24/7 Wall St. gets to see what seems like an almost endless number of key Wall Street research reports from analysts at bulge bracket brokerage firms, regional brokerages and boutique firms. Much of it feels the same from firm to firm as they all have stocks to buy in all the various market cap ranges. Still, there are sometimes these rare instances when analysts have a price target so huge that readers might want to blink to make sure they saw it right. We have seen four biotech research reports in which the analysts covering these stocks are now calling for upside of 100% — or even higher!
We looked through not only our research, but we cross-checked some of the incredible biotech names with huge targets on Bloomberg. One thing’s for sure, if any of these firms hit one of these top calls on the meat of the bat, it will be a home run for sure.
Arrowhead Research Corp. (NASDAQ: ARWR) has dual licenses to two different biotech firms’ RNA interference (RNAi) technology and substrates. RNAi is a mechanism in cells that inhibits the expression of a specific gene and affects the production of a resulting protein. It is thought to be a method of silencing expression of disease-causing genes. Many analysts think the company may release positive Phase 2a for the drug called ARC-520, an RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection, sometime in the third quarter.
Deutsche Bank has a monster $45 target and rating of Buy. Jefferies also has the stock rated at Buy and a $30 target. RBC rounds out the list with another rating of Buy and a $35 target. The consensus price target for the stock is a $28.10. Shares closed Wednesday at $11.55.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT) has been a gigantic name, and it is expected to release its Phase 2b FLINT 72 week data this month. This was postponed from July, which unnerved some investors. Many of the top biotech analysts on Wall Street believe the data could represent a significant positive catalyst for the stock. Some even believe the potential for breakthrough designation from the FDA on positive data remains a very real possibility.
Needham has a rating of Buy and a gigantic $500 target. Oppenheimer is right behind with a rating of Buy and a $499 target, and Wedbush comes right in with the pack at a rating of Buy and a $493 target. The consensus price target is a staggering $457.09. Intercept closed Wednesday at $223.48.
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: MACK) top drug is MM-398, which has been shown to treat pancreatic cancer in Phase 3 trials. Fully one-quarter of patients using the drug have survived, which is a high percentage when you consider that late-stage pancreatic cancer is almost always quickly lethal. Physicians have stated they plan to use 398 a fair amount and thought that a drug that had succeeded in real randomized trials could prove very successful overall. With an FDA-approved label and promotional support, the company should capture a meaningful portion of the market for second line treatment.
Brean leads off the list with a rating of Buy and a $16 target. Guggenheim has a Buy rating and a $15 price objective. The analysts at J.P. Morgan have a rating of Buy and a $14 target. The consensus price target for the stock is $13.25. Merrimack has also had some big insider buying in the past month. The stock closed Wednesday at $5.96.
Relypsa Inc. (NASDAQ: RLYP) is a small cap name most have not heard of, but it ranks incredibly high with hedge funds and institutional accounts. The company is focused on the development and commercialization of non-absorbed polymeric drugs to treat disorders in the areas of renal, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Relypsa’s two-part pivotal Phase 3 trial of its lead product candidate, patiromer, for the treatment of hyperkalemia, a life-threatening condition defined as abnormally elevated levels of potassium in the blood, has been completed and the primary and secondary endpoints were met.
Wedbush has the stock rated as a Buy with a $57 target. The teams at Stifel and Deutsche Bank are big on the name with a Buy rating, and both have a $45 price target. The consensus price objective is posted at $53. Shares closed Wednesday at $23.52.
Obviously these four stocks are only suitable for extremely aggressive portfolios. Should the FDA deny approval to any of the stocks that submit completed Phase 3 data, the shares could be cut in half, or worse. That said, for speculators these may be just the ticket for huge gains.
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