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American Financial Group hikes annual dividend by 12%External Link

American Financial Group Inc. said late Wednesday its board approved a 12% annual dividend increase. The annual dividend rises to $1.40 a share from $1.25 a share, for a quarterly dividend of 35 cents a share beginning in October, American Financial Group said. Shares of American Financial Group were flat at $101.89 after hours.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Wed, 23 Aug 2017 21:03:00 GMT
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Amgen's cholesterol drug is cost-effective at $10,000 a year: studyExternal Link

Amgen Inc.'s cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha is cost-effective for high-risk patients at a yearly net price of $9,669 or below, according to a new study published in the medical journal JAMA Cardiology. The analysis used data from a trial enrolling patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which can cause a heart attack or stroke, and used rates of those events in a typical population. Repatha's list price is more than $14,500 a year; that price does not reflect often-substantial discounts. Repatha and other cholesterol-controlling PCSK9 drugs -- intended for patients whose cholesterol levels haven't been reduced sufficiently by lifestyle changes or statins -- haven't sold as well as expected, due to, in part, their high price tags. The new JAMA Cardiology study will likely play a role in price negotiations between health insurers, which have been extremely reluctant to cover drugs like Repatha, pharmacy-benefit managers and Amgen. Amgen shares weren't active in postmarket trade. Shares have surged 9.7% over the last three months, compared with a 1.9% rise in the S&P 500 .

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:47:10 GMT
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Guess jumps 14% after earnings beatExternal Link

Guess Inc. produced nearly twice the profit that it expected in the second quarter, and shares zoomed higher in late trading Wednesday after the results were announced. The clothing retailer reported net income of $15.2 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $573.7 million, up from $545 million in the same quarter a year ago. After adjusting for impairment charges and income tax, the company claimed earnings of 19 cents a share, up from 15 cents a share the year before. Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of 10 cents a share on sales of $559 million, according to FactSet, and Guess had guided for adjusted profit of 8 cents to 11 cents a share on revenue of $556 million to $567 million. Executives credited the performance to revenue gains in Europe and Asia as well as cost reductions in the supply chain, and increased full-year guidance. After closing with a 0.9% gain at $12.48, Guess shares jumped about 14% to top $14 in late trading.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:39:45 GMT
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FTC approves Amazon's acquisition of Whole FoodsExternal Link

The Federal Trade Commission said it's decided not to pursue an investigation of Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods . In a brief statement, Acting FTC Bureau of Competition Director Bruce Hoffman said the agency examined whether the deal "substantially lessened competition under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, or constituted an unfair method of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act."

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:37:31 GMT
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Williams-Sonoma shares rally after earnings beatExternal Link

Williams-Sonoma Inc. shares rallied in the extended session Wednesday after the upscale housewares retailer topped Wall Street earnings estimates for the quarter. Williams-Sonoma shares surged 6% to $46 after hours. The company reported second-quarter net income of $52.9 million, or 61 cents a share, compared to $51.8 million, or 58 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $1.2 billion from $1.16 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $1.2 billion. For the third quarter, Williams-Sonoma estimates earnings of 80 cents to 87 cents a share on revenue of $1.27 billion to $1.31 billion. Analysts expect 82 cents a share on revenue of $1.28 billion.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:35:28 GMT
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