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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Montpelier Re Holdings shares are up 4.5% to $39.87 in early market trading on Tuesday after the reinsurance company was purchased by Endurance Specialty Holdings for $1.83 billion in cash today.The deal values Montpelier at about $40.24 per share, a 5.5% premium on the stock's previous closing price and gives Endurance Specialty a chance to increase its presence into the Lloyd's of London underwriting business, according to Reuters. Last year Endurance unsuccessfully attempted to buy Aspen Insurance Holdings in an effort to expand in the U.K. based global insurance market.Montpelier shareholders will own about 32% of the combined company with the deal expected to be finalized in the third quarter this year. Montpelier Re is a Bermuda-based company that provides customized and innovative insurance and reinsurance solutions to the global market. TheStreet Ratings team rates MONTPELIER RE HOLDINGS as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate MONTPELIER RE HOLDINGS (MRH) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MRH's share price has jumped by 28.25%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MRH should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. Although MRH's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 991.89% to $33.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MONTPELIER RE HOLDINGS has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.97%. The gross profit margin for MONTPELIER RE HOLDINGS is rather high; currently it is at 58.57%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MRH's net profit margin of 35.03% significantly outperformed against the industry. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Insurance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MONTPELIER RE HOLDINGS has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: MRH Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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LOS ANGELES (TheStreet) -- When Frank Addante took The Rubicon Project public a year ago, his primary goal was raising cash to build out the company's automated advertising platform, which encourages marketers and publishers to buy and sell space on thousands of Web sites in real time. But in the back of his mind, Addante, 38, also wanted to position Rubicon to make acquisitions. Having raised more than $80 million in its April 2014 initial public offering, Rubicon is ready to make a deal if one of the newer ad-tech companies can't survive on its own and seeks a buyer.Must Read: Marketing Agencies Attack Bots in Bid to Save Automated Advertising "There will continue to be more expansion and more participants in the market, as has happened in other industries that have become automated," Addante said in an interview at Rubicon's Los Angeles headquarters in Playa Vista, which is becoming known as the hub of LA's growing Silicon Beach and counts Google and Youtube as neighbors. "We wanted to go public to get that currency, cash as well as stock, to be a consolidator," Addante said, standing before a glass wall at the company's offices that shows visitors gigantic multi-colored screens displaying real-time bidding for online advertising.Rubicon's stock has been steadily rising since the fall, a stark contrast with many of the ad-technology companies that went public in the past 18 monts. Shares of the company, which have gained 48% over the past six months, are up 8.5% this year, trading around $17.50. Other ad-tech stocks haven't fared as well. TubeMogul which tripled in price in 2014 has lost 40% this year, Rocket Fuel has plummeted 41%, Millennial Me is 12% lower, and Tremor Video has dropped 7.8%.Must Read: 10 Best Information Technology Stocks for 2015 The automated buying and selling of advertising, better known by the industry term programmatic, totaled $7.4 billion in the U.S. in 2014, according to Magna Global. By 2017, that figure is likely to grow to $17 billion as marketers, publishers and ad agencies centralize their activities among a handful of platforms.Despite such forecasts, industry observers expect the sector to consolidate, a natural reaction to growth from 100 ad-tech firms seven years ago to more than 1,000, Addante said. Larger players such as Google and AOL battle for clients with demand-side specialists such TubeMogul and an increasing number of verification and security firm such as White Ops and Moat that are emerging to deal with fraud. In November, Rubicon acquired two closely held companies, iSocket and Shiny Ads. Earlier this week, Rubicon bought Virool, a video advertising platform aimed at boosting video offerings. Addante declined to identify potential targets or whether Rubicon would ever agree to be bought itself. Several major online publishers, including Guardian, CNN International, The Financial Times, Reuters and The Economist announced earlier this month the formation of a programmatic sales alliance that will run on Rubicon's platform. Addante expects more such arrangements, allowing a group of publishers to offer their inventory to prospective marketers."Companies are recognizing the opportunity to create scale in the market," he said. "Scale attracts dollars because it creates efficiency to reach their audiences." Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Is Buying Apart from competing with similarly focused companies, Addante said the biggest challenges for Rubicon, and the rest of the sector, are nagging questions about security. Rubicon is part of an industry-led task force called TAG focused on stamping out fraud such as malware and bots, phony computer-simulated viewers that are among the most insidious forms of fraud plaguing the market. Hackers use these zombie-like computer programs to siphon money from companies tricked into spending advertising money to reach larger audiences. "There's a lack of transparency that exists in this market that creates a little bit of a black box in the market," Addante said. "We need to bring more clarity to how all the pieces fit together," he said.Rubicon bought SiteScout in 2010 to bolster web security for its clients by blocking malicious advertising. Addante expects Rubicon to continue to invest in protection, in part to convince marketers and publishers that their transactions are safe from tampering. "If you can bring trust into the market, then that's going to drive dollars," he said. Addante, describing himself as an engineer who likes to find ways to "automate" things, said that becoming a first-time dad in March has given him new perspective. Addante grew up in a small Illinois town, started his first company while in college to help pay tuition and then dropped out to continue working on his start-up. "I walk around trying to optimize my house, and now that I have the baby, I try to automate everything," he said. "You can't automate parenthood, but I try." Must Read: 10 New Stocks Billionaire David Einhorn Loves

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After a bad week, with the biotech index losing more than 5%, market pundits brought up concerns of a biotech bubble potentially bursting. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index is trading at 10 times the annual sales of its companies, compared with 2.3 times for the broader composite index. These talks, however, are not stopping biotech acquisitions and the rich premiums that follow. According to Dealogic, global healthcare mergers and acquisitions volume, of which pharmaceuticals is a part, totaled $92 billion via 464 deals in January and February 2015, up 63% from 2014 ($56.4 billion via 392 deals). The biotech index hitting all time highs has not slowed down the volume or value of acquisitions in the space. As a matter of fact, the first two months of this year had the most deal activity ever recorded for the sector. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Deals This Week United Health's pharmacy business, OptumRx, agreed to buy Catamaran in a $12.8 billion deal, a 27% premium over the company's trading price at the time. Thus, United Health paid 13.9 times expected 2015 EBITDA and 23.5 times forward price-to-earnings ratio, not considered bargain metrics by any mean. Orphan drug disease company Horizon Pharma will acquire Hyperion Therapeutics for $46 per share, or $1.1 billion in cash, a 35% premium to Hyperion's volume-weighted average price in last 60 days. Hyperion has two approved drugs for rare, urea-cycle disorders, so the deal presents synergies for both specialty pharmaceutical companies. Hyperion is expecting 2015 sales of $120 million to $128 million, meaning Horizon paid over eight times forward sales. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015: Apple, eBay, Hertz and More Generic drug maker Teva is acquiring Auspex Pharmaceuticals for $3.5 billion in an all cash deal. Teva will gain access to Auspex's SD-809, developed for the potential treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease, tardive dyskinesia, and Tourette syndrome. Auspex expects to submit new drug applications for its lead Huntington's disease candidate by mid-2015 and tardive dyskinesia in 2016. Big Money Still Being Tossed With Immunotherapy Tie-Ups Novartis and soon-to-be-public Aduro agreed to collaborate on Aduro's cyclic dinucleotide (CDN) approach to target the STING (Stimulator of Interferon Genes) receptor. Novartis will make an upfront payment of $200 million and, if all development milestones are met, Aduro is eligible to receive up to an additional $500 million. That's a total of $750 million for a preclinical candidate -- a huge sum. In addition, Novartis has made an initial 2.7% equity investment in Aduro for $25 million, with a commitment for another $25 million at a future date. This gives Aduro a pre-IPO valuation of $925 million. As explained in a prior article, this valuation should rise to well over a billion once Aduro lists publicly. Aduro's rival Advaxis , which also has listeria-based cancer vaccines in trials, is being overlooked in the field as the company is valued at $360 million. This market mispricing could change with Aduro's upcoming IPO. What Biotech Bubble? Talks of a biotech bubble were disregarded by the big pharmas, who continue to pay hefty premiums for M&A targets. Last week's 5% sell-off could trigger another reset for the biotech index to run. Must Read: 5 Health Care Stocks John Paulson Is Betting On for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Charter Communications were gaining 7.2% to $196.54 Tuesday following the announcement that the cable television company will acquire Bright House Networks. Charter will acquire the regional cable provider in a cash and stock deal valued at $10.4 billion. Charter will pay Advance Newhouse, which owns Bright House, $2 billion in cash and the rest in common and convertible units of a new partnership created for the deal. The deal will help Charter expand into Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, and California where Bright House serves about 2 million customers. Charter President and CEO Tm Rutledge said, "Bright House Networks provides Charter with important operating, financial and tax benefits, as well as strategic flexibility. Bright House has built outstanding cable systems in attractive markets that are either complete, or contiguous with the New Charter footprint. This acquisition enhances our scale, and solidifies New Charter as the second largest cable operator in the U.S." TheStreet Ratings team rates CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC (CHTR) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: CHTR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Compared to its closing price of one year ago, CHTR's share price has jumped by 47.63%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year. Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $630.00 million or 5.88% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 47.71%. The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 143.99 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.18, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CHTR Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks pulled back from Monday's rally as crude dropped below $48 a barrel in anticipation of key developments in Iran. The S&P 500 was down 0.48%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.49%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%. All benchmark indexes added more than 1% on Monday but, if no gains are forthcoming on Tuesday, will likely close out the month with losses. Crude oil prices fell as commodity traders focused on stalled negotiations between Iran and six world powers over a nuclear deal. If passed as proposed, Iran will be restricted from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Easing sanctions would mean the release of Iranian oil into an already-oversupplied global commodity market. Leaders have given themselves a deadline of 6 p.m. EDT on which to agree on a preliminary nuclear deal. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1.8% to $47.79 a barrel. Residential real estate values grew 4.6% year over year in January, according to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, despite harsh winter weather. Denver and Miami saw the biggest gains over the past year, up 8.4% and 8.3%, respectively. The U.S. dollar continued to climb against other major international currencies, looking to close out its best quarter since 2008. The euro headed for its worst quarter on record, down around 11% since January as the eurozone and U.S. diverge in monetary policy. Charter Communications surged 6.8% after announcing it will acquire Bright House Networks for around $10.4 billion. Bright House has approximately 2.5 million cable subscribers. U.S. Steel dropped more than 1% on news it will temporarily idle its Minntac plant of its Minnesota Ore Operations, effective June 1. The company said the move was due to "challenging market conditions." IBM moved slightly lower after announcing it will invest $3 billion over the next four years building an "Internet of Things" unit. The division will aim to develop technology to gather and analyze real-time data. Amazon inched lower after its rumored acquisition target Net-a-Porter announced a merger with Italian fashion site Yoox. Net-a-Porter parent Richemont will receive 50% of the combined group. Philips slid nearly 2% after agreeing to sell an 80.1% stake in its lighting division to Go Scale Capital for $2.8 billion. On the U.S. economic calendar, business activity in the Chicago region is expected to have improved over March in the latest Chicago PMI figures. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index is forecast to recover close to nearly eight-year highs reached earlier this year. European markets were lower after eurozone unemployment came in higher than expected at 11.3% in February, compared to forecasts of 11.2%. The consumer price index came in slightly better, narrowing declines to 0.1% year on year in March from 0.3% in February. Germany's economy remained head-and-shoulders above the broader region. Unemployment fell to a record low of 6.4% in March, while retail sales in February climbed 3.6%. Germany's DAX fell 0.71%, France's CAC 40 slid 0.73%, and the FTSE 100 in London tumbled 1.1%.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- RBC Capital Markets raised its price target for Apple to $142 from $140 on Tuesday, reiterating its "outperform" rating. The analyst firm raised its 2015 EPS estimates for the iPhone maker to $8.70 from $8.50 a share. RBC also raised its 2016 EPS estimates for Apple to $9.64 from its previous estimates of $9.50 a share. RBC analyst Amit Daryanani said Apple will see strong iPhone demand through the March quarter. Daryanani believes Apple will report numbers above its $52 billion to $55 billion guidance range. The analyst wrote, "Furthermore, we think gross-margins could surprise on the upside due to multiple factors: 1) yield efficiency, 2) supply chain pricing, 3) Apple watch ramps, 4) mix shift favoring iPhone 6+ (emerging market) and 5) ASP benefits as AAPL raises iPhone pricing. Given these positive dynamics we are adjusting our model accordingly: 1) raising our Mar-qtr revenue targets, 2) increasing gross margins and 3) allowing the margin benefits to flow through to EPS causing our numbers to be ~2c ahead of Street." Insight from TheStreet's Research Team: Bob Byrne commented on Apple in a recent post on RealMoney.com. Here is what Bob Byrne had to say about the stock: Apple (AAPL) has been consolidating above its 50-day exponential moving average (EMA) for more than a month, and with a little help from the broader market appears ready to make another run at the mid-$130s. As you review the chart below, note how the MACD has not yet crossed over into a bullish condition, but the Relative Strength Index (RSI), while choppy, is back above the 50-center line. Unless you entered a long position against the 50-day EMA, the next most logical trigger point would be above the multi-week downtrend line (in pink). -Bob Byrne, "The Trader Daily," orginally published on 3/31/15 on RealMoney.com Separarely, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Powered by its strong earnings growth of 47.72% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 61.12% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AAPL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year. APPLE INC has improved earnings per share by 47.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, APPLE INC increased its bottom line by earning $6.43 versus $5.66 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($8.64 versus $6.43). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Computers & Peripherals industry average. The net income increased by 37.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $13,072.00 million to $18,024.00 million. Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 31.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, APPLE INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Comcast Corp. announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the company's vice chairman and CFO Michael Angelakis to create a new strategic company with a focus on investing in and operating growth-oriented companies both domestically and internationally. "This is a time of tremendous change and opportunity in our core technology and media industries, as well as in adjacent business areas. We believe the ability to establish entrepreneurial ventures that partner with and participate in the growth of innovative companies can be an important driver of strategic and financial value creation for our company," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. Angelakis will serve as CEO of the new company, which will have a total capital commitment of up to $4.1 billion, with $4 billion being invested by Comcast and at least $40 million invested personally by Angelakis. The new company will have an exclusive 10-year partnership with Comcast as sole outside investor. Shares of Comcast are down by 0.04% to $56.59 in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates COMCAST CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate COMCAST CORP (CMCSA) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year. Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, COMCAST CORP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 87.14% to $4,643.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 47.71%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CMCSA Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Earlier this month, Novartis' Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals made history by winning Food and Drug Administration approval for Zarxio, the first biosimilar cleared in the U.S. The decision was good news for Novartis, of course, but also for an array of smaller companies developing their own biosimilar drugs that now look like attractive acquisition targets. Biosimilars are what they sound like: substances similar to an approved biological product. Zarxio is similar to its reference product, Amgen's Neupogen, which was licensed in 1991. It is mainly used to treat patients with myeloid leukemia and those undergoing bone marrow transplantation. Must Read: 5 Health Care Stocks John Paulson Is Betting On for 2015¿ According to Hospira -- which has been distributing biosimilars in Europe for several years and which was acquired by Pfizer in February for $17 billion -- the development of a biosimilar takes from eight to 10 years and costs between $100 million to $200 million. The development of a small-molecule generic drug takes three to five years and costs between $1 million and $5 million. Obviously, a drugmaker seeking to get into biosimilar production can do so more quickly and cheaply by simply acquiring a smaller producer already well along the development road. Pfizer had its own biosimilar pipeline, like many of its peers in the space. But it purchased the injectable maker anyway to quickly bolster its biosimilar line. At the time of the deal, Pfizer noted that the market for biosimilars is estimated to become as large as $20 billion by 2020. Amgen and Sanofi are also active in the space. Sandoz received approval for Zarxio under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. The company is a market leader in biosimilars, with more than 50% of the biosimilars approved in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, according to the company. Outside the U.S., it markets three biosimilars: somatropin, filgrastim and epoetin alfa. Momenta Pharmaceuticals , Coherus Biosciences , Epirus Biopharmaceuticals and Russia-based Biocad are smaller companies with biosimilars in development, and all could find themselves in the crosshairs of big pharma companies. Andrew McDonald, the CEO of LifeSci Capital and co-portfolio manager of BioShares Funds, said that a consolidation movement would be driven by the fact that there are going to be fewer generic products. Drug companies will need biologic capabilities. "Everyone knows biosimilars are the future," McDonald said in an interview. "Biologics are attractive to generic players overall. We think all of these guys will be looking for acquisitions." McDonald noted that generic companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical or Actavis are not considered serious contenders in the biosimilar space but could be if they began acquiring biosimilar producers. Must Read: Biotech Stock Mailbag: Breaking the Feuerstein-Ratain Rule; Medical Conferences; Celgene¿ Barbara Ryan, a partner at health care consultancy Claremont Partners, said she also believes the sector could see active dealmaking. "I would argue that it might drive consolidation," Ryan said, referring to the Hospira deal. She noted that some smaller companies may have portfolios and pipelines of biosimilars but limited means to commercialize them -- a situation tailor made for larger companies to step in and consolidate. Ryan added that while there are a number of different factors affecting biosimilars -- including FDA regulatory issues, approval and guidelines -- the pharmaceutical market nonetheless has moved from being dominated by small molecules to biologics. Though biosimilars are similar versions of drugs, they're not to be confused with generics. Ryan cautioned that the industry is a long way from interchangeability between the two. Biosimilars still must be marketed as separate products and make a push into the marketplace. "Certainly biosimilars would offer an attractive product to patients, that could have lower prices," Ryan explained. "The key issue is going to be interchangeability. Biosimilars have a different connotation than generic small molecules." Big drugmakers, though, likely won't wait before beginning to roll up the biosimilar pioneers. Must Read: How to Invest in the New Industry of 'Biosimilar' or 'Generic' Biological Drugs Read more from:

