8 min ago
EHealth Inc. shares rose more than 15% in the extended session Thursday after online health insurance marketplace said it expects better-than-forecast fourth-quarter results when it reports in February. EHealth said it expects a GAAP profit between $53 million and $55 million, and quarterly revenue between $257.5 million to $259.5 million. Analysts polled by FactSet expect GAAP earnings of $2 a share on sales of $192 million. EHealth saw "record consumer demand to the eHealth platform allowing us to grow fourth-quarter approved Medicare members in excess of 85%," Chief Executive Scott Flanders said in a statement. "We remain excited about the Medicare market opportunity and significant growth potential ahead of us and are looking forward to sharing our outlook for 2020 as part of our fourth quarter earnings release next month." Shares of EHealth ended the regular trading day down 2.5%.
16 min ago
Cannabis real estate investment trust Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. said late Thursday that it plans to sell 2 million shares of its common stock. At Thursday's closing price of $79.44 that would amount to about $158.9 million. Innovative Industrial Properties fell 4% in the extended session Thursday. The company said it plans to use the cash to invest in further weed-related real estate assets and for general corporate purposes. The company's bankers have the option to buy another 300,000 shares and the company is selling all of the stock. Unlike many cannabis stocks, Innovative Industrial Properties shares have gained 40% in the past year, as the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF fell 40%.
25 min ago
E-Trade Financial Corp. late Thursday reported mixed fourth-quarter earnings, missing per-share expectations but beating revenue forecast, and the stock fell in the extended session. E-Trade said it earned $172 million, or 76 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $270 million, or $1.06 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue fell to $679 million, from $735 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the discount brokerage to report a profit of 81 cents a share on sales of $671 million. The company also declared a dividend of 14 cents, payable March 2 to shareholders of record on Feb. 25. E-trade "generated our best year ever for customer trading, growth in customer cash, and stock plan implementations," the company said in a statement. E-Trade and other brokerages late last year dropped commission fees on some trades.
26 min ago
Atlassian Corp. shares popped 9% in after-hours trading Thursday after the software company reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings. Atlassian reported net income of $41.8 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with net income of $45.2 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue surged 37% to $408.7 million from $299 million a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected 27 cents a share on revenue of $389 million. Atlassian shares are up about 42% over the last 12 months. The S&P 500 index has gained about 26% the past year.
37 min ago
Stocks came back from early losses to finish mostly higher on Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite edging to a record close as investors appeared to shake off worries surrounding the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China after the World Health Organization said it was too early to consider the event a "global emergency." The Nasdaq ended the day up nearly 19 points, or 0.2%, to end near 9,402, according to preliminary figures, topping its previous record finish of 9,388.94 set on Jan. 17. The S&P 500 rose around 4 points, or 0.1%, to end near 3,326. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind the other major indexes, ending around 26 points lower near 29,160, a loss of 0.1%.
2 hours ago
Oil futures fell sharply on Thursday, sending U.S. prices to their lowest settlement since late November, as the spread of coronavirus raised worries about the global economy and energy demand. "All markets are watching the situation with China" and the coronavirus, said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors. "Energy markets could see a rather [large] impact on demand, especially if this virus gets worse." March West Texas Intermediate oil fell $1.15, or 2%, to settle at $55.59 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest front-month contract finish since Nov. 29, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
2 hours ago
HP Inc. said Thursday Xerox Corp. slate of board candidates is a "self-serving" tactic from billionaire investor Carl Icahn to push an acquisition that "significantly undervalues" the company. "We believe that Xerox's proposal and nominations are being driven by Carl Icahn, and his large ownership position in Xerox means that his interests are not aligned with those of other HP shareholders," HP said in a statement. "Due to Mr. Icahn's ownership position, he would disproportionately benefit from an acquisition of HP by Xerox at a price that undervalues HP." Icahn owns significant stakes in both HP and Xerox. Earlier Thursday, Xerox proposed a slate of 11 board members to replace HP's board. A proxy battle has been brewing ever since Xerox offered $33 billion for HP, which the company rebuffed.
