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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
12:22 EDTIDIX, SGMS, AGN, FRAN, MRK, ACHN, IGT, RSH, VRXOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, threatening to break their recent winning streak. The market has steadily moved higher over the past week and has seen the Dow and S&P move to all-time highs, albeit on very light volume. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in April, with sales up 1.3%, which were both better than forecast. The JOLTS report showed job openings climbed 289K to 4.46M in April. In China, official data showed an index of consumer prices rose 2.5% year-on-year in May, while China's producer price index contracted 1.4% during the month. COMPANY NEWS: Allergan (AGN) once again rejected the takeover proposal being made by Valeant (VRX) in partnership with hedge fund Pershing Square, saying that their upwardly revised bid still "substantially undervalues the company, creates significant risks and uncertainties for the stockholders of Allergan, and is not in the best interests of the company and its stockholders." Allergan said in a letter to Valeant that it publicly disclosed that the Allergan board has "serious concerns" about the large stock component of the proposal and that the latest Valeant proposal does not warrant discussions between the companies. Following the latest twist in this ongoing story, shares of Allergan were fractionally lower, while Valeant was down a bit over 1%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Achillion (ACHN), which rose another 54% near noon after having gained 47% yesterday. This morning JMP Securities upgraded Achillion following Merck's (MRK) acquisition of Idenix (IDIX) yesterday, while Piper Jaffray became the latest Street research firm to say it believes Achillion is positioned as an acquisition target. Also, Achillion announced that the FDA has removed the clinical hold on sovaprevir, an NS3/4A protease inhibitor, to permit the conduct of trials in patients with HCV. Also higher for a second straight session was Scientific Games (SGMS), which rose nearly 13% after the company announced the appointment of a new President and CEO. The company's shares had risen yesterday after Reuters said another company in the same space, International Game Technology (IGT), was exploring a sale and has attracted interest from rival gaming companies and private equity firms. Among the noteworthy losers was apparel, jewelry, and accessories retailer Francesca’s (FRAN), which sunk more than 13% after the company's first quarter quarter results fell short of analysts' consensus estimates and it cut its fiscal 2014 outlook. Also lower following its own earnings report was RadioShack (RSH), which declined over 9% after reporting a Q1 loss that exceeded analyst's expectations and warning that it may need to borrow additional funds or raise capital if the current trend in its operating results continues or further declines. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 14.18, or 0.08%, to 16,928.92, the Nasdaq was down 6.62, or 0.15%, to 4,329.62, and the S&P 500 was down 3.39, or 0.17%, to 1,947.88.
News For AGN;VRX;ACHN;SGMS;RSH;MRK;IDIX;IGT;FRAN From The Last 14 Days
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June 19, 2015
16:24 EDTAGNStocks end week higher after Fed reassures on gradual pace of rate increases
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June 17, 2015
17:19 EDTAGNOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
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17:00 EDTMRKOncoSec CEO expects 'to be in a better position to attract a strategic partner'
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12:23 EDTAGNOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
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11:41 EDTVRXSynergy an 'attractive takeout target' after data, says Cantor
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10:44 EDTAGN, VRXSynergy a potential takeover target after constipation drug data
The shares of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) are rallying after the company announced that its chronic constipation treatment had met its primary endpoint in a Phase 3 clinical trial. Research firm Canaccord has previously identified Synergy as a potential takeover target and a Bloomberg report said the company had hired advisers to explor a potential sale. WHAT'S NEW: Synergy reported this morning that the 3 mg and 6 mg versions of its anti-constipation drug, plecanatide, had met their primary endpoint in a Phase III trial. Specifically, a statistically significant percentage of patients taking both versions of the drugs responded favorably, based on criteria that the FDA uses to determine approval of chronic constipation treatments, the company stated. Plecanatide was safe and well tolerated at both dose, and the results were positive, the company reported. "These results strengthen our belief that plecanatide has the potential to not only effectively treat constipation but with a durability and tolerability profile that is ideal for chronic use," said Synergy CEO Gary Jacob. "We look forward to the results of our second pivotal trial in the coming weeks," he added. WHAT'S NOTABLE: In a note to investors on May 22, Canaccord analyst Corey Davis initiated coverage of Synergy with a Buy rating. There is "a high likelihood" that data from the company's four Phase III trials due to be conducted over the next year will be positive and the company would be an attractive takeover target if its Phase III data is positive, Jacobs wrote. The analyst placed an $11 price target on the shares. Meanwhile, in March, Bloomberg reported that Synergy was talking to advisers about potentially selling the company after its competitor, Salix Pharmaceuticals, had agreed to be acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX). After the company reported the trial results today, its CEO told Bloomberg that "all options are on the table." IRONWOOD: The shares of Ironwood (IRWD), whose Linzess drug also treats chronic constipation, are falling today following Synergy's data readout. Canaccord's Davis had said that the diarrhea rate of patients taking Synergy's plecanatide had to come in at 10% or lower for the drug to achieve "best differentiation" versus Linzess. Patients taking the 3 mg dose of plecanatide had a diarrhea rate of 5.5%, while 5.9% of those taking the 6 mg dose experienced diarrhea, Synergy reported. Linzess is co-marketed by Ironwood and Forest Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Allergan (AGN). PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Synergy surged 45% to $6.74, while Ironwood slid fractionally to $12.16.
