Back to top

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Bayer, Novartis, Pfizer, Actelion and Abbott Labs

Read MoreHide Full Article

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 22, 2013 – 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 the Bayer (BAYRY - Free Report) -Free Report), Novartis (NVS - Free Report) -Free Report), Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Free Report) -Free Report), Actelion Ltd. -Free Report) and Abbott Labs (ABT - Free Report) -Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Good News for Bayer from Japan

The HealthCare segment of Bayer (BAYRY - Free Report) -Free Report) recently announced that the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan approved Stivarga for the treatment of patients suffering from gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who have progressed following prior systemic cancer therapy.

The drug’s approval was based on positive results from Bayer’s phase III GRID (GIST – Regorafenib In Progressive Disease) study. Bayer enrolled 199 patients for the study suffering from metastatic and/or unresectable GIST and whose disease has progressed in spite of being previously treated with Novartis’ (NVS - Free Report) -Free Report) Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) and Pfizer Inc.’s (PFE - Free Report) -Free Report) Sutent (sunitinib malate).

Results from the study revealed that patients treated with Stivarga showed a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) in comparison to patients under placebo. Stivarga is also approved in the U.S. for the GIST indication.

We note that this is Stivarga’s second approval in Japan. In Mar 2013, the drug was approved for the treatment of patients suffering from unresectable, advanced/recurrent colorectal cancer (CRC).

Stivarga is already approved in the U.S. for treating patients suffering from metastatic CRC (mCRC), whose disease has progressed even after treatment with standard drugs. Bayer is also seeking EU approval of Stivarga for the treatment of mCRC. In Jul 2013, Bayer received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the approval of Stivarga in the mCRC indication.

A final decision from the EU regulatory authorities on the approval of Stivarga is expected by Dec 31, 2013. We note that though the European Commission is not bound to follow the CHMP’s decision, it generally does so. We believe that further market expansion will boost the drug’s sales potential.

Bayer presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other pharma stocks, such as Actelion Ltd. -Free Report), currently look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Abbott Acquires OptiMedica

Abbott Labs (ABT - Free Report) -Free Report) recently announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of privately-held OptiMedica Corporation for $250 million in cash.

The acquisition was announced in Jul 2013. This acquisition should expand Abbott Labs’ vision care business into the femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery market.

OptiMedica’s Catalys Precision Laser System carries a CE mark in the EU and has been approved in the U.S. as well. This laser system replaces certain manual steps in cataract surgery with precise, image-guided, femtosecond laser technology.

Hence, the acquisition will further boost the cataract surgery business at Abbott Labs’ which currently account for 60% of total sales of the vision care business.

Abbott Labs’s vision care business was up 2% in the second quarter of 2013 driven by solid cataract sales attributed to strong double-digit growth in the emerging markets and Tecnis of intraocular lenses (IOL).

Abbott Labs expects further growth in its cataract business to be driven by several important new product launches in 2013.

Key launches include Tecnis OptiBlue in Japan providing access to the largest segment of the Japanese market and Tecnis Toric in the U.S. enabling Abbott Labs to enter the faster growing premium segment of the IOL market.

Further, Abbott Labs expects to launch Tecnis Preloaded IOL in the U.S. in the second half of 2013 which should propel growth.

Hence, Abbott Labs expects mid-single digit growth (excluding currency translation impact) in the third quarter of 2013 driven by traction in the cataract surgery business.

We are impressed by Abbott Lab’s efforts to drive growth in its promising vision care business.


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.


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.

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; 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.

Get the full Report on (BAYRY - Free Report) - FREE

Get the full Report on (NVS - Free Report) - FREE

Get the full Report on (PFE - Free Report) - FREE

Get the full Report on - FREE

Get the full Report on ABT - FREE

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

Bayer Aktiengesellschaft (BAYRY) - free report >>

Novartis AG (NVS) - free report >>

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) - free report >>

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - free report >>

More from Zacks Press Releases

You May Like