Author Archive for Insider Scoop

8 Stocks You Should Be Watching Today

Courtesy of Benzinga.

8 Stocks You Should Be Watching Today

Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

  • Wall Street expects Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ: TXN) to post its quarterly earnings at $0.73 per share on revenue of $3.20 billion after the closing bell. Texas Instruments shares rose 0.89 percent to close at $65.49 on Friday.
  • Analysts expect Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) to post quarterly earnings at $3.00 per share on revenue of $7.79 billion after the markets close. Gilead Sciences shares gained 0.24 percent to $86.76 in after-hours trading.
  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will announce a deal to buy Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) for around $5 billion on Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter. Yahoo shares rose 0.66 percent to $39.64 in after-hours trading, while Verizon shares declined 0.09 percent to $56.05 in the after-hours trading session.

Find out what’s going on in today’s market and bring any questions you have to Benzinga’s PreMarket Prep.

  • Analysts are expecting Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE: COL) to have earned $1.58 per share on revenue of $1.35 billion in the latest quarter. Rockwell Collins will release earnings before the opening bell. Rockwell Collins shares rose 0.02 percent to $85.21 in after-hours trading.

Before the markets open, Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) is projected to report its quarterly earnings at $1.14 per share on revenue of $5.75 billion. Danaher shares gained 0.94 percent to $82.00 in the after-hours trading session.

  • Analysts expect Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ: ESRX) to post its quarterly earnings at $1.57 per share on revenue of $25.42 billion. Express Scripts will release earnings after the closing bell. Express Scripts shares rose 0.34 percent to close at $78.86 on Friday.
  • Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE: KMB) is estimated to report its quarterly earnings at $1.48 per share on revenue of $4.56 billion before the bell. Kimberly Clark shares declined 3.43 percent to $130.01 in after-hours trading.

Posted-In: Stocks To WatchEarnings News M&A Pre-Market Outlook Markets Trading Ideas

Morgan Stanley Resumes Coverage On VMware At Overweight

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Morgan Stanley Resumes Coverage On VMware At Overweight

Morgan Stanley’s Keith Weiss believes VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) now has a product portfolio at a scale that could stabilize top line growth, with margins moving up, while the stock multiples are expected to move back in-line with the peer group.

Weiss re-initiated coverage of the company with an Overweight rating and price target of $86.

Attractive Valuation

“For much of the past three years, investor debate around VMware has centered on whether the company could produce an Act 2 of enough scale to offset the declines in the core server virtualization infrastructure business,” the analyst mentioned.

However, the uncertainty regarding the pending Dell-EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) merger had clouded the fundamental debate over the past year.

Related Link: Trip Chowdhy: VMWare Is A $45 Stock

Now, with the peak uncertainty regarding the Dell-EMC deal behind us, having received shareholder approval on June 19, Weiss believes VMware’s fundamentals would present an attractive opportunity for investors at the current valuation levels.

Inflection Point

“The newer product categories such as AirWatch, NSX and vSAN have now reached sufficient scale to overcome the drag on overall growth from the maturing virtualization business, by our analysis,” Weiss stated.

Given that compute bookings now account for less than half the overall license bookings, the analyst believes the company has reached a key inflection point, and that overall license growth is poised to trend higher.

“Furthermore, a more disciplined approach to opex/capex investments, $1.2 billion in planned share repurchases through the end of 2016 and the end of the downward estimate revision cycle creates a favorable backdrop for management to exceed consensus margin/EPS…
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MKM Partners: Google Valuation Attractive, ‘Inexpensive On Any Metric’

Courtesy of Benzinga.

MKM Partners: Google Valuation Attractive, 'Inexpensive On Any Metric'

MKM’s Rob Swanson commented on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)’s earnings outlook days before the company is expected to report on July 28. After further analysis, the analyst reiterated Alphabet’s Buy rating with a $930.00 price target.

Swanson believes Street expectations are “reasonable” and “possibly conservative on margins.”

The analyst said website revenue should be a “primary focus,” as many believe Google’s ad budget allocations were “slipping,” according to Swanson.


Swanson thinks secular drivers are very strong, especially mobile search and internet video. Due to these drivers, the analyst believes Alphabet’s position is “excellent” and valuation is “attractive.”

Related Link: Remember When Yahoo Turned Down $1 Million To Buy Google?

Increasing Margins

The MKM analyst thinks Wall Street consensus on Alphabet’s operating margins is conservative, explaining that margins probably won’t be flat year-over-year after they have expanded over the past four quarters.

‘Tough Comps’

“We think investors are over-estimating the anniversary effect on tough comps. Websites revenue growth was already accelerating in 2Q, before the third link was added,” stated Swanson. The analyst believes currency drag on Alphabet will be lower than last year.

Olympics And Elections

Olympics and U.S. elections combined are expected to contribute $5 billion to ad spending in the second half of 2016, according to the analyst.

At the time of writing, Alphabet (GOOGL) traded at $759.17, flat shortly after Monday’s opening bell. Alphabet (GOOG) was down 0.12 percent at $741.87 during the same check.

Full ratings data available on Benzinga Pro.

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AMC Sweetens Bid To Buy Carmike Cinemas For $33.06 Per Share In Cash And Stock

Courtesy of Benzinga.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: AMC)’s AMC Theatres disclosed Monday that it reached an amended and restated merger deal following which it would buy Carmike Cines, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC) shares for $33.06 a share in cash and stock. According to the company, the amended deal represented its best and final offer indicating 10.2 percent more than its previous offer of $30.00 a share.

AMC Entertainment said that based on the closing trading price of its common stock on July 22, the transaction is worth about $1.2 billion. This included the assumption of net indebtedness of Carmike. The companies expect the transaction to be completed by the end of the current year, subject to customary closing conditions. This included regulatory and shareholders’ approval.

AMC said Carmike stockholders could opt to get $33.06 in cash or 1.0819 AMC shares per Carmike share. However, this is subject to a customary proration mechanism to achieve an aggregate consideration mixture of 70 percent cash and 30 percent in shares of AMC stock. The company added that the revised offer represented an approximate 32 percent premium to Carmike’s closing stock price on March 3.

President and CEO, Adam Aron, said, “We continue to believe that the proposed merger between AMC and Carmike is a compelling opportunity that offers significant value to both companies’ shareholders. Accordingly, after substantial and extended negotiation with Carmike, we have increased our offer to an approximate 32% premium over the unaffected share price on March 3, 2016, and have incorporated AMC shares as a significant portion of the consideration for this transaction.”

He added, “This will enable Carmike shareholders to participate in the future upside potential of this attractive combination of complementary theatre exhibitors. This is particularly true when also considering AMC’s announced acquisition of Odeon & UCI Cinemas in Europe. By broadening AMC’s geographic and demographic base for delivering our groundbreaking guest experience innovations, AMC is poised to deliver the best possible movie experience to more movie-goers than ever before.”

Posted-In: News M&A General

10 Stock Picks And Flicks From The Market-Savvy ‘Shark Tank’ Stars

Courtesy of Benzinga.

10 Stock Picks And Flicks From The Market-Savvy 'Shark Tank' Stars

Stars of ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank” Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary sometimes argue over the merits of an entrepreneur’s offer, but one thing they agree on is using stock investing to build portfolio value.

O’Leary, a frequent guest on CNBC, recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of his O’Shares FTSE U.S. Quality Dividend ETF (NYSE: OUSA), which has outperformed many of its peers.

Cuban hasn’t been quite as vocal on his stock picks, but recently gave some exclusive, bullish comments to Benzinga following the release of Q2 earnings from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).

Related Link: Exclusive: Mark Cuban Compares Netflix To Amazon, Says It Has Multiple Untapped Levers

Both business mavens are aware that there are investors who follow their market moves closely for trading ideas. Here’s a list of nine of the deal-making duo’s most notable public stock calls from this year.

