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Evening Update: Funny Biz With Target


Ivan Boesky

is smiling.

Insider tips seemed to flow pretty heavily on Monday. Today's strange occurrence:

Boston Scientific

's (BSX:NYSE) announced plan to takeover Target Therapeutics (TGET:Nasdaq) for about $1.1 billion in stock. Though the deal was announced


the bell, company shares started moving sharply at mid-afternoon.

But somebody clearly got wind of the deal, which values Target shares at about $71.55. Target rose a whopping 12 to 59 today before trading was halted and the takeover was announced, while Boston Scientific, which warned the deal would hurt its earnings in 1997, fell 4 5/8 to 66 7/8.

In Target's case, the rumors apparently exploded in just a few minutes in mid-afternoon. Between 2:25 and 2:30 p.m., only 500 shares of Target traded, for 48. During the next 10 minutes, the price remained steady at 48 3/8, but volume soared to 188,000 shares. Then the sudden surge in demand began pushing Target shares higher. They rose to 50 between 2:40 and 2:50 as nearly 110,000 shares traded, then jumped to 52 1/4 by 3:00, with 144,500 shares changing hands.

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Then the news really leaked. In the next 10 minutes, almost 210,000 shares changed hands, and Target's price hit 59. Finally, the Nasdaq halted trading, although that move came too late for lots of investors. For example, an individual investor with a limit sell order at a price of 55 lost a 16.55 per share windfall.

The companies didn't return calls for comment last night. Calls to the Nasdaq Stock Market and the

Securities and Exchange Commission

also weren't returned.

* * *

Also, after-the-bell news came from


(R:NYSE), which said it would cut 2,100 jobs and take a pre-tax charge of $215 million, or $2.65 per share, in the fourth quarter. The truck leasing and logistics company closed at 29 7/8, up 3/8, on Monday. Ryder is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 4.

By Alex Berenson