Changes to S&P Indexes

Standard and Poor’s is reshuffling its Indexes

Most Changes will take effect Friday June 2, 2017

stockwinners.com blog#S&P Dow Jones Indices will make the following changes to the S&P MidCap 400, S&P SmallCap 600, and S&P 500 indices:

  • IHS Markit $INFO will replace TEGNA $TGNA in the S&P 500,
  • #TEGNA and Cars.com $CARS will move to S&P 400;
  • #J.C. Penney $JCP and #Time Inc. $TIME will move to S&P 600 due to reduced market capitalization;
  • #Tuesday Morning $TUES and #Hornbeck Offshore Services $HOS are kicked out of S&P 600 due to market caps.

TEGNA is spinning off Cars.com in a transaction expected to be completed prior to the open on Thursday, June 1, pending final conditions. Post the spin-off transaction, TEGNA’s market capitalization will be more representative of the mid-cap market space.

Independence Realty Trust $IRT will replace Ultratech $UTEK in the S&P SmallCap 600 effective prior to the open on Tuesday, May 30.

S&P SmallCap 600 constituent Veeco Instruments $VECO is acquiring Ultratech in a deal expected to be completed on or about that date pending final conditions.

S&P 500 constituent Yahoo! $YHOO is expected to convert to a publicly traded, non-diversified, closed-end management investment company, following the expected sale of its operational business to S&P 100 & 500 constituent Verizon Communications $VZ in mid-June. Yahoo! will therefore be ineligible for continued inclusion in the S&P 500 following the sale.

To take advantage of the expected increased liquidity surrounding the quarterly rebalance, S&P Dow Jones Indices will remove Yahoo! from the S&P 500 effective at the open on Monday, June 19 to coincide with the June 2017 rebalance. A replacement candidate will be announced at a later date with sufficient notice to clients.

Puma Biotechnology receives FDA Committee Approval for Neratinib

Committee voted 12 – 4 to recommend approval of Neratinib, for the extended adjuvant treatment of HER2-positive early stage breast cancer

The study demonstrated a statistically significant 33% relative reduction of risk of invasive disease recurrence within two years after treatment

pbyi

#Puma Biotechnology $PBYI announced that the U.S. FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 12 – 4 to recommend approval of PB272, or neratinib, for the extended adjuvant treatment of HER2-positive early stage breast cancer based on finding that the risk-benefit profile of neratinib is favorable.

The #ODAC vote was based on a review of the clinical development program that included 11 trials in breast cancer and represented approximately 2,000 patient years’ experience. The focus of the meeting was the Phase III ExteNET study, which provided one year of continuous therapy with neratinib after patients completed one year of therapy with a trastuzumab-based regimen.

The study demonstrated a statistically significant 33% relative reduction of risk of invasive disease recurrence within two years after treatment.

ODAC is an independent panel of experts that evaluates data concerning the efficacy and safety of marketed and investigational cancer treatments and makes appropriate recommendations to the FDA.

Its vote is not binding, but is considered by the FDA in its decision making process. “We appreciate the committee’s comments and the support of the many clinicians, patients and advocates who participated in today’s meeting,” Alan H. Auerbach, CEO and President of Puma Biotechnology, said. “We look forward to further discussion with the FDA.”

The stock was last up over 25.2% to $72.40.

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The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Fidelity Guarantee Sold for $31.10 Per Share

FGL is a leading provider of fixed indexed annuities and life insurance products

CF Corp. will acquire FGL for $31.10 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $1.84B, plus the assumption of $405M of existing debt

Stockwinners blog on FidelityCF Corporation $CFCO and #Fidelity & Guaranty Life $FGL announced that their boards of directors have each unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which CF Corp. will acquire FGL for $31.10 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $1.84B, plus the assumption of $405M of existing debt.

The purchase consideration implies a value of 1.1x adjusted book value as of March 31, 2017.

