ShoreTel Inc (NASDAQ:SHOR) Gets Acquired by Mitel

ShoreTel Inc (NASDAQ:SHOR)

ShoreTel Inc (NASDAQ:SHOR) is being acquired by Mitel Networks Corp (NASDAQ:MITL) for $7.50 per share in an “all cash” transaction that totals $530 million. The purchase price represents a 28% premium to yesterday’s closing share price of $5.85.

Don Joos, CEO of ShoreTel Inc (NASDAQ:SHOR), stated in a press release “With the announcement today, this concludes our comprehensive review of strategic alternatives by delivering a significant cash premium for our shareholders. Customers are clearly moving to the cloud at a rapid pace. The combination of Mitel and ShoreTel creates a new UCaaS market leader with a differentiated strategy and solution, and a clear migration path so that no customer is left behind or will have to abandon what they already have to cloud-enable their organization.”

Following the acquisition, Mitel will be well positioned to offer their customers cloud-based communications. For enterprise customers, ShoreTel Inc (NASDAQ:SHOR)’s solutions will strengthen Mitel’s ability to cloud-enable customers with technology that is needed for next-generation cloud applications.

Mitel will finance the acquisition using a combination of cash on hand from the combined businesses, its existing revolving credit facility, and proceeds from a new fully underwritten $300 million term loan maturing in 2023. BMO Capital Markets is leading the new term loan facility with Citizens Bank, N.A., HSBC Bank Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce serving as Joint Lead Arrangers and Joint Bookrunners. Citizens Bank, N.A., lead on the existing amended facilities, will act as administrative agent for these and the new term loan.

As of noon, EST, MITL shares are up almost 5% on the deal news.

I have no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, and have no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. All information, including any data, is provided without any guarantees of accuracy.

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About the author: Steve Clark is a 23-year Wall St professional with stints in M&A, risk management, and algorithm trading. Steve keeps his head in the game by looking for, and writing about, small companies that often get overlooked by the big investment firms.

Key Acquisition for Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD)

Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD)

Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD) shares are up over 30% before lunch on news that it has acquired the sole owner of intimate clothing brand Frederick’s of Hollywood global online license. NAKD shares end Tuesday at $1.26 but before lunch shares had hit $1.82 on a volume figure over 18 times the daily average.

Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD)
One month daily candle-bar graph for $NAKD

Naked, Bendon, and Bendon Group Holdings Limited (“Holdco”) recently entered into a merger agreement under which both of Naked and Bendon will become wholly owned subsidiaries of Holdco, a newly formed Australian holding company.

Bendon will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of FOH in exchange for the forgiveness of debt owed by FOH to Bendon. As a result, Bendon will control FOH’s existing license to develop and sell online products under the Fredrick’s of Hollywood name. As part of the transaction, Holdco will issue to FOH shares, which would have otherwise been issued to Bendon at the time of the merger. Most of these shares will be transferred to the affiliate of Bendon which initially funded FOH. The issuance of the Holdco shares is expected to have a minimal impact on the amount of shares Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD) stockholders will have in Holdco.

Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD) sales have increased each year since 2015 when the company reported $0.6 million in sales. That number was followed by annual sales figures of $1.4 million and $1.8 million. However profit has been harder to grasp for the apparel company. In 2015, Naked Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:NAKD) shareholders suffered a per share loss of (-$23.33). That loss narrowed in 2016 to (-$10.13), then narrowed again in 2017 to (-$1.77).

I have no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, and have no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. All information, including any data, is provided without any guarantees of accuracy.

Don’t miss out! Stay informed on $NAKD and receive breaking news on other hot stocks by signing up for our free newsletter!

About the author: Steve Clark is a 23-year Wall St professional with stints in M&A, risk management, and algorithm trading. Steve keeps his head in the game by looking for, and writing about, small companies that often get overlooked by the big investment firms.

Deal Over! Unilever PLC (ADR) (NYSE:UL) Fends Off Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC)

Unilever PLC (ADR) (NYSE:UL)

The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) has ended their attempt to acquire Unilever PLC (ADR) (NYSE:UL). The $143 billion deal amounted to $50/share for UL when it was trading around $42 – almost a 20% premium. Kraft’s proposal included $30.23 per share in cash, payable in U.S. dollars, and 0.222 of a share in a new enlarged entity per Unilever share. The proposed acquisition would have been the third-largest acquisition in history, the largest ever acquisition of a UK-based company, and the largest ever in the food & beverage category.

A Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) spokesperson commented “Our intention was to proceed on a friendly basis, but it was made clear Unilever did not wish to pursue a transaction. It is best to step away early so both companies can focus on their own independent plans to generate value.”

Industry observers are hinting that Unilever’s quick rejection of Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) offer, and Kraft’s quick withdrawing of their offer suggest a strategy that was not completely thought through.

