stock market futures

Autodesk: One of the rosier quarters in some time

The days of Wine and Roses is actually both the name of a film and a song. The film was bittersweet to say the least and it is hard to call the ending happy. The title refers to the love story of two alcoholics in the early 1960s. But the lyrics allow one to forget what the movie was all about. The director of the film was the well-known director Blake Edwards and the theme of the film was really an examination of the perils of alcoholism on two middle class lovers and their child. And it has nothing whatsoever that I can see with the outlook for Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) except that the lyrics taken by themselves describe where I think this company is going.

The company reported the results for its fiscal Q2 after the market closed last Thursday and the shares appreciated 8% on Friday. In fact, ADSK shares have been a strong performer so far this year as investors have become more convinced that the company’s bu siness model transition is working well and the company will address the issue of bloated costs as well and will achieve the objectives of increasing growth and profitability over the longer term. This was obviously not a universal conclusion, and in the midst of writing this article, one brokerage, Mitsubishi, chose to downgrade the shares from Neutral to Underweight because of doubts by the analyst that the subscription model will be a demand driver. I’m not too sure the extent to which the analyst has been paying careful attention either to the results that Adobe has enjoyed with demand since it went to a cloud model or to the objectives of this transformation. All I can say at this point in the wake of the earnings release is that it had more positive proof points about the potential for new model subscriptions and no obvious failures in that regards, facts being inconvenient things in that regard. I do not think that anyone really expects that demand for the Autodesk so lutions will accelerate markedly because of the new business model, although that might happen. (The end of this article discusses, at least at one level, such a possibility.) On the other hand, subscription models, by their nature, will yield higher margins and more cash flow for companies – one can look at something as mundane as Aspen Tech (NASDAQ:AZPN) which simply switched from perpetual to subscription without any cloud to a rather amazing change in the company’s business model.

stock market futures: Olympic Steel Inc.(ZEUS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Basic materials shares gained around 1.89 percent in trading on Tuesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Olympic Steel, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZEUS), and Mechel PAO (ADR) (NYSE: MTL).

stock market futures: CVS Health Corporation(CVS)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Over the past two decades we have seen many transformational deals in healthcare
    services. A large majority of them get off to difficult starts. But then there is the bifurcation. Some transactions continue to pressure the purchaser (Davita (DVA) and Healthcare Partners for example), while others reset the expectations and then reap significant long term benefits (CVS (CVS) and Caremark for example). The weaker outlook for the newly combined Envision was not entirely a surprise in light of the magnitude of the merger. The real question becomes does the management team fully understand the magnitude of the weakness, the drivers of the weakness and are those now included in guidance for the future. We are confident that the combined entity will generate cost synergies as well as revenue opportunities that were not available to either of the legacy entities. We believe that the remaining segments, after a portfolio review that is leading to expected divestitures, will be solid growth businesses. We simply acknowledge that the path to that higher earnings base may be volatile, and last night was the first bump in that road.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    A long term performance chart shows shares of Rite Aid Corporation outperforming thealso solid performanceoflarge capsWalgreens Boots AllianceandCVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS):


    Target (TGT) — yielding 3.09%
    American Express (AXP) — yielding 1.73%
    CVS Health (CVS) — yielding 2.12%
    Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) — yielding 2.79%
    Philip Morris Int’l (PM) — yielding 4.52%
    Gap Inc. (GPS) — yielding 3.61%
    Franklin Resources (BEN) — yielding 1.80%
    T. Rowe Price (TROW) — yielding 2.83%
    Omnicom Group (OMC) — yielding 2.49%
    TJX Companies (TJX)—yielding 1.33%

stock market futures: Neometals Ltd (RRSSF)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    The other producing lithium miners, and soon to be producers. I have discussed these previously in detail here, here and here. Needless to say, the top 3 producers are non-pure plays (SQM (NYSE:SQM), Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), and FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC)). The top pure play currently producing miners are Orocobre (ASX:ORE) (OTCPK:OROCF), Tianqi Lithium (SHE:002466), Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium, Galaxy Resources, Mineral Resources [ASX:MIN] (OTC:MALRF), and Neometals [ASX:NMT] (OTC:RRSSF). The near-term producers include Altura Mining [ASX:AJM] (OTCPK:ALTAF), Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) (OTC:PILBF), Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR), Critical Elements, Nemaska Lithium (OTCQX:NMKEF) [TSX:NMX], Lithium Americas (OTCQX:LACDF) [TSX:LAC], Lithium X (OTCQX:LIXXF) (TSXV:LIX), Neo Lithium, and Bacanora Minerals (OTC:BCRMF) [TSXV:BCN], Advantage Lithium (OTCQB:AVLIF) [AAL], European Metals (OTCPK:MNTCF, ASX:EMH, AIM:EMH) and Pure Energy (OTCQB:PEMIF) [PE].

