Top Biotechs With Upside Ahead of Earnings (GILD, AMLN, ARIA, INCY, JAZZ, DNDN, HGSI, ILMN, AMGN, CELG, BIIB, BMRN, LIFE, REGN, AMLN, CBST, ONXX, THRX, VPHM)
Earnings season is afoot and we wanted to see how the analysts are ranking the top biotech stocks before these companies begin their earnings reports. We pulled the top biotech and biohealth related stocks which have market caps of $1 billion and higher and we broke these out into three separate groups by size. The large-cap biotechs are ranked in descending order by size. The stocks under $10 billion in market cap and then under $3 billion were broken out in alphabetical order.
We have compiled some color on selected names, but we also listed the current trading prices, the implied price targets from Thomson Reuters, gave multiples of earnings estimates (from Thomson Reuters) for the forward year (2012 in most cases), showed the trading history and listed a price-to-book ratio. We did not take any merger news into consideration so that we could just show an as-is model here.
Of the large cap stocks in biotech, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was the leader. Several other standouts in the biotechs under $10 billion with a high degree of expected upside were as follows: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAZZ). Other biotechs such as Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) , and Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) also screen out as those with the most upside, but that is because of huge share price drops of late.
THE $10 BILLION AND OVER IN MARKET CAP
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) is the largest of the independent biotechs and it remains stuck like Chuck. At $56.71, the consensus target is $64.85 and the stock trades at a mere 10-times 2012 earnings estimates. Its 52-week range is $47.66 to $61.53 and its market cap is north of $52 billion. It is also worth about 2-times book value. Implied Upside: 14.3%.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) trades around $40.37 and estimates have a consensus price target of $47.96. This forward earnings multiple is only about 9.0 now. The 52-week range is $35.28 to $43.49, the market cap is $31.1 billion and the company trades at more than 5-times book value. Implied Upside: 18.5%.
Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) trades at $64.97 and the consensus price target is about $71.86. This one is more expensive than many of the established biotech players at more than 15-times forward earnings. Celgene’s 52-week range is $48.92 to $67.01, its market cap is $29.8 billion, and it trades at nearly 5-times book value. Implied Upside: 9.8%.
Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) remains the big-cap recovery stock of biotech. At $102.00, its consensus price target is $110.36, and it trades at close to 16-times forward earnings. The market cap is about $24.7 billion, the 52-week range is $57.58 to $109.63, and the company is worth about 4-times book value. Implied Upside: 8.5%.
UNDER $10 BILLION IN MARKET CAP
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) trades at $33.05 and analysts have a consensus price target of $36.25. Unfortunately, this one is expected to lose money this year at -$0.31 EPS and next year’s earnings are expected to be -$0.04. The 52-week range is $21.70 to $34.50, its market cap is $3.7 billion, and it is listed as trading at close to 5.0-times book value. Implied Upside: 9.6%.
Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) trades around $26.56 and the consensus price target is about $42.90. The company trades at more than 18-times next year’s earnings estimates, its 52-week range is $25.57 to $79.40, its market cap is about $3.3 billion, and it trades at almost 2.9-times its book value. Implied Upside: 62%.
Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) may be difficult to compare after a huge run higher followed by a recent tank in the share price. It is also on the equipment side. Shares are back down around $37.24 and the consensus analyst price target is now down to $52.66. The company now trades at barely 9-times forward earnings, if you trust the “E” in that P/E ratio. LIfe’s 52-week trading range is $35.30 to $57.25, its market cap is about $6.7 billion, and the stock is worth about 1.5-times the stated book value. Implied Upside: 41%.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) trades around $60.00 after a large drop due to a $400 million convertible note offering. The consensus price target is about $66.14. The company is also expected to lose as much as $2.00 per share in 2012. It has a 52-week trading range of $24.29 to $79.90, its market cap is $5.5 billion, and it trades at more than 12-times its previously stated book value. Implied Upside: 10.1%.
UNDER $3 BILLION IN MARKET CAP
Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN) trades around $10.14 and the consensus price target from analysts is $13.44. The 52-week trading range is $8.03 to $21.23, its market cap is about $1.5 billion, and it is worth about 4.6-times book value. Implied Upside: 32.5%.
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) trades around $10.25 and the consensus price target is $15.44. The company is expected to have losses this year and next. Its 52-week trading range is $3.51 to $13.50, its market cap is $1.35 billion, and the book value at the last report was barely positive. Implied Upside: 50%.
Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST) was another big winner earlier in the year and its shares are now at $36.71 versus a consensus price target of $40.82. This used to be a value stock but now trades at closer to 22-times next year’s earnings estimates. The 52-week range is $20.81 to $39.29, the market cap is $2.24 billion, and it trades at just over 3-times book value. We once considered this a biotech buyout target, but that is in the past. Implied Upside: 11%.
Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) shares are now around $9.40 and the consensus analyst target has come down all the way to $13.72. The company has no forward P/E ratio now as it is expected to lose money. The 52-week range is $7.81 to $43.96, its market cap is down to $1.4 billion, and it is listed as being worth more than 3-times its own stated book value. Implied Upside: 45%. Shares have fallen far from grace, so analyst targets and the ratios may all look a bit off. We also cannot count on estimates since the analysts and the company got this one so wrong on the end demand for Provenge. Now we have to hope that Provenge can have many more expanded uses outside of prostate cancer or this is a hard one to follow. What is odd is that Provenge is being tested for other uses and those could reignite interest if more promising data ever comes out. If not, let’s just say this was a painful lesson in biotech.
Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) is now up around $12.81 after buyout rumors and the consensus target is still listed as being roughly $24.00. The company trades at about 24-times next year’s earnings estimates, its 52-week range is $10.40 to $30.15, its market cap is now under $2.5 billion, and it is worth about 5.3-times its book value. Implied Upside: 87%.
Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) trades around $14.04 and anlaysts have a consensus price target of $22.92 on the stock. It is expected to lose money this year and next year and the 52-week range is $12.58 to $21.15. While there is a $1.77 billion market cap, Incyte’s is listed as having a negative book value as laibilities exceed assets. Implied Upside: 63%.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAZZ) trades around $40.00 after a sharp drop due to an FDA warning. That may make the figures a bit distorted. The consensus price target is $54.00 but that does not include the FDA impact. Jazz trades at only about 10.6-times next year’s earnings estimates. Its 52-week range is $10.51 to $47.88, its market cap is almost $1.7 billion, and the company trades at close to 16-times an implied book value. Implied Upside: 35%.
ONYX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) trades at close to $34.50 and the consensus target is closer to $44.60. It is one which is also expected to lose money this year and next year. The 52-week trading range is $26.17 to $45.90, its market cap is $2.2 billion, and the stock trades at close to 3.5-times its book value. Implied Upside: 29.2%.
Seattle Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN) trades around $20.50, above the $19.15 consensus analyst price target. The company is expected to lose money in 2011 and 2012. With a 52-week range of $12.29 to $22.37, its market cap is $2.35 billion, and it trades at close to 9-times book value. Implied Upside: NEGATIVE by -6.5%.
Theravance, Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX) trades around $21.40 and analysts have a price target of $27.43 for the stock. The company is another one expected to lose money this year and next. The 52-week range is $16.44 to $28.95, the market cap is $1.8 billion, and it is another one that trades with a negative tangible asset level. Implied Upside: 28%.
ViroPharma Incorporated (NASDAQ: VPHM) trades around $19.00 and the consensus price target is $23.54. Due to an expected drop in royalties, its earnings are expected to be halved in 2012 versus 2011. Its 52-week range is $14.39 to $22.16, its market cap is about $1.45 billion, and it trades at about 1.5-times its stated book value with a large portion of assets as intangible assets. How this one looks on a standalone basis through time is a guess. Implied Upside: 24%.
On all of these implied upsides, please be sure to do your own research. We encourage our readers to challenge Wall Street analysts rather than merely following them blindly. Many cases have been there before were the analysts were just dead wrong. We also cannot help but notice how the biotech sector often has two very same observations based upon the exact same set of data, yet one analyst will say “Buy” and the other will say “Sell.”
JON C. OGG
This morning we have seen an unusual number of analyst upgrades and downgrades in the drug and biotech space that comprises BioHealth. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations in the BioHealth sector this Thursday morning:
- BioMarin (NASDAQ: BMRN) Raised to Outperform at Credit Suisse.
- Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST) Raised to Perform at Oppenheimer.
- Cytokinetics (NASDAQ: CYTK) Cut to Hold at Needham.
- Elan Corp. plc (NYSE: ELN) Cut to Neutral at UBS.
- Pharmaceutical Product Development (NASDAQ: PPDI) Cut to Market Perform at Wells Fargo.
- Repligen (NASDAQ: RGEN) Cut to Sector Perform at RBC Capital.
If you like analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations, you can join our open email distribution list from 24/7 Wall Street to get updates on top analyst upgrades and downgrades, top day trader alerts, IPO’s, secondary offerings, Warren Buffett and other guru activity, M&A and more.
JON C. OGG
There were some major moves in the short positions in major biotechs for the period ending August 11.
Amgen (AMGN) short interest was flat at 21 mllion shares.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) share short rose 2% to 5.8 million.
Biogen Idec (BIIB) short interest dropped a fraction to 9.1 million.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) shares short dropped 6% to 11.7 million.
Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST) short interest dropped 8% to 4.8 million.
Genzyme Corporation (GENZ) share sold short fell 5% to 5.7 million.