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What do you do with an old piece of clothing when it's gone out of style? Some might save it in the back of the closet for a time when it's fashionable again; others might sell it and reinvest the proceeds in something newer and better. When it comes to apparel stocks, the latter approach is recommended -- especially for these five companies that have seen better days. As you do your spring cleaning, consider clearing these brands out of your portfolio. These five apparel stocks are rated Sell, D+ or worse by TheStreet Ratings. TheStreet Ratings, TheStreet's proprietary ratings tool, projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings. Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year. Check out which apparel stocks made the sell list. And when you're done be sure to read about which luxury goods stocks you should buy right now. Year-to-date returns are based on March 30, 2015 closing prices. 1.Bebe Stores Inc. Rating: Sell, D Market Cap: $291 million Year-to-date return: 67% Bebe Stores, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, and produces a range of women's apparel and accessories under the bebe, BEBE SPORT, and bbsp brand names. "We rate BEBE STORES INC (BEBE) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: BEBE's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 40.95%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, BEBE STORES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. 40.32% is the gross profit margin for BEBE STORES INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -0.29% trails the industry average. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 152.60% to $15.12 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BEBE STORES INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 22.32%. BEBE STORES INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, BEBE STORES INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.75 versus -$0.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.32 versus -$0.75). You can view the full analysis from the report here: BEBE Ratings Report Must Read: 7 Utilities Stocks With High Dividends That You Should Buy Now 2. Destination XL Group Rating: Sell, D Market Cap: $244 million Year-to-date return: -8.6% Destination XL Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of big and tall men's apparel in the United States, England, and Canada. It operates in two segments, Retail and Direct. "We rate DESTINATION XL GROUP INC (DXLG) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: DXLG has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.89% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time. The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, DESTINATION XL GROUP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. 47.90% is the gross profit margin for DESTINATION XL GROUP INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 1.29% trails the industry average. DESTINATION XL GROUP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, DESTINATION XL GROUP INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.22 versus -$1.24 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.13 versus -$0.22). The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income increased by 102.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$55.15 million to $1.55 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: DXLG Ratings Report Must Read: 6 High-Yield Dividend Stocks in Industries Consumers Love to Hate 3. New York & Co Inc. Rating: Sell, D Market Cap: $154 million Year-to-date return: -7.2% New York & Company, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of women's fashion apparel and accessories in the United States. "We rate NEW YORK & CO INC (NWY) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 196.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $6.94 million to -$6.72 million. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, NEW YORK & CO INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for NEW YORK & CO INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.00%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -2.51% trails that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $20.27 million or 48.46% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 45.18%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 200.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy. You can view the full analysis from the report here: NWY Ratings Report Must Read: 13 Tech Stocks to Buy If You Have an Appetite for Volatility and Risk 4. Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. Rating: Sell, D Market Cap: $195 million Year-to-date return: 29% Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer in the action sports, fashion, and music influences of the California lifestyle. "We rate PACIFIC SUNWEAR CALIF INC (PSUN) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Specialty Retail industry. The net income has decreased by 15.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$22.54 million to -$25.99 million. The gross profit margin for PACIFIC SUNWEAR CALIF INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.63%. Regardless of PSUN's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PSUN's net profit margin of -11.22% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average. In its most recent trading session, PSUN has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time. PACIFIC SUNWEAR CALIF INC's earnings per share declined by 18.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PACIFIC SUNWEAR CALIF INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.44 versus -$0.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.20 versus -$0.44). Net operating cash flow has increased to $15.01 million or 12.14% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, PACIFIC SUNWEAR CALIF INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 22.32%. You can view the full analysis from the report here: PSUN Ratings Report Must Read: 16 Risky Micro-Cap Stocks to Avoid Despite Their Tasty Dividends 5. Aeropostale Rating: Sell, D- Market Cap: $264 million Year-to-date return: 44% Aeropostale, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel and accessories. "We rate AEROPOSTALE INC (ARO) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, AEROPOSTALE INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. ARO's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 36.48%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. The gross profit margin for AEROPOSTALE INC is rather low; currently it is at 22.65%. Regardless of ARO's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -2.27% trails the industry average. ARO, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share. Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.48, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Specialty Retail industry. You can view the full analysis from the report here: ARO Ratings Report Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Is Buying

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Philips announced this morning that it has agreed to sell an 80% stake in its lighting components business for $2.8 billion to GO Scale Capital, a technology fund that will work to expand Philips LED and automotive businesses. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015. After the transaction the new company will be called Lumileds and continue to act as a supplier to Philips. "Philips is very positive about this transaction with GO Scale Capital as its principals are long-term, growth-oriented investors with a track record of building and expanding technology companies," CEO of Royal Philips Frans van Houten said in a statement. "We have significantly improved the performance of the LED components business and optimized the industrial footprint in the automotive lighting business over the last few years, and established a strong management team and innovation pipeline. We are therefore convinced that together with GO Scale Capital, Lumileds can grow further, attract more customers and increase scale as a stand-alone company," van Houten added. Shares of Philips closed at $28.77 on Monday afternoon. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS NV as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS NV (PHG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed-some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.38, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.74 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems. 44.83% is the gross profit margin for KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS NV which we consider to be strong. Regardless of PHG's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PHG's net profit margin of 2.15% is significantly lower than the industry average. Net operating cash flow has decreased to $956.24 million or 24.81% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower. Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Industrial Conglomerates industry and the overall market, KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS NV's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: PHG Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's takes a big leader to fill a power vacuum like the one left by Steve Jobs -- and Tim Cook is doing a fantastic job so far. Following his thought process can make you a better investor. As Apple CEO, Cook continues to build Apple as the company at the center of our increasingly digital lifestyles. It means knowing when to act, what projects to fund and when to bring them to market. Cook's decisions and, arguably, his decision-making process have been immensely profitable for Apple shareholders. Apple shares currently trade at near $125, up from a split adjusted $54, and that doesn't even factor in the eleven dividend payments the company has made since August 2012. Under Cook, Apple became the first company to cross the $700 billion market capitalization level. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Clearly, Cook knows a few things. In "Apple's Tim Cook leads different" by Fortune's Adam Lashinsky, the CEO shares four thoughts investors should keep in mind. 1. "Cook taught himself, he says, to block out the noise." In today's rapid-fire world of posts, tweets and the barrage of near endless headlines across all of our connected devices, investors need to block out the noise and focus on the data that truly matters for a particular investment. It's easy to fall victim of the noise, but savvy investors are the ones that can peer into the noise and discern a meaningful signal. 2. "I have to feel myself doing what's right. If I'm the arbiter of that instead of letting the guy on TV be that or someone who doesn't know me at all, then I think that's a much better way to live." When investing, you have to follow your own moral compass. While it's important to absorb as much information as you can when making investing decisions, ultimately, you have to decide when and how to initiate any positions. That means having a deep understanding of the companies you are investing in when managing your portfolio. That means double checking the data and information source rather than relying on any one commentator. And then act on the information you have gathered and considered (even if that means not investing): As any great athlete or investor will tell you, follow through is key to superior performance. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves for 2015: Apple, eBay, Hertz and More 3. "Take mistakes in stride" and "When I informed Tim of the problem, his response was, 'Let's see what we can learn from it. We're not going to bat a thousand." As hard as you may work to understand the intricacies of a particular company, there will be times when the investment doesn't work out. Investing is not a snapshot in time, but rather it occurs in a dynamic world that can change quickly due a geopolitical events, shifting monetary policy or a correction in the market. Keep a trading notebook detailing your learnings. It should include the reasons why you bought a particular stock and the data you frequently monitored to ensure your thesis behind owning the shares remained intact. Note any important bits of information and whether or not they raised your concerns. All the while, keep tabs on economic indicators, market valuations, and other data that will help you get a feel for the market. You can own a stock for all the right reasons, but get crushed in market pullback if you're not careful. 4. "If you're a short-term investor, obviously you've got the right to buy the stock and trade it the way you want. It's your decision. But I want everybody to know that's not how we run the company." The key takeaway here is taking ownership of the decision making process. Too many times I've heard people complain that "so and so" told me to buy this or sell that. If that person told you jump off a bridge, would you do it? Probably not. If you want to run with the big investing dogs, then you have to own your mistakes just as you celebrate your wins. No excuses and no finger pointing -- it's your name on the account. You can get mad at yourself, but once you calm down you should review your investment notebook and trace back to what you may have missed. Must Read: 5 Health Care Stocks John Paulson Is Betting On for 2015

