Barron’s is bullish on Netflix and Boeing

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

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Stockwinners offers Barron’s review of stocks to buy

BULLISH MENTIONS:

Boeing not a sell just yet – Boeing  (BA) stock has come quite far, quite fast and the pace has only accelerated in 2018, but such a rapid rise could reflect an overly optimistic outlook for the airplane manufacturer that could be difficult to meet, Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Nonetheless, Boeing is not a sell just yet, he argues. While at first glance, betting on Boeing now seems like a risk, the stock can remain extended for a long time, Levisohn adds.

Netflix among likely candidates for an Apple purchase – Especially for tech companies, tax cuts will boost dividends, buybacks, and mergers and acquisitions, but tech usually has a hard time putting vast amounts of cash to work as it requires little R&D to produce huge amounts of revenue, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. For example, Apple (AAPL) does not have many places to invest that will demonstrably boost financial results. Without the excuse that the cash is stuck overseas, pressure may grow for Apple to do something big, with Netflix (NFLX) as the most likely candidate for a purchase, he contends.

Still time to shop Walmart shares as company makes changes – In a follow-up story, Barron’s notes that some Walmart’s experiments, like curbside pickup for groceries, are getting solid results, and points out that late-year shopping was robust and corporate tax cuts have warmed investors to retailers. While high-income taxpayers will get larger cuts amid the new tax reform than low- and middle-income ones, those are more likely to spend the extra money, which bodes wells for Walmart, publication said, adding that Walmart continues making changes, such as paying one-time bonuses and closing 63 underperforming Sam’s Club locations.


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December international rig counts rise

Baker Hughes reports December international rig count 954

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Rig Counts Rise – See Stockwinners.com Market Radar to read more

Baker Hughes (BHGE), a GE company, announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for December 2017 was 954, up 12 from the 942 counted in November 2017, and up 25 from the 929 counted in December 2016.

The international offshore rig count for December 2017 was 191, up 8 from the 183 counted in November 2017, and down 19 from the 210 counted in December 2016.

The average US rig count for December 2017 was 930, up 19 from the 911 counted in November 2017, and up 296 from the 634 counted in December 2016.

The average Canadian rig count for December 2017 was 205, up 1 from the 204 counted in November 2017, and down 4 from the 209 counted in December 2016.

The worldwide rig count for December 2017 was 2,089, up 32 from the 2,057 counted in November 2017, and up 317 from the 1,772 counted in December 2016.

WTI crude last traded at $61.65 per barrel, up 21 cents.  Brent crude is up 16 cents to $67.78 per barrel.


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Barron’s is bullish on Gold and FedEx, bearish on Caterpillar

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

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Stockwinners offers Barron’s review of stocks to buy, stocks to watch

BULLISH  MENTIONS:

FedEx EPS (FDX) growth should more than triple next year – U.S. postal rates look likely to rise, pinching Amazon (AMZN) and benefiting FedEx and UPS (UPS), Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While for now UPS enjoys higher profit margins, investors should favor FedEx as years-long investment in automating and expanding its hubs has given the company a speed and efficiency advantage over the former, he adds. Earnings per share growth for FedEx should more than triple next year as tax cuts kick in, the report notes.

Deal makers now ‘on the clock.’  – Deal makers may be on the clock, especially if one believes that the bull market is in its waning stages and the Federal Reserve is serious about interest rate hikes, Alex Eule writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. 2018 merger speculation already kicked off in a big way, with headlines that Amazon (AMZN) could buy Target (TGT) and Apple could acquire Netflix (NFLX), he notes, adding that M&A may be necessary to grow and even to survive.

Valero, Home Depot among companies expected to raise dividend – Charles Schwab (SCHW), Home Depot (HD), Valero Energy (VLO), NextEra Energy (NEE), Allstate (ALL) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) are among the large companies expected to announce healthy dividend increases soon, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. These projected boosts come amid a solid outlook for dividend growth in the U.S. and globally, he adds.

Intel not to be blamed for failures of computer security – Intel (INTC) came under fire for the revelation that its chips were vulnerable, but the nature of technology and how the industry approaches computer security are the real problem, not Intel chips, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. There may be things Intel can do, and in fact AMD (AMD), whose chips run the same software, said its products are less vulnerable than Intel’s, he notes, but difference here are just relative as hackers’ inventiveness will continue.

Kohl’s making right moves to grow earnings. – Until recently, Kohl’s (KSS) was largely written off as a casualty of Amazon’s (AMZN) domination of the retail sector, but the stock has become one of the hottest plays in retail as investors increasingly believe that the e-Commerce giant could acquire the company, Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Even without Amazon, Kohl’s seems to be making the right moves to grow earnings, he adds.

Gold rally may be ‘just the start.’  – Gold’s recent rally could be just the start, and investors betting on a new bull market in gold can buy physical gold, mining stocks or funds that track the metal and mining shares, with junior miners typically outperforming big-caps in a gold bull market, John Kimelman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Publicly traded companies in the sector include Newmont Mining (NEM), Barrick Gold (ABX), Goldcorp (GG) and Agnico Eagle (AEM).

BEARISH  MENTIONS:

Bank earnings could ‘be messy.’ – The backdrop for banks could not be much better but earnings season is about to begin – with JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and PNC Financial (PNC) expected to report on Friday – and it could “be messy,” Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While tax reform should be a boon for banks, it will also produce one-time charges and gains that will need to be accounted for, he adds.

Time to sell Caterpillar – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that with Caterpillar (CAT) soaring, it is time to sell. Investors should not expect the stock to move quickly from here, as cyclical companies like Caterpillar tend to trade at high multiples of earnings at the bottom of the cycle and low multiples at the top, it adds.


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International rig counts decline

Baker Hughes reports November international rig count 942, down 9 rigs

Oil Rigs, See Stockwinners.com Market Radar to read the latest on oil and rig count
Oil Rig counts decline

Baker Hughes (BHGE), a GE company, announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for November 2017 was 942, down 9 from the 951 counted in October 2017, and up 17 from the 925 counted in November 2016.

The international offshore rig count for November 2017 was 183, down 21 from the 204 counted in October 2017, and down 28 from the 211 counted in November 2016.

The average US rig count for November 2017 was 911, down 11 from the 922 counted in October 2017, and up 331 from the 580 counted in November 2016.

The average Canadian rig count for November 2017 was 204, unchanged from the 204 counted in October 2017, and up 31 from the 173 counted in November 2016.

The worldwide rig count for November 2017 was 2,057, down 20 from the 2,077 counted in October 2017, and up 379 from the 1,678 counted in November 2016.

WTI Crude is up 6 cents to $56.02 per barrel. Brent crude is up 27 cents to $61.49 per barrel. USO closed at $11.20.


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Barron’s is bullish on Salesforce.com

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

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Stockwinners offers Barron’s review of stocks to buy, stocks to watch

BULLISH  MENTIONS

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) could rise further – In a follow-up story, Barron’s notes that Johnson & Johnson’s shares had a blockbuster year, as concerns about its big rheumatoid-arthritis drug Remicade proved too pessimistic, but shares could rise almost 20% as investors view the company’s drug pipeline in a new light.

Companies trading mostly in U.S. to benefit from tax reform – Investors in companies that trade mostly in the U.S. such as Southwest Airlines (LUV) should benefit greatly from what is arguably the signature provision of the tax reform bill, namely a drop in the federal corporate tax rate, John Kimelman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Tech giants such as Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) should experience a huge windfall from the legislation’s provision that could set the rate on the taxes of foreign earnings held in cash as low as 10%, thus encouraging repatriation, he says.

Transfer Partners situation to be resolved by 2019/2020 – Master limited partnerships have been dogged for the past several years by investor concerns, with Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) being one of the worst-performing large MLPs, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Its unit price has tumbled since the merger with Sunoco Logistics, even as the units of its sister company, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) have held steady, he adds. The endgame probably will be a merger of the two companies, or an equity buyout of the IDRs by Energy Transfer Partners, Barron’s contends.

Start-ups dwelling in tech giants shadow – Tech giants such as Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) and Apple (AAPL) show no signs of slowing down, increasingly calling the shots in tech in a way that limits the scope within which small companies operate, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While many start-ups show promise but “dwell in the shadow of the giants,” he adds. Commenting on recent IPOs, Barron’s notes that while Appian (APPN) and Roku (ROKU) have surged 39% and $85% respectively, cloud-computing darlings Mulesoft (MULE) and Tintri (TNTR) are down since their debuts.

Wall Street about to join in Bitcoin fun – Bitcoin shot past $11,000 last week but slid sharply right after before surging yet again, Avi Salzman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Now Wall Street is about to join in the fun, he notes, adding that getting listed on some of the largest exchanges in the country is a “tectonic shift for Bitcoin.” Banks like Goldman Sachs (GS) are considering helping clients execute Bitcoin trades, and once “they dip their toes in,” there may be no turning back, Salzman contends.

 Salesforce.com has 25% upside – As Salesforce (CRM) launches new products, its “addressable market” expands, which means more opportunities for sales and potentially wider margins, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The company’s shares should continue to outperform as revenue rises and margins improve, and a 25% increase in 2018 to $130 seems achievable, he adds.


