Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

  • 10:11 AM
    • McDonald's (MCD -0.5%) will stop buying chickens raised with human antibiotics in a gradual process, according to a report from Reuters.
    • An announcement by the company is expected later today.
    • The development could be a "tipping point" in the poultry industry, notes industry insider Jonathan Kaplan.
    • Shares of chicken-focused Pilgrim's Pride (PPC -1.5%) are lower - while Tyson Foods (TSN -1%), Sanderson Farms (SAFM -0.6%), and Hormel (HRL -0.6%) could all be impacted by a heightened focus on the use of antibiotics with livestock.
    • Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD -1.7%) is also on watch as a company that buys a fair amount of chicken from suppliers.
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  • 10:06 AM
    • In an update regarding its various infringement suits, Spherix (NASDAQ:SPEX) states a Markman hearing for its suit against Verizon will take place on March 16, and that a 5-day trial for the case is set to start on May 18.
    • The company also states (among other things) the court handling Spherix's suit against T-Mobile issued an order in January requiring both parties to serve initial disclosures and submit a joint status report, and that a Markman hearing for its suit against Huawei will take place on July 17. That case is set to go to trial on Feb. 8, 2016.
    • Shares have risen back above $1 following the update.
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  • 9:51 AM
    • Trina (NYSE:TSL) shipped 1.098GW of solar modules in Q4, up from 1.064GW in Q3 and 770MW a year earlier, and above guidance of 1.045GW-1.095GW. Rising shipments to Europe, China, and the rest of Asia drove the Q/Q growth. Only 28MW of shipments were for Trina's downstream solar projects.
    • Trina expects only 840MW-870MW of module shipments in seasonally weak Q1, but a healthy 4.4GW-4.6GW for the whole of 2015 (up from 2014's 3.66GW and good for 20%-26% growth). The 2015 revenue growth consensus (assumes module ASP declines) is at 15.9%.
    • The company plans to add 500MW-800MW of module capacity in 2015, partly via low-cost non-Chinese plants. 700MW-750MW of downstream projects are expected to go live.
    • Pressuring Q4 EPS: Gross margin fell to 15.7% from Q3's 16.7%, though it was still up from 15.1% a year ago. Trina blames the Q/Q drop on a mix shift towards China and other lower-ASP Asian markets relative to higher-ASP Japan, as well as "a general decline in ASPs in some other key markets."
    • Operating expenses were up 35.7% Y/Y and made up 11.4% of revenue vs. 10.9% in Q3 and 11.3% a year ago. Trina ended Q4 with $539.8M in cash and $842.7M in bank borrowings.
    • Trina is making new 2015 highs. ReneSola is also higher this morning in response to its Q4 numbers.
    • Q4 results, PR
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  • 9:50 AM
    • Thinly-traded micro cap Coronado Biosciences (CNDO +15.8%) jumps in early trading in response to its announcement of the signing of a collaboration agreement with a researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to develop novel immuno-oncology antibodies for blood cancers.
    • The company will form a new subsidiary, Checkpoint Therapeutics, to develop a portfolio of antibodies produced in the laboratory of Dr. Wayne Marasco, M.D. at Dana-Farber, including PD-L1, GITR and CAIX. Clinical trials are expected to commence in H2 2016.
    • Dr. Marasco will chair the Scientific Advisory Board of the company and Checkpoint will pay Dana-Farber an undisclosed upfront licensing fee, development and sales milestones and royalties on net sales.
    • In connection with the Dana-Farber partnership, Checkpoint inks a collaboration deal with TG Therapeutics (TGTX +2.3%) to develop and commercialize anti-PD-L1 and anti-GITR in hematologic malignancies. Both programs are in preclinical development. Checkpoint retains the rights to develop and commercialize both antibodies in solid tumors. Under the terms of the agreement, TG will pay Checkpoint an disclosed upfront license fee, development and sales milestones and tiered single-digit royalties on net sales.
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  • 9:36 AM
    • Essent Group (ESNT +2.3%) continues a nice run after an upgrade to Outperform from KBW. The stock's higher by about one-third since late summer.
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  • 9:22 AM
    • Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE) plans to make an aggressive push into home goods and furniture through new licensing agreements.
    • "The breadth of our home décor line will feature products at all access points in both pricing and distribution from an $8 notebook to an $8,000 piece of furniture," disclosed CEO Craig Leavitt during the earnings call yesterday.
    • Kate Spade earnings call
    • KATE -1.0% premarket to $34.23.
