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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 9, 2014
11:29 EDTJNJ, ACHN, GILD, ABBV, IDIXHCV 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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July 22, 2015
07:04 EDTABBVAbbVie initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
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July 21, 2015
14:12 EDTGILDGilead reports study of E/C/F/TAF met primary endpoint
Gilead Sciences announced detailed 48-week data from an open-label Phase 3 study evaluating its investigational once-daily single tablet regimen of elvitegravir 150 mg, cobicistat 150 mg, emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir alafenamide 10 mg, or E/C/F/TAF, among 1,436 virologically suppressed adult patients switching from tenofovir disoproxil fumarate-containing regimens. The study met its primary endpoint by demonstrating non-inferiority of E/C/F/TAF to the TDF-based regimens at Week 48. The study also demonstrated statistical superiority among patients with HIV-1 RNA levels less than 50 copies/mL at Week 48 and statistically significant improvements in bone and renal laboratory parameters. These data were presented in an oral session at the 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment & Prevention in Vancouver, Canada. Among the 1,436 patients who were randomized in the study, virologic success rates at Week 48 were higher in patients taking E/C/F/TAF, 97% versus 93% for all TDF-based regimens; difference in percentages: 4.1%, 95% CI: 1.6% to 6.7%. The rates of virologic failure were similar between the two arms, with E/C/F/TAF, 1.0% and TDF-based regimen, 1.3%. General safety was similar between the two arms through 48 weeks of treatment, with similar percentages of patients in each group having any adverse events. Adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation were more common among patients treated with a TDF-based regimen.
July 20, 2015
07:33 EDTGILDInternational AIDS Society to hold a conference
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July 17, 2015
10:21 EDTGILDCigna says 98.4% of customers treated with hep C drug Harvoni are cured
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09:04 EDTABBVAbbVie granted FDA orphan status for Viekira Pak in pediatric patients
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09:03 EDTGILDGilead granted orphan status for gastric cancer treatment
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08:06 EDTABBVAbbVie, C2N Diagnostics announce orphan drug designation of C2N-8E12
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July 16, 2015
09:22 EDTGILDBristol-Myers says EU approves Evotaz for treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults
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July 15, 2015
07:58 EDTGILDAnalysts break down impact of $7.2B Receptos buyout
After Celgene (CELG) announced last night that the company has agreed to acquire Receptos (RCPT) for $232 per share in cash, or a total of about $7.2B net of cash acquired, research firms have chimed in with their opinions on how the proposed deal may impact others in the biotech space. Receptos key asset is Ozanimod, which is being studied in Phase III trials for relapsing multiple sclerosis and ulcerative colitis. DERIVATIVE CALLS: Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff told investors that he views Celgene's deal for Receptos as good for Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA). The analyst notes that Arena's APD334 is already showing dose-dependent decreases in circulating lymphocyte counts and that the company will initiate Phase II studies in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease this year. Tenthoff reiterates an Overweight rating and $7.50 price target on Arena, which has a market capitalization around $1B and closed yesterday up 8c to $4.47. In its own note to investors this morning, Nomura said Celgene's deal could put downward pressure on Biogen's (BIIB) long-term multiple sclerosis estimates. Nomura's M. Ian Somaiya contended that one-year Phase II efficacy data for Ozanimod looked as good as Novartis’s (NVS) Gilenya and Biogen's Tecfidera’s Phase III at year 2. Somaiya also wondered if rival Gilead (GILD) could be "looking for something bigger" than Receptos for its own deal, telling investors that the firm views Incyte (INCY) as Gilead's most likely takeout target. Incyte's shares closed up $4.46 at $117.46 yesterday, giving the company a market cap of about $20B. RIVAL BID?: Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos believes another bidder may seek to acquire Receptos, noting that she previously estimated Receptos could be valued at $348 per share, or about $10.9B, in a buyout. Moussatos noted that Celgene said it expects annual peak sales for Ozanimod to reach about $4B-$6B for RMS and UC, making its acquisition price of $7.2BN only a bit more than about 1X peak sales without accounting for other possible indications or the rest of its pipeline. Moussatos told investors she sees "plenty" of potential upside to justify a rival bidder stepping in and reiterated the firm's Outperform rating on Receptos shares. PRICE ACTION: In pre-market trading, Receptos rose 10% to $228.61 while Gilead gained 1.4% to about $119 per share.
