Three Remarkable Stocks News Update: Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD), Banco Santander …

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fed Aftermath and Rite Aid — 5 Things to Know Today.

Diluted earnings per share, after adjusting for some items, totaled 6 cents, beating analysts’ consensus estimate of 5 cents that was compiled by Zacks Investment Research. During the quarter, the Camp Hill, Penn.-based company saw “tremendous progress in strengthening (its) retail healthcare offering by converting additional stores to our Wellness format,” said Rite Aid CEO John Standley in a statement. Today’s must-read story is from Fortune‘s Dan Primack, who was first to report that billionaire casino owner and Republican party donor Sheldon Adelson is the mystery buyer of The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $373.2 million, which depicts an increase of $40 million from last year. The Fed assured investors that the central bank’s policy would remain accommodating as it raised rates from their longstanding stimulus level of near zero to 0.25%. President Vladimir Putin admitted for the first time that rebels in eastern Ukraine are being ‘advised’ by Russians, something established beyond reasonable doubt a long time ago, but putting the seal on another 6-month extension of European sanctions against the country.

Putin said the worst of Russia’s economic crisis is behind it but warned that there would probably be further budget cuts next year because the government’s oil price forecast, at $50 a barrel, is too high. The drugstore operator reports third-quarter results after cutting its full-year earnings and sales forecasts earlier this year due to lower pharmacy reimbursements and expenses from its acquisition of EnvisionRx. Rite Aid RAD 2.18% agreed to be sold to larger rival Walgreens Boots Alliance WBA 3.17% for $9.4 billion in October and investors will be interested to hear updates on that deal, which likely faces a long road to obtaining antitrust approval as it would combine two of the country’s largest drugstore operators. The most highly-anticipated film of the year officially opens nationwide on Friday, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens will first debut in various theaters across the country in special preview screenings. The biotech giant’s new dividend yield comes in at 2.4% based on yesterday’s closing price, almost twice the 1.7% yield offered by Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and closer to the 3.7% yield from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and the 3.4% yield from Merck.

Fans with tickets to the advance screenings will get an early look at a movie that could become one of the highest-grossing films of all time, according to several analyst predictions. Biotech companies tend to invest most of their free cash flow in research and development, with only a few returning cash to investors in the form of dividends. Its knockoff, Zarxio, was launched in the US this September, and the drug is expected to face a 17% year-over-year(YoY) decline to $1 billion this year.

Both Novartis and Apotex are looking to launch their Neulasta copies to market, with Apotex’s version already under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review. The FDA recently accepted Novartis’ application for a biosimilar to Amgen’s top-selling med Enbrel, which accounts for 20% of the company’s top-line. The biotech giant recently scored FDA approval for Repatha, a more than $14,000 a year cholesterol-lowering med being touted as a superior drug than any other available for the condition.

Last week, the company reacquired sales rights for three of its potential blockbuster drugs, Prolia, XGeva and Vectibix, in 48 countries, including China, from GlaxoSmithKline. Amgen also has a robust pipeline consisting of as many as 40 candidates, including 12 in late-stage testing and biosimilars to some blockbuster drugs. In the latest quarter, the company hiked its R&D spending by 11% to $1.1 billion, mostly to cover a large-scale cardiovascular outcomes trial for Repatha, which can ensure the drug’s expanded approval. Although the drugmaker’s free cash flow-to-debt payable position is not exactly worrying at this point, it remains to be seen where the giant plans to deploy its cash in coming years: R&D, buybacks/dividends or M&A?

Bidness Etc takes a look at the US Department of Justice’s rejection of the $34.6 billion deal, and how that will force the oil giants Halliburton Company and Baker Hughes to offload more assets The $34.6 billion merger deal between the oilfield services providers, Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) and Baker Hughes is facing a major obstacle in its completion. Investors are wary of the transaction, as Baker Hughes stock further closed down 3.77% at $44.79 yesterday, and Halliburton shares were also down around 3.5%.

Since the announcement of the deal, the oil service providers have committed themselves to two rounds of asset sales, which are likely to generate $5.2 billion in revenues. The companies are not likely to proceed with the deal immediately, as the DoJ would pursue to block it until they ensure sufficient level of competition in the industry. The merger deal is not only likely to benefit the companies’ balance sheet position but is also very compelling in the current commodity market downturn.

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