Amazon higher on Prime members

Amazon rises as Prime reaches 100M paid members

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Amazon higher on Prime members

Amazon’s (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos told investors that the company has exceeded 100M paid members globally and has shipped more than 5B items with Prime worldwide.

The good news for the e-commerce giant may not end there, as Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak told investors that his analysis shows that Amazon has gained 1.5% of U.S. apparel market share in 2017 and may achieve number one U.S. apparel market share in 2018 as Prime members and Millennials shift spending to Amazon and away from traditional brick and mortar retailers.

100M PAID MEMBERS

According to a regulatory filing, Amazon said that it has exceeded 100M paid Prime members globally 13 years post-launch.

In 2017, Amazon shipped more than 5B items with Prime worldwide, and more new members joined Prime than in any previous year — both worldwide and in the U.S., the company said, adding that members in the U.S. now receive unlimited free two-day shipping on over 100M different items. The company expanded Prime to Mexico, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and introduced Business Prime Shipping in the U.S. and Germany.

Additionally, CEO Jeff Bezos informed shareholders that Amazon Music now has tens of millions of paid customers, with Amazon Music Unlimited expanding to more than 30 new countries in 2017.

GAINING APPAREL MARKET SHARE

In a research note to investors this morning, Morgan Stanley’s Nowak said his analysis shows that Amazon gained 1.5% of U.S. apparel market share in 2017, largely at the expense of department stores.

According to his work around Amazon’s apparel gross merchandise value, the analyst estimates the e-commerce giant continues to be the second largest U.S. apparel retailer, trailing only Walmart (WMT), as the company has grown to about 7.9% of the overall U.S. apparel market, excluding shoes, or $21.1B apparel gross merchandise value.

Further, #Nowak told investors he expects Amazon to achieve the number one spot in 2018, as Prime members and Millennials shift spending to Amazon and away from traditional brick and mortar retailers.

The analyst pointed out that Amazon’s 2017 share gains look to have come largely at the expense of department stores, estimating Sears (SHLD), Macy’s (M) and J.C. Penney (JCP) lost 0.8% share in 2017, with shareholding remaining roughly flat for Target (TGT) and Kohl’s (KSS).

L Brands (LB) lost share due to the elimination of its swimwear and apparel categories, he contended.

Additionally, his U.S. apparel market deep-dive indicated that Walmart and Costco (COST) showed “impressive gains” despite a weak industry backdrop. Among the Softline retailers, Gap’s (GPS) Old Navy, Ross Stores (ROSS) and Nordstrom’s (JWN) Nordstrom Rack also added 10-15 bps of market share in 2017, he added.

Nowak reiterated an Overweight rating and $1,550 price target on Amazon shares.

PRICE ACTION

In Thursday’s trading, shares of Amazon have gained 2% to $1,554.90.


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GW Pharmaceuticals could soar on its epilepsy drug

GW Pharma seen nearing historic approval for cannabinoid epilepsy treatment

GW Pharmaceuticals could soar on its epilepsy drug, Stockwinners
GW Pharmaceuticals could soar on its epilepsy drug, Stockwinners

GW Pharmaceuticals’ (GWPH) cannabis-based epilepsy treatment associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Davret syndrome, #Epidiolex, received what analyst called a favorable review from Food and Drug Administration staff ahead of an advisory committee meeting scheduled later this week.

Both Goldman Sachs and Leerink argued that the documents bode well for Epidiolex approval by its June 27 PDUFA date.

FDA ADCOM DOCUMENTS

The FDA released its advisory committee meeting briefing documents regarding CBD-OS for the treatment of LGS and DS ahead of the advisory panel vote on Thursday.

According to the documents: “In 3 consecutive Phase 3 studies, CBD-OS added to other AED therapy met the primary endpoint of reduction in seizure frequency in patients with LGS and DS. Doses of CBD-OS at 10mg/kg/day and 20mg/kg/day were superior to placebo at reducing drop seizure frequency, and efficacy was maximized during the 12-week maintenance period once the target dose was achieved in LGS patients.

Similar results were also seen in DS patients treated with CBD-OS 20mg/kg/day. […] The safety and tolerability profile of CBD-OS is predictable, and the potential risks are manageable through the proposed label and medication guide. […] Elevated transaminases were observed more frequently in CBD-OS patients than placebo, and increased AST and increased ALT were the most common reasons for discontinuing CBD-OS treatment.

