News Corp Gains Majority Control of Sky Deutschland and 3 Morning Hot Stocks to Follow
JCPenney (NYSE:JCP): Current Price $17.65
The New York Post cites sources close to JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) to reveal that sales at stores open at least a year slumped by more than 30% through the critically important holiday season. By year-end, the chain had been publicising discounts of 20 to 30% as it worked to clear inventory, but shoppers were not exactly falling over themselves to avail of the offers. Yesterday, JCPenney’s website was advertising discounts of 30 to 50% across thousands of items. The continued discounting could pressure cash generation which in turn could impact plans to open new in-store shops as per CEO Ron Johnson’s grand revival plan.
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (NYSE:BUD): Current Price $87.16
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (NYSE:BUD) $19 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo is likely to be viewed unfavourably by the Department of Justice at a meeting later this week, and the regulators may require major concessions from Busch before granting the deal a green signal. A July offer by Busch to give Constellation Brands the right to import, distribute and set pricing for beers from Modelo has not impressed the DOJ, who may require that a third party make all the beers imported into the US, according to sources. This may be a small price to pay, considering Busch’s main motive in the deal was to secure Modelo’s 59% share of the Mexican beer market and not its US sales.
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News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS): Current Price $27.29
Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) paid €347.4 million ($464 million) to acquire an additional 77.9 million new shares issued by German pay-TV company Sky Deutschland AG, taking News Corp’s holding from 49.9% 54.5% and giving it majority control. The investment takes News Corp a step forward towards its ambitions of becoming a broadcaster with a pan-European footprint, despite having to drop its July 2011 bid for acquiring the remainder of British Sky Broadcasting Group plc due to the phone hacking scandal. News Corp also holds bonds that can be converted to give it an additional 6.9% stake in the Sky Deutschland.
Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP): Current Price $12.18
According to an informal poll conducted by Reuters of nine anti-trust experts, the acquisition of upstart car rental firm Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP) by giant Avis Budget (NYSE:CAR) is likely to be cleared by US regulators. Avis paid $500 million in cash to acquire Zipcar at a 49% premium and assume the number one spot in US car sharing. The experts think there is little barrier to entry here and small likelihood of prices going up significantly because of the deal.
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