Wal-Mart Sheds Mexican Chain, Netflix’s Game Changing Virgin Contract, and 3 More Hot Stocks
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): Wal-Mart de Mexico is selling off the Vips restaurant chain to its fellow operator Alsea for 8.2 billion Mexican pesos or $626 million, the deal part of the regional division’s strategy to simplify its operations. The restaurants generated revenue of $473 million last year, amounting to only 1.7 percent of its consolidated sales.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX): Analysts believe that Netflix’s deal with Virgin Media could have profound implications throughout the industry, as pay-TV services continue to see Netflix as more of an asset to their operations, rather than a competitor. The partnership with Virgin will be a slow investment with little to no immediate financial benefits, but provides a significant positive for the streaming service in the longer term.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): CFO Ruth Porat said that Morgan Stanley’s deposits will swell to $138 billion in mid-2015 from $82 billion now, largely in part to its takeover of Smith Barney from Citigroup. The bank intends to use the cash to aggressively expand its business lending to clients, and the ratio of loans to deposits should climb to 70 percent in 2015 from 55 percent now. Porat notes that it could climb as high as 90 percent, ultimately.
Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA): A refinery and petrochemical plant project in eastern China has been shelved after political support for the $13 billion venture fell through. Had it been built, the facility would have refined 20 million tons per year of crude oil and produced 1.2 million tons per year of ethylene.
Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL): Noble has found gas deposits at its Troubadour deepwater exploration project in the Gulf of Mexico, uncovering about 50 feet of net natural gas pay in a high-quality Miocene reservoir. Noble has a 60 percent stake in the Troubadour assets.