Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

  • 7:02 PM
    • Corinthian Colleges (NASDAQ:COCO) fell 30% during today's trading on news that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is suing the for-profit college on grounds that it deceived students and harassed them to collect on student loan debts.
    • The federal agency accuses COCO of using false promises of employment prospects to lure students, inducing them to take out predatory loans, and publicly humiliating them when they couldn’t pay.
    • COCO reached an agreement with the government in June to shut down or sell all of its 97 U.S.-based schools amid allegations of abusive financial practices.
    | Comment!
  • 6:53 PM
    • YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ:YRCW) +9.8% AH after launching an amendment to its term loan credit agreement to revise its leverage ratio covenant from Q3 2014 through Q4 2016.
    • YRCW also says it expects to report adjusted EBITDA of $75M-$80M and operating income of $22M-$27M for Q3, vs. year-ago Q3 adjusted EBITDA of $62M and operating income of $59M.
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  • 4:05 PM
    • Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) expects comparable-store sales to come in the low single-digit range for FY15.
    • Drive-in level margin improvement of 50-10 bps is seen.
    • Net unit growth is expected with at least 50-60 new franchise drive-in opening slated.
    • EPS is expected to fall in the high end of the previous guidance for 14% to 20% growth.
    | Comment!
  • 4:01 PM
    • Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) comes out with the sternest words to date of any of the major NFL sponsors.
    • The global brewer says it's not satisfied with the manner the league has handled the recent incidents involving star players.
    • Earlier statements from big sponsors FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) were more on the supportive side.
    • Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) has been relatively quiet, although its CoverGirl Get Your Game Face On campaign was used by protesters to make a strong point.
    • In one of the stronger corporate statements on the NFL developments, the Radisson hotel chain broke off its sponsorship deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
  • 3:19 PM
    • Sears Holdings (SHLD -9.1%) grabbed hold of $400M in cash last night when it secured a short-term loan from Eddie Lampert, but the stock has lost roughly $320M in market cap today as some investors were left with an uneasy feeling over the real estate pledged to back the Lampert loan.
    • Though the cash was needed to buy inventory for the holiday shopping season, skeptics are focused on the additional risk of seeing Sears assets dumped at below-market prices.
    • Shares of SHLD carved out a new 52-week low of $30.16 earlier.
  • 3:04 PM
    • Google (GOOG +1.3%), Mercedes-Benz (OTCPK:DDAIF), and Volkswagen (OTCQX:VLKAY) have been issued permits by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to operate self-driving cars on public roads.
    • The permits still require a backup human to sit in the front seat to monitor the driving situation.
    • Though self-driving cars are still just a novelty for now, tech advances stemming from development have already been introduced in current models.
    • What to watch: Fully autonomous cars are expected to be introduced over the next five years for use within campuses, retirement communities, or business complexes.
  • 2:32 PM
    • Wynn Resorts (WYNN +0.2%) has won the rights for a casino license in the Boston region.
    • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted 3-1 in favor of granting Boston the license for its plan to develop near Everett.
    | 1 Comment
  • 1:57 PM
    • Cowen Research initiates Boston Beer (SAM +3.3%) with a rosy Outperform rating and $250 price target.
    • The investment firm thinks the brewer has done a solid job of keeping its brands vibrant.
    • Expecting a Boston Beer takeover? Insko Capital Management's Tim Insko rains on that parade with a dig into the company's SEC filings.
    | 1 Comment
  • 1:44 PM
    • GameStop (GME +4%) announces a private offering of $250M in senior notes due in 2019.
    • The company intends to use the proceeds to pay down its balance at its asset-based credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
    | 1 Comment
  • 1:38 PM
    • P-E firms are likely to get their hands on the Jimmy John's fast-food chain, according to Restaurant Finance Monitor.
    • Last week, reports indicated a sale of a major stake in the privately-owned company was in the offing.
    • Analysts are quick to note that Jimmy John's has had some of the most explosive growth in the QSR sector and could be even more disruptive with P-E owners in the mix.
    • What to watch: Smaller sandwich chains have the most to lose from a JJ's expansion, although Potbelly (PBPB -0.9%) could also face some pressure in new markets.
