Healthcare Business

UBS Very Bullish on Biotech Stocks Ahead of Second-Quarter Earnings

Lee Jackson

After the biotech stocks were absolutely crushed in the late winter and early spring, many of the top firms we cover on Wall Street were aggressive in their calls to buy the stocks that had been knocked down, in some cases, as much as 25%. One of those firms was UBS.

In a new research report, UBS analysts are very positive on some top biotech stocks in front of the upcoming second-quarter earnings season. UBS also highlighted upcoming trial data, and on some of the top stocks they cover they raised the price targets.

While big cap biotech stocks can lend the most shelter to investors, none of these names are appropriate for conservative accounts, with the possible exception of Amgen. With the market teetering some, investors may want to look at when the specific stocks they are interested in report, and scale in a small purchase prior. If it goes higher you are long the stock, if it goes down you can add more shares.

Here are some of the top biotech names to buy from UBS before second-quarter earnings numbers hit the tape.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) is a stock to buy at UBS and a potential acquisition target. While not a pure large cap stock, the UBS analysts see likely accretive near-term to an acquirer given $1.5 billion revenues that are big enough to be significant to a bigger company.

The analysts are positive on the shares on upside to the numbers for the quarter, Soliris label expansion and the ongoing transition from a one-drug company to a two- to three-drug firm. The UBS price target for the stock is $202. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $193.89. Alexion closed Tuesday at $159.08 a share.

ALSO READ: Upcoming Catalysts Could Drive Seven Biotech and Health Care Stocks Higher

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ AMGN) is one of the mega cap biotechs that UBS thinks could beat earnings estimates. Over the past five years, the company has had free cash flow of at least $3 billion a year. Over the past decade, the company has grown after-tax profit by 14% compounded annually.

The primary focus at Amgen is results from the interim analysis of Phase 3 ASPIRE data for Kyprolis and regulatory update of the PCSK9 program, both of which could be huge for the stock. Investors are paid a 2% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $129, and the consensus number is $132.82 Amgen closed Tuesday at $119.96.