FCC auction
- Previously: Verizon joins chorus complaining of Dish bid tactics (Feb. 27 2015)
- Previously: AT&T: Dish's auction approach skewed results, needs restriction (Feb. 20 2015)
- Previously: T-Mobile's Legere calls for spectrum-auction rule changes (Feb. 18 2015)
- Previously: Dish Network speaks (briefly) on spectrum auction and discounts (Feb. 02 2015)
6:18 PM| Comment!
- Latino-focused media company Entravision (NYSE:EVC) has promoted Maria Lopez-Knowles to chief marketing officer.
- Lopez-Knowles comes from its Pulpo Media unit -- its data-driven messaging and marketing analysis division. She'll oversee multimedia marketing across broadcast, radio and digital properties.
- After a brief tumble Friday based on its earnings miss, Entravision's now nearly back to Thursday's closing price of $6.97.
- Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) says it plans to sell ~$13.7B worth of assets in 2015 and 2016, far above the $5B-$11B outlined in its five-year $221B capital spending plan previously announced in February 2014, as the company continues to slim down in the wake of the vast corruption scandal in Brazil.
- PBR expects divestitures in exploration and production locally and overseas to account for 30% of asset sales targeted in the period, while gas and energy assets account for 40% and the remaining coming from assets related to distribution.
- The moves are part of a plan “to reduce leverage, preserve cash and focus on priority investments,” PBR says.
5:47 PM| Comment!
5:46 PM| Comment!
- After completing its second prespecified review of safety data from the Phase 3 trial evaluating Dynavax Technologies' (NASDAQ:DVAX) hepatitis B vaccine candidate, Heplisav-B, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) recommends that the study continue unchanged.
- The second DSMB review included safety data for all subjects through the February data cut-off date. All continuing subjects had received the second immunization (the last active dose of the vaccine) and all reached at least five months follow-up after the first immunization.
- The DSMD will review the safety data a third and final time before the end of the trial. All study visits will be completed by October.
- Heplisav-B combines a toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist with hepatitis B surface antigen to elicit an immune response after just two doses. A TLR9 agonist is an adjuvant which boosts the immune system.
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