Healthcare Business

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

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) is a top midcap to buy at UBS, as well as a possible takeover target. The UBS team thinks that media speculation of big-pharma interest in BioMarin is likely related to the commercial success of the orphan drug model globally. Its diversified and expanding pipeline could also provide significant strategic value to acquirers.

While some important Phase 3 data was moved to next year, a successful Vimizim launch is key to the near-term success and momentum for the stock. The UBS price target for the stock is posted at $74, and the consensus figure is $82.38. BioMarin closed Tuesday at $59.92.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) is another mega cap name to buy at UBS. The big biotech has presented results from an analysis that showed encouraging news for blockbuster drug Revlimid as a treatment for multiple myeloma. A combination of Revlimid and low-dose dexamethasone significantly improved overall survival and progression-free survival rates, leading some experts to conclude that the treatment may become the new standard of care for the disease.

The UBS team is focused on details in the financials, and the Otezla launch data and the potential for additional Phase 3 data from the drug. Otezla is an oral treatment for adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis. UBS has a $105 price target, and the consensus target is $95.15. Celgene closed on Tuesday at $85.72.

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Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) is another favorite name to buy in front of the second-quarter earnings. With the successful hepatitis C drug Sovaldi launched, the UBS team says they will be watching closely for the sales figures and other metrics related to the drug. They are also looking for the company to retire convertible debt. UBS has a $115 price target, which was raised from $110. The consensus target is $100.87. Shares closed Tuesday at $87.11.

Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) is rated Buy and is another stock that could be in the sights of a larger company. In addition to its current validated approach in hematology-oncology, there is reason to believe the three wholly owned clinical-stage assets could drive several billions in revenue. That is something important for an acquiring company.

The analysts will be very focused on further updates to the Jakafi solid tumor program. The UBS price target is $90, and the consensus number is much lower at $71.23. Incyte shares closed Tuesday at $651.72.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) is another big cap biotech leader to buy. The company got on the biotechnology map with a blockbuster hepatitis C drug. Although the company’s Kalydeco cystic fibrosis drug failed to meet its primary endpoint in a Phase 3 trial on patients with one form of the disease, UBS remains long-term positive. UBS has a $115 target, and the consensus target is $106.93. The stock closed Tuesday at $95.04.

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