Today - Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
- The SEC opened an investigation more than four years ago into St. Joe's (NYSE:JOE) accounting practices surrounding impaired property assets, and one week ago the company received a "Wells Notice" from the agency, suggesting it's leaning towards filing a formal charge.
- All allegations are related to company actions taken prior to the 2011 replacement of the board, the CEO, and the CFO.
- Source: SEC Form 8-K
- Shares -9.1% after hours
7:42 PM| Comment!
7:41 PM| Comment!
- The Obama administration will propose laws preserving almost 13M acres of land in the 19.8M-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including 1.5M acres of coastal plains believed to have rich oil and natural gas resources, and says it is drafting an offshore leasing plan expected to include more limits on future Alaska oil and gas output.
- Alaska's governor and congressional delegation were harshly critical of what they consider an unprecedented assault on the state that would have long-lasting impacts on its economy and U.S. energy security.
- The action would effectively ban oil and gas activity in major portions of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, although its impact on areas where Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Statoil (NYSE:STO) already have leases is not clear.
- TE Connectivity (NYSE:TEL) is "nearing a deal" to sell its telecom/networking equipment unit to CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM) for about $3B, the WSJ reports. A deal could be announced as soon as this week.
- The business in question, known as TE's network solutions unit, had FY14 (ended Sep. '14) sales of $2.9B (21% of TE's total revenue). For reference, CommScope's 2014 revenue consensus is only at $3.84B, and the company had a market cap of $4.06B as of today's close.
- TEL +6.1% AH to $67.00. COMM +6.4% to $23.00.
- It was a great day for energy stocks in at least one group of high-yield dividend dogs, as the five energy names making up the top six stocks in David Fish's Dec. 31 composite list of Champions, Contenders and Challengers list all enjoyed substantial gains: EVEP +10.7%, BBEP +21.5%, VNR +12%, CLMT +6.1% and WPZ +0.4%.
- So far in January, most results for the energy stocks in the group are still lower: EVEP -24%, BBEP -6.3%, VNR -0.7%, CLMT +16.2%, WPZ -2.5%.
7:05 PM| Comment!
- Silicon Motion (NASDAQ:SIMO) expects Q1 revenue to be flat to down 5% Q/Q. That implies a range of $76.5M-$80.5M, mostly above a $76.9M consensus.
- For the whole of 2015, SIMO expects revenue to grow 15%-25%; consensus is for 21.1% growth.
- Q4 gross margin was 52.5%, down from 52.9% in Q3 but up from 48.8% a year ago. GM is expected to fall to 50%-52% in Q1, and be in a 49.5%-51.5% range for the whole of 2015 (down from 2014's 51.8%).
- Embedded storage IC sales rose 70% Y/Y in Q4, driven by eMMC and client SSD controller demand. eMMC now makes up 40% of total revenue. Micron is an SSD controller client, and three tier-1 PC OEMs are using SSDs featuring SIMO's controllers.
- Operating expenses rose 58% Y/Y to $21.4M. SIMO had $195.2M in cash/investments at quarter's end, and no debt.
- Shares are at $25.60 in AH trading.
- Q4 results, PR
- Packaging Corp. of America's (NYSE:PKG) Q4 revenue rose 13% to a record $1.43B as its Boise acquisition helped boost shipments of corrugated products, but shares -7% AH as earnings and revenue missed estimates.
- PKG also issues downside guidance for Q1, seeing EPS of $1.07-$1.10 vs. $1.25 analyst consensus estimate, as it anticipates lost containerboard production of ~60K tons, higher operating costs from annual maintenance downtime at its two largest containerboard mills, and two fewer production days than in Q4.
- Q4 packaging sales rose 8.8% Y/Y to $1.12B, while shipments of corrugated products grew 5.4% and jumped 11% when including Boise.
- Containerboard production totaled 927K tons vs. 803K tons in the year-ago period and 858K in Q3, as the latest quarter included 58K tons produced on a machine converted to containerboard production from at its DeRidder, La., operation.
