Cancer treatment company Sirtex in trading halt ahead of deal announcement

Cancer treatment company Sirtex in trading halt ahead of deal announcement
Shares in Sirtex Medical (ASX: SRX) have been placed in a trading halt as it prepares to release to the market details of a "potential material corporate transaction".

The liver cancer treatment specialist, which has been touted as a potential takeover target in recent weeks, gave no further details of the deal and requested the trading halt until the opening of trade on Thursday or the release of its announcement, depending on which comes first.

Sirtex shares have surged more than 20 per cent over the past three weeks on the back of strong first half earnings of $34 million, which was a 16 per cent increase on the prior corresponding period.

The company reported a $26.3 million loss in 2016-17 after writedowns and failed clinical trials.

Sirtex shares were $18.83 at Monday's close which is at its highest price since late 2016.

Sales of the company's SIR-Spheres microspheres, a product used to deliver medication to cancer sites inside the body, were flat in the first half but McLean says the company expects higher sales in the second half of 2017-18.

"As a result of recent management initiatives, we anticipate higher sales in the second half, with ongoing targeted reductions in operating expenditure to drive business efficiencies and productivity gains, resulting in forecasted full year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) in the range of $75 to $85 million," McLean says.

This compares to an underlying EBITDA of $61.5 million in the 2017 financial year.


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