Wednesday, May 27, 2015
- Speaking at Code Conference, Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Marcelo Claure had a bold prediction: The carrier will have the best or second-best network in the U.S. in quality terms within the next two years.
- It's an extension of Sprint's recent investments, he said, into a network that has generally lagged in comparisons with its "Big Four" U.S. competitors, particularly on speed.
- Asset investments like network improvement come with heavy cash spending, though, and Sprint will burn billions of dollars in free cash flow this year. Citigroup's Michael Rollins thinks Sprint will run out of money by the 2016 broadcast incentive spectrum auction
- Claure's comments come, however, after recent Tokyo meetings with his bosses at Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), suggesting that they'll be behind a quality push.
- Previously: Sprint: Amid network investment, cash burn back in focus (May. 06 2015)
- Previously: Verizon, AT&T top mobile networks, but Sprint and T-Mobile compete in city (Feb. 10 2015)
- Russia's Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) has agreed to invest ~$14B in Venezuela's oil and gas sector, Venezuelan Pres. Maduro says.
- Such an investment would be a boon for cash-strapped Venezuela, which would like to ramp up oil production to counter an economic crisis and the fall in oil prices.
- However, Maduro did not provide a breakdown of the investment plan, and it remains unclear how Rosneft would fund it, given that Russia also has been hit hard by lower oil prices, compounded by western sanctions.
- Venezuela's state-run PDVSA says the two countries agreed to "create companies together" to boost crude production, adding both nations want to expand crude extraction in the oil-rich Orinoco Belt, where Rosneft already has joint ventures with PDVSA.
- As media ratings continue to move into the digital age, Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) says it's partnering with Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY) to launch Digital Ad Ratings, looking to tap a bigger share of a $31B market.
- The move is a push to track unique statistics for an ad across multiple platforms for the first time in China, just as Tencent is pushing to increase mobile ad revenue.
- Nielsen will measure campaigns using surveys of 46,000 Chinese consumers and aggregate data from Tencent's hundreds of millions of users. Tencent's mobile messaging client WeChat boasts 500M monthly active users.
- Nielsen says it worked with publishers and advertisers in developing the system, and it plans to roll it out to other companies in China as well.
- Competitor comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) says its similar service is already available in China.
- Following SFX Entertainment's (NASDAQ:SFXE) agreement with chief Robert Sillerman to take the company private for $774M, Moody's has put the company's ratings on review for downgrade.
- Though it's unknown how much of the 62.6% unowned by Sillerman will be funded by share exchange, and financing is uncertain, "the transaction has the potential of doubling SFX's debt without augmenting cash flow, warranting a comprehensive ratings review."
- The firm's corporate family rating on SFX is Caa1 (poor quality and very high credit risk, when used in long-term ratings).
- Publisher Vox Media has announced it's acquiring Re/code, the tech news site led by Wall Street Journal veterans Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, in an all-stock deal -- though Quartz has reignited speculation from earlier this spring that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), an investor in both, could end up owning it all.
- Comcast had been in talks to acquire Vox Media (the publisher of sports blog network SB Nation, tech site The Verge, food network Eater and an eponymous news/analysis site, among others), though the sticking point seems to have been Vox's wish for a near-$1B valuation. Vox has raised about $110M in the past six years, and its last funding round valued it around $380M.
- The cable giant gave its blessing to Vox's Re/code acquisition months ago, Quartz reports. But Re/code is smaller and easier to swallow; Vox may need a big buyer like Comcast, or to go the IPO route.
- Elsewhere at Comcast, NBCUniversal is putting together a sports documentary film group -- a move that puts it into the territory of HBO's longer-form sports reporting, as well as ESPN, though NBC will draw more from in-house film talent. It'll lean on its award-winning Olympics unit and, unsurprisingly, feature a strong Olympics focus.
- Tutor Perini (NYSE:TPC) again fails to gain majority shareholder support on its executive pay packages, becoming the first company to fail the advisory vote five years in a row.
- Only 35% of shareholders supported TPC’s pay packages this year, down from 44% last year.
- Executive pay packages for CEO Ronald Tutor have come under fire as investors questioned such practices as Tutor’s pledging millions of shares for a collateral line of credit, and a compensation package that included $800K of personal use on the company’s jet; Tutor owns 19.6% of TPC’s shares.
- Also, Michael Klein, lead independent director and head of the audit committee and corporate governance committee, was re-elected to the board with a bare majority of votes cast by shareholders.
- Oil driller Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR), the only other company to fail the vote four years running, holds its shareholder meeting next week.
- Though the Nasdaq rose 1.5% today, Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR) fell 4% to $29.58, hitting levels last seen in November. The selloff came on volume of 1.2M shares, well above a 3-month daily average of 503K.
- No news that would explain the move has hit the wires. Sierra, which held its annual meeting on May 21, has fallen during its last 9 trading days, and is now down 20% from where its traded before the company provided soft Q2 guidance with its Q1 beat on May 7.
- Earlier today, Sierra announced it had updated its InMotion oMG2000 4G gateway to support the FirstNet LTE band (meant for public safety agencies and other first responders). AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint's 4G networks are already supported.
- Shares now respectively trade for 27x estimated 2015 EPS and 1.3x EV/sales, and 19x estimated 2016 EPS and 1.1x EV/sales.
- Analysts appear to appreciate Crescent Point Energy's (NYSE:CPG) C$1.53B takeover of Legacy Oil + Gas (OTCPK:LEGPF) more than investors; analysts say the deal makes a lot of sense, but investors nevertheless sent CPG shares 5% lower in today's trade.
- Roughly two-thirds of Legacy’s production folding into CPG's core areas, the land being acquired provides an attractive entry into an area of Saskatchewan where Legacy has been posting strong results, and the deal may have a positive impact on the prospects for CPG’s dividend.
- Raymond James analyst Chris Cox thinks the deal provides investors with greater visibility around the sustainability of CPG’s dividend beyond 2015; he believes CPG will be able to fully fund its capital program and current dividend at $70-$75 oil prices in 2016.
- Brian Kristjansen at Dundee Capital upgrades CPG to Buy from Hold, noting that Legacy’s overlevered position and resulting share price weakness allowed it to be bought at an attractive level.
- Analysts say debt-burdened Canadian companies including Lightstream Resources (OTCPK:LSTMF), Penn West Petroleum (NYSE:PWE) and Connacher Oil and Gas (OTCPK:CLLZF) could become targets as larger buyers become active.
- Pac Crest's Brad Erickson, discussing his most recent GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) channel checks : "Days of inventory declined m/m, and we believe [camera] sales run rates have increased recently, likely driven by incremental bundling with gift cards/memory cards, as well as a strong seasonal rebound associated with dads & grads." GoPro is a month removed from providing strong Q2 guidance.
- Erickson, who also reported positive checks in early April, has hiked his target for video processor supplier Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA) by $18 to $96, and his FY16 (ends Jan. '16) and FY17 EPS estimates to $2.39 and $3.29 (above a consensus of $2.24 and $2.77).
- He also speculates Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) could bid for Ambarella on account of Ambarella's low-power video-processing IP, and even suggests Qualcomm's recent $10B capital raise (will help pay for buybacks) has sparked broader speculation about a deal. "While we hadn't expected such substantive acquisition speculation this soon since going public, we believe such a deal could make both technology and financial sense in line with our views on the stock."
- Erickson does caution Ambarella's big run-up suggests "expectations are very high" going into next Tuesday's FQ1 report. "As such, we'd be opportunistic buyers on any pullback in the name."
- Thanks in part to a big chip stock rally fueled by Broadcom/Avago M&A reports, Ambarella rose 3.1% today, making new highs along the way. GoPro fell 0.2%.
- Chevron (NYSE:CVX) shareholders vote to give large investors the power to nominate directors to the company’s board, with 55% of votes cast favoring a proposal to give shareholders proxy access rights.
- The vote is not binding and CVX had opposed the proposal, warning it could create “significant risk" for investors, but CEO John Watson says the board will “consider the final voting results carefully, including the vote on proxy access and the thoughtful stockholder discussions on that issue."
- Supporters of the proposal think it would encourage CVX’s directors to address the long-term risks to the company’s business posed by climate change.
- The rule would allow investors who have owned 3% or more of CVX’s shares for at least three years to nominate directors for up to a quarter of the current board’s seats.
- A similar resolution came close to passing today at Exxon Mobil's (NYSE:XOM) annual meeting, where a proxy access proposal was supported by 49.4% of the shares voted.
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) says it is delaying setting out detailed future spending plans due to uncertainty about the energy policies of Alberta’s newly elected government.
- Canada's top independent oil producer had planned to hold an institutional investor open house on June 17 but says it will be deferred until greater clarity on government policies allows the company to finalize spending plans.
- The new premier, Rachel Notley, says she has no plans to force her government to speed up work on new policies despite CNQ's decision.
- With the help of higher equity markets in both the U.S. and Europe, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) rose 2.4% today and merger partner Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) rose 3.5%. Alcatel is now back above where it traded before Nokia/Alcatel merger speculation first emerged on April 10. Nokia remains down 3%, thanks in part to its Q1 results.
- Separately, Nokia has announced it's buying Eden Rock, a provider of software for creating and managing self-organizing mobile radio networks (SONs). Terms are undisclosed.
- Eden Rock's software consists of a core SON operating system, along with modules for optimizing network quality, responding to outages/failures, automating workflows, and adapting to traffic load changes. Nokia asserts the products are "highly complementary" to its existing SON solutions, and forecasts the global SON market will be worth over €5B ($5.45B) by 2018.
- Tidewater (NYSE:TDW) CEO Jeffrey Platt says the oil bust could be an opening to scoop up smaller rivals in marine services, perhaps even as a big consolidator because the vessel contractor has a solid cash position after cutting capital spending and working budgets this year.
- But "really attractive investment opportunities will take at least a couple of quarters for potential counter parties, as valuation expectations recalibrate,” CFO Quinn Fanning said during today's earnings conference call.
- TDW shares fell 4.5% in today's trade after reporting FQ4 earnings and revenues that came in below expectations.
- Slim Souissi, Novatel's (NASDAQ:MIFI) COO and a 15-year company vet, has "notified the Company that he was terminating his employment with the Company effective as of June 11, 2015." (8-K filing)
- Novatel, which is 6 months removed from naming Alex Mashinsky its permanent CEO, doesn't give any indication it plans to look for a replacement. Many companies have eliminated the COO position in recent years.
- The FDA approves two new drugs to treat adult patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea. IBS affects as many as 15% of adult Americans. Those sufferers with loose or watery stools at least 25% of the time are a subgroup.
- Viberzi (main ingredient unspecified), manufactured by privately-held Patheon and distributed by Forest Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:ACT), activates receptors in the nervous system that can lessen bowel contractions. It is an oral medication taken twice per day.
- Xifaxan (rifaximin), developed by Salix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SLXP) (NYSE:VRX), is an antibiotic previously approved for the treatment of travelers' diarrhea caused by E. coli and for reducing the risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy. It is an oral medication taken three times per day for 14 days.
- EnLink Midstream Partners (NYSE:ENLK) agrees to acquire the remaining 25% equity interest in EnLink Midstream Holdings from EnLink Midstream (NYSE:ENLC) for ~$900M of newly issued ENLK common units.
- ENLK says it now holds 100% of EnLink Midstream Holdings, which owns the assets Devon Energy contributed to ENLC last year, and the acquisition is immediately accretive to distributable cash flow.
- The deal will grow Southwest's (NASDAQ:OKSB) Oklahoma City presence, adding five branches and more than $200M in deposits. The deal also gives OKSB a strategic entry point into Colorado.
- The deal value is about $41.7M, with 51% of that amount payable in OKSB common stock and the rest in cash. The value works out to 141% of adjusted tangible book value.
- Southwest expects the purchase to be about 12% accretive to EPS in 2016 and 14% in 2017. It will be roughly 4% dilutive to tangible BVPS.
- A conference call is set for tomorrow at 10:30 ET.