The investor group, which includes the founders of CF Corp., Chinh Chu, and William Foley, II, funds affiliated with #Blackstone $BX , and Fidelity National Financial $FNF , will invest approximately $900M in common and preferred equity to fund the transaction.

FGL is a leading provider of fixed indexed annuities and life insurance products, with approximately $28B of GAAP Total Assets and approximately $1.6B of adjusted book value.

FGL has grown sales by approximately 10% annually from 2012 to 2016, supported by its long-standing relationships with distribution partners, changing U.S. retirement demographics, and an attractive product value proposition to policyholders. Following the close of the transaction, FGL will continue to be led by its current management team under Chris Littlefield as President and CEO. FGL will remain headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and will continue operations from Baltimore, Maryland, and Lincoln, Nebraska.

Messrs. Chu and Foley will serve as executive chairmen of the board, which will be composed of a majority of independent directors. In connection with the transaction, CF Corp. and HRG Group (HRG), FGL’s largest shareholder, have approved a purchase agreement under which CF Corp. will acquire certain reinsurance companies from HRG. The transaction is expected to close in Q4.

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The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

Moodys Downgrades China

The downgrade reflects Moody’s expectation that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years

The strengths of its credit profile will allow the sovereign to remain resilient to negative shocks, with GDP growth likely to stay strong

#Moody’s Investors Service has #downgraded China’s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative.

Moody’s says, “The downgrade reflects Moody’s expectation that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years, with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows. While ongoing progress on reforms is likely to transform the economy and financial system over time, it is not likely to prevent a further material rise in economy-wide debt, and the consequent increase in contingent liabilities for the government.

The stable outlook reflects our assessment that, at the A1 rating level, risks are balanced. The erosion in China’s credit profile will be gradual and, we expect, eventually contained as reforms deepen.

The strengths of its credit profile will allow the sovereign to remain resilient to negative shocks, with GDP growth likely to stay strong compared to other sovereigns, still considerable scope for policy to adapt to support the economy, and a largely closed capital account.”

China’s local currency and foreign currency senior unsecured debt ratings are downgraded to A1 from Aa3.

HIV Vaccine Proves 100% Effective

Overall, 27 of 27 vaccinated participants showed a positive response

The study evaluated a four-dose regimen of PENNVAX-GP DNA

ino#Inovio Pharmaceuticals $INO announced that its #HIV vaccine, #PENNVAX-GP, produced amongst the highest overall levels of immune response rates ever demonstrated in a human study by an HIV vaccine.

The vaccine candidate, PENNVAX-GP, consists of a combination of four HIV antigens designed to cover multiple global HIV strains and generate both an antibody immune response as well as a T cell immune response to both potentially prevent and treat HIV.

These preliminary results are from a study supported by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, or HVTN, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, in collaboration with Inovio.

The study evaluated a four-dose regimen of PENNVAX-GP DNA vaccine administered by intradermal, or ID, or intramuscular, or IM, administration in combination with a DNA encoded immune activator, IL-12, or INO-9012.

Overall, 71 of 76 evaluable vaccinated participants showed a CD4+ or CD8+ cellular immune response to at least one of the vaccine antigens. Similarly, 62 of 66 evaluated participants demonstrated an env specific antibody response. None of the placebo recipients demonstrated either a cellular or an antibody response in the study.

Notably, amongst the participants receiving PENNVAX-GP vaccine and IL-12 with intradermal immunization, 27 of 28 participants demonstrated a cellular response and 27 of 28 demonstrated an HIV env specific antibody response.

Amongst the evaluated participants receiving PENNVAX-GP and IL-12 via IM vaccination, 27 of 27 demonstrated a cellular response and 19 of 21 demonstrated an env specific antibody response. Similar immune responses and response rates were achieved via both ID and IM administration of the vaccine although participants vaccinated via intradermal vaccine administration received 1/5th the dose of vaccine compared to those vaccinated via intramuscular administration.

INO closed at $7.13, last traded at $9.90 in pre-market.

Other shares to watch: $AMGN $BIIB $ABBV $MRK $PFE

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The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.