The stock price of Vroom Inc (NASDAQ: VRM) increased by 6.24% today as it went from a previous close of $37.33 to $39.66 now. This is why it happened.
The stock price of Vroom Inc (NASDAQ: VRM) — an e-commerce platform for buying, selling, and trading new and used cars in the U.S. — increased by 6.24% today as it went from a previous close of $37.33 to $39.66 now. One of the biggest triggers for the stock price increase was the acquisition of CarStory.
While the deal was announced yesterday morning, the stock price started trending upwards. And the Vroom stock price is nearly up 12% since the deal was announced.
At 8:30 AM ET on Tuesday, December 15, Vroom announced that it acquired CarStory for $120 million (through the acquisition of its parent company Vast Holdings). CarStory — which is informed by more than 7 million listings per day and more than 18 million consumer sessions per month — is known for bringing the industry’s most complete and accurate view of predictive market data to Vroom’s national e-commerce and vehicle operations platform.
As part of Vroom, CarStory is going to continue to drive automotive retail innovation by aggregating, optimizing, and distributing current market data from thousands of automotive sources and offering its digital retailing services to dealers, top automotive financial services companies, and household names in automotive industry research and retailing.
The $120 million acquisition is comprised of approximately 60% in cash and 40% in shares of Vroom common stock. And the final cash/stock split is subject to adjustment and will be determined at closing.
The deal is anticipated to close in January 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. And the acquisition of CarStory is expected to be neutral to Vroom’s operating results in 2021.
“At Vroom, we’ve built a platform made for scale and driven by data. As car buyers and sellers across the country increasingly turn to e-commerce solutions, CarStory will strengthen and extend the reach of our digital retailing platform, and together we will accelerate the transformation of the massive used auto industry. We’ve been continually impressed by the size, breadth and sophistication of CarStory’s operations as we have worked with them for the past two years and we are thrilled to welcome them to Vroom.”
— Paul Hennessy, Chief Executive Officer at Vroom
“Our mission has always been to provide data and services that enable our partners to grow and that won’t change. We believe joining the Vroom team significantly enhances our ability to transition an industry to digital retailing and will allow our partners to reach their goals even faster.”
Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, who founded telecom giant Econet Global, has joined the board of directors at Netflix.
The move follow’s last week’s news that Susan Rice left her board post in preparation to take a role in the Joe Biden administration.
“We are delighted to welcome Strive to the Netflix board,” Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings said in a press release. “His entrepreneurship and vision in building businesses across Africa and beyond will bring valuable insights and experience to our board as we work to improve and serve more members all around the world.”
Added Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, “I’m thrilled to have Strive join our board as we expand more across Africa and the world.”
In addition to serving as executive chairman of Econet, the London-based Masiyiwa serves as a director for Unilever, the National Geographic Society and the Asia Society. He is a global advisory board member for Bank of America, the Council on Foreign Relations, Stanford University and the Prince of Wales Trust for Africa and is a longtime board member of the United States Holocaust Museum’s Committee on Conscience.
A former board member of the Rockefeller Foundation, he is chairman emeritus of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and African Union Special Envoy to the continent’s response to Covid-19.
“Netflix is at the forefront of bringing great entertainment from anywhere in the world to everyone in the world,” Masiyiwa said, “and I look forward to working with the board and all stakeholders to continue its traditions of innovation and growth.”
ContextLogic, which is the parent company for eCommerce giant Wish, saw shares fall 16.4 percent Wednesday (Dec. 16) for the company’s market debut, CNBC reported.
The opening trade was $22.75 per share, which ended up below the $24 per share initial public offering (IPO) pricing, which the company had priced as high as it could.
Wish, founded in 2010 by former Google engineer Peter Szulczewski, has become known as a market for low- and middle-class shoppers, gaining it a reputation as an online dollar store, CNBC reported. The company has become one of the U.S.’s largest eCommerce marketplaces, which has become especially relevant as the pandemic has driven people to shop online more than they ever have.
But Szulczewski said he thinks the value for the company is underrated, CNBC reported.
“We focus on delivering as much value for our consumers as possible, and that’s served us well,” Szulczewski told David Faber on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “We believe this is an underserved demographic.”
The company chose to go public at a time when IPOs are going strong. Other online sensations like Airbnb and DoorDash have skyrocketed after their debuts.
For the first nine months of 2020, Wish reported $1.75 billion, which represents a 32 percent growth rate, CNBC reported.
But PYMNTS reported that there were deepening net losses, with the company seeing $176 million in that nine-month period, a mass increase from the $5 million at the same time period from 2019.
The company filed for its IPO in November, with backing from Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America. Wish priced its shares at $24 earlier this week, which helped garner $1.1 billion with an implied market capitalization of $14 billion, PYMNTS reported.
But the price range forecasted a lower market capitalization than bankers had previously estimated, with some of them predicting Wish would see $25 billion to $30 billion.
NEW PYMNTS STUDY: HOW LOCATION DATA CAN HELP BANKS PREVENT ONLINE FRAUD
The November 2020 study How Location Data Can Help Banks Prevent Online Fraud, PYMNTS surveyed a balanced panel of 2,141 U.S. consumers who own mobile devices and use credit or debit cards at least monthly. The study examined their willingness to share mobile location data with FIs to keep their accounts safe as well as their interest in switching to banks that leverage geolocation tools to prevent fraud.
CVS Health is planning to give $250 special bonuses to nearly 200,000 of its workers to reward them for the work they’ve done to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company is also making adjustments to some employees’ compensation to mitigate the disruption caused by the pandemic. The roughly $60 million in bonuses will go out beginning in January, a CVS spokesperson confirmed.
“The special bonus is really in recognition of the extraordinary efforts that our employees have put forward this year in the face of COVID-19, and with all of the work that has been done to address the pandemic,” the spokesperson said.
The bonuses will go to full-time and part-time workers in a variety of roles, including retail, long-term care pharmacy, distribution, pharmacy benefit management, and other roles that support patients, customers and clients, the spokesperson said. Office workers will also be getting bonuses.
CVS has played a big role this year in providing access to coronavirus testing, and is now partnering with the federal government to give COVID-19 shots to seniors and staff in at least 30,000 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities nationwide. That effort is expected to start on Dec. 21.
Not all CVS workers are getting special bonuses, as some already participate in existing bonus programs and will receive a minimum of $250, the spokesperson said. At the end of 2019, CVS employed about 290,000 people, and it has announced plans to hire tens of thousands more since then. The company operates more than 9,900 pharmacies across the US.
This is the second time this year that the Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based pharmacy giant has given employees bonuses.
In March, the company said it was giving appreciation bonuses ranging from $100 to $500 to pharmacists, frontline health professionals, store associates, managers and other hourly workers to help them navigate the pandemic. It also began offering child- and elder-care benefits.
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The “warp speed” assistance of the US government to help pharmaceutical companies create COVID-19 vaccines has been an amazing moonshot for science and civilization.
It turned a small biotechnology firm, Moderna (MRNA–Free Report) , from posting sales of $60 million in 2019 to potentially hitting $10 billion in 2021. Based in Cambridge MA, Moderna focuses on drug discovery, drug development, and vaccine technologies based exclusively on messenger RNA (mRNA) platforms.
RNA (ribonucleic acid) are like the “instructions with orders” that turn DNA code into reality. RNA molecules provide cells with specific instructions for making proteins, the building blocks of all life and metabolic systems.
To explain it to my kids, I say DNA is the recipe cook book, but RNA is the chef who makes the magic happen.
Look Ma! I Got Spikes, But No COVID!
Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer (PFE–Free Report) contain the genetic instructions for making the SARS-CoV-2 “spike” protein. This protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Moderna’s technology platform inserts synthetic, modified mRNA (modRNA) into human cells which then display the protein spike on their surface. This mRNA insertion that created the protein then essentially reprograms the cells to prompt immune responses.
In this way, mRNA vaccines teach our cells the recipe for how to make a protein that will trigger the desired immune response — without having any live virus injected into the body.
Since the spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19, it’s almost like that nasty coronavirus gave us an easy target to defeat it — like an enemy flag telling us where and how to kill them at any time.
We win without injecting live virus into the body and once our cells follow the instructions of the recipe, our body’s immune system does its job and makes antibodies to fight any such future invaders it recognizes.
Plus, as Canadian Health Services says on its website, “After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.”
New Approach to Vaccines
Here’s how the CDC introduces the topic on their info page…
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
In other words, instead of delivering a virus or a viral protein, RNA vaccines deliver genetic information that allows the body’s own cells to produce the anti-bodies with just a recipe.
Since mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19, you can’t catch it from the injection. And while inserting anything to do with DNA into our bodies sounds dangerous, mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is protected.
So they don’t affect or interact with our DNA in any way. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.
