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. 

SELL NOW: If you own any of the 900 stocks that TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified as a 'Sell'...you could potentially lose EVERYTHING in the next 6-12 months. Learn more.

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.

Must read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Growth Stocks

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet's Stocks Under $10 has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

More from Markets

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Week Ahead: Trade Fears and Stress Tests Signal More Volatility To Come

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Trump Takes Aim at Auto Imports; Markets End Mixed -- ICYMI

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

Video: What Oprah's Content Partnership With Apple Means for the Rest of Tech

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

REPLAY: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers

Flashback Friday: The Market Movers