2 hours ago
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a notice of charges against five former Wells Fargo & Co. executives on Thursday, for their role in a sales-practices scandal that led to the creation of millions of fake bank accounts. "The actions announced by the OCC today reinforce the agency's expectations that management and employees of national banks and federal savings associations provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations," Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said in a statement. The agency is seeking to fine Carrie Tolstedt, former head of the bank's retail operations, $25 million in the form of a civil money penalty (CMP) and to issue her a lifetime prohibition order from participating in the banking industry. It is seeking to fine Claudia Russ Anderson, former community bank group risk officer, $5 million and issue her a prohibition order. It is seeking to fine James Strother, former general counsel, $5 million along with a personal cease & desist order (PC&D). A PC&D requires the individual to take remedial actions or refrain from certain conduct in future dealings in the banking industry. It is seeking to fine former Chief Auditor David Julian $2 million with a PC&D order, to fine former Executive Audit Director Paul McLinko $500,000 with a PC&D order. The agency said it has also issued a prohibition order and a $17.5 million CMP against former Chairman and CEO John Stumpf; a PC&D order and a $2.25 million CMP against the bank's former Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Corporate Human Resources Hope Hardison; and a PC&D order and assessment of a $1.25 million CMP against former Chief Risk Officer Michael Loughlin for their roles in the bank's sales practices misconduct. Wells Fargo responded by saying it will not make any further compensation payments to the individuals named, while it reviews the filings. Shares were slightly lower Thursday and have fallen 3.6% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.
3 hours ago
Gold futures settled at a more than two-week high on Thursday, as worries surrounding the spread of the coronavirus led to weakness in the U.S. stock market and a fall in bond yields, lifting the haven appeal of the precious metal. "Appetite towards the precious metal should remain supported by growing fears over the coronavirus outbreak in China," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. "The general uncertainty is likely to accelerate the flight to safety with gold seen testing $1568 in the short term," he said. February gold rose $8.70, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,565.40 an ounce. That was the highest most-active contract settlement since Jan. 7, according to FactSet data.
3 hours ago
The World Health Organization said it will not declare the coronavirus outbreak in China to be a global health emergency on Thursday, after an emergency committee was divided about the scope of the illness. "Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global emergency," Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the agency, said in a statement published on Twitter. There are now 584 cases of the illness, a respiratory disease that has been compared to SARS and MERS, including 17 deaths, said the statement. Of those cases, 575 were reported in China, with other cases found in Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the U.S. and Vietnam. "We are aware of media reports of suspected cases in other countries, but those cases are still being investigated," he said. Most of the deaths were of patients with underlying health issues such as hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease that weakened their immune systems, he said. The disease is being transmitted from human to human but appears limited to people in close contact like family groups. "There is still a lot we don't know. We don't know the source of this virus, we don't understand how easily it spreads & we don't fully understand its clinical features or severity," said the statement.
3 hours ago
Shares of Netflix Inc. are up more than 5% in midday trading Thursday, and Stifel analyst Scott Devitt said the latest results from Comcast Corp. should be a hopeful signal for the streaming giant. "Comparing Netflix to introductory pricing and/or inferior over-the-top products as a justification for worrying about the competitive climate is missing the fact that the cable, telecom, and satellite video industry (where all the money is) is shrinking with no end in sight," wrote Devitt, who rates Netflix a buy with a $390 target price. Comcast on Thursday reported a net loss of 133,000 residential video subscribers, whereas it had only lost 19,000 in the year-earlier quarter. Comcast's stock is down 3.6% in Thursday trading, while the S&P 500 is off 0.3%.
4 hours ago
IMAX Corp. said Thursday it supports the decision to postpone the Chinese New Year film slate in China because of the outbreak of a new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan that has sickened more than 500 people and killed 17. "The safety of Chinese audiences is our top priority," the operator of big screen cinemas said in a statement. "IMAX supports the decision to postpone the release of the Chinese New Year film slate and believes it to be the best course of action in an unfortunate situation."
The news comes as Wuhan remains in a state of lockdown as the Chinese authorities work to contain the virus, which has been compared to SARS and MERS, two other coronaviruses. Cases of the illness have been confirmed in the U.S., Japan, Thailand and Singapore and the World Health Organization is holding a meeting to decide whether to declare a global health emergency. The virus is understood to be passed from human to human. The outbreak has come on the cusp of Chinese New Year, when millions of Chinese people travel around the country to be with family. IMAX shares were down 3.6% and have fallen 10% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.
