Why AstraZeneca (AZN) Stock Is Spiking Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AstraZeneca (AZN) stock is soaring in morning trading Monday after drugmaker Pfizer  (PFE) confirmed previous merger discussions and its intention to continue attempts to acquire the smaller pharmaceuticals company.

By midmorning, shares had popped 14.4% to $78.54.

In a statement, Pfizer said its previous attempts to purchase AstraZeneca in January had been met with "limited high-level discussions." However, recent market developments encouraged management to pursue continued M&A discussions. 

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Its previous offer involved a purchase of AstraZeneca for 46.61 British pounds (or $76.62) a share, a transaction offered in cash and stock. At the time, the offer represented a 30% premium to AstraZeneca's  share price

"The combination of Pfizer and AstraZeneca could further enhance the ability to create value for shareholders of both companies and bring an expanded portfolio of important treatments to patients," said Pfizer CEO Ian Read in a statement.

A possible transaction would be accretive to Pfizer's adjusted earnings in the first full fiscal year following the combination.

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