Why Globalstar, Unisys, and Allied World Assurance Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger Markets Fool.com

The stock market bounced back on Monday, regaining lost ground from Friday's session to finish higher. Major market benchmarks were generally higher between 0.2% and 0.4%, as bond yields fell while oil and gold prices stayed in a relatively tight range. Yet even on what seemed like a quiet day of pre-holiday trading, some stocks posted some impressive gains, and Globalstar (NYSEMKT: GSAT), Unisys (NYSE: UIS), and Allied World Assurance (NYSE: AWH) were among the best performers on the day. Let's look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

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Image source: Globalstar.

Globalstar goes into orbit

Globalstar jumped 29% on renewed hope that the mobile satellite voice and data services provider might get approval from the Federal Communications Commission in its efforts to expand its services to include mobile broadband. In a statement released late Friday, Globalstar said that the FCC's staff had drafted a new proposed order for the regulatory agency's commissioners to consider. Previously, the FCC had been reluctant to approve Globalstar's previous request, with some citing concerns about potential interference to other spectrum users while others seemed to object to the company-specific nature of the request. Political uncertainty in the wake of the presidential transition could complicate the FCC's decision-making process, but Globalstar investors are a lot more optimistic now than they were earlier prior to the company's announcement.

Unisys cuts some costs

Unisys climbed 8% after announcing that it had successfully completed a lump-sum offer to buy out former workers that were eligible for deferred pension plan benefits. According to the global information technology company, about 5,800 workers accepted the lump-sum payment, reducing the number of plan participants by about 8% and eliminating some uncertainty with respect to future obligations to those workers. Unisys will pay out about $216 million as a result of the offer, and in addition to providing more certainty, the company also believes that the reduced obligations going forward will cut plan costs and pension insurance premiums. At a time when many companies are looking at their future obligations, what Unisys did is something investors can expect to see elsewhere in the industry.

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Allied World gets a buyout bid

Finally, Allied World Assurance soared 13%. The insurance and reinsurance provider received an offer from Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial (NASDAQOTH: FRFHF) worth $54 per share, including $10 in cash and $44 in Fairfax stock. The companies said that Allied World's global reach will complement Fairfax's exposure well, and both CEOs praised the other's success in building strong players in the space. Under the terms of the deal, $14 of the stock portion of the offer will be fixed at 0.030392 shares of Fairfax for every Allied share. The stock representing the remaining $30 will be based on the closing price of Fairfax stock during the 20-day period immediately prior to closing, with minimum and maximum price points to ensure some protection from potential volatility. Fairfax also has the option to pay cash instead of stock for the remaining $30 at its discretion. Fairfax shares fell on the news, but consolidation in the industry should help insurers across the sector in the long run.

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