4 hours ago
Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. announced Thursday that it has removed single-use plastic straws from all 34 of its properties. Plastic straws are one of the top items found during beach cleanups, the company said. Hilton Grand Vacations has partnered with Clean the World to expand its recycling efforts, part of environmental commitment. Hilton Grand Vacations stock has gained 17.2% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 25.4% for the period.
5 hours ago
Oil prices pared some of their earlier losses on Thursday after weekly data from the Energy Information Administration revealed that U.S. crude supplies fell by 400,000 barrels for the week ended Jan. 17. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a rise of 500,000 barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday reported an increase of 1.6 million barrels, according to sources. EIA and API data were each released a day later than usual because of Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The EIA data also showed a supply climb of 1.7 million barrels for gasoline, but distillate stocks declined by 1.2 million barrels. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for an increase in supplies of 3.3 million barrels for gasoline and 1.6 million barrels for distillates. March West Texas Intermediate crude was down $1.48, or 2.6%, at 55.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was trading at $54.93 before the supply data.
5 hours ago
Shares of vaccine makers rose sharply again on Thursday, amid rising concerns about the outbreak of a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China that has led the authorities to quarantine the city of 11 million. Novavax Inx. , which developed a vaccine for MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2013, gained 9% in early trade, while Moderna Inc. was up 2%. The company said it will work with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine to treat the new illness. Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares rose 9%, after that company said the CEPI has given it a grant of up to $9 million to develop a vaccine against the virus. NanoViricides , which rallied on the first reports of the news before falling back after it issued 2.5 million shares, soared 45%. The virus was first identified in December in Wuhan City, China. It has since sickened more than 599 people, including a U.S. resident who had traveled to Wuhan this month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. China has reported 17 deaths. Health officials now believe the virus is spread human to human. The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF has gained 18% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.
5 hours ago
BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. was downgraded to neutral from buy at Bank of America on concern that the retailer's effort to streamline merchandise by cutting the number of items in some categories could disrupt same-store sales. Bank of America cut its price objective to $25 from $30. BJ's stock is down nearly 1% in Thursday trading. "While assortment optimization can support margin improvements, we believe it can also create near-term disruption by eliminating/displacing traffic-driving items," the note said. Any impact could take as much as six months to show itself, another risk. Analysts are also worried that a declining population and slower economic growth in the Northeast, where BJ's has 61% of its store base, could be a challenge. BJ's stock has slumped 12% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 25.5% for the period.
6 hours ago
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas fell by 92 billion cubic feet for the week ended Jan. 17. That was slightly larger than the decline of 88 billion cubic feet forecast by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts, but well below the year ago and five-year average draw for the period. Total stocks now stand at 2.947 trillion cubic feet, up 554 billion cubic feet from a year ago, and 251 billion cubic feet above the five-year average, the government said. February natural gas traded at $1.939 per million British thermal units, up 3.4 cents, or 1.8%, from Wednesday's settlement. Prices were down a bit from $1.97 before the data.
6 hours ago
Grubhub Inc. announced Thursday that it has launched technology called Ultimate that brings the meal ordering system to one comprehensive channel. The new system will give restaurants of every size digital pickup capability, give order status updates, and more. Grubhub also sees opportunity at stadiums and other event venues where long lines for food and drink are common. Order pickup is a $250 billion U.S. business, according to data provided by Grubhub. The Ultimate technology rollout starts in New York City and Chicago at 100 locations. Late last year, Grubhub announced that it would focus the coming months on efforts to create customer loyalty and build business with small- and medium-sized companies. Grubhub stock is up 2.1% in Thursday trading, but down 22.7% over the last year. The S&P 500 index is up 25.7% for the past 12 months.
6 hours ago
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced early Thursday that the minute hand on its so-called Doomsday Clock has moved closer to midnight by a third of a minute. "It is [now] 100 seconds to midnight," said Rachel Bronson, the CEO of the Chicago-based group, whose stated mission is to equip the public, policy makers and scientists with the information needed to reduce man-made threats
to human existence. Humanity, according to the Bulletin, is facing two existential threats -- in climate change and nuclear war -- with cyberwarfare acting as a threat multiplier. A year ago, the group opted to leave the minute hand at two minutes to midnight, on the heels of a 30-second move toward midnight in January 2018.
