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

What's with all the healthcare and pharmaceutical mergers?

James Dennin, Kapitall: Last Tuesday alone saw the announcement of $74 billion in potential healthcare and pharmaceutical mergers. In one day. 

Corporate inversion is the practice of buying another company so that you can relocate. Typically, inversion involves a larger "parent" company and a smaller acquisition target located somewhere with low corporate taxes, like Ireland. 

Read more from Kapitall: Celebrate International Workers’ Day with these profitable, employee friendly companies

That's because American companies are required to have at least 30% of their assets located overseas before they can be considered "headquartered there." When you buy an entire company, that threshold is usually pretty easy to hit, and you also get to benefit from saving on reduced competition and taxes. 

This is in part what's explaining all of the healthcare merger and acquisition activity that's been going on all year, particularly among drug makers. 

A lot of the biggest drug manufacturers, like Pfizer (PFE), have seen their costs go up in the last year. Part of it has to do with pressure from insurance companies to provide cheaper drugs. And part of it has to do with expiring patents on major blockbusters like Viagra. 

That, and the mountains of corporate cash that have been burning a hole in these company's pockets. The pharmaceutical industry has been spending money with particular fervor; a single day last week saw $74 billion in merger activity alone. 

The latest merger talk in pharmaceutical circles is Pfizer's pursuit of the British drug maker Astra Zeneca (AZN). The latter seems reluctant to be acquired, but Pfizer has been aggressive in its pursuit, despite a long-standing history as one of America's oldest companies. 

And yet there could also be another reason to account for the huge spike in activity. Congress is in the process of considering raising the amount of assets a US companies needs to maintain overseas from 30% to 50%, making inversion significantly less attractive. 

Besides, there are only so many attractive acquisition targets located in tax havens anyway. It certainly begs the question of whether pressure will prompt firms into overpaying.

1 of 2

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
AAPL $93.99 0.00%
FB $102.01 0.00%
GOOG $682.40 0.00%
TSLA $151.04 0.00%
YHOO $27.04 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,973.84 +313.66 2.00%
S&P 500 1,864.78 +35.70 1.95%
NASDAQ 4,337.5120 +70.6750 1.66%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs