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Optimer Pharmaceuticals Shares Soar... for the Right Price, That Is!

By Sean Williams - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:01PM

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A curious quartet of potential bidders sends Optimer's share price soaring to the heavens, but is it really worth the risk?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of biopharmaceutical company Optimer Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OPTR) rose by as much as 24% after a Bloomberg report cited that interested bidders in the company could include GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and Astellas Pharma.

So what: The news of interest in Optimer -- which has one approved drug in Dificid for the treatment of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea -- shouldn't be any surprise as the company jumped higher in late February when it announced it had planned a strategic review for the company. According to people familiar with the matter, Optimer could draw as much as $1 billion in value. As you might imagine, not a single company was willing to comment on these "rumors."

Now what: As I said back in February, with only one drug currently on the market, any buyer would be crazy to pay a significant premium just to get their hands on Dificid. Based on the $154 million sales estimate by Wall Street in 2014, I can't imagine Dificid sales getting much past $200 million to $225 million at their peak. In short, what large pharmaceutical is going to pay more than three times peak sales for one drug? Not too many that I know of, which is why I'd suggest backing away from Optimer.

Craving more input? Start by adding Optimer Pharmaceuticals to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company. 

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Stocks Mentioned

AstraZeneca PLC Stock Quote
AstraZeneca PLC
$64.23 (-2.15%) $-1.41
GlaxoSmithKline plc Stock Quote
GlaxoSmithKline plc
$44.15 (-1.25%) $0.56
Astellas Pharma Inc. Stock Quote
Astellas Pharma Inc.
$15.37 (1.28%) $0.20
Cubist Pharmaceuticals LLC Stock Quote
Cubist Pharmaceuticals LLC

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