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
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) is a big winner today on news of its Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration drug. Bayer AG (NYSE: BAY) and Regeneron gave a report that top-line results of two Phase III studies with VEGF trap-eye in Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration were very positive. The reports showed that in both studies all regimens of VEGF Trap-Eye achieved primary endpoint compared to ranibizumab dosed every month. The companies noted that regulatory applications are planned in the first half of 2011 for marketing approval.
Regeneron shares are running up on news that its experimental eye drug worked better than Roche’s Lucentis with fewer doses. Today’s results are from the third and final stage of tests generally needed for U.S. approval. If results hold up as the company showed, it seems that doctors may want to switch to the less frequent treatment every other month rather than Lucentis each month.
Lucentis generated more than $1 billion in 2009 sales, making this a blockbuster potential as it could easily be a first-line treatment. There is a huge need here as this is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly and there are in the vicinity of 200,000 diagnosed each year.
Lucentis and Regeneron’s medicine aim to inhibit VEGF, which is blood vessel growth in the eyes. The VEGF Trap-Eye maintained the vision of 95% percent of patients on only 2MG every other month. Bayer’s trial had similar results in a second trial in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The VEGF Trap-Eye studies improved patient vision at a higher rate than Lucentis, and thoise who took 2MG of VEGF Trap-Eye once a month were able to read 11 more letters on a vision chart over an extra 8 letters for those taking 0.5 milligrams of Lucentis each month.
There are some risks that are in-line with other eye injections, most frequently being retinal hemorrhage and eye pain, and there were also ‘floaters’ that are dark spots in patient fields of vision.
Lucentis costs a bit under $2,000. AgingEye.net noted a cost of $1,950 per dose. Roche’s Avastin is often off-labeled and its cost is down closer to $50 per dose. The cost of the drug is not yet being discussed, and it is a 2011 approval story.
Regenron shares are responding very favorably here today, as you would expect for a 52-week high. Shares are up 12.7% at $27.82 on nearly 3 million shares and the 52-week trading range is $18.04 to $30.58. Thomson Reuters shows a consensus analyst price target of $33.89 but many of the calls are stale and are being updated today.
Regeneron now has a market cap of $2.3 billion versus sales of $379.268 million in 2009 and versus Thomson Reuters estimates of $442.08 million in 2010 and $484.27 million in 2011.
Regeneron has been public since the early 1990′s and shares went above $30 in 2000 and 2001. The company is adequately capitalized as well as the September 30, 2010 balance sheet showed over $325 million in cash, over $153 million in short-term investments, and almost $38 million in long-term investments.
JON C. OGG
Astellas Pharma, based out of Japan, has agreed to pay Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) up to $295 million, including an immediate $165 million, for extending a deal with Regeneron to discover new drugs. This deal will supersede the companies’ previous agreement, under which Astellas paid Regeneron an annual $20 million for their services. Furthermore, if Astellas are pleased with the work Regeneron produces, the deal may be extended to 2023.
Regeneron Pharmaceuatucals Inc. recently announced narrower-than-expected losses for Q2, aided partly by its partner, Sanofi-Aventis’, payments for the company’s antibody development technology. Q2 provided a net loss of 25.5 million, or 31 cents a share, for Regeneron, compared with a loss of 14.9 million, or 9 cents a share, one year ago.
-Michael B. Sauter
Carl Icahn, via his Icahn Capital LP and other entities owned the following drug and biotech or biohealth names. There may be some overlaps because of more than 1 filing, but here goes:
Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN) 12,971,328 shares;
Biogen Idec Corp. (NASDAQ: BIIB) 3,215,051 shares, second filing showed 12,860,205 shares;
Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ENZN) 704,214 shares;
Cyberonics Inc. (NASDAQ: CYBX) 2,107,972 shares;
Exelixis Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) 2,357,110 shares;
Forest Labs (NYSE: FRX) 1,000,000 shares
Genzyme Corp. (NASDAQ: GENZ) 1,450,800 shares;
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN) 2,508,001 shares.
