Horizon (HZNP) entered into a settlement agreement and mutual release with Express Scripts (ESRX) to settle litigation pending in the Delaware Superior Court.
Fidelity Select Consumer Staples Portfolio Fund (FDFAX) a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) was incepted in June 1990 and is managed by the Fidelity Group
Q2 earnings season may have passed the midway point last week, but plenty of important companies are reporting earnings this morning: PFE, PG, MNT, CVS, SODA and RCL.
CVS Health Corporation (CVS) reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.18, up 3.5% year over year.
As the New Year gets underway, the highest-paid CEOs of many large corporations have already paid themselves more than the average worker will earn in the entire year! By the end of the first week of January, the highest-paid CEOs had already made as much as their average workers will earn over 8 years. An analysis by Equilar, a consulting firm specializing in executive pay, found that on average, the 200 highest-paid CEOs make approximately $22.6 million a year, or almost $10,800 an hour, a 9.1% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau reports the average household earns approximately $53,000 a year. Over the past fifty years, the pay gap between many highly-paid CEOs and their employees has increased dramatically. In 1965, when they also liked to be rich, CEOs made approximately twenty times as much as their average employee, meaning they would earn their workers' average pay by the third week of January, and since the 1980s, the average difference and greed have increased. Highly-paid CEOs now make 303 times as much as their employees in a year, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute. Equilar notes that Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav makes $156.1 million a year ($74,796.36 an hour), or approximately 1,951 times as much as his average employee. Doug McMillan, the CEO of Wal-Mart takes in $25.6 million ($12,266.41 an hour), 1,133 times as much as the average experienced store associate, who earns roughly $22,000. Other highly-paid CEOs include Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS Caremark, who makes 422 times as much as CVS employee, meaning that he earns an average worker's yearly pay by 1 PM on his first work day of the new year; and Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer, who pulls in as much as an average Goodyear employee's yearly pay by 3:00 PM on January 1st. Shareholders, the owners of those companies, do not have binding power to determine the pay of their hired help--the company bosses. The wined-and-dined selected boards of directors regularly rubber stamp massive CEO pay raises. An additional consequence of CEOs pushing up their own wages is that the company's accounting, stock options and stock buybacks are often shaped to further directly enrich the corporate executives. With such a vast disparity, the impact on employee morale is not good. All of these consequences for big companies are the reason Warren Buffett takes a critical view of sky-high corporate compensation packages. As the gap between the wealthy and the working-class continues to grow, the federal minimum wage remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour, or a little more than $15,000 a year, far below the $24,000 poverty line for a family of four. Do you find this state of affairs upsetting? Economists see raising the minimum wage as an essential tool to fight income inequality, with an increase benefiting at least 35 million Americans, according to a 2015 study by the Economic Policy Institute. Unlike the soaring pay awarded to highly compensated CEOs, the minimum wage has not even kept up with inflation. Department of Labor data shows that, had minimum wage increases kept up with inflation since 1968, the minimum wage would be nearly $11 today. Instead, it has lost one-third of its purchasing power. Raising the federal minimum wage would also reduce spending on numerous social welfare programs. A 2013 study by the Center for American Progress found that by raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the cost of enrollments in food stamp programs would decrease by $4.6 billion a year, which is why such prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Ron Unz support a long-overdue raise. On top of that, a minimum wage increase would also benefit the country's gross domestic product. A 2013 study by the Chicago Federal Reserve showed that increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour would increase the GDP by $22 billion annually. In fact, raising the minimum wage can allow companies to remain profitable. A study by the United Kingdom's Chartered Institute for Personnel Development found that when companies raised wages for their employees, the companies became more efficient, and workplace productivity increased. Costco CEO Craig Jelenik explains that "An important reason for the success of Costco's business model is the attraction and retention of great employees. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty." Raising wages means that employee turnover is reduced, meaning that companies do not have to spend as much on recruitment and training. And because of this, Costco has an $11.50 an hour starting salary and benefits. Jelenik is not the only CEO who supports raising the minimum wage. Other corporations that have started to pay a more livable wage include Aetna, The Gap and Ikea. With the New Year, seventeen states saw an increase in the minimum wage, with Massachusetts being the first state in the country with a minimum wage of $10.00 an hour. In 2015, the city of Los Angeles set forces in motion to increase their minimum wage from $9 to $15 by 2020, and San Francisco plans to go from $12.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2018. Currently, twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia and thirty-five cities have minimum wages set higher than the $7.25 federal minimum. In the 2016 race for president, almost all of the Republican candidates are opposed to raising the minimum wage. The only Republicans who support a small wage hike are former senator Rick Santorum and Ohio Governor John Kasich. On the Democratic side, all of the candidates endorse a higher minimum wage, with Hillary Clinton supporting an increase to $12 an hour, with no set time-frame, while both Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley support a $15 an hour minimum wage by the end of the decade. As the 2016 gets started, it is important that CEOs concern themselves more with how they can stop denying their lowest-paid employees a fairer minimum wage than with how much more compensation they are going to demand for themselves over the next 351 days. Visit timeforaraise.org for more action-oriented information. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amgen, ARIAD, Clovis Oncology, Regeneron and Akebia Therapeutics
Amgen's (AMGN) 27% hike in its first quarter dividend was one of the key highlights in an otherwise relatively slow week.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BioMarin, Amgen, Vertex, Gilead, Biogen and Repros
Biotech Stock Roundup: KaloBios Soars as Shkreli Steps In, FDA Panel Not Convinced about BioMarin Drug
KaloBios (KBIO) made news with Turing CEO, Shkreli providing funds; BioMarin's (BMRN) DMD treatment was reviewed by an FDA advisory panel.
The CVS (CVS) formulary position is a major win for Amgen (AMGN) as Repatha will be the only PCSK9-inhibitor on the CVS/caremark commercial formularies.
CVS Health Corporation (CVS) has gained 1.6% in aftermarket trading yesterday, following the announcement of its decision to terminate its contract with Philidor Rx Services.
Two of the nation's biggest pharmacy benefits managers, CVS Caremark and Express Scripts, both said on Thursday they are cutting ties with Philidor Rx after finding the noncompliance with provider agreements.
Every year the media is plastered with reports about the disparity in the amounts of money companies pay in taxes. Recently, WalletHub.com has weighed in on the subject with a report, noting that "With taxes and income inequality taking center stage in the recent presidential debates, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its latest S&P 100 Tax Rates report. This report provides an in-depth analysis of the 2014 rates at which S&P 100 companies -- collectively worth more than $11 trillion as of Sept. 30 -- are taxed at the state, federal and international levels." With tens of thousands of pages in the US Tax code alone, determining what company pays what amount can be rather confusing. When you add multiple layers of taxes -- city, county, state, and (for most of these companies) international -- it becomes the fiduciary equivalent of pandemonium. Yet, somehow many companies mitigate this tax burden through political influence or due to excellent tax expertise. The following is a list of the highest and lowest paying businesses when it comes to total taxes on all layers of government, according to the WalletHub report. Companies Paying the Highest Taxes 1 Anadarko Petroleum 2 Occidental Petroleum 3 Devon Energy 4 Citigroup 5 Walgreens Boots Alliance 6 Unitedhealth Group 7 Exxon Mobil 8 Facebook 9 CVS Caremark 10 ConocoPhillips Companies Paying the Lowest Taxes 1 Morgan Stanley 2 Amgen 3 General Electric 4 General Motors 5 Mondelez International 6 Celgene 7 QUALCOMM 8 Bristol-Myers Squibb 9 Time Warner 10 Medtronic According to the report, S&P 100 companies pay approximately 24 percent lower rates on international taxes than U.S. taxes. This is among the reason some of the largest businesses in the US are considering relocating to other parts of the world and taking many jobs with them. Many countries around the world recognize the power of lower tax rates in making a country more competitive in attracting business. Three companies on the lowest paying list; Morgan Stanley, General Motors, and General Electric actually pay a "negative" tax rate in the US. These businesses are essentially being subsidized by the US tax code. The story behind the disparity can be attributed to several reasons. "Regulatory capture" is often a factor in which mega businesses use their considerable lobbying influence and political campaign finance to get tax and other laws created both in the US and around the world that favors them. For example, many of the businesses that are among the lowest paying in taxes enjoy such a benefit because they have government recognized "green initiatives" that countries want to reward. Other companies, such as General Electric, are legendary in their efforts at mitigating tax expenses. There is an enormous cost in time and money for such tax fighting actions, but businesses like GE have enjoyed the rewards. It costs a significant amount of money and human resources to prepare a 5,000 page tax return, as GE has done in the past, but obviously that is better to them than paying governments. Meanwhile some countries around the world have a particular interest in attracting companies in certain verticals. Internationally, tech companies, including Apple, Cisco Systems and Google, have enjoyed special tax incentives. These businesses are still paying more than 25 percent lower rates abroad, continuing the trend from 2013. There are certain things each of these companies have in common. They are all extremely large and influential. Most spend an enormous amount of time and money in consultants and professionals to mitigate the costs of taxes. Furthermore, most of these companies have significant political influence that makes it possible to save a fortune in taxes. The lessons we learn is that crony capitalism is alive and well and it can be found all over the world, and even in various tax codes. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.