Updated from 10:57 a.m.
was among the
winners Thursday, rising 9.9% after the aluminum company received a $38.1 billion offer from
The Rio Tinto offer, a friendly one, tops the hostile $28 billion bid that
made -- and Alcan rejected -- in May. The Rio Tinto bid is worth $101 a share in cash and represents a 13% premium to Alcan's closing price of $89.60 on Wednesday. "In addition to a very attractive all-cash premium, this transaction offers Alcan shareholders the certainty of a clear path to completion given our relatively limited operational overlap and a commitment by both parties to an expeditious close," Alcan said, alluding to the regulatory scrutiny that an Alcoa-Alcan hookup would have been subjected to.
The deal, which includes a break-up fee of slightly more than $1 billion, is expected to close during the fourth quarter. Shares of Alcan closed up $8.85 to $98.45. Shares of Alcoa, meanwhile, were up $2.86, or 6.7%, to $45.29.
rose 2.4% after the retail giant posted better-than-expected June same-store sales. The company reported a gain of 2.5%, including gas sales. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a much smaller increase of 0.8%. Without gas sales, the company would have posted a same-store sales gain of 2.4%.
"Consumers continue to be challenged financially, with more pressure on discretionary spending," Wal-Mart said. "Gas prices have moved to be their chief concern in our latest survey and they appreciate the opportunity to save on everything."
Wal-Mart also reiterated its second-quarter earnings guidance, saying that it remains comfortable with earnings of 75 cents to 79 cents a share. Analysts project earnings of 77 cents a share. "We remain in a challenging environment, but still believe the earnings guidance for the quarter is attainable," the company said. Shares closed up $1.15 to $48.83.
slid 4.3% after the chemical company agreed to be acquired by Hexion Specialty Chemicals, an Apollo Management portfolio company. As a result, Huntsman terminated its merger agreement with Basell, which was worth less than the Hexion offer. Hexion will acquire Huntsman for $10.6 billion, or $28 a share, in cash. Basell was offering $9.6 billion, or $25.25 a share. Hexion has up to 12 months to close the deal. Shares of Huntsman closed down $1.18 to $26.39.
Abercrombie & Fitch
rose 8.2% after the clothing retailer posted June same-store sales that topped expectations. For the five weeks ended July 1, the company reported a same-store sales gain of 2%. Analysts expected a decline of 2.8%. What's more, total sales rose 21% to $293.2 million. Shares closed up $5.70 to $75.08.
rose 5.2% after the specialty chemical products company announced a $100 million stock repurchase program and backed its 2007 earnings forecast. "Our strong balance sheet position, positive free cash flow outlook, and ongoing commitment to long-term shareholder value creation led us to initiate the repurchase program," the company said. "This decision underscores the financial strength that we have built over the last 10 quarters and serves as a testament to the confidence we have in our future."
The company continues to see 2007 earnings at the high end of its previously announced range of $1.65 to $1.75 a share. Analysts project earnings of $1.73 a share. Shares closed up $1.50 to $30.63.