Flash eurozone PMI weakens to two-month low in January

MarketWatch - 29min

The flash eurozone purchasing managers index fell in January to a two-month low of 47.5 -- nearly in line with the 47.6 expected -- from 49.1 in December. The services index fell to 45 from 46.4, while the manufacturing index dropped to a 7-month low of 54.5 from 56.3. Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions. "A double-dip recession for the eurozone economy is looking increasingly inevitable as tighter COVID-19 restrictions took a further toll on businesses in January," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.


Ford to take pension-related $1.5 billion charge in Q4

MarketWatch - 11hr

Ford Motor Co. said late Thursday it expects to take a $1.5 billion pre-tax hit related to its pension plans in the U.S. and overseas. That will reduce the auto maker's net income by about $1.2 billion, but not impact adjusted EBIT or per-share adjusted earnings because of the way it accounts for the benefits, Ford said in a filing. In the same filing, Ford said it will be replacing certain Takata airbag inflators in vehicles including the Ford Ranger, Fusion, and others in model years 2006 through 2012. That will affect about 2.7 million vehicles in the U.S. and 300,000 vehicles in Canada and elsewhere, at a cost of about $610 million. That expense will be treated as a special item in the fourth quarter, the company said. Shares of Ford fell 0.4% in the extended session Thursday after ending the regular trading day rallying 6%.


Aurora Cannabis agrees to $125 million bought-deal offering

MarketWatch - 11hr

Aurora Cannabis Inc. said late Thursday it has agreed to a $125 million bought-deal syndicated offering, led by BMO Capital Markets and ATB Capital Markets. The underwriters have agreed to buy 12 million units of the company at $10.45 per unit. Each unit is comprised of one common share and one half of one common share purchase warrant, Aurora said. The underwriters have the option to buy an additional 10% of the offering to cover any over-allotments. Aurora said it will use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, which "may include opportunistically reducing debt." The offering is part of a "broader strategy to have a strong balance sheet while maintaining maximum flexibility," Aurora said. The deal is expected to close Tuesday, subject to usual conditions, the company said. Shares of Aurora trading on the New York Stock Exchange fell 3.2% to end at $11.17 on Thursday.


CarGurus founder Steinert to step down as CEO

MarketWatch - 12hr

CarGurus Inc. said late Thursday that its board of directors has appointed Jason Trevisan as the company's chief executive, with founder Langley Steinert becoming executive chairman. Steinert will "remain involved" in the running of company, focusing on longer-term strategy, the online car marketplace said, and continue to serve as board chair. Trevisan was CarGurus' chief financial officer. Scot Fredo, senior VP of financial planning and analysis, was promoted to CFO, CarGurus said. Shares of CarGurus were flat in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 0.1%.


Seagate fiscal Q2 profit, sales top views

MarketWatch - 12hr

Shares of Seagate Technology Plc. fell nearly 5% in the extended session Thursday after the company reported fiscal second-quarter profit and sales ahead of expectations and guidance for the third quarter around Wall Street views. The data-storage company said it earned $280 million, or $1.12 a share, in the quarter, compared with $1.20 a share in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, Seagate earned $1.29 a share, compared with $1.35 a share a year ago. Revenue fell to $2.62 billion, from $2.70 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of $1.13 a share on sales of $2.57 billion. Seagate said it expects fiscal third-quarter revenue around $2.65 billion, give it or take $200 million, and adjusted EPS around $1.30, plus or minus 15 cents. The analysts surveyed by FactSet expect adjusted fiscal third quarter earnings of $1.28 a share on sales of $2.64 billion. Seagate said it experienced "broad-based improvement" across markets and geographies and "solid customer demand" fors its products. The shares ended the regular trading day up 2.5%.


Fauci says 'degree of normality' possible by fall if 85% of population vaccinated by end of summer

MarketWatch - 12hr

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that a "degree of normality" in the U.S. is possible by the fall if 85% of the population can be vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of the summer. Appearing at a White House press briefing, Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said such an outcome was his "best-case scenario."


