Tesla higher after raising money

Tesla offers $650M of shares, $1.35B of notes to ‘strengthen’ balance sheet

Tesla Model 3 named Popular Mechanics' Car of the Year
Tesla higher after raising money, Stockwinners

Tesla (TSLA) confirmed in a press release that it disclosed this morning offerings of $650M of common stock and $1.35B aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due in 2024 in concurrent underwritten registered public offerings.

In addition, Tesla has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15% of each offering.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, will participate by purchasing $10M of common stock.

The aggregate gross proceeds of the offerings, assuming full exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional securities, would be approximately $2.3B before discounts and expenses.

Concurrently with this offering of common stock and pursuant to a separate prospectus supplement, Tesla is offering convertible senior notes due 2024 to the public in an aggregate principal amount of $1.35B, or $1.55B if the underwriters for the concurrent convertible notes offering exercise in full their option to purchase additional notes.

Tesla intends to use the net proceeds from the offerings to “further strengthen its balance sheet, as well as for general corporate purposes.”

The notes in the offering will be convertible into cash and/or shares of Tesla’s common stock at Tesla’s election. The interest rate, conversion price and other terms of the notes are to be determined.

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are acting as lead joint book-running managers for the offering, with BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse acting as additional book-running managers, and Societe Generale and Wells Fargo Securities acting as co-managers.

Wolfe Research

#Wolfe Research analyst Daniel Galves downgraded Tesla to Peer Perform from Outperform and cut his price target for the shares to $265 from $375. Tesla’s product is “truly differentiated” with a multi-year sustainable advantage in long-range electric powertrains and highly-assisted driving, Galves told investors in a research note. However, the analyst says it is now clear that “broad consumer awareness doesn’t happen overnight.”

In the interim, he believes shares of Tesla will be driven by investor confidence in the company’s medium-term demand and earnings power. And #Galves no longer has confidence in substantial free cash flow at Tesla until its Model 3 volumes rise to 7,000 per week. As such, the analyst moves to the sidelines saying he can no longer recommend the shares.

Shares of Tesla are up 4%, or $9.09, to $243.55 in Thursday’s trading following the news.

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Investment Technology Group sold for $1 billion

ITG to be acquired by Virtu Financial for $30.30 per share in cash

Investment Technology Group sold for $1 billion, Stockwinners
Investment Technology Group sold for $1 billion, Stockwinners

Investment Technology Group (ITG) announced that it has reached a definitive agreement for Virtu Financial (VIRT) to acquire all outstanding shares of ITG’s Common Stock for $30.30 per share in cash.

Investment Technology Group, Inc. operates as a financial technology company in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

Virtu Financial, Inc.  provides market making and liquidity services through its proprietary, multi-asset, and multi-currency technology platform to the financial markets worldwide.

The price represents a premium of more than 40% over ITG’s average closing share price of $21.55 in the 30 days prior to news reports of a potential sale on October 4, 2018.

Minder Cheng, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “ITG has made tremendous progress in executing on its Strategic Operating Plan over the past two years, and the agreement with Virtu is a result of the dedicated efforts of our management team and employees.

After careful consideration, ITG’s Board of Directors determined that the proposal from Virtu, which provides an immediate and significant cash premium, offers the most value for ITG stockholders. The combination of Virtu and ITG will create an industry-leading financial technology franchise with true global capabilities and scale.” J.P. Morgan is serving as the financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is providing legal counsel to ITG.


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Dun & Bradstreet sold for $6.9 billion

Dun & Bradstreet to be acquired by investor group for $145 per share cash

Dun & Bradstreet sold for $6.9 billion, Stockwinners
Dun & Bradstreet sold for $6.9 billion, Stockwinners

Dun & Bradstreet (DNB) announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by CC Capital, Cannae Holdings and funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., along with a group of other distinguished investors.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by Dun & Bradstreet’s Board of Directors, Dun & Bradstreet shareholders will receive $145.00 in cash for each share of common stock they own, in a transaction valued at $6.9 billion including the assumption of $1.5 billion of Dun & Bradstreet’s net debt and net pension obligations.

