Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

  • 12:37 PM
    • Fresh M&A rumors have led Gogo (GOGO +2.2%) to spike higher after starting the day in the red. Verizon's name has been thrown around in some of the chatter.
    • Gogo shot higher on a Verizon acquisition rumor last month as well. 13.1M shares (28% of the float) were shorted as of Aug. 29.
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  • 12:17 PM
    • In an operations update, BPZ Energy (BPZ -1.5%) says that while it foresees lower Q3 production rates at Block Z-1, it expects output from new wells and improved rates resulting from its gas lift program will allow for improved levels of production and cash flow at year's end.
    • Brean Capital reiterates its Buy rating and $4 price target even as it cut its FY 2014 production expectations to 2,690 boe/day vs. its earlier outlook for 3.1K boe/day after BPZ says overall production so far in Q3 averaged 2,387 boe/day.
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  • 11:46 AM
    • Piper reports 3D Systems (DDD +1.9%) has landed a deal with GM that could be worth $6M-$8M. Shares have spiked higher in response.
    • Analyst Troy Jensen: "To our knowledge Detroit experienced significant rainfall over a short period of time and this caused a flood in General Motors' Rapid Prototyping facility ... This ultimately ruined multiple machines and we believe General Motors purchased or ordered 11 iPro 8000s (list for roughly $600K) and a couple of SinterStation machines in the September quarter."
    • By itself, the deal doesn't move the needle significantly for 3D Systems: The company's 2014 and 2015 revenue consensus estimates are respectively at $708.8M and $926.2M.
  • 11:25 AM
    • Alibaba (BABA -2.5%) is now down 5% from a post-IPO opening trade of $92.70, and 12% from a peak (reached shortly afterwards) of $99.70. Shares are still up 29% from their $68 IPO price.
    • The decline comes even as bullish notes from non-underwriters continue to arrive. Rosenblatt Securities forecasts Alibaba's sales will rise 48% in FY15 (ends March '15) to $12.51B, and declares the Chinese e-commerce market is still in its early stages.
    • Rosenblatt highlights the transformative impact Alibaba's Taobao site (estimated to account for ~60% of China's e-commerce GMV) is having on a deeply fragmented Chinese retail scene. "The key significance of Taobao in the China market is that it is connecting merchants/consumers across what have been sharp geographic boundaries ... the majority of the Chinese population is not practically reachable from a physical retail reach standpoint."
    • Quartz recently made similar points. "China’s logistics system is governed by nine separate ministries and commissions ... Thanks to high transaction costs, no trucking firm has yet established a nationwide network ... As of 2008, China had only 549,000 retail enterprises, compared with the US’s 1.1 million ... For any customers outside the very biggest cities, product selection was dismal. Online shopping revolutionized that."
    • MKM launched coverage with a Buy and $125 target yesterday. The firm praised Alibaba's business model and dominant market position, and noted there's plenty of room for the company to grow its active buyer count (currently 279M), given China's size. At the same time, concerns were raised about Alibaba's complex ownership structure and near-term mobile monetization.
    • Previous: Analysts defend Alibaba's valuation
    | 1 Comment
  • 11:24 AM
    • The FDA designates Galmed Pharmaceuticals' (GLMD +32.7%) aramchol Fast Track for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). There are currently no approved therapies for NASH.
    • Later this year, the company intends to start a Phase 2b clinical trial evaluating aramchol in 240 NASH patients who also suffer from obesity and insulin resistance. If successful, it will serve as the basis for a pivotal Phase 3 trial.
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  • 11:02 AM
    • Ladenburg Thalman (LTS +1.4%) yesterday announced an agreement to purchase Knoxville-based Securities Service Network for $45M - $25M in cash and $20M of four-year notes.
    • Founded in 1983, SSN has about 450 financial advisors and roughly $13B in client assets. The business had revenue of $115M for the year ended June 30.
    • Following this deal and two other pending purchases, Ladenburg's network of brokerages will have about 4K financial advisors, $125B in client assets, and revenues of $1.1B.
    • Barrington boosts its price target on the Outperform-rated name to $5 from $4.25, noting the fast pace of acquisitions this year.
