Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Buzz Stocks: Merck & Co., Inc., AstraZeneca plc (ADR), Activision Blizzard, Inc., and athenahealth, Inc

Today's stocks to watch in the news include MRK, AZN, ATVI, and ATHN

by 5/6/2014 9:19 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

In pre-market trading, the broad-market indexes are churning slightly below breakeven, following the latest round of mixed earnings reports. In company news, here are some stocks to watch today:

  • Germany-based Bayer AG announced it is purchasing Merck & Co., Inc.'s (NYSE:MRK) consumer products unit for $14.2 billion. The agreement -- which MRK expects to close later this year, pending regulatory approval -- gives Bayer the rights to a number of prominent over-the-counter brands, including Claritin allergy medicine and Coppertone sunblock. (USA Today)

  • AstraZeneca plc's (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) heart disease treatment, Epanova, has received approval to be sold in the U.S. According to Thomson Reuters Pharma, industry analysts project the pill's annual sales will exceed $320 million by 2018. (Reuters, via Chicago Tribune)

  • Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) will spend $500 million to create and market its upcoming science fiction videogame Destiny, scheduled for release on Sept. 9. In 2010, ATVI inked a 10-year deal with the game's developer, Bungie, to secure global distribution rights for Destiny. Both parties are hoping the title will turn into a multi-game series. (Reuters)

  • Athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN) shares are sharply lower ahead of the open, after David Einhorn, manager of Greenlight Capital, made a bearish case for the healthcare technology firm at the Sohn Investment Conference yesterday. Einhorn described ATHN as a "bubble" stock, which could fall as much as 80% from its March peak of more than $204 per share. (CNBC)

  • Also, American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) and DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) reported quarterly earnings. (CNBC; Reuters)

  • Finally, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) customers during the past week have posted photos and videos of Doritos chips being refrigerated alongside meats and cheeses. Apparently, this is part of the "Make a walking taco" promotion, but as Consumerist notes, "this still does not explain why [the Doritos are] being refrigerated" (italics original). (Consumerist)

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