Valneva Shares Climb as Pfizer Takes $95 Mln Stake
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Shares in French drugmaker Valneva SE trade sharply higher Monday after U.S. peer Pfizer Inc. agreed to take a shareholding in the company, as the pair look to boost their development of a vaccine against Lyme disease. Under the agreement, Pfizer will invest $95 million in an 8.1% stake in Valneva via a reserved capital increase at a price of EUR9.49 a share, the two companies said Monday, adding that the investment will close Wednesday. The deal aims to support the partnership between the two companies in developing a vaccine candidate, known as VLA15, against Lyme disease, they said. The move could herald a takeover of Valneva by the larger company, according to Jean-Jacques Le Fur, an analyst with Bryan Garnier. If an imminent Phase 3 trial proves successful, “it is logical to think that this first move could have in mind a takeover of Valneva,” Mr. Le Fur said in a research note following the news. Valneva will use the funds from the equity investment to support its contribution to Pfizer’s Phase-3 development of VLA15, which should begin in the third quarter this year, the companies said.
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The stock market in Switzerland closed somewhat firmer on Monday. Investors saw little reason to buy in view of concerns about inflation and recession. The small gains were merely a countermovement. However, not much went down either, after the leading index SMI made a loss of over 1,000 points in June alone. In addition, there was restraint because the US stock exchanges were closed for the holiday and there were no reports from this side. The SMI gained 0.3 per cent to 10,486 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 11 price gainers and 9 price losers. 24.53 million shares (previously: 109.09) were traded. ABB slipped. The share price fell by 1.3 percent. The group postponed the IPO of its e-mobility business. Other cyclicals were also under pressure. Holcim fell by 0.5 per cent, Geberit by 2.5 per cent and Sika by 2.2 per cent. Defensive stocks held up better, such as heavyweights Nestle (+0.7 per cent), Novartis (+0.8 per cent) and Roche (+0.4 per cent).
European equity markets rallied on Monday after their worst week since March 2020, while Wall Street remained closed for a US holiday. Investors are still digesting recent central bank announcements that pushed eurozone government bond yields to an eight-year high. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 1% to 407.1 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 rose 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 gained 1.1% and the FTSE 100 in London gained 1.5%. Associated British Foods PLC said Monday that revenue for its fiscal third quarter increased, with Primark revenue beating prepandemic levels, and said it will trial a click-and-collect service in some U.K. stores. The British conglomerate posted revenue for the period ended May 28 of 4.05 billion pounds ($4.95 billion), up 32% from the same period a year ago at constant currency. The FTSE 100 listed company said Primark revenue increased 81% to GBP1.73 billion as all stores were open during the period. Sales in the quarter were 4% above prepandemic levels three years ago, it said. Primark is on track to deliver an adjusted operating profit margin of 10% for the full year, the company said. EasyJet PLC warned Monday that its operating costs and capacity will be worse than expected in the second half of the fiscal year, reflecting additional leased aircraft, crew costs and airport charges. The U.K. airline said that it will exceed the previously provided cost per available seat kilometer, or CASK, guidance. easyJet had said at its first half results that operating CASK for the second half ending Sept. 30 would be close to fiscal 2019 levels. In addition, the company forecast its third-quarter capacity at around 87% of fiscal 2019 levels, and fourth quarter capacity at 90%. This compares with previous capacity guidance of 90% and 97%, respectively, provided in May.
Wall Street remained closed yesterday due to a U.S. holiday.
In Asia, the main stock market indices gained ground on Tuesday. At the end of the session, the Nikkei index was up 2.5% in Tokyo, the Hang Seng was up 1.4% on the Hong Kong stock exchange and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%.
The valuation of German Bunds looks attractive in the short term, but their trajectory is upwards for the next few months and the 10-year yield is likely to exceed 2% in September, say Eric Oynoyan and Lorenzo Testa, fixed income strategists at Morgan Stanley. The yield on the 10-year Bund ended at 1.749% on Monday.
CS lowers Ascom target to CHF 7.20 (13.70) - Neutral
HSBC lowers Asos target to 860 (1’540) p - Hold
BoA raises HSBC target to 725 (700) p - Buy
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