Frontrunning: April 9

  • Top Medicare Doctor Paid $21 Million in 2012, Data Shows (BBG)
  • Separatists build barricades in east Ukraine, Kiev warns of force (Reuters)
  • Greece launches sale of five-year bond (FT)
  • High-Frequency Trader Malyshev Mulls Accepting Outside Investors (BBG)
  • U.S. defense chief gets earful as China visit exposes tensions (Reuters)
  • GM Workers Who Built Defective Cars Fret About Recall (BBG)
  • Kerry, Congress Agree: Superpower Status Not What It Was (BBG)
  • Crimeans Homeless in Ukraine Seek Solace in Kiev Asylums (BBG)
  • JPMorgan's Dimon says U.S. banks healthy, Europe lagging (Reuters)
  • Manipulate Me: The Booming Business in Behavioral Finance (BBG)
  • Toyota to recall nearly 6.5 million vehicles for steering, other faults (Reuters)
  • In smartphone mass-market, Samsung, Apple have margins on their minds (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


* The top 1 percent of 825,000 individual medical providers accounted for 14 percent of the $77 billion Medicare costs in 2012, according to an analysis of federal data that lays out details of physicians' billings. (

* Google Inc is moving boldly to play a larger role in booking hotel rooms - at the risk of offending some of its most important advertisers. Google is adding more photos and reviews to its hotel listings, so they increasingly resemble those of travel search sites such as Priceline Group Inc , Expedia Inc and TripAdvisor Inc. (

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc executives have broached the subject of closing its so-called dark-pool trading operation, Sigma X - one of the world's largest private stock-trading venues, in conversations with market participants over the past several months, according to people familiar with the matter. (

* As the government pressure on SAC Capital Advisors LP intensified last year, the hedge-fund firm's billionaire founder, Steven A. Cohen, and his top lieutenants issued a consistent message to senior investment managers: "Put your heads down. Let's make money." (

* Comcast Corp on Tuesday submitted a lengthy document to federal regulators to justify its $45 billion proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. But its filing also had the effect of showing the many ways in which the combined entity could use its leverage over both cable lines and programming to pressure competitors. (

* Federal auto safety regulators blasted General Motors Co for failing to answer questions about its ignition switch recall, levying a $28,000 fine and warning it could seek stiffer penalties through the federal courts. (



The Madrid stock exchange showed signs of market trust recovering with the listing of eDreams Odigeo, the first company to launch an initial public offering since Spain emerged from recession.

British private equity fund CVC Capital Partners is the front-runner in a race to buy Spanish olive oil bottler Deoleo , people close to the sale said late Tuesday.

Miner Ferrexpo Plc, which is one of the most exposed UK-listed companies to Ukraine, said its iron ore production in Ukraine rose by 1.8 percent in the first three months despite the political tension created with Russia's over the annexation of Crimea.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved on Tuesday a reform of Germany's renewable energy law designed to curb a rise in the cost of electricity in Europe's biggest economy driven by the rapid expansion of green power.

Ex-Barclays chief Bob Diamond says it is the beginning of deals in sub-Saharan Africa, and they would continue soon after his Africa-focused shell company Atlas Mara acquired BancABC, a stake in Development Bank of Rwanda.



* Federal regulators on Tuesday approved to increase the leverage ratio for banks to 5 percent from 3 percent. Leverage ratio measures the amount of capital that a bank holds against its assets. The move could force the eight biggest banks in the United States to round up as much as $68 billion in loss-absorbing capital. (

* Federal safety regulators fined General Motors Co $28,000 on Tuesday, saying it had not provided information requested for an investigation into a recall of about 2.6 million cars with an ignition switch defect. (

* Comcast Corp presented regulators on Tuesday with 650 pages of reasons to approve its takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc, saying a merger of the two largest cable television companies would spur rather than inhibit competition. (

* Comcast on Tuesday unveiled plans to increase spending and include new attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood. The new enhancements, part of a $1.6 billion overhaul of the theme park, will remake 70 percent of the California park by 2016. (

* Average gasoline prices should be lower than current prices, the Energy Department said. A gallon of regular gasoline would cost $3.57 on average nationally, down a penny from last summer, the Energy Information Administration projected on Tuesday. (

