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January 7, 2013
06:10 EDTWAG, PFE, DDAIF, BMYOn the Fly: Periodicals Wrap-Up
WALL STREET JOURNAL: U.S. businesses took on new office space at a sluggish pace in Q4, as employers remained cautious about adding jobs, the Wall Street Journal reports...This week Walgreen Co. (WAG) executives will outline what's ahead for the drugstore chain in 2013, with some analysts saying a busy flu season and firmer prescription orders could help the company outperform its rivals, the Wall Street Journal reports...REUTERS: Major U.S. technology companies could miss estimates for Q4 earnings as "fiscal cliff" concerns likely led some corporate clients to tighten their belts last month and hold off on spending all of their 2012 IT budgets, Reuters reports...The U.S. dominates the list of places that global commercial real estate investors would prefer to invest their money this year, while China has lost some luster and Turkey has drawn more interest, according to an annual survey by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, Reuters reports...BLOOMBERG: China Investment Corp. may acquire a holding of 4% to 10% in Daimler AG (DDAIF), according to the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily which reported the country’s sovereign-wealth fund may buy a stake in the luxury car maker, Bloomberg reports...The return of $10B-plus drug deals may be here as pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer (PFE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) may be ready to start buying again. Five of the largest U.S. drug makers had more than $70B in cash, near cash and short-term investments at the end of the Q3, Bloomberg reports.
News For WAG;DDAIF;PFE;BMY From The Last 14 Days
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September 24, 2015
17:04 EDTPFEMerck, Pfizer to collaborate with Agilent's Dako on Avelumab diagnostic
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07:41 EDTDDAIFBMW X3 said to exceed EU emission limit, Bloomberg reports
According to German-language magazine Autobild, BMW's (BAMXY) X3 xDrive 20d sport utility vehicle was found to emit as much as 11 times the European limit for emissions in a road test, reported Bloomberg. "There is no function to recognize emissions testing cycles at BMW. All emissions systems remain active outside the testing cycles," BMW said in a statement in response to the report. Shares of BMW trading in Germany fell over 9% following the report, while peers Daimler (DDAIF) and Volkswagen (VLKAY) declined as well, as investors fear that VW's emissions scandal in the U.S. may spread to Europe. Reference Link
07:33 EDTPFEBIND says Pfizer exercises option to obtain license for Accurin drug candidate
BIND Therapeutics (BIND) announced that Pfizer (PFE) exercised its option to obtain an exclusive license to develop and commercialize an Accurin drug candidate for the treatment of solid tumors under the companies' global collaboration agreement. The actively targeted Accurin is designed to impart cellular targeting capability and was engineered by BIND using one of Pfizer's proprietary kinase inhibitors and one of BIND's proprietary ligands. As a result of the option exercise, BIND will receive a $2.5 million option exercise fee from Pfizer. In parallel with exercising its first option, Pfizer informed BIND that it will not exercise its option for the second compound in the collaboration. Under terms of the original collaboration agreement, which was established in April 2013, Pfizer was granted options to obtain exclusive licenses to pursue development and commercialization of two Accurins that incorporate specified Pfizer small molecular targeted therapies. For the Accurin that has been selected, both companies will work together on preclinical research; Pfizer will have responsibility for development and commercialization, and BIND will conduct chemistry, manufacturing and control activities. In addition to the $2.5 million option exercise fee, BIND received an upfront payment of $4.0 million in 2013 and achieved a $1.0 million preclinical development milestone for the selected Accurin in December 2014. BIND has the potential to receive additional milestone payments for the selected Accurin of up to $86.0 million in aggregate upon the achievement of additional specified development and regulatory events under the Pfizer collaboration agreement. BIND may also receive additional milestone payments for the selected Accurin of up to $110 million in aggregate for specified commercial events as well as royalties in the low single to high single digit percentages on potential future sales of the selected Accurin, if any.
September 23, 2015
14:52 EDTDDAIFNavistar slides after VW scandal makes potential takeover unlikely
Shares of truck maker Navistar (NAV) have been under pressure since the start of the Volkswagen (VLKAY) emissions probe. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Navistar, which is based in the U.S., has long been seen as a possible target of Volkswagen. Navistar would give Volkswagen a footing in the U.S commercial truck market and allow it to better compete with Daimler (DDAIF) and Volvo (VOLVY) in that sector. On March 5, shares of Navistar jumped after The Deal's senior transportation writer Lou Whiteman wrote that the company could become a target for Volkswagen, Daimler or PACCAR (PCAR). Earlier today, Dow Jones wrote that Volkswagen's growing scandal over diesel engine emissions will likely distract the German automaker's interest in Navistar. PRICE ACTION: Since September 18, when the EPA first announced it was issuing a notice of violation to Volkswagen, shares of Navistar are down approximately 19%. Navistar is at a 52-week low, down over 8% to $13.70 in afternoon trading.
