Top 10 News Items for 02/25 - 03/01: Investors Love/Hate Groupon; Best Buy Not Bought; Icahn Becomes Vitamin Salesman

March 1, 2013 4:24 PM EST
1. Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN) may have had the best love/hate story this week. Quarterly results issued Wednesday caused a sharp sell-off in the stock on Thursday. Then, Thursday night found investors with a gift in the form of an ousted Andrew Mason as CEO. Analysts were rather mum on the CEO change Friday, so look for a little more commentary early next week.

2. Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) gained a little on Friday following stronger than expected quarterly results. EPS of $1.64 and revs of $16.71 billion compared with analyst consensus estimates calling for EPS of $1.53 and revs of $16.32 billion. In addition, the company said it received no offer from founder Richard Schulze in a takeover bid, though Schulze responded that he only wants to see Best Buy succeed, whether it involves him or not.

3. Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) Chairman Leonard Riggio filed an amended 13D with the U.S. SEC on Monday. Riggio said he wanted to purchase the Retail assets of the company, which would exclude NOOK Media LLC (comprising the digital and College businesses). The news helped Barnes & Noble close higher for the week.

4. On Monday, RP Management, LLC, made an $11-per-share bid to acquire Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE: ELN). Royalty Pharma said it "believes that the Proposal offers Elan Shareholders an attractive financial alternative that will allow them to realize value for their Elan Stock in cash immediately and eliminate the execution risk associated with identifying, acquiring, integrating and growing attractive assets in the context of a highly competitive strategic landscape."

5. J.C. Penney Co., Inc. (NYSE: JCP) was slammed this week after reporting a nuch wider-than-expected Q4 loss of $1.95 per share. Sales and comps both fell over 30 percent. CEO Ron Johnson is still standing behind the notion that changes in 2012 will have a positive effect this year. He also declined to provide guidance on current sales.

6. With the saga between activist investor Carl Icahn and Pershing Square's Bill Ackman ongoing, Icahn struck again this week. Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) announced that it has reached an agreement with Carl C. Icahn, Icahn Enterprises Holdings L.P. and certain related entities, which beneficially own, in the aggregate 14,015,151 shares of Herbalife common stock, representing approximately 13.6% of the Company’s outstanding shares. Herbalife’s Board of Directors said it will nominate two individuals to the Company’s Board of Directors, designated by the Icahn Parties and approved by the Company’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. For more color, click here.

7. Apple, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) always seems to be in the news and this week was no exception. The company held its annual meeting on February 27th and, to the chagrin of investors, didn't make any changes to its dividend or buyback policy. CEO Tim Cook did say discussion over what to do with the company's massive cash pile were "very active." Apple touched a 52-week low at $430.77 on Friday.

8. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke issued the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress on Wednesday. In part, Bernanke defended the Fed's monetary policy, though no specific details were given about how long the policy would run. The statement caused gold and silver to be a little pressured, with more easing expected. For the full statement, click here.

9. The second reading for forth quarter U.S. GDP showed that the economy continues to limp along but did manage to grow. Forth quarter 2012 GDP rose 0.1 percent, up from an initial reading of down 0.1 percent. GDP in the quarter was down from third quarter GDP of 3.1 percent and well below the economist consensus estimate of a 0.5 percent rise. For all of 2012 GDP rose 2.2 percent. Click here for more color.

10. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 4.5 percent to 105.9 in January from a downwardly revised 101.3 in December and is 9.5 percent above January 2012 when it was 96.7. The data reflect contracts but not closings. The Street consensus was looking for a more modest rise of 1.0 percent in January 2013. For more color, click here.

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Carl Icahn, William Ackman, Pershing Square Capital, Pending Home Sales, Ben S. Bernanke, Dividend, Top 10 News Items for the Week, 13D, Earnings

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