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  • 10:49 AM
    • Making a lot of noise of late as it tries to become the E*Trade or Interactive Brokers of China, China Finance Online (JRJC +17.3%) announces a partnership with Zhongshan Securities, integrating China Finance's web-based trading platform with Zhongshan's trading and settlement system.
    • The new alliance with one of China's oldest and respected securities firms, says JRJC, will allow customers to easily create new trading accounts and get highly competitive commission rates.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Previously: China Finance Online on the move despite Citron warning
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  • 10:35 AM
    • NQ Mobile has soared in early trading amid rumors China's Bison Capital is still interested in taking the company private at $9.80/share, per the terms of its "non-binding" offer. NQ originally disclosed Bison's offer on July 30.
    • 16.2M shares were shorted as of Aug. 29, making a squeeze easy to come by. NQ remains 35% below Bison's offer price.
  • 10:28 AM
    • Sterne Agee downgrades Del Frisco's Restaurant Group (DFRG -10.1%) to a Neutral rating from Buy.
    • The investment firm cites concerns on growth and valuation on the restaurant operator.
    • Shares of DFRG have fallen today to their lowest level since last December on heavy volume.
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  • 10:28 AM
    • On Track Innovations (NASDAQ:OTIV) and payment card manufacturer ABNote have launched "a major NFC mobile electronic payment trial with one of the largest financial institutions in North America."
    • The solution combined OTIV's Wave NFC dongle (connects to a smartphone/tablet's audio jack) and ABNote's mobile wallet and secure authorization service (Trusted Service Manager).
    • The deal shortly follows the launch of Apple Pay, which (unlike Wave) relies on an NFC radio embedded within iOS hardware, along with a fingerprint reader for authentication.
  • 9:45 AM
    • Peabody Energy (BTU +3.9%) opens higher after reporting higher expectations for Q3 EBITDA, now seeing a range of $190M-$210M, which BTU says reflects strong cost improvements and operating results.
    • BTU says it is experiences higher than expected results from the western U.S., improved performance from Australian metallurgical coal mines and continued cost reductions across the platform.
    • Also updates Q3 EPS targets to a loss of $0.63-$0.69 from prior expectations for a loss of $0.40-$0.53, primarily reflecting the effects of non-cash tax expense following the repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax in Australia.
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:41 AM
    • Norwegian Cruise Holdings (NCLH +0.5%) and Royal Caribbean (RCL +0.1%) trek higher in early trading after rival Carnival tops estimates.
    • Carnival's read on demand and onboard spending is viewed as positive for the sector.
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  • 9:32 AM
    • JPMorgan has downgraded analog chipmakers Analog Devices (ADI -1.1%) and ON Semi (ONNN -1.7%) to Neutral.
    • The firm has doubts about ADI's ability to grow its margins, and observes ON is near its $10 target. ADI offered a slightly soft FQ4 margin forecast last month.
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  • 9:29 AM
    • MagneGas (NASDAQ:MNGA) announces that it has received formal confirmation from the Special Operations Command of the NY Fire Department that it has begun final testing of MagneGas for use as a replacement to acetylene.
    • MNGA +37.6% premarket
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  • 9:10 AM
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  • 9:02 AM
    • Tekmira (NASDAQ:TKMR) is up 9% premarket on robust volume in response to the news that its TKM-Ebola will be involved in the accelerated clinical trials in Africa.
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  • 8:49 AM
    • T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ:TTOO) is up 23% premarket on light volume. Yesterday, the FDA approved its blood test for the detection of five yeast pathogens.
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  • 8:15 AM
    • Shares of Ascena Retail (NASDAQ:ASNA) are in retreat after the firm's quarterly results disappoint.
    • Comparable store sales fell 2% during the quarter, a mark which would have been worse if e-commerce sales didn't contribute a 13% year-over-year rise.
    • Analyst reaction: Oppenheimer cuts its price target to $17, while SunTrust takes its PT even lower to $17.
    • ASNA -11.4% premarket to $14.65.
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  • 7:51 AM
    • Salix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SLXP) is up 9% premarket on light volume. Allergan is rumored to be buying the firm in an all-cash transaction in an effort to fend off Valeant (NYSE:VRX).
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  • 7:16 AM
    • William Blair downgrades Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) to a Market Perform rating from Outperform.
    • The investment firm thinks Dick's could see increased competition from Amazon with the amount of product crossover high.
    • DKS -5.9% premarket
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