|November 9, 2012|
|10:49 EDT||UL, UN, BX, BGS, CAG||ConAgra, B&G Foods reportedly interested in Unilever's Skippy, Bloomberg says|
ConAgra (CAG) and B&G Foods (BGS) may be potential suitors for Unilever's (UN, UL) Skippy brand, three sources tell Bloomberg. Two of the people familiar with the matter say the peanut butter brand could fetch as much as $500M. Unilever is looking to complete a deal by year-end. Skippy had attracted interest from Blackstone's (BX) Pinnacle Foods, but a source says it is no longer looking at the asset. Reference Link
News For CAG;BGS;UN;UL;BX From The Last 14 Days
|November 25, 2015|
|06:07 EDT||BX||Blackstone in talks to sell LA towers to Douglas Emmett, Bloomberg reports|
Blackstone is in talks to sell four Los Angeles office towers to a group led by Douglas Emmett for more than $1B, reports Bloomberg. According to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, three of the towers are on Wilshire Boulevard in the Westwood commercial district. Reference Link
|November 23, 2015|
|10:00 EDT||BX||On The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary|
Today's noteworthy initiations include: Adesto Technologies (IOTS) initiated with a Buy at Roth Capital... American Farmland (AFCO) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... Blackstone (BX) initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan... California Resources (CRC) initiated with a Buy at Ladenburg... Calumet Specialty Products (CLMT) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman... Clearfield (CLFD) initiated with a Buy at Lake Street... Coherus Biosciences (CHRS) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays... Copa Holdings (CPA) initiated with a Buy at HSBC... GOL Linhas (GOL) initiated with a Reduce at HSBC... HP Enterprise (HPE) initiated with a Hold at Maxim... Himax (HIMX) initiated with an Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Horizon Pharma (HZNP) reinstated with a Buy at Jefferies... Match Group (MTCH) initiated with a Buy at Axiom... Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX) initiated with a Neutral at Citi... Momenta (MNTA) initiated with an Equal Weight at Barclays... MyoKardia (MYOK) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen... Revance (RVNC) initiated with a Buy at Guggenheim.
|07:17 EDT||BX||Blackstone initiated with a Neutral at JPMorgan|
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|07:11 EDT||BX||GE to sell U.K. Home Lending Portfolio to Blackstone, TSSP, and CarVal|
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|November 20, 2015|
|16:35 EDT||CAG||Stocks follow worst week of year with one of best after Fed minutes give clarity|
Stocks ended the week with sharp gains, with the S&P rising over 3%, bouncing back from last week's equally sharp declines. The primary driver of the move appeared to be the Fed minutes, which provided further clarity that December's meeting is firmly on the table for the central bank to make its first rate hike in many years. MACRO NEWS: In the U.S., the minutes from the Fed's last FOMC meeting showed that most participants expect that rate hike conditions will be met by their December meeting. The Fed repeated its constant refrain, though, that the actual decision would depend on the implications for the medium-term outlook from recent economic data... The consumer price index rose 0.2% in October, as expected. When food and energy prices are stripped out, the "core" CPI also rose 0.2%, also matching the consensus forecast. Industrial production slid 0.2% in October, versus expectations for it to have risen 0.1%. Capacity utilization came in as expected at 77.5%. Housing starts fell 11.0% to a 1.06M pace in October, weaker than the expected rate of 1.16M. Building permits, however, rose 4.1% to a 1.15M rate, versus an expected rise of 3.8%. The Empire State index, which measures manufacturing in the N.Y. region, edged up to -10.74 in November, up from last month's -11.4, but below expectations for a -6.5 reading... In Europe, minutes from the most recent European Central Bank policy meeting showed that some participants called for more stimulus amid deflation risks, weak oil prices and a sluggish recovery in the regions' economy... In Asia, Japan's gross domestic product declined 0.8% in the third quarter, missing expectations for a 0.2% decrease and taking the nation's economy back into recession. Later in the week, the Bank of Japan maintained its current pace of monetary stimulus, as expected. Meanwhile, China's Securities Regulatory Commission has restarted initial public offerings for five companies to list on the Shanghai stock exchange and five in Shenzhen, ending a five-month freeze on IPOs. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Wal-Mart advanced 3.5% on Tuesday after the world's largest retailer reported better than expected quarterly earnings and gave a fiscal year profit outlook that was higher than expected at the midpoint of the company's range. Another retail giant and fellow Dow member, Home Depot (HD), gained more than 4% that day after its own better than expected quarterly reports, which came on the heels of largely disappointing reports from other major retailers. Target (TGT), however, fell more than 4% on Wednesday after the retailer reported in-line quarterly sales and profits and narrowed the range of its fiscal year earnings view. Among others reporting earnings this week, TJX Companies (TJX) and Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) rose immediately following their reports, while Kirkland's (KIRK) and Nimble Storage (NMBL) fell right after their own... The biggest U.S. health insurer said Thursday that it is considering pulling out of Obamacare due to losses it has suffered from its participation in the program and cut its profit outlook for this fiscal year, sending its shares and those of its industry peers lower. UnitedHealth (UNH) fell after trimming its fiscal 2015 earnings outlook, citing the Affordable Care Act, and stating that it is "evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment." Aetna (AET), Humana (HUM), Anthem (ANTM) and Cigna (CI) all declined following their rival's announcement, though Aetna and Anthem followed the news up Friday morning by each reaffirming their fiscal 2015 earnings outlooks. Hospital stocks fell as well, with HCA Holdings (HCA), LifePoint (LPNT), Community Health (CYH) and Tenet (THC) all ending the Thursday lower by 6% or more... Square (SQ) rose 45% to close its first day as a publicly-traded company at $13.07 after pricing its initial public offering at $9 per share. Twitter (TWTR), which, like Square, claims Jack Dorsey as its CEO, advanced a bit following Square's public debut as well. Another high-profile tech company also gained in its first day of public trading, as Match Group (MTCH), the owner of dating app Tinder and other online dating services, climbed 22.8% to $14.74 after pricing its IPO at $12 per share... Bloomberg reported that Pfizer (PFE) is nearing an agreement to acquire Allergan (AGN) for $370 to $380 per share, citing people familiar with the matter. CNBC's David Faber then reported that deal talks are in the "final innings" and centered on an all stock transaction whereby Pfizer would offer 11-plus shares per Allergan share. Then, people close to the talks told Financial Times that the U.S. drugmaker is preparing to offer more than $380 per share for Allergan. Amid all these reports, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said that his department will release "targeted guidance" later this week meant to "deter and reduce further the economic benefits of corporate inversions" like the one being contemplated by the drugmakers. In other M&A news, Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT) found a buyer, but not the one that media reports had been foreshadowing. Starwood and Marriott (MAR) announced a deal under which the companies will combine in a cash and stock transaction valued at $12.2B to create the world's largest hotel company. Canadian Pacific (CP) and Norfolk Southern (NSC) both advanced after Canadian submitted a bid to acquire Norfolk, though the latter immediately criticized the offer as "low-premium." Airgas (ARG) surged about 30% after agreeing to be acquired by France's Air Liquide for $143 per share. Fairchild (FCS) jumped 8.5% after agreeing to be acquired for $20 per share by ON Semiconductor (ON)... Qualcomm (QCOM) dropped sharply after disclosing that Korea's Fair Trade Commission alleged the company does not "properly negotiate" aspects of its licenses and may be violating Korean competition law... SunEdison (SUNE) had another tough week, falling about 43% amid ongoing concerns regarding its liquidity and after quarterly filings revealed that several prominent hedge funds exited or trimmed their stakes in the company... ConAgra (CAG) gained 4% on Wednesday after announcing plans to separate into two independent public companies... Nike (NKE) advanced to close out the week after the footwear and sports apparel giant announced a two-for-one stock split, a $12B stock repurchase program and plans to boost its dividend... Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) dropped sharply after the Center for Disease Control announced that three additional states have reported people infected within the E. coli outbreak linked to the company's restaurants. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 3.35% to close at 17,823.81, the S&P 500 rose about 3.27% to close at 2,089.17, and the Nasdaq advanced about 3.58% to close at 5,104.92.
