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Green Growth makes formal offer to acquire Aphria in hostile bid

46 min ago

Marijuana producer Green Growth Brands Inc. has presented a formal offer to acquire Aphria Inc. to shareholders, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday over the phone. MarketWatch could not immediately determine the offer's details. Previously Green Growth had said its bid valued Aphria at C$11 a share or roughly $2.1 billion. Regulators in Canada halted trading of both stock, though Aphria's U.S. listing on the New York Stock Exchange continued to trade in the extended session. Green Growth shares closed up 6.9% Tuesday as Aphria stock gained 6%. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF s[: mj], which tracks a basket of pot stocks, fell 0.3% Tuesday.

Cannabis producers Aphria and Green Growth halted

2 hours ago

Shares of Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc. and U.S.-based Green Growth Brands Inc. were halted by regulators late Tuesday. The Canadian regulator said the halt was due to pending news. Green Growth is in the midst of a hostile takeover bid of Aphria. Aphria executives said that Green Growth's public proposal undervalued the business, though the company has not received a formal bid from Green Growth. Aphria stock has been battered the last several weeks after a short seller report highlighted alleged issues with several of Aphria's acquisitions. Green Growth brands is backed by the powerful Schottenstein family. Aphria stock has fallen 40% in the past three months as ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF dropped 9%.

Comerica raises dividend by 12%

3 hours ago

Comerica Inc. said late Tuesday its board of directors has approved a 12% increase in the company's dividend to 67 cents a share. The dividend is payable April 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15. The increase "reflects our solid capital position and strong earnings performance as well as our future growth potential," Chief Executive Ralph W. Babb Jr. said in a statement. The board also approved a stock buyback of up to 15 million shares, in addition to the 4.7 million shares remaining as of December 31 under prior authorizations. Shares of Comerica were flat in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 1.3%.

IBM stock rallies 5% on earnings beat, outlook

3 hours ago

International Business Machines Corp. shares surged in the extended session Tuesday after the tech giant's earnings and outlook topped Wall Street views. IBM shares surged 5% after hours, following a 1.1% decline to close the regular session at $122.51. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.95 billion, or $2.15 a share, compared with a loss of $1.05 billion, or $1.14 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were $4.87 a share. Revenue declined to $21.76 billion from $22.54 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $4.82 a share on revenue of $21.73 billion. For 2019, IBM said it expects adjusted earnings of "at least $13.90" a share, while analysts forecast $13.80.

Liberty Latin America kills Millicom talks

3 hours ago

Liberty Latin America Ltd. said late Tuesday that it has ended talks with Millicom International Cellular SA about a potential acquisition. Liberty stock was down less than 0.1% after hours and Millicom shares were halted. The S&P 500 index fell 1.4% during the regular session.

Capital One stock falls after company's revenue miss

3 hours ago

Shares of Capital One Financial Corp. fell more than 3% in the extended session Tuesday after the company swung to a profit but missed fourth-quarter revenue expectations. Capital One said it earned $1.3 billion, or $2.48 a share, in the quarter, versus a loss of $971 million, or $2.17 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Excluding one-time items, Capital One earned $1.87 a share. Revenue rose 1% to $7 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected GAAP and adjusted profit of $2.39 a share on sales of $7.1 billion. "In the fourth quarter, Capital One posted solid results as we invest to grow and to drive our digital transformation," founder and Chief Executive Richard D. Fairbank said in a statement. Shares of Capital One ended the regular session down 1.9%.

White House's Kudlow denies report that China meeting was cancelled

3 hours ago

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Tuesday denied a report that the administration has cancelled planned preliminary trade talks with China set for the week. "The story is not true, there was never a planned meeting," Kudlow said on CNBC. The Financial Times had earlier reported the White House rejected an offer by two Chinese vice-ministers to travel to the U.S. this week to set the groundwork for more senior talks scheduled on Jan 30 and 31 between Liu He, China vice-premier and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Stocks recovered some of their earlier losses after the denial.

Dow logs around 300-point loss after global growth concerns take hold

3 hours ago

Stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday, kicking off the holiday-truncated week with a loss, after fears over the global economy gained momentum. The S&P 500 fell 1.4% to end around 2,633. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 299 points, or 1.2%, to end near 24,408, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 1.9% to around 7,020. China reported 2018 growth was at its slowest since 1990, with President Xi Jinping reportedly warning Communist Party officials to remain watchful of financial risks. The International Monetary Fund also trimmed its growth forecast to 3.5% in 2019, from 3.7% in 2018, though it kept its expectation for the U.S. economy unchanged.