Therefore, routine liver tests prior to CBD-OS use and periodically during treatment are recommended.

In addition, GW will implement a post-marketing enhanced pharmacovigilance program to monitor the safety profile of CBD-OS, with a focus on liver abnormality reports.

Overall, CBD-OS provides a positive benefit-risk for patients with drug-resistant LGS or DS and can satisfy an unmet need by providing an additional treatment option to reduce the number of seizures in LGS and the first indicated treatment option for DS.” CBD-OS, or cannabidiol oral solution, is the first-in-class antiepileptic drug for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with LGS and DS in patients 2 years of age and older.

GW Research, which is a part of GW Pharmaceuticals and operates under Greenwich Biosciences in the U.S., holds the Investigational New Drug application for CBD-OS.

DOCUMENTS SUPPORT APPROVAL

Commenting on the briefing documents, Goldman Sachs analyst Salveen Richter told investors that the “brevity of the relatively benign documents” along with the half day panel duration suggest a likely straightforward meeting.

The analyst noted that there is only one question for discussion – “Is the benefit-risk profile of cannabidiol favorable for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older?” – which could support a broad label in “seizures associated with LGS/DS” and in children/adults.

Thus, Richter believes these documents should bode well for Epidiolex approval by the June 27 date assigned by the FDA.

The analyst recommended owning GW Pharmaceuticals shares into the Epidiolex launch, assuming widespread off-label use per physician feedback and optionality from Epidiolex Phase 2/3 Part A data in infantile spasms in the second quarter of 2018.

He reiterated a Buy rating and $177 price target on the stock.

Meanwhile, his peer at #Leerink told investors in a research note of his own that his review of the meeting materials suggests that the FDA is likely to approve Epidiolex, and the outcome of the advisory panel vote on April 19 should be positive.

Additionally, analyst Geoffrey Porges argued that Epidiolex’ review bodes well for Zogenix’ (ZGNX) ZX0008. The latter’s unprecedented efficacy in reducing seizures will allow it to gain significant market share within its first 12 months of approval, he contended.

PRICE ACTION

Shares of GW gained about 11% yesterday following the release of the documents, though they have given back about 2% in Wednesday’s trading to trade near $131 per share.


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Barron’s is bullish on Google

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

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin
Stockwinners offers Barron’s review of stocks to buy, stocks to watch, 

BULLISH   MENTIONS:

Alphabet a ‘bargain’ in big tech – Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) has the world’s dominant search engine in Google, as well as valuable businesses like YouTube, the Android cellphone operating system, and Waymo autonomous vehicles, but investor are not giving the company enough credit partly because of worries that it, like Facebook (FB), will soon face greater government regulation, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Alphabet trades for almost 25 times projected 2018 earnings, but its effective P/E is lower because of nearly $100B in net cash and losses in its “other bets” businesses, he adds.

AI done right may give managers ‘an edge.’  – BlackRock (BLK), Vanguard, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price (TROW), among others, have all invested time and money setting up tech centers in major cities, apart from their headquarters, as they compete for cost savings, Crystal Kim writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Artificial Intelligence, done right, could also give portfolio managers an edge, and better serve investors with a wider array of financial planning tools, the report adds.

 IAC/InterActiveCorp sells at discount of assets value – Over the past two decades, Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) has generated a higher return than Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. But the shares of IAC/InterActiveCop sell at a discount to the value of its assets, he notes.

Spotify stock could rise to five times sales. – Spotify Technology  (SPOT) made its market debut las week and while its stock price could remain volatile in the months ahead, shares could “reasonably” rise to five times sales, Avi Salzman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

BEARISH  MENTIONS

Facebook bracing for Capitol Hill grilling – In a follow-up story, Barron’s notes that this week Facebook’s (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg will come to Washington to testify before an eager group of lawmakers. Congress has a chance to remind citizens of its watchdog role, the report noted, adding that while this week’s optics will no doubt be bad, the stock’s valuation already reflects much of the pain.

Smartphone growth sags as new models not compelling enough – People are holding onto their phones longer, on average, because what they are being offered in the new models just is not compelling enough, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. This does not bode well for traditional makers of chips for smartphones, including Skyworks (SWKS), Qorvo (QRVO), Qualcomm (QCOM), and Synaptics (SYNA), the report adds.


