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Allstate estimates October catastrophe losses at over $500 million

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 08:17

Allstate Corp. said Thursday it estimates catastrophe losses of $516 million for the month of October. The insurer said five wildfires in California accounted for about 90% of the losses for the month. Earlier in November, fellow insurer Travelers Companies Inc. estimated catastrophe losses related to the California wildfires of $525 million to $675 million. Allstate's stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 6.4% over the past three months, while the PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance ETF has slipped 0.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.9%.

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Wal-Mart, Cisco stock rallies give big boost to Dow

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:51

The rallies in shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. were accounting for more than half of the gain in Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ahead of Thursday's open. Wal-Mart's stock ran up 4.2% in premarket trade after better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results, putting it on course to open above the Nov. 13 all-time intraday high of $91.98. The price gain of $3.42 ahead of the open would add about 26 points to the Dow's price. Cisco's stock shot up $2.51, or 7.4%, in premarket trade after reporting fiscal second-quarter results late Wednesday, which would add about 17 points to the Dow. The combined gain of about 43 Dow points accounted for more than half of the Dow futures rise of 71 points.

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Anadarko sets 2018 capex range of $4.2 billion to $4.6 billion

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:40

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. on Thursday unveiled its capital spending program for 2018, saying it expects to make capital investments ranging from $4.2 billion to $4.6 billion. The company is planning to allocate about 80% of that sum toward the Delaware and DJ basins, including Anadarko midstream, and the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The company is aiming to generate "material" free cash flow at current strip prices and breaks even in a $50 oil and $3 natural gas price environment. "Further, we plan to return substantial cash to shareholders by executing the remaining $1.5 billion of our $2.5 billion share-repurchase program during the coming year," Chief Executive Al Walker said in a statement. Shares were not yet active premarket.

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Rockwell Automation's stock soars into record territory after Emerson boosts buyout bid

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:33

Shares of Rockwell Automation Corp. jumped 7.6% toward a record high in premarket trade Thursday, after Emerson Electric Co. raised its unsolicited buyout bid to buy the industrial automation company to $225 a share from $215 a share. Under terms of the new deal, Emerson would pay $135 a share in cash and the equivalent of $90 a share in Emerson stock for each Rockwell share outstanding. That represents a 19% premium to Wednesday's stock closing price of $188.73, and 12% above the Nov. 7 record close of $200.82, and would give Rockwell a market capitalization of about $28.91 billion. Rockwell had rejected Emerson's previous bid in October, which consisted of $107.50 a share in cash and the equivalent of $107.50 share in Emerson stock, saying it was not in the best interest of its shareholders. Emerson shares fell 1.0% in premarket trade. Year to date, Rockwell's stock has soared 40.4%, Emerson shares have gained 6.0% and the S&P 500 has climbed 14.6%.

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Best Buy shares slide after revenue miss, weak earnings outlook

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:21

Best Buy Co. Inc. shares fell 4.3% in Thursday premarket trading after the consumer electronics retailer reported a third-quarter revenue miss and gave weak earnings guidance. Net income for the quarter was $239.0 million, or 78 cents per share, up from $194.0 million, or 61 cents per share, for the same period last year. The FactSet consensus was 78 cents. Revenue totaled $9.32 billion, up from $8.95 billion last year but below the $9.36 billion FactSet consensus. Enterprise same-store sales rose 4.4% while domestic same-store sales increased 4.5%. The FactSet consensus was for a 4.9% increase. Best Buy Chief Executive Hubert Joly said results were hurt by lower-than-expected mobile revenue and natural disasters. The retailer raised its fourth-quarter guidance, and now sees sales of $14.2 billion to $14.5 billion, domestic and enterprise same-store sales growth of 1% to 3% each, and adjusted EPS of $1.89 to $1.99. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $14.35 billion, a 1.9% same-store increase, and EPS of $2.03. For the full-year, the company now sees revenue of $41.0 billion to $41.3 billion. The FactSet consensus is $41.23 billion. Best Buy shares are down 5.6% for the last three months, but up 41.7% for the last year. The S&P 500 index is up 17.8% for the period.

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J.M. Smucker shares jump 2.3% premarket as earnings top estimates

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:20

J.M. Smucker Co. shares surged 2.3% in premarket trade Thurday, after the maker of Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts and Cafe Bustelo coffee beat earnings estimates for its second fiscal quarter. Smucker said it had net income of $194.6 million, or $1.71 a share, in the quarter, up from $177.3 million, or $1.52 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.02, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $1.90. Sales rose 1% to $1.924 billion from $1.914 billion, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $1.900 billion. Chief Executive Mark Smucker said earnings were driven by the pet food business, as well as Dunkin' Donuts coffee and Jif peanut butter. The company said it is adjusting its fiscal 2018 guidance to reflect "industry-wide headwinds," and now expects adjusted EPS of $7.75 to $7.90, compared with prior guidance of $7.75 to $7.95. Sales are expected to be flat to down slightly.

