Tesaro could be sold shortly

Analysts weigh in on Tesaro buyout value amid report of Roche interest 

 

Tesaro could be sold soon, Stockwinners
Tesaro could be sold soon, Stockwinners

According to a report by Intereconomia, Roche (RHHBY) is working with Citibank on a potential acquisition of Tesaro (TSRO).

While both companies are not commenting on the article, Citi analyst Robyn Karnauskas said Tesaro could be valued at $140-$213 per share in an M&A situation, while her peer at Suntrust sees a potential buyout value range of $109-$196.

INTERECONOMIA REPORT

Spanish media group Intereconomia reported that Roche, following its acquisition of Foundation Medicine (FMI) (see our blog here), is working with Citibank on a potential deal to buy Tesaro.

Earlier this month Tesaro entered into a clinical collaboration with Roche unit Genentech to evaluate the combination of the PD-L1 antibody atezolizumab.

Intereconomia, citing sources close to the situation, added that Roche could announce the acquisition of Tesaro in the coming days.

Tesaro said it does not “comment on market rumors,” while Roche gave a similar answer to Bloomberg.

TESARO TAKEOUT VALUE

In a research note to investors this morning, Citi’s Karnauskas said that her M&A analysis for Tesaro suggests the company could be valued at $140-$213 per share in a takeover scenario.

Karnauskas noted, however, that she does not assign any value to Zeluja expansion opportunities in platinum resistant ovarian cancer and metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer.

The analyst reiterated a Buy rating and $100 price target on Tesaro shares.

Meanwhile, SunTrust analyst Peter Lawson told investors that his takeover analysis suggests a potential buyout value of $153 per share for Tesaro, with a range of $109-$196.

The analyst argued that Intereconomia’s report could also be a potential positive for the biotechnology space, mainly Clovis Oncology (CLVS) and oncology peers.

Lawson reiterated a Buy rating and $150 price target on Tesaro’s shares.

PRICE ACTION

In Wednesday afternoon trading, shares of Tesaro have gained almost 15% to $45.92, while Roche’s stock has advanced over 2% to $27.11 and Clovis shares are up 5% to $48.10.


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Foundation Medicine sold for $2.4 billion

Roche acquires Foundation Medicine for $137 per share or $2.4B

Foundation Medicine sold or $2.4B, Stockwinners
Foundation Medicine sold or $2.4B

Roche (RHHBY) and Foundation Medicine (FMI) announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for Roche to acquire the outstanding shares of Foundation Medicine not already owned by Roche and its affiliates at a price of $137.00 per share in cash.

This corresponds to a total transaction value of $2.4B on a fully diluted basis, and a total company value of $5.3B on a fully diluted basis. This price represents a premium of 29% to FMI’s closing price on June 18.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of Roche and a Special Committee of the independent directors of FMI and by its full board of directors with the Roche designated directors abstaining from the deliberations and vote.

All current members of the FMI board have indicated that they intend to tender their FMI shares in the tender offer. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Roche will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of FMI’s common stock not already owned.

The closing of the tender offer will be subject to a majority of FMI’s outstanding shares not already held by Roche being tendered in the tender offer, it noted.

In addition, the transaction is subject to other customary closing conditions. Following completion of the tender offer, Roche will acquire all remaining shares at the same price of $137 per share through a second step merger.

The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the second half of 2018. Daniel O’Day, CEO Roche Pharmaceuticals, said, “This is important to our personalised healthcare strategy as we believe molecular insights and the broad availability of high quality comprehensive genomic profiling are key enablers for the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments.

We will preserve FMI’s autonomy while supporting them in accelerating their progress.”

FMI closed at $106.45. RHHBY closed at $26.39.


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Bluebird Bio reports data from Phase 1 HGB-206

Bluebird Bio reports interim data from Phase 1 HGB-206 study of LentiGlobin

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Bluebird Bio reports interim data from Phase 1 HGB-206 study of LentiGlobin

bluebird bio (BLUE) announced new interim data from the ongoing HGB-206 Phase 1 multicenter clinical study of LentiGlobin investigational gene therapy in patients with severe sickle cell disease will be presented in an oral presentation on Saturday, June 16 at the 23rd Congress of the European Hematology Association by Julie Kanter, M.D., Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

“The consistent production of increased amounts of anti-sickling HbAT87Q in the Group C patients reflects the substantial positive impact of the changes introduced with the amended HGB-206 study protocol and refined manufacturing process.

