Diamonds and Dogs


Maybe with today's diamond the Zika virus can be defeated before a mass pandemic occurs throughout the world. Gilead Sciences (GILD) is jumping 4% thanks to better than expected earnings last night. The biopharmaceutical giant focused on developing and marketing cures for infectious diseases receives a majority of their sales and profits from their Hep-C drug that cures patients with 12 pills. Following the better than expected earnings the company announced a new $12 billion share buyback program and upped its dividend 10%. The downside is analysts and shareholders are asking what's next for Gilead once everyone is cured of Hep-C. Some are speculating that Gilead will have to go shopping for new acquisitions as Hep-C sales stall.

Illumina shining a little less brightly today. The once highflyer, Illumina is trading down 4% following disappointing earnings. A unique company, Illumina develops tools to help provide information to improve drugs and therapies to cure diseases. Earnings missed by a penny as profits declined 32% year over year. The company is facing sluggish demand out of Japan and China coupled with increased competition from rival, Thermo-Fisher. Long term analysts remain bullish on Illumina thanks to a new initiative called GRAIL that focuses on liquid biopsies. The company could also benefit from opportunities in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), especially if more insurers relax their reimbursement policies. Short term, however, Illumina and the broader market may remain under press.

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