The Advisory Board Company (Nasdaq: ABCO) Boosted by Elliott Hedge Fund Stake

The Advisory Board Company – Nasdaq: ABCO

Renowned hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation has today disclosed an 8.3% stake in The Advisory Board Company and described its shares (Nasdaq: ABCO) as “undervalued”. In response, the shares (Nasdaq: ABCO) gapped up from their Wednesday close of $36.15 and have climbed over 15% in today’s trading.

The Advisory Board Company’s offers cloud-based business intelligence and software applications that allow members to combine insights derived from best practices research with their operational and financial data to identify and assess revenue, cost-saving, or performance improvement opportunities; and consulting and management services that provide on-the-ground support for turnaround and performance improvement initiatives, as well as best practice and day-in-day-out professional management of the hospital or medical group areas.

Elliott Management Corporation is noted for its relatively high returns and low volatility. The New York Times has called its founder, Paul Singer, “one of the most revered” hedge fund managers on Wall Street. Elliott returns have generally outpaced the annual growth of the S&P 500. Describing Singer in 2012 as “one of the smartest and toughest money managers in the business,” Fortune noted that over the previous 35 years, he had “produced an extraordinary 14% average annual return after fees, nearly double the price appreciation of the S&P 500.” From inception, Elliott has generated for its investors a 14.6% net compound annual return, compared to 10.9% for the S&P 500 stock index, while having only one-third of the index’s volatility. The firm is currently closed to new investors. As of mid-2008, Elliott counted 175 employees in New York City, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong and is one of the oldest hedge funds under continuous management.

Last year The Advisory Board Company posted it largest EPS loss of the last four years (-$2.84) at the same time it posted its largest sales figures ($768 million). Seventeen firms follow The Advisory Board Company and nine give ABCO a rating of “Strong Buy”, seven give it a “Hold” rating, and one gives ABCO a “Underperform” rating.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/12/2017
Ticker Symbol ABCO
Last Price a/o 1:23 PM EST  $                    41.63
Average Volume 501,000
Market Cap $1.45 Billion
Sales $803 million
Shares Outstanding 40.1 million
Share Float 6.76
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.30%
Short Float 6.76%
Short Interest Ratio 5.35
Quarterly Return -15.97%
YTD Return 8.72%
Year Return -22.34%

Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX) Up on WTO Complaint Reports

Century Aluminum Company – Nasdaq: CENX

Reports that the U.S. may launch formal complaints with the World Trade Organization against Chinese aluminum producers sent shares of Century Aluminum (Nasdaq: CENX) up at least 10% in early trading. The U.S. intends, according to reports, to accuse China of providing below-market financing to Chinese aluminum companies that allowed them to modernize their plants and expand production. Also, allegedly in the complaint, are accusations that the Chinese aluminum producers were sold energy, in the form of coal and electricity, at below-market rates.

Chicago, IL-based Century Aluminum Company is a global producer of aluminum and operates aluminum reduction facilities in the United States and Iceland. Century Aluminum owns three U.S. aluminum smelters, in Hawesville, Kentucky, Robards, Kentucky and Mt. Holly, South Carolina, and one smelter in Grundartangi, Iceland. In 2008, Century Aluminum began construction on an aluminum reduction facility in Helguvik, Iceland, construction of which is currently delayed.

Four firms follow Century Aluminum Company and all rate shares of CENX as a “Hold”. CENX is currently trading above its consensus price target of $7.50.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/12/2017
Ticker Symbol CENX
Last Price a/o 10:13 AM EST  $                    10.01
Average Volume 2 million
Market Cap $809 million
Sales $1.36 Billion
Shares Outstanding 90 million
Share Float 49.3 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 43.00%
Short Float 23.31%
Short Interest Ratio 5.63
Quarterly Return 20.51%
YTD Return 5.02%
Year Return 201.68%

Kornit Digital Ltd. (Nasdaq: KRNT) Up on Amazon Deal

Kornit Digital Ltd. – Nasdaq: KRNT

A deal with Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has sent shares of Israel-based Kornit Digital Ltd. shares up over 20%. Kornit Digital Ltd. trades under ticker KRNT on the Nasdaq. Kornit Digital develops, manufactures and markets industrial and commercial printing solutions for the garment, apparel and textile industries. Through the Amazon agreement, Kornit will support Amazon’s production capacity for printed textiles.

