Fly Intel: Top five weekend stock stories » 20:0904/0504/05/20
GILD, BA, FB, TWTR, GOOG, GOOGL, UAL, CMCSA, CMCSK, T, VZ, ABT, CVX, HRL, JNJ, KMB, MDT, PG, TROW
Catch up on the…
Catch up on the weekend's top five stories with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Gilead Sciences (GILD) said it is donating 1.5M doses of its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir, which could treat 140,000 patients. In an open letter, Chairman and CEO Daniel O'Day said that the drug will be offered for compassionate use, expanded access and clinical trials, and will treat patients with severe symptoms. "Our existing supply, including finished product ready for distribution as well as investigational medicine in the final stages of production, amounts to 1.5 million individual doses. Depending on the optimal duration of treatment, which is something we are studying in clinical trials, this supply could equate to well over 140,000 treatment courses for patients. [...] Gilead is providing the entirety of this existing supply at no cost, to treat patients with the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. The 1.5 million individual doses are available for compassionate use, expanded access and clinical trials and will be donated for broader distribution following any potential future regulatory authorizations. These doses are for treating patients with severe symptoms, through daily intravenous infusions in a hospital setting. Having a potential treatment in our hands comes with significant responsibility." 2. Boeing (BA) announced that it is extending the temporary suspension of production operations at all Puget Sound area and Moses Lake sites until further notice. "These actions are being taken in light of the company's continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities," the plane maker said in a statement Sunday night. 3. Across the media landscape, advertising is disappearing, one more casualty of the global economic shutdown, and new technology won't be a savior as this is an equal-opportunity problem across print, TV, digital, radio, and outdoor advertising, Eric Savitz wrote in this week's edition of Barron's. Even the most prominent ad buyers lack reasons, and often the means, to buy ads, the author notes, while many of the small and medium-size businesses that buy online ads are struggling to stay solvent. Both Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) have already warned that they will take a hit from the downturn, and Alphabet's Google (GOOGL) no doubt is seeing the same effects, but so far hasn't discussed the matter, the publication adds. 4. United Airlines (UAL) is cutting nearly 90% of its New York-area flying, as public health officials predicted that the city will reach the peak of its novel coronavirus outbreak in the coming days, The Wall Street Journal's Alison Sider reported. The airline said the reductions set to remain in place for at least three weeks will mean substantially fewer employees will need to show up each day, though workers will continue to receive pay and benefits, the author noted. 5. Comcast (CMCSA), AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Chevron (CVX), Hormel Foods (HRL), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Medtronic (MDT), Procter & Gamble (PG), and T. Rowe Price (TROW) saw positive mentions in this week's edition of Barron's.
J&J, Chevron among names with safe dividends for now, Barron's says » 10:0404/0404/04/20
TROW, PG, MDT, KMB, JNJ, HRL, CVX, ABT
Among the 64 S&P 500…
Among the 64 S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, the dividends of Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Chevron (CVX), Hormel Foods (HRL), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), Medtronic (MDT), Procter & Gamble (PG), and T. Rowe Price (TROW) look safe for now, thanks in part to relatively low debt loads, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week's editions of Barron's. Reference Link
Tyson Foods price target lowered to $70 from $92 at Credit Suisse » 06:3404/0304/03/20
Credit Suisse analyst…
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow lowered the firm's price target on Tyson Foods to $70 from $92 and keeps an Outperform rating on the shares. Moskow tells investors in a research note that the spike in demand for chicken from the grocery channel over the past two weeks is starting to fade now that consumers and grocers have filled their freezers with inventory and is no longer sufficient to offset the 50% decline in demand in the restaurant sector.
Altria Group upgraded to Buy from Hold at Panmure Gordon » 05:4504/0304/03/20
Panmure Gordon analyst…
Panmure Gordon analyst Rae Maile upgraded Altria Group to Buy from Hold with a $62 price target.
McCormick price target lowered to $147 from $155 at Credit Suisse » 14:2604/0204/02/20
Credit Suisse analyst…
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow earlier today lowered the firm's price target on McCormick to $147 from $155 and keeps a Neutral rating on the shares after reviewing the company's quarterly report. The analyst now assumes a $31M negative impact from China for the year and a currency headwind of $20M. McCormick temporarily withdrew guidance and intends to reinstate it in June after it reports fiscal Q2, Moskow told investors in a research note.