- Source: Press Release
- After coming off a halt, Semtech (NASDAQ:SMTC) has fallen to $22.00 in AH trading thanks to its FQ1 miss and soft guidance. The analog/mixed-signal chipmaker expects FQ2 revenue of $120M-$130M and EPS of $0.21-$0.26, below a consensus of $141.7M and $0.37.
- The FQ1 miss is blamed on "much lower than anticipated demand" from Semtech's biggest smartphone customer. FQ2 sales guidance appears to imply share loss, given it translates to a 14% Y/Y revenue decline at the midpoint.
- To help soften the blow, Semtech has upped its buyback authorization to $100M; $20M was spent on buybacks in FQ1.
- Shares rose 5.4% in regular trading, aided by the Broadcom/Avago report.
- FQ1 results, PR
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- Transocean (NYSE:RIG) says Esa Ikaheimonen is resigning as Executive VP and CFO and as Chairman of Transocean Partners (NYSE:RIGP), effective immediately.
- He will be replaced by Mark Mey, who is leaving Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) as Executive VP and CFO; ATW says it temporarily appointed chief accounting officer and controller Mark Smith to Mey’s old position.
- No reason was given for Ikaheimonen's sudden departure.
- The Houston facility is Ocwen's (NYSE:OCN) smallest residential servicing call center on the U.S. mainland, so the company - in cost-saving mode - chose it to be discontinued.
- About 140 residential servicing employees will be let go vs. the company-wide headcount of 3.2K.
- Ocwen's commercial servicing unit will continue operations out of the Houston location.
- Source: Press Release
- Shares -2% after hours
- The combined company will have about $3.6B in assets, $2.8B in gross loans, and $3B in deposits across 23 locations, with Patriot adding six branches in Houston, two in Dallas, and one in Fannin County. The combination will make for the 15th largest bank headquartered in Texas and the 7th largest Texas bank by deposits in the Houston area.
- Green Bancorp (NASDAQ:GNBC) will issue 10.76M shares as consideration to Patriot Bancshares owners. The deal value based on yesterday's close is $139M.
- Source: Press Release
- Arlington, VA-based Evolent Health (Pending:EVH) is set for its IPO of 10M shares of common stock at $14 - 16.
- The company provides an end-to-end technology-enabled services platform to healthcare providers that enables them to transition from traditional fee-for-service to value-based payment models that reward high quality and cost effective care.
- The core elements of its offering are: the technology platform called Identifi, an integrated process and clinical services model, embedded and aligned partnerships with health systems, integration into provider clinical processes and a payer-agnostic profile that allows a single point of integration between payers and providers.
- According to the company, its current market opportunity is greater than $10B and will grow to over $46B by 2020.
- 2014 Financials ($M): Revenues: 100.9 (+150.4%); Operating Expenses: 153.3 (+112.0%); Net Loss: (52.3) (-59.5%); CF Ops: (12.1) (+37.3%).
- CA Technologies is buying Rally Software (NYSE:RALY), a maker of cloud-based software development tools, for $19.50/share, or $480M net of cash on hand. The price represents a 44% premium to Rally's Wednesday close.
- CA, which is looking to cut its dependence on a slow-growing system management software market (pressured by cloud competition), states Rally's Agile Development tools will "complement and expand CA's strengths in the areas of DevOps and Management Cloud." Rally's clients include over 35 Fortune 100 firms.
- The deal is expected to close in calendar Q3 (CA's FQ2). In spite of the premium, CA's purchase price is well below Rally's 2013 post-IPO high of $33.05.
- Rally is at $19.25 in AH trading. CA is unchanged.
- KNOT Offshore Partners (NYSE:KNOP) -3.1% AH after agreeing to acquire shuttle tanker Dan Sabia from Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers for $103M.
- As a result of the acquisition, KNOT recommends an increase in its annual distribution of $0.04-$0.06/unit, which would become effective for Q3 2015.
- To help fund the deal, KNOP says it plans to offer 5M common units in a public offering, with an underwriters option to purchase up to an additional 750K units.
- CenturyLink (CTL +1%) followed the market higher today and bounced off yesterday's 52-week low, despite a Citigroup report that lowered the price target on the shares to $36, from $40, and reiterated a Hold rating amid concerns about cash flow influence on the dividend.
- Shares closed at $33.94.
- Analyst Michael Rollins notes declines in legacy sales are putting pressure on the second half -- and putting the company at risk of missing its full-year guidance. On May 5, the company guided to the light side of Q2 revenue expectations of $4.45B.
- And if cash flow stabilization takes too long, the company will have to increase capital intensity, he says: "The absence of meaningful improvement in the operations could lead to a more elevated payout of free cash flow in more normalized periods in 2017, which could lead to another reduction in the dividend."
- CenturyLink reduced its dividend in March 2013 to the current $0.54, from $0.72. The company starts trading ex-dividend this Friday, before paying its quarterly $0.54 dividend on June 16.
- Bombardier (OTCPK:BDRAF, OTCQX:BDRBF) appoints Jim Vounassis as VP of operations strategy, a new post that will focus on improving efficiency and cutting costs as it looks to boost efficiencies and increase profits.
- The appointment is another signal that new CEO Alain Bellemare is determined to find the root causes of the performance problems that have plagued Bombardier as it struggles to bring the overdue and over-budget CSeries jetliner to market, Financial Post reports.
- Vounassis, who worked for nine years at CSeries engine supplier Pratt & Whitney after holding executive positions at Baker Hughes and Kraft Canada, will step into the role on June 15.
- Along with its FQ3 results, Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW) has announced the acquisition of CirroSecure, a provider of tools for securing enterprise cloud apps from the likes of Microsoft, Google Salesforce, Box, and Dropbox. Terms are undisclosed.
- Palo Alto, whose next-gen firewalls are differentiated in part by their ability to provide better visibility/control for various Web apps and services, asserts CirroSecure provides superior visibility/control for securing cloud apps, including ones that haven't been officially sanctioned by a company. CirroSecure's technology will underpin a new security subscription service expected to launch in 2H15.
- FQ3 top-line performance: Billings +56% Y/Y to $302.2M, well above revenue of $234.2M and a pickup from FQ2's 51% growth. Product revenue (firewalls) +44% to $121.5M; services (boosted by WildFire and other subscription services) +69% to $112.6M. The deferred revenue balance rose 13% Q/Q to $603.9M.
- Financials: Gross margin fell 120 bps Y/Y to 72.5%. Not counting last year's Juniper settlement, GAAP operating expenses rose 53% to $206.5M - sales/marketing spend totaled $131M, R&D $48.5M, and G&A $27M. Palo Alto ended FQ3 with $823M in cash/short-term investments, and $482M in convertible debt.
- PANW -0.2% AH to $160.40. Shares were up 31% YTD going into earnings.
- FQ3 results/FQ4 guidance, PR.
- Ipsen (OTCPK:IPSEY) acquires privately-held OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH for €50M.
- The Berlin, Germany-based firm develops radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis and therapeutic control of tumors. Its lead product candidates are OPS201, a cancer cell-selective radiotherapy and OPS202, a radiotracer for use in positron emission tomography for the management of neuroendocrine tumors.
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- Stocks rebounded nicely from yesterday's big drop, as encouraging Greece headlines boosted sentiment amid a pause in the rise of the dollar and Treasury yields.
- There's "some positive feeling [on] rumors that Greece may be reaching a deal," says market strategist Robert Pavlik, which provided a boost to European stocks and aided U.S. investor sentiment; later, a European official reportedly said the two sides have yet to begin working on a joint statement.
- Tech stocks, which sustained some of yesterday's biggest losses, surged ahead, led by chipmakers after Avago (+7.8%) was reported to be in advanced talks to acquire Broadcom (+21.8%).
- The financial sector (+0.9%) enjoyed broad support and extended its May gain to 2.7%, while health care (+1.1%) was helped by biotech gains (+1.9%).
- On the downside, the energy sector (-0.1%) lagged as crude oil struggled, falling 0.8% to $57.57/bbl.
- Investor participation was roughly in-line with last week's totals, as 707M shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
- Treasury prices started lower but recovered as the session wore on, with the benchmark 10-year yield ending flat at 2.14%.
4:19 PM| Comment!
- 99 Cents Only names Chairman Andrew Giancamilli to be its interim CEO following the resignation of Stephane Gonthier.
- The reason for Gonthier's exit wasn't disclosed by the company.
- 99 Cents Only was taken private by Ares Capital Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in 2011.
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- Southern Co. (SO +1.2%) Chairman/CEO/President Thomas Fanning says the company has reached an agreement with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to test commercial-scale battery storage.
- Under the TSLA agreement, SO will "examine potential applications for the energy storage technology in helping meet customers' energy needs," Fanning says at the annual shareholder's meeting.
- A U.S. District judge's certification of a class-action lawsuit expands a massive headache for Sirius XM (SIRI +0.5%) -- as an action that started with members of 1960s band the Turtles now could bring in plaintiffs from any pre-1972 sound recording played on the satellite network over the past six years.
- The case was brought by Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman ("Flo & Eddie") of the Turtles (famous for No. 1 hit Happy Together) over public performance rights to the group's songs. Kaylan and Volman won summary judgment last fall that Sirius XM had violated California law.
- It's complicated to sort out song ownership, but with a plaintiff class that covers most anyone who owns a pre-1972 recording, the bill could be massive: Sirius XM reported more than $4B in revenues last year, 10-15% of that attributable to pre-1972 recordings -- and that's just one of the five years in question.
- Previously: Royalty lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio moves forward (Nov. 24 2014)
- Previously: Sirius XM will appeal California judge's copyright ruling (Oct. 02 2014)
- Previously: Landmark ruling in push for 'Oldies' royalties (Sep. 23 2014)
- “God knows how any of you can place your vote based on ISS or Glass Lewis,” says the JPMorgan (JPM +1.3%) CEO, chiding "lazy" investors who pay too much heed to proxy advisors. "If you do that, you are just irresponsible, I’m sorry. And you probably aren’t a very good investor, either.”
- Top executives narrowly won approval for their pay 2014 pay package, in part after ISS and Glass Lewis recommended investors reject the deal.
- Moving to operations, Dimon says Q2 trading volumes are about inline with where they stood one year ago.
- "It's a terrible thing to have to go through," says Dimon, speaking of last week's guilty plea over forex manipulation. While not crippling, Dimon does expect the outcome to cost the bank some business.
- Lockheed Martin (LMT +0.4%) CEO Marillyn Hewson says the company is open to making large deals but declines to comment specifically on whether it is interested in buying all or part of United Technologies' (UTX +0.8%) Sikorsky Aircraft.
- “We have great debt capacity,” the CEO says, adding that the company remains committed to returning most of its free cash to shareholders over the next three years.
- LMT, Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Airbus (OTCPK:EADSF, OTCPK:EADSY) are among the companies said to be exploring bids for Sikorsky or perhaps for a minority stake; LMT already is a partner with Sikorsky on programs including a planned new rescue helicopter for the Air Force and the replacement for the rotorcraft used as Marine One by the U.S. president.
- Hulu has another deal to offer its streaming service to a cable customer base, this time with Suddenlink, the country's seventh-largest cableco, with about 1.14M subscribers.
- Suddenlink will offer the service to its subscribers with TiVo set-top boxes later this year.
- Hulu -- co-owned by NBCUniversal, Disney and Fox (CMCSA, DIS, FOXA) -- has about 9M subscribers and has been aggressively expanding its content offerings. It recently reached a reseller deal with Cablevision, as well as with Mediacom, WideOpenWest and three other small cable companies.
- Meanwhile, Suddenlink says it doesn't plan to reinstate Viacom programming after dropping it in a carriage dispute last year. Suddenlink claims Viacom wanted a nearly 50% increase in payment.
- Previously: Altice enters the U.S. with Suddenlink stake (May. 20 2015)
- Previously: AT&T deal to offer its customers Hulu subscriber content (May. 13 2015)
- Previously: Cablevision becomes first pay TV provider to offer Hulu (Apr. 28 2015)
- Nike (NKE -0.8%) fits the profile of the U.S. sportswear company referenced in the indictments issued against FIFA officials, notes Bloomberg.
