Every afternoon (and morning) we provide an update on global market levels, company news, economic news, and hedge fund news. Stocks in focus today include; ZNGA, RIMM, NWSA, MNST, NRG, CG, HPQ, BLMN, CE
Post Market Update
- US: Dow: 13175.60 (0.05%), S&P 500: 1402.22 (0.06%), NASDAQ: 3011.25 (-0.15%)
- Europe: CAC: 3438.26 (-0.44%), DAX: 6966.15 (-0.03%), FTSE: 5845.92 (0.08%).
- Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4312.60 (0.49%), China: 2160.99 (0.16%), Hong Kong: 20065.52 (-0.04%), India: 5338.00 (0.02%), Japan: 8881.16 (0.88%).
- Metals: Gold: 1616.00 (0.20%), Silver: 28.08 (-0.04%), Copper: 3.42 (-0.55%)
- Energy: Crude Oil: 93.35 (-0.34%), Natural Gas: 2.93 (-1.05%)
- Commodities: Corn: 8.16 (2.00%), Soya Bean: 15.81 (0.99%), Wheat: 9.13 (1.19%)
- Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.2365 (0.27%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.5658 (-0.23%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 78.4350 (-0.20%)
- 10 year US Treasury: 1.649% (0.021)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. markets end mixed: U.S. markets closed mixed on Wednesday, but the Dow and the S&P 500 index finished higher for the fourth consecutive day, as investors awaited further stimulus measures from the central banks in the U.S. and Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) eked out a gain of 7.04 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 13,175.64. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) added 0.87 points, or 0.06 percent, to finish at 1,402.22, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) slid 4.61 points, or 0.15 percent, to end at 3,011.25.
Oil prices fall: Oil prices fell for the first time in three days after U.S. crude stockpiles fell 3.7 million barrels to 369.9 million in the week ended Friday, August 3, the Energy Information Administration said today, well above analysts’ expectations for a 300,000-barrels drawdown. Crude oil for September delivery declined 0.3 percent, to settle at $93.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for September settlement rose 14 cents to $112.14 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Stocks in Focus
- John Schappert, the Chief Operating Officer of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), has resigned from social gaming company and board.
- News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings excluding items of 32 cents per share, in line with estimates, while revenue fell 6 percent to $8.4 billion, missing the average analysts’ estimate of $8.72 billion.
- Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) reported second-quarter profit rose to $109.8 million, or 59 cents per share that trailed estimates of 61 cents per share. Revenue increased 28.2 percent to $592.6 million, also missing consensus estimate of $596.1 million.
- Health-care IT company Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:MDRX) posted second quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 16 cents a share, 2 cents below the average analysts’ estimate of 18 cents a share. Revenue came in at $370 million, in line with estimates. The company lifted its full-year adjusted earnings outlook.
- Fast-food restaurant chain Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK) reported third quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 37 cents a share that beat the average analysts’ estimate of 35 cents a share. The company also provided better than expected full year earnings guidance.
- CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) posted second-quarter profit adjusted profit of 65 cents a share, 4 cents above Street estimates. Revenue came in at $4.6 billion, in line with estimates.
- Dun & Bradstreet Corp (NYSE:DNB) reported second quarter adjusted profit of $1.50 per share that beat the consensus estimate of $1.42 per share. Revenue for the quarter fell 8 percent to $383.9 million, missing estimates of $396.06 million.
- Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) gained 2.4 percent after it raised its third-quarter earnings forecast, but warned it expects to write-down the value of its services business by about $8 billion.
- Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM)jumped 4.2 percent amid speculation by a Jefferies & Co analyst that the BlackBerry maker may be in talks with Samsung to license the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system.
- The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) closed 6 percent higher on reports that the newspaper publisher is close to selling its stake in internet property About.com. to Answers.com for $270 million.
- Pharmaceutical company Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) has ended a phase three trial of its ganitumab treatment for pancreatic cancer.
- Restaurant operator Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN) soared in its market debut on the NASDAQ, and closed 12.8 percent higher at $12.41. The operator of Outback Steakhouse priced its initial public offer at $11 per share, 15 percent below the low end of its expected range.
- Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG), the world’s second biggest private-equity manager, swung to a second-quarter loss, as revenues plunged 90 per cent, dragged down by the performance of its funds. Carlyle raised $3.9 billion in the second quarter, almost double the $2.1 billion it raised from investors in the first quarter, with total assets under management at $156 billion at the end of the second quarter, from $108 billion a year ago.
- NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG) said second-quarter earnings plunged 60 percent to $251 million, or $1.08 a share, from $621 million, or $2.53 a share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter declined 4.9 percent to $2.17 billion. Analysts had forecast a profit of 15 cents on $2.68 billion in revenue. The independent power producer declared its first ever quarterly dividend of 9 cents per share, payable on August 15.
