Saturday, 30 May 2015

Yahoo Japan Stock Reached 12-month High On Tie-Up With Alibaba Group Holding Ltd

YAHOO JAPAN shares rose the most in a year, following a tie-up announcement with e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

YAHOO JAPAN stock rose over 11% during regular trading session on Friday. The increase was mainly because of a joint announcement and collaboration with Chinese e commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The increase is the highest ever recorded for the company in around a year, Bloomberg reported. conversely, stock of Alibaba lost ground and stood at $90.95 at market close on Friday.
Yahoo Japan is ranked amid the top 3 e-commerce firms in Japan. It was established as a joint venture between Softbank -a premier internet co. in japan and Yahoo Inc.
Earlier on Friday, Bloomberg mentioned Yahoo Japan emailed statement, in which it confirms the alliance between the firms. The email stated that a collaboration with Alibaba will lead to several synergies, and support number of e-commerce firms from the country in reaching to large number of population in China. The company also said that the partnership was targeted at decreasing the internet companies charges in Japan that are looking to list on online marketplace of Alibaba namely, Tmall.  was previously spun off from the TaoBao platform of the company, approximately five years ago, and presently serving as a B2C marketplace for Alibaba. Tmall enable international brands and Chinese brands to do business in China with consumers. Moreover, the company also told Bloomberg, that the latest increase in demand of Japanese brands in China seems as a great opportunity to do alliance with Alibaba.
Hiroko Sato an analysts at jefferies was quoted by Bloomberg as supporting the collaboration between Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. He mentioned in a research report that an alliance with Alibaba would open open gates for the company to a $404 billion with of market, which is roughly 5 times bigger as compared to Japan market.
Significantly, new Chief Executive Office of Alibaba, Daniel Zhang talks about the significance of globalizing the marketplace of company. in his very first speech to its workers and staff as new CEO, he said, “We will organize a global team and adopt global thinking to manage the business, and achieve the goal of ‘global buy and global sell."
Majority of analyst are bullish on baba stock. Almost 51 covered the stock , 44 gave Buy rating, 5 assigned a Hold, and only 2 rated the stock as sell. The twelve month price target stands at $109.41,reflecting an upside of more than 20% compared to $90.95 closing price on Thursday.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Amazon Likely To Come Up WIth Its Consumer Items

Amazon will take on Costco Wholesale by adding consumer items in its portfolio.

Amazon Inc. is the leading online retailer in the US market. The company is miles ahead of its competitors, including Wal-Mart, Target, eBay, etc. Amazon advantage is its Prime program, which other online retailing companies are now planning to copy and make their own version of it.
When others think to follow the footsteps of Amazon, it takes one-step forward ahead. It is believed that the online retailer is now all set to take on Costco Wholesale, the largest brick-and-mortar store chains in the United States.
The e-commerce giant is all set to compete with Costco Wholesale, as it plans to add food in its lineup of house labels. It is believed that the company wants to grow vigorously and through Amazon Prime. It managed to achieve it to some extent.
The online retailer seeks to be the largest; hence, adding food to its house labels seems to be the best option through which it can capitalize on growing its customers’ database. Moreover, the company has taken this major step, as it noticed customers’ preference of store brands and grocery delivery services in recent times.
Wall Street Journal stated, “Amazon’s planned expansion in the private-label business mirrors a more traditional retail model where name-brand products are sold beside store-owned goods. Private labels have become a vital business for mass-market retailers, generating stronger margins and building loyalty with consumers who no longer view generic products as lower quality.”
This will not only impose threats to Costco Wholesale but it will affect the business of Wal-Mart, eBay, Target, etc., as well as they might have to think about the possibilities of adding food in its offerings. The Wall Street Journal reported that the e-commerce giant has planned that will see it expanding its private label lineup into groceries by adding food, including baby food, cereal, milk, etc.
The newspaper further reports that Amazon has already requested for a trademark protection for over two dozen categories, which lie under its already existing brands, including soup, pasta, coffee, and some household items, such as cleaning products and razor blades, etc.
It is believed that the online retailer has already tapped on the doors of private label food manufacturers for a possible partnership to continue with this project. According to people familiar with the matter, one of the private label food manufacturers includes TreeHouse Foods Inc. of Oak Brook, Illinois. It is said to be one of the largest producers that earned $3 billion in sales in 2014.
Amazon has declined to comment anything on its partnership so far.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Herbalife In The Line Of Fire Against Wall Street As Global Nutrition Firm Expands Global Affairs Team

