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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 10, 2014
12:22 EDTAGN, FRAN, MRK, ACHN, IGT, RSH, VRX, IDIX, SGMSOn 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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February 23, 2015
07:03 EDTSGMSScientific Games wins dismissal of patent infringement lawsuit
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06:37 EDTVRXSalix downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray downgraded Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) to Neutral saying that while it could "easily see" another bidder emerge, it does not expect any potential competing bids to be significantly higher than the Valeant (VRX) offer. Piper lowered its price target for Salix shares to $158 from $160.
06:05 EDTVRXValeant to host conference call
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February 22, 2015
16:25 EDTVRXValeant says Dendreon acquisition expected to close Feb. 23, 2015
16:21 EDTVRXValeant expect Q1 cash EPS of at least $2.30 per share
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16:18 EDTVRXValeant reports Q4 EPS $2.58 vs. $2.15 in Q413
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16:07 EDTVRXValeant 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 EDTVRXValeant to buy Salix for $10.1B, FT says
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February 20, 2015
09:45 EDTVRXValeant near deal to acquire Salix, CNBC's Faber reports
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09:43 EDTVRXValeant nearing deal to acquire Salix, CNBC's Faber reports
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08:26 EDTRSHStandard General weighing bid to lead RadioShack out of bankruptcy, WSJ says
Hedge fund Standard General, which became the largest shareholder of now bankrupt RadioShack last year by taking a 9.9% stake, has discussed contributing about $75M toward a $200M bid for the new RadioShack, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter. The report noted that such a deal would essentially trade a rescue loan the fund arranged and contributed to last year for an ownership stake. Reference Link
07:08 EDTMRK, AGNAmerican 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.
February 19, 2015
08:38 EDTMRKNewLink reports clinical development milestone achieved with Merck for rVSV-EBOV
NewLink Genetics (NLNK) announced that it had received notification from Merck (MRK) that the milestone event specified in the license and collaboration agreement between the two companies relating to the further development of the rVSV-EBOV, Ebola, vaccine candidate had been achieved. Under the terms of the agreement, NewLink Genetics will receive a payment of $20M in connection with the achievement of the milestone. The milestone pertains to the initiation of a key clinical trial for the vaccine.
07:40 EDTAGNActavis price target raised to $352 from $300 at Canaccord
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February 18, 2015
16:46 EDTAGNOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:31 EDTAGNOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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09:48 EDTAGNActavis Q4 'exceptional,' taking Allergan name 'wise,' says BMO Capital
BMO Capital says Actavis (ACT) is "firing on all cylinders" after reporting "exceptional" Q4 earnings on the strength of the company's North American Generics and International segment. BMO views the decision to adopt the Allergan (AGN) name as "wise" given the Botox maker's strong reputation. The firm keeps an Outperform rating on Actavis.
07:50 EDTAGNActavis CEO says company gave appropriate guidance to analysts
Actavis (ACT) CEO Saunders said he believes that the company did provide appropriate guidance to analysts ahead of its earnings beat. Saunders sees the Allergan (AGN) deal closing by the end of this quarter or early next quarter. Saunders says tying R&D to a percentage of revenue "makes no sense to me," noting that Actavis will spend about $1.7B on R&D next year. Saunders says will do acquisition if opportunity arises, but not planning for M&A right now. Actavis CEO Brent Saunders is speaking on CNBC.
07:01 EDTAGNActavis announces intention to adopt 'Allergan' corporate name
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06:34 EDTAGNActavis sees Allergan transaction completed in late Q1 or early Q2
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