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1. U.S. wants stable yuan as part of China trade deal: Bloomberg10:16[−]

While President Donald Trump has expressed flexibility with a March 1 trade-deal deadline, the U.S. wants a stable yuan to be part of any agreement, according to a Bloomberg report, that cited sources. The report said discussions about the Chinese currency have been a part of talks between the two countries over the past several months. The yuan reportedly hit a two-week high against the dollar on Tuesday, last trading at 6.7240.

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2. Office of Government Ethics declines to certify Wilbur Ross financial disclosure report02:18[−]

The Office of Government Ethics has declined to certify the financial disclosure report of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, according to a new filing. The 2018 annual filing wasn't certified because, it says, Ross said he did not hold BankUnited stock while the transaction report from Oct. 31, 2018, demonstrated that he did. The issue over Ross's stake in BankUnited had previously been brought to light by the Center for Public Integrity. In a statement late Tuesday, Ross said he had thought the shares had been sold off in 2017, and directed them to be sold in 2018 to correct the error after learning he still held them. "While I am disappointed that my report was not certified, I remain committed to complying with my ethics agreement and adhering to the guidance of Commerce ethics officials," he said in the statement. The statement also said that the Ross stake was worth $3,700, or 100 shares in total.

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3. La-Z-Boy stock gains 5% after company's fiscal Q3 tops views01:22[−]

Shares of La-Z-Boy Inc. rose nearly 5% in the extended session Tuesday after the furniture maker reported fiscal third-quarter sales and earnings above Wall Street views. La-Z-Boy earned $28.7 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $12.3 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, La-Z-Boy earned 63 cents a share, compared with 25 cents a share a year ago. Sales rose 13% to $468 million in the quarter, compared with $414 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet expected La-Z-Boy to earn an adjusted 55 cents a share on sales of $458 million. La-Z-Boy shares ended the regular trading day up 2.6%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


4. Five9 stock rallies as results beat Street01:07[−]

Five9 Inc. shares rose in the extended session Tuesday after the cloud-based call-center software company's results topped Wall Street estimates. Five9 shares rose 6% after hours, following a 0.1% rise to close the regular session at $54.31. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $3.7 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of $631,000, or 1 cent a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 23 cents a share. Revenue rose to $72.3 million from $55.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $66.4 million. Five9 expects adjusted earnings of 11 cents to 13 cents a share on revenue of $70 million to $71 million for the first quarter, and 58 cents to 62 cents a share on revenue of $298.5 million to $301.5 million for the year. Analysts had forecast earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $68.8 million for the quarter, and 59 cents a share on revenue of $295.8 million for the year.

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5. Analog Devices board OKs 12.5% dividend increase00:51[−]

Analog Devices Inc. said late Tuesday its board of directors has voted to increase the company's quarterly dividend to 54 cents a share, an increase of 12.5% and the 16th dividend increase in the last 15 years for the company. The increase is effective with the dividend payable on March 12 to shareholders of record on March 1, the company said. Shares of Analog Devices rose 0.4% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 1.4%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


6. OneSpan stock jumps more than 20% as results top Street estimates00:43[−]

OneSpan Inc. shares surged more than 20% in the extended session Tuesday after the cybersecurity company reported a surprise profit and topped revenue estimates for the quarter. OneSpan shares, which had been briefly halted before results were released, rallied 29% after hours, following a 3.8% rise to close the regular session at $16.77. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $4 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a loss of $25.8 million, or 65 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 17 cents a share. Revenue rose to $64.8 million from $54.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast a loss of 2 cents a share on revenue of $59.9 million. For the year, OneSpan expects revenue of $229 million to $237 million, while analysts had forecast on revenue of $231.4 million.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


7. Pepsi to buy maker of Muscle Milk00:40[−]

Hormel Foods Corp. said late Tuesday that it was selling its CytoSport business, which makes Muscle Milk, to PepsiCo Inc. . Hormel did not disclose terms of the deal but said it would provide more details on its earnings call Thursday at 8 a.m. Central time. Hormel stock declined less than 1% in after-hours trading, as Pepsi stock was flat. The S&P 500 index closed up 0.2% during the regular session.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


