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Frontrunning: March 12

  • As reported here first: The U.S. Has Too Much Oil and Nowhere to Put It (BBG)
  • Dollar Drops From 12-Year High as S&P Futures, Bonds Gain (BBG); Dollar Bulls Retreat From 12-Year High to Euro With Fed in View (BBG)
  • Clinton Private Email Plan Drew Concerns Early On (WSJ)
  • ECB Bond Buying Not Needed With Economy Improving, Weidmann Says (BBG)
  • China Feb new yuan loans well above forecast (Reuters)
  • U.S. probing report Secret Service agents drove car into White House barrier (Reuters)
  • Kerry tells Republicans: you cannot modify Iran-U.S. nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • PBOC Pledges to Press on With Rate Liberalization Amid Slowdown (BBG)
  • China Prepares Mergers for Big State-Owned Enterprises (WSJ)
  • This 27-Year-Old Made Millions Riding the Death Spirals of Penny Stocks (BBG)
  • In South Africa, Ranchers Are Breeding Mutant Animals to Be Hunted (BBG)
  • Cybercriminals Are Misappropriating Businesses’ Web Addresses (WSJ)
  • Three Banks Uncover the Path to Payouts in the Fed’s Stress Test (BBG)
  • Spain’s Banco Sabadell in Talks to Buy Britain’s TSB Group (BBG)
  • How Big Oil Is Profiting From the Slump (BBG)
  • Alibaba ploughs $200 mln into Snapchat in latest startup deal (Reuters)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Hillary Clinton's plan to run her work and private email through the server her husband set up in their family home left his aides worried that adding her account would make the system a target for hackers. (http://on.wsj.com/1Gu3aiJ)

* Four of the biggest names on Wall Street struggled to pass the Federal Reserve's 2015 "stress tests," and the U.S. units of two foreign banks fell short. Goldman Sachs Group Inc, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley received the green light to return income to investors only after adjusting their initial requests to ensure capital buffers stayed above the minimums required by the Fed. Bank of America Corp got conditional approval to return capital to shareholders. (http://on.wsj.com/1EBxieV)

* Cybercriminals targeting businesses are stealing more than customer passwords and credit-card numbers. They're misappropriating the Web addresses - or domain names - of the businesses themselves. (http://on.wsj.com/1F0RFki)

* Endo International has made a takeover bid for Salix Pharmaceuticals, seeking to upend Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc 's roughly $10 billion agreement to buy the drug maker. (http://on.wsj.com/1AgZ0Hh)

* The Bank of Korea joins a growing list of central banks to cut rates, as the dilemma between stoking growth and balancing high levels of debt tips in favor of the former. (http://on.wsj.com/1MtfTUU)

* General Electric is considering making deeper cuts in its massive banking business, having decided the returns from lending are no longer worth the discontent it causes among investors. (http://on.wsj.com/1wv1ci7)

* China's leadership is preparing to consolidate the country's state-owned sector, telling thousands of enterprises that they need to rely less on state life support. (http://on.wsj.com/1xeUs30)

* Alibaba Group Holding is investing in Snapchat in a deal that values the messaging company at $15 billion, in the latest sign of escalating valuations for Silicon Valley startups. (http://on.wsj.com/18CcNAO)

* United Technologies Corp said it will explore strategic alternatives for its Sikorsky Aircraft business, including a potential spinoff of the helicopter unit. (http://on.wsj.com/1wvY9Gw)

* The Federal Trade Commission filed a civil lawsuit against DirecTV in California federal court Wednesday, alleging that the satellite-TV giant engaged in deceptive advertising. (http://on.wsj.com/1F0QSji)

 

FT

The U.S. Fed has slashed capital plans of Deutsche Bank AG and Banco Santander SA, saying they have serious deficiencies in capital planning and risk management.

Bank of England officials admitted that the bank kept secret a Serious Fraud Office move to launch a criminal investigation into the bank.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, which was sued by Property Alliance Group over alleged libor manipulation, lost a pre-trial battle in a 30 million pound lawsuit.

Japan's Brother Industries Ltd will buy Britain's Domino Printing Sciences for about 1 billion pounds.

