Author Archive for Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Monday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Barclays cut the price target for American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) from $71 to $62. AIG shares closed at $43.82 on Friday.
  • Wells Fargo lowered the price target for D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE: DHI) from $62 to $48. D.R. Horton shares closed at $34.40 on Friday.
  • Canaccord Genuity lowered the price target for Asure Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASUR) from $22 to $13. Asure Software shares closed at $7.75 on Friday.
  • KeyBanc cut the price target for athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) from $170 to $142. athenahealth shares closed at $120.35 on Friday.
  • H.C. Wainwright lowered the price target on Achaogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAO) from $19 to $3. Achaogen shares closed at $2.25 on Friday.
  • Citigroup cut Southern Copper Corporation (NYSE: SCCO) price target from $43 to $33. Southern Copper shares closed at $37.93 on Friday.
  • Bank of America raised Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (NYSE: AWI) price target from $63 to $75. Armstrong World shares closed at $67.22 on Friday.
  • Wells Fargo raised the price target on L Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LB) from $30 to $55. L Brands shares closed at $36.50 on Friday.
  • Vertical Group cut the price target for GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE: EAF) from $29 to $9. GrafTech shares closed at $16.08 on Friday.
  • B. Riley FBR lowered Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ADMP) price target from $7.50 to $2.50. Adamis Pharmaceuticals shares closed at $2.78 on Friday.

Posted-In: Price Target ChangesPrice Target Intraday Update Analyst Ratings

Things Are Going From Bad To Worse For GE

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Things Are Going From Bad To Worse For GE

Even with General Electric Company (NYSE: GE)’s stock down more than 74 percent in the past three years, Wall Street analysts are still saying investors should still think twice about buying the dip.

Credit Suisse analyst John Walsh on Monday reiterated his Neutral rating and lowered his price target from $12 to $10. The risk-reward balance for GE stock has still not normalized.

“Poor visibility into fundamentals (e.g., Power and forward Aviation margin) coupled with uncertainty around liabilities (e.g., insurance, Capital, WMC, and SEC investigation) keep us sidelined,” Walsh wrote.

Concerns Remain

While he says upside-to-downside risk is currently 2-to-1, there are still four main concerns with GE stock that keep him from being bullish:

  • Unknown liability size.
  • Persistent Power weakness.
  • Unstable aviation margins.
  • Lackluster cash flow.

Walsh said GE’s core business is not necessarily fundamentally broken, but there’s no end in sight to GE’s issues, at least in the near term. At this point, there’s no way to accurately predict what GE’s financials will look like once new CEO Larry Culp’s restructuring plan is implemented.

Culp said on Monday he feels a sense of “urgency” to get GE back on track and that the company has “plenty of opportunities through asset sales” to dial down its leverage.

Walsh isn’t the only expert that is still skeptical of GE. On Friday, JPMorgan analyst Stephen Tusa sut his price target for GE stock to just $6.

“While the stock is down ~70% from the peak of $30, this move still does not sufficiently reflect the fundamental facts,” he wrote.

No Technical Support

While GE’s fundamentals are a mess, Miller Tabak analyst Matt Maley said on Friday GE stock is unlikely to get any technical support in the near term either.

“Even though the stock is very oversold on a very near-term basis, if you look at its weekly [relative strength index chart], it’s not as oversold as it was on two

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Everything We Know About The California Fires

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Everything We Know About The California Fires

PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) stock plunged Monday after a 12-percent drop Friday as investors grow increasingly concerned about the financial impact of the California wildfires. Although there is no evidence as of yet that the Camp Fire, the Hill Fire or the Woolsey Fire were caused by faulty infrastructure, Height Capital Markets analyst Clayton Allen said a pair of California utility stocks are potentially facing major liability risks.

Market Risk

“Rapidly expanding wildfires in California once again raise the specter of inverse condemnation-related liability for investor-owned utilities in the state,” Allen said in a note. 

PG&E has high exposure to the Camp Fire region, while Edison International (NYSE: EIX) has exposure to the Hill and Woolsey Fires.

“Although no evidence tying either firm to the fires has been released, we think that both utility companies face significant risk under the currently expansive definition of inverse condemnation,” he said.

PG&E reported a power outage in a high-voltage power line at about 6:15 a.m. Thursday near the origin of the Camp Fire, which was first reported about 20 minutes later, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

What’s To Blame?

In a series of tweets over the weekend, President Donald Trump blamed the fires on poor forest management in California.

There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018

Meteorologists say the fires aren’t a result of forest management but rather a combination of extremely strong winds, exceptionally dry conditions and residential overdevelopment.

PG&E pushed earlier this year for a change to wildfire liability laws in California.

