Thursday was another positive day for the stock market, as major market benchmarks climbed across the board. Investors seemed to react positively to statements from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the central bank intends to move forward with planned interest rate increases in the near future, figuring that that feeds into the idea that the economic expansion might grow more robust.
Although major indexes had relatively subdued gains, some individual stocks performed much better, and Western Refining (NYSE: WNR), Cvent (NYSE: CVT), and Hain Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN) all were among the biggest gainers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
Western Refining attracts a buyer
Western Refining jumped 23% after the refinery operator announced that industry peer Tesoro (NYSE: TSO) had agreed to acquire it in a deal worth an estimated $6.4 million. Under the deal, investors will receive 0.435 shares of Tesoro stock for every Western Refining share they own, with an option to elect to receive cash of $37.30 per share in lieu of Tesoro shares. The cash option is limited to only about 10% of outstanding Western Refining shares, limiting the ability of those who want to cash out to do so.
Nevertheless, Tesoro CEO Greg Goff said that the acquisition would help expand its market presence, increasing scale and diversity to take full advantage of opportunities in the industry. Energy analysts see Western's Permian Basin assets as an essential element of the deal. The fact that Tesoro shares didn't drop despite the largely stock-based deal is a sign of confidence in the pricing and profit potential from the combination.
Cvent wins a key battle
In an unusual move for a company that's already the subject of a cash buyout offer, Cvent soared 17%. Early this year, the company received a buyout offer from private equity company Vista Equity Partners, with the deal calling for payment of $36 per share in cash. Cvent shares traded close to that price until July, when the Department of Justice said that it would take a closer look at the merger. Since then, the stock had traded lower as investors feared the buyout wouldn't be approved.
Earlier this month, however, Vista reportedly chose the aggressive action of refusing to give the DOJ more time to review the buyout. This left the Justice Department with a Nov. 22 deadline, and reports today showed that the government agency granted approval for the deal, sending Cvent to the mergers and acquisitions finish line.
Hain clears itself
Finally, Hain Celestial rose 8%. The maker of organic and natural products reported late Wednesday that its independent audit committee's review of alleged concessions to certain U.S. distributors had found no evidence of intentional wrongdoing with respect to the company's financial statements. In August, Hain said that it had discovered and identified those concessions, getting independent counsel to help in the review. With the investigation over, Hain believes that it has taken an important step toward being able to bring its financial reporting up to date and keep its business moving forward.
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