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XPO Logistics stock logs worst day ever on short-seller repor

10 hours ago

XPO Logistics Inc. shares shed more than a quarter of their value for their worst day ever Thursday after a noted short seller said the transportation and logistics company was using dubious accounting practices to cover up financial problems. XPO shares fell 26% to close at $44.50, their lowest close in nearly two years. On Thursday, Spruce Point Capital Management cited "financial irregularities" at XPO that it believes are covering up growth problems at the company. "Given its unreliable and dubious financials, $4.7 billion debt burden, inability to generate sustaining free cash flow, and dependency on external capital and asset sales, we have a worst-case terminal price target of zero," Spruce Point said.

Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has interviewed for chief of staff job: report

10 hours ago

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump and already in the White House as a senior adviser, met on Wednesday with Trump about the job, Huffington Post reported, citing a top Republican close to the White House. The Huffington Post report said Kushner has been pushing his candidacy on the basis of his work on a criminal justice reform package and ability to work with Democrats. Trump publicly said Thursday he has five finalists.

Centene stock ticks up after company releases 2019 guidance, stock split

11 hours ago

Centene Corp. said Thursday that it expects 2019 revenue of $69.7 billion to $70.5 billion and earnings of $7.23 to $7.59 a share. Centene stock rose 0.1% after hours. The healthcare company said it expects earnings adjusted for items such as acquired intangible assets of $8.15 to $8.55 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $8.36 a share on sales of $70.1 billion. The company also said it planned to complete a two-for-one split of the company's stock as a 100% stock dividend that will be effective "sometime in the first quarter of 2019." The company said its 2018 guidance was unchanged. Centene stock rose 1.1% during the regular session as the S&P 500 index fell less than 0.1%.

Tesla stock started at buy at Wedbush

11 hours ago

Analysts at Wedbush on Thursday started coverage of Tesla Inc. stock at their equivalent of buy, saying the Silicon Valley car maker "has the most impressive product roadmap out of any technology/auto vendor around." The analysts, led by Dan Ives, have a $440 price target on the shares, representing a 16% upside over Thursday's closing price. Tesla will be a "game changing" driving force for the electric-vehicle transformation over the next decade, the analysts said. Despite potential challenges ahead, including Model 3 production ramp and lingering concerns from regulatory overhang, "overall seeing the forest through the trees we believe Tesla has the most innovative product roadmap in the technology space over the next 5 to 10 years," the Wedbush analysts said. Tesla has a "golden opportunity" to ramp Model 3 sales in 2019 and beyond and translate that into massive free cash flow and profitability, they said. Tesla shares fell 0.4% in the extended session Thursday after ending the regular trading day up 2.8%.

Chipotle completes executive hires, raises prices system-wide

11 hours ago

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said Thursday that its executive team is complete with the hiring of Roger Theodoredis as chief legal officer and Tabassum Zalotrawala as chief development officer. Theodoredis joins from Danone S.A. and Zalotrawala was most recently at Panda Restaurant Group. Chipotle has made a series of executive hires in 2018, including Brian Niccol, Chipotle's chief executive, in February. The company has also completed price hikes system-wide, according to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts, who view the price hikes as a positive. Prices differ according to market. For example, a chicken burrito, bowl or salad in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and San Antonio went from $6.85 to $6.95, up 1.5%, while in Sacramento, San Diego and Riverside, the price went from $7.00 to $7.25, up 3.6%. " Chipotle's new pricing strategy appears to be taking regular small price increases versus its prior practice of taking infrequent (about every three years) large increases, which were more disruptive to traffic," analysts wrote. SunTrust rates Chipotle shares buy with a $500 price target. Chipotle shares have soared 63.6% in 2018 while the S&P 500 index has slipped nearly 1% for the period.

Costco stock falls after company misses quarterly revenue expectations

11 hours ago

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. fell more than 3% in the extended session Thursday after the company reported mixed first-quarter results. Costco said it earned $767 million, or $1.73 a share, in the quarter, compared with $640 million, or $1.45 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $35.07 billion from $31.81 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.61 a share on revenue of $37.57 billion. Costco shares ended the regular trading day down 0.6%.

