Friday, May 18, 2007

Paperstand (GE, IMCL, REGN, DNA, ONXX, KOG, CHC)

The WSJ reports that General Electric (GE) is close to agreeing to sell its plastics division for almost $11bn to Saudi Arabia's largest industrial co, Saudi Basic Industries. If the deal is completed, the Saudi co known will have bested Basell of Hoofddorp, after a long auction process. Several private-equity firms were also interested at one time.

„Heard on the Street” reports that shares of ImClone (IMCL) have tumbled more than 9% since Tuesday on heavy volume after embargoed data from an important cancer trial was released to 24K physicians expected to attend the conference of one of the largest oncology groups, the ASCO. Shares of Regeneron (REGN) have fallen almost 15% since and Genentech (DNA) is down 3%, while Onyx Pharma (ONXX) is up almost 10%, as investors pass around abstracts, or summaries, of data to be released as part of the ASCO meeting. Even though regulators have clamped down recently on co’s relaying mkt-moving information to select investors, it isn't the first time that stocks have moved sharply ahead of the key event, amid the growing hunger of investors to get an information edge on volatile stocks such as biotech co’s. "Oncology stocks consistently have shown unexplained volatility around the time ASCO releases data on embargo to its members," says Steven Harr, of Morgan Stanley.

Barron’s Online out saying that Kodiak (KOG) shares should scale new heights as the co plumbs the depths of the Rockies in search of untapped energy. The rocky shale Kodiak is drilling through is thousands of feet thick in the Vermillion Basin of Wyoming and Northern Colorado, far thicker than gas explorers usually encounter. Though it is more expensive and challenging to drill here than in most places on the continent, high gas flows from Kodiak's first wells and from those of another nearby energy-and-exploration co, Questar (STR), indicate that this region could become one of N-America's best natural-gas finds. Kodiak has yet to turn a profit, but the co is expected to start generating earnings once it shifts into production mode. Led by a cost-conscious mgmt team, each member with decades of energy experience in the Rockies, Kodiak has enough cash on the books to cover ‘07 operating costs. Speculators have driven Kodiak's shares from around $3 last fall to a record high $6.40 on May 1 on the two wells dug by Kodiak and a string of positive results from the area's largest player and first mover, Questar. Randall Abramson, of Trapeze Asset Mgmt, says Kodiak "is a very compelling resource story with a potential for an awful lot of natural gas." He sees the stock as a play on the potential value of reserves locked in Kodiak's land.

“Inside Scoop” section reprots that 4 insiders at Centerline (CHC) have been busy lining their coffers with shares of the co since the stock fell to a yearly low. CEO, Chmn, Vice Chmn and a managing trustee have bought a total of $9.3m of the co's stock since May 11. The cluster of purchases represents the highest level of quarterly buying at the co over the past 5 years. Stephen Ross, the co's non-exec Chmn, spent the most, buying 402K shares for $7.2m. Ross is "a legend in the real-estate business, so his involvement in [Centerline] and his buying here certainly makes it attractive," says Ben Silverman, of

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