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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 11, 2013
10:00 EDTAXSAXIS Capital trading halted, news pending
News For AXS From The Last 14 Days
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January 27, 2015
07:20 EDTAXSPartnerRe, AXIS Capital could get competing bid, says JMP Securities
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January 26, 2015
16:39 EDTAXSOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:23 EDTAXSOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened lower and hit their session lows a short time after the opening bell rang. In addition to some jitters about a vote in Greece, investors were focused on the massive impending winter storm set to hit the Northeast. With weather pundits expecting the snowfall in feet rather than inches, a number of companies have already rescheduled their earnings announcements. The market was mixed at midday, with the Dow and Nasdaq a bit lower and the S&P up fractionally. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Dallas Fed manufacturing index fell 8.5 points to -4.4 in January, versus the consensus forecast for a reading of 4.0. In Europe, Greece's far-left Syriza party swept to power, renewing concerns about the country's future as a member of the Eurozone. COMPANY NEWS: Today was a "merger Monday," with at least four deals worth more than $1B announced. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) announced plans to acquire Regency Energy Partners (RGP) in an $18B unit-for-unit transaction that includes assuming $6.8B of net debt and other liabilities. Rock-Tenn (RKT) and MeadWestvaco (MWV) agreed to merge to create a consumer and corrugated packaging company with a combined equity value of $16B. Under the terms of the deal, the resulting ownership of the new company will be approximately 50.1% by MWV shareholders and 49.9% by RockTenn shareholders. AXIS Capital (AXS) and PartnerRe (PRE) announced a "merger of equals" that will create a specialty insurance and reinsurance company with total capital of more than $14B and cash and invested assets of more than $33B. Additionally, cereal maker Post Holdings (POST) agreed to pay $1.15B in cash and stock to buy privately-held MOM Brands, which makes Malt-O-Meal and other breakfast products. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Universal Display (OLED), which gained 11% after the company announced the signing of a new OLED technology license agreement and material purchase pact with LG Display (LPL). Also higher was Ocwen Financial (OCN), which rose 17% after the California Department of Business Oversight announced a $2.5M settlement with Ocwen Loan Servicing on Friday evening over the firm’s failure for more than a year to provide loan information needed by the DBO to assess compliance with state mortgage lending laws. Also of note, Ocwen denied any basis for default under trust agreements that had been alleged by certain hedge funds and other RMBS investors to trustees and master servicers in connection with 119 RMBS trusts, which are serviced by Ocwen. Among the noteworthy losers was Brookdale Senior Living (BKD), which dropped 8% after the company lowered its forecast for FY15 Cash From Facility Operations, citing a combination of lower than expected occupancy and certain higher-than-anticipated insurance reserve adjustments. Also lower following its earnings reports was hard disk-drive maker Seagate (STX), which fell about 9%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 1.41, or 0.01%, to 17,671.19, the Nasdaq was down 4.02, or 0.08%, to 4,753.86, and the S&P 500 was up 2.34, or 0.11%, to 2,054.16.
08:50 EDTAXSAXIS Capital to hold a conference call
Conference call to discuss $11B merger with PartnerRe is being held on January 26 at 8:30 am. Webcast Link
January 25, 2015
20:51 EDTAXSPartnerRe Director David Zwiener to assume position of interim CEO
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20:43 EDTAXSAXIS Capital, PartnerRe combination to have gross premiums written of $7B
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20:34 EDTAXSAXIS Capital, PartnerRe to combine in $11B merger
AXIS Capital Holdings (AXS) and PartnerRe (PRE) announced that they have signed a definitive amalgamation agreement to create one of the world’s preeminent specialty insurance and reinsurance companies, with gross premiums written in excess of $10B, total capital of more than $14B, and cash and invested assets of more than $33B. The merger of equals has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and brings together market-leading insurance and reinsurance franchises that will benefit from increased scale and enhanced market presence. Under the terms of the transaction agreement, PartnerRe shareholders will receive 2.18 shares of the combined company’s common shares for each share of PartnerRe common shares they own and AXIS Capital shareholders will receive one share of the combined company’s common shares for each share of AXIS Capital common shares they own. Upon completion of the transaction, shareholders of PartnerRe and AXIS Capital will own approximately 51.6% and 48.4% of the combined company, respectively. PartnerRe Chairman, Jean-Paul L. Montupet will be non-executive chairman of the combined company. AXIS Capital CEO Albert A. Benchimol will serve as CEO of the combined company. The new company will have a 14-person Board of Directors, consisting of seven AXIS Capital directors and seven PartnerRe directors, including Messrs. Montupet and Benchimol. Current AXIS Capital Chairman, Michael A. Butt will continue to serve on the Board as Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Benchimol stated: “This transformational combination will leverage the complementary strengths of both companies and create an organization with the size and breadth to enhance product and service offerings, maximize growth opportunities, optimize portfolios, and deliver both economies of scale and capital efficiencies. The combined company will have three strongly positioned businesses – a top-five global reinsurer, a $2.5B specialty insurance underwriting business, and a highly successful and growing life, accident and health franchise – all with increased strategic flexibility. As a top five global reinsurer with leading positions in a number of specialty lines, we will be strongly positioned to turn the challenges presented by the structural changes in the reinsurance market into opportunities.”
20:22 EDTAXSAXIS Capital sees Q4 EPS $1.15-$1.21, consensus $1.21
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January 14, 2015
10:00 EDTAXSOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: ACE Limited (ACE) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... AXIS Capital (AXS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... Allstate (ALL) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Altera (ALTR) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... American Midstream Partners (AMID) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Argo Group (AGII) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Aspen Insurance (AHL) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Beneficial Bancorp (BNCL) downgraded to Neutral at Boenning & Scattergood... CDW Corporation (CDW) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... CHC Group (HELI) downgraded at Raymond James... CIRCOR (CIR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel... Chesapeake (CHK) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Commerzbank (CRZBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Continental Resources (CLR) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Corporate Office Properties (OFC) downgraded to Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Credit Suisse (CS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC... Datawatch (DWCH) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Devon Energy (DVN) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Dollar Tree (DLTR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Northcoast... Douglas Emmett (DEI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho... Dresser-Rand (DRC) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Enable Midstream (ENBL) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... F5 Networks (FFIV) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... First Majestic (AG) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotia Capital... Foot Locker (FL) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Franklin Resources (BEN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... HCP (HCP) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Halcon Resources (HK) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Insulet (PODD) downgraded at Sterne Agee... J.B. Hunt (JBHT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Avondale... JPMorgan (JPM) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC... KB Home (KBH) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Kosmos (KOS) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Marathon Oil (MRO) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Medley Management (MDLY) downgraded to Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette... MoneyGram (MGI) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... National Grid (NGG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Navigators (NAVG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Pioneer Energy (PES) downgraded at Raymond James... RSP Permian (RSPP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Rambus (RMBS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Realty Income (O) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Red Hat (RHT) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Resolute Energy (REN) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Ross Stores (ROST) downgraded to Neutral at UBS... SandRidge Energy (SD) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Tech Data (TECD) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Teekay Offshore Partners (TOO) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Travelers (TRV) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... TrueCar (TRUE) downgraded to Market Perform at Cowen... Valspar (VAL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird... Verizon (VZ) downgraded at Evercore ISI... Viacom (VIAB) downgraded to Sell from Buy at Citigroup... W. R. Berkley (WRB) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie... Waddell & Reed (WDR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Western Union (WU) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Whiting Petroleum (WLL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Whole Foods (WFM) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus... Xilinx (XLNX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... iRobot (IRBT) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
06:32 EDTAXSAXIS Capital downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie
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