Buy Rajoo Engineers; target of Rs 65.60: Khambatta Securities

Khambatta Securities’ research report on Rajoo Engineers

Rajoo Engineers Limited (REL) reported a strong set of numbers for FY18 led by healthy growth in revenue and earnings, and robust margin expansion. Operating revenue increased 32% to Rs 147 crore in FY18. This was higher than managements earlier expectation of Rs 125 crore. EBITDA expanded 71% to Rs 21 crore in FY18, aided by a 332 bps rise in EBITDA margin to 14.4%.

Outlook

Based on the scope for growth and expected healthy performance going forward, we value REL at 20x FY19E EPS of Rs 3.28, generating a target price of Rs 65.60. Our price target informs a BUY rating with a potential upside of 20% from current levels.

For all recommendations report,click here

Disclaimer:The views and investment tips expressed by investment experts/broking houses/rating agencies on moneycontrol.com are their own, and not that of the website or its management. Moneycontrol.com advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.

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Buy Pfizer, target Rs 2800: Ashish Chaturmohta

Ashish Chaturmohta

After almost two years of consolidation between Rs 2,050 and Rs 1,600 odd levels,Pfizer witnessed a breakout to touch high of Rs 2,370 levels.

The pullback tested the breakout and price rallied to touch high of Rs 2,550 this month. For the last few weeks stock has been consolidating its gains in a narrow range.

Price has taken support at a 21-day exponential moving average which has been acting as support for the on declines. The relative strength index (RSI) has given positive crossover on the daily chart.

Thus, the stock can be bought at current level and on dips to Rs 2,400 with a stop loss below Rs 2,350 and target of Rs 2,800 levels.

Disclaimer:The author is Head Technical and Derivatives, Sanctum Wealth Management. The views and investment tips expressed by investment expert on Moneycontrol.com are his own and not that of the website or its management. Moneycontrol.com advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.

Relative Value Partners Group LLC Acquires New Stake in Trupanion Inc (TRUP)

Relative Value Partners Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Trupanion Inc (NASDAQ:TRUP) in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor acquired 24,243 shares of the financial services provider’s stock, valued at approximately $725,000.

Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Nine Ten Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Trupanion by 55.7% during the first quarter. Nine Ten Capital Management LLC now owns 2,156,419 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $64,455,000 after buying an additional 771,552 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Trupanion by 1.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,335,808 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $39,927,000 after buying an additional 24,927 shares during the period. Baillie Gifford & Co. boosted its position in shares of Trupanion by 10.0% during the first quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 1,171,305 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $35,010,000 after buying an additional 106,434 shares during the period. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D acquired a new position in shares of Trupanion during the first quarter worth about $11,956,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in shares of Trupanion by 3.0% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 392,900 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,500,000 after buying an additional 11,616 shares during the period. 87.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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In other news, Director Murray B. Low sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.97, for a total value of $83,910.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 192,031 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,371,107.07. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Darryl Rawlings sold 3,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.93, for a total transaction of $111,755.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 1,375,976 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $43,934,913.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 24,500 shares of company stock valued at $690,365. Company insiders own 20.70% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ TRUP opened at $31.65 on Tuesday. Trupanion Inc has a 52 week low of $17.05 and a 52 week high of $37.13. The company has a quick ratio of 1.88, a current ratio of 1.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. The company has a market cap of $987.07 million, a P/E ratio of -452.14 and a beta of 0.59.

Trupanion (NASDAQ:TRUP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The financial services provider reported ($0.05) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.04) by ($0.01). Trupanion had a negative net margin of 0.58% and a negative return on equity of 6.54%. The business had revenue of $69.76 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $69.12 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.05) EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Trupanion Inc will post -0.12 EPS for the current year.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on TRUP shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Trupanion from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. Lake Street Capital increased their price target on Trupanion from $32.00 to $41.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Trupanion in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. BidaskClub raised Trupanion from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target (up from $33.00) on shares of Trupanion in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $36.29.

About Trupanion

Trupanion, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides medical insurance for cats and dogs on monthly subscription basis in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company operates through Subscription Business and Other Business segments. It serves pet owners and veterinarians through third-party referrals and online member acquisition channels.

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding TRUP? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Trupanion Inc (NASDAQ:TRUP).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Trupanion (NASDAQ:TRUP)

AstraZeneca’s Late-Stage Study Win Reinforces Its Hold On Particular Segment Of Lung Cancer Market

Recently, AstraZeneca (AZN) announced that it had succeeded in a late-stage study by hitting the second primary endpoint of the PACIFIC trial. This latest trial shows that those treated with Imfinzi in the stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) setting lived longer. This is a major win as it solidifies Imfinzi in this setting. It was already shown to improve median progression-free survival (PFS) in the same population last year. Imfinzi has already started out with a strong start in this patient population, and the improvement in overall-survival reinforces it. Rivals are not expected to receive regulatory approval for quite some time. That leaves AstraZeneca the ability to earn all the revenues in the meantime. For that reason, I believe that AstraZeneca is a buy.

Phase 3 Data

The phase 3 late-stage study was known as the PACIFIC trial. This is where it used its drug Imfinzi to improve overall survival in patients with unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as a maintenance therapy. A key thing to note is that the patients that were treated were those who have not progressed after having already received chemo and radiation therapy. The improvement in overall survival of those treated with Imfinzi compared to placebo was evaluated during a planned interim analysis. The Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) concluded that the trial had met its second of two primary endpoints by showing a statistically significant overall survival benefit. AstraZeneca has already received FDA approval in this part of the lung cancer market. That’s because back in May of 2017 it announced that treatment with Imfinzi could significantly reduce the risk of disease worsening or death (also known as progression-free survival) by 11.2 months longer than placebo could.

Competition

The improvement in overall survival for the stage III NSCLC market segment is a major positive. The key question though is, how does that play a role in the market for Imfinzi? Well, simply put it reinforces the ability for it to prove that patients treated with this drug achieve clinically meaningful results. In addition, the consensus from analysts is that peak sales of Imfinzi in this lung cancer segment could reach $2.8 billion by 2023. What the latest overall survival endpoint being met does is that it reinforces that those peak sales figures will be achieved. It is likely that if Doctors can see that Imfinzi provides a significant improvement in both PFS and OS, it is likely that they will want to allow this treatment for the early lung cancer segment. That means for now AstraZeneca has a stranglehold in treating lung cancer patients early on. This is different from other big pharmaceutical companies, which have a big presence in the advanced or metastatic part of this disease. The companies that have a huge presence in metastatic lung cancer market are: Merck (MRK), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), and Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY). As I stated, these companies are quite a bit ways off from receiving approval for the unresectable stage 3 NSCLC maintenance therapy segment. That doesn’t mean that AstraZeneca won’t eventually have to compete with them, because it will. But this latest overall-survival win from the PACIFIC study and prior improvement in the PFS rate should help it build a strong market presence against any potential competitors.

Conclusion

AstraZeneca has reinforced its market opportunity in the unresectable stage 3 lung cancer market. Competitors are also expecting approvals of their own in this space in the coming years, but for now AstraZeneca has a good handle on this part of the lung cancer space. With the ability for Imfinzi to gain up to $2.8 billion by 2023 in this space, it will have a good solid lead on this part of the market. Especially, since it just reported improved overall survival numbers in a late-stage study. The next goal would be to see if combinations with Imfinzi could produce sufficient data in the metastatic portion of the disease. Merck has a big hold on the advanced part of the lung cancer market, so it won’t be an easy battle. For now, AstraZeneca at least has some presence in the lung cancer market and that is very important to its bottom-line. That’s why I believe that AstraZeneca is a good buy.

This article is published by Terry Chrisomalis, who runs the Biotech Analysis Central pharmaceutical investment research service on Seeking Alpha Marketplace. If you like what you read here and would like to subscribe to my Service, I’m currently offering a two-week free trial period for subscribers to take advantage of. My service offers deep dive analysis of many pharmaceutical companies throughout the biotech sector. Come see for yourself if my service is right for you.

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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

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BMO Capital Markets Lowers DXC Technology (DXC) Price Target to $113.00

DXC Technology (NYSE:DXC) had its price target cut by BMO Capital Markets from $117.00 to $113.00 in a research note published on Friday. They currently have an outperform rating on the stock.

DXC has been the subject of several other research reports. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $97.00 price target on shares of DXC Technology in a research report on Friday. Deutsche Bank upped their price target on shares of DXC Technology from $90.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on shares of DXC Technology in a research report on Wednesday, April 18th. They issued a hold rating and a $100.00 price target for the company. SunTrust Banks raised shares of DXC Technology from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of DXC Technology from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $109.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $107.00.

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DXC Technology opened at $94.21 on Friday, Marketbeat reports. The stock has a market capitalization of $26.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.87, a P/E/G ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.99. DXC Technology has a 1 year low of $73.51 and a 1 year high of $107.85.

DXC Technology (NYSE:DXC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 24th. The company reported $2.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.22 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $6.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.12 billion. DXC Technology had a net margin of 7.13% and a return on equity of 17.74%. DXC Technology’s revenue for the quarter was up 233.2% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that DXC Technology will post 8.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 17th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 6th will be given a dividend of $0.19 per share. This is a boost from DXC Technology’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 5th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.81%. DXC Technology’s dividend payout ratio is presently 9.07%.

In related news, EVP William L. Deckelman, Jr. sold 2,886 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.94, for a total transaction of $291,312.84. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 13,082 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,320,497.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John M. Lawrie sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.04, for a total transaction of $515,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 22,886 shares of company stock valued at $2,343,380 in the last three months. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DXC. Fulton Bank N.A. increased its stake in DXC Technology by 6.6% during the 1st quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 8,148 shares of the company’s stock valued at $819,000 after purchasing an additional 502 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC increased its stake in DXC Technology by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 161,589 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,245,000 after purchasing an additional 508 shares in the last quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC increased its stake in DXC Technology by 5.4% during the 1st quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC now owns 10,025 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,008,000 after purchasing an additional 510 shares in the last quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. increased its stake in DXC Technology by 8.4% during the 1st quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 6,923 shares of the company’s stock valued at $696,000 after purchasing an additional 535 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. increased its stake in DXC Technology by 17.2% during the 4th quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 4,472 shares of the company’s stock valued at $424,000 after purchasing an additional 656 shares in the last quarter. 83.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About DXC Technology

DXC Technology Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides information technology services and solutions primarily in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It operates through three segments: Global Business Services (GBS), Global Infrastructure Services (GIS), and United States Public Sector (USPS).

Analyst Recommendations for DXC Technology (NYSE:DXC)

Two South Carolina journalists killed while covering hazardous weather

WYFF, the NBC-affiliated station in Greenville, South Carolina, is mourning the loss of two journalists who died while on assignment in the region on Monday.

Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer were out covering hazardous weather conditions in Polk County, North Carolina, when a tree crushed their news van, the station reported. Both men were killed.

The incident has not been directly attributed to subtropical storm Alberto. But heavy rain, partly from the fringes of the storm, has caused flooding concerns across the region.

“The ground is saturated,” Geoff Tennant, the fire chief in Tyron, North Carolina, told reporters Monday evening.

The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Tennant said the news crew was driving on Highway 176 when the tree collapsed on the vehicle.

“It is a freak of nature,” he said of the collapse. “You know it’s going to happen, you don’t know when.”

Tennant had just taped an interview with McCormick.

“We talked a little bit about how he wanted us to stay safe and we wanted him to stay safe,” Tennant said. “Then of course 10 or 15 minutes later we get the call and it was him and his photographer.”

On Monday evening, journalists from local newsrooms across the country joined WYFF in paying tribute to the news crew. (WYFF is also a CNN affiliate.)

“Mike and Aaron were beloved members of our team, our family,” WYFF co-anchor Carol Goldsmith said while breaking the news on the station’s 6 p.m. newscast.

“All of us here at WYFF 4 are grieving,” co-anchor Michael Cogdill added. “We are a family. And you, our extended family, we thank you for your comfort as we mourn and as we seek to comfort the families.”

Later in the evening, anchors on a competing station, WSPA, called the news “heartbreaking.”

“While we are competitors on the air, Mike and Aaron were our friends, and part of a journalism family. We will all miss them both very much,” anchor Gordon Dill said.

Until recently, Smeltzer had worked at WSPA, the CBS-affiliated station in the area.

Both men were in their mid 30s. McCormick, a native of Florida, had been working at WYFF for eleven years.

Along with reporting during the week, he anchored weekend broadcasts.

He was “a stellar journalist all those years,” Goldsmith said.

Smeltzer, a native of Virginia, “shot news for more than a decade in our region,” Goldsmith said. “He loved covering news, especially in Spartanburg and its surroundings.”

– CNN’s Janet DiGiacomo contributed reporting.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now

Dec. 15, 2016, may just go down as the final piece of the “Abenomics” puzzle. Early on that morning, Japan’s parliament passed a bill that would finally legalize casinos. This sets the stage for billions of dollars to pour into the country. More importantly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is putting real weight behind his economic revival campaign.

Source: Flickr

But before you dive into casino stocks to buy, consider the enormous political and cultural opposition that was leveled against Japan casinos.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: Quanta Services, Inc.(PWR)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    Should President Trump follow through on plans to repair and replace U.S. infrastructure, Berkshire may want to get involved by buying companies poised to benefit from such spending, including Vulcan Material Co. (VMC) , Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (MLM) or Quanta Services Inc. (PWR) , which provides infrastructure services primarily to the oil and gas and electrical power industries.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: Allied Healthcare Products Inc.(AHPI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Gainers
    Blink Charging Co. (NASDAQ: BLNK) shares jumped 26.5 percent to $6.9042. Blink Charging reported Q1 net income of $2.2 million, versus a year-ago net loss of $3.1 million.
    Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIO) shares climbed 17.4 percent to $3.11. Eleven Biotherapeutics posted a Q1 loss of $0.11 per share.
    Flanigan's Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: BDL) shares jumped 17 percent to $27.97 following Q2 results. Flanigan's Enterprises posted Q2 earnings of $0.75 per share on sales of $29.456 million.
    Borqs Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRQS) rose 15.8 percent to $8.05 after reporting Q1 results.
    Abaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABAX) jumped 15.3 percent to $82.75. Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) announced plans to acquire Abaxis for $83 per share in cash.
    21Vianet Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: VNET) gained 15.1 percent to $6.33.
    Gemphire Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GEMP) rose 13.8 percent to $6.27.
    Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) gained 12.8 percent to $5.98. H.C. Wainwright initiated coverage on Enphase Energy with a Buy rating.
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    Allied Healthcare Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: AHPI) surged 11.4 percent to $3.0643.
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    GEE Group, Inc. (NYSE: JOB) climbed 7.9 percent to $2.61 following Q2 results.
    The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. (NASDAQ: STKS) gained 7.6 percent to $2.41 after reporting Q1 results.
    Biolinerx Ltd/S ADR (NASDAQ: BLRX) rose 7.3 percent to $0.8798 after the company was granted a patent approval. The clinical-st

Top Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: Stoneridge Inc.(SRI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    These are some of the news articles that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

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    OmniTek Engineering (OMTK) and Stoneridge (SRI) Head-To-Head Analysis (americanbankingnews.com) Stoneridge (SRI) Presents At 19th Annual B. Riley FBR Investor Conference – Slideshow (seekingalpha.com) Comparing Commercial Vehicle Group (CVGI) and Stoneridge (SRI) (americanbankingnews.com) Stoneridge to Move to New Facility in China With Room to Grow (ttnews.com) Reviewing Valeo (VLEEY) & Stoneridge (SRI) (americanbankingnews.com)

    SRI has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Barrington Research initiated coverage on Stoneridge in a research report on Tuesday, April 3rd. They set an “outperform” rating and a $34.00 price target on the stock. B. Riley increased their price target on Stoneridge from $21.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. CL King initiated coverage on Stoneridge in a research report on Monday, April 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $34.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised Stoneridge from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $27.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Finally, Stephens raised Stoneridge from an “equal” rating to a “weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $30.00.

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Stoneridge (NYSE: SRI) and LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, valuation, risk, profitability, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Top Casino Stocks To Buy Right Now: TravelCenters of America LLC(TA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    Here are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern’s rankings:

    Get TravelCenters of America alerts:

    TravelCenters of America (TA) Expected to Announce Earnings of $0.21 Per Share (americanbankingnews.com) TravelCenters of America (TA) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages (americanbankingnews.com) Quaker Steak & Lubeň║É Invites Guests to Round Up to Benefit Folds of Honor (finance.yahoo.com) Camping World (CWH) vs. TravelCenters of America (TA) Head-To-Head Review (americanbankingnews.com) TravelCenters of America LLC Announces Annual Meeting Results (finance.yahoo.com)

    TravelCenters of America traded up $0.02, reaching $3.10, during midday trading on Monday, according to MarketBeat.com. The company had a trading volume of 163,465 shares, compared to its average volume of 184,114. The company has a quick ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 1.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23. The stock has a market cap of $124.00 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -10.33 and a beta of 1.68. TravelCenters of America has a 12-month low of $2.95 and a 12-month high of $5.85.

  • [By Max Byerly]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on TravelCenters of America (TA)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Lisa Levin] Companies Reporting Before The Bell
    Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $1.32 per share on revenue of $9.89 billion.
    Sysco Corporation (NYSE: SYY) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.64 per share on revenue of $14.34 billion.
    Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (NYSE: LPX) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $0.67 per share on revenue of $692.63 million.
    Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (NASDAQ: CTSH) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $1.06 per share on revenue of 3.90 billion.
    Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU) is estimated to report quarterly loss at $1.35 per share on revenue of $193.67 million.
    Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $1.66 per share on revenue of $3.24 billion.
    Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company (NYSE: WLTW) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $3.01 per share on revenue of $2.23 billion.
    Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) is estimated to report quarterly loss at $0.28 per share on revenue of $922.42 million.
    TravelCenters of America LLC (NASDAQ: TA) is projected to report quarterly loss at $0.16 per share on revenue of $1.59 billion.
    Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $0.03 per share on revenue of $723.93 million.
    Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE: WBT) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.11 per share on revenue of $329.71 million.
    Horizon Pharma Public Limited Company (NASDAQ: HZNP) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $0.07 per share on revenue of $234.17 million.

     

$1.60 Billion in Sales Expected for Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN) This Quarter

Equities analysts expect Franklin Templeton Investments (NYSE:BEN) to post $1.60 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have issued estimates for Franklin Templeton Investments’ earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $1.61 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.58 billion. Franklin Templeton Investments posted sales of $1.61 billion in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 0.6%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Friday, July 27th.

On average, analysts expect that Franklin Templeton Investments will report full year sales of $6.43 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $6.38 billion to $6.47 billion. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will post sales of $6.42 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $6.24 billion to $6.57 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Franklin Templeton Investments.

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Franklin Templeton Investments (NYSE:BEN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The closed-end fund reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.03. Franklin Templeton Investments had a return on equity of 14.66% and a net margin of 10.76%. The firm had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on BEN shares. Deutsche Bank dropped their price target on Franklin Templeton Investments from $40.00 to $37.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Barclays dropped their price target on Franklin Templeton Investments from $40.00 to $32.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 23rd. Bank of America lowered Franklin Templeton Investments from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $37.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, April 9th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Franklin Templeton Investments from $57.00 to $34.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Franklin Templeton Investments from $42.00 to $35.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have assigned a hold rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.36.

Shares of Franklin Templeton Investments traded up $0.11, reaching $34.03, during mid-day trading on Wednesday, according to MarketBeat Ratings. 1,505,452 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,090,029. The firm has a market cap of $18.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 1.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10, a current ratio of 2.46 and a quick ratio of 2.46. Franklin Templeton Investments has a twelve month low of $31.67 and a twelve month high of $47.65.

Franklin Templeton Investments declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, April 12th that permits the company to buyback 80,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the closed-end fund to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of BEN. Atria Investments LLC bought a new position in shares of Franklin Templeton Investments during the fourth quarter worth about $222,000. Creative Planning grew its holdings in shares of Franklin Templeton Investments by 134.0% during the fourth quarter. Creative Planning now owns 11,352 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $492,000 after buying an additional 6,501 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Franklin Templeton Investments by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,369,619 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $59,346,000 after buying an additional 23,615 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its holdings in shares of Franklin Templeton Investments by 114.6% during the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 49,944 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $2,162,000 after buying an additional 26,676 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA grew its holdings in shares of Franklin Templeton Investments by 219.3% during the fourth quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 160,914 shares of the closed-end fund’s stock worth $6,972,000 after buying an additional 110,514 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 46.74% of the company’s stock.

Franklin Templeton Investments Company Profile

Franklin Resources, Inc is a publicly owned asset management holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the firm provides its services to individuals, institutions, pension plans, trusts, and partnerships. It launches equity, fixed income, balanced, and multi-asset mutual funds through its subsidiaries.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Franklin Templeton Investments (NYSE:BEN)

A Dandy Developed Markets ETF

Ex-U.S. developed markets equities and related exchange traded funds are delivering tepid year-to-date performance: for example, the widely followed MSCI EAFE Index is up just 0.5 percent this year.

Lethargic performances are not deterring investors. Through nearly five months, some of this year's top ETFs in terms of new assets added are ex-U.S. developed markets funds. Investors looking for a non-traditional play on this asset class may want to consider the PowerShares FTSE RAFI Developed Markets ex-U.S. Portfolio (NYSE: PXF).

What Happened

“Non-traditional” is not a mark against PXF, nor does it imply the fund is complex, opaque or worse. Although PXF is not a cap-weighted ETF, its strategy is straightforward.

PFX, which is a month away from its 11th birthday, follows the FTSE RAFI Developed ex U.S. 1000 Index. The benchmark is “designed to track the performance of the largest developed market equities (excluding the U.S.), selected based on the following four fundamental measures of firm size: book value, cash flow, sales and dividends,” according to PowerShares.

PXF's nearly 1,030 holdings are weighted based on fundamental scores derived from the aforementioned factors.

Why It's Important

PXF is slightly trailing the MSCI EAFE Index year-to-date, but over longer periods, the PowerShares fund has the potential to separate itself from standard developed markets strategies. Over the past 36 months, PXF is ahead of the MSCI benchmark by nearly 200 basis points with only slightly higher volatility.

There are inklings of increasing interest. The fund has seen inflows of nearly $105 million over the past month, representing a decent percentage of PXF's $1.29 billion in assets under management.

What's Next

PXF would benefit from a credible resurgence by value stocks. Over half the fund's holdings are considered large- and mid-cap value plays. The ETF shares some sector attributes in common with domestic value funds, as the financial services and energy sectors combine for nearly 37 percent of PXF's roster.

PXF is not currency hedged, but several of its country weights stand to benefit from the stronger dollar. Notably, Japan is the fund's largest country exposure at 21.3 percent, while Eurozone economies combine for nearly 28 percent of the ETF.

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A Big Bet On Brazil

Quality At A Nice Price

A Look At J.C. Penney’s Restructuring Risk

Although WYCO Researcher has brought up the possibility of restructuring, I believe that the near-term risk (over the next few years) remains low. It is certainly fair to question J.C. Penney’s (JCP) long-term future, but for now it is treading water with flat comps and modestly positive cash flow. It also has only $160 million in debt maturing before 2022 and retains most of the availability under its $2.35 billion secured asset-based credit facility that currently matures in 2022.

