Zero Hedge
0
All posts from Zero Hedge
Zero Hedge in Zero Hedge,

Frontrunning: March 23

  • Saudis keep on pumping, oil prices keep on slumping (Reuters)
  • Tenet Healthcare Nearing Deal to Buy United Surgical Partners (WSJ)
  • Dizzying Pre-IPO Tech Values Spurred by Rush of Hedge-Fund Money (BBG)
  • Russia threatens to aim nuclear missiles at Denmark ships if it joins NATO shield (Reuters)
  • Torrent of Cash Exits Eurozone (WSJ)
  • Draghi Cheerleads for Euro-Area Economy as Greek Risk Looms (BBG)
  • Fortescue Mines for More Financing Options (WSJ)
  • Topix Charts Evoke Calm Before ’13 Rout as Momentum Gains (BBG)
  • How Adidas Aims to Get Its Cool Back (WSJ)
  • Biogen shortens name, expands ambitions in Alzheimer's, ALS (Reuters)
  • China to reap Alibaba windfall as tightens up on tax (Reuters)
  • Modern Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, dies at 91 (Reuters)
  • Japan's Shrinking Workforce Helps Its Salarymen Get a Raise (BBG)
  • When it comes to e-cigs, Big Tobacco is concerned for your health (Reuters)

 

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Tenet Healthcare Corp is nearing a deal to buy United Surgical Partners International Inc as a number of hospital networks seek mergers amid sweeping changes in the U.S. healthcare system. (http://on.wsj.com/1LM0jsA)

* China National Chemical Corp and other investors are making a bid for Pirelli & C SpA that could value the Italian tire maker at around $7.7 billion - one of the largest overseas acquisitions by a Chinese state firm in recent years. (http://on.wsj.com/1FQFzuJ)

* RadioShack Corp's fate hangs in the balance Monday when a bankruptcy auction kicks off, pitting companies that want to liquidate the electronic retailer's remaining assets against a hedge fund that has pledged to keep about half the chain's stores open. (http://on.wsj.com/1LMhaM3)

* In an escalation of its fight with a group of large mortgage investors, Ocwen Financial Corp issued a lengthy rebuttal of claims that the company was responsible for poor mortgage-servicing practices. (http://on.wsj.com/1N4hMYL)

* Fortescue Metals Group's Chief Executive Nev Power said Monday the iron-ore miner was under no time pressure to secure a refinancing of its debt, a week after it had to scrap plans for a $2.5 billion bond issue. (http://on.wsj.com/1GJmPM9)

 

FT

Andrew Mackenzie, chief executive of BHP Billiton, said oil and gas groups must not claim that they are better for the climate than coal. He said developing countries have easier access to coal than gas. He called on the fossil fuel companies to work with each other to develop carbon capture and storage methods.

Charlie Bracken, chief financial officer of Liberty Global , said the bid to acquire British broadcaster ITV was too pricey. "We're not going to invest billions of dollars in content - that's not our game," he said.

The prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Athens would not be able to meet its debt obligations in the coming weeks if the European Union fails to provide any short-term financial assistance to the country.

The New York regulator Benjamin Lawsky is investigating Deutsche Bank for allegedly manipulating Libor rates. Deutsche Bank is separately negotiating on another plea on the Libor scandal with the U.S. Justice Department.

 

NYT

* When Chelsea Clinton's husband, Marc Mezvinsky, co-founded an investment firm, Clinton family friends took an interest, illustrating how politics, family and finance can intersect. (http://nyti.ms/1Bn8QqQ)

* The Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act would place constraints on how education technology companies use or disclose students' personal information. (http://nyti.ms/1B6x5uj)

* Apple Inc brass, including its chief, Tim Cook, are throwing their weight behind the unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs, which goes on sale Tuesday. (http://nyti.ms/1xrirle)

* Rolling Stone magazine plans to publish an external review of a widely disputed article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia "in the next couple of weeks," its managing editor, Will Dana, said on Sunday. The 9,000-word article, which was published in November, was based on the account of a female student who described being sexually assaulted by seven men in a dark room during a fraternity house party. (http://nyti.ms/1xS9xYC)

* Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks Corp , said in a letter to employees on Sunday that baristas would no longer be encouraged to write the phrase "Race Together" on customers' coffee cups, drawing to a close a widely derided component of the company's plan to promote a discussion on racial issues. (http://nyti.ms/1EHQeGs)

