Halliburton (HAL -1.7%) is said to have placed the lowest-cost bid for 30% of the job, and Baker Hughes (BHI -1.6%) appears positioned to win the remaining 20%.
The contract involves a cabling technology used by energy companies to lower equipment into wells for repairs and maintenance or to evaluate reservoirs; SLB is the biggest global provider of these wireline services in a ~$20B/year market.
It's another down day for offshore drillers after rig owner Noble Corp. (NE -4.5%) signs a pair of new contracts for work in the Gulf of Mexico at substantially reduced dayrates.
NE's updated fleet status report highlighted a new contract for the Danny Adkins in the Gulf in a minimum 200-day program at $317K/day vs, its previous rate of $498K/day and analyst expectations for the high $300K; the less than rosy update prompts Johnson RIce to lower its 2014 and 2015 EPS estimates to $3.06 and $2.98 from $3.16 and $3.27 previously.
Seadrill (SDRL -5.4%) also is getting smacked after offering up its own pessimistic take on the offshore drilling industry, and its deal with Rosneft could be threatened by the latest sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and EU.
China's top three solar panel makers are at full capacity and will have to expand their production, Gao says, noting that TSL's solar panel production will rise to 3.8 GW by year-end, up from ~3.4 GW at the end of June.
China recently announced new subsidies for smaller solar energy projects, which Goldman Sachs says will make selling power to the country's electrical grid much more lucrative for the operators and will cause prices of solar components to rise.
T-Mobile US (TMUS +1.7%) added 552K postpaid customers in August, more customer additions than any other month in the company's history, and added 208K prepaid customers, CEO John Legere tells investors at the Goldman Conference in NYC.
The wave of new subscribers was in part due to the popularity of a promotion that allows customers to add four lines for $100/month, Legere says.
Earlier, Argus upgraded shares to Buy from Hold with a $40 price target, saying a series of innovative plans promoted with razzle-dazzle marketing is gaining traction with subscribers; the firm also expects the latest TMUS offer, which facilitates Wi-Fi communications and interoperability with the cellular network, to resonate with subscribers.
Adjusted FFO of $0.12 per share was shy of the dividend by $0.01 and - on the earnings call (transcript) - RBC's Michael Salinksy pressed management on whether it's rolling back its goal of dividend coverage to 2016 from 2015. Management's response is they are still shooting or 2015, but it's looking like 2016 is the more likely scenario at this point.
RBC today downgrades Investors Real Estate Trust (IRET -4%) to Underperform, with price target cut to $8 from $9.
South Africa’s central bank pressed AngloGold Ashanti (AU +2.2%) to increase the size of a planned share sale that’s opposed by hedge fund manager John Paulson, Bloomberg reports.
AU is said to have initially sought to raise just over $1B from investors to strengthen its balance sheet, but that was increased to $2.1B to satisfy the concerns of the South African Reserve Bank over the split of the company into separate entities housing South African and international operations.
The bank’s insistence may help explain why AU is moving forward with a plan that saw its shares fall sharply and drew criticism from investors including Paulson.
Lululemon's (LULU +3.3%) earnings beat this week had a lot to do with conservative guidance, says BMO Nesbitt Burn's John Morris.
The analyst thinks visibility is still lacking on the apparel seller's sale and margin recovery.
Citigroup warns on a mix shift at Lululemon to lower-margin items and pricing pressure from competitors.
There's still plenty of positive to latch onto say other analysts leaning to the bullish side. The addition of new "smart money" board members at the company and the expansive growth of the athletic apparel category gives Lululemon long-term potential.
IDT Corporation (IDT +4%) will get around $74M for its 78% stake in Fabrix Systems (Ericson is buying Fabrix for $95M).
Bullish on IDT for some time, SA Pro author Whopper Investments has mixed feelings on the sale - he had valued IDT's stake at $70M, so there's a bit of a boost there. On the other hand, there had been chatter IBM offered $100M for Fabrix a few years back and Fabrix has grown significantly since - seeing it sold for less than that amount is a bit of a disappointment.
IDT, says Whopper, remains very cheap, and perhaps a buyback is in order with the cash from the sale (but don't hold your breath).
It's taken less than two weeks in September to erase all of the summer's big gains in long-term Treasury prices. Today's five basis point jump in the 10-year yield to 2.60% brings it above the level it was at just after the Memorial Day weekend.
If Europe led yields south during the summer, it's leading them north now, with the German 10-year Bund yield up another five basis points to 1.05% after sinking to below 0.9% two weeks ago. Italian, Spanish, and British yields are sharply higher as well (though all three countries sport 10-year rates lower than the U.S.).
Autobytel (ABTL +7.2%) opens strong after saying it sees Q3 revenue growth of 25%-26% Y/Y, at the high end of its previously announced guidance, and reiterates its guidance for Q3 adjusted EBITDA of $0.22-$0.25/share.
ABTL says expected Q3 results are based on solid July and August business trends and a strong start to September, reflecting a strong auto leads business and ongoing healthy automotive market.