Healthcare Stocks Extending Losses Late; Achillion Pharma Rallies After Upgrade, Rival's Buyout

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Healthcare stocks were falling again Monday with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index sinking about 0.3% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 declining about 0.6% as a group.

In company news, Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( ACHN ) shares were set to finish Monday's session with strong gains, aided by the $4 billion of a rival and an upgrade of the drug-maker by analysts at Maxim Group.

The research shop today raised ACHN to Buy from Hold, also setting a price target of $6 a share.

The move follows Idenix Pharmaceuticals ( IDIX ) accepting a $3.95 billion buyout offer from Merck ( MRK ), which will pay more than three times IDIX's closing price on Friday for the maker of several hepatitis C medications.

ACHN are up 6.21% to $3.59, but remain in the low end of a 52-week range of $2.26 - $8.99. IDIX shares were ahead 230.1% in late trade at $23.87 apiece.

In other sector news,

(+) IDIX, Accepts $3.95 bln buyout offer by Merck ( MRK ), which will pay $24.50 per share - a 239% premium over Friday's closing price - for the hepatitis C antiviral therapy company.

(-) ECTE, ISS Proxy Advisory Services recommends against Platinum Group board nominee Shepard Goldberg at June 19 annual meeting. Another proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, last week also sided with the management slate.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: ACHN , IDIX , MRK


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