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Merck Posts Rise in Both Revenue and Profit

Merck & Co posted an increase in both its revenue as well as profit as its closely watched treatment for cancer and its vaccines boosted its results. Shares were up 2.5% during trading before the bell as the company’s results beat expectations on Wall Street. Pharmaceutical revenue during the third quarter was up 5.8% ending at $9.44 billion, boosted from growth in its cardiovascular drugs, oncology, vaccines and acute care in hospitals. Keytruda a drug for cancer posted $356 million in sales during the just ended quarter, in comparison to... 
 

McDonald’s Sales in U.S. Increase Amidst Competition

McDonald’s Corp has kept its turnaround on the right track during its most recent quarter despite an increase in competition across the U.S. The burger chain was aided by its all-day breakfast, its McPick value promotions and its Chicken McNuggets containing simpler ingredients, said company officials on Friday. U.S. restaurant sales at established locations increased 1.3% amidst softness across the industry that was partly blamed by executives on lower prices at the supermarket that helped to encouraged a certain number of diners to cook meals... 
 

Roche Sees Sales Increase Thanks to Cancer Treatments

Roche Holding AG announced that sales increased during its third quarter due to strong growth in several of its immunotherapy and cancer drugs. The healthcare behemoth based in Basel, Switzerland announced revenue had grown by 4.5% for the three-month period ending September 30 to just over 12.48 billion Swiss francs or $12.6 billion. That figure was just less than forecasts by analysts of 12.54 billion francs. Taking into consideration fluctuations in currency, sales were up 3%. Roche does not post figures for profit during its quarterly reporting... 
 

Johnson & Johnson Helped Again by Its Pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical business of Johnson & Johnson was able to help the company lift its low end of guidance and post results that were better than had been anticipated for the most recent quarter, as it continues to help the company’s top line. J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, now is expecting its earnings per share to be between $6.68 and $6.73 for the year in comparison to its previous annual guidance of $6.63 for the bottom. It confirmed its forecast for revenue of between $71.5 billion and $72.2 billion. CEO Alex Gorsky announced... 
 

U.S. Lifts Limits on Imports of Cuban Alcohol and Cigars

For a number of decades, Cuban cigars have been renowned for their intense flavor and difficulty in being obtained. The decade’s long embargo by the U.S. against Cuba has prevented Americans from returning with Cuban cigars, even if purchased while in other countries. Two years ago, limits were eased, but those returning could only bring back $100 worth of cigars. After the embargo became law in 1962, agents with U.S. customs began seizing cigars they were able to find in bags of travelers, calling it contraband. Some agents went as far as tearing... 
 

Report: Uber Dominates Ride Market in U.S.

Wednesday report indicated that Uber has in effect won the market war across the U.S. for ride-hailing although its biggest competitor Lyft continues to gain more market share. Uber is the dominant force in every city in the U.S. where it is present, said a lead analyst on Wall Street from the company that reviewed purchasing data from credit cards from more than 2.5 million consumers in the U.S. and usage of mobile-apps from over 50 million mobile devices worldwide. In the hometown of the startup, San Francisco, Uber holds a market share of 71%... 
 

Coca Cola Acquiring Former SABMiller Africa Bottling Stake

Coca-Cola Co. on Monday announced that it would be exercising a clause of change of control, which gives it the right to acquire the former interest of SABMiller in Coca-Cola’s largest bottling company in Africa. This move takes place after Anheuser-Busch InBev on Monday closed on its SABMiller acquisition creating a behemoth in the beer industry with a huge footprint in Africa. As of the latter part of August, SABMiller held a stake of 54% in the bottling company Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, which handles 40% of the distribution of Coke volumes... 
 

Theranos Closing Labs and Cutting Jobs

Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes said late on Wednesday that the business would close its labs and its testing centers for Walgreens. The letter, which was posted on the website of the company, was an epitaph for the business that at one time was a celebrated Silicon Valley business that Holmes touted would change  the world though its inexpensive, simple pinprick blood test. In interviews with print publications, appearances on TV and speeches around the globe, Holmes said the Theranos innovation would give consumers power by allowing... 
 

