Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Monday, December 22, 2014

  • 10:19 PM
    • Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT) reports it will take a $43.2M impairment charge related to the value of its 757 planes.
    • The charge will occur this quarter.
    • The company also announced updated guidance, saying it sees a capacity increase of 2% to 6% for Q1 of 2015.
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  • 10:12 PM
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  • 9:00 PM
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) discloses the salaries of the company's top execs in a new filing with the SEC.
    • CEO Reed Hastings will take an annual salary pay cut to $1M from $3M and have a stock option allowance of $13.5M.
    • Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos goes to $1M in salary from $2.8M to go along with his stock option allowance of $9.6M.
    • CFO David Wells will earn $2M in salary next year and has $1.675M as his stock option allowance.
    • SEC Form 8-K
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  • 7:10 PM
    • While the U.S. government wants BP to pay $16B-$18B in fines related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company is opening the latest round of its legal battle by arguing in a court filing that it should pay a lesser penalty partly because of the falling price of crude oil.
    • In a filing to the Louisiana District Court, BP suggests that "a per-barrel penalty at the lower end of the statutory range would satisfy the goals of [the Clean Water Act].”
    • Judge Barbier in New Orleans will conduct a non-jury trial next month to set pollution fines for BP and its well partner, Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC).
    • Meanwhile, BP says it signed a joint venture deal with Azerbaijan's Socar to explore for and develop potential prospects in the shallow water area around the Absheron Peninsula of the Caspian Sea.
    | 6 Comments
  • 6:58 PM
    • The DOJ has filed a False Claims Act complaint against Omnicare (NYSE:OCR), alleging the healthcare services firm "solicited and received millions of dollars in kickbacks" from drug giant Abbott Labs in exchange for "purchasing and recommending the prescription drug Depakote for controlling behavioral disturbances exhibited by dementia patients residing in nursing homes serviced by Omnicare."
    • The complaint states Omnicare's pharmacists "reviewed nursing home patients’ charts at least monthly and made recommendations to physicians on what drugs should be prescribed for those patients," and that the company "touted its influence over physicians in nursing homes in order to secure kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott."
    • OCR -0.8% AH.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:52 PM
    • Hess (NYSE:HES) says it has reached an agreement to process undeveloped gas resources off Western Australia through the North West Shelf venture, after several years of negotiations in a deal that would allow its $6B Equus offshore gas project to go ahead.
    • The long-awaited deal will have Hess pay North West Shelf, operated by Woodside Petroleum (OTCPK:WOPEF, OTCPK:WOPEY), to process gas from Equus into liquefied natural gas, which Hess would then market to customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
    • Hess says it does not expect to give a final investment decision for the Equus project, which would involve several billions of dollars of investment, before 2017.
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  • 6:46 PM
    • With China having recently lifted a 15-year ban on console sales, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is prepping a high-end console that could launch in early 2015, Asian gaming research firm Niko Partners reports hearing.
    • Microsoft recently launched the Xbox One in China, and Sony plans to launch the PS4 in the country next month. Aside from the console giants, an Alibaba console would have to contend with China's entrenched PC gaming culture and the widespread availability of black-market consoles that can play pirated games.
    • Alibaba has already shown a strong interest in both gaming and living room entertainment. Among other things, the company has launched a set-top (running on a proprietary OS), invested in multiple video content providers, taken a $120M stake in game developer Kabam, and created a mobile game-publishing arm.
    | 5 Comments
  • 6:29 PM
    • Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE:PCG) says it will self-report another 65K emails that may have violated rules concerning how businesses communicate with the California Public Utilities Commission.
    • PCG says it is affirming “its commitment to transparency and accountability.”
    • The utility has been reviewing emails for several months after officials in San Bruno, Calif. - the site of a 2010 gas explosion that killed eight people - accused it of having an inappropriately close relationship with regulators.
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:19 PM
    • Sky Solar (NASDAQ:SKYS) has announced: chairman Weili Su is taking over as CEO. Former CEO Amy Zhang will now serve as Sky's deputy chairman and chief strategy officer.
    • Sky has also announced it's receiving $50.1M in debt financing for a 44MW solar project in Chile's Atacama Desert, and has closed a $3.2M loan that represents the first tranche in an $18.7M loan financing package for 16 Canadian projects with a combined 6.2MW of capacity.
    • Last but not least, Sky has announced it's entering the Chinese solar market, and has "authorized the Company's management team to evaluate acquisition targets to build the operating assets in China." Among the assets being considered are ones "owned by private entities controlled by the Company's Chairman."
    • Shares rose 60.7% today. They're now well above November's $8 IPO price.
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  • 6:15 PM
    • Global iron ore producers fell today after Australia's Department of Industry slashed its iron ore price estimate by a third due to surging output, which has outpaced Chinese demand and growth, creating a surplus.
    • Iron ore prices will average $63/metric ton, vs. $94/ton forecast in September and this year's expected average of ~$88, according to the government's latest quarterly report.
    • Ore with 62% content delivered to Qingdao, China, fell 1.8% to $67.90/metric ton, the lowest price since June 2009 and extending this year’s rout to 50%.
    • Not everyone is quite so gloomy: Prices appear oversold and there’s potential for a relief rally in H2 2015, Australia & New Zealand Banking says, forecast iron ore to average $80/ton, noting that any recovery will be driven by supply cuts, including high-cost mines in China, where the industry is losing at current prices.
    • During today's trading: BHP -2%, RIO -1.8%, VALE -0.6%, CLF -7.9%.
    | 3 Comments
  • 6:08 PM
     
