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  • Baltic Morning News

     

    World’s strongest day in Tallinn. After a week of nervous movements, Tallinn Stock Exchange was up 2.2% yesterday, which also was the strongest increase among the 83 countries covered by Bloomberg. Although the day started in red as usual, most stocks managed to bounce and the afternoon was mostly green already. Baltika, Tallinna Kaubamaja and Tallink were the strongest with 5.6%, 4.4% and 4.3% gains, respectively. Only Starman and Tallinn Water closed down (-1.0% and -0.2%, respectively).

    Mikrovisatos and TEO (Acc) deal cancelled. Lithuanian telecom operator TEO announced that the preliminary share sale-purchase deal between UAB Mikrovisatos TV and TEO was cancelled. Although the reasons were not discussed, we believe the parties may not have been able to agree on the price or TEO did not find Mikrovisatos attractive at the agreed price after the due diligence was concluded. TEO hoped to boost its digital terrestrial television (DTT) service by the acquisition, which was expected to close in February. Mikrovisatos is operating on the TV re-broadcasting market.

    Olympic gets new license. Olympic Entertainment Group's Lithuanian subsidiary Olympic Casino Group Baltija received a license for using B-category slot machines (they already had license for A-category). The main difference between B-category and A-category slot machines is that B-category slot machines have limited stakes and winnings and also do not have possibilities for bonus winnings. The age limit for A and B is also different in Lithuania (21 years and 18 years, respectively). We now expect Olympic to open some B-category gaming halls in Lithuania and in case of success, expand the concept to other markets.

    Estonians unable to keep borrowing. Agnes Makk from Hansabank said that in two years Estonians’ borrowing capacity has halved - at the income level of 2006, Estonians will be able to borrow for no more than 12 to 14 months. „The market cannot grow 60% a year any more (58% in last 12 months), it is not sustainable,” Makk added. In addition, according to Hansabank, the average monthly loan repayment amounts to 40% of average wages already, which also sets its limits. Not good for housing market.

    Lithuanian inflation to fall in 2009. According to BBN, Lithuanian PM Gediminas Kirkilas believes that the inflation rate will rise this year but still will be below a 5% threshold. Inflation should stabilize next year and start sliding down in 2009. According to the Finance Ministry, the average annual inflation rate will be 4.7% in 2007 (it was 3.8% in 2006). Lithuania's objective is to adopt euro in 2010.

  • Prudential downgrades Schering-Plough (SGP 24.76) to Neutral from Overweight and lowers their tgt to $27 from $28, based on valuation

    CIBC initiates Atheros Communications (ATHR 25.91) with a Sector Outperformer and sets a $35 tgt, as they believe the key attraction of Atheros is that its core market of wireless LAN is still growing very nicely, even while the co is diversifying into new areas while notebook growth, rising desktop penetration, home gateway churn, broadband modem attach, and enterprise and metro are all contributing.

    UBS downgrades Baidu (BIDU 115.00) to Reduce from Neutral.

    Friedman Billings upgrades Network Appliance (NTAP 38.41) to Outperform from Market Perform and raises their tgt to $46 from $38 following earnings. The firm believes NetApp's growth engine is actually accelerating and that the market is now significantly undervaluing NetApp on a cash flow basis

    Jefferies downgrades Transocean (RIG 77.08) to Hold from Buy and cuts their tgt to $87 from $96 following earnings and saying they believe the premium valuation already reflects the co's strong backlog and EPS growth

    UPS added to Recommended List at Citigroup

    Baidu.com (BIDU) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup
  • Eyeing the Patterns for Clues

    By Rev Shark
    RealMoney.com Contributor
    2/15/2007 9:08 AM EST
    Click here for more stories by Rev Shark

    "At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor."

    -- Eric Hoffer

    Some friendly comments from Ben Bernanke were all the market needed to gallop ahead Wednesday. A few folks were expecting some hawkishness but when that didn't materialize they were forced to reposition and that got things running.

    There really wasn't anything new or surprising in Bernanke's comments but conditions were ripe for a positive reaction. The question now is whether this market has the patience, persistence and vigor to keep on running.

    For quite a while now the market has had a consistent pattern of dips to the brink of a breakdown and then a sharp spike up to a new high. Six times now since November this has been the case with the S&P 500 pulling back to around the 30-day exponential moving average and then surging ahead. Following the strong move, the momentum dries up and we start to fade back and when it looks like we are just about to fail we see another surge.

    The pattern is so entrenched that it is probably becoming self-fulfilling to some degree, which means we should watch carefully now for a decline in the vigorous buying and a slow fade once again. Once we are back to support the bulls will gear up for another spike.

    The problem with an obvious pattern like this is that at some point it fails and that is when things become tricky. The Nasdaq looked very close to breaking out of a similar pattern at the end of January but recovered nicely. It has not had the same relative strength as the S&P 500, so it is more important to watch as a leading indicator of the broader market.

    After a big two-day move the market is ready for a rest and if the pattern continues we will hold steady for a few days and then see a slow drift lower. The bears will become hopeful once again and then the bulls will spring back to life.

    We have a flat start this morning and not much new on the wires. Europe was mostly negative while Asia was in the green. Oil and gold are steady.
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    Ülespoole avanevad:

    Gapping up on strong earnings/guidance: NTRI +15% (up in symapthy: MED +6%), TSL +9.2%, AQNT +7.3%, AVCI +6.1%, GES +5.8%, TSCM +5.8%, MRH +5.7%, NSTC +5.7%, SFD +4.6% (guidance only), TEX +4%... Other News: TALX +8.3% (to be acquired by Equifax), BSM +14%, ARBA +4.2% (extends recent momentum, +25% in 3 weeks), LMRA +4.1%, MEDI +4.8% (co says new version of FluMist is better than flu shots for older babies), JBLU +3% (Goldman upgrade), BUD +3% (Brazil newspaper says co may merge with Belgium's InBev - Reuters), BRCM +2.8% (Morgan Stanley maing positive comments), CAT +2.5% (announces $7.5 bln stock buyback plan), QCOM +2% (OpCo upgrade)... Under $3: ZANE +15% (provides guidance).

    Allapoole avanevad:

    Gapping down on disappointing earnings/guidance: IAAC -14%, BIDU -12% (also multiple downgrades, including Citigroup to Sell), TWLL -10%, ESLR -6.6%, RNWK -6.6% (also multiple downgrades, including Soleil and OpCo to Sell), ELOS -5.1%, BHI -4.5%, ABB -4.1%, PLAB -3.7%, HPY -2.2%, NTAP -1.2%... Other News: AMR -2.4% (Goldman downgrade), EFX -2.3% (to acquire TALX), ENER -2.2%, VNT -2% (Venezuela govt says it wants at least 60% stake in VNT - Reuters), UBS -1.9%.
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