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Follow this list to discover and track the stocks that were sold the most by activist hedge funds in the last quarter.
Merck & Co., Inc.
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
American Express Company
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
Dell Technologies Inc.
Diamondback Energy, Inc.
Global Payments (GPN) buys Total System and creates a market leading position in integrated payments, owned software, and ecommerce and omnichannel solutions.
What separates winners from losers, UBS strategist Francois Tranhan said, is “beta”—a volatility metric measuring how much a stock deviates from the market’s movement. Think Facebook, Alphabet and Boston Scientific.
Deutsche Bank is paying €50m for a 4.9 per cent stake in open-banking start-up Deposit Solutions in a transaction that values the Hamburg-based start-up at more than €1bn ($1.1bn). Deposit Solutions operates software that links retail clients and lenders, allowing banks to collect deposits from people across Europe who are not their direct customers.
In aid of its grand plans for bank account unification, Curve raised £43m in Series B funding from names such as Gauss Ventures, Oxford Capital and Connect Ventures in mid July. The valuation — £159m — put it firmly in the top tier of the most valuable UK fintechs, alongside companies such as Monzo, Starling Bank and TransferWise.
Production from the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico is set to climb by 71,000 barrels per day to a record of about 4.485 million barrels per day in October.
As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates today by 25 basis points, but that wasn't enough to spark upside for equities. Nor was it enough for President Donald Trump who criticized the Fed for lacking "sense" and "vision" because it didn't lower rates by 50 basis points.Source: rafapress / Shutterstock.com Three Fed governors voted against today's rate cut, prompting some investors to express concern about the path forward."In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective," the Federal Open Market Committee wrote in a statement.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThis assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.So today the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1% while the S&P 500 added just 0.03%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1%. In late trading, half of the Dow stocks were pointed higher. The only sector in the U.S. that closed higher today was, unsurprisingly, utilities. Small Winners CircleThere weren't many Dow winners today and among that small group, the gains were, well, small. One surprise was JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Financial services stocks usually benefit from higher interest rates, and JPM and its rival banks have recently been complaining about the effects lower rates have on their net interest margins. In late trading JPM was the only financial services name in the Dow trading higher. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars Another surprise, though of the disappointing variety, was Merck (NYSE:MRK). This Dow component barely nudged higher despite some encouraging news about its Keytruda cancer treatment. Regulators in Australia, Canada and the U.S. approved Keytruda to treat advanced endometrial carcinoma.This is significant news, but the stock barely moved higher today. Hey, it's not everyday three major developed markets approve a cancer treatment on the same day."Merck said regulators approved the use of Keytruda with a drug called Lenvima, discovered by the Japanese company Eisai (OTCMKTS:ESALY), to treat some instances of advanced endometrial carcinoma, a serious condition for which patients currently have few options," Josh Nathan-Kazis wrote for Barron's.Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) was a Dow winner today, and like the others, it was in modest fashion. P&G is one of the Dow's best-performing names this year. And some traders are getting bullish about options on the consumer goods giant's shares. Apple, AgainYes, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been making a lot of appearances here in recent days -- and the iPhone maker is back today. Wedbush released a note earlier today forecasting 185 million in iPhone 11 shipments for fiscal 2020. Analysts also wrote that pre-orders for the phone in the U.S. have been strong.Up nearly 8% this month, Apple has been one of the best-performing Dow stocks in September. Bottom Line on the Dow Jones TodayIt's clear that market participants are focusing on the Fed's division. However, because the central bank did not cut by 50 basis points today, it has another 25 basis point cut in its back pocket. Chairman Jerome Powell overtly said that the Fed can deploy more rate reductions if the economy sours, which he doesn't see happening right now.Speaking of the economy, the Fed upped its 2019 gross domestic product forecast to growth of 2.2%. That's up slightly from June's estimate of 2.1%. For now, the central bank is standing firm on its forecast of 2% GDP growth in 2020.As of this writing, Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post Dow Jones Today: Fed Obliges, Stocks Don't appeared first on InvestorPlace.
