Today - Friday, November 28, 2014
- Activist Starboard Value has disclosed a 2.2M-share (7.2%) stake in DRAM/SRAM maker Integrated Silicon (NASDAQ:ISSI). (13D filing)
- Starboard says it has "engaged, and intend to continue to engage, in discussions with management and the Board of [ISSI] regarding corporate strategy and Board representation and the composition of [ISSI's] Board, generally."
- Already hit hard over the last two years by declining prices, gold and silver miners saw more pain today as commodity stocks in general got hammered thanks to OPEC's decision not to slash crude production.
- Decliners: ABX -8%. GG -6.1%. AUY -9.8%. KGC -8.2%. GFI -9.9%. SLW -7%. NEM -5.8%. AGI -6.9%. PAAS -9%. AG -15.4%. SSRI -11.6%. CDE -11.4%. HL -8.8%. TAHO -7.8%.
- Previous: Precious metals slide alongside oil; Swiss vote ahead
- Bloomberg reports Vodafone (VOD +2.6%) is exploring a "combination" with European cable giant Liberty Global (LBTYA +7.4%). Liberty has soared on the news.
- Liberty operates in 14 countries (12 in Europe), passes 52M homes, and claims 27M customers and trailing annual revenue of $20B. Vodafone has already acquired Spanish and German cable giants ONO and Kabel Deutschland, and has declared it wants to offer mobile/wireline bundles throughout Europe.
- Earlier: UBS upgrades Vodafone
- "OPEC, like Rockefeller, ultimately damned itself," writes Wolfe Research's Paul Sankey. He doesn't see oil demand ratcheting upwards because of the drop in oil prices; instead, he says, the market will only clear at the point of U.S. supply growth destruction.
- This could take months and a price of around $50 per barrel ... "And then we squeeze radically higher. As a result, the world accelerates its move away from oil."
- "This is going to be volatile, and we can't understand how that helps the Saudis. Volatility sels Teslas."
- WTI crude (NYSEARCA:USO) tried bouncing earlier, but is now lower by 8.5% at $67.43 per barrel. The Energy Select SPDR (XLE -6.6%) is also set to close today's shortened session on the lows.
- ETFs: USO, XLE, OIL, UCO, ERX, VDE, OIH, SCO, XOP, ERY, DIG, BNO, UGA, DTO, DBO, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, CRUD, IEZ, UWTI, PXE, USL, FENY, PXJ, DWTI, DBE, DNO, PSCE, RJN, RYE, SZO, FXN, OLO, JJE, DDG, ONG, RGRE, OLEM, TWTI, UBN
- Fracking sand plays U.S. Silica (SLCA -26.3%), Hi-Crush Partners (HCLP -17.3%), and Emerge Energy (EMES -16.5%) are among the many energy names sporting double-digit declines in response to OPEC's decision not to cut crude production, and the resulting plunge in crude prices. As are proppant providers Carbo Ceramics (CRR -16.2%) and FMSA Holdings (FMSA -16.5%).
- Wells Fargo's Wednesday downgrade of U.S. Silica was well-timed.
- IBM estimates U.S. Thanksgiving online sales rose 14% Y/Y, aided by a 29.8% increase in sales from department store sites. Mobile respectively accounted for 32.3% and 52.1% of sales and site traffic, up from 25.8% and 42.6% a year ago. Average order value fell by $7 to $125.
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -0.9%) reports its clients' Thanksgiving same-store sales rose 20.1%. Their Amazon (AMZN +1.7%) same-store sales rose 25.9%, but their eBay (EBAY +0.8%) sales fell 3%. Notably, all other marketplaces collectively saw 110% growth - retailers such as Best Buy and Sears have been adding marketplaces to complement their direct sales.
- For reference, ChannelAdvisor reported 32.4% and 4.4% Amazon and eBay October same-store growth, respectively. eBay has been losing marketplace share to Amazon for some time, and was hit this summer by Google algorithm changes and a security breach.
- Early reports for Black Friday sales have generally been positive.
- Atlantic Equities has downgraded Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) to Neutral, and slashed its target by $5 to $55. The firm expects weak crude oil prices to pressure Dow's polyolefin margins.
- Crude prices have plunged below $70/barrel today after OPEC decided not to cut production. Commodity stocks aren't taking the news well.
