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Frontrunning: February 20

Tyler Durden's picture




 
  • Facebook CEO Raises Dealmaker Profile With $19 Billion Takeover (BBG)
  • WhatsApp’s Founder Goes From Food Stamps to Billionaire (BBG)
  • U.S. Feels Putin's Sharp Elbows in Ukraine (WSJ)
  • PBOC Drains Cash as Overnight Rate Slides to Lowest in 10 Months (BBG)
  • Fed Puts Rate Increase on the Radar (Hilsenrath)
  • Banks Flouting Bonus Rules in Denmark Set to Be Named by FSA (BBG)
  • Work Set to Resume on Upgrading Panama Canal (WSJ)
  • Euro-Area Recovery Loses Pace as Manufacturing Weakens (BBG) - uh, what recovery?
  • Ukraine Exposes EU Policy Disarray (WSJ)
  • Diamonds and deals as Danone struggles for China bounce (Reuters)
  •  Singapore’s Soaring Land Prices ‘Suicidal’ for Developers (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* The frenzy to acquire fast-growing technology startups reached new heights on Wednesday as Facebook Inc announced its largest acquisition ever, saying it would pay at least $16 billion for WhatsApp, a text messaging application with 450 million users around the world who pay little or no money for it.

* When Federal Reserve officials last met at the end of January, they were surprised by the strength of the economy, cheered by the optimism of consumers and convinced they should continue to dismantle the Fed's economic stimulus campaign, according to an account the Fed released Wednesday.

* In a surprising move, Gap Inc informed its employees on Wednesday that it would set $9 as the minimum hourly rate for its United States work force this year and then establish a minimum of $10 next year.

* Regulators are taking another crack at their effort to keep the web free and open, introducing new rules that would discourage Internet service providers from charging companies to stream their movies, music and other content through a faster express lane.

* Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America , received about $12.5 million in restricted stock grants for 2013, according to a regulatory filing.

* Shares of Safeway Inc surged in after-market trading on Wednesday after the supermarket chain disclosed that it was "in discussions concerning a possible transaction involving the sale of the company."

* Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, famous for their legal battle with the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have created a financial index that provides a regularly updated figure for the price of Bitcoin.

* A Brookings Institution study found that income inequality was sharply higher in vibrant cities like New York than in less-dynamic ones like Columbus, Ohio.

 

NYT

* The frenzy to acquire fast-growing technology startups reached new heights on Wednesday as Facebook Inc announced its largest acquisition ever, saying it would pay at least $16 billion for WhatsApp, a text messaging application with 450 million users around the world who pay little or no money for it.

* When Federal Reserve officials last met at the end of January, they were surprised by the strength of the economy, cheered by the optimism of consumers and convinced they should continue to dismantle the Fed's economic stimulus campaign, according to an account the Fed released Wednesday.

* In a surprising move, Gap Inc informed its employees on Wednesday that it would set $9 as the minimum hourly rate for its United States work force this year and then establish a minimum of $10 next year.

* Regulators are taking another crack at their effort to keep the web free and open, introducing new rules that would discourage Internet service providers from charging companies to stream their movies, music and other content through a faster express lane.

* Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America , received about $12.5 million in restricted stock grants for 2013, according to a regulatory filing.

* Shares of Safeway Inc surged in after-market trading on Wednesday after the supermarket chain disclosed that it was "in discussions concerning a possible transaction involving the sale of the company."

* Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, famous for their legal battle with the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have created a financial index that provides a regularly updated figure for the price of Bitcoin.

* A Brookings Institution study found that income inequality was sharply higher in vibrant cities like New York than in less-dynamic ones like Columbus, Ohio.

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Prime Minister Stephen Harper was again rebuffed in his bid to press U.S. President Barack Obama to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline when he raised the issue during a North American leaders' summit in Toluca, Mexico. The proposed TransCanada Corp pipeline, which would carry Alberta crude to the Gulf Coast, has become a source of tension for the two leaders.

* A Nebraska court decision Wednesday has thrown another hurdle in the path of TransCanada as it pushes for U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

* Quebecor Inc has made a C$233 million ($211 million) play on Canada's wireless industry - buying valuable wireless spectrum in the country's four most populous provinces - though it is saying little about how it intends to use it.

Reports in the business section:

* Lululemon Athletica Inc says its nearly year-long struggle with bad publicity linked to slowing growth and a messy product recall did not reflect any corporate intent to defraud shareholders, and that an expanded lawsuit suggesting otherwise should be thrown out of court.

NATIONAL POST

* An Alberta human rights adjudicator, facing criticism for ruling in favor of a Czech immigrant who claimed discrimination after failing his Canadian engineering qualification exams, is now under scrutiny for his social media comments on East African politics.

* The Progressive Conservatives want to force Ontario's public sector unions to compete for contracts to provide government services in order to save taxpayers money.

