Frontrunning: May 14

  • Vietnam mobs set fire to foreign factories in anti-China riots (Reuters)
  • Recession-Baby Millennials Scarred by U.S. Downturn Spurn Stocks (BBG)
  • U.S. Agents Start Hunting for Sanctioned Russians’ ‘Shiny Toys’ (BBG)
  • China Central Bank Calls for Faster Home Lending in Slump (BBG)
  • Russia moves to oust US from International Space Station (FT)
  • Geithner Must Give S&P Documents in U.S. Fraud Suit (BBG)
  • Samsung's 'crown prince' in focus as father hospitalized (Reuters)
  • Yahoo buys mobile 'self-destruct' messaging app Blink only to shut it down (Reuters)
  • Goldman’s Twitter banker joins hedge fund (FT)
  • Keyword being "unexpectedly": Sony Unexpectedly Forecasts Loss Amid PC Restructuring Costs (BBG)
  • Nigerian Militant Makes a Name for Himself Through Terror (WSJ)
  • Florida MERS patient sat in busy ER for hours (Reuters)
  • Art Basel Beckons Billionaires With $10,000 Passports (BBG)
  • Sears Explores Options, May Sell Canada Stores Stake (BBG)
  • Goldman to Citigroup Miss World’s Worst Selloff in China (BBG)
  • In Modi's India, a case of rule and divide (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


* Thousands more victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme could receive compensation for their losses. The early findings of a new claims process administered by the Justice Department said the large number of claims suggests the fraud was even bigger than previously known. (

* Chinese authorities on Wednesday accused GlaxoSmithKline Plc's former China chief Mark Reilly of ordering subordinates to commit bribery. Officials with China's Ministry of Public Security said Reilly allegedly pressed his sales teams to bribe hospitals, doctors and health institutions. (

* Pershing Square Capital Management LP on Tuesday called for a non-binding referendum among Allergan shareholders on whether the company should negotiate to sell itself to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. The move comes a day after Allergan rejected the $46 billion stock-and-cash offer that Valeant made last month. (

* The Federal Reserve warned it may need to take additional action to rein in banks' funding of corporate takeovers after observing continued deterioration of lending standards this year. The Fed and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency told banks in March 2013 to avoid funding takeover deals that would leave companies with high levels of debt. (

* Radio giant Cumulus Media Inc and Nashville record company Big Machine Label Group have entered into an unusual joint venture called Nash Icons, which will feed radio stations across the country stage-related events such as concerts and television specials. (

* Anthony Noto, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc investment banker who helped shepherd Twitter Inc's initial public offering, is leaving the firm to join Coatue Management LLC, a hedge fund. (

* Christie's in New York made auction history on Tuesday when it sold $745 million worth of contemporary art in less time than it takes to watch a basketball game. The auction house's total surpassed its $691.6 million landmark sale last November and reset records for artists like Alexander Calder and Barnett Newman, whose black-and-tan abstract, "Black Fire I," sold for $84.2 million. (



Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the British government needed to rein in the Help to Buy scheme in London or risked endangering recovery.

U.S. drug maker Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read admitted before British lawmakers that a merger with AstraZeneca would mean job losses and reduced research spending.

U.S. internet giants including Google are preparing for a plethora of requests from European citizens to remove sensitive personal information after a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc technology investment banker Anthony Noto, who helped orchestrate Twitter's IPO last year, is leaving and joining hedge fund Coatue Management.

Weak data releases on both sides of the Atlantic were largely ignored as a positive session for global equities saw the S&P 500 break above 1,900 for the first time and European stocks reach six-year highs.



* Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew pushed China on Tuesday to let market forces decide its exchange rate, and pressed senior officials here not to undercut the Obama administration's sanctions on Russia. (

* Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York last month appointed a three-person commission to offer thoughts on the use of technology in schools. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, is one of the three, but his appointment raised some eyebrows as Schmidt's company has a commercial interest in seeing more Chromebook computers, which run Google's Chrome web software, and the company's productivity applications, Google Apps, being used in schools. (

* Europe's highest court said on Tuesday that people had the right to influence what the world could learn about them through online searches, a ruling that rejected long-established notions about the free flow of information on the Internet. A search engine like Google should allow online users to be "forgotten" after a certain time by erasing links to web pages unless there are "particular reasons" not to, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said. (

* Subsys, a strong painkiller, was approved in 2012 for cancer patients, but has since become an outsize moneymaker for Insys Therapeutics and has been prescribed more widely. Drug-safety experts said the range of medical professionals who appeared to be prescribing Subsys was troubling, particularly given concerns about the widespread use - and abuse - of narcotic painkillers. (

* The federal overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday announced a shift in policies intended to maintain the mortgage finance giants' role in parts of the housing market, spur more home lending and aid distressed homeowners. Melvin Watt's announcement raises bigger - and divisive - questions about the role of the now-profitable mortgage institutions, which were fully taken over by the federal government during the financial crisis to avoid their bankruptcies. (

