BUZ INVESTORS Market Open U.S. missile attack on Syria puts markets on edge. The order of the missile attack on Syria

Early movers Insight : TRV, VZ, DHI, DGX, BX, KEY, AXP, GM, SBUX, & more

Early movers Insight : TRV, VZ, DHI, DGX, BX, KEY, AXP, GM, SBUX, & more

BUZ INVESTORSS Early movers Insight Which companies are making headlines before the bell

BUZ INVESTORSS  Early movers Insight Which companies are making headlines before the bell

High cat losses ding Travelers quarter

Q1 core income of $614M or $2.16 per share vs. $698M and $2.33 a year ago. What used to be called “operating income” is now called “core income.” This year’s result was impacted by $318M in pretax catastrophe losses.

The combined ratio of 96% deteriorated from 92.3% a year ago; underlying combined ratio of 91.7% vs. 90% a year ago.

 Early movers Insight

Net investment income up 9% Y/Y.

Net written premiums up 5%; in personal insurance up 12% – which include the impact of auto rate increases.

Adjusted book value per share of $81.56 up 1% during quarter. 2.4M shares bought back during quarter for $286M.

Dividend is boosted to $0.72 per quarter, and anther $5B of repurchases is authorized.

Verizon misses by $0.01, misses on revenue

Verizon (NYSE:VZ): Q1 EPS of $0.95 misses by $0.01.

Revenue of $29.8B (-7.4% Y/Y) misses by $690M.

Shares +1.6% PM.

  • Consolidated: 84 cents in earnings per share (EPS) and adjusted EPS (non-GAAP) of 95 cents, excluding non-operational items, compared with EPS of $1.06 in 1Q 2016.
  • Wireless: Retail postpaid churn of 1.15 percent, with strong customer loyalty demonstrated by retail postpaid phone churn of less than 0.90 percent for the eighth consecutive quarter; intra-quarter improvement in net additions following the launch of Verizon Unlimited.
  • Wireline: Fios total revenue growth of 4.7 percent.


D.R. Horton up 0.9% after earnings beat, raised guidance

FQ2 net income of $229.2M or $0.60 per share vs. $195.1M and $0.52 one year ago.

Homes closed up 15% to 10,685 homes; up 18% in value to $3.2B.

Net sales orders up 14% to 13,991 homes; up 17% in value to $4.2B.

Backlog up 7% to 14,618 homes; up 9% in value to $4.4B.

Full-year fiscal 17 guidance is boosted: Revenues seen at $13.6B-$14B from $13.4B-$13.8B; homes closed to 44.5K-46K from 43.5K-45.5K. Guidance for pretax profit margin remains at 11.2-11.5%; home sales gross margin stays at around 20%, and cash flow from operations still at $300M-$500M.

Quest Diagnostics beats by $0.15, beats on revenue

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX): Q1 EPS of $1.33 beats by $0.15.

Revenue of $1.9B (+2.2% Y/Y) beats by $30M.

– First quarter diluted EPS of $1.16 on a reported basis, up 63.4% from 2016; and $1.33 on an adjusted basis excluding amortization, up 17.7% from 2016. Excess tax benefit associated with stock-based compensation increased diluted earnings per share by $0.11 in the quarter.

– Raises outlook for full year 2017 diluted EPS. Reported diluted EPS now expected to be between $4.73 and $4.88; and adjusted diluted EPS excluding amortization expense now expected to be between $5.45 and $5.60

Blackstone beats by $0.14, beats on revenue

Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today reported its first quarter 2017 results.
Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Blackstone reported outstanding results in the first quarter, marked by
strong returns across our major fund strategies as well as our best quarter for realizations on record. The result was a more than doubling of
revenue and earnings versus the prior-year period, and our second best quarterly distribution ever, at $0.87 per common unit. In total, we will have
distributed nearly $14 per common unit of value since the IPO, including $2.50 per year on average over the past three years(a), making Blackstone
consistently one of the highest yielding large-capitalization companies in the world.”
Blackstone issued a full detailed presentation of its first quarter 2017 results, which can be viewed at www.blackstone.com.
Blackstone has declared a quarterly distribution of $0.87 per common unit to record holders of common units at the close of business on May 1,
2017. This distribution will be paid on May 8, 2017.