Johnson & Johnson Drug Tops Humira in Psoriasis Study

The experimental drug from Johnson & Johnson for psoriasis met its major goals as well as beat a rival in a final stage study related to psoriasis. That has positioned J&J to grow its line-up of immune-disease medications. The drug, known as guselkumab, was able to clear or almost clear skin of just over 81% of the patients treated after a period of 48 weeks, said the company on Saturday during its research findings summary. That was in comparison to a rate of 55% amongst those who used Humira, from AbbVie, said officials from J&J. Stelara,... 
 

FDA Approves New Insulin Pump

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the sale of a device that is a substantial advance toward an artificial pancreas for patients with Type 1 diabetes. This insulin pump, which has been long awaited, has the goal of taking some guesswork out of controlling the blood-sugar level. The product designed by Medtronic PLC and known as MiniMed 670G is a combination of two devices that are attached to the body of a person. A pump delivers the insulin through a tube that is inserted beneath the skin, and the device’s sensor monitors the... 
 

New Home Sales Plunge in August by 7.6%

New home sales pulled back during August, one month following a surge in sales to their highest level in over 9 years. In each region, activity dropped across the country with the exception of the West. Sales of new homes were down 7.6% in August to an adjusted annualized rate of just over 609,000, said the Commerce Department in a report released on Monday. Those numbers followed a July surge in sales that saw a 13.8% spurt to over 659,000, which was the fastest new home sales pace since October of 2007. Following the surge in July, analysts expected... 
 

General Mills Has Earnings Hit By Weak Sales of Yogurt

General Mills Inc posted sales that fell 7% during its most recent quarter, ending the three-month period at $3.9 million, due to a plunge in the United States of its Yoplait yogurt business as shoppers shift to brands that are Greek-style. General Mills, based in Minneapolis, has been struggling to keep abreast of the rapidly changing habits of eating of its customers, which have hurt brands like Cheerios cereal and cake mixes such as Betty Crocker. CEO Ken Powell recently prioritized the revamping of the cereal business in the U.S., by eliminating... 
 

New CEO at GlaxoSmithKline Joins Small Group of Women

The recent appointment by GlaxoSmithKline of Emma Walmsley as CEO put her on a short list to become the highest profile female in corporate Britain. Walmsley, who is 47, will take the post of CEO in 2017 when Andrew Witty the current CEO will step down March 31. With her move up the corporate ladder the FTSE 100, which is a list of the biggest blue chip companies in Britain by market capitalization, will have seven female CEOs. The current female CEOs run EasyJet, Imperial Brands, Whitbread, Royal Mail, Kingfisher and Severn Trent. However, GSK... 
 

Johnson & Johnson Acquires Eye Surgery Unit from Abbott

Johnson & Johnson have agreed to purchase the eye-surgery equipment business of Abbott Laboratories for the price of $4.33 billion, which moves the giant in healthcare towards its set goal of increasing all three of its core businesses. This deal should close during the first three months of 2017 said each company in separate released statements late last week. The unit, known as Abbott Medical Optics, is the maker of equipment used during surgeries for cataracts and in the Lasik procedures that improve vision, along with eye drops and other... 
 

Europe: YouTube Must Pay Artists More

Europe has started a new battle in its fight against big tech from the U.S., as it announced draft rules that could make YouTube as well as others pay more to the world’s music industry. European Union law is administrated by the European Commission, which has proposed new copyright laws for all of Europe saying it wanted to strengthen the rights of the different artists and to make sure they were compensated fairly with profits made from their work. If these new rules are approved, they will force the different music streaming services like Dailymotion... 
 

Ford Pays $65 Million to Acquire Startup Chariot

Late last week, Ford Motors acquired Chariot a startup shuttle van company in a deal that was all cash. However, the price at the time of the deal was not disclosed, so it was not certain if the deal had been for a distressed startup being sold for a bargain price or if Ford paid a market price for a business that fits into its long term strategic plans. The automaker dished out $65 million for the company plus earn outs so employees who held stock options would be whole. The shuttle van startup raised just one round of funding of $3 million since... 
 