All four Group C patients with greater than or equal to three months follow-up are making over 30 percent anti-sickling HbAT87Q.

The first patient treated, now with six months of follow-up, is producing over 60 percent anti-sickling HbAT87Q with a normal total hemoglobin level of 14.2 g/dL,” said David Davidson, M.D., chief medical officer, bluebird bio.

“The upward trajectory in Group C at these early time points suggests the potential for these patients to exceed the initially proposed therapeutic target of 30 percent anti-sickling HbAT87Q. We continue to define the development plan with regulatory authorities, and with further follow-up, we hope to see even higher levels of HbAT87Q, as well as sustained clinical benefit for patients.”

“The early data from Group C patients are very exciting and provide increasing confidence that LentiGlobin has the potential to deliver transformative benefit to patients. The longer-term data from patients treated earlier in the study show that levels of anti-sickling HbAT87Q in patients with SCD treated with LentiGlobin remain stable for at least two years,” said Dr. Kanter, a lead investigator of the HGB-206 study.

“Treatment options that can address the underlying cause of sickle cell disease are limited and LentiGlobin gene therapy has the potential to prevent or substantially reduce damaging symptoms associated with this debilitating disease.”

Separately, bluebird bio announced that new data from the completed Phase 1/2 Northstar (HGB-204) study in adolescents and adults with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia and any genotype, and its ongoing, Phase 3 Northstar-2 (HGB-207) multicenter clinical study of LentiGlobin investigational gene therapy in patients with TDT and non-beta0/beta0 genotypes, will be presented in an oral session on June 16 at the 23rd Annual Congress of the European Hematology Association by Franco Locatelli, M.D., Ph.D., of the IRCCS Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu of Rome, Italy.

“The maturing data from HGB-204 and HGB-207 suggest that one-time treatment with LentiGlobin may address the underlying genetic cause of TDT.

With our refined manufacturing process, the majority of patients with TDT and non-beta0/beta0 genotypes are transfusion-free and producing total hemoglobin at normal or near-normal levels,” said David Davidson, M.D., chief medical officer, bluebird bio.

“We are on track to submit a marketing authorization application in the European Union later this year, and we continue to work closely with clinical investigators and regulatory authorities to complete our ongoing clinical trials and bring this important treatment option to patients as soon as possible.”

“Consistently higher in vivo vector copy numbers and HbAT87Q hemoglobin levels in patients indicate that LentiGlobin manufacturing refinements have resulted in improved gene therapy characteristics and may enable sustained transfusion independence for a great majority of patients,” said Professor Locatelli, the lead investigator of the Northstar-2 study.

“Further, we are now seeing more than three years of data from the Northstar study indicating that LentiGlobin therapy may enable long-term transfusion independence in the majority of patients with non-beta0/beta0 genotypes.

These results hold the promise to change the natural history of many patients with this severe genetic disorder of hemoglobin production.”

BLUE closed at $197.00. It last traded at $204.65.


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BAE Systems receives contract for submarines

BAE Systems receives contract for payload tubes for Virginia-class submarines 

BAE Systems receives contract for submarines, Stockwinners
BAE Systems receives contract for submarines

BAE Systems (BAESY) has received a contract to produce payload tubes for two of the U.S. Navy’s new Virginia-class submarines to support increased firepower on the Block V version of the attack subs.

Under the contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat, a builder of the Virginia class, BAE Systems will deliver two sets, each consisting of four tubes, for the Virginia Payload Modules on the SSN 804 and SSN 805.

The Virginia Payload Module extends the length of the Block V submarines over previous versions of the Virginia-class by adding an additional mid-body section to create more payload space for greater firepower.

