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Frontrunning: February 21

Tyler Durden's picture





 
  • RBS plans dramatic scaling back, to fire 30,000 of its 120,000 workers (FT)
  • Zuckerberg’s Data Stance Faces Privacy Backlash in Europe (BBG)
  • WhatsApp Shows How Phone Carriers Lost Out on $33 Billion (BBG)
  • Markets flooded with cash, should Fed prep to stamp out risk? (Reuters)
  • Venezuela threatens to expel CNN over protest coverage (BBC)
  • Firm Stops Giving High-Speed Traders Direct Access to Releases (WSJ)
  • Obama Budget to Delete Proposal to Limit Social Security (BBG)
  • Energy Holdings Prepares for a Breakup (WSJ)
  • EU Struggles to Streamline Bank-Failure Plan for Weekends (BBG)
  • Madoff said JPMorgan executives knew of his fraud (Reuters), and JPM admitted as much when it settled with the DOJ
  • China Hard Landing War-Gamed for World Economy (BBG)
  • Google Borrows $1 Billion With First Bond Sale in Three Years (BBG)
  • Big Banks Take Hits on Trusty Oil Hedge (WSJ)
  • IMF Calls for Indian Emergency Rupee Plan in Taper Warning (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau took a series of shots at his opponents in Ottawa and Quebec City in his opening address to more than 2,000 delegates, accusing other party leaders of exploiting the economic worries of Canadians for their own political gains.

* Executives at Loblaw Companies Ltd, the country's largest supermarket chain, said on Thursday the company was passing on to consumers higher costs of purchasing U.S. fresh food and some general merchandise, while at the same time cutting prices of other goods to lure bargain-hungry customers.

Reports in the business section:

* The Parti Québécois government plans to give Quebec-incorporated companies powerful weapons to fend off hostile takeovers. The measures, should Quebec businesses choose to use them, would make it nearly impossible for a corporate predator to acquire a public company against the will of its board of directors.

NATIONAL POST

* Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said that his party was the only one capable of seriously offering Quebecers a place at the heart of government.

* Peter Blaikie, co-founder of Heenan Blaikie LLP, has sent staff an internal email in which he attributes the law firm's demise to controversial business dealings in Africa.

FINANCIAL POST

* Royal Dutch Shell Plc is leading an industry pushback against the scope of British Columbia's proposed tax on liquefied natural gas exports, extending a standoff over fiscal terms for the upstart sector.

* Canada's grocery price war continues to take a toll on Walmart Canada, which reported on Thursday its fourth-consecutive quarter of falling same-store sales and customer traffic but improved its market share.

 

FT

Germany revises stringent rules imposed on regional airports that offer sweetheart deals to low-cost carriers in an attempt to find a middle way to reduce state support to the airline industry.
   
The influence of the European Parliament is seen growing since the revamp of the City of London's regulatory regime in 2008, especially in the EU-backed rules governed financial sector.
   
Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday it has agreed to sell its Australian downstream businesses to oil trader Vitol SA for about A$2.9 billion ($2.6 billion).
   
Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to announce its withdrawal from many investment banking activities as well as much of its international business in a move that is  expected to reduce staff numbers by at least 30,000 over the next three to five years.
   
Business Wire will no longer let high-frequency trading companies buy potentially market-moving press releases directly from the Berkshire Hathaway Inc  unit.

 

NYT

* Facebook Inc's agreement to buy the messaging start-up WhatsApp for up to $19 billion is risky, but follows a trend in valuing the number of users over revenue.

* Since the financial crisis, the Fed has engaged in an aggressive stimulus campaign, which has helped lift stock and bond markets, greatly enriching Wall Street in the process. Even so, a surprisingly large number of investors and bankers remain deeply skeptical - and even angry - about what the Fed is doing.

* Chickie's & Pete's, a chain of sports bars based in Philadelphia, has agreed to pay $6.8 million in back wages and damages for improperly taking tips from waiters and bartenders and for violating minimum wage and overtime laws, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

* Brookdale Senior Living and Emeritus Corp announced on Thursday that they would merge in a deal valued at $2.8 billion, including about $1.4 billion of Emeritus mortgage debt.

* A former hedge fund analyst has been charged with stealing confidential computer data from his previous employer, the latest crackdown by the Manhattan district attorney on suspected violations of cyber security.

* Juniper Networks, the networking equipment company, said on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with the hedge fund Elliott Management to nominate two new directors to its board and return more money to shareholders, avoiding a possible proxy fight with the hedge fund.

* Nutritional supplements company Herbalife Ltd will conduct a briefing on Friday to educate congressional staff members about its business in what appears to be an effort to ramp up its lobbying efforts in Washington.

* Sequoia Capital, the venture capital firm which invested in WhatsApp, is poised to make as much as 50 times its money on the Facebook deal, according to an estimate by DealBook and a person briefed on the matter.

* Engaged Capital, the activist hedge fund that has been pushing for change at Abercrombie & Fitch Co, stepped up its fight on Thursday by nominating five director candidates despite changes that the retailer had announced in recent weeks.

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau took a series of shots at his opponents in Ottawa and Quebec City in his opening address to more than 2,000 delegates, accusing other party leaders of exploiting the economic worries of Canadians for their own political gains.

* Executives at Loblaw Companies Ltd, the country's largest supermarket chain, said on Thursday the company was passing on to consumers higher costs of purchasing U.S. fresh food and some general merchandise, while at the same time cutting prices of other goods to lure bargain-hungry customers.

Reports in the business section:

* The Parti Québécois government plans to give Quebec-incorporated companies powerful weapons to fend off hostile takeovers. The measures, should Quebec businesses choose to use them, would make it nearly impossible for a corporate predator to acquire a public company against the will of its board of directors.

NATIONAL POST

* Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said that his party was the only one capable of seriously offering Quebecers a place at the heart of government.

* Peter Blaikie, co-founder of Heenan Blaikie LLP, has sent staff an internal email in which he attributes the law firm's demise to controversial business dealings in Africa.

FINANCIAL POST

* Royal Dutch Shell Plc is leading an industry pushback against the scope of British Columbia's proposed tax on liquefied natural gas exports, extending a standoff over fiscal terms for the upstart sector.

* Canada's grocery price war continues to take a toll on Walmart Canada, which reported on Thursday its fourth-consecutive quarter of falling same-store sales and customer traffic but improved its market share.

 

China

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

- China's central bank has told financial institutions they should be more responsive to its credit policy on investment in key areas including agricultural development, technology and green cars, sources said.

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- China Securities Regulatory Commission said on its official microblog that "naked short selling" is strictly forbidden in margin trading.

21ST CENTURY BUSINESS HERALD

- All third-party payment service providers registered in Shanghai with an online payment license are qualified to conduct cross-border renminbi-payment, according to a document issued by the central bank.

- Great Wall Motor Co Ltd will set up a financial company in late March in Tianjin to provide financing for car buyers, sources said.

CHINA DAILY

- External intervention will only further divide Ukraine and it is for the Ukrainians themselves to solve the country's political crisis, it said in an editorial.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- China should be confident on its political system but at the same time push ahead with ongoing reforms, an editorial said.

 

Britain

The Telegraph

STANDARD LIFE TO WARN OF RISKS OF SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

Standard Life is poised to warn that Scottish independence poses a significant risk to its business in yet another blow to Alex Salmond and the SNP.

SAM LAIDLAW FUELS SPECULATION OVER CENTRICA EXIT AND HINTS BRITISH GAS COULD CUT PRICES

Sam Laidlaw fuelled speculation over his exit from Centrica on Thursday by refusing to say how long he anticipated remaining at the energy giant's helm, as he unveiled a 2 percent fall in annual profits.

The Guardian

LLOYDS CREATES HOLDING COMPANY FOR TSB BANK FLOAT

Lloyds Banking Group is gearing up for the flotation of its TSB arm later this year by registering a new holding company in advance of the 1 billion pound share sale.

UK PRODUCTIVITY GAP WITH DEVELOPED NATIONS NOW WIDEST FOR 20 YEARS

Britain's productivity gap with its main developed country rivals is at its widest in 20 years, following the flat-lining of the economy after the deep recession of 2008-09.

The Times

LLOYDS BONDHOLDERS SHAKEN BY TALK OF CHEAP BANK BUYBACK

Lloyds Banking Group is facing a run-in with retail and institutional bond investors after threatening to buy back billions of its high-interest-bearing debts at less than their face value.

BOOTS TO SELL E-CIGARETTES IN DEAL WITH IMPERIAL TOBACCO

Boots the chemist, founded by Quakers in 1849, has signed an exclusive deal with a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco that means the high street chain will be selling electronic cigarettes from Monday.

Sky News

RBS PLOTS OVERHAUL OF CORPORATE BANKING ARM

Royal Bank of Scotland will next week launch a radical restructuring of its corporate banking division as part of a wider overhaul of the taxpayer-backed lender.

CITY HEAVYWEIGHT'S FURY OVER ESSAR ENERGY BID

A major City investor in Essar Energy, Capital Research Global Investors, which owns about 3.5 percent of Essar Energy , is furious at a proposed 70 pence a share bid from a vehicle controlled by the Ruia family.

 

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled include:8
Existing home sales for January at 10:00-consensus down 4.1% to 4.67M

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

AEGON (AEG) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James
Basic Energy (BAS) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James
CommScope (COMM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
EMC Insurance (EMCI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
EV Energy (EVEP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich
Rex Energy (REXX) upgraded to Accumulate from Neutral at Global Hunter
Seadrill (SDRL) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC
Seagate (STX) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Signet Jewelers (SIG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee
Total (TOT) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman

Downgrades

Columbia Sportswear (COLM) downgraded to Sell from Hold at McAdams Wright
Essent Group (ESNT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
Groupon (GRPN) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
InterContinental Hotels (IHG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Mohawk (MHK) downgraded to Market Perform from Strong Buy at Raymond James
Montage Technology (MONT) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
National CineMedia (NCMI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
National CineMedia (NCMI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley
Nordstrom (JWN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Oil States (OIS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim
PSEG (PEG) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Performant Financial (PFMT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Philip Morris (PM) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at First Global
Philips (PHG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas
Sunoco Logistics (SXL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS

Initiations

A.V. Homes (AVHI) initiated with a Neutral at Sterne Agee
BioCryst (BCRX) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
FleetCor (FLT) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Freescale (FSL) initiated with a Buy at Dresdner
International Rectifier (IRF) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Mattson (MTSN) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen
Nielsen (NLSN) initiated with a Neutral at RW Baird
ON Semiconductor (ONNN) initiated with a Buy at Drexel Hamilton
Power Solutions (PSIX) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
RSP Permian (RSPP) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Restoration Hardware (RH) initiated with a Buy at BB&T
Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) initiated with a Perform at Oppenheimer
Susser Holdings (SUSS) initiated with an Outperform at Macquarie
Susser Petroleum Partners (SUSP) initiated with an Outperform at Macquarie
The Fresh Market (TFM) initiated with a Perform at Oppenheimer
The Pantry (PTRY) initiated with a Neutral at Macquarie
WCI Communities (WCIC) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
WEX Inc. (WEX) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Whole Foods (WFM) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer

COMPANY NEWS

Brookdale Senior Living (BKD), Emeritus (ESC) announced merger valued at $2.8B
Shell (RDS.A) to sell Australia downstream business to Vitol for $2.6B
Juniper (JNPR) to restructure, reduce cost base
Business Wire (BRK.A) to no longer license feed to high frequency trading firms
Amazon (AMZN) CEO Bezos sold 1M shares at average selling price of $351.03
HP (HPQ) CEO Whitman: “Significant progress” made on five-year turnaround plan
Eastman Chemical (EMN) approved additional $1B share repurchase plan
Groupon (GRPN) to release new widget-based e-mail system
Navistar (NAV) to cut 280 jobs, consolidate engine manufacturing

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
DISH (DISH), Agrium (AGU), Kindred Healthcare (KND), Pilgrim's Pride (PPC), eHealth (EHTH), Bill Barrett (BBG), Aruba Networks (ARUN), Shutterstock (SSTK), Marvell (MRVL), Alexander & Baldwin (ALEX), CommScope (COMM), WebMD (WBMD), priceline.com (PCLN), Groupon (GRPN), HP (HPQ)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Thompson Creek (TC), Newmont Mining (NEM), SJW Corp. (SJW), Maxwell (MXWL), MRC Global (MRC), Emeritus (ESC), Universal Truckload (UACL), Acacia Research (ACTG)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), Express Scripts (ESRX), Exelixis (EXEL), Allscripts (MDRX), Mattson (MTSN), Envestnet (ENV), Tile Shop (TTS), Datalink (DTLK), Intuit (INTU)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) plans significant resizing, may cut headcount by at least 30,000 in coming years, FT reports
Anixter (AXE) working with Goldman Sachs (GS) on potential sale, Bloomberg reports
Google (GOOG) was willing to outbid Facebook (FB) for WhatsApp, The Information reports
NYSE (ICE), others seek to end 'maker-taker' rebate system, Bloomberg reports
JPMorgan (JPM) holder pulls chairman proposal, WSJ reports
Yahoo (YHOO) aims to develop an improved Siri (AAPL), Mashable reports
Ford (F) expects 1M-plus vehicle sales in China this year, WSJ reports
General Motors (GM) expects China sales up as much as 10% this year, Bloomberg reports
Noble Energy (NBL) hired Lazard (LAZ) to sell stake in China oil field, WSJ reports
Amazon (AMZN) in talks with retailers for listings, WSJ reports
NYSE (ICE), others seek to end 'maker-taker' rebate system, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

Diamondback Energy (FANG) 3M share Secondary priced at $62.67
Progenics (PGNX) files to sell common stock
Selmer Scientific (SMLR) 1.43M share IPO priced at $7.00

 


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Fri, 02/21/2014 - 09:39 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Venezuela threatens to expel CNN over protest coverage

Leaving the one lone CNN viewer completely traumatized ;-) 

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 09:42 | Link to Comment wmbz
wmbz's picture

LOL!

I believe CNN and MSNBC are in a tug-o-war over that one last poor sole.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 09:43 | Link to Comment wmbz
wmbz's picture

P.S. Yes I meant sole not soul.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 09:46 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...just think, if they got another one they would double their ratings.

Bonus time!

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 09:57 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

you mean that one government propaganda surveiller at cnn?

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 11:24 | Link to Comment BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

You boys missed the biggest headline - CANADA vs USA in semi-final Mens hockey...

.

We (Canada) are going to kick your asses like the girls did!

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This is our rink...

This is our ICE!!!...

This is our SPORT!

 

 

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