Saturday, January 24, 2015
- PE giant TPG Capital "seriously considered" buying Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) last year. It also took a look at Nu Skin (NYSE:NUS).
- It is not clear why TPG’s interest in Herbalife and Nu Skin ended without any investment.
- On Thursday, Avon (NYSE:AVP) jumped 15% on reports TPG was interested in acquiring it, only to drop 7.9% on Friday after Wells Fargo told clients in a note it was skeptical of the prospect.
- If TPG does not buy Avon, it “might take a new look” at Herbalife, with its stock falling in half over the last 12 months, a source says.
- Source: NY Post
- Shares of New York Times (NYSE:NYT) ended with a 2.74% gain last week after a report of interest by Michael Bloomberg in making an acquisition gained traction.
- 2014 was a rough year for New York Times with a drop in ad sales cutting into the impact of higher subscription prices.
- A new savvy ownership group could unlock more potential on the digital side. (see: Jeff Bezos' plans for Washington Post).
- As noted by Re/code, although Bloomberg has the required chutzpah to make a run at the NYT, the controlling Ochs-Sulzsbergers family by all appearance is a reluctant seller.
- Analysts speculate it could take an offer as high as $4B-$5B to land the company - more than double its $1.97B market cap.
- What to watch: If a mega-deal were to be struck for NYT, there's a thought that it could raise the profile on other newspapers stocks (MEG, GCI, TPUB, LEE, MNI) on M&A potential, increased investment in digital initiatives, or a similar vanity white knight play (Bezos, Bloomberg) for assets.
- Sheldon Adelson will take over the CEO position at Sands China following the retirement of Edward Tracy.
- The casino veteran will take the reins of the Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) subsidiary on March 6 near the end of what is expected to be a poor quarter for revenue in Macau.
- What to watch: Sands China is opening the Parisian Macao resort later this year in Macau. The $2.7B complex will offer a wider range of family entertainment options than rival properties.
- Previously: Gloomy forecast on Macau Q1 revenue (Jan. 6)
Friday, January 23, 2015
- A unit of a major mechanics union at American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) has filed a lawsuit alleging that managers pressured members to breach federal rules on aircraft maintenance, prompting an FAA investigation.
- The mechanics accuse managers of wanting to bypass some intricate safety procedures in order to keep the airline’s operations running on time; the FAA reportedly has made a preliminary determination that AAL’s lightning-related inspections sometimes did not comply fully with federally mandated procedures.
- The claims could complicate AAL in its merger integration with US Airways; the next hurdle is reaching contracts with ~30K ground workers, including mechanics.
- Digital First Media is in talks with Cerberus Capital Management about a takeover, according to Bloomberg.
- The deal price for the company which owns a line newspapers including the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News could go as high as $600M.
- Sources indicate more bidders may be interested.
1:56 PM| Comment!
- Lululemon (LULU +4.1%) trades above $66 for the first time since 2013 as investors continue to pour in.
- The general take on Lululemon is that production execution has been been improved by management and that the retailer's assortment is still firmly on-trend.
- Investment firm Topeka Capital Markets and SA contributor Main Street Wins get credit for taking the long view on LULU through some turmoil.
- Shares of LULU are now up 75% over six months in a dazzling comeback.
- Previously: Lululemon higher after lifting Q4 guidance (Jan. 12 2015)
- Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) is up 3.88% on above-average volume.
- The sorting out of short positions on BKS is in the background as shares find their way back to within a dollar of a 52-week high.
- The B&N retail chain has put up solid core comps over the last two quarters with a thinned-out bookstore herd helping to hold up demand.
1:01 PM| Comment!
- Live Nation Entertainment (LYV +0.6%) is getting some positive exposure this week as it partners with the NFL to run the NFL Ticket Exchange through Ticketmaster.
- NFL Ticket Exchange is the only Super Bowl ticket reseller that can validate tickets.
- Two walk-up retail shops have also been set up for NFL Ticket Exchange in the Phoenix area.
- Super Bowl tickets off the NFL Ticket Exchange site range from $2,950 (nosebleed) to $46,432 (50-yard line).
- Companies selling coffee perked up their ears after Starbucks said it saw strong single-serve and packaged coffee sales during its most recent quarter and took market share.
- Grocery store analysts have noted the aggressive positioning of Starbucks products in many chains over the last six months.
- SBUX FQ1 report, SBUX earnings call.
- On watch: Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR), Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN), Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS).
- Virgin America (VA -7.4%) updates Q4 guidance.
- Passenger revenue per available seat mile is expected to rise 0.5% to 1.0%.
- Total revenue per available seat mile is forecast to be up 2.5% to 3.0%.
- Virgin expects its fuel cost per gallon for the quarter to be $2.87 inclusive of hedging activity.
- Full results will be released by the company on February 18.
12:16 PM| Comment!
- Analysts note McDonald's is not a bellwether stock for the restaurant industry anymore as the sector has many more names putting in gains today than losses despite the poor sales report from the Golden Arches.
- The quick (and perhaps obvious) take from within the sector is that chains sticking with a simple laser-focused message are winning out. Chipotle, Wendy's, and Domino's all fit that description.
- The copycat approach of McDonald's (McCafe, wings, premium burgers) and Olive Garden (prior to Starboard) hasn't worked, while a measured pace to expansion in new markets has also paid off (Starbucks vs. KFC).
- Previously: Restaurant comps ignited off of $2 gas effect (Jan. 09 2015)
- Previously: $2 gas little help to McDonald's in Q4 (Jan. 23 2015)
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, BDL, NATH, LUB, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN, HABT, NDLS, PLKI, LOCO, YUM, KKD, BOBE, TAST, GTIM, FRSH, COSI, FRS, PBPB, FRGI, QSR, CBRL, BLMN, MFRD, ZOES, MCD, YUM.
10:44 AM| 2 Comments
- Shares of New York Times (NYSE:NYT) are up 3.2% on some loose speculation by New York magazine that Michael Bloomberg has interest in buying the company.
- NYT chairman Arthur Sulzberger says he can't recall the last time he talked to Bloomberg.
- A hostile takeover of the company is tricky with Sulzberger controlling a bulk of voting shares through a special class of stock.
- Bloomberg is believed to have a rekindled interest in his media empire with his political days behind him.
- The conference call is scheduled to begin at 11.00 a.m. ET.
- Consensus view is EPS of $0.64 on revenues of $807.21M.
- The conference call is scheduled to begin at 9.00 a.m. ET (2.00 p.m. GMT / 3.00 p.m CET).
- Consensus view is EPS of $0.30 on revenues of $25.50B.
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs
Next headline on your portfolio: