The minor decline on Friday was simply a move to get out of positions before the weekend. The Brexit survey was an added incentive. The new survey found "leave" voters had risen to 55% and "remain" voters fell to 45%. This was the highest percentage difference in all the recent surveys.
Traders are afraid of that that will do to European markets on Monday and after four days of knocking on the door at 18,000 without any breakthrough, they decided to take profits ahead of the weekend.
Add in the bearish comments by Bill Gross, Carl Icahn and George Soros and traders had plenty of incentive to move to the sidelines.
Current Position Changes
LE - Lands End
The Short position was entered at the open with a trade at $15.80
HTZ - Hertz Global
The long position remains unopened until a trade at $11.75
ENDP - Endo Pharma
The long recommendation was cancelled.
SWIR - Sierra Wireless
The long recommendation was cancelled.
Check the graphic above for any profit stops in green.
We need to always be prepared for a profit exit at resistance.
Stop Loss Updates
Check the graphic above for any new stop losses in bright yellow.
We need to always be prepared for an unexpected decline.
BULLISH Play Updates
ENDP - Endo Pharmaceuticals - Company Profile
No specific news. Shares down -$1.52 or -8%. With the biotech sector imploding, I am cancelling this recommendation until the sector recovers. The Biotech Index fell -2.5% on Thursday and -2.4% on Friday.
Original Trade Description: June 8th.
Endo develops, manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical products and devices worldwide. The market well known brands including Percocet, Lidoderm, Voltaren and a wide range of pain medications and testosterone replacement therapies.
Shares have declined from $26 last week to $14 in mid May. The company slashed full year guidance by -11% on revenue and -23% on earnings. The acceleration of the decline over the last several weeks has been in reaction to some generic competitors expected to receive approvals from the FDA soon.
The company also disclosed they were being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office for its relationship with pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs. In light of the improper relationship between Valeant and Philidor the USAO is investigating to see if the same problems exist at Endo. In November, Novartis had to pay a $390 million fine to settle charges it paid specialty pharmacies for illegal kickbacks in exchange for inducing patients to refill certain medications.
Endo was also under pressure as a result of the Valeant Pharmaceutical disaster and the overall decline in the biotech sector. However, now that the Valeant disaster has turned into old news, analysts are starting to talk about price targets on Endo in the $40-$50 range.
Full year earnings are expected to be in the $4.50 range and that means their current PE is around 4.5. That is ridiculously cheap. That guidance was reduced from $5.85-$6.20 because of some generics going off patent, specifically Voltarena Gel and Percocet. Investor Wally Weitz believes there is significant upside in Endo and they probably reduced guidance conservatively so they would makes sure to hit future earnings.
Earnings are August 4th.
The shares have rebounded from the May lows at $12.50 and refused to decline after the ASCO conference ended. I am putting an entry trigger on this position to make sure we buy on a breakout rather than a breakdown.
HPE - Hewlett Packard Enterprise - Company Profile
No specific news. Down on profit taking in a weak market.
Original Trade Description: June 2nd.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise was spun off from Hewlett Packard (HPQ) to be the high growth segment of the company. The remaining HPQ was the slower growing PC and printer company.
HPE reported adjusted Q1 earnings of 42 cents and in line with estimates. Revenue of $12.711 billion would have been up +4% on a constant currency basis. Analysts were expecting $12.419 billion.
For the current quarter, HPE guided to earnings of $1.10 to $1.14. For the full year, they expect $1.85-$1.95 and that was more than analysts expected at $1.89. They increased free cash flow +101% to $1.1 billion for the quarter.
The good news came from their plans for the cash flow. HPE expects to generate $2.0-$2.2 billion in free cash flow in 2016. They are receiving $2 billion from the Tsinghua transaction which closed in early May and the money will be used for share repurchases. In 2016, HPE is increasing its commitment to return 100% of the free cash flow to investors in dividends and buybacks.