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Emerson drops proposal to buy Rockwell Automation

Emerson withdraws proposal to acquire Rockwell Automation for $225 per share

Rockwell receives $29B takeover offer. See Stockwinners.com for details
Rockwell receives $29B takeover offer. See Stockwinners.com for details

Emerson (EMR) announced that it has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Rockwell Automation (ROK) for $225 per share due to the Rockwell Board of Directors’ continued unwillingness to engage in discussions about a potential combination.

“The Rockwell Board again rejected our offer, which would have delivered approximately $30 billion of value to Rockwell shareholders,” said Emerson Chairman and CEO David Farr.

“We are disappointed that the Rockwell Board refused even to discuss the potential combination of our two great companies. Instead of engaging in constructive dialogue, the Rockwell Board decided to let this unique and value-generative opportunity go unexplored.

We remain confident in the strategic plans we have in place, and in Emerson’s ability to create a global automation leader with a technology portfolio to meet evolving customer needs across process, hybrid and discrete product lines.

Our Company is in a great position – we have successfully repositioned our portfolio over the last two years, and have market-leading platforms in Automation Solutions and Commercial & Residential Solutions, both of which are performing well and have very attractive growth outlooks. Our future is bright, and we remain focused on accelerating core growth through new market penetration, technology innovation and strategic bolt-on acquisitions. We are also committed to returning capital to shareholders through our strong and growing dividend and our share repurchase program. Management believes the Company’s shares are an attractive investment opportunity.

Accordingly, we plan to accelerate repurchases over the next month and buy back up to $1 billion over the next 12 months. We look forward to executing on this strategy to drive near- and long-term value creation for all Emerson stakeholders.”

EMR closed at $61.88. ROK closed at $191.04.


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Barron’s is bullish on biotechs, Target

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

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BULLISH  MENTIONS

Local Chinese consumer plays to have significant advantages – China’s 19th Communist Party Congress gave expanded powers to President Xi Jinping to wield in a second five-year term as the country’s leader, endorsing the continued shift of China’s economy toward domestically focused consumer goods and services, which should be bullish for stocks such as Alibaba (BABA) and China Life Insurance (LFC), John Kimelman and Assif Shameen write in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Meanwhile, U.S. companies with footholds in the country’s consumer markets can expect to face regulatory and other roadblocks in the years ahead, they add.

Biotech selloff creates buying opportunity for investors – Biotech companies are not looking that healthy, with Amgen (AMGN), Biogen (BIIB), Celgene (CELG), and Gilead Sciences (GILD) all offering disappointments of one kind or another, but the selloff has created a buying opportunity for investors, Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Biotech looks like a victim of high expectations and could be ready to run again, he adds.

Tech giants continue to exploit their dominance – The latest earnings, particularly from Amazon.com (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL; GOOG), and Microsoft (MSFT), show that tech giants continue to exploit their dominance to Wall Street’s amazement, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. All three are examples of network effects, the ability of a business to exploit its position in a kind of virtuous cycle, and the payoff continues to astound Wall Street, he adds, noting that Apple (AAPL) is expected to report earnings this Thursday.

Playing double-up strategy with GE worth considering – General Electric (GE) stock is down 34% this year and seems poised to trade even lower amid fears that it may cut its dividend, Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While Sears has profitably recommended wagering against the stock since May, and still thinks bearish trades make sense, he recognizes that many investors feel stuck with their GE holdings and are not sure what to do. The “humble double-up strategy” is worth considering for anyone who wants to maintain ownership of the stock, and also realize a tax loss, he argues.

Target shares could return up to 30% amid renovation – Target’s (TGT) missteps have cost the company $15B in stock-market value over the past three years, Vito Racanelli writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The retailer is now remodeling stores, cutting costs and ramping up its online business to combat Amazon (AMZN), and store traffic and earnings look poised to rise in coming years, which could lead to an upward revaluation of the shares, he adds.

May be ‘lots to be gained’ from CVS/Aetna possible tie-up – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that while CVS Health (CVS) shares were under pressure following a report by The Wall Street Journal saying the company and Aetna (AET) were in talks, there is “lots to be gained from a tie-up.” By securing better drug pricing from CVS than it gets now, Aetna stands to win more health-plan customers, and it can send many of them to CVS for drugs but also for care, the report explains, adding that the deal would help transform CVS into a company that also profits from health outcomes. Further, Barron’s argues that it could help protect it from future changes in health-care law, and from losing sales to Amazon (AMZN).

Enterprise Products Partners promises growth, income – Enterprise Product Partners (EPD) is a leader among U.S. energy master limited partnerships but its units are depressed like those of many peers, with investors worrying about slowing growth, competitive pressures, weak energy prices and cuts or moderating gains in distributions, Andre Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. However, he argues that compared with other MLPs, Enterprise has better corporate governance and a stronger sheet, offering an “enticing yield” of nearly 7% and a good growth outlook that investors should see as a “winning combination.”

Apple iPhone X may be catalyst for Sony – Long ago considered a rival of sorts for Apple (AAPL), Sony (SNE) has instead emerged as one of its key suppliers, but its stock is up just 10% over the past six months, while other suppliers have seen their shares almost double in the same period, Assif Shameen writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Sony supplies iPhone X’s12-megapixel camera, as well as state-of-the-art 3-D sensors designed to boost iPhone’s Face ID and augmented-reality capabilities, he adds, noting that Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal believes these attributes merit a re-rating for the shares, which he thinks can rise at least 40%.

Shire bear case may be too extreme – While Shire (SHPG) has struggled against generic pressures and rising competition, the bear case may be too extreme, Victor Reklaitis writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.


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Barron’s is bullish on Morgan Stanley and Samsung

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

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BULLISH  MENTIONS

Caesars looks ready to grow again – After a disastrous 2008 leveraged buyout, Wall Street seems to have warmed to Caesars (CZR) story this year in a strong market for casino operators, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. With a bankruptcy filing settled, the company’s shares have surged this year, and the gambling giant could hit $18, up 50% in the next 18 months, he adds.

Coach shares look undervalued, could rise nearly 30% – Coach (COH), which has announced that it would be changing its name to Tapestry, is finally on the right path to growth, Emily Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Recent acquisitions and brand-loyalty initiatives should help the company maintain its market share, and in the next 12 months the shares could return nearly 30%, including dividends, she adds.

DowDuPont shares likely to return as much as 30% over next year – If DowDuPont (DWDP) can cut $3B from its yearly costs and attract a higher valuation by splitting into three parts, the shares stand to return 15%-30% over the next year, including dividends, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

Lufthansa has more room to climb – Amid competitor’s troubles, Lufthansa (DLAKY) has scored an “upgrade to first class,” Victor Reklaitis writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. However, several bulls say other factors will be bigger drivers, seeing the stock’s price rising to $35.36 due to a range of tailwinds, and implying a rally of about 20%, he adds.

Another 20% gain in Morgan Stanley stock likely – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says Morgan Stanley’s (MS) strategic response to the financial crisis proves more resilient than others,’ and another 20% gain in the stock is likely.

Samsung has lots of upside driven by chips/screens – Samsung (SSNLF)  stock is up 50% this year and it is still cheap, Assif Shameen writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While the company is known for smartphones, Samsung lives off semiconductors and screens, with analysts estimating that chips will generate 70% of profits and screens 13%, he adds.

BEARISH MENTIONS

Market pounds United, sees American/Delta as possibly safe bets – United Continental’s (UAL) earnings were bad news for the company, with shares dropping after the carrier reported better than expected earnings but offered guidance that suggested that its fourth quarter earnings would miss, Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Airlines (AAL) followed their peer lower, their shares did not go much lower, as the Market seems to see the two airlines as possibly safe bets, he adds.

Regulators inquiries fuel speculation about big tech breakup – Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) deserve a lot of the credit for last week’s record stock market highs but their positive effect will now depend on how they respond to U.S. and European regulators, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. European inquiries and those from the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission have prompted speculation about the breakup of these companies, he adds. And it is not only antitrust issues that are in play, as many see the huge amounts of personal data that these companies are amassing as troubling, Ray contends.


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Barron’s is bullish on JD.com, Softbank

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

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M&A may be easiest way for Google to catch-up in the Cloud – Alphabet’s (GOOG; GOOGL) Google has been chasing competitors Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT) in cloud computing, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The easiest way to close in may be through M&A, the publication notes, with rumors saying Alphabet could contemplate a deal as large as buying Workday (WDAY) or Salesforce (CRM).

JD.com could rise 25% or more – With the China Single’s Day – the biggest shopping day of the year – less than a month away, investors looking for growth stocks in the country may want to look to JD.com (JD), its number two online retailer after Alibaba (BABA), Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. JD.com stock could gain 30% or more in the next year, he adds.

Post-Peltz, P&G must to do more than cut costs – Last week, Procter & Gamble (PG) announced that its eleven standing board members won re-election, while activist Nelson Peltz had not won a seat, Vito Racanelli writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Nonetheless, Peltz has yet to concede, saying the vote remains too close to call, with an independent inspector expected to certify the results, the publication adds. Management’s victory means that its CEO David Taylor is on “a short leash,” facing the task of doing more than just cutting costs, Racanelli contends.