8. Concho Resources stock falls 5% after company misses views00:38[−]

Shares of Concho Resources Inc. fell nearly 5% in the extended session Tuesday after the oil and gas exploration and production company reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street forecasts. Concho said it earned $1.5 billion, or $7.55 a share, in the quarter, compared with $267 million, or $1.79 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, Concho earned $189 million, or 94 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $98 million, or 66 cents a share, a year ago. Total operating revenue reached $1.07 billion, compared with $780 million a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted earnings of $1.11 a share on sales of $1.19 billion. Shares of Concho Resources ended the regular trading day down 1.6%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


9. Cadence Design stock rallies as results, outlook top Street view00:38[−]

Cadence Design Systems Inc. shares rallied in the extended session Tuesday after the chip-design software company's results and outlook topped Wall Street estimates. Cadence Design shares surged 7% after hours, following a 0.1% rise to close the regular session at $52.64. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $98.4 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with a loss of $14.4 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 52 cents a share. Revenue rose to $569.9 million from $501.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $550.3 million. Cadence Design expects earnings of 48 cents to 50 cents a share on revenue of $565 million to $575 million for the first quarter, and $1.97 to $2.07 a share on revenue of $2.27 billion to $2.31 billion for the year. Analysts had forecast 46 cents a share on revenue of $549 million for the first quarter, and $1.96 a share on revenue of $2.26 billion for the year.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


10. Merck stock falls in late trading on cancer study00:29[−]

Merck & Co. Inc. shares declined in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company announced that a study of its Keytruda drug did not meet its goals. The company said that a study on the effectiveness of the drug for patients with a specific type of liver cancer did not reach its defined goals for survival. Merck is testing the drug on a variety of cancers in a big bet on immunotherapy for cancer. Merck shares dipped slightly more than 1% in the extended session after making the announcement, following a 0.7% decline in the regular session. The stock has gained 40.8% in the past 12 months as the S&P 500 index has gained 1.6%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


11. LendingClub stock falls after company misses Q4 expectations00:27[−]

Shares of LendingClub Corp. fell more than 8% in the extended session Tuesday after the peer-to-peer lending company missed revenue expectations and posted an adjusted loss in the fourth quarter. LendingClub said it lost $13.5 million, or 3 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $92 million, or 22 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted for one-time items, LendingClub lost $4.1 million, or 1 cent a share, in the period, compared with an adjusted loss of 3 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $181.5 million, compared with $156.4 million a year ago. Analysts were looking for an adjusted profit of 2 cents a share on sales of $182.1 million. LendingClub shares ended the regular trading day up 1.4%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


12. Stocks eke out gains on U.S.-China trade hopes, Walmart earnings00:03[−]

Investors returned from a three-day weekend to push U.S. stocks slightly higher Tuesday, with equities erasing early weakness on optimism over U.S.-China trade talks. Early support came from strong earnings from retail giant Walmart Inc. . The S&P 500 ended around 4 points higher, up 0.2%, near 2,780, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced around 8 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish near 25,891. The Nasdaq Composite rose around 14 points, or 0.2%, to close near 7,487. U.S.-China talks were set to resume in Washington Tuesday, following up on high-level discussions last week in Beijing. President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters that a March 1 deadline isn't a "magical" date, which investors took as a further suggestion that a hike in tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled to go into effect if a deal isn't reached could be postponed. Walmart shares rose 2.2% after posting better-than-expected results ahead of Tuesday's opening bell.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


13. EIA forecasts U.S. shale oil output to climb by 84,000 barrels a day in MarchВт., 19 февр.[−]

Crude-oil production from seven major U.S. shale plays is forecast to climb by 84,000 barrels a day in March to 8.398 million barrels a day, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration released Tuesday. Oil output from the Permian Basin, which covers parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, is expected to see the largest climb among the big shale plays, with an increase of 43,000 barrels a day in March from February. The March contract for West Texas Intermediate oil futures was trading up 28 cents, or 0.5%, at $55.87 a barrel ahead of its settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


14. New Jersey utility PSEG raises quarterly dividend to 47 cents vs. 45 centsВт., 19 февр.[−]

New Jersey utility Public Service Enterprise Group said Tuesday it's raising its quarterly dividend by 4.4% to 47 cents a share. The new dividend will be payable March 29 to shareholders of record as of March 8. Shares were slightly lower, but have gained 13.6% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.8%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