Adobe stock wobbles as earnings miss, revenue beats

11 hours ago

Adobe Inc. shares shifted between gains and losses in the extended session Thursday after the software company's revenue results and outlook topped Wall Street estimates but those for earnings did not. Adobe shares, which had been up as much as 3%, were last up 0.4% after hours, following a 1% rise to close the regular session at $248.08. The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $678.2 million, or $1.37 a share, compared with $501.5 million, or $1.02 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $1.87 a share. Revenue rose to $2.46 billion from $2.01 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.88 a share on revenue of $2.43 billion. Adobe updated its 2019 outlook to include its acquisition of Marketo. Adobe expects adjusted earnings of about $1.60 a share on revenue of about $2.54 billion for the first quarter, and about $7.75 a share on revenue of about $11.15 billion for the year. Analysts estimate earnings of $1.88 a share on revenue of $2.51 billion for the first quarter, and $7.98 a share on revenue of $10.78 billion for the year.

Starbucks announces virtual store launch in China, $25 billion shareholder return during investor day

12 hours ago

Starbucks Corp. discussed the launch of the Virtual Starbucks store in partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. during its investor day event on Thursday. The store will combine an experience using the Starbucks app and customer-facing Alibaba apps like Tmall and Alipay. The store will combine services like "Starbucks Delivers," a delivery platform that Starbucks has available across 2,000 stores in 30 cities, and gifting through the Starbucks Tmall store, on one platform. Among the other announcements from the event, Starbucks says it will be returning $25 billion to shareholders in fiscal years 2018 to 2020; the coffee company has partnered with Uber Eats to bring delivery to a quarter of U.S. company-owned stores; and it has partnered with Nestle for Nespresso products and more, starting in spring 2019. Starbucks shares closed Thursday up 1.2%, and shares have rallied 16.5% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index has slipped nearly 1% in 2018.

Stocks end mixed as Nasdaq snaps three-day win streak

12 hours ago

U.S. stocks ended mixed Thursday to snap the Nasdaq's three-day winning streak after flipping between gains and losses throughout the session. The S&P 500 is mostly unchanged at 2,650. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 69 points, or 0.3%, to end near 24,597, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite ended lower by 0.4% at 7,070. Equities have struggled to cobble together several straight sessions of gains amid a lack of clarity into U.S.-China trade talks. In company news, shares of General Electric Co. climbed after the conglomerate said it would launch an "internet of things" company. Even after the news, GE's stock is down shy of 60% year-to-date.

Tesla's head of digital product leaves: report

12 hours ago

Tesla Inc. head of digital product, Parag Vaish, has resigned from the Silicon Valley auto maker to join an internal incubator at Alphabet Inc.'s Google, according to report on CNBC, which said Vaish confirmed his change of jobs. Vaish is the latest in a string of departures at Tesla, including general counsel Todd Maron recently and head of sales and services Jon McNeill back in February to take on the role of chief operating officer at Lyft Inc.

Oil settles sharply higher after report the Saudis plan to cut shipments to U.S. refiners

13 hours ago

U.S. oil futures saw a sharp move higher late in Thursday’s trading session to finish nearly 3% higher. Saudi Arabia plans to slash shipments to U.S. refiners within weeks to help prevent a buildup of American crude stockpiles, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Saudi Aramco warned U.S. refiners to brace for a steep drop in cargoes next month, Bloomberg reported, citing people briefed on the plans of the state-controlled oil company. January West Texas Intermediate oil rose $1.43, or 2.8%, to settle at $52.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Best Buy shares fall after reports of sluggish holiday season iPhone sales

14 hours ago

Best Buy Co. Inc. shares fell 5.7% in Thursday trading after multiplemediareports of sluggish Apple Inc. iPhone XS and XS Max sales during the holidays. Reports cite analysis conducted by Thinknum, a blog that used Best Buy data to show that following a peak after the release of the XS models, there has been a decline, "with a steep drop in early December, largely due to a precipitous drop in interest in the 512GB version of the phone." Best Buy is the largest iPhone seller outside of Apple, according to the blog. Best Buy announced on Thursday that some iPhone models and the MacBook Pro Touchbar will be included in its "Nick of Time" sale, which starts Friday and lasts through Dec. 20. Best Buy shares have slipped 18.8% for 2018 while Apple shares have gained 0.5%. The S&P 500 index is down 1.3% for the period and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down nearly 1%.

