IStockStart.com http://istockstart.com How to do Stocks Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:57:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.31 Make No Mistake, Mozilla’s Search Partnership Is a Big Deal for Yahoo! http://istockstart.com/2014/11/make-no-mistake-mozillas-search-partnership-is-a-big-deal-for-yahoo/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/make-no-mistake-mozillas-search-partnership-is-a-big-deal-for-yahoo/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:57:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12962384/1/make-no-mistake-mozillas-search-partnership-is-a-big-deal-for-yahoo.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Most people have yawned about the search partnership announced last night between Yahoo!  and Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser. But it could be a big deal for Yahoo! investors and might lead to an increase of $11 per share in value over the next few months. Here's why. According to one report, Google  had been paying Mozilla (a non-profit) $300 million a year for the prior search partnership. When Google launched its own Chrome browser a few years ago, it's clear this upset Mozilla and this gave Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer her opportunity to go after this partnership. But in hindsight, Google's decision to push Chrome has been the right one. In the desktop browser world, Chrome has grown from 15% in 2011 to 45% today. Over that time, Firefox's browser share has dropped from 30% to 19%. Mayer was able to sell Mozilla that Yahoo! won't compete with it as a browser and that she'll promote its products on Yahoo!. The critics will say Firefox is yesterday's browser and it has no presence in mobile while Yahoo! is just picking up the scraps that have fallen off Google's table. My response is that for Yahoo! -- and for Yahoo!'s stock price -- this still could be a real positive thing. Firefox still has 19% share among desktop browsers. Yes, its share has dropped in recent years at the expense of Chrome but it's declining at a much slower rate than Microsoft's  Internet Explorer. In fact, it's possible that Firefox might pass IE in share next year. Next year, Firefox still should hold close to that share. Must Read: Why Google Won't Lose Sleep Over Yahoo!'s Search Deal With Firefox U.S. desktop search is shrinking but not that much. For example, Google desktop search revenue topped out at $11 billion last year but it will still be $10.85 billion this year. So how much Google desktop search revenue could Firefox have been responsible for this year? If you assume that it falls along browser share lines, $3 billion worth of search queries probably originated within a Firefox browser. That's meaningful. Now that doesn't mean that Yahoo! is going to generate that kind of revenue from this new deal. Today, Yahoo! has a 10% share of the U.S. desktop search market. That means it generates about $1.67 billion a year from U.S. search or $417 million a quarter. In the third quarter, Yahoo! generated $450 million in search revenue, which would suggest that more than 90% of its search revenue come from the U.S. Search revenue is extremely important because it's highly profitable revenue. We know that Yahoo! likely is paying at least $300 million a year to Mozilla, as Google did. They probably are paying even more. We also know that the financial terms of the deal are revenue sharing with certain revenue guarantees, according to a Reuters report. Revenue sharing does not seem to have been part of the old Google deal, according to past tax records for the Mozilla Foundation. My guess is Yahoo! is paying something similar to the Google minimum with revenue sharing on the revenue generated from the relationship. I am also guessing that Yahoo! will promote Mozilla products on its Web sites. And Microsoft will be entitled to 12%-13% of the revenue from the searches as per its 2009 agreement with Yahoo!. Assuming Firefox can get something like 17% desktop market share next year and that Yahoo! is paying Mozilla $400 million a year in revenue guarantees, Yahoo! should be able to generate $2 billion in incremental search revenue next year from this deal. The company might have agreed to share some of this with Mozilla, but the deal should still be very favorable to Yahoo! financially.  (It will also help Yahoo! from the perspective of improving its search capabilities if it wants to go it alone in search next year as it will get a bunch of new search queries.) Must Read: Don't Say Warren Buffett and Robert Shiller Didn't Warn You All of Yahoo! search did $1.7 billion in revenue last year. It's possible this deal could double the size of this search business. This revenue is highly profitable so there's a chance this deal might add $1 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization next year to Yahoo! since the deal begins in December. If it did, it would take Yahoo!'s Ebitda from $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion. At the moment, many Wall Street analysts assign a dirt cheap enterprise value to Ebitda ratio of five to six times for Yahoo!'s core business, or about $6.5 billion. At a much higher Ebitda like $2.2 billion -- and after a spinoff of the core business from the Asian equity stakes in a Reverse Morris Trust -- Wall Street might give a still discounted but more normalized multiple of eight times. This means that Yahoo! would likely be valued at $17.6 billion instead of $6.5 billion. That means this partnership may, over the next year, add an additional $11/share in value to Yahoo!'s stock price.  It's not getting reflected in the Yahoo! stock price today, with shares up 28% for the year to date. Yahoo! is up only because Alibaba  is also up today. However, make no mistake: This is a big deal for Yahoo!. Must Read: Gap Between iPhone 6 and 6-Plus Is Bigger Than Anyone Thought At the time of publication, the author was long YHOO and BABA, although positions may change at any time. TheStreet Ratings team rates YAHOO INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate YAHOO INC (YHOO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow." You can view the full analysis from the report here: YHOO Ratings Report

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Most people have yawned about the search partnership announced last night between Yahoo! 
and Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser. But it could be a big deal for Yahoo! investors and might lead to an increase of $11 per share in value over the next few months. Here’s why.
According to one report, Google 
had been paying Mozilla (a non-profit) $300 million a year for the prior search partnership. When Google launched its own Chrome browser a few years ago, it’s clear this upset Mozilla and this gave Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer her opportunity to go after this partnership.
But in hindsight, Google’s decision to push Chrome has been the right one. In the desktop browser world, Chrome has grown from 15% in 2011 to 45% today. Over that time, Firefox’s browser share has dropped from 30% to 19%.
Mayer was able to sell Mozilla that Yahoo! won’t compete with it as a browser and that she’ll promote its products on Yahoo!.
The critics will say Firefox is yesterday’s browser and it has no presence in mobile while Yahoo! is just picking up the scraps that have fallen off Google’s table.

