|Pretty Girls and Railroads||-0.03%|
|Widows and Orphans||-0.11%|
|Climbers and Dogs||-0.59%|
|Symbol||Company Name||Price||Price Chg.||Price % Chg.||Volume (000)||Volume % Chg.|
|EXD||Eaton V Tx-Ad Bd And Op||$14.99||0.09||1%||21||-22%|
|DHF||Dreyfus Hi Yd Strategies||$4.15||0.02||0%||93||-33%|
|NLY||Annaly Capital Mgmt Inc||$11.84||0.04||0%||4,100||-30%|
|CRT||Cross Timber Royalty Tr||$27.73||0.07||0%||04||-26%|
|KYN||Kayne Anderson Mlp Invt||$35.94||0.09||0%||173||-6%|
|ANH||Anworth Mortgage Asset||$5.00||0.01||0%||336||-48%|
|FSC||Fifth Street Finance||$10.91||0.01||0%||318||-40%|
|IVR||Invesco Mortgage Capital||$16.70||0.01||0%||519||-44%|
|FL||Foot Locker Inc||$36.28||0.01||0%||656||-36%|
|WM||Waste Management Inc||$42.01||-0.04||0%||379||-52%|
|AZN||Astrazeneca Plc Ads||$50.49||-0.06||0%||559||-28%|
|TJX||T J X Cos Inc||$51.56||-0.09||0%||632||-54%|
|AMAT||Applied Materials Inc||$16.10||-0.03||0%||2,719||-53%|
|HTS||Hatteras Financial Corp||$20.21||-0.06||0%||341||-34%|
|FT||Franklin Universal Trust||$7.06||-0.03||0%||15||-50%|
|NYMT||New York Mortgage Trust||$6.52||-0.03||0%||340||-38%|
|AFL||A F L A C Inc||$60.75||-0.34||-1%||607||-44%|
|ETN||Eaton Corp Plc||$67.64||-0.39||-1%||669||-46%|
|MXA||Minnesota Mun Inc Port||$14.85||-0.11||-1%||00||-97%|
|NOK||Nokia Corp Ads||$3.98||-0.04||-1%||6,066||-50%|
|MO||Altria Group Inc||$35.55||-0.35||-1%||2,365||-41%|
|RAI||Reynolds American Inc||$49.90||-0.53||-1%||697||-16%|
|IACI||I A C/Interactivecorp||$51.35||-0.55||-1%||290||-32%|
|BP||B P Plc Adr||$43.11||-0.47||-1%||2,133||1%|
|RDSA||Royal Dutch Shell A Ads||$67.76||-0.75||-1%||852||-5%|
|KSU||Kansas City Southern||$108.88||-1.25||-1%||202||-58%|
|ENI||Enersis S A Ads||$15.58||-0.19||-1%||123||-53%|
|BWP||Boardwalk Pipeline Prtnr||$32.00||-0.44||-1%||384||8%|
|KLAC||K L A Tencor Corp||$57.92||-0.86||-1%||912||22%|
|PSO||Pearson Plc Adr||$20.14||-0.31||-2%||222||60%|
|CEO||C N O O C Ltd Adr||$180.48||-2.84||-2%||28||-47%|
|KMP||Kinder Morgan Energy Lp||$83.70||-2.03||-2%||573||-5%|
|E||Eni Spa Ads||$43.67||-1.08||-2%||138||-15%|
|UMC||United Microelectrnc Adr||$2.14||-0.06||-3%||544||-43%|
Halliburton’s (HAL) plea deal may help BP in its Gulf oil spill liability battle, since it would now seem less plausible for HAL to argue in any litigation between the two companies that it had warned BP about something for which evidence was destroyed. BP, for its part, continued this week to paint itself as a victim against a mountain of compensation claims, but pictures of the Gulf’s newest flaming rig won’t help.
Nigeria LNG lifts the force majeure on its liquefied natural gas exports, two weeks after the country’s maritime regulator lifted a blockade of the company’s operations amid a long-running dispute over the payment of duties on freight and exports. Nigeria LNG is a JV between Nigeria’s state oil company, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Total (TOT) and Eni (E).
Shell (RDS.A -0.5%) reportedly is pitching its floating liquefied natural gas technology directly to the government of Mozambique after failing so far to gain a foothold in East Africa, one of the world’s hottest energy plays. Shell’s presentation to Mozambique’s president during a U.K. visit suggests it is seeking ways to bypass the companies which have made gas discoveries in the country, Anadarko (APC) and Eni (E).
12:49 PMQuestar unit acquires natural gas producing properties
- Questar (STR) says its Wexpro subsidiary agrees to acquire an additional interest in natural gas-producing properties at Wyoming’s Vermillion Basin for ~$106M.
- STR already owns 46% working interest in the properties being acquired; the acquisition will increase it to 88%.
- The deal adds ~118B cfe of net proved reserves; ~45% are currently proved-developed.
12:46 PMFoster Wheeler to construct Dow Chemical’s Louisiana plant upgrade
- Foster Wheeler (FWLT -1.8%) says it’s been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management contract to upgrade Dow Chemical’s (DOW) Plaquemine petrochemical facility in Louisiana.
- The initial release of work will be included in FWLT‘s Q2 bookings while the main release is expected to be recorded in Q3 this year.
- The value of the contract was not disclosed.
12:45 PMDissecting Barnes & Noble’s SEC filing
- Barnes & Noble (BKS -5.1%) trades lower after the company filed a proxy statement with the SEC. (14A)
- Highlights of the company’s restated financials include a 2012 net loss that was reduced $4M, a 2011 loss that was chopped by $5M, and 2010 earnings which saw $6M added to it.
- Bloomberg reporter Matt Townsend thinks the meatiest part of the filing is on page 47 where B&N dissects its approach to related-party transactions.
12:39 PMPenske to acquire Western Star Trucks Australia
- Penske (PAG +0.9%) will pay $200M for the distributor of commercial vehicles, related spare parts and aftermarket support.
- The transaction should close in Q3.
- The deal will bring in $420-460M in annual revenue, will be “$0.10-0.14 accretive on an annualized basis,” and will result in $0.02/ share in acquisition costs next quarter.
12:35 PMShanda -21.4% on M&A news; peers off thanks to Sohu/Changyou
- Shanda (GAME) is nosediving as investors balk at the price it’s paying to acquire affiliates responsible for handling its online game billing and customer service work, among other activities.
