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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 13, 2014
09:39 EDTAAN, HOTAaron's reaches agreement with Vintage Capital Management
Aaron's (AAN) announced that it has reached an agreement with Vintage Capital Management, the company's second largest shareholder. Pursuant to the agreement, Aaron's will expand the size of its board from eight to ten directors. Brian Kahn, Managing Member of Vintage, has been appointed to the board, effective May 20, and included in the company's slate of director nominees for election at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. In addition, within 30 days following the 2014 Annual Meeting, Matthew Avril, former President of the Hotel Group of Starwood Hotel (HOT) will be appointed to the board. Under the terms of the agreement, Vintage has agreed to vote its shares in support of all of the board's director nominees at the 2014 Annual Meeting. In addition, the board has formed a new Operational and Financial Advisory Committee that will provide input on matters related to Aaron's core business. The founding members of the Committee will be Ray Robinson, Ron Allen and Brian Kahn. Aaron's will also continue to review its corporate governance practices as well as work to explore opportunities, as appropriate, to reduce its operating expenses.
News For AAN;HOT From The Last 14 Days
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July 16, 2014
06:37 EDTAANConn's recent sell-off a buying opprotunity, says Piper Jaffray
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July 15, 2014
12:21 EDTAANOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday despite better than expected quarterly reports from two of the nation's largest financial institutions. Stock futures improved during the pre-market trading session, leading to a higher open for the broader market, following better than expected earnings reports from JP Morgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS). The earnings news also came alongside another huge M&A deal, as tobacco giants Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) confirmed plans to merge. However, the major averages weakened throughout the morning and fell into negative ground against the backdrop of Fed Chair Janet Yellen giving testimony on Capital Hill. In the Board of Governors' Monetary Policy Report, the central bank said valuation metrics in "some sectors" appear substantially stretched, "particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries." ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales increased 0.2% in June compared to the month prior, making for the weakest reading since January and missing the consensus forecast for an increase of 0.6%. The Empire State manufacturing index climbed to a four-year high of 25.6 in July, beating expectations for a reading of 16.5. Import prices rose 0.1% in June, with export prices slipping 0.4%. Business inventories grew 0.5% in May, which was just below the 0.6% consensus growth expectation. In Europe, Germany's ZEW survey missed expectations, as both its Current Situation and Expectations reading were lower than forecast. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of JPMorgan advanced nearly 4% after the bank reported a profit of $1.46 a share, which included a legal expense of 13c a share, beating analysts' consensus forecast of $1.29. The earnings report comes after CEO Jamie Dimon recently disclosed that he has throat cancer. During the company's conference call, Dimon said he was "feeling great," that doctors had found no evidence of cancer anywhere except in the location where it had originally been detected, and that his prognosis for recovery is "excellent"... Also in the large-cap bank sector, Goldman Sachs' headline earnings and revenue similarly beat expectations. The firm, which said it ranks first in worldwide announced and completed mergers and acquisitions for the year-to-date, advanced about 1% following its report... Along with JPMorgan in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported quarterly sales and profits that beat expectations and the healthcare conglomerate raised its fiscal year EPS view to $5.85-$5.92 from $5.75-$5.85. However, its increased outlook range still fell short of the $5.90 per share consensus forecast that analysts had prior to its report... Reynolds American confirmed news that has been speculated for many weeks, announcing that it will acquire peer Lorillard in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at $68.88 per Lorillard share, or a total of $27.4B, including the assumption of net debt. Shares of both fell afterward, with Lorillard down 8% to trade near $61.75 at midday and Reynolds slipping 5%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was small-cap pharma biotechnology research company Codexis (CDXS), which surged nearly 50% after announcing a collaboration and license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Among the noteworthy losers was Aaron's (AAN), which is engaged in the lease ownership and retail sale of a variety of consumer products. Its stock fell over 6% after the company lowered its second quarter outlook, citing lower than expected performance of its core business as the reason for the revision. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 33.45, or 0.2%, to 17,021.97, the Nasdaq was down 40.48, or 0.91%, to 4,399.94, and the S&P 500 was down 9.24, or 0.47%, to 1,967.86.
11:34 EDTAANAaron's falls after cutting second quarter outlook
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08:34 EDTAANAaron's expects to close 44 stores by the end of Q3
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08:34 EDTAANAaron's sees Q2 preliminary adjusted EPS 34c-37c, consensus 46c
Sees Q2 preliminary revenue $672M, consensus $677.99M.
July 11, 2014
11:19 EDTAANRent-A-Center plummets after Q2 profit warning
Shares of rent-to-own operator Rent-A-Center (RCII) are sinking after the company’s second quarter profit outlook significantly trailed analysts’ consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Rent-A-Center forecast Q2 adjusted earnings per share of 36c-38c and revenue of $773M, far short of the consensus views of 48c and $786.4M, respectively. The company’s CEO Robert Davis said, “Macro-economic pressures continue to burden our financially constrained customers contributing to softer than expected demand in our U.S. business segments. Consequently, revenue and earnings for Q2 will not meet expectations. We are not satisfied with our Q2 results and hold ourselves accountable for improving our performance. To that end, we are excited to announce a new product line in our domestic retail stores with our entrance into the burgeoning smartphone business.” WHAT’S NOTABLE: The company’s smartphone rollout offers consumers nationwide one-stop shopping for a variety of name-brand smartphones and no-contract plans, a rent-to-own industry first, the company said. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Rent-A-Center fell $3.22, or about 11%, to $25.86 on more than twice its average daily trading volume. Including today’s pull back, the stock has lost approximately 36% over the past twelve months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies that provide leasing and rent-to-own arrangements of consumer products include Aaron’s (AAN), which is down 3.3%, and CONN’S (CONN), which is down 3.5%.
July 10, 2014
10:05 EDTHOTOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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06:40 EDTHOTStarwood upgraded to Buy from Hold at MLV & Co.

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