Shares of Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) are up 9% to jump back over $12.
Volume on today's strong move has already flown past the daily trading average for Sears.
The push higher in Sears coincides (related?) with strength in companies in the business of renting, leasing, and offering up credit services. Some of those movers include Conn's (CONN +5.8%), General Finance (GFN +1.4%), Willis Lease (WLFC +3%), United Rentals (URI +2.8%), Rent-A-Center (RCII +2.5%), Essex Rental (ESSX +3.8%), Ryder (R +2.1%), and Air Lease (AL +2.2%).
Among the changes expected to save about $500K annually: The disbanding of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, not renewing the NYC office space lease with Hyde Park Real Estate, cutting the number of directors to five from six, paying director compensation half in stock and half in cash (rather than all cash). Bill Fox has been elected to chair both the Nominating and Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee.
After checking the market for interest, Essex (NASDAQ:ESSX) has decided not to pursue a sale of Essex Crane Rental or the company as a whole.
Essex Rental (ESSX -13.5%) discloses the receipt last week of a notice of default from Wells Fargo, the lead lender for the company revolver.
At issue is a decline in the appraised orderly liquidation value of the company's rental equipment fleet. This has forced a decline in the borrowing base, putting the excess credit availability at less than 10% of the total loan commitment.
The move will cost the company another 200 bps of annual interest, and the letter of credit fee is also boosted by 200 bps.
Essex is in negotiations with its lenders to obtain a waiver or otherwise remedy the default.
"The conclusion of this proxy contest marks not an end but a beginning," says Lee Keddie, one of the new board members. "Essex (NASDAQ:ESSX) has tremendous inherent value and we are confident there is much we can and will do to refocus Essex and steer it in a new strategic direction."
Both Keddie and John Climaco received an overwhelming majority of the votes, says Casey Capital, an owner of about 5.9% of the company.
Shareholders are selling the news. The stock is lower by 8.2% on heavier-than-normal volume.
The Essex (ESSX +2.4%) board will allow the nomination of Lee Keddie to move forward, paving the way for his election as a director next week.
Discussions with Kevin Casey have yet to produce a settlement, so while Keddie will move to the board, another one of Casey's nominees - Chris Kinslow - will not. Instead, John Climaco will join Keddie as a new board member.
Edward Levy is out as a director (he's been there since 2006), and the board will disband its Strategic Planning and Finance Committee (co-chaired by Laurence Levy and Edward Levy and having some notable capital allocation failures).
Default risk is off the table, says SA Pro author Terrier Investing of Essex Rental (NASDAQ:ESSX), after the company, as he expected, received waivers from lenders.
While Q4 results missed expectations, Terrier notes crawler backlog was up 30%+ for the second consecutive quarter, pointing to material improvement in earnings in 2015.
The stock is suffering a bout of profit-taking today, down 10.7% to $1.26 per share, after running from $0.77 to $1.41 over the last week following Terrier's initial write-up (and a bullish piece from Value Investors Club).
In a report embargoed until tomorrow morning, SA Pro author Terrier Investing details the multi-bagger opportunity in Essex Rental (ESSX +22.4%), a beaten-up name that got even more beaten-up last month when it announced a delay in its 10-K filing.