April showers might bring May flowers, but the first week of the new month has already seen several health-care stocks hit full bloom. Here are three of the most humongous stocks this week.
“Bidness” is good
Last week, Obagi Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:OMPI) made our list of humongous performers after Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) announced a $344 million bid for the company. This week saw a bidding frenzy, with Obagi shares jumping another 29%.
Merz Pharma Group entered the fray early in the week with an unsolicited offer of $22 per share, higher than Valeant’s bid of $19.75 per share. It didn’t take long for Valeant to kick things up a notch by raising its bid to $24 per share. Obagi shareholders got to sit back and watch as their stock took off amid the bidding war.
Some investors seem to be expecting more fun. Shares of Obagi are trading around $25.50, higher than Valeant’s last offer. We should soon find out just how badly Merz wants the medical products company.
Obagi isn’t the only company for which “bidness” is good. Antibiotic maker Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPTR) shares soared 22% this week on talk of interest by multiple potential buyers.
Bloomberg reported that GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK), Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CBST), AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN), and Japan’s Astellas Pharma were all interested in picking up Optimer. If the reports are correct, that’s quite a lineup of potential suitors. Bloomberg went on to add that Optimer hopes to get as much as $1 billion in an auction. That figure would price the company’s shares around $18, significantly higher than they are now.
Robert W. Baird analyst Brian Skorney thinks that Optimer won’t go for that much, though. In an article published by Reuters, Skorney suggested that Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) could be another possible buyer because of the big pharma’s crop of antibiotic drugs that lose patent protection over the next few years. Pfizer has been rumored as a potential acquirer of Optimer in the past.
RBC — easy as 1-2-3
A young Michael Jackson sang, “ABC, it’s easy as 1-2-3.” Shareholders of Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTX) would probably replace “ABC” with RBC after the stock jumped nearly 21%.