Engineer at Volkswagen Files Guilty Pleas in Emissions Scandal

An engineer at Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to aiding the German automaker’s efforts to cheat emissions tests, thus becoming the first individual convicted criminally in the United States in a scandal that is wide-ranging that to date has cost the auto giant billions of dollars. James Liang, the VW engineer, who has worked with the German automaker since 1983, agreed with U.S. authorities to cooperate in their ongoing investigation, indicated the plea agreement he filed with a federal court. The cooperation suggests that prosecutors will be preparing... 
 

Drop in Prices of Food Pressures Distributors and Grocers

A continual slide in the price of food has put pressure on more U.S. distributors and grocers, weighing down their shares and prompting some to make revisions to their outlooks in earnings for the full year. Sprouts Farmers Market has cut its guidance for the quarter and 2016 due to significant deflation that is ongoing that its announced will likely not let up for a number of months. Shares at Sprouts, which is based in Arizona, fell by 14% to end trading on Wednesday at the price of $19.68, which is the lowest close for the company in over a year. Executives... 
 

Google Asia is Faster as Undersea Cable Reaches Data Center

People online across Asia could be enjoying faster access to some services on Internet starting today as news was released that Google switched on its latest high-speed undersea cable, bringing faster connectivity to its services within the region. In 2014, a consortium of six companies that included Google, China Telecom Global, China Mobile International, KDDI, Singtel and Global Transit unveiled their plans to create an undersea, transpacific cable system 9,000 kms in length. The cable spans from the U.S. state of Oregon on the west coast to... 
 

Campbell Soup Weighed Down by Carrot Business

Campbell Soup Co posted an adjusted profit that was less than had been predicted due to a recalled product and higher costs as well as lower sales of its carrots. The company expects the same issues to dent sales the remainder of 2016. The largest soup maker in the world also released a full-year forecast for adjusted earnings that came up short of estimates on Wall Street, sending shares tumbling by over 6.5% to a low of over six months Thursday. The problems with the company, during the recently ended quarter centered on the Campbell Fresh business.... 
 

Samsung Stops Shipments of Smartphone Galaxy Note 7

South Korea based Samsung Electronics has seen a revival in its mobile sector of late, but all of that was thrown into great doubt as the tech titan stopped all shipments in South Korea of its new  smartphone the Galaxy Note 7. Investors dragged down the market capitalization of the company by $4 billion on Thursday after the company confirmed late on Wednesday the delay in shipping of its waterproof, larger-screen Galaxy Note 7, which was not been in the market for even two weeks. A spokesperson for Samsung said he could not say if the delay also... 
 

Abercrombie & Fitch Posts Drop in Sales for Quarter

Abercrombie & Fitch reported a drop in sales for its most recent quarter as well as releasing a cautious outlook for the rest of the year, as the retailer of apparel struggled to entice shoppers into its locations in malls. Abercrombie shares, which rose by over 20% the past year, dropped 11% in premarket trading on Tuesday. Sales at its locations open a minimum of 13 months will remain challenging during the second six months of the year, said a statement released by the company. In May, Abercrombie expected results to be better after making... 
 

Facebook Changes Trending News to Be More Automated

On Friday, Facebook said it was automating its feature trending stories further, a move that scales back the human input in order to prevent any personal bias from influencing the stories that are highlighted. The giant of social media will have an algorithm it relies on heavily to operate this feature, which lists the news or the events that are hot topics. This will not require people to write out descriptions, said a Friday blog post by Facebook. The feature earlier this year prompted some controversy with critics saying that the new curators... 
 

HP Posts Lower Revenue and Earnings

Revenue as well as earnings at HP Inc contracted during the most recently ended quarter, but the business showed new signs of stabilization in its declining PC business, its largest generator of revenue The company, based in Palo Alto, California said that revenue from personal systems was flat for the quarter following five consecutive quarters of declines, as PC sales in the unit were up 4%. Revenue dropped by 14% for the printing business, which is what generates the majority of profits at HP. This reflected more use of file sharing and email... 
 

Senators Urge EpiPen Scrutiny Over Increase in Price

Two United States Senators have raised concerns about huge increases of price on a drug that is used for emergency conditions when there is a food allergy reaction. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa wrote to Mylan the maker of the drug asking them for reasons why the price has been increasing for their EpiPen. The epinephrine auto-injector treats allergy reactions and its price has increased from $57 during 2007 to close to $500 at present. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has requested that the Federal Trade Commission look into the price increase. Grassley... 
 

Just Mayo Maker Under Inquiry

Prominent startup Hampton Creek that is attempting to bring the panache of the tech industry to ranch dressing, mayonnaise and other products is under scrutiny as regulators look into its business practices. A preliminary inquiry was opened by the Securities and Exchange Commission into startup Hampton Creek, says one person who was briefed on this situation, but asked that his name not be used publicly. The inquiry by the SEC came following a report that was recently released that described an organized Hampton Creek effort to buy large numbers... 
 

Target Corp Cuts Annual Forecast for Profit

During the just ended quarter, Target Corp posted sales at same-stores that fell and the retailer is expecting more declines that will hamper its turnaround. On Wednesday, Target Corp announced that its sales at its established locations were down for the first time in over two years while warning there would be additional declines, signs that the turnaround push by CEO Brian Cornell has now stalled. Target lowered its profit target for the year and warned that sales at same-stores would remain flat or drop up to 2% for the current fiscal year. Cornell... 
 

Home Depot Has 9.3% Increase in Profit from Latest Quarter

On Tuesday, Home Depot posted revenue and earnings that were mostly in line with estimates on Wall Street, as the largest retailer for home improvement in the world continued reaping the benefits of a strong U.S. housing market. The retailer reiterated as well its guidance for sales for the full year, while raising its forecast on earnings. Shares of Home Depot were unchanged during early premarket trading Tuesday morning. It is a strong quarter, but does not deliver on the upside that we have seen from the company the past couple of quarters, said... 
 

Report: Lyft Rejects Acquisition Bid by General Motors

General Motors is a minority shareholder of Lyft the riding hailing company but has expressed its interest in acquiring the company. However, that was rejected by Lyft, says a report by an online information site. The acquisition bid by GM suggests that the carmaker hopes to foray further into the sector of ridehailing and combine the carpooling business of Lyft with the autonomous vehicles concept. During an era when it has become far easier for commuters to hail their ride as well as carpool, makers of cars such as GM have struggled to come up... 
 

Michael Kors and Coach Hand Department Stores Another Setback

Department stores are already struggling as they face declining numbers of customers and on Tuesday and Wednesday were hit hard again by two brands that are considered big lures for department store shoppers. On Wednesday, Michael Kors announced it would lower the quantity of merchandise it sends to department stores. Coach, on Tuesday, said it was planning to pull purses and other products of its brand from 250 department stores or about 25% of brick and mortar locations. The two brands announced that the deep discounting that is now common amongst... 
 

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Posts Earnings That Miss

Valeant Pharmaceuticals posted revenue and earnings for the quarter that came up short of expectations on Wall Street on Tuesday, but kept its forecast for the full year as it attempts to restore confidence in its investors after its business practices were highly criticized. Valeant shares jumped over 6% in trading before the bell following the posting of its earnings. The drug maker, based in Canada, over the last year has faced great investor and political scrutiny for the steep increases in its drug prices and the unorthodox method it used a... 
 

Bristol Myers Says Opdivo Did Not Meet Endpoint in Study

The surprise failure of a cancer drug in a clinical trial slashed over $20 billion off the market value of Bristol-Myers Squibb on Friday, and increased the questions about one of the hottest research areas of the industry; drugs that are able to harness the immune system of the body to fight against cancer. Bristol-Myers announced that the drug, known as Opdivo, was not significantly better than was chemotherapy in the study of patients that had been newly diagnosed with lung cancer. The result, which was highly unexpected, sent shares of the drug... 
 

Burger King Owner Same Store Sales Come Up Short

Despite getting a boost in sales from unique new products such as Mac ‘N Cheetos and Chicken Rings, Restaurant Brands International saw its sales in same stores come up short of expectations by analysts. The owner of Tim Hortons and Burger King posted earnings that reached 41 cents with revenue reaching $1.04 billion. The company had been expected by analysts to post earnings for the second quarter of approximately 35 cents per share with revenue reaching $1.05 billion. Revenues missed expectations by analysts for the second quarter primarily... 
 

