S&P Slashes RBS Rating; Dendreon’s Big Boost; Eli Lilly Comes Out Ahead on ImClone; AgFeed’s Hungry For Its Own Shares; Bank of America Surprises with Loss; Paulson Taps Another Goldman Exec.
- Standard & Poor’s yesterday (Monday) reduced the credit rating of Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (ADR: RBS), lowering the rating of both the Edinburgh-based bank’s long-term and short-term debt. “The rating actions reflect Standard & Poor's expectation that RBS's financial profile may continue to weaken,” the analysts said, citing a “combination of mixed earnings prospects, deteriorating credit risk in its key geographies, and difficult market conditions” in which to shore up its capital, Bloomberg News reported. RBS stock sank over 20% on the downgrade.
- Shares of biotech firm Dendreon Corp. (DNDN) soared 33% yesterday (Monday) on news of a good drug trial. Provenge, Dendreon’s experimental prostate cancer drug, reduced the risk of death in 20% of trial participants, Reuters reported. Dendreon shares gained $1.73 to close at $6.93.
- Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) announced yesterday (Monday) that it plans to buy ImClone Systems Inc. (IMCL) for $6.5 billion in a deal that values the biotech firm at about $70 share. This latest offer from Eli Lilly beat out Bristol Myers Squibb Co.’s (BMY) competing bid of $62 per share. However, Bristol Meyer’s will receive approximately $1 billion in cash for its 17% stake in ImClone, The New York Times reported.
- AgFeed Industries Inc. (FEED) announced yesterday (Monday) a $10 million share repurchase program to commence immediately. , Trading Markets reported.
- Bank of America Corp. (BAC) yesterday (Monday) reported third-quarter results earlier than planned, and revealed a 68% drop in profit, as well as plans to boost capital by selling stock and halving its dividend. Profit fell to $1.18 billion, or 15 cents per share, for the July-to-September period from $3.7 billion, or 82 cents per share, in the same period last year.
- U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson selected Neel Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) executive and current assistant secretary , The Associated Press reported. Kashkari will be in charge of the office created by the emergency legislation enacted Friday to fund the largest government bailout. Paulson was the head of Goldman before joining the Bush administration in 2006.