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.

Take-Two Higher Despite Red Dead Redemption 2 delay

Stockwinners.com blogShares of #Take-Two $TTWO rose in Tuesday trading, rebounding from Monday’s after-hours dip following the delay of the video game maker’s highly-anticipated #RedDeadRedemption 2 to Spring of next year.

In addition, the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results and provided guidance for the first quarter and fiscal 2018.

RED DEAD DELAY: In a blog post Monday afternoon, Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games said that Red Dead Redemption 2 is now set to launch in Spring 2018 on #Sony’s #SNE #PlayStation 4 and #Microsoft’s $MSFT #Xbox One.

The company originally said the game, which is a sequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption, would be available in Fall of 2017. Commenting on the matter, Rockstar said it is “very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes,” yet noted that they would rather deliver a game “only when it is ready.”

Following the news, shares of Take-Two fell as much as 10% in after-hours trading.  Later on, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick noted in the company’s quarterly earnings release that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be the first game from Rockstar to be “created from the ground up” for the latest generation of consoles, and some additional time is necessary to “ensure that they deliver the best experience possible.”

EARNINGS/GUIDANCE: Take-Two Interactive TTWO reported fourth quarter GAAP earnings per share of 89c on net revenue of $571.6M. Analysts were expecting the company to report EPS of 57c on revenue of $355.37M.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects Q1 EPS in the range of 65c-75c on revenue of $390M-$440M. Take-Two also said it sees Q1 net sales of $240M-$290M, compared to analysts’ estimates for $254.5M.

In addition, the video game maker said it sees FY18 EPS of $4.35-$4.65 on revenue of $1.95B-$2.05B and net sales of $1.42B-$1.52B. Analysts expect the company to report FY18 revenue of $2.24B.

Analyst Comments: Prior to Take-Two’s earnings report, #Jefferies analyst Timothy O’Shea said that the selloff related to the Red Dead Redemption 2 delay should be viewed as a buying opportunity. #O’Shea attributed the roughly 10% slip in shares post-market to Rockstar’s “infamous perfectionism” and doesn’t believe that it changes the overall unit sales potential for the title.

The analyst also noted that Take-Two’s shares traded down 6% when Rockstar announced in January 2013 that the release Grand Theft Auto V would be moved by six months, adding that GTA V has sold over 75M units and the stock has “more than quintupled” since that time. O’Shea maintained a Buy Rating on Take-Two with a $65 price target.

Meanwhile, #Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson kept an Overweight rating and $77 price target on the stock, saying that he doesn’t expect the RDR2 release change to affect overall sales of the game or average multi-year Take-Two EPS. While Olson noted that some may suggest the delay comes with two potential risks, namely a worse launch window as well as real issues with the game, he said that a spring release should not “significantly” impact overall sales of the game and that he believes Rockstar would have left the timing open-ended if in fact there were major development issues. PRICE ACTION: In afternoon trading, Take-Two (TTWO) advanced about 5% to $72.48.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Shares of the game maker’s competitors were also higher, with Activision Blizzard $ATVI up 1% and Electronic Arts $EA up 0.5% in the afternoon.

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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.

Buy Clovis Ahead of ASCO Meeting

American Society of Oncology Meets June 2-6, 2017 in Chicago

Clovis to Present about its Ovarian Cancer Drug

Clovis to Submit NDA for Ovarian Cancer#Clovis Oncology $CLVS announced that abstracts highlighting progress in the rucaparib clinical development program, its treatment for ovarian cancer, will be presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting taking place June 2 to June 6 in Chicago. #ASCO

Four abstracts highlighting ongoing #rucaparib clinical trials will showcase some of the multiple #cancer types in which the compound is being studied, including germline and somatic BRCA-mutated, relapsed, high-grade ovarian cancer; metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer associated with homologous recombination deficiency; and HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer.

Rucaparib is Clovis Oncology’s oral, potent, small-molecule inhibitor of #PARP1, #PARP2 and #PARP3.

In December 2016, the #FDA approved rucaparib tablets as monotherapy for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies and whose tumors have a deleterious BRCA mutation as identified by an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test.

The #ARIEL3 pivotal study of rucaparib is a randomized, double-blind study comparing the effects of rucaparib against placebo to evaluate whether rucaparib given as a maintenance treatment to platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients can extend the period of time for which the disease is controlled after a response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Top-line results from ARIEL3 are anticipated by the end of June, and the Company plans to provide a more comprehensive presentation of the ARIEL3 results in a scientific session at a medical meeting later this year.

Pending positive data, the Company intends to submit a supplemental New Drug Application for a second line or later maintenance treatment indication within approximately four months of the database lock.

Other stocks to watch in the group: $INCY, $TSRO, $PBYI, $AMGN

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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.

GE Receives $15 Billion Contract from Saudi Arabia

Building on its more than 80 years of partnership and experience in the Kingdom, #GE said it has taken significant steps in supporting the delivery of Saudi Vision 2030, announcing this weekend in partnership with the Kingdom a range of Memorandums of Understanding and projects valued at $15B – of which almost $7B are GE technology and solutions – across multiple sectors and partners aimed at creating a truly diverse and sustainable economic platform.

The initiatives touch upon the key pillars within #SaudiVision 2030, focusing on transforming the nation into a global investment leader and geographic hub and the upscaling of industrial skills and capabilities.

Among the projects, GE will help make Saudi power generation more efficient and provide digital technology to the operations of oil firm Saudi Aramco, aiming to create $4 billion of annual productivity improvements at Aramco. It will cooperate in medical research and training.

The agreements also place significant emphasis on human capital development and the digital transformation across multiple sectors, with the expanded application of GE’s Predix platform, which utilizes cloud-based data analytics to better ensure and enhance manufacturing efficiency.

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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.