General Electric & Alstom
General Electric’s CEO tried to gain France’s support today for its $17 billion bid to buy Alstom’s power unit. GE’s chief Jeffery Immelt says he’s willing to partner with France’s new government and he would make commitments to increase jobs in France by opening new sites. GE’s proposal has been extended until the end of June. Shares were up a fraction to $26.57.
Netflix & Sony
Netflix is buying the rights to Sony’s animated films. The pay channel Starz has the rights to the movies, but agreed to give them up to the video streaming services company. The multi-year agreement includes one or two films a year and will add to the company’s already large content costs. Shares of Netflix were off slightly to $398.81, Sony rose more than three percent to $16.64.
AutoZone saw its third-quarter earnings rise as its revenue grew and margins widened. The auto parts retailer’s results were helped by stronger sales in North America, Brazil and Mexico. Despite that, shares fell almost four percent to $520.25.
Wellcare & Centene
Shares of Wellcare and Centene rose on speculation the companies could be takeover targets. According to a report in Modern Healthcare, the CEO of Ascension Health said last week that his company was in talks to acquire an insurer that operates in 18 states. Both companies fit the criteria. That sent shares of Centene to an all-time high, up four percent to $74.02. Wellcare rose about three percent to $76.91.
Aeropostale surged today on news the teen retailer has secured a $150 million credit facility from private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Just last week the company posted another quarterly loss and gave a weak outlook, but the news today gave investors hope. Shares popped 15 percent to $3.92.
Apple fans had another reason to buy up the stock. According to reports, the company is planning to introduce a smart home system at a conference on June 2nd. The technology will reportedly allow users to control their lights, appliances and security with their iPhone. The stock rose nearly two percent to $625.63.