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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
March 19, 2014
11:25 EDTTHS, TSNTreeHouse Foods weighing bid for Michael Foods Group, Reuters says
TreeHouse (THS) is competing against Tyson Foods (TSN) and private equity firms in potential $2B-$2.5B deal, Reuters added.
News For THS;TSN From The Last 14 Days
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June 30, 2015
13:50 EDTTHSTreeHouse tie-up with Ralcorp could be accretive by over $1 to EPS, says BB&T
BB&T noted that it has expected ConAgra (CAG) to announce plans to exit its private label business for some time and repeated its view that TreeHouse (THS) would be a logical buyer. The firm believes that a potential tie-up with Ralcorp could be accretive by "well over" $1 to TreeHouse EPS if synergies are as large as expected, but noted that its price target and rating on the stock are under review following today's rally in the stock. BB&T has a Buy rating and $86 price target on TreeHouse Foods.
12:57 EDTTHSOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday as headlines about Greece once again dominate the news flow. Hopes that Greece may still reach a last-minute deal with its creditors were attributed for the market's early bounce, though optimism and the averages have been dropping as the day continues. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index for April rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% month over month, versus the consensus forecast for an increase of 0.8%. The Chicago PMI jumped 3.2 points to 49.4 in June, though that was below the expected reading of 50.0. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 101.4 in June from a revised 94.6 reading for May, beating expectations for a reading of 97.4. In Europe, Greece's government submitted a proposal for a deal with the eurozone bailout fund to cover its debt repayments due between 2015 and 2017. Jeroen Dijsselbloem said eurozone finance ministers will discuss the Greek request in a conference call tonight, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly said that no new negotiations should take place before Greek holds its scheduled referendum. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Pentair (PNR) advanced 5.5% after activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Group confirmed it has taken a 7.24% stake in the company. Trian noted it has met with the company’s senior management and communicated its view that the company can create significant value for its shareholders by facilitating "prudent industry consolidation" through accretive mergers and acquisitions as well as by making other changes, such as communicating its results as "cash" EPS... Another company in the sights of an activist, ConAgra (CAG), rose 1.5% after reporting first quarter results that were roughly in-line with expectations while also announcing that plans to exit Private Brands operations. ConAgra CEO Sean Connolly said during the associated call that he wants "constructive conversation" with Jana Partners, which reported earlier this month that it has taken a 7.2% stake in the packaged foods company and is prepared to seek three ConAgra board seats, if necessary, to help the board evaluate and address opportunities for shareholder value creation. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Juno Therapeutics (JUNO), which jumped 19% after the company announced a ten-year global collaboration for the development and commercialization of immunotherapies with Celgene (CELG). As part of the deal, Celgene will make an initial payment of approximately $1B, which includes the purchase of approximately 9.1M shares of Juno stock at $93 per share. Also higher was TreeHouse Foods (THS), which gained 9% after peer ConAgra announced plans to exit its private brands operations. Among the noteworthy losers was Apollo Education (APOL), which dropped 16.5% and was downgraded at Bank of America Merrill Lynch after the for-profit education company reported higher than expected Q3 earnings but lowered its fiscal 2015 guidance. Also lower were shares of Tuesday Morning (TUES), which fell 13% after announcing that its CFO Jeffrey Boyer has resigned his position to take the same role with Pier 1 Imports (PIR). INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 3.77, or 0.02%, to 17,592.58, the Nasdaq was up 11.24, or 0.23%, to 4,969.71, and the S&P 500 was flat near 2,057.81.
10:50 EDTTHSTreeHouse, Post rise after ConAgra plans exit from private brands
Two food companies, TreeHouse Foods (THS) and Post Holdings (POST), are trading higher after peer ConAgra (CAG) announced plans to exit its private brands operations. According to a Reuters report from earlier, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Akshay Jagdale mentioned in a note that TreeHouse and Post could be potential acquirers of the ConAgra division. Shares of Post Holdings rose 2.8% and Treehouse Foods advanced 9% in morning trading.
June 19, 2015
16:17 EDTTHSOn 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.

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