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Microsoft Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy TikTok in U.S.

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:52

(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. is exploring an acquisition of TikTok’s operations in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter.TikTok, a video-sharing app, is owned by China-based ByteDance Ltd., which has been evaluating changes to its business structure because of the U.S. government’s national security concerns.President Donald Trump plans to announce a decision ordering Bytedance to divest its U.S. ownership of TikTok, according to people familiar with the matter. The U.S. has been investigating potential national security risks due to the Chinese company’s control of the app. Trump’sdecision could be announced as soon as Friday, said the people.Microsoft is in talks to purchase TikTok’s U.S. operations, according to the person who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A spokesman for Microsoft declined to comment.Read more: Trump to Order China’s ByteDance to Sell TikTok U.S. OperationsByteDance bought Inc. in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, creating a social-media hit in the U.S -- the first Chinese app to make such inroads.As TikTok became more popular, U.S. officials grew concerned about the potential for the Chinese government to use the app to gain data on U.S. citizens. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which investigates overseas acquisition of U.S. businesses, began a review of the purchase in the fall of 2019.Read more: TikTok Mulls Changes to Business to Distance Itself From ChinaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Trump to Order China’s ByteDance to Sell TikTok in U.S.

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:45

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump plans to announce a decision ordering China’s ByteDance Ltd. to divest its ownership of the music-video app TikTok, which is popular with U.S. teens, according to people familiar with the matter.The U.S. has been investigating potential national security risks due to the company’s control of the app, and Trump’s decision could be announced as soon as Friday, the people said.“We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok,” Trump told reporters at the White House Friday. “We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok.”Spokespeople for the White House and Treasury Department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A TikTok spokesperson couldn’t be reached for comment.Snap Inc., a TikTok competitor, gained on the report, reflecting speculation that it may benefit from any move that weakens TikTok. Shares of the Santa Monica, California-based company were up 2.7% to $23.02 at 2:37 p.m. in New York.Bytedance bought Inc. in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, creating a popular and fast-growing social media hit in the U.S -- the first Chinese app to make such inroads.As TikTok grew more popular, U.S. officials grew more concerned about the potential for the Chinese government to use the app to gain data on U.S. citizens. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which investigates overseas acquisitions of U.S. businesses, began a review of the purchase in the fall of 2019, according to a person familiar with the investigation.Earlier: ByteDance Is Said to Weigh TikTok Stake Sale Over U.S. ConcernsTikTok has become a political pawn between the U.S. and China, and elected officials have criticized the app’s security and privacy practices, suggesting that user data collected through the app might be shared with the Chinese government. Trump said earlier this month he was considering banning TikTok as a way to retaliate against China for its handling of the coronavirus.TikTok critics and competitors have played up that fear, including Facebook Inc., which has criticized the app for alleged censorship.Trump’s threat to ban TikTok came just a few weeks after reports that many TikTok users had tried to sabotage a Trump campaign rally by requesting tickets they never planned to use and coordinated a push to flood Trump’s 2020 campaign app with negative reviews.TikTok, which has offices in Los Angeles, has been looking for ways to distance itself from its Chinese ownership, seeking to reassure the public that no data is stored on servers in China and that the app operates independently. Bytedance even appointed a CEO formerly of Walt Disney Co, Kevin Mayer, to run its operations in America and the rest of the world.(Updates with Trump comment in third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Exxon, Chevron Earnings Gutted by Virus-Driven Oil Demand Slump

