Dow Chemical dodged a bullet, settling a debate with an activist. The specialty chemical maker has agreed to add four new members to its board of directors, after pressure from Dan Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund, avoiding a proxy battle. Also, Dow and Third Point have entered a standstill agreement, meaning Third Point will not publicly criticize the firm for one year. Shares of Dow popped more than 2.5 percent to $52.84.
Loeb also came out on top in his fight with Sotheby’s. The CEO of the auction house will step down by mutual agreement with the company’s board, but he will remain in the job until a successor is found. This comes after activist Dan Loeb and others joined Sotheby’s board. Shares were almost seven percent higher, closing at $41.93.
Foot Locker’s third quarter sales and earnings stepped past Wall Street consensus, but investors didn’t seem too impressed. The CEO of the athletic gear company is stepping down on December 1st, which could be rattling investors, since the transition comes during the holiday shopping season. Shares fell more than four percent to $54.55.
Ann Inc., the parent of Ann Taylor, posted sales that missed estimates and warned that it would log its first comparable stock sales decline in 10 quarter. Its earnings did manage to top estimates. The company partly blamed product shipment delays out West Coast ports for its weak sales. Shares fell slightly to $38.23.
Aetna is hiking its quarterly dividend. The payout will be 11 percent higher to 25 cents a share. Also the insurer is setting aside an additional $1 billion to buyback shares. Shares were up more than 50 cents to $86.36.