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News Breaks
April 22, 2014
06:11 EDTAGN, JNJ, VRX, MRKWells 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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February 3, 2016
06:46 EDTMRKMerck sees FY16 non-GAAP EPS $3.60-$3.75, consensus $3.72
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06:46 EDTMRKMerck reports Q4 non-GAAP EPS 93c, consensus 91c
Reports Q4 revenue $10.22B, consensus $10.35B.
06:13 EDTAGNPfizer insists Allergan deal won't be thwarted by U.S. politicians, FT says
Pfizer (PFE) has insisted that its $160B acquisition of Allergan (AGN) will not be stifled by political opposition, amid criticism that the deal will cost the U.S. Treasury billions of dollars in future tax revenues, the Financial Times reports. Pfizer CEO Ian Read also reiterated his intention to postpone until 2018 a decision on whether to break of the combined entity into two or three smaller companies, but has said that he would be open to offers for its generics unit, the report says. Mylan (MYL) has been connected to a potential acquisition of Pfizer's generic drugs business after it failed in its attempt to buy Perrigo (PRGO) last year, the report says. Reference Link
February 2, 2016
14:32 EDTMRKNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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13:54 EDTMRKMerck technical comments ahead of earnings news
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13:35 EDTMRKEarnings Watch: Merck down over 5% since last earnings report
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12:32 EDTVRXEvercore highlights potential discrepancy in Valeant documents
Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat says the Valeant documents released ahead of Thursday's Congressional hearing on drug pricing contain a potential discrepancy between CEO Mike Pearson's comments on a conference call and an internal email sent by then CFO Howard Schiller. On the company's Q1 earnings call last year, Pearson told investors and analysts that volume was greater than price in terms of the company's growth in the quarter, Raffat points out to investors in an intraday research note. In contrast, then-CFO Howard Schiller sent an email to Pearson a few weeks after the earnings call stating that excluding the Marathon deal, price represented about 60% of Valeant's quarterly growth. On the surface, this means that either the CEO was inaccurate on the Q1 call, or the CFO's email was inaccurate, Raffat writes. It could also mean neither had done the math properly, the analyst adds. Either way, Raffat thinks Thursday's hearing isn't too critical for shares of Valeant. He has a Buy rating on the stock with a $200 price target. Valeant is down 5%, or $4.61, to $91.04 in midday trading.
11:30 EDTVRXValeant, in response to House committee, says tries to set appropriate prices
Valeant issued a statement after the House's Committee On Overweight and Government Reform released a letter relating to documents obtained from the company. The statement read, "Before Valeant purchased Nitropress and Isuprel, it commissioned outside consultants to review the drugs' pricing. Those consultants concluded that, given the significant reimbursements hospitals received under bundled rates for procedures, the prices of both drugs did not reflect their true value to hospitals and patients. We try to set our prices at the appropriate levels, but we also listen to the market. In this case, we've heard from hospitals, as well as from Congress, that we set the price for these two drugs too high, and we've responded by offering volume-based discounts of up to 30% for each of them. We are also making overall changes to how we run our business. Under our recent partnership with Walgreens we will be offering 10% price reductions on some of our most popular drugs and up to 95% reductions for a large number of our branded drugs for which there is a generic alternative. Going forward, we expect our growth to be driven more by volume than by price. When we set the price of any one drug, we do it in the overall context of our portfolio of approximately 1,800 products, including more than 200 prescription drugs in the United States, and the need to fund our robust companywide research and development programs, our expanding U.S. manufacturing base, and our patient assistance programs. In 2016, we expect to invest approximately $400 million on R&D, $484 million in expanding manufacturing in Rochester, NY, and $1 billion in our patient assistance programs that seek to ensure that out-of-pocket expenses do no prevent eligible patients from receiving medicines they need."
11:30 EDTVRXHouse committee members says Valeant inflated drug prices to meet goals
In a memo from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Democratic members of the committee stated that documents obtained from Valeant show that the company identified goals for revenue first, then "set drug prices to reach those goals," pointing to its sharp price increases for Isuprel and Nitropress as examples of this practice. The committee also contend that Valeant employed a public relations strategy, which is noted to be used by other drug companies as well, to "distract public attention away from its price increases." Valeant raised the prices of some products multiple times from 2014 to 2015, in some cases by as much as 800%, the committee members stated. Reference Link
10:59 EDTAGNPfizer CEO confident Allergan deal can close in second half
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08:53 EDTJNJPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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08:47 EDTJNJAduro Biotech shares undervalued, says Roth Capital
After Aduro (ADRO) received a $22.4M payment from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Roth Capital says that Aduro's valuation does not adequately reflect its opportunities. The firm thinks the company has several "broad business development opportunities." It keeps a $68 price target and Buy rating on the shares.
