TYLER MATHISEN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Turnaround on track?
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) reports a drop in revenue and cuts thousands of
jobs. Why? And what else is in the earnings report that investors need to
SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Supersized protests.
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) defends its business strategy as thousands of
demonstrators chant for higher wages outside its shareholder meeting.
MATHISEN: And the $84,000 question: why are some drug prices so
doggone high? And what can and should be done about it?
All that and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Thursday, May
GHARIB: Good evening, everyone.
A big surprise from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) today, but not a
pleasant one. It accidentally released its second quarter earnings about
an hour early while the markets were still open. The report was scheduled
to come out after the closing bell. Well, investors were puzzled by the
change, disappointed in the results and the mistake didn`t help HP shares
The world`s biggest computer-maker continues to struggle to stay
relevant in the world of mobile devices and Cloud storage. So, it`s no
wonder HP announced more job cuts as much as 16,000, for a total of 50,000
employees getting the ax.
As for those earnings, 88 cents a share that was right in line with
analysts` estimates, revenue continued to decline, down for the 11th
straight quarter and narrowly missed forecasts. Shares fell slightly in
late trading after sliding nearly 2 1/2 percent during today`s session.
Sheila Dharmarajan joins us now with more on Hewlett-Packard`s results
and the one big takeaway you see from these numbers.
Sheila, over to you.
SHEILA DHARMARAJAN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the
key takeaway is, you know, Meg Whitman keeps on talking about the fact that
the turnaround is still on track, but the bottom line is, it still has so
much further to go. Pretty much everything we`ve heard in this quarter is
the same mantra we`ve been hearing from HP over and over again. They`re
cutting jobs, they`re cutting cost, they`re streamlining their systems.
The bottom line is, we`re also hearing the same thing that they`re
cutting down their revenues. Their revenues have not grown. In fact, if
you dig into the numbers, every single one of HP`s biggest divisions
actually lost sales except for one. That`s really scary especially when
you think about the enterprise part of the business.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), they all raised their
sales. HP wasn`t able to. That`s very troubling.
So, it really shows this turnaround is still struggling.
GHARIB: All right. Thank you so much, Sheila, for coming by.
MATHISEN: Good to see you, Sheila.
All right. Stocks ended slightly higher today with the major averages
closing up for the fourth session out of the past five. Stocks got some
help from good news about manufacturing over in China and here at home and
improved earnings from some big retailers like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and
Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR). And even though first time jobless claims rose
last week, they are still sitting near seven-year lows.
At the closing bell, the Dow was up 10 points, the NASDAQ higher by
22, and the S&P up by four.
GHARIB: Well, far from Wall Street, more than a thousand fast food
workers, union organizers and other protesters turned up the heat on
McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) at its annual shareholders meeting that was held at
company headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois. And it was far from business
Hampton Pearson has more.
HAMPTON PEARSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
The annual McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) shareholder meeting has been the target of
nationwide protests in support of a $15 an hour minimum wage.
PROTESTER: McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) should not have to wait on the
government to raise minimum wage.
PEARSON: Over a thousand demonstrators have marched on McDonald`s
headquarters outside Chicago in the last two days, targeting the world`s
biggest fast food chain as the first step on the road to organizing the
KENDALL FELLS: These organizers are not fighting to raise the minimum
wage. They`re fighting to sit down with the fast food industry and
negotiate a $15 an hour pay rate and to write a union contract.
PEARSON: Inside the meeting, not all McDonald`s shareholders were
happy about what`s on the menu. The firm`s top managers were accused of
targeting the children with predatory advertising. All this coming in the
same week, a new Happy Meal mascot was rolled out.
CEO Don Thompson answered the critics.
DON THOMPSON, MCDONALD`S CEO & PRESIDENT: At McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD),
we were not as was mentioned predatory or out focused on marketing to kids
alone. As a parent, we wouldn`t do that. Not only that, but we are
people. We do have values at McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD).
PEARSON: But the majority of shareholders remained focused on the
bottom line, with concerns about McDonald`s losing ground to its
competitors in the multi-billion dollar fast food industry.
MATTHEW SAWTELL, MCDONALD`S SHAREHOLDER: This is a long-term
investment for me. I want to see this in another 30 years and not another
stack of worthless paper.
PEARSON (on camera): Analysts say the near term keys to shareholder
value are improving sales in Europe and possible plans in the future to
return more cash to shareholders.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Hampton Pearson in Oak Brook,
MATHISEN: More troubles for Boeing (NYSE:BA), federal aviation
officials say more tests are needed to determine the safety of lithium ion
batteries used in aircraft systems. The National Transportation Safety
Board says better tests are needed to determine overheating issues. The
new recommendations stemmed from its investigation of a battery fire on
board a grounded 787 Dreamliner in Boston back in January of last year.
GHARIB: There`s a big change at the New York Stock Exchange. The CEO
is stepping down effective immediately. Duncan Niederauer said today he
was leaving his post a little earlier than expected but he will continue as
president of parent company Intercontinental Exchange Group until August.
Niederauer joined the NYSE back in 2007. He guided the exchange through
the financial crisis. He also presided over the NYSE`s $11 billion merger
with the ICE.
MATHISEN: Some key housing data out today. Sales of previously owned
homes rose in April from the month prior. That`s the first monthly gain of
the year. But sales are below last year`s springtime pace and inventories
are tighter in many markets. Still, there are hopes that housing can pick
up steam later this year.
And Diane Olick has more.
DIANE OLICK, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Along with the April flowers, more of these sprang up in the nation`s
overhaul, home sales rising 1.3 percent from March, while not a lot, it was
the first monthly gain of the year.
LAWRENCE YUN, NATIONAL ASSOC. OF REALTORS ECONOMIST: Inventory
limitation has been a holdback, but now, we see some increase in the
inventory, very good news.
OLICK: A lack of homes for sale has been plaguing the market and
pushing prices higher at an unhealthy pace when compared to demand.
Single family housing starts did not improve much in April and
millions of potential sellers are stuck in place, owing more on their
mortgages than their homes are worth.
PASCALE ROYAL, HOMEOWNER: If we weren`t stuck in this position, if we
weren`t under water on our current mortgage, we would be able to buy a
OLICK: When we first met the Royals two years ago, they were trapped
under their mortgage. Now, rising prices have them back above water but
they are still stuck.
JASON ROYAL, HOMEOWNER: We found that we recouped what we loss over
the last eight years. We`re probably about where we were at the beginning.
So, that`s positive. But, unfortunately, the homes that we were in a real
position to afford a couple of years ago have also appreciated. So, they
have kind of grown out of our price range.
OLICK: The median home price range in April was 5 percent higher than
a year ago, according to the realtors, the smallest annual price gain in
two years. Rising prices have brought more homeowners above water, but
only a fraction of those are able to sell.
(on camera): So as this rather disappointing spring season came to a
close, the question is, what`s next? Usually as temperatures rise, home
sales cool. But with both prices and credit easing and more homes coming
on the market, we could see just the opposite.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Diana Olick in Washington.
GHARIB: Still ahead, $1,000 for one pill. Why are some prescription
drugs so expensive? And what if anything can be done about it?
GHARIB: It`s been nearly half a year since recreational sales and use
of marijuana had been legal in Colorado, but state officials are still
grappling with the new cannabis economy, including how to collect taxes and
how sellers deal with skittish banks in an all-cash business.
Jane Wells has more from cannabis convention in Denver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your tax on recreational is 21 percent?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right around, man. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cool.
JANE WELLS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
They`re raking in the tax money five months into Colorado`s great retail
pot experiment. The state collected $8 million in taxes and fees through
April for recreational marijuana sales.
BROOKE GEHRING: Here, we have two recreational space.
WELLS: Brooke Gehring used to be in residential banking. Now, she
runs four pot sales and retail sales are out-pacing medical marijuana
GEHRING: This is also retail.
WELLS: She has to keep separate her recreational and medical product
and cash for state law.
GEHRING: Cash management is an entire individual sector of our
WELLS: That`s because this remains an all-cash business.
Entrepreneurs at Colorado`s first cannabis summit are learning that even as
federal government said state banks can accept pot money, there is so much
paperwork involved and the risk of getting in trouble with other regulators
remain so high that most banks refuse the business.
GENIFER MURRAY, CANNIBAS FOUNDER/CEO: Well, you have to be creative
in the banking situation.
WELLS: Genifer Murray runs a testing lab called Can Labs and her
long-time bank dropped her account.
MURRAY: And we just have other ways of banking.
WELLS (on camera): There is a move to create the cooperative banking
for marijuana businesses, a way to bank outside of banks, but it is raising
some red flags.
GEHRING: I would be very scared to expose our money and then for any
reason be at risk for any type of laundering.
WELLS (voice-over): In the meantime, Gehring, like others pays her
taxes in cash.
(on camera): So, somebody is taking a big of cash to the state to pay
taxes and the state isn`t putting that in the bank?