* Airbnb, the popular apartment-sharing service, won a legal standoff Tuesday when a state judge ruled that the company did not have to give up customer records as part of an investigation by the New York attorney general. However, the victory may be short-lived, as the state attorney general said he would address the court's concerns in a new subpoena. (

* Being cast off from a struggling foreign parent company might bring on an identity crisis for some institutions. Not so for Citizens Bank, which is looking to turn its coming independence from the Royal Bank of Scotland into an opportunity to strengthen its consumer banking in the United States. But it may be a slog. (

* Sallie Mae, the student lender, and Navient, its former subsidiary, have agreed to pay $97 million to settle complaints about excessive fees and interest on loans to military service members. (

* As the drugstore chain Walgreen considers a deal that would allow it to reincorporate abroad, many shareholders are elated, saying it could save millions of dollars a year on taxes. But at least one Walgreen investor wants the company to remain in the United States. The CtW Investment Group, which owns less than 1 percent of Walgreen's shares, sent a letter on Tuesday to the company's management, making the case against such a transaction. (




* Canada's House of Commons passed the divisive Fair Elections Act by a vote of 146 to 123, despite ongoing calls for changes. The new law will boost ID requirements on voting day and place limits on what Elections Canada can do publicly. (

* A conflict-of-interest probe involving Rob Ford should continue even if the mayor is not at City Hall, say two veteran members of city council. Integrity commissioner Janet Leiper suspended her investigation of the mayor this month after Ford took a leave to seek help for alcohol abuse. (

Reports in the business section:

* BlackBerry Ltd launched a low-cost touchscreen device in Jakarta, the Z3, as the embattled smartphone-maker looks to revive sales in emerging markets like Indonesia. The handset is the first in a line of devices being made with FIH Mobile Ltd, a unit of the giant Taiwanese Foxconn Technology Group. (


* In what appears to be the deepest discount in Canadian history on a floating rate loan, Investors Group is rocking the mortgage world with a deal that takes the effective mortgage rate down to 1.99 percent. The company is now offering 101 basis points or 1.01 percentage points off its prime rate of 3 percent for a variable rate mortgage. (

* In the latest weirdly expensive anomaly to hit the Vancouver housing market, a $3-million house in Vancouver that sold in just 24 hours will be torn down by its new owners. The four-bedroom house at 3981 West 35th Avenue will demolished because its new owners consider it too small. (


* A ruling by Europe's top court ordering Google Inc to remove some personal data on request is a landmark decision which solidifies an individual's right to be forgotten online. The Court of Justice of the European Union's surprise decision does not set a formal legal precedent for Canada, but it will be "persuasive", said Geoff White, counsel for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. (

* The British-Columbia government is optimistic that at least one liquefied natural gas project will secure a final investment decision by the end of the year. However, a Petronas Bhd executive says his company is seeking regulatory certainty from the province before it proceeds with its multi-billion dollar project. (


Hong Kong


-- Macau casinos will be handed a deadline to get rid of illegal China UnionPay mobile swipe card devices or face a crackdown on the city's multimillion-dollar illegal cash-transfer business, gaming insiders say. (

-- Wang Dongming, the chairman of Citic Securities , China's largest brokerage firm by market value, has been fined two months' salary after publicly reprimanding state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China for racking up huge profits. (

-- Last year's double-digit percentage growth in the number of mainland tourists had a limited impact on the Hong Kong hospitality industry. However, the decrease in their numbers this year poses a challenge to the business, hoteliers said. (


-- Upgraders who buy partially built property could soon have up to three years to sell their old homes to enjoy the double stamp duty rebate, which might help boost developers' sales, according to a proposed amendment scheme presented by the government. (

-- Declining demand and use of the mainland currency in Hong Kong has prompted China Construction Bank (Asia) and Wing Hang Bank to boost the maximum interest they offer on yuan time deposits. (

-- Hysan Development said first-quarter sales at shops in Lee Gardens, Hysan Place and the Lee Theatre rose 20 percent from a year back, beating the 4 percent growth of the entire retail sector in the period. (


-- Footwear distributor S. Culture International Holdings Ltd expects slower retail sales growth in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a 27 percent same-store sales growth in the first quarter, according to senior management.


-- The relaxation of double stamp duty is set to ease burden of home upgraders, said Swire Properties Chief Executive Officer Martin Cubbon, adding the cooling measure is set to stay until the market sees an increase in supply and as interest rate goes up.


-- Mainland railway equipment manufacturer China CNR Corp Ltd plans to issue 1.82 billion H shares in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, raising up to HK$11.3 billion ($1.46 billion).


Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

Domestic economic reports scheduled today include:
Producer Price Index for April at 8:30--consensus up 0.2%



Akamai (AKAM) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
Autodesk (ADSK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord
CalAmp (CAMP) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis
Harmony Gold (HMY) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Lear (LEA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
MannKind (MNKD) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at Piper Jaffray
Pandora (P) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Royal Caribbean (RCL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
Rubicon Project (RUBI) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
Rubicon Project (RUBI) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Summit Hotel (INN) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Western Digital (WDC) upgraded to Overweight from Equalweight at Barclays


Randgold Resources (GOLD) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Sibanye Gold (SBGL) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Sociedad Quimica (SQM) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Teekay Tankers (TNK) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill


Ashford Hospitality Prime (AHP) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
Avago (AVGO) resumed with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
Camtek (CAMT) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley
Cascade Microtech (CSCD) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley
Cohu (COHU) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with a Buy at BofA/Merrill
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with a Buy at Mizuho
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with a Buy at Stifel
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with an Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with an Equalweight at Barclays
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with an Outperform at Leerink
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
IMS Health (IMS) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Intersil (ISIL) initiated with an Overweight at Evercore
InvenSense (INVN) initiated with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
MWI Veterinary Supply (MWIV) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Nielsen (NLSN) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
ON Semiconductor (ONNN) initiated with an Underweight at Evercore
Ultratech (UTEK) initiated with a Neutral at B. Riley
Vipshop (VIPS) initiated with a Buy at Brean Capital


Sears (SHLD) exploring strategic alternatives for 51% interest in Sears Canada
Google (GOOG) said Google Glass now available to U.S. consumers for $1,500
BHP Billiton (BHP) reviewing Western Australian Nickel West business
Yahoo (YHOO) acquired Blink, a mobile messaging application that lets users share self-destructing messages
Hertz (HTZ) backed its FY14 guidance and said it would delay its 10-Q filing
Take Two (TTWO) reported Q4 results that beat analyst expectations, but guided below analyst estimates for Q1
Arotech (ARTX) said its quarterly results beat analyst estimates
Fossil (FOSL) provided Q2 guidance below analyst estimates


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

Coty (COTY), InterOil (IOC), Top Image Systems (TISA), Banro Corporation  (BAA), World Point Terminals (WPT), SunOpta (STKL), China Lodging Group (HTHT), Corium (CORI), Five9 (FIVN), Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals (CYCC), Inogen (ingn), Amber Road (AMBR), Rubicon Project (RUBI), Aratana Therapeutics (PETX), NetSol Technologies (NTWK), Electro Scientific (ESIO), Take-Two (TTWO), Fossil (FOSL), Summer Infant (SUMR), Epizyme (EPZM), pSivida (PSDV)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:

Full House Resorts (FLL), GasLog (GLOG), Cimatron (CIMT), VimpelCom (VIP), NMI Holdings (NMIH), Galectin Therapeutics (GALT), First Majestic (AG), Argos Therapeutics (ARGS), StoneCastle (BANX), Marrone Bio (MBII), URS Corporation (URS), YuMe (YUME), Fate Therapeutics (FATE), Synacor (SYNC), Conatus (CNAT), Revance Therapeutics (RVNC), PostRock Energy (pstr), IMRIS (IMRS), Intrawest Resorts (SNOW), Quantum (QTWW), Dicerna (DRNA), Biodel (BIOD), Auspex Systems (ASPX), Bluebird Bio (BLUE)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:

ARC Group (ARCW), B2Gold (BTG), TriplePoint Venture (TPVG), American Eagle Energy (AMZG), Netlist (NLST)


Fortress (FIG) preparing $4.7B bid for Stuyvesant Town, Bloomberg says 
Google's (GOOG) operations could be disrupted by EU's 'right to be forgotten' ruling, WSJ reports
JPMorgan (JPM) buys $2B in Argentina bonds from Repsol (REPYY), Bloomberg reports
Sony (SNE) says OLED development not on pause, What Hi-Fi? reports
NY regulator cooperation crucial to deals with BNP (BNPQY), Credit Suisse (CS), WSJ says
Whirlpool (WHR) still a buy, Barron's says
Vodafone (VOD) sidelined as AT&T (T) looks to DirecTV (DTV), Bloomberg reports


Antero Resources (AR) 12M share Secondary priced at $62.00
Delek US (DK) files to sell 9.2M shares of common stock for holders
Hydrogenics (HYGS) files to sell common stock for holders
NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) to sell 17.38M shares of common stock for holders
SVB Financial (SIVB) 3.9M share Secondary priced at $101.00
ServisFirst (SFBS) 625K share IPO priced at $91.00
Shore Bancshares (SHBI) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
Spirit Realty (SRC) files to sell 23M shares of common stock and convertible notes
TechTarget (TTGT) files to sell 5M shares of common stock for holders
USA Compression (USAC) files to sell 6.6M common units representing limited partners