Today - Wednesday, March 4, 2015
- Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL) closed down another 12%-plus in today's trade, the third double-digit drop in the past week, after Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida called on the U.S. government to investigate into the laminate flooring sold by the company to find out whether it "poses a health risk to the public," and to look into marketing claims LL has made about the safety of its products.
- The company says it “shares Senator Bill Nelson’s desire for consumer safety” and is engaging with California regulators and the EPA.
- Earlier, LL canceled an appearance at a conference and said it would host a call with investors on March 12, as it continues to respond to Sunday's damaging 60 Minutes report.
- Shares are now down 48% since LL said a week ago during its Q4 earnings conference call that 60 Minutes would feature the company in an unfavorable light.
- Reports flew today that in the wake of the FCC's decision last week to reclassify broadband Internet under Title II -- treating it more as a public utility -- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was taking a "We didn't want that much Title II" position.
- At Morgan Stanley's conference today, CFO David Wells said: "Were we pleased it pushed to Title II? Probably not ... We were hoping there would be a non-regulated solution."
- Critics leapt at the chance to call Netflix on a reversal of its strong position last year that Title II was the approach to use in re-regulation.
- By the end of the day, Netflix was walking back, saying they stuck by their earlier position: "There has been zero change in our very well-documented position in support of strong net neutrality rules."
- Asked to explain, a Netflix representative said "David was trying to convey how our position evolved over time from preferring an industry solution to recognizing the need for a regulatory one."
- It's no small matter for Netflix, which moves so much traffic that the regulatory difference in its delivery costs may mean as much as $100M/year.
- Viacom's (VIA, VIAB) restructuring is in the early stages of what could be a long process. Next up: naming Jeff Lucas to run a consolidated group selling ads for all its channels except BET.
- Lucas was working in the ad group for music channels (MTV and VH1); adding the Nickelodeon fleet is a substantial expansion of duties.
- Viacom shares are down almost 19% over the past year.
- Previously: Viacom reportedly prepping companywide layoffs (Feb. 23 2015)
- Darling Ingredients (NYSE:DAR) is up 5.1% after hours following a solid Q4 earnings beat in which revenues more than doubled, thanks to early 2014 acquisitions of VION and Rothsay.
- Net sales were $1B, made up of: Feed Ingredients, $606M (up 35.4%); Food Ingredients, $322M (new business line); Fuel Ingredients, $72.2M (up 813%).
- Adjusted EBITDA was $108.7M.
- The company noted headwinds from a strong dollar: "It has been a challenging year in light of the global deflationary pressures we faced, but we successfully executed a significant international integration and are patiently building our platform as the world's leader in creating sustainable food, feed and fuel ingredients for a growing population," says CEO Randall Stuewe.
- Conference call tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. ET.
- Press release
- Alaska Communications (NASDAQ:ALSK) issued solid earnings guidance and beat revenue expectations during a quarter in which it worked to unload a wireless business that had presented a debt overhang.
- Loss on impairment of goodwill of $6M helped push the firm to an operating loss of $884K. Net loss was $5.36M. Adjusted EBITDA was $22.3M (up 34%), beating an expected $20.7M.
- The company's guiding to "continued top line performance, steady deleveraging and achieving run rate adjusted EBITDA exiting 2015 through targeted synergies."
- More specifically, it expects total wireline revenue of $220M, in line with expectations, and EBITDA of $54M-$56M vs. expectations of about $40M.
- Shares have turned lower after hours, -5.3%.
- Conference call at 5 p.m. ET.
- Press release
- Previously: Alaska Communications wraps sale of wireless business (Feb. 02 2015)
- TheStreet (NASDAQ:TST) beat expectations on revenue that grew 17%. Operating expenses grew 25% Y/Y and the firm posted a net loss of $1.6M (-$0.05/share vs. expectations of -$0.03).
- Adjusted EBITDA of $1.1M beat expectations of $0.65M.
- Revenue details: Subscription services, $13.3M (up 17%); Media revenue, $4M (up 16%).
- Bookings of $14.6M (up 27%) included impact of the BoardEx acquisition; paid subscriptions for newsletters ended at 83,700, up 7% Y/Y and up 1% from Q3.
- ARPU was flat from Q3 and down 2% from the prior year. Churn was up slightly, to 3% from prior year's 2%.
- "In 2015, we will continue to focus on growing subscription across The Deal and retail platforms through strengthening our synergies as well as through improving user experience on our free sites," says CEO Elisabeth DeMarse.
- Conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET.
- Press release
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