This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

10 Top Morningstar M&A Stock Picks for 2012

Charles River Laboratories

Drug research services giant Charles River Laboratories (CRL - Get Report)may be a leveraged buyout candidate because of its predictable earnings, diminished share prices and management issues, according to Morningstar. "Private equity firms have historically demonstrated a strong interest in [contract research organizations], which have been out of favor in the market for some time and ripe for restructuring efforts," write Morningstar analysts.

In Oct. 2011, private equity giants The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman bought PPD (PPDI) for $3.9 billion at a 30% premium, and INC Research, owned by Avista Capital Partners and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, bought Kendle International (KNDL) for $232 million in May 2011. "Charles River could be the next logical takeout candidate, despite modest leverage," writes Morningstar.

So-far-unsuccessful cost cutting initiatives may also be attractive for a buyer to wrench out operational gains, while the company's stable cash flows set up nicely for a private equity acquirer.

Morningstar gives Charles River Laboratories a five star rating and a fair value of $50 a share, an over 50% premium to current share prices of $32.78. The company is expected to earn $56 cents a share in its fourth quarter 2011 results due on Feb. 13, according to Zacks consensus estimates. Analysts give the company an estimated price target of $34.71 a share on 2012 revenue of $1.14 billion and profit of $107 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For more on Charles River shares, see 8 biotech stocks to watch.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX), BioMarin (BMRN) and Seattle Genetics (SGEN) are Morningstar's top pharmaceutical takeover targets for a large-cap acquirer.

With the retirement of two top executives, large cash stockpiles and a slow R&D pipeline for new drugs, Morningstar highlights Amgen (AMGN) as a the most likely acquirer in the pharmaceutical space. "We believe the new blood might be beneficial to the firm's productivity and reputation, and could potentially trigger a wave of acquisitions to replenish the pipeline and jumpstart the company," writes Morningstar.
5 of 11

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
ABMD $98.15 -1.80%
CHS $12.64 -2.00%
CRL $79.72 -0.39%
DHX $7.21 -2.40%
ICLR $66.80 -0.51%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,713.31 -117.45 -0.66%
S&P 500 2,057.71 -18.10 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,760.3210 -44.97 -0.94%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs