For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – October 18, 2012 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Clearwire Corporation (CLWR), Sprint-Nextel Corp (S), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), AT&T Inc. (T) and Novo Nordisk (NVO).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:
S&P Retains Clearwire Rating
Rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has announced that Clearwire Corporation (CLWR), which offers Wi-Max services in the U.S. will not be immediately affected by Japan-based Softbank’s 70% acquisition of Sprint-Nextel Corp (S) for about $20.1 billion. The rating firm is maintaining Clearwire’s CCC rating along with a Developing outlook despite Sprint-Nextel being its largest shareholder with a 48.1 % stake.
Clearwire has formed a venture combining its infrastructure together with the wireless network of Sprint to install TDD-LTE 4G network by the beginning of 2013 and will cover 5,000 LTE footprints by first half of 2013. S&P believes that if Softbank acquires Clearwire it will lead to a reduction of the latter’s handset related costs as Clearwire is using Time Division (TD) LTE duplex technology in the 2.5 GHz spectrum band — the same technology that Softbank uses in Japan.
Softbank has no immediate plans to take over Clearwire until the Sprint transaction ends. However, if it indeed makes a move the deal will be beneficial for Clearwire as it will get the financial resources to modernize its network which it was unable to get from Sprint because of its huge debt burden.
On the flip side, Sprint will get access to Clearwire’s additional spectrum which will put the third largest U.S. carrier in a much stronger position as compared to Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and AT&T Inc. (T)
The Bellevue, Washington based Clearwire will also receive a series of prepayments amounting $350 million from Sprint over a two-year period if the company meets certain LTE deployment target by June 2013. We believe such series of prepayments from Sprint coupled with a huge cash base of $1.2 billion and availability of huge wireless spectrum license will continue to lend support to the company to meet its future goal.
Currently, Clearwire Corporation has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock.
Novo Looking to Expand Portfolio
Denmark-based Novo Nordisk (NVO) is seeking regulatory approval for its hemophilia A candidate turoctocog alfa (NN7008). Novo Nordisk submitted its application for the candidate both in the US and the EU. The company is looking to get turoctocog alfa, a third-generation recombinant coagulation factor VIII, approved for the prevention and treatment of bleeding in patients suffering from hemophilia A.
Novo Nordisk’s marketing authorization application for the candidate was based on positive results from its phase III trials, guardian 1 and guardian 3. The guardian trials, which ended last year, enrolled more than 200 people having hemophilia A and was the largest clinical pre-registration trial program conducted for the disease.
Novo Nordisk is planning to submit regulatory applications in other countries as well in the coming months.
We remind investors that the company suffered a pipeline setback last month. Novo Nordisk decided to terminate the development of its phase III hemophilia candidate, vatreptacog alfa. Vatreptacog alfa, a fast-acting recombinant factor VIIa analogue, was being developed for hemophilia patients with inhibitors.
Novo Nordisk’s decision followed the analysis of data from a double-blinded, randomized, controlled phase IIIa (adept 2) study, where patients received either vatreptacog alfa or NovoSeven, an approved product of Novo Nordisk.
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