Liberty Global Seeks Buyout and RBS Reaches Settlement: Morning Buzzers
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday morning. The markets have been jumpy over the past few days, trading gains and losses amid earnings reports, and mixed, but generally positive, economic indicators. Tomorrow brings the highly-watched European Central Bank policy meeting, which will help set the tone for economic news coming out of the region.
Futures at 8:45 a.m.: DJIA: -0.38%, S&P 500: -0.42%, NASDAQ: -0.48%.
Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) has entered an agreement with Virgin Media (NASDAQ:VMED), subject to shareholder approval, to pursue a merger with an enterprise value of $23.3 billion, and an equity value of about $16.0 billion. This is a price multiple of 8.8 times Virgin Media’s 2012 operating cash flow, and 7.0 times its estimated 2013 operating cash flow. Shares of Liberty Global were off as much as 2.3 percent in pre-market trading, and shares of Virgin Media were off as much as 1.6 percent.
Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) announced that it will acquire the full rights and control of Tysabri, a widely-approved treatment for MS, from Elan Corp. (NYSE:ELN) for an upfront payment of $3.25 billion plus tiered contingent payments based on future sales. The transaction is expected to add between $0.20 and $0.30 to 2013 GAAP earnings per share, and $0.50 to $0.60 to non-GAAP EPS. Shares of Elan Corp. were off as much as 2.7 percent in pre-market trading, while shares of Biogen were up as much as 5.4 percent.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (NYSE:RBS) has reached a settlement with the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice over its roll in the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal. UBS has agreed to pay a total of $612 million to the three agencies to settle at least one count of fraud and one count of antitrust violation.
Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) climbed as much as 2 percent in pre-market trading after reporting fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results that showed a 9.9 percent year-over-year increase in revenue for the quarter, and an 8.7 percent increase in full-year revenue. Fourth-quarter earnings grew 13.8 percent to $1.56 per share, while full-year earnings grew 22.6 percent to $5.75 per share.
CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) was up as much as 1.5 percent in pre-market trading following its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results. Net revenues increased 10.9 percent to $31.4 billion for the quarter, and 15.0 percent to $123.1 billion for the year. Fourth-quarter earnings grew to $1.14 per share, while full-year earnings grew to $3.43 per share. Full-year 2013 guidance for adjusted EPS is between $3.86 and $4.00.
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