The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Actavis, BP, Total, Petrobras and Devon
CHICAGO, May 21, 2013
CHICAGO, May 21, 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 Actavis, Inc.'s (NYSE:ACT), BP
plc (NYSE:BP), Total SA (NYSE:TOT), Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) and Devon Energy
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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:
FDA Accepts Actavis NDA
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted Actavis, Inc.'s
(NYSE:ACT) new drug application for its oral contraceptive candidate. The
company is looking to get its progestin-only transdermal contraceptive patch
(norethindrone transdermal delivery system) approved for the prevention of
With the FDA granting standard review to the NDA, a response should be out by
Dec 27, 2013. The NDA was submitted on Feb 26, 2013 and includes data from a
12-month, multicenter, open-label study.
The once-weekly dosing regimen of the patch could help improve compliance and
convenience in progestin-only contraceptive users.
Actavis is working on strengthening its women's health business. Earlier this
year, the company acquired Belgium-based Uteron Pharma. With this acquisition,
Actavis gained a portfolio of two late-stage, one mid-stage and several
early-stage pipeline candidates.
Uteron's two-late stage candidates are Levosert, an intrauterine device (IUD)
for long-term contraception and the treatment of heavy bleeding and Diafert, a
non-invasive immunoassay kit for the determination of the quality of oocyte
(egg) during in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
While Levosert is currently under review in several EU countries, Diafert
could obtain EU approval later this year. As far as the US is concerned,
Levoset is currently in phase III development. Diafert is slated to enter into
phase III development this year in the US.
Estelle, Uteron's mid-stage pipeline candidate, is a contraceptive that could
be launched in 2018.
Actavis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). With fewer major patent
expiries slated to occur in the next few years, we are encouraged by Actavis'
focus on building its branded and biosimilars pipeline.
BP Wins Brazilian Acreage
The U.K. supermajor BP plc (NYSE:BP) along with its partners Total SA
(NYSE:TOT), Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., or Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) and Petrogal
have emerged as winning bidders for the deepwater acreage in Brazil's National
Petroleum Agency's (ANP) eleventh bidding round. This represents the first
bidding round held since Dec 2008 and the first under Brazil's new petroleum
BP and partners will explore for oil and gas in eight deepwater blocks
including FZA-M-57, FZA-M-59, FZA-M-86, FZA-M-88, FZA-M-125, and FAZ-M-127 in
the Foz do Amazonas basin, BAR-M-346 in the Barreirinhas basin, and POT-M-764
in the Potiguar basin. Under the Brazilian concession regime, the companies
will have the legal right to develop any commercial discovery.
BP will operate block FZA-M-59 with a 70% stake and block BAR-M-346 with a 50%
stake. The next step of BP and its partners involves working with ANP to
finalize the awards. The signing of the contracts is scheduled for Aug 2013.
The contract award follows BP's re-entry into Brazil's upstream market in 2011
with its purchase of interests from Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) and
acquisition of interests in four Petrobras-operated deepwater blocks in
Brazil's equatorial belt in 2012.
Winning these blocks will help BP in achieving its strategy of optimizing its
global portfolio and repositioning itself for long-term growth. The energy
giant has created a large portfolio of upstream interests in Brazil over the
last two years. Currently, the company is aggressively pursuing exploration in
this new acreage that presents significant upside potential over the long
BP's presence in Brazil dates back to 1957. The oil giant has significant
business interests in the region even after the sale. It operates in Brazil
through four businesses – exploration and production (BP Energy do Brasil),
biofuels (BP Biocombustíveis), aviation fuel (Air BP) and lubricants
BP carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which is equivalent to a short-term Hold
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