- One of the affiliates (Shengzhan) owns valuable data about user activity. The other (Shengjiang) runs a network that sells 2M+ real/virtual prepaid gaming cards via 180K distribution channels.
- Shanda claims service fees paid to the affiliates made up 21.3% of its Q1 revenue, and that buying the companies will help it deliver the kind of integrated platform it considers crucial for mobile success.
- Shanda is paying for the deals with cash, deferred payments, and the settlement of an outstanding loan receivable.
- Shares had more than doubled since early May before today’s plunge.
- Fellow online game providers NetEase (NTES -2.6%), Qihoo (QIHU -4.1%), Perfect World (PWRD -5.3%), and Giant Interactive (GA -5%) are selling off. Sohu and subsidiary Changyou’s disappointing Q2 results and Q3 guidance are the main trigger, though a moderate selloff in Shanghai isn’t helping either.
12:34 PMScientists eye fracking in Arctic and ocean floor
- Dire warnings of a potential $60T hit to the global economy from a warming Arctic as methane is released from melting permafrost comes as scientists say they are closer to tapping methane hydrate as a fuel source potentially containing more energy than all previously discovered oil and gas combined.
- Some take issue with the warning, saying the likelihood of a “methane pulse” runs contrary to prior research.
- Successful development of methane hydrates could impact big LNG projects such as Australia’s $50B Gorgon development led by Chevron (CVX).
12:27 PMAmerican Apparel spikes, helped by SA Pro article
- Shares of American Apparel (APP +3.1%) move notably higher on the session.
- In a still-embargoed SA Pro article, contributor Pendulum says the stock “may climb 3x in the next 3-5 years” as the company is successfully “executing a turnaround and has a reasonable multi-year growth plan.”
12:26 PMStarbucks to test wireless phone charging services
- After a successful test run in Boston, Starbucks (SBUX -1.4%) will introduce wireless cellphone services at locations in Silicon Valley.
- The company will work with Duracell Powermat to help finetune the PMA standard in the select stores before backing a broader rollout.
- The feature is seen giving Starbucks another competitive advantage over QSR rivals to help lure store traffic and justify its premium pricing.
12:18 PMMolina Healthcare buys assets from Community Health Solutions
- Molina Healthcare (MOH -2.1%) has acquired certain assets of Community Health Solutions of America relating to its South Carolina Solutions business.
- Under the agreement, Community Health Solutions agrees to transfer its Medical Homes Network membership, with the exception of those members enrolled in the Medically Complex Children’s Waiver component of the program.
12:18 PMAir Products suffers two downgrades
- Air Products (APD -0.4%) is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies after shares have rallied 22% since May 1 vs. 6% for the S&P 500. The firm believes the move is overdone, as investors can now buy Linde (LNAGF.PK) at a relative discount with more leverage to a shift in cyclical sentiment.
- Shares are cut to Sell from Hold at BGC Partners.
12:13 PMFrancesca’s slides on Wedbush downgrade
- Shares of Francesca’s Holdings (FRAN -5.5%) are under pressure after catching a downgrade to Neutral from Outperform from Wedbush.
- Price target is cut to $32 from $40.
- Analyst Betty Chen cites “lackluster quarter-to-date checks,” difficult back-end compares, and “stagnating margins.”
12:02 PMHaemonetics down on revenue miss, sales cut
- Haemonetics (HAE -8.6%) erases all of this month’s gains on the back of a Q1 revenue miss and lowered FY14 sales guidance.
- Janney Montgomery says that while HAE management tried to paint the recent quarter’s revenue weakness as more one-time than long-lasting, the recent trends in lowering growth expectations is likely be noticed by investors.
- However, despite the revenue miss and downshift in growth guidance, Janney still says it remains bullish on the stock, largely due to the company’s earnings leverage that was clearly seen during Q1 and expected to last through FY14.
12:01 PMCanadian CEOs, local telcos, object to wireless rule changes
- A group representing 150 Canadian CEOs has sent a letter to PM Stephen Harper asking him to reconsider new mobile investment rules they claim would give would-be entrant Verizon (VZ +0.6%) and unfair edge over incumbents BCE (BCE +0.3%), Rogers (RCI +1.1%), and Telus (TU +0.9%).
- The incumbents have already been aggressively lobbying Ottawa to fix perceived loopholes in telecom policy they claim benefit outside giants, rather than smaller carriers.
- Verizon, possibly motivated by the potential for huge roaming fee savings, is believed to be eying the purchase of struggling Canadian carriers Wind and Mobilicity, whom the incumbents can’t acquire due to spectrum rules.
- Big Red is also considering taking part in a Jan. ’14 spectrum auction; the rule changes would allow it to buy more spectrum than the incumbents.
12:00 PMOn the hour
- Dow -0.42%.
- 10-yr -0.09%.
- Euro -0.13% vs. dollar.
- Crude +0.11% to $104.82.
- Gold +0.81% to $1332.55.
11:59 AMSynergy Resources contracts for 21 additional horizontal wells
- Synergy Resources (SYRG +2.7%) says it has amended its drilling contract to enable 21 additional horizontal wells to be drilled in the Wattenberg Field.
- Ensign Rig #17 is currently drilling the Renfroe 42-1-36CHZ, the fifth well of SYRG’s program for 25 horizontal wells.
- SYRG says the contract will enable it to begin execution of its $157.5M FY 2014 capex budget.
11:53 AMStatoil faces delay at Kvitebjorn after bridge collapses
- Statoil (STO -0.9%) says its project to boost gas output at the Kvitebjorn field in the North Sea may be delayed after a footbridge to the Floatel Superior accommodation unit is closed due to damage following an incident last night; it’s Floatel’s second safety issue in less than a year.
- Production at Kvitebjorn has been shut down this summer to complete the project; in May, it produced ~188 boe/day.
11:47 AMBarclays to raise £5B in rights issue
- Details emerge regarding Barclays’ (BCS -3.7%) plans to bridge a capital shortfall.
- The bank will unveil a £5B+ rights issue Tuesday, people familiar with the matter have told FT.
- Details regarding a rumored CoCo issue are sparse because the plans are “still being finalized.”
- All told, the measures will put the bank’s core Tier 1 capital ratio at ~9.5%.
11:44 AMWynn Resorts in focus after earnings
- Wells Fargo thinks the weak Macau numbers reported by Wynn Resorts (WYNN) will depress shares in the short-term.