 

NYT

* All the large United States banks passed an annual regulatory test that aims to assess whether they can make it through a financial and economic calamity, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. But Bank of America Corp passed only provisionally and could still fail later this year if it does not fix deficiencies that the Fed identified. (http://nyti.ms/1MtiXAt)

* Federal officials released a survey of potentially dangerous guardrails on Wednesday and said that they found no evidence that the guardrails had been quietly changed to make them safer after accusations that earlier changes had made them less safe. (http://nyti.ms/1Mv0c1t)

* Drugmaker Endo International sent a letter to Salix Pharmaceutical's board on Wednesday, offering $175 a share in cash and stock for the company in a deal that values Salix at about $11.2 billion. That price trumps Valeant Pharmaceutical's agreed offer of $158 a share in cash, or about $10 billion. (http://nyti.ms/1C9cwTR)

* John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain, is considering making a bid for the Daily News in New York. (http://nyti.ms/1xf3YmM)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** An information technology manager at MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Inc is facing accusations of insider trading and tipping in advance of a takeover deal the company negotiated in 2012. The Ontario Securities Commission alleged Satish Talawdekar learned about his company's plans to acquire a major subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications Inc in 2012, and used his personal line of credit to buy C$44,365 ($34,972) worth of MDA shares just days before the company announced the deal. (http://bit.ly/19dU6V7)

** Private-sector economists who submitted their prebudget forecasts to Ottawa this week say with the past two months of steady oil prices there is no longer a need to delay the budget. (http://bit.ly/1ECdzMa)

** The Toronto District School Board passed next year's budget on Wednesday, cutting more than 250 jobs, including about 50 special education jobs that became a sticking point for trustees during an hour-long soul-searching debate. (http://bit.ly/1Buzd2u)

NATIONAL POST

** Ireland's Endo International Plc has emerged as a rival bidder for Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd and said in a statement that it plans to offer $175 per Salix share, payable in cash and stock, through a negotiated transaction. That proposal was announced less than three weeks after Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Salix signed off on a $158 per share transaction. (http://bit.ly/1MtQcUe)

** PepsiCo Inc announced the re-launch of its Pepsi Challenge global marketing campaign on Wednesday, taking Vancouver-based technology company UrtheCast Corp along for the ride. UrtheCast, which has developed the world's first color ultra High-Definition video camera to take near real-time video of earth from space, will film the first "epic-film adventure," for the Pepsi campaign's technology challenge. (http://bit.ly/1C8pvU6)

** A majority of Canadians say the country needs government policies to protect Canadian culture from being subsumed by American and other foreign influences, although 24 percent of people say there's no such thing as a unique Canadian culture to begin with, according to a new Angus Reid Institute report published on Wednesday. (http://bit.ly/1ECf6Sk)

 

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- China will release the details on its debt swap plan soon, said Zhu Guangyao, the vice finance minister, on Wednesday. China recently began allowing its local governments to swap a total of 1 trillion yuan ($159.71 billion) of their high-interest debts for lower-cost bonds.

SECURITIES TIMES

- Industrial Bank Co Ltd denied media reports that it would merge with Huafu Securities - a Chinese local brokerage firm - in a company filing published on Thursday, the paper reported.

CHINA DAILY

- International retailers' market share in China dropped to 19 percent in 2014, down from 20 percent in 2013, the newspaper said, citing research by Kantar Worldpanel.

- The Green Ecological Silk Road Investment Fund, the first private-equity fund focused on environmental investments along China's planned Silk Road, raised 30 billion yuan in its first round of fundraising, according to the newspaper.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- China should strengthen its campaign to fight poverty by adopting new technologies such as 'big data' to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the anti-poverty campaign, an editorial in the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party said on Thursday.

