Trade wars may be affecting a lot of companies, but China's Alibaba (BABA) isn't letting rough relations between the U.S. and China stop it from growing. Analysts are remaining confident in Alibaba's ability to perform, downplaying the trade standoff's impact on the company, writes Real Money's Kevin Curran. Chinese markets overall have indeed been stung by political bluster over trade and the imposition of tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of exports. Year to date, the Shanghai Composite Index has fallen 17.6%, reflecting trouble in some of the largest Chinese companies, including Alibaba, which itself has fallen in market cap by almost $100 million since June. However, as the bulk of its business is protected from trade-related external headwinds, both the company and analysts seem confident the e-commerce titan can wait out the storm. Meanwhile, Starbucks (SBUX) is also partnering with Alibaba to expand its digital and delivery capabilities in China. The partnership underscores how many U.S. companies view China as a significant market for future growth, despite high-level politics and trade war headlines in recent months, Curran notes.
It wasn't wholly unexpected, but Allergan's (AGN) latest FDA failure isn't helping the company's prospects. The Food and Drug Administration's decision not to approve Allergan's drug candidate for abnormal uterine bleeding, while not unexpected, would cheapen the value of its hoped-for sale. Allergan spokeswoman Amy Rose said Thursday that the denial "is unlikely to impact the sale process, but it is likely to influence the potential valuation of Allergan's women's health portfolio." The women's health unit is one of two businesses for which Allergan is looking for buyers. The Dublin-based drugmaker investors as of the end of June included activist investors Appaloosa Management and Senator Investment. After the market close on Tuesday, Aug. 21, Allergan said it had received a complete response letter (CRL) from the FDA for its new drug application for ulipristal acetate, a potential treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding in women with uterine fibroids. The CRL for ulipristal acetate could impact the attractiveness of Allergan's women's health business and potentially alter valuation metrics for the unit, said Stifel analyst Annabel Samimy in an interview with The Deal's Armie Lee. Rose reiterated previous comments by Allergan that the universe of potential acquirers for the women's health business is limited and that Allergan "will not sell this business at a valuation that does not make economic sense."
Markets Today: Stocks ended modestly lower on Thursday, Aug. 23, as the U.S. and China applied tit-for-tat tariffs amid a continuation of trade talks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed lower. Leading the Dow lower were Caterpillar (CAT) , DowDuPont (DWDP) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) . The U.S. and China imposed fresh tariffs on $16 billion of each other's goods. The 25% duties included automobiles and metal scrap from the United States and Chinese-made factory machinery and electronic components.
Michael D. Brown, Assignments Editor, TheStreet Inc.
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