It’s been a relatively quiet morning on Wall Street as all three index futures are close to flat. Crude futures, which were originally down by 1.2%, have also rallied somewhat. Among the stocks traders are talking about this morning are Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA), ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG), Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBSH), and China Lodging Group, Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:HTHT). In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why each stock has the market buzzing and examine how elite funds are positioned among them.
Our research determined that following the small-cap stocks that hedge funds are collectively bullish on can help a smaller investor to beat the S&P 500 by around 95 basis points per month (see the details here).
Teva and Allergan Delay the Closing Date of Generic Division Merger
Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) are in the spotlight today after the two agreed to extend the close date of their generic division M&A deal to October 26, a delay of several months from the previous date of July 26. Allergan and Teva also agreed to increase the base working capital adjustment of the deal by $650 million-to-$800 million, reduce the cash component by $221 million, and to add Actonel and Carafate to the list of excluded products. Traders don’t believe the delay is a sign that the FDA has problems with the merger. Teva and Allergan shares are both well into positive territory in morning trading.
Of the 766 active funds that Insider Monkey tracks in its database, 170 funds owned shares of Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN) at the end of the first quarter, up by 11 funds from the close of the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the number of funds with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA) holdings fell by 11 quarter-over-quarter to 70 as of the end of March.
ConAgra Remains on Track for Spinoff
ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) is trending after the consumer staples company provided investors with an update on its planned spin-off into two companies later this year. According to the press release, Tom Werner will be the new CEO of the spun off Lamb Weston unit, while Tim McLevish will be the Executive Chairman. The separation will be structured as a tax-free spin-off of the Lamb Weston business and should help increase the valuation of the two companies. ConAgra believes it is on track to separate in the fall of 2016 and has recently filed a Form 10 registration statement. The number of funds in our system with ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) holdings rose by three quarter-over-quarter to 39 as of March 31.
On the next page we’ll find out why traders are talking about Commerce Bancshares and China Lodging Group this morning.