Market Focus

Allergan & Valeant Pharmaceuticals

In breaking news late today there was news an activist investor is teaming up with a pharmaceutical company to mount a takeover bid. The head of Pershing Square Capital Management, Bill Ackman is reportedly teaming up with Valeant Pharmaceutical, in a rare alliance, to try to buy Allergan, the company that makes Botox. The deal is reported to be worth slightly more than $45 billion. Ackman’s hedge fund has already built up a nearly ten percent stake in Allergan. Shares of Allergan spiked on the report and closed the regular session up six percent to $142.

Sarepta Therapeutics

Shares of Sarepta Therapeutics soared on news it will file an application with the Food and Drug Administration to get its muscular dystrophy drug approved. Late last year, the FDA said the company needed to do a larger late-stage trail of the drug, which treats a type of muscular dystrophy that afflicts children. But after meetings with the agency, the company says it worked out a strategy for what the CEO calls accelerated approval.  Shares closed a $33.98, a gain of about 40 percent.

Pfizer & AstraZeneca

Pfizer has reportedly approached its British rival AstraZeneca with a $100 billion takeover bid, according to press reports. But the U.K.’s Sunday Times said the effort was rebuffed and there are no talks currently taking place. No comments from the drug giants. Shares of Pfizer jumped two percent to $30.86 and AstraZeneca surged almost nine percent to $69.10.

Barrick Gold & Newmont Mining

Reports that Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining were talking merger sent shares of Barrick way down, but Newmont way up in today’s session. The deal would have combined the world’s largest gold producers, but the talks didn’t results in an agreement. There are reportedly still hopes that the deal could be revived. Shares of Barrick fell almost four percent to $17.28. Shares of Newmont were up more than six percent to $25.05.


Hasbro swung to a profit in the first quarter. The toy maker saw costs fall and sales in its girls products category surge. Earnings topped estimates, but revenue fell short. Investors overlooked the revenue miss and shares were up almost two percent to $55.66.


Halliburton posted an earning beat on both the top and bottom lines. The oilfield services provider is also calling for a 25 percent jump in earnings for the current quarter, thanks to a recovery in margins in North America and growth overseas. The estimate is right in line with expectations. Still, shares spiked more than three percent to $62.92.

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