SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Deals, splits and spinoffs. Merck (NYSE:MRK) goes shopping, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) splits, and Time Inc. goes off on its own, as some of the most recognizable names in American business embark on new chapters.
TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: The White House makes it easier for some students to pay down their debt load and calls for more changes.
GHARIB: And kickoff. Will one of the world`s biggest sporting events help lift South America`s biggest economies?
We have all that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for
Monday, June 9th.
MATHISEN: Good evening, everyone, and welcome.
It was a wild Monday on Wall Street and even though volatility spiked just a bit in the major averages saw just modest gains, equities did rise for a fourth session in a row and that was enough for the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Dow Transports to close at fresh all-time highs once again.
Investors got a lift from another round of major mergers, a major stock split, and the spin off of a batch of some household magazine titles from one of the nation`s oldest and biggest media companies.
So, here`s how stocks ended the day on Wall Street. The Dow was up 18 points. The NASDAQ added 14. And the S&P ended one point higher.
One of the biggest deals announced today was the drug giant Merck (NYSE:MRK), agreeing to buy specialty drug maker Idenix for nearly $4 billion. Shares of Dow component Merck (NYSE:MRK) ended fractionally higher today. But shares of Idenix rising by a staggering 229 percent.
So, what does Idenix have that made Merck (NYSE:MRK) pay all that money for it?
Meg Tirrell explains.
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Merck`s purchase of Idenix today for more than three times its Friday closing price continues a frenzy of deal making around drugs for hepatitis C.
Gilead kicked off the spree in 2012 with its purchase of Pharmasset (NASDAQ:VRUS), which give it the lucrative drug Sovaldi, now priced at
$84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment.
Bristol-Myers followed in 2012 with Inhibitex (NASDAQ:INHX) — a deal that ultimately unwound due to safety issues with the drug. Bristol-Myers is still working on hepatitis C, joining Gilead, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), AbbVie and others, competing for a market estimated at more
than $20 billion by 2018.
LES FUNTLEYDER, “HEALTHCARE INVESTING” AUTHOR: I think Gilead`s one quarter launch or first quarter launch of their drug Sovaldi, that was $2.5 billion, give or take, maybe the fastest launch ever, verifies the fact this is a tremendous market. And so, that means a number of participants want to get into it and I think that`s a reflection — reflected in Merck`s
paying for Idenix this morning.
TIRRELL: There are more than 150 million people worldwide chronically infected with hepatitis C. In the U.S., more than 3 million people are estimated to have the chronic liver disease, only half of whom are diagnosed. With the new drugs, treatment has been changing rapidly.
Instead of taking medicines by injection, patients can now take pills.
Side effects are diminishing and cure rates are going way up.
Merck`s chief executive operator Ken Frasier has been highlighting the company`s hepatitis C program as one of the most important in development.
Idenix brings a class of drugs refer to as nucleotides or nukes to Merck (NYSE:MRK), thought to be an important part of the new treatment regiments.
(on camera): The landscape is likely to continue changing, as Merck (NYSE:MRK), AbbVie and others join Gilead and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) with this new generation of drugs already on the market.
All ready, investors have driven up the stock of a smaller biotech working in hepatitis C drug Acheleon (ph).
(voice-over): Gilead stock went in the opposite direction today.
Analysts said Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Idenix both have patent challenges to Gilead Sovaldi, and their combination may give them more negotiating leverage.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
GHARIB: The Merck (NYSE:MRK) Idenix deal was big but there was an even bigger takeover offer today. Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) won the bidding war to acquire Hillshire Brands. This is the maker of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball (NYSE:BLL) Park franks. The winning bid, $8.5 billion. Nearly a billion more than the top bid from rival Pilgrims Pride, which withdraw his offer today for Hillshire.
The deal is subject to Hillshire`s release from its agreement to buy out Pinnacle Foods. Here`s how all of the stocks did. Shares of Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), fell 6.5 percent. Hillshire Brands rallied more than 5 percent. Pinnacle also rose more than 1 percent, but Pilgrims tumbles
almost 7 percent.
MATHISEN: Another acquisition to tell you about. Chipmaker Analog Devices (NYSE:ADI) has agreed to buy Hittite Microwave (NASDAQ:HITT) for $2 billion, getting a hold of Hittite chips which monitor changes in sound and temperature.
ADI shares up 5 percent on the news. Hittite shares shooting up almost 29 percent.