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Elliott Management discloses 10.3% stake in Commvault

Elliott says intends to nominate four candidates to Commvault board

Elliott says intends to nominate four candidates to Commvault board. Stockwinners
Elliott  to nominate four candidates to Commvault board. Stockwinners

Elliott Management Corporation, which manages funds that collectively own 10.3% of common stock and economic equivalents of Commvault Systems (CVLT), released a letter announcing its intention to nominate four candidates to the Commvault Board.

In addition, the letter outlined a path forward for Commvault to create significant shareholder value through fundamental improvements in the company’s execution, operations, capital allocation and governance.

Elliott stated in the letter that it is looking forward to constructive engagement with the company and optimistic about developing a mutually supported path forward. Elliott’s board nominees include Martha Bejar, Wendy Lane, John McCormack and Chuck Morgan.

PRICE  ACTION

CVLT stock was last up over 9.6% to $62.70. At that price next resistance is at $64.60, the 52-week high.


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Trump targets Amazon

Amazon slides as president said to take aim at tax treatment 

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Trump targets Amazon

Shares of Amazon (AMZN) are slipping this morning after Axios reported that President Donald Trump may want to go after the e-commerce giant rather than Facebook (FB) and has discussed changing the former’s tax treatment.

AFTER AMAZON, NOT FACEBOOK

According to a report by Axios, President Trump wants to go after tech giant Amazon rather than Facebook and has discussed changing the company’s tax treatment due to concerns about small retailers being put out of business.

Citing five sources familiar with the matter, the publication added that Trump has wondered if there is any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law as he thinks the e-commerce giant has gotten a free ride from taxpayers and the Postal service and agrees the company is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers.

“The whole post office thing, that’s very much a perception he has,” a source said. “It’s been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon.”

VICE-PRESIDENT CONCERNED OVER FACEBOOK, GOOGLE

Nonetheless, the same Axios’ article pointed out that Vice-President Mike Pence is concerned about Facebook and Google (GOOG; GOOGL).

While Pence is not yet pushing internally for any specific regulations, he views these companies as dangerously powerful and worries about their influence on media coverage as well as their control of the advertising industry and users’ personal info, a source told the publication.

FACEBOOK POLICY CHANGE

Facebook, embroiled recently in a scandal over the way it has handled users’ personal data, has announced a privacy policy change.

According to Erin Egan, VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Policy and Ashlie Beringer, VP and Deputy General Counsel at Facebook:

“We’ve heard loud and clear that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find and that we must do more to keep people informed. […] We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find. […] We’re introducing Access Your Information – a secure way for people to access and manage their information, such as posts, reactions, comments, and things you’ve searched for.

You can go here to delete anything from your timeline or profile that you no longer want on Facebook. It’s also our responsibility to tell you how we collect and use your data in language that’s detailed, but also easy to understand. In the coming weeks, we’ll be proposing updates to Facebook’s terms of service that include our commitments to people.”

PRICE ACTION

In Wednesday’s trading, shares of Amazon have dropped nearly 5% to $1,426, while Facebook’s stock has gained over 1% to $153.99.


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CACI withdraws offer to acquire CSRA

CACI withdraws offer to acquire CSRA

 

CSRA sold for $9.6 billion. Stockwinners.comCACI withdraws offer to acquire CSRA

CACI International (CACI) announced that it has withdrawn its previously announced offer to acquire all outstanding shares of CSRA (CSRA) for $44.00 per share in cash and stock.

CACI delivered a letter withdrawing its offer to CSRA’s Board Chair and CEO.

With regard to the decision to withdraw its offer, CACI CEO Kenneth Asbury commented, “CACI continues to believe that CACI and CSRA would be the superior strategic and financial business combination. The potential for such a high value and transformational transaction certainly warranted our pursuit of this unique opportunity. We will continue our aggressive pursuit of strategic opportunities, judiciously and without engaging in auctions at uneconomic levels…As demonstrated by our performance and increased guidance for Fiscal Year 2018, CACI is in a strong position for future growth.

We will continue to evaluate new opportunities to grow our business in ways consistent with our disciplined approach to M&A and the capture of major programs.

We are very confident in our time-tested business strategy to bring our unique, innovative, value-add capabilities to our customers and marketplace, and our commitment to increase shareholder value.”

General Dynamics (GD) and CSRA recently announced that they have entered into an amendment to their definitive merger agreement under which General Dynamics will acquire all outstanding shares of CSRA for $41.25 per share in cash, an increase from the prior $40.75 per share offer.


