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July 28, 2014
12:21 EDTHZNP, Z, DLTR, ESRX, PPC, ACRX, DG, CVS, TSN, TRLA, FDO, HSHOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street opened in negative territory and have remained there throughout the morning. The averages were narrowly lower in early trading, but picked up some downside momentum following the lower than expected pending home sales report. The market eventually found a level where it reversed and began drifting off its lows. By noon the averages returned to roughly where they sat prior to the homes data, as investors prepare for another heavy week of earnings, reports on GDP and labor market growth and a Federal Reserve decision on monetary stimulus. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the pending home sales index dropped 1.1% from the prior month to 102.7 in June, compared to expectations for it to have risen 0.5%. Markit's services PMI for July came in at 61.0 in the flash reading, which was flat with the prior reading and above the 59.8 consensus forecast. COMPANY NEWS: Dollar Tree (DLTR) agreed to acquire Family Dollar (FDO) in a cash and stock transaction estimated to be worth $74.50 per Family Dollar share. The transaction, which values Family Dollar at an enterprise value of about $9.2B and is expected to close by early 2015, was called the "best path forward" for Family Dollar by Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund, which disclosed that it will vote its 7.34% Family Dollar stake in favor of the buyout. Another company in the space, Dollar General (DG), which many investors thought would be the one to pursue a deal with Family Dollar, was initially lower after the deal announcement but Dollar General shares recovered to be up about 3% near noon, while Dollar Tree also climbed 3% and Family Dollar jumped 23%... Real estate website operator Zillow (Z) confirmed a deal to buy its rival, Trulia (TRLA), in a $3.5B, all-stock transactions. Reports about the deal first surfaced last week and Zillow fell 2.5% after the news, while Trulia climbed 12%. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Tyson Foods (TSN), which rose more than 4% after reporting better than expected third quarter revenues, updating on its planned purchase of Hillshire (HSH) and agreeing to sell its poultry businesses in Mexico and Brazil to Pilgrim's Pride (PPC). Among the noteworthy losers was AcelRx (ACRX), which plunged 41% and was downgraded at Canaccord after the FDA issued a Complete Response Letter for the company's Zalviso drug. Also lower was Horizon Pharma (HZNP), which dropped 34% after it said it has been verbally notified that in August two pharmacy benefit managers, CVS Caremark (CVS) and Express Scripts (ESRX), expect to announce DUEXIS and VIMOVO will no longer be on their formularies and will be placed on their exclusion lists effective at the start of 2015. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 32.82, or 0.19%, to 16,927.75, the Nasdaq was down 18.96, or 0.43%, to 4,430.60, and the S&P 500 was down 4.56, or 0.23%, to 1,973.78.
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September 29, 2015
12:58 EDTHZNPHorizon Pharma's volatility at 52-week high
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10:48 EDTHZNPOptions with increasing implied volatility
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05:05 EDTHZNPStocks with implied volatility movement; HZNP VRX
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Horizon Pharma (HZNP) 132, Valeant (VRX) 98 according to iVolatility.
September 28, 2015
16:19 EDTHZNPOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Monday
Stocks on Wall Street were sharply lower as investors continue to worry about the health of China's economy and continue to flee the biotech sector. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) was down 6.33% today and is down about 18.5% since September 21, when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged to take action against the high prices of specialty drugs. Adding to the tentative mood among investors was noted investor Carl Icahn's preview for a presentation that will be made available on his site tomorrow, entitled "Danger Ahead." The preview includes several cautious comments that the billionaire has publicly made recently regarding his concerns about the high-yield bond market and the stock market. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., personal income grew 0.3% in August, versus expectations for it to rise 0.4%. Personal spending rose 0.4% last month, versus expectations for growth of 0.3%. The pending home sales index fell 1.4% in August, missing expectations for it to have risen 0.4%. The Dallas Fed manufacturing outlook survey for September had a reading of -9.5, versus expectations for a reading of -10.0. In China, industrial profits plunged 8.8% in August, adding to the recent string of weak data from the Asian giant. COMPANY NEWS: Apple (AAPL) reported that it set a record by selling more than 13M new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models in the first three days after launch of the devices. However, shares of the tech giant slid about 2% to $112.44 following the announcement... Alcoa (AA) shares advanced 52c, or 5.73%, to $9.59 after the company announced that its board has approved a plan to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies - an Upstream company that will operate under the Alcoa name and a new "Value-Add company" that will provide high-performance, multi-material products whose name will be announced at a later date... Biotech stocks continued recent declines, with Valeant (VRX) dropping 16.6% after a group of Democratic congressmen urged additional scrutiny of the company's "price hike" business model, while Epizyme (EPZM) and NewLink (NLNK) fell a respective 27% and 21% after presenting data at the 2015 European Cancer Congress... Shares of both Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) and Williams (WMB) fell after they announced a combination deal valued at approximately $37.7B, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Under the terms of their deal, an affiliate of ETE will acquire Williams at an implied current price of $43.50 per Williams share, the companies said. In late June, Energy Transfer Equity made a proposal to merge with Williams in an all-equity transaction valued at that time at $53.1B, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Under that prior merger proposal, ETE would have acquired all of the outstanding common stock of Williams at an implied price of $64 per Williams share, which represented a 32.4% premium to Williams' common share closing price as of June 19. Energy Transfer Equity shares closed down $2.95, or 12.69%, to $20.29 after announcing today's revised deal, while Williams dropped $5.03, or 12.09%, to close at $36.57. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Republic Airways (RJET), which surged $2.38, or 81.8%, to $5.29 after announcing that the company and Teamsters Local 357 have reached a consensual tentative agreement on the terms of a new three-year contract for the 2,100 Republic pilots represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Also higher was Media General (MEG), which gained $2.49, or 22.3%, to $13.64 after Nexstar (NXST) proposed a cash-and-stock deal to acquire the company for $14.50 per share, which Media General said it would "carefully review." Additionally, Sanchez Energy (SN) rose 4.5% to $5.57 after agreeing to sell certain Eagle Ford Shale midstream assets to Sanchez Production Partners (SPP) for $345M. Among the noteworthy losers was Huntsman (HUN), which plunged $3.99, or 28.7%, to $9.92 after warning that headwinds would impact its third quarter earnings. Also lower were shares of Depomed (DEPO) and Horizon Pharma (HZNP), falling a respective 22% and 21%, after Depomed continued its criticism of Horizon's hostile takeover bid for the company. INDEXES: The Dow fell 312.78, or 1.92%, to 16,001.89, the Nasdaq lost 142.53, or 3.04%, to 4,543.97, and the S&P 500 dropped 49.57, or 2.57%, to 1,881.77.
10:20 EDTHZNPOptions with increasing implied volatility
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06:44 EDTHZNPDepomed issues statement on ISS report
Depomed (DEPO) issued the following statement regarding a report by Institutional Shareholder Services' on Horizon Pharma's (HZNP) solicitation to call two special meetings of Depomed's shareholders. Depomed commented, "The ISS recommendation does not change the fact that we believe Horizon's offer does not reflect the value inherent in Depomed's business nor Depomed's compelling prospects for long-term growth and value creation, and therefore is not in the best interests of shareholders... We strongly believe Depomed shareholders are being misled by Horizon and are entitled to know the facts. First, based on Friday's closing price of Horizon stock, Horizon's all-stock exchange offer has a current value of only $21.64 per Depomed share, nowhere near the $33.00 a share that Horizon continues to disingenuously tout in its communications to Depomed shareholders. Second, Horizon has misleadingly announced false deadlines to submit proxies. To be clear, Depomed's Board of Directors has set record dates for October 29 and November 13, 2015 and there is no deadline approaching for Depomed shareholders to submit proxy cards to call a special meeting. Moreover, there is absolutely no requirement for Depomed shareholders to take any action until after the October 29 and November 13, 2015 record dates."
September 25, 2015
12:38 EDTHZNPOptions with increasing implied volatility
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08:02 EDTHZNPHorizon Pharma wins positive CHMP opinion for urea cycle disorder treatment
Horizon Pharma announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, of the European Medicines Agency adopted a positive opinion at its plenary monthly meeting in September recommending a centralized marketing authorization for RAVICTI Oral Liquid for use as an adjunctive therapy for chronic management of adult and pediatric patients greater than two months of age with Urea Cycle Disorders. Detailed recommendations for the use of RAVICTI will be described in the summary of product characteristics, which will be published in the European public assessment report and made available in all official European Union languages after the marketing authorisation has been granted by the European Commission. The adopted positive opinion will be considered by the European Commission for a binding decision to be issued for the granting of a centralized marketing authorization within 60 to 90 days from the date of adoption of the opinion.