WELLS: But you can`t put it in the bank?
WELLS (voice-over): Proving that as Colorado rolls out an entire new
industry, the hurdles remain high.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Jane Wells, Denver.
MATHISEN: Cost-cutting help Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) report better than
expected earnings and that`s where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.
The consumer electronics retailer did however have weak sales that
missed estimates. The company also told investors that it expects sales to
decline over the next two quarters because of a lack of compelling new
products. Despite that forecast, shares were up about 3 1/2 percent today
Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) said its first quarter lost widen because of
falling revenue and weak same store sales. The retailer is in the process
of closing 80 stores and that number may increase. The company which
operates K-mart and its namesake Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) stores did report
revenue that topped expectations. And that sent shares up more than 4
percent today, $38.10 was the close there.
And Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) posted better than expected first
quarter earnings on an increase in sales. The company says its strong same
store sales in April have continued into May. The Dollar Store operator
narrowed its outlook for the full year, but investors played past that one.
Shares popped more than 6 1/2 percent to $53.31.
GHARIB: A stunning debut for JD.com today. Its shares climbed in the
company`s first day of trading. JD is China`s second largest e-commerce
company after its rival, Alibaba, which is expected to go public on Wall
Street later this year. Now, JD`s offering raised almost $1.1 billion,
with shares pricing at $19 a piece. Shares closed at $20.90. That`s an
increase of 10 percent.
And quarterly earnings at Gap (NYSE:GPS) plunged 22 percent, mostly
because of foreign currency issues. Same store sales also fell for the
first time in a few years but the company still reaffirmed its full year
outlook. Gap (NYSE:GPS) shares fell slightly in afterhours trading. They
slightly rose during the regular session to $40.86.
MATHISEN: The FDA is coming down hard on illegal online pharmacies.
The Food and Drug Administration partnering with other federal and
international agencies, took action against Web sites that sell what it
calls potentially dangerous and unapproved prescription medicines to U.S.
consumers. This week, the FDA detained or seized hundreds of packages at
U.S. mail facilities containing illegal prescription drugs.
GHARIB: While those mail order pharmacies may be the only way some
people can afford their prescription medications as the price of drugs
seems to climb higher and higher. So, why do brand name drugs cost so much
and can anything be done about it?
Meg Tirrell gets some answers.
MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: When it was
approved in 2001, Gleevec changed the face of chronic myeloid leukemia.
That cancer drug and others that followed enabled patients to live almost
normal life spans. Its price, about $30,000 a year. And decade later,
Gleevec`s price had tripled, to $92,000 a year.
That escalation is part of a broader trend in the pharmaceutical
industry and everyone from doctors to patients to health insurers and
Congress is taking notice.
DR. JERRY AVORN, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Access really is a
problem for a lot of patients in relation to these very costly medicines.
We sometimes think, well, people have insurance and under Obamacare, there
is a lot more coverage. But what that does not take into account is that
very often, there is a very big co-payment that the customer has to come up
with that is often many, many hundreds or thousands of dollars.
TIRRELL: Some doctors have started to think about price when
prescribing medicines. In 2012, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
refused to prescribe the drug Zaltrap because it didn`t work any better
than an older medicine, but cost twice as much. Last year, a group of more
than 100 physicians called for lower prices on some leukemia drugs,
But the controversy goes beyond cancer. In March, a congressional
committee asked drugmaker Gilead to explain the price of its new hepatitis
C drug Sovaldi. It cost $84,000 for 12-week course of treatment, or about
$1,000 a day. Supporters point out it`s a cure for hepatitis C and its use
could save the healthcare system money over the long term.
MARK SCHOENEBAUM, ISI SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR: Some of the price
tags of these companies have put on drugs just appear high to folks. And
it`s very difficult for somebody that`s not a trained pharmaco economist to
explain why a drug that perhaps costs $50,000 a year is actually cheap for
TIRRELL (on camera): Researchers say there needs to be a balance
between reining in drug prices and encouraging pharma companies to spend
money on risky science. The drug industry says it costs more than a
billion dollars and takes at least a decade on average to develop a
medicine. And the failure rate is high. For every one Gleevec, there are
thousands of potential drugs that never make it to market.
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
MATHISEN: The drug Sovaldi mentioned in Meg`s story has become a
lightning rod in the debate over drug prices and that`s because insurance
companies and federal health programs have to weigh the proven
effectiveness of that hepatitis C treatment that staggering $84,000 cost.
