InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

6:49 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Trimble (TRMB) introduced the Trimble SPS356 DGNSS Beacon Receiver specifically designed for marine construction. The receiver is ideal for a range of marine applications including dredging, vessel positioning and tracking, and bathymetric surveying.
  • MOKO Social Media Limited (MOKO) and US-based IM Leagues have agreed to extend MOKO's exclusive license to the IML college intramural data feeds. The amended agreement automatically renews for an unlimited number of additional one year terms until MOKO elects to terminate, with the effect of providing MOKO with exclusive rights in perpetuity, subject to MOKO meeting the conditions of advance payments and meeting standard operational responsibilities.

6:39 am McCormick beats by $0.01, misses on revs; guides Q1 EPS; guides FY15 towards low end of expectations (MKC) : Reports Q4 (Nov) earnings of $1.16 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.15; revenues rose 0.3% year/year to $1.17 bln vs the $1.21 bln consensus.

  • The company grew fourth quarter sales 2% in local currency. Consumer sales grew 3% in local currency, driven by pricing actions and higher volume and product mix. Sales growth in the Americas region and in China led this performance. 
Co issues guidance for Q1, sees EPS increase slightly YoY from $0.62 vs. $0.69 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Co issues guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $3.51-3.58 vs. $3.59 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs +1-3% to ~$4.29-4.37 bln vs. $4.37 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. McCormick expects further global growth in consumer demand for flavor. Through 2019, Euromonitor International projects a mid-single digit compound annual growth rate in global retail sales of herbs and spices. With a global category share above 20%, the co expects to help drive this growth and increase its sales of herbs and spices, along with other flavor products, through brand marketing, product innovation, expanded distribution and acquisitions. In 2015, the co expects to grow sales 4% to 6% in local currency. In addition to higher adjusted operating income, the co expects income from unconsolidated operations to grow at least 10% and has plans to reduce shares outstanding by ~2% in the absence of acquisition activity.

6:36 am Potlatch beats by $0.04, misses on revs (PCH) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.45 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.41; revenues rose 4.4% year/year to $146.2 mln vs the $151.13 mln consensus.

  • "We expect the recovery in the U.S. housing market to continue in 2015, which will translate into higher earnings in Resource and another strong year in Wood Products. We plan to increase our harvest to 4.5 million tons in 2015. We are not planning any large sales in our Real Estate segment and expect to sell approximately 20,000 acres this year. Our balance sheet is in good shape and a core part of our strategy remains growing the company over time."

6:35 am Marketaxess beats by $0.06, beats on revs (MKTX) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.57 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.51; revenues rose 16.2% year/year to $70.2 mln vs the $67.91 mln consensus. Commission revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 increased 19.7% to a record $60.4 million, compared to $50.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2013. 

  • The Company expects total expenses for 2015 to be in the range of $153.0 million to $159.0 million and its full year 2015 capital spending to be in the range of $14.0 million to $17.0 million. The Company also anticipates that the overall effective tax rate for 2015 will be between 36% and 38%.

6:33 am Textron misses by $0.01, misses on revs; guides FY15 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (TXT) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings from cont ops of $0.76 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.77; revenues rose 16.8% year/year to $4.1 bln vs the $4.32 bln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $2.30-2.50 vs. $2.57 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $14.4 bln vs. $14.73 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. 
  • Textron fourth quarter 2014 results included $13 million in restructuring costs related to the Beechcraft acquisition and Textron Aviation segment profit reflected an $8 million negative impact from fair value step-up adjustments to Beechcraft inventories sold during the quarter. 
  • The company is estimating cash flow from continuing operations of the manufacturing group before pension contributions will be between $550 and $650 million with planned pension contributions of about $80 million.

6:33 am Arctic Cat beats by $0.20, misses on revs; guides FY15 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (ACAT) : Reports Q3 (Dec) earnings of $0.68 per share, $0.20 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.48; revenues fell 14.2% year/year to $193.7 mln vs the $198.07 mln consensus.