 

Britain

The Times

EURO FALL SENDS A SHUDDER THROUGH BRITAIN'S FACTORIES

Output from Britain's factories unexpectedly faltered in January, according to official new figures today, amid growing concern that the plunging euro is beginning to hamper UK exports.(http://thetim.es/1FOiG9c)

DOMINO UNDER JAPANESE OWNERSHIP IN 1 BILLION POUNDS DEAL

Domino Printing Sciences Plc, which makes printers for date coding and product marking with healthcare, food and beverage brands, has agreed to be bought out by Japanese giant Brother Industries Ltd in a deal worth more than 1 billion pounds ($1.49 billion).(http://thetim.es/1FOjxqs)

The Guardian

E.ON REPORTS RECORD GROUP LOSSES AS PREPARES TO HIVE OFF FOSSIL FUEL BUSINESS

E.ON SE, the German power group and one of the UK's "big six" energy suppliers, has reported record annual losses as it prepares to unveil details of how it will hive off its troubled fossil fuel business.(http://bit.ly/1FOlvqZ)

WALL STREET BONUSES INCREASE 2 PCT AS INDUSTRY ADDS JOBS

New York's state comptroller says the average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York City grew 2 percent last year to nearly $173,000, largest average Wall Street bonus since the 2008 financial crisis.(http://bit.ly/1FOmFm8)

The Telegraph

FEDERAL RESERVE REJECTS SANTANDER AND DEUTSCHE BANK CAPITAL PLANS

The Federal Reserve rejected the capital plans of the US operations of Spanish bank Banco Santander SA and Germany's Deutsche Bank AG, saying it saw serious problems in the planning processes of both.(http://bit.ly/1Gtn7pV)

VODAFONE TARGETS NOVEMBER LAUNCH FOR INTERNET PAY-TV SERVICE

Vodafone Group Plc is retuning its UK operation for its entry into the broadband and pay-TV markets by opening new offices, attempting to poach expert staff from rivals and forging relationships with technology suppliers. The operator is quietly investing in two premises where its new venture will be based, according to multiple industry sources.(http://bit.ly/1HFs5RF)

Sky News

SHAWBROOK JOINS START-UP BANKS' RACE TO FLOAT

Shawbrook Bank Ltd <IPO-SHAW.L>, a challenger bank chaired by the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland will announce plans for a flotation on Thursday that the City believes could value it at almost 1 billion pounds ($1.49 billion).(http://bit.ly/1Ecif8M)

GREECE THREATENS GERMAN ASSET SEIZURE OVER WAR

Greek Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos has announced it may seize German state-owned property to compensate victims of a Nazi massacre more than 70 years ago.(http://bit.ly/1EB3crW)

The Independent

US INVESTOR SPLASHES OUT 600 MLN POUNDS ON LUXURY STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

A US investor, Greystar Real Estate Partners, has splashed out 600 million pounds ($895.80 million) on a luxury student accommodation portfolio in London where rents are as much as 474 pounds ($708) per week. The purchase includes properties in King's Cross, Spitalfields and Notting Hill.(http://ind.pn/1EB3H5v)

 

Fly On The Wall Pre-market Buzz

ECONOMIC REPORTS
Domestic economic reports scheduled for today include:
Jobless claims for week of March 7 at 8:30--consensus 305K
Retail sales for February at 8:30--consensus up 0.3%
Business inventories for January at 10:00--consensus up 0.1%

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Ally Financial (ALLY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI
American Vanguard (AVD) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Topeka
Banc of California (BANC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
GNC Holdings (GNC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Horizon Technology (HRZN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich
Magnum Hunter (MHR) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
NCI Building (NCS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Verisk Analytics (VRSK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI
Windstream (WIN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
York Water (YORW) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Hilliard Lyons

Downgrades

Alkermes (ALKS) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
CONSOL (CNX) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Garmin (GRMN) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
HP (HPQ) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Ingram Micro (IM) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Logitech (LOGI) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
McCormick (MKC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein
Meritage Homes (MTH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Motorola Solutions (MSI) downgraded to Underperform at Raymond James
Netgear (NTGR) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
Peabody (BTU) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Pernix Therapeutics (PTX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor
Plantronics (PLT) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Sterling Bancorp (STL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim
Vera Bradley (VRA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen

Initiations

1-800-Flowers.com (FLWS) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley
Hibbett Sports (HIBB) initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
Oncothyreon (ONTY) initiated with a Buy at Jefferies
Qualys (QLYS) initiated with a Hold at Summit Research