- Steve Wynn says the company fell behind in its hold percentage in Macau, but gushed about prospects in the U.S. despite what he calls the “limp-wristed crawl” of an economic recovery. In particular, the exec noted projects in Boston and Philadelphia look promising.
- (conference call webcast)
11:38 AMReport: Yahoo close to buying e-commerce app platform Lexity
- Kara Swisher reports Lexity, founded by ex-Yahoo engineer Amit Kumar, is close to being Yahoo’s (YHOO -0.7%) 19th acquisition in the Marissa Mayer era.
- Lexity provides apps that analyze e-commerce sites and apps, and deliver features such as targeted ad placements, shopping search engine listings, and and live chat tools.
- Investor interest in e-commerce services platforms has grown lately, as evidenced by the strong IPOs delivered by ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -1.7%) and RetailMeNot (SALE).
- Google, Amazon, and eBay are each ramping their efforts to provide e-commerce ad solutions to smaller merchants. Yahoo, which caters to merchants via Yahoo Shopping, might not want to be left out.
11:36 AMCBS and Time Warner Cable fight goes the distance
- The clock is ticking in the dispute between CBS (CBS -2.1%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -1.2%) with today’s 5:00 PM EST deadline for a resolution looming before CBS goes dark in New York City.
- Analysts think the fight between the companies on carriage fees per subscriber is down to a few cents, but also speculate that CBS might be willing to go over the edge to gauge response to online initiatives.
- NYC mayoral candidates Christine Quinn is bringing up the topic on the campaign, asking the two sides to extend their deadline once again.
- Waiting in the wings if the talks go south: Aereo
11:24 AMJefferies starts Verastem at Buy
- Verastem (VSTM +1.7%) is initiated with a Buy rating at Jefferies. Price target is $21, representing a 42% upside from Friday’s close.
- Analyst Biren Amin says VS-6063 “has favorable odds of showing a PFS benefit [in mesothelioma trials], supporting potential accelerated approval in H2 2016.”
- For more on VS-6063, see previous coverage.
11:22 AMLimited Brands on the move
- Shares of L Brands (LTD) are up +3.1% to reach an all-time high.
- The old adage is that as economic times improve, so do sales in the underwear market.
- On that note, SA contributor Chris Katje thinks investors should buy shares of Hanesbrands (HBI -1%) on dips.
11:20 AMShares of Synta Pharmaceuticals soar
- Synta Pharmaceuticals (SNTA +37%) surges today after saying preliminary results from its ENCHANT-1 trial to evaluate ganetespib monotherapy in patients with HER2 positive or triple-negative breast cancer hit the prespecified targets for advancing to the second stage of the trial.
11:17 AMRosneft H1 net profit rises 18%
- Russia’s OAO Rosneft (RNFTF.PK) says H1 net profit rose 18% to 137B rubles ($4.17B), and output ramped up by more than 82% Y/Y at 4.8M boe/day.
- CEO Igor Sechin says the results show how effectively the company had integrated the new TNK-BP assets into its operational and financial activity since the deal concluded in March.
11:11 AMBernanke may be deposed in Greenberg/ AIG suit: Judge
- A judge has ruled that due to the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding the government bailout of AIG, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke can be deposed by ex-CEO Hank Greenberg in his suit against the U.S., CNBC’s Brian Sullivan reports. Update 11:36: Date proposed for Bernanke deposition is August 16.
11:11 AMCelgene enters into a strategic collaboration with Acetylon Pharmaceuticals with an option to buy
- Celgene (CELG -0.7%) enters into a strategic collaboration and will make a $100M upfront cash payment for an exclusive option giving it the right to buy Acetylon Pharmaceuticals – a developer of small molecule drugs that target epigenetic mechanisms for the treatment of cancer and other critical human diseases.
- Acetylon will retain control of its drug development program during the option period.
- If Celgene exercises its option, an upfront payment with a minimum floor of $500M, will be paid at closing.
- Additionally, Acetylon shareholders will be eligible to receive potential future milestone payments totaling up to $1.1B depending upon certain targets.
11:00 AMOn the hour
- Dow -0.21%.
- 10-yr -0.07%.
- Euro -0.2% vs. dollar.
- Crude -0.09% to $104.61.
- Gold +0.62% to $1330.15.
10:59 AMUranium companies surge even as spot prices sink
- USEC (USU +40.2%) and uranium peers are surging again, but industry fundamentals tell a different story, TD Securities says, as Japan’s restart process could be “a lot more protracted” than originally thought.
- In recent years, the uranium spot price (URA) found support whenever it fell to $40/lb. but prices have plunged 14% in two months to $34.50, lowest since 2006.
- URRE +30.6%, URZ +12.6%, but industry leader CCJ -3%.
10:56 AMMicron expects Elpida deal to close on Wednesday
- The closing follows U.S. and Japanese court approvals of the deal, and the rejecting of objections raised by Elpida creditors.
- The deal will greatly increase Micron’s (MU +0.4%) exposure to the fast-growing and higher-margin mobile DRAM market at a time when PC DRAM volumes continue to slump, and cement the DRAM industry’s consolidation around Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix.
10:55 AMRestoration Hardware could stall, says Barron’s
- Restoration Hardware (RH -2%) trades lower following a harsh take from Barron’s on the company’s plan to expand into new areas such as RH Contemporary Art and RH Kitchen.
- After running up 180% since going public last year, valuation is considered by some to be stretched.
- A rash of insider sales over the last few months is also mentioned as a concern.
10:53 AMBioLineRX files to commence trials for BL-5010P
- BioLineRx (BLRX -1.5%) says it’s filed regulatory submissions to commence a CE-Mark registration trial for BL-5010P with the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, as well as with the relevant ethics committees.
- BL-5010P is a potential treatment for the non-surgical removal of of seborrheic keratosis skin lesions using a pen-like applicator.
10:47 AMSohu -9.5% and Changyou -18.7% following revenue misses
- Sohu’s (SOHU) Q2 numbers weren’t bad. Brand ad revenue of $100M (+45% Y/Y, +32% in Q1), online game revenue of $168M (+24% Y/Y, +33% in Q1), and Sogou revenue of $50M (+64% Y/Y, +73% in Q1) met guidance.
- Sohu’s Q3 guidance is for revenue of $358M-$370M vs. a $361.3M consensus. Sogou revenue is seen growing 45%-50% Y/Y to $54M-$56M.
