(Updated from 6:59 a.m. EDT)
are rocking in preopen trade. The stock was lately up 17 1/16 to 67, according to
. The boost comes as Swiss financial group
has offered to buy the U.S. brokerage firm in a cash and stock deal worth $10.8 billion.
According to UBS CEO Marcel Ospel, or whoever writes his press releases, "The combination of UBS's international reach and product range with PaineWebber's leading position in the U.S. market for affluent and high net worth individuals will create a premier global investment services firm."
The purchase price translates into about $73.50 a share and represents a premium of 47% over PaineWebber's closing price yesterday. For more on the planned merger, take a look at
story from last evening.
After midsession trading, Germany's
was up 1%. France's
was ahead 0.8%, while the U.K.'s
was off 0.5% (see today's
European Midday Update for more). Japan's
lost 0.9% overnight, while Hong Kong's
rose 1.1% (see today's
Asian Markets Update for more).
S&P 500 futures on
lately were up 9.1 to 1503.8, about 8 points above
fair value as calculated by
, and indicating a strong open. The thinly traded
futures were higher 83.5 to 3865, about 75 points above fair value as calculated by
Today's big volume mover will be
, which last night beat Wall Street's earnings estimates by 2 cents a share. In early action, shares of Yahoo! were up 14 to 119 1/2, according to Instinet, with 40,000 shares changing hands. The stock last traded at 119.75 on
, which uses decimal pricing.
Earlier: PaineWebber Soars Overseas on UBS Deal
merger machinations took a back seat Wednesday morning to the news that
had finally veered from its independent stance and agreed to sell itself to
, the Swiss banking group.
PaineWebber is the fourth-largest U.S. brokerage and one of the largest to remain independent in the face of consolidation among brokers and investment bankers to form mammoth financial services groups along the lines of
The deal would value PaineWebber at $10.8 billion, or $73.50 a share, nearly a 50% premium over Tuesday's closing price of 49 15/16. Wednesday in Germany PaineWebber shares soared 26.50 euros, or 55.2%, to 74.50 euros ($70.77), while UBS dropped 8 euros, or 5.1%, to 148 euros. (Like many U.S. companies, PaineWebber shares are also listed on some foreign exchanges.)
"It's a very good deal for UBS," said Jim McCabe, a fund manager with
Capel Cure Sharp
in London, who focuses on U.S. stocks. (His firm doesn't own shares of PaineWebber.) "UBS, through
, has a reasonable institutional business in the U.S., but it doesn't have a great retail business and that's what PaineWebber brings to them."
On the earnings front, more evidence of how jumpy investors have become, particularly in technology and Internet stocks, was visible yesterday with
. The shares traded down 4 1/2, or 4%, to 105 1/2 Tuesday as investors were nervous they'd receive bad news during the company's conference call after the market closed.
Instead, investors were treated to a humdrum conference call and results that exceeded analysts' estimates. The company earned 12 cents a share on revenue of $270.1 million, compared with 5 cents a share on revenue of $128.5 million a year earlier. The earnings beat analysts' expectations by 2 cents.
Yahoo! shares soared in
after-hours trading and continued to gain steam Wednesday in Europe. Yahoo! was up 18.70 euros, or 17.4%, to 125.95 euros.
"Everybody's so worried that they're going to get a negative comment out of conference calls that they're jumping before the news," McCabe said.
One earnings report to watch today will be
, which is expected to earn 23 cents a share, according to analysts polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
, compared with 12 cents a year earlier.
Jeffrey Schlesinger, an analyst with
, expects Motorola's results to be in line with consensus. Soft spots, however, could be the mobile phone business, which may not show the margin improvement analysts were expecting; personal communications, which could see unit volume and revenue fall short; and PCS, which saw weaker orders. Schlesinger rates the shares a buy. (It couldn't be determined whether his firm has performed underwriting for Motorola.)
Motorola shares jumped 1.10 euros, or 3.12%, to 36.30 in Germany.
At 6:30 a.m. EDT, the September
S&P 500 futures were up 8.6 points to 1503.3, or 7.7 points above
fair value as calculated by
, indicating a solidly positive open. The
futures were 68.5 points higher to 3850, about 60 points above fair value as calculated by
and also indicating a bullish open for large-cap tech stocks. Fair value helps to determine the tone of futures trading, often a good indication for how the securities market will open.