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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 11, 2014
16:46 EDTVZ, AA, LO, AMZN, PETM, WFC, SHPG, ECOM, SLXP, RAI, ABBVStocks end week lower on European, Fed concerns
Stocks finished the week lower as problems experienced by a Portuguese bank and a statement by the Fed worried investors. MACRO NEWS: The shares of Portugal's largest bank, Banco Espirito Santo, plunged yesterday after its parent company reportedly missed a debt payment and was accused of accounting irregularities. The news triggered fresh fears about Europe's financial stability. However, Portugal's central bank today said that Banco Espirito's funds are undoubtedly secure... The Fed was concerned that investors may not be adequately factoring in uncertainty about the outlook for the economy and monetary policy, minutes of the central bank's last meeting indicated. The central bank also indicated that it would likely end the tapering of its asset purchases in October... On a positive note, fewer new jobless claims than expected were filed last week. Additionally, Chinese inflation for June came in slightly below expectations, leading to speculation that Beijing would be able to implement additional stimulus measures. COMPANY NEWS: Earnings season kicked off, with Alcoa (AA) reporting stronger than expected results. Wells Fargo (WFC) became the first large bank to report results this earnings season. Its revenue surpassed expectations but its profits were in-line with the consensus estimate... In M&A news, AbbVie (ABBV) raised its takeover bid for U.K.-based Shire by 11% to over $51B in cash and stock. Another drug company, Salix (SLXP), announced that it would merge with its U.K.-based peer, Cosmo Technologies. The deal is expected to lower Salix's effective long-term tax rate from a high 30% level to a low 20% level. In the tobacco sector, Lorillard (LO) and Reynolds American (RAI) confirmed earlier today that they are holding talks about a possible merger, as has been speculated by various media reports in recent weeks... Longview Asset Management announced that it had obtained a 9% stake in pet supplies and services retailer PetSmart (PETM) and recommended that the retailer engage advisors for the purpose of exploring a potential sale and "other strategic alternatives," as had been suggested by another large investor in the stock, Jana Partners... Verizon (VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam said in an interview on CNBC that his company had added over 1.4M postpaid subscribers in Q2, with "record" tablet growth and "very strong" smartphone growth... Consulting firm ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) reported that Amazon's (AMZN) same-store sales growth had accelerated significantly in June compared with May. INDEXES: This week, the Dow fell 0.73% to 16,943.81, the Nasdaq fell 1.57% to 4,415.49, and the S&P 500 fell 0.9% to 1,967.51.
News For ABBV;SHPG;LO;RAI;WFC;AA;SLXP;PETM;VZ;ECOM;AMZN From The Last 14 Days
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February 22, 2015
16:07 EDTSLXPValeant confirms acquiring Salix for $158 per share
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) and Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Valeant will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Salix for $158 per share in cash, or a total enterprise value of approximately $14.5B. The transaction was approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. Salix Pharmaceuticals is a widely recognized gastrointestinal market leader with a portfolio of 22 total products, including well-known prescription brands Xifaxan, Uceris, Relistor, and Apriso, as well as a strong near- term pipeline of innovative, new assets. "Salix's market-leading gastrointestinal franchise is an ideal strategic fit for Valeant's diversified portfolio of specialty products," said J. Michael Pearson, Valeant's chairman and CEO. "The growing GI market has attractive fundamentals, and Salix has a portfolio of terrific products that are outpacing the market in terms of volume growth and a promising near-term pipeline of innovative products. With strong brand recognition among specialist GI prescribers, a highly rated specialty sales force, and a significant product and commercial presence across the undertreated and underserved gastrointestinal market, this acquisition offers a compelling opportunity for Valeant to create a strong platform for growth and business development." The combination is expected to yield greater than $500M in annual cost savings from the cost base of the combined company. Synergies are expected to be achieved within six months of close, primarily from reductions in corporate overhead and R&D rationalization, with the cost to achieve these synergies to be approximately 65%. Valeant and Salix will determine how best to integrate the two companies to leverage the combined strengths of both while ensuring a smooth and orderly transition. Consistent with Valeant's approach to integrating Bausch + Lomb, there are no planned reductions to Salix's highly rated specialty sales forces or hospital, key account and field reimbursement teams and we will determine the optimal size of Primary Care Sales Force through the integration process.The acquisition is structured as an all-cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Salix common stock at a price of $158 per share followed by a merger in which each remaining untendered share of Salix common stock would be converted into the right to receive the same $158 cash per share consideration as in the tender offer. The all-cash offer will be financed through a combination of bank debt and bonds. As a result of the need to draw down inventories, EBITDA will be artificially low in 2014 and 2015, resulting in the initial net leverage ratio of approximately 5.6. Valeant is committed to reducing its net leverage ratio to be below 4.0 by the second half of 2016. As a result of the plan to reduce wholesaler inventory levels in 2015, the transaction is expected to be modestly accretive to 2015 cash EPS, but over 20% accretive to 2016 cash EPS. Valeant does not expect any change to its credit ratings as a result of the transaction. The transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
