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Square Reports Massive Q2 Earnings Beat, As Bitcoin Revenue Rises 600%

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 00:45

Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) beat analyst expectations in its second quarter earnings report Tuesday, as its mobile payment service Cash App netted significant profit, including from Bitcoin.Q2 Earnings: The Jack Dorsey-led company reported an adjusted earnings per share of 18 cents in Q2, down from the 21 cents posted in the similar quarter last year.This signficantly beat Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had estimated an average adjusted loss per share of 5 cents, as earlier reported by CNBC.Square's net loss stood at $11.5 million, up 71.6% from last year's $6.7 million. Overall adjusted EBITDA was at $97.9 million, down 7% from 2019 Q2's 105.3 million.Cash App Leads Charge: The company's largest revenue growth came with Cash App, which netted $281 million in gross profit on a total revenue of $1.2 billion.View more earnings on SQRevenue through Bitcoin increased a whopping 600% for the payments app at $875 million. Bitcoin gross profit increased 711% YoY at $17 million.The increase in both revenue and profits stemmed from a rise in customer demand. Square revealed that as of June, the app had 30 million monthly transacting active users.The Cash App offers Bitcoin purchase, commission-free stock trading, and allows customers to send money on a peer-to-peer basis as well as make payments. It competes with Apple Inc's (NASDAQ: AAPL) Apple Pay, Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google Pay and PayPal Holding Inc's (NASDAQ: PYPL) Venmo in the space.Dorsey's Personal Interest: Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who also leads Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), has long expressed his support for Bitcoin. In an interview with The Times in 2018, he claimed the apex cryptocurrency has a potential to become the world's sole currency by 2030. Dorsey personally invested in cryptocurrency startup CoinList in 2019.Photo courtesy: Shardayy Photography on FlickrSee more from Benzinga * Apple Buys Mobile Startup Mobeewave For 0M To Enable Contactless Payments: Report * PayPal To Partner With Broker For Cryptocurrency Offerings On Its Platform: Report * Goldman Sachs-Backed Card Issuer Marqeta Gets Ready To Go Public(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Novavax Says Coronavirus Vaccine Generated 'Robust Antibody Responses' In Phase 1 Trial Participants

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 23:55

Novavax, Inc (NASDAQ: VAX) announced Tuesday its novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine elicited "robust antibody responses" in participants of the Phase 1 clinical trial.What Happened The Maryland-based drugmaker said in a statement that it carried out Phase 1 testing of its NVX-CoV2373 vaccine with and without its trademarked Matrix-M adjuvant in 131 healthy adults across ages 18-59 years."Overall, the vaccine was well-tolerated and reactogenicity events were generally mild," it noted.The vaccine candidate produced anti-spike IgG antibodies in all subjects after a single 5 µg dose, and many of the subjects also developed wild-type neutralizing antibody responses. The company reported 100% of the participants developed the wild-type responses after a second dose.The use of adjuvant was "dose sparing," according to the company, with a single 5 µg performing comparably to a 25 µg dose of the vaccine.John Moore, a virologist not involved in the study, told the New York Times that Novavax's results were the most promising he had seen, saying, "Yeah, I'd take that."Angela Rasmussen, another virologist concurred, calling the results "encouraging," but cautioned it was too early to say if the vaccine was safe before Phase 3 trials are concluded.Why It Matters The U.S. government awarded Novavax $1.6 billion in funding to support the vaccine and the company has the capability to produce 100 million doses by the end of 2020, according to its CEO Stanley Erck.The company is on a timeline to begin shipping doses in the fourth quarter and aims to ship 100 million units by first quarter next year.Vaccine candidates of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), and its partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) are also in or near late-stage clinical trials.Price Action Novavax shares closed nearly 0.8% higher at $157.17 on Monday and added nearly 9% in the after-hours session to $171.See more from Benzinga * Kodak's 5M Federal Loan Disclosure For Drug Venture Under SEC Investigation: WSJ * Microsoft Commits To Become 'Zero Waste' Company By 2030, After Carbon Negative Pledge * Snapchat Plans To Add TikTok-Like Music Features By Fall This Year(C) 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

State attorneys general urge U.S. to let other firms make Gilead COVID-19 drug

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 22:09

The coalition of more than 30 state attorneys general called on the government to act or allow states to do so, saying in a letter to U.S. health agencies that Gilead "has not established a reasonable price" for remdesivir. "Gilead should not profit from the pandemic and it should be pushed to do more to help more people," the letter said.

