Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Monday, November 24, 2014

  • 12:08 PM
    • SunEdison (SUNE -0.5%) is forming a JV with Brazilian renewable energy leader Renova Energia that will "develop, own, and operate" 1GW of local solar projects.
    • Four utility-scale solar projects are expected to be constructed in Bahia State by 2017. SunEdison will be supplying modules/trackers, and the Brazilian Development Bank will provide project financing.
    • Last month, SunEdison announced a Chinese solar project JV that aims to construct up to 1GW of capacity,  and an MOU with the Indian state of Rajasthan to "establish 5 GWs of capacity in the form of multiple Mega Solar Projects."
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  • 11:41 AM
    • The closing date for RF Micro (RFMD +1.5%) and TriQuint's (TQNT +2.2%) all-stock "merger of equals" has been set at the end of each company's calendar Q4.
    • As previously announced, RF Micro/TriQuint will be known as Qorvo post-merger, and trade under the symbol QRVO.
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  • 11:27 AM
    • American Tower (AMT +0.2%) hasn't disclosed how much it's paying to buy Airtel's Nigerian tower portfolio. Airtel's Nigerian unit will act as the portfolio's anchor tenant, courtesy of a 10-year lease. (PR)
    • AMT CEO Jim Taiclet: "With the largest population and economy in Africa and relatively underdeveloped wireless infrastructure, we view Nigeria as a tremendous growth opportunity. Further, we expect this investment to support our long-term objective of generating double-digit AFFO per share growth for our stockholders."
    • The agreement comes on the heels of a $1.2B deal to buy 6,480 Brazilian towers from TIM Participacoes.
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  • 11:12 AM
    • Needham has upgraded Infoblox (BLOX +1.2%) to Buy ahead of tomorrow's FQ1 report.
    • Shares are up 22% since Infoblox posted an FQ4 beat and provided strong FQ1 sales guidance in September. But they're still down 50% YTD.
    | Comment!
  • 10:56 AM
    • Optimistic about enterprise Wi-Fi growth and viewing Friday's post-earnings selloff (caused by light guidance) as a buying opportunity, Raymond James has upgraded Aruba (ARUN +2.6%) to Outperform. Its target is $25.
    • BofA/Merrill downgraded Aruba to Underperform on Friday; Dougherty and others defended the company.
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  • 10:43 AM
    • Believing 2015 estimates are too high, SunTrust has downgraded WebMD (WBMD -2.7%) to Neutral, and slashed its target by $15 to $40.
    • Shares aren't far removed from a 52-week low of $34.48. WebMD sold off hard three weeks ago after providing soft Q4 guidance to go with mixed Q3 results.
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  • 10:26 AM
    • Citing higher spectrum and network investment costs, and the revenue impact of tougher price competition, Citi's Michael Rolling has downgraded Verizon (VZ -1.9%) to Neutral. AT&T (T -1.9%) is following Verizon lower.
    • Rollins: "We believe the wireless industry is experiencing a great disconnect between the growth in data traffic and the growth in revenue ... We continue to fear that recent promotions create risk that the wireless industry at large may not be able to capture substantial incremental revenue from the rise in data consumption over time."
    • Verizon has largely maintained its premium pricing in the face of major price cuts from T-Mobile and Sprint, but the carrier has been offering more data promos as of late. AT&T has been more willing to return fire, and has seen its wireless service growth revenue evaporate along the way.
    • Last Friday: FCC auction bids hit $33B
  • 10:02 AM
    • NXP (NXPI +2%) plans to sell $1B worth of cash-convertible senior notes due 2019. Initial purchasers are expected to have a $150M overallotment option.
    • Up to €225M ($281M) of the proceeds will go towards repaying intercompany loans to subsidiaries, and up to $250M will be directed towards buybacks. The remainder will be used for note hedge transactions and "general corporate purposes, including additional share repurchases and potential acquisitions."
    • NXP spent $574M on buybacks in Q3. Thanks to its P-E legacy, the company had $3.8B in debt at quarter's end, to go with $594M in cash.
    | Comment!
  • 9:56 AM
    • Baird's Ben Kallo has upgraded SolarCity (SCTY +1.8%) to Outperform, albeit while keeping his $83 target intact.