Each large-diameter payload tube can store and launch up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The VPM offers exceptional flexibility as well for the integration of future payload types, such as unmanned systems or next-generation weapons.

BAE Systems, which is also providing payload tubes for the SSN 803 under a previously awarded VPM contract, has a long history of supporting the Navy’s submarine fleet as the leading provider of propulsors and other submarine systems.

The company was selected to provide propulsors, spare hardware, and tailcones for Block IV Virginia-class vessels and stands ready to provide the same support for the Block V subs.

Under this most recent contract, BAE Systems will also develop the processes and tooling necessary for the Block V payload tube production.

Work will be performed at the company’s facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2020.

BAESY last traded at $35.39


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Armo BioSciences sold for $1.6 billion

Eli Lilly to acquire Armo BioSciences for $50 per share

Armo BioSciences sold for $1.6 billion, Stockwinners
Armo BioSciences sold for $1.6 billion, Stockwinners

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) and ARMO BioSciences (ARMO) announced a definitive agreement for Lilly to acquire ARMO for $50 per share, or approximately $1.6B, in an all-cash transaction.

ARMO BioSciences is a late-stage immuno-oncology company that is developing a pipeline of novel, proprietary product candidates designed to activate the immune system of cancer patients to recognize and eradicate tumors.

The acquisition will bolster Lilly’s immuno-oncology program through the addition of ARMO’s lead product candidate, pegilodecakin, a PEGylated IL-10 which has demonstrated clinical benefit as a single agent, and in combination with both chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor therapy, across several tumor types.

#Pegilodecakin is currently being studied in a Phase 3 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer, as well as earlier-Phase trials in lung and renal cell cancer, melanoma and other solid tumor types.

ARMO also has a number of other immuno-oncology product candidates in various stages of pre-clinical development.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will promptly commence a tender offer to acquire all shares of ARMO BioSciences for a purchase price of $50 per share in cash, or approximately $1.6B.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals and the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of ARMO’s common stock.

Very shortly after the closing of the tender offer, Lilly will acquire any shares of ARMO that are not tendered into the tender offer through a second-step merger at the tender offer price.

This transaction will be reflected in Lilly’s reported results and financial guidance according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

There will be no change to Lilly’s 2018 non-GAAP earnings per share guidance as a result of this transaction.


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Shire sold for $62 billion

Takeda reaches agreement to acquire Shire for $62B in cash and stock

Shire sold for $62 billion, Stockwinners
Shire sold for $62 billion, Stockwinners

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical (TKPYY) and Shire (SHPG) announced that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended offer pursuant to which Takeda will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Shire.

Under the terms of the acquisition, each Shire shareholder will be entitled to receive $30.33 in cash for each Shire share and either 0.839 new Takeda shares or 1.678 Takeda ADSs. The transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors, and is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2019.

Upon the closing of the transaction, Takeda shareholders will own approximately 50% of the combined group. “With leading market positions in prioritized therapeutic areas, an attractive geographic footprint, greater scale and efficiencies, and an even more productive R&D engine, the combined group will be better positioned to deliver highly-innovative medicines and transformative care providing better health and a brighter future for patients around the world,” Takeda said.

Takeda has entered into a bridge facility agreement of $30.85B with, among others, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and MUFG Bank, part of the proceeds of which will be used to fund the cash consideration payable to Shire shareholders in connection with the acquisition.

It is currently contemplated that, prior to completion, the commitments under the bridge facility agreement will be reduced or refinanced with a combination of long-term debt, hybrid capital and available cash resources.

Shire plc, an Irish biotechnology company, researches, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells medicines for rare diseases and other specialized conditions worldwide.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited engages in the research and development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of pharmaceutical products worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Prescription Drug, Consumer Healthcare, and Other.


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Starbucks receives $7.15 billion from Nestle

Nestle pays $7.15B to Starbucks for rights to sell packaged coffee, tea

Nestle pays $7.15B to Starbucks for rights to sell packaged coffee, Stockwinners
Nestle pays $7.15B to Starbucks for rights to sell packaged coffee,

Starbucks (SBUX) announced it will form a global coffee alliance with Nestle (NSRGY) to “accelerate and grow the global reach of Starbucks brands in Consumer Packaged Goods and Foodservice.”

