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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Eli Lilly

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 31, 2012 – 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 JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) , Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Free Report) , Citigroup Inc. (C - Free Report) , Wells Fargo & Company (WFC - Free Report) and Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) .


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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:


Foreclosed Home Sales Plunge in 2Q


According to the data released by RealtyTrac, total number of foreclosed properties sold in the second quarter of 2012 decreased 12% from the prior quarter and 22% from the prior-year quarter to 224,429 properties. This was the first annual drop in foreclosed property sales after rising for five consecutive quarters.

Of the total foreclosed properties sold, 107,298 properties were at some stage of foreclosure (down 10% from the prior quarter and 9% from the year-ago quarter), while 117,131 were bank-owned (decreasing 13% sequentially and 31% year over year).

Nevertheless, the sale of pre-foreclosed (in default or scheduled for auction) and bank-owned residential properties was 23% of the total residential sale, increasing from 22% in the prior quarter and 19% reported in the year-ago quarter. In addition, properties that were in the early stage of foreclosure were sold within 319 days on an average, after passing through the foreclosure process. Properties owned by banks that were sold had been repossessed about 195 days before sale.

Further, average selling price of properties was $170,040, up 6% from the first quarter of 2012 and 7% from the second quarter of 2011. The increases were mainly due to limited supply of foreclosed homes and seasonally high demand for homes. This was the first annual jump in average sale price since the second quarter of 2010.

Moreover, the properties were sold at a discount of 32% to the average selling price of non-foreclosed properties. Further, both Nevada and Georgia recorded the highest foreclosed property sales accounting for 43% of all residential home sales, followed by California (40%), Michigan (35% and Arizona (33%).

The plunge in foreclosed property sales primarily resulted from a large number of pending foreclosure cases that were on hold as the mortgage servicers sorted out the foreclosure mess. Now, with the announcement of the $25 billion settlement deal between five mortgage servicers – JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) , Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Free Report) , Citigroup Inc. (C - Free Report) , Ally Financial Inc. and Wells Fargo & Company (WFC - Free Report) , 49 states’ attorneys general and the regulators, the number of properties entering foreclosure process has elevated.

This, in turn, is expected to lead to higher foreclosed property sales in the upcoming quarters. Further, the lenders are in support of short-sales, which is a quicker way of retrieving some amount from their mortgages than waiting for foreclosures (a more expensive and time-consuming process).

However, overcoming the foreclosure crisis is expected to take some time. Also, home prices across the nation will be pressurized as many properties are apprehended to come to the market due to increased foreclosure activities. Though the huge surge in foreclosures may dampen the housing prices in the near term, this will enable the housing market to revive over the longer term.




Eli Lilly’s R&D Setbacks


Just a few days after reporting disappointing phase III data on its Alzheimer’s candidate, Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) recently announced that it is shelving its plans for the phase III development of its schizophrenia candidate, pomaglumetad methionil (mGlu2/3).

Eli Lilly’s decision to discontinue phase III development of the candidate was based on an independently conducted futility analysis, which indicated that the candidate would fail to achieve its primary endpoint in the HBBN study. We note that pomaglumetad methionil failed to achieve its primary endpoint in a phase II study, HBCO, which was conducted to evaluate the candidate as an adjunctive treatment with atypical antipsychotics.

Eli Lilly expects to take a charge of $25 - $30 million (pre-tax) or 2 cents per share in the third quarter of 2012 due to the discontinuation of the phase III development of the candidate.

The announcement regarding the discontinuation of phase III development of pomaglumetad methionil is the latest in a series of pipeline setbacks faced by Eli Lilly in the past few days.

Earlier this week, Eli Lilly and Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited presented data on Effient (prasugrel) from a head-to-head phase III study - TRILOGY ACS (TaRgeted platelet Inhibition to cLarify the Optimal strateGy to medicallY manage acute coronary syndromes). Results showed that Prasugrel plus aspirin failed to achieve statistical significance.






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