The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Manitex International, Bayer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Actelion and Allergan

CHICAGO, Nov. 27, 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 Manitex International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MNTX-Free Report), Bayer (OTC:BAYRY-Free Report), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN-Free Report), Actelion Ltd. (OTC:ALIOF-Free Report) and Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN-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 Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Manitex Downgraded to Strong Sell

On Nov 26, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Manitex International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MNTX-Free Report), provider of engineered lifting solutions, to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Why the Downgrade?

Manitex has witnessed sharp downward estimate revisions after reporting disappointing third-quarter 2013 results on Nov 7. Its shares also dropped around 10.6% in the trading session after the earnings release.

In the quarter, the company reported earnings of 21 cents per share, flat year on year and a penny short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Net revenues rose 8% year over year to $57 million. However, on a sequential basis, sales declined 8% from $62 million in second-quarter 2013.

In addition, total backlog as of Sep 30, 2013, was $96.7 million, flat compared with Jun 30, 2013, and down from $130.3 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, Manitex entered into an agreement to acquire Italy-based Valla SpA. Though the acquisition will complement Manitex's niche crane offerings and extend its product portfolio, it is not likely to contribute to its results immediately.

The company expects to generate 50% of its sales from the energy area and the balance from general commercial markets. However, the recent softness in the energy sector will continue, which is evident from reduction in the North American rig count.

Following the third-quarter earnings announcement, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Manitex dropped 7% to 80 cents per share for 2013 and 9% to $1.09 a share for 2014.

Bayer Progresses with Eylea

The HealthCare segment at Bayer (OTC:BAYRY-Free Report) has been boosted by the strong performance of new products like Xarelto, Eylea, Stivarga and Xofigo in the last few quarters. Bayer expects its new products to contribute around €1.4 billion to segmental sales in 2013. The company is also looking to expand their label beyond current indications.

Last week, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan approved Eylea for the treatment of macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). The drug is already approved in the U.S., EU and other countries for this indication.

Eylea was first approved in the U.S. in late 2011 for treating patients suffering from the neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). Sales of the drug have been on the rise since then.

Bayer is looking to expand Eylea's label further. Bayer intends to file for regulatory approval of Eylea for the myopic choroidal neovascularization indication in Asia by year end.

Bayer has a collaboration agreement with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN-Free Report) for the global development of Eylea. Per the terms of the agreement, Regeneron owns the entire U.S. rights pertaining to the eye drug. Bayer is however responsible for marketing Eylea in ex-U.S. markets. The profit earned from the sales of Eylea in those markets is shared equally by the companies. However, in Japan, Regeneron will receive royalties on Eylea's net sales.

We are encouraged by the company's progress with Eylea. The company recorded Eylea sales of €85 million for the third quarter of 2013. Successful label expansion of the drug will further boost its sales.

Bayer presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering include Actelion Ltd. (OTC:ALIOF-Free Report) and Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN-Free Report). While, Actelion holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Allergan carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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