Frontrunning: May 5

Tyler Durden's picture
  • Fed’s Fisher Says Economy Strengthening as Payrolls Rise (BBG)
  • Russia Knows Europe Sanctions Ineffective With Tax Havens (BBG)
  • EU Cuts Euro-Area Growth Outlook as Inflation Seen Slower (BBG)
  • U.S. Firms With Irish Addresses Get Tax Breaks Derided as ‘Blarney’ (BBG)
  • Portugal exits bailout without safety net of credit line (Euronews)
  • Puzzled Malaysian Air Searchers Ponder What to Try Now (BBG)
  • Barclays, Credit Suisse Battle Banker Exodus, Legal Woes (BBG)
  • Germany says euro level not an issue for politicians (Reuters)
  • Alibaba-Sized Hole Blown in Nasdaq 100 Amid New Stock (BBG)
  • Obamacare to save large corporations hundreds of billions (The Hill)
  • Specter of SARS weighs on CDC as MERS virus lands in U.S. (BBG)
  • Nine badly hurt in U.S. circus 'hair hang' accident (Reuters)
  • Australia Promises Shared Burden Amid Doubts on Debt Levy (BBG)
  • Swiss Seek ‘Fair’ U.S. Treatment of Banks, Meet With DOJ (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* U.S.-based companies this year have proposed or agreed to $637.95 billion worth of mergers or acquisitions - either as the buyer or the target. The rise in merger-and-acquisition activity comes as investors increasingly shun riskier, high-growth areas of the market, especially newly minted stocks. (http://r.reuters.com/ceq98v)

* As Alibaba prepares to submit its first major filings as early as this week in what could be one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history, Jack Ma - now executive chairman - still looms large in the company's dealings. Even though he is no longer CEO, Ma remains the face of Alibaba. (http://r.reuters.com/deq98v)

* Crackdowns and new rules on banks are creating a hot employment market in one corner of Wall Street: risk and compliance. Due to stepped-up regulatory oversight and some high-profile lapses, banks are boosting hiring of workers who evaluate risks and make sure their firms comply with laws and regulations. JP Morgan Chase & Co has been the most aggressive, with plans to add more than 13,000 people to its staff tasked with bolstering controls. (http://r.reuters.com/duq98v)

* Apple Inc won a $119 million jury verdict against Samsung Electronics Co for infringing on three of its patents. But it didn't achieve a key goal: inflicting pain on its Korean rival. The late Friday verdict also did little to derail the momentum of Google Inc's Android operating system, which has eclipsed Apple's, first with high-end iPhone alternatives from Samsung and now with low-cost smartphones from Chinese manufacturers. (http://r.reuters.com/huq98v)

* Warren Buffett is widely celebrated for his plain-spoken, straight-shooting manner, but the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc showed on Saturday before thousands of shareholders that he sometimes values degrees of nuance. Shareholders and analysts peppered Buffett and Charles Munger, Berkshire's vice chairman, with questions about where Berkshire's weaknesses lie, and whether Buffett's eldest son, Howard Buffett, is the right man to be Berkshire's future non-executive chairman. (http://r.reuters.com/jeq98v)

* Symantec Corp invented commercial antivirus software to protect computers from hackers a quarter century ago. Now the company says such tactics are doomed to failure. Antivirus "is dead," says Brian Dye, Symantec's senior vice president for information security. "We don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way." (http://r.reuters.com/heq98v)

* Banks are again doling out money to hedge funds and other investors to finance purchases of complex debt securities, returning to a practice that helped fuel the debt boom ahead of the financial crisis. RBC Capital Markets, Société Générale and Wells Fargo & Co are among the banks offering to let investors borrow money, also known as providing leverage, to buy collateralized loan obligations, say investors and bankers. (http://r.reuters.com/zeq98v)

 

NYT

* Even after a year post Tumblr's acquisition by Yahoo! Inc , the biggest issue bothering Tumblr's Chief Executive David Karp is: how to generate significant revenue growth from the blogging service. But rather than slap banner ads and risk a mutiny from users, the company is working with advertisers to encourage them to create their own Tumblr pages and come up with creative material - also known as native advertising - that fans can interact with. (http://r.reuters.com/teq98v)

* HBO's popular TV series Game of Thrones has generated a lot of buzz among its coveted demographic of younger, wealthier viewers. But with no televised advertisements during the show, companies are trying to reach viewers through their smartphones, tablets and laptops with social media posts. (http://r.reuters.com/veq98v)

* John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, political journalists known for their books on the past two presidential campaigns, will join Bloomberg in the coming days to start a new site that will focus on American politics and policy. (http://r.reuters.com/xeq98v)

* Created 25 years ago to provide movie listings on phone, Moviefone is set to re-launch as a free app and a website on Monday. Moviefone makes money mostly by selling advertising, which is shared by AOL Inc and Whalerock. AOL said that Moviefone has about 10 million users. (http://r.reuters.com/cuq98v)

* Hedge fund Greenlight Capital has requested the Securities and Exchange Commission for confidential treatment of its buying strategy on Micron Technology Inc. The firm said disclosure of its buying strategy on Micron would cause "substantial" financial harm to its investors because the hedge fund intended to keep accumulating shares for at least another week. (http://r.reuters.com/guq98v)

* Portugal announced its exit from a three-year bailout program that has forced deep spending cuts and set off mass protests. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said that Portugal had built up sufficient financial reserves to end the program on schedule, without requesting any additional line of credit from its European counterparts. (http://r.reuters.com/juq98v)

* Ukraine has been pushing hard to start reverse-flow deliveries of gas from Europe via Slovakia to Ukraine, thus blunting repeated Russian threats to turn off the gas tap. An agreement signed last week between Slovak and Ukrainian pipeline operators opened the way for modest reverse-flow deliveries of gas from Europe, where prices are much lower than those demanded by Gazprom for its direct sales to Ukraine. (http://r.reuters.com/kuq98v)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* The Prime Minister's Office is rejecting a call from Canada's legal community to clarify its statement about the Supreme Court. The unprecedented dispute comes as the country's top court prepares to hear challenges to laws that were passed by the Conservative government. (http://r.reuters.com/gur98v)

* National Defence has done an about-face and revoked an offer that would have allowed a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder the right to an extended release from the military. Kristian Wolowidnyk's story made headlines across the country in November when he tried to take his own life after the army put him on the fast track for dismissal. (http://r.reuters.com/kur98v)

Reports in the business section:

* The British Columbia government and Malaysia's state-owned Petronas Gas have reached a deal designed to provide lift-off to a liquefied natural gas project. Both sides agreed on Monday to assign officials to prepare terms of reference by June 30 and then have a project development agreement in place by Nov. 30. (http://r.reuters.com/rur98v)

NATIONAL POST

* A new federal bill that will allow Internet and cellphone providers to hand over personal data without a warrant has privacy advocates concerned about how many officials will have access to that information. The officers obtaining that data can be anything from tax agents to sheriffs, reeves, justices of the peace, Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents, and even mayors. (http://r.reuters.com/per98v)

* International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy, an Ontario-based Muslim relief group branded a terrorist organization by the federal government, has decided to appeal the decision. A non-profit group that works mostly in Muslim regions, IRFAN-Canada had been under scrutiny by Canada Revenue Agency auditors for a decade. (http://r.reuters.com/ter98v)

FINANCIAL POST

* While a surprisingly big surge in the U.S. employment in April reflects growing confidence in the country's recovery, the outlook for Canada's job market - and the economy as a whole - is still far from certain. Statistics Canada on Friday will likely report between 16,000 to 20,000 positions were created in April - with the jobless rate staying at 6.9 percent. (http://r.reuters.com/fur98v)

 

China

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

- Combined first-quarter profit of 2,534 listed companies was up 8.08 percent from the same quarter last year, data compiled by the newspaper showed. The figure was down from 10.7 percent in the first quarter of last year. Meanwhile, revenue was down 13.44 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year.

- The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has published draft rules that would classify insurers' assets into five categories based on risk levels.

- China's eastern province of Jiangsu is discussing whether the current business model of market making in precious metals should be banned.

SECURITIES TIMES

- Total assets of China's fund industry exceeded 6 trillion yuan ($958.57 billion) in the first quarter.