  • Co issues lowers guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $1.24-1.32 vs. $1.97 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $705-715 mln vs. $748.03 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • "Fiscal 2015 is a challenging year of transition where we are resetting our strategic priorities to deliver improved long-term performance. At this time, we are lowering our fiscal 2015 full-year outlook for sales and earnings, as we work through existing challenges. As we stated in the 2015 second quarter, one of our biggest challenges is rightsizing our core North America ATV dealer inventory levels. Bold actions are necessary to return to growth."
  • To accelerate the company's core ATV inventory reduction plan, Arctic Cat will take a $7 million charge in the 2015 fourth quarter that will enable it to reduce dealers' non-current inventory at a much faster pace than previously planned. Additionally, the company expects lower international sales in fiscal 2015, including sales to Russia, due to macroeconomic headwinds and reflecting the increased unfavorable Canadian currency exchange, as approximately 30 percent of Arctic Cat's annual sales are to Canada.

6:31 am Antofagasta reports Q4 production; Full year copper, gold and molybdenum production and net cash costs all beat guidance (ANFGY) : Co reports its Q4 production results
PRODUCTION

  • Copper production in Q4 2014 was 187,500 tonnes, a 10.8% increase compared with the previous quarter, with all of the Group's operations achieving higher throughput
  • Copper production for the full year of 704,800 tonnes was 2.3% lower than last year primarily due to lower grades at Los Pelambres 
  • Gold production was 82,300 ounces in Q4 2014, a 27.2% increase on Q3 2014 due largely to higher throughput and stronger recoveries in the final quarter at Centinela
  • Gold production was 270,900 ounces for 2014 compared with 293,800 ounces in 2013, mainly reflecting lower grades and recoveries at Centinela
  • Molybdenum production at Los Pelambres was 7,900 tonnes in 2014, compared with 9,000 tonnes in the 2013, principally due to lower grades 
  • Full year copper, gold and molybdenum production and net cash costs all beat guidance

6:31 am United Micro beats by NT$0.11, beats on revs; guides Q1 (UMC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of NT$0.36 per share, NT$0.11 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of NT$0.25; revenues rose 5.7% year/year to NT$37.23 bln vs the NT$36.43 bln consensus. 

  • Quarter-over-Quarter Q1 Guidance: 
    • Foundry Segment Wafer Shipments: To increase by ~2-3%; Foundry Segment ASP in US$: To increase by ~3%; Foundry Segment Profitability: Gross profit margin will be in the mid-20 percentage range; Foundry Segment Capacity Utilization: ~90%; 
    • 2015 CAPEX for Foundry Segment: US$1.8bn; Guidance to New Business Segment: Revenue to be ~NT$2bn and operating loss to be ~NT$170mn

6:28 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • Pattern Energy Group (PEGI) announced that Pattern Energy Group LP has acquired a majority stake in Green Power Investment Corporation, based in Tokyo, Japan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Rocket Fuel (FUEL) announced its expansion to Latin America, with a new office based in S o Paulo, Brazil.
  • CDK Global (CDK) announced that their Contract Validation solution will be released later this year to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealerships in the U.S. 

6:27 am Sibanye Gold announces that record production of 14,079kg (452,700oz) was achieved for the quarter ended 31 December 2014 (SBGL) : Total cash cost and All--in cost for the quarter will be approximately $790/oz and $1,040/oz respectively.

