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News Breaks
July 21, 2014
12:10 EDTKNDI, AGN, EZPW, ITRI, VMW, EXTR, VRX, EMCOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in negative territory and have remained there throughout the morning. The focus has been on the events in both Israel and Russia, which have pushed earnings into the background for now. The President spoke this morning and called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for the Russian separatists to stop tampering with evidence. The losses remain moderate as investors remain concerned about the world stage but are bracing for a number of huge earnings reports this week, including the latest sales figures from Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Verizon (VZ). ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index dipped to 0.12 in June from a reading of 0.16 in May. The index has been in positive territory, reflecting above trend growth, since February. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of EMC (EMC) advanced 4% after the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources, that activist investor Elliott Management has taken a stake of over $1B in the data-storage company and plans to push it to break itself up. Elliott reportedly believes EMC's stock would get a boost from spinning off VMware (VMW), in which it owns an 80% stake. Shares of VMware were down a bit over 1% following the Journal's report... Allergan (AGN) rose about 2% after the company's Q2 results and its FY14 outlook beat expectations. The company, which is working to fend off a proposed acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), also announced plans to cut its workforce by about 1,500 employees as part of a broader restructuring effort. In related news, Valeant announced it has contacted both the SEC and Canadian financial authorities regarding Allergan's "apparent attempt to mislead investors and manipulate the market for Valeant common shares by continuing to make false and misleading statements regarding Valeant's business." MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Extreme Networks (EXTR), which rose 15% after the company raised its Q4 earnings per share outlook and narrowed its Q4 revenue view. Also higher were shares of Chinese electric car maker Kandi Technologies (KNDI), which gained 10% after a Chinese newspaper reported that electric cars made outside of China would not qualify for a key tax break in the country, though domestically-made ones would. Among the noteworthy losers was EZCORP (EZPW), which dropped 12% after it appointed CFO Mark Kuchenrither as its interim CEO and President and its stock was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sidoti. Also lower were shares of Itron (ITRI), which fell 8% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock two notches to Underperform from Buy, citing its view that meter deployments will not support the stock's current valuation given continued delays and lower than expected margins. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 72.05, or 0.42%, to 17,028.13, the Nasdaq was down 17.99, or 0.41%, to 4,414.15, and the S&P 500 was down 8.27, or 0.42%, to 1,969.95.
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November 13, 2015
06:54 EDTAGNPiper sees Pfizer worth over $50/share on standalone basis
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November 12, 2015
13:45 EDTAGNPfizer, Allergan talks could set off further Treasury action, dealReporter says
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11:07 EDTEMC, VMWVMware rallies after canceling conference appearances
Shares of VMware (VMW) are rallying after the company cancelled its appearances at two upcoming industry conferences being held by Credit Suisse and UBS, according to sources. VMware is "following the lead of EMC" by not appearing, a person familiar with the matter told The Fly. VMware rallied on Tuesday after Re/code's Arik Hesseldahl reported that EMC's (EMC) planned merger with Dell could be complicated or derailed by potential tax issues. Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um wrote yesterday in a research note downgrading EMC that a "wide range of potential outcomes" exist regarding the EMC, Dell merger. He views the ideal scenario as Dell and EMC selling off assets or spinning off Pivotal in early 2016 coupled with a buy-in of VMware.
08:02 EDTVRXSynergy Pharmaceuticals still a saleable asset, says Canaccord
Canaccord still views Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) as a saleable asset, with Valeant (VRX) or Shire (SHPG) seen as the most obvious buyers. The firm also sees the cost of the launch of plecanatide as lower than expected and sees no need for the company to raise capital until at least the end of 2016. Canaccord reiterated its Buy rating and $19 price target on Synergy Pharmaceuticals shares.
06:12 EDTVRXAckman responds to Munger's Valeant criticism with Coke critique, Bloomberg says
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November 11, 2015
15:57 EDTVRXFiling points to odd stock windfall for Valeant CEO, SIRF says
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15:43 EDTVRX, AGNJudge says Valeant, Ackman must face insider trading suit, Reuters reports
In a decision rendered on Nov. 9, a U.S. district judge in California ruled that Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) and shareholder Bill Ackman must face a lawsuit accusing them of insider trading in Allergan (AGN) before the hedge fund manager and the company partnered on their unsuccessful takeover bid, reported Reuters. Reference Link
10:05 EDTVRXValeant price target lowered to $200 from $285 at Stifel
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10:03 EDTKNDIGoldman Sachs to hold a conference
China Conference is being held in Shanghai, China on November 11-12.
