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Here’s Why E*Trade (ETFC), Adesto (IOTS) and Brickell Biotech (BBI) Shares Skyrocketed Today

Keeping a finger on the pulse of developments in the market requires constant attention. Turn your head, and in the blink of an eye prospective investments have already shot up on the back of good news such as mergers or encouraging clinical data readouts. The last day has seen several names go moon bound following recent positive developments. Let’s take a look at who the investing gods are smiling upon today.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (ETFC)

Shares of E*Trade have shot up by over 25% following the announcement that Morgan Stanley has acquired the online broker for $13 billion. The investment firm will pay $58.74 a share, while the merger will provide the newly formed company with $3.1 trillion in client assets. The deal is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter.

The purchase comes hot on the heels of last year’s merger of Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade. Since then, speculation was rife that E*Trade could be the next in line to be bought out. E*Trade brings in deposits of roughly $56 billion a year, making the company an appealing target for Morgan Stanley as it looks to make headway in consumer finance.

The word on the Street rings largely bullish on this online trading firm, with TipRanks analytics demonstrating ETFC as a Buy. Out of 10 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 6 are bullish on E*Trade stock, 3 remain sidelined, and 1 is bearish. However, with an average price target of $50.40, ETFC has an implied 12% downside from current levels. (See E*Trade’s stock analysis at TipRanks)

Adesto Technologies Corp (IOTS)

Shares of semiconductor company Adesto Technologies have surged by 55% on the back of news that Anglo-German chip designer Dialog Semiconductor has put $500 million on the table to buy the California-based company. Adesto’s field of expertise is Internet of Things (IoT) technology, for which it provides application-specific semiconductors and embedded systems.

Dialog makes power-management chips and low-energy Bluetooth products which are used in fitness trackers and cordless earphones. The acquisition was agreed at a price of $12.55 per share which amounts to $500 million.

It has been relatively quiet when it comes to analyst activity. In the last three months, only 3 analysts have issued ratings. With 2 “hold” ratings and 1 “buy,” the word on the Street is that IOTS is a Moderate Buy. Based on the $12.68 average price target, shares seem to be fully valued at current levels. (See Adesto stock analysis at TipRanks)

Brickell Biotech (BBI)

Naturally, though, leaving both in the dust is a biotech stock. Brickell Biotech has a market cap of just $32.6 million, but if it keeps up today’s performance it won’t be a micro-cap for much longer. BBI stock is up by over 113% on the back of positive trial data.

The skin disease focused clinical stage company announced positive results from its Phase 2b study with sofpironium bromide in patients with primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating, especially in the armpit). sofpironium bromide is a new molecular entity and “soft” drug that belongs to a class of medications called anticholinergics. The study showed the significant sustained reductions in sweating severity and was well tolerated.

Today’s surge continues an excellent week for the micro-cap. Brickell stock soared by over 42% on Tuesday following the resolution of a license dispute. The point of contention related to the license agreement for sofpirononium bromide between Brickell, and Bodor Laboratories, Inc. and Dr. Nicholas S. Bodor (collectively “Bodor”). Under the terms of the settlement Brickell has agreed to pay $1.0M upfront, up to $2.5M in milestones ($1.0M in cash and $1.5M in stock). Additionally, the company will pay a low single-digit royalty related to a newly filed patent application.

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