|Healthcare Review: Herbalife Ltd, MannKind Corporation, Medifast, InterMune, Pfizer Inc.|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:48|
Many investors said concerns about the "fiscal cliff" kept shoppers away from stores, suggesting markets may struggle to make any ground until next year. President Barack Obama is due back in Washington early Thursday for a final effort to negotiate a deal with Congress to bridge a series of tax increases and government spending cuts set to begin next week, the so-called "fiscal cliff" many economists worry could push the economy into recession if it takes effect. Following are the notable movers at mid day on Wednesday:
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) soared 8% as it has hired a strategic adviser and will hold an analyst and investor meeting next month in an effort to counter criticism by Pershing Square's Bill Ackman. The company also is considering legal action, though it wasn't immediately clear what direction that might take. Last week, Ackman disclosed he has been betting against HLF for months and built up a massive short position, which in turn appears to have turned the Street against the nutritional supplement marketer.
MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) get a boost and rose 7% on a big vote of confidence from its Chairman and CEO Alfred Mann today, after the company revealed in a filing that he had recently purchased 40M shares at an average price of $2.59. The total price tag on the purchase: $103M. That brings Mann's total ownership in the company up to just under 75M shares.
Medifast, Inc. (NYSE:MED) tumbles 15% after disclosing interim CFO Edward Power will resign by Jan. 4 to "pursue other interests." Powers took over just last month, following the resignation of former CFO Brendan Connors. Director of Finance Joseph Kelleman will be the new interim CFO.
Three members of an independent FDA advisory panel say they received advanced information ahead of U.S. regulators in May 2010 regarding the rejection of a drug from InterMune, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITMN), which is now at the heart of a trading investigation of SAC Capital. ITMN’s shares fell 5.4% the day before the company announced the rejection. However, others at the FDA were also aware of the rejection too, and there’s no evidence the 11 panelists did anything wrong.
Japanese regulators have approved Eliquis, an anticlotting drug developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE). This is the third such approval for the treatment in less than two months, having also been approved by health regulators in the European Union and Canada. The FDA is currently considering its new drug application in the U.S., which was resubmitted in late September after the FDA requested additional information, and a decision is expected by mid-March next year.