This means over the next couple of months we should see significant share activity as funds position themselves to be the beneficiaries of all this buyback/dividend activity that could exceed $4 billion in 2016. $2.5 billion of that is in an "accelerated" buyback program. The board authorized another $3 billion in buybacks to bring the current authorization to $4.8 billion.
They also announced a tax-free spinoff of their services division to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which is expected to close in March 2017. This will produce another $8.5 billion in value to HPE shareholders in the form of $4.5 billion in equity in the combined company and $1.5 billion in a cash dividend and the removal of $2.5 billion in debt from HPE.
Earnings Aug 23rd.
HPE shares have shaken off their May weakness and closed today at a historic high. I am recommending we buy this stock in anticipation of additional fund investors moving in ahead of future dividends, buybacks and the spinoff.
Long HPE shares @ $18.40, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Long August $20 call @ 40 cents. No stop loss.
HTZ - Hertz Global Holdings - Company Profile
No specific news. Down -4% in a weak market.
This position remains unopened until a trade at $11.75.
Original Trade Description: June 8th.
Hertz engages in the rental and lease of cars and trucks worldwide. It operates through four segments: U.S. Car Rental, International Car Rental, Worldwide Equipment Rental, and All Other Operations. The company rents various makes and models of cars, crossovers, and light trucks under the Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly car rental brands on hourly, daily, weekend, weekly, monthly, or multi-month basis through a network of company-owned rental airport and off-airport locations, as well as franchise locations. They operate 9,980 corporate and franchise locations. They also rent industrial equipment like earthmovers, air compressors, power generators, etc.
Last week Hertz shareholders formally agreed to the proposed split of hertz into two companies. Hertz Global will remain a car rental company. Herc Holdings will be the equipment rental company and trade under the symbol HRI.
The HRI stock will be spun off on June 30th to shareholders on June 22nd as a dividend distribution and therefore taxed at a lower rate when sold.
Shareholders will receive one HRI share for every five HTZ shares they own. Further complicating the process the HRI shares will have a reverse split of 15:1 on July 1st. The HRI portion of Hertz is significantly smaller and the reverse split is to boost the initial share price.
Activist investor Carl Icahn filed a notice with the SEC last week that he had increased his stake in Hertz to 15.24%. The Herc Holdings company will add three Icahn affiliate directors when the spinoff occurs.
With Icahn remaining on board the company should continue to be shareholder friendly. Icahn was instrumental in forcing the company split.
Also, the Hertz CEO was instrumental in producing a boost in the stock earlier in the week when he said the tide had turned for pricing in the rental car market. The fleet sizes had been reduced, everyone was running very tight and rental prices were rising. That fueled the sector on hopes of better earnings.
I am recommending we add the stock now and then decide on June 21st if we want to hold over the spinoff. Shares are right at resistance from March at $11.50. I would like to see them move over that level before we jump in.
With HTZ trade at $11.75
Buy HTZ shares @ $11.75, initial stop loss $10.45.
No options recommended because of the spinoff.
P - Pandora Media - Company Profile
We were stopped out at 10:30 at $11.75 before the news broke that Amazon was starting a $9.99 a month streaming music service. That news pushed Pandora shares to close at the low for the day.
Original Trade Description: June 1st.
Pandora provides internet music streaming services in North America. Listeners can create personalized stations to access free music and comedy catalogs as well as personalized play lists. They offer Pandora One, a paid subscription based service for listeners. They sell audio, video and display advertising for delivery on connected platforms. They also offer a ticketing platform for promoters and advertising to promote their events.
In Q1 active listeners rose to 79.4 million and hours streamed rose 4% to 5.52 billion. They reported a loss of 20 cents but that was 19 cents better than the 39 cent estimate.
Pandora's chairman Jim Hill bought 250,000 shares at $10.97 per share and then another 250,000 shares at $11.33 each. That is close to $6 million in purchases. CFO Mike Herring bought 225,000 shares a couple weeks earlier. Last week somebody bought 12,000 contracts of the September $12 call options. Today somebody bought 1,000 contracts of the July $13 calls and there was another trade for 2,500 of the September $10 calls.
So what is powering this sudden interest in Pandora? In May the hedge fund Corvex Management announced it had acquired a 9.9% stake and demanded the company be sold to the highest bidder. Keith Meister runs the fund and he believes there should be an auction and Facebook should buy the company. Since Pandora has only a $3 billion market cap that should be attractive to Facebook because it would get those 79 million listeners to further spread its advertising reach across the internet.
Apple, Google and Amazon already have some type of streaming app and that leaves Facebook as the likely candidate. Barron's suggested Verizon or Liberty Media could buy them. Sirius XM was also mentioned as a possible buyer.
With plenty of potential acquirers and insiders buying huge amounts of stock there may be some discussions in progress.
Update 6/3/16: Board member, Timothy Lelweke, bought 10,000 shares on Wednesday at about $11.63 each. He now owns 43,768 shares so that was almost a 30% increase in his holdings. Something is definitely going on behind the scenes to generate all this insider buying.
Closed 6/10/16: Long Pandora shares @ $12.08. Exit $11.75, -.33 loss.
SWIR - Sierra Wireless - Company Profile
No specific news. Shares crashed in a weak market as profit taking from the two month run finally hit. I am cancelling this recommendation until the stock recovers.
Original Trade Description: May 26th.
Sierra Wireless engages in building the Internet of Things with intelligent wireless solutions. They operate in three segments, Original Equipment Manafacturer, Enterprise Solutions, and Cloud Connectivity Services. They offer cellular embedded modules, software and tools to integrate wireless connectivity into various products and solutions.
In their recent earnings they reported an adjusted profit of 8 cents. Revenue declined -5.1% because of previously reported softness in orders from several existing automotive customers. For Q2 they expect earnings in the range of 9-17 cents on revenue of $150-$160 million. For the full year they guided to earnings of 60-90 cents on revenue of $630-$670 million. They bought back 549,583 shares in the quarter.
The revenue in the OEM solutions segment declined -9.1% due to softness in auto production in Q1. Enterprise solutions revenue rose 9% and cloud and connectivity systems revenue rose 92%. They began upgrading their global LTE core network to provide additional connectivity for wholesale operators.
In their guidance, they said business should improve significantly because of more than 40 new customer programs moving into production on new IoT products. They manufacture to customer specifications when the customer adds a new product.
Earnings Aug 4th.
To go from an 8 cent profit in Q1 to 60-90 cents for the full year is a major gain in profitability. Shares have been rising since the earnings report and showing no weakness when the market was down.
UIS - Unisys Corp - Company Profile
No specific news. Good relative strength with only a 16 cent decline.
Original Trade Description: June 6th.
Unisys Corporation provides information technology services worldwide. It operates through two segments, Services and Technology. The Services segment provides cloud and infrastructure services, application services, and business process outsourcing services. The Technology segment designs and develops software, servers, and related products. It offers a range of data center, infrastructure management, and cloud computing offerings for clients to virtualize and automate data-center environments. This segments product offerings include enterprise-class servers, such as the ClearPath Forward family of fabric servers; the Unisys Stealth family of security software; and operating system software and middleware. The company serves commercial, financial services, public sector, and the U.S. federal government through direct sales force, distributors, resellers, and alliance partners.
Unisys has morphed in its 143 years of operation into a global cloud, IT and infrastructure services company. That is a long way from the original company that produced the first commercially viable typewriters and adding machines under the name Burroughs, Sperry and Remington Rand.
Today one of their main products is Unisys Stealth for protection of digital and physical assets. Stealth Mobile protects secur emobile applications and Stealth Cloud expands that protection to the cloud.