Mylan upgraded to buy at CFRA on expectations its worst days are over

14 hours ago

CFRA upgraded Mylan NV stock on Thursday to buy from hold, and said the company's worst days are over. Mylan stock is trading at a five-year low after a range of struggles in the last two years, including controversy over a price hike for its EpiPen treatment for extreme allergic reactions, generic price deflation and regulatory problems at some manufacturing sites. "We think the worst days are over, however, and forecast improved profit margins in 2019 as competition in the generic industry appears to be mitigating - FDA generic approvals are on track to decrease in 2018, marking the first decline since 2014,": analyst Colin Sarcola wrote in a note. "We think MYL can lead a potential turnaround in industry earnings in 2019 as it has remained focused on R&D through the downturn while many competitors have pulled back." Sarcola is sticking with his 12-month price target of $43, or 43% above its current trading level. Earlier, Mylan said it had won in a patent dispute with France's Sanofi SA over an insulin product. Shares were down 1.2% and have fallen 29% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has fallen 1.1%.

Valens GroWorks a rare gainer in cannabis sector after inking extraction deal with Canopy Growth

14 hours ago

Canada's Valens GroWorks Corp. shares were a standout in a mostly lower cannabis sector on Thursday, climbing 6% after news of an extraction agreement with Canopy Growth Corp. . Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Valens will use its proprietary technology to process whole flower and trim into high-grade cannabis resin for Canopy. The first shipment for processing is expected to arrive by year-end. Valens is expecting to have its first batch of branded products available through Canopy's sales channels for medical and recreational cannabis by the end of March 2019. Valens shares are up 32% in the month to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 4%. Canopy shares were down 4% Thursday, and have fallen about 9% in the month to date.

Square says sellers will be able to conduct appointment booking through Instagram and Google

14 hours ago

Square Inc. announced Thursday that its appointments platform will integrate with Facebook Inc.'s Instagram and Alphabet Inc.'s Google. Sellers who use Instagram can enable a functionality on their pages that will let browsers book appointments at their businesses without leaving Instagram. The Square integration with also work with Google's reservation system that allows interested customers to make appointments from Google's search or maps platforms. Appointments is one of Square's add-on services for sellers. Shares of Square are down 1.4% in Thursday's session, though they're still up 81% so far this year. The S&P 500 has dropped 0.9% in that time.

Trump says he hopes Fed won't raise interest rates anymore

14 hours ago

President Donald Trump said Thursday he hopes the Federal Reserve "won't be raising interest rates anymore." It was Trump's latest criticism of the central bank's policy, which came in a Fox News interview shortly ahead of the next Fed meeting. Economists' consensus is that the Fed is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to a range between 2.25% and 2.5% at the end of their meeting on Dec. 19. The Fed also is expected to cut its forecast of 2019 rate increases.

Monster Beverages stock slides 6% as UBS advises investors to sell

15 hours ago

Monster Beverages Corp. shares fell about 6% Thursday, making the stock the second weakest on the S&P 500, after UBS initiated coverage with a sell rating. Analyst Sean King said he expects sales to fall 3% below Street estimates in fiscal 2019 and 6% below in fiscal 2020. "Recent pricing dynamic creates a favorable event-path to close the year but we believe sets up FY19 for deceleration and subsequent multiple contraction as growth falls below the more than double-digit threshold required to support current fundamental valuation," King wrote in a note. The analyst is expecting global sales growth to slow to the mid single-digits in the fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2021 period, even as categories and markets mature and tailwinds subside. The Monster brand screened as the least elastic energy drink brand in a price analysis of the U.S. category, he said. Other negatives he cited include the view that margins peaked in 2016 and domestic pricing moves will not offset inflationary inputs and geographic/product mix headwinds. Shares have fallen 15% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has fallen 1.2%.

Intel and esports company ESL agree to invest more than $100 million in industry over three years

17 hours ago

Intel Corp. and esports company ESL said Thursday that they've extended their partnership and reached a deal in which they will together invest more than $100 million in the esports industry over three years. Intel sponsors a "grand slam" tournament that's meant to grow the popularity of esports in new regions, including certain Asia-Pacific countries. The company will also provide technology to help enable tournaments and events, and it will make use of 5G in its efforts. Jonini, the company's general manager for VR, gaming, and esports, said in a post on ESL's site that the joint investment will help further "the esports growth and innovation that we've led over the past two decades." Intel's stock is up 0.8% in Thursday morning trading, and the shares have gained 4.4% so far this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 0.5% in that time.

