Thursday, May 8, 2014

For Investors Only: CHK Increases Dividend; Amazon Expands Sunday Delivery To 15 More Cities

Dow Jones Transports -TRAN- edges above its April peak at 7774.58 to set a minor new all time high of 7775.10 and pauses :
Dow Industrials (+98) set a new session high of 16622 to edge above last week's peak (16620) but paused shy of its April/all time high at 16631.
I've opined in personal e-mail and possibly on the blog (I forget) that I am getting tired of every company blaming missed earnings on the weather. Now, even biotechs are blaming the weather. LOL. And this is why I don't miss CNBC
It's been a gloomy week for biotech earnings, with disappointments coming Thursday from Regeneron and NPS Pharmaceuticals, on top of a miss Tuesday from Aegerion.
Why? In Aegerion's case, executives blamed, in part, the weather.
"A particularly long harsh winter resulted in delays in outbound physician calls and a slowdown for patient onboarding," Craig Fraser, Aegerion's commercial head, told analysts on a conference call, noting the company was also re-aligning its sales force through January. "These factors contributed to the year beginning with a flatter script trend and thus, we had fewer new patient starts in the first quarter than expected."
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company sells the drug Juxtapid for a rare, genetic cholesterol disorder called homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or HoFH. It's characterized by extremely high levels of cholesterol that can cause kids to have heart attacks in their teens and often not survive past age 30.
Genesee & Wyoming reports traffic in April 2014 was 170,513 carloads, an increase of 12,818 carloads, or 8.1%, compared with April 2013.

Amazon is adding Sunday delivery available in 15 additional cities through the United States Postal Service In addition to the Los Angeles and New York metro areas where Sunday delivery launched in November 2013. The new cities are: Austin, Cincinnati, College Station (Texas), Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Shreveport, and Waco, Texas.  (6 of the 15 are in Texas; none in Massachusetts, Washington (DC) or Washington state, Oregon, North Carolina, or Georgia; only one in NY state; only one in California -- that really surprises me.)

Eight companies announce increased dividends or distributions including Pepsico (from 57 cents to 66 cents) and Chesapeake Oil.

Trading at new 52-week highs: AXAS, BP, CHK, ENB, NFX, SRE, TRN.

Apache beats by $0.14, beats on revs.

Priceline beats by $0.89, reports revs in-line.

Apple set to leave competitors behind. This is quite a story. MacRumors is reporting:
Apple revolutionized aluminum manufacturing when it adopted the unibody design for its MacBook Pro line of notebooks, advancing the production process in a way that benefitted the industry as a whole. Now, the company is poised to change the nature of sapphire manufacturing in a similar way, but this time the sole beneficiary will be Apple, argues The Verge.
Apple may have kickstarted the aluminum revolution, but it did not control the production processes it advanced and the adoption of the metal spread across a variety of industries. With sapphire, Apple is taking a different approach.
The company is again poised to overhaul a new manufacturing industry, but this time Apple is in a better position to keep most of the benefits to itself. Apple partnered with materials manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies to build a sapphire production plant in Arizona and is working on mass producing the material for use in its iPhone lineup and possibly the iWatch.
Any advancements the company makes in sapphire production to make it more affordable and to scale its manufacturing output to support hundreds of millions of devices per year will stay within the walls of Apple and GT.

Competitors will have to pursue their own sapphire manufacturing endeavors or concede sapphire to Apple and pursue different transparent cover materials to use in their devices. Most companies will be left behind as they do not have the financial reserves that allows a company like Apple to invest in a full-scale production facility dedicated to a single material used in their devices.

Apple and GT have already started producing small quantities of sapphire in their Arizona plant, with approximately 100 furnaces online producing 2,220 kg of sapphire in early production runs. GT is expected to install more than 1,000 additional furnaces as the company ramps up production for the end of 2014 ahead of the release of the iPhone 6 and iWatch.

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