CHICAGO, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks Equity Research highlights PartnerRe Ltd. (NYSE:PRE-Free Report) as the Bull of the Day and Horsehead Holding Corp. (Nasdaq:ZINC-Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis ontheAstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN-Free Report), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY-Free Report) and Bayer (OTC:BAYRY-Free Report).
Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:
PartnerRe Ltd. (NYSE:PRE-Free Report) is a leading global reinsurer. The company provides reinsurance for catastrophe, automobile, agricultural, credit and surety, marine, space and aviation, miscellaneous casualty and life/health risks.
Headquartered in Bermuda, PRE has offices in 17 global locations and serves more than 2000 clients in more than 150 countries.
PRE reported its Q3 results on October 28, 2013. Third-quarter 2013 operating earnings were $311.2 million or of $5.70 on a per share basis, handily beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.32 per share. Per PRE, this was their highest ever reported operating EPS. The results that benefitted from favorable reserve development were also ahead of the year-ago EPS of $3.90.
Net premiums written for the quarter were up 21% to $1.3 billion. The increase was reported across almost all segments. Improved premiums were partially offset by higher investment losses and higher expenses.
A low level of large loss activity and strong core performance resulted in a 74.9% combined ratio and a 22.6% operating return on equity.
PRE ended the third quarter with the highest diluted tangible book value per share in their history at $94.86. Dividend-adjusted quarterly growth was an impressive 7.2%.
Horsehead Holding Corp. (Nasdaq:ZINC-Free Report) is the parent company of Horsehead Corporation, INMETCO and Zochem. They are leading producer of zinc and zinc-based products and recycler of electric arc furnace dust, nickel-bearing wastes and nickel-cadmium batteries.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., ZINC employs approximately 1,100 people and has production and recycling operations at seven facilities located in the U.S. and in Canada.
The company reported its third quarter results on November 5, 2013. Consolidated net loss for the quarter was $2.7 million, excluding noncash charges associated with hedges, compared with earnings of $600,000 during the same quarter of 2012. The results were substantially short of the Zacks Consensus Estimates.
The company had a $1.2 million increase in sales was (excluding hedge charges), due to a 5.6% increase in price realization for zinc products. This was partially offset by 1.3% lower shipments of zinc products and a 16.6% decrease in nickel-based sales.
Results during the quarter were adversely affected by production disruptions at the Monaca facility, where they operated only 5 of 6 smelting furnaces for most of the quarter due to the temporary shutdown of 2 furnaces. Project delays also affected the results.
Company's processing plant at Monaca will be closed and replaced with a new plant in North Carolina. According to the company this new plant is expected to increase the annual EBITDA by $90 to $110 million when fully operational. The company expects to record severance and other shutdown related costs in the next couple of quarters.
FDA Panel Votes In Favor of AZN/BMY Drug
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN-Free Report) and partner Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY-Free Report) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee (EMDAC) has voted in favor of approving metreleptin. The EMDAC recommended the approval of metreleptin for the treatment of pediatric and adult patients with generalized lipodystrophy (LD).
The FDA's advisory committee voted 11 to 1 that metreleptin's benefit outweighs its risk for the treatment of pediatric and adult patients with generalized LD. However, the EMDAC voted against (2 to 10) the approval of metreleptin for the treatment of patients with metabolic disorders associated with partial LD.
The EMDAC recommendation was based on data from two pivotal open-label National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies and an additional open-label expanded access study - FHA101.
The candidate enjoys orphan drug designation in both the U.S. and Europe. A final decision from the FDA should be out by Feb 24, 2014.
We remind investors that Bristol-Myers and AstraZeneca have been collaborating since Jan 2007 for the development and commercialization of candidates for type II diabetes. In Aug 2012, Bristol-Myers purchased Amylin and expanded its partnership with AstraZeneca for developing and marketing Amylin's diabetes candidates/drugs including metreleptin.
We are disappointed with the EMDAC not recommending metreleptin for metabolic disorders associated with partial LD. We believe that approval of metreleptin for a narrower indication would limit the drug's sales potential. We note that although the FDA is not bound to accept the recommendation of the panel, it usually considers the same while deciding on the fate of a candidate.
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