NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - Get Abbott Laboratories Report were rising on heavy trading volume early Thursday afternoon as research firm Muddy Waters attempts to disrupt the Abbott Park, IL-based healthcare company's proposed $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical (STJ), Bloomberg reports. 

With the hope of undoing the planned merger, Muddy Waters Founder Carson Block has claimed that St. Jude pacemakers and defibrillators are easy targets for hackers, and the equipment should consequently be recalled, according to Bloomberg. He added that sales of the devices, which generate about 45% of St. Jude's sales, should be halted until the cybersecurity issue is fixed.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, St. Jude shareholders would receive $46.75 in cash and 0.8708 shares of Abbott common stock, representing about $85 per St. Jude share, by year-end. 

Block said he is "long" Abbott stock and "short St. Jude Medical stock, according to Reuters.

About 23.68 million shares of Abbott have been traded so far today, well above the stock's average trading volume of roughly 9.05 million shares per day. 

TheStreet Recommends

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+.

Abbott Laboratories' strengths such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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

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 article's author. 

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