Frontrunning: August 12

Tyler Durden's picture
  • Gunshots, tear gas in riots over shooting of black Missouri teen (Reuters)
  • Russia sends big aid convoy to Ukraine, West sounds warnings (Reuters)
  • Maliki Bid to Block Successor Escalates Crisis in Iraq (BBG)
  • Poor German data pushes euro toward 9-month lows against dollar (Reuters)
  • Derivatives Reincarnate Boosting Debt Wagers in New Era  (BBG)
  • Israel Says No Gaza Talks Progress as Hamas Warns on Truce (BBG)
  • Traders brace for research crackdown as easy money dries up (Reuters)
  • U.S. Bank Profits Near Record Levels (WSJ)
  • Unproven Ebola Drugs Are Ethical to Use in Outbreak: WHO (BBG)
  • Caesars’ CEO Loveman Says No Qualified Bidders for Revel (BBG)
  • Anadarko's Controversial Mozambique Project Shows Appetite for Natural Gas (WSJ)
  • Apple prepares Healthkit rollout amid tangled regulatory web (Reuters)
  • First-Time Buyers Shut Out of Expanding U.S. Home Supply (BBG)
  • Pimco Total Return cut U.S. government debt to 45 percent in July (Reuters)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Iraq's president appointed a candidate to replace Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki but the longtime leader refused to step aside, setting up a confrontation as the government struggles to combat a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency. (http://on.wsj.com/1pKUqOv)

* As Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <IPO-BABA.N> heads towards what could be the biggest-ever initial public offering, its bankers are homing in on one of their biggest challenges: keeping the shares aloft once they start trading.(http://on.wsj.com/1sKDWq0)

* Ukraine agreed to dispatch humanitarian aid, including supplies from Russia, to a separatist stronghold that has been blasted by fighting in recent weeks, after pressure from Moscow and Western capitals to do more to ease civilian suffering.(http://on.wsj.com/1nKfWij)

* Banks are lending to companies and individuals at the fastest pace since the financial crisis, helping propel profits to near-record levels. U.S. banks posted $40.24 billion in net income during the second quarter, the industry's second-highest profit total in at least 23 years, according to data from research firm SNL Financial. (http://on.wsj.com/XdcZ4M)

* UniCredit SpA said Monday a nine-year-old dispute over its purchase of banks in Austria and Germany could last several more years and result in additional payouts to former shareholders of the acquired banks. (http://on.wsj.com/1oFAUUz)

* After four days of pounding targets in northern Iraq, U.S. officials warned Monday that the campaign was unlikely to inflict serious damage to the militant group now controlling large parts of Iraq and Syria.(http://on.wsj.com/1mEfPVK)

* Vascular Biogenics Ltd, which went public last week and traded for 6 days, announced on Friday that it wasn't issuing shares due to failure of key investors to follow through on a commitment to buy stock. (http://on.wsj.com/1swzHBu)

* Along with a creeping Islamist threat on Iraqi Kurdistan and the plight of thousands of Iraqis trapped on a mountainside, there was a scientific calculation behind the U.S. decision to intervene in Iraq: the potential for a 65-foot wave to engulf the northern city of Mosul, and even flood the central capital Baghdad.(http://on.wsj.com/1vA8gsT)

* Price isn't the only issue keeping "Maleficent" and "Captain America" off Amazon.com Inc's virtual shelves. Walt Disney Co's dispute with Amazon also encompasses promotion and product placement on the Amazon website, as well as questions over who makes up the difference when Amazon loses money to match the prices of competitors.(http://on.wsj.com/1kYdRVy)

* Kinder Morgan Inc's $44 billion plan to consolidate its pipeline companies was greeted with excitement by Wall Street, which expects the new streamlined company to snap up other pipeline partnerships. But some investors in Kinder's master limited partnerships may not be happy as the consolidation could leave them with big, unexpected tax bills, tax experts said.(http://on.wsj.com/1pLlM7i)

* J.P. Morgan Chase & Co reached a long-awaited deal to sell roughly half its stake in the portfolio of its buyout arm, One Equity Partners LLC. (http://on.wsj.com/1r6ePBu)

* Intel Corp provided details of its latest advance in manufacturing technology, a milestone that arrived after a delay of more than six months due to technical problems. (http://on.wsj.com/1ulk6FC)

* Former American International Group Inc executive Joseph Cassano cited his Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating himself more than 200 times while declining to answer questions posed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009. This is among the disclosures included in 12 transcripts released by the SEC in response to public-records requests from The Wall Street Journal.(http://on.wsj.com/1lQlIPM)

* Anadarko Petroleum Corp wants to build one of the biggest projects ever attempted by a Western energy company in Palma, Mozambique. But Anadarko isn't here for oil. The company is after something more abundant, albeit less lucrative: natural gas located about 30 miles offshore. (http://on.wsj.com/1sKIdd3)

 

FT

Balfour Beatty Plc is under pressure to prove that it can make it on its own, after the British infrastructure company rejected a second bid from rival Carillion Plc aimed at creating a 3 billion pound construction giant.

