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Oct 30

News:

We’re Done

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) announced it will sever all ties with mail-order pharmacy Philidor RX Services LLC. Valeant’s relationship with Philidor has recently come under close scrutiny, partly because of Philidor aggressive tactics used to ensure more sales were given to Valeant, rather than lower-cost alternatives that are preferred by insurers. Valeant, once a stock market darling, has been under fire for weeks sending its stock into a freefall. Doctors, insurers, and politicians have sharply criticized Valeant’s approach to drug pricing, which included buying old medications and inflating prices. [Continue reading...]

Oct 29

News:

No Surprise

The Federal Reserve held off raising interest rates during its two-day meeting. The committee did however, signal a hike could come as early as December if economic conditions continue to remain steady. Most analyst expected the Fed not to hike rates as job gains weakened the past two months and third-quarter growth is expected to be less than 2%. The central bank hasn’t raised rates in nearly a decade. The next chance for the Fed to make a move will be at their December 15-16 meeting. [Continue reading...]

Oct 28

News:

I Want a New Drug Store

Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) announced Tuesday they have agreed to buy rival drug store chain Rite Aid (RAD) for $94 billion. The deal would create a drugstore giant, as companies across the U.S are looking to bulk up their assets. Rite Aid has around 4,600 stores in 31 states, while Walgreens has roughly 8,200 stores across the nation. Shareholders of Rite Aid will receive $9 per share, a 48 percent premium to Rite Aid’s closing price. The deal however, may hit some regulatory roadblocks from antitrust regulators, who could demand divestitures in exchange for their approval. [Continue reading...]

Oct 27

News:

Manny, Moe, and Jack…

Tire and auto service company, Bridgestone Corp., announced Monday they will purchase car parts and repair company Pep Boys (PBY) for $835 million. Shareholders of Pep Boys will receive $15 per share in cash, a 21 percent premium over Friday’s closing stock price. The deal comes months after Pep Boys president and CEO resigned as speculation built over a possible sale. The deal will help Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp. accelerate its global growth strategy. The deal, expected to close in early 2016, will add 800 locations to Bridgestone’s network of 2,200 tire and automotive service centers. [Continue reading...]

Oct 26

 

News:

Switchin’ Teams

USAA is switching their massive debit and credit card portfolio to Visa Inc. (V) from MasterCard (MA), sticking a blow to the company who has processed USAA transactions on its network for roughly 30 years. The move is the latest game of large portfolio switharoo among the highly competitive payments processing networks Visa, MasterCard, and America Express. The recent shifts (think Costco dropping AMEX and going with Visa) underscore the leverage card issuers hold over payment networks as long-term deals are negotiated. In recent years retailers have exercised their power over card issuers and their networks amid rising competitions for specialized cards loaded with customer perks and rewards. [Continue reading...]

Oct 23

News:

Lovin It

McDonald’s (MCD) announced on Thursday sales edged up during the third quarter at established U.S locations, snapping a two year streak of quarterly declines. Sales at the world’s largest burger chain rose 4 percent on a global basis at established locations. Within the U.S, the figure rose 0.9 percent. The last time U.S. sales rose was the third quarter of 2013.  Current CEO Steve Easterbrook, has been trying to add a turnaround spark to the company including introducing “all-day breakfast”. McDonald’s is also looking to replace its Dollar Menu, as costs for ingredients like beef and cheese have risen making it difficult for franchisees to make money.  Shares of the company jumped nearly 7 percent Thursday, closing at $109.40. [Continue reading...]

Oct 22

News:

See ya…

John Thain, chief executive of CIT Group (CIT), surprised Wall Street on Wednesday announcing he would retire after a five-year run at the midsize lender. CIT’s assets grew under Thain, including the $3.4 billion acquisition of California lender OneWest Bank, which pushed CIT above the $50-billion-in- asset threshold. CIT’s share price also grew under Thain, rising 30% since 2010 when Thain took the helm. Ellen Alemany, a CIT board member and former bank executive will succeed Thain as chief executive. Shares of the stock rose 5% in after-hour trading following the announcement, which also included plans to shed several business.   [Continue reading...]

Oct 21

News:

Help Wanted

Amazon (AMZN) will hire 100,000 workers for the upcoming holiday season, a 25% increase over last year’s hiring. The increase suggests a shift in the way Americans shop. In the past retailers hired more people to work cash registers and sales floors, Amazon holiday workers will be filling warehouse roles in fulfillment and sorting facilities. Shares of Amazon, like the broader market, close lower on Tuesday. [Continue reading...]

Oct 20

News:

Rescue Me

Shares of Weight Watchers (WTW) soared on Monday after news broke Oprah Winfrey had bought a 10% stake in the weight loss company and will be joining the board.  Winfrey’s endorsement of the company comes at a crucial time for the 52-year old business as revenues have fallen for the last six consecutive quarters causing the company to cut $100 million in costs. Shares of Weight Watchers closed $7.13 higher on Monday. [Continue reading...]

Oct 16

News:

Recall

Automaker Kia is recalling more than 377,000 Sorrento SUVs. The SUV’s, model year 2011 through 2013, can start to roll away unexpectedly when the vehicle is in park. The problem stems from a gear shift lever being pushed too hard, causing a part in the shifter to crack.  So far the company has not received notice of any deaths being caused by the roll away, only a few injuries. Starting November 24, owners will be notified and can take their cars to a dealer who will replace the brake-shift interlock mechanisms. [Continue reading...]

