In the midst of earnings season we have some major merger and acquisition news shaking up the market.
First up is British American Tobacco's (BTI) bid for Reynolds American (RAI) . BTI shares were lower on Friday following word that it is interested in buying the remaining stake in Reynolds, the maker of Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes, in a cash and stock deal valued at $47 billion. British American Tobacco said it would pay $56.50 per share for the 57.8% stake it does not already own, representing a 20% premium. RAI shareholders would receive $24.13 per share in cash, as well as 0.5502 BAT shares. But Reynolds American independent directors need to approve the buyout -- and it would also need the blessing of both sets of shareholders.
Next up is Qualcomm (QCOM) and NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) . Shares of the technology supplier for Android and Apple smartphones were higher Friday on word that Qualcomm is closing in on a deal to acquire NXP Semiconductors for about $37 billion, or $110 a share in cash, according to CNBC, saying the two companies are nearing the conclusion of the deal. The announcement could reportedly come when NXP or Qualcomm release quarterly results in the next two weeks.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer, whose charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, holds NXP, says the $110 a share pricetag might seem disappointing for shareholders, until you look at the bigger picture. Cramer notes the stock was at $80 not that long ago, making the offer of $110 a share a "huge win."
Then there is AT&T (T) and Time Warner (TWX) . The two companies are reportedly in advanced discussions on a deal, as the telecom giant looks to buy Time Warner, according to the Wall Street Journal. A deal could happen as early as this weekend, the Journal reported. T stock was down by more than 2% during the trading session on Friday, while TWX shares surged by nearly 10%. (AT&T is a holding in the TheStreet's Trifecta Stocks portfolio).
Finally, Moody's (MCO) shares were lower in midday trading on word that the Justice Department is preparing a civil complaint alleging the company violated federal law leading up to the financial crisis. The complaint alleges that the ratings service violated the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act when it improperly rated residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations in the period leading up to the crisis. Moody's says it is responding to all subpoenas and inquiries in the investigation.
The company also reported third-quarter results before the opening bell today. Moody's had earnings of $1.34 a share on revenue of $917.1 million, beating Wall Street's forecasts. For the full year, the company expects earnings between $4.62 and $4.72 a share, which is higher than its previous outlook.