Encore Medical ( ENMC) jumped 30% Monday
following an announcement that the Austin, Texas, company agreed to be bought by private-equity firm Blackstone Group. After the deal closes, Encore will be privately held, and its shares will no longer be listed. The orthopedic-device maker is being acquired for $6.55 a share, a 36% premium to the stock's closing price of $4.81 on Friday. Investment research firm Jefferies & Co. downgraded the shares after the deal became known, saying an acquisition wasn't unexpected. Since the firm's May 2005 initiation of coverage of the stock with a buy rating, "we have continued to believe that the market has not recognized the true value of Encore''s franchise," wrote medical-devices analyst Ryan Rauch in a research report. Shares of Encore were up $1.47 to $6.28. Baxter International ( BAX) ticked up 0.6% to $36.99 after the company said it reached an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration on the steps it needs to take before returning its Colleague and Syndeo infusion pumps to the U.S. market. The FDA seized 6,000 of the devices last year amid reports that a defect could cause them to shut down during infusion therapy. "Given that we believe the company had/has significant issues with its quality assurance function, including documentation and reporting of product malfunctions, investors should not assume that this will be smooth sailing for Baxter, though it may prove the exception to the rule," William Blair analyst Ben Andrew wrote in a research report. WebMD ( WBMD) shares fell following its disclosure Friday that it misreported its increase in page views in the second quarter. The health-information provider said page views rose 22% from the year-ago quarter, not 25% as had been reported earlier in the day.
The New York-based company's stock was down 3.9% to $45.44. The company's shares spiked after its initial announcement, closing at $47.30 last week. Shares of biopharmaceutical company Critical Therapeutics ( CRTX) were up 44 cents, or 12.2%, to $4.04 Monday. On Friday, the company said it promoted Anne Fields to lead the company's sales force for its asthma drug Zyflo. Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY) said it has rallied a number of former pro baseball players to raise awareness of deep-vein thrombosis, a condition that causes potentially fatal blood clots. Complications from the disease kill up to 200,000 people a year in the U.S., the company says. Tony Gwynn, Phil Niekro, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley, Terry Francona and Jim Fregosi are among the baseball personalities who will take part in a campaign to help educate the public about the signs, symptoms and risk factors for DVT. Shares of Sanofi-Aventis were up 54 cents, or 1.1%, to $49.24.