- The company signed a sponsorship deal with Brazil's soccer federation in 1996 - the same year the company referred to in the complaint started a partnership.
- The dollar amount of illegal payments called out in the indictments is in the tens of millions.
- Petrobras (PBR +0.8%) unveils details of its debentures issue on the Brazilian debt market, which could total up to 4.05B reais ($1.28B): It will issue the debentures in five series and can increase the total 3B reais offer by 1.05B reais to accommodate potential strong demand from investors.
- PBR says the exact yield and the amount to be raised from each series will be determined after the book-building process; the company did not provide a timetable for the process.
- PBR has a lot riding on this issue; with the biggest debt load of any major oil company, investors’ willingness to lend more money to the company at affordable interest rates remains to be seen.
- Separately, PBR has abandoned exploration at the Caramba prospect in a deepwater region that holds Brazil’s biggest discoveries, returning the concession in late April after finishing evaluations; it has not disclosed the reasons for the decision.
- Among those expected to submit final offers tomorrow are the Canada Pension Plan, Guggenheim Securities, Apollo Global (NYSE:APO), and Ares Management (NYSE:ARES), reports the WSJ, which says the unit could fetch more than $17B. Other participants could be foreign banks, SWFs, and insurance companies.
- GE's sponsor-finance business lends money for the buyouts and operations of midsize companies by private-equity firms. The unit has more than 400 loans outstanding, the majority below $100M, and a team of roughly 300 originating loans and managing the portfolio.
- Previously: Bloomberg: GE near deal to sell fleet-management assets (May 26)
- Heading off the usual channel-blackout drama, Mediacom and Viacom (VIA, VIAB) have renewed their contract with days to spare, keeping Viacom's 19 national networks and premium channel Epix flowing to subscribers.
- Viacom's fee increase last year didn't go over as smoothly with Suddenlink and Cable One, where there were channel drops. Suddenlink doesn't plan to reinstate Viacom programming.
- In the deal, Mediacom -- the country's No. 8 cableco, with about 890K subscribers -- will get more free video-on-demand content and some expanded functionality for TV Everywhere.
- Still ahead for Viacom: Dish Network talks.
- Previously: Citi: Dish could drop Viacom and come out ahead (Jan. 14 2015)
- Galaxy Entertainment (OTCPK:GXYEF) is devoting 110 of the 150 tables at the second phase of its Galaxy Macau casino complex to the mass market segment.
- The increased mix of mass market tables is an indication of where the company sees the best potential for growth with the VIP segment still being held back by a corruption and Visa crackdown.
- Galaxy is also investing more in non-gaming development.
- Chip stocks are posting outsized gains (SOXX +4%) amid a 1.3% increase for the Nasdaq after the WSJ reported Avago and Broadcom are in advanced merger talks, sparking hopes for further M&A.
- A Broadcom/Avago deal would be worth ~$67B at current valuations, easily making it the largest in the chip industry's breathless consolidation wave. It would also touch markets ranging from smartphones to set-tops to servers to switches/routers.
- Notable gainers include Avago RF chip peers Skyworks (SWKS +4.3%), Qorvo (QRVO +3.2%), and Anadigics (ANAD +4.9%). Others include Micron (MU +3.8%), SanDisk (SNDK +4.3%), NXP (NXPI +3.5%), Silicon Motion (SIMO +8.3%), Cirrus Logic (CRUS +4.8%), STMicroelectronics, (STM +3.4%), Synaptics (SYNA +3.4%), Atmel (ATML +2.8%), Cavium (CAVM +4.5%), Intersil (ISIL +4.6%), Semtech (SMTC +3.9%), ON Semi (ON +3.8%), Microsemi (MSCC +4.4%), and IDT (IDTI +4.2%).
- Non-chipmakers tied to the industry are also doing well. Standouts include ARM (ARMH +4.4%), Amkor (AMKR +4.6%), ASML (ASML +3.1%), and Rambus (RMBS +3.3%).
- Chip ETFs: SMH, XSD, PSI, SOXL, USD, SOXS, SSG
- A day after Credit Suisse warned that coal miners such as Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) were in "dire straits," Citigroup analysts say it will be "survival of the fittest" for the world’s coal miners.
- While Citi believes current coal prices are below sustainable long-run levels, it does not expect a return to prices anywhere near the levels seen a few years ago; the firm cuts its long-run thermal coal price forecast to $80/ton from $90 and its met coal price forecast to $125/ton from $170.
- The firm sees China and India as the largest sources of downside risk to its long-run forecasts, particularly for met coal, where China could re-emerge as a net exporter.
- Most coal stocks are extending yesterday's heavy losses: ACI -12.1%, ANR -11.1%, BTU +0.9%, CLD -1.7%, WLB -0.5%, KOL -0.3%.
- Alongside the declaration of its $0.24 semi-annual dividend, SEI Investments (SEIC +1.6%) adds $200M to it repurchase program, bringing the total authorized to about $212M
- The company has bought back roughly 2.1M shares YTD at a cost of $91M.
- Source: Press Release
- Previously: SEI Investments declares $0.24 dividend (May 27)
- In-flight connectivity provider Gogo (GOGO +0.7%) says it's received the first Supplemental Type Certificate from the FAA to offer its high-speed 2Ku next-gen satellite service for aircraft.
- The move is a big step in getting the service to market; the company can conduct flight tests on a Boeing 737-500 with one antenna (and a second antenna next month).
- Its 2Ku technology is planned to deliver a peak 70 Mbps to an aircraft, more than 20 times the speed of Gogo's first-generation solution.
- The company will need a second STC from the FAA before launching the service later this year.
- Rogers Communications (NYSE:RCI) and Shaw Communications (NYSE:SJR), two of Canada's biggest cablecos, are firing a shot at Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) in the country by opening Shomi, their joint streaming-video competitor, to all Canadians.
- The service was previously available just to the companies' subscribers, a la "TV Everywhere." Notably, it's listed at C$8.99/month, the same price as Netflix, and it will launch in the summer with a one-month-free promotion.
- BCE, another of the country's big telecoms, still offers its Crave TV streaming service only to its subscribers.
- Previously: Netflix interview: Focus on international growth and original content (Apr. 15 2015)
- Wildfires in northern Alberta have spread farther into the oil sands area, prompting the shutdown of ~230K bbl/day of production and keeping ~10% of the province's output offline.
- Cenovus Energy (CVE -0.7%) said yesterday it evacuated workers from its Narrows Lake oil sands project and Birch Mountain natural gas plant because of the fires; Narrows Lake is not yet producing, and workers were finishing the camp project there when they were evacuated.
- CVE already had closed its 135K bbl/day Foster Creek operations and evacuated 1,700 workers, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -0.6%) has cut 18K bbl/day of output at its Kirby South oil sands operation and 80K bbl/day from its Primrose facility, MEG Energy (OTCPK:MEGEF) halted operations at its Christina Lake site, and Statoil (STO -0.3%) says its Leismer site remains in operation but it will evacuate non-essential staff.
- Economists warn that the fires could further cut Canada’s GDP, already hit by the collapse in oil prices; oil sands extraction directly accounts for 2% of GDP but total energy extraction and support activities account for 6% of GDP, Bank of America says.
- Lamborghini announces it will introduce a SUV in 2018.
- The ultra high-end SUV will be priced at just under $196K.
- By the time the model hits the streets, rival crossover offerings from Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and Maserati are also expected to be on the market.
- Lamborghini is owned by Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) and operated under its Audi division.
- The WSJ reports Broadcom (BRCM +16.6%) is "in advanced talks to be bought" by Avago (AVGO +6.4%). Shares of both companies have shot higher.
- A deal would effectively be a merger rather than an acquisition: Avago is currently worth $35.1B, and Broadcom $32B. The post-merger company would have a massive product line spanning a variety of mobile, networking, home electronics, and telecom equipment chip markets.
- Avago has bought a string of companies over the last 18 months amid a massive chip industry consolidation wave, and has been rumored to be eying several others.
- Update (3:37PM ET): Bloomberg is backing up the WSJ's report, while adding a deal could be announced as soon as tomorrow.
- Update 2 (3:50PM): CNBC reports Avago's board plans to vote on the deal tonight.
2:21 PM| Comment!
2:18 PM| Comment!
- 9to5 Mac reports Apple (AAPL +1.8%) is "readying a major new iOS initiative codenamed 'Proactive,' which will leverage Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps to create a viable competitor to Google Now (GOOG +1.1%)."
- Proactive will reportedly replace Apple's Spotlight search feature - a dedicated search bar will be included - and be placed to the left of a user's Home screen. Like Now, it will rely on data from various apps to push timely info to a user. The service will also integrate with Apple Maps to "display personally relevant points of interest using an augmented reality interface," and have a UI that "automatically populates with content based around three key parts of iOS: Apps, Contacts, and Maps."
- Also: 1) In addition to an augmented reality view, Maps will be given a "Browse Around Me" button that shows points of interest on an overhead map. 2) A Siri API codenamed Breadcrumbs will be provided to 3rd-party developers; its features will be limited due to privacy concerns.
- The report comes less than a year after Apple replaced Google with Bing as Spotlight's default search provider via iOS 8; Google remains the Safari browser's default provider. Sources tell 9to5 Google's iOS traffic has dropped since the iOS 8 launch.
- Other news: 1) Google announces it's updating its iOS search app (features Now) to integrate with and pull data from 3rd-party apps such as OpenTable; its Android search app already supports this. 2) During a Code Conference talk, Apple operations chief Jeff Williams states Apple Watch developers will soon be able to write native apps (iPhone app pairing is currently required) and have direct sensor access. 3) CBS CEO Les Moonves says he recently met with Apple to do a TV service deal, and that a deal will "probably" happen.
- Update: During his talk, Williams also provided more grist for Apple car rumors by declaring the car to be "the ultimate mobile device."
- Ceres (CERE +101.8%) shares more than double after the agricultural biotech company says it received a U.S. patent for a genetic sequence derived from soybeans affecting plant development and transformation such as boosting yields or adapting soybeans for biofuel production.
- CERE believes the gene has applications in regulating major biosynthetic practices related to commercial herbicides, and aims to market a commercial license for its innovation to other seed businesses, which also includes an option for exclusivity in specific crops.
- CERE says soybean is one of the most popular and profitable cash crops in the world, as the number of acres farmers planted increased 2.4%/year during 2003-13 to 275M acres worldwide.
2:08 PM| Comment!
- "I would like to buy CBS. I'm not going to," says CEO Les Moonves of the now-frequent speculation that he'd like to take over the controlling stake that Sumner Redstone's firm has in the broadcaster.
- “The board of directors will decide the fate of this company,” he said while speaking at Code Conference, echoing what Redstone has said himself.
- Moonves has reportedly talked with financiers about trying to assemble $2B to buy control of the stake. He added that while TV/Internet distributors are consolidating, he doesn't see the need for content companies to do the same.
- "We don't want to be reunited with them, not them with us," he said of Viacom (VIA, VIAB) -- run by Philippe Dauman, whose style Moonves reportedly clashes with.
- When it comes to CBS working with a revamped Apple TV, Moonves pointed to the key: "money." He's met with Apple's Eddy Cue about joining a small bundle of channels for iOS devices.
- Moonves has previously noted "You can't live without us" in skinny bundles, and today pointed again to must-have attributes: Apple's looking at "a more select group at a lower price. Any one of those groups will need CBS. We have the NFL, which is must-have television."
- Sophiris Bio (SPHS +25.4%) commences a Phase 2a proof-of-concept study assessing its lead product candidate, PRX302, in patients with low-to-intermediate risk prostate cancer. The single-center open-label trial will enroll ~20 patients.
- PRX302 (topsalysin) is a modified recombinant protein engineered to be selectively activated by an enzyme in the prostate. It kills cancer cells within the prostate without damaging surrounding tissue. It is currently in Phase 3 development for the treatment of symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).
- Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is "moving beyond its legacy PC and mobile exposure and is well positioned to capitalize on Gaming and Virtual Reality trends, Enterprise GPU virtualization, HPC and Cloud acceleration, and the evolution towards autonomous driving," declares JMP while reiterating an Outperform and $28 target.
- The firm thinks soft PC demand (responsible for Nvidia's light FQ2 guidance) is largely priced in, and notes Nvidia maintains a dominant position and pricing strength in the high-end gaming GPU market - AMD is hoping to challenge Nvidia's dominance with the pending launch of GPUs supporting High Bandwidth Memory. It also speculates Nvidia could contribute to Apple's rumored car efforts, much as it has landed Tegra design wins with Tesla.
- Also: With the chip industry continuing to consolidate, JMP argues Nvidia is "an under-appreciated M&A target, particularly in the context of the broad range of OEM suitors that could use its IP across new media, next-gen gaming, robotics, and autonomous driving markets."
- Previously: Analysts battle over PCs, growth markets following Nvidia's FQ1 report
1:20 PM| Comment!
- Galena Biopharma (GALE +12%) heads north on a 4x surge in volume in apparent response to the publication of two abstracts at ASCO.
- The first, Abstract #e14031, is a summary of results from a 51-subject Phase 1/2a dose-ranging study of GALE-301 (folate binding protein), a peptide immunotherapy given as an adjuvant treatment to prevent recurrences in high-risk ovarian and endometrial cancer patients. With almost 10 months median followup, the 1000 mcg dose group showed only one clinical recurrence compared to 11 in the control group. The estimate for disease-free survival at two years is 85.7% for the 1000 mcg cohort versus 19.2% for control but the results are not statistically significant (p=0.09). Combining the low dose group (<1000 mcg) dropped the complete response rate to 38% versus 50% for control although, again, the results lacked statistical validity (p=0.41). These data were presented in November at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer meeting in Maryland.
- The second, Abstract #e11609, is a summary of data supporting the use of the BOND Oracle HER2 IHC System for identifying low-to-medium HER2-expressing breast cancer patients that would be candidates to receive NeuVax (nelipepimut-S).
- A few details on Wal-Mart 's (WMT +0.6%) new shipping service were leaked yesterday when an internal link on the company's website went live briefly.
- The shipping service is called ShippingPass and will be priced at $50 per year.
- The information on the ShippingPass page also confirmed that there will be no minimum order size and if items are ordered by noon they will be delivered within three days.
- Competitive fears for Broadcom's (BRCM +2.1%) Wi-Fi combo chip ops (largely Qualcomm-related) are overblown, argues BofA/Merrill while reiterating a Buy rating and $54 target.
- Among BofA's arguments: 1) Broadcom's combo chips are still best-in-class, and discrete solutions are preferred on the high-end rather than ones integrated with baseband processors. 2) Broadcom maintains a ~57% combo chip share, and has ~1K dedicated engineers for the business. 3) With combo chips sporting a ~$4 ASP, there's little need for OEMs to get frugal. 4) Broadcom's baseband market exit opens the door to partnerships with former baseband rivals such as Spreadtrum. 5) 802.11ac/dual-band Wi-Fi chips and location hub support (found in Broadcom's Galaxy S6 design) can boost ASPs, and IoT products can increase Broadcom's addressable market.
- The firm also expects Broadcom (aided by its recently-launched Tomahawk switching chip) to benefit from a 25G Ethernet upgrade cycle, and notes the company's set-top chip share gains against STMicroelectronics. It forecasts 2017 EPS of $4 (the 2015 consensus is only at $3.01), and thinks a $61-$75/share valuation is possible on a sum-of-the-parts basis.
- Amid its investigation of JPMorgan's (NYSE:JPM) hiring practices in China, the SEC last month issued a subpoena requesting all communications between the bank and 35 mostly high-ranking Chinese officials. Topping the list, reports the WSJ, is Beijing's point man on anticorruption, Wang Qishan (the DOJ has requested information as well).
- Mr. Wang's name previously had not come up in media reports of the investigation, and his inclusion could put a strain on U.S.-China relations.
- Including Mr. Wang, none of the Chinese officials connected to the hiring affair have faced censure there, and it's unclear whether Beijing even considers such behavior a problem.
- This year's recently concluded conference of the leading MLP association enjoyed higher overall attendance, but some analysts say the sentiment was not as positive as prior years.
- Deutsche Bank's Kristina Kazarian says some notable absences - including Williams (WMB, WPZ), Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI), Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP) and MLPX - affected the overall tone of the meeting.
- Wunderlich's Jeffrey Birnbaum says he came away from the conference with the sense that companies are broadly feeling that macro conditions are stabilizing but doubts remain on the sustainability of the recovery in crude prices.
- Deutsche Bank's favorite MLPs (and former MLPs) following the conference are KMI, Energy Transfer Equity (NYSE:ETE), MarkWest Energy (NYSE:MWE) and Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE:PSXP).
- Birnbaum’s top picks are Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES) and EnLink Midstream (NYSE:ENLC).
- Conn's (NASDAQ:CONN) falls 4.2% on strong volume with a negative report out from Copperfield Research sitting as a possible factor in the action.
- The thesis from Copperfield is that the run-up in shares of Conn's after it announced it will try to monetize its credit portfolio isn't justified.
- Copperfield Research's SA Instablog
- Gran Tierra Energy (GTE -4.1%) is making Colombian oil deals the focus of its expansion this year as it steers investment plans away from Peru and Brazil, CEO Gary Guidry tells Bloomberg.
- GTE is "very interested” in assets being sold by Colombia’s state-run Ecopetrol and may diversify its portfolio to include heavy oil and natural gas blocks to take advantage of a strong balance sheet, the CEO says.
- Guidry was named president and CEO on May 8 as part of a shake-up led by hedge fund West Face Capital, which blamed the decline in GTE’s value since the start of 2011 on “failed high-risk, high-cost” exploration in Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
- Believing the company's planned breakup can drive shares above $80, Wells Fargo has upgraded Computer Sciences (CSC +2.4%) to Outperform.
- CSC briefly rallied last week after announcing plans to split its commercial IT services and U.S. public sector ops, and providing strong FY16 guidance. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley upgraded afterwards.
- Novartis (NVS +1.6%) will showcase the strength of its oncology portfolio at this week's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago by virtue of over 185 data presentations covering 21 drugs and 11 investigational compounds.
- Key presentations include data on Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib) in melanoma (Abstract #102) and lung cancer (Abstract #8006), Zykadia (ceritinib) in lung cancer (Abstract #8060) and Afinitor (everolimus) in breast cancer (Abstract #512).
- The company will host a dedicated webpage (www.novartisoncology.com/asco-2015.jsp) during the event that will provide additional insights into emerging aspects of the cancer space.
- Ahead of Craig-Hallum and Benchmark conference appearances (respectively occurring today and tomorrow), Orion Energy (NYSEMKT:OESX) says it expects "significant" Y/Y revenue growth and gross margin improvement in FY16 (ends March '16), and to achieve positive full-year adjusted EBITDA and cash flow. Positive GAAP EPS is expected for the second half of FY16.
- The microcap LED lighting provider's shares went into trading today just $0.04 removed from a 52-week low of $2.17. They currently trade for 0.7x an FY16 revenue consensus of $90.2M (implies 25.3% Y/Y growth).
- Proposals for Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.1%) and Chevron (CVX +0.3%) to nominate directors with climate change expertise, set greenhouse gas targets and compile reports on minimizing fracking risks are among resolutions being voted on today as the two biggest U.S. oil companies hold their shareholder meetings.
- Climate proposals regularly surface at oil company annual meetings, but today will mark the first time shareholders at XOM will vote on adding an independent climate expert to the board; the measure also will be considered at CVX's meeting after being rejected by an average of 77% of votes cast in previous years.
- The companies oppose all the measures, and none are expected to pass; support for a resolution urging XOM to set goals for cutting greenhouse gases may even decline from last year's 20%, thanks to an about-face by investor advisory service ISS that supported the proposal last year but this year has urged a no vote after saying XOM already discloses sufficient emissions data.
- Airline stocks trade higher to help take some of the sting off recent declines generated in the sector.
- Some analysts see the strong free cash flow trends in the industry offsetting concerns over pricing and capacity.
- Hawaiian Holdings (HA +6.7%), United Continental (UAL +3.2%), Spirit Airline (SAVE +2.1%) and JetBlue (JBLU +2.6%) are making the sharpest moves on the day.
- Previously: Airline sector in midst of worst streak in seven months (May 26)
- Related ETFs; JETS.
- SciClone Pharmaceuticals (SCLN -0.1%) enters into a development and commercialization agreement through an affiliate of Theravance Biopharma (TBPH +1.3%) granting SciClone exclusive rights to Vibativ (telavancin) in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Vietnam.
- Vibativ, a once-daily injectable lipoglycopeptide antibiotic, will be initially developed for the treatment of hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia and ventilator-assisted bacterial pneumonia. Additional indications may include complicated skin and skin structure infections and bacteremia.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Theravance will be eligible to receive up to $6M in upfront and regulatory-based milestone payments. SciClone will be responsible for all development and commercial activities in the territories and will purchase the product from Theravance.
- Theravance markets Vibativ in ex-U.S. markets through partners like SciClone.
- Cemex (CX +2.1%) is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $12 price target at Longbow, based on continually improving fundamentals in the cement industry with price increases of 8%-10% supported by volume growth of 6%-8%.
- Utilization rates are climbing and contacts are concerned about available capacity in late 2015 and early 2016; these factors, including limited driver availability, suggest continued suppliers' pricing power, Longbow says.
- CX is entering a period in which all of its main geographic areas are trending higher, the firm says, citing upside to U.S. cement pricing, Mexico recovering off a low base, and Europe stabilizing.
- The Elkhorn S&P 500 Capital Expenditures ETF (CAPX) tracks an index designed to provide exposure to the 100 members of the S&P 500 exhibiting the strongest capital discipline in the form of efficient capex over the near term, i.e. those companies maximizing sales per unit of capex.
- The fund opens for trade today on the Nasdaq.
- Source: Press Release
- In a brief 6-K filing, Weibo (WB +1.3%) discloses it has invested $142M in top Chinese ride-sharing platforms Didi Taxi and Kuaidi Taxi through their latest funding round. The companies, reportedly valued at a combined $6B, are set to merge in a deal that's awaiting regulatory approval; the post-merger firm will be known as Didi Kuaidi.
- Tencent, SoftBank, and major Weibo investor/partner Alibaba are among the companies holding stakes in Didi Kuaidi, which is looking to fend off a hungry Uber. As of the end of Q1, Weibo had $452.5M in cash to make investments with.
- Total (TOT +1.6%) says it has achieved the milestone of producing a cumulative 2B barrels of oil from its deepwater offshore Block 17 site off the coast of Angola, making the site its most prolific with production of more than 700K bbl/day; to add perspective, all of Britain produces ~800K bbl/day of oil.
- TOT operates Block 17 with a 40% interest, alongside Statoil (NYSE:STO) with 23.33%, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) 20% and BP 16.67%.
- Apart from Block 17, TOT owns a 30% stake in the Kaombo development, which holds ~650M barrels of total reserves with an anticipated total production capacity of 230K bbl/day.
- New data from a five-year follow up period in a group of 12 Dravet syndrome patients being treated with low-dose fenfluramine, 10 mg - 20 mg per day, show that during any given year at least 80% (n=10/12) of the patients experienced at least a 75% reduction in the frequency of seizures, while three patients were seizure-free for all five years and five were seizure-free for two to four years. The results were presented at the European Paediatric Neurology Society meeting in Vienna, Austria.
- Fenfluramine (ZX008) is being developed by Zogenix (ZGNX +3.6%) which secured the rights to the product candidate via its October 2014 acquisition of Brabant Pharma. It intends to initiate a Phase 3 study in Dravet later this year.
- Dravet syndrome is a rare and severe form of childhood epilepsy.
- Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF) says it's on schedule to hit its target of 760K unit sales in the U.S. this year.
- The South Korean automaker has recorded a 6.2% Y/Y U.S. sales gain through April and added 10 bps of market share.
- A new generation of the Tucson truck to be unveiled this summer could help Hyundai stay on track in the second half.
- Taking note of FQ4's disappointing results and cutting estimates downward to reflect the ending of the SURVIAC contract, BAML nevertheless reiterates its Buy rating on Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH +2%). The price target is lowered to $30 from $35.
- "Considering BAH's variable cost structure and its niche position to benefit from increased spending in cyber security by both the U.S. government and the commercial sector, we expect BAH to trade at a premium to defense peers," says the team.
- Previously: Booz Allen -10.3% after earnings miss (May 21)
- Radisys (NASDAQ:RSYS) is trading up 8% on heavy volume after inking an $11M follow-on order for its MediaEngine product from a "large Asian carrier" that will use it in a Voice-Over-LTE deployment.
- The deal is set to be fulfilled by fall.
- The company -- undergoing a shift from a heavy hardware base to a software-focused portfolio -- didn't update guidance but says the deal gives them "further confidence" in hitting 2015 targets (growing Software-Systems revenues 20% Y/Y and delivering $0.20 EPS).
- It has a market cap of just over $100M.
- Frontline (FRO +6.1%) is sharply higher after Morgan Stanley upgrades shares to Equal Weight from Underweight with a $3 price target, saying FRO's liabilities are finally manageable after five difficult years and allowing shareholders to benefit from the thriving tanker market.
- Stanley sees additional growth ahead in the sea-borne crude supply as increasing Libyan and Iranian oil supply reaches the market, while fleet supply growth is likely to be muted until year-end 2015; as a result, the firm expect FRO's spot and highly levered fleet to be positioned to generate significant profits this year.
- Having restructured its liabilities over the past three years, FRO's financial risks are easily manageable going forward, the firm believes.
- Shake Shake (NYSE:SHAK) is down 9.3% on the day and is now 19.6% off its all-time high recorded late last week.
- Hedgeye's Howard Penney notes the company's management is due to present at two conferences in June.
- New guidance on store growth or product innovation could give shares their new marching orders.
- Previously: Shake Shack -8% as low float keeps volatility lively (May. 26 2015)
- T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) is off 0.6% as Macquarie downgrades shares to Neutral, from Outperform, on concerns that it could get diluted by a share sale from its parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) if timely mergers don't come around.
- One speculated partner is Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), which has been gathering wireless spectrum despite offering no mobile services.
- T-Mobile's hit Macquarie's target price of $38, the analysts note, and while a move up from around $32 seems to be based on M&A speculation, "We have been down this road before with TMUS and recommend investors take profits at current levels."
- "We feel the risk/reward is now fairly balanced," says Macquarie's Kevin Smithen, "with a potential DISH bid at $41-$42 fully priced into the stock when adjusting for a lengthy regulatory approval process and potentially adverse reaction to Dish Networks' share price on a merger announcement."
- Smithen also pointed out T-Mobile has done "two dilutive equity-convert financings over the past 18 months at low prices, with Deutsche Telekom not participating in either offering," so if a Dish tie-up doesn't pan out, DT may not wait around for another go with Sprint.
- BOX states the DOJ has "awarded Box a contract to securely manage agency information, increasing productivity and improving mission outcomes." The company will receive an agency Authorization to Operate this week.
- The DOJ will use Box's cloud storage/file-syncing platform to simplify collaboration between its agencies and third parties, to support mobile/offline content access, and to eliminate its "fragmented" content/document management tools.
- The deal acts as a nice reference win for Box, which has argued its security/compliance features act as a differentiator relative to the aggressively-priced offerings of cloud giants. FQ1 results arrive on June 10.
- Results from the SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes three-year extension study show that ongoing treatment with Novo Nordisk's (NVO +0.2%) Saxenda (liraglutide 3 mg), in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity, delayed the onset of type 2 diabetes in adults that were either obese or overweight with comorbidities and had prediabetes at baseline.
- Over the course of the 160-week blinded Phase 3a trial, the time to onset of type 2 diabetes was 2.6x longer in the Saxenda cohort compared to placebo. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes was reduced by ~80%.
- At week 160, patients receiving Saxenda experienced an average weight loss of 6.1% from baseline compared to 1.8% for placebo. Almost 50% of the Saxenda group (49.6%) achieved a clinically meaningful weight loss of at least 5% from baseline versus 23.4% for placebo. The proportion of patients in each group who lost at least 10% of their body weight compared to baseline was 24.3% and 9.4%, respectively.
- The FDA approved Saxenda for the treatment of obesity in December 2014. The EMA approved it in March. It won't come cheap, though. In the U.S., it will cost over $1,000 per month.
- Previously: Novo's obesity drug will cost U.S. patients over $1,000 per month (April 22)
- Related tickers: (VVUS -1.2%)(ARNA -1.7%)(OREX -1.1%)
11:03 AM| Comment!
- General Electric (GE +0.3%) has agreed to provide a lithium-ion battery system to Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator, the equipment supplier’s second storage deal in six weeks.
- Last month, GE sold its first lithium-ion battery system to a Con Ed (ED +0.2%) unit in California, where regulators are asking utilities to install 1.3 GW of storage capacity by 2020.
- PNM Resources (PNM +1.2%) is upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $30.50 price target, up from $29, at Jefferies, which says shares are trading at a 10% discount to its 2018 small cap regulated utility group average multiple.
- Jefferies believes PNM will receive approval in June or July for its retrofit technology stipulation agreement which deals with the utility's plan to operate the San Juan coal-fired power plant, which will maintain PNM's capex forecast and its 7%-9% EPS growth through 2019.
- The firm believes New Mexico regulators will not deny the stipulation agreement, which would result in PNM retiring all its San Juan units, because of high unemployment in the state.
- Investment firms have issued positive comments on the decision by Nordstrom (JWN -1.2%) to sell its credit card portfolio to TD Bank.
- Cowen thinks the funds will go toward buybacks, dividends, and debt repayments in what should be shareholder-friendly moves.
- Morningstar calls the strategy by Nordstrom astute, but warns the impact from the sale may already be factored into the department store operator's share price.
- Previously: TD Bank and Nordstrom form strategic relationship (May. 26 2015)
- Offshore drillers have enjoyed a 27% bounce off their March lows but investors should not buy the "head fake" in the stocks, RBC analysts warn, believing the rally was driven mostly by short covering rather than a sustainable shift in offshore fundamentals.
- RBC continues to expect the market to be oversupplied into 2017, and sees more rigs rolling off contracts than are signed up for new work through H2 2015; the firm does not foresee a bottom in the global offshore floating rig count until Q2 2016 since the velocity of offshore spending is much slower than land, and it will take some time for rigs to be put back to work even as oil prices rise in H2.
- The sector is mostly lower, extending yesterday's sharp losses: SDRL, which reports earnings tomorrow, -0.4%, RIG +0.1%, ESV -0.4%, ATW -0.3%, DO -0.4%, RDC -0.1%, NE -0.1%, PACD -1.7%.
- The judge presiding over Unwired Planet's (NASDAQ:UPIP) infringement suit against Apple has granted Apple's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement on 3 out of 4 asserted patents. UPIP is "exploring all options available to us, including appealing them to the Federal Circuit."
- For the fourth patent, Apple was deemed to be not liable for inducing infringement by iPhone users - this meshes with a 2014 Akamai/Limelight Supreme Court ruling. Though UPIP's direct infringement case for the patent remains, the company says "a trial is not warranted unless and until a successful appeal regarding inducement occurs."
- UPIP adds it thinks the rulings "further exemplify the current uncertain and adverse climate in the U.S. that we perceive exists regarding patent holders’ rights, particularly with respect to narrowing (or even eliminating altogether) the scope of protection for these types of application-layer patents." It declares the decisions "underscores one of the reasons why we moved our primary enforcement focus to Europe in the beginning of 2014."
- Yesterday: Unwired Planet up 33% over last two trading days
- Toll Brothers (TOL -2.8%) managed to beat on the bottom line thanks to lower income taxes, but revenues actually fell from a year ago, while SG&A expense as a percent of revenue climbed 50 bps to 12.6%.
- Hovnanian (HOV -0.8%), Lennar (LEN -0.9%), Ryland (RYL -0.7%), Beazer (BZH -1%), Pulte (PHM -1.1%), D.R. Horton (DHI -1.1%)
- ETFs: ITB, XHB
- Previously: Toll Brothers reports mixed FQ2; early Q3 returns mixed as well (May 27)
- Previously: Toll Brothers beats by $0.02, misses on revenue (May 27)
- Tesla Motors (TSLA -0.4%) unleashed a few pop-up stores last weekend in the U.S. in an initiative that could be part of the company's plan to disrupt the traditional dealership model.
- Early reviews on the pop-up stores that can be transported around the country on flat-bed trucks have been mostly positive.
- Silicon Valley Business Journal even speculates pop-up stores could be the secret weapon referenced by Elon Musk earlier this year.
- "I do have a secret weapon on the demand side that will probably start to deploy later this year for demand generation," teased Musk on a conference call.
- Theories on the secret weapon have drifted from rentals to trade-in programs, but many Tesla watchers see the pop-up concept as the most logical on the potential to help push the company into new high-traffic areas of Europe and China.
- Tesla Q4 earnings call transcript
- Tesla pop-up store image from The Car Connection.
- What seemed to set up as a pitched bidding war for Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.6%) -- between John Malone of Charter Communications (CHTR -1.5%) and "France's Malone," Patrick Drahi of Altice (OTC:ATCEY) -- ended relatively quickly, as Drahi told a parliamentary hearing that Altice wasn't prepared to take on such a big deal so fast.
- Instead, Charter assembled a buyout of TWC and Bright House in a deal valued at $78.7B, including debt.
- "I didn't follow up on the exchanges we had on Time Warner Cable that were mentioned in the media because we were not ready," Drahi said of a deal that would have quadrupled Altice's U.S. employees to nearly 120,000 in a market it was just beginning to enter, with a $9.1B Suddenlink purchase.
- But he says that consolidation is far from over in the U.S.: "Time is on our side ... The two leaders Comcast and Charter will not be able to buy anything else because of their size so we will have an open boulevard ahead of us ... If I buy five small operators, I can be as big as Time Warner Cable."
- Would that mean attention turns to possible target Cablevision (CVC; down 1.8% today, but up 24.4% over the M&A frenzy of the past week)? Cablevision's head-to-head competition with Verizon FiOS is no problem: "It's good actually since it means they know how to compete."
- Thinly traded nano cap NeuroMetrix (NURO -8.8%) prices its public offering of 147K units at $100 per unit. Each unit consists of one share of Series B convertible preferred stock and 99 warrants to purchase 99 shares of common stock at $1.25 per share. The preferred stock is convertible into an aggregate of 14.553M shares of common stock at $1.0101 per common share. The warrants are also exercisable into an aggregate of 14.553M shares of common stock.
- Net proceeds will fund the commercial launch of Quell, an over-the-counter wearable device for pain relief.
- Athens (GREK, NBG) is leading the way with a 3.6% gain. Italy (NYSEARCA:EWI) is higher by 1.9%, France (NYSEARCA:EWQ) by 1.7%, Spain (NYSEARCA:EWP) by 1.6%, Germany (NYSEARCA:EWG) by 1.1%. The Stoxx 50 (NYSEARCA:FEZ) is ahead by 1.2%.
- Source: CNBC
- ETFs: VGK, FEZ, HEDJ, IEV, EPV, EZU, FEU, EEA, EURL, FEP, UPV, DBEU, ADRU, HEZU, FEEU, IEUR, FIEU, DBEZ, FEUZ, SBEU
- Looking to reassure shareholders, Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY +0.4%) Chief Executive Tom Enders said the recent crash of the A400M military transporter in Spain - and its subsequent partial grounding - should not disrupt 2015 financial forecasts.
- Enders also said he was confident about the prospect for plane orders at the upcoming Paris Airshow, but added that neither Airbus nor rival Boeing were likely to repeat their very strong 2014 sales performances.