Softbank shares can still go higher – SoftBank (SFTBF) is reportedly ready to announce a $10B deal to buy up to 17% of Uber, as it negotiates a merge of its Sprint (S) unit with rival T-Mobile (TMUS) to challenge Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), Assif Shameen writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. SoftBank stock is up 27% year to date and 140% from the lows of February 2016, but its shares can go still higher, the publication adds.

Time to rethink how to play Wal-Mart. – Wal-Mart (WMT) has had a good run, so it is time to rethink how to play the stock, Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The sell-side analyst community may spend the next few months getting bullish on Wal-Mart’s digital future, while realizing that more than 4,000 retail stores offer competitive advantages, Sears noted, adding that the November earnings report should provide additional evidence for “analysts to update earnings models, raise price targets, and hike investment ratings.”


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Honeywell to reorganize itself

Honeywell announces planned portfolio changes

Honeywell to reorganize itself. See Stockwinners.com for details

Honeywell (HON) announced the results of its comprehensive portfolio review, including its intention to separately spin off its Homes product portfolio and ADI global distribution business, as well as its Transportation Systems business, into two stand-alone, publicly-traded companies.

The planned separation transactions are intended to be tax-free spins to Honeywell shareowners for U.S. federal income tax purposes and are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

“Today’s announcement marks the culmination of a rigorous portfolio review involving a detailed assessment of every Honeywell business. As part of that review, we analyzed numerous criteria, including growth outlook, financial performance, market dynamics, potential for disruption, and, most importantly, assessment of fit as a Honeywell business,” said Honeywell President and CEO Darius Adamczyk.

“The remaining Honeywell portfolio will consist of high-growth businesses in six attractive industrial end markets, each aligned to global mega trends including energy efficiency, infrastructure investment, urbanization and safety.

These businesses are best positioned to leverage Honeywell synergies from our technologies, financial and business models, and talent. Our simplified portfolio will offer multiple platforms for organic growth and margin expansion through further deployment of our world-class HOS Gold operating system and the Honeywell Sentience Platform.

Honeywell will also have multiple levers for continuing to execute an aggressive capital deployment strategy, including a vigorous and disciplined M&A program.

“The spun businesses will be better positioned to maximize shareowner value through focused strategic decision making and capital allocation tailored for their end markets,” Adamczyk said.

“At Honeywell, we will continue our track record of execution, delivering growth, margin expansion, and aggressive capital allocation for our shareowners.”

The new Homes and Global Distribution business will be a leader in the home heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, controls and security markets, and a leading global distributor of security and fire protection products. The business is expected to have annualized revenue of approximately $4.5B, a high-yield credit rating, approximately 13,000 employees, and financial responsibility for certain Honeywell legacy liabilities.

The new Transportation Systems business will be a global leader in turbocharger technologies with best-in-class engineering capabilities for a broad range of engine types across global automobile, truck and other vehicle markets.

The business is expected to have annualized revenue of approximately $3B, a high-yield credit rating, approximately 6,500 employees and financial responsibility for Honeywell legacy automotive segment liabilities in an amount equal to our Bendix legacy asbestos liability.

The planned separations will not require a shareowner vote.

Each spin-off will be subject to finalization of the contours of the spun-off business, assurance that the separation will be tax-free to Honeywell shareowners for U.S. federal income tax purposes, finalization of the capital structure of the three corporations, the effectiveness of appropriate filings with the SEC, final approval of the Honeywell board, and other customary matters.

HON closed at $143.60.


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Barron’s is bullish on GM, China Mobile

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin

BULLISH  MENTIONS

Activision to continue earnings growth from in-game spending – Activision Blizzard (ATVI) started encouraging more in-game spending, getting users to pay for new weapons, new missions, and new virtual outfits within titles they owned and as a result its stock soared since the beginning of the year, Emily Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Smaller competitors have also ramped up recurring spending, with shares of Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) also jumping in 2017, she notes. Bary adds game makers should continue to see strong earnings growth from in-game spending.

China Mobile looks cheap, but there may be a catch – China Mobile (CHL) has $60B of net cash, equal to 30% of its market shares, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. But many fear the Chinese government, which owns 73% of the company, will divert it to prop up other enterprises, he notes, adding that as a result the company’s shares have performed poorly in the last few years.

Cognizant is returning cash to investors – Cognizant (CTSH) is building a lucrative digital-consulting business, Resham Kapadia writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Meanwhile, the company’s shareholders could see a twofold payoff thanks to activist investor Elliott Management, which took a 4% stake last November, acquired three board seats, and pressed management to prioritize profit-margin expansion, the publication noted, adding that Cognizant will return $3.4B through 2018 via stock buybacks and dividends.

