Southwestern Energy To Acquire Montage Resources – Quick Facts

Performance Food Group Slips To Loss In Q4; Sales Top Estimates – Quick Facts

Performance Food Group Co. (PFGC) reported Wednesday a net loss for the fourth quarter of $151.2 million or $1.19 per share, compared to net income of $63.2 million or $0.60 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted loss for the quarter was $0.86 per share, compared to adjusted earnings of $0.77 in the year-ago quarter.

The loss was attributable to the $326.1 million decrease in operating profit and a $20.7 million increase in interest expense, partially offset by a $130.9 million decrease in income tax expense.

Net sales for the quarter decreased 2.1 percent to $5.77 billion from $5.90 billion in the same quarter last year.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $0.25 per share on net sales of $5.43 billion for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The decline in net sales was primarily attributable to the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, partially offset by the recent acquisitions of Eby-Brown and Reinhart.

Total case volume declined 11.5 percent for the fourth quarter, with an underlying organic decline of 34.2 percent.

Looking ahead, the company said it will not be providing fiscal 2021 financial guidance at this time, due to the continued macroeconomic environment uncertainty relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-March, the company decided to withdraw its full year 2020 outlook as the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Tanzania crackdown: Government restricts foreign broadcasters

Tanzania’s government cracks down on what journalists can report on the coronavirus pandemic.

Tanzania is enforcing a new crackdown on the media.

Under a new law, coverage of the coronavirus pandemic will essentially be silenced.

And there are fears it will also prevent fair and balanced reporting on the presidential election later this year.

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soi reports.

Gold Cuts Early Loss After UK GDP Data

Gold prices cut early losses to turn flat on Wednesday after data showed Britain’s economy shrank by a fifth in the last quarter.

Spot gold was down 0.25 percent at $1,941.50 per ounce after hitting as low as $1,876.50 in early trade. U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,941.05.

Spot gold had its steepest sell-off in more than seven years on Tuesday amid hopes about U.S. coronavirus stimulus and on news about Russia registering the first vaccine against the coronavirus.

The U.K economy contracted for the second straight time in the second quarter amid the coronavirus pandemic although there was some pick up in June after government relaxed restrictions on movement, data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

Gross domestic product contracted by 20.4 percent sequentially in the second quarter, following a 2.2 percent drop in the first quarter. Economists had forecast a quarterly fall of 20.5 percent.

The latest fall was the biggest contraction since the records began in 1955. On a yearly basis, GDP plunged 21.7 percent in the second quarter but smaller than the economists’ forecast of 22.4 percent.

The intraday rebound in gold prices were also helped by the dollar, whose recent uptick was stalled by a deadlock in Washington over a stimulus package.

Isaias Hits Weaker In Canada After Killing 5 In US

Tropical Storm Isaias entered Canada losing strength after killing at least five people as it ripped through the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday.

Two people were killed by tornadoes in a mobile home park in Windsor, North Carolina, and three others died from fallen trees in New York, Delaware and Maryland.

More than 3 million people were left without power as the storm unleashed floods, battered power lines and uprooted poles and trees from North Carolina up to New York.

At a White House briefing, President Donald Trump said around 600,000 people are without power along the East Coast, and utility companies are working around the clock to restore service as quickly as possible.

A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey.

National Hurricane Center downgraded Isaias to a post-tropical cyclone as it moved into south-eastern Canada.

The cyclone will weaken further and is expected to drop below tropical-storm force this morning, NHC said in its latest advisory on Wednesday.

“The post-tropical cyclone is expected to dissipate over southeastern Canada on Thursday,” it added.

The Canadian Hurricane Center has warned that heavy rainfall is expected over southern Quebec Wednesday.

Black Lives Matter: US firms pledge jobs for low income workers

American companies are promising jobs for minority communities – but some say they are the ones perpetuating racial inequality.

Some big US companies are pledging to hire tens of thousands of workers from low-income and minority communities in New York City.

They say the initiative, to be implemented over the next 10 years, is in response to Black Lives Matter protests.

But activists have accused some of the companies involved of being drivers of racial inequality in the United States.

Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi reports.

Southwestern Energy To Acquire Montage Resources – Quick Facts

Southwestern Energy Company (SWN) and Montage Resources Corporation (MR) have reached a merger deal under which Southwestern Energy will acquire Montage Resources in an all-stock transaction. Montage Resources shareholders will receive 1.8656 shares of Southwestern for each Montage Resources share.

Southwestern Energy expects the deal to be accretive to per share financial metrics as well as leverage, margin and returns. The company anticipates synergies of approximately $30 million in annual G&A savings captured following the transaction close, in addition to operational efficiencies.

Southwestern Energy also announced the commencement of an underwritten public offering of 55 million shares of its common stock. The company intends to use the proceeds to partially redeem Montage Resource Corporation’s issued and outstanding senior notes.