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Fly News Breaks for March 20, 2017
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 20, 2017 | 09:11 EDT
Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser downgraded Alphabet (GOOGL) to Hold from Buy citing brand safety concerns and valuation following the recent rally in the shares. News last week that Havas, the sixth largest global media network, is pulling its spending from Google's YouTube and Google Display Network in the U.K. because Google was "unable to provide specific reassurances, policy and guarantees that their video or display content is classified either quickly enough or with the correct filters" is a big deal, Wieser tells investors in a research note. Many of the U.K.'s largest brands working with agencies are reportedly suspending their advertising on YouTube and/or other Google ad products due to similar concerns, Wieser points out. He sees the U.K. issues impacting Google's global growth and cut his price target for Alphabet shares to $950 from $970. The stock in premarket trading is down $2.58 to $869.79.
News For GOOGL;GOOG From the Last 2 Days
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 24, 2017 | 16:43 EDT
Stocks ended the week lower as the negotiations toward a planned House vote on the Republicans' "American Health Care Act" took center stage. Many doubted the bill would gather enough votes to pass and move to the Senate and in the end House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump agreed that it was best to pull the bill that was meant to replace the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare. MACRO NEWS: The House Rules Committee cleared Friday morning the Republican's "American Health Care Act" to repeal and replace Obamacare out of committee by a vote of 9-3, setting up for a final floor vote to pass the bill. However, right before a vote was intended to occur near 3:30 pm ET, Speaker Ryan, at the urging of President Trump, pulled the bill, saying Republicans "came up short" and would now move on with the rest of their "ambitious agenda"... In the U.S., the Chicago National Activity index rose to 0.34 in February. The current account deficit did not widen as expected in the fourth quarter, coming in at $112.4B compared to a deficit of $113.0B in the third quarter. The FHFA home price index was flat in January at 242.6. Existing home sales fell 3.7% to a 5.48M rate in February. Initial jobless claims surged 15,000 to 258,000 last week. New home sales rose 6.1% to a 592,000 rate in February. Durable goods orders rose 1.7% in February. Markit's manufacturing PMI was 53.4, with the services index at 52.9, in the preliminary March readings... In Asia, Japan's exports increased at an annualized 11.3% rate in February, while imports rose 1.2%. The Nikkei Flash Japan manufacturing PMI slowed to 52.6 in March... In Europe, the U.K. said it will formally trigger its exit from the EU on March 29. Triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal procedure for leaving the bloc, will open a two-year timetable for negotiations, with Britain able to leave the EU by 2019. U.K. consumer prices rose 0.7% in February. A Eurozone consumer confidence reading rose by 1.2 points to -5.0 in March. Markit's Eurozone composite PMI climbed to 56.7. COMPANY NEWS: Following media reports earlier in the week that AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) have suspended advertising from Alphabet's (GOOGL, GOOG) YouTube and other Google properties over concerns the tech giant isn't doing enough to prevent brands' ads from appearing next to offensive material, PepsiCo (PEP), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Dish (DISH) said they were also suspending spending on all Google advertising except targeted search ads, according to The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Starbucks (SBUX) and General Motors (GM) are pulling their ads from YouTube, and 21st Century Fox's (FOXA, FOX) FX Networks is suspending all advertising spending on Google, the publication noted, adding that Toyota (TM) and Microsoft (MSFT) are also monitoring the situation. Coca-Cola (KO) and Procter and Gamble (PG) said they were working with Google but declined to say if they were reducing spending, the report pointed out... Apple (AAPL) announced a red version of its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with a part of the proceeds going toward a charity that helps combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Additionally, the company unveiled a new lower-priced 9.7 inch iPad... Walt Disney's (DIS) "Beauty and the Beast," the latest in a string of live-action remakes of animated classics from the company, topped box offices with a $170M launch in the U.S. alongside $180M from international markets. The company also announced this week that it has extended Robert Iger's contract as Chairman and CEO to July 2, 2019... On Tuesday, bank stocks including JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Citi (C), Bank of America (BAC) had one of their worst days since June as markets worried about the new administration's pro-growth policies and how soon it will be able to deliver on President Trump's promises... General Electric (GE) disclosed that, based on discussions with Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management, it has increased its targeted reduction in Industrial structural costs and modified the performance framework for the members of the company's executive management team to reward them based on the new goals... Sears Holdings (SHLD) said that there was "substantial doubt" that it could continue as a going concern, as bricks-and-mortar stores continue to face challenges in an e-commerce world... Ford (F) said its profit will fall in the current quarter compared to the same period of last year due to higher costs, lower volume, and unfavorable foreign exchange movements... President Trump, speaking from the Oval Office, announced on Friday that Charter Communications (CHTR) will invest $25B in the U.S. and hire over 20,000 workers over the next four years. Additionally, the President announced that his administration has approved the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the previous administration's decision to block the oil project. Trump said that the U.S. Department has signed and issued TransCanada's (TRP) permit, making good on his campaign promise... In M&A news, PPG (PPG) announced that it made an increased offer to acquire AkzoNobel (AKZOY) for EUR90 per ordinary share in cash and stock, or $26.3B, though AkzoNobel has once again rejected the tie-up proposal... Among companies that announced quarterly results this week, FedEx (FDX), Duluth Holdings (DLTH), PVH Corp. (PVH), Five Below (FIVE), and Micron Technology (MU) advanced following their reports, while General Mills (GIS), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), Nike (NKE), Silver Wheaton (SLW), GameStop (GME), and Finish Line (FINL) declined. INDEXES: For the week, the Dow fell 1.5% to 20,596.72, the Nasdaq lost 1.2% to 5,828.74, and the S&P 500 declined 1.4% to 2,343.98.