  • Gold production for the year ended 31 December 2014 was in line with guidance at 49,432kg (1.59Mozs).
  • Uranium production from the Cooke Operation continued uninterrupted from May 2014, resulting in a stockpile of approximately 180,000lbs at year-end. Uranium production costs for the December quarter averaged approximately US$24/lb.
  • Gold production guidance for the year ending 31 December 2015 is forecast to be between 50,000kg and 52,000kg (1.61Moz and 1.67Moz). Total cash cost is forecast at between $850/oz and $875/oz. All-in sustaining cost is forecast to be between 1,055oz and $1,100/oz, with All-in cost forecast to be between $1,070/oz and  $1,110/oz. Approximately 250,000lbs of by-product uranium production is forecast.
  • Capital expenditure is planned to increase by 10% to $320 million, largely due to an increase in expenditure on projects to extend the operating lives of the mines and on growth projects such as Burnstone.

6:23 am Commscope issues mixed Q4 guidance, sees FY15 below consensus -- ex-purchase of BNS bunsiness from TE Connectivity (TEL) for $3 bln in cash (COMM) : Co issues mixed guidance for Q4 (Dec), raises EPS to $0.35-0.37, excluding non-recurring items, from $0.30-0.35 vs. $0.33 Capital IQ Consensus; sees Q4 (Dec) revs of $825-830 mln from $810-850 mlnvs. $835.71 mln Capital IQ Consensus.

Co issues downside guidance for FY15 (Dec), sees EPS of $1.95-2.05, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $2.18 Capital IQ Consensus; sees FY15 (Dec) revs flat to down 5% YoY vs. ~flat consensus.

  • Guidance excludes the amortization of purchased intangibles, restructuring costs and other special items. CommScope's preliminary 2015 outlook reflects the expected temporary slowdown in North American wireless carrier capital spending, the negative impact of foreign exchange rate changes and on-going product line pruning in the Broadband segment. 
  • The 2015 guidance does not reflect any impact from the planned acquisition announced today. 
  • Further details will be provided when CommScope releases its fourth quarter and full year 2014 financial results on Friday, February 20, 2015 before the market opens. 

6:16 am TE Connectivity beats by $0.08, misses on revs; guides Q2 below consensus; reaffirms FY15 EPS guidance, lowers FY15 rev; proceeds of $3 bln BNS sale to COMM will be used to buyback shares, co adds $3bln to buyback (TEL) : Reports Q1 (Dec) adj. earnings of $0.98 per share, $0.08 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.90; revenues rose 4.2% year/year to $3.47 bln vs the $3.51 bln consensus.

Co issues downside guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.98-1.02, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $1.02 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs of $3.55-3.65 bln vs. $3.67 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

Co issues mixed guidance for FY15, reaffirms EPS of $4.05-4.35, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $4.18 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; lowers FY15 revs to $14.45-14.85 bln from $14.7-15.3 bln vs. $14.91 bln Capital IQ Consensus. The outlook includes foreign exchange headwinds, reducing sales by $900 million and adjusted EPS by $0.35. The outlook includes the results of the company's BNS business, as well as foreign exchange and commodity rates that are consistent with current levels.

Co has reached a definitive agreement to sell its BNS business unit to CommScope (COMM) for $3.0 billion. The BNS business, which consists of TE's Telecommunications, Enterprise Networks and Wireless businesses, had revenue of $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2014.

  • Acquisitions, in conjunction with the sale of BNS, will result in ~90 percent of TE's revenue focused on providing OEM customers with leading connectivity and sensor solutions. Additionally, upon completion of the transaction, ~80 percent of TE's revenues will serve harsh environment applications. 
  • TE intends to use the majority of the sale proceeds for share repurchase. 
  • TE's Board of Directors has authorized an expansion of its share repurchase program by an additional $3.0 billion. Sale proceeds will also be used to make strategic investments in the company's connectivity and sensor businesses.

6:14 am Praxair beats by $0.01, misses on revs; guides Q1 EPS below consensus; guides FY15 EPS below consensus, revs below consensus (PX) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.57 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.56; revenues fell 0.7% year/year to $2.99 bln vs the $3.06 bln consensus.