July 14, 2015
16:24 EDTJNJOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
Stocks on Wall Street opened in relatively quiet fashion following the market's last three days of gains. With headwinds such as the Greek debt crisis and the Iran nuclear deal out of the way for the time being, investors are able to turn their attention more fully to the earnings season. Reports from JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) were mostly in-line with expectations, if not better than hoped, in several dimensions. The averages began to drift higher, with the Dow surpassing the 18,000 level again and the Nasdaq rising back above 5,100. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.3% in June, versus the consensus forecast for growth of 0.3%. If autos and gas are removed from the data, the core reading slipped 0.2%, versus expectations for it to be up 0.4%. The import price index fell 0.1% last month, versus expectations for it to be up 0.1%. Business inventories grew 0.3% in May, matching the consensus expectation. In Europe, BOE Governor Mark Carney told U.K. officials that “the point at which interest rates may begin to rise is moving closer.” Additionally, Iran reached a deal on restrictions and inspections intended to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions by six world powers. The agreement still faces a political fight in the U.S. before taking effect, but President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any congressional effort to block its implementation. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Twitter (TWTR) spiked as high as $38.82 late this morning after a questionable takeover report was published on a website that mimicked, but had a different web address, than Bloomberg News. A Bloomberg spokesman said soon afterward that the Twitter takeover story being attributed to the news service was a fake, while a Twitter spokesperson also denied the report of an alleged deal. Twitter, which has been the frequent subject of takeover speculation, closed up 93c, or 2.6%, at $36.71. The Securities and Exchange Commission will need to add this latest apparent hoax to the list of others it is investigating, including a filing made two months ago by "PTG Capital Partners" purporting to outline its offer to acquire Avon Products (AVP)... JPMorgan (JPM) reported quarterly earnings before the open, beating on both the top and bottom line. Banking peer Wells Fargo (WFC) also reported its results this morning, with earnings in-line with consensus estimates and revenue somewhat below expectations. Shares of both banks rose about 1% following their reports. Dow member Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) slipped about 0.5% to $99.78 despite reporting better than expected earnings, posting revenue that was in-line with expectations and raising its fiscal year adjusted profit forecast. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Micron (MU), which rose $2.00, or 11.36%, to $19.61 following a Wall Street Journal report last night that claims China's Tsinghua offered to acquire the company for $23B, or $21 per share. Also higher were shares of WPX Energy (WPX), which advanced 71c, or 6.38%, to $11.83 after announcing an agreement to buy RKI Exploration & Production for $2.35B plus the assumption of $400M in debt. Among the noteworthy losers was Vince Holding (VNCE), which fell $2.24, or 18.73%, to $9.72 after announcing last night that its CEO Jill Granoff has resigned. In the wake of that news, William Blair downgraded the stock today to Market Perform from Outperform. Also lower was Spirit Airlines (SAVE), which dropped $4.73, or 7.44%, to $58.81 after cutting both quarterly and yearly guidance last night, which was followed by a downgrade of the stock at Citi this morning. INDEXES: The Dow advanced 75.90, or 0.42%, to 18,053.58, the Nasdaq rose 33.38, or 0.66%, to 5,104.89, and the S&P 500 gained 9.35, or 0.45%, to 2,108.95.
12:28 EDTJNJOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday despite data showing that retail sales unexpectedly fell last month. With a nuclear pact agreed to by Iran and the Greek debt crisis pushed to the back burner for the time being, earnings are set to take center stage, beginning with the reports this morning from two of the country's biggest banks and a bluechip healthcare conglomerate. With stocks working on their fourth consecutive day in positive territory, the Dow has pushed back above the 18,000 level. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.3% in June, versus expectations for growth of 0.3%. If autos and gas are removed from the data, the core reading was down 0.2%, versus expectations for it to be up 0.4%. The import price index fell 0.1% last month, versus expectations for it to be up 0.1%. Business inventories grew 0.3% in May, matching the consensus expectation. In Europe, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told U.K. officials that “the point at which interest rates may begin to rise is moving closer.” Additionally, Iran reached a deal on restrictions and inspections intended to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic by six world powers. The agreement still faces a political fight in the U.S. before taking effect, but President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any congressional effort to block its implementation. COMPANY NEWS: Twitter (TWTR) shares spiked late in the morning after a questionable takeover report appeared on a website that attempted to mimic Bloomberg. A Bloomberg spokesman said soon afterward that the Twitter takeover story being attributed to the news service is a fake, while a Twitter spokesperson also denied the report of an alleged deal in a statement to Reuters... The nation's largest bank, JPMorgan (JPM), earned $1.54 per share in earnings in the second quarter of the year, which was up from the same period of last year and above the $1.44 per share consensus estimate. Peer Wells Fargo (WFC) reported quarterly earnings that were in-line with expectations on a revenue that, like JPMorgan, was a bit below the consensus forecast. Shares of each of the banks rose about 1% near noon following their reports... Dow member Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), however, slipped about 1% after reporting better than expected earnings, revenue that was in-line with expectations and raising its fiscal year adjusted profit forecast. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Micron (MU), which jumped 11% after The Wall Street Journal reported last night that China's state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup had offered to acquire the memory chip maker for $23B, or $21 per share. Also higher was Matrix Service (MTRX), which gained 18% after the Oil & Gas industry service provider issued guidance for its revenue and earnings in fiscal 2016. Among the noteworthy losers was Vince Holding (VNCE), which sunk 19% after the fashion brand owner announced the resignation of its CEO, which follows the resignation of its CFO less than a month ago. Also lower was Navient (NAVI), which fell 10% after the company lowered its outlook to reflect marketplace conditions for private loan portfolio purchases and its cost of funds. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 60.30, or 0.34%, to 18,037.98, the Nasdaq was up 34.68, or 0.68%, to 5,106.20, and the S&P 500 was up 8.21, or 0.39%, to 2,107.81.
09:45 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson says Remicade market share in mid-single digits in Europe
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09:37 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson says acquisitions a priority, but divestitures still an option
09:33 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson sees FY15 adjusted EPS $6.70--$6.80 on constant currency
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09:31 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson backs FY15 reported sales $75B-$76B, consensus $70.56B
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09:30 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson says consumer business seeing slower volumes in China
The company adds that it will not hesitate to divest businesses or assets that does not meet its profitability criteria. Anticipates at least one major product launch in each of the next three years in Vision Care business. Backs FY15 net interest expense $450M-$550M. Raises FY15 net other income to $2.2B-$2.3B from $2B-$2.1B. Comments taken from Q2 earnings conference call.
07:50 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson reports Q2 Worldwide Consumer sales $3.5B
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07:49 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson raises FY15 adjusted EPS to $6.10-$6.20 from $6.04-$6.19
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07:47 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson reports Q2 Domestic sales down 2.4% to $8.91B
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07:46 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson reports Q2 adjusted EPS $1.71, consensus $1.67
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