Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Update:, Inc., Akamai Technologies, Inc., and Freeport-McMoRan Inc

Analysts offered their opinions on AMZN, AKAM, and FCX

by 7/24/2014 2:15 PM
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U.S. stocks are flirting with breakeven at midday, as investors weigh lackluster housing data against an eight-year low in jobless claims. Meanwhile, among the equities in focus are online marketplace, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), cloud concern Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM), and mining issue Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), which have all attracted attention on Wall Street.

  • AMZN -- which will report second-quarter earnings in just a few hours -- was last seen 0.5% higher at $359.75. In the meantime, it seems everyone has an opinion on Amazon's new (and first) smartphone, the Fire. While USA Today's Edward Baig called the phone a "strong first effort," and said he expects Fire to "fire up the smartphone market," Brier Dudley at The Seattle Times admits that the Fire debut is "impressive," but "the price [of $650 without a contract] is a bit high for a device designed to help you buy more stuff from Amazon." Ahead of earnings, the options board is pricing in a roughly 6% move for the stock, according to Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner. Following its last two turns in the earnings confessional,, Inc. shares dropped 10.9% and 13.7%, respectively, in the subsequent three days.

  • AKAM has added 1.8% to $59.55, after Macquarie upgraded the stock to "outperform" this morning. The company is slated to report second-quarter earnings after the close next Wednesday, July 30, and most analysts are already in the bullish corner. In fact, Akamai Technologies, Inc. boasts 14 "strong buys," compared to four "holds" and not a single "sell." The stock has performed well in 2014, up 26.2%, and has averaged a one-week post-earnings gain of 7.1% over the past eight quarters.

  • Finally, FCX is down 2.3% at $37.66. The firm reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter revenue yesterday morning, and is reportedly on the verge of ending a months-long standoff in Indonesia and resuming copper exports. Accordingly, Jefferies and Credit Suisse lifted their price targets on the stock to $50 and $45, respectively. BofA-Merrill Lynch, on the other hand, downgraded FCX to "neutral" from "buy." Freeport-McMoRan Inc shares are now struggling to stay in the green for the year, and are in danger of ending beneath their 20-day moving average for the first time since mid-June.

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Stocks on the Move: SodaStream International Ltd, Facebook Inc (FB), and D.R. Horton, Inc.

SODA, FB, and DHI are moving sharply in Thursday's trading

by 7/24/2014 1:18 PM
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Markets are little changed this afternoon -- although the S&P 500 Index (SPX) managed to notch a fresh record intraday peak earlier -- as traders digest the latest round of earnings reports and economic data. Among specific names making notable moves are at-home beverage issue SodaStream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA), social networking site Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and homebuilder D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI). Here's a quick roundup of how this trio of names is performing on the charts so far.

  • SODA has soared roughly 15% today to trade at $33.21, as buyout buzz builds on the Israel-based company. Today's rally marks a change of pace for the stock, which has shed 33% year-to-date. Given the equity's longer-term technical troubles, it's no surprise to see sentiment tilted toward the bearish side. Specifically, 90% of covering analysts maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" suggestion toward SodaStream International Ltd, and short interest accounts for 29.8% of the stock's available float.

  • FB did not disappoint in the earnings confessional last night, with the company handily topping both top- and bottom-line estimates in its second quarter. The news was met with a swarm of bullish brokerage notes, sending the shares soaring to a new record peak of $76.74 right out of the gate. More recently, the equity was enjoying a 6.3% lead to linger near $75.80. More upbeat analyst notes may be in the future for Facebook Inc -- which could create a fresh wave of buying power -- as the consensus 12-month price target of $78.09 represents a slim 3% premium to present trading levels.

  • DHI, on the other hand, was hit with a double-whammy of dismal fiscal third-quarter earnings results and a lower-than-expected reading on new home sales in June. Against this backdrop, shares of D.R. Horton, Inc. are off 10% at $22.32 -- testing support at their year-to-date breakeven mark. Today's sell-off has apparently prompted one option player to roll her bullish bet down and out, by selling to close her front-month August 25 calls and using the proceeds to buy to open DHI's September 24 calls.

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Earnings on Deck: Baidu Inc (ADR), Pandora Media Inc, and Visa Inc

Taking a closer look at BIDU, P, and V ahead of their earnings results

by 7/24/2014 12:12 PM
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It's been quite a week on the earnings front, with big names such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) reporting. Tonight, Wall Street will get the latest quarterly updates from Chinese Internet issue Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), streaming radio concern Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), and credit card company Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Here's a quick look at this trio of names as earnings approach.

  • BIDU is in rally mode ahead of its second-quarter earnings report, thanks to a price-target hike to $245 from $215 at Citigroup this morning. At last check, the stock was up 2.6% at $205.22, and earlier hit a record peak of $205.50. If past is prologue, the stock could be poised to extend these gains through week's end. Specifically, over the past six quarters, Baidu Inc (ADR) has gone on to average a single-session post-earnings gain of 3.5%. Option traders are active ahead of tonight's scheduled event, with overall volume trading at roughly two times the average intraday amount. What's more, nine of the 10 most active BIDU options expire at tomorrow's close.

