Seeking Alpha
  • Friday, August 22, 2014

  • 5:36 PM
  • 5:16 PM
    • John Thaler's JAT Capital has raised its stake in Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) to 4.28M shares (6.7%). In its 13D, JAT says it "may seek to engage" MSG's board to "provide recommendations on ways to achieve long-term value."
    • MSG +1.9% AH to a new 52-week high. Shares have been buoyed by Steve Ballmer's $2B purchase of the Clippers, and its potential implications for the value of the Knicks.
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  • 4:56 PM
    • Veeva (VEEV +7.9%) closed up sharply after partner Salesforce beat FQ2 estimates on the back of better-than-expected billings growth.
    • Veeva's own FQ2 report arrives on Aug. 28. In March, the company extended its Salesforce alliance, under which Veeva is Salesforce's preferred pharma/biotech industry partner, through 2025.
    | Comment!
  • 4:34 PM
    • ParkerVision (PRKR +18%) has added Samsung to the infringement suit it filed against Qualcomm and HTC in May. The company has also added 4 more patents (they relate to down-converting an electromagnetic signal) to the suit, raising the total to 11.
    • ParkerVision, still stinging from the June ruling it received for its prior Qualcomm suit, closed yesterday near its 52-week low of $1.08. Shares slipped last week following ParkerVision's Q2 report.
  • 4:17 PM
  • 2:16 PM
    • Reuters reports Neustar (NSR +5.8%) has received interest from P-E firms, and is working with JPMorgan to review its options.
    • Sources add a formal sale process might not start until the winner of a major government phone number management contract is awarded. Neustar fell in June after an e-mail suggested Ericsson is close to landing the deal.
    • Shares have jumped above $30 on the report. They remain well below a 52-week high of $53.96.
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  • 2:00 PM
    • Re/code: "Sources with direct knowledge of HP’s (NYSE:HPQ) plans — or in this case, lack of plans — told Re/code on Friday that nothing has changed in its view of Rackspace (RAX +1.5%) since our report in July: It has no interest in acquiring it, not then, not now."
    • Shares have pared the morning gains they saw in response to a UBS note speculating H-P could make a ~$45/share bid. Re/code notes remarks made on H-P's Wednesday earnings CC (transcript) about the existence of "material non-public information" (has affected H-P's buyback activity) had bolstered hopes for a Rackspace deal.
    | 1 Comment
  • 1:30 PM
    • Volatile/heavily-shorted 3D printing stocks are rallying strongly on a quiet late-August trading day. 3D Systems (DDD +3%), Stratasys (SSYS +4.2%), Voxeljet (VJET +11.8%), ExOne (XONE +5.4%), and Materialise (MTLS +2.9%) are among the gainers.
    • 3D Systems' short-interest was at a 52-week high of 36.1M shares (34% of the float) on July 31. A relatively modest 15% of Stratasys' float was shorted as of July 31. The figure was 26% for Voxeljet, and a whopping 51% for ExOne.
  • 1:14 PM
    • The ITC has voted to impose anti-dumping duties on steel pipe imports from South Korea, India, Taiwan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and Vietnam. Tariffs as high as 118% can be assigned.
    • U.S. Steel (X +2.3%), among the companies to have filed an ITC complaint on the matter, is rallying. As is AK Steel (AKS +3.7%). A trade group estimates imports of "oil country tubular goods" (the focus of the ITC ruling) accounted for almost 2/3 of the U.S. market last year.
    • In a statement, U.S. Steel says it will "continue to evaluate all of its options." That includes "further litigation" against Saudi Arabia, which was excluded from the final ITC ruling due to an amended final determination by the DoC, and the Philippines and Thailand, who were fully exempted.
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  • 1:06 PM
    • Shares of Coffee Holdings (JVA +7.5%) are getting a jolt off the news that Keurig will distribute Kraft coffee brands for its brewing machines.
    • Coffee Holdings sells both private-label and branded coffee which compete with Kraft's products.
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:59 PM
    • Salesforce's (NYSE:CRM) 33% Y/Y FQ2 billings growth was better than a Street forecast of 28%, says Nomura (Buy). The firm also estimates organic revenue growth was 28% (total growth was 38%), and notes op. cash flow grew 34% to $246M.