Under the law, utility companies are liable for any fires started by utility company equipment, even if the companies were not found to be negligent. The utility companies have argued that the increased frequency and size of California wildfires has created financial risk for them that could threaten the stability of the California electrical grid.

Cost, Containment

The latest round of wildfires may move the

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Insider Buys Of The Week: American Homes 4 Rent, Bunge, Platform Specialty Products

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Insider Buys Of The Week: American Homes 4 Rent, Bunge, Platform Specialty Products
  • Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors.
  • Some notable insider buys last week came in the wake of quarterly reports.
  • A chief executive officer was one of the insider buyers featured here.

Conventional wisdom says that insiders and 10 percent owners really only buy shares of a company for one reason — they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit from it. So insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors, particularly during periods of uncertainty.

Here’s a look at a few notable insider purchases reported in the past week.


Bunge Ltd (NYSE: BG) saw CEO Soren Schroder, the chief financial officer and three directors add to their stakes. At prices that ranged from $61.91 to $63.60, the 669,200 shares reportedly acquired in the past week cost them about $42.09 million. Note that Schroder’s stake was last seen at less than 82,600 shares.

This agribusiness company is among those that could be affected by the outcome of the midterms. The stock last closed at $63.27, still within the above purchase price range. Shares have traded as high as $83.20 in the past year, but the consensus price target is $78.89.

See Also: Cramer: IBM CEO Rometty Signaled ‘Real Commitment’ To Stock

American Homes 4 Rent

Two American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH) directors made notable share purchases this past week. At $19.90 to $20.30 apiece, the more than 1.98 million shares acquired totaled nearly $40 million. Note that these directors are family, and some of the shares are held in trust.

This single-family home rental leader posted mixed earnings results and declared a dividend at the beginning of the month. The shares ended Friday at $20.52, or more than 3 percent higher in the past week, which is better than the S&P 500. The consensus price target is $24.77, but shares have traded as high as $23.34 apiece in the past 52 weeks.

Platform Specialty Products

Two directors and an executive vice president at Platform Specialty Products Corp (NYSE: PAH) also stepped up to the buy window this past week. Altogether they picked up 717,000 shares at prices ranging from $10.78 to $11.00 apiece. That

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Square’s Guidance Miss: Analysts Speak Up

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Square's Guidance Miss: Analysts Speak Up

Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) is getting crushed Thursday following a disappointing third-quarter earnings report. Square beat analyst expectations for earnings and revenue, but its fourth-quarter guidance disappointed Wall Street.

The stock was down more than 9 percent to $74.79 at time of publication. Analysts remain mostly positive on Square in the long-term and generally see the sell-off as a buying opportunity for investors.

Here’s a sampling of what some analysts had to say about Square following the report.

Bull Thesis Preserved

Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham said the third quarter was another demonstration of the long-term bull thesis for Square.

“Consistent with our recent upgrade, we remain constructive on the stock and believe the growth story continues to justify a premium valuation,” Graham wrote.

Wells Fargo analyst Timothy Willi said Square’s revenue growth remains impressive.

“Adjusted S&SB revenue grew by 126% on an organic basis, by our estimate, and exceptionally strong performance,” Willi wrote.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Joseph Foresi said investors can expect rapid revenue growth and long-term margin expansion to continue.

“We are attracted to the company’s increasing market penetration, end user growth and improving margin profile, driven by SG&A leverage and an increasing margin contribution from other services,” Foresi said.

Growing Pains

Susquehanna analyst James Friedman said Square’s future remains bright, but the company is clearly dealing with growing pains at the moment.

“Creation requires investment, valuation exceeds our Price Target, and we have no CFO,” Friedman wrote.

BTIG analyst Mark Palmer said core business metric were a bit on the light side.

“SQ reported 3Q18 transaction revenue of $655mm and gross payment volume of $22.5bn. Both of those figures represented year-over-year growth of 29% which would be strong for most companies, but with SQ shares trading at 47.3x FY20E EV/EBITDA we believe the ticks below the 30% level may have disappointed investors as reflected by the stock’s weakness during extended trading this afternoon,” Palmer wrote.

Product Launches

KeyBanc analyst Josh Beck said the Square payments platform

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Why Axon Shares Got A Shock After The Q3 Print

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Why Axon Shares Got A Shock After The Q3 Print

Weapons technology company Axon Enterprise Inc. (NASDAQ: AAXN) reported a third-quarter earnings and sales beat Tuesday. Despite a surge in net income and a revenue increase of roughly 16 percent, the stock fell substantially following the report.

The Analyst

JPMorgan analyst Mark Strouse upgraded Axon from Neutral to Overweight and maintained a $68 price target. 

