Friday was another solid day on Wall Street, with major stock indexes once again closing at all-time highs. Investors remained optimistic about the future of the market, mostly because of signs that the Federal Reserve will err on the side of caution in supporting the economic expansion by cutting interest rates in the near future. The cheap money that has resulted from low rates has also helped spur merger and acquisition activity, and that played a role for several stocks that moved sharply higher today. Tower International (NYSE: TOWR), Milacron Holdings (NYSE: MCRN), and Infosys (NYSE: INFY) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Tower hits the gas
Shares of Tower International soared almost 70% after the auto parts specialist announced that it will go private. Automotive industry supplier Autokiniton Global Group, which is controlled by private equity institutional investor KPS Capital Partners, said that it would pay $31 per share in cash to buy out Tower, valuing the transaction at about $900 million. Tower CEO Jim Gouin said that the combination will be "a more competitive North American supplier with a complementary manufacturing footprint and lightweighting technologies that uniquely position it for continued profitable growth." Yet some longer-term shareholders still won't be entirely happy about the deal, given that the stock traded higher than the buyout price as recently as last September.
Image source: Tower International.
Milacron gets its own buyout bid
Milacron Holdings didn't enjoy quite as big a jump, but the 24% rise in its shares was still impressive. Milacron said that it entered an agreement under which the plastics manufacturing specialist will become part of diversified industrial company Hillenbrand. Under the deal, Milacron investors will get $11.80 in cash plus 0.1612 shares of Hillenbrand stock for every Milacron share they own, putting a combined value of about $2 billion on the company. Given some of the troubles that have held Milacron's stock down lately, many investors are hopeful that joining forces with Hillenbrand will result in the combined company having an even stronger presence in the plastics industry.
Infosys sees strong results
Finally, shares of Infosys climbed over 6%. The Indian software services company announced its fiscal first-quarter financial results, which included an 11% rise in revenue year over year. Infosys saw particularly encouraging numbers from its digital segment, where sales climbed more than 40% from the year-ago period, and it also announced several high-profile client wins to show how much success it's had attracting business lately. With the gains, Infosys stock is near its highest levels in several years, and given ongoing opportunities in the technology industry, all signs point toward continued growth for the tech services company.
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