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 24, 2017 | 16:18 EDT
Stocks opened little changed and moved in a narrow range throughout the day. The focus of attention was the vote on the Trump administration's bill meant to repeal and replace Obamacare. The pundits went back and forth all day, not only debating the chances for the passage of the bill but also wondering if a vote would even occur. Near the close of trading news broke that President Trump told House Speaker Ryan to pull the GOP healthcare bill, acknowledging it would not get the votes needed to pass, which temporarily made for some volatility, though the averages finished mixed and not far from where they'd started the day when all was said and done. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., durable goods orders rose 1.7% in February after a 2.3% January gain. Markit's manufacturing PMI was 53.4, with the services index at 52.9, in the preliminary March readings. Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count is up 20 rigs from last week to 809 rigs. In Asia, the Nikkei Flash Japan manufacturing PMI slowed to 52.6 in March from 53.3 in February. In Europe, Markit's Eurozone composite PMI climbed to 56.7 from February's 56.0, hitting its highest reading since April 2011. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Micron Technology (MU) jumped 7.4% after the chip maker reported earnings that beat consensus forecasts and gave a much better than expected outlook for its third quarter... Conversely, GameStop (GME) dropped about 13.6% after the video game retailer reported slightly lower than expected fourth quarter revenue and issued lower than predicted guidance for the new fiscal year... President Trump announced that his administration has approved the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the previous administration's decision to block the oil project. Trump said that the U.S. Department has signed and issued TransCanada's (TRP) permit, making good on his campaign promise. The President, speaking from the Oval Office, also announced that Charter Communications (CHTR) will invest $25B in the U.S., hire over 20,000 workers over the next four years, and move all its call centers into the U.S.... Following media reports earlier in the week that AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) have suspended advertising from Alphabet's (GOOGL, GOOG) YouTube and other Google properties over concerns the tech giant isn't doing enough to prevent brands' ads from appearing next to offensive material, PepsiCo (PEP), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Dish (DISH) said they were also suspending spending on all Google advertising except targeted search ads, according to The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Starbucks (SBUX) and General Motors (GM) are pulling their ads from YouTube, and 21st Century Fox's (FOXA, FOX) FX Networks is suspending all advertising spending on Google, the publication noted, adding that Toyota (TM) and Microsoft (MSFT) are also monitoring the situation. Coca-Cola (KO) and Procter and Gamble (PG) said they were working with Google but declined to say if they were reducing spending, the report pointed out. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Under Armour (UAA), which advanced 3.64% after Jefferies analyst Randal Konik upgraded the stock to Buy saying a "bottom has formed." Also higher was SeaWorld (SEAS), which gained 4.74% after announcing a long-term investment by China's Zhonghong Group. Among the noteworthy losers was Finish Line (FINL), which slid 19.5% after the sneaker seller reported worse than expected fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share. Also lower was US Concrete (USCR), which dropped 8.85% after the company disclosed that CFO Joseph Tusa has resigned and that it has switched accounting firms. INDEXES: The Dow fell 59.86, or 0.29%, to 20,596.72, the Nasdaq gained 11.04, or 0.19%, to 5,828.74, and the S&P 500 dipped 1.98, or 0.08%, to 2,343.98.
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 23, 2017 | 18:23 EDT
Ford (F) has suspended advertising on Google's (GOOG) YouTube, Bloomberg reports, citing a company spokeswoman in an email. The spokeswoman said that the company ensures that its ads appear in appropriate environments for the brand, the report says.