Weight-loss and nutrition company, Herbalife, is at the center of the biggest war on Wall Street, while three experienced individuals are welcomed to the global affairs team.

Australian billionaire hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman, has accused Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) of running a pyramid scheme, and has threatened to take out a billion dollar bet against the global nutrition company share, should in case the price falls. He points out that they possess fake customers and are coaxing them into buying the mini pyramid scheme.
In response, Herbalife has denied any wrongdoing, and for the most part, pointed out that most of the distributors (a model that the company follows as part of peer-to-peer sales program) join the company to take advantage of discounts on products that they normally would have purchased. Herbalife, according to Herbalife's Asia-Pacific managing director, William Rahm, does not run a pyramid scheme under any condition and operates on a multi-market level model.
The company is not alone in its battle, as it has the support of rival billionaire hedge fund manager, Carl Icahn, and cereals chief, William Spirits. Australian fund manager, John Hampton, has upped his investment stake to 9% on Herbalife, up from 7%.
The allegations from Mr. Ackman are not entirely new, as the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Justice Department, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are currently investigating the claims. In addition, the company is also facing court action after US distributors sued it for deceptive marketing practices. In what could set it up as a precedent, the Belgian court appeals ruled that Herbalife was not a pyramid company in 2013.
Mr. Hampton believes that there are some ‘rotten eggs’ in the company that have given a bad name to the organization’s reputation, but overall, he holds positive sentiment about the organization. Nevertheless, that has not stopped the company facing a hit in growth and earnings from bad publicity. Yearly growth rate has gone down from 18% to 3%, even though it managed to beat the quarterly earnings forecast for this year.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles based nutritional snacks company has announced an expansion of its global corporate affairs team, not necessarily in response to the ongoing allegations, investigations, and bad public press. Three renowned individuals have joined the company, namely: Ric Hobby as senior vice president for global government relations, Megan Jordan as senior vice president for global corporate communications, and Randall Polka as vice president of government and industry affairs. Two present members, Julian Cacchioli and Elaine Pacheco, will take on new responsibilities for the company.
Herbalife Stock price ended the day at $51.35, an increase of 0.55%.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Wal Mart all set to challenge Amazon Prime by its shipping service

The retailer giant is ready to test a free, three day shipping service that's half the price of Amazon Prime, in a move to take on its arch rival's shipping service.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is looking to test latest unlimited shipping services for its online customers this summer. This is the recent move by the company to take on its biggest competitor free 2 day shipping service. While the service of Amazon is priced at $99 annually, Wal-Mart is challenging the service with almost half price point of $50 a year.
The shipping subscription is most likely to be offered to choose users on a basis on invite only, starting this summer. Offered more than million products, shoppers will avail free delivery in 3 days of lesser.
The online retailer has not yet decided what the service will be called, when it reveals it's beta testing in the coming week. It will be similar to the way Amazon Prime works; the e-commerce company will provide only a subsection of product for shipping than what its online platform offers. The products will be flagged or labeled specially in order to inform users that the product is eligible for free delivery. Normally, Wal-Mart has on offer more than 7 million products, but on these testing; only 1 million plus items under this service will be available.
Although, the unlimited free shipping offer marks a substantial commitment on part of Wal-Mart, and strengthens how ambitious the company is about increasing its growth of its e-commerce online platform, which has slowed down in the recent times.
Throughout the years, it has tried several online initiatives from local delivery of grocery to subscription sample box services. While, some of these initiatives did now work out, the company is still looking to test them in five of its different markets.
Ravi Jariwala, a spokesperson of the company said the service comes when the demand from customer increases regarding convenient, reliable and affordable shipping services. Its company's strategy to lead top line numbers by goes on board on latest path of growth. It is also looking to serve customers who are progressively flocking to PCs and smartphones to buy the product with ease.
Mr. Jariwala said, "One of things that we've heard from customers is that they want shopping that's predicable and they want it to be affordable. This test is really to understand is this yet another new way that we can serve customers?"
Wal-Mart service will not be in direct competition with the Amazon Prime as it is not convoyed by features like free video and music streaming that is offered by Amazon. Consumer feedbacks on the free shipping service will decide how the things will move on and whether the company should continue the service or not. The main idea behind the strategy is not to find out whether customer wants free and fast delivery, since Amazon already provides that, but to find out whether the company can capture their interest with the lower price and reliability of offer.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

