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NSRGY

Nestle

$83.75

0.88 (1.06%)

, VZ

Verizon

$49.83

-0.075 (-0.15%)

10:29
09/26/17
09/26
10:29
09/26/17
10:29

Nestle sets new profit targets, though stance on L'Oreal stake unchanged

Shares of Nestle (NSRGY) trading in New York are higher in morning trading after the food and drink company set new long-term targets and said it would accelerate share repurchases amid pressure from an activist investor. NEW PROFIT TARGETS: Ahead of its investor day in London, Nestle said in a statement that it is announcing a trading operating profit margin target of 17.5%-18.5% on an underlying basis by 2020, up from 16% in 2016. Nestle said in July that underlying trading operating profit margin for the first half of the year was 15.8% on an underlying basis, flat from the year-ago period and up 10 basis points in constant currency. Nestle also said today that it is updating its nearly $21B share repurchase plan, and that while share buybacks will be made through 2020, they will be spread evenly over the three-year period, rather than being "backloaded in 2019 and 2020" as the company previously forecast. BACKGROUND: Activist investor Dan Loeb's Third Point began purchasing shares in Nestle in order to pursue "strategic changes." In a June letter to shareholders, Third Point, who disclosed a $3.5B stake in Nestle, urged the company to focus on improving productivity, returning capital to shareholders, reshaping its portfolio and monetizing its stake in L'Oreal (LRLCY). Third Point, which previously pressed for change at companies like Yahoo (VZ), said that while Nestle's category and geographic mix is "excellent" and offers the company "a long runway for growth," Nestle has "significantly" underperformed most of its consumer staples peers in the U.S. and Europe and has "remained stuck in its old ways." Third Point urged Nestle to divest "a number" of noncore assets and sell its 23% stake in L'Oreal. At the time, Third Point recommended Nestle set a formal margin target range of 18%-20% by 2020 in order to help improve productivity. NOTABLE COMMENTARY: At today's investor seminar in London, Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said that the company's approach to its stake in L'Oreal remains unchanged following the death of L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, which last week fueled speculation of a takeover or buyback, Reuters reported. Schneider also said that Nestle could swap out roughly 10% of group sales as it enters new business areas and departs others, such as its plan to divest its U.S. confectionery division. "We will have to trade out of some areas and into others," Schneider said, adding moves have to be carefully considered due to expensive switching costs. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Nestle trading in New York are up 1.6% to $85.08 in morning trading.

NSRGY

Nestle

$83.75

0.88 (1.06%)

VZ

Verizon

$49.83

-0.075 (-0.15%)

LRLCY

L'Oreal

$43.13

-0.19 (-0.44%)

  • 26

    Sep

  • 19

    Oct

NSRGY Nestle
$83.75

0.88 (1.06%)

06/19/17
FBCO
06/19/17
NO CHANGE
FBCO
Hershey buy of Nestle assets could be type of 'poison pill,' says Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow analyzed several scenarios after Nestle's (NSRGY) recent announcement of a strategic review of its U.S. confectionery business. Buying Nestle candy would double Mondelez's (MDLZ) U.S. market share to 10%, but Moskow wonders if such a deal could compromise Mondelez' ability to eventually buy Hershey (HSY) at a later date. As for the latter, Hershey would generate "massive" synergies of 9% of sales and the deal could work as a type of "poison pill" to deter a bid from Mondelez or Kraft Heinz (KHC), said Moskow. However, he doesn't think Hershey would want to buy an asset that would dilute its topline growth rate at this point. He added that he sees "little to no chance" of Lindt, the number three in U.S. candy, being interested in Nestle's assets.
06/26/17
JEFF
06/26/17
NO CHANGE
JEFF
Hold
Jefferies advises caution on Nestle amid Third Point rally
Jefferies analyst Martin Deboo recommends caution on Nestle with the shares up 4% on news of Third Point's activist stake. Third Point's targets will be "non-trivial to achieve" and its influence over the company is "relatively dilute," Deboo tells investors in a research note. He believes the valuation is "already anticipating a healthy degree of change." The analyst keeps a Hold rating on Nestle.
06/26/17
JPMS
06/26/17
NO CHANGE
JPMS
JPMorgan sees Kraft, Conagra, Dean rallying on Nestle speculation
JPMorgan analyst Ken Goldman expects Third Point's desire for Nestle (NSRGY) to divest assets to have an impact on shares of U.S. food producers. The analyst expects shares of Kraft Heinz (KHC), Conagra Brands (CAG) and Dean Foods (DF) to rally today on hopes of a potential accretive deal for some of Nestle's assets. The analyst thinks General Mills (GIS) shares may drop slightly on speculation that Nestle sells Cereal Partners Worldwide, which he believes would hinder the company's ability to grow cereal internationally. General Mills has a global partnership with Nestle via Cereal Partners Worldwide. Goldman also thinks Pinnacle Foods (PF) could trade down slightly with Conagra having "another potential dance partner" to do a deal.
08/16/17
PIPR
08/16/17
NO CHANGE
Target $92
PIPR
Neutral
Kraft Heinz could have interest in Nestle divestitures, says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Lavery expects Kraft Heinz (KHC) to pursue further consolidation, likely in packaged food, and believes potential divestitures from Nestle (NSRGY) could fit the company's criteria well. Such a deal could boost Kraft's international scale and provide synergy savings in its U.S. frozen supply chain, the analyst tells investors in a research note. He maintains a Neutral rating on Kraft Heinz shares with a $92 price target.
VZ Verizon
$49.83