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GlaxoSmithKline acquires Novartis stake in Consumer Healthcare venture for $13B

GlaxoSmithKline acquires Novartis stake in Consumer Healthcare venture for $13B

GlaxoSmithKline acquires Novartis stake in Consumer Healthcare venture for $13B. Stockwinners.com
GlaxoSmithKline acquires Novartis stake in Consumer Healthcare venture for $13B

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announces that it has reached an agreement with Novartis (NVS) for the buyout of Novartis’ 36.5% stake in their Consumer Healthcare joint venture for $13B.

The Consumer Healthcare joint venture was formed as part of the three-part transaction between GSK and Novartis which was approved by shareholders in 2014.

Last year, GSK’s Consumer Healthcare business reported sales of GBP 7.8B.

Under the terms of the original transaction, Novartis has the right, exercisable from March 2, 2018 to March 2, 2035 to require GSK to purchase its stake in the joint venture.

“This put option, in both size and possible timing, creates inherent uncertainty for the Group’s capital planning. The new agreement to buy-out Novartis’ stake removes this uncertainty and improves the Group’s ability to plan allocation of capital to its other priorities,” the company said.

The business expects operating margins to approach “mid-20’s” percentages by 2022 at 2017 CER. The transaction is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings in 2018 and thereafter, and is expected to “strengthen operational cash flows.”

GSK added, “Together with the Group’s new launch opportunities and expected operational improvements, these financial benefits further support GSK’s increased confidence in its ability to deliver its 2020 outlooks and invest effectively in the Group’s other priorities.”

The transaction is subject to approval by GSK shareholders as Novartis.

NVS closed at $79.68. GSK closed at $37.43.


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MuleSoft sold for $6.5 billion

MuleSoft to be acquired by Salesforce for $6.5B in cash and stock

MuleSoft sold for $6.5 billion. Stockwinners.com
MuleSoft sold for $6.5 billion.

Salesforce (CRM) and MuleSoft (MULE) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Salesforce will acquire MuleSoft for an enterprise value of approximately $6.5 billion.

Under the terms of the transaction, the MuleSoft acquisition consideration will be composed of $36.00 in cash and 0.0711 shares of Salesforce common stock per MuleSoft Class A and Class B common share, which represents a per share price for MuleSoft common shares of $44.89 based on the closing price of Salesforce common stock on March 19, 2018.

The per share price represents a 36% premium over MuleSoft’s closing share price on March 19, 2018.

Under the terms of the transaction, Salesforce will commence an exchange offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of MuleSoft.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of Salesforce’s fiscal year 2019, ending July 31, 2018, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the tender by MuleSoft stockholders of shares representing a majority of the MuleSoft common stock voting power, on a one-vote per share basis, and the expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.


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Stewart to be acquired by Fidelity National in deal valued at $1.2B

Stewart to be acquired by Fidelity National in deal valued at about $1.2B

Stewart to be acquired by Fidelity National in deal valued at about $1.2B , Stockwinners.com
Stewart to be acquired by Fidelity National in deal valued at about $1.2B ,

Stewart Information Services Corporation (STC) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Fidelity National Financial (FNF).

Under the terms of the agreement which has been unanimously approved by Stewart’s Board of Directors following a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives, Stewart shareholders will receive $25.00 in cash and 0.6425 common shares of Fidelity for each share of Stewart common stock they hold at closing, subject to the adjustment and election mechanisms described below.

“Last year, our Board initiated a review of strategic alternatives for the company, and after an extensive process, we determined that capitalizing on the Fidelity platform will best enable us to support the Stewart brand and continue providing the service our customers have come to expect,” said Thomas G. Apel, Stewart’s Chairman of the Board.

“Combining with Fidelity National Financial will create a strong portfolio of customers and business relationships, and will provide us with the ability to grow the Stewart brand.”

Based on Fidelity’s closing stock price on March 16, 2018, the merger consideration represents total value per Stewart share of $50.20, a 23% premium to Stewart’s closing stock price on March 16, 2018 and a 32% premium to Stewart’s closing stock price on November 3, 2017, the trading day prior to Stewart’s announcement that it would undertake a review of strategic alternatives.

If the combined company is required to divest assets or businesses exceeding $75 million in order to procure required regulatory approvals up to a cap of $225 million of divested revenues, the purchase price will be adjusted down from $50.20 on a pro-rata basis relative to the actual amount of revenues required to be divested between $75 and $225 million to a minimum purchase price of $45.50 per share of common stock.

As an alternative to the default mixed transaction consideration described above, each Stewart shareholder will have the ability to instead receive either $50.00 in cash or 1.285 common shares of Fidelity for each Stewart share held, subject to a customary pro ration mechanism to the extent that either the cash or the stock portion of the merger consideration is over-subscribed.

The proposed transaction is subject to approval by Stewart’s shareholders and regulatory authorities and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

The company will be closely working with regulators to obtain the necessary approvals as soon as possible, and the transaction is expected to close by the first or second quarter of 2019.

If the deal is not completed for failure to obtain the required regulatory approvals, Fidelity is required to pay a reverse break-up fee of $50 million to Stewart.


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Express Scripts sold for $67 billion

Cigna to acquire Express Scripts in cash, stock transaction for $67B

igna to acquire Express Scripts for $67B. Stockwinners
Cigna to acquire Express Scripts for $67B. 

Cigna (CI) and Express Scripts (ESRX) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Cigna will acquire Express Scripts in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $67B, including Cigna’s assumption of approximately $15B in Express Scripts debt.

The merger consideration will consist of $48.75 in cash and 0.2434 shares of stock of the combined company per Express Scripts share.

Cigna to acquire Express Scripts for $67B. Stockwinners
Cigna to acquire Express Scripts for $67B. Stockwinners

The transaction was approved by the board of directors of each company. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, the transaction consideration will consist of $48.75 in cash and 0.2434 shares of stock of the combined company per Express Scripts share, or $54 billion in the aggregate.

Upon closing of the transaction, Cigna shareholders will own approximately 64% of the combined company and Express Scripts shareholders will own approximately 36%.

The consideration represents an approximately 31% premium to Express Scripts’ closing price of $73.42 on March 7, 2018.

Upon closing, the combined company will be led by David M. Cordani as President and CEO. Tim Wentworth will assume the role of President, Express Scripts.

The combined company’s board will be expanded to 13 directors, including four independent members of the Express Scripts board.

The combined company will be named Cigna.

Cigna’s headquarters in Bloomfield, Connecticut, will become the headquarters for the combined company, and Express Scripts will be headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

At closing, the combined company will make an incremental investment of $200 million in its charitable foundation, to support the communities in which it operates, and with the continued focus on improving societal health.

Cigna intends to fund the cash portion of the transaction consideration through a combination of cash on hand, assumed Express Scripts debt and new debt issuance and Cigna has obtained fully committed debt financing from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc. and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

The transaction is not subject to a financing condition.

Upon completion of the transaction, Cigna is expected to have debt of approximately $41.1 billion.

Cigna expects to have a debt-to-capitalization ratio of approximately 49% following the acquisition, and aims to achieve a ratio in the 30’s within 18 to 24 months after the transaction closes. Cigna expects to maintain its investment grade ratings.

The transaction, which is expected to be completed by December 31, 2018, is subject to the approval of Cigna and Express Scripts shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.

Until the closing, Cigna and Express Scripts will continue to operate as independent companies.


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Esperion announces ‘positive’ top-line results, Shares jump

Esperion announces ‘positive’ top-line results from bempedoic acid study

Esperion announces 'positive' top-line results from bempedoic acid study, Stockwinners.com
Esperion announces ‘positive’ top-line results from bempedoic acid study

Esperion (ESPR) announced positive top-line results from the first pivotal, Phase 3 study of bempedoic acid 180 mg evaluating the LDL-C lowering efficacy and safety and tolerability of bempedoic acid versus placebo in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or at high risk for ASCVD with hypercholesterolemia inadequately treated with background ezetimibe 10 mg and up to the lowest daily starting dose of a statin.

Heart attack and stroke are usually caused by atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). ASCVD develops because of a build-up of sticky cholesterol-rich plaque. Over time, this plaque can harden and narrow the arteries.

The 12-week study met its primary endpoint with LDL-C lowering totaling 28%.

The LDL-C lowering for the bempedoic acid group was 23% from baseline, as compared to an LDL-C increase of five percent for the placebo group. Patients treated with bempedoic acid also achieved a significantly greater reduction of 33% in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, an important marker of the underlying inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease, compared to the placebo group which had an increase of two percent.

In this study, bempedoic acid was observed to be safe and well-tolerated.

There were no differences in the occurrence of adverse events, serious adverse events or muscle-related AEs; and no differences in discontinuations due to AEs or muscle-related AEs between the bempedoic acid group compared to the placebo group.

