The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Starbucks Corporation, Tevana Holdings, Inc., Celgene Corporation, Amgen Inc. and Pfizer

  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Starbucks Corporation, Tevana Holdings,
            Inc., Celgene Corporation, Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Inc.

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 16, 2012

CHICAGO, Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Starbucks Corporation (SBUX),
Teavana Holdings, Inc. (TEA), Celgene Corporation  (CELG), Amgen Inc.  (AMGN)
and Pfizer Inc. (PFE).


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks
are offered free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Starbucks to Buy Teavana

Looking for new growth avenues beyond coffee, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) has
entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Atlanta-based Teavana Holdings,
Inc. (TEA), a specialty retailer of tea for approximately $620 million in

Teavana operates through 300 mall-based stores, which Starbucks plans to
expand as well as establish new stand-alone Teavana neighborhood stores
domestically as well as internationally. Moreover, Starbucks plans to open tea
bars (which will make customized tea beverages) inside these stores, which
presently sell only loose-leaf teas and related merchandise.

We believe that the coming together of Starbucks and Teavana provides the
former a global opportunity to create a unique retail experience in the $40
billion tea category. Starbucks claims that tea is the world's second largest
beverage category with huge scope for innovation, which it plans to exploit.
Management stressed though that the push into tea does not signal a slowdown
in its core coffee business.

The acquisition is complementary with Starbucks' already existing core tea
business of Tazo tea. Starbucks sells Tazo tea in stores as well as across
foodservice channels. Over time, Starbucks plans to create a two-tiered
business where both the Tazo and Teavana branded products will co-exist.

Starbucks is constantly on the lookout for new businesses, which complement
its core coffee offerings. Six months ago, Starbucks acquired bakery chain La
Boulange and a year back it bought Evolution Fresh juice stores to expand its
footprint beyond coffee. Teavana is another step in that direction.

Teavana shareholders will receive $15.50 per share in cash for the merger,
which has already been approved by 70% of Teavana shareholders through written
consent. Per the agreement, which is expected to complete by calendar year
end, Teavana will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks. The
acquisition is expected to add a penny to 2013 earnings.

Our Recommendation

We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on Starbucks. However,
the stock carries a Zacks #2 Rank (a short-term Hold rating) which implies a
short term buy rating. Starbucks is gaining momentum with solid results in
fiscal 2012; regular product innovations like the recently launched at-home
coffee machine, Verismo; and great strategic deals like La Boulange, Evolution
Fresh and now Teavana.

Celgene's Apremilast Encourages

Celgene Corporation (CELG) recently announced encouraging results on its
candidate apremilast from a phase III study (PALACE-1: n~500), which evaluated
patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis at 20 mg and 30 mg dosages. We
note that psoriatic arthritis refers to a painful, chronic inflammatory
disease, associated with psoriasis (a skin-related disorder). Results were
presented at the annual conference of the American College of Rheumatology

Data from the randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center study revealed that
patients treated with apremilast achieved statistically significant and higher
ACR20 responses at week 16 compared to those in the placebo arm

We note that apart from the PALACE-1 study, the PALACE program consists of two
more phase III studies (PALACE 2 and PALACE 3). We remind investors that
Celgene presented encouraging data from the PALACE-2 and PALACE-3 studies in
September 2012.

Celgene intends to seek US approval for apremilast in the psoriatic arthritis
indication based on data from the PALACE program in the first half of 2013.
Celgene is also evaluating apremilast in patients suffering from
moderate-to-severe psoriasis, US approval is expected to be sought in the
second half of 2013.

Celgene intends to seek EU approval for apremilast in the psoriasis and
psoriatic arthritis indications in the second half of 2013. Apremilast, on
approval, would compete with drugs such as Amgen/Pfizer's (AMGN /PFE) Enbrel
in the market for inflammatory diseases. Moreover, Celgene is also evaluating
apremilast as a treatment for Behcet's disease.

Our Recommendation

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Celgene. The stock carries a
Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the short run.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks
are offered free.

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