Diamonds and Dogs


XL Group (XL) making an extra-large move today. The property and casualty insurer XL Group is up 29% after agreeing to be bought out by French insurance giant AXA for$15 billion. The deal gives AXA access to Bermuda-based XL's extensive U.S. operations. The purchase will make AXA one of the world's biggest commercial property and casualty insurers. It said the deal will make AXA more focused on insurance risks instead of financial risks, a key issue amid tighter regulation of financial markets.

Dermira (DERM) can't seem to fix its acne.  The biopharmaceutical company is down 62% after a key drug failed to meet the co-primary endpoints of two important, late-stage clinical trials. The company will now discontinue development of the therapy, olumacostat glasaretil, which was intended for moderate-to-severe acne. Mizuho downgraded Dermira to a Neutral from Buy and lowers their target to $9 from $39 based solely on DCF valuation. Firm no longer views a takeout as likely after the company's key program in acne failed in late stage trials.

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