stock market futures: Range Resources Corporation(RRC)

Advisors’ Opinion:


    Range Resources (RRC) was upgraded to outperform at BMO. $44 price target The valuation is more attractive, as business fundamentals are improving, BMO said. 

  • [By Matthew DiLallo]

    According to a report by PLS, producers spent more than $23 billion locking up prime positions in the Permian Basin and another $7 billion on Mid-Continent acreage acquisitions. However, most of those were smaller deals, with the top transaction weighing in at $2.5 billion. Meanwhile, the Ark-La-Tex region near the Gulf Coast quietly tied for the second hottest M&A geography in the country, largely because of Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) acquisition of Memorial Resource Development. Range Resources paid $4.2 billion, which includes the assumption of debt, to gain a leading position in the Lower Cotton Valley region of Northern Louisiana. Not only is the play saturated with natural gas, but it’s also near the Gulf Coast, which is expected to see increased demand from new petrochemical and industrial complexes as well as LNG export facilities. In other words, Range Resources made a big bet on higher gas prices along the Gulf Coast.

stock market futures: Weatherford International plc(WFT)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Weatherford International plc (NYSE: WFT) saw a share 18.9% gain to $5.14 on Wednesday, and the 55.9 million shares was right at 2 times normal trading volume. Weatherford has a consensus analyst price target of $7.43 and a 52-week trading range of $3.73 to $11.14. The company has a total market cap of $5 billion.

  • [By Craig Jones]

    Pete Najarian said that 10,000 contracts of the March 6 calls in Weatherford International Plc (NYSE: WFT) were traded early in the trading session for around $0.35. He has also bought the March 6 calls and he is going to hold them at least for three weeks. Weatherford International Plc spiked 7.21 percent on Tuesday.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Last night, Weatherford International (WFT) reported a smaller than expected loss and announcing an alliance with Nabors Industries (NBR)–and the news was celebrated by the market.

    Getty Images

    No wonder: Weatherford reported a loss of 32 cents a share, less than the 34 cent loss analysts had predicted, on sales of $1.41 billion. Weatherford also said that it would team up with Nabors Industries to offer “integrated drilling solutions,” something we can only imagine is a response to consolidation in the oil-services space.

    Still, not everyone is thrilled with Weatherford’s numbers. Stephens analyst Matthew Marietta, for instance, claims that his “Underweight thesis [is] intact” despite teh better than expected earnings:

    Weatherfordreported $1.41 bil. of 4Q revenue, in line with cons./us. However EBITDA/margin of $67 mil./4.8% were below cons. at $88 mil./6.2% and our $105 mil./7.4% estimates. Despite shutting down its less profitable pressure pumping business for ~1/2 of 4Q, EBITDA/margin underperformance was due to weaker than expected revs/margins in Int’l (excl. MENA/Asia) and Land Drilling, and 8% q/q NAM growth (large cap peers up 9%-15%). Op. EPS was slightly ahead of cons., but benefited from a $27 mil./11% q/q reduction inDepreciation & Amortization and adjustments for $245 mil. (or ~$0.27/sh) of net non-recurring items (>$1.6 bil. total in 2016). Though net debt improved ~$500 mil. q/q, it was largely achieved by diluting shareholders ~9% and ultimately increased total debt to $7.6 bil. We remain UW based on non-recurring charges hitting for 20th straight quarter, ongoing balance sheet concerns/shareholder dilution risk, North America underperformance, and near-t erm declines across various Int’l markets.

    Shares of Weatherford International have jumped 12% to $5.81 at 12:12 p.m. today, while Nabors Industries has fallen 3% to $15.79.

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