GM (GM) well-placed to make self-driving, battery-powered cars – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says General Motors has become an autonomously driven stock, climbing to $45 on chatter over GM being well-placed to make the self-driving, shared, battery-powered cars of the future. GM remains more than 60% cheaper than the S&P 500, the publication noted, adding that investors should hold out for more upside, and the 3.4% dividend yield.

BP, Royal Dutch Shell dividends look safe – Foreign companies tend to favor paying dividends over buying back stock, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. BP (BP), Enel, ING Group (ING), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), TSMC (TSM) and WPP (WPPGY) dividends all look safe, Strauss notes, adding that with the exception of Royal Dutch Shell and BP, they are all expected to pay higher dividends in 2018 than in 2017.

Nvidia stock/options market disconnection an opportunity – While Nvidia (NVDA) is “red hot” in the stock market, it is “lukewarm” in the option market, which creates an “intriguing” opportunity, Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

E-Commerce helping Wal-Mart ‘jump-start stalled revenue – While Wal-Mart (WMT) has played in online shopping since 2000, it got a boost a year ago with its $3.3B acquisition of Jet.com, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. As an e-Commerce player, Wal-Mart is growing faster than Amazon (AMZN) has in years, and shareholders will benefit, he adds.

BEARISH  MENTIONS

Costco shares still fell despite good quarter– Since Amazon (AMZN) announced its acquisition of Whole Foods, Costco (COST) has been “on the ropes,” Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The retailer shares have dropped 12% since then, even as the company delivers earnings beats and same-store sales increases, he adds.

RH shares fully priced – Combined with July-quarter report, RH‘s shares (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) buyback has lifted its stock 146% this year and “squeezed those unwelcome guests called short sellers,” Bill Alpert writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. But now RH shares look fully priced, and is one of the most richly priced retailers around, he adds.

Gun shares look overvalued – Tragedies involving guns and political pronouncement about gun violence tend to move shares of publicly traded firearms companies, such as Sturm Ruger (RGR), American Outdoor Brands (AOBC) and Vista Outdoor (VSTO), Vito Racanelli writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. But with prospects dim for stricter gun control, an impetus for long-term sales growth is lacking, he notes, adding that the stocks look overvalued.


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Barron’s is bullish on Applied Materials and Expedia

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin

BULLISH  MENTIONS

Applied Materials, TSMC among ‘heroes’ of AI – Shares of Applied Materials (AMAT), the largest vendor of tools to Intel (INTC) and others, and TSMC (TSM), the largest contract manufacturer of circuits, which serves chip vendors such as Nvidia (NVDA) seem a good bet for the foreseeable future as computer-chip technology enters a bold new phase, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

General Dynamics most promising amid corporate aircraft comeback – The business-jet market is showing signs of a comeback and the plane maker that offers the most promise to investors appears to be General Dynamics (GD), whose Gulfstream models are among the most popular corporate jets, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

First Solar to benefit from potential aggressive tariff hike – Cheap imported solar cells have fueled an alternative-energy boom in the U.S., but now President Donald Trump is considering tariffs that could slow the flow of foreign cells, Avi Salzman and Bill Alpert write in this week’s edition of Barron’s. If the White House pushes ahead with an aggressive tariff hike, the major beneficiary would be First Solar (FSLR), the U.S. industry leader, whose products would become cheaper than those sold by foreign competitors, while residential solar firms such as Sunrun (RUN) would be hurt, as they would no longer have access to cheap cells, they added.

Expedia still has room to rise – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that Expedia’s HomeAway is starting to look like a “home run” as it is contributing a hefty portion of overall growth. That bodes well for Expedia (EXPE) stock, the publication notes, adding that a double-digit return seems likely over the next year.

Senate Health funding helps Thermo Fisher – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that by blocking President Trump’s proposed research funding cuts, the Senate helps Thermo Fisher’s (TMO) key market.

Target lifts pay as retailers bid for workers in tight market – In a follow-up story, Barron’s notes that with the jobless rate at a 16-year low, it could be challenging for retailers to find sufficient holiday sales help this year. As retailers bid for workers in a tight labor market, Target (TGT) followed Wal-Mart (WMT) in lifting hourly pay, the publication noted.

BEARISH MENTIONS

Competition may be coming after Tesla – While electric vehicles currently sell for about $8,000 more than gas guzzlers, they will be cheaper than traditional cars by the early to mid-2020s, Emily Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s, citing Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne. The increasing affordability of electric vehicles may not be good news for Tesla (TSLA), as rivals may see it as an incentive to take the space seriously, Bary adds


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Barron’s is bullish on Oracle, bearish on Six Flags

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin

BULLISH  MENTIONS

Gene therapy may be nearing ‘major breakthrough.’  – Gene therapy is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting areas in biotechnology, and generating new hope for patients with rare and often deadly inherited diseases, Andre Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The first regulatory approval for replacement gene therapy could come as soon as January, if the FDA gives the go-ahead to Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) for its one-time treatment that targets a rare, inherited retinal condition leading to blindness, he adds. Other publicly traded companies developing treatments in this area include AveXis’ (AVXS), Regenxbio (RGNX), Audentes Therapeutics (BOLD), and Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR).