It added, “With a shared commitment to ethical and sustainable sourcing of coffee, this alliance will transform, expand and elevate both the at-home and away-from-home coffee and related categories around the world.” As part of the alliance, Nestle will obtain the rights to market, sell, and distribute Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks Reserve, Teavana, Starbucks VIA and Torrefazione Italia packaged coffee and tea in all global at-home and away-from-home channels.

Nestle will pay Starbucks $7.15B in closing consideration, and Starbucks “will retain a significant stake as licensor and supplier of roast and ground and other products going forward.”

Additionally, the Starbucks brand portfolio will be represented on Nestle’s single-serve capsule systems.

The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approval and is expected to close this summer or early fall.

The agreement excludes ready-to-drink coffee, tea and juice products. Starbucks intends to use the after-tax proceeds from the up-front payment primarily to accelerate share buybacks and now expects to return approximately $20B in cash to shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends through fiscal year 2020.

Additionally, the transaction is expected to be earnings per share accretive by the end of fiscal year 2021 or sooner, with no change to the company’s currently stated long-term financial targets.


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Comcast offers to buy Sky News

Comcast announces GBP12.50 per share cash offer for Sky

Comcast tops Fox offer for Sky. Stockwinners.com
Comcast tops Fox offer for Sky

Comcast (CMCSA) published a Rule 2.7 announcement under the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers announcing its pre-conditional “superior” cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Sky (SKYAY).

In the UK Announcement, Comcast announced that it intends to make the following commitments regarding Sky and investment in the UK: Maintain annual expenditure in Sky News for ten years, at a level not less than incurred in Sky’s 2017 financial year; Establish an editorial Sky News board with the responsibility to ensure the editorial independence of Sky News for ten years; Maintain Sky’s UK headquarters in Osterley for five years; and Not acquire any majority interest in UK newspapers for five years.

Additionally, Comcast reaffirmed the following statements of intention given in its Rule 2.4 announcement on February 27, 2018: Continue to support the creative industries in the UK and increase investment in UK film and TV production; Support innovation in the UK by continuing to support Sky’s technology hub in Leeds; Continue to support young people in the UK by maintaining Sky’s Software Engineering Academy scheme; and Continue to support Sky’s local community sports programs in the UK.

Comcast believes that, combined, Comcast and Sky will create a business equipped to compete more effectively in a rapidly changing and highly competitive industry.

Together, the companies would be well positioned to drive growth to provide attractive returns to Comcast shareholders and to benefit the employees and customers of both organizations.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, Sky shareholders will be entitled to receive GBP 12.50 in cash for each Sky share.

In addition, Sky shareholders shall be entitled to receive any final dividend in respect of Sky’s financial year ended June 30, 2018, up to an amount of 21.8 pence per Sky share, which is declared and paid prior to the Effective Date.

Comcast’s cash offer represents a 16 percent premium to the existing Twenty-First Century Fox, (FOXA) offer, and implies a value of $31 billion for the fully diluted share capital of Sky.

To provide financing in connection with the Acquisition, Comcast entered into an unsecured bridge credit agreement in an aggregate principal amount of up to GBP 16 billion and an unsecured term loan credit agreement in an aggregate principal amount of up to GBP 7 billion.

The Acquisition is subject to a number of pre-conditions and conditions as set forth in the UK Announcement, including receipt of antitrust and regulatory approvals and securing valid acceptances carrying in aggregate more than 50 percent of the voting rights then normally exercisable at a general meeting of Sky.


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Abeona Therapeutics granted Orphan Drug Designation

Abeona Therapeutics granted Orphan Drug Designation for ABO-202 in Europe

Abeona Therapeutics granted Orphan Drug Designation, Stockwinners
Abeona Therapeutics granted Orphan Drug Designation, 

Abeona Therapeutics (ABEO) announced that the European Medicines Agency Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products has granted Orphan Drug Designation for Abeona’s gene therapy program ABO-202 for the treatment of subjects with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, also known as Batten Disease, a fatal lysosomal storage disease that primarily affects the nervous system in children.

