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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 5, 2014
08:58 EDTCOCO, DATA, XONE, DDD, CTSH, VJET, SSYS, OMER, MRK, RLOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Merck (MRK), up 1.6%... Ralph Lauren (RL), up 7%... Tableau Software (DATA), up 12%... Corinthian Colleges (COCO), up 2%. ALSO HIGHER: Omeros (OMER), up 11% after granted fast track designation to OMS824 by FDA. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Allergan (AGN), down xx%... Cognizant (CTSH), down 5%. ALSO LOWER: 3D Systems (DDD), down 15% after lowering FY13 EPS view, guiding FY14 below estimates. Peers Stratasys (SSYS), down 7.5%, ExOne (XONE), down 8%, and Voxeljet (VJET), down 7%, lower as well.
News For DDD;RL;SSYS;XONE;MRK;VJET;DATA;OMER;CTSH;COCO From The Last 14 Days
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February 1, 2016
07:35 EDTRLRalph Lauren may be next big turnaround in softlines, says UBS
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January 29, 2016
17:12 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks began the session in positive territory and remained there throughout the day. The early strength was attributed to the surprise cut in interest rates by the Bank of Japan that put the country in a negative interest rate scenario. The market gained strength throughout the day and put in gains of almost 2.5% in what was a broad based advance for the major averages. January closed out with two winning weeks, but the month was still a very bad one for stocks, as the S&P lost over 5% even after today's strong showing. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., 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 Chicago PMI business barometer bounced to 55.6 in January, topping forecasts for a 45.3 reading. 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 surprise 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: Shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined 7.6% to $587 after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings after last night's closing bell, gained 5.8% to $55.09... Confirming a news report that broke late in the day yesterday, 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... 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. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Axiall (AXLL), which jumped 83% to $17.94 after it came to light that the company received, and rejected, an unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK) offering to acquire the company for $20 per share in cash and stock. Also higher were Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), which gained 7% and 6.4%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the notable losers was Gilead (GILD), which fell 5.5% to $82.70 after rival Merck (MRK) received FDA approval for its own hepatitis C drug. Also potentially weighing on Gilead shares was the fact that competitor AbbVie (ABBV) announced financial results for the fourth quarter, including sales of Viekira Pak, its own hep C treatment, that fell short of estimates. AbbVie fell 2.3% to $54.58 following its quarterly report. INDEXES: The Dow rose 396.66, or 2.47%, to 16,466.30, the Nasdaq gained 107.28, or 2.38%, to 4,613.95, and the S&P 500 added 46.88, or 2.48%, to 1,940.24.
09:44 EDTMRKGilead slips as another drug enters Hepatitis C virus space
Shares of Gilead (GILD), a leader in the hepatitis C virus treatment space, are sliding this morning after one competitor's hep C drug was granted FDA approval and another's sales disappointed. Additionally, Gilead reported its own news, announcing a shakeup of the roles held by its top executives. MERCK APPROVAL: Merck (MRK) announced last night that the FDA has approved Zepatier for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus, or HCV, genotype, or GT, 1 or GT4 infection. Merck has established a list price of $54,600 for a 12-week regimen of Zepatier, which the company said it believes to "be in the range of net prices for other commonly used HCV direct-acting antiviral regimens at 12 weeks of therapy." In contrast, a 12-week regimen of Gilead's Sovaldi is reported to be priced at $84,000. Merck added that it anticipates that this price, as well as its "strategy to seek broad coverage across commercial and public segments," will help broaden and accelerate patient access to treatment. ABBVIE RESULTS: Meanwhile, Gilead competitor AbbVie (ABBV) announced financial results for the fourth quarter this morning. AbbVie announced Q4 sales of Viekira Pak, its own hep C treatment, of $554M, including U.S. sales of $197M and international sales of $357M. Analysts expected AbbVie to report Q4 Viekira sales of $568.5M, according to a Bloomberg consensus estimate that factored in four forecasts. EXECUTIVE CHANGES: Additionally, Gilead announced this morning that current chairman and CEO John Martin will assume the role of executive chairman, effective March 10. John Milligan, currently president and COO, will be promoted to CEO and appointed to the company's board. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead shares slipped 3.5% to $84.50, while AbbVie fell 2.4% to $54.53 and Merck (MRK) gained 1% to $49.75.