    • Baird's timing has been good so far this year. The firm downgraded SolarCity to Neutral on Aug. 19, when shares were at $72.05. Before that, it upgraded on April 17, when SolarCity was at $56.11.
  • 9:36 AM
    • Rambus' (RMBS +2%) Cryptography Research unit "has licensed select security-related technologies" to Cisco.
    • The deal allows Cisco to "integrate relevant security technologies into Cisco products to provide protection against unauthorized access and mitigate security threats." Terms are confidential.
    • Other licensees of Rambus' security IP include Qualcomm, Fairchild, and STMicroelectronics. Rambus bought Cryptography Research in 2011 for $342M.
    | Comment!
  • 9:29 AM
    • Nearly a decade after it sold U.K. mobile carrier O2 to Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), BT is thinking of either buying back O2 or acquiring rival EE from Orange (NYSE:ORAN) and Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY), the FT reports. Spain's El Confidencial reports Telefonica could sell O2 in exchange for a 20% stake in BT.
    • BT owns 4G spectrum, and already offers MVNO services through a deal with EE. EE and Vodafone are hatching plans to encroach on BT's turf by offering quad-play bundles. Engadget notes acquiring a mobile carrier make BT the only carrier with "full control over its home phone, broadband, mobile and TV services."
    • BT has confirmed it has "received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business." Orange CEO Stephane Richard recently stated EE's 50/50 ownership structure was unlikely to last.
    • BT +3.3% premarket. TEF +1.5%.
    | Comment!
  • 8:35 AM
    • Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) -4.3% premarket after beating Q3 earnings expectations but cutting its full-year solar module shipment forecast, largely due to the cancellation of a 130 MW solar project in Mongolia.
    • TSL lowered its FY 2014 module shipment forecast to 3.61-3.66 GW from its prior outlook for 3.6-3.8 GW; for Q4, TSL expects solar module shipments of 1,045-1,095 MW vs. 1,063 MW shipped in Q3.
    • In Q3, TSL's gross margins rose to 16.7% from 15.2% a year earlier, helped by increased shipments to the Japanese market and the sale of a solar project in the U.K.; expects Q4 gross margins of 14.5%-15.5%.
  • 8:11 AM
    • 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) agrees to acquire Israel's Cimatron (NASDAQ:CIMT) for ~$97M to strengthen its position in the 3D design and manufacturing business.
    • CIMT provides CAD and CAM software products and solutions for 3D manufacturing; DDD will pay $8.97/share, a 47.5% premium to CIMT's Nasdaq closing price on Friday.
    • CIMT +42.7% premarket, DDD +0.5%.
  • 6:03 AM
    • Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL): Q3 EPS of $0.34 beats by $0.19.
    • Revenue of $616.8M (+12.5% Y/Y) misses by $28.88M.
    • Press Release
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  • 5:22 AM
    • Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF, OTC:SSNGY) is planning a major management shake-up next month, as Lee Jae-yong, the technology group’s presumed heir, looks to cement his control over the company as his father remains hospitalized following a heart attack in May.
    • The leadership changes, likely to be announced next week, could declare the replacement of Shin Jong-kyun, head of the group's mobile division.
    • Last month, Samsung reported its weakest quarterly earnings in three years, prompting the group to cut back on its smartphone portfolio.
    | Comment!
  • 3:30 AM
    • Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shares are likely to rise 30% over the next two years and are now halfway to the five-year doubling point Barron's predicted last year, the weekly magazine announced.
    • A 30% rise over the next two years would put shares at around 16 times future earnings estimates, the same price to 2014 earnings ratio that it now trades at.
    • Source: Barron's
  • Saturday, November 22, 2014

  • 3:37 PM
    • The Rayno Report states Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has launched a major trial of bare-metal (commodity) switches running on a networking OS and SDN switching software respectively supplied by startups Cumulus Networks and Pica8.
    • Light Reading backs up the report, while adding Verizon "aims to determine whether bare-metal switches ... could eventually replace more expensive, proprietary Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) equipment." Nonetheless, Rayno reports Juniper is a part of the trial, supplying "routing and switching technology that helps tie the network together with VXLAN [networking virtualization] technology."
