5 Stocks Posting Big Jumps Last Week

by: Alex Shadunsky

These five stocks posted big gains last week on various company news, including mergers and acquisition news.

LiveDeal (NASDAQ:LIVE) jumped 277% after it disclosed that it completed an equity financing with five unaffiliated investors for an aggregate cash purchase price of $2.0 million. The company issued a total of 1,612,899 new shares of its common stock in connection with the transaction at a price of $1.24 per share, which was equal to the closing bid price of the common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Capital Market on the date of the transaction. As of December 12, 2011, the company had 725,479 shares of common stock outstanding, which had a book value per share equal to approximately $1.04 based on the company’s unaudited stockholders’ equity as of September 30, 2011. After giving pro forma effect to the transaction, the company had 2,338,378 shares of common stock issued and outstanding on September 30, 2011, with a book value per share equal to approximately $1.18, based on the company’s pro forma unaudited stockholders’ equity as of September 30, 2011, giving effect to the equity financing. As a result, the company believes that, as of September 30, 2011, after giving pro forma effect to the equity financing, its stockholders’ equity exceeds the NASDAQ requirement of $2.5 million for continued listing on The NASDAQ Capital Market.

ISTA Pharmaceuticals (ISTA) rose 69% after it received a letter on November 23, 2011 from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) outlining an unsolicited, non-binding proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of ISTA for $6.50 per share in cash, subject to due diligence. ISTA also confirmed receipt of a letter from Valeant dated December 16, 2011, reaffirming its non-binding proposal. After careful deliberation, with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, ISTA's Board of Directors had previously determined on December 13, 2011 that the non-binding proposal was grossly inadequate and not in the best interests of ISTA shareholders. The ISTA Board is committed to maximizing long-term shareholder value. Due to the fact that Valeant has attempted to revive its previously rejected proposal, ISTA's Board announced that it will commence a review of all strategic options available to ISTA in the context of its fiduciary responsibilities and the company's strategic plans.

Agria (NYSE:GRO), a China-based company with investments in the agriculture sector, rose 50% after it reported a dramatic improvement in its financial results for the six month transition period ended June 30, 2011. Revenue increased to $158.8 million, with net income attributable to the company of $4.0 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2011. This compares to revenue of $3.3 million, with a net loss of $16.3 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2010. Results were positively impacted by Agria's fast-growing China seeds business, which achieved a 182% increase in revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2011. Growth was primarily led by higher average selling prices and increased sales volumes of Agria's edible corn seed products and field corn seed products. The seed business has quickly achieved a critical mass as the company continues to leverage its high-quality existing seed portfolio, research and development capabilities, and powerful partnerships, notably its partnership with the China National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

RSC Holdings (NYSE:RRR-OLD) closed up 47% after it and United Rentals (NYSE:URI) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which United Rentals will acquire RSC in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $18.00 per share, or a total enterprise value of $4.2 billion, including $2.3 billion of net debt. The Boards of Directors of both companies have unanimously approved the proposed transaction and recommended that their respective stockholders approve the proposed transaction. The proposed transaction will create a leading North American equipment rental company with a more attractive business mix, greater scale and enhanced growth prospects. The combination is also expected to accelerate United Rentals’ growth with industrial customers as well as provide a lower cost base and a less volatile revenue profile to better position the company through all phases of the business cycle. The new United Rentals is well-positioned to benefit from increased rental penetration, the continued strength of the industrial sector, serving customers across a variety of industries and a recovery in construction activity. United Rentals and RSC have already begun working on a plan to facilitate a smooth integration of the businesses and realization of over $200 million of potential cost savings.

Synovis Life Technologies (NASDAQ:SYNO) rallied 48% after it and Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) announced a definitive agreement for Baxter to acquire Synovis, a provider of biological and mechanical products for soft tissue repair used in a variety of surgical procedures. The acquisition complements and will expand the portfolio of Baxter’s regenerative medicine and biosurgery franchise, which includes a number of devices and biological products for hemostasis, tissue sealing and adherence. The Synovis board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction and is recommending that its shareholders approve the agreement at an offer price of $28 per share, which equates to $325 million of equity value or approximately $260 million after adjusting for the net cash.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.