Dow Jones 30 Week in Review: JP Morgan Resumes Stock Repurchase, Patent Cliff Haunts Pfizer

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the week in Dow 30 business news:

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General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) GE Capital Franchise Finance recently granted a $74 million loan to Team Schostak Family Restaurants, which is an Applebee’s International and Burger King franchisee. This financing will be used to pay for the purchase of 65 new Applebee’s restaurants. Currently, the Michigan-based Team Schostak Family Restaurants operates 62 Burger King restaurants, 65 Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grills, and 3 Del Taco restaurants.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): A number of financial institutions will fail to meet the end-2012 deadline for writing living wills and regulators are thus allowing the top banks extra time, according to The Financial Times. The Financial Stability Board reports that “uneven headway” had been made on resolution of the problem of “too big to fail” banks and also that fewer than a third of big financial centers will have Basel III rules in place.

Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) ARM-based tablet might possess a lot of good points, but there exist enough downsides to make taking caution advisable. It is certainly expected that the hardware platform and the Windows RT ecosystem will improve, so it is suggested that giving version 1.0 a miss might be a wise move unless one happens to be an avid early adopter.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has reached an agreement with Grupo Aeromexico, S.A.B. DE C.V. through which the latter will buy up to 90 Boeing 737 MAX narrow body aircraft. This order is subsequent to Aeromexico’s Letter of Intent to purchase as many as 100 aircraft which was announced on July 25th. Of the 90 aircraft, 60 are considered firm deliveries with the option to buy an additional 30 aircraft, subject to reconfirmation by Grupo Aeromexico. The value of the order is about $9 billion for 90 aircraft at published list prices. These new aircraft are expected to increase passenger comfort while at the same time significantly decreasing fuel costs.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) expects its fiscal year 2013 revenue to be similar to the current fiscal year in a range of plus or minus 5 percent.

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Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) reports that Turkiye Is Bankasi, which is the largest bank in Turkey, is now using a Cisco Borderless Networks and Collaboration infrastructure to improve business agility, quicken the development of products and services, and more efficiently serve its customers. The new highly secure intelligent network works for Isbank as the platform for data, voice and video communication and also links almost 25,000 employees and more than 1,200 branches in Turkey and Europe. Central to Isbank’s strategy is the availability of the same information tech capabilities, functionalities and customer-facing applications thoughout its entire branch network so as to provide the same customer experience, regardless of the size or location of individual branches.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) released its third quarter earnings last week which indicated a significant fall in revenues. The decline in sales was anticipated and the surprisingly weak performance by Prevnar disappointed many investors, pushing shares below $25. Additionally, the firm posted a decline in overall gross margins, which was expected. Drugs such as Prevenar are crucial for future growth as Pfizer has been dealing with patent cliffs and has experienced a slump in its sales in the two quarters. Lipitor generated almost $10 billion in 2011, but has lost more than half of its sales in a relatively short time since. It is also expected that the looming patent expiration for Enbrel, Detrol, along with others this year will also hurt revenues.

Merck (NYSE:MRK) KGaA, which is a German drug and chemical group, intends to establish its Indian chemicals units in Navi Mumbai as a world competence center to serve markets in selected product segments, aside from being a customer training and application development location. Currently, the firm has seven such competence centers in Brazil, Korea, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, China and the United States. The Indian division will mark its eighth and will be part of the worldwide network of Merck’s production and application training centers. The Navi Mumbai facility will also supply consumer training to its local and foreign clients, aside from being an international sourcing base for performance chemicals like effect pigments and cosmetics.

The Coca-Cola Company’s (NYSE:KO) United Kingdom website offers a new calorie calculator that tells how many calories are contained in some of their drinks and also offers an approximate amount of exercise necessary to shed those same calories. Having a can of Coke is equivalent to 17 minutes of basketball or 32 minutes of yoga for woman who weighs 60 kilograms, or about 133 pounds. Or, the calories can be worked off with a 29-minute dog walk, 45 minutes of ballroom dancing or ironing for 70 minutes. The website explains that, “Making sure there isn’t an imbalance between the amount of calories you take in each day and the amount you burn can help you to maintain a healthy weight, and the best way to ensure energy balance is by eating a well-balanced diet and enjoying regular physical activity.”

