Dollar Tree to split common stock 2-to-1
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree on Tuesday approved a 2-for-1 stock split in the form of a 100% common stock dividend. The new shares will be distributed June 26 for shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 12.
With the stock split, the number of outstanding shares of the company’s common stock will increase from approximately 116 million shares, pre-split, to approximately 232 million shares, post-split.
"Dollar Tree is committed to building value for long-term shareholders," stated Bob Sasser, president and CEO. "The stock dividend announced today is designed to increase the liquidity of the company’s stock and provide a more attractive entry point for shareholders, affording the potential to broaden the shareholder base."
Dollar Tree shares were down slightly by 44 cents to $101.78 in mid-day trading.
Dollar Tree operated 4,451 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of April 28, with total retail selling square footage of 38.6 million.
House to consider repealing prescription mandate on OTCs purchased through FSAs
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives will vote to repeal limitations on the use of tax-advantaged accounts for the purchase of over-the-counter medications as early as June 4, according to a report published online by The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based political newspaper.
The paper cited a planning memo from majority leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Just last month, the House Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing around that piece of legislation. "Physician groups have suggested that the OTC medication prescription requirement has imposed an unreasonable administrative burden, resulted in longer waits for appointments and increased healthcare costs," the subcommittee reported in April.
“Too often in Washington, officials make decisions about healthcare policy based on abstract theories and budgetary scores," stated subcommittee chairman Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., in announcing the hearing.
According to testimony submitted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association at that hearing, since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect on Jan. 1, flexible spending account participants have been faced with three choices on having their OTC medicines reimbursed — make an additional doctor’s appointment to obtain a prescription for a nonprescription therapy; forego between 10% and 35% in savings, depending on the individual’s tax bracket, by buying the medicine without reimbursement; or go without treatment altogether.
“None of these options are good healthcare policy," testified Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO, during that April hearing. "None of these options increase healthcare access, but they do increase costs to consumers and to our healthcare system."
Citing a recent study by Booz & Co., Melville estimated that OTCs provide $102 billion dollars in savings to the nation’s healthcare system every year. The benefits are realized through reduced doctor visits (accounting for $77 billion of those savings) and reduced drug costs (accounting for $25 billion in savings).
The study also reported that 240 million people each year treat illnesses with OTC medicines, bought off-the-shelf without a prescription. According to the study, an estimated 60 million of these consumers would not otherwise seek treatment if they could not purchase OTCs.
For the full report from The Hill, click here.
Sun appoints former Teva CEO as chairman
MUMBAI, India — Generic drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries appointed a new chairman as the company announced big jumps in fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2012 sales and profits.
The drug maker announced the appointment of former Teva Pharmaceutical Industries president and CEO Israel Makov as chairman. Makov, who began working for Teva in 1995, and led it as president and CEO from 2002 to 2007, is widely credited with that company becoming the world’s largest generic drug maker and one of the world’s largest drug makers overall.
Before joining Teva, Makov founded Israel’s first biotech company, Interpharm, and since his departure has served as chairman for a number of companies, including capsule endoscopy provider Given Imaging and life sciences investment company Biolight.
The appointment came on the heels of a 59% increase in sales, to $4.2 billion, for fourth quarter 2012, and a 40% increase, to $14.4 billion, for the fiscal year. Profits for the quarter increased 85%, to $1.5 billion, and increased by 42%, to $4.7 billion, in the fiscal year.
In other news, Sun announced Thursday the approval of azelastine hydrochloride nasal spray, a generic version of Medpointe Pharm HLC’s Astelin, a treatment for allergies. Various versions of the drug have annual sales of $144 million, according to Sun, which will sell the drug in the 0.1% strength.