Interestingly, there was a massive spike in call options on shares of Unilever PLC (ADR) (NYSE:UL) – on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. That is two days before the deal hit the newswires.

When news of the proposed takeover hit the street, volumes exploded. Unilever PLC (ADR) (NYSE:UL) shares traded over 18 times their normal daily average volumes and Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ:KHC) traded over 10 times its normal average daily volumes as traders sought to arbitrage the deal’s pricing.

With news that Unilever PLC (ADR) (NYSE:UL) has successfully rejected the deal, activity in these two stocks is certain to dominate trading when the market opens on Tuesday.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Hasbro, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAS) Beats Street – Shares at New Highs

Hasbro, Inc. – Nasdaq: HAS

Hasbro, Inc. shares are up over 12% in the pre-market after the company announced earnings that were better than expected. Adjusted earnings for the 4th quarter were posted at $1.64 – beating street estimates of $1.27; revenues were reported at $1.63 billion versus the street estimate of $1.5 billion. Year-on-year, quarterly EPS grew from $1.52 from $1.39 and revenues grew from $175.8 million to $192.7 million. For the first time in its history, Hasbro announced annual revenues of more than $5 billion. Volumes for HAS, traded on the Nasdaq, are moderate in the pre-market.

Hasbro designs, develops, manufactures, and sells products and services globally to children and families. Their product offerings include toys, games, electronics, and fashion. Hasbro owns such iconic brand names such as Monopoly, NERF, Play-Doh, Trivial Pursuit, and Twister. The company also produces and sells television programming that feature its brands. Hasbro is headquartered in Pawtucket, RI and was formed in 1923.

Deborah Thomas, Hasbro’s Chief Financial Officer stated in a press release “Looking ahead, we are very well positioned to support our business. We continue investing in our industry-leading brands, our differentiated capabilities around the Brand Blueprint and in our systems to support long-term, cost efficient business growth. We ended the year with $1.28 billion in cash, inventories in line with last year, and we paid out $400 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.”

Speculation has been around for some time that Hasbro may merge, or acquire, its long-time rival Mattel (Nasdaq: MAT). Unlike Hasbro, Mattel’s reported 4th quarter earnings disappointed investors, $0.52 versus estimates of $0.71, revenues down over 8%, and sent shares down over 15% in a day. Mattel has an impressive portfolio of iconic brands as well – Barbie, Disney Classics, Toy Story, WWE wrestling, Hot Wheels, and Fischer-Price to name a few. A merger between the two would create a company capable of rivaling Disney. Hasbro’s cash position enables then to approach Mattel again but industry insiders wonder if other players, such as Disney (NYSE: DIS), may enter the scene and set off a bidding war. Regardless, Hasbro has shown that it has the vision, management expertise, and ability to execute in a tough sector.

At least nine firms rate HAS shares. All rate HAS as a “Hold” with a consensus price target of $88. HAS shares are currently trading at nine year highs. Meanwhile MAT shares are followed by twelve firms and interestingly, nine of them rate MAT as a “Strong Buy” with five rating the shares as a “Hold”. MAT shares are trading around 40% off their recent high levels.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

2/6/2017
Ticker Symbol HAS
Last Price a/o 9:12 AM EST  $                    92.87
Average Volume                        1,390
Market Cap (mlns)  $            10,290.00
Sales (mlns) $4,860.00
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 124.5
Share Float (mlns) 111.85
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 10.03%
Short Float 6.92%
Short Interest Ratio 5.56
Quarterly Return 2.57%
YTD Return 6.88%
Year Return 11.57%

Signal Genetics Inc. (Nasdaq: SGNL) Rockets 240%+ Amid Very Heavy Volume

Signal Genetics, Inc. – Nasdaq: SGNL

Shares of Carlsbad, CA-based Signal Genetics skyrocketed over 240% today. The thinly traded shares are traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol SGNL. On Tuesday SGNL closed at $4.79 and today the high has been $17.49 on unusually heavy volume.

Investors seem to be snapping up shares on the back of news that Signal Genetics Inc. has agreed to a merger with Miragen Therapeutics Inc. Also, included in the merger will be the sale of Signal’s MyPRS intellectual property assets.

Signal Genetics, Inc. is a molecular genetic diagnostic company. Signal provides diagnostic services that assist physicians in decision making for the care of cancer patients. The company primarily offers Myeloma Prognostic Risk Signature test – a test for the presence of specific groups of genes that could predict low or high level risk of early relapse in patients suffering from multiple myeloma.

