Frontrunning: January 30

  • Boeing misses Q4 top line ($22.3 bn, Exp. $22.33 bn) beats EPS ($1.28, Exp. $1.18), guides lower: 2013 revenue $82-85 bn, Exp. 87.9 bn
  • Hilsenrath discovers DV01: Fed Risks Losses From Bonds  (WSJ)
  • Airlines had 787 battery issues before groundings (Reuters)
  • Monte Paschi ignored warnings over risk, documents show (Reuters) as did Mario Draghi
  • China averts local government defaults (FT)
  • Economy Probably Slowed as U.S. Spending Gain Drained Stockpiles (Bloomberg)
  • Bono Is No Match for Retail Slump Hitting Dublin’s Fifth Avenue (BBG)
  • Catalonia requests €9bn from rescue fund (FT)
  • US plans more skilled migrant visas (FT)
  • Japan PM shrugs off global criticism over latest stimulus steps (Reuters)
  • CIA nominee had detailed knowledge of "enhanced interrogation techniques" (Reuters)
  • Cleanliness Meets Godliness as Russia Reeled Into Cyprus (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank Seen Missing Goldman-Led Gains on Cost Rise (BBG)
  • South Korea Launches Satellite-Carrying Rocket (WSJ)
  • Football: Where Nepotism Works (WSJ)


Overnight Media Digest


* U.S. President Barack Obama began rallying supporters Tuesday to back his immigration-overhaul plan, while Republican Senator Marco Rubio worked to persuade conservatives in his party to support a similar bipartisan plan that has gained momentum in the Senate.

* Chesapeake Energy Corp Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon is leaving the company he built into the country's second-biggest natural-gas producer, citing "philosophical differences" with a board of directors largely installed by shareholders to curb his risk-taking and free-spending ways.

* U.S. air-safety investigators Tuesday said they are stepping up microscopic and chemical examinations of the lithium-ion battery that caught fire aboard a parked Japan Airlines Boeing 787 three weeks ago, still seeking to determine whether internal defects may have played a role in the blaze.

* Inc posted a 45 percent drop in net income in the fourth quarter, but some other measures of the online retailer's profitability came as a positive surprise.

* The role Microsoft Corp would play in a privately owned Dell Inc is one of several issues being hashed out ahead of a final buyout agreement for the computer maker, people familiar with the negotiations said.

* Jefferies Group Inc handed Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Handler a $45.2 million payday, making him the best-paid financial-company leader for the second time in three years



WIDER EURO 'TOBIN TAX' WILL NET 35 BILLION EUROS - The biggest euro zone economies could raise up to 35 billion euros with a Tobin Tax according to European Commission proposals; a clampdown on avoidance is seen as a "last resort"

INDIA SEES END TO VODAFONE TAX DISPUTE - India's finance minister says he hopes the 2.6 billion dollar tax dispute with Vodafone will be resolved within the month, with talks planned this week.

SWISS BANKS LOSE OLD TASTE FOR GOLD - UBS and Credit Suisse raised their fees for holding gold by in the region of 20 percent according to unnamed sources and traders.

BP WARNED OFF OILFIELD PLANS IN NORTHERN IRAQ - A senior official in Iraqi Kurdistan said the company's plans to revive an oilfield in the disputed territory could put the firm at the "frontline" of conflict between Iraq and the Kurds

RBS TO WIND DOWN M&A AS SALE CALLED OFF - RBS will wind down its mergers and acquisitions business after failing to secure a buyer. Most of its 40 or so M&A bankers were made redundant at the end of last year, two people close to the situation told the newspaper.

BRUSSELS SOFTENS LINE ON BANK RINGFENCES - Michel Barnier, the EU's commissioner in charge of regulatory reform, said any rules on the structure of European banks would have to "preserve their diversity" , a retreat from plans to force banks to build barriers around securities trading operations.

MCCLENDON TO QUIT AS CHESAPEAKE CHIEF - The chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, Aubrey McClendon will leave the company in April, citing "philosophical differences" with the board.

