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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
November 4, 2012
01:43 EDTGILD, ABT, VRXVertex Pharmaceuticals offers investors few catalysts, Barron's says
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRX) was once a Wall Street darling, but sales of its blockbuster hepatitis C drug, Incivek, are falling. And as Incivek sales keep falling, many worry that Vertex may start losing money next year. Q3 results disappointed investors. And shares sank Friday, as Goldman Sachs analyst Terence Flynn downgraded the stock to a Sell. The worry is that experimental cystic fibrosis drugs now in development may not prove to be potent enough to help patients. Also, Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) have rival hepatitis C drugs in phase three trials, which Vertex won't start until 2014. Barron's contends that Vertex faces challenges that make the stock unattractive even at a marked-down price. Reference Link
News For VRX;ABT;GILD From The Last 14 Days
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September 2, 2015
05:53 EDTABTAbbott implied volatility of 41 at upper end of index
September 1, 2015
05:38 EDTABTAbbott announces results of naturally dissolving stent from ABSORB study
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05:33 EDTVRXValeant, AstraZeneca to partner on brodalumab
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) announced that its affiliate has entered into a collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca (AZN) under which Valeant was granted an exclusive license to develop and commercialize brodalumab. Brodalumab is an IL-17 receptor monoclonal antibody in development for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Under the agreement, Valeant will hold the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize brodalumab globally, except in Japan and certain other Asian countries where rights are held by Kyowa Hakko Kirin under a prior arrangement with Amgen Inc., the originator of brodalumab. Valeant will assume all development costs associated with the regulatory approval for brodalumab. Regulatory submission in U.S. and EU for brodalumab in moderate-to-severe psoriasis is planned for Q4. Under the terms of the agreement, Valeant will make an up-front payment to AstraZeneca of $100M, as well as additional pre-launch milestones of up to $170M and further sales-related milestone payments of up to $175M following launch. After approval, AstraZeneca and Valeant will share profits.
August 31, 2015
05:36 EDTABTStocks with implied volatility movement; MNKD ABT
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August 27, 2015
13:42 EDTABTAnalyst says Abbott-St. Jude deal looks unlikely
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12:41 EDTABTOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks began the session sharply higher, extending the rally that started yesterday. A number of factors may be contributors to today's strength, including China's government intervening in its market last night and pushing its key stock index up 5%, dovish comments made by N.Y. Fed President Bill Dudley yesterday regarding the potential for a September interest rate hike and an upward revision in the estimate of second quarter GDP growth. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the updated estimate of GDP growth showed the economy grew 3.7% in the second quarter, topping expectations for annualized growth to be revised up to 3.2% from the prior estimate of 2.3%. Personal consumption in the quarter rose 3.1%, matching expectations. 271,000 initial jobless claims were filed last week, versus expectations for 274,000 first-time claims. The NAR pending home sales index rose 0.5% in July, missing the expectation for an increase of 1%. In China, the Shanghai composite index rose 5.3%, stemming its recent string of down days, with media reports indicating that the government may have played a role by stepping in to buy stocks. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of St. Jude Medical (STJ) advanced 4.5% after the Financial Times reported, citing sources, that Abbott (ABT) is prepping a takeover offer that would value the medical device maker at $25B. An Abbott spokesperson, however, issued statements to Bloomberg, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal following the report to deny that it is pursuing a bid for St. Jude, which struck a deal in July to acquire fellow medical device manufacturer Thoratec (THOR) for $63.50 per share in cash, or $3.4B, net of cash acquired. Thoratec shares slid 0.5% near noon following the report, as investors may be concerned that the previously announced deal could be jeopardized if Abbott does in fact step in to the situation... Shares of Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) surged 28% this morning after the miner and oil explorer announced plans to cut spending and production, including plans to cut about 10% of employees and contractors at its U.S. mining operations. Freeport has lowered its 2016 capital expenditure budget to $4B, or approximately 29% lower than the $5.6B estimate it issued on July 23, which it said reflects "aggressive" actions in response to current market conditions. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Movado (MOV), which gained 20% after the company reported better than expected second quarter results and backed its fiscal year earnings view. Also higher following its earnings report was Signet Jewelers (SIG), whose shares rose 13%. Another jeweler reporting earnings this morning, Tiffany (TIF), which slid 3% after the company lowered its fiscal year outlook. Among the other noteworthy losers following their earnings reports were Williams-Sonoma (WSM), which dropped 7%, and Dollar General (DG), which slipped 4%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 311.33, or 1.91%, to 16,596.84, the Nasdaq was up 109.30, or 2.33%, to 4,806.83, and the S&P 500 was up 42.77, or 2.2%, to 1,983.28.