The nano-cap biotech company has posted negative EPS since 2011 with a loss of $21.00 reported for 2015. Sales have been more optimistic with Signal reporting $2.5 million in 2015. Two firms cover Signal Genetics and each rate SGNL shares as a “Strong Buy”.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/10/2017
Ticker Symbol SGNL
Last Price a/o 3:58 PM EST  $                    16.75
Average Volume 96,000
Market Cap $3.69 million
Sales 3.2 million
Shares Outstanding 0.77 million
Share Float 0.47 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 5.30%
Short Float 1.31%
Short Interest Ratio 0.06
Quarterly Return -34.83%
YTD Return -4.39%
Year Return -54.45%

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OGXI) Announces Merger – Shares Higher

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Nasdaq: OGXI

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. shares, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker OGXI, are up over 50% on heavy volumes. OncoGenex develops novel therapeutics that target important mechanisms of treatment resistance in cancer with the potential to redefine treatment outcomes for patients with a variety of cancers.

Price action is likely due to the announcement that OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will be merging with privately-held Achieve Life Science Inc. The proposed merger will create a clinical-stage company focused on clinical and commercial development of cytisine, a selective nicotine receptor partial agonist currently in late-stage development for smoking cessation.  Two recent Phase 3 trials in over 2,000 patients using cytisine as a smoking cessation aid have been completed, with positive results published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition to cytisine, the combined company’s pipeline will also include apatorsen, a once-weekly intravenous drug designed to inhibit production of heat shock protein 27 to disable cancer cells’ defenses and overcome treatment resistance.

Several firms have assigned a rating of “Buy” to OGXI. OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported a EPS loss of $0.64 but that has steadily improved since 2013 when it delclared an EPS loss of $2.17. Sales have not fared as well. OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported 2013 sales of $29.9 million and $18.2 million in 2015. Shares outstanding of OGXI have increased from 14.68 million in 2013 to 26.15 million in 2015.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Fred’s Pharmacy (Nasdaq: FRED) Acquiring 950 Rite Aid Stores

Fred’s Inc.; Nasdaq: FRED

Shares of $FRED are up over 80% on acquisition news. Fred’s Inc. today announced that the Company has signed an agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: $WBA) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: $RAD) to purchase 865 stores in an all-cash transaction valued at $950 million.

The agreement was born of concerns by the Federal Trade Commission in its review of the proposed acquisition of Rite Aid by Walgreens Boots Alliance. The Walgreen Boots Alliance stated in their press release: “Walgreens Boots Alliance is actively engaged in discussions with the FTC regarding the transaction and is working toward a close of the Rite Aid acquisition in early calendar 2017.”

Fred’s Pharmacy Chief Executive Officer Michael K. Bloom, commented, “This will be a transformative event for Fred’s Pharmacy that will accelerate our healthcare growth strategy through our acquisition of 865 new stores located in highly attractive markets. We believe that this transaction will also create tremendous opportunities for both our new and existing front of store and pharmacy team members.”

Walgreens (Nasdaq: $WBA) shares hit $87.26 (+1.4%) on the news. Rite Aid (NYSE: $RAD) is up over 5% at $8.63. $FRED shares closed yesterday at $11.15. Today shares of $FRED have traded as high as $20.42.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

Ticker Symbol FRED
Last Price a/o 11:09 AM EST  $             19.62
Average Volume 322,600
Market Cap $406.3 million
Sales $2.15 Billion
Shares Outstanding 36.44 million
Share Float 35.1 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 5.90%
Short Float 8.43%
Short Interest Ratio 9.16
Quarterly Return 14.96%
YTD Return -30.54%
Year Return -25.64%

Southwest Banc Corp Inc (Nasdaq: OKSB) Announces Merger

Southwest Bancorp, Inc – Nasdaq: OKSB

Simmons First National Corporation (Nasdaq: SFNC) and Southwest Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: OKSB) have announced today that they will merge. Simmons will acquire SouthWest Bancorp, Inc. for approximately $564.4 million. This news came an hour after Illinois investment bank Hovde Group downgraded OKSB from “Outperform” to “Market Perform”. News of the merger sent investors into a buying mode that sent the shares to gains of over 20% in mid-day trading.

From the Southwest Bancorp, Inc press release:

Under the terms of the Agreement, each outstanding share of common stock and equivalents of SBI will be converted into the right to receive 0.3903 shares of the Company’s common stock and $5.11 in cash, all subject to certain conditions and potential adjustments.  Completion of the transaction is expected in the third quarter of 2017 and is subject to certain closing conditions, including approval by the shareholders of both SBI and the Company, as well as customary regulatory approvals.

EPS for OKSB were $0.64 in 2012 and rose to $0.90 in 2015. However sales have dropped since 2012 – from $93.2 million to $74.5 million. OKSB has traded as high as $28.95 but fell back to $28.50 at the time of this writing.

Simmons is a financial holding company, headquartered in Pine Bluff, AR., with financial operations throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Simmons offers comprehensive financial solutions delivered with a client-centric approach. The company’s common stock trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol “SFNC.”

Always perform your own due diligence before making any decisions regarding the buy or sale of any stock. The below data is provided without any guarantee of its accuracy.