CHINA ANGER AT EU TELECOMS DEMANDS - Europe's top trade official is demanding a bigger share of the Chinese market in telecoms network equipment.

YOUTUBE TO SWITCH ON PAID-FOR VIDEO - The video-sharing website plans owned by Google plans to sell subscriptions that could see users charged to access some content, according to unnamed sources.



* Even before battery failures led to the grounding of all Boeing Co's 787 jets, there were problems that raised questions about their reliability.

* Chesapeake Energy's co-founder and chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, will retire on April 1, the producer of oil and natural gas announced on Tuesday, almost eight months after investors complained about a compensation plan.

* Lanny Breuer, the U.S. federal prosecutor who led the Justice Department's response to corporate crime in the wake of the financial crisis, will announce on Wednesday that he is stepping down after nearly four years in the post.

* Ford Motor Co posted a 54 percent gain in adjusted fourth-quarter profit, despite heavy losses in the troubled European market.

* Pfizer and Eli Lilly each reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday as the companies weathered generic competition for once top-selling products through deals, cost-cutting and strong sales of newer products.

* Inc missed expectations on both revenue and profit, but an increase in its operating margin - to 3.2 percent from 2.7 percent - caught investors' attention.

* A federal judge in New Orleans on Tuesday approved an agreement between BP Plc and the Justice Department for the company to plead guilty to 14 criminal charges and pay $4 billion in penalties for the 2010 oil well blowout and spill in the Gulf of Mexico that left 11 workers dead and fouled hundreds of miles of shoreline.

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the first drug to treat myelofibrosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening bone marrow disorder.




--Authorities will keep in place or even strengthen measures aimed at restraining housing prices, but local governments are also likely to adjust policies based on local conditions, include supporting non-investment demand in some areas.


--China's inflation could fall to 1.8 percent in January due to a high base from last year, but the full-year figure could hit 3-3.5 percent, said Bank of Communications in its research report.

--A recovery in the Chinese economy and policies supporting urbanisation could lead to a gradual rise in house prices this year, but a sharp rise is unlikely, due to continued polices to control the property market, according to a research report by China Commercial Real Estate Commission.

--Chinese banks will increase loans to support urbanisation, with China Development Bank saying it will devote more than half of its loans this year to this purpose.


--Most of the high-speed rail lines opened in recent years are operating at a loss, but those in more developed east China, such as the Beijing-Shanghai line, are doing better.


--Swiss food company Nestle is investigating one of its factories in Tianjin city, in north China, after an undercover reporter from the Qingdao-based City Sun newspaper found apparent health violations there.


--China Development Bank will lend more than 500 million yuan ($80.33 million) to allow LDK Solar Co to reopen its silicon factory, but a local government official said the factory needs 1.5 billion yuan to resume operations.





* Alberta Premier Alison Redford may get the public "conversation" she's seeking on tax rates, but reaction to her latest speech suggests she'll need to lead by example with spending cuts if she expects broad support.

Redford revealed, late in a conference call with Progressive Conservative party supporters Monday evening, some of the options on the table as she plans to overhaul the province's resource-dependent fiscal structure.

* Stephen Harper's reluctance to wade further into a military mission in Mali extended to the funding of African troops on Tuesday, as Canada offered a modest boost in aid but did not join allies in pledging money for a multinational African force.

Reports in the business section:

* Nexen Inc has laid the groundwork for a concept to use trains to carry crude to the country's West Coast for export as Canada's energy industry rushes to find new ways to move oil out of North America.

The Calgary company, which has agreed to a takeover by China's CNOOC Ltd, has spent more than a year on an idea that would see oil move by rail to the port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, where an export terminal on federal land could load it onto tankers bound for Asia.


* New Democratic Party leader Tom Mulcair has waded into the national unity swamp, with proposed legislation specifying that a bare majority Yes vote would be sufficient to trigger negotiations on Quebec's secession from Canada.


* Andrew Kriegler, a veteran of risk management and securitization, will join Canada's federal banking regulator as Assistant Superintendent of Supervision.

Kriegler, who was senior vice-president of Treasury and Risk-Management at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce until August, is expected to replace Edward Price who is scheduled to retire as deputy superintendent from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions in June.


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot


Bob Evans (BOBE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens
Chesapeake (CHK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus
KB Home (KBH) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Navios Acquisition (NNA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Norfolk Southern (NSC) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities
Manitowoc (MTW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T
Vanguard Health (VHS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Waddell & Reed (WDR) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman

Affiliated Managers (AMG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup (AMZN) downgraded to Outperform from Buy at CLSA
Ford (F) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA
Fossil (FOSL) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Brean Capital
Graco (GGG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
Harley-Davidson (HOG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Hawaiian Holdings (HA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Illinois Tool Works (ITW) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
JetBlue (JBLU) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Lennar (LEN) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
OpenTable (OPEN) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Posco (PKX) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
ProLogis (PLD) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
U.S. Bancorp (USB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorganbas
Union Pacific (UNP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities
Yum! Brands (YUM) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein

Align Technology (ALGN) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman (PCLN) initiated with a Buy at Ascendiant Capital


Kinder Morgan Energy (KMP) acquired Copano (CPNO) for about $5B in unit for unit transaction
Dell (DELL) deal may be announced next week, Fox Business News reports
The National Transportation Safety Board said examination of damaged 787 Dreamliner (BA) battery ongoing
MetLife (MET) said in talks to acquire AFP Provida from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)
Chesapeake (CHK) CEO Aubrey McClendon to retire April 1
Cisco (CSCO) to acquire Cognitive Security, terms not disclosed
Roche (RHHBY) sees 2013 sales growth in-line with 2012
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said new business pipelines “healthy”
FDA approved new orphan drug Kynamro (SNY) to treat inherited cholesterol disorder
Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) signed master franchising agreement to develop in Vietnam
Baskin-Robbins announced major expansion plans in China


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
ADT Corp. (ADT), Evercore Partners (EVR), Unisys (UIS), Ryland Group (RYL), Dolby (DLB), Robert Half (RHI), Broadcom (BRCM), QIAGEN (QGEN), Vertex (VRTX), Plantronics (PLT)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Arkansas Best (ABFS), Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), IXYS (IXYS), Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG), Plantronics (PLT), (AMZN)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
PolyOne (POL), First Busey (BUSE)


  • Small investors are back in the market after abandoning it during the financial crisis. The return by individual investors is a big reason why the Dow Jones Industrial Average is moving toward an all-time high. The Dow has jumped 850 points in January, a 6.5% gain, marking its best start to a new year since 1989, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • The Fed could be charting a course that leaves the highly profitable central bank with no extra income to hand over to the Treasury for several years. That’s what five Fed staff economists who examined how the central bank's bond-buying programs will affect its profitability over the long run, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Toyota Motor (TM) will recall 1.1M cars worldwide for defects, including 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in the U.S. to fix airbags that could be deployed inadvertently, Reuters reports
  • A Dutch court ruled today that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) can be held partially responsible for pollution in the Niger Delta in southern Nigeria, saying the company should have prevented sabotage at one of its facilities, Reuters reports
  • A widening loss in Europe sent Ford’s (F) shares down the most in seven months, taking the market’s attention from Q4 earnings that beat estimates. Shares for Ford slid 4.6% to $13.14 yesterday, the biggest one-day drop since June 29 and wiped out most of their gains this year, Bloomberg reports
  • Michael Dell is seeking majority control of Dell (DELL) in a buyout that would combine his 15.7% stake in the company with as much as $1B of his personal funds, sources say, Bloomberg reports


First Bancorp (FBNC) files to sell 3.39M shares of common stock for holders
Five Below (FIVE) 11.315M share Secondary priced at $35.65
Keryx (KERX) commences offering of $55M of common stock
NewLink Genetics (NLNK) files to sell common stock
Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY) 4M share Secondary priced at $32.00
Ventrus (VTUS) announces proposed offering of common stock

SAC Capital reports 5.7% passive stake in Starz (STRZA)


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