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Biogen stock downgraded to neutral from buy at UBS External Link

Analysts at UBS on Friday downgraded shares of Biogen Inc. to neutral from buy, while cutting their price target on the stock to $242 from $395. "The failure of aducanumab leaves Biogen with a lack of visibility around a path back to top-line growth, and increasingly present threats to the base-business that investors had been willing to look past given the promise of Alzheimer's," analysts led by Carter Gould wrote. He cited competition to spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza from Roche Holding's ridiplam and threats to a 2028 patent on the company's multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera, which is under review by trademark officials after competitor Mylan N.V. filed a patent challenge in July. Biogen's stock, which fell 1.5% in premarket trade Friday, plunged 29% on Thursday after the company announced it would be discontinuing Phase 3 trials for aducanumab, its much-hyped Alzheimer's drug. Shares of the drugmaker have fallen 25% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 13.9%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 11:44:40 GMT
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Foot Locker's stock falls in wake of Nike's downbeat sales outlookExternal Link

Shares of Foot Locker Inc. dropped 3.7% in premarket trade Friday, in the wake of Nike Inc. stock pullback on a downbeat sales outlook. In Foot Locker's 10-K filing for the fiscal year-ended Feb. 3, 2018 (the 10-K for the year ended February 2019 has not yet been filed), the athletic footwear seller said it was "highly dependent" on Nike, as about 67% of all merchandise bought in 2017 was from Nike, with each operating division buying 44% to 73% of their merchandise from Nike during the year. As a result, Foot Locker said any "adverse development" in Nike could have an "adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations." Nike's stock dropped 4.8% ahead of Friday's open, after the company reported late-Thursday fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped expectations, but sales that matched and provided a fourth-quarter sales growth outlook that was below expectations. Foot Locker's stock has rallied 23% over the past three months through Thursday, while Nike shares have climbed 22% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied 16%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 11:40:17 GMT
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UPDATE: Hibbett Sports shares soar 19% premarket as earnings blow past estimates External Link

Hibbett Sports Inc. shares soared 19% in premarket trade Friday, after the sporting goods retailer blew past estimates for the fourth quarter and offered upbeat guidance for fiscal 2020. The company said it had net income of $6.6 million, or 36 cents a share, for the quarter to Feb. 2, down from $9.7 million, or 51 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 57 cents, well ahead of the 39 cents FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $306.0 million from $266.7 million, also ahead of the $280 million FactSet consensus. Same-store sales rose 3.8%, compared with a FactSet consensus that they would be flat. The company said it is focused on improving its store base and building out its e-commerce strategy and will close about 95 Hibbett stores in fiscal 2020, while opening 10 to 15 new Hibbett and City Gear stores. It expects to book a store closure charge of 15 cents to 20 cents a share. The retailer is expecting fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS of $1.80 to $2.00, which is above the current FactSet consensus of $1.74. Separately, the company said its chief executive Jeff Rosenthal is planning to retire as soon as the company has completed a search and named a successor. Shares have fallen 20% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 11:39:05 GMT
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PETA takes a stake in Levi's to press for vegan leather patchesExternal Link

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has taken a stake in newly-public Levi Strauss & Co. in order to urge the denim icon to switch its cow-skin leather patches to vegan leather ones. The activist organization says it has purchased the minimum amount of shares necessary to propose shareholder resolutions, and both attend and speak at annual shareholder meetings."PETA is heading to Levi's boardroom to urge the company to stop peddling these patches, which cause cows immense pain and suffering," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. Levi's ended its first trading day up a whopping 32%, and is up 1.1% in Friday premarket trading. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF has gained 8.8% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has rallied nearly 14% for the period.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 11:25:49 GMT
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United Airlines now offering 'non-binary gender' and 'Mx' title booking optionsExternal Link

United Continental Holdings Inc.'s United Airlines said Friday it will become the first U.S. airline to offer "non-binary gender" booking options for its customers. United said customers now have the option of selecting the title "Mx." during booking, and can identify themselves as M (male), F (female), U (undisclosed) or X (unspecified), corresponding with what is indicated on their passports or identification. "United is determined to lead the industry in LGBT inclusivity, and we are so proud to be the first U.S. airline to offer these inclusive booking options for our customers," said Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist. "United is excited to share with our customers, whether they identify along the binary of male or female or not, that we are taking the steps to exhibit our care for them while also providing additional employee training to make us even more welcoming for all customers and employees." United's stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has lost 3.3% year to date, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has climbed 7.7% and the S&P 500 has rallied 14%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 11:17:20 GMT
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