Key events may create ‘short squeeze’ in GoPro stock.  GoPro (GPRO), a heavily shorted stock, could be the object of “one of the most interesting trades in the options market,” Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Options on the shares are relatively inexpensive ahead of key events that may create a short squeeze in the stock, he argues, adding that a recommended upside call trade that expires in January could produce “extraordinary profits” if that happens.

Oracle shares could return 20% in a year. – Oracle (ORCL) is a latecomer to the cloud, but the company’s revenue from that business has been growing quickly from a small base, and shares have responded, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. At a recent $48, shares look like “a good deal,” he argues, adding that they could return 20% in a year.

Xilinx, Synopsys are ‘rising stars’ amid natural evolution of AI. – As everyday items get “smart,” the technology around artificial intelligence gets more real, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s, adding that the “rising stars” in this natural evolution of AI include Xilinx (XLNX), Synopsys (SNPS), and Cadence Design (CDNS).

BEARISH  MENTIONS

iRobot suffering after onslaught of SharkNinja cheaper models. – In a follow up story, Barron’s notes that as it warned in July, iRobot’s (IRBT) Roomba robot vacuum now has a “formidable” new rival, with the recent introduction of cheaper products from SharkNinja. While IRobot has maintained a commanding share of the product category it pioneered, aggressive marketing, broad sales distribution, and value-priced products have quickly won SharkNinja a hunk of the market for conventional vacuum cleaners, the publication adds.

Six Flags may have peaked– Investors have had an incredible ride with theme-park operator Six Flags (SIX), with shares climbing sixfold since it exited bankruptcy in 2010, Bill Alpert writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. However, “every ride ends,” and with the number of individuals coming to the parks flat for years, upside looks limited.

Major aircraft makers, suppliers face off – While United Technologies (UTX) proposed $30B acquisition of Rockwell Collins (COL) is not a done deal, its aggressive expansion strategy illustrates trends unfolding in the industry, namely a shift in traditional turf boundaries, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. This is just the latest in a spate of recent M&A deals that illustrate a battle between major commercial aircraft manufacturers, namely Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EADSY), and some of their suppliers, he argues, pointing out that there is “lots of maneuvering” to see who will dominate the lucrative business of being an aerospace hardware and service provider.


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Disney Tumbles on guidance, streaming service, and Irma

Disney slides after CEO comments on guidance, streaming service

This blog was updated with Disney World Closure Information

Disney to end Netflix distribution agreement in 2019. See Stockwinners.com Market Radar for details

During Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger said that he expects the company’s 2017 earnings per share to be roughly in line with last fiscal year, sending the stock into negative territory.

The executive also said Marvel and Star Wars will go exclusively to the company’s upcoming streaming service.

GUIDANCE

Disney CEO Bob Iger expects the company’s fiscal year 2017 earnings per share to be roughly in line with last fiscal year.

In 2016, Disney reported adjusted earnings per share of $5.72, according to Bloomberg data. The consensus estimate for 2017 prior to Iger’s comments today was for 2017 earnings per share of $5.88, according to First Call.

“I think you have to look at the year as being roughly in line with an EPS basis that we delivered in fiscal ’16, and that’s for a few reasons, some, by the way, very topical. We mentioned all the way at the beginning of the year the impact of the NBA, big growth in cost to ESPN on the rights front. We also did not have a big Star Wars movie. […]

HURRICANE  IRMA

In addition to that, we have had some impact already from Hurricane Irma. There, we’ve seen cancellations in Orlando, and we’ve also had to cancel three cruise itineraries and shorten a couple of others. Lastly, there will be some expense us in fiscal ’17 that are tied to the BAMTech acquisition,” the executive said during the media conference.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki6q5KaGqrA?rel=0&controls=0&w=560&h=315]

Walt Disney World to close from Saturday until Tuesday or later – Walt Disney World will begin closing its theme parks from Saturday September 9 and “hopes” to resume normal operations on Tuesday September 12, the company stated in an update on Hurricane Irma posted to its website. 

DISNEY STREAMING SERVICE

During the presentation, CEO Bob Iger also said that Marvel and Star Wars titles will go exclusively to the new Disney streaming platform, a service that is set to launch in late 2019.