My response is that for Yahoo! — and for Yahoo!’s stock price — this still could be a real positive thing.
Firefox still has 19% share among desktop browsers. Yes, its share has dropped in recent years at the expense of Chrome but it’s declining at a much slower rate than Microsoft’s 
Internet Explorer. In fact, it’s possible that Firefox might pass IE in share next year. Next year, Firefox still should hold close to that share.
Must Read: Why Google Won’t Lose Sleep Over Yahoo!’s Search Deal With Firefox

U.S. desktop search is shrinking but not that much. For example, Google desktop search revenue topped out at $11 billion last year but it will still be $10.85 billion this year.
So how much Google desktop search revenue could Firefox have been responsible for this year? If you assume that it falls along browser share lines, $3 billion worth of search queries probably originated within a Firefox browser. That’s meaningful. Now that doesn’t mean that Yahoo! is going to generate that kind of revenue from this new deal.
Today, Yahoo! has a 10% share of the U.S. desktop search market. That means it generates about $1.67 billion a year from U.S. search or $417 million a quarter. In the third quarter, Yahoo! generated $450 million in search revenue, which would suggest that more than 90% of its search revenue come from the U.S.
Search revenue is extremely important because it’s highly profitable revenue.
We know that Yahoo! likely is paying at least $300 million a year to Mozilla, as Google did. They probably are paying even more. We also know that the financial terms of the deal are revenue sharing with certain revenue guarantees, according to a Reuters report. Revenue sharing does not seem to have been part of the old Google deal, according to past tax records for the Mozilla Foundation.
My guess is Yahoo! is paying something similar to the Google minimum with revenue sharing on the revenue generated from the relationship. I am also guessing that Yahoo! will promote Mozilla products on its Web sites. And Microsoft will be entitled to 12%-13% of the revenue from the searches as per its 2009 agreement with Yahoo!.
Assuming Firefox can get something like 17% desktop market share next year and that Yahoo! is paying Mozilla $400 million a year in revenue guarantees, Yahoo! should be able to generate $2 billion in incremental search revenue next year from this deal. The company might have agreed to share some of this with Mozilla, but the deal should still be very favorable to Yahoo! financially.  (It will also help Yahoo! from the perspective of improving its search capabilities if it wants to go it alone in search next year as it will get a bunch of new search queries.)
Must Read: Don’t Say Warren Buffett and Robert Shiller Didn’t Warn You

All of Yahoo! search did $1.7 billion in revenue last year. It’s possible this deal could double the size of this search business. This revenue is highly profitable so there’s a chance this deal might add $1 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization next year to Yahoo! since the deal begins in December.
If it did, it would take Yahoo!’s Ebitda from $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion. At the moment, many Wall Street analysts assign a dirt cheap enterprise value to Ebitda ratio of five to six times for Yahoo!’s core business, or about $6.5 billion. At a much higher Ebitda like $2.2 billion — and after a spinoff of the core business from the Asian equity stakes in a Reverse Morris Trust — Wall Street might give a still discounted but more normalized multiple of eight times.
This means that Yahoo! would likely be valued at $17.6 billion instead of $6.5 billion. That means this partnership may, over the next year, add an additional $11/share in value to Yahoo!’s stock price. 
It’s not getting reflected in the Yahoo! stock price today, with shares up 28% for the year to date. Yahoo! is up only because Alibaba 
is also up today. However, make no mistake: This is a big deal for Yahoo!.
Must Read: Gap Between iPhone 6 and 6-Plus Is Bigger Than Anyone Thought
At the time of publication, the author was long YHOO and BABA, although positions may change at any time.

TheStreet Ratings team rates YAHOO INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate YAHOO INC (YHOO) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow." You can view the full analysis from the report here: YHOO Ratings Report


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T-Mobile (TMUS) Stock Higher Today on Deutsche Telekom Comments http://istockstart.com/2014/11/t-mobile-tmus-stock-higher-today-on-deutsche-telekom-comments/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/t-mobile-tmus-stock-higher-today-on-deutsche-telekom-comments/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:51:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12962479/1/t-mobile-tmus-stock-higher-today-on-deutsche-telekom-comments.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of T-Mobile U.S. Inc. are gaining by 1.75% to $27.93 in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, following positive comments by the mobile phone company's owner, Deutsche Telekom AG . The fourth largest mobile phone company in the U.S. is still an attractive asset for potential buyers, despite the unsuccessful bids by Sprint Corp. and Iliad SA , Deutsche Telecom said, according to Bloomberg. Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges said companies that could potentially have an interest in controlling T-Mobile include Comcast Corp. , America Movil SAB , and Dish Network Corp. . Hoettges also noted Deutsche Telekom is not currently in talks with these companies, Bloomberg added. Must Read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. The CEO said that software and other Internet services providers could look to T-Mobile as a way to gain network infrastructure in the U.S. "Does that mean that we have to do a fast sale or something like that? Not at all. It's a growth stock at this point in time and there are [options] in the market," Hoettges said, Bloomberg noted. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates T-MOBILE US INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate T-MOBILE US INC (TMUS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: The revenue growth significantly trails the industry average of 61.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share. Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,062.00 million or 28.57% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -11.76%. Compared to other companies in the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, T-MOBILE US INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.78 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, TMUS's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.21, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs. The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 161.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$36.00 million to -$94.00 million. You can view the full analysis from the report here: TMUS Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Shares of T-Mobile U.S. Inc.
are gaining by 1.75% to $27.93 in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday, following positive comments by the mobile phone company’s owner, Deutsche Telekom AG
.
The fourth largest mobile phone company in the U.S. is still an attractive asset for potential buyers, despite the unsuccessful bids by Sprint Corp.
and Iliad SA
, Deutsche Telecom said, according to Bloomberg.
Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges said companies that could potentially have an interest in controlling T-Mobile include Comcast Corp.
, America Movil SAB
, and Dish Network Corp.
. Hoettges also noted Deutsche Telekom is not currently in talks with these companies, Bloomberg added. Must Read: Warren Buffett’s 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
The CEO said that software and other Internet services providers could look to T-Mobile as a way to gain network infrastructure in the U.S.
"Does that mean that we have to do a fast sale or something like that? Not at all. It’s a growth stock at this point in time and there are [options] in the market," Hoettges said, Bloomberg noted.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates T-MOBILE US INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate T-MOBILE US INC (TMUS) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

The revenue growth significantly trails the industry average of 61.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company’s bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,062.00 million or 28.57% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -11.76%.
Compared to other companies in the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, T-MOBILE US INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.78 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, TMUS’s quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.21, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 161.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$36.00 million to -$94.00 million.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TMUS Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.


