Author Archive for Insider Scoop

UPDATE: Elliott Mgmt Sends Letter to Polycom Board Urging Tie-Up with Mitel Networks

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related PLCM
Benzinga's Top Downgrades
William Blair Downgrades Polycom To Underperform
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Today, Elliott Management Corporation (“Elliott”) disclosed active stakes and accompanying 13-D filings in Polycom, Inc. (“Polycom”) (NASDAQ: PLCM) and Mitel Networks (“Mitel”) (NASDAQ: MITL) and sent the following letter to the Board of Directors of Polycom:

October 8, 2015

The Board of Directors
Polycom, Inc.
6001 America Center Drive
San Jose, CA 95002
Attn: Peter Leav, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Dear Members of the Board of Directors:

I am writing to you again on behalf of Elliott Associates, L.P. and Elliott International, L.P. (together, “Elliott” or “we”), which collectively own 6.6% of the outstanding common stock and equivalents of Polycom, Inc. (the “Company” or “Polycom”), making us one of your largest stockholders. In addition, we are today disclosing an active filing in Mitel Networks Corporation (“Mitel”), in which we are one of the largest stockholders and with whom we have a collaborative and productive dialogue. Our equity investments in both Polycom and Mitel are approximately the same size at around $100 million each. In addition, we also own stock in ShoreTel (“ShoreTel”). The investments are related.

The purpose of today’s letter is to outline our thoughts in the following sections:

1. Subscale Unified Communications and Collaboration (“UCC”) Vendors Face Meaningful Challenges: Polycom, Mitel and other UCC vendors have been challenged to maintain market share and will continue to face a very difficult market. Such conditions have led Polycom’s stock to meaningfully underperform all relevant metrics over all relevant timeframes.

2. Polycom Should Undertake a Full Strategic Review: Maintaining the status quo strategy will perpetuate Polycom’s track record of underperformance and risk further shareholder value erosion. In the last two years, Polycom has already responded by cutting costs, buying back stock and changing management; none of which has generated…
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Heineken, Diageo Complete Business, Licensing Agreements

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Heineken Posts Rise In Profit, Raises Dividend
Heineken Posts Drop In Q3 Profit

Heineken N.V. (OTC: HEINY) today announced that HEINEKEN and Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO) have completed a transaction to bring increased focus to their respective beer businesses and certain licensing arrangements in Jamaica, Malaysia and Singapore and Ghana. The transaction comprises:  HEINEKEN has taken control of Desnoes & Geddes (“D&G”) by acquiring Diageo’s 57.9% shareholding in this company. HEINEKEN now has full ownership of GAPL Pte Ltd (“GAPL”), having acquired Diageo’s shareholding, which was slightly lower than 50%. GAPL owns 51% of the issued share capital of Guinness Anchor Berhad (“GAB”), which is listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange. GAPL is also the licensee for Guinness and ABC Stout distribution for the Singapore market. HEINEKEN has sold its 20% ownership stake in Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (“GGBL”) to Diageo. HEINEKEN and Diageo have entered into licensing agreements for each other’s brands currently in the respective portfolios in Jamaica and Ghana. This transaction is mutually beneficial and will allow both parties to concentrate their resources in the individual markets, whilst at the same time providing a framework for ongoing,

See full press release

Citi Initiates Sell On JC Penney, Says Any Increased Operating Cash Flow Will Be Match By Increased CapEx, Expects FCF To Remain 'elusive' For Foreseeable Future

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related JCP
JC Penney Flirting With $10 Again
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Citi PT Is $7.00

Latest Ratings for JCP

Date Firm Action From To
Oct 2015 Citigroup Initiates Coverage on Sell
Sep 2015 Sterne Agee CRT Upgrades Neutral Buy
Aug 2015 Deutsche Bank Upgrades Hold Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for JCP
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Price Target Initiation Analyst Ratings

Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. Announces the Appointment of New Director

