Technology - Investor's Business Daily11:52 Текст источника в новой вкладке

 
 
1. Red Hat Earnings, Revenue Beat; Shares in Linux Leader RiseПн., 25 сент.[−]

Red Hat ( RHT) reported fiscal second-quarter revenue and profit that topped views, giving shares a lift in after-hours trading for the No. 1 provider of open-source Linux software for corporate data centers.

XAutoplay: On | OffRed Hat's current-quarter earnings guidance was in-line with views, while its revenue forecast was above expectations.

Red Hat said that adjusted fiscal second-quarter earnings were 77 cents a share, up 40% from a year ago, with revenue rising 21% to $723 million, topping consensus estimates. A year earlier, Red Hat earned 55 cents a share on sales of $600 million. Analysts expected Red Hat to report earnings of 67 cents on sales of $699.4 million for the period ended Aug. 31.

In the current quarter, Red Had said it expects unadjusted profit of 70 cents a share, in line with analyst estimates. Red Hat forecast revenue of $733.5 million at its midpoint of guidance, up 19% from a year earlier, vs. estimates of $711 million.

Shares jumped 4.7% to 110.70 in after-hours deals on the stock market today.

Red Hat is ranked No. 45 in the IBD 50 roster of growth stocks.

In Monday's regular session, Red Hat edged down 0.5% to 105.76. Shares in the enterprise software provider have popped 51% in 2017. Analysts were looking for traction in Red Hat's public cloud business as customers shift computing workloads to cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services, part of Amazon.com ( AMZN)and a Red Hat partner.

Red Hat, similar to Microsoft ( MSFT) and VMware ( VMW), has aimed to leverage its existing customer base as cloud computing gains momentum.


2. Amazon Expansion In Middle East Threatens Alphabet, MicrosoftПн., 25 сент.[−]

In a race against Microsoft ( MSFT), Alphabet ( GOOGL) and others for global dominance in cloud-computing services, Amazon ( AMZN) on Monday said it will expand operations in the Middle East with new data centers headquartered in Bahrain.

XAutoplay: On | OffAmazon said it will establish three data centers, which it calls "availability zones," in the Middle East, each supported by redundant power and networking services, as part of its Amazon Web Services business. AWS says it operates 44 availability zones within 16 geographic regions worldwide.

Amazon is in a heated battle with Microsoft, Google-parent Alphabet, IBM ( IBM) and other providers of cloud-computing services, where Amazon is the market leader by a wide margin. But Microsoft, through its Azure cloud-computing platform, and Alphabet, with its Google Cloud platform, are coming on strong.

In March, Amazon reached a deal to acquire Dubai-based Souq.com, one of the largest e-commerce companies in the Middle East, for an undisclosed amount, though various reports put it at $580 million. Souq.com is often called the Amazon of the Middle East. It's reportedly the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world.

Amazon shares dropped 1.6% to finish at 939.79 on the stock market today.


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"As countries in the Middle East look to transform their economies for generations to come, technology will play a major role, and the cloud will be in the middle of that transformation," Andy Jassy, chief executive of Amazon Web Services, said in a prepared statement.

Amazon said an important criterion in launching the new cloud operations in the Bahrain region "is the opportunity to power it with renewable energy." It said AWS chose Bahrain "in part due to the country's focus on executing renewable energy goals."

Amazon reported second-quarter earnings after the close that beat on the top line but showed a big profit miss as costs soared. Revenue from Amazon Web Services rose 41% to $4.1 billion, slightly above the consensus estimate of $4.08 billion.

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3. Quest, LabCorp Are Big 'Losers' Under Medicare Overhaul: AnalystПн., 25 сент.[−]

Quest Diagnostics ( DGX) plunged to a seven-month low Monday after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed to cut lab test reimbursement rates by 9%-10% in 2018.

XAutoplay: On | OffCanaccord analyst Mark Massaro suggested industry leaders like Quest and Laboratory Corporation of America ( LH), GenMark Diagnostics ( GNMK) and BioFire Diagnostics would be the immediate "losers" under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act.

Still, there is a silver lining for Quest, LabCorp and Genomic Health ( GHDX), he said.

"We believe the brunt of the cuts will impact 'mom and pop' small labs that lack scale, and believe this environment will allow lab leaders LabCorp, Quest and even Genomic Health to consolidate weaker players," he wrote in a note to clients outlining the "draconian" cuts.

Meanwhile, companies with proprietary tests like Genomic Health, Veracyte ( VCYT), CareDx ( CDNA) and Vermillion ( VRML) will likely benefit, Massaro said. The Act is a major overhaul of reimbursement codes for 1,300 different types of lab tests.


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"Fortunately, no lab test can be reduced by more than 10% per year for each of 2018, 2019 and 2020 based on the 10% floor protection CMS built-in," he said. He estimates 8%-10% cuts for Quest and LabCorp, above his initial views for 4%-6%.

Under the proposal, Genomic Health, Veracyte, CareDx, Biodesix and Vermillion will grab increases of 12%-35% for some of their tests. But, on the other side, 58% of tests will undergo phased-in reductions from 2018-20.

By the closing bell on the stock market today, Quest dove 7.4% to 94.57, as LabCorp shares toppled 3.1% to finish at 150.32.

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4. Chinese Internet Stocks Fall After Regulators Fine Social MediaПн., 25 сент.[−]

Chinese internet stocks took a big hit Monday after government regulators fined three social-media platforms for violating a new cybersecurity law.

The government in August tightened its oversight over web content. The Cyberspace Administration of China had been probing reports that some of the country's largest online services were posting user-generated content laden with "violence, porn and rumors" that was disruptive to social order.

"The internet is not a land outside the law," the Cyberspace Administration of China said Monday, according to a report. The size of the fines was not disclosed.

N.Y.-listed shares in Weibo ( WB) fell 4.5% to close at 95.56 on the stock market today. Baidu ( BIDU) slipped 2.5% to 234.49; Alibaba Group ( BABA) fell 4.89% to finish at 169.59; and Tencent Holding ( TCEHY), which operates the WeChat social-media platform, lost 3.8% to end regular trading at 42.72.

Other Chinese internet stocks also took a hit. Sina ( SINA) fell 3.6% to close at 111.57, and Sohu ( SOHU) slipped 3% to 53.27.


IBD'S TAKE: Check out and bookmark Best Chinese Stocks To Buy And Watch to stay on top of the latest movers and shakers in China, with ongoing coverage of other industry leaders and disrupters.


Sina has a controlling stake in Twitter-like Weibo. In addition to Sina's controlling stake, Alibaba has a big investment in Weibo.

WeChat and Weibo have about 940 million and 350 million monthly active users, respectively.

Baidu operates the Teiba message board.

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5. Intercept Responds To Drug-Tied Deaths, Stock Tries To ReboundПн., 25 сент.[−]

Intercept Pharmaceuticals ( ICPT) tried to bounce back from an Ocaliva-inspired pitfall last week after it offered some clarity on the Food and Drug Administration's recent warnings over its key liver-disease drug.

XAutoplay: On | OffIntercept popped as much as 11.6%, but gave all that back and then some to close at 61.23, down 0.6%, on the stock market today. Shares have performed like a yo-yo over the last week amid worries of liver injury and death related to Ocaliva.

Ocaliva is approved to treat patients with primary biliary cholangitis, a condition in which bile ducts in the liver become inflamed. Patients with less healthy livers are recommended to take a lower dose of Ocaliva.

But some patients with cirrhotic livers were treated with 5 milligrams of Ocaliva per day, "which is seven times higher than the recommended weekly dose in such patients," Intercept said in a statement Monday.

The firm cited that as its rationale for issuing a letter to physicians and the FDA's subsequent safety communication to reinforce the recommended dosing per Ocaliva's label.

"Both communications remind health care providers of the importance of the recommended reduced dosing of Ocaliva in primary biliary cholangitis patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment," Intercept said in a news release.


IBD'S TAKE: Intercept has an IBD Composite Rating of 13 out of a best-possible 99, meaning it underperforms nearly nine in 10 stocks in terms of key growth metrics. Head to IBD Stock Checkup for a look at top-rated biotechs.


Intercept laid out a plan to reeducate physicians on the recommended doses of Ocaliva, to enhance monitoring for liver-related adverse reactions and to resolve all reported cases of serious liver injury — including Ocaliva patients with no or mild liver compensation.

RBC analyst Brian Abrahams notes that the latter point will be key for Intercept. If all patients, regardless the health of their livers, experience liver injury or death, it could hurt Ocaliva's regulatory and commercial future, he said.

"We believe today's news release may provide some incremental reassurance and help the stock recover a bit," he wrote in a research report.

Credit Suisse analyst Alethia Young called the stock reaction "overdone." Shares are down 46% since Sept. 11 on concerns tied to Ocaliva. Ocaliva is an important drug for Intercept and is being looked at as a possible treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

Young kept her outperform rating and 201 price target on Intercept stock.

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6. Sprint Falls On Report Of No Big Premium Coming In T-Mobile MergerПн., 25 сент.[−]

Shares in Sprint ( S) fell Monday amid a report that T-Mobile US ( TMUS) will not pay a big premium if the two companies agree to merge in an all-stock deal.

XAutoplay: On | OffSprint plunged more than 8.2% to close at 7.82 on the stock market today. Shares in T-Mobile dropped 1.8% to 62.89. Deutsche Telekom ( DTEGY) controls T-Mobile. While Sprint's stock has shot up on merger speculation; short interest in the stock also has been going up.

Sprint-parent Softbank ( SFTBY) is willing to accept a deal that values Sprint at or near its current market price, according to a Bloomberg report.

Speculation climbed last week that the two companies may be inching closer to a deal.

Sprint was up more than 45% as of Friday's market close since Republican Donald Trump won November's presidential election. One view is that the Trump administration could approve a Sprint merger with T-Mobile, though regulators have opposed reducing the number of national wireless firms to three from four.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


An all-stock deal would give Deutsche Telekom a majority stake and management control.

Softbank chairman Masayoshi Son signaled in the spring that Softbank would be willing to cede control in order to get a deal done.

Key to structuring an all-stock deal is an "exchange ratio" for shares that would reflect each companies' valuation. Recent media reports indicate the companies have yet to agree on that issue.

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7. Apple Watch Series 3 Surprise Hit, Steals Limelight From iPhone 8Пн., 25 сент.[−]

Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone 8 saw lackluster demand during its first weekend of availability, but the tech giant's new smartwatch with cellular connectivity was a surprise hit, analysts say.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch with high-speed LTE cellular connectivity launched Friday, the same day as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Unlike earlier versions of the Apple Watch, the new model doesn't need to be paired with an iPhone to be fully functional.

It can make and receive phone calls and texts without having an iPhone nearby. It uses the same phone number as a user's handset.

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry said six Apple stores he checked in the Silicon Valley area sold out of the Series 3 with cellular by early Saturday.

"Apple Watch sales were brisk, as customers were freely able to try on the watches," Chowdhry said in a report. Previously Apple treated customers "as thieves, by keeping Apple Watches under lock and key."

Meanwhile, iPhone 8 sales got off to a "slow and steady start," he said. Most customers his firm surveyed said they got the 11th-generation iPhone simply because their current handset was damaged or outdated.

"Customers are buying new Apple iPhone 8, not because of any compelling innovation or for any compelling features, but because their current iPhone has reached the limits of (its) useful utility levels," he said.

However, many other customers likely are holding out for Apple's premium handset, the iPhone X, which is set to be released on Nov. 3, he said.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 77, meaning it has outperformed 77% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Loup Ventures managing partner Gene Munster said about half the people waiting in line Friday at Apple's flagship 5th Avenue store in New York City were there to buy the cellular Apple Watch. Many wanted to get their hands on the wearable right away because online sales are on back order and won't be fulfilled for three to five weeks, he said in a report.

An internal analysis of the Apple Watch Series 3 cellular model by teardown specialist iFixit found that the new smartwatch is almost identical to the second-generation model. IFixit suggested that the previous version of the watch was cellular-ready, but Apple wasn't prepared to include the functionality in the device, which came out a year ago.

The Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular costs $399 for the version with a 38-millimeter case and $429 for the version with a 42-millimeter case. Apple Watch Series 3 models without cellular start at $329.

Apple shares fell 0.9% to close at 150.55 on the stock market today.

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8. These Three Companies Are Tops In Artificial IntelligenceПн., 25 сент.[−]

Computer software giants Salesforce.com ( CRM) and Microsoft ( MSFT) are top software picks to prosper from artificial intelligence — along with a much smaller company, Hortonworks ( HDP) — according to one Wall Street brokerage.

"Microsoft is positioned to be the biggest beneficiary to AI in our coverage due to its cloud-computing infrastructure (Azure)," Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow said in a note to clients. "Salesforce.com is still in the early stages of rolling out Einstein across its entire product portfolio. Hortonworks, along with its partnership with IBM ( IBM), gives customers a path to manage and analyze Big Data."

At a basic level, artificial intelligence is the use of computer algorithms to attempt to replicate the human ability to learn, reason and make decisions.

Hortonworks is a developer of Hadoop open-source software, which companies can use for "Big Data" analytics. The Barclays analyst noted that IBM no longer offers their own Hadoop solution, while Hortonworks' provides software for AI algorithms to learn from data.

Alphabet's ( GOOGL) Google, Amazon.com ( AMZN), IBM and Microsoft ( MSFT) are pushing into AI-as-a-service. They plan to rent AI tools to customers on a pay-as-you-go basis via their public cloud-computing services.


IBD'S TAKE: Shares in Hortonworks, a low-volume stock, have doubled in 2016 amid gains by many enterprise software companies. Hortonworks is trading above its 200-day and 50-day moving averages, a positive indicator, though the stock sports a so-so IBD Composite Rating of 78. For a look at growth stocks, check out the IBD 50 listing.


Salesforce.com introduced its "Einstein" AI cloud platform in September 2016. Einstein tools identify and prioritize sales leads and recommend products and pricing options, making it easier for sales reps to convert leads to sales.

"Software vendors can benefit through the addition of AI modules to an existing product," added Lenschow. Salesforce's Einstein is a good example here. AI functionality could also add a new layer of differentiation to an existing product. Splunk's ( SPLK) approach demonstrates this."

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9. Facebook, Amazon, Google: Should They Now Fear Regulators?Пн., 25 сент.[−]

Google, Facebook ( FB) and Amazon.com ( AMZN) are "unlikely" to be regulated in ways that materially threaten their current margins or markets, says New Street Research in a report.

XAutoplay: On | Off"The risk of antitrust actions 'breaking up' the big data platforms, a la the actions against AT&T ( T) and Microsoft ( MSFT), is very limited," said the New Street Research report. "The risk of antitrust actions disapproving acquisitions by big data platforms is larger but still low."

Google-parent Alphabet ( GOOGL) is appealing the European Union's record $2.7 billion antitrust fine. The EU levied the fine in June, saying Google skewed search results to benefit its own shopping search service vs. those of rivals.

Facebook last week launched an overhaul of how it handles paid political advertisements, amid a probe by U.S. lawmakers who have threatened to regulate the social network over secretive ads that run during election campaigns.

Amazon's acquisition of food retailer Whole Foods Market raised eyebrows, but the Federal Trade Commission cleared the deal in two months.

"The big data platforms will eventually be regulated related to political advertising and security but it is far from clear that they will face new privacy or nondiscrimination regulation, which would have a more significant economic impact," said the New Street Research report, written by analyst Jonathan Chaplin with input from U.S. regulatory advisor Blair Levin.


IBD'S TAKE: To make big money in stocks, it pays to focus on the market's best-performing companies, many of which may not fit your preconceived ideas about interesting stocks to buy. To keep up with the top growth stocks at any given time, bookmark our IBD 50 page.


"The big data platforms compete with each other. Facebook and Google compete in digital ads; Google and Amazon compete in product search, video and numerous other ways; and Apple ( AAPL) and Google compete in mobile operating systems and autonomous vehicles, among many others," added the report. "They are all competing in artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality."

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10. FANG Stocks News & Quotes: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, GoogleПн., 25 сент.[−]

Collectively known as the FANG stocks, Facebook ( FB), Amazon ( AMZN), Netflix ( NFLX) and Google parent Alphabet ( GOOGL) are among the tech titans of our time.

XAutoplay: On | Off Facebook and Google alone capture the lion's share of all global online advertising, including in the fast-growing mobile format, while Amazon dominates e-commerce and cloud services with its Amazon Web Services business.

And although Netflix is facing increasing competition from Hulu and fellow FANG stocks — particularly Amazon and YouTube owner Google — its original programming and massive global expansion in 2016 have cemented its leadership in the streaming industry.

Check this page regularly for ongoing coverage of the latest FANG news and investing insight.

FANG Stocks News & Quotes

Tech Stocks Crushed As Nasdaq Reaches A Key TestA rout in technology stocks cost the Nasdaq composite 0.9% Monday, while serious drops in many leading stocks gave investors alarm. Sellers piled on solar energy, fiber optic, software, internet, semiconductor and... Read More
Amazon Expansion In Middle East Threatens Alphabet, MicrosoftIn a race against Microsoft, Alphabet and others for global dominance in cloud-computing services, Amazon on Monday said it will expand operations in the Middle East with new data centers headquartered in... Read More
Facebook Down As Zuckerberg Scraps Stock Plan, Will Sell SharesFacebook shares dove Monday as Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed plans late Friday to nix the creation of a new class of shares and to also sell a big chunk of stock.... Read More
Facebook, Amazon, Google: Should They Now Fear Regulators?Google, Facebook and Amazon.com are "unlikely" to be regulated in ways that materially threaten their current margins or markets, says New Street Research in a report. "The risk of antitrust actions 'breaking... Read More
Tech Stocks Fall Hard; Facebook Gives Up Key Support LevelThe major market indexes were lower early Monday, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq drastically lagged. The composite index was down 1.2% in early afternoon trading. Facebook sank 4%, losing support at its 50-day... Read More
FANG Stock Is At A Make-Or-Break Moment; Here's WhyFacebook is looking for support at a key level, which could be a make-or-break moment for the social media giant's potential breakout. Facebook sank 2.3% to 167.63 just after the opening bell... Read More
Which Stocks Make This List Of The Fastest-Growing Companies?The biggest stock market winners tend to have exceptional earnings growth, and the list below highlights companies like top-rated Chinese stocks Baozun, Weibo and Yirendai, as well as social media giant Facebook and self-driving... Read More

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11. Facebook (FB) Stock Quotes, Company News And Chart AnalysisПн., 25 сент.[−]

XAutoplay: On | Off


View FB Stock Quote Page
| View FB Ratings

Facebook Stock News & Analysis

Facebook Down As Zuckerberg Scraps Stock Plan, Will Sell SharesFacebook shares dove Monday as Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed plans late Friday to nix the creation of a new class of shares and to also sell a big chunk of stock.... Read More
FANG Stock Is At A Make-Or-Break Moment; Here's WhyFacebook is looking for support at a key level, which could be a make-or-break moment for the social media giant's potential breakout. Facebook sank 2.3% to 167.63 just after the opening bell... Read More
Which Stocks Make This List Of The Fastest-Growing Companies?The biggest stock market winners tend to have exceptional earnings growth, and the list below highlights companies like top-rated Chinese stocks Baozun, Weibo and Yirendai, as well as social media giant Facebook and self-driving... Read More
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Facebook's Long-Awaited Entry Into China Market May Be NearFacebook stands a good chance of getting approval to enter China, following the recent success of Airbnb and LinkedIn before it, one analyst report said Tuesday. Mizuho Securities analyst James Lee in... Read More

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12. FANG Stock Is At A Make-Or-Break Moment; Here's WhyПн., 25 сент.[−]

Facebook ( FB) is looking for support at a key level, which could be a make-or-break moment for the social media giant's potential breakout.

XAutoplay: On | OffFacebook sank 2.3% to 167.63 just after the opening bell on the stock market today, falling through its 50-day moving average. On Friday, shares edged lower, nearly touching the 50-day before closing above that line 170.54.

This is a big test for the FANG stock. Can Facebook recover and find support at that level? That would be a huge signal of strength as the stock nears a potential buy point of 175.59 from a flat base.


IBD'S TAKE: On the search for stocks with actionable trading opportunities? Check out our Stock Lists page, where you can find stocks near buy zones, stocks hitting new highs, sector leaders, tech leaders, IPO leaders and more.


Meanwhile, Facebook said after the close Friday that it has decided against splitting the stock to create a nonvoting class of shares that would've helped ensure CEO Mark Zuckerberg controls the company even as he donates stock to his charity.

Facebook had faced an investor lawsuit over the stock-split plan but testimony scheduled for next week in a Delaware court has been canceled.

"Over the past year and a half, Facebook's business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "As a result, I've asked our board to withdraw the proposal to reclassify our stock — and the board has agreed."

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13. This Biotech Is Ascending To Record Highs After Rival's FailureПт., 22 сент.[−]

Ascendis Pharma ( ASND) grabbed bullish views and rocketed to a record high Friday after rival Versartis ( VSAR) crashed upon reporting its pediatric growth hormone deficiency drug failed in a late-stage trial.

XAutoplay: On | OffBy the closing bell on the stock market today, Ascendis had gapped up 23.4% to finish at 34.24 after earlier touching an all-time high, up 51%, at 42. Shares broke out of a consolidation and a 31.96 buy point in heavy volume. Versartis, though, plummeted 87.6% to close at 2.68.

Late Thursday, Versartis said its drug somavaratan failed to meet its goal in a Phase 3 study of pediatric patients with growth hormone deficiencies. Now, analysts expect Ascendis to grab the lion's share of the market if its Phase 3 drug wins approval.

Credit Suisse analyst Alethia Young boosted her price target on Ascendis to 50 from 30. She sees Ascendis getting 30%-50% of the global market, up from her earlier view for a 20%-30% share.

She models Ascendis' drug, dubbed TransCon growth hormone, hitting $1.2 billion in peak sales, up from her previous forecast for $820 million. The daily growth hormone market is worth $3.2 billion and could rise to $4.5 billion as the market moves to long-acting drugs.


IBD'S TAKE: Among big biotech players, Vertex Pharmaceuticals says it's closing in on the end of its cystic fibrosis journey. So what's next for this top-performer? Head to The New America for an exclusive interview with Chief Executive Jeffrey Leiden.


Enrollment in a Phase 3 trial of TransCon growth hormone is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter. Young expects Ascendis to offer data from the trial in late 2018. If the drug is 100% successful, her price target could lift as high as 66.

Young sees an 80% chance of Ascendis getting approval for the drug.

But Leerink analyst Joseph Schwartz kept his market perform rating on Ascendis while awaiting Phase 3 data and noted the risks associated with commercialization. He upped his price target to 37 from 28.

Ascendis expects to get 40%-50% market share in the growth hormone deficiency market. Schwartz assumes peak penetrations of 51% and 46% in the U.S. and Europe in 2028-29 for Ascendis' drug, up from his earlier forecast for 40% and 36%, respectively.

Still, "We view 50% market share as an aggressive hurdle that may factor in other bullish assumptions including commercial execution and no other companies succeeding in the clinic with a long-acting growth hormone," he said.

The firm has a high bar for its Phase 3 data and is going up against the likes of Pfizer ( PFE) and Novo Nordisk ( NVO). Most specialists say the U.S. market generally favors an aggressive approach to achieve better growth.

In a Phase 2 study, annualized growth for pediatric patients treated with TransCon growth hormone was 11.9-13.9 centimeters on two different weekly doses, which was comparable to the 11.6 centimeters for patients treated daily with Pfizer's Genotropin.

"That said, there is risk that the result regresses in Phase 3, and it is difficult to pinpoint the market-share implications of such differences in (growth) outcomes," Schwartz said.

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14. This New IPO Has Surged 615% Since Mid-August On 'Best Of Show' AI BetsПт., 22 сент.[−]

Veritone ( VERI) stock jumped for the second day after the media software company's artificial intelligence product was named "best of show" at a broadcast industry conference in Amsterdam.

XAutoplay: On | OffShares in Veritone were up more than 11% at one point on the stock market today, and ended trading up 4.8% to 56.28 in the wake of the company's win for its program called aiWare. Veritone shares jumped 16% on Thursday. Shares have more than tripled in the last two weeks, as they were standing below the 20 level as recently as Sept. 8. As of Aug. 21, shares were under 10.

Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Veritone went public in May at 15; shares hit a low of 7.87 in mid-August. Acacia Research ( ACTG), a Newport Beach, Calif.-based patent-licenser, owned about one-third of Veritone following its initial public offering.

In the June quarter, the company said revenue rose 103% to $4.1 million. The company said it lost $2.94 per share vs. a $3.20 per share loss in the year-earlier period.

In its IPO filing, Veritone said it provides media agency services and also has developed AI software that analyzes audio, video and other "unstructured" data. Veritone said its media advertising clients include Uber Technologies, 1-800Flowers.com, Dollar Shave Club and DraftKings.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day and The Big Picture after the market close (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


Veritone said its potential customers for AI analytical software include media owners and broadcasters, political campaigns, consulting firms that work with law firms, and law enforcement agencies.

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15. Why Allergan's Hepatitis Drug Likely Won't Get FDA ApprovalПт., 22 сент.[−]

Allergan ( AGN) is advancing a hepatitis drug into Phase 3 testing that likely won't get Food and Drug Administration approval, an analyst predicted Friday.

XAutoplay: On | OffBut Mizuho analyst Irina Koffler is still constructive on Allergan stock on which she has a buy rating and 267 price target. At the close on the stock market today, Allergan lifted 1% to finish at 204.65 despite disappointing data for its drug called cenicriviroc to treat what is known as NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

In a Phase 2 trial, cenicriviroc missed its key goal. Over the course of two years, patients treated with cenicriviroc failed to achieve a statistically significant improvement in fibrosis of the liver as compared with patients who received a placebo.

