U.S. equities inched up on Monday after fresh data displayed that consumer spending rose marginally in February. The Commerce Department revealed that consumer spending, which makes up more than two-thirds of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product figure, increased 0.1% last month, after a downwardly revised-increase of 0.1% registered for January. The somewhat promising U.S. economic data suggests that the world’s largest economy continues to grow despite facing various global headwinds. Leaving this discussion aside, let’s take a look at five companies that have been making headlines today.
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According to Reuters, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has held discussions with private equity firms interested in buying Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s core Internet business with regard to the financing of a possible deal. Assuming that the software giant is thinking about contributing to any possible plans to acquire Yahoo!, it is quite evident that Microsoft is looking forward to preserve its long-lasting relationship with the struggling Internet company. Although Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may not be planning to make a direct bid for Yahoo!’s core businesses, it appears that the software company is set to play a decisive role in making Jeffrey Smith’s intentions come true. Let us remind you that Mr. Smith’s Starboard Value LP recently announced the nomination of a slate of nine candidates for election to Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s Board of Directors at the company’s upcoming annual meeting of shareholders, in an attempt to speed up the seemingly imminent sale of Yahoo!’s core Search and Display advertising businesses.
Shares of Yahoo! surged in today’s pre-market trading session, but have retreated since the opening bell. According to various fresh reports, Yahoo! is seeking to get around $10 billion for its soon-to-be sold core businesses, but most investors and analysts value the company’s digital business and advertising platforms at around $6 billion to $8 billion. A total of 84 hedge funds from our system had stakes in Yahoo! at the end of December 2015, accumulating almost 19% of the company’s outstanding common stock. Starboard Value owns 7.10 million shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) as of December 31.
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Shares of Qlik Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:QLIK) are up by 7% in today’s trading session, following a Reuters report saying that the software company has started to explore strategic alternatives, which include a possible sale. This move comes after Paul Singer’s Elliott Management and its affiliates disclosed combined economic exposure in Qlik Technologies of roughly 8.88% through a Schedule 13D filing submitted with the SEC earlier this month. Mr. Singer and his team voiced their belief that the company’s shares are severely undervalued, saying that “the Issuer operates in a highly strategic area of the technology industry with an attractive competitive position and a compelling product set, the value of which is not reflected in the Issuer’s current market value”. What’s more, Elliott said that there are both strategic and operational opportunities for Qlik Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:QLIK) that would significantly increase shareholder value, which had already been discussed with the company’s management and Board of Directors. As stated in the report posted by Reuters, the visual analytics solutions provider is allegedly working with Morgan Staley to explore a possible sale, while Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) are believed to be among the possible buyers for the company. Despite the recent rally, shares of Qlik are down by 9% since the beginning of 2016. There were 36 top money managers tracked by Insider Monkey with positions in Qlik at the end of 2015, stockpiling roughly 26% of the company’s outstanding shares. Kerr Neilson’s Platinum Asset Management reported owning 4.02 million shares of Qlik Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:QLIK) in its 13F filing for the December quarter.