Credit Suisse Issues Top Pharma Picks in Bull/Bear Upside Analysis

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It is sometimes hard to wonder about health care and pharmaceutical stocks during an election year. Still, with uncertainty can come opportunity. The team at Credit Suisse has issued its picks in pharmaceutical stocks, showing which companies have the most upside of the Big Pharma players and which ones may remain muted.

Credit Suisse ran a bull and bear scenario for what the firm feels is a reasonable upside and downside for each of its large cap companies. While the firm’s Vamil Divan is maintaining the current ratings and 12-month target prices, the report does identify which companies may have the most implied upside based on the analysis and most likely outcomes.

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) was one of the two top picks for upside. It is seen as having a diversified late-stage pipeline, and that pipeline is viewed as being relatively de-risked with more upside than downside. Credit Suisse thinks the wildcard remains solanezumab, where the firm remains cautious overall but there remains much more perceived upside than downside at current levels.

Divan has a base case target price of $96 for Eli Lilly, while we see a bull case scenario of $116 and a bear case of $65. Eli Lilly shares were last seen trading right at $80.25, in a 52-week range of $67.88 to $92.85. Its consensus analyst price target is $96.81.

The second top pick among the Outperform rated pharma stocks was Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN). Divan is optimistic on Allergan’s recently launched products and late-stage pipeline. Credit Suisse’s bullish case leads to $391, significantly higher than the $253 handle today. Credit Suisse’s bearish case for Allergan is one in which the pipeline would be given a zero-dollar value. Even that generates a discounted cash flow valuation of $200.

The other Outperform-rated cases for the bull and bear analysis were shown below. Investors might want to keep in mind that both Merck and Pfizer are Dow Jones Industrial Average components.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) currently trades at $63.51, and Credit Suisse gave a base case target price of $73. Merck’s bullish case is all the way up at $82, and the bearish case is down at $54. Merck has a consensus price target of $64.63.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) currently trades at $35.00, versus a consensus analyst target of $39.35. Credit Suisse’s base case is $40, and they have a bullish case up to $44 and a bearish case down at $32. Pfizer has an Outperform rating at Credit Suisse.

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) was last seen trading at $67.58, and it has a consensus price target of $70.78. Credit Suisse’s Outperform rating comes with a base case price target of $70. Its bullish case is up at $86 and the bearish case would be down at $48.