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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alleghany, TransAtlantic, Tyson Foods, Tech Data and Amgen

Y TSN TECD AMGN

 ZacksTrade Now

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 22, 2011 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Alleghany ( (Y - Snapshot Report), TransAtlantic ( , Tyson Foods ( (TSN - Analyst Report), Tech Data ( (TECD - Analyst Report) and Amgen ( (AMGN - Analyst Report).

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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

“Super Committee” Anything But

U.S. stock futures are down following reports the the U.S. congressional "super-committee" have again failed to reach an agreement to cut $1.2 trillion in spending. The official deadline for an agreement to be reached is this Wednesday, but nobody seems to be holding out much hope. Perhaps what everyone could agree upon is to take the term "super" out of the name "super-committee."

At 10:00am ET, new data on existing home sales will be released. October numbers are expected to slip to 4.85 million from 4.91 million in September. This, plus the months of supply numbers (8.5 months in September -- notably higher than the normal level of 6 months), are expected to keep downward pressure on home prices.

In mergers and acquisitions news this morning, property and casualty insurer Alleghany ( (Y - Snapshot Report) has agreed to purchase TransAtlantic ( for $3.4 billion.

Tyson Foods ( (TSN - Analyst Report) reported a weaker-than-expected 26 cents per share, down 54% year over year. The Chicken business -- Tyson's "bread and butter," if you'll pardon the expression -- reported a Q4 loss, and the company is cutting chicken production going forward. IT distributor Tech Data ( (TECD - Analyst Report) missed earnings expectations slightly this morning on 7% year-over-year growth.

EU Label Expansion for Amgen Drug

Amgen ( (AMGN - Analyst Report) recently announced that it received approval from the European Commission (EC) for a label expansion of its colorectal cancer product, Vectibix. Amgen gained EU approval for the use of Vectibix as a first-line treatment in combination with FOLFOX and second-line treatment in combination with FOLFIRI in patients with wild-type KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who have received first-line fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy (excluding irinotecan).

Amgen is looking to drive Vectibix sales by expanding the label into second - and first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, which will expand the patient base significantly. Results from two studies (PRIME and ‘181) showed that Vectibix plus chemotherapy (FOLFOX or FOLFIRI) improved progression-free survival in patients with wild-type KRAS mCRC compared to only chemotherapy. Moreover, Amgen reported a higher response rate in the Vectibix plus chemotherapy arm compared to chemotherapy alone.

Vectibix is currently approved in several countries as a monotherapy treatment for wild-type KRAS mCRC patients who are no longer responding to standard chemotherapy. Meanwhile, Vectibix is approved in the US as a monotherapy treatment for patients with EGFR-expressing mCRC after the disease has progressed following or while on treatment with fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy regimens.

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