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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- French investors holding shares of Genfit are having trouble coping with the failure of the company's fatty liver disease drug GFT505. I know this because many of them (it feels like all of them!) have reached out to me via Twitter in the past few days to express their outrage over my bearish analysis of last Friday's GFT505 study results in NASH. This is the first time I've been Twitter trolled in French. I like it. Much classier. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Stock Buys Quand j'ai plus de PQ je m'imprime les articles d'Adam F. pic.twitter.com/I0IL9KrfLt — DOGE4321 (@DOGE4321) March 29, 2015 French pride appears at stake here, as well. Je suis Genfit pic.twitter.com/PDacz6tmxx — Okim59 (@okim59) March 29, 2015 A few French Genfit shareholders posed real questions about my interpretation of the GFT505 data and how it compares to NASH competitor Intercept Pharmaeuticals . $ICPT $GNFT #NASH Questions to the biotech analysts. Thanks for your answers ! pic.twitter.com/lxJYxwgjAC — Gery DIVRY (@GeryDIVRY) March 28, 2015 My responses follow. 1. The primary endpoint of Genfit's study was NASH clearance without worsening of liver fibrosis. To be deemed cleared of NASH in the Genfit study, a patient needed to score a zero, meaning elimination, in at least one of the three components of the NAFLD Activity Score (NAS) -- steatosis (fat accumulation), inflammation or ballooning. If a patient showed no improvement in two NAS components but scored a zero in the third, that was good enough to be counted as a responder. Genfit defined no worsening of liver fibrosis as no progression to advanced fibrosis. Genfit's definition of NASH clearance should have been relatively easy to achieve, yet GFT505 failed to do so. Only after Genfit threw out the placebo patients with baseline NAS scores of 3 and made other statistical adjustments did GFT505 "work" -- NASH clearance reported in 22.4% of GFT505 patients (NAS of 4 or greater), compared to 12.7% for placebo patients. Intercept included NASH resolution as a secondary endpoint in the "FLINT" study of OCA. NASH resolution was defined as no NASH, meaning NAS scores of zero across all three components. This is a much stricter, harder-to-achieve definition compared to what Genfit used. As reported by Intercept, 22% of OCA patients achieved NASH clearance compared to 13% for placebo. The result trended in OCA's favor but was not statistically significant. Yes, Intercept's NASH resolution data for OCA are better than Genfit's NASH clearance data for GFT505. No question about it, particularly because OCA achieved the primary endpoint of the FLINT study -- a two point or more reduction in NAS score with no worsening of liver fibrosis -- with high statistical significance. The study was stopped early because of OCA's efficacy. The detailed presentation of the FLINT study data last year showed significant improvements attributed to OCA across all three of the histological components of the NAS score. Genfit has yet to disclose comparable data for GFT505. Must Read: The Biotech Bubble Debate: Solid Science vs. Sky-High Valuations 2. Genfit can't remove patients from a study analysis and claim to achieve the primary endpoint. Genfit included patients with NAS 3 baseline scores because the company believed this would make it easier for GFT505 to succeed. The strategy backfired, so it's disingenuous at best for Genfit to now blame NAS 3 patients for the study's failure. Intercept's FLINT study also enrolled some patients with baseline NAS scores of 3. The company has also disclosed that about 20% of patients did not have a definitive diagnosis of NASH at baseline. Still, this didn't prevent OCA from achieving the primary endpoint of the study. Only Genfit had that problem. 3. Thanks for reminding us about FDA granting Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Intercept's OCA for NASH based on the stellar data from the FLINT study. Genfit has earned no comparable designation for GFT505. The target population for any NASH drug will be patients with more advanced disease (NAS scores of 4 and higher) and liver fibrosis. NASH gets serious when fibrosis develops because it's one step closer to cirrhosis and liver transplant. Intercept, smartly, is targeting more advanced NASH patients because this is where OCA will have the greatest benefit. 4. OCA demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in fibrosis -- 35% vs. 19% placebo. I don't know if Intercept presented liver fibrosis data specifically excluding NAS 3 baseline patients, but let's assume these patients have no or relatively little fibrosis. Intercept does have fibrosis data separated by baseline stage. For F1 (early fibrosis) patients, there was an improvement trend favoring OCA over placebo (35% vs. 14%; not statistically significant.) For F2 and F3 baseline patients, the improvement in liver fibrosis was 42% for OCA vs. 25% for placebo -- statistically significant. Let's stop here for a moment to remember Genfit's Friday announcement which stated that GFT505 demonstrated no improvement in liver fibrosis compared to placebo. None. It's true that Genfit ran a one-year study of GFT505 which may not be long enough to show significant improvements in liver fibrosis, but 12 months is certainly long enough to show some positive trend. Genfit did not, which is enough evidence to conclude that GFT505 is an inferior NASH drug compared to Intercept's OCA. More tweets from French fans of Genfit: @adamfeuerstein @genfit_pharma Why is there hatred in most of your words abt Genfit?We're not in a children classroom It's about seek people — cadantrin (@cadantrin) March 27, 2015 @adamfeuerstein just do Ur job! Fais ton job correctement et tu pourras te raser le matin fier de toi. Il y a du boulot quand même! — Bleecker (@bleeckersarl) March 27, 2015 Translation (using Twitter's native translation tool): @adamfeuerstein just do Ur job! Do your job properly and you can shave you the morning proud of you. There are job anyway! @adamfeuerstein ,Genfit, icpt j 'attends avec impatience la suite..que va faire la fda ac icpt suite aux problèmes de safety ! — roco (@roco90733668) March 28, 2015 Translation: @adamfeuerstein , Genfit, icpt j ' eagerly await the sequel...that will make the fda ac icpt following safety problems! .@adamfeuerstein i don't hear you a lot about the trial against $ICPT lying in FLINT study result? http://t.co/i0hij3fCrx #NASH $GNFTF $GNFT — Arié Levy (@theprodman) March 30, 2015 Then you missed this story I wrote last May: "Intercept Pharma, Government Scientists Spar Over Negative Safety of Liver Drug, Emails Show." Must Read: 13 Volatile Stocks to Buy Right Now if You Are a Risk Taker No one is saying OCA is the perfect NASH drug. The drug's negative impact on lipids in the FLINT study has been well documented. But GFT505's safety profile, given that it's a PPAR agonist, is not entirely clean, either. @adamfeuerstein @GeryDIVRY Adam... You can be protectionist, it's your right. But lying for it is not allowed.It's shameful,but you know it! — Damien Morandi (@DamienMorandi) March 30, 2015 @adamfeuerstein @Sport234a just be honest and professional. Ur insane, U R a lier ! that's Ur Karma! Qui sème le vent récolte la tempête. — Bleecker (@bleeckersarl) March 29, 2015 Translation: @adamfeuerstein @Sport234a just be honest and professional. Insane UR, U R a lier! that's Ur Karma! Who sows the wind reaps the storm. @adamfeuerstein @Sport234a you're an insane useless manipulator — DOGE4321 (@DOGE4321) March 29, 2015 @Ji_Bus @adamfeuerstein adam tu es encore dans la foret !!! — je suis genfit (@boaaaaaaaaa) March 29, 2015 Translation: @Ji_Bus @adamfeuerstein Adam you're still in the forest! @boaaaaaaaaa @adamfeuerstein http://t.co/Azt36Rut1H INTERCEPT WILL BE FINISH SOOM BECAUSE JUSTICE — BARANSKI (@reneariege) March 29, 2015 #GENFIT $GNFT In FR we have 'Bozo le clown' but in US they have 'Creepy teepee' @adamfeuerstein the biotech buzzer ! http://t.co/weqiyQ00Hu — I'm Genfit ($GNFT) (@BusinessBiotech) March 29, 2015 Must Read: Jim Cramer -- 19 Companies That Could Get Acquired in 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Inclement weather wasn't enough to keep consumers off car lots, and ordinarily, this would bode well for automobile retailer CarMax Group , whose shares are trading at near all-time highs, but that isn't the case. Led by higher sales for trucks and sport-utility vehicles, February auto sales continued to climb, but even as auto sales are expected to increase, there are better opportunities out there than CarMax. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks According to data provided by DealerTrack Technologies , which makes software used by auto dealers, there was a 14% jump in its February traffic, suggesting higher engagement among consumers looking for vehicles. But to what extent can Richmond, Va.-based CarMax benefit from this trend? Ahead of the company's fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results Thursday, there are two questions that must be answered: When will the stock respond, and is the projected growth in auto sales already priced in to its shares? Consider that, though the shares, which closed Friday at $66.69, are less than 3% away from CarMax's all-time high of $68.71, reached on Dec. 22, the stock has traded flat so far this year. In addition, the shares are down 1.36% for the past three months. And this is even though fellow car dealer stocks such as Asbury Automotive Group and AutoNation recently topped Wall Street earnings estimates in February, presumably, on the back of strong auto sales. During that span, auto sales have remained robust, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.23 million vehicles in February, according to research firm Autodata Solutions. February sales were led by automakers such as Toyota and General Motors , whose sales during the month climbed 13% and 4.2% respectively. This followed industrywide sales in January where SAAR reached 16.66 million cars sold. Assuming DealerTrack's 14% jump in traffic last month translate to actual auto sales, the SAAR results for March and April may also be strong. But analysts at Robert W. Baird aren't impressed. On March 4, Baird downgraded CarMax shares to neutral from outperform with a $70 price target, which suggests just 5% gains from current levels of about $66. Must Read: Ford Complains That Toyota's Strong Profits Result From 'Currency Manipulation' For the fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, earnings are projected to have climbed 15% year over year to 60 cents a share on a 14% jump in revenue, reaching $3.5 billion, topping last year's mark of $3 billion. For the full year, earnings are projected to come in at $2.60 a share, up 16% from a year earlier, while revenue is projected to have climbed 13.5% to $14.27 billion. With CarMax's shares trading at near all-time highs and its price-to-earnings ratio of 27 almost 7 points higher than the average S&P 500 stock, investors would do well to consider faster-growing opportunities, as the implication is that CarMax isn't expected to benefit from rising auto sales. Although its average analyst 12-month price target of $69.50 implies 4% gains from current levels, it also appears that CarMax's shares have driven as far as they can go for now. Must Read: Toyota's Push South of Border Should Cut Costs, Boost Mexico Market Share

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Lorillard are down by 2.12% to $65.01 in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning, as the New York Post reports that the Federal Trade Commission staff is recommending a suit to block the $27 billion merger of the cigarette maker with fellow tobacco products producer Reynolds American . Shares of Reynolds American are down by 1.32% to $68.55 in pre-market trading this morning. FTC regulators are scheduled to meet today to vote on a proposed merger, which sources tell the Post is the Reynolds/Lorillard deal. Reynolds American owns the cigarette brands Camel, Pall Mall, and Winston. A merger with Lorillard, which owns the Newport, Kent, and True brands, would give the combined company about 45% of the market for smokers under 30 years of age, the Post added. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates LORILLARD INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate LORILLARD INC (LO) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 23.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. The gross profit margin for LORILLARD INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.83%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 25.48% is above that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has increased to $619.00 million or 35.44% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LORILLARD INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -28.20%. The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year. LORILLARD INC has improved earnings per share by 19.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, LORILLARD INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.28 versus $3.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.70 versus $3.28). You can view the full analysis from the report here: LO Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures pulled back from Monday's rally as crude dropped below $48 a barrel in anticipation of key developments in Iran. S&P 500 futures were down 0.39%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slid 0.46%, and Nasdaq futures fell 0.43%. All benchmark indexes added more than 1% on Monday and, if no gains are forthcoming on Tuesday, will likely close out the month with losses. Crude oil prices dropped lower as commodity traders focused on stalled negotiations between Iran and six world powers over a nuclear deal. If passed as proposed, Iran will be restricted from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Easing sanctions would mean the release of Iranian oil onto an already-oversupplied global commodity market. Leaders have given themselves a 6pm EST deadline on which to agree on a preliminary nuclear deal. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.1% to $47.68 a barrel. European markets were lower after eurozone unemployment came in higher than expected at 11.3% in February, compared to forecasts of 11.2%. The consumer price index came in slightly better, narrowing declines to 0.1% year on year in March from 0.3% in February. Germany's economy remained head-and-shoulders above the broader region. Unemployment fell to a record low of 6.4% in March, while retail sales in February climbed 3.6%. Germany's DAX fell 0.71%, France's CAC 40 slid 0.73%, and the FTSE 100 in London tumbled 1.1%. The U.S. dollar continued to climb against other major international currencies, looking to close out its best quarter since 2008. The euro headed for its worst quarter on record, down around 11% since January as the euro zone and U.S. diverge in monetary policy. IBM moved slightly lower after announcing it will invest $3 billion over the next four years building an "Internet of Things" unit. The division will aim to develop technology to gather and analyze real-time data. Amazon inched lower after its rumored acquisition target Net-a-Porter announced a merger with Italian fashion site Yoox. Net-a-Porter parent Richemont will receive 50% of the combined group. Charter Communications surged nearly 10% after Reuters reported it has agreed to purchase Bright House Networks for around $10.4 billion. Bright House has approximately 2.5 million cable subscribers. Philips slid nearly 2% after agreeing to sell an 80.1% stake in its lighting division to Go Scale Capital for $2.8 billion. On the economic calendar, the S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is expected to show a slight improvement from December. Business activity in the Chicago region is expected to have improved over March in the latest Chicago PMI figures. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index is forecast to recover close to nearly 8-year highs reached earlier this year.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- RATINGS CHANGES Crown Holdings was upgraded to buy at TheStreet Ratings. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CCK Ratings Report. IAC/InterActiveCorp was initiated with an outperform rating at JMP Securities. Twelve-month price target is $80. Dating assets should help drive near-term growth, JMP Securities said. Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves Priceline was upgraded at Stifel to buy from hold. Twelve-month price target is $1,400. Stock has pulled back to an attractive level, as Europe begins to improve, Stifel said. PNM Resources was upgraded at Keybanc to overweight. Twelve-month price target is $31. Regulatory outlook has improved, Keybanc said. Regional Management was upgraded to hold at TheStreet Ratings. You can view the full analysis from the report here: RM Ratings Report. RR Donnelley was upgraded at Benchmark to buy from hold. Twelve-month price target is $21. Acquisitions should help boost growth, Benchmark said. Reliance Steel was upgraded at Credit Suisse to outperform from neutral. Twelve-month price target is $77. Company has strong earnings quality and deserves a higher valuation, Credit Suisse said. Teva Pharmaceutical was upgraded to outperform at Oppenheimer. Twelve-month price target is $77. Auspex Pharmaceuticals acquisition should help boost growth, Oppenheimer said. Zebra was upgraded at Wells Fargo to outperform from market perform. Cost synergies and deleveraging should outweigh currency concerns, Wells Fargo said. Must Read: 5 Health Care Stocks John Paulson Is Betting On for 2015¿ Editor's note: To see analysts' stock comments and changes to price targets and earnings estimates, go to "Street Notes," which is available only to Real Money subscribers. To find out how to become a subscriber, please click here. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Based on technical charts, Monsanto , the world's biggest seed company by sales, will have a tough time sustaining share-price gains after its earnings report this week. The stock is below its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages on its daily chart, and with the weekly chart negative, investors should be prepared to sell on strength, given a positive reaction to earnings. Must Read: Warren Buffet’s Top 10 Dividend Stocks for 2015 Monsanto is scheduled to report earnings for its fiscal second quarter ended in February before the opening bell on Wednesday. Analysts expect Monsanto to report earnings of $2.96 a share. Going back to the company's earnings beat released on June 25, the stock popped to a multiyear intraday high of $128.79, which proved to be a selling opportunity. Then, after an earnings miss reported on Oct. 8, the stock set its 2014 low at $105.76, which proved to be a buying opportunity. Some analysts talk about an earnings drag caused by a decrease in corn production. Others say that resurgent soybean production should help the company beat earnings estimates. Investors can track the stock's potential volatility on Monsanto's daily and weekly charts provided below. Investors not familiar with technical analysis should begin with the notion that a price chart for a stock shows a road map of past price performance, which provide guidance for predicting future share-price direction. Let's look at the daily chart for Monsanto. Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith The daily chart for Monsanto ($113.38 at Monday's close) shows the daily price bars since the beginning of 2013. The blue line is the 50-day simple moving average and the green line is the 200-day simple moving average. Looking from left to right, Monsanto shares have been trading back and forth around their 200-day SMA since July 1, 2013, when the average was $98.03. Tests of the 200-day SMA on weakness provided buying opportunities on Oct. 2, 2013; Nov. 5, 2013; and Feb. 3, 2014, which propelled the stock to its multiyear intraday high of $128.79 set on June 25. Then, when the 200-day SMA failed to hold on Sept.25, the stock slumped to its 2014 low of $105.76 on Oct. 8. Going into 2015, Monsanto held its 200-day SMA and then set a 2015 high of $126.00 on Feb. 25. It crossed below the 200-day SMA on March 13, setting its 2015 low of $116.16 on March 26. The stock is below its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages of $119.13 and $117.61, respectively. Must Read: 16 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks With 50 Years of Increasing Dividends and Market-Beating Performance Let's look at the weekly chart for Monsanto. Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith The weekly chart for Monsanto shows the weekly price bars going back to the beginning of 2009 when the current bull market for stocks began. The red line is the key weekly moving average that tracks the price bars. The green line is the 200-week simple moving average. Monsanto did not bottom from the Great Recession until the week of July 9, 2010 from a low of $44.61. Gaining upward momentum did not begin until the stock moved above the 200-week SMA during the week of June 1, 2012. The weekly chart for Monsanto is now negative with the stock below its key weekly moving average at $116.80. Note that the momentum reading in red along the bottom of the chart is projected to decline to 24.58 this week from 31.70 last week. If this negative weekly chart configuration continues, the downside is to the 200-week simple moving average, which is now at $97.54. Investors looking to buy Monsanto should place a good-till-canceled limit order to purchase the stock if it drops to $109.60, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of the week. Investors looking to book profits should place a good-till-canceled limit order to sell the stock if it rises to $130.15, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June. Must Read: Bank of America’s 10 Top S&P 500 Stocks to Buy for 2015

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text 5 Hated Earnings Stocks You Should Love
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:00 GMT

