MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Opening View: Belgium Brewer InBev's Bid for Anheuser-Busch Lifts Futures

U.S. stock futures are higher heading into the open, indicative of a potentially positive start to the regular session. In overseas trading, higher oil prices and strength in the yen were pressuring exporters lower in Japan, while European markets were seen cheering an upgrade for BP. In focus this morning are merger-and-acquisition news from InBev and Anheuser-Busch, as well as a trifecta of financial-related news from Thornburg Mortgage, KeyCorp, and Morgan Stanley.

Cheers! After much speculation, Belgium beverage maker InBev last night launched an unsolicited takeover bid for beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch ( BUD: View sentiment for BUDsentiment, chart, options) . InBev has offered to pay $65 per share for BUD (the stock closed Wednesday at $58.35), valuing the firm at $46.3 billion. In pre-market trading, the shares of BUD are poised to open significantly higher near the $63.25 level. This is a cash deal

Leading financial-sector headlines, Thornburg Mortgage (TMA: View sentiment for TMAsentiment, chart, options) reported a first-quarter net loss of $3.31 billion, or $20.64 per share, compared to a net profit of $75 million, or 62 cents per share, a year ago. The loss reflects unrealized market-value losses of $1.54 billion due to the decaying fair-market value of mortgage-related securities. The financial firm also stated that it raised $1.35 billion in capital, and has entered a financing accord with some of its lenders, MarketWatch reported.

Meanwhile, KeyCorp (KEY: View sentiment for KEYsentiment, chart, options) this morning announced that it will raise roughly $1.5 billion in new equity to offset its expected second-quarter charge of $1.1 billion - $1.2 billion. The bank also revealed plans to halve its dividend to an annualized payout of 75 cents per share, starting in the third quarter.

Finally, rounding out the financials trifecta, Morgan Stanley (MS) analysts upped their stance on U.S. financials to "neutral" from "underweight." The brokerage attributed the revision to "an improvement in a number of underlying drivers: a steepening in the yield curve, a swing from positive to negative real fed funds, [and] a significant decline in property prices." What's more, MS stated that rising oil prices are beginning to hurt the energy sector, replacing Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Emerson Electric (EMR) with J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) and American International Group (AIG) in its model portfolio.


Opening View: Belgium Brewer InBev's Bid for Anheuser-Busch Lifts Futures

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