Just before their recent earnings they announced a deal with Mitel to provide the Unisys stealth technology to protect their 60 million mobile and enterprise customers. Business is booming but it has been a long time coming. In Q1 revenue declined -3% and services declined -2%. However, the company said its "lumpy" quarter-to-quarter strategy was changing with a stronger focus on the Stealth products and their rapid wide scale adoption. They expect the amount of money spent on cybersecurity to more than double from the $75 billion in 2015 to more than $170 billion in 2020. The cost of data breaches will rise to $2.1 trillion annually by 2019 and more than four times the cost in 2015.
Unisys has been a stealth company for the last year with shares declining from $30 to $7. With their new products and the rapid acceptance of those products their stock is rebounding off the three month consolidation pattern.
Earnings July 28th.
Shares moved over resistance at $8.25 last week and are preparing to move higher. The big decline in March was a $190 million offering of convertible senior notes due 2021 with a conversion price of $9.76. That was a 20% premium to the stock price post announcement.
If the current rebound continues the next material resistance is $12.
Long UIS shares @ $8.47, no initial stop loss.
Long October $9 call @ 80 cents. No stop loss.
BEARISH Play Updates
LE - Land's End - Company Profile
No specific news. Shares declined slightly but closed at a new low.
Original Trade Description: June 9th.
Land's End operates as a multi-channel retailer. The company operates through two segments, Direct and Retail. It offers casual clothing, accessories, footwear, and home products. The company sells its products through its e-commerce Websites, direct mail catalogs, dedicated LandsÂ’ End Shops at Sears, stand-alone LandsÂ’ End Inlet stores, and international shop-in-shops. As of January 29, 2016, it operated 227 LandsÂ’ End Shops at Sears; and 14 LandsÂ’ End Inlet stores in the United States, as well as 5 United Kingdom based shop-in-shops.
Land's End operated in the world of Amazon and they are getting crushed. They use the term multi-channel because they retail a lot online. Unfortunately, in an Amazon dominated environment they are finding it hard to sell sheets, blankets, towels, shoes and apparel and still make a profit.
In their recent report they lost 18 cents compared to analyst estimates for 2 cents. Revenue of $273.4 million that was below the $299.4 million in the comparison quarter. Retail segment revenue declined -10.4% with same store sales falling -7.1%. Even worse, inventory rose 8.9% to $309.9 million up from $284.6 million. Cash balanced declined -$50 million. Stale inventory is rising, they are burning cash and sales are falling. That is not a recipe for earnings growth.
The retailer was forced to remove Gloria Steinem from their online website and from their catalog after the feminist made some comments on abortion rights. Customers, including numerous religions groups, promised a large scale boycott if Steinem was not removed from all advertising.
The summer months are not likely to be kind to Land's End. They will be forced to further discount products to move them out of inventory in a period where customers are vacationing rather than shopping.
Earnings Sept 1st.
When the market finally rolls over, we could see selling in LE accelerate due to a lack of interest in holding for a Q4 rebound. The historic closing low is $15.81.
Short LE shares @ $15.80, initial stop loss $17.25.
Left Over Lottery Tickets
These positions were left over from prior plays where we had an optional option with no stop after the stock position was closed. Rather than close these for a few cents they are left open as a "Lottery Ticket" play. With months before expiration, anything is possible.
These positions are only updated on the weekend.
FDC - First Data - Company Profile
No specific news. Major 4% decline but it was market related not stock specific. We still have a lot of time.
We were stopped out on the stock short on 5/23 there was no stop loss on the option and that position remains open. At the current 5-cent price that is a lottery ticket that the headlines will fade and the original direction will return. This is a July option so plenty of time for a disaster to appear.
Original Trade Description: May 16th.
First Data provides electronic ecommerce solutions for merchants, financial institutions and card issuers worldwide. The operate in three segments including global business solutions, global financial solutions and network & security solutions. This includes retail point of sale solutions, mobile ecommerce solutions and webstore solutions.
