Seeking Alpha

Merck & Co Inc. (MRK)

  • May 31, 2013, 5:43 AM
    A dispute is taking place within the FDA over whether a class of blockbuster cardiovascular drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers ((ARBs)) significantly increase the risk of cancer. On one side is Thomas Marciniak, who believes they do, and on the other are his bosses, who think the medicines are safe. Companies that make ARBs, which generated $7.6B in U.S. sales last year, include Novartis (NVS), Merck (MRK), Sanofi (SNY), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and AstraZeneca (AZN).
    | May 31, 2013, 5:43 AM | Comment!
  • May 28, 2013, 4:59 PM
    Merck (MRK) declares $0.43/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous. Forward yield 3.61%. For shareholders of record June 17. Payable July 18.Ex-div date June 13. (PR)
    | May 28, 2013, 4:59 PM | Comment!
  • May 28, 2013, 8:10 AM
    Add Eli Lilly (LLY) to Jefferies' big pharma upgrades, as the company is raised to Hold from Underperform (price target to $49 from $44) on a lack of near term downside risks and a healthy dividend. Nevertheless, expect FY14 EPS to come in 5-10% below consensus, analyst Jeff Holford says. Meanwhile, Merck (MRK), Abbott (ABT), and Novartis (NVS) are all top "restructuring plays." Jefferies says "the probability of significant spin-outs" for MRK should increase in 2014 and puts a sum-of-the-parts valuation of $54.30 on the stock.
    | May 28, 2013, 8:10 AM | Comment!
  • May 28, 2013, 7:02 AM
    Three Big Pharma upgrades: Jefferies takes Merck (MRK) and Bayer (BAYRY.PK) to Buy from Hold and Deutsche Bank lifts GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to Buy from Hold.
    | May 28, 2013, 7:02 AM | 3 Comments
  • May 24, 2013, 12:06 PM
    Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST -1.5%) slips on a downgrade to Neutral on valuation at Janney Capital. Despite the downgrade - not to mention a 36% runup in the shares since last November - the firm raises its price target on the stock by another 10% to $55 from $50. Separately, CBST's CEO Mike Bonney is scheduled to present at Jefferies 2013 Global Healthcare Conference on Monday, June 3, to discuss it's pipeline, financial outlook, and recentdevelopments. Tune into the live presentation here: (Webcast)
    | May 24, 2013, 12:06 PM | Comment!
  • May 24, 2013, 8:18 AM
    Janney Montgomery Scott cuts Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) to Neutral and takes its price target to $50 from $55, bringing its rating and PT largely in line with those of Cantor's Irina Rivkind who upgraded the stock to Hold from Sell (price target $49) on Tuesday.
    | May 24, 2013, 8:18 AM | Comment!
  • May 23, 2013, 5:26 PM
    Merck (MRK) provides an update on its clinical trials for preladenant, an investigational compound for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. An initial review of data from three separate Phase III trials showed no evidence of efficacy when compared with placebo, therefore MRK says it will discontinue the program and no longer plans to pursue any regulatory filings. Shares -0.4% AH.
    | May 23, 2013, 5:26 PM | Comment!
  • May 23, 2013, 3:11 PM
    Chatter says trading desks are busy with corporate buyback activity today as CFOs take advantage of a little selling to put repurchase plans into action. AAPL is the gorilla, having bumped its authorization to $60B from $10B. Others of note include: LyondellBasel (LYB), Merck (MRK) - which just entered an accelerated repurchase program, NetApp (NTAP), Northrop Grumman (NOC), Macy's (M), and Delta (DAL). There's also IBM - long with a reputation for issuing debt at lows in yield. Is their equity timing as good?
    | May 23, 2013, 3:11 PM | 6 Comments
  • May 22, 2013, 3:17 PM
    An FDA panel has voted 12-4 in favor of Merck's (MRK -1.2%) insomnia drug Suvorexant, saying it helps people stay asleep.
    | May 22, 2013, 3:17 PM | 1 Comment
  • May 21, 2013, 5:50 PM
    Merck (MRK) says it's entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement with Goldman Sachs to repurchase $5B worth of stock, as the company looks to alternative methods for increasing shareholder value. The company has been dealing with the loss of exclusivity for its blockbuster asthma-and-allergy treatment Singulair, leading to generic competition that wiped out much of the drug's more than $5B in peak annual sales. Shares +1% AH.
    | May 21, 2013, 5:50 PM | Comment!
  • May 21, 2013, 9:46 AM
    Cantor Fitzgerald's Irina Rivkind upgrades Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST +5%) to hold from sell (price target raised to $49 from $40) saying concerns about generic competition have abated. Rivkind also notes that investors have plenty of time to wait for "a more attractive entry point," as the next big catalyst for the company is hospital pneumonia data not due until 2015.
    | May 21, 2013, 9:46 AM | Comment!
  • May 20, 2013, 3:37 PM
    Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST +11.3%) spikes to session highs. The move appears relates to an apparent Markman ruling on Hospira (HSP +0.7%, which has a generic version of Cubist's drug Cubicin. Seeking Alpha contributor PropThink noted last week that the ruling would likely be a 'clearing event' for the company.
    | May 20, 2013, 3:37 PM | Comment!
  • May 16, 2013, 12:55 PM
    Oncothyreon (ONTY -20.7%) tanks today after presenting data as ASCO that showed Phase III trials of its investigational MUC1 antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy L-BLP25 didn't meet its primary objective. The trial was conducted by Merck Serono, a division of Merck (MRK -0.7%), under a license agreement with ONTY.
    | May 16, 2013, 12:55 PM | 3 Comments
  • May 15, 2013, 4:01 PM
    Shares of Optimer Pharmaceutical (OPTR +15%) spike into the close on rumors that Cubist Pharmaceutical (CBST -0.5%) lobbed a $1B bid for OPTR prior to the sales process.
    | May 15, 2013, 4:01 PM | Comment!
  • May 14, 2013, 3:34 PM
    Shares of Alimera Sciences (ALIM +22%) churn higher again today, racking up a +55% run over the past three days. The stock has been on the move since announcing in its 10-K that Iluvien had become commercially available in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Austria. Sentiment may also be getting a boost today on a Seeking Alpha article calling the stock an easy double at current levels, and, along with Trius Therapeutics (TSRX +7.7%), could be one of the biggest gainers in 2013.
    | May 14, 2013, 3:34 PM | Comment!
  • May 14, 2013, 11:39 AM
    Shares of Trius Therapeutics (TSRX +5.6%) gain this morning after the company announced late yesterday that it's received a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO on an application related to its tedizolid phosphate patent portfolio. The new application protects a therapeutic combination of the experimental medicine with a currently available antibiotic daptomycin. Together, TSRX claims the medicines can prevent the development of certain strains of staph infection.
    | May 14, 2013, 11:39 AM | Comment!
Company Description
Merck & Co Inc is a health care company that delivers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products.