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:33

(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street expected Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. earnings to be bad, but not this bad.America’s biggest energy companies delivered their worst set of quarterly results of the modern era, weighed down by the slump in oil prices and the global collapse in demand due to Covid-19.But even so, the extent of what was disclosed Friday was at certain points almost breathtaking. Chevron announced multibillion dollar writedowns on its assets for the second time in a year, said it will cut the equivalent of 5% of its worldwide output during the current quarter and backtracked on plans to massively ramp up production from its prized Permian Basin shale holdings.Exxon, not so long ago considered an almost unassailable profit-making machine, told investors its ambitious slate of expansion projects will be delayed and revealed it had failed to generate any operating cash flow in the second quarter.“I was looking at the press release and was like, ‘Is that a typo?’” Jennifer Rowland, an analyst at Edward D. Jones & Co. in St. Louis, said of the lack of cash flow. “It’s mind-boggling for a company the size of Exxon.”The woes of the U.S. supermajors are emblematic of the broader threats -- economic, political and structural -- to the petroleum industry in what’s turning into to the most serious crisis of its 161-year history. Having raked in record-breaking profits during the first decade of the century, both companies have been reduced to widespread job cuts, belt-tightening and heavy borrowing to cover dividends and other outlays.Chevron’s shares dropped as much as 5.5% while Exxon fell by as much as 2.3%, in marked contrast to Friday’s rally by Big Tech following a set of bumper earnings from the likes of Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. Energy is the worst investment in the S&P 500 Index this year.Exxon’s $1.1 billion second-quarter loss was the deepest since its 1998 merger with Mobil Corp. The crude price crash during the quarter bled the company’s production division while Covid-19 lockdowns lowered demand for everything from jet fuel to plastic wrap, hobbling the company’s refining and chemical units.The company had already announced this year it was taking steps to reduce its U.S. workforce, and on Friday it said it’s developing plans to further curtail operating expenses, without providing details. Exxon’s 26-cents per-share loss was better than the 64-cent average loss from analysts in a Bloomberg survey.The worst-ever oil crash came at a vulnerable time for Exxon because it had just embarked on an aggressive, multibillion-dollar rebuilding program. After slashing $10 billion in capital spending and freezing dividends, Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods may be running out of levers to pull. On Friday, Woods told investors and analysts on a conference call that, based on current projections, the company won’t take on any additional debt.What Bloomberg Intelligence SaysLeverage has gone to levels not seen in recent downturns and management’s comments that it doesn’t plan to take on more leverage could indicate that a protracted recovery would force the company to cut spending further, or even its vaunted dividend.\-- Fernando Valle, BI analystChevron meanwhile recorded its weakest performance in at least three decades and warned that the global pandemic wreaking havoc upon energy markets may continue to drag on earnings.Without the massive trading operations that shielded European oil explorers such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SE from losses, Chevron was exposed to the full force of this year’s oil price rout. Notably, Exxon’s nascent trading foray “experienced unfavorable mark-to-market derivative impacts,” the company said.Chevron fully erased the value of its Venezuela operations from its books, amounting to $2.6 billion, after they were effectively frozen by U.S. sanctions, and wrote down another $1.8 billion in assets due to lower commodities prices.Even stripping out the impairments, Chevron’s adjusted loss was $3 billion, more than twice the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey and the deepest since at least 1989.“While demand and commodity prices have shown signs of recovery, they are not back to pre-pandemic levels, and financial results may continue to be depressed into the third quarter 2020,” Chevron said in a statement.Venezuela and low prices aside, Chevron also had a one-off charge of $780 million related to its plan to cut 6,000 jobs, or about 13% of its workforce.Despite the red ink, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth saw an opportunity for expansion amid the rout: The $5 billion, all-stock takeover of Noble Energy Inc. announced less than two weeks ago. The deal comes at a minuscule premium and plugs holes in Chevron’s long-term portfolio, analysts noted.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Apple's 'blowout quarter' a sign of what's to come for iPhone maker: Wedbush analyst

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:10

Apple ‘s (AAPL) “massive home-run type quarter” is a drumroll for whats to come from the iPhone maker, says Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. “To me this was really a massive blowout quarter,” Ives told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

Coronavirus update: Fauci, CDC face Congress as US coronavirus cases spiral higher

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 13:41

The U.S.’s troubled response to the coronavirus pandemic was on display Friday, as the Trump Administration’s top health officials testified before Congress, warning that the virus’ spread would “likely continue for some time.”

Amazon earns FCC approval to launch $10B satellite project

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 13:19

The FCC approved Amazon’s Project Kuiper, allowing the tech company to operate a constellation of 3,236 satellites. Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley shares the details.

