Delta Posts $2.8B Quarterly Loss, Cuts Summer Flights Amid Rise In Covid-19 Cases

Delta Posts $2.8B Quarterly Loss, Cuts Summer Flights Amid Rise In Covid-19 CasesDelta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) reported its second consecutive quarterly loss as the U.S. airline pared back its flight capacity plans for August by 50% with demand stalling again amid a renewed rise in Covid-19 cases.Delta ended the second quarter with an adjusted $2.8 billion net loss, or a $4.43 loss per share, as total adjusted revenue, which excludes refinery sales, plunged 91% to $1.2 billion year-on-year.Looking ahead, the U.S. airline expects overall revenue for the September quarter will be only 20% to 25% of last summer, as demand growth flattened recently with the rise in Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, business travel, which typically provides 50% of Delta’s revenue, has not yet returned in any meaningful way, the company added.The “decline in revenue over last year, illustrates the truly staggering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business. In the face of this challenge, our people have acted quickly and decisively reducing our average daily cash burn by more than 70% since late March to $27 million in the month of June,” said Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian. “Given the combined effects of the pandemic and associated financial impact on the global economy, we continue to believe that it will be more than two years before we see a sustainable recovery.”Delta ended the June quarter with $15.7 billion in liquidity. The U.S. carrier had total debt and finance lease obligations of $24.6 billion with adjusted net debt of $13.9 billion. During the June quarter it recorded a write-down of $1.1 billion in its investment in LATAM Airlines and a $770 million write-down in its investment in AeroMexico following their financial losses and separate Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.The bleak outlook for a recovery of the aviation crisis pushed Delta shares down 2.7% to close at $26.11 on Tuesday. The stock plunged 55% this year as the steep plunge in passenger traffic fueled by the coronavirus-related travel restrictions has forced many global airlines, including Delta to park their planes, streamline operations and cut costs, as well as raise debt to boost liquidity.Delta rose 5.3% in Tuesday’s after-market trading as Citigroup analyst Stephen Trent maintained a Buy rating on the stock with a $38 price target, saying that the airline’s liquidity “looks strong”.“On the back of what was the most difficult quarter in aviation history, Buy-rated Delta’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic looks about as good as any global network carrier could have managed under the circumstances,” Trent wrote in a note to investors.In line with Trent, the rest of the Street has a bullish rating outlook on the stock. The Strong Buy consensus breaks down into 9 Buys versus 3 Holds. What’s more, the $38 average price target implies investors may come home with a return of 46%, should the target be met in the next 12 months. (See Delta stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Airbus First-Half Deliveries Drop 49% Amid Covid-19 Aviation Crisis Avolon Cancels 27 Of Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Order Boeing: Don’t Expect a Recovery Anytime Soon, Says Analyst More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Moderna Soars 16% As Covid-19 Vaccine Shows Strong Immune Response * Google Cloud To Use AI Technology In Fox Sports Deal * Google Fined Record 600,000 Euros By Belgian Authority * 3M, MIT Researchers Team Up To Develop Rapid Covid-19 Antigen Test


Oil climbs after sharp drop in U.S. crude stocks; OPEC committee meeting in focus

Oil climbs after sharp drop in U.S. crude stocks; OPEC committee meeting in focusOil prices rose on Wednesday following a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, with the market waiting for next steps from a meeting later in the day on the future level of output cuts by OPEC and its allies. Brent crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.4%, at $43.09 a barrel as of 0343 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 17 cents, or 0.4%, to $40.46 a barrel. Reflecting a recovery in fuel demand despite the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. crude inventories fell by 8.3 million barrels in the week to July 10, beating analysts' expectations for a decline of 2.1 million barrels, according to data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute.


