InPlay from Briefing.com

Briefing.com

6:17 pm Denbury Resources announces pricing and upsizing of its offering of senior subordinated notes due May 2022 (DNR) : Co announced that it has priced its public offering of senior subordinated notes due May 2022 and increased the size of the offering from $1.1 billion to $1.25 billion aggregate principal amount of notes. The notes will bear interest at a rate of 5.5% and are being sold at 100% of the principal amount. The net proceeds from the offering will be used primarily to fund the repurchase of all $996.3 million aggregate outstanding principal amount of Denbury's 8 % Senior Subordinated Notes due 2020, for which a tender offer and consent solicitation was announced earlier today. To the extent the Company purchases less than all of the outstanding 2020 Notes in the Tender Offer or the Tender Offer is not consummated for any reason, pursuant to the make-whole provision in the indenture governing the 2020 Notes in connection with a satisfaction and discharge of such indenture, the Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to redeem the 2020 Notes not purchased in the Tender Offer. The remaining net proceeds from the offering will be used by Denbury to reduce borrowings under its bank credit facility and for general corporate purposes. Wells Fargo Securities, BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse Securities, J.P. Morgan, Credit Agricole Securities, and RBC Capital Markets are acting as joint book-running managers for this senior subordinated notes offering.

6:04 pm Baylake Corp. (thinly traded) extends stock repurchase program (BYLK) : Co's Board of Directors on April 15, 2014 extended the common stock repurchase program originally approved on May 23, 2013 allowing for up to an additional 400,000 shares of its common stock to be repurchased and extended the allotted time period for the repurchase to occur for a year to May 20, 2015. This program will allow the Company to continue to repurchase its shares as opportunities arise at prevailing market prices in the open market or privately negotiated transactions, the extent of such repurchases being dependent upon market conditions and other corporate considerations. Since inception, 299,500 shares of common stock have been repurchased under this program.

6:01 pm Celanese announces vinyl acetate-based emulsions price increase in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CE) : Co announced it will increase the price of vinyl acetate-based dispersions sold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. PVAc homopolymer dispersions will increase by up to 175/MT effective May 1, 2014, or as contracts allow. Vinyl acetate ethylene (:VAE) and vinyl copolymer dispersions will increase by up to 125/MT effective May 1, 2014, or as contracts allow. This price increase affects all applications including, but not limited to, adhesives, paints and coatings, building and construction, nonwovens, glass fiber, carpet, paper and textiles.

5:57 pm Yahoo! nominates three new board members, including Yahoo founder David Filo (YHOO) : Co announced the nomination of three new members to the company's board of directors. Shareholders will vote on the nominees at the company's Annual Meeting on June 25, 2014. The nominees are:

  • David Filo, co-founder, Yahoo! Inc. and Chief Yahoo 
  • Charles R. Schwab, Chairman and a director of The Charles Schwab Corporation 
  • H. Lee Scott, Jr., former President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart

5:23 pm Almaden announces positive PEA for the Ixtaca Gold-Silver Deposit, Mexico (AAU) : Co reports positive results from the maiden National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") on its 100% owned Ixtaca Gold-Silver deposit, Mexico.

This deposit is a blind discovery made by the Company in 2010 on claims staked by the Company. The PEA was prepared by Moose Mountain Technical Services ("MMTS") and Knight Piesold Ltd. ("KP"). The conclusions and recommendations of the PEA are that the Ixtaca deposit may be economically viable and the Company should proceed to a Pre-Feasibility study ("PFS"). Some highlights of the PEA are summarised below (all values shown are in $US).

It should be noted that this PEA is preliminary in nature as it includes inferred mineral resources which are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the PEA forecast will be realized or that any of the resources will ever be upgraded to reserves. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

PEA Highlights:

  • Base case (US$1320/oz gold and US$21/oz silver):
    • Pre-tax Net Present Value ("NPV") of $728 mln at a 5% discount rate and internal rate of return of 29%
    • After-tax (including new Mexican Mining Duties) NPV(5%) of $437M and internal rate of return of 22%
  • Total mill feed of 129M tonnes and 258M tonnes of rock (strip ratio of 2:1)
  • Mine life of 12.1 years with an average processing rate of 30,000 tonnes per day (10,650,000 tonnes per annum)
  • Average annual production of 130,000 ounces of gold and 7,798,000 ounces of silver
  • Estimated pre-production capital of US$496 mln. Sustaining capital of US$106 mln
  • After-Tax Payback of 4.0 years

5:17 pm Euronet and Wal-Mart (WMT) to announce new service; will host call tomorrow April 17 at 8:30am ET (EEFT) :  

5:15 pm Albemarle beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line (ALB) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.96 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.95; revenues rose 2.3% year/year to $656.68 mln vs the $656.94 mln consensus.

"Despite the impact of inclement weather on our operations, first quarter results were generally consistent with our expectations," stated Luke Kissam, President and CEO. "Cash generation was higher than our expectations, driven largely by improvements in working capital, pointing once again to the strength of our business portfolio. During the quarter, we used this cash to fund organic growth opportunities, repurchase approximately $50 million worth of stock and increase our dividend for the 20th year in a row. We also announced earlier today that we have entered into a contract with the SI Group for the sale of our antioxidants, ibuprofen and propofol businesses, a transaction that will, upon closing, increase our overall margin rates and allow us to continue to focus more sharply on our core businesses."

5:15 pm Crown Hldgs beats by $0.06, reports revs in-line (CCK) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.57 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.51; revenues rose 1.0% year/year to $1.99 bln vs the $2.01 bln consensus.

  • "We started off the year well and on target and look forward to a promising 2014. Global beverage can volumes were up 6%, which follows first quarter volume growth of 6% and 7% in 2013 and 2012, respectively. The gains were driven primarily by strong shipments in Asia Pacific and Brazil. In order to meet continuing market growth and an increasing consumer preference for beverage cans in Brazil, we will begin commercial production this month at our new plant in Teresina.In the European Beverage segment, first quarter year-on-year shipments rose 5% in continental Europe and the United Kingdom. Global food can shipments were 3% lower in the quarter compared to the first quarter of 2013."

5:10 pm People's United Financial misses by $0.01 (PBCT) : Reports Q1 (Mar) operating earnings of $0.19 per share, $0.01 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.20.

  • Interest income on acquired loans decreased $3.1 million from 4Q13 to $23.3 million. 
  • The effects of two fewer calendar days and new loan volume at lower rates both impacted the margin by five basis points.
  • An increase in average investment balances benefited the margin by three basis points.
  • Net interest margin decreased seven basis points from 4Q13 to 3.17%.
  • The effects of two fewer calendar days and new loan volume at lower rates both impacted the margin by five basis points.
  • Non-interest income was $79.9 million in 1Q14 compared to $82.5 million in 4Q13.
  • Non-interest expense totaled $216.7 million in 1Q14 compared to $208.7 million in 4Q13

5:10 pm Discover Financial Services announces $3.2 bln share repurchase program; increases quarterly dividend 20% to $0.24 from $0.20 per share (DFS) : Co announced that its Board of Directors has approved a new $3.2 billion share repurchase program and increased the quarterly common stock dividend from $0.20 to $0.24 per share. The new share repurchase program expires on April 15, 2016, and may be terminated at any time. It replaces the prior $2.4 billion share repurchase program. The company expects to make share repurchases from time to time subject to the company's capital plan, market conditions and other factors, including legal and regulatory restrictions and required approvals.

5:09 pm Chimera Investment announces December 31, 2013 estimated GAAP book value of $3.24 per share (CIM) : Co announced that its estimated December 31, 2013 GAAP book value was $3.24 per share and its economic book value was $2.82 per share, compared to its September 30, 2013 GAAP book value of $3.47 per share and economic book value of $3.01 per share. The decline in book value is primarily a result of the $0.20 per share special dividend the Company declared on December 19, 2013 and paid on January 31, 2014.

The Company continues to work diligently to complete the ongoing work towards becoming current on all of its filings required under applicable securities laws. The Company expects to file its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, no later than mid-June 2014. The Company released Supplemental Financial Information today which includes information as of December 31, 2013.

5:06 pm Renewable Energy sees Q1 net earnings loss of $1.5-3.5 mln (Capital IQ Consensus Estimate calls for EPS gain of $0.14 per share) (REGI) : Co announced its preliminary results for the first quarter of 2014 and announced the date for the Company's first quarter 2014 earnings release. For the first quarter, REG now expects to report a net earnings loss of $1.5 million to $3.5 million (vs Capital IQ Consensus Estimate for a gain of $0.14 per share), adjusted EBITDA in the range of $1 million to $3 million, which is below the Company's prior guidance of adjusted EBITDA in the range of $5 million to $15 million, and expects gallons sold to be at the lower end of the guided range of 45 to 55 million gallons.

"The original guidance reflected a lower margin environment than 2013 as the biodiesel market adjusts to the lapsed biodiesel tax credit and the delayed EPA RVO announcement. Our original guidance also assumed constant pricing for energy and feedstocks, however biodiesel prices decreased and feedstock costs increased more than expected. The unseasonably cold winter reduced overall diesel demand, as well as biodiesel blends and also increased REG's utilities expenses, most notably a significant increase in natural gas prices. These factors combined to significantly tighten margins at the end of the quarter."

"Our performance this quarter was disappointing, yet not surprising in light of the harsh weather conditions that have impacted results in many industries across the U.S. economy," said Daniel J. Oh, President and CEO. "A key element of our business model is the ability to generate positive adjusted EBITDA even under adverse conditions, and this quarter certainly demonstrated this. We will continue to focus on our operating results and long-term growth as the biodiesel industry adjusts to changed and uncertain regulatory conditions. We remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for REG and the biodiesel industry.

5:04 pm AMAG Pharma announces transition of Chairman role to Gino Santini (AMAG) : Co announced new appointments to its board of directors. Current board member, Gino Santini, has been elected, by unanimous vote, to chairman of the board of directors, effective immediately, taking over for Mike Narachi. Mr. Narachi informed the board that, after eight years of service, he has decided not to stand for re-election at this year's upcoming annual shareholder meeting in May 2014. In addition, James R. Sulat has been elected to serve as a new member of the board of directors, effective immediately.

5:03 pm Reynolds American announced Susan Cameron was elected President and CEO; Daniel Delen to retire effective May 1 (RAI) :  

5:03 pm Hancock Holding beats by $0.01 (HBHC) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.58 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.57. Other highlights from the quarter:

  • Efficiency ratio improved to 62%; additional branch closures and the previously announced divestiture of selected insurance lines of business will fund revenue-generating projects that will contribute to achieving the efficiency ratio target for 2016 of 57%-59%
  • Core net interest income (TE) was flat linked-quarter; core net interest margin (NIM) narrowed 3 basis points (bps) (we define our core results as reported results less the impact of net purchase accounting adjustments)
  • Approximately $231 million linked-quarter net loan growth, or 8% annualized, and approximately $1.2 billion, or 11%, year-over-year loan growth (each excluding the FDIC-covered portfolio)
  • Purchase accounting loan accretion declined $.6 million; expect continuation of quarterly declines with accelerating declines in the second half of 2014
  • Return on average assets (:ROA) (operating) improved to 1.05% from 0.97% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 1.03% in the first quarter a year ago

5:01 pm Noble Corp beats by $0.28, beats on revs (NE) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.99 per share, $0.28 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.71; revenues rose 24.2% year/year to $1.21 bln vs the $1.19 bln consensus.