Natural-gas futures pare gains as EIA reports a weekly decline in supplies that nearly matches expectations

17 hours ago

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 77 billion cubic feet for the week ended Dec. 7. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast a decline of 79 billion cubic feet, on average. Total stocks now stand at 2.914 trillion cubic feet, down 722 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 723 billion below the five-year average, the government said. January natural gas traded at $4.225 per million British thermal units, up 8.8 cents, or 2.1%, from Wednesday's settlement. It was trading at $4.276 before the supply data.

Mylan wins patent dispute with Sanofi over insulin product

17 hours ago

Mylan NV shares were slightly higher Thursday, afger the company said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Appeal board had ruled in its favor in a patent dispute with France's Sanofi SA . The board invalidated patents relating to Sanofi's Lantus, a long-active insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children with type 1 diabetes for the control of their blood sugar. Sanofi sells the product in vials and as a disposable injection. Mylan currently has a new drug application pending review for generic versions of Lantus. Evercore analyst Umer Raffat said the news might be "one of the most meaningful launch opportunities for MYL in the next 18-24 months. (Especially because the key other Gx Lantus developer [Merck] decided to pull out)." Mylan shares were up 0.6% but have fallen 28% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has fallen 0.4%.

Vince shares jump 31% after earnings rise

18 hours ago

Vince Holding Corp. shares have jumped 31.2% in Thursday trading after the luxury fashion company reported year-over-year third-quarter earnings and sales growth. Net income totaled $6.8 million, or 57 cents per share, up from $3.5 million, or 41 cents per share, last year. Sales totaled $83.5 million up from $79.1 million last year. Same-store sales rose 14.1% in the retail segment. There are no FactSet estimates for the quarter. Gross margins also increased by 250 basis points to 48.9%. Vince shares have rallied more than 115% in 2018, compared with a 0.4% decline for the S&P 500 index .

Ingredion invests $140 million for plant-based proteins

18 hours ago

Ingredion , which turns grains, fruits, vegetables and other plant material into ingredients for food and other items, said Thursday that it will invest $140 million to expand into a range of plant-based proteins. Two North American manufacturing facilities will produce pea-protein isolates and pulse-based flours in 2019. Ingredion has also entered into a joint partnership with Saskatchewan-based Verdient Foods Inc. to invest in an existing facility to make pulse-based proteins and flours made from peas, lentils and fava beans. Verdient is jointly owned and operated by Oscar-winning film director James Cameron, Suzy Amis Cameron and PIC Investment Group, a local family office. The moves position Ingredion to capitalize on the growing taste for plant-based foods and diets, which the company says is projected to grow to a $1.5 billion global market by 2022. Ingredion shares have fallen 31.4% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is down 0.3% for the period.

U.S. stocks open higher, but geopolitical tensions persist

18 hours ago

U.S. benchmark stocks opened modestly higher on Thursday as investors digest ongoing geopolitical uncertainties. Late on Wednesday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of no-confidence triggered by members of her own party as the Brexit saga continues. Elsewhere, the U.S.-China trade angst persists despite comments from President Donald Trump assuring onlookers that talks are progressing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 0.2%, the S&P 500 began the session up 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.5%. Ahead of the open, data showed the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 27,000 to 206,000. In company news, shares of embattled General Electric Co. rose more than 10% at the opening bell after JPMorgan analyst said the bottom could be near.

Amazon extends free shipping with no minimum purchase to Dec. 18

18 hours ago

Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it's extending its offer of free shipping with no minimum purchase to all customers through Dec. 18. For Prime members, that is the cutoff for free standard shipping. Prime members have access to free two-day shipping through Dec. 22, free same-day delivery through Christmas Eve in eligible areas and through Prime Now. Gift cards and the gift of Amazon Prime is available on Christmas day. Amazon shares are up 1.1% in Thursday premarket trading, and have rallied more than 42% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index has slipped 0.8% in 2018.

