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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
June 9, 2014
12:42 EDTERIC, NSR, DG, FDO, PF, PPC, TSN, HSH, GILD, ACHN, MRK, IDIXOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday, pushing the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average toward new milestone levels. The market began the session just slightly below the flat-line, but within minutes had moved into positive territory where it has remained all morning. The averages have moved in a very narrow range, but the slow drift higher has the Dow within striking distance of 17,000 and the S&P edging closer to 2,000. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no significant economic data was reported. In Asia, data released over the weekend showed that China's trade surplus widened in May to $35.92B, as the nation's exports accelerated more than forecast and imports fell more than expected. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of several companies that have developed hepatitis C, or HCV, treatments were active after one such company, Idenix (IDIX), agreed to be acquired by pharmaceutical giant Merck (MRK) for $24.50 per share in cash. The purchase price is more than triple the company's closing price on Friday and Idenix shares rose more than 230% to trade near $24.09 after the announcement. Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which has developed its own HCV drugs, were up 40% as investors speculate it could be the next takeover target in the space, while shares of Gilead (GILD) fell about 4% after an analyst wrote that Merck bought Idenix partly to strengthen its hand in patent litigation against Gilead... Food processor and distributor Hillshire Brands (HSH) advanced another 5% after Tyson Foods (TSN) increased its offer to acquire the company to $63 per share, prompting rival Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) to withdraw its own takeover proposal. However, Tyson's new offer is still subject to Hillshire being released from its existing agreement to acquire Pinnacle Foods (PF) and Hillshire said it does not have the right to break its merger pact with Pinnacle on the basis of the Tyson offer or enter into an agreement with Tyson prior to the termination. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Family Dollar (FDO), which climbed 14% after well-known activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he had obtained a significant stake in the company. Also higher were shares of peer Dollar General (DG), which gained nearly 10% after Icahn reportedly told Fox Business that he may push for a merger between the two dollar store operators. Among the noteworthy losers was Neustar (NSR), which dropped 7.5% after acknowledging a copy of a confidential email was posted in the FCC docket and made available to the public. Deutsche Bank noted that shares of NeuStar traded down just before the close on Friday after the posting, which suggested the North American Numbering Council has recommended selecting iConectiv, the Telcordia unit of Ericsson (ERIC), as the vendor for the Number Portability Administration Center in place of incumbent Neustar. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 31.57, or 0.19%, to 16,955.85, the Nasdaq was up 22.30, or 0.52%, to 4,343.70, and the S&P 500 was up 3.92, or 0.2%, to 1,953.36.
News For IDIX;MRK;ACHN;GILD;HSH;TSN;PPC;PF;FDO;DG;NSR;ERIC From The Last 14 Days
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August 18, 2014
08:18 EDTDG, FDODollar General says can mange Family Dollar 'more efficiently and effectively'
Dollar General (DG) says it believes its proposal "far superior" for Family Dollar (FDO) shareholders. Believes company can manage Family Dollar "more efficiently and effectively." Sees approximately $300M-$400M in one-time costs to capture synergies. Sees investment of $400M in CapEx. Says proposed deal would be low double digit percentage accretive in year one, ex-integration and transformation costs. Dollar General notes commitment to return to investment grade credit profile, anticipated three years post closing. Says positioned for long term revenue and earnings growth. Says ready to move to complete due diligence on Family Dollar deal. Says synergies expected to ramp up throughout three-year period. Comments made on Dollar General's conference call discussing its acquisition proposal of Family Dollar for $78.50 per share.
07:57 EDTMRKCambridge Healthtech Institute to hold a summit
6th Annual Bioprocessing Summit to be held in Boston on August 18-22.
07:28 EDTACHNAchillion upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
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06:39 EDTERICHrvatski Telekom selects Ericsson for 5-year managed services contract
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06:27 EDTDG, FDODollar General to host conference call
Conference call to discuss acquisition proposal of Family Dollar will be held on August 18 at 8 am. Webcast Link
06:24 EDTFDO, DGOptions expected to be active
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06:13 EDTFDO, DGDollar General makes proposal to acquire Family Dollar for $78.50 per share
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06:10 EDTDG, FDODollar General makes proposal to acquire Family Dollar for $78.50 per share
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06:03 EDTDG, FDODollar General makes $78.50/share offer for Family Dollar, CNBC reports
Dollar General (DG) will announce today a $78.50 per share in cash offer to acquire Family Dollar (FDO), CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin reports. Dollar Tree (DLTR) is seeking to buy Family Dollar for $74.50 per share.
06:00 EDTDG, FDODollar General offers to buy Family Dollar for $78.50/share, CNBC reports
August 15, 2014
16:38 EDTACHNOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in positive territory despite some soft economic data points, including a weaker than expected report on manufacturing in the New York area and a lower than expected consumer confidence reading. The market short circuited following reports of a skirmish in the Ukraine where a Russian convoy was supposedly fired upon when it crossed the border. The averages quickly dropped and were only able to partially recover, as investors moved to the sidelines to avoid additional geopolitical risk over the weekend. ECONOMIC EVENTS: The NY Fed's Empire manufacturing survey had a reading of 14.69, versus expectations for a 20.0 reading. The Producer Price Index increased 0.1% overall, matching expectations. The core reading was up 0.2%, which was also in-line with the consensus forecast. Industrial production increased 0.4% in July, beating the consensus 0.2% growth forecast. That nudged up capacity utilization to 79.2%, versus 79.1% previously. The first University of Michigan consumer confidence reading for August fell 2.6 points to 79.2, versus expectations for it to have edged up to 82.0. Treasury international capital data showed foreigners dumped $153.5B in total U.S. assets in July after buying a revised $33.1B in June. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Monster Beverage (MNST) surged $21.84, or 30.48%, to $93.49 after Coca-Cola (KO) bought a stake in the energy drink maker and the companies announced a long-term strategic partnership and asset swap. Coca-Cola will pay $2.15B for a 16.7% stake in Monster, the companies announced last night. Under the terms of their agreement, Coca-Cola will add two directors to Monster's board. Coke will transfer ownership of its worldwide energy business including brands like NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Mother, Play and Power Play, and Relentless to Monster, in trade for which Monster will transfer its non-energy business to Coke. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN), which rose 81c, or 9.6%, to $9.25 after the company announced interim results from an ongoing Phase 2 proxy study of a potential chronic hepatitis C virus regimen that analysts at Piper Jaffray called "impressive." Also higher was Paylocity (PCTY), which advanced $2.17, or 9.79%, to $24.34 after reporting better than expected fourth quarter revenue and guiding to higher than expected sales in its first quarter. Among the noteworthy losers was retailer J.C. Penney (JCP), which fell 24c, or 2.46%, to $9.50 despite posting a narrower than expected loss for the second quarter. Also lower were shares of another department store owner, Dillard's (DDS), which dropped $9.49, or 8.21%, to $106.11 after reporting quarterly results that missed expectations. INDEXES: The Dow dropped 50.67, or 0.3%, to 16,662.91, the Nasdaq gained 11.92, or 0.27%, to 4,464.93, and the S&P 500 slipped 0.12, or 0.01%, to 1,955.06.
16:00 EDTGILDOptions Update; August 15, 2014
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 1c to 28.88. Option volume leaders: AAPL GILD NFLX PBR TWTR TSLA MNKD AMZN C according to Track Data.
12:39 EDTACHNOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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10:03 EDTACHNAchillion ACH-3102 data results 'impressive,' says Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray calls this morning's data for Achillion's ACH-3102 "impressive," saying the numbers validate the potential for combining ACH-3102 with a nuc. Piper still believes a potential acquirer could show interest in Achillion this fall given the relative near-term data releases. It has an Overweight rating on the stock with a $10 price target.
10:01 EDTGILD, ACHNOn The Fly: Analyst Initiation Summary
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09:10 EDTACHNOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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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-na´ve 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.
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