Two patients treated with bempedoic acid had elevations in liver function tests of greater than three times the upper limit of normal, repeated and confirmed.

The cumulative number of patients now treated with bempedoic acid in Phase 2 clinical trials and in Study 4 totals 919.

Of these, six patients had elevations in liver function tests. This rate of elevations in liver function test is consistent with the rate observed in Phase 2 clinical trials and with all other previously approved oral LDL-C-lowering therapies, including statins and ezetimibe.

Esperion plans to present full results from this study at an upcoming medical conference and to publish in a major medical journal.

ESPR closed at $77.94. It last traded at $80.00


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Netflix introduces PIN protection, Shares jump

Netflix introduces PIN protection, enhancements for ‘informed’ viewing

Disney loss having minimal impact on Netflix subscribers. See Stockwinners.com Market Radar to read more
Netflix introduces PIN protection, enhancements for ‘informed’ viewing

Mike Hastings, a director of enhanced content at Netflix (NFLX), said in a blog post: “At Netflix, we offer a wide variety of series and films catering to an equally broad variety of tastes and sensibilities.

With that in mind, we are improving some long-standing Netflix features that provide members with the information and tools they need to make wise decisions about what’s right for themselves and for their families.

We’re rolling out these improvements across the many devices used by Netflix members, and across our global markets, in the coming months. The first change involves introducing a PIN parental control for individual movies and series to give parents and guardians more specific control over what children can watch on the service.

We understand that every family is different and that parents have differing perspectives on what they feel is appropriate to watch at different ages.

While we already provide PIN protection for all content at a particular maturity level for Netflix accounts, PIN protection for a specific series or film provides families with an additional tool to make decisions they are comfortable with.

In addition, we will also begin displaying more prominently the maturity level rating for a series or film once a member hits play on a title. While these maturity ratings are available in other parts of the experience, we want to ensure members are fully aware of the maturity level as they begin watching.

We are also continuing to explore ways to make this information more descriptive and easier for our members to understand with just a quick glance. One of the great benefits of internet TV is that it allows for amazing variety and provides viewers with complete control over their experience.

At Netflix, we are proud to create and deliver to our members a large catalog of compelling stories crossing many genres from all over the world, while also giving them great control over how and when to enjoy them.

These latest steps are part of our continuous efforts to keep members better informed, and more in control, of what they and their families choose to watch and enjoy on Netflix.”

NFLX is up $11.0 to $312.89.


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Barron’s is bearish on Fitbit, L Brand and Nokia

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

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin
Stockwinners offers Barron’s review of stocks to buy

BULLISH   MENTIONS:

Invesco stock weakness a buying opportunity – U.S. stocks are down 5% from their January 26 peak, while shares of Invesco (IVZ) have fallen much more, which gives investors a buying opportunity, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Driven by strong exchange-traded fund lows, BlackRock’s (BLK) shares have skyrocketed in recent years while Invesco’s have lagged behind, he notes, adding that the latter’s forward price-earnings multiple now represents a bargain-basement 44% discount to BlackRock’s.

Nordstrom, TJX appear to have most staying power– Department store stocks have rebounded in recent months, but they are not all likely to emerge as winners, Avi Salzman writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Nordstrom (JWN) and TJX (TJX) appear to have the most staying power, with the former the more attractive choice in terms of valuation, he notes. Kohl’s (KSS) and Macy’s (M) are showing new life but need to prove they can repeat their fourth quarter performances, Salzman says, adding that JCPenney (JCP) and Dillard’s (DDS) remain “tricky.”

BEARISH  MENTIONS:

L Brands shares may still go lower given multiple problems – Shares of L Brands  (LB) tumble after quarterly results, with the stock trading at just 13.5 times 12-month earnings forecasts, Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition. While it may look tempting, Levisohn cannot help think that the multiple problems facing the company could send them lower still.

Not much time left for Fitbit – In a follow-up story, Barron’s notes that plenty of people still use fitness trackers and Fitbit (FIT) still sells millions of them, but the company has acknowledged that the market is “rapidly changing.” Fitbit CEO James Park has pledged to expand the company’s line of watches, putting it in direct competition with Apple (AAPL), but there is no indication that Fitbit knows how to nurture an “ecosystem” of software developers.

