Monday, June 18, 2007

Paperstand (GE for DJ; LCC, ITG)

The WSJ reprots that General Electric (GE) and Pearson are in talks about making a joint bid for Dow Jones (DJ) that would allow the Bancroft family to keep a minority interest. The two co’s have discussed a scenario in which GE's CNBC business channel, the FT and Dow Jones would be combined into a privately held joint venture. The venture would be owned equally by GE and Pearson, with the Bancrofts holding a minority stake.

According to the WSJ, in a major boost for its A350 jetliner program, Airbus is finalizing an order with US Airways (LCC) for as many as 30 jetliners. The order, which could be announced as early as today, would be valued at an estd $7bn at list prices, although such orders normally carry steep discounts.

“Heard on the Street” column discusses ITG (ITG), saying that there have been a number of dark days for investors in the co lately. Now, one of those shareholders is trying to push the firm into the light. ITG is under pressure from hedge fund DE Shaw to sell off all or parts of itself. As an alternative to a sale, DE Shaw also called for a significant stock-repurchase program in an effort to boost ITG's share price. Before DE Shaw's letter became public June 12, ITG's shares had fallen 18% during the previous 12 mo’s. DE Shaw said the shares were trading at a discount of 30-40% to the avg valuation of comparable co’s. That is b/c ITG's earnings haven't kept up with its peers. The shares are trading at about 19x estd ‘07 earnings. The co's closest public rivals are NYSE Euronext (NYX) and Nasdaq (NDAQ). They are trading at about 32x and almost 26x estd ‘07 earnings, respectively.

No comments: