Monthly Archives: December 2016

Top Financial Stocks To Invest In 2017

On September 20th, the BoJ recently convened for what was one of its most anticipated meetings to discuss its “monetary policy review”. Most notably, rather than approach the situation from the liquidity perspective with an asset purchase or rate cut announcement – the so-called “shock-and-awe” tactic, the modus operandi of the BoJ – the bank essentially opted to tweak its policy framework in a more nuanced approach reminiscent of the Fed’s Operation Twist. Here are the three most important takeaways from the BoJ’s meeting:

The BoJ will target the yield curve, i.e. purchase/sell Treasury securities by maturity to control the shape/behavior of the yield curve, presumably to support the recent steepening of the yield curve, to allay concerns about financial stability, and to support lending activity. The BoJ will supplant Nikkei 225 ETF purchases for more TOPIX ETFs. Investors have complained for years about the BoJ’s arbitrary handling of equity/exchange-traded fund pu rchases which heavily favored Nikkei 225 companies, leaving out many of Japan’s mid-to-small-size businesses. By reducing Nikkei 225 purchases and expanding to the TOPIX and JPX-Nikkei 400, the BoJ seems to have finally responded to the market’s concerns. Interestingly, the BoJ also abandoned its monetary base target; the BoJ will simply expand the monetary base by as much as is necessary until inflation reaches above and beyond the 2% target in a stable manner. This is becoming a theme at the Fed and ECB now as well: whether this is a cause for confidence or a sign of desperation is up to interpretation.

What I am more concerned with is recent trading activity of Japanese financial equities (NYSEARCA:DXJF), that is, how the market perceives the impact of the BoJ’s latest policy decisions on Japanese banks and other financial institutions. The recent steepening of the yield curve had already prompted market participants to buy back into Japanese financials, and now this latest BoJ meeting has caused these equities to recover significantly… albeit still in a repressed manner.

Top Financial Stocks To Invest In 2017: Wolverine World Wide, Inc.(WWW)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Benzinga's newsdesk monitors options activity to notice unusual patterns. These large volume (and often out of the money) trades were initially published intraday in Benzinga Professional . These trades were placed during Monday’s regular session.

    Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE: PIR) Dec16 5.0 Puts Sweep: 1191 @ ASK $0.80: 1354 traded vs 102 OI: $5.32 Ref Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA) Jul16 9.5 Puts Sweep: 1494 @ ASK $0.13: 14k traded vs 6682 OI: $10.09 Ref Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT) Jul16 10.0 Puts: 3536 @ ASK $0.50: 5506 traded vs 54k OI: Earnings 8/4 $22.50 Ref Tableau Software Inc (NYSE: DATA) Jul16 47.5 Puts Sweep: 837 @ ASK $0.30: 995 traded vs 37 OI: Earnings 8/3 $50.60 Ref Yandex NV (NASDAQ: YNDX) Aug16 18.0 Puts Sweep: 532 @ ASK $0.30: 2143 traded vs 78 OI: Earnings 7/28 Before Open $22.02 Ref Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) Aug16 22.5 Puts: 719 @ ASK $1.35: 1032 traded vs 0 OI: Earnings 7/19 $22.22 Ref Conn's Inc (NASDAQ: CONN) Jan17 5.0 Puts Sweep: 605 @ ASK $0.85: 1355 traded vs 3132 OI: $7.16 Ref

    Posted-In: Huge Put PurchasesNews Options Markets

Top Financial Stocks To Invest In 2017: CF Industries Holdings, Inc.(CF)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Cameron Saucier]

    Worst-Performing S&P 500 Stocks No. 3: CF Industries Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CF)

    CF Industries makes nitrogen fertilizer and other nitrogen products.

  • [By Michael Flannelly]

    CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF) announced early on Monday that its Chairman and Chief Executive Office Stephen R. Wilson will step down and retire as CEO effective January 1, 2014.

    W. Anthony Will, CF Industries’ Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Distribution, has been selected to succeed Wilson as CEO on January 1, 2014. Mr. Wilson will remain with the company as a director and serve as non-executive chairman.

    Mr. Will joined CF Industries in 2007 as the company’s first vice president of corporate development. He was promoted to his present position in 2009 and has been responsible for annual production of 15 million tons of fertilizer and its distribution through some 70 locations.

    CF Industries Holdings shares were up $5.47, or 2.82%, during pre-market trading on Monday. The stock is down 4.59% year-to-date.

  • [By Robert Rapier] While the MLP space is dominated by the oil and gas sector, in last week’s article we began to explore some of the more exotic master limited partnership offerings. This week we continue our exploration of nontraditional MLPs by looking at the partnerships supplying fertilizer.

    Rentech (Nasdaq: RTK) has been around for more than a decade, and it has shifted strategies several times. Full disclosure: Rentech’s Chief Technology Officer Harold Wright is a former manager of mine when we were both at ConocoPhillips, and I have visited Rentech’s facility in Commerce City, Colorado.

    For most of Rentech’s existence, the company has sought to commercialize alternative fuels. At one time it had ambitions to build a large coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant, but federal legislation ultimately nudged it instead into the biomass-to-liquids (BTL) space. The company did build a BTL demonstration plant, but ultimately shut it down and has now refocused its effor ts on becoming “one of the largest wood processing companies in the world.”

    During its interesting journey as a company, Rentech acquired two ammonia nitrogen fertilizer facilities, which turned out to be a profit center that funded the alternative energy research. In November 2011, Rentech spun off this fertilizer business into an MLP called Rentech Nitrogen Partners LP (NYSE: RNF).

    In the months leading to the spin-off, RTK’s market capitalization was about $200 million. Rentech maintained 60 percent ownership of RNF, and three months after the spin-off RTK’s market cap had risen to $400 million, while investors had bid RNF up to $1 billion. Interestingly, RTK’s share of RNF was worth more than RTK’s entire market cap, a situation that persists. The market currently values Rentech at $482 million, while the valuation of Rentech Nitrogen Partners makes RTK’s 60 percent stake in RNF worth slightly more than $600 million — another illu

Top Financial Stocks To Invest In 2017: Honeywell International Inc.(HON)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laurie Kulikowski]

    HON is our top pick and a core EE/MI holding. While fundamentals are not best-in-class, we see HON as the best Energy play within the group with overall profit growth continuing to stand out next year, driven by high business quality and ongoing execution around cost and margins. And with ’17 the "inflection" year for revenues and Elster accretion, coupled with plenty of balance sheet optionality, we believe the stock deserves to trade at a premium versus an average discount across a range of metrics, including an adjustment for pension. 

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Oppenheimer’s Ari Wald compare the current market to 1983, and recommend owning top-performing economically sensitive stocks like 3M (MMM), Microsoft (MSFT), and Honeywell International (HON) before the S&P 500 breaks out:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) is one of the largest conglomerates out there, but it is often overlooked as a broad economic indicator like some of the companies. Maybe its $88 billion market cap just isn’t big enough these days in the world where companies need to have $100 billion market capitalization ratesto be megacaps.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    RBC’s Deane Dray and team worry that valuations of industrial stocks like General Electric (GE), Danaher (DHR), Honeywell International (HON), Ingersoll-Rand (IR) and Pentair (PNR) have gotten ahead of themselves and recommend a “barbell strategy” when playing the sector. They explain:

  • [By Mitchell Clark]

     Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) is its own diversified powerhouse in aerospace. This particular industry is doing far better than the general economy.

    Honeywell’s recent quarterly results were very good. The company backed its 2016 sales and earnings outlook, which really pleased the market.

    This stock is not overpriced and prospects for rising dividend payments going forward remain excellent.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Deutsche Bank’s John Inch and Karen Lau argue that Honeywell International (HON) is “achieving Asian critical mass.” They explain:

    After over a decade of aggressive and earnest Asian investment including seed planting and cultivation of local Asian talent, we believe Honeywell has emerged from behind other western countries in China and the rest of Asia to leading position across its served markets. Honeywell claims (and we believe it is true) that it has become the Chinese/Asian competitor that local rivals look to emulate. Honeywells profit margins in China are above the corporate averages across the companys businesses. Meanwhile, we learned that Honeywell is sometimes even the local price leader, such as for scanning and mobility products.

    Within China, we estimate Honeywells sales to be closing in on $2.8bn (6-7% of company total), roughly flat last year (dragged last year by PMTs down results due to the collapse in oil prices and associated project deferral), up low to mid single-digits this year (ACS is running up double-digits YTD) and up double-digits next year (and beyond). As part of the $2.8bn, the company reportedly has realized ~$750mm in sales that it classifies as East for East (E4E) developed and produced almost entirely in local markets for local customers (i.e., ACS and turbo with some PMT product applications). We believe the $750mm to be a laudable achievement particularly given the rapid pace of change of Chinas economy over the past decade coupled with aggressive local competition. Honeywell retains #1/#2 positions across a swath of the markets it serves.

    Honeywells achievement of Chinese critical mass opens lots of new doors for the company, in our opinion, including talent attraction/retention and new partnership opportunities. Many of these doors would appear to lead to accelerating future sales. The other prospective benefit of critical mass specifica

Best China Stocks To Buy For 2017

Citigroup’s Itay Michaeli and Justin Barell contend that the third quarter is “not a quarter where many debates get settled,” they still expect good things from General Motors (GM), as well as suppliers like Delphi Automotive (DLPH), Lear (LEA), Magna International (MGA), Mobileye (MBLY), and American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (AXL). They explain:

Getty Images

Q3 global auto production appeared broadly in-line with last quarters industry forecasts as NA & Europe ran modestly softer while China was stronger. Net-net a mixed global environment but not one that suggests major Q3 surprises either way. We expect companies to generally convey outlooks consistent with prior ranges albeit with some understandable caution related to FX moves, Brexit-related uncertainties and pockets of high U.S. inventory (note the Oct U.S. SAAR appears off to a decent start running at mid-17mln). Though we dont expect many companies to convey formal 2017 outlooks, suppliers with strong backlogs (Delphi Automotive, Lear, Magna International, Mobileye, Axle amongst others) and automakers with product cycles & self-help (General Motors) could convey relatively more confident directional tones for next year. Auto stocks have mostly underperformed this year on persistent peak auto concerns. Valuations arent demanding, in our view, as s everal auto stocks trade at mid/high single-digit PEs and even those with secular growth exposures trade at significant discounts to multi-industrials. That said, Q3 is generally not a quarter where many debates get settled as investors tend to quickly turn their attention to the coming year and related Jan outlook announcements…

Best China Stocks To Buy For 2017: Clean Diesel Technologies Inc.(CDTI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDTI) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.18 per share on revenue of $10.25 million.

    Sphere 3D Corp. (NASDAQ: ANY) is estimated to post a quarterly loss at $0.11 per share on revenue of $22.10 million.

Best China Stocks To Buy For 2017: Baidu Inc.(BIDU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Carlson, CEO and Portfolio Manager, Horizon Investment Services]

    One of my favorites is Baidu (BIDU), the Chinese search-engine company. You may recall I selected Baidu as one of my favorite turnaround stocks at the beginning of 2013.

  • [By Motif Investing]

    The most heavily weighted names in the motif are China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: CHL), Aibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU), India's HDFC Bank (NYSE: HDB) and Russia's Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (NYSE: MBT).

  • [By Vincent Ho]

    Baidu (BIDU) has made impressive gains in the last 3 months. There are some very insightful articles on SA that argue for a bullish stance based on valuations. There are other articles on SA which cover the recent acquisition of 91 Wireless. This article is different in that it offers an overview of Baidu’s business model in relation to its dependence on online advertising. Understanding the direction of the internet is important to predict future revenue growth. Significantly new competition from Qihoo (QIHU) is also something Baidu has never experienced before. There are doubts if Baidu has enough tools to clean up its act and regain market share.

  • [By Benzinga News Desk]

    USA GDP (QoQ) for Q3 2.90% vs 2.50% consensus estimate. The prior reading was 1.40%.

    The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for October will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET. The Baker Hughes North American rig count for the latest week is schedule for release at 1:00 p.m. ET. BZ News Desk Focus ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) Reports Q3 EPS $0.63 vs $0.58 Est., Sales $58.68B vs $61B Est. Mastercard (NYSE: MA) Reports Q3 EPS $1.08 vs $0.98 Est., Sales $2.9B vs $2.75B Est. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Reports Q3 GAAP EPS $0.52 vs. Est. $0.78 May Not Compare, Rev. $32.7B vs. Est. $32.69B Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) Reports Q3 Adj. EPS $1.49 May Not Compare to $0.88 Est., Sales $2.74B vs $2.71B Est. Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Reports Q3 EPS $9.06 vs. Est. $8.64, Rev. $22.45B vs. Est. $22.05B Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) Reports Q3 Adj. EPS $1.05 vs $0.88 Est. Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) Reports Q3 EPS $0.83 vs $1.08 Est; Revenue $11.109B vs $11.50B Est Hershey (NYSE: HSY) Reports Q3 Adj. EPS $1.29 vs $1.19 Est., Sales $2B vs $2B Est. Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) Reports Q3 non-GAAP EPS $3.02 vs $2.79 Est, Rev $5.8B vs $5.73B Est Xerox (NYSE: XRX) Reports Q3 Adj. EPS $0.27, Inline, Sales $4.2B vs $4.31B Est. Sell-Side Themes

    World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WW) received a pair of downgrades after its earnings report came in below estimates.

  • [By R. Chandrasekaran]

    The brokerage picked up Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) and Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) (OTC: TCTZF) for demonstrating solid progress in increasing their user engagement by launching content and services. On the other hand, Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BIDU) is witnessing a loss in the user engagement. The lead analysts think the companies are well-placed to take advantage of user engagement, including social media.

Best China Stocks To Buy For 2017: Renesola Ltd.(SOL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) is estimated to report a quarterly loss at $0.04 per share on revenue of $256.05 million.

    America’s Car-Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRMT) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.58 per share on revenue of $149.13 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) shares rose 9.76 percent to $1.35 in pre-market trading. ReneSola reported Q1 earnings of $0.06 per share on revenue of $260.7 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Wall Street expects ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) to report a quarterly loss at $0.04 per share on revenue of $256.05 million. ReneSola shares gained 2.50 percent to close at $1.23 on Friday.

Best China Stocks To Buy For 2017: Netease.com Inc.(NTES)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    NetEase Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: NTES) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $14.92 per share on revenue of $7.85 billion.

    Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE: NP) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $1.09 per share on revenue of $244.90 million.

Best China Stocks To Buy For 2017: Sina Corporation(SINA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    SINA Corp (NASDAQ: SINA) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.05 per share on revenue of $189.47 million.

    Eldorado Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE: EGO) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.01 per share on revenue of $188.91 million.

Best China Stocks To Buy For 2017: Euro/Yen(EJ)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Belinda Cao]

    E-House China Holdings Ltd. (EJ), a real estate brokerage, gained 9.2 percent to $9.70, extending it advance to a third week. Its American depositary receipts retreated 3.1 percent Sept. 20 from the highest level since May 2011.

Top China Stocks To Watch Right Now

The following stocks were moving the Services sector today.

Some of the biggest gainers among Services stocks include:

Virtusa Corporation (VRTU): VRTU stock is up 7.24% today. Rent-A-Center Inc (RCII): RCII stock is up 6.69% today. Twitter Inc (TWTR): TWTR stock is up 6.91% today. Asure Software (ASUR): ASUR stock is up 4.99% today. Aaron’s Inc (AAN): AAN stock is up 5.55% today. Egain Corporation (EGAN): EGAN stock is up 2.38% today. Paylocity Hldng Corp (PCTY): PCTY stock is up 4.29% today. China Distance Education Holdings (DL): DL stock is up 4.27% today. Rapid7 Inc Cmn Stk (RPD): RPD stock is up 5.1% today. Moneygram Intl Cmn (MGI): MGI stock is up 3.49% today.