* Some of the most expensive patients - so-called super utilizers of hospital care - rack up costs for avoidable reasons. Experiments across the country are trying to better manage these cases. (http://nyti.ms/1HpMKMi)

 

Hong Kong

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

- American giant 21st Century Fox will give Hong Kong's television industry a major shot in the arm with a massive investment in making programmes in the city for the Asian and international market. Its Fox International Channels will spend US$1 million per episode on one or two miniseries per year in the city, using Hong Kong production talent and local stars. (http://bit.ly/1DM6vfT)

- The planned HK$141.5 billion third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong is facing strong opposition, according to a survey commissioned by green groups. Two-thirds of Hongkongers polled now want the Airport Authority to focus on improving the operations of its two runways before considering building a third, the latest survey shows. (http://bit.ly/1bmWHwM)

- The Securities and Futures Commission vows tough action on short sellers using misleading reports to drive stocks down and profit. The SFC declined to say if it would take action on individual cases, but executive director of enforcement Mark Steward has publicly spoken out about the crackdown on misleading research reports targeting locally listed companies. (http://bit.ly/1BHx9iV)

THE STANDARD

- Sun Hung Kai Properties confirmed it is joining hands with Henderson Land Development Co Ltd to provide an area for a mainlander-targeted shopping project near the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border, and the area could be in business in time for the October "Golden Week" holiday rush from the mainland. (http://bit.ly/1xRJPn9)

- A consultant has been appointed to review the proposed HK$180 airport construction fee for passengers, with preliminary results expected within two months, Airport Authority chief executive Fred Lam Tin-fuk said. (http://bit.ly/1B5LRS2)

HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL

- Chinese gold producer Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd posted a 10.3 percent rise in 2014 net profit at 2.35 billion yuan ($378.8 million), while rival Zhaojin Mining Industry Co Ltd said its profit attributable to owners of the parent fell nearly 38 percent to 455 million yuan.

MING PAO DAILY

- Sportshoes maker Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd said its net profit declined 23.9 percent year on year in 2014 at US$331 million, while turnover rose 5.7 percent to US$8.01 billion as average selling price increased.

 

Britain

The Times

HUTCHISON READY TO MAKE 10 BLN POUNDS CALL AND BUY O2

A conglomerate backed by Asia's richest man could confirm this week that it has finalised a deal to buy O2 in a move that would create Britain's biggest mobile phone operator. Hutchison Whampoa, which owns Three, and Telefonica, the Spanish owner of O2, are set to confirm that they have agreed final terms for a deal worth more than 10 billion pounds ($14.95 billion). (http://thetim.es/1COcyAN)

LEVY PILES PRESSURE ON BANKS TO QUIT BRITAIN

Standard Chartered and HSBC face a combined annual cost of about $2 billion to pay the bank levy, increasing the pressure on them to consider moving their headquarters out of Britain. (http://thetim.es/1BHxD8R)

The Guardian

SHELL OIL DRILLING IN ARCTIC SET TO GET US GOVERNMENT PERMISSION

The U.S. government is expected this week to give the go-ahead to a controversial plan by Shell to restart drilling for oil in the Arctic. The green light from Sally Jewell, the interior secretary, will spark protests from environmentalists who have campaigned against proposed exploration by the Anglo-Dutch group in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska. (http://bit.ly/1IfX2MC)

FALLING ENERGY AND FOOD PRICES PUSH UK TOWARDS DEFLATION

The British economy is heading for a spell of deflation as official figures are expected to show that inflation dropped to 0.1 percent last month. Analysts expect the UK's consumer price inflation figure for February to fall from 0.3 percent in January, driven by lower energy and food prices. (http://bit.ly/1Bn4KyX)

The Telegraph

FARMERS FACE THREAT FROM CAMPAIGN TO SLASH MOBILE MAST RENTS

Farmers face a threat to hundreds of millions of pounds in extra income from their land, as mobile operators mount a campaign to slash the rent they pay for mast sites. A coalition of all four of Britain's mobile operators - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone - is urging the government to intervene to give them similar rights to energy and water companies to build out their networks. (http://bit.ly/1EHq6M1)

LEADERS OF GREECE AND GERMANY DUE TO MEET FOR DEBT TALKS

The Greek prime minister on Monday will make his first official visit to Berlin to discuss his country's tumultuous finances with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has pushed for Greece to honour its commitments to the rest of the euro zone. (http://bit.ly/1xqWvXE)

