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Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX): CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) still has some tough competition, but its retail pharmacies should be able to grab a good chunk of the customers they won from Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) during its Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) dispute. CVS is still in the position to deliver double-digit profit growth next year. Add a steadily growing dividend, and CVS is still an “easy pill to swallow”, Barron’s states. The shares closed at $60.73, up $4.71 or 8.41% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $34.47 to $59.50.
Geo Group Inc (NYSE:GEO) provided an update regarding its continuing evaluation of a possible conversion into a real estate investment trust during its Q2 conference call. GEO has engaged the law firm of Skadden Arps as its legal advisors and both Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital as its financial co-advisers for assistance with the comprehensive review. In the mid-July 2012, GEO submitted a request to the United States Internal Revenue Service for a private letter ruling in order to better inform GEO’s board of directors about the possible advantages and disadvantages of a REIT conversion and to decide whether GEO would qualify for a conversion to a REIT. When GEO and its advisers finish the comprehensive analysis being performed about a possible REIT conversion, GEO’s board of directors are to be adequately informed and positioned to decide whether to proceed with a REIT conversion. If GEO’s board of directors decides that it is in GEO’s best interest continue with the REIT conversion, GEO would attempt to finish the conversion by the earliest conversion date, January 2013. Unfortunately, because of the short timeframe, the REIT conversion may be pushed back until the next available conversion date, January 2014. A conversion by GEO into a REIT would require the approval of the company’s shareholders. The shares closed at $24.73, up $0.74 or 3.08% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $16.40 to $24.02.
Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) climbs after the company stated that it is considering a conversion into a real estate investment trust, or REIT. Lamar stated that it intends to seek an IRS ruling concerning the matter. If Lamar chooses to continue with the conversion, it would most likely announce its intention to do so in 2013, the company said. The conversion would probably begin on January 1, 2014, Lamar added. Also, Lamar reported that Q2 earnings per share were in-line with analysts’ consensus estimate, and its Q2 revenue that was slightly higher than the average analyst estimate. The company also showed weaker Q3 guidance than expected. The Street still seems more interested in the company’s possible conversion into a REIT though. In separate notes to investors earlier today, two research firms expressed different outlooks regarding Lamar after its announcement. Wedbush Securities believes that the stock’s valuation will increase because of the announcement. The firm keeps a $33 price target and Neutral rating on the stock. On the other hand, research firm Piper Jaffray showed “tepid skepticism” regarding the possible REIT conversion. While REITs are usually used to reduce tax burdens, Lamar’s net operating losses will most likely protect it from tax burdens until 2015, claims Piper. The erratic nature of the company’s ad-based business along with its widely fluctuating capital expenditures my cause problems for Lamar if it does convert into a REIT, the firm claim. Piper keeps an $18 price target and Underweight rating on the shares, which were boosted $3.58, or 11.38 percent, to $35.08 in mid-morning trading. The shares closed at $34.41, up $2.91 or 9.24% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $16.49 to $34.19.
Lionbridge Technology (NASDAQ:LIOX) reports a Q2 EPS of 18c, consensus 0c. The shares closed at $3.35, up $0.24 or 7.72% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $1.94 to $3.33.
New York Times Compa (NYSE:NYT) has a deal in place for the sell pf About.com to Answers.com for $270 million, according to AllThingsD, citing individuals familiar with the transaction. A letter of intent was signed, but the deal has not yet been closed. The shares closed at $8.57, up $0.49 or 6.06% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $5.50 to $8.46.
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