Top 10 News for 9/15 - 9/19: Markets Welcome Alibaba IPO; New iPhone Sets Records; Fed Remains Accommodative Sep 19, 2014 03:50PM

1. The highly-anticiapted IPO for Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) didn't disappoint on Friday. The stock opened for trading at $92.70 after pricing 320,106,100 American depositary shares (ADSs) at $68 per ADS for a total offering size of approximately US$21.77 billion. The pricing was at the top end of the recently raised $66 - $68 range. For more color on the IPO, click here.

2. The Federal Open Market Committee said it would taper bond buying by $10 billion for a new rate of $15 billion per month. The FOMC also said it expected rates at 1.375 percent by the end of 2015 and commented, The Committee continues to anticipate, based on its assessment of these factors, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.

3. While sales of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone 6/6+ went on sale today, the company announced earlier this week a record number of first day pre-orders for the devices totaling over four million within the first 24 hours of availability. The company said, Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the initial pre-order supply and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October. Retail sales numbers were largely scarce on Friday due to the Alibaba IPO, though many see Apple having no problem selling a lot of the devices.

4. Thursday night, Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) announced that it has elected Larry Ellison to the position of Executive Chairman of Oracle's Board and appointed him the company's Chief Technology Officer. Jeff Henley, who has served as Oracle's Chairman for the last 10 years, was appointed Oracle's Vice Chairman of the Board. The company also reported Q1 EPS of $0.62, $0.02 worse than the analyst estimate of $0.64 and approved a new, $13 billion stock buyback plan.

5. On Tuesday, Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) announced it has ended its evaluation of alternatives that would result in Rackspace being acquired. The company declared its commitment to remain independent and announced Taylor Rhodes as CEO to lead and drive its managed cloud strategy. As previously disclosed in a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 15, Rackspace had been approached by multiple parties who expressed interest in exploring a strategic relationship, ranging from partnership to acquisition. The board retained Morgan Stanley and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to facilitate a comprehensive review to maximize value for shareholders, customers, and employees. After a comprehensive review, the board decided to terminate M&A discussions. Based on Rackspace's reaccelerated revenue growth and its potential trajectory for the coming year, the board concluded the company is best positioned to maximize shareholder value by executing its strategy as the #1 managed cloud company.

6. SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Concur Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNQR) announced that SAP's subsidiary, SAP America, Inc., has entered into an agreement to acquire Concur for $129 per share, or total enterprise value of $8.3 billion.

7. The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD) updated on its recent card breach late Thursday. The company confirmed that the malware used in its recent breach has been eliminated from its U.S. and Canadian networks. The company also has completed a major payment security project that provides enhanced encryption of payment data at point of sale in the company's U.S. stores, offering significant new protection for customers. Roll-out of enhanced encryption to Canadian stores will be complete by early 2015. Canadian stores are already enabled with EMV "Chip and PIN" technology.

Home Depot also said, "Based on its fiscal third quarter results to date, the company confirmed its previous fiscal 2014 sales growth guidance of approximately 4.8 percent. The company also revised its fiscal 2014 diluted earnings-per-share growth guidance and expects that fiscal 2014 diluted earnings per share will grow by 21 percent to approximately $4.54, versus the company's prior guidance of $4.52." Consensus EPS estimates are at $4.50.

8. Wednesday, Trian Fund Management, L.P., whose investment funds beneficially own approximately $1.6 billion of the outstanding shares of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE: DD), said it has sent a letter to DuPont’s Board of Directors analyzing how DuPont’s conglomerate structure is destroying shareholder value. The letter and accompanying White Paper Summary also detail initiatives DuPont should take that Trian believes could significantly improve DuPont’s financial performance and double the value of its common stock within three years. Trian plans to meet with DuPont shareholders to present its analysis and strongly recommends that the DuPont Board meet shareholders without management present to hear their views.

9. Tesla Motors (Nadaq: TSLA) slumped this week following analyst commentary from Morgan Stanely and Goldman Sachs. Morgan Stanely analyst Adam Jonas said, Recently when asked about Tesla's stock, Elon Musk admitted he felt the share price was a bit ahead of itself. We agree. We believe the shares are worth $320, but perhaps not so quickly and not for some of the reasons we believe are driving the market. Goldman's Patrick Archambault commented Friday, On balance, the plant tour was positive with Tesla on track to meet its 2014 production objectives. What keeps us more guarded is the aggressive timetable of the gigafactory as well as a potential escalation of capital needs given the planned capacity ramp, model and derivative expansion, service expansion as well as other undisclosed projects. So with 3Q likely to be a noisy quarter and shares seemingly baking in flawless execution at present, we remain sidelined for now.

10. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang, the celebrated Stockholm-based game developer, and the company's iconic "Minecraft" franchise. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion. Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis. Subject to customary closing conditions and any regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close in late 2014.


Trading Radar for 9/22: AutoZone (AZO), Ascena Retail (ASNA) Report Sep 19, 2014 03:16PM

The Trading Radar highlights key earnings and economic announcements for the next trading session:

Before Markets Open:
Earnings:

AutoZone (NYSE: AZO) - consensus EPS $11.26

Intraday or Not Specified:
Economics:
10:00am EDT

  • Existing Home Sales - Street sees 5.2M
After Markets Close:
Earnings:

Ascena Retail Group (Nasdaq: ASNA) - consensus EPS $0.18

Check out our Earnings Insider for news and updates on earnings as they happen!


Notable 52-Week Highs and Lows of the Day 9/19: (HD) (VRTX) (MSFT) High; (SDRL) (ESI) (PGN) Low Sep 19, 2014 02:55PM

52-Week High:
  • The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD) $93.75. Home Depot moving higher Friday after offering an update on its recent card breach. The company also said, Based on its fiscal third quarter results to date, the company confirmed its previous fiscal 2014 sales growth guidance of approximately 4.8 percent. The company also revised its fiscal 2014 diluted earnings-per-share growth guidance and expects that fiscal 2014 diluted earnings per share will grow by 21 percent to approximately $4.54, versus the company's prior guidance of $4.52. Consensus EPS estimates are at $4.50.

  • Vertex (Nasdaq: VRTX) $105.53. Vertex making a strong move above $100 today and looking to keep a three-session winning streak alive. Deutsche Bank issued commentary on today's move.

  • Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) $47.19. Microsoft rising over 1 percent Friday as the tech segment sees a little boost from the Alibaba IPO. In addition, the merger of SAP and Concur Technologies might start off more M&A with the cloud-focused enterprise segment, a key area of interest for Mr. Softee.
52-Week Low:
  • Seadrill Limited (Nasdaq: SDRL) $27.90. Seadrill Limited advises that the 2014 Annual General Meeting of the Company was held on September 19, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at the Elbow Beach Hotel, 60 South Shore Road, Paget PG04, Bermuda. The audited consolidated financial statements for the Company for the year ended December 31, 2013 were presented to the Meeting. The company also announced that Tor Olav Trøim has decided not to stand for re-election to the Board of Directors in order to focus his efforts on developing Golar LNG.

  • ITT Educational Services Inc. (NYSE: ESI) $4.47. ITT disclosed the following: As previously disclosed, the Company has been subject to an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission concerning two private education loan programs for its students. On August 7, 2014, the Company received a notice from the staff of the Division of Enforcement of the SEC, notifying the Company that the Staff had made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC file an enforcement action against the Company. According to the Staff, the enforcement action would allege violations of Sections 10(b), 13(a) and 13(b)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-11, 13a-13 and 13a-15 under the Exchange Act.

  • Paragon Offshore plc (NYSE: PGN) $6.36. Paragon Offshore plc lower on segment pressure. Earlier Friday, the company announced plans to initiate a quarterly cash dividend of $0.125 per fully diluted share, or $0.50 per fully diluted share on an annualized basis. Paragon anticipates that the first quarterly dividend would be declared in November 2014 and paid shortly thereafter. (Annual yield on the dividend would be about 7.4 percent.)


