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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 7, 2014
06:29 EDTPFE, BMY, MRKMerck price target raised to $57 from $44 at Citigroup
Citigroup raised its price target for Merck (MRK) shares to $57 citing the company's structural changes over the past year and its "growing suite" of Hepatitis C assets. Citi keeps a Neutral rating on the stock, however, saying it prefers Bristol-Myers (BMY) and Pfizer (PFE).
News For MRK;BMY;PFE From The Last 14 Days
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February 1, 2016
13:25 EDTPFEEarnings Watch: Pfizer shares down approximately 12% since last earnings report
Pfizer (PFE) is scheduled to report fourth quarter earnings before the market open on Tuesday, February 2, with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. Pfizer, a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products worldwide. Its product portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as various consumer healthcare products. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 52c on revenue of $13.57B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 49c-54c on revenue of $13.08B-$13.99B. LAST QUARTER: After completing its Hospira acquisition in early September, Pfizer reported third quarter EPS of 60c, which beat consensus estimates of 51c, on revenue of $12.1B, which was also higher than consensus estimates of $11.56B. In Q3 Operational revenue growth in in developed markets was driven primarily by the performance of several key products, including Prevnar 13 in adults, Ibrance and Eliquis -- all products that are early in their life cycles as well as from Lyrica primarily in the U.S., and the inclusion of one month of legacy Hospira U.S. operations. In emerging markets, revenues increased 5% operationally, reflecting continued strong operational growth, primarily from the Innovative Products business. Operational revenue growth was partially offset primarily by the loss of exclusivity and associated generic competition for Celebrex in the U.S., Zyvox in the U.S. and Lyrica in certain developed Europe markets. With its Q3 earnings announcement the company raised its fiscal year 2015 earnings per share view to $2.16-$2.20 from $2.04-$2.10 against a raised revenue view of $47.5B-$48.5B from $46.5B-$47.5B. Commenting on the improved yearly view, the company CFO said "We raised our 2015 financial guidance for reported revenues and adjusted diluted EPS to reflect the strong performance to date of Pfizer-standalone, excluding legacy Hospira operations coupled with an improved business outlook for Pfizer-standalone for the remainder of the year.PFIZER-ALLERGAN DEAL. On November 23, Pfizer and Allergan (AGN) announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved, and the companies have entered into, a definitive merger agreement under which Pfizer will combine with Allergan. Pfizer at the time said it anticipates the Allergan transaction will deliver more than $2B in operational synergies over the first three years after closing. Pfizer anticipates that the combined company will have a pro forma Adjusted Effective Tax Rate of approximately 17%-18% by the first full year after the closing of the transaction. The transaction is expected to be neutral to Pfizer's Adjusted Diluted EPS in 2017, modestly accretive beginning in calendar year 2018, more than 10% accretive in 2019 with high-teens percentage accretion in 2020. STREET RESEARCH: On December 1, Barclays analyst Geoff Meacham kept an Equal Weight rating on Pfizer after assuming coverage of the name. The analyst maintained a $34 price target for shares.On November 25, SunTrust upgraded Pfizer to Neutral and increased its price target to $37 from $34 on shares. Analyst John Boris said the Allergan deal makes strategic sense, providing much needed growth from earlier life cycle assets with limited therapeutic overlap. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Pfizer are lower by approximately 12% since its last earnings report on October 27. Pfizer shares are trading over 1% lower to $29.97 in afternoon trading ahead of Tuesday morning's earnings.
10:49 EDTPFEPfizer technical comments before earnings
On the downside, an important support level to watch is at the $28 area. This level has been an important support since early 2013. If the news is a negative surprise, the $28 zone is likely to be tested from current levels. A breakdown below $28 would resolve the range bearishly. Next downside objectives may be at the following support levels: $27.30, $26.42. If the news is a bullish surprise, resistance levels to watch as potential upside objectives would be at $30.95, $31.78, and $32.91. A move above $32.50 would end the current longer-term downtrend.
08:09 EDTPFEOptions expected to be active
Options expected to be active: GOOGL GOOG YHOO UPS KORS UPS BAX RCL CCL PFE AET D STR DWA CMG ABT SYK.
06:58 EDTPFE, BMYPortola Pharma licensed right to andexanet alfa to Bristol-Myers and Pfizer
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06:57 EDTBMY, PFEBristol-Myers and Pfizer sign collaboration with Portola Pharmaceuticals
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January 29, 2016
17:12 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Friday
Stocks began the session in positive territory and remained there throughout the day. The early strength was attributed to the surprise cut in interest rates by the Bank of Japan that put the country in a negative interest rate scenario. The market gained strength throughout the day and put in gains of almost 2.5% in what was a broad based advance for the major averages. January closed out with two winning weeks, but the month was still a very bad one for stocks, as the S&P lost over 5% even after today's strong showing. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Commerce Department's first read on fourth quarter gross domestic product came in at 0.7% annualized growth, below the already anemic 0.8% growth forecast. The Chicago PMI business barometer bounced to 55.6 in January, topping forecasts for a 45.3 reading. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 92.0 in the final January print, missing the 93.0 reading that was forecast. In a surprise move in Asia, the Bank of Japan introduced a rate of minus 0.1% on certain excess holdings of cash while maintaining the pace of its asset purchases. Japan also reported data pointing to a softening economy, as total CPI grew 0.2% year-over-year in December, core CPI rose at only a 0.1% pace and industrial production fell a preliminary 1.4% month-over-month in December. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Amazon (AMZN) declined 7.6% to $587 after the company's fourth quarter results came in below expectations. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT), which reported better than expected earnings after last night's closing bell, gained 5.8% to $55.09... Confirming a news report that broke late in the day yesterday, Xerox (XRX) announced plans to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies: one focused on Document Technology and another Business Process Outsourcing company. Xerox also announced an agreement related to the governance of the Business Process Outsourcing company under which six directors of the new company will be selected by Xerox and three will be selected by current Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn... Chevron (CVX) reported a quarterly loss due to taking impairments and other charges of $1.1B. The company, which also reported that its average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the U.S. was $35 in fourth quarter, down from $66 a year ago, edged up 0.7% to $86.44. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Axiall (AXLL), which jumped 83% to $17.94 after it came to light that the company received, and rejected, an unsolicited proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK) offering to acquire the company for $20 per share in cash and stock. Also higher were Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), which gained 7% and 6.4%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the notable losers was Gilead (GILD), which fell 5.5% to $82.70 after rival Merck (MRK) received FDA approval for its own hepatitis C drug. Also potentially weighing on Gilead shares was the fact that competitor AbbVie (ABBV) announced financial results for the fourth quarter, including sales of Viekira Pak, its own hep C treatment, that fell short of estimates. AbbVie fell 2.3% to $54.58 following its quarterly report. INDEXES: The Dow rose 396.66, or 2.47%, to 16,466.30, the Nasdaq gained 107.28, or 2.38%, to 4,613.95, and the S&P 500 added 46.88, or 2.48%, to 1,940.24.
14:44 EDTPFEPfizer volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
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09:44 EDTMRKGilead slips as another drug enters Hepatitis C virus space
Shares of Gilead (GILD), a leader in the hepatitis C virus treatment space, are sliding this morning after one competitor's hep C drug was granted FDA approval and another's sales disappointed. Additionally, Gilead reported its own news, announcing a shakeup of the roles held by its top executives. MERCK APPROVAL: Merck (MRK) announced last night that the FDA has approved Zepatier for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus, or HCV, genotype, or GT, 1 or GT4 infection. Merck has established a list price of $54,600 for a 12-week regimen of Zepatier, which the company said it believes to "be in the range of net prices for other commonly used HCV direct-acting antiviral regimens at 12 weeks of therapy." In contrast, a 12-week regimen of Gilead's Sovaldi is reported to be priced at $84,000. Merck added that it anticipates that this price, as well as its "strategy to seek broad coverage across commercial and public segments," will help broaden and accelerate patient access to treatment. ABBVIE RESULTS: Meanwhile, Gilead competitor AbbVie (ABBV) announced financial results for the fourth quarter this morning. AbbVie announced Q4 sales of Viekira Pak, its own hep C treatment, of $554M, including U.S. sales of $197M and international sales of $357M. Analysts expected AbbVie to report Q4 Viekira sales of $568.5M, according to a Bloomberg consensus estimate that factored in four forecasts. EXECUTIVE CHANGES: Additionally, Gilead announced this morning that current chairman and CEO John Martin will assume the role of executive chairman, effective March 10. John Milligan, currently president and COO, will be promoted to CEO and appointed to the company's board. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead shares slipped 3.5% to $84.50, while AbbVie fell 2.4% to $54.53 and Merck (MRK) gained 1% to $49.75.