Indian billionaire Sajjan Jindal's JSW Steel Ltd is in the final stages of negotiations to buy assets owned by Italian steelmaker Lucchini for a 'nominal sum', two sources say.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is considering selling the international operations of Coutts - its private bank that counts Queen Elizabeth II and David Beckham as clients - just months before the unit is expected to be fined for helping U.S. citizens evade taxes.

The equity research business in the UK is undergoing huge structural changes that are favouring independent group and hurting investment banking models, after the country's financial watchdog last month endorsed European reforms intended to separate research from dealing commission.

Avanti Communications Group Plc is to launch its next satellite in 2017, as the British satellite operator looks to increase its coverage in Africa and Europe.

 

NYT

* New York prosecutors brought criminal charges against a dozen payday loan companies and their founder, Carey Vaughn Brown, accusing them of disregarding the state's limits on interest rates on loans. (http://nyti.ms/1kXYOej)

* The Justice Department is using a powerful civil fraud provision to investigate potential fraud in the marketing of securities backed by risky auto loans. This opens up a new front for the government to pursue large monetary penalties against companies that package loans made without paying too much attention to whether the borrowers are credit worthy. (http://nyti.ms/VekHKl)

* Kinder Morgan Inc is consolidating its four related pipeline companies into one and abandoning the master limited partnership structure it helped popularize. Largely because of Kinder Morgan's success, the partnerships have become increasingly popular for energy companies. But now, with Kinder Morgan restructuring as a traditional corporation, questions have emerged about what will happen to the many other master limited partnerships. (http://nyti.ms/1oFBaDb)

* A ruling by a panel of former judges found that Lehman management, not Ernst & Young, was most responsible for setting in motion a maneuver that let Lehman Brothers move billions off its balance sheet. (http://nyti.ms/1A9mfVn)

* Federal regulators said Monday that Kansas had defrauded investors by bringing $273 million of bonds to market in 2009 and 2010 without disclosing that its pension system was deeply underwater and that the investors ran a risk of not being fully repaid. (http://nyti.ms/1r6hcEc)

* JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to spin off its private-equity unit through a deal with two investment firms, realizing a long-held goal for the giant bank. (http://nyti.ms/1oFqbEL)

* Chiquita Brands International, the banana producer that is seeking an inversion with a $526 million deal for its Irish rival Fyffes, received an unsolicited offer on Monday from an unlikely pair of private companies. (http://nyti.ms/1uINTFM)

* Pittsburgh International Airport's runways are sitting on enough natural gas to run the whole state of Pennsylvania for a year and a half. (http://nyti.ms/1sSChzv)

* The Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California, will begin testing a robotic bellhop designed to shuttle items from the hotel lobby desk to guest rooms. (http://nyti.ms/1oFlrii)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** The rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among members of the Canadian forces has nearly doubled since 2002, according to a new survey of thousands of soldiers that underscores the mental-health challenge this country and its military personnel face after a decade of bloodshed in Afghanistan. (http://bit.ly/1pLlPzM)

** The Toronto Community Housing Corp has renewed its appeal to the federal government for an C$864 million boost to fund its capital repair backlog. The pitch is part of a C$2.6 billion($2.38 billion), 10-year capital financing plan that Toronto city council unanimously passed in November. (http://bit.ly/1oGgXNs)

Reports in the business section:

** A trio of housewares chains owned by a prominent Canadian retailing family has gone into bankruptcy protection, adding to a growing array of domestic stores that are faltering in the face of pressures from foreign powerhouses and online players.