09:59 EDTEMCOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: Amedisys (AMED) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho... Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg... BioCryst (BCRX) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Boot Barn (BOOT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T... C1 Financial (BNK) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Clarcor (CLC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Avondale... EMC (EMC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo... Eaton (ETN) downgraded on near-term challenges at Argus... Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) downgraded to Negative from Mixed at OTR Global... Lennox (LII) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Mediaset (MDIUY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC... MetLife (MET) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Metaldyne Performance (MPG) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays... Oracle (ORCL) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Penn Virginia (PVA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Rex Energy (REXX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland... Rice Energy (RICE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Rockwell Automation (ROK) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Sabra Health Care (SBRA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust... SanDisk (SNDK) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein... Vestas Wind (VWDRY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC.
09:56 EDTKNDIKandi announces signing of manifesto to promote electric vehicles
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08:31 EDTVRXSpecialty pharmacy ties claim next victim in Horizon Pharma
Shares of Horizon Pharma (HZNP) are sharply lower this morning after pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) cut ties with a specialty pharmacy called Linden Care, which is used by Horizon. The trouble for Horizon is reminiscent of the recent issues suffered by fellow drugmaker Valeant (VRX) due to its own association with a specialty pharmacy. WHAT'S NEW: Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, has stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma. 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." Horizon repeated its previous assertions that it does not own or have an ownership stake in any pharmacy, does not possess an option to purchase any pharmacy and that all pharmacies that distribute Horizon branded medicines are fully independent. WHAT'S NOTABLE: The fight between Express Scripts and Horizon over Linden Care comes amid the ongoing saga playing out between Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services. 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 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 had informed the drugmaker that it will 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. DEPOMED PURSUIT: In September, Horizon commenced an exchange offer for all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Depomed (DEPO). Under the terms of the offer, tendering Depomed shareholders would be able to exchange each share of Depomed common stock for 0.95 Horizon Pharma ordinary shares. Depomed's board has unanimously rejected Horizon's unsolicited exchange offer, highlighting reservations about Horizon's business model and strategy, while observing that the nature of Horizon's business model "had the potential to lead to significant volatility in the price of Horizon stock." This morning, WallachBeth analyst Brian Jeep upgraded Depomed to Buy, citing valuation and the potential of the Nucynta franchise following the company's better than expected Q3 results. Jeep keeps a $33 price target for Depomed shares. PRICE ACTION: In pre-market trading, Horizon Pharma fell over 17% to $18.50 per share, while Depomed slid nearly 6% to $20 per share.
08:15 EDTVMWExecutives' Club of Chicago to hold a discussion
The Executives' Club of Chicago holds their Business Technology Leadership Forum entitled, "Safeguarding Your Business: The Impact of Growing Cyber Threats" with Kevin Novak, CISO of Northern Trust, Tom Corn, SVP of VMware, Richard Rushing, CIO of Motorola Mobility and Kevin Richards, Managing Director of Accenture in Chicago on November 11 at 7 pm.
07:56 EDTAGNBoston Biotech Conferences to hold a conference
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07:23 EDTVRXValeant upcoming 2016 guidance key to boosting confidence, says UBS
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07:04 EDTAGNAllergan submits Prior Approval Supplement for Restasis
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06:32 EDTVMW, EMCEMC downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um downgraded EMC (EMC) to Market Perform and cut his price target range for shares to $25-$28 from $29-$30. The closed yesterday down 58c to $25.25. The analyst says valuing the proposed tracking stock proposed by Dell is a "significant challenge." Um also highlights yesterday's report by Re/code's Arik Hesseldahl which noted EMC's merger with Dell could be complicated or derailed by potential tax issues. Disruption from the deal could have an adverse impact on EMC's business, the analyst argues. Um believes there could still be "wide range of potential outcomes" regarding the planned EMC, Dell merger, and views the ideal scenario as selling off assets or spinning off Pivotal in early 2016 coupled with a buy-in of VMware (VMW).
06:30 EDTVRXValeant holder reached out to Philidor employees, WSJ says
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06:23 EDTVRXValeant price target lowered to $225 from $265 at JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Chris Schott lowered his price target for Valeant Pharmaceuticals to $225 from $265 to reflect the Philidor discontinuation's impact on the dermatology and neurology franchises. The stock closed yesterday down $1.77 to $83.64. The analyst "conservatively" assumes that the dermatology business recovers "to some extent" in 2016. The rest of the Valeant business, which represents more than two-thirds of the company's revenue, appears to be performing well, Schott tells investors in a research note after management held a business update conference call. The analyst points out that the stock currently trades as less than six times his 2016 estimates and less than five times his 2017 estimates despite a portfolio consisting of a "number of high multiple businesses." Schott keeps an Overweight rating on Valeant.
06:11 EDTVRXValeant cutting prices for Nitropress, Isuprel for customers, Bloomberg reports
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