WHAT'S NEW: Pfizer is "highly motivated" to buy a foreign company using its overseas cash and Mylan looks like the most likely target, Jefferies analyst Jeffrey Holford wrote in a note to investors today. Pfizer is looking to make a significant acquisition to boost its earnings and raise the value of its Global Established Products, or GEP, unit that is likely to be spun off in 2017, the analyst explained. Two other companies that Pfizer could have acquired - Actavis (ACT) and AstraZeneca (AZN) - are "off the table," the analyst stated. Actavis has agreed to acquire Allergan (AGN) , which makes a purchase of Actavis unlikely. Pfizer agreed to partner with Merck KGaA (MKGAY) on immuno-oncology products, and AstraZeneca's immuno-oncology products are similar to those of Merck KGaA, the analyst explained. Mylan, which has agreed to buy part of Abbott Laboratories’ (ABT) generic drug business, will become an attractive takeover target for Pfizer once that deal closes, Holford believes. Mylan's deal with Abbott is expected to close by the end of next quarter, he noted. If Pfizer does use its overseas cash to buy Mylan, the transaction could significantly increase its profits, the analyst stated. Additionally, a combination of Mylan and Pfizer's GEP unit would make it "a more durable and higher multiple business in investors' eyes," Holford stated. The deal could increase Pfizer's total value to $44 per share from $40 currently, the analyst estimated. He kept a $40 price target and Buy rating on Pfizer.
WHAT'S NOTABLE: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a "wild card" potential takeover target for Pfizer. Given the overlap of the two companies' business, they would have revenue and cost synergies following a deal, the analyst stated. Additionally, GlaxoSmithKline's size could make it easier for Pfizer to avoid recently enacted inversion deal disincentives, Holford wrote.
PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Mylan rose 1.5% to $57, Pfizer gained 1% to $30.79 and GlaxoSmithKline rose 0.4% to $46.46.
Reporting by Larry Ramer.