Healthcare Business

Top Pharma and Biotech Stocks to Buy From Key Investor Conference

The Leerink Global Healthcare conference is in full swing, and the reports coming out highlight what some top analysts on Wall Street already suspected. The rich are getting richer. With the top biotechnology and health care companies from around the world attending the conference, it is a good chance for investors to get timely updates on the top stocks and their prospects for the rest of the year. One thing is for sure, some of the top names have the top pipelines.

We went through the summations of the top stocks and pulled some of the data on the higher profile names. Often the data that companies present at high-profile conferences like Leerink’s is shared with analysts and investors for the first time. This can give savvy investors a head start on some of the top names.

Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS) is a top name that many on Wall Street for years have thought to be an acquisition target. The company was confident that its long-acting version of Ablify, which is currently in Phase III trials, would be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The plan is to submit the new drug application in the second half of this year. The Thomson/First Call price target on the stock is $42.45. Alkermes closed way above that on Wednesday at $51.81.

Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) has rallied sharply over the past year, and more analysts on Wall Street are warming up to this former high-flyer. The company told attendees that it plans to continue to buy back more stock. It also indicated that it is shooting for 25% operating margins by 2017. That kind of goal could bring much higher stock prices. The consensus price target for the medical device maker is $13.77. The stock closed Wednesday at $12.96.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) reported an outstanding late stage pipeline, one that may have the best in class potential. With new drugs ranging from diabetes to migraine prevention, the pharmaceutical giant looks to be ready to fight off patent expirations with new drugs. Investors are paid a very solid 3.7% dividend. The consensus price target is $56.65. Shares ended Wednesday at $53.32.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) is one of the most highly recommended names in biotechnology on Wall Street. The company believes its extensive HIV franchise can be expanded with the extension of current combination patents. Its oncology division is expanding research to battle solid tumors. The consensus price target for the stock is $99.48. Shares closed Wednesday at $82.

Henry Schein Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC) reported strong earnings, and the stock seems to be on a solid track. The company distributes health care products and services worldwide. It operates in two segments: Healthcare Distribution, and Technology and Value-Added Services. The executive that spoke said the company expects U.S. dental utilization to continue showing signs of improvement. Also sales in the company’s international dental units was looking up for the rest of 2014 after a very strong fourth quarter. The consensus price target is $113.29. Henry Schein closed Wednesday at $115.01.

Medivation Inc. (NASDAQ: MDVN) is another top name to buy on Wall Street. The company’s CEO said that expanded use of the top drug Xtandi with immunotherapy agents has shown to make the immune response more robust. While this combination will require more clinical data, the outcome could be huge. The consensus price target is $94.42. Medivation closed Wednesday at $82.16.

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX) continues to report success partnering with AbbVie on the Elagolix trials, which are now in Phase III. The company reported that the data from the trials were clinically and statistically meaningful. The company believes the Phase III trials Elagolix endometriosis trials are over after two large studies. It also said efficacy looks solid. The consensus price target for this very hot biotech name is $21.50. The stock closed Wednesday at $17.22.

Zogenix Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGNX) presented at the conference, and it was one of our top biotechnology stocks trading under $5. The company reported it is ready to launch its newly approved pain drug Zohydro next month. More than 100 sales reps have been added to the firm’s salesforce for the product roll-out. The company was also very positive about pricing for the new extended release drug. The consensus price target for the stock is $5.23. Zogenix closed Wednesday at $4.63.

Biotechnology stocks are in to their fourth consecutive year of gains. While the outsized stock price moves of the past two years may slow some, the overall outlook for the sector remains strong. Investors with a degree of risk tolerance could add some of the larger and more stable names.