GHARIB: Meanwhile, discount retailer Family Dollar stores is trying to fight off a possible acquisition. It adopted a so-called “poison pill”
strategy for next year in order to buy time to consider its next move after activist investor Carl Icahn revealed on Friday he owns more than 9 percent in the company. Icahn also said he would push the chain to merge with rival Dollar General (NYSE:DG).
Shares of Family Dollar were the biggest gainer in the S&P today, surging more than 13 percent.
MATHISEN: More now on the big news about Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares, which began the day trading at $92 each after the company completed a seven for one stock split, making more shares available and making them more affordable to more investors. And those investors seemingly liked what they saw, sending Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares up 2 percent today.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) still the most valuable company on the planet is just the latest public company to split its stock, but how do companies and shareholders fare after stocks are split? And what about Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)?
MATHISEN: If you woke up this morning and didn`t know about the Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) stock split, you might have wondered whether every iPhone, iPad and MacBook had stopped working.
Of course, that`s not what happened. If you owned one share of Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) stock last Friday, it was worth more than $645. Today, Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) opened at $92. But your one share now divided into seven.
The value of your investment hadn`t changed, not one bit, but the number of shares you own did.
One famous study back in the 1990s found that stocks rise almost 8 percent in the year after a split and more than 12 percent in 3 years.
There are no guarantees, of course, and most investment pros will tell you a split is no reason to buy a stock, perhaps especially for a company like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
TOM FORTE, TELSEY ADVISORY GROUP: The stock split, I think, maybe in and of itself may not drive the stock higher but new product news and there`s a lot of it coming from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) I think will drive the
MATHISEN: A new operating system announced just last week and iPhone with a bigger screen, possibly on the way. Talk of a more capable Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) TV. It`s all out there. Plus, a big stock buyback that just got $30 billion bigger.
Apple`s had mixed results with three previous splits, all two for one, a far cry from today`s very rare seven for one split. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) hopes will broaden its shareholder base.
In 1987, the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) split preceded a 2 percent share price the following year. After a 2000 split, the share price dropped 57 percent. And after the 2005 split, shares jumped 60 percent.
So, is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) a trailblazer? Will more high-priced companies split this year?
S&P`s Howard Silverblatt names the usual subject.
HOWARD SILVERBLATT, S&P: Priceline is over a thousand, Chipotle is $500, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is in the range, AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) $400.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) just did a split, but it`s still over 500. There`s a lot of companies considered higher priced traditionally and trading out
MATHISEN: One company whose shares didn`t make Silverblatt`s potential split list is Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A).
His company`s A shares selling for about $192,000 a piece. And Buffett seems to like it that way, believing the high price creates a stable shareholder base.
He did, however, once split his limited rights B-shares 50 for 1 to
create more currency for the acquisition of Burlington Northern.
GHARIB: Time Inc., meanwhile, the magazine unit that`s home to “People”, “Sports Illustrated”, and “Time” magazine was spun off from parent company Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) today. Shares of Time also made their market debut on New York Stock Exchange today.
Time Inc.`s chief executive Joe Ripp sounded upbeat about his company`s prospects, despite an industry that`s been stung by declining
circulation and advertising revenue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE RIPP, TIME INC CEO: I`ve got some of the most trusted brands in the United States. Nine of the brands have been around over 40 years. In fact, one of the brands is oldest living continuously published magazine in the world called “The Field.” I`ve got great marketing machine that I could work. I`ve got strong cash flows and to write off a company like
that, I look at it as incredible. I mean, this company has great assets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GHARIB: Investors didn`t have the same level of enthusiasm. Shares
of Time fell nearly 1 percent on their first day of trading.
MATHISEN: So, can Time Inc. go it alone as a separate company?
Porter Bibb thinks so. He`s a media analyst and managing director at Media Tech Capital Partners.
Porter, welcome. Good to have you with us.
I should point out that both Susie and I spent sometime at Time Incorporated. So, we know the company at least reasonably well, and have, by and large, fond feelings for it.
Are you as enthusiastic as Joe Ripp is?
PORTER BIBB, MEDIA TECH CAPITAL PARTNERS MEDIA ANALYST: I am. And I think Joe Ripp is the right guy at this time to steer that ship because what Time, Inc. is, is content company. It`s not a magazine company. It`s got as Mr. Ripp mentioned, it`s got some of the 90 magazines that are some of the most iconic brands in the communications and entertainment business, finance, home furnishings and self help.
And one of the — you mentioned “The Field” magazine. That`s part of their U.K. IPC media group. That magazine started in 1799. So they`ve got
a little bit of history and actually not a bad survivor.