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Wal-Mart's stock jumps toward record high after profit and sales beat, raised outlook

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:17

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. surged 3.3% toward a record high in premarket trade Thursday, after the discount retailer reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations, and raised its full-year outlook. Net income for the quarter to Oct. 31 fell to $1.75 billion, or 58 cents a share, from $3.03 billion, or 98 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.00, above the FactSet consensus of 97 cents. Total revenue increased 4.2% to $123.18 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $121.04 billion, boosted by 50% growth in e-commerce sales. Walmart U.S. same-store sales rose 2.7%, beating the FactSet consensus of a 1.9% rise, while Sam's Club same-store sales growth of 2.8% beat expectations of a 1.4% rise. Wal-Mart now expects fiscal 2018 adjusted EPS of $4.38 to $4.46, up from a previous guidance range of $4.30 to $4.40. The stock, on track to open above its Nov. 14 record close of $91.09, has rallied 10.9% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 2.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has tacked on 5.7%.

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Viacom blows past estimates, sending stock up 1.2% premarket

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:09

Viacom Inc. said Thursday it had net income of $680 million, or $1.69 a share, in the third quarter, up from $432 million, or $1.09 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.18, well ahead of the FactSet consensus of 86 cents. Revenue rose 8% to $3.364 billion from $3.107 billion, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $3.23 billion. "In the third quarter, Viacom strengthened its top line, with growth in advertising and affiliate revenues and gains across its Filmed Entertainment segment, while continuing to execute on a strategic plan to reinvigorate our brands, break down silos, deepen our relationships with business partners and reposition Paramount for the future," Chief Executive Bob Bakish said in a statement. Media network revenues rose 2%, while ancillary revenue fell 9%. Filmed entertainment revenue rose 36%, theatrical revenue climbed 198^ and licensing revenue rose 1%. Home entertainment revenue was up 14%, while ancillary revenue rose 61%. Shares rose 1.2% premarket.

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Koch brothers back Meredith bid to buy Time: report

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 22:02

The billionaire Koch brothers are backing an effort by Meredith Corp. to buy Time Inc. , the New York Times reported Wednesday night. Sales talks between the two companies collapsed earlier this year, but the Kochs' offer of a $500 million equity injection could reinvigorate new negotiations, the Times reported. It was unclear how much influence the Kochs, known for supporting conservative causes, would have if a deal is made. The Times said a deal may be announced after Thanksgiving. In addition to Time magazine, Time Inc. publishes People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and more than 100 other magazines. Iowa-based Meredith publishes Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living, among others.

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Two more women describe Roy Moore's unwanted advances toward teens

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 21:31

Two more women have come forward describing unwanted sexual overtures from Roy Moore when they were teenagers, the Washington Post reported Wednesday night. One woman said when she was about 18, Moore -- then about 30 -- unexpectedly called her at her high school. The two eventually went out on a date, and she said Moore gave her an unwanted, "forceful" kiss that left her afraid. Another woman said she complained to her supervisor over Moore's behavior toward that same woman when he entered the Sears store that both teens worked at in Gadsen, Ala. "Watch out for this guy," a store manager reportedly told new hires. Earlier in the day, Moore's legal team attempted to discredit other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, calling them part of a partisan attack against his U.S. Senate campaign.

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L Brands shares down 3.5% after earnings as same-store sales fall

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:49

Shares of L Brands Inc. fell 3.5% late Wednesday after the parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works reported third-quarter earnings in line with expectations but falling comparable-store sales, including a 4% decline at flagship Victoria's Secret brand in the quarter. L Brands said it earned $86 million, or 30 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $122 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales reached $2.62 billion for the quarter, compared with $2.58 billion a year ago. The company's exit of the swim and apparel categories had a negative impact of about 2 percentage points to both total company and Victoria's Secret comparable sales, it said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 30 cents a share on sales of $2.62 billion. The company said it expects fourth-quarter per-share earnings between $1.95 and $2.10, and between $3.05 to $3.20 for the full year 2017. The analysts surveyed by FactSet expect fourth-quarter earnings of $2.02 a share and EPS of $3.12 for the year.

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RH shares jump after home furnishings company raises guidance

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:32

Shares of RH , formerly known as Restoration Hardware, topped 9% late Wednesday after the home furnishings retailer raised its third-quarter and fiscal 2017 guidance thanks to "a dramatically more efficient operating platform," it said. Adjusted net revenues for the quarter are expected to be up 8%, despite a 1% negative impact from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the company said in a statement. Adjusted diluted per-share earnings are expected to be in the range of $1.02 to $1.04, compared with a prior guidance of between 68 cents and 80 cents. RH said it expects net revenues for the third quarter to reach about $592.5 million, compared to a previous guidance of adjusted net revenues in the range of $575 million and $590 million. For fiscal 2017, the company called for net income in a range of $82 million and $87 million, from a previous forecast of $70 million to $77 million, and called for fiscal 2017 capital expenditures between $120 million to $130 million, down from between $120 million to $140 million. The company said it expects fiscal 2018 net revenue between $2.58 billion to $2.62 billion, adjusted net income in the range of $125 million to $145 million, and free cash flow of more than $240 million. Shares had ended the regular trading day down 6.1%.

