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April 22, 2014
06:11 EDTJNJ, VRX, MRK, AGNWells says big pharma bidders could emerge for Allergan
Wells Fargo believes Allergan (AGN) wants to remain independent and says the "hurdle to convince the company to sell could be pretty high." Wells thinks Valeant's (VRX) low tax rate gives it room to raise its bid for Allergan, and it sees the potential for one or more big pharma bidders, such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) or Merck (MRK), emerging due to Allergan's "attractive eye care and aesthetics portfolio and pipeline." Wells believes a purchase price for Allergan of $50B or $165 per share could be justified.
News For AGN;VRX;JNJ;MRK From The Last 14 Days
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November 16, 2015
09:06 EDTVRXDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
08:35 EDTMRKMerck to present Phase 2 hep C therapy data at The Liver Meeting
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08:07 EDTAGNAllergan reports Phase I/II interim data of Bimatoprost SR IOP therapy
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07:24 EDTMRKSalomon to hold a conference
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06:33 EDTAGNPfizer, Allergan deal brings focus on U.S. tax-inversion deals, Reuters says
Pfizer's (PFE) takeover bid for Allergan (AGN) has refocused financial markets over a potential move by the U.S. Treasury Department against tax-inversion deals, Reuters reported Friday. The outlook for such a move remained unclear on Friday, the report says. Reference Link
November 15, 2015
18:13 EDTAGNAllergan, Pfizer targeting late November merger deal, FT says
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15:19 EDTMRKMerck reports integrated analysis of six trials of elbasvir/grazoprevir
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15:15 EDTMRKMerck reports Phase 3 data on elbasvir/grazoprevir in patients injecting drugs
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November 13, 2015
16:08 EDTVRXRuane reports 10.52% passive stake in Valeant
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14:41 EDTAGNAllergan presents EARLY analysis data at AAO meeting
Allergan announced that a post-hoc analysis of best corrected visual acuity data in diabetic macular edema patients treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor, or anti-VEGF, therapy suggests that long-term response in anti-VEGF treatment of DME can be assessed after three injections. Pravin Dugel, M.D., Clinical Professor, USC Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and Managing Partner of Retinal Consultants of Arizona, said, "This data suggests that if treatment goals are not achieved after three injections, further expected improvement may be minimal and physicians may want to consider other treatment strategies."
11:12 EDTAGNPiper sees Pfizer profiting from Allergan deal, worth $50/share even without one
An acquisition of Allergan (AGN) by Pfizer (PFE) would increase the latter company's profits in 2016-2017 and lift its earnings by a large amount by 2019, wrote research firm Piper Jaffray in a note to investors today. WHAT'S NEW: By 2019, an acquisition of Allergan would increase Pfizer's earnings per share by 13%-16%, estimated Piper analyst Richard Purkiss. The deal would be profitable for Pfizer as early as 2016, the analyst believes. Excluding any acquisition, Pfizer is worth over $50 per share, well above analysts' average price target of $40, Purkiss believes. He kept a $52 price target and Overweight rating on Pfizer. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Yesterday dealReporter, noting that an acquisition of Allergan by Pfizer would be "a giant inversion deal," asserted that the U.S. Treasury could look to take steps to limit or discourage those types of transactions. On November 6, research firm Bernstein said that Allergan's strong results, coupled with the weakness of drug stocks, could cause Allergan to be reluctant to sell itself to Pfizer in the near-term. As a result, the firm thinks that the odds of a deal getting done may be lower than many believe. It kept a $385 price target and Outperform rating on Allergan. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Pfizer rose fractionally to $33.47 and Allergan added 1.3% to $303.87.
10:49 EDTAGNMylan jumps, Perrigo plunges after hostile takeover bid fails
Shares of Mylan (MYL) jumped after the company's offer to acquire Perrigo (PRGO) failed. Perrigo shares fell after the news. WHAT'S NEW: Mylan's approximately $26B hostile takeover offer for Perrigo officially fell through Friday morning, ending a seven-month ordeal between the two companies. Mylan said that only about 40% of Perrigo's shares were tendered by the company's stockholders, falling short of the 50% required for an acquisition, forcing the offer to lapse after failing to meet its goal by the established deadline. In response to the news, Perrigo Chief Executive Officer Joseph Papa said he was "delighted" that his company's shareholders rejected the offer. "We have said all along that this offer from Mylan was a bad deal for our shareholders, as it significantly undervalued our durable business model and industry-leading future growth prospects," Papa said. Perrigo added that it will immediately commence its previously announced $2B share buyback and that it intends to complete $500M of the planned repurchase by the end of the year. WHAT'S NOTABLE: On July 27, Teva (TEVA) withdrew a takeover offer for Mylan amid Mylan's talks with Perrigo. The Israeli pharmaceutical company opted instead to purchase Allergan's (AGN) generics business. Commenting on its failure to buy Perrigo, Mylan Executive Chairman Robert Coury said in a statement that while the company viewed Perrigo as a "unique and exciting company," it was not required for the future success of the company. Coury said, "We are well-positioned to quickly execute on the next strategic, value-enhancing opportunities for our business, some of which we have already identified." STREET RESEARCH: Citi analyst Liav Abraham upgraded Mylan to Buy and raised her price target for shares to $59 from $52, saying that an overhang has been removed since the company's hostile attempt to buy Perrigo has fallen through. Abraham argued that a combination of the two companies would have been both destructive to both earnings and value for Mylan and that the failed bid will increase management's optionality to pursue other value-enhancing opportunities and enable investors to focus on the company's base business. In addition, RBC Capital Markets analyst Randall Stanicky confirmed a Sector Perform rating for both Mylan and Perrigo with price targets of $60 and $176, respectively. Stanicky said he expects Mylan's stock to gain 10%-15% towards $50 as a result of the news, while Perrigo will probably see a pull-back into the low $140s. The analyst added that the removal of the Mylan bid will drive initial weakness for Perrigo's shares but that the stock can settle close to its current levels. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Mylan rallied 12.5% to $48.60 and Perrigo fell 6.92% to $145.72. OTHERS TO WATCH: Teva shares trading in New York increased 0.26%, Allergan was up 0.66%, and Endo (ENDP), with which Reuters reported Perrigo held unsuccessful takeover talks, gained 5.56%.
08:22 EDTAGNAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology to hold annual meeting
AAO 2015 is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 13-17 with webcasted presentations to begin on November 13 at 11:50 am. Webcast Link
08:02 EDTMRKMerck: DMC recommends anacetrapib study continue with no changes
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06:54 EDTAGNPiper sees Pfizer worth over $50/share on standalone basis
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November 12, 2015
17:02 EDTMRKMerck Animal Health to Acquire Harrisvaccines
Merck Animal Health and Harrisvaccines announced the companies have entered into an agreement under which Merck Animal Health will acquire Harrisvaccines, a privately-held company that develops, manufactures and sells vaccines for food production and companion animals. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The companies expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
13:45 EDTAGNPfizer, Allergan talks could set off further Treasury action, dealReporter says
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11:50 EDTMRKMerck issues statement regarding CUBICIN patent litigation
Merck issued the following statement regarding the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: "The decision validated the patent for CUBICIN that expires on June 15, 2016, but invalidated four patents with expiration dates in 2019 and 2020. The company is reviewing the decision and is considering its next steps, which may include seeking further review at the Federal Circuit or Supreme Court."
08:02 EDTVRXSynergy Pharmaceuticals still a saleable asset, says Canaccord
Canaccord still views Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) as a saleable asset, with Valeant (VRX) or Shire (SHPG) seen as the most obvious buyers. The firm also sees the cost of the launch of plecanatide as lower than expected and sees no need for the company to raise capital until at least the end of 2016. Canaccord reiterated its Buy rating and $19 price target on Synergy Pharmaceuticals shares.
06:12 EDTVRXAckman responds to Munger's Valeant criticism with Coke critique, Bloomberg says
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