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) guides (.ppt) for its reporting units to collectively have FQ3 revenue of $20.6B-$21.4B, below a $23.8B total revenue consensus. Corporate/other revenue, which totaled $314M in FQ2, isn't included in the guidance. Forex is expected to hurt revenue growth by ~4%.
- Full-year operating expense guidance has been cut by $1B to $33.2B-$33.6B. Another $200M worth of restructuring charges are expected over the rest of FY15 (ends June '15), yielding total charges of $1.4B. FY15 tax rate guidance is at 22%-24%; the FQ2 tax rate was 25%.
- In its earnings slides (.ppt), Microsoft states its unearned revenue balance was $21.2B at the end of FQ2, +9% Y/Y but slightly below historical seasonality due to forex and the recognition of $300M worth of prior period deferrals. The contracted but not billed balance was above $24B.
- Office 365 consumer subs rose by 30% Q/Q to 9.2M, and first-party game revenue (boosted by the Mojang acquisition) rose 79%. Though Microsoft is in the midst of paring back its feature phone ops 39.7M non-Lumia phones were still sold (to go with 10.5M Lumias).
- $1.5B was spent on capex during the quarter. Capex is expected to rise Q/Q in FQ3 due to cloud investments. Excluding the Nokia deal, opex fell 8% Y/Y (+1% otherwise).
- MSFT -4.3% AH to $44.99. FQ2 results, details.
- The story of Q4 at United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) "really is one word, and that’s ‘currency,’” CEO Greg Hayes says in the earnings conference call, as the company - which derives 62% of sales from outside the U.S. - is hurt by the strengthening dollar once those sales are translated back into the U.S. currency.
- UTX had projected a 6% decline in the value of the euro vs. the dollar when it briefed investors Dec. 10, but the euro has fallen another 12% since then, Hayes said, whacking $0.24 off anticipated FY 2015 EPS.
- To offset some of the currency impact, Hayes says UTX will costs and raise its planned share buyback for the year from $2B to $3B.
- UTX executives said nothing had changed in the company's fundamental outlook, backing its forecast for 3%-5% in organic sales growth for the year.
- UTX -2.1% AH.
- U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) says it will temporarily curtail operations at two plants in Alabama and one in Texas that sell steel pipes and tubular products to oil and gas drillers, potentially affecting more than 1,900 workers.
- Earlier this month, U.S. Steel said it would idle plants in Ohio and Texas, and possibly lay off up to 756 workers.
- The fall in oil prices could decimate an entire industry that has been built up in recent years to supply drilling in places such as the Marcellus Shale and the Gulf of Mexico; “There’s still millions of tons of capacity set to come online, and it’s just going to be too much," says one analyst.
- Other steelmakers with key U.S. operations include NUE, STLD, MT and AKS.
6:08 PM| 1 Comment
- As disclosed at the time of the split announcement, Meg Whitman will be the CEO of HP's (NYSE:HPQ) enterprise ops, and PC/printing EVP Dion Weisler the CEO of HP Inc.
- Current CFO Cathie Lesjak will be the CFO of HP Enterprise, and current CTO Martin Fink its CTO. The company won't have a COO.
- Jon Flaxman, currently the CFO of HP's PC and printing ops, will be HP Inc.'s COO. PC/printing CTO Shane Wall will be the company's CTO, inkjet & Web solutions SVP Stephen Nigro will be its printing chief, and personal systems GM Ron Coughlin will be its PC chief.
- A "selection process is ongoing" to find a CFO, general counsel, and chief marketing officer for HP Inc., and an HR chief for HP Enterprise.
- HP shook up its enterprise management in November to better prepare for the split.
- WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) says it is delaying completion of new wells in the natural gas-rich Piceance Basin in Colorado, affecting at least 20 gas wells that already have been drilled.
- WPX says it is talking with vendor companies to see if their prices can be dropped, discussions that are happening throughout the industry as energy companies seek to drop their costs to better align with lower commodity prices.
- The company has not yet announced its investment plans or production outlook for 2015.
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