European Central Bank Keeps Rates Unchanged

ECB leaves key interest rates unchanged

Stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Avoid, Stocks to Buy on Margin, Interest Rates, Euro

The Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively.

The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels for an extended period of time, and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.

Regarding non-standard monetary policy measures, the Governing Council confirms that the net asset purchases, at the current monthly pace of EUR 60B, are intended to run until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim.

The net purchases are made alongside reinvestments of the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the asset purchase program.

If the outlook becomes less favorable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the program in terms of size and/or duration.

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Avista Sold for $5.3 Billion Cash

Avista acquired by Hydro One for $53 per share

 

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Hydro One Limited and and Avista Corp. (AVA) dustry-leading regulated utilities with over 230 years of collective operational experience as well as shared corporate cultures and values.

The combined entity will safely and reliably serve more than two million retail and industrial customers and hold assets throughout North America including Ontario, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

“This marks a proud moment for Canadian champions as we grow our business into a North American leader,” said Mayo Schmidt, President and CEO, Hydro One Limited.

“This transaction demonstrates the power and value of the transition into an investor-owned utility, by allowing for healthy expansion into new lines of regulated utility business and new jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Pacific Northwest which is experiencing customer and economic growth.”

“With a focus on operational excellence and building our earnings streams, we are positioned for long-term, sustainable growth,” said Schmidt.

“We are further accomplishing this goal by bringing together two companies with shared cultures and industry expertise to create a North American regulated utility leader. This combination means greater scale, diversity and financial flexibility.”

Hydro One has a uniquely strong track record consolidating electricity utilities. Since the IPO, Hydro One has also delivered on cost savings and efficiencies for shareholders and customers.

Through the company’s energy conservation programs, Hydro One has helped customers and municipalities save 700 GWh year-to-date.

“Since our initial public offering, we have significantly enhanced our current operations while exploring opportunities that extend and diversify our regulated assets,” said #MayoSchmidt.

“We constantly seek to deliver exceptional value to shareholders, customers, and the communities we serve through stable, increasing regulated returns, exceptional service, and community engagement.”

This strategic combination demonstrates the value of consolidation by bringing together two highly complementary platforms to create one of North America’s largest regulated utilities, meaningfully enhancing both shareholder and customer value.

In addition, over time, non-headcount efficiencies will be realized through collaboration and sharing of best practices on IT, innovation and supply chain purchasing, all of which will further enhance cost savings.

No workforce reductions are anticipated as a result of this transaction for either Avista or #HydroOne.

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Stocks to Watch – Changes to S&P Indices

ResMed, Packaging Corp., A.O. Smith, Duke set to join S&P 500 at open on 7/26

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S&P MidCap 400 constituents ResMed (RMD), Packaging Corporation of America (PKG), A.O. Smith Corp. (AOS) and Duke Realty Corp. (DRE) will replace Mallinckrodt (MNK), Murphy Oil (MUR), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Transocean (RIG) respectively, in the S&P 500 effective prior to the open of trading on Wednesday, July 26.

MGM Resorts Int’l. (MGM) will replace Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) in the S&P 500. British American Tobacco plc  is acquiring Reynolds American in a deal expected to be completed on July 25, pending final conditions.

Mallinckrodt, Murphy Oil, Bed Bath & Beyond and Transocean will replace ResMed, Packaging Corporation of America, A.O. Smith and Duke Realty, respectively in the S&P MidCap 400.

All stocks moving to the S&P 500 have total market capitalizations above $10B making them more representative of the large-cap market space.

All stocks moving to the S&P MidCap 400 have total market capitalizations below $4.5B making them more representative of the mid-cap market space.

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Stock Upgrades Downgrades for July 18, 2017

Stockwinners’ analysts upgrades, downgrades and initiations for July 18, 2017

Everyday, we will e-mail our readers a list of analysts actions as shown below. Please see below on how to sign up for Stockwinners’ Service.