September 24, 2015
11:08 EDTHZNPOptions with increasing implied volatility
Options with increasing implied volatility: PTCT CZR KITE HZNP NAV CREE VRX PNK
September 23, 2015
08:34 EDTHZNPArgos names Robert Carey to board of directors
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07:40 EDTHZNPHorizon Pharma weakness creates buying opportunity, says Stifel
Stifel believes that Horizon Pharma's stock has been pressured in recent days due to worries about prescription trends and statements about drug pricing. However, the firm thinks that the company is on track to beat Q3 revenue expectations and its 2015 revenue guidance. It does not expect the "rhetoric" about drug pricing to impact the company and it keeps a $45 price target and Buy rating on the shares.
September 22, 2015
20:02 EDTHZNPClinton vows $250 cap on monthly drug costs in blast against biotechs, insurers
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton railed against biotech companies as well as health insurers at a community health care forum in Iowa on Tuesday. Clinton began her speech by praising the Affordable Care Act, but quickly noted that she wants to strengthen it due to what she called the rising cost of prescription drugs. She explained, "Our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit... [But] too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investment... so it may makes sense, for a short period of time, to have to charge a lot of money for a drug. But when a drug has no competition, when there aren't any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America." Referencing the recent criticism against Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton went on to say that "pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing affordable drug that people rely on, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it, [are just betting] on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it." Preemptively responding to questions of whether greater regulation will dampen investment, Clinton commented that "some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation, but I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite... Under my plan, drug companies that want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development." Clinton also criticized incremental drug improvements, saying that "too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit, but then they're marketed as breakthrough drugs and they're sold for high prices." The Democratic candidate went on to condemn advertising in the drug industry, remarking that "I also want to tackle direct to consumer advertising... Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn't be encouraging them with corporate write-offs... Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation... I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA." Moving more broadly onto Medicaid and health insurers, Clinton stated, "I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members... I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients... I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice." Providing more concrete details of her plan, Clinton concluded, "I will cap out of pocket drug costs for working families. You won't have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications... Particularly for people who have a chronic illness. Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada or any other country that meets our safety standards... I will also make sure we have more generics on the market [by boosting funding for] the FDA's office of generic drugs."
17:35 EDTHZNPHillary Clinton vows to cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $250 per month
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a tweet that, "Under my plan, I'll cap out-of-pocket drug costs for families. You won't have to pay more than $250/month for covered medications." Reference Link
14:45 EDTHZNPDiplomat Pharmacy addresses unusual market activity
Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) is aware of unusual market activity in its stock, potentially in respect to a deal in which Diplomat was incorrectly referenced. Diplomat is aware of a recent development regarding Depomed (DEPO) and Horizon Pharma (HZNP), in which it is not involved. Diplomat heard from an investor that the Diplomat name was incorrectly referenced instead of Depomed, in a discussion between that investor and a bank earlier. We reference such statement only to explain the potential market confusion and we are not commenting on the validity of the statement in any respect. Diplomat has noted that in terms of both shares traded and stock price decline thus far Tuesday, its stock is unusually correlated to Depomed and Horizon Pharma.
10:45 EDTCVSReimbursement pressure on drug stores should moderate, says Cleveland Research
Cleveland Research analysts Rob Eich and Rob Stuyck said the firm's work indicates that stepdown reimbursement rates will be more manageable for drug store operators and that generic inflation will be less of a headwind for the group in FY16. However, Direct and Indirect Remuneration clauses will still be a source of margin pressure, the firm said, noting that several payers will be introducing a DIR next year. Cleveland Research has Neutral ratings on CVS (CVS), Walgreens (WBA), Rite Aid (RAD) and Wal-Mart (WMT).
