Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (MJN) rose to its highest price since the baby-formula maker’s 2009 spinoff from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. on renewed speculation of a takeover by Danone.
Mead Johnson, based in Glenview, Illinois, was named in March as potential takeover target for Danone. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Paris-based Danone is exploring expansion opportunities.
Mead Johnson earlier today raised the lower end of its 2014 profit forecast to $3.65 a share excluding certain items from $3.60 a share. The higher end of the estimate remained $3.72 a share.
Danone has struggled to compete with Nestle SA, which bought Pfizer Inc.’s baby nutrition division in 2012. Earnings dropped 15 percent last year as a botulism scare hurt formula sales in Asia. Meanwhile, Mead Johnson has boosted net income by more than 60 percent since becoming independent.
Chris Perille, a spokesman for Mead Johnson, declined to comment on the report in an e-mail. Danone representative Charlotte Pasternak didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
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