MORGAN STANLEY: These 7 brand-name companies could be takeover targets

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Merger activity may not be as robust as it once was.

But a note out Monday by a group of equity strategists at Morgan Stanley said mergers-and-acquisitions activity would continue to be above “the long term median” over the next 12 months.

“The fraction of the largest 1000 stocks receiving tender offers in the prior 12 months declined from 5.1% in June 2016 to 3.9% in December 2016,” the bank said.

“This rate is still above the post-1983 median of 3.0%,” the bank added.

Using its Acquisition Likelihood Estimate Ranking Tool model, the bank identified some of the key characteristics of firms that received takeover offers in the past 12 months.

These firms, according to Morgan Stanley, “were far more likely to have underperformed their sector peers and had weak price momentum.”

Morgan Stanley used that information to produce a list of companies that have a high likelihood of receiving a takeover offer in the next 12 months.

Following are seven companies from Morgan Stanley’s list that you will most likely recognize.

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