- But expectations for Sohu had risen; the $340.3M Q2 rev. consensus was near the high end of a $333M-$342M guidance range.
- Sohu’s gross margin was 66%, flat Q/Q and +500 bps Y/Y. Opex +21% Q/Q and +43% Y/Y (above rev. growth of +10% and +33%).
- Subsidiary Changyou (CYOU) has also seen expectations rise. And its guidance for Q3 revenue of $180M-$186M is below a $191M consensus.
- Changyou’s online game revenue +1% Q/Q and +24% Y/Y. But active paying accounts -4% Q/Q and -25% Y/Y to 1.96M.
- Changyou has established a new $100M buyback program in an attempt to soften the blow.
- BofA/Merrill has cut Changyou to Neutral.
- Q2 results: Sohu, Changyou
- PRs: Sohu, Changyou
10:45 AMOil train safety rule delayed by a year
- The Obama administration delays by nearly a year a plan to boost safety standards for the type of rail car involved in the deadly oil train derailment in Quebec earlier this month.
- The structure of the tank car is not believed to be a factor in the derailment, but experts say the car’s underlying design makes it prone to damage and catastrophic loss of hazardous materials.
10:37 AMNorwegian Cruise Line Holdings trades lower after earnings
- Goldman Sachs maintains a Neutral rating and $28 price target on Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH -2.2%) following the firm’s mixed Q2 results and guidance.
- The cruise line operator’s results were in focus with some concerns that demand in the sector is weakening.
10:29 AMCompanies work on relief well off Louisiana coast
- Personnel have returned to the stricken Hercules Offshore (HERO -0.4%) drilling rig offshore Louisiana, and safety functions are being carried out as Walter Oil gets a go-ahead to drill a relief well with a Rowan (RDC) unit.
- Scientists are evaluating pollution in the area; there’s still a slight sheen on the water, but it is dissipating quickly.
- Operators are called “lucky” after sediment in the well blocked the uncontrolled flow of natural gas last week.
10:14 AMHertz falls despite profit growth, in line EPS
- Shares of Hertz (HTZ -2.8%) are down on the heels of the company’s Q2 report. Perhaps weighing on the shares is the company’s reaffirmed full year EPS guidance which, at $1.82-1.92/ share, may look just a touch light to fickle investors eying consensus estimates of $1.90. The stock is paring losses quickly however.
- Earlier: Earnings summary.
10:10 AMRandgold says Ivory Coast mine won’t be affected by mining code debate
- Randgold Resources (GOLD +0.4%) says it received assurances from Ivory Coast that the convention defining its investment in the Tongon gold mine won’t be altered as the government continues to debate the structure of its mining code.
- CEO Mark Bristow says the gold price slump plus continuing uncertainty about Ivory Coast’s mining code has forced miners to delay or downsize projects, but believes a reasonable mining code will be decided, adding that GOLD continues to make investments in the country.
10:05 AMSinclair Broadcast Group buys more TV stations
- Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI +0.8%) will buy 8 TV stations for $985M.
- The deal, which is slated to close in Q4, will include 7 ABC stations and NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C.
- Sinclair’s acquisitions continue a strong trend of consolidation in the industry.
10:01 AMA roundup of tech ratings changes
- Microsoft (MSFT -0.1%) has been cut to Neutral by Atlantic Equities.
- 3D Systems (DDD +3.7%) and Stratasys (SSYS +1.9%) have been started at Buy by Brean Capital.
- Riverbed (RVBD -1.6%) has been cut to Market Perform by Northland.
- RF Micro (RFMD -2.9%) has been cut to Equal Weight by Barclays.
- Baidu (BIDU +1.8%) has been named a Long Research Tactical Idea by Morgan Stanley.
- Celestica (CLS +1.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by Canaccord.
10:00 AMOn the hour
- Dow -0.14%.
- 10-yr -0.13%.
- Euro -0.24% vs. dollar.
- Crude -0.38% to $104.3.
- Gold +0.65% to $1330.55.
9:57 AMFDA reviewers: Sanofi hayfever spray should be sold OTC
- Sanofi’s (SNY -0.4%) Nasacort AQ prescription nasal spray for hay fever and other respiratory allergies “has a favorable risk-benefit profile” that should allow it to be sold over the counter, FDA reviewers say.
- The opinion comes ahead of a meeting of an FDA advisory panel on Wednesday over whether the agency should allow Nasacort to be sold over the counter rather than as a prescription.
9:56 AMTransCanada sticks by Keystone job estimates after Obama suggests they’re exaggerated
- TransCanada (TRP +0.8%) insists the proposed Keystone pipeline will create ~20K jobs, despite weekend remarks by Pres. Obama that those estimates might be unrealistic.
- “There is no reason for us to overinflate our numbers – we have to answer to our board, to our shareholders,” TRP says, suggesting (hoping?) Obama’s comments can be attributed to U.S. politics rather than how he might truly believe on the project.
9:55 AMNetflix an add-on, not an alternative?
- TiVo Research and Analytics says Netflix (NFLX +0.6%) users don’t watch less traditional television despite loading up on shows from the streaming service.
- The somewhat counterintuitive finding comes on top of the strong correlation the study saw between Netflix usage and HBO (TWX) viewership.
9:48 AMWipro issues strong Sep. quarter guidance; shares +1.9%
- The Indian IT outsourcing firm expects its FQ2 (Sep. quarter) IT services revenue to rise 2%-3.9% Q/Q to $1.62B-$1.65B; analysts had been expecting a 1%-3% increase.
- UBS (Buy): “This is the strongest guidance from the company in recent history.”
- Shares were nearly unchanged on Friday following Wipro’s (WIT) FQ1 results. They rallied earlier in the month in response to Infosys’ FQ1 beat and solid FY14 guidance.
9:46 AMBakken flaring burns $100M/month, study says
- Oil drillers in the Bakken shale fields are allowing nearly a third of the natural gas they drill to burn off into the air, valued at more than $100M/month, according to a study by Ceres, a non-profit group that tracks environmental records of public companies.
- ~266M cf/day of ~900M cf/day nat gas extracted in North Dakota was flared in May, or ~29%: That’s “a lot of shareholder value going up in flames.”
- Drillers discussed in the Reuters article: HES, CLR.
