Hot Stocks: Cheniere Energy, Hologic, Exelon, General Motors and Hartford Financial Services
Cheniere Energy, Inc. (AMEX:LNG) shares slumped 6.61% to US$16.25 on over 7.03 million shares, compared to its average volume of 5.87 million shares. The Obama administration is not opposed to exporting liquefied natural gas but will depend on an official analysis to guide its decision on whether to allow more gas export projects to proceed, a White House official said on Monday. The Energy Department, which must approve gas exports to all but about a dozen countries, has said it will hold off on allowing any more exports until a study it commissioned on the economic impact of sending gas abroad is completed later this summer. "We want analysis to drive the decisions," Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the President for energy and climate change, said at an event on shale gas energy sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute.
Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX) rose 0.92% to US$17.60 on over 9.62 million shares, compared to its average volume of 4.13 million shares. Hologic was upgraded by equities researchers at JPMorgan Chase from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report issued on Monday. The firm currently has a US$20.00 target price on the stock, down from their previous target price of US$22.00. Recently, the company agreed to buy a diagnostic test firm Gen-Probe Inc (GPRO.O) for US$3.75 billion cash, gaining access to molecular diagnostics products used to screen for blood diseases and test transplant compatibility. Under the deal, Hologic will pay US$82.75 for each Gen-Probe share, a 20% premium to the stock's closing price on Friday. Hologic Chief Executive Rob Cascella said in an interview that he has been talking with his counterpart at Gen-Probe, Carl Hull, in recent months about a potential acquisition. The deal comes nearly a year after Gen-Probe put itself up for sale and Novartis AG, which already had a partnership with the company, pulled out of the bidding process. The Federal Trade Commission earlier blocked Cytyc, now a part of Hologic, from acquiring Digene, now a part of Qiagen, due to competitive concerns about the HPV business. Hologic said the transaction will add about 20 cents per share to its earnings in the first fiscal year after the deal closes, which is expected in the second half of the year. The company expects annual cost savings of about US$75 million within three years of the closing, and about US$40 million in the first year. Hologic, which has more than 500 employees in China focused on diagnostics, said it plans to market Gen-Probe's products, including blood tests and sexually transmitted disease tests, in both developed and emerging markets.
Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) fell 0.21% to US$38.82 on over 6.77 million shares, compared to its average volume of 6.62million shares. Last week, the company reported that its first-quarter profit dropped in the face of unfavorable market factors and mild weather. The Chicago-based power generation company's earnings fell to US$200 million, or 28 cents a share, from US$668 million, or US$1.01 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted profit fell to 85 cents a share from US$1.17 a share. Operating revenue fell to US$4.69 billion from US$4.96 billion. Wall Street analysts expected Exelon to earn 80 cents a share, according to a survey by FactSet Research. On March 12, Exelon closed its purchase of Constellation Energy. Exelon Corporation (Exelon) is a utility services holding company engaged, through its principal subsidiaries, Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Generation), in the energy generation business, and Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) and PECO Energy Company (PECO), in the energy delivery businesses.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) was down 1.68% to US$21.63.The company said it will consider a bid for Ally's foreign operations. GM CEO Dan Akerson told Bloomberg News on Monday that the Detroit automaker may buy if the price is right. "We're interested in it, but we're not going to bleed to buy it," Akerson said. "We're the natural buyer." Ally's troubled mortgage unit Residential Capital LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Monday, as the Detroit-based Ally said it may sell its international businesses.
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE:HIG) lost 3.24% to US$19.09 on over 7.53 million shares, compared to its average volume of 5.79 million shares. First-quarter net income dropped to US$96 million, or 18 cents a share, from US$501 million, or 99 cents a share, according to a statement yesterday from Hartford, which is based in the Connecticut city of the same name. Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were US$1.25 per share, beating by 34 cents the average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The net realized loss of runoff operations, which include the Japanese annuity market where Hartford no longer sells new policies, widened to US$587 million from US$170 million. Policy sales climbed 3% in the commercial property- casualty coverage business to US$1.69 billion, while they declined 3% to US$861 million in the consumer markets segment, which provides auto and homeowners coverage to individuals.