Gabi Seligsohn, CEO of Kornit explained the deal “We are excited to have been selected as a garment printing solution provider for Amazon, and look forward to the business potential this relationship represents… Kornit Digital is at the forefront of the digital direct-to-garment market, and we believe that Amazon’s decision is great testament to that. We are deeply committed to the success of our business with Amazon and reiterate our commitment to all of our customers to stay at the forefront of the DTG market and continue to provide them with the most advanced, cost effective production solutions.”

Kornit Digital has had increasing EPS over the last three years – from $0.04 to $0.19. The company has also reported increasing sales over the past four years – from $39.2 million to $86.4 million. All three firms that cover KRNT rate it as a “Strong Buy”.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/11/2017
Ticker Symbol KRNT
Last Price a/o 11:30 AM EST  $                    16.10
Average Volume 73,000
Market Cap $420 million
Sales $102 million
Shares Outstanding 30.13 million
Share Float 29.44 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership
Short Float 3.40%
Short Interest Ratio 13.74
Quarterly Return 38.39%
YTD Return 10.28%
Year Return 33.37%

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: MDRX) Posts Financial Results – Shares Rise

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. – Nasdaq: MDRX

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., traded on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol MDRX, announced preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016. The company anticipates consolidated bookings for the 4th quarter of 2016 to exceed $400 million, a fourth-quarter record. This result implies annual bookings growth of over 17 percent. Shares of MDRX hav responded by increasing almost 10% in early trading.

Paul M. Black, Allscripts’ Chief Executive Officer stated in a press release “Our investments in our solutions continue to increase our competitiveness, reflected in signed agreements which added the largest number of new Sunrise facilities in our history. Our initial outlook for 2017 illustrates confidence this growth momentum will continue this year across Allscripts comprehensive offerings to payers and providers globally.”

Chicago, IL-based Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. is a leader in healthcare information technology solutions that advance clinical, financial, and operational results. Twenty-one firms follow Allscripts Healthcare and twelve rate MDRX as a “Hold”, one rates it as a “Buy” and eight rate MDRX as a “Strong Buy”.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

 

Exelixis Inc. (Nasdaq: EXEL) Shares Higher on Resolution of Dispute with Genentech

Exelixis, Inc. – Nasdaq: EXEL

Genentech’s announcement to stop charging Exelixis, Inc. some expenses under their collaboration agreement sent EXEL shares almost 15% higher today. Exelixis Inc. is a San Fransico, CA-based biopharmaceutical company that develops molecular therapies with the potential to improve the treatment of cancer.

Exelixis and Genentech have shared promotional costs since commercial activities were initiated in early 2013. As detailed in previous regulatory filings, Exelixis charged its Profit and Loss Statement approximately $38 million for promotional costs through the third quarter of 2016. With the new approach that Genentech has adopted unilaterally, Exelixis’ liability for promotional costs will be reduced to approximately $15 million for the same period. Exelixis Inc. will not have to pay$18.7 million in disputed costs, and Exelixis will receive $7.1 million for expenses they had already paid – plus interest.

Six firms follow Exwlixis, INC. All six rate shares of EXEL as a “String Buy” The consensus price target is $21.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/9/2017
Ticker Symbol EXEL
Last Price a/o 4:00 PM EST  $                    17.58
Average Volume 5.98 million
Market Cap $4.93 Billion
Sales $123.8 million
Shares Outstanding 280.3 million
Share Float 260.59 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.80%
Short Float 6.52%
Short Interest Ratio 2.84
Quarterly Return 35.75%
YTD Return 17.91%
Year Return 259.51%

 

Live Ventures (Nasdaq: LIVE) Faces Accusations of Manipulation

Live Ventures Incorporated – Nasdaq: LIVE

Live Ventures Incorporated Inc. is facing accusations that it manipulated material financial information to boost the price of its stock. Traded on the Nasdaq, LIVE shares traded near $30 after an earnings report that exceeded analyst expectations. On Friday, shares of LIVE closed just over $18 on very heavy volume.

On Friday published reports accused Live Ventures of paying $2 million to aggressively hype its shares. Unconfirmed reports suggest that recipient of the payment was a firm that had previously hyped shares of ForceField Energy – a stock that was delisted and went to $0. Reports further allege that Live Ventures created one-time gains in earnings through various discretionary, questionable accounting methods. The report further allegedly suggests that the reported GAAP earnings for the last quarter are suspicious and that the true earnings figure should have represented a loss and not a profit. Reports claim that the cash-on-hand valuation of LIVE stock is $0.28.

In response, Live Ventures issued a press release claiming that CEO John Isaac had purchased $250,000 worth of LIVE on the open market. “The purchase of this stock is representative of my confidence in the potential of Live Ventures stock, as well as the continued execution of its business plan,” Isaac says in a statement.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Sonic Corporation (Nasdaq: SONC) Posts Tasty Results

Sonic Corporation – Nasdaq: SONC

Oklahoma-based Sonic Corporation released financial results and its shares moved higher as a result. Sonic Corporation trades under the ticker symbol SONC on the Nasdaq. The company operates fast food, drive-in restaurants across the United States. The most recent data available shows that there are 3,557 restaurants of which 345 are company owned and the rest are franchised operations.

The released financial results were a mixed bag but mostly positive. Net revenue did not meet expectations, but net income and same store sales did beat consensus estimates. Same store sales were expected to drop 2.4% but the reported figures showed a drop of only 2%. The street expected adjusted earnings of $0.21 per share; however SONC posted $0.24 per share. Sonic Corp. posted $129.6 million in total revenues but the street was expecting $130.6 million.

Sonic Corporation also repurchased about 4% of its shares – about 2 million shares. Sonci’s press release stated that their share repurchase program will be completed in 2017 and has budgeted $122 million for such a purpose. In 2012, SONC had just over 60 million shares outstanding. Since then the shares outstanding has decreased each year and ended 2016 with 48.7 million shares outstanding.

While sales growth has been relatively uninspiring (2012: $544 million and in 2016: $606 million) SONCS shares have experienced solid performance. In 2012 SONC posted $0.60 EPS and in 2016 EPS was $1.32. Eleven firms follow Sonic Corporation. Three give SONC a rating of “Strong Buy”; seven rate SONC a “Hold”; and one gives SONC a “Sell” rating.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/5/17
Ticker Symbol SONC
Last Price a/o 10:33 AM EST $26.45
Average Volume 1 million
Market Cap $1.26   Billion
Sales 606 million
Shares Outstanding 47.95 million
Share Float 44.65 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.10%
Short Float 13.11%
Short Interest Ratio 5.74
Quarterly Return 3.12%
YTD Return -1.17%
Year Return -15.19%

Kate Spade & Company (Nasdaq: KATE) Up on Rumors of Sale

Kate Spade & Company – Nasdaq: KATE

Shares of Kate Spade & Company continue to trend upwards after gaining over 20% during the regular trading session on unconfirmed reports of a company sale. Kate Spade & Company trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker KATE. Shares ended Tuesday at $14.51 and are over $18 in after-hours trading today.

Kate Spade & Company debuted on February 26, 2014, but the initial sparks formed far earlier in the minds of two imaginative and driven women. Liz Claiborne (in 1976) and Kate Spade (in 1993), each frustrated they couldn’t find what they believed women were looking for in the marketplace, took matters into their hands and founded their own companies.  Today, Kate Spade & Company designs and markets accessories and apparel principally under two global, multichannel lifestyle brands: Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade.

