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On the heels of an announcement the company would no longer actively lobby for Cervical Cancer Vaccine Laws, Merck () announced it is raising its first quarter earnings estimates. Audio Podcast: An audio podcast of this article is available at: Conservative groups opposed the campaign to promote the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil because, in their view, it would encourage premarital sex and would limit a parents control over their children. Approximately 20 states have begun the legislative process [flomax free delivery] to mandate the vaccine. Merck raised its earnings estimates from $0. 59 a share to a range between $0. 63 and $0. 67 a share. The news sent shares up 2. 25%, or $0. 97, in heavy trading today. The reasons for rise in the estimate included a regulatory hiccup for a competing diabetes drug from competitor Novartis () and the success of the aforementioned Gardasil. Option Outlook: This news may give some investors a positive view of Merck in the near-term. Earlier this week, Citigroup upgraded Merck to buy from hold. Another possibility is Bristol-Myers Squibb (), who was just freed from a one-year legal entanglement over its popular blood-thinning drug, Plavix. Both of these companies may be a good fit for a . For the strategy, an investor sells s in proportion to the number of shares owned. As long as an option remains out-of-the-money the option expires, and the investor can continue to write s on the stock as long as the options continue to expire worthless. One of the major upsides of the technique is a stock can slightly decrease in value and an investor can still make money. This can be measured by the amount of downside protection the position has. One disadvantage of this technique is the potential profit the investor can make, should the stock rise precipitously, is limited. This is often referred to as the percent if assigned or the percent profit if the stock is above the strike price on expiration day. Competitors: Competitors for BMY include: Merck & Co. Inc. (), Novartis AG (), Pfizer Inc. (), Abraxis BioScience (), Acusphere Inc. (), AVI BioPharma Inc. (), Biogen Idec Inc. (), Celgene Corp. (), Cell Therapeutics Inc. (), Depomed Inc. (), Genenntech Inc. (), Gilead Sciences Inc. (), Incyte Pharma. Inc. (), flomax free delivery Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (), Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc (KOSP), MedImmune Inc. (), NeoPharm Inc. (), Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc. (), Polymedica Corp. (), POZEN Inc. (), Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (), Spectrum Pharma. Inc. (), SuperGen Inc (), and Vertex Pharma. Inc. (). Competitors for MRK include: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (), Pfizer Inc. (), Sanofi-Aventis (), Abbott Labs (), AstraZeneca plc (), Cardiome Pharma Corp. (), CV Theraputics Inc. (), Dynavax Technologies Corp. (), GTx Inc. (), Hythiam Inc. (), Johnson & Johnson (), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (), Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc (KOSP), NPS Pharma. Inc. (), Novartis AG (), Sangamo Biosciences Inc. (), Trimeris Inc. (), and Watson Pharma. Inc. (). Potential Trades: All of the following have 50 days until expiration. Merck & Co. is currently trading at $43. 99 and Bristol-Myers Squibb is currently trading at $26. 64. These trades were discovered using the powerful suite of option search tools found at .
|Covered Call â€“ Merck & Co. Inc. () $ 43. 99 (50)|
|OPTION||Strike Info||Opt Bid||% Dnsd. Prot.||% If Unch. Flomax free delivery||% if asgnd|
|mrkdv||07 apr $42. 5||$2. 20||5. 00%||1. 70%||1. 70%|
|Covered Call â€“ Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. () $ 26. 64 (50)|
|OPTION||Strike Info||Opt Bid||% Dnsd. Prot.||% If Unch.||% If Asgnd|
|BMYDY||07 APR $27. 5||$0. 60||2. 30%||2. 30%||5. 60%|