We searched, using our Zacks Stock Screener, for large-cap dividend stocks investors might want to buy after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the second time...
Starbucks is teaming up with Alibaba to offer Chinese customers smart speaker voice ordering and delivery.
Knowing when to buy growth stocks is a fine skill. Starbucks' breakout in 2010 and Shake Shack in 2018 show how to use the pyramiding technique.
The global economy is starting to look a little shaky. Between the US-China trade tensions and now the Iranian-sponsored attacks on Saudi Arabian oil output, the pressures on the world system of trade and commerce are increasing. As CLSA’s Eric Fishwick said, “Trade both ways has slowed… the trade wars are definitely having an impact.” And in an effort to calm markets after the drone attack on his company’s largest facility, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said, “We have enough oil products to supply the local market.”After posting losses on Monday, both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones were up slightly on Tuesday. The S&P gained 0.26%, while the Dow added 0.13%. A look at the charts, however, shows that the sharp gains the markets have posted since August 23 have slowed and levelled off. Investors are watching the news and getting nervous.A wise investor will move to protect his portfolio, and we’ve found three Strong Buy stocks in the TipRanks database to do just that. These are large-cap health insurers, offering a product that remains in high demand no matter what the economic conditions, and generating high returns through share appreciation over the long-run. They are not cheap stocks, but they are classic defensive plays for an uncertain market environment. Anthem, Inc.With 40 million members, Anthem (ANTM – Get Report) is the largest managed care company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield network. It is the largest health insurer in California, the country’s largest state-wide market. ANTM shares are up 123% over the past five years, and the company’s dividend, while yielding a modest 1.24%, pays out an appreciable $3.20 per share annually.Anthem’s earnings reflect the company’s strong position in the health care market. In the second quarter, Anthem reported a net profit of $1.14 billion on quarterly revenues of $25.47 billion. EPS, at $4.64, was in line with the expected $4.62. Both profits and EPS were up year-over-year; net profits by 8.5% and EPS by 9%.Robust earnings and a solid position in its industry prompted Deutsche Bank analyst George Hill to start coverage of this stock with a Buy rating. He set a $323 price target, and noted, “The company's execution has been strong recently, even though we see some implementation risk [from] relatively lower exposure to the faster-growing segments of the market.” Hill’s price target suggests an upside potential of 25%.ANTM stock has a unanimous Buy consensus from the Street; 7 analysts have given this company a Buy in the past three months. Shares sell for $257, and the average price target of $345 implies a potential upside of 34%. Cigna Holding CompanyWith 5-year growth of 75%, and a Q2 earnings positive surprise of 13%, Cigna (CI – Get Report) is another solid performer in the health insurance industry. The company offers medical and dental, as well as accident, disability, and life insurance products around the world.Oppenheimer analyst Michael Wiederhorn, who has a 65% success rate with his stock recommendations, sees CI as a compelling buy. His price target of $254 suggests an impressive upside of 57%. In his comments, Wiederhorn states, “The [business] environment has certainly changed, with regulatory pressure affecting all ends of the pharmaceutical supply chain, but he believes the depressed multiples are well overdone.”Analyst George Hill, quoted above, also likes CI, enough to initiate coverage with a Buy rating. He writes, “The company's PBM segment does not contain the significant short-term earnings risk implied by the steep discount of the stock price. We believe its core commercial MCO and the perceived cross sales benefit could drive its multiple expansion.” Hill’s $207 price target implies an upside of 28%.Like Anthem, Cigna has a unanimous consensus rating of Strong Buy – in the last three months, the stock has been given 8 buy ratings. Cigna shares sell for $161, making it significantly less expensive than Anthem or UnitedHealth (see below), and its average price target of $214 gives the stock a 32% upside potential. UnitedHealth Group, Inc.UnitedHealth (UNH – Get Report) benefits from scale – it is the world’s largest health insurer and boasts over 115 million customers. Its 2018 revenue totaled over $225 billion, with over $17 billion realized in profits. More recently, UNH posted a 3.9% positive earnings surprise on Q2 EPS of $3.60. While the company’s growth has slowed in the past year, sheer scale ensures that it will remain profitable. The strong dividend, paying out $4.32 per share annually, makes this stable stock a favorite for return-minded investors.Continued profitability lies