DELAFIELD, Wis. (Stockpickr) -- Short-sellers hate being caught short a stock that reports a blowout quarter. When this happens, we often see a tradable short squeeze develop as the bears rush to cover their positions to avoid big losses. Even the best short-sellers know that it's never a great idea to stay short once a bullish earnings report sparks a big short-covering rally. This is why I scan the market for heavily shorted stocks that are about to report earnings. You only need to find a few of these stocks in a year to help enhance your portfolio returns -- the gains become so outsized in such a short time frame that your profits add up quickly. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Is Buying That said, let's not forget that stocks are heavily shorted for a reason, so you have to use trading discipline and sound money management when playing earnings short-squeeze candidates. It's important that you don't go betting the farm on these plays and that you manage your risk accordingly. Sometimes the best play is to wait for the stock to break out following the report before you jump in to profit off a short squeeze. This way, you're letting the trend emerge after the market has digested all of the news. Of course, sometimes the stock is going to be in such high demand that you risk missing a lot of the move by waiting. That's why it can be worth betting prior to the report -- but only if the stock is acting technically very bullish and you have a very strong conviction that it is going to rip higher. Just remember that even when you have that conviction and have done your due diligence, the stock can still get hammered if Wall Street doesn't like the numbers or guidance. If you do decide to bet ahead of a quarter, then you might want to use options to limit your capital exposure. Heavily shorted stocks are usually the names that make the biggest post-earnings moves and have the most volatility. I personally prefer to wait until all the earnings-related news is out for a heavily shorted stock and then jump in and trade the prevailing trend. With that in mind, let's take a look at several stocks that could experience big short squeezes when they report earnings this week. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Sportsman's Warehouse My first earnings short-squeeze trading opportunity is outdoor sporting goods retailer Sportsman's Warehouse , which is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Sportsman's Warehouse to report revenue of $187.64 million on earnings of 21 cents per share. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Sportsman's Warehouse is extremely high at 20.9%. That means that out of the 16.71 million shares in the tradable float, 3.49 million shares are sold short by the bears. This is a low float high short-interest situation for shares of SPWH. If this company can produce the earnings news the bulls are looking for, then shares of SPWH could easily rip sharply higher post-earnings as the bears jump to cover some of their trades. From a technical perspective, SPWH is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending over the last three months, with shares moving higher from its low of $6.15 to its recent high of $8.25 a share. During that uptrend, shares of SPWH have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. that move has now pushed shares of SPWH within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings. If you're bullish on SPWH, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $8.25 to $8.32 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that registers near or above its three-month average action of 165,048 shares. If that breakout begins post-earnings, then shares of SPWH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $8.73 to $9.50 a share, or even its 52-week high of $11 a share. I would simply avoid SPWH or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below some near-term support at $7.60 a share to its 50-day moving average of $7.42 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then SPWH will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at its 200-day moving average of $7.05 a share to more near-term support levels at $6.81 o $6.50 a share. Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying CarMax Another potential earnings short-squeeze play is used vehicles retailer CarMax , which is set to release its numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect CarMax to report revenue $3.50 billion on earnings of 60 cents per share. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for CarMax is notable at 7%. That means that out of the 208.84 million shares in the tradable float, 14.70 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 5.7%, or by about 788,000 shares. If the bears get caught pressing their bets into a strong quarter, then shares of KMX could easily trend sharply higher post-earnings as the bears scramble to cover some of their trades. From a technical perspective, KMX is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock broke out on Monday above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $67.84 to $68.41 a share with above-average volume. Market players should now watch for another key breakout trade to trigger for shares of KMX post-earnings. If you're in the bull camp on KMX, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above its 52-week high at $69.29 a share (or above Wednesday's intraday high if greater) with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 1.41 million shares. If that breakout triggers post-earnings, then KMX will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $75 to $80 a share, or even $85 a share. I would simply avoid KMX or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below some key near-term support levels at $66 a share to its 50-day moving average of $65.26 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then KMX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at $61.98 to $60.83 a share, or even its 200-day moving average of $56.69 a share. Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves Micron Technology Another potential earnings short-squeeze candidate is semiconductor solutions provider Micron Technology , which is set to release numbers on Thursday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Micron Technology to report revenue of $4.18 billion on earnings of 75 cents per share. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Micron Technology stands at 6.9%. That means that out of the 1.07 billion shares in the tradable float, 74.22 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 3.6%, or by about 2.60 million shares. If the bears get caught pressing their bets into a bullish quarter, then shares of MU could easily rip sharply higher post-earnings as the bears rush to cover some of their trades. From a technical perspective, MU is currently trending below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. This stock has been downtrending badly for the last four months, with shares moving lower from its high of $36.59 to its recent low of $26.61 a share. During that downtrend, shares of MU have been making mostly lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, shares of MU have started to bounce a bit off that $25.61 low and it's now moving within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings. If you're bullish on MU, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out some key near-term overhead resistance levels at $28 to $29.26 a share and then above its 50-day moving average of $29.47 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 25.36 million shares. If that breakout kicks off post-earnings, then MU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $31.50 to its 200-day moving average of $31.86 a share, or even $33 a share. I would avoid MU or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below some key near-term support at $25.61 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then MU will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support level at its 52-week low of $21.02 Must Read: 5 Tech Stocks George Soros Loves Perry Ellis Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is apparel clothing player Perry Ellis , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Perry Ellis to report revenue of $217.74 million on earnings of 3 cents per share. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Perry Ellis is notable at 6.8%. That means that out of 11.41 million shares in the tradable float, 778,500 shares are sold short by the bears. This isn't a huge short interest, but it's more than enough to spark a decent short-covering rally post-earnings if the bulls get the earnings news they're looking for. From a technical perspective, PERY is currently trending above its 200-day moving average and just below its 50-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock has been consolidating a bit and trending sideways over the last month or so, with shares moving between $21.50 on the downside and $24.79 on the upside. Any high-volume move above the upper-end of its recent range post-earnings could trigger a big breakout trade for shares of PERY. If you're bullish on PERY, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some key overhead resistance levels at its 50-day moving average of $23.55 a share to more near-term resistance levels at $23.78 to $24.79 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 114,132 shares. If that breakout gets started post-earnings, then PERY will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 52-week high of $27 a share. I would simply avoid PERY or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below some key near-term support levels at $22.17 to its 200-day moving average of $21.77 a share and then below more support at $21.50 share with high volume. If we get that move, then PERY will set up re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at $19.75 to $19.27 a share. Must Read: 5 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Selling Sigma Designs My final earnings short-squeeze trading opportunity is specialized semiconductor player Sigma Designs , which is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Sigma Designs to report revenue of $53.16 million on earnings of 1 cent per share. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Sigma Designs is notable at 4.5%. That means that out of the 33.43 million shares in the tradable float, 1.52 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 3.1%, or by about 45,000 shares. If the bears get caught pressing their bets into a strong quarter, then shares of SIGM could easily spike sharply higher post-earnings as the bears move fast to cover some of their trades. From a technical perspective, SIGM is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $3.65 to its recent high of $8.33 a share. During that uptrend, shares of SIGM have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of SIGM within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings. If you're in the bull camp on SIGM, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above its 52-week high of $8.33 a share (or above Wednesday's intraday high if greater) with high volume. Look for volume on that move that registers near or above its three-month average action of 410,069 shares. If that breakout develops post-earnings, then SIGM will setup to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $10 to $11 a share, or even $12 a share. I would avoid SIGM or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout, and then drops back below some key near-term support levels at $7.61 a share to its 50-day moving average of $7.16 a share with volume. If we get that move, then SIGM will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at $6.81 to $6.50 a share, ore even $6.24 to $6 a share. Must Read: 10 New Stocks Billionaire David Einhorn Loves

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BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Do you use stop losses -- and more important, do you use them correctly? Effective stops can be a trader's best friend, but improperly used, they can be your worst nightmare. Must Read: Does Technical Trading Really Work? Ask any active trader or investor what they think of stop losses, and you're bound to get a unique, passionate answer. Some market participants won't enter a trade without them, while others vow to never use a stop loss again. Even though some investors decry stop losses, if used properly they can be an incredibly effective tool to limit risk and increase the occurrence of profitable trades. Today we’ll take a look at how to effectively use stop losses from a technical perspective. First, though, let’s take a look at exactly what a stop loss is. Stop losses, or stops, are sell orders that trigger if and only if a stock reaches a predetermined condition. That condition may be a set price, a set percentage decline, or a set absolute (dollar value) decline. They're used for one of two reasons: to avoid losing too much money (this is known as a protective stop) or to lock in gains. To fulfill that task, there are also a few different kinds of stop loss orders. The traditional stop loss order sends your broker a market order when it's triggered, whereas the stop-limit order not surprisingly sends a limit order. As you might expect, stop-limit orders can often secure you a better fill price on your stock -- but only when they get filled. For a stock that’s quickly crashing, a market order may be your only option. Another type of stop order is the trailing stop, which is used primarily to lock in gains. As your position increases in value, your trailing stop ratchets higher and higher, but it only triggers if your percent-decline or dollar-value-decline conditions are met. In this trailing stop example below, the blue trailing stop line can climb with the stock's price (in white), but it doesn't move lower when prices retract. That one-direction movement helps to lock in gains. BLACK CHART Source: Bloomberg. The Value of Stops for Technical Traders It doesn’t surprise me that stop losses are so controversial. For a fundamentals-only investor, stops can be downright terrifying. The oft-described stop loss nightmare comes from the fear that an investor will get stopped out only to see shares rocket in the ensuing weeks and months. Must Read: How to Trade a Breakout Part of the problem is that fundamental investors can only base their stop loss levels on how much pain they're willing to take. If you're not willing to take more than a 10% hit on a stock, that's where you place your stop -- regardless of the market conditions. Stops are perfectly suited to technical trading, though. That's because technicians base stop levels on key areas of support and resistance (in the case of a short-side trade, of course), areas that act as intermediate price floors and ceilings for shares of a given stock. That’s even more significant because generally a broken support level or trend line means that the technical setup is broken and it's time to get out of shares. If you're riding the uptrend in WM below, then the 70-day moving average on the chart is a smart place to put a stop. Because it's acted like a good proxy for the bottom of the trend, it's essentially a trailing stop. WM CHART In the below breakout trade, $9 was a smart place to initially place your stop right after the buy triggered. After all, if shares violate support at $9, then the pattern is broken, and you don't want to own it anymore. UAM CHART Fundamental investors see deteriorating business metrics, such as debt increases or revenue drops, as a reason to unload shares. Because technical investors use market conditions to determine whether a trade is still worth owning, stops make a lot of sense to use. Picking Out Your Stop Loss Levels Implementing stop losses in your trades isn't as difficult as it first appears. I've long held that any trader worth his or her salt has an exit strategy in mind before ever placing that first trade. You should be well aware of the conditions that break your technical setup ahead of time. Not surprisingly, you'll want to place your stop loss at those levels. To learn more about determining support and resistance levels for your stops, check out the primers on Support and Resistance, Moving Averages, and Trend Line Support. Of course, picking stop loss levels becomes tougher in practice. Intraday whipsaws can trigger stops even if shares trade low for just a few minutes on a given day. To combat that, placing stops several percentage points below a support level is an effective method. While it will mean that you get a lower fill price if a stop does get hit, the chances of seeing that stop violated are significantly lower. Must Read: How to Establish a Trading Timeframe Another effective way to use stops is by not using stop loss orders at all. Instead of using "hard stops" (real orders that can trigger on a certain price break), attentive traders may want to consider mental stops that are tied to alerts generated by your trading platform. While more subjective than hard stops, some experience in the markets can often help you determine whether that intraday stop violation is likely to hold, or whether it's just a whipsaw. Deciding to honor stops only when a stock closes below your condition prices is another way to accomplish this same objective. Mental stops can spare you some unnecessary losses, but they also require experience and attentiveness to the markets. If you have a day job, opt for the peace of mind that hard stops provide -- just keep them from being too close to your support levels. While stop losses will likely continue to elicit impassioned opinions from investors for the foreseeable future, knowing the specifics about implementing stops can help limit your risk, lock in your gains, and take some of the emotional impact out of your next trade. Must Read: How to Spot a Reversal


Updated from 7:05 a.m. EDT. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Tuesday, March 31: 1. -- U.S. stock futures were drooping Tuesday on the last day of the first quarter. The day will be a busy one for economic data and presentations from Federal Reserve presidents. European stocks lacked direction Tuesday, as weakness in Asia and worries over Greece and deflation seemed to weigh on sentiment even as the economy in Germany showed continued strength. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks 2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes the consumer spending Redbook at 8:55 a.m., the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index at 9 a.m., Chicago PMI manufacturing data at 9:45 a.m., consumer confidence numbers at 10 a.m., and the State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m. Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker and Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester will all give speeches Tuesday. 3. -- U.S. stocks on Monday closed strongly up as several big pharmaceutical deals were announced, along with hints that China may ease monetary policy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.49% to 17,976.31. The S&P 500 closed up 1.22% to 2,086.24. The Nasdaq jumped 1.15% to 4,947.44. 4. -- Tuesday is the last day of the first quarter of 2015. The stock market has swung up and down in a wide and volatile range, with strong performance generally limited to tech, biotech and smaller-cap stocks. The S&P 500 is up 1.3% for the quarter, the Dow is up 0.8% and the Nasdaq is up more than 4%. Consumer spending was lower than expected, suggesting slower growth coming up. GDP expansion was modest in the U.S., and savings rates were up. 5. -- Electric car maker Telsa Motors will reveal a new product on April 30, its CEO Elon Musk announced, although he was vague on what kind of product. In a tweet, Musk said the company was readying "a major new Tesla product line -- not a car." Musk also tweeted that he was upbeat about the company's prospects in China. Tesla's hints pushed the stock up 3.01% on Monday. In premarket trading, the stock was rising another 0.73%. 6. -- IBM will spend $3 billion over four years to expand its data analysis for the Internet of Things, the web of information generated by cars, appliances and other items that now run software and collect data. The company also said it would cooperate with the Weather Channel to help companies use weather predictions to improve their business. In premarket trading, IBM was trending downward by 0.26%. 7. -- London online fashion company Net-a-Porter will merge with Italian fashion company Yoox , the companies announced. Net-a-Porter's parent, Richemont, said the new luxury fashion company would be worth about $2.5 billion. The deal requires the approval of Yoox shareholders. Last week rumors circulated that Amazon was considering buying Net-a-Porter. Must Read: 16 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks With 50 Years of Increasing Dividends and Market-Beating Performance 8. -- U.S. oil production hit an all-time high in 2014, the Energy Information Administration said in a report. Crude oil production averaged 8.7 million barrels a day, 1.2 million barrels a day more than in the prior year. Although oil production is up, prices are down about 50% since the middle of 2014. 9. -- In a deal worth about $2.9 billion, Dutch electronics company Philips will sell 80.1% of its Lumileds LED component and automotive lighting business to GO Scale Capital, a new investment fund. The deal values this lighting unit at $3.3 billion. Philips will continue to hold a 19.9% stake in the unit. The deal will need to clear regulatory hurdles before it can be completed. Philips' ADR was falling 1.29% in premarket trading. 10. -- Chinese phone maker Huawei said it had 33% revenue growth in is consumer business, most of that from emerging markets. Smartphone demand is up, it said. The company is still actively growing and is spending 14% of revenue on research and development. Must Read: 13 Volatile Stocks to Buy Right Now if You Are a Risk Taker

