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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Dendreon, JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson. Actelion and Campbell Soup

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
 
Chicago, IL – October 30, 2013 – 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 the Dendreon Corp. ( DNDN- Free Report), JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM- Free Report), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ- Free Report), Actelion Ltd. ( ALIOF- Free Report) and Campbell Soup Company ( CPB- Free Report).
 
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Is Dendreon Up for Sale?
 
Dendreon Corp.’s ( DNDN- Free Report) share price jumped more than 11% on Oct 28, 2013 to end the day’s trading at $2.81 after a Bloomberg report said that Dendreon is putting itself up for sale. Dendreon, with a market cap of over $429 million, is said to be working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM- Free Report) to find suitable buyers.

Dendreon has been struggling with its sole marketed product, Provenge. The drug was approved in the U.S. for treating advanced prostate cancer in May 2010. Provenge has performed below expectations since its launch. Sales of the drug declined 8.4% to $73.3 million in the second quarter of 2013.

Provenge’s performance was primarily affected by the entrance of Johnson & Johnson’s ( JNJ- Free Report) Zytiga in the prostate cancer market. Zytiga, launched in the second quarter of 2011, has been putting in an impressive performance. Moreover, Dendreon expects that 2013 Provenge sales would fall short of the 2012 sales figure of $325.3 million.

Last month Provenge was approved in the EU for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic (non-visceral) castrate resistant prostate cancer in adults. Chemotherapy is not yet clinically indicated for these patients.

At present Dendreon is entirely dependent on Provenge for growth. The company lacks a decent pipeline with none of its candidates likely to hit the market in the near future.

Dendreon carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile companies such as Actelion Ltd. ( ALIOF- Free Report) look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Johnson & Johnson also looks attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 
  Campbell Soup Sells Off Part of European Biz
 
High-quality foods and simple meals manufacturer, Campbell Soup Company ( CPB- Free Report) has successfully sold its European simple meals business to a private Equity firm, CVC Capital Partners. The latter has paid 400 million euros ($542 million) for Campbell’s select sauces, soups and simple meals in Europe.

Campbell and CVC Capital agreed to the deal on Oct 1, following negotiations made on Aug 12. The sale deal includes Campbell’s European sauces, soups and simple meals brands, namely Erasco in Germany, Liebig and Royco in France, Blå Band in Sweden and Devos Lemmens and Royco in Belgium. The 4 production plants of the company located in France (Le Pontet), Sweden (Karpalund), Belgium (Puurs) and Germany (Lubeck) also form a part of the divestiture.

Additionally, the Camden, NJ-based manufacturer made it clear that the transaction does not involve the company’s export business of Pepperidge Farm products throughout Europe and its businesses in the U.K., the Middle East as well as Africa. Further, Denmark-based Kelsen Group A/S, which was recently acquired by Campbell Soup, will continue with its regular operations.

This divestment is the company’s latest effort to move away from its troubled canned soup business and enhance its presence in the packaged fresh food market. The company intends to use the proceeds from the sale to lower its debt burden and meet other general capital requirements.

The operations that are to be offloaded generated annual revenue of about $530 million in fiscal 2012.
 
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