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPBI) (the “Company”, “Pacific Premier”, “we”, “us” or “our”), the holding company of Pacific Premier Bank (“Pacific Premier Bank”), announced today the expansion of its Board of Directors to eight members and the appointment of Cora Tellez as an independent director to fill the vacancy created as a result of such expansion. Ms. Tellez founded Sterling Health Services Administration in 2003 and Sterling Self Insurance Administration in 2010, and serves as Chief Executive Officer of both. She has over 35 years of management experience in the healthcare industry. Previously, Ms. Tellez was President of the health plans division of Health Net, Inc., an insurance provider that operated in seven states. She also has served as President of Prudential’s western healthcare operations, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Shield of California, Bay Region, and Regional Manager for Kaiser Permanente of Hawaii.

Steven R. Gardner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Premier stated, “We are delighted to have Cora bring her skills and experience in healthcare, financial services and executive leadership to our Board. Cora has an accomplished track record of achievement in management and operations, both as an entrepreneur and as an executive with large, established institutions. Cora will add a level of diversity and expertise to our Board that we believe will be extremely beneficial not only to Pacific Premier, its management team, and its stockholders, but also to the communities and other stakeholders we serve.”

Ms. Tellez serves on the boards of HMS Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ: HMSY), and CorMedix (NYSE: CRMD). For HMS, Ms. Tellez chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee and also serves on the Audit and Compliance Committees. For CorMedix, she chairs the board of directors as well as the Audit Committee. She also serves on several nonprofit organizations such as the Institute for Medical Quality and UC San Diego’s Center for Integrative Medicine.

Past affiliations include serving as a director of Crescent Health Care, Bank of Hawaii, Glendale Federal Bank, Cal Fed…
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Despite Sunedison Guidance Slash, Solar Industry Still Looks Bright

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Despite Sunedison Guidance Slash, Solar Industry Still Looks Bright
Top Performing Industries For October 7, 2015
Morning Market Gainers
Solar Industry Self-Regulation Is Doomed To Failure (Seeking Alpha)
Related TERP
5 Stocks Moving On Friday's After-Hours: From Barracuda To TerraForm
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TerraForm Power rallies following SunEdison's call (Seeking Alpha)

  • Despite lowering guidance on the call, Sunedison Inc (NYSE: SUNE)’s business update call sent shares higher by more than 10 percent on Wednesday.
  • One of the major positives that ROTH Capital Partners identified from the call was that Sunedison doesn’t appear to have a near-term capital requirement.
  • ROTH believes that the call should serve as a green light to solar investors.
  • Sunedison held a business update call on Wednesday during which the company reduced its 2016 guidance by 20 percent. However, Sunedison’s share price spiked as much as 16 percent following the call, as the market identified several positive takeaways.

    One of the listeners that liked what he heard on the call was ROTH Capital Partners analyst Philip Shen. In a follow-up report, Shen listed the positives and negatives from the call for Sunedison and explained why ROTH is maintaining its bullish outlook for solar stocks.

    Related Link: Solar ETF And Stocks Getting Hammered: Here’s Why


    In his report, Shen identified the following four positive takeaways from Sunedison’s call:

    • 1. The company has no plans to drop assets down to TerraForm Power Inc (NASDAQ: TERP) or TerraForm Global Inc (NASDAQ: GLBL) in 2016, eliminating the need for potential equity raises.
    • 2. The company is transitioning more toward third-party sales than expected.
    • 3. Asset prices have remained solid.
    • 4. The company’s $5 billion of warehouse facilities indicate that there is no need for near-term capital.


    One of the biggest negatives that Shen heard on the call was the unclear and complex accounting practices by Sunedison. Given…
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    Morgan Stanley Sees Trouble In Coal Ahead, Downgrades Peabody And Cloud Peak

    Courtesy of Benzinga.

    Morgan Stanley Sees Trouble In Coal Ahead, Downgrades Peabody And Cloud Peak
    Related BTU
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    Why Is Peabody Getting Killed By Reverse Split News?
    Things can't get much worse for coal after disastrous 2015, analyst says (Seeking Alpha)
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    • Evan Kurtz of Morgan Stanley argued in a note that United States coal prices "could remain weak" for a few more years.
    • Kurtz downgraded shares of Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU) and Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE: CLD) to Equal-weight from Overweight.
    • Kurtz noted both companies need an uptick in coal pricing to remain (or return to) free cash flow positive.

    Coal investors looking for relief from Wall Street analysts may be disappointed as Evan Kurtz of Morgan Stanley argued in a note that U.S. coal prices "could remain weak" for a few more years.

    According to Kurtz, U.S. utility coal burn is expected to fall by 75 mt year-on-year to 774 mt in 2015 and remain near that level until 2020. The analyst also pointed out that he saw a "meaningful drop" in second quarter coal production and it could take another two years to balance the market and normalize stockpiles.

    Kurtz is now forecasting $11/t PRB coal in 2016 and $13/t over the long term. Similarly, he is forecasting 2016 and long-term CAPP pricing of $45/t and $48/t and ILB pricing of $38/t and $41/t, respectively. The analyst argued his 2016 price deck is low enough to "close the required oversupply over the next couple of years" while his long-term price deck is "consistent with a secularly challenged market."

    Peabody Downgraded To Equal-Weight

    Kurtz downgraded shares of Peabody to Equal-weight from Overweight with a $45 price target.

    According to Kurtz, his Overweight thesis assumed the company would return to a free cash…
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    Lumber Liquidators, Zumiez And Mistas Moving Big In Wednesday's After-Hours Session

    Courtesy of Benzinga.

    Related MG
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    Shares of Mistras Group Inc (NYSE: MG) were up more than 13 percent in Wednesday’s after-hours session, following the announcement of the company’s first quarter (fiscal 2016) financial results.

    The small-cap provider of asset protection solutions reported earnings of $0.23 per share on revenue of $179.85 million, considerably ahead of the Street's consensus estimate of $0.10 per share and $164.92 million. In addition, the Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program of up to $50 million of the company's Common Stock.

    Sotirios Vahaviolos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "We have been using our improved cash flow to pay down debt for several quarters. We have improved our financial flexibility and can use our balance sheet to drive additional shareholder value. While we will continue to evaluate potential acquisitions, we believe that our stock price is trading well below its intrinsic value, and we have received approval from our board to commence a stock repurchase program of up to $50 million."

    Another big gainer Wednesday afternoon is Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ), which was up more than 11 percent after the bell rang. The surge was triggered by the release of the small-cap specialty retailer's September sales data.

    Also on the rise, up almost 14 percent was Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE: LL), which announced it had reached a settlement with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice related to the former’s compliance with the Lacey Act, conservation law regarding the protection of plants and wildlife in the US.

    "This concludes the DOJ's inquiry launched in 2013, which primarily related to certain foreign suppliers harvesting more timber than their permits allowed in foreign jurisdictions, such as Eastern Russia, and the Company's importation of flooring products made from this timber. This matter focused on some of the Company's hardwood flooring purchase orders and import declarations made concerning the origin of the timber of those orders."

    Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

    Posted-In: DOJ Sotirios VahaviolosEarnings News Legal After-Hours Center Movers

    Kaman to Acquire Timken Alcor Aerospace Technologies, no terms

    Courtesy of Benzinga.

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    Kaman Corporation (NYSE: KAMN) announced today that its Aerospace segment has entered into an agreement to acquire Timken Alcor Aerospace Technologies, Inc. (TAAT) of Mesa, Arizona. TAAT designs and supplies aftermarket parts to support businesses conducting maintenance, repair, and overhauls (MROs) in aerospace markets primarily located in North America.

    Greg Steiner, President of Kaman Aerospace Group commented, “This is a solid company that nicely complements the aftermarket business of our Specialty Bearings & Engineered Products division. TAAT has demonstrated consistent financial performance and offers engineered products that are adjacent and complementary to Kaman’s current offerings.”