9:46 AMCaterpillar to buy back $1B in shares
- Caterpillar (CAT +1.3%) agrees to repurchase $1B in stock from Societe Generale (SCGLF.PK).
- Caterpillar expects to complete the buyback in September.
- The deal brings Caterpillar’s total repurchases to $2B in 2013 after it announced a similar $1B buyback in April. That deal was completed in June. (PR)
9:44 AMActavis gets Leerink upgrade, files generic Nucynta ANDA
- Leerink upgrades Actavis (ACT +1.8%) to Outperform from Market Perform, dismissing “current overhangs” as “low grade earnings risks.”
- Price target raised to $155 from $133
- ACT files ANDA for a generic version of Janssen’s (JNJ +0.3%) Nucynta. Janssen and Grunenthal GMBH file suit to prevent commercialization.
- Recent ACT news: Q2 earnings summary.
9:42 AMPapa Murphy’s considers going public
- Pizza chain Papa Murphy’s will test the IPO waters, according to Reuters.
- The popular chain which specializes in allowing customers to buy custom-ordered pizza for home cooking is owned by P-E firm Lee Equity Partners. (Related: The race for the first national fast-casual pizza chain)
9:35 AMPfizer to reorganize ops into three business segments
- Pfizer (PFE) intends to separate its commercial operations into three segments as part of a reorganization.
- The divisions are: Innovative Products Group, which will include therapeutics that are expected to have market exclusivity beyond 2015; Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare, all three of which will operate as separate businesses; and Value, which comprises generic products and drugs that will soon lose their patent protection.
- Pfizer said earlier this year that it could eventually sell the generics business.
- Pfizer will implement the changes in January in countries where it doesn’t need to consult with labor unions.
- Pfizer reshuffles some top brass as part of the reorganization. (PR)
9:31 AMAt the open
- Dow -0.23% to 15524. S&P -0.2% to 1688. Nasdaq -0.17% to 3607.
- Treasurys: 30-year -0.23%. 10-yr -0.07%. 5-yr -0.02%.
- Commodities: Crude +0.24% to $104.95. Gold +0.51% to $1328.65.
- Currencies: Euro -0.19% vs. dollar. Yen -0.36%. Pound +0.21%.
9:27 AMYandex co-founder/CTO passes away
- Ilya Segalovich, who co-founded the Russian search giant in ’97 with CEO Arkady Volozh, died of cancer over the weekend. He was 48.
- Yandex (YNDX) had announced Segalovich’s death last week, but later clarified its remarks and stated he was in a coma.
- Volozh: “Ilya was an encyclopedia in technology and his highest ethical standards has always set the landmark for us all.”
9:25 AMSoutheast Asian markets slide
- Indonesian (IDX, EIDO) and Vietnamese (VNM) shares lead regional markets lower, falling 1.7%.
- Philippine equities (EPHE) slip 0.7% on what looks like profit taking, although the consensus seems to be that speculation about a Moody’s upgrade and an EM-friendly Fed will push the main index above resistance at 6,800.
- Thai (THD) and Malaysian (EWM) shares sink 1.52% and 0.4% respectively on $80.32M and $16.21M in foreign outflows.
9:20 AMMarket preview
- U.S. stocks look set to open lower at the start of a heavy week of macro-economic events, although it’s M&A news that’s in focus this morning.
- The S&P Mini is -0.2%.
- Omnicom is +8.1% following news of its blockbuster merger with Publicis, Elan is +6.6% but Perrgio is -2.4% in the wake of confirmation of their deal, while Saks climbs 3.5% after disclosure of its buyout by Hudson’s Bay.
- Later: Pending Home Sales, Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook
9:17 AMMichael Baker to be acquired for $397M
- Engineering services firm Michael Baker (BKR) agrees to be acquired by Integrated Mission Solutions, an affiliate of DC Capital Partners, for ~$397M, or $40.50/share, a 37% premium to BKR’s Friday closing price.
- Shares +36% premarket.
9:17 AMMansfield changes roles at Apple; company probing labor issues
- Apple (AAPL) engineering chief Bob Mansfield is no longer on the company’s executive team, and instead will work on “special projects,” while still reporting to Tim Cook. His bio has disappeared from Apple’s executive profiles page.
- Mansfield, Apple’s long-time hardware engineering head, temporarily announced his retirement last year, only to be lured back (reportedly following employee discontent over his departure) and given a bigger role as part of Tim Cook’s Oct. ’12 shakeup. A $2M/month salary may have helped convince him.
- Former Yves Saint-Laurent CEO Paul Deneve was named a “special projects” VP earlier this month. Many speculate he’s working on an iWatch.
- Separately, Apple says it’s sending audit teams to 3 Chinese factories accused by Chinese Labor Watch of having poor working/living conditions.
9:16 AMMore tidbits from the Saks buyout
- The narrow premium nabbed by Saks (SKS) leaves open the possibility the retailer will seek more bids during its go-shopping period, note analysts.
- The deal will presumably introduce Saks Fifth Avenue stores, Off Fifth outlets, and the Saks website into Canada for the first time – although care will have to be made not to cannibalize Hudson’s own market share.
- In a bit of an oddity, the CEO of Saks skipped the deal conference call. (webcast)
9:06 AMAECOM, Siemens to help build Riyadh metro system
- AECOM Technology (ACM), Siemens (SI) and Bechtel are part of a consortium that has won a $9.45B project to build two lines for a metro-system in Riyadh. Bechtel heads the group.
- In total, Saudi Arabia has handed out three contracts worth a total of $22.5B to construct six lines.
- The other winning consortia are: one that includes Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, France’s Alstom (AOMFF.PK) and South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corp. (SSGFF.PK); and another that includes Italy’s Ansaldo STS (ASDOF.PK), Canada’s Bombardier (BDRAF.PK) and India’s Larsen & Toubro (LTORY.OB).
- Design work is to start immediately, with construction set to begin in Q1 next year. The project is due for completion in 2019.
9:05 AMUSEC moves again, this time on new funding agreement
- USEC (USU) +17.8% premarket after amending its RD&D cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy to provide nearly $30M in additional government cost-share, bringing total DOE funding to $227.7M, sufficient to fund the program through the end of Q3.
- Shares surged 217% last week to $19.21 from a close of $6.05 on July 19.
9:03 AMBMW hopes to make EV splash
- BMW’s (BAMXY.PK) new i3 EV will be sold with an interesting perk to alleviate driving range anxiety. Owners will have the right to book a conventional full-sized sedan for a few weeks a year to take care of long-distance driving vacations.