behind 4-star analyst A. J. Rice’s optimism on the stock. The Credit Suisse analyst gives UNH a buy rating with a $293 price target. Rice says of UNH, “The company gave the impression that the moderation in enrollment growth it’s seeing this year was largely expected... However, it also stressed that its goal of 13-16% EPS growth is a long-term target implying that 2020 is an unlikely timeframe to see such substantial improvements."Our current 2020 estimates anticipate 10% Y/Y growth. If UNH posts modest upside relative to our Q3 and Q4 2019 estimates, our 2020 $16.30 EPS est could then represent roughly 8-10% growth. This type of growth seems a reasonable initial target.” Rice’s price target suggests a potential upside of 26% for UNH shares. He has a 63% success rate with his recommendations on this stock.Overall, UNH holds a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus, with 10 buys and 2 holds given in the past three months. Shares in UNH sell for $232, making it the most expensive of the stocks in this list. The $298 price target suggests an upside of 28%.Visit TipRanks’ Trending Stocks page and find out what else the Street’s top analysts are looking at.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. and Ireland’s court room clash with the European Commission finally lived up to its billing as the world’s biggest tax case.A two-day hearing into their appeal of the EU’s record 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) tax bill heated up on Wednesday as Apple rebutted claims that Irish units at the center of its fight are just “phantoms” and Ireland hit back at regulators for saying the country would willingly forgo one-fifth of its corporate tax takings.Ireland is the victim of "wholly unjustified criticism of its tax system and its approach" from the EU in "the biggest state aid case ever," said Paul Gallagher, the government’s lawyer, in closing arguments of an EU General Court hearing in Luxembourg.EU officials "have not produced to this court a single example of Apple being preferred to anyone else" and Irish tax law didn’t require Apple to pay any more.Apple and Ireland are battling the European Commission’s 2016 order that ruled illegal a tax deal that saw the company channel sales through two Irish units. The iPhone maker is the biggest target of EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s crusade against corporate tax deals that allow big firms to reduce their fiscal burden.Irish BranchesThe five-judge panel homed in on the exact functioning of the Irish branches that allowed Apple revenues to be covered by a national tax deal labeled as illegal by regulators.The EU asserts the units received selective tax treatment that allowed Apple to allocate all sales profits to two companies that “existed only on paper.” Apple attempted to show that each business wasn’t a ghost while saying strategic decisions over products and sales were made elsewhere and profits should also be taxed elsewhere.“This wasn’t some kind of shell company, this was a company doing things in the U.S.,” Apple’s lawyer Daniel Beard responded, citing one of the firms. He said that no critical decisions on intellectual property were made in Ireland.Marc van der Woude, a Dutch judge and the court’s vice-president, had quizzed the EU’s lawyer late Tuesday on what evidence the European Commission had to show whether the Apple units determined strategy or drew up business plans.The business "looks like a phantom company,” he said at one point. Other judges dug into details of how the branches were run and how the Irish government determined that the revenue should be taxed there.The EU’s lawyer Richard Lyal sought to dismiss Apple’s arguments that the revenue at stake should have been taxed in the U.S. where its products are developed."Apple should not now pretend" that its Irish units "make all that money but that only a tiny proportion of it should be attributed to Ireland," he told the court. "All arguments as to tax being paid in the U.S. are completely irrelevant."Amazon, AlphabetA court ruling, likely to take months, could empower or halt Vestager’s tax probes into complicated corporate structures used by many American technology firms. The EU has also scrutinized fiscal deals done by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. and may draft new rules to net digital companies’ revenue.The first hints of how the Apple case may turn out will come from a pair of rulings scheduled for Sept. 24.The General Court will rule on whether the EU was right to demand unpaid taxes from Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit. Those judgments could set an important precedent on how far the EU can question tax decisions national governments make on how companies should be treated.To contact the reporters on this story: Aoife White in Luxembourg at email@example.com;Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Peter Chapman, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Yesterday, Dell launched five new PowerEdge servers powered by Advanced Micro Devices' second-generation EPYC Rome server central processing units.
The headline "The Stock-Buyback Swindle" says it all. The Atlantic magazine's August issue had a story about how American companies are spending trillions on stock buybacks to enrich their CEOs. Much of the article's content has been covered extensively by business media -- both the pros and cons -- so I won't rehash the arguments. However, one of author Jerry Useem's paragraphs bears repeating because it hits at the core of the problem."Corporations describe the practice as an efficient way to return money to shareholders," Useem wrote. "By reducing the number of shares outstanding in the market, a buyback lifts the price of each remaining share. But that spike is often short-lived: A study by the research firm Fortuna Advisors found that, five years out, the stocks of companies that engaged in heavy buybacks performed worse for shareholders than the stocks of companies that didn't."InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsI've always believed that if a company wants to allocate its free cash flow to shareholders, it should do so by paying a special dividend, not by repurchasing shares or paying a regular dividend. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars Stock buybacks distort earnings growth while regular quarterly dividends ratchet up shareholder expectations. Neither is good for the long-term health of a business. But it's especially galling when stock buybacks enrich a CEO at the expense of the rank-and-file employees.Love them or hate them, these 10 companies are making their CEOs rich. Stock Buybacks Making CEOs Rich: Oracle (ORCL)Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com According to the Equilar 200 study, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz earned a combined $298 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, of which approximately 96% came from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Hurd and Catz were paid 1,205 times the company's median pay of $89,887. As a tandem, Hurd and Catz own 49.7 million shares, which are worth $2.7 billion at current prices. The duo's compensation in 2017 and 2018 fails to take into consideration the amount paid through vested shares. Catz received $158 million in shares that vested in fiscal 2018 alone. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $51 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 14%. Not surprisingly, its earnings per share increased by 43% over the same period. JPMorgan (JPM)Source: Bjorn Bakstad / Shutterstock.com JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) CEO James Dimon earned $58 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 77% of it from stock grants. In 2018, Dimon was paid 381 times the company's median pay of $78,923.Dimon owns 10 million shares if you include options, which are worth $1.2 billion at current prices. In 2018 alone, the JPMorgan CEO had $11 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $44.5 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 10%. JPMorgan increased its earnings per share by 50% over the same period. Microsoft (MSFT)Source: gguy / Shutterstock.com Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella earned $46 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 61% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Nadella was paid a relatively reasonable 154 times the company's median pay of $167,689.Nadella owns 2.9 million shares if you include options, which are worth $393.6 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, Nadella had $25.8 million in Microsoft stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $42 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 3%. That's not surprising given how much stock the company issues to employees for a job well done. Microsoft managed to increase its earnings per share by 98% over the same period. Merck (MRK)Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com Merck (NYSE:MRK) CEO Kenneth Frazier earned $38 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 68% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Frazier was paid 215 times the company's median pay of $82,173.Frazier owns 3.7 million shares if you include options, which are worth $307.5 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, the Merck CEO had $41.3 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $16.5 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 6%. Merck managed to increase its earnings per share by 49% over the same period. However, its GAAP results have been very choppy over the past decade. You'll want to take this with a grain of salt. Apple (AAPL)Source: View Apart / Shutterstock.com According to the 2018 version of the Equilar 200, a list of the 200 highest-paid CEOs in America, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook made $29 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, none of it from stock grants or options. In 2018, Cook was paid 283 times the company's median pay of $55,426. However, one needn't feel sorry for Cook. He owns 878,425 shares of Apple stock worth $198 million as (as of Sept. 12). In addition, Cook has had more than a million shares of AAPL stock vest in the last two years alone. This means his compensation for 2017 and 2018 was actually much higher than $29 million. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $135.3 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 14%. Not surprisingly, its earnings per share increased by 29% over the same period. Bank of America (BAC)Source: 4kclips / Shutterstock.com Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan earned $43 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 93% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Moynihan was paid 247 times the company's median pay of $92,040.Moynihan owns 3.4 million shares if you include options, which are worth $100.9 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, Moynihan had $23.1 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $38 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 9%. Bank of America increased its earnings per share by 99% over the same period. eBay (EBAY)Source: Mano Kors / Shutterstock.com eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO Devin Wenig earned $36 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 82% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Wenig was paid a 152 times the company's median pay of $119,562.Wenig owns 1.7 million shares if you include options, which are worth $67.5 million at current prices. In 2018, Wenig had $18.8 million in eBay stock vest on top of his total compensation. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $10.1 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 19%. eBay increased its earnings per share by 80% over the same period. Qualcomm (QCOM)Source: photobyphm / Shutterstock.com Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO Steven Mollenkopf earned $32 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 75% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Mollenkopf was paid a 233 times the company's median pay of $85,592.Mollenkopf owns 679,813 shares if you include options, which are worth $53.8 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, the CEO had $12.9 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $27.8 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 11%. Qualcomm decreased its earnings per share by 203% over the same period. On a non-GAAP basis, it decreased earnings per share by 21%. Pfizer (PFE)Source: Manuel Esteban / Shutterstock.com Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) CEO Ian Read earned $46 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 76% of it from stock grants and option awards. In January 2019, Read passed down the company to Albert Bourla after eight years at Pfizer's helm. In 2018, Read was paid 244 times the company's median pay of $80,011.Read owns 1.3 million shares if you include options, which are worth $48.5 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, Read had $10.6 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $22.2 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 5%. Pfizer increased its earnings per share by 68% over the same period. Cisco (CSCO)Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) CEO Charles Robbins earned $38 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 73% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Robbins was paid 160 times the company's median pay of $132,764, the second-highest median pay (behind Microsoft) of the 10 stocks listed in this article. Robbins owns 139,189 shares if you include options, which are worth $6.9 million at current prices. Of the CEOs on this list, Robbins has the smallest ownership position in terms of total dollars in stock held. In 2018, Robbins had $9 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $41.9 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 13%. Cisco increased its earnings per share by 24% over the same period. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post 10 Companies Making Their CEOs Rich appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Merck (MRK) receives accelerated approval for label expansion of Keytruda in combination with Lenvima for treating certain types of endometrial carcinoma. Its Ebola vaccine BLA gets priority review.
Potential approval of the vaccine will trigger issuance of a priority review voucher owned by Merck and in which NewLink has a substantial economic interest. The priority review voucher program was created by the U.S. Congress in 2007, and under the program, on approval of a treatment for a neglected or rare pediatric disease, the developer will be issued a voucher for priority review for a different drug as a means of incentivizing development of treatments for neglected and rare diseases. "We are pleased with this morning's announcement from our partner, Merck.
Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday that it has partnered with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to launch voice ordering in China with Alibaba's smart speaker, Tmall Genie. The Starbucks virtual store sells a Starbucks-themed version of the speaker. Deliveries arrive within 30 minutes. Starbucks and Alibaba have been partners for one year and have collaborated on a number of programs to grow the coffee business in China. The voice ordering program uses Alibaba's Ele.me on-demand food delivery platform, which was introduced earlier this year. Starbucks stock has rallied almost 65% over the past year. Alibaba shares are up 14.3%. And the S&P 500 index is up 3.5% for the period.
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