InPlay for Sept. 23, 2013
6:46AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) announced dose administration for the first patient in a Phase 1 study of AG-221 in patients with advanced hematologic malignancies with an isocitrate dehydrogenase-2 (IDH2) mutation.
IGT (IGT) announced the launch of two new IGT MegaJackpots titles: James Cameron's AVATAR Video Slots and James Cameron's AVATAR - Treasure of Pandora.
Trimble (TRMB) announced that it will be offering TMW Systems' TMT Fleet Maintenance software for the construction materials industry to the ready mix and aggregate markets.
6:46AM GW Pharma announces agreement on Sativex pricing in Germany (GWPH) 15.20 : Co announced that agreement for a revised mutually-acceptable reimbursement price for Sativex has been reached between Almirall S.A., GW's commercial partner in Germany, and the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-SV). This new agreement has resulted in an increase to the previously reduced price imposed by the German authorities in March 2013 which Almirall had considered to be unacceptable.
6:43AM S&P futures vs fair value: +2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +9.00. :
6:43AM European Markets : FTSE...6584.06...-12.40...-0.20%. DAX...8674.60...-1.10...0.00.
6:43AM Asian Markets : Nikkei...Holiday......... Hang Seng...23371.54...-131.00...-0.60%.
6:42AM ADT to offer $1 bln of senior unsecured notes due 2021 (ADT) 42.32 : Co announced its intention to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $1 blnof senior unsecured notes due 2021. ADT intends to use the net proceeds from the offering primarily to repay $150 million in borrowings under its revolving credit facility, repurchase outstanding shares of its common stock and for other general corporate purposes, including acquisitions.
6:31AM AngioDynamics extends licensing agreement with interface biologics to include central venous catheters (ANGO) 12.74 : Co and and Interface Biologics announced AngioDynamics' exclusive Endexo technology licensing agreement for peripherally inserted catheters, ports and dialysis catheters, now includes Central Venous Catheters. Endexo technology is a permanent, non-eluting integral polymer that imparts devices with a passive character demonstrated to have such benefits as reduced platelet and reduced thrombus accumulation on medical devices based on in vitro testing. In contrast to thrombus-resistant coatings or impregnated alternatives, which may be superficial and/or transient, Endexo is incorporated directly into the base polymer to create a material that provides long-term utility and durability without impacting the base underlying mechanical properties of the medical device.
6:30AM Illumina Names Richard Klausner as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer (ILMN) 80.94 : Co announced it has appointed Richard Klausner as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Klausner will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Flatley and will lead Illumina's strategies for advancing genomics into clinical medicine and public health. He will also become part of Illumina's executive management team, which is responsible for directing all aspects of company strategy, planning and operations. Prior to joining Illumina, Dr. Klausner was managing partner of the venture capital firm, The Column Group.
6:14AM On The Wires (WIRES) :
HP (HPQ) announced new cloud-based analytics as a service built on HP's HAVEn Big Data analytics platform.
MetLife (MET) and Thayer Lodging Group announced that they have acquired the 365-room Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in a JV. The purchase price was not disclosed.
IGT (IGT) unveiled a new, forward-looking brand identity for both IGT and DoubleDown Interactive.
Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) announced it had acquired 6 on-campus medical office buildings located in South Florida for ~ $63 mln. They are all located on-campus with hospitals affiliated with Tenet Healthcare (THC) and were ~ 88% occupied at closing.
6:07AM STO together with its partners Eni Norge AS and Petoro AS made a gas discovery in the Iskrystall prospect in PL608 in the Barents Sea (STO) 22.68 : Co announced well 7219/8-2, drilled by the drilling rig West Hercules, has proved an approximately 200 metre gas column. Statoil estimates the volumes in Iskrystall to be between 6 and 25 million barrels of oil equivalents. Iskrystall was the second of the four prospects to be drilled in the Johan Castberg area this year with the aim of proving additional volumes for the Johan Castberg field development project. The first prospect Nunatak resulted in a small gas discovery.
6:04AM General Electric and Sonelgaz affiliate, SPE, sign contracts valued at $2.7 bln to help power Algeria (GE) 24.01 : Co announced three contracts totaling ~ $2.7 billion with SPE, an affiliate of Sonelgaz - Algeria's national electricity and gas company. GE is to supply heavy-duty gas turbine combined-cycle and aeroderivative gas turbine technology for nine power plants. The three agreements include six new combined-cycle power plants that will ultimately increase Algeria's generating capacity by 70 percent adding more than 8 GW of electricity; two fast-track projects that add 528 megawatts (MW) of capacity for this summer's peak demand; and a new simple-cycle power plant to add 370 MW to Algeria's electricity grid.
