Tag Archives: markets

Netflix Plays a Sarah Palin Hashtag Game, Gets Burned

By Eamon Murphy

Sarah Palin - Iron Sky

Filed under: ,

Iron SkyStephanie Paul plays The President of the United States in “Iron Sky” by Blind Spot Pictures.

Sarah Palin’s totem is the mama grizzly, and her admirers are as protective of her as the fabled bear is of her cubs.

Their target today is the resurgent Netflix (NFLX), which reported its first quarter results earlier this week. Twitchy — conservative commentator Mchelle Malkin’s Twitter-monitor/controversy generator — reports that the hashtag #SarahPalinFilms arose on Tuesday night, attributing it to “lefties” whose apparent dismissiveness towards Palin is belied by their purported obsession with her: “You know, because her 15 minutes have come and gone and she’s totally not living rent-free in their heads.” #Sarcasm.

Sensing an opportunity to #leverage #socialmedia to #grow their #brand, whoever was manning the Netflix Twitter account thought of a 2012 science fiction comedy film called “Iron Sky,” which features a character obviously based on Palin. But the plot of the Finnish-German-Australian movie provided an occasion for the kind of theatrically outraged response that Twitchy specializes in ginning up. “Iron Sky” concerns a group of Nazis who flee to the moon after Germany’s defeat in World War II and return in 2018 via spaceships to take over the world. And the Palin-like president of the United States winds up collaborating with a couple of moon Nazis on her reelection campaign, and in general seems like a figure of ridicule.

It sounds like a pretty dumb movie, and got terrible reviews, but the Sarah Palin connection is indisputable. Netflix tweeted:

A vigilant follower alerted Twitchy to this apparent breach of corporate PR political neutrality, and the site followed its usual procedure, posting angry replies from Twitter users who resented the “cheap shot.” Soon the hashtag was taken over by responses to the Netflix tweet. Mission accomplished.

On the plus side, the tweet has now achieved much more #reach and #engagement than it otherwise would have, which sounds like a social media #win for $NFLX. Twitchy amplifies the voices of users who indignantly insist that they’ll cancel their Netflix accounts or use Amazon Prime after something like this, but Netflix might sense that deleting the tweet, or issuing some kind of apology, would only provide an occasion for further commentary.

Twitchy has already documented, in a follow-up post, several conversations between concerned citizens and Netflix reps, including one employee who mistakenly stated that Netflix was not responsible for the tweet (which remains online as of this writing). The company line seems to be that Netflix was merely promoting a new release and takes no political position on Palin.

Brietbart.com’s entertainment division, Big Hollywood, has also taken up the cause, declaring, “The Internet will not only ensure that Netflix’s shockingly tone-deaf tweet spreads like wildfire, but this is the kind

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Why "Sell in May" Should Go Away

By Chris Hill, The Motley Fool

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The following video is from Wednesday’s Investor Beat, in which host Chris Hill and analysts Jason Moser and Matt Argersinger dissect the hardest-hitting investing stories of the day.

The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq were all up double digits for the first four months of 2013. Should investors follow the old adage “Sell in May and go away”? To what extent should investors factor the calendar into their investment decisions? That story plus the four stocks making the biggest moves on Wednesday’s market and two stocks you should have your eye on this week.

If you’re looking for some long-term investing ideas, you’re invited to check out The Motley Fool’s brand-new special report, “The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need.” It’s absolutely free, so simply click here now and get your copy today.

The article Why “Sell in May” Should Go Away originally appeared on Fool.com.


Chris HillJason Moser, and Fool contributor Matthew Argersinger have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Beam, DreamWorks Animation, Ebix, LinkedIn, MasterCard, and Zillow. It owns shares of Ebix, LinkedIn, MasterCard, and Zillow. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

3 Pharma Stocks to Buy for the Long Run

By Keith Speights, The Motley Fool

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What should investors look for in identifying pharmaceutical stocks to buy for the long run? The Motley Fool’s Erin Miller talks with Fool contributor Keith Speights about two key criteria to use in evaluating pharma stocks, and which stocks meet those criteria.

Keith particularly likes three pharmaceutical companies: GlaxoSmithKline , Novartis , and Sanofi . Glaxo boasts a solid current product lineup, even though it faces patent exclusivity for some drugs over the next few years. The company has at least 14 drugs in its pipeline, for which late-stage results should be available by the end of next year.

Novartis leads the pharmaceutical industry in revenue generated from drugs launched in the last five years. That puts it in better shape than most in handling the patent cliff. Novartis is also well-diversified, with business segments including vaccines, vision care, animal health, and generic drugs. These additional sources of revenue beyond brand pharmaceuticals make this stock a solid choice for investors to potentially buy.

Likewise, Sanofi receives at least 70% of its total revenue from growth platforms rather than declining drugs. The French drugmaker has made smart acquisitions over the past several years, particularly with its pickup of Genzyme.

In this video, Erin and Keith explain more about why these three pharma stocks should be good stocks to buy over the long run.

While you can certainly make huge gains in biotech and pharmaceuticals, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool’s free report, “3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich,” names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.

The article 3 Pharma Stocks to Buy for the Long Run originally appeared on Fool.com.


Erin Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. Fool contributor Keith Speights has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Was Questcor's Q1 as Bad as It Looks?

By Keith Speights, The Motley Fool

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Questcor Pharmaceuticals reported first-quarter results after the market closed on Tuesday — and they didn’t look great. Shares fell 3% in after-hours trading, but were things really as bad for Questcor as they might seem? Let’s take a look.

By the numbers
Non-GAAP earnings for the quarter were $0.76 per diluted share, up nearly 25% from $0.61 per share in the same period last year. That result fell far short, though, of the average analysts’ estimate of $0.96 per share.

Questcor reported GAAP earnings of $0.65 per diluted share. This reflects a 12% increase over the $0.58 per share earnings from the first quarter of 2012.

First-quarter net sales totaled $135.1 million, up 41% year over year from $96 million reported in 2012. However, analysts expected sales of around $157 million — 16% above what Questcor delivered.

The company held cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $156.3 million as of April 19. That amount is up slightly from the $155.3 million on hand at the end of 2012.

Behind the numbers
It’s not hard to find the reason behind Questcor’s disappointing quarterly results. Shipments of its Acthar gel were clearly below expectations. The company’s steady sales growth pattern for Acthar has now been broken.

Source: Company press release and 10-Q reports.

Some have predicted a bleak outlook for the company for quite a while now. Does this decline reflect gloomy days ahead for Questcor?

Let’s look at the big elephant in the room: a 17% sequential drop in multiple sclerosis prescriptions for Acthar. This decrease follows an 8% sequential drop in the fourth quarter. Questcor says that insurance coverage for Acthar still appears favorable. Assuming this is the case, what’s going on?

For one thing, the seasonality effect on multiple sclerosis flare-ups that I noted after last quarter’s results were announced could still be a factor. Research supports the idea that there are fewer MS relapses in colder months.

Questcor also launched a new reimbursement support center during the first quarter. Since most new prescriptions for multiple sclerosis require assistance from the company to navigate the insurance reimbursement process, this transition likely affected figures to some extent.

The company noted that Acthar shipments in April set a record high of 2,550. Questcor CEO Don Bailey said in the earnings conference call that MS prescriptions in April appear to be especially strong.

Looking ahead
My view is that next quarter will be where the rubber meets the road for the supposition that the decline in Acthar prescriptions for multiple sclerosis is only temporary. If the strength that the company reported for April continues, second-quarter results should be solid.

Multiple sclerosis will increasingly take a less prominent role, though. New paid prescriptions for rheumatology indications shot up 58% sequentially with a beefed-up sales force. I expect continued strong growth in this area.

Questcor has a super-high short interest at just shy of 60%. A lot of people are betting this stock

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Hess Comments on Glass Lewis Report

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Hess Comments on Glass Lewis Report

Flawed, One-Sided Recommendation Does Not Reflect Overwhelming Support Hess Transformation Plan Has Received from Shareholders and Independent Wall Street Analysts

Glass Lewis Undermines Its Own Analysis; Finds Elliott Compensation Scheme Compromises Independence of Dissident Slate, Creates Divided Board

Hess Urges Shareholders Elect All Hess’ New, Independent Director Nominees on the White Proxy Card

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Hess Corporation (NYS: HES) (“Hess” or the “Company”) today commented on the report issued by Glass Lewis & Co. (“Glass Lewis”). Glass Lewis’s flawed recommendations do not reflect the overwhelmingly positive support Hess’ transformation plan has received from its shareholders and independent Wall Street analysts. Glass Lewis also undermines the integrity of its own analysis by raising serious concerns about the highly problematic compensation scheme put in place for Elliott Management’s director candidates, questioning the independence of the same dissident nominees it supports. Hess disagrees with Glass Lewis’ recommendation and believes that shareholders who follow its recommendation at a time when Hess is executing on a market-endorsed transformation plan will put the value of their investment at risk. Hess continues to urge shareholders to vote on the WHITE proxy card FOR all of its new, highly qualified, independent director nominees at the Company’s 2013 Annual Shareholders Meeting, which will be held on May 16, 2013.

The Company stated: “Without meeting or even talking to Hess, Glass Lewis arbitrarily brushed aside the facts and blindly accepted Elliott’s distortions. We are executing well against our multi-year transformation to a pure play E&P company, a plan that has received overwhelming support from our shareholders and independent Wall Street analysts, a fact flatly ignored by Glass Lewis. Our five new director nominees are committed to creating sustainable long term value for all Hess shareholders, and are the clear choice for those who want truly independent, experienced new directors who will represent their interests. The market has affirmed the economic superiority of our transformation plan and we believe that our world-class slate of new, independent nominees is best suited to objectively oversee the execution of that plan.

“Glass Lewis has done a disservice to its clients. Its recommendation inexplicably discounts the value creation potential of

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance