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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Medicis Pharmaceutical, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, First Potomac Realty Trust, Ameriprise Financial and First Industrial Realty Trust

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 16, 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 Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation , Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX - Free Report) , First Potomac Realty Trust , Ameriprise Financial Inc. (AMP - Free Report) ) and First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. (FR - Free Report) ).


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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:


Medicis, Revance Settle Litigation


Privately owned specialty biopharmaceutical company, Revance Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced the termination of its agreements with Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation related to RT001 (botulinum toxin type A topical gel) and RT002 (injectable botulinum toxin type A). Both companies also settled their outstanding litigation.

As per the settlement agreement, Medicis will return worldwide rights to Revance for developing and marketing both RT001 and RT002 for all indications. In return, Medicis will receive an upfront payment of $7 million and up to an additional $18 million from Revance on the achievement of certain events.

The companies will terminate the RT001 option agreement and the RT002 licensing agreement entered in July 2009. However, Medicis will continue to own its current stake in Revance.

We note that in September 2012, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX - Free Report) had announced that it has entered into an agreement with Medicis to acquire the latter for $44.00 per share in cash. The deal value is estimated to be approximately $2.6 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2013.

The Medicis acquisition price represents a 39% premium over the closing price of last trading day (August 31, 2012) before the announcement. The news was viewed positively by investors. The share price of both Valeant and Medicis soared after the announcement.

Medicis Pharmaceutical, a specialty pharmaceutical company, is engaged in the development and marketing of products for the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions in the US. Key products include Solodyn, Perlane, Restylane, Ziana, Dysport and Zyclara.

Our Recommendation

We have a Neutral recommendation on Medicis. Medicis carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.



First Potomac Inks Lease Agreement


Bethesda, Maryland-based First Potomac Realty Trust , a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), recently inked a lease expansion deal with Windspeed Logistics, LLC. As per the deal, First Potomac leased an extra space of 33,150 square feet at the company’s industrial property - Diamond Hill Distribution Center – located in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Diamond Hill Distribution Center comprises of four industrial buildings and spans a total area of 712,500 square feet. The property is located off the Bainbridge Submarket and around three miles away from the company’s other properties in Chesapeake. With the lease expansion agreement, the distribution center is now 95% leased.

Windspeed logistics deals in providing premium services in warehousing, cross-docking, container drayage, distribution, consolidation, import and export and truck brokerage. The company first became a tenant of First Potomac when it leased an initial 27,000 square feet in November 2004 at the distribution center. With the agreement, Windspeed will now occupy over 133,600 square feet of space at the Diamond Hill Distribution Center.

First Potomac is likely to benefit from the agreement as it will increase the company’s rental revenues in the coming quarters. The company expects that the transaction will likely deliver a strong base for the long-term success of the agreement going forward. As a matter of fact, the company has achieved one of the highest tenant retention rates in the industry by providing better quality services to its clients.

First Potomac focuses on ownership, management, development and redevelopment of office and industrial properties in the greater Washington D.C. and Norfolk regions. As of June 30, 2012, the company's consolidated portfolio totaled approximately 14 million square feet comprising of 42% office, 22% industrial properties and 36% business parks. The properties are leased to over 600 tenants, which includes several high class tenants such as Ameriprise Financial Inc. (AMP - Free Report) , Stratford University and A. J. Dwoskin & Associates.

The company, which competes with the likes of First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. (FR - Free Report) , is expected to release its third-quarter 2012 results on October 25. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third quarter FFO (fund from operations) is currently pegged at 28 cents per share.

We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on First Potomac. It also carries a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).



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