  • 6:00 PM
     
    • S&P -0.01%.
    • 10-yr flat.
    • Euro -0.01% vs. dollar.
    • Crude +0.17% to $55.39.
    • Gold +0.34% to $1,176.90.
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  • 5:58 PM
    • Rex Energy (NASDAQ:REXX) says it foresees 2015 capital spending of $180M-$220M, 44% lower than the midpoint of its 2014 capex guidance.
    • However, REXX expects average 2015 production of 196M-205M cfe/day, which would represent 33% Y/Y growth from the midpoint of 2014 average daily production guidance, as the company focuses on its highest quality assets and locations.
    • REXX also says it will continue its pursuit of a joint venture partner for its Moraine East development area in 2015, and has recently begun drilling its first well in the area.
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  • 5:52 PM
    • Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) is partnering with Swedish fingerprint sensor/module maker Fingerprint Cards (FPC) to offer solutions that pair Atmel's maXTouch touch controllers with FPC's sensors.
    • The alliance takes aim at Atmel touch controller rival Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA), which last year bought fingerprint sensor firm Validity Sensors. Since then, Validity has outperformed expectations, racking up design wins with Android OEMs trying to counter Apple's integration of proprietary fingerprint sensors within iDevices.
    • Last week, Needham's Rajvindra Gill included both Atmel and Synaptics on his list of top 2015 picks. He likes Atmel's efforts to go after IoT, auto, and industrial opportunities for its microcontrollers and connectivity chips, and thinks Synaptics' integrated touch controller/display driver (TDDI) offerings could help transform it into "a platform company that dominates all the chips on the display motherboard (i.e., touch, fingerprint, display driver IC).”
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  • 5:45 PM
    • Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) continues to cut its 2015 capital budget in response to falling oil prices, now forecasting 2015 capex of $2.7B after announcing a $4.6B budget last month, which itself was a cut from its original $5.2B target.
    • CLR also lowers its outlook for next year's production growth to a 16%-20% increase after telling investors last month to expect 23%-29% growth in 2015.
    • CLR reduces its expected average rig count for the year to 31 from earlier expectations of 50.
    • CLR's 2014 capital budget was $4.05B.
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  • 5:35 PM
  • 5:35 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5:15 p.m.: VNDA +22.2%. EXK +4.6%. EGO +3.8%. DGAZ +3.7%. AG +3.6%.
    • Top losers, as of 5:15 p.m.: SCS -5.1%. UGAZ -2.7%. ACMP -2.6%. ALLT -1.6%. CSIQ -1.4%.
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  • 5:30 PM
  • 5:27 PM
    • Frank's International (NYSE:FI) says its board intends to appoint Gary Luquette to succeed Keith Mosing as its new President and CEO after a special shareholder meeting scheduled for Jan. 23.
    • Luquette joined FI's board late last year after serving 35 years at Chevron, including as President of Chevron North America Exploration and Production during 2006-13.
    • Mosing will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board.
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  • 5:21 PM
    • SINA states police in the city of Shenzhen are probing allegations P2P lending platform Zhonghuizaixian.com misappropriated bankers' acceptances supporting a wealth management product Sina helped sell. Zhonghuizaixian recently said it has received investor claims demanding as much as $8.8M.
    • Sina's financial liability might be bigger than that: GeoTeam: "According to Chinese media, there's RMB 260M (USD $42.4M) that may have to be made whole by [Sina's] subsidiary & over 3k investors affected."
    • A number of major Chinese Internet companies have launched wealth management platforms via partnerships. The products have seen healthy uptake among Chinese consumers looking for an alternative to the low interest rates provided by state-owned banks.
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