Biopharmaceutical company AbbVie was upgraded at Citi to buy from neutral with the price target bumped to $90 from $87.
Shares of the North Chicago company were up 2.8% Thursday after analyst Andrew Baum turned bullish on the stock.
Baum cited significant shareholder value ahead, caused by the merger with Botox marketer Allergan and revenue potential in both psoriasis drug Skyrizi and rheumatoid-arthritis treatment Rinvoq.
Baum is the third analyst to upgrade the stock since late August. Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Raymond upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral in August. Then, in mid-September,UBS's Navin Jacob upgraded it to buy from neutral.
AbbVie stated its strategic rationale for the deal:
The merger creates "new growth platforms and leadership positions to diversify and expand revenue base;
immediate scale and enhanced profitability for AbbVie's growth platform;
financially attractive with immediate EPS accretion; and
significant cash flow generation."
New cash flow should support continued growth in the dividend.
Earlier this month, the company declared a dividend of $1.07 a share, payable Nov. 15 to holders of record Oct. 15.
The deal is valued at $63 billion based on the closing price of AbbVie's common stock of $78.45 on June 24, 2019.
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