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Lowe's Reports 1Q Declines; Oracle of Omaha for Obama; Microsoft, Yahoo at it Again; Staples Launches Hostile Takeover of Corporate Express; News Corp. Increases Premier Stake; Take-Two Snubs EA; Pacific Ethanol Stock Surges Despite Loss; Feds to Investigate DeVry
- Lowe's Cos. Inc. (LOW) coughed up a rough first quarter, reporting a 18% decline in profit as the declining U.S. housing market and weakened dollar cut customer spending. The No. 2 home-improvement retailer in the United States also lowered its full-year outlook and revisiting plans for store expansion, MarketWatch reported.
- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told AFP that . Buffett said he'd offer support to either Obama or Hillary Clinton, but leaned in favor of the Illinois senator. "I will be very happy if he is elected president,” Buffett said.
- Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) (YHOO) though the renewed talks have not yet escalated to another takeover attempt. The Associated Press reported that discussions were revived Sunday, but Microsoft refused to offer up any specifics about the nature of the deal being explored except to say it involved bolstering the companies' position in the online search and advertising markets.
- Office supplies retailer Staples Inc. (SPLS) yesterday (Monday for Corporate Express NV (CXP), as the Dutch office supplier was unwilling to negotiate, Reuters reported. Corporate Express rejected Staples' $12 (8 euros) a share offer last week saying it significantly undervalued the company. Based on 182.848 million Corporate Express shares outstanding, the equity value is worth $2.26 billion (1.46 billion euros). Including net debt, the value is $4.3 billion (2.8 billion euros), Staples said.
- News Corp. (NWS) said yesterday (Monday) that the Associated Press reported. News Corp., which previously owned 22.7% of the company, has been increasing its stake in Premiere since January, when it bought a 14.5% stake the from cable operator Unitymedia. Premiere has more than 4 million subscribers in Germany and Austria.
- Video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) once again rejected rival Electronic Art Inc.'s (ERTS) $2 billion hostile takeover offer. Due in part to the strength of Take-Two's release of Grand Theft Auto 4, management recommended that shareholders not accept EA's offer, Reuters reported.
- Pacific Ethanol Inc. (PEIX) shares more than doubled yesterday (Monday) as first quarter results beat expectations. compared to earnings of $3 million, or 5 cents per share, for the same period the year prior, The Associated Press reported. But if not for a one-time charge of 96 cents, the company would have posted a first-quarter profit of 6 cents per share. Shares gained $1.94, an increase of 60%, to close at $5.14.
- Shares of for-profit education firm DeVry Inc. (DV) dropped yesterday (Monday) on news that the federal government is investigating the firm's recruitment policies, The Associated Press reported. DeVry stock shed $2.47, a 4.36% decline to close at $54.20. DeVry has pledged to cooperate fully with the investigation.