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Alibaba (BABA) Stock Gains On Reports of Increased Bond Offering http://istockstart.com/2014/11/alibaba-baba-stock-gains-on-reports-of-increased-bond-offering/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/alibaba-baba-stock-gains-on-reports-of-increased-bond-offering/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:36:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12962475/1/alibaba-baba-stock-gains-on-reports-of-increased-bond-offering.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Alibaba
shares are up 2% to $111 in trading on Thursday following reports that the Chinese e-commerce company will increase the amount of its first bond offering due to heavy demand, according a a Dow Jones report. The company will offer $10 billion in bonds, a $2 billion increase from the $8 billion it originally planned to offer, due to extremely high demand. The company has received $57 billion worth of bond orders from investors, more than seven times what the company was said to be seeking, according to a Bloomberg report today.
Must Read: Warren Buffett’s 25 Favorite Stocks
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10 Surprising Things That Are Worth Less Than Apple http://istockstart.com/2014/11/10-surprising-things-that-are-worth-less-than-apple/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/10-surprising-things-that-are-worth-less-than-apple/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:25:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12961994/1/apples-shadow-10-surprising-things-that-are-worth-less-than-the-iphone-maker.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed

NEW YORK (
TheStreet) – Apple’s
stock market value is now a staggering $676 billion, making it not only the world’s biggest company but an economic force that dwarfs many countries’ GDP and stock markets.

The growth has been phenominal. Just over a year ago, the value of Apple’s outstanding shares was about $460 billion. Now, with analysts raising their price targets on the stock, it won’t be long before Apple reaches a $1 trillion valuation, with some hedge fund managers, including David Einhorn, having called for 
$1 trillion valuation in the past.

Apple’s iPhone 6 is already selling well above expectations and sales haven’t even begun on its Apple Watch, set for release in early 2015. The company is well-positioned to once again exceed expectations in the coming year.

Here, then, are ten things that Apple is worth more than. Some of them surprised us too.

 

1
. The value of Google
, Yahoo
, Intel
, and HP
combined

The combined market cap of some of the most well-known Apple competitors is $651 billion. When it comes to the combined power of the world’s largest search engines, however, Apple isn’t as large: The market caps of Google, Microsoft
and Yahoo! add up to $813 billion.

2. Four Samsungs

Apple has long been accused of imitating Samsung
innovations in its top-of-the-line smartphones. With a market cap of $161 billion, Samsung would have to clone itself three times to be as large a company as Apple.

Must Read: 
Warren Buffett’s Top 25 Stocks

3. Russian Stock Market

Numbers crunched by
Bloomberg value the Russian stock market at $531 billion. If you owned all of Apple, sold it, and then bought every company in the Russian stock market, you’d still have over $100 billion left over to buy as many iPhones as you could ever need.

 

4. The 16 Richest Americans

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and 14 of their peers are
worth a combined $665.6 billion.

Must Read: 
How Buffett, Soros and Other Billionaires Invested in the Third Quarter

5. The Pentagon’s Annual Budget

The Pentagon
spent $615.1 billion in its 2014 fiscal year.

6. Switzerland’s GDP – $646.2 billion

The country is synonymous with banking and fine things like luxury watches and decadent chocolate.

Must Read: 
10 Best Countries in the World

 

7. The economies of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Burma combined

The five neighboring countries collective GDP’s
add up to $656 billion.

8. 17,693.8 tons of gold

At just under $1,200 per ounce, $676 billion would buy you a staggering 17,693.8 tons of gold. That’s more than
10% of all the gold that will ever be mined in the world.

Must Read: 
Obscure Swiss Vote Could Roil Gold Markets

 

9. 1,631 Airbus A380 Jets

$676 billion will buy about 1,631 Airbus
A380s, the world’s largest plane, which
cost $414.4 million each. Airbus has received only 318 orders for its double-decker jumbo jet. 

 

10. 48
Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers

The U.S. is currently building the
most expensive class of aircraft carrier ever, at a cost of $13.9 billion each. This behemoth weighs 224 million pounds and is 25 stories high. Apple is worth nearly 50 of these giants. 

 


Written by Scott Gamm for TheStreet.