10:01 EDTHZNPOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: ABB (ABB) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan... Aaron's (AAN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Allison Transmission (ALSN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... Anglo American (AAUKY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Antofagasta (ANFGY) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Atmel (ATML) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham... Cummins (CMI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... DuPont Fabros (DFT) downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital... F5 Networks (FFIV) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim... Horizon Pharma (HZNP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital... Infoblox (BLOX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... Israel Chemicals (ICL) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... NetApp (NTAP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... Nimble Storage (NMBL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Oxford Instruments (OXINF) downgraded to Underperform from Hold at Jefferies... Societe Generale (SCGLY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Toronto-Dominion (TD) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Virgin America (VA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
08:23 EDTHZNPAnalysts say buy select biotech stocks ahead of Clinton drug plan
Ahead of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laying out her plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market at an event in Iowa later today, analysts at research firms Jefferies and Piper Jaffray are recommending select biotech stocks that they view as buys amid the weakness in the space. DEBATE: Biotech stocks broadly declined yesterday, with the NASDAQ Biotechnology index (IBB) sliding roughly 4.4%, after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on a 62-year-old drug that fights complication of AIDS and cancer. Furor around the sudden price hike for Turing's Daraprim reignited a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. The news also follows Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issuing a letter in August to Valeant (VRX) and Pfizer's (PFE) Hospira, in which he requested information on the "enormous" price increases of two drugs Valeant acquired earlier in the year. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage yesterday by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and promising to lay out a plan today to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. Clinton's proposal, which she'll outline in a speech in Iowa later today, would force pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into research, allow for more generic and imported drugs and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs and cap out-of-pocket expenses, according to details of the plan shared with USA Today. Zeke Emanuel, chair of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, appeared on Nightly Business Report to discuss the problem of high drug prices and his suggested solutions. During his interview, Emanuel contended that giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices may drive up prices for everyone else. DEFENSES: The Jefferies Biotechnology research team, led by Brian Abrahams, Eun Yang and Biren Amin, say their Washington D.C. consultants indicate the recent political rhetoric around drug pricing is unlikely to result in any substantive future policy changes that would impact biotech sector fundamentals. As such, they recommend using yesterday's selloff to buy select companies including Celgene (CELG), BioMarin (BMRN) and Alkermes (ALKS). Pricing concerns are nothing new, and will likely continue to be a headwind for the sector, the analysts tell investors in a research note. Hillary Clinton's proposal to combat drug pricing is likely to include "some combination of old and tried policies that have been out there for a few years," they write. The analysts also like shares of AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG), Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR) and Cempra (CEMP). Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff recommends buying shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) following yesterday's selloff. Tenthoff believes that drugs like Vertex's Orkambi will maintain premium pricing because of the disease modifying value to patients and payors. Orkambi is approved to treat cystic fibrosis in patients 12 years and older. The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on Vertex with a $163 price target. DOWNGRADE: Brean Capital analyst Difei Yang downgraded Horizon Pharma (HZNP) to Hold saying "unsettling recent developments" make the stock's premium valuation no longer justified. The public discussion on high drug prices is a negative for the company while its attempt to acquire Depomed (DEPO) is unlikely to result in a completed deal, Yang tells investors in a research note. Further, Horizon's prescription trends are showing weakness, said Yang, who views the stock as more risky than in the past. PRICE ACTION: Horizon closed yesterday down $2.93, or 9.2%, at $28.99, while Vertex dropped $5.97, or 4.8%, to $118.19. A number of the biggest stocks in biotechnology were also weak yesterday, with Gilead sliding about 2.5%, Amgen (AMGN) dropping 2.3%, Celgene declining 2.8% and Biogen (BIIB) falling more than 5.5%.
06:43 EDTHZNPHorizon Pharma downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital
Brean Capital analyst Difei Yang downgraded Horizon Pharma (HZNP) to Hold saying "unsettling recent developments" make the stock's premium valuation no longer justified. The public discussion on high drug prices is a negative for the company while its attempt to acquire Depomed (DEPO) is unlikely to result in a completed deal, Yang tells investors in a research note. Further, Horizon's prescription trends are showing weakness, the analyst points out. Yang views the stock as more risky than in the past. Horizon closed yesterday down $2.93 to $28.99.
September 21, 2015
07:02 EDTACRXPDL BioPharma acquires a portion of AcelRx's expected sales for $65M
PDL BioPharma (PDLI) announced that it has acquired a portion of the royalties on expected sales of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (ACRX) Zalviso in the European Union, Switzerland and Australia by its commercial partner, Grunenthal. Under the terms of the agreement, PDL has provided AcelRx with gross proceeds of $65M, and in exchange, PDL will receive 75% of the royalties AcelRx receives from Grunenthal as well as 80% of the first four commercial milestones subject to a capped amount. Zalviso is a combination drug and device product which, using a patient controlled dispenser, delivers a sub-lingual formulation of sufentanil, an opioid with a high therapeutic index. It is being evaluated for the treatment of moderate to severe post-operative pain in the hospital setting and could be used in lieu of intravenous patient-controlled analgesia. Zalviso has been submitted for product approval in the European Union and has received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency. Pending approval, Grunenthal expects to launch Zalviso beginning in the first half of 2016, and PDL expects to begin receiving royalties shortly thereafter.
September 20, 2015
14:29 EDTDLTRDollar Tree shares look appealing, Barron's says
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