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Jefferies Downgrades Infosys To Underperform

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Analysts at Jefferies downgraded Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) from Hold to Underperform.

The price target for Infosys has been lowered from $33.40 to $29.00.

Infosys shares closed at $35.14 yesterday.

Latest Ratings for INFY

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Jefferies Downgrades Hold Underperform
Jan 2015 Jefferies Maintains Hold
Oct 2014 Citigroup Downgrades Buy Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for INFY
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: JefferiesDowngrades Analyst Ratings

UPDATE: Citigroup Downgrades Helmerich & Payne

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Analysts at Citigroup on Wednesday downgraded Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE: HP) from Neutral to Sell and reduced the price target from $71.00 to $55.00.

Scott Gruber and Michael Sabella wrote, "We are downgrading HP based on our view of a likely rate collapse amongst Tier 1 (AC) rigs… we believe the defensive shine on the stock is tarnished by a collapse in rig pricing and utilization, as well as rising risk of contract cancellations/resets."

Helmerich & Payne is expected to see a 900 rig count decline as the price oil is approaching record lows, hurting the company's profitability. The analysts cut EBITDA estimates for the oil company by 20 percent in 2015 from $5.60 to $3.75.

Helmerich & Payne closed Wednesday at $59.67, down 6.5 percent.

Latest Ratings for HP

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Citigroup Downgrades Neutral Sell
Dec 2014 Global Hunter Downgrades Accumulate Neutral
Dec 2014 Citigroup Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for HP
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Citigroup Michael Sabella Scott GruberAnalyst Color Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings

Nomura Lowers Price Target On Qualcomm On Lowered FY15 Guidance

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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In a report published Thursday, Nomura analyst Romit Shah reiterated a Buy rating on Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), but lowered the price target from $85.00 to $75.00.

In the report, Nomura noted, “Qualcomm lowered FY15 guidance due to share loss at Samsung, product mix, and heightened pricing pressure in China. While the outlook is worse than our expectations, the company made progress in China by announcing resolution with a key licensee. We believe that settling the NDRC investigation is an important catalyst for shares. We believe shares remain attractively valued, trading at less than 10x enterprise value to free cash flow, based on an after-market price of $65 per share.”

Qualcomm closed on Wednesday at $70.99.

Latest Ratings for QCOM

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Macquarie Downgrades Neutral
Nov 2014 Barclays Maintains Overweight
Nov 2014 Bank of America Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for QCOM
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Nomura Romit ShahAnalyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings

Needham Downgrades VMware To Hold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Analysts at Needham downgraded VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) from Buy to Hold and removed the price target of $110.00.

VMware shares have dropped 17.31% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 11.59% in the same period.

VMware’s shares rose 0.92% to $75.75 in after-hours trading.

Latest Ratings for VMW

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Needham Downgrades Buy Hold
Jan 2015 Needham Downgrades Buy Hold
Jan 2015 JP Morgan Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for VMW
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: NeedhamDowngrades Analyst Ratings

Stifel Downgrades Alibaba On Counterfeit Issue, Regulatory Risk & Weak Monetization

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) was downgraded at Stifel Research from Buy to Hold on Thursday. According to a Barron's Asia blog, the research firm cited “regulatory risk and the weaker-than-expected monetization rates” as two of the main reasons behind the downgrade.

Related Link: This Hedge Fund Manager Says 'Stay Away' From Alibaba

Another factor that worries investors, users and specialists alike is the so-called “counterfeit issue.” The company has been repeatedly accused of selling counterfeit products on its e-commerce sites, and has been acting on this, responding to the allegations and removing of forged items from its sites. However, the same Barrons blog informs that “China’s commerce watchdog State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or SAIC, released [on Wednesday] a ‘closed-door’ document drafted last July, in which the regulator accused Alibaba of lax oversight over fake products on its e-commerce sites.”

In spite of the company’s defense, Stifel's report stated, “the SAIC report puts the effectiveness of these [anti-counterfeit] measures into question.”

Moreover, the monetization issue still lingers: “revenue of $4,219 million was below our estimate of $4,605 million driven by lower total monetization rate (both mobile and PC below our expectations),” the report said. “PC and mobile monetization rates were 2.70% and 1.96% versus our expectations of 3.55% and 2.30%.”

Along with the downgrade, Stifel analysts removed their $115 price target and provided a $101 “fair value estimate.”

Shares of Alibaba traded recently at $89.68, down 8.9 percent.

Latest Ratings for BABA

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Stifel Nicolaus Downgrades Buy Hold
Jan 2015 Tigress Financial Initiates Coverage on Buy
Nov 2014 Cantor Fitzgerald Maintains Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for BABA
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: BARRONS China SAIC State Administration for Industry and CommerceAnalyst Color Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings

SunTrust: Google Has The Top Ad Exchange In Terms Of 'Inventory Quality'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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SunTrust highlighted Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) as one of the Leading Supply Side Operators in online advertising in a report issued Thursday.