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Here’s How Best Buy, Target and Others Are Gaining Ground on Amazon http://istockstart.com/2014/11/heres-how-best-buy-target-and-others-are-gaining-ground-on-amazon/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/heres-how-best-buy-target-and-others-are-gaining-ground-on-amazon/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:21:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12960886/1/heres-how-best-buy-target-and-others-are-gaining-ground-on-amazon.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Online sales from "big box" retailers such as Best Buy and Target continue to surge, and it's not just because of the ongoing price wars with Internet giant Amazon . The retailers are also gaining ground because they've learned to integrate the online shopping experience for consumers who still want to visit an actual store. So far this year, Best Buy's online sales have risen 24.3%, almost two times the rate achieved at this point in 2013. In an email to TheStreet in September, a Best Buy spokesman pointed to its new capability to ship merchandise from all 1,400 U.S. stores, essentially connecting the virtual world with the physical store. The result: fewer out of stock messages on the Web site that previously had sent customers fleeing to Amazon's homepage. He added that Best Buy has also improved its checkout process to make it more seamless, channeling Amazon's seemingly intuitive user experience. Best Buy also has a price match guarantee program that includes merchandise found on Amazon. Must Read: Is Target Winning Back the Confidence of its Customers?  For the first time, Target this week shared with investors the sales contribution from its online store to its critical same-store sales metric. Online sales added 0.6% to Target's better-than-expected U.S. same-store sales increase of 1.2% for the third-quarter. No doubt the company decided to highlight the information to show how its efforts online and on mobile devices are influencing the business. "Following the success of our second quarter decision to offer free shipping on all Target.com orders over $50, in October we announced that we are offering our guests free shipping on all orders this holiday season," said executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer for Target Kathee Tesija on a call with analysts. Tesija continued, "We've seen a meaningful increase in both orders and conversion compared with trends prior to the announcement." Target's free-shipping push and easier to use Web site come alongside a rollout of a ship from store program of its own, mirroring those being unveiled by Macy's , Home Depot , and the aforementioned Best Buy. In effect, Target and its big box competitors have turned their huge stores into distribution centers that are closer to the consumer than an Amazon facility. Amazon reportedly has 66 distribution facilities in the U.S.   Target is shipping about 60,000 eligible products from 136 stores in 38 markets, covering more than 90% of the U.S. population. According to the company, the ability to access inventory in the store to fulfill online orders "improves our digital in-stocks and drives incremental sales in situations where we are out of stock in our fulfillment centers." Summed up Target's new CEO Brian Cornell on the call, "Target's digital sales are growing much faster than the industry and they have been accelerating all year, and we are planning for even faster growth in the fourth quarter." Must Read: Royal Caribbean Is About to Sail to China on Much Cheaper Fuel Not to be outdone, the  self-proclaimed low price leader Walmart has spent an entire year investing aggressively in its online business, notably adding new items for sale that play off the endless assortment being sold by Amazon. The world's largest retailer has spent 4 cents a share in 2014 for e-commerce investments. For the full-year, Walmart expects the investment to total 5 cents a share to 7 cents a share. "Our customers want to be able to buy just about anything from us, so we are expanding our e-commerce assortment to give them that opportunity," pointed out Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on its third quarter earnings call. Global e-commerce sales increased 21% in the third quarter, following what could be characterized as a generally strong year online for the retailer this year. In the second quarter, Walmart took the wraps off a "top to bottom rebuild of its entire global technology platform," according to Walmart's President and CEO Global e-commerce Neil Ashe, making it more agile in adjusting prices. "Changes to the site can be made in minutes versus days, so we can innovate, test, iterate and deploy new capabilities in real time," Ashe said. "The site has much more personalization, and each customer's experience is always changing with fresh content that helps them discover new items." As the old guard in retail step up their games online, it looks as if their successes are coming at the expense of the once dominant Amazon. The house that Jeff Bezos built has reported 25.6% sales growth in North America in 2014, slower than the 29% rate attained a year earlier. Must Read: Can TV Commercial Icon Ronald McDonald Save the Golden Arches?

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]]>

NEW YORK (
TheStreet) — Online sales from "big box" retailers such as
Best Buy
and
Target
continue to
surge, and it’s not just because of the ongoing price wars with Internet giant
Amazon
.
The retailers are also gaining ground because they’ve learned to integrate the online shopping experience for consumers who still want to visit an actual store.
So far this year, Best Buy’s online sales have risen 24.3%, almost two times the rate achieved at this point in 2013. In an email to TheStreet in September, a Best Buy spokesman pointed to its new capability to ship merchandise from all 1,400 U.S. stores, essentially connecting the virtual world with the physical store. The result: fewer out of stock messages on the Web site that previously had sent customers fleeing to Amazon’s homepage. He added that Best Buy has also improved its checkout process to make it more seamless, channeling Amazon’s seemingly intuitive user experience. Best Buy also has a price match guarantee program that includes merchandise found on Amazon.
Must Read: Is Target Winning Back the Confidence of its Customers? 

For the first time, Target this week shared with investors the sales contribution from its online store to its critical same-store sales metric. Online sales added 0.6% to Target’s better-than-expected U.S. same-store sales increase of 1.2% for the third-quarter. No doubt the company decided to highlight the information to show how its efforts online and on mobile devices are influencing the business.
"Following the success of our second quarter decision to offer free shipping on all Target.com orders over $50, in October we announced that we are offering our guests free shipping on all orders this holiday season," said executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer for Target Kathee Tesija on a call with analysts. Tesija continued, "We’ve seen a meaningful increase in both orders and conversion compared with trends prior to the announcement."
Target’s free-shipping push and easier to use Web site come alongside a rollout of a ship from store program of its own, mirroring those being unveiled by Macy’s
, Home Depot
, and the aforementioned Best Buy. In effect, Target and its big box competitors have turned their huge stores into distribution centers that are closer to the consumer than an Amazon facility. Amazon reportedly has 66 distribution facilities in the U.S.   Target is shipping about 60,000 eligible products from 136 stores in 38 markets, covering more than 90% of the U.S. population. According to the company, the ability to access inventory in the store to fulfill online orders "improves our digital in-stocks and drives incremental sales in situations where we are out of stock in our fulfillment centers."
Summed up Target’s new CEO Brian Cornell on the call, "Target’s digital sales are growing much faster than the industry and they have been accelerating all year, and we are planning for even faster growth in the fourth quarter."
Must Read: Royal Caribbean Is About to Sail to China on Much Cheaper Fuel
Not to be outdone, the  self-proclaimed low price leader Walmart
has spent an entire year investing aggressively in its online business, notably adding new items for sale that play off the endless assortment being sold by Amazon. The world’s largest retailer has spent 4 cents a share in 2014 for e-commerce investments. For the full-year, Walmart expects the investment to total 5 cents a share to 7 cents a share.
"Our customers want to be able to buy just about anything from us, so we are expanding our e-commerce assortment to give them that opportunity," pointed out Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on its third quarter earnings call. Global e-commerce sales increased 21% in the third quarter, following what could be characterized as a generally strong year online for the retailer this year. In the second quarter, Walmart took the wraps off a "top to bottom rebuild of its entire global technology platform," according to Walmart’s President and CEO Global e-commerce Neil Ashe, making it more agile in adjusting prices. "Changes to the site can be made in minutes versus days, so we can innovate, test, iterate and deploy new capabilities in real time," Ashe said. "The site has much more personalization, and each customer’s experience is always changing with fresh content that helps them discover new items."
As the old guard in retail step up their games online, it looks as if their successes are coming at the expense of the once dominant Amazon. The house that Jeff Bezos built has reported 25.6% sales growth in North America in 2014, slower than the 29% rate attained a year earlier.
Must Read: Can TV Commercial Icon Ronald McDonald Save the Golden Arches?


