Wal-Mart, Alphabet, Monsanto Among the Day’s Biggest Newsmakers

Bayer and Monsanto Heading in Opposite Directions on Merger Talks

Shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) have gained nearly 5% today after it was confirmed that German chemicals giant Bayer AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:BAYRY) has approached the company about a merger. Though the merger discussions had been rumored in recent days, this was the first official confirmation of the discussions. The market has not reacted nearly as favorably to the possible deal from Bayer AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:BAYRY)’s perspective, with its U.S-traded ADRs down by 8.60% today, despite no actual details of the talks having been revealed yet. Monsanto’s board is currently reviewing the proposal, which would create the largest seed and crop-chemical company in the world and represent the third attempt at creating a crop-chemical powerhouse through a merger in the last year, following the Dow/Dupont and Syngenta/China National Chemical proposed mergers, both of which are still awaiting regulatory approval.

Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) appears to have been an extremely popular stock during the first quarter, with 18 funds in our database having added it to their portfolios, while just six removed it from their portfolios. Steve Cohen added it to both Point72 and Point72 Asia (Singapore)’s portfolios during the quarter.

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Market Shrugs Off Sinking Earnings at Dick’s Sporting Goods

A 10% year-over-year decline in profit and underwhelming second quarter guidance have done nothing to slow shares of Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) today, which are up by 8.43%. Dick’s, which operates both namesake stores as well as Golf Galaxy outlets, topped revenue estimates of $1.63 billion by $30 million. However, EPS came in at $0.50, down from $0.53 in the first quarter of 2015 and missing estimates of $0.54. Projected second quarter EPS of $0.62-to-$0.72 was also well below estimates of $0.78, while the company lowered its full-year EPS guidance to between $2.60 and $2.90, down from a previous range of $2.85 to $3.00. It’s not clear what has prompted investors’ optimism concerning the stock today, given the base results. Chairman and CEO of Dick’s, Edward Stack, did state in the earnings press release that the lowered guidance is a reflection of the fact that Dick’s will attempt to “aggressively capture displaced market share.” It was revealed on Tuesday that Dick’s will bid on about 30 Sports Authority locations in that company’s bankruptcy auction.

Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) was added to the portfolios of 16 investors in our database during the first quarter, while it was removed from the portfolios of nine investors.

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