* A software bug called "Heartbleed," which may compromise communication security over the Internet, has prompted several tech giants such as Yahoo Inc, Google Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon Web Services to release software updates and fix the problem. Researchers say users' personal information like passwords, bank details and social security numbers could be compromised because of the bug. (

* Imax, the Canadian large-screen movie company, said it would sell a fifth of its Chinese subsidiary to China Media Capital and private equity firm FountainVest Partners for $80 million. The Chinese investors in turn plan to help Imax China complete a public offering of shares to finance expansion. (

* Companies are rushing to sell their shares on the Wall Street, and this week is expected to be the busiest for IPOs in more than seven years. But even as soaring stocks have fueled a surge in IPOs, there are signs that investors are beginning to sour on the fresh arrivals. This week could provide a barometer for just how many new stocks investors will receive enthusiastically. (

* Target Corp announced on Tuesday that it would expand its inventory of "natural, organic and sustainable" goods to meet growing customer demand. The company said it would introduce more than 120 new products over the next several months. (




* Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is calling on Ottawa to show greater leadership in getting Canada's natural resources to world markets, warning the country needs a federal persuader-in-chief to secure support for major projects or risk being outmanoeuvred by foreign rivals. (

* Philippe Couillard, the newly elected Premier of Quebec said on Tuesday he will use Quebec Liberal Party's majority to revive a right-to-die bill, to draft a limited secular charter, to bring public finances under control and to ramp up infrastructure spending to boost the provincial economy. (

Reports in the business section:

* Auto makers spent $17.6 billion around the world in 2013 to increase vehicle-making capacity, but not a dime of that money was invested in Canada. It's the third year in the past four that Canada has been shut out of investment in new plants or expansions that lead to increased production, according to an annual study done by the Office of Automotive and Vehicle Research at the University of Windsor. (


* The Quebec election severely rattled the incumbent Parti Quebecois on Monday, but Liberal premier-elect Philippe Couillard said the most significant shift in the province's politics occurred below the surface. "There was a realignment of the political forces in Quebec," he said. (

* Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has added two more people on his re-election campaign - Ben Johnson, the disgraced sprinter who is best known for losing his 1988 Olympic gold medal in a doping scandal, and a cast member from the Trailer Park Boys known as the Greasy Caveman. (


* Osisko Mining Corp Chief Executive Sean Roosen thinks Goldcorp Inc has internal problems to deal with. And he suspects that will prevent it from making another offer for his company and its giant Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec. Goldcorp launched a $2.8 billion hostile bid for Montreal-based Osisko in January. (

* Quebec's Liberal premier-elect Philippe Couillard has buried the issue of sovereignty for the next four years. Now the markets will turn their attention to whether he can bring the province's listless economy back to life. The Liberals believe their financial program should boost Quebec's nominal GDP growth to reach the Canadian average of 4.5 percent over the next five years. (



The Telegraph



An independent Scotland would "not have the resources" to pay its share of national debt and would leave the rest of the UK shouldering an extra burden of 143 billion pounds, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has said.



The boss of the Association of British Insurers knew of the City regulator's plans to review the insurance industry as far back as December but said he did not expect the idea to be "market sensitive." Otto Thoresen told the Treasury Select Committee that he had been taken by surprise by the stock market rout two weeks ago.

The Guardian



The board of Britain's largest independent co-operative society has voted not to support the reform proposals drawn up by Lord Myners to shake up the scandal-hit Co-operative Group of supermarkets, funeral homes and pharmacies.



An employment tribunal has dismissed a claim from a senior Rolls-Royce engineer saying he was sacked for blowing the whistle on allegations of potentially serious problems with the company's jet engines.

The Times



Clifford Chance will investigate the controversial pre-briefing of a regulatory review into legacy products that sent insurers' share prices into a tailspin 12 days ago.



Bob Diamond has poached Barclays executive John Vitalo to run Atlas Mara, the London-listed shell company that he set up last year to buy banks in Africa.

Sky News



The founder of Metro Bank is switching his attention from high street to digital banking with secret plans for the launch of a new national retail and business lender.





Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot


Domestic economic reports scheduled today include:
Wholesale inventories for February at 10:00--consensus up 0.6%



AmSurg (AMSG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor
Bank of Marin (BMRC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
CBOE Holdings (CBOE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Carlyle Group (CG) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
Cepheid (CPHD) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
FireEye (FEYE) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Topeka
First Interstate (FIBK) upgraded to Overweight from Equalweight at Barclays
Fortune Brands (FBHS) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Gray Television (GTN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Hibbett Sports (HIBB) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
LinkedIn (LNKD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Topeka
Mallinckrodt (MNK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James
Nexstar (NXST) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Penn National (PENN) upgraded to Overweight from Equalweight at Barclays
Philip Morris (PM) upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at Nomura
Quanex (NX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T
SAIC (SAIC) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo
Seadrill (SDRL) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Societe Generale
Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Yelp (YELP) upgraded to Buy from Fair Value at CRT Capital


Aeropostale (ARO) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Alpha Natural (ANR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Apache (APA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Arch Coal (ACI) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Credit Suisse (CS) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
First Niagara (FNFG) downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at Barclays
General Motors (GM) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Hershey (HSY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
JMP Group (JMP) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
John Wiley (JW.A) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
NASDAQ (NDAQ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Walter Energy (WLT) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS


AMRI (AMRI) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Aegion (AEGN) initiated with a Buy at DA Davidson
American Midstream Partners (AMID) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Cabela's (CAB) initiated with a Neutral at DA Davidson
Chevron (CVX) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Exxon Mobil (XOM) initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
Federal Agricultural Mortgage (AGM) initiated with an Outperform at Keefe Bruyette
Gentiva Health (GTIV) initiated with a Buy at CRT Capital
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) initiated with an Underperform at Sterne Agee
Lumenis (LMNS) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
MedAssets (MDAS) initiated with a Neutral at SunTrust
Mondelez (MDLZ) initiated with a Reduce at Nomura
Premier (PINC) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
The Advisory Board (ABCO) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust


Toyota (TM) announced a recall of over 6M vehicles worldwide
General Motors (GM) was fined $28,000 by the NHTSA for timeliness of response to inquiry
Alcoa (AA) said year to date productivity gains ahead of schedule
United Airlines (UAL) said March traffic increased 0.7%, capacity increased 2.7% vs. a year ago
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) gave a Q1 revenue outlook that widely missed expectations and saying it will take a $67M charge in the quarter related to legal settlements
Constant Contact (CTCT) gave a preliminary Q1 revenue outlook that beat estimates and raised FY14 revenue guidance
Senomyx (SNMX) entered into research agreement with PepsiCo (PEP), terms not disclosed


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Tech Data (TECD), Consumer Portfolio (CPSS), SAIC (SAIC), Alcoa (AA)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Penford (PENX), WD-40 (WDFC)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Healthcare Services (HCSG)


Big banks (JPM, C, GS, WFC, MS, BAC, USB) must add capital to comply with new rules, WSJ reports
JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Dimon says U.S. banks 'healthy,' Europe lags, Reuters reports
Intel (INTC) plans 1,500 job cuts in Cosa Rica, WSJ reports
Goldman Sachs (GS) considers shutting down dark pool Sigma X, WSJ reports
New York regulator issues subpoenas to insurers (CB, CNA, NAVG) on Iran, WSJ says
Bank of America (BAC), Allstate (ALL) to end toxic mortgage suit, Reuters reports
Daimler (DDAIF) says 2014 profit growth strategy to pay off, Bloomberg reports
Flexible PCB samples delivered for Apple (AAPL) iWatch validation, DigiTimes says


Ashford Hospitality (AHT) files to sell 7M common shares
Aviv REIT (AVIV) files to sell 8M common shares
Hi-Crush Partners (HCLP) files to sell 4.25M common units
La Quinta (LQ) 38.25M share IPO priced at $17.00
New Source Energy (NSLP) files $500M common, preferred unit shelf
Pacira Pharmaceuticals (PCRX) 1.6M share Spot Secondary priced at $64.00
Relypsa (RLYP) files to sell $80M of common stock
iKang Healthcare (KANG) 10.9M share IPO priced at $14.00


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