GHARIB: Well, as Tyler said, we do have fond feelings for it, but let`s look at some of the facts — advertising is down. Circulation is down. The magazine business we know is an industry in decline.
How exposed is Time?
BIBB: Well, first of all, Susie, I think that — I`m confused as to why Jeff Bewkes and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) decided to spin Time, Inc. off as a public company because they had an option. They tried to sell it to Meredith (NYSE:MDP) and put it on the market for about three or four years and there were no takers, but one of the things that they could have done that would have, I think, really put Time, Inc. on a high plain was an ESOC, an employee stock ownered company, because right now the people who are running Time, Inc. and all of the magazines are suffering from the fact that they`ve had to for decades had to give all their profits back to Time Warner (NYSE:TWX).
They have never had any real capital to grow or to develop. They haven`t really made a successful transition to the digital media. And they`ve still got these great brands.
One thing I don`t agree with Joe Ripp about is he`s meeting every day with the editors —
BIBB: — and saying that they`ve got to cut back 25 percent of their
Well, that`s the guts of this business. It`s a content creation
MATHISEN: But, Porter, are those brands as valuable as they once were? You have a brand like “People” magazine, but there are competitors out there nibbling at “People” in a way that it hasn`t happened before.
Whether it`s TMZ or “Sports Illustrated.” Not as valuable or dominant in its space as it was in this digital era.
BIBB: No, you`re absolutely right. The whole media business has fragmented beyond imagination. But the brands, what people are looking for, is, (a), something they recognize; (b), something that brings value or pleasure or some entertainment to them. And (c), they want to see something that`s accessible.
BIBB: Time, Inc.`s titles are not accessible right now in the digital
MATHISEN: Yes, even though the Time app on my iPad is pretty doggone good and ditto the “Sports Illustrated”.
Very quickly, would you buy the stock at this price?
BIBB: I think it`s a steal. It`s eight times P/E.
BIBB: It`s a same market cap as “The New York Times (NYSE:NYT).”
“The New York Times (NYSE:NYT)” makes a quarter of the profit that Time, Inc. makes.
MATHISEN: There you go. All right.
BIBB: And I think if you`re patient and wait, you`re going to see a
real — I mean, I think it`s going to be taken over.
MATHISEN: All right. Porter, thanks very much. Porter Bibb with
Media Tech Capital Partners.
GHARIB: Still ahead on the program, playing to win. Why billions are at stake for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) as the two companies face off at the biggest annual gathering of the video game industry. That`s coming up.
GHARIB: President Obama taking action today to help millions of American college graduates pay down student loan debt. He signed an executive order expanding a program allowing federal loan borrowers to cap their payments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We believe that in America, no hardworking young person should be priced out of a higher education. This country has always made a commitment to put a good
education within the reach of young people willing to work for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GHARIB: The president said today`s order could help an additional 5 million borrowers lower their monthly payments on federal loans.
John Harwood joins us now from Washington with more on today`s relief plan.
John, you know, so many people are so burdened by all of the student loans. What exactly is the president promising to do and who really benefits?
JOHN HARWOOD, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: What he`s doing, Susie, telling people who borrowed before 2007, who previously were not eligible, that they can cap their repayment of student loans at 10 percent of their monthly income and if they pay for 20 years at that rate, and they still haven`t paid it off, the loan is forgiven.
This is something that Congress agreed to do going forward in 2010.
In 2012, the president said the 1.7 million people who had borrowed between
2007 and 2012, that is to say, people who were in college during the process of the law changing, that they were also eligible. Now, he`s gone before that to people who borrowed before 2007.
MATHISEN: Let`s talk a little bit about how much this would save borrowers and how much it would cost taxpayers and is it likely that there will be some political blowback about sort of absolving people of
commitments they took on.
HARWOOD: We don`t know, Tyler, how much this is going to cost the government. The administration didn`t provide under repeated questioning today, didn`t provide an estimate for this and characterized the cost as modest. But for students, there`s a big benefit in certain cases. The president spoke next to a young man who had both MBA loans and undergraduate loans. He was previously paying $800 a month.
Under this new system which caps his repayment at 10 percent of his
income, only $200. So, a big benefit for some people.
GHARIB: John, thanks a lot. John Harwood in Washington.
A settlement has been reached with the group that runs big-time college sports over the use of student athletes in video games. The NCAA has agreed to pay $20 million to Division I college football and basketball players who filed a class action lawsuit over the unauthorized use of their names, images and likenesses in video games made by Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS). Now, the deal still needs to be approved by a judge.
MATHISEN: It was a big day in Los Angeles, the kickoff of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, biggest annual gathering for the videogame industry where big names unveil the next big titles and consoles.