05:33 EDTMRKStocks with implied volatility movement; VRX MRK
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January 28, 2016
19:02 EDTMRKMerck receives FDA approval of Zepatier
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18:37 EDTMRKFDA approves Merck's Zepatier for chronic hepatitis C
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07:08 EDTMRKFDA PDUFA Date for Merck's Grazoprevir/Elbasvir is January 28, 2016
January 27, 2016
12:19 EDTMRKPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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11:07 EDTMRKGilead sinks as Attorney General probes pricing strategy
Shares of drugmaker Gilead (GILD) are underperforming after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey warned that her office may bring an unfair commercial conduct complaint against it related to the pricing for its Hepatitis C virus treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni. UNFAIR PRICING: Healey, in a letter addressed to Gilead CEO John Martin dated January 22 that has just been made public, said that her office is considering whether Gilead's pricing strategy for Sovaldi and Harvoni may constitute an "unfair trade practice" in violation of Massachusetts law. "Because Gilead's drugs offer a cure for a serious and life-threatening infectious disease, pricing the treatment in a manner that effectively allows HCV to continue spreading through vulnerable populations, as opposed to eradicating the disease altogether, results in massive public harm," Healey stated in her letter to Martin. Healey, who urged Gilead to adjust its pricing strategy, noted that the company has invoked the high cost and risk associated with research and development as a justification for its prices, but she said that Gilead quickly recouped its outlay to acquire Pharmasset by selling "$12.4B worth of HCV medication in the first year alone" after its deal. The AG, who said that Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill in the U.S. but only $10 per pill in Egypt and about $4 per pill in India, contends that American taxpayers "have been footing the bill for Gilead's record profits." FREQUENT TARGET: The pricing of Gilead's hep C treatments have been the focus of significant criticism and political rhetoric in the past. In December, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and senior committee member Chuck Grassley released the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing and marketing of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The company "pursued a marketing strategy and final wholesale price of Sovaldi - $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a single course of treatment - that it believed would maximize revenue," and "fostering broad, affordable access was not a key consideration in the process of setting the wholesale prices," the senators wrote. Members of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, who held a press conference last November to announce "meaningful action" to combat the "skyrocketing" costs of pharmaceuticals, specifically took aim at Sovaldi. During her campaigning efforts, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly decried the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. OTHERS TO WATCH: AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also market or are at work on therapies for hepatitis C. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead slid 2% to $90.35.
10:00 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: BG Group (BRGYY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Bill Barrett (BBG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg... Brown & Brown (BRO) downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Canadian National (CNI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... DreamWorks (DWA) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Topeka... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded at RBC Capital... Gentex (GNTX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Haverty Furniture (HVT) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Hercules Technology (HTGC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... Horizon Technology (HRZN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Installed Building downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Jarden (JAH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... K+S (KPLUF) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... La-Z-Boy (LZB) downgraded at BB&T... Legacy Reserves (LGCY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Medivation (MDVN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Merck (MRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Metaldyne Performance (MPG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Pier 1 Imports (PIR) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Priceline (PCLN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Profire Energy (PFIE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Chardan... Regeneron (REGN) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Swiss Re (SSREY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... TSYS (TSS) downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at First Analysis... Talmer Bancorp (TLMR) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... TopBuild (BLD) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... TripAdvisor (TRIP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... VMware (VMW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Research... W.R. Grace (GRA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... WEC Energy (WEC) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Welltower (HCN) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Yamana Gold (AUY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
09:32 EDTMRKActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB AMZN AAL BAC PCLN NFLX MRK GOOG
08:36 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral on lack of catalysts at BofA/Merrill
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08:31 EDTMRKMerck says FDA accepts for review BLA for investigational antitoxin
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08:29 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
06:03 EDTCTSHCognizant acquires KBACE Technologies, terms not disclosed
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January 26, 2016
13:45 EDTDDD, XONE, SSYSStratasys falls after JPMorgan cuts on rising competition, lack of catalysts
Shares of Stratasys (SSYS) are falling after JPMorgan downgraded the company to Neutral, saying the 3D printer maker's financials could be pressured as clients curb spending and new competitors enter the space. NO CATALYSTS: Stratasys could see shrinking revenue and earnings through mid-2016 as strong competitors flood the low-end of the market and corporate clients rethink spending on the new technology, JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster argued Tuesday. Capital outlays remain muted across energy, industrials and manufacturing firms while medical device trends have also shown recent weakness, said Coster, leading him to downgrade Stratasys shares to Neutral and cut his price target to $19 from $24 on a lack of any significant catalysts for the next six months. The analyst also trimmed his outlook for 2016 earnings per share to 22c, though he sees 2017 EPS at 95c, with the above-consensus view reflecting the potential for Stratasys to benefit from cyclical demand recovery and restructuring efforts. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Stratasys have slipped roughly 4.6% to $16 while competitors 3D Systems (DDD) and ExOne (XONE) are up 5.4% and 4.5%, respectively.