- The automaker is taking a different approach to the EV market by designing a model from scratch, instead of converting a gas-powered version. Industry watchers think the gamble could help the i3 stand out compared to rivals on efficiency and performance.
- The car will debut in the fall priced roughly halfway between the Tesla Model S and lower-end EVs such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.
9:00 AMOn the hour:
- S&P -0.23%.
- 10-yr -0.09%.
- Euro -0.16% vs. dollar.
- Crude +0.42% to $105.14.
- Gold +0.56% to $1329.35.
8:55 AMPostiive results in Synta’s ganetespib breast cancer study
- Synta Pharmaceuticals (SNTA) says a clinical trial evaluating ganetespib montherapy in patients with newly diagnosed locally advanced or metastatic HER2 positive or triple-negative breast cancer will advance to the second stage.
- Two of five HER2-positive patients and two of 10 TNBC patients achieved objective tumor response; criteria for advancement was one objective response out of the total 15 patients.
- SNTA shares +11.66% premarket.
- What everyone is watching: Ganetespib’s performance in the GALAXY program. (previous coverage)
8:52 AMCVR Refining updates distribution, revenue outlook
- CVR Refining (CVRR) -4.3% premarket after updating its FY 2013 distribution outlook to $4.10-$4.80/unit.
- The updated outlook is primarily due to the decrease in the Group 3 2-1-1 crack spread, increased RINs expense, and an expected Q3 shutdown of the fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Coffeyville refinery.
- Sees upside guidance for Q2 revenues: $2.13B-$2.145B vs. $2.1B consensus.
- CVR Partners (UAN) updates FY 2013 distribution outlook to $1.80-$2.00/unit.
8:49 AMIntuitive Surgical ups repurchase program to $1.5B
- Intuitive Surgical (ISRG +3%) raises its buyback program by $779M to $1.5B, which includes $721M not yet realized.
- As part of the altered program, Intuitive is purchasing $500M of stock from Goldman Sachs (GS), the majority of which will be retired by the end of October. (PR)
8:44 AMFast-food workers push for reform
- Fast-food workers at McDonald’s (MCD), Wendy’s (WEN), and Burger King (BKW) are expected to stage organized strikes in major cities across the U.S. today in an effort to call attention to their labor demands.
- An increase in the federal minimum wage and the right to form a union without retaliation are at the top of the wish list for the group.
8:33 AMMore on Valeant job cuts.
- Valeant (VRX) expects savings of over $800M from its acquisition of Bausch & Lomb, including more than $500M this year.
- The combined company will have fewer than 100 corporate staff; it will also have over 18,000 workers in total prior to the 10-15% of job cuts that Valeant is planning.
- Valeant will relocate its Medicis operations to New Jersey from Scottsdale in Arizona, and combine its Obagi operations with a B&L location in California.
- Valeant will continue to be headquartered at Laval, Quebec.
8:33 AMSolar stocks look bright after trade dispute settlement
- 47% duties on Chinese panel exports to Europe don’t kick in until annual export limit — set at seven gigawatts— is hit. (previous)
- Settlement sets minimum price lower than EU companies wanted and close to recent average prices for Chinese manufacturers.
- Premarket movers: YGE +9.48%, JASO +7.2%, LDK +7.69%, TSL +6.97%, JKS +8.61%, SOL +10.47%, CSIQ +5.99%, HSOL +10.4%
8:31 AMShanda Games acquires platform-related affiliates in deals totaling $811M
- Shanda Games (GAME) -7% premarket after agreeing to acquire affiliates providing user and payment platform services from its parent company Shanda Interactive Entertainment for a combined $811.5M.
- GAME says the moves will strengthen its mobile strategy.
- Other players in Chinese gaming: SOHU, RENN, NTES, PWRD, GA.
8:29 AMOffice Depot sends letter to shareholders
- Office Depot (ODP) says it’s making “significant progress” on its strategic initiative to improve profitability and create long-term value for shareholders.
- The merger with OfficeMax is expected to close before the end of the year.
- The company asks for the backing of its slate of 10 director nominees, but stay tuned for some comments from activist investor Starboard on the issue. (PR)
8:21 AMNational Fuel Gas reports rising production, lifts production guidance
- National Fuel Gas (NFG) E&P subsidiary Seneca Resources reports FQ3 production volumes totaled 34.1B cfe, a 54% increase Y/Y and 18% Q/Q, driven by significant natural gas production growth from its new Marcellus Shale wells.
- Raises FY 2013 production guidance to 118-124 Bcfe from prior 110-118, and raises FY 2014 guidance to 134-146 Bcfe from 132-142.
8:21 AMPizer to sell major vaccine to poor countries at low prices
- Pfizer (PFE) agrees to sell 260M shots of its Prevnar 13 against pneumococcal disease in poor countries for just a few dollars a shot vs $130 in the U.S.
- Pneumococcal disease can cause painful ear infections, as well as serious infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections and meningitis, which can kill or leave survivors deaf, paralyzed, or with permanent learning or speech disabilities.
- Pneumococcal disease kills over 1.6M people a year, half under age 5 and nearly all in poor countries.
- This is the third agreement for Prevnar 13 under a program for companies to sell their drugs cheaply in poor nations. In total, Pfizer is selling 740M doses through 2025. (PR)
8:20 AMNovavax avian flu vaccine shows promise
- Novavax (NVAX) says preclinical data published in a peer reviewed journal show the company’s A(H7N9) VLP vaccine provided “100% protection against lethal wild-type A(H7N9) influenza challenge versus 0% survival in control (H5N1) vaccine” in mouse models.
- The efficacy data may “support clinical development of an H7N9 VLP vaccine.”
- NVAX shares +3.6% premarket.
8:19 AMTata Motors a ‘Conviction Buy’ at Goldman
- Goldman Sachs upgrades Tata Motors (TTM) to a Conviction Buy rating on its view that the company’s product cycle has reached an inflection point.
- The firm calls Tata an automaker that’s “rapidly transforming” its operations to keep up with a fresh product cycle.
8:08 AMPPG to sell optical subsidiary for $1.73B
- PPG Industries (PPG) agrees to sell its majority stake in lens supplier Transitions Optical to Essilor International (ESLOF.PK) for ~$1.73B.
