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News Breaks
April 28, 2014
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday amid news of a number of completed, contemplated and rejected merger and acquisition deals, highlighted by a potential blockbuster in the pharmaceutical industry. The averages opened higher though have turned mixed by midday, with the Dow leading and the Nasdaq lagging. Shares of Bank of America (BAC) have weighed on the banking sector after the company suspended its capital plans in order to boost its regulatory capital amounts and ratios after finding errors in the data the bank had previously submitted to the Federal Reserve. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index rose 3.4% to 97.4 in March, topping expectations for a more modest 1.0% advance from the prior month. Also, the U.S. and Europe imposed more sanctions against Russia over its alleged intervention in Ukraine. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN) surged 13% after Pfizer (PFE) confirmed it proposed to buy its peer for nearly $100B in cash and stock. AstraZeneca revealed that its board concluded that the proposal "very significantly" undervalued the company and Pfizer said it is currently considering its next steps, but would still like to pursue some kind of mutually beneficial deal. Analysts at Jefferies said they expect Pfizer to up its bid for AstraZeneca and believe Astra will see "significant additional pressure" to engage in merger talks now that Pfizer has come public. The firm views Bristol-Myers (BMY) as another takeover option for Pfizer, but notes such a deal does not offer the tax incentives that AstraZeneca provides... Charter (CHTR) rose almost 6% after striking a deal to acquire approximately 1.4M existing Time Warner Cable (TWC) subscribers after that company completes its previously announced merger with Comcast (CMCSA). In addition, Charter will form a new holding company that will own 100% of Charter and acquire an approximate 33% stake in a new publicly-traded cable provider to be spun-off by Comcast serving approximately 2.5M customers... After General Electric (GE) made an offer to purchase the energy assets of France's Alstom (ALSMY), German industrial conglomerate Siemens (SI) confirmed it will convene "as soon as possible" after have the opportunity to meet with France's president and other high-ranking French political leaders to decide how to proceed with a competing offer... Shares of Bank of America fell more than 5% after the bank lowered its previously disclosed regulatory capital amounts and ratios due to a newly discovered accounting error, after which the Federal Reserve Board directed the company to resubmit its requested capital actions. At the Fedís request, the company has suspended its previously announced 2014 capital actions, including the $4.0B common stock repurchase authorization and the planned increase in the quarterly common stock dividend to 5c per share from 1c. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were two other companies that did agree to be acquired. Susser Holdings (SUSS) rose 36% after reaching a deal to be bought by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) in a unit and cash transaction valued at a total consideration of approximately $1.8B, while Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX) jumped 30% after agreeing to be purchased by Forest Laboratories (FRX) for $95 per share and up to $30 per share in a contingent value right based on the success of a particular drug candidate. Among the noteworthy losers was Athersys (ATHX), which plunged 56% after its MultiStem therapy failed to show meaningful benefit in a phase 2 clinical study. Also lower following its own disappointing news from a drug trial was OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (OGXI), which fell 55% after top-line results indicated its therapy did not result in a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in men with a certain type of prostate cancer. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 45.51, or 0.28%, to 16,406.97, the Nasdaq was down 32.15, or 0.79%, to 4,043.41, and the S&P 500 was down 0.96, or 0.05%, to 1,862.44.
