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HAIN

Hain Celestial

$40.43

-0.16 (-0.39%)

, RCII

Rent-A-Center

$11.42

0.24 (2.15%)

10:28
09/28/17
09/28
10:28
09/28/17
10:28

Hain Celestial board overhaul fuels added sale speculation

Shares of Hain Celestial (HAIN), an organic and natural products company, jumped in morning trading after the company reached an agreement with an activist investor on changes to its board and entered into a mutual cooperation agreement under which it will form a group to examine strategic alternatives. ENGAGED AGREEMENT: Hain Celestial stated this morning that it has reached an agreement with Engaged Capital for changes to its board. As part of the agreement, Hain said it will nominate six new directors, including Celeste Clark, Dean Hollis, Shervin Korangy, Jack Sinclair and Dawn Welling, to the board, while three of the company's current directors will not stand for reelection at the annual meeting. Additional, as per the terms of the agreement, Engaged Capital founder Glenn Welling will also join Hain's board. Hain plans to hold its 2017 annual meeting on November 16. REVIEWING ALTERNATIVES: In a regulatory filing discussing the deal with Engaged, Hain said it will form a working group of the board to work with an advisor to review the company's portfolio of businesses, brands and operating strategy. The group will also evaluate alternatives to create shareholder value. The members of the Working Group will be Hain's president, chief executive officer and chairman Irwin Simon, lead independent director Andrew Heyer, as well as Welling and Korangy. In June, Engaged reported a 9.9% stake in Hain, making it the company's largest shareholder. The activist investor, which had recently won a similar battle against Rent-A-Center (RCII), urged Hain to add directors with more food-industry experience, more-closely align executive compensation with performance, reduce costs and consider a sale. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Hain is working with Centerview Partners to help with the review, which could lead to a full or partial sale of the company. HAIN NOT FOR SALE: Hain Celestial is not for sale, CNBC's David Faber reported earlier. Though the company would be open to takeover approaches, Faber said the company is not running an auction or shopping itself. ANALYST COMMENTARY: Commenting on today's news, Wells Fargo analyst John Baumgartner, who has a Market Perform rating and $42 price target on Hain, concluded that an asset unwind will likely present the best path to maximizing value given the company's "disparate" portfolio, competition and "sizeable" price tag even before a bid premium. According to the analyst, the "pieces" of Hain are "worth more than the sum." Jefferies analyst Akshay Jagdale said his initial reaction is "positive," as it removes the overhang of a potential proxy fight. The analyst noted that management previously mentioned that it was conducting a periodic strategic review and that it would be open to "pruning" the portfolio if it made sense. PRICE ACTION: Hain is up about 1% to $40.71 in morning trading, off earlier highs.

HAIN

Hain Celestial

$40.43

-0.16 (-0.39%)

RCII

Rent-A-Center

$11.42

0.24 (2.15%)

HAIN Hain Celestial
$40.43

-0.16 (-0.39%)

08/22/17
SUSQ
08/22/17
DOWNGRADE
SUSQ
Neutral
Hain Celestial downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna
08/29/17
JPMS
08/29/17
NO CHANGE
JPMS
Neutral
JPMorgan 'somewhat skeptical' on Hain Celestial guidance
JPMorgan analyst Ken Goldman views Hain Celestial's (HAIN) Q4 results today as "slightly positive." The quarter overall was "fine," with sales growth coming in slightly above expectations and the gross margin in line, Goldman tells investors in a post-earnings research note. The analyst remains "somewhat skeptical" that Hain's FY18 outlook is achievable given "challenged" data in Nielsen as well as Amazon's (AMZN) Whole Foods' renewed emphasis on its 365 store brand. Goldman has a Neutral rating on Hain, which is rallying 6% following today's results to $43.00.
09/08/17
BMOC
09/08/17
NO CHANGE
BMOC
Hain Celestial could benefit from Whole Foods deal, says BMO Capital
BMO Capital says that Hain Celestial (HAIN) could benefit from Amazon's (AMZN) acquisition of Whole Foods. The firm reasons that the deal will result in "increased distribution of natural/organic foods." The firm adds that " Hain is also somewhat insulated as it's difficult to source private-label natural/organic products at scale."
09/28/17
WELS
09/28/17
NO CHANGE
Target $42
WELS
Market Perform
Hain Celestial 'pieces worth more than the sum,' says Wells Fargo
Noting that The Wall Street Journal previously said Centerview Partners is helping Hain Celestial with a strategic review and that the company has now reached an agreement with shareholder Engaged Capital, Wells Fargo analyst John Baumgartner pondered whether the company is up for sale. He concluded that an asset unwind will likely present the best path to maximizing value given the company's "disparate" portfolio, competition and "sizeable" price tag even before a bid premium. He keeps a Market Perform rating and $42 price target on Hain, but said he could see fair value "tracking towards the mid- to high-$40s" in an asset unwind scenario.
RCII Rent-A-Center
$11.42

0.24 (2.15%)

07/18/17
LOOP
07/18/17
NO CHANGE
LOOP
Rent-A-Center unlikely to be acquired by Aaron's, says Loop Capital
After three representatives of an activist investor were appointed to Rent-A-Center's (RCII) board, Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba says that Aaron's (AAN) is unlikely to look to acquire the company because its business model is being hurt by virtual rent-to-own offerings. According to the analyst, Aaron's is much better positioned than Rent-A-Center in the virtual rent-to-own space. Moreover, the analyst thinks that the FTC could block the acquisition. He reiterates an $8 price target and a Sell rating on Rent-A-Center.
08/17/17
SPHN
08/17/17
NO CHANGE
Target $9
SPHN
Underweight
Stephens remains cautious on Rent-A-Center
Following the July data release, Stephens analyst Vincent Caintic remains cautious Rent-A-Center's rising delinquencies and slowing Acceptance Now same-store-sales. Caintic sees significant execution risk to achieve the turnaround story and would continue to avoid shares. The analyst rates Rent-A-Center an Underweight with a $9 price target.
08/17/17
LOOP
08/17/17
NO CHANGE
Target $8
LOOP
Sell
Rent-A-Center delinquencies worsened again, says Loop Capital
Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba says that while Rent-A-Center's core U.S. comps improved sequentially in July, delinquencies worsened for the second consecutive month in both its segments. This implies the company may have loosened credit standards to drive higher top-line growth, which "in our experience almost always ends badly," Chukumba tells investors in a research note. He reiterates a Sell rating on the shares with an $8 price target.
09/20/17
LOOP
09/20/17
NO CHANGE
LOOP
Sell
Rent-A-Center August data 'continues to underwhelm,' says Loop Capital
Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba reiterated his Sell rating and $8 price target on Rent-A-Center after the company released details on its August performance earlier this morning that "continues to underwhelm," with core U.S. same store sales declining 5.3%, which is a 40 bps sequential acceleration from July.

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VLRS

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$156.55

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CLI

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CLI

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