Abbott Labs to Buy Belgian Chemicals Maker's Pharma Unit for $6.6 Billion (ABT)

Abbott Labs to Buy Belgian Chemicals Maker’s Pharma Unit for $6.6 Billion (ABT)

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Healthcare products maker Abbott Laboratories (ABT) said Monday that it is buying Belgium-based chemicals maker Solvay S.A.’s pharmaceutical unit for $6.6 billion.

North Chicago, Illinois-based Abbott said the move would bolster its product portfolio and expand its international business. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010, pending antitrust approval from both the European Union and U.S.

Abbott already holds the U.S. marketing rights for Solvay’s cholesterol drugs Trilipix and TriCor. The deal is expected to provide Abbott with an additional $3 billion in annual sales, and provide $500 million in additional research and development capacity.

Abbott shares rose $1.49, or +3.2%, in morning trading Monday.

The Bottom Line
We had removed the shares from our “recommended’ list back last Oct. 9, when the stock was trading at $55.29. The dividend yield is 3.38%, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $47.33. The stock has technical support in the $42-$44 price area. If the stock can firm up here, we see overhead resistance around the $48-$50 price levels. We would stay on the sidelines for now.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.