VMware investors not happy with possible Dell deal – VMWare (VMW) fell on Thursday and Friday in the wake of a CNBC report that Dell and VMware are considering a reverse merger in which the latter would issue shares to Dell Technologies and allow it to go public without doing an IPO, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. A Dell/VMware combination could benefit Dell’s tracking stock for VMware, he notes, while adding that VMware investors are not happy about a possible transaction as it would link a thriving, cash-rich company with a highly leveraged Dell.

5G cannot deploy fast enough for Ericsson/Nokia – While the battle to dominate the future of wireless networks would be a boon for any wireless arms merchant such as Nokia (NOK) or Ericsson (ERIC), the race to build the new technology dubbed 5G is not going to produce a boom in revenue overnight, and both companies are struggling to get back on their feet, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. If they stabilize this year, and sentiment starts to warm about 5G, it could boost their stock prices even if 5G takes a while to pay off, he adds.


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Blue Buffalo sold for $8 billion

General Mills acquires Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $40.00 a share in cash

Blue Buffalo sold for $8 billion. Stockwinners.com
Blue Buffalo sold for $8 billion

 

General Mills (GIS) and Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which General Mills will acquire Blue Buffalo for $40.00 per share in cash, representing an enterprise value of approximately $8B.

 

The transaction establishes General Mills as the leader in the U.S. Wholesome Natural pet food category, the fastest growing portion of the overall pet food market, and accelerates its portfolio reshaping strategy.

 

The $30 billion U.S. pet food market is generating consistent 3-4% growth and is highly attractive for retailers based on continued market growth, premiumization and subscription-like purchase patterns that drive traffic and repeat purchases.

 

Blue Buffalo is the leader in the fastest-growing Wholesome Natural category with double-digit growth over each of the last three years. The Wholesome Natural market represents approximately 10% of the pet food market in volume and approximately 20% in value.

 

Based on the strong consumer tailwinds, the Wholesome Natural market is poised to continue to grow, propelling BLUE’s growth.

 

General Mills’ scale and decades of experience will support greater effectiveness and efficiency for Blue Buffalo across key business areas, including: sales, marketing, advertising, supply chain, R&D, innovation, and environmental stewardship.

 

These capabilities are expected to contribute to meaningful revenue synergies over time, in addition to $50 million in anticipated cost savings opportunities.

The transaction will be immediately accretive to General Mills (GIS) net sales growth and operating margin profile, and is expected to be neutral to cash EPS in fiscal 2019 and accretive in fiscal 2020.


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Workhorse to build UPS electric delivery trucks

UPS partners with Workhorse to build electric delivery trucks 

Workhorse to build UPS electric delivery trucks. Stockwinners.com
Workhorse to build UPS electric delivery trucks

UPS (UPS) announced it plans to deploy 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks that will be comparable in acquisition cost to conventional-fueled trucks without any subsidies – an industry first that is breaking a key barrier to large scale fleet adoption.

The company is collaborating with Workhorse Group (WKHS) to design the vehicles from the ground up, with zero tailpipe emissions. Workhorse claims these vehicles provide nearly 400% fuel efficiency improvement as well as optimum energy efficiency, vehicle performance and a better driver experience.

Each truck will have a range of approximately 100 miles between charges, ideal for delivery routes in and around cities.

The class 5, zero emission delivery trucks will rely on a cab forward design, which optimizes the driver compartment and cargo area, increasing efficiency and reducing vehicle weight.

The new trucks will join the company’s Rolling Lab, a growing fleet of more than 9,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. UPS will test the vehicles primarily on urban routes across the country, including Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.

With zero emissions and lower noise, the electric delivery trucks will help UPS make its fleet cleaner and quieter, a significant benefit in urban areas.

Following real-world test deployments, UPS and Workhorse will fine-tune the design in time to deploy a larger fleet in 2019 and beyond. Since most of the maintenance costs of a vehicle are associated with the engine and related components, UPS expects the operating cost of the new plug-in electric vehicle to be less than a similarly equipped diesel or gasoline vehicle.

UPS’s goal is to make the new electric vehicles a standard selection, where appropriate, in its fleet of the future. UPS has approximately 35,000 diesel or gasoline trucks in its fleet that are comparable in size and are used in routes with duty cycles, or daily miles traveled similar to the new electric vehicles.

The initiative will help UPS attain its goal of one in four new vehicles purchased by 2020 being an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle.

The company also has pledged to obtain 25% of the electricity it consumes from renewable energy sources by 2025 and replace 40% of all ground fuel with sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel, an increase from 19.6% in 2016.


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