Blackstone Up on Strong Earnings
Blackstone earnings — and revenue — more than doubled in the first quarter. The firm also said it would make a quarterly distribution of 87 cents per common share. All that good news had $BX shares up early.
Verizon Down on Subscriber Losses
Verizon said it lost 307,000 monthly wireless subscribers in the first three months of the year, sending shares down.
Verizon, the largest cellphone carrier in the United States, appears less and less interested in being a phone company. It is closing in on its acquisition of Yahoo, which it hopes will help it compete against Facebook and Google in digital advertising. And the Verizon chief executive Lowell McAdam this week stoked further M. & A. speculation by saying he was open to deals with media giants from Comcast to Disney.
What to Watch For: Unilever and U.S. Steel
■ On the heels of fending off a takeover offer from Kraft Heinz, Unilever reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. The company has said it would review its dual British-Dutch registration, sell or spin off its margarine business and combine its other food businesses into one unit. It also acquired Sir Kensington’s, a maker of fancy condiments.
■ The United States International Trade Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing on whether U.S. Steel can pursue an antitrust case that accuses Chinese companies of colluding to undercut American rivals.
■ The Institute of International Finance hosts its Washington Policy Summit. The governor of the Bank of England, Mark J. Carney, and the United States Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, are among the scheduled speakers.
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A Trading Takeover
Shares of Virtu Financial rose more than 9 percent in morning trading on Thursday after it agreed to acquire a high-frequency trading rival, KCG Holdings, in a deal worth about $1.4 billion.
The transaction would expand the size of Virtu Financial’s business as low trading volatility and increasing costs have eaten into profits at market-making and trading firms.
Virtu expects to fund the deal through debt and the sale of stock. — CHAD BRAY