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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 10, 2014
08:36 EDTBIIB, SSNLF, MRKMerck, Samsung Bioepis enter collaboration agreement
Merck (MRK) and Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture between Samsung (SSNLF) Biologics and Biogen (BIIB), announced that they have expanded their collaboration with an agreement to develop, manufacture and commercialize MK-1293, an insulin glargine candidate for the treatment of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Phase III clinical studies in type 1 and type 2 diabetes will begin soon. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate on clinical development, regulatory filings and manufacturing. If approved, Merck will commercialize this candidate. This collaboration builds on the agreement made by the two companies in February 2013 to develop and commercialize multiple biosimilar candidates.
News For MRK;SSNLF;BIIB From The Last 14 Days
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January 27, 2016
12:19 EDTBIIB, MRKPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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12:11 EDTBIIBOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session in negative territory and proceed to lose additional ground after the open. Despite another disappointing weekly Department of Energy inventory report, which pointed to larger than expected builds of both oil and gas stockpiles, the price of crude moved higher in later morning trading, taking equities up with it. Fed watchers have zero expectation that the central bank will announce an interest rate hike later today, but are hoping for a dovish policy statement to be issued in conjunction with the end of the latest FOMC meeting. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., new home sales surged 10.8% to a 544,000 annualized pace in December, topping expectations and hitting their highest level in 10 months. The FOMC rate decision is due out at 2 pm ET and 100% of 104 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were aligned in predicting no change to benchmark U.S. interest rates will be announced today. While their is no chance seen that the central bank will raise rates, the language in the statement will be closely examined for any clues on the Fed's thinking about when the next rate may be coming. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Apple (AAPL) declined about 5% after the tech giant reported first quarter earnings that topped consensus estimates last night, but also issued revenue guidance for the new quarter that missed expectation. The company was noted by several analysts as having a particularly downbeat tone in its earnings conference call, invoking the difficult macroeconomic environment and weakness it has recently seen in China... Apple was not the worst performer in the Dow, however, as that distinction goes to Boeing (BA). Shares of the commercial airplane maker and defense contractor plummeted 7% after its profit outlook for the new fiscal year fell far short of the Street's consensus forecast. Conversely, United Technologies (UTX), which is also in the Dow and also involved in aerospace and defense, gained 2% after backing its adjusted earnings outlook for fiscal 2016. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was SunEdison (SUNE), which rallied 12% after the company and David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital agreed to new corporate governance initiatives, including appointing Claire Gogel to its board and amending its bylaws to provide that it will not make equity issuances for two years without supermajority vote of the board. Also higher were Commvault (CVLT), Hess (HES) and Biogen (BIIB), which gained 13%, 10% and 8%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. Among the noteworthy losers was DreamWorks Animations (DWA), which fell 4.5% after the stock was downgraded to Sell at Topeka. Also lower were U.S. Steel (X), VMware (VMW), and Textron (TXT), which were down 12%, 8.5%, and 8%, respectively, after reporting quarterly earnings. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 37.60, or 0.23%, to 16,204.83, the Nasdaq was down 9.88, or 0.22%, to 4,557.79, and the S&P 500 was up 9.54, or 0.5%, to 1,913.17.
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.
10:42 EDTBIIBBiogen price target lowered to $293 from $307 at Piper Jaffray
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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
09:16 EDTBIIBBiogen: May see 'interesting opportunities' for M&A, partnering
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09:12 EDTBIIBOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Biogen (BIIB), up 5.6%... Hawaiian Holdings (HA), up 6.7%... Capital One (COF), up 1.5%. ALSO HIGHER: Capnia (CAPN), up 34.1% after entering into an exclusive distribution agreement with Bemes... Fate Therapeutics (FATE), up 18.6% after announcing that the FDA has cleared the company's investigational new drug application for ProTmune... Raptor Pharmaceutical (RPTP), up 12.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Aquinox (AQXP), up 5.6% after Baker Bros. buys 140,786 shares in the company... Sunedison (SUNE), up 7.4% after SunEdison and Greenlight Capital announced that they have mutually agreed to corporate governance initiatives... Citizens Financial Group (CFG), up 3% after it will be added to the S&P 500... Terex (TEX), up 5.2% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Tupperware Brands (TUP), down 11.4%... VMware (VMW), down 6.5%... Textron (TXT), down 9.9%... Cliffs Natural (CLF), down 5.8%... Boeing (BA), down 6.2%... Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), down 3%... Apple (AAPL), down 3.4%. ALSO LOWER: Priceline (PCLN), down 2.9% after being downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), down 4.2% after being downgraded at Citi and KeyBanc... Tripadvisor (TRIP), down 5.5% after being downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman.
08:57 EDTBIIBBiogen: Pipeline, organization 'stronger than they have ever been'
Says Tecfidera demand "stable" in the U.S, sees remaining "relatively stable" in 2016. Says pipeline, organization "stronger than they have ever been." Says seeing positive leading indicators on Tecfidera marketing. Sees "stable trajectory" for Tysabri in 2016. Sees "slight" upward pressure in COGS rate in 2016. Expects ocrelizumab launch in 2017. Says 2016 guidance assumes no price increases for MS drugs. Expects upward pressure on 2016 tax rate as profitability shifts towards the U.S. Comments taken from the Q4 earnings conference call. Biogen is up 5.62% in pre-market trading.
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
08:26 EDTBIIBBiogen sees FY16 CapEx $800M-$850M
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07:18 EDTBIIBBiogen says looks to advance several potential breakthrough programs in 2016
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07:17 EDTBIIBBiogen sees FY16 adjusetd EPS $18.30-$18.60, consensus $18.45
Sees FY16 revenue approx. $11.B-$11.3B, consensus $11.29B. &D expense is expected to be approximately 19% to 20% of total revenue. The company plans to continue to invest in a number of R&D programs across its emerging mid- and late-stage pipeline, including aducanumab for Alzheimer's disease, nusinersen for spinal muscular atrophy, raxatrigine for trigeminal neuralgia and amiselimod for inflammatory bowel disease. In 2016, the Company plans to provide one update to its annual financial guidance, which is expected to be provided in connection with its second quarter earnings release.
07:16 EDTBIIBBiogen reports Q4 adjusted EPS $4.50, consensus $4.08
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06:59 EDTBIIBOptions expected to be active: AAPL FB AMZN BIIB GD HES TXT BA UTX X T
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January 26, 2016
14:32 EDTBIIBNotable 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).
09:05 EDTSSNLFVerizon and Samsung launch network extender solution
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07:47 EDTBIIBBiogen volatility elevated into Q4 and outlook
Biogen January weekly call option implied volatility is at 87, February is at 45; compared to its 52-week range of 23 to 58, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q4 results on January 27.
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