Why this firm is "incrementally more bullish on Roku’s ad revenue prospects"

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 20:04

On Tuesday, Rosenblatt internet & media analyst Mark Zgutowicz raised his price target on shares on shares of Roku, a day before the manufacturer of streaming devices reports quarterly results. Zgutowicz notes that the firm is "incrementally more bullish on Roku’s ad revenue prospects NTM as [it] believes the pandemic has (at last) become a tipping point to more meaningful transfer of linear TV ad dollars to CTV." The Final Round pane discusses the bullish call.

Qualcomm (QCOM) Stock Is a Winner, But How Much Higher Can It Go?

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 19:53

Qualcomm (QCOM) ended July with a bang. The semiconductor giant saw out the month by posting an estimate beating FQ3 report. Exuberant investors sent shares up by a mighty 20% in the following sessions, resulting in Qualcomm stock notching a new all-time high.While the results bought in beat both for the top and bottom line, the Street’s most buoyant reaction was reserved for a surprise not reflected in the quarter’s balance sheet.The news Qualcomm had signed a long-term patent licensing agreement with Chinese telecom giant Huawei sent ripples of excitement across the Street. Add into the mix the $1.8 billion in past licensing fees which Huawei will pay Qualcomm and it is easy to understand the positive reaction.5-star Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Seymore believes the deal with Huawei “represents $200- 250m QTL revs in F4Q.”For Seymore, “the agreement removes the last major licensing uncertainty facing QCOM,” and now means the chipmaker has multi-year license agreements with every major handset OEM.Overall, Seymore estimates the annual benefit to revenue will amount to approximately $1.5 billion and EPS should benefit to the tune of $0.8.However, looking at the bigger picture, the deal is an addition to what already looks like a fine set of catalysts to further propel Qualcomm forward.Seymore said, “While this agreement alone warrants a higher value for QCOM shares, we see upside beyond the aftermarket rise as we continue to believe QCOM is well positioned to see further acceleration in revenue in Dec (Apple ramp, QTL seasonality), rising market share in 5G (increasing revenue/MSM on modems and RFFE) and improved margins. Consequently, while macro/COVID-related uncertainties remain elevated, we believe QCOM is uniquely positioned to benefit from growth in the 5G market, deliver upside to Street rev/EPS ests, and earn a higher valuation that closes its current discount vs. large cap semi peers.”Down to basics, what does it all mean for investors? Seymore rates QCOM a Buy along with a $115 price target. This figure implies a modest upside of 4% from current levels. (To watch Seymore’s track record, click here)The Street’s outlook for Qualcomm tells a similar story. QCOM's Moderate Buy consensus rating is based on 12 Buys, 7 Holds and 1 Sell. Backed with a $114.82 average price target – virtually identical to Seymore’s - the analyst’s colleagues also project upside of 4.5%. (See Qualcomm stock-price forecast on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Why experts doubt Trump's demand for a TikTok 'side payment' will hold water

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 19:31

As TikTok — one of the hottest names in social media — scrambles to stay alive in the U.S., could the federal government extract a cut for a possible deal?

