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Newport, Target, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Astellas Pharma and Bristol-Myers Squibb highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 03, 2014– Zacks Equity Research highlights Newport Corporation ( NEWP- Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Target ( TGT- Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( AVEO- Free Report), Astellas Pharma, Inc. ( ALPMY- Free Report) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY- Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

Newport Corporation ( NEWP- Free Report) bills itself as a "Global Leader in the Management of Light" which is a heavy way of saying they are in the business of Optics, Photonics and Lasers. A recent big beat and increase to guidance has helped make this stock a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and it is the Bull of the Day.

One of the best things you can do to a financial portfolio is to be sure you are diversified. A sign in at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange denotes that sentiment by saying "Risk Not Thy Whole Wad" and this is an idea that is not lost on Newport.

Revenues from the products NEWP sells are spread pretty evenly over 5 large industries. They are Scientific Research, Life and Health Sciences, Microelectronics, Industrial, Defense & Security. None of those five segments accounts for more than 24% of total revenue.

The idea of diversification does not stop at it clients, it’s also prevalent in the geographies it serves. While the US accounts for the majority of sales (40%), Europe clocks in at 27% and the Pacific Rim also accounts for 26% of sales.

Bear of the Day:

Target ( TGT- Free Report) credit cards being compromised might be only the tip of the iceberg for this retailer. A stream of negative earnings revisions has helped make this stock a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) and it is the Bear of the Day.

Were they hacked? Was it an inside job? Does management even really know? The company announced that 40 million accounts were compromised on December 19, 2013. That number expanded, along with the definition to 70 million and I even saw a 110 million figure.

Management moved to sack 475 souls at the company headquarters in Minneapolis and said it would not fill 700 open positions. The layoffs were the largest since 2009 when the company cut 1,100 positions from its headquarters.

Recently, I heard that the blame might have shifted to vendors ... so maybe they will keep pointing fingers until they run out of suspects.
Additional content:
AVEO/Astellas Terminate Breast Cancer Drug Trial
AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( AVEO- Free Report) and partner Astellas Pharma, Inc. ( ALPMY- Free Report) announced their decision to discontinue a phase II study evaluating tivozanib in patients suffering from locally recurrent or metastatic triple negative breast cancer. The companies decided to end the phase II BATON (Biomarker Assessment of Tivozanib in ONcology) breast cancer ( BC) study due to insufficient enrollment.
The randomized, double-blind, multi-center phase II BATON BC study was initiated in Dec 2012 to compare the efficacy of tivozanib plus Bristol-Myers Squibb’s ( BMY- Free Report) Taxol (paclitaxel) with Taxol plus placebo in locally recurrent or metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients, who have not received or received one systemic therapy.
In its third quarter 2013 press release, AVEO had disclosed that the enrolment process for the phase II BATON BC study was slower than expected. Despite patient recruitment efforts, enrollment rates did not improve significantly.
This is the latest in tivozanib-related setbacks for AVEO. Last month, AVEO and Astellas had announced that data from a planned interim analysis of the phase II BATON– CRC (colorectal cancer) study on tivozanib revealed that the study was unlikely to meet the primary endpoint.
Prior to that, in June last year, the companies had received a complete response letter ( CRL) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) for tivozanib for advanced renal cell carcinoma (:RCC). The FDA had informed AVEO that the new drug application (:NDA) was not approvable in its present form. Following the CRL, AVEO decided to discontinue tivozanib development for the advanced RCC indication.
Our Take
AVEO’s shares have plunged more than 75% over the last one year. Given the disappointing news related to tivozanib, we expect the shares to continue to fall further. We expect the company to increase its focus on other pipeline candidates including AV-203 (phase I – solid tumor).
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