Today - Tuesday, March 11, 2014
- J.C. Penney (JCP) is on the move in early trading after Citigroup upgrades the stock to a Buy rating and raises its price target to $11.
- Citi thinks the company can return to positive comps as the focus turns to the home department and kids departments.
- What to watch: A return by J.C. Penney to seeing its sales mix of private brands return to historic norms (50% vs. 30% under Ron Johnson) could also do wonders for profitability.
- JCP +8.1% premarket
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- Greek yogurt juggernaut Chobani is looking to sell off a minority stake in a deal that could value the company at $2.5B, according to Reuters.
- The company is in talks with various companies and P-E firms.
- Plans for an IPO have been scrapped for now, according to sources.
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- The stakes are high for General Motors (GM) when execs get interviewed in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, notes 24/7 Wall St.
- The automaker faces the risk that Congress or the courts could find gross negligence on the part of the automaker in a development that could add billions to its legal costs eventually.
- A prolonged recall investigation could also dent sales if consumers question GM's safety record.
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- Nestle (NSRGF) plans to change its corporate-governance rules to comply with new Swiss laws, and will allow shareholders to have a binding vote on the aggregate compensation of the company's executive committee and board.
- Nestle will also enable investors to vote directly for the chairman, and it will hold annual elections for directors; until now, board members have served three-year terms.
- The food giant cut the compensation of CEO Paul Bulcke by 6.7% to 9.3M Swiss francs ($10.6M) last year after the company missed a long-term sales target and growth slowed.
- Letter to shareholders
- Annual report
- Microsoft (MSFT) is carrying out a massive launch of hotly anticipated computer game "Titanfall" today, with the company hoping that the sci-fi combat title will boost sales of the Xbox One, which appears to be lagging behind Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4.
- The strategy is one that worked with "Halo," a sci-fi shooter game that was launched in 2001 and became a blockbuster that fueled sales of the Xbox.
- Titanfall was developed by Respawn Entertainment and is being published by Electronic Arts (EA).
- GM (GM) is set to face hearings in Congress about why the company took almost a decade to recall 1.6M vehicles for defective ignition switches that have been linked to 13 deaths.
- A panel, the House Energy & Commerce Committee, will also probe the role of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- GM yesterday appointed former Lehman examiner Anton Valuskas to lead its own internal investigation, while the NHTSA is also carrying out an inquiry.
Monday, March 10, 2014
- Sean "Diddy" Combs is offering ~$200M for the Fuse music network owned by Madison Square Garden (MSG), according to a Bloomberg report.
- Sources say Combs would convert Fuse into Revolt TV, the music-focused channel the hip-hop mogul launched in October.
- Fuse is available in ~74M homes through pay-TV systems including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Cablevision (CVC), while Revolt TV currently reaches ~22.8M homes and is carried by Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
- Activist investor Elliott Management discloses it owns 5.38M Boyd (BYD) shares, good for a 4.99% stake. The firm also says it has "economic exposure to approximately 2.05% of the shares of Common Stock outstanding pursuant to Derivative Agreements." (13D)
- Elliott has a long track record of mounting activist campaigns in which it calls for a company to make big changes and/or put itself on sale.