AK Steel (AKS) Completes $707M Acquisition of Severstal Dearborn Sep 16, 2014 02:31PM

AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) said today that it has completed its acquisition of Severstal North America's integrated steelmaking assets located in Dearborn, Michigan. The transaction also included a cokemaking facility and interests in three joint ventures that process flat-rolled steel products. AK Steel said that it paid $707 million in cash for the acquisition, which includes $314 million for working capital. The acquisition was financed with a combination of debt and equity securities offerings. The company will refer to its Dearborn, Michigan facility as "Dearborn Works."

"At AK Steel, the future is now, and the future is bright, as our acquisition of Dearborn Works makes us a larger, stronger and more flexible company," said James L. Wainscott, Chairman, President and CEO of AK Steel. "The acquisition is transformational to AK Steel, and it combines much more than the operational assets of two outstanding companies. It combines great employees who will strengthen a terrific company that is better able to compete, and to win, in the global steel marketplace."

Dearborn Works, which produces high-quality, flat-rolled steels primarily for the automotive, construction and appliance markets, completed a large-scale modernization campaign in 2011. During the campaign, more than $1.2 billion was invested in new state-of-the-art equipment and various operational improvements. The Dearborn facility is strategically located in close proximity to many of AK Steel's customers, and the assets at the steel plant and the other acquired facilities complement AK Steel's existing carbon steel operations.

The acquisition also increases AK Steel's operational and maintenance flexibility and provides the platform for significant cost-based synergies. In addition to operational and productivity enhancements, the acquisition will create purchasing, transportation and overhead cost savings. AK Steel expects the transaction to be credit-enhancing and accretive to its earnings, which will help create significant long-term value for the company, its employees, customers and shareholders. AK Steel anticipates annual cost-based synergies of approximately $50 million, with approximately $25 million realized in 2015.

The Dearborn Works blast furnace, which was rebuilt in 2007, is among the most efficient and productive blast furnaces in the world for its size. The plant also began operating a new pickle line tandem cold mill and a new hot dip galvanizing line in 2011. Similar to AK Steel's other carbon steel operations, Dearborn Works produces hot and cold rolled sheet and hot dip galvanized products, as well as other flat-rolled steel products. The plant employs approximately 1,400 people and is capable of producing approximately 2.5 million tons of finished steel per year. With the acquisition now completed, AK Steel's annual shipments are expected to exceed 7.5 million tons. AK Steel said that it intends to utilize all of the production units at Dearborn Works, and the company has no plans to cease operations at any of its current steelmaking or steel finishing facilities.

Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN) Wins Boston-Area Casino License - Bloomberg Sep 16, 2014 02:29PM

Wynn Resorts Ltd (NASDAQ: WYNN) won a Boston-area Casino license, according to Bloomberg, citing the Mass. Gaming Commission. The vote went 3-1 in favor of Wynn.

Microsoft (MSFT) Brings OneNote to Android Wear Sep 16, 2014 02:13PM

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) posted the following to its official OneNote blog on Tuesday:

One of our primary goals is to help you capture ideas and information in new and innovative ways. Features like Quick Notes, Cortana, and Office Lens have made it easy to preserve those flashes of brilliance and today we’re adding Android Wear watches. Simply install the free OneNote for Android Wear app from the Play Store and start dictating notes to your heart’s desire.

Future of OneNote

Android Wear watch

OneNote for Android Wear requires an Android phone (running Android 4.3 or higher; compatible with Android Wear) and an Android Wear watch.

We hope you enjoy using OneNote in a manner even Dick Tracy would envy!”

As always, keep your feedback and suggestions coming!

AstraZeneca (AZN) Confirms Approval of MOVANTIK for OIC in Adults with Chronic, Non-cancer Pain Sep 16, 2014 02:06PM

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MOVANTIK™ (naloxegol) Tablets C-II as the first once-daily oral peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) medication for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC), in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. Millions of patients are treated with opioids in the United States. Opioids play an important role in chronic pain relief by binding to mu-receptors in the central nervous system, but they also bind to mu-receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, which may result in OIC.

“The FDA approval of MOVANTIK provides a new treatment option for adult patients with chronic non-cancer pain suffering from opioid-induced constipation, a common side effect of opioid therapy,” said Dr. Briggs Morrison, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development & Chief Medical Officer, AstraZeneca. “We are pleased to provide physicians and their patients with a once-daily oral treatment option supported by a robust clinical program.”

The FDA approval of MOVANTIK was based on data from the KODIAC clinical program, which is comprised of four studies: KODIAC-4, -5, -7 and -8. KODIAC-4 and -5 were both placebo controlled, double-blind, 12 week studies assessing safety and efficacy, while KODIAC-7 was a 12 week safety extension to KODIAC-4, and KODIAC-8 was a 52 week long-term, open-label, safety study.

MOVANTIK is expected to be available to patients in the first half of 2015. MOVANTIK is currently a schedule II controlled substance because it is structurally related to noroxymorphone. During the review of the NDA, the FDA evaluated the abuse potential of MOVANTIK and the approved labeling indicates that MOVANTIK has no risk of abuse or dependency. AstraZeneca submitted a petition for the descheduling of MOVANTIK to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in March 2012 which was accepted for review and will be considered by the DEA as part of the process for addressing the descheduling request.

Results from KODIAC-4 and -5 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on June 19, 2014.

Important Safety Information for MOVANTIK

MOVANTIK is contraindicated in:

  • Patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction and patients at increased risk of recurrent obstruction due to the potential for GI perforation
  • Patients receiving strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., clarithromycin, ketoconazole) because these medications can significantly increase exposure to naloxegol which may precipitate opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Patients with a known serious or severe hypersensitivity reaction to MOVANTIK or any of its excipients

Cases of GI perforation have been reported with the use of another peripherally acting opioid antagonist in patients with conditions that may be associated with localized or diffuse reduction of structural integrity in the wall of the GI tract. Monitor for severe, persistent, or worsening abdominal pain; discontinue if this symptom develops

Symptoms consistent with opioid withdrawal, including hyperhidrosis, chills, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anxiety, irritability, and yawning, occurred in patients treated with MOVANTIK. Patients receiving methadone in the clinical trials were observed to have a higher frequency of GI adverse reactions that may have been related to opioid withdrawal than patients receiving other opioids. Patients with disruptions to the blood-brain barrier may be at increased risk for opioid withdrawal or reduced analgesia. Monitor for symptoms of opioid withdrawal when using MOVANTIK in such patients.

The most common adverse reactions with MOVANTIK in clinical trials were: abdominal pain (21%), diarrhea (9%), nausea (8%), flatulence (6%), vomiting (5%), headache (4%), and hyperhidrosis (3%)

Kansas City Southern (KSU) Sees FY14 EPS Growth in High Teens Sep 16, 2014 01:56PM

Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) today updated its guidance for full-year 2014 earnings. The Company now expects its full-year adjusted operating ratio to improve by approximately 150 basis points from the 68.8% reported in 2013, primarily due to strength in the grain and automotive commodity groups. The Company also expects its adjusted effective tax rate to be between 33% and 34%, about a 1% reduction from the rate assumed in the previous full-year 2014 guidance. As a result of these revisions, the Company now expects full-year 2014 adjusted diluted earnings per share growth in the high-teens. The Company is maintaining its previous guidance of mid-single digit volume growth and high-single digit revenue growth.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share excludes the after-tax impacts of lease termination costs, debt retirement costs, and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; the adjusted operating ratio excludes lease termination costs; and the adjusted effective tax rate excludes the impacts of foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

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