- PPG plans to use proceeds from the deal on acquisitions and share repurchases, which it will resume doing after suspending buybacks earlier this year.
8:03 AMWynn Resorts falls after missing estimates
- Wynn Resorts (WYNN) missed estimates as revenue increased 16.2% for Las Vegas operations, but improved only 2.6% revenue from Macau operations.
- In Macau the mass market segment performed stronger on a year-over-year comparison than the VIP segment.
- EBITDA margin improved dramatically in Las Vegas on broad service, room, and gaming revenue increases.
- The company invested $113M in its high-profile Cotai project during Q2. (PR)
- WYNN -1.6% premarket.
8:00 AMOn the hour
- S&P -0.21%.
- 10-yr +0.02%.
- Euro -0.08% vs. dollar.
- Crude +0.15% to $104.86.
- Gold +1% to $1335.15.
7:58 AMRio Tinto delays Oyu Tolgoi expansion
- Rio Tinto (RIO) puts on hold all work on the underground expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia after the government says parliament will need to approve an anticipated $5B in financing for the project.
- Mongolia’s government has grown increasingly concerned about the cost of the project and the potential for a delay in when it starts receiving its share of profit from the mine.
- Oyu Tolgoi is 66% owned by Rio’s Turquoise Hill (TRQ) unit and 34% by the government.
7:54 AMChelsea Therapeutics gives update on Northera; shares sink
- Chelsea Therapeutics (CHTP) slides 12% premarket after saying the FDA has “identified certain technical deficiencies” in the company’s resubmitted NDA for Northera.
- The company originally resubmitted the NDA earlier this month.
- The FDA’s concerns are not related to “study conduct, interpretability of study results, or validity of study conclusions,” and should be resolved quickly.
- CHTP expects to submit the necessary response in August.
- See previous coverage for more on Northera.
7:52 AMBoeing: Airline should inspect Honeywell beacons on all jets
- Boeing (BA) has broadened its advice to airlines about Honeywell (HON) made emergency beacons on their aircraft, saying that they should inspect 717, Next-Generation 737, 747-400, 767 and 777 jets. The request is in addition to the checks on 787 planes.
- Up to 1,200 aircraft have been fitted with the devices,
- “The purpose of these inspections is to gather data to support potential rule-making by regulators,” Boeing says.
- The request is in response to a fire on an Ethiopian Airlines 787 that was traced to the beacon.
- Airbus (EADSF.PK) is reviewing the way the device is integrated into its jets but stops short of recommending inspections
- Meanwhile, All Nippon Airways has canceled a Boeing 787 flight following a warning message of a problem with the aircraft’s information control-system.
7:43 AMRockwood to sell clay additives business for $635M
- Rockwood Holdings (ROC) agrees to sell its clay-based additives unit, which makes additives used in products such as industrial coatings and household care products, to Germany’s Altana for $635M. (PR)
- The deal follows ROC’s agreement last month to sell its German ceramics unit CeramTec to Cinven for €1.49B ($2B) to focus on its metal business.
7:40 AMMore details on the buyout of Saks
- The $2.4B purchase of Saks (SKS) will bring three strong brands – Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, and Saks – under the same umbrella and generate significant benefits. The company expects to achieve ~$97M of annual synergies within three years while keeping each of the iconic businesses distinct.
- The deal will be financed through a combination of $1B in new equity, $1.9B in secured loans, and cash on hand.
- Saks has a 40-day window to find a better offer subject to customary breakup fees.
- SKS +3.9% premarket to $15.93.
7:32 AMValeant could slash staff once B&L deal goes through
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), which is acquiring Bausch & Lomb for $8.7B, could axe 10-15% of the combined company’s workforce, and it intends to consolidate some locations.
- Valeant expects to receive regulatory appr oval for the deal by early August.
7:26 AMGeneral Motors and Ford don’t mind higher interest rates
- U.S. automakers General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) indicate they are making headway on pension costs, boosted in part by higher interest rates that help to reduce obligations.
- Analysts see the extra money that was flowing into funding pension plans redirecting into R&D and other investments to help grow the businesses.
- Lump-sum buyouts and annuity options have also helped to reduce the pension headaches in the industry.
7:20 AMStock futures in the red
- U.S. stock futures are lower at the start of a busy week, including pending home-sales data today, policy meetings at the Fed, ECB and BOE later on, and U.S. GDP and employment data.
- S&P Mini -0.2%, Dow Mini -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.2%.
- Meanwhile, Europe continues its run higher.
7:11 AMSiemens CEO Loescher to battle for his job.
- Siemens (SI) CEO Peter Loescher, who looks set to be fired at a supervisory board meeting on Wednesday, will reportedly try to fight for his job, although his prospects for success are low.
- If he does go down, he’ll try to take Chairman Gerhard Cromme with him.
- Finance chief Joe Kaeser is the most likely candidate to replace Loescher.
- Siemens’ shares were -0.6% pre-market.
7:05 AMProcter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley in focus
- One of Procter & Gamble (PG) CEO Arthur Lafley’s top priorities since taking over the position was to “grow the base” and focus on key brands.
- The early read on Lafley’s second stint at the company is that his plan isn’t a radical break from Bob McDonald’s marching orders, but a subtle shift to stress organic sales for key divisions such as beauty.
- The company’s FQ4 isn’t expected to dazzle, but shares could get a jolt depending on the outlook for P&G’s next fiscal year.
7:03 AMBarclays to reveal capital-raising details tomorrow
- Barclays (BCS) intends to provide an update about its capital-raising plans when it presents its first-half results tomorrow, the bank said today.
- The company was reacting to a weekend report that it is exploring a £4B rights issue to meet regulatory requirements, and said it is in talks with the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) over its “financial and capital management plans.”
- The regulator has said that at the end of 2012, Barclays’ shortfall was £3B.
- Shares -3.2% pre-market.
7:01 AMSeeking Alpha fires a shot at Bloomberg, StreetAccount
- We spoke to our users. You told us Seeking Alpha is already your go-to provider of short-form breaking news. And you said that bullet points – the format favored by market professionals and popularized by expensive news providers like Bloomberg and StreetAccount – would make Market Currents even more awesome. We listened.
- So today, our flagship short-form news – Market Currents – moves to a lightning-fast, easy-to-digest bulleted format.
- Every Market Current now has a title, making it easier to skim the headlines and decide what to read and what to skip.