In their Q1 earnings, they grew revenue 3% and operating income rose from $185 to $220 million. Earnings of 24 cents were slightly above expectations for 21 cents. Revenue of $1.69 billion was below estimates for $1.71 billion. Unfortunately, FDC has $19 billion in debt compared to its $3 billion market cap. Interest expense in the first quarter was $263 million or more than $1 billion a year.
Global business solutions revenue declined in the quarter while financial solutions and security solutions showed only marginal growth.
Earnings July 21st.
While the company tried to put a positive face on the future by projecting revenue growth, it appears investors were not impressed. Shares have fallen from $13.50 to $10.50 over the last three weeks since earnings. FDC does not provide guidance and that is troubling to some investors.
I am anticipating a retest of the post IPO low at $8.50 or even worse, depending on the market.
Long July $10 put @ $.60, no stop loss.
Previously closed 5/23/16: Short FDC shares @ $10.69, exit $11.55, -.86 loss.
SQ - Square - Company Profile
No specific news. The June call option has one week left and at 2 cents we have almost no risk to continue holding the position. Lightning can strike at any time and for $9 today, this is a June lottery ticket.
Original Trade Description: May 7th.
Square develops and provides payment processing, point-of-sale, financial and marketing services worldwide. It provides Square Register, a point-of-sale software application for iOS and Android, which enables sellers to process credit cards for multiple items through their smart device.
The company was knocked for a 22% loss after reporting a Q1 loss of 14 cents compared to estimates for 9 cents. Revenue rose +51% to $379.2 million and beat estimates for $343.6 million. However, operating expenses rose +72% to $207 million. G&A costs rose from $28 million to $96 million because of a $50 million charge for a lawsuit against Robert Morley, who claims to be the creator of the Square card reader.
Square also has a share lockup expiration on Square on May 17th. About 64 million shares will be unlocked and the float will increase nearly three times. A lot of early investors including Visa, Starbucks, Sequoia Capital (5%) and Khosla Ventures (17%) will be able to sell their shares. Given the reduced guidance and rapid decline there may be a race to the exits.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a whopping 69.48% of the shares (14.6 million) are short as of March 15th. Currently the public float is only 21.01 million shares. Source
I was going to recommend shorting the stock into the lockup expiration but the short interest is too high. The cost to borrow the shares would be prohibitive and with that much short interest it could be explosive. Also, I have seen many lockup expirations that have turned into the bottom for the stock. Expectations are so bearish that the stock declines to a ridiculous price before the actual expiration and then there is no selling. Anyone with shares in the lockup could have already shorted the stock to protect those declining shares. When the lockup expires they use their unlocked shares to cover their shorts.
I am proposing we use a combination strategy. I am recommending we buy a May $10 put, which expires three days after the lockup expiration. At the same time I am recommending we buy a June $11 call in expectation for a sharp post lockup rebound. Remember, revenue increased 51% in Q1 and they raised guidance.
If the stock declines, we sell our put for a profit before expiration and that reduces the cost in the call.
Long Jun $11 call @ 55 cents. See portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Previously closed 5/17/16: Long May $10 put @ 60 cents. Exit $1.00, +.40 gain.
TRN - Trinity Industries - Company Profile
Trinity was bullish early in the week and rose to a six week high. The market weaknes took back some of the gains but I am encouraged.
We have a July call option that is worth 40 cents today. I would bet $40 that it will recover by late July.
Original Trade Description: March 18th
Trinity Industries manufacturers rail cars, highway guard rails and steel beams for infrastructure projects, structural towers for wind turbines and electrical distribution grids, oil and chemical storage tanks, barges to transport grain, coal, aggregates, tank barges to transport oil, chemicals and petroleum products. The company was founded in 1933.
Shares crashed in mid February after they reported earnings that beat the street but guidance that disappointed. Earnings of $1.30 easily beat estimates for $1.07 but revenue of $1.55 billion missed estimates for $1.61 billion. They had full year earnings of $5.08 per share.