"We continue to believe the more guarded exploration and production spending pattern shown by some operators during early 2014 is temporary and that contract visibility, especially in the floating rig segment, is likely to improve as we progress further into 2014 and 2015. "Despite the current market dynamics, Noble is well positioned with limited near-term fleet exposure, a large revenue backlog, strong client relationships, well-timed premium rig additions with attractive contracts, a rapidly declining capital expenditure commitment and successful implementation of new operating systems and procedures that are driving improved financial performance. We continue to anticipate improving free cash flow in 2015 despite current industry developments. We believe the offshore drilling business remains fundamentally sound over the long-term and Noble is better positioned to address the opportunities expected with the next cyclical upturn with a more versatile and focused fleet run by skilled and highly competent crews."

5:00 pm People's United Financial announces transition for Chief Financial Officer Kirk Walters (PBCT) : Co announced that Chief Financial Officer Kirk Walters is transitioning out of his role as Chief Financial Officer of People's United Bank for family reasons. David Rosato, who has served as Treasurer since 2007, will succeed Walters as Chief Financial Officer of the bank. Both changes are effective immediately. Walters will continue to serve as Chief Financial Officer of People's United Financial, Inc., the bank's holding company, through December 31, 2014, when Rosato is expected to assume that position. Walters will remain an executive officer, transitioning as of January 1, 2015 to the role of Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Planning. He will also remain a member of the Board of Directors of the company and the bank.

4:53 pm IBM Conference Call Takeaways (IBM) :

  • Took substantial charges during the qtr to realign to align resources and skills to demand profile it sees
    • $1.5 bln in R&D spending reflects shift of development priorities to where co sees future growth
    • Continue to see strong demand in mobile, cloud
  • Hardware challenges persist (esp in US), combo of secular and cyclical challenges continued; now selling industry standard sever business to Lenovo (system x business)
  • Improved gross margins by 90 bps driven by services and ongoing mix to software
  • "Major market" revs down 1% in the qtr with improvement from last qtr driven by EMEA; growth markets were down 5%, despite high single digit growth in Latin America; expect it was take time for business in China to improve
    • Views the bulk of its challenges in growth markets as cyclical and still see good long term opportunity
  • Workforce rebalancing impacted SG&A base performance by 16 points
  • Total backlog was $138 bln (up 1% in constant currency terms) including $3.8 bln for customer care divestiture 
  • Application server business delivered strong growth for 4th consecutive qtr; co is now 30% of market share
  • Storage hardware revs down 23%; saw "substantial weakness" in high-end storage.
  • $600 mln in FCF, down $1.1 bln y/y driven by $1.4 bln increase in tax payments driven by audit settlement payments and other prior periods that settled in the qtr
  • Returned $59.2 bln to investors; at the end of 1Q have $6.3 bln remaining in buyback authorization
  • Cloud revs up over 50%; strong growth of mobile and security
  • Co ranked #1 overall business consulting and cloud professional services by IDC and #1 immobility consulting services by Forrester 
IBM is trading at $188.22 in after-hours trading

4:47 pm Universal Corp announces new business to produce innovative food ingredients (UVV) : Universal Leaf North America U.S., Inc. ("ULNA") announced the launch of Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, Inc. ("CIFI"), a new venture of ULNA's parent, Universal Corporation (UVV). CIFI will utilize advanced technology to produce high quality food grade dehydrated and juiced fruit and vegetable products. Initially the business will focus upon value added ingredients derived from sweet potatoes. CIFI expects to invest approximately $20 million over two years in a new juice and dehydration facility that will be located near ULNA's manufacturing facility in Nash County, North Carolina, and will employ approximately 64 people. Production is expected to begin during the first quarter of calendar year 2015.

4:45 pm BPZ Energy announces convertible senior note transaction to retire $26.0 mln of 6.50% convertible senior notes due 2015 (BPZ) : Co announced that the Company has entered into a privately-negotiated agreement under which it will retire $26.0 million in aggregate principal of the Company's outstanding 6.50% Convertible Senior Notes due March 2015, in exchange for its issuance of $25.0 million in aggregate principal of new 8.50% Convertible Senior Notes due October 2017 ("New Notes"). Following this transaction, $59.9 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2015 Notes will remain outstanding with terms unchanged. The Company will also have outstanding $168.7 million in aggregate principal amount of its 8.50% Convertible Senior Notes due 2017 with terms unchanged.

4:40 pm HNI beats by $0.02, misses on revs; guides Q2 EPS in-line, revs in-line (HNI) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.12 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.10; revenues rose 2.2% year/year to $452.2 mln vs the $461.56 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.32-0.37, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.33 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs to be flat to +4% y/y (approx $510-530 mln) vs. $527.25 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:33 pm Sinclair Broadcast engages Moelis & Company to sell certain stations related to Allbritton regulatory approval (SBGI) :

  • Co has engaged Moelis & Company as Sinclair's exclusive financial advisor in connection with the Company's potential sale of WHP (CBS) in Harrisburg, PA, together with the right to provide services to WLYH in Harrisburg, PA, WMMP in Charleston, SC, and WABM in Birmingham, AL so as not to result in undue further delays to processing the applications for the previously announced acquisition of the Allbritton Communications television stations. 
  • The potential sale of the stations had been previously proposed to the Federal Communications Commission in order to meet certain objections to shared services agreements.

4:32 pm Pacific Continental declares special cash dividends of $0.11/share (PCBK) : Pacific Continental, the holding co of Pacific Continental Bank, today announced that its board of directors approved a regular cash dividend of $0.10 per share and an additional special cash dividend of $0.11 per share. Both dividends are payable May 12, 2014, to shareholders of record as of April 28, 2014.

4:31 pm Cathay Bancorp reports EPS in-line (CATY) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.39 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.39. 

  • Total loans increased $217.7 mln, or 2.7%, in the first quarter of 2014, to $8.3 bln at March 31, 2014, compared to $8.1 bln at December 31, 2013
  • Net interest income before provision for credit losses increased $2.6 mln, or 3.2%, to $82.7 mln during the first quarter of 2014 compared to $80.1 mln during the same quarter a year ago. The increase was due primarily to the decrease in interest expense from securities sold under agreements to repurchase. 
  • The net interest margin, on a fully taxable-equivalent basis, was 3.38% for the first quarter of 2014, compared to 3.30% for the fourth quarter of 2013 and 3.35% for the first quarter of 2013. The increase in the net interest margin was due mainly to the prepayment of securities sold under agreements to repurchase during the last twelve months.

4:31 pm JDS Uniphase issues restricted stock units in connection with acquisition of Time-Bandwidth Products (JDSU) : Co announced that, in connection with the acquisition of Time-Bandwidth Products, a provider of high-powered and ultrafast lasers for the industrial and scientific markets, which was completed on January 26, 2014, it has issued grants of compensatory restricted stock unit awards to Time-Bandwidth employees joining JDSU in connection with the acquisition. The restricted stock unit awards to be granted to those employees by JDSU are generally comparable to equity awards that JDSU grants to its similarly situated new employees. These grants were made under the JDS Uniphase Corporation 2005 Acquisition Equity Incentive Plan, which was approved by the Board of Directors of JDSU, but not submitted for the approval of the stockholders of JDSU. These restricted stock unit awards were approved by the JDS Uniphase Corporation Board of Directors on April 15, 2014, with a grant date of April 15, 2014. Pursuant to such approval, JDSU awarded restricted stock units covering a total of 205,000 shares of JDSU common stock to 40 employees.

4:26 pm United Rentals beats by $0.14, reports revs in-line; reaffirms FY14 revs, in-line (URI) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.90 per share, $0.14 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.76; revenues rose 7.1% year/year to $1.18 bln vs the $1.17 bln consensus.

  • Co reaffirms FY14 guidance, sees FY14 revs of $5.45-5.65 bln vs. $5.58 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co reaffirmed its outlook for a full-year increase in rental rates of ~ 4%.
  • Time utilization increased 40 basis points year-over-year to 64.6%.
  • The co has reaffirmed its outlook for full year time utilization of ~68.5%.

4:21 pm Nike and USATF sign long-term partnership (NKE) : Co and USA Track & Field announced an expansion of their partnership that will significantly increase support of USATF programs, athletes and competitive groups. The new partnership marks an ongoing commitment from NIKE to the sport in a sponsorship that extends from 2017 through 2040.

4:20 pm IBM (-3%) testing support at $190 after missing revenue expectations for the fifth straight quarter -- eighth quarter in a row posting YoY rev decline (IBM) :  

4:19 pm Packaging Corp agrees to settle Kleen Products class action lawsuit; Co will pay $17.6 mln into a settlement fund; will result in an after-tax charge of $11.3 mln, or $0.11 per share (PKG) :  

4:19 pm Closing Market Summary: Stocks Post Third Day of Consecutive Gains (:WRAPX) : The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.

The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.

Stocks began the trading day with modest gains after the overnight session featured the release of China's Q1 GDP. Although the report could be classified as better-than-feared, it did not necessarily produce a clear-cut signal as the year-over-year reading of 7.4% beat estimates (7.3%), while the quarter-over-quarter growth of 1.4% was just below expectations (1.5%).

When the opening bell rang at the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow and S&P 500 maintained relatively narrow ranges through the first two hours of action, while the Nasdaq slipped below its flat line due to weakness among chipmakers. The largest industry player, Intel (INTC 26.93, +0.16), reported a slim earnings beat, but other semiconductor names struggled. The broader PHLX Semiconductor Index shed 0.2%.

Even though chipmakers knocked the Nasdaq into the red, the index was able to overcome that weakness due to the relative strength of biotechnology and recently-battered momentum names. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 222.79, +5.18) jumped 2.4%, ending just above its 200-day moving average (219.97) after struggling with that level for the past week.

Interestingly, the broader health care (+0.6%) sector did not follow biotech's lead as several large components weighed. UnitedHealth (UNH 78.19, -1.32) contributed to the underperformance, falling 1.7% after receiving a downgrade from Citigroup ahead of its earnings report, which will be released ahead of tomorrow's opening bell.

Elsewhere among influential sectors, consumer discretionary (+1.4%), energy (+1.2%), and industrials (+1.5%) provided support to the broader market, while financials (+0.9%) lagged. The economically-sensitive sector was pressured by Bank of America (BAC 16.13, -0.26), which lost 1.6% after missing bottom-line estimates. The financial sector will be in focus once again tomorrow with the market digesting quarterly results from American Express (AXP 87.40, +1.36), Goldman Sachs (GS 157.22, +2.30), and Morgan Stanley (MS 29.89, +0.34).

On the countercyclical side, health care (+0.6%) ended at the bottom of the leaderboard, while consumer staples (+0.9%), telecom services (+0.9%), and utilities (+0.8%) had some difficulty keeping up with the broader market.

Treasuries settled modestly lower following a range bound session. The benchmark 10-yr yield ticked up one basis point to 2.64%.

