Trader’s Buzz: NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP), Digital River (DRIV), Cerus Corporation (CERS), The Pantry, Inc. (PTRY)

Shares of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NPSP) are higher by 6 points to $36.48 on heavy volume in midday trading on Wednesday following a Bloomberg report that Shire Plc (SHP) is considering a bid for the company.

The publication said that the timing of any offer could depend on whether the FDA approves NPS’s Natpara, a drug to treat hypoparathyroidism that if authorized would be the first marketed treatment for the potentially fatal disorder. The decision is scheduled to happen by Jan. 24.

Shire also may decide to pursue an acquisition before the deadline, the report noted.

NPS Pharmaceuticals recently jumped as much as 19%, valuing the company at about $3.89 billion.

Shares of Digital River (DRIV) spiked 44% to $24.30 Wednesday after the Internet software company extended its agreement with software giant Microsoft (MSFT).

Digital River said it entered into the seventh omnibus amendment to the Microsoft Operations Digital Distribution Agreement dated Sept. 1, 2006, extending the terms through March 31, 2017. Microsoft has the option to extend the expiration date for up to four separate six month renewal terms.

Digital River also announced that its merger with Siris Capital is expected to close in 1Q 2015.

The extension is very important as Microsoft accounts for a large portion of DRIV’s revs ; roughly 33% of Digital River’s sales in 2013.

Cerus Corporation (CERS) is higher by nearly 20% to $5.74 in midday trading after the company today announced that the FDA has approved the INTERCEPT Blood System for plasma.

“We believe this approval to be a pivotal step toward giving U.S. blood centers a proactive approach for protecting the plasma supply,” said in a statement William ‘Obi’ Greenman, Cerus’ president and CEO.

Cerus Corporation, currently valued at $448.48M, has a median Wall Street price target of $7.00 with a high target of $8.00. Approximately 4.03M shares have already changed hands, compared to the stock’s average daily volume of 1.08M.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Concord, California-based biomedical products company have traded between a low of $3.48 and a high of $8.00 with the 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $4.31 and $4.03 levels, respectively. Additionally, shares of CERS have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) and MACD indicator of 78.47 and +0.44, respectively.

CERS currently prints a one year loss of less than 1%, and a year-to-date loss of around 12%.

The Pantry, Inc.. (PTRY) surged more than 22% in midday trading on Wednesday on a Wall Street Journal report that the company is nearing a deal to be sold for as much as $1 billion.

The Pantry, Inc. shares are currently priced at 61.51x this year’s forecasted earnings compared to the industry’s 31.68x earnings multiple. Ticker has a PEG and forward P/E ratio of 3.08 and 27.78, respectively. Price/Sales for the same period is 0.09 while EPS is $0.57. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates PTRY a ‘Buy’, 5 rate it a ‘Hold’. No analyst rates it a ‘Sell’. PTRY has a median Wall Street price target of $26.00 with a high target of $29.00.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Cary, North Carolina-based convenience-store chain have traded between a low of $12.30 and a high of $36.71 and are now at $35.06. Shares are up 78.04% year-over-year and 71.99% year-to-date.

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