Humana Pharmacy Benefit Unit Sale Could Fetch up to $7B
Humana's management is exploring options for its pharmacy-benefit management business including an outright sale of the division, which some say could fetch as much as $7.1 billion. Humana's management, led by CEO Bruce Broussard, said in early May that it would consider alternatives for Humana Pharmacy Solutions. The unit is estimated to produce about $15.5 billion in revenue this year. Analysts say among the options being considered, are renegotiating pricing on generic drugs, outsourcing certain operations or selling the unit altogether. Likely buyers of the pharmacy benefits unit could include CVS Caremark (CVS), Express Scripts (ESRX) and Catamaran (CTRX).
What to Watch on Wall Street for Friday, August 29th 2014
In today's "What to Watch on Wall Street" segment for Friday, August 29th 2014, we take a sneak peek at the financial markets and geopolitical developments that could weigh on market sentiment. NATO and Ukraine will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine. On the earnings front, we're covering discount retailer Big Lots, Inc. (BIG). Also, the U.S. economic report numbers for personal income and consumer spending are both expected to be out Friday morning. For the latest financial news and updates from Wall Street, check back here on TheStreet.com throughout the day.
GlaxoSmithKline Ebola Vaccine Being Fast-Tracked for Human Trials
Human trials of an Ebola vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline are being fast-tracked on growing concern over the outbreak of the disease in West Africa that has killed more than 1,400 people. GlaxoSmithKline says human trials of the candidate vaccine are to be accelerated with funding from an international consortium. The vaccine could be given to healthy volunteers in the UK, Gambia and Mali as early as September. The consortium's funding will also enable manufacturing to begin of up to around 10,000 additional doses of the vaccine so that if the trials are successful, stockpiles could be immediately available to create an emergency immunization program for high-risk communities.
Stocks Pullback From Record Highs, Apple Confirms 'Special Event'
Stocks ended the trading day Thursday pulling back from record highs on the conflict in Ukraine worsening despite positive economic data. Upbeat reports included the GDP which rose to 4.2 percent, better than previously thought. In the jobs market, initial claims fell last week by 1,000. And on the housing front, the Pending Home Sales index rose in July by 3.3 percent. Earnings reports drove shares of Abercrombie and Fitch (ANF) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) lower. Visa (V) was the Dow Jones Industrial's worst performer. The credit card company fell after a downgrade. Apple (AAPL) confirmed it will hold a special event on September 9th. Many are speculating it will be the unveiling of its anticipated products including the iPhone 6 and iWatch.
‘Breaking Bad’ Wins Big, Amazon Taps Twitch & Kite Pharma Flies
AMC’s "Breaking Bad" was the big winner at the Emmy’s this week, taking home the award for best drama series. It was the second straight win for the dark tale of Bryan Cranston’s chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walter White. Meanwhile, Amazon.com said Tuesday it is buying Twitch Interactive for $970 million in cash. Twitch is an online network for people who not only enjoy playing video games, but like watching others play as well. Twitch had 55 million unique visitors in July, up from 20 million in 2012. Finally, shares of Kite Pharma jumped over 20% to more than $26 this week after the biotech announced 12 out of 13 patients in a clinical trial showed some form of remission in their Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after receiving the company’s drug candidate KTE-C19.
RadioShack Races Against Clock as it Weighs Refinancing Options
The Deal's David Marcus interviews colleague Richard Collings, who reports on retail, about the recent travails of RadioShack. The troubled electronics retail chain is racing against the clock as it weighs its options, including a refinancing or a bankruptcy. It is burning through cash rapidly as it is unable to close money-losing locations. RadioShack planned to close up to 1,100 stores earlier this year, a plan that was blocked. Holding up the plan is Salus, which holds a $250 million second-lien loan. There is a covenant on that loan that requires RadioShack to get the lender's approval if it is to close more than 200 stores, but closing those stores would also mean a reduction in inventory. It is that inventory that is being used as collateral to back the loan. RadioShack hopes to get help from hedge fund Standard General, who may aid in arranging financing that might not only buy RadioShack some extra time, but also give it flexibility in closing stores.
Liberty Spins Off TripAdvisor Controlling Stake Into New Entity
Shares of TripAdvisor dropped on Thursday making it TheStreet's Move of the Day. John Malone’s Liberty Interactive Corp announced a day earlier it had finalized the spinoff of its majority voting stake in TripAdvisor. Its 57% stake will now be traded as a separate public company under the name Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings. Liberty had held the controlling interest since acquiring 4.8 million shares of stock in 2012 from IAC chairman Barry Diller and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation. Prior to TripAdvisor’s IPO in December 2011, the company was part of IAC’s media conglomerate.
Moody’s: Nonprofit Hospitals 2013 Revenue Hit Record Low
Moody's latest report on not-for-profit hospitals found revenue growth hit an all-time low for fiscal 2013. For the second year in a row, expenses outpaced revenues, an unsustainable business model. Outpatient services showed a large slowdown from the prior year, which was unexpected. Inpatient services also fell, but that was less surprising. But some for-profit hospital chains like Lifepoint Hospitals (LPNT) and HCA Holdings (HCA) reported higher quarterly profits. Lisa Goldstein, associate managing director at Moody's, spoke with TheStreet's Susannah Lee. Goldstein says they don't see these trends changing in 2014.
NFL: Are You Ready for Some M&A!? Pro Sports Talk from The Deal
It's almost time to kick off the NFL season -- but, where will the Buffalo Bills play, and for which owner? Pro sports M&A has been hot in 2014, as deal activity in virtually every other sector has taken off, and the National Football League isn't the only place for deals. But, big spenders need to be prepared to spend big. In the National Basketball Association, big deals have been cut in Milwaukee and L.A., and that won't be the last one. The Deal's Jonathan Marino and Michael Brown get ready for some football by talking up all the pro sports M&A targets, as well as one league that is set to expand.
Facts You Should Know About Self-Made Billionaire Warren Buffett
Investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett is widely regarded as one of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world. Referred to as the "Oracle of Omaha" for his prowess in business, he is also known for being frugal despite his incredible wealth. Buffet still lives in the same house he bought after getting married in 1952. His foray into investing began when he bought his first stock shares at 11 years old. That experience taught him a valuable lesson that he continues to adhere to when in comes to investing: be patient. Today, Buffett's net worth is close to $67 billion, according to Forbes.