The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 30% over Dun & Bradstreet’s closing share price of $111.63 on February 12, 2018, the last day of trading prior to Dun & Bradstreet’s announcement of a strategic review and an indication of its willingness to consider all options for value creation.

The transaction is expected to close within six months, subject to Dun & Bradstreet shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions.

The Dun & Bradstreet Board is unanimously recommending that shareholders vote to adopt the merger agreement at an upcoming special meeting of the shareholders.

Upon the completion of the transaction, Dun & Bradstreet will become a privately held company and shares of Dun & Bradstreet common stock will no longer be listed on any public market.

DNB closed at $122.80.


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BofI to acquire $3B of deposits from Nationwide Bank

BofI in pact to acquire $3B of deposits from Nationwide Bank, sees accretion

BofI to acquire $3B of deposits from Nationwide Bank, Stockwinners
BofI to acquire $3B of deposits from Nationwide Bank, Stockwinners

BofI Holding (BOFI), parent of BofI Federal Bank, announced that the Bank has signed a deposit purchase and assumption agreement with Nationwide Bank to acquire approximately $3B in deposits from Nationwide Bank, including $1B in checking, savings and money market accounts and $2B in time deposit accounts.

BofI and Nationwide Bank expect to receive regulatory approval and complete the deposit acquisition and transfer during the fourth quarter of 2018.

“We are excited to welcome Nationwide Bank’s nearly 100,000 deposit customers to BofI,” began Gregory Garrabrants, President and Chief Executive Officer of BofI Holding, Inc.

“Our track record of successfully completing similar transactions with Principal Bank and H&R Block provide us with a high degree of confidence that we will have a seamless transition.

We look forward to offering Nationwide Bank customers our full suite of consumer, commercial and small business banking products and services once the transaction closes.”

A deposit premium commensurate with the fair market value of the deposits purchased will be funded from excess capital at the Bank. The Company expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings and tangible book value.

BOFI closed at $39.64.


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Synovus to acquire FCB Financial for $2.9B

Synovus to acquire FCB Financial for $2.9B

 

Synovus to acquire FCB Financial for $2.9B, Stockwinners
Synovus to acquire FCB Financial for $2.9B, Stockwinners

Synovus Financial Corp. (SNV) and FCB Financial Holdings, Inc. (FCB) jointly announced their entry into a definitive merger agreement under which Synovus will acquire FCB Financial Holdings, Inc., owner of Florida Community Bank.

The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2019.

Following the closing, FCB will merge with Synovus Bank and operate under the Synovus brand, and FCB Financial Holdings President and CEO Kent Ellert will be executive vice president of Synovus and Florida market president.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, FCB shareholders will receive a fixed ratio of 1.055 shares of Synovus common stock for each common share of FCB in an all-stock transaction.

Based on Synovus’ closing share price on July 23, 2018, the transaction is valued at $58.15 per FCB share or $2.9 billion in aggregate.

Following completion of the merger, former FCB shareholders will own approximately 30% of the combined company. In addition, based on the exchange ratio, Synovus’ most recent quarterly dividend translates to a pro forma annualized dividend of $1.06 per FCB share.

The transaction is expected to be tax free to FCB shareholders. Synovus expects approximately $40 million in pretax synergies to be fully realized by 2020.

Excluding one-time charges, Synovus expects the acquisition to be approximately 6.5% accretive to earnings per common share in 2020 and to deliver strong returns on capital.

The transaction is expected to produce tangible book value per share dilution of 3.3% with an earnback period of less than two years.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors.

The merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Synovus and FCB Financial Holdings shareholders and approval by state and federal bank regulators. BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisors to Synovus on this transaction, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Alston & Bird LLP served as legal advisors.

Sandler O’Neill + Partners L.P., Guggenheim Securities, LLC, and Evercore Group L.L.C. served as financial advisors to FCB Financial Holdings, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor.


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Veritex, Green Bancorp to merge 

Veritex, Green Bancorp to merge 

Veritex, Green Bancorp to merge, Stockwinners
Veritex, Green Bancorp to merge, Stockwinners

Veritex Holdings (VBTX) and Green Bancorp (GNBC) jointly announced the entry into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Green and Green Bank, N.A. will merge with and into Veritex and Veritex Community Bank, respectively.

