The bull market is nearing six years old. It turns out that the biotech sector again managed a huge outperforming year in 2014 as well. The gains of the key biotech exchange traded funds (ETFs) were up in the 40% range, with the NYSE Arca Biotech index up over 45% year-to-date. The equal-weight biotech ETF performed better than the key larger ETFs, which signals that the small-cap and mid-cap biotechs were where the big gains were.
Amazingly, some 28 biotech stocks with market capitalization rates north of $300 million were up 100% or more so far in 2014. It was also amazing to see that seven of those 28 stocks were up 300% or more. 24/7 Wall St. wanted to highlight the top seven biotechs of this group, and only one of these top gainers was due to a buyout.
We have included the performance of each biotech, ranked in order by performance year-to-date in 2014. Included was the share price, general trading range, analyst price targets and the driving force behind each of these gains. Again, these are those biotechs screened with $300 million market caps and higher. Additional color has been added if there were recent capital raises.
OvaScience, up 394%
OvaScience Inc. (NASDAQ: OVAS) was trading at $45.56 at Monday’s close, against a 52-week range of $5.51 to $50.44. Its market cap is $1.07 billion, and the consensus analyst price target is at $62.00.
OvaScience spent the first half of 2014 as a stock under $10, and the rally took it up to $30 by the start of December, before it really flew higher. The big driver here is the company’s fertility studies, and OvaTure is said potentially to be the first hormone-free fertility in vitro. In December, OvaScience announced that it had advanced all three fertility treatment options. Revenue is expected to pick up in 2015 to almost $23 million from effectively zero previously, but one analyst sees revenues above $50 million.
Agios, up 378%
Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIO) closed trading Monday at $115.60, and its consensus analyst price target is $102.83. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $21.70 to $124.39. The market cap is $4 billion.
Agios nearly doubled from the start of 2014 through the end of September, but things really launched since then. Agios recently took advantage of its move by raising around $250 million in a stock sale. Its focus is cancer metabolism and genetic disorders, and the company recently reported positive Phase 1 data in healthy volunteers for its AG-348 — what would be a first-in-class investigational medicine to target the underlying cause of pyruvate kinase deficiency.
Radius, up 376%
Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS) ended Monday at $39.00. The company had its initial public offering (IPO) in June, and since then has had a range of $7.46 to $42.57. The consensus analyst price target is $45.67, and the market cap is $1.2 billion.
Radius Health is a fresh IPO in 2014, having come public this summer at $8.00 per share. Its stock rose to $25 by December, but it has since risen to nearly challenge $40.00. Jefferies even recently raised its target to $45, and Cantor Fitzgerald doubled its price target to $52. Shortly before Christmas, Radius reported positive top-line Phase 3 results evaluating the investigational drug abaloparatide-SC for potential use in the reduction of fractures in postmenopausal osteoporosis.
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