Faster, Cheaper, Better
According to Anne Trafton, writing for MIT News, “Most vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 provoke an immune response that targets the coronavirus spike protein, which is found on the surface of the virus. Messenger RNA vaccines encode segments of the spike protein, and those mRNA sequences are much easier to generate in the lab than the spike protein itself.”
But it wasn’t always so clear this would happen. As a novel technique only a few years old, it was frequently abandoned due to the side effects of inserting mRNA into cells. Trafton continues…
“Developing and testing a new vaccine typically takes at least 12 to 18 months. However, just over 10 months after the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was published, two pharmaceutical companies applied for FDA emergency use authorization of vaccines that appear to be highly effective against the virus.”
Those two companies, as you now know, are Pfizer and Moderna. In late November, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, had shown preliminary evidence of 95% efficacy — even better than Pfizer’s vaccine — in preventing COVID-19 disease in a Phase III trial, with only minor flu-like side effects.
While Pfizer made it through clinical trials faster and was granted FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) in Europe, the United States, and Canada, Moderna has its day of reckoning on Thursday.
But so far, the “better, faster, cheaper” nature of MRNA-1273 has a risk profile that few investors should be arguing with. In the video that accompanies this article, I detail the refrigeration requirements that make it superior to Pfizer’s offering.
And I also touch on the rapid adaptability of the platform to coronavirus mutations. Because one thing we should all know for sure by now, is that SARS and COVID are not going away. As long as the earth’s population of people and animals climbs, there will be new animal-to-human transmissions of disease.
The Short History of Warp Speed
In better news, there is nothing like a crisis to breed innovation. We wouldn’t be talking about Moderna as a $60 billion company with $10 billion in forecast sales without the COVID-19 pandemic trying to knock us out.
In the video, I also take a whirlwind tour of what Moderna accomplished to take on its bigger rival Pfizer in such an amazingly short time. Granted, Moderna took advantage of nearly $1 billion dollars in R&D support from the White House’s Operation Warp Speed to successfully produce its vaccine.
But I don’t think most of us would have it any other way. We’ve spent orders of magnitude more mobilizing military and space missions in the past 80 years. So this drop in the bucket may have a greater return for civilization than anyone can calculate.
From Whence Moderna (courtesy of Wikipedia)
In 2010, ModeRNA Therapeutics was formed to commercialize the research of stem cell biologist Derrick Rossi. Rossi had developed a method of modifying mRNA by first transfecting it into human cells, then dedifferentiating it into stem cells which could then be further redifferentiated into desired target cell types. Rossi approached fellow Harvard University faculty member Tim Springer, who solicited co-investment from Kenneth Chien, Bob Langer, and venture capital firm Flagship Ventures.
I don’t know much about any of these scientists, researchers, or investors. But I do know that the man who headed up Operation Warp Speed was on the board of Moderna. While many are crying about conflicts of interest, I am more interested the man’s decades-long career in spearheading drug development through regulatory gauntlets.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, former head of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccines department for 30 years and often called President Trump’s coronavirus vaccine czar, announced in early December that Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines are safe, with only 10% to 15% of volunteers reporting “significantly noticeable” side effects. The side effects can last up to a day and a half.
The efficacy and safety of both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are superior to traditional adenovirus candidates like that from AstraZeneca (AZN–Free Report) . (Moderna and AZN have an old partnership that I’ll explore in a future article.)
What is MRNA Worth Potentially?
In the video, I also go over several analyst views of what would should pay for MRNA shares at this point, and the wildly disparate views of its sales potential in the next 2-3 years. One downgrade this morning from Jefferies biopharma analyst Michael Yee shared the point of view that…
The “stock is among the industry’s best this year compared to 54% gain for the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI–Free Report) .”
Well that pretty much explains it right there. You don’t have an index like the Nasdaq 100 or the Biotech Equal Weight soar 50% without some big guns leading the charge. Even the big-cap Nasdaq Biotech ETF (IBB–Free Report) is up 28% YTD.
What few are talking about right now is that the meteoric rise of Moderna will only help bolster the rest of its pipeline outside of coronaviruses. I am of course talking about the potential for “cancer vaccines” where the mRNA platform can be used to defeat that nefarious destroyer of lives at the core.
I’ll do next week’s video and article on that potential.
As I recorded this video and write the article on Wednesday the 16th, I decided I’m a Moderna investor again under $140. We previously took 40% gains in the stock and I plan to do it again, regardless of what the FDA says tomorrow.
Disclosure: I own shares of MRNA for the Zacks Healthcare Innovators portfolio.
