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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
May 27, 2014
12:43 EDTHSH, PF, PPC, WCG, ARO, NTLS, SOn 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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August 13, 2014
10:03 EDTHSH, PFPinnacle Foods says Hillshire Brands failed deal caused 'six weeks' distraction
Pinnacle Foods (PF) says it has not lost any key executives following the "six weeks of distraction" caused by its aborted merger with Hillshire Brand (HSH). The company said it lost six weeks to investigate other M&A during that time, but that Pinnacle plans to be a consolidator and is back and active on exploring M&A opportunities. Comments from Pinnacle Foods' Q2 earnings conference call.
08:34 EDTPFPinnacle Foods backs FY14 EPS $1.70-$1.75, consensus $1.74
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08:33 EDTPFPinnacle Foods reports Q2 North American Retail sales up 11% to $536.2M
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08:32 EDTPFPinnacle Foods reports Q2 EPS 33c, consensus 33c
Reports Q2 revenue $617.8M, consensus $629.33M
07:32 EDTHSHHillshire Brands not providing public targets for FY15
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07:31 EDTHSHHillshire Brands reports Q4 adjusted EPS 33c, consensus 26c
Reports Q4 revenue $1.1B, consensus $994.1M. As previously announced, on July 1, Hillshire Brands entered into a definitive agreement with Tyson Foods (TSN) under which Tyson will acquire all outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands for $63 per share. On August 12, 2014, each of Tyson and Hillshire Brands received a request for additional information, each often referred to as a “second request,” from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in connection with the proposed acquisition. Each second request was issued pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. The second requests relate only to a very small portion of the combined Tyson/Hillshire Brands business, and the parties are working expeditiously to resolve this matter with the Antitrust Division. Tyson and Hillshire Brands continue to expect that the transaction, which remains subject to customary closing conditions, will be completed by September 27.
August 12, 2014
18:31 EDTHSHTyson, Hillshire Brands announce extension of tender offer for Hillshire shares
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17:26 EDTSDish viewed as favored T-Mobile acquirer after Sprint drops bid, Bloomberg says
Dish Network (DISH) is viewed as a favorite to acquire T-Mobile (TMUS) after Sprint (S) dropped its plans to acquire the company last week, according to Bloomberg, citing analysts at Moody's Investors Service and Macquarie Group. Being an industry outsider, Dish wouldn't reduce the number of competitors in the wireless market, which would please regulators, Bloomberg added. Reference Link
15:23 EDTPFNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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12:31 EDTAROAbercrombie upgraded at Stifel citing better assortment, trimmed costs
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) were upgraded by research firm Stifel this morning, though the retailer's shares are slightly lower in early afternoon trading. WHAT'S NEW: Stifel analyst Richard Jaffe upgraded Abercrombie & Fitch to Buy from Hold, citing the retailer's better merchandise assortment and reshaped cost structure. Jaffe feels that Abercrombie & Fitch had been running with overblown expenses and believes that having a slimmer cost structure will allow the company to influence sales better and boost future EPS. The analyst raised his Q4 EPS estimate to $1.94 from $1.87, his FY14 EPS estimate to $2.50 from $2.43 and his FY15 EPS estimate to $3.40 from $3.14. Over the next year, Jaffe said that he expects A&F shares will be valued for the company's effort to win back customers at its Hollister and Abercrombie stores. Still, he said that Q3 could continue to be a struggle for the retailer due to external obstacles that are still a headwind. The firm maintains a $50 price target on the retailer's shares. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Analysts at Wunderlich also initiated coverage of the stock this morning with a Buy rating and a $48 price target. PRICE ACTION: During early afternoon trading, shares of Abercrombie & Fitch fell 9c, or 0.2%, to $41.47. OTHERS TO WATCH: Rivals to Abercrombie & Fitch include Aeropostale (ARO), Urban Outfitters (URBN), and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO).