O’Leary Exits Apple

Starting with January, Kevin O’Leary spoke fondly of his decision to exit Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) back in September, citing concerns about its debt load and exposure to foreign currency headwinds. It was excellent timing — the stock has fallen 10.5 percent since the last day of September.

Cuban Counting On Netflix

Back in February, Mark Cuban told CNBC that he had a huge position in Netflix and, despite buying puts against his entire position, that he had no intention of selling. Cuban’s view hasn’t changed, as he recently told Benzinga’s newsdesk that “stocks go up and down. Netflix will be fine.”

Cuban Well-Read On Reading International

Later in February, SEC filings revealed that Cuban bought about $2.5 million worth of Reading International, Inc. (NASDAQ: RDIB) exposure,…
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BTIG Believes Chipotle Will Fully Recover From Safety Issues Eventually

Courtesy of Benzinga.

BTIG Believes Chipotle Will Fully Recover From Safety Issues Eventually

While Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) comps remain challenged, there are early signs of Chiptopia driving traffic, BTIG’s Peter Saleh said in a report. He maintained a Neutral rating on Chipotle, saying that the company would “eventually fully recover from its food safety issues.”

Chipotle reported its 2Q16 EPS at $0.87, short of the BTIG estimate of $1.15 and consensus expectation of $0.91. The shortfall was driven by weaker same-store sales, which declined 23.6 percent, with a 19.3 percent decline in traffic.

Although the results showed an improvement of 610 bps from the prior quarter, they were worse than expected and driven mostly by less discounting, analyst Peter Saleh mentioned.

Related Link: Chipotle Safety Concerns Continue To Hurt Comps In Q2

The comp estimates for 3Q16 and 4Q16 have been reduced from (12.5) percent to (18.0) percent and from 5.0 percent to (5.0) percent, respectively. The EPS estimates for 2016 and 2017 have been reduced from $5.03 to $3.01 and from $12.87 to $7.81, respectively, to reflect the sales outlook.

Trends Improving

July trends show a 200-300 bps improvement in comps. Comps are trending at a decline of about 20 percent in the first several weeks, with a decline of about 15 percent in traffic trends. Chiptopia registered 3.6MM users in July, accounting for 30 percent of transactions, being executed on the new rewards program, Saleh stated.

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Latest Ratings for CMG

Date Firm Action From To
Jul 2016 Goldman Sachs Maintains Neutral
Jul 2016 Wedbush Maintains Underperform
Jul 2016 BTIG Research Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for CMG

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: btig Peter SalehAnalyst Color Reiteration Restaurants Analyst Ratings General Best of Benzinga

Vetr Thinks Under Armour’s Future Is Bright

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The Vetr community is very bullish on Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UA). Although charts may say the value of the athletic wear company’s shares have fallen 46.86 percent year-to-date, it simply split shares in early April and didn’t hurt investors nearly as much money as perceived. The Vetr and professional analysts both like Under Armour’s chances going forward.

See how crowd sourced ratings can help make predictions in the market?

Vetr members have given Under Armour a Hold rating and a $44.06 price target. This price target greatly pales in comparison to the $69.60 price target given by professional analysts in the market.

Of all the Vetr raters, 72.7 percent think that traders and investors should go in on Under Armour, while 18.2 percent think that traders and investors should sell the stock.

See Vetr’s full analysis on Under Armour here.

Posted-In: VetrAnalyst Color Crowdsourcing Opinion Economics Analyst Ratings General

Visa Q3 Results Top Street Estimates, But Are Exactly What Argus Expected

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Visa Q3 Results Top Street Estimates, But Are Exactly What Argus Expected

Argus analyst Stephen Biggar has raised the estimates and target price on Visa Inc (NYSE: V) after it reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

The company’s third-quarter adjusted EPS of $0.69, down 7 percent from $0.74 a year earlier, but $0.03 ahead of the consensus as both payment volume and processed transactions accelerated from the second quarter pace. The results were in line with Argus’ “more optimistic expectations.”

Visa maintained fiscal 2016 guidance for 7–8 percent annual revenue growth (constant dollar), and management sounded optimistic on several trends into the second half of the year.