- Previously: Airbus faces big fines for A400M delay (May. 20 2015)
- Previously: A400M problems have customers looking elsewhere (May. 20 2015)
10:28 AM| Comment!
- The five-year outperformance of oil refining stocks will continue, Oppenheimer says as it upgrades HollyFrontier (HFC -0.4%), Marathon Petroleum (MPC +0.2%), Phillips 66 (PSX -0.3%) and Tesoro (TSO -0.4%) to Outperform from Market Perform and reiterates an Outperform rating for Valero (VLO -1%).
- The firm says its bullish outlook is supported by favorable fundamentals, including a wide crude differential, low natural gas prices and growing refined product exports; refining valuations remain attractive even given strong stock performance since 2010, as share buybacks, reduced debt and growing dividends mean valuations could extend further.
- Fadel Gheit and his analyst team forecast a Brent-WTI differential of $4-$8, which they consider a "huge competitive advantage to U.S. refiners with processing flexibility."
- Oppy's respective stock price targets for HFC, MPC, PSX, TSO and VLO are $50, $120, $95, $105 and $70.
- Evercore's Ken Sena: "With less than five percent of the SpinCo value comprised by Yahoo's (YHOO - unchanged) selected ATB (Yahoo Small Business), we suspect the hurdle for establishing a legitimate corporate business purpose will be higher. Moreover, since the Treasury began its rhetoric around inversion, which we believe provides us with some read, we count 10 transaction withdrawals out of 13 with only two new deals since announced."
- Sena, who has downgraded to Hold and cut his target by $7 to $48, adds the 3 transactions approved by the Treasury only produced a small tax benefit, and that the IRS' review of spinoff tax rules could affect Yahoo's ability to monetize both its Alibaba and Yahoo Japan stakes.
- He thinks altering the Alibaba spinoff proposal would "prolong the application process into next year and possibly beyond," possibly distracting management and affecting its enthusiasm for buybacks.
- Yahoo is near breakeven on an up day for equities. Shares plunged last week after news of the IRS review first emerged, but recovered a chunk of their losses the next day after Yahoo issued a response.
- The European Commission approves Otsuka Pharmaceuticals' (OTCPK:OTSKY) (OTCPK:OTSKF) Jinarc (tolvaptan) for the treatment of adult patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), a genetic disorder that causes cysts to grow and proliferate in the kidneys. Complications include chronic and acute pain, hypertension and kidney failure. It affects ~200K Europeans.
- Jinarc is the first drug approved in the EU that treats the underlying pathophysiology of ADPKD. It decreases cyst cell proliferation and fluid secretion by blocking vasopressin from its V2 receptor. Vasopressin is a hormone that regulates the body's retention of water by increasing water reabsorption in the kidney's collecting ducts.
- Hormel (HRL +3.1%) is drawing some attention for its purchase of the Applegate brand yesterday.
- Analysts note the transaction gives the company a quick entry into the organic and natural meats space with a distinctive brand.
- The move also brings Hormel closer to the diversification strategy pulled off by food peers Campbell Soup and General Mills.
- Previously: Hormel Foods lands Applegate for $775M (May. 26 2015)
- Maintaining its benchmark overnight rate at 0.75%, the Bank of Canada says the economic outlook hasn't changed a whole lot from last month. Like the rest of the professional economist class, the PhD's at the BOC expect a rebound in economic growth south of the border in Q2, which should benefit Canada's export sector.
- "Recent indicators suggest consumption in Canada is holding up relatively well, given the impact of lower oil prices on gross domestic income."
- The loonie (NYSEARCA:FXC) remains marginally lower on the session, buying $0.8028.
- ETFs: EWC, CNDA, EWCS, QCAN, FCAN
- Select high-end retailers are trading weaker after reports from Michael Kors and Movado rattle the sector.
- Though Tiffany is ripping up a double-digit gain on the day, analysts note the earnings beat came off of a lowered bar.
- Decliners: Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) -5.3%, Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE) -1.9%, Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) -1.9%, Tum Huldings (NYSE:TUMI) -1.0%, Guess (NYSE:GES) -0.3%, Coach -5.5%.
- The PowerShares Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (NYSEARCA:PEJ) is slightly trailing broader market averages.
- Previously: F/X clips results at Movado
- Previously: Light guidance from Michael Kors
- Retrophin (RTRX +9.4%) jumps out the gate this morning goosed by the news that it has agreed to sell its Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher to Sanofi (SNY +2%) for $245M. Under the terms of the sale, Sanofi will pay $150M upon the signing of the contract, $47.5M a year later and another $47.5M two years later.
- The voucher, which Retrophin acquired from Askepion Pharmaceuticals, can be sold or transferred an unlimited number of times. It shortens the FDA's review clock for a New Drug Application (NDA) from 10 months to six, clearly valuable to drug makers.
- Previously: Retrophin acquires rights to bile acid disorder drug; shares up 38% premarket (March 18)
- Eldorado Gold (EGO -1.4%) says results of a feasibility study on the 80.5%-owned Certej gold-silver project in Romania were positive.
- EGO says the study puts the initial capital estimate at $449M and average production at 140K oz. of gold and 830K oz. of silver per year.
- The study forecasts generation of a post-tax internal rate of return of 13% and a net present value at a 5% discount rate of $229M.
- "Current investments likely won't be productive for sometime, which means EPS growth will likely slow in FY15," writes Morgan Stanley, downgrading Check Point (NASDAQ:CHKP) to Underweight. "We continue to look for a high-single digit EPS CAGR through FY17."
- MS thinks a firewall refresh cycle is peaking and believes Check Point has lost some share in the segment - next-gen firewall leader Palo Alto Networks has been seeing huge growth. It also thinks subscription billings growth softened in 2014, and that margins are declining.
- Check Point had risen over 35% from last summer's lows going into today. Shares currently go for 21x 2015E EPS and 19x 2016E EPS.
- Regarding Check Point's "current investments": Earlier this year, the company bought startups Lacoon and Hyperwise to strengthen its threat-prevention software/services offerings. It also launched a malware-protection software tool called Threat Extraction.
- Ford (F +0.5%) announces two new safety recalls in North America due to potential problems with electric power steering.
- 422,814 vehicles are included in the recalls.
- The first recall covers 2011-2013 Ford Taurus and Flex vehicles, Lincoln MKS, and MKT vehicles.
- The second action is for 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles, and for some Mercury Milan cars.
- The automaker will either replace steering gear components or issue a software update to address the issues.
- The FDA approves Eli Lilly's (LLY) Humalog 200 units/mL KwikPen (insulin lispro 200 units/mL; U-200), a pre-filled pen containing a concentrated formulation of the company's rapid-acting Humalog (insulin lispro 100 units/mL) to improve glycemic control in type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
- The product holds twice as many units of insulin (600 units vs. 300 units) as the U-100 formulation in the same 3 mm cartridge. In other words, it delivers the same dose in half the volume.
- The European Commission approved it in October 2014.
- Adidas (OTCQX:ADDYY, OTCPK:ADDDF) appears to be sticking to a measured response to the company's recent struggles.
- Financial Times notes the German sports apparel seller is speeding up its ability to put new products in stores and refining its marketing message - instead of making drastic moves like selling Reebok or axing CEO Herbert Hainer.
- Adidas was dealt a new wildcard this morning with it a major World Cup sponsor after FIFA officials were arrested in a major corruption scandal. Soccer is a sport where Adidas maintains a healthy advantage over upstart Under Armour.
- Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) is up 5.5% out of the open as Morgan Stanley has upgraded the shares to Overweight, from Underweight, a two-notch move.
- The analysts lowered their price target on shares, however, to $6 from $7, saying it's attractively valued at the moment. Shares are trading this morning at $5.19.
- Pressure related to the company's integration of Connecticut lines "should stabilize in coming quarters with improved pricing trends, potential CAF Phase II funding, easing backhaul pressures and potential bonus depreciation extensions," MS said in its report.
- The analysts say the dividend payout is sustainable -- management guided to improving payout ratio 13% from the Verizon deal -- "so there could be further upside to our estimates."
- Fortinet (FTNT -1.4%) is acquiring Meru Networks (MERU +16%), a provider of enterprise Wi-Fi access points, controllers, and management software, for $44M in cash, or $1.63/share. The price represents a 17% premium to Meru's Tuesday close, and is equal to just 0.54x Meru's 2015 sales consensus of $81.3M.
- Fortinet, which already offers Wi-Fi access points and integrated Wi-Fi/security appliances, declares the deal "expands its opportunity to uniquely address the $5B global enterprise Wi-Fi market with integrated and intelligent secure wireless solutions." It also notes Meru's product line includes cloud/virtual Wi-Fi controllers (eliminates the need for dedicated hardware), and SDN-capable management and provisioning software.
- The deal is expected to close in Q3. Meru has been struggling to deal with competition from larger rivals such as Cisco and HP/Aruba Networks. The company announced a strategic review in January.
- Separately, Fortinet has launched FortiGuard Mobile, a subscription service that aims to protect phones/tablets from cyber threats, and which integrates with Fortinet's mainstay ForiGate unified threat management (UTM) appliances. Palo Alto Networks recently partnered with VMware to offer its own mobile security solutions.
- Shares of Coach (NYSE:COH) slide in early trading after guidance from Michael Kors came in below expectations.
- Investors are betting that Coach will face the same headwinds referenced by MK in its report and earnings call.
- Previously: Michael Kors Holdings misses by $0.01, revenue in-line
- Previously: Light guidance from Michael Kors
- COH -5.2% premarket.
- Holcim (OTCPK:HCMLY) and Lafarge (OTCPK:LFRGY) have finalized the make-up of the future 10-member executive committee of the combined LafargeHolcim.
- The two also reached a binding agreement under which Irish cement maker CRH will buy some of their assets for €6.5B ($7.1B). The deal was a regulatory condition required for the merger.
- Thinly traded nano cap Cleveland BioLabs (NASDAQ:CBLI) surges 18% premarket on robust volume. Shares have doubled since yesterday as traders take positions ahead of the company's poster presentation on May 30 at ASCO on the results from a Phase 1 trial of entolimod, a toll-like receptor 5 agonist in development for the treatment of advanced cancers (Abstract #3063).
- Stable disease (>6 weeks) was observed in eight patients (~31%) treated with entolimod while three showed stable disease (~12%) for more than 12 weeks.
- Stock futures indicate to a slightly higher open following yesterday's sharp selloff; S&P and Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq +0.2%.
- Yesterday's session followed a full slate of economic data that was better than expected, but today brings no major economic releases, so investors are likely to focus on dollar strength and bond yields.
- Major European indexes trade higher across the board, while most Asian markets ended with losses.
- On the U.S. corporate front, Michael Kors -17.5% premarket after a slight earnings miss and below-consensus Q1 guidance, while Toll Brothers -0.5% following a slight earnings beat on light revenue and narrowing its guidance.
- So far, energy and metals prices are flat after yesterday's selloff, but the dollar has resumed its march higher against most major currencies.
- Treasury prices hold slim losses, with the 10-year yield higher by a basis point at 2.15%.
- Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN) says it's not looking to acquire more assets in Spain.
- Spanish regulators Tuesday gave their OK to Orange's friendly acquisition of Jazztel (OTCPK:JAZTF), which also got conditional approval from European regulators last week.
- Orange expects to merge its Spanish business with Jazztel's and says it would likely take Jazztel private if it got big demand for the offer.
- It launched its $4.4B offer for Jazztel in the fall and may gain 1.5M broadband subscribers in the tie-up.
- Previously: Europe approves Orange's Jazztel acquisition, with conditions (May. 19 2015)
- Reliance Steel (NYSE:RS) appoints Gregg Mollins as its new CEO and President, with David Hannah transitioning to the role of Executive Chairman.
- Mollins joined RS in 1986, and has served as President and COO since 2002; Hannah, who became CEO in 1999 and has served as Chairman and CEO since 2007, will remain on the board as Executive Chairman until his retirement in July 2016.
- Chico's FAS (NYSE:CHS) disclosed higher sales in Q1 as an increase in square footage offset a minor slip in comparable-store sales.
