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Merger Mania: Examining the Latest M&A News & Trends | Free Lunch

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On today’s episode of Free Lunch, Associate Stock Strategist Ryan McQueeney breaks down the latest merger & acquisition news involving Comcast and Sky, Pandora and Sirius XM, and Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources.

He also highlights an interesting new marijuana play from biotech DNA expert Intrexon. Later, he discusses recent M&A trends and data.

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Free Lunch is the newest show from Zacks Investment Research. It is streamed live, four times per week, and features breaking news and analysis from Zacks strategists. Free Lunch is available on YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, Ustream, and more.

It was a classic “Merger Monday” on Wall Street this morning, but before diving into that, Ryan put the spotlight on other important headlines. First, he touched on the breaking news out of Washington D.C. and the uncertainty facing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, ultimately suggesting that investors keep an eye on the story as it develops to see if Wall Street reacts in a certain way.

The Free Lunch host also chatted about DNA-focused biotech firm Intrexon XON, which today announced that it had made meaningful progress in developing a low-cost microbial platform to produce cannabinoids for medical use. Shares of the company soared in morning trading Monday as investors clearly approved of its decision to explore cannabinoid development.

But the big story for global investors Monday was the number of large-scale deals being made across multiple industries.

First, Comcast (CMCSA - Free Report) emerged as the winner in its bidding war with 21st Century Fox (FOXA - Free Report) for majority control of British media giant Sky Communications. Comcast is apparently acquiring Sky for about $22.65 per share, bringing the deal’s total above $40 billion.

Sky and its 23 million subscribers clearly offer Comcast a strong foothold in Europe, but perhaps the more important factor here is how this will influence Disney’s (DIS - Free Report) pending deal to acquire many of Fox’s existing assets. Fox currently holds a minority stake in Sky.

Elsewhere, Sirius XM (SIRI - Free Report) today announced the purchase of internet radio pioneer Pandora (P - Free Report) . The pairing makes sense as Sirius XM attempts to keep pace with a shift to online music and audio content, and the satellite radio company is getting Pandora at less than its IPO price of $16.

Still, Pandora has been lapped by Spotify SPOT and Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and it has struggled to generate profits in the seven years since it went public. Sirius is well off its all-time peaks of the early 2000s, but the company is near five-year highs and could be ready to evolve once again.

Also in M&A news today was the merger of mining rivals Barrick Gold (ABX - Free Report) and Randgold Resources (GOLD - Free Report) . The fusion will take place via an all-stock swap which will see Barrick shareholders remain the majority owner of the new entity. The deal is worth more than $18 billion.

Ryan recaps all of these new M&A deals and provides viewers with the key facts. Later, he takes a step back and looks at broader trends in the M&A market.

Notably, Ryan explores how the top four tech startup buyers—Apple, Facebook (FB - Free Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , and Google (GOOGL - Free Report) —have spent their money after a record-breaking 2017 for this segment of the market.

The host also highlights the telecom-media trend which has seen new fusions in the sector, evidenced by the mega-merger of AT&T (T - Free Report) and Time Warner.

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