ABO-202 is an adeno-associated virus developed to introduce a functional copy of the CLN1 gene into cells in order to restore the enzyme activity that is needed to break down certain lipopigment proteins that are deficient in patients with CLN1 disease.

Batten Disease, a fatal lysosomal storage disease that primarily affects the nervous system in children, Stockwinners
Batten Disease, a fatal lysosomal storage disease that primarily affects the nervous system in children

ABO-202 is anticipated to enter clinical trials in 2018. ABO-202 has been granted Orphan Drug and Rare Pediatric Disease Designations from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Preclinical data from the program were recently presented at the WORLDSymposium held in San Diego and an update will be presented at the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy later this year.

Key findings reported included: The data demonstrate that a single intravenous, single intrathecal or combination therapy utilizing both administration routes of a self-complementary adeno-associated virus encoding the human CLN1 gene to CLN1 mice significantly increased their survival, improved behavior and reduced motor deficits.

Higher doses further improved these observations, suggesting that methods increasing total CNS exposure may be beneficial and provided some survival and behavioral benefit to symptomatic mice.

A combination approach delivering ABO-202 by both intravenous and intrathecal routes of administration further increased survival efficacy and improved potential treatment options for older animals with advanced disease manifestations.

ABEO closed at $20.05.


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Generic drug makers tumble on pricing

Generic drug makers under pressure following Aceto, Novartis news

Generic drug makers tumble on pricing, Stockwinners
Generic drug makers tumble on pricing

On Wednesday, Aceto (ACET) withdrew its guidance, citing the continued intense competitive and pricing pressures in the generic industry.

On Thursday, Novartis (NVS) reported that net sales at its generic unit Sandoz dropped 4% in the quarter.

Following both announcements, Wells Fargo analyst Davis #Maris told investors that he is not ready to call the bottom in generics pricing and sees a negative read-through for companies with large U.S. commodity generic exposure, such as Teva (TEVA) and Mylan (MYL).

Generic drug makers tumble on pricing, Stockwinners
Generic drug makers tumble on pricing, Stockwinners

GUIDANCE SUSPENSION, DIVIDEND REDUCTION

Last night, Aceto’s chairman Al Eilender said, “Given continued headwinds in the generics market, the Board has taken decisive action by bolstering the company’s senior leadership, engaging in proactive discussions with its secured lenders, and initiating a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.

” Strategic alternatives to be considered may include the sale of a key business segment, a merger or other business combination with another party, continuing as a standalone entity or other potential alternatives.

The company’s Board also anticipates a significant reduction of its dividend going forward and announced the appointment of Rebecca Roof as Interim CFO and the resignation of CFO Edward Borkowski, who has decided to pursue another opportunity.

Additionally, Aceto said that, in light of the persistent adverse conditions in the generics market, it is negotiating with its bank lenders a waiver of its credit agreement with respect to its total net leverage and debt service coverage financial covenants in the fiscal third quarter, and that the financial guidance issued on February 1, should no longer be relied upon.

The company also anticipates recording non-cash intangible asset impairment charges, including goodwill, in the range of $230M-$260M on certain currently marketed and pipeline generic products as a result of continued intense competitive and pricing pressures.

NOVARTIS RESULTS

This morning, Novartis reported first quarter core earnings per share of $1.28 and revenue of $12.69B, with consensus at $1.29 and $12.57B, respectively. The company also announced Sandoz net sales of $2.5B in the first quarter as 6 percentage points of price erosion, mainly in the U.S., were partly offset by volume growth of 2 percentage points. U.S. sales declined 18% mainly due to continued competitive pressure, the company added.

NEGATIVE READ-THROUGH

In a research note this morning, Wells Fargo’s Maris told investors that he thinks Aceto and Sandoz’s news show that the data continues to be negative for U.S. generic industry pricing. He sees a negative read-through for companies with large U.S. commodity generic exposure, such as Teva and Mylan.

Further, the analyst noted that he is not yet ready to call the bottom in generics pricing and believes those that have are “premature.”