Participation was below average as 661 million shares changed hands at the NYSE.

Reviewing today's data:

  • Housing starts increased 2.4% in March to 946,000 from an upwardly revised 920,000 in February. The Briefing.com consensus expected 955,000 new starts. Overall, the residential construction report was encouraging, but did not provide any evidence that the weakness in January and February was weather related. Starts remained well below 1.00 million, which was the average in the fourth quarter. Had weather factored into the weakness, then there should have been a much stronger bounce from delayed starts. Single-family construction, which languished below 600,000 in January and February, rebounded 6.0% to 635,000. That was more in-line with the trends over the last 12 months. Multifamily starts fell 3.1% to 311,000 in March from 321,000 in February. That was a typical decline from a normally volatile sector. 
  • Industrial production increased 0.7% in March after increasing an upwardly revised 1.2% (from 0.6%) in February. The Briefing.com consensus expected industrial production to increase 0.5%. Manufacturing production increased 0.5% in March, down from an upwardly revised 1.4% (from 0.9%) in February. The March gain was in-line with the ISM production index. Despite a 0.8% decline in motor vehicles and parts production, durable goods manufacturing production increased 0.5%. Nondurable goods manufacturing production increased 0.7%, which was mostly the result of a 3.3% increase in petroleum and coal products production. 
Tomorrow, weekly initial claims (Briefing.com consensus 312K) will be reported at 8:30 ET and the Philadelphia Fed Survey for April (consensus 8.6) will be released at 10:00 ET.
  • S&P 500 +0.8% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.9% YTD 
  • Nasdaq Composite -2.2% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -2.6% YTD

4:19 pm Sallie Mae misses by $0.04 (SLM) : Reports Q1 (Mar) core earnings of $0.51 per share, $0.04 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.55. 

  • Private education loan charge-off rates down from the year-ago quarter to 2.8%.
  • Private education loan 90-day delinquency rate drops to 3.4%, lowest level since 2008 
  • Quarterly core earnings were $118 mln, compared with $87 mln in the year-ago quarter. The increase is primarily the result of a $50 mln decrease in the provision for private education loan losses. 
  • First-quarter 2014 private education loan portfolio results vs. first-quarter 2013 included: 
    • Loan originations of $1.5 bln, up 8 percent. 
    • Delinquencies of 90 days or more of 3.4 percent of loans in repayment, down from 3.9 percent. 
    • Total delinquencies of 6.9 percent of loans in repayment, down from 7.8 percent. 
    • Loans in forbearance of 3.7 percent of loans in repayment and forbearance, up from 3.4 percent. 
    • Annualized charge-off rate of 2.8 percent of average loans in repayment, down from 3.0 percent. 
    • Provision for private education loan losses of $175 mln, down from $225 mln. 
    • Core net interest margin, before loan loss provision, of 4.34 percent, up from 4.15 percent. 
    • The portfolio balance, net of loan loss allowance, was $38.2 bln, up 2 percent. 
  • Last year Sallie Mae undertook a series of actions to improve shareholder value as the company sold residual interests in FFELP securitization trusts and initiated the separation of the company into two publicly traded companies. In the first quarter of 2013 the company generated a $55 mln gain on the sale of a residual interest in a FFELP securitization trust in addition to $29 mln in gains from debt repurchases. There were no similar transactions in 2014.

4:19 pm EastGroup reports FFO in-line, revs in-line; guides FY14 FFO in-line (EGP) : Reports Q1 (Mar) funds from operations of $0.82 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.82; revenues rose 9.5% year/year to $52.8 mln vs the $53.29 mln consensus. Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, sees FFO of $3.39-3.49, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.42 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:17 pm IBM reports EPS in-line, misses on revs; reaffirms FY14 EPS guidance above consensus (IBM) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $2.54 per share, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus  of $2.54; revenues fell 3.9% year/year to $22.48 bln vs the $22.95 bln consensus.

  • Non-GAAP gross margin +90 bps tp 47.6%. 
  • Revenue: $22.5 billion, down 4%; down 1% adjusting for currency, excluding divested customer care outsourcing business: 
    • Software, Services and Global Financing each grew, adjusting for currency; 
      • Software up 2% as reported and adjusting for currency 
      • Services down 2%; up 2% adjusting for currency and excluding divested customer care outsourcing business 
      • Global Financing up 3%, up 6% adjusting for currency 
    • Systems and Technology down 23% as reported and adjusting for currency; 
  • Services backlog of $138 billion, up 1% adjusting for currency and excluding divested customer care outsourcing business; 
  • Business analytics revenue up 5%, up 6 percent adjusting for currency; 
  • Cloud revenue up more than 50%: For cloud delivered as a service, first-quarter annual run rate of $2.3 billion doubled year to year
Co reaffirms guidance for FY14, sees EPS of at least $18.00, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $17.83 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • Geographic Regions 
    • The Americas' first-quarter revenues were $9.6 billion, a decrease of 4% (down 2%, adjusting for currency) from the 2013 period. 
    • Revenues from Europe/Middle East/Africa were $7.6 billion, up 4% (up 1%, adjusting for currency). 
    • Asia-Pacific revenues decreased 12% (down 6%, adjusting for currency) to $5.0 billion. 
    • OEM revenues were $355 million, down 17% compared with the 2013 first quarter. 
  • Growth Markets 
    • Revenues from the company's growth markets decreased 11% (down 5%, adjusting for currency). 
    • Revenues in the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - decreased 11% (down 6%, adjusting for currency).

4:15 pm Kinder Morgan misses by $0.06, beats on revs; announces $0.01 sequential increase in dividend (KMI) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.28 per share, $0.06 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.34; revenues rose 32.3% year/year to $4.05 bln vs the $3.86 bln consensus. 

