News Buzz: Affymax, Harvest Natural Resources, Starbucks Corporation

NEW YORK, March 19, 2013 -, one of the leaders in providing investment alerts on U.S. stocks are announcing Investment Highlights on Affymax, Harvest Natural Resources, Starbucks CorporationAffymax, Inc.(NASDAQ:AFFY) is considering several alternatives including selling itself or filing for bankruptcy as it struggles to stay afloat after the recent recall of its only commercial product, the anemia drug Omontys.

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The company also plans to oust its chief commercial officer, cut about 230 jobs that comprise about 75 percent of its workforce and do whatever it takes to rationalize costs.

"If the company and (partner) Takeda are unable to rapidly identify and rectify the causes of the safety concerns to the satisfaction of the FDA, which is highly uncertain, Omontys may be permanently withdrawn from the market," said Affymax in its regulatory filing yesterday.

Affymax and its Japan-based partner Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd had recalled all lots of Omontys in February, after deaths and other adverse events. The company's shares had crashed 85 percent.

At Monday’s close, Affymax shares were being traded at $2.92 on the Nasdaq, 82 percent lower than theprice before news of the recall. It fell another 57 percent to $1.27 after the bell, close to the $1.00 minimum average trading price required to stay on the Nasdaq.

Meanwhile, Harvest Natural Resources, Inc.(NYSE:HNR), the Houston-based energy company had the sharpest fall ever after reporting a 2012 loss and disclosing a “going concern qualification” by auditors because of liquidity issues.

The company which undertakes production in Venezuela has identified some problems in accounting that will require revision and possible restatement of results for 2010, 2011, and 2012. It will delay filing its 2012 annual report.

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For full year 2012, Harvest posted a loss of $9.6 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with net income of $51.8 million, or $1.32, in 2011. The Street had expected a profit of $22 million. Harvest has found an error in cash flow items, in certain leases and internal costs.

The stock tanked 33 percent to $3.69 in New York this morning after shedding as much as 47 percent, the biggest intraday fall ever.

Meanwhile, Starbucks Corporation(NASDAQ:SBUX) has said that it has hired Sharon Rothstein, a marketing executive at Sephora, as its new chief marketing officer.

Rothstein has been in charge of marketing for makeup store chain Sephora since 2009. She will work on the Starbucks brand as well as new brands such as Seattle's Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Tazo and Teavana.

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Annie Young-Scrivner was the company's last chief marketing officer. She was given charge of Starbucks Canada in September to support the company's international growth.

Canada is Starbucks' biggest marketing region after the U.S., although sales in the China and Asia-Pacific region are expected to rise rapidly in the next two years.

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