Bertha Coombs takes a closer look now at Sovaldi and its impact on one
BERTHA COOMBS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
Michelle Carver doesn`t know how she got hepatitis C. It might have been
from a blood transfusion years ago.
MICHELLE CARVER, SOVALDI PATIENT: I was in shock when I found out I
had it, and I`m in shock to find out that it actually can leave my body.
COOMBS: She`s undergoing treatment with the controversial new Hep C
drug Sovaldi, made by Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) and J&J`s Olysio.
CARVER: I take the two pills, and that`s it. I haven`t had one side
COOMBS: And she now tests negative for the Hep C virus, which
untreated can lead to liver failure.
CARVER: No exercising again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m glad to hear that. And no pain in your belly?
CARVER: I have no pain in my belly.
COOMBS: There is no question the drug works.
DR. ARI BUNIM, NEW YORK HOSPITAL QUEENS: We`re talking about curing
people with the 90 percent to 100 percent success rate at this point. It`s
a whole new ballgame.
COOMBS: But at a high price. Twelve-week the treatment for Sovaldi
costs $84,000, a thousand dollars per pills, with the companion drug
Olysio. A new cure tops $140,000, three times the cost of older Hep C
drugs. Those drugs often have costly side effects, Sovaldi doesn`t.
BUNIM: It might seem like sticker shock, but the truth is you`re
saving money in the long term.
COOMBS: Well, Sovaldi isn`t the first sticker shock drug. It may be
the biggest, an estimated 3 million Americans are infected with the Hep C
virus and demand has been strong.
DR. HILLEL TOBIAS: We have a large number of people that are willing
to be treated that previously resisted treatment because they were afraid
of the side effects.
COOMBS: The drugs saw more than $2 billion in sales in its first four
months and that has private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare plans bracing
for a steep jump in drug cost this year.
TRICIA NEUMAN, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: It is both a high price and
high volume, and that is what makes people very nervous about what it might
mean to the cost of care and the cost of programs and to the cost of
COOMBS: Michelle Carver worried about the costs. She feels blessed
her insurer covered it.
CARVER: I feel so much better since I have been taking it.
COOMBS (on camera): As many as three new hepatitis C treatments are
expected to come to market between and 2016, which could bring prices down
because of competition. But for now, Sovaldi has a lock on the market.
Bertha Coombs, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, New York.
GHARIB: So, why are prices for some specialty drugs so high and what
if anything can be done about it?
Joining us now with two different views on this subject: Lori Reilly,
she`s executive vice president for policy and research at the
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, PHRMA.
And, Dan Durham is executive vice president for policy and regulatory
affairs at America`s Health Insurance Plans.
Lori, let me begin with you. Such a heartwarming story that Bertha
just reported on when somebody has a drug that can be cured permanently of
a terrible disease. But how do you explain why Gilead charges $84,000 for
this treatment in the United States, but charges $900 for the same
medication over the same time, $900, in Egypt?
LORI REILLY, PHRMA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT FOR POLICY & RESEARCH:
Right. Well, thanks for the question and thanks for having me here today.
I think the point that was made in your earlier piece about this
medicine and the value that it creates for patients, when you think about
hepatitis C, this is a condition that kills more patients in the United
States than HIV/AIDS. It is the leading cause of liver cancer.
Patients that have this disease often have many costly episodes of
care throughout the year. We now have a treatment that provides 90 percent
to 100 percent cure rate over a 12-week period of time with little to no
side effects. It`s really hard to argue about the value that this medicine
is bringing to society. I think a lot of the reasons that the focus right
now is on the price of medicines is in part because our insurance system
demands that patients like the patients that we saw there, often pay a much
higher percent for that medicine out of pocket compared to a lot of other
GHARIB: Yes, I get what you`re saying, sorry to interrupt.
REILLY: It`s OK.
GHARIB: But why is it $84,000 in the U.S. and $900 for the same drug
in Egypt? That`s a huge discrepancy.
REILLY: Well, I think, you know, one thing is clear, that health care
in the United States is often more expensive than it is in other places and
that`s true not just for prescription medicines, it`s true for virtually
for every other form of health care.
You have countries around the world that have much lower cost of
living, much lower economic abilities for patients, and honestly, a much
higher epidemic for this medicine.
But again, you know, going back to the situation in the United States
I think it is important to put the cost of medicines into perspective.
As a society we`re spending about 10 percent to 12 percent of all of
health care on medicines. It`s been about the same amount for the last
many years and is projected to be about the same going forward. A lot of
times, the insurers want to put the spotlight on a handful of medicines and
ignore the fact that about 86 percent of all prescriptions prescribed today
are generic medicines.
