For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 27, 2009 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: China Life Insurance Company (LFC), American International Group (AIG), Deutsche Bank (DB), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Amgen (AMGN).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

China Life’s Profits Grow

China Life Insurance Company (LFC), the leading life insurer in China, has posted a 15% rise in profits in the first half of 2009 compared to the prior-year period. The company earned 18.2 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) in the first half of 2009 driven by gains realized on financial investments. The gains stemmed from the capital market rally in China.

Gross yield on its investments in the period was up 3.27% from 2.31%. Gross written premiums and policy fees were up 11% to 87.86 billion yuan. The increase was mainly attributable to an increase in its insurance business. Renewal premiums grew 23% year-over-year, while the proportion of renewal premiums to gross written premiums increased to 66.84% in the first half of 2009 from 60.44% in the year-ago period.

The company said that it may invest in AIA, which is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO). AIA is the Asia unit of American International Group (AIG), Deutsche Bank (DB) and Morgan Stanley (MS) have been appointed by AIG as its joint global coordinators for a more than $4 billion IPO for AIA. The company is also eyeing an equity tie-up with Agricultural Bank of China. However, the company does not intend to sell its 5.1% stake in Minsheng Banking Corporation.

The company is also a leading provider of annuity products and life insurance for both individuals and groups and a leading provider of accident and health insurance. China Life’s market share in the first half of 2009 was approximately 39.2%.

Amgen’s Kidney Drug Fails

Yesterday, Amgen (AMGN) said that Aranesp failed in a large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III study that was conducted in patients with chronic kidney disease (not requiring dialysis), anemia and type II diabetes.

The study, referred to as the Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Endpoints with Aranesp Therapy (TREAT), had two primary endpoints. The first evaluated time to all-cause mortality or cardiovascular morbidity including heart attack, congestive heart failure, hospitalization for angina, or stroke. The second primary endpoint evaluated time to all-cause mortality or chronic dialysis.

Aranesp could not show statistically significant improvement in either. While a higher number of strokes were observed in the Aranesp-treated group compared to the placebo arm, we note that drug’s label already carries a warning regarding the stroke events.

Full efficacy and safety analyses are yet to take place. Amgen will present full results at an upcoming medical meeting later this year.

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