14:14 EDTDDAIFVolkswagen shares jump as CEO Winterkorn departs
Shares of Volkswagen (VLKAY) trading in New York have jumped following the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn, with the company's supervisory board subsequently praising the decision and saying it will consider his replacement at a meeting Friday. Prior to the news, several analysts made their own arguments regarding the stock, appearing quite bearish but saying long-term value still remains for Volkswagen even as it grapples with what could be years of fallout from its recent emissions failure. ANALYST OPINION: Several research firms weighed in on Volkswagen's ongoing emissions scandal this morning prior to Winterkorn announcing his resignation as CEO. Credit Suisse analyst Dan Galves commented more broadly that the events surrounding the emissions violations "will likely impact all OEM's that sell vehicles in Europe," explaining that European air pollution tests are "very misleading" and feature notable loopholes. The Volkswagen scandal could accelerate stricter testing standards, resulting in higher compliance costs for automakers as well as weakened appeal for diesel engines, according to Galves. Autoparts suppliers with exposure to diesel vehicles like BorgWarner (BWA) and Delphi (DLPH) may see a "modest drag" if consumer sentiment shifts, though Magna (MGA) could benefit from increased compliance spending, added the analyst. Meanwhile, JPMorgan's Jose Asumendi downgraded Volkswagen to Neutral from Overweight. The analyst noted that the North American engine recall is not his primary worry, but rather the company's European exposure, especially given the potential for additional investigations and the lack of clarity on the company's total liability. Separately, Deutsche Bank analyst Tim Rokossa downgraded the stock to Hold and cut his price target to EUR130 from EUR260. Though the stock's recent slip may look like a buying opportunity, the complete impact of the scandal will likely take "much longer" to unfold, stressed Rokossa. Beyond "very painful" legal fees, the scandal's impact on Volkswagen operations is the more key concern as damage to the Volkswagen and Audi brands pressures pricing, argued Rokossa. Volkswagen was also downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nataxis this morning. In addition to the downgrades, Fitch Ratings placed Volkswagen's ratings, including its 'A' Long-term Issuer Default Rating, on Rating Watch Negative, reflecting "the reputational damage" on the group's brands the emission test scandal and the expected multi-billion euros financial impact from potential fines, recall costs, lawsuits and legal claims. CEO EXIT: Martin Winterkorn stepped down as CEO of Volkswagen on Wednesday as the company's emissions scandal continued to unfold. The former Chief Executive stated, "I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the supervisory board to agree on terminating my function as CEO... I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part...The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust." Winterkorn's announcement was quickly followed by a statement from the supervisory board itself, saying its executive committee "recognizes not only the economic damage caused, but also the loss of trust among many customers worldwide." The executive committee explained that recommendations for new personnel will be presented at an upcoming board meeting this Friday, but cautioned that it is expecting "further personnel consequences in the next days" as its internal investigations continue "at a high tempo." Importantly, the board also stated that it will voluntarily submit a complaint to the State Prosecutors' office in Brunswick, remarking that "criminal proceedings may be relevant." Possible replacements for Winterkorn include Matthias Mueller, head of the Porsche brand who has the support of the family that controls a majority stake of VW, and Herbert Diess, who recently joined from BMW (BAMXY), said Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Volkswagen trading in New York have advanced 8.3% to $27.55 in afternoon trading following Winterkorn's departure, though the company's American Depository Receipts have crashed nearly 28% since the emissions failure became public. Fellow German automakers BMW and Daimler (DDAIF) have also suffered double digit percentage declines in their New York listed shares since news of the scandal.
