The 9 Companies Most Likely To Be Acquired

american eagle james o'donnell
American Eagle is a target

With Wall Street confidence rising and credit markets loosening up, the 2011 outlook for mergers and acquisitions is good.Morningstar released a list of companies that are most likely to be targets of takeovers (via Dian Chu).

Most are mid-cap companies in the energy and biopharma sector, but retailer American Eagle Corp and large-cap Georgia lender SunTrust Bank make the list too.

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permalink=”actelion-pharmaceuticals-ltd-aliofpk-1″
title=”Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (ALIOF.PK)”
content=”Market cap: $7.1 billion

1-year performance: +0.57%

Short interest: N/A

A Swiss biopharmaceutical company, Actelion’s stock fell in 2010 after the company’s clinical trials didn’t make much headway. Amgen Inc. a California based bio-tech company made a bid for Actelion last year and it was reported that Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Roche Holding AG, and GlaxoSmithKline PLC were also interested in acquiring the company.

Source: Morningstar
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[slide
permalink=”american-eagle-outfitters-aeo-2″
title=”American Eagle Outfitters (AEO)”
content=”Market cap: $2.8 billion

1-year performance: -1.30%

Short interest: 7.73%

The American retailer with an attractive valuation and no bank debt has been a target of takeover rumours for a while. It was reported that private-equity firms like Blackstone Group were interested in acquiring the brand.

Source: Morningstar
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[slide
permalink=”clearwire-corp-clwr-3″
title=”Clearwire Corp (CLWR)”
content=”Market cap: $5.2 billion

1-year performance: +2.82%

Short interest: 18.54%

The American wireless internet service provider has received multiple offers for a takeover but isn’t expected to announce a deal till 2Q. The company reported a 4Q loss and is looking to boost its capital. BTIG research analysts think Sprint, which owns 54% of CLWR, will make a $15 a share offer in the next 6 months.

Source: Morningstar
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[slide
permalink=”constellation-energy-group-ceg-4″
title=”Constellation Energy Group (CEG)”
content=”Market cap: $6.5 billion

1-year performance: +4.47%

Short interest: 1.58%

The energy company sold its Texas gas plant and acquired a power plant in Boston for $1.1 billion. The company has been the centre of the take-over rumour mill for a while now.

Source: Morningstar
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[slide
permalink=”leap-wireless-leap-5″
title=”Leap Wireless (LEAP)”
content=”Market cap: $1 billion

1-year performance: +7.75%

Short interest: 10.02%

The telecom company has hired bankers to generate multiple bids and is said to be the subject of a takeover by MetroPCS after already having turned the company down in 2007.

Source: Morningstar
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[slide
permalink=”myriad-genetics-inc-mygn-6″
title=”Myriad Genetics Inc (MYGN)”
content=”Market cap: $2 billion

1-year performance: -5.69%

Short interest: 5.55%

A healthcare and bio-pharmaceutical company with low valuation and high-profit margins is an attractive purchase for potential buyers. Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZenec have been names as potential bidders for the company.

Source: Morningstar
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[slide
permalink=”petrohawk-energy-corp-hk-7″
title=”Petrohawk Energy Corp (HK)”
content=”Market cap: $5.5 billion

1-year performance: -0.22%

Short interest: 6.02%

The Texas-based energy company recently announced a 23% increase in natural gas reserves and insider purchases have led people to speculate the company is ready for a buyout. In December Exxon Mobil Corp., paid $650 million for Petrohawk’s natural-gas wells and pipelines in the Fayetteville Shale. With global energy companies looking to acquire companies that operate in natural gas, Petrohawk is likely to get an acquisition bid.

Source: Morningstar
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permalink=”range-resources-corp-rrc-8″
title=”Range Resources Corp (RRC)”
content=”Market cap: $7.5 billion

1-year performance: +3.47%

Short interest: 8.59%

The independent natural gas company divested $330 million of its properties in Ohio last year and announced that it would sell its shale properties in Texas as well. After reporting 3Q losses and with a current glut in natural gas demand the company may be prime for the taking.

Source: Morningstar
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[slide
permalink=”suntrust-banks-inc-sti-9″
title=”SunTrust Banks Inc (STI)”
content=”Market cap: $14.6 billion

1-year performance: -1.12%

Short interest: 3.62%

Georgia based lender SunTrust bank could see a potential bid by JPMorgan analysts predict because of its presence in southern states. While the bank reported a 4Q profit, it still owes $4.85 billion in bailout money which could offset bids for the moment.

Source: Morningstar
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permalink=”bonus-ma-are-starting-to-recover-after-collapsing-during-the-recession-10″
title=”BONUS: M&A are starting to recover after collapsing during the recession”
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[slide
permalink=”now-here-are-companies-that-are-expected-to-tank-11″
title=”Now here are companies that are expected to tank…”
content=”The Next 17 Big Companies That Are Heading Toward Bankruptcy >
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