Relypsa Inc (NASDAQ:RLYP) Buyout Rumors Send Shares Soaring

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Relypsa Inc (NASDAQ:RLYP) shares are flying high in early afternoon trading as buyout rumors have begun to spread. StreetInsider is now reporting that Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK) intends to make a non-binding offer to acquire the company, however no buyout price has been stated. The source of the rumor claims to have direct knowledge of the situation.

Interestingly enough, back in November Citi analysts suggested that Relypsa Inc (NASDAQ:RLYP) could be one of the next high-profile pharmaceutical buyouts. The stock is currently trading higher by 16.31% or $3.64 following the positive news, hitting $25.96 per share at the time of us publishing this article. About 7.52M shares traded hands or up 151.51% from the average. RLYP has declined 26.36% since May 1, 2015 and is currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 26.16%.

From a total of 7 analysts covering Relypsa (NASDAQ:RLYP) stock, 6 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 0 a “Hold”. This means that 86% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $75 while the lowest target price is $15. The mean of all analyst targets is $47.80 which is 84.13% above today’s ($25.96) stock price. Relypsa was the topic of 9 analyst reports since July 30, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Guggenheim initiated shares on November 5 with a “Buy” rating. Morgan Stanley initiated shares with a”Underweight” rating and a $15 target share price in their report from an August 13. Wedbush maintained RLYP stock in a recent report from October 22 with a “Outperform” rating. Finally, Citigroup initiated the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a September 3.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 2.28 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.28, from 2.56 in 2015Q1. The ratio fall, as 13 funds sold all their Relypsa Inc shares they owned while 26 reduced their positions. 29 funds bought stakes while 60 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 35.59 million shares which is 0.00% more than the previous share count of 35.58 million in 2015Q1.

New Leaf Venture Partners L.L.C. holds 4.85% of its total portfolio in Relypsa Inc, equating to 221,204 shares. Great Point Partners Llc owns 240,000 shares representing 3.1% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Perceptive Advisors Llc has 2.27% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 1.14 million shares. The New York-based Orbimed Advisors Llc has a total of 2.05% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Jhl Capital Group Llc, a Illinois-based fund reported 825,000 shares owned.

Since March 5, 2015, the stock had 1 buy, and 13 sales for a total of $4.88 million in net activity. Orbimed Advisors Llc bought 500,000 shares worth $6.28M. Ball Kristine M sold 646 shares worth $14,832. Lockey Claire sold 522 shares worth $12,888. Stahl Wilhelm sold 522 shares worth $12,894. The insider Orwin John A sold 5,000 shares worth $124,183.

Relypsa, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical firm focused on the development and commercialization of non-absorbed polymeric drugs to treat disorders in the areas of renal, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The company has a market cap of $1.08 billion. The Company’s lead product candidate, Patiromer for Oral Suspension is for the treatment of hyperkalemia, a life-threatening condition defined as abnormally elevated levels of potassium in the blood. It currently has negative earnings. The Company’s New Drug Application (NDA) for Patiromer FOS was accepted for filing by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

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