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Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday November 25, 2014

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Tuesday November 25, 2014:

Visteon Confirms Discussions with Hahn & Co. Regarding Potential Sale of Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp Stake

The Talks:
Visteon Corporation (NYSE: VC) confirmed Tuesday, it is currently engaged in discussions with Korea’s Hahn & Company regarding a potential sale of Visteon’s ownership interest in Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp.

to the private equity firm. Reuters reported on Sunday, that Visteon was preparing to sell its 69.99% stake in Halla Visteon in a deal said to be valued at approximately $3.6 billion, according to a source.

Visteon Corporation closed Tuesday at $98.36, a loss of 1%.

Carlyle Group to Acquire Stake in South Africa’s Tiger Wheel & Tyre

The Rumor:
U.S. private equity firm The Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ: CG) is preparing to take a stake in South Africa’s Tiger Wheel & Tyre, according to Reuter. The deal values the tyre dealer at approximately $158 million, according to a source.

Carlyle Group shares lost $0.23 Tuesday, to close at $129.23.

Papa John’s acquires Pizza Corner stores in South India

The Deal:
Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA), Avan Projects and Global Franchise Architects announced Monday, the acquisition of Pizza Corner stores in South India. Papa John’s will convert the existing Pizza Corner stores to Papa John’s branded restaurants through Q1 2015. Papa John’s confirms its commitment to expand its presence in India, specifically in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

GFA brands’ Pizza Corner, is the third largest pizza chain in Southern India. The minimum of 40 store conversions will begin in late 2014 and continuing into 2015.

Papa John’s closed Tuesday at $52.17, a gain of 2.5%.

Posted-In: News Rumors M&A





Smith & Wesson To Acquire Battenfeld Technologies For $130 Million

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ: SWHC) announced on Wednesday it will acquire Battenfeld Technologies, a hunting and shooting accessories provider for $130 million.

Battenfeld Technologies develops and sells shooting, reloading, gunsmithing and gun cleaning supplies under several known brands including Caldwell Shooting Supplies. The company has a presence in national retailers including Dicks Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's and Gander Mountain. The company also sells its products online through Internet retailers, including Amazon.com.

Smith & Wesson expects the deal to be accretive to its gross margins, earnings per share and cash generated in fiscal 2016. The company will finance the acquisition through existing cash balances and cash from a $100 million line of credit, which has been expanded to $125 million.

The company expects the deal to close in mid to late December.

“Battenfeld Technologies provides us with a unique opportunity to acquire a thriving company that fits perfectly within our core firearm business,” James Debney, Smith & Wesson President and CEO said in a press release. "It also allows us to move more strongly into the hunting vertical as well as establish a strong platform for growth in our existing firearm accessories business, which has been a small but highly profitable part of our company.”

Posted-In: Amazon Bass Pro Shops Battenfeld Technologies dick's sporting goods guns Smith And WessonNews M&A





Needham Downgrades Cubic To Hold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related CUB
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Cubic Defense Systems Awarded $35M Contract to Support, Repair Area Weapons Effects Simulator for British Army

Analysts at Needham downgraded Cubic (NYSE: CUB) from Buy to Hold.

Cubic shares have dropped 16.76% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 14.38% in the same period.

Cubic’s shares rose 0.91% to $47.50 in pre-market trading.

Latest Ratings for CUB

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Needham Downgrades Buy Hold
Aug 2014 Credit Suisse Maintains Neutral
Jul 2014 JP Morgan Maintains Overweight

View More Analyst Ratings for CUB
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: NeedhamDowngrades Analyst Ratings





Barrington Research Raises Time Warner Price Target

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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James Goss of Barrington Research reaffirmed an Outperform rating on Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX) on Wednesday with a price target raised to $96 from a previous $95 due to a higher adjustment to fourth quarter estimates.

Goss estimates the company will earn $0.99 per share in the fourth quarter after previously projecting $0.96 per share. This implies a full year EPS estimate of $4.18, a 19 percent increase from a year ago.

Revenue for the fourth quarter is projected by the analyst to total $7.486 billion, higher than the previous $7.425 billion estimate. The higher revenue estimate is attributed to higher subscription revenue expectations at Turner.

