Monday, 17 Feb 2020

Will Hexo’s Direct Offering Help Push the Stock Higher?

Fastenal Co. Q4 Earnings Advance

Fastenal Co. (FAST) announced a profit for its fourth quarter that increased from the same period last year.

The company’s bottom line came in at $178.7 million, or $0.31 per share. This compares with $168.8 million, or $0.29 per share, in last year’s fourth quarter.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $0.31 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The company’s revenue for the quarter rose 4.1% to $1.28 billion from $1.23 billion last year.

Fastenal Co. earnings at a glance:

-Earnings (Q4): $178.7 Mln. vs. $168.8 Mln. last year.
-EPS (Q4): $0.31 vs. $0.29 last year.
-Analysts Estimate: $0.31
-Revenue (Q4): $1.28 Bln vs. $1.23 Bln last year.

Beirut reference rates lowered -Lebanon banking association

BEIRUT, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s banking association said that it had lowered the Beirut reference rate for dollars to 8.5% and the rate for Lebanese pounds to 11.5%.

In a statement, the association said the reduction in the reference rate for lending reflected a central bank decision to place a ceiling on interest rates for new deposits and those renewed after Dec. 5.

Job openings drop sharply in November

The numbers: The number of open jobs fell to 6.8 million in December from 7.36 million in the prior month, the Labor Department said Friday.

The share of people who left jobs on their own, known as the quits rate, held steady at 2.3 in November. Economists watch the number of quits as a barometer of how confident Americans are that they’ll be able to find another job.

What happened: The largest declines in job openings were in retail trade and construction. In November, 3.54 million Americans left their jobs, up from 3.5 million in the prior month.

Big picture: Job openings have been trending lower in recent months. At the same time, nonfarm payroll growth has remained strong, and the jobless rate has dropped near historical lows.

The quits rate has been disappointingly low as businesses are not offering attractive wages to lure employees to quit their jobs, analysts said.

Market reaction: Stocks were on pace to hit new highs Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, +0.18%  and the S&P 500 indexSPX, +0.23%  were on track to cap a record-setting week.

Boston Warehouse Trading Recalls Holiday Travel Mugs

Boston Warehouse Trading Corp. recalled about 2,400 units of Holiday Travel Mugs for possible fire hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed.

The company said the metallic print on the mugs, which are mislabeled as microwave safe, can spark when put in the microwave oven, causing a fire hazard.

The recall involves 7 inches tall Holiday Tall Travel Mugs that have a decal with “Let it Snow” or “Merry and Bright” in gold metallic lettering, with the bottom portion of the mugs in red or green color and the top half portion in white. “Microwave safe” is written on the backstamp under the glaze and on the wrap band.

The company said it has received one report of sparks when a consumer used the recalled mug in a microwave. However, no injuries have been reported.

Boston Warehouse advised consumers to immediately stop using the recalled mugs and return them to place of purchase for a full refund or contact Boston Warehouse Trading Corp.

The mugs were made in China by Boston Warehouse Trading Corp. and imported to the U.S. by Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer Distribution Inc.

They were sold exclusively at Meijer stores across the U.S. from October 2019 through November 2019 for about $10.

Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz to join Trump defense team for Senate impeachment trial

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s impeachment team in the Senate trial will include two former independent counsels and constitutional-law professor Alan Dershowitz, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

The team, which will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and will also include Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer to the president, will be joined by Kenneth Starr, whose five-year Whitewater inquiry led to the impeachment and acquittal of former President Bill Clinton; and Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr in the Whitewater investigation, the person said.

Key Words (January 2018): Ken Starr sees grounds for Trump impeachment if president lied about trying to fire Mueller

Dershowitz’s role in the Senate trial will focus on the constitutional arguments against impeachment and against removing the president from office, the team said Friday.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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Will Hexo’s Direct Offering Help Push the Stock Higher?

Hexo Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) shares slid on Friday after the Canadian cannabis firm announced that it is conducting a direct offering of $20 million worth of shares. The effort is intended to raise funding for further research and development.

According to the offering, Hexo has entered into a definitive agreement with institutional investors for the purchase and sale of roughly 11.98 million common shares at an offering price of $1.67 per share, for gross proceeds of $20 million.

Hexo also agreed to issue to the investors common share purchase warrants to purchase 5,988,024 common shares of the company. The warrants will have a five-year term and an exercise price of $2.45 per share.

The net proceeds from the offering will be put toward working capital and other general corporate purposes, including funding the company’s research and development to further advance the Hexo’s innovation strategies.

The offering is expected to close on or about January 22, 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners is acting as sole placement agent for the offering.

After the price of $1.67 per share, this offering puts Hexo’s market cap right at $420 million.

Excluding Friday’s move, Hexo stock had underperformed the broad markets with a 62% pullback over the past 52 weeks. In just the past quarter alone, the shares were down closer to 28%.

Shares of Hexo traded down 8% to $1.64 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $1.25 to $8.40.

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