The data included patients treated for two years with cenicriviroc and those who switched to Allergan's drug after a year on a placebo. Patients with higher fibrosis before starting cenicriviroc ultimately "had better outcomes during the two-year treatment period."

Allergan plans to release full results during an upcoming medical conference. Cenicriviroc proved to be safe compared with the placebo, the firm said in a news release. The most common side effects were diarrhea, headache and fatigue.


IBD'S TAKE: Allergan has an IBD Composite Rating of 48 out of a best-possible 99, meaning it trades in the bottom half of all stocks in terms of key growth metrics. Head to IBD Stock Checkup for a look at better-rated drugmakers.


Patients being enrolled in a Phase 3 trial have more serious fibrosis of their livers, Koffler said. Allergan plans to follow patients over a five-year period. The goal is a reduction in fibrosis without worsening of NASH at one year.

"But we don't see how this is realistic because the trial requires a liver biopsy at five years, which may at this point be deemed unethical by local institutional review boards," Koffler wrote in a note to clients.

Koffler expects the cenicriviroc disappointment was already baked into Allergan stock which has toppled more than 20% since hitting a 2017 high in late July. Allergan has traded well below its 50-day moving average since early August.

"To us, the bottom line here is that this molecule (cenicriviroc) is unlikely to make it to approval," she said. "The only upside is we had very little in the model for NASH so there is minimal impact to our valuation."

Allergan still has a promising portfolio in migraine and depression, she wrote. Evercore analyst Umer Raffat noted Allergan is expected to provide data from Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials for drugs to treat chronic and acute migraines in the first half of 2018.

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16. Trade Commission Says Cheap China Imports Hurt U.S. Solar FirmsПт., 22 сент.[−]

In a decision opposed by solar industry groups, the U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday agreed that imports of cheap solar panels from China have caused injury to domestic manufacturers, setting up possible tariffs to be imposed on the overseas companies.

The ITC, by a 4-0 vote, agreed with a petition by two manufacturers, Suniva, and SolarWorld, who claimed that cheap solar modules imported from China led to their bankruptcy filing. Suniva and SolarWorld asked the ITC for tariffs on China imports, an action opposed by the Solar Energy Industries Association and other sections of the U.S. solar industry who have said the decision could inflict a serious blow to solar industry growth.

A ruling in support of the claimants, granting the import tariffs, "would virtually double the cost of panels from the current market price," according to a report by Moody's Investor Service.

It cited a report from Green Tech Media Research saying the tariffs would result in the elimination of 88,000 U.S. jobs and the deferred installation of 47 gigawatts of solar capacity between 2017 and 2022, said Moody's.

The ITC has until November to make formal recommendations to the White House, after which President Trump will then have to decide whether to endorse the ITC ruling.

Among Chinese solar companies, JA Solar ( JASO) tumbled 5% at one point but recovered to a slight gain at 7.88 a share on the stock market today. JA Solar was down 4% Thursday. JinkoSolar ( JKS) was in the same boat, falling initially and finally up 2 cents at the close to 26.03. Jinko Solar shares have fallen for five out of the last six trading days.

Among U.S. solar companies, SunPower ( SPWR) gained 3.7% to finish at 7.64. On Thursday SunPower plunged 6.2%. First Solar ( FSLR) ended the regular trading session up 5.4% to 51.41. First Solar is trading near a one-year high.


17. Amazon Threatens Grubhub As It Expands Food-Delivery ServicesПт., 22 сент.[−]

Shares of Grubhub ( GRUB) seesawed Friday as Amazon ( AMZN) said it will expand its online food ordering and delivery business through a partnership with Olo.

XAutoplay: On | OffOlo provides an online food ordering and delivery platform, saying it has an "exclusive network" of more than 200 restaurant brands across 40,000 locations and with more than 60 million customers. Its says its clients include Chipotle ( CMG). Shake Shack ( SHAK) and Wingstop ( WING).

"This integration will enable Amazon Restaurants to onboard new restaurants with ease, as well as quickly add more new choices and delivery options for customers," Gus Lopez, general manager of Amazon's restaurant division, said in a prepared statement.

Grubhub shares fell 3.4% to close at 51.69 on the stock market today. The shares were down more than 5% earlier in the day.

Grubhub is the market leader in online food-delivery services, with a market share estimated by Cowen to be 34%, followed by Uber Eats at 20%, Eat24 at 16% and Amazon at 11%.

Analysts have expressed concerns that the expansion of Amazon and other competitors in the field of restaurant food-delivery services will raise customer acquisition costs and lower Grubhub profit.


IBD'S TAKE: Grubhub is currently one of nine companies on the exclusive IBD Leaderboard platform, a premiums service to help readers pick growths stock. Grubhub stock is up 45% this year but its drop below the 50-day moving average today sends a warning signal for investors.


Last month Grubhub announced it would pay $287.5 million in cash to acquire Yelp's ( YELP) online food ordering and delivery business, Eat24. Also in early August, Grubhub and Groupon ( GRPN) forged a strategic partnership to bring food delivery to Groupon customers across the U.S. In June, Grubhub acquired Foodler, a Boston-based rival, for an undisclosed amount.

The scary thing for Grubhub is that Amazon is gaining rapid traction in the food-delivery category despite the fact that its "still acting rationally and not aggressively pricing," said a report from Morgan Stanley in June.

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18. Smaller Crowds Greet Apple's iPhone 8 As Many Wait For iPhone XПт., 22 сент.[−]

Noticeably smaller crowds turned out to buy Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone 8 on its first day of availability Friday as analysts chalked it up to Apple fans waiting for the company's premium iPhone X smartphone, due in six weeks.

XAutoplay: On | OffApple shares fell once again, with the stock down more than 5% for the week as of Friday morning.

Reuters described the launch of the iPhone 8 as " muted" in Australia and Asia, the first markets to start selling the new phone, compared with previous new handsets from the consumer electronics giant. It cited lackluster reviews for the iPhone 8 as a potential reason for the lack of enthusiasm for the device.

Reviewers said the iPhone 8-series smartphones are incremental upgrades to the LCD-screen iPhone 7-series phones released a year ago. The iPhone 8 adds wireless charging and boasts improved cameras and other upgraded components, compared with its predecessor.

By contrast, the iPhone X, pronounced "ten" as in the Roman numeral, sports an OLED screen, facial recognition for secure log-in and a revamped design. Preorders for the iPhone X begin Oct. 27 and the device goes on sale Nov. 3.

Apple's Regent Street store in London had more employees than customers when it opened for business on Friday, Mashable reported. The atmosphere was subdued and the queue of customers was underwhelming, the website said.

One of the first iPhone 8 phones sold went to iFixit, a company that specializes in do-it-yourself repairs and is known for its "teardowns" of consumer devices. It opened the iPhone 8 and documented what it found in terms of components and how it can be repaired.

The iFixit teardown analysis of the iPhone 8 innards found the usual suspects when it comes to chip suppliers, including Broadcom ( AVGO) and Skyworks Solutions ( SWKS).

The iPhone 8 that iFixit inspected also contained several chips from Qualcomm ( QCOM), including an LTE modem. Apple and Qualcomm are locked in a bitter legal fight over patent licensing terms and royalty payments. Because of this, Apple is believed to be replacing Qualcomm chips with Intel ( INTC) chips in some devices.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 80, meaning it has outperformed 80% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson on Friday reiterated his overweight rating on Apple stock and raised his price target to 196 from 190.

Apple shares dropped just under 1% to close at 151.89 on the stock market today. Apple fell below a 156.75 buy point and its 50-day moving average earlier this week.

Olson raised his sales and earnings estimates for Apple based on his assumption of higher average selling prices for iPhones because of the new handsets.

Nomura Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal maintained his buy rating and price target of 185.

"Anticipation for the iPhone X may be weighing on iPhone 8 orders," Kvaal said in a report Friday. "A unifying theme of the iPhone 8 reviews has been that the changes from the 7 to the 8 are incremental. We believe consumers are waiting for the feature-rich X, just as they did for the dual camera feature on the 7 Plus."

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19. Generic Drug Makers Face Pricing Issues That Other Pharmas Don'tПт., 22 сент.[−]

Everyone knows high prescription drug prices are a problem, but except for pharma stockholders, few people may realize that price cuts are rippling through the generic side of the industry.

Take a look at recent events: Tumbling U.S. generic drug prices wiped out billions of dollars in market value in August for the likes of Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA), Mylan ( MYL) and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ( RDY). That compounded the industry's woes after a brutal second-quarter earnings season.

The relatively small contingent of pharma companies that produce cheaper versions of brand-name drugs is getting broadsided by players in the distribution chain. For one, leading wholesalers are squeezing drugmakers for lower prices to undercut one another in the battle for pharmacy contracts. Meanwhile, group-purchasing organizations are consolidating and grabbing onto more negotiating power, representing a hurdle for generics which comprise a large chunk of those purchases.

(Lightspring/Shutterstock)

Analysts say it could be six to nine months before prices stabilize — if they ever recover at all. While that means lower prices for patients, drugmakers are taking the brunt of the battle. Prices have clearly deteriorated in the aftermath of contract negotiations, Evercore analyst Umer Raffat said in an Aug. 12 audio report.

"And the question really is: What does that mean going forward?," he said. "Because if you look at the way Mylan and Teva stocks have behaved and you look at the way their estimates have been revised, it clearly suggests a material worsening in business."

Teva stock lost 50.7% in August, though it has recovered 7.9% this month, and the No. 1 drugmaker by market cap is close to losing that status. Since July 31, Teva's market value has fallen by nearly half to $17.56 billion. Comparatively, Mylan trails at a $16.85 billion cap.

Teva isn't the only one feeling the pain. Selling pressures shaved $4 billion off Mylan's market capitalization in August, and its shares have toppled 19% since the beginning of August after particularly disheartening quarterly reports. As a whole, Investor's Business Daily's Generic Drugs industry group is down 6.6% year to date after nearing a four-year low in August. It's ranked No. 160 out of the 197 groups tracked by IBD.

Generic Drug Price Investigation

The underlying cause of the price erosion stems back to 2013-14, when drugmakers spiked prices based on shortages, monopolies and other opportunities, Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan told IBD.

"If something was $10 per day, you would see it up to $15 per day because you're the only one making it and there was no competition," he said. "If there's no one else producing it, you have more flexibility (in how you price a drug)."

"Now that card is gone," he said.


IBD'S TAKE: Teva has an IBD Composite Rating of 5 out of a best-possible 99, meaning it performs in the bottom 5% of all stocks in terms of key growth metrics. The top-ranked generic drugmaker is Ani Pharmaceuticals, which has a middling CR of 61. Visit IBD Stock Checkup for a look at the stocks.


That's not only because competition is more fierce, it's also that generics face another adversary: heavy scrutiny from the media and in Washington. In January, then President-elect Donald Trump accused drugmakers of "getting away with murder" in their pricing. Now, he's aiming to use competition to undercut prices.

Complicating matters, some drugmakers — Teva, Mylan and Perrigo ( PRGO) included — are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged generic drug price fixing. Last month, two members of Congress sent letters to makers of multiple sclerosis drugs to probe rising drug prices.

That's yet another wrench in the generic story, Divan says.

"Investors are looking for cleaner stories," he said. "And there's too much unknown here."

FDA Approvals Spike Rivalries

Teva and Mylan, on their second-quarter earnings calls, projected price erosion in the high-single digits for the rest of 2017. Mylan specified that erosion would take place in its North American generics unit. That followed lackluster quarterly reports from both. Mylan's North American sales declined 9%, while Teva's numbers were helped by the acquisition of Actavis Generics.

Both Teva and Mylan cut their 2017 forecasts. On their calls, executives from the two companies acknowledged an increase in generic approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was champing at sales. New FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is looking to speed up generic approvals even more to help ease drug prices, which is in line with Trump's vision.

"During the quarter we saw increased competition resulting from FDA's focus on accelerating the approvals of third, fourth or fifth generics," Mylan President Rajiv Malik said. "Unfortunately, we have not seen the same for the first generics nor for more complex and niche products."

As a result, Mylan said it would delay launching generic versions of the GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK) asthma drug Advair and Teva's multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone amid the "uncertain U.S. regulatory environment."

Teva's former interim chief executive, Yitzhak Peterburg, cited customer consolidation, an increase in FDA generic-drug approvals and products that were either delayed or subject to more competition for "accelerated price erosion and decreased volume" in the second quarter.

FDA approval complications were cited across second-quarter reports, Mizuho analyst Irina Koffler said in an Aug. 17 report to clients. Though generic approvals are catching some wind under the FDA's new goal, complex generics — a molecular copy that also has a complex active ingredient, formulation, route or device combination — have been subject to administrative delays.

Koffler sees Mylan as best-positioned to rebound despite its tie to the challenged generics sector. The firm has a pipeline of complex generics and biosimilars, guidance is now more realistic and it's less levered than its peers, meaning it could pursue acquisitions of companies whose stocks have dropped.

"The risks are that pricing pressure in the U.S. may not abate, and the overall profitability of the company is declining as it expands into lower-margin international markets that now comprise a greater percentage of its revenue," she said.

Few Drugmakers Escape

A few drugmakers seemingly escaped the second-quarter malaise. But those reports were somewhat misleading, CFRA analyst Jeffrey Loo told IBD.

Perrigo issued a beat-and-raise that helped its stock fly 16% in a day. Though Perrigo's generic drug sales toppled 13% year over year, its separate consumer health segments had smaller 4% and 9% declines in the U.S. and internationally, respectively.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals ( VRX) crushed second-quarter profit views, though sales came in a hair light. The firm also cut its 2017 revenue target, but kept its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization forecast.

"A lot of people consider Valeant as a generic play, but the bulk of the business is now Bausch & Lomb" eye-care products, Loo said. In the quarter, revenue from Bausch & Lomb as well as Salix, its gastrointestinal-drugs division, represented 73% of total sales. Its smaller generics unit, on the other hand, fell by 33%.

"If you exclude Valeant from the generic space and Perrigo, none of these generic drugmakers really bucked the trend in the second quarter," Loo said. "I think that it (pressure on the group) will likely continue going forward for the next two quarters."

Teva Stock: Debt, Bribery Investigation Weigh

Teva leads the U.S. generic drugs sector, but it's also under the most pressure, Steven Schoenfeld, chief information officer of BlueStar Indexes, told IBD. BlueStar Indexes tracks Israeli equities. Cybersecurity play Check Point Software Technologies ( CHKP) is now bigger than Teva in terms of market cap, at $18.18 billion.

Former Teva Chief Executive Erez Vigodman stepped down in February amid a bribery investigation. Since then, management has been shaky and the firm's strategy has been out of kilter, Schoenfeld says. This followed its loss of several key patents protecting MS drug Copaxone in January. In September, Teva named former Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk ( NVO) veteran Kare Schultz as its new chief executive officer.

Still, Teva is splitting its focus between generic and branded drugs, Schoenfeld says.

"They need a strategy," he said. "They need to see if they want to expand or continue to invest in blockbuster drugs. They've now got some early-stage Alzheimer's assets and other drugs. They have to decide if they're going to be X percentage generic and, if so, do the profits go into innovation?"

Meanwhile, debt has rocketed and investors are no longer sure the $40.5 billion Teva paid to acquire Actavis Generics from Allergan ( AGN) was a good price, he says. As of June 30, Teva had $35.1 billion in debt, rising from $34.6 billion at the end of March.

Under Schultz, Teva recently avoided a covenant violation on its debt. On Sept. 19, Teva said it amended several term loans and revolving credit facilities, "providing Teva greater flexibility in its financial leverage ratio covenants."

Generic Drug Stock Outlook

The question at the forefront now is whether the U.S. generic drugs sector has hit a bottom.

In recent history, Mylan has come under scrutiny for the pricing of its emergency allergy injection, EpiPen. Turing Pharmaceuticals' former chief executive, Martin Shkreli, drew criticism for spiking the price of a decades-old HIV drug. Teva is among those being looked at for MS drug prices.

"Popular culture has turned against it," BlueStar's Schoenfeld said. "Secular trends aren't going to go away. The market sees pricing pressure. Have these stocks priced in the worst? Teva is trading where it had major support in the 2001-03 time frame. But I wouldn't recommend anyone plunge into Teva."

Most firms are now trading at four to five times their earnings, CFRA's Loo says. Amid continuing price erosion, he sees the stocks trading sideways for the next six months. He notes there aren't many drugs going off patent in the near future, causing somewhat of a roadblock for new generics.

"I would like to hope they've hit a bottom," he said. "There are not that many catalysts for them going forward. You might see some buyers step in and buy shares of these companies. Four to five times earnings is an awfully attractive valuation."

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20. Human Growth Drug Flop Sends This Biotech Crashing 83%Пт., 22 сент.[−]

Versartis ( VSAR) plunged early Friday after its pediatric growth-hormone deficiency drug failed in a late-stage trial, sending shares of rival Ascendis Pharma ( ASND) soaring.

XAutoplay: On | OffIn premarket trading on the stock market today, Versartis dove 83% to 3.70. Meanwhile, rival Ascendis skyrocketed 38%. Ascendis also has a late-stage drug for the same hormone deficiency.

Versartis' drug, known as somavaratan, missed its key goal in the trial dubbed Velocity, the biotech said late Thursday. Over the course of 12 months, patients treated with somavaratan grew 9.44 centimeters in height vs. 10.7 centimeters for patients who received Pfizer's ( PFE) growth hormone drug, Genotropin.

Chief Executive Jay Shepard said Versartis is reviewing the results and will provide a corporate update later this year.

Ascendis is also working on pediatric and adult growth-hormone deficiency drugs. The pediatric iteration has begun a Phase 3 trial while the adult version has wrapped up Phase 2 testing. The firm sees these hormone deficiencies as a $3 billion combined market.


IBD'S TAKE: Analysts have called for data from several companies to be real catalysts — or ledges — for the biotech group. Head to IBD Industry Themes to grab the lineup for data readouts this month.


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21. HPE Said Set To Ax 10% Of Staff As Cisco, Dell Competition Heats UpПт., 22 сент.[−]

Restructured but still-struggling Hewlett Packard Enterprise ( HPE) plans to cut 5,000 workers, about 10% of its employees, says a report.

The job cuts will start before the end of the year, Bloomberg reported.

HPE is battling Cisco Systems ( CSCO) and Dell Technologies ( DVMT), which acquired data storage systems maker EMC last year, as corporate spending on computer networking and data storage systems slows down.

HPE shares rose 0.6% to 13.88 in late trading on the stock market today. Some analysts had anticipated a workforce reduction amid a company review of operations. HPE stock is about even in 2017 amid large gains in many technology stocks.

HPE has a buy point of 15.09 out of a flat base. The company could benefit if the Trump administration pushes through corporate tax reform.

HPE in August completed the sale of its software business to U.K.-based Micro Focus International. HPE earlier spun off its enterprise services business, which merged with Computer Sciences to create DXC Technology ( DXC.)

Hewlett-Packard split into two publicly traded companies in November 2015, with its printer and PC business becoming HP Inc. ( HPQ) HPE has focused on selling computer networking, data storage gear and servers to corporate customers.

Companies are outsourcing projects to cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services, part of Amazon.com ( AMZN), and are less on their own data centers, pressuring long-time, information technology suppliers like HPE and IBM ( IBM).

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22. Ruling On Solar Tariff Case Could Create Harsh Reaction For LosersЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Solar stocks will be watched closely Friday as the U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to rule on a petition that could have negative consequences for either Chinese or U.S. solar companies.

The ITC will decide Friday whether to impose what is known as a Section 201 tariff on imported solar panels and modules from China. The ruling will address complaints by two solar manufacturers, Suniva, a privately held U.S. solar company, and Germany-based SolarWorld, which are calling for trade protections over cheap solar imports from China.

If the ITC finds harm, it would then be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to decide whether to grant the request of the two petitioners.

Gordon Johnson, managing director of Axiom Capital Management, says Chinese solar stocks are about to "get crushed" as a result of the ruling.

"Our checks suggest the ITC decision on Friday will disappoint to the downside," Johnson told Benzinga. "We have been pounding the table on shorting Chinese solar stocks."

Among Chinese solar companies, JA Solar ( JASO) tumbled 4.1% to close at 7.85 on the stock market today. JinkoSolar ( JKS) fell 1.1% to finish the regular trading session at 26.01. Daqo New Energy ( DQ) was down 0.9% to end at 27.97.


IBD'S TAKE: With thousands of publicly traded companies to choose from, how can you quickly find the best stocks to buy right now? A good starting point is to regularly review screens that highlight the top-rated equities.


Among U.S. solar companies, Sunpower ( SPWR) plunged 6.2% to close at 7.37. First Solar ( FSLR) was down 0.2%, near 48.76.

A ruling in support of the claimants, granting the import tariffs, "would virtually double the cost of panels from the current market price," according to a report by Moody's Investor Service.

It cited a report from Green Tech Media Research saying the tariffs would result in the elimination of 88,000 U.S. jobs and the deferred installation of 47 gigawatts of solar capacity between 2017 and 2022, said Moody's.

"The imposition of tariffs would also likely affect the pace of decarbonization in the U.S. by delaying investments in solar generation and, in turn, extending the life of some coal plants," said Moody's. It said the precipitous decline in the cost of solar panels and modules has been the driving force behind the rapid adoption of solar generation.

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23. Intercept Plunges On FDA's Warning Of Drug-Related DeathsЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Intercept Pharmaceuticals ( ICPT) neared a four-year low Thursday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of liver damage and death associated with the company's drug, Ocaliva.

XAutoplay: On | OffLeerink analyst Joseph Schwartz questioned whether the FDA could require Intercept to include a black box warning on its label for Ocaliva. Ocaliva is approved to treat a disease known as primary biliary cholangitis in which bile ducts in the liver become inflamed.

"We continue to believe Ocaliva adoption in primary biliary cholangitis patients could face headwinds as these safety issues linger despite the fact that Ocaliva remains the only approved second therapy" for patients who don't respond to or are intolerant to ursodeoxycholic acid, he wrote in a report.

The FDA's letter closely mirrors an earlier letter from Intercept warning physicians against overdosing patients with liver cirrhosis on Ocaliva. Patients with compromised livers are recommended to receive a 5-milligram dose of Ocaliva once weekly and up to 10-milligram doses twice weekly.

Regulators identified 11 cases of serious liver injury associated with Ocaliva use. In total, 19 patients died while receiving Ocaliva.


IBD'S TAKE: Intercept has an IBD Composite Rating of 20, meaning it trades in the bottom fourth of all stocks in terms of key growth metrics. Celgene leads the biotech group with a best-possible CR of 99. Get the other top-rated biotechs on IBD Stock Checkup.


Six patients with compromised livers developed liver damage after receiving 5 milligrams of Ocaliva daily. The other five serious cases of liver injury occurred in patients with healthier livers prior to initiating Ocaliva therapy. Four of these patients received 5 milligrams of Ocaliva daily, which is the recommended starting dose for this group of patients.

RBC analyst Brian Abrahams remained bullish on the prospects of Ocaliva in primary biliary cholangitis and in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, another liver disease. The FDA's warning of liver damage in patients without cirrhosis was pulled from earlier testing of higher doses, he said.

This was "not anything new stemming from the commercial experience," he said in a note to clients. He also argued that the rate of deaths in patients on Ocaliva seems comparable to the rate of deaths in patients treated with ursodeoxycholic acid, the first standard treatment for primary biliary cholangitis.

In afternoon trading on the stock market today, Intercept plummeted nearly 25% to 73.70, touching a low last seen in January 2014. Though rivals Arena Pharmaceuticals ( ARNA) and CymaBay Therapeutics ( CBAY) could benefit, their shares rose less than 1% and fell 1.7, respectively.

Leerink's Schwartz kept his market perform rating on Intercept and outperform ratings on Arena and CymaBay. RBC's Abrahams has an outperform rating on Intercept.

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24. Western Digital Escalates Tussle With Toshiba Over Chip PlantЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Western Digital ( WDC) has added more roadblocks in its attempts to stop Toshiba from selling a prized chip unit to a group led by Bain Capital and Korean chipmaker SK Hynix.

XAutoplay: On | OffWestern Digital late Wednesday announced that several subsidiaries of its SanDisk chipmaking business have filed an additional request for arbitration with the International Court of Arbitration, which is part of the International Chamber of Commerce. The arbitration requests pertain to joint ventures that the SanDisk subsidiary of Western Digital has with Japanese conglomerate Toshiba.

It's the latest move in a lengthy legal tussle between Western Digital and Toshiba over the fate of a highly prized memory-chip unit called Toshiba Memory Corp.

On Tuesday, Toshiba announced it would sell the company to a group led by Korean chipmaker SK Hynix and Bain Capital, for a reported $18 billion. Western Digital had also bid on the company as part of a group that includes KKR ( KKR).

Before the sale, Western Digital acquired a stake in Toshiba Memory, resulting from its $15.8 billion SanDisk acquisition, purportedly giving it some contractual rights. Those rights are what's in dispute — and Western Digital continues to leverage those rights for its benefit by trying to nix any deal without its approval.

The latest arbitration requests are in addition to ones that Western Digital filed on May 14 and July 5 that "continue to move forward" in the International Court of Arbitration, Western Digital said. The new requests from its SanDisk subsidiaries seek a permanent injunction preventing Toshiba from making unilateral investments in manufacturing equipment without first giving SanDisk the opportunity to make a comparable investment.

"It is unfortunate that SanDisk is forced to initiate binding arbitration to remedy Toshiba's retaliatory breach of the joint-venture agreement entered into by both SanDisk and Toshiba," Western Digital said in a prepared statement late Wednesday.

