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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon.com, Array BioPharma, Celgene, Oncothyreon and Actelion

August 1, 2013

CHICAGO, Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report), Array BioPharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARRY-Free Report), Celgene Corporation (Nasdaq:CELG-Free Report), Oncothyreon Inc. (Nasdaq:ONTY-Free Report) and Actelion Ltd. (OTC:ALIOF-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Amazon on a Hiring Spree

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN-Free Report), the world’s largest online retailer plans to hire 7,000 workers for its warehouse and order-fulfillment centers.

The company said that it will add 5,000 full-time jobs and 2,000 customer-service staff, including part-time and seasonal workers to meet the increasing demand for its products.

Fulfillment centers are giant warehouses that help Amazon and other online retailers to store products, ship them and handle returns quickly. These are important for providing the level of customer service that Amazon customers have come to expect of the company.

The recent surge in recruitment comes from the company’s decision to expand its fulfillment centers all around the country. In order to deliver goods on time, the company has been spending heavily on new fulfillment centers. A Bloomberg report states that Amazon plans to add 5 more facilities this year, after opening 20 fulfillment centers in 2012.

The need for fulfillment center expansion is rising due to the growing demand for online shopping and the ever-increasing needs of Internet users. Prompt and accurate delivery of products is very important for the success of an online retail company.

Also, small retailers find it difficult to provide their customers with relatively cost-efficient same day/next day shipping like Amazon. Hence, they have also been signing up for fulfillment by Amazon, where the company stores their products in its warehouses, ships them and makes those items eligible for Amazon Prime free two-day shipping.

We believe that for Amazon to remain at the top, it is important to maintain its U.S. market share and expand globally. For this Amazon needs to invest more in both fulfillment and technology and content, especially in international markets, where growth rates are likely to be higher.

Array BioPharma, Celgene Collaborate

Array BioPharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARRY-Free Report) and Celgene Corporation (Nasdaq:CELG-Free Report) recently announced a strategic worldwide research & development collaboration. The agreement is for a preclinical program (discovered by Array BioPharma) aimed at a novel inflammation pathway.

As per the terms of the agreement, Array BioPharma will receive an $11 million upfront payment from Celgene while the latter will have the option to license several clinical development candidates. Moreover Array BioPharma is eligible to receive up to $376 million on the achievement of specified development, regulatory and sales milestones.

The company is also eligible for royalties on sales of any drugs developed and commercialized under this deal. Array BioPharma will reserve all the rights under the program if Celgene does not exercise the granted option.

Array BioPharma has been quite active in collaboration activities this year. Earlier this month, the company entered into a multi-year licensing and collaboration deal with Loxo Oncology for a preclinical development candidate (discovered by Array BioPharma) and related intellectual property.

Furthermore, in May 2013, Array BioPharma entered into a collaboration agreement with Oncothyreon Inc. (Nasdaq:ONTY-Free Report) to develop and commercialize ARRY-380, which is being developed for the treatment of breast cancer.

We note that Array BioPharma has entered into several collaborations with big companies and amassed a total of $577.9 million in research funding and upfront and milestone payments from collaboration partners from inception till Jun 30, 2012.

The company is focused mainly on the development and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer patients. We also note that the company has a few candidates approaching phase III by the end of 2013.

Currently, Array BioPharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). However, biopharma stocks such as Actelion Ltd. (OTC: ALIOFFree Report) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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