15:59 EDTSLXP, SHPGValeant to buy Salix for $10.1B, FT says
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February 20, 2015
16:03 EDTAMZNOptions Update; February 20, 2015
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13:56 EDTVZAT&T VP critical of Dish auction tactics
AT&T (T) VP of Federal Regulatory Joan Marsh stated in a post to a corporate blog that FCC Auction 97 represents "hard evidence that there is significant continuing interest in licensed spectrum... It didn't matter that it was mid-band spectrum. It mattered only that it was broadband spectrum." Marsh notes that Dish (DISH) won more licenses than any other bidder though "none of that spectrum is currently supporting commercial wireless services," with her suggestion being that "auctions should be designed to ensure that licenses go to those willing to deploy networks Ė not speculators or stockpilers...The government should continue to place a high priority on allocating new licensed bands to the wireless industry." Marsh continues her analysis of Dish, claiming the double and triple-bidding activity carried out by its two designated entities "circumvented auction activity rules, masked actual demand and distorted the auction," as they were able to win significant allocations while enjoying a 25% small business discount. In response to Dish claims that all companies use DEs, Marsh replies that "in more recent auctions... bidders like AT&T, Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) had no DE relationships, participated directly and paid full price for their licenses." Reference Link
10:49 EDTLOOptions with increasing implied volatility: LO TLM
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10:33 EDTABBVBattleground update: AbbVie named top global pick at Jefferies
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09:45 EDTSLXPValeant near deal to acquire Salix, CNBC's Faber reports
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09:43 EDTSLXPValeant nearing deal to acquire Salix, CNBC's Faber reports
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09:38 EDTAMZNActive equity options trading on open
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07:23 EDTABBVAbbVie replaces Pfizer as top global pharma pick at Jefferies
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07:10 EDTAMZNBrean Capital to hold a bus tour
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07:08 EDTSLXP, SHPGAmerican Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology to hold annual meeting
2015 Annual Meeting of AAAAI is being held in Houston, Texas on February 20-24.
06:04 EDTAMZNAmazon expands two-hour delivery program to Brooklyn, Re/code says
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February 19, 2015
14:16 EDTLOLorillard increases dividend 7% to 66c
Lorillard announced that its board approved a 7% increase in the quarterly dividend on its common stock to 66c from 61.5c per share. The dividend is payable on March 10 to stockholders of record as of March 2.
12:13 EDTABBVAbbVie increases quarterly dividend 4% to 51c per share
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10:16 EDTAMZNAmazon advances after Munster says margin could jump
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07:17 EDTAMZNMaxim to hold a bus tour
Internet/Tech Bus Tour travels throughout Seattle, Washington to various with various industry companies on February 19.
06:47 EDTWFCReport shows subprime consumer loans at pre-2007 levels, WSJ says
Equifax (EFX) has released a report stating nearly 40%, or 50M, of auto loans, credit cards, and personal loans during the first 11 months of 2014 were made to subprime customers, the highest levels since the 2007 financial crisis, reports the Wall Street Journal. LendingTree (TREE) Chief Marketing Officer Gabriel Dalporto attributes the growth to nonbank lenders under less regulatory scrutiny than large banks. Publicly traded companies in the space include Bank of America (BAC), Citi (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Reference Link
06:24 EDTVZVerizon names John Stratton as head of wireless and wireline operations
Verizon said in a filing that on February 17, the company reorganized its operating structure. John G. Stratton, formerly Verizonís EVP and President Ė Global Enterprise and Consumer Wireline, has been appointed to a new role as EVP and President of Operations, with operational responsibility for Verizonís wireless and wireline businesses. Stratton will continue to report to Lowell C. McAdam, Chairman and CEO of Verizon. Daniel S. Mead, formerly Verizonís EVP and President and CEOĖ Verizon Wireless, has been appointed to a new role as EVP and President of Strategic Initiatives, with responsibility for directing the transfer of Verizonís wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications Corporation. Mead will continue to report to McAdam. Mead expects to retire following the completion of the strategic initiatives on which he is working.
05:47 EDTAMZNAmazon.com price target raised to $475 from $420 at Piper Jaffray
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