Morning Buzz: Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR), Viggle Inc. (VGGL), Digital Ally (DGLY), The Priceline Group (PCLN)

Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) is a big mover this pre-market session, as its shares are up more than 14% after it was reported that Otsuka Holdings Co. agreed to buy the California-based firm for about $3.5 billion.

Avanir said in a statement that Otsuka Pharmaceutical will buy the company for $17 a share in cash, or a premium of 13.3% to Avanir’s closing price on Monday, noting that the boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction.

The deal, which is expected to close in next year’s first quarter, will give the Japanese drugmaker access to Avanir’s pipeline of treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and migraines.

AVNR shares recently gained $2.08 to $17.09. The stock is up more than 237.84% year-over-year and has gained roughly 346.43% year-to-date. In the past 52 weeks, shares of the U.S.-based company have traded between a low of $2.62 and a high of $15.34.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which closed Monday at $15.00, has a total market cap of $2.58B.

Viggle Inc. (VGGL) shares surged 18% in early trade Tuesday after the company announced a strategic marketing partnership with HGTV. Viggle said the partnership will create a cross-marketing platform to increase audience adoption and enhance HGTV viewers’ experience by providing them with exclusive points and rewards for engaging with HGTV programming across the Viggle Inc. platform, including the free Viggle app, Wetpaint.com and Viggle Reminders.

Greg Consiglio, president and COO of Viggle Inc said in a statement that the company is “thrilled to partner with one of the leading cable networks to offer engaging experiences and rewards for their top viewers.”

In the past 12 months, shares of the New York-based entertainment marketing and rewards platform have traded between a low of $1.27 and a high of $56.00 and are now at $4.33. Shares are down 92.31% year-over-year and 90.19% year-to-date.

Digital Ally Inc. (DGLY) shares are up nearly 11% to $14.25 in pre-market trading. Not seeing any news or rumors to account for the move. That said, momentum players seem to be betting that the events in Ferguson, Mo. could lead to more demand for Digital Ally’s FirstVU HD body worn cameras.

Digital Ally is a Lenexa, Kansas-based producer of digital video imaging and storage products for use in law enforcement. Its stock has a median consensus analyst price target of $4.00, and a 52-week trading range of $3.03 to $33.59.

The T-12 profit margin at Digital Ally is (63.75%). DGLY‘s revenue for the same period is $15.53 million.

Digital Ally Inc has market cap of $38.74 million.

In a report published Tuesday, FBR Capital analysts downgraded their rating on The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) to ‘Market Perform’ from ‘Outperform’, setting a price target $1,225. Firm notes they are downgrading the name as recent guidance highlights the challenges of maintaining growth at scale. They also see EPS growth slowing to the mid to high-teens range moving forward.

In other Priceline news this morning, The Wall Street Journal reports the company is willing to consider additional takeovers.

On valuation measures, Priceline shares are currently priced at 26.05x this year’s forecasted earnings compared to the industry’s 51.70x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 1.11 and 18.66, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 7.41, while EPS is $44.27. Currently there are 22 analysts that rate PCLN a ‘Buy’, 4 rate it a ‘Hold’. No analyst rates it a ‘Sell’. PCLN has a median Wall Street price target of $1,350.00 with a high target of $1,500.00.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Norwalk, Connecticut-based online travel company have traded between a low of $1,017.28 and a high of $1,378.96 and are now at $1,141.00. Shares are down 3.28% year-over-year and 0.79% year-to-date.

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