Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. 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.
Shares rose 3.4 percent to $95.42 at the close in New York, the highest value since it began trading in February 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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.