Option volume has ramped up today on KeyCorp (KEY), with activity rising well beyond the usual level on both the call and put side of the tape. Taking a closer look at some of the major block trades on this regional banking issue, it appears that a single spread strategist is responsible for a healthy portion of this option volume.
Specifically, the trader purchased a block of 10,000 June 10 calls for $0.50 each, and simultaneously sold 10,000 June 8 puts for $0.25 each. The result was a net debit of $0.25 per pair of contracts -- which means the speculator can begin collecting profits on those purchased calls if KEY rallies beyond $10.25 by June expiration.
Continue reading Buyout Buzz Inspires Bullish KeyCorp Spread
- Goldman upgraded CSX (CSX) to neutral from sell.
- General Cable (BGC) was upgraded to buy from hold at KeyBanc.
- Morgan Stanley upgraded Chart Industries (GTLS) and Dresser Rand (DRC) to overweight from equal weight.
- Blackrock (BLK) was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Macquarie.
- Credit Suisse upgraded Zions Bancorp (ZION) to neutral from underperform and GameStop (GME) to outperform from neutral.
- Honeywell (HON) was upgraded to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
- Panera Bread (PNRA) was upgraded to buy from neutral at SunTrust.
Continue reading Analyst Calls: AMD, BLK, CSX, DKS, GME, HGSI, HON, KEY, NSC, STP, ZION ...
Option traders appear to be setting up for a bullish move on ProLogis (PLD
). Traders plowed into 1,067 new call option
contracts -- 2.81 times the average volume -- on the stock on Thursday. And we know that traders were eager to get into this trade because 95% of the trades came in on the ask price.
ProLogis looks like it formed a bottom in early July and has since formed a higher low in August. The stock closed Thursday at $10.92, down 0.18% during the past month.
Continue reading Option Traders Buying ProLogis Calls and LAN Airlines Puts
"Even among the broad-based market carnage of the past year, regional banks with heavy real estate exposure have been notably poor performers," notes turnaround expert George Putnam.
In The Turnaround Letter, he explains, "While investors are still wary of this group, there are cases where the market has overreacted and the stocks will eventually rebound dramatically." Here, he looks at four favorite regionals.
"Many regional banking stocks are now trading at a small fraction of their 'book value.' In more normal times, most banks will trade for two to three times book value and sometimes more.
Continue reading Four bank turnarounds: Rebound in regionals?
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) stepped into the earnings spotlight this morning, announcing that its second-quarter loss checked in at 69 cents per share (68 cents per share excluding charges). A year ago, the bank lost $2.71 per share in the second quarter. Although the results were better than those from a year ago, they were not better than the consensus estimate, which called for a loss of 41 cents per share.
The company also announced that it was cutting the amount of preferred shares that it plans to exchange by 71%. KeyCorp's CEO (Henry Meyer III) stated that the company's results "reflect the weak economic environment and the steps that it has taken to address issues in credit quality, strengthen capital and control costs." Like many regional banks, KeyCorp suffered thanks to the credit crunch; even though the bank was not a major player in the subprime-mortgage fiasco. The company added that loan-loss provisions were $850 million, which was 31% greater than a year ago.
Continue reading KeyCorp's quarterly loss is more than the Street expected
I think it's fair to say that there's much trepidation about the earnings season that picks up steam this week. And for better or worse, numbers from the big financials have begun to roll in. Last week we saw profit sink for JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and significant losses from Bank of American Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), and Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB).
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) to be among those financials reporting fourth-quarter earnings growth this week. They anticipate that Bank of New York will post a profit of $0.70 per share, compared to $0.67 per share a year ago and $0.72 in the previous quarter. Revenue is expected come to $3.8 billion, about the same as it was a year ago. Bank of New York has fallen short of earnings estimates in two of the past five quarters, by as much as 11.1%. For the full year, analysts are looking for $2.78 per share (+5.8%) on $14.8 billion (+4.2%). The consensus recommendation of analysts is to buy BK, and the long-term EPS growth rate forecast is 10.7%. Shares are 48.7% lower than a year ago. Other financials expected to report quarterly earnings growth this week include SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) and M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB).
Continue reading The week in preview: Financials, techs lead off earnings crunch
- Keefe Bruyette upgraded shares of Colonial Bancgroup (NYSE: CNB) to Outperform from Market Perform on valuation following the recent weakness and believes the company will be eligible to receive TARP funds. Morgan Stanley believes the company's valuation adequately reflects risk to the loan portfolio; the firm raised shares to Equal Weight from Underweight.
- Merrill upgraded Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and ASML Holding (NASDAQ: ASML) to Buy from Underperform and believes their valuation reflects the worst-case for bad news.
- Oppenheimer upgraded Trimble Navigation to Outperform from Perform on valuation as they believe the company's long-term growth story is intact.
- Celestica (NYSE: CLS) was upgraded to Sector Outperformer from Sector Performer at CIBC.
- KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) was added to Goldman's Conviction Buy List.
- Wachovia raised EastGroup Properties (NYSE: EGP) to Outperform from Market Perform.
- UBS cut Barclays (NYSE: BCS) to Neutral from Buy as they believe capital raises could negatively impact earnings and that the dividend is likely to be cut.
- JP Morgan downgraded Discovery Holdings (NASDAQ: DISCA) to Underweight from Neutral based on valuation and the deteriorating economic outlook.