-0.075 (-0.15%)

09/20/17
OPCO
09/20/17
NO CHANGE
OPCO
Perform
Oppenheimer expects Sprint, T-Mobile merger to happen
Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan expect T-Mobile (TMUS) to merge with Sprint (S) in a stock-for-stock transaction at a $10 per share Sprint valuation. A T-Mobile/Sprint will be a better competitor to Verizon (VZ)/AT&T (T), the analyst says, adding that while the process is likely to have a few bumps and require time, he expects a merger to happen. Horan reiterates a Perform rating on Sprint's shares.
09/20/17
DBAB
09/20/17
NO CHANGE
DBAB
Sprint, T-Mobile merger unlikely to get regulatory approval, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank analyst Matthew Niknam continues to believe a potential merger between Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) faces "significant hurdles" and is ultimately unlikely to get past regulatory concerns. Merits of the deal, however, are "unparalleled, and very tough to debate," Niknam tells investors in a research note following CNBC's report of progressing deal talks. He believes derivative stock reactions on the news, namely strength in AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) and weakness in the tower names, could be at risk of reversing. Among the towers, the analyst has Buy ratings on American Tower (AMT) and Crown Castle (CCI).
09/05/17
MSCO
09/05/17
NO CHANGE
Target $53
MSCO
Overweight
Morgan Stanley predicts another 5c dividend hike coming for Verizon
Morgan Stanley analyst Simon Flannery said he sees a few arguments for Verizon continuing its recent dividend growth pattern, but he also sees some counter-arguments for a smaller increase or even a dividend freeze. In the end, he expects the company, which has raised its dividend annually since 2007, will hike its annual dividend by 5c this quarter, most likely with an announcement being made this Thursday, September 7. Flannery keeps an Overweight rating and $53 price target on Verizon shares.
08/14/17
UBSW
08/14/17
NO CHANGE
Target $450
UBSW
Buy
Charter price target raised to $450 from $380 at UBS
UBS analyst John Hodulik raised his price target on Charter to $450 from $380 following his review of potential strategic options for the company. The analyst looked at the increasing M&A speculation and said many of the options come with significantly higher leverage than its current ratio. He believes it can be increased and supported with free cash flow while maintaining its investment grade rating. Hodulik said applying a conservative multiple would suggest significant upside to the shares setting a possible floor for a suitor. Hodulik reiterated his Buy rating on Charter shares.
LRLCY L'Oreal
$43.13

-0.19 (-0.44%)

07/25/17
JEFF
07/25/17
INITIATION
JEFF
Hold
L'Oreal initiated with a Hold at Jefferies
Jefferies analyst Martin Deboo started L'Oreal with a Hold rating and EUR 205 price target.
07/20/17
STFL
07/20/17
DOWNGRADE
STFL
Hold
L'Oreal downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan downgraded L'Oreal based on valuation.
02/17/17
RBCM
02/17/17
NO CHANGE
Target $105
RBCM
Outperform
Edgewell Personal Care remains takeout target, says RBC Capital
After Kraft Heinz (KHC) confirmed it had approached Unilever (UN, UL) with a merger proposal, RBC Capital analyst Nik Modi says the news come as a surprise, but does not warrant a change in his Edgewell Personal Care (EPC) takeout thesis. The analyst reiterates an Outperform rating on the latter's shares, with a $105 price target, on improving margin and revenue profile and the prospects of a takeout in the next 12-16 months, with Unilever as one of the more likely buyers. Other potential suitors include Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Beiersdorf, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Church & Dwight (CHD), L'Oreal (LRLCY), and Kao, he adds.
01/11/17
UBSW
01/11/17
UPGRADE
UBSW
Buy
L'Oreal upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS

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Visa

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DGX

Quest Diagnostics

$91.53

0.47 (0.52%)

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HOG

Harley-Davidson

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HOG

Harley-Davidson

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-0.05 (-0.11%)

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AMDA

Amedica

$0.29

-0.01049 (-3.46%)

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MDXG

MiMedx

$13.51

0.31 (2.35%)

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BUD

AB InBev

$125.72

0.36 (0.29%)

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BKI

Black Knight

$46.85

0.05 (0.11%)

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MS

Morgan Stanley

$48.94

0.64 (1.33%)

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Breaking Hot Stocks news story on Morgan Stanley »

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CELG

Celgene

$136.71

0.25 (0.18%)

09:03
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ROKU

Roku

$22.19

-0.83 (-3.61%)

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NEOT

Neothetics

$0.52

-0.0206 (-3.81%)

09:02
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Neothetics, Evofem Biosciences announce all-stock merger »

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ROKU

Roku

$22.19

-0.83 (-3.61%)

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ABEO

Abeona Therapeutics

$16.70

0.6 (3.73%)

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NFLX

Netflix

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ACN

Accenture

$139.09

-0.11 (-0.08%)

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  • 22

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JNJ

Johnson & Johnson

$136.12

-0.31 (-0.23%)

08:59
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Earnings
Johnson & Johnson backs FY17 revenue view $75.9B-$76.2B, consensus $75.83 »

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LRCX

Lam Research

$192.36

2.46 (1.30%)

08:59
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  • 17

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JNJ

Johnson & Johnson

$136.12

-0.31 (-0.23%)

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