U.S. markets were back in black Thursday, thanks to a tech charge led by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The S&P 500 gained 1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average improved by 1% too, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.5% higher.
Here’s what you should know ahead of Friday’s trade.
Novavax, Inc. (NVAX)
NVAX is hitting the floor in Friday’s premarket action following the release of a recent pivotal clinical trial.
RSV F Vaccine, meant to prevent respiratory tract diseases, failed to meet both its primary and secondary efficacy goals in Phase 3 testing. Moreover, there was an “absence of efficacy of a single immunization” in a Phase 2 “rollover trial,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
While Novavax still believes the vaccine has potential, the blow is a mighty one, as NVAX has no other products on the market. The company hasn’t just been bleeding red ink in the past few years — it’s been bleeding more and more every year. The company lost $157 million last year, nearly doubling its $83 million loss in the year prior.
The company said, “We are both surprised and disappointed by the outcome” of the trial.
Investors were, too, sending NVAX stock down by 85%.
Oracle Corporation (ORCL)
Oracle is off this morning, too, after missing earnings and revenue estimates in its fiscal first-quarter report.
The IT company’s profits came to 55 cents per share, falling behind the consensus expectation of 58 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenues of $8.7 billion were also off by about $100 million.
However, there were some silver linings. Co-CEO Safra Catz pointed to overall top-line growth, with its non-GAAP and platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service revenue rising 82%. Total cloud revenues were up nearly 60% to $969 million.
Nonetheless, Oracle’s core business of software license sales is struggling. Revenues from that business were off 11%.
ORCL shares were dipping 3% before Friday’s bell.
Unilever plc (ADR) (UL)
Unilever is making a move to pick up one of the planet’s most talked-about private companies, Honest Co.
Honest Co. is a consumer products company helmed by Jessica Alba, and makes everything from diapers to “green” household cleaners. And while Unilever itself is a big consumer brand, it doesn’t have much overlap with many of Honest’s products in the U.S.
Honest has raised more than $200 million in the past five years, according to the WSJ. However, the deal being discussed would be worth more than $1 billion.
Unilever just last month bought Dollar Shave Club for about $1 billion.
UL shares are off more than 1% in Friday’s premarket action.