4 Stocks Making Moves On Merger Monday

CAG, CTCT, COTY, and MDAS are all M&A winners today

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 2, 2015 at 11:46 AM

Highlighted by a $23 billion deal from blue chip Visa Inc (NYSE:V), today has already seen a frenzy of M&A activity. Among the stocks getting a lift are Chef Boyardee maker ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG), online marketer Constant Contact Inc (NASDAQ:CTCT), beauty product manufacturer Coty Inc (NYSE:COTY), and healthcare tech firm MedAssets, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDAS). Below, we'll check in on the M&A news for CAG, CTCT, COTY, and MDAS. 

CAG was last seen 1.5% higher at $41.17, on news the company is selling its private label unit to TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS) for nearly $3 billion. As such, the former's stock has advanced well over 13% year-to-date. The shares could further benefit from a round of bullish analyst attention. About 57% of covering brokerage firms say ConAgra Foods Inc is only a "hold," while the stock's average 12-month price target sits right overhead at $45. If sentiment on the Street flips in a more positive direction amid these gains, CAG could revisit its all-time high of $45.49 from early July. 

CTCT has gapped up 22.4% to $31.94, on news the firm is being purchased by Endurance International Group Hldgs Inc (NASDAQ:EIGI) in a deal valued at just over $1 billion -- or $32 per share. In response, call traders have flooded Constant Contact Inc's options pits, where the contracts are crossing at seven times the average intraday pace. Nonetheless, CTCT still sits on a year-to-date loss of 13%. Looking ahead, the company is scheduled to release earnings after the close this Thursday. 

In a $1 billion cash dealCOTY will buy Brazil-based Hypermarcas S.A.'s personal care business. The former stock, which had already added over 74% in the past 12 months coming into today, is now another 2.5% higher at $29.67. Coty Inc short sellers can't be happy. Short interest on the security rose by 76% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now accounts for nearly six days' worth of buying power, at typical daily volumes. Looking ahead, COTY will present earnings before the open on Thursday. 

Finally, MDAS is among today's biggest M&A winners, adding 30.1% to hit $30.82, and earlier touching a record high of $31.24, as the shares get a boost from the announcement the company will be acquired by Pamplona Capital Management for about $1.9 billion. Adding to the enthusiasm, Baird upped its price target on the stock to $31 from $23. The price action puts MedAssets, Inc. 56% above breakeven in 2015. On the fundamental front, the company reported a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss, and also topped its consensus revenue estimate.

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