Martek Biosciences (MATK) shares short rose 2% to 4.2 million.
The short interest in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) rose 9% to 5.9 million.
United Therapeutics (UTHR) shares sold short moved down 10% to 3.1 million.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) shares short dropped 2% to 18.1 million
These ten stocks are the top holding of the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI)
Data from NYSE and Nasdaq
Douglas A. McIntyre
Bill Gates, Small Biotech's New Biggest Investor (ALTH, AMAG, RDEA, ARYX, AUXL, BMRN, ETRM, INCY, ITMN, MAPP, OREX, VRUS, REGN, SGEN, VRTX, XNPT)
Late yesterday came the 13-F quarterly filing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. Bill and Melinda have invested in drugs and research before, as well as dug companies, but there was a slew of biotech stocks in their quarterly holdings. Some of these are cancer winners, while others may seem random. Below we have broken these out by company and size of the position in dollars (M for million; K for thousand) as well as the number of shares.
ALLOS THERAPEUTICS INC. (NASDAQ: ALTH) $3.090M; 500,000 shares
AMAG PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: AMAG) $1.839M; 50,000 shares
ARDEA BIOSCIENCES INC. (NASDAQ: RDEA) $2.165M; 210,386 shares
ARYX THERAPEUTICS INC. (NASDAQ: ARYX) $1.635M; 480,799 shares
AUXILIUM PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: AUXL) $2.062M; 74,400 shares
BIOMARIN PHARMACEUTICAL INC. (NASDAQ: BMRN) $1.295M; 104,856 shares
ENTEROMEDICS INC. (NASDAQ: ETRM) $81K; 59,700 shares
INCYTE CORP. (NASDAQ: INCY) $1.02M; 435,700 shares
INTERMUNE INC. (NASDAQ: ITMN) $1.807M; 109,900 shares
MAP PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: MAPP) $98K; 46,524 shares
OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC. (NASDAQ: OREX) $36K; 13,900 shares
PHARMASSET INC. (NASDAQ: VRUS) $821K; 83,641 shares
REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS (NASDAQ: REGN) $492K; 35,500 shares
SEATTLE GENETICS INC. (NASDAQ: SGEN) $34.718M; 3,521,088 shares
VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (NASDAQ: VRTX) $2.729M; 95,000 shares
XENOPORT INC. (NASDAQ: XNPT) $2.517M; 130,000 shares
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ: LJPC) may have just gotten a much needed lifeline after the close. The company has signed a development and commercialization pact with BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) for its Riquent®, La Jolla’s investigational drug for lupus nephritis. Riquent is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 clinical study for Lupus Nephritis, a condition which is currently considered a high unmet need and orphan disease.
If you have followed La Jolla Pharmaceuticals very long, you will likely know how dire their situation was previously looking. Under the terms of the agreement, BioMarin will receive a co-exclusive license to develop and commercialize Riquent. The terms state that La Jolla could receive up to $289 million in cash, which would come through milestones and equity purchases by BioMarin.
Specific payments include $15 million upfront, and can be up to approximately $92.5 million related to clinical milestones. This is via $55 million for regulatory milestones, and up to approximately $126 million for achieving specified annual net sales milestones beginning at $250 million in sales.
Everyone is looking fo rthe next biotech takeover candidate for their investment portfolios, but you can’t look at just market caps nor just at sales. Those are critical because many aren’t worth the time for larger players, but you also have to consider the pipeline and have to consider its partnerships and total reach that can be attained (among other issues).
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) is one of the biotech players that has come up over and over in the last couple of years over its market cap and with 2008 being the year that its revenues finally start to ramp up. It showed $121 million in 2007 revenues, and analysts are looking for $312 million in 2008 and over 4420 million in 2009. This is also the year its P/E is finally supposed to go positive with analysts looking for $0.49 EPS for 2008 and $1.13 EPS for 2009.
It also has partnerships with the following:
- Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) for the development and commercialization of Aldurazyme® (laronidase) for MPS I;
- Alliant Pharmaceuticals for the North American commercialization of the Orapred product line, including Orapred ODT (prednisolone soduim phosphate orally disintegrating tablets)’
- and Merck Serono for the development and ex-U.S./ ex-Japan/ ex-Canada commercialization (pending regulatory approvals) of BioMarin’s Kuvan and 6R-BH4 for other indications.
The company also just yesterday announced that Summit plc signed a worldwide licensing agreement for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy program.
This was mentioned as a potential buyout candidate yesterday by an analyst on CNBC. Shares closed up $1.21 at $31.40 yesterday and shares are up 1.5% at $31.90 at 9:54. Its 52-week trading range is $17.63 to $41.00.
Whether or not this is the next biotech to fall is still an unknown. But it fits the bill and this is one that traders seem to be putting funds toward over the last couple of weeks.
July 23, 2008