Top Consumer Stocks
Consumer stocks were ending with slim declines Wednesday afternoon, with shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 sliding nearly 0.3% while shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were down just 0.1%.
Among consumer stocks likely moving on news:
+ Cars.com ( CARS ) climbed as much as 9% on Wednesday following reports the online car and truck seller has quietly put itself up for sale. The move follows acitivist investor Starboard Capital placing two new directors on the Cars.com board of directors. It also follows CEO and co-founder Alex Vetter asking investors for more time to improve the company's financial standing, according to a source familiar with the matter who told the New York Post that time has now passed. Mass media company Hearst Communications, which publishes Car and Driver and Road & Track magazines and has a 50% stake in A+E Networks, is expected to be among the likely bidders, along with several private equity firms, the newspaper said.
In other sector news:
+ WD-40 Company ( WDFC ) touched a new record high on Wednesday, posting a nearly 4% gain and reaching a best-ever $158.90 a share, after reporting improved fiscal Q3 net income and sales compared with year-ago levels and also beating Wall Street expectations. The household lubricant company earned $1.15 per share during the three months ended May 31, up from $1.02 per share during same quarter last year and topping the Capital IQ consensus by $0.10 per share. Net sales grew to $107.03 million from $98.18 million last year, also exceeding the $103.33 million analyst mean.
- Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) declined Wednesday, at one point falling over 3%, after increasing its takeover bid for British pay-TV company Sky to GBP24.5 billion ($32.5 billion) and topping a rival offer from Comcast ( CMCSA ). Fox Wednesday morning said Sky's independent board committee agreed to its GBP14-per-share cash offer, representing an 82% premium to Sky's share price in December 2016 before Fox launched its takeover effort with a GBP10.75-per-share offer, only to be later topped in February 2018 by Comcast with a GBP12.50 per share offer. The proposal still needs approval by the UK Secretary of State to move forward, Fox said, with the final decision expected to be made public on Thursday. Also Wednesday, analysts at Credit Suisse began coverage of Fox with an Outperform rating.
- VOXX International Corp ( VOXX ) was down almost 7% in late Wednesday trading, bouncing back from an earlier 15% retreat that followed the automotive and consumer technologies company reporting a 12.2% decline in fiscal Q1 revenue from year-ago levels and upstaging a narrowed net loss during the three months ended May 31 from the same quarter last year. VOXX's Q1 net loss was $0.04 per share, improving on a $0.13 per share net loss last year, while net sales fell to $100.9 million from $114.8 million in the year-ago period. No analyst estimates were available for comparison.