- Seeking Alpha will continue to disrupt the short-form news market, and we’ll always be free. Next up: Contributed news and commentary from industry insiders.
- How do you like the bulleted format? How can we make Market Currents even better? Please let us know in the comments…
7:00 AMOn the hour
- S&P -0.17%.
- 10-yr +0.05%.
- Euro +0.06% vs. dollar.
- Crude +0.14% to $104.85.
- Gold +1.09% to $1336.25.
6:46 AMMore on Hertz Global’s Q2
- Strong demand for airport leisure rentals and a brisk level of off-airport business helped to drive up U.S. car rental 3.1% Y/Y.
- The acquisition of Dollar Thrifty helped push pre-tax margins to 15.6%, a 90 bps improvement from last year’s second quarter.
- For full-year 2013, Hertz (HTZ) expects revenue of $10.85B-$10.95B and EBITDA of $2.21B-$2.27B. (PR)
5:02 AMMichael Dell vows to fight on if he loses bid vote
- Michael Dell plans to stay at Dell (DELL) if his and Silver Lake’s bid to take the company is rejected.
- In a round of interviews, he reiterates that their increased proposal of $13.75 is their “best and final offer.”
- Dell rues allowing shares that aren’t tendered to be counted as no votes, as it “only takes about 23% of the outstanding shares to block the transaction,” he says. “This is an unfair result that does not accurately reflect what the shareholders want.” That’s why Dell wants the rules changed so that non-tendered stock is not counted. His bid is set to lose if the requirements aren’t altered.
- If Carl Icahn’s plan for a leveraged recapitalization goes through, Dell could refrain from tendering his shares, which would give him 42% of the company.
4:32 AMRyanair net profit drops 21%
- Ryanair (RYAAY): FQ1 net profit -21% to €78.1M, as expected.
- Revenue +4.5% to €1.34B, also in line.
- Time of Easter, French air traffic control strikes and high fuel costs hurt earnings.
- Company reiterates that it expects FY net profit of €570-600M.
- Shares -2.3% in London. (PR)
4:25 AMEuropean stocks mostly rise
- European shares (FEZ) mostly ignore Asia’s decline and head higher, buoyed by mergers, such as Publicis’ and Omnicom’s mega-deal, and earnings.
- EU Stoxx 50 +0.1%, London +0.1%, Paris +0.1%, Frankfurt +0.5%, Milan -0.5%, Madrid +0.2%.
4:11 AMTokyo leads Asian stocks into the red
- Japanese shares (DXJ) lead Asian stocks lower as the yen (FXY) increases against the dollar ahead of the Fed’s monetary policy meetings this week, when it’s expected to keep its QE program in place for some time to come.
- The yen is also stronger on fears about China’s (FXI) slowing growth and rising credit, factors that are weighing on sentiment in Shanghai as well.
- The Nikkei is also being pulled down by a possible delay or watering down a proposed increase in sales tax, which is seen as vital to help reduce Japan’s debt load.
- Japan -3.3%, Hong Kong -0.5%, China -1.7%, India -0.6%.
3:53 AMAmazon to add 7,000 workers
- Amazon (AMZN) plans to hire 5,000 more workers for 17 of its fulfillment centers in the U.S., adding to the 20,000 who already work at the company’s warehouses in the country.
- Amazon intends to add 2,000 customer-service staff, including part-time and seasonal workers.
- The recruitment will help the company meet growing demand and make good on its two-day shipping pledge to Amazon Prime members. (PR)
3:37 AMMore on Perrigo-Elan deal
- The bid tops Royalty Pharma’s rejected $8B offer for Elan (ELN) from earlier this year
- Perrigo (PRGO) shareholders will receive one share of the new company for each share of Perrigo and $0.01/share in cash.
- The U.S. company’s shareholders will own 71% of the combined company and Elan investors 29%
- The combined firm will be incorporated in Ireland, where the tax base is 12.5%. That should reduce Perrigo’s tax costs to the high teens from 30%.
- Perrigo expects savings of $150M a year, including from the lower tax rate.
- Perrigo to receive Elan’s $1.9B in cash and royalties from sales of the Tysabri multiple sclerosis drug
- Perrigo will fund the deal using $4.35B in bridge financing from Barclays and HSBC plus cash. (previous)
3:21 AMCould America Movil make offer for KPN?
- America Movil (AMX) has terminated a “standstill” agreement to limit its holding in KPN (KKPNF.PK) to below 30%, signaling that Carlos Slim’s company could bid for the whole of the Dutch telecom group.
- America Movil was entitled to end the deal following Telefonica’s €8.1B bid for E-Plus, KPN’s German mobile unit.
- America Movil hasn’t said whether it plans to raise its stake in KPN to 30%, which would force the Mexican carrier to make an offer for the shares it doesn’t own. (PR)
2:26 AMMore on Omnicom, Publicis mega-merger
- With about 22% of global ad spending digital and growing, the deal is aimed regaining some of the power back from Silicon Valley giants such as Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB).
- Omnicom (OMC) and Publicis (PGPEF.PK) hope to be able to use their scale to optimize the use of data-driven analysis and the automated trading of ad space.
- Deal will need antitrust clearance in around 45 countries, but Omnicom CEO John Wren is confident the companies will receive it.
- WPP (WPPGY) CEO Martin Sorrel: “It’s an extremely bold, brave and surprising move,” he says. “Further consolidation of our industry is inevitable.” (previous)
- Havas (HAVSF.PK) CEO David Jones: “The deal is “an industrial merger in the digital age,” he says. “Clients today want us to be faster, more agile, more nimble and more entrepreneurial — not bigger and more bureaucratic and more complex.”
2:00 AMOmnicom, Publicis confirm $35B mega ad merger
- Omnicom Group (OMC) and Publicis Groupe (PGPEF.PK) have confirmed that they have agreed to a 50:50 merger.
- Deal will create the world’s largest advertising firm with a stock market value of $35.1B and which had combined 2012 revenues of $22.7B, well above WPP’s (WPPGY) $16B.
- The new firm will also have over 130,000 workers.
- Omnicom’s John Wren, based in New York, and Publicis’ Maurice Levy, based in Paris, will be co-CEOs for 30 months, after which Wren will become sole CEO and Levy will become nonexecutive Chairman.
- Clients include Omnicom’s AT&T, Visa and Pepsi, and Publicis’ McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Walmart . (PR)