Oracle to Acquire Phase Forward for $685 Million; Analyst Raises PT (ORCL)

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Enterprise software giant Oracle Corporation ( ORCL ) said Friday that it will acquire clinical trials software maker Phase Forward ( PFWD ) in a cash deal worth around $685 million.

In other news, an analyst at Piper Jaffray raised its price target for Oracle shares.

Oracle said it would buy Phase Forward for $17 per share, which represents a 30% premium over PFWD's Thursday closing price of $13.08. Phase Forward's management and employees will be integrated into Oracle's Oracle Health Sciences Global Business Unit.

Senior VP and GM of Oracle Health Sciences Neil de Crescenzo said that "The life sciences and healthcare industries are converging as they seek to control costs while accelerating patient-centered innovation." Continuing, he noted that "Phase Forward brings outstanding products and employees with significant expertise to Oracle that will help enable the delivery of personalized medicine and value-based healthcare."

In other Oracle news today, analysts at Piper Jaffray reiterated their "Overweight" rating on ORCL, while raising their price target for the stock to $32 from $30. Oracle shares had closed at $26.20 on Thursday. The firm also noted that "We are introducing above-consensus FY12 EPS estimates due to our high level of conviction that ORCL's EPS growth will exceed expectations meaningfully."

Oracle shares fell 10 cents, or -0.4%, in premarket trading Thursday.

The Bottom Line
We have been recommending shares of ORCL since Mar.23, when the stock was trading at $25.56. The company has a .76% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $26.20.

Oracle Corporation ( ORCL ) is a "recommended" dividend stock, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ORCL , PFWD

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