How Analysts and Investors Are Chasing Clovis Higher and Higher, All Over Again

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Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVS) posted a massive gain of 27% to $23.03 on Tuesday, on the heels of news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted it a priority review of its cancer drug. With a formal response date of February 23, 2017, investors and analysts alike have chased higher expectations for Clovis.

24/7 Wall St. wanted to see how many analysts had raised price targets. After all, a new cancer drug comes with potentially billions of dollars in revenues in the years ahead, if it has a breakthrough. Still, it is important to understand that not all of the ratings here were Buy and Outperform, as some analysts think the good news is now largely reflected in Clovis’s stock price.

Clovis announced that the new drug application filing for rucaparib for the treatment of BRCA-mutant (germline or somatic) ovarian cancer with two or more prior treatments has been accepted. This was covered in depth. This stock was cut in more than half last November after running into an FDA hurdle as well.

It is important to keep in mind that Clovis has a very checkered past. In April, it was listed as a company that punished shareholders after the FDA was against its lung cancer drug.

JPMorgan has a Neutral rating on Clovis, but the firm raised its price target to $23 from $13 in the call. It now targets peak sales of $500 million, which is up 25% from its prior annual sales target.

Mizuho maintained a Neutral but its target was raised to $23 from $15.

Janney maintained its Buy rating but raised its fair value estimate to $30 from $21. That report said:

We had a 50% annual decay rate for the terminal value, on the view that Clovis has essentially no pipeline (rucaparib is it). We’ve made the decay less aggressive at 10% annually (note for most our companies we assume 2% annual growth). Clovis owes Pfizer $20.75 million on FDA approval, up to a total of $170 million in milestones, and tiered mid-teen royalties on sales.

Credit Suisse maintained a Neutral rating and raised its target to $19 from $14. The Credit Suisse report said:

The potential label (3L) and priority review status are best case scenarios, in our view. This potential indication could put rucaparib ahead of AstraZeneca’s Lynparza (4L gBRCA+ treatment), though behind TESARO’s niraparib (2L maintenance; potential approval in 2017) in the ovarian cancer treatment paradigm. We increase our g/sBRCA+ launch rate and PoS in 3L+ ovarian cancer to 90% from 60%, resulting in our +$5 target price increase. Our calculations suggest an ARIEL2p2 ORR of ~41% in g/sBRCA+ ovarian cancer patients with 3-4 prior therapies below our prior estimates of an ARIEL2p2 BRCA+ ORR of 49%.

Earlier in August, almost three weeks ahead of this news, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey initiated Clovis with a Buy rating and a $25 price target. Now its target has been raised to $30. The firm said earlier this month that Clovis is a pure play in one of the hottest areas of oncology:

We believe Clovis Oncology could take the lead in the treatment setting in ovarian cancer, with clinical data better than the approved PARP inhibitor — PFS of 12.8 vs 8.4 months and ORR of 80% vs 34%. We expect the launch of rucaparib in early 2017 and Phase 3 data from the maintenance setting in the second quarter of 2017. We estimate rucaparib will have peak sales of over $350 million by 2022 with upside from treatment and maintenance settings in ovarian cancer, and additional indications. We think, as a pure play on PARP inhibitors, Clovis is well positioned for upside and as an M&A target.

Clovis shares were up another 4% at $23.96 Wednesday morning, even after a huge gain on Tuesday. Its 52-week range is $11.57 to $116.75. Its share volume of 6 million shares after less than of trading is also close to six times normal volume, but trading volume on Tuesday’s big gain was more than 17.2 million shares during the trading day.