Given J.C. Penney’s substantial liquidity, low amount of near-term debt maturities and positive cash flow (although the amount of positive cash flow without asset sales would be pretty limited), it is in no immediate danger of restructuring.

If comps remain fairly stable or positive, J.C. Penney could probably get its secured debt maturities pushed out further. Even if J.C. Penney’s results started to deteriorate (such as with Bon-Ton’s increasingly negative comps starting in 2015), it would probably still take at least a few years before a restructuring occurred. Bon-Ton survived through three years of negative comps (with three year stacked comps worse than -10%) and started off in a worse financial position than J.C. Penney’s current position.

Lack Of Bankruptcy Catalysts At The Moment

Unlike some other retailers, there doesn’t appear to be anything that would push J.C. Penney into restructuring at the moment. As mentioned earlier, its comps are flat and it has been able to generate modestly positive cash flow (although much of that cash flow comes from asset sales).

As well, J.C. Penney has addressed nearly all of its near-term debt maturities. The near-term debt maturities contributed significantly to Toys R Us’s demise. Toys R Us had nearly $4.4 billion in debt maturing between 2018 and 2020 and was a similar size to current J.C. Penney in terms of revenues and EBITDA. After its tender offer, J.C. Penney now only has $160 million in debt maturing before 2022. Toys R Us also had over $1 billion more secured debt outstanding than J.C. Penney, and J.C. Penney retains significant availability under its revolving credit facility should it need it.

Cost To Short Is Significant

The lack of near-term bankruptcy catalysts means that even if J.C. Penney does eventually go under, it will probably take a long time to do so. The cost of shorting J.C. Penney’s stock is pretty high right now (at 25% per year), so shorting the stock would probably only be profitable for shorter-term trades (rather than trying to wait until the company went bankrupt). As J.C. Penney is already fairly low at $2.30 per share, the risk/reward for shorting doesn’t seem favorable at the moment.

Appliances Are Doing Decently

Although appliances have lower gross margins than J.C. Penney’s other merchandise, I believe that the higher sales productivity per square foot largely counteracts the lower gross margins, resulting in gross margins per square foot that are around J.C. Penney’s average.

An earlier report indicated that appliance sections ranged between 1,500 square feet and 3,700 square feet. More recently added appliance sections sometimes appear to be smaller. This means that the roughly 600 stores with appliances could have approximately 1.4 million square feet dedicated to appliances. That represents around 1.5% of J.C. Penney’s total square footage. I think appliances are around 3.0% of J.C. Penney’s sales now, so with merchandise margins on appliances perhaps around half of J.C. Penney’s average merchandise margin, the gross margins per square foot are around average. Given that appliance sales are still growing quickly (+15% comps in Q1 2018) and that it took over some of J.C. Penney’s weaker performing square footage, the appliance experiment seems to be a positive so far.

J.C. Penney is looking at bringing appliances to its remaining stores (since it only had appliances in 600 stores before), but the remaining stores are small format stores (around 40,000 square feet compared to 120,000 square feet for a full-size J.C. Penney), so it is challenging to make appliances work there. J.C. Penney had similar problems with its Sephora locations. Sephora took up around 2,000 square feet in the full-size J.C. Penney locations, but J.C. Penney was testing out 350 square foot Sephora versions in late 2016 and then added Sephora to over 70 new stores in 2017.

Conclusion

J.C. Penney’s restructuring risk remains low over the next few years. J.C. Penney’s comps are stable and it is able to generate modestly positive cash flow. It has also taken care of most of its near-term debt maturities, leaving only $160 million to deal with before 2022.

J.C. Penney’s longer-term situation appears more uncertain. It has been unable to generate growth in a relatively strong economy and will eventually need to deal with a large amount of secured debt maturities starting in 2023 (with the outstanding amount on its credit facility maturing in 2022 typically small). J.C. Penney will need to start delivering comps growth to put itself in a good position to refinance that secured debt, although it still may be able to push out its debt maturities with stable performance. Declining comps could make even secured debt refinancing challenging though.

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Disclosure: I am/we are long JCP.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Long JCP via sold puts and long KTP.

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