Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:
Pfizer — Pfizer is merging its off-patent drug unit with Mylan in a stock swap deal to form a new entity, to be 43% owned by Mylan shareholders with Pfizer shareholders owning the rest. Separately, Pfizer reported adjusted quarterly profit of 80 cents per share, 5 cents a share above estimates. Mylan reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.03 per share, beating consensus by 8 cents a share.
Genomic Health — Genomic Health agreed to be bought by cancer diagnostics company Exact Sciences for $2.8 billion in cash and stock. The deal will strengthen Exact Sciences’ lineup of cancer testing products. Exact Sciences also issued its quarterly numbers this morning, losing 30 cents per share compared to a consensus estimate of a 56 cent loss. The maker of the Cologuard colon cancer test also reported revenue that exceeded Street forecasts.
BlackRock — The asset management firm is in talks to buy cybersecurity company Cofense, according to a Reuters report. BlackRock already owns a stake, and the talks come after a U.S. national security panel reportedly asked another stakeholder, Pamplona Capital Management, to sell its stake because of unnamed security concerns.
Blackstone — London Stock Exchange is in advanced talks to buy financial data provider Refinitiv — majority owned by Blackstone — for $27 billion including assumed debt. Refinitiv is a spin-off from Thomson Reuters, which still holds a 45% stake.
Novartis — The drugmaker’s heart failure drug Entresto did not meet its goal in a trial testing its possible application for a new use. The drug is already approved to treat “reduced fraction” heart failure.
Sanofi — Sanofi raised its 2019 outlook after the French drugmaker posted strong second-quarter numbers. Sanofi’s bottom line got a boost from strong growth at its vaccines and rare diseases products.
Domino’s Pizza — The pizza chain was rated “sell” in new coverage at Deutsche Bank, which points to the “competitive intrusion” of third-part delivery aggregators. Deutsche Bank said the competitive pressure will increase in magnitude over the next 2 to 3 years.
Anheuser-Busch InBev — The beer brewer’s stock was upgraded to “buy” from “neutral” at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, noting a continually improving macro environment and that the shares provide investors with an opportunity for growth at a reasonable valuation.
Gilead Sciences — RBC Capital upgraded the drug maker’s shares to “top pick” from “outperform,” pointing to new leadership at the company and that a number of previously noted overhangs are now out of the way.
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo — Atlantic Equities rates both stocks as “overweight” in new coverage, with a positive consumer environment and easing commodity cost inflation among the positive factors. Atlantic also notes that both companies will see relatively easy comps given overall market difficulties in 2017 and 2018.