Apple's domestic iPhone demand looks 'solid' but international uptake is likely slow, says Piper Jaffray

19 hours ago

Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson wrote Thursday that Apple Inc.'s iPhone demand levels look strong domestically, based on the results of his firm's latest consumer survey. "Given the solid U.S. demand observed in our survey, weaker iPhone component supplier results must be due to slower international uptake," he said. Olson lowered his price target on the shares to $222 from $250 and also cut his fiscal 2019 and 2020 unit-sales forecasts, though he kept an overweight rating. "Regarding Apple shares, we believe international iPhone weakness and disappointment around lack of future unit disclosure are both largely baked into the stock," he wrote. Apple's shares are up 0.6% in premarket trading Tuesday, and they're little changed so far this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , of which Apple is a component, has slipped 0.8% in that time.

Tesla target upped to $465 at Baird on upbeat profitability expectations

19 hours ago

Baird analyst Ben Kallo increased his price target on Tesla Inc. shares to $465 from $411 on Thursday, writing that he believes investors will start thinking about the company as one that can be "sustainably profitable" rather than as a perpetual money loser. "We think Tesla's transition to becoming sustainably profitable will transform the narrative around the company and should coincide with positive catalysts (including new product introductions/production, international Model 3 deliveries, China factory, etc.) which should drive shares higher," wrote Kallo, who has an outperform rating on the stock. Kallo said that while Tesla executives have said that they don't anticipate needing a capital raise, he expects that doing so "would remove lingering liquidity concerns and could be prudent to strengthen the balance sheet and insulate against risks of a broader global slowdown." The stock is up 1% in premarket trading Thursday, and it's gained 18% so far this year. The S&P 500 has dropped 0.8% in that time.

Draghi: Risks to eurozone growth outlook 'broadly balanced' but moving to 'downside'

19 hours ago

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Thursday said risks to the eurozone's economic growth outlook remained "broadly balanced" but were shifting to the "downside," due to geopolitical uncertainties, the threat of protectionism, emerging-market vulnerabilities and financial market volatility. In a news conference following the ECB's monetary policy meeting, Draghi said economic data had been weaker than expected but that underlying strength left policy makers confident that inflation would continue to move toward the central bank's target. ECB staff lowered their forecasts for economic growth in 2018 and 2019 from their September estimates. They now see growth of 1.9% this year, down from 2%, and 1.7% in 2019, down from 1.8%. Forecasts for 2020 and 2021 were left unchanged at 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively. On inflation, ECB staff now expect a 1.8% rise in 2018 versus a previous forecast of 1.7%. Inflation in 2019 is now seen at 1.6% versus a previous forecast of 1.7%.

Starbucks New York Roastery opens on Friday

19 hours ago

Starbucks Corp. will open the doors to its Reserve Roastery New York on Friday. Located in the Meatpacking District, it will be the fourth Roastery location and the second in the U.S. The others are in Shanghai, Seattle and Milan. Spanning 23,000 square feet, it will include the first Arriviamo Bar in the U.S., serving coffee and tea cocktails, goods from the Princi boutique bakery, and a terrarium inspired by the Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica, Hacienda Alsacia. Starbucks shares have have fallen 0.6% in Thursday premarket trading, but have gained 15.2% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index is down 0.8% for the year so far.

AMD price target lowered at Baird as analyst cites high inventory levels

19 hours ago

Baird analyst Tristan Gerra lowered his price target on shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. to $23 from $25 on Thursday. He maintained a neutral rating on the stock, which is up 1.1% in premarket trading. "Asia supply chain checks suggest graphic cards inventory levels are near six months in China industrywide and three months at graphic card resellers, twice the normal levels, suggesting channel inventory deleveraging may drag into 1H19," Gerra wrote. He expects the company to return to double-digit revenue growth in 2020 given his projections for easy comparisons. Gerra is still upbeat about AMD's 7-nanometer prospects and the company's ability to gain share in CPUs and GPUs. AMD shares are up 99% so far this year, while the S&P 500 has dropped 0.8%.

One Madison to combine with Rankpak to create company with enterprise value of $1.09 billion

19 hours ago

Blank-check company One Madison Corp. said Friday it has reached a deal to combine with privatly held Ranpak to create a company with an enterprise value of about $1.09 billion. Ranpak is a maker of environmentally friendly packaging with about 30,000 end users in more than 40 countries. One Madison is paying $950 million in cash, including the repayment of first and second-lien debt. The deal is expected to close in Sprin of 2019. One Madison shares were not yet active premarket.