The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays, Wells Fargo, BB&T and Bayer

CHICAGO, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 BB&T Corporation's (NYSE: BBT-Free Report), The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK-Free Report), Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS-Free Report), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC-Free Report) and Bayer (OTC:BAYRY-Free Report)

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Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

BB&T to Incure $250M Charges

BB&T Corporation's (NYSE: BBT-Free Report) tax claim of $688 million from the Internal Revenue System (IRS) was recently ruled out by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. After losing the legal battle, BB&T will now incur $250 million as post tax charges in third-quarter 2013.

The claim was under the purview of the Structured Trust Advantaged Repackaged Securities (STARS) tax shelter program, which was criticized by the Federal judge Thomas Wheeler as "an economically meaningless tax shelter".

The outstanding tax for 2002–2007 was cleared by BB&T in 2010. The company thought that clearing the outstanding tax would give it a fair chance of making claims. However, earlier this year, after The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK-Free Report) lost a similar case against the IRS, BB&T set aside $281 million as a charge to increase its reserves.

STARS was originally a deal between Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS - Free Report) and six U.S. banks. Though it had a legal approach based on the concept of tax shelter, the deeper motives were dubious.

The U.S. law forbids double taxation of companies that hold transactions worldwide. Therefore, once a transaction is completed, such a company can claim "foreign tax credits" from Internal Revenue System (IRS). However, the controversial deal between the U.K. banking giant and the U.S. banks was inked merely to exploit the aforementioned law and reap tax benefit.

IRS is still dealing with two pending STARS tax claim lawsuits with Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC - Free Report) and Banco Santander, S.A. Tax shelter schemes are often complex and have loopholes. Large financial institutions often indulge in tax arbitraging, thereby misusing the same.

Currently, BB&T carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

CMHP Positive on Bayer Drug

Bayer (OTC:BAYRY-Free Report) received favorable news from the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) when it provided a positive opinion on the approval of radium Ra 223 dichloride (radium-223) last week.

Bayer is looking to get radium-223 approved for treating adults suffering from castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastases.

A final verdict from the European Commission on the approval of radium-223 is expected by year end. We note that though the European Commission is not bound to follow the CHMP's decision, it generally does so.

The positive CHMP recommendation on the approval of radium-223 was based on positive results from the phase III ALSYMPCA (ALpharadin in SYMptomatic Prostate CAncer) study. Results from the study revealed that treatment with radium-223 resulted in a significant improvement in overall survival and also caused a reduction in the risk of death compared to patients in the placebo arm.

We remind investors that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in May 2013 for the above indications, based on the positive results from the ALSYMPCA study. Following the approval, the drug is marketed in the U.S. under the trade name Xofigo. Xofigo is co-promoted by Bayer and Algeta U.S., LLC in the U.S. as per a 2009 agreement. Bayer however has the rights to commercialize the product worldwide.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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