RANsquawk Daily US Equity Opening News – 27th September 2018

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Conagra Brands (CAG) Q1 Adj. EPS USD 0.47 vs. Exp. USD 0.49, revenue USD 1.83bln vs. Exp. USD 1.85bln Apple (AAPL) – JP Morgan sees 23% upside in the tech giant’s shares and starts the stock with an Overweight rating ALASKA AIR (ALK) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM IN-LINE AT IMPERIAL CAPITAL 27th September 2018

EARNINGS

Accenture (ACN) Q4 EPS USD 1.58 vs. Exp. USD 1.56, revenue USD 10.1bln vs. Exp. USD 10.01bln. Sees FY19 GAAP EPS USD 6.98-7.25 vs. Exp. USD 7.27. The co. also announced an additional USD 5bln share repurchase programme. (Newswires) Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) Q2 EPS USD 0.36 vs. Exp. USD 0.50, revenue USD 2.935bln vs. Exp. USD 2.96bln. Comparable sales down 0.6%; sees FY18 EPS at USD 2.00 vs. Exp. USD 2.27. The co. says they are making strategic long-term hires for a transformation of the co. (Newswires) Conagra Brands (CAG) Q1 Adj. EPS USD 0.47 vs. Exp. USD 0.49, revenue USD 1.83bln vs. Exp. USD 1.85bln. Sees Q2 Adj. EPS USD 0.57-0.60 vs. Exp. USD 0.65, backs FY19 outlook. The CEO said Fiscal 2019 was off to a good start despite the challenging inflationary environment. (Newswires) H.B. Fuller (FUL) Q3 Adj. EPS USD 0.86 vs. Exp. USD 0.90, revenue USD 0.770 vs. Exp. USD 0.784.84. (Newswires) McCormick (MKC) Q3 Adj. EPS USD 1.28 vs. Exp. USD 1.27, revenue USD 1.35bln vs. Exp. USD 1.36bln. Raises FY18 Adj. EPS USD 4.95-5.00 from USD 4.85-4.95. (Newswires) Rite Aid (RAD) Q2 Adj. EPS USD -0.01 vs. Exp. USD -0.01, revenue USD 5.4bln vs. Exp. USD 5.36bln. Raises FY19 Adj. EPS USD -0.03 to 0.01 vs. Exp. USD -0.02. The co. will separate the roles of chairman and CEO to enhance board’s governance. (Newswires) DOW JONES

Apple (AAPL) – JP Morgan sees 23% upside in the tech giant’s shares and starts the stock with an Overweight rating and a PT of USD 272, based on growth in the services business as well as stronger than expected iPhone price increases. Separately, Qualcomm (QCOM) CEO believes the tech giant will be a customer again. (Newswires) Caterpillar (CAT) – The construction group won a lawsuit which was accusing the co. of misleading shareholders by using foreign subsidiaries to avoid paying US taxes. (Newswires) McDonald’s (MCD) – The fast-food giant announced it will remove artificial ingredients such as calcium propionate and sodium benzoate from its burgers in attempt to adjust its image in an ever-increasing health conscious environment. (Newswires) Microsoft (MSFT) – The co. is planning to globally launch its new Windows Server 2019 OS in October, whilst ending support for its 2008 servers. (Newswires) Nike (NKE) – The sports goods co. reportedly considered severing ties with quarterback Colin Kaepernick before it launched its controversial ad campaign with him, it weighed the fallout from a conflict with the NFL. (Newswires) S&P500

Abbott (ABT) – The med tech co. announced its High Sensitive Troponin-I blood test is the first to receive the CE mark for accurately predicting chances of a heart attack, potentially up to years ahead. (Newswires) Alaska Air (ALK) – The airline announced daily nonstop service to El Paso, Texas with the new service scheduled to start February 19th, 2019. (Newswires) AT&T (T) –Sources reported nine Attorney Generals offered their support to the telecoms giant in its acquisition of Time Warner (TWX), the Attorney Generals expressed concerns for the federal government pursuing an antitrust case without any support at the state level. (Newswires) AutoZone (AZO) – The auto parts retailer’s board have authorised an additional USD 1.25bln in share buybacks. (Newswires) Comcast (CMCSA) – The broadcaster said it will stop buying Sky (SKY LN) shares after it secured 38% of the stock plus 39% from Rupert Murdoch in the USD 40bln acquisition. (Newswires) Constellation Brands (STZ) – Marijuana co. Canopy Growth announced its shareholders were pleased to allow a USD 4bln investment in the co. from Constellation Brands (STZ). FedEx (FDX) – A NY federal judge dismissed a lawsuit claiming the co. shipped untaxed cigarettes. (Newswires) Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) – The mining co. has signed an agreement with Indonesia to allow it to transfer majority control of the Grasberg copper and gold mine to the local state-owned co. Asajam Aluminium, where Asajam will pay USD 3.85bln. (Newswires) Lockheed Martin (LMT) – The defence group has been awarded a USD 1.36bln US Air Force contract for GPS IIIF Space Vehicles 11 and 12, with completion expected to be in August 2027. (Newswires) NiSource (NI) – The co. announced changes to its organisational structure and leadership. (Newswires) Noble Energy (NBL) – The oil & gas co. has entered agreements to support the delivery of natural gas from the Leviathan and Tamar fields into Egypt. The co. alongside and other partners are acquiring a 39% equity interest in the owner of the pipeline, the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Company S.A.E. (Newswires) Philip Morris (PM) – The tobacco co. lowered its FY18 EPS to USD 4.97-5.02 vs. Exp. USD 5.04, citing an unfavourable currency climate in Argentina. (Newswires) Salesforce (CRM) – Following the IT services co.’s investor day it received price target increases from Jefferies, Wedbush, Credit Suisse and Oppenheimer. (Newswires) WellCare (WCG)/Aetna (AET) – WellCare announced it will acquire Aetna’s entire Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business, which has 2.2mln members. (Newswires) NASDAQ 100

Amazon (AMZN) – The online retailer is opening a retail store in New-York today in which it will only sell items which are rated 4-star or above on its online store. Elsewhere, Stifel has raised its price target on the co. to USD 2,525 from USD 2,020 citing higher long-term revenue and margin expectations. (Newswires) Facebook (FB) – The social media giant announced on its Facebook 360 blog a collaboration with RED Digital Cinema for the world’s first end-to-end solution for 3Dand 360-degree video capture, called Manifold 3D VR. Elsewhere, a study from Gizmodo revealed the co. allows users’ shadow contact info to be used by advertisers. (Newswires) Intuit Inc (INTU) – The co. reaffirms Q1 and fiscal 2019 guidance, sees Q1 EPS 0.11 and revenue USD 0.968bln and sees FY19 EPS 6.48 and revenue USD 6.60bln. (Newswires) Maxim Integrated (MXIM) – The circuit manufacturer has urged its shareholders to reject a mini-tender offer made by TRC Capital for USD 56.90/shr, that is below the current market price. (Newswires) Qualcomm (QCOM) – The semiconductor manufacturer has said, despite its ongoing legal battle with Apple (AAPL), still thinks it will do business with the tech giant in the future. (Newswires) OTHER NEWS

Alnylam (ALNY) – The pharma co. announced positive topline results from the interim analysis of its ENVISION Phase 3 Study of givosiran, for the treatment of acute hepatic porphyria. (Newswires) Celanese (CE) – The chemicals co. announced the increase of prices for acetyl intermediates by USD 0.03 per pound, effective October 1st. (Newswires) Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) – The co. is to acquire Core for USD 525mln. (Newswires) KKR (KKR) – The co. agrees to sell a majority stake in European telecom operator BC Partners for approx. EUR 2.60bln; according to a source. (WSJ) Papa John’s (PZZA) – The restaurant chain reached to potential buyers and asked them to submit offers with a first round expected by October. This came after the co. asked private equity firms to bid for the co. (Newswires) Parsley Energy (PE) – The energy co. has named David Dell’Osso as its COO, succeeding Matt Gallagher. (Newswires) BROKER MOVES

Upgrades

AIRCASTLE (AYR) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT COWEN ALASKA AIR (ALK) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM IN-LINE AT IMPERIAL CAPITAL CAMECO (CCJ) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT RAYMOND JAMES CARMAX (KMX) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT BAIRD CYBERARK (CYBR) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM EQUAL WEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY JERNIGAN CAPITAL (JCAP) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT JEFFERIES KB HOME (KBH) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT RAYMOND JAMES LEXINGTON REALTY (LXP) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT WELLS FARGO NEWTEK BUSINESS SERVICES (NEWT) UPGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM AT RAYMOND JAMES NUVASIVE (NUVA) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT BAIRD Downgrades

AMD (AMD) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT NORTHLAND APPLIED OPTOELECTRONICS (AAOI) DOWNGRADED TO SELL FROM HOLD AT LOOP CAPITAL HI-CRUSH PARTNERS (HCLP) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT RAYMOND JAMES NAVIGATORS (NAVG) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT SANDLER O’NEILL PANDORA (P) DOWNGRADED TO SECTOR PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT RBC CAPITAL Initiations

AKUMIN (AKU/U CN) RATED NEW OUTPERFORM AT NATIONAL BANK; PT USD 5.25 AMEREN (AEE) RATED NEW HOLD AT SUNTRUST; PT USD 64 ARISTA NETWORKS (ANET) RATED NEW NEUTRAL AT UBS; PT USD 290 BIONANO GENOMICS (BNGO) RATED NEW BUY AT ROTH CAPITAL; PT USD 12 BURLINGTON STORES (BURL) RATED NEW BUY AT DA DAVIDSON; PT USD 187 CANADA GOOSE (GOOS CN) RATED NEW BUY AT DA DAVIDSON ELANCO ANIMAL HEALTH (ELAN) RATED NEW MARKET PERFORM AT BMO; PT USD 33 EVOFEM BIOSCIENCES (EVFM) RATED NEW OVERWEIGHT AT CANTOR; PT USD 9 FALCON MINERALS (FLMN) RATED NEW OUTPERFORM AT NORTHLAND; PT USD 13 FIRSTCASH (FCFS) RATED NEW OVERWEIGHT AT BARCLAYS; PT USD 95 HP ENTERPRISE (HPE) RATED NEW NEUTRAL AT UBS; PT USD 17 JUNIPER (JNPR) RATED NEW NEUTRAL AT UBS; PT USD 31 MINDBODY (MB) RATED NEW MARKET PERFORM AT WILLIAM BLAIR PVH (PVH) RATED NEW BUY AT DA DAVIDSON; PT USD 167 ROSS STORES (ROST) RATED NEW NEUTRAL AT DA DAVIDSON; PT USD 96 SENSUS HEALTHCARE (SRTS) RATED NEW BUY AT B RILEY FBR; PT USD 12.50 SHOTSPOTTER (SSTI) RATED NEW OUTPERFORM AT WILLIAM BLAIR TJX (TJX) RATED NEW BUY AT DA DAVIDSON; PT USD 130  Ex-Dividends

Ameris Bancorp (ABCB). Amount USD 0.10  Agree Realty Corp (ADC). Amount USD 0.54  AGNC Investment Corp (AGNC). Amount USD 0.18  American Tower Corp (AMT). Amount USD 0.79  Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc (ARE). Amount USD 0.93  Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc (ARI). Amount USD 0.46  ATN International Inc (ATNI). Amount USD 0.17  Actuant Corp (ATU). Amount USD 0.04  AvalonBay Communities Inc (AVB). Amount USD 1.47  BancFirst Corp (BANF). Amount USD 0.30  Franklin Resources Inc (BEN). Amount USD 0.23  B&G Foods Inc (BGS). Amount USD 0.48  Benchmark Electronics Inc (BHE). Amount USD 0.15  Boston Properties Inc (BXP). Amount USD 0.95  Boyd Gaming Corp (BYD). Amount USD 0.06  TCG BDC Inc (CGBD). Amount USD 0.37  Chimera Investment Corp (CIM). Amount USD 0.50  Colony Credit Real Estate Inc (CLNC). Amount USD 0.15  Colony Capital Inc (CLNY). Amount USD 0.11  CyrusOne Inc (CONE). Amount USD 0.46  CoreSite Realty Corp (COR). Amount USD 1.03  CTS Corp (CTS). Amount USD 0.04  Covanta Holding Corp (CVA). Amount USD 0.25  Dillard’s Inc (DDS). Amount USD 0.10  Deere & Co (DE). Amount USD 0.69  Douglas Emmett Inc (DEI). Amount USD 0.25  Danaher Corp (DHR). Amount USD 0.16  Amdocs Ltd (DOX). Amount USD 0.25  DiamondRock Hospitality Co (DRH). Amount USD 0.13  Eastgroup Properties Inc (EGP). Amount USD 0.72  Edison International (EIX). Amount USD 0.61  Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc (ELS). Amount USD 0.55  Ensign Group Inc (ENSG). Amount USD 0.05  EPR Properties (EPR). Amount USD 0.36  First Bancorp (FBNC). Amount USD 0.10  Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB). Amount USD 0.18  First Midwest Bancorp Inc (FMBI). Amount USD 0.11  FMC Corp (FMC). Amount USD 0.17  Granite Construction Inc (GVA). Amount USD 0.13  Host Hotels & Resorts Inc (HST). Amount USD 0.20  Humana Inc (HUM). Amount USD 0.50  IBERIABANK Corp (IBKC). Amount USD 0.39  Inter Parfums Inc (IPAR). Amount USD 0.21  Illinois Tool Works Inc (ITW). Amount USD 1.00  Jacobs Engineering Group Inc (JEC). Amount USD 0.15  Korn/Ferry International (KFY). Amount USD 0.10  Kilroy Realty Corp (KRC). Amount USD 0.46  KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp (KS). Amount USD 0.10  Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc (KW). Amount USD 0.19  Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc (LECO). Amount USD 0.39  Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (LGF). Amount USD 0.09  Lennox International Inc (LII). Amount USD 0.64  Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ). Amount USD 0.26  MGM Growth Properties LLC (MGP). Amount USD 0.44  Monolithic Power Systems Inc (MPWR). Amount USD 0.30  National Fuel Gas Co (NFG). Amount USD 0.43  National Health Investors Inc (NHI). Amount USD 1.00  Annaly Capital Management Inc (NLY). Amount USD 0.08  Nucor Corp (NUE). Amount USD 0.38  Pattern Energy Group Inc (PEGI). Amount USD 0.42  Paramount Group Inc (PGRE). Amount USD 0.10  Park Hotels & Resorts Inc (PK). Amount USD 0.43  ProAssurance Corp (PRA). Amount USD 0.31  Primoris Services Corp (PRIM). Amount USD 0.06  Prospect Capital Corp (PSEC). Amount USD 0.06  Pioneer Natural Resources Co (PXD). Amount USD 0.16  Regal Beloit Corp (RBC). Amount USD 0.28  Rexford Industrial Realty Inc (REXR). Amount USD 0.16  Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc (RHP). Amount USD 0.85  Ralph Lauren Corp (RL). Amount USD 0.63  Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc (SHO). Amount USD 0.05  SkyWest Inc (SKYW). Amount USD 0.10  SL Green Realty Corp (SLG). Amount USD 0.81  Spirit Realty Capital Inc (SRC). Amount USD 0.13  Seritage Growth Properties (SRG). Amount USD 0.25  STAG Industrial Inc (STAG). Amount USD 0.12  Steel Dynamics Inc (STLD). Amount USD 0.19  STORE Capital Corp (STOR). Amount USD 0.33  Sun Communities Inc (SUI). Amount USD 0.71  Stryker Corp (SYK). Amount USD 0.47  Towne Bank (TOWN). Amount USD 0.16  Umpqua Holdings Corp (UMPQ). Amount USD 0.21  Uniti Group Inc (UNIT). Amount USD 0.60  U.S. Bancorp (USB). Amount USD 0.37  VICI Properties Inc (VICI). Amount USD 0.29  Valmont Industries Inc (VMI). Amount USD 0.38  Western Digital Corp (WDC). Amount USD 0.50  Xenia Hotels & Resorts Inc (XHR). Amount USD 0.28  Dentsply Sirona Inc (XRAY). Amount USD 0.09  Xerox Corp (XRX). Amount USD 0.25  Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc (ZBH). Amount USD 0.24  (RANsquawk)