6:02AM Vantage Drilling announces commencement of operations for the tungsten explorer and provides co update (VTG) 1.78 : Co announced today that the ultra-deepwater drillship, Tungsten Explorer, commenced initial operations in Southeast Asia on the morning of September 20, 2013. Vantage also announced that the Sapphire Driller has received a Letter of Intent for an eighteen month contract plus options to work in West Africa. This contract will replace the previously announced two-year Letter of Award, as Vantage was unable to satisfactorily resolve significant contract issues with the previous customer. The estimated revenue over the initial eighteen month term of the contract is ~$100.4 mln, including mobilization.
Vantage also noted that it is winding down its efforts with respect to construction oversight of the Dalian Developer, which Vantage has been providing at a shipyard in China on behalf of its customer. Vantage plans to provide additionally limited support, as necessary, and is to receive another six months of revenues from the project.
6:01AM Official Payments to be acquired by ACI Worldwide (ACIW) for $8.35 per share in cash (OPAY) 8.50 : ACI Worldwide (ACIW) and Official Payments Holdings announced that they have entered into a definitive transaction agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, ACI Worldwide will acquire Official Payments in an all cash transaction for $8.35 per share. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved this transaction. ACI Worldwide will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of Official Payments on or about October 4, 2013. The transaction is expected to be accretive to full year earnings in 2014.
In addition, in connection with the execution and delivery of the merger agreement, ACI Worldwide and Olympic Acquisition entered into a separate agreement with a fund affiliated with Parthenon Capital Partners which owned 10.8% of all outstanding shares of common stock of Official Payments as of May 6, 2013, based on the Schedule 13D filed by Parthenon with the SEC on May 9, 2013. Under the agreement, Parthenon agreed on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the agreement, to tender shares beneficially owned by it in the tender offer.
5:07AM Suntech Power announces developments with respect to Global Solar Fund Assets in Brindisi, Italy (STP) 1.30 : Co announces that it received notice that the Court of Brindisi (Italy) issued a ruling to seize additional solar parks constructed by investee companies of Global Solar Fund S.C.A. SICAR. In total, with this new seizure, an aggregate of 37 GSF solar parks have been ordered seized which have a total capacity of approximately 30MW and represent approximately 21% of the aggregate nominal power capacity of solar parks held by GSF.
The Court also ordered the seizure of feed-in-tariffs received by the investee companies of GSF that own the seized solar parks. As consistent with Italian legal proceedings, several people have been served pre-trial detention orders. GSF is currently in the process of reviewing the ruling issued by the Court to determine the next appropriate steps, and the Company is working with GSF to maintain operations while operating in a manner compliant with the Court's ruling.
1:37AM AbbVie and Ablynx Sign global license agreement for anti-IL-6R nanobody, ALX-0061, to treat inflammatory diseases (ABBV) 47.84 : Co announces that they have entered into a global license agreement to develop and commercialize the anti-IL-6R Nanobody, ALX-0061, to treat inflammatory diseases. ALX-0061 is Ablynx's proprietary anti-IL-6R Nanobody that successfully completed a Phase IIa study in February 2013 reporting strong efficacy and safety data in patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on a stable background of methotrexate.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ablynx will be responsible for completing Phase II clinical development in both RA and systemic lupus erythematosus. Upon the achievement of pre-defined success criteria, AbbVie will exercise its right to in-license ALX-0061 and be responsible for subsequent Phase III clinical development and commercialization. Ablynx will retain an option for co-promotion rights in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Ablynx will receive an upfront payment of $175 mln, which will partly be used to fund the next phases of clinical development of ALX-0061. Upon achievement of certain development, regulatory, commercial and sales-based milestones, Ablynx will be eligible to receive additional milestone payments totalling up to $665 mln as well as double-digit tiered royalties on net sales upon commercialization.
1:33AM Given Imaging receives clearance for the third generation PillCam SB System in Japan (GIVN) 18.44 : Co announces that Japan's Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency has granted approval for the PillCam SB 3 system. The innovative technology in this third-generation system will provide physicians throughout Japan, the world's second largest healthcare market, with the most advanced PillCam capsule endoscopy technology to detect and monitor small bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease.
The co expects to begin recognizing sales of PillCam SB 3 in Japan in 2014.
1:32AM Edison unit SCE announces that nuclear regulatory commission finds flaws in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' design that led to failed steam generators at San Onofre (EIX) 46.02 : The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has confirmed to Southern California Edison (SCE) that the NRC has identified flaws in how Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) used its computer codes to design the failed steam generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The NRC further informed Southern California Edison that it is issuing a "Notice of Non-Conformance" against MHI for its flawed computer modeling in the failed design. The NRC is also citing SCE for failing to ensure that MHI's modeling and analysis were adequate.
In particular, the NRC reports indicate that MHI's use of its computer codes in the design of the steam generators inaccurately predicted thermal hydraulic conditions in the steam generators, leading to tube vibration and wear, and a steam generator tube leak. The NRC also found that MHI embedded the same computer modeling error in the design of steam generators at four other nuclear plants, although none developed the fluid elastic instability that caused San Onofre to shut down. The NRC inspection findings reinforce an NRC Augmented Inspection Team report a year ago that identified MHI's computer modeling errors. The San Onofre units were permanently shut down in June.
1:30AM Alexion Pharma presents new data evaluating Asfotase Alfa in infants and young children with hypophosphatasia (ALXN) 113.65 : Co announces that researchers have presented data from an ongoing multinational Phase 2 study of asfotase alfa in infants and young children with hypophosphatasia, an inherited, ultra-rare metabolic disorder that in this patient population leads to progressive damage to multiple vital organs, destruction and deformity of bones, and death.
The study met its primary endpoint: infants and young children with HPP treated with asfotase alfa had significant improvement in skeletal mineralization from baseline as assessed radiographically after 24 weeks of treatment. This response was observed as early as 12 weeks and improvement continued at 48 weeks. Ninety three percent of the patients survived the first 48 weeks of treatment with 80% of patients having improved respiratory status or requiring no respiratory support at the final analysis.
1:29AM ISIS Pharm reports Phase 2 data on ISIS-APOCIII Rx Showing substantial reductions of triglycerides and Apoc-III in patients with familial chylomicronemia (ISIS) 36.06 : Co announces data from a Phase 2 study of ISIS-APOCIIIRx as a monotherapy in patients with familial chylomicronemia syndrome, or FCS. FCS is a rare orphan disease characterized by severely high triglyceride levels that affects an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 patients worldwide.
In this study, three patients with FCS treated with ISIS-APOCIIIRxachieved substantial reductions in triglycerides with all three patients achieving a triglyceride level below 500 mg/dL, which substantially reduces the risk of an acute pancreatic event. Patients also achieved substantial reductions in apoC-III and apoCIII-associated very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol particles.
1:27AM Seadrill prices $500 mln of 6.125% unsecured Senior Notes due 2020 (SDRL) 46.35 :
1:26AM BB&T responds to court's decision in tax case (BBT) 35.05 : Co responds to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims regarding the Internal Revenue Service's disallowance of tax deductions and foreign tax credits taken in connection with a financing transaction entered into by BB&T in 2002.
"Based on the court's decision and an evaluation of other tax-related matters, we expect to record an after-tax charge of approximately $250 million this quarter...Despite this nonrecurring charge, we expect to remain profitable for the quarter..."
1:26AM Analogic acquires ultrasound technology firm PocketSonics (ALOG) 82.13 : Co announces it has acquired the remaining ownership stake in PocketSonics, a privately held ultrasound technology firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Analogic has held a minority equity position in PocketSonics since 2010. Since that time, Analogic has been working closely with PocketSonics under an Analogic-funded development and technology license arrangement to advance the PocketSonics technology.
The acquisition brings this advanced technology, associated intellectual property, and a small focused team of engineers to Analogic. Consideration for the transaction included an initial cash payment of ~$11 mln, with additional contingent payments of up to $3 mln based upon the achievement of certain milestones relating to the technology. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
1:24AM Mexco Energy announces additional development of properties (MXC) 6.64 : Co announces developments regarding certain oil and gas properties in New Mexico and Texas.Mexco Energy Corp has entered into an agreement with Concho Resources to develop the Bone Spring formation using horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracture stimulation on acreage in southwestern Lea County, New Mexico. The first two horizontal wells of twelve prospective wells will target the Avalon shale portion of the Bone Spring zone.
To date, 67 wells have been completed in the Avalon shale in this area with numerous other wells in the process of drilling or completing. Concho will pay 62.5% of the cost to drill and complete the two initial wells in order to earn 50% working interest (37.5% net revenue interest). The joint venture of which Mexco is a member will pay 37.5% of the cost to drill and complete two initial wells and will retain 50% working interest and 50% net revenue interest in the wellbores. Mexco's working interest in this development is approximately 0.56% (0.42% net revenue interest).
1:23AM Cheniere Energy announces filing of Registration Statement for Cheniere Energy Partners LP IPO (LNG) 30.82 : Co announces that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Cheniere Energy Partners LP Holdings, has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the SEC relating to its proposed initial public offering of common shares. Holdings' only business will consist of owning limited partner units of Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP) currently owned by Cheniere.