Pfizer’s New Products Help Profit for First Quarter

Newer drugs such as Ibrance for breast cancer and Lyrica for nerve pain sold well during the quarter helping U.S. based Pfizer. The pharmaceutical giant reported results that were better than had been expected for the second quarter as new products showed growth in revenue. Pfizer and Allergan back in April terminated a planned merger of $150 billion after the White House administration pressured the U.S. based company into backing out of the deal since it would have moved from the U.S. to Ireland as a way to lower taxes. Pfizer shares were down... 
 

AbbVie Increases Forecast on Profit Due to Strong Sales of Humira

AbbVie posted quarterly revenue and profit that was higher than had been expected driven by the demand for Humira its flagship drug, and increased its forecast for earnings for the full year. Humira, the biggest selling drug in the world, generated sales of over $14 billion in 2015 and represented 64% of the net revenue of AbbVie during the quarter. The medication, used as treatment of Crohn’s disease and forms of arthritis amongst other types of conditions, had sales of more than $4.15 billion for the quarter, topping estimates of analysts for... 
 

Shell Posts Disappointing Results As Profit Hit by BG Deal and Oil

Royal Dutch Shell has posted a disappointing quarterly drop in profit of more than 72%, which it blamed on costs that were related to its BG Group takeover for $54 billion and weak prices of oil. Shell missed estimates of analysts for the current cost for the second quarter of supplies, its own definition for net income, by over $1.1 billion due mainly because they expected better performance from their upstream division, which posted a loss of $1.3 billion in comparison to a loss one year ago of $469 million. CEO Ben van Beurden said that lower... 
 

McDonald’s Misses Expectations on Growth of Sales

McDonald’s Corp, the largest restaurant chain in the world posted sales growth for same stores that came up short of analyst expectations, which stoked concerned that the fast food industry in the U.S. was heading toward a recession. Sales at same-stores were up 3.1% globally, said the company based in Oak Brook, Illinois. Analysts however were expecting an increase of 3.6%. Analysts have raised some concern that restaurants could be hitting a downturn, which is a harbinger for a broad slump in the economy in the U.S. for 2017. Rivals in fast... 
 

Sales of Apple Watch Plummet 55%

For just the first time, the global smartwatch market experienced a decline year over year of more than 32% showed data released by International Data Corporation or IDC an online research firm. While Apple remained the market leader with over 1.6 million smartwatches shipped during the second quarter of 2016, it was the sole vendor amongst the top 5, which includes Samsung, LG, Lenovo and Garmin, to see a decline for the year in shipments. The decline was not small but quite steep as shipments of Apple Watch were more than cut in half from over... 
 

Roche Tops Forecasts for the Quarter

Roche based in Switzerland, beat expectations of the market for its net income during the first half of the year with help from sales of a cancer drug along with a big one-off gain in its pension plan. Core earnings a share, adjusted for special items, rose by 7% to over 7.74 Swiss francs or $7.86, while analysts were expecting an average of 7.53 francs. The company made an accounting adjustment that was one-off to its long-term pension plan, which helped to increase earnings by over 426 million francs. However, that will be offset in time as it... 
 

Novartis Releases Profit Warning

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG lowered its guidance for profit for the full year as it increases its investment in its new drug for heart failure to offset dropping sales of Gleevec its blockbuster cancer drug. Joe Jimenez the CEO at Novartis said a hard decision was made to increase the investment by another $200 million in Entresto, a move that could cost Novartis up to 2% of its core income. The decision to do this is the right one, said Jimenez, as there are two large catalysts for the company for the next couple of years where growth... 
 

Herbalife Paying Settlement of $200 Million to FTC

Herbalife agreed to pay $200 million on Friday in consumer relief as well as change some of its business practices as part of its settlement with the FTC or Federal Trade Commission. This agreement will allow the company, which specializes in nutritional supplements, to avoid charges of operating a pyramid scheme as well as facing a shutdown forced by the federal agency. The settlement ends an investigation of two years by the FTC of the businesses’ operating structure and marked a likely financial setback for William Ackman the billionaire operator... 
 

