DB Sizes Up Biotech in New Research Calls (AMGN, BIIB, CELG, DNDN, GENZ, GILD)

August 16, 2010 · Filed Under analyst calls · Comment 

Deutsche Bank is looking positive on a couple of the larger biotech names this morning after the firm initiated analyst research coverage.  Unfortunately, the bulk of the big biotech shops have HOLD ratings and very unenthusiastic price targets.  Whatever the new normal is, it is not looking stellar for the largest biotech names out there.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) Started as HOLD with a $57 price target.

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) Started as HOLD with a $57 price target.

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) Started as HOLD with a $56 price target.

Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) Started as BUY with a $44 price target.

Genzyme Corporation (NASDAQ: GENZ) Started as HOLD with a $72 price target.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) Started as BUY with a $42 price target.

JON C. OGG

Major Short Selling Changes in Biotech (AMGN, BIIB, GILD, CELG, GENZ, GERN, DNDN, HGSI, AMLN, CTIC)

March 25, 2010 · Filed Under Financial · Comment 

We have now seen the changes in short selling in biotech stocks via the Mid-March short interest report from NASDAQ.  This marks the changes seen at the March 15, 2010 settlement date versus a prior February 26 settlement date.   We took a look at Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ), Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN).  We even included the wild Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC) to see what the shorts were betting on there.

There were some rather large changes both up and down.  Again, the change reflects the March 15 settlement date versus a prior date of February 26:

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More Biotech Buyout or M&A Targets (OSIP, VRTX, AUXL, ITMN, HGSI, CELG, DNDN, ENZN, FACT, PBE, XBI)

March 1, 2010 · Filed Under Cancer, Financial, M&A · 1 Comment 

After today’s hostile Astellas offer for OSI Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: OSIP), we have investors and traders alike looking for ‘the next takeover target’ in biotech.  Buy now you know that there are many pitfalls in simply looking for biotech stocks to buy because they will be taken over.  We have taken a look through our own recent stocks noted as takeover candidates and even gone through some sites of our partners looking through potential takeover candidates in the space.

Morningstar just last week had a short video with some key potential buyout targets in the biotech space.  It noted Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX), Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AUXL), and InterMune Inc. (NASDAQ: ITMN).  Those are all names that have come up as takeout targets before.

But two that are on Morningstar’s list for buyouts are Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) for its REVLIMID franchise.  The problem with Human Genome is that it is in the same boat we have addressed on multiple occasions: its size got away from the potential realm of buyers.  And Celgene has just become too big at a $28 billion market cap for most potential buyers to consider it and the sales growth from $2.689 billion in 2009 is expected to go to $3.26 billion in 2010 and $3.75 billion in 2011 per Thomson Reuters estimates.

After looking around elsewhere, we went back to some Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) rumors from last month we covered.  This was based somewhat on options trading, and we think this company may have to wait for a suitor.  Taking the risk of buying the company out before the FDA approves PROVENGE for advanced prostate cancer is something companies are seeming to shy away from.

Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENZN) is another name that comes up routinely in the rumor mill.  We noted this one hitting 52-week highs in January on fresh rumors.

Facet Biotech Corporation (NASDAQ: FACT) has also fought off attempts from Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) as a new add-on for its MS franchise.  Biogen has been rebuffed and it supposedly will not have an interest anymore.

ETF investors are chasing up names in the sector as well.  PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome (NYSE: PBE) is up 4% at $18.48 and the SPDR S&P Biotech (NYSE: XBI) is up 4.7% at $58.98.

Jon C. Ogg

Top 2010 Established Biotech Stock Picks for Upside (MNKD, THRX, DNDN, INCY, ILMN, ALNY, GILD, SVNT, AMGN, ONXX, PDLI, OSIP, CELG)

BioHealthInvestor.com wanted to put together a list of key biotech and BioHealth-related stocks that had the most upside for 2010 according to consensus analyst price targets.  This is of course no exact science for many reasons, but getting a lot of consensus price targets together is often a sign of at least where to start when looking for upward price targets in stocks.  And we all know that BioHealth and biotech stocks often offer the upside of the century as these companies all hold a bit of your own personal lottery ticket in all of their share prices.

After taking a look at our normal universe of biotech and biohealth related stocks. it was obvious that MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) still has the most upside from the consensus price targets IF it is hit.  Then in order of expected share price appreciation comes Theravance Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY), and then came Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY), and Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD).

The stocks above all had upside of over 25%.  The other stocks here are the ‘lower rung’ of upside expectations but are all still offering over 20% upside to the consensus analyst price targets (again IF they are hit).  Of the 13 stocks with markets caps of $750 million (or almost $750 million) which we cover, these still had upside of over 20% except a few: Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SVNT), Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX), PDL BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDLI), OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP), and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG).
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Key Biotech Short Selling Changes in November (AMGN, BIIB, CELG, GILD, GENZ, GERN, LIFE, DNDN, HGSI, AMLN, OSIP)

December 10, 2009 · Filed Under Financial · Comments Off 

We have now seen the changes in short selling in biotech stocks via the late-November short interest report from NASDAQ.  This marks the changes seen at the November 30, 2009 settlement date versus a November 13 settlement date.  We have given short interest data on Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD),  Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ), Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP).

Again, the change reflects the November 30 date versus a prior date of November 13:

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) 18,247,560 shares versus 15,888,876, a gain of 14.8%.

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) 8,914,221 shares versus 8,201,010, a gain of 8.7%.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) 19,334,491 shares versus 20,330,539, a drop of -4.9%.

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) 7,800,195 shares versus 8,122,937, a drop of -4.0%.

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ) 3,835,576 shares versus 4,531,522, a drop of -15.4%

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) 13,846,894 shares versus 13,653,745, a gain of 1.4%.

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) 8,686,786 shares versus 8,950,719, a drop of -3.0%.

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) 9,881,341 shares versus 9,105,303, a gain of 8.5%.

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) 17,100,782 shares versus 17,571,094, a drop of -2.7%.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN) 8,353,185 shares versus 8,538,392, a drop of -2.2%.

OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP) 5,471,010 versus 5,517,134, a drop of -0.8%.

JON C. OGG
December 10, 2009

Activist Going Back After Biogen Idec (BIIB, CELG, GILD, GENZ, AMGN)

November 20, 2009 · Filed Under Financial, multiple sclerosis · Comments Off 

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is not exactly new to the world of activist investors as there have been problems inside the company for years.  An SEC filing this morning was filed by a fund called HealthCor Management, L.P. located in New York.  It turns out that the fund is not a new entrant here, but the revelations are rather specific rather than broad and non-specific compared to other activist complaints.  More importantly, the fund has CC’d in the following entities:

  • PRIMECAP Management
  • ClearBridge Advisors LLC
  • Barclay’s Global Investors UK
  • Fidelity Management & Research
  • Icahn Capital LP
  • Goldman Sachs Group
  • State Street Corporation
  • Vanguard Group Inc.
  • Capital Research Group Investors
  • Invesco Ltd.

Yep, you knew Carl Icahn was going to be in there.  After all, the most recent Icahn holdings still showed Icahn holding a significant number of shares.

What is interesting is the data that HealthCor provided.  It is calling for a specific buyback plan of $500 million to $1 billion worth of stock PER YEAR.  It noted that Biogen Idec outspends and is expected to outspend all of its major large-cap biotech peers.

The activist group here compared the statistics (most of which include items) to Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ), Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), and Genentech-Roche.

R&D MARGINS (HISTORICAL AND CONSENSUS)
2007A  2008A 2009E  2010E 2011E
CELG             24%   24%   26%    24%   24%
GILD             12%    12%   12%    13%   13%
GENZ           18%    17%   18%    16%   16%
AMGN           21%    19%   18%    18%   18%
DNA             20%    20%   20%    20%   19%

AVERAGE   19%    18%   19%    18%   18%

BIIB             29%    26%   27%    27%   26%

HealthCor also noted that Biogen has failed to maximize its earnings and cash generation potential.  There is a complain that CEO James Mullen has sold approximately $85 million worth of stock.

Now that the market has stabilized, there are likely to be more activist filings made in realm of underperforming biotech stocks.

JON C. OGG
NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Key Biotech Short Interest Changes (AMGN, GILD, BIIB, CELG, GENZ, GERN, LIFE, DNDN, HGSI, AMLN, OSIP)

November 11, 2009 · Filed Under Financial · Comments Off 

We have now been able to see the short interest changes that took place over the month of October-2009 in the world of biotech stocks.  There were some key gains seen in a couple names, but the overall trend in biotech short selling seems to be down.   We have given short interest data on Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), and Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ), Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP).

Key data is below with the short interest and the percentage change from mid-October to the end of october:

Amgen Inc. (AMGN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 14,737,921  -9.5%
10/15/2009. 16,286,597

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 16,198,837  +10.2%
10/15/2009. 14,703,407

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 7,370,581  -4.6%
10/15/2009. 7,725,108

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 8,574,239  -2.9%
10/15/2009. 8,827,991

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 5,118,715  -36%
10/15/2009. 8,085,099

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 12,907,169   -1.9%
10/15/2009. 15,152,295

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 7,746,689  +8.0%
10/15/2009. 7,173,192

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 8,427,630 +0.4%
10/15/2009. 8.398,235

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 17,160,491  -4.5%
10/15/2009. 17,967,328

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 10,199,665  -17%
10/15/2009. 12,347,842

OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
10/30/2009. 5,415,588  +4%
10/15/2009. 5,212,729

JON C. OGG
NOVEMBER 11, 2009

Biotech Short Sellers Changing Beat (AMGN, GILD, BIIB, CELG, GENZ, LIFE, DNDN, HGSI, AMLN, OSIP)

October 12, 2009 · Filed Under Cancer, dendreon, Financial, General, vaccine · Comments Off 

Over the weekend we got to see some of the short interest changes for the key biotech stocks.  While these was no clear unified directional move, there were some interesting changes seen.  Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), and Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ).  Due to growing market caps in the sector, we have also included Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN), and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP)in the run down this month.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  18,363,198.. 5% GAIN
9/15/2009  17,449,497

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  16,015,311.. 3.8% GAIN
9/15/2009  15,466,285

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  8,177,698.. 9% DROP
9/15/2009  8,935,957

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  9,459,673.. 1% DROP
9/15/2009  9,565,418

Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  8,771,379.. 19% GAIN
9/15/2009  7,388,108

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  6,799,196.. 3% DROP
9/15/2009  7,033,841

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  8,939,869.. 2% DROP
9/15/2009  9,146,253

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  19,786,339.. 1% DROP
9/15/2009  19,867,823

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  13,171,869.. 5.7% DROP
9/15/2009  13,928,154

OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIP)
AS OF DATE Short Int. Change
9/30/2009  5,444,450.. 5.8% GAIN
9/15/2009  5,137,212

JON C. OGG

White House signals suport for biosimilars (NVS, AZN, AMGN, DNA, GENZ, GILD, CELG)

June 26, 2009 · Filed Under fda, General, generic drugs, politics · Comments Off 

The Obama Administration in a letter released Thursday recommended that seven years is enough time to protect brand-name biotech drugs from cheaper generic competition, roughly half the time sought by industry lobbyists.

“Innovation is driven by appropriate competition, and the administration’s policy will spur that competition,” said the letter from Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag and Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office of Health Reform.

Making generic biotech drugs, called biosimilars, available to the masses is part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to lower the price of the prescription drugs, many of which can cost in excess of $20,000 a year per patient.

A shorter time of market exclusivity for brand-name drugs may be detrimental to some biotech companies. Brand-name biotech drug makers such as Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN), Genentech Inc. (NYSE: DNA) and Genzyme Corp (Nasdaq: GENZ), Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and Celgene Corp. (Nasdaq: CELG) are fighting against biosimilars to protect exclusivity for their products.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents brand-name companies, “is extremely concerned” that seven years is not enough time, and may limit product development.

Yet it could be beneficial to generic drugmakers such as Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), as well as drugmaker AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN), which recently began targeting the biosimilars market.

See related story on biosimilars.

 

The top catalysts pushing many biotech stocks to new highs (BVF, RDY, VRX, MDRX, ISTA, BIOS, NOVN, WPI, CELG, GILD, CEPH, BIIB, AMGN, PFE, MRK, LLY, AZN)

June 25, 2009 · Filed Under General · Comments Off 

Big recent gainers including Biovail Corp. (NYSE: BVF), Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (NYSE: RDY) and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE: VRX) are among the biotech names pushing to fresh highs.

But can the broad group continue to push higher in the face of new proposed legislation that threatens to choke profits for managed care providers and many other groups within healthcare?

The list of biotech stocks pushing to their highest levels since at least the same time a year earlier is impressive It includes Allscripts -Misys Healthcare Solution (Nasdaq: MDRX), ArQule Inc (Nasdaq: ARQL) BioScrip Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOS), Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ISTA), Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVN), and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: WPI).

With the exception of select financials that benefit from easy year-ago comparisons, biotech is the fastest-growing industry group. Projected earnings among profitable companies such as Celgene Corp (Nasdaq: CELG), Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD), Cephalon Inc. (Nasdaq: CEPH), Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB), Genzyme Corp (Nasdaq: GENZ) and Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) in aggregate are expected to rise about 10% in the next 12 months.

Many traders are looking at money-losing, high-beta biotechs, as well, that may show potential to become profitable in the coming years. Now that risk measures including the VIX and T/ED spreads have come down drastically from last year’s peaks, many are hoping to catch the next Genzyme or Celgene early.

Are traders simply paying too much?

Not necessarily. A relative comparison of biotech to other industry groups shows that despite a strong run the group still stacks up favorably based on relative valuation and growth rates. Traders are now paying a multiple of about 13.5x forward earnings for profitable biotechs, which is in line with the multiple of the S&P 500 as a whole.

The difference is that S&P 500 earnings are projected to increase only about 6% over the next 12 months, and many traders are seeking faster growth. 

Catalysts for the biotech industry include potential legislation that may make it easier for companies to produce generic drugs based on live cells, called biosimilars. Part of the Obama Administration’s agenda is to promote biosimilars to bring down drug prices. That may open up a large potential market for existing generic companies, as well as companies like AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN).

Read related story on biosimilars.

 

And, the ever-increasing pressure for large drug companies like Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Merck & Co. (MRK) and Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) to fill their pipelines with the next big blockbuster drug opens the door to potential acquisitions, especially given improvements in market liquidity levels. – Mike Tarsala

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