WHAT’S NOTABLE

Citing a rapid degradation of the company’s asset-light business model in the wake of continued pressures for commoditized generics, Canaccord analyst Dewey Steadman downgraded Aceto two notches to Sell from Buy.

The company’s core human health business has been under significant pressure and has been unable to swiftly adapt to market conditions, he added. The analyst also lowered his price target on the shares to $2 from $10.

PRICE ACTION

In Thursday’s trading, shares of Aceto have plunged almost 62% to $2.85, while Novartis’ stock has dropped about 3% to $79.25. Also lower, shares of Teva and Mylan have slipped 2.5% and 0.25%, respectively.


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Goldman says sell Pepsi, buy Coca Cola

Goldman swaps sell call on Coca-Cola to PepsiCo on growth outlook

Goldman says sell Pepsi, buy Coca Cola, Stockwinners
Goldman says sell Pepsi, buy Coca Cola

In a research note to investors on the beverage space, Goldman Sachs analyst Judy #Hong upgraded Coca-Cola (KO) to Neutral and downgraded PepsiCo (PEP) to Sell.

While the analyst sees an improving organic sales growth outlook for Coca-Cola, Hong sees potential for continued softer North American Beverage volumes to weigh on PepsiCo’s organic sales growth.

BEVERAGE SPACE

Within the Staples sector, beverage valuations look most elevated, while food stocks appear oversold on consensus estimates, Goldman Sachs’ Hong told investors in a research note.

The analyst sees the beverage group’s premium valuation as mostly justified given industry characteristics that are more attractive versus secularly challenged U.S. center store food companies.

Goldman says sell Pepsi, buy Coca Cola, Stockwinners.com
Goldman says sell Pepsi, buy Coca Cola,

Beverages have more channel diversification and are less reliant on food grocers, beverage categories tend to have low level of private label penetration and a greater level of market/brand concentration also allows for higher pricing power, she contended.

Hong believes all these dynamics should drive higher top-line growth and more insulated margin structure for beverage companies compared to food companies in the U.S. over the next 12 months.

Additionally, the analyst pointed out that she sees “a few relevant trends” across the beverage theme playing out thus far in 2018, namely relative convenience store underperformance, comparative alcohol slowdown, and improvement in emerging markets benefiting multinationals, particularly in Latin America.

SWAPPING COCA-COLA, PEPSICO

Goldman Sachs’ Judy Hong upgraded Coca-Cola to Neutral from Sell, while trimming her price target on the shares to $46 from $47.

The analyst told investors that she sees an improving organic sales growth outlook, a “cleaner base” post-refranchising, and better visibility on its margin and earnings targets.

Hong believes Coca-Cola is “one of the rare” over 4% organic growth mega-cap stories, and now has increased confidence in its organic sales growth outlook.

Additionally, Hong noted that she now views fundamentals as warranting a relative premium given Coca-Cola’s positioning as a beneficiary of moderating foreign exchange impact, improving emerging markets growth, and higher margins post-refranchising.

Meanwhile, the analyst downgraded PepsiCo to Sell from Neutral and lowered her price target on the shares to $110 from $118, citing the potential for continued softer North American Beverage volumes to weigh on organic sales growth and present modest downside risk to gross margins.

While the analyst does not expect Pepsi shares to be “a material absolute underperformer,” she does see scope for it to underperform other beverage names over the next 12 months given muted fundamentals and lack of clear catalysts. Both top-line and margin gains are likely to be harder to come by for PepsiCo’s North America beverage business as multi-year tailwinds to volume are no longer driving growth while c-store underperformance is creating a drag, she contended.

OTHERS TO WATCH

Goldman’s Hong also upgraded Coca-Cola European Partners (CCE) to Buy, as she believes muted sentiment in the context of sugar tax implementation in the UK and France provides a compelling opportunity, and downgraded Molson Coors (TAP) to Neutral, predicting that weaker than expected beer volumes will drive cuts to consensus estimates. The analyst reiterated a Buy rating on Monster Beverage (MNST).

