Friday, 23 Oct 2020

U.S. Pending Home Sales Spike To Record High In August

Editors’ Note

This article was published in error.

Stock Alert: American Equity Investment Jumps 43% On Takeover Bid

Shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL), a provider of life insurance products and services, are surging more than 43 percent or $9.51 in Thursday’s morning trade at $31.50.

Thursday, American Equity Investment Life confirmed that it received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH) with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company to acquire all outstanding common shares of American Equity for $36.00 per share in cash.

The company said its board is reviewing the proposal, and advised its shareholders to take no action at this time.

American Equity Investment has traded in a range of $9.07 to $34.16 in the past 52 weeks.

Stock Alert: American Equity Investment Jumps 43% On Takeover Bid

Shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL), a provider of life insurance products and services, are surging more than 43 percent or $9.51 in Thursday’s morning trade at $31.50.

Thursday, American Equity Investment Life confirmed that it received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from Athene Holding Ltd. (ATH) with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company to acquire all outstanding common shares of American Equity for $36.00 per share in cash.

The company said its board is reviewing the proposal, and advised its shareholders to take no action at this time.

American Equity Investment has traded in a range of $9.07 to $34.16 in the past 52 weeks.

LeBron James buys Katharine Hepburn’s former mansion for $36.8M

Basketball star LeBron James has picked up a piece of Hollywood history.

James, 35, has purchased the Beverly Hills mansion once lived in by actress Katharine Hepburn. The $36.8 million home sits on 2.5 acres, and has one of the longest driveways in Los Angeles. Fitting for its Hollywood roots, the home also has a theatrical screening room.

The mansion, built in the 1930s, was first owned by actor Charles Boyer, and later taken over by Howard Hughes. Although he never actually lived in the home, Hughes leased it to stars including Hepburn, his ex-girlfriend, during the prime of her career, Variety reports.

James, fresh off his successful get-out-the-vote campaign and the NBA finals, bought the home from the estate of the late longtime owners Lee Phillip Bell and her husband William J. Bell — of soap opera fame. It was listed it for $39 million and James got a 6% discount on the lair.

The Mediterranean-inspired home includes a tennis court, skylight-adorned interiors, detached guest houses and an oval swimming pool overseen by a giant golden Buddha.

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Constellation Brands Q2 Profit Tops Estimates – Quick Facts

Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) reported second quarter earnings per share, comparable basis, of $2.76 compared to $2.72, prior year. On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $2.51, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Excluding Canopy EIE, earnings per share, comparable basis was $2.91, flat with prior year.

Second quarter net sales were $2.26 billion compared to $2.34 billion, previous year. Analysts expected revenue of $2.19 billion, for the quarter. The company’s Beer business posted depletion growth of almost 5%.

On September 30, 2020, board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.75 per share of Class A Common Stock and $0.68 per share of Class B Common Stock, payable on November 20, 2020, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on November 6,2020.

Bassett Furniture Industries Q3 Profit Slightly Rises – Quick Facts

Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc. (BSET) reported third quarter earnings per share of $0.22 compared to $0.21, last year. The company noted that COVID-related turmoil continued to plague its daily operations during the period. Net income was $2.18 million compared to $2.16 million, prior year.

Third quarter total sales revenue declined year-on-year to $91.56 million from $109.42 million, previous year. The company said its incoming orders across all channels accelerated as the quarter progressed, culminating in a 40% year-over-year lift for the month of August.

U.S. Pending Home Sales Spike To Record High In August

Partly reflecting tremendously low mortgage rates, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Wednesday showing pending home sales in the U.S. jumped to a record high in the month of August.

NAR said its pending home sales index spiked by 8.8 percent to 132.8 in August after surging up by 5.9 percent to 122.1 in July. Economists had expected pending home sales to increase by 3.2 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

“Tremendously low mortgage rates – below 3% – have again helped pending home sales climb in August,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Additionally, the Fed intends to hold short-term fed funds rates near 0% for the foreseeable future, which should in the absence of inflationary pressure keep mortgage rates low, and that will undoubtably aid homebuyers continuing to enter the marketplace.”

He added, “While I did very much expect the housing sector to be stable during the pandemic-induced economic shutdowns, I am pleasantly surprised to see the industry bounce back so strongly and so quickly.”

The much bigger than expected increase in pending home sales came as all four regional indices recorded increases in contract activity on a month-over-month basis in August.

Pending home sales in the West spiked by 13.1 percent, while pending sales jumped by 8.6 percent in both the Midwest and South. The Northeast saw a 4.3 percent surge in pending home sales.

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