Veritex, Green Bancorp to merge, Stockwinners
Veritex, Green Bancorp to merge, Stockwinners

The transaction will create a leading Texas community bank, with 43 branches across Texas, ranking as the tenth largest Texas-based banking institution by deposit market share.

The combined franchise would have approximately $7.5B in assets, $5.6B in loans and $5.9B in deposits, based on the companies’ balance sheets as of June 30, 2018.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, upon completion of the merger, shareholders of Green will receive 0.79 shares of Veritex common stock for each share of Green common stock, valuing the transaction at approximately $1B, or $25.89 per Green share, based on the closing share price of Veritex of $32.77 on July 23, 2018.

Legacy Veritex and Green shareholders will collectively own approximately 45% and 55% of the combined company, respectively.

Upon completion of the merger, C. Malcolm Holland, current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veritex, will continue to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.

Terry Earley, current Chief Financial Officer of Green, will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company, and Geoffrey Greenwade, current President of Green, will serve as the Houston President of the combined company.

The board of directors of the combined company will consist of nine members, six from Veritex’s current board of directors and three from Green’s current board of directors.

Veritex expects this acquisition to be approximately 25% accretive to earnings per common share, excluding one-time charges.

The transaction is expected to produce approximately 12.0% tangible book value per share dilution at closing with an earnback period of approximately 2.8 years.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both Veritex and Green.

The merger agreement contains customary representations and warranties and covenants by Veritex and Green. Closing is subject to customary approvals by regulatory authorities and the shareholders of both Veritex and Green, and is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2019.


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Cotiviti sold for $4.9 billion

Cotiviti to be acquired by Veritas Capital-backed Verscend for $4.9B in cash

Cotiviti sold for $4.9 billion, Stockwinners
Cotiviti sold for $4.9 billion

Cotiviti Holdings (COTV) and Verscend Technologies, a portfolio company of Veritas Capital announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Verscend has agreed to acquire Cotiviti for $4.9B in cash.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cotiviti shareholders will receive $44.75 in cash per share of Cotiviti common stock, and Verscend will assume all of Cotiviti’s outstanding debt, resulting in an enterprise value of approximately $4.9B.
The offer price represents a 32% premium to Cotiviti’s unaffected share price as of June 4, 2018 and a 136% premium to the initial public offering price of Cotiviti’s common stock.
The transaction, which was unanimously approved by Cotiviti’s Board of Directors, is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2018.
Closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of Cotiviti shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.
Advent International has entered into a voting agreement whereby it has agreed to vote shares representing approximately 44% of the company’s voting power in favor of the transaction.


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DCT Industrial Trust sold for $8.4B

Prologis to acquire DCT Industrial Trust for $8.4B

DCT Industrial Trust sold for $8.4B. Stockwinners
DCT Industrial Trust sold for $8.4B. 

Prologis (PLD) and DCT Industrial Trust (DCT) announced that the two companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement by which Prologis will acquire DCT for $8.4B in a stock-for-stock transaction, including the assumption of debt.

The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction.

The transaction is anticipated to create substantial synergies, including near-term synergies of approximately $80M in corporate general and administrative cost savings, operating leverage, interest expense and lease adjustments, which are forecast to increase annual stabilized core funds from operations per share by 6c-8c.

A combination of revenue synergies and incremental development volume has the potential to generate $40M of additional annual revenue and development profit in the future.

Under the terms of the agreement, DCT shareholders will receive 1.02 Prologis shares for each DCT share they own. The transaction, which is currently expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, is subject to the approval of DCT stockholders and other customary closing conditions.

At closing, it is anticipated that Philip L. Hawkins will join the Prologis board of directors.

PLD closed at $66.58.  DCT closed at $58.75.


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Barron’s is bullish on Allergan and Gaps

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin
Barron’s is bullish on Gaps

BULLISH   MENTIONS:

Allergan shares could rise 20% or more– New competition to Allergan’s top product, Botox, and the loss of patent exclusivity for its second biggest, the dry-eye treatment Restasis, have left investors with “worry lines,” Vito Racanelli writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

However, Racanelli says concerns are way overdone as the company’s pipeline of new drugs should eventually replace the lost revenue from products going off patent. The shares could rise 20% or more, to $200-$225 by the end of 2019, Barron’s adds.

