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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 27, 2013
12:14 EDTMFRM, RAX, AOL, LOGM, CLFOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday though well off their worst levels. The market dropped sharply at the open, with the early weakness being attributed to continued worries about Europe, where Cyprus has yet to reopen its banks and Italy is still struggling to form a new government. The selling soon pushed the Dow to triple digit losses, but the Dow and the other averages cut their losses by more than half by noon. In addition to the impending holiday weekend, the end of the quarter is approaching and investment managers may be making portfolio adjustments today and tomorrow since they will be unable to on Friday... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., pending home sales dipped 0.4% in February from the prior month, compared to expectations for a 0.3% decline. On a year-over-year basis, however, pending sales were up 5%. In Europe, Italian benchmark bonds fell after the nation's Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani said there was no possibility of a broad coalition to resolve the deadlock caused by last month's elections... COMPANY NEWS: Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) was in the sights of a number of Wall Street analysts, as Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stock to Underweight from Equal Weight and Credit Suisse lowered its price target on the stock to $10 from $30. Goldman Sachs upgraded Cliffs due to valuation, but that only brought the firm's rating up to a Neutral from its prior Sell recommendation. Shares of Cliffs sank 15% following the flurry of notes to investors... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Mattress Firm (MFRM), up 10% following its earnings report, and AOL (AOL), up over 7% after being upgraded at Barclays. Among the noteworthy losers was LogMeln (LOGM), which slid 12% near noon to give back some of the 20% advance it garnered yesterday following a positive ruling in a patent lawsuit. Also lower were shares of Rackspace (RAX), which fell 4% after CLSA initiated coverage of the stock with an Underperform rating and $52 price target... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was down 44.94, or 0.31%, to 14,514.71; the Nasdaq was down 6.03, or 0.19%, to 3,246.45; and the S&P 500 was down 4.09, or 0.26%, to 1,559.68.
News For CLF;AOL;MFRM;LOGM;RAX From The Last 14 Days
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February 9, 2016
17:26 EDTMFRMBerkshire Partners reports 10.4% stake in Mattress Firm
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08:37 EDTLOGMLogMeln weakness creates buying opportunity, says Pacific Crest
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February 8, 2016
09:07 EDTMFRM40 North sends letter to board of Mattress Firm, urges board changes
40 North Management, which holds a 8.5% stake in Mattress Firm, disclosed a letter it sent to the board of directors of the company, in which the investor stated in part: "[We] are compelled to write now given our recent dialogue with the Board and the Board's decision to amend the terms of the Sleepy's acquisition on February 3rd and issue over half a million shares of Company common stock to Company insiders including J.W. Childs affiliates at a near two-year low, a transaction which can only be described as an egregious insider deal. We recognize the current volatility in the credit markets, which pushed the Board to consider various financing alternatives including further equitizing the Company. But rather than provide all shareholders the opportunity to participate in the contemplated dilutive share offering, the Board deplorably issued equity solely to its insiders when the Company's stock was trading at what a J.W. Childs representative described as a significantly undervalued price...40 North would gladly have participated in the February 3rd share issuance had it been offered the opportunity to do so, and we believe the Company would have been far better served by issuing the stock to its truly long-term shareholders rather than J.W. Childs who has been a consistent seller of the stock for years. In recent conversations with members of the Board affiliated with J.W. Childs, we discussed changes to the makeup of the current Board to address our governance concerns, including a proposal made by members of the Board to add two 40 North representatives to the Board. While we are clearly willing to serve on the Board, we ultimately concluded that the appointment of 40 North representatives alone was inadequate and a broader transformation to the composition of the Board was required to ameliorate the Company's significant corporate governance issues and shareholder misalignment. In particular, J.W. Childs must commit to taking a minority position, commensurate with its economic ownership, and to the appointment of new unaffiliated independent directors to serve as the majority."
February 7, 2016
14:05 EDTCLFCliffs Natural reaches Bloom Lake settlements, will adopt governance changes
Cliffs Natural Resources announced it has reached agreements in principle to settle both the putative federal securities class action pending in the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the combined shareholder derivative actions pending in the Court of Common Pleas of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The lawsuits were based, among other things, on the alleged dissemination of false or misleading information by the previous management and previous board of directors regarding the company's former Bloom Lake mine in Canada. The settlements are subject to court approval, and will have "no impact" on the company's financial position or operations, Cliffs noted. The agreement in the securities action provides for a settlement payment to the class of $84M, the totality of which will be paid by the company's third party insurance carriers. Under the terms of the settlement for the derivative actions, the company has agreed to adopt a number of changes to its corporate governance policies, protocols and practices. In addition, the company's insurance carriers will pay $775,000 for plaintiff's attorneys' fees and costs.
