At a trial to assess BP plc (ADR)(NYSE:BP)’s extent of culpability in a 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it emerged that an internal probe by the company could not establish whether decisions made by the senior management or cost cuts led to the disaster as the investigators did not have access to its partner’s employees and records.
This fact came out in a testimony by a BP executive on Thursday.
Mark Bly, who was BP’s global head of safety, had led the investigation and he said that his team did not have sufficient information to conduct a `systematic evaluation’ of what caused the blowout since they did not get the required cooperation from rig owner Transocean or the other companies working on the project.
According to a report by the Associated Press a report by Bly’s team in September 2010 focused on equipment failures and mistakes that rig workers made before the blowout triggered an explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.
By, while testifying in court, said that BP followed a policy of identifying systemic failures within the management system in case of accident investigations. However in this particular he and the then CEO Tony Hayward had decided to make an exception and did not attempt a dapper probe.
“We’re tasked with getting to the answer as quickly as we could, and trying to get to a position where we felt we could make good recommendations,” he said.
“Having done that, we did have the option to try to go further, but at that point in time, given the limitation that we’ve touched on, it would have been very, very difficult to do that.”
Top 3 Gainers: Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Eros International (NYSE:EROS), Borqs Technologies’ (BRQS)
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) is up 2.5% after Benchmark reiterated its Buy rating in a look-ahead at Q2 earnings. The firm’s expecting a beat and solid guidance for Q3, and it’s raising its guidance for the fiscal year.
Tailwinds from the pandemic won’t dissipate easily, Benchmark suggests, and the videogame maker’s acquisition of Peak (and with it new “forever franchises” in Toon Blast and Toy Blast) will drive audience, bookings, margins and free cash flow, it says. The firm has an $11 price target, now implying 14% upside.
Eros International (NYSE:EROS) is up 5.8% today, making up the last week’s lost ground, after news that its streaming service Eros Now is partnering with Sony India (SNE +2.3%).
That will mean Eros Now’s app is pre-installed on selected Sony smart televisions in India, along with availability on a large base of existing models (Bravia E series and newer).
The country over the past year has seen a 25% growth in demand for smart TVs, fueled by overall industry growth of 15%, to a record 15M units/year.
Borqs Technologies’ (BRQS) personal safety tracker sees strong market with increased orders from the electronics retail chain in the US.
The boost in product demand comes ahead coronavirus pandemic that provides company to expect delivery of 250K units this year. It reflects over 3x the volume delivered in 2019, the year of its launch.
Borqs’ mobile personal safety devices designed particularly for senior citizens come with panic button, location tracking, and fall detection.
Biotech movers: Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Celgene Corporation (CELG)
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) said on Thursday it received a request for documents as part of a U.S. investigation related to quality issues involving the manufacture of auto-injectors at its Meridian Medical Technologies site.
Pfizer, in a regulatory filing, said it would be producing records in response to the civil investigative demand from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.
Meridian, a unit of Pfizer that manufactures EpiPen injectors used to deliver an emergency allergy antidote, has been hit by a series of manufacturing problems in recent years. Mylan NV, which markets EpiPens, has recalled tens of thousands of the devices after complaints that some had failed to activate.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has been meeting with shareholders in Boston and New York over the last two weeks to try to salvage its $74 billion purchase of cancer drugmaker Celgene Corporation (CELG), the biggest acquisition announced so far this year.
The deal, announced in January, was hard sell to Bristol shareholders from the start. The acquisition adds about $32 billion in fresh debt to Bristol’s balance sheet while assuming $20 billion in Celgene’s debt, the companies said at the time. After factoring in debt, the acquisition was the largest health-care deal on record, according to data compiled by Refinitiv.
Now, hedge funds Wellington Management and Starboard Value say the deal doesn’t sit well with them. Bristol has sent executives to New York to meet with institutional investors several times over the last two weeks and met with investors in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday, according to a person who briefed on the meetings.
Bristol-Myers declined to comment.
Big Losers: Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (CRBP), Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (PBR)
Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (CRBP)’s shares slumped as much as 16% to $6.94 on huge volume. The stock has been showing intense sell off suddenly after a bearish article on seekingalph.com by Alpha Exposure.
The article stated that Corbus has ties to investors convicted of or alleged to have committed securities fraud. We believe lenabasum has failed its major trials in SSc and CF. Lenabasum was also denied Breakthrough Therapy Designation in SSc. We believe lenabasum will fail in its pivotal SSc and Phase 2b CF trials. We are short Corbus with a price target of $0.50.
Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (PBR) is expanding its ambitious divestment program and has “bold” plans for sales, the Brazilian state-run oil company’s chief executive said after the firm posted its first annual profit in five years.
On a conference call with analysts to discuss fourth-quarter results, CEO Roberto Castello Branco said selling non-core assets will be key to deleveraging.
Petrobras, as the company is known, can reduce its ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, to 1.5 or even to 1, he added.
The University of Chicago-educated CEO, who took the reins in early January, has long been vocal about the need to slim down the sprawling firm and focus on core activities such as exploration and production. Thursday’s comments were some of his most assertive on the matter.