Since the beginning of the year, there has been a flood of biotech initial public offerings (IPOs) and secondaries, and the market has become so oversaturated that some of the new deals have come out and dropped as much as 20%, as well as up to 50% in the first few days of trading. This has not only made people cringe, but it has investors shying away from the flood of offerings. A new report from Deutsche Bank makes it clear that the way to go is with the mega-cap and large-cap blue chip sector leaders.
While the allure of buying biotech stocks that are awaiting clinical data and FDA approval is always there for aggressive trading accounts, for long-term growth investors looking to add stocks in the sector the blue chip leaders have established drugs, solid pipelines and, most importantly, earnings.
Here are the four top biotech stocks to buy at Deutsche Bank now.
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) is one the top blue-chip stocks in the biotech world, and it reported stable earnings over the past two quarters. Many on Wall Street point to the company’s tremendous pipeline and outstanding forward earnings and revenue capabilities. Amgen continues to trim its gigantic workforce, bowing to activist hedge fund shareholders, such as fund manager Dan Loeb, whose Third Point raised its stake in Amgen in the fourth quarter to $1.7 billion from $186 million at the end of September. Loeb has pushed the biotech giant to split into two separate companies to boost shareholder value.
Amgen investors are paid a solid 2.05% dividend. Deutsche Bank has a $195 price objective for the stock. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $176.32. The stock closed Tuesday at $154.24.
Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is another top stock to buy on Wall Street, and many predict that its Tysabri earnings will have a meaningful jump this year and beyond. Analysts applauded the release of data on a monoclonal antibody called BIIB033, which is safe and tolerable in people, according to the combined results of two Phase 1 clinical trials that tested high doses in healthy people and those with multiple sclerosis. Many Wall Street analysts see the company as the most catalyst-rich stock in their universe, with the most upside versus downside on three specific events next year, including Tysabri SPMS, Alzheimer’s and the continued impressive LINGO Phase 2 data.
Deutsche Bank has a monster $460 price target for the stock. The consensus target is much lower at $413.03. Biogen closed Tuesday at $397.91 a share.
Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) is one of Wall Street’s top picks for this year, as many feel this large cap stock has solid upside potential for 2015 and an outstanding partnered pipeline. Some analysts think the company can grow earnings 20% or more next year and in 2016. The company recently provided strong guidance surrounding its Otezla launch and got encouraging feedback from doctors on the potential of new triplet regimens in myeloma. Many on Wall Street see the company working to diversify away from the flagship product through the emerging inflammation and immunology franchise, as well as a rich pipeline of alliances.
The Deutsche Bank team has a $160 price target. The consensus target is $136.74, and Celgene closed on Tuesday at $116.32.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) is a top large cap biotech that has seen some wicked volatility recently, as well as a company that has hit our 24/7 Wall St. insider buying screens recently. While the stock has been hammered since the beginning of the year due to a price war with AbbVie over hepatitis C (HCV) drugs, it appears as though the data for the company’s top HCV drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni continue to sell well and are tracking to come in at the high end of the 2015 guidance.
The Deutsche Bank price target for the stock is $125, and the consensus target is lower at $119.01. The shares closed Tuesday at $103.84.
Needless to say, these are not stocks that are easy to accumulate a big position in, but the relative stability and upside potential make them ideal for more aggressive growth investors who can buy and hold for a very long time. Buying partial positions now and looking for a pullback makes sense.
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