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June 27, 2014
10:21 EDTIRM, UNXL, ACHN, FIO, MTOR, VRTX, APOL, SBGI, OHRPOptions with decreasing implied volatility
Options with decreasing implied volatility: OHRP VRTX ACHN SBGI MTOR UNXL APOL FIO IRM CBS
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October 12, 2015
16:47 EDTSBGISinclair Broadcast consolidates TV programming functions under Arthur Hasson
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08:37 EDTVRTXVertex checks positive, says RBC Capital
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October 9, 2015
20:04 EDTIRMIron Mountain to host investor day
Investor day to be held in New York at 8 am on October 14. Webcast Link
10:35 EDTAPOLApollo Education sinks after DoD puts subsidiary on probation
Shares of Apollo Education are sinking after the for-profit education provider disclosed that the U.S. Department of Defense put its University of Phoenix subsidiary on probationary status in respect of its participation in the DoD Tuition Assistance Program for active duty military personnel. The DoD is considering whether to terminate the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding with the University which is the basis on which the University's active duty military students participate in the DoD Tuition Assistance Program. While on probationary status, currently eligible enrolled students will remain eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Program, but newly enrolled or transfer students of the University will not be eligible. In fiscal year 2015, receipts from the DoD Tuition Assistance Program represented less than 1% of University of Phoenix net revenue, and during Q4 approximately 4,000 students received tuition benefits under the program. University of Phoenix currently is reviewing the notice of probation, Apollo stated. The stock is down 10%, or $1.27, to $11.09 in morning trading.
08:04 EDTIRMeMortgages may be 'next shoe to drop' for Iron Mountain, says Jefferies
Jefferies analyst Dan Dolev says new mortgage requirements by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau effective this month along with government studies favoring electronic mortgages could drive a further step-down in paper storage growth. Around 66% of mortgages are still paper-based, Dolev tells investors in a research note. eMortgages "could be the next shoe to drop" for Iron Mountain, the analyst writes. He cut his price target for shares to $27 from $29 and keeps an Underperform rating on storage provider of paper documents.
October 8, 2015
09:04 EDTVRTXVertex says advancing two correctors from CF treatment program
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced significant progress in its development efforts to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis for the vast majority of people with the disease. These updates were made in conjunction with the 29th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference. More than 15 abstracts related to Vertex's CF development program were accepted for presentation at NACFC. The company said it is advancing two next-generation correctors from its research program into clinical development. Known as VX-152 and VX-440, these next-generation correctors will be evaluated alone and in combination with VX-661/ivacaftor in Phase 1 studies in healthy volunteers beginning in November 2015. Pending results of these studies, Vertex plans to initiate Phase 2 studies in people with CF evaluating VX-440 or VX-152 in combination with VX-661/ivacaftor in the second half of 2016.
06:32 EDTVRTXPiper Jaffray explains why drug prices are justifiable
Piper Jaffray's team of Biopharma analysts, led by Joshua Schimmer, explain this morning in research note to investors why they believe drug prices are justifiable. The "fairly lopsided" drug-pricing discussion "noise" has created attractive entry points for stocks in the sector, the analysts argue. They say that after adjusting for actual inflation, the growth of drug prices "does not seem particularly concerning." The current dialogue on the topic under-emphasizes the need to provide "extremely attractive incentives" for companies to embark on the "highly risky, capital-intensive, long-development cycle drug development path which is needed to bring new cures for important diseases," the analysts contend. Schimmer's top picks are Alexion (ALXN), Celgene (CELG) and Amgen (AMGN) in the large-cap space, GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) and bluebird bio (BLUE) among mid-caps, and Flex Pharma (FLKS), Lion Biotechnologies (LBIO), Otonomy (OTIC) and Ignyta (RXDX) in the small-cap sector.
October 7, 2015
16:55 EDTVRTXVertex announces FDA acceptance of sNDA for KALYDECO
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. FDA has accepted for review a supplemental New Drug Application for the use of KALYDECO in people with cystic fibrosis ages 2 and older who have one of 23 residual function mutations. The FDA granted Vertex's request for Priority Review of this sNDA, and a target review date of February 6, 2016 was set under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act for the FDA's decision on the sNDA. The submission was based on preclinical and clinical data showing the effect of ivacaftor on CFTR function in certain residual function mutations. The sNDA was based on preclinical data for ivacaftor in the 23 residual function mutations, the established clinical profile of KALYDECO and on previously reported data from an exploratory Phase 2a study in 24 people with residual function mutations. In 19 of the 24 patients enrolled in this study, 8 of the 23 mutations proposed in the sNDA were represented.
October 6, 2015
10:43 EDTACHNOptions with decreasing implied volatility
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10:23 EDTIRMHigh option volume stocks
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October 5, 2015
18:06 EDTAPOLApollo Education promotes Chief Accounting Officer Iverson to CFO
Apollo Education Group announced the promotion of Gregory Iverson to serve as the company's CFO, effective October 26. Iverson succeeds Joseph D'Amico, who has served as interim CFO since May, and will report directly to Apollo Education CEO Gregory Cappelli. Iverson is currently VP of finance, Chief Accounting Officer and treasurer. He began his tenure at Apollo in April 2007 as VP and controller.
