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Stocks to Watch: Groupon, Netflix

Updated from 8:57 a.m. ET with information about Groupon, Netflix.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These stocks were making headlines ahead of Monday's opening bell:

Groupon (GRPN - Get Report):

Shares of the daily deals site operator were slipping nearly 2% after The Wall Street Journal highlighted stock sales by some early backers of the company.

The Journal report said at least four Groupon investors who bought into the company ahead of its initial public offering at $20 per share in November 2011 "have sold or significantly pared back their holdings in recent months."

The stock was last quoted at $4.66, down 2%, on pre-market volume of nearly 85,000, according to


The streaming content and DVD-by-mail company said early Monday it's already reached the one-million subscriber mark in the United Kingdom and Ireland within seven months, faster than in any other territory where it's launched.

"This membership milestone is evidence that Netflix has rapidly gained popularity in the UK and Ireland," said Reed Hastings, the company's CEO, in a press release. "Our British and Irish members clearly enjoy the ability to instantly watch a large variety of TV shows and films streaming from Netflix on their favourite devices whenever they want."

Netflix shares closed Friday at $63.69, down nearly 70% in the past 52 weeks.

Coventry Health Care (CVH):

Bethesda, Md.-based Coventry has agreed to be acquired by Aetna (AET) in a transaction worth an estimated $7.3 billion, including debt assumption.

The cash and stock deal values Coventry shares at $42.08 each based on Friday's closing prices, a premium of $7.04, or roughly 20%, to their finish last week at $34.94.

Aetna, whose shares closed Friday at $38.04, said it plans to fund the cash portion of the deal through a combination of cash of hand and the issuance $2.5 billion of new debt and commercial paper. The company, which is headquartered in Hartford, Conn., expects the acquisition to add modestly to its operating earnings in 2013, then add 45 cents a share to earnings in 2014 and 90 cents a share to earnings in 2015.

The companies expect to close the deal, which is seen adding "nearly 4 million medical members and 1.5 million Medicare Part D members" to Aetna's existing 36.7 million member customer base, in mid-2013.

Best Buy (BBY - Get Report):

It was another busy news weekend for the Minneapolis-based consumer electronics retailer as the company said Sunday that Richard Schulze, founder and former chairman, had declined to participate in a due diligence process related to his efforts to take the company private.

"The terms of the proposal put forward to Mr. Schulze over the weekend are normal and customary when a public company is in discussions with a potential acquirer," Best Buy said in a press release. "The proposal would serve several purposes, many of which were designed to address the unique aspects of this situation and to conduct an orderly process."

Schulze has said he wants to form an investor group to pursue a purchase of all the Best Buy shares he doesn't already own for $24-$26 per share. Best Buy's board said it "believes it has insufficient information to make a reasonable conclusion with regard to Mr. Schulze's indication of interest, given the conditional nature of the proposal and Mr. Schulze's failure to date to disclose financing and equity partners." Best Buy shares closed Friday at $20.29.

In a statement issued early Monday, Schulze said he was "disappointed and surprised by the Best Buy Board's abrupt termination of our discussions." Schulze said the board had proposed an 18-month standstill, which he called "completely unacceptable in light of the fact that urgent change is needed at Best Buy and value is eroding further every day that change is not effected."

Best Buy also named Hubert Joly as chief executive officer on Monday morning. Joly has previously served in a similar role at Carlson, the parent company of restaurant chain TGI Friday's.

Best Buy is slated to report its fiscal second-quarter results on Tuesday, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of 31 cents a share in the July-ended period on revenue of $10.63 billion.
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BBY $26.74 -2.00%
GRPN $2.20 -2.40%
LOW $63.05 -1.60%
NFLX $83.51 -5.60%
AAPL $93.06 -1.30%


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