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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 15, 2014
07:32 EDTMWVMeadWestvaco announces new cost savings program
MeadWestvaco announced a new program to generate increased earnings and cash flow from its packaging businesses. The program is expected to deliver annual pre-tax cost savings of $100M-$125M by the end of 2015, with at least $75M expected to be realized in 2014. Key elements of the program include: Implementing a leaner organization design across the packaging businesses to simplify the structure and speed decision making; Aligning the corporate infrastructure to the revenue base; Reassessing participation to focus on business lines and markets within packaging that provide the greatest opportunity for profitable growth; Prioritizing capital on the highest return projects to improve free cash flow. The program savings are in addition to MWVs previously announced overhead reduction actions targeting $75M-$80M by the end of 2014. Total combined annual cost savings from the two programs is expected to reach more than $200M by the end of 2015, with at least an additional $75M expected in 2014 from the new program. Free cash flow (cash flow after capital expenditures) is expected to increase by at least $100M in 2014 from higher expected after-tax earnings and a $50M reduction in capital expenditures to approximately $350M. By the end of 2015, MWV expects to have significantly improved the EBITDA margins of the Food & Beverage and Home, Health & Beauty packaging segments. Industrial Packaging, after initial start-up costs associated with the expansion of the Tres Barras mill in Brazil, is performing well and is expected to achieve EBITDA margins of at least 25 percent by the end of 2014. MWV has already begun implementing key components of the program, which the company began formulating in connection with the sale of its forestland assets to Plum Creek Timber Company.
News For MWV From The Last 14 Days
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January 29, 2015
10:00 EDTMWVOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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06:23 EDTMWVMeadWestvaco downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow
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January 27, 2015
07:11 EDTMWVRockTenn downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo downgraded RockTenn (RKT) to Market Perform following the company's merger agreement with MeadWestvaco (MWV).
06:21 EDTMWVGraphic Packaging, Packaging Corp. could be targets, says Citigroup
Citigroup believes the merger between Rock-Tenn (RKT) and MeadWestvaco (MWV) makes sense and that the combined company has 16% upside potential from current levels. Citi believes the $300M synergy target could prove conservative and raised its price target for Rock-Tenn shares to $77 from $72. It thinks smaller players in the Paper & Forest products space, Graphic Packaging (GPK) and Packaging Corp. (PKG), could be potential takeover targets either for an acquirer or for a merger following the Rock-Tenn/MeadWestvaco deal. Citi views International Paper (IP) as a potential acquirer.
January 26, 2015
16:39 EDTMWVOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:23 EDTMWVOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened lower and hit their session lows a short time after the opening bell rang. In addition to some jitters about a vote in Greece, investors were focused on the massive impending winter storm set to hit the Northeast. With weather pundits expecting the snowfall in feet rather than inches, a number of companies have already rescheduled their earnings announcements. The market was mixed at midday, with the Dow and Nasdaq a bit lower and the S&P up fractionally. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Dallas Fed manufacturing index fell 8.5 points to -4.4 in January, versus the consensus forecast for a reading of 4.0. In Europe, Greece's far-left Syriza party swept to power, renewing concerns about the country's future as a member of the Eurozone. COMPANY NEWS: Today was a "merger Monday," with at least four deals worth more than $1B announced. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) announced plans to acquire Regency Energy Partners (RGP) in an $18B unit-for-unit transaction that includes assuming $6.8B of net debt and other liabilities. Rock-Tenn (RKT) and MeadWestvaco (MWV) agreed to merge to create a consumer and corrugated packaging company with a combined equity value of $16B. Under the terms of the deal, the resulting ownership of the new company will be approximately 50.1% by MWV shareholders and 49.9% by RockTenn shareholders. AXIS Capital (AXS) and PartnerRe (PRE) announced a "merger of equals" that will create a specialty insurance and reinsurance company with total capital of more than $14B and cash and invested assets of more than $33B. Additionally, cereal maker Post Holdings (POST) agreed to pay $1.15B in cash and stock to buy privately-held MOM Brands, which makes Malt-O-Meal and other breakfast products. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Universal Display (OLED), which gained 11% after the company announced the signing of a new OLED technology license agreement and material purchase pact with LG Display (LPL). Also higher was Ocwen Financial (OCN), which rose 17% after the California Department of Business Oversight announced a $2.5M settlement with Ocwen Loan Servicing on Friday evening over the firms failure for more than a year to provide loan information needed by the DBO to assess compliance with state mortgage lending laws. Also of note, Ocwen denied any basis for default under trust agreements that had been alleged by certain hedge funds and other RMBS investors to trustees and master servicers in connection with 119 RMBS trusts, which are serviced by Ocwen. Among the noteworthy losers was Brookdale Senior Living (BKD), which dropped 8% after the company lowered its forecast for FY15 Cash From Facility Operations, citing a combination of lower than expected occupancy and certain higher-than-anticipated insurance reserve adjustments. Also lower following its earnings reports was hard disk-drive maker Seagate (STX), which fell about 9%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 1.41, or 0.01%, to 17,671.19, the Nasdaq was down 4.02, or 0.08%, to 4,753.86, and the S&P 500 was up 2.34, or 0.11%, to 2,054.16.
09:19 EDTMWVOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:15 EDTMWVMeadWestvaco to hold a conference call
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06:03 EDTMWVRockTenn and MeadWestvaco agree to combination agreement
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06:01 EDTMWVRockTenn, MeadWestvaco to combine in transaction with combined equity of $16B
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05:59 EDTMWVMeadWestvaco reports Q4 EBITDA up 18% to $246
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05:58 EDTMWVMeadWestvaco reports Q4 EPS excl items 46c, consensus 45c
Reports Q4 revenue $1.37B, consensus $1.35B
January 23, 2015
08:19 EDTMWVBofA/Merrill paper/forest products analyst hold analyst/industry conference call
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January 22, 2015
10:01 EDTMWVMeadWestvaco agrees to sell European tobacco folding carton business
MeadWestvaco announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its European-based tobacco folding carton business to AR Packaging Group AB, a maker of paperboard cartons, flexible packaging, and trays based in Lund, Sweden. The business has annual revenue of approximately $190M, which is included in MWVs Food & Beverage segment. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to be completed in the next several months. Also included in the sale is the tobacco and confectionery folding carton business currently served by MWVs plant in Svitavy, Czech Republic. The Svitavy plant will remain part of MWV beyond the transition period.

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