“We believe that Visa has several catalysts to improve its valuation,” Biggar explicated.

Related Link: Digging Into PayPal’s Q2 Earnings

The analyst expects cross-border fees to improve on renewed currency volatility, while several recent deals, including Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) and USAA, will begin to provide results in the second half of 2016.

Biggar noted that Visa’s payment volumes should rise due to improving global economic conditions, the continued transition from cash to plastic and rewards program benefits.

In addition, the Visa Europe acquisition creates a company with payment volume of $6.5 trillion (up 33 percent from the volume of Visa Inc. alone) and 2.9 billion cards in force (up 21 percent). The analyst still expects the deal to provide earnings accretion in the first year.

Further, the analyst noted, “[T]he market for payment processors is far from saturated given that 85 percent of the world’s retail transactions are still done with cash and checks.”

“We expect Visa’s earnings to grow at an average 13 percent rate from fiscal 2015 to 2017, which is enviable for a large-cap stock. Even in the absence of P/E multiple expansion, we believe that Visa shares are a compelling investment,” Biggar continued.

The analyst raised his fiscal 2016 EPS estimate to $2.90 from $2.87, and hiked his fiscal 2017 EPS estimate to $3.33 from $3.18. Further, Biggar expects…
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Technical Alert: Street Ignores 595K Offering Price At $6.75 In Ocean Power Technologies

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • $15.65 – Wednesday high (highest level since July 2014)
  • $14.66 – Thursday high
  • $13.92 – Wednesday close (highest close since July 2014)
  • $11.73 – Intraday high as of 11:54 AM
  • $11.67 – Current price as of 11:54 AM
  •  $7.45 – Intraday low off the open as of 11:54 AM
  •  $6.75 – Offering price of 595K shares

If content like this is useful to your trading/investing strategy, please email with the headline to let us know!*

Posted-In: Technicals Movers Trading Ideas

Citi Resumes Coverage Of Williams Companies, Williams Partners

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Citi has resumed coverage of Williams Companies Inc (NYSE: WMB) and Williams Partners LP (NYSE: WPZ) with Neutral ratings.

The brokerage expects expect Williams Partners to cut its distribution to $0.50/quarter, and Williams Companies to cut its dividend to $0.20/quarter, which represent sequential reductions of 41 percent and 69 percent, respectfully.

“We believe the Williams’ complex relatively inexpensive valuation is balanced by a need for reduced payouts and balance sheet right-sizing,” analyst Faisel Khan wrote in a note.

Williams Partners failed to meet its $1 billion plus asset sales target in the first half of 2016 to fund its 2016 growth capital budget of $2.1 billion.

“We believe a distribution cut would provide much needed flexibility and allow WPZ to maintain its investment grade credit rating,” Khan noted.

Further, the analyst highlighted that Chesapeake contracts represent a challenge and a possible opportunity. Williams Partners generates about 20 percent of its EBITDA from Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) on a trailing basis.

“Counterparty risk has weighed on WPZ units over the course of the last year, and we believe there is mutual interest in finding a win-win solution for both parties. We believe swapping the value of the Barnett MVC payments for CHK stock could be an opportunity for CHK and WPZ,” Khan continued.

On the corporate governance front, the letters of resignation from the activist board members earlier this month were critical of current management. Furthermore, the resignation of other Board members also cast a level of doubt over WMB’s management team.

“We believe the next shareholder meeting in November will be critical for WMB investors. Electing and proposing a slate of directors with industry experience and a track record of management/capital discipline…
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Chart School

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Regular and Premium Down for Sixth Consecutive Week

Courtesy of Doug Short's Advisor Perspectives.

It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The price of Regular and Premium five and four cents each, respectively, from last week. According to, California has the highest average price for Regular at $2.79 and San Francisco is averaging $2.96. South Carolina has the cheapest at $1.83. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 43.13, a decrease of 2.81 from this time last week.

How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here's a visual answer.


more from Chart School

Zero Hedge

We're Sorry! - DNC Apologizes To Bernie For "Inexcusable Remarks"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Facing an already rambunctious crowd - chanting 'Bernie' at every mention of Clinton - The DNC has been forced to issue a formal apology to Bernie Sanders (and presumably his supporters).... "the inexcusable remarks... do not reflect the value of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process."

So... we assume this means Vladimir Putin's crack team of Kremlin hackers did not "make them up" then.

What is "them"? Here, co...

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Phil's Favorites

Did Merkel's Misguided Pragmatism Wreck the EU? Eurozone?

Courtesy of Mish.

Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Münchau points a finger squarely at chancellor Angela Merkel in his article High Price of Europe’s Misguided Pragmatism.

As is typically the case, Münchau gets some things right while missing the big picture.

As for solutions, Münchau is nearly always wrong.

Sustainability is what this is all about. This is the main lesson from the Brexit vote. Britain will leave the EU not because David Cameron , the former prime minister, made a tactical error. He did, of course. But UK membership is ending because it was unsustainable. The EU has always been a project of political integration. The Remain campaign was...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

G20 growth promise keeps global shares near nine-month high (Reuters)

World shares held near nine-month highs on Monday after G20 finance chiefs said over the weekend they would use "all policy tools" to lift global growth.

Stocks That Ignore Defaults Are Cruising for a Bruising (Bloomberg View)

A worrying trend is developing in the corporate bond market: Even with borrowing costs at or near their lowest ever, companies are increasingly unable to pay their debts. There have already been enough defaults around the world this year to suggest that the record set in 2009 migh...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of July 25th, 2016

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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver; Dangerous price point to slip from

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at a chart of Silver prices over the past 8-years. After declining sharply, Silver hit its 38% Fibonacci retracement level twice at (1). After failing to break above Fibonacci retracement resistance, selling pressure picked up and Silver fell hard.


Silver is now testing its 23% Fibonacci retracement level and falling resistance at (2), inside of a short-term rising wedge pattern.


more from Kimble C.S.


Relypsa Inc (RLYP) Soars On Galenica Bid

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Relypsa Inc (NDAQ:RLYP) — to be acquired by Galenica AG (VTX:GALN) for $32 per share in cash is soaring this morning up about 58 percent at the time of this writing in early morning. On the other hand shares of Galenica are down on the announcement by about 8 percent. What are the details of the deal? Here is what the sell side analysts are saying about the pharma news.

Relypsa Inc (NDAQ:RLYP) bid – analysts react

Cantor Fitzgerald

Relypsa will be acquired by Galenica for $32 per share, a 59% premium over the last closing price. We have thought that Relypsa would likely be acquired at some point, given the opportunity to grow Veltassa to be a significant commercial brand, ...

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Digital Currencies

Demystifying the blockchain: a basic user guide


Demystifying the blockchain: a basic user guide

By Philippa Ryan, University of Technology Sydney

Companies around the world are exploring blockchain, the technology underpinning digital currency bitcoin. In this Blockchain unleashed series, we investigate the many possible use cases for the blockchain, from the novel to the transformative.

Most people agree we do not need to know how a television works to enjoy using one. This is true of many existing and emerging technologies. Most of us happily drive cars, use mobile phones and send emails without knowing how they work. With this in mind, here is a tech-free user guide to the blockchain - the technology infrastructure behind bitcoin...

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Mapping The Market

No wonder Saudis are selling as much as they can!

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

We are getting much more energy efficient – no wonder Saudis are selling as much as they can! Who wants to be the one with trillions of dollars of oil in the ground unwanted:


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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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This Is Why Biotech Stocks May Explode Again

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members.

Here's an interesting article from Investor's Business Daily arguing that biotech stocks are beginning to recover from their recent declines, notwithstanding current weakness.

This Is Why Biotech Stocks May Explode Again



After a three-year bull run that more than quadrupled its value by its peak last July, IBD’s Medical-Biomed/Biotech Industry Group plunged 50% by early February, hurt by backlashes against high drug prices and mergers that seek to lower corporate taxes.


more from Biotech


PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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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!

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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...

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