Oct 15

News:

Goin’ Down

On Wednesday, Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) surprised investors by predicting profits would drop as much as 12% next year as the company continues plans to improve stores, boost online sales, and increase wages. Company leaders also warned they now expect sales growth for the current fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31, to be relatively flat. Investors didn’t like the news and shares of Walmart dropped 10% in one of the biggest single day declines for the company. Shares of the world’s biggest retailer by revenue closed at $60.03, down 30%, and is on pace for its worst year since 1973. [Continue reading...]

Oct 14

News:

Fly Away

Twitter (TWTR) is laying off 336 employees as the company struggles to make money. In an SEC filing, the company said the restructuring is part of an overall plan to organize product priorities and drive efficiencies throughout the company. The layoffs translate into around 8 percent of Twitter’s workforce of 4,100 peeps. The announcement comes two weeks after Twitter brought back one of its co-founders, Jack Dorsey, as permanent CEO in hopes he could resolve issues that have slowed the messaging service’s user growth and caused an uninterrupted cycle of financial losses. Shares of Twitter closed higher by $0.31 on Tuesday. [Continue reading...]

Oct 13

News:

What’s Brewing…?

After weeks of bank and forth, SABMiller has finally agreed on key terms of a sweetened potential takeover deal by Anheuser-Busch. The deal, valued at £67.9 billion ($104.2 billion), will create a brewing behemoth that will dominate much of the world’s beer market. Shareholders of SABMiller will receive £44 a share, marking a 50% premium to its share price on Sept 14, the day before media speculation about a potential deal emerged. If Anheuser-Busch doesn’t get the necessary regulatory clearances for the deal or shareholders don’t approve the deal, the brewer will pay SABMiller a breakup fee of $3 billion. [Continue reading...]

Oct 12

News:

Houston, we have a problem…

Hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights have been delayed by technical issues. The Dallas-based airline said it was using back-up systems around the country to check-in travelers who did not have mobile or printed boarding passes. What caused the problem and how long it will take to resolve are still to be determined. The company has announced there is absolutely no indication the issues were a result of hacking. Passengers are asked to arrive at least two hours early and print their boarding passes before coming to the airport. [Continue reading...]

Oct 9

News:

Please Hold

On Thursday, minutes from last month’s meeting of the Federal Reserve were released. The minutes showed officials held off on raising short-term interest rates because of worries inflation could remain stuck at exceptionally low levels. Central bank officials expect inflation will be held down in the coming months by the recent surge in the dollar, which has depressed import prices, and the decline in oil and other commodity prices. Inflation worries weren’t the only thing weighing on the Fed’s minds. As Fed head Janet Yellen emphasized in her press conference, turbulence in financial markets and economies abroad weighed heavy on the minds of the Fed and influenced their decision to keep rates near zero. Now back to the waiting game… [Continue reading...]

Oct 8

News:

Can We Talk…?

Computer maker Dell Inc., and private-equity firm Silver Lake are in advance talk to buy data storage giant EMC (EMC). A deal could come as early as next week. The deal currently being discussed involves spinning of EMC VMware Inc. unit which provides backup, security, storage and management solutions to companies. A deal would rank as the biggest technology-industry takeover ever. Shares of EMC rose in aftermarket trading. [Continue reading...]

Oct 7

News:

Not So Yummy…

Yum Brands (YUM), parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, reported worse-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday and lowered its full-year outlook. Problems in China, where the company operates 7,000 restaurants, overshadowed strength elsewhere.  Same store sales at China, which generates more than half of the company’s operating profit, rose just 2 percent. Yum had expected 9.6 percent, as the company attempts to recover from a supplier scandal last July. Shares of the company plunged in aftermarket trading. [Continue reading...]

Oct 6

News:

Bye, Bye

DuPont announced its CEO, Ellen Kullman, has decided to retire as of October 16, ending a nearly thirty year career. Kullman recently won a proxy fight and dealt a legendary blow against high powered activist.  Edward Breen, a member of the board of directors, will take over as interim chairman and CEO while the search for a new full-time replacement takes place. At the same time the company also announced it would be slashing its outlook for the next year citing a continued strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Shares of the company closed higher on Monday. [Continue reading...]

Oct 5

News:

Coming Soon

Retail giant Target announced Friday it will start carrying Apple wearables in stores by the end of the month. Target will be only the second big box chain, after Best Buy to get the Apple Watch. Twenty models of the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport in both the 38mm and 42mm size will be available on Target’s website starting this week and will range from $349 to $599. Starting the week of October 25th a smaller selections of watches will roll out in select Target stores. The move comes a month after Apple announced a partnership with Hermes for a collection of watches with designer leather bands ranging in price from $1,100 and $1,500.  [Continue reading...]

Oct 2

News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

On Friday, the Labor Department released their monthly NFP job report. According to the report 142,000 jobs were added to the economy, well below the 200,000 jobs analyst were expecting. [Continue reading...]

Oct 1

News:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs….

On Wednesday, payroll processor ADP released its monthly jobs report. According to the report the private sector added 200,000 new positions in September. The monthly report, which precedes Friday’s Labor Department’s NFP report, showed job growth in the U.S. climbed to a three month high. [Continue reading...]

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