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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News For VVUS;JNJ;AZN;PFE From The Last 14 Days
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March 5, 2015
18:51 EDTPFETargacept, Catalyst Biosciences outline benefits of proposed merger
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16:20 EDTJNJOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:33 EDTJNJOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were higher at midday as the market looks to break the two day skid that started the day after Nasdaq broke 5,000. A lower growth forecast in China is being offset this morning by Europe getting more constructive on its outlook, as the European Central Bank raised its growth forecasts and confirmed that it plans to start its bond buying program next week. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., initial jobless claims rose 7K to 320K in the week ended February 28, which was above the consensus forecast for 296K first-time claims. Nonfarm productivity in the fourth quarter was revised to -2.2% from -1.8% in the government's prior estimate. Unit labor costs are now believed to have risen 4.1% in Q4, which is up from the 2.7% growth estimated in the advance report. Factory orders dipped 0.2% in January, versus expectations for them to be up 0.2%. China's government set an economic growth rate target of about 7% for 2015, which is down from the 7.5% target that it narrowly missed last year with its 2014 GDP growth of 7.4%. In Europe, both the Bank of England and European Central Bank kept their key interest rates unchanged. As is often the case in Europe, the real news came after the rate decision when ECB president Mario Draghi held his press conference. During the conference, Draghi said the bank's first asset purchases will come next week as part of its plan to buy $66B a month in bonds. The ECB also raised its economic growth forecasts for this year and next and said its inflation outlook puts it on track to reach its inflation goal near 2%. COMPANY NEWS: AbbVie (ABBV) agreed to buy Pharmacyclics (PCYC) for $261.25 per share, or $21B, the companies announced. Pharmacyclics' flagship product is Imbruvica, a treatment for hematologic cancers, that it co-markets with Johnson &Johnson (JNJ). Media reports as late as last night said J&J was close to buying its partner. Piper Jaffray said AbbVie paid a "staggering" price for Pharmacyclics when taking into account the company bought only 50% of the rights to Imbruvica and that "nearly everything looks cheap" in the biotechnology space when the deal's metrics are used as a benchmark against other names. Deutsche Bank however, views AbbVie's acquisition as a positive, saying the deal provides near term top-line growth and diversifies its business away from Humira... A Delta (DAL) plane skidded off the runway at New York's La Guardia Airport, prompting the airport to close until later this evening. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH), which gained nearly 25% after the FDA released briefing documents for an advisory committee meeting planned for March 9 to discuss the company's deoxycholic acid, or DCA. Kythera is seeking approval for DCA for the improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe convexity or fullness associated with submental fat in adults, more commonly known as "double-chin." Also higher after its earnings report was grocery store operator Kroger (KR), which advanced 5%. Among the noteworthy losers was Greif (GEF), which dropped 13.5% after its earnings missed expectations, with the company stating that profits were adversely impacted by product and geographic mix issues resulting in lower gross profit and a higher effective tax rate. Also lower was mining equipment maker Joy Global (JOY), which fell about 7% after the company's results missed forecasts and it cut it fiscal year outlook. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 26.04, or 0.14%, to 18,122.94, the Nasdaq was up 11.33, or 0.23%, to 4,978.47, and the S&P 500 was up 0.94, or 0.04%, to 2,099.47.