February 5, 2016
16:08 EDTMFRMMattress Firm sees annual synergies of $40M by FY18 from Sleepy's acquisition
Mattress Firm announced the completion of its acquisition of all of the outstanding equity interests in HMK Mattress Holdings, the holding company of Sleepy's and related entities, for an aggregate purchase price of $780M, subject to working capital and other customary adjustments. The Company expects to generate annual synergies of approximately $40M by Fiscal 2018. In addition, the Company expects to receive future cash income tax benefits totaling over $11M annually for more than 10 years from the deductible tax basis goodwill generated from the transaction and from the carryover tax basis of other assets, both subject to the Company's ability to generate future taxable income. Mattress Firm expects mid-single digit EPS dilution in FY16, becoming EPS accretive in FY17 and growing to high-single digit EPS accretion by FY18, excluding one-time costs. The combined company anticipates it can generate significant free cash flow, which can be used primarily to pay down debt and/or undertake future organic growth or potential acquisitions.
06:42 EDTCLFCliffs Natural solvency concerns mounting, says Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank analyst Jorge Beristain says that while successful execution of the recently announced debt exchange offer could bring a short-term catalyst for shares of Cliffs Natural, it may not alter medium-term solvency concerns. Post the company's Q4 results, the analyst cut his price target for the shares to $1.00 from $1.50 on lower iron ore realizations. He believes solvency concerns are mounting and reiterates a Sell rating on Cliffs.
February 3, 2016
14:00 EDTMFRMMattress Firm agrees to issue 1.76M shares of common stock
On February 3, 2016, the company agreed to issue an aggregate of 1,762,236 shares of common stock. The Company expects to complete the issuance of the shares of common stock, which issuance will be equivalent to approximately 4.9% of the currently issued and outstanding shares of common stock, on February 5. The Company will receive cash in exchange for 699,300 shares and the remaining 1,062,936 shares will be issued as partial purchase price consideration in exchange for equity interests in Sleepy's. The Board of Directors of the Company approved the issuance after the close of trading on February 2 at a price per share of $35.75.
13:53 EDTMFRMMattress Firm sees Sleepy transaction mid-single digit dilutive in FY16
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February 1, 2016
16:24 EDTCLFMesabi Trust receives royalty report of iron ore product shipments from Cliffs
On January 29, the Trustees of Mesabi Trust (MSB) received the quarterly royalty report of iron ore product shipments from Silver Bay, Minnesota during the quarter ended December 31, 2015 from Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), the parent company of Northshore Mining Company. As previously reported, on January 15, 2016, the Trustees declared a distribution of 5c per Unit of Beneficial Interest payable on February 20 to Mesabi Trust Unitholders of record at the close of business on January 30. As reported by Cliffs, based on shipments of iron ore products by Northshore during the three months ended December 31, 2015, Mesabi Trust was credited with a base royalty of $2.86M. Mesabi Trust also was credited with a bonus royalty in the amount of $271,153, based on the average sales price per ton of iron ore pellets and the volume of shipments by Northshore during the fourth calendar quarter of 2015. Royalties paid to Mesabi Trust, however, reflected a reduction of $797,170 as a result of negative pricing adjustments to base and bonus royalty calculations related to changes in price estimates made in the previous calendar quarters of 2015. Accordingly, the total royalty payments received on January 29, 2016 by Mesabi Trust from Northshore were $2.42M. The royalties paid to Mesabi Trust are based on the volume of shipments of iron ore pellets for the quarter and the year to date, the pricing of iron ore product sales, and the percentage of iron ore pellet shipments from Mesabi Trust lands rather than from non-Mesabi Trust lands. In the fourth calendar quarter of 2015, Northshore credited Mesabi Trust with 981,102 tons of iron ore, as compared to 1,244,364 tons during Q4 of 2014.
