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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 2, 2014
11:05 EDTCI, AZNCigna, AstraZeneca in Crestor pact
Cigna (CI) has entered into a first-of-its-kind contract with AstraZeneca (AZN) to help ensure that customers are given an appropriate cholesterol-lowering medication based on their treatment needs. For Cigna customers who are at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, ASCVD, and need to aggressively manage their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C, CRESTOR , a brand-name, cholesterol-lowering drug manufactured by AstraZeneca, can be prescribed and filled without requiring prior authorization. “Our arrangement with Cigna is an evolutionary step in supporting patient health, and facilitating access to CRESTOR for high risk patients. Predictive risk modeling can be used to help support the right treatment for the right patient at the right time, and we are excited to be working with Cigna because they are the only insurance carrier or Pharmacy Benefit Manager we have seen who has offered this capability,” says Philip de Vane, MD, Executive Director of US Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca.
News For AZN;CI From The Last 14 Days
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February 9, 2016
09:50 EDTAZNIntercept rumored to be working with advisor on sale, Proactive Investors says
There was "vague talk" in the market that Intercept (ICPT) has hired CenterView Partners as an advisor to explore a sale and "attention is said to have switched" to AstraZeneca (AZN) as one of a number of possible buyers, according to Proactive Investors. Reference Link
February 8, 2016
10:00 EDTAZNOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: A-Mark Precious Metals (AMRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley... Antero Midstream (AM) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... AstraZeneca (AZN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC... Baker Hughes (BHI) downgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Brixmor (BRX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Boenning & Scattergood... CBOE Holdings (CBOE) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Cisco (CSCO) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Citi Trends (CTRN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at MKM Partners... Commerzbank (CRZBY) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette... DexCom (DXCM) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... EnLink Midstream (ENLC) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Baird... Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Eversource (ES) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Genesis Healthcare (GEN) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS... Givaudan (GVDNY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... HSBC (HSBC) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Nomura (NMR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... Novo Nordisk (NVO) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS... ONEOK Partners (OKS) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Baird... ONEOK (OKE) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... PPL Corp. (PPL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Plains All American (PAA) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Baird... Plains GP Holdings (PAGP) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Baird... Quanta Services (PWR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Ralph Lauren (RL) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities... Sparton (SPA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Barrington... Tableau (DATA) downgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Tallgrass Energy GP (TEGP) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... WisdomTree (WETF) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette.
09:38 EDTCICigna enters into outcomes-based contract with Novartis
Cigna (CI) has entered into an outcomes-based contract with the pharmaceutical company Novartis (NVS) for the drug Entresto, which was approved by the FDA for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. The pay-for-performance agreement ties the financial terms to how well the drug improves the relative health of Cigna's customers. The primary metric is reduction in the proportion of customers with heart failure hospitalizations. This agreement is effective for Cigna's commercial business. Entresto is a preferred brand subject to prior authorization review. The prior authorization process is part of utilization management to help control prescription drug costs and ensure coverage of the most appropriate drug therapies.
08:27 EDTAZNAstraZeneca downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC
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06:28 EDTAZNPharma trade group rolls out ad campaign aimed at lawmakers, WSJ says
The pharmaceutical industry is launching a new ad campaign with the intention of improving its reputation with lawmakers in an effort to lobby against drug price restrictions, the Wall Street Journal reports. The industry's biggest trade group the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, says it plans to spend several million dollars this year, and 10% more than it spent last year, on digital, radio, and print advertisements that highlight the sector's role in developing new drugs and advancing medical science, the report says. Publicly traded companies in the space include AstraZeneca (AZN), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), Novartis (NVS), Pfizer (PFE), Roche (RHHBY) and Sanofi (SNY). Reference Link
February 7, 2016
14:45 EDTCILeerink healthcare services analyst holds analyst/industry conference call
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February 4, 2016
12:44 EDTAZNOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street had an up and down morning, with the Dow swinging by triple digits in either direction. The market opened lower as oil prices lost their early gains, but as oil began to move higher so did stocks. When oil prices met resistance near the $34 a barrel level it began to pare its gains, once again taking stocks with it. The averages are now back in the green as investors await tomorrow's monthly jobs report. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Labor Department said that productivity fell at an annual rate of 3% in the fourth quarter, marking the biggest quarterly decline in nearly two years and worse than the expected decline of 2%. Labor costs rose 4.5% in the fourth quarter, versus expectations for an increase of 4.3%. Initial jobless claims rose to 285,000 in the week ended January 30, versus expectations for 277,000 first-time claims. Factory orders declined 2.9% in December, versus expectations for them to be down 2.8% for the month. In Europe, the European Commission lowered its 2016 economic growth forecast for the 19-nation single currency area to 1.7% from the 1.8% expansion the commission had forecast in November. The Bank of England also cut its economic growth forecasts, saying it now expects Britain's economy to grow 2.2% this year and 2.3% next year, which is down from the 2.5% growth for 2016 and 2.6% in 2017 that it previously predicted. Additionally, the BoE maintained its bank rate and held the size of its asset purchase program steady. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of GoPro (GPRO) sunk to an all-time low after the action camera maker reported fourth quarter revenue that fell $60M short of expectations and guided toward sales in the new quarter that were even further below the consensus forecast. GoPro, which also guided to losses in the first quarter and named a new CFO, fell as low as $9.01 earlier in the session before cutting its losses to be down about 8% near noon... Sumner Redstone stepped down as Executive Chairman of both CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIA, VIAB), being replaced by the CEOs of the companies in both cases. CBS shares were up 1% after Leslie Moonves was named the next Chair of its board, while Class A shares of Viacom were up about 1.5% after Philippe Dauman was selected to succeed Redstone... ConocoPhillips (COP) fell nearly 7% after the oil and gas explorer reported a worse than expected quarterly loss and slashed its dividend to 25c from 74c per share. CEO Ryan Lance said the decision to reduce the dividend was a "difficult one," but that the company believes it is prudent to plan for lower commodity prices for a longer period of time. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Hersha Hospitality (HT), which rallied 14% after it announced that it signed agreements with Cindat to form a joint venture for seven of the company's hotels in Manhattan for $571.4M. Also higher was VirnetX (VHC), which gained 53% after it was awarded $625.6M in a verdict against Apple (AAPL) for infringing four VirnetX patents. In addition, GrubHub (GRUB) and ProtoLabs (PRLB) were up 15% and 12%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers were Ralph Lauren (RL), Kohl's (KSS), and AstraZeneca (AZN), which were down 17%, 19%, and 7%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 70.02, or 0.43%, to 16,406.68, the Nasdaq was up 6.50, or 0.14%, to 4,510.74, and the S&P 500 was up 3.90, or 0.2%, to 1,916.43.
06:35 EDTAZNAstraZeneca CEO: Will only do immediately accretive acquisitions, Reuters says
AstraZeneca CEO said that the company will only do more acquisitions if they are immediately accretive, Reuters reports, citing comments from CEO Pascal Soriot to reporters. Soriot added that the company's MYSTIC lung cancer combination study is moving rapidly, the report says. Reference Link
06:27 EDTAZNAstraZeneca sees FY16 core EPS down low to mid single-digit percentage
Sees FY16 total revenue down low to mid single-digit percentage. The company said the guidance "incorporates the dilutive effects arising from the Acerta Pharma and ZS Pharma transactions announced in 2015." It added, "The guidance also assumes the loss of exclusivity for Crestor in the US from May 2016. Externalisation Revenue is expected to be ahead of that in FY 2015, including an increasing element of recurring income arising from prior agreements. This is in line with the Company's long-term business model." AstraZeneca said core R&D costs are expected to be at a similar level to FY15. The company said it is also committed to materially reducing Core SG&A costs in FY16.
06:26 EDTAZNAstraZeneca reports Q4 core EPS 94c, consensus 94c
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06:16 EDTCICigna reports Q4-end Commercial customers 14.43M, Government customers 567K
Reports Q4 Total Commercial medical care ratio of 80.4%, Total Government medical care ratio of 83.1%. Full year medical cost trend for our total U.S. Commercial book of business was approximately 5% and reflects continued favorable medical costs, physician engagement and low utilization trend.
06:15 EDTCICigna unlikely to make further share repurchases in 2016
Cites the pending combination with Anthem.
06:03 EDTCICigna sees FY16 adjusted EPS $8.85-$9.25, consensus $9.30
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06:02 EDTCICigna reports Q4-end global medical customers 14.99M
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06:01 EDTCICigna reports Q4 adjusted EPS $1.87, consensus $1.80
Reports Q4 revenue $9.53B, consensus $9.52B.
February 3, 2016
14:48 EDTCI, AZNNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's open, with earnings consensus, include Philip Morris (PM), consensus 81c... AstraZeneca (AZN), consensus 88c... Occidental Petroleum (OXY), consensus (12c)... ConocoPhillips (COP), consensus (65c)... Cigna (CI), consensus $1.80... Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), consensus $3.01... Boston Scientific (BSX), consensus 25c... Charter Communications (CHTR), consensus (12c)... Ralph Lauren (RL), consensus $2.13... Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), consensus 50c... GrubHub (GRUB), consensus 14c... Level 3 (LVLT), consensus 53c... AmerisourceBergen (ABC), consensus $1.25... Cummins (CMI), consensus $2.11.
11:25 EDTAZNAstraZeneca management to meet with Jefferies
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06:55 EDTCICigna volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Cigna February call option implied volatility is at 28, March is at 29 ; compared to its 52-week range of 18 to 39, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on February 4.
January 29, 2016
14:24 EDTCIEarnings Watch: Aetna down 9% since last report
Aetna (AET) is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings before the market open on Monday, February 1, with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET. Aetna, a diversified health care benefits company in the United States, operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.21 on revenue of $14.93B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.16-$1.32 on revenue of $14.44B-$15.36B. LAST QUARTER: Aetna reported third quarter EPS of $1.90 on revenue of $14.97B against analyst estimates of $1.77 and $14.95B, respectively. The company raised its fiscal 2015 EPS view to $7.45-$7.55 from "at least $7.40." Operating earnings were $668.6M for Q315 compared with $638.6M for Q314. The increase in operating earnings was primarily due to higher underwriting margins in Aetna's Health Care segment, partially offset by an increase in general and administrative expenses and lower underwriting margins in Aetna's Group Insurance segment. On January 11, Aetna said it see FY15 EPS at the high end of the $7.45-$7.55 range. Consensus for FY15 EPS is $7.54. STREET RESEARCH: On January 15, Wells Fargo said it expects health insurers' stock to do well this year, as the firm expects M&A deals made the last years to increase profits this year, and it thinks investors should be attracted to what it sees as the defensive names in the sector. Wells does not believe that any changes to or replacements of the ACA will be worse for the sector than the status quo. It identified Aetna and HCA Holdings (HCA) as its favorite names in the sector. On January 25, Leerink analyst Ana Gupte said she believed the recent selloff has provided a "strong" buying opportunity in the Managed Care space. Valuations are attractive on multiple metrics, Gupte told investors in a research note. Her top picks are UnitedHealth (UNH), Aetna, Humana (HUM) and Molina Healthcare (MOH). The analyst also favors Anthem (ANTM) and Cigna (CI). PRICE ACTION: Shares of Aetna are down approximately 9% since its last earnings report. The stock is up 2.6% to $101.42 in Friday afternoon trading ahead of Monday morning's report.
07:11 EDTAZNAllergan enters into global agreement with AstraZeneca for ATM-AVI
Allergan announced that it has entered into a global agreement with AstraZeneca to develop and commercialize ATM-AVI, an investigational, fixed-dose antibiotic combining aztreonam and avibactam. Together, the two companies will evaluate the combination to treat serious infections caused by metallo betalactamase MBL-producing Gram-negative pathogens, a difficult-to-treat sub-type of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, for which there are currently very limited treatments, thus presenting a new treatment option for patients with MBL-producing pathogens. Under the terms of the agreement, Allergan will maintain commercialization rights in the U.S. and Canada and AstraZeneca will maintain commercialization rights in all other countries.
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