  • Although P has matched or exceeded analysts' bottom-line projections in each of the past eight quarters, the stock has shed an average of 3.9% in the subsequent session. Another poorly received earnings report could prompt the brokerage bunch to re-evaluate their bullish ratings for P, which could create additional headwinds down the road. At present, 73% of covering analysts maintain a "buy" or better rating toward the equity, and the consensus 12-month price target of $34.11 stands at a steep 22% premium to Pandora Media Inc's current perch at $27.95.

  • For V's fiscal third quarter, Wall Street is calling for a per-share profit of $2.10 -- a 22-cent improvement over the company's year-ago results. Over the past eight quarters, the blue chip has turned in a strong showing on the earnings stage, matching or besting consensus profit estimates each time. As such, the stock has averaged a single-session post-earnings advance of 1%. Although V is trading at $223.15 -- just above its year-to-date breakeven mark -- sentiment among the brokerage bunch has tended toward the bullish side. Roughly 83% of analysts weighing in on Visa Inc have levied "buy" or "strong buy" recommendations toward the stock, and the consensus 12-month price target sits in uncharted territory. Elsewhere on the fundamental front, V earlier announced its Visa Digital Solutions suite to help facilitate secure payments across a wide field of web-connected devices.

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Buzz Stocks: General Motors Company, BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and UBS AG

Today's stocks to watch in the news are GM, BBEP, WMT, and UBS

by 7/24/2014 9:13 AM
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U.S. markets are poised for a solid start thanks to a round of strong manufacturing data from around the globe. In company news, here are some stocks to watch.

  • General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) announced a fresh round of recalls yesterday, bringing its year-to-date total to roughly 26 million vehicles. The latest recall involves newer year models, with the company citing a number of safety concerns, including faulty laser welding. The news preceded the automakers' second-quarter earnings report, which was released this morning. (Los Angeles Times; Bloomberg)

  • In M&A news, BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ:BBEP) has agreed to purchase QR Energy LP (NYSE:QRE) in a deal worth about $1.5 billion. Elsewhere, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will acquire 3-D graphics firm drawElements for a reported $10 million. (FOX Business; The New York Times)

  • The Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a ruling requiring Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) to release to a shareholder internal documents relating to the company's Mexico bribery investigation. In response, the attorney representing the shareholder said, "We are very pleased with the result. After almost two years we eagerly await these documents and the truth they will reveal." Separately, WMT this morning announced the retirement of its U.S. CEO William Simon, effective Aug. 8. Simon will be replaced by Gregory Foran, former CEO of retail operations in Asia. (Reuters; MarketWatch)

  • French officials have ordered UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) to pay roughly $1.5 billion in bail, after the Swiss bank was put under formal investigation for money laundering. UBS called the bail "unprecedented and unwarranted," and said it plans to appeal. (Reuters)

  • The Food and Drug Administration approved Gilead Sciences, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GILD) new cancer drug, Zydelig, aimed at treating three types of the disease: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, follicular lymphoma, and small lymphocytic lymphoma. According to the FDA, combining Zydelig with Rituxan -- another cancer treatment -- slowed the progression of the disease. (FOX Business)

  • Among companies that reported earnings were Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP), and QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM). (MarketWatch; USA Today; CNBC; FOX Business)

  • Finally, a family from Minnesota was temporarily removed from a Southwest Airlines Co's (NYSE:LUV) flight in Denver, after the father sent out a tweet complaining about one of the employees. The family was eventually allowed to re-board the plane after the man deleted the tweet, and LUV said the incident will go "under review." (Consumerist)

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Analyst Downgrades: Angie's List Inc, Boeing, and TripAdvisor Inc

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on ANGI, BA, and TRIP

by 7/24/2014 9:12 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on online review issue Angie's List Inc (NASDAQ:ANGI), blue-chip aircraft titan The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), and travel concern TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.

  • ANGI last night confessed to a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss, and projected current-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates. The shares -- which closed at $10.17 on Wednesday -- are bracing for a 22% drop out of the gate, which would put ANGI in all-time-low territory. Analysts are downwardly revising their opinions in droves, with no fewer than eight brokerage firms weighing in. Among them, BofA-Merrill Lynch downgraded Angie's List Inc to "neutral" from "buy," and Deutsche Bank nearly halved its price target, to $7 from $13.

  • BA is set to extend its post-earnings downtrend today. The stock gave up 2.3% to end at $126.71 on Wednesday, making it the worst-performing blue chip on the day. Analysts continue to lace into The Boeing Company, with BofA-Merrill Lynch downgrading the shares to "neutral" from "buy." (J.P. Morgan Securities, on the other hand, upped its price target on the equity by $1 to $168.)

  • Finally, TRIP is headed for a 10% plunge out of the gate, as Wall Street pans the company's second-quarter earnings report. Among the handful of analysts weighing in on TripAdvisor Inc, Susquehanna cut its price target on the stock to $98 from $100, while Cantor downgraded the equity to "hold." One group likely celebrating the firm's earnings miss: short sellers. Short interest accounts for 12.2% of TRIP's total available float, representing more than eight sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at the stock's average pace of trading. On Wednesday, TRIP settled at $107.36.

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