Frontrunning: April 19
- Police Searching for 19-Year-Old Boston Bombing Suspect (BBG)
- Mayhem Erupts in Boston After MIT Campus Officer Slain (BBG)
- Elvis Impersonator Accused of Ricin Letters Sowing Fear (BBG)
- Blackstone Pulls Out of Dell Bid on Rapidly Falling PC Sales (BBG)
- Before Texas plant exploded: What did regulators know? (Reuters)
- Aso Says Japan Policy Unopposed at G-20 Meeting as Yen Falls (BBG)
- Bipartisan pair target $2.5tn US savings (FT)
- Plan for new Cyprus vote casts uncertainty on bailout (Cyprus Mail)
- Ireland picks through debtors’ lifestyles (FT)
- Hidden benefits of China’s slower growth (FT)
- Fischer Says Other Nations Need to Cut Japan Slack on Yen (BBG)
- UK and IMF face dust-up on austerity (FT)
Overnight Media Digest
* U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically in recent years, in large part because the country is making more electricity with natural gas instead of coal.
* The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation released photos of two suspects in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings and urged the public to come forward with information about them.
* Barclays Plc on Thursday wiped away the last vestiges of a scandal-tainted era at the big British bank, ousting two of its most senior executives in the biggest shake-up since its chairman, chief executive and chief operating officer resigned in rapid succession last summer.
* KPMG LLP said it plans to reassess its internal safeguards, the latest fallout from an insider-trading case that has led to the firing of a senior partner and the accounting firm's resignation as the auditor for two companies.
* Morgan Stanley damped investors' expectations of a long-awaited turnaround with a surprisingly weak first-quarter trading performance. ()
* The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is expected to move as soon as Friday to end a three-month grounding of Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner jet, according to people familiar with the matter.
* Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was arrested early Friday and presented to court, which placed him under house arrest pending trial on charges related to his moves against the judiciary in 2007.
* The Portuguese government said Thursday that it has identified a series of spending cuts to fill a budget hole and keep its 78 billion euros ($102 billion) bailout on track.
* Nokia's stable of basic mobile phones hit a pothole in the first quarter, sending the company's stock down to a five-month low and leading the company's chief executive to point to Lumia smartphone upgrades coming in the next two months as reason for hope.
Brazil's largest cement company Votorantim Cimentos plans to raise $5.4 billion through an initial public offering that will be the world's biggest this year if realised.
Private equity company CVC Capital is buying Ista, a German metering company it sold to rival Charterhouse six years ago, for 3.1 billion euros ($4.06 billion).
Verizon Communications is pressuring Vodafone Group to sell its minority stake in their joint venture, asserting that the British telecoms company would incur no significant tax obstacle if it were to do so.
After ousting senior executives Rich Ricci and Tom Kalaris, Barclays has finally moved on from its Bob Diamond era. Cost controls helped Morgan Stanley's report a rise in first-quarter profit, even as revenue was hurt by a slowdown in trading activity. First-quarter revenue at Nokia reached its lowest point in over a decade as the Finnish company sold the least mobile phones ever during the period. Probing further into Monte dei Paschi di Siena's alleged financial malpractice, Italian authorities raided JPMorgan Chase offices in Milan.
Insurer Aviva has been criticised for its plans to squeeze redundancy packages for UK workers and 2,000 jobs worldwide.
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, is cutting the pay of new Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie in light of the strain the mining industry is currently under.
German sportswear maker Puma poached its new chief executive Bjorn Gulden from Danish jewellery maker Pandora.
* Some U.S. airports could see delays in flights, following the furloughs of air traffic controllers beginning on Sunday.
* The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is expected on Friday to approve Boeing Co's plans to fix the batteries on its new 787 Dreamliner jets, a decision that could soon allow the planes to return to service after being grounded for more than three months.
* Private equity giant Blackstone Group decided to withdraw from the bidding for Dell Inc after discovering that the company's PC business was deteriorating faster than it had previously understood, people involved in the negotiations said.
* Barclays Plc, the British bank that has been in the spotlight over its role in a rate-rigging scandal, is shaking up its management ranks as it seeks to distance itself from the era of Robert Diamond, its former chief executive.
* Shares of Apple Inc were trading for more than $700 last year, but they have tumbled back and analysts are trying to understand why.
* On Friday, SeaWorld Entertainment will make its debut as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange in one of the biggest offerings of a private-equity-backed company in recent months. The initial public offering raised $702 million and valued the company at $2.5 billion.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* Justin Trudeau's first foray in his home province as newly elected federal Liberal Leader got off to a shaky start when he was tripped up by history and his father's legacy.
During his meetings with opposition leaders on Thursday, Trudeau refused to support a unanimous motion adopted this week by the Quebec National Assembly calling on Ottawa to give full access to all documents pertaining to the 1982 patriation of the Constitution. At the time, his father, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was determined to bring back the Constitution from Britain despite strong objections from Quebec.
* Amid lingering tensions between local families, a review of the school handling of the Rehtaeh Parsons case has begun with the appointment by the Nova Scotia government of two Ontario experts. The two, psychologist Debra Pepler and educator Penny Milton, will conduct an independent assessment of the allegations that the 17 year old Parsons killed herself after being sexually assaulted, and then bullied by schoolmates.
Reports in the business section:
* Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney grazed the edges of the hot political debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, telling an audience in Washington that the "uncertainty around infrastructure" is starting to slow investment in Canada's energy industry.
* Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressed skepticism about the intent of the Bank of Japan's aggressive new monetary policy, exposing a rift within the Group of 20 nations over foreign-exchange rates.
* Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's temper flared, just a little, when member after member of the two opposition parties assailed the Liberal government's handling of the dual gas-plant cancellations, she stood up in Question Period and took umbrage at talk of a cover up.
* British Columbia newspaper publisher David Black said China's largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China , has agreed to provide financial backing for his proposed Kitimat-based heavy oil refinery.
The refinery would cost C$25 billion ($24.39 billion) to build and all its output would be sold to Asian markets, Black said in a statement.
* Mark Carney says policy-makers are working diligently to devise an international "bail-in" regime to prevent big bank failures, but he offered no guarantee that individual deposits would be protected. The Canadian central banker, who is a few months away from heading the Bank of England, says banks must have a set of buffers in place to draw on in an emergency.
CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL
-- The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen could launch a pilot property tax soon, several insiders in the real estate industry told the official paper. The move has not been confirmed by the local taxation authorities.
-- China's banking sector should give greater support through extending credit to certain industries in 2013 to boost domestic demand, energy sustainability, environmental protection and agriculture, according to guidance from the country's banking regulator.
-- The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will strictly control new capacity in China's steel sector, raise the threshold of access and promote sector reorganization in a bid to solve the problem of excess steel production, a former official in the ministry said.
SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS
-- China's Ministry of Commerce said it is targeting social consumer retail growth of 14.5 percent in 2013 and is researching policies to spur consumer spending.
21 CENTURY BUSINESS HERALD
-- Import orders have rebounded among Chinese companies, according to research by the Ministry of Commerce, which looked at 1,900 trade enterprises.
-- A county in Henan province has halted a residential housing development after reports that it forcibly seized more than 300 hectares of land from farmers
Astoria Financial (AF) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette
Autonation (AN) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank
E-Trade (ETFC) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette
El Paso Electric (EE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Maximus (MMS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Overstock.com (OSTK) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
Toll Brothers (TOL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
UBS (UBS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
Albermarle (ALB) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
Coach (COH) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Cott Corp. (COT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Magnum Hunter (MHR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Texas Instruments (TXN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Varian Medical (VAR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup
VeriFone (PAY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point
Wolverine World Wide (WWW) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Adobe (ADBE) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley
Ameriprise (AMP) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Churchill Downs (CHDN) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Mitel (MITL) initiated with a Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Six Flags (SIX) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
StealthGas (GASS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
SunCoke Energy (SXCP) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
WellCare (WCG) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
Blackstone (BX) ended bid for Dell (DELL), WSJ reports
Status of Icahn's potential offer unclear
ING (ING) to sell 49% stake in KB Life to KB Financial Group (KB)
J.C. Penney (JCP) said COO Michael W. Kramer left company, Chief Talent Officer Daniel E. Walker resigned
General Electric (GE) expects Power & Water to improve during 2H13
IBM (IBM) sees Q2 operating EPS growth similar to Q1
Chipotle (CMG) sees FY13 comparable restaurant sales flat to up low single digits
Sees opening 165-180 new restaurants in FY13
Celanese (CE) backed FY13 adjusted EPS up 12%-14%
Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
General Electric (GE), SunTrust (STI), Baker Hughes (BHI), Schlumberger (SLB), Valmont (VMI), Celanese (CE), AMD (AMD), Capital One (COF), Google (GOOG), Chipotle (CMG), Microsoft (MSFT)
Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
City National (CYN), Cytec Industries (CYT), Rambus (RMBS), Forward Air (FWRD), IBM (IBM)
Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Wipro (WIT), E-Trade (ETFC), B&G Foods (BGS), Hub Group (HUBG)
- The FAA is expected to move as soon as today to end a three-month grounding of Boeing’s (BA) 787 Dreamliner jet, sources say, the Wall Street Journal reports
- The Financial Stability Oversight Council is targeting mortgage real-estate investment trusts as a potential risk to the U.S. financial system, and next week is expected to cite mortgage REITs as a source of market vulnerability in its annual report, sources say, the Wall Street Journal reports
- The decline in gold prices in the past week may have raised a big red flag over the global economy. Some top investors say the sell-off, and the broader declines in oil and metals prices, reflect the failure of the Fed and other central banks to create robust demand even as they inject massive amounts of money into the world financial system, Reuters reports
- Japanese Prime Minister Abe today previewed the "third arrow" of a three-part economic policy aimed at boosting growth in the long-stagnant economy, including opening the economy through free trade deals, and promoting growth sectors with private and public support, Reuters reports
- Softbank (SFTBF), which offered $20.1B for control of Sprint Nextel (S), isn’t currently planning to raise its offer after Dish (DISH) made a competing bid, Bloomberg reports
- Treasuries fell, with 10-year notes dropping for the first time in three days, as a gain in European and Asian stocks damped demand for the safest assets, Bloomberg reports
Berry Plastics (BERY) 16.5M share Secondary priced at $17.00
Blackhawk (HAWK) Network 10M share IPO priced at $23.00
ImmunoCellular (IMUC) files to sell $25M of common stock
Paragon Shipping (PRGN) files to sell 2M shares of common stock
Performant Financial (PFMT) 6M share Secondary priced at $12.00
SeaWorld (SEAS) Entertainment 26M share IPO priced at $27.00