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Taylor Swift Tickets Heating Up Secondary Market 6 Months Ahead of 1989 Tour http://istockstart.com/2014/11/taylor-swift-tickets-heating-up-secondary-market-6-months-ahead-of-1989-tour/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/taylor-swift-tickets-heating-up-secondary-market-6-months-ahead-of-1989-tour/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:11:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12960667/1/taylor-swift-tickets-heating-up-secondary-market-6-months-ahead-of-1989-tour.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Music icon Taylor Swift has hit the ground running since the release of her latest album, 1989, and that means that the secondary market for her concert tickets is heating up.  After debuting her first single from the record, "Shake It Off", in August, the 24-year-old pop singer has made the rounds on national talk shows, been the cover model for major magazines and even taken the gratuitous title of unofficial ambassador of New York City. She also made business news headlines by removing her catalog from streaming service Spotify. Not too shabby for a girl who grew up in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying With millions of hits on Google's YouTube, plus more album plays and dollars to follow in the coming months, Swift is scheduled to embark on her massive six-month-long 1989 World Tour in early May, beginning with two dates at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. She'll start her first North American leg of the tour just two weeks later at CenturyLink Center in Louisiana on May 20, then launch a rigorous touring cycle that will have her play 63 dates across the U.S. and Canada until Oct. 31, when she wraps at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.  Though nearly six months still await before Swift hits the road, ticket prices on the secondary market are considerably high. The average secondary market price for Taylor Swift tickets on TiqIQ across her six-month tour in North America is currently $263.51. This trumps her ticket average across the North American leg of her Red Tour in 2013, which had a secondary market average of $170.15, or 34.4% below the 1989 Tour. The secondary market for Swift's tickets -- or resales by people who have already bought tickets and are unloading them -- are an indication of her overall popularity.  Swift has been such a cultural force surround the release of her latest record, there's been relatively little backlash over the removal of her albums from Spotify. As her album sold 1.28 million copies in its first week, it's highly unlikely that record number for a 2014 album came from a lack of free streaming options. There's clearly a large market for Swift's music and that demand has translated over to ticket sales. Swift will make several tour stops that will see exorbitant secondary market prices beginning in May, but her three most expensive shows will be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on July 10 and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where she will play consecutive top-priced shows on Aug. 25 and 26. Her mid-July stop at MetLife Stadium currently has a secondary market average of $422.69, 60.4% above the tour average, and get-in price starts at $94. That may go down, though, as demand was so high a second stadium show was added. Her two stops at the Staples Center have reached similar heights on the secondary market, with her Aug. 25 date currently listed at $403.78 and Aug. 26 at a $364.45 average. The get-in price for both Staples Center shows starts at $99. Must Read: 17 New Hollywood Movies You Will Want to See Over the Holidays Swift's three cheapest dates on her upcoming tour will be played at stadiums rather than arenas. This is likely due to high-capacity stadium venues providing a surplus of tickets over their arena counterparts, which in turn leads to less ticket demand and cheaper seats. She'll play two consecutive dates at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Oct. 2 and 3, but her least expensive show will be at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on May 22. The average secondary price for her Oct. 3 show at the Rogers Centre is $217.63 and has a get-in price of $67, while her initial stop at the Canadian stadium just one day prior sees an average price of $212.01 and $67 get-in. Neither show will sink as low as her May 22 concert at Tiger Stadium, however, and that show currently sees a $143.97 secondary average, 45.3% below the tour average, and get-in price of $41. Arguably the biggest pop musician in the world, Taylor Swift has built a young career that continues toward its apex with each subsequent record release. 1989 has been her most commercially successful record yet, and the "Blank Space" singer will only continue to ascend as she embarks on her 2015 World Tour. Must Read: Dominating Dozen: 12 Androids That Outmuscle the iPhone At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Music icon Taylor Swift has hit the ground running since the release of her latest album, 1989, and that means that the secondary market for her concert tickets is heating up. 
After debuting her first single from the record, "Shake It Off", in August, the 24-year-old pop singer has made the rounds on national talk shows, been the cover model for major magazines and even taken the gratuitous title of unofficial ambassador of New York City. She also made business news headlines by removing her catalog from streaming service Spotify. Not too shabby for a girl who grew up in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania.
Must Read: 10 Stocks George Soros Is Buying
With millions of hits on Google’s
YouTube, plus more album plays and dollars to follow in the coming months, Swift is scheduled to embark on her massive six-month-long 1989 World Tour in early May, beginning with two dates at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. She’ll start her first North American leg of the tour just two weeks later at CenturyLink Center in Louisiana on May 20, then launch a rigorous touring cycle that will have her play 63 dates across the U.S. and Canada until Oct. 31, when she wraps at Raymond James
Stadium in Tampa. 
Though nearly six months still await before Swift hits the road, ticket prices on the secondary market are considerably high. The average secondary market price for Taylor Swift tickets on TiqIQ across her six-month tour in North America is currently $263.51. This trumps her ticket average across the North American leg of her Red Tour in 2013, which had a secondary market average of $170.15, or 34.4% below the 1989 Tour. The secondary market for Swift’s tickets — or resales by people who have already bought tickets and are unloading them — are an indication of her overall popularity.  Swift has been such a cultural force surround the release of her latest record, there’s been relatively little backlash over the removal of her albums from Spotify. As her album sold 1.28 million copies in its first week, it’s highly unlikely that record number for a 2014 album came from a lack of free streaming options. There’s clearly a large market for Swift’s music and that demand has translated over to ticket sales.
Swift will make several tour stops that will see exorbitant secondary market prices beginning in May, but her three most expensive shows will be played at MetLife
Stadium in New Jersey on July 10 and the Staples
Center in Los Angeles, where she will play consecutive top-priced shows on Aug. 25 and 26.
Her mid-July stop at MetLife Stadium currently has a secondary market average of $422.69, 60.4% above the tour average, and get-in price starts at $94. That may go down, though, as demand was so high a second stadium show was added.
Her two stops at the Staples Center have reached similar heights on the secondary market, with her Aug. 25 date currently listed at $403.78 and Aug. 26 at a $364.45 average. The get-in price for both Staples Center shows starts at $99.
Must Read: 17 New Hollywood Movies You Will Want to See Over the Holidays

Swift’s three cheapest dates on her upcoming tour will be played at stadiums rather than arenas. This is likely due to high-capacity stadium venues providing a surplus of tickets over their arena counterparts, which in turn leads to less ticket demand and cheaper seats. She’ll play two consecutive dates at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Oct. 2 and 3, but her least expensive show will be at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on May 22.
The average secondary price for her Oct. 3 show at the Rogers Centre is $217.63 and has a get-in price of $67, while her initial stop at the Canadian stadium just one day prior sees an average price of $212.01 and $67 get-in. Neither show will sink as low as her May 22 concert at Tiger Stadium, however, and that show currently sees a $143.97 secondary average, 45.3% below the tour average, and get-in price of $41.
Arguably the biggest pop musician in the world, Taylor Swift has built a young career that continues toward its apex with each subsequent record release. 1989 has been her most commercially successful record yet, and the "Blank Space" singer will only continue to ascend as she embarks on her 2015 World Tour.
Must Read: Dominating Dozen: 12 Androids That Outmuscle the iPhone
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet’s regular news coverage.


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HotelTonight Wants to Grab Same-Day Niche From Booking Heavyweights http://istockstart.com/2014/11/hoteltonight-wants-to-grab-same-day-niche-from-booking-heavyweights/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/hoteltonight-wants-to-grab-same-day-niche-from-booking-heavyweights/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:06:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12960887/1/hoteltonight-can-this-david-survive-the-goliaths-in-hotel-booking.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Call it innovator’s poignancy. Sometimes a startup identifies an ignored niche, validates that there's money to be made, then gets trampled by bigger companies that suddenly smell cash. Is that about to happen to San Francisco-based hotel booking service startup HotelTonight? The company's premise has been simple in its elegance. Surrounded by empty rooms that are worthless without guests, a smart hotel operator will bend on price to put a head on the bed. And mobile, with its built-in ubiquity and immediacy, ties it all together. Must Read: 7 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Selling in 2014 HotelTonight debuted four years ago and by now its apps are on over an estimated 10 million iPhones and Androids. The company isn't worried about the onslaught of competition from the larger industry players, citing its singular focus on just hotel rooms and its lower-commission rate for hotels business model. Now that HotelTonight is becoming a household name, suddenly, Priceline  (market cap: $60 billion), Expedia  (market cap: $11.1 billion), Orbitz   (market cap: $845 million), and the big chains such as Marriott , Hilton   and Starwood    are piling into the same-day hotel booking niche. The reason is their sense that this is a fast-growing market. “I was suspicious of the size of the opportunity,” said Douglas Quinby, vice president of research at Phocuswright, a travel market research company. “Subsequent to the research we did, I am less suspicious. We see quite a bit of demand for close in [to the travel date] hotel shopping.” He added that “the OTAs [online travel agencies such as Expedia and Priceline's Booking.com] are in this very aggressively. It's a very crowded, competitive market.” One reason, Quinby suggested, is that across the sector, operators report rising bookings via mobile devices and those bookings, as a rule, tend to be short notice. The big online travel agencies admit they are interested. “Same-day booking is a real market,” said Keith Nowak, director of communications at Travelocity, which claims annual gross bookings of $10 billion. Then there also are many smaller competitors such as Hong Kong-based HotelQuickly and LMT -- aka Last Minute Travel. Groupon  , travel site Hipmunk and a parade of others also have had eyes on the same-day market. Must Read: Darkhotel Hack Selectively Targets Traveling Executives at Hotel Bad as all that might seem for HotelTonight, if you ask Sam Shank, the CEO and co-founder of HotelTonight, whether he's about to be crushed by other operators, he literally laughs. “We continue to grow the business nicely. We are completely focused on mobile and last-minute. We don't have flights, we don't have cruises, we don't rent cars. We focus on getting the best hotel deals.” Part of Shank's confidence is rooted in his belief that he has “reinvented the relationship with the hotels.” Most hotel operators hate the online travel agencies. That is because they charge commissions typically ranging from 15% to as much as 30% and, especially for independent hotels and smaller groups, the rates are take them or leave them. “We charge the lowest commissions in the industry,” said Shank. “No higher than 15% and often much lower. That’s why we get exclusive inventory and we have hotels competing to get into HotelTonight.” Shank added, “Hotels give us an exclusive discount. Our prices are better than you will find at the large OTAs.” HotelTonight also is itself no pauper. In September 2013, it closed a $45 million funding round. That lifted its total capital raised to $80.35 million. Investors include Coatue Management, GGV Capital, Battery Ventures, Accel Partners, US Venture Partners, and First Round Capital. One criticism of HotelTonight is that it shows a user a tightly-edited list of hotel options. In Manhattan, for instance, in a quick search, HotelTonight showed 11 hotels, from the $229 Paramount Hotel in the theater district to the $549 New York Palace in Midtown East. Other services may produce literally hundreds of options. Said Shank: the edited list is a plus for a time-crunched traveler hunting for a room, now. “We built the app for speed and convenience,” he said. There's been at least one sign business may be slowing amid rising competition, forcing it to expand beyond same-day bookings. The company's move in late September to end its policy of only selling rooms for the same night and opening the door to booking seven days in advance has put it on a direct collision course with the many online travel agencies. Asked how that initiative was faring, Shank said, “It’s only been around for a month, it’s too early to say. The people who are booking in advance are much more likely to be first time customers. We are reaching a new audience.” What's the verdict on HotelTonight? Phocuswright's Quinby, who follows this space as closely as anyone, said: “I definitely don’t think they are toast. They’ve built a great mobile app. HotelTonight is not about a cheap hotel room. It's about spontaneity.” “The real question is, just how big is the last-minute market?” said Quinby. Is it big enough to feed all the hungry mouths? Sam Shank and his investors will definitely be finding out and, right now, few count him out. He validated the market, he proved he understands that traveler, and now it's up to the many competitors to prove likewise. Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves in 2014 At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @rjmcgarvey // 0;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); // ]]> This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Call it innovator’s poignancy. Sometimes a startup identifies an ignored niche, validates that there’s money to be made, then gets trampled by bigger companies that suddenly smell cash.
Is that about to happen to San Francisco-based hotel booking service startup HotelTonight? The company’s premise has been simple in its elegance. Surrounded by empty rooms that are worthless without guests, a smart hotel operator will bend on price to put a head on the bed. And mobile, with its built-in ubiquity and immediacy, ties it all together.
Must Read: 7 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Selling in 2014
HotelTonight debuted four years ago and by now its apps are on over an estimated 10 million iPhones and Androids. The company isn’t worried about the onslaught of competition from the larger industry players, citing its singular focus on just hotel rooms and its lower-commission rate for hotels business model.
Now that HotelTonight is becoming a household name, suddenly, Priceline
 (market cap: $60 billion), Expedia
 (market cap: $11.1 billion), Orbitz 
 (market cap: $845 million), and the big chains such as Marriott
, Hilton 
 and Starwood 
  are piling into the same-day hotel booking niche. The reason is their sense that this is a fast-growing market.

