Howard Stern Says Sirius Deal Isn’t Near, But ‘I’ll Take It’


(Bloomberg) — Satellite-radio star Howard Stern told listeners Wednesday morning that he isn’t yet close to a new contract with Sirius XM Holdings Inc., but he said the reported figures he’s heard sounded good to him.

Stern is nearing a contract renewal that would boost his pay to $120 million a year, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because talks are ongoing.

“I have seen no contract, I have heard nothing about this money,” Stern said on his SiriusXM show. He added, “I’m ready to take that deal if I can get it — it sounded awesome.” Stern’s previous five-year contracts have paid him $80 million to $100 million a year.

Sirius shares were volatile in premarket trading Wednesday and gained after the open, rising as much as 5.9% to $5.89.

Stern said he called his agent upon hearing reports of his potential new contract and “we were both kind of baffled by it.”

“I am telling you with my hand over my heart, I don’t have anywhere near a deal,” Stern said.

However, laughing with co-host Robin Quivers, Stern added, “I’m telling Sirius now, whatever I read, I want. I’ll take that, right now. I’m a bad negotiator. I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll take it, I’m in, let’s do it.’”

Before moving on to talk about the late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, Stern said, “We’ll see what happens. There’s talks all over the place going on, that’s all I’ll tell you.”

Shares of General Electric Co. took a sudden dive Tuesday afternoon, after the industrial conglomerate disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering civil action against the company for possible securities law violations.