FINANCIAL POST

* More choice for consumers in three of Canada's largest provinces could finally be on the way as Quebecor Inc appears poised to mount a big expansion of its wireless business after winning the rights to cellular airwaves outside its home province.

* Shares of BlackBerry Ltd rose as much as 6 percent in extended trading on news that Facebook Inc had acquired one of BBM's biggest rivals for such a princely sum.

 

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai said its parent company, which is majority owned by the Zhuhai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, would sell a stake of up to 49 percent in Gree Electric's real estate unit, Gree Real Estate, to strategic investors via auction, in a sign of local level action to privatise some state-owned assets.

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

- The State Administration for Industry and Commerce said it would cancel annual examinations of registered enterprises starting March 1. The agency also told branch offices to prepare to publicly disclose information on registered companies for the first time.

- Bank of Beijing Co Ltd said it would cooperate with Xiaomi.com in mobile payment and credit, but media reports before the official company disclosure raised questions about insider trading.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- Efforts need to be taken to achieve a mature institutional system as well as to improve governing capability, an editorial said.

 

Britain

The Telegraph

LLOYDS TO DOMICILE TSB IN ENGLAND AS SCOTTISH FEARS MOUNT

Lloyds Banking Group has opted to domicile TSB in England rather than Scotland ahead of the new bank's 1.5 billion pound stock market float.

WAGES RISE BUT STILL BELOW INFLATION

Wages are still failing to keep up with the rising cost of living despite climbing at a faster rate in the final quarter of last year. Average weekly pay including bonuses edged up 1.1 percent to 478 pounds in the three months to the end of December, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The Guardian

EE PLANS TO RETURN 1,000 JOBS TO BRITAIN AND TRIPLE SIZE OF APPRENTICE SCHEME

Communications group EE is to create 1,000 jobs over the next two years and triple the size of its apprenticeship scheme. The company said it was bringing customer service jobs to Britain from overseas centres.

BAE AGREES PRICE ON TYPHOON JET DEAL WITH SAUDI ARABIA GOVERNMENT

The British defence firm BAE Systems has finally agreed to a deal on the price of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets it is selling to Saudi Arabia following years of fraught negotiations.

The Times

PRIVATE SECTOR WAGES START TO OVERTAKE INFLATION

Private sector pay rises overtook inflation at the end of last year for the first time since 2008. The proportion of companies planning to freeze pay this year was also forecast to "be the lowest since the start of the financial crisis".

SPORTS DIRECT STAFF CLOSE TO 77,000 POUNDS BONUS

Staff at Sports Direct are on track to share another multimillion-pound payout after the retailer said it was "very confident" of hitting profit targets in the penultimate year of its bonus scheme.

Sky News

BRITISH GAS PLOTS FIGHTBACK AFTER EXODUS

The UK's biggest domestic energy supplier is drawing up plans for a price-led assault on its rivals in a bid to win back customers amid the ongoing political row over fuel costs.

HOUSE OF FRASER CHAIR TO QUIT AS FLOAT LOOMS

The chairman of House of Fraser, the department store chain that is seeking to join London's flotation frenzy, plans to step down if the company returns to the public markets

 

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled include:
Jobless claims for the week of Feb. 15 at 8:30--consensus 335K
Consumer Price Index for January at 8:30--consensus 0.1%
Leading ndicators for January at 10:00--consensus 0.2%

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Agnico-Eagle (AEM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
American Equity (AEL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital
Barrick Gold (ABX) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
CAE (CAE) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
CGI Group (GIB) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Carlyle Group (CG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
DealerTrack (TRAK) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
DineEquity (DIN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
HCI Group (HCI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Healthstream (HSTM) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis
Infoblox (BLOX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Nabors Industries (NBR) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Thermo Fisher (TMO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman

Downgrades

America Movil (AMX) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
AngloGold (AU) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Apple (AAPL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Brandywine Realty (BDN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor
Employers Holdings (EIG) downgraded to Underperform at JMP Securities
Equinix (EQIX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Equity One (EQY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group
Essent Group (ESNT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities
Facebook (FB) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore
Facebook (FB) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Pivotal Research
Garmin (GRMN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Hecla Mining (HL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital
magicJack (CALL) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Onconova (ONTX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
Onconova (ONTX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Polypore (PPO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Range Resources (RRC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein
SM Energy (SM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Terex (TEX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Tesla (TSLA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
The Fresh Market (TFM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Town Sports (CLUB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray

Initiations

AGCO (AGCO) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
Abiomed (ABMD) initiated with a Neutral at BTIG
Allison Transmission (ALSN) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
Atlas Resource Partners (ARP) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Booz Allen (BAH) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
Caterpillar (CAT) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Cummins (CMI) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Deere (DE) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Edwards Lifesciences (EW) initiated with a Neutral at BTIG
Genpact (G) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
HeartWare (HTWR) initiated with a Neutral at BTIG
Joy Global (JOY) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
Manitowoc (MTW) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
Sunshine Heart (SSH) initiated with a Neutral at BTIG
Terex (TEX) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Thoratec (THOR) initiated with a Buy at BTIG
Yelp (YELP) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill

COMPANY NEWS

Facebook (FB) to acquire WhatsApp for $16B, shares fell 3%. Twitter (TWTR) advanced 0.5% following the announcement, while BlackBerry (BBRY) gained about 6%
Facebook believes WhatsApp on 'clear path' to having 1B users
Gap (GPS) raised 2014 minimum wage to $9.00/hour for U.S. employees
Safeway (SWY) said in discussions concerning possible sale
Trian Partners: PepsiCo (PEP) should separate into two companies
Tesla (TSLA) sees delivering over 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the Q4 earnings conference call that the Model S has 'far lower propensity for fire than a gasoline car'
eBay (EBAY) acquired PhiSix, terms not disclosed
Allstate (ALL) announced $2.5B share repurchase plan

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Quanta Services (PWR), Axiall (AXLL), Equinix (EQIX), Vectren (VVC), Blackhawk (HAWK), Portfolio Recovery (PRAA), Curtiss-Wright (CW), Questar (STR), Macquarie Infrastructure (MIC), Brixmor (BRX), Synopsys (SNPS), Trinity Industries (TRN), Jack in the Box (JACK), Avis Budget (CAR), Rubicon (RBCN), Steiner Leisure (STNR), Tesla (TSLA)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Coeur Mining (CDE), Ensco (ESV), Energy Transfer Equity (ETE), Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), Williams Partners (WPZ), Sunoco Logistics (SXL), HealthSouth (HLS), Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), Oil States (OIS), Invesco Mortgage (IVR), Cinemark (CNK)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Williams (WMB), Marriott (MAR), BJ's Restaurants (BJRI), Acadia Healthcare (ACHC), Denny's (DENN), DealerTrack (TRAK)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

Bayer (BAYRY), Novartis (NVS) explore bids for Merck's (MRK) consumer unit, Reuters reports
Nokia (NOK) reportedly considering buying Juniper (JNPR), combining it with NSN, Reuters reports
Broadcasters (CBS, NWSA, DIS, CMCSA) get first victory over Aereo in Utah federal court, WSJ reports
Wal-Mart (WMT) weighs support for minimum wage increase, Bloomberg reports
Slim (AMX) to exercise NY Times Co. (NYT) warrants this year, Bloomberg reports
Standard Chartered (SCBFF) puts Hong Kong consumer finance unit up for sale, FT reports
Intel (INTC) CEO says relationship with Apple (AAPL) getting 'closer,' Apple Insider reports
BAE Systems (BAESY): U.S. unit close to 'bottoming out' this year, Reuters reports
Comcast (CMCSA) confident of Time Warner Cable (TWC) acquisition approval, FT reports

SYNDICATE

Berry Plastics (BERY) files to sell 9M shares of common stock for holders
Cytokinetics (CYTK) announces proposed offering of common stock
Diamondback Energy (FANG) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
Kayne Anderson (KYN) files to sell 6.75M common shares
NGL Energy Partners (NGL) files to sell 8.11M common units for holders

 

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Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:56 | 4456711 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

And this:   Truce in Ukrain crumbles 20 dead:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/20/world/europe/ukraine-protests/index.html?h...

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 09:05 | 4456737 highly debtful
highly debtful's picture

Yes, Ukrain is all over the European headlines today. Things seem to be catching fire very quickly. The pictures are telling: civilians now rapidly morphing in some kind of paramilitary freedom fighters. And counting their dead, tragically.  

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 09:23 | 4456773 kralizec
kralizec's picture

That corrupt fuckface Yanukovych blames the opposition for breaking the truce, as expected, the blame is always on lightly armed serfs, not state-armed stormtroopers...yeah...more like a protester said something bad to a state thug and the state thug fired into the serf!  How else do you get 20 dead civilians and only one dead thug?

No doubt this bought enough time for Putin's bag men to funnel in bribes and keep the corrupt in business...hopefully the opposition used the time to score some more weapons and explosives to bring these fucks down!

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 09:07 | 4456743 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

You forgot bitcoin getting butt-slammed.

lol

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 09:15 | 4456756 XAU XAG
XAU XAG's picture

@grinandbearit

 

That's idiot news!

 

only an idiot would buy shitcoin!

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 09:16 | 4456755 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

any rate increase will be tiny, short lived, and will only be to generate market volatility for the squid to feed upon. the fed loves billionaires and bankers, and helps them make destitute everyone else. in the long run we're all dead.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 09:32 | 4456821 wmbz
wmbz's picture

We don't need to get involed in away over in Ukrain IMO.

That said, all Putin has to do is jump in Barry's direction and say boo. Barry will piss and shit himself, then sit in it.  Putin knows he has nothing to worry about in that respect.

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