    • Nomura sees Salesforce's Microsoft partnership yielding favorable press this fall, and also thinks Salesforce will announce a new cloud service, possibly by leveraging recently-acquired CRM analytics startup RelateIQ.
    • BofA/Merrill (Buy) also talks up Salesforce's billings/cash flow growth, and points out the company's backlog ($7.35B) is now 24% above forward revenue estimates. FBR likes the fact op. margin (a recent concern, given heavy spending) rose 130 bps.
    • Goldman (Conviction Buy) observes FQ3 guidance implies ~25% billings growth, which in turn points to a pickup in organic growth. "We believe CRM continues to be the preeminent SaaS vendor with significant runway ahead."
    • On the CC (transcript), Salesforce mentioned it struck major deals with 3M and Safeway during FQ2, and expanded relationships with GM, P&G, and Yahoo (among others). The company also claimed European deal activity is picking up. Marc Benioff: "Europe tends to be a laggard when it comes to implementing new technology. And that has not escaped our cloud companies."
    • Prior Salesforce earnings coverage
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  • 12:45 PM
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  • 12:26 PM
    • "A lot of blue sky in this name," tweets Citron Research today of China Finance Online (JRJC +8.5%).
    • The stock has more than doubled in the past few sessions following a deal to launch China's first online stock trading platform, and Citron temporarily dented the run yesterday after pointing out this is hardly the case. Citron forwards investors to JRJC's annual report where it says well-heeled competitors like Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu have all recently launched Web-based financial platforms.
  • 12:09 PM
    • Imperial Capital has launched coverage on MDM software vendor MobileIron (MOBL +3.2%) with an Outperform and $11 target, and on RFID hardware/software provider SuperCom (SPCB +5.7%) with an Outperform and $14 target.
    • "We believe MobileIron is positioned to capitalize on the network effect of its mobile ecosystem," writes Imperial's Michael Kim. He sees plenty of room for the company to grow sales to existing clients via cross-selling and up-selling, and to add to its customer base via channel partnerships.
    • MobileIron is now slightly above its $9 June IPO price. SuperCom is up 149% YTD.
  • 11:28 AM
    • Rackspace (RAX +3.9%) could receive a ~$45/share bid from H-P, UBS speculates in a morning note. Shares have rallied in response.
    • Last month, TechCrunch reported hearing of an H-P bid for Rackspace, but later backtracked a bit. The following week, re/code stated multiple sources had "categorically denied" the H-P report.
    • Shares are up 20% from their Aug. 12 post-earnings lows, aided by Dan Loeb and Blue Harbour Group's disclosures.
    | Comment!
  • 10:22 AM
    • Morgan Stanley has downgraded (WUBA -5.8%) to Underweight a day after the Chinese online classifieds leader sold off due to its soft Q3 guidance and aggressive spending plans.
    • Much like Credit Suisse, MS is worried's spending will pressure margins. Its target is $37.50.
    | Comment!
  • 10:12 AM
    • The major equity averages remain little-changed as do Treasury prices following the release of Janet Yellen's Jackson Hole address. Her talk sticks to the game plan - the first rate hike remains on tap for next year; the headline unemployment rate overstates labor market improvement; if employment or inflation picks up, hikes could come sooner than expected.
    • SPY +0.1%, TLT +0.1%, TBT -0.2%
    • Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) remains as it was prior to the speech, +0.2% to $1,278 per ounce.
    • The dollar (UUP +0.2%) creeps higher.
  • 9:58 AM
    • Shares of Inter Parfums (IPAR +3.4%) are on the move after Citi upgrades the stock to a Buy rating from Neutral and sets a $33 price target.
    • The investment firm likes valuation at current levels.
    | Comment!
  • 9:41 AM
    • Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR +8.5%) and Kraft Foods Group (KRFT +0.3%) sign a new licensing deal which will see Kraft-branded packs sold for Keurig commercial and consumer coffee brewing systems in the U.S.
    • Distribution will begin this fall.
    • Financial terms of the arrangement weren't disclosed.
    • What to watch: The deal is a bit of a coup for Keurig with Kraft selling unlicensed K-cup packets previously.
  • 9:38 AM
    • Outliers to the downside in the industrial REIT sector in early action are DCT Industrial (DCT -1%) and Liberty Property Trust (LPT -1.2%) after BMO Capital pulls its Outperform ratings on the two.
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