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November 16, 2015
14:07 EDTAZNClovis plunges after lung cancer drug response rate misses expectations
Shares of Clovis Oncology (CLVS) plunged more than 70% after the drugmaker reported new details regarding its cancer drug candidate rociletinib, with new, confirmed data showing an unexpected drop in effectiveness. SURPRISING DRUG RESULTS: Clovis announced this morning new details regarding its rociletinib drug, which is being studied for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. According to the company, the Food and Drug Administration is now requesting additional clinical data on the drug, with a renewed focus on so-called confirmed treatment responses. Clovis explained that previous applications submitted to the FDA -- as well as early data on the drug publicized at medical conferences and elsewhere -- contained some immature and unconfirmed results. Perhaps most notably, the company disclosed that "as the efficacy data have matured, the number of patients with an unconfirmed response who converted to a confirmed response was lower than expected," with the current confirmed response rate for rociletinib now standing at 28% for the 500mg dose and 34% for the 625mg group. The primary driver of the low conversion to confirmed responses was due to ineffective tumor shrinkage as well as general disease progression, including brain metastasis, said the company. APPROVAL DELAY: In the wake of this morning's update, Piper Jaffray's Charles Duncan cut his price target on Clovis shares to $28 from $92 while reiterating a Neutral rating. Duncan explained that Clovis had previously reported a 54%-60% unconfirmed response rate for rociletinib, a significant change from today's confirmed numbers. The analyst had previously speculated that rociletinib might further differentiate itself in the market by demonstrating a meaningful impact on brain metastasis, but Monday's commentary from Clovis seems to specifically downplay that possibility. Though the new data "may still ultimately be approvable," Duncan envisions an approval delay of three to six months given what was revealed, and he pushed anticipated first U.S. sales of the drug to the fourth quarter of 2016 while cutting his expected second-line market penetration to just 25% from 45%. RETHINKING CLOVIS: Goldman Sachs analyst Terence Flynn said he views the news as a "significant setback" for rociletinib, especially given that the updated responses rates come in below that of Tagrisso, AstraZeneca's (AZN) recently-approved rival treatment option. As a result, Flynn put his Conviction Buy rating and $123 price target on Clovis "under review." IMMUNOGEN PRESSURED: Weighing in on the news, RBC's Simos Simeonidis speculated that Monday's selloff in ImmunoGen (IMGN) shares could be related to the Clovis update, as investors may be drawing a parallel between the company's IMGN853 and rociletinib. IMGN853 saw a similar drop in efficacy when adjusting data for confirmed responses, but the drug looks outright potent when limiting results to just key patient groups, the analyst contended. Though IMGN853 will still have to prove itself in larger trials, Simeonidis nevertheless sees the current weakness in ImmunoGen as a buying opportunity. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Clovis have dived more than $71, or 71.5%, to $28.35 in afternoon trading, while ImmunoGen has fallen 7% to $11.62. AstraZeneca, meanwhile, is up better than 4%.
13:32 EDTPFECantor helps Moelis clinches advisory role for Pfizer, Reuters reports
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13:09 EDTATHXAthersys management to meet with Maxim
Meeting to be held in London on November 18 hosted by Maxim.
11:35 EDTGEDeutsche Bank adds General Electric to the short-term sell list
Shares of General Electric (GE) are lower after a Deutsche Bank analyst put shares of the company on the firm's short-term sell list. WHAT'S NEW: GE could trade lower in the short term as the Synchrony Financial (SYF) split-off transaction is nearing completion, Deutsche Bank analyst John Inch said in a note to investors this morning. The analyst noted that the firm continues to believe GE "is on the right track strategically." Significant expected share repurchases should provide a buffer for share prices and provide a critical earnings per share catalyst for shares, the analyst maintained. WHAT'S NOTABLE: The analyst, who reiterated a Hold on shares, sees a deteriorating industrial economy, and questions some investors' willingness to look too far into the future to justify their bullish view of GE shares. The firm, which derived a $28 price target on shares, sees potentially rising risks to near-term fundamentals and execution risks to the company's selling off GE Capital's overseas assets. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, GE declined 0.46% to trade near $30.14 per share as Synchrony Financial fell 1.25% to $30.14.
11:24 EDTBACClearing House to hold a conference
Clearing House Annual Conference is being held in New York on November 16-18.