They guided for 2016 to earnings of $2.00 to $2.40 per share. The challenge is the slowdown in orders for railroad tank cars and barges to transport oil. With oil prices crashing the producers and refiners are cutting back on capex spending until prices recover. Trinity said revenue in 2016 could decline -32%. Shares declined -35% over two days on the news.
The key here is that Trinity is now trading at a PE of 3. Yes 3.74 to be exact. With earnings in the middle of their range at $2.20 and a PE of 10 that would equate to a $22 stock price.
Here is the good news. The company has $2.12 billion in cash and undrawn credit. They are not in financial trouble. They authorized a $250 million share buyback starting January 1st. They have an order backlog of $5.4 billion in orders for 48,885 railcars. They received orders for 2,455 cars in Q4 and their backlog stretches out to 2020. The barge division received orders for $190.1 million in Q4 and had a backlog of $416 million as of December 31st. The structural tower segment has $371.3 million in order backlogs.
They recognize that tankcar and barge orders are going to remain slow until oil prices recover, which should happen later this year.
This stock was extremely oversold but began recovering in early March. Trinity produces a lot of railcars for carrying all types of products other than oil. That demand is not going to disappear and they already have order backlogs stretching into 2020.
At their current valuation they could also be an acquisition candidate. This is a great business that has been overly punished by the oil crash.
Earnings April 21st.
Long July $20 call @ $1.50, no stop loss.
Previously Closed 4/5/16: Long TRN shares @ $19.15, exit $17.50, -1.65 loss.
WIN - Windstream Holdings - Company Profile
WIN closed at a four-week high on Thursday but gave back some of the gains in Friday's weak market. They announced they were moving into a "mega data center" operated by QTS Realty Trust in Chicago where they will be a major fiber supplier.
We have an August $9 call and it could end up in the money because that is well into the future. With the option worth only 21 cents today, there is no value in closing it. This is a lottery play that WIN will be above $9 by August.
Original Trade Description: March 11th
Windstream provided network communications and technology solutions for consumers, businesses and enterprise organizations. They provide high-speed internet access, hosted web services and cable TV to a combined total of 1.6 million residential and business customers. They have more than 125,000 miles of high-speed fiber optic cable with speeds up to 500 gbps along their main corridors. They have 11 major data centers providing web hosting, cloud services, etc.
In the Q4 earnings, WIN reported adjusted earnings of $1.41 that crushed estimates for a loss of 48 cents. Revenue of $1.427 billion missed estimates slightly for $1.433 billion. The major earnings beat came from a spinoff of some of its telecom assets into a REIT. The cash received from the spinoff will allow some major network improvements in the months ahead.
The company declared a 15-cent quarterly dividend payable April 15th to holders on March 31st. That equates to a 7.3% annual yield.
WIN shares have been moving higher since they reported earnings on February 25th. Shares are at resistance at $8.25 and could breakout this week. The next resistance would be $11.85.
While we are not playing the stock for a takeover there is always the chance that somebody like Verizon or even Google could decide the $750 million market cap was chump change for 125,000 miles of high-speed fiber, cable TV and data center business.
I am going way out on the option to August because it is cheap and it will make a good lottery play even if we close the stock position early.
Update 5/5/16: Windstream reported a much smaller loss than expected. The company reported an adjusted loss of 23 cents compared to estimates for 54 cents. Revenues declined slightly to $1,373.4 million and missed estimates for $1,378.8 million. However, product revenues rose 11% to $32.4 million. WIN bought back $75 million in shares in Q1. The company ended the quarter with 1,430,700 household subscribers.
Long August $9.00 call @ .38 cents.(Adjusted) NO STOP LOSS
Previously closed 3/29/16: Long WIN shares @ $8.22, exit $7.10, -1.12 loss.
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