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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 14, 2014
17:01 EDTAXLLAxiall sees Q1 adjusted EBITDA $65M-$70M
Axiall Corporation announced that the damage from the December 20 fire at its PHH vinyl chloride monomer manufacturing facility at the company’s chemicals complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has been repaired and the facility has resumed operations. The facility is expected to reach full operating rates in May. On February 19, the company described its expectation that the first quarter would be impacted by three significant headwinds: the PHH incident, severe winter weather and a sequential increase to normal maintenance spending. “During this period of lower production and sales, we increased maintenance spending by an additional approximately $10M compared to what we described February 19 to prepare our plants to run at high operating rates for the remainder of the year,” the company said. Based on these factors, the company expects to report $65M-$70M of adjusted EBITDA for Q1.
News For AXLL From The Last 14 Days
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February 5, 2016
13:43 EDTAXLLFranklin Resources lowers stake in Axiall to 5.6% from 7.4%
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February 2, 2016
07:31 EDTAXLLSell rating on Axiall maintained on fundamentals at UBS
UBS noted Axiall (AXLL) rejected the $20 all cash bid from Westlake Chemical (WLK) and believes the possibility exists for counteroffers, but said bids from other parties are less likely. The firm believes market conditions will remain challenged for Axiall but raised its price target to $16 from $11 to account for a 50% probability of a deal.
February 1, 2016
13:54 EDTAXLLBrigade Capital sends letter to Axiall, urges sale of company
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10:02 EDTAXLLOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: AIG (AIG) downgraded at BMO Capital... ARMOUR Residential (ARR) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Abraxas Petroleum (AXAS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin (ABCW) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens... Ashford Hospitality Prime (AHP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Ashford Hospitality (AHT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Axiall (AXLL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... Boston Private Financial (BPFH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Colliers International (CIGI) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) downgraded to Neutral at Credit Suisse... Connecticut Water (CTWS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Duke Realty (DRE) downgraded on valuation, growth outlook at BMO Capital... EP Energy (EPE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Eastman Chemical (EMN) downgraded at SunTrust... Equity Residential (EQR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho... Genuine Parts (GPC) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Hersha Hospitality (HT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Jones Energy (JONE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Mondelez (MDLZ) downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna... Nokia (NOK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Ollie's Bargain Outlet (OLLI) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Oshkosh (OSK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Drexel Hamilton... Outerwall (OUTR) downgraded on Redbox weakness at Roth Capital... PACCAR (PCAR) downgraded to Underperform from Peer Perform at Wolfe Research... Restoration Hardware (RH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen... Rex Energy (REXX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Sanchez Energy (SN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... SandRidge Energy (SD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... Santander Consumer (SC) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Tiffany (TIF) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen... Trex Company (TREX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... U.S. Steel (X) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... United Community Financial (UCFC) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Boenning & Scattergood... Xerox (XRX) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.
10:00 EDTAXLLOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Air Products (APD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... American Airlines (AAL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen... Axiall (AXLL) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... BASF (BASFY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale... CNH Industrial (CNHI) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... CU Bancorp (CUNB) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Fig Partners... CaixaBank (CAIXY) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Societe Generale... Chipotle (CMG) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Concho Resources (CXO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust... Continental Building (CBPX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Eastman Chemical (EMN) upgraded to Buy from Outperform at CLSA... Extreme Networks (EXTR) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham... Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Fig Partners... IBERIABANK (IBKC) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... Infineon (IFNNY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Jarden (JAH) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Joy Global (JOY) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... KT Corporation (KT) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Kennametal (KMT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... L-3 Communications (LLL) upgraded to Buy on valuation at BofA/Merrill... Maximus (MMS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Micron (MU) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Monster Beverage (MNST) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Northrop Grumman (NOC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... PTC (PTC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee CRT... Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Boenning & Scattergood... Praxair (PX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Proofpoint (PFPT) upgraded to Outperform from In-Line at Imperial Capital... Seagate (STX) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Benchmark... Siemens (SIEGY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Superior Drilling (SDPI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich... Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Werner (WERN) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... ZAIS Financial (ZFC) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
06:44 EDTAXLLAxiall upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas upgraded Axiall (AXLL) to Overweight saying the company would fit well with Westlake Chemical (WLK). It is reasonable to think that Westlake will raise its bid for Axiall, Zekauskas tells investors in a research note after the company's $20 per share offer got rejected. The possibility of Westlake proposing a management slate in a proxy filing could provide incentives for negotiation, he contends. Zekauskas raised his price target for Axiall to $25 from $20. Citi this morning downgraded the stock to Neutral.
06:02 EDTAXLLAxiall downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi
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January 29, 2016
17:12 EDTAXLLOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks began the session in positive territory and remained there throughout the day. The early strength was attributed to the surprise cut in interest rates by the Bank of Japan that put the country in a negative interest rate scenario. The market gained strength throughout the day and put in gains of almost 2.5% in what was a broad based advance for the major averages. January closed out with two winning weeks, but the month was still a very bad one for stocks, as the S&P lost over 5% even after today's strong showing. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The Chicago PMI business barometer bounced to 55.6 in January, topping forecasts for a 45.3 reading. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast. In a surprise move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined 7.6% to $587 after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings after last night's closing bell, gained 5.8% to $55.09... Confirming a news report that broke late in the day yesterday, Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Axiall (AXLL), which jumped 83% to $17.94 after it came to light that the company received, and rejected, an unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK) offering to acquire the company for $20 per share in cash and stock. Also higher were Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), which gained 7% and 6.4%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the notable losers was Gilead (GILD), which fell 5.5% to $82.70 after rival Merck (MRK) received FDA approval for its own hepatitis C drug. Also potentially weighing on Gilead shares was the fact that competitor AbbVie (ABBV) announced financial results for the fourth quarter, including sales of Viekira Pak, its own hep C treatment, that fell short of estimates. AbbVie fell 2.3% to $54.58 following its quarterly report. INDEXES: The Dow rose 396.66, or 2.47%, to 16,466.30, the Nasdaq gained 107.28, or 2.38%, to 4,613.95, and the S&P 500 added 46.88, or 2.48%, to 1,940.24.