5 stocks account for nearly 200-points of Dow's tumble

4 hours ago

Of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 412-point plunge Tuesday, five higher-priced components are accounting for nearly half of the decline. The biggest drag on the Dow's price is Boeing Co. as the stock fell $8.75, or 2.4%, to shave about 59 points off the Dow's price. Among the other biggest drags, shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shed $5.66, or 2.8%; Caterpillar Inc. declined $4.86, or 3.6%; 3M Co. dropped $4.60, or 2.4%; and Apple Inc. gave up $3.72, or 2.4%. Combined, the stocks' price declines cut about 187 points off the Dow's price. The Dow is a price-weighted average, meaning stocks with the highest prices have the most influence, while indexes like the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are market-capitalization weighted, meaning the most valuable companies carry the most weight.

EIA forecasts U.S. shale oil output up by 62,000 barrels a day in February

5 hours ago

Crude-oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays is forecast to climb by 62,000 barrels a day in February to 8.179 million barrels a day, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration released Tuesday. Oil output from the Permian Basin, which covers parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is expected to see the largest climb among the big shale plays, with an increase of 23,000 barrels a day in February from January. February West Texas Intermediate oil pared some of its earlier declines, trading down $1.02, or 1.9%, at $52.78 a barrel just ahead of its settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Shuttle Pharmaceuticals withdraws its IPO filing

5 hours ago

Shuttle Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday it is withdrawing a registration statement made in December of 2016 for an initial public offering. The registration was declared effective in January of 2019. "The Company has determined not to proceed with the proposed public offering under the Registration Statement, and no shares of common stock of the Company were sold since the effectiveness of the Registration Statement," the company said in a new filing.

Wells Fargo boosts dividend by 5%

5 hours ago

Wells Fargo & Co. said Tuesday it will raise its quarterly dividend by 5%, as part of its 2018 capital plan which received a "non-objection" from the Federal Reserve. The new dividend of 45 cents a share, up from 43 cents a share, will be payable March 1 to shareholders of record on Feb. 1. The stock was little changed in afternoon trade, while the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF slumped 1.3%. At current prices, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 3.60%, compared the implied yields for the financial ETF (XLF) of 1.93% and for the S&P 500 of 2.12%, according to FactSet. Wells' stock has declined 22.7% over the past 12 months, while the XLF has shed 13.8% and the S&P 500 has declined 7.2%.

Altria's stock tumbles after Morgan Stanley turns bearish, slashes price target

5 hours ago

Shares of Altria Group Inc. tumbled 7.5% toward a more than 4-year low in active afternoon trade Tuesday, after Morgan Stanley turned bearish on the cigarette seller, citing accelerating industry declines, deceleration in earnings growth and regulatory risks. The stock was on track for the lowest close since September 2014. Morgan Stanley analyst Pamela Kaufman downgraded Altria to a rare underweight rating--only 18% of companies covered by Morgan Stanley have underweight ratings--from equal weight, and slashed her price target to $45 from $54. "[Altria's] reliable business algorithm is at risk from shifting demographic trends, category disruption and harsh FDA regulatory objectives," Kaufman wrote in a note to clients. "A large-scale and expensive investment in JUUL despite limited financial and regulatory uncertainty" is a concern. The regulatory risks stem from JUUL's decision to stop selling most of its flavored nicotine liquids following the FDA's plan to restrict the sale of most flavored pod-style cigarettes. The stock has plunged 27% over the past three months, while the SPDR Consumer Staples ETF has shed 4.8% and the S&P 500 has declined 4.5%.

GE's stock dives on heavy volume as reports raise uncertainty over potential GECAS sale

6 hours ago

Shares of General Electric Co. took a 5.3% dive in active afternoon trade Tuesday, as the pullback from last week's 10-week closing high accelerated. Volume was 73 million shares, enough to make GE's stock the most actively traded on all the major equity exchanges. The stock had rocketed 36% from the Dec. 12, 9 1/2-year closing low of $6.71 to through Jan. 17, before ticking 0.9% lower on Friday. A Barron's report over the long weekend questioned what GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) could fetch in a sale, or whether a sale would even go through. Earlier this month, GE's stock rallied after Bloomberg reported that Apollo Global Management was in talks to buy some or all of GECAS, but an announcement hasn't materialized. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported Air Lease Corp. indicated it wasn't interested in buying GECAS, and that fellow GECAS rival AerCap Holdings N.V. was hopeful that any potential buyer would retain a disciplined approach. GE's stock has tumbled 30.7% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has eased 3.9%.

