Five Stocks to Watch in April

The U.S. stock markets ended the month of March on a negative note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down -200.19 points or -1.1 percent to 17, 776.12 on the last day of March and ending the first quarter of 2015 with a loss of -46.95 points. The S&P 500 Index dropped -18.35 points or -0.9 percent to end the month at 2,067.89, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell -46.56 points or -0.9 percent to 4,900.88. The S&P 500 ended the first quarter with a gain of +0.4 percent and the Nasdaq Composite, with a gain of +3.5 percent for the quarter.

The Nasdaq Composite Index has had its longest quarterly winning streak in history, with nine consecutive quarters of gains.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX) - One day after closing its deal to purchase Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP), Valeant announced the layoff of 258 Salix workers in North Carolina. Valeant recently acquired Salix for $173 per share or $11 billion in cash. Valeant will continue paring down Salix with additional layoffs that will continue until October 30th of this year. Valeant stock is 8 points off of its yearly highs and has almost doubled over the last year.

GoDaddy Inc. (GDDY) - After a successful initial public offering earlier this week, GoDaddy Inc. stock has held on to its first day gains of +31 percent, rising an additional +1.34 percent in Thursday's trading. The initial offering was for $20 per share and the stock closed at $26.50. Despite the success of the initial offering, some analysts are wary of the company since it has not posted a profit since 2009.

Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) - Last month, the U.S. Attorney and the FBI launched a probe into possible manipulation of Herbalife Ltd. stock. Hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman has been extremely vocal in his criticism of the company and his fund holds a massive short position in the stock. WSJ reported that the probe is delving into whether "people, including some hired by Mr. Ackman, made false statements about Herbalife's business model to regulators and others in order to spur investigations into the company and lower its stock price." Before the news, Herbalife stock was trading around $33 per share, the stock has since rallied significantly and closed at $42.91 per share on Thursday.

Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (KRFT) - Last week, a Brazilian private investment group, 3G Capital, struck a deal to acquire a controlling interest in Kraft Foods Group, Inc. An icon in the U.S. food industry, the company is famous for its macaroni and cheese, Jell-O gelatin, Planters nuts and Oscar Meyer meats to name a few. The company will merge with Heinz, a company which is owned by 3G and Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A). The $70 billion merger resulting in the Kraft Heinz Company will be one of the largest food and beverage conglomerates in the world with estimated annual sales in excess of $28 billion.

Google Inc. (GOOG) - A stock split designed to ensure that the company's two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin retain control of the company could cost Google as much as $593 million. The company, which was started in a Silicon Valley garage in 1998 is now worth $368 billion and employs 54,000 people. Google created a Class C stock a year ago after the two founders accumulated all of the class "B shares which have 10 votes for each "A share. The company agreed to compensate "C shareholders if the price of their shares fell below the price of "A shares and will pay out roughly $1.74 per share in cash or stock to settle a class action lawsuit with the "C shareholders. Google stock fell -8.18 or -1.49 to $541.31 per share on Thursday.

Published on Apr 3, 2015
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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