NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Origin Agritech (SEED) were spiking 15.02% to $2.68 on heavy trading volume midday Wednesday after the company agreed to sell its China-based commercial corn seed production and distribution business for about $60 million to Beijing Shihui Agricultural Development.

The Beijing-based agricultural biotech company said this is the next phase in management's plan to establish Origin as a global seed germplasm and biotech trait leader.

"Origin will retain its corn breeding and biotech research and development capabilities, which include modern laboratories, extensive field testing networks and off-season winter nursery in Hainan, to expand and pursue germplasm and trait licensing opportunities," the company said in a statement late yesterday.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and shareholder approval.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

More than 5.88 million of the company's shares changed hands so far today vs. its average volume of 219,592 shares per day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C- on the stock.

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and revenue growth.

But the team also finds weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SEED