Julia Boorstin has more.
JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: With the new game consoles, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Xbox One and Sony (NYSE:SNE) PS4, off to a strong start, the mood here at E3 is upbeat and the focus is on the new game announcements that will get consumers to keep buying games and the new consoles.
And as Xbox press conference kicked off the week of events this morning, the focus was not on the console as an entertainment hub, but
rather, as a service to its hardcore gamer fans.
PHIL SPENCER, MICROSOFT XBOX HEAD: You have to start with the core customer of the box which I think is that gamer, but we have architected the box for television and all forms of entertainment remains a strong part of our vision, but we know that day one customer every year has to be the
gamer. You expand from the gaming audience out.
BOORSTIN: The second big event of E3 was Electronic Arts
(NASDAQ:ERTS) press conference. There, all the talk was about the big titles and various ways gamers can play with digital add-ones and mobile access, the hottest game, “Battlefield Hardline”. This is the first time
EA has released a game in the franchise two years in a row.
ANDREW WILSON, ELECTRONIC ARTS CEO: At the end of the day, great game bring in a lot of players and, you know, our focus right now is put the player first, build amazing games and, listen, they will actually live
together inside the marketplace.
BOORSTIN: Over the next few days, all the other game-makers will try to run up EA with better and bigger titles and flashier graphics.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin, in Los Angeles.
GHARIB: McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) sales in the U.S. are still slipping and so is the stock. And that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The world`s largest burger chain reported a small rise in global sales but here in the U.S., sales continue to decline. McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) blamed, quote, “ongoing broad based challenges for that slump.” Shares were off a fraction to a $101.38.
Shareholders of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) voted down a proposal today to split the company`s chairman and CEO roles. That`s according to Dow Jones.
Reed Hastings, the company`s founder, holds both of those titles.
Shares of the video streaming service fell more than 1.5 percent to $423 and change.
MATHISEN: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has a new e-commerce strategy. The online retailer launched a service called Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Payments, that lets consumers use their Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) accounts to send and receive money and shop on other sites other than amazon.com. The company will charge a fee to the other merchants for each transaction. Shares off just a bit today to $327.5.
Kraft (NYSE:KFT) Foods hiking coffee prices 10 percent because of rising green coffee bean costs. The move will affect its Maxwell House and Yuban Brands.
Kraft (NYSE:KFT) is the second major American roaster to up prices.
Just last week, we told you the J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM) increased its coffee prices by 9 percent. Shares of Kraft (NYSE:KFT) were up more than 1 percent today to $60.42.
GHARIB: Following Friday`s solid jobs report, we continue our series on where the jobs are.
Tonight, we look at the nuclear option, the Nuclear Energy Institute says 20,000 retiring workers will need to be replaced by the year 2018 but we found one utility hiring hundreds of new workers to man the first nuclear reactors to be built in the U.S. in decades.
Mary Thompson has more from Jenkinsville, South Carolina.
MARY THOMPSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, a massive derrick splits the summer skies.
It`s part of South Carolina Electric and Gas` $10 billion project to build the first two nuclear reactors in the United States in 30 years. At its peak, the project will employ 3,500 construction workers.
But SCE&G is looking to hire a permanent workforce for another big job.
JEFFREY ARCHIE, SCE&G CHIEF NUCLEAR OFFICER: We`re going to bring on
about 800 total workers to support the staffing for our operating plants.
THOMPSON: It will be three or four years before the reactors come online, but SCE&G`s chief nuclear officer Jeffrey Archie says hiring started five years ago.
ARCHIE: We wanted to make sure we did was we brought in the right people at the right time. So, initially, we are going to be doing a lot of training and a lot of instruction so we hired instructors first.
THOMPSON: Those instructors now train nuclear operators at a simulator built on the 240-acre site, the start of ongoing training these employees will receive throughout their careers. SCE&G has hired more than half of the 800 workers, but still needs engineers, mechanics, technicians and chemists.
(on camera): Depending on the job, the Nuclear Energy Institute says starting salaries in this industry will be about $52,000.
(voice-over): SCG&E wouldn`t say what it pays, only that it`s competitive and that it has a full benefits package. Now, the company is finding workers from the industry, military and four-year colleges, while partnering with local schools to create a pipeline of trained workers. One of those schools is Columbia, South Carolina-based Midlands Technical College.
Five years ago, Midland`s president Sonny White says it co-developed a two-year nuclear program with SCE&G, training workers to work here and abroad.