January 27, 2016
09:12 EDTCLFOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Biogen (BIIB), up 5.6%... Hawaiian Holdings (HA), up 6.7%... Capital One (COF), up 1.5%. ALSO HIGHER: Capnia (CAPN), up 34.1% after entering into an exclusive distribution agreement with Bemes... Fate Therapeutics (FATE), up 18.6% after announcing that the FDA has cleared the company's investigational new drug application for ProTmune... Raptor Pharmaceutical (RPTP), up 12.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Aquinox (AQXP), up 5.6% after Baker Bros. buys 140,786 shares in the company... Sunedison (SUNE), up 7.4% after SunEdison and Greenlight Capital announced that they have mutually agreed to corporate governance initiatives... Citizens Financial Group (CFG), up 3% after it will be added to the S&P 500... Terex (TEX), up 5.2% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Tupperware Brands (TUP), down 11.4%... VMware (VMW), down 6.5%... Textron (TXT), down 9.9%... Cliffs Natural (CLF), down 5.8%... Boeing (BA), down 6.2%... Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), down 3%... Apple (AAPL), down 3.4%. ALSO LOWER: Priceline (PCLN), down 2.9% after being downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), down 4.2% after being downgraded at Citi and KeyBanc... Tripadvisor (TRIP), down 5.5% after being downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman.
08:07 EDTCLFCliffs Natural sees FY16 CapEx $50M vs. $83M in FY15
For 2016, Cliffs expects full-year sales volume of approximately 17.5 million tons from its U.S. Iron Ore business. In order to reduce pellet inventory levels and generate cash flow from working capital, the Company currently plans to produce approximately 16 million tons of iron ore pellets. Cliffs' full-year 2016 U.S. Iron Ore cash production cost per ton expectation is $50 - $55. The Company's cash cost of goods sold per ton expectation is $55 - $60, representing a reduction of $5 from the previously disclosed 2016 cash costs of goods sold per ton expectation of $60 - $65. Cliffs anticipates depreciation, depletion and amortization to be approximately $7 per ton for full-year 2016. The Company remains in active negotiations with the United Steelworkers and is committed to reaching a fair and equitable agreement. The current contract has been extended by mutual agreement of both parties. The contract extension covers approximately 2,200 USW-represented workers at Cliffs' Empire and Tilden mines in Michigan, and its United Taconite and Hibbing Taconite mines in Minnesota. Cliffs' full-year 2016 Asia Pacific Iron Ore expected sales and production volume is approximately 11.5 million tons. The product mix is expected to contain 50 percent lump and 50 percent fines. The Company expects full-year 2016 interest expense to be approximately $240 million, of which approximately $205 million is cash interest. Cliffs expects full-year 2016 capital expenditures to be $50 million, a significant reduction compared to 2015 expenditures of $83 million. The reduction is driven by the divestiture of the remaining coal assets as well as spending discipline exhibited in the U.S. Iron Ore business.
08:06 EDTCLFCliffs Natural reports Q4 US Iron Ore total sales volume 4.5M
U.S. Iron Ore pellet sales volume in the fourth quarter of 2015 was 4.5 million tons, a 42 percent decrease when compared with 7.8 million tons sold in the fourth quarter of 2014. The decrease was driven principally by the termination of a customer contract, lower demand from U.S. mills and higher sales in the comparable quarter in the prior year from the delayed start-up of the 2014 shipping season. Cash production cost per ton in U.S. Iron Ore was $45.36, down 23 percent from $58.96 in the prior year's fourth quarter. The decrease was driven by lower employment costs, reduced maintenance and repair costs, and year-over-year lower energy rates. Reports Q4 US Iron Ore total production volume 4.5M. Fourth-quarter 2015 Asia Pacific Iron Ore sales volume of 2.9 million was flat compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.
08:04 EDTCLFCliffs Natural reports Q4 cont ops EPS (14c), consensus (26c)
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January 26, 2016
14:32 EDTCLFNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's open, with earnings consensus, include Novartis (NVS), consensus $1.18... Boeing (BA), consensus $1.26... United Technologies (UTX), consensus $1.52... Biogen (BIIB), consensus $4.08... EMC (EMC), consensus 65c... General Dynamics (GD), consensus $2.38... Anthem (ANTM), consensus $1.22... Illinois Tool Works (ITW), consensus $1.21... State Street (STT), consensus $1.18... Norfolk Southern (NSC), consensus $1.24... Progressive (PGR), consensus 47c... St. Jude Medical (STJ), consensus $1.01... Rockwell Automation (ROK), consensus $1.33... Textron (TXT), consensus 83c... Hess (HES), consensus ($1.47)... Cliffs Natural (CLF), consensus (26c).

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