“We’re going to launch it in late 2019. We’re doing that for two reasons. First of all, as we exit the Netflix (NFLX) output deal, we don’t get access to our theatrical release movies until the beginning of ’19.  Secondly, we wanted time to actually develop and build up original programming for the platform. So late ’19, we’ll launch a Disney-branded service.

It will have — it will be the output distributor for the theatrical release movies. […] We’ve now decided that we will put the Marvel and Star Wars movies on this app as well. So it will have the entire output of the studio: animation, live action, Disney including Pixar, Star Wars and all the Marvel films,” he explained.

Additionally, it will also have four to five original Disney series as well as three to four exclusive Disney movies. “We are going to make less costly movies that are going to be on our proprietary service,” he said.

ESPN

Discussing the company’s ESPN sports network, Iger pointed out that he expects its own streaming service to launch sometime in the Spring, and that ultimately each user will be able to choose the events and sports he wants to watch.

“We will launch with 10,000 live sporting events that are not currently on ESPN’s linear channels. And those will include Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, MLS, some other tenants and a lot of college in sports that we own the rights to already. […] It will be an ESPN app that exists today. Today, on that ESPN app, you can watch ESPN’s linear channels live authenticated. That will continue to exist. On top of that in the same app, you’ll be able to subscribe to, let’s call it, a plus service. You’ll be able to subscribe to significantly more sports programming than you get just through the linear channels. […] Over time, I think the way you have to look at this is this will be a sports marketplace platform.

You’ll be able to pick and choose over time what it is you want. It won’t necessarily be a one-size-fits-all. We may launch it that way, but the goal eventually is to create something that the sports fan can essentially use to design what their sports media experience can be,” Iger stated.

PRICE ACTION

On Thursday shares of Disney dropped about 4.4% to $97.06, while Netflix’s stock closed fractionally lower to $179.00.


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Travel Stocks Lower on Hurricane Irma

Cruise line operators slammed as Irma prepares to make landfall

Cruise Line Stocks tumble as Iram approaches Florida. See Stockwinners.com for details

Shares of cruise line operators are in focus amid concerns about the potential impact of Hurricane Irma on the cruise and travel industries, as well as the lingering effect of Hurricane Harvey.

HURRICANE IRMA

Hurricane Irma, which has intensified into a Category 5 storm, is forcing cruise operators to cancel or divert ships as it heads towards the Caribbean and the Florida coast.

The National Hurricane Center has said Irma is a “potentially catastrophic storm” with winds up to 185 miles an hour that will move toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later this week and then make its way toward Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Cuba before heading toward the Florida coast. Hurricane Harvey recently caused widespread damage when it hit the Houston area, with cruise operators rerouting some vessels and canceling other voyages to avoid the storm.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InwmRvzSG60?rel=0&controls=0&w=560&h=315]

IMPACT ON CRUISE OPERATORS

Cruise line operators are monitoring the storm, canceling voyages that haven’t left port and rerouting other ships to avoid stops at islands that may be affected.

According to reports, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) will bring its two Miami-based ships back home ahead of schedule to avoid the storm. Both the 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky and 4,248-passenger Norwegian Escape will return to Miami from Caribbean trips on Thursday instead of Friday and Saturday, respectively. The cruise operator also canceled sailings of the ships that were scheduled to begin on Friday and Saturday.

Yesterday, Royal Caribbean (RCL) canceled two sailings of Port Canaveral and Miami-based vessels to the Bahamas scheduled to begin on Friday and is rerouting one ship to the west and evaluating other sailings to the Caribbean, Cuba and Bermuda.

Carnival (CCL, CUK) has rerouted four vessels from an Eastern Caribbean to a Western Caribbean itinerary for the week, with a spokeswoman saying “We are watching Irma closely, but we are not canceling any sailings as of now.”

ANALYST COMMENTARY

Morgan Stanley analyst Jamie Rollo said on Tuesday that cruise demand is “solid,” but softened “a little” in August from July due to adverse weather, terror attacks and a U.S. travel warning for parts of Mexico. The analyst thinks Carnival, which reports earnings on September 26, will guide to slower yields in Q4. The firm remains “relatively cautious” on cruise stocks, but raised its price target on Carnival to $61 from $59.

OTHERS TO WATCH

Airline stocks, including American Airlines (AAL), United Continental (UAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) are also on hurricane watch, and will likely be canceling flights in the affected areas.

This morning, United CFO Andrew Levy said Hurricane Harvey was the “largest operational impact we’ve had in the company’s history” and lowered its third quarter pre-tax margin and PRASM guidance. American Airlines President Robert Isom said the company is “keeping an eye” on Irma.

PRICE ACTION

In Wednesday’s trading, shares of Norwegian are down about 1%, Carnival shares trading in New York are down 0.5% and Royal Caribbean is down 1.2%.


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