"The terms of the agreement and our related legal rights are clear," Western Digital said.

Toshiba, in a statement Thursday, said it was "disappointed" by Western Digital's initiation of additional arbitration.

Western Digital shares lost 1% to close at 85.49 on the stock market today.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, pay attention to the major averages and leading stocks. Read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


Toshiba last week told Western Digital that the "confidential agreements between SanDisk and Toshiba provide no reasonable basis for Western Digital's assertions that it is entitled to prevent a sale of TMC."

Toshiba is under heavy pressure to sell the chip unit in order to cover massive losses from its nuclear division and avoid having its stock delisted from Japan's stock exchanges.

Western Digital, in addition to its strong presence in the memory-chip market, is also the largest provider of disk drives.


25. Google's Nest Pushes Into Security, But Alarm.com Should Be OKЧт., 21 сент.[−]

The push by Google-controlled Nest into home security products and services shouldn't worry investors in Alarm.com ( ALRM), says one Wall Street analyst.

XAutoplay: On | OffNest — operated by Alphabet's ( GOOGL) Google — on Wednesday rolled out Nest Secure, a do-it-yourself $499 system. It includes a hub/motion sensor, two door/window sensors, and two key fobs to arm and disarm the system. A version with a camera that will cost $599. It's expected to be available in November.

Nest customers can also buy monitoring services from Moni Smart Security, a customer of Alarm.com.

"We do not expect the fact that Moni, one of Alarm.com's largest customers, is providing the professional monitoring service for Nest to be a big headwind to Alarm.com," said Bhavan Suri, a William Blair analyst in a report. "In our view, Moni would rather push its own service (which is run on Alarm.com) vs. Nest due to better monetization and a direct relationship with the customer."

Shares in Alarm.com, ranked No. 14 in the IBD 50 roster of fast-growing companies, slipped 0.6% to close at 44.63 on the stock market today. Alarm.com stock has jumped 60% in 2017.


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ADT, another alarm-monitoring company, is also a customer of Tyson, Va.-based Alarm.com.

Alarm.com faces competition from Honeywell ( HON) as well as Comcast ( CMCSA) and AT&T ( T), which have home security services.

Google acquired Nest in 2014 for $3.2 billion. Nest is one of Google's "other bets" businesses, which also include a superfast broadband service and a life sciences business. Alphabet does not break out Nest's revenue.

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26. Nvidia Stock Shaken On Report Tesla Is Developing Chips With AMDЧт., 21 сент.[−]

A report that Tesla ( TSLA) is working with AMD to develop chips for autonomous driving sent shares of Nvidia ( NVDA) down Thursday and also posed a threat to Intel ( INTC).

XAutoplay: On | OffMore than 50 people, including several AMD veterans, are working on the Tesla chip-development initiative under Jim Keller, the head of Tesla's Autopilot hardware and software group, the CNBC report said.

CNBC had also said AMD spinoff GlobalFoundries is working directly with Tesla on autonomous driving technology. GlobalFoundries denied that report, saying it had not received any commitment from Tesla to work with any autonomous driving technology or product, according to a report from Reuters.

The Tesla/AMD report came shortly before the market close Wednesday, boosting AMD shares almost 4%. AMD shares were down 0.7%, near 13.65, during morning trading in the stock market today.

Shares of Nvidia lost 2.7% to close at 180.76, but are up 68% for the year. Nvidia has been a key chip supplier to Tesla.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves in a research note said that while Nvidia shares would likely see more volatility in the near term, "Longer term we think Nvidia will come out as the market share leader while AMD wins in specific applications."

Steves maintained an outperform rating on Nvidia and a price target of 205.

"Overall, we think Nvidia remains the primary workhorse/engine while AMD chips are used for specific applications to avoid giving Nvidia 100% of the (artificial intelligence) content in self-driving vehicles," Steves wrote.

Rosenblatt Securities analyst Hans Mosesmann said Tesla's selection of AMD was a blow to Intel, which has invested heavily in the market for autonomous vehicles.

In March, Intel announced that it would buy Mobileye, a developer of autonomous driving technology, for $15.3 billion. Mobileye was a longtime partner with Tesla, but the two companies had a public falling out last year following crashes involving Tesla's Autopilot systems.

"The Tesla/AMD move has disruptive implications to the multibillion self-driving market as Intel has spent enormous amounts to get into the space with limited success in our opinion," Mosesmann wrote. "Tesla is viewed as a leader in all things autonomous and any architectural move from the company is not done willy-nilly. It is a double-slap in the face to Intel which has been courting Tesla to no end," he said.

Intel shares gained 0.4% to close at 37.20.

Mosesmann maintained a buy rating on AMD and price target of 22.


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Every major automaker — including General Motors ( GM) and Ford ( F) — has a driverless-car program, as does Google-owner Alphabet through its business unit called Waymo. Ford expects to have a fully autonomous car in five years.

In June, Nvidia announced that it is extending self-driving partnerships with European automakers Volkswagen ( VLKAY) and Volvo. The companies will work on advanced artificial intelligence systems for next-generation autonomous technologies.

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27. How Google-HTC Deal Will Pressure Samsung, Huawei In AndroidЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Google's purchase of Taiwan-based HTC's smartphone design business will pressure makers of Android software devices to follow its lead, says a market research firm.

XAutoplay: On | OffAlphabet ( GOOGL) unit Google late Wednesday said it has agreed to buy HTC's smartphone design business for $1.1 billion. Some of the Taiwanese firm's employees, many of which worked on Google's Pixel smartphones, will join the internet giant.

Other Android smartphone makers include Samsung, Huawei, Sony and LG.

The HTC acquisition can help Google "deliver smartphones with a premium, elegant industrial design while also providing much tighter integration between hardware, the Android OS and Google's services," David McQueen, analyst at ABI Research, said in a note to clients. Google rolled out its Pixel-branded phones in 2016.

"Although shipments in the Pixel range are currently less than 2 million a year, this tie up (HTC) will undoubtedly be a good thing for Google," McQueen went on to say. "It will help it grow scale in the high-end while turning it into a major competitive threat to the other Android OEMs rather than just as a point of reference."

The Google-HTC deal is expected to close in 2018. Google also will get some HTC intellectual property via a nonexclusive license.

HTC was once a major smartphone maker, but its market share has dwindled in recent years.


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Google bought Motorola Mobility in 2011 for $12.5 billion. It sold the business to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in 2014. Google had already sold off Motorola's cable TV gear business and kept most of Motorola's patents.

Google is expected to launch new Pixel phones on Oct. 4. That'll be about a month before the new, $999 Apple ( AAPL) iPhone X is supposed to hit store shelves.

Alphabet shares added 1 cent to close at 947.55 on the stock market today.

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28. Alnylam Is Entering 'New Chapter,' But Ionis Still Has A ChanceЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ( ALNY) could enter a "new chapter" in 2018 as it transitions into a commercial-stage company, an analyst said Thursday after the biotech presented strong data for a rare-disease drug.

XAutoplay: On | OffOn Wednesday, Alnylam rocketed 39% and closed north of a two-year high, as rival Ionis Pharmaceuticals ( IONS) tanked 8.8%. Both are working on drugs to treat hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy, a disease in which abnormal protein buildup causes systemic problems.

Patisiran, the drug from Alnylam, met its key goal and five secondary goals in a late-stage trial of patients with the disease. Physician feedback was positive on patisiran's safety and efficiency, Leerink analyst Paul Matteis said in a note to clients.

Matteis interviewed a specialist who suggested that there will be a "solid uptake for TTR knockdown medicines within his practice." But the specialist was reluctant to pick a winner between Alnylam's patisiran and Ionis' drug called inotersen.

Alnylam's patisiran is an infusion given once every three weeks and requires pretreatment with steroids. Ionis' inotersen is an injection, which takes less time but requires more frequent blood draws to monitor for low blood platelet count, a condition known as thrombocytopenia.


IBD'S TAKE: Alnylam was one of several biotechs slated to deliver "make or break" drug data this month. Head to IBD Industry Themes for more on why September is expected to continue to be a big month for the group.


"The specialist sees a role for both drugs and believes some patients may be OK with an infusion every three weeks, while others may want the freedom of a subcutaneously administered product even despite the need for more frequent blood draws," Matteis said.

Still Matteis and other analysts expect Alnylam to grab the lion's share of the market for diseases caused by an abnormal buildup of the amyloid protein. Matteis models an 80%/20% split in the market to favor Alnylam. He raised his price target on Alnylam to 112 from 72.

Credit Suisse analyst Alethia Young boosted her price target on Alnylam to 123 from 96, and expects peak sales for patisiran of $1.5 billion in 2023, up from her earlier view for $1 billion. Up in the air, though, are questions about how patisiran performed in patients with cardiac issues.

"We think these estimates could be higher if patisiran is able to fully penetrate the eligible cardiac population and think the drug could sell up to $2 billion at peak," she wrote in a note to clients. Then, her price target could rise to 161. Full results will be presented in November.

Leerink's Matteis is less bullish on the cardiac side. This class of drugs hasn't been proven to work in patients with cardiac amyloidosis, he argued.

Alnylam also is working on a drug known as givosiran to treat acute hepatic porphyria, a disease in which an enzyme deficiency occurs in the liver. Alnylam and the Food and Drug Administration recently agreed to a Phase 3 trial design and the firm expects to file for approval in late 2018.

Young calls givosiran a major value driver for Alnylam. She raised her expectations for the success of givosiran to 75% from 60%, noting that she expects the key goal of the trial to be "fairly achievable based on prior studies."

"Alnylam has faced substantial investor skepticism over their platform's safety and efficacy profile, but we think the company could be entering a new chapter in 2018 as it transitions to a commercial-stage company," she said.

By the closing bell on the stock market today, Alnylam lost 0.8% to 112.92. Ionis fell another 3.8% to finish trading at 51.83 during the regular session.

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29. Micron Technology Has Tailwinds Heading Into Fourth-Quarter ReportЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Memory-chip maker Micron Technology ( MU) is benefiting from strong demand and pricing trends for its DRAM and Nand chips as it prepares to report fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market close on Tuesday.

XAutoplay: On | OffBoise, Idaho-based Micron is forecast to earn an adjusted $1.83 a share, reversing a year-earlier loss of 5 cents a share. Analysts are predicting that Micron's sales will climb 85% year over year to $5.95 billion in the August quarter.

For Micron's current fiscal first quarter, Wall Street has been modeling for adjusted earnings per share of $1.84, compared with 32 cents a year earlier, on sales of $6.05 billion, up 53%.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Weston Twigg expects Micron to deliver a "beat-and-raise" report on Tuesday.

"Memory pricing dynamics remain robust," Twigg said in a report Tuesday. "We expect DRAM pricing (DRAM accounts for roughly two-thirds of Micron's revenue) to continue to increase through the end of the year … We expect Nand pricing to flatten through the end of the year, with the potential for declines by early 2018. Still, Micron reiterated as recently as this month that it doesn't expect 3D Nand production to be substantially in excess of demand next year (we model temporary oversupply in Q1-Q2 2018, but undersupply resuming by second-half 2018)."


IBD'S TAKE: Micron stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 92, meaning it has outperformed 92% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Micron, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Twigg rates Micron stock as sector perform, or neutral, because of concerns that rivals Samsung and SK Hynix will increase DRAM capacity. That could shift the industry to an oversupply situation late next year, he said.

Micron shares dipped 6 cents to close at 35.91 on the stock market today.

Micron provides memory chips for PCs, smartphones, consumer electronics, data centers, enterprise storage, automotive and other applications.

In its fiscal third quarter, Micron got 64% of its revenue from DRAM chips, 31% from Nand data-storage chips and the rest from other products.

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30. Apple iPhone X Production, Supply Likely Delayed: AnalystЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Apple's ( AAPL) upcoming flagship smartphone, the iPhone X, is likely to be in short supply when it officially becomes available on Nov. 3, a Wall Street analyst says.

XAutoplay: On | OffIn a report issued Wednesday, Raymond James chip analyst Christopher Caso said his supply-chain checks indicate a later production start for the premium handset than previously thought.

"Interestingly, while the industry widely anticipated a shift in iPhone ramp timing, our checks suggest there was an incremental delay in the build plans — with orders firmed up as recently as last week — shifting production more into the December quarter," Caso said. "While our checks are ongoing, initial feedback from our meetings suggests that final production of iPhone X has not yet begun, with production expected to commence in mid-October."

The production start is about a month later than expectations a month ago, and about two months later than expectations at the end of June, Caso said, according to Barron's.

Apple announced the OLED-screen iPhone X at a media event on Sept. 12, along with two new LCD-screen phones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8-series phones will be available in stores on Friday after a week of preorders.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 85, meaning it has outperformed 85% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Analysts studying pre-order activity for the iPhone 8 handsets believe that many customers are waiting for the iPhone X, pronounced "ten" as in the Roman numeral. Preorders for the iPhone 8-series phones appear well below those of new models in recent years, according to reports by Rosenblatt Securities and KGI Securities.

The iPhone 8-series phones are seen as incremental updates to last year's LCD-screen iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. By contrast, the iPhone X has a 5.8-inch OLED screen and a sleek new design. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5-inches, respectively.

Apple sank 1.7% to close at 153.39 on the stock market today.

Apple shares also fell 1.7% on Wednesday on a report of technical problems with its Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatches, which go on sale Friday. That slide pushed Apple below a 156.75 buy point and its 50-day moving average.

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31. Amazon Ad Revenue Rising, But Google And Facebook Stay DominantЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Amazon.com's ( AMZN) share of the U.S. digital advertising market will edge up this year, but Google and Facebook ( FB) remain dominant, says research firm eMarketer.

XAutoplay: On | OffAmazon's digital ad revenue will jump 48% to $1.65 billion, eMarketer estimates. It forecasts that Amazon's share of the digital ad market will edge up to 2% from 1.6%. In 2018, eMarketer says Amazon's ad revenue will surge 42% to $2.35 billion.

Alphabet's ( GOOGL) Google and Facebook will rake in 63.1% of U.S. digital ad revenue, eMarketer said in an updated forecast released on Thursday, up from an earlier estimate of 60.4%.

Mobile will account for more than half, or 54%, of Google's total ad revenue for the first time in 2017, said eMarketer. It estimates that Google's mobile revenue will grow 28.6% to $18.9 billion.

Google's total digital ad revenue will rise 18.9% to $35 billion, including YouTube, or 42.2% of the overall share, said eMarketer.

Facebook made bigger strides, however, with revenue jumping 40.4% to $17.4 billion, a 20.9% share. For 2016, Facebook's share of ad revenue was 17.3% to Google's 41.1%.

EMarketer, meanwhile, has lowered its 2017 advertising revenue forecast for Snap ( SNAP) as Google and Facebook gain share in the U.S. digital ad market.


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Snap, owner of the Snapchat mobile social networking app, will have 1.1% of the digital ad market, down from an earlier estimate of 1.3%, said eMarketer. Snap's U.S. revenue will grow 115% to $642.5 million, lower than the $770.1 estimated earlier, eMarketer said.

Twitter's ( TWTR) U.S. ad revenue will drop in 2017 by 10.8%, to $1.21 billion, eMarketer said. Its share of the U.S. digital ad market will fall to 1.5%, from 1.9% last year, said the research firm.

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32. Google Will Pay $1.1 Billion For HTC Staff, IP In Pixel Phone PushЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Alphabet unit Google ( GOOGL) will pay $1.1 billion to HTC in a cooperation agreement, the companies said late Wednesday. Some of the Taiwanese firm's employees, many of which worked on Google's Pixel smartphones, will join the internet giant. Google also will get some HTC intellectual property via a nonexclusive license.

Rumors of a Google-HTC deal had been building, with reports of an imminent deal Wednesday after Taiwan's stock exchange said that HTC would not open for trading Thursday.

HTC was once a major smartphone maker, but its market share has withered to near zero in recent years.

Google bought Motorola Mobility in 2011 for $12.5 billion. It sold the business to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in 2014. Google had already sold off Motorola's cable TV gear business and kept most of Motorola's patents, but the episode was still seen as a drain on time and money.

Google got back into smartphones via its Pixel handsets last year with HTC's help. New Pixels are expected in early October, about a month before the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone X is released.

The Google-HTC deal is expected to close in 2018.

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33. Tesla, AMD Working On Chip For Autonomous Driving: ReportЧт., 21 сент.[−]

Shares of AMD ( AMD) surged Wednesday following a report that it's working with Tesla ( TSLA) on developing chips for autonomous driving, delivering a potential blow to Nvidia ( NVDA).

XAutoplay: On | OffA report from CNBC, issued just before the market close, said Tesla is running tests on the first samples of the AMD processor. AMD shares were up 2%, near 14 in after-hours trading in the stock market today, after rising 4% during regular-hours trading.

Meanwhile, Tesla counts Nvidia as a partner but it is not reported to be a part of this venture. Nvidia shares were down 2%, near 182, after falling 0.8% during regular hours.

Sanjay Jha, chief executive of AMD spinoff GlobalFoundries, at a technology conference on Wednesday said it is working directly with Tesla. GlobalFoundries has a wafer supply agreement in place with AMD through 2020.

The CNBC report said more than 50 people are working on the initiative, including several AMD veterans, under Jim Keller, the head of Tesla's Autopilot hardware and software group.


IBD'S TAKE: Read IBD's The Big Picture column each day to stay on top of the market direction, a key indicator that lets you know when you can be aggressive and when you should move to the sidelines.


Tesla is in a race against General Motors ( GM), Ford ( F), BMW ( BMWYY) and others in the development of autonomous-driving technology, along with all-electric vehicles.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk in April said he expects full autonomous vehicles to be available to consumers in 2019.

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34. Activision Assembles 12 Teams For First Overwatch League SeasonСр., 20 сент.[−]

Activision Blizzard ( ATVI) on Wednesday announced final plans for a video game-playing league that will include 12 city-based teams.

Activision is setting up a professional league, similar to football or baseball, where the button-pushing and console toggling of video game aficionados is challenged for sport and money. Spectators are increasingly attending such events, as a number of such contests have been held at sizable sports venues. The video game publisher said the inaugural season for the new league begins Jan. 10.

With interest increasing in e-sports, Activision sees it as a major new business initiative that will drive revenue and earnings in the years ahead.

"We're excited to kick off the inaugural season of the Overwatch League," Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in a news release. "We have the very best team owners in e-sports and we will celebrate our professional players better than any league ever has."

Activision added the final three teams to the league on Wednesday. They're based in Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston. They join teams from Boston, London, Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, and Shanghai. Los Angeles has two teams.

For the inaugural season, though, all preseason and regular season games will take place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art live-event venue in Burbank, Calif., custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment e-sports events. Details were not available on when teams would start playing in their home cities.


IBD'S TAKE: Activision stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 91, meaning it has outperformed 91% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Activision stock, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Preseason play for the Overwatch League will start on Dec. 6 with exhibition matches featuring all 12 teams. The regular season will run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July.

Activision stock rose 1.1% to 65 on the stock market today.

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35. Aerie Tumbles Ahead Of FDA Panel Review Of Glaucoma DrugСр., 20 сент.[−]

Aerie Pharmaceuticals ( AERI) dipped to a three-week low Wednesday on volatility, ahead of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee review of its glaucoma drug, Rhopressa, set for next month.

XAutoplay: On | OffIn afternoon trading on the stock market today, Aerie toppled 8.9% to close at 53.40, as the wider biotech group lifted 1.4% to its highest point in more than a week. Aerie briefly broke out of a consolidation earlier this month, topping a 58.75 buy point.

Needham analyst Serge Belanger says to expect more volatility ahead of the FDA Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee meeting Oct. 13 to discuss Rhopressa. The panel is set to discuss whether the benefits of the drug outweigh any potential safety concerns.

The committee will make a nonbinding recommendation to the FDA. Advisory committees use independent advice from outside experts to vote on whether to recommend a drug for approval. These meetings are not required for every drug approved by the FDA.

Analysts widely expected the FDA to call for an advisory committee meeting for Rhopressa. Belanger expects the panel to discuss recent trial results for Rhopressa as well as some of the ocular side effects associated with the drug.

Rhopressa works to relieve pressure inside the eye associated with glaucoma and ocular hypertension.


IBD'S TAKE: Is medtech a safe haven as pharmaceuticals navigate the drug-pricing conversation? Some analysts say yes. IBD's 56-company Medical-Systems/Equipment industry group is up 35.5% year to date. Head to the Industry Snapshot for a closer look at who's leading the space and why.


"We believe that the extensive data package submitted as part of the Rhopressa (new drug application) supports FDA approval," he wrote in a note to clients. "That being said, we expect Aerie to see some volatility ahead of the FDA advisory committee panel."

That volatility will likely emerge around Oct. 11 when the FDA is expected to release the meeting materials. These "typically highlight potential issues that have surfaced in the initial FDA review of drug candidates and warrant further discussion by the advisory committee panel," he said.

Belanger kept his buy rating and 65 price target on Aerie stock.

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36. Apple Watch Series 3 Tarnished By Cellular Glitch ReportsСр., 20 сент.[−]

Apple ( AAPL) on Wednesday admitted to cellular connectivity problems with its upcoming Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch, but said it is working on a software fix.

XAutoplay: On | OffIn certain instances the Apple Watch Series 3 is prevented from using cellular networks when it tries to gain access to unauthorized Wi-Fi networks, Apple said in an email to a product reviewer at the Verge.

"We are investigating a fix for a future software release," the email said.

The third-generation Apple Watch arrives in stores on Friday. Apple began taking preorders for the device last Friday. The addition of cellular LTE connectivity is the biggest change to the smartwatch. Previous versions of the Apple Watch needed to connect wirelessly to an iPhone for full functionality.

Verge writer Lauren Goode said the new Apple Watches she was testing tried to connect to unknown Wi-Fi networks instead of connecting to cellular when she was without her iPhone. A Wall Street Journal review reported similar problems.

Apple stock ended the trading day down 1.7% to close at 156.07 on the stock market today, falling below their 50-day moving average, a key technical support level.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 86, meaning it has outperformed 86% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Apple is the leading seller of smartwatches worldwide, but the business is a small one for Apple, which gets most of its sales and profits from the iPhone.

The first of Apple's 11th-generation smartphones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, arrive in stores this Friday after a week of preorders. Analysts say iPhone 8 demand has been muted by Apple's premium iPhone X, which will arrive in stores on Nov. 3 after a week of preorders starting Oct. 27.

"Our research suggests that iPhone 8 preorders are substantially lower than iPhone 7 and iPhone 6 levels," Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang said in a report Wednesday. "We understand many customers could be waiting for the iPhone X, but we are concerned iPhone 8/8 Plus sell-through could bring some headwinds."

Apple could miss consensus estimates for the December and March quarters if iPhone 8 sales underperform and if Apple can't make enough iPhone X handsets to meet demand, he said.

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37. Will HTC Help Google In Smartphones Or Be Another Motorola?Ср., 20 сент.[−]

If Alphabet's ( GOOGL) Google buys part of Taiwan's HTC as expected, the price tag will be a lot lower than its first purchase of a smartphone business, Motorola Mobility in 2011.

Taiwan's stock exchange announced HTC shares would not be trading on Thursday morning "pending the release of material information." Reports say Google could buy HTC's smartphone design business for around $330 million. Google may not buy HTC's manufacturing business.

Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility in 2011 and sold off the business to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in 2014. Google kept most of Motorola's patent portfolio and earlier had sold off its cable TV gear business.

Even so, the Motorola purchase was a black eye for Google, whose smartphone business struggled to gain traction until the rollout of Pixel-branded phones in 2016.

Acquiring HTC's research-and-development operation could provide a boost vs. Apple ( AAPL), analysts say. Alphabet stock climbed 1.1% to 947.54 on the stock market today. Apple shares were down 1.7% to 156.07.


IBD'S TAKE: Looking for actionable stocks? Check out our Stock Lists page, where you can find stocks near buy zones, stocks hitting new highs, sector leaders, tech leaders, IPO leaders and more.


HTC manufactures the Pixel phones. Google is expected to launch new Pixel phones on Oct. 4. That'll be three weeks before the new, $999 Apple iPhone X hits store shelves.

HTC sold 12.6 million smartphones in 2016, down 24% from a year earlier. Smartphone revenue fell 45% to $2.1 billion, according to UBS. HTC has lost ground to other Android smartphone makers, such as Samsung, Huawei and LG.

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38. Amazon Could Be Targeting Pharmacy Delivery BusinessСр., 20 сент.[−]

Amazon.com ( AMZN) is reportedly in talks with pharmacy benefit managers, hoping to achieve contractual arrangements that could lead to it entering the pharmaceutical delivery business.

A report from Axios said Amazon is talking with some middle-market pharmacy benefit managers "in an effort to get into various contract arrangements." It said the source of the information came from investment bank Leerink Partners, which spoke with pharmacy executives.

The report said Amazon may pursue a mail-order pharmacy that initially targets uninsured customers or people who have high deductibles and pay cash for most of their prescription drugs.

Conversations with prescription drug middlemen make it appear "that this is the direction Amazon is moving in," Leerink said in a report.

Last Friday, shares of Netherlands-based online pharmacy company Shop Apotheke Europe rose 31% on a report it was in talks with Amazon about being acquired. Shop Apotheke denied the report.


IBD'S TAKE: With thousands of publicly traded companies to choose from, how can you quickly find the best stocks to buy right now? A good starting point is to regularly review screens that highlight the top-rated equities.


Amazon shares were up 0.4% to 973.21 on the stock market today.

Pharmacy executives who spoke with Leerink said it would take at least 18 to 24 months for Amazon to get proper drug licenses in 50 states.

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39. Western Digital Loses Toshiba Chip Battle, But Says War Not OverСр., 20 сент.[−]

Western Digital ( WDC) has lost a battle over the $22 billion sale of a prized chip unit of Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, but said it "remains confident" it will win the war as it pursues legal remedies over the acquisition.

Western Digital lost out in an attempt to buy Toshiba Memory to a group led by Korean chipmaker SK Hynix and Bain Capital, but says it is pursuing arbitration in the International Court of Arbitration, which is part of the International Chamber of Commerce. Western Digital has also bid on the chip unit as part of a group that includes KKR ( KKR).

Western Digital acquired a stake in Toshiba Memory, resulting from its $15.8 billion SanDisk acquisition, giving it certain contractual rights. It's those rights that are in dispute and which Western Digital continues to leverage for its benefit by trying to nix any deal without its approval.

"We are disappointed that Toshiba would take this action despite Western Digital's tireless efforts to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of all stakeholders," Western Digital said in a prepared statement. "Furthermore, it is troubling that Toshiba would pursue this transaction without SanDisk's consent, as the language in the relevant joint-venture agreements is unambiguous, and courts have entered multiple rulings in favor of protecting SanDisk's contractual rights."

Western Digital said it "remains confident that SanDisk will succeed on the merits of its arbitration requests," and that those cases continue to move forward in arbitration.

Western Digital shares dropped 4% to close at 86.37 on the stock market today.


IBD'S TAKE: Western Digital holds a strong IBD Composite Rating of 95 out of a possible 99. There are plenty of places on Investors.com to research and find top stocks, but when you're looking to get a broader idea on top tech stocks, IBD's Tech Leaders feature is worth reviewing.


Toshiba responded to Western Digital, last week, saying that the "confidential agreements between SanDisk and Toshiba provide no reasonable basis for Western Digital's assertions that it is entitled to prevent a sale of TMC."

The Toshiba unit makes a popular computer memory chip known as Nand flash, which is used in a wide variety of consumer electronics and in chip-based data storage systems. Toshiba is under heavy pressure to sell the chip unit, in order to cover massive losses from its nuclear division and avoid having its stock delisted from Japan's stock exchanges.

Western Digital, in addition to its strong presence in the memory chip market, is also the largest provider of disk drives.

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40. Best Buy's Four-Year Sales, Earnings Outlook DisappointsСр., 20 сент.[−]

Shares of consumer electronics retailer Best Buy ( BBY) fell for the second straight day on Wednesday on the heels of the company's first investor meeting in five years.

Wall Street analysts expressed concerns about Best Buy's targets for 2020, including its ability to gain market share and whether it can pass through earnings from its expected sales growth.

Best Buy stock dipped 0.3% to close at 52.59 on the stock market today. On Tuesday, its shares tumbled 8% after the company announced its " Best Buy 2020: Building the New Blue" growth strategy.

At least three Wall Street analysts cut their price targets on Best Buy stock on Wednesday, the day after the investor meeting.

Telsey Advisory Group kept its outperform rating on Best Buy, but lowered its price target to 62 from 66. RBC Capital Markets maintained its sector perform rating and cut its price target to 57 from 61. UBS reiterated its neutral rating and reduced its price target to 57 from 60.

UBS analyst Michael Lasser expressed skepticism that Best Buy can achieve its promised annual sales growth of about 2%.

Reaching that goal would represent an acceleration from the average 1% same-store sales growth it has achieved over the past few years, he said in a report. And those gains were helped by taking market share from failed rivals like RadioShack and HHGregg, Lasser said.

"Now, there just aren't players of this size who are likely to donate share of a similar magnitude (aside from Sears in appliances and TVs)," Lasser said.


IBD'S TAKE: Best Buy stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 87, meaning it has outperformed 87% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Best Buy stock visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Richfield, Minn.-based Best Buy believes it can grow by taking market share in major appliances and mobile phones and by adding more support services.

Best Buy is rolling out a new Geek Squad offering called Total Tech Support, which provides ongoing support for a customer's tech products, no matter where or when they bought them.

The retailer also has expanded its In-Home Advisor program, where specially trained employees provide free in-home consultations to help customers find the right technology products to meet their needs.

Morgan Stanley analyst Simeon Gutman said Best Buy's outlook was disappointing because its implied profit margins were below Wall Street's estimates. However, that could be chalked up to management being conservative, he said.

Best Buy's In-Home Advisor program has the potential to be a "game-changer," Gutman said.

"The In-Home Advisor service will allow Best Buy to connect with consumers on a more personal level by providing a single point of contact, from consultation to installation," he said. "We expect a smooth rollout given Best Buy's 18-month testing period across five test markets. In these five test markets, average order value has been 30% higher than comparable transactions in store while In-Home Advisor comps in year two are showing continued strength."

The company has faced heightened competition in recent years from e-commerce giant Amazon.com ( AMZN) and discount retailers like Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT).

"The company is essentially the poster child for most of the retail industry on how to battle Amazon," RBC Capital Markets analyst Scot Ciccarelli said in a report. He noted Best Buy's move to price-match Amazon and its investments in its online store and omnichannel sales approach.

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41. Alnylam Rockets On Strong Rare-Disease Drug Data; Ionis TanksСр., 20 сент.[−]

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ( ALNY) shares catapulted upward by more than 50% Wednesday — to Ionis Pharmaceuticals' ( IONS) detriment — after reporting positive results in a late-stage trial of a drug to treat a rare disease caused by abnormal protein buildup.

XAutoplay: On | OffBy the closing bell on the stock market today, Alnylam ended the session up 51.6% to 113.78, touching levels not seen in more than two years, as Ionis tanked 8.8% to close at 53.88. Shares of Sanofi ( SNY), Alnylam's partner on the drug, inched down 2 cents to close at 49.08.

The trial tested a drug known as patisiran in patients with the disease, hereditary ATTR amyloidosis with polyneuropathy. The disease is the result of a genetic mutation and causes systemic problems due to the buildup of protein called amyloid.

Alnylam tested 225 patients, representing 39 genotypes of the disease across 19 countries. Patisiran patients received 0.3 milligrams of the drug for every kilogram of body weight once every three weeks during an 18-month period. A kilogram equals roughly 2.2 pounds.

The trial met both its key goal and five secondary goals. Full results will be presented in November.

Just 7.4% of patisiran patients discontinued treatment. Meanwhile, roughly one-third of the 225 patients tested received a non-drug placebo and 37.7% of those discontinued treatment. Most common adverse events included swelling in the limbs and infusion-related reactions. Serious side effects were seen in 36.5% and 40.3% of patisiran and placebo patients, respectively.


IBD'S TAKE: Analysts had called for Alnylam's results in its patisiran trial to help or hurt the rising tide for biotechs in this "make or break" month. Head to IBD Industry Themes for more on potential catalysts for the industry in September.


Key among those safety points, Evercore analyst Umer Raffat noted, is that 4.7% of patisiran patients died in the trial vs. 7.8% of placebo patients. Leerink analyst Paul Matteis called the results a "best case" for Alnylam and a "big win" for RNA interference, the process by which patisiran works.

Ionis is also working to treat this disease with a drug known as inotersen. In July, the firm reported strong data from a Phase 3 trial of patients on inotersen. Results from that study also met two key goals at 15 months of treatment.

The Street had already been modeling Alnylam taking an 80% chunk of the market, leaving Ionis to the remaining 20%, Matteis wrote in a note to clients. Consensus numbers suggest the positive result from patisiran was already baked into models on Alnylam.

Now, Alnylam plans to file an application with the Food and Drug Administration in late 2017 and an application in Europe in early 2018. Sanofi is preparing regulatory filings in Japan, Brazil and other countries in the first half of 2018.

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42. Chinese Delivery Firm Best Rises First Day After Down-Sizing IPOСр., 20 сент.[−]

Shares in Chinese delivery firm Best Inc. ( BSTI), backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding ( BABA), jumped 13% in its initial public offering on Wednesday.

Best stock closed up 5% to 10.52 on the stock market today, though it had been up 50% from its 10 strike price at one point. Best earlier reduced its offering from $750 million to $495 million. It's still the largest IPO this year by a Chinese company listed in New York.

Best's biggest business is its express-delivery unit, followed by its freight-delivery division and supply-chain management services.


IBD'S TAKE: Alarm.com, Square, Atlassian and The Trade Desk are among recent IPOs being tracked at IBD's IPO Leaders. IPO Leaders has special screening criteria to find up-and-coming stocks with strong fundamental and technical traits.


Alibaba holds a 23% stake in the company, formerly called Best Logistics, but is not selling shares in the IPO. Alibaba was interested in buying as much as $150 million in Best's downsized IPO, Bloomberg reported.

Best posted a net loss of $198.1 million on revenue of $1.28 billion last year.

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43. Amazon Glasses Are Another Swipe At Alphabet Over Smart HomesСр., 20 сент.[−]

The battle for digital dominance in the smart home continues to intensify as Amazon ( AMZN) reportedly is developing more new products that pose another threat to Alphabet ( GOOGL), in one of the hottest categories of consumer electronics.

XAutoplay: On | OffAmazon is developing a pair of smart glasses and a new camera security system, both of which tap into its Alexa virtual assistant and expand its growing presence in the smart home, according to the Financial Times Wednesday.

The Amazon devices in development and related products now available are a threat to Alphabet and its line of virtual assistants, centered on Google Home, along with Apple ( AAPL) and its HomePod device.

The focal point of the Amazon devices in development is Alexa, the voice of the Amazon Echo artificially intelligent virtual digital assistant. Through Alexa's speakers and microphone, users can play music, create shopping lists, get information on weather, traffic and sports, in addition to using the device for ordering products on Amazon and controlling household devices such as lighting.

Amazon's pair of smart glasses would allow Alexa to be summoned anytime and anywhere, the Financial Times report said, citing people familiar with the plans. A bone-conduction audio system would allow the wearer to hear Alexa without the need for headphones.

The internet-connected camera security system Amazon also reportedly is developing would allow people to view the video feed on the Amazon Echo Show, a recently introduced device with a video screen.

And on Tuesday, Amazon introduced a new tablet, the Fire HD 10, that also connects with Alexa. In June, Amazon announced its new Dash Wand, an Alexa-enabled device that can be used for scanning grocery bar codes and other household essentials to create a shopping list, among other features.

Altogether, through Alexa, Amazon is embedding itself deeper into the smart home and in the process collecting batches of user data that can be used for generating more e-commerce and helping it to combat Alphabet in the digital assistant market.

Apple joined the market in June with the HomePod digital assistant. Last month, Amazon and Microsoft announced a partnership that threatens the rise of Alphabet and Apple in one of the hottest categories in consumer products.


IBD'S TAKE: Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft are strengthening their connection to customers with mobile and in-home devices infused with advanced speech recognition and artificial intelligence. The devices could evolve into the next major disruption in computing and put the smart home on a fast track.


Amazon shares inched up 0.4% to close at 973.21 on the stock market today.

Amazon leads the market for digital assistants in the home by a large margin, followed by Google Home, then Apple. Alphabet also has Google Assistant, a smartphone app that functions like Google Home, while Apple has Siri. And while it's believed that Google Home and Google Assistant are superior to Alexa in terms of having better artificial intelligence, Amazon still has the upper hand, says Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor.

"The two weaknesses of Amazon in the digital assistant space are that it is inferior to Google and that Google Assistant is present by default on every Android smartphone that ships," Windsor wrote in a blog post. But Amazon holds the stronger hand by being first to market and seeding the market with multiple devices that are like spokes surrounding the Alexa hub, before Alphabet can get its act together.

"If a large number of households have Alexa, which is working nicely with the other smart devices they have at home, it will be increasingly difficult for Google to win them back even with a superior product," Windsor wrote.

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44. Why Advertisers May Turn To Facebook, Snap Because Of AppleСр., 20 сент.[−]

There's a possible upside for Facebook ( FB), Google and Snap ( SNAP) from Apple's ( AAPL) controversial limits on consumer-data tracking, which has upset the advertising industry.

Apple's updated Safari 11 web browser, released on Tuesday, imposes a 24-hour limit on the tracking of websites that consumers visit. Apple says it's aiming to protect consumer privacy, thus setting iPhones apart from smartphones that use Google's Android software.

Apple's policy, however, will make it harder for companies to target consumers with advertising, say industry trade associations.

"(Apple's) changes have the potential to lead to a slowing of growth in ad dollar moving online," said Brian Nowak, a Morgan Stanley analyst in a report. "Over time, we see this leading to advertisers putting a higher value on large app platforms' data and their unique, logged-in and engaged user bases such as Facebook/Instagram. The same is true with YouTube and Snapchat."

Apple calls the ad-blocking technology "Intelligent Tracking Prevention." Apple does not garner much revenue from advertising, unlike Facebook and Alphabet ( GOOGL), parent of Google and YouTube.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


Third-party companies such as Criteo ( CRTO) embed browser cookies — tiny files that let websites recognize users and their preferences when they return to a site — serving many of the top U.S. retail and travel sites.

"As such, we see these changes driving a continuation of the winner-take-most dynamic we see in online advertising, with Facebook and Google driving 90% of U.S. online ad growth," added Nowak in the report. "Lastly, it could lead to increased advertiser testing using Amazon and its proprietary set of data on and off of Amazon.com ( AMZN)."

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45. Biotech Stocks To Watch And Pharma Industry NewsСр., 20 сент.[−]

One minute Dow Jones industrial average component Merck ( MRK) might be doing battle with fellow drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) over drugs that can ward off cancer.

The next, biotech giants like Amgen ( AMGN) and Sanofi ( SNY) are tussling in court over the fate of cholesterol-busting drugs. Meanwhile, a company like Gilead Sciences ( GILD) might be raked over the coals in Congress for charging $1,000 a day to treat hepatitis.

It's a brave – and contentious – new world for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. It's a realm where science is trying to develop landmark medicines that cure cancer, hepatitis and other life-threatening illnesses.

All the while it does a delicate dance with Wall Street and regulators – balancing public health issues with the demands of shareholders. Investors will find it tricky to navigate the sector, as companies can rise and fall at the drop of a hat.

Bookmark this page to stay on top of the latest news in the biopharma sector.

Biotech And Pharma News

Quest, LabCorp Are Big 'Losers' Under Medicare Overhaul: AnalystQuest Diagnostics plunged to a seven-month low Monday after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed to cut lab test reimbursement rates by 9%-10% in 2018. Canaccord analyst Mark Massaro suggested... Read More
Intercept Responds To Drug-Tied Deaths, Stock Tries To ReboundIntercept Pharmaceuticals tried to bounce back from an Ocaliva-inspired pitfall last week after it offered some clarity on the Food and Drug Administration's recent warnings over its key liver-disease drug. Intercept popped... Read More
Nasdaq Sinks 1%, Tests Support; Growth Stocks Hit HardA sell-off in technology and China stocks took the Nasdaq composite down 1.1% in afternoon trading Monday, while the other major indexes suffered less-serious losses. The Nasdaq was trying to hold above... Read More
Vertex Pharmaceuticals: Going From 'Crisis' To BlockbusterJeffrey Leiden's office shelves are plastered with all the accoutrements you'd expect from the chief executive of a $39 billion biotech. But from the awards, letters of accommodation and inevitable family photos,... Read More
This Biotech Is Ascending To Record Highs After Rival's FailureAscendis Pharma grabbed bullish views and rocketed to a record high Friday after rival Versartis crashed upon reporting its pediatric growth hormone deficiency drug failed in a late-stage trial. By the closing... Read More
Why Allergan's Hepatitis Drug Likely Won't Get FDA ApprovalAllergan is advancing a hepatitis drug into Phase 3 testing that likely won't get Food and Drug Administration approval, an analyst predicted Friday. But Mizuho analyst Irina Koffler is still constructive on... Read More
Generic Drug Makers Face Pricing Issues That Other Pharmas Don'tEveryone knows high prescription drug prices are a problem, but except for pharma stockholders, few people may realize that price cuts are rippling through the generic side of the industry. Take a... Read More

View More Biotech And Pharma Stock News

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46. Adobe Systems Beats Third-Quarter Sales, Earnings TargetsВт., 19 сент.[−]

Digital media and marketing software firm Adobe Systems ( ADBE) late Tuesday beat Wall Street's targets for its fiscal third quarter, but shares fell in late trading on the company's mixed guidance.

XAutoplay: On | OffAdobe earned an adjusted $1.10 a share, up 47% year over year, on sales of $1.84 billion, up 26%, for the period ended Sept. 1. Analysts expected Adobe to earn $1.01 a share on sales of $1.82 billion.

Adobe stock fell 1.8% in after-hours trading on the stock market today. During the regular session, Adobe rose 0.5% to 156.60.

Adobe shares hit a record high of 157.89 on Sept. 11.

For the current fiscal fourth quarter, Adobe forecast better-than-expected earnings on in-line sales. Adobe expects to earn $1.15 a share excluding items, up 28%, on revenue of $1.95 billion, up 21%. Analysts were modeling $1.10 and $1.95 billion.


IBD'S TAKE: Adobe is currently ranked No. 41 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks.


San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe sells internet cloud-based software and services for creative professionals and marketing executives. It's best known for products like Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat.

"Adobe delivered another record quarter with stellar year-over-year revenue growth of 26%," Adobe Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said in a news release. "The imperative to deliver intelligent, intuitive and effective customer experiences is key to the C-suite agenda of digital transformation, and Adobe's cloud offerings are critical to that business mandate."

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47. Chipmakers Nvidia, Micron Receive Price-Target HikesВт., 19 сент.[−]

Highflying chipmakers Nvidia ( NVDA) and Micron Technology ( MU) received price-target increases on their stocks from Wall Street analysts on Tuesday.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves reiterated his outperform rating on Nvidia and upped his price target to 205 from 175.

XAutoplay: On | OffSusquehanna Financial Group analyst Mehdi Hosseini maintained his positive rating on Micron and raised his price target to 50 from 40.

Nvidia shares dipped 0.1% to close at 187.35 on the stock market today. On Monday, Nvidia notched a record high of 191.20.

Micron ended the regular session Tuesday up 1.5% to 35.95. Its shares are at their highest level in almost three years.


IBD'S TAKE: The IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks includes six companies from the chip sector. Nvidia is currently ranked No. 8 on the list.


Nvidia has "positive momentum" in the second half of 2017 thanks to demand for graphics processors for data centers, gaming and cryptocurrency mining, Steves said in a report. Nvidia also has long-term upside from processors for self-driving cars, he said.

Micron is benefiting from continued strength in the memory chip market, Hosseini said in a note to clients.

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48. Tesla Report Expects Losses To Continue As Pressure Ramps UpВт., 19 сент.[−]

Tesla ( TSLA) shares fell Tuesday following a bearish report saying the maker of all-electric vehicles will continue to lose money on an annual basis through 2019.

XAutoplay: On | OffJefferies analyst Philippe Houchois initiated coverage of Tesla with an underperform rating and price target of 280, which is 26% below where the shares currently stand.

Tesla shares lost 2.6% to close at 375.10 on the stock market today. Tesla shares are up 77% this year.

"It is with a bit of a heavy heart that we initiate coverage of Tesla at underperform," Houchois wrote in a note to clients Tuesday, saying that boosting production remains the main challenge for Tesla. "Achievements to-date and vision are impressive, but we don't think Tesla's vertically integrated business model can be scaled up as profitably and quickly as consensus thinks and valuation multiples imply."

Tesla shares hit a record high Monday as the maker of electric vehicles ramps up production of its Model 3 and gets prepared to unveil its semitrailer next month. The Model 3 is Tesla's third all-electric vehicle. The company recently said reservations for the Model 3 have grown to more than 500,000, up from the 373,000 that Tesla previously reported in the spring of 2016.

Barring a major change of strategic direction, Houchois wrote, "Tesla will not generate the earnings and returns that the market seems to be expecting and that would be consistent with or required by its high level of vertical integration."

He added: "We don't believe that Tesla can deliver the 30%-to-35% gross margin levels that would be consistent with attractive returns in a vertically integrated business from manufacturing to distribution and supercharging."


IBD'S TAKE: The automakers rank 20th in stock performance out of 197 industry groups tracked by IBD. Tesla is ranked fourth in the group and holds an IBD Composite Rating of 85 out of a possible 99. To learn which stocks are leading the market now, check out IBD's Stock Lists.


Experts say electric vehicles could bring widespread disruption and dramatically shrink the number of carmakers over the next couple of decades. But Tesla is seen as one of the survivors.

Houchois said Tesla still holds an advantage in that competitors are still far behind. But the pressure is getting stronger as every major auto manufacturer is going full throttle into making electric vehicles.

Tesla reported second-quarter results on Aug. 2 that beat the consensus estimate on revenue and earnings, as it put a positive spin on production of its Model 3 sedan. Tesla revenue more than doubled from the year-ago quarter, reaching $2.79 billion. It reported an adjusted loss of $1.33 a share, beating the consensus estimate for a $1.82 per-share loss. It had a loss of $1.61 a share in the year-ago quarter.

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49. Universal Display Looking Bright After Goldman Sachs ReportВт., 19 сент.[−]

Shares of OLED display and lighting specialist Universal Display ( OLED) climbed to a record high on Tuesday after getting a positive report from investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Universal Display stock gained 4% to close at 142.20 on the stock market today. In intraday trading, the stock hit an all-time high of 145.30.

XAutoplay: On | OffGoldman Sachs analyst Brian Lee reiterated his buy rating on the stock and raised his 12-month price target to 161 from 150.

Lee believes Universal Display is close to commercializing blue phosphorescent OLED emitter materials for displays, joining the red, green and yellow materials it already sells.

The blue OLED materials could be a "game-changer" for Universal Display, Lee said.

"Our analysis suggests blue could add 16% to 66% to out-year EPS (earnings per share), which at current P/Es (price/earnings ratio) implies a stock worth as much as $178 to $254 per share," Lee said.


IBD'S TAKE: Universal Display is currently ranked No. 2 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks.


Universal Display is a key supplier of technology and materials for OLED displays and lighting. Its customers include OLED display makers like Samsung and LG Display ( LPL). OLED displays are increasingly being used in smartphones, including Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Apple's ( AAPL) upcoming iPhone X.

"Looking ahead, we believe the potential addition of blue materials to Universal Display's product portfolio could more than double its revenue content per smartphone and drive yet another step-function in the company's growth rate in the medium to long term," Lee said.

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are seen as superior to liquid crystal display (LCD) screens in terms of color reproduction, contrast ratio, refresh rate and power efficiency.

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50. Nintendo Stock Jumps On Upgrade, Switch's Sales ProspectsВт., 19 сент.[−]

U.S. shares of Japanese video game firm Nintendo ( NTDOY) jumped on Tuesday after getting a positive report from a Wall Street analyst and on upbeat prospects for the company to enter China.

Credit Suisse analyst Keiichi Yoneshima upgraded Nintendo to outperform from neutral on an improving forecast for sales of the Nintendo Switch game console. Yoneshima is now modeling for sales of 130 million units of Nintendo Switch through 2022, up from his prior forecast for 70 million units.

"We had previously expected the Switch to sell like a traditional console, but now expect it to sell more like a handheld," he said.

Many people are already using the Switch more as a portable device than a living-room console, Yoneshima added.


IBD'S TAKE: The IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks currently includes just one video game stock: Electronic Arts.


Last week, Nintendo revealed that it is bringing Tencent's ( TCEHY) "Honor of Kings," one of China's most popular games, to the Switch console this winter.

The deal "could be a precursor to further arrangements allowing Nintendo to sell the Switch and its mobile games in China," the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Nintendo's U.S. shares surged 6.1% to close at 46.75 on the stock market today. In intraday trading it hit its highest level in more than eight years.

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51. Catalent Dips On $950 Million Acquisition Of Cook PharmicaВт., 19 сент.[−]

Catalent ( CTLT) stock dipped to a three-week low Tuesday after announcing its $950 million plan to buy Indiana-based Cook Pharmica, a manufacturer and packager of products for biotech firms.

XAutoplay: On | OffBy the closing bell on the stock market today, Catalent fell 3% to finish the regular trading session at 38.72, below a buy point at 38.83 achieved out of a flat base on Aug. 29.

The all-cash transaction will cost Catalent, a maker of systems to deliver drugs, $750 million upfront. The balance will be paid in equal installments, without interest, on the anniversary of the merger closing for the next four years, Catalent said in a news release.

Catalent expects the merger to strengthen its "position as a leader in the rapidly growing area of biologics development and analytical services, manufacturing and finished product supply," the firm said.

Cook Pharmica was founded in 2004 as a privately held biologics-focused contract development and manufacturing organization under the Cook Group. Today, it has an 875,000-square-foot development and manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Ind.


IBD'S TAKE: Catalent earned an upgrade to its Relative Strength Rating late last month, but has since dipped to an RS of 91 out of a best-possible 99. See what spiked the stock's rating by visiting IBD Data Stories.


The Bloomington facility has expertise in sterile formulation, and fill/finish across liquid and freeze-dried vials, pre-filled syringes and cartridges. It "perfectly augments" Catalent's expertise in a number of areas, the firm said.

Over the last trailing 12 months ended June 30, Cook brought in $179 million in sales. For the same time period, Catalent reported $2.075 billion in revenue.

Upon completion of the merger, all of Cook's 750 employees, including its executive team, will join one of Catalent's more than 30 sites across five continents. Catalent employs more than 10,000 employees.

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52. Synchronoss Plunges As Proposed Takeover By Equity Firm StallsВт., 19 сент.[−]

Shares in Synchronoss Technologies ( SNCR) lost more than a third of their value Tuesday after a proposed takeover by private equity firm Siris Capital Group stalled.

Synchronoss stock plummeted by 41.4% to close at 9.82 on the stock market today.

