Monday brought gloom to the stock market, which gave back some of its gains from last week as major market benchmarks eased lower. For several stocks, though, the day brought good news, and Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), Walter Investment Management (NYSE:WAC), and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) were among the better performers to begin the holiday-shortened week on Monday.
Lululemon rose 7% as rumors persisted that the yoga-apparel retailer might become the target of a potential acquisition. Various sources mentioned different players in the luxury and athletic retail space as possible buyers, with reports suggesting that access to Lululemon's lucrative women's clothing segment would be attractive to many retailers that have historically catered more toward men. The stock is still languishing well below its best levels of the year as Lululemon tries to continues its comeback from quality-control issues several years ago, but the low price could also be fueling merger speculation for those who see Lululemon shares as attractively cheap right now.
Walter Investment Management jumped almost 11% after the company announced that it had appointed hedge-fund investor Vadim Perelman to its board. Perelman is managing partner at Baker Street Capital Management, which took a position of nearly 20% in Walter's stock earlier this year. The move is interesting in that it comes just a week after Walter appointed Birch Run Capital Advisors manager Daniel Beltzman to join the board, and both funds have agreed to vote their shares in favor of board-approved directors and proposals at Walter's annual shareholder meeting. With the company having agreed to a $30 million settlement of mortgage fraud allegations as it goes through a leadership transition, Walter Investment shareholders hope that the company can work with interested fund investors rather than against them.
Finally, Tyson Foods climbed 10% after the poultry specialist reported strong quarterly sales results. Tyson's revenue rose 4% to $10.5 billion, resulting in a 21% rise in adjusted operating income. Strength in the chicken market overcame weakness in pork, and sales volumes rose across the board even though falling prices in most of its markets offset those gains. In particular, adjusted operating income from the chicken segment jumped more than two-thirds, and Tyson's prepared foods category enjoyed a 50% rise in volume that helped the division post a tenfold rise in adjusted operating results. Moreover, Tyson predicted that the market for chicken would remain strong, leading to potentially solid results for fiscal 2016 as well. The good news sent Tyson stock to new all-time highs, and with other players in the meat industry seeing similarly favorable conditions, it's likely that the good times could last well into next year.