Some of the biggest losers among Services stocks include:

Applied Dna Scns Cmn (APDN): APDN stock is down 9.78% today. T S R Inc (TSRI): TSRI stock is down 4.96% today. Internet Init Jap (IIJI): IIJI stock is down 4.6% today. Wowo Ltd Ads (JMU): JMU stock is down 2.29% today. Cascadian Therapeutics Inc (CASC): CASC stock is down 3.91% today. Maxpoint Intrctv Cmn (MXPT): MXPT stock is down 3.75% today. Sorrento Therpt Cmn (SRNE): SRNE stock is down 3.7% today. Radnet Inc (RDNT): RDNT stock is down 3.2% today. Attunity Ltd (ATTU): ATTU stock is down 3.97% today. Gridsum Holding Inc (GSUM): GSUM stock is down 2.89% today.

For more information on the best stocks to buy right now, check out the latest commentary on InvestorPlace.com.

Top China Stocks To Watch Right Now: Netease.com Inc.(NTES)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    NetEase Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: NTES) is estimated to post its quarterly earnings at $14.92 per share on revenue of $7.85 billion.

    Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE: NP) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $1.09 per share on revenue of $244.90 million.

Top China Stocks To Watch Right Now: Baidu Inc.(BIDU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Javier Hasse]

    The top gainers in the index were:

    Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BIDU), up 8.16 percent Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM), up 5.95 percent

    The top losers in the index were:

  • [By Vincent Ho]

    Baidu (BIDU) has made impressive gains in the last 3 months. There are some very insightful articles on SA that argue for a bullish stance based on valuations. There are other articles on SA which cover the recent acquisition of 91 Wireless. This article is different in that it offers an overview of Baidu’s business model in relation to its dependence on online advertising. Understanding the direction of the internet is important to predict future revenue growth. Significantly new competition from Qihoo (QIHU) is also something Baidu has never experienced before. There are doubts if Baidu has enough tools to clean up its act and regain market share.

  • [By Charles Carlson, CEO and Portfolio Manager, Horizon Investment Services]

    One of my favorites is Baidu (BIDU), the Chinese search-engine company. You may recall I selected Baidu as one of my favorite turnaround stocks at the beginning of 2013.

Top China Stocks To Watch Right Now: Clean Diesel Technologies Inc.(CDTI)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDTI) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.18 per share on revenue of $10.25 million.

    Sphere 3D Corp. (NASDAQ: ANY) is estimated to post a quarterly loss at $0.11 per share on revenue of $22.10 million.

Top China Stocks To Watch Right Now: Renesola Ltd.(SOL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) is estimated to report a quarterly loss at $0.04 per share on revenue of $256.05 million.

    America’s Car-Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRMT) is projected to post its quarterly earnings at $0.58 per share on revenue of $149.13 million.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Wall Street expects ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) to report a quarterly loss at $0.04 per share on revenue of $256.05 million. ReneSola shares gained 2.50 percent to close at $1.23 on Friday.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    ReneSola Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE: SOL) shares rose 9.76 percent to $1.35 in pre-market trading. ReneSola reported Q1 earnings of $0.06 per share on revenue of $260.7 million.

Top China Stocks To Watch Right Now: Sina Corporation(SINA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    SINA Corp (NASDAQ: SINA) is projected to post a quarterly loss at $0.05 per share on revenue of $189.47 million.

    Eldorado Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE: EGO) is expected to post a quarterly loss at $0.01 per share on revenue of $188.91 million.

Top China Stocks To Watch Right Now: Euro/Yen(EJ)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Belinda Cao]

    E-House China Holdings Ltd. (EJ), a real estate brokerage, gained 9.2 percent to $9.70, extending it advance to a third week. Its American depositary receipts retreated 3.1 percent Sept. 20 from the highest level since May 2011.

Why Is AbbVie A Strong Buy In 2016? Part 4

In part 1, part 2, and part 3 of this series, I covered AbbVie’s (NYSE:ABBV) immunology portfolio and growth prospects of leading oncology drugs, Imbruvica and Venclexta. In this article, I will briefly cover the potential of promising oncology drugs and technologies in AbbVie’s portfolio.

Veliparib works by inhibiting DNA repair process

To better understand the value of PARP inhibitor, Veliparib, in AbbVie’s research pipeline, we first need to be aware of the mode of functioning of this drug and its capability to treat multiple cancers.

As shown in the diagram, Veliparib inhibits functioning of an enzyme called PARP. This enzyme is required to repair the single strand DNA damage in cells.

Veliparib is being tested in patients suffering with BRCA-related cancers as well as those patients with somatic changes in DNA repair. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that produce proteins required to repair double strand breaks in DNA. However, in cases of abnormal mutations of these genes, the resulting proteins are not formed properly or are altered. This affects the DNA repair process in cells which can subsequently increase probability of cancers such as breast and ovarian cancers in women.

PARP inhibitors prevent process of single strand DNA repair in tumour cells which further results in double strand breaks during replication. BRCA1 abd BRCA2 mutations further prevent repair of double strand DNA breaks, finally resulting in death of the tumour cell. Since there are no abnormal BRCA mutations in norm al cells, they continue to survive despite inhibition of the PARP DNA repair mechanism.

Veliparib has managed to demonstrate efficacy as a combination therapy in non small cell lung cancer

AbbVie is currently exploring Veliparib, both as a monotherapy as well as in combination with other chemotherapy agents. The drug has managed to demonstrate efficacy equal to any other PARP inhibitor when administered as single agent in BRCA-related recurrent ovarian cancer.

However, compared to chemotherapy, Veliparib in combination with chemotherapy agents has managed to demonstrate increase in overall survival from 5.5 months to 12.5 months in patients suffering with non small cell lung cancer or NSCLC. Now the selected trial subjects were also smokers and hence were suffering with greater DNA damage. Hence, the positive results achieve further significance as Veliparib was tested mainly on difficult-to-treat NSCLC patients.

On November 04, 2016, U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA granted orphan drug designation to Veliparib as a therapy for p atients suffering with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer or NSCLC, in combination with chemotherapy agents such as carboplatin and paclitaxel or with radiation therapy.

AbbVie is also exploring combination therapies involving Veliparib and chemotherapy agents in multiple other BRCA-related and non-BRCA tumours. Coupled with Imbruvica and Venclexta, Veliparib can thus become an important addition to AbbVie’s oncology portfolio.

Veliparib, however, will face competition from other PARP inhibitors

While data from mid-stage clinical trials of Veliparib in combination with chemotherapy for NSCLC has been positive, the drug will have to compete with multiple other PARP inhibitors such as Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) talazoparib and Astrazeneca’s (NYSE:AZN) olaparip. Olaparib is already approved by U.S. food and Drug Administration or FDA for BRCA-related advanced ovarian cancer. While the drug in combination with chemotherapy failed to report positive data i n Phase 3 trials for advanced gastric cancer, Olaparib is still very much a strong competition in other BRCA-related cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Then there is Talazoparib from Medivation, now belonging to Pfizer (PFE). Many analysts have been claiming that talazoparib will be one of the best performers in the PARP inhibition class of drugs. This is attributed to its high potency for PARP enzyme inhibition as well as high antitumor activity, as compared to other PARP inhibitors.

Talazoparib and olaparib may prove more effective than Veliparib, as the former also function by PARP trapping mechanism in addition to PARP inhibition. Veliparib, however, may benefit from entering the market ahead of talazoparib.

ABT-414 is being developed to treat Glioblastoma, an area with significant unmet demand

AbbVie is also developing an antibody drug conjugate, ABT-414, for treating glioblastoma patients. Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain tumour and kills about 95% of the diagnosed patients. Around 28,000 people in the world are diagnosed with this disease annually. Even after aggressive chemotherapy , median survival is only 14 months and five-year survival rate is abysmal at less than 5%.