October 2, 2015
11:18 EDTVRTXMorgan Stanley downgrades select pharma stocks amid drug price scrutiny
Morgan Stanley downgraded several stocks in the pharmaceutical sector, dropping drugmakers Valeant (VRX), Gilead (GILD) and Regeneron (REGN) to Equal Weight from Overweight. The firm also downgraded specialty pharmacy Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) to Equal Weight and cut its rating on drug distributor AmerisourceBergen (ABC) to Underweight, the firm's equivalent of a sell rating. WHAT'S NEW: Democrats' scrutiny of high drug prices may continue, warned Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger. As a result, it is hard to predict when Valeant, which generated 14% of its Q2 sales rise from price increases, will see its P/E multiple rise, Risinger believes. The company's lower multiple will hinder its ability to conduct M&A and swap or issue equity, according to Risinger, who set a $200 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison downgraded Gilead, noting that U.S. hepatitis C volume growth has dropped in the last few months. Although Harrison thinks that the U.S. hepatitis C market is still strong, he believes that the data could cause the Street to become concerned about Gilead's fourth quarter and 2016 outlook. He set a $127 price target on the shares. Harrison also downgraded Regeneron, stating his belief that two other drug makers, Alexion (ALXN) and Vertex (VRTX), have stronger near-term appreciation potential. He added that Regeneron has a number of potential negative catalysts, including drug pricing concerns and his belief, based on physician feedback, that the launch of the company's cholesterol drug, Praluent, could miss expectations. He set a $593 price target on the shares. AmerisourceBergen, which provides pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution service to healthcare providers, is the most levered to branded price inflation and that attribute could weigh on the shares, said Risinger, who cut his price target to $93 from $120 on the stock. The uncertain outlook for drug prices could keep the stock range-bound, added the analyst. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Valeant dropped 2.3% to $175.50, Gilead declined 1% to $97.26, Regeneron was flat near to $472 per share and AmerisourceBergen slid 1.3% to $93.25.
10:00 EDTVRTXOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: Alexion (ALXN) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... BlackRock (BLK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS... Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA... EnPro (NPO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... Finish Line (FINL) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman... FutureFuel (FF) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital... Google (GOOG) upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer... Johnson Controls (JCI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura... Kennametal (KMT) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill... Lufthansa (DLAKY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at HSBC... Martin Marietta (MLM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow... Northern Trust (NTRS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS... PMC-Sierra (PMCS) upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna... Pfizer (PFE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley... Realogy (RLGY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi... Sarepta (SRPT) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Summit Materials (SUM) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman... TreeHouse (THS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill... Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.
07:06 EDTVRTXVertex upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley upgraded Vertex to Overweight and increased its price target to $148 from $118. Analyst Matthew Harrison said Verrtex shares have been under pressure due to competitive concerns and over-ownership and views the decline as an attractive entry point. Additionally, Harrison's physician feedback suggests a strong launch for Orkambi with 2015 revenues as much as $100M above consensus, and sees near-term catalysts from ENaC inhibitor data and '661 het-min study.
October 1, 2015
09:23 EDTSBGIGray Television sells television stations in three markets and adds one market
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09:20 EDTSBGISinclair Broadcast announces agreement to swap television stations with Gray Television
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September 30, 2015
07:07 EDTSBGIDeutsche Bank to hold a conference
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September 29, 2015
12:33 EDTVRTXOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly higher at midday as the market seeks to break its losing streak, helped by an improvement in consumer confidence that came despite the recent market volatility. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in September. Analysts expected the consumer confidence reading to pull back to 96.8 from the prior 101.5 figure, but it actually strengthened to 103.0. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index was up a seasonally adjusted 0.2% month over month in July, versus the consensus forecast for a rise of 0.1%. Stocks sold off in much of Asia last night, with China's Shanghai composite index sliding 2% while Japan's Nikkei dropped 4%, erasing year-to-date gains in the process. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) advanced 3% after its board authorized the company to continue to pursue its spin-off of Aabaco Holdings, a newly formed independent registered investment company that will hold all of Yahoo's remaining holdings in Alibaba Group (BABA). MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Radius Health (RDUS), which rose nearly 10% after Ben Harrington of the Betaville blog stated during an appearance on Tip TV that he has heard that "something will be happening" in terms of M&A involving the company over the "next few weeks." Also higher were several recently beaten down biotech stocks that were seeing some bounceback, including Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), which gained 5%, and Biogen (BIIB), which advanced 4%. Notably, both of them, along with Amgen (AMGN), were mentioned in a note to investors by Cowen analyst Ken Cacciatore as "hypothetical" targets for Allergan (AGN). Among the noteworthy losers was OvaScience (OVAS), which dropped 38% after saying it now longer expects to meet its 2015 goal of 1,000 Augment cycles. Esperion (ESPR) also fell 38% after the company warned that the FDA could require it to undertake new studies before its ETC-1002 is approved. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 7.27, or 0.05%, to 16,009.16, the Nasdaq was up 7.38, or 0.16%, to 4,551.35, and the S&P 500 was up 4.56, or 0.24%, to 1,886.33.
09:19 EDTSBGIDeutsche Bank to hold a conference
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08:57 EDTVRTXCowen lists Vertex, Biogen and Amgen as hypothetical Allergan targets
Cowen analyst Ken Cacciatore noted that the price agreed for Allergan's (AGN) generic divestiture to Teva (TEVA) is fixed and that the cash value from this deal has not depreciated in any way while the corresponding valuations of potential targets have corrected, increasing the potential value creation available for Allergan as it decides how to deploy its capital. To illustrate the value creation that Allergan's capital deployment could generate, Cacciatore estimates the type of accretion potential that might be seen if the company were to buy Vertex with an acquisition price of $36.5B, if it were to acquire Biogen (BIIB) at a price of $91B or if it were to purchase Amgen (AMGN) with an acquisition price of $140B. Although the market correction has lowered Allergan's stock, the decline could be viewed as a near-term positive, given that a key component of its strategy and business model is to seek to aggressively deploy its capital, Cacciatore argues in a note to investors. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating and $400 price target on Allergan shares.

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