Old Navy may lift Gap (GPS) by 25% – Old Navy is enjoying fast sales growth and plump profit margins but is trapped inside a Gap, a name that has been an investor turnoff, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

Old Navy contributes close to half of company sales and within two years could generate three-quarters of profits, and yet Gap shares trade at just 12 times projected earnings for the next four quarters, which is one sign Gap could have plenty of upside left – perhaps 25% or more over the coming year, he adds. GPS closed at $31.74.

CAUTIOUS MENTIONS:

Broadcom Plan B looks complicated – After Broadcom’s (AVGO) bid for Qualcomm (QCOM) ended last week after President Trump blocked it on grounds of national security, the Wall Street now wants to know what the former will try to buy as plan B, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The two most heavily speculated-about targets are Xilinx (XLNX) and Micron Technology (MU), he notes, adding that several others are conceivable, including Microchip Technology (MCHP), Marvell Technology Group (MRVL), Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM), and Analog Devices (ADI). However, with nearly $18B in 2017 revenue, Broadcom is big enough to make finding targets that matter challenging, he contends.

Goldman Sachs’ next CEO will have to fix trading– In a follow-up story, Barron’s notes that Goldman Sachs (GS) was once known for its trading prowess but has recently humbled by a trading slump. The bank has created something of a hedge with its apparent choice of successor, David Solomon, a lender and investment banker but not a trader, the report says. If a long-awaited trading rebound materializes in the quarters ahead, CEO Lloyd Blankfein can hand over the keys with a grin, but if not, the Solomon era could see Goldman reduce exposure to trading, Barron’s points out.


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United Community Bancorp sold for $26.22 per share

Civista to acquire United Community Bancorp for $26.22 per share

Civista to acquire United Community Bancorp for $26.22 per share. Stockwinners.com
Civista to acquire United Community Bancorp for $26.22 per share.

Civista Bancshares (CIVB) and United Community Bancorp (UCBA), the parent company of United Community Bank, announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Civista will acquire United.

Based on financial data as of December 31, 2017, the combined company would have total assets of $2.1B, total loans of $1.5B and total deposits of $1.7B. United operates an eight branch network in southeastern Indiana, five of which are located in the Cincinnati MSA.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, the consideration United shareholders will receive is equivalent to 1.027 shares of Civista common stock and $2.54 in cash per share of United common stock.

This implies a deal value per share of $26.22 or approximately $114.4M based on the 15-day average closing price of Civista’s common stock on March 9, 2018 of $23.06.

Civista and United anticipate that the transaction will qualify as a tax-free reorganization to the extent that United shareholders receive Civista common stock in the merger.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, subject to each company receiving the required approval of its shareholders, receipt of all required regulatory approvals and fulfillment of other customary closing conditions.

Under terms of the agreement, the directors of Civista and the directors and executive officers of United have agreed to vote all shares that they own in their respective organizations in favor of the merger.

In addition, a total of three existing United directors will join the Civista Bank Board of Directors and two of those directors will join the Civista Bancshares, Inc. Board of Directors. E.G. McLaughlin is expected to be one of the directors to join both boards. In preparation for the merger, extensive due diligence was performed over a multi-week period.

Under the proposed merger terms, the acquisition of United is expected to be immediately accretive to Civista’s earnings in 2018 and thereafter.

In addition, any tangible book value dilution created in the transaction is expected to be earned back in approximately 3.5 years after closing.

Post-closing, Civista’s capital ratios are expected to continue to exceed “well-capitalized” regulatory standards.

“This acquisition will allow Civista to bring its enhanced commercial lending platform to United’s demographically strong markets.

United will provide Civista with low cost core deposit funding and excess liquidity,” the bank stated.


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Changes to the S&P 400, 500, 600 indices

S&P announces changes to S&P 400, 500, 600 indices

Stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earningsS&P Dow Jones Indices will make the following index adjustments to the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 to ensure each index more appropriately represents its market capitalization range.