- Molex Incorporated (NASDAQ:MOLX) said fourth quarter net income rose to $72.0 million, or 40 cents per share, from $64.9 million, or 36 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter dropped 6 percent to $858.5 million. Analysts were looking for quarterly earnings of 38 cents per share, on $880.5 million in revenue. The electronic components maker forecast first-quarter profit that was below estimates.
- Online travel company Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) ended 26 percent lower after it posted lower second quarter earnings and cut its full-year growth forecasts, citing global economic uncertainty, that was hurting trip reservations.
- Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:AVT) reported fourth quarter earnings excluding items of 99 cents a share, on revenue of $6.31 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings excluding items of $1.08 per share, on $6.55 billion in revenue. The electronics distributor forecast current quarter adjusted earnings that was much lower than analysts’ estimates.
- Workforce solution provider Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:KELYA) posted second quarter earnings excluding items of 34 cents per share, 4 cents above consensus estimate. Revenue declined 3 percent to $1.36 billion, trailing estimates of $1.41 billion.
- Cloud computing services provider Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE:RAX) reported a 43 percent jump in second quarter net income to net income to $25.1 million, or 18 cents per share, from $17.6 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue increased 29 percent to $319 million from $247.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts were expecting 18 cents per share on revenue of $317.7 million.
- Lamar Advertising Co (NASDAQ:LAMR) reported second quarter net income of $13.9 million, or 15 cents per share, in line with estimates, while revenue came in at $304.9 million that beat Street expectations for $304 million. The billboard operator forecast third-quarter revenue below the average analysts’ estimates.
Hedge Fund News Update
- Paul Singer’s flagship hedge fund Elliott Associates declined 05 percent during the second quarter, compared to a fall of 3.3 percent in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) during the same period.
- Investors redeemed $4.9 billion from hedge funds in June, compared with inflows of $1.1 billion in May, according to BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research. Total industry assets fell 1.3 percent to $1.71 trillion in June, from $1.73 trillion in May.
- Singapore’s financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, has made some changes to the licensing, registration and business conduct of fund management companies, that took effect from August 7.
- London-based LMR Partners, a Paloma Partners-backed hedge fund, has opened an office in Hong Kong, to explore opportunities in the fast-growing Asian market.
- Scranton, the struggling northeastern Pennsylvania city, is in talks with an unidentified hedge fund to raise up to $18 million.
- New York-based MKP Capital Management’s global macro fund, the MKP Opportunity Fund, gained 1.34 percent in July, bringing its year to date gains to 4.66 percent.
Brokerage Upgrades and Downgrades on Wednesday, August 08, 2012
- Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) was raised to “buy” from “underperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole.
- City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO) was lifted to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at Sterne Agee.
- CTC Media, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTCM) was raised to “buy” from “neutral” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (NYSEAMEX:GTE) was upgraded to “strong buy” from “outperform” by analysts at Raymond James.
- Health Care REIT, Inc. (NYSE:HCN) was raised to “buy” from “hold” by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus with a target price of $64.
- Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ:JKHY) was lifted to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.
- MGE Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGEE) was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” by analysts at DA Davidson with a target price of $48.50.
- Mindray Medical International Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:MR) was lifted to “overweight” from “equal weight” by analysts at Barclays Capital with a price target of $42.
- Provident Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PROV) was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” by analysts at Raymond James with a target price of $14.
- Quicksilver Resources Inc (NYSE:KWK) was upgraded to “buy” from “outperform” by analysts at Credit Agricole.
- Alexco Resource Corp. (USA) (NYSEAMEX:AXU) was downgraded to “neutral” from “accumulate” by analysts at Global Hunter Securities.
- Dril-Quip, Inc. (NYSE:DRQ) was lowered to “underperform” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America with a target price of $79.
- Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ:ELON) was cut to “hold” from “buy” by analysts at Jefferies Group.
- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG with a target price of $49.
- Genpact Limited (NYSE:G) was lowered to “underperform” from “buy” by analysts at Bank of America.
- Jive Software Inc (NASDAQ:JIVE) was cut to “neutral” from “buy” by analysts at Citigroup.
- MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) was downgraded to “equal weight” from “overweight” by analysts at Morgan Stanley with a target price of $12.
- NII Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:NIHD) was downgraded by analysts at Raymond James from “strong buy” to “outperform” with a target price of $12.
- Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) was cut by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from “buy” to “hold.”
- Sapient Corporation (NASDAQ:SAPE) was lowered to “market perform” from “outperform” by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. with a target price of $10.50.
- Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ:WIN) was downgraded by analysts at Nomura from “neutral” to “reduce.”
Earnings Calendar for Thursday, August 09, 2012
Before market open:
Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ:WIN)
After market close:
Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:TEG)
CareFusion Corporation (NYSE:CFN)
Devry Inc. (NYSE:DV)
Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN)
NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA)
Time not specified:
Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS)