Seeking Alpha
  • Today - Tuesday, April 28, 2015

  • 9:28 AM
    • Based in Tampa, JHS has a team of 150 financial advisors which generated revenue of $38M in 2014, and had retail assets of $4.1B at year-end.
    • Like Ameriprise (NYSE:AMP), JHS operates both employee and independent advisor channels, and JHS advisors are expected to join one of the existing channels at Ameriprise.
    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It's expected to close in Q3.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 9:23 AM
    • Good Times Restaurants (NASDAQ:GTIM) launches a public offering of 2.375M shares.
    • The company plans to use the funds to help pay for the acquisition of small chain Bad Daddy's Burger Bar and fund development.
    • There are ~9.45M shares of Good Times Restaurants in the hands of shareholders at the moment.
    • GTIM +0.4% premarket to $8.32. YTD +19.1%.
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  • Monday, April 27, 2015

  • 8:49 PM
    • After a two-week delay, Telefonica Brasil (NYSE:VIV) has priced its new share offering at 47 reais ($16.11) for preferred shares and 38.47 reais ($13.19) for common shares.
    • The shares should start trading in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.
    • The company's raising the funds to buy local broadband provider GVT, which is expected to cost €7.2B ($7.8B).
    • Vivo's ADRs closed today up 1.5% on the NYSE, and were down 0.4% after hours to $16.46.
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  • 8:25 PM
    • After fighting off a hostile bid from Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) just over a year ago, Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) is now open to merger talks with the cableco now that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has called off its $45B friendly pursuit, Reuters reports.
    • One key change from before: TWC now views Charter stock as more valuable this time around. CHTR shares are up 40.7% over the past 12 months.
    • Still, the deal would have to be significantly sweeter as well. Charter's previous hostile bid for TWC was for about $132.50/share; Comcast's $45B offer was valued around $158.82/share.
    • As for competitive concerns, Charter/TWC would have about 15M video customers, whereas Comcast/TWC would have had about 30M.
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  • 5:34 PM
    • Arguing "stockholders should have right to choose between Intels reported $54 cash offer and [the] uncertain future of standalone Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR)," TIG Advisors (1.5% stake) is urging Altera investors to vote against lead independent director T. Michael Nevens' reelection at the FPGA maker's May 11 annual meeting. It's too late for investors to submit alternate candidates.
    • TIG argues rejecting Nevens will "send a strong signal to the Board to immediately re-engage with Intel." It also thinks the company's reported decision to reject a $54/share Intel offer is unsurprising given "Altera has had a history of overestimating its growth rate."
    • The firm thinks Altera would need to produce annual EPS of $2.70 to justify a $54/share valuation, something it thinks is "unlikely to happen over the next few years given the outlook for a secular decline in worldwide base station deployments in 2016-2019 until 5G starts ramping." The 2015 EPS consensus is at $1.31.
    • Bloomberg reported two weeks ago TIG, Cadian Capital, and other investors were pushing Altera to restart Intel talks. The company posted a Q1 miss and provided light Q2 guidance last Thursday.
  • 4:54 PM
    • MasterCard (NYSE:MA) agrees to acquire Applied Predictive Technologies, an analytics software company that helps companies gauge pricing, marketing and merchandising, for $600M.
    • MA says APT helps companies tailor investments and boost earnings by using analytics to design, measure and calibrate marketing, merchandising, operations and capital initiatives.
    • MA says the deal will complement its recent acquisition of London-based retail consulting and analytics firm 5One, which was announced in November.
    | 1 Comment
  • 4:17 PM
    • Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) reached out to a resistant Cox Communications to talk merger, The Wall Street Journal reports, but a TWC spokesperson tells Reuters "It's simply not true."
    • "We have not engaged in any discussions with Cox," says TWC's Susan Leepson.
    • Meanwhile, Cox indicates "We’ve been clear we’re not for sale and we’ll continue to explore any potential growth opportunities that align with our business objectives."
    • TWC is the second-largest cable provider in the country, with some 12.25M subscribers, and Cox is No. 3 with 4.5M. TWC's failed merger partner, Comcast, is No. 1 with 22.4M subscribers.
    • Previously: It's over: Comcast officially ends $45B pursuit of TWC (Apr. 24 2015)
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  • 2:00 PM
    • Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) has tumbled towards $20 following news it has cancelled its planned $29B merger with Tokyo Electron, following a DOJ rejection of Applied/Tokyo's proposed remedies.
    • The merger would've created a company that controlled about a quarter of global chip equipment spend, prior to any divestments. Several peers have rallied, perhaps aided by hopes they'll now be targeted.
    • In an attempt to soften the blow, Applied has launched a new $3B buyback. It's good for repurchasing 11% of shares at current levels, and lasts through the third quarter of FY18.
    • Stifel's Patrick Ho (Buy) is "surprised by the [DOJ's] ruling," given limited product overlap that could've been addressed via remedies. "In our view, persistent customer 'complaints' likely made it more difficult for regulators to approve the deal ... we believe that a great deal of focus has been placed on trying to complete this deal and while we believe Applied Materials is still well positioned to capitalize on these emerging industry inflections, there is a feeling of 'wasted energy' in this long tedious process..."
    • Needham's Edwin Mok (Hold) thinks Applied is better off without Tokyo: He argues cultural differences would've limited operational synergies, thinks Tokyo has seen "accelerated share loss" since the 2013 merger announcement, and believes "AMAT alone is better leveraged to increased [etching/deposition equipment] intensity at the leading edge and is likely to see greater growth trajectory ahead."
    | 1 Comment
  • 11:18 AM
    • Halfway through a massive investment in its network infrastructure, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) may have found the European market shifting around it, leaving it to play catch-up to rivals, Thao Hua notes.
    • The company's £19B ($29B) "Project Spring" plan -- in part funded by selling its stake in Verizon Wireless -- aims to shore up fiber infrastructure in Europe and developing countries. But while it's spent years building Europe's largest mobile network, rivals like Orange (NYSE:ORAN) and Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) have outpaced it in bundling mobile with fixed-line telecom, Internet and TV.
    • Raymond James notes a combination with Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) would scale up fixed-line assets in Europe -- including the U.K., where Vodafone faces two competitors getting bigger through merger (BT-EE; O2-Hutchison Whampoa) -- but Vodafone is scrambling to digest the acquisitions it's already made.
    • Revenues have been slipping and competitive pressure means the payoff for investors may be getting further away.
  • 10:40 AM
    • As expected, Mylan's (MYL -3.2%) Board of Directors unanimously rejects the $40.1B offer from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA -2.4%) saying it grossly undervalues the company and would require Mylan shareholders to accept "low-quality" TEVA shares in exchange for "high-quality" MYL shares.
    • TEVA won't give up easily. Look for a revised bid in the near future.
    • Previously: Teva proposes to acquire Mylan for $82/share in cash and stock (April 21)
  • 10:37 AM
    • KLA-Tencor (KLAC +3.1%), ASML (ASML +3.3%), Photronics (PLAB +2.5%), Ultratech (UTEK +1.4%), Xcerra (XCRA +1.9%), and Rudolph Technologies (RTEC +2%) are moving higher after Applied Materials (down 7.4%) abandoned its plans to merge with fellow chip equipment giant Tokyo Electron amid tough antitrust scrutiny. The Nasdaq is up 0.5%.
    • Not counting divestments, Applied/Tokyo were expected to have ~1/4 of the chip equipment market post-merger, far above #2 ASML's ~15% and #3 Lam Research's ~9%. The unraveling of the deal could be fueling speculation Applied will turn its sights on another target.
    • Rudolph reports after the close. KLA is 4 days removed from beating FQ3 estimates, reporting orders ($692M) near the high end of a $500M-$700M guidance range, and announcing plans to lay off ~10% of its workforce. FQ4 guidance was somewhat light: Revenue of $710M-$790M and EPS of $0.78-$1.02 vs. a pre-earnings consensus of $782.7M and $0.99. Orders are expected to total $550M-$750M.
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  • 10:01 AM
    • Rubicon Project (RUBI +1.8%) says it's completed its acquisition of Canadian "intent marketing" firm Chango.
    • The firm says the deal allows Rubicon's premium customer base to access an incremental $35B of intent marketing spend.
    • The two companies entered into an acquisition deal for about $122M (mostly in stock) late last month.
    • 8-K
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  • 9:07 AM
    • Assets at Pacific Ridge Homes include about 350 lots, 90 homes in inventory, and 40 homes in backlog. With the $72M cash purchase, DHI also gets control of about 400 lots through option contracts.
    • For the 12 months ended on March 31, Pacific Ridge closed 182 homes for $79M. The average home size was 2.6K square feet and the ASP $436K.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 8:38 AM
    • Drew Industries (NYSE:DW) acquires Spectral Industries through its Lippert Components subsidiary for $22.3M.
    • The company says it's "well-positioned" to take advantage of the acquisition and expects the deal to be immediately accretive.
    • Spectral makes windows and doors for buses, RVs, and trucks.
    | Comment!
  • 8:17 AM
    • Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) acquires privately-held San Francisco, CA-based Quanticel Pharmaceuticals for $100M in cash and up to $385M in various R&D and regulatory milestones. Celgene expects the transaction to be neutral to 2015 non-GAAP EPS guidance.
    • Quanticel, which as been a strategic alliance partner to Celgene since 2011, is a cancer-focused drug discovery firm based on a proprietary single-cell genomic analysis platform.
  • 8:15 AM
    • PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) and Sinopec (SNP, SHI), China’s two largest oil explorers, jumped by their daily trading limit in Shanghai on speculation the government is considering consolidating the industry.
    • PTR jumped 10% to 14.65 yuan, the highest in more than five years, and SNP also surged 10% to 8.56 yuan at the close in Shanghai; in U.S. premarket action, PTR +5%, SNP +5.7%, SHI +17.1%.
    • A report also said China’s state-assets regulator may cut the number of government-owned enterprises to 40 from 112 through mergers and restructuring.
    • Earlier: Chinese shares continue powerful ascent
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  • 6:45 AM
    • Perfect World (NASDAQ:PWRD) enters a go-private transaction with Perfect Peony Holding Company at a price of $20.20 per share.
    • The deal price from the entity led by Chairman Michael Chi is higher than the original privatization offer of $15.76/share made last December and a follow-up bid of $20/share in January.
    • PWRD +2.54% premarket to $18.99.
  • 4:15 AM
    • Looking to make North America its largest market, Cap Gemini (OTCPK:CGEMY) plans to buy U.S.-based iGATE (NASDAQ:IGTE) for $4B, or $48 per share.
    • The deal, which has been agreed on by both boards, will be financed through a combination of the French company's cash, debt and an equity portion that will not exceed a 6% dilution of its share capital.
    • Cap Gemini also expects the acquisition to enhance earnings by 12% in 2016 and 16% in 2017.
    • Previously: IGATE reportedly sees buyout interest; shares +4.2% (Apr. 17 2015)
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  • 3:24 AM
    • Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Tokyo Electron (OTCPK:TOELY) said they will scrap plans for a merger that would have created a company with a market value of $29B, citing problems with the U.S. Department of Justice.
    • The future of the deal was put into doubt earlier this year when the plan was delayed due to regulatory issues in several different countries.
  • 2:07 AM
    • The British government has told BP (NYSE:BP) it would oppose any potential takeover of the company, which was seriously weakened by the huge bill incurred after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and a recent plunge in oil prices.
    • Authorities acknowledge that the U.K. would have few formal powers to block a bid, but a senior City figure briefed on the government thinking said making its opposition so clear may deter any foreign company making an offer, FT reports.
    • British officials have also said the government would be skeptical about any takeover - even if it involves Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) - because it wants the country to have two big global oil companies.
    • Previously: BP's Dudley does not foresee wave of energy mergers, at least not yet (Apr. 21 2015)
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