Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN)’s shares dropped 2.22% to $3.08. The company on June 12 announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has removed the partial clinical hold on the investigator-sponsored clinical trial of imetelstat in myelofibrosis (Myelofibrosis IST). The partial clinical hold was placed in March 2014 due to a safety signal of hepatotoxicity that was identified in clinical trials of imetelstat. In order to resolve the partial clinical hold, the investigator, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, was required to provide follow-up information regarding reversibility of hepatotoxicity for all patients who received imetelstat in the Myelofibrosis IST.
XOMA Corp. (NASDAQ:XOMA)’s shares dropped 1.85% to $4.77. The company on May 7 announced its operational highlights and financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. The company recorded total revenues of $3.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, compared with $9.5 million during the corresponding period of 2013, which included a $3.9 million milestone payment from SERVIER related to a product development program that XOMA subsequently transferred to Symplmed. For the first quarter ended March 31, 2014, XOMA had a net loss of $4.7 million, or $0.04 per share, compared with a net loss of $24.9 million, or $0.30 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, 2013.
Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX)’s shares gained 3.63% to $5. The company on June 19 announced a number of promotions within its management team. John A. Herrmann III, J.D. has been named Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Herrmann joined Novavax in March 2010 and is responsible for managing all of Novavax’ legal affairs, including its patent portfolio, transactional and contractual matters, public securities filings, and attending to all the duties of Corporate Secretary. Mr. Herrmann also works with the company’s senior management team to define and develop corporate policies and procedures.
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.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK), Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) Are Top Early-Market Movers
Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) shot up 8% in first hour Wednesday, after the oil and gas production company reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations, and provided an upbeat outlook. Net income rose to $486 million, or 49 cents a share, from $309 million, or 33 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS fell to 21 cents from 30 cents but beat the FactSet consensus of 18 cents.
Total revenue rose 22% to $3.07 billion, as oil, natural gas and natural-gas equivalent revenue jumped 38% to $1.73 billion. The FactSet consensus for total sales was $2.28 billion for oil and gas sales was $1.10 billion. Average daily production fell 7% to 464,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) while production expenses increased 15% to $2.87 BOE. The company projects 2019 average daily oil production to increase about 32%, capital expenditures are expected to be flat and cash flow is expected to be “meaningfully stronger.” The stock has lost 12% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF has gained 1.5% and the S&P 500 has advanced 4.2%.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY)jumped after the gadget retailer lent a spark to what had been a gloomy earnings season by delivering holiday sales that outpaced projections and a full-year profit outlook that topped analysts’ estimates.
Comparable-store sales in the U.S. — the retailer’s most-watched metric — rose 3 percent in the fourth quarter, beating projections. The midpoint of its profit forecast for the current fiscal year also topped estimates, sending the shares up as much as 16 percent.
The shares climbed as high as $69.85 in New York Wednesday, the biggest intraday gain since May 2017. The shares had already been up 14 percent this year through Tuesday’s close, outpacing the S&P 500 Index.