Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

  • 7:14 PM
    • Midwestern grocer Roundy's Supermarkets (NYSE:RNDY) is charging it after hours, +12.4% in late trading, after beating on top and bottom lines in Q4.
    • It wraps a "transition year" for the company as it moved out of 27 stores in the Twin Cities market and invested in growth in Illinois. Q4 EBITDA of $37M vs. an expected $37.6M.
    • The company guided to Q1 sales of $980M-$990M, in line, and adjusted EBITDA of $27.5M-$32.5M vs. $32M expected. For full 2015, it projects net sales of $4B-$4.08B vs. $4.03B expected, and EBITDA of $115M-$125M vs. $122M expected.
    • Roundy's is expecting same-store sales to decline 0.25% to 1.25% in Q1, and anywhere from 0.75% to 2.75% for the full year.
    • Debt may still be a concern with total long-term debt at $718M against $78M in cash. Net cash flows from operations for the year were $48M, down from the prior $104M.
    • Press release
    | Comment!
  • 6:58 PM
    • Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX+11.6% AH after Q4 earnings routed analyst expectations and revenues jumped 19% Y/Y and also beat estimates.
    • PEIX's ethanol production gallons sold in Q4 totaled 50.4M, up +24% Y/Y from 40.5M gallons, while third-party gallons sold totaled 84.2M, up 26% from 66.5M; however, the average sales price in the quarter fell to $2.15/gal from $2.36/gal in the same quarter last year.
    • Q4 gross profit was $18.4M vs. $21.6M in the year-ago quarter, which the company says was due to particularly strong production margins in Q4 2013.
    • Expects to complete its acquisition of Aventine this year to become the fifth-largest ethanol producer and marketer in the U.S.
    | Comment!
  • 6:49 PM
    • "When you trade at premium valuation, there is an expectation of flawless execution," says Canaccord's Richard Davis in response to the market's reaction to Veeva's (NYSE:VEEV) FQ4 numbers and FQ1/FY16 guidance. Davis, who remains bullish on the cloud life sciences software vendor, notes that while most of Veeva's FQ4 numbers beat estimates, "unguided cash flow came in light of estimates, driven entirely by the timing of collections on renewals."
    • Deutsche's Karl Keirstead, who downgraded to Hold, observes FQ4 op. cash flow (-$1.3M) was negative for the first time since Veeva's IPO, and that FQ1 billings guidance of $80M-$85M (+8%-15% Y/Y) was well below Deutsche's $102M estimate. "Coupled with the guide for just 20% growth in CRM subscriptions revs growth in FY16 ... we now also wonder if Veeva is seeing a material slowdown in new CRM billings growth as this business (80% of the mix) now has a market share of 50%." His FY16 billings growth forecast has been cut to 25% from 35%.
    • On the CC (transcript), CFO Tim Cabral stated Veeva is seeing more pronounced billings seasonality, with nearly 40% of its subscription revenue base now billed in FQ4. CEO Peter Gassner declared Veeva's acquisition of key opinion leader (KOL) software/data solution Qforma CrowdLink will help the company "deliver a more complete  solution for medical."
    | Comment!
  • 6:26 PM
    • A quarter after reporting an 18% Y/Y revenue drop and a $633K net loss, InfoSonics (NASDAQ:IFON) reported 51% sales growth and net income of $730K. Investors responded by bidding the microcap Android OEM's shares to their highest levels since September.
    • Fueling the turnaround: A 57% Y/Y increase in ASP caused in part by a mix shift towards smartphones. InfoSonics notes it's "responding to customer demand for larger screen devices" and recently launched (in the U.S.) its first 4G phone.
    • Gross margin was 16.5% vs. 14.7% in Q3 and 16.9% a year ago. Operating expenses rose 15% Y/Y to $2.1M. InfoSonics ended Q4 with $1.5M in cash, $15.9M in net working capital, and $2.7M in debt.
    • Q4 results, PR
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:36 PM
    | 1 Comment
  • 5:30 PM
    • 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
    | Comment!
  • 5:07 PM
    • Though Semtech (NASDAQ:SMTC) beat FQ4 estimates, it's guiding for FQ1 revenue of $130M-$136M and EPS of $0.27-$0.30, below a consensus of $136.4M and $0.37.
    • The analog/mixed-signal chipmaker also announces it's buying Triune Systems, a maker of wireless charging, power management, and battery charger chips, for $45M in cash + performance earn-outs. The deal is expected to be financed via Semtech's credit line, and be slightly accretive in FY16 (ends Jan. '16).
    • Shares have fallen to $28.00 AH.
    • FQ4 results, PR
    | Comment!
  • 5:07 PM
    • Encana (NYSE:ECA) -3.5% AH on plans to raise C$1.25B through a bought deal offering of 85.6M common shares at C$14.60 each.
    • The underwriters have the option to purchase an additional 12.8M shares if demand warrants.
    • ECA plans to use the proceeds from the offering to redeem two series of notes worth a combined $1.45B as it looks to reduce debt while commodity prices remain weak.
    | 4 Comments
  • 4:51 PM
    • 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)
    | 4 Comments
  • 4:49 PM
    • Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ:AXAS): Q4 EPS of $0.06 beats by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $31.19M (+40.6% Y/Y) misses by $5.06M.
    • Shares +1.3%.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:32 PM
    • Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC) jumps in apparent response to rumors that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is close to making a premium bid for the $17B biotech. Shares were up 6% in today's session on double normal volume and are up another 2% after hours.