US Bancorp and Bank of America Win Dismissal of Mortgage Claims

Charlotte-based bank is not so lucky after being fined for foreign exchange practices.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and US Bancorp have won a dismissal of lawsuits that were filed by mutual funds and investment companies, after the former was accused of crossing the red lines in their duties and responsibilities as trustees for residential mortgage-backed securities that have taken a hit in the international financial meltdown. The U.S. District Judge, Katherine Forrest, in Manhattan, announced the decision on three counts.
Judge Forrest had rejected attempts by Blackrock Inc., Allianz SE's Pacific Investment Management, and TIAA-CREF, to hold US BANCORP liable for the 843 residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) trusts that were collateralized at a total of less than 780 billion dollars of loans.
Forrest explained in her judgment that the funds pleading did not carry much weight, and that she does not have jurisdiction to cover the other 810 trusts, especially in the light of last year’s verdict issued by the federal appeal court that concerns the Bank of New York Mellon Corp.
In a separate second case, the judge stated that the National Credit Union Administration did not possess the framework to take a stand against US Bancorp or the Bank of America over 74 RMBS trusts in which over five corporate credit unions, which purchased the certificates, failed in the end.
In the third and final case, Forrest shrugged off the claims by Irish and Cayman Islands based entities against the two banking giants, as they lack strong standing. Despite that, the judge says that all the plaintiffs can appeal or amend their complaints.
While that may be good news for the Charlotte-based banking group, the news has not been so encouraging on the other front, with Bank of America Corp pleading guilty to forex rigging allegations, along with other US banking giants. The bank has been fined more than $200 million.
According to the regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of America had deficiencies that had prevented it from detecting and addressing the conduct of its traders from 2010 to 2013. It also failed to detect possible disclosures of highly confidential information of its customers being leaked to other banks.
The reason why Bank of America is partially off the hook or is being fined lower is that traders in that company reached illegal agreements at that time, which the bank may had known discreetly. The bank holding company says it is improving its deficiencies but informs that it still has a long way to go.
Bank of America stock price ended the day at $16.75, a gain of 0.15% the previous day.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cowen and Company gave outperform rating to Plug Power stock

