A bidding war in the packaged meat industry kicked off when
made a $6.1 billion bid for
Pilgrim's Pride Corp
's offer of $5.5 billion.
A combination of either bidder with Hillshire Brands would
create the largest packaged meat company.
Increasing the drama, the dueling bids for Hillshire come while
Hillshire has made an offer to acquire
for $4.3 billion. Both would be buyers of Hillshire have made their
offers contingent on Hillshire's dropping its Pinnacle bid.
With consumer spending still soft and companies like
and holding on to pricing power in the food industry, both
Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride are looking to add some name-brand
products that carry higher profit margins, like Jimmy Dean sausage
and Ball Park hot dogs, to their portfolio.
In other news around the markets:
has created a committee of internet experts to help European
citizens exercise their newly created "right to be forgotten"
online. A top European court ruled that European residents have the
right to ask an internet search engine to remove links that
infringe on their right to privacy earlier in May. On Friday,
Google responded by unveiling a new website that allows users to
list websites they want removed from their search results. On
Thursday, 13 Ukrainian soldiers and one general were killed when
pro-Russian separatists shot down a helicopter. Tension between
Russia and the West over the crisis heightened after a rebel leader
admitted that several of the separatists who have died during the
rebellion have been "volunteers" from Russia and that their bodies
are being sent across the border. Ford recalled 1.39 million
vehicles across North America for their possible loss of power
steering. The figure nearly matches the total number of cars that
Ford recalled during all of 2013 and highlights automakers' concern
about safety issues following General Motors' ignition switch
problems. US officials are finding that China's internet espionage
abilities are wider and more diverse than originally estimated.
After indicting five army officers last week, US researchers
discovered that Chinese "hackers for hire" are able to break into
servers at Google, Lockheed Martin and other top security firms.
Asian markets were down across the board with the exception of
the Shenzhen composite, up 0.21 percent, and the Hang Seng
composite, up 0.50 percent. The NIKKEI fell 0.34 percent, the
Shanghai composite was down 0.07 percent and the KOSPI was down
European markets were mostly lower with the exception of the MIB
and the IBEX, which gained 0.11 percent and 0.03 percent
respectively. The FTSE lost 0.22 percent, the STOXX 600 was down
0.10 percent, the DAX fell 0.03 percent and the CAC 40 was down
Brent futures were flat on Friday, just below $110 at $109.97
per barrel, but WTI futures were down 0.25 percent at $103.32 per
barrel. Gold and silver gained 0.05 percent and 0.29 percent
respectively, while industrial metals were mixed. Copper gained
0.24 percent and aluminum was up 0.27 percent, but zinc fell 0.29
The dollar lost ground on Friday, down 0.22 percent against the
pound, 0.17 percent against the yen and 0.08 percent against the
franc. The euro also gained against the dollar, trading at $1.3611,
but the common currency lost 0.14 percent against the pound and
0.08 percent against the yen.
Notable earnings released on Thursday included:
Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:
) reported third quarter EPS of $1.07 on revenue of $25.23 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $1.04 on revenue of $24.08 billion.
Abercrombie & Fitch Company (NYSE:
) reported a first quarter loss of $0.17 on revenue of $822.00
million, compared to last year's loss of $0.09 on revenue of
$838.77 million. Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) reported second quarter EPS of $2.21 on revenue of $660.70
million, compared to last year's EPS of $1.06 on revenue of $621.20
Notable earnings releases expected on Friday include:
ANN INC. (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.31 on revenue of
$598.25 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.44 on revenue of
$574.51 million. Frontline Ltd. (NYSE:
) is expected report first quarter EPS of $0.00 on revenue of
$76.46 million, compared to last year's loss of $0.36 on revenue of
Friday will be a slow day for economic data with releases
including US consumer sentiment, Canadian GDP, Italian CPI, Italian
PPI, and the Spanish current account.
For a recap of Thursday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep show with Dennis Dick and
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