CHINA DAILY

- Anti-narcotics officers uncovered 1,491 transnational drug smuggling cases last year, an increase of 14.5 percent from the previous year, with most suspects caught in the southern provinces of Guangdong and Yunnan, the police ministry said.

 

 

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled today include:
Markit services PMI for April at 9:45--consensus 54.5
ISM non-manufacturing index for April at 10:00--consensus 54.2

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

ARIAD (ARIA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Apollo Investment (AINV) upgraded to Overweight from Equalweight at Barclays
BB&T (BBT) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Bill Barrett (BBG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Chipotle (CMG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Covance (CVD) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Cracker Barrel (CBRL) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James
Hi-Crush Partners (HCLP) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Informatica (INFA) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill
L-3 Communications (LLL) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Lennox (LII) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Och-Ziff Capital (OZM) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
PerkinElmer (PKI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
Salesforce.com (CRM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Santander Consumer (SC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Swift Energy (SFY) upgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
Virtus Investment Partners (VRTS) upgraded to Outperform at Raymond James
Watts Water (WTS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee

Downgrades

ACI Worldwide (ACIW) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
GAP Airports (PAC) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Helmerich & Payne (HP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Guggenheim
Host Hotels (HST) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
Hyatt Hotels (H) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at MKM Partners
Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
Nabors Industries (NBR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Guggenheim
OMA Airports (OMAB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Oaktree Capital (OAK) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
Redwood Trust (RWT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities
Southern Company (SO) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
WESCO (WCC) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan

Initiations

Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) initiated with a Buy at Needham
Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
Adamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
FireEye (FEYE) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
King Digital (KING) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill
King Digital (KING) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
King Digital (KING) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
King Digital (KING) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
King Digital (KING) initiated with an Outperform at Pacific Crest
King Digital (KING) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
King Digital (KING) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
King Digital (KING) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with an Overweight at Evercore
La Quinta (LQ) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
pSivida (PSDV) initiated with a Buy at MLV & Co.

COMPANY NEWS
Citigroup (C) disclosed that prosecutors probing Mexico subsidiary
BE Aerospace (BEAV) said exploring strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value
PayPal (EBAY) said director of global strategy Rakesh Agrawal no longer with company
GM (GM) recalled certain 2014 SUVs for faulty fuel gauge
FedEx (FDX) announced pricing changes for FedEx Freight and FedEx Ground. FedEx Freight will increase its published fuel surcharge indices by 3 percentage points, effective June 2. FedEx Ground will apply dimensional weight pricing to all shipments, effective January 1, 2015
JPMorgan (JPM) forecast Q2 markets revenue down 20% from prior year

EARNINGS
Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Westlake Chemical (WLK), Emerge Energy (EMES), Exar (EXAR)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Auxilium (AUXL), Tesco (TESO), FreightCar America (RAIL), ArthroCare (ARTC), Volcano (VOLC)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Natural Gas Services (NGS)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES
Barclays' (BCS) head of M&A expected to quit bank, FT reports
Apple (AAPL) not expected to unveil iWatch, new Apple TV at WWDC, Re/code reports
Siemens (SI) close to selling logistics and airports solutions unit, Bloomberg says
Coca-Cola (KO) removes controversial ingredient from Powerade, AP reports
Microsoft (MSFT) Asia-Pacific head sees large potential for Asia expansion, WSJ says
Court denies Loeb's efforts to remove Sotheby's (BID) poison pill, Reuters reports
Comcast (CMCSA) nearing deal to stream Electronic Arts (EA) games to TVs, Reuters says
Sony (SNE) and Samsung (SSNLF) launching in-store shops at Best Buy (BBY) stores, LA Times reports
Hertz (HTZ) spin-off could drive shares 25% higher, Barron's says
Murphy Oil (MUR) looks undervalued, Barron's reports
Twitter (TWTR) still looks over-priced, Barron's says
Harsco (HSC) could rise 20%, Barron's says
SunEdison's (SUNE) YieldCo plan could bring scrutiny over taxes, Barron's reports
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) shares could rise 25%, Barron's reports

SYNDICATE
Iridium (IRDM) to sell 7.7M shares at $6.50 to certain Baron's funds
LeMaitre (LMAT) files to sell 1.8M shares of common stock for holders
Mid-Con Energy (MCEP) files to sell 3.19M common units