Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pfizer To Take Prescription Nexium Over the Counter-and possibly other drugs as well

British pharmaceutical titan AstraZeneca has sold Pfizer,the world's largest pharma company,the over the counter rights to its prescription heartburn treatment Nexium.Pfizer will pay Astra 250 million dollars up front.After that,Astra is eligible for milestone and royalty payments for product launches and sales of Nexium and any other Astra product Pfizer may take over the counter.
Pfizer projects a 2014 date for commercialising Nexium in the US,pending FDA approval,with other markets to follow.Nexium is currently prescribed for gastroesophageal reflex disease,or GERD,a severe form of heartburn that can damage the esophagus.
Tory Zook,Executive Vice President at Astra,said this agreement will help AstraZeneca realise the substantial,long term value of this brand and potentially other brands in our portfolio.Pfizer CEO Ian Read added that Pfizer Consumer Healthcare will have the opportunity to help more consumers better manage their health,while extending the value of certain important pharmaceutical brands.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer have also signed an agreement giving Pfizer right of first refusal for OTC rights to Rhinocort Aqua,a pump spray which is now prescribed for hayfever and house dust mite allergy,or non-infectious rhinitis.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Honeywell Advances Aircraft Communication

Honeywell International is advancing the way planes communicate with each other,resulting in advantages for both the public and the planet.Honeywell's Aerospace division has developed new pilot software.It enables what are essentially automatic text messages between aircraft.The messages are sent to each aircraft from other aircraft to give a more accurate picture of where everyone is.
Bob Witwer,Vice President of Aerospace Advanced Technology,explained that means that distances between planes can be shortened with a very high degree of safety.The software gives a better sense of situational awareness.The development was made possible by the discovery of communications technology that can do this data exchange,as well as the achievement of raw computing power that enables us to collate all the data.
The FAA has been very strong in this case.It is the first in many improvements that will help aircraft get there faster;save fuel;and protect the environment with lower emissions.We are very confident in this technology,Mr.Witwer said.
Honeywell International has its headquarters in Morristown,New Jersey,and other facilities around the globe.Its operating segments include Aerospace;Automation and Control Solutions;Performance Materials and Technologies;and Transportation Systems.
Honeywell International(HON)

Asia This Day:Billabong Struggles With Tough Conditions

Australian clothing retailer Billabong has suffered its first fiscal year loss since going public in 2001.The group reported the net loss of 275.6 million dollars,and a revenue decline of 7.6%,on Monday.At the same time,it claimed a net profit ex-items of 33.5 million on global sales of 1.55 billion.
The group had hired Goldman Sachs to analyse its situation.Among its problems were poor sales in Europe and Australia;online competition for its brick and mortar stores;and rising raw materials costs.At its height,it operated about 700 stores worldwide.
CEO Laura Inman said that,at an underlying trading level,the Group remains profitable.As previously flagged to the market,the Group's results have been adversely impacted by various significant and exceptional items.In response,the Group has endeavoured to adopt a conservative position,implementing initiatives that will target both cost savings and revenue growth.
Billabong has sold part of its Nixon accessories brand;closed 58 underperforming stores;and reduced costs.It has also identified a further 82 non-performing stores for closure in FY 13.Cost savings of about 30 million are expected to be realised in 2013 from initiatives implemented in 2012.
The Group intends to simplify its business;leverage its Billabong brand;realise the strategic potential of retail;continue to expand Billabong's global e-commerce platform;and globalise and integrate the supply chain.The current challenging trading conditions are expected to continue in FY 13.
There will be no final dividend for FY 12,and none are expected to be paid for the first half of FY 13.Billabong had sold a 48.5% stake of its Nixon brand to Trilantic Partners,plus a further 3% to management,in order to stabilise its balance sheet and fend off an unsolicited bid by TPG Partners.
Billabong produces and markets sportswear and casual clothing,including surfwear,outerwear and accessories.
Billabong International Ltd(ASX:BBG),Goldman Sachs(GS)

Friday, August 24, 2012

MasterCard Steps Up For Cancer Research

From now to September 28,2012,MasterCard is contributing to Stand Up To Cancer when you spend 10 dollars or more for a meal on your MasterCard(R).MasterCard will donate one cent whenever you do so-up to 4 million dollars.Only signature transactions apply,not PIN-based transactions.
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation(EIF),a 501(C)(3)tax-exempt organization.Its goal is to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research,in order to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives.Visit to support the cause.
Dine and be generous.S^2C(TM)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Economy Disappointing,But Not In Recession-the view from Barclays Capital