All 30 energy ETF components fall as oil prices tank

6 hours ago

The SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF dropped 2.1% Tuesday, with all components trading lower, following disappointing earnings from Halliburton Co. and as concerns over a global economic slowdown triggered weakness in oil prices. Halliburton's stock was the energy ETF's (XLE) biggest decliner, as it slumped 5.0% despite earnings and revenue that topped expectations, with some analysts citing somewhat downbeat guidance for its North America business and margin headwinds. Among the XLE's other more-active components, shares of Schlumberger Ltd. sank 2.1%, Kinder Morgan Inc. dropped 1.4% and Marathon Oil Corp. shed 2.3%. Meanwhile, crude oil futures slid 2.8%. The XLE has now dropped 11.6% over the past three months, while crude futures have tumbled 24% and the S&P 500 has slipped 4.6%.

46 Attorneys General reach $120 million settlement with J&J over hip implants

7 hours ago

New York Attorney General Letitia James said Tuesday that she and 45 other Attorneys General have reached a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices. Specifically, J&J's DePuy business "engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in its promotion of the ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant devices by making misleading claims as to the longevity, also known as survivorship, of metal-on-metal hip implants," James said in a statement. DePuy advertised that the ASR LX hip implant had a survivorship rate of 99.2% at three years, when the National Joint Registry of England and Wales reported a 7 percent revision rate at three years. Patients who needed implant revision surgery to replace failed implants suffered groin pain, allergic reactions, tissue necrosis and a build-up of metal ions in the blood. The ASR XL was recalled in 2010 and the Pinnacle Ultamet was discontinued in 2013. J&J shares were down 2.3% Tuesday, and have fallen 13.8% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 7%.

Dow backs away from test of key Fibonacci retracement level

7 hours ago

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 295 points in midday trade Tuesday, as the blue-chip barometer backs away from a test of a key Fibonacci retracement level. Chart watchers use the Fibonacci ratio of 0.618, which is also known as the "Golden," or "Divine" ratio, given its existence through the natural world, as a key technical level to watch. They figure and retracement that stays within 61.8% of the previous trend's move remains governed by that previous trend. For the Dow, the previous trend was the 5,036-point, or 18.8% tumble, from the Oct. 3 record close of 26,828.39 to the 15-month low of 21,792.20 on Dec. 24; Friday's close at 24,706.35 represented a 57.9% retracement of that decline. A close above the 61.8% Fibo target of 24,904.57 would indicate that the recent rally was now part of a new uptrend.

PetMed Express shares fall 10% after earnings miss

7 hours ago

PetMed Express Inc. shares fell about 10% Tuesday, after the company posted weaker-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter. Delray Beach, Fla.-based PetMed said it had net income of $7.8 million or 38 cents a share, in the quarter, down from 49.1 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales were flat at $60.1 million. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 48 cents and sales of $64.3 million. "The market was much more competitive during the quarter, and as a result we gave additional discounts to our customers to stimulate sales, which had a negative effect on our gross margins," Chief Executive Menderes Akdag said in a statement. "We will continue to be aggressive with pricing and promotions, and increase advertising to address this more competitive online market." On a call with analysts, Akdag said the company will promote its experience in dispensing prescription medicines, which are much more difficult that over-the-counter medicine. The company will increase advertising offline, he said, mostly television and some mail or print advertising. Shares have fallen 56% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.9%.

IBM's stock falls ahead of earnings report that has usually led to losses

8 hours ago

Shares of International Business Machines Corp. dropped 0.8% in morning trade Tuesday, ahead of the technology company's fourth-quarter report due out after the bell. History suggests investors have good reason to be cautious ahead of the report, given that the stock's one-day, post-earnings reaction has been negative after 16 of the past 20 reports even though EPS beat expectations in 18 of the reports, including the past 16 in a row. Of those post-earnings reactions, the average of the 16 declines was 4.4% and the average of the four gains was 3.6%. IBM's stock has lost 5.6% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped 3.2%.

AMC shares slide 5% after B. Riley downgrades stock to neutral from buy

8 hours ago

AMC Entertainment Holdings shares slid about 5% Tuesday, after B. Riley downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, citing a range of issues including possible margin pressure from its Stubs A-List loyalty program. The program allows users see up to three films a week in any format for a starting price of $19.95. Analyst Eric Wold noted that the program's membership rose from 388,000 in the third quarter to more than 600,000 in the fourth quarter. "Given the strong end to the year's box office results (vs. original expectations) and knowing that Stubs A-List members have used their subscriptions at higher-than-average levels in the earlier months, we would not be surprised by the same pressures on average ticket price, average concessions per patron, and film rental margins," Wold wrote in a note. Other concerns he has include that consensus numbers for the first quarter and full year 2019 are aggressive, given his box office outlook, and the potential that the company's high net debt ratio compared to peers could hold back valuation multiples. "We would look to revisit our investment rating and valuation outlook on the shares as more visibility is gained into the success/impact of the Stubs A-List subscription program and as the company/industry enters the expected stronger box office trends during the upcoming spring/summer period," he wrote. Wold cut his stock price target to $17 from $29, which is still 24% above its current trading level. AMC shares have gained 3.9% in the last 12 months, outperforming the S&P 500 , which has fallen 6.6%.