In 2014, KATE traded over $40/share. EPS has been inconsistent and in 2016 mustered only $0.17 on sales on $1.24 Billion. However, sales have increased each year since 2012. Fourteen firms follow Kate Spade & Company. Nine analysts have rated KATE as a “Strong Buy”, one a “Buy” and four a “Hold”. The consensus price target for KATE is $20.50.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

12/28/2016
Ticker Symbol KATE
Last Price a/o 4:13 PM EST  $             17.98
Average Volume 2.86 million
Market Cap $1.86 Billion
Sales $1.34 Billion
Shares Outstanding 128 million
Share Float 127.15 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 0.64%
Short Float 2.82%
Short Interest Ratio 1.26
Quarterly Return -19.70%
YTD Return -18.35%
Year Return -15.44%

Arca Inc. (Nasdaq: ARCI) Worth Looking at Management Team?

Arca Inc. – Nasdaq: ARCI

Arca Inc. trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ARCI. Despite sales in excess of $100 million for the last five years, ARCI is extremely thinly traded. What may be of importance to traders is that the CEO has a history with Live Ventures Inc (Nasdaq: LIVE) – a firm that just reported a large earnings increase.

ARCA, Inc. has three business sectors that provide an array of appliance services and programs. ARCA Recycling, Inc. and ARCA Canada, Inc. provide turnkey appliance recycling and replacement programs for utilities. These programs offer integration, data management and customer service. ARCA Advanced Processing, LLC provides recycling services designed to guarantee that every appliance is fully de-manufactured and hazardous materials are decommissioned safely. ApplianceSmart, Inc. offers ENERGY STAR® appliances to utility-sponsored programs and consumers. ApplianceSmart is one of only four retailers in the nation, and the only independent retailer, that conforms to the recycling standards established by the Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

12/28/2016
Ticker Symbol ARCI
Last Price a/o 9:33 PM EST  $               1.07
Average Volume 44,100
Market Cap $7.67 million
Sales $103.5 million
Shares Outstanding 7.1 million
Share Float 4.06 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 35.87%
Short Float 0.10%
Short Interest Ratio 0.1
Quarterly Return 11.34%
YTD Return 2.86%
Year Return -5.99%

 

Manitex International Inc. (Nasdaq: MNTX) Suggests an Improved 2017 Outlook – shares up!

Manitex International Inc.; Nasdaq: MNTX

Shares of Manitex International Inc. gapped up this morning after guidance from the company suggested improved business conditions for 2017. MNTX shares closed yesterday at $5.53, this morning shares have traded on the Nasdaq as high as $6.37 at the time of this writing.

VP of Sales, Steve Keifer commented, “As was noted in our third quarter earnings call, we have seen improvements in certain of our markets that have resulted in higher quoting activity and increased bookings for our boom trucks in the second half of this year at Manitex. We are particularly encouraged to see growth in orders from dealers who are replenishing decreased inventory levels as they respond to improving market activity.”

David J. Langevin, Chairman and CEO, commented, “The downturn we’ve weathered has given us an opportunity to focus on optimizing our business portfolio and make us a stronger competitor, with opportunities to expand our margins, improve our balance sheet, and accelerate our path to sustainable shareholder value creation. We are cautiously optimistic about the trend of increased opportunities in the marketplace that have the potential to drive improved financial results as we head into 2017.”

Manitex International, Inc. is a leading provider of engineered lifting solutions including cranes, reach stackers and container handling equipment, including parts and service support. Manufacturing is located in several facilities in North America and Italy, and the Company serves a broad range of customers, including commercial, military and governmental, across the world, through a dealer network.

Two firms follow shares of MNTX with one assigning a rating of “Buy” and one rating it a “Strong Buy”. MNTX consensus price target is $7.25. While EPS for Manitex International Inc. has been declining and had a loss of $0.25 in 2015, sales have improved every year since 2011 and in 2015 the reported figure was $386.7 million.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Ticker Symbol MNTX
Last Price a/o 9:53 AM EST  $                    6.34
Average Volume 80,300
Market Cap $88.5 million
Sales $339.3 million
Shares Outstanding 16 million
Share Float 13.82 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 1.10%
Short Float 2.83%
Short Interest Ratio 4.87
Quarterly Return 3.75%
YTD Return -7.06%
Year Return -8.90%