- Citing concerns about margin pressure, Pac Crest has downgraded Perfect World (NASDAQ:PWRD) to Sector Perform in the wake of the company's Q3 report.
- Perfect World reported an 880 bps Y/Y drop in gross margin on Tuesday, and a 33% increase in opex (above revenue growth of 17%). On the CC (transcript), CFO Kelvin Lau noted Perfect World's gross margin for mobile games is typically lower than that for PC games due to revenue-sharing agreements."I think the trend is to give away 30% to 40%, less than 50% of the revenue sharing."
- JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have joined Barclays, UBS, and Raymond James in downgrading Ctrip (CTRP -1.3%) to neutral ratings on account of its soft Q4 sales and margin guidance.
- Like several peers, both JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley expect Ctrip to continue spending heavily to build its brand and stave off rivals in a very competitive Chinese online travel market.
- Rival eLong (LONG -5%) has sold off hard, albeit on volume of just 3.3K shares.
- The ruble hit an all-time low of 49.90 vs the dollar after OPEC yesterday declined to cut production, sending oil plunging below $70 per barrel.
- Moving to try and stem the decline, the Bank of Russia today announced an extension of time in which $2B currency swap operations are allowed.
- RSX -4.3%
- ETFs: RSX, RUSL, RUSS, RSXJ, ERUS, RBL
- Automobile stocks are higher as a group after oil prices slide.
- General Motors (NYSE:GM) is up 2.3% and Toyota is 1.1% higher, while shares of Ford (NYSE:F) are just poking out a modest 0.1% gain.
- There's some concerns that Ford's big bet on aluminum loses some of its relevance if gas prices shoot lower.
- Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF) and BMW (OTCPK:BAMXY) are both beating broad market averages with +1% gains.
- EV automaker Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) is down 2.1% on the day.
- Bankrupt biotech Affymax (OTCPK:AFFY +127.6%) jumps on an 8x surge in volume as traders move to capture the $0.05 dividend payable to shareholders of record December 2, 2014.
- Previously: Affymax declares cash distribution, names new chief
- Previously: The end for Affymax
- Solar stocks are getting hit hard (TAN -5.1%) after OPEC opted against cutting oil production, leading crude prices to plunge below $70/barrel and sparking huge selloffs in energy/commodity stocks. Fuel cell stocks aren't faring much better.
- Solar decliners: FSLR -6.8%. SPWR -6%. SUNE -5.7%. SCTY -2.9%. CSIQ -10.7%. SOL -9.1%. YGE -7.3%. DQ -7.2%. ENPH -6.8%. TSL -6.9%. JASO -7.5%. RGSE -3.9%. JKS -6.9%. CSUN -3.5%. VSLR -3.7%. HSOL -3.8%.
- Fuel cell decliners: BLDP -6.1%. FCEL -4.5%. PLUG -2.3%. HYGS -5.3%.
- Oil service companies mull OPEC's threat to the U.S. shale boom by its decision to hold production and the resulting tumble in oil prices.
- C&J Energy (CJES -17.6%), RPC, Inc. (RES -14.5%), GreenHunter Resources (GRH -9.5%), Seventy Seven Energy (SSE -16.5%), Pioneer Energy (PES -13%).
- Larger names: Halliburton (HAL -11.5%), Schlumberger (SLB -9.7%), Superior Energy (SPN -15%), Baker Hughes (BHI -9.1%).
- Ladenburg Thalman throws in the towel on Oasis Petroleum (OAS -30%), Denbury Resources (DNR -14.9%), Resolute Energy (REN -18.3%) following OPEC's decision yesterday to hold production levels and the resulting tumble in crude oil, with WTI crude -6.4% to $69.95 per barrel.
- Some others: Bonanza Creek (BCEI -21.5%), Northern Oil & Gas (NOG -16.2%), Warren Resources (WRES -16.3%), Halcon Resources (HK -22%), Triangle Petroleum (TPLM -21%), Emerald Oil (EOX -26.4%), Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG -19.3%).
- OPEC's Thursday decision to keep oil production unchanged has sparked a commodity stock rout, one that hasn't left coal stocks unscathed.
- Major decliners: BTU -6%. ACI -6.6%. ANR -6.2%. CLD -4.3%. CNX -2.8%. NRP -3.5%. ARLP -3%. CLF -3.6%.
- Thermal coal prices have already fallen sharply this year.
- ETF: KOL
10:20 AM| 6 Comments