Sector Update: Consumer

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Consumer stocks were mostly higher, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 climbing about 0.6% although shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were up just 0.1%.

In company news, Hillshire Brands ( HSH ) shares Thursday jumped to 16-year high after Tyson Foods ( TSN ) unveiled a $6.8 billion proposal to buy the maker of Jimmy Dean, Ball Park and Sara Lee food products.

HSH shares were up 17.3% at $52.57 apiece in recent trade, just 9 cents under its session high of $52.66, matching some of the stock's best levels since reaching all-time peak of $61.71 a share in March 1998.

The TSN bid offers $50 per share in cash for HSH, topping a $45 per share cash bid earlier this week by Pilgrim's Pride ( PPC ). Both deals would require HSH to scrap its proposed $6.6 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Foods ( PF ).

In prepared remarks, TSN Chief Executive Donnie Smith said his company's offer "provides Hillshire shareholders with an immediate cash premium for their shares that we believe is both greater and more certain than what can be attained in the near term by the company either on a standalone basis or in combination with any other food-processing company."

TSN shares also rallied Thursday, rising 7.1% to $43.64 each in mid-day trade, while PF overcame early weakness to climb onto positive turf at $31.76 a share this afternoon, up 1.3%. But PPC was down about 1.5% this afternoon at $24.99 a share, slipping as low as $24.70 during the session.

In other sector news,

(+) MBIS, (+15.4%) Sells its editorial and e-commerce assets, including its job board and education unit, to Prometheus Global Media for $8 mln in cash. Surviving firm will operate as Mecklermedia Corp, focusing on international trade shows.

(-) TLYS, (-17.3%) Q1 revenue climbs 1.8% from year-ago levels to to $111.1 mln but lags Street view by $2.12 mln. EPS of $0.02 matches estimates. Q2 earnings forecast trails consensus by at least $0.06 per share.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: HSH , TSN , PPC , PF

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