Wall Street Breakfast: Levi Strauss' $6.2B Return Public

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Returning public, iconic denim company Levi Strauss (NYSE:LEVI) will start trading on the NYSE today. The heavily oversubscribed IPO includes nearly 37M shares priced at $17 per share, for a total raise of about $623M and a $6.2B market value. The pricing is above the $14-$16 marketed range.

Economy

South Korean chip stocks raised the KOSPI index by 0.4% after U.S. peer Micron (NASDAQ:MU) forecasted a memory market recovery on data center demand. SK Hynix (OTC:HXSCF,OTC:HXSCL) and Samsung (OTC:SSNNF,OTC:SSNLF) were among the top movers.

The EU could hold an emergency summit next week to extend the Brexit deadline, according to British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. But the extension could come with “onerous” conditions like holding another referendum, which Hunt says wouldn’t find support in the British parliament.

Germany will meet its pledge to NATO allies to invest 1.5% of its GDP in defense by 2024. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the lower house of parliament that meeting the pledge “will require effort.”

Stocks

Swiss drugmaker Roche is suing former execs for alleged fraud involving diabetes test strips. Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY,OTCQX:RHHBF) says the scheme caused the company to wrongfully pay over $87M in rebates and incur a similar amount of retail losses. Roche is seeking tens of millions of dollars in the U.S. lawsuit.

The Wall Street Journal will sign on to a new paid news service from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), bucking other major publishers who are balking at terms, The New York Times reports. An event next Monday will reveal the WSJ (NWS, NWSA) joining a $10/month paid tier of Apple News, according to the report, but under terms rivals consider onerous: a roughly 50% revenue share and unlimited access to all publisher content, along with the fact that Apple (and not the publishers) will have access to key subscriber data such as credit cards and email addresses.

With its $71.3B deal to take over the entertainment assets of Fox (FOX, FOXA) in the books, Disney (NYSE:DIS) will likely fire more than 3,000 employees to start scratching out heavy redundancies in the two companies’ similar studio operations, the Los Angeles Times reports. Most of those cuts are expected to come from the Fox side, and while they could start this week, most might drag out for months.

Developers making games for the new videogame-streaming service from Google (GOOG, GOOGL) will be able to use rival clouds if they choose, a company exec says. The company’s Stadia project will use specialized hardware to run games, though developers can place certain server components such as leaderboards and settings on other clouds, which might come with performance risk, Phil Harrison told Reuters. The service also won’t have any adults-only content.

In a response to the latest move from hostile suitor MNG, Gannett (NYSE:GCI) says the Oaktree letter expressing high confidence in MNG debt financing for a takeover of Gannett doesn’t represent a true financing commitment and is highly conditional. Gannett added that Oaktree doesn’t even suggest it would play a role in such financing. Gannett has so far spurned a $12/share offer; its shares closed Wednesday up 2.5% to $10.89 each.

Wednesday’s Key Earnings

Micron Technology (MU) +3% AH on Q2 beat.
Wheaton Precious Metals (NYSE:WPM) +1.4% AH on Q4 beat.
Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) +5.8% AH on upside 2019 guidance.
Guess (NYSE:GES) -13.4% AH on weaker-than-expected guidance.
Worthington Industries (NYSE:WOR) -4.7% AH on weaker-than-expected Q3 revenue.
Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) -8.7% AH on Q4 earnings.
Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR) +5.7% AH Q3 beat.

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