Why Baxter International (BAX) Stock Hit an All-Time High Today (Update)

Update (4:10 p.m.): Updated with Thursday market close information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Baxter International  (BAX) hit an all-time high of $81 as of 11:50 a.m. on Thursday after the company announced it pans to split into two separate businesses by mid-2015 pending approval from Baxter's board of directors.

One company will focus on biopharmaceuticals, while the other will focus on medical products. Baxter's biopharmaceuticals business includes hemophilia and other bleeding disorder treatments, as well as blood plasma therapies that treat immune deficiencies. This section of Baxter's business generated revenue of approximately $6 billion in 2013, and the new, separate business will be named at some point in the future.

Ludwig N. Hantson, Ph.D., who currently serves as BioScience president, will serve as CEO of this new biopharmaceuticals company, while Baxter director Wayne T. Hockmeyer will become its chairman in a non-executive capacity.

The medical products business includes drug delivery mechanisms, nutritional therapies, intravenous solutions, anesthetics and surgery products. It generated more than $9 billion in revenue in 2013 and will maintain the Baxter International name. This company will include the $2.76 billion acquisition of Gambro AB, which makes kidney dialysis products.

Baxter chairman and CEO Robert L. Parkinson Jr. will act as chairman and CEO of the medical products company.

The separate companies will both have headquarters in northern Illinois.

The stock closed up 3.9% to $72.81, up $2.73 from its previous close of $70.08, on Thursday. More than 18.16 million shares changed hands, well above its average volume of 3,225,460.

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