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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
November 27, 2012
16:29 EDTTHO, MNST, CAG, MMR, HPQ, ACAD, RAHOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street finished lower on the day, after a mixed session turned negative for all three major averages following comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid said that he was disappointed with the most recent round of negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff and that little progress had been made... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft rose 1.7% in October, versus expectations for a 0.5% decline. Total durable goods orders were unchanged for the month, versus expectations for them to decline 0.7%. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home-price index gained 0.4% in September compared to the prior month. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 in November, beating expectations and hitting its highest level in almost five years. The Richmond Fed manufacturing survey for November registered +9, compared to expectations for it to slide to -9. In Europe, the region's finance ministers, the ECB and the IMF reached an aid deal on Greece, which is expected to help the nation reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio to 124% by 2020... COMPANY NEWS: ConAgra Foods (CAG) agreed to acquire Ralcorp Holdings (RAH) for $90.00 per share, or about $6.8B including the assumption of debt. Shares of Ralcorp shot up $18.57, or 26.44%, to $88.80 following the deal announcement and ConAgra also climbed $1.34, or 4.74%, $29.63 after the news... Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), in response to an open letter issued by Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, said it has evidence that Autonomy inflated its financial metrics and would take legal action on the matter when appropriate. Shares of HP traded lower on the session, down 38c, or 2.98%, to $12.36... MAJOR MOVERS: Among notable gainers were shares of Monster Beverage (MNST) up $6.08, or 13.26%, to $51.96 after Goldman said the FDA's response to Senator Durbin's letter on energy drinks was generally benign and encouraging. Also higher was ACADIA Pharmaceuticals (ACAD), up $3.13, or 136.09%, to $5.43 following its report of positive results from a trial of its treatment for Parkinson's disease psychosis, or PDP. Among the noteworthy losers was McMoRan Exploration (MMR), which slid another $1.47, or 15.23%, to $8.18 a day after the company provided an update on its Gulf of Mexico exploration results and indicated ongoing well difficulties. Also lower were shares of Thor Industries (THO), down $5.00, or 11.47%, to $38.60 after a disappointing Q1 report... INDICES: The Dow was down 89.24, or 0.69%, to 12,878.13; the Nasdaq was down 8.99, or 0.30%, to 2,967.79; and the S&P 500 was down 7.35, or 0.52%, to 1,398.94.
News For CAG;RAH;HPQ;MNST;ACAD;MMR;THO From The Last 14 Days
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June 22, 2015
10:00 EDTCAGOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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07:38 EDTCAGConAgra upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
JPMorgan upgraded ConAgra to Overweight citing an attractive risk/reward profile following the activist stake by JANA Partners. The firm is confident the company will undergo changes, which it believes could include a breakup. It raised its price target for shares to $52 from $39.
June 19, 2015
16:24 EDTCAGStocks end week higher after Fed reassures on gradual pace of rate increases
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16:17 EDTCAGOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in negative territory and remained there throughout the entire day. The economic calendar was quiet and the news flow was slow, leaving the averages to move in a narrow range until the final hour, when “quadruple witching” action kicked in and moved them a leg lower. The simultaneous expiration of futures and options can cause increased volatility, which occurred as the day’s volume was light. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. Rig Count declined 2 rigs from last week to 857. In Europe, the ECB agreed to raise the limit on Emergency Liquidity Assistance to Greek banks for the second time in a week, though there were contradictory reports about the size of the increase. Next, the eurozone's heads of government will meet for an emergency summit to discuss Greece on Monday. In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite index dropped 6.4%, bringing the benchmark's weekly loss to 13.3% and sending the index into correction territory. The Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged and maintained its asset purchases program, as expected. The BOJ also said it will reduce the number of policy meetings it holds each year to 8 from the current 14 meetings, putting it on par with other major central banks. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of ConAgra (CAG) advanced $4.31, or 11.02%, to $43.43 after activist investor Jana Partners reported that it has acquired a 7.2% stake in the packaged foods company. Jana suggested that the company should undertake a strategic review of its strategy and corporate structure to determine if its businesses are optimally positioned to succeed, as well as various potential alternative transactions and structures... Another food producer, Hershey (HSY), fell $3.38, or 3.66%, to $88.89 after lowering its outlook for this fiscal year. The chocolate maker said its North America confectionery business is on track to deliver on its 2015 financial objectives, but cited growth in China that was below expectations for its lowered outlook. Hershey also announced the implementation of a new productivity initiative that will result in the company cutting about 300 jobs by the end of this year. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers following the activist involvement in ConAgra were a number of its peers, including Pinnacle Foods (PF), which rose 8.58% to $46.80, and Treehouse Foods (THS), which gained 4.86% to $75.55. Also higher was KB Home (KBH), which gained $1.41, or 9.43%, to $16.37 after the homebuilder reported better than expected results for its fiscal second quarter. Among the noteworthy losers was Healthways (HWAY), which sunk $3.13, or 20.15%, to $12.40 after the health management solutions provider lowered its revenue outlook for fiscal year 2015. Also lower were shares of Finisar (FNSR), which fell $2.27, or 10.25%, to $19.88 and were downgraded at Raymond James following the company's fourth quarter earnings report last night. INDEXES: The Dow dropped 101.56, or 0.56%, to 18,014.28, the Nasdaq fell 15.95, or 0.31%, to 5,117.00, and the S&P 500 lost 11.49, or 0.54%, to 2,109.75.
14:46 EDTCAGConAgra hits new 52-week high, up nearly 11% after JANA discloses 7.2% stake
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12:29 EDTCAGOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in quiet fashion and trading has remained that way throughout the morning, despite a lack of a resolution in Greece and a steep slide in China's stock market. The averages spent the morning in negative territory, but the losses have been mild and the indexes have drifted in a narrow range. Of note, today is “quadruple witching,” which can create extra volatility toward the close. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no major data was reported. The latest count of U.S. oil and gas rigs by Baker Hughes is scheduled for 1:00 pm EDT. In Europe, the ECB held a call on the provision of Emergency Liquidity Assistance to Greek banks and agreed to raise the limit on the emergency funding for the second time in a week, though there were contradictory reports about the size of the increase. Next, the eurozone's heads of government will meet for an emergency summit to discuss Greece on Monday. In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite index closed the session down 6.4%, bringing the benchmark's weekly loss to 13.3% and sending the index into correction territory. The Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged and maintained its asset purchases program, as expected. The central bank also said it will reduce the number of its Monetary Policy Meetings to 8 per year from the current 14 meetings, putting it on par with other major central banks. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of ConAgra (CAG) advanced over 8.5% after activist investor Jana Partners reported that it has acquired a 7.2% stake in the packaged foods company. Jana suggested that the company should undertake a strategic review of its strategy and corporate structure to determine if its businesses are optimally positioned to succeed, as well as various potential alternative transactions and structures. Credit Suisse raised its price target on ConAgra to $42 from $34 following the announcement of Jana Partners' involvement, but the firm said ConAgra's enormous debt load from the Ralcorp acquisition limits upside potential from an all-out break up and doubts the board would consider this option. Deutsche Bank similarly said that the firm's sense is that the company's board is reluctant to break up the company's parts. Nonetheless, Deutsche laid out its "optimistic" sum-of-the-parts analysis, which yields a $47 potential value for the stock. The firm, however, raised its price target for ConAgra shares to only $38 from $36 and kept a Hold rating on the name. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was AirMedia Group (AMCN), which gained 42% after announcing receipt of non-binding "going private" proposal for a group led by its CEO to acquire all of the outstanding shares of AirMedia for $6.00 in cash per American depositary share. Also higher was KB Home (KBH), which gained nearly 10% after the homebuilder reported better than expected results for its fiscal second quarter. Among the noteworthy losers was Healthways (HWAY), which sunk 22% after the health management solutions provider lowered its revenue outlook for fiscal year 2015. Also lower following a guidance cut was Hershey (HSY), which fell 4%. The chocolate maker cited growth in China that was below expectations for its lowered outlook and also announced the implementation of a new productivity initiative that will result in the reduction of approximately 300 jobs by the end of 2015. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 54.34, or 0.3%, to 18,061.50, the Nasdaq was down 15.23, or 0.3%, to 5,117.72, and the S&P 500 was down 6.64, or 0.31%, to 2,114.60.
10:19 EDTCAGHigh option volume stocks
High option volume stocks: FISV SID MTH MDXG BEAV INVE AMCN CAG OVAS MCHP
09:18 EDTCAGOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:08 EDTCAGConAgra July volatility elevated into Jana Partners disclosing a 7.2% stake
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07:44 EDTHPQTamr receives $25.2M in financing from HP Ventures, Thomson Reuters, others
Tamr announced that it has raised $25.2M in Series B financing from Hewlett Packard Ventures (HPQ); Thomson Reuters (TRI); MassMutual Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and others. Current Tamr investors NEA and Google Ventures (GOOG) also participated in the round. Tamr will use the funds to significantly grow sales as well as product engineering for Tamr’s scalable data unification platform.
07:20 EDTCAGConAgra board may be reluctant to a break-up, says Deutsche Bank
After JANA Partners reported an activist stake in ConAgra, Deutsche Bank says its sense is that the board is reluctant to breaking up the company's parts. Nonetheless, Deutsche laid out its "optimistic" sum-of-the-parts analysis, which yields a $47 target for the stock. This includes $27 for the Consumer division, $11 for Commercial, $6 for Private Brands and $3 for the Ardent joint venture. The firm raised its price target for ConAgra shares to $38 from $36 and keeps a Hold rating on the name
07:16 EDTCAGConAgra breakup unlikely, says Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse raised Neutral rated ConAgra's price target to $42 from $34 following the announcement of activist investor Jana Partners' 7.2% stake in the company. The firm said ConAgra's enormous debt load from the Ralcorp acquisition limits upside potential from an all-out break up and doubts the Board would consider this option. Credit Suisse believes the most logical recommendation would be to sell the struggling private label business to TreeHouse for $4B in a tax advantaged structure relieving management from the distraction of turning the business around.
06:46 EDTCAGConAgra price target raised to $44 from $37 at Bernstein
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05:55 EDTCAGStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; THC CAG
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June 18, 2015
19:00 EDTCAGOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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17:57 EDTCAGJANA prepared to seek three ConAgra board seats
JANA is prepared, if necessary, to nominate Messrs. Alford, Lawrence and Rosenstein for election to ConAgra's board of directors and to participate in the solicitation of proxies in support of the Potential Nominees. JANA believes that the Potential Nominees possess the necessary expertise, experience and focus on shareholder value to help the Board evaluate and address opportunities for shareholder value creation, including but not limited to: undertaking a strategic review of the company’s strategy and corporate structure to determine if its businesses are optimally positioned to succeed, as well as various potential alternative transactions and structures; addressing the company’s operational performance and cost structure; and optimizing the company’s capital allocation policies and capital structure. JANA has requested, however, that the company delay the June 21 deadline to submit notice of stockholder nominations for the company’s 2015 annual meeting of stockholders in order to give the company and JANA more time to have collaborative discussions regarding the steps JANA believes the company should take to maximize shareholder value, as well as why JANA believes stockholders would benefit from the addition of the Potential Nominees to the Board.
16:59 EDTCAGConAgra says 'looks forward to opening discusssions with JANA'
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16:53 EDTCAGConAgra up 6.1% after Jana Partners reports stake, says company is undervalued
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16:52 EDTCAGJana Partners reports 7.2% stake in ConAgra
Jana Partners acquired the shares because they believe the shares are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity. JANA believes that the company has significantly underperformed in shareholder value creation. Most significantly, the acquisition of Ralcorp Inc. in January 2013, which in JANA’s opinion was the most significant recent strategic decision made by the board, has been followed by disappointing performance for shareholders, repeated guidance misses, negative revisions to long term earnings targets, no dividend per share growth, and operating performance challenges. Issues with this acquisition led to the company taking a $1.3B impairment on March 26, after which JANA began purchasing the shares and analyzing opportunities for improved shareholder value creation. JANA believes that in the period since the Ralcorp acquisition, the board has failed to adequately address the shareholder value destruction and persistent underperformance that followed the Ralcorp acquisition.
15:05 EDTHPQOracle hires David Donatelli to lead Converged Infrastructure
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