Biogen (BIIB) - Get Report shares rebounded Tuesday as the company's freshly anointed CEO Michel Vounatsos laid out various plans for growth all while potential take-over chatter continues to buoy shares.
"My focus will be on investment: our people, our capabilities and our future, for patients and for shareholders," Vounatsos, who will be promoted from the COO post, said during a call Tuesday morning.
Shares jumped $6.37, or 2.3%, to $285.14 Tuesday midday after the company held a call with its new leader. Biogen shares fell 2.6% on the news Monday.
When asked whether the company would do smaller tuck-ins as it has been, or look for a mega-merger, Vounatsos balked and said the company is "pretty open" to various options.
As for whether Biogen itself could be acquired? The jury is out on how appointment of Vounatsos impacts the probability.
"We believe that the magnitude of the change in assumed probability of a transaction is only modest," Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote in a note Tuesday. "The opportunity in Biogen for an acquirer remains real, and with the scarcity of assets in the industry, it remains a significant source of option value for Biogen shareholders."
Brian Abrahams, analyst at Jefferies added that he believes Biogen's takeout probability has regressed somewhat from earlier this year. Abrahams, however, said there remains "a reasonable expectation the company could be acquired very near term."
Biogen has also been seen as a likely acquirer in recent months, thanks to extra cash on hand and a need to build out that research and development pipeline.
Vounatsos hinted during the call Tuesday that Biogen is interested in the ophthalmology, though it doesn't currently have any drugs or investments in the space. He noted that the company wants to turn its multiple sclerosis business around, and to invest in research and development.
Biogen had been searching for a new CEO since this summer when current company head, George Scangos, announced his intention to resign.