Analysts Say Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Stock Could Run 50% to 100%

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The quiet period for Sienna Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNNA) is over after its initial public offering. The Westlake Village, California-based company recently sold just 4,983,333 shares of common stock at $15.00 per share in its IPO, and that sale included the exercise in full by the underwriters of an additional 650,000 shares in the overallotment option. Gross proceeds to the company were about $74.7 million before deducting expenses.

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biotech outfit. It is targeting the discovery, development and commercialization of new, targeted topical products in medical dermatology and aesthetics. It’s  focused on topical products and large patient populations with unmet needs.

The company’s product pipeline has a Phase II study for pruritus and psoriasis and a pre-clinical study including those two and atopic dermatitis. Its photoparticle therapy is in the ‘Pivotal’ stages for acne vulgaris and also for unwanted light-pigmented hair reduction.

While Sienna is a very small company, the shares were running higher as all the analysts at its three underwriting firms issued positive ratings. Two of the calls imply close to 50% upside, but one analyst issued an upside price target north of 100% if they are right in their views.

Now that the underwriting firms are allowed to have their own analysts issue ratings, here is how they have issued coverage:

  • Sienna was started with an Outperform rating and was given a $30 price target at BMO Capital Markets (bookrunner).
  • Cowen & Co. (joint manager) started coverage with an Outperform rating and with a $50 price target.
  • J.P. Morgan (joint manager) assigned an Overweight rating and $28 price target.

With shares having been less than $20 prior to these analyst calls, this is implied upside of almost 50% on the lower end and about 150% on the higher end of the calls. Most investors will know that a lot of things have to go very favorably for that to occur, and there is always a chance among new biotech and emerging pharma IPOs that companies of this stage come with implosion risks. Another issue to consider is companies at this stage often don’t see revenues for years, even if government approvals seem likely at the time.

Sienna’s shares were last seen up 3.2% at $20.00, versus a post-IPO trading range of $18.50 to $21.20.