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 23, 2017 | 16:25 EDT
Stocks began the day in negative territory but crossed into positive ground as politicians met to try and hammer out a deal on the Trump healthcare bill. When reports surfaced that a final draft had been offered to the Freedom Caucus and a deal had not been reached, stocks pared their gains and ultimately fell into negative territory when it became obvious a vote would not occur today. Many look at getting a deal done as a proxy for the Trump administration's ability to make headway on other initiatives, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims surged 15,000 to 258,000 last week after a 6,000 decline to 243,000 in the prior one. New home sales rose 6.1% to a 592,000 rate in February, which was better than expected. Gas inventories showed a 150 billion cubic feet draw versus consensus of a 153 billion cubic feet draw. In Europe, a Eurozone consumer confidence reading rose by 1.2 points to -5.0 in March, beating market expectations of a more modest rise to -5.7. COMPANY NEWS: Ford (F) dropped 0.85% to $11.67 after the automaker said its profit will fall in the current quarter compared to the same period of last year due to higher costs, lower volume, and unfavorable foreign exchange movements... Conversely, shares of PVH Corp. (PVH) gained 8.5% to $98.55 after the owner of the Calvin Klein brand reported better than expected fourth quarter results and guidance... Meanwhile, Walt Disney (DIS) announced that it has extended Robert Iger's contract as Chairman and CEO of the company to July 2, 2019. Iger said he is "confident that Disney's best days are still ahead" but added, according to Bloomberg, that he won't extend his contract again beyond this... Alphabet (GOOGL) Class A shares ended the trading day down 1.2% at $839.65 after media reports saying Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has suspended advertising from YouTube and other Google properties over concerns the tech giant isn't doing enough to prevent brands' ads from appearing next to offensive material. The pharmaceutical company joins AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), who had announced yesterday that they were putting much of their advertising spending with Google on hold, excluding search ads, over similar concerns. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was FireEye (FEYE), which advanced 6% after Goldman Sachs analyst Gabriela Borges double upgraded the stock to Buy as she sees an emerging path to growth. Also rising was Flexion Therapeutics (FLXN), which surged over 33% higher after FiercePharma's Editor-in-Chief Tracy Staton said Sanofi (SNY) has agreed to buy the smaller biotech company for more than $1B in cash. Additionally, On Deck Capital (ONDK) rose 6.5% following a report by Reuters saying that Kabbage is seeking to raise funds to use for potential acquisitions and that it is considering the company as a possible target. Among the noteworthy losers was Proofpoint (PFPT), which fell almost 7% Goldman Sachs' Borges downgraded the stock to Sell, citing the stock's premium valuation. Also lower was Accenture (ACN), which slipped 4.5% after the company announced higher than expected second quarter earnings per share. INDEXES: The Dow fell 4.72, or 0.02%, to 20,656.58, the Nasdaq lost 3.95, or 0.07%, to 5,817.69, and the S&P 500 declined 2.49, or 0.11%, to 2,345.96.
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 23, 2017 | 16:18 EDT
C4 Therapeutics and Calico announced a five-year collaboration to "discover, develop, and commercialize therapies for treating diseases of aging, including cancer." Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will "leverage C4T's expertise and capabilities in targeted protein degradation to jointly discover and advance small molecule protein degraders as therapeutic agents to remove certain disease-causing proteins. The partnership will pursue preclinical research and Calico will be responsible for subsequent clinical development and commercialization of resulting products that may emerge from the collaboration," the companies said. Calico is an Alphabet-funded research and development company.
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 23, 2017 | 14:47 EDT
Alphabet (GOOG) is underperforming the market amid the seemingly growing backlash against flaws in its automated ad placement technology, which research firm Bank of America Merrill Lynch warned Thursday could weigh on the Internet titan's next few quarters. BACKGROUND: On February 9, Britain's The Times published a report alleging that "brands are unwittingly funding Islamic extremists, white supremacists and pornographers" through automated ad placements, particularly in YouTube content. As discussion on the topic grew, ad agency Havas as well as the British government itself announced plans last week to pause spending on Google's network, and other U.K. businesses soon joined the growing boycott. Google quickly responded with new policies designed to increase client safety, but the controversy crossed the Atlantic on Wednesday with news that AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Enterprise Rent-A-Car were putting much of their spending with Google on hold. BOFA WARNS OF NEAR-TERM IMPACT: Wading into Google's ad troubles, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post argued Thursday that the growing advertiser boycott is "raising concerns" about Q1 and Q2 revenue strength as well as the future of programmatic advertising. The "cascade" of client pullback over the past week is "notable," Post says, adding that he "would not be surprised" to see more brands pausing their Google spend. Moreover, the company's promise of various corrective actions "will reduce the overall available advertising inventory in the Google Display Network and on YouTube," though the analyst doesn't believe ad load is at capacity and says any long-term impact will "likely" be limited. Noting that YouTube and Google Display Network together account for nearly 25% of Alphabet's revenue, Post says he expects "many advertisers" to return to Google over the next few months as the company improves controls, but warns that it could take "several quarters" for spend levels to return to normal. The analyst reiterates a Buy rating and $1,025 price objective on the stock. PRICE ACTION: Class A shares of Alphabet are down 1.25% to $839.20 in afternoon trading, underperforming a relatively flat market.
GOOG
Mar 23, 2017 | 09:02 EDT
Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) announced that Google (GOOG) has signed a 10-year lease for 166,460 square feet at the company's Rincon Center II office tower in San Francisco. The lease is anticipated to commence in March 2018 and will backfill two of Hudson Pacific's significant 2017 expirations: a 132,600-square-foot lease with AIG and a 22,000-square-foot lease with global law firm Dentons.
GOOGL, GOOG
Mar 23, 2017 | 06:13 EDT
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is suspending advertising from YouTube and other Google (GOOG) properties over concern Google isn't doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to offensive material, The New York Times reports. The Fly notes that AT&T (T) is pulling much of its advertising from Google over concerns that its ads may have run alongside controversial videos, and Verizon (VZ) also suspended advertising with Google except for search ads. Reference Link
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