For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 4, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Leucadia National Corporation (LUK), Jefferies Group, Inc. (:JEF), United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL), Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) and Boeing (BA).
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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:
On the Leucadia-Jefferies Merger
The merger of Leucadia National Corporation (LUK) and Jefferies Group, Inc. (:JEF), pending since November 11, 2012, received a green signal from their respective shareholders in a meeting held on February 28, 2013. The merger will consummate on March 1, 2013.
As per the terms of the merger agreement, one common share of Jefferies will be converted into 0.81 share of Leucadia’s common share. Leucadia already owns a 28.6% stake in Jefferies and intends to issue approximately 117.7 million of its common shares in exchange of Jefferies’ share.
Following the completion of the merger, roughly 35.2% of Leucadia’s shares will be held by Jefferies’ shareholders while Jefferies will be converted into a limited liability company, Jefferies Group LLC, which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leucadia.
Over the years, Leucadia has grown through acquisitions and divestitures. Leucadia continuously evaluates the retention and disposition of its existing operations and looks for profitability and new acquisitions, especially assets and companies that are in trouble so that those can be taken over and made into a profitable deal. Jefferies’ merger is likely to open up more investment opportunities for Leucadia and be a long-term growth booster.
United Airlines Expands VIP Services
United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) announced plans to expand baggage delivery facilities to 36 markets, which it already launched last month in six markets. The company is also offering services like Premier Access that speeds up check-in and security checkpoint clearance
United Continental, the largest U.S.airline, followed by Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), is making continued progress to improve service features and introduce products that will enhance value and profitability. The premium cabin flat-bed seats have been installed in 87% of the international fleet, including the first reconfigured and retrofitted International 767-300ER.
The company expects to complete the installation in all international flights by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Further, United Continental started offering global satellite-based Wi-Fi in Aug last year, introducing the product on Airbus A319, followed by the Boeing’s (BA) 747 and 737-900ERs.
Moreover, the company is optimizing its network and flight routes for greater efficiency in fleet operations. The company is reducing its domestic fleet count, retiring the older and less efficient aircraft and reconfiguring domestic aircraft for international service.
We believe the company’s efforts to enhance customer experience will lead to revenue growth and increased market traction. However, we expect these aspects to be overshadowed by the concerns over fluctuating fuel prices, rising non-fuel expense, growing competition, new advertising policy, unionized workforce and a sluggish global economy.
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