Vaxart: No Midnight Bells Ringing Yet for This Cinderella Biotech Story

Vaxart: No Midnight Bells Ringing Yet for This Cinderella Biotech StoryIt has been a breakout year for vaccine specialist Vaxart (VXRT). Entering 2020, the company had a market cap just below a puny $17 million. Since then, shares have exploded by an incredible 4748% as investors have piled in with the hope Vaxart can be the surprise provider of the coveted COVID-19 vaccine.However, Vaxart stock still has plenty left in the tank, according to B Riley FBR analyst Mayank Mamtani. The 5-star analyst believes that, based on the company’s proprietary VAAST (vector-adjuvant-antigen standardized technology) vaccine platform, Vaxart’s “one-of-its-kind oral solution,” could set it apart from the competition.Mamtani added, “We believe clinical proof of concept from norovirus and influenza programs validates VAAST’s targeted immune system activation approach with enteric-coated tablets designed to release a vaccine specifically in the small intestine. This activation of gut immunity provides protection at the inner linings of the GI and respiratory tracts and is a key differentiator versus other platform approaches, in our view.”Apart from the convenience of an oral solution instead of the more commonly used injection, Vaxart’s approach has logistical advantages, and its worldwide distribution would cause “only a minimal incremental burden to the global vaccine supply chain.” Moreover, the unique approach could increase global vaccination rates because it is one well suited to developing counties whose less advanced healthcare systems are already under duress due to the pandemic.It is worth remembering, however, that the company is still in very early stages. Preclinical trials have been promising with several vaccine candidates generating immune responses in 100% of tested animals following a single dose. With the most suitable vaccine candidate now selected, Vaxart plans on initiating a phase 1 trial in 2H20, possibly starting in the summer. Despite having to play catch up with other more advanced programs, Mamtani doesn’t rule out additional funding to accelerate the progress of Vaxart’s COVID-19 vaccine program.“Although VXRT is lagging a bit on timelines in a crowded influenza and COVID-19 landscape, we believe convenience differentiation and generation of de-risking data sets will likely translate into adequate non-dilutive funding support, including Operation Warp Speed for COVID-19 and J&J for a universal influenza program, in 2H20,” Mamtani said.To this end, Mamtani rates Vaxart a Buy along with a $22 price target. The implication for investors? Further upside of "just" 30%. (To watch Mamtani’s track record, click here)Over the past 3 months, two other analysts have thrown the hat in with a review of Vaxart; Both reaffirm Mamtani’s positive assessment with additional Buy ratings. (See Vaxart stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.


Cloud Tailwinds Could Trigger Further Upside for Microsoft Stock, Says 5-Star Analyst

Cloud Tailwinds Could Trigger Further Upside for Microsoft Stock, Says 5-Star AnalystTech stocks smashing all-time highs are currently almost a daily thing. What this means for a frothy market at disconnect from the wider economy is anyone’s guess. Is a pullback imminent? No one knows, the market is unpredictable and will probably remains so for the foreseeable future or at least until the coronavirus is stopped dead in its tracks.Tech giant Microsoft (MSFT) has been among the mega caps to clock all times highs, too. Microsoft has not only benefited from the explosive market, but also from a rising trend further accelerated by the viral outbreak.The shift to cloud based working environments has been a boon to Microsoft and has not gone unnoticed by Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.The 5-star analyst noted, “Fundamentally speaking, the MSFT thesis during this COVID environment has been a two-fold strategy. The first phase has and continues to play out as MSFT’s Azure/ Office 365 product portfolio is holding up extremely well in this Category 5 storm, while investors have recognized this dynamic driving the stock to all-time highs. Now we start to enter the second phase heading into the September/December quarters as an anticipated economic rebound should put further fuel in MSFT’s growth engine.”Whether the economic rebound will materialize remains to be seen. What cannot be argued against is the accelerated shift to remote working environments bought forward by COVID-19. This new reality is of benefit to Microsoft and, specifically, its cloud-based service Azure.33% of businesses work is within cloud environments, a number that is expected to reach 55% by 2023. And although Azure currently occupies second place behind Amazon’s AWS in market share, Ives expects Microsoft “to lead a transformational cloud story narrowing the gap vs. Bezos and AWS into 2021.” Even taking into consideration the possibility of a recession over the next couple of quarters, Ives’ model for Microsoft indicates “we are still looking at what we value as a $1 trillion valuation cloud franchise.”Accordingly, to reflect “Azure cloud strength,” Ives rates MSFT an Outperform (i.e. Buy) along with a $260 price target. Investors could be taking home a 25% gain, should this new all-time high be met over the coming months. (To watch Ives’ track record, click here)The rest of the Street concurs. MSFT’s Strong Buy consensus rating is backed by 21 Buy ratings, and 1 Hold and Sell, each. However, the majority expect shares to stay range bound for now, as the current $214.17 average price target indicates. (See Microsoft stock-price forecast on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * 3 Healthcare Stocks Under $5 With Triple-Digit Upside Potential * Akebia Initiates Vadadustat Study In Covid-19 Patients * Tech Giants Join Lawsuit Against Trump Admin’s New Student Visa Rules * IMV Pops 134% In Pre-Market On “Rapid Progress” Of Covid-19 Vaccine Development