12:20 EDTABTDeutsche Bank says would have mixed view of Abbott-St. Jude deal
Deutsche Bank analyst Kristen Stewart said she would have a "somewhat mixed" view if Abbott (ABT) were in fact to pursue a deal to buy St. Jude Medical (STJ), as was raised as a possibility by a Financial Times report this morning. Stewart said the addition of St. Jude would "significantly" improve Abbott's Device division, specifically its vascular franchise, but she adds that the $25B bid discussed in the report would be "full value" for St. Jude and wonders if such a deal would be the most efficient use of capital for a diversified company like Abbott. The analyst said her view on each stock is unchanged overall at this point and she keeps her Buy rating on Abbott and Hold rating on St. Jude.
12:07 EDTABTAbbott bid for St. Jude doesn't seem likely, says Wells Fargo
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09:26 EDTABTOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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07:57 EDTABTAbbott spokesman says company not making offer for St. Jude, Bloomberg reports
The spokesperson's statement to Bloomberg follows a report earlier this morning from Financial Times that claimed Abbott (ABT) is prepping a takeover offer for St. Jude Medical (STJ) that would value the latter at $25B.
07:51 EDTABTThoratec volatility low into report Abbott prepping offer for St. Jude Medical
Thoratec (THOR) September call option implied volatility is at 10, October is at 6; compared to its 52-week range of 8 to 54 suggesting decreasing price movement into reports Abbott (ABT) is preparing a bid for St. Jude Medical (STJ). In July St. Jude Medical and Thoratec approved an agreement under which St. Jude Medical will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Thoratec for $63.50 per share in a cash. The deal is scheduled to close in Q4.
07:45 EDTABTAbbott volatility up into report prepping takeover offer for St. Jude Medical
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07:39 EDTABTSt. Jude Medical volatility up, Abbott prepping $25B takeover offer FT reports
St. Jude Medical (STJ) September call option implied volatility is at 29, October is at 27; compared to its 52-week range of 17 to 36; suggesting slightly larger near term price movement into Abbott (ABT) is prepping a takeover offer that would value the company at $25B, sources tell The Financial Times.
06:57 EDTABTAbbott prepping $25B takeover offer for St. Jude Medical, FT reports
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06:56 EDTABTAbbott prepping $25B takeover offer for St. Jude Medical, FT reports
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August 26, 2015
17:06 EDTGILDGilead AMBITION study results published in New England Journal of Medicine
Gilead Sciences (GILD) announced detailed results from the AMBITION study. In AMBITION, conducted in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), combination therapy with Letairis and tadalafil reduced the risk of clinical failure by 50% compared to the pooled Letairis and tadalafil monotherapy arm. These data were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Letairis, a selective endothelin type-A receptor antagonist, and tadalafil, a PDE5 inhibitor, are each approved in the United States, the European Union and other countries as once-daily treatments for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension with WHO/NYHA functional class II and III symptoms. Letairis is indicated in the U.S. to improve exercise ability and delay clinical worsening and in the EU under the tradename Volibris to improve exercise capacity. Tadalafil 40 mg is indicated in the U.S. and the EU to improve exercise ability and capacity, respectively. Preclinical data have suggested these therapies may have synergistic effects. However, combination use with Letairis and tadalafil is currently not approved.