07:42 EDTJNJPressure mounts on big pharma names to shrink, sharpen focus, FT says
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07:24 EDTMRKSanofi, Merck mulling exiting vaccine JV, Bloomberg reports
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06:54 EDTAGNPfizer expects combination with Allergan to occur in 2H16
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06:44 EDTMRKMerck volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
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06:32 EDTJNJGSK, J&J back Index Ventures' $1B biotech business spinoff, Reuters says
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) will back a new spinoff from Index Ventures, which is spinning off its biotech portfolio into a new $1B entity, Reuters reports. The New Medicxi Ventures business will be helmed by the existing life sciences team from Index and will include all the current biotech portfolio firms, the report says. Medicxi raises $229M for a new fund in Europe with GSK and J&J each putting in 25%, Reuters reports. Reference Link
February 1, 2016
13:25 EDTAGNEarnings Watch: Pfizer shares down approximately 12% since last earnings report
Pfizer (PFE) is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings before the market open on Tuesday, February 2, with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. Pfizer, a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products worldwide. Its product portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as various consumer healthcare products. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 52c on revenue of $13.57B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 49c-54c on revenue of $13.08B-$13.99B. LAST QUARTER: After completing its Hospira acquisition in early September, Pfizer reported third quarter EPS of 60c, which beat consensus estimates of 51c, on revenue of $12.1B, which was also higher than consensus estimates of $11.56B. In Q3 Operational revenue growth in in developed markets was driven primarily by the performance of several key products, including Prevnar 13 in adults, Ibrance and Eliquis -- all products that are early in their life cycles as well as from Lyrica primarily in the U.S., and the inclusion of one month of legacy Hospira U.S. operations. In emerging markets, revenues increased 5% operationally, reflecting continued strong operational growth, primarily from the Innovative Products business. Operational revenue growth was partially offset primarily by the loss of exclusivity and associated generic competition for Celebrex in the U.S., Zyvox in the U.S. and Lyrica in certain developed Europe markets. With its Q3 earnings announcement the company raised its fiscal year 2015 earnings per share view to $2.16-$2.20 from $2.04-$2.10 against a raised revenue view of $47.5B-$48.5B from $46.5B-$47.5B. Commenting on the improved yearly view, the company CFO said "We raised our 2015 financial guidance for reported revenues and adjusted diluted EPS to reflect the strong performance to date of Pfizer-standalone, excluding legacy Hospira operations coupled with an improved business outlook for Pfizer-standalone for the remainder of the year.PFIZER-ALLERGAN DEAL. On November 23, Pfizer and Allergan (AGN) announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved, and the companies have entered into, a definitive merger agreement under which Pfizer will combine with Allergan. Pfizer at the time said it anticipates the Allergan transaction will deliver more than $2B in operational synergies over the first three years after closing. Pfizer anticipates that the combined company will have a pro forma Adjusted Effective Tax Rate of approximately 17%-18% by the first full year after the closing of the transaction. The transaction is expected to be neutral to Pfizer's Adjusted Diluted EPS in 2017, modestly accretive beginning in calendar year 2018, more than 10% accretive in 2019 with high-teens percentage accretion in 2020. STREET RESEARCH: On December 1, Barclays analyst Geoff Meacham kept an Equal Weight rating on Pfizer after assuming coverage of the name. The analyst maintained a $34 price target for shares.On November 25, SunTrust upgraded Pfizer to Neutral and increased its price target to $37 from $34 on shares. Analyst John Boris said the Allergan deal makes strategic sense, providing much needed growth from earlier life cycle assets with limited therapeutic overlap. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Pfizer are lower by approximately 12% since its last earnings report on October 27. Pfizer shares are trading over 1% lower to $29.97 in afternoon trading ahead of Tuesday morning's earnings.
08:13 EDTJNJAduro Biotech receives $20M milestone payment from Janssen Biotech
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January 31, 2016
11:39 EDTJNJS&P falls 5% in January despite second straight winning week to close month
Stocks finished the month of January with two straight winning weeks, but investors are still glad to see the calendar flip as those winners only cut the S&P's loss to 5% for the month. With growth worries abounding amid troubling signs from China and as oil languishes below $35 per barrel, the manufacturing readings from China, Europe, and the U.S. due out on Monday will be essential to whether the new month continues the uptrend of the end of January or the dour tone that dominated the early half of the month. MACRO NEWS: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged following its policy meeting this week, as almost universally expected. In its accompanying statement, the central bank said its committee members expect that economic conditions will "evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate." The group added that inflation is expected to "remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2% over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further"... In other domestic economic news, the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.8% from the prior year in November, topping expectations for a 5.7% year-over-year increase. The separate FHFA house price index showed a monthly gain of 0.5% in November, matching the consensus forecast. Markit's services PMI for January came in at 53.7, missing the 54.0 forecast. The preliminary reading of the Conference Board's consumer confidence index for January came in at 98.1, topping the 96.5 reading that was expected. New home sales surged 10.8% to a 544,000 annualized pace in December, topping expectations and hitting their highest level in 10 months. Initial jobless claims fell to 278,000 last week, versus the expected 281,000 first-time claims. Durable goods orders dropped 5.1% in December, versus expectations for a decrease of 0.7%. The core reading, which removes transportation items, was down 1.2%, versus expectations for a decline of 0.1%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast... In a surprising move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: McDonald's (MCD) advanced Monday after the fast food giant reported better than expected earnings and comparable sales growth for the fourth quarter, powered by the launch of All Day Breakfast in the U.S.... Earnings season accelerated Tuesday as four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posted results before the opening bell. 3M (MMM) was the top advanced on the index with a gain of over 5%, while Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Procter & Gamble (PG) and DuPont (DD) all notched gains that day following their reports as well... Apple (AAPL) declined more than 6.5% on Wednesday after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings that topped consensus estimates, but also issued revenue guidance for the new quarter that missed expectations. The company was noted by several analysts as taking a particularly downbeat tone in its earnings conference call, invoking the difficult macroeconomic environment and weakness it has recently seen in China. Apple was not the worst performer in the Dow that day, as Boeing (BA) shares plummeted nearly 9% after its profit outlook for the new fiscal year fell far short of the Street's consensus forecast... Facebook (FB) surged 15.5% on Thursday after the social media giant's fourth quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. A number of Wall Street analysts increased their price targets for the stock following the report, including Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who hiked his target to a "Street-high" $170 per share. The same day, Caterpillar (CAT) reported better than expected quarterly earnings, excluding certain items, but its revenue came in below the consensus forecast and the heavy equipment maker warned that it does not anticipate an improvement in the world economy or commodity prices in 2016. The stock, which had declined almost 20% in the last three months prior to this morning's report, rebounded almost 5% after the company jumped over the lowered bar that had been set by bearish analysts... On Friday, shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined more than 7.5% after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings, gained almost 6%. Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44... Among the many others reporting earnings this week, Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), Under Armour (UA), Sprint (S) and Biogen (BIIB) gained immediately following their reports, while Qualcomm (QCOM), eBay (EBAY), U.S. Steel (X), VMware (VMW) and Anthem (ANTM) all slid following their own... Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Terex (TEX) surged more than 36% higher on Tuesday after receiving a $30 per share acquisition offer from China's Zoomlion. Terex peers Manitowoc (MTW), Joy Global (JOY) and Oshkosh (OSK) also gained after the offer was disclosed... Weight Watchers (WTW) shares soared nearly 20% Tuesday after noted shareholder and partner Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video detailing her progress using the company's program, indicating that she'd already lost 26 pounds thanks to its plan... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over the next two years and announcing the sale of AIG Advisor Group to Lightyear Capital and PSP Investments. The company, under ongoing pressure from activist investors including Carl Icahn, also said it will publicly offer a portion of its United Guaranty unit, though it expressly rejected a full company breakup... SunEdison (SUNE) gained 18% during the week after agreeing to new corporate governance initiatives with David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital, including amending its bylaws to restrict equity issuances for two years without a supermajority board vote... Twitter (TWTR) slumped nearly 6% this week after CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the departure of four company executives, leading research firm Stifel to downgrade the shares. INDEXES: The Dow gained about 2.2% to close at 16,466.30; the S&P 500 rose about 1.6% to close at 1,940.24; the Nasdaq advanced about 0.4% to close at 4,613.95.
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