AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN) Shares Soar Pre-Market

Shares of AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN) reached a new high in pre-market trading as Pfizer Inc.(NYSE:PFE) confirmed it has attempted to renew negotiations on a possible merger.

Pfizer submitted a preliminary indication of interest to the board of directors of AstraZeneca in January 2014 regarding the possible merger. AstraZeneca declined to pursue negotiations at that time, but Pfizer contacted AstraZeneca on April 26, 2014, seeking to renew discussions to develop a proposal that could be recommended by both companies to their shareholders. AstraZeneca has again declined to engage, and Pfizer is now considering its options.

Pfizer’s previous proposal made to the board of AstraZeneca included a combination of cash and shares which represented a premium of approximately 30% to AstraZeneca’s closing share price on January 3, 2014.

Shares of AZN are up $10.25, or 14.94%, at $78.91, a new 52-week high from a former range of $46.87-$70.71.

Analysts have a consensus price target of $66 on AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN) which indicates a 3.4% downside. The consensus rating of the stock is a Hold with a score of 2.11. There are currently 7 Hold ratings, 5 Sell ratings and 7 Buy ratings on the stock.

A recent analyst action consisted of Societe Generale reiterating their Sell rating on April 25th.