11:10 EDTAROHigh option volume stocks
High option volume stocks: ACM KATE ARO TKMR ODP ICPT GPI FENG LINTA NDLS
10:00 EDTAROOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
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08:42 EDTAROAeropostale initiated with a Hold at Wunderlich
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August 11, 2014
18:05 EDTSSprint CEO to utilize price cuts to 'compete aggressively', Bloomberg reports
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17:20 EDTHSHUltimate Software to replace Hillshire Brands in S&P 400 as of 8/14 close
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06:01 EDTSStocks with implied volatility movement; S APC
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August 8, 2014
17:10 EDTSMarket finishes week up slightly as earnings offset by political events
Stocks finished the week fractionally higher than where they started as strong corporate earnings reports and better than expected economic data was weighed against concerns about geopolitical issues and negative M&A news. MACRO NEWS: A few ongoing geopolitical conflicts worried investors and weighed on shares. Russia unveiled sanctions against Western countries, banning the import of a wide range of food items from the U.S, the EU and a few allied countries in response to sanctions recently enacted against it from G7 nations... President Obama authorized the bombing of rebels in Iraq and Hamas and Israel failed to reach a permanent truce... An ISM services index, the U.S. trade deficit for June, and weekly jobless claims were all better than expected. Meanwhile, the increase in unit labor costs last quarter came in below the consensus outlook, perhaps easing fears that the Fed will need to raise interest rates sooner than expected. COMPANY NEWS: On the M&A front, two huge potential deals fell through as 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) withdrew its offer to acquire Time Warner (TWX) and Sprint (S) reportedly decided to end its pursuit of a merger with peer T-Mobile (TMUS)... President Obama indicated that his administration would take unilateral steps in an effort to prevent companies from carrying out tax inversion acquisitions. Among the deals or possible transactions that involve inversion are Medtronic's (MDT) acquisition of Covidien (COV), Valeant's (VRX) proposed takeover of Allergan (AGN) and Mylan's (MYL) acquisition of Abbott's (ABT) developed markets branded generics pharmaceuticals business. Meanwhile, Walgreen's (WAG) stock tumbled after the U.S. company said it would not structure its takeover of European drugstore chain Alliance Boots as a tax inversion deal... 21st Century Fox, 3D printer maker Stratasys (SSYS), chip maker NVIDIA (NVDA), brewer Molson Coors (TAP), and luxury accessories maker Coach (COH) all rose following their earnings reports. Conversely, Target (TGT), luxury accessories maker Michael Kors (KORS) and Internet coupon provider Groupon (GRPN) fell following their results or guidance... Gannett (GCI) struck a deal to acquire the remaining 73% interest in Classified Ventures, whose primary asset is the online car shopping website Cars.com, for $1.8B from the other partners in the venture, which include McClatchy (MNI), Tribune Media (TRBAA), Graham Holdings (GHC) and A. H. Belo (AHC). Gannett also announced plans to spin-off its Publishing business, which includes USA Today, through a tax-free distribution to shareholders... McDonald's (MCD) stock was little changed after the company reported that its comparable store sales fell 2.5% in July, which was significantly worse than expected. Food quality issues weighed on the fast food company's sales in Asia and as a result of the China supplier issue, the company warned its previously issued global comparable sales forecast for 2014 is now at risk. INDEXES: The Dow finished the week up 0.35% to 16,553.93, the S&P 500 rose 0.32% to 1,931.59, and the Nasdaq gained 0.41% to 4,370.90.
11:32 EDTSSprint is preparing to engage in fierce pricing war, WSJ reports
Sprint (S) is preparing to engage in a fierce price competition on the heels of an almost complete network revamp, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing Masayoshi Son, the CEO of parent company Softbank (SFTBY). Sprint is currently testing new pricing plans, and will utilize its "street fighter" strategies to take on larger rivals Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T). "Price competition will intensify. Sprint will soon be ready to join the fray," Son said. Reference Link
11:32 EDTSStocks with call strike movement; WETF S
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06:08 EDTST-Mobile plans to overtake Sprint in total customers by end of year, CEO says
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