Upcoming Binary Events Could Lift These Health Care Stocks Much Higher

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Binary events in the health care arena can be huge in determining just how well investors do and their stocks perform. Medical meetings, clinical data and of, course, decisions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can all have a huge impact on the breadth and pace of innovation in the industry. In a new report, the analysts at health care boutique Leerink highlight numerous upcoming catalysts for some top stocks in the sector. Catalysts may move the stocks sharply either way, depending on the outcomes.

These top stocks have important data and decisions coming soon that could be critical in near-term performance.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) announced that its new drug nivolumab plus Yervoy will move to a Phase 3 trial in non-small cell lung cancer by year-end. Wall Street thinks that is a key data point and the drug could have $500 million in sales in 2016 and $5 billion by 2020. The company is believed to be most advanced in immune oncology, given that it has multiple Phase 3 studies underway, and is pursuing more combinations than competitors and mainly with its own assets. Leerink thinks that the probability of success is in the 60% to 70% range. Should the data prove successful, the stock could move nicely higher.

Bristol-Myers pays shareholders a 3.1% dividend. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $54.76. The stock closed Tuesday at $46.91 a share.

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) posted better-than-expected earnings and had solid guidance for the rest of 2014. The Leerink team expects approval for the company’s Sapien XL device any day now. While the market has baked in a positive outcome, approval should still push the name higher, as any negative overhang is removed. Late last month, many top Wall Street firm moved their price targets on the device maker higher in anticipation of this event. The consensus price target now stands at $85.47. Edwards closed Tuesday at $80.71.

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GW Pharmaceuticals PLC‘s (NASDAQ: GWPH) epilepsy drug is one the Leerink team is becoming more confident in after they did a deep-dive into the data and the reduction in daily seizure frequency. They view the company’s overall pipeline as a top strength with numerous possible 2014 catalysts. The company is focused on developing novel treatments from its proprietary cannabinoid platform. The consensus price target is $90. GW closed Tuesday at $75.49.