This is our short term rating system that serves as a timeliness indicator for stocks over the next 1 to 3 months. How good is it? See rankings and related performance below.
|Zacks Rank||Definition||Annualized Return|
Zacks Rank Education - Learn more about the Zacks Rank
Zacks Rank Home - All Zacks Rank resources in one place
Zacks Premium - The only way to get access to the Zacks Rank
This page is temporarily not available. Please check later as it should be available shortly. If you have any questions, please email customer support at email@example.com or call 800-767-3771 ext. 9339.
For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – October 10, 2012 – 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 Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Analyst Report), AstraZeneca (AZN - Analyst Report), Roche Holdings Ltd. (RHHBY), Amgen (AMGN - Analyst Report) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Analyst Report).
Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513
Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:
Microsoft Snaps Up PhoneFactor
Software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Analyst Report) recently announced that it has acquired PhoneFactor, a company that uses smartphones for security authentication. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Overland Park, KS-based PhoneFactor is a multifactor authentication (MFA) applications provider selling phone-based products for enterprise applications. Its technology is compatible with both Microsoft enterprise products and platforms from other vendors.
The MFA applications provider already works with many Microsoft products and services, including Outlook Web Access and Internet Information Services, and interoperates with Active Directory.
Management also stated that for now, PhoneFactor will continue to operate independently and sell its products as a stand-alone service with existing pricing and contracts. Upon the completion of the deal however, PhoneFactor's technology will be licensed under Microsoft’s volume licensing contracts.
The multi-factor authentication technology is designed to protect enterprise services and applications from data breaches if user passwords are unethically stolen by a hacker. A user needs more than just a password to log into websites that use PhoneFactor’s technology. A code is to be entered as an added level of identification. This code is sent to the user’s phone via text or an automated phone call.
This type of authentication is specially required in business and enterprise environments, where it is important to protect sensitive information. Hence, the acquisition will enable Microsoft to enhance the security of business mobile applications, its cloud services and other applications.
Microsoft remains one of the best positioned software vendors, given its wide range of products, emerging markets strength, continued technology deployment at data centers and growth in cloud computing. We believe that Microsoft’s current investments are supported by its strong balance sheet and expect these to drive the next growth phase, improving prospects of market share gains.
AstraZeneca Licenses Ardelyx Drugs
AstraZeneca (AZN - Analyst Report) recently announced that it has entered into a global exclusive licensing agreement with Ardelyx for the latter’sNHE3 inhibitors. The deal includes Ardelyx’s lead candidate, RDX5791, an orally administered NHE3 sodium transport inhibitor. RDX5791 is being developed for constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome/IBS-C (phase II) and the prevention of sodium overload in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) and heart disease (completed phase I).
As per the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will make an upfront payment of $35 million and milestone payments of $237.5 million, on the achievement of launch and commercialization targets, to Ardelyx. Additionally, AstraZeneca will pay tiered double-digit royalties on net sales of the candidates developed under the collaboration.
While Ardelyx will conduct the phase II trials, AstraZeneca will bear the subsequent development costs. Meanwhile, Ardelyx also has an option to co-promote RDX5791 in the US, subject to certain pre-specified conditions.
Apart from the licensing agreement, AstraZeneca was also in the news recently when it suspended its share repurchase program. The company has repurchased shares worth $2.3 billion during 2012. The company was targeting net share repurchases of $4.5 billion in 2012. The termination of the share repurchase program will not affect the 2012 earnings guidance of $6.00 - $6.30 per share.
This step was taken by the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pascal Soriot, who joined AstraZeneca in August 2012 from Roche Holdings Ltd. (RHHBY) to maintain flexibility while he reviews AstraZeneca’s annual strategy.
We are encouraged by AstraZeneca’s focus on the high-potential emerging markets. We are pleased with its efforts to expand its pipeline and portfolio through mergers and acquisitions.
The Ardelyx agreement, Ardea acquisition, the Amgen (AMGN - Analyst Report) collaboration and the expansion of the diabetes alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Analyst Report), all represent the company’s efforts in this direction. We expect more such deals in the near term.
However, we remain concerned about the generic competition faced by the company’s key products. In 2011, the company lost revenues worth almost $2 billion to generic competition. The weak late-stage pipeline at AstraZeneca coupled with slow Brilinta uptake also bothers us.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on AstraZeneca. The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.
Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.