Posted April 2, 2013 by Eric Shirey in Health

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) flat after it loses patent battle - NVS, T

Northern, WI 04/02/2013 (avauncer) - Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) (Current $71.63, Up by 0.80%). The stock opened at $71.00 on April 1, 2013, hit a bottom of $70.83 and touched a high of $71.33 during the trading session. It traded volumes of 1.08 Million on April 1 compared to average trading volumes of 1.74 Million. The company lost its India patent lawsuit on April 01, 2013. The drug maker has filed for a patent on the updated version of its cancer treating drug, Glievec. However, the patent asked was rejected on the grounds that it did not conform to the laws of being a new medicine. In addition, if India allows patents on existing drugs by making minor changes in them it could prove harmful for its generic drug industry worth $26 Billion. This decision was also based on making vital drugs cheaply available in the Indian markets. NVS reacting negatively on the denial has decided to discontinue clinical research in India.

AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) (Current $37.65, Up by 1.06%). On April 1, 2013, the stock opened at $36.71, touched a high of $37.32 and plummeted as low as $36.71 during the session. On April 1, the stock traded volumes of 24.21 Million, lower than its average trading volumes of 24.24 Million. The company authorized a new share repurchase program of up to 30.0 Million shares and this buyback does not have an expiry date. This buyback authorization is in addition to the two already existing repurchase programs authorized in the years of 2010 and 2012 respectively. The other covenants of the company are to maintain a Net debt/Adjusted EBITDA ratio of between the range of 1 and 1.8. The second financial covenant is to retain a credit rating of “A” on its debt. The company plans to go slow on buybacks in near term unlike its last year pace. If the merger of MetroPCS and T-Mobile materializes, it would give a tough competition to AT&T. Deutsche Telekom would make an impactful U.S. comeback with the consolidation of the 4th and 5th largest wireless carriers of the U.S.

Facebook Inc., (NASDAQ:FB) (Current $25.88, Up by 1.34%). The stock opened at $25.63 on April 1, 2013. It touched of high of $25.89 and plunged as low as $25.28 during the trading session. It traded volumes of 22.25 Million much lower compared to its average trading volume of 38.90 million. There was a rumor in market that Mark Zuckerberg might face a tax liability of $1 Billion as he exercised options of 60 Million FB shares at a strike price of $0.06. This alone resulted in an income aloes to $2.3 Billion for Mark Zuckerberg. A potential emerging rival for FB could be the Smartphone based messaging apps. These apps have gained immediate momentum amongst youth. One can create profile; build friends’ network, share music, images, pictures, and videos. Messaging apps flocking across the European, North American and Asian markets include Kakao talk from Kakao Inc., weChat from Tencent Holdings Ltd and LINE form NHN Corp. These startups could pose threat to the industry Walworth FB.

Eric Shirey

Eric Shireya is a former newspaper section editor and reporter who has been reporting on Fashion and Lifestyle for about 10 years. His work has been published in national business trade magazines, and can be found on wire services, in daily newspapers, in university alumni magazines, on the web, in newsletters, and more. His career highlights have included interviewing Bob Hope, laughing through a phone conversation with Richard Simmons, chatting with Melissa Etheridge, and enduring a press conference in a hot air balloon.