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June 9, 2014
12:42 EDTERIC, FDO, TSN, ACHN, NSR, PF, HSH, MRK, DG, PPC, GILD, 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.
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November 16, 2015
08:35 EDTMRKMerck to present Phase 2 hep C therapy data at The Liver Meeting
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07:24 EDTMRKSalomon to hold a conference
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05:26 EDTERICEricsson CEO says no talks with Cisco about merger or acquisition
Ericsson (ERIC) has noted the recent speculation in the press and financial markets regarding an interest by Cisco (CSCO) to acquire Ericsson. On November 9, the two companies announced a global business and technology partnership to create the networks of the future. The partnership announcement was supported by multiple agreements that include commitments to network transformation through reference architectures and joint development, systems-based management and control, a broad reseller agreement, and collaboration in key emerging market segments. President, CEO and member of the board, Hans Vestberg says: "We note that there are rumors in the market regarding an acquisition of Ericsson by Cisco possibly spurred by the recent announcement of a partnership between our two companies. The talks leading up to the partnership announcement have been ongoing for a year and there have not been any discussions whatsoever on a merger or an acquisition."
November 15, 2015
20:17 EDTGILDGilead presents results from four Phase 3 studies of sofosbuvir/velpatasvir
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15:47 EDTGILDGilead reports data from multiple studies of Viread, TAF, others
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15:19 EDTMRKMerck reports integrated analysis of six trials of elbasvir/grazoprevir
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15:15 EDTMRKMerck reports Phase 3 data on elbasvir/grazoprevir in patients injecting drugs
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November 13, 2015
17:22 EDTERICCisco refutes report of interest in buying Ericsson, Bloomberg says
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15:46 EDTERICCisco rejects Ericsson takeover speculation, Bloomberg says
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15:21 EDTERICDagens Industri says Cisco seeking to buy Ericsson, Bloomberg reports
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08:02 EDTMRKMerck: DMC recommends anacetrapib study continue with no changes
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07:29 EDTERICCisco results can still improve, says Wells Fargo
After Cisco (CSCO) provided weaker than expected Q2 guidance, Wells Fargo still thinks the company's results can improve in 2H15 and 2016, partly due to improvements in switching, E-rate tailwinds, and the recovery of slipped routing deals and contributions from new partnerships with Ericsson (ERIC) and Inspur. Wells keeps an Outperform rating on Cisco.
November 12, 2015
17:55 EDTGILDGilead announces FDA approval of Harvoni
Gilead Sciences announced that the U.S. FDA has approved Harvoni for expanded use in patients with genotype 4, 5 and 6 chronic hepatitis C virus infection and in patients co-infected with HIV. In addition, Harvoni plus ribavirin for 12 weeks was approved as an alternate therapy to 24 weeks of Harvoni for treatment-experienced, genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis. Harvoni received regulatory approval for the treatment of chronic HCV genotype 1 infection in adults in the United States in October 2014.
17:02 EDTMRKMerck Animal Health to Acquire Harrisvaccines
Merck Animal Health and Harrisvaccines announced the companies have entered into an agreement under which Merck Animal Health will acquire Harrisvaccines, a privately-held company that develops, manufactures and sells vaccines for food production and companion animals. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The companies expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
13:24 EDTERICEarnings Watch: Cisco seeks to break out of trading rut with Q1 report
Cisco Systems (CSCO) is scheduled to report results of its fiscal first quarter after the market close on Thursday, November 12 with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. Cisco, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells Internet protocol-based networking and other products related to the communications and IT industry and provides related services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 56c on revenue of $12.65B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 55c-59c on revenue of $12.55B-$12.81B. Along with its quarterly report, Cisco guided to Q1 EPS of 55c-57c and said it expects its revenue to increase 2%-4% year over year. LAST QUARTER: On August 12, Cisco reported fourth quarter EPS of 59c on revenue of $12.8B, beating consensus estimates of 56c and $12.65B for EPS and revenue, respectively. NEWS: On its Q4 earnings conference call, Cisco said that it was looking at acquisitions at the right price, particularly in areas like software and security. On August 31, Apple (AAPL) and Cisco announced a partnership to build a "fast lane" for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments and providing unique collaboration on iPhone and iPad. The next day, Cisco was among multiple other companies, including Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Mozilla, and Netflix (NFLX), announcing the formation of the Alliance for Open Media to build next-generation media formats, codecs, and technologies in the public interest. On September 3, Business Insider reported that people at Cisco still though that chairman John Chambers was running the show as chief executive officer after appointing Chuck Robbins to that role last May. On September 15, Mandiant, a FireEye (FEYE) subsidiary, said in a blog post that researchers discovered previously unknown attacks on certain routers and that such attacks replace the operating system used in Cisco equipment. About a week later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cisco was aiming to strengthen its business in China by joining forces with Inspur group, a move which was confirmed on September 24. On October 29, Cisco announced its intention to acquire 1 Mainstream. CNBC later reported that the company paid $100M-$150M to acquire 1 Mainstream. On November 9, Ericsson (ERIC) and Cisco announced a global business and technology partnership to "create the networks of the future." The companies said that the strategic partnership will be a key driver of growth and value for the next decade, with each company benefiting from incremental revenue in calendar year 2016 and expected to ramp to $1B or more for each by 2018. STREET RESEARCH: On August 17, Morgan Stanley downgraded Cisco to Equal Weight from Overweight and maintained a $30 price target on the stock, saying it did not believe improved growth is "secular" and anticipates growth will revert to GDP like levels as the upgrade cycle concludes. Wells Fargo said on August 28 that a 10% selloff in communication tech stocks, including Cisco, had created an attractive buying opportunity. Bernstein said a week later that Cisco, Juniper (JNPR), and F5 Networks (FFIV) should be bought on wider macro economic weakness. On October 6, Citi initiated coverage of Cisco with a Buy rating and $30 price target. A week later, Barclays initiated coverage of Cisco with an Overweight rating and a $32 price target. On November 9, RBC Capital maintained an Outperform rating and $33 price target on Cisco, saying it expects the company to report slightly better than expected results. The next day, SunTrust maintained a Buy rating on Cisco, saying its partnership with Ericsson was a positive and should strengthen Cisco's service provider business. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading ahead of tonight's report, Cisco shares were up 0.5% to $27.97. In the last three months, Cisco shares are fractionally higher and virtually unchanged when discounting this afternoon's slight rise.
11:50 EDTMRKMerck issues statement regarding CUBICIN patent litigation
Merck issued the following statement regarding the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: "The decision validated the patent for CUBICIN that expires on June 15, 2016, but invalidated four patents with expiration dates in 2019 and 2020. The company is reviewing the decision and is considering its next steps, which may include seeking further review at the Federal Circuit or Supreme Court."
November 10, 2015
10:06 EDTDGOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: AngioDynamics (ANGO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Arch Coal (ACI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT... Autodesk (ADSK) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... Bitauto (BITA) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Black Knight Financial (BKFS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Monness Crespi... CEVA (CEVA) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Wunderlich... CIRCOR (CIR) downgraded to Accumulate from Speculative Buy at Seaport Global... Compania Cervecerias (CCU) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... CyberArk (CYBR) downgraded to Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Dean Foods (DF) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse... Dollar General (DG) downgraded to Peer Perform from Outperform at Wolfe Research... Dr. Reddy's Labs (RDY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... EnerSys (ENS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at CL King... Ensco (ESV) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Clarksons Platou... Evercore Partners (EVR) downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna... Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... Foot Locker (FL) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Buckingham... GulfMark Offshore (GLF) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Iberia... Jamba (JMBA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Dougherty... Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho... King Digital (KING) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... MRC Global (MRC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Maxim... Plum Creek Timber (PCL) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan... Popeyes (PLKI) downgraded to Neutral following checks at Longbow... Provident Financial (PFS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray... RigNet (RNET) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sidoti... SMART Technologies (SMT) downgraded to Underperformer from Sector Performer at CIBC... Sealed Air (SEE) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie... Tesco (TSCDY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank... Textura (TXTR) downgraded on guidance cut, investment profile change at Oppenheimer... WM Morrison (MRWSY) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank... WidePoint (WYY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Craig-Hallum.
09:31 EDTDGDollar General downgraded to Peer Perform from Outperform at Wolfe Research
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08:50 EDTERICEricsson deal disappointing, says Bernstein
Bernstein says it's disappointed that Ericsson (ERIC) decided to sign a partnership deal with Cisco (CSCO) instead of acquiring Juniper (JNPR). According to Bernstein, the latter transaction would have provided Ericsson with more near-term financial benefits, more favorable capital deployment, and a better long-term outlook. Bernstein is "skeptical" about Ericsson's ability to obtain the long-term strategic benefits it foresees from the Cisco deal. Nonetheless Bernstein keeps a $14.46 price target and Outperform rating on Ericsson.
07:12 EDTERICCisco partnership positive, says SunTrust
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