UMB Financial to sell Scout Investments to Carillon Tower Advisers for $172.5M

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UMB Financial $UMBF announced the execution of an agreement to sell 100% of the stock of Scout Investments, its institutional investment management subsidiary with $27.3B in assets under management, to Carillon Tower Advisers, a unit of Raymond James Financial $RJF , for $172.5M in cash, subject to purchase price adjustments at closing.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the transaction to support its current growth strategies. “The decision to sell Scout Investments comes at a time when our company has evolved,” said Mariner Kemper, chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corporation. “This transaction allows us to invest more time, energy and capital resources into our core businesses. We’re excited by this opportunity and what it means to be a relationship-based, diversified financial services company with a focus on enhancing long-term profitability.”

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors at both companies, is anticipated to close by the end of the calendar year and is subject to customary closing conditions, including mutual fund board approval and consents of the mutual fund shareholders and certain advisory clients.

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AbbVie $ABBV says Study did not meet its end result

AbbVie announced that two Phase 3 studies evaluating #veliparib did not meet their primary endpoints. The studies evaluated veliparib in combination with the chemotherapy regimen carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer and triple negative breast cancer.

Full results will be presented at upcoming medical meetings or published in a peer-reviewed journal. “Research shows there is a role for PARP inhibitors in cancers associated with DNA repair deficits, such as those with BRCA mutations.

In these clinical trials, we wanted to explore whether a PA527178_434502233267150_400064991_nRP inhibitor could augment chemotherapy in patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer and triple negative breast cancer by disrupting the repair of cancer cells,” said Gary Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, oncology clinical development, AbbVie. “Unfortunately, these data do not support the use of veliparib in combination with chemotherapy in these patients.”

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Pfizer receives grand jury subpoenas from DOJ

Pfizer $PFE confirmed that the company had received grand jury subpoenas from the U.S. Justice Department as part of an antitrust investigation focused onpfizer-logo intravenous saline solution makers, said Reuters.

Note that in a regulatory filing last night, ICU Medical $ICUI disclosed that on April 18, in connection with the Hospira Infusion Systems business that the company acquired in February 2017 from Pfizer.

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ICU Medical received a grand jury subpoena issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.

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Oppenheimer bullish on Visa, MasterCard ahead of results

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The analyst is encouraged by “solid” January intra-quarter volume growth, improving gas price trends, strong retail sales growth, and broadly positive card issuer trends.

Further, Greene continues to believe that MasterCard and Visa are attractive at current levels, given their defensible market positions and strong long-term prospects. Nonetheless, he prefers Visa relative to MasterCard at present given the continuing U.S. volume boost from the Costco $COST wins and JPMorgan Chase $JPM Sapphire Reserve momentum, apparent conservative guidance, and Visa Europe accretion benefits.

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Earnings Raise Red Flag for Stocks

A review of latest quarterly results from corporate America pointing to a slowing economy. Several key companies have either missed their results or have lowered their forward looking guidance. On April 18, 2017, several major corporations just did that. Much of the today’s market weakness was attributed to the price decline in both Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Goldman Sachs images

(GS) following their earnings reports. The weakness in those bluechips caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) to underperform the other major averages and struggle all day. The market action was
an auspicious start to the earnings season, which has been anticipated with great optimism by investors since the November election. Shares of Goldman Sachs fell nearly 5% after reporting downbeat quarterly results, which is exceedingly rare for the investment bank. Commenting on the quarter, Goldman chairman and chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein called the quarter’s operating environment “mixed,” with client activity “challenged in certain market-making businesses.”jnj

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) shares dropped 3% after the healthcare giant posted better than expected profits but lower than expected quarterly sales.  Meanwhile, shares of Netflix (NFLX) declined over 2.5% after the company mixed Q1 report and Q2 guidance.

Industrial goods seller, Grainger (GWW) shares dropped to their 52-weeks low after the firm cut its full year Earnings per Shares (EPS) view to $10.0grainger0-$11.30 from $11.30-$12.40. The firm also lowered its  FY17 sales growth view to 1%-4% from 2%-6%. The firm blamed the pricing acceleration and a 1% reduction in sales from foreign exchange as the culprit for the miss.

Among the notable losers on the day was Barracuda (CUDA), which dropped 17% after it reported quarterly results and provided lowered guidance for the first quarter and fiscal 2018. Also lower was Cardinal Health (CAH), which fell 11.5% after announcing that it will acquire a patient product portfolio from Medtronic (MDT) for $6.1B and warning that it now sees its FY18 EPS to be flat to down mid-single digits, citing the impact of generic deflation and other factors.

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