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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 9, 2014
07:09 EDTSNY, MRK, BAYRY, RBGPF, NVSReckitt Benckiser may be frontrunner for Merck unit, Bloomberg reports
Reckitt Benckiser (RBGPF) is said to have an edge over rivals in bidding for Merck's (MRK) over-the-counter health business, Bloomberg reports. Reckitt is competing against Novartis (NVS), Bayer (BAYRY) and Sanofi (SNY), sources say, and could be the frontrunner because it will be able to generate the most cost savings and have fewer antitrust issues than others. Final bids for the Merck unit are expected on April 16 and sources believe the unit could fetch $10B-$12B.Reference Link
News For MRK;NVS;BAYRY;SNY;RBGPF From The Last 14 Days
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January 28, 2016
12:09 EDTNVSRadius Health to hold a conference call
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09:38 EDTNVSNovartis downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Exane BNP Paribas
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07:08 EDTMRKFDA PDUFA Date for Merck's Grazoprevir/Elbasvir is January 28, 2016
January 27, 2016
16:33 EDTNVSRadius Health announces clinical collaboration with Novartis
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12:19 EDTNVS, MRKPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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11:07 EDTMRKGilead sinks as Attorney General probes pricing strategy
Shares of drugmaker Gilead (GILD) are underperforming after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey warned that her office may bring an unfair commercial conduct complaint against it related to the pricing for its Hepatitis C virus treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni. UNFAIR PRICING: Healey, in a letter addressed to Gilead CEO John Martin dated January 22 that has just been made public, said that her office is considering whether Gilead's pricing strategy for Sovaldi and Harvoni may constitute an "unfair trade practice" in violation of Massachusetts law. "Because Gilead's drugs offer a cure for a serious and life-threatening infectious disease, pricing the treatment in a manner that effectively allows HCV to continue spreading through vulnerable populations, as opposed to eradicating the disease altogether, results in massive public harm," Healey stated in her letter to Martin. Healey, who urged Gilead to adjust its pricing strategy, noted that the company has invoked the high cost and risk associated with research and development as a justification for its prices, but she said that Gilead quickly recouped its outlay to acquire Pharmasset by selling "$12.4B worth of HCV medication in the first year alone" after its deal. The AG, who said that Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill in the U.S. but only $10 per pill in Egypt and about $4 per pill in India, contends that American taxpayers "have been footing the bill for Gilead's record profits." FREQUENT TARGET: The pricing of Gilead's hep C treatments have been the focus of significant criticism and political rhetoric in the past. In December, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and senior committee member Chuck Grassley released the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing and marketing of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The company "pursued a marketing strategy and final wholesale price of Sovaldi - $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a single course of treatment - that it believed would maximize revenue," and "fostering broad, affordable access was not a key consideration in the process of setting the wholesale prices," the senators wrote. Members of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, who held a press conference last November to announce "meaningful action" to combat the "skyrocketing" costs of pharmaceuticals, specifically took aim at Sovaldi. During her campaigning efforts, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly decried the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. OTHERS TO WATCH: AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also market or are at work on therapies for hepatitis C. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead slid 2% to $90.35.
10:00 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: BG Group (BRGYY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Bill Barrett (BBG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg... Brown & Brown (BRO) downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Canadian National (CNI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... DreamWorks (DWA) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Topeka... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded at RBC Capital... Gentex (GNTX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Haverty Furniture (HVT) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Hercules Technology (HTGC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... Horizon Technology (HRZN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Installed Building downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Jarden (JAH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... K+S (KPLUF) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... La-Z-Boy (LZB) downgraded at BB&T... Legacy Reserves (LGCY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Medivation (MDVN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Merck (MRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Metaldyne Performance (MPG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Pier 1 Imports (PIR) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Priceline (PCLN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Profire Energy (PFIE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Chardan... Regeneron (REGN) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Swiss Re (SSREY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... TSYS (TSS) downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at First Analysis... Talmer Bancorp (TLMR) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... TopBuild (BLD) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... TripAdvisor (TRIP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... VMware (VMW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Research... W.R. Grace (GRA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... WEC Energy (WEC) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Welltower (HCN) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Yamana Gold (AUY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
09:32 EDTMRKActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB AMZN AAL BAC PCLN NFLX MRK GOOG
08:36 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral on lack of catalysts at BofA/Merrill
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08:31 EDTMRKMerck says FDA accepts for review BLA for investigational antitoxin
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08:29 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
05:22 EDTNVSNovartis sees FY16 revenue, core operating income in line with FY15
Group net sales and core operating income in 2016 are expected to be broadly in line with the prior year, after absorbing the impact of generic competition. Generic competition impact on sales is expected to be as much as $3.2B compared to $2.2B in 2015.
