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MARKET CURRENTS

  • Wednesday April 16, 2:51 PM ET
    • CBS (CBS +2.2%) has received a favorable ruling from the IRS on a plan for its CBS Outdoor Americas (CBSO +5.4%) subsidairy to convert to a REIT.
    • The company plans to divest the 81% of CBSO it owns through a split-off later this year.
    • Shares of CBS were flat for the day before the IRS private letter ruling news broke.
    [Consumer] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:51 PM ET
    • Yingli (YGE +6.7%) and China's Shanghai Sailing Capital Management have signed an MOU to create fund through which the companies will invest in local downstream solar projects.
    • The fund will have an initial size of RMB1B ($161M), of which Yingli will contribute 51%. It mostly plans to invest in Yingli-built projects.
    • Shares are rallying thanks to the announcement, and a broader solar stock rally that has followed the DOE's solar loan proposal. Yesterday, Yingli announced a "framework agreement" to sell at least 300MW of plants to Chinese operator United PV.
    [Tech, On the Move] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:47 PM ET
    • Precision Drilling (PDS +5.3%) is upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley, which believes the oilfield services company may double its Canadian land-drilling business over several years, benefiting from its exposure to the liquefied natural gas market which should see meaningful secular growth.
    • The firm says Canadian service providers Calfrac Well Services (CFWFF) and Trican Well Services (TOLWF) also could see growth for pressure pumpers.
    [Energy, Quick Ideas, On the Move] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:47 PM ET
    • Bank of America (BAC -2.5%) boosted legal reserves by $2.4B in Q1, and management is playing coy about why, but the WSJ says the bank is near a multi-billion dollar settlement with the DOJ to end civil probes into a number of legacy issues. The talks have been ongoing for months, but intensified, say sources, after JPMorgan late last year settled for $13B.
    [Financials] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:31 PM ET
    • Finjan (FNJN -3%) has filed to sell up to 21.6M shares on behalf of existing holders through future offerings. (prospectus)
    • VC investors Benchmark and Israel Seed Partners are among the firms mentioned in the prospectus, as are Cisco and P-E fund of funds HarbourVest International.
    [Tech, On the Move] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:26 PM ET
    • Athlon Energy (ATHL +4%) powers to all-time highs, dismissing news of planned stock and senior note sales after boosting its outlook for FY 2014 production by ~17% over its prior guidance.
    • Including the impact of recent acquisitions and better than expected Q1 production, ATHL expects to average 23K-24.25K boe/day, up from January guidance of 19.75K-20,75K boe/day.
    • ATHL also reported record Q1 production, and boosted its 2014 capital budget by another $105M to $700M.
    [Energy, On the Move] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:22 PM ET
    • "Holy Alibaba!" exclaims Bernstein's Carlos Kirjner after looking at the Q4 numbers disclosed by Yahoo (YHOO +5.7%) yesterday.  He now values the Chinese e-commerce giant at $245B - 25x estimated 2016 earnings of $9.5B for its core Taobao and Tmall sites + a $7.5B valuation for Alibaba.com and Alipay. Taobao/Tmall profits are now expected to grow 41% in 2015, and 28% in 2016.
    • Wells Fargo and Gabelli have upgraded Yahoo: The latter calls shares "ready for takeoff" as hype surrounding Alibaba's (ABABA) IPO - an F-1 reportedly could arrive by Monday - continues growing.
    • Looking at Yahoo itself, UBS (Buy) is pleased with the top-line impact of the company's in-stream ads (now 20% of display ad volume). It's less happy with Yahoo's vague CC remarks (transcript) about the tax impact of Alibaba share sales and future cash returns, EBITDA weakness (due to growth investments), and high headcount.
    • SunTrust (Buy) observes rising mobile ad sales (along with in-stream and premium ads) helped display impressions rise 7%, and that the Americas (where new ad products have been launched first) is outperforming.
    • Marissa Mayer mentioned on the CC Yahoo's news app is respectively ranked #1 and #2 in the news app category on the App Store and Google Play, that most mobile search metrics rose nearly 100% Y/Y, and that video streams (boosted by the Olympics and recent content deals) rose 30% Q/Q.
    [Tech, Earnings, On the Move] 1 Comment
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:21 PM ET
    • Volkswagen (VLKAY) says it will decide in short order on where it will build a mid-size SUV.
    • The automaker is looking for favorable terms from Tennessee before choosing to produce at a facility in that state.
    [Consumer] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:20 PM ET
    • The Finish Line, Inc. (FINL) declares $0.08/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.23%
    • Payable June 16; for shareholders of record May 30; ex-div May 27.
    [Dividends] Comment!
  • Wednesday April 16, 2:10 PM ET
    • Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts suggest economic activity increased in most regions of the U.S. since the previous report, with consumer spending increasing as weather conditions improved, according to the latest Beige Book.
    • 10 of the 12 districts saw improvement - mostly to "modest to moderate" - but activity declined in the Cleveland and St. Louis regions.
    • Manufacturing improved in most districts, reports on residential housing markets varied.
    • Stocks are little changed; 10-year Treasury yield +1.5 bps at 2.641%.
    [U.S. Economy] Comment!
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