The Thesis

Axon’s reported guidance implies a dip in revenue growth in the fourth quarter, Strouse said in a Thursday note. (See his track record here.) 

The dip should be a temporary one, the analyst said. 

“The stock is now below the price of the May secondary offering, despite recent developments that we believe are long-term positives such as the launch of the TASER 7 and Axon Body 3, new officer safety payment plans with enhanced features and premium pricing, as well as being in closer proximity to the launch of Axon Records in mid-2019.”

Strouse expects that certain agencies will pause before deciding whether to buy older Tasers or the new TASER 7 in 2019. Contact announcements should demonstrate signs of progress and growth acceleration into 2019, he said. 

“We believe AAXN’s uniquely strong position in a large addressable market, solid revenue growth momentum and improving EBITDA margins could provide upside to estimates over time.” 

Price Action

Axon shares rose 4.95 percent to $53.21 during pre-market trading on Thursday. The stock had dipped over 15 percent following Wednesday’s close.

Related Links:

Analyst: The Bullish Case For Axon Isn’t Based On Taser Sales Alone

Raymond James: Axon Still Underappreciated After 170% Pop

Photo courtesy of Axon. 

Latest Ratings for AAXN

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2018 JP Morgan Upgrades Neutral Overweight
Oct 2018 Ladenburg Thalmann Downgrades Buy Neutral
Sep 2018 Raymond James Initiates Coverage On Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for AAXN

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: earnings reportAnalyst Color Earnings News Guidance Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

Economic Data Scheduled For Wednesday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • The Federal Open Market Committee will begin its two-day policy meeting today
  • The MBA’s index of mortgage application activity for the latest week is schedule for release at 7:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S. is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
  • Data on consumer credit for September will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets

Why Marijuana Was A Big Winner From The 2018 Midterms

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Why Marijuana Was A Big Winner From The 2018 Midterms

Democrats took control of the House and Republicans maintained their grip on the Senate, but another winner of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections is the cannabis industry.

Aside from electing political candidates, citizens in six states states had measures related to the legalization of cannabis.

Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Michigan voters were asked to give their opinion on Proposal 1, which would fully legalize marijuana in the state. Fifty-six percent voted in favor.

This will instate a regulated system of cannabis cultivation and sales. Adults over 21 will be allowed to grow up to 12 plants at home, posses 2.5 ounces of weed in public and keep 10 ounces in their house, in addition to what they grow. Businesses will be issued licenses and cannabis will be subjected to a 10 percent excise tax in addition to a 6 percent state sales tax.

Benzinga, which recently brought 600 investors to Toronto for the first-ever Cannabis Capital Conference, is hosting the Michigan Cannabis Business Roundtable at its Detroit headquarters Friday, Nov. 9.

Utah and Missouri Voters Approve Medical Marijuana

In Utah, the ballots included Proposition 2, the Medical Marijuana Initiative. This legalizes medical marijuana for people with certain qualifying conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. The proposition bans smoking pot, however; instead patients can consume edibles, vape and use other means of consumption.

The new law will instate a system to license and regulate medical marijuana businesses and will exempt marijuana from local and state sales taxes. Moreover, people are allowed to grow up to six plants for personal medical use if they live more than 100 miles from a dispensary. Proposition 2 was passed with 53 percent of the vote.

In Missouri, there were three measures related to the legalization of medical marijuana. Amendment 3 would allow doctors to prescribe weed, but would impose a 15-percent tax and ban home cultivation; and Proposition 3 would tax marijuana at 2 percent and set a list of qualifying conditions. Both of these failed to pass.

Amendment 2 was passed with a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent. Amendment 2 sets a marijuana tax of 4 percent, but doctors are allowed to recommend marijuana for any condition they see

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Michael Kors Is Tanking: Here’s How The Stock Typically Trades Following Earnings

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Michael Kors Is Tanking: Here's How The Stock Typically Trades Following Earnings

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE: KORS) stock crashed more than 15 percent Wednesday morning after the company reported a decline in fiscal second-quarter same-store sales and said full-year same-store sales growth will be negative as well.

Michael Kors has a long history of volatile earnings reactions, and Wednesday is certainly no exception.

The Earnings

Michael Kors reported adjusted second-quarter earnings per share of $1.27 topping consensus analyst estimates of $1.10. Revenue for the quarter was $1.25 billion, up 9.3 percent from a year ago but slightly missing consensus expectations of $1.26 billion.

Michael Kors said same-store sales declined by 2.1 in the quarter, down from a 0.2 percent increase in the first quarter.

Looking ahead, the company raised its full-year EPS forecast from a previous range of between $4.90 and $5.00 to a new range of between $4.95 and $5.05, but investors zeroed in on its guidance for same-store sales to decline in the “low single digits” for the full fiscal year. The declines in same-store sales suggest Michael Kors will continue to struggle to grow its business in what is an extremely difficult environment for retail stocks.

The Price Action

Traders has a strong knee-jerk reaction on Wednesday, sending the stock plummeting more than 15 percent.

Michael Kors traders are no strangers to earnings volatility. The chart below highlights the recent earnings reactions for the stock. Earnings day trading action over the past three years has been positive exactly half the time, with earnings day moves of at least 6 percent happening on six of the company’s past eight earnings days.

At time of publication, the stock traded around $49.69 per share.

Related Links:

Need A Reason To Buy Michael Kors? UBS Offers 8

Survey: Michael Kors Still The Preferred Handbag Among Teens

Photo credit: Designerschuhe, Taschen und Accessoires from Deutschland, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Earnings News Top Stories Movers Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

Tariffs, Drug Prices, Legislative Gridlock: What Economists Are Watching Following The Midterm Election

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Tariffs, Drug Prices, Legislative Gridlock: What Economists Are Watching Following The Midterm Election

Democrats didn’t get the blue wave they hoped for Tuesday, but they picked up enough votes to take the majority in the House of Representatives, with Republicans maintaining control of the Senate.

A divided Congress wasn’t particularly surprising to analysts, but there were still plenty of stocks moving Wednesday morning as the market digested the election returns. 

Market Trends

A Democratic House could provide some resistance to President Donald Trump’s trade war tariffs on China. U.S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods are set to rise to 25 percent starting on Jan. 1. The potential for Democrats to pressure Trump to back down on China is theoretically good news for U.S. companies that rely on Chinese supply and demand.

Pharmaceutical companies could be in for a rough few years. There are very few areas of overlap between the Democratic agenda and Trump’s, but lower drug prices is seemingly one of them. If the Democrats want to prove they can get results even with limited power, they may choose to offer little protest to Republican defense and infrastructure spending in exchange for the president’s cooperation on a drug price legislation.

In addition to a potential crackdown on drug prices, pharmaceutical companies may be uneasy about the momentum in the marijuana legalization movement.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan and medicinal marijuana was legalized in Missouri Tuesday, and the ETF MANAGERS TR/TIERRA XP LATIN AME (NYSE: MJ) gained 2.6 percent.

Height’s Take

Prior to the election, Height Capital Markets predicted a divided Congress and discussed individual stocks that could be winners and losers from a legislative standpoint.

In a divided Congress scenario, Height said a number of stocks are

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Zero Hedge

US Shale Firms To Spend $100 Million On West Texas And New Mexico Improvements

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Over a dozen top US energy firms have agreed to devote $100 million towards much needed improvements in West Texas and New Mexico, in order to help the regions cope with shortfalls in health care, education and civic infrastructure in the wake of the shale oil and gas boom, the group said on Sunday. 

Chevron, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are among 17 companies backing the Permian Strategic Partnership, as the cons...

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Phil's Favorites

Message from Jeff Bezos - SNL



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Chart School

The Power of the Dow Jones Cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Once again the data confirms cycles exists in the market. Value and other fundamental investors must concede cycles are in the stock market. [You can learn more about our Hurst Cycle tools here].

Previous Post Kitchin Cycle warned of market volatility

In the past this blog has posted the chart below, the Kitchin cycle or 900 periods, and you can see its success.

The cycle source:

.."Joseph Kitchin (1861–1932) was a British busine...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

King Dollar Creating A Topping Pattern This Week?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


King Dollar has spent the majority of the past 7-years inside of rising channel (1), as it’s created a series of higher lows and higher highs.

The 2018 rally has it kissing the underside of potential resistance this week at (2), where it could be creating a bearish reversal pattern. This one week action has NOT changed the upward trend in King Dollar.

If it breaks rising support at (3), odds favor that some selling pressure takes place in the US$, which metals would lov...

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Insider Scoop

Analysts Cautious On Williams-Sonoma After Q3 Print

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related WSM 48 Stocks Moving In Friday's Mid-Day Session 28 Stocks Moving In Friday's Pre-Market Session ... more from Insider

Members' Corner



This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.



By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern - but it may be a price worth paying


Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern – but it may be a price worth paying


Courtesy of Steven Huckle, University of Sussex

Bitcoin recently turned ten years old. In that time, it has proved revolutionary because it ignores the need for modern money’s institutions to verify payments. Instead, Bitcoin relies on cryptographic techniques to prove identity and authenticity.

However, the price to pay for all of this innovation is a high carbon footprint, created by Bitc...

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Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...

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Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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


Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...

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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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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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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.

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