COMPANY NEWS

The Federal Reserve did not object to the capital plan of Bank of America (BAC), but is requiring the institution to submit a new capital plan by the end of Q3 to address certain weaknesses in its capital planning processes. Bank of America also announced a $4B share repurchase program
The Federal Reserve objected to the capital plans of Deutsche Bank Trust Corporation (DB) and Banco Santander's (SAN) Santander Holdings USA on qualitative concerns
The Fed did not object to CCAR plans from Morgan Stanley (MS), BNY Mellon (BK), American Express (AXP), Citigroup (C), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN), SunTrust Banks (STI), Capital One (COF), KeyCorp (KEY), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and others
Morgan Stanley announced $3.1B share repurchase plan, boosts dividend to 15c per share
United Technologies (UTX) said it will explore strategic alternatives for Sikorsky Aircraft
Endo (ENDP) confirmed proposal to acquire Salix (SLXP) for $175 per share in cash, stock (VRX)
ACADIA (ACAD) announced retirement of CEO Uli Hacksell, Ph.D. The company also said it plans to submit its NUPLAZID NDA for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis in 2H15, later than its original plan of 1Q15
Inogen (INGN) announced audit committee probe into accounting, postpones results
Disney (DIS) CEO Iger said announcements coming at shareholder meeting Thursday, said announcements will be of interest to shareholders

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Natural Gas Services (NGS), Hawaiian Telcom (HCOM), Neff (NEFF), Men's Wearhouse (MW), Luxfer (LXFR), Xunlei (XNET), Myers Industries MYR Group (MYRG), Comtech (CMTL), Sientra (SIEN), Scientific Games (SGMS), Douglas Dynamics (PLOW), Omega Protein (OME), Workiva (WK), Inter Parfums (IPAR), XOMA (XOMA), Numerex (NMRX), Ocera Therapeutics (OCRX), Conatus (CNAT), Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Glori Energy (GLRI), JP Energy (JPEP), TG Therapeutics (TGTX), Arc Logistics (ARCX), Rosetta Stone (RST), Relypsa (RLYP), Bellicum reports Q4 EPS ($18.99), Box, Inc. (BOX), Shake Shack (SHAK)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Krispy Kreme (KKD)

Box, Inc. (BOX) sees Q1 revenue $63M-$64M, consensus $61.78M, sees FY16 revenue $281M-$285M, consensus $276.90M
Men's Wearhouse (MW) raises FY17 EPS view to $5.75-$6.25
Krispy Kreme (KKD) backs FY16 EPS view of 79c-85c, consensus 84c
Shake Shack (SHAK) sees FY15 revenue $159M-$163M, consensus $160.72M

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

Alibaba (BABA) planning investment in Snapchat, Bloomberg reports
General Electric (GE) considers further cuts to capital business, WSJ reports
Sony Mobile Taiwan (SNE) says company will not sell mobile business, DigiTimes reports
Aeropostale (ARO) may be next teen retailer to declare bankruptcy, Forbes reports
Funds urge Children's Place (PLCE) to improve results, explore sale, Reuters reports
Apple (AAPL) removes competing fitness wearables from its retail stores, Re/code reports (NKE)

SYNDICATE

Baytex Energy (BTE) announces $500M bought deal financing
Bovie Medical (BVX) files to sell common stock, no amount given
ContraVir Pharmaceuticals (CTRV) files $200M mixed securities shelf
CyberArk (CYBR) 4M share Secondary priced at $51.00
EQT Midstream Partners (EQM) 8.25M share Secondary priced at $76.00
Eleven Biotherapeutics (EBIO) files $200M mixed securities shelf
GSI Group (GSIG) files $250M mixed securities shelf
Genocea (GNCA) files to sell common stock, no amount given
Lumos Networks (LMOS) files to sell 1.6M shares for holders
MSB Financial (msbf) files to sell 3.28M shares of common stock
Parsley Energy (PE) files to sell 14.89M shares for holders
PetroQuest (PQ) cancels 10M share common offering due to market conditions
Selectica (SLTC) files to sell 1.78M shares for holders
Summit Materials (SUM) 22.22M share IPO priced at $18.00
Targa Resources (TRGP) files to sell 3.25M shares of common stock
Tetraphase (TTPH) 4.3M share Secondary priced at $35.00
Trillium Therapeutics (TRIL) files to sell $57.5M of common stock
Valero (VLO) files automatic mixed securities shelf
Zayo Group (ZAYO) 19M share Secondary priced at $27.35