Herbalife put volume heavy and directionally bearish » 14:1504/0204/02/20
Bearish flow noted in…
Bearish flow noted in Herbalife with 1,195 puts trading, or 1.3x expected. Most active are May-20 30 puts and Aug-20 30 puts, with total volume in those strikes near 1,100 contracts. The Put/Call Ratio is 9.34, while ATM IV is up nearly 79 points on the day. Earnings are expected on April 30th.
WD-40 shares sink after being named short idea at Spruce Point » 10:0804/0204/02/20
WDFC, DD, NWL
Shares of WD-40 dropped…
Shares of WD-40 dropped in morning trading after Spruce Point issued a 'Strong Sell' opinion on the stock, saying it faces 55%-60% downside risk to approximately $75-$85 per share. 'HORRIBLE' RISK/REWARD: Spruce Point said in a research note that WD-40 is facing both long and short-term secular pressures. With the company recently increasing and drawing down almost 100% of its credit facility, a size 1,500% larger than the previous recession in 2008-2009, it believes a hole in its balance sheet has been exposed. The firm believes shares are a "horrible" risk/reward and that it will have to drastically reduce its optimistic 3%-7% sales target and re-set investor expectations meaningfully lower. Spruce Point believes the product is also coming under increasing regulatory scrutiny, as the oil-based lubricant is being sold at above market prices, and thinks WD-40 is not well suited to an e-commerce environment. NO VISIBILITY: Spruce Point also contended that WD-40, which missed FY09 sales and EPS estimates by 13% and almost 10% at the mid-points, has no visibility in an economic recession, and that it has few, if any growth avenues left. TAKEOVER TARGET? The firm commented on WD-40 as a potential takeover target, but states that larger companies like DuPont (DD) and Newell Brands (NWL) have competing products in the space and neither has made an offer for WD-40. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, shares of WD-40 are down 3.5% to $182.03.
Unilever upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays » 07:0404/0204/02/20
Barclays analyst Warren…
Barclays analyst Warren Ackerman upgraded Unilever to Equal Weight from Underweight with a price target of 4,420 GBp, up from 4,220 GBp. Unilever is the biggest soap company in the world and consumer interest in sanitation is unlikely to wane, Ackerman tells investors in a research note.
Altria Group to defend minority investment in JUUL against FTC action » 05:2104/0204/02/20
Altria Group announced…
Altria Group announced that the U.S. FTC has filed an administrative complaint challenging Altria's minority investment in JUUL Labs. In December 2018, Altria made a minority investment in JUUL. In exchange for the investment, Altria received a 35% economic interest in JUUL through non-voting shares, with their conversion to voting shares and the seating of representatives on JUUL's board of directors contingent on antitrust clearance. "We believe that our investment in JUUL does not harm competition and that the FTC misunderstood the facts," said Murray Garnick, Altria's Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "We are disappointed with the FTC's decision, believe we have a strong defense and will vigorously defend our investment."
FTC sues to unwind Altria's $12.8B investment in Juul » 18:3004/0104/01/20
The Federal Trade…
The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint alleging that Altria Group, Inc. and JUUL Labs, Inc. entered a series of agreements, including Altria's acquisition of a 35% stake in JUUL, that eliminated competition in violation of federal antitrust laws. The FTC alleged that as competitors, Altria and JUUL monitored each other's e-cigarette prices closely and raced to innovate. Altria also leveraged its ownership of leading brands across tobacco categories to secure favorable shelf space at retailers throughout the United States, the complaint alleges. Although early competition resulted in Altria's MarkTen e-cigarette becoming the second most popular brand by market share, by late 2018, JUUL vaulted past the industry leaders Altria and Reynolds to become the leading e-cigarette company in the country. The Commission alleges that Altria dealt with this competitive threat by agreeing not to compete in return for a substantial ownership interest in JUUL. Weeks after Altria declared its intention to wind down its e-cigarette business, Altria and JUUL announced an agreement that made Altria JUUL's largest shareholder, allowed Altria to appoint an observer to JUUL's Board of Directors, and would have permitted Altria to appoint three members of JUUL's Board after converting its shares to voting securities. JUUL received over $12B, an agreement that Altria would not compete with JUUL for six years, and a range of support services. Reference Link