Market Focus

Crocs

Shares of Crocs exploded today on news that Blackstone is taking a large stake in the troubled shoemaker. The maker of the once-popular colorful clogs will get a $200 million investment from Blackstone, giving the private equity firm a 13% stake and two seats on the company’s board. Also, Crocs’ CEO announced plans to leave the company in April. The news sent shares on a 21% run up to $16.14.

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is standing up to activist investor Sadar Biglari and rejecting his demand to put the restaurant chain up for sale. The company said it’s going to stick with its current business plan. Biglari is the largest stockholder with a 20% stake. He has been trying to oust the current management because he claims they aren’t maximizing returns for stockholders. Shares ended the day off slightly to $110.20.

Apple

Shares of Apple were in the red after news broke Friday night that the company is pushing back against Carl Icahn. Apple’s board recommended shareholders vote against the activist investor’s proposal that it buyback $50 billion worth of its own shares in 2014. The company said it’s already returned $43 billion to shareholders. The stock fell a fraction to $554.52.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. terminated its $2.5 billion sale to India’s Apollo Tires. Cooper says Apollo hasn’t been able to find financing for the deal. Apollo plans to take legal action saying Cooper’s decision is premature. Cooper is also taking “legal steps.” Shares of Cooper jumped in today’s session, up more than 5% to $24.20.

Myriad Genetics

Shares of Myriad Genetics took a big hit today. Medicare says that starting on January first; it’s slashing its reimbursement rate for the company’s breast cancer risk test. Myriad is a dominant supplier of tests that can predict cancer risk. Medicare is paying $2,800 for the test, but starting next year it will pay only half that fee. The stock tumbled nearly 14% to $20.82.

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