  • Co issues downside guidance for Q1, sees EPS of $1.39-1.47 vs. $1.59 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. This EPS guidance assumes a negative currency impact of approximately 7% year-over-year and 4% sequentially. 
  • Co issues downside guidance for FY15, sees EPS of $6.15-6.50 vs. $6.69 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $12.0-12.4 bln vs. $12.8 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. up 5% to 11% ex-currency from 2014.
  • "Looking forward to 2015, we expect modest global growth. More than half of our sales are generated in North America and with our industry-leading presence we will continue to take advantage of the underlying economic strengths of the region."

6:09 am EverBank Financial reports EPS in-line (EVER) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.30 per share, ex-$0.02 in expenses, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.30. 

  • Total retained originations of $1.7 billion in the quarter and $6.0 billion for the year. 
  • Commercial originations of $842 million in the quarter and $2.6 billion for the year, an increase of 12% compared to the prior quarter and 32% year over year. 
  • Loans held for investment (HFI.V) of $17.8 billion at December 31, 2014, an increase of 7% compared to the prior quarter and 34% year over year. 
  • Return on average equity (:ROE) was 9.0% for the quarter and 9.5% on an adjusted basis. 
  • Tangible common equity per common share of $12.51 at December 31, 2014, an increase of 8% year over year.

6:09 am Opexa Therapeutics files registration statement for rights offering; price to be between $0.65 and $0.75 per unit, redeemable if common stock closes above $2.50 per share for 10 consecutive trading days (OPXA) :  

6:08 am MDC Holdings misses by $0.05, reports revs in-line (MDC) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.41 per share, excluding excluding debt extinguishment charge, $0.05 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.46; revenues rose 6.8% year/year to $493.1 mln vs the $492.58 mln consensus.
 
Key Metrics:

  • Homes delivered of 1,242 down from 1,252 
  • Average sales price up $28,800 per home, or 8%, to $397,000
  • Gross margin from home sales of 16.3% down from 17.4% 
  • Gross margin excluding impairments of 16.5% vs. 17.5%
  • Dollar value of net new orders of $356.4 million, up 25% 
  • Ending active community count of 159, up 9% 
  • Ending backlog dollar value of $663.2 million, up 31% 

6:07 am Anthem misses by $0.01, reports revs in-line; guides FY15 EPS above consensus, revs below consensus; increases quarterly div by 43% to $0.625/share (ANTM) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.73 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.74; revenues rose 6.4% year/year to $18.78 bln vs the $18.93 bln consensus.

  • Co issues guidance for FY15, sees EPS of greater than $9.70, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $9.45 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees FY15 revs of $78.0-78.5 bln vs. $79.48 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
    • Medical membership is expected to be in the range of 38,000,000 -- 38,200,000. Fully insured membership is expected to be in the range of 14,750,000 -- 14,850,000 and self-funded membership is expected to be in the range of 23,250,000 -- 23,350,000. 
    • Benefit expense ratio is expected to be in the range of 83.0% plus or minus 30 basis points. 
  • Medical enrollment totaled ~37.5 million members at December 31, 2014, an increase of approximately 1.8 million members, or 5.2 percent, from 35.7 million at December 31, 2013. 
  • The benefit expense ratio was 84.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, a decrease of 330 basis points from 87.8 percent in the prior year quarter. 
  • Board of Directors increases quarterly dividend by nearly 43% to $0.625 per share, totaling $2.50 per share on an annualized basis.

6:06 am TE Connectivity: Commscope (COMM) confirms it has agreed to acquire TE Connectivity's Enterprise and Wireless businesses in an all-cash transaction valued at ~$3 bln; transaction expected to be significantly accretive to CommScope's adjusted EPS (TEL) : The Telecom, Enterprise and Wireless businesses of TE Connectivity, a world leader in fiber optic connectivity for wireline and wireless networks, generated annual revenues of ~$1.9 bln in its fiscal year ended September 26, 2014, consisting of $1.1 bln from its Telecom business, where it is a world leader; $627 mln from Enterprise; and $164 mln from Wireless. 

