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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
12:13 EDTACHN, GILD, ABBV, IDIX, MRKAchillion surges after FDA lifts hold, buyout speculation continues
Shares of hepatitis C treatment maker Achillion (ACHN) are rising dramatically for a second day after Merck (MRK) yesterday announced that it would acquire another company in the space. Meanwhile, Achillion announced today that it had received favorable news from the FDA about resuming certain clinical trials and added that it had begun a Phase I trial of one of its hepatitis C, or HCV, treatments, ACH-3422. WHAT'S NEW: Achillion is rallying for a second straight day after Merck announced that it had acquired Idenix (IDIX). Like Achillion, Idenix is a smaller company that has developed HCV treatments and, also like Idenix, one of Achillion's HCV treatments is a nucleotide. Achillion earlier today announced that the FDA had removed its clinical hold on sovaprevir. As a result of the FDA's decision, Achillion will be able to conduct clinical trials of the drug, the company stated. The FDA placed a hold on the drug last year after a number of patients developed elevated liver enzymes while taking it. Also today, Achillion announced that it had begun dosing patients with ACH-3422 in a Phase I clinical trial. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today Edward Tenthoff, an analyst at research firm PiperJaffray, wrote that today's news positions Achillion as a takeover target. Additionally, the company could develop a nucleotide HCV treatment that is competitive with Gilead's successful Sovaldi, Tenthoff wrote. However, Tenthoff believes that potential buyers of Achillion may wait for more data on its products to be unveiled later this year before looking to bid. The analyst kept a Neutral rating on the stock. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Gilead and AbbVie (ABBV), whose stocks fell yesterday after Merck announced its acquisition, were defended today by RBC Capital and BMO Capital, respectively. RBC Capital expects sales of Gilead's Sovaldi to come in well above consensus estimates for 2015, potentially enabling the company's EPS to reach $8-$10. The market expects the sales of all HCV treatments to drop significantly in 2016, but the firm does not agree with this outlook and kept an Outperform rating on Gilead. Meanwhile, BMO Capital defended AbbVie. BMO still believes that the size and durability of the HCV market and AbbVie's franchise are underappreciated. The firm sees Merck as a significant competitor in HCV, but added that the potential of the assets it acquired from Idenix is "uncertain and somewhat risky." BMO kept an Outperform rating on AbbVie and continued to identify it as a top pick. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Achillion surged 54% to $6.54. The stock had advanced more than 47% yesterday. Also near noon, Gilead rose 0.7% to $79.54, while Abbvie fell 0.9% to $53.38.
News For ACHN;GILD;ABBV;IDIX;MRK From The Last 14 Days
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July 21, 2014
06:10 EDTABBVStocks with implied volatility movement; ABBV JOY
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July 20, 2014
12:46 EDTGILDGilead drug cocktail helps treat HIV/HCV-coinfected patients, JAMA says
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July 18, 2014
18:04 EDTABBVAbbVie purchase of Shire worth the premium, Barron's reports
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16:47 EDTABBVMarket ends week higher as earnings, M&A offset geopolitical tensions
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13:46 EDTABBVAbbVie price target raised to $85 from $71 at Jefferies
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10:34 EDTABBVShire downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Shire (SHPG) is being acquired by AbbVie (ABBV).
10:30 EDTABBVAbbVie says can't back out of Shire deal based on tax law change, Bloomberg says
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09:29 EDTABBVAbbVie, Shire says merger should help in enhanced buyback and dividend programs
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05:17 EDTABBVAbbVie, Shire agree on merger worth GBP32B pounds
The boards of AbbVie (ABBV) and Shire (SHPG) announced that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended combination of Shire with AbbVie. Under the terms of the Merger, Shire shareholders will be entitled to receive per share GBP 24.44 in cash and 0.8960 new AbbVie shares. Immediately following the transaction, Shire shareholders are expected to hold new AbbVie Shares representing approximately 25% of the issued share capital of new AbbVie. AbbVie expects the transaction to be accretive to adjusted earnings per share in the first year following completion, growing to above $1.00 per share by 2020, with "material ongoing financial and operating benefits." The AbbVie board also expects the transaction to reduce New AbbVie's effective tax rate to approximately 13% by 2016. The Shire board said it "considers the terms of the Transaction to be fair and reasonable." In order to undertake the transaction, AbbVie has formed a new company, New AbbVie, which is incorporated in Jersey, Shire's current place of incorporation. Following completion of the Transaction, New AbbVie will become the holding company of the Shire Group and the AbbVie Group. It is intended that the New AbbVie Shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
05:12 EDTABBVAbbVie to acquire Shire for 52.48 pounds per share in cash, stock
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July 17, 2014
12:56 EDTABBVAbbVie set to announce GBP 31B deal to buy Shire, FT says
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12:54 EDTABBVAbbVie set to announce GBP 31B deal to buy Shire, FT says
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11:12 EDTIDIXOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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05:53 EDTABBVStocks with implied volatility movement; HLF ABBV
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Herbalife (HLF) 52, AbbVie (ABBV) 30 according to iVolatility.
July 16, 2014
11:57 EDTGILDStocks with call strike movement; GILD YHOO
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07:59 EDTABBVTreasury Secretary urges Congress to take action on tax inversions
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06:26 EDTMRKBristol-Myers lung cancer trials being underestimated, says Citigroup
After building a statistical model of Bristol-Myers' two critical registration trials for Opdivo in lung cancer, Citigroup believes the market is "materially" underestimating both Phase III trials. Citi says potential Opdivo FDA approval in 2015 in lung cancer would give Bristol-Myers an up to two year lead time versus Merck (MRK) and Roche (RHHBY). The firm estimates 2023 Opdivo revenue at $7B and reiterates a Buy rating on Bristol with a $60 price target.
July 15, 2014
11:13 EDTMRKPerrigo retreats after analyst sees limited potential buyers
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08:11 EDTMRKMerck looks to revive livestock drug Zilmax, WSJ says
Merck has been preparing to conduct a large-scale study this summer to evaluate the safety of its Zilmax feed additive, which the company pulled from the U.S. market last year over concerns in the beef industry that the drug made it difficult for some animals to walk, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reference Link
07:35 EDTMRKPerrigo potential buyers list could be limited, says Jefferies
After Globes reported that Perrigo retained an investment bank to assist with a potential merger, Jefferies says the list of potential buyers could be limited since the store brand business is fundamentally a high volume, lower margin model. The firm notes U.S. companies that currently do not have large over-the-counter divisions include Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY) and Merck (MRK). Jefferies views the merger speculation surrounding Perrigo as not surprising given the company's strong long-term fundamentals and attractive Irish domicile. It has a Buy rating on the stock with a $160 price target.
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