05:32 EDTPFEViiV Healthcare announces Triumeq Phase IIIb study met primary endpoint
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05:31 EDTBMYBristol-Myers implied volatility of 40 at upper end of index mean range
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September 22, 2015
20:02 EDTPFEClinton vows $250 cap on monthly drug costs in blast against biotechs, insurers
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton railed against biotech companies as well as health insurers at a community health care forum in Iowa on Tuesday. Clinton began her speech by praising the Affordable Care Act, but quickly noted that she wants to strengthen it due to what she called the rising cost of prescription drugs. She explained, "Our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit... [But] too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investment... so it may makes sense, for a short period of time, to have to charge a lot of money for a drug. But when a drug has no competition, when there aren't any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America." Referencing the recent criticism against Turing Pharmaceuticals, Clinton went on to say that "pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing affordable drug that people rely on, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it, [are just betting] on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it." Preemptively responding to questions of whether greater regulation will dampen investment, Clinton commented that "some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation, but I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite... Under my plan, drug companies that want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development." Clinton also criticized incremental drug improvements, saying that "too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit, but then they're marketed as breakthrough drugs and they're sold for high prices." The Democratic candidate went on to condemn advertising in the drug industry, remarking that "I also want to tackle direct to consumer advertising... Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn't be encouraging them with corporate write-offs... Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation... I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA." Moving more broadly onto Medicaid and health insurers, Clinton stated, "I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members... I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients... I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice." Providing more concrete details of her plan, Clinton concluded, "I will cap out of pocket drug costs for working families. You won't have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications... Particularly for people who have a chronic illness. Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada or any other country that meets our safety standards... I will also make sure we have more generics on the market [by boosting funding for] the FDA's office of generic drugs."
17:35 EDTPFEHillary Clinton vows to cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $250 per month
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a tweet that, "Under my plan, I'll cap out-of-pocket drug costs for families. You won't have to pay more than $250/month for covered medications." Reference Link
08:23 EDTPFEAnalysts say buy select biotech stocks ahead of Clinton drug plan
Ahead of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laying out her plan to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market at an event in Iowa later today, analysts at research firms Jefferies and Piper Jaffray are recommending select biotech stocks that they view as buys amid the weakness in the space. DEBATE: Biotech stocks broadly declined yesterday, with the NASDAQ Biotechnology index (IBB) sliding roughly 4.4%, after privately-held Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines by enacting a 5,000% price increase on a 62-year-old drug that fights complication of AIDS and cancer. Furor around the sudden price hike for Turing's Daraprim reignited a debate around drug prices that previously embroiled costly Hepatitis C drugs including AbbVie's (ABBV) Viekira Pak and Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi and Harvoni. The news also follows Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issuing a letter in August to Valeant (VRX) and Pfizer's (PFE) Hospira, in which he requested information on the "enormous" price increases of two drugs Valeant acquired earlier in the year. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent the debate to center stage yesterday by criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs and promising to lay out a plan today to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market. Clinton's proposal, which she'll outline in a speech in Iowa later today, would force pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into research, allow for more generic and imported drugs and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs and cap out-of-pocket expenses, according to details of the plan shared with USA Today. Zeke Emanuel, chair of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, appeared on Nightly Business Report to discuss the problem of high drug prices and his suggested solutions. During his interview, Emanuel contended that giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices may drive up prices for everyone else. DEFENSES: The Jefferies Biotechnology research team, led by Brian Abrahams, Eun Yang and Biren Amin, say their Washington D.C. consultants indicate the recent political rhetoric around drug pricing is unlikely to result in any substantive future policy changes that would impact biotech sector fundamentals. As such, they recommend using yesterday's selloff to buy select companies including Celgene (CELG), BioMarin (BMRN) and Alkermes (ALKS). Pricing concerns are nothing new, and will likely continue to be a headwind for the sector, the analysts tell investors in a research note. Hillary Clinton's proposal to combat drug pricing is likely to include "some combination of old and tried policies that have been out there for a few years," they write. The analysts also like shares of AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG), Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR) and Cempra (CEMP). Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff recommends buying shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) following yesterday's selloff. Tenthoff believes that drugs like Vertex's Orkambi will maintain premium pricing because of the disease modifying value to patients and payors. Orkambi is approved to treat cystic fibrosis in patients 12 years and older. The analyst reiterates an Overweight rating on Vertex with a $163 price target. DOWNGRADE: Brean Capital analyst Difei Yang downgraded Horizon Pharma (HZNP) to Hold saying "unsettling recent developments" make the stock's premium valuation no longer justified. The public discussion on high drug prices is a negative for the company while its attempt to acquire Depomed (DEPO) is unlikely to result in a completed deal, Yang tells investors in a research note. Further, Horizon's prescription trends are showing weakness, said Yang, who views the stock as more risky than in the past. PRICE ACTION: Horizon closed yesterday down $2.93, or 9.2%, at $28.99, while Vertex dropped $5.97, or 4.8%, to $118.19. A number of the biggest stocks in biotechnology were also weak yesterday, with Gilead sliding about 2.5%, Amgen (AMGN) dropping 2.3%, Celgene declining 2.8% and Biogen (BIIB) falling more than 5.5%.
08:09 EDTBMYBristol-Myers opportunity could be bigger than expected, says Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger said investors are overlooking Bristol-Myers kidney opportunity for Opdivo and believes expectations will rise. Risinger said investor perception is kidney cancer is a crowded market and question whether Opdivo can gernate significant sales. The analyst thinks upcoming data will refocus investors attention and that Opdivo can win meaningful market share in RCC. Risinger expects highly compelling survival data and bullish commentary on September 26 when CheckMate-025 details are presented at ESMO in Vienna.
07:43 EDTBMY, PFEDrug stocks could be hurt by focus on pricing, says Oppenheimer
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06:19 EDTPFE, BMYClinton to roll out plan to rein in prescription drug costs, USA Today reports
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September 21, 2015
14:28 EDTPFE, BMYTuring CEO says will not change Daraprim price despite criticism
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14:04 EDTBMYClinton vow to end drug price gouging sinks biotechs
Biotech stocks have declined across the board in afternoon trading following a tweet by Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. TURING STEPS UP PRICING: Clinton's tweet directly referenced Turing Pharmaceuticals' Daraprim treatment for toxoplasmosis, which recently had its price hiked from just $13.50 per pill to $750 after the privately-held company acquired the drug from Impax Laboratories (IPXL). Importantly, Daraprim was first approved by the FDA in 1953 and its patents have long since expired. No generic versions of the drug currently exist, perhaps in part due to Turing executive chairman Martin Shkreli's strategy of tightly controlling distribution, according to a New York Post article on the issue. In a Bloomberg TV interview this morning, Shkreli claimed that the drug remains underpriced compared to what he called its peers in the rare disease space. However, note that a World Health Organization analysis from 2013 reported that over 190,000 cases of toxoplasmosis occur globally every year and Daraprim continues to be listed on the organization's list of essential medicines for a basic health-care system. INDUSTRY CRITICISM: Turing's Daraprim pricing prompted a response from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association, which criticized the "unjustifiable" new cost of the drug and urged a "rational" pricing strategy. The news surrounding Daraprim also comes on the heels of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issuing a letter in August to Valeant (VRX) and Hospira (HSP), in which he requested information on the "enormous" price increases of two drugs Valeant acquired earlier in the year. REPUBLICAN CONGRESS: In a research note released this afternoon, RBC Capital analyst Michael Yee reminded investors that Republicans still control Congress, offering a sobering reminder that campaign trail promises often fall by the wayside once the candidate steps into office. Yee explained that, though drug pricing debates during next year's election will probably generate headline risk for the biotech space, the Republican-controlled Congress is unlikely to sign into law any material changes on the issue. BIOTECH STOCK ACTION: Hillary Clinton's promise to "lay out a plan" tomorrow to tackle "price gouging" in the specialty drug market sent numerous biotech stocks plunging. Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI) has crashed 12.6% at time of writing, while Retrophin (RTRX), Ultragenyx (RARE), and PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) are down 14.7%, 13.4%, and 11%, respectively. Biotech giants AbbVie (ABBV), Gilead (GILD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Biogen (BIIB) have also slipped in intraday trading, while the NASDAQ Biotechnology index is down roughly 4%.
12:07 EDTBMYStocks with call strike movement; BABA BMY
Alibaba (BABA) January 75 call option implied volatility increased 8% to 34, Bristol-Myers (BMY) December 72.50 call option implied volatility decreased 5% to 30 according to iVolatility.
11:24 EDTPFE, BMYHillary Clinton vows to take on 'outrageous' specialty drug pricing
Hillary Clinton, on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report detailing Turing Pharmaceuticals' price hike to $750 from $13.50 per pill of a drug called Daraprim which treats a life-threatening parasitic infection, vowed to lay out a plan tomorrow to take on what she calls "price gouging" of specialty drugs. The presidential nominee stated in a tweet, "Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I'll lay out a plan to take it on." The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (IBB) moved lower following Clinton's tweet.
08:03 EDTPFEPfizer says two Phase 3 tofacitinib 10mg trials met primary endpoints
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07:17 EDTDDAIFMercedes-Benz saw no impact from VW's U.S. EPA issue, Reuters says
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05:09 EDTBMYStocks with implied volatility movement; BMY SPLS
Stocks with implied volatility movement; Bristol-Myers (BMY) 39. Staples (SPLS) 50 according to iVolatility.
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