On StockTwits.com, investors bet that Shire's Friday morning rejection of AbbVie's $46.3 billion bid for the foreign pharmaceutical company would be met with a higher bid -- if not from AbbVie than another pharmaceutical company. Allergan (AGN) was the most discussed potential suitor on the site. The stock rose 16% on Friday.
The rejection comes in the wake of Pfizer's failed $118 billion merger with the UK's AstraZeneca. U.S. drug companies have pursued smaller foreign competitors in hopes of increasing scale and taking advantage of more favorable corporate tax laws in places like Ireland. Corporations in the U.S. currently pay 35%, according to Deloitte. In Shire's hometown of Dublin, the income tax rate is 12.5%.
Shire management said Friday that AbbVie's bid significantly undervalued the company. The company said that the 23% premium AbbVie offered to its closing share price on June 19 "fundamentally undervalued" its prospects to be a leader in the rare disease and specialty markets. In addition to drugs like Adderal XR, the company has about 17 compounds in various human trial stages that focus on rare diseases.