Unusual 11 Mid-Day Movers 9/19: (CNET) (PDEX) (CNQR) Higher; (QRHC) (ESI) (NEON) Lower Sep 19, 2014 12:49PM

ChinaNet (Nasdaq: CNET) 144.1% HIGHER; announced that its new growth strategy will focus on offering digital advertising services. More important to momentum traders, the company mentioned a possible deal with Alibaba (NYSE: BABA). "We are very excited about our new focus on digital advertising and our cooperation with Baidu. We are also in discussions with Taobao of Alibaba to provide "Micro-Sell 360", which is one of our new product solutions geared towards precision marketing for clients," said George Chu, ChinaNet Online's Chief Operating Officer.

Quest Resource Holding (Nasdaq: QRHC) 48.9% LOWER; announced the pricing of a $18,000,000 underwritten public offering consisting of 9,000,000 shares of common stock at a price per share of $1.99, together with warrants to purchase 9,000,000 shares of its common stock at a price per warrant of $0.01.

ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE: ESI) 37.1% LOWER; Announced the following: As previously disclosed, the Company has been subject to an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) concerning two private education loan programs for its students. On August 7, 2014, the Company received a notice from the staff of the Division of Enforcement (the “Staff”) of the SEC, notifying the Company that the Staff had made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC file an enforcement action against the Company (a “Wells Notice”). According to the Staff, the enforcement action would allege violations of Sections 10(b), 13(a) and 13(b)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act” ), and Rules 10b-5, 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-11, 13a-13 and 13a-15 under the Exchange Act.

Pro-Dex (Nasdaq: PDEX) 25.9% HIGHER; reported Q4 EPS of $0.01, versus ($0.20) reported last year. Revenue for the quarter came in at $3.2 million, versus $2.7 million reported last year.

Concur Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNQR) 18.0% HIGHER; SAP SE and Concur Technologies announced that SAP's subsidiary, SAP America, Inc., has entered into an agreement to acquire Concur for $129 per share.

China Jo-Jo Drugstores, Inc. (Nasdaq: CJJD) 14.5% HIGHER; seeing upside following the Alibaba IPO today.

Neonode, Inc. (Nasdaq: NEON) 14.2% LOWER; Neonode seeing additional pressure as the stock gets back below the $2.40 - $2.50 level.

China Recycling Energy (Nasdaq: CREG) 14.2% LOWER; paring gains following a slew of insider buying Thursday. The stock closed about 20 percent higher yesterday.

Nxt-ID, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTD) 11.1% LOWER; updates the "Wocket in Your Pocket" celebrity ad campaign, featuring former boxer and world champion in the lightweight and light middleweight weight classes, Vinny Pazienza (PAZ).

Dresser-Rand Group (NYSE: DRC) 10.7% HIGHER; moving higher Friday on new M&A rumors. The latest, from Manager Magazin, said Siemens plans to enter the fray with an offer of more than $80 per share for Dresser-Rand. A bid could come in weeks.

Fairway Group Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: FWM) 7.7% HIGHER; announced that Jack Murphy, a seasoned retail executive with strong experience in specialty food retailing, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Mr. Murphy was a co-founder of natural foods grocer Fresh Fields, Inc. before it was sold to Whole Foods, Inc., and most recently he served as Chief Executive Officer of Earth Fare, Inc., an organics and natural food chain with locations in the Southeast and Midwest.

To get this report daily visit http://www.streetinsider.com/entities/Unusual+11+Mid-Day+Movers.


Streetinsider.com's Hot Lunchtime Reads 9/19: (CAT) (BABA) (TMUS) (DDD) Sep 19, 2014 12:04PM

The following is a list of notable articles to help get you through the lunch hour:
  • Alibaba (BABA) IPO Lights Up Wall Street -> Read this!

  • T-Mobile (TMUS): Iliad's Search for $5B in Extra Financing 'Lingers' - Bloomberg -> Read this!

  • Pegasus Partners IV LP Lowers Stake in Molycorp (MCP) to 3.3% -> Read this!

  • Canaccord Still Positive on 3D Systems (DDD) Following Recent Management Meetings; Maintains at 'Buy' -> Read this!

  • Apple (AAPL): Cantor Sees Record Weekend Sales Despite iPhone 6 Plus Supply Constraints -> Read this!

  • Deutsche Bank Comments on Caterpillar (CAT) 10% Decline in August Sales -> Read this!


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