Two smaller positions were omitted.
This is not the smallest amount he has held in biotechs and biohealth plays, but the focus looks narrower than in the past when there were more positions.
JON C. OGG
Sanofi-Aventis and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) said they expanded an existing development partnership to run through 2017. The previous arrangement ended in 2012.
Under the expanded deal, the companies plan on advancing up to five antibodies into clinical development each year, with Sanofi-Aventis funding up to $160 million annually for Regeneron research until the end of 2017 — up from prior funding levels of $100 million annually.
Regeneron’s shares are up 17% to $18.58 giving the company a market cap of $1.5 billion.
Douglas A. McIntyre
It is common that when mergers are announced that some shareholders are either unsatisfied or want more. Sepracor Inc. (NASDAQ: SEPR) and its proposed $2.6 billion sale to Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. might not be enough to satisfy everyone involved in the shareholder side of the deal. That is the case if you read a Bloomberg report from Tuesday night and this could be the first of many such suits.
It appears that the allegations are that the terms of the merger are detrimental to shareholders because of a break-up fee and shopping provisions. This is an effort either to block the merger or to secure a higher price and better terms. So here is how the $23.00 stacks up… It was a 27.6% premium to the September 1 price, but was a 48% premium to the 6-month average.
This deal does make-whole anyone who bought shares over the last year. But it comes with a huge hit for many investors who have been in it for the long-term. From the end of 2004 to mid-2007 this was generally a $40 to $60 stock. Then it was a $30 stock and the stock was in the low $20′s to $30 for most of the period from mid-2007 to mid-2008.
If you look at the deal on a valuation basis, it seems very cheap. The Thomson Reuters figures for 2010 are $2.91 EPS and $1.26 billion in revenues for 2009 and $2.99 EPS and $1.31 billion in revenues for 2010. In short, The company is selling for less than 8-times a blended earnings estimate and just over 2-times revenues for a blended time horizon.
Any time a merger is seemingly based upon a 52-week high, it is hard to feel too sorry for investors. At least until you start looking at the multiple of earnings being so low. We screened recently for all of the low P/E stocks in drug and biotech and there are still many other low P/E multiples in there.
We also are putting together another piece right now containing the following stocks as merger candidate discussions:
- Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST)
- Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ONXX)
- Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN)
- Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA)
- Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN)
- Seattle Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN)
- Alnylam (NASDAQ: ALNY)
JON C. OGG
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
This week came a merger of at least one of the drug and biotech players we expected to occur. That was in Sepracor (NASDAQ: SEPR). We will be putting together a list of much more detailed picks in teh sector this coming week.
Some of these are our own picks which we think should be acquired, and some are current biotech-drug targets which others feel are on deck. To see the full deal on how this related, BioMedReports.com has a full breakdown on teh Spreacor terms and we used this for determining value on some of our other picks….
Among the picks being presented in detail next week are as follows:
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST)
Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ONXX)
Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN)
Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA)
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN)
Seattle Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGEN)
Alnylam (NASDAQ: ALNY)
Have a great weekend and stay tuned for the full details on these and others next week.
JON C. OGG
SEPT. 4, 2009
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
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn showed his biotech and medical holdings yesterday, with the ownership filing date as of June 30, 2008. Here is a snapshot of his filed holdings:
- Adventrx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMEX: ANX)3.459 million shares, small position for Icahn
- Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FOLD) 201,940 shares, small stake and small interest
- Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLN) 6.787 million shares
- Applera Corp
- Biogen-Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) 9.948 million shares, which has actually been added to since that date
- Cyberonics (NASDAQ: CYBX) 2.008 million shares
- Emisphere Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: EMIS) 86,430 shares, tiny position for Icahn
- Enzon Pharma (NASDAQ: ENZN) 2.457 million shares
- Regeneron Pharma (NASDAQ: REGN) 2.508 million shares
- Telik Inc. (NASDAQ: TELK) 4.156 million shares
Jon C. Ogg
August 15, 2008