15. Caesars Entertainment's stock surges after Icahn confirms buying 10% stakeВт., 19 февр.[−]

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed Tuesday that he owned 66.05 million shares of Caesars Entertainment Corp. , or 9.8% of the shares outstanding. That would be enough to make Icahn the third-largest shareholder of the casino operator. Caesars' stock rallied 5.1% in afternoon trade, to put it on track for a 4-month closing high. Icahn's disclosure confirms a report in The Wall Street Journal last week that Icahn owned a 10% stake and planned to push the company to consider selling itself. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday showed that Icahn acquired the shares, through his High River Limited Partnership, Icahn Partners L.P. and Icahn Partners Master Fund L.P. entities, between Jan. 15 and Feb. 14. The stock has run up 16.6% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.4%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


16. Ford quits heavy-truck business in South America at a cost of $460 millionВт., 19 февр.[−]

Ford Motor Co. said Monday it will end its commercial heavy-truck business in South America, calling the move a "key step toward returning" its operations in the region to "sustainable profitability." Production at a Sao Paulo state's plant will end this year and sales of commercial trucks, as well as the Ford Fiesta compact car available for South America, will end once inventory is sold, the car maker said in a statement. The company expects to record pre-tax charges of around $460 million in connection to the announcement, it said. Shares of Ford rose 2.3% Monday. The shares are down nearly 18% in the past 12 months, contrasting with gains of around 1.8% for the S&P 500 index in the same period.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


17. Trump asked for recused official to lead investigation into hush payments: reportВт., 19 февр.[−]

President Donald Trump asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker whether the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, could be put in charge of the investigation into Trump's role in silencing women with hush payments, the New York Times reported, citing "several American officials with direct knowledge of the call." Berman had recused himself from that investigation. The investigation has been led by Robert Khuzami. According to the report, Trump "soon soured" on Whitaker -- it said there's no evidence Whitaker took any steps to intervene -- and complained about Whitaker's inability to make the president's legal problems go away. The report more broadly discusses Trump's "two-year war" on the investigations encircling him.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


18. Gold futures rally to highest settlement since AprilВт., 19 февр.[−]

Gold futures on Tuesday settled at their highest since April, up 1.7% for the biggest single-session percentage rise since November. Caution among traders surrounding potential progress on Brexit and trade talks between the U.S. and China helped to support the haven metal. April gold rose $22.70 to settle at $1,344.80 an ounce. That was the highest most-active contract settlement since April 19, and biggest single-session dollar and percentage gain since Nov. 1, according to FactSet data.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


19. Chinese software company Powerbridge to offer 2.2 million shares in IPO priced at $4.50 to $5.50 a popВт., 19 февр.[−]

Chinese trade software company Powerbridge Technologies set terms for its planned initial public offering on Tuesday, saying in a regulatory filing that it plans to offer 2.2 million shares priced at $4.50 to $5.50 each. The company would raise $4.84 million at the midpoint of that range. The company has applied to list on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "PBTS". Maxim Group and The Benchmark Co. are joint underwriters on the deal. Proceeds will be used to fund research and development, for sales and marketing, for strategic alliances and acquisitions and for working capital and general corporate purposes. "We are a provider of software application and technology solutions and services to corporate and government customers primarily located in China," the company says in its prospectus. "We introduced global trade software applications when we launched our operations in 1997 with a vision to make global trade operations easier for our customers." T

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


20. WTA No. 1 Naomi Osaka upset in Dubai in first tournament after firing coachВт., 19 февр.[−]

Naomi Osaka on Tuesday lost her first match after becoming World No. 1 and then stunning the tennis world by parting ways with ex-coach Sascha Bajin. Osaka lost 3-6, 3-6 to France's Kristina Mladenovic at the Dubai Tennis Championships, in a match marked by numerous errors, including 5 double faults for the world's highest ranked player. Japanese-born Osaka announced that Bajin would no longer enlist Bajin's services as coach via Twitter, less than two weeks after reaching No. 1 in the WTA rankings, coming after a historic Australian Open victory in Melbourne, where she became the first Japanese player to win back-to-back grand slam titles and the country's first No. 1 tennis player. During interviews in Dubai, Osaka, whose father is Haitian, said severing ties with German coach Bajin had nothing to do with money and instead was because she refused to put "success over happiness." She is expected to retain her WTA No. 1 ranking, despite the upset loss.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