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  • 1:25 PM
    • McDonald's (MCD +0.6%) plans to sell McCafe bagged coffee and K-cups at grocery stores in Canada later this month.
    • The company will face serious competition from Tim Hortons which has 80% market share locked up for the category.
    • McDonald's will partner with Kraft Canada for the initiative.
    • What to watch: McCafe bagged coffee is expected to go on sale at grocery stores in the U.S. in the early part of next year.
  • 12:58 PM
    • Fossil (FOSL -0.6%) has been identified by Barclays as the watch seller that could feel the sharpest sting by Apple's entry into the wearable technology business with the Apple Watch.
    • Though Fossil is developing products in tandem with Intel, it faces an "uphill battle" to gain credibility, notes Barclays.
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  • 11:56 AM
    • ICSC reports demand trends for wholesale clubs, dollar, discount, electronics, and furniture stores were strong over the last week.
    • The weekly reading bodes well with back to school and fall apparel demand expected to "fully" kick in shortly.
    • The research firm expects retail sales to show a healthy trend of 4% to 5% growth.
    | Comment!
  • 11:49 AM
    • Netflix (NFLX -1.4%) has given an "eye-popping" two-year commitment to comedy series Love from Judd Apatow, reports Variety. CCO Ted Saranos says the new series will bring a whole new level of "agony and ecstasy" to the modern day comedy of manners.
    • The company cleared a hurdled in France after telecom Bouygues announced it would integrate the streaming service into its set-top boxes this fall. Orange may follow suit.
    • The third season of House of Cards is currently being filmed. The 13-episode original series is expected to debut in February of 2015.
    • Shares of Netflix dipped below $450 for the first time since mid-August before recovering a bit.
  • 11:13 AM
    • Air France-KLM (OTCQX:AFLYY) cancels over half of its flights after a pilot strike goes into its second full day.
    • The carrier is hearing from the SNPL union over wages and working conditions.
    • What to watch: The labor turmoil could halt Air France-KLM's goal of competing more directly with Ryanair Holdings (NASDAQ:RYAAY) and EasyJet (OTCQX:ESYJY).
    | 1 Comment
  • 11:01 AM
    • Canacccord Genuity weighs in on Coach (COH +0.8%) with a decidedly nervous-sounding reiteration of its Neutral rating on the retailer.
    • "The company is on track to cede more market share in F2015, and its grip on the top position is as loose as ever in our view." say Canaccord analysts.
    • Coach's lush dividend payout and the prospect of P-E firms leveraging M&A opportunities kept the investment firm from sliding it down to a Sell rating.
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  • 10:42 AM
    • Walgreens Boots Alliance files a registration statement with the SEC.
    • The new entity is the anticipated holding company for the merger of Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) and Alliance Boots.
    • As anticipated, Walgreens Boots Alliance is domiliced in the U.S.
    • The merger is still pending regulatory review and a shareholder vote.
    • SEC Form 4
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  • 10:04 AM
    • Shares of Sears Holdings (SHLD -6.3%) fall after the company announces it struck a deal for a short-term loan with Eddie Lampert.
    • Sarcasm is running sky-high over the deal, with a particular focus on the 25 properties that's backing the loan.
  • 9:57 AM
    • Cowen Research initiates coverage on PepsiCo (PEP +0.6%) with an Outperform rating and $106 price target.
    • Earlier, the investment firm slotted PepsiCo rival Coca-Cola at Market Perform.
    | Comment!
  • 9:52 AM
    • Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD -0.8%) are lower after some of the buzz over a potential merger with SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY) wears off. In Europe, shares of SBMRY are also tilting lower.
    • Analysis of the combination of the two beer giants is nearly evenly split. Some analysts think the regulatory hurdles are too high to clear, while others maintain that outside of the U.S. and China there's not a huge amount of overlap that would draw in regulators.
    • Stifel Nicolaus and Buckingham Research have both raised their price target on BUD, moving to $130 and $137 respectively.
    • MillerCoors (TAP -1%) is in a holding pattern. If the mega-merger goes through, the company is nearly assured of a new owner.
    • The wildcard: There's also still the chance that A-B could have the rug pulled out from under it if SABMiller improves its offer to Heineken (OTCQX:HEINY) to a level which wins over the controlling family.
    | Comment!
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