    Important factors in Kaman’s decision to acquire TAAT from The Timken Company include organic growth opportunities, the robust quality system, engineering expertise, and strong relationships with engine MROs and fleet operators of both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Kaman expects TAAT to achieve further growth through Kaman’s strong sales channels with a global reach.

    The organization will become part of Kaman’s Specialty Bearings & Engineered Products division led by Robert Paterson, who commented, “TAAT will be a great fit with our current engineered parts business and has the potential for significant product and market synergies. The operations will remain in Mesa with the current management team and employee base. Global expansion of the product line will be a key focus of our growth strategy for TAAT.”

    TAAT has annual sales of approximately $20 million. The transaction is expected to close later this month.

    Risks Associated with Forward-Looking Statements

    This release includes “forward looking statements” relating to the acquisition discussed above. These statements are based on assumptions currently believed to be valid, but they involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ from those expressed in the forward looking statements. Important uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ from those expressed in the forward looking statements are identified in our reports filed with the SEC, including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. The…
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    Vivendi Confirms Raising Telecom Italia Stake to 19.9%

    Courtesy of Benzinga.

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    Vivendi (OTC: VIVHY) announces that it now owns 19.9% of Telecom Italia’s (NYSE: TI) ordinary shares.

    The Group became the Italian telecoms operator’s largest shareholder on June 24, 2015 with 14.9% of its ordinary shares. This participation results from a share exchange as part of its exit from the Brazilian telecoms operator GVT for the equivalent of 8.24% of Telecom Italia’s ordinary shares, and from the purchase of shares on the market for 6.66%.

    Vivendi has acquired an additional stake through an acquisition of shares on the market and now owns 19.9% of Telecom Italia’s ordinary shares.

    The total acquisition price in the consolidated accounts is 3.054 billion euros, i.e. around 1.14 euro per ordinary share.(1)

    This new investment confirms Vivendi’s intention to support the telecoms group over the long term and to develop its activities in southern Europe.

    Posted-In: News Rumors Insider Trades Press Releases

    FBR Met With Juno's Management; Here's What Happened

    Courtesy of Benzinga.

    Related JUNO
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    • The share price of Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO) has risen 20.41 percent over the past month, touching a high of $43.59 on October 5.
    • Ed White of FBR & Co has maintained an Outperform rating on the company, with a price target of $73.
    • Following investor meetings with the company’s CEO and CFO, White believes that investors might be “unaware of the advancements that Juno is making in lymphoma,” given their focus on leukemia and solid tumors.

    According to the FBR report, “Investors’ discussions focused on the company’s products in development for leukemia, lymphoma, and solid tumors but also on the science behind the treatments with questions centering on manufacturing and cell persistence.”

    Analyst Ed White believes that Juno Therapeutics differentiates itself from the competition in the way it selects and activates the cells, partly due to the company’s proprietary reagents and attention to the development process.

    “The company’s pipeline is deep with 10 candidates potentially in clinical trials using either CAR or TCR by early 2016,” White mentioned, while stating that the data presented by the company was “impressive.”

    “First-in-class therapeutic JCAR015 demonstrated encouraging clinical responses in relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia,” White said. BLA for the drug is likely to be filed in late 2016 or early 2017.

    In addition, White believes that the solid tumor market, which has garnered investor attention, “could be enormous,” although the timing of the treatments being developed was likely to significantly lag that for liquid tumors.

    Latest Ratings for JUNO

    Date Firm Action From To
    Aug 2015 Standpoint Research Initiates Coverage on Buy
    Aug 2015 FBR Capital Initiates Coverage on Outperform
    Jul 2015 Northland Securities Initiates Coverage on Outperform

    View More Analyst Ratings for JUNO
    View the Latest Analyst Ratings

    Posted-In: Ed White FBRAnalyst Color Reiteration Analyst Ratings


    Phil's Favorites

    Big Banks, Serious Trouble

    Courtesy of John Rubino.

