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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 9, 2014
11:29 EDTIDIX, GILD, JNJ, ABBV, ACHNHCV players moving after Merck buys Idenix
Shares of several companies that have developed hepatitis C, or HCV, treatments are rising after one such company, Idenix (IDIX), agreed to be acquired by Merck (MRK). Meanwhile, shares of Gilead (GILD) are falling after an analyst wrote that Merck could be in a better position to extract royalties from Gilead following the acquisition. WHAT'S NEW: Merck and Idenix reported this morning that Idenix would be acquired by Merck for $24.50 per share or $3.85B. The purchase price is more than triple the company's closing price on Friday. Idenix has developed a number of HCV treatments. In an interview with Reuters, Merck's R&D chief, Roger Perlmutter said that Indenix's experimental drug, IDX21437, could cure patients with every genotype of HCV within four to six weeks, the news service reported. Currently viewed by many as the leading HCV treatment, Gilead's Solvaldi must be taken for 12 weeks by most patients, according to Gilead's website. REACTION: In an article published by The Street today, blogger Adam Feuerstein wrote that Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which has developed its own HCV drugs, could be the next takeover target in the space. Like Gilead's Sovaldi, Achillion's ACH-3422 is a nucleotide, Feurstein noted. After CNBC reported that Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Abbvie (ABBV) both made unsuccessful bids for Idenix, Feurstein believes that investors are betting that Achillion could be acquired by Johnson & Johnson or Abbvie. Meanwhile, in a note to investors earlier today, Dr. Joshua Schimmer, an analyst at research firm Piper Jaffray, wrote that some investors believe that Merck acquired Idenix partly to strengthen its hand in patent litigation against Gilead. Patents were likely a key factor in Merck's purchase of Idenix, but analysts have always expected Gielad to pay Merck a royalty on Sovaldi sales, the analyst wrote. Moreover, Sovaldi is likely to constitute a much lower percentage of Gilead's HCV sales going forward as the company develops new combination therapies, Schimmer contended. He kept an Overweight rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Achillion climbed 39% to $4, Gilead dropped 4% to $79, and Idenix soared 230% to $24.
News For IDIX;GILD;JNJ;ABBV;ACHN From The Last 14 Days
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August 15, 2014
07:11 EDTACHNAchillion achieves 100% SVR4 in Phase 2 trial of ACH-3102 and sofosbuvir
Achillion Pharmaceuticals announced interim results from an ongoing Phase 2 proxy study evaluating ACH-3102, Achillion's second-generation NS5A inhibitor, in combination with sofosbuvir, without ribavirin, for eight weeks of treatment in patients with treatment-nave genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Of the 12 patients treated, 100 percent remained HCV RNA undetectable four weeks after completing therapy. Based upon these results, 12 additional patients will begin treatment with six weeks of once daily ACH-3102 and sofosbuvir. "ACH-3102 continues to demonstrate good safety and tolerability through three Phase 2 studies. We believe these studies also confirm a differentiated efficacy profile for an NS5A inhibitor. Achieving 100% SVR4 with eight weeks of treatment with sofosbuvir serving as a nucleotide proxy indicate that dosing 50 mg once daily of ACH-3102 plus a nucleotide inhibitor has the potential to achieve commercially competitive results for curing HCV in a short duration, ribavirin-free doublet," commented David Apelian, EVP and Chief Medical Officer at Achillion. Milind Deshpande, President and CEO of Achillion commented, "As we continue to achieve clinical milestones, we remain focused on execution of the broader clinical development strategy for our HCV portfolio. We expect that Phase 1 proof-of-concept results with ACH-3422 will be reported during the fall of this year, which we anticipate will lead to the start of a Phase 2 combination program to evaluate our proprietary doublet regimen for an eight week, or potentially shorter, treatment regimen for HCV that will begin before the end of 2014."
06:18 EDTGILDGilead initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital
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06:17 EDTACHNAchillion initiated with an Outperform at FBR Capital
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06:12 EDTGILDGilead announced favorable ruling in arbitration against Roche
Gilead (GILD) announced that an arbitration panel determined that Roche (RHHBY) failed to establish any of their claims and ruled in favor of Gilead. As a result, Roche is not entitled to any damages or other relief. In March 2013, Roche initiated an arbitration against Gilead and Pharmasset, predecessor to Gilead Pharmasset, regarding a 2004 collaboration agreement between Roche and Pharmasset. In the arbitration demand, Roche asserted that it had an exclusive license to sofosbuvir pursuant to the collaboration agreement because sofosbuvir, a prodrug of a uridine monophosphate analog, is allegedly a prodrug of PSI-6130, a cytidine analog. Roche further claimed that, because it had exclusive rights to sofosbuvir, it also had an exclusive license to a patent covering sofosbuvir, and that we infringed that patent by selling and offering for sale products containing sofosbuvir.
August 14, 2014
16:01 EDTGILDOptions Update; August 14, 2014
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August 13, 2014
09:37 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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August 12, 2014
09:35 EDTJNJActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open according to Track Data: AAPL GOOG C TSL EXAS BAC DNDN JNJ TSLA
August 11, 2014
10:19 EDTACHNOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Achillion (ACHN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo... Alon USA Partners (ALDW) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Buenaventura (BVN) upgraded to Buy from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... CNO Financial (CNO) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Central European Media (CETV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Cepheid (CPHD) upgraded to Neutral from Cautious at ISI Group... Chuy's (CHUY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James... Compressco (GSJK) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James... Concho Resources (CXO) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens... Frank's International (FI) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... Freeport McMoRan (FCX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus... GNC Holdings (GNC) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Genworth (GNW) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Gulfport Energy (GPOR) upgraded at Stifel... Huntington Ingalls (HII) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Hyatt Hotels (H) upgraded at Stifel... J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Craig-Hallum... Kinder Morgan (KMI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Krispy Kreme (KKD) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Oasis Petroleum (OAS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee... PepsiCo (PEP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Regency Centers (REG) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... SandRidge Energy (SD) upgraded to Reduce from Sell at KLR Group... Southwest Gas (SWX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Brean Capital... Tesla (TSLA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
09:36 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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09:06 EDTACHNOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: PharmAthene (PIP), up 55% after announcing that a Delaware court awarded the company lump sum expectation damages for the value of its lost profits for SIGA Technologies' (SIGA) smallpox antiviral, Tecovirimat... MannKind (MNKD), up 19% after entering exclusive licensing agreement for development and commercialization of Afrezza inhaled insulin with Sanofi (SNY)... Kinder Morgan (KMI), up 19% after announcing it will acquire all of the outstanding equity securities of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP), Kinder Morgan Management (KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB)... Tesla (TSLA), up 2.7% following upgrade at Deutsche Bank... Achillion (ACHN), up 6% following upgrades at Wells Fargo and at Piper Jaffray... PepsiCo (PEP), up 0.9% following upgrade at UBS. LOWER: Dean Foods (DF), down 8.6% after reporting Q2 losses that were steeper than expected, saying balance of year "appears rocky," which makes it difficult to provide guidance beyond the immediate quarter... Priceline (PCLN), down 0.7% after reporting Q2 revenue that missed expectations, guiding Q3 EPS below consensus... SIGA Technologies, down 31% after ruling in suit with PharmAthene... 2U (TWOU), down 4.3% after downgraded at Goldman.
07:29 EDTGILDGilead price target raised to $110 from $90 at Argus
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05:48 EDTACHNAchillion upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo upgraded Achillion to Outperform citing the potential for multiple near-term catalysts around the company's hepatitis C portfolio. Wells raised its price target range for shares to $11-$13 from $7-$8. Achillion was also upgraded this morning at Piper Jaffray.
05:29 EDTACHNAchillion upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
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August 8, 2014
09:01 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson remains undervalued, says Cowen
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07:48 EDTABBVCredit Suisse remains a buyer of AbbVie
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August 7, 2014
16:53 EDTACHNAchillion reports Q2 EPS (16c), consensus (18c)
President and CEO Milind Deshpande said, "We remain committed to our goal of initiating a Phase 2 trial by the end of 2014, pending regulatory approval, which will evaluate ACH-3422 in combination with ACH-3102 for patients with chronic HCV for treatment durations of eight weeks or less. We also remain confident that our strong balance sheet will fund our operations into 2016." Cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and interest receivable as of June 30 were $132.2M.
09:36 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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August 6, 2014
12:59 EDTABBVCovidien drops as Treasury explores ways to stymie inversions
Shares of medical device and drug maker Covidien (COV) are falling after multiple media outlets reported that the Treasury Department is looking into ways of curtailing tax inversion deals. Covidien has agreed to be acquired by Medtronic (MDT) in a tax inversion deal. BACKGROUND: Tax inversions refer to an acquisition of one company, usually officially based in a country in Europe or elsewhere, by a U.S. company, following which the acquiring company becomes domiciled in the same country as the company that it bought. The switch has the potential to significantly lower the acquiring company's tax rate. WHAT'S NEW: The Treasury Department is looking at options that would enable the Obama administration to curtail inversion deals without authorization from Congress, multiple media outlets reported last night and today. ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors today, Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen wrote that he believes that Medtronic would buy Covidien even if the transaction cannot be done as an inversion. At a conference in June, Medtronic CFO Gary Ellis said that his company would "do the deal whether it's an inversion or not inversion," Biegelsen stated. If no inversion is possible, Medtronic would respond by using less of its stock and more debt to fund the transaction, the analyst believes. Such a change would actually cause Medtronic's cash earnings per share to be higher in the first and second year after the deal than under the current structure, the analyst indicated. He kept an Outperform rating on Medtronic. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Covidien dropped 2% to $84.50 and Medtronic fell 1% to $61.50. Meanwhile, drug maker Shire (SHPG), which has agreed to merge with its peer AbbVie (ABBV) in a tax inversion deal, is falling 4% to $236.
08:40 EDTABBVShire drops 5% with tax inversions in focus
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06:21 EDTJNJPiper Jaffray to hold a summit
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