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Merck KGaA sees FY adj profit gains of up to 9% on lab demand

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the Merck & Co. headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey, U.S., November 13, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – Germany’s Merck KGaA expects earnings growth of up to 9% this year as its laboratory gear business benefits from drugmakers’ efforts to explore new biotechnologies, even as demand related to COVID-19 has levelled off.

In a statement on Thursday, the diversified group predicted growth of 5% to 9%, excluding the effect of currency swings and any acquisitions, for adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), with the Life Science division as a key growth driver.

First-quarter adjusted EBITDA rose 7.8% to 1.63 billion euros ($1.71 billion), in line with analyst expectations.

($1 = 0.9508 euros)

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Exclusive-Oracle to win unconditional EU nod for $28.3 billion Cerner deal -sources

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Oracle Corp. is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. business software maker Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) is set to gain unconditional EU antitrust clearance for its $28.3 billion acquisition of U.S. healthcare IT company Cerner Corp (NASDAQ:CERN), three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Oracle announced the deal, its biggest ever, in December last year. It will give it access to a trove of data and could attract more healthcare clients to its cloud platform.

Cerner’s data can help Oracle train and improve the software maker’s artificial intelligence-based cloud services. The company, whose software traditionally ran in its customers’ data centers, has started shifting its service to cloud computing providers.

The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by June 1, and Oracle declined to comment.

Tech giants such as Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT). have ramped up investments in the healthcare sector, spurred by demand for cloud-based solutions during the pandemic.

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Wall St plunges as Snap’s bleak forecast sparks selloff

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2/2

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Snapchat app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

2/2

By Devik Jain and Anisha Sircar

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Tuesday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the slump, as a weak earnings forecast from Snapchat-owner Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) added to nerves about an inflation-struck economy.

Snap Inc plummeted 39.7%, dragging down several social media and internet stocks, after the company slashed its second-quarter earnings forecast and said the economy had worsened faster than expected in the last month.

The stock was set for its worst single-day drop.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Google-owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc, Meta Platforms Inc and Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) Inc, which rely heavily on advertising revenue, fell between 3.0% and 24.8%.

“Snap is a proxy for online advertising and when you see weakness there then you automatically think Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Pinterest and Google,” Dennis Dick, a trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas, said.

“The back half of the earnings season has seen major disappointments. Expectations are a lot lower, but these companies seem to be finding a way to even get under the lower bar.”

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors declined in morning trade after rising broadly in the previous session. The communication services sector slid 5.2%.

Wall Street rebounded on Monday from a steep selloff last week that saw both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq mark their longest streak of weekly declines since the dotcom bust in 2001 on mounting concerns about a recession.

Data showed U.S. business activity slowed moderately in May as higher prices cooled demand for services, while renewed supply constraints because of COVID-19 lockdowns in China and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine hampered production at factories.

“Yesterday’s rally and Friday’s action suggested that the market hit a near-term bottom, but there’s still a lot of negative sentiment … (macro worries) are a big part of this decline,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak later in the day, with investors looking for fresh comments about the path of future interest rate hikes.

Markets are pricing in 50 basis point rate hikes by the Fed in June and July..

At 10:06 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 246.25 points, or 0.77%, at 31,633.99, the S&P 500 was down 70.15 points, or 1.77%, at 3,903.60, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 376.45 points, or 3.26%, at 11,158.83.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co slumped 27.2% after the apparel retailer trimmed its annual sales and margins outlook, citing a surge in freight and raw material costs.

Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) Inc inched up 0.9% after raising its full-year profit forecast on strong enterprise demand.

The CBOE volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose to 29.24 points.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.96-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 4.46-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and 37 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded five new highs and 237 new lows.

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Lattice Semiconductor Upgraded by Susquehanna on ‘Perfect Roadmap’

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© Reuters. Lattice Semiconductor Upgraded By Susquehanna On ‘Perfect Roadmap’

By Sam Boughedda

Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC) was upgraded from Neutral to Positive by Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland on Tuesday.

The analyst, who also raised the firm’s price target on Lattice from $58 to $65, said that with the company’s shares down -35% for the year-to-date, they are using any macro weakness to selectively upgrade its third semiconductor company this year.

“While we downgraded shares of LSCC last April, both revenue outperformance and margin expansion have significantly bested our expectations, allowing share to grow into a reasonable valuation,” wrote Rolland.

“Looking forward, we believe the growth and margin story should continue to upside, helped by the company’s long-term product roadmap and the upcoming midrange Avant product launch,” he added.

Rolland stated that the company’s new midrange product Avant is a “potential game-changer” and will double their addressable market to $6 billion.

Other factors which influenced the analyst’s rating change included recent insider buying from Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Esam Elashmawi, and Lattice’s balance sheet being “pristine into a potential downturn.”

Lattice stock is down 2.5% in early trading Tuesday.

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