  • The transaction is expected to substantially expand CommScope's foundation of innovation with the addition of ~7,000 patents and patent applications worldwide from TE Connectivity.
  • CommScope expects to realize more than $150 mln in annual synergies beginning in the third year following closing, which includes more than $50 mln in the first full year.
  • TE's Board of Directors has authorized an expansion of its share repurchase program by an additional $3.0 bln.  

6:05 am Praxair declares a 10% increase in its quarterly dividend; to $0.71 per share (PX) :  

6:03 am Cenovus Energy to respond to low oil prices with capital budget reductions (CVE) : Co announced it would be further reducing its 2015 capital spending identified approximately $700 mln in additional capital expenditures originally planned for 2015 that can be deferred until crude oil prices recover.

  • Co has revised its 2015 capital budget and is now targeting capital spending this year of between $1.8 bln and $2.0 bln. 
  • Co plans to continue funding its optimization program at Christina Lake. Construction of the Christina Lake phase F oil sands expansion and the phase G expansion at Foster Creek, which are each approximately two-thirds complete, are also planned to continue. 
  • Cash flow for the year is now expected to be between $1.3 bln and $1.5 bln, based on a WTI strip price of US$50.50/bbl for 2015.  
  • Co is continuing to pursue opportunities it has identified to target between $400 mln and $500 mln in sustained annual operating and capital cost reductions in the years ahead

6:01 am BGC Partners issues letter to GFI Shareholders, in response to CME merger proposal (BGCP) : Co states:

  • "We urge you to protect the value of your investment in GFI Group by voting AGAINST all of the proposals at the special meeting of GFI shareholders." "GFI management is asking you to accept $5.85 per share in cash and stock, which is $0.25 less than BGC's $6.10 all-cash offer (...) and we urge you to tender your shares into our clearly superior offer of $6.10 per share to receive the higher value to which you are entitled."

6:00 am Sasol announces plan to respond to a low oil price environment (SSL) : Co announced certain decisive measures have already been agreed to and are being implemented. These include identifying opportunities for additional cash savings targeted over the next 30 months.

  • The focus areas are capital portfolio phasing and reductions, capital restructuring, working capital improvements, margin enhancement and further fixed cost reductions. Cash flow improvements actioned in terms of the response plan will be over and above the current target of at least R4 billion in sustainable cost savings by 2016. 
  • Sasol has decided to delay the final investment decision on its large-scale, gas-to-liquids (:GTL) plant in Louisiana. 
  • Sasol will also continue to advance its investments in Southern Africa, including the mine replacement programme and various gas and chemicals projects.

5:24 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • NTT Group (NTT) announced that it has agreed with the Japan Exchange Group and the Singapore Exchange to launch of JPX-SGX Co-Location Direct, the telecom industry's lowest-latency service for international leased lines that directly connect the colocation facilities of JPX and SGX. The service will start from April 2015. 
  • Lentuo International (LAS) announced that it has begun a strategic expansion into the electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid EV value-added services as an extension of its after sales business strategy. The Company aims to become an early mover into a new sector that is poised for substantial growth with strong support from the Chinese government.   

5:23 am Anglo American reports Q4 production; Kumba Iron Ore production increased by 10% YoY (AAUKY) : Co provides production report for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2014