Cowen and Company reiterated their rating of outperform on Plug Power Inc. shares on Thursday in a research note. Currently, the company has $3.50 stock price target.
The analysts at Cowen & Capital said in a statement, “Management, noted that large shipments were made this quarter to several large customers like Wal-Mart and Kroger. 175 of the 419 GenDrive units shipped in the quarter went to a new customer…Management estimates that by the end of 2016 existing customer penetration should be around 25 percent to 30 percent, while new customer penetration will be around 6% to 7%.,”
Numerous analysts have also weighed on stock of Plug Power Inc. Roth Capital analysts assigned stock price target of $2.60 on company’s share and suggested a rating of Hold on Tuesday in a research note. Dougherty & Co. analysts also covered the stock and set Buy rating along with $3.70 target price on Plug Power stock. Lastly, FBR & Co. downgraded stock of the company to $6.50 from $8 and assigned outperform rating on the company’s stock on March 24.
Plug Power announced its 1QFY15 earnings on Monday 11th May. The company posted earnings of $0.07 per share for the quarter covering from January to March 2015 surpassing consensus estimate of 6 cents by 1 cent. The company also posted $9.40 million in revenue for the period as compared to $18.13 million estimated by analysts. Plug Power’s revenue for the quarter was up by 67.9% on year over year basis. On the whole, analysts expect the company will report 22 cents in earnings per share for fiscal year 2015.
Plug Power Inc. shares opened at $2.61 on Monday May 18 reached day high of $2.62 and closed at $2.58 after going red by 1.15%. The company’s share price is up by 3.88% to $2.68 during pre-market trading session today as of 7:22 AM EDT.
Regarding services of GenCare, the company had almost 5,500 GenDrive unit  and eight infrastructure sites of hydrogen  in the quarter service contract versus 3,000 GenDrive units and zero hydrogen infrastructure sites in the same quarter previous year.
The fuel cell maker has 1 year low and high of $2.32 and $6.47. The stock has 50 day and 200 day moving average of $2 and $3, respectively. Plug Power‘s has $452.59 million of market capitalization.
Plug Power Inc. manufactures and design fuel cell systems and provides alternative energy emphasized on development, design and manufacture and commercializing of fuel cell systems for the industry.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgrades Deere & Company stock

JPMorgan downgrades Deere & Company to Underweight from Neutral, reducing the stock price target from $84 from $90, quoting  liquidity crunch for farmers as the major reason.

JP Morgan revealed the meeting details with several participants of industry including farmers, dealers and industry experts. The sell side company demoted Deere & Company to Underweight from Neutral mentioning difficult times for the industry and said that the equipment manufacturer of agricultural industry is expected to get impacted sharply. The firm also reduces its stock price target to $84 from previous $90.
While talking about the situation of farmers’, Ann Duignan analyst at JP Morgan said, “We believe it was clear from what we heard that the industry is currently in dire straits with the potential for a liquidity crunch for farmers into 2016.” Moreover she said that the dealers also acknowledged that there are a lot of used HP Deere tractors in company’s inventory, and this is expected to impact the sales of new tractors in the coming years.
Ms. Duignan also revised her earnings guidance for Deer &Co. as they believe that the agriculture industry will be under pressure in the coming year. She cut her fiscal year 2015 earnings estimate to $5.2 from $5.28 per share. She also reduced her fiscal year 2016 earnings estimate to $4.2 from $5.27 per share.
Recently, the company also noted that the United States Department of Agriculture’s grain stock, total 7.75 billion bushels of US corn stock increased by 11% in year over year basis. Majority of farmers kept the last year’s crop, hopeful that the price will reach a new and attractive level, but as they shrub their corn in the perfect condition, the mixture of these fresh crops with old burdensome stocks is expected to decrease the prices.
As per, there are over 6 thousand Deere, 175 HP+ tractors used less than 4 years available in North America for sale. This shows roughly 60% of altogether used 175 HP+ tractors. The company applies 20 times multiple on its expected fiscal year 2016 earnings in order to reach $84 of new stock price target.
As per the survey conducted by Bloomberg, Out of 23 analysts, 5 gave Buy rating, 10 of them assigned Hold rating, while remaining 8 recommended Sell rating to the stock of the company. The twelve month consensus mid-point price target stood at $85.33 that shows a downside potential of almost 4.3% as compared to current stock price of the company.
The stock price was down 3.34% to $89.13 at market close on Friday May 15.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Cigna Corporation Sees Great Potential in Indonesia

CEO points to rising middle class, shifting lifestyle, an increasing awareness of health care.

