Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Thursday, September 18, 2014

  • 9:02 AM
    • The 3.2M share offering priced at $52.25 each, and the underwriters have an option to buy another 480K shares at that price. Net proceeds to EPR should be about $160.2M.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Shares -4.1% to $52.40 premarket
    • Previously: EPR Properties announces secondary
    | Comment!
  • 8:22 AM
    • Boston Properties (NYSE:BXP) this week agreed to sell a 45% interest in three buildings to Norges Bank for $1.8B.
    • Siftel, noting that investors will want to buy ahead of a special dividend, upgrades to a Buy with $130 price target.
    • Also following the sale news, Wells Fargo yesterday initiated coverage with an Outperform rating.
    | Comment!
  • 8:10 AM
    • The portfolio comprises 52 upscale extended stay and select service hotels with roughly 7K rooms. NorthStar Realty (NYSE:NRF) is buying the package along with Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE:CLDT), and NorthStar will have about a 90% interest in the joint venture.
    • NorthStar expects to obtain non-recourse financing for about 70-75% of the purchase price, and earn an initial cash-on-cash yield in the mid-teens.
    • Following the closing of this deal and another one for $700M this month, NorthStar will have about a $3.2B hotel portfolio consisting of 159 hotels and more than 20K rooms.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 8:05 AM
    • National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG) plans to sell 40% of Finansbank by the end of 2015, Deputy CEO Paula Hadjisotiriou said last month, hoping to raise about $1.5B.
    • NBG is a "reluctant" seller of the profitable unit, but is forced to do so as part of its restructuring plan agreed to with the EU Commission.
    • “Being the eighth-largest bank in Turkey with a higher-than-average retail-geared loan portfolio, it could be an interesting asset, offering an almost non-existing exposure to the mid-cap space,” says BGC Partners analyst Cagdas Dogan.
    | Comment!
  • 7:51 AM
    • MSCI will being paying a dividend at an annual rate of $0.72 per share for a 1.55% yield based on last night's close. The board also boosts the existing share repurchase plan to $850M from $300M, including a $300M accelerated share repurchase agreement to go into force today.
    • The ASR is expected to cut the float (currently 116M shares) by about 4.5M shares, and the remaining $550M is forecast to be utilized by the end of 2016.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 7:44 AM
    • Blackstone's (NYSE:BX) Vivint Solar will sell 20.6M shares at an expected price of $16-$18 each, raising $371M at the top end of the range (and with a valuation of $1.9B). It will trade under the ticker symbol VSLR.
    • Vivint was purchased by Blackstone is 2012 for $2B.
    • Prospectus
    | Comment!
  • 7:38 AM
    • Hudson City Bancorp (NASDAQ:HCBK) appoints Denis Salamone to replace Ronald Hermance - who just passed away - as Chairman of the Board. Salamone last week was selected to replace Hermance as CEO.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 7:33 AM
    • The natural tendency of bureaucracies to expand is in evidence as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau turns its eye to nonbank auto lenders. The CFPB plan would scrutinize whether these loan providers are discriminating against minorities, using deceptive tactics to in selling loans, and following debt-collection laws.
    • The finance divisions of major automakers are in the agency's sights, as are independent auto loan shops like Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY), Santander Consumer (NYSE:SC), and Credit Acceptance Corporation (NASDAQ:CACC). Smaller and medium-sized players should expect relatively large increases in compliance costs.
    • The CFPB will soon put the proposal out there for 60 days of public comment.
    | Comment!
  • 7:24 AM
    • AmEx (NYSE:AXP) is the only credit card accepted at Costco (NASDAQ:COST) stores, and will continue to be so at U.S. locations, but the tie-up with Canadian stores will end, effective January 1.
    • Costco has 88 stores in Canada vs. 468 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The company says it will have information on new payment options soon.
  • Wednesday, September 17, 2014

  • 4:18 PM
    • Sun Communities (NYSE:SUI) is selling 6M shares with net proceeds to be used to help fund the previously announced purchase of 59 manufactured home communities from Green Courte Real Estate Partners.
    • Shares -1.5% AH
    | Comment!
  • 4:13 PM
    • The company is offering 3.2M shares with an underwriter greenshoe option for another 480K shares. Net proceeds will be used to pay down the credit line.
    • Source: Press Release
    • EPR -1.4% AH
    | Comment!
  • 3:37 PM
    • "We need to think about how to deploy capital outside of our home market in a smart, prudent fashion," says CIBC (CM -0.4%) CEO Victor Dodig in his first public comments since taking the helm at the bank earlier this week. “We understand private banking and wealth management, including asset management, very, very well.”
    • Although things are pricey, he says, the fragmented nature of the U.S. private wealth-management and asset-management industries makes for a target-rich environment. CIBC could probably fund deals of up to $1B with cash, but anything larger would likely require a mix of cash and stock, he adds.
    • Dodig previously was in charge of CIBC's wealth-management unit and he led this year's purchase of Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management, and the acquisition of a 41% stake in American Century Investments in 2011.
  • 3:16 PM
    • Leading markets higher as the reality of higher interest rates gets nearer is the financial sector (XLF +0.9%). Whether its banks, brokerages, or insurers, a higher benchmark rate for some time has been considered a key bullish catalyst. An especially large move is being seen in the online brokerage names who have been forced to forego money market fees for years thanks to ZIRP: E*Trade (ETFC +3%), Schwab(SCHW +3.2%), Ameritrade (AMTD +2%).
    • Morgan Stanley (MS +1.8%), Bank of America (BAC +1.2%), JPMorgan (JPM +0.9%)
    • U.S. Bancorp (USB +1.1%), Regions Financial (RF +2%), New York Community Bank (NYCB +0.8%), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN +1.3%), KeyCorp (KEY +1.3%)
    • MetLife (MET +0.6%), Voya Financial (VOYA +0.7%).
    • Chubb(CB +0.4%), AIG (AIG +1.1%), Hartford (HIG +0.8%)
  • 2:51 PM
    • Another $10B taper this month brings QE to just $5B monthly, an amount the FOMC expects to go down to zero with its next policy meeting. The "dots" shifted somewhat higher - meaning maybe a slightly earlier start to Fed rate hikes and a higher level of Fed Funds at the end of the next few years, with the median forecast being 2.9% at the end of 2016.
    • Mortgage REITs (REM +0.2%) have been under pressure in the sessions ahead of the FOMC, and are mostly snoozing through today's news.
    • Annaly (NLY -0.1%), American Capital Agency (AGNC +0.1%), CYS Investments (CYS +0.2%), New York Mortgage Trust (NYMT +0.5%), Dynex (DX +0.8%), Ellington Residential (EARN +1.2%), Javelin (JMI +1.3%).
    • Previously: FOMC statement and projections lean hawkish
    • Previously: Yellen press conference: Falling UE rate still masking labor market weakness
  • 2:35 PM
    • AJG's latest purchase is New York City retail insurance broker Hagedorn & Company. The agency specializes in insurance coverage for the financial, manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, legal, and marine industries, as well as for nonprofits, schools, and municipalities.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 12:29 PM
    • The move percolated somewhat positively through Asian equity markets overnight, but fell short of something more sweeping - say a cut in interest rates - out of Beijing. Some warn the move won't do a whole lot as bank liquidity isn't the issue, but instead slow loan demand from businesses and consumers.
    • The PBOC's action is in the form of 3-month, low-rate loans to banks, according to a bank executive briefed on the action. While there are no explicit conditions attached to the money, says the executive, the PBOC wants to see credit channeled into areas Beijing's central planners have deemed important to the economy.
    • Among the recent evidence pointing to a slowing economy: Industrial production growth hit a six-year low in August, and foreign direct investment hit a four-year low.
    | Comment!
  • 11:14 AM
    • Eastern Virginia Bankshares (EVBS -0.3%) Senior Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer Joseph James intends to step down from both positions on or about July 31, 2015.
    • SEC Form 8-K
    | Comment!
  • 11:03 AM
    • BB&T upgrades Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK +1.7%) to Buy with $39 price target.
    • DA Davidson upgrades MB Financial (MBFI +1%) to Buy with $33 price target.
    • Westpac Banking (WBK -2.9%) is downgraded by Macquarie to Neutral..
    | Comment!
  • 10:28 AM
    • investors are mostly snoozing through Manulife's (MFC +0.2%) $4B purchase of Standard Life Canada, but Scotiabank's Sumit Malhotra says these sorts of "Made in Canada" deals have in the past worked out nicely for financial services players.
    • The key is the heavily oligopolistic nature of the Canadian life insurance and banking sectors - it makes big acquisitions a rarity, and means domestic players are ready to pounce when a foreign company looks to sell. The buyout price, therefore, often seems "full," but over time, says Malhotra, the purchase tends to deliver solid returns.
    • Previously: Manulife to buy Standard Life's Canadian operations in C$4B deal
    | Comment!
  • 10:14 AM
    • The First of Long Island (FLIC +0.3%) will commence a 3:2 split, with additional stock to be distributed on October 15 to owners of record on October 1.
    • The quarterly dividend is boosted by 7.7% to $0.28, an annualized yield of 3.2%.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
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