Stocks to Watch: Amgen, Yahoo! (Update 1)

NEW YORK -- Amgen ( AMGN) said a Phase 1b clinical study of its experimental AMG 145 drug showed that multiple doses of the treatment reduced bad cholesterol by as much as 81% in patients already taking statins, presenting it as a possible threat to a similar drug in development at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN).

Amgen shares were rising 1.7% to $67.78 in premarket trading Monday.

JPMorgan Chase's ( JPM) chief executive of the Asia Pacific region, Gaby Abdelnour, is stepping down to pursue personal interests.

Shares were adding 1.2% to $45.70.

Cal-Maine Foods ( CALM) shares were falling 1.1% to $41.50 after the company reported that fiscal third-quarter profit plunged 22% largely due to rising feed costs.

Net income fell to $26.1 million, or $1.09 a share, from net income of $33.6 million, or $1.41 a share, the same time last year.

Yahoo! ( YHOO) appointed three directors to its board, setting up for a proxy fight with Third Point LLC, one of its largest shareholders.

Hedge fund Third Point, which owns a 5.8% stake in Yahoo!, last week launched a bid to gain four seats on the Internet company's board.

Yahoo!'s nominees to the board are John Hayes, chief marketing officer of American Express ( AXP), Peter Liguori, former chief operating officer of Discovery Communications ( DISCA), and Thomas McInerney, the outgoing chief financial officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp ( IACI).

Shares were up 0.6% to $15.48.

AstraZeneca ( AZN) lost its bid to delay generic versions of its top-selling antipsychotic drug Seroquel from entering the U.S. market.

Shares were trading sideways at $45.16.

AOL ( AOL) hired Evercore Partners to find a buyer for its more than 800 patents and explore other strategic options, Bloomberg reported, citing three people with knowledge of the situation.

Private-equity firms, including Providence Equity Partners, TPG Capital and Silver Lake, have approached AOL about taking the company private, yet the overtures haven't resulted in a deal, said the people.

Evercore is trying to help AOL wring value from a patent portfolio, which some estimate can yield more than $1 billion in licensing income.

Roche, the Swiss drug giant, extended its $5.7 billion cash bid for Illumina ( ILMN), the U.S. gene-sequencing company, for a second time.

Roche is offering $44.50 a share for Illumina. The acceptance period was extended to April 20.

Illumina continues to reject the bid.

"Illumina's board of directors continues to believe that Roche's offer is grossly inadequate, and that Illumina is positioned to create far more value than Roche has offered. Our stockholders clearly agree," the company said Monday in a statement.

Oil and gas company Noble Energy ( NBL), ahead of its presentation at the Howard Weil 40th Annual Energy Conference, said it now expects first quarter 2012 volumes to be at the upper end of the previously announced first-quarter guidance.

The projected performance is largely driven by strong DJ Basin production and performance at the Aseng field in offshore West Africa.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Andrea Tse

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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