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite the volatility seen in recent months, the bull market still has room left for growth, according to Scott Minerd, chairman of investments and global chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners, an investment firm that manages $220 billion in assets. "History shows us that in the period leading up to Fed tightening ... we often get returns in excess of 10%, sometimes 20%," he said. "Layer into that, 2016 is an election year and election years are notoriously good for stocks." Overall, Minerd figures there's a good chance stocks could increase 15% to 20% by the summer of 2016. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Higher stock prices come with a cost, however -- volatility. Minerd attributes much of the recent market swings to the uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will undertake its first rate hike since 2006. "I think volatility is here to stay in terms of the market trying to come to grips with when the Fed is going to move." Minerd expects the central bank to push rates higher in September, after previously maintaining a 2016 timeline for an increase. But interest rates have remained near zero for more than six years, and waiting too long to hike rates could strengthen critics' arguments that rates have been too low for too long. "I think the Fed will take preemptive action so that it can't be accused later of falling behind the curve," Minerd added. Aside from the Fed, investors face jitters over what's expected to be a disappointing first quarter earnings season, with estimates down 4.6% year over year, according to FactSet. But that doesn't faze Minerd. "When you look at periods of l ow inflation, the average multiple for stocks has been 20x earnings, so we have a fair amount of room to get some multiple expansion," he said. "I'm not surprised, given the dollar's strength, to see earnings coming under pressure and I would expect that to continue as long as the dollar keeps strengthening, but the dollar won't strengthen forever." Minerd expects earnings growth to accelerate once the dollar's rally stabilizes. Going forward, he prefers international stocks over domestic ones, given how beneficial quantitative easing, which has just begun in Europe, is for stocks. "While I'm bullish on U.S. equities, if I was going to allocate in the U.S., the two places that look most interesting to me are banks and the energy stocks," he said. "It's a little too early to jump into energy, but there are some pretty attractive stocks paying high dividends over a 3-5 year horizon." Must Read: 11 Best Small-Cap Technology Stocks That Could Hit It Big in 2015


NEW YORK (Real Money) -- After three months of trading in a topsy-turvy market, investors are pretty much at ground zero in 2015, even as the markets have gotten more volatile of late. Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials are basically flat for the year; the Nasdaq is up a little more than 3%, even as the index posted its worst weekly performance in five months last week. S&P 500 earnings are set to be flat to slightly down over the next two quarters year over year, thanks to plunging profits in the energy sector, the strong dollar and tepid global growth. With the market trading at approximately 18x trailing earnings, I think equities are in at least slightly overbought territory through the first half of the year. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks I am being more cautious than usual at this point. I hold slightly more cash than normal in my portfolio, most of which is concentrated in large-cap growth stocks selling at reasonable valuations, which should be able to increase earnings and revenue at a decent clip even in a challenging growth environment. As important as it is to be the right stocks and sectors, it is just as important to avoid equities that look extremely overvalued and could be prone to major selloffs should the overall market turn north. Here are two well-known names I would be very nervous right now to own. The air finally seems to be going out of the cult belief in Tesla Motors , which drove the stock to over 400% returns during the past couple of years and at one time to half the market capitalization of Ford . However, the stock has seen an accelerating decline in recent sessions and is near 52-week lows. I think this is reality starting to set in, as when the stock traded near $300 a share last summer it was priced to perfection. It is one thing to produce less than 50,000 high-end niche vehicles at high margins, especially when the federal government is kicking in $7,500 per car in tax credits so consumers can buy a vehicle that costs more than the average American family makes in annual income; it is quite another to produce half a million vehicles for the mass market, while maintaining margins that dwarf any other automaker. Since the summer, the company has stumbled with its rollout in China and had a disastrous earnings conference call. Even its CEO and founder Elon Musk has said he does not expect a profit until fiscal 2020. Although the stock has fallen almost $100 a share since its highs this summer, investors are still way too optimistic, giving this niche automaker a market capitalization still north of $20 billion. Shake Shack is another example of an equity whose valuation I still shake my head at. The company has just over 60 restaurants and the stock has a price near $50 a share. Sales per store and margins should go down as the company expands outside the lucrative New York City area and the current consensus has this restaurant concern earning a dime a share in FY2016. If the shares were valued by store as the market leader Chipotle Mexican Grille , they would go for just $20 a share. Add in a big stock expiration lockup, and there is no reason to own the equity at these levels, and major risks to the downside. I do not know which direction the market will take in the next few months, but have a hard time seeing much upside in either of these cult names. If the market does turn down, I could see major carnage for the owners of either of these overvalued stocks. Must Read: 7 Utilities Stocks With High Dividends That You Should Buy Now Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Real Money on March 30.

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LONDON (TheDeal) -- European markets lacked direction Tuesday morning, as weakness in Asia and worries over Greece and deflation seemed to weigh on sentiment even as the economy in Germany showed continued strength. Germany's unemployment fell to a record low of 6.4% in March, while retail sales were up 3.6% in February compared with a year earlier. But in the eurozone as a whole, unemployment remains high at 11.3%, slightly worse than the 11.2% economists were predicting. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Stock Buys Meanwhile in Britain, the picture was more mixed. The Office of National Statistics revised its fourth-quarter GDP growth figure for last year upwards from 0.5% to 0.6%, bringing annual growth up to 2.8% from 2.6%. But it also said that GDP per capita is still 1.2% below precrisis levels. And disposable income per head -- in other words what households are actually able to spend -- is still 5.1% below precrisis levels. The FTSE 100 was down 0.59% at 6,850.91, while in Paris, the CAC 40 was down 0.05% at 5,081.17. In Frankfurt, the DAX was down 0.31% at 12,048.63, despite earlier signs of strength. In London, home improvement group Kingfisher topped the FTSE 100 leaderboard, rising 4.47% to 381.10 on news it plans to close around 60 stores in the U.K. and several loss-making outlets in Europe. New chief executive Veronique Laury has also announced she's doing a bit of home improvement around the company boardroom, reorganizing the company's individual businesses into one company and reassigning some top posts. The announcement comes after Kingfisher was forced to walk away from a bid for competitor Mr Bricolage in France. But Kingfisher also announced that like-for-like sales edged up 0.5% over the year. It declared a dividend of 10 pence a share, despite falls in net profits -- down 19.3% to £573 million -- and sales, down 1.4% to £10.96 billion. The group's poor performance in France was also offset by better results in the U.K. Swiss food and specialty bakery group Aryzta dropped 3.53% to Sfr62.8 a share after an initial rise, on an announcement that it is taking a 49% stake in French specialty foods group Picard Surgelés for a total of €446.6 million ($480 million). It is funding the deal with the sale of more than half its 68% stake in Irish food group Origin Enterprises on the market for net proceeds of €400 million ($429 million). Also in Switzerland, Compagnie Financiere Richemont fell 1.25% after confirming the sale of half its stake in British online upscale fashion retailer Net-a-Porter in an all-share swap with Italy's Yoox . Richemont will retain only 25% of the votes, so control goes to Yoox, which soared 9.53% to €25.3 a share. In Asia, the last day of the quarter saw some profit taking and a dampening of expectations after the surge on Chinese markets earlier in the week. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was down 1.05% at 19,206.99, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was up 0.18% at 24,900.89. In China, the Shanghai Composite closed off 1.02% at 3,747.90. Must Read: Not Every Company Is Getting Hurt by the Strong U.S. Dollar

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Why would a supplier of uniforms and protective clothing to businesses in North America and Europe be concerned about low oil prices? Because if you're UniFirst you see your customers need fewer people and won't be needing as much of your laundry and delivery service. Roughly 10% of the Wilmington, Mass., company's customers are part of the volatile energy industry in some way. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks That's why UniFirst CEO Ronald Croatti said in January the company is "cautious in our outlook as a result of our significant presence in energy-producing regions in the U.S. and Canada. We believe that if oil prices remain depressed, our operating results will be negatively impacted."The company reports fiscal second-quarter earnings results Wednesday before the opening bell. At around $118, shares are down close to 3% for the year to date though they are up 10% in the past 52 weeks. Should you invest? Maybe not.Earnings estimates have trended down over the past 90 days and 30 days by 1.5% and 0.76%, respectively, according to analysts polled by Yahoo! Finance. For the quarter ending in May, earnings estimates of $1.45 per share are down almost 6% from prior estimates of $1.54 set at the start of the just-ended quarter. Assuming the full-year 2016 estimate of $6.44 per share is reached, it's still 1.5% lower than if there had been no oil-related concerns. Lower oil prices do help UniFirst as far as fueling up its truck fleet to deliver those laundered uniforms and work clothes. That helped the company's first-quarter operating margin rise to 16.9% from 16.8%. But when it comes to the core uniform business, low oil means unemployment in the energy sector. In the first quarter the company's special-garments segment revenue declined 8% year over year to $22.5 million. UniFirst saw a decline in its power reactor business, which resulted in the segment's profit falling 18% from the year before. UniFirst remains a well-managed company. It has beaten revenue and earnings estimates for three consecutive quarters. The company ended its first quarter with $213 million in cash on its balance sheet, up from $192 million in fourth quarter and has no long-term debt. The average analyst 12-month price target is $126.50, suggesting 7.5% gains from current levels of around $117.So there is value here. But patience is the key word if continued weak oil pressures UniFirst's numbers for the balance of fiscal year 2015. Must Read: 7 Utilities Stocks With High Dividends That You Should Buy Now

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Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Did you miss last night's "Mad Money" on CNBC? If so, here are Jim Cramer's top takeaways for today's trading. HRS data by YCharts Harris : With the news that Harris is buying Excelis , Cramer said the combined company is a buy, buy, buy because it now has the potential to become a top 10 defense contractor. Harris is already a strong defense contractor providing secure communications and encryption systems for government and military use. Adding Excelis to the mix means the combined company will be able to offer night vision and radar reconnaissance products, all while saving an estimated $120 million a year. The new Harris will have tons of room to grow overseas, Cramer said. Shares currently trade at just 15 times earnings, a discount to its peers. LULU data by YCharts Lululemon Athletica : Cramer said Lulu is back and better than ever. After a series of missteps in 2013 that cut the stock by more than half, Cramer now thinks this growth retailer has its mojo back and is positioned to surprise Wall Street. Shares of Lulu are already up 16% so far in 2015, thanks to its most recent 5-cents-a-share earnings beat with an 8% rise in same-store sales. Cramer said $80 a share is not out of reach for Lulu because there is a lack of quality growth retailers for money managers to choose from. The company's strong quarter could've been even stronger without the West Coast port strike. Cramer sees Lulu raising its forecasts later in the year. TSLA data by YCharts Tesla Motors , Amazon.com and Netflix : Where would Cramer invest new money in the market? He said the cult stocks of Tesla, Amazon and Netflix may be tempting, but he'd rather stick with companies that offer more traditional valuation models. He suggested sticking with his "four horsemen" of biotech or semiconductors or even Schlumberger in the oil patch now that oil prices have begun to stabilize. To read a full recap of "Mad Money" on CNBC, click here. To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC. To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here. -- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

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NEW YORK -- Oneok has been squeezing into a range, and now the bulls are looking for a run higher. OptionMonster's Heat Seeker system detected a flurry of call buying Monday afternoon, with more than 13,000 April 50s changing hands for 45 cents to 60 cents. The pipeline operator caught a bid almost immediately and the contracts ended the session going for 82 cents as volume surpassed 16,600, more than triple the strike's previous open interest. Long calls lock in the price where investors can purchase a stock, allowing them to profit from a rally without having to risk all the capital needed to buy shares directly. That cheap cost can also result in significant leverage if the stock moves higher. Oneok rose 2.1% to $48.04 on Monday. The stock lost almost half value between September and January as the broader energy sector collapsed, but share have been fighting higher since and pressing in on either side of $47. It's also been holding support above its 50-day moving average, which could make some chart watchers believe that a rebound is coming. Total option turnover was 29 times greater than average in the name, and calls outnumbered puts by a bullish 46-to-1 ratio. -- Written by David Russell of OptionMonster Russell has no positions in any stocks mentioned.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 climbed 1.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.5% Monday. Dan Nathan, co-founder and editor of riskreversal.com, said on CNBC's "Fast Money" the reason is simple: "window dressing" or buying stocks right before the end of the quarter likely added to the rally. However, he warned, in each of the last five quarters there have been pullbacks of roughly 4% in the first month of each new quarter. Karen Finerman, president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, said the People's Bank of China considering some form of monetary stimulus was likely another reason for Monday's rally, and she expects to see slightly more upside Tuesday. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Volatility will likely remain in the market, said Guy Adami, managing director of stockmonster.com. As long as the iShares Russell 2000 ETF stays above $121, the rally is intact. If the iShares Transportation Average ETF breaks over $168, the broader market is likely to rally even further. It's interesting that stocks rallied on Monday despite the higher U.S. dollar, said Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital. He said U.S. earnings are likely to be disappointing because of the strong dollar, so many investors are concluding that a stronger dollar is bad for U.S. profits. Kelly remains cautious. With the CBOE Volatility Index below $15, he recommended investors buy insurance on their portfolios, especially with the non-farm payrolls report coming out on Friday and earnings just around the corner. He's doing so with SPDR S&P 500 ETF put options. GoPro climbed 2%. Charlie Anderson, an analyst at Dougherty & Company, upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and assigned a $55 price target. GoPro's valuation has finally become more attractive, he said, trading at around 25 times his earnings estimates for 2016. He's not really worried about competition at this point and said future products could be in the pipeline. He also reasoned that the devices' average selling prices are strong. One reason Anderson may not be worried about competition is strong brand awareness, Kelly said. Consumers are looking for GoPro products, not knockoffs from competitors. Must Read: 7 Utilities Stocks With High Dividends That You Should Buy Now Nathan, however, is "not a fan." Competition will hurt the company's market share and the valuation is not attractive. GoPro stock is likely headed down to the $30s, he said. The conversation turned to biotech, which saw a number of deals Monday. For investors without a lot of background in biotech, look at the exchange-traded funds including the iShares Nasdaq Biotech ETF , Kelly said. Many of the stocks are breaking out but the sector is volatile. Nathan said he'd avoid many of the small-cap biotech stocks that have little or no revenue. Adami pointed out companies such as Celgene , Amgen and Gilead Sciences have "unbelievable" balance sheets, "great products" and are "extremely fairly valued." Kelly said Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk chose a good time to send a bullish tweet about a new product, with the stock hovering near support at $180. Kelly isn't a buyer, however. Using $177 as a low, investors can stay long Tesla Motors, Adami said, as he chose the stock for his final trade. Nathan said to sell Intel , Kelly is buying SPDR S&P 500 put options and FInerman is a buyer of Citigroup . Must Read: Two Ways Individual Investors Can Gain Exposure to Gold Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (TheStreet) -- IBM and The Weather Company are joining forces to deliver data collected from more than 100,000 weather sensors to businesses that could theoretically predict weather conditions early enough to alter operations. The companies announced Tuesday their partnership will make weather data from Weather Services International (WSI), a division of The Weather Company, available to IBM's clients through Watson Analytics, a web-based tool that helps companies make sense of various data sets, and also now comes with Twitter data. IBM clients will also be able to build their own applications on the back of the weather data through the BlueMix developer platform. Must Read: Beam Me Up! Facebook's Test of Unmanned Aircraft for Internet Access a Success The partnership, which will port The Weather Company's weather data services to IBM's cloud, aligns with IBM's ongoing efforts to expand its business analytics business, which accumulated $17 billion in revenue in 2014, up 7% over the previous year. IBM said it will train thousands of consultants to work with customers on how to use the new weather data alongside other data sources. Financial terms of the alliance were not disclosed. The pairing also fits in with IBM's five-year, $3 billion research investment into an Internet of Things (IoT) unit, said Glenn Finch, the head of technology for IBM's Global Business Services unit. Under this partnership, data is collected from sensors at weather stations around the world. Nearly all businesses are affected by changes in the weather, but most can only react to those changes, Mark Gildersleeve, president of WSI, said. The partnership, then, aims to flip the paradigm around so that businesses can anticipate changes in the weather and take action. "We can take weather data and translate that into an outcome that matters for each kind of business," Gildersleeve said. The idea is to merge weather data with data from supply chains, customer buying patterns, or other sources for extra insight into factors affecting operations. The companies hope the predictive appeal of the data will be attractive to a wide swath of businesses for practical purposes. Finch, for instance, cited the example of a city water and sewer company combining data collected from WSI's sensors with its own systems to more accurately predict when water mains would break. Or a utility company could predict power consumption levels based on expected changes in temperature and avoid service interruptions. IBM will use the treasure trove of weather data as a tool to entice even more customers to adopt its analytics products. The Weather Company, meanwhile, believes IBM can help it promote the message that every business should have a weather strategy, Gildersleeve said. Must Read: How IBM Will Help Brands Understand Tweets Better Using Analytics

