Consumer stocks were little changed this afternoon, with shares
of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 rising less than
0.1%. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500
were down less than 0.1%.
In company news, Safeway (
) shares fell nearly 3% Friday after the grocery chain late
Thursday announced a definitive merger agreement with Supervalu's (
) Albertson's unit in a deal valued at more than $9 billion.
The deal calls on SWY shareholders to receive $40.10 for each
share they own, consisting of $32.50 per share in cash and pro-rata
distributions worth an estimated $3.65 per share from the sale
proceeds of a real-estate development subsidiary, a 49% interest in
Mexican retailer Casa Ley SA de CV and other non-core assets.
The planned merger does not alter plans to distribute the
remaining 37.8 million shares of Blackhawk Network (
) to SWY shareholders with a current value of $3.95 per SWY share.
The merger agreement also includes a "go-shop" period, during which
SWY can actively solicit alternative proposals over the next 15
days and entering a deal within three weeks. The competing bidder
would have to pay a $150 million termination fee to Albertson
private equity owner Cerebrus, or $250 million if it strikes a deal
beyond the 21-day go-shop period.
SWY shares were down 2.8% at $38.36 each in recent trade,
narrowly inching above its $38.15 intra-day low. The stock had
risen 12% since Feb. 18 when the company disclosed it was in buyout
talks with an unnamed suitor. HAWK shares were up about 4.5% at
In other sector news,
(+) SKUL, (+32.8%) Non-GAAP earnings decline 72% from a year
earlier to $0.13 per share but still beats Capital IQ consensus by
$0.04. Revenue slides 28% year over year to $72.2 mln, edging out
Street estimates by $400,000. Forecasts at least 5% Q1 sales growth
compared to analyst expectations for a 5% decline.
(-) GPS , (-0.2%) February sales decline 3.8% from year-ago
levels to $929 mln. Same-store sales decline 7%; analysts were
looking for a 1.1% gain.