KeyCorp beats by $0.04, beats on revenue

Noninterest expense, excluding merger-related charges, down 8% from 4Q16, resulting in a cash efficiency ratio of 60.4% in 1Q17

Significant progress on merger synergies; expect to achieve $450 million in acquisition cost savings by early 2018

Return on average tangible common equity, excluding merger-related charges, of 12.9% for 1Q17

AmEx +2.3% after earnings; analysts weigh in

A middle-of-the-roader on the stock, Morgan Stanley’s Betsy Graseck acknowledges improving revenue growth, but says American Express (NYSE:AXP) will likely need to continue paying for that growth with another boost in promotional offerings next year. She lifts her price target to $85 from $83.

Nomura’s Bill Carcache reiterates his Reduce rating and $63 price target. The stock should do well today, but he figures at least some of the beat was driven by non-recurring items like record Q4 investment spending, and unsustainable cuts in marketing and promotion.

Another bear on the name, RBC’s Jason Arnold says not to forget the boost to Q1 provided by a lower tax rate. Heated competition means marketing/rewards expense pressure isn’t going anywhere. He lifts his PT to $63 from $60.

A bull on AmEx, Bernstein’s Kevin St. Pierre says robust adjusted revenue growth bolsters his case, with 12%-plus EPS growth doable beyond this year. He lifts his PT to a Street-high $95.

Shares +2.3% premarket to $77.29.

GM ceases Venezuelan operations

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is ceasing its Venezuelan operations after its assets in the country were seized by public authorities.

“In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities,” General Motors Venezolana said in a statement.

The action will cause “irreparable damage” to the unit, its 2,678 workers, 79 dealers and suppliers.

Stifel Nicolaus positive on Starbucks

Stifel Nicolaus upgrades Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) to a Buy rating from Hold on a positive view for the chain’s comparable sales track.

The firm sees U.S. comparable sales growth of at least 5% to 6% for the next four quarters beginning in FQ3 after coffee giant turns in around a 3% gain for the current quarter. Global comparable sales are seen rising at a mid-single-digit pace this fiscal year.

Looking further down the road, Stifel thinks Starbucks can expand its ready-to-drink and packaged coffee/tea businesses.Like up on FACEBOOK

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Buz Investors Verizon Yahoo The Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) saga is over. After years of attempting to restore the company to its former glory, the tech giant is on its way to a buyout by Verizon Communications Inc.

Will the Yahoo Takeover Boost VZ Stock?

Verizon Yahoo Deal

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Buz Investors Verizon Yahoo The Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) saga is over. After years of attempting to restore the company to its former glory, the tech giant is on its way to a buyout by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). Despite bumps in the road, the question pestering investors for years—”‘Is Yahoo sold?”— finally has a definitive answer.

The Verizon Yahoo deal marks the end of Yahoo management’s multiple attempts at re-configuring the company to reach its past riches of the $125.0-billion market capitalization. Investors are looking to see the impacts that the deal will

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Verizon Yahoo 

Initially, the Verizon Yahoo deal was valued at $4.83 billion, but that was before information regarding two massive hacks that affected up to 1.5 billion Yahoo users came to light at the end of 2016. Following the data breaches becoming public knowledge, and with the knowledge it might affect the Verizon stock price, Verizon went back to the drawing board. Many believed the Verizon Yahoo deal to be in serious peril.

So far, at least one shareholder lawsuit has been filed against Yahoo, soon after the SEC investigation was announced. The lawsuit is seeking class-action status in federal court and alleges that Yahoo and its top executives, CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman, made public misrepresentations and failed to fully disclose material facts to investors concerning the data breaches.

Alternatively, Verizon is swinging big with its attempt at muscling in on the online digital advertising market, where it is currently a small player. The question is whether the Yahoo acquisition will provide the boost that Verizon stock needs to challenge the other top competitors in that space.

