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March 14, 2014
12:31 EDTCELG, GIS, ULTA, CTB, ARO, SBUX, GMCROn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street traded in a narrow band on either side of the flat-line in the early going, as the news flow continues to be dominated by developments between Russia and Ukraine. Stocks opened in quiet fashion and moved to the upside early in the session. The market was unable to hold its gains, however, and reversed course following a report that indicated that consumer sentiment has fallen this month. The averages crossed back into positive territory right before noon, but the market has remained in a narrow range throughout the morning's swings. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., producer prices fell 0.1% overall in February, versus an expected increase of 0.2%. The core reading, which excludes food and energy, fell 0.2%, versus an expected increase of 0.1%. The Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for March unexpectedly dropped to a four-month low of 79.9. The preliminary reading for the month was expected by analysts to have come in at 81.8, which would have been a slight bump from the prior 81.6 figure. In Europe, one person reportedly died and several were injured after violent clashes in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk amid demonstrations from those opposed to Russia’s military intervention in Crimea. Also, reports indicated the Russian military conducted another military exercise near Ukraine on Thursday. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of single-serve coffee machine maker Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) rose nearly 9% after the company agreed to new terms in its deal with coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX). Research firm Buckingham said its views Keurig's amended deal with Starbucks as a positive event for both companies. The new agreement lets Keurig pursue additional premium unlicensed brands and provides Starbucks an opportunity for better margins, said the firm... Shares of teen retailer Aeropostale (ARO) fell almost 14% after its fourth quarter results and first quarter outlook missed analysts' consensus expectations. The retailer also entered a financing deal with private equity firm Sycamore Partners for a strategic partnership and $150M in senior secured credit facilities. Aeropostale will also issue convertible preferred stock to Sycamore that gives the firm the right to acquire up to 5% of the company's common stock at an exercise price of $7.25, the closing price of the company's common stock on March 12. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was beauty retailer Ulta Salon (ULTA), which advanced over 7% after the company’s fourth quarter results beat estimates. Also higher following its quarterly earnings report was tire maker Cooper Tire & Rubber (CTB), which rose nearly 8%. Among the noteworthy losers was Celgene (CELG), which dropped almost 3% after the U.K.'s healthcare guidance body issued new draft guidance on the use of the company's Revlimid drug. Also lower were shares of cereal and packaged foods maker General Mills (GIS), which slid 2% after the company warned its third quarter earnings could miss expectations. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 1.15, or 0.01%, to 16,110.04, the Nasdaq was up 1.74, or 0.04%, to 4,262.16, and the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 1,846.36.
News For GMCR;SBUX;ARO;ULTA;CELG;CTB;GIS From The Last 14 Days
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September 25, 2015
06:48 EDTGISCereal makers tweak recipes in emerging markets, WSJ says
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06:20 EDTSBUXStarbucks promises to raise wages in U.K. beginning in November, FT reports
Starbucks will raise its average wage in the U.K. beginning in November to just under GBP8 an hour, The Financial Times reports. Additionally, the company will offer interest-free loans to help staff members pay deposits on housing. Reference Link
05:21 EDTCELGCelgene's VIDAZA receives positive CHMP opinion
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September 24, 2015
09:32 EDTSBUXActive equity options trading on open
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05:22 EDTSBUXStocks with implied volatility below IV index mean; LULU SBUX
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September 23, 2015
09:18 EDTSBUXPaulson Institute and CCPIT to co-host U.S.-China Business Roundtable
The Paulson Institute and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) provide an opportunity for U.S. and Chinese business leaders to discuss issues facing the two countries in a roundtable being held in Seattle, Washington on September 23.
07:51 EDTSBUXStarbucks fails to provide better labor practices, NY Times reports
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September 22, 2015
20:02 EDTCELGClinton 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 EDTCELGHillary 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
12:22 EDTGISConAgra falls after Q1 revenue significantly misses estimates
Shares of packaged food company ConAgra (CAG) are falling after the company's first quarter revenue fell significantly short of analysts' consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: This morning, ConAgra reported Q1 adjusted earnings per share of 45c, ahead of the consensus of 40c, and revenue of $2.79B, well short of expectations of $3.67B. ConAgra reported Q1 Consumer Foods sales of approximately $1.7B and Commercial Foods segment sales of $1.1B. The divestiture process for the private label operations is proceeding as planned, and the company expects to have an announcement on the outcome of this process later this fall. The company will assess opportunities to increase the dividend after it is further along with the strategic plan outlined at the end of fiscal 2015. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Looking ahead to Q2, the company expects diluted EPS, adjusted for items impacting comparability, to be approximately in line with year-ago comparable amounts, compared to consensus of 63c. Despite strong fundamentals and expectations for continued margin expansion, comparable operating profits for the Consumer Foods segment in the fiscal second quarter are expected to be negatively impacted by foreign exchange, as well as a planned increase in marketing investment. Profits for the Commercial Foods segment are expected to post an increase in profitability year-over-year in the fiscal second quarter. Expected contribution from the private label operations, which are now in discontinued operations, is included in this guidance. On its Q1 conference call, ConAgra said its private brands divestiture was "on track" and there was "a lot of interest" in it. Management noted that they were "aggressively" pursuing maximizing actions and making "good progress" on margin improvement efforts. They said they were committed to an investment grade rating, marketing investments will increase throughout the year, and results from the last six months indicate positivity going forward. They said the company took a $1.95B charge on private label business in Q1, but remain confident that they will realize a tax benefit from the capital loss. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, ConAgra fell $2.39, or about 5.64%, to $40.01 on heavy trading volume. Despite the pull back, the shares have gained approximately 19% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies in the packaged foods space include Boulder Brands (BDBD), down 0.5%, Pinnacle Foods (PF), down 2.5%, General Mills (GIS), up 0.6%, JM Smucker (SJM), down 3%, and TreeHouse Foods (THS), down 0.4%.
09:08 EDTGISGeneral Mills says to increase consumer investment in Larabar in 2H
08:38 EDTGISGeneral Mills sees Green Giant deal dilutive to FY16 EPS by 5c-7c
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08:23 EDTCELGAnalysts 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%.
08:00 EDTCELGJefferies sees buying opportunities in select biotech names
Analysts at Jefferies 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). The Jefferies Biotechnology research team is led by Brian Abrahams, Eun Yang and Biren Amin.
07:07 EDTGISGeneral Mills backs FY16 adjusted EPS to grow at mid single-digit rate
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07:03 EDTGISGeneral Mills reports Q1 adjusted EPS 79c, consensus 69c
Reports Q1 revenue $4.21B, consensus $4.25B. On a constant currency basis, net sales increased 4%.
07:01 EDTGISGeneral Mills volatility low into Q1 and outlook
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05:24 EDTSBUXStarbucks announces availability of Mobile Order & Pay nationwide
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05:09 EDTCELGStocks with implied volatility movement; BIIB CELG
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Biogen (BIIB) 44m Celgene (CELG) 38 according to iVolatility.
September 21, 2015
14:57 EDTGISNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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