6 hours ago
Industrial gas producer Air Products & Chemicals Inc. said Thursday it is raising its quarterly dividend by 18 cents to $1.34 a share from $1.16. The company said the increase is the biggest in the company's history. The new dividend will be payable May 11 to shareholders of record as of April 1. Shares fell 1.1% Thursday, but have gained 51% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.
6 hours ago
Dollar Tree Inc. was downgraded to neutral from buy at Bank of America on concerns that the discount retailer's merchandising and leadership changes could drive additional margin pressure at the Family Dollar banner in 2020. Bank of America lowered its price objective to $95 from $105. Dollar Tree stock was down nearly 1% in Thursday trading. Analysts led by Robert Ohmes think Family Dollar store remodels will have a traffic benefit, but it will be offset by the gross margin impact. "We think expanded consumables could crowd out purchases of higher-margin discretionary items given the tight budgets of Family Dollar's core customers," Bank of America said. "These pressures, along with shrink and freight headwinds, are likely to result in margin contraction at Family Dollar for much of 2020, in our view." Moreover, now that Dollar Tree leadership is also taking on the merchandising at Family Dollar, analysts are concerned that the "greater complexity" of heading up two banners with different customer demographics could be a challenge. Dollar Tree stock is down 5.7% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is up 25.5% for the period.
7 hours ago
U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday as investors watched China's efforts to contain the coronavirus's rapid spread in Asia. The S&P 500 was down 0.2% to 3,316. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 117 points ,or 0.4%, to 29,069. The Nasdaq Composite edged 0.1% lower to 9,372. So far, Chinese officials have announced that three cities including Wuhan have been locked down, preventing residents from leaving. On monetary policy, the European Central bank announced it would keep interest rates unchanged, but ECB President Christine Lagarde said downside risks to the outlook were less pronounced than before. In company news, shares of P&G were down after the consumer-products company reported a fiscal second-quarter profit above analyst expectations. Shares of Dow-component Traveler's also fell after its earnings and revenues topped Wall Street estimates.
7 hours ago
Singapore has confirmed a first case of the coronavirus that has led to the quarantine of the Chinese city of Wuhan, Channel News Asia reported on Thursday. That news was followed by confirmation from officials in Vietnam, that two Chinese nationals are being treated in hospital, as AFP reported. The outbreak has sickened more than 500 people in China and 17 patients have died from the illness, according to official reports. Wuhan, the site of the first reports of the illness believed to have started at a seafood market, is on lockdown to prevent it from spreading further. The illness can cause pneumonia and other respiratory issues and has been compared to SARS and MERS, two other coronaviruses. The World Health Organization is scheduled to meet again on Thursday after ending a meeting Wednesday without deciding whether to declare the illness a global health emergency.
7 hours ago
Tennis icon Serena Williams tweeted an introduction to the Serena Williams Store, an Amazon.com Inc. e-commerce platform for fitness items like a treadmill and stationary bike as well as Williams' picks for tennis equipment and nutrition items. Amazon has a number of celebrity stores including one for actor Chris Pratt that includes workout gear, and another for actress Gabrielle Union that includes beauty and book picks. Williams is currently competing at the Australian Open. Amazon stock has gained 15% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up nearly 26%.
7 hours ago
Shares of Micron Technology Inc. and Western Digital Corp. are up about 2% each in premarket trading Thursday after Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore upgraded both stocks to overweight from equal weight. "We did not expect memory fundamentals to bottom this quickly, but as proof points grow, the ramifications are significant," Moore wrote. "The higher trough and the elevated valuation environment for semis suggests memory rerating potential even give the moves we have already seen." Micron's stock has added 32% over the past three months, and Western Digital's has gained 19% as the S&P 500 has risen 11%. Moore's channel checks point to "real conviction" from customers that the memory market will get tighter throughout this calendar year, which is causing them to put more inventory in place. Moore upped his price target on Micron's stock to $73 from $56, and he increased his Western Digital target to $88 from $64.