Editas stock down 21% after announcing CEO departure

8 hours ago

Shares of Editas Medicine, Inc. plummeted 21% on Tuesday after the company announced that Chief Executive and President Katrine Bosley would be stepping down from her role, effective March 2019. Bosley also resigned from the company's board of directors, but will continue in an advisory role until the 2019 to facilitate a smooth transition, the company said. Cynthia Collins, a member of the company's board and former CEO of Human Longevity Inc., will serve as interim chief executive officer while the company searches for a permanent CEO. Bosley joined Editas as CEO in 2014, after working as an entrepreneur in residence at the Broad Institute and helming Avila Therapeutics, which was acquired by Celgene Corporation , as CEO. Shares of Editas Medicine, which develops therapies using the gene-editing technology Crispr, have fallen 9% in the year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has gained 12.8%. The S&P 500 has gained 5.5%.

Instinet still bullish on Stanley Black & Decker after guidance disappoints

8 hours ago

Stanley Black & Decker Inc. shares slid more than 15% Tuesday, after the company posted 2019 adjusted per-share earnings guidance that lagged consensus numbers. The company posted better-than-expected profit and sales for the fourth quarter, but then disappointed with guidance of $8.45 to $8.54, that was below the $8.79 FactSet consensus. Instinet analyst Michael Wood said the shortfall appears to be related to volume growth, which is implied at 1.5% to 2.0% by its forecasts, well below the 5% achieved in the fourth quarter. The company is likely taking a conservative stance after it had to cut 2018 guidance with its third-quarter release, he said. "We expect investors to reward companies that demonstrate demand resiliency in this tough growth environment, and we believe SWK is growing faster than its end markets, thanks to Craftsman (~+2% growth accretion estimated) and overall product innovation," Wood wrote in a note. Instinet rates the stock a buy with a $172 stock price target, equal to 48% above its current trading level. Shares have fallen 34% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.5%.

Calvin Klein parent PVH downgraded on challenges from competition

9 hours ago

Calvin Klein parent PVH Corp. shares are down 3.5% after the stock was downgraded to market perform for the first time in eight years at Cowen. The stock was previously at outperform. Cowen analysts cited hurdles from competing clothing vendors, a challenging wholesale channel in North America and supply chain headwinds in their note. "Our view is that there is a high potential that either top-line or margin profile could disappoint as Calvin Klein begins a period of restructuring," the note said. Analysts are also concerned about adjusted earnings per share pressure. PVH announced the Calvin Klein restructuring on Jan. 11. PVH stock has dropped 28.3% over the last 12 months while the S&P 500 index is down 6.6% for the period.

EBay stock soars 8% after Elliott Management suggests plan to fix 'prolonged underperformance'

9 hours ago

Shares of eBay Inc. are up 8.3% in Tuesday morning trading after Elliott Management Corp. released a letter to eBay's management laying out a five-step plan that the firm argued could lead to a valuation of $55 to $63 per eBay share by the end of 2020. EBay's stock recently changed hands at $33.58. "Fortunately for eBay, its employees, its users and its shareholders, the Company possesses all the tools to right its ship: strong assets, an invaluable community of loyal users and the ability to fix its operational issues," the letter said. Elliott suggested that eBay spin out its "market-leading" StubHub and eBay Classifieds Group businesses so that they can be "run in a manner best aligned with their outlook and investment needs" and so eBay executives can solely focus on improving its core marketplace business. Elliott also argued that eBay should "continue to return substantial capital to shareholders," grow the marketplace business, and move beyond its history of "inefficient organizational structure, wasteful spend and a misallocation of resources." The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday morning that Starboard Value LP also wants eBay to think about separating businesses. Starboard didn't immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment. A spokeswoman from eBay also didn't immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment about the two firms. Shares have dropped 15% over the past 12 months, as of Friday's close, while the S&P 500 has fallen 6.6%.

