Beam up on Suntory deal; Elliott report lifts Juniper «
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Beam Inc. surged Monday as Suntory Holdings Ltd. of Japan swooped in to buy the maker of Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark for $16 billion while Juniper Networks Inc. rose after private investment firm Elliott Management demanded changes to boost its value.
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Shares of Beam /quotes/zigman/6577531/delayed/quotes/nls/beam BEAM -0.08% jumped 25% on the Suntory news. The deal is expected to create a global entity with annual sales of more than $4.3 billion and a combined portfolio that includes Courvoisier cognac and Midori liqueur. Suntory will pay $83.50 a share for Beam, a 25% premium over Friday’s closing price.
Juniper /quotes/zigman/202982/delayed/quotes/nls/jnpr JNPR +0.67% shares rallied 7.6%. Elliott Management, which owns 6.2% of Juniper, proposed various steps for the company to realize its value potential, including cost reduction measures and a $3.5 billion stock buyback plan over the next couple of years. “We believe these value initiatives can collectively result in a stock price of $35-$40 per share, [about ] 57%-77% above the current price,” said Elliott in a statement .
Wendy’s Co. /quotes/zigman/7917415/delayed/quotes/nls/wen WEN +0.45% shares rose 6.4%. The fast-food company known for its square hamburgers said it expects adjusted per-share earnings of about 34 to 36 cents in 2014, higher than estimates from analysts. Wendy’s also said its board had authorized a stock buyback program of $275 million.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. /quotes/zigman/92224/delayed/quotes/nls/alny ALNY -0.55% shares soared 41%. A unit of the drug company Sanofi SA /quotes/zigman/307926/delayed/quotes/nls/sny SNY -0.38% /quotes/zigman/187276/realtime FR:SAN +0.12% on Monday agreed to buy a 12% stake in Alnylam for $700 million.
Merck & Co. /quotes/zigman/574389/delayed/quotes/nls/mrk MRK -0.19% shares gained 6.5%. The pharmaceutical company said Monday it is evaluating strategic options for its animal health and consumer care units with decisions expected in 2014. It is also looking into selling a portion of its ophthalmics business and marketing rights for Saphris, a schizophrenia drug.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. /quotes/zigman/39660/delayed/quotes/nls/lulu LULU +0.48% shares sank 17%. The maker of yoga apparel on Monday lowered its earnings outlook for the fiscal fourth quarter, now expecting per-share earnings of between 71 and 73 cents. It also cut its revenue forecast to a range of $513 million to $518 million as same-store sales declined.
“We were on track to deliver on our sales and earnings guidance through the month of December; however, since the beginning of January, we have seen traffic and sales trends decelerate meaningfully,” said John Currie, chief financial officer, in the statement.
Wendy’s shares are gaining in premarket trade after the company forecasted 2014 earnings. Intuitive Surgical Inc. /quotes/zigman/90651/delayed/quotes/nls/isrg ISRG +0.17% shares fell 6.4% after four sessions of strong gains. There are conflicting reports on how well da Vinci, its robotic surgery system, is being received by the medical community.
Suraj Kalia, an analyst at Northland Capital Markets, said in a report that the company is offering discounts of up to 50% to attract some hospitals to buy da Vinci. This contrasts with a report from Wedbush last week which suggested that da Vinci is benefitting form cost-effectiveness and that more medical facilities are likely to adopt the system.
McKesson Corp. /quotes/zigman/247413/delayed/quotes/nls/mck MCK +4.70% shares fell 4.7% after the drug distribution company said it was not able to get the 75% votes necessary from shareholders to complete the purchase of Celesio AG /quotes/zigman/422736/realtime DE:CLS1 +6.24% . McKesson had offered $8.3 billion for the European pharmaceutical distributor had faced resistance from Elliott Management which owns a 25% stake in Celesio.
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. /quotes/zigman/511428/delayed/quotes/nls/sni SNI +1.71% shares declined 7% following reports that it ended merger talks with Discovery Communications Inc. /quotes/zigman/112277/delayed/quotes/nls/disca DISCA -3.07% last week. Negotiations between the two sides had not proceeded beyond early stages and Discovery did not make an official offer, The Wall Street Journal reported. Shares of Discovery were off 3.1%.