NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (CQB) , a U.S. fruit producer, and the Irish fruit and fresh produce company Fyffes, have offered European Union antitrust regulators compromises that both companies believe will clear the way for their proposed $526 million merger, Reuters reports.
The deal between the two companies was proposed in March and would create a business with 14% of the $7 billion global banana market, making the partnership the world's largest banana supplier, Reuters added.
The companies submitted their concessions proposals last week, and the EU regulators have given themselves until Oct. 3 to make a decision.STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
Details of what Chiquita and Fyffes proposed to the EU regulators were not disclosed but the companies said that if their commitments were adopted they would not have an impact on the "commercial rationale for the transaction."
"While there can be no assurances, Chiquita and Fyffes remain of the view that there is a good prospect that their proposed transaction can be cleared by the European Commission during its Phase I review," the companies said in a statement.
Shares of Chiquita Brands are lower by 0.07% to $13.81 in early afternoon trading on Tuesday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CHIQUITA BRANDS INTL INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate CHIQUITA BRANDS INTL INC (CQB) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- CHIQUITA BRANDS INTL INC's earnings per share declined by 43.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CHIQUITA BRANDS INTL INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.34 versus -$8.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.15 versus -$0.34).
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 42.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $31.10 million to $17.84 million.
- Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.69 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, CQB maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.91, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: CQB Ratings Report
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he and Stephanie Link think could be potentially HUGE winners. Click here to see the holdings for FREE.