21. Targa Resources shares jump 7% after company agrees to sell North Dakota stake in $1.6 billion dealВт., 19 февр.[−]

Targa Resources Corp. shares jumped about 7% Tuesday, after the company said it has agreed to sell a 45% stake in Targa Badlands to private-equity firms GSO Capital Partners and Blackstone Group LP for $1.6 billion in cash. Houston, Tx.-based Targa said it will remain operator and hold majority governance rights in Targa Badlands, which is the entity holding all of its assets in North Dakota. The assets are located in the Bakken and Three Forks Shale plays of the Williston Basin in North Dakota, and include about 480 miles of crude oil pipelines, 125,000 barrels of operational crude oil storage, about 260 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and the Little Missouri natural gas processing plant with a current gross processing capacity of approximately 90 million cubic feet per day. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Proceeds have been earmarked for debt reduction and general corporate purposes, including the growth capital program. Shares have gained 1.2% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.8%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


22. Google to acquire data-migration company AloomaВт., 19 февр.[−]

Alphabet Inc.'s announced Tuesday that it planned to acquire Alooma, a data-migration company. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. "The addition of Alooma, subject to closing conditions, is a natural fit that allows us to offer customers a streamlined, automated migration experience to Google Cloud, and give them access to our full range of database services," Google said in a release. The company expects that the deal will help customers better take advantage of Google's security, machine-learning, and artificial-intelligence technologies. Alphabet shares are up 0.6% in Tuesday morning trading, and they've gained nearly 10% in the past three months. The S&P 500 has risen 3.1% in that time.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


23. Kraton stock soars 27% after company says it may sell Cariflex businessВт., 19 февр.[−]

Chemicals company Kraton Corp. shares soared 27% Tuesday, putting them on track for the biggest one-day percentage gain since the company went public in 2009, after it said it may sell its Cariflex business and unveiled a share buyback program of up to $50 million. Houston, Tx.-based Kraton, which makes polymers used in adhesives, coatings, consumer and personal care products, said it has launched a strategic review of Cariflex, which makes products for the health care industry. The high-margin business has attractive growth prospects that "are not appropriately valued as part of Kraton," Chief Executive Kevin M. Fogarty said in a statement. Proceeds of any deal would be used to pay down debt, he said. Kraton will release fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 27 and is still expecting adjusted EBITDA of about $380 million, excluding impacts from Hurricane Michael. Shares have gained 69% in 2019 so far, while the S&P 500 has gained about 3%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


24. Palo Alto Networks to acquire Demisto for $560 millionВт., 19 февр.[−]

Palo Alto Networks Inc. announced Tuesday that it would be acquiring Demisto, a security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) company, for $560 million in cash and stock. Shares are up 0.7% in morning trading. The Demisto deal "will help bring PANW closer to using AI and machine learning to further automated its customers' security operations," wrote FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi after the announcement. BTIG's Joel Fishbein expects the company to remain acquisitive under Chief Executive Nikesh Arora as it looks to accelerate its application framework. Palo Alto Networks reports earnings on Feb. 26. Its shares have risen 40% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.2%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


25. CenturyLink's stock extends bounce of 2-decade low after analyst upgradeВт., 19 февр.[−]

Shares of CenturyLink Inc. rallied 2.6% in morning trade Tuesday, extending their bounce off last week's 22-year closing low, after MoffettNathanson analyst Nick Del Deo upgraded the communications services company, citing a "sufficiently compelling" valuation following the recent price plunge. Del Deo raised his rating to neutral from sell, but cut his target to $12 from $16. The stock had closed Thursday at $12.78, the lowest level since May 1997, after the company slashed its dividend by more than half. "There's a strong argument to be made that CenturyLink is a long term structural short and the stock is likely to grind lower as the 'Corporate Reaper' comes closer: its revenue losses continue apace; those revenue losses will translate into bottom line erosion; realizing anticipated cost savings carries execution risk; and it still carries a significant debt burden," Del Deo wrote in a note to clients. That said, from a risk-reward perspective, we don't see the current price as sufficiently compelling as to continue to warrant a Sell rating, and therefore are upgrading the shares to Neutral." The stock has tumbled 26% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 3.1%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


