A.M. Buzzers: Medicis Pharma SURGES 40%, Analysts Pick Morgan Stanley Over Goldman

Shares of Medicis Pharmaceutical (NYSE:MRX) jumped nearly 40 percent on heavy volume this morning. The company is being acquired by Valeant Pharma for $2.6 billion in cash. Valeant would pay $44 in cash for each share of Medicis, 39 percent more than the stock’s Aug. 31 closing price, The New York Times reports.

Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) fell 0.10 percent lower this morning. The packaged food company reported that first quarter net income declined 24.8 percent to $61.7 million (40 cents per share), compared to $82.1 million (49 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also came in at $3.09 billion, below estimates of $3.26 billion.

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Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) shares jumped more than 1 percent Tuesday morning. The company announced that net income for its fourth quarter increased 27 percent to $127 million (40 cents per share), compared to $100 million (31 cents per share) a year earlier. Denise Morrison, Campbell’s CEO and President, said, “In the fourth quarter, we generated organic sales growth, with gains across most of our portfolio, including strong sales in U.S. Soup and U.S. Simple Meals. Retailers continue to respond favorably to our new product development, and we have started shipping new products for fiscal 2013 launches.”

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) shares increased 1.80 percent. Analysts at J.P. Morgan (NYSE:JPM) advised clients that it favored Morgan Stanley over Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). The analysts also upgraded Morgan Stanley to Overweight from Neutral and cut Goldman Sachs to Underweight. “The key reason for our preference of Morgan Stanley over Goldman Sachs is the valuation difference with Morgan Stanley trading at 7.5 times price to earnings ratio, compared to Goldman at 8.8 times,” the analysts explained.

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