Stocks in Motion: Homestore
Shares of Homestore (HOMS) were among Nasdaq's winners Monday, rising 12% after private equity firm Elevation Partners agreed to invest $100 million in the online real estate company.
Elevation, which focuses on media and entertainment-related investments and counts rock star Bono among its partners, will invest $100 million in the form of convertible preferred stock. Fred Anderson and Roger McNamee, managing directors and co-founders of Elevation, will join Homestore's board of directors. "Homestore fits perfectly with our investment strategy. The online real estate media opportunity is very large and Homestore is the undisputed leader in the category," Anderson said in a statement.
The preferred stock is convertible into Homestore's stock at $4.20 a share. If converted, the investment would represent about 14% of Homestore's outstanding shares. Homestore plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes. Shares were recently trading up 43 cents to $3.99.
Conn's (CONN) rose 8% after the home-appliance and electronics retailer reported strong third-quarter sales results. Sales for the quarter rose to $153 million from $115.1 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales, meanwhile, climbed 23.2%. The retailer, which operates stores in Texas and Louisiana, said hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in the loss of 134 store days, but sales were ultimately helped by the disasters as customers replaced damaged appliances and electronics. Shares were up $2.71 to $34.66.Shares of Lafarge North America (LAF) fell 9% after the construction materials company posted third-quarter results that were weaker than expected. The company earned $172.1 million, or $2.17 a share, on sales of $1.42 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $2.52 a share on sales of $1.49 billion. For last year's period, earnings were $165.6 million, or $2.16 a share, on sales of $1.23 billion. "Increased inflation, reduced cement plant production, and weather disruptions offset the gains we wanted to achieve this quarter," the company said.
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