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) debuts a co-branding gaming experience with Microsoft’s Xbox that permits members to synchronize their card with their Xbox Live Gamertag so as to unlock exclusive content and offers. Card members will be able to obtain deals from AMC Theaters and PacSun that allow them cash back subsequent to spending a certain amount, along with a $10 statement credit from American Express, according to Adweek. These deals are without coupons and are automatically loaded to card members’ accounts when they choose them from the American Express tile on the Xbox dashboard.

E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE:DD) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have extended their research collaboration arrangement, which began in 2007, for another five years. This multi-million dollar partnership supports cutting-edge plant research in biology concentrated upon addressing increasing global food demands.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) will conduct a new $2.6 billion New Jersey bond sale for free, according to the Wall Street Journal. A spokesperson said that this note sale, which was postponed last week due to Sandy, is likely to be priced next week.

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Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) long-anticipated iOS (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Anrdoid (NASDAQ:GOOG) versions of Microsoft Office will debut early next year, according to inside sources to The Verge, which cites a recent Microsoft press release from its Czech Republic unit revealed that Office Mobile applications for Android and iOS would be made available by March.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and the specialty biopharmaceutical firm Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AUXL) have modified their collaboration agreement for the development, commercialization and production of Xiapex in the European Union and in certain other European and Eurasian countries. Through its terms, the Collaboration Agreement will conclude no later than April 24, 2013, but before the mutual termination date, the parties will continue to perform all of their obligations as required in the Collaboration Agreement. Subsequent to the termination date, all rights to commercialize Xiapex and responsibility for regulatory activities for Xiapex in these countries will revert to Auxilium, which at that point will recognize $94 million of deferred revenue along with $9 million of deferred costs in the fourth quarter.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) is seeing the exit of the top executive in the company’s struggling collaboration business division. Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Collaboration Technology Group, O.J. Winge, is leaving Cisco “for personal reasons,” said Marthin De Beer, who is senior vice president, video and collaboration group, in a Wednesday blog post.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) reports that the Italian custom door and furniture maker ICM has deployed its clean cycle heat-to-power generators so as to produce renewable on-site power. GE’s two 125-kilowatt clean cycle heat-to-power organic rankine cycle generators along with a superheated water wood boiler have been installed at ICMs’ manufacturing facility in Brugnera, located in the northern province of Pordenone. This new biomass boiler system converts wood waste produced at the plant into renewable energy through which to heat and drive the facility. The solution includes piping, heat exchangers, a cooling tower and service support.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is in talks with CBM Asia Development to farm into three ongoing coalbed methane production sharing contracts in the Barito Basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and to obtain the rights to farm into certain additional contracts in the Kutai Basin, East Kalimantan. CBM Asia and Exxon Mobil would possess equal ownership interest in each of the contracts if the talks are successful.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is upgrading its mobile thin clients by the use of more screen real estate and horsepower to the mt40 Mobile Thin Client line, which renders them easier to manage remotely. The mt40 is targeted at telecommuters and on-campus mobile workers and the device features a 14-inch HD display, an Intel Celeron B840 dual core processor and the option of either a lightweight or extended battery, according to the company. Additionally, the mt40 weighs slightly under 5 pounds, contains no moving parts and is a single package with keyboard, monitor and mouse since it is intended to be moved around.

