Flowers In Talks With Hostess and 3 Stocks Riding 52-Week Highs

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO): Closing Price 25.08

Flowers Foods and Grupo Bimbo are in negotiations to acquire parts of Hostess’ bread business, says the Wall Street Journal. The entire bread operation could bring more than $350 million in a sale. Shares closed up 0.12 percent on the day at $25.08, and have been traded in a 52-week range of $18.39 to $25.10.

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Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA): Closing Price $7.20

Hawaiian Airlines reported the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the airframe manufacturer Airbus to buy 16 new A321neo aircraft between 2017 and 2020, with the option to purchase an additional nine aircraft. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the aircraft have a total list-price value of around $2.8 billion, should all of the purchase rights be exercised. Shares closed up 1.27 percent on the day at $7.20, having been traded in a 52-week range of $4.92 to $7.12.

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ING Group N.V. (NYSE:ING): Closing Price $9.91

ING Chief Executive Jan Hommen commented in a New Year’s speech to employees that, “In the original restructuring agreement with the European Commission, the expectation was that 2013 would mark the end of our restructuring and the final separation between Banking and Insurance/Investment Management. It’s no secret that markets did not play along, and in view of this, we have agreed extended time horizons with the EC. The Netherlands is still in recession, and the financial markets and economic climate remain uncertain. Risk costs for the Bank have been increasing amid the economic downturn, and we don’t foresee an immediate improvement. While we have initiated steps to reduce expenses, we are also confronted with headwinds including higher regulatory costs and the Dutch bank tax, and we must continue to align our cost structure to a leaner operating environment. In short, the current circumstances are all quite challenging to work in.” Shares closed up 2.16 percent on the day at $9.91, and have traded in a 52-week range of $5.51 to $9.86.

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Innospec (NASDAQ:IOSP): Closing Price $36.88

Innospec said that its subsidiary has purchased Strata Control Services, which is a private firm that provides mud and fluid loss solutions to oil and gas drilling operations. The transaction, which was finalized on December 24th , includes a performance element in the purchase price and represents between 6 times 2012 EBITDA and 5 times 2013 EBITDA. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Innospec within the first year. The 2012 sales for Strata Control were about $20 million. Shares closed up 1.4 percent on the day at $36.88, having been traded in a 52-week range of $25.18 to $36.68.

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