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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Novell (NOVL) Jumps on Reports of Microsoft (MSFT) Partnership

Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) have seen a significant mid-day boosts on reports from the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) will enter a partnership with the Linux provider.

According to the report, Micsosoft will offer sales support for Novell's Suse Linux operating system and the two will develop technologies to make it easier for users to run both Linux and Windows on their computers.

Shares of Novell's Linux rival, Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) have fallen mid-day on speculation the partnership will increase competitive pressure. Just last week, Red Hat was dealt another blow after Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) said it will provide enterprise class support for Linux at a cheaper price.

Microsoft is expected to make the Linux announcement at a press conference in San Francisco, which is scheduled for 2PM PST.

Shares of Novell are up 15.3% to $6.77 in mid-day action Thursday. Red Hat is down 4.8% to $15.64.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Needham Comments on Other Stocks in RNAi Following Merck's Deal to Buy Sirna Therapeutics

Commenting on the implications of Merck's (NYSE: MRK) acquisition of RNAi company Sirna Therapeutics (Nasdaq: RNAI), at a 102% premium, on its coverage universe, Needham said, "We believe the news validates the efforts of RNAi therapeutics companies Alnylam (Nasdaq: ALNY) and Nastech Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NSTK) as well as oligonucleotide –focused companies such as Isis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISIS).

The firm said, "Although Novartis (NYSE: NVS), GSK (NYSE: GSK), Merck, and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) have in the past year made forays into the RNAi field through various alliances, we believe the acquisition of Sirna, a Phase 1 company, by Merck signals a major shift in perception by large PHRMA about the prospects for RNAi therapeutics as a novel therapeutic class joining the ranks of small molecules and antibodies as key drug modalities."

Needham has a Buy rating and $22 price target on ALNY, a Buy rating and $21 price target on NSTK and a Buy rating and $13 price target on ISIS.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Stem-Cell Stocks Rally Ahead of Mid-Term Elections

Shares of stem-cell related stocks are seeing interest today ahead of the November mid-term elections. Investors believe a Democratic Party win could benefit the sector.

The stocks are also benefiting as the debate over stem-cell research has attracted more attention recently after a commercial by Parkinson's-afflicted actor Michael J. Fox was thrown into the media spotlight after comments from right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Stem Cell Stocks: Aastrom Biosciences Inc (Nasdaq: ASTM), StemCells Inc (Nasdaq: STEM), VIACELL, INC. (Nasdaq: VIAC), Geron Corporation's (Nasdaq: GERN).