NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alere (ALR) stock is plummeting by 15% to $42.05 on heavy trading volume this afternoon, after Abbott Laboratories (ABT) CEO Miles White refused to confirm his commitment to completing a proposed $5.8 billion acquisition of the health-care diagnostics company.
Alere has experienced delays to filing certain disclosures with the SEC, and it is unclear when the company will hold a shareholder vote needed to approve the merger, White said on Abbott's first quarter earnings conference call earlier today, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Alere will not send its shareholders a definitive proxy agreement required to approve the takeover until after it has filed its annual report with the SEC, which it hopes to do "as soon as practicable," the Journal adds.
"We don't know when they will file their proxy. We don't know when they are going to have a shareholder vote. So right now I'd say it's not appropriate for me to comment on Alere," White told analysts on the call.
In February, Abbott agreed to pay $56 per share to acquire Alere, a 51% premium to the company's stock price prior to the merger announcement. Abbott agreed to take on $2.6 billion of Alere's debt as well.
About 9.55 million shares of Alere have been traded so far today, well above the company's average trading volume of roughly 1.34 million shares per day.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C+.
Alere's strengths such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins are countered by the fact that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: ALR
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