"The company remains in active discussions with Siris Capital Group and other interested parties regarding a range of potential strategic transactions," Synchronoss said in a prepared statement. "The board will carefully consider all options and make a decision that reflects the best interest of all shareholders, although there can be no assurance as to whether or not any transaction will take place, the structure of such a transaction, or the ultimate timing."

Synchronoss soared in June after the provider of customer management software for telecom companies confirmed a takeover offer from Siris Capital.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


Siris Capital had a nearly 13% stake in Bridgewater, N.J.-based Synchronoss.

Synchronoss in December stock announced the acquisition of provider Intralinks Holdings for $821 million in cash. Synchronoss the same day said it would divest a portion of its business to Sequential Technology International for $146 million.

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53. Best Buy Stock Falls As Retailer Sets Sales, Earnings GoalsВт., 19 сент.[−]

Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy ( BBY) announced new near- and long-term goals to grow its sales and earnings, but investors were unimpressed as shares tumbled Tuesday.

XAutoplay: On | OffBest Buy stock plunged 8% to close at 52.76 on the stock market today. The Richfield, Minn.-based company said Tuesday that it is targeting revenue of $43 billion in fiscal 2021, vs. $39.4 billion in fiscal 2017.

It expects non-GAAP operating income of $1.9 billion to $2 billion in fiscal 2021, vs. $1.7 billion in fiscal 2017. It is targeting adjusted earnings per share of $4.75 to $5, which would represent a compound annual growth rate of 8% to 9% from fiscal 2017.

Best Buy believes it is well-positioned to grow thanks to innovative new products and customers' need for help. It hopes to build a leading position in the smart-home market by expanding the number and types of products it sells and supports.

As of midday, analysts had yet to issue comments on the company's plans.


IBD'S TAKE: Best Buy stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 92, meaning it has outperformed 92% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Best Buy stock visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


By the end of October, Best Buy expects to enhance the smart-home areas in all of its stores, roll out its Best Buy Smart Home Powered by Vivint home automation and security offering to 450 stores, and add 1,500 dedicated smart home employees.

The retailer also is piloting a service called Assured Living, which uses technology to help adults remotely check in on the health and safety of their aging parents.

Best Buy also is launching Total Tech Support, a new Geek Squad offering that provides ongoing support for a customer's tech products, no matter where or when they bought them. This offering is available nationwide in Canada and at 200 stores in 10 U.S. cities.

Plus, Best Buy recently expanded its In-Home Advisor program to all major U.S. markets. It now has 300 advisors who are specially trained to provide free in-home consultations to help customers find the right technology solutions for their unique needs.

The company has faced heightened competition in recent years from e-commerce giant Amazon.com ( AMZN) and discount retailers like Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT).

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54. Adamas' Parkinson's Drug Cost Is Double Analyst ExpectationsВт., 19 сент.[−]

Adamas Pharmaceuticals ( ADMS) popped to a 20-month high Tuesday after announcing the annual price for one of its drugs at nearly double analysts' expectations, but shares gave back nearly all those gains by the closing bell.

XAutoplay: On | OffWhen the regular trading session ended on the stock market today, Adamas had gained 0.9% to 21.30. It earlier lifted as much as 12.8% to a high last seen in January 2016.

On Monday, Adamas said it plans to charge $28,500 per patient per year for its drug, Gocovri. Gocovri was approved in August to treat involuntary movements known as dyskinesia in patients taking levodopa, a common treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Mizuho analyst Irina Koffler had called for $14,400 per patient annually for the drug. The firm also is looking at Gocovri as a potential treatment to improve walking gait in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Koffler raised her peak sales estimate on Gocovri to $266 million, up from $92 million. She cut 2018 expectations after Adamas guided to just 1% market penetration next year for Gocovri. Reimbursement issues are likely to be sorted in 2019 with approval for MS in 2020.

"We heard investor concerns about a slow launch in 2018 and unrealistic consensus estimates, and we agree that numbers may come down," she said in a note to clients. "However, Adamas is not a one-trick pony, in our view, and we expect a stream of catalysts to maintain visibility."


IBD'S TAKE: Trial data could "make or break" biotechs this month. See who's on the line and which trials are expected to read out in September via IBD Industry Themes.


Koffler expects takeout chatter to escalate as Gocovri's quarterly run rate increases. She kept her buy rating on Adamas, but boosted her price target to 48 from 26.

The price for Gocovri is in line with other central nervous system disorder drugs, Needham analyst Serge Belanger said in a research report. He has a buy rating and 38 price target on Adamas stock.

Belanger sees peak sales for Gocovri as a treatment for levodopa-induced dyskinesia in the $500 million range. The "current valuation of Adamas fails to capture Gocovri's potential in levodopa-induced dyskinesia and its late-stage pipeline opportunities," he said.

In multiple sclerosis walking, Adamas will rival Acorda Therapeutics' ( ACOR) Ampyra, which is expected to generate $535 million to $545 million in sales this year. Adamas also has a late-stage epilepsy drug in development, he said. Phase 3 testing could begin in 2018-19.

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55. Apple Stock Gets Price-Target Hike On Higher Product PricesВт., 19 сент.[−]

Apple ( AAPL) is likely to see a lift in revenue and earnings from its decision to raise prices with its refreshed product line, one Wall Street analyst said Tuesday.

XAutoplay: On | Off"The key takeaway from Apple's recent product launch is ASP (average selling price) uplift across the product line," Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said in a note to clients. "An aspirational brand, high customer loyalty, and weaker U.S. dollar allow Apple to increase prices without hurting demand."

Huberty reiterated her overweight rating on Apple stock and raised her price target to 194 from 182.

Apple shares inched up 6 cents to close at 158.73 on the stock market today.

Huberty believes the price increases will push Apple's fiscal 2018 earnings per share up 7% to $12.60, vs. current consensus of $10.95. Apple's fiscal 2018 starts Oct. 1.

She raised her revenue forecast for fiscal 2018 to $301 billion from $288 billion and is now 14% above consensus estimates of $263 billion.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 86, meaning it has outperformed 86% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Huberty noted that the starting prices on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are $50 and $30 higher, respectively, than the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Also, the iPhone X starting price of $999 is $50 above her expectation.

New features in the latest Apple Watch smartwatch and Apple TV set-top box drove their prices $30 above prior generations, she said. Plus, Apple increased iPad Pro tablet prices by $50 with higher data storage configurations.

Apple also increased the price of two-year AppleCare contracts for the iPhone by $20.

"Taking all of these price changes into account drives our fiscal 2018 iPhone ASPs 5% higher to $784 (from $746), iPad ASPs to $450 (from $446), Apple Watch ASPs to $401 (from $393) and services revenue higher by an incremental percentage point to account for the higher AppleCare pricing," Huberty said.

Apple customers will pay up for the new products because of their innovations and capabilities, she said.

"Apple is an aspirational brand offering high quality, innovative products at a premium price," Huberty said. "As a result, the company escapes the typical trend of declining prices that drive demand for other devices."

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56. Sprint, T-Mobile Up On Yet More Talk About Possible MergerВт., 19 сент.[−]

Shares in Sprint ( S) and T-Mobile US ( TMUS) climbed Tuesday amid yet another report that their stalled merger talks may be inching forward.

Sprint stock jumped 6.8% to close at 8.20 on the stock market today. T-Mobile was up 5.9% to 65.42.

CNBC's David Faber reported that SoftBank-controlled Sprint and Deutsche Telekom's ( DTEGY) T-Mobile are again in talks. At a Goldman Sachs conference last week, neither company mentioned progress toward a deal, while T-Mobile expressed "fatigue" over the issue.

Deutsche Telekom, which has a board meeting today, has told analysts it's comfortable with its U.S. wireless business staying independent amid market share gains vs. AT&T ( T) and Verizon Communications ( VZ).

Ulrich Rathe, a Jefferies analyst, says Deutsche Telekom doesn't feel pressured to do a deal. "On M&A, Deutsche Telekom argues there is no pressure, in particular no 'last chance to deal'," Rathe said in a Sept. 13 report.

Aside from worries that U.S. regulators might block a Sprint-T-Mobile merger, there are other hurdles holding up a deal, analysts say.

Softbank seems willing to let Deutsche Telekom have a majority stake and operational control in the combined company. Deutsche Telekom would consolidate the new company's earnings under that scenario.

Another merger hurdle is valuation. Deutsche Telekom has no need to overpay for Sprint with its operational momentum. "Sprint-T-Mobile remain far apart on what each other perceive the other to be worth," said a Cowen analyst in a report.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


Sprint owns a big swath of 2.5 GHz radio spectrum. Sprint also has billions of dollars in tax credits that would be useful for any acquirer.

On the other hand, Sprint has $32 billion in debt with a third of that maturing through 2020. And, some analysts question the strength of Sprint's financial rebound in light of complex accounting and off-balance sheet deals.

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57. Alibaba-Backed Logistics Firm Best Slashes Terms For Its IPOВт., 19 сент.[−]

Chinese logistics firm Best cut the size of its initial public offering about 45% on Tuesday after the company, backed by Alibaba ( BABA), received a lukewarm response from institutional investors.

The Best IPO now expects to raise $472 million by offering 45 million American depositary receipts in the range of $10 to $11 each. That's down from previous plans to raise $869 million by offering 62.1 million shares at a range of $13 to %15. Under the new terms, Best would receive a market capitalization of about $3.8 billion.

Hangzhou, China-based Best is set to price late Tuesday and begin trading on the NYSE Wednesday under the ticker BSTI.

The Best filing states that Alibaba Investments will buy up to $150 million worth of shares, holding a 23.4% stake in the company, up from $100 million and a 21% stake.

Best is a provider of supply chain and logistic services used for product deliveries to businesses and consumers. Its services include warehouse management, order fulfillment, express delivery, freight and other services. Best has more than 500 corporate customers. Alibaba will be the company's largest shareholder.

Alibaba shares ticked up marginally to close at 180.07 on the stock market today.


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"We believe we are well positioned to transform the logistics and supply chain industry in China and capture growth opportunities in the New Retail era," Best said in its IPO filing. It describes the new retail era as "the seamless integration of online and offline retail to offer a consumer-centric, omnichannel and global shopping experience through digitization and just-in-time delivery."

In the first half of this year Best reported revenue of about $1.2 billion, up 133% from the same period a year ago, with a net loss of about $95 million.

Best was founded in 2007 by Johnny Chou, company chairman and chief executive. Before founding Best, Chou was Greater China president at Google.

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58. Apple (AAPL) Stock Quotes, Company News And Chart AnalysisВт., 19 сент.[−]

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59. Tesla (TSLA) Stock Quotes, Company News And Chart AnalysisВт., 19 сент.[−]

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Tesla, AMD Working On Chip For Autonomous Driving: ReportShares of AMD surged Wednesday following a report that it's working with Tesla on developing chips for autonomous driving, delivering a potential blow to Nvidia. A report from CNBC, issued just before... Read More
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60. Hulu Beats Netflix, Amazon To Milestone In Emmy Award VictoryПн., 18 сент.[−]

Hulu on Sunday became the first streaming video service to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for its critically acclaimed show "The Handmaid's Tale."

XAutoplay: On | OffThe series was one of seven nominees for the high-profile award. It faced off against three shows from Netflix ( NFLX) — "House of Cards," "Stranger Things" and "The Crown" — as well as "Westworld" from HBO, "Better Call Saul" from AMC and "This Is Us" from NBC.

Hulu is a distant third in the subscription video-on-demand race behind Netflix and Amazon.com's ( AMZN) Amazon Prime Video, but its big showing at the 2017 Emmy Awards gives it major cachet.

Hulu is owned by Comcast's ( CMCSA) NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox's ( FOXA) Fox Entertainment Group, Walt Disney's ( DIS) Disney-ABC Television Group and Time Warner's ( TWX) Turner Broadcasting System.

"The Handmaid's Tale" picked up five awards at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on Sunday. It also scored awards for lead actress in a drama series, Elisabeth Moss, and supporting actress, Ann Dowd, as well as writing and directing awards.

Netflix won four awards. "Black Mirror: San Junipero" was named Outstanding Television Movie and it also nabbed a writing award in its category. "Master of None" won the award for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series and "The Crown" earned Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series for John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.


IBD'S TAKE: The FANG group of closely watched internet stocks is made up of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet. For the latest news on the group, visit IBD's page on FANG stocks.


Including technical and other awards, Time Warner's HBO was the most honored network at the 69th Emmy Awards, nabbing 29 awards. Netflix came in second with 20 wins, followed by NBC with 15 and Hulu with 10.

After Netflix and Hulu, the streaming service with the most Emmy Awards this year was Amazon, with two.

Netflix stock gained 1.2% to close at 184.62 on the stock market today. Amazon dropped 1.3% to end the regular session at 974.19.

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61. Semiconductor-Equipment Stocks Shift Into High GearПн., 18 сент.[−]

Companies that make equipment to manufacture computer chips and displays were in high demand among investors on Monday.

IBD's Electronics-Semiconductor Equipment industry group rose 2.6% on the stock market today. The group, which includes 33 stocks, ranked No. 3 out of 197 industry groups in performance on Monday.

Applied Materials ( AMAT) on Monday broke out of a 14-week cup-with-handle base with a buy point of 47.69. It was up 1.9% to close at 48.05 on the stock market today. In intraday trading, it reached a 17-year high of 48.53.

RBC Capital Markets upgraded Applied Materials to outperform from sector perform and raised its price target to 55 from 48.

Applied Materials "is positioned to drive revenue and EPS expansion despite cyclical concerns," RBC analyst Amit Daryanani said in a report Sunday. "With about 34% of revenues coming from display and services, AMAT is better positioned to deal with (wafer fabrication equipment) cyclicality compared to peers."


IBD'S TAKE: Applied Materials is currently ranked No. 21 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks.


Needham analyst Edwin Mok said he expects robust demand for semiconductor equipment to continue in 2018.

"Despite fear of peaking, we believe current business levels will continue to grow, driven by further investments in memory (chip production) due to an explosive growth in data, initial ramp-ups of multiple Chinese fab investments and a broadening of demand in multiple end markets, including industries such as automotive and industrial," he said in a report Monday.

He upgraded Cohu ( COHU) to buy from hold, based on its exposure to the automotive and industrial markets and several new growth drivers.

Mok downgraded Brooks Automation ( BRKS) to hold from buy on valuation.

Elsewhere, Susquehanna Financial Group upgraded ASML Holding ( ASML) to positive from neutral.

Last week, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Weston Twigg outlined five reasons investors should own semiconductor-equipment stocks. Those reasons included attractive valuations and strong end-market demand.

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62. Tesla Stock Hits Record High As Model 3 Production RampsПн., 18 сент.[−]

Tesla ( TSLA) shares hit a record high Monday as the maker of electric vehicles ramps up production of its Model 3 and gets prepared to unveil its semi-tractor trailer next month.

XAutoplay: On | OffTesla shares climbed 1.4% to end the regular session at 385 on the stock market today, a record close. Earlier in the day, Tesla hit a record high of 389.61, passing the previous high of 386.99 set on June 23. Tesla shares are up 81% this year.

Among trends favoring Tesla is the accelerated push toward the development of all-electric vehicles, of which Tesla is a market leader. All the major automakers are investing billions into developing all-electric autos. In addition, China has said it will eventually ban the sale of fossil-fuel vehicles.

Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday that Tesla will unveil its "unreal" all-electric big rig next month. A tentative Oct. 26 date is set.

Tesla recently began producing its first mass-market car, the Model 3, its third all-electric vehicle. Tesla recently said reservations for the Model 3 have grown to more than 500,000, up from the 373,000 that Tesla previously reported in the spring of 2016.


IBD'S TAKE: Tesla sports an IBD composite rating of 85 out of a possible 99. On Sept. 11, Tesla stock surged above its 50-day moving average, which can be a bullish signal. Take a look at these screens that highlight the top-rated equities.


Experts say electric vehicles could bring widespread disruption and dramatically shrink the number of carmakers over the next couple of decades. But Tesla is seen as one of the survivors.

Tesla reported second-quarter results on Aug. 2 that beat the consensus estimate on revenue and earnings, as it put a positive spin on production of its Model 3 sedan. Tesla revenue more than doubled from the year-ago quarter, reaching $2.79 billion. It reported an adjusted loss of $1.33 a share, beating the consensus estimate for a $1.82-per-share loss. It had a loss of $1.61 a share in the year-ago quarter.

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63. Nvidia Stock Soars To New High On Bullish Analyst ReportsПн., 18 сент.[−]

Graphics-chip maker Nvidia ( NVDA) rocketed higher on Monday after getting several upbeat analyst assessments on its growth prospects, especially in artificial intelligence.

XAutoplay: On | OffBank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya reiterated his buy rating on Nvidia stock and raised his price target to 210 from 185. He cited the company's leadership in chips for gaming, data centers and artificial intelligence.

"Our positive view on Nvidia is based on its underappreciated transformation from a traditional PC graphics chip vendor into a supplier (of chips for) high-end gaming, enterprise graphics, cloud, accelerated computing and automotive markets," Arya wrote in a note to clients Sunday.

He believes Nvidia will be the dominant supplier in the projected $30 billion artificial-intelligence chip market.

Nvidia stock climbed 4.1% to close at 187.55 on the stock market today. In intraday trading it hit an all-time high of 191.20. It was its second record high in as many trading days. On Friday, Nvidia stock broke out of a six-week flat base with a buy point of 174.66.


IBD'S TAKE: Looking for the next Nvidia, start with this simple investing routine.


Nvidia is currently ranked No. 8 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks.

Nvidia is best known for its graphics processors for personal computers and video game consoles. But it has a growing business in providing high-performance computing chips for data centers, artificial intelligence, machine learning and self-driving cars.

In a report Friday, Evercore ISI analyst C.J. Muse said Nvidia has created an industry standard platform for artificial-intelligence applications. He maintained his outperform rating on Nvidia stock, but raised his price target to 250 from 180.

Zacks Investment Research on Monday named Nvidia its "bull of the day."

"Nvidia shares are not cheap," Zacks analyst Neena Mishra said in a report. "But given strong demand for its chips in many high-growth areas including data centers, AI, automated cars, gaming, AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) and cryptocurrency mining, the valuation appears justified by growth potential."

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64. Apple iPhone 8 Demand Isn't Looking So Hot, Signs ShowПн., 18 сент.[−]

Apple ( AAPL) began taking pre-orders for its iPhone 8-series smartphones on Friday, but signs point to lackluster demand for the new handsets as Apple fans may be holding out for the premium iPhone X, due out Nov. 3.

XAutoplay: On | OffIn a report Monday, KGI Securities said the upcoming iPhone X — pronounced "ten" as in the Roman numeral — is hurting demand for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus handsets.

Usually when Apple starts taking pre-orders of new iPhones, shipping dates quickly get pushed back three to six weeks. But the iPhone 8 models saw shipment dates pushed out just one to two weeks at most, KGI noted.

The iPhone 8-series phones are seen as incremental updates to last year's LCD-screen iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

By contrast, the iPhone X has a 5.8-inch OLED screen and a sleek new design. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5-inches, respectively. Apple will start taking pre-orders for the iPhone X on Oct. 27.

BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said U.S. wireless carrier Sprint ( S) sweetened its deal for the iPhone 8 after its first weekend of pre-orders. That could be another sign of slack demand for the iPhone 8, he said.

"It has only been three days since iPhone 8 pre-orders began, and Sprint already increased their promotion to a 'Free iPhone' headline offer," Piecyk said in a report Monday. "This could be a sign that Sprint's pre-orders of the iPhone 8 did not live up to expectations. Other operators might be experiencing the same result with iPhone pre-orders but feel less pressure than Sprint to use costly promotions to drive subscriber growth."


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 90, meaning it has outperformed 90% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Sprint's new "free iPhone" offer requires a new line activation and the trade-in of a limited list of the five most valuable smartphones on the market, including Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, which just launched, he said.

Meanwhile, Apple is seeing stronger-than-expected demand for its cellular-equipped Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatches. Shipping dates for the new Apple Watch models have been pushed back by three or four weeks, KGI said.

Both the Apple Watch Series 3 and the iPhone 8-series handsets are scheduled to hit stores on Friday.

Apple shares were down 0.8% to close at 158.67 on the stock market today.

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65. Why PayPal's Venmo Strategy For Merchants Could Grow RevenueПн., 18 сент.[−]

PayPal's ( PYPL) strategy to expand social app Venmo into merchant payments could "become a material upside driver," says one Wall Street analyst, who hiked his price target on the company Monday.

XAutoplay: On | OffJosh Beck, a KeyBanc Capital analyst, upped his price target to 70 from 66 on Monday. Shares in PayPal were up 0.7% to finish the regular trading session at 62.92 on the stock market today. Shares in PayPal are up 59% in 2017.

Beck says most Venmo app users do not have a PayPal account.

"Our proprietary debit/credit card database suggests Venmo is more incremental than cannibalistic, generally better than market expectations," Beck said in a note to clients. "We believe monetizing Venmo via 'Pay with Venmo' offers a funding benefit and are now more bullish on the incrementality of the user base."

PayPal's Venmo, a person-to-person payments system used mainly by millennials, faces competition from Apple ( AAPL), Square ( SQ) and others. While the money-transfer services are mostly free for consumers, PayPal aims to get fees from merchants that accept the money transfers as payment.

Square stock edged up 0.7% to close at 28.69. Square is part of IBD's Leaderboard, which follows top stocks from their work on forming bases, through their breakouts, to their post-breakout action.


IBD'S TAKE: PayPal shares have remained well above their 50-day moving average since breaking out in April. The stock holds a highest-possible 99 Composite Rating from IBD. Learn more about PayPal and its group at IBD Stock Checkup.


Since it was spun off from eBay ( EBAY) in 2015, PayPal has evolved from a payment button to a broad payments service provider, while expanding from online checkout to mobile payments.

In its core business, PayPal has shifted its strategy to give consumers more payment options at checkout, such as using credit cards. PayPal in 2016 announced online checkout deals with credit card firms Visa ( V) and Mastercard ( MA).

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66. Tesla-Led Electric Car Revolution Sets Stage For Mass DisruptionПн., 18 сент.[−]

The pain that often comes with radical change — such as the internet explosion disrupting just about every industry on the planet — could soon visit automakers.

XAutoplay: On | OffExperts say electric vehicles, a market fueled by Tesla ( TSLA), could bring widespread disruption and dramatically shrink the number of carmakers over the next couple of decades.

In a recent blog post, Richard Windsor, analyst at Edison Investment Research, called the advent of electric vehicles an "extinction level event". One sign: China has said it will eventually ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles.

"Electric vehicles could trigger a huge decline in vehicle demand," Windsor wrote. "Unlike the optimists, we do not see EVs as the beginning of a new golden age for the vehicle makers but instead be the trigger for a potential collapse in demand from which most of them will never recover."

Every major auto manufacturer is going full throttle into making electric vehicles, including General Motors ( GM), Ford ( F), BMW ( BMWYY), Volvo and Volkswagen ( VLKAY). And you can find within their ranks that Windsor isn't alone in being concerned about the tectonic shift in manufacturing and competition.

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler ( DDAIF), one of the most aggressive developers of electric vehicles, delivered a strong warning about electric cars at its annual investor's day conference last week. As electric vehicle manufacturing kicks into full swing, profit margins could swoon, the company said.

"In the beginning of the cycle we believe that we will have to face a significantly lower margin, for some vehicles half of the margin of the vehicles they replace," Frank Lindenberg, vice president of finance at Mercedes-Benz Cars, said at the conference. He said Daimler plans to cut billions in spending to help offset the lower profits on electric cars.

What Needs To Happen

There are several factors that come into play in order for the electric car revolution to succeed. Among them is the expansion of charging stations, which is just getting underway. Second, carmakers need to make inroads in their never-ending battle toward making a single charge last as long as a tank of gas, as well as shortening charging times to compete with the five-minute fill-up at the service station.

The other is the need to bring down battery costs. Right now, electric cars cost more than piston-engine cars because of the batteries. Tesla, Daimler and others are building large battery manufacturing plants to bring costs down and build supply. Daimler thinks that electric will reach cost parity with piston-engine cars by 2025, which will accelerate mass production of electric cars.

Tesla recently began producing its first mass-market car, the Model 3, its third all-electric vehicle. It's also preparing to unveil an all-electric semitrailer truck, possibly by Oct. 26, adding to the disruption. Other truck manufacturers say they support the electric vehicle movement and are in it for the long haul.


IBD'S TAKE: The automakers rank 21st in stock performance out of 197 industry groups tracked by IBD. Tesla holds an IBD Composite Rating of 81 out of a possible 99. Innovation can be the key to future big-winning stocks. To learn which stocks are leading the market now, check out IBD's Stock Lists.


"We believe Tesla's reveal of its autonomous, electric Class 8 semi-truck this month could be the biggest catalyst in trucking in decades and potentially set off separation between the technology leaders and the laggards among carriers, shippers, truck OEMs and suppliers," wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker in a research note to clients on Thursday.

Windsor's prediction of mass disruption includes massive consolidation, with the industry shrinking to about 5 or 6 vehicle makers, down from more than two dozen today.

Half The Cost

Edison Research has concluded that owning an electric vehicle could easily halve the amount of money that the consumer spends on private transportation. Windsor said this is because electric vehicles should last much longer than internal combustion vehicles, allowing them to travel up to five times more miles than vehicles that run on fuel before they need to be replaced.

Of the vehicle makers, said Windsor, "We continue to think that BMW and Tesla have the best chances of survival but we think even BMW might struggle to survive a decline in demand of this scale."

The electric vehicle trend also comes as manufacturers are pouring billions into driverless vehicles, which also are expected to lower auto demand. Uber plans to have fleets of autonomous vehicles delivering passengers to destinations, negating the need for some to own a car, for example.

When electric vehicles reach cost parity with internal combustion vehicles, they will be much cheaper to own when considering the cost to drive per mile, Windsor believes. They will have far less moving parts than internal combustion vehicles, meaning there is less to go wrong and fix or replace, he wrote.

With the greater longevity of electric vehicles, Windsor thinks, a vehicle market that is all electric will sharply lower annual consumption. Consumer purchases of new vehicles could fall to half the size of the current market, even as low as 20%, he thinks.

"In the U.S.A., this means a market of 3.4 million to 8.5 million light passenger vehicles compared to the 17 million that are sold today," Windsor wrote.

Cloud Connections

There is an upside, though.

Electric vehicles will all likely to be connected to the cloud, collecting a myriad data while on the road.

"This data should enable a series of highly valuable services for which users will be willing to either pay for or consume advertising," Windsor wrote. "We very much doubt that it would make up for the revenue lost from lower vehicle demand but it will be much higher margin than selling vehicles which should soften the blow."

Among recent activity in the all-electric auto market, Ford recently signed a pact with a China-based automaker to explore jointly building and selling all-electric vehicles in that country. Ford has invested $4.5 billion to make electric vehicles for customers worldwide.

Plus, General Motors is investing heavily in its Chevrolet Bolt EV, an all-electric vehicle. The Bolt recently beat Tesla in mileage range in tests conducted by a consumer watchdog group.

Tesla shares are currently at the high end of a buy range and touched a new high Monday at 389.61 before closing trading at 385, up 1.4%. GM, meanwhile, was down fractionally Monday to 38.59. Ford was essentially flat at 11.63.

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67. Will AT&T Be Forced To Sell Its Satellite TV Assets In Brazil?Пн., 18 сент.[−]

AT&T's ( T) reported asking price for Sky Brazil, DirecTV's satellite pay-TV business in Brazil, may be too high if it's under pressure by regulators to sell, says a U.K.-based analyst.

XAutoplay: On | OffReuters has reported that AT&T could sell its Latin American pay-TV business as it seeks local approval for its acquisition of media giant Time Warner ( TWX). AT&T acquired satellite TV broadcaster DirecTV Group in 2015.

AT&T is seeking around $8 for its Latin American pay-TV business overall, Reuters said. The business includes 13.6 million subscribers, with 5.52 million in Brazil. AT&T shares climbed 0.9% to close at 37.42 on the stock market today.

Spain-based Telefonica ( TEF) is the most likely buyer in Brazil, says Jonathan Chaplin, analyst at New Street Research.

"We believe Telefonica Brasil is a likely buyer of Sky Brasil, though AT&T may have a hard time securing the $5 billion that has been mentioned in some of the press reports," Chaplin said in a report.

Sky Brazil holds about 29% of the pay-TV market in Brazil, followed by cable TV operator Net Servicos de Comunicacao ( NETC).

"Telefonica has said in the past that at the right price they would be keen to look at Sky Brasil, as it would get them up to speed in the Brazilian pay-TV market," added Chaplin. "However, we believe Telefonica would look to negotiate hard on price as Sky Brazil is losing customers; AT&T might be a forced seller of Sky in order to get approval for the Time Warner deal."

AT&T also has pay-TV operations in Argentina, Chile and Colombia. AT&T reportedly is not interested in selling its pay TV business in Mexico, where it has expanded into wireless phone services.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner for $85 billion in October last year. AT&T says it expects U.S. regulatory approval by the end of 2017.

Time Warner's media empire includes HBO and Turner Broadcasting, which has rights to sports telecasts. It also owns the Warner Bros. film studio and cable networks TNT, TBS and CNN. Further, Time Warner owns a 10% stake in internet video provider Hulu.

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68. Grubhub Target Raised As Acquisition Growth Starts To Take HoldПн., 18 сент.[−]

Grubhub ( GRUB) had its price target raised by a Wall Street analyst Monday following a review of acquisitions the company has announced in the past few months, including the Eat24 unit of Yelp ( YELP).

XAutoplay: On | OffCanaccord Genuity analyst Michel Graham raised his price target on Grubhub to 60 from 50 and maintained a buy rating. Grubhub shares lost 1.1% to close at 53 on the stock market today.

"We continue to believe Grubhub is midstride in executing on a long-term strategy to change the way U.S. consumers order takeout food," Graham wrote in a research note to clients. He said the Yelp deal absorbs one of four key competitors in the food delivery market, with the others being Amazon ( AMZN), Uber and the Google unit of Alphabet ( GOOGL).

Grubhub is the market leader in online food-delivery services, with a market share estimated by Cowen to be 34%, followed by Uber at 20%, Eat24 at 16% and Amazon at 11%.

Analysts have expressed concerns that the expansion of Amazon and other competitors in the restaurant food-delivery services field will raise customer acquisition costs and lower profit at Grubhub. Amazon has been experimenting and expanding in the food delivery field for several years. Amazon's recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market is expected to accelerate that expansion.

Meanwhile, Grubhub last month announced it would pay $287.5 million in cash to acquire Yelp's online food ordering and delivery business, Eat24. As part of the deal, Yelp will integrate online ordering from all Grubhub restaurants onto its local goods and services platform.


IBD'S TAKE: Grubhub has the highest IBD composite rating of 99 out of a possible 99. Read IBD's The Big Picture column each day to stay on top of the market direction, a key indicator that lets you know when you can be aggressive and when you should move to the sidelines.


On July 31 Grubhub and Groupon ( GRPN) announced a strategic partnership to bring food delivery to Groupon customers across the U.S. As part of the deal, Grubhub said it would acquire select assets of Goupon's OrderUp food delivery service.

In June, Grubhub announced plans to acquire Foodler for an undisclosed price. Grubhub said Foodler would add $80 million to its annual gross food sales and add more than 8.8 million active diners.

Graham estimates that in 2018 business from the three platforms acquired by Grubhub will amount to 11%, or $539 million, of total gross food sales, with Eat24 being the largest component.

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69. ServiceNow Margins Getting Better As It Gets Bigger: AnalystПн., 18 сент.[−]

ServiceNow's ( NOW) push into new software markets is gaining traction as it grows operating margins, says Summit Redstone Partners, which started coverage on Monday with a buy rating.

Shares in ServiceNow were up 0.3% to close at 116.51 on the stock market today. Analyst Jonathan Kees set a price of 135 on ServiceNow stock. The company's stock has jumped 56% in 2017.

ServiceNow sells software for information technology service management, or tools for tracking internal company issues. It has expanded into software for human resources, customer service management and security.

"We like how ServiceNow has leveraged its code and market position in its core market when expanding into adjacent markets, saving R&D money while building a common platform for their emerging products," Kees said in a note to clients.

"This has helped maintained industry high gross margins while enabling expansion of operating margins," he wrote. "Unlike some of its SaaS peers, ServiceNow has been profitable and generates cash as well as continues to grow top line, earnings, and FCF defying deceleration that can inflict larger companies."

In customer service tools, ServiceNow competes with Salesforce.com ( CRM), the leader in software-as-a-service.


IBD'S TAKE: ServiceNow stock could be extended, having climbed well above a buy point of 94.82. Salesforce.com has also climbed just above a buy point of 92.09. IBD's Computer Software Enterprise group, which includes Workday, is ranked No. 23 out of 197 industry groups. Learn more about the group at IBD Stock Checkup.


ServiceNow in July reported second-quarter revenue and profit that topped views and raised its full-year revenue outlook.

The company has a new chief executive, John Donahoe, who took over April 3 from Frank Slootman, now board chairman. Donahoe is a former CEO of eBay ( EBAY).

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70. Disney May Play Hardball With Altice Amid ESPN WoesПн., 18 сент.[−]

Walt Disney ( DIS) might try to play hardball in talks with Netherlands-based Altice Group, a newcomer to the U.S. cable TV industry, analysts said Monday.

XAutoplay: On | OffAltice entered the U.S. market after purchasing Cablevision Systems in 2016 and Suddenlink in 2015. Its U.S. operations, Altice USA ( ATUS), is the fourth-biggest U.S. cable TV company, behind Comcast ( CMCSA), Charter Communications ( CHTR) and Atlanta-based Cox Communications.

"Driven by accelerating subscriber losses we would not be surprised if Disney is being ultra-aggressive in its ongoing negotiations with Altice for renewal of carriage of (broadcaster) ABC, ESPN and the rest of its cable networks," said Jeffrey Wlodarczak, analyst at Pivotal Research, said in a note to clients.

Neither Altice or Disney has disclosed ongoing negotiations for renewing a programming deal. Altice's U.S. shares fell 2.1% to close at 26.72 while Disney dipped 0.4% to 98.10.

Richard Greenfield, analyst at BTIG Research has a similar view. He notes that Disney's sports network ESPN draws the highest fees from pay-TV companies but its viewership has been falling.

"Unfortunately for Disney, their legacy practice of strong-arming distributors is no longer going to work," Greenfield said in a blog post. "We believe this is especially true with a distributor that is taking a fresh look at the price/value of all programming as it has just recently entered the U.S. market. ESPN/ESPN2 are no longer worth the $7 to $8 per subscriber that they are paid by distributors."


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


Time Warner Cable and CBS ( CBS) in 2013 had a brutal battle over fees. Time Warner Cable now part of Charter, blacked out CBS channels in several markets, impacting nearly 3 million subscribers. Time Warner Cable lost nearly 10% of its subscribers in those markets.

Greenfield says he doubts Verizon Communications ( VZ), which competes with Altice in the New York area, will launch aggressive promotions if a Disney-Altice dispute flares up.

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71. The Amazon Monopoly Problem: Prime Time For Antitrust Action Vs. Internet Giants?Пн., 18 сент.[−]

Amazon.com ( AMZN) kicked off its Whole Foods takeover on Aug. 28 by slashing the prices of avocados, kale and other items at the "Whole Paycheck" grocery chain by as much as 43%. Who could argue with that?

(Dennis Nishi)

Consumer welfare has been the foremost concern of U.S. antitrust law since the 1980s, with price hikes seen as the surest sign of monopoly power. Yet a growing chorus of critics complain that Amazon and fellow internet giants Facebook ( FB) and Google-parent Alphabet ( GOOGL) are becoming too dominant, snuffing out competition, innovation and even freedom of expression.

Wall Street is starting to ponder a trillion-dollar question: Could the Whole Foods buyout mark a turning point that leads to serious U.S. antitrust scrutiny for Amazon, Facebook and Google?

"In the face of bona fide threats of regulatory and political opposition to Amazon, we against all odds finally may be facing 'Peak Amazon,' " hedge fund manager Doug Kass wrote on July 11.

His warning was premature. The Federal Trade Commission cleared the Whole Foods deal in barely two months.

When it comes to total sales, Wal-Mart's ( WMT) $486 billion towers over Amazon's $136 billion in 2016, and its nearly 4,700 U.S. stores dwarf Whole Foods' 460. However, Amazon did grab 43% of U.S. online sales in 2016, as well as 53% of the growth in the fast-moving sector, according to Slice Intelligence.

Network Effects

Rather than unfair competition, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet's Google are the beneficiaries of the internet's winner-take-all dynamics, says Joachim Fels, managing director at Pimco. These superstars "benefit from network effects that are especially strong in social media and software platforms, where the value of the services increases with the number of users," Fels wrote. "Size begets size, which in turn begets size."

If someone wants to connect with friends or customers via social media, Facebook is the obvious choice: 85% of Americans who are online are members. Not even Google could compete with that. And if you want to shop, where else to start but Amazon.com, which lists hundreds of millions of items?

But natural or not, their advantages unnerve observers from the far left to the White House and even at the pro-market University of Chicago, which spawned the big-isn't-necessarily-bad legal shift under President Reagan.

Bipartisan Backlash

Before Steve Bannon was pushed out of the White House as President Trump's senior advisor and returned to the populist, right-wing news site Breitbart, he reportedly made the case that Facebook and Google's dominance made them "essential elements of 21st-century life (that) should be regulated as utilities." Could that be sour grapes? A majority of Americans now say they get their news from social media sites led by Facebook and from Google's search.

XAutoplay: On | OffYet many conservatives and even some libertarians with traditionally hands-off inclinations toward business are growing concerned over the internet giants' power. That's intensified after Google's recent firing of an engineer for politically incorrect views on women and the high-tech workforce, and moves by Facebook and others to combat "fake news" and ban offensive speech.

Trump raised the possibility of antitrust action against Amazon during the campaign. He still has CEO Jeff Bezos' empire in his sights, even if his real beef is with the Bezos-owned Washington Post. "Amazon is doing great damage to taxpaying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt — many jobs being lost!" Trump tweeted recently.

Worries about Amazon's impact on retail jobs and wages also risk making it a prime target on the left. Democratic Party leaders called for an antitrust crackdown as part of their "Better Deal" economic platform in July. Although they singled out the cable industry, rather than the Silicon Valley and Seattle tech giants, that could change. Rep. Keith Ellison, who represents Minneapolis and serves as deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, recently retweeted a Bloomberg opinion column titled "Should America's Tech Giants Be Broken Up?" with a one-word response: "YES!"

Innovation Stifled

Economists and technologists worry that these internet companies' dominance will snuff out innovation. Consider Snap ( SNAP), which raised $3.4 billion in March in the biggest IPO in three years. Already hopes have faded that it might erode Facebook's position. Analysts say Facebook has simply copied Snapchat's popular features and left it in the dust. With Snap shares lagging below its IPO price, funding may be harder to come by for the next David to challenge a Goliath.

Luigi Zingales, finance professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is calling for a more-proactive antitrust approach that would have kept Facebook from buying up Instagram and WhatsApp. He says the antitrust action against Microsoft ( MSFT) in the 1990s and early 2000s helped create a climate in which Facebook and Google could rise to the top. But he worries that the current crop of leaders are growing too powerful to cut into their advantage. "A system where this does not change is a system that is fossilized and hurts everyone," he said.

Current antitrust policy focuses on preventing companies from consolidating power to raise prices, harming consumers. But Lina Khan, until recently a fellow at the New America Foundation's Open Markets program, argues that a new approach is needed to address companies like Amazon that operate online platforms.

"The economics of platform markets create incentives for a company to pursue growth over profits, a strategy that investors have rewarded," Khan wrote in the Yale Law Review. "Under these conditions, predatory pricing becomes highly rational — even as existing doctrine treats it as irrational and therefore implausible."

Khan may have a point: While shares of Amazon are off their recent all-time highs, they are still up 33% so far this year, even as earnings are expected to sink more than 20% in 2017.

Amazon Prime may have started as a loss leader to gain customer loyalty, but Amazon has made the service so broad and attractive — offering free shipping, Amazon Prime Video, various special offers and now discounts at Whole Foods — that it is creating a world in which people make purchases only via the internet giant.

Already about half of U.S. households are Amazon Prime members. And 55% of all online shopping searches started on Amazon last year vs. 30% in 2012. In recent months, Nike ( NKE) and Sears ( SHLD) threw in the towel and agreed to begin selling their athletic shoes and Kenmore appliances on Amazon.

As for Google and Facebook, proving a price monopoly is a nonstarter since their services are free to consumers.

Confused Antitrust Goals

But if not by pricing control, how should a monopoly be defined?

Under the Democrats' "Better Deal" outline, regulators would use criteria to judge whether a merger would "reduce wages, cut jobs, lower product quality, limit access to services, stifle innovation, or hinder the ability of small businesses and entrepreneurs to compete."

Those guidelines hearken back to "the bad old days of antitrust, when it was used to protect inefficient small businesses and to pursue confused social goals," wrote Elizabeth Popp Berman, associate professor of sociology at the University at Albany in New York. "While no one thinks that low prices for consumers are the only thing worth pursuing in life, they are the appropriate goal for antitrust because they make it coherent and administrable."

That consensus is entrenched in the antitrust enforcement agencies, codified into law through court decisions and resistant to change.

Platform Rules

Still, the EU's fine of Google for abusing its dominant position in internet search could hint at future U.S. policy.

In prioritizing its own comparison-shopping site in search results, the European Commission said Google "denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate."

Online platforms, Khan noted, "control the essential infrastructure on which their rivals depend."

In a reflection of the increasingly fragile embrace of Democrats and Big Tech, the Google-funded, left-of-center New America think tank last month cut loose the Open Markets group after it praised the European Union's fine vs. Google.

While Google disputes the EU's charge, noting Amazon's lead position in shopping searches, it agreed to make changes by Sept. 28. The EU also is scrutinizing Google's bundling of its Google Play app store with its free Android app.

Luther Lowe, vice president of policy at Yelp ( YELP), a crowdsourced review site, called the Google fine "the most significant enforcement event in consumer tech antitrust in nearly 20 years," alluding to the Microsoft case.

Yet the Microsoft antitrust fight was expensive and dragged on for years, underscoring the limitations of traditional antitrust actions in a complex and fast-moving industry.

Tech journalist Walt Mossberg and economist Hal Singer have promoted addressing monopolistic and discriminatory competitive practices through a "special, permanent, nonpartisan, independent commission — or even a special, narrowly focused court — to adjudicate disputes about internet issues." The issues could run from network neutrality violations to heavy-handed behavior by Google or Amazon.

Singer notes that such a tribunal already exists to handle complaints that cable companies are giving preference to their own programming.

Common Carrier?

While Google is in the EU's line of fire now, Amazon is starting to come under the microscope.

Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and co-author of the report, "Amazon's Stranglehold," argued at a recent Forbes forum that Amazon's anticompetitive effect stems from its inherent conflict as both a direct seller and the operator of a platform that it invites other sellers to use.

Khan cites Amazon's big discounts from Federal Express ( FDX) and UPS ( UPS) as a high-volume customer. Amazon passes along those discounts to independent companies that use its fulfillment services.

Extending its empire to 460 Whole Foods stores substantially increases Amazon's logistics footprint, facilitating in-store pickup by customers and lowering the cost of last-mile delivery. Amazon already has been taking steps to increase its own delivery capability, in part with its Uber-like delivery force of flextime workers paid $19 to $24 per hour.

While customers cheer the convenience and low cost, critics argue that companies may have no choice but to use Amazon's fulfillment services if they want to get competitive shipping rates and favorable listings.

"What Amazon has done is turn an open market into a privately controlled arena where it sets the terms by which other players may buy and sell," Mitchell said at a Forbes forum. "That's why its platform has to be broken off from its direct retail and made to comply with common carrier rules."

Yet the idea comes across as so radical, showing how poorly antitrust law is suited to dealing with today's tech titans.

"You want Amazon to look like the local power company?" countered Geoffrey Manne, executive director of the International Center for Law and Economics. "Are you familiar with the amount of innovation in public utilities?"

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72. Longtime Cisco Chief To Step Down From Networker's BoardПн., 18 сент.[−]

Cisco Systems ( CSCO) Executive Chairman John Chambers will not stand for re-election in December, the company said Monday.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe board plans to appoint current Chief Executive Chuck Robbins to the post.

Chambers, 68, served as CEO of the company, which is the biggest maker of equipment that forms the backbone of the internet, from 1995 until 2015. During his time in the role, he took Cisco from $1.2 billion in annual revenue to nearly $50 billion, the company said in a statement Monday.

Robbins assumed the CEO role in July 2015. At its annual meeting, the Cisco board is expected to reduce its size to 11 members, 10 of whom will be independent directors, Cisco said.


73. Chip Stocks To Watch And Semiconductor Industry NewsПн., 18 сент.[−]

They range from giants like Intel ( INTC), Qualcomm ( QCOM) and Taiwan Semiconductor ( TSM) down to lesser-known names like Qorvo ( QRVO) and Microchip Technology ( MCHP), providing the underpinnings for all types of devices, from giant servers down to smartphones.

XAutoplay: On | Off They're the chipmakers that power much of the world's technology, making it possible for loved ones to talk face-to-face from across an ocean or for Wall Street to move billions of dollars in the blink of an eye.

Never has the sector been more competitive, with more than 750 companies vying globally to build the insides of the next hot device or power future megacomputers. Investors will find it tricky to navigate the sector.

Bookmark this page to stay on top of the latest news in chips.

Chip Stocks & Semiconductor Industry News And Analysis

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74. Apple's Best iPhone — At Least Until November — Goes On SaleПт., 15 сент.[−]

Apple ( AAPL) began taking pre-orders Friday for its iPhone 8 series handsets, which will be the company's latest-and-greatest smartphones for a grand total of six weeks until its next model comes out.

Apple's iPhone 8, which has a 4.7-inch LCD screen, starts at $699, while the iPhone 8 Plus, which has a 5.5-inch LCD screen, starts at $799. Both phones will be available starting next Friday, Sept. 22. The devices are seen as incremental upgrades to last year's iPhone 7 series phones.

Owners of the iPhone 8 series handsets will have bragging rights to the best iPhones Apple has to offer, until the flagship iPhone X — pronounced "ten" for the Roman numeral — comes out on Nov. 3.

Pre-orders for the iPhone X will start on Oct. 27. The iPhone X, which has a 5.8-inch OLED display, starts at $999.

Apple on Friday also began taking pre-orders for its third-generation smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 3, and an upgraded streaming video set-top box, the Apple TV 4K.

The iPhone X and 8 series phones feature wireless charging and fast-wired charging as well as new augmented-reality capabilities. They also have improved cameras, processors and displays.

The iPhone 8 series comes in three colors — one dubbed "space gray", a silver and a new gold finish — and two data-storage configurations (64 and 256 gigabytes).

Wireless carrier promotions around the iPhone 8 are "restrained," Nomura Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal said in a report Friday.

"The wireless carriers started this year's iPhone launch promotions on a more reserved note than those of the previous year," Kvaal said.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 89, meaning it has outperformed 89% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


AT&T ( T), Verizon ( VZ) and T-Mobile US ( TMUS) are offering up to a $300 credit toward the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus with a trade-in. Sprint ( S) is offering 50% off the lease of an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus with a trade-in.

Last year, all four major carriers had free iPhone 7 promotions with the trade-in of a recent device, he said.

"The reserved start could be because the carriers are anticipating the need to be more aggressive with the iPhone X as we approach its pre-order date of Oct. 27," Kvaal said.

The Apple Watch Series 3 comes in two types: one with its own cellular connectivity, starting at $399, and one without, starting at $329.

The Apple TV 4K is able to stream video in 4K ultra-high-definition video with high dynamic range. It starts at $179.

Apple shares finished 1% higher at 159.88 on the stock market today.

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75. Why Apple May Need To Chip In On Future Free iPhone DealsПт., 15 сент.[−]

In the coming era of $1,000 iPhones, will wireless rivals AT&T ( T), Sprint ( S), T-Mobile U.S. ( TMUS) or Verizon Communications ( VZ) ever offer "free" Apple ( AAPL) smartphones again?

To make that happen, Apple may need to share in the cost of subsidizing devices. Without naming Apple directly, Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure made that point at a Goldman Sachs conference on Thursday.

Sprint does not have any plans to offer the high-end, iPhone X for free, Claure said. Apple's iPhone X starts at $999 for a 64-gigabyte version. Even with a promotion, Sprint would look for customers to put some money down as part of an installment plan, he said.

If other smartphone makers follow Apple's lead and roll out higher-priced devices, they may also need to share in subsidizing the retail price, says Claure.

"We are still not set in terms of financing an expensive device, the way it has been," Claure said. "I think we should invite the manufacturers to share a little of the cash flow burden that comes with — as the price of devices goes higher. So we still haven't made a decision, whether we are just going to offer — finance $1,000."

"We obviously want to see what happens in a competitive landscape," Claure added. "But we are not too excited with the prices going up, and also having to finance that."

Apple did not respond to an email asking if it's willing to share in iPhone financing costs. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus start at $699 and $799 — $50 higher than the entry-level iPhone 7 pricing a year ago. The iPhone X will not ship until Nov. 3, so early promotions may focus on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

Sprint currently offers 50% off an iPhone 8 leasing plan.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and the end-of-day The Big Picture (take a free trial) for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


T-Mobile intensified wireless wars last year by launching a "free" iPhone 7 promotion with the trade-in of an older device. Sprint, AT&T and Verizon responded with similar offers.

This year, the company is giving $300 dollars of credit on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus to new switchers along with an option to upgrade to the next year's new iPhone for free.

T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter, also speaking at the Goldman conference, said its free iPhone strategy in 2016 didn't work "because everyone copied us in a few days."

"Free iPhones weren't a great way to get people to switch," Braxton said.

While AT&T has announced a "buy one, get one free" promotion for the iPhone 8 that started today, Wall Street analysts say wireless firms are not offering promotions as aggressive as with the iPhone 7.

"Investors are apt to look favorably on the rational behavior, which could soften the margin impact of this upgrade cycle," said Mike McCormack, a Jefferies analyst in a report.

Apple stock gained 1% to close at 159.88 on the stock market today.

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76. Oracle's Cloud-Computing Guidance Raises Concerns About GrowthПт., 15 сент.[−]

Oracle shares fell Friday after the enterprise software company delivered quarterly earnings late Thursday that topped estimates but gave guidance for the current quarter that fell short.

Following the second-quarter earnings report after the market close Thursday, Oracle shares initially hit a record high of 53.14 then reversed as guidance was revealed, with cloud-computing estimates below forecasts. On Friday, Oracle shares closed down 7.7% at 48.74 on the stock market today.

XAutoplay: On | OffFor the period ended Aug. 31, Oracle reported revenue of $9.2 billion, up 7% from the year-ago quarter, with adjusted earnings of 62 cents, up 13%, and both beating the consensus estimate for the third straight quarter.

"Most of the key metrics came in at least a bit better than expected," wrote Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard Davis in a research note to clients. "But the cloud growth guidance, even adjusting for currency, was a bit less than some hoped, so the stock traded off."

Davis maintained a buy rating on Oracle and raised his price target to 57 from 56.

"Our view remains unchanged, which is that Oracle is a logical and relatively safer port in a storm that some fear will arrive. We believe Oracle is sufficiently inexpensive that it should remain a buy," Davis wrote.


IBD'S TAKE: Read IBD's The Big Picture column each day to stay on top of the market direction, a key indicator that lets you know when you can be aggressive and when you should move to the sidelines.


Oracle said total cloud revenue in the quarter rose 51% from the year-ago quarter to $1.5 billion. For the current quarter, Oracle said it expects cloud-computing revenue to grow in the range of 39% to 43% from the year-ago quarter, a deceleration from the 51% growth in its first quarter and short of the consensus of 48% growth.

Cloud-computing guidance fell below expectations due partly to the timing in the recognition of some bookings, which are dependent on customer deployment. Growth was also affected by the timing of software contract renewals, Oracle said.

Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White maintained a buy rating on Oracle and price target of 62.

"Although Oracle's transition to the cloud has proven to be an arduous journey over the past three-plus years, we believe the worst is over," White wrote.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Ross MacMillan maintained an outperform rating on Oracle and a price target of 56.

Rosenblatt Securities analyst Marshall Senk maintained a buy rating and price target of 58.

Oracle received a string of encouraging reports just ahead of earnings.

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77. Adobe Sales, Earnings Growth Seen Slowing, But Still HealthyПт., 15 сент.[−]

Digital media and marketing software maker Adobe Systems ( ADBE) is expected to report healthy growth in sales and earnings when it posts fiscal third-quarter results after the market close Tuesday. But the pace of its year-over-year gains is seen slowing.

Analysts expect the San Jose, Calif.-based company to earn $1.01 a share excluding items, up 35% year over year, on sales of $1.82 billion, up 24%. That compares with growth in earnings per share and sales of 44% and 27%, respectively, in the second quarter.

For the current fiscal fourth quarter, Wall Street is modeling it to earn $1.09 a share, up 21%, on sales of $1.94 billion, also up 21%.

Adobe stock is trading just below its all-time high of 157.89, reached on Sept. 11. Adobe closed down 0.3% at 154.49 on the stock market today.

Adobe shares have been pushed to record highs by investor enthusiasm over the company's transition to cloud computing services from perpetual license software.


IBD'S TAKE: Adobe Systems is currently ranked No. 45 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks.


Piper Jaffray analyst Alex Zukin on Thursday reiterated his overweight rating on Adobe stock with a price target of 180.

Zukin expects "another solid quarter" from Adobe when it posts third-quarter results.

"Adobe sits in a dominant market position of two complementary areas of digital asset creation and distribution (Creative Cloud and Experience Cloud) with an emerging AI (artificial intelligence) framework in Sensei that reduces friction for users on the Creative side and adds a significant automation component on the marketing side," Zukin said in a report.

Zukin also is upbeat on Adobe's expanding relationship with Microsoft ( MSFT) to promote each other's products.

Investment research firm MoffettNathanson initiated coverage of Adobe last week with a buy rating and price target of 195.

The firm believes Adobe can sustain "close to 20% revenue growth for longer than the market expects."

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78. These Chip Stocks Broke Out In Bullish Trading ActionПт., 15 сент.[−]

A bunch of big-name stocks in the semiconductor sector busted out of bases in bullish trading action on Friday.

Graphics-chip maker Nvidia ( NVDA) started the parade, jumping to a record high right after the opening bell. Nvidia stock broke out of a six-week flat base with a buy point of 174.66.

Nvidia rose 6.3% to 180.11 on the stock market today. In intraday trading, it hit an all-time high of 179.97. Nvidia received a bullish report from Evercore ISI analyst C.J. Muse, who said the company's opportunities in artificial intelligence haven't been fully appreciated by the market.

Muse reiterated his outperform rating on Nvidia and raised his price target to 250 from 180.

Other semiconductor industry stocks moving higher on Friday included chipmakers Skyworks Solutions ( SWKS) and Texas Instruments ( TXN), as well as chip-gear makers Applied Materials ( AMAT) and Ultra Clean Holdings ( UCTT).


IBD'S TAKE: Looking for the next Nvidia, start with this simple investing routine.


Skyworks soared back into the buy zone for the first time since clearing a buy point of 108.66 out of a cup-with-handle base on Sept. 5.

Skyworks climbed 2.3% to 109.55 Friday.

Woburn, Mass.-based Skyworks gets an estimated 40% of its revenue from Apple ( AAPL), which started taking pre-orders Friday for its iPhone 8 smartphones.

Texas Instruments broke out of a cup-with-handle base with a buy point of 84.34. TI stock was up 1.9% to 84.84 at the close.

Applied Materials broke out of a cup-with-handle base with a buy point of 47.69. But it couldn't hold on to that level. Shares, which hit 47.69 intraday, closed up just 0.2% at 47.14.

Ultra Clean Holdings stock broke out of a cup-with-handle base with a buy point of 26.30. Ultra Clean closed up 3.9% to 26.96.

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79. AbbVie's New Hepatitis C Drug Chipping Away At Gilead's ShareПт., 15 сент.[−]

AbbVie's ( ABBV) newly launched hepatitis C drug Mavyret has already grabbed 7% of total new prescriptions, further chipping away at Gilead Sciences' ( GILD) struggling hepatitis C franchise, an analyst said Friday.

XAutoplay: On | OffAs a result, Wall Street sees Gilead's 2018 hepatitis C drug sales declining 28% vs. the year-earlier period, Evercore analyst Umer Raffat wrote in a note to clients. The drop will be sharper in the U.S. at a 31% plunge. In 2019, sales are expected to fall another 19%.

On a wholesale basis, Mavyret is priced at roughly half its competitors at $13,200 per month vs. $24,920, $28,000 and $31,500 for Gilead's Epclusa, Sovaldi and Harvoni, respectively. Dow stock Merck's ( MRK) Zepatier and AbbVie's Viekira Pak cost a respective $18,200 and $27,773 monthly.

But Gilead contends that after discounts and rebates, Mavyret is priced similarly to Harvoni. They differ, though, in treatment duration. Of the wide array of hepatitis C drugs, Mavyret can treat every genotype and has the shortest treatment duration at eight weeks for most patients.


IBD'S TAKE: Novartis was first to the finish line with a CAR-T drug. What does it mean for Gilead's plan to acquire Kite? Head to IBD Industry Themes for a deeper dive on the segment.


To contend with the likelihood of further erosion in its hepatitis C franchise, Gilead is pivoting into cellular therapy with the $11.9 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma ( KITE). Though Kite doesn't have an approved drug, the merger was announced days before a rival drug from Novartis ( NVS) gained approval.

Novartis' drug is approved to treat a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients up to age 25. Analysts now expect a similar drug from Kite, a treatment for an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, to grab approval later this year.

Behind them, Bluebird Bio ( BLUE) and Juno Therapeutics ( JUNO) are each partnered with Celgene ( CELG) to work on similar treatments, known as CAR-T therapies. To create these drugs, immune cells are extracted from patients and reprogrammed to fight cancer cells before being reintroduced.

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80. Why Amgen, Lilly, J&J Are Interested In These Small BiotechsПт., 15 сент.[−]

Theravance Biopharma ( TBPH) and Exelixis ( EXEL) tick off most of the acquisition boxes for Big Pharma in an overview of the biotech merger picture, an analyst said Friday.

XAutoplay: On | Off"Acquisition of biotech companies by pharma is an important theme for the space," Needham analyst Alan Carr said in a note to clients. "We believe late development-stage and commercial-stage biotech companies are particularly attractive acquisition targets, in part due to reduced risk."

Of the companies Carr covers, Theravance could attract big pharmas like Amgen ( AMGN), Eli Lilly ( LLY) and Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA). In total, Carr counts 21 companies that could be interested in buying Theravance based on research areas, business development interest and past acquisitions.

Theravance has one approved drug, an antibiotic for hard-to-treat infections. Beyond that, Exelixis, Agios Pharmaceuticals ( AGIO), Bavarian Nordic, Biohaven Pharmaceutical ( BHVN) and Progenics Pharmaceuticals ( PGNX) may be attracting the interest of 18 pharmaceuticals apiece.

AbbVie, AstraZeneca ( AZN), Novartis ( NVS), Roche ( RHHBY) and Dow stocks Pfizer ( PFE) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) could be the most acquisitive, based on Carr's criteria. Each has at least 20 potential targets.

But some biotechs may stand a better chance of being acquired vs. others, Carr said. Since January 2014, there have been 37 acquisitions of public biotech companies involving a payment of more than $250 million upfront.

More than half already had an approved drug and 78% had at least some Phase 3 data, Carr wrote. Oncology was a key target for U.S. and Japanese pharmas, while rare-disease plays are likely to be acquired at later stages.


IBD'S TAKE: Last month, one of these potential acquisition targets jumped to an IBD Relative Strength Rating of 92 out of a best-possible 99. Today, it still has a rating of 90. Head to IBD Data Stories for a closer look at the stock and its catalysts.


Rare diseases tend to be of interest to mid-specialty pharmas and biotechs, as traditional drugmakers are likely to avoid the drug-pricing controversy. Since January 2014, the only rare-disease firm snatched up was Actelion Pharmaceuticals by J&J.

U.S. and European pharma acquired more later-stage biotechs vs. the less risk-adverse Japanese pharmas and Allergan ( AGN). Big areas of interest included central nervous system, rare diseases and oncology which accounted for 22%, 19% and 16% of acquisitions, respectively.

Since January 2011, there have been 235 new chemical entry approvals by the Food and Drug Administration. Of the 65 small-to-midsize biotechs which gained this type of approval, 20 (31%) have been acquired. All of them already had a drug on the market at the time of the acquisition.

"Many oncology companies, but few rare disease companies were acquired," he said.

Gilead Sciences' ( GILD) acquisition of Kite Pharma ( KITE) could break that approval rule. Gilead announced its plan to spend $11.9 billion to buy Kite months ahead of the expected approval date of its first drug in a blood cancer. Novartis' rival treatment was approved days later.

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81. Oracle Earnings Top, But Software Giant Falls On OutlookПт., 15 сент.[−]

Oracle ( ORCL) reported quarterly results after the market close Thursday that edged out analyst views and initially lifted shares of the enterprise software maker, but the stock fell after hours once the company gave its guidance for the current quarter.

Oracle reported revenue of $9.2 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $9.02 billion, for its fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 31 and up 7% from the year-ago quarter. It reported adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share, beating the consensus estimate of 60 cents.

But Oracle's forecast for the current quarter, issued on the conference call, fell short of the midpoint on estimates for EPS and sales. Oracle predicted earnings of 64 cents to 68 cents a share, while the consensus from Wall Street calls for earnings of 68 cents a share. CNBC also said the company predicted revenue gains of 2% to 4%, below current views for a climb of nearly 5% to $9.49 billion.

Shares initially climbed to new record levels during aftermarket trading in the stock market today but tumbled more than 5% to 50 later in the session. Before the market close, Oracle shares had hit a record intraday high of 53.14.

The company received a string of encouraging reports this week, as it gains momentum with its cloud-computing expansion. Oracle said total cloud revenue in the quarter rose 51% from the year-ago quarter to $1.5 billion.

"The sustained hypergrowth in our multibillion dollar cloud business continues to drive Oracle's overall revenue and earnings higher and higher," said Oracle co-Chief Executive Safra Catz, in prepared remarks with the earnings release.

The largest category within its cloud computing business is in software-as-a-service, with revenue up 62% to $1.1 billion.

"With SaaS revenue up 62%, our cloud applications business continues to grow more than twice as fast as Salesforce.com," said Oracle co-chief executive, in the release.

Chairman Larry Ellison in the release said Oracle would announce "the world's first fully autonomous database cloud service" within the next few weeks.

"Based on machine learning, the latest version of Oracle is a totally automated 'self-driving' system that does not require human beings to manage or tune the database," he said.


82. Nvidia's Data Center Business Might Be Bigger Than ReportedЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Nvidia ( NVDA) gets most of its revenue by selling graphics processors for gaming PCs and consoles, but a sizable share of those chips are used in data centers and for cryptocurrency mining, an analyst said Thursday.

XAutoplay: On | OffSusquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Rolland said in a note to clients that Nvidia will generate $10 billion in revenue in calendar-year 2018, with $5.5 billion, or 55%, reported as gaming chip sales. Of those gaming sector sales, he estimates 10% are data center chip sales lumped in with gaming and 5% are cryptocurrency related.

He expects Nvidia to report data center chip sales of $2 billion next year, or 20% of total revenue, making it the company's second largest business. But data center sales actually could be 25.5% of sales next year, if you include the $550 million in revenue forecast to be misreported as gaming chip sales, Rolland said.

"We believe a meaningful portion of GeForce (processors are) being used for data center applications rather than gaming applications," Rolland said. "This is important, as we believe investors ascribe a significantly higher (enterprise value)/sales multiple to data center-related revenue."


IBD'S TAKE: Nvidia is currently ranked No. 8 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks.


Rolland reiterated his neutral rating on Nvidia stock based on valuation, but increased his price target to 155 from 140.

"While we think a higher multiple (for Nvidia) is reasonable given the high-growth markets (artificial intelligence, data center and automotive) to which the company is exposed, we do think those markets will take some time to develop, which keeps us on the sidelines for now," Rolland said. "We look for a pullback to become more opportunistic."

Nvidia shares lost 0.6% to close at 169.40 on the stock market today.

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83. Toshiba Tells Western Digital To Back Off On Quashing Chip DealЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba fired back at Western Digital ( WDC) Thursday for statements made about their battle over the future of a memory chip unit, valued at more than $18 billion.

XAutoplay: On | OffToshiba, on Tuesday, announced it had a memorandum of understanding with a group led by Bain Capital and Korea-based chip company SK Hynix, affirming the intent of both parties to reach an agreement regarding the sale of Toshiba Memory Corp. by the end of this month. Reports say the Bain group has bid $19 billion for the chip company.

Western Digital had led another group to buy the chip business, with an offer reportedly at $18.2 billion, and spent months in a legal battle over the sale. Western Digital acquired a stake in the business, resulting from its $15.8 billion SanDisk acquisition, giving it certain contractual rights. It's those rights that are in dispute.

"Toshiba regrets that Western Digital persistently overstates its limited consent rights in public statements," Toshiba said in a statement issued Thursday. "As Toshiba has previously stated, the confidential agreements between SanDisk and Toshiba provide no reasonable basis for Western Digital's assertions that it is entitled to prevent a sale of TMC."

Western Digital, through its SanDisk unit, opposes the chip sale and on Wednesday implied it might continue legal action. Shares of the Western Digital inched up 5 cents to 85.79 on the stock market today.

"It is surprising that Toshiba would continue to pursue a transaction with a consortium led by Korea-based SK Hynix and Bain Capital Japan without SanDisk's consent," Western Digital said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "The language in the relevant joint venture agreements is unambiguous, and multiple courts have ruled in favor of protecting SanDisk's contractual rights. We remain confident in our ability to protect our joint venture interests and consent rights."

Toshiba replied that the "confidential agreements between SanDisk and Toshiba provide no reasonable basis for Western Digital's assertions that it is entitled to prevent a sale of TMC."


IBD'S TAKE: Western Digital holds a strong IBD Composite Rating of 92 out of a possible 99. There are plenty of places on Investors.com to research and find top stocks, but when you're looking to get a broader idea on top tech stocks, IBD's Tech Leaders feature is worth reviewing.


Toshiba said it was disappointed "by Western Digital's misleading statements regarding the outcome of ongoing litigation between the two companies. Toshiba said the parties "have merely agreed, before a single court, to provide notice when an agreement for the sale of TMC is signed — and prior to a related closing — for a limited period of time, until arbitration between the companies is underway."

Toshiba said it expects to complete a sale of TMC by March 2018, and looks forward to a favorable resolution of SanDisk and Western Digital's exaggerated claims in arbitration.

The Toshiba unit makes a popular computer memory chip known as Nand flash, which is used in a wide variety of consumer electronics and in chip-based data storage systems. Toshiba is under heavy pressure to sell the chip unit, in order to cover massive losses from its nuclear division and avoid having its stock delisted from Japan's stock exchanges.

Western Digital, in addition to its strong presence in the memory chip market, is also the largest provider of disk drives.

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84. This Small Cap Biotech Soars On Deals With Bristol-Myers, RocheЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Halozyme Therapeutics ( HALO) soared to a 20-month high Thursday after the small biotech forged deals with drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) and Roche ( RHHBY) to use its technology with their drugs.

XAutoplay: On | OffShares of Halozyme gapped up more than 24% at one point to touch a high last achieved in January 2016. Halozyme finished the regular trading session up 21.2% to 15.98, after breaking out of a consolidation with a 15.15 entry.

Bristol, trading near 13-month highs, ticked up 0.3% to close at 62.69, as Roche lifted 0.4% to end the day at 31.60 on the stock market today.

The deal with Bristol will test the drugmaker's immuno-oncology drugs as injections using Halozyme's technology. Bristol's Opdivo, one of its immuno-oncology drugs, is approved as an infusion over the course of 60 minutes. Yervoy, another immuno-oncology drug, is already approved as an injection.

Halozyme will receive a $105 million upfront payment as well as future milestones and royalties.


IBD'S TAKE: Bristol-Myers has a Relative Strength Rating of 75 out of a best-possible 99, though it reached as high as 80 earlier this month. Head to IBD Data Stories for more on what goes into the rating.


Using Halozyme's technology could speed up the dosing process for drugs like Opdivo that currently must be delivered intravenously, the companies said. What's called the "Enhanze" drug-delivery system aids "in the dispersion and absorption" of injected drugs.

"This technology may allow for more rapid delivery of large-volume injectable medications, such as medications that are currently delivered intravenously through subcutaneous delivery," the companies said.

Bristol has identified up to 11 potential cancer targets to be tested using Halozyme's tech. Halozyme can earn milestone payments of up to $160 million for each of the potential targets, as well as milestones for immuno-oncology combinations.

For Bristol, the deal is expected to be 1-cent dilutive to adjusted income per share in 2017-18 and by 5 cents per share in 2019.

Also Thursday, Roche and Halozyme announced a deal in which Halozyme will license its Enhanze technology to Roche as a drug-delivery system for the exclusive development of an undisclosed drug, the firms said in a news release.

Per the deal, Roche will pay Halozyme $30 million upfront and will make additional payments of up to $160 million subject to development, regulatory and sales-based milestones. Halozyme will also earn tiered, mid-single-digit royalties on sales of commercialized products.

Halozyme and Roche originally teamed up in 2006 and, using the Enhanze technology, Roche developed two injectable formulas for cancer drugs.

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85. T-Mobile Stock Buyback Possible In 2018, Says CFOЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Fast-growing T-Mobile US ( TMUS) says it may start buying back its own stock in 2018 as the company appears to have ruled out shareholder dividends.

XAutoplay: On | OffSpeaking at a Goldman Sachs conference on Thursday, Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter said a stock buyback could happen "as soon as next year."

"It's something we'll discuss with the board. It's more near term than long term," he said.

When reporting second-quarter earnings in July, T-Mobile management said it might start paying a small dividend to shareholders. Carter said a survey of T-Mobile investors didn't indicate much interest in that approach.

"We think we're undervalued, and a buyback might be the best use of cash," he said.

T-Mobile's second-quarter free cash flow increased 15% to $482 million, topping estimates. The company said that from 2016 through 2019 it expects to grow free cash flow at a rate of 45% to 48%.

"This guidance corresponds to free-cash-flow growth from $1.4 billion in 2016 to approximately $4.5 billion in 2019," a report from brokerage William Blair said recently.

T-Mobile has been gaining subscriber and market share from AT&T ( T) and Verizon Communications ( VZ) with its "Uncarrier"-branded marketing and price discounts.


IBD'S TAKE: The Telecom Services-Wireless group is ranked No. 1 among the 197 industry groups tracked by IBD, with T-Mobile among the top performers. While T-Mobile has been gaining industry revenue and subscriber share, there's also speculation it could merge with Sprint, easing fierce competition. Learn more about the group at IBD Stock Checkup.


Carter declined to comment on speculation that T-Mobile could merge with Sprint ( S). With T-Mobile's free cash flow growing, analysts say it's under no pressure to forge a deal.

Verizon, at the same Goldman Sachs conference, earlier said it's looking at ways to cut $10 billion in costs by 2022 to support its dividend.

T-Mobile shares dropped 2.6% to close at 61.17 on the stock market today.

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86. Apple Kicks Off Augmented-Reality Era With New iPhonesЧт., 14 сент.[−]

While Apple's ( AAPL) latest iPhones received the lion's share of media attention this week, the company's entrance into the augmented-reality field might have been the most significant development at its fall product launch event Tuesday.

XAutoplay: On | OffApple's iPhone X and iPhone 8 series handsets have enhanced sensor arrays and software capabilities that aim to take AR mainstream.

Augmented reality overlays digital information on to a person's field of view using either mobile device displays or special glasses. Potential applications include navigation, education, entertainment, e-commerce and providing useful location-related information.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has touted the potential for augmented reality since June when the company introduced its AR Kit for software developers. He said Apple's mobile devices soon will be the largest platform for AR software.

Apple's new iPhones set the stage for augmented reality to go mainstream, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said in a report Tuesday.

"We believe AR has the potential to become the next killer app that accelerates smartphone upgrades and drives increased services monetization and growth," she said.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 90, meaning it has outperformed 90% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis on Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


The new iPhones are the first smartphones designed for augmented reality, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said at the launch event. That includes cameras calibrated for AR and new processors, gyroscopes, accelerometers and other sensors to drive the experience, he said.

At its product launch event, Apple showed off four AR apps, including two video games that superimpose digital action onto real-world images: "Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade" from Pixel Toys and "The Machines" from Directive Games.

The other apps provide users with situational information. The MLB At Bat app shows real-time player information and statistics on top of the baseball game you're watching. The Sky Guide app overlays a star map on the sky around you.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said the AR demonstrations were "fairly cool," but he doesn't see AR becoming a big deal until it makes the leap from smartphone displays to smartglasses.

"While we continue to believe that AR in the near-to-medium term will have an immaterial financial impact on Apple, we see AR hardware (e.g., glasses) as a significant opportunity in three- to-five years, and AR Kit and developer engagement today are important longer-term building blocks to that goal," Sacconaghi said in a report Wednesday.

Apple's AR Kit enables software developers to create augmented-reality apps for any iPhone starting with the iPhone 6S, which came out two years ago.

"In the medium to long term, however, we see substantial opportunity for Apple to capitalize on AR technology by releasing its own set of smartglasses hardware," Sacconaghi said. "Should they be successful, we believe that Apple smartglasses could potentially generate over $25 billion in annual hardware sales within three years of release."

Apple shares dipped 0.9% to close at 158.28 on the stock market today. Apple has now fallen for three straight days since its new iPhone unveiling.

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87. Amazon Has Prime Growth Opportunity With Whole Foods IntegrationЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Amazon ( AMZN) has multiple opportunities with its Whole Foods Market acquisition to boost grocery sales and grow its Prime membership program, an analyst's report says.

XAutoplay: On | OffMorgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak said in a Thursday note to clients that while he expects price cuts and sales through Amazon Prime and other investments to boost sales at Whole Foods, it will also pressure profitability.

Nowak estimates Whole Foods will show a compound annual growth rate of 12% during the next five years and reach a 3.3% share of the overall U.S. grocery market, up from 2.1% at the end of this year.

"Growth will come from new shopper growth, which we see inflecting from more competitive pricing and increased convenience," Nowak wrote. "While price will bring some Prime shoppers in the door, we see convenience and new online grocery options like expanded Prime Now being an equally important driver with these customers."

Nowak has a buy rating on Amazon and price target of 1,150, a 16% premium from where shares currently trade. Amazon shares were down 0.5%, near 995.21 during afternoon trading on the stock market today.


IBD'S TAKE: Wall Street is starting to ponder a trillion-dollar question: Could the Whole Foods buyout mark a turning point that leads to serious U.S. antitrust scrutiny for Amazon, Facebook and Google?


Nowak believes that 80%, or 38 million, of current U.S. Prime members do not shop at Whole Foods, opening an opportunity for growth. Amazon has announced it will create some special deals at Whole Foods for Prime members only.

"While price will bring some Prime shoppers in the door, we see convenience and new online grocery options like expanded Prime Now being an equally important driver with these customers," Nowak wrote.

Further, Nowak estimates that 38% of Whole Foods customers, or about 5 million households, are not Amazon Prime subscribers.

"We expect Amazon to convert half of these shoppers between now and the end of 2019," he wrote.

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88. How This Dow Component Could Double Its Prostate-Cancer MarketЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Pfizer ( PFE) will net a larger percentage of the prostate-cancer market, an analyst argued Thursday after the Dow component reported the results of a Phase 3 trial for a drug to treat the condition.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe trial, dubbed Prosper, tested Xtandi in a population of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer that had not spread to other areas of the body. Pfizer got Xtandi in its $14 billion acquisition of Medivation last September.

Evercore analyst Umer Raffat argues that the Prosper trial validates the Medivation deal.

"Here's why this trial is so important," he wrote in a note to clients. "It increases the target market size by perhaps more than double."

Xtandi is currently approved to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Raffat estimates that in the U.S. there's a pool of 20,000 patients with this form of prostate cancer in which it hasn't spread to other parts of the body.


IBD'S TAKE: Pfizer has an IBD Composite Rating of 76 out of a best-possible 99, meaning it outperforms more than three-quarters of all stocks in terms of key growth metrics. Head to IBD Stocks Checkup for a closer look at top-rated drugmakers.