Zacks Names “Single Best Pick to Double”
From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.
You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it’s poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Aphria shareholders will receive 0.8381 shares of Tilray for each Aphria common share. In connection with the merger, Tilray shareholders will be required to authorize the issuance of Tilray shares to Aphria shareholders. Following completion of the merger, Aphria will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tilray, with Aphria shareholders owning approximately 62% of Tilray.
The investigation concerns whether Tilray and its board of directors violated the federal securities laws and/or breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders by failing to: (1) obtain the best possible price for Tilray shareholders; and (2) disclose all material information necessary for Tilray shareholders to adequately assess and value the merger. On behalf of Tilray shareholders, Halper Sadeh LLP may seek increased consideration for shareholders, additional disclosures and information concerning the proposed transaction, or other relief and benefits.
Halper Sadeh LLP represents investors all over the world who have fallen victim to securities fraud and corporate misconduct. Our attorneys have been instrumental in implementing corporate reforms and recovering millions of dollars on behalf of defrauded investors.
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The stock price of Draftkings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG) has increased by 6.53% from a previous close of $50.50 to $53.80. This is why it happened.
The stock price of digital sports entertainment and gaming company Draftkings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG) has increased by 6.53% from a previous close of $50.50 to $53.80. This is why it happened.
Partnership With InComm Payments
Today DraftKings announced an agreement with InComm Payments (a global leading payments technology company) to launch an industry-first retail gift card. And the launch will expand DraftKings’ presence in convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Speedway, Dollar General, and Sheetz, and also enable consumers to gift the DraftKings experience to others in $25 and $50 denominations.
“Just in time for the upcoming holiday season, we are proud to work with InComm Payments to get DraftKings gift cards on the shelves at several popular retailers,” said Matt Kalish, Co-Founder and President of DraftKings North America. “We are thrilled to provide our customers with another way to fund their accounts and engage with our real money products through this first-of-its-kind offering.”
By utilizing InComm Payments’ retail network, DraftKings is expanding its reach with physical distribution and brand presence to the most frequently visited retail chains across the country, spanning convenience, pharmacy, and general merchandise partners.
“DraftKings’ popularity has grown substantially over the last couple of years and their fanbase is large and passionate,” added Tim Richardson, Senior Vice President at InComm Payments. “This agreement not only offers consumers a great gifting opportunity but also represents a significant brand expansion and enhancement opportunity for DraftKings who, for the first time, will benefit from having its brand present in tens of thousands of InComm Payments’ retail partner locations across the U.S.”
Not a bad thing for online sports betting hopes when Cuomo mentions it as a budget solution, but we have to keep in mind he’s had this option in front of him long before COVID wrecked the state’s finances https://t.co/vjlPfRZvNS
SAN DIEGO & PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shareholder rights law firm Robbins LLP is investigating certain officers and directors of EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) for breaches of their fiduciary duties and gross mismanagement. EQT is an energy company with an emphasis on Appalachian area natural gas supply, transmission and distribution.
If you suffered a loss due to EQT’s misconduct, click here.
EQT Corporation (EQT) Allegedly Made False Statements About Its Acquisition of Rice Energy Inc.
On June 19, 2017, EQT announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire rival gas producer Rice for $6.7 billion (the “Acquisition”). EQT asserted that, “by combining EQT’s and Rice’s contiguous acreage, EQT could drill natural-gas wells with longer laterals,” which EQT claimed would “generate cost savings and synergies amounting to at least $2.5 billion from the economies of scale that would result from drilling longer wells from the same well pads.” The Acquisition closed on November 13, 2017.
On October 25, 2018, EQT disclosed shockingly bad financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2018, reporting an increase in capital expenditures for 2018 by $300 million to $2.5 billion and a quarterly net loss of $40 million. On an analyst and investor call that same day, EQT acknowledges it had not lived up to its prior statements about the Acquisition. On this news, EQT shares fell 13%, dropping from a close of $40.46 per share on October 24, 2018 to $35.34 on October 25, 2018, erasing nearly $700 million in shareholder value in a single day. Over the next several days, EQT shares fell to as low as $31.00 per share—less than half what the Company was worth when the Acquisition closed in November 2017.
On December 2, 2020, the U.S. District Court denied EQT’s motion to dismiss a class action complaint alleging that EQT violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with statements made about the Acquisition, paving the way for litigation to proceed.
EQT Corporation (EQT) Shareholders Have Legal Options.
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