The changes will be effective prior to the open on Monday, March 19 to coincide with the March rebalance.

All companies moving to the S&P 500 have total market capitalizations above $12B.

All companies moving to the S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 are more appropriate for those indices.

S&P MidCap 400 constituents Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) and SVB Financial Group (SIVB) will switch places with Signet Jewelers (SIG) and Patterson Companies (PDCO) respectively in the S&P 500.

S&P SmallCap 600 constituent Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) will replace Chesapeake Energy (CHK) in the S&P 500, Chesapeake Energy will replace Dean Foods (DF) in the S&P MidCap 400, and Dean Foods will replace Nektar Therapeutics in the S&P SmallCap 600.

S&P SmallCap 600 constituents Cantel Medical (CMD) and ICU Medical (ICUI) will switch places with Avon Products (AVP) and Owens & Minor (OMI) in the S&P MidCap 400.


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Student Transportation sold for $7.50 a share

Student Transportation to be acquired by investors led by CDPQ

Student Transportation sold for $7.50 a share. Stockwinners.com
Student Transportation sold for $7.50 a share.

Student Transportation (STB) announced that it entered into a definitive agreement with a company sponsored by Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and Ullico Inc. pursuant to which the Purchaser Group will acquire all of the company’s outstanding common shares by way of a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act.

Student Transportation Inc. (STB) provides school bus transportation and management services to public and private schools in North America. The company offers contracted, managed, special needs transportation, direct-to-parent, and charter services. It operates approximately 290 contracts with a fleet of 13,000 vehicles.

Shareholders of STI will receive $7.50 per common share in cash, representing a 27% premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price per common share on the Toronto Stock Exchange for the period ending February 27, 2018, based on an exchange rate of $1.2776 Canadian dollars per U.S. dollars as of February 27, 2018.

Holders of STI’s 6.25% Convertible Unsecured Subordinated Debentures will receive the product of $7.50 and the number of Common Shares that the holders would be entitled to receive upon the conversion of their 2013 Debentures in accordance with their terms immediately following the closing date of the Arrangement, including those issuable upon a “Cash Change of Control”, plus the sum of accrued and unpaid interest on such debentures up to but excluding the Closing Date and the interest that would have otherwise accrued from and including the Closing Date to but excluding 32 days thereafter.

Holders of STI’s 5.25% Convertible Unsecured Subordinated Debentures will receive the product of $7.50 and the number of Common Shares that the holders would be entitled to receive upon the conversion of their 2016 Debentures in accordance with their terms immediately following the Closing Date, including those issuable upon a “Cash Change of Control”, plus the sum of accrued and unpaid interest on such debentures up to but excluding the Closing Date and the interest that would have otherwise accrued from and including the Closing Date to but excluding 32 days thereafter.


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CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge in $878.3M deal

CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge in $878.3M deal

CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge. Stockwinners.com
CVB Financial, Community Bank to merge.

CVB Financial (CVBF) and Community Bank announced that they have entered into an agreement and plan of reorganization and merger, pursuant to which Community will merge with and into Citizens in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $878.3M, based on CVBF’s closing stock price of $23.37 on February 23, 2018.

The merger will increase Citizens’ total assets to approximately $12B on a pro forma basis as of December 31, 2017.

CVBF expects the merger to result in approximately 12% earnings per share accretion in 2019, excluding one-time transaction costs. CVBF anticipates the merger to be approximately 11% dilutive to tangible book value per share at closing with an earn back period of approximately 4.9 years and an internal rate of return of greater than 15%.

Additionally, at closing, Marshall V. Laitsch, Chairman of the Board of Community, will join the Board of CVBF. Community Bank, headquartered in Pasadena, California, had approximately $3.7B in total assets, $2.7B in gross loans and $2.9B in total deposits as of December 31, 2017.

Community has sixteen branch locations throughout the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Pursuant to the Agreement, each share of Community common stock, including unvested restricted stock units, will receive a fixed consideration consisting of 9.4595 shares of CVBF common stock and $56.00 per share in cash.

CVBF will pay aggregate consideration of approximately 30.0 million shares of CVBF common stock and $177.5M in cash, subject to purchase price adjustment provisions and other terms set forth in the Agreement.

