General Electric filed for an initial public offering of its retail finance unit. The spinoff is the first step in the company’s previously announced plan to exit the lending business and refocus on its industrial operations. GE named the new company Synchrony Financial and plans to sell about 20 percent of it to the public and the rest will be distributed to GE shareholders. Shares of GE fell more than 1.5 percent to $25.34.
In a major trial, Pfizer’s blockbuster vaccine helped prevent pneumonia and other infections in elderly patients. The vaccine is already on the market to treat children and adults and is the top-selling vaccine in history. Some analysts say if its approved to treat patients over 65, sales could increase by a billion dollars or more. Despite that, shares fell more than 2.5 percent to $31.12.
The head of the Food and Drug Administration is defending the agency’s approval of Zogenix’s controversial painkiller, Zohydro saying the drug offers a unique option to treat pain. Zohydro has faced heavy opposition from experts who say the drug is too powerful and potentially addictive. Shares of the drug maker were up 4.5 percent to $3.67.
Dollar General’s earnings matched estimates, but revenue missed. The company issued guidance that fell well below estimates. Like other retailers, it blamed the miss and weak forecast on severe winter weather. Shares tumbled almost three percent to $57.64.
Newell Rubbermaid’s Graco brand adds more than 400,000 child seats to last month’s recall of 3.8 million seats. The buckles on the problem products can jam. Government regulators aren’t satisfied with the recall, they want Graco to add 1.8 million more infant seats to the list because they have the same buckles. Shares of Newell Rubbermaid fell about four percent to $29.58.
The Hollywood studio Lions Gate will pay $7.5 million to settle SEC charges. The claims are that the company misled investors during a hostile takeover battle with activist investor Carl Icahn. The SEC said the company participated in a complex debt-equity swap that put company shares in the hands of a management friendly director without shareholder approval. The stock was down three percent to $32.30.