  • Kumba Iron Ore production increased by 10% to 12.4 million tonnes following implementation of the production recovery plan and Anglo American Operating Model at Sishen. Waste removal at Sishen continues to be the operational focus.
  • Minas-Rio achieved first ore on ship on 25 October 2014; production started in the quarter.
  • Export metallurgical coal production increased by 4% to 4.9 million tonnes due to a step change in performance at Grasstree and Q4 2013 longwall moves.  
  • Export thermal coal production increased by 2% to 9.7 million tonnes mainly due to increases across Australian and South African operations.
  • Copper production decreased by 18% to 174,800 tonnes, primarily as a result of the expected grade declines at Los Bronces and Collahuasi.
  • As expected, nickel production decreased by 34% to 6,700 tonnes due to the Barro Alto Line 2 furnace rebuild, which commenced in October.
  • Equivalent refined platinum production increased by 14% to 593,900 ounces mainly due to higher production at Amandelbult, Rustenburg and Union mines as Q4 2013 was impacted by industrial action. Mogalakwena also increased production in Q4 2014 due to increased throughput at the concentrator and mining productivity improvements.
  • Diamond production decreased by 8% to 8.4 million carats compared with Q4 2013 due to lower grades at Orapa and Venetia, combined with lower production at Snap Lake as a result of a mandatory safety stoppage.
  • Given the sharply lower commodity price environment, particularly for the bulk commodities, Anglo American expects to record certain non-cash impairment charges as special items for the 2014 financial year. 

4:39 am Siliconware Precision beats by NT$0.13, beats on revs (SPIL) : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of NT$0.97 per share, NT$0.13 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of NT$0.84; revenues rose 14.3% year/year to NT$21.43 bln vs the NT$20.74 bln consensus.

  • For the fourth quarter of 2014, net revenues from IC packaging were NT$ 18,789 million and represented 88% of total net revenues. 
  • Net revenues from testing operations were NT$ 2,642 million and represented 12% of total net revenues. 

4:16 am Arrow Elec initiating tender offer to acquire Data Modul AG (ARW) : Arrow Electronics (ARW) is initiating an all-cash tender offer to acquire the shares of DATA MODUL Aktiengesellschaft Produktion und Vertrieb von elektronischen Systemen for a purchase price of 27.50 per share ($31.00 per share based on current exchange rates). The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 35 percent on the weighted average stock exchange price of the Data Modul AG-shares during the prior three months. 

  • In conjunction with this tender offer, Arrow CEHM has entered into agreements with several shareholders of the company including the Hecktor family and Varitronix Investment Limited through which Arrow CEHM has secured the acquisition of approximately 37% of the nominal share capital of the company. The management board and supervisory board of Data Modul AG support the transaction. 
  • Sales in 2014 are estimated to be 160 million. The purchase price assuming all shares are tendered would be approximately 94 million ($105 million based on current exchange rates). 

4:02 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • TomTom (TMOAY) launches its Map Input Tracker API, a new map feedback tool that business customers can easily integrate into their existing products and services. The API enables end-users to share map feedback quickly via their smartphone, tablet, laptop or in-dash navigation unit to contribute to high-quality maps. 
  • Abengoa (ABGB) signed a research partnership agreement with the Masdar Institute and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company 

2:11 am Cellcom Israel announces filing of amendment to supplemental shelf offering report in Israel (CEL) : Co announced that, following the Company's publication of a supplemental shelf offering report, or Offering Report, regarding a debentures exchange offer on January 18, 2015, the Company filed today an amendment to the Offering Report, after receiving the TASE's approval. 
Company's total debt, as recorded in its financial reports, will be negligible, as demonstrated in the table below. The amended offer is as follows:

  • to exchange every NIS 1 principal amount of the Company's series D debentures, up to an aggregate principal amount of approximately NIS 1,023 million (instead of the original amount of NIS 293 million), for NIS 1.52 (instead of the original amount of NIS 1.45) principal amount of new debentures of the Company's existing series H debentures; and 
  • to exchange every NIS 1 principal amount of the Company's series E debentures, up to an aggregate principal amount of approximately NIS 439 million (instead of the original amount of NIS 130 million), for NIS 1.23 (instead of the original amount of NIS 1.16) principal amount of new debentures of the Company's existing series I debentures.

