Today - Tuesday, May 5, 2015
- Global annual spending on cancer drugs in 2014 hit $100B (+10% Y/Y) for the first time, largely due to rising drug prices and increased incidence of cancer.
- "Earlier diagnosis, longer treatment duration and increased effectiveness of drug therapies are contributing to rising levels of spending on medicines for cancer," the IMS said in a report.
- The figures raise even more questions of affordability as the pharmaceuticals industry prepares to launch a fresh generation of treatments that promise to push costs even higher.
- ETFs: XBI, PJP, BBH, FBT, XPH, PBE, IHE, SBIO, PPH, BBC, BBP
- Related: U.S. drug spending rose 13% in 2014 (Apr. 14 2015)
- Related: Is hefty specialty drug spending the new normal? (Mar. 10 2015)
- Related: Global drug tab will breach trillion dollar mark this year (Nov. 20 2014)
- Preparing the ground for its next flagship North American buyout fund, KKR (NYSE:KKR) is merging some of its private equity industry teams in the U.S. after several more of its leaders stepped down.
- KKR will combine its technology group with its media and communications team and merge its retail team with its consumer group.
- "We believe this realignment reflects the convergence of the internet, technology, media and communications industries, with end markets," said KKR executives Alexander Navab and Suzanne Donohoe.
- Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) is set to launch a converged cable access platform, enabling cable operators to offer download speeds of one gigabit a second or more.
- The new cBR-8 system, to be unveiled on Tuesday, will "enable cable operators to achieve savings that could exceed 40% of capital and operating expenses over five years," the networking-equipment maker said in a statement.
- Yesterday, Cisco named company veteran Chuck Robbins as its new CEO. Robbins will replace John Chambers on July 26.
- Indonesia's economy unexpectedly shrank for a second straight quarter as exports and government spending dropped, dealing a setback to President Joko Widodo as he seeks to bolster the economy.
- Coming in below forecasts for 4.9% growth, GDP grew 4.7% from the year-ago period in Q1 and lower than the 5% expansion seen in Q4.
- Widodo took office in October pledging to increase infrastructure spending, boost investment and achieve 7% expansion by 2017 in Southeast Asia's largest economy.
- ETFs: IDX, EIDO, IDXJ
- With heavy gains from its wealth management business, UBS reported first-quarter profit that nearly doubled from the same period last year, despite the SNB's shock decision to unpeg its currency from the euro.
- Net profit came in at 1.98B Swiss francs ($2.12B), up from 1.05B francs from the year-ago period, beating analysts' forecasts.
- The bank's adjusted return on tangible equity stood at 14.4% during the quarter.
- Jumping on the latest health bandwagon, Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) announces it will remove at least 150 artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives from its menu by the end of next year.
- The decision marks the latest move by a major food company to respond to a consumer shift toward foods seen as simpler and more healthful.
- Chipotle declared last week it had mostly removed GMO ingredients from its supply chain, while Nestle said it February it would remove artificial flavors and colors from its candy bars.
- Asian stock markets retreated today after Australia's central bank cut interest rates for the second time in four months, lowering its cash-rate target to a record low 2.0% from 2.25%.
- Although the economy is showing signs of improvement, the new move will reinforce economic growth in the face of falling commodity prices and a China slowdown.
- The Australia dollar also fell sharply following the announcement, hitting $0.7801, before rebounding to $0.7906 (+0.9%).
- S&P ASX 200 -0.1%. Asia: Shanghai -2.8%; Hang Seng -1.3%.
- ETFs: FXA, EWA, AUSE, CROC, KROO, EWAS, GDAY, FAUS, QAUS
- Jonathan Rende, formerly the EVP of products/marketing at cloud app testing/analytics software provider Keynote, has been named Castlight's (NYSE:CSLT) Research and Development Officer.
- CEO Giovanni Coella states Castlight is "relying on Jonathan and his team to help strengthen our enterprise healthcare management products and deliver solutions that boost employee engagement, improve productivity, and ultimately help HR leaders manage their overall healthcare spend."
- Rende's resume also includes stints at HP, Mercury Interactive, and Informix. His appointment follows the January hiring of Jive Software exec John McCracken to be Castlight's sales SVP, and comes ahead of Wednesday afternoon's Q1 report.
- Tae Young Hwang, MagnaChip's (NYSE:MX) president/COO since 2009, has resigned.
- Young-Joon Kim, who has been serving as interim CEO since May 2014, will "assume Mr. Hwang's duties as the Company's principal operating officer." In addition, manufacturing operations SVP Seung-Hoon Lee will now oversee MagnaChip's semiconductor services ops on a day-to-day basis.
- The moves come in a year that has seen MagnaChip's shares crater following the end of its accounting restatement and the posting of its Q1-Q3 2014 results.