3 “Strong Buy” Gaming Stocks to Play in 2020

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 19:21

John Templeton, the famous fund manager who created the Templeton Growth Fund, remarked, “The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.”If you would like to follow Mr. Templeton’s advice, the casino sector is certainly a good place to start. Due to COVID-19, most, if not all casinos were closed for a significant period of time. Even after they re-opened, there is still concern regarding how long it will take for operations to normalize to pre-COVID-19 levels.While there’s certainly a degree of risk involved, the down-trodden tickers can be the ones set to present intrepid investors with the most abundant returns. Where investing skill really comes into play, though, is finding the most compelling choices.With this in mind, we used TipRanks’ database to identify three beaten-down gaming stocks that have earned a “Strong Buy” consensus rating from the analyst community. Boyd Gaming (BYD)We’ll start off with Boyd Gaming, which operates 29 gaming properties. The company is divided into three segments: Las Vegas Locals, Downtown Las Vegas, and Midwest and South.Operating performance in the second quarter declined considerably, with all 29 of Boyd's properties closed for most of the quarter because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue dropped 75.2% to $209.9 million, while adjusted earnings plummeted 147% to a net loss of $110.5 million, versus the second quarter of 2019. Nevertheless, despite the poor showing, the company handily beat the consensus estimates for revenue and earnings by 25.7% and 47%, respectively.5-star analyst Joseph Greff, of J.P. Morgan, commented, “Second quarter 2020 results were much better than we expected, with June generating levels of strong (and positive) EBITDAR following recent staggered property re-openings that followed widespread casino closures. Boyd, …reported meaningfully lower operating expenses allowing it to generate impressive year-over-year margin gains (1,000 bps+, wow)…”The company’s stock is down 16% year-to-date. However, Greff predicts a rebound for Boyd based on its “localized/regional footprint predominantly focused on a drive-to, leisure gaming customer.” The company has an advantage over other gaming companies because it is less dependent on the travel and tourism industry.According to the J.P. Morgan analyst, there is another catalyst that could propel the stock forward. “Furthermore, we see Boyd as a non-conventional way to play growth in U.S. sports betting, and note that its 5% stake in FanDuel is largely unappreciated/overlooked by investors,” he explained.Based on all of the above, Greff rates Boyd an Overweight (i.e. Buy), along with a $30 price target, which adds up to upside potential of 21% from the current share price. (To watch Greff’s track record, click here)Similarly, most of the Street is getting onboard. 8 Buys and 2 Hold assigned in the last three months add up to a Strong Buy analyst consensus. In addition, the $27.50 average price target puts the potential upside at 10.5%. (See Boyd stock analysis on TipRanks)Las Vegas Sands (LVS)Next on our list is Las Vegas Sands, the largest gaming company in the world, with a market cap of over $33 billion. The company operates gaming resorts in Asia and the United States. Besides gaming, its resorts feature entertainment, retail malls, restaurants and convention and exhibition facilities.Consistent with the severe challenges the gaming industry has experienced, the pandemic had a devastating impact on the company in Q2. Revenue plunged 97.1% to $98 million, while LVS posted a net loss of $985 million, compared to net income of $1.11 billion in the prior-year quarter. Similarly, the stock has declined 35% year-to-date.Howevere, Roth Capital analyst David Bain believes LVS is well positioned with “peer-best liquidity (could survive 18-months in zero revenue environment while still executing Macau and Singapore development projects), while longer-term large new project/M&A optionality remains strong.”As a result of its strong liquidity, Bain is taking a long-term approach to the stock. “Longer-term investors should be rewarded significantly due long-term Macau structural advantages, mainly its peer-high hotel base and duopoly position in Singapore,” he stated.Accordingly, the four-star analyst rates LVS a Buy and sets a price target of $52, which means there’s upside potential of 19%. (To watch Bain’s track record, click here)Overall, LVS gets a Strong Buy consensus rating from the analyst community. This is based on 8 Buy ratings and 2 Holds. The average price target is $56.50, which is more optimistic than Bain’s, and suggests upside potential of 29%. (See LVS stock analysis on TipRanks)Melco Resorts & Entertainment (MLCO)Rounding out our list is Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which operates high-end integrated gaming and entertainment resorts in Asia and Europe.The company has yet to announce second-quarter results. The consensus estimates, which are consistent with those for the rest of the casino industry, are disappointing to say the least. Revenue is expected to fall 81.4% to $268.94 million, and earnings are set to sink 562.5% to a loss of $1.11 per share. No surprise, the stock is down 30% year-to-date.Despite all of the doom and gloom, Roth Capital analyst David Bain, who also covers LVS, is bullish on the stock. “The combination of MLCO’s valuation, player segment positioning, HK/China Headquarters (hedging concession renewals) …, positions it as the best ‘Macau stock’ to own,” he commented.Given the challenging times, the company has taken steps to prop up its balance sheet. The Roth Capital analyst noted, “MLCO has taken prudent actions to ensure liquidity, including increasing its capacity (cash of $1.2 billion with revolver capacity of $1.6 billion; selling its 9.9% ownership in Crown; reducing its operating expense run-rate; suspending its regular dividend and implementing executive salary cuts.”In line with his comments, Bain rates Melco a Buy. He also maintains a price target of $28, which implies hefty upside potential of 70%.Looking at the consensus breakdown, other analysts like what they see. Melco’s Strong Buy consensus rating breaks down into 6 Buy ratings and no Holds or Sells. The average price target is $22.67, and while not as high as Bain’s, still signifies healthy upside potential of 34.5%. (See Melco stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Revisiting Our Silver and Gold Predictions

