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    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Portfolio Mobile - Last Bytes: Ballmer's Still Sweet on Yahoo

    Last Bytes: Ballmer's Still Sweet on Yahoo





    Google logged a whopping 68 percent profit loss, but an 18 percent revenue gain. Ouch? Yay?  [WSJ]

    The Obama administration is busy dusting the cobwebs off the Bush White House's tech infrastructure. [Valleywag]

    Believe it or not, Ballmer's crush on Yahoo persists. [Bits]

    Broadband isn't for everyone; two-thirds of those who don't have it say they don't miss it. [Ars Technica]
    Related Links
    First Bytes: Microsoft, Yahoo, Intel, Obama
    Last Bytes: Steve Jobs' Health, Yahoo, and Google
    Last Bytes: Bebo, Yahoo, Google, McCain





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    Reuters - Pfizer to buy Wyeth for $68 billion, cuts dividend

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
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    Pfizer to buy Wyeth for $68 billion, cuts dividend

    Monday, Jan 26, 2009 12:25PM UTC

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc, the No. 1 drugmaker, said on Monday that it would acquire U.S. rival Wyeth for about $68 billion in a move to diversify its revenue base.

    The world's largest drugmaker, which raised $22.5 billion in debt from a consortium of banks to finance the deal, also cut its dividend.

    The deal helps Pfizer cope with a major gap in revenue in 2011, when its blockbuster Lipitor cholesterol treatment will begin to face U.S. generic competition. Next year, Wyeth loses patent protection on its own top drug, the anti-depressant Effexor XR.

    Still, the deal would help Pfizer diversify into vaccines and injectable biologic medicines by adding Wyeth's big-selling Prevnar vaccine for childhood infections and Enbrel rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Pfizer would also realize major cost savings by streamlining areas that overlap.

    For each share of Wyeth, Pfizer will pay roughly $50.19 -- $33 in cash and 0.985 of a share of its stock.

    Based on Wyeth's 1.33 billion shares outstanding as of October 31, the deal would be valued at about $66.8 billion. Including Wyeth's stock options, the deal would be worth $68 billion, sources said.

    At $50.19 per share, the deal would mark a 15 percent premium over Wyeth's closing stock price of $43.74 on Friday. Wyeth's stock had surged 12.6 percent on Friday on news of the possible deal.

    The deal is expected to add to Pfizer's adjusted diluted earnings per share in the second full year after closing and to result in cost savings of $4 billion by the third year.

    CONSOLIDATION WAVE?

    Pfizer typifies many large drugmakers, which have struggled to produce new blockbusters to replace those on which they lose exclusivity.

    A merger of Pfizer and Wyeth could trigger a wave of consolidation in the cash-rich pharmaceutical sector as drugmakers look to diversify revenues in the face of competition from generic-drug rivals, analysts said.

    "The outlook for the industry has steadily waned, (with) industry P/E multiples declining under the combined onslaught of price pressure, aggressive generic competition and low R&D productivity," Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note.

    "The result is that many leading companies face a decline in revenues and earnings next decade, as profitable products reach the end of their patented lives and are not replaced by new drugs," the analysts said.

    They said AstraZeneca could be a target, although there were also reasons a deal might not happen.

    In sealing the Pfizer deal, Wyeth went ahead and ended talks to buy Dutch vaccine firm Crucell. Crucell shares plummeted 21.1 percent to 12.23 euros.

    The deal is subject to Pfizer's financing sources not backing out due to a material adverse change in Pfizer's financial health or due to the company's failure to maintain a certain credit rating. Pfizer and Wyeth expect the transaction to close at the end of the third quarter or during the fourth quarter 2009.

    Pfizer shares fell to $16.70 in trading before the market opened from Friday's close of $17.45, while Wyeth rose to $45.90 from $43.74.

    (Reporting by Edward Tobin and Lewis Krauskopf in New York and Jessica Hall in Philadelphia; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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