12:16 EDTSSYSOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in positive territory moved cautiously in the opening segment, before shooting higher following the better than expected consumer confidence reading. The Dow is the biggest winner and is up more than 1.5% while the Nasdaq has been lagging but is up more than 0.6%. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., 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. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei index fell 2.35% while China's Shanghai composite slid 6.4%. COMPANY NEWS: The volume of earnings reports took a step up, with four members of the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average posting results before the opening bell this morning. All four advanced on the heels of their reports, with 3M (MMM) leading the pack with a gain of 4.5% despite earnings, excluding restructuring charges, that missed the consensus forecast. The industrial conglomerate did, however, affirm its performance expectations for the new fiscal year. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose 3%, Procter & Gamble (PG) gained 2.7% and DuPont (DD) added 1.6%... AIG (AIG) provided its much-anticipated strategy update, committing to return at least $25B to shareholders over next two years and announcing that it has agreed to sell AIG Advisor Group to private equity firm Lightyear Capital and Canadian pension investment manager PSP Investments. AIG also said it will pursue an initial public offering of United Guaranty in mid-2016 to sell up to 19.9% of the outstanding shares as a first step towards a full separation. However, the insurer said it believes a full breakup, as espoused by investor Carl Icahn, would detract from shareholder value, arguing that a lack of diversification benefits would reduce capital available for distribution and there would be a loss of tax benefits. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Avis Budget (CAR), which rallied 7% after the company raised its share repurchase authorization by $300M and after SRS Investment reported a 9.5% stake in the company. Also higher were Sprint (S) and Coach (COH), which gained 20% and 11%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. In addition, FirstMerit (FMER) rose 16% after reporting quarterly earnings and announcing that it will merge with Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) in a deal valued at $3.4B. Huntington Bancshares fell 10% after the FirstMerit merger agreement was announced. Also lower was Stratasys (SSYS), which dropped 6% after JPMorgan downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight. In addition, Polaris (PII) and Waters Corporation (WAT) were down 11% and 4.5%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 273.66, or 1.72%, to 16,158.88, the Nasdaq was up 49.20, or 1.09%, to 4,567.69, and the S&P 500 was up 25.96, or 1.38%, to 1,903.04.
10:00 EDTSSYSOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC... CVR Refining (CVRR) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Cenovus Energy (CVE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Clean Harbors (CLH) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Core Laboratories (CLB) downgraded to Reduce from Hold at HSBC... Delek US (DK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Deutsche Post (DPSGY) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Disney (DIS) downgraded to Neutral on reduced ESPN forecasts at Atlantic Equities... Dorian LPG (LPG) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Encana (ECA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS... Fortinet (FTNT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... Fortune Brands (FBHS) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... General Growth (GGP) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Golden Ocean (GOGL) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Grupo Mexico (GMBXF) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Halliburton (HAL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC... Marketo (MKTO) downgraded to Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Navios Maritime (NM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... NetSuite (N) downgraded to Underperform at BofA/Merrill... OM Asset Management (OMAM) downgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Paylocity (PCTY) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Pennsylvania REIT (PEI) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays... Pinnacle West (PNW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Evercore ISI... Public Storage (PSA) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Red Hat (RHT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Regal Entertainment (RGC) downgraded on valuation at RBC Capital... Rouse Properties (RSE) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Stratasys (SSYS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Subsea 7 (SUBCY) downgraded to Reduce from Hold at HSBC... US Ecology (ECOL) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... USG (USG) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Vornado (VNO) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Weir Group (WEIGY) downgraded to Underperform from Hold at Jefferies.
09:15 EDTSSYSOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Sprint (S), up 19.5%... Rambus (RMBS), up 8%... Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), up 11.3%... Sanmina (SANM), up 9.9%... Coach (COH), up 4.9%. ALSO HIGHER: Firstmerit (FMER), up 21.5% following the merger announcement with Huntington Bancshares (HBAN). DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Polaris (PII), down 4.2%. ALSO LOWER: Huntington Bancshares, down 6.8% after announcing a merger with Firstmerit. Stratasys (SSYS), down 3.7% after being downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
05:52 EDTSSYSStratasys downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster downgraded Stratasys to Neutral citing risk that revenue and earnings disappoint through mid-2016. Coster highlights the "rapid influx of competing solutions" at the low-end of the 3D printing market. He cut his price target for the shares to $19 from $24. The analyst sees a lack of catalysts for Stratasys shares over the next six months. The maker of 3-D printers closes yesterday down $1.04 to $16.81.
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