“At current levels, we feel our opinion can incorporate solid fundamental considerations, while also positioning investors to benefit from any renewal in consolidation activity,” Goss wrote. The analyst adds that the company's fundamental story remains “compelling” including an “impressive” mix of premium and basic cable networks and the “exceptional” capabilities of Warner Brothers film and television studio.

Goss raised his fiscal 2015 estimates and now expects the company to earn $4.70 per share after previously projecting an earnings of $4.60 per share. Revenue for the full fiscal year has also been raised to $28.508 billion, from $28.423 billion.

Latest Ratings for TWX

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Barrington Research Reiterates Outperform
Nov 2014 Goldman Sachs Upgrades Neutral Conviction Buy
Nov 2014 Jefferies Maintains Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for TWX
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: James Goss Time Warner Turner Warner BrothersAnalyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings





Morgan Stanley: Nimble Storage Increased Its Market Four-Fold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Nimble Storage Inc (NYSE: NMBL) reported its third quarter results on Tuesday after market close. The company reported a loss of $0.15 per share, slightly better than the $0.16 per share loss analysts were expecting, while revenue of $59.10 million was higher than the $57.75 million analysts were expecting.

In a note to clients on Wednesday, Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley noted that the company “continues to disrupt the storage market” as new customer adoption doubled year-over-year, increasing its installed base to more than 4,300 customers.

The analyst also notes that international investments are “beginning to pay off” as revenue grew 135 percent from a year ago, contributing 20 percent of total revenue in the quarter.

However, Huberty singles out the addition of the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol. The analyst states that the company has now expanded its total addressable market to roughly $20 billion from $5 billion with iSCSI. The company could see its FC revenue surpass iSCSI in as little as two years, according to management, and noted by the analyst.

Finally, the analyst sees break-even profitability on track for the second half of calendar year 2015.

Shares are Overweight rated with a $35 price target.

Posted-In: Fibre Channel Protocol iSCSI Katy Huberty Morgan Stanley Nimble StorageAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings





Morgan Stanley Likes Hewlett-Packard's Risk/Reward Profile

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Following Hewlett-Packard Company’s (NYSE: HPQ) fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, Katy Huberty commented in a note on Wednesday that the risk/reward profile is favorable.

According to Huberty, Hewlett-Packard demonstrated a “much awaited” margin improvement as margins improved at least 30 basis points in every segment from a year ago. The company’s Services margin increased 240 basis points from a year ago.

Huberty adds that the company’s free cash flow remains “strong.” The reported $1.9 billion free cash flow in the quarter exceeded the $1.6 billion the analyst expected. The company’s management stated that it expects to accelerate its share repurchase in the first quarter and return at least 50 percent of free cash flow to investors in fiscal 2015.

The analyst notes that the company is “biased” to share repurchases in the near-term while the company will benefit from continued cost-cutting and mix related margin improvements.

Huberty notes that under a “bull case” scenario, shares could be worth up to $49 per share. The analyst does however state that more transparency related to the split of corporate level costs and incremental expenses post separation is needed.

As such, shares were reiterated with an Overweight rating and $40 price target.

Latest Ratings for HPQ

Date Firm Action From To
Oct 2014 Jefferies Initiates Coverage on Hold
Oct 2014 Brean Capital Maintains Buy
Oct 2014 Credit Suisse Upgrades Market Perform Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for HPQ
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Helwett-Packard Katy HubertyAnalyst Color Earnings Long Ideas Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas





Analyst Sees More News In Works At Intrawest Resorts

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related SNOW
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Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SNOW)'s unexpected replacement of its chief executive recently could presage "significantly more news in coming months," an analyst said on Monday.

Bank of America analyst Shaun C. Kelley thinks the company could be preparing for some "financial engineering," although he didn't speculate on specific strategies.

The company is majority-owned by Fortress Group, which took Intrawest private in 2006. Since going public again about a year ago, shares have performed poorly, while its books currently include a net operating loss carry-forwards equal to $12 a share.

"Plus there is another $4 a share in raw land and $7 related to the core ski business," Kelley said.

The company operates the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort near Vancouver as well as a half-dozen other major ski areas. It also runs the heli-skiing concern Canadian Mountain Holidays.

