Frontrunning: May 21

  • Eric Holder proves he is no US banker puppet by smashing another foreign bank: BNP Falls as U.S. Probe Said to Cost More Than $5 Billion (BBG)
  • Fuld Was Top CEO When Fed Last Raised as New Neutral Era Beckons (BBG)
  • Tymoshenko loses her magic in Ukraine presidential race (Reuters)
  • GOP Sees Primaries Taming the Tea Party (WSJ)
  • Heard that one before: Russian troops preparing to leave Ukraine border area (Reuters)
  • Heard that one before too: Bank of England minutes show some members closer to voting for rate rise (Reuters)
  • BOJ Refrains From Easing With Signs Japan Weathering Tax Rise (BBG)
  • Vietnam riots land another blow on the global supply chain (FT)
  • Miner Freeport Pressured by Water Costs as Copper Prices Slide (WSJ)
  • Talks to end Thai crisis inconclusive, new round called (Reuters)
  • Japan Court Blocks Reactor Restarts (WSJ)
  • U.S. mortgage collectors gag homeowners in loan deals (Reuters)
  • Millennials Spurning Silicon Valley for Dallas Oil Patch (BBG)
  • Netflix to launch in six European countries this year (Reuters)
  • In cyber spying row, Chinese media call U.S. a 'mincing rascal' (Reuters)
  • Billion-dollar medical project helped fund “Putin’s palace” on the Black Sea (Reuters)


Overnight Media Digest


* As a year-long U.S. tax-evasion case dragged on in recent months, board members at Credit Suisse Group AG considered actions that likely would have cost Brady Doug his job as chief executive, according to people familiar with the deliberations. (

* Stymied in Washington on their minimum-wage push, low-wage workers are now pressing for U.S. companies to raise wages voluntarily. Fast-food workers have held rallies asking for hourly pay starting at $15. (

* General Motors Co's costs for repairing faulty vehicles hit $1.7 billion on Tuesday after the auto maker added another 2.4 million cars, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks to this year's list of recent safety recalls. (

* Simon & Schuster has agreed to make available more than 10,000 older titles to nascent e-book subscription businesses Oyster and Scribed, making it the second major book publisher to test consumer interest in Netflix Inc -like reading services. (

* French Economics Minister Arnaud Montebourg said Tuesday that General Electric Co should change its $17 billion offer for the power-equipment division of French engineering group Alstom SA describing the current bid as "unacceptable." (

* Yahoo Inc is looking to bolster its web-video technology with another acquisition. The internet portal is close to finalizing an acquisition of video-streaming startup RayV Inc, according to people familiar with the matter. (



Pfizer scrambled for support from AstraZeneca's shareholders as the UK drugmaker rejected its offer of a 55 pound-per-share deal, and said there was no chance of renewed talks.

Goldman Sachs has started the sale procedure for Metro International Trade Services - its metal warehouses network - calling it the right time to explore a sale, and the business not strategic to its clients.

Credit Suisse's brazen misconduct and shamefully inadequate internal inquiry led to the Swiss bank pleading guilty to criminal wrongdoing, Attorney General cited as reasons for the guilty plea.

Germany's financial watchdog charged Europe's biggest bank HSBC, U.S. bank JPMorgan and France's Credit Agricole with rigging financial benchmarks linked to the euro, exposing them to potential fines.

BP's chief economist Christof Ruhl, who had been overseeing the energy giant's long-term energy outlook, has decided to leave the company to join as research head at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.



* A Justice Department indictment released on Monday - which accuses five Chinese military personnel of data thefts attacks on United States Steel Corp, Allegheny Technologies Inc , SolarWorld AG and United Steelworkers union - reads like a chronology of most of the major trade disputes between the United States and China in the last five years. (

* Just two weeks after Target Corp's chief executive, Gregg Steinhafel, resigned, the company said that Tony Fisher, the president of Target Canada, would be replaced by Mark Schindele, senior vice president for merchandising operations. The company made the announcement the day before it is set to report its earnings for the first quarter. (

* During his eight years as steward of the world's largest economy, Ben Bernanke's salary was about $200,000 a year. Now he makes that in just a few hours speaking to bankers, hedge fund billionaires and leaders of industry. This year alone, he is poised to make millions of dollars from speaking engagements. (

* JPMorgan Chase & Co, the nation's biggest bank, will provide $100 million to help debt-ridden Detroit with housing repairs, blight removal, job training and economic development projects over the next five years, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans. (

* A day after Credit Suisse Group AG pleaded guilty to tax evasion in the United States, the Swiss bank says that it is able to conduct its business as normal despite its criminal conviction. Swiss officials and investors seemed to welcome the fact that the resolution allows the bank to put the matter behind it. (




* The Canadian federal government will spend as much as C$2 million to review the "relevance and performance" of the key pillar of its greenhouse gas reduction strategy - one critics say is piecemeal and has failed to put Canada on track to meet its emissions reduction targets. (

* Schools across British Columbia will begin closing next week, as the dispute between the province and its 41,000 teachers escalates, leaving parents scrambling to make arrangements for child care and raising questions about whether the province and teachers can bridge the wide gulf between them. (

Reports in the business section:

* Enbridge Inc's billion-dollar plans for a pipeline to transport a diluting agent needed for oil sands project expansions moved one step closer to completion with confirmation that Keyera Corp will become a non-operating owner in the conduit to Fort McMurray, Alberta. (


* Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in 2007 that he planned to move him from finance to industry, but backed off after Flaherty threatened to quit cabinet, a new book reveals. (

* Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris and Senator Raynell Andreychuk will lead Canada's mission to observe the Ukrainian presidential election at the end of the month. (


* That Canada has been a magnet for immigrants, many of them highly sought-after skilled workers, is well-documented, and that continues to be an issue close to its economic core. But the country is facing increasing competition from other major economies - the United States, Germany and the UK, for sure - as well as from fiscally challenged countries such as Spain, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (

* Canada is demanding the Commission for Environmental Co-operation drop its investigation into whether laws are being properly enforced when it comes to oilsands pollution. (




- China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an announcement on Tuesday that it plans to establish two or three national markets for coal trading.


- Chinese healthcare and defence sector funds are likely to see strong returns over the next decade, outstripping the wider market, fund managers told the official paper.


- Shanghai's top four taxi firms have launched a new taxi booking app to fight back against third-party providers which dominate the sector. China's taxi app market has attracted strong investment from the country's tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <IPO-ALIB.N> and Tencent Holdings Ltd.


- The United States' decision to charge five military officers in China over hacking charges is "ill-advised, if not downright stupid," according to an editorial in the state-run paper on Wednesday. Washington is "simply rubbing salt" into a wound already opened by Edward Snowden's revelations, it said.

- China is considering levying heavier taxes on rare earth producers, which could drive up the prices of the minerals, an unnamed source told the official paper. The proposed overhaul would see the amount of tax linked to the value of the minerals rather than the volume as is done currently.


The Telegraph



Raising interest rates might be the only effective tool the Bank of England has to cool the housing market, its deputy governor, Charlie Bean, who retires at the end of June, has conceded.



The UK's biggest mortgage provider, Lloyds Banking Group , has taken radical action to address what it called "inflationary pressures" in London's housing market, tightening requirements for high-value property purchases.

The Guardian



AstraZeneca told its shareholders to stop trying to pressure it into reconsidering its decision to reject Pfizer's 69 billion pound takeover.



Scottish Power has been forced to pay 750,000 pounds to a consumer campaign after an investigation by the regulator found the energy firm had been overcharging customers who refused to pay bills by direct debit.

The Times



Cobham, previously best known as a defence and aerospace electronics and components company, is paying 869 million pounds to take over Aeroflex, whose UK assets include part of the British empire of the former Marconi company, which has been testing the next generation of 4G and 5G internet telecommunications.



Saga has told institutional investors that "a substantial number" of the 700,000 private punters who expressed an interest in its flotation had put in firm orders for shares.

Sky News



House prices have risen 8 percent in the year to March, figures have shown, as David Cameron said he would "consider" changes to the Help To Buy scheme if advised to do so by the Bank of England.





Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot



AIG (AIG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Agree Realty (ADC) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich
Apollo Investment (AINV) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Dick's Sporting (DKS) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital
Evercore Partners (EVR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
Nokia (NOK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Oil States (OIS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Precision Drilling (PDS) upgraded to Overweight from Equalweight at Barclays
Quality Systems (QSII) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital


Dick's Sporting (DKS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
Dick's Sporting (DKS) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Dick's Sporting (DKS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Dick's Sporting (DKS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Dick's Sporting (DKS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Digital Realty (DLR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at MLV & Co.
Gentiva Health (GTIV) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Marketo (MKTO) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Natural Grocers (NGVC) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
NuVasive (NUVA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham
Potash (POT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Raymond James (RJF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman


Ally Financial (ALLY) initiated with a Market Perform at Bernstein
Bank of America (BAC) initiated with a Buy at MKM Partners
Citigroup (C) initiated with a Buy at MKM Partners
Covanta (CVA) initiated with a Buy at BB&T
Enable Midstream (ENBL) initiated with a Buy at UBS
Enable Midstream (ENBL) initiated with a Neutral at Citigroup
Enable Midstream (ENBL) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman
Enable Midstream (ENBL) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan
Enable Midstream (ENBL) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
JPMorgan (JPM) initiated with a Buy at MKM Partners
Liquid Holdings (LIQD) initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities
MakeMyTrip (MMYT) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
NOW Inc. (DNOW) initiated with an Overweight at JPMorgan
OGE Energy (OGE) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
WABCO (WBC) initiated with a Buy at Longbow


Netflix (NFLX) said it plans to significantly expand in Europe later this year
Noble Energy (NBL) terminated MoU with Woodside Petroleum (WOPEY)
Hercules Offshore (HERO) announced a five year drilling contract with Maersk Oil
Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands (YUM), announced that Brian Niccol will be promoted to CEO on January 1, 2015
Gilead (GILD) said Phase 2a study of GS-5806 met primary, secondary endpoints'
ARCP (ARCP) said it will sell shopping center portfolio for $1.98B to Blackstone (BX)
Hutchinson Technology (HTCH) announced a workforce reduction of about 100 employees


Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Lowe's (LOW), (CRM),  Intuit (INTU), QIWI (QIWI), HEICO (HEI), Tidewater (TDW), China Distance Education (DL), Dycom (DY), Analog Devices (ADI)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Hormel Foods (HRL), LightInTheBox (LITB), Immune Pharmaceuticals (IMNP), Sociedad Quimica (SQM), ViaSat (VSAT)

Hormel Foods (HRL) backs 2014 EPS view $2.17-$2.27 , consensus $2.26
LightInTheBox (LITB) sees Q2 revenue $84M-$86M, consensus $83.13M
Lowe's (LOW) sees FY14 EPS approximately $2.63, consensus $2.62
Intuit (INTU) sees Q4 EPS 6c-8c, consensus 12c
Intuit (INTU) sees FY14 EPS $3.54-$3.58, consensus $3.58 (CRM) sees FY15 adjusted EPS 49c-51c, consensus 50c (CRM) sees Q2 adjusted EPS 11c-12c, consensus 12c


Gazprom (OGZPY), China sign $400B natural gas deal, Interfax reports
Google (GOOG) prepared to spend up to $30B on foreign deals, Bloomberg reports
Pfizer (PFE) could still raise bid for AstraZeneca (AZN), NY Times says
U.S. could seek over $5B for BNP Paribas (BNPQY) settlement, Bloomberg reports
Google (GOOG) passed on $4B-$5B deal to buy foreign company last year, WSJ reports
Yahoo (YHOO) near deal to acquire video-streaming startup RayV, WSJ says
Home Depot (HD) should get boost from warmer weather, Barron's says


1347 Property Insurance (PIH) files to sell $25.3M in common stock
American Realty (ARCP) files to sell $100M in common stock
Atlas Financial (AFH) 2M share Secondary priced at $12.50
Chimerix (CMRX) 7.3M share Secondary priced at $14.22
Methes Energies (MEIL) files to sell common stock
Physicians Realty Trust (DOC) 11M share Secondary priced at $12.50
Sensata (ST) files to sell 11.5M shares for holders, announces repurchase


No comments yet! Be the first to add yours.