Dow finishes with small loss as S&P 500, Nasdaq eke out another record close

MarketWatch - 12hr

Stocks saw a mixed finish Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting a small loss and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite building on the previous session's record close as investors weighed President Joe Biden's efforts to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine efforts and parsed fourth-quarter corporate earnings. The Dow fell around 12 points, or less than 0.1%, to end near 12,899, according to preliminary figures, while the S&P 500 rose by around 1 point to end near 3,853. The Nadaq Composite gained around 74 points, or 0.5%, finishing near 13,531.


U.S. oil futures finish lower ahead of Friday's EIA data on crude supplies

MarketWatch - 14hr

U.S. oil futures finished lower on Thursday as traders awaited weekly data from the Energy Information Administration, which was delayed to Friday due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday early this week and Wednesday's U.S. presidential inauguration. On average, the EIA is expected to report a decline of 2.5 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies for the week ended Jan. 15. The American Petroleum Institute reported late Wednesday had reported a weekly increase of 2.6 million barrels. March West Texas Intermediate crude fell 18 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $53.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


CleanSpark responds to 'false' short seller report, as stock tumbles for a 5th straight day,

MarketWatch - 14hr

Shares of CleanSpark Inc. sank 9.3% in afternoon trading Thursday, putting them on track for a fifth-straight loss. The energy software and control technology company said it "has become aware" of a short seller's report that made "false" accusations against it and its officers. The five-day losing streak, in which the stock tumbled 34.7%, started on Jan. 14, the same day Culper Research released a report saying it believed CleanSpark is an "insider enrichment scheme," that allegedly "vastly overstated or simply fabricated key elements of its business." CleanSpark said it retained a law firm and will be "vigilant" in investigating the sources of the misrepresentations. "CleanSpark takes seriously any accusations of impropriety, stands behind its prior statements and disclosures, and will not tolerate unfounded and reckless claims against the company," CleanSpark said in a statement. "The company will vigorously and relentlessly defend itself against these actions and against the kind of baseless accusations made by those behind the 'report.'" Despite the recent selloff, CleanSpark shares have soared 189.3% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 12.3%.


Gold futures ease back from a near two-week high

MarketWatch - 15hr

Gold futures marked a modest retreat Thursday, a day after settling at their highest in almost two weeks. U.S. economic data released Thursday was upbeat, pressuring prices for gold as a haven investment. February gold fell 60 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,865.90 an ounce.


BlackRock raises dividend by 14%, with first new payout in March

MarketWatch - 15hr

BlackRock Inc. said Thursday that it will raise its dividend by 14%. The investment management's new quarterly dividend of $4.13 a share, up from $3.63 a share, will be payable March 23 to shareholders of record on March 5. The stock slipped 0.1% in afternoon trading. At current prices, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 2.23%, compared with the dividend yield for the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF of 1.95% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.48%, according to FactSet. BlackRock's stock has gained 16.7% over the past three months, while the financial ETF has rallied 24.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 12.1%.


Ford stock powers through three-year high

MarketWatch - 15hr

Ford Motor Co. shares rose nearly 9% on Thursday, poised to end at their highest in three years and on pace for their largest one-day percentage increase since June 5. The stock is up for three straight sessions, gaining 23% over the period. Ford stock got boosts earlier this week from a price-target increase by Deutsche Bank and a $2.65 billion investment round for electric-truck maker Rivian, which is backed by Ford and others. The Deutsche Bank analysts on Wednesday increased their target on Ford stock to $11, from $9, and kept their rating on the stock at hold. The analysts said they expect "strong volume growth in 2021" for the auto industry, due to "easy" comparisons to 2020, low inventories, and "COVID-19-induced demand for comfort, privacy and protection" as well as a Democrat U.S. Congress, which "could also result in demand upside from large federal spending on infrastructure and toward vehicle electrification," they said. Ford shares have gained 27% in the past two years, compared with gains around 16% for the S&P 500 index.