  • The board of directors increased the quarterly cash dividend to $0.42 per share ($1.68 annualized), which is payable on May 16, 2014, to shareholders of record as of April 30, 2014. This represents an increase of 11 percent from the first quarter 2013 cash dividend per share of $0.38 ($1.52 annualized) and is up from the fourth quarter 2013 dividend of $0.41 ($1.64 annualized) per share.

4:15 pm Dicerna Pharmaceuticals initiates Phase 1 study of DCR-MYC in patients with solid tumors and hematological malignancies (DRNA) : Co announced the initiation of a Phase 1 dose-escalating clinical study of DCR-MYC, (also known as DCR-M1711), in patients with solid tumors, multiple myeloma, or lymphoma. DCR-MYC, Dicerna's first drug candidate to enter clinical testing, is a Dicer Substrate siRNA (DsiRNA) that targets the driver oncogene MYC, which is central to the growth of many hematologic and solid tumor malignancies. Dicerna is investigating DCR-MYC in a variety of tumor types with the initial focus on hepatocellular carcinoma.

4:14 pm Mylan Labs launches first generic Ortho Evra patch (MYL) : Co announced that its U.S.-based subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals has launched XULANE (Norelgestromin / Ethinyl Estradiol Transdermal System 150/35 mcg per day), the generic version of Janssen Pharmaceuticals' ORTHO EVRA (Norelgestromin / Ethinyl Estradiol Transdermal System 150/35 mcg per day). Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) company.

4:12 pm American Express beats by $0.03, misses on revs (AXP) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.33 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.30; revenues rose 4.0% year/year to $8.2 bln vs the $8.36 bln consensus. 

  • Consolidated expenses totaled $5.5 billion, down 1 percent from $5.6 billion a year ago. The decrease reflected a 4 percent decline in operating expenses, partially offset by higher rewards costs. 
  • Adjusted for foreign currency translations, consolidated total expenses were unchanged from a year ago. 
  • The effective tax rate for the quarter was 35 percent, up from 33 percent from a year ago. 
  • The company's return on average equity (:ROE) was 28.3 percent, up from 23.2 percent a year ago.

4:11 pm La-Z-Boy announces casegoods restructuring by transitioning to all-import model for its wood furniture (LZB) : Co announced it will restructure its casegoods business, which represents approximately 10% of revenue, by transitioning to an all-import model for its wood furniture. To accomplish the restructuring:

  • During the second quarter of fiscal 2015, La-Z-Boy will discontinue casegoods production at its Hudson, North Carolina facility. That facility currently produces bedroom furniture collections for the Kincaid and American Drew lines that account for approximately 12% of the company's wood furniture business. The company will also exit the hospitality business as that furniture is also manufactured at the Hudson facility. 
  • The company will market for sale its youth furniture business, Lea Industries, as it does not align with the company's long-term strategic objectives. 
  • La-Z-Boy will consolidate and transition its warehouse and repair functions from its two North Wilkesboro, North Carolina facilities to Hudson.
As a result of the restructuring, La-Z-Boy will take pre-tax charges in the range of $13 million to $15 million, or $0.15 to $0.17 per share after tax, of which approximately 75% is expected to be non-cash. These charges will be principally for the impairment of certain long-lived assets and inventory and will also include severance, benefits and other associated costs. The majority of these charges will be incurred in the fourth quarter of the company's 2014 fiscal year and the remainder taken in the first half of fiscal 2015. In addition, the Lea business will be reported as discontinued operations commencing with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

4:10 pm Google misses by $0.15, reports revs in-line (GOOG) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $6.27 per share, $0.15 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $6.42; revenues rose 19.1% year/year to $15.42 bln vs the $15.52 bln consensus. 

  • Sites Revenues- Generated revenues of $10.47 billion, or 68% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2014. This represents a 21% increase over first quarter of 2013 sites revenues of $8.64 billion.
  • Network Revenue- Partner sites generated revenues of $3.40 billion, or 22% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2014. This represents a 4% increase over first quarter of 2013 network revenues of $3.26 billion.
  • Other Revenues- Were $1.55 billion, or 10% of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2014. This represents a 48% increase over first quarter of 2013 other revenues of $1.05 billion.
  • International Revenues- Revenues from outside of the United States totaled $8.76 billion, representing 57% of total revenues in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 56% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 55% in the first quarter of 2013.
Paid Clicks- Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, increased approximately 26% over the first quarter of 2013 and decreased approximately 1% over the fourth quarter of 2013.

Cost-Per-Click- Average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, decreased approximately 9% over the first quarter of 2013 and remained constant from the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • TAC- Traffic acquisition costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google's partners, increased to $3.23 billion in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $2.96 billion in the first quarter of 2013. TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues was 23% in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 25% in the first quarter of 2013. 
  • Operating Expenses- Operating expenses, other than cost of revenues, were $5.34 billion in the first quarter of 2014, or 35% of revenues, compared to $4.07 billion in the first quarter of 2013, or 31% of revenues.
  • Depreciation and loss on disposal of property and equipment and amortization expenses were $1.09 billion for the first quarter of 2014, of which $1.06 billion was related to Google, compared to $899 million in the first quarter of 2013. Of the $1.09 billion, $116 million was related to amortization of Motorola intangibles, which Google will retain subsequent to the disposal of Motorola Mobile.
Cash Flow and Capital Expenditures 
  • Net cash provided by operating activities in the first quarter of 2014 totaled $4.39 billion, compared to $3.63 billion in the first quarter of 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, capital expenditures were $2.35 billion, the majority of which was for production equipment, data-center construction, and real estate purchases. Free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. In the first quarter of 2014, free cash flow was $2.05 billion.
  • We expect to continue to make significant capital expenditures
Cash 
  • As of March 31, 2014, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $59.38 billion, which excludes cash classified as held for sale, compared to $58.72 billion as of December 31, 2013.