- The company reported a 90 bps improvement in gross margin rate during the quarter as it dialed back promotional activity.
- SG&A expense rate +60 bps to 47.4% due to sales deleverage of some expenses.
- Inventory per square foot -2.8% Y/Y.
- Restructuring and strategic changes expenses were 2.1% of total sales.
- CHS -5.80% premarket to $15.75.
- "If the environment stays sort of flattish, less volatility, we'll have to keep working that expense base down," says Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan, speaking at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference.
- The Global Markets unit at his bank posted a Q1 profit of $945M - down 28% year-over-year, with FICC revenue of $2.75B down 7%. Estimates had been for about $3B in revenue, and competitor JPMorgan, to name one, saw a 5% Y/Y increase.
- Source: Bloomberg
- Previously: Stronger mortgage numbers, but weaker trading results as BofA beats estimates (April 15)
9:12 AM| Comment!
- Execs with McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) were at the podium at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference early this morning.
- A good part of the presentation covered some of the new initiatives due to be unveiled at the company in pilot programs which include kiosk ordering and premium burger selections.
- The company remains non-committed to a REIT option, although it says it will continue to evaluate the strategy.
- Monthly sales reporting by the restaurant chain will be discontinued after July 1.
- Shares of MCD are slightly ahead of market averages after the talk, +0.3% premarket.
- VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP) and Hutchison Whampoa (OTCPK:HUWHY) -- long in talks to merge their Italy wireless units -- are considering an IPO for the combination, Bloomberg reports.
- A combination of VimpelCom's Wind Telecomunicazioni and Hutchison's Three Italia would have the largest customer base in Italy and become the chief challenger to Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI).
- The two posted about €2B in combined EBITDA for 2014, and at standard 8x multiples, the combination could be valued up to $18B, though Wind is carrying debt of close to €10B.
- They've been in merger discussions for more than a year, though coming to terms on an equal marriage could come this summer before perhaps a year of seeking regulator OKs.
- Airbus' (OTCPK:EADSY) board has asked Chief Executive Tom Enders to stay for at least one more term when his mandate expires next year, Chairman Denis Ranque told shareholders today.
- Meanwhile, Mexico is in talks to buy 50 more Caracal military helicopters from Airbus, under a deal that could be concluded as early as July 14.
- Based on discussions with the FDA, Acorda Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACOR) clarifies the development path for its Plumiaz (diazepam) Nasal Spray for the treatment of stable epileptic patients who are experiencing increased seizure activity, known as seizure clusters or acute repetitive seizures (ARS). The company originally submitted its New Drug Application (NDA) in 2013, but received a Compete Response Letter (CRL) from the agency stating that additional clinical work would be required before approval.
- Three clinical trials will support the refiling of the NDA. The first is a 52-week, open-label study assessing the safety and tolerability of Plumiaz in ~100 patients. It was started in late 2014 and should be completed by H2 2016. The second is a pharmacokinetic dose proportionality study in healthy adults that is on tap to begin next quarter and should be completed in H1 2016. The third is an open-label, randomized, crossover study to assess the bioavailability, safety and tolerability of Plumiaz compared to diazepam rectal gel (Valeant Pharmaceuticals' Diastat) in ~120 subjects that will commence this quarter and finish in Q4 2016. If all are completed successfully, the NDA will be filed in Q1 2017.
- The company believes peak U.S. sales could surmount $200M per year.
- Emerald Oil (NYSEMKT:EOX) +61.4% premarket after electing not to proceed with its previously announced public offering of common stock.
- Wunderlich analysts are not impressed, reiterating their Sell rating and cutting its price target to $4, after a tough month that has "taken time, effort, and money away from what is left of the company's ongoing operations in the Williston Basin, but we feel they also show the dire straits Emerald is in financially." (Briefing.com)
- Notable Calls suspects management is "gaming the shorts" and likely will announce a new secondary offering in a month.
- Boosting its presence in central and southeastern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh-based F.N.B. Corp. (NYSE:FNB) acquires about $280M in deposits and five branches from Bank of America - including two branches in Berks County, two in Lancaster County, and one in Chester County.
- FNB currently has 220 locations in PA.
- The deal is expected to close in Q3.
- Source: Press Release
- Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) races ahead in early trading as underlying Q1 comps at the retailer come in stronger than anticipated.
- A shift of spending by Asian tourists to Europe contributed to a 17% comp gain in the region, while some high-end spending helped the Americas comp come in at +1% despite the strong U.S. dollar.
- The company's overall underlying comparable-store sales gain of 5% outpaced the marks put up by several of Tiffany's peers during overlapping periods.
- Previously: Tiffany beats by $0.11, beats on revenue (May. 27 2015)
- Previously: Tiffany +6% after results top expectations (May. 27 2015)
- TIF +7.21% premarket to $91.70.
- Total comprehensive income of RMB43M ($6.9M), or RMB0.33 ($0.05) per diluted share vs. RMB185.8M, or RMB1.51 per share in Q1 2014.
- Total wind turbine generators commissioned for which revenue was recognized increased 5.2%% to an equivalent wind power project output of 406MW from 386MW in the same quarter a year ago.
- New sales contracts for wind power projects totaled an output of 264MW.
- Order backlog of 3.55GW as of March 31, 2015.
- The company expects Q2 revenue to be in a range of RMB1.4B-RMB1.6B and net profit to be in a range of RMB50M-RMB55M.
- Q1 results
8:30 AMGlobeImmune therapeutic vaccine candidate for hepatitis B flunks Phase 2 study; shares off 62% premarket
- A Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating GlobeImmune's (NASDAQ:GBIM) GS-4774, a therapeutic vaccine candidate for hepatitis B infection, failed to achieve its primary efficacy endpoint of demonstrating a reduction in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) at week 24 in patients treated with the highest dose of GS-4774 plus ongoing antiviral therapy (OAV) compared to OAV alone. There was a slight increase in viral knockdown in the test group at week 48 but the difference was not statistically significant.
- The 178-subject, randomized, open-label study was designed to assess three different doses of GS-4774 in combination with ongoing oral antiviral therapy in patients with chronic HBV infection whose disease was under control with OAV. The analysis of the data and characterization of the T cell response to GS-4774 and its relationship to HbsAg changes are ongoing.
- GS-4774 is exclusively licensed to Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD).
- The data will be presented at a future medical conference and will be submitted for publication.
- GBIM shares are down 62% premarket on light volume. GILD is up a fraction premarket also on light volume.
- Nine miners buried underground for 18 hours at Iamgold’s (NYSE:IAG) Westwood mine in Quebec after a rockfall have all been rescued and are safe.
- IAG says Westwood's gold production was not interrupted, and expects annual production and cost guidance for the mine remain unchanged.
- The Westwood mine is one of IAG's smallest and newest mines and is still in ramp-up mode; it produced 22K oz. of gold during Q1.
- Top global iron ore miners BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) and Vale (NYSE:VALE) are right to move forward with expansions into an oversupplied market since supporting prices through production cuts would hurt efficiency and prove difficult to coordinate, Goldman Sachs says.
- “First, production cuts would go against the prevailing trend of improving efficiency,” Goldman says. “Second, the required coordination among dominant producers with different incentives would be more difficult to achieve among three companies; successful cartels in oil and potash have featured only one or two dominant producers.”
- Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNF, OTCPK:GLNCY) CEO Ivan Glasenberg, among others, has said that oversupplying markets regardless of demand was damaging the industry’s credibility.
- Goldman expects the iron ore "war of attrition" will continue while prices gradually decline toward its $40/metric ton forecast by 2017.
- Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) is one of the few lenders who have yet to settle with the FHFA over MBS sold to the GSEs during the housing boom. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Elliot Stein figures the final settlement will be closer to the $4B JPMorgan paid rather than Deutsche Bank's $1.9B deal.
- RBS is seeking to have the case dismissed, but good luck with that. Both it and Nomura lost a separate FHFA case earlier this month.
- Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) expects to close on its deal to buy a stake in Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) early next month.
- Though Monster continues to battle some public perception issues dues to lawsuits and an ongoing FDA investigation, the company still grew sales by 10% last year as it broadened out its product mix.
- Shares of Monster are up 17.8% YTD.
- Adjusted net income of $92M, or $1.11 per diluted share vs. $93M, or $1.07 per diluted share in the same quarter a year ago.
- Revenue by segment: Coatings -1%; Paints -15%.
- Repurchased 1.1M shares for $92.5M during the quarter.
- The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2015 annual diluted EPS guidance of $4.45-$4.65 but lowered its 2015 annual sales guidance to reflect a sales decline in the low single-digits from fiscal 2014 (from previous guidance of flat sales).
- FQ2 results
- Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) will collaborate with GeneOne Life Science on the development of a DNA vaccine for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a disease caused by a coronavirus that is related to the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus. There is currently no vaccine or effective treatment for the disease, which has a 40% mortality rate.
- A Phase 1 study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of vaccine candidate in healthy volunteers is planned for later this year. When completed, the companies will seek third party support and resources to continue its development.
- The product candidate utilizes Inovio's synthetic vaccine technology called SynCon, which uses a DNA fragment to instruct cells to specifically produce the targeted antigen.
- MERS was first identified in 2012. Almost all of the 1,142 reported cases occurred in four countries in the Middle East.
- South Africa, which sets gasoline prices that fuel producers can charge, needs to ensure companies can recover the cost of upgrading their facilities to handle cleaner fuels, the chair of Chevron’s (NYSE:CVX) local unit says.
- CVX has said that upgrading its facility in Cape Town to meet planned clean fuel standards will cost as much as $1B.
- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and BP are among the companies that operate plants in South Africa.
- Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) announces a master sales agreement with a large footwear manufacturer in North America, that outlines purchase terms and defines site-specific agreements for the deployment of it's GenKey solution.
- The footwear manufacturer has defined the first three sites where Plug's solution will be implemented and is analyzing the adoption of the technology in its 30 sites globally.
- PLUG +2.3% premarket
- Comparable-store sales rose 5.1% for DSW (NYSE:DSW) in Q1 off of strong demand for athletic footwear.
- Revenue for the DSW business was up 9.5% to $612.21M.
- Gross profit rate +110 bps.
- Merchandise margin rate +85 bps.
- Operating expense rate -10 bps.
- Inventory +13.8% on a cost per square foot basis.
- Guidance: DSW expects FY15 EPS of $1.80-$1.90 vs. $1.88 consensus.
- Previously: DSW beats by $0.06, beats on revenue
- DSW +1.52% premarket.
- Canadian P&C adjusted net income of $487M up 1% Y/Y. Revenue up 4%, expenses of 6%. Personal banking loan and deposit growth of 2% and 6%, respectively. Commercial banking loan and deposit growth of 6% and 8%, respectively.
- U.S. P&C adjusted net income of $176M up 14%. Revenue of $707M fell 1%. Adjusted noninterest expense of $452M about flat. Loan growth of 6% led by C&I loans up 17%.
- Wealth Management adjusted net income of $265M up 34%, thanks to a mixture of organic growth and the acquired F&C business.
- Capital Markets net income of $296M down 3%. Revenue growth up 6% thanks to stronger trading results.
- CET1 Ratio of 10.2% up 10 bps during the quarter.
- Earnings call at 2 ET
- Previously: Bank of Montreal declares $0.82 dividend (May 27)
- Previously: Bank of Montreal beats by $0.05, misses on revenue (May 27)
- BMO flat premarket
- Taro Pharmaceutical (TARO -0.4%) FQ4 results: Revenues: $244.2M (+30.4%); COGS: $44.5M (-2.8%); R&D Expense: $23.9M (+81.1%); SG&A: $22.2M (-16.5%); Operating Income: $153.5M (+51.2%); Net Income: $152.6M (+70.1%); EPS: $3.56 (+69.5%).
- FY2015 results: Revenues: $862.9M (+13.6%); COGS: $186.4M (+4.0%); R&D Expense: $65.5M (+18.2%); SG&A: $87.6M (-4.5%); Operating Income: $527.6M (+22.6%); Net Income: $485.6M (+34.4%); EPS: $11.32 (+38.9%); Quick Assets: $920M (+45.5%).
