Ultimate Market Recap: Microsoft Invests in Nook, Boosting B&N 60%

Wall Street Watch: Microsoft Makes Nook a REAL Player, GM Looks at a Big Investment

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will invest $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s (NYSE:BKS) Nook and College businesses. This will be combined into one unit valued at $1.7 billion. Barnes will own 82.4 percent of the unnamed company with Microsoft owning the balance at 17.6 percent. One of the venture’s first offerings will be a Nook application for Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system. In pre-market trading, Barnes’ shares have nearly doubled.

GM (NYSE:GM) will begin negotiations in March about purchasing a 10 percent stake in Isuzu Motors (ISUZY.PK). According to Nikkei, this comes as part of an agreement to jointly develop and sell commercial vehicles in Asia and Latin America. An agreement could spur Toyota (NYSE:TM) to sell its 5.9 percent Isuzu holding and do what what GM did: hook up with Peugeot.

Joining the U.K., Spain has entered into a recession for the second time since the financial crisis. Its GDP contracted 0.3 percent on the quarter, even though it had surpassed forecasts of -0.4 percent. Meanwhile in another hit to the country, S&P downgraded 11 banks, including Santander (NYSE:STD) and BBVA (NYSE:BBVA); this comes after the agency downgraded the Spanish sovereign debt two notches last week.

The European Commission is preparing a “Marshall Plan for Europe” worth EUR 200 billion to stimulate growth in Europe for countries hit hard by austerity measures including Spain. This will come from public and private investment in infrastructure, renewable energies and high technology, according to the Spanish paper El Pais. The plan will be presented at the group’s next meeting, after France’s election. Ideas from France’s presidential candidate Francis Holland have been utilized.

6 Buzzing Stocks: Barnes & Noble Teams Up with Microsoft, Scholastic Upgrades Outlook

Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) shares surged 91 percent in early trading. The company announced it is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) to create a new subsidiary that will house the digital and college businesses of the bookseller. Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in the subsidiary for around 17.6 percent.

Shares of Scholastic Corp. (NASDAQ:SCHL) gained more than 7 percent before the opening bell. The company said stronger-than-expected book sales of the “Hunger Games” trilogy after the release of the blockbuster movie is providing a boost to earnings. Scholastic now expects 2012 adjusted profit to surpass $3.40 per share, compared to its prior estimate of $2.60 to $2.90 per share.

Don’t Miss: Ford Receives Restrictor Plate from Europe

Sohu.com Inc. (NASDAQ:SOHU) shares fell more than 8 percent early Monday. The company announced that its first-quarter brand advertising business declined 22 percent from the previous quarter. The company explained, “We had a challenging first-quarter in our brand advertising business. Because of lackluster auto sales and the slowing real estate market, many automakers and real estate developers decided to defer their marketing plans.”

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) shares declined .80 percent in pre-market trading. The auto-maker received a downgrade from Craig-Hallum to Hold from Buy. Analyst Steven Dyer also reduced his price target on shares by $4 to $13.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares declined more than 1 percent in early trading, despite the tech giant being called a contender to be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average by Barron’s over the weekend. “The guardians of the Dow need to ensure that this benchmark, created in the 19th century, stays relevant for a 21st century market,” it wrote.

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Sunoco, Barnes & Noble, Gen-Probe, Hologic, Demand Media Attract Trading Interest April 30th

Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN): Energy Transfer (NYSE:ETP) and Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby ETP will acquire Sunoco in a unit and cash transaction valued at $50.13 per share, or a total consideration of approximately $5.3B, based on ETP’s closing price on April 27. The merger consideration, which consists of $25 in cash and 0.5245 of an ETP common unit, or approximately 50% cash and 50% ETP common units, represents a 29 percent premium to the 20-day average closing price of Sunoco shares as of April 27. By acquiring Sunoco, ETP will also own Sunoco’s general partner interest and the incentive distribution rights in Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE:SXL), as well as Sunoco’s 32.4% interest in Sunoco Logistics Partners’ limited partner units and Sunoco’s branded retail business, which generates additional stable cash flows from a portfolio of approximately 4,900 retail locations in the U.S. Shares of Sunoco, Inc. are trading 20.19% higher today.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS): Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced the formation of a strategic partnership in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary, which will build upon the history of strong innovation in digital reading technologies from both companies. The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content. The new subsidiary, referred to in this release as Newco, will bring together the digital and College businesses of Barnes & Noble. Microsoft will make a $300M investment in Newco at a post-money valuation of $1.7B in exchange for an approximately 17.6% equity stake. Barnes & Noble will own approximately 82.4% of the new subsidiary, which will have an ongoing relationship with the company’s retail stores. Barnes & Noble has not yet decided on the name of Newco. Shares of Barnes & Noble, Inc. are trading 60.09% higher today.

Gen-Probe Incorporated (NASDAQ:GPRO): Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX) and Gen-Probe (NASDAQ:GPRO) announced that their Boards of Directors have unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which Hologic will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Gen-Probe for $82.75 per share in cash, or a total enterprise value of approximately $3.7B. The all-cash transaction is expected to be funded through available cash and additional financing of term loans and high yield securities. The transaction is expected to be completed in 2H of CY12. The transaction delivers a strong growth profile with attractive economics and is expected to be20c accretive to Hologic’s adjusted EPS in the first fiscal year after close and significantly more accretive thereafter. Hologic also expects the transaction to accelerate top and bottom line growth rates. The combined company expects to realize approximately $75M in cost synergies within three years following the close of the transaction. In addition, the combined company expects to have strong free cash flows, which will be used primarily to reduce debt with the expectation to return to pre-transaction leverage levels within three years. The combined company will have pro forma LTM revenues of approximately $2.4B, adjusted EBITDA of $822M, excluding synergies, and offer a wide spectrum of health products globally. The transaction is expected to close in the 2H of CY12 and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Shares of Gen-Probe Incorporated are trading 18.97% higher today.

Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX): Conceptus (NASDAQ:CPTS) announced that it has reached an agreement with Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX) to settle the ongoing patent infringement litigation related to Hologic’s Adiana Permanent Contraception System. The settlement agreement resolves all outstanding litigation between Conceptus and Hologic. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Hologic has agreed to remove its Adiana system from the worldwide permanent birth control market by May 18. In addition, Conceptus has relieved Hologic of the $18.8M payment for monetary damages awarded to Conceptus as part of the October 17, 2011 jury verdict. Both companies have agreed to withdraw their respective appeals. In February, Conceptus had filed an appeal to overturn the court’s ruling denying its motion for permanent injunction against the sale of Hologic’s Adiana system, and Hologic had filed an appeal of the jury’s finding of patent validity and infringement. Hologic has also agreed to withdraw its False Patent Marking claims filed in 2009 in the United States District Court for Massachusetts. Furthermore, both parties will file with the United States District Court for Northern California appropriate motions seeking a consent judgment to the voluntary injunction of Hologic’s sale of the Adiana product within the next 30 days. Lastly, Conceptus will receive non-exclusive licensing rights to the technology related to Hologic’s Adiana system, limited to use in the field of permanent birth control. While Conceptus has been granted these rights, it does not intend to market the Adiana system. Shares of Hologic, Inc. are trading 8.41% lower today.

Demand Media Inc (NYSE:DMD): After All Things Digital reported that Demand Media was approached by private equity firm Thomas Lee Partners about a buyout for $1.2B – about double Demand’s current market value – Stifel Nicolaus expects the offer to provide support to the stock. The firm thinks that the shares are undervalued, and it believes that the stock will rally. The firm maintains an $11.50 target and Buy rating. Shares of Demand Media Inc are trading 30.34% higher today.

Energy Transfer Partners, Harman, Human Driving Trading Demand April 30th

Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP): Energy Transfer Partners acquired Sunoco for $50.13 per share Shares of Energy Transfer Partners LP are trading 0.79% higher today.

Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ (NYSE:HAR): Harman reports gross margin on a non-GAAP basis increased 40 basis points to 26.8% in Q3. The increase was due to better leverage of fixed costs on higher sales and productivity improvements in the cost base. Shares of Harman International Industries Inc./DE/ are trading 10.01% higher today.

Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM): Sees FY12 Retail segment revenue $24.5B-$25B; Sees FY12 Employer Group segment revenue $10.5B-$11B; Sees FY12 Health and Well-being Services segment revenue $13.25B-$13.75B. Shares of Humana Inc. are trading 6.05% lower today.

6 Stocks Hitting Radars: Groupon Picks New Board Members, Shutterfly Jumps 10% and Chesapeake Climbs Higher

After closing 10.5 percent lower during regular trading hours, shares of Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) jumped 2.05 percent higher in extended-trading. The company announced it has named two new members to its board of directors. Daniel Henry from American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Robert Bass from Deloitte will join the board.

Shutterfly Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY) shares jumped more than 10 percent after the closing bell. The company reported a first-quarter loss of $10 million (29 cents per share), compared to expectations for a loss of 32 cents per share. Revenue increased from $57.2 million to $91.3 million.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:APC) shares gained .75 percent in late trading. The company reported that net income in the first-quarter increased to $2.16 billion ($4.28 per share), compared to $216 million (43 cents per share) a year earlier. “Anadarko delivered record operating results, generated more than $130 million of free cash flow and successfully appraised discoveries in Mozambique, the Gulf of Mexico and Ghana during the first quarter of 2012,” said Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett.

Don’t Miss: Barnes & Noble and Microsoft Still Have an Uphill Battle

Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) edged .87 percent higher in extended-trading. The natural gas giant climbed 4 percent higher in regular trading after it received an upgrade from market perform to outperform by BMO Capital Markets.

Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) shares fell .85 percent after the closing bell, despite reporting a strong first-quarter. Net income for the company increased 23.6 percent to $108.2 million (88 cents per share), compared to $87.6 million (71 cents per share) a year earlier. “Our business momentum has continued into 2012, with strong sales performance from each of our six regions,” said Michael O. Johnson, the company’s chairman and CEO. “The financial strength of our business model is once again reflected in our cash flow generation in the quarter.”

Integrated Device Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:IDTI) shares dropped more than 7 percent in late trading. According to Reuters, the company will purchase PLX Technology Inc. for $330 million, in order to expand its product portfolio and customer base. PLX designs and develops integrated circuits.

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