GSK goes hostile on $2.6B Human Genome bid. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will this week take its $13-a-share offer for Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) directly to the latter's stockholders after the U.S. company rebuffed the U.K. giant's proposal. The $2.6B offer is "full and fair," GSK says, and it believes Human Genome has had ample time to study the alternatives. However, GSK does remain willing to review its bid. Opinion: 5 reasons to buy Glaxo now.
Spain to order banks to stump up another €35B. Spain will order its banks to make further provisions of €35B ($45B) to cover loans made to property developers that are currently performing but could go sour as the economy weakens, Reuters reports. The banks have already written off €54B in real-estate debt. Spanish shares were -2.9% at midday in Europe, while 10-year yields were +18 bps at 6.02%. Opinion: Rain in Spain falls mainly on the banks.
Disney profit climbs 21% despite "John Carter" flop. Disney (DIS) overcame the $200M writedown of "John Carter" in FQ2 to record a 21% jump in net profit to $1.14B. Adjusted EPS of $0.58 beat consensus, as did a revenue increase of 6% to $9.63B, boosted by Disney's theme parks and TV units. And with "The Avengers" taking in $702M globally in just two weeks, FQ3 should look even better. It's no suprise Disney's planning the sequel. Opinion: Disney's strong performance drives shares.
Top Stock News
KPN turns down Carlos Slim. KPN (KKPNY.PK) has rejected America Movil's (AMX) offer to raise its stake in the Dutch telecom carrier to 28% from 4.8%, saying the €8-a-share bid from Carlos Slim's company substantially undervalues it. Opinion: A closer look at KPN's potential.
Green Mountain founder forced out. Green Mountain (GMCR) founder and Chairman Robert Stiller and fellow director William Davis have been forced to resign from the company's board because of margin calls that required them to divest millions of shares in the firm. The departures follow the precipitous drop in Green Mountain's stock price last week after it provided a dismal outlook in its FQ2 report. Opinion: Green Mountain's capital expenditures raise questions.
ResCap creditors to support "prepackaged bankruptcy." Ally Financial has received oral pledges from ResCap's bondholders to support what would be a "prepackaged bankruptcy" of the mortgage unit, Bloomberg reports, with investors negotiating what they would receive in a settlement and so avoid lots of legal hassles. Ally has also been in talks to sell parts of ResCap to Fortress (FIG). Opinion: Ways to play the Ally news.
Toyota rebounding in style. Toyota's (TM) FQ4 operating profit jumped more than five-fold to $3B and the car giant said it expects the metric to triple this FY to ¥1T as vehicle production recovers from post-disaster lows. It would beat consensus of ¥990B and would be the highest since the financial crisis began. Opinion: Toyota: Sleeping giant with great long-term prospects.
Cisco expected to report solid FQ3 as turnaround continues. Cisco (CSCO) is scheduled to release its FQ3 earnings after the bell today, with analysts predicting that EPS rose to 0.47 from 0.42 and that revenue increased 6.5% to $11.57B. Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu has forecast a solid quarter after conducting supply chain checks, and while he only expects in-line guidance, he continues to view Cisco as a major turnaround story. Opinion: 7 reasons to buy Cisco before earnings today.
Freddie to appoint Donnie as CEO. Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) is preparing to name Donald Layton as its next CEO, the WSJ reports. Layton, who held the top job at E-Trade, would be the mortgage giant's third boss in four years. An announcement could come tomorrow. Opinion: Shadow banks are not the problem.
Nelson Peltz buying into Ingersoll-Rand. Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management is expected to report it took more than a 7% stake in industrial conglomerate Ingersoll-Rand (IR), the WSJ reports. The $900M position would be the activist investor's largest in a single company and would make it one of Ingersoll-Rand's biggest shareholders. Opinion: Hope springs eternal at Ingersoll-Rand, but should it?
Top Economic & Other News
China could postpone leadership congress. China's Communist Party may delay its five-yearly congress to between November and January from September or October as it debates the size and makeup of the new politburo, Reuters reports. While the delay would be short and not without precedent, it would come against the background of Bo Xilai and rumors of internal wrangling, and so may unnerve financial markets. Opinion: China's competitive edge: Beyond cheap labor.
Thieves bilk IRS for billions. The IRS failed to stop the issuance of billions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds in 2010 to scammers who stole taxpayers' identities, reports the agency's watchdog. If the IRS doesn't do a better job of catching the con artists, it could end up erroneously refunding as much as $26B in the next five years. Opinion: Will the consumer return?
German exports rise. Germany's trade surplus remained unchanged at €13.7B in March vs. a consensus of €13.5B as exports unexpectedly rose for a third month in a row, with demand outside the eurozone offsetting weaker sales in Europe. Germany's current account surplus widened to €19.8B from €11.7B in February. Opinion: Time to invest in European banks?
U.K. lobbies for delay to Iran oil insurance ban. Just as the screws on Iran are tightening, the U.K. wants a six-month delay to the EU's key ban on the provision of insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil, Reuters reports. The move is designed to give the likes of Japan and South Korea more time to find alternative crude suppliers and so avoid a spike in prices. Other EU members are yet to be convinced. Opinion: 20 events that would render QE3 worthless.
In Asia, Japan -1.5%. Hong Kong -0.8%. China -1.6%. India -0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London -1.0%. Paris -1.1%. Frankfurt -0.4%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow -0.7%. S&P -0.9%. Nasdaq -0.9%. Crude -0.7% to $96.32. Gold -2.3% to $1584.00.
Today's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
10:00 Wholesale Trade
10:00 Fed's Kocherlakota: 'Toward a More Transparent FOMC'
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $24B, 10-Year Note Auction
Notable earnings before today's open: AGU, AOL, ARIA, DF, DTG, ENB, KRO, M, MPEL, TEVA, THI