August 25, 2015
19:34 EDTGILDExperts tell White House to expand use of Hepatitis C drugs, NYT says
Health care experts from the Public Health Service and the Advisory Council on H.I.V./AIDS have recommended that Medicaid officials expand the use of costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni, reports the New York Times, citing correspondence sent to the White House. The advisory council said current usage limitations on the drugs are "unreasonable," but it also suggested that manufacturers disclose drug development costs in the face of the significant price tags on modern Hepatitis C treatments. Reference Link
08:05 EDTVRXValeant names D. Robert Hale to board of directors
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International announced the addition of D. Robert Hale, Partner of ValueAct Capital, to its board of directors and the resignation of Jeffrey W. Ubben, CEO and CIO of ValueAct Capital, effective as of August 19, 2015. ValueAct Capital, an investment firm based in San Francisco with over $20B under management, owns approximately 4% of the outstanding stock of Valeant, and has been a shareholder in Valeant since 2006. As a Partner and member of the investment team of ValueAct Capital, Hale has worked closely with the board and management team of Valeant since January 2011. Hale will be the fourth Partner of ValueAct Capital to serve on the Valeant Board, following Mason Morfit, Brandon Boze, and Jeff Ubben.
August 24, 2015
13:36 EDTGILDBiotech correction presents some opportunities, says RBC Capital
RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee said he won't try to pick the short-term bottom in biotech, but contends that any macro weakness in China shouldn't have any major impact to financials or fundamentals for the sector given their minimal exposure there. If the market continues to be volatile, Yee recommends a focus on names with defensive characteristics, such as higher margins and free cash flow yield, naming Amgen (AMGN), Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) as some examples. The analyst adds that he likes Vertex (VRTX) on the pullback for "more aggressive" growth investors. Yee has Outperform ratings on all of the stocks mentioned above.
August 21, 2015
16:34 EDTVRXMarket enters correction territory in worst week in four years
For the week, stocks plummeted amid concerns about a slowing Chinese economy and declining oil prices. MACRO NEWS: Monday, the Empire State manufacturing index crashed to -14.92 in August after rebounding to 3.86 in July from June's -1.98. The consensus estimate was 4.75, and the surprising drop puts the index at its lowest point since April 2009... Meanwhile, the NAHB homebuilder sentiment index rose to 61 in August from 60 in June, matching consensus estimates... Tuesday, July housing starts edged up 0.2% to 1.206M, beating consensus estimates for 1.180M in the best reading since October 2007. Building permits, however, fell 16.3% to 1.119M against expectations for 1.230M, while single family starts rose 12.8% and multifamily numbers fell 17.0%... Wednesday, the July consumer price index edged up 0.1% against expectations for 0.2% reading. The core reading, which excludes food and energy, also came in at 0.1% versus consensus estimates of 0.2%... Meanwhile, FOMC minutes showed no definitive indication of a September rate hike... Thursday, initial jobless claims rose to 277,000 from a revised 273,000, bringing the 4-week moving average to 271,500... The Philadelphia Fed index rose 2.6 points to 8.3 in August, beating expectations for a 7.5 reading... Friday, the PMI Manufacturing Index Flash for August came in at a level of 52.9, below the prior level of 53.8 and the consensus level of 54.2. COMPANY NEWS: Monday, Liberty Interactive (QVCA) announced an agreement to acquire zulily (ZU) for $18.75 per share in a deal valuing the online shopping site at $2.4B. The acquisition will be attributed to Liberty's QVC tracking stock, though the companies specified that QVC and zulily will operate as separate brands... Amazon (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos downplayed a recent New York Times critique of the company's workplace practices, telling employees in an email that "the article doesn't describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day..." Tuesday, Wal-Mart (WMT) cut its full year earnings outlook, with company executives on a subsequent conference call expressing confidence in China but noting that Brazil and U.K. remain challenging markets for the company... Wednesday, Seagate Technology (STX) agreed to acquire Dot Hill Systems (HILL) for $9.75 per share, noting that it expects the deal to be non-GAAP EPS accretive in fiscal 2016... Thursday, Valeant (VRX) agreed to acquire Sprout Pharmaceuticals for roughly $1B in cash plus a profit-sharing agreement, adding that it expects to bring the company's recently-approved female sexual dysfunction drug Addyi to the U.S. by Q4... Friday, Steiner Leisure (STNR) entered into a definitive merger agreement where an affiliate of Catterton will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Steiner for $65 per share in cash. INDEXES: For the week, the Dow lost about 5.79% to close at 16,459.75, the Nasdaq declined about 6.71% to close at 4,706.04, and the S&P 500 fell about 5.73% to close at 1,970.89.
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