2:01 am On The Wires (:WIRES) :

  • MSCI Inc (MSCI) announced that CSOP Asset Management, one of the largest Chinese asset management firms in Hong Kong with over USD 8 billion in assets under management, has licensed the MSCI China and USA Internet Top 50 Equal Weighted Index* for a new ETF to be launched shortly. 
  • Hansen Medical (HNSN) announced the completion of the first clinical procedure with the Magellan Robotic System in Australia. The Magellan Robotic System was installed in January 2015 in collaboration with Medtel Pty Limited, Hansen Medical's exclusive distribution partner in Australia and New Zealand. 

1:40 am Ur-Energy completes preliminary economic assessment on Shirley Basin Project (URG) : Co announces the completion of a Preliminary Economic Assessment for its Shirley Basin Project in Carbon County, Wyoming. 

  • The PEA demonstrates the potential viability of satellite ISR operations at the Project. The Project currently has a Source and Byproduct Material License from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a Permit to Mine from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality -- Land Quality Division. The Company has begun the process of amending this license and permit for ISR operations. The PEA is based on an assumption of construction activities starting in January 2017, with production commencing October 2017. It is estimated that a total of 6.3 million pounds of U3O8 will be produced from the Project.
  • The economic analysis estimates the Project will generate net cash flow over its life, before income tax, of $215.9 million. It is estimated that the Project has a calculated before-tax Internal Rate of Return of 117.0% and a before-tax Net Present Value of $146.0 million applying an eight percent discount rate starting in year 2017.  The estimated operating cost for the project is $14.54 per pound of uranium produced, while the total cost of uranium production including severance taxes and operational and capital spending is estimated at $31.26 per pound.

1:38 am Silver Standard receives Notice of Reassessment (SSRI) : Co advises that it received today a Notice of Reassessment in the aggregate amount of approximately $41.4 million from the Canada Revenue Agency related to the tax treatment of the 2010 sale of shares of its subsidiary that owned and operated the Snowfield and Brucejack projects. The CRA has asserted the transaction was of an income nature and not of a capital nature as recorded by the Company.

  • Silver Standard strongly disagrees with the CRA's reassessment and will vigorously defend its position including filing a Notice of Objection and, if necessary, a Notice of Appeal to the Tax Court of Canada. In order to object to the reassessment, the Company is required to make a deposit of 50% of the reassessed amount plus interest accrued to the date of the Notice of Reassessment. As of December 31, 2014, the Company had an unaudited cash and cash equivalents balance of approximately $185 million.
  • The Company cannot determine how long the appeal and court processes will take at this time. If Silver Standard is successful in defending its position, deposits made plus applicable interest will be refunded. 

1:35 am United Comm Banks and MoneyTree Corp announce merger agreement (UCBI) : United Community Banks and MoneyTree announced a definitive agreement for United to acquire MoneyTree and its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, First National Bank. The resulting combination will enhance both United's position in key growth markets in East Tennessee and its ability to offer expanded banking products to FNB's customer base. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each company and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.

  • MoneyTree shareholders will receive merger consideration consisting of 80% stock and 20% cash in aggregate, with a fixed exchange ratio that is valued at ~$52 million based on United's closing price of $17.65 per share. 
  • The transaction is expected to be slightly accretive to United's fully diluted earnings per share in 2015, and 3 percent accretive in 2016 and 2017. 
  • The transaction is expected to be less than 1% dilutive to United's tangible book value per share with an earn-back period of less than three years, including one-time transaction costs.

1:26 am Safeway announces extension of offer to purchase Senior Notes due 2019, 2020 and 2021 (SWY) : Co announces extensions to purchase the following notes until 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on January 30, 2015 

  • $500,000,000 of 5.00% Senior Notes due August 15, 2019
  • $500,000,000 3.95% Senior Notes due August 15, 2020
  • $400,000,000 4.75% Senior Notes due December 1, 2021

1:21 am Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin announces definitive agreement to sell Viroqua Branch (ABCW) : Co announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its Viroqua branch to Royal Bank of Elroy, Wisconsin. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is targeted for closing by the end of May 2015. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Royal Bank will assume ~$12 million in deposits along with loans and other assets.

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