26. Lululemon's stock knocked lower after Instinet downgrades on valuation concernsВт., 19 февр.[−]

Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. dropped 2.2% in morning trade Tuesday, after the yoga gear maker was downgraded at Instinet, which cited concerns over valuation given the recent run up in price. Analyst Simeon Siegel cut his rating to neutral from buy, but raised his price target to $157 from $140. He said that while he believes Lululemon is one of the "best stories in retail," with his research suggesting industry-leading same-store sales growth will likely continue, he also believes the recent surge in the stock price already reflects that optimism. The stock has run up 31% since Dec. 24, and 82% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has slipped 2.1% the past year and the S&P 500 has gained 1.6%. "Looking further out, we have every expectation that management will raise their $4 billion revenue target, however, we think that at this point that is a consensus belief and one baked into the current share price," Siegel wrote in a note to clients. He also downgraded Ulta Beauty Inc. to neutral from buy, for similar concerns over valuation.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


27. Intercept Pharmaceuticals up 14% after positive NASH trial resultsВт., 19 февр.[−]

Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. were up 14% Tuesday after the company announced its Phase 3 study of obeticholic acid for the treatment of patients with liver fibrosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) had met its primary objective. NASH is a serious progressive liver disease caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver, leading to scarring (fibrosis) that can lead to eventual liver failure, cancer and death. The trial showed statistically significant improvement when it came to its first endpoint, the reversal of fibrosis, with 23.1% of patients showing fibrosis improvement on the drug compared to 11.9% on placebo. Results were not statistically significant when it came to the second primary endpoint -- actual resolution of NASH. The U.S. Food and Drug and Administration previously said that in order for the primary objective of the trial to be met, Intercept would have to achieve one of two primary endpoints. Intercept said it intends to file for approval in the U.S. and Europe in the second half of 2019. Shares of Intercept have gained 104% in the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


28. Stocks open slightly lower as U.S.-China talks resume; Walmart shares jumpВт., 19 февр.[−]

Stocks on Wall Street opened with modest losses Tuesday as U.S. investors returned from a three-day weekend and U.S. and Chinese negotiators prepared to resume trade talks in Washington. The S&P 500 was off 0.2% at 2,769, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 16 points, or 0.1%, at 25,868. The Nasdaq Composite shed 6 points to trade at 7,467, a loss of 0.1%. The Dow's fall was cushioned by a 3.2% rise for shares of Walmart Inc. after the retail giant reported fourth-quarter results and raised its dividend.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


29. McDonald's stock gains after Stephens upgrades to bullish rating, boosts price targetВт., 19 февр.[−]

Shares of McDonald's Corp. rose 0.9% in premarket trade Tuesday, after Stephens analyst Will Slabaugh turned bullish on the fast-food giant, citing the belief that the core U.S. business is accelerating while the stock continues to underperform. Slabaugh upgraded McDonald's to overweight, after being at equal weight since April 2018, and boosted his price target to $200 from $180. Slabaugh said investor sentiment has flipped from "loved" to "concerned" after the company reported fourth-quarter results. "After re-examining our model, we believe we appropriately adjust for such headwinds to the point of conservatism if [comparable-store sales] growth is as strong as we suspect," Slabaugh wrote in a note to clients. "With expectations fairly low and what we believe is a better-than-expected top line, we believe [McDonald's stock] is set to work from these levels." The stock has slumped 3.6% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 3.5%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


30. Papa John's stock drops after Stifel Nicolaus turns bearish againВт., 19 февр.[−]

Shares of Papa John's International Inc. sank 2.8% in premarket trade Tuesday, after a Stifel Nicolaus downgrade back to a rare sell rating, citing valuation and concerns that the pizza seller's recovery will take longer than expected. Analyst Chris O'Cull cut his rating to sell, after upgrading to hold from sell six months ago. O'Cull lowered his stock price target to $35, which is 23% below Friday's closing price of $45.26, from $38. Only 2% of the companies covered by Stifel are rated sell. "As evidenced by the January promotional performance, the company is struggling to increase transactions without hurting franchisees' already low profitability," O'Cull wrote in a note to clients. He said that while the stock has run up 18% since the company said it received a $200 million investment from Starboard Value LP, the investment firm has not provided details of how it may create shareholder value, while entering into an investment agreement that is projected to be dilutive to shareholders. The company has struggled since the troubles surrounding its founder John Schnatter, which was made worse in November after a report that Trian Fund Management was no longer pursuing a buyout bid. The stock has tumbled 21.2% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 3.25.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



 
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