4:09 pm Badger Meter reports Q1 (Mar) results, beats on revs (BMI) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.32 per share, may not be comparable to the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.42; revenues rose 16.3% year/year to $83.5 mln vs the $82.06 mln consensus. 

-Net earnings for the first quarter of 2014 reflected charges of approximately $1.7 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, related to due diligence and other transaction-related costs on a potential acquisition that was ultimately not pursued
-Winter weather also had an impact on our 2014 first quarter in certain areas of the country, however much of our sales increase came from customers in states that were not as impacted by weather.

4:09 pm SanDisk beats by $0.19, beats on revs; will guide for Q2 and FY14 revs on call at 17:00 (SNDK) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.44 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.19 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.25; revenues rose 12.8% year/year to $1.51 bln vs the $1.49 bln consensus. 

  • SanDisk reports Q1 non-GAAP gross margin of 51.2% vs Street expectations near 48% and guidance of 47-49%, compared to 40.5% in Q1 of prior year.
  • "We delivered record first quarter results, driven by 61 percent growth in our SSD revenue and strong retail performance...We are excited by the momentum we are building in our business as we continue to execute on our growth initiatives."
  • Co is expected to guide for Q2 and FY14 revenue and gross margins on the conference call that begins at 17:00 (for more information please see our SNDK preview at 12:37)

4:09 pm Universal Forest misses by $0.02, misses on revs; Sales flat as lumber market decline offsets 3% unit sales increase (UFPI) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.36 per share, $0.02 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.38; revenues fell 0.1% year/year to $554 mln vs the $595.29 mln consensus.

Co remains well-positioned in construction, and in each of its business markets, for the rebound it believes will occur as the weather breaks."

Missad noted that a "historically brutal winter" had a negative impact on operations and businesses throughout the United States in Q1. "Our people were able to fight through the equivalent of ~80 plant closure days at our various North American operations to deliver solid results, which are set against the milder winter of 2013. We don't like talking about winter as a driver, but it was an unavoidable factor in the first quarter of this year," he said.

With home improvement and building projects delayed by weather, sales in the Company's retail and construction businesses declined slightly YoY in Q1of 2014 while sales in its industrial business increased. The Co's selling prices were affected by a 5% drop in the lumber market relative to Q1 of 2013. Unit sales overall increased 3%.

4:08 pm Elec For Imaging beats by $0.03, beats on revs (EFII) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.42 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.39; revenues rose 10.1% year/year to $188.7 mln vs the $185.88 mln consensus. 

  • "The EFI team kicked off 2014 with another very strong quarter, delivering revenue and profitability above our expectations," said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI. "With upcoming product innovations across the portfolio we expect to see solid demand throughout the year as our technology continues to help customers around the world drive growth and productivity in their businesses."

4:08 pm Capital One beats by $0.26, misses on revs (COF) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.96 per share, $0.26 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $1.70; revenues fell 3.3% year/year to $5.37 bln vs the $5.45 bln consensus.

4:07 pm Kinder Morgan Partners increases quarterly distribution to $1.38 per unit, up 6% y/y, and up from $1.36 per unit in 4Q13 (KMP) :  

4:07 pm CVR Partners names Mark Pytosh as Chief Executive Officer (UAN) : UAN) announced that Mark A. Pytosh has been named president and chief executive officer of the partnership's general partner, CVR GP, LLC, effective May 5, 2014.

  • He will be based at the partnership's headquarters in Sugar Land. 
  • Pytosh was appointed as a director of CVR GP in June 2011. 
  • He will continue to serve as a director and the chairman of the environmental, health and safety committee.

4:06 pm American Apparel receives letter from NYSE MKT favorably resolving continued listing deficiency (APP) : Co announced that it received a letter from the NYSE MKT indicating that the Company has resolved the continued listing deficiency previously identified by the Exchange. On February 28, 2014, American Apparel received a letter from the NYSE MKT LLC (the "Exchange") stating that the Company was not in compliance with the continued listing standards of the Exchange set forth in Section 1003(a)(iv) (financial impairment) of the NYSE MKT LLC Company Guide (the "Company Guide"). On April 15, 2014 the Exchange issued a letter to the Company indicating the Company has successfully resolved the continuing listing deficiency.

4:06 pm Senior Housing announces proposed public offering of 12 mln common shares (SNH) :

  • Co expects to use the proceeds of this offering to repay amounts outstanding on its revolving credit facility and for general business purposes, including funding, in part, the pending acquisition of two biotech medical office buildings in Boston.
  • The joint bookrunning managers for this offering are Jefferies, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets.

4:05 pm Kinder Morgan increases quarterly dividend 11% to $0.42 per share (KMI) :  

4:05 pm Engility wins $40 million electronic warfare weapons system contract (EGL) : EGL announced that it has won a $40 million single award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (:IDIQ) contract to support modifications of electronic warfare (EW) weapons systems for several of U.S. Navy and Australian aircraft.

  • The contract was awarded by the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (NAWC WD), in China Lake, Calif.
  • The contract also includes support for unmanned air systems, flight simulators and training systems, as well as advanced electronic attack derivatives and initiatives. 
  • Services to be provided by Engility include systems engineering, in-service hardware and software engineering, intelligence data analysis, test and evaluation, EW data and systems development, threat analysis, threat defeat and mission planning. 
  • This five-year contract is a re-compete win and aircraft specified for the EW modifications include the EA-6B, EA-18G, MH-60R, BAMS and P-8A. 

4:05 pm Neustar misses by $0.05, reports revs in-line; affirms FY14 EPS in-line, affirms revs in-line (NSR) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.84 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.05 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.89.

  • Co affirms in-line guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $3.64-3.80, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $3.76 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; affirms FY14 revs of $945-970 mln vs. $957.18 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:05 pm Plexus reports EPS in-line, revs in-line; guides Q3 EPS above consensus, revs above consensus (PLXS) : Reports Q2 (Mar) earnings of $0.60 per share, ex items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate consensus of $0.60; revenues were unchanged from the year-ago period at $557.6 mln.

  • Commentary: " During the quarter, we won 41 new programs in our Manufacturing Solutions group.  We anticipate these wins will generate approximately $159 million in annualized revenue when fully ramped into production.  The wins performance this quarter results in trailing four quarter wins of approximately $731 million in annualized revenue, or approximately 33% of our trailing four quarter revenue."  
  • Guidance: Co issues upside guidance for Q3, sees EPS of $0.69-$0.74 vs. $0.67 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q3 revs of $600-$630 mln vs. $574.71 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.

4:05 pm KC Southern beats by $0.06, reports revs in-line (KSU) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $1.05 per share, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.99; revenues rose 9.9% year/year to $607.4 mln vs the $601.75 mln consensus.

"All six commodity groups reported year-over-year revenue gains led by Agriculture & Minerals, which increased 40% over the prior year. Later in the first quarter, KCS also recorded higher than expected utility coal volumes and revenues as a result of higher natural gas prices, which made coal a more competitive option benefitting certain plants we serve. While it is still early in the second quarter, KCS business levels have improved in April. The indication that our core business appears to be gaining strength provides us with positive momentum towards achieving the 2014 goals we outlined to investors in January."

4:04 pm Universal Corp announces new business to produce innovative food ingredients (UVV) : UVV announced that it has entered the fruit and vegetable food ingredients market through its new subsidiary, Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients.

  • The new business will utilize advanced technology to produce high quality food grade dehydrated and juiced fruit and vegetable products. 
  • Initially the business will focus upon value added ingredients derived from sweet potatoes. 
  • Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, expects to invest approximately $20 million over two years in a new juice and dehydration facility that will be located in Nash County, North Carolina, and will be managed by the Company's North American regional management team. 
  • The business is expected to begin production during the first quarter of calendar year 2015 and will employ approximately 64 people.

4:03 pm Albemarle enters into definitive agreement to sell antioxidant, ibuprofen and propofol businesses to SI Group; terms not disclosed (ALB) : ALB announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell certain assets to SI Group, a leading global developer and manufacturer of chemical intermediates, specialty resins, and solutions.

  • Included in the transaction are Albemarle's antioxidants and FDA-regulated ibuprofen and propofol businesses and assets, with manufacturing sites in Orangeburg, South Carolina and Jinshan, China; and Albemarle's antioxidant product lines. 
  • Certain applications and technical support capabilities in Shanghai, China and Baton Rouge, Louisiana will also be included in the transaction. 
  • Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

4:03 pm Danaher beats by $0.01, reports revs in-line; also announces CEO transition (DHR) :

  • Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.81 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.80; revenues rose 4.9% year/year to $4.66 bln vs the $4.67 bln consensus. 
  • "We are off to a good start in 2014 as our team's execution drove better-than-expected revenue growth, outstanding margin expansion and solid earnings performance. The Danaher Business System has helped build momentum across our portfolio by driving continued share gains and funding increased growth investments. We believe this momentum, along with our robust balance sheet and confidence on the acquisition front, position us well in 2014."

4:03 pm B&G Foods misses by $0.04, misses on revs; guides FY14 EPS in-line (BGS) : Reports Q1 (Mar) earnings of $0.34 per share, $0.04 worse than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.38; revenues rose 15.7% year/year to $198.1 mln vs the $203.8 mln consensus.

  • Co issues in-line guidance for FY14, sees EPS of $1.59-1.65 vs. $1.60 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate.
  • B&G Foods increased its adjusted EBITDA guidance for fiscal 2014 to a range of approximately $209.0 million to $214.0 million.  

4:02 pm Danaher announces CEO transition (DHR) : Co announced that Executive Vice President Thomas P. Joyce, Jr. will succeed H. Lawrence Culp, Jr. as President and Chief Executive Officer upon Mr. Culp's retirement on March 1, 2015. Mr. Culp will continue at Danaher in an advisory role into the first quarter of 2016.

4:02 pm Martin Marietta announces Chairman of the Board Stephen Zelnak will retire; names President and Chief Executive Officer C. Howard Nye as successor (MLM) :  

4:02 pm Assurant Acquires StreetLinks for ~ $90 mln in cash, plus a potential earnout payment based on future performance; expected to be accretive to earnings in 2015 (AIZ) : AIZ announced the acquisition of StreetLinks, a leader in appraisal and valuation solutions for the mortgage industry, from Novation Companies, Inc. (OTCQB: NOVC) and other shareholders.

  • With more than $140 million in annual fee income, StreetLinks is among the largest independent U.S. appraisal management companies. 
  • Through a nationwide network of expert appraisers, StreetLinks provides a comprehensive suite of valuation services and technology solutions for the mortgage banking industry.
  • Assurant Specialty Property has acquired StreetLinks for approximately $60 million in cash, plus a potential earnout payment based on future performance. 
  • Assurant expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in 2015. 
  • StreetLinks will retain its brand name, continuing to be based in Indianapolis, with a center also in Tampa.
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