The above diagram shows how ABT-414 binds selectively to the epitope in epidermal growth factor or EGFR on activation and expressed on tumor cell. Since this activation, caused due to genetic amplification or certain genetic mutations, is seen in half of the glioblastoma patients, ABT-414 has the potential to become an effective therapy for these patients. Further, since ABT-414 only targets activated EGFR, it may also result in lower probability of skin rashes which is generally an adverse event found during use of other EGFR inhibitors.

Preliminary clinical trial data demonstrated that about half of the glioblastoma patients respond to ABT-414and witness tumor shrinkage. Based on these positive results, AbbVie has been exploring ABT-414 in both front-line as well as relapsed glioblastoma patients. These studies are currently active in 30 countries and are conducted in collaboration with recognized academic groups such as European Organization for Research and Treatme nt of Cancer or EORTC and Radiation Therapy Oncology Group or RTOG. Further, AbbVie is also using biomarkers in these trials to better identify patient segments that can claim the maximum benefit from this drug.

AbbVie anticipates data from Phase 3 trial exploring ABT-414 in combination with temozolomide for first-line glioblastoma indication in 2019. Data from Phase 2 trial evaluating ABT-414 in combination with temozolomide for second-line glioblastoma indication is expected in 2017. Results from Phase 2 trial evaluating ABT-414 as monotherapy in glioblastoma in Japan is expected in 2018.

While we have discussed most of AbbVie’s oncology pipeline, there is one important investigational drug that has been missing in our series. It is Rova-T, the promising oncology drug obtained by AbbVie through acquisition of Stemcentrx.

In the next article, I will explain why Rova-T can prove to be a strong growth opportunity for AbbVie.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Top 5 Insurance Stocks To Watch For 2017

Warren Buffett-ledBerkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) has been on a tear following the US Presidential election. The BRK.A stock is up 12.2% since November 8, outperforming the S&P 500 (INDX:SPAL), which is up 6% in the same period. While Buffett was a clear and staunch supporter of Hillary, it could come across as a surprise that investors have been buying BRK.A stock in droves. Can Berkshire Hathaway maintain its strong uptrend? Well, while the stock seems to be on a run, this rally could be far longer taking the stock higher under the Trump Presidency. Berkshire Hathaway looks set for a big 2017. Here is why.

A Higher Interest Rate

There has been a constant chatter about higher inflation and higher interest rates under the Trump administration. Higher Interest rates could well be the first big win for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Why? Remember the various Insurance businesses they operate?Berkshire has numerous insurance subsidiaries including GEICO, Central States Indemnity, General RE, National Indemnity, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, and others. These will all see a twin benefit from aTrump Presidency. Firstly, higher Inflation rates should have a direct positive impact on Insurance premiums, which means that Berkshire’s ‘Insurance float’, which is central to any insurance business will see a rise in the coming years. (See also: Berkshire Stock: Trump Is Good News For Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway)

Top 5 Insurance Stocks To Watch For 2017: American International Group Inc.(AIG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    BMO’s Charles Sebaski explains why he upgraded American International Group (AIG) to Outperform from market Perform:

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    AIG has been trading at discount to its tangible book given its mid-single digit return profile; however, we expect AIGs valuation to keep increasing with its improving return profile. We are now forecasting AIG to generate a 9.9% operating return on tangible common equity (ROtE) in 2018, which would be a 450 bp improvement from 2016. A double-digit return profile warrants the 1x multiple that we are applying to its tangible book value per share. While we expect AIGs return profile to benefit from lower taxes, we also expect the companys life and retirement business to improve from the rising interest rates as those spread businesses are more interest rate sensitive than the P&C business. That said, we expect continued improvement on both the loss and expense sides of the P&C as contributing factors to the ROtE improve.

    BMO also upgraded Arch Capital Group (ACGL), Brown & Brown (BRO), and Travelers (TRV).

    Shares of American International Group have declined 0.4% to $65.60 at 3:36 p.m. today, whileArch Capital Group has gained 2% to $87.90,Brown & Brown has advanced 0.5% to $44.65, andTravelers has risen 1.3% to $120.79.

  • [By Diane Alter]

    The last time a Dow shake-up caused such a stir was in April 2004, when AT&T (NYSE: T), Eastman Kodak (currently in bankruptcy proceedings), and International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP) were removed and replaced with American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

  • [By David Sterman]

    My favorite insurers: AIG (NYSE: AIG) (which I discussed a few months ago), Protective Life (NYSE: PL) and Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA).

Top 5 Insurance Stocks To Watch For 2017: Aon Corporation(AON)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    We’re seeing the exact same price pattern playing out in shares of $29 billion risk and insurance consultancy firm Aon plc (AON) . Aon has been a strong performer for all of 2016, up 20% since the calendar flipped to January. But don’t worry if you’ve missed the move – an ascending triangle pattern is signaling a second leg higher here. For Aon, the breakout level to watch is resistance up at $113.

  • [By Reuters]

    Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images NEW YORK — Walgreen is moving 120,000 employees to a private health insurance exchange from coverage provided directly from carriers, the company will announce Wednesday. The pharmacy chain will join 17 other large employers on the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange as part of a growing movement to offer employees fixed dollar amounts to purchase their own plans on such exchanges. The end-cost to employees depends on the plan chosen, but they typically get more options than under traditional arrangements. Private exchanges mimic the coverage mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in the public exchanges starts Oct. 1. “What happens to employer contributions over time? Will they put in as much as they put in the past? These are unanswered questions but potential negatives,” says Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The benefit to Walgreen and other employers is unknown at this point, as their cost-savings aren’t clear. Of the 180,000 Walgreen (WAG) employees eligible for health care insurance, 120,000 opted for coverage for themselves and 40,000 family members. Another 60,000 employees, many of them working part-time, weren’t eligible for health insurance. Aon Hewitt (AON) says other participants in its program include retailer Sears Holding (SHLD) and Darden Restaurants (DRI). These new additions raise enrollment to 330,000 from 100,000 last year, and Aon Hewitt estimates enrollment will jump to 600,000 next year, a fivefold increase from 2012. By 2017, nearly 20 percent of employees nationwide could get their health insurance through a private exchange, according to Accenture Research (ACN). A recent report by the National Business Group on Health said that 30 percent of large employers are considering moving active employees to exchanges by 2015. Other major providers of private exchanges include Mercer, a division of Marsh & Mc

  • [By Javier Hasse]

    In other news, Aon plc Class A Ordinary Shares (UK) (NYSE: AON) boosted its quarterly dividend from $0.30 per share to $0.33 per share, and McGraw Hill Financial Inc (NYSE: MHFI) said it would sell its unit J.D. Power to investment firm XIO Group for $1.1 billion.

Top 5 Insurance Stocks To Watch For 2017: Prudential Financial Inc.(PRU)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Clinton 15 stock basket (DBUSCLNT): UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM), McKesson (MCK), Aecom (ACM), Quanta Services (PWR), ExxonMobil (XOM), Alcoa (AA), NextEra Energy (NEE), Cree (CREE), First Solar (FSLR), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX), Prudential Financial (PRU), Citigroup (C), Union Pacific (UNP).

Top 5 Insurance Stocks To Watch For 2017: Principal Financial Group Inc(PFG)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The twenty stocks in Worth’s basket are: Ameriprise Financial (AMP) Bank of America, Banner (BANR), Citigroup, Citizens Financial Group (CFG), East West Bancorp (EWBC), First NBC Bank Holding (FNBC), HFF (HF), KeyCorp(KEY), Legacy Texas Financial Group (LTXB), Lincoln National (LNC), Morgan Stanley, Old National Bancorp (ONB), PacWest Bancorp (PACW), PNC Financial Services Group (PNC), Principal Financial Group (PFG), Stifel Financial (SF), SVB Financial Group (SIVB), TCF Financial (TCB), and Wells Fargo.