Intrawest closed Monday at $10.82, up about 5 percent since last week when it named Thomas F. Marano chief executive effective immediately. William A. Jensen resigned as CEO, for "personal reasons."

Kelley noted that Marano lacks industry experience and had reportedly been better paid at his previous job heading Residential Capital, a unit of what is now Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY).

"So what attracted him to Intrawest?" Kelley asked rhetorically.

Marano will receive a base salary of $700,000, plus options on 2.7 million shares and a "personal, 25 percent of 'value created' in new business ventures," according to Kelley.

Calling Marano's arrival "totally unexpected," Kelley noted the lack of an interim search period and said he's rarely seen "such a unique carve out for side projects that could personally benefit the CEO."

Kelley maintained a Buy rating and $17 target.

Latest Ratings for SNOW

Date Firm Action From To
Sep 2014 Bank of America Maintains Buy
Feb 2014 Credit Suisse Initiates Coverage on Outperform
Feb 2014 Deutsche Bank Initiates Coverage on Hold

View More Analyst Ratings for SNOW
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color News Reiteration Management Analyst Ratings





UPDATE: Citi Research Initiates Coverage On Nu Skin Enterprises

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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On Tuesday, Citi Research analysts initiated coverage on shares Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS) with a Neutral rating and $46 price target.

Beth Kite stated, “despite the much-lowered EPS expectations for 2015, until we see less risk to EPS and/or a stronger probability for upside—from either a rebound in China or more visibility into 2015 innovation plans—we think it’s still too early to call an inflection in the stock.”

"Upcoming catalysts: Dec. 4 Citi visits Nu Skin in Shanghai; Dec. 12 the company hosts its Investor Day, analysts expect to hear a long-term strategy for China, innovation roll-out plans and the potential for re-entry into Brazil."

Shares of Nu Skin Enterprises were trading up 1 percent Tuesday morning.

Latest Ratings for NUS

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Citigroup Initiates Coverage on Neutral
Nov 2014 BTIG Research Initiates Coverage on Neutral
Nov 2014 Bank of America Maintains Underperform

View More Analyst Ratings for NUS
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: beth kite CitigroupAnalyst Color Price Target Initiation Analyst Ratings





Sterne Agee: Macau Gross Gaming Revenue 20% Lower In November, Las Vegas Sands Market Leader

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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David Bain of Sterne Agee reported on Tuesday that based on his channel checks, November Macau table-only gross gaming revenue (GGR) was Macau patacas (MOP) 17.9 billion ($2.24 billion) through November 23. The analyst adds  that including slot assumptions, the November GGR run-rate implies a negative 20 percent year-over-year monthly result.

Bain states that October visitation to Macau rose 11 percent year-over-year with arrivals from Mainland China increasing 20 percent and now represents 69 percent of total visitations.

The analyst notes that the visitation figures "demonstrate the desirability (especially of Mainland Chinese) to continue to visit Macau."

However, given the declines in gaming revenues, Bain states that the quality of customers visiting Macau continues to be "relatively weak" compared to a year ago, given China's recent anticorruption campaign and a "choppy" Mainland China macroeconomic backdrop.

Based on Bain's checks, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) held a 23.1 percent table-only market share, making the casino operator the market leader in the region.

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: MPEL) held a 13.1 percent market share, making the company the fourth-largest operator by market share. MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) ranked one spot lower with an 11.0 percent market share, while Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) ranked last in the region with a 7.5 percent market share.

Latest Ratings for LVS

Date Firm Action From To
Oct 2014 Stifel Nicolaus Maintains Buy
Oct 2014 Bank of America Downgrades Buy Neutral
Oct 2014 Deutsche Bank Downgrades Buy Hold

View More Analyst Ratings for LVS
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: David Bain Macau Sterne AgeeAnalyst Color News Global Analyst Ratings





UPDATE: Stifel Upgrades Progressive Waste Solutions

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related BIN
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Stifel upgraded Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd (NYSE: BIN) to Buy and Tuesday with a $37 price target.

Analysts Michael Hoffman and Brian Butler noted that in “early November we traveled with CEO Joe Quarin to visit institutional investors.

“We realized that BIN would truly reduce its long-term capital spending to a 9 percent to 10 percent range including reasonable growth and that efforts to repair the margins in Canada and more importantly in the US-North can and should occur in a timely manner.