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  • 9:13 AM
    | 1 Comment
  • 9:07 AM
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  • 8:59 AM
    • American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) reports comparable sales were flat during Q4 and declined 5% for the year.
    • Gross profit rate +320 bps to 35.1%.
    • Merchandise inventories -4.31% Y/Y to $278.97M.
    • Store count -10 Y/Y to 1,056.
    • Q1 Guidance: Diluted EPS: $0.09 to $0.12.
    • FY2015 Guidance: Capex: ~$150M; Store count: 1,006 to 1,011.
    • AEO +9.24% premarket.
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  • 8:58 AM
    • Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) shares were the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday, with traders acquiring 29,818 put options on the stock, AnalystRatingsNetwork reports.
    • This figure represents an increase of approximately 1,020% compared to the average daily volume of 2,663 put options.
    • Meanwhile, the company reports that February sales were up 8.6% at $298.2M from $274.5M in January.
    • FAST -5.1% premarket
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  • 8:35 AM
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  • 8:25 AM
    • Q4 adjusted net income of $19.2M or $0.26 per share vs. $17.1M and $0.24 one year ago. Full-year adjusted net income of $1.03 per share vs. $0.81 in 2013.
    • Q4 adjusted EBITDA of $40.1M down 8% Y/Y. Full-year adjusted EBITDA of $165.3M up 22% from 2013.
    • Total WSEs as of year-end of about 288K up 25% Y/Y. Company remains confident in outlook and of 15%+ growth in net service revenue this year (gained 21% in 2014).
    • Net insurance revenues, however, are a different story. In Q4, they fell 19% Y/Y to $36.8M, thanks to higher-than-expected large medical claims. "We are working closely with our health insurance partners to identify these large claims earlier in the process to improve our ability to more accurately forecast our Net Insurance Services Revenues," says CEO Burton Goldfield.
    • Previously: TriNet misses by $0.11 (March 3)
    • TNET -13.5% premarket
    | 1 Comment
  • 8:13 AM
    • Alcoa (NYSE:AA) -2.5% and Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX) -1.6% premarket after BofA Merrill downgrades each to Neutral from Buy, as the firm lowers its aluminum forecasts to reflect worsening aluminum fundamentals from increased Chinese exports and pressure from LME warehouse rule changes.
    • BofA says it still believes aluminum can be more defensive vs. other commodities, but it no longer expects falling premiums can be offset by LME price strength near term.
  • 8:12 AM
    • Shares of CarMax (NYSE:KMX) are feeling some pressure early on from a Baird downgrade.
    • The investment firm shifts to a Neutral position on the auto retailer from Outperform with the stock stalled out in the $65-$68 range over the last few months.
    • KMX -1.5% premarket to $66.38.
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  • 8:07 AM
    • Wayfair (NYSE:W) reports direct retail revenue rose 55.2% to $346.65M in Q4.
    • Number of active customers in direct retail business grew 53.8% to 3,217K.
    • LTM net revenue per active customer +6.2% to $342.
    • Orders delivered rose 45.1% to 1.7M.
    • Gross margin rate +13 bps to 24.08%.
    • Q1 Guidance: Net revenue: $375M to $390M; Direct retail revenue: $330M to $340M; Other revenue: $45M to $50M; Adjusted EBITDA margin: -3.5% to -4.0%.
    • +6.93% premarket.
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  • 8:03 AM
    • American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO): Q4 EPS of $0.36 beats by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $1.07B (+2.9% Y/Y) beats by $10M.
    • Shares +7.96% PM.
    • Press Release
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  • 7:56 AM
    • Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS) -4.5% premarket after announcing a public offering of 25M common shares, with an underwriters option to purchase up to another 3.75M shares.
    • OAS says it intends to use the proceeds to repay outstanding borrowings under its credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
  • 7:54 AM
    • Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) reports comparable-store sales fell 10% in FQ4.
    • Comparable sales by brand: Abercrombie & Fitch -9%, abercrombie kids -6%, Hollister -11%.
    • The company says direct-to-consumer sales decelerated in the quarter due to problems in Europe
    • Gross profit rate +190 bps to 60.9% on lower unit costs.
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  • 7:51 AM
    • ReneSola (NYSE:SOL): Q4 EPS of -$0.08 beats by $0.05.
    • Revenue of $387M (-11.8% Y/Y) beats by $31.92M.
    • Shares +7.4% PM.
    • Press Release
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  • 7:37 AM
    • Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF): Q4 EPS of $1.15 in-line.
    • Revenue of $1.12B (-13.8% Y/Y) misses by $50M.
    • Shares +2.13% PM.
    • Press Release
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