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Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener. NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's nice to see the flow of money has reversed from last week's relentless selloff, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. In fact, there were two reasons the markets were able to rally -- a positive news flow and money managers looking to add more stocks to their portfolios. There were a number of positive headlines driving the markets, including a wave of mergers in the biotech sectors. Horizon Pharmaceuticals was one notable deal and its stock up a quick 18%. Teva Pharmaceuticals was also up on the day, as was Catamaran , up 27%. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Stock Buys There were also several positive research reports helping to vault stocks higher. An upgrade of Analog Devices made Cramer re-recommend Skyworks Solutions , while upgrades of Restoration Hardware and Nike also caught his eye. In addition to all this positive stock news, it's also apparent that mutual funds are once again buying after last week's exodus. Funds are calmly looking for more exposure to stocks now that this most challenging quarter is coming to an end. Buy, Buy, Buy Harris With the news that Harris is buying Excelis , are shares still worth buying? According to Cramer, absolutely. Harris is already a strong defense contractor providing secure radio frequency communications and encryption systems for government and military use. By adding Excelis to the mix, the combined company will also be able to offer night vision and radar reconnaissance products, all while saving an estimated $120 million a year. Shares of Excelis are up 57% since Cramer first recommended them in November 2013, and he sees no reason to change his view now. The new Harris will have tons of room to grow overseas and currently trades at just 15 times earnings, as discount to its peers. The new Harris also brings a solid management team that will easily be able to transform the combined company into a top 10 defense contractor, sending shares much higher. Must Read: Biotech Merger Monday Doesn't Squash Biotech Bubble Debate LULU Is Back It has been a long time coming but Lululemon Athletica is back and better than ever. Viewers may remember back in 2013 when Cramer was a huge fan of this turbo-charged retailer. But after a series of missteps Cramer quickly changed his tune because shares slid from their highs near $81 in 2013 to just $37 by 2014. But today, Lulu is back on track, enough that Cramer owns shares for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS. The stock is up 16% so far in 2015, thanks to its most recent 5-cents-a-share earnings beat with an 8% rise in same-store sales. Cramer said $80 a share is not out of reach for Lulu because there is a lack of quality growth retailers for money managers to choose from. The company's strong quarter could've been even stronger without the West Coast port strike and it's easy to see how the company could raise its forecasts later in the year, he added. Off the Tape In his "Off The Tape" segment, Cramer spoke with Ali Partovi, an angel investor and serial entrepreneur who recently gave a TED talk on move towards natural and organic foods. Partovi said that organic foods are only more expensive than industrially produced alternatives because of the supply and demand mismatch. For decades, our government has been encouraging farmers to plant corn and soy and penalizing them if they plant fruits or vegetables. Thus supply is not keeping up with demand. It's actually cheaper to produce organic foods, Partovi continued. Farmers save on fertilizers and chemicals. It's hard to make the transition to organic, however, because it takes up to three years to certify a field as organic. Partovi commended McDonald's for its recent decision to offer antibiotic-free chicken. He said big players like McDonald's have the power to help move the needle and raise awareness for healthier eating. Must Read: 7 Utilities Stocks With High Dividends That You Should Buy Now Lightning Round In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Fiat Chrysler , Dominion Resources , Consolidated Edison , American Electric Power and Alcoa . Cramer was bearish on Neurocrine Biosciences , Cummins , TransAlta and Western Digital . No Huddle Offense In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer responded to a tweet he received on Twitter, asking where he would invest new money in the market. Cramer said this type of question simply doesn't lend itself to a 140-character answer. Among the several areas asked about in the tweet, Cramer said the cult stocks like Tesla Motors , Amazon.com and Netflix are all intriguing, but he prefers stocks with traditional valuations. Biotech remains a Cramer fave and he continues to recommend his "four horsemen" along with Receptos and Biomarin , athough Biomarin needs to cool off. Cramer said in the oil patch he's warming up to Schlumberger , an Action Alerts PLUS name, while he also continues to recommend his newly minted "four horsemen" of semiconductors. Must Read: Two Ways Individual Investors Can Gain Exposure to Gold To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC. To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wall Street seems to love lighting products supplier Acuity Brands , pushing its shares near all-time highs. Expectations are still high ahead of the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings Wednesday.Shares closed Monday at $172.57, up nearly 3% on the day, 23% for the year to date and 33% for the past 52 weeks.Acuity's P/E of 40 may not appear cheap when compared to a P/E of 21 for the broader averages but the Atlanta company, which sells products through retailers including Home Depot and Lowe's , has delivered double-digit earnings and revenue growth in six out of its last seven quarters. Must Read: 5 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Selling Following its $252 million acquisition of Quebec-based Distech Controls, Acuity Brands is positioning itself as a leader in building automation and energy management technology. Acuity enjoys higher-than-expected demand today for its light-emitting diode (LED) products, which account for more than 40% of its total sales. Earnings estimates in the last 90 days have climbed more than 8% for the just-ended quarter and are 4.6% higher for the May quarter, implying analysts don't expect the company's performance to falter. For the quarter ended Feb. 28, earnings are expected to be $1.05 per share, marking a 40% jump above last year's earnings of 75 cents per share, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue for the quarter is projected to climb 15% year over year to $628 million. Full-year earnings, ending in August, are projected to climb 34% to $5.32 per share, while full-year revenue is projected to be $2.72 billion, up 13.6%. That Acuity is projected to grow full-year earnings at more the twice the rate of revenue (34% vs. 13.6%) underscores not only the company's attention towards profitability, it also lessens concerns about its valuation. In other words, even though its P/E of 40 may be high, Acuity can deliver on the profit expectations much sooner rather than later. Why the optimism? Aside from the Distech Controls acquisition Acuity is increasing its margins in its current businesses, meaning it knows how to squeeze as much profits from each sales it makes. Equally important, it suggests Acuity is building pricing power over competitors. In its first quarter, for instance, not only did revenue in its LED business climb more than 70% year over year, the company's delivered gross margins of 42.2%, which expanded by 90 basis points. Coupled with operating margins expanding 230 basis points to 14.9%, Acuity delivered earnings per share of $1.17, marking a 14% jump from its year-ago earnings of $1.03 per share. So with full-year 2015 earnings projected to climb 34% and another 24% jump expected for full-year 2016, reaching $6.61 per share, there's still plenty of growth ahead. Its deal for Distech Controls may not yet be factored in and it has an average analyst 12-month price target of $183, calling for 9% gains above current levels of $168. So Acuity may yet be undervalued. Must Read: Two Ways Individual Investors Can Gain Exposure to Gold

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BlackBerry plunged on Wall Street's souring assessment of the smartphone maker following its earnings. Intel took a tumble as analysts downgraded Altera , its potential buyout target. Analog Devices surged on an analyst upgrade and possible Apple customer win.BlackBerry plummeted 7% to close at $8.79 on a day when the broader markets advanced. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Is Buying The smartphone maker was hit with a number of negative assessments from analysts a day after it reported its fourth-quarter earnings. Credit Suisse, which had the lowest price target of the group at $6 a share and an underperform rating, noted the company would continue to "burn cash" and its best alternative would be to break up its operations. Said Credit Suisse: Given the inherent challenges in turning around the services stream, and subscale loss-making hardware business, we believe it would be best for the company to break up. Other analysts, according to a Barron's report, also issued a downbeat assessment of BlackBerry's business. Nomura, which has a neutral rating and $9.70 price target, expressed concern BlackBerry's BES12 license sales would not substantially boost the company's revenue until the second half of its fiscal year and at a level that would yield $456 million in software revenue -- below the company's guidance of $500 million for fiscal year 2016. Intel fell 1.7% to end the session at $31.46 while Altera dropped 3.5% to close at $42.82.On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported Intel was in talks to acquire Altera, which at the time had a market cap of approximately $10.5 billion. Several analysts, according to an Investor's Business Daily report, issued Altera downgrades including Morgan Stanley and CLSA. UBS analyst Stephen Chin, according to the publication, noted Altera's field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) chips, which are used in data centers, have been losing market share in the mid- and low-end FPGA markets over the recent years. If Intel ultimately acquires Altera, it would mark its largest acquisition to date. Analog Devices surged 10.2% to end the day at $64.81.The chip maker soared after Barclays upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight and increased the company's price target to $70 from $55.In making these changes, Barclay's noted it believed Analog Devices had won a contract with Apple to put its 3-D touch feature technology into the iconic computer maker's upcoming iPhones and iPads, according to a MarketWatch report. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Given that water scarcity, especially in California, continues to be a concern, Garvin Jabusch, portfolio manager for the Shelton Alpha Mutual Fund, says he's surprised that water utility companies like Consolidated Water haven't traded that well. Must Read: 6 Worst Technology Stocks That Could Be Killing Your Portfolio The stock is down around 22% in the past 12 months and recently sold off after the company released its fourth quarter earnings results. Despite the recent trend, Jabusch says he likes the stock's long-term prospects, especially as it builds out its huge plant in Mexico, which will be capable of processing 100 million gallons of water per day. It's "almost inescapable that they'll go on to do well" longer term, he reasoned. The recent weakness in the stock has presented a great buying opportunity, given the scarcity of water the world currently faces. Shelton Green Alpha Fund NEXTX data by Charts Jabusch also likes Advanced Energy Industries , a stock that has fared much better -- up almost 40% in the past six months. Unlike most solar stocks, which tend to trade in the same direction as oil prices, Advanced Energy Industries has done the opposite. However, he explained that solar stocks shouldn't have anything to do with oil prices, as they are technology companies. As demand for technology products increases, prices go down. That's in stark contrast to commodities, which see prices go higher as demand rises. Finally, his last pick includes Autodesk , the 3-D software company. The company's products apply to everyone from artists to air traffic engineers, he said. The company grew revenues 13.3% in its most recent quarter, while also topping analysts' EPS estimates. Projects that once took months or years can be done in as little as hours or days now. And while 3-D printing is just one part of Autodesk's businesses, Jabusch says he's very optimistic on 3-D printing for the long-term. Must Read: 11 Best Small-Cap Technology Stocks That Could Hit It Big in 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BlackBerry has had a tough time competing with Apple and Google when it comes to market share for smartphones. But according to this year's Net Promoter Consumer Study, BlackBerry has increased its customer loyalty score more than any other brand or company in the report. That is certain to be good news for company that has had more than its share of stumbles in recent years. Must Read: 5 Tech Stocks George Soros Loves for 2015 The Net Promoter Consumer Study, which is compiled by Satmetrix, determines customer loyalty for individual companies by asking more than U.S. consumers how likely they are to recommend the company to a friend on a scale of 0 to 10. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is calculated by subtracting the percentage of consumers who select 0 to 6 from the percentage of consumers who select 9 or 10. While BlackBerry still comes in last place among the seven smartphone companies that Satmetrix surveys, it increased nearly 15 points from last year, scoring an NPS of 28 this year. While the company still has a ways to go, the NPS improvement is a good indication of a turnaround. "BlackBerry was in a lot of trouble only a year ago and they seem to have recovered," said Brendan Rocks, data scientist at Satmatrix. "It appears that the quality of screen viewing was the main thing that changed for BlackBerry in particular." Not surprisingly, Apple's iPhone took the first place with a score of 63. Samsung got a score of 54, LG got a 41, Motorola got a 33, HTC got a 32, and Nokia got a 30. For the online shopping category, Amazon took the number one spot for the fourth year in a row (Satmetrix has only tracked the online shopping category for four years) with an NPS of 69. Zappos.com, which is actually owned by Amazon, came in second with a score of 57. Then comes Barnes & Noble with a score of 45 and Target at 43. eBay got an NPS of 38, Wal-Mart got a 37, Best Buy got a 31, Overstock got a 24, and Google Shopping came in last with an 11.Must Read: 3 Biggest Takeaways From BlackBerry's Fourth-Quarter Earnings Report "On almost every attribute [Amazon] rates incredibly highly, and are at the top," Rocks said. "If we look at the drivers, it's the breadth of products they have for sale and on top of that it's the competitive pricing. On almost every aspect we measure for online retailers, Amazon did exceptionally well." Target, Amazon and Barnes & Noble were the only companies to increase their score year over year, with Target making the biggest increase in company reputation for the category. Rocks attributes this to a rebound from Target's 2013 data breach. The retailer is gaining back its reputation for safety when it comes to online payments. Netflix overtook Pandora for the online entertainment category with an NPS of 68, with consumers expressing higher levels of satisfaction that the content they're looking to watch is available as well as the fact that the content is available across devices. YouTube and Pandora both have scores of 59, Spotify's at 46, and Amazon Prime/Instant Video has a score of 38. Apple's iTunes, Beats Music, and Google Play all have scores of 30. Another interesting finding was that Uber beat Lyft with an NPS of 37 versus Lyft's score of 9. "Both applications are a commodity offering, they're offering almost the same service," Rocks said. "The ways they differ seems to be largely in their branding and pricing." Despite the fact that Uber has the highest NPS in the software and apps category, it has the lowest rating for company reputation. However, that doesn't seem to be holding the company back from being the category leader overall. "There may be some effect of [Uber] being the brand leader," Rocks said. "It could be the case that people are comparing Uber to not sharing a ride service at all whereas with Lyft they're comparing it to Uber.'" For technology companies especially, Net Promoter Scores can be important indicators of a company's success. "It's a very large leading indicator of customer retention and especially in the technology sector most of these companies have moved towards subscription models, which makes customer retention pretty much the most important indicator for them," Rocks said. Must Read: Can Target Escape the Stigma of Having Been Slow to Digital?

