Consumer Staple Stocks Losing Ground Late; 21st Century Fox Gains Following Talks with British Sky

Top Consumer Stocks

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Consumer stocks were higher Monday afternoon although shares of consumer staples companies in the S&P 500 lost considerable ground this afternoon, finishing with just a 0.1% gain. Shares of consumer discretionary firms in the S&P 500 were up about 1.2%.

In company news, shares of Twenty-First Century Fox ( FOX ) were higher shortly before the closing bell after British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY.L) today said it has started preliminary discussions with Fox about a multibillion-dollar purchase of its pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy.

The deal would have BSY.L buying FOX's 57% stake in Sky Deutschland AG, currently valued at around $4.4 billion based on its closing share price Friday. BSY.L would then launch a mandatory takeover offer for the rest. Fox already owns a 39% interest in BSY.L.

"These discussions haven't progressed beyond a preliminary stage, no agreement has been reached on terms, value or transaction structure," BSY.L said, adding there was no certainty a deal could occur.

FOX also confirmed the talks, saying in a statement that over the past few years it has had "numerous internal discussions regarding the organizational and ownership structure of the European Sky-branded satellite platform. From time to time these conversations have included BSkyB."

FOX shares were up 2.8% at $34.37 a share in late Monday trade, climbing as high as $34.82 a share during today's session. The stock has a 52-week range of $26.91 to $35.19 a share, rising 17.5% over the past 12 months.

BSY.L shares closed 2.4% lower during trading earlier Monday in London.

In other sector news,

(+) PF, Races to all-time high after accepting $6.6 billion buyout offer from Hillshire Brands ( HSH ). PF shareholders will receive $36.02 a share, consisting of $18.00 in cash and 0.5 HSH share for each share they now own. HSH shares fell today.

(-) BPI, Q1 net loss of $0.10 per share is $0.09 wider than the Capital IQ consensus. Revenue falls 27.7% year over year to $160.5 mln, trailing Street view by $9.89 mln.

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

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