Sky News

MOBILE PHONE THEFT CAP TO PROTECT CONSUMERS

Five service providers - EE, O2, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone - say e 100 pound cap will be activated providing a phone is reported lost or stolen within 24 hours of going missing. (http://bit.ly/1xRFiks)

FCA BOSSES FACE MPS' IRE OVER INSURANCE PROBE

The heads of the City watchdog will be severely criticised next week by a panel of MPs over its handling of a briefing which wiped billions of pounds from the value of British insurance companies. John Griffith-Jones, the Financial Conduct Authority chairman, and Martin Wheatley, its chief executive, are expected to be singled out for criticism by the MPs, a source said. (http://bit.ly/1B155bj)

The Independent

DOMINO'S SELLING GENETICALLY MODIFIED PIZZA DESPITE WEBSITE CLAIMING IT IS GM-FREE

Pizza delivery chain Domino's has been selling genetically modified pizzas, despite its website claiming that it is "GM-free". Research by campaign group GM Freeze found that the company's "thin and crispy" pizza bases have been made using genetically modified soya bean oil and maize flower since February.

 

 

Fly On The Wall Pre-Market Buzz

ECONOMIC REPORTS

Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
Chicago Fed national activity index for February at 8:30--consensus 0.10
Existing home sales for February at 10:00--consensus up 2.0% to 4.92M rate

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) upgraded to Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Callaway Golf (ELY) upgraded to Outperform from In-Line at Imperial Capital
Darden (DRI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Telsey Advisory
Dynavax (DVAX) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Enterprise Products (EPD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Lennox (LII) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays
Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Popular (BPOP) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
Smith & Nephew (SNN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Staples (SPLS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Targa Resources Partners (NGLS) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Tyco (TYC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays

Downgrades

AK Steel (AKS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
ArcelorMittal (MT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Biogen (BIIB) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Carnival (CCL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Dover (DOV) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
EMC (EMC) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Grainger (GWW) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
IPG Photonics (IPGP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel
Israel Chemicals (ICL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
MarketAxess (MKTX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
NVIDIA (NVDA) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
NetApp (NTAP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Olin Corp. (OLN) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
Perrigo (PRGO) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Ruby Tuesday (RT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow
Sherwin-Williams (SHW) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS
WESCO (WCC) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Xylem (XYL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays

Initiations

Allied World (AWH) initiated with a Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
Catamaran (CTRX) initiated with a Buy at Mizuho

COMPANY NEWS

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) launched an underwritten public offering to sell Citizens Financial (CFG) common stock expected to equal 115M shares
Effective today, Biogen Idec said it changed its name to Biogen (BIIB)
Tenet (THC), United Surgical Partners and Welsh Carson announced new joint venture. Under the terms of the agreement, Tenet will initially own 50.1% of the joint venture and will consolidate its financial results
Lowe's (LOW) announced new $5B share repurchase program
C&J Energy (CJES) shareholders approved pending merger with Nabors Industries (NBR)

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Ctrip.com (CTRP)

Sinopec (SNP) reports FY14 net profit RMB46.5B vs.RMB66.13B in FY13

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

Apple (AAPL) working on new version of Apple TV, BuzzFeed reports
Foxconn chairman eyes investment in Sharp (SHCAY), WSJ reports
Wal-Mart (WMT) shareholders allowed to vote for independent chairman, Reuters reports
Lawsky targets Deutsche Bank (DB) in Libor probe, FT reports
WHO says herbicide marketed by Monsanto (MON) likely carcinogenic, WSJ says
Gilead (GILD) warns after hepatitis C patient taking heart drug dies, Bloomberg reports
Biogen (BIIB) has room to run higher, Barron's reports
Michael Kors (KORS) shares look inexpensive, Barron's says
Citi (C) shares could rise faster, Barron's says

SYNDICATE

Aramark (ARMK) files to sell 22.5M shares of common stock for holders
Brixmor (BRX) files to sell 22.5M shares for holders
Cerulean (CERU) files to sell $57.5M of common stock
Credit Suisse (CS) files automatic mixed securities shelf
Gray Television (GTN) files to sell 12M shares of common stock
HCC Insurance (HCC) files $1B mixed securities shelf
Lionsgate (LGF) files to sell 361,229 shares of common stock for holders
ServiceMaster (SERV) files to sell 20M shares of common stock for holders
U.S. Geothermal (HTM) files to sell 684,916 shares of common stock for holders
Valley National (VLY) files automatic mixed securities shelf