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Onyx Shares Plummet; MBIA to Restructure; Martha Stewart Puts Emeril’s Brand in Her Oven; Manulife Buys $1.7 Billion in Timberland; Credit Suisse Writes Down $2.85 billion; Oil Breaks $100 a Barrel, Again; Citigroup Sells Off Japan Office; Foreign Direct Investment Takes Off in Mexico
- Shares of biopharmaceutical company, Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ONXX), plunged yesterday (Tuesday) on news that a Phase 3 trial to evaluate the effects of Nexavar tablets on patients with non-small cell lung cancer was halted early based on the findings of a planned interim analysis. The independent analysis, completed by the Data Monitoring Committee, concluded that the study would not meet its primary objective of improved overall survival. Shares dropped 26.46% to close at $33.08.
- Faced with plunging share prices and an AAA-rating that could be lost at any moment, MBIA Inc. (MBI) brought back former Chief Executive Officer Joseph Brown to helm the struggling bond insurer. Brown said the firm would spin off its subprime business from its municipal business. “The market is telling us something,” Brown told Bloomberg News. “The marketplace is saying it doesn't work well to have two stores selling these products under one roof.”
- Hours after posting disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and forecasting a first-quarter operating loss, shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSO) kicked up a notch after earning buying rights to celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s products and television show for $50 million, the Associated Press reported. The famous homemaker’s company expects the famous chef’s line of books, products and hit show to add about $8 million in earnings.
- Canada’s largest insurer, Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC) agreed to buy 900,000 acres of forest in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas from iStar Financial Inc. (SFI) and its partners for $1.7 billion. The insurer is seeking haven from the housing slump and inflation, and timberland values in the U.S. South climbed 14% in the third quarter from a year earlier, Bloomberg reported.
- Zurich-based lender Credit Suisse Group (CS) announced it wrote down $2.85 billion and found four mismarking and pricing errors on its books, Reuters reported. An internal error on top of a massive write down is the last thing a major lender needs to report, especially in Europe, where economists are concerned a slowdown and after an inside trader cost French bank Societe Generale (OTC:SCGLY) nearly $7.2 billion.
- Light, sweet crude for March delivery settled at a record $100.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier rising to $100.10, a new trading record. It was the first time since Jan. 3 that oil had been above $100 a barrel. The driving force behind the surge was speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce its output in the next two weeks.
- Citigroup Inc. (C) sold another one of its financial centers to raise cash yesterday (Tuesday) the . A Morgan Stanley (MS) real estate fund bought its Japanese headquarters in Tokyo. In December, Citigroup sold the last two Manhattan properties on its books to SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG) for about $1.58 billion. Citigroup is reportedly considering selling other more significant assets to build up its capital base and return to profitability.
- Foreign direct investment in Mexico rose 21% in 2007, to $23.2 billion, the second-largest increase in the country’s history, the Economy Department said yesterday (Tuesday). Nearly half of the investment in Mexico was from the United States, followed by Holland with 15%, and Spain with 10%, Economy Secretary Eduardo Sojo told a news conference.