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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS)  were increasing on heavy trading volume late-afternoon Wednesday as the company is in talks to acquire Princeton, NJ-based Bai Brands, Reuters reports, citing sources. 

Dr Pepper Snapple is one of several companies interested in pursuing the antioxidant drink brand. Dr Pepper Snapple may be willing to value privately-held Bai at as much as $1.5 billion, sources said, according to Reuters

Reports first surfaced earlier this month that Plano, TX-based Dr Pepper Snapple could be interested in making a bid for Bai. 

The beverage company may be looking to diversify its brand portfolio as increasingly health-conscious consumers turn away from soft drinks, Reuters noted. 

Dr Pepper Snapple has owned a minority stake in Bai since last year.

The brand is part of the company's "Allied Brands," which is comprised of healthy drink companies included in Dr Pepper Snapple's distribution network.

Additionally, Dr Pepper Snapple will report its 2016 third-quarter results before tomorrow's opening bell. 

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More than 1.68 million of Dr Pepper Snapple's shares changed hands so far today vs. its average 30-day volume of 1.23 million shares per day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

The team rates Dr Pepper Snapple as a Buy with a ratings score of A. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. The team feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: DPS

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