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Biogen Idec Inc., Elan Corporation, Chevron Corporation, CNOOC Ltd., and ExxonMobil Corporation highlighted in Zacks Analyst



   Biogen Idec Inc., Elan Corporation, Chevron Corporation, CNOOC Ltd., and
           ExxonMobil Corporation highlighted in Zacks Analyst Blog

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 18, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com 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 Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB), Elan
Corporation (ELN), Chevron Corporation (CVX), CNOOC Ltd. (CEO) and ExxonMobil
(XOM).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting Four daily picks are offered free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Biogen, Elan Seek Label Expansion

Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) and partner Elan Corporation (ELN) recently submitted
applications to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European
Medicines Agency (EMA) seeking to update the label of their multiple sclerosis
(MS) drugTysabri (natalizumab).

The companies are looking to get Tysabri approved as a first line treatment
for patients suffering from certain relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS)
who have tested negative for antibodies to the JC virus (JCV).

The application is based on risk stratification data. Tysabri slows disability
progression by 42% – 54% and reduces annualized relapse rates by 68%.

Tysabri is the primary growth driver at Elan. As per Elan, Tysabri global net
sales in the third quarter of 2012 rose 9.8% to $306.4 million. However, third
quarter 2012 Tysabri revenues at Biogen declined 1% to $275 million.

We note that Tysabri is approved in the US for treating relapsing forms of
multiple sclerosis (MS) in patients who show inadequate response to or are
unable to tolerate other treatments. In the EU, Tysabri is approved for
treating highly active relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in adults who have severe
RRMS or have not responded to beta interferon treatment.

In the EU, Tysabri was approved in 2006 and in the US it was initially
approved in 2004. The product was withdrawn from US markets in 2005 due to the
progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) concern. The drug was
reintroduced by Biogen and Elan after a year with a strict warning regarding
the occurrence of PML.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on both Biogen and Elan. While
Biogen carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the short run, Elan carries a Zacks
Rank #2 (Buy).

Chevron to Explore in China

Chevron China Energy Company – subsidiary of the U.S. energy behemoth Chevron
Corporation (CVX) – entered into two production sharing agreements with China
National Offshore Oil Corporation – parent company of the Chinese energy giant
CNOOC Ltd. (CEO).

The contracts are for the exploration of blocks 15/10 and 15/28 located in
Xijiang Sag of Pearl River Mouth Basin in the eastern part of the South China
Sea. Together, the blocks cover an area of about 2,233 square miles in water
depth of 50–100 meters.

Per the deals, Chevron will have 100% stake in both the shallow water blocks,
while CNOOC will have the right to share up to 51% in any commercial
discovery. Chevron will operate both the blocks and will carry out 3D seismic
data surveys. The cost of the same will be borne by Chevron. No other
financial term was disclosed.

This deal is a part of the strategic move by Chevron to develop its business
in the Asia Pacific region.

Chevron is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, implying that it is
expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next
one to three months. We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral
recommendation on the stock.

The energy giant's current oil and gas development project pipeline is among
the best in the industry, boasting large and multi-year projects.
Additionally, this second-largest U.S. oil company by market value after
ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM) possesses one of the healthiest balance sheets
among its peers that help it to capitalize on strategic investment
opportunities.

However, due to its integrated nature, Chevron is particularly susceptible to
the downside risk from any weakness in the global economy. We are also
concerned about the company's high level of capital spending, which may result
in reduced returns going forward.

Today, Zacks is promoting Four daily picks are offered free.

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SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

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