    • The two companies have a history of working together. Pharmacyclics and J&J's Janssen Biotech inked a collaboration deal in late 2011 to develop PCI-32765 for a variety of blood cancers.
    • The transaction would be the largest for J&J since its takeout of Synthes in 2011 for $21.3B.
    | Comment!
  • 4:15 PM
    • Corcept Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CORT): Q4 EPS of -$0.02 beats by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $9.01M (+118.7% Y/Y) misses by $0.09M.
    • Shares +2.3%.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:14 PM
    • Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM): Q4 EPS of $0.14 may not be comparable to consensus of -$0.05.
    • Revenue of $36.8M (+12.5% Y/Y) misses by $5.14M.
    • Shares +4.2%.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 4:07 PM
    • Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX): Q4 EPS of $0.41 beats by $0.26.
    • Revenue of $256.2M (+19.0% Y/Y) beats by $9.83M.
    • Shares +7.2%.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 3:20 PM
    • Dreamworks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) is surging toward the close, up 7.7% now (and +10.9% since Monday).
    • The stock's been swimming in bad news after an awful quarter, but investors may be beginning to listen to chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who says he's re-focusing on the core film business after some distractions in TV, consumer products and digital.
    • He expects the company to break even this year, however. The way forward for the company's divisions is varied and all depends on some extent to making hit movies again.
    • In that case, Cowen's Doug Creutz is still skeptical: "In the near-term, we think the trailers for Home are among the least appealing we have seen from the company," he says, adding most long-term changes won't hit until 2016 or later. Home, coming out this month, is DWA's only scheduled release for 2015.
    • Previously: DreamWorks to sell campus HQ to SunTrust unit (Feb. 26 2015)
    • Previously: DreamWorks pummeled after brutal quarter; rough year ahead (Feb. 24 2015)
    | Comment!
  • 3:03 PM
    | Comment!
  • 3:01 PM
    • Today's notable tech gainers include Chinese online classifieds leader 58.com (WUBA +5.9%), CDN owner Limelight (LLNW +6.5%), account-protection software provider CyberArk (CYBR +3.2%), flash storage array vendor Violin Memory (VMEM +3.8%), online video ad platform Tremor Video (TRMR +4%), and Chinese mobile game publisher Sky-mobi (MOBI +11.9%).
    • Notable decliners include cloud HR/financials software leader Workday (WDAY -5.8%), systems management software vendor SolarWinds (SWI -3.8%), chip packaging IP firm Tessera (TSRA -4.3%), security hardware/software provider KEYW Holding (KEYW -3.7%), and Chinese online real estate play E-House (EJ -4%). The Nasdaq is down 0.2%.
    • Sky-mobi has flown higher since Rosenblatt Securities pounded the table for the company last week. Workday has fallen sharply since last week's FQ4 revenue beat. E-House has gradually declined this week since 58.com announced the purchase of Chinese real estate site Anjuke.
    • Previously covered: Neustar, AeroVironment, Alibaba, SanDisk, Autohome/Bitauto, ReneSola, Trina, Ambarella/GoPro, Bazaarvoice, Veeva
    | 2 Comments
  • 3:01 PM
    • A record low for Turkey's lira against the dollar is driving the country's market lower -- and the currency's performance tends to hit wireless provider Turkcell (TKC -2.4%).
    • The Turkish lira would be the world's worst performer in emerging markets, except for the Brazilian real.
    • Conflict continues between the country's central bank and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who's accused the bank of treason for resisting rate cuts.
    • Meanwhile, with the announcement of 4G tender specifications by the government, Turkcell says it's ready to launch 4G service in country "at the earliest possible time." The tender is expected by the end of May; "Had the government held the tender tomorrow, we would have been ready for it," says acting CEO Ilker Kuruoz.
    • Related stocks: (OTCPK:OGZPY -2.3%), (OTCQX:TKGBY -4.3%), (OTCPK:TAVHY -1.9%). ETF: (TUR -4.1%)
    • Previously: Turkcell follows Turkish trades lower (Feb. 27 2015)
    • Previously: Turkey tumbles as government takes over Bank Asya (Feb. 04 2015)
    | 2 Comments
  • 2:42 PM
    • Bloomberg reports the FCC has recommended a large and hotly-contested local phone number-porting contract go to Ericsson's (ERIC +0.4%) Telcordia unit rather than Neustar (NSR -16.2%). Neustar, whose existing contract expires on June 30, has nosedived in response.
    • Fears that Neustar would lose the contract were already running high following a June 2014 e-mail leak. At the time, Bloomberg noted Neustar has exclusively handled number-porting since 1997, and has generated over $3B in revenue from it.
    • Update: Neustar has released a statement on the FCC staff recommendation. It's not happy. "The LNPA vendor selection process has been botched procedurally. Awarding the contract to manage an essential U.S. telecommunications infrastructure to a foreign manufacturing and telecommunications concern that is not neutral and has substantial commercial arrangements with certain telecommunications carriers would compound the significant errors made in a process that has violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Administrative Procedures Act."
    | Comment!
  • 2:42 PM
    • Lucas Energy (LEI +10.9%) regains compliance with credit covenants after signing collaboration and funding agreements with Victory Energy (OTCQX:VYEY +31.2%).
    • The collaboration deal transfers rights to seven Eagle Ford wells to Victory, which will fund development of the wells.
    • In the funding agreement, all loans made by Victory under this agreement are secured by a pledge of LEI treasury stock.
    | Comment!
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