Morning Buzz: Volcano Corporation (VOLC), Auspex Pharmaceuticals (ASPX), Taser (TASR), Novogen (NVGN), Pozen Inc. (POZN)

Volcano Corporation (VOLC) shares rose more than 55 percent on Wednesday after the company agreed to be acquired by Royal Philips (PHG) for $1.2 billion, or $18.00 per share. Volcano said its board has unanimously approved the transaction and recommends the offer to its shareholders. The deal, which is inclusive of Volcano’s cash and debt, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

Volcano Corporation shares recently gained $6.38 to $17.87. In the past 52 weeks, the stock of the San Diego-based company, whose equipment enables minimally invasive diagnostics and treatment of coronary artery disease, have traded between a low of $9.81 and a high of $24.62 with the 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $10.92 and $13.36 levels, respectively. Additionally, shares of VOLC trade at a P/E ratio of -4.67 and have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) and MACD indicator of 53.90 and +0.22, respectively.

Volcano Corporation is currently valued at $592.92 million. The name is down more than 46% year-over-year and 47.41% year-to-date.

Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ASPX) is ripping higher this morning after the company announced positive topline efficacy and safety results from its Phase 3 registration trial evaluating SD-809 for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease (HD), called First-HD. In addition to meeting the primary efficacy endpoint, Auspex said that significant improvements in both patient and clinical global impressions of change and quality of life were observed.

“The primary and secondary efficacy results from this study were confirmed by the Huntington Study Group independent analysis. These clear and unequivocal results are clinically meaningful and suggest that SD-809 may play an important role in the treatment of Huntington’s disease symptoms”. Samuel A. Frank, M.D., associate professor of neurology, Boston University School of Medicine and principal investigator for First-HD said in a statement.

In other ASPX news this morning, analysts at Stifel raised their ASPX 12-month base case estimate to $61 from $40 citing marginally increased sales estimates and favorable risk adjustments. Stifel’s new PT represents expected upside of 28% from the stock’s current price-per-share.

Auspex Pharmaceuticals shares have surged 60.22% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 8.95% in the same period.

Auspex shares gained more than 22 points, or 90%, to $47.76 in recent trading.

Taser International (TASR) has risen more than 6% in pre-market trading after the maker of stun guns announced the purchase of 860 AXON body-worn video cameras and a five-year subscription to EVIDENCE.com by the Los Angeles Police Department.

This order was announced yesterday by the Mayor of LA at a press conference, along with a plan by the city to equip a total of 7,000 officers with body cameras in 2015. Taser said the order for the first 860 units is expected in Q4 fiscal 2014 and is expected to ship in the first half of 2015. Reves will be recognized over the five-year term of the program.

TASR recently gained $1.43 to $24.28. TASR is currently priced at 61.76x this year’s forecasted earnings compared to the industry’s -3.26x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 2.03 and 48.62, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 7.61 while EPS is $0.37. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate TASR a ‘Buy’, 2 rate it a ‘Hold’. 1 analyst rates it a ‘Sell’. TASR has a median Wall Street price target of $22.00 with a high target of $24.00.

Shares are up 35.29% year-over-year and 43.89% year-to-date.

Shares of Novogen Limited (NVGN) plunged 40% pre-market after spiking over 120% in Tuesday following news that the company has entered into definitive agreements to sell to institutional investors in the US in a private placement for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately A$4.1M. Novogen expects the closing of the offering to occur on or about 22 December 2014 and is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

NVGN shares recently lost $2.13 to $3.25. The stock is down more than 12% year-over-year and 15% year-to-date. In the past 52 weeks, shares of Hornsby, Australia-based pharmaceutical firm have traded between a low of $1.51 and a high of $5.97.

Novogen Limited closed Tuesday at $5.38. The name has a total market cap of $36.27M.

Pozen Inc. (POZN) – The company announced today that their investigational drug candidates YOSPRALA 81/40 and 325/40 have received a second complete response letter (CRL) from the FDA.

POZN shares recently lost $1.05 to $7.99. In the past 52 weeks, shares of Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based company have traded between a low of $5.96 and a high of $9.90 with the 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $8.98 and $8.42 levels, respectively.

POZN currently prints a one year loss of about 12% and a year-to-date gain of around 2.68%.

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