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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 27, 2014
12:43 EDTS, WCG, HSH, NTLS, PPC, ARO, PFOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the first session of the holiday shortened week in positive territory and have remained there throughout the morning. The averages found a level early in the session and have remained locked in a narrow range since, albeit at record levels for the Dow and S&P. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., durable orders rose 0.8% in April, beating expectations for them to have fallen 0.7% in the month. The Case Shiller 20-city home price index rose 1.2% in March, which was more than expected. Markit's flash services PMI climbed to 58.4 in May from 55.0 in April. The Richmond Fed manufacturing index for May held at 7 for a second straight month. A reading of consumer confidence improved to 83.0 in May, as expected, after slipping to 81.7 last month. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Hillshire Brands (HSH), which sell packaged foods under brands including Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Van's Natural Foods, and Sara Lee, jumped 22% to trade over $45 per share after receiving an unsolicited $45 per share takeover proposal from chicken producer Pilgrim's Pride (PPC). Pilgrim's Pride shares rose 1.6% after it made its offer public, but shares of another company in the space, Pinnacle Foods (PF), sank nearly 7% as it had previously agreed to be acquired by Hillshire... In other M&A news, Pfizer (PFE) confirmed over the weekend that it does not intend to make an offer for AstraZeneca (AZN) after the U.K. drugmaker rejected Pfizer's final proposal to combine the two companies. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was apparel retailer Aeropostale (ARO), which rose 15% and was upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at Piper Jaffray after entering into definitive agreements with respect to its previously announced strategic partnership and $150M credit facilities with Sycamore Partners. Also higher was WellCare (WCG), which rose more than 3.5% after an analyst at Leerink speculated that it may be an acquisition target for Ascension Health after the not-for-profit healthcare provider reportedly said last week that it is in talks to acquire an "unnamed insurance company that operates in 18 states." Among the noteworthy losers was NTELOS (NTLS), which fell nearly 8% after research firm Jefferies downgraded the stock and said NTELOS is much less likely to be acquired after the company struck a deal to remain the exclusive network provider for Sprint (S) in West Virginia and part of Virginia through 2022. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 55.45, or 0.33%, to 16,661.72, the Nasdaq was up 34.02, or 0.81%, to 4,219.83, and the S&P 500 was up 8.33, or 0.44%, to 1,908.86.
News For HSH;PF;PPC;WCG;ARO;NTLS;S From The Last 14 Days
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March 26, 2015
09:02 EDTSSamsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge to be available in U.S. beginning April 10
Samsung Electronics America (SSNLF) announced the Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 edge will be available in the U.S. beginning April 10, with pre-orders starting March 27. In the U.S., the Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 edge will be available in Black Sapphire, White Pearl and Gold Platinum -- in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB2 memory options. AT&T (T), Sprint (S), T-Mobile (TMUS), U.S. Cellular (USM) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) will carry both the Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 edge, while Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS will carry the Galaxy S 6. Samsung Experience Shops at Best Buy (BBY), as well as Amazon.com (AMZN), Costco Wholesale (COST), Sam’s Club (WMT), Target (TGT) and Walmart will also carry the Galaxy S 6 and Galaxy S 6 edge. Carriers and retailers will confirm specific pricing and availability.