Lowe's is now the official home improvement sponsor of the NFL

9 hours ago

Lowe's Cos. said Tuesday that it has become the official home improvement sponsor of the National Football League. The multi-year sponsorship will give Lowe's exposure at the Super Bowl, NFL draft, and other major events. The retailer will also be a presenting sponsor of the Super Bowl Experience at Super Bowl LIV in 2020 in Miami. Lowe's shares have sunk 13.4% over the last year while the S&P 500 index is down 6.5% for the period.

Financial stocks fall, as XLF on track to snap 11-day win streak

10 hours ago

The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF fell 0.6% in morning trade Tuesday, putting it on track to snap an 11-session win streak, with 61 of 67 equity components losing ground. The financial ETF (XLF) has run up 10.7% during the win streak. Among the XLF's most heavily weighted components, shares of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. fell 0.4%, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. shed 1.1%, Bank of America Corp. gave up 0.5% and Citigroup Inc. lost 1.0% in early trade. The win streak is currently the longest since the record 13-day stretch ending Nov. 10, 2014, and it comes after about seven months after its record 13-session losing streak that ended June 27, 2018. The XLF has slipped 1.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has declined 3.7%.

Stock market opens lower on renewed global growth worries

10 hours ago

Stocks opened on a down note Tuesday, as U.S. investors returned from a three-day weekend after the International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth forecast and China reported downbeat economic data. The S&P 500 fell 15.91 points, or 0.6%, to 2,654.80, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 170.48 points, or 0.6%, to 24,535.89. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 51.77 points, or 0.7%, to 7105.45. A negative finish would snap a 4-day winning streak for U.S. equities that analysts said had left markets technically overbought. Corporate results also remain in focus as fourth-quarter earnings season hits full stride. Shares of Dow component Johnson & Johnson fell 1.8% after the company reported fourth-quarter results.

Ultragenyx stock up 2.9% after safety and efficacy trial reaffirms Phase 2 data

10 hours ago

Shares of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. rose 2.9% in premarket trade Tuesday after the company announced positive results from a safety and efficacy study looking at a treatment for patients with long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorder. Patients with this disorder are unable to properly break down fatty acids into energy, leading to serious liver, muscle and heart issues. Researchers looked at how Ultragenyx's drug, UX007, affected 75 patients, including 29 from a previous UX007 Phase 2 trial showing that UX007-treated patients had fewer illness-related visits to the hospital and fewer days in the hospital per year. The safety and efficacy study reaffirmed those results, also showing a reduction in the median number of hospital visits and days in the hospital per year among those treated with the drug. Ultragenyx said it is still on track to submit a new drug application for UX007 in mid-2019. Shares of Ultragenyx have gained 22.7% in the year to date through Friday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has gained 14.6%. The S&P 500 has gained 6.5%.

Starbucks launches delivery in San Francisco with more major U.S. cities to come

10 hours ago

Starbucks Corp. is launching delivery service in San Francisco on Tuesday, and will expand the service to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC in the coming weeks. The expansion comes after a pilot in Miami. Delivery service will be provided through a partnership with Uber Eats. Starbucks plans to offer delivery service at 25% of company-operated stores. Delivery service was available at 2,000 stores across 30 cities in China by the end of 2018. The coffee company is launching its first European delivery test in London later this month. Quo Vadis analysts call the delivery roll out "the most interesting near-term development," but question whether it will be popular in the U.S. "While we believe that the Chinese consumer is already accustomed to and expecting delivery of consumer products including beverages like coffee, it is somewhat of an open question how much demand there exists in the U.S. for this service," analysts wrote in a note. "Today's press release suggests that the initial demand has been favorable." Quo Vadis thinks delivery will be a same-store sales driver. Starbucks is scheduled to announce first-quarter earnings on Thursday. Starbucks shares have gained 5.4% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has lost 5.7% in the period.

RealNetworks doubles stake in Napster in a deal that could be valued up to $40 million

11 hours ago

RealNetworks Inc. said Tuesday it has doubled its stake in Napster, in a deal that could be worth up to $40 million. After receiving approval from the Treasury Department's office of Foreign Assets Control, RealNetworks acquired the debt and equity interests in Rhapsody International, which does business as Napster, from Rhapsody Applebee LLC, which is managed by Columbus Nova Technology Partners. The deal increases RealNetworks's stake in Napster to 84% from 42%. Under terms of the deal, RealNetworks will pay $1 million in cash, and an additional $14 million over time subject to certain conditions, with additional consideration depending on subsequent events, that could total up to $40 million. RealNetworks said Napster has reported five-straight quarters of positive operating income. "This success was achieved by pivoting to a B2B strategy focused on selling the Napster platform as a service," said RealNetworks Chief Executive Rob Glaser. "We think Napster's future is very bright." The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has soared 38% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has lost 3.1%.