Connecticut-based Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI), a global life and health insurance company, has said on Wednesday that Indonesia, among five other potential countries, is considered the next ‘big thing’ in terms of very strong growth potential. Despite being the largest Muslim population country with more than 200 million people, it is facing a bit of a slowdown due to weakening internal and external economic fundamentals.
CEO, David Cordani, pointed to a rising middle-class population, the changing lifestyle, and growing awareness of health care that has led to bullish assessment from the company to dub it as a great opportunity to expand.
During his two-day visit to the company, Mr. Cordani reflected upon the performance of its subsidiary in Indonesia, pointing out that while its contribution might be small relative to global revenues, the growth potential is very enormous, since the health insurance penetration in the market is quite low, at around 2%.
Country Manager for Cigna Indonesia, Tim Shields, also holds the same assessment, sharing his excitement about the strong outlook for the country’s micro insurance. The company believes that it has what it takes to capture a wider market share in the region due to Cigna’s better insurance offerings, which are cheap and affordable to lower and middle-income class. In fact, the products are good enough to easily complement the government’s universal health care program.
It will not be without challenges though. There is a decline in a growth rate (which is still high according to many European standards), the corruption, and bureaucratic hurdles that foreign companies still have to face while operating their businesses in the region. The plus side is that though Cigna is the sole foreign medical health insurance company in the region to cover insurances for the middle class, giving it a great advantage to consolidate its market position before its competitors.
During the visit, Mr. Cordani also announced that the company would move to a new, larger headquarters based on the outskirts of Jakarta, which will be able to better support its operations and new development strategy, with the aim to serve an estimate 1 million customers.
According to financial reports from the company’s subsidiary division, Cigna Indonesia reported net premium income to $51 million, a 6% increase in assets to $145 million. This high potential of Indonesian market appeals the company and might influence its future steps. Cigna Corporation stock price ended the day at $131.86, a gain of less than 3%.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Samsung Unveils 'Artik' To Push 'Internet of Things' (IoT)

Samsung has unveiled two Artik board to push Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

Lately, Samsung Electronics has been the center of attention with all the glamor and fame it is receiving. The company launched Samsung Galaxy S6 along with two new memory cards that made it the largest smartphone vendor in the market, as well as the best smartphone company; obviously after surpassing Apple. Recent news stated that the South Korean smartphone company is pushing itself for Internet of Things (IoT). Hence, in order to master that domain, it built a new board, named as ‘Artik’, which will be the hub for IoT devices, drones, and robots.
Wall Street Journal reported, “Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled a set of technologies to spur more companies to add computing power to everyday devices such as fitness trackers, light bulbs, security cameras and drones.” It is believed that the company has created this board in a way that it comes packed with various new processors, sensors, communication chips, and other advance components. Furthermore, the company is also focusing to provide software services that will configure new devices while connecting them to the internet.
It is believed that the size of these Artik boards are that of a lady bug, which comprises of a Samsung chip with two new processors, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and many other features. According to the president and chief strategy officer at Samsung, Young Sohn, said, “The board, intended for applications like smartwatches, would sell for less than $10.” This is quite reasonable and shows company’s intents to push in for Internet of Things. A decade ago, the future was in information technology sector and when technology has taken over the world along with every new way coming, Internet of Things is the next ‘big thing’ in the market.
Another Artik is a larger board, which will have a size of two postage stamps stuck together side by side. This will include all the features of a normal Samsung smartphone. Furthermore, the board will have eight processor chips, 32 GB data space, and video capabilities. According to Mr. Sohn, these types of Artik board will be on sale for less than $100. It is believed that this board is suitable for applications including home hub devices and other consumer data, such as storing videos.
Atrik has been one of the most awaited technologies from the company’s end. Its unique and innovative idea to connect devices through this board is exemplary. Tech-savvy users are looking forward to using it in their application in the coming times.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Plug Power First Quarter earnings report for FY15

Plug Power reported its first quarter earnings and posted earnings per share of 7 cents in line with analysts estimate.

