Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

  • 9:05 AM
    • D.A. Davidson upgrades Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE:PKG) to a Buy rating from Neutral on what it sees as an overreaction to the firm's Q1 guidance.
    • The investment firm sets a $90 price target on shares.
    • It's been a volatile week for the paper/containerboard sector after Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco announced their merger on Monday.
    • PKG +2.5% premarket to $78.20.
    | Comment!
  • 9:03 AM
    • Knight Transportation (NYSE:KNX): Q4 EPS of $0.40 beats by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $317.47M (+27.1% Y/Y) beats by $17.99M.
    • Shares +4.63% PM.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 9:02 AM
    • Thinly-traded micro cap Pluristem Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PSTI) is up 11% premarket on robust volume in apparent response to a bullish report from Acceleron equity research with a price target of $21. It estimates EPS of $0.40 in 2017 and $1.25 in 2018.
    • Acceleron believes the company will make significant progress this year in its clinical pipeline including shortening the time to market for its first product, PLX cells for critical limb ischemia, currently in Phase 2 in Europe. New Adaptive Licensing legislation in the European Union allows for limited commercialization of cell therapies after a successful Phase 2 study. Pluristem has yet to disclose a timeline for approval, however.
    • As with any investment opportunity, retail investors should complete their own thorough due diligence before considering taking action.
    | Comment!
  • 8:40 AM
    • Abiomed (NASDAQ:ABMD) is up 29% premarket on average volume in response to yesterday's announcement of FDA clearance of its Impella RP heart pump under a Humanitarian Device Exemption.
    • Previously: FDA approves Abiomed heart pump under HDE (Jan. 27)
    | Comment!
  • 8:33 AM
    • KCG Hotspot is KCG Holdings' (NYSE:KCG) FX trading venue, and BATS Global is buying for $365M in cash and up to another $70M over the next three years based on certain tax benefits.
    • The deal is expected to boost KCG's tangible book value by about $2 per share.
    • KCG CEO Daniel Coleman: "Upon completion of the deal, our focus will be on putting the cash to good use for KCG and our shareholders."
    • Source: Press release
    • Shares +3.2% premarket
    | Comment!
  • 8:30 AM
    • Net income of $214.2M vs. $198.1M, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Rockwell earned $1.64 per share, up 12% compared to $1.47 in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.
    • Segment sales: Architecture & Software +1.7%; Control Products & Solutions +3.3%.
    • "We are incorporating into our revised outlook a more significant headwind from a stronger U.S. dollar and the anticipated impact of lower oil prices," said CEO Keith Nosbusch.
    • As a result, the company cut its fiscal 2015 adjusted earnings forecast to $6.50-$6.80 per share from $6.55-$6.95.
    • ROK +1.9% premarket
    • FQ1 results
    | Comment!
  • 8:20 AM
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) reports global shipments rose 3.8% Y/Y to 1.17M units in Q4.
    • The automaker improved EBITDA by 39% during the quarter. The EPS mark missed analyst estimates slightly.
    • The biggest gains were struck by the automaker in the North American region.
    • 2015 guidance: Worldwide shipments of 4.8M-5.0M expected.
    • Previously: Fiat Chrysler reports Q4 earnings
    • FCAU -1.1% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 8:08 AM
    • CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM) agrees to acquire TE Connectivity's (NYSE:TEL) telecom, enterprise and wireless businesses for $3B, in an attempt to diversify its operations and broaden its geographic reach.
    • COMM says it expects more than $150M in annual savings starting in the third year after the deal closes.
    • TEL says the sale will allow it to focus on connectivity and sensor markets, particularly harsh environment applications; the deal does not include TEL's subsea communications or data communications businesses.
    • TEL says it will use proceeds from the sale for stock buybacks, as well as acquisitions and other investments; its board authorizes a $3B expansion of its share buyback program.
    • Earlier: TE Connectivity beats by $0.08, misses on revenue
    • TEL +3.6%, COMM +2.1% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 8:01 AM
    • Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) saw strong comps help lift its profit by 20% Y/Y in FQ2.
    • Comparable restaurant sales were up 4.0% at Chili's (company-owned) on a 2.1% increase in traffic and higher prices.
    • Comps rose 2.1% at the Maggiano's chain with both traffic and pricing improved.
    • Restaurant operating margin +60 bps to 16.4% during the quarter.
    • Previously: Brinker beats by $0.02, beats on revenue
    • EAT +0.2% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • 7:58 AM
    • Net income of $1.47B, or $2.02 per share vs. $1.23B, or $1.61 per share in the same quarter a year ago. Core earnings, which exclude some pension and other costs, rose to $2.31 per share from $1.88.
    • Revenues by segment: Commercial Airplanes +15%; Military Aircraft -29%; Network & Space Systems -4%; Global Services & Support +2%.
    • The company repurchased 7.8M shares during the quarter for $1B, and increased the share repurchase authorization to a total of $12B, replacing the authorization approved in 2013 of which approximately $4.8B was remaining.
    • Total backlog at quarter-end was a record $502B, up from $490B at the beginning of the quarter, and included net orders for the quarter of $37B.
