Inflatable Trump Rat, Supporters Greet Roger Stone Sentencing

Stock To Watch: Xenon Pharmaceuticals (XENE)

Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (XENE) has a couple of key milestone opportunities lined up for this year, making the stock worth watching.

Xenon Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutic drugs addressing neurological disorders.

The most advanced drug candidate in the pipeline is XEN496 for the treatment of KCNQ2-DEE, a severe and rare form of pediatric epilepsy. A phase III trial of XEN496 is expected to be initiated this year.

The other ongoing clinical programs are:

— A phase IIb clinical trial of XEN1101 in adult focal epilepsy, with top-line data anticipated later this year.
— A physician-led phase II study of XEN007 in treatment-resistant childhood absence epilepsy is ongoing, with results expected this year.
— XEN901, now known as NBI-921352, for epilepsy, being developed in partnership with Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NBIX). An IND application seeking FDA nod to start a Phase 2 clinical trial of NBI-921352 in SCN8A developmental and epileptic encephalopathy patients is expected to be filed by Neurocrine Biosciences in the second half of 2020.

Xenon Pharma, which ended September 30, 2019, with cash & cash equivalents and marketable securities of $94.6 million, raised gross proceeds of $60.0 million in a public offering last month.

XENE has traded in a range of $7.58 to $18.10 in the last 1 year. As of this writing, the stock is up 0.29% at $17.23.

Stock Alert: America’s Car-Mart Inc. (CRMT) Shares Hit New 52-Week High

Shares of America’s Car-Mart Inc. (CRMT) touched a new 52-week high of $127.64 on strong Q3 results.

The automotive retailer, on Feb. 19, reported Q3 net income of $12.7 million, or $1.83 per share versus $10.9 million, or $1.55 per share in the prior year quarter. Revenues rose to $187 million from $161 million last year; current quarter includes same store revenue increase of 15.1%.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.77 per share on revenue $171.47 million for the quarter. Analysts’ estimate typically exclude certain special items.

The stock has been trading between $80.40 and $127.64 in the past one year. We alerted readers to this stock on February 10, 2019, since then the shares have rallied 10.5%. Read more…

Airbus to cut 2,300 jobs by the end of next year

BERLIN (AP) — European plane maker Airbus said Wednesday that it plans to cut more than 2,300 jobs at its defense and space division by the end of next year, spreading the cuts across several countries.

The company said Airbus Defence and Space presented the plan to employee representatives and launched a consultation process for the cuts. The plan would eliminate 2,362 positions in all — 829 in Germany, 357 in the U.K., 630 in Spain, 404 in France and 142 elsewhere.

Airbus pointed to a “flat space market and postponed contracts on the defense side.” It noted that it had announced the need for restructuring in December and underlined the issue during an annual news conference earlier this month.

The defense and space division “will provide updates on its plans and continues a constructive dialogue with employee representatives,” Airbus said in a statement. “Further financial implications are under assessment and will be communicated at a later stage.”

Airbus reported that it lost 1.36 billion euros ($1.47 billion) in 2019 because of a multi-billion-euro bribery settlement with authorities in three countries, but otherwise saw a record year for aircraft deliveries.

The net loss reflected 3.6 billion euros set aside to cover a criminal settlement with authorities in the U.S., France and Britain over past corrupt practices. Airbus also lost 1.2 billion euros because of troubles with its A400M military transport program and 221 million euros because the German government suspended export licenses to Saudi Arabia through March.

Stock Alert: L Brands Down 2%; To Sell Major Stake In Victoria’s Secret

L Brands (LB) shares are down 2% on Thursday morning after the women’s apparel company agreed to sell a major stake in Victoria’s Secret brand to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners with a view to pay off debts.

Sycamore will purchase a 55% interest in Victoria’s Secret for about $525 million. L Brands will retain a 45% stake in Victoria’s Secret. The deal values Victoria’s Secret at $1.1 billion.

L Brands intends to use the proceeds from the deal, along with about $500 million in excess balance sheet cash, to reduce debt.

The company also announced that Bath & Body Works brand will become a standalone public company.

Further, the Columbus, Ohio-based company said CEO and Chairman Leslie Wexner would be stepping down. Wexner will serve as chairman emeritus and remain on the board of L Brands. Andrew Meslow, currently Chief Operating Officer of Bath & Body Works, to be promoted of CEO of L Brands and will join its board.

LB is currently trading at $23.83, down $0.47 or 1.95%, on the NYSE. The stock is down nearly 13% from last year.

Inflatable Trump Rat, Supporters Greet Roger Stone Sentencing

An inflatable rat with a Donald Trump hairdo, supporters eager for a presidential pardon and a long line of news reporters and spectators have gathered at a Washington court this morning for the sentencing of Roger Stone.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson is scheduled to hand down one of the most closely watched sentences of the year, after the president tweeted last week that an initial recommendation by federal prosecutors of 7 to 9 years in prison for Stone was “unfair.” The Justice Department later revised that recommendation to 3 to 4 years, and four prosecutors on the initial recommendation withdrew from the case. Democrats in Congress have called for an investigation.

Michael Caputo, a long-time friend of Roger Stone’s and himself a former Trump campaign official, said there are now about 160,000 signatures on a petition calling for a presidential pardon. Trump on Tuesdaypardoned financier Michael Milken and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Stone, entering the courtroom with his wife, declined to comment.

The president overnight tweeted out a quote from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.