    It turns out that the world of ZIRP/NIRP isn’t the banking paradise that some thought it would be. See Why The Big Banks Want Higher Interest Rates.

    Whether the problem is with low interest rates themselves or the fact that rates still aren’t low enough to ignite a new credit boom is not clear. What is clear is that the world’s money center banks are facing a brutal downsizing. From today’s Wall Street Journal:

    Deutsche Bank: Tip of the Iceberg for Cutbacks at European Banks? LONDON— Deutsche Bank AG’s warning that it expects a €6.2 billion ($6.98 billion) third-quarter loss highlights a potentially bumpy financial-reporting season looming f...

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    Zero Hedge

    Credit Suisse Stuns Investors With 50% Bigger-Than-Expected Capital Raise

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

    Submitted by Tyler Durden.

    Hot on the heels of Deutsche Bank's admission that all is not well, Credit Suisse's announcement last night of a major capital raise was greeted by buying pressure from investors. However, reality punched them in the face this morning as CS releasaed its investor day details and, as Bloomberg reports, is looking to raise up to CHF8 billion (almost 50% larger than Goldman Sachs investor survey suggested). Clearly, CS' has a much more massive capital shortfall than expected.

    As Bloomberg reports,

    Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidj...

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    Market News

    News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


    Financial Markets and Economy

    S&P 500 Futures Little Changed; Alcoa Drops After Earnings Miss (Bloomberg)

    U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after disappointing results from Alcoa Inc. offset optimism from a winning streak that’s put the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on track for its best week of the year.

    France's economy is finally showing some signs of life after years of stagnation (Business Insider)

    It's a rare week when there are two positive economic data points coming out of France.


    more from Paul

    Kimble Charting Solutions

    Free Premium Trail Offer & Free Webinar Viewing Available Now!

    Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


    Ryan Detrick and I produced a webinar this week, covering some new indicators we created, which we shared publicly for the first time.

    We also shared two new Buy & Hold indicators we created, as well as two short-term trades, that look goo...

    more from Kimble C.S.

    All About Trends

    Mid-Day Update

    Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

    Click here for the full report.

    To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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    Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


    Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

    Courtesy of Value Walk

    1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

    • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
    • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
    • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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    Chart School

    Yesterday's Losses Reversed

    Courtesy of Declan.

    Bulls can be happy with today's progress. What weakness emerged today was reversed by the close, a change on yesterday's action where sellers dumped in the last few minutes of trading. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day.

    The S&P finished at the 50-day MA, but beyond that there is plenty of room beyond that to run to the next level of resistance at 2,045. Technicals are net bullish.

    The Nasdaq pushed off its 20-day MA and has another 50 points of maneuver before it gets to its 50-day MA.  Technicals are not yet net bullish, but they are close.


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    Sector Detector: Searching for solid support in the face of global headwinds

    Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

    Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

    Uncertainty about the health of the global economy led investors to flee U.S. equities during Q3, primarily driven by worries about China's growth prospects and the Federal Reserve’s decision to not raise rates. Sure, there are plenty of real and perceived headwinds, but on balance it seems that a recession here at home is not in the cards. And when you consider sentiment and the technical picture, it appears that a continuation of Friday’s bounce is in store. The question remains as to whether the seasonally strong Q4 will be able to propel the bulls through levels of resistance that have built up.

    In this weekly update, I give my view o...

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    Swing trading portfolio - week of October 5th, 2015

    Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


    This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

    We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

    Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

    To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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    Baxter's Spinoff

    Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

    Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

    The Baxalta Spinoff

    By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

    In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

    “This information statement is being ...

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    Mapping The Market

    An update on oil proxies

    Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

    Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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    Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

    Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene


    The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

    Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets) Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies) Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...

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    Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

    "Hello PSW Members –

    This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at with any questions.

    Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

    Thank you for you time!

    FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites

    About Phil:

    Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

    Learn more About Phil >>

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    About Ilene:

    Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

    Market Shadows >>