The stock markets are all about timing. Whether your investment strategy is bullish or bearish, what matters is making the right moves at the right time. This is the truth at the heart of the old Wall Street cliché that bulls and bears make money, while pigs get slaughtered. If you get greedy, and start chasing money, you’ll overlook the signs that tell you when to buy or sell. Smart investors will be looking for reliable signs that will indicate a stock’s likely movement. In volatile times like these, those signs are more necessary than ever. One signal that has been correlated with a stock’s future performance is insider activity. This makes sense. Insiders, the corporate officers charged with running a company and producing profitable results for shareholders, are privy to far more information than the average stock investor – and they will use it to trade. Following an insider’s trading activity – buy or sell – is a viable strategy for investors.How can you find the hottest insider trading stocks right now? There is a simple answer: TipRanks’ Insider Hot Stocks tool. This collates all the recent insider transactions to reveal stocks with the most bullish insider sentiment. Plus all the insiders are ranked so you can make sure you follow only the insiders that are actually making money. With this in mind, here is the scoop on three beaten-down stocks that have seen recent multi-million purchase activity. Liberty Global PLC (LILA)First on our list is a major telecom company in the Western Hemisphere, Liberty Latin America. The company has its hands in broadband internet, mobile services, telephone services, and broadcast video, along with other entertainment services, and its main presence reflects its name: it is most active in Chile, Colombia, Central America, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. Liberty Latin America is also active in Florida, where there is a large minority population drawn from these regions.The COVID crisis has had a heavy impact on LILA’s performance. The company’s financials hit bottom in April, at the beginning of Q2, when positive first quarter performance turned south. Q2 ended with a sequential revenue loss of 8.9%, and deep net loss in EPS. Share prices started falling at the end of February and beginning of March, and have failed to regain traction since. The stock is down 52% year-to-date.But management is confident that business is returning to normal. And that confidence attracted some strong insider buys during the Latin American recent stock sale. Three of those informative transactions were for million-dollar-plus buys.The largest came from Eric Zinterhofer, of the Board of Directors, who bought up over 2.96 million shares for a $21,149,572. Fellow Board member John Malone made the second largest purchase, of 2.74 million shares for $19,559,030. And finally, President and CEO Michael Fries, of the original parent company Liberty Global, bought 172,196 shares for $1.229,479. These purchases, along with several smaller, pushed the insider sentiment on LILA shares strongly positive.This was noted by Benchmark’s 5-star analyst Matthew Harrigan, who wrote, “…we believe LILA executed well against its business plan despite operating performance that has been hampered by COVID-19 dislocations, especially in Chile. LILA also focuses on a Latin Emerging Markets region that is now decidedly out of favor with investors. This is as [the CEO and CFO] have made recent open market share purchases even beyond the rights offering.”Harrigan’s $17 price target suggests an impressive 93% upside for the stock, and supports his Buy rating. (To watch Harrigan’s track record, click here)Overall, Liberty Global has a Moderate Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on a 1:1 split between Buy and Hold reviews. The stock is selling for $8.81, and the average price target of $14.39 suggests a 63% upside in the coming year. (See LILA stock analysis on TipRanks)Continental Resources (CLR)Next on our list is a player in the North American oil and gas industry. Continental produced 340K barrel of oil equivalent per day last year, producing over $4.63 billion in total revenue. The company operates in Oklahoma, but its major presence is in the Bakken formation of North Dakota and Montana.Falling prices and falling demand during 1H20 hurt the company, as the COVID pandemic put massive downward pressure on the economy. Revenues slipped to just $175 million in Q2, generating a net EPS loss of 71 cents. But there is a rebound as the economy restarts, and the outlook for Q3 is better – a projected EPS loss of 27 cents. The company is in the midst of streamlining operations, shutting down unproductive wells to cut costs and focus efforts on the most profitable activities. Sliding 63% year-to-date, one board member sees better days ahead. Harold Hamm spent over $9.74 million buying up 769,235 shares in the company. His move made the net insider sentiment positive on CLR stock.MKM analysts John Gerdes believes the stock is undervalued at current levels, noting, « CLR has depreciated over 30% (vs. XOP -~25%) since early June and reflects over 40% intrinsic value upside… Our 3Q20 production expectation is ~295 Mboepd is in the upper half of guidance, and our YE20 production outlook of ~323 Mmboepd is 1% above the midpoint of guidance… »Gerdes sets his price target at $20, implying a 58% upside for the coming year, which fully backs his Buy recommendation. (To watch Gerdes’ track record, click here)The overall view on CLR stock is cautious; Wall Street’s analyst consensus rating is a Hold, based on 12 reviews breaking down to 3 Buy, 7 Holds, and 2 Sells. However, the average price target is $16.54, suggesting a 30% one-year upside from the current share price of $12.69. (See CLR stock analysis on TipRanks)Net 1 UEPS Technologies (UEPS)South Africa-based Net 1 is a is tech company, with a non-exclusive worldwide license for the Universal Electronic Payment System. The company is a leader in providing financial tech, payment solutions, and transaction processing in multiple emerging economies and across multiple industries. The company offers services through an alliance network with banks, card issuers, and retailers.Like the other companies on this list, Net 1 saw revenues and earnings fall when corona shut down the economy. The general slowdown in economic activity, especially in retail, was a hard blow. Q2 number reflected that, with the top line at just $25 million and EPS deep in negative territory with a 69-cent net loss. Share price has been volatile, and has not yet recovered from losses sustained early in the crisis. UEPS is down 20% from its peak in early February.There are some bright spots. The outlook for Q3 is better, with the EPS loss projected at just 9 cents. And the company ended the second quarter with no debt and unrestricted cash on hand of $218 million. This puts UEPS in a strong position to rebound as the economy starts revving again.Turning to the insider trades, Anthony Ball of the Board of Directors has the most recent informative buy. Last week, he purchased over 350,024 shares, laying out $1.2 million for the stock.Rajiv Sharma, of B. Riley FBR, has written the only recent review of UEPS on file, and he is upbeat on the stock. “We believe UEPS’ long-term investment portfolio holds solid promise, especially its MobiKwik investment in India and despite their illiquid status. Despite ST COVIDrelated setbacks to UEPS’ operating business in South Africa, we believe it holds promise as a valuable business given its hold on micro lending and a sizable potential subscriber market in South Africa. There is a good chance that UEPS could grow its customer base substantially from here and continue to add ancillary services to their core businesses.”Sharma rates UEPS share a Buy, and his $5 price target suggests room for 45% growth from the current share price of $3.44. (To watch Sharma’s track record, click here)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.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

Dow Jones futures were in focus after the new stock market rally sold off on President Trump’s stimulus tweets. The new Apple iPhone is set for reveal.

Charles Schwab closed its purchase of online brokerage rival TD Ameritrade Tuesday. But there’s some murky news for traders: What happens to Thinkorswim?

Fantasy sports and online betting site DraftKings Inc. said Wednesday it has priced a previously announced offering of 32 million shares at $52 a share. The company is selling 16 million shares, while selling shareholders are selling another 16 million, for a total offering size of $1.664 billion. DraftKings will not receive any of the proceeds from the shares being offered by selling shareholders. Underwriters Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs have a 30-day option to acquire up to 4.8 million additional shares. Shares fell 3.7% in premarket trade, but have gained 431% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 4%.

The world’s last major onshore oil discovery could be made in a country where no oil has ever been produced, and the upside potential for the company that exploits it should be remarkable

Stocks opened higher after a flurry of Twitter posts from President Donald Trump, who announced his support for specific virus relief measures, after earlier saying he told negotiators to end stimulus talks until after the election.

‘There is a huge pay gap between us, as my husband has more education and has an uninterrupted work history as he has continued to climb the corporate ladder.’

President Trump says he will consider alternative aid measures such as a new round of stimulus checks and the Paycheck Protection Program; Tech giants wield monopoly power, House report finds; GE gets a Wells Notice.

Oil behemoths Chevron Corp. (ticker: CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corp. ( XOM) have struggled in 2020 as the beaten-down sector faced many challenges as demand shrunk rapidly this spring, tanking crude oil prices. Oil prices dipped again recently and are hovering around $40 a barrel. Both oil companies are good buys for their traditional base of investors who seek yield and dividends, says Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

Polish antitrust authorities have fined Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom $7.6 billion (6.5 billion euros) for building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, saying the project hurts Polish consumers and increases Europe’s dependence on Russian imports. Gazprom said it will appeal the decision by Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The regulator on Wednesday also fined five other international companies participating in the project a total of $61 million (52 million euros).

The Small Business Administration is in the process of forgiving potentially millions of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program that were approved to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, expecting the process will proceed efficiently.

With the ramping up of global 5G networks, Nokia (NOK) is staking a claim to be one of the field’s main players. The Finnish company was once one of the world’s leading mobile phone makers, but that was long ago and over recent years has reinvented itself as a telecom equipment provider. The move appears to be paying off as it has just notched its 100th 5G deal.While Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold considers hitting the milestone as “great progress,” the analyst has reservations about Nokia becoming one of the leaders in an industry expected to boom as the new decade progresses.“We continue to regard 5G as an investment theme, but with the recent loss at Verizon, Nokia’s Mobility unit continues to face challenges,” the 4-star analyst said. “We will monitor progress with its expanding chip portfolio (Reef Shark) and look forward to hearing from the new CEO regarding his vision for the company.”Last month, Nokia lost out to Samsung to be Verizon’s supplier of choice for 5G equipment. Samsung has stated its goal is to reach 20% of market share by next year. While Leopold considers this “as a stretch goal,” he nevertheless believes “Nokia likely loses several points of market share.”Despite signing off on 17 new 5G deals in Q3, Nokia is actually losing market share in the mobility market. According to Dell’Oro, over the TTM (twelve trailing months), Nokia had a grip on 20% of the market, down from 21% in 2019 and 24% in 2017. In fact, Leopold points out “the shift toward 5G has degraded Nokia’s position.”While the company held 18% of 5G market share in 2019, that figure has dropped to 15% over the TTM.“The trend stimulates questions regarding a sufficient scale to remain competitive,” Leopold summed up.As a result, the analyst sticks to a Market Perform (i.e. Hold) rating for now. Leopold currently has no fixed price target in mind. (To watch Leopold’s track record, click here)Overall, NOK has drawn optimism mixed with caution when it comes to consensus opinion among sell-side analysts. Out of 7 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 3 are bullish on NOK stock, while 4 remain sidelined. With a potential upside of 32%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $5.16. (See Nokia 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.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

(Bloomberg) — Wells Fargo & Co. cut more than 700 commercial-banking jobs as it embarks on workforce reductions that could ultimately number in the tens of thousands, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The terminations affected positions across the division, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing details of internal decisions. The unit offers a variety of services to businesses that typically have more than $5 million in annual sales. Katie Ellis, a company spokeswoman, confirmed that at least some reductions have occurred.“We are at the beginning of a multiyear effort to build a stronger, more efficient company for our customers, employees, communities and shareholders,” Ellis said in a statement. “As part of this work, we will have impacts, including job reductions, in nearly all of our functions and business lines, including commercial banking, where we have started displacements.”Wells Fargo, the U.S. banking industry’s largest employer, became the first major lender in the nation to resume job cuts this year after a number of top firms said they would try to offer workers stability during the Covid-19 pandemic.Companies including Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have since made targeted reductions. Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said last week that he was sticking by the bank’s no-layoff pledge for 2020.More than 30 banks around the world are behind planned staff reductions totaling about 68,000, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg. Much of that’s being driven by HSBC Holdings Plc, which said in February it would reduce its workforce by 35,000 as part of a plan to cut $4.5 billion of costs at underperforming units in the U.S. and Europe.Concern intensified this week that more job cuts across the U.S. economy were in store after President Donald Trump scuttled negotiations over a economic-stimulus bill.San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is under heightened pressure to spend less after slashing its dividend and reporting a quarterly loss earlier this year. Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf, who took over in 2019, has repeatedly lamented the firm’s high expenses and pledged to eventually trim at least $10 billion in annual costs. Bloomberg reported in July that cuts would start this year and could reach the tens of thousands in future years.Wells Fargo is taking a number of actions to get expenses in line with peers and hasn’t yet set targets for total job reductions, Ellis said. The bank expects “to reduce the size of our workforce through a combination of attrition, the elimination of open roles and job displacements,” she said.Shares of the company, which have dropped 54% this year, advanced 2.2% to $24.70 at 9:39 a.m. in New York.(Updates with shares in last paragraph.)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.

With the videogames industry in an intense battle to capture millions of players, EA’s content is “materially undervalued” by investors, according to the managers of a $1.3 billion investment fund.

(Bloomberg) — Fortress Investment Group plans to sell a record $3.2 billion of unrated municipal securities next week to finance a passenger train to Las Vegas. The pricing will signal how far investors will go for higher returns amid persistently low rates and economic uncertainty.Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter, intends to set pricing terms next week, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The deal is listed as day-to-day. Samantha Kreloff, a spokesperson for Morgan Stanley, declined to comment on the timing.The company’s Brightline Holdings expects the rail to ultimately extend to Los Angeles. For now, the bond issue will cover a 169-mile (272-kilometer) line connecting Las Vegas to a southern California desert town called Apple Valley, 90 miles away from downtown. The venture plans to raise a total of $6.5 billion in debt for the $8 billion project. The first high-speed, fully electric rail in the U.S. will run in 2024, according to offering documents.Success of this deal will show that “there’s a lot of people looking for yield in this low-rate environment and people are comfortable with the risks of infrastructure projects,” said Dan Solender, head of municipal debt at Lord, Abbett & Co.In a video to prospective buyers, Brightline predicted profit margins of at least 70%. Its train would provide a comfortable and environmentally friendly ride to Las Vegas and take about three hours, compared with up to six hours by car, and entail less hassle than flying. Potential pitfalls listed in the offering documents include construction delays and diminished demand because of the coronavirus pandemic and more specific issues like Richard Branson’s Virgin Enterprises Ltd. challenging Brightline’s termination of their branding agreement.Brightline had said it planned to sell the debt for the Las Vegas rail by Sept. 30 to meet a California deadline, but it received an extension to Dec. 1. In September, Brightline sold $1 billion in short-term securities to preserve its federal allocation of so-called private activity bonds that it will refinance next year, according to offering documents.Last week, Morgan Stanley pitched corporate junk-bond buyers and overseas investors on the offering and suggested yields as high as 7.5%, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named as the talks were private. That yield on a 30-year bond would be about four times what the highest rated state and local governments pay, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Ben Porritt, a Brightline spokesman, declined to comment on the deal.Fortress, owned by Softbank Group Corp., has invested more than $30 billion in infrastructure-related assets over the past decade. Officials in California and Nevada, which awarded the company the ability to issue tax-exempt debt, have touted the prospect of jobs and economic development the project could bring. The company is considering adding a commuter station in Hesperia, California along the line. Office workers could use the rail instead of driving, said Jim Colby, senior municipal strategist at Van Eck Associates Corp.“Long-term, this has some aspects that are positive, and not just driven by tourism,” Colby said. “Pandemic aside, this probably can be a profitable enterprise.”Profits haven’t materialized for the company’s previous venture, the first privately funded intercity passenger train in the U.S. in a century. The luxury rail line in Florida has struggled to meet revenue estimates and has suspended service because of the pandemic. The company is looking to boost future ridership by adding stations.Fortress last year raised a then-record $1.75 billion of unrated municipal debt for the project under the name Virgin Trains USA. Those securities were sold at initial yields of as much as 6.5%. The price of its bonds due in 2049 has slid to an average of 87 cents on the dollar.For the Las Vegas to Los Angeles venture, the company projects $1.1 billion in annual revenue in 2027, after three years of operations, according to the offering documents. It expects about 11 million one-way trips that year.The securities are being marketed as green bonds because they’re financing clean transportation and environmentally friendly buildings. Besides eliminating tons of carbon emissions annually by replacing car trips, the company will pledge to plant a tree for every ride.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.

Westwater Resources soared afresh as the rare earths miner lauded President Trump’s support for building domestic supplies of critical battery materials.

Walmart is entering the health insurance business, just in time for those signing up for Medicare open enrollment this fall.


SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Howard Stern, Stock

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