March 25, 2015
11:58 EDTPPCStephens food/agribusiness analyst holds analyst/industry conference call
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08:57 EDTPPCJBS S.A. weighing IPO for U.S. unit, Bloomberg reports
The world’s biggest meat producer, JBS S.A. (JBSAY), is mulling plans for an initial public offering of its U.S. unit, according to Bloomberg, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Other publicly traded companies in the meat production space include Hormel Foods (HRL), Pilgrim's Pride (PPC), Sanderson Farms (SAFM) and Tyson Foods (TSN). Reference Link
March 24, 2015
11:40 EDTPFMcCormick hits 52-week high after Q1 results top expectations
Shares of spices, seasonings and condiments maker McCormick & Company (MKC) are advancing after the company's first quarter results surpassed analysts' consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, McCormick reported Q1 adjusted earnings per share of 70c excluding a 15c impact of special charges on revenue of $1.01B, topping analysts' consensus estimates of 64c and $985.12M, respectively. McCormick's Q1 sales rose 2% from the year-ago period and in constant currency, the increase was 6%. Consumer business sales rose 5% in constant currency in Q1 due to increased volume and product mix driven by product innovation, brand marketing support and expanded distribution. Industrial business sales grew 7% in constant currency, with higher volume and product mix, as well as pricing actions. WHAT’S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, the company forecast fiscal year 2015 adjusted EPS of EPS $3.44-$3.51, below its prior view of $3.51-$3.58 given in January and analysts' estimates for FY15 of $3.53. The company continues to expect 4%-6% sales growth in constant currency for FY15. Based on year-to-date results and prevailing exchange rates, currency is now expected to lower this sales growth range by 5 percentage points, which is more than the previous projection of 3 percentage points. In constant currency, adjusted operating income is expected to grow 6%-7% from adjusted operating income of $608M in 2014. McCormick also raised its anticipated special charges for the year to $30M from $20M due to a higher response rate to its voluntary retirement program and additional actions in EMEA. McCormick is also targeting cost reductions of at least $85M in FY15, which are expected to help offset higher material costs. The company sees its Comprehensive Continuous Improvement program delivering at least $65M in 2015, and sees savings from reorganization actions of $20M. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Wilson commented that Q1 operating income was unfavorably impacted by several factors including special charges, unfavorable currency rates and higher material costs. Wilson said the company anticipates that these headwinds will continue in 2015, but expect the benefit of pricing actions and cost reduction efforts to build in the upcoming quarters. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, McCormick rose $2.90 or 3.96% to $76.10 on more than twice its average daily trading volume. The stock hit a fresh 52-week high of $77.79 earlier in the session. Including today's advance, the shares have gained nearly 13% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies in the food space include TreeHouse Foods (THS), down 0.8%, B&G Foods (BGS), up 1.2%, and Pinnacle Foods (PF), up 0.1%.
08:52 EDTSSprint CEO may make 'unfortunate misstep,' says FBR Capital
FBR Capital says its vendor checks indicate new Sprint CEO Marcello Claure has undertaken a strategic review of the company's competitive positioning. The firm believes Truco, the strategic advisory group brought in by Claure, is advocating a "premature network rip and replace program." FBR says this approach of converting Sprint's 1.9GHZ spectrum to uplink would be an "unfortunate misstep and a missed opportunity to embrace the technology shift underway." The firm sees risk of Sprint under-investing and weakening its franchise value further. It has a Market Perform rating on the name.
06:12 EDTWCGWellCare says Chairman David Gallitano will not stand for re-election
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March 23, 2015
07:13 EDTSRadioShack bankruptcy auction to begin Monday, WSJ says
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March 22, 2015
14:59 EDTPFPinnacle Foods enters bidding for meatless food company Quorn, Telegraph says
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March 20, 2015
08:18 EDTWCGLeerink healthcare services analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
Healthcare Services Analyst Gupte discusses Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and the proposed pay-fors and implications For Healthcare Services on an Analyst/Industry conference call to be held on March 20 at 11 am.
March 18, 2015
13:59 EDTST-Mobile announces 'Un-contract,' 'Carrier Freedom' initiatives
Today, during an event held to announce Un-carrier 9.0 − Un-carrier for Business − T-Mobile (TMUS) unveiled two new major Un-carrier initiatives for consumers. First, with T-Mobile’s new "Un-contract," customers will now have more certainty in their wireless pricing than ever before. Consumers and businesses with the Simple Choice rate plan will find that rates won’t go up as long as they’re a T-Mobile customer and keep their plan − and even customers with unlimited 4G LTE will lock in their rates for a minimum of two years. The Un-carrier also launched "Carrier Freedom," a new move where T-Mobile will now cover all outstanding phone and tablet payments up to $650 per line when customers from AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) or Sprint (S) switch to T-Mobile.

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