DR. SONNY WHITE, MIDLANDS TECHNICAL COLLEGE PRESIDENT: They can go to work anywhere in the world where the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has
THOMPSON: The majority of Midlands nuclear students are adults, with many looking to change careers.
Like 37-year-old Kimberly Hall. The chemist left a job in the drug
industry, lured by her fascination with nuclear energy`s potential.
KIMBERLY HALL, MIDLANDS TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENT: Since I`m a scientist by nature, it`s just a process that you can take uranium and
power an entire city.
THOMPSON: The hope of a steady job brought 25-year-old Wesley McQueen to Midlands. Once a temporary worker for the state, he graduated last year and now works as a nuclear mechanic at SCG&E.
WES MCQUEEN, SCE&G EMPLOYEE: I`m not sure how far up the ladder I`ll climb. I definitely plan on spending 30, 35 years with the company.
THOMPSON: McQueen recharging the career by taking the nuclear option.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Mary Thompson, Jenkinsville, South Carolina.
MATHISEN: Coming up, is the promise of a Brazil economic boom fueled by the world cup going bust?
MATHISEN: If you`re a soccer fan or what the rest of the world calls football, you know that the World Cup starts Thursday in Brazil. But what was supposed to be a crowning moment for South America`s largest economy is turning out to be a very costly embarrassment. Adding to the troubles, allegations of bribery at FIFA, the international body that governs the World Cup.
Despite the stumbles, though, some investors think it could be a good time to invest in Brazil.
Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has more.
MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-
over): Riot police use teargas against striking metro workers today in Brazil`s largest city, Sao Paulo.
The unionized workers demanded higher payer and blasted the billions spent by the country on the World Cup. It`s just the latest headache for the Brazilian government as the games get started this week, with some stadiums unfinished and nearly untested.
Many infrastructure projects promise to improve transportation never got built and those that did may have been built in haste.
Late last month, heavy rain led to the roof collapse at a new airport constructed in the northern part of the country. The games were supposed to provide an economic boost to Brazil and create jobs. Estimates of how much has been spent range from $3.5 billion to nearly $15 billion.
CEOs tell us concerns about protests and whether or not the country
can pull it off is actually hurting the economy.
FABIO SCHVARTSMAN, KLABIN CEO: It`s causing more uncertainties, and
it`s adding to the weakness of the Brazilian economy now.
CARUSO-CABRERA: The CEO of a huge Brazilian travel company says they will get the expected number of visitors. But it`s not going to be gangbusters.
LUIZ EDUARDO FALCO, CVC CEO: People think that airports will be a
mess and on the end of the day, the airports will be empty.
CARUSO-CABRERA: This comes as the Brazilian economy is slowing and inflation is rising. Consumer confidence at a five-year low, ditto for industrial confidence.
And yet, it is precisely these problems leading some Wall Street firms to recommend investing in Brazil. Research firm Trusted Sources tells clients the more the country weakens, the more likely President Dilma Rousseff will lose her bid for re-election in October. The candidates running against her support economic policies that are much better for business.
Trusted Sources thinks the Brazilian market could, quote, “fuel a hope rally not unlike the recent rally in India.”
Last month, India elected a new pro-business leader Narendra Modi, and that led to a massive rally in the Indian stock market.
Add to all of this, news of a massive bribery scandal involving the governing body of soccer, which is known as FIFA. Journalists have uncovered documents alleging the country of Qatar paid bribes in order to secure the World Cup in 2022.
The allegations raised questions about how FIFA chooses the hosting country and whether or not they pick the countries for the right reasons.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.
GHARIB: And, finally tonight, did Detroit`s Big Three automakers are giving back to the struggling city and the residents who helped make them great. The charitable arms of Ford and General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Chrysler have committed a total of $26 million to help ease pension cuts and support the Detroit Institute of Arts. The donations are designed to preserve the city`s cultural heritage and help municipal retirees who have seen their pension benefits slashed since the city declared bankruptcy last
year. Every bit helps.
MATHISEN: Are you going to watch the World Cup?
GHARIB: Oh, absolutely.
MATHISEN: Yes, it`s going to be an interesting warm-up to the Olympics coming there in 2016. We`ll see how it starts off starting
GHARIB: Too bad the economy part didn`t work out, at least so far.
MATHISEN: We`ll find out.
GHARIB: That`s NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for us. I`m Susie Gharib.
Thanks so much for joining us.
MATHISEN: I`m Tyler Mathisen. Thanks from me as well. Have a great evening, everybody. And we`ll hope to see you back here tomorrow night.
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