07:49 EDTBMYBristol-Myers, AbbVie receive 'positive' CHMP opinion for Empliciti
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05:39 EDTPFEPfizer: LIS awards infliximab biosimilar tender to Inflectra, Reuters reports
Pfizer says that the Norwegian Drug Procurement Cooperation has awarded its product Inflectra an infliximab biosimilar tender, Reuters reports. Reference Link
05:33 EDTMRKStocks with implied volatility movement; VRX MRK
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January 28, 2016
19:02 EDTMRKMerck receives FDA approval of Zepatier
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18:37 EDTMRKFDA approves Merck's Zepatier for chronic hepatitis C
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12:42 EDTBMYBristol-Myers says EU approves Daklinza for treatment of chronic hepatitis C
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that the European Commission has approved Daklinza for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in three new patient populations. The expanded label allows for the use of Daklinza in combination with sofosbuvir in HCV patients with decompensated cirrhosis, HIV-1 coinfection, and post-liver transplant recurrence of HCV in all 28 Member States of the European Union. Daklinza is already approved by the European Commission for use in combination with other medicinal products across genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the treatment of chronic HCV infection in adults, and the Daklinza + sofosbuvir regimen is the only approved 12-week, all-oral treatment for genotype 3 HCV patients without cirrhosis. The new indications are based on data from the ALLY-1 clinical trial and ALLY-2 clinical trial. The recommended treatment regimens and durations are as follows:
09:27 EDTBMYBristol-Myers reports Q4 US revenue $2.3B
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09:27 EDTBMYBristol-Myers sees FY16 non-GAAP EPS $2.30-$2.40, consensus $2.29
Sees FY16 revenue up in mid-single digit range, consensus $17.4B. Sees FY16 gross margin as percentage of revenue ot be approximately 75%-76%. Sees FY16 marketing, sales and administrative expenses decreasing in mid-single digit range. Sees FY16 R&D expenses increasing in high-single digit range. Sees FY16 effective tax rate between 21%-22%.
09:25 EDTBMYBristol-Myers reports Q4 non-GAAP EPS 38c, consensus 28c
Reports Q4 revenue $4.29B, consensus $4.15B.
07:11 EDTBMYBristol-Myers: DMC concluded that CheckMate Phase 3 study met primary endpoint
07:08 EDTMRKFDA PDUFA Date for Merck's Grazoprevir/Elbasvir is January 28, 2016
07:00 EDTBMYBristol-Myers says CheckMate-141 Opdivo Phase 3 trial stopped early
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that a randomized Phase 3 study evaluating Opdivo versus investigator's choice in patients with recurrent or metastatic platinum-refractory squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck was stopped early because an assessment conducted by the independent Data Monitoring Committee concluded that the study met its primary endpoint, demonstrating superior overall survival in patients receiving Opdivo compared to the control arm. The company looks forward to sharing these data with health authorities soon. "With the results of CheckMate -141, Opdivo moves closer to providing a potential treatment option for patients with head and neck cancer, a cancer with a high unmet need and limited treatment options," said Michael Giordano, M.D., senior vice president, head of Oncology Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We look forward to continuing to advance the Opdivo clinical development program in hard-to-treat cancers, such as head and neck cancer." CheckMate -141 investigators have been informed of the decision to stop the trial early and Bristol-Myers Squibb is working to ensure that eligible patients be provided the opportunity to continue or start treatment with Opdivo as part of the company's commitment to providing patient access to Opdivo, and characterizing long-term survival. The company will complete a full evaluation of the final CheckMate -141 data, and work with investigators on the future presentation and publication of the results.
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