Homebuilder ETFs jump on strong housing starts data

MarketWatch - 16hr

Homebuilder exchange-traded funds rallied Thursday as economic data confirmed continuing robust demand for newly constructed homes. The Hoya Capital Housing ETF, which has the broadest exposure to residential real estate, gained 1.6% at midday. The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF was up 1.2%, and the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF rose 0.8%. As a reminder that strong demand can sometimes pressure prices uncomfortably upward, the iShares Global Timber & Forestry EF was up 1%. It's gained over 22% in the past three months.


GameStop's stock spikes up after short seller Citron cancels livestream, then pulls back

MarketWatch - 16hr

Shares of GameStop Corp. spiked higher midday trading Thursday, before erasing most of their gains, as widely followed short-seller Citron Research's planned livestream, in which five reasons to sell the video game and consumer electronics retailer's stock were expected to be highlighted, was canceled. The livestream, which was originally planned for Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, was delayed to Thursday so as not to interfere with President Joe Biden's inauguration. But given technical difficulties, the livestream was delayed slightly, then canceled. "Too many people hacking Citron twitter, will record and post later today. $GME going to $20 buy at your own risk," Citron tweeted. The stock was trading up about 3.0% just before 11:30 a.m. ET, then spiked up as much as 14.4% to an intraday high of $44.75 as the livestream failed to proceed, before paring gains. The stock was recently up 0.9%. It has tripled (up 201.8%) over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 12.2%.


Mytheresa's parent stock soars in its public debut, with the first trade 38% above the IPO price

MarketWatch - 16hr

Shares of MYT Netherlands Parent B.V. soared out of the gate Thursday, as the parent of Germany-based luxury e-commerce retailer Mytheresa Group GmbH raised $354.8 million through its initial public offering, while selling shareholders raised $52.0 million. The first trade for the stock on the NYSE was at $35.85 at 11:50 a.m. Eastern for 2.3 million shares, which was 37.9% above the $26 IPO price. With 85.8 million shares outstanding after the IPO, the IPO pricing valued the company at about $2.23 billion. The stock has pared some of its opening gains, and was up 27.4% in midday trading. MYT went public at a time of strong investor interest in IPOs, as the Renaissance IPO ETF has run up 28.4% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 12.0%.


Apple developing 'pricey, niche' VR headset ahead of eventual augmented reality glasses: report

MarketWatch - 18hr

Apple Inc. is planning a headset that would be a "pricey, niche precursor" to an eventual pair of augmented-reality glasses, according to a Bloomberg News report. Apple has long been rumored to be planning a dedicated augmented-reality device, but its first foray into the headset space could be mainly focused on virtual reality, the report said, with a launch coming as early as 2022. The report cites "some Apple insiders" who said that the headset could be considerably pricier than competing VR offerings such that Apple might only sell one unit a day in each of its retail locations. The company is farther behind in its development of the AR glasses intended to be a more mainstream product, per the report. Apple didn't immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment. Shares are up 2.6% in Thursday morning trading. They've gained 16% over the past three months as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 11%.


Vinco Ventures stock blasts nearly fivefold higher after merger deal with ZASH

MarketWatch - 19hr

Shares of Vinco Ventures Inc. are Thursday's highest fliers, soaring nearly fivefold on heavy volume after the mergers and acquisition company, focused on digital media and consumer brands, announced a merger deal with ZASH Global Media and Entertainment Corp. Vinco's stock, up 388.3% in morning trading, was the biggest gainer trading on major U.S. exchanges, and was on track for the highest close since July 2018. Trading volume exploded to 59.9 million shares, compared with the full-day average over the past 30 days of about 214,000 shares. ZASH aims to build a "virtual Hollywood," by providing its content partners with analytics and distribution technology to "ensure that consumer eyes are on their content at the right time in the right place." ZASH boasts that co-Founder Ted Farnsworth is the former chairman of MoviePass, while co-Founder Jaeson Ma was an early investor in Musical.ly (Tik Tok) and Triller video-sharing platforms. "The merger with ZASH and the resulting combined entity provides current and prospective business partners with the assurance of our ability to scale our production and creative services to meet their growing content creation and distribution needs," said Vinco Chief Strategy Officer Brian McFadden. Prior to Thursday's rocket ride, Vinco's stock had tumbled 35.6% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 had gained 15.7%.