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has "entered into an agreement with a long-standing institutional investor to issue $12.5 million of senior secured convertible notes." (PR) (8-K filing)
- The notes mature 21 months from issuance, carry an interest rate of 8%, and have a conversion price of $1.00 (39% above current levels). Vringo can repay the notes "in either cash or, subject to certain conditions, shares of the company`s common stock at a discount to the then-current market price."
- Along with the notes, the investor is receiving warrants to purchase 5.375M shares at $1 apiece; they'll be "exercisable six months and one day from the date of issuance and will have a term of five years from the date they first become exercisable."
- Vringo only says it will use the proceeds to "enhance its monetization efforts around the world for existing and upcoming monetization efforts." The company had $16M in cash at the end of 2014, and less than $200K in debt. 2014 free cash flow was -$28.6M.
- Along with its Q1 results, ChannelAdvisor (NYSE:ECOM) has announced co-founder Scott Wingo is stepping down as CEO, albeit while remaining chairman. COO David Spitz is the e-commerce service provider's new CEO.
- ChannelAdvisor closed AH trading up 9.8% to $11.00 in the wake of its Q1 beat, guidance, and CEO announcement. Q2 revenue guidance is light $21.4M-$21.8M vs. a $23.2M consensus - but full-year sales guidance of $94M-$97M is in-line with a $95.9M consensus. With shares down over 75% from early-2014 levels, the full-year outlook has been well-received.
- Q1 results, earnings release, CC transcript
Monday, May 4, 2015
- With just three weeks left in the broadcast TV season, CBS is heading into upfronts with a key sales pitch: TV's the one (and CBS TV in particular) to drive consumption, particularly when it comes to car buyers and moviegoers.
- The network is using not just its ratings power, but also Nielsen and Rentrak data that matches TV ad delivery to purchasing. Chief Research Officer Dave Poltrack says the network delivers more buyers of cars, movies, and financial services, as well as leading retail, restaurant and travel, Ad Age notes.
- This season, CBS is averaging 11.4M viewers a night, against NBC's 8.83M, and leads in its target demo of adults 25-54.
- Despite the data, CBS can't really negotiate around it, with the demographic buying model still dominant. But it can stick up for TV in an age when digital ads and ad tech are forcing advertisers to question its power: "There's a new generation of marketing execs who haven't been presented with any substantive about how powerful a medium TV is, and that's what we're doing. We're providing that information," says Poltrack.
- With LinkedIn sinking another 0.9% today, to bring its two-day drop to 19.3% since it slashed guidance Thursday, Argus joined other analysts in defense and upgraded shares to Buy, from Hold.
- "A few more quarters of pain" are ahead, the firm says, but echoing other analysts, it says LinkedIn's problems are transitory and "its business model is resilient enough to overcome them."
- "The sales force transition may have been management's first significant mistake, but in our view, the move also positions the company for future growth, perhaps just not as much as previously expected in 2015," Argus wrote. Currency issues noted in the Q1 report have hurt nearly every company in the coverage group, the firm added.
- Argus set a price target of $280 on the shares; LinkedIn closed Monday at $203.42.
- Sprint (NYSE:S) reports earnings early Tuesday, and this is the quarter where watchers fear the company will lose its No. 3 status to T-Mobile -- which did its part by perhaps capturing effectively all of the industry's subscriber growth for the quarter.
- Revenues are expected to decline as much as 5% as the big four wireless firms continue their price war, and "We believe Sprint will be a postpaid phone loser for the quarter," says Jonathan Schildkraut of Evercore. But: "The second story we see is an improvement in reported financial results — with the most important impact from leasing."
- Yet unknown is the impact of Sprint's deal to co-brand 1,400 former RadioShacks.
- Last quarter, postpaid average revenue per user declined both Y/Y and sequentially, to $58.90. The company reported a loss of $0.60/share on revenue that had fallen 1.9%.
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) finished the first quarter with just 6,000 more video subscribers than broadband subscribers, and on today's earnings call, Cable CEO Neil Smit confirmed that the numbers have flipped by now -- so Comcast is officially more broadband company than cableco.
- That's a regulatory risk further out, considering FCC regulation, but Comcast is looking pretty good for now, after a first-quarter earnings beat and 2.5% revenue growth.
- The company still makes more from video than broadband at the moment, but the margins are higher for broadband service, as content costs continue to pile up.
- CEO Brian Roberts says they're disappointed about the blow-up of the Time Warner Cable deal, "but really, really we've moved on," and his top priorities focus on execution around the company's existing assets, "service, organic growth."
- Theme Parks showed 33%-plus growth for NBCUniversal, and unit chief Steve Burke said to expect more investment there including "a very significant hotel build out in Orlando over the next five or so year."
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