Google’s Inventory Quality Score (highlighted in Yellow) was an industry-leading 95 out of 100.

According to the report, the Supply Side Platforms give ad publishers the means to create rules for displaying ads in an effort to “maximize sell-through (minimize unsold inventory) and price and thus ad revenue yield.”

SunTrust analysts believed “Google, Facebook, AOL, and Twitter (mobile) to be leading sell-side providers."

"However," they note, this group is "also publishers and thus there is a perceived conflict of interest in that they complete with other publishers (ad sellers) and are trying to sell their own ad inventory to the advertisers."

The Rubicon Project Inc (NYSE: RUBI), AppNexus, OpenX, PubMatic, SpotXchange and Millennial Media, Inc. (NYSE: MM) were also mentioned as “leading independent sell-side operators.”

Google Inc recently traded at $503.63, down 1.25 percent.

Latest Ratings for GOOG

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Societe Generale Initiates Coverage on Buy
Jan 2015 Atlantic Equities Downgrades Overweight Neutral
Jan 2015 Evercore Partners Maintains Buy Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for GOOG
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: AOL Facebook twitterAnalyst Color Long Ideas Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas

Benzinga's Volume Movers

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ: XNCR) surged 4.61% to $17.70. The volume of Xencor shares traded 1771% higher than normal. Xencor reported positive XmAb 7195 top-line interim Phase 1a results.

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX) shares climbed 3.73% to $45.00. The volume of Mellanox Technologies shares traded was 1080% higher than normal. Mellanox reported upbeat quarterly earnings. Nomura raised the price target on the stock from $58.00 to $60.00

Marinemax Inc.(NYSE: HZO) shares rose 17.58% to $24.68. The volume of Marinemax shares traded was 687% higher than normal. Marinemax reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the first quarter.

Kate Spade & Company(NYSE: KATE) shares moved up 9.49% to $32.55. The volume of Kate Spade traded was 597% higher than normal. Kate Spade reported preliminary FY14 sales of $1.13 to $1.14 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $145 million to $150 million. Kate Spade and Lane Crawford Joyce Group announced a partnership to expand Kate Spade New York brand in China.

Posted-In: volume moversNews Intraday Update Markets Movers

QUALCOMM Analyst Roundup Following Q1 Results

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) shares fell following its Q1 earnings release on Wednesday.

The company cut its 2H15 guidance in the earnings report and as of Thursday morning the stock was down 10.11 percent to $63.81.

Analysts commented on the results following the announcement and were still bullish on the stock. Below are highlights along with current ratings and price targets.

Brean Capital – Buy, $80 price target

“Qualcomm announced a beat-and-raise last night with solid December quarter results and increased March guidance, driven primarily by demand in Emerging Markets and a strong replacement cycle in the US driven by the iPhone. However, the main story was the Company’s lowered 2H15 QCT guidance due to Samsung opting for its in-house (Samsung LSI) applications processor, ‘Exynos’, (and potentially basebands as well) over QCOM’s Snapdragon 810 for its upcoming flagship launch (the Galaxy S6).”

Citi – Buy, $88 price target

“We calculate the $800M revenue shortfall represents roughly 20-25M Snapdragon 810 chips at a price point of approx. $30-40 and that the ~$500M in lost net income (represented by the $0.30 EPS guide-down) represents an appropriate 60-65 percent incremental gross margin on what are QCOM’s highest-end and highest margin chips – note QCOM pays very little if any taxes on its chip business.”

Morgan Stanley – Equal-weight, $72 price target

“As part of its earnings release, the company announced that it had reached resolution with one of its Chinese licensees, from which it had been unable to collect royalties for the past few quarters. As part of the resolution, management indicated that it would collect back royalties (to be recognized in the March quarter). While Qualcomm declined to comment on relative royalty rate levels or other details, we find it encouraging that the Chinese licensee decided that it was in its best interest to go ahead and pay the back royalties ahead of the finalization of the NDRC’s work.”

Credit Suisse – Outperform, $80 price
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Credit Suisse Previews Biogen, Says 'Consensus Tecfidera Downgrades = Pipeline Buying Opportunity'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Credit Suisse on Thursday previewed Biogen Idec Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB) ahead of its fourth-quarter results. Biogen is rated as Outperform with a $400 price target.

In the report, analyst Ravi Mehrota wrote, "Consensus numbers for Tecfidera, in particular longer term > 2017 revenue estimates, have crept up to "sanity check" testing levels and are likely to come down. This could be catalyzed as early as post-market today by Q4 results. In our view, any resulting near-term stock weakness should be used as a buying opportunity as the BIIB pipeline/domain domination theme continues to escalate."

Biogen's deep pipeline allows it to trade at a premium above comparable biotech companies, as earnings estimates do not properly predict the potential of the pipeline, Mehrota argues. However he cautions that, "Fourth quarter results may act as a "course-correction" catalyst for consensus estimates."

