Industry Week in Review – February 25, 2011
Stocks experienced their worst week since November as the Dow fell 2.1%, the S&P 500 1.7%, and NASDAQ 1.9. Events in Libya dominated the news as mass protests and demonstrations broke out across the country against Muammar al-Gaddafi’s government, which has been in place for over 40 years, since Gaddafi’s rise to power in 1969 through a military coup. Discrimination and oppression were two of the main causes for the uprising, as experts have stated that throughout his time in power, Gaddafi has favored tribes around Tripoli, at the expense of the eastern regions where much of the country’s oil resources are located.
The rebellions in Libya are the most recent in a line of protests that have occurred in northern Africa, however, Libya is the first oil exporting nation to be affected by the unrest sweeping across the Arab world. Oil prices climbed above $100 a barrel for the first time since October 2008, as analysts and investors worry that the violence and chaos could spread to bigger oil exporting neighbors, such as Saudi Arabia.
In other news, Afghanistan appealed to the U.S. on Wednesday to provide security assistance beyond the 2014 timeframe that President Obama wants to withdraw troops, and on Thursday the U.S. Air Force awarded the first part of a $35 billion contract for aerial fueling tankers to Boeing, over EADS and their Airbus plane. Pentagon officials said the Boeing bid was more than one percent lower than the EADS bid; EADS, who contended its plane was bigger and better, has 10 days to decide whether to protest the decision.
This week’s big movers:
- Force Protection Inc. (Down 11.5%)
- Ceradyne Inc. (Up 9.9%)
- Hexcel Corp. (Down 10.6%): Shares fell for the week following the broader market trend
- ICF International, Inc. (Down 10.5%)
- VSE Corp. (Down 13.1%)
- Unisys Corp. (Down 10.4%)
- Lockheed Martin announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Pacific Architects and Engineers Incorporated (“PAE”) business to Lindsay Goldberg, LLC.
- Cobham announced on Tuesday that it has completed the divestiture of ERA Technology Ltd. to Phoenix Equity Partners
- Harris announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Carefx Corporation
- Blackland Group, LLC announced on Sunday that is has acquired Kessington Machine Products, Inc.