PRICE ACTION

In Tuesday’s trading, shares of Coca-Cola are fractionally up to $44.79, while PepsiCo’s stock dropped over 1% to $108.41.


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Abiomed announces European approval for Impella 5.5

Abiomed announces European approval for Impella 5.5; treatment of first patient

Abiomed announces European approval for Impella 5.5. Stockwinners
Abiomed announces European approval for Impella 5.5.

Abiomed (ABMD) announced that the Impella 5.5 heart pump received CE marking approval in Europe and the first patient was treated at University Heart Center in Hamburg, Germany.

The Impella 5.5 heart pump further enhances Abiomed’s product portfolio and provides physicians a 30-day, ambulatory, wean-able, forward flow heart pump.

Under the leadership of Professor Hermann Reichenspurner, MD, PhD, Alexander Bernhardt, MD treated the first patient, who presented with ischemic cardiomyopathy, severe mitral regurgitation and an ejection fraction of 18%.

The patient currently remains stable on Impella 5.5 support.

The Impella 5.5 heart pump has the ability to provide peak flows of greater than 6.0 liters per minute.

It is designed to be implanted in the axillary artery, avoiding the need for a sternotomy and allowing for patient ambulation.

The Impella 5.5 is approved in Europe for up to 30 days of support and can be adjusted to nine power levels that regulate flow to optimize weaning protocols.

The Impella 5.5 device includes the new SmartAssist technology with optical sensor, which will enable the integration of clinical data informatics including Left Ventricular Pressure, End-Diastolic Pressure and Cardiac Power Output on the Impella console as well as real-time, exact positioning of the Impella device.

Over the next fiscal year, Abiomed plans to launch the Impella 5.5 heart pump through a controlled roll-out at German hospitals with established heart recovery protocols.

Abiomed will continue to collect data on Impella 5.5 user experience and patient outcomes through our German hospitals submitting clinical data in the global cVAD Registry study.

ABMD closed at $278.07.


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FDA approves Bydureon for use in T2D patients

AstraZeneca announces FDA approval of Bydureon for use in T2D patients

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FDA approves Bydureon for use in T2D patients

 

AstraZeneca (AZN) announced the FDA has approved BYDUREON for injectable suspension as an add-on therapy to basal insulin in adults with type 2 diabetes with inadequate glycemic control.

 

BYDUREON is approved for adults with T2D whose blood sugar remains uncontrolled on one or more antidiabetic medicines in addition to diet and exercise, to improve glycemic control.

 

The expanded use is based on results from the 28-week DURATION-7 study, which examined the effect of BYDUREON or placebo as add-on therapy to insulin glargine, with or without metformin, in adults with T2D.

 

Mean HbA1c was reduced by 0.9% in the BYDUREON group compared to 0.2% in the placebo group in patients with a mean baseline HbA1c of 8.5%.

 

Furthermore, 32.5% of patients in the BYDUREON group reached an HbA1c of less than 7.0% compared to 7.0% of patients in the placebo group.

 

There were no new safety findings in the DURATION-7 study.

 

Overall hypoglycemia was similar between the groups, with no reported major hypoglycemia.

 

In both arms, the same percentage of patients reported minor hypoglycemia. Like other GLP-1 receptor agonists, the risk of hypoglycemia is increased when BYDUREON is co-administered with insulin. Prescribers should consider lowering the dose of insulin when co-administering BYDUREON.


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Barron’s is bullish on Tesla, bearish on Deutsche Bank

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:

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BULLISH   MENTIONS:

Comcast a bargain despite risk – Comcast (CMCSA; CMCSK) has fallen from favor with investors following its the proposal to buy SKY (SKYAY) as they fear it will get into a bidding war with Fox (FOXA) and overpay for Sky, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Now the stock trades at a discount to rival Charter (CHTR) and yields 2.2%, he notes.

Investors may want to look at Microsoft to play tech-stock downdraft  – For the past two weeks, large-cap technology stocks have sold off on investor concerns following the data crisis at Facebook (FB), Bill Luby writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. One collateral-damage victim has been Microsoft (MSFT), and it is “easy to argue” that the downturn in its shares is overdone, Luby contends, adding that the tech giant’s strong fundamentals, combined with good technical support for its shares just below their recent price, make the company’s stock a strong candidate for a rebound.