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3M Company (NYSE:MMM), concurrent with a meeting of institutional investors and analysts, reported the following five-year financial objectives: A growth in earnings per share of between 9 and 11 percent, organic revenue growth in a range of 4 to 6 percent, more than 20 percent return on invested capital, and a 100 percent free cash flow conversion. Further, 3M announced that it estimates a 6 percent rise in its annual research and development investment to sales by 2017.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) has reported that the New Drug Application for suvorexant, its investigational insomnia medication, was accepted for standard review by the FDA and will be evaluated by the Controlled Substance Staff of the FDA during the NDA review. Should approval be granted, suvorexant will become available following a schedule assessment and determination has been completed by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, which typically occurs after FDA approval. Meanwhile, Merck continues with plans to seek approval for suvorexant in other countries worldwide. The NDA for suvorexant was based upon data extracted from a broad clinical development program, which includes two pivotal, three-month efficacy trials that studied the ability of suvorexant to aid patients in falling asleep and staying asleep.

Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has no plans to exit the firm, said a Fortune report on Wednesday, which also named possible successors: Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie, President of Windows and Windows Live Steven Sinofsky, and President Andrew Lees.

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Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) management believes that the firm is well-positioned to address the concerns contained in the FDA’s Complete Response Letter for Remoxy, based upon its review of recent written correspondence between Pfizer and the FDA. Remoxy received a Complete Response Letter in December 2008 and in June 2011, and Pfizer bears the sole responsibility for addressing the issues listed in the FDA’s Complete Response Letter, at its own expense. The company plans to meet with the FDA in March 2013 to discuss the drug, and it also reported the start of a new pharmacokinetic study on the same.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) announces that Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd. has selecten a Verizon Terremark enterprise cloud computing solution through which to consolidate and centralize its tech infrastructure and to better support its customers

Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface Touch Cover might contain a defect, say a number of users, as complaints are coming from the Surface Forums that the Touch Cover splits at a seam near the spot where it magnetically connects to the Surface slate. One user in that forum said that the cover “in the middle, at the join to the screen, is peeling,” and that it seems the “top layer has come loose and is ruffling up.” The Guardian, which was first to report on the problem, says that Matthew Baxter-Reynolds, a Windows developer, has also complained.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE): CVS Caremark Corporation’s (NYSE:CVS) pharmacy-benefit division intends to block coverage for 17 additional drugs starting on January 1st, adding to its list of more than 30 drugs blocked for the current year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The modifications affect the PBM’s standard formulary, which most employer clients use, and include Abbott Laboratories’ (NYSE:ABT) Androgel, Allergan’s (NYSE:AGN) Lumigan, Pfizer’s Genotropin and the diabetes drug Onglyza from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN). CVS is adding three drugs back to the formulary for 2013, including Axiron plus Endo Health Solutions’ (NASDAQ:ENDP) Fortesta and Eli Lilly and Company’s (NYSE:LLY) Tradjenta.

AT&T (NYSE:T) reports on its Public Policy blog that it will allow FaceTime video calls for iPhone 5 users alongside any AT&T Mobile Share plan, expanding it beyond customers who already have its new shared data plans.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo announced that his firm expects to have its launch of LTE technology ready nationwide in mid-2013, says Cnet.

E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE:DD): The United States Department of Agriculture has forecast higher amounts of corn inventory in the most recent World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates report. The Department currently projects ending stocks of 647 million bushels, which is more than the prior estimate of 619 million. In response, the season-average farm price for corn was forecast at 20 cents lower at the midpoint between $6.95 and $8.25 per bushel. Additionally, the forecast for soybean output rose by 111 million for October to 2.971 billion bushels. Soybean ending stocks were forecast 10 million bushels higher at 140 million.

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General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) GE Healthcare, which comprises the healthcare unit of General Electric, has purchased U-Systems, which makes ultrasound products specifically designed for breast applications and has developed the somov Automated Breast Ultrasound. The company has operations in Sunnyvale, California and in Phoenix. Financials for the transactions were not reported.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) resumes its stock repurchase plan and expects to buy up to $3 billion of its stock back during the first quarter of next year. The company placed these buybacks on hold in the wake of the $6.5 billion “London Whale” mishap.