“The latter being buoyed by, but not dependent on the sale of Long Island which could be announced by year-end. We think of BIN as having great assets in Canada, well positioned in the US-South and in transition in the US-North.”

The analyst report commented that Cash Flow From Operations (CFFO) “matters and it is clearly a focus since it is a reflection of the income statement productivity gains. However, the single biggest lever to FCF is capital spending.

“BIN needs to bring total capital spending down to a 10 percent level with about 8.5 percent for maintenance and 1.5 percent for growth. This has been a company that liked to spend money. We now believe a real behavior change is underway. We estimate FCF could be 11.5 percent to 12 percent of sales in 2015.”

Progressive Waste Solutions closed Monday at $30.57, up 1.02 percent.

Latest Ratings for BIN

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Stifel Nicolaus Upgrades Hold Buy
Nov 2014 Macquarie Upgrades Underperform Neutral
Sep 2014 Alta Corp Initiates Coverage on Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for BIN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Brian Butler Michael Hoffman StifelAnalyst Color Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Crude Plunges Following OPEC Decision to Not Cut Production

Courtesy of Mish.

For five consecutive months OPEC produced over its alleged quota. Nonetheless, and in spite of falling prices and pleas from Venezuela to restrict production, OPEC decided to take no action.

In the wake of the news, West Texas Intermediate plunged nearly 7% and Brent fell over 8%.

WTI Crude Futures



Brent Crude Futures



Please consider OPEC Fails to Take...



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Zero Hedge

Guest Post: What Americans Celebrate On Thanksgiving Day

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t know what they are celebrating.

In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief...



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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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Chart School

Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November Slightly Trims Its Strong Preliminary Reading

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November came in at 88.8, a bit off the 89.4 preliminary reading but up from from the October Final of 86.9. As finaly readings go, this is a post-recession high and the highest level since July 2007, over seven years ago. Today's number came in below the Investing.com forecast of 90.2.

See the chart below for a long-term perspective on this widely watched indicator. I've highlighted recessions and included real GDP to help evaluate the correlation between the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and the broader economy.


...



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Insider Scoop

Morgan Stanley: Nimble Storage Increased Its Market Four-Fold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Nimble Storage Inc (NYSE: NMBL) reported its third quarter results on Tuesday after market close. The company reported a loss of $0.15 per share, slightly better than the $0.16 per share loss analysts were expecting, while revenue of $59.10 million was higher than the $57.75 million analysts were expecting.

In a note to clients on Wednesday, Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley noted that the company “continues to disrupt the storage market” as new customer adoption doubled year-over-year, increasing its installed base to more than 4,300 customers.

The analyst also notes that international investments are “beginning to pay off” as revenue grew 135 percent from a year ago, contributing 20 percent of total revenue in the quarter.

However, Huberty singles out the addition of the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol. The analyst states that the company has now ex...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Holiday fever takes hold of stock investors, but a pullback is needed

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

With warmer weather arriving to melt the early snowfall across much of the country, investors seem to be catching a severe case of holiday fever and positioning themselves for the seasonally bullish time of the year. And to give an added boost, both Europe and Asia provided more fuel for the bull’s fire last week with stimulus announcements, particularly China’s interest rate cut. Yes, all systems are go for U.S. equities as there really is no other game in town. But nothing goes up in a straight line, not even during the holidays, so a near-term market pullback would be a healthy way to prevent a steeper correction in January.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based Sector...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining

Courtesy of Global Economic Intersection

By Rod Garratt and Rosa Hayes - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

In June 2014, the mining pool Ghash.IO briefly controlled more than half of all mining power in the Bitcoin network, awakening fears that it might attempt to manipulate the blockchain, the public record of all Bitcoin transactions. Alarming headlines splattered the blogosphere. But should members of the Bitcoin community be worried?

Miners are members of the Bitcoin community who engage in a proce...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of November 25th, 2014

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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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 the Happy Thanksgiving Edition of Stock World Weekly!

Click on this link and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

Picture via Pixabay.

...

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Market Shadows

Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

By Ilene 

I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.

Notes

1. th...



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Option Review

Yamana Gold call options sink

Yamana Gold call options sink

By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

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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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.

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