- No guidance given.
- As a top creditor to Japan's failed Skymark Airlines (OTC:SKALF), Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) has now expressed its opposition to ANA Holdings's (OTCPK:ALNPY) participation in Skymark's restructuring, Reuters reports.
- Airbus and Intrepid Aviation (Pending:INTR) (which also is opposed to the plan) together account for more than half of Skymark's debt - enough to block the proposed restructuring.
- Brown Shoes (NYSE:BWS) reports revenue for Brand Portfolio grew 7.9% to $242.3M in Q1.
- Revenue for Famous Footwear declined 1.8% to $360M.
- Famous Footwear same-store sales were up 3.1%.
- Gross margin rate increased 30 bps to 41.3%.
- SG&A expense rate +20 bps to 36.3%.
- Operating margin rate +10 bps to 5%.
- Inventory -2.8% to $498.5M.
- FY2015 Guidance: Net sales: $2.61B to $2.63B; Famous Footwear same-store sales: up low-single digits; Famous Footwear sales: flat; Brand Portfolio sales: up mid-single digits; Gross margin rate: +15 bps; SG&A: less than or equal to 35.4% of sales; Net interest expense: ~$18M; Tax rate: 30% to 33%; Diluted EPS: $1.84 to $1.94; D&A: ~$53M; Capex: ~$75M.
- Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) reports global sales were up 1% in Q1 on a constant currency basis.
- Sales growth by region (constant currency): Americas +3%, Asia-Pacific +4%, Japan -18%, Europe +21%, Other +1%.
- Gross profit rate +90 bps to 59.1% as improved product costs factored in.
- SG&A expenses +5% Y/Y.
- Inventory -2% to $2.4B.
- The company's effective tax rate during the quarter was 34.7% vs. 35.1% a year ago.
- Guidance: Tiffany expects FY15 EPS to rise "minimally" from last year's level.
- Previously: Tiffany beats by $0.11, beats on revenue
- TIF +6.37% premarket to $90.98 after topping beaten-down expectations.
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- Valley National Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) agrees to the purchase of Orlando's CNLBancshares (OTCPK:CNLB) in a deal valued at about $207M. The price to fully diluted tangible book value is 1.68x. CNLB owners will receive 0.75 of a share of VLY for each share of CNLB they own, subject to adjustment should VLY's share price dip below $8.80 or rise above $10.13.
- CNLB has about $1.4B in assets, $833M in loans, and $1.1B in deposits, and a branch network of 16 offices.
- It was in 2014 when Valley first entered Florida with the purchase of 1st United Bancorp, and results so far are exceeding the bank's expectations.
- Source: Press Release
- A conference call is set for 9 ET.
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- A Phase 3 study, GIFT-1, evaluating AbbVie's (NYSE:ABBV) investigational, all-oral, interferon-free, ribavirin-free, two direct-acting (2-DAA) antiviral combination of ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir for the treatment patients with HCV-1b infection met its primary endpoint demonstrating a high cure rate.
- In a subgroup of treatment-naive, non-cirrhotic adult HCV-1b Japanese patients who were eligible for interferon therapy and had a high viral load, the cure rate was 95% (n=106/112) determined by sustained virologic response 12 weeks after the completion of therapy (SVR12). The cure rate in HCV-1b patients with compensated cirrhosis was 91% (n=38/42).
- In an intent-to-treat analysis, the cure rate was 98% (n=104/106) in HCV-1b patients without cirrhosis. This population included every patient that was randomized to placebo during the test period and then received at least one dose of 2-DAA combo in the open label stage.
- The data were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Hepatology in Kumamoto, Japan.
- AbbVie's regulatory application for the 2-DAA candidate is currently under priority review by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
- As many as 2M Japanese are infected with HCV. Up to 70% are infected with genotype 1. About 95% of the HCV-1s are sub-type 1b.
- Previously: AbbVie's 2-DAA HCV-1 candidate gets priority peview in Japan (April 16)
- Related tickers: (NASDAQ:GILD) (NYSE:MRK) (NASDAQ:ENTA)
- Proxy advisory firm ISS is recommending that shareholders reject Caterpillar's (NYSE:CAT) upcoming executive compensation policy, saying that CEO Douglas Oberhelman's pay package "increased during a period of lagging returns." His total compensation rose 14% to $17.13M last year.
- ISS also urged shareholders to vote against the re-election of one of the company's directors, Juan Gallardo.
- The annual meeting will take place on June 10.
- Movado (NYSE:MOV) reports sales were up 5.0% to $120.9M in FQ1 on a constant currency basis.
- The company's gross profit rate fell 210 bps to 51.8%.
- Inventory flat Y/Y at $183.90M.
- Guidance: Movado sees FY16 sales of $590M-$600M vs. $593.1M consensus and EPS of $2.00-$2.10 vs. $2.04 consensus.
- Previously: Movado misses by $0.01, beats on revenue
- MOV +1.67% premarket.
- FQ2 net income of $67.9M or $0.37 per share vs. $65.2M and $0.35 one year ago.
- Home building deliveries of 1,195 units and $852.6M down 2% in units and 1% in dollars Y/Y. ASP of $713K vs. $706K.
- Net signed contracts of 1,931 units and $1.6B up 10% in units, 25% in dollars. ASP of $826K vs. $729K.
- Backlog of 4,387 units and $3.48B up 1% in units, 9% in dollars. ASP of $794K vs. $742K.
- Gross margin of 25.3% up 170 basis points from a year ago.
- Looking into FQ3, company says net contracts in the first four weeks were flat Y/Y thanks to a slow first week followed by robust improvements over the subsequent three weeks.
- Fiscal 2015 guidance is narrowed to deliveries of 5.3K-5.9K homes with ASP of $730K-$760K. Gross margin should be about 26%, with improvement coming in 2016.
- Earnings call at 11 ET
- Previously: Toll Brothers beats by $0.02, misses on revenue (May 27)
- TOL +0.4% premarket
- Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) reports revenue rose 23.3% in FQ4 on a constant currency basis.
- Revenue in North America was up 13.7% to $840.5M during the quarter off a -6.7% comp.
- Revenue in Europe rose 33.5% to $219.8M.
- Gross profit rate -150 bps to 58.4%.
- Guidance: FQ1 revenue of $930M to $950M expected vs. $1.09B consensus.
- Previously: Michael Kors Holdings misses by $0.01, revenue in-line
- KORS +0.51% premarket.
- Asia showed little response to yesterday's slide in the West, with Shanghai and Tokyo closing modestly higher, and Hong Kong somewhat lower. Europe's moderately higher in today's session after a rough start to the week.
- The 10-year yield fell sharply yesterday, but is up two basis points this morning to 2.16%. Gold and oil are little-changed.
- ETFs: SPY, QQQ, DIA, SH, SSO, SDS, VOO, IVV, UPRO, PSQ, SPXU, TQQQ, SPXL, RSP, QID, SQQQ, QLD, DOG, DXD, RWL, UDOW, EPS, SDOW, DDM, VFINX, BXUB, QQEW, QQQE, SPLX, SFLA, BXUC, QQXT, SPUU, UDPIX, OTPIX, RYARX
- Hydrogenics (NASDAQ:HYGS) has signed an agreement to supply Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY) Transport with hydrogen fuel cell systems for regional commuter trains in Europe.
- The €50M contract includes the supply of at least 200 engine systems along with service and maintenance as necessary over a 10 year period.
- HYGS +38% premarket
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- Kelley Blue Book forecasts U.S. automobile sales will fall 1% Y/Y to 17.3M units in May.
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) is expected to see sales growth of 2.9% to 200K units, while Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), and Toyota (NYSE:TM) are seen dropping back during the month.
- KBB sees growth in the mid-size SUV/crossover segment offset by sliding demand for mid-size cars and compacts.
- Japan +0.17%.
- Hong Kong -0.60%.
- China +0.63%.
- India +0.12%.
- London +0.52%.
- Paris +0.47%.
- Frankfurt +0.39%.
- Tax return information for about 100,000 U.S. taxpayers was illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the past four months, the IRS announced, in the latest series of data thefts that have alarmed American consumers.
- The theft, however, differs in that it did not involve a computer hack. Criminals used information they had gathered about individuals to access the system as it was designed to be used.
- Related: Congress begins TurboTax filing probes (Feb. 17 2015)
- Grexit? Brexit? What's going on? It's the question markets are dismissing with a shrug at the moment, but it's going to get more pressing soon.
- Queen Elizabeth II's speech on Wednesday is expected to contain an EU referendum bill, as the path towards a vote looks potentially shorter than anticipated, with some now talking of a referendum in 2016 rather than 2017.
- The speech will begin at 6:30 ET and promises to contain several other major policy announcements.
- The pound is +0.1% at $1.5398, while the FTSE 100 is +0.7%.
- ETFs: EWU, EWUS, DXPS, FKU, QGBR, DBUK
- As the telecom-network industry consolidates, Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is now more open to a bigger M&A deal in order to remain competitive in the market, Bloomberg reports.
- "I see no reason why we, given the right preconditions, would exclude a larger deal," Ericsson Chairman Leif Johansson said in an interview this month. "But as you know, there aren't that many left."
- CEO Hans Vestberg plans to gather with his top managers in June to discuss strategy, and a key area is what the company can do to counter Nokia's recent $16.6B acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.
- Possible targets: Ciena (NYSE:CIEN), Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN) and Juniper (NYSE:JNPR)
- Despite being blocked in China, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) is courting Chinese companies to buy advertising space on its service - used by more than 300M people elsewhere across the globe.
- "This seems to be a moment in time where Chinese corporations really feel the urge to be global," said Peter Greenberger, director of sales for emerging markets.
- Twitter collected $436M in Q1 revenue from advertisers who paid to inject their ads, known as "promoted tweets", in to users' timelines.
- SpaceX has won a critical battle in its campaign to win business launching military and spy satellites after the U.S. Air Force certified its Falcon 9 rocket to handle the work.
- The decision throws pressure on United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), which has held a monopoly on national security launches since it was formed in 2006.
- Previously: ULA needs more orders to survive (May. 22 2015)
- Policymakers must ensure that financial industry creditors do not expect government bailouts and must be willing to let firms fail in order to restore market discipline, Richmond Fed boss Jeffrey Lacker said on Tuesday.
- Lacker also continued his assault on Dodd-Frank's Title II and repeated his call to repeal the Fed's emergency lending authority, arguing that less regulation, not more, is needed to make the system safer.
- Several other Internet giants reached out and held early discussions about buying Flipboard in recent weeks, including Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL), although those talks involved ideas around how products would be integrated rather than centering around price, sources told WSJ.
- Talks with Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) went further, discussing a $1B+ all-stock deal, but those negotiations have largely stalled since April.
- Previously: Report: Twitter held talks to buy Flipboard for over $1B (May. 25 2015)
- Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to skip the annual gathering of economists and policy makers in Jackson Hole this year, marking the second time in three years the Fed's top official won’t be traveling to Wyoming. Yellen's predecessor, Ben Bernanke, skipped the 2013 gathering.
- The topic of this year's Aug. 27-29 conference is inflation dynamics and monetary policy.
- Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has revealed plans for an IPO, saying he had no desire to field any acquisitions offers - like Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) $3B bid for the company nearly two years ago.
- Spiegel’s comments, coming at the Code Conference in California, were the first time he publicly acknowledged the possibility of an IPO. He stopped short of saying when the company, most recently valued at $15B, might try to go public.
- The Irish government has agreed to sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus (OTC:AIRXY) to IAG (OTCPK:ICAGY), clearing the way for the owner of British Airways and Iberia to make a formal bid for the Irish carrier.
- IAG's proposed €1.36B ($1.48B) offer for Aer Lingus was recommended by the Irish airline's board in January but is still conditional on receiving the support of its other main shareholder, Ryanair (NASDAQ:RYAAY).
- Previously: IAG to press Aer Lingus bid with new proposals (Mar. 01 2015)
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