10:00 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
Today's noteworthy initiations include: AbbVie (ABBV) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Arista Networks (ANET) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... Astec (ASTE) initiated with a Buy at Maxim... Bristol-Myers (BMY) initiated with an Underweight at Piper Jaffray... Community Healthcare (CHCT) initiated with an Outperform at Oppenheimer... Eli Lilly (LLY) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Fitbit (FIT) initiated with a Buy ahead of IPO at Dougherty... Hortonworks (HDP) initiated with a Buy at Mizuho... II-VI (IIVI) initiated with a Buy at Benchmark Co.... J Sainsbury (JSAIY) initiated with an Underperform at Credit Suisse... McDermott (MDR) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen... Merck (MRK) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray... Molina Healthcare (MOH) initiated with a Buy at UBS... Pacific DataVision (PDVW) initiated with a Buy at Canaccord... Pfizer (PFE) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray... Quest Resource (QRHC) initiated with a Buy at Roth Capital... Regional Management (RM) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital... Rofin-Sinar (RSTI) initiated with a Buy at Benchmark Co.... Salesforce (CRM) initiated with a Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas... Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) initiated with a Neutral at Cleveland Research... Tesco (TSCDY) initiated with an Underperform at Credit Suisse... WM Morrison (MRWSY) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse... WWE (WWE) initiated with a Buy at BTIG... World Acceptance (WRLD) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital... Zafgen (ZFGN) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust.
09:25 EDTAGNIronwood slips after Synergy announces data on constipation drug
Shares of Ironwood (IRWD) are lower in pre-market trading after Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) announced top-line results from the first of two pivotal phase 3 clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of two different plecanatide treatment doses in adult patients with chronic idiopathic constipation. Plecanatide was safe and well tolerated at both doses, Synergy said, noting that the most common adverse event was diarrhea, which occurred in 5.9% of patients in 3.0 mg and 5.5% of patients in 6.0 mg dose groups. Ironwood’s competing Linzess drug had a 16% diarrhea rate for CIC patients, according to its FDA label. Linzess is co-marketed by Ironwood and Forest Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Allergan (AGN). Ironwood shares are down 45c, or 3.7%, to $11.75 in pre-market trading.
09:16 EDTAGNAllergan buyout of KYTHERA boosts aesthetics portfolio, says BMO Capital
BMO Capital says Allergan's (AGN) buyout of KYTHERA (KYTH) builds out the company's aesthetics portfolio. KYTHERA's double chin treatment Kybella "could be a game changer in contouring," and there is no company better suited to make that happen than Allergan, BMO tells investors in a research note. The firm keeps an Outperform rating on Allergan with a $378 price target.
08:03 EDTMRKMerck Keytruda granted FDA orphan designation as gastric cancer treatment
The FDA granted Merck, Sharp & Dohme, a subsidiary of Merck, orphan status for Keytruda as a treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Reference Link
07:44 EDTAGNKYTHERA volatility low into Allergan acquiring for approximately $2.1B
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07:21 EDTAGNGeneric ADHD drugs still sold despite FDA non-equivalance finding, NYT reports
The FDA announced last November that two generic versions of Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Concerta ADHD drug, one made by Mallinckrodt (MNK) and the other by UCB, could no longer be considered the equivalent of the branded drug after tests and analyses suggested that their effectiveness began to wear off much more quickly, but the drugs are still being sold despite an FDA mandated deadline having passed for the companies to either prove the drugs were equivalent or remove them from the market, said The New York Times. The report noted a third generic product, sold by Actavis (AGN), was found to be equivalent to the branded Concerta. Reference Link
07:15 EDTAGNAllergan to host conference call
Conference call to discuss a definitive agreement to acquire KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals-(KYTH) will be held at 8:30 am on June 17. Webcast Link
07:04 EDTAGNAllergan to acquire KYTHERA for $75 per share, or $2.1B
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07:03 EDTAGNAllergan agrees to acquire KYTHERA for $75 per share or approximately $2.1B
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07:03 EDTAGNAllergan agrees to acquire KYTHERA for $75 per share or approximately $2.1B
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07:02 EDTAGNAllergan to acquire KYTHERA for $75 per share, or $2.1B
07:02 EDTSGMSScientific Games to provide electronic gaming machines to Oregon Lottery
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06:09 EDTIGTInternational Game provides Penn National with content, cabinets
International Game Technology (IGT) announced that it will provide Penn National (PENN) with a wide selection of new IGT content and cabinets, including more than 400 IGT games and the largest placements of the new IGT CrystalDual and S3000 cabinets at any location in the United States to date, for the new Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MA.
05:31 EDTMRKMerck initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
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