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MTS Systems Q4 Adj. Profit Rises

Alaska Communications Receives Superior Proposal – Quick Facts

Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. (ALSK) has received an acquisition proposal from a third party at $3.25 per share, which the company’s Board has determined constitutes a “Superior Proposal”. Under the terms, Bidder would acquire the company for nominal consideration of $3.25 per share, reflecting a transaction valued at approximately $325 million including debt.

Alaska Communications noted that it remains subject to the Macquarie/GCM Merger
agreement and the Board has not changed its recommendation in support of the
existing Macquarie/GCM Merger agreement.

Centene To Acquire PANTHERx Rare Pharmacy For Undisclosed Terms – Quick Facts

Healthcare company Centene Corp. (CNC) announced Tuesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire PANTHERx Rare Pharmacy, one of the largest and fastest-growing specialty pharmacies in the U.S. specializing in orphan drugs and rare diseases. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of 2020.

PANTHERx offers a suite of synchronized compliance, logistics, and analytics solutions to help streamline the process of delivering orphan medications and care to people living with complicated rare diseases.

PANTHERx and its management team will continue to operate independently as part of Centene’s Envolve Pharmacy Solutions, a total drug management program that includes integrated Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) services and specialty pharmacy solutions to millions of members throughout the U.S.

Gold Rallies As Dollar Weakens On Stimulus Bets

Gold prices rallied on Tuesday and the dollar weakened after U.S. lawmakers shared their latest proposal for stimulus spending to help the country’s economy.

Spot gold rose about 1 percent to $1,845.43 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.9 percent at $1,848.75.

The dollar held near a more than two-and-a-half-year low after a bipartisan Covid -19 relief proposal has been split into two bills in a bid to breach the ongoing stimulus impasse.

The $908 billion pitch from a group of Republican and Democrat lawmakers consists mainly of a $748 billion bill focused on points of common ground in an effort to win approval.

A second bill, worth $160 billion, accounts for the major sticking points of a boost to state and local governments.

Investors also await the outcome of key central bank meetings this week for directional cues.

Federal Reserve officials are set to meet today and tomorrow. The U.S. central bank may steer clear of additional stimulus, but ramp up its dovish rhetoric and emphasize the need for more fiscal support.

The Bank of England on Thursday and the Bank of Japan on Friday will close out central bank meetings for 2020.

The Swiss National Bank is expected to keep its policy rate locked at minus 0.75 percent on Thursday, the lowest among major central banks.

Qatar Condemns Attack on Oil Tanker in Saudi Port of Jeddah

Qatar, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter, condemned theattack on an oil tanker off the coast of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and warned of the impact it could have on international energy markets.

Doha considers the incident “an act of sabotage that violates all international norms and laws,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The announcement comes as Qatar and Saudi Arabia make progress on mending a diplomatic spat that’s divided the Gulf since 2017.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in 2017 severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar, accusing it of bankrolling militant groups and undermining a regional bid to isolate Iran. Qatar has for decades given shelter to Islamist dissidents and at times assisted countries governed by the Muslim Brotherhood, but denies accusations it funds that group directly or supports terrorism.

While Doha only rarely comments about events in Saudi Arabia, the government did condemn the September 2019 strike on an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq and tanker attacks earlier that year.

European Economics Preview: Eurozone Industrial Production Data Due

Industrial production data from euro area is due on Monday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, Destatis is scheduled to release Germany’s wholesale price figures for November. Economists forecast wholesale prices to rise 0.2 percent on month, in contrast to a 0.2 percent fall in October.

In the meantime, industrial production and retail sales reports are due from Turkey. Production is seen climbing 9 percent annually in October, faster than the 8.1 percent rise in September.

At 3.00 am ET, consumer price figures are due from Slovakia. Inflation is forecast to rise to 1.5 percent in November from 1.6 percent in October.

At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat is set to publish euro area industrial production data for October. Economists expect output to grow 2 percent on month, reversing a 0.4 percent fall in September.

At 6.00 am ET, Germany’s central bank is slated to release its monthly report.

MTS Systems Q4 Adj. Profit Rises

MTS Systems Corp. (MTSC) reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of $0.95 compared to $0.37, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.28, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Adjusted EBITDA was $31.3 million, up 5.6% compared to the prior year.

Fourth quarter revenue declined to $215.05 million from $224.08 million, prior year. Analysts expected revenue of $203.15 million, for the quarter. Revenue was down 4.0% compared to the same prior year period, due to volume declines in Test & Simulation and Sensors.

On December 8, the company entered into a definitive agreement under which Amphenol Corporation (APH) will acquire MTS for $58.50 per share in cash, or approximately $1.7 billion, including the assumption of outstanding debt and liabilities, net of cash. The acquisition is expected to close by the middle of 2021.