Shares of J.C. Penney climbed on a positive report from Standard & Poor’s. The rating service upped its credit outlook to “stable” from “negative,” saying the department store’s sales have turned a corner. The company’s fourth quarter result, which were released last week, came in better than analyst estimates. J.C. Penney surged more than four percent to $8.29.
Facebook & Titan Aerospace
Facebook is reportedly buying privately held Titan Aerospace for about $60 million. Titan makes solar-powered drones that can be airborne for up to five years without having to land. The deal is thought to be part of Facebook’s ambition to provide internet access worldwide. Facebook rose two percent to $68.80.
Dish Network & Disney
Disney and Dish Network have reached a new long-term carriage deal. The terms let the satellite TV provider carry Disney owned networks in new ways. The agreement paves the way for Dish to offer live programming from some of Disney’s networks like ESPN and ABC over the web and on mobile devices without a Dish video subscription. As part of the deal, Dish agreed to disable ad-skipping features in its digital recorder on certain Disney programs for a limited period of time. Shares of both companies rose. Disney was up almost three percent to $81.71. Dish Network rose one percent to $59.56.
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt invested his entire 2013 bonus, about $2.6 million, in GE stock. Immelt has bought more company stock this year than any other CEO of any other S&P 500 company. He’s also the largest inside stakeholder at GE. Immelt’s vote of confidence lifted shares two percent to $25.65.
Delta cancelled 8,000 flights in February, but that actually helped the airline increase passenger unit revenue, a key measure of performance. The company was able to fill more seats on fewer flights, which is more cost-effective. That sent shares to an all-time high, up almost six percent to $34. 45.
Qualcomm’s board approved a $5 billion increase to its stock buyback program. The world’s largest cellphone chip maker also hiked its quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 42 cents a share. That sent the stock up more than three percent to $76.11.