In the late-stage trial, Xtandi was both combined with androgen deprivation therapy and compared with androgen deprivation therapy, by itself. Xtandi met its goal of improving survival without allowing the cancer to spread.

Still, this isn't the "gold standard" — which is overall survival, Raffat said.

Based on these results, Pfizer and partner Astellas Pharma plan to discuss with the Food and Drug Administration the potential approval of Xtandi for all patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, whether or not the cancer has spread.

By the closing bell on the stock market today, Pfizer had gained 1.9% to close at35.73.

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89. Verizon Aims To Slash $10 Billion In Costs To Fund DividendЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Verizon Communications ( VZ) aims to slash $10 billion in costs by 2022, enabling the telecom company to largely fund its dividend through the savings, Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said at a Goldman Sachs conference on Wednesday.

"(CFO Matt Ellis) and I have decided that we see a real opportunity to take hard dollar cash out of the business and have set a target of taking $10 billion of cost, hard cash, out of the business over the next four years," McAdam said at the conference. "Our goal is we'd be able to fund our dividend through cash savings in 2022."

Verizon stock edged down 0.2% to close at 47.18 on the stock market today.

Verizon on Sept. 7 hiked its annual dividend for the 11th straight year. However, slowing wireless service revenue growth has raised questions over Verizon's ability to fund its dividend long-term. Verizon has about $120 billion in debt.

McAdam says Verizon plans to continue investing in its wireless and wireline fiber-optic networks. The company has been testing 5G wireless technologies as a competitor to cable broadband services.


IBD'S TAKE: The Telecom Services-Wireless group is ranked No. 1 among the 197 industry groups tracked by IBD, with T-Mobile among the top performers. While T-Mobile has been gaining industry revenue and subscriber share, there's also speculation it could merge with Sprint, easing fierce competition. Learn more about the group at IBD Stock Checkup.


McAdam said most of the $10 billion incost reduction will be "backloaded," meaning in 2020 and 2021.

"We're implanting a very rigorous process around zero-base budgeting," he added. "$10 billion in cash out of the business — opex and capex over the next four years — is a target we believe we can deliver."

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90. Facebook Expands Crisis Response Efforts With New LocationЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Facebook ( FB) on Thursday expanded the way users of its social network can find information and respond to crisis and disasters.

The new feature, called Crisis Response, will function as a central hub for crisis and disaster information. It will enable Facebook users to see crisis-related content such as links to articles and photos and videos posted by the Facebook community worldwide, the company announced.

The Crisis Response page will combine three crisis-related pages previously created by Facebook onto a single site. One is Safety Check, which lets Facebook users tell friends and family members they're safe during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other threatening incidents. Another is Community Help, where people can ask for and give help to communities affected by the crisis. The third site is where people create fundraisers and donate to support those affected by the crisis.

Facebook users will be able to access Crisis Response on Facebook in the upcoming weeks from the homepage on desktop or from the menu button on their phone, the company said.


IBD'S TAKE: With thousands of publicly-traded companies to choose from, how can you quickly find the best stocks to buy right now? A good starting point is to regularly review screens that highlight the top-rated equities.


Facebook stock fell 1.2% to close at 170.96 on the stock market today.

Facebook stock is near a record high of 175.49 set on July 27.

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91. Oracle Floats Near Record High As It Prepares Quarterly EarningsЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Shares of enterprise software company Oracle ( ORCL) flirted with a record high Thursday as the company prepared to report quarterly earnings after the market close.

XAutoplay: On | OffOracle has been recharged this year as the company gains momentum with its cloud-computing expansion, with the stock up 38% this year.

Oracle shares were down marginally, trading near 52.70 during morning trading in the stock market today. The stock hit a record high of 52.94 on Wednesday. Oracle cleared a 51.95 buy point on Monday.

Oracle began pushing aggressively into cloud computing three years ago, negatively impacting sales and earnings.

"We believe the worst of this transition is over," wrote Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White in a research note to clients Thursday. White has a buy rating on Oracle and price target of 62.

"With a breakout quarter reported back in June, we believe Oracle is clearly demonstrating to the market that the company has established itself as a formidable force in the cloud and the naysayers over the past few years are being proven wrong," White wrote.


IBD'S TAKE: Oracle broke out from a base-on-base pattern. It previously had a breakout in June, when Oracle reported earnings and the stock gapped up. After two straight earnings-inspired gap-ups in price, is another one in store?


Oracle reported results for its fiscal fourth quarter on June 21 that beat on the top and bottom lines, with robust growth from its emerging cloud-computing operations. Analysts said the beat came from a strong performance across the board.

For its fiscal first quarter, the consensus estimate on revenue looks for Oracle to report revenue of $9 billion, up 5% from the year-ago quarter. The consensus on adjusted income is 61 cents, up 11%, for its fiscal first quarter.

Oracle has received a string of encouraging reports just ahead of earnings.

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92. Amazon (AMZN) Stock Quotes, Company News And Chart AnalysisЧт., 14 сент.[−]

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93. Dolby, Universal Display Boosted By New Apple iPhonesЧт., 14 сент.[−]

Audio-video technology firm Dolby Laboratories ( DLB) and OLED display expert Universal Display ( OLED) are seen as winners following Apple's fall product launch event Tuesday.

Dolby stock rocketed to its highest level in nearly seven years on news that Apple is using Dolby Vision in its iPhone 8 and iPhone X smartphones as well as the Apple TV 4K set-top box.

On Tuesday, after the Apple announcements, Dolby shares rose 4.7% to 53.94. Then, on Wednesday, Dolby stock broke out of an eight-week cup base with a buy point of 54.92. Shares rose 9.5% to 59.06 on the stock market today.

Dougherty analyst Steven Frankel reiterated his buy rating on Dolby stock with a price target of 63.

"With a growing ecosystem around Vision, boosted most recently by Apple's licensing of Vision for the Apple TV 4K, iPad Pro and the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, Dolby is well positioned to accelerate revenue and expand margins," Frankel said in a report. "Beyond the financial implications of an expanded Apple relationship, these announcements further flesh out the Dolby Vision ecosystem, firmly establishing Dolby Vision as the highest quality video experience."

Meanwhile, shares of Universal Display ended Wednesday down a fraction to 132.35.


IBD'S TAKE: Universal Display is currently ranked No. 1 on the IBD 50 list of top-performing growth stocks.


Universal Display is a key supplier of technology and materials for OLED displays and lighting. Its customers include OLED display makers like Samsung and LG Display ( LPL).

The iPhone X, due out Nov. 3, is the first Apple smartphone to use an OLED display instead of the traditional LCD screen. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are seen as superior to liquid crystal display (LCD) screens in terms of color reproduction, contrast ratio, refresh rate and power efficiency.

In a report Wednesday, analysts at investment bank Cowen said the iPhone X could mark the start of a transition that sees Apple moving to OLED displays and away from LCD.

Apple's product launch event was bad news for Synaptics ( SYNA), analysts said. Synaptics makes touch interface technologies.

Apple's decision to scrap the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone X in favor of facial-recognition technology could lead other smartphone vendors to follow suit.

The iPhone X design could cause "an existential crisis" for fingerprint-based authentication in smartphones, Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz said in a report.

"Android smartphone (makers) may start to consider (the) fingerprint sensor an 'optional' feature, which will shrink the total addressable market for Synaptics fingerprint (reader) business," Uerkwitz said. He rates Synaptics stock as underperform with a price target of 35.

Synaptics rose 0.2% to 40.85 on Wednesday.

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94. AT&T To Strike First Blow With iPhone 8 'Buy One, Get One Free' OfferСр., 13 сент.[−]

AT&T ( T) may land the first punch in wireless promotions for Apple's ( AAPL) new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, with a "buy one, get one free" promotion that starts Friday.

XAutoplay: On | OffNew customers will need to subscribe to AT&T's DirecTV video service to qualify for the offer, Bloomberg reported.

T-Mobile US ( TMUS) intensified wireless wars last year by launching a "free" iPhone 7 promotion with the trade-in of an older device, which was replicated by other wireless firms.

"Buy one, get one free" smartphone promotions have become common in the wireless industry for Samsung and other brands as well, and AT&T has had one recently for the iPhone 7.

"Following the much anticipated iPhone release, we have yet to see the flurry of promotional activity that accompanied prior launches," Mike McCormack, Jefferies analyst, said in a note to clients. "Reported deals appear centered around trade-ins, allowing carriers to optimize the residual value from prior generation iPhones. Unconfirmed reports of an AT&T (deal) would be the most aggressive. Investors are apt to look favorably on the rational behavior, which could soften the margin impact of this upgrade cycle."

Apple's launch of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 may drive another wave of intensified competition, analysts say. There's been a lull since AT&T and Verizon Communications ( VZ) reintroduced unlimited data plans in early 2017 amid market-share gains by T-Mobile and Sprint.

New iPhone promotions generally drive higher churn (customers switching service providers), drive upgrades to more pricey "postpaid" service plans, and lower profit margins because of device subsidies.

Anticipating Apple's iPhone launch, T-Mobile last week said it would provide Netflix's ( NFLX) internet TV service for free to subscribers that buy two lines or more of unlimited data service.

Apple's new high-end iPhone X starts at $999 for a 64-gigabyte version. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus start at $699 and $799 — $50 higher than the entry-level iPhone 7 pricing a year ago. The iPhone X will not ship until Nov. 3, so early promotions may focus on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.


IBD'S TAKE: If you want to understand the state of the market, read IBD's Stock Market Today columns throughout the market day, and at day's end The Big Picture (take a free trial), for timely market analysis and highlighted growth stocks breaking out of proper bases.


Sprint is offering 50% off the iPhone 8 with an eligible trade-in for customers who sign up for a leasing plan.

T-Mobile plans to offer a $300 trade-in credit for customers buying the iPhone X, as well as the new 8 and 8 Plus. Verizon also is offering a $300 credit on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with trade-in.

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95. Facebook Targets Fake News, Hate Speech With New Set Of GuidelinesСр., 13 сент.[−]

Facebook ( FB) issued new guidelines on Wednesday to combat a wide range of unwanted content on its social network, including fake news and sensational clickbait, as well as targeting those engaged in fraud, theft and hate speech.

XAutoplay: On | Off Facebook introduced what it calls monetization eligibility standards that explains the ground rules for publishers and content creators, along with guidelines on the kind of content that can be monetized. The efforts include guidelines that will prevent publishers and creators from making money off Facebook's social networking platform if rules are violated.

Facebook said users that repeatedly violate its guidelines, including the creation of sensational clickbait, or post misinformation and false news, may lose their eligibility to monetize the content, said a blog post from Nick Grudin, Facebook vice president of media partnerships.

"Those creators and publishers who are violating our policies regarding intellectual property, authenticity, and user safety, or are engaging in fraudulent business practices, may be ineligible to monetize using our features," wrote Grudin wrote in a blog post.

The action comes as Facebook has been criticized over the role its social network played spreading fake news during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. This month Facebook executives told congressional investigators that it unwittingly sold $100,000 worth of ads during the U.S. presidential election to a Russian company that was targeting voters.

The ad sales were tied to a Russian business with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, the Washington Post reported. U.S. intelligence officials have said that the Kremlin interfered in the election for the benefit of President Donald Trump.

Facebook shares inched up 0.1% to close at 173.05 on the stock market today.


IBD'S TAKE: Facebook edged closer to a potential breakout Wednesday. The stock is about 2% away from a 175.59 flat-base buy point. Recently, the stock's relative strength line hit a new high, indicating substantial market outperformance.


In an effort to further combat hate speech and other violations, Facebook will add 3,000 content reviewers, nearly doubling its existing team, said Carolyn Everson, Facebook senior vice president for global marketing solutions.

"Keeping our community safe is critical to our mission, and there is absolutely no place on Facebook for hate speech or content that promotes violence or terrorism," Everson wrote in a blog post.

This includes depictions of death, casualties and physical injuries in tragedies such as natural disasters. It also includes content deemed incendiary, inflammatory, demeaning or disparaging toward people or groups. Facebook is also taking more steps against ad fraud.

Facebook stepped up efforts to combat fake news in December.

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96. Intercept Pitfall Overblown After Drug-Related Deaths: AnalystСр., 13 сент.[−]

Intercept Pharmaceuticals ( ICPT) continued diving Wednesday, though short of hitting another record low, after issuing a letter Tuesday warning physicians against overdosing patients on a liver-disease drug called Ocaliva.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe slump in Intercept stock is "an overreaction," UBS analyst Jeffrey Hung said in a note to clients. Intercept toppled 13.5% on Tuesday and skidded another 7.5% to close at 90.75 on the stock market today.

Ocaliva is approved to treat a chronic disease resulting from the progressive destruction of bile ducts in the liver known as primary biliary cholangitis. About 10 patients with liver impairment have suffered liver failure, injury, decompensation or death as a result of overdosing.

In these patients, Ocaliva is recommended as a 5-milligram dose once weekly, which can be adjusted up to 5-10 milligrams twice weekly depending on response and tolerability. In some of these cases, patients received the medicine daily, Hung said.


IBD'S TAKE: Biotech stocks recently hit a 20-month high and could run higher this month on a series of "make or break" trials including data expected from the likes of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Axovant Sciences and Versartis. Head to IBD Industry Themes for a closer look at analysts' expectations for the month.


Hung says there should be little correlation between Ocaliva's trouble in treating primary biliiary cholangitis and current tests treating patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, also referred to as cirrhosis of the liver. He kept his buy rating and 170 price target on Intercept.

"Furthermore, since cirrhotic patients make up single to low double-digit percentage of the primary biliary cholangitis population, we would still expect limited potential negative impact to Ocaliva sales in a worst case scenario where these patients all stop treatment," he said.

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97. IRobot Stock Attacked By Home Appliance Vendor SharkNinjaСр., 13 сент.[−]

Shares of home-robot maker iRobot ( IRBT) fell sharply Wednesday over concerns about fast-growing home appliance vendor SharkNinja getting into the robotic vacuum cleaner market.

XAutoplay: On | OffIRobot, best known for its Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners, saw its shares fall 15.7% to close at 85.08 on the stock market today.

SharkNinja's entrance into the robotic vacuum cleaner market poses a serious threat to iRobot, short-seller Spruce Point Capital Management said in a report Wednesday. Spruce Point reiterated its strong sell rating on iRobot stock.

"SharkNinja has entered the robotic vacuum market with a 'functionality at a reasonable price' strategy to compete directly with the Roomba," the firm said. "Given Shark's historical success, we assume that their entry into the market will translate into sales and margin pressure for iRobot beginning with Q4 2017."


IBD'S TAKE: IRobot stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 82, meaning it has outperformed 82% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis on iRobot, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


Needham, Mass.-based SharkNinja is selling three versions of its Shark Ion Robot, starting at $299 for the basic model. It has distribution through Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT), Target ( TGT), Home Depot ( HD), Amazon.com ( AMZN) and other major retailers.

"It appears clear to Spruce Point that Shark will compete with iRobot by offering comparable functionality at a lower price point," the investment firm said. IRobot Roomba vacuums range in price from $299 to $899.

Privately held SharkNinja sells vacuums, hard-floor cleaners and garment care products under the Shark brand as well as kitchen appliances like blenders and coffee makers under the Ninja brand.

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98. Western Digital Thumped As Toshiba Plans Sale Of Chip Unit To RivalСр., 13 сент.[−]

Western Digital ( WDC) shares fell Wednesday following news that Toshiba will sell a prized chip unit to a rival group led by Bain Capital and Korea-based SK Hynix.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe deal, announced by Toshiba late Tuesday, is a blow to Western Digital, which spent months negotiating and wrangling with Toshiba to acquire the specialized unit that makes memory chips.

The Bain Capital group reportedly bid $19 billion for the business, above the reported bid of $18.2 billion by the Western Digital group, which included private equity firm KKR. Apple ( AAPL) is said to be involved with the Bain Capital group.

Western Digital stock fell 3.4% to close at 85.74 on the stock market today.

Toshiba said it entered a memorandum of understanding with the Bain group and hopes to enter a final decision by the end of this month. Two Japanese newspapers had previously reported that Western Digital won the bidding.

The Toshiba unit makes a popular computer memory chip known as Nand flash, which is used in a wide variety of consumer electronics and in chip-based data storage systems. Western Digital acquired a stake in the business, resulting from its $15.8 billion SanDisk acquisition.

Toshiba is under heavy pressure to sell the chip unit, in order to cover massive losses from its nuclear division and avoid having its stock delisted from Japan's stock exchanges.

Western Digital has worked to acquire the Toshiba unit to fortify its strong and growing presence in the memory-chip market — chips that are used broadly in smartphones, memory cards, USB drives, solid-state drives, digital cameras and other devices. In addition to being a competitive force in chips, Western Digital is also the world's largest manufacturer of disk drives, competing against Seagate Technology ( STX)

Western Digital has fought legal battles against Toshiba to prevent any deal that did not have its consent, in order to preserve intellectual property and prevent the chip unit from falling into the hands of competitors. That includes Broadcom ( AVGO), which reportedly bid on the unit. Broadcom is a leading manufacturer of chips used in wireless and broadband communication.


IBD'S TAKE: Western Digital holds a strong IBD Composite Rating of 95 out of a possible 99. There are plenty of places on Investors.com to research and find top stocks, but when you're looking to get a broader idea on top tech stocks, IBD's Tech Leaders feature is worth reviewing.


The Bain Capital/SK Hynix group had previously been selected by Toshiba as the winning bidder. That deal collapsed under heavy legal pressure by Western Digital.

Western Digital implied it might continue legal action, in a statement issued late Tuesday.

"It is surprising that Toshiba would continue to pursue a transaction with a consortium led by Korea-based SK Hynix and Bain Capital Japan without SanDisk's consent," Western Digital said in a prepared statement. "The language in the relevant joint venture agreements is unambiguous, and multiple courts have ruled in favor of protecting SanDisk's contractual rights. We remain confident in our ability to protect our joint venture interests and consent rights."

It said "arbitration requests" are on file and continue to move forward in the ICC International Court of Arbitration.

The other group bidding for the unit is a consortium led by manufacturing giant Foxconn that includes Apple.

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99. Late Debut For iPhone X Disappoints Apple InvestorsСр., 13 сент.[−]

Apple's ( AAPL) 11th-generation smartphones received generally positive reviews from Wall Street analysts, but the later-than-expected launch of the company's flagship iPhone X handset put a damper on their enthusiasm.

XAutoplay: On | OffApple shares slipped 0.8% to close at 159.65 on the stock market today.

Apple announced the iPhone X (pronounced "ten") at a media event Tuesday along with two iPhone 8 smartphones, the Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch and the Apple TV 4K set-top box.

The star of the show was Apple's iPhone X, the company's 10th-anniversary smartphone. It features a 5.8-inch OLED screen with no physical home button to interrupt the display. The iPhone X uses facial recognition technology called Face ID to unlock the device and authenticate mobile payments.

The iPhone X has an improved rear camera with dual optical image stabilization and better battery life than its predecessor. It comes in a sleek new design with front and rear glass panels.

With a starting price of $999, the iPhone X is Apple's most expensive smartphone yet. And interested buyers will have to wait to get their hands on it. The iPhone X will be available for pre-order on Oct. 27 in more than 55 countries and territories, but won't be available in stores until Nov. 3. Even then, it's likely to be in short supply for months because of production constraints, analysts caution.

The iPhone X doesn't have enough added functionality to justify its $999 starting price, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves said in a report.

"IPhone X provides little to drive an upgrade beyond the look," he said. "The device offered little that we view as compelling enough to justify a $300 premium to the iPhone 8."

William Blair analyst Anil Doradla disagreed, saying many consumers will splurge on the iPhone X.

"Given the increasing dependence on smartphones and the role they play in consumers' daily lives, Apple is betting on consumers' willingness to pay up (which we believe is the right strategy)," Doradla said in report.

The iPhone X "catapults Apple into the ultraluxury smartphone market," Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White said in a note to clients.


IBD'S TAKE: Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 92, meaning it has outperformed 92% of stocks in key metrics over the past 12 months. For more analysis of Apple, visit the IBD Stock Checkup.


UBS analyst Steven Milunovich was surprised by Apple's name for its flagship smartphone.

"We expected the iPhone X to be pronounced 'X' rather than 'ten,' " he said in a report. "Ten makes sense as the tenth year anniversary, but why not just call it the iPhone 10? Ten makes the new iPhone 8 sound old — maybe that's intentional to prompt customers to reach for the X. Also, where does naming go next year — to the iPhone 9 and 11?"

Apple also introduced two traditional LCD-screen handsets, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which have display sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, respectively. Those phones will be available for pre-order starting Friday and in stores a week later, on Sept. 22. That's six weeks before the iPhone X arrives in stores.

The iPhone 8 is priced starting at $699, while the larger-screen iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799. They sport faster processors and other upgraded components vs. the current iPhone 7 series.

The iPhone X and 8 series phones feature wireless charging and fast wired charging as well as new augmented reality capabilities. The wireless charging works with the established Qi ecosystem, including new wireless-charging mats from privately held Belkin and Mophie, a unit of Zagg ( ZAGG).

On Tuesday, Apple gave a sneak preview of AirPower, its wireless charging accessory coming in 2018. The charging pad has a surface large enough to charge up to three devices simultaneously. It can charge the new iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 3, and a new wireless charging case for AirPods wireless earphones.

Apple decided to keep five older model iPhones in its lineup: last year's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the two-year-old iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, as well as the entry-level iPhone SE. It cut the prices of the iPhone 7 series and 6S series phones by $100 and trimmed the price of its SE model by $50.

All told, Apple will be offering eight different model iPhones, with prices ranging from $349 to $1,149.

"So many models may be confusing to consumers and Apple will likely need to simplify the portfolio in the next cycle or two," BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long said in a report.

Apple's iPhone pricing strategy is risky, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said in a report. The iPhone X costs $230 more than the current iPhone 7 Plus. Apple also bumped up the entry price for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus by $50 and $30, respectively.

"The risk is that the iPhone X and iPhone 8 are simply viewed as too expensive (and not sufficiently differentiated), and that consumers ultimately choose an older iPhone, given that Apple is continuing to sell the SE, starting at $349, the 6S at $449, and the iPhone 7 at $549," Sacconaghi said.

Guggenheim analyst Robert Cihra pounded the table for Apple stock on Wednesday. He reiterated his buy rating and upped his price target.

"With shares up 39% year to date vs. the S&P 500's 11%, many investors now feel they should 'sell the news' but we disagree and rather raise our price target to $200 from $190, as rising iPhone average selling prices further accelerate revenue growth," Cihra said in a report. "We continue to see Apple now set up for its biggest iPhone cycle in 3 years, providing more runway for appreciation driven by our expectation for: 1) pent-up demand, 2) a multiyear OLED rollout and 3) double-digit increases in iPhone's blended average selling price."

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100. Why This Cancer Biotech Leads Pack After Hitting Record HighСр., 13 сент.[−]

Loxo Oncology ( LOXO) rocketed to an all-time high Wednesday after announcing it will present data from a Phase 1 trial in lung, thyroid, colon and solid-tumor cancers during a conference next month.

XAutoplay: On | OffAt the closing bell on the stock market today, Loxo soared by 15.3% to close at 86.59. Trial results of two patients with lung cancer will be presented during a meeting of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer to be held Oct. 15-18 in Japan.

Patients received LOXO-292, which targets specific abnormal fusions in cells to battle cancer. These fusions have been identified in 2% of advanced lung cancer, 10%-20% of some thyroid and colon cancers and 60% of another thyroid cancer.

But Loxo wasn't the only biotech to see some upside Wednesday. Though IBD's 446-company Biotech industry group just lifted a fraction, other strong risers included Urogen Pharma ( URGN), which surged 7.2% to close at 30.59, and Opiant Pharmaceuticals ( OPNT), up 2.7% to close at 36.98.

FibroGen ( FGEN) got a 3.5% lift to finish at 51.60, after its late Tuesday presentation of a drug dubbed pamrevlumab in a progressive lung condition. In the Phase 2b trial, pamrevlumab met its key goal of improving lung function.

At 48 weeks, just 10% of patients treated with pamrevlumab experienced a 10% or more decline in lung function vs. 31.4% of patients treated with a placebo. The drug has now been safe enough to move into Phase 3 testing, Leerink analyst Joseph Schwartz said.


IBD'S TAKE: Some biotechs could make it or break it in September on a series of expected data readouts from clinical trials. Who's on the line and will their potential treatments work? Head to IBD Industry Themes for a deeper look.


Reata Pharmaceuticals ( RETA) rose 2.3% to end the regular trading session at 30.45, after Schwartz initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating and 43 price target.

"We believe the company has a strong development strategy for their novel platform as evidenced by recent positive data in two orphan indications and we expect upcoming data in others to expand investor appreciation," he wrote in a note to clients.

The firm's platform focuses on targeting molecular pathways that regulate metabolism and inflammation of the cells. It's investigating potential treatments for a chronic kidney disease, a progressive nervous system disorder and high blood pressure in the lungs.

These three are the most visible programs and could each generate $500 million in revenue, he estimated. Schwartz expects data released throughout 2017-18 to general excitement over Reata's pipeline.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN) advanced 1.7% to close at 146.46, after announcing Tuesday it would cut 20% of its workforce to invest in research. Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges boosted his price target to 182 from 170, and kept his outperform rating.

Management now seems to think grabbing approval of its drug, Soliris, to treat a muscle weakness disease is "a near-certainty, which is reassuring," he wrote in a note to clients. Alexion also has two pivotal trials for a drug called ALXN1210 fully enrolled.

"The full enrollment of two of the pivotal trials for ALXN1210 also offers an approaching catalyst in the first half of 2018," he said. ALXN1210 is being studied as a potential treatment for a rare blood disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed.

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