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The morning after the Merck annual business briefing, the analyst reviews are pouring in. For the most part, the ones that I've received at least, say it had a good beat. Only Sanford C. Bernstein's Tim Anderson says he can't dance to it. He titles a research note to clients, "Annual Business Review Uneventful--No Real Surprises, Positive Or Negative."
Reinsurer Swiss Re said it is committed to the Financial Services unit that was the source of last month's large subprime writedown and said it was likely to speed up its share buyback program.
Shares of reinsurer Munich Re rose sharply on Friday after a Swedish investment fund disclosed it acquired nearly 3 percent of the world's second-biggest reinsurer.
I don't know how they all got clustered together--maybe so many of the major pharmaceutical companies meet with Wall Street in early December so everyone can then take off on long vacations--but my hands are full with three big pharma events in as many days. Yesterday, Merck put out guidance.
Insurer Swiss Life raised its targets on Tuesday, aiming to boost earnings per share by at least 12 percent annually, and said the credit crisis will not hit its results, lifting its shares.
Mergers and acquisitions were back Monday as numerous high-profile companies announced plans to tie up despite recent tightness in the credit market and uncertainty over the strength of Western economies.
MetLife, the largest U.S. life insurer, Monday forecast fourth-quarter and 2008 earnings below analysts' expectations, sending its shares down as much as 3.4 percent.
Marsh & McLennan said Monday that Daniel Glaser will become chairman and chief executive of Marsh Inc, the insurance brokerage's main operating subsidiary, effective Dec. 10.
Swiss Life advanced a sweeping restructuring on Monday, unveiling plans to buy German investment adviser AWD in an agreed deal valuing AWD at 1.16 billion euros ($1.71 billion).
Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin), the Chairman of the Senate's Special Committee on Aging, has made public a copy of a letter he recently sent to Genentech's President of Product Development, Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann--a frequent guest on CNBC--regarding the company's new policy on the use of the eye drug Lucentis.
Ping An Insurance (Group), China's No.2 life insurer, bought a 4.2 percent stake in Dutch-Belgian financial services firm Fortis for $2.7 billion, the latest overseas investment by a Chinese financial firm.
Today's Wall Street Journal Heard on the Street column quotes some unnamed "people familiar with the matter" as saying Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway could make big profits by throwing a "lifeline" to bond insurers hurt by excessive fears over credit market losses.
Allianz is on course for its 2007 earnings goals despite renewed pain at problem child Dresdner Bank which saw 575 million euros ($845 million) in write-downs in the third quarter and warned of more.
American International Group reported third-quarter earnings of $1.35 per share, sharply missing Wall Street estimates of $1.62.
Net profit at Swiss Re dropped by less than expected in the third quarter, as the world's largest reinsurer benefited from low claims and said damage from a global credit crisis was limited.
Munich Re may beat its 2007 earnings target and has little risk from its remaining subprime investments, the reinsurer said on Monday after lower taxes helped it post a strong rise in third-quarter net profit.
Former American International Group chief executive and major stockholder Maurice "Hank" Greenberg said in a filing on Friday that he was considering "strategic alternatives" for the world's largest insurer.
Operating earnings at Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway fell slightly in the third quarter, with a big drop in profits for its insurance-underwriting operations.But the company posted a big increase in net earnings due to a $2 billion dollar one-time gain from sales of investments (PetroChina!)
Yet another chapter in the unfolding saga of Genentech's Avastin being used instead of Lucentis to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The other day I blogged about the new "Open Letter" on the company's homepage announcing that it's delaying the implementation of its attempted crackdown on the cheaper, similar cancer drug being used...
Prudential Financial, one of the largest U.S. life insurers, said on Wednesday that third-quarter net income fell 25 percent, hurt by investment losses, but operating earnings beat analysts' expectations.
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