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Health Care Roundup: Market Talk

6 Jan 2018 9:20 am

The latest Market Talks covering the Health Care sector. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

2145 GMT - The corporate-tax rate reduction in the US tax overhaul is likely to be "a wash" for medical-device maker Becton Dickinson based on a "very early estimate," CEO Vincent Forlenza tells the WSJ. The company's effective tax rate was already much lower than the previous top US corporate rate of 35% because of foreign tax credits--BD gets nearly half of its revenue from outside the US--and new limits on deducting interest expense should offset benefits from the cut in the US rate to 21%, Forlenza said. BD and other device makers are hoping to persuade Congress to repeal or suspend the 2.3% excise tax on device sales that came back into effect this month after a 2-year suspension. (peter.loftus@wsj.com; @Loftus)

1617 GMT - Shares in Abcam PLC rise 4.5% to 1071 pence after the supplier of life-science research tools forecast higher first-half revenue versus the year before. Berenberg noted that the company had reiterated its constant currency revenue growth target of about 10% for the full year "with healthy caution in mind." Still, the brokerage adds: "It is clear that these results are strong, and we reiterate our buy rating on the stock." (philip.waller@wsj.com)

1606 GMT - Shares in Deltex Medical Group PLC fall 43% to 1.07 pence after the medical technology company forecast a higher-than-expected 2017 loss due to a decline in revenue as orders came through more slowly than expected. The AIM-listed group said improved margins and reduced overheads should partially make up for the deficit. Chairman Nigel Keen said he expects Deltex to benefit in 2018 from positive momentum in the U.S. and other export markets, but that the U.K. continues to be a difficult market due to National Health Service funding shortfalls. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

1429 GMT - The US Medicare health-insurance program for the elderly will pay for people with diabetes to use Abbott Labs' FreeStyle Libre continuous-glucose monitoring system--a decision that came faster than Wall Street expected, says Wells Fargo. The US FDA approved the product in September, making it the first blood-sugar monitoring system in the US that can be used without fingerstick blood samples for calibration. But this week's Medicare coverage decision is key to its sales, accounting for about 20% of glucose-monitoring patients, Wells Fargo says. "We believe the US Libre launch is off to a strong start," the firm says. (peter.loftus@wsj.com; @Loftus)

1302 GMT - European shares rise as the euro declines against the dollar ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data due later. The Stoxx Europe 600 climbs 0.6%, or 2.32 points, to 396 as the single currency falls 0.14% to $1.2051. "If the single currency takes a turn lower from here, we could see eurozone stocks shine in a way that they singularly failed to do in the latter half of 2017," says Chris Beauchamp at spread-betting firm IG. Danish bio-tech Genmab advances 4.4% on a reported broker upgrade, while Admiral Group is the biggest pan-European faller after JPMorgan reportedly downgraded the insurer. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

1054 GMT - Novartis should see a "sustained period" of double-digit growth in core earnings per share starting in 2018, Jefferies says. Cosentyx, a psoriasis treatment, and Entresto, a drug for heart failure, will continue to drive growth, with increasing contributions from Novartis's pipeline over time, Jefferies says, and the impact on growth from loss of exclusivity for certain drugs will be "more muted." New product launches and registrations, along with margin expansion, will be the focus in 2018, Jefferies says, so it should be a "relatively low-risk year" for the company. Shares trade 0.8% at CHF83.74. (sonia.amaralrohter@dowjones.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2018 04:20 ET (09:20 GMT)

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