The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Gilead Sciences

     The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Merrimack
            Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Gilead Sciences

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 26, 2013

CHICAGO, Aug. 26, 2013 /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  the C.H. Robinson Worldwide,
Inc. (Nasdaq:CHRW-Free Report), Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(Nasdaq:MACK-Free Report), Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY-Free Report),
Sanofi (NYSE:SNY-Free Report) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD-Free


Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

C.H. Robinson Upgraded to Neutral

On Aug 23, 2013, we upgraded third-party logistics company, C.H. Robinson
Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHRW-Free Report), to Neutral from Underperform.

Why the Upgrade?

We believe that the company's diverse customer base, advanced technology and
service levels, and brand value will help in winning market share over the
long term. The company will gain through investments in complementary
businesses like ocean, air and customs.

Detailed Analysis

C.H. Robinson is considered to be among the first-in-class third-party
logistics (3PL) companies given its consistent growth rate in the past few
years. The demand for 3PL services is rapidly growing as shippers seek
cost-effective one-stop solutions for their freight forwarding requirements.
Given the company's advanced technology and service capabilities, we believe
it is poised to capture a significant share in the current freight
transportation market.

The acquisition of Phoenix is expected to expand the company's global
footprint in forwarding services in both ocean and air transportation
categories along with custom brokerage. The company also acquired Poland-based
freight forwarder – Apreo Logistics S.A – that mostly compliments its trucking
business with dry van, temperature controlled as well as liquid and dry bulk
capabilities. The acquisitions are expected to expose C.H. Robinson to higher
growth markets.

C.H. Robinson continues to have a strong balance sheet with significant
liquidity. The company also remains focused on increasing shareholders' wealth
by regular payments of dividends and share repurchases. We believe that
increased returns strengthen shareholders' confidence in the company.

Nevertheless, we prefer to stay on the sidelines as a competitive freight
market, declining truckload market share and limited margin expansion
opportunities pose as near-term headwinds.

Further, the higher personnel expenses given the rise in headcount and the
increased integration cost associated with the Phoenix acquisition will hinder
the company's growth. Hence, the company is expected to perform at par with
the broader industry and we advise investors to hold on to the stock.

C. H. Robinson currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Merrimack Study Data Published

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s (Nasdaq:MACK-Free Report) recently announced
the publication of a paper on its phase II study on its oncology candidate,
MM-398, in the British Journal of Cancer.

MM-398 is currently in phase III development for the second-line treatment of
pancreatic cancer patients, whose disease has progressed after being treated
with Eli Lilly and Company's (NYSE:LLY-Free Report) Gemzar (gemcitabine).
Merrimack expects to complete patient enrollment in the third quarter of 2013
and to report top-line results in fourth-quarter 2013 or first-quarter 2014
for this phase III study.

MM-398 was granted orphan drug designation by the European Medicines Agency
(EMA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011, for the
treatment of pancreatic cancer. MM-398 is being studied in several phase I and
phase II studies for cancer indications other than pancreatic cancer.

The company has an assignment, sublicense and collaboration agreement with
PharmaEngine, Inc. Under the agreement, Merrimack reacquired the rights to
MM-398 in Europe and certain other countries. Merrimack made an upfront
payment of $10 million to PharmaEngine and will be making milestone payments.

Merrimack also has a license and collaboration agreement with Sanofi
(NYSE:SNY-Free Report) for the development of another oncology candidate,
MM-121. MM-121 is being evaluated for multiple cancer indications including
breast cancer (phase II).

We note that Merrimack has another oncology candidate, MM-111, in its
pipeline. Last month, the company advanced MM-111 into phase II development
for the treatment of advanced gastric, esophageal and gastroesophageal
junction (GEJ) cancer.

Merrimack currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). At present, companies like
Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD-Free Report) look well-positioned with a
Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

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