Health Care Sector Update for 12/30/2016: ABT,STJ,MRNS,INNL

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -0.16%

PFE +0.02%

MRK +0.27%

ABT +0.13%

AMGN -1.03%

Health care stocks were narrowly mixed in recent trade, with the NYSE Health Care Index climbing about 0.1% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down nearly 0.2% as a group.

In company news, shares of Abbott Laboratories ( ABT ) and St. Jude Medical ( STJ ) were edging higher shortly before the closing bell late Friday after the medical device companies today said they expect to close their proposed $25 billion merger next Wednesday, Jan. 4.

The announcement follows Chinese authorities overnight signing off on the acquisition after the companies agreed to divest St. Jude's small vessel closure device business, the final regulatory hurdle remaining for the deal to move forward. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission earlier this week similarly approved the deal on anti-trust grounds.

Abbott is expecting the transaction will increase non-GAAP earnings by $0.21 during 2017 and by $0.29 per share in 2018. The combination also is seen producing around $500 million in yearly pre-tax synergies by 2020, including both sales and operational benefits.

ABT shares were up about 0.1% at $38.36 apiece this afternoon, giving back most of an earlier climb to $38.87 a share. STJ still was 0.3% higher at $80.09 each, previously topping out today at $80.53 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) MRNS, (+27.0%) U.S. Food and Drug Administration designates company's Ganaxolone generic medication as an orphan drug for the treatment of fragile X syndrome.

(-) INNL, (-65.5%) FDA issues refuse-to-file letter for the company's Xaracoll drug-device to treat post-surgical pain, triggering analyst downgrades to Market Perform at both FBR & Co. and JMP Securities while Janney lowers rating to Neutral from Buy.

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 , US Markets
Referenced Symbols: ABT , MRNS ,

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