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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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August 26, 2014
08:01 EDTMRKPfizer, Merck to collaborate on study evaluating anti-cancer combination regimen
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06:05 EDTGILDStocks with implied volatility movement; MCP GILD
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August 25, 2014
16:13 EDTMRK, ACHNOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks began the session in positive territory and proceeded to tack on gains throughout the morning. Despite a disappointing report on new home sales in July, the S&P surpassed the 2,000 level for the first time before noon. The market pared its gains shortly after the milestone was reached and drifted for the remainder of the session on light volume, as trading activity may be restrained all week ahead of the Labor Day weekend. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago Fed's National Activity index jumped to 0.39 in July from an upwardly revised 0.21 in June. Markit's preliminary August services PMI came in at 58.5, which was down from a prior reading of 60.8 but above the 58.0 consensus projection. New home sales dropped 2.4% to a 412K rate in July, missing expectations for them to have risen to a 430K annualized rate. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of InterMune (ITMN) surged $19.05, or 35.41%, to $72.85 after the company agreed to be acquired by Roche (RHHBY) for $74.00 per share in an all-cash transaction. The deal announcement comes less than two weeks after Bloomberg reported that Roche, along with big pharma peers Sanofi (SNY) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), had made takeover bids for the smaller drugmaker. A number of other biotech companies gained following the deal announcement, including bigger names like Gilead (GILD) and Celgene (CELG) and smaller ones such as Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) and Receptos (RCPT)... Burger King (BKW) shares rose $5.29, or 19.51%, to $32.40 after the company confirmed it is in talks regarding a potential strategic transaction with Canadian donut chain Tim Hortons (THI). Shares of Tim Horton's trading in New York also gained $11.88, or 18.91%, to $74.72 following the confirmation of news first reported by The Wall Street Journal. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the other notable gainers was Advaxis (ADXS), which advanced 75c, or 23.08%, to $4.00 after announcing it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration agreement with Merck (MRK). Also rising were shares of Comtech (CMTL), which jumped $1.70, or 4.84%, to $36.81 after Reuters said the company is working with Citigroup to explore a potential sale. Among the noteworthy losers was Chinese internet and software company Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU), which fell $7.88, or 7.74%, to $93.87 despite reporting second quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts' estimates. Also lower were shares of GrubHub (GRUB), which fell $3.60, or 8.42%, to $39.16 after filing to sell 10M shares of common stock. INDEXES: The Dow gained 75.65, or 0.44%, to 17,076.87, the Nasdaq rose 18.80, or 0.41%, to 4,557.35, and the S&P 500 advanced 9.54, or 0.48%, to 1,997.94.
16:00 EDTGILDOptions Update; August 25, 2014
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12:19 EDTGILDOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:40 EDTGILDBiotechs rise after InterMune acquired by Roche
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09:35 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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09:11 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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06:11 EDTGILDStocks with implied volatility movement; FOLD GILD
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD) 87, Gilead (GILD) 25 according to iVolatility.
05:17 EDTMRKAdvaxis, Merck enter clinical trial collaboration agreement
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August 22, 2014
11:17 EDTGILDOptions Update; August 22, 2014
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09:36 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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August 21, 2014
15:16 EDTABBVDEA restricts painkiller drug prescriptions to curb abuse, WSJ reports
The Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, will reclassify hydrocodone combination painkiller drugs and place them in the category of medical substances that have the highest potential for harm in an attempt to curb the widespread abuse of the drugs, according to The Wall Street Journal. The rescheduling of the drugs will take effect in 45 days and result in people being able to obtain the drug for only 90 days without obtaining a new prescription. Major manufacturers of these drugs include Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), Mallinckrodt (MNK), AbbVie (ABBV), and Actavis (ACT). Reference Link
07:57 EDTGILD, ABBVGilead HCV risks overblown, says Bernstein
Bernstein believes that investors are concerned about upcoming competition to Gilead's (GILD) HCV drug from AbbVie's (ABBV) HCV treatment. But Bernstein says that insurers can only prevent 16% of the U.S. population from receiving Gilead's drug, and the firm does not expect the HCV market share dynamics to change in the near-term. It keeps an Outperform rating on Gilead.
August 20, 2014
17:29 EDTACHNRA Capital reduces stake in Achillion to 21.1% from 23.2%
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11:42 EDTACHNOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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August 19, 2014
16:07 EDTACHNAchillion granted U.S. patent for ACH-3102, structurally related NS5A inhibitors
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16:00 EDTGILDOptions Update; August 19, 2014eBay
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 28c to 27.52. Option volume leaders: AAPL C HD PBR GILD AA NFLX TWTR TSLA EBAY according to Track Data.
10:42 EDTACHNOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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09:38 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: AAPL GILD TSLA CELG VLO VZ FB HD
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