Bombay & Co Inc, Bowring & Co Inc and Benix & Co Inc, owned by a member of the Isaac Benitah family that also owns Fairweather, International Clothiers and other chains, received court protection from creditors last week, owing $86.6-million, according to court documents. (http://bit.ly/XeuOjY)

NATIONAL POST

** Toronto Mayor Rob Ford publicly reported that an email had been sent to the deputy mayor and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, threatening to blow up the Toronto City Hall unless the mayor resigns within 12 hours. (http://bit.ly/1oDRAf9)

** Justin Bourque admits he targeted police officers on the evening in June that he fatally shot three Mounties and injured two others in Moncton, New Brunswick, using a semi-automatic weapon. Bourque, 24, pleaded guilty Friday in the Court of Queen's Bench in Moncton to three charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. (http://bit.ly/1yqg8JA)

FINANCIAL POST

** American shipping companies were caught flat-footed last holiday season by last-minute online shoppers, but Canada's Cargojet Inc says it has learned from its competitors' mistakes and will double its capacity this Christmas. Delivering packages on time will become an even more important proposition for Cargojet as it prepares for a massive new seven-year contract with Canada Post that will nearly double the size of the company. (http://bit.ly/1mEWfZF)

** Crown Hill Capital Corp and Wayne Lawrence Pushka have been ordered to pay just over C$20 million for breaches of fiduciary duty and for using fund assets for their own benefit. The bulk of the financial penalty meted out by the Ontario Securities Commission on Monday represents "disgorgement" of the funds, on top of C$1.87 million in administrative penalties.(http://bit.ly/1yqi0Ss)

 

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- The shareholders of Hong Yuan Securities Co Ltd have agreed to be bought by Shenyin Wanguo Securities, it said in a public filing.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

- Assets of Chinese trusts stood at more than 12 trillion yuan ($1.95 trillion) at the end of June, according to figures released by the Chinese Trustee Association. The June figure shows a decrease of 240 billion yuan from a month earlier, the first monthly fall seen in the industry.

CHINA DAILY

- Authorities in Tianjin are probing local real-estate agents on suspicion of price collusion, following public complaints of price fixing. The investigation shows that authorities are not exclusively focused on foreign companies, experts told the paper.

- The UK launched a 24-hour priority visa service in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou on Monday. The move to simplify the application process was made to attract more Chinese visitors.

Britain

The Times

BIGGEST UK COMPANIES FEEL SQUEEZE ON MARGINS

Britain's top-listed companies are generating more revenue as the country's economy picks up but the improvement has come at the expense of squeezed profit margins.

The Guardian

OFGEM DEFENDS RECORD OF REFORM OVER BIG SIX ENERGY FIRMS' HIGH PRICES

Ofgem has hit back at claims it may be partly to blame for high prices, after a group of former regulators said it had presided over a weakening of competition in the energy market.

HEATHROW AND GATWICK BOSSES CLASH OVER RIVAL EXPANSION PLANS

Executives at Heathrow and Gatwick have clashed over rival expansion plans after both airports seized on record passenger numbers as justification for building new runways.

The Telegraph

ALIBABA WOOS LUXURY BRANDS AHEAD OF FLOTATION

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <IPO-BABA.N>, the Chinese Internet shopping giant, is battling to persuade luxury brands to set up stores on the website ahead of its planned flotation.

TAX INVERSION CRACKDOWN 'UNLIKELY TO DERAIL DEALS'

Washington's threatened tax inversion crackdown is unlikely to dampen the deal frenzy sweeping the healthcare sector, according to analysis from Bernstein.

Sky News

CARE GIANT RACES TO AVERT 500 MLN STG SALE COLLAPSE

NHP, the parent company of HC-One, one of Britain's biggest nursing home operators, will hold crunch talks this week aimed at preventing the collapse of a 500 million pound ($839 million) sale of the business.

The Independent

SPORTS DIRECT 'STOPS 20,000 STAFF TAKING OTHER WORK' BY USING ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS

Billionaire Mike Ashley has been revealed as the biggest employer to use the soon-to-be illegal "zero hour" contracts that potentially stop the 20,000 part-time staff at his retail empire getting a second job.

 

Fly On The Wall Pre-Market Buzz

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
JOLTs job openings for June at 10:00--consensus 4.6M
Treasury budget for July at 14:00--consensus deficit $96.0B

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Brunswick (BC) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James
Choice Hotels (CHH) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo
Dean Foods (DF) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
El Paso Pipeline (EPB) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
Intercept (ICPT) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Leerink
OM Group (OMG) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis
Pacific Coast Oil (ROYT) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Skullcandy (SKUL) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
Stryker (SYK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham

Downgrades

Applied Micro downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
Steven Madden (SHOO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Teck Resources (TCK) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
Whiting USA Trust (WHX) downgraded to Underperform at Raymond James
magicJack (CALL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord

Initiations

Globant (GLOB) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
HomeAway (AWAY) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Illumina (ILMN) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
PerkinElmer (PKI) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Renasant (RNST) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) initiated with an Outperform at Leerink
TerraForm Power (TERP) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
TerraForm Power (TERP) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
TerraForm Power (TERP) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan
Thermo Fisher (TMO) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Trupanion (TRUP) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
Trupanion (TRUP) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
Trupanion (TRUP) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Trustmark (TRMK) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
TubeMogul (tube) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
TubeMogul (tube) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer
Waters (WAT) initiated with a Hold at Stifel

COMPANY NEWS

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT), which reported Q2 results, announced that 46% of OCA group met FLINT endpoint
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) received a request for additional information from the FTC in connection with Valeant's proposed acquisition of Allergan (AGN)
Twitter (TWTR) said it now believes approximately 11% of active users only using third-party apps for three months ended June 30
Scotts Miracle-Gro's (SMG) board approved a $500M share repurchase authorization and announced a $2.00 per share special dividend
Telecom Italia (TI) said deadline to sell Argentina unit revised to September 1
Flowers Foods (FLO) said 'remains confident' in long-term growth strategies

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:

Aratana Therapeutics (PETX), Aratana Therapeutics (PETX), ReneSola (SOL), USA Compression (USAC), Towers Watson (TW), Sunshine Heart (SSH), Consolidated Water (CWCO), Endeavour Silver (EXK), Supernus (SUPN), OPKO Health (OPK), Odyssey Marine (OMEX), Chimera (CIM), Fontegra Financial (FRF), Skilled Healthcare (SKH), ICU Medical (ICUI), Aveo Pharmaceuticals (AVEO), Health Insurance Innovations (HIIQ), iPass (IPAS), Hannon Armstrong (HASI), Oncothyreon (ONTY), Athersys (ATHX), DTS, Inc. (DTSI), Biodel (BIOD), Convergys (CVG), Intercept (ICPT), Halozyme (HALO), Lifeway Foods (LWAY), GenMark (GNMK), Sizmek (SZMK), Millennial Media (MM), Relypsa (RLYP), Cyan (CYNI), DealerTrack (TRAK), THL Credit (TCRD), Everyday Health (EVDY), UCP, Inc. (UCP)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:

Flowers Foods (FLO), Tuniu (TOUR), New Source Energy (NSLP), Contango Oil & Gas (MCF), NGL Energy Partners (NGL), Resolute Energy (REN), NII Holdings (NIHD), Ambac Financial (AMBC), Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP), Forest Oil (FST), , American Midstream reports Q2 EPS (59c), Regado Biosciences (RGDO), Celluar Dynamics (ICEL), Park-Ohio (PKOH), Black Diamond (BDE), GAIN Capital (GCAP), Galena (GALE), Puma Biotechnology (PBYI), 51job (JOBS), Fuel Tech (FTEK), Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX), AdCare (ADK), Ocera Therapeutics (OCRX), Inter Parfums (IPAR), Omeros (OMER), Turtle Beach (hear), Caesar's (CZR), Noranda Aluminum (NOR), Acorn Energy (ACFN), BioSpecifics (BSTC), Towerstream (TWER), Cache (CACH), Continental Building (CBPX), TriplePoint Venture (TPVG), FX Energy (FXEN), AcelRx (ACRX)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:

Sapiens (SPNS), Mindray Medical (MR), CUI Global (CUI), MasTec (MTZ), magicJack (CALL), Geron (GERN), Nuance (NUAN), Rackspace (RAX)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

Apple (AAPL) suppliers begin production of next-generation iPads, Bloomberg reports
Apple (AAPL) readies Healthkit launch despite complicated regulations, Reuters reports
Tesla's (TSLA) Model S 'has more than its share of problems,' Consumer Reports says
Amazon's (AMZN) Disney (DIS) dispute about more than pricing, WSJ reports
Sprint (S) CEO to utilize price cuts to 'compete aggressively,' Bloomberg reports
Disney (DIS) cuts employees at DisneyToon Studios, Variety reports

SYNDICATE

Buckeye Partners (BPL) files to sell 2.6M limited partnership units
Callaway Golf (ELY) files $200M mixed securities shelf
DealerTrack (TRAK) files automatic common stock shelf
GreenHunter Resources (GRH) files to sell 517,869 shares for holders
Healthstream (HSTM) files to sell $225M of common stock
Hi-Crush Partners (HCLP) files to sell 3.26M common units representing limited partners
Insmed (INSM) files to sell $80M of common stock
Ligand (LGND) files to sell $225M of convertible senior notes due 2019
Rexnord (RXN) files to sell 10M shares of common stock for holders
Rice Energy (RICE) files to sell 10M shares of common stock
Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) files to sell 15M shares of common for holders
Triangle Capital (TCAP) files to sell 4M shares of common stock