Oil refiners primed for profits – The outlook for companies that turn crude oil into gasoline has looked better and demand for refining is poised to grow faster than supply in the years ahead, leading to a surge in profits and share prices across the industry, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Refiners include Andeavor (ANDV), Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Philips 66 (PSX) and Valero (VLO), the report notes.

New AI era for chip makers– Artificial intelligence is about to become a lot more pervasive as the computer circuitry to perform AI grows more prevalent, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The desire to embed AI in just about anything has meant that more chip makers are racing to diffuse their designs for circuitry that processes the algorithms that drive the software, he note, adding that relevant companies spanning the semiconductor industry include Nvidia (NVDA), CEVA (CEVA), Synopsys (SNPS) and Cadence Design Systems (CDNS).

Tesla stock may rally later this year – In a follow-up article, Barron’s notes that investors have had fun following Tesla’s journey, reaping stock gains of 600% in the last five years, but some wonder if “the music is going to stop.” The key question is whether Tesla (TSLA) can raise enough cash to keep going, the report notes, arguing that Tesla should “live to fight another day” to produce cars, and may even start to turn a cash profit next year. Barron’s believes later this year, its shares will most likely rally as clouds lift.

BEARISH  MENTIONS:

New CEO may not save Deutsche Bank stock – News that Deutsche Bank (DB) Chairman Paul Achleitner has been looking for another CEO grabbed the financial industry’s attention, but just as it may be premature to organize farewell drink for current CEO John Cryan, it may also be too soon to turn bullish on the shares, Victor Reklaitis writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. There are plenty of reasons to stay bearish on the stock and the latest escalation of tensions between Achleitner and Cryan is just “a piece of Deutsche Bank puzzle,” he adds.


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Volkswagen to buy back diesel cars amid German bans

Volkswagen offers to buy back diesel cars amid German bans

Volkswagen offers to buy back diesel cars amid German bans. Stockwinners.com
Volkswagen offers to buy back diesel cars amid German bans.

The Volkswagen (VLKAY) brand is starting a diesel campaign for its customers in Germany in April.

The new Germany Guarantee gives the buyers of new and year-old vehicles with diesel engines purchased from a Volkswagen dealership additional security and will keep them on the road in the event of a driving ban.

The Volkswagen Group’s successful environmental incentive has already taken some 170,000 old diesel vehicles from the road since August 2017 and replaced them with efficient and clean current models.

Approximately 120,000 of these customers have chosen a Volkswagen brand model.

The Volkswagen brand continues its effort to rejuvenate the vehicle population by offering the diesel environmental incentive with the purchase of a new diesel vehicle beginning in April.

Volkswagen’s new Germany Guarantee is free of charge and will apply to the purchase of a new or a year-old car with a diesel engine from a Volkswagen dealership from 1 April throughout 2018.

It is valid for three years from the date of purchase and offers customers who would be affected by possible driving restrictions at their home or working address the opportunity to exchange vehicles.

The affected customer will receive an offer that the participating Volkswagen dealership will buy back the original model for the current value determined by the independent institution, Deutsche Automobil Treuhand, if the customer then buys from the same dealership a new or year-old vehicle which would not be affected by driving restrictions.

The participating Volkswagen dealership will give the customer a model-dependent trade-in premium with a maximum value corresponding to the previous environmental incentive. The vehicle exchange will be dealt with the involved Volkswagen Partner and in addition via Volkswagen’s digital ecosystem at volkswagen-we.de.

The Volkswagen brand has already taken some 120,000 old diesel vehicles with Euro 1 through Euro 4 emissions standards from the road since August 2017 with its successful environmental incentive, thus making a substantial contribution to improving the air quality of German cities.

Therefore, the measure will be continued as a diesel environmental incentive for new diesel vehicles until 30 June 2018.

The previous model-dependent premiums will continue unchanged.

VLKAY closed at $38.63.


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