Today - Tuesday, March 11, 2014
- Germany's exports rose 2.2% on month in January after dropping 0.9% in December and beat forecasts of +1.4%.
- Imports jumped 4.1% vs -1.4% and +1.3%.
- The trade surplus slipped to €17.2B from €18.3B and missed consensus of €17.7B.
- The euro is -0.1% at $1.3865, while DAX futures are +0.2%. (PR)
- ETFs: FXE, EUO, EWG, ERO, DRR, BUND, EWGS, EUFX, ULE, GERJ, DBGR, BUNL, DXGE, URR, FGM, BUNT, GGOV
- GM (GM) is set to face hearings in Congress about why the company took almost a decade to recall 1.6M vehicles for defective ignition switches that have been linked to 13 deaths.
- A panel, the House Energy & Commerce Committee, will also probe the role of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- GM yesterday appointed former Lehman examiner Anton Valuskas to lead its own internal investigation, while the NHTSA is also carrying out an inquiry.
- As expected, the Bank of Japan has left its key interest rate at 0.1% and maintained its program of expanding the monetary base by ¥60-70T a year.
- The BOJ upgraded its assessment of industrial output and investment but cut its analysis for exports.
- In a related development, Japanese machine tool orders, a leading indicator of capex, climbed 26% on year in February, although that was down from +40.3% in January.
- The bank's latest policy decision comes ahead of a rise in sales tax next month that is expected to drag on the economy.
- The Nikkei is +0.7%, while the USD-JPY is flat at ¥103.31. (BOJ Statement)
- ETFs: DXJ, EWJ, FXY, YCS, JGBS, JGBD, DFJ, JYN, NKY, DBJP, EZJ, EWV, YCL, SCJ, JGBL, JSC, JPP, ITF, DXJS, JGBT, JPNL, JPNS, FJP
Monday, March 10, 2014
- Document Security Systems (DSS) is suing Samsung, TSMC, and NEC in the Eastern District of Texas for allegedly infringing patents related to chip manufacturing. (PR)
- DSS says it bought the patents in question in 2013 to support hardware/peripherals development, including for devices using its AuthentiGuard anti-counterfeiting tech.
- Seth Klarman is warning of an impending asset price bubble, calling out "nosebleed valuations” in high-flying stocks such as Netflix (NFLX) and Tesla (TSLA) and warning of the potential for a brutal correction across financial markets.
- “Any year in which the S&P 500 jumps 32% and the Nasdaq 40% while corporate earnings barely increase should be a cause for concern, not for further exuberance," the Baupost Group head wrote in a letter to clients.
- "There is a growing gap between the financial markets and the real economy... and the overall picture is one of growing risk and inadequate potential return almost everywhere one looks."
- In a semi-rebuttal, Vanguard's Jack Bogle agrees stocks are in "risky territory" but says investors shouldn't be trying to time the market in any case, and the problem with selling stocks based on such a prediction is you won't know when to re-enter: "Will [Klarman] call you and tell you when it's time to get back in?"
- While most Chinese Internet stocks sold off due to disappointing export data, E-House (EJ +3.3%) rallied on news its Leju online real estate ad/listing subsidiary has filed a draft F-1 with the SEC for an IPO.
- Also helping: E-House announces Leju has formed a far-reaching partnership with Chinese messaging/gaming leader Tencent. The companies will "jointly develop software and tools" for Tencent's wildly popular WeChat (Weixin) mobile messaging platform, and will also "pursue additional opportunities for potential cooperation," including ones related to Tencent's massive QQ and Qzone platforms.
6:15 PM| 18 Comments
- BlackBerry (BBRY) has sold its Irving, TX U.S. headquarters to Canadian real estate firm Brookfield Property for an undisclosed sum. The company is leasing back 37% of the campus, which sports six buildings and 460.3K sq. feet of office space spread out over 12.9 acres.
- BlackBerry, which has carried out huge job cuts, rallied in January after announcing it planned to unload the majority of its Canadian real estate holdings (3M+ sq. feet altogether) via sale-leaseback deals.
- DuPont (DD) -1% AH after saying in an 8-K filing that Q1 sales and earnings will be “challenged” by the unusually cold North American winter and disruptions in Ukraine.
- However, DD maintains its FY 2014 forecast for operating EPS of $4.20-$4.45, citing an improvement in global industrial production and lower agriculture input costs; consensus analyst estimate is $4.43.
- Vringo (VRNG) had 2013 revenue of $1.1M, and a net loss of $52.4M ($0.63/share). $41.7M of the net loss was from continuing ops, and the remainder from discontinued ops.
- Legal costs totaled $20M, G&A and other expenses $6.3M, equity compensation $12M, and patent amortization costs $3.4M.
- Vringo ended 2013 with $33.6M in cash/equivalents. Average 2013 operational cash burn was $2M/month, yielding full-year cash burn of $24M.
- The company expects its burn rate to decrease in 2014, and thinks its year-end funds "will be sufficient" to support its 2014/2015 operations, even if there's no "significant revenue event."
- Press release
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