Top Health Care Stocks
Health care stocks were widely mixed Thursday, with the NYSE Health Care Index declining about 0.1% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 were up more than 0.7% as a group.
In company news, Medivation ( MDVN ) surged Thursday following reports the oncology firm has hired investment bankers to handle suitors seeking to buy the company even through there is little apparent interest inside Medivation about a possible sale.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters and Bloomberg both said late yesterday the company had retained JP Morgan Chase to help it defend against the unwanted entreaties, with media and analysts elsewhere suggesting the takeover offers may be coming from larger competitors such as Gilead Sciences ( GILD ), Amgen ( AMGN ), Sanofi ( SNY ) or AstraZenca ( AZN ).
Despite a recent uptick for its shares, Medivation's extended price slide over the past 10 months has made it an attractive buyout target. Through Wednesday's close, the stock has fallen just under 45% since hitting a record high last May at $67.66 a share, finishing yesterday at $37.39 a share.
The stock also may be getting an added boost this afternoon after Credit Suisse increased its price target for Medivation shares by $1 to $49 a share.
MDVN shares were up nearly 23% at $45.83 apiece, previously climbing to a session high of $46.59 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) GNCA, (+24.9%) GEN-003 drug candidate shows sustained and statistically significant reduction in viral shedding in patients with genital herpes.
(-) LIFE, (-18.9%) Reports Q4 net loss of $16.5 mln, or $0.70 per share, which compares with a $6.03 mln loss during year-ago quarter. The company did not generate any revenue in either quarter.
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