|November 18, 2015|
|17:33 EDT||BX||Blackstone not interested in SunEdison investment, Reuters says|
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|16:45 EDT||CAG||On The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday|
Stocks on Wall Street were higher from the opening bell onward despite housing starts data that was weaker than expected. Investors waited for the release of the FOMC minutes and saw what they had suspected; that the Fed was reinforcing its message that the December meeting is an option for the central bank to begin raising interest rates. The visibility on rates gave investors confidence, leading to a late-day rally that saw the averages close at their highs. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the minutes from the Fed's last FOMC meeting showed that most participants expect that rate hike conditions will be met by their December meeting. The Fed repeated its constant refrain, though, that the actual decision would depend on the implications for the medium-term outlook from recent economic data. Housing starts fell 11.0% to a 1.06M pace in October, weaker than the expected rate of 1.16M. Building permits, however, rose 4.1% to a 1.15M rate, versus an expected rise of 3.8%. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Target (TGT) fell 4.3% to $69.78 after the retailer reported in-line quarterly sales and profits and narrowed the range of its fiscal year earnings view. Target, which guided for same-store sales in the new quarter to be up 1%-2%, added that it sees "indications of heavy inventory levels" at some competitors into the holiday season... Shares of Apple (AAPL) climbed 3.17% to $117.29 after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its Conviction Buy List, predicting that investors should begin to focus on the company's monetization and recurring revenue opportunities over the next year, which would be a boon to its valuation... Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov downgraded Exxon Mobil to Underperform, the firm's equivalent to a "Sell" rating, saying he expects a modest oil recovery in 2016 but that Exxon's limited leverage to oil prices will act as a hindrance during a recovery. Despite Molchanov predicting Exxon shares to be a source of funds for investors turning more constructive on oil in 2016, the stock rose about 1% to $80.74 today amid a rally in oil prices. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Fairchild (FCS), which jumped $1.52, or 8.5%, to $19.40 after agreeing to be acquired for $20 per share by ON Semiconductor (ON), whose stock fell 7.9% to $9.89 after the news. Also higher were Canadian Pacific (CP) and Norfolk Southern (NSC), with the two railway operators advancing a respective 5.8% and 6.35% after Canadian submitted a bid to acquire Norfolk, though the latter immediately criticized the offer as "low-premium." Additionally, ConAgra (CAG) gained 4% to $40.93 after announcing plans to separate into two independent public companies. Among the noteworthy losers was Qualcomm (QCOM), which dropped $4.98, or 9.4%, to $48.00 after disclosing that Korea's Fair Trade Commission alleged the company does not "properly negotiate" aspects of its licenses and may be violating Korean competition law. Also lower was Sprint (S), which fell 9.3%, to $3.99 after announcing a 50% discount for new customers switching from competing wireless carriers. GoPro (GPRO) declined 5.1% to $19.81 after research firm Piper Jaffray noted that the company has been offering discounts on its cameras, including featuring them on "flash sale" sites, and cut its price target on the stock to $15 per share. INDEXES: The Dow rose 247.66, or 1.42%, to 17,737.16, the Nasdaq gained 89.19, or 1.79%, to 5,075.20, and the S&P 500 advanced 33.14, or 1.62%, to 2,083.58.
|16:29 EDT||BX||Blackstone not interested in SunEdison debt, Reuters says|
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|16:24 EDT||BX||Blackstone, Carlyle, KKR potential buyers of Armacell, Reuters says|
Britain's Charterhouse has established a Friday deadline for bids on its insulation materials company Armacell, which may be valued at up to $1.06B, reports Reuters, citing sources. The business has attracted interest from private equity firms, with Blackstone (BX), Carlyle (CG), and KKR (KKR) "cited as potential buyers," according to the report. Reference Link
|13:55 EDT||BX||Blackstone President Tony James fears recession in 2017, Bloomberg says|
Blackstone Group LP President Tony James said he is concerned that the U.S. could potentially enter a recession by 2017 as economic growth faces headwinds, Bloomberg reports. Reference Link
|09:10 EDT||CAG||ConAgra CEO sees ConAgra Brands retaining investment grade rating|
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|06:47 EDT||CAG||ConAgra volatility elevated into plans to separate into two public companies |
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|06:40 EDT||CAG||ConAgra to host conference call|
Conference call to discuss plans to separate into two independent public companies will be held on November 18 at 8:30 am. Webcast Link
|06:32 EDT||CAG||ConAgra announces plans to separate into two independent public companies|
ConAgra announced plans to pursue the separation of the company into two independent public companies: one comprising its robust consumer portfolio of brands and the other comprising its foodservice portfolio of frozen potato products. The consumer brands business will be renamed Conagra Brands and the frozen potato business will operate under the Lamb Weston name. Immediately following the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016, ConAgra Foods shareholders will own shares of both independent companies. The transaction is expected to be structured as a spin-off of the Lamb Weston business, tax-free to the Company and its shareholders. The two businesses operate in distinct markets and possess unique and compelling growth prospects and investment requirements. In addition, ConAgra Foods believes that the separation will result in other material benefits to the standalone companies, including: Greater management focus on the distinct businesses of consumer brands and foodservice frozen potato products; Increased flexibility, agility and resources to capitalize on their respective long-term opportunities and growth strategies; Tailored capital structures and financial policies and targets appropriate for each company's unique business profile; and The ability for investors to value the two companies based on their particular operational and financial characteristics and invest accordingly. Conagra Brands will be comprised primarily of the operations currently reported as the Company's Consumer Foods segment, which generated approximately $7.2Bin fiscal 2015 revenues, as reported. Following the separation, Lamb Weston's portfolio will consist of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and other vegetable products, as well as a continued presence in retail frozen products under licensed brands and private brands. For fiscal 2015, Lamb Weston generated revenues of approximately $2.9B, as reported, and accounted for the significant majority of the Commercial Foods segment's fiscal 2015 operating profit of approximately $570M. The separation is expected to be tax-free to ConAgra Foods shareholders for federal income tax purposes. The transaction is currently targeted to be completed in the fall of 2016, subject to final approval by the Company's Board of Directors, other customary approvals and receipt of an opinion from tax counsel on the tax-free nature of the spin-off to the Company and its shareholders. Throughout the separation process, ConAgra Foods management will remain highly focused on driving strong business performance, and delivering on its previously announced $300M efficiency plan. ConAgra Foods today also reiterated its plans to utilize the net proceeds from the pending sale of its Private Brands business primarily for debt reduction.
|06:31 EDT||CAG||ConAgra announces plans to separate into two independent public companies|
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|November 17, 2015|
|07:48 EDT||BX||Bofa/Merrill to hold a conference|
Banking & Financial Services Conference 2015 is being held in New York on November 17-18.
|November 16, 2015|
|15:53 EDT||CAG||JANA Partners reduces stakes in Rackspace, Qualcomm |
JANA Partners gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this afternoon. NEW STAKES: Mattel (MAT), Zoetis (ZTS), and Aramark (ARMK). INCREASED STAKES: ConAgra Foods (CAG). DECREASED STAKES: Rackspace (RAX), Qualcomm (QCOM), Time Warner (TWX), Starz (STRZA), and Lions Gate (LGF). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Johnson Controls (JCI), Precision Castparts (PCP), AerCap Holdings (AER), United Rentals (URI), and HD Supply Holdings (HDS).
|11:31 EDT||BX||Blackstone to sell GCA Services Group to Thomas H. Lee Partners and Goldman Sach|
Blackstone (BX) announced that private equity funds it manages have agreed to sell GCA Services Group to a consortium of the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs (GS) and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.
|10:01 EDT||BX||Blackstone acquires Diamonds Direct|
Blackstone and Diamonds Direct announced that funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities have acquired Diamonds Direct, an independent jewelry company. The transaction closed in early November.
|06:48 EDT||BX||Goldman, Thomas H. Lee agree to buy GCA Services from Blackstone, Reuters says|
According to sources, Reuters reports that the private equity unit of Goldman Sachs (GS) and Thomas H. Lee Partners have agreed to buy GCA Services Group, a facility management company, from Blackstone (BX) for about $1B, including debt. Goldman and Thomas H. Lee will have equal participation in the consortium that will buy GCA. Reference Link