NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of AbbVie (ABBV) are lower by -1.19% to $55.03 after the drugmaker was forced to retract comments by its CEO Richard Gonzalez about shareholder support for its $51 billion bid for Shire (SHPG) after being caught by British takeover rules, Reuters reports.
Gonzalez told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that he believed major Shire investors were "generally supportive of this transaction," a comment he then repeated to other media.
Under Takeover Panel rules, designed to ensure fair treatment for all investors, a company attempting to acquire a rival is not allowed to claim support for its bid unless it has this in writing from shareholders, Reuters noted.
TheStreet Ratings team rates ABBVIE INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate ABBVIE INC (ABBV) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk."