Friday, August 17, 2012

Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) Soars on Upbeat Results and Outlook, Vivus (VVUS) shares fall on downgrade

VIVUS, Inc.(NASDAQ:VVUS) has been downgraded to Underperform from Hold, and price target set at $16, by brokerage Jefferies which said that its action was prompted by generic competition.

"While investors have been primarily concerned about Qsymia patents, we believe that a bigger concern could emerge in the ability of physicians to prescribe generic topiramate and phentermine in lieu of Qsymia," analyst Thomas Wei stated in the report. "Our preliminary diligence suggests physician liability, VVUS' primary defense, is not a significant risk."

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"There is a strong motivator for physicians to prescribe the two generics since branded Qsymia is unlikely to be covered by payors and the two generics will be more affordable for patients," Wei said. 

Shares of Vivus fell more than 8 percent in early trades on Friday and were trading at $20.91.

Meanwhile women's clothier Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN) reported a 24 percent rise in its fiscal second quarter with strong sales and a financial performance that surpassed analyst estimates.

For the period ended July 28, Ann Inc. earned $30.7 million, or 63 cents per share. That's up from $24.8 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts had predicted 51 cents per share.

Revenue for the retailer rose 7 percent to $594.9 million from $558.2 million, with sales up at Ann Taylor and Loft. The Street had expected $586.7 million in revenue.

The shares of the company which had risen more than 6 percent in pre-market trades were trading more than 21 percent at $34.03 and made a new 52-week high of $34.38..

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Ann now expects 2012 revenue at $2.39 billion against its previous estimate of $2.38 billion in revenue.

 The company forecasts third-quarter revenue at $600 million.

Analysts foresee full-year revenue of $2.37 billion and third-quarter revenue of $606.4 million.

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