    • Though the trial is in its early stages, both sites report hearing it's a big deal, given the potential for bare-metal/white-box gear to replace proprietary hardware on a large scale. "[Verizon] can reduce their costs massively," says a Rayno source. The trial coincides with the deployment by Verizon's cloud services ops of an SDN solution using server-based hardware from Super Micro (NASDAQ:SMCI).
    • Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), which maintains a 60%+ data center switch share and a leading position in the carrier router market, has already called white-box hardware its biggest threat. Internet giants have been quick to embrace SDN/white-box solutions - Facebook has even open-sourced a data center switch design - and AT&T is looking to adopt SDN through its Domain 2.0 initiative.
    • Cisco's recently-launched ACI/APIC SDN/networking virtualization solution is gaining traction within the company's enterprise base, but critics call it too expensive/proprietary - pricing for an APIC controller runs from $40K-$58K, and software licenses for ACI-capable switches run from $3K-$15K. Meanwhile, Verizon, AT&T, and other carriers are hungry to cut wireline capex.
    • Juniper has adopted an SDN strategy that's more friendly to open platforms, but there might be some internal dissent on that front. Rayno reports recently-ousted CEO Shaygan Kheradpir "was more pro-SDN than the existing Juniper management, which is more conservative about protecting its installed base."
  • Friday, November 21, 2014

  • 6:52 PM
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has landed the rights to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a new Tina Fey/Robert Carlock comedy about a doomsday cult survivor living in NYC, for two seasons. The show's first season (13 episodes) arrives in March.
    • The show, originally set to be aired by NBC, is the first one made by Fey and Carlock since 30 Rock. Several other 30 Rock vets are also on board.
    • Recent Netflix deals: Between, Adam Sandler, The Weinstein Company
    | 1 Comment
  • 6:36 PM
    • American Tower (NYSE:AMT) is buying 6,480 towers from TIM Participacoes (NYSE:TSU) for R$3B ($1.2B), slightly more than the ~$1.1B previously reported by Reuters. AMT "intends to finance the acquisition in a manner consistent with its previously announced leverage targets."
    • The towers are expected to produce R$435M/year ($171M/year) in revenue, and R$191M/year ($75M/year) in gross margin. TIM has agreed to 20-year leases for the towers, and will act as their anchor tenant.
    • AMT has already bought Brazilian towers from NII Holdings, and acquired local tower owner BR Towers. The company also bought 666 Brazilian towers in 2011, a transaction Muddy Waters took aim at.
    • Altogether, AMT owned/operated 69.5K towers at the end of Q3.
    | Comment!
  • 6:24 PM
    • Calling the company's guidance for mid-single digit 2015 revenue growth "optimistic," CLSA's Srini Pajjuri downgraded Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) to Sell today in the wake of its investor day.
    • Pajjuri: "Intel’s PC segment volumes are on track to grow 9% in 2014, compared to our PC unit forecast of -2%. We believe share gains explain ~3 points of the discrepancy, which means that the remaining 8 points of difference is largely due to inventory build at customers." He expects Intel's PC CPU revenue to fall 6% in 2015 vs. guidance for a slight decline.
    • Bernstein's Stacy Rasgon, who downgraded two weeks ago, also remains concerned about PC CPU inventories. In addition, he thinks Intel's mobile ops "[remain] a horror show."
    • Bulls, meanwhile, are taking heart in Intel's forecast for server CPU division (DCG) revenue to grow at a 15% annual clip through 2018. Jefferies' Mark Lipacis: "We think DCG growth alone could add $1 billion to 2015 FCF and $0.15-$0.20 to EPS. We forecast FCF to increase by 30%-40% to $13 billion in 2015."
    • Pac Crest's Mike McConnell notes the DCG outlook implies 20%+ Y/Y growth in non-traditional enterprise segments (Web/cloud, HPC, networking) and high-single digit growth elsewhere. "We believe improving U.S. GDP growth, coupled with Microsoft’s planned expiration of [Windows Server 2003 support] in July, is driving Intel’s more constructive outlook for demand from its traditional enterprise customer base next year.”
    • The PC division had $4.1B in Q3 op. profit, and DCG $1.9B. Intel's outlook suggests the company isn't too concerned for now about ARM server CPUs; Qualcomm threw its hat into the ARM server ring on Wednesday.
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