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Verizon Communications Acquisitions Could Help VZ Stock Soar

Verizon Communications Acquisitions Could Help VZ Stock Soar

Verizon Communications Acquisitions Could Help VZ Stock Soar

  • Buz Investors Bullish Verizon Communications Acquisitions. (NYSE:VZ) stock, the largest wireless carrier in the United States by subscribers, reported its third-quarter financial results on October 20.
  • Investors seem disappointed with the company’s quarterly performance, as VZ stock is trading downward. The company’s equity dropped 2.64% to $49.06 per share on Thursday afternoon.
  • Verizon stock still gained more than six percent in stock value year-to-date. Will the company succeed in executing its strategy for growth and push VZ stock up over the next quarters?

Verizon Communications Acquisitions  3Q Earnings Beat

Verizon Communications Acquisitions Could Help VZ Stock Soar

Verizon Communications Acquisitions The company’s “Wireline” segment added 90,000 “Fios” Internet connections and 36,000 Fios Video connections in the third quarter. VZ stock’s revenue from the business increased 4.4% from a year ago, driven by a larger customer base, strong customer loyalty, and demand for higher Internet speeds. Its Fios Internet base prefers a speed of 100 megabits per second or higher. (Source: “Strong wireless profitability and customer loyalty, renewed Fios growth highlight Verizon’s 3Q results,” Verizon Communications Inc., October 20, 2016.)

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Verizon Communications Acquisitions

In a statement, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said the company’s financial and operational results continue to be robust amid a highly competitive market. He added that the company has maintained its financial flexibility to invest in industry-leading networks to better serve its customers, bring innovation to the mobile media and Internet of Things (IoT), and increase dividends.

The company agreed to acquire the core Internet business of Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) andFleetmatics Group PLC (NYSE:FLTX), a global provider of fleet and mobile workforce management solutions. It also agreed to buy Sensity Systems to expand its smart city solutions. Verizon also completed its acquisition of Telogis in July.

The company is financially healthy, with an improving balance sheet. It ended the third quarter with $4.8 billion cash flow from operations. Its free cash flow was $700.0 million. Its total assets were $239.49 billion, and its total debts were $106.59 billion. (Source: “Financial Statements,” Verizon Communications Inc., last accessed October 20, 2016.)

VZ Stock: This Is What the Yahoo! Acquisition Will Mean for Verizon Stock?

VZ Stock: This Is What the Yahoo! Acquisition Will Mean for Verizon Stock?

VZ Stock: This Is What the Yahoo! Acquisition Will Mean for Verizon Stock?

Investors Buz  –  Global Markets Roundup

Yahoo! AcquisitionThis is a Big Deal for VZ Stock

It’s been a while since Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) decided to put its core Internet assets up for sale. Since last year, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has been known as a strong contender in the YHOO stock auction. Now, it looks like a deal has been struck.

On Monday, July 25, Verizon announced that it would acquire Yahoo’s operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash. Yahoo will be integrated with Verizon’s AOL unit. (Source: “.

What will this mean for Verizon and VZ stock? Adding Yahoo to Verizon’s AOL unit will create a portfolio of more than 25 brands with extensive distribution capabilities. According to AOL’s chief executive officer, Tim Armstrong, “The strategy behind the deal is to really go after mobile and video and a lot of the global services—the services that AOL has and Yahoo has—at scale.” (Source: CNBC, op cit.)
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VZ Stock: The Winner of an Intense Bidding War

Note that Verizon was not the only bidder for Yahoo’s core Internet assets. It was reported last month that Yahoo has received multiple offers. Among the bidders were Verizon, AT&T Inc.(NYSE:T), Quicken Loans Inc., and some private equity firms. (Source: “Yahoo Has Received Multiple Bids at or Above $5 Billion for Core Business,” CNBC, June 9, 2016.)

I always thought that Verizon had the best shot at Yahoo’s Internet business. The company was very clear with its intentions. Verizon identified Yahoo as a potential acquisition target as early as December of last year. Verizon’s chief financial officer, Fran Shammon, said that the company would explore a deal with Yahoo if “there is a strategic fit and it makes sense for our shareholders and we can return value.” (Source: “Verizon would Explore Yahoo Deal If It Made Sense, CFO Says,” Bloomberg, December 7, 2015.)

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