Plug Power reported its first quarter earnings for fiscal year 15 on Monday May11. The company posted 7 cents in earnings per share in line with Thomson Reuters consensus forecast of 7 cents per share, as reported by Stock Market News. The company also reported $9.40 million n revenue for the period as compared to $18.13 million of consensus estimate. The revenue of the company was up 68% on year over year basis.
For t full fiscal year 2015, the company provided revenue guidance of $100 million against consensus forecast of $103 million. The fuel cell manufacturer said that these sales will incline throughout the year with almost 35% to 40% of the yearly revenue estimated in the first six months of current fiscal year.
Chief Executive Officer and President of Plug Power, Andy Marsh said, “The backlog for our products and services continued to grow in the first quarter. This has provided us with a high level of confidence in meeting this year’s financial projections”.
During the first quarter, Plug Power earned $9.4 million in revenue; this includes 1 hydrogen station and 265 GenDrive units. Furthmore, the company shipped almost 419 GenDrive units and progress its construction on 7 different hydrogen fueling stations. The amount of these shipments will be reflected in revenue part in the Q2 of fiscal year 2015. The Company shipped around 175 units out of these 419 GenDrive units to a new customer.
Related to GenCare services, Plug Power had around 5,500 unit of GenDrive and 8 infrastructure sites of hydrogen as of March 31 service contract against 3,000 unit of GenDrive and no hydrogen infrastructure sites in the similar quarter last year.
Total administrative costs for the quarter were $10.7 million compared to $5.1 million in the prior year quarter.
Plug Power stock opened at $2.43 on Monday. The company has twelve month low and high of $2.40 and $6.47, respectively. The stock has 50 day and 200 day moving average of $2 and $3, respectively. Plug Power had $421.38 of market capitalization.
Plug Power stock was up 4.94% to $2.55 at market close on Monday.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Why Samsung Galaxy S6 has an edge over iPhone 6

It seems Apple has a lot to catch up on after the release of Samsung's flagship.
It's been a month since the tech giant, SAMSUNG ELECT new flagship smartphone hit stores; much for to please the Android lovers. On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone 6 sales are still going steady, even after an extremely profitable quarter; the holiday season saw massive iPhone 6 sales. And this may prove to be a cause for concern for Samsung. With not only Apple posing a threat to Samsung, but also because the HTC One M9 was also set to hit stores the same day as Samsung.
While all of these phones are wonderful options, there are certain things though which are only limited to Samsung Galaxy S6; Apple fans may not agree but the fact is that the most impressive things listed in this article do not apply to iPhone 6.
Even though Apple’s iPhone 6 charges pretty quickly, it’s still nowhere as fast as the Galaxy S6. The phone is equipped with super-fast-changing technology. The iPhone does support multitasking, but it doesn’t let you use two or more apps simultaneously. Whereas, with Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, users can open two apps together and even copy paste content form one to another.
The Rub to wake up gesture is pretty amazing as well, it doesn’t require you to unlock the screen or even reach for your phone. You can just wake up the side panel of your S6 and look at your notifications. One of the spectacular features of the Galaxy S6 is that it allows you to assign specific colors to your contacts; therefore, if your phone is face down, you can still determine who is calling. The edges of the phone glow the color you’ve assigned to one of your favorite contact, you’ll never miss a call from your favorite peeps.
Samsung Pay is going to launch very soon, the service is compatible with NFC payment terminals, which are relatively new. Samsung pay will also support older credit card terminals. The service will be more widely available mainly because of the way hybrid technology is incorporated to make the service viable and useful. Apple Pay, however, limits users to certain stores only.
S6’s camera is so quick, you just have to double tap the home button, and capture in 0.7 seconds! Even if the phone is asleep, users can still avail the fantastic function. Now we all know that the iPhone camera is also pretty easy to manage, but it certainly isn’t as quick as Galaxy S6 camera, come on, the thing is ready to capture in 0.7 seconds.
Not only this, but the new phone features built-in remote. Infrared blasters in your phone can control almost any device, your TV being one of them. The function doesn’t require any additional accessories or apps.