Seeking Alpha
  • Saturday, January 24, 2015

  • 2:30 PM
    • 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
  • 11:15 AM
    • 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.
  • 10:37 AM
    • 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)
    | 1 Comment
  • Friday, January 23, 2015

  • 6:24 PM
    • 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.
  • 3:15 PM
    • 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.
    | Comment!
  • 1:56 PM
    • Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD +1.2%) purchases Elysian Brewing Co. for an undisclosed amount.
    • The company adds 4 brewpubs in the Seattle area as part of the deal and a beer line that is distributed in 11 states.
    • Elysian produced about 50K barrels of beer last year.
    | Comment!
  • 1:45 PM
    • 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)
    | Comment!
  • 1:22 PM
    • 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 Comment
  • 1:01 PM
    • MasterCard (MA +0.1%) says it will end the block on transactions from Cuba for cards issued in the U.S.
    • The new policy will go into effect on March 1.
    | Comment!
  • 12:56 PM
    • 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).
    | Comment!
  • 12:41 PM
    • 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).
    | 1 Comment
  • 12:27 PM
    • Bright Horizons (NYSE:BFAM) will report Q4 results on Feb. 12 after the market closes.
    • The conference call is scheduled to begin at 5.00 p.m. ET.
    • Consensus view is EPS of $0.38 on revenues of $339.80M.
    | Comment!
  • 12:21 PM
    • 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.
    | Comment!
  • 12:16 PM
    • Shares of Premier Foods (OTCPK:PRRFY +13.8%) pop after the company reports a smaller sales growth decline in Q4 for key brands.
    • Mr. Kipling performed well for the company after a re-launch of the cakes and pie brand in the second half. Sales accelerated in December.
    | Comment!
  • 11:25 AM
  • 10:57 AM
    | Comment!
  • 10:44 AM
  • 10:40 AM
    • 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.
  • 10:39 AM
    • Cooper Tire & Rubber (NYSE:CTB) will report Q4 results on Feb. 23 before the market opens.
    • 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.
    | Comment!
  • 10:35 AM
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) will report Q4 results on Jan. 28.
    • 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.
    | Comment!
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