U.S. Stock Futures Rise on Positive Results for Moderna Vaccine

U.S. Stock Futures Rise on Positive Results for Moderna Vaccine(Bloomberg) -- Futures on U.S. stock indexes jumped after data published on a potential Covid-19 vaccine showed an encouraging response in a safety trial.September contracts on the S&P 500 rose 1% as of 9:10 a.m. in Tokyo, while futures on the Nasdaq 100 climbed 0.7%. Results published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine said Moderna Inc.’s drug produced antibodies to the coronavirus in all patients tested in an initial safety trial.“I think it’s very positive,” said Peter Mallouk, president and chief executive officer of wealth management firm Creative Planning. “What we have is reaffirming what the market thought about its general optimism about a timeline of an improvement.”In the Moderna study, the neutralizing antibody levels produced were equivalent to the upper half of what’s seen in patients who get infected with the virus and recover, according to the results published Tuesday. The Moderna vaccine is one of the farthest along for Covid-19.The after-hours surge came after a volatile two days of trading. After briefly reaching the highest levels since the Covid-19 swoon in March, the S&P 500 reversed to end Monday down 1%. Then Tuesday, after a series of swings, the benchmark finished the day up 1.3%.The Nasdaq 100 closed Tuesday’s cash trading session up 0.8% to mark the first time since March that the tech-heavy gauge posted back-to-back reversals of at least 2% in opposite directions. Before this week, clusters of big contrasting reversals all occurred during bear markets.The late day surge brought SPY, the ETF tracking the S&P 500, to $322 a share -- close to the level reached on June 8 that has acted as solid resistance.With a health-care crisis at the heart of the financial crisis and recession, investors are scrutinizing every piece of data on Covid-19 or high-frequency metrics on the recovery. The Moderna news fits on the positive side of the ledger.“I’d classify the last few days as discount the bad and amplify the good,” said Max Gokhman, Pacific Life Fund Advisors’ head of asset allocation. “The Moderna news is positive and there’s no doubt that a proven vaccine is a major positive catalyst, so in keeping with the overall sentiment it makes sense that the markets would rally on the news.”Still he added: “But also let’s be clear that the news we got is about positive progress, not any definitive proof of viability.”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.


Moderna’s Covid Vaccine News Is Good. But Market-Moving Good?

Moderna’s Covid Vaccine News Is Good. But Market-Moving Good?(Bloomberg Opinion) -- About two months after Moderna Therapeutics Inc. released preliminary Covid-19 vaccine data that sent the stock market into a tizzy, the company published a complete look at the initial human trial of its drug late Tuesday — and it promptly moved the market again.Moderna shares surged 20% on the results in after-market trading, and stocks in general got a loft as well. Is it warranted? For sure, the expanded results published in the New England Journal of Medicine contain good news about the vaccine's early attributes. However, they mainly put what the company revealed in its sparse May release on firmer footing instead of breaking swaths of new ground as one might expect from the reaction. In short, investors may be ahead of themselves.There are a host of open questions about the vaccine's clinical and commercial potential. They won't be resolved until Moderna finishes a huge clinical trial currently scheduled to begin July 27. New investors would be paying a hefty price for a long wait and a still high level of risk. According to the expanded results, two shots of the Moderna vaccine generated antibody levels higher than those generally seen in people that recover from Covid-19. The company’s initial release suggested something similar. Still, the new publication shows results in a broader group of patients and goes into needed detail about precisely what Moderna was measuring. Investors should feel more secure in the notion that the vaccine produces an immune response, a real milestone. However, just as in May, it's not clear whether people who survive Covid have durable immunity to the virus and how that relates to antibody levels. A further relationship between antibodies and vaccine effectiveness still needs to be proved in a robust trial. The company isn't necessarily measuring the wrong thing; antibody levels are as good a target as scientists have at the moment. But the human immune system is complicated and researchers have much to learn.While Moderna is undoubtedly a front-runner, it's not alone. It will be neck-and-neck with Pfizer Inc.'s similar vaccine as well as AstraZeneca Plc, with others following soon. There's no guarantee that it will finish first or with a happy result. There's some randomness to placebo-controlled vaccine trials; a significant number of people on the control arm have to contract the virus to prove the shot effective by comparison, and that could take time.Moderna's trial will focus on areas where the virus is spreading, but so will everyone else's. If another drugmaker recruits faster, has a more effective shot or gets lucky with a higher rate of infection on the placebo arm, they could move ahead.Other details: The company's expanded results didn't reveal any "serious" adverse events like a death or a life-threatening reaction, but the vaccine did produce a noticeably high rate of side effects including fatigue, fever, and muscle pain. New safety concerns could arise in the larger trial; the company has 45 people’s worth of data; thousands more will get the shot in the months to come. While the Food and Drug Administration is likely to be relatively flexible on safety for an effective vaccine, unpleasant side effects could diminish uptake and commercial opportunity, especially if there's a more appealing option.Investors may be excited by Jefferies Analyst Michael Yee's prediction that Moderna could reap $5 billion in sales, but none of that materializes if the vaccine doesn't work. Even if the company succeeds and navigates competitive risks, the hefty dose of U.S. taxpayer money that has gone into the company's effort will create extra pressure to price modestly.Moderna, up 283% year to date, is priced for multiple best-case scenarios right now. Investors convinced it’s still a strong buying opportunity should have their eyes open.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Max Nisen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering biotech, pharma and health care. He previously wrote about management and corporate strategy for Quartz and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


AUD trades sideways as broader ranges narrow

AUD trades sideways as broader ranges narrowPosted by OFX AUD - Australian Dollar The Australian dollar crept higher through trade on Tuesday, supported by underlying USD weakness and a small uptick across risk assets. Trade was choppy and moves relatively modest as ranges across currency markets narrowed. The AUD has struggled to break outside a 70 point range … Continue reading "AUD trades sideways as broader ranges narrow"The post AUD trades sideways as broader ranges narrow appeared first on .


GoHealth Prices IPO Above Target at $21 a Share

GoHealth Prices IPO Above Target at $21 a Share(Bloomberg) -- GoHealth Inc. expanded the size of its U.S. initial public offering and priced the shares above the marketed range to raise $914 million, according to people familiar with the matter.The Chicago-based health insurance company sold 43.5 million shares for $21 each, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public yet. GoHealth had marketed 39.5 million shares for $18 to $20 each, according to its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.A representative for GoHealth didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.The offering was led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp.and Morgan Stanley. The shares are expected to begin trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol GOCO.(Updates with amount raised in first 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.


Boeing: Don’t Expect a Recovery Anytime Soon, Says Analyst

Boeing: Don’t Expect a Recovery Anytime Soon, Says AnalystChallenging – this is one word getting extra use these days, frequently describing the headwinds industries affected the most by COVID-19 are facing.Undoubtedly, it is an apt description of the situation A&D giant Boeing (BA) currently finds itself in. Appearing to be on the verge of bankruptcy after the initial coronavirus wave, the recent spike in cases hasn’t made predicting what’s on tap in the near-term any easier.With its Q2 earnings release on the horizon (July 29), Cowen analyst Cai von Rumohr argues the Street is underestimating the headwinds Boeing must face on the way to recovery.“Q2 will be a mess… Broadly ranged Q2 estimates look high, and spiking U.S. COVID-19 cases & rising China tensions are headwinds for MAX delivery ramp in 2021 and complicate supply chain coordination… Combined with incoming supplier materials, COVID-19 disruptions, and customer deferrals, we also see $9 billion cash outflow vs. Street's $6.6 billion,” Rumohr noted.Boeing’s 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019, following a couple of fatal accidents. It is now expected to be back in circulation by the fall. But in the current climate, who will want any new MAX airliners?Focus right now is squarely on survival, as many airlines are looking for ways to shrink fleets, not add to them. Although Rumohr believes customers have existing 737 orders, the analyst thinks most will seek to defer deliveries. However, some might even go further; There are rumors that American Airlines – the company behind the initial push for Boeing’s 737 Max project - is considering canceling some of its Max 737 orders.Adding another layer of uncertainty, the trade disputes with China - who in 2018 made up 28% of 737 deliveries – mean the superpower is unlikely to confirm Max deliveries before the November US presidential election.Boeing management previously said it expected the majority of completed MAX jets to be delivered in the first year following recertification, but Rumohr doesn’t believe this target will be met.“The recent cut of SPR's MAX rate from 12-14/month to 6-7 suggests that ‘majority' may mean closer to 51% than 70-80%. We're assuming ~300 737 deliveries in 2021 (vs. Street's ~400) and total BA revenues of $74 billion vs. Street's $89 billion,” the analyst said.To this end, Rumohr rates BA a Market Perform (i.e. Hold) along with a $150 price target. There’s a 17% downside in the cards, should the average price target of $150 be met over the next 12 months. (To watch Rumohr’s track record, click here)The rest of the Street is a bit more optimistic. 7 Buys and Holds, each, plus 2 Sells coalesce into a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The average price target hits $191.57, and implies possible upside of 7% in the year ahead. (See BA stock-price forecast 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.