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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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October 14, 2014
16:22 EDTGILDOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
The Wall Street averages were mixed after three of the U.S.'s largest banks reported on their quarterly results and Germany slashed its economic forecasts for this year and next. Following the mostly solid earnings reports from the banks and Dow member Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) investors appeared to breathe a sigh of relief and sent the averages higher in early trading. With oil prices falling almost 5% and settling at a recent low, the averages pared their gains and struggled in positive ground. Another late day slide ended with the averages mixed, as the Nasdaq led and the Dow lagged. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the International Energy Agency said in its monthly oil market report that world oil demand growth would be weaker than previously expected. Afterward, WTI crude oil futures fell 4.6% at $81.84, marking their biggest percentage drop since late 2012 and the lowest settlement for the benchmark in over two years. The National Federation of Independent Business' small business optimism index came in at 95.3, versus the consensus expectation for a 95.8 reading. In Europe, Germany's government cut its forecasts for gross domestic product growth to 1.2% in 2014 and 1.3% next year from its prior view of 1.8% growth this year and 2% in 2015. COMPANY NEWS: The first of America's big banks issued their quarterly reports, with JPMorgan's (JPM) headline earnings per share coming in below analystsí consensus estimate, Wells Fargo (WFC) reporting in-line earnings and improved credit quality and Citigroup (C) posting better than expected adjusted third quarter profit. Citi, which also announced plans to pull back from retail banking in eleven countries and said it will disband a legacy Banamex unit after an investigation uncovered illegal conduct, saw its stock fare the best among the three, rising $1.57, or 3.15%, to $51.47... Another Dow member, Johnson & Johnson, reported better than expected profits and revenues and raised its FY14 EPS outlook, but its stock slid $2.11, or 2.13%, to $97.01. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Domino's Pizza (DPZ), which rose $8.58, or 11.33%, to $84.30 after the pizza chain owner and franchisor reported better than expected third quarter earnings per share and revenue. Also higher was Skyworks (SWKS), which advanced $3.59, or 7.92%, to $48.91 after the supplier of chips to Apple (AAPL) raised its fourth quarter earnings per share outlook and revenue guidance. Among the noteworthy losers was Exactech (EXAC), which dropped $4.09, or 16.63%, to $20.50 after the company warned its Q3 income and revenue will likely miss its prior guidance. Also lower were shares of Gilead (GILD), which fell $4.26, or 4.2%, to $97.18 amid a number of developments. Competitor Johnson & Johnson said it would seek to make its own hepatitis C treatment accessible and "competitive," which some may have read as an indication of a potential price cut, and Ireland said it plans to close its "Irish Double" tax loophole, which currently benefits Gilead. INDEXES: The Dow slipped 5.88, or 0.04%, to 16,315.19, the Nasdaq rose 13.52, or 0.32%, to 4,227.17, and the S&P 500 added 2.96, or 0.16%, to 1,877.70.
16:00 EDTGILDOptions Update; October 14, 2014
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 40c to 39.11. Option volume leaders: AAPL TSLA TWTR AMZN GILD C JNJ AA NFLX PBR according to Track Data.
12:41 EDTABBV, GILDGilead retreats following Johnson & Johnson comments on HCV drug
Shares of Gilead (GILD), which has developed a hepatitis C treatment, are retreating after Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said it would seek to make its own hepatitis C treatment accessible and competitive. Some investors believe that Johnson & Johnson's comments suggest that it will cut the price of its hepatitis C drug. WHAT'S NEW: Johnson & Johnson said on its earnings conference call today that it was "committed" to its treatment for hepatitis C virus, or HCV. The company added that it intends to remain competitive in the space and would look to make its HCV treatment, Olysio, accessible. In a separate development today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Abbvie (ABBV), which also has an HCV treatment, may have to consider pricing its HCV drug more aggressively after Gilead received FDA approval for Harvoni, the first combination pill approved to treat chronic HCV genotype 1 infection. One analyst quoted by The Journal, Roger Longman, said that AbbVie should consider pricing its drug at $76,000 for a 12 week regimen, representing a 20% discount to Harvoni, which will be priced at $94,500 for a full 12 week regimen. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today, RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee wrote that the weakness in Gilead's stock today has created a buying opportunity. Johnson & Johnson probably can't reduce the price of its Olysio drug much, since it is often used in combination with Gilead's Sovaldi, which costs $84,000 for 12 weeks, RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee wrote in a note to investors today. The price of AbbVie's treatment is unlikely to be much below Sovaldi's price, the analyst stated. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Gilead, along with a number of other drug companies, may also be under pressure because Ireland is reportedly closing its "Irish Double" tax loophole. Gilead is one of the companies that currently benefits from the "Irish Double," but Yee says that closing the loophole should only have a "minimal" impact on Gilead. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Gilead fell 3.3% to $98.10, AbbVie gained 1.7% to $54.53 and Johnson & Johnson lost 0.6% to $98.52.
11:52 EDTGILDStocks with call strike movement; APC GILD
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11:23 EDTMRKBIND Therapeutics and The Conference Forum hold a conference
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11:10 EDTGILDGilead weakness today overdone, says Deutsche Bank
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10:51 EDTGILD, ABBVGilead weakness a buying opportunity, says RBC Capital
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10:41 EDTGILDGilead weakness a buying opportunity, says RBC Capital
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10:11 EDTGILDGilead volatility increases on wide price movement
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10:05 EDTABBV, GILDAbbVie could cause Hep C price tipping point with aggressive pricing, WSJ says
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09:37 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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09:14 EDTGILDJ&J sees FY14 pre-tax operating margin significantly improved vs. FY13
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October 13, 2014
16:02 EDTGILDOptions Update; October 13, 2014
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 3.71 to 39.56. Option volume leaders: AAPL TSLA TWTR AMZN FB NFLX SUNE GILD BAC PBR according to Track Data.
09:56 EDTGILDBernstein biotech analyst to hold an analyst/industry conference call
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09:23 EDTABBVAbbVie's Humira for hidradenitis suppurativa meets Phase 3 trial endpoint
AbbVie announced new results from PIONEER II, a pivotal Phase 3 study, demonstrating the effect of Humira in reducing common clinical signs and symptoms in moderate-to-severe hidradenitis suppurativa, specifically the number of abscesses and inflammatory nodules. The results of this study, in combination with previously presented results from PIONEER I, will contribute to worldwide regulatory filings for an expanded use of Humira, which is not currently approved by regulatory authorities for the treatment of HS.
08:36 EDTGILDGilead HARVONI launch should be strong, says BMO Capital
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07:56 EDTGILDGilead Harvoni pricing 'very reasonable,' says RBC Capital
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07:39 EDTABBV, GILDPharmaceutical Care Management Association to hold annual meeting
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07:37 EDTMRK, ABBVAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists to hold annual meeting
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06:07 EDTACHNStocks with implied volatility above IV index mean; AVP ACHN
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