“I was suspicious of the size of the opportunity,” said Douglas Quinby, vice president of research at Phocuswright, a travel market research company. “Subsequent to the research we did, I am less suspicious. We see quite a bit of demand for close in [to the travel date] hotel shopping.” He added that “the OTAs [online travel agencies such as Expedia and Priceline’s Booking.com] are in this very aggressively. It’s a very crowded, competitive market.” One reason, Quinby suggested, is that across the sector, operators report rising bookings via mobile devices and those bookings, as a rule, tend to be short notice.
The big online travel agencies admit they are interested. “Same-day booking is a real market,” said Keith Nowak, director of communications at Travelocity, which claims annual gross bookings of $10 billion.
Then there also are many smaller competitors such as Hong Kong-based HotelQuickly and LMT — aka Last Minute Travel. Groupon 
, travel site Hipmunk and a parade of others also have had eyes on the same-day market.
Must Read: Darkhotel Hack Selectively Targets Traveling Executives at Hotel

Bad as all that might seem for HotelTonight, if you ask Sam Shank, the CEO and co-founder of HotelTonight, whether he’s about to be crushed by other operators, he literally laughs. “We continue to grow the business nicely. We are completely focused on mobile and last-minute. We don’t have flights, we don’t have cruises, we don’t rent cars. We focus on getting the best hotel deals.”
Part of Shank’s confidence is rooted in his belief that he has “reinvented the relationship with the hotels.”
Most hotel operators hate the online travel agencies. That is because they charge commissions typically ranging from 15% to as much as 30% and, especially for independent hotels and smaller groups, the rates are take them or leave them.
“We charge the lowest commissions in the industry,” said Shank. “No higher than 15% and often much lower. That’s why we get exclusive inventory and we have hotels competing to get into HotelTonight.”
Shank added, “Hotels give us an exclusive discount. Our prices are better than you will find at the large OTAs.”
HotelTonight also is itself no pauper. In September 2013, it closed a $45 million funding round. That lifted its total capital raised to $80.35 million. Investors include Coatue Management, GGV Capital, Battery Ventures, Accel Partners, US Venture Partners, and First Round Capital.
One criticism of HotelTonight is that it shows a user a tightly-edited list of hotel options. In Manhattan, for instance, in a quick search, HotelTonight showed 11 hotels, from the $229 Paramount Hotel in the theater district to the $549 New York Palace in Midtown East. Other services may produce literally hundreds of options. Said Shank: the edited list is a plus for a time-crunched traveler hunting for a room, now. “We built the app for speed and convenience,” he said.
There’s been at least one sign business may be slowing amid rising competition, forcing it to expand beyond same-day bookings. The company’s move in late September to end its policy of only selling rooms for the same night and opening the door to booking seven days in advance has put it on a direct collision course with the many online travel agencies.
Asked how that initiative was faring, Shank said, “It’s only been around for a month, it’s too early to say. The people who are booking in advance are much more likely to be first time customers. We are reaching a new audience.”
What’s the verdict on HotelTonight? Phocuswright’s Quinby, who follows this space as closely as anyone, said: “I definitely don’t think they are toast. They’ve built a great mobile app. HotelTonight is not about a cheap hotel room. It’s about spontaneity.”
“The real question is, just how big is the last-minute market?” said Quinby. Is it big enough to feed all the hungry mouths? Sam Shank and his investors will definitely be finding out and, right now, few count him out. He validated the market, he proved he understands that traveler, and now it’s up to the many competitors to prove likewise.
Must Read: 10 Stocks Carl Icahn Loves in 2014
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
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Autohome (ATHM) Stock Lower Today After Follow-On Public Offering http://istockstart.com/2014/11/autohome-athm-stock-lower-today-after-follow-on-public-offering/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/autohome-athm-stock-lower-today-after-follow-on-public-offering/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:56:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12962383/1/autohome-athm-stock-lower-today-after-follow-on-public-offering.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Shares of Autohome
are down 1.23% to $42.73 on heavy trading volume after the company announced pricing of $42.50 per ADS in a registered follow-on public offering.
The Chinese company, which delivers independent and interactive content to automobile buyers and owners, will issue and sell 1.65 million of its own ADS. The selling shareholders will sell an aggregate of 6.85 million ADS.
The gross proceeds to the company will be approximately $70.1 million, and the gross proceeds to the selling shareholders will be approximately $291.1 million.
Must Read: Warren Buffett’s 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
Approximately 2.98 million shares have already changed hands compared to the average of 1 million by 1:51 p.m. in afternoon trading on Thursday.