Recent economic reports serve to refute the notion that the US is in a recession,according to Dean Maki,PhD,Chief US Economist at investment bank Barclays Capital.We believe Q3 will be stronger than Q2.Profits were by and large flat in Q2.That's really disappointed people.
We think people have to trim their expectations.They have to hire,and that cuts into profit growth.That's where we are right now.It could be a rocky road,in our view,within Europe.Ultimately,we do think they will put a handle on things.
Our view is that the Federal Reserve will not launch QE3 in September.With a significant rise in gas prices, spending will be crimped in coming months.Housing is one of the pieces we find we're most sure of in terms of a recovery.We think it will continue.
Dr.Maki has a PhD in economics from Stanford University.The Minnesota native worked as a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve with former Chairman Alan Greenspan.
QE3 would be a further effort by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the US economy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

IBM Is Hiring

IBM has some questions for job seekers.Can you identify trends?Can you think strategically?Are you an innovator?Are you ready to make the world work smarter?Are you an IBMer?
IBM Global Business Services is holding an Invitational Hiring Event on Friday,September 7 from 10am to 4pm in Arlington,Virginia.For a list of openings and to apply to attend,please visit
International Business Machines(IBM)

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Community Involved:The Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation

The 43d annual Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament will be this Saturday and Sunday at the Hershey Country Club.The tournament was started in 1970 by Warren Gittlen as a tribute to his late father Jake,who died of cancer that year.The fundraising event supports the Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center,a world class laboratory that was instrumental in the development of the Gardasil(R) vaccine that prevents human papillomavirus,the leading cause of cervical cancer and also linked to head and neck cancer.The vaccine was initially for young women only,but it is now recommended for boys as well.
Brixton Albert,a native of Lititz,PA,is the defending champion in this important event on the region's golf calendar.Giant Food Stores is again supporting the tournament and the Foundation,along with vendor partners such as PepsiCo;General Mills;Kellogg's;Nestle;and Kimberly-Clark.Shopping at Giant Food Stores and purchasing vendor products supports the Foundation.The food retailer is part of Amsterdam-based Koninklijke Ahold AV.Giant has raised more than 5 million dollars for the Foundation since 1982,and is its main source of funding.
The research lab is currently working on such things as vaccine development,early cancer detection and finding new cancer therapies.
Hershey Country Club is located at 1000 East Derry Road,Hershey PA 17033.
Koninklijke Ahold NV(AHOMY)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Should You Buy Disney Shares

Walt Disney beat the Q2 profit estimate,earning 1.01 per share versus the 0.93 estimate,but missed on sales,racking up 11.1 billion dollars versus the 11.3 billion estimate.It found a lot of studio success with "The Avengers" film.Media Networks and Entertainment and Theme Parks provided most of the income.Media Networks rose 3%,while Theme Parks gained 9%,and the Studio division was flat overall.
Disney's new CarsLand park was well-received.Worldwide TV was driven by higher sales in international markets-the hot places to sell properties.ESPN charges pay TV operators more than anyone else does.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said every one of our businesses were up nicely year over year.The consumer is still flocking to valuable,good product.Spending is up nicely from a year ago.Visibility is still somewhat lacking in advertising.Generally speaking,there is not much visibility in the ad market.ABC had a modest decrease in advertising for the quarter.
Resort spending is up nicely.We have huge strength in ESPN.The Disney Channel has been on fire,in the number one position.We actually see a relatively strong environment for our channels' franchise fees.
We're relatively consumer-facing and global.Europe is troubling us the most.Our businesses in Asia have been quite strong-the Tokyo and Hong Kong theme parks.People are willing to step up for the cruise ship business and expanded parks.We started to ween ourselves off deep discounts.There's still some room to increase prices based on good,fresh product.
It would be fair to view the environment with some degree of caution,but with our product,our outlook is generally favorable.The world is more complex and competitive than ever before.We've got to have a culture of innovation and a strong infrastructure.We've got to figure out a way to get the government moving forward.That's vital for our business.Corporate taxes have to be looked at carefully,Mr.Iger urged.
Walt Disney Company(DIS)