7 hours ago
Shares of MarineMax Inc. powered up 27% toward a 13-month high in premarket trading Thursday, after the yacht and recreational boat seller reported fiscal first-quarter results that were well above expectations and raised its full-year outlook. Net income for the quarter to Dec. 31 rose to $9.06 million, or 41 cents a share, from $4.9 million, or 21 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 7 cents. Revenue increased 26% to $304.2 million, above the FactSet consensus of $260.3 million. For fiscal 2020, the company raised is EPS guidance range to $1.82 to $1.92 from $1.58 to $1.68. "With the largest two selling seasons ahead of us, we expect to build on the strong start to our fiscal year and leverage the excitement in the industry with a robust slate of upcoming boat shows," said Chief Executive Brett McGill. The stock has edged up 1.7% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.6%.
8 hours ago
Cresco Labs Inc. said Thursday it has entered a senior secured term loan agreement for an initial sum of $100 million with an option to borrow up to $200 million. The Chicago-based cannabis company expects to complete an initial drawdown by Jan. 30 and will use the funds to expand operations in Illinois, where cannabis became legal for adult use this year. Cannabis companies have been struggling to access capital in recent months after a steep selloff in the sector last year and many have been forced into dilutive financings or have resorted to sale-and-leaseback arrangements using their own real estate. "Through this deal, we have diversified the Company's funding sources, improved our cost of capital in a non-dilutive manner and given ourselves flexibility in a dynamic capital environment," Chief Executive Charlie Bachtell said in a statement. Loans made on the initial closing date will bear interest at a rate of about 12.7% per year for 18-month loans and about 13.2% for 24-month loans, payable quarterly in arrears, said the statement. Cresco's U.S.-listed shares were not yet active premarket, but have fallen 2.9% in the last 12 months, while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF has fallen 40% and the S&P 500 has gained 26%.
8 hours ago
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. said Thursday it had net income of $9 million, or less than 1 cent a share, in the fourth quarter, down from $485 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 2 cents, ahead of the FactSet consensus for breakeven. The copper and gold miner said revenue rose to $3.911 billion from $3.684 billion, well ahead of the $3.698 billion FactSet consensus. Sales of copper totaled 906 million pounds, sales of gold came to 317 thousand ounces and sales of molybdenum came to 22 million pounds in the quarter. For 2020, the company is expecting sales of about 3.5 billion pounds of copper, 0.8 million ounces of gold and 88 million pounds of molybdenum, including 725 million pounds of copper, 105 thousand ounces of gold and 22 million pounds of molybdenum in the first quarter. Capital expenditures are expected to come to $2.8 billion in 2020 after $2.65 billion in 2019, and will fund underground development rose 0.5% premarket but are up just 0.1% in the last 12 months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 26%.
8 hours ago
Shares of Co-Diagnostics Inc. nearly tripled (up 177%) on heavy volume in premarket trading Thursday, after the molecular diagnostics company said it had completed principle design work for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening test for new coronavirus. Trading volume soared to 1.9 million shares, enough to make the stock the most actively traded before the open, and already more than 10-times the full-day average of about 161,000 shares. The company said its new test features its CoPrimer technology. "One of the most important advantages of our CoPrimer platform is its ability to reliably and accurately differentiate between similar genetic sequences, in order to reduce the likelihood of a false positive diagnosis," said Chief Executive Dwight Egan. "We believe that if the [World Health Organization] takes the step of declaring the illness a global health emergency following collection of more data in the days and weeks to come, Co-Diagnostics will be well positioned to quickly assist in providing these state of the art tools to affected countries." The stock has gained 9.7% over the past 12 months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 25.9%.
8 hours ago
The European Central Bank, as expected, left interest rates unchanged on Thursday and maintained its commitment to purchasing 20 billion euros ($22.8 billion) a month in bonds. The ECB's deposit rate stands at -0.5%, while its main refinancing operations rate holds at 0%. In a statement, the ECB repeated that its Governing Council expects rates to remain at present or lower levels until there are solid signs stubbornly low inflation is on track to converge with the bank's target of near, but below, 2%. The ECB also reiterated it expects asset purchases to run for as long as needed to underline the accommodative impact of its policy rates, ending them shortly before it starts to raise interest rates. Also as expected, the ECB announced the launch of a review of its monetary policy strategy. ECB President Christine Lagarde is scheduled to hold a news conference at the bank's Frankfurt headquarters at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.