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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Mylan, Pfizer, National Oilwell Varco, CE Franklin and Schlumberger

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 1, 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 Mylan Inc. (MYL), Pfizer (PFE), National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV), CE Franklin Ltd. (:CFK) and Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB).

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Mylan Launches Generic Lipitor


Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of generic pharma major Mylan Inc. (MYL), recently announced that it has received final approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (:FDA) for its generic version of Pfizer's (PFE) Lipitor (atorvastatin). Mylan has already begun shipping the product.

Lipitor is used as an adjunct to diet in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia and mixed dyslipidemia to reduce elevated total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides and to increase high-density lipoprotein (:HDL) cholesterol. According to IMS Health, Lipitor generated US revenues of approximately $8.1 billion for the 12 months ending March 31, 2012.

Earlier this month, Mylan had launched generic Lipitor in France, Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands and Ireland. In these countries, Lipitor generated total sales of $1.6 billion for the 12 months ending December 31, 2011.

As of May 29, 2012, the company had 171 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) pending clearance by the FDA, targeting $84 billion in sales annually. Mylan believes that about 38 of these ANDAs are first-to-file opportunities, representing approximately $25.5 billion in branded sales. The revenue figures are, as per IMS Health, for the 12 months ending December 31, 2011.    



National Oilwell Varco Buying CE Franklin


Large-cap oilfield services company National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV) has agreed to acquire Canadian oil and gas production equipment supplier CE Franklin Ltd. (:CFK) for about C$240 million ($233.08 million) in cash.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both the companies but awaits regulatory and shareholder approval. In particular, the deal needs the go-ahead of at least two-thirds of CE Franklin shareholders at a special meeting scheduled for mid-July. We expect the buyout to conclude shortly after the shareholders vote.    

The world’s biggest oilfield services provider, Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), CE Franklin’s largest shareholder, together with the firm’s directors and executive officers – that collectively control 57% of the shares – have agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.   

CE Franklin is obligated to pay a termination fee of $7.5 million to National Oilwell Varco in case it accepts a superior offer though the company said it would not solicit other proposals. 

As per the deal, CE Franklin shareholders would get C$12.75 in cash for each share they hold. At CE Franklin’s Wednesday closing stock price of C$9.35 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the deal values the company’s shares at a 36% premium.

Calgary-based CE Franklin, through 39 branches in western Canada, is a distributor of more than 25,000 products – including pipes, valves, flanges, fittings and other equipment – that cater to over 3,000 clients in the energy industry.

The acquisition will allow National Oilwell Varco to broaden scale and scope of the solutions that it offers to oil and gas customers worldwide. Post merger, National Oilwell Varco expects CE Franklin’s products and services to benefit its Canadian business through new offerings and customer base.

National Oilwell Varco is the biggest U.S. maker of oilfield equipment, is currently a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) stock, implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months. We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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