10:27 EDTAZNGoldman puts Conviction Buy-rated Clovis under review
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10:23 EDTAZNClovis price target cut to $28 from $92 at Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray analyst Charles Duncan cut his price target for shares of Clovis Oncology (CLVS) to $28 from $92 after the company announced that rociletinib efficacy data matured and the number of patients with a confirmed response is lower than expected. The updated response rate may still ultimately be approvable, but it further hinders rociletinib's competitive positioning compared to AstraZeneca's (AZN) Targrisso, Duncan tells investors in a research note. The analyst pushed back his first rociletinib sales estimate to Q4 of 2016 and lowered the drug's peak penetration of the second line market from 25% to 45%. He reiterates a Neutral rating on Clovis. The stock is down 67%, or $66.93, to $32.50 in morning trading.
10:12 EDTBACBank of America reports October default rate 2.57% vs. 2.44% last month
Reports October delinquency rate 1.68% vs. 1.65% last month.
09:59 EDTPFEOmega bought Valeant in Q3, sold some SuneEdison
Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning, disclosing its positions as of September 30. NEW STAKES: Pfizer (PFE), Valeant (VRX) Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), TerraForm Global (GLBL), Cigna (CI). INCREASED STAKES: Google Class A (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Delta Air Lines (DAL). DECREASED STAKES: SunEdison (SUNE), Shire (SHPG), Citi (C), KAR Auction (KAR), LyondellBasell (LYB). LIQUIDATED STAKES: McKesson (MCK), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), General Motors (GM), QEP Resources (QEP), eBay (EBAY).
09:03 EDTGEGE Healthcare Life Sciences, Emerson announce collaboration
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08:32 EDTAZNClovis reopens, down 64% after FDA requests added data for rociletinib
AstraZeneca (AZN), which is at work on a drug similar to rociletinib, is up 2.5% in pre-market trading.
08:03 EDTCMCSAComcast to add 400 new jobs in early 2016 at St. Paul office
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07:36 EDTCHTRBerkshire Hathaway discloses new AT&T stake in quarterly update
Berkshire Hathaway gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning. NEW STAKES: AT&T (T), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Liberty Lilac Group (LILA). INCREASED STAKES: Phillips 66 (PSX), Charter (CHTR), Liberty Media (LMCK), Suncor (SU), General Motors (GM). DECREASED STAKES: Goldman Sachs (GS), Wal-Mart (WMT), Deere (DE), Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), WABCO (WBC). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Viacom (VIAB).
07:22 EDTGEGeneral Electric shares could drop in near term, says Deutsche Bank
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07:11 EDTGEGeneral Electric added to the short-term sell list at Deutsche Bank
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07:00 EDTBMYBristol-Myers announces data from Phase 3 ALLY-3+ trial for Daklinza
Bristol-Myers announced late-breaking data from the Phase 3 ALLY-3+ trial investigating a regimen of Daklinza in combination with sofosbuvir and ribavirin in genotype 3 hepatitis C patients with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis, for treatment durations of 12 and 16 weeks. This patient population is one of the most difficult to treat, among whom sustained virologic response rates, or cure, have proved harder to achieve. The results show that 100% of patients in the advanced fibrosis cohort achieved SVR12 in both the 12- and 16-week arms of the study. SVR12 rates were 83% and 89% in patients with cirrhosis in the 12- and 16-week arms, respectively.
06:49 EDTETPETP, Sonoco announce $2.23B dropdown of remaning 68.42% interest in Sunoco
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06:33 EDTPFEPfizer, 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
05:57 EDTAZNAstraZeneca urges UK for antibiotics investment shake-up, Financial Time says
AstraZeneca has urged the U.K. government to develop a new model for incentivizing investment in antibiotics, reports the Financial Times. In a letter to the Financial Times, the company said it has joined other "leading voices" in the life sciences sectory to implore Britain to go ahead with a new system rather than waiting for an international agreement. The company said a new payment model was needed that would reward companies' investments but without encouraging the over-use of antibiotics. Reference Link
05:28 EDTETPStocks with implied volatility movement; HD ETP
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Home Depot (HD) 26, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) 49 according to iVolatility.
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