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NetApp shares jump on earnings, sales beat

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:19

NetApp Inc. shares jumped in the extended session Wednesday after the company beat fiscal second-quarter earnings and sales expectations. NetApp shares rose 4.6% to $47.96 after hours. The company reported second-quarter net income of $175 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with $109 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 81 cents a share. Revenue rose to $1.42 billion from $1.34 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of 69 cents a share on revenue of $1.38 billion. For the third fiscal quarter, analysts model earnings of 85 cents a share on revenue of $1.44 billion. Executives said that they expected fiscal third-quarter earnings of between $1.18 and $1.26 a share on sales of between $1.43 billion and $1.56 billion. NetApp stock has gained 30% this year, with the S&P 500 index rising 15%.

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Cisco Systems shares surge after earnings beat, outlook

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:17

Cisco Systems Inc. shares rallied in the extended session Wednesday after the networking company topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter and offered an earnings forecast slightly above the consensus. Cisco shares surged 3.8% to $35.40 after hours. The company reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $2.39 billion, or 48 cents a share, compared with $2.32 billion, or 46 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 61 cents a share. Revenue declined to $12.14 billion from $12.35 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated 60 cents a share on revenue of $12.11 billion. For the fiscal second quarter, Cisco estimates earnings of 58 cents to 60 cents a share on year-over-year revenue growth of 1% to 3%, or $11.7 billion to $11.93 billion. Analysts expect earnings of 58 cents a share on revenue of $11.7 billion.

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Agilent increases dividend to 14.9 cents

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:10

Agilent Technologies Inc. said late Wednesday its board of directors has increased the company's dividend to 14.9 cents a share, payable Jan. 24 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 2. Shares of Agilent were flat in after-hours trading after ending the regular trading day down 0.2%.

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Dow closes near four-week low as crude remains under pressure

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:08

U.S. stocks closed lower for a second session Wednesday with the Dow finishing at a near one month low as crude oil prices extended losses on the heels of data that showed an unexpected rise in U.S. inventories. Worries over the progress of the tax reform bill also dragged on the market. The S&P 500 shed 14 points, or 0.6%, to close at 2,564, the first time in 50 trading days that the large cap index fell more than 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135 points, or 0.6%, to end at 23,273, while the Nasdaq Composite Index slid 31 points, or 0.5%, to close at 6,706. West Texas Intermediate crude , the North American benchmark, declined 0.8% to $55.26 a barrel.

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S&P 500's 0.5% drop ends a multidecade streak

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:00

The S&P 500 closed more than 0.5% lower on Wednesday, putting an end to a historically long streak without a decline of that magnitude. The S&P ended down by 0.55%, pressured by a 1.1% decline in energy shares and worries over the progress of a U.S. tax overhaul. The session marked the first time since Sept. 5 that the S&P fell at least 0.5% in a single session, putting an end to a 50-session streak, which stood as the longest since 1968, according to data from LPL Financial. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% while the Nasdaq Composite Index ended 0.5% lower.

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Republican Ron Johnson opposes current Senate tax bill

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:46

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin on Wednesday said he won't vote for the current tax plan, potentially jeapardizing the Republican effort to score its first signature legislative triumph in the Trump presidency. Johnson, a businessman before he became senator, contends the current plan helps big corporations more than smaller companies. "If they can pass it without me, let them," Johnson said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, a sister publication of MarketWatch. "I'm not going to vote for this tax package." Republicans only control 52 seats in the Senate and can't afford to lose more than a few votes. Johnson also briefly opposed a Senate bill to replace Obamacare, but he eventually sided with the rest of his conservative colleagues. He's generally been a strong supporter of lower taxes and deregulation.

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Oil prices settle at a nearly 2-week low as U.S. crude supplies, output climb

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:47

Oil prices fell Wednesday to settle at their lowest level in nearly two weeks. The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude supplies rose unexpectedly, for a second week in a row. Total U.S. crude production, meanwhile, rose to nearly 9.65 million barrels a day for the week ended Nov. 10. That was the largest average weekly output on record at the EIA, based on data going back to 1983. December West Texas Intermediate crude fell 37 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $55.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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UCLA players suspended indefinitely over China incident; Trump thanked at press conference

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:27

Three freshman members of the UCLA basketball team, LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, have been suspended indefinitely, according to Bleacher Report and other outlets, after having had criminal charges reportedly dropped in connection with a recent alleged shoplifting incident at a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China. The players expressed remorse and apologized to the university and its storied basketball program as well as their families while making their first public statements Wednesday on the matter. President Trump, who wondered on Twitter this morning whether he would be thanked for his role in their release from detention after a week and who'd called his discussion of the issue with Chinese leader Xi Jinping a "great" one, was thanked by all three players at a televised news conference in Los Angeles.

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