    • Core earnings per share guidance for 2015 is set at between $8.20-$8.40, on revenue of $94.5B-$96.5B. The company also expects between 750-755 commercial airplane deliveries in 2015.
    • BA +3.6% premarket
    • Q4 results
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:50 AM
    • Credit Suisse upgrades Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) to Outperform from Neutral.
    • The investment firm boosts its price target on the carrier to $62 from $48.
    • LUV +2.0% premarket to $46.80.
    | Comment!
  • 7:41 AM
    • Credit Suisse downgrades American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) to Neutral from Overweight.
    • The investment firm lowers its price target on the company to $65 from $71.
    • AAL -0.6% premarket to follow up on yesterday's -4.97% drop.
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:31 AM
    • Boeing (NYSE:BA): Q4 EPS of $2.31 beats by $0.20.
    • Revenue of $24.47B (+2.9% Y/Y) beats by $540M.
    • Shares +1.9% PM.
    • Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:17 AM
    • Stocks in Athens are off another 6.2% today, extending their losses to 13% in the three sessions following the coming to power of the anti-bailout Syriza party.
    • The yield on the country's 3-year note is higher by 276 basis points today to 16.78% vs. 10.08% before Sunday's election.
    • Adding a cute foreign policy angle to events, the new government questioned the West's move to impose more sanctions on Russia.
    • GREK -6.8%, NBG -23% premarket
    • Previously: Greek shares drop on privatization freeze (Jan. 28)
  • 7:16 AM
    • Net income of $212M, or $0.76 per share, vs. $167M, or $0.59 per share in the fourth quarter of 2013.
    • Revenue by segment: Bell -$304M; Textron Systems +$212M; Industrial +$89M; Finance -$4M.
    • "Overall, we had a strong fourth quarter, with double digit revenue growth at Textron Aviation, Textron Systems and Industrial," said Textron CEO Scott Donnelly.
    • However, the company gave a muted outlook for 2015, as its Bell helicopter unit struggles with tepid demand.
    • Textron (NYSE:TXT) expects to post per-share earnings of $2.30-$2.50 on revenue of $14.4B vs. analyst expectations of $2.56 a share in earnings on revenue of 14.73B.
    • TXT -0.9% premarket
    • Q4 results
    | Comment!
  • 6:59 AM
    • McCormick (NYSE:MKC) reports gross profit rate increased 20 bps to 43.12%.
    • Segment revenue: Consumer: $773.3M (+1.10%); Industrial: $400.3M (-4.9%).
    • Segment operating income: Consumer: $172.0M (-6.4%); Industrial: $30.3M (-5.7%).
    • Operating margin rate fell 108 bps to $202.3M
    • Income from unconsolidated operations grew 37.0% during the quarter.
    • FY2015 Guidance: Sales: +4% to 6% in local currency; Operating income: +2% to 4%; Adjusted operating income: +4% to +5%; Diluted EPS: $3.41 to $3.48; Adjusted diluted EPS: $3.51 to $3.58.
    • Q4 results
    | Comment!
  • 6:48 AM
  • 6:03 AM
    • TE Connectivity (NYSE:TEL): FQ1 EPS of $0.98 beats by $0.08.
    • Revenue of $3.47B (+4.2% Y/Y) misses by $40M.
    • Shares +6.93% PM.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 5:01 AM
    • In addition to plunging Greek bank shares, Greek utility PPC and Greece's biggest port, Piraeus Port Authority led the Athens' ATG stock index down 4.4% today, after the new Syriza government said it would freeze its privatization plans.
    • The newly elected government also denounced a European Council statement in which European leaders blamed Russia for the escalating violence in Ukraine and raised the prospect of new economic sanctions.
    • Having a Greek prime minister with with a strongly dissenting view could greatly complicate EU foreign policy, as further sanctions cannot be approved without a unanimous vote from leaders of every EU member nation.
    • ETFs: GREK -3.8% premarket
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015

  • 8:14 PM
    • Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) guided on its FQ2 CC for FQ3 revenue of $3.6B-$3.7B and EPS of $1.90-$2.00, mostly below a consensus of $3.73 and $1.99. With shares having already plunged over the last two days due to Seagate's outlook and Microsoft's numbers, investors are giving the hard drive giant a pass.
    • FQ2 gross margin was 30.5%, up from 30.1% in FQ1 and the year-ago period, and above guidance for GM to be flat Q/Q. Western is also guiding for GM to be roughly flat Q/Q in FQ3.
    • Notably, Western puts the total addressable market for hard drives in calendar Q4 at 140.8M units, less than the 144M-145M estimated by Seagate. That implies an FQ2 share of 43.4%, down from 44% in FQ1 and 44.4% a year ago. Average shipped drive capacity rose to 1.09TB from 1.00TB in FQ1 and 874GB a year ago. ASP was at $60.
    • $309M was spent on buybacks, boosting EPS. R&D spend rose 2% to $426M, and SG&A spend 27% to $164M.
    • FQ2 results, PR, prepared remarks, factsheet (.pdf)
    | Comment!
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