13:26 EDTAXLLAxiall rejects unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical
Axiall (AXLL) confirmed that it has rejected an unsolicited and conditional proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK) to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Axiall for a consideration of $20.00 per share in the form of $11.00 in cash and 0.1967 shares of Westlake stock. Axiall noted that Westlake's proposal was delivered to the company on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, four days before Westlake's decision to publicly release the proposal. The Axiall Board of Directors, with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, reviewed, considered and unanimously rejected the proposal within the timeframe requested by Westlake. "We believe that Westlake's proposal is an opportunistic attempt to take advantage of challenging public equity market conditions and significantly undervalues Axiall's assets and its long-term prospects," commented Timothy Mann, president and CEO. "The price of Axiall stock was at $20.18 as recently as Dec. 1, 2015. We remain committed to achieving our $100 million run rate cost reduction and productivity target by the end of 2016, as well as our investment in the LACC ethane cracker project with our joint venture partner Lotte Chemical. In addition, we are continuing to evaluate our entire portfolio of businesses and assets to identify opportunities to enhance shareholder value, including our sales process for the Building Products business."
13:25 EDTAXLLAxiall rejects unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical
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13:02 EDTAXLLAxiall trading halted, pending news
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12:12 EDTAXLLLargest Axiall holder wants negotiation with Westlake, Bloomberg says
Axiall's (AXLL) largest shareholder, Shapiro Capital Management, wants the company to negotiate with Westlake Chemical (WLK) and views Westlake's $20 per share offer as too low, Bloomberg reports, citing an interview with the fund's Chairman Sam Shapiro.
11:47 EDTAXLLAxiall downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
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09:21 EDTAXLLOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 17.7%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 10%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 10%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 5.7%... Seagate Technology (STX), up 4.9%.. Microsoft (MSFT), up 4.6%. ALSO HIGHER: Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), up 8.1% after CEO says Zika vaccine could enter human testing this year... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 2.1% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... BRF S.A. (BRFS), up 3.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Axiall (AXLL), up 83.4% after rejecting $20 per share acquisition proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK)... Energous (WATT), up 12% after Bloomberg reported that Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 10.1%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 6.2%... AbbVie (ABBV), down 4%... American Airlines (AAL), down 1.3%. ALSO LOWER: Gilead Sciences (GILD), down 5.5% after CEO John Martin to assume role of executive chairman and COO John Milligan will be promoted to CEO.
08:21 EDTAXLLWestlake Chemical says Axiall rejects $20 per share proposal
In a letter to the board of Axiall, Westlake Chemical disclosed that it proposed to acquire Axiall for $20 per share in cash and stock. In the letter, Westlake commented, "Less than three days after we provided our written proposal, your management informed us that you remain committed to the continued implementation of your current standalone strategic plan. The market reaction to your plan does not suggest investors believe it will deliver anywhere near the value and upside of our proposal. In this challenging environment, we believe your unwillingness to even discuss our compelling proposal exposes your shareholders to significant risk and uncertainty. The combination of Westlake and Axiall would create a more efficient, diversified and competitive company, far better positioned to succeed and grow in this challenging environment. With Westlake's Olefins business and a combined Westlake/Axiall Vinyls business, there would be an immediate opportunity to backward integrate into the ethylene market. The combined company would also benefit from Westlake's European vinyls business, which is a global leader in vinyl technology and specialty PVC resins. The combined company would also have a stronger financial profile than Axiall, providing it with significant financial and operational flexibility, a greater ability to serve its customers, and improved ability to capitalize on future investment opportunities. Based on our proposed consideration mix and strong track record, we believe that the combined company will maintain an investment grade credit rating."
08:17 EDTAXLLWestlake Chemical discloses proposal to acquire Axiall for $20 per share
Westlake Chemical (WLK) announced that it has submitted a proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Axiall (AXLL) for $20.00 per share, comprised of $11.00 in cash and 0.1967 of a Westlake share. The proposal, which has been summarily rejected by the Axiall Board, represented a significant premium of 108% to Axiall's closing price of $9.60 on January 22, 2016. The total value of the proposed transaction is approximately $2.9 billion, including the assumption of certain Axiall liabilities, which include approximately $1.5 billion of debt outstanding as of September 30, 2015. Westlake CEO Albert Chao commented, "We are surprised and disappointed by Axiall's summary rejection of our proposal, which provides Axiall shareholders with a significant premium and upside potential via their participation in the increased scale and synergies of the combined company. The combined company would be more diversified and have a stronger financial profile than Axiall, providing it with significant financial and operational flexibility, a greater ability to serve its customers, and improved ability to capitalize on future investment opportunities."
08:16 EDTAXLLWestlake Chemical discloses proposal to acquire Axiall for $20 per share
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