Hilton’s IPO tops Twitter’s with $2.35 billion payoff

Hilton is back, and in a big way.

The hotelier, which went private in 2007, on Wednesday priced its initial public offering at $20 per share – in the middle of its expected range – for a total take of $2.35 billion on the sale of 117.6 million shares. The payoff surpasses the $2.1 billion generated by Twitter’s IPO last month. The biggest IPO of the year so far was Plains GP Holdings LP at $2.9 billion.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is the world’s largest hotel group, when measured by rooms, with 665,667 rooms across 90 countries and territories.

Much smaller U.S. deficit signals improving economy

The U.S. government ran a much smaller deficit through the first two months of the budget year than the same period last year, signaling further improvement in the nation’s finances.

The November deficit – the gap between what the government takes in and what it spends – totaled $135.2 billion, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. That’s 21.4 percent lower than November 2012. And through the first two months of the budget year the deficit totaled $226.8 billion, or 22.7 percent lower than the same period a year ago. The budget year begins on Oct. 1.

FDA approves generic versions of Cymbalta drug

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of the blockbuster antidepressant Cymbalta, offering lower-cost access to one of the most widely prescribed treatments for depression, anxiety and other disorders.

Cymbalta is Eli Lilly & Co. Inc.’s best-selling drug and posted 2012 sales of $4.7 billion, making it the fifth highest-selling medication in the world. The drug’s patent expired Wednesday, clearing the way for the launch of cheaper versions of the drug from generic drug makers. Generic drugs often sell for a fraction of the price of the original branded product.

Besides depression, Cymbalta is also prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorder, diabetic nerve pain, fibromyalgia and forms of chronic pain.

The FDA said it approved six generic versions of the pill from drug makers including Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., Sun Pharma Global and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Foreclosures fall to low not seen in six years

While foreclosures remain a concern in select states, the number of U.S. homes entering the path to foreclosure or winding up repossessed by lenders has fallen to levels not see in more than six years.

The trend is the latest sign foreclosures are becoming less of a national factor on the housing recovery and more of a state and metropolitan-area concern. 

– From news service reports