11:34 EDTJNJPharmacyclics buyout has positive read-through for J&J, says Wells Fargo
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10:45 EDTJNJDeutsche says Abbvie deal positive, while Piper calls price too high
Two research firms differed on AbbVie's (ABBV) acquisition of Pharmacyclics (PCYC), with Piper Jaffray saying that AbbVie paid far too much in the deal and Deutsche Bank contending that the purchase is positive for AbbVie. BACKGROUND: AbbVie agreed to buy Pharmacyclics for $261.25 per share, or $21B, the companies announced late last night. Pharmacyclics' flagship product is Imbruvica, a treatment for hematologic cancers, that it co-markets with Johnson &Johnson (JNJ). BEARISH TAKE: Noting that J&J has 50% rights to Imbruvica, Piper analyst Joshua Schimmer wrote that the price that AbbVie paid would have been reasonable if its was obtaining full rights to Imbruvica. It will take many years for the deal to generate enough cash to justify the price that Abbvie paid, the analyst stated. Moreover, given the large number of potential competitors to Imbruvica in development and the possibility that a more potent treatment for hematological cancers will be introduced, the confidence that AbbVie showed in Pharmacyclics may be overdone, Schimmer indicated. BULLISH TAKE: Conversely, Deutsche Bank analyst Robyn Karnauskas believes that the deal is positive for AbbVie, since she thinks that it provides the drug maker with revenue growth in the near-term and diversifies its business beyond Humira, its treatment for Crohn's disease and psoriasis. However, Karnauskas did add that from a purely valuation perspective the deal is only neutral for AbbVie. She predicted, though, that the deal would start increasing AbbVie's profits beginning in 2017. The transaction could add 18%-19% to AbbVie's earnings per share in 2020-2021, estimated Karnauskas, who kept an $80 price target and Buy rating on AbbVie. PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, AbbVie fell 3.3% to $58.26 and Pharmacyclics jumped 10.5% to $254.74.
08:30 EDTJNJPiper: Pharmacyclics buyout price makes nearly everything look cheap
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05:59 EDTJNJJ&J says 'looking forward' to continuing collaboration with AbbVie
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) issued a statement after AbbVie (ABBV) reached an agreement to acquire Pharmacyclics (PCYC) saying its "looking forward" to continuing its Imbruvica collaboration with AbbVie (ABBV), Bloomberg and Reuters reported. Pharmacyclics co-markets Imbruvica with Johnson & Johnson, and media reports as late as last night said J&J was close to buying its partner. AbbVie late last night announced it would acquire Pharmacyclics for $19.9B or $261.25 per share.
March 4, 2015
18:37 EDTJNJOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Roundy's (RNDY), up 12.7%... Pacific Ethanol (PEIX), up 11.5%... Miller Industries (MLR), 6.9%. ALSO HIGHER: Pharmacyclics (PCYC), up 2.8% after speculation of acquisition by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Johnson & Johnson is up marginally. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Semtech (SMTC), down 5.3%... Callon Petroleum (CPE), down 1.3%. ALSO LOWER: Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA), down 7% following results from tradipitant Phase II study... Encana (ECA), down 4.2% after announcing C$1.25B bought deal offering... Apollo Commercial (ARI), down 2.9% after filing to sell 10M shares of common stock... Neustar (NSR), down 2.7% after making statement on LNPA vendor selection.
17:22 EDTJNJPharmacyclics up 2% after speculation of acquisition by Johnson & Johnson
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17:11 EDTJNJPharmacyclics said to agree to be bought by J&J, Bloomberg says
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16:35 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson close to deal to buy Pharmacyclics, FT reports
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March 3, 2015
16:01 EDTJNJOptions Update; March 3, 2015
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12:06 EDTPFEPfizer receives orphan status for lung cancer drug
The FDA granted Pfizer orphan status for its treatment of non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR, HER2, HER4, or DDR2 mutations, dacomitinib.
11:46 EDTJNJLeerink biotech analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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11:25 EDTVVUSOrexigen surges after disclosing weight loss drug data, patent news
Shares of Orexigen (OREX) are surging in morning trading after the company disclosed the data from the 25% interim analysis of the LIGHT cardiovascular study when announcing a method of treatment patent was issued for its weight loss drug, Contrave. In the filing, the company disclosed that Contrave demonstrated a statistically significant benefit over placebo for cardiovascular events, including CV death. ANALYST OPINION: The new patent announced today extends protection for Contrave to 2034, analysts at Piper Jaffray stated. The firm thinks the new data could possibly drive a competitive advantage in the U.S. market for Contrave, and enhance probability of approvals outside the U.S. It kept an Overweight rating on Orexigen and raised its price target on the stock to $26 from $16. Meanwhile, Leerink noted the data show a statistically significant Contrave benefit in the intent-to-treat population on MACE, myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death. The firm believes the results "present meaningful upside to expectations" and could have a positive impact on the Contrave launch if they are included on the drug's labels. Leerink reiterates an Outperform rating on Orexigen. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies that offer weight loss drugs that compete with Contrave include VIVUS (VVUS) and Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA). PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Orexigen shares surged 44.5% to $8.37, VIVUS shares rose 8% to $2.99 and Arena slid 3.5% to $4.13.
08:37 EDTPFEPfizer says EC approves expanded indication for Prevenar 13
Pfizer announced that the European Commission approved an expanded indication for the use of Prevenar 13 -- pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine 13-valent, adsorbed -- for the prevention of pneumonia caused by the 13 pneumococcal serotypes in the vaccine in adults aged 18 years and older. The Summary of Product Characteristics has also been updated to include efficacy data from Pfizer’s Community-Acquired Pneumonia Immunization Trial in Adults, which demonstrated statistically significant reductions in first episodes of vaccine-type pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia, including non-invasive/non-bacteremic CAP, and invasive pneumococcal disease in adults aged 65 and older.
March 2, 2015
16:31 EDTPFEPfizer files automatic mixed securities shelf
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16:26 EDTJNJOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
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12:13 EDTJNJOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:52 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson EPS dilution from Cordis deal seems modest, says Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo estimates that Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) planned sale of Cordis to Cardinal Health (CAH) should dilute J&J yearly EPS by about 3c-4c, assuming all is else equal, and the firm expects the company to be able to absorb at least some of this dilution and possibly offset the rest via share repurchases. Wells maintains its Outperform rating on J&J shares.
09:02 EDTPFE, AZNAstraZeneca mulls linking bonuses to Pfizer defense pledges, Sunday Times says
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08:01 EDTJNJCardinal Health offers to buy Cordis from Johnson & Johnson in $1.99B deal
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07:53 EDTJNJCardinal Health to host conference call
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07:35 EDTJNJCardinal Health to buy Cordis from Johnson & Johnson in $1.99B deal
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07:35 EDTJNJCardinal Health to acquire Cordis for $1.94B in cash
Cardinal Health (CAH) announced plans to acquire Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Cordis business, a global manufacturer of cardiology and endovascular devices, for $1.94B in cash, or approximately $1.59B, net of the present value of tax benefits. The acquisition is expected to be financed with a combination of $1B in new senior unsecured notes and the remainder with existing cash. The transaction is expected to close in the United States and key non-U.S. countries towards the end of calendar 2015. Assuming this timing, Cardinal Health expects fiscal 2017 accretion in non-GAAP diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of greater than 20c per share, which includes the cost of an incremental 7c-8c per share of interest expense associated with financing the transaction. The company expects the acquisition to be increasingly accretive thereafter and assumes that synergies will exceed $100M annually by the end of fiscal 2018. Cordis had annual sales in 2014 of approximately $780M, split almost evenly between cardiology and endovascular products. Upon completion of that process, Cardinal Health expects to enter into a definitive purchase and sale agreement in respect of the proposed acquisition. The proposed transaction will also be subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the approximately 20 principal countries towards the end of calendar year 2015 and in the remaining countries on a rolling basis afterward.
February 27, 2015
14:34 EDTJNJPharmacyclics says Imbruvica combination enhances anti-tumor activity
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08:15 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson would benefit from Pharmacyclics deal, says Wells Fargo
After Bloomberg and The Financial Times reported that Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Novartis (NVS) are interested in buying Pharmacyclics (PCYC), Wells Fargo thinks the deal would cause a slight acceleration of Johnson & Johnson's revenue growth. The firm believes that the deal could be slightly dilutive to Johnson & Johnson's EPS in the first full year and 1%-4% accretive thereafter. Wells keeps an Outperform rating on Johnson & Johnson.
06:24 EDTAZNAstraZeneca turning antibiotic R&D into separate subsidiary, Reuters reports
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February 26, 2015
12:31 EDTPFEPfizer says CDC recommends serogroup B meningococcal vaccine for those at risk
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09:41 EDTJNJHospira launches generic Remicade, WSJ says
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08:03 EDTJNJJohnson & Johnson forms new health and wellness platform
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06:52 EDTJNJPharmacyclics downgraded to Hold from Buy at WallachBeth
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February 25, 2015
14:47 EDTJNJPharmacyclics could fetch as much as $19B in sale, FT says
Pharmacyclics (PCYC) is considering a sale that could fetch as much as $19B, reported Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter who said Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is exploring a potential deal for the company. The Fly notes that Bloomberg had a similar report, but its report said Pharmacyclics could fetch $17B-$18B in a sale. Reference Link
14:10 EDTJNJPharmacyclics downgraded to Hold on lack of upside at Deutsche Bank
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12:54 EDTJNJPharmacyclics exploring options including sale, Bloomberg reports
According to sources, Pharmacyclics (PCYC), which develops cancer treatments, is currently exploring options, Bloomberg reports. One option may include a sale of the company, and the sources say Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Novartis (NVS) have expressed interest in the company. Pharmacyclics could fetch $17B-$18B in a sale, the sources add. Reference Link
12:53 EDTJNJPharmacyclics weighing sale to U.S. drugmaker, Bloomberg reports
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February 24, 2015
16:01 EDTVVUSVIVUS reports Q4 EPS (25c), consensus (25c)
Reports Q4 revenue $21.7M, consensus $20.01M.
08:07 EDTPFEPfizer announces Trumenba studies met primary objectives
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February 23, 2015
12:53 EDTAZNAnalysts debate potential for competing Salix takeover bid
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07:55 EDTAZNJefferies says other bidders may emerge for Salix
Jefferies says it could envision other bidders emerging for Salix (SLXP) and points out recent media reports have suggested Shire (SHPG) and Endo (ENDP) have considered making a bid for the company. It lists AstraZeneca (AZN) and Takeda as others who could have possible interest in Salix. The firm believes Valeant (VRX) could afford to pay more for Salix should other bidders emerge.
February 22, 2015
12:51 EDTJNJJ&J considers Cordis sale with Cardinal the leading suitor, Bloomberg says
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February 20, 2015
17:31 EDTJNJJ&J considering sale of Cordis with Cardinal the leading suitor, Bloomberg says
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16:03 EDTJNJOptions Update; February 20, 2015
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10:33 EDTPFEBattleground update: AbbVie named top global pick at Jefferies
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10:31 EDTPFEPfizer announces FDA acceptance of NDA for Rapamune
Pfizer announced that the FDA has accepted for priority review a supplemental New Drug Application for RAPAMUNE for the treatment of lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare, progressive lung disease in women of childbearing age that is often fatal. With the Priority Review designation for the sNDA, Pfizer anticipates a decision in June of 2015 based on the anticipated Prescription Drug User Fee Act action date. The sNDA is based on results from the Multicenter International Lymphangioleiomyomatosis Efficacy and Safety of Sirolimus Trial. The MILES Trial included 89 LAM patients with moderate lung impairment who were randomized to receive RAPAMUNE or placebo for 12 months, followed by a 12 month observation period. In the trial, those treated with RAPAMUNE for one year experienced stabilization of lung function as measured by forced expiratory volume in one second.
09:38 EDTJNJActive equity options trading on open
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07:23 EDTPFE, JNJ, AZNAbbVie replaces Pfizer as top global pharma pick at Jefferies
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07:08 EDTAZNAmerican Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology to hold annual meeting
2015 Annual Meeting of AAAAI is being held in Houston, Texas on February 20-24.
February 19, 2015
18:25 EDTPFEPiper Jaffray biotech analyst to hold analyst/industry conference call
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14:49 EDTPFEWalgreens selected by Pfizer as one of pharmacies to dispense Ibrance
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07:12 EDTPFEWharton Health Care Club to hold a conference
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