With the biotech space having its usual volatile ups and downs this year, the analysts at Stifel have stepped back into the coverage world and have reinitiated research analysis on some of the top stocks to buy in the sector. It is not uncommon for Wall Street firms to periodically suspend or eliminate research coverage on a sector. Most often it happens when the analyst or analysts covering the sector leave the firm.
The Stifel team has a well-rounded group of six stocks rated at Buy for investors to consider, from one of the biggest mega-cap market leaders to smaller stocks with tremendous potential and upside. For three, in fact, the Stifel target price would represent a 100% gain for investors.
Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is the in-class leader in the sector and a top pick at Stifel. Its report points out that Biogen is by far and away the leader in the development and marketing of therapeutics that treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Current MS treatments are starting to make a big change as patients are now switching from injectables to oral drugs. Biogen’s Tecfidera stands to be a big winner, as it has shown to have fewer side effects than its competition.
With an incredible pipeline to treat a variety of additional conditions, the stock is well liked across Wall Street, with 16 other firms having rated the stock a Buy. The Stifel price target for Biogen is $376. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $371.95. Biogen closed Tuesday at $345.84 a share.
Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR) posted very good second-quarter numbers that beat analyst estimates for earnings and revenues, while maintaining the expected forward guidance. The company’s top product is its FDA-approved drug Ampyra, which is designed to improve walking in patients with MS. The company has two additional FDA-approved drugs, but they contribute much less compared to Ampyra’s annual revenue. The Stifel team expects the company to expand the use of Ampyra for other conditions.
The Stifel price target for the stock is $47, and the consensus target is at $38.58. The stock closed Tuesday at $31.70.