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News Breaks
May 2, 2012
Stocks on Wall Street were lower at midday, following disappointing jobs data at home and abroad. The market began the session in the red following worse than expected data from the ADP employment change report. The market hit its lows shortly after the open and has moved in narrow range since, but has trended higher in the last hour. The move higher came after a slightly better than expected factory orders report and an energy inventories report that showed a larger draw down of gas and distillate supplies than were forecast... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., ADP said that 119,000 private-sector jobs were added in April, missing expectations for 170,000 job additions. Factory orders declined 1.5% in March, versus expectations of a 1.6% drop. In Europe, two pieces of disappointing data were reported: unemployment rose to 10.9% in the shared-currency bloc, its highest level since the euro's launch in 1999, and the eurozone's manufacturing sector contracted at the sharpest pace in almost three years, with the manufacturing PMI for the region falling to 45.9 in April from 47.7 in March. In China, HSBC's "flash" PMI manufacturing survey improved to 49.3 from 48.3 in the prior reading... COMPANY NEWS: A number of media companies reported better than expected results on both the top and bottom lines, including Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner (TWX) and CBS (CBS), but only CBS saw its shares move up following its announcement. CBS shares gained more than 3%, while Comcast fell 1.5% and Time Warned moved almost 2% lower... Among other companies reporting earnings, advancers included CVS Caremark (CVS), TripAdvisor (TRIP) and Amerigroup (AGP); decliners included Allergan (AGN), R.R. Donnelley (RRD) and OpenTable (OPEN)... Chesapeake (CHK) gave up all of the 8% in gains it realized yesterday and then some, falling about 13% after its earnings missed consensus and Reuters reported on new potential conflicts of interests for its CEO Aubrey McClendon... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Standard Microsystems (SMSC), up 38%, on news it will be acquired by Microchip Technology (MCHP) for $37 per share in cash, and both Charming Shoppes (CHRS), up over 23%, and Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), up almost 11%, after the companies announced plans for Ascena to acquire Charming. Noteworthy losers included Bankrate (RATE), down 12%, following its earnings report, and Research in Motion (RIMM), down almost 5%, as investors continue to react negatively to the company's new product announcements and Nokia (NOK) sued RIM and others in the U.S. and Germany on accusations of patent infringement... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was down 47.38, or 0.36%, to 13,231.94; the Nasdaq was down 1.63, or 0.05%, to 3,048.81; and the S&P 500 was down 6.69, or 0.48%, to 1,399.13.
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November 16, 2015
15:53 EDTTWXJANA Partners reduces stakes in Rackspace, Qualcomm
JANA Partners gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this afternoon. NEW STAKES: Mattel (MAT), Zoetis (ZTS), and Aramark (ARMK). INCREASED STAKES: ConAgra Foods (CAG). DECREASED STAKES: Rackspace (RAX), Qualcomm (QCOM), Time Warner (TWX), Starz (STRZA), and Lions Gate (LGF). LIQUIDATED STAKES: Johnson Controls (JCI), Precision Castparts (PCP), AerCap Holdings (AER), United Rentals (URI), and HD Supply Holdings (HDS).
13:32 EDTAGNCantor helps Moelis clinches advisory role for Pfizer, Reuters reports
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10:43 EDTCHKOptions with increasing implied volatility
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10:29 EDTRATEBankrate management to meet with Needham
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09:06 EDTCVSDiplomat 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%.
08:52 EDTCHRSCoherus Biosciences management to meet with JPMorgan
Meeting to be held in New York on November 16 hosted by JPMorgan.
08:07 EDTAGNAllergan reports Phase I/II interim data of Bimatoprost SR IOP therapy
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08:03 EDTCMCSAComcast to add 400 new jobs in early 2016 at St. Paul office
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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
06:18 EDTCVSDiplomat Pharmacy selloff brings 'compelling' entry point, says Leerink
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November 15, 2015
18:13 EDTAGNAllergan, Pfizer targeting late November merger deal, FT says
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17:09 EDTTWX'Spectre' stays uncatchable while Christmas-themed 'Coopers' outperforms
"Spectre" and "The Peanuts" remained in first and second place, respectively, at the domestic box office while Christmas comedy "Love The Coopers" topped expectations heading into the holiday period. WEEKEND LEADER: Sony's (SNE) "Spectre" grossed $35.4M in the U.S. for the weekend of November 15, falling roughly 50% from its $73M domestic open. Globally speaking, the latest James Bond film has pulled in $543.8M in just its second week at the box office. BOX OFFICE RUNNERS-UP: Fox's (FOX, FOXA) "The Peanuts Movie" earned $24.2M, as Charlie Brown and friends fell somewhat short of analyst expectations for $28.7M. Meanwhile, Lionsgate's (LGF) Christmas-themed comedy "Love The Coopers" debuted at $8.4M, beating estimates of $5.2M-$8M despite harsh reviews. Rounding out the weekend's Top 5 were Fox's "The Martian" with $6.7M and newcomer "The 33" at $5.8M. Analyst expectations ranged $5.5M-$10M for the disaster survival drama from Time Warner's (TWX) Warner Bros.
November 13, 2015
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."
11:38 EDTTWX, CBS, CMCSABox Office Battle: 'Spectre,' 'The Peanuts Movie' expected to remain on top
Sony's (SNE) "Spectre," starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, is again expected to top the box office in its second weekend at theaters, with an estimated domestic gross in the $30.3M-$32.4M range. Fox's (FOX, FOXA) G-rated family film "The Peanuts Movie," starring a 3D-animated Charlie Brown, is again likely to come in second, predicted to earn an additional $28.7M. Newcomer "The 33," a drama retelling the true story of the Chilean miners that were trapped underground in 2010, is expected to open between $5.5M-$10M in 2,400 theaters. "The 33" is being distributed in North America by Time Warner's (TWX) Warner Bros. Pictures, and in Latin America by Fox's 20th Century Fox. Holiday dramedy "Love the Coopers," starring John Goodman and Diane Keaton, is estimated to open in the $5.2M-$8M range. "Love the Coopers" is being released in 2,603 theaters by Lionsgate (LGF) and CBS's (CBS) CBS Films. Fox's "The Martian," which opened on October 2, is predicted to earn an additional $6M-$6.8M. Other publicly traded companies involved in filmmaking include Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), Disney (DIS), and Viacom (VIA, VIAB).
11:33 EDTCBSStocks with call strike movement; CBS CMG
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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.
10:53 EDTCBSCBS management to meet with Barrington
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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
06:54 EDTAGNPiper sees Pfizer worth over $50/share on standalone basis
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