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Angie's List , Home Depot , Lowe's and Yelp are just a few of the companies that should be concerned about Amazon 's entrance into the home services market. The Internet retailing giant's new business lets consumers buy and schedule professional services such as furniture assembly and lawn care from neighborhood professionals through Amazon, which performs background checks and maintains insurance and licensing records. Buyers' accounts aren't charged until the service is complete, and Amazon offers a money-back guarantee.Must Read: 10 Best Online Retail Stocks for 2015 Although Home Services won't significantly contribute to Amazon's earnings results anytime soon, it stands to be a major profit driver a few years down the road. The total U.S. home services market was estimated at $500 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow by a couple of percentage points a year, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Every 1% of the U.S. home services market that Amazon can capture in 2017 would add 5% to its overall business, he estimated, and Amazon could eventually hold a 5% share of a very large market. At present, the company holds a roughly 20% percent share of the e-commerce market, and home services could comprise 25% of its profit in 10 years because it's such a high-margin business, he added. After launching with little fanfare in the fall as Amazon Local Services, the program was rebranded under the current name. Amazon hasn't publicly said how the unit has performed, and didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. "They may be a little bit more aggressive in terms of how they're marketing it," Munster said, adding that when he recently purchased a television wall mount at Amazon.com, a popup asked if he wanted services for the purchase. Amazon Home Services is currently available in markets including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Because of its range of offerings, the number of home services companies that stand to be impacted is huge. Must Read: 10 New Stocks Billionaire David Einhorn Loves "Home services is a notoriously fragmented market," said Munster. About 50% of the home services business is generated via word of mouth and the other 50% is generated online by a wide variety of companies that may be affected by Amazon Home Services, including Yelp, he said. In the bricks-and-mortar sector, Home Depot and Lowe's could both be hurt by Amazon Home Services because they perform installation work and Amazon will be competitive with them, he said. Amazon Home Services seems to be aimed squarely at Angie's List, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said by email. The main difference is that Amazon guarantees satisfaction, and its services are priced before the work is done, so consumers will know what they are getting and have some recourse if they are unhappy with the work, he said. "My guess is that it will work well," said Pachter, who estimated that Amazon collects a referral fee of about 10% in exchange for procuring work for each vendor. "I think this will gain some traction." For now, Amazon Home Services is widely available in only a few large, urban markets and offers limited services in smaller markets."This is going to take a while to contribute meaningful revenue," Pachter said. It will probably be immaterial to Amazon's results this year, and add less than 1% -- much less than $1 billion -- next year, he estimated. "It's going to be hard to scale this up to $1 billion for at least a few years," he said. Amazon stands to take business away from companies including Angie's List, Home Depot, Lowe's and Yelp, among others, Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, said by email. "Given the tremendous size and need for innovation in the local services marketplace, it is not surprising that consumers will have choices," Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie's List and its chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "We see Amazon's approach as validation of the local services strategy Angie's List has pioneered, including the ability to buy local services online." Home Depot declined to comment, while Yelp and Lowe's didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Is Buying

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Chinese online sports-lottery company 500.com closed down 9.76% to $10.63 on Monday as alleged corruption rumors continued to swirl around the company. Adam Gefvert, head analyst at White Diamond Research, tweeted Monday that there is "major corruption going on there" and the Chinese government is "cracking down on it." The company has had issues with sales suspensions since late February. 500.com announced earlier this month that "the remaining provincial sports lottery administration centers to which the company provides sport lottery sales services that such provincial sports lottery administration centers also plan to temporarily suspend accepting online purchase orders for lottery products." Furthermore, the company said at that time that it planned during the suspension period "to continue processing online orders for lottery products that are distributed by local lottery stations and represented by paper lottery tickets." Therefore, 500.com expected transaction volume to decline sharply, which would likely "materially and adversely" affect the company's financial results during the temporary suspension period. In late February, 500.com announced some sales suspensions that came as a response to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Civil Affairs, and General Administration of Sports of the People's Republic of China's notice on "issues related to self-inspection and self-remedy of unauthorized online lottery sales" issued on January 15. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates 500.COM LTD -ADR as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate 500.COM LTD -ADR (WBAI) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 83.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $14.15 million to $2.28 million. Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 67.01%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 86.66% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. The gross profit margin for 500.COM LTD -ADR is currently very high, coming in at 89.89%. Regardless of WBAI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.80% trails the industry average. In comparison to the other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, 500.COM LTD -ADR's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500. 500.COM LTD -ADR has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, 500.COM LTD -ADR increased its bottom line by earning $0.70 versus $0.51 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.11 versus $0.70). You can view the full analysis from the report here: WBAI Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of DryShips were gaining 1.2% to 82 cents a share after-hours Monday after the shipping company announced plans to sell its tanker fleet. DryShips said it will sell four Suzemax tankers through a subsidiary to entities controlled by CEO George Economou. The deal for the Suzemax tankers is for about $245 million. The company also announced a potential deal to sell six Aframax tankers. DryShips said it could sell the six Aframax tankers for up to $291 million. The agreements for the tankers are not effective until the purchaser confirms their unconditional acceptance by June 30. "We are pleased to announce the sales of our four Suezmax tankers," CFO Ziad Nakhleh said in a statement. "Net of the repayment of associated secured bank debt, these transactions are expected to generate approximately $125 million in free cash which will be used to prepay an amount under our ABN AMRO Bridge Loan which has a balance of $185 million as of today, as well as for general corporate purposes." TheStreet Ratings team rates DRYSHIPS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate DRYSHIPS INC (DRYS) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: DRYS's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 73.92%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Marine industry and the overall market, DRYSHIPS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Marine industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 1.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$24.37 million to -$24.00 million. The gross profit margin for DRYSHIPS INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.50%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -4.01% is in-line with the industry average. DRYSHIPS INC has improved earnings per share by 33.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, DRYSHIPS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.09 versus -$0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.09 versus -$0.09). You can view the full analysis from the report here: DRYS Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With better-than-expected results coming in earlier this month from firearms maker Smith & Wesson , analysts have become more positive about demand in the firearms industry. This bodes well for outdoor sporting goods retailer Sportsman's Warehouse , which makes money from higher firearms sales and ammunition. If Smith & Wesson's results are any indication, there's an opportunity here for patient investors to capitalize on better-than-expected demand for gun sales. Hunting and shooting make up roughly half of Sportsman's Warehouse's sales. That said, betting on Sportsman's Warehouse should be a long-term play, given the company's long-term growth objectives and analysts' confidence in its ability to deliver on its promise. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks Ahead of Wednesday's fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results, the Utah-based retailer has momentum. Not to mention, at 20 times earnings, these shares are still attractive. That's also given the projected growth predicted by analysts at Credit Suisse. Sportsman's Warehouse's P/E is still one point below the average P/E of S&P 500 stocks. Must Read: Kleiner Perkins Prevails in Pao Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Still, Sportsman's Warehouse carries a lot a debt, which stood at about $230 million, according to Yahoo! Finance. That's when netting out its cash position of $1.74 million, as of the third quarter. Sportsman's Warehouse has been a publicly traded company for less than a year, so it doesn't have a long track record. What is known is that the company has aggressive goals, including for the expansion of several new stores this fiscal year. The current store count is 54 (up from 48). The stores operate in 18 states. The company thinks the industry, which it projects to grow in excess of $50 billion, is too fragmented. Sportsman's Warehouse wants a large chunk of that market by being a pure-play outdoor sporting goods retailer -- one that can squeeze out the mom-and-pop shops that account for 65% of the industry's revenue. Growing its store count, which assumes most of the debt currently on its balance sheet, will take time. But it won't be easy with such competitors as Cabela's , Bass Pro Shop and Gander Mountain all prominently positioned in the western U.S. The latter two companies both have more Western stores than Sportsman's Warehouse. Gander Mountain -- at 135 stores -- has more than twice as many locations. Is that a roadblock worth worrying about? Must Read: Best U.S. Cities for Finding a Job In December, Credit Suisse analyst Seth Signam sees enough growth opportunities to rate Sportsman's Warehouse stock as an Outperform with an $11 price target, suggesting almost 40% gains from Friday's close of $7.99. "We continue to view SPWH as an interesting investment story for 2015, based on the long-term growth opportunity, the recovery opportunity in the category, the numerous internal drivers and cheap valuation," Signam said in a note to investors. While citing challenges of unfavorable weather and increased pricing pressure in the firearms category, "That story still requires some patience," Signam said. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, consensus estimates are for 21 cents a share on revenue of $187 million, according to Yahoo! Finance. For the full year, earnings are projected to be 49 cents a share, while revenue is projected to be $662 million. With the stock up 9% so far in 2015 and tailwinds at its back, Sportsman's Warehouse deserves a long look. Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- World Wrestling Entertainment shares are rallying slightly in after-hours trading on Monday after the stock closed down 14.35% to $14.15 in intraday trading, one day after the airing of the biggest show of its calendar year, Wrestlemania 31, on concerns about the growth of the company's subscription business.Westlemania 31 was the highest grossing and most viewed event in the company's history, bringing in $12.6 million in gross revenue, though WWE has not revealed Pay Per View revenue totals. The company also announced that subscriptions to its WWE Network grew to 1.3 million, almost double the 667,000 that the company had during the same time last year. The company said that it averaged 918,000 paid subscribers during the first quarter this year.However, shares fell today on fears that a free company promotion is responsible for the strong subscription numbers and that those numbers will fade once the promotion ends."When the Pay Per View number comes out, the number will then be comparable to last year. My view is that if this number ends up over 1.5 million combined, that's a really good fact for the economics of the business," Needham analyst Laura Martin told the Associated Press earlier today.Shares traded on heavy volume today with 6.62 million shares changing hands, almost 10 times the stock's daily trading average of 730,000 shares.TheStreet has more coverage here. TheStreet Ratings team rates WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC (WWE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share. WWE's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, WWE has a quick ratio of 1.55, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs. WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.40 versus $0.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.34 versus -$0.40). The gross profit margin for WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 32.47%. Regardless of WWE's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WWE's net profit margin of -1.15% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, WORLD WRESTLING ENTMT INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: WWE Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Oil prices stagnate below $50 per barrel but Kyle Brownlee sees an opportunity in the sector -- Continental Resources , which has been buying acreage. It's a smart move by management to buy when assets are cheap and Continental is a "very, very well-run company," Brownlee, CEO of Wymer Brownlee, said Monday. "I'm a buyer." Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying Continental has solid cash flows, high investment grade rated debt and great long-term potential now that shares are down 45% from the 52-week highs. It has also lowered its breakeven oil production price down to $40 per barrel, which is helping improve its profitability, Brownlee said. Continental shares closed Monday at $44. United States Oil ETF USO data by YCharts Another company Brownlee likes is Spectra Energy . The pipeline company is down just 13% from its 52-week high and pays a dividend yield slightly north of 4%. That yield is one of the stock's most attractive qualities, Brownlee said. He said Spectra has dividend coverage ratio of 160%, meaning that the dividend payments are likely to keep on coming, despite the "choppy" energy environment at the moment. Shares closed Monday close to $37. Finally, outside the energy business Brownlee said General Electric , a "great household name" and one of his top picks. The stock is down roughly 10% from its highs, while the broader stock markets press against all-time highs. The 3.6% dividend yield is also attractive. Shares closed at $25. Unlike the investors want reportedly want CEO Jeff Immelt out, Brownlee defended Immelt, saying he has concentrated on the value of the stock and power of GE's dividend. Must Read: Two Ways Individual Investors Can Gain Exposure to Gold

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- On the heels of the success of the Walt Disney Co.'s latest live action film, "Cinderella," a retelling of one of the company's classic animated features, Disney is said to be adding to its remake library with a retelling of its 1998 cartoon feature "Mulan," the Hollywood Reporter said.Shares of Disney closed higher by 0.61% to $106.12 on Monday afternoon. Disney is said to have purchased a script from the writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek, the Hollywood Reporter added. Disney's latest live action remake "Cinderella," which was released earlier this month, made box office magic during its opening weekend with a reported $70.1 million domestically and $132 million globally. "Cinderella" has earned $336.2 million worldwide to date, the Hollywood Reporter noted. Disney previously announced plans for a live action retelling of its early 90's classic "Beauty and the Beast." Earlier today the family entertainment and media company's rival DreamWorks stock gained on better than expected weekend box office success with its latest animated feature "Home." The movie brought in $54 million over the weekend, exceeding the $30 million to $35 million analysts had expected, Reuters reports. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates DISNEY (WALT) CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate DISNEY (WALT) CO (DIS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: DIS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share. DISNEY (WALT) CO has improved earnings per share by 23.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, DISNEY (WALT) CO increased its bottom line by earning $4.25 versus $3.38 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.89 versus $4.25). The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, DISNEY (WALT) CO's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 53.05% to $1,855.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DISNEY (WALT) CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 47.71%. Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 33.85% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels. You can view the full analysis from the report here: DIS Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cal-Maine Foods shares closed trading down 1.79% to $38.38 following the release of the shell egg producer's third quarter financial results before the opening bell today.The Jackson, MS-based company reported third quarter earnings per share of $1.05 per diluted share, an 18% increase over the same period last year, on revenue of $437.6 million that increased by 10.6% over the same period last year as food sales grew by double digits during the quarter.Analysts on average were expecting the company to report earnings of $1.18 per share on revenue of $410.7 million.Shares are rising in after-hours trading today however, up 1.45% to $38.94. TheStreet Ratings team rates CAL-MAINE FOODS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CAL-MAINE FOODS INC (CALM) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: You can view the full analysis from the report here: CALM Ratings Report CALM data by YCharts Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Barrick Gold Corp. closed down by 1.33% to $11.14 on Monday afternoon as the mining sector took a hit today due to the declining price of gold. Gold for June delivery fell by 1.27% to $1,185.40 per ounce on the COMEX this afternoon. The yellow metal was driven into the red today off of a stronger dollar and comments made by Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen regarding an interest rate hike, which could come later this year. The dollar was up by 0.65% this afternoon, according to the Wall Street Journal dollar index. Yellen said that a rise in the Fed's benchmark rate "may well be warranted later this year," given the sustained improvement's in the nation's economic conditions, Reuters reports, adding that gold pays no interest and has benefitted from lower rates and the Fed's accommodating policies following the 2008-2009 credit crisis. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BARRICK GOLD CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate BARRICK GOLD CORP (ABX) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $371.00 million or 63.48% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower. The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, ABX's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.30, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs. ABX's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 36.86%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Metals & Mining industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 0.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$2,830.00 million to -$2,851.00 million. The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, BARRICK GOLD CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABX Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After bouncing slightly on Friday, the S&P 500 roared higher on Monday, up 1.3% as investors cheered the potential monetary easing from the People's Bank of China. The central bank party continues, Joseph Terranova, chief market strategist for Virtus Investment Partners, said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime" show, which took place at the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Alternatives Conference in New York City. Must Read: Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks While the major stock indices have done well the past few years, alternative investments offer a low correlation to help buffer some of the volatility generally seen in stocks, Terranova added. Stephen Weiss, founder and managing partner of Short Hills Capital Partners LLC, agreed, adding that "it's been a relatively easy market cycle" for investors, given the added liquidity from the Federal Reserve and other global central banks. He says investing will likely get much tougher going forward, but investors should still keep their portfolio overweighted toward equities. Much of Monday's rally could also be from "window dressing," when fund managers want to get into stocks before the end of the quarter and get ready for the rest of the year, said Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management. There's also the all-important non-farm payrolls report on Friday. While Terranova didn't speculate what the report would say about the labor market in March, he did say stocks seem likely to rally in the days after the report is released. If one thing is certain, there's going to be much less certainty going forward than there has been the past few years, according to Colbert Narcisse, global head of alternatives at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management . Already, there's uncertainty surrounding the Fed's policy on interest rates, oil prices and the European recovery. The past few years of low volatility and steady gains in the stock market have made it tough to push alternative investments like private equity and private real estate into investors' portfolios, he said. But with the increase in uncertainty going forward, it would be wise for investors to consider the asset group for part of their allocation. Broadly speaking, Jamie Dinan, founder and CEO of York Capital, which has $86 billion in managed assets, says the U.S. economy has good growth, but not great growth. Nevertheless, stocks can continue higher, as investors continue to demonstrate impressive "price discipline," as the S&P 500 trades at roughly 17 times earnings. The Federal Reserve will be very calculated in when and how often it raises interest rates, but ultimately higher rates will be healthy for the economy, Dinan reasoned. U.S. citizens are upbeat about the economy, which is also a good thing. He believes the rally in Japanese equities can continue and he's positive about Europe, especially considering the current, low oil prices. Must Read: You’re Just Too Old and You Just Don’t Get the Apple Watch Regarding biotech stocks being in a bubble, Dinan says it's "hard to say." Some companies have rich valuations, but shouldn't be sold short due to their acquisition potential. As for the ETFs, those are also hard to sell short due to the high quality companies in the funds. There seem to be better opportunities in the market then selling short biotech stocks, he said. Some of those opportunities include Kraft Foods Group and J.M. Smuckers , the latter of which has a 20% upside from current levels. "There's going to be a lot of consolidation in the food industry," he said. Brown said Restoration Hardware and Nike have momentum. He said that Restoration Hardware is a "fantastic company" and although it has superior growth to its peers, it also has a higher valuation. However, Brown is not a buyer of the stock. Terranova added that analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded Restoration Hardware to a buy. He said that he would own the stock with put options as downside protection. The athletic apparel trade continues to carry stocks like Nike, Under Armour , Foot Locker , Finish Line and Dick's Sporting Goods higher. Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying

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NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk works miracles with automobiles and rockets and using the sun, but right now he needs to work a miracle with his company's stock price. Lately, his words haven't been doing Tesla stockholders any favors, though. It may seem easy to see the Tesla daily chart is mired in bearish territory just by glancing at the price action, but there's more. Tesla's price seems to be at a possible breaking point. The stock has been stuck in a downtrending (bearish) channel since February as part of a larger move down. The shares tried to rally in February, but once again, bulls are being tested as Tesla sits right near January lows. The challenge for the bulls is even a bounce from here will likely be capped at $200, which acts not only as a psychological barrier but is also the top resistance of the price channel. While it is tough to short in the hole, a close under $185 opens up additional downside and a bounce into $200 looks like an attractive put buying entry with a stop in the $207 area.Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend StocksDaily Chart Source: StockCharts.comIf there is a bounce to come, I would prefer to wait for past signals that played out well. The best signals have been a combination of a Slow K (%K) bullishly crossing over the Slow D (%D) while near or under the oversold line and when the 13-period relative strength index is also oversold. Why try to catch the falling knife, when the floor has been shown to us several times in the recent past? The bearish channel is even more pronounced on Tesla's weekly chart. The positive here is there is a strong support at the $170-$175 level combining both past support and the current bearish channel. One might try to argue a somewhat awkward-looking head and shoulders, but I would counter there is no need to make this too complicated. The channel is clear and has seven months of price action within its walls. Use it. Weekly ChartSource: StockCharts.com While the Vortex Indicator has not caught the precise tops and bottoms, it has been a very good guideline for the current trend as well as an indicator not worth fighting. Pair that with the longer-term moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicator and the combination of the two, when aligned with each other, is worth noting. Currently, these are both bearish and in combination with the price action, Tesla is a tough buy. The resistance on the weekly and the daily charts sit at the same $200. It feels like any bounce will get there, but not beyond. The weekly chart is a bit tougher since it sits directly in the midst of the price channel, but in the end, the bears have the upper hand. Nothing will change until Tesla can spend several days, maybe several weeks, over the key $200 level.Must Read: Amazon, Twitter, Uber, Lending Club and the Next Internet BubbleThis piece was originally publish on Real Money March 30 at 9 a.m. EDT

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of CyrusOne were falling 2.9% to $31.59 after-hours Monday after the REIT announced a new public offering of common stock. CyrusOne announced it will offer 12.2 million shares of common stock in the public offering. The underwriters of the offering will have a 30-day option to purchase 1.83 million additional shares of common stock at the unannounced offering price. All shares in the offering will be offered by CyrusOne. The company said it plans to use the proceeds from the public offering to purchase limited partnership interests in its CyprusOne LP operating partnership from Cincinnati Bell subsidiaries. The company will purchase one common unit in the partnership for each share sold in the offering. Cincinnati Bell will own about 24.8% of CyrusOne following the offering, or about 22% if the underwriters exercise their option in full. CyrusOne is a owner, operator and developer of enterprise-class, carrier-neutral data center properties TheStreet Ratings team rates CYRUSONE INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate CYRUSONE INC (CONE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 10.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Compared to its closing price of one year ago, CONE's share price has jumped by 46.95%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year. CYRUSONE INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CYRUSONE INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.25 versus -$1.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.16 versus -$0.25). The gross profit margin for CYRUSONE INC is rather low; currently it is at 16.46%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -8.05% is significantly below that of the industry average. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 438.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.30 million to -$7.00 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: CONE Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- American International Group shares closed up 1.2% to $54.68 in intraday trading on Monday before afternoon reports that Chairman Robert S. "Steve" Miller will be stepping down in July, according to the Wall Street Journal.The company has not settled on a replacement as of yet but it is believed that the next chairman currently serves on the company's board of directors, according to the paper's sources. Miller is expected to remain on the company's board after stepping down as chairman.Miller took control of AIG's board in 2010 as the company was in the middle of recovering from nearly being bankrupt following the financial collapse of 2008. He was previously CEO of auto-parts company Delphi from 2005-2007.Shares are flat in after-hours trading. TheStreet Ratings team rates AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP (AIG) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Although AIG's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock. AIG, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 10.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share. The gross profit margin for AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP is rather low; currently it is at 20.20%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.35% trails that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $650.00 million or 65.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. You can view the full analysis from the report here: AIG Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of SouFun Holdings closed up 6.54% to $6.35 on Monday after China's central bank governor made some encouraging remarks that boosted the market of the world's most populous nation. Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China, said at a forum in the Chinese city of Boao on Sunday that that the U.S. dollar could grow "too strong" and lead to capital flows out of China and other nations. The governor also said monetary easing by major central banks had pushed up the dollar. He added that he expects "more room" for China to further relax its policy if the economy remains soft and inflation continues to weaken, according to Reuters. Furthermore, the PBOC governor cautioned about the threat of deflation in China, as the slowdown in consumer-price gains happened a little too quickly. The governor's comments sent Chinese stocks such as SouFun, E-House , and Leju , higher on Monday. Hong Kong-traded shares climbed the most in 2015, according to Bloomberg. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates SOUFUN HLDGS LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate SOUFUN HLDGS LTD (SFUN) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: SFUN's revenue growth trails the industry average of 18.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. The gross profit margin for SOUFUN HLDGS LTD is currently very high, coming in at 82.22%. Regardless of SFUN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, SFUN's net profit margin of 37.00% significantly outperformed against the industry. SFUN's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that SFUN's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 2.20 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity. Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, SOUFUN HLDGS LTD's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. You can view the full analysis from the report here: SFUN Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks recaptured positive territory thanks to a trifecta of good news on the penultimate day of first-quarter trading. A deluge of big pharma M&A deals, residual goodwill from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday and signs China might introduce further monetary easing helped power broader markets higher. The S&P 500 added 1.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its biggest one day gain since early February, gaining 1.6% or 262 points. The Nasdaq popped 1.2%. "Last week we saw a fairly significant pullback in the S&P 500. It was 3.3% from the intraweek high to the low," said BTIG Research chief technical strategist, Katie Stockton, in a telephone call. "The market is primed for some stabilization ... People that are bullish [want] to buy into weakness and I think that's what's happening today." UnitedHealth was among the top performers on the Dow after announcing it would buy pharmacy-benefit management company Catamaran for $12.8 billion, or $61.50 a share. UnitedHealth spiked 2.5%, while Catamaran surged 23.7%. Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals announced it would buy Auspex Pharmaceuticals for $3.2 billion, or $101 a share in cash, a 42% premium to its recent close. Auspex climbed 41.5%. Horizon Pharma rocketed 17.7% higher after announcing it will buy Hyperion Therapeutics for $1.1 billion. Small-cap Hyperion jumped 7.6%. Positive momentum from Yellen's speech on Friday continued into Monday's session. Speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Yellen said a "gradual" return to the normal funds rate was likely and underlined that the central bank would move cautiously. Yellen said she expects conditions to "warrant an increase ... sometime this year." "While she again confirmed rates are headed higher, she sounded a word of caution about the pace of future rate increases after the FOMC's initial move," said Chris Gaffney, president at EverBank World Markets. "Yellen is obviously trying to 'soften the blow' of the initial rate increase, setting the markets up for a change in policy but not wanting investors to read too much into the first rate hike in a decade." China's Shanghai Composite rocketed 2.6% higher on Monday after the People's Bank of China cut down payments on second homes to 40% from 60%, a move to spark growth in the property sector. PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan suggested on Sunday that the central bank had further "room to act," a hopeful sign of more monetary easing on the horizon. Energy stocks led markets higher despite a decline in crude oil prices. Among the large-caps, Exxon Mobil , Chevron , Kinder Morgan , and Schlumberger all moved higher, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF jumped 2.2%. Crude oil prices fell as negotiations for an Iran nuclear deal closed in on the deadline. Six countries are discussing a nuclear deal in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions which, if approved, would likely lead to more crude added to global oversupply. West Texas Intermediate slid 0.7% to $48.53 a barrel. Late Friday, Intel surged more than 6% on reports it will buy fellow semiconductor company Altera , according to The Wall Street Journal. If a deal comes to pass it would mark Intel's largest takeover yet. Intel and Altera were giving back some of Friday's gains on Monday. Analog Devices led the S&P 500 higher after Barclays upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight. Analysts said they were more positive on the chipmaker on the belief it had secured multiple sockets in the next of Apple's iPad and iPhone models. Netflix shares moved 2% higher on news the streaming company had added Anne Sweeney, former co-chair of Disney Media Networks and Disney-ABC Television Group, to its board. Microsoft's executive vice president, Brad Smith, also joined the board.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Target Corp. closed higher by 0.71% to $82.14 on Monday afternoon, following reports that the retail giant is speeding up its timetable for its planned Canada exit one month ahead of schedule. A court appointed monitor that is overseeing the closure of the Target Canada stores says all 133 locations will be completely shut down "as early as mid-April," the Financial Post reports. So far 17 of Target's Canada stores have closed in March, another six locations closed today, 23 more are said to be closing on April 1 and 32 more on April 2. "It is anticipated that the pace of delivery of vacate notices...will continue to increase over the next two weeks," the monitor wrote in an update filed with the court, Financial Post added. "All stores are expected to be closed to the public as early as mid-April 2015," the monitor added. In January Target announced that it was exiting its business in Canada as it struggled to turn a profit and dealt with substantial losses. "After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021," Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement released in January. Insight from TheStreet's Research Team: Target is a core holding of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. During the most recent weekly roundup this is what Jim Cramer, Portfolio Manager and Jack Mohr, Director of Research - Action Alerts PLUS had to say about the stock: The shares were flat this week on little news. Last week, the company announced that it is raising its minimum wage to $9 per hour starting next month in a move that is a clear response to recent increases at peers Wal-Mart (WMT) and T.J. Maxx (TJX). Target's move comes less than a month after Wal-Mart announced that it was giving half a million U.S. workers a raise, bringing its minimum hourly pay to $9 in 2015 and $10 next year, and several weeks after T.J. Maxx said it would do the exact same. Everyone in large-box retail is compelled to follow Wal-Mart's lead, and Target is no exception. We believe the company is making the right move, and forecast the EPS impact to be minimal. Of course, we would need more information on the current number of employees (out of its 366,000 full- time, part-time and seasonal "team members") currently being paid minimum wage in order to make a more specific cost impact determination, but assuming it is a small portion (less than 1% of Wal-Mart's employees were being paid minimum wage), the cost effect should be under $10 million annually. If the number of minimum wage employees is high (10% or above) the cost impact would well exceed $50 million annually, but we believe the likelihood of this scenario is low. We will look to next quarter's conference call to hear more, unless management is willing to provide further information in the meantime. Target has more than enough room to raise wages amid its massive $2 billion cost saving program. We reiterate our strong bullish view on the stock. Our target is $90. -Jim Cramer and Jack Mohr 'Weekly Roundup' Originally Published on 3/27/2015 on Action Alerts PLUS Want more from Jim Cramer and Jack Mohr BEFORE your stock moves? Learn more about Action Alerts Plus now! Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates TARGET CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate TARGET CORP (TGT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income." You can view the full analysis from the report here: TGT Ratings Report Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 25 Stocks for 2015

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In addition to model-portfolio holding Sonoco Products , which we highlighted last week, here are four names from the S&P SuperComposite 1500 Index that we believe will increase dividends in the second quarter. Each company currently yields more than 2%, which is both the average yield of the S&P 500 index and the yield of the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note. Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Stock Buys In addition, these companies have boosted payouts at least 10 consecutive years, are expected to grow earnings in the current year and can cover the dividend at least twice with expected full-year earnings. Readers will also note these four stocks represent four different sectors of the market, as it's important for investors to maintain diversified portfolios. Two names that don't appear on this list but likely would have one year ago are Chevron and ExxonMobil . Chevron has increased its payouts for 27 consecutive years, while XOM has for 32 consecutive years. But with recent fourth-quarter earnings reports, we have seen how even the largest, most-diversified energy companies have had their earnings power decimated in the past six months because of lower underlying commodity prices. Consumer Target will likely raise its quarterly dividend in June. The retailer currently pays out 52 cents a share (2.5% yield) each quarter, which can be covered 2.2 times by expected fiscal 2016 (ending January) earnings of $4.55 a share. What's more, the company’s bonds are A-rated. Financials Cullen/Frost Bankers is expected to boost its quarterly dividend for the 21st-consecutive year in April. The Texas-based bank currently pays out 51 cents a share (2.9% yield) each quarter, which is equal to 45% of expected 2015 earnings. The company is also one of the few financial institutions we know of that did not reduce its dividend during the financial crisis of 2008/2009. Healthcare Johnson & Johnson will likely raise its quarterly dividend for the 53rd-consecutive year in April. The drugmaker currently pays out 70 cents a share (2.8% yield) each quarter, which can be covered 2.2 times with expected 2015 earnings of $6.20 a share. The company’s bonds are also AAA-rated. Materials Airgas is expected to increase its quarterly dividend in May. The industrial and maker of specialty gases currently pays out 55 cents a share (2.1% yield) each quarter, which is equal to 45% of expected fiscal 2015 (ended March) earnings of $21.81. Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves

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