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 19:00

This article will review some of our past research posts to help you better understand what is really happening in precious metals right now.

Mortgage rates hit new record low as COVID news grows uglier

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 19:00

Rates go deep below 3% as the virus gives investors more to worry about.

Trump Versus Trump as President’s Son Opposes Alaska Mine Site

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 18:14

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter on Tuesday to oppose a mining project in southwestern Alaska that his father’s administration has previously supported.Trump Jr. said he “100%” agreed with Vice President Mike Pence’s former chief-of-staff Nick Ayers in opposing the Pebble Mine, which has known deposits of copper, gold and other metals, saying that the nearby Bristol Bay and surrounding fishery are “too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”Less than two weeks ago the mine secured a final environmental impact review from the Army Corps of Engineers, boosting the prospects that Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. could be on track for approval. Shares of the miner surged as high as C$3.49 July 24, before slipping back to C$2.19 Tuesday.The mine has been a source of contention among politicians on Capitol Hill. Last week, Alaska Representative Don Young, a Republican, rebuked an amendment on a proposed fiscal 2021 appropriations package that would prohibit the Army Corps of Engineers from using any fiscal 2021 money to issue a record of decision for the proposed mine. “Let’s stop this rat infestation,” Young said in reference to the amendment concerning Pebble Mine.The Obama administration in 2014 proposed water pollution limits for the mine, but President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency withdrew the proposed limits, calling them an unfair veto to the mine.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Elon Musk says Tesla headquarters could still move out of California

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 17:30

Elon Musk renews the threat to leave California he first made during a fight over the reopening of Tesla's Fremont plant during the coronavirus lockdown.

Disney reports mixed Q3 earnings

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 17:24

Disney unexpectedly posted an adjusted profit per share where a loss had been expected, after the coronavirus pandemic hit the company in its most lucrative theme parks, media networks and studio film businesses. Myles Udland, Seana Smith, Dan Roberts, and Jared Blikre discuss on Final Round.

ReconAfrica Announces Public Offering For Gross Proceeds of Up to C$10 Million

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 16:54


Beyond beats Q2 revenue estimates, sees rapid expansion in grocery sales

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 16:32

Beyond Meat released its second quarter earning report after hours on Tuesday. The company beat investors’ expectations on revenue and matched on earnings per share, saying that its full-year outlook would remain suspended. Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi joins The Final Round panel to break down the food company’s earnings report.

Virgin Galactic tumbles after earnings results

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 16:32

Yahoo Finance’s Emily McCormick joins Kristin Myers to discuss the outlook for Virgin Galactic after the company reported a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss.

Disney earnings: Disney 3Q adjusted EPS top expectations, even as pandemic slams theme parks

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 16:08

Disney (DIS) is set to deliver its fiscal third-quarter report after market close on Tuesday. The results are expected to be ugly, after the coronavirus pandemic hit the company in its most lucrative theme parks, media networks and studio film businesses.

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