The week begins with two big drugs deals. First, Britain's Shire (SHPG) is buying ViroPharma (VPHM). Both companies specialize in treatments for rare diseases. Pennsylvania-based ViroPharma has skyrocketed 26-percent on the news. That's because Shire is offering $50 a share, which is a 27% premium on Friday's closing price. Shire is also up, but by just about 3% on the announcement.
As for the other deal this morning, Novartis (NVS) is selling part of its diagnostics unit to Spain-based Grifols (GRFS) for $1.7-billion. Novartis has been looking to unload some of its units since a new CEO took over in August. The company is also trying to forge partnerships for some of its smaller businesses. Novartis goes into today's regular session up 21%. Grifols is up 17% in that time.
Amazon (AMZN) has a giant new plan: Sunday deliveries from, get this, the post office. Could this be a win-win for two entities which just keep losing money? Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has more in the video above.
Apple (AAPL) may be ready to throw consumers a curve. Bloomberg reports the company is developing new iPhones with bigger screens than the 5S, and also curved glass. The phones could be released in less than a year. Bloomberg says that Apple is also testing enhanced sensors which would detect different levels of finger pressure on the iPhone screen. Apple stock goes into today's session down 5% so far this year.
A Marvel-ous debut this weekend at the box office. Thor: The Dark World hammered the competition grossing more than $86-million. That handily beats the take for the first Thor movie two-years ago which made about $66-million in its debut. It's also a record opening for a Disney (DIS) film in November. Disney stock is up 34% year-to-date, and the company beat estimates when it reported quarterly earnings last Thursday.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Newscorp (NWSA) reports after the closing bell. The company as it has existed since June is essentially a spinoff of the original Newscorp which became 21st Century Fox (FOXA). This entity comprises Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire. It's expected to swing to a profit with earnings of 5-cents a share. The same businesses lost 16-cents a share a year ago. Shares of Newscorp are up 11% since the company's inception.
Sotheby's (BID) also reports after the closing bell. The auction house is expected to post losses of 47-cents a share, a penny better than a year ago. Those are typical seasonal losses which are offset the rest of the year. The stock is up 49% year-to-date, in large part because activist investor Daniel Loeb has acquired nearly 6% of shares.He's called for changes in company management. The board has since adopted a poison pill.
Transocean (RIG) has just struck a deal with another activist investor: Carl Icahn. The company and Icahn have reached an agreement for the offshore driller to pay a dividend and reduce the number of board seats. The 77-year old billionaire Tweeted about the developments last night, writing, "Great news for Transocean and activism today." Shares of Transocean are up 12% in just the past week. They're up 16% year-to-date.
And as long as we already mentioned Twitter (TWTR), now's an ideal time to give you the latest on the newly issued stock. Shares fell 7.24% on Friday, after that 73% climb when the stock debuted on Thursday. The stock has been down about 1.5% in early trading this morning.
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