Giving effect to the merger, Community shareholders would hold, in aggregate, approximately 21.4% of CVBF’s outstanding common stock following the merger. Upon completion of the merger, Community will operate as Citizens Business Bank and will continue to deliver the high-touch level of service that its customers expect, with an expanded branch and ATM network and a broad range of products and services, including expertise in personal, small business, private and corporate banking, as well as treasury management and trust services.

The boards of directors of Community, CVBF and Citizens have approved the proposed merger.

The closing of the merger is subject to customary regulatory approvals and the approval of CVBF and Community shareholders, and is anticipated to occur in the third quarter of 2018.


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Barron’s in bullish on Citi, bearish on GE

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin
Stockwinners offers Barron’s review of stocks to buy, stocks to watch

BULLISH   MENTIONS: 

Hovnanian (HOV) stock too cheap to ignore- Hovnanian Enterprises offers an interesting speculative bet, because more than a decade’s worth of problems are reflected in the price, Brett Arends writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. A successful resolution of its legal issues, a corporate turnaround, a takeover, or a continued recovery in the U.S. real estate market are all potential catalysts, he adds.

JPMorgan, Walmart cash flow yields exceed dividend yields – The cash flow yields of JPMorgan (JPM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Walmart (WMT), Pfizer (PFE), Cisco (CSCO), AbbVie (ABBV), PepsiCo (PEP), 3M (MMM), Bristol-Myers (BMY), United Technologies (UTX), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) exceed their dividend yields, a good signal for dividend coverage and growth, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

Alphabet, Citi well positioned for later stages of market rally – It is time for investors to think about how and when bull markets end, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Groups to favor now include financials, which benefit from rising interest rates, and industrials, he notes, adding that technology still looks attractive. Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL), Lam Research (LRCX), Citigroup (C), and Cummins (CMI) are all well positioned for the later stages of a long market rally, Hough contends.

Bears, bulls battle over Under Armour – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that Under Armour (UA) reported fourth quarter revenue that beat Wall Street’s estimate, but is difficult to tell whether the revenue upside represents a turning point for the business. Bulls and bears both found something to support their arguments, as revenue increased but gross margin declined while inventories swelled and store count rose 22%, the report notes.

BEARISH  MENTION:

General Electric stock could drop another 10% – General Electric (GE) lost $6B in 2017 after a series of charges and impairments, cut its dividend by 50%, and its accounting is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but lately it has been attracting fresh attention from value-oriented investors, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Nonetheless, the stock is not a bargain and could drop another 10% or more, he contends


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HSBC to pay more than $100M to resolve fraud charges

HSBC agrees to pay more than $100M to resolve fraud charges 

HSBC to pay more than $100M to resolve fraud charges. Stockwinners.com
HSBC to pay more than $100M to resolve fraud charges

HSBC Holdings (HSBC) has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a $63.1M criminal penalty and $38.4M in disgorgement and restitution to resolve charges that it engaged in a scheme to defraud two bank clients through a multi-million dollar scheme commonly referred to as “front-running,” the DOJ confirmed.

The DPA, which was filed in connection with a two-count criminal information charging wire fraud in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, is pending review by the Court.

According to HSBC’s admissions, on two separate occasions in 2010 and 2011, traders on its foreign exchange desk misused confidential information provided to them by clients that hired HSBC to execute multi-billion dollar foreign exchange transactions involving the British Pound Sterling.

After executing confidentiality agreements with its clients that required the bank to keep the details of their planned transactions confidential, traders on HSBC’s foreign exchange desk transacted in the Pound Sterling for the traders and HSBC’s own benefit in their HSBC “proprietary” accounts.

In total, HSBC admitted to making profits of approximately $38.4M on the first transaction in March 2010, and approximately $8M on the Cairn Energy transaction in December 2011.

HSBC did not receive credit for voluntarily disclosing the misconduct.

HSBC received substantial cooperation credit because, although as detailed in the DPA, the bank’s initial cooperation with the government’s investigation was deficient in certain respects, after being notified of the Department’s concerns, HSBC changed course and its cooperation improved substantially.


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