Noble Corp. Files Bankruptcy to Erase $3.4 Billion of Debt

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 13:14

(Bloomberg) -- Noble Corp., the offshore drilling contractor, filed for bankruptcy with a plan to cut more than $3.4 billion of debt after a crash in crude prices made undersea oil wells too expensive.The Chapter 11 filing in Texas would eliminate all of the company’s bond borrowings by swapping debt for equity, the company said in a statement. Noteholders agreed to invest $200 million of new capital through second-lien notes, and Noble has lined up a $675 million secured revolving credit facility backed by current lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co.London-based Noble, one of the biggest owners of offshore rigs, failed to cope with a glut of floating drilling capacity that was a decade in the making, as exploration companies shifted focus to cheaper inland shale. The plunge in crude prices made any near-term recovery in offshore drilling even less probable.Noble reported both assets and liabilities of $1 billion to $10 billion, according to the bankruptcy petition. It expects to emerge from Chapter 11 before the end of the year, and will continue operating while in bankruptcy, according to the statement.Its filing adds to the more than 200 bankruptcies by oilfield service companies dating from 2015, according to the law firm, Haynes and Boone LLP. Noble follows competitor Valaris Plc announcing Thursday that it may file for Chapter 11, while Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. filed for bankruptcy in April.The offshore-drilling business enjoyed the highest of highs when oil topped $100 a barrel earlier in the decade. Companies including BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. could lease out an advanced ship for more than $600,000 a day. An army of boats and helicopters took workers and supplies out to these rigs, where meals often included steak and shrimp, and carved ice sculptures adorned lunch rooms.“Facing Uncertainty”Jeremy Thigpen, who runs the industry’s biggest provider of deepwater rigs, Transocean Ltd., said this week he’s not so sure that rivals who emerge from bankruptcy with less debt will have an advantage over his own company.“At least in the interim period, I think we have a decided advantage because we’re not facing that uncertainty and those distractions,” Thigpen said. “I doubt that they are going to come out with a lot of cash and as you well know, it takes a lot of cash to operate and maintain these assets and certainly a lot of cash to reactivate them.”Noble had spent years in litigation after it spun off a chunk of more than 40 of its rigs in 2014 into a new company called Paragon Offshore that later filed for bankruptcy. The legal fight was seen as an overhang on Noble’s shares as it dragged on.As far back as 2017, its dispute was expected to be settled in the range of $150 million to $250 million, according to Susquehanna. But due to Noble’s more recent financial condition, Susquehanna said this month it should be a much lower range.The case is Noble Drilling Holding LLC, 20-33825, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).To see the docket on Bloomberg Law, click here.(Updates with additional details on restructuring and company starting in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

What Is HUYA Inc.'s (NYSE:HUYA) Share Price Doing?

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 12:55

HUYA Inc. (NYSE:HUYA), is not the largest company out there, but it saw a significant share price rise of over 20% in...

10 big reasons to buy Apple stock immediately: analyst

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 12:38

Looking for more reasons to be an Apple shareholder following a blowout quarter? Here you go.

Oppenheimer: These 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks Have Over 50% Upside Potential

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 12:34

Despite COVID-19’s devastating impact on the economy, Oppenheimer’s Chief Investment Strategist John Stoltzfus remains overweight on U.S. equities, and is more bullish on cyclical sectors versus defensive sectors. As for the legitimate concerns about the virus’ re-emergence, Stolzfus argues investors should “consider the reopening setbacks as just that and not something that is permanent.” "In the past week along with legitimate concerns about the recent resurgences of Covid-19 stateside and abroad there was also a resurgence of the “life will never be the same” kind of worry creeping into the theme du jour. We don’t attribute much value to the latter worry as collaborative efforts by scientists across the globe continue at record pace to pursue vaccines to stem the spread of the virus as well as drugs of greater efficacy to treat those who have fallen ill to it," Stoltzfus noted.Applying Stolzfus’ take to its recommendations, Oppenheimer is pounding the table on three stocks in particular. Noting that all three have solid long-term growth prospects, the firm’s analysts believe each has at least 50% upside potential. After running the tickers through TipRanks’ database, it’s clear the rest of the Street is in agreement, with each earning a “Strong Buy” consensus rating.   NuCana PLC (NCNA)Using its ProTide technology, NuCana is working on transforming some of the most widely prescribed chemotherapy agents and nucleoside analogs into more effective and safer medicines. Given its potential to address the key limitations of other therapies, Oppenheimer has high hopes for this healthcare name.Representing the firm, 5-star analyst Leland Gershell points out that nucleoside analogs are commonly used treatments for viral infections and many cancers, but “cellular resistance mechanisms that impede drug entry and activation, as well as enhance breakdown and toxicity, hamper the fuller realization of their therapeutic potential.” NCNA’s technology, on the other hand, uses a prodrug strategy exemplified by Gilead’s HIV and HCV programs to address these issues.NCNA’s lead asset, Acelarin, is in Phase 3 development for front-line biliary tract cancer after the therapy combined with cisplatin demonstrated a superior clinical efficacy signal compared to gemcitabine, the current standard-of-care. “These combinations are being compared head-to-head in a recently initiated Phase 3 in front-line disease, and interim efficacy analyses expected 2022-23 could enable this orphan indication's first approval,” Gershell commented. "We assign a 50% probability of success for Acelarinin biliary tract cancer, assume 35% peak penetration of the target ~18K patient annual incidence, with peak 2028 sales of ~$319M."Adding to the good news, investors could get an update on NUC-3373, NuCana’s second product in clinical development, in the second half of 2020. NUC-3373 is an optimized active metabolite of 5- fluorouracil which is moving towards a registrational Phase 2/3 trial in early-line colorectal cancerLooking at the available data, compared to 5-FU, NUC-3373 was able to generate significantly more anti-cancer activity, required a lower infusion time and had a better tolerability profile. On top of this, a Phase 1b multiple combination therapy trial in advanced colorectal cancer showed the candidate might benefit patients that are refractory to 5-FU, a claim Gershell believes could be validated by the 2H20 results. The implication? Gershell stated, “With 5-FU a standard treatment component for a wide range of cancers, NUC-3373's key advantages position it to become the preferred alternative among the 500,000 U.S. individuals who receive 5-FU annually. Beyond colorectal cancer, NCNA has indicated interest in exploring NUC-3373 in other malignancies treated with 5- FU (e.g., gastric, esophageal cancer).”To this end, Gershell rates NCNA an Outperform (i.e. Buy) along with a $20 price target. Shares could appreciate by 295%, should the analyst’s thesis play out in the coming months. (To watch Gershell’s track record, click here) It’s not often that the analysts all agree on a stock, so when it does happen, take note. NCNA’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on a unanimous 4 Buys. The stock’s $17 average price target suggests a 236% upside from the current share price of $5.08. (See NCNA stock analysis on TipRanks)Milestone Pharmaceuticals (MIST)Hoping to address the unmet needs of patients, Milestone Pharmaceuticals develops therapies for the acute treatment of arrhythmias and other cardiac conditions. Even though the company experienced a setback related to one of its therapies in March, Oppenheimer believes it is back on track.5-star analyst Leland Gershell, who also covers NCNA, acknowledges that there was some uncertainty following NODE-301's primary endpoint miss in March. However, he argues “MIST has emerged from constructive FDA discussions on track to complete etripamil's development in paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) without the need to run a new trial, a solid positive to expectations.”Although NODE-301 wasn’t able to meet the original primary endpoint of time to conversion (TTC), statistical analysis demonstrated that the therapy showed efficacy earlier on when evaluated over shorter periods. Therefore, the FDA agreed to a new statistical analysis plan that defines the primary endpoint as TTC at 30 minutes, so NODE-301 was technically successful. What does this change mean for MIST? Gershell noted, “NODE-301's original five-hour primary analysis period provided time for a sufficient number of placebo subjects to experience spontaneous resolutions, precluding the ability to show a difference. The use of a 30-minute window as the primary assessment retains etripamil nasal spray's value proposition to avoid/reduce emergency department visits, and bodes well for RAPID success.”Originally, the RAPID study (formerly NODE-301B) was set to include 170 participants who had been randomized into the double-blind, event-driven trial but had not experienced an SVT event upon reaching the target event number. Now, the trial will continue until 180 total events have been witnessed, and MIST will re-open enrollment in 2H20 with 1:1 randomization. With top-line data slated for release in late 2021/early 2022, the data readout could reflect a major catalyst.When it comes to its cash position, MIST boasted $102 million as of March 31, with the $25 million private placement by lead shareholder RTW supporting its operations into Q2 2022. This capital was provided in exchange for about 6.66 million pre-funded stock warrants. According to Gershell, this means MIST should have enough funding to reach key catalysts.All of the above makes it clear why Gershell is now standing with the bulls. In addition to upgrading the rating to Outperform, he put an $18 price target on the stock. This brings the upside potential to 117%.Judging by the consensus breakdown, other analysts also like what they’re seeing. 3 Buys and a single Hold add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. Based on the $13.25 average price target, the upside potential lands at 59%. (See MIST stock analysis on TipRanks)InterDigital (IDCC)Counting tech industry titans like Apple, Samsung, LG and Huawei as customers, InterDigital is one of the top R&D companies in the world. With it boasting 32,000 patents, applications in wireless and video technologies and a broad international footprint, Oppenheimer thinks now is the time to get on board.Analyst Ian Zaffino tells clients that IDCC’s product portfolio gives it “significant earnings power.” Expounding on this, he stated, “Its patents are integrated into the major wireless standards and comprise ~6% of all 5G patents, including ones that cover signal power control... Roughly 93% of revenues come from fixed-fee payments, which create a predictable and recurring revenue stream.”Additionally, the company has a history of IP enforcement. Speaking to its efforts on this front, IDCC signed agreements with Samsung in 2014, Apple in 2016 and LG Electronics in 2017. It should be noted that the tech name recently renewed its license with Huawei, which could open the door for licensing deals with other handset makers, in Zaffino’s opinion.Currently, there are five Chinese manufacturers, including Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, Lenovo and TCL, as well as a group of smaller players that use IDCC’s technology without a license. “Over the next several years, we believe the company can ink deals with each one. If we assume each large manufacturer represents ~$30 million-$40 million of annual revenues, IDCC has the potential to generate revenues of ~$500 million and EPS of ~$6,” Zaffino explained.Representing another positive, IDCC recently acquired Technicolor, a move that could pay off big time. According to Zaffino, revenues here would most likely come from “major television manufacturers, including Samsung and LG, who already have relationships with IDCC on the wireless side.” The company also has an opportunity in the IoT space.Everything that IDCC has going for it prompted Zaffino to rate the stock an Outperform (i.e. Buy). The cherry on top? His $90 price target implies a 53% upside from current levels. (To watch Zaffino’s track record, click here) Other analysts back Zaffino’s take. 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells have been assigned in the last three months, so the word on the Street is that IDCC is a Strong Buy. The $94.67 average price target puts the upside potential at 60%. (See InterDigital stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Generac Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE:GNRC) Share Price Not Quite Adding Up

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 12:11

Generac Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE:GNRC) price-to-earnings (or "P/E") ratio of 36.8x might make it look like a strong sell...

Nvidia in Advanced Talks to Buy SoftBank’s Chip Company Arm

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 11:58

(Bloomberg) -- Nvidia Corp. is in advanced talks to acquire Arm Ltd., the chip designer that SoftBank Group Corp. bought for $32 billion four years ago, according to people familiar with the matter.The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the only suitor in concrete discussions with SoftBank, according to the people.A deal for Arm could be the largest ever in the semiconductor industry, which has been consolidating in recent years as companies seek to diversify and add scale. But any deal with Nvidia, which is a customer of Arm, would likely trigger regulatory scrutiny as well as a wave of opposition from other users.Cambridge, England-based Arm’s technology underpins chips that are crucial to most modern electronics, including those that dominate the smartphone market, an area in which Nvidia has failed to gain a foothold. Customers including Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Intel Corp., could demand assurances that a new owner would continue providing equal access to Arm’s instruction set. Such concerns resulted in SoftBank, a neutral company, buying Arm the last time it was for sale.No final decisions have been made, and the negotiations could drag on longer or fall apart, the people said. SoftBank may gauge interest from other suitors if it can’t reach an agreement with Nvidia, the people said. Representatives for Nvidia, SoftBank and Arm declined to comment.Divestment Drive“With Nvidia’s low-cost fabless model enabling it to focus on R&D, engineering and programming, the fit with Arm would be perfect,” said Neil Campling, an analyst at Mirabaud Securities.Nvidia is the largest maker of graphics processors and it’s spreading the use of the gaming component into new areas such as artificial intelligence processing in data centers and self-driving cars. Marrying its own capabilities with central processor units designed by Arm may enable it to take on Intel and Advanced Micro Devices in a more comprehensive way, according to Rosenblatt Securities analyst Hans Mosesmann. He estimates Nvidia would have to pay about $55 billion for Arm.“You need control of BOTH CPU and GPU roadmaps and this, of course, includes data centers,” he wrote in a note Friday, referring to central processing units and graphic processing units. “Strategically, Nvidia needs a scalable CPU that can be integrated into its GPU roadmap, as is the case with AMD and Intel.”Billionaire Masayoshi Son has been selling some of SoftBank’s trophy assets as the company seeks to pay down debt at the Japanese conglomerate. SoftBank has offloaded part of its stake in Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and a chunk of its holdings in wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc.SoftBank has been exploring options to exit part or all of its stake in Arm through a sale or public stock listing, Bloomberg News has reported. The chip-design company could go public as soon as next year if SoftBank decides to proceed with that option, people with knowledge of the matter have said.Arm has become more valuable as it pushes its architecture into smart cars, data centers and networking gear. The company could be worth $44 billion if it pursues an initial public offering next year, a valuation that may rise to $68 billion by 2025, according to New Street Research LLP.Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, is the world’s largest graphics chipmaker. The stock has surged more than twenty-fold in the past five years, giving the company more firepower to do large deals. Nvidia’s market value has increased to more than $260 billion in that time, surpassing Intel. The stock was little changed Friday in New York.(Updates with analyst comment in eighth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

U.S. pledges $2.1B to Sanofi and GSK for 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 11:47

The United States has agreed to pay Sanofi and GSK $2.1 billion for 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani shares the details.

Why Jeff Bezos will not split Amazon stock: Analyst

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 11:41

Amazon saw sales surge in the second quarter as the pandemic fueled online shopping. Loop Capital Markets Analyst Anthony Chukumba joins the On the Move panel to discuss.

Merck to move COVID-19 treatment into large trials, sees sales recovering this year

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 11:41

The U.S. drugmaker said two large trials of the oral antiviral being developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics would begin in September. Merck said it can manufacture "many millions of doses" of the drug before year end. Gilead Sciences Inc's intravenous antiviral remdesivir is currently being widely used as a treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Why Chegg (CHGG) Stock is a Compelling Investment Case

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 11:38

Brown Advisory recently released its Q2 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download here. The Small-Cap Growth Fund posted a return of 34.59% for the quarter, outperforming its benchmark, the Russell 2000 Growth Index which returned 30.59% in the same quarter. You should check out Brown Advisory’s top 5 stock picks for […]

Inovio Pharmaceuticals: COVID-19 Vaccine Not the Only Path to Success

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 10:54

After a market crushing performance during the first half of the year, one of 2020’s best performers has been struggling of late. The last month has seen shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) decline by 27%. The publication of murky data for the biotech’s COVID-19 DNA vaccine candidate INO-4800 and a sense it is lagging behind competitors’ progress have raised concerns amongst investors. Add in an overheated valuation and maybe a sell off was inevitable.As a reminder, despite the souring sentiment, the stock is still up by a majestic 510% on a year-to-date basis.With the public and investors’ focus squarely on COVID-19 related developments, it is easy to forget these companies have other drugs in various states of development.On Thursday, Inovio shares broke out of the downtrend and surged by 9%. For a change the uptick had nothing to do with COVID-19.Which brings us to INO-3107, Inovio’s treatment for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). Inovio announced INO-3107 had been designated Orphan Drug status by the FDA. The status is given to rare diseases with a small addressable market that otherwise not be profitable enough to develop, therefore the government steps in to provide support. The designation should provide Inovio with various incentives, including seven years of market exclusivity should the treatment gain FDA approval, a prescription drug user fee waiver, and tax credits for qualified clinical trials.INO-3107 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 trial with 63 subjects participating in the study. Defined by the growth of noncancerous tumors that can result in life-threatening airway obstructions, there are currently 15,000 RRP cases in the U.S.H.C.Wainwright analyst Ram Selvaraju commented, "These incentives could help the company advance future clinical development of INO-3107 and maximize the DNA medicine’s commercial value, in our view… We believe INO-3107 has the potential to address the underlying recurring virus, delay or eliminate the need for frequent surgery, and provide a long term treatment option to improve the quality of life for both adult and pediatric RRP patients.”However, it is still early days in the drug’s development and for now Selvaraju stays on the sidelines with a Neutral rating. (To watch Selvaraju’s track record, click here)Selvaraju’s colleagues agree. Inovio currently has a Hold consensus rating, based on 2 Buys, 5 holds and 1 Sell. The average price target comes in at $22 and implies shares will remain range bound for now. (See Inovio stock-price forecast on TipRanks)To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Is Weakness In ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) Stock A Sign That The Market Could be Wrong Given Its Strong Financial Prospects?

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 10:37

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) has had a rough month with its share price down 7.6%. However, stock prices are usually...

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