 

STOCK UPGRADES

CMG Chipotle to Buy from Hold at Maxim
CMG Chipotle to Buy on queso launch at Maxim
IPXL Impax to Neutral from Underweight at Piper Jaffray
MMP Magellan Midstream to Buy from Neutral at UBS
NFLX Netflix to Buy from Neutral at Rosenblatt
OAS Oasis Petroleum to Buy from Hold at Williams Capital
ORLY O’Reilly Automotive to Buy from Neutral at Northcoast
QDEL Quidel to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair
SC Santander Consumer to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities
SEAS SeaWorld to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs
SEDG SolarEdge to Outperform at Oppenheimer
SEDG SolarEdge to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer
SKX Skechers to Positive from Mixed at OTR Global

DOWNGRADES

ADP ADP to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
CCJ Cameco to Underperform at Credit Suisse
COG Cabot Oil & Gas to Hold from Buy at Williams Capital
DDC Dominion Diamond to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
DDC Dominion Diamond to Hold from Buy at Gabelli
DNN Denison Mines to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
EXLS ExlService to Neutral from Buy at Citi
FMC FMC Corporation to Neutral from Buy at Seaport Global
FPI Farmland Partners to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital
IPGP IPG Photonics to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
NYLD NRG Yield to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
OAS Oasis Petroleum to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
OAS Oasis Petroleum to Hold at Deutsche Bank
QEP QEP Resources to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
SSL Sasol to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
UAA Under Armour to Negative from Mixed at OTR Global

STOCK INITIATIONS

DC Agree Realty with a Buy at Canaccord
ADRO Aduro Biotech with an Outperform at Cowen
ALBO Albireo Pharma with a Buy at Needham
BFAM Bright Horizons with a Buy at Citi
BHGE Baker Hughes resinstated with a Sell at Goldman Sachs
CVNA Carvana with a Neutral at Wedbush
FANG Diamondback Energy with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
FCPT Four Corners Property Trust with a Hold at Canaccord
GOOD Gladstone with a Hold at Canaccord
GPMT Granite Point Mortgage with an Overweight at JPMorgan
GPMT Granite Point Mortgage with a Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette
GTY Getty Realty with a Buy at Canaccord
INFN Infinera with a Buy at Craig-Hallum
MSCI MSCI with an Equal Weight at Barclays
MTDR Matador with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
O Realty Income with a Buy at Canaccord
OMF OneMain Holdings with a Buy at DA Davidson
REN Resolute Energy with an Outperform at Imperial Capital
RM Regional Management with a Neutral at DA Davidson
TAL TAL Education with a Neutral at Citi
TWOU 2U with a Buy at Citi
WPX WPX Energy with an Outperform at Imperial Capital

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Dominion Diamond Sold for $1.2 Billion

Dominion Diamond to be acquired by The Washington Cos for $14.25/share in cash

 

Dominion Diamond in advanced talks to be bought by Washington Companies. See Stockwinners.com Market Radar for more

 

Dominion Diamond (DDC) and The Washington Companies, a group of privately held North American mining, industrial and transportation businesses founded by industrialist and entrepreneur Dennis R. Washington, announced that they have entered into an arrangement agreement under which an entity affiliated with Washington will acquire all of Dominion’s outstanding common shares for $14.25 per share in cash or a total equity value of approximately $1.2B pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act.

The transaction represents a 44% premium to Dominion’s unaffected share price of $9.92 on March 17, 2017. The transaction marks the result of Dominion’s review of strategic alternatives as previously announced on March 27, 2017.

The Board of Directors of Dominion, after consultation with financial and legal advisors, and based on the recommendation of a special committee of the Board consisting of four independent directors, has unanimously determined that the Arrangement is in the best interests of the Company, approved the Arrangement and recommends that Dominion’s shareholders vote in favor of the Arrangement.

All directors of the Company have entered into support agreements to vote their common shares in support of the Arrangement.

As part of this acquisition, Washington plans to: Operate Dominion as a standalone business as Washington does with its other successful operating companies; Appoint a new CEO based in Canada to the Dominion management team; Keep Dominion’s headquarters in Canada and maintain a significantly Canadian management team.

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