Biogen closed Wednesday at 351.18, down 1.87 percent.

Latest Ratings for BIIB

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Barclays Initiates Coverage on Overweight
Jan 2015 Nomura Downgrades Buy Neutral
Nov 2014 Credit Suisse Maintains Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for BIIB
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Credit Suisse Ravi MehrotaAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings

Analysts Give Lukewarm Reception To Las Vegas Sands Earnings

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) beat earnings expectations Wednesday night with a headline income of $0.90 per share, compared with expectations of $0.81. Revenue fell to $3.42 billion from $3.66 billion, lower than Wall Street estimates.

The stock saw a 4 percent pop in after-hours trading, though the price halved gains in regular trading. Analysts seem to think investor optimism was overdone, with much of the Street giving Las Vegas Sands a lukewarm reaction.

Deutsche Bank – Hold, Price target at $53

“With shares indicated up 4% post the close, we believe many are viewing the results as better than recent fears. In our view, the results, when adjusted, were relatively in line, with normalized Singapore a hair ahead of Consensus and normalized Macau coming in below, though not meaningfully.”

Nomura – Neutral, Price target at $54

“LVS’ results give us even greater conviction that the stock’s fair value is in the mid-$50 range. […] We could be mistaken if recent demand trends accelerate from what the market hopes is a current nadir. We, however, are skeptical and point to several headwinds that could get worse, not better.”

Morgan Stanley – Equal-weight

“While mgmt continued to talk positively about its long-term positioning in the Macau market, it gave little indication as to when it expects current headwinds to abate, highlighting the ongoing limited visibility. […]That said, we believe that mgmt's motto ‘Yay dividends’ is a clear indication that the growing US recurring dividend is not at risk.”

Shares traded recently at $55.30, down 1.3 percent.

Latest Ratings for LVS

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2015 Barclays Maintains Overweight
Jan 2015 Union Gaming Initiates Coverage on Buy
Jan 2015 Nomura Downgrades Buy Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for LVS
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Deutsche Bank Morgan Stanley NomuraAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas


Chart School

Moving Averages: Month-End Preview

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Here is an advance preview of the monthly moving averages I track after the close of the last business day of the month. At this point, before the open on the last day of the month, three S&P 500 strategies are now signaling "invested" -- unchanged from last month. Two of the five of the Ivy Portfolio ETFs, Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU) and PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking (DBC), are signal "cash" -- also unchanged from last month.

If a position is less than 2% from a signal, it is highlighted in yellow.

Note: My inclusion of the S&P 500 index updates is intended to illustrate a popular moving moving-average timing strategy. The index signals also give...

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Zero Hedge

Drink Up World: The 4 Companies That Control Global Whiskey Production

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While there are eighty people who hold half the world's wealth, ten 'people' who run the world, and ten corporations that control nearly everything you buy... these four companies control what is - to some - the most precious commodity in the world... world whiskey production.


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Phil's Favorites

Conscription of People, Cars, Businesses in Ukraine for Mindless Slaughter; Entire Villages Leave to Avoid Servitude; Hop on the Bus Gus

Courtesy of Mish.

Ukrainians Fighting Ukrainians

Forced military conscription (slavery is a better word) imposed on citizens of Ukraine has reached new heights recently.

The government in Kiev now demands those forced into slavery to hand over their cars for military use. As one might expect, avoidance of needless military slaughter has also reached new heights.

Before we get to those stories, I have a video to share. It is in Russian, but with English subtitles. I am told by reader Jacob Dreizin the translation is essentially correct, but a couple things were translated too literally.

I do offer this warning. The video is graphic and it does contain a lot of harsh language. The video is about captured Ukrainian POWs on a fool's mission to retake the Donetsk airport. After about 12 minutes or so it gets gruesome, the beginning...

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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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In the News: An ETF Rush to Bet on Insiders

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

( by Todd Shriber): "Betting on insider buying is again proving to be an efficacious strategy as the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSEArca: KNOW) has been noticeably less bad than the S&P 500 to start 2015. Add to that, investors are warming to the merits of KNOW's insider sentiment strategy." [Editor's note: KNOW tracks the Sabrient Multi-cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (SBRQAM)]. Read article


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Market Shadows

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do?

Courtesy of Paul Price

Suppose you had the technical ability and raw materials to print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Assume you could spend them as fast as you could create them with no fear of any repercussions.

Would you prudently print up only as much fresh currency as you needed for your current lifestyle? Would you create just a bit more than that to help relatives or those in need?

It is most likely you’d have your printing press running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Becoming the richest person in the world would confer great power upon you.

You could rationalize this action because you plan to use the money for good purposes. Imagine the warm feeling you’d get by giving every person in America one million do...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of January 26th, 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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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 


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2015 - Biotech Fever

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

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...

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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 



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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...

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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 >>