- Friedman Billings downgraded shares of Janus Capital (NYSE: JNS) to Underperform from Market Perform and lowered its target to $7 from $23 as they see further risk to the downside following the company's weaker-than-expected results.
- LKQ Corp (NASDAQ: LKQX) was cut to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.
- Affymetrix (NASDAQ: AFFX) was lowered to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
- RightNow Tech (NASDAQ: RNOW) was downgraded at Baird to Neutral from Outperform.
Continue reading Analyst calls: CNB, ERIC, ASML, TRMB, BCS, DISCA, JNS, RGEN, GPS and NTY
Wall Street's optimism in last week's preview about the earnings of tech stocks wasn't misplaced, as there were many more positive surprises than negative ones among the stocks we looked at. This week will bring plenty more data for investors in and watchers of the sector to mull over. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), for example, are expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial to post modest earnings gains from a year ago, to $1.11 per share (on $8.1 billion in sales), $0.72 per share (on $31.3 billion in sales), and $0.47 per share (on $14.8 billion in sales) respectively. All three of these companies ended the week closer to their 52-week lows than highs, and analysts on average consider them each a buy.
Here's a look at some of the week's biggest expected earnings gainers and decliners in the sector:
Continue reading The week in preview: More hope for techs, doubt about financials
In this series, we take a look at the 25 stocks on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) that have turned in the worst performance during the past decade – what went wrong, and what happens next.
The sad tale of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is one of slow, steady progress up the charts -- followed by steep, stomach-churning declines. The stock topped out at $44.88 in April 1998, and then spent the next two years free-falling down the charts. This March 2000 bottom was followed by a slow and steady march higher that didn't reach its peak until February 2007, when the shares again began to cascade lower.
What went wrong? At number 24 on our list of S&P 500 laggards, KEY shed 69% of its value between June 30, 1998 and June 30, 2008, when the shares settled at $10.98. While the equity started slipping in February 2007, KEY didn't take its first massive hit until the following October. In its third-quarter earnings report, the financial-services firm announced a profit of 54 cents per share -- woefully short of analysts' consensus forecast, which called for 71 cents per share.
At the time of the earnings miss, the subprime-infected finance sector was already sweating under the glare of Wall Street's spotlight, and KEY's slip-up resulted in a single-day drop of almost 6%. Chairman and CEO Henry Meyer III assured investors that the worst was over for banking stocks ... but, on May 30, KEY plunged again after hiking its forecast for net loan charge-offs. A few weeks afterward, on June 12, KEY sheepishly confessed plans to slash its dividend by half in an attempt to shore up capital. Traders unleashed their wrath with particular enthusiasm; during the course of that single session, the stock shed nearly 24%.
Continue reading Worst 10-year performers: KeyCorp slips on subprime slime
- The Wall Street Journal's "Fund Track" reported that some banks struggling to raise capital may sell their money management units. National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) is selling its Allegiant Funds, Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) is considering selling its Fifth Third Asset Management, and KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) will possibly sell its Victory Capital Management unit.
- The Wall Street Journal also reported that Andrew Cuomo, the New York state Attorney General, is preparing to file civil securities-fraud charges against UBS AG (NYSE: UBS), possibly as early as this week. Sources said the lawsuit may include allegations of malfeasance by senior UBS executives.
- Bloomberg reported that money manager John Paulson, the owner of Paulson & Co., is launching a hedge fund that will provide capital to financial firms which have been damaged by the housing crisis. Paulson, who wants to open the fund by December, used bets against the U.S. housing market to help him earn $3.7B in 2007.
- After U.S. lawmakers reached a deal on legislation to alleviate the housing recession, the House of Representatives will today vote on a rescue plan for Fannie Mae -- Federal National Mortgage Association (NYSE: FNM) -- and Freddie Mac -- Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (NYSE: FRE). Representative Barney Frank said that the package, which increases the likelihood Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will get the authority to inject capital into the two, is "fully acceptable," Bloomberg reported.
- Oil trading losses forced SemGroup LP, which used to be America's 12th largest private company, to declare bankruptcy yesterday. Reuters noted that SemGroup LP's parent company is SemGroup Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ: SGLP).
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), which is the third largest bank in Ohio, has survived many challenging market environments. After all, the bank's roots go back to 1825.
However, the latest credit crisis has been particularly tough. Over the past year, the stock price has plunged from $37 to $11.46.
Well, this week, KeyCorp raised $1.65 billion from a common and preferred stock offering. Actually, the company was able to sell 10% more than expected.
Like other banks, KeyCorp binged on loans over the past few years. In fact, a big piece of the lending was for residential real estate construction (especially in California and Florida). Needless to say, those loans are shaky now.
Something else: KeyCorp needs to take a sizable charge for an adverse court ruling because of leveraged lease transactions.
As a result, KeyCorp expects to report a $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion loss for Q2. And, after 43 years of increases in dividends, the company also had to slash its payout by half.
Tom Taulli is the author of various books, including The Complete M&A Handbook and The Edgar Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements. He also operates MergerBook.com.
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is recently trading at $15.15 in pre-open trading, below its close of $15.71 Wednesday.
KEY lowered its quarterly dividend by 50% and announced an approximate $1.5 billion in new equity capital raise to offset tax accounting charges and maintain strong capital ratios.
KEY July option implied volatility of 68 is above its 26-week average of 47 according to Track Data, suggesting larger price risk.
Option Update is provided by Stock Specialist Paul Foster of theflyonthewall.com
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