Corning Makes a Deal While Safeway Considers Another

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

As they should be, earnings reports are driving the markets today. The only problem is that some of the big names have reported poor quarterly results, causing investors to grow concerned about the strength of the economy and the pace of the global recovery. As of 1 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average is lower by 65 points, or 0.42%, while the S&P 500 is off by 0.53% and the NASDAQ is down 0.67%.

One of the biggest drags on stocks today is Caterpillar, which reported this morning and is driving poor-economy fears into investors' minds. But not all stocks are suffering the blues today; a number of individual companies are having a great day.

Shares of the supermarket chain Safeway are higher by 8.7% this afternoon following a report released last night by Reuters that indicates a few different private-equity firms may be interested in taking the company private. The report went further to state that Safeway is reviewing its options with the help of Goldman Sachs. Deutsche Bank analyst Karen Short wrote this morning that if the rumors are true, $56 per share would be a reasonable offer based on her calculation. But others believe Safeway is more likely to parcel itself out as opposed to selling the whole company in one sale. Either way, today's a great day to be a Safeway shareholder, and if Karen Short is correct, things will get even better in the future. But for us outsiders looking in, buying shares on the speculation of a buyout isn't the best idea and may turn into a lot of pain down the road. 

Another big winner today is Lumber Liquidators , as shares are higher by 5%. The company announced earnings this morning in which it beat on both the top and bottom lines and increased guidance for the full 2013 year. Revenue was expected to hit $241.35 million and came in at $254.3 million, while earnings per share hit $0.73, while Wall Street was only expecting $0.66. On the back of the impressive quarter, management increased full-year guidance to a range of $2.65 to $2.74 per share, up from the previous range of $2.45 to $2.60. Investors certainly love when a company beats on both the top and bottom lines, but as you can see by the share price today, they go crazy when guidance is increased. Shareholders should continue to hold on, while newbies may want to wait for a slight pullback before pulling the trigger.  

And one of the biggest winners of the day is Corning , whose shares are currently up 12% after the company announced a partnership deal with Samsung last night. The deal will give Samsung a 7.4% stake in Corning's business in exchange for $2.4 billion and Corning taking full ownership of Samsung Corning Precision Materials, which is a joint venture between the two companies. It is believed that the deal will increase Corning's yearly sales by $2 billion, its profit by $350 million, and its cash flow by about $500 million a year. This is certainly a big win for Corning. Now that Samsung owns a part of the business, it will be interesting to see if Corning still sells to the Apples and Nokias of the world, which could certainly hurt sales and profits. Shareholders should keep an eye on this deal and how it may affect Corning's business in the long run.

The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the "3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail" in The Motley Fool's special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.

The article Corning Makes a Deal While Safeway Considers Another originally appeared on

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513The Motley Fool recommends Corning, Goldman Sachs, and Lumber Liquidators. The Motley Fool owns shares of Corning and Lumber Liquidators. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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