Asia This Day:Australian Miner Looking Bright

Newcrest Mining reported solid Q2 earnings.The Australian gold miner realised a profit of 1.18 billion dollars American,or 1.12 billion Australian,for an increase of 23% on the year.The success was based on higher gold prices.It also raised its output target for 2013.Two new projects are nearing completion in New South Wales and Papua New Guinea.
Japan announced disappointing GDP growth for Q2.It grew 1.4%,versus an estimate of 2.3.The Euro debt crisis;a higher yen value;a sharp fall in private consumption because of less government spending post-tsunami/nuclear disaster;and the end of subsidies for fuel-efficient cars are being blamed for the weak growth.Hong Kong and Singapore have cut their growth forecasts in the bargain as the global slowdown reaches Asia.
Australia's BlueScope Steel is selling 50% of its coated steel business in the US and  Southeast Asia to Japan's Nippon Steel.BlueScope,Australia's largest steelmaker,will get 440 million dollars in the transaction,while Nippon will gain greater access to US and Southeast Asian building markets.The total value of the joint venture is 1.36 billion dollars American,or about 1.29 billion Australian.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index was virtually flat in early Monday trading,down just 0.02%.
Newcrest Mining Ltd.(ASX:NCM),BlueScope Steel Ltd. (ASX:BSL)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympics Commentary:Driving Them Usain

Usain Bolt,one of the most colourful and successful athletes of all time,has no intention of hanging up his track shoes just yet.Indeed,the superstar sprinter said he intends to defend his titles in Rio de Janeiro in four years' time.Bolt,who became the first athlete in history to win the 100 and 200 meter sprints in back to back Olympics on Thursday evening,wants to cement his legacy even further.
Making history is something he's quite self-conscious of.Plenty of ego runs through his veins.At the same time,he said he is keenly aware of his fans as he competes and wants to satisfy them.Their energy powers me,Bolt confided.It is my pleasure to please them,he put it succinctly.He's been compared to the American boxer and fellow Olympian Muhammad Ali,with the blustery statements and clowning around.
The humourous grandstanding is Bolt's way of dealing with the stress of his position.It allows him to realise his gift without losing his mind.For that,he can certainly be forgiven.
Bolt's egotism may also be intimidating to his opponents.It can have strategic value.Such brilliant individuals as Usain Bolt enhance the Olympics in the popular imagination,ensuring their continuance for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Should You Buy JC Penney Shares

Brian Nagel,CFA,Managing Director at Oppenheimer,said we launched coverage of JC Penney with an outperform rating.Many of the concerns about the company are already priced into the stock.As I look out,I think JC Penney is headed in the right direction.
Over the next few years,I see earnings of 3-5 dollars a share.They're finding a new store format that's gonna resonate with consumers in this environment.Their balance sheet will buy them some time as they do this.We've given the stock a price target of 30 dollars.
The Q2 results,which will be reported on Friday,will be messy.I think this is another transitional quarter as their turnaround begins to take hold,Mr.Nagel added.
Mr.Nagel is a Senior Analyst in Hardlines and Broadlines Retail.He has a BSBA from Creighton University.Oppenheimer is a full line brokerage,investment banking and wealth management firm.
JC Penney(JCP),Oppenheimer(OPY)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Asia This Day:Asian Earnings Vaguely Disappoint

More than half of Asian firms have reported disappointing Q2 earnings so far.Of the companies in the MSCI Asia-Pacific index,54% disappointed,as compared with 50% in Q1.Nonetheless,Asian shares rose decisively in early Monday trading,cheered by an uptick in US hiring and hopeful sounds from Greece.
In the Chinese technology sector,Alicia Yap of Barclays said Baidu is definitely a buy because of its market dominance.She also likes NetEase,Inc.Tencent's margins are of concern to her.In general,large customers are being cautious with their pocketbooks.
At the London Olympics Sunday,China still led the medals count,with 61 total and 30 gold;the US stayed second with 60 total and 28 gold;Great Britain ranked third with 37 total and 16 gold;Russia held fourth with 37 total and 4 gold;and Japan came in fifth at 27 total and 2 gold.Jamaica's Usain Bolt retained his 100 meter sprint title;Sanya Richards-Ross became the second US woman in history to take the gold in the 400 meter race.
Romanian gymnast Sandra Izbasa secured the gold in the women's vault final with a steady showing,upsetting media favorite McKayla Maroney of Team USA,who was awarded silver when she landed on her backside.Maria Paseka won the bronze medal.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Who Makes Desenex Foot Powder-and is it any good

Desenex(R) is an antifungal agent made by Novartis Consumer Health,a division of Swiss pharmaceutical titan Novartis.It consists of undecylenic acid/zinc undecylenate,as well as talc and fragrance.Undecylenic acid/zinc undecylenate is a clinically validated antifungal agent for the treatment and cure of superficial fungus infections of the skin,including athlete's foot,jock itch and ringworm.It is not for treatment of the nails or hairy areas.
Desenex is not recommended for children under two,pregnant women or diabetics and others with blood vessel problems without first consulting a physician.It is also available in spray powder and cream forms.In my experience,it is a fast-acting,effective over the counter medication when used according to directions.
Other Novartis Consumer Health brands include Bufferin;Theraflu;and Doan's.
Novartis AG(NVS)