BP confirms sale of TNK-BP stake. BP (BP) has confirmed that it has agreed to sell its 50% stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for $17.1B in cash and a 12.84% holding in Rosneft. BP intends to use $4.8B of the money to buy an additional 5.66% in Rosneft from the Russian government, giving it a 19.75% stake in the company once the deal is complete. BP shares were +1.3% premarket.
ADM makes $2.76B bid for GrainCorp. Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has made its move for Australian rival GrainCorp (GRCLF.PK) with a $2.76B buyout offer, or A$11.75 ($12.13) a share. That represents a 33% premium to Friday's close. On Friday, Archer Daniels Midland bought a 10% stake in GrainCorp on the open market, taking its total holding in the company to 14.9%.
German economy may have grown in Q3. Germany's economy probably expanded in Q3, helped by growth in industrial production and strong exports, especially to outside the EU, the finance ministry said in its monthly report. The economic growth came despite the weak global background and analysts forecasting contraction, although the ministry did warn of a softening in Q4.
Top Stock News
RBS resisting pressure to sell £6.6B U.S. ops. British government officials and the Financial Services Authority are pressuring RBS (RBS) to sell its RBS Citizens unit in the U.S. as part of a strategy of refocusing on the U.K. and increasing the bank's cash reserves, the WSJ reports. However, RBS's management, led by CEO Stephen Hester, doesn't want to sell Citizens, which analysts estimate could be worth £6.6B.
Hasbro profit beats forecasts. Hasbro's (HAS) Q3 EPS came in at $1.28 and topped consensus while revenue edged up to $1.35B and was in line. U.S. and Canada sales grew 1% to $774.5M, although the International and Entertainment segments slipped. By product category, revenue from girls beat boys by 17% to -12%, with Furby and One Direction products contributing.
Ancestry.com agrees to $1.6B sale. Ancestry.com (ACOM) has agreed to be bought for $1.6B by a consortium led by European P-E firm Permira. The group includes Spectrum Equity, which owns 30% of the company, and CEO Tim Sullivan and CFO Howard Hochhauser. The $32-a-share offer represents a 40% premium to Ancestry's share price in June, prior to reports that it was up for sale.
Amazon eyes U.K. fashion retailer. Amazon (AMZN) is interested in buying British online fashion retailer Asos, the Daily Telegraph reports. Amazon already inspected the profitable books of Asos earlier this year. After its recent run, the company trades with a market cap of close to £2B ($3.21B).
Siemens the latest victim of solar slump. Siemens (SI) plans to exit the solar industry as part of its cost-reduction plan and is in negotiations with prospective suitors for its solar operations after they failed to meet expectations because of low growth and prices. Siemens will now focus its renewable energy activities on hydro and wind power, which have also been problematic.
Focus on Mayer's first earnings call in Yahoo's latest results. Yahoo (YHOO) is due to release its Q3 earnings after the bell, with analysts expecting that EPS rose to $0.26 from $0.23 a year earlier as revenue edged up 0.6% to $1.08B. The main focus will be on Marissa Mayer's vision for Yahoo, which it's hoped she'll outline on her first earnings call as CEO. The results come after Google (GOOG) last week revealed a sharp drop in its cost-per-click rate.
TI's profits seen falling. Texas Instruments (TXN) is also scheduled to release its Q3 earnings later, when it is expected to report that EPS fell to $0.46 from $0.61 while revenue slipped 3.7% to $3.34B. Some analysts are concerned about macro weakness and that competition from tablets and smartphones will hurt TI's computing market, although the majority believe that the company's analog and embedded operations will continue to drive growth.
Settlement allows Dish to broadcast AMC programming. A settlement of a Voom HD suit with Cablevision (CVC) means that Dish Network (DISH) subscribers are getting back programming from AMC (AMCX), including hit show "The Walking Dead." Dish will pay $700M to Cablevision and AMC, and resume programming for other channels (IFC, Sundance, WE tv) by November 1.
Top Economic & Other News
Japanese exports sink 10.3%. Japanese exports slumped 10.3% on year in September vs consensus of -9.6% for the biggest drop since May 2011. Imports rose 4.1%, beating expectations, but the country recorded a trade deficit of ¥558.6B, its first September shortfall since 1979. Exports to China plummeted 14.1% as the East China Sea islands row took its toll, while sales to the EU collapsed 21.1%. U.S. exports rose 0.9%, but that was way down from +10.3% in August.
Rajoy gets boost from victory in regional poll. Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has been buoyed by a regional election win in his home stronghold of Galicia, although the Basque nationalists look to have won in their region, as expected. Still, the Galicia result makes it easier for Rajoy to implement more austerity and request a bailout, says ETX Capital's Markus Huber. The results have helped boost European shares today.
China cabinet asks for radical reform ideas. China's State Council has asked policy think tanks for ideas for economic reforms and has received proposals that include limiting the power of state-owned enterprises, allowing the market to set the price of bank credit, land and natural resources, and giving more freedom to the yuan. However, some of the authors of the proposals fear that signs of a nascent economic rebound could stall their recommendations.
In Asia, Japan +0.1% to 9011. Hong Kong +0.7% to 21698. China +0.2% to 2133. India +0.6% to 18793.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt flat.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.35%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude +0.6% to $90.59. Gold +0.1% to $1725.30.
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