05:20 EDTNVSNovartis reports Q4 core EPS $1.14, consensus $1.18
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January 26, 2016
15:31 EDTSNYMannKind exploring potential sale, Reuters reports
MannKind (MNKD), whose shares have plunged 40% since Sanofi (SNY) terminated an agreement for the development and commercialization of inhaled insulin drug Afrezza, is now exploring its strategic options, including a potential sale, reported Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter. MannKind shares are up about 20% to 90c in afternoon trading following the report. Reference Link
14:32 EDTNVSNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
Notable companies reporting before tomorrow's open, with earnings consensus, include Novartis (NVS), consensus $1.18... Boeing (BA), consensus $1.26... United Technologies (UTX), consensus $1.52... Biogen (BIIB), consensus $4.08... EMC (EMC), consensus 65c... General Dynamics (GD), consensus $2.38... Anthem (ANTM), consensus $1.22... Illinois Tool Works (ITW), consensus $1.21... State Street (STT), consensus $1.18... Norfolk Southern (NSC), consensus $1.24... Progressive (PGR), consensus 47c... St. Jude Medical (STJ), consensus $1.01... Rockwell Automation (ROK), consensus $1.33... Textron (TXT), consensus 83c... Hess (HES), consensus ($1.47)... Cliffs Natural (CLF), consensus (26c).
11:34 EDTNVSJuno, Kite valuations at risk following study, TheStreet's Feuerstein says
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06:33 EDTBAYRYImmunoGen earns milestone payment from Bayer related to BAY 94-9343
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January 25, 2016
10:55 EDTSNY, NVSRegeneron slips after analyst says sell to avoid risk from Amgen patent suit
Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) fell in morning trading after an analyst at Chardan downgraded the stock to Sell, citing risk from a patent lawsuit in which the biopharmaceutical company is involved. CHARDAN SAYS SELL: Chardan Capital Markets analyst Gbola Amusa downgraded Regeneron to Sell from Neutral this morning, while reducing his price target on shares to $400 from $525. In a note to clients, Amusa said he believes that Regeneron is likely to face significant risks from the upcoming patent infringement case for Praluent. The suit could be a key driver of the company's share price performance in the near future, the analyst said. Regeneron, along with its partner Sanofi (SNY), launched Praluent in the U.S. last year, after the October 2014 filing of a patent infringement suit by Amgen (AMGN) relating to patents for "monoclonal antibodies that bind PCSK9," Amusa noted. The analyst believes that since Regeneron and Sanofi "likely" infringe Amgen's patents for Repatha, the Regeneron-Sanofi partnership could seek to settle the ahead of the trial by agreeing to pay 10%-20% or more of royalties to Amgen for U.S. Praluent sales. Amusa said that "such an outcome we estimate could transfer roughly $750M of operating income per year to Amgen." Further, Amusa said that catalysts surrounding the patent infringement trial are "likely to play out from late February to late March," and concedes that "both sides have good reasons to settle this case for a reasonable royalty." INCREASING COMPETITION: Amusa also noted that he sees increasing competitive risks in 2016 to Regeneron's Eylea from Novartis (NVS) and its partner Ophthotech (OPHT), which continue to progress Fovista into Phase III trials in wet AMD. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Roth Capital upgraded Regeneron to Buy from Neutral on January 19, based on valuation, as the firm said shares do not reflect the value of the company's upcoming catalysts. The firm also raised its price target to $555 from $543. The same day, Credit Suisse initiated Regeneron with a Neutral rating and $552 target. PRICE TARGET: Regeneron slipped 1.4% to $476.02 in morning trading.
09:03 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
HIGHER: Tyco (TYC) and Johnson Controls (JCI), up 9% and 1%, respectively, after announcing a definitive merger agreement. Johnson Controls shareholders will own approximately 56% of the equity of the combined company, while current Tyco shareholders will own approximately 44%... SunEdison (SUNE), up 10% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is set to give David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital a seat on its board... Affimed Therapeutics (AFMD), up 26% after entering a clinical research collaboration in immuno-oncology with Merck (MRK). UP AFTER EARNINGS: McDonald's (MCD), up 3%... LOWER: Twitter (TWTR), down 5% after its CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed in a tweet last night that several executives are departing the company. Media reports also indicate that, as part of its shake-up, Twitter intends to bring in two new members to its board as soon as this week... OncoMed (OMED), down 38% after an independent data safety monitoring board remarked on several findings regarding futility of the company's Phase 2 ALPINE clinical trial... Medivation (MDVN), down 7% after FDA places investigational new drug application for MDV9300 on partial clinical hold... International Paper (IP), down 4.8%, Packaging Corp. (PKG), down 4.8%, WestRock (WRK), down 6%, after Pulp & Paper Week reduced January kraftliner and corrugated medium prices... Caterpillar (CAT), down 4% after Goldman cuts rating to sell... Regeneron (REGN), down 3% after downgraded at Chardan to sell. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Kimberly-Clark (KMB), down 2.5%.
05:19 EDTMRKAffimed Therapeutics enters into collaboration with Merck
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