Academy Sports eliminates COO role

MarketWatch - 19hr

Academy Sports & Outdoors Inc. said in a filing that it has eliminated the chief operating officer role "in order to create a more efficient operating structure and focus on key strategic priorities." The retailer's current COO, Kenneth Attaway, will leave the company, effective Jan. 29, 2021. Starting on that date, Michael Mullican, Academy's chief financial officer, and Sam Johnson, executive vice president of retail operations, will assume the duties previously held by the COO position. Academy Sports began trading in October 2020. Academy Sports stock has gained 50% over the last three months while the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 12% for the period.


Stocks rise at the open on stimulus, vaccine hopes

MarketWatch - 19hr

Stocks opened modestly higher Thursday after sweeping to a fresh set of records Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 24 points, 0.1%, to open near 31,217, while the S&P 500 was up 6 points, 0.2%, at about 3,858. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 64 points, 0.5%, to trade near 13,521. Wall Street expects the new presidential administration to deliver a fresh round of fiscal stimulus and a more muscular COVID-19 response, but corporate earnings and incoming economic data remain mixed. The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits ticked down in the most recent week, but remained sharply elevated, the Labor Department said Thursday. But builders broke ground on more new homes, a sign of strong demand and an economic growth engine itself.


Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 96.9 million; Biden to sign 10 executive orders to bolster pandemic management

MarketWatch - 19hr

The global tally for confirmed cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 climbed above 96.9 million on Thursday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose above 2.07 million. The U.S. has the highest case tally in the world at 24.4 million and the highest death toll at 406,162, or about a fifth of the global total. The U.S. added at least 184,453 new cases on Wednesday, according to a New York Times tracker , and counted at least 4,357 deaths. The U.S. has averaged 194,711 new cases a day in the past week. President Joe Biden, inaugurated on Wednesday, will sign 10 executive orders and other directives to overhaul the U.S. management of the crisis. The moves will expand testing, beef up vaccine administration, seek to improve racial equality, and reopen schools and businesses once it is deemed safe to do so. Biden will direct all relevant agencies, and will invoke the Defense Production Act, to accelerate the manufacturing and delivery of crucial personal protective equipment, including N95 masks, gowns, swabs, rapid test kits and all material needed to deliver vaccines. Brazil has the second highest death toll at 212,831 and is third by cases at 8.6 million. India is second worldwide in cases with 10.6 million, and third in deaths at 152,869. Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 144,371 and 13th highest case tally at 1.7 million. The U.K. has 3.5 million cases and 93,469 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world.


PayPal stock gains after BTIG upgrade

MarketWatch - 19hr

Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. are up 1.2% in premarket trading Thursday after BTIG analyst Mark Palmer upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, citing traction for the company's cryptocurrency platform. PayPal announced in October that it would start allowing users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin through the PayPal platform, and Palmer said that Paxos, a private company powering PayPal's crypto efforts, "has seen its trading volumes rise impressively in recent weeks." He expects that "the vast majority" of volume on Paxos's itBit crypto exchange reflects trades for PayPal customers, leading to his projection that crypto could add upwards of $1 billion to PayPal's annual revenues by 2022. "Much more importantly, the traction seen in itBit's rising crypto volumes bodes well for PYPL's active account growth and engagement," he wrote. PayPal also will be allowing customers to make online purchases using their cryptocurrency holdings, which Palmer said would represent a lower-cost funding mechanism for PayPal compared to when people use its service to fund online purchases with their credit cards. "The upshot is that the lower-cost funding associated with the use of crypto in funding merchant transactions could provide a boost to its take rate and margins," he wrote, while setting a $300 price target on the stock. PayPal shares are up 110% over the past 12 months as the S&P 500 has gained 16%.


Celsion stock rockets on heavy volume again; share sale agreement with LPC was terminated

MarketWatch - 20hr

Shares of Celsion Corp. shot up 85.1% toward a six-month high in very active premarket trading Thursday, putting the on track to more than double in two days, after the cancer drug development company disclosed that it terminated the share purchase agreement with Lincoln Park Capital (LPC). Trading volume swelled to 18.9 million shares, enough to make the stock the second-most active ahead of the open, and well above the full-day average of about 4.6 million shares. The stock had run up 40.0% on 38.7 million shares on Wednesday, after closing Tuesday at 91 cents. The stock purchase agreement, which was originally announced in September 2020, called for Celsion to sell to LPC up to $26 million worth of shares over 36 months. Since that agreement was announced, Celsion had sold $2.2 million worth of its common stock to LPC. The stock has more than doubled (up 116.5%) over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 12.1%.


Housing starts rise in December as builders ramp up production of single-family homes

MarketWatch - 20hr

U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.67 million in December, representing a 5.8% increase from the previous month's figure, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday. Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.71 million, up 4.5% from November. Both figures came in ahead of analysts' expectations, reflecting growth in the single-family sector.


American Eagle sees Q4 revenue decline, looks ahead to 2023 with new growth strategy

MarketWatch - 20hr

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. said early Thursday that it expects fourth-quarter revenue to drop in the low-single digits, with the Aerie brand up in the high-20% range but the namesake brand down in the low-double digits. The apparel and accessories retailer attributed the declines to a pandemic-related drop in store hours and traffic. The FactSet consensus is for revenue of $1.31 billion, suggesting a 0.1% decline year-over-year. American Eagle stock fell 3% in premarket trading. That business update and the unveiling of American Eagle's long-term growth strategy were announced ahead of the company's investor meeting, taking place on Thursday. The plan, called "Real Power. Real Growth," aims to double Aerie brand revenue to $2 billion by 2023, jumpstart the namesake brand's profit and sets a goal for a 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2023. American Eagle shares have rallied nearly 58% over the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 16% for the period.


Inovio's stock falls after it announces public offering

MarketWatch - 20hr

Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. were down 5.1% in premarket trading on Thursday, the day after the company announced a public offering of 17,700,000 shares at $8.50 per share. The stock closed Wednesday at $9.72. Inovio said it will use the proceeds to support its clinical pipeline, which includes ongoing development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is currently being tested in a mid-stage clinical trial, and general corporate expenses. The offering is expected to close Jan. 25. Inovio's stock has rallied 173.0% over the past year, while the S&P 500 is up 14.5%


Union Pacific tops profit and revenue expectations, stock slips

MarketWatch - 20hr

Shares of Union Pacific Corp. slipped 0.1% in premarket trading Thursday, after the railroad operator reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that topped Wall Street forecasts. Net income was $1.38 billion, or $2.05 a share, compared with $1.40 billion, or $2.02 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as a $278 million impairment charge, adjusted earnings per share came to $2.36, beating the FactSet consensus of $2.25. Revenue was down 1% to $5.14 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $5.10 billion. Bulk revenue rose 1% to $1.56 billion to top the FactSet consensus of $1.54 billion, industrial revenue fell 7% to $1.66 billion to exceed expectations of $1.64 billion and premium revenue grew 5% to $1.58 billion to match expectations. Among other metrics, quarterly freight car velocity improved 1% to 223 daily miles per car, while workforce productivity improved 18% to 1,032 car miles per employee. "While the economic outlook for 2021 remains uncertain, we will build off our solid 2020 performance to produce continued strong productivity through operational excellence," said Chief Executive Lance Fritz. The stock, which closed at a record $218.82 on Jan. 8, has tacked on 9.4% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has advanced 12.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 10.6%.


European Central Bank leaves rates, bond-buying program unchanged

MarketWatch - 21hr

The European Central Bank, as expected, made no changes to interest rates or its asset-buying program on Thursday after moving last month to bolster its efforts to support the eurozone economy. The ECB said its Governing Council left its deposit rate at negative 0.5% and its main refinancing rate at 0%. The central bank also affirmed it would maintain the "envelope" for its pandemic emergency purchase program at 1.85 trillion euros and would continue monthly purchases under the program until at least the end of March 2022. The ECB added that if "favorable financing conditions can be maintained with asset purchase flows that do not exhaust the envelope over the net purchase horizon of the PEPP, the envelope need not be used in full. Equally, the envelope can be recalibrated if required to maintain favorable financing conditions to help counter the negative pandemic shock to the path of inflation." The ECB also will continue its asset purchase program at a pace of 20 billion euros a month. ECB President Christine Lagarde will hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. Frankfurt time, or 8:30 a.m. Eastern.


FuelCell Energy stock extends pullback after wider-than-expected loss, while revenue beat forecasts

MarketWatch - 21hr

Shares of FuelCell Energy Inc. slumped 7.2% in premarket trading Thursday, to extend their pullback from a 2 1/2-year high, after the alternative energy and fuel cell technology company reported a wider-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter loss, although revenue rose above forecasts. The net loss for the quarter to Oct. 31 narrowed to $19.7 million, or 8 cents a share, from $36.0 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period, while the FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 4 cents. Revenue jumped 54% to $17.0 million, above the FactSet consensus of $16.0 million, as growth in service and license and advanced technologies contract revenue offset a decline in generation revenue. Backlog decreased 2.5% to $1.29 billion. "Based on the initial policy objectives outlined by the incoming White House administration, we expect clean energy and climate policies in the U.S. to begin to match the pace of advancement seen in other markets such as Europe and Asia, and to be favorable toward development of the growing hydrogen economy," said Chief Executive Jason Few. The stock fell 7.5% on Wednesday to close 12.4% since Jan. 13, when it closed at the highest price since June 2018. The stock has still skyrocketed 668.8% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 12.1%.


Southeastern Grocers set terms for its IPO, as selling shareholders look to raise up to $142.4 million

MarketWatch - 21hr

Southeastern Grocers Inc. set terms for its initial public offering, which could value the Florida-based food retailer at up to $694 million. The company said selling shareholders are offering 8.9 million shares in the IPO -- the company is not selling any shares -- which is expected to price between $14 and $16 a share, to raise up to $142.4 million. The stock is expected to list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "SEGR." BofA Securities and Goldman Sachs are the lead underwriters. The company expects 43.37 million shares will be outstanding after the IPO. The company estimates net income for the year ended Dec. 30 of $317 million to $424 million on revenue of $9.64 billion to $9.65 billion, after a net loss of $116.2 million on revenue of $8.28 billion in 2019. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has run up 28.8% over the past three months while the S&P 500 has gained 12.1%.


Boston Scientific to acquire Preventice Solutions for $925 million in cash, up to $300 million in potential milestone payments

MarketWatch - 21hr

Boston Scientific Inc. said Thursday it has agreed to acquire privately held Preventice Solutions Inc. for an upfront payment of $925 million and up to $300 million in potential milestone payments. The company has been an investor in Preventice since 2015 and currently owns a 22% state. Preventice, which provides mobile cardiac services, including ambulatory cardiac monitors, had sales of $158 million in 2020, up 30% from the year-earlier period. "Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality globally, accounting for nearly 17.9 million annual global deaths and highlighting the need for early detection and management for individuals who may be at risk of a cardiac event," Boston Scientific said in a statement. The deal is expected to close by mid-2021 and to be immaterial to adjusted earnings in the first year, to boost adjusted earnings by at least one cent in 2022 and to be increasingly accretive after that. "This acquisition will provide Boston Scientific with a foothold in the high-growth ambulatory electrocardiography space, which strongly complements our recent entrance into the implantable cardiac monitor market and will serve as an important component of our category leadership strategy in cardiac diagnostics and services -- a nearly $2B market anticipated to grow double digits annually," said Scott Olson, Boston Scientific senior vice president and president, Rhythm Management, in a statement. Shares were up 0.9% premarket, but have fallen 17% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.