REILLY: And we have a system in the United States that encourages
that kind of efficiency.
MATHISEN: Let me bring Dan Durham in.
Much to consider there. Lori has laid out a point of view. I just
was going to lay it out on the table for you to react to that and,
obviously, no one is questioning the value of these medications, really,
because obviously, they have lifesaving value. What people are perplexed
by, Dan, is the pricing of those medicines and why in our system they are
so much higher than they are in other parts of the world?
DAN DURHAM, AHIP EXECUTIVE V.P. POLICY & REGULATORY AFFAIRS: Well,
that`s an excellent question, I mean, we`re facing a public health crisis
in this country with hepatitis C. And to deal effectively with that type
of crisis, stakeholders need to react responsibly.
Price gouging is not acting responsibly. Charging a thousand dollars
a pill, $84,000 for a course of treatment, is not acting responsibly.
Asking for a blank check is not acting responsibly.
The growth in prices that we`re seeing for these specialty medicines
is simply unsustainable. It`s unsustainable for family budgets, it`s
unsustainable for small business that are providing health coverage to
their employees, and it`s unsustainable for taxpayers that are funding
important programs like Medicare/Medicaid.
MATHISEN: Are we ultimately, Dan, going to have a two-tiered health
care system for the people who can afford the best plans are going to get
these kinds of drugs, and the other people will be left out in the cold?
DURHAM: Well, it`s another excellent question. Health plans do
everything they can to keep down premiums. And part of that involves
negotiating the best price they can for the consumers that they serve. And
when you have a monopoly as we do in this case of especially medicine that
has no competitors, there is no leverage to negotiate that kind of lower
And so, it becomes very difficult and very challenging to ensure that
patients have access to these kinds of medicines.
GHARIB: We`ve run out of time on this very important discussion.
Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.
Lori Reilly with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of
America, and Dan Durham from America`s Health Insurance Plans — thank you
both very much.
MATHISEN: And coming up, women are making more on the household
spending and investment decisions. But there is something holding them
back from taking on the right amount of risks. That story, next.
GHARIB: Call it the power of the purse. More and more women all
around the globe are making money decisions in their household. A new
study by the Center for Talent Innovation shows that in the U.S., women are
responsible for almost 40 percent of all investable assets and that number
But surprisingly, only half of them rely on a financial adviser on the
best ways to save and invest.
GHARIB: You`d think Lauren Maillian Bias has it all — a model,
entrepreneur, and CEO. Now, she even has a book to help others maximize
LAUREN MAILLIAN BIAS, AUTHOR, “THE PATH REDEFINED”: Financial being,
planning for my future, even in my modeling days was always very, very
important to me. I was the girl who was not buying the fancy shoes, the
Jimmy Choos, and the Louboutins.
GHARIB: She was gutsy enough to have started several companies from
scratch. But when it came to managing her money, she was anything but a
That changed after she became a single mother of two following a
BIAS: It was uncharted territory for me. While I had, you know, been
an entrepreneur, you know, I hadn`t necessarily immersed myself in all of
those investing decisions.
GHARIB: Lauren isn`t alone. A new study by the Center for Talent
Innovation says women create, control and influence, more than a quarter of
the world`s wealth, about $20 trillion. Sixty-six percent of the women
surveyed say they make the investment decisions in their household.
STACY FRANCIS, FRANCIS FINANCIAL PRES. & CEO: There are studies that
project it out to be women eclipsing men over the next several decades.
GHARIB: Stacy Francis runs a wealth management firm in New York with
the focus on women. She says women like men want a good return, but it`s
tougher to convince women on the value of having a financial adviser. And
to many women, investments need to be something tangible, something they
FRANCIS: It`s Venus and Mars. And, often, money really intimidates
women. And so, a topic that`s intimidating, what do we do? Do we embrace
it? No, we go shopping.
GHARIB: Part of the problem is confidence. Many women are less
likely than men to consider themselves knowledgeable about their finances.
And they fear that an adviser might force them to make risky decisions.
Bias has been working with Francis. She says the key is to nurture
the relationship. Trust has to be earned.
BIAS: The relationship boils down to communication, right? Most
women are not going to get their quarterly report or monthly report in an
e-mail with very little face time.
GHARIB: Another interesting conclusion from that study: confidence is
less of an issue in China. Women were almost as confident as men when it
comes to money issues.
That`s it for NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Susie Gharib.
MATHISEN: I`m Tyler Mathisen. We`ll see you back here tomorrow.
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