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One Factor Driving Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) Stock Up Today http://istockstart.com/2014/11/one-factor-driving-alpha-natural-resources-anr-stock-up-today/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/one-factor-driving-alpha-natural-resources-anr-stock-up-today/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:13:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12962358/1/one-factor-driving-alpha-natural-resources-anr-stock-up-today.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Alpha Natural Resources  rose 7.95% to $2.38 in afternoon trading Thursday after the company announced it would eliminate more than 400 jobs in Pennsylvania by the end of 2014. Alpha Natural Resources announced last month it would sell its Amfire Mining subsidiary to Pennsylvania-based Rosebud Mining for $86 million. Alpha disclosed in a public notice to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry this week that the deal would cost 412 jobs by December 29, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. In a conference call after the deal's announcement last month, Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield said Amfire was "regionally disparate" from its other assets. Must Read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more. Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC as a "sell" with a ratings score of D-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC (ANR) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk." Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500. Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $34.30 million or 69.12% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower. ANR's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 69.53%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now. The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, ANR's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.33, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs. ANR, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share. You can view the full analysis from the report here: ANR Ratings Report STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Shares of Alpha Natural Resources 
rose 7.95% to $2.38 in afternoon trading Thursday after the company announced it would eliminate more than 400 jobs in Pennsylvania by the end of 2014.
Alpha Natural Resources announced last month it would sell its Amfire Mining subsidiary to Pennsylvania-based Rosebud Mining for $86 million. Alpha disclosed in a public notice to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry this week that the deal would cost 412 jobs by December 29, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
In a conference call after the deal’s announcement last month, Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield said Amfire was "regionally disparate" from its other assets.
Must Read: Warren Buffett’s 25 Favorite Stocks
STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC as a "sell" with a ratings score of D-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC (ANR) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company’s weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC’s return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $34.30 million or 69.12% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm’s growth rate is much lower.
ANR’s stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 69.53%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock’s sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, ANR’s quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.33, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
ANR, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company’s bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: ANR Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.


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‘Tubular Bells’ Offshore Project Begins But There’s No Reason to Invest Now http://istockstart.com/2014/11/tubular-bells-offshore-project-begins-but-theres-no-reason-to-invest-now/ http://istockstart.com/2014/11/tubular-bells-offshore-project-begins-but-theres-no-reason-to-invest-now/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:05:00 +0000 http://www.thestreet.com/story/12960379/1/tubular-bells-offshore-project-begins-but-theres-no-reason-to-invest-now.html?cm_ven=RSSFeed NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I was speaking to Stephanie Link about the incredible "Tubular Bells" offshore project from Hess and Chevron , now coming online after three years of development. This project tells me a lot about very expensive deepwater projects in a new $75-per-barrel oil environment and whether now is the time to begin to bet on a stronger offshore cycle. I think the answer is no. What is incredible about this Hess project is the time, money and jobs that were involved: Tubular Bells took three years to develop to first well spud (the initial part of the well-drilling process), cost an estimated $2.3 billion and created 7,000 jobs. It will ultimately deliver 50,000 barrels of oil a day equivalent when it reaches full production potential in the next six months. These mega-projects are expensive and require very long-term commitment, so they do not respond to a very fast moving price for oil. Even if oil were to stay in a very low range of $65-$80 for several years, these projects are not easily scaled up or down. Hess and Chevron are banking on a return to higher oil prices in the future that will increase the average of prices during the life of the project. Indeed, Hess indicated the start of development for an even bigger project recently, called Stampede. This project, being co-developed with Statoil  will cost upwards of $6 billion and won't deliver its first drop of oil until 2018. Despite the increase in activity in the Gulf of Mexico, the cycle for deepwater drillers is still looking grim. I told Stephanie that even though a recovery for oil prices was inevitable, it was still too far away to bank on an investment in any of the deepwater services names. Stephanie still likes Ensco  , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, and believes its dividend will be safe for at least the next year and a half. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @dan_dicker // This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage. TheStreet Ratings team rates HESS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: "We rate HESS CORP (HES) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity." You can view the full analysis from the report here: HES Ratings Report

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) — I was speaking to Stephanie Link about the incredible "Tubular Bells" offshore project from Hess
and Chevron
, now coming online after three years of development. This project tells me a lot about very expensive deepwater projects in a new $75-per-barrel oil environment and whether now is the time to begin to bet on a stronger offshore cycle. I think the answer is no.
What is incredible about this Hess project is the time, money and jobs that were involved: Tubular Bells took three years to develop to first well spud (the initial part of the well-drilling process), cost an estimated $2.3 billion and created 7,000 jobs. It will ultimately deliver 50,000 barrels of oil a day equivalent when it reaches full production potential in the next six months.
These mega-projects are expensive and require very long-term commitment, so they do not respond to a very fast moving price for oil. Even if oil were to stay in a very low range of $65-$80 for several years, these projects are not easily scaled up or down. Hess and Chevron are banking on a return to higher oil prices in the future that will increase the average of prices during the life of the project. Indeed, Hess indicated the start of development for an even bigger project recently, called Stampede. This project, being co-developed with Statoil 
will cost upwards of $6 billion and won’t deliver its first drop of oil until 2018.
Despite the increase in activity in the Gulf of Mexico, the cycle for deepwater drillers is still looking grim. I told Stephanie that even though a recovery for oil prices was inevitable, it was still too far away to bank on an investment in any of the deepwater services names. Stephanie still likes Ensco 
, an Action Alerts PLUS holding, and believes its dividend will be safe for at least the next year and a half.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
Follow @dan_dicker //
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet’s regular news coverage.
TheStreet Ratings team rates HESS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HESS CORP (HES) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

You can view the full analysis from the report here:
HES Ratings Report


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