Parexel Enters Share-Repurchase Agreement and 4 Hot Stocks Turning Heads

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (NYSE:SID): International companies trading in New York closed lower Monday, and markets calmed following the sharp gains seen on Friday in response to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s most recent round of monetary easing. The Latin American index fell 0.8 percent, to 336.96, and the emerging markets index dropped 0.9 percent to 286.06. Steelmakers’ shares fell in Brazil after several negative news reports for the sector, which included Swedish steel company SSAB AB’s profit warning  in regards to weak demand along with JPMorgan’s downgrade of a number of U.S. steel-related companies.

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iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) will add to its market presence in automatic floor-cleaning products. The company has stated that it has agreed to pay $74 million for the acquisition of Evolution Robotics Inc., which is responsible for the Mint and Mint Plus floor-cleaning robots. The cash acquisition, should be finished during Q4, and it will generate $4 million to $6 million in revenue for 2012, rising to $22 million to $24 million in 2013, states iRobot. The company is also expected to be dilutive for GAAP earnings in 2012 and 2013, which should turn accretive by Q4 of 2013 following the exclusion of non-cash charges, one-time charges, and integration costs. “There are tremendous opportunities to leverage the strength of the iRobot brand and our sales and distribution network to expand Mint product sales around the world,” stated Colin Angle, iRobot chairman and CEO.

Parexel International (NASDAQ:PRXL) has entered into an accelerated share-repurchase agreement with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC under which it will gain $50 million of the Boston-based company’s common stock. This is part of the buyback program for the $200 million in stock that was announced by Parexel last month. Beneath the agreement’s terms Parexel should gain about 1.3 million shares at the inception of the accelerated agreement. As of June 30, Parexel possessed nearly 60.1 million shares outstanding. Additionally, the company claims to have adopted a written trading plan to buy back as much as $50 million in common shares as part of its Rule 10b5-1 trading program.

HNI Corporation (NYSE:HNI) has reduced its Q3 forecast for revenue and operating profit, because its office furniture segment has had demand that has been “softer than expected.” Now, the company predicts an adjusted quarterly profit “similar to” the previous year’s 55 cents a share; instead of its previous 65 cents to 70 cents a share. The company’s Q3 sales growth is now estimated to be 7 percent to 10 percent, which is less than the previously forecasted 11 to 14 percent. “Economic uncertainty appears to be constraining the near-term growth momentum of office furniture,” stated Stan Askren, chairman, president and CEO of Muscatine. HNI should report tQ3 results on Oct. 17.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc. (NYSE:PNY): Today, at its regular quarterly Board of Directors meeting, Piedmont Natural Gas announced its intentions for a declaration of a quarterly dividend on Common Stock of 30 cents per share, which is to be payable October 15, 2012, to holders of record as of September 24, 2012.

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