Delta’s Profit for Second Quarter Rises But Revenue Falls

Delta Air Lines posted profit for the second quarter that beat Wall Street expectations despite revenue that was lower. The company is planning to limit growth in an attempt to push its fares higher. Lower prices of fuel have been helping airlines earn large profits. The trend continued for Delta, which announced on Thursday that its net income for its quarter that ended in June reached $1.55 billion, which is up by 4% compared to the same period last year. However, airline shares have dropped in 2016. Delta shares started Thursday 22% down for... 
 

Seagate to Eliminate 6,500 Jobs Despite Hard Disk Demand

Seagate Technology will eliminate approximately 6,500 jobs across the globe, which is equivalent to about 14% of its overall workforce, it announced on Monday. The company has announced in June that it was cutting 1,600 jobs that equaled 3% of its workforce. That cut was said to take place prior to the end of its September quarter as a way to cut costs. However, the most recent job cut announcement suggests the company is feeling the need to lower costs even further as its hard disk drives continue to battle in a PC market that remains sluggish... 
 

Netflix and Comcast Set Feud Aside for Top Box Deal

Netflix has entered into a deal with Comcast that is pleasing to those people looking to stop buying complete cable programming and just channels they are interested in watching. Netflix’s streaming service will soon be available on Comcast X1 set top boxes that will make it easier for the Comcast subscriber of its TV platform that is cloud based to access the exclusive content Netflix such as House of Cards and Orange is the new Black. The two companies through a joint statement said that there was a great deal of work that needed to be completed... 
 

PepsiCo Beats Wall Street on Profit With Help from Frito Lay

PepsiCo posted profit for the second quarter that topped expectations on Wall Street as the company slashed its costs and sold more snacks from Frito Lay than it expected. The company raised its earnings outlook for the full-year, which helped give a boost to its shares during premarket trading on Thursday. PepsiCo stock was trading 2% higher prior to the opening bell. The company announced that revenue from its North American Frito-Lay unit increased due to stronger volume of sales and pricing. The beverage unit in North America, which includes... 
 

Chipotle Giving Away Food to Win Customers Back

Chipotle Mexican Grill hopes that some free food will help them to win back some valued customers. The chain will launch its Chiptopia promotion for the summer beginning Friday that will reward customers for the number of times they visit. At the lowest level, diners who buy either four burritos or four other entrees will get the fifth free. The promotion was not aimed so much at luring in new customers but inducing the better patrons of the chain to return on a more regular basis. This is about getting customers who used to eat the most frequent... 
 

Strong Dollar Will Cost Apple and Others Sales Following Brexit

Investors should be getting ready to listen to more negative impact of foreign exchange of currency on financial results from large tech companies in the U.S. That is due to the U.S. dollar strengthening which started over a year ago on the fears of problems in the economy in China. It will accelerate now because of the decision by voters in the UK to exit the European Union. If what has happened of recent is any indication, the currency moves driven by Brexit will likely take their toll on tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Alphabet... 
 

Boeing Announces Historic Deal with Iran Air

Boeing announced that it signed a landmark agreement with Iran Air to sell the airline new jetliners. This is the first major new deal between a company based in the United States and Iran since the sanctions related to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program were lifted during the early part of 2016. Boeing did not say the number of aircraft that were part of this deal, but the state media in Iran said the flag carrier of the country would be receiving 100 new aircraft for their fleet. The new planes will help to modernize the fleet that is amongst... 
 

Rite Aid Posts Sales and Profit That Miss

Drugstore chain Rite Aid said reductions in drug costs would be short of their expectations in the short term. Rite Aid Corp, posted sales and earnings that disappointed for its just ended first quarter amidst pressure from pharmacy reimbursement rates. This week the company said it was not able to offset the pressure due in large part to efficiencies in drug purchasing that did not reach expectations, John Standley the CEO said. Standley added that the drug cost reductions would continue to remain short of expectations of the company during the... 
 

Consumer Prices Rise as Rents Move Up in U.S.

The U.S. cost of living excluding fuel and food rose during May, driven by the rising costs of rent. The core measure as it is called of the consumer